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Big Read News

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NITEL

Neglected, decaying facilities

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NEWS

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APGA crises: Umeh petitions Jega, CJN over Anambra governor Says Obi is destabilising party

Governor named deputy party leader at Ojukwu remembrance rally in Awka www.nationalmirroronline.net

Vol. 3 No. 12

N150

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Budget 2013: How Jonathan succumbed to lawmakers’ pressure P. 7

L-R: Special Guest of Honour, Chief Olusegun Osoba; outgoing President, Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Mr. Gbenga Adefaye and Host/Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, at the NGE Convention in Ibadan on Friday.

Boko Haram: North in middle of civil war –Danjuma

PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF

A CIVIL WAR IN

NORTHERN

NIGERIA. THERE IS NO

DEFINED FRONT IN THIS PARTICULAR WAR AND,

WORSE STILL, THE ENEMY IS FACELESS AND UNKNOWN

Ex-General says no one is immune from attack

News

Danjuma

Bad leadership, bane of Nigeria’s development –Obasanjo

P. 7 P. 8


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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What’s new Interview

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Seven Days TALKING POINT OF THE PAST WEEK

Bucknor-Akerele: Those who see PDP as birthright cause present crises

Senator Kofo Bucknor-Akerele is the former Deputy Governor of Lagos State and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. In this interview, she speaks about issues as they affect Lagos State and the country at large.

Politics

15

PDP Governors’ Forum and the crisis within Applause

21

2015: Jonathan free to contest, says Tukur In what appears to be a veiled endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan for the 2015 presidential race, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, has said that the President was free to re-contest for the highest office if he desired. Tukur spoke in Abuja amid reports that the Presidency was working to ensure that all the ruling par-

MARCH 3, 2013

ty’s organs were coerced into supporting Jonathan’s re-election ambition. In an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, Tukur, while not denying that the creation of the PDP Governors’ Forum was meant to foster President Jonathan’s 2015 ambition, said that there was nothing wrong if Jonathan decided to re-contest the Presidency in 2015.

NLC, NANS condemn Nasarawa varsity killings

The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has declared Nasarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, a persona non grata at all public functions until those behind the recent killings of students of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, NSUK, are brought to book. NANS made this declaration at the Government House, Lafia, while protest-

ing the killings of its members by soldiers when students of NSUK, who were on a peaceful protest over non availability of water and erratic power to the campus, were shot dead. NANS National President, Yinka Gbadebo, represented by his vice, Comrade Ahmed Jibrin, equally declared the suspension of their cooperation with the Federal Government.

Jonathan okays judge’s sack over misconduct President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, NJC, for the compulsory retirement of Justice Charles Archibong of the Federal High Court, Lagos. The NJC, headed by Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Aloma Murktar, had earlier announced the suspension of Archibong and Justice Thomas Naron of the High Court of Justice, Plateau State and requested the President and the Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang, to retire the two judges.

Soldiers shoot four varsity students dead About four students of the Nasarawa State University, Lafia, were allegedly shot dead by soldiers while scores were injured during a protest over scarcity of water on the campus. The soldiers, from the 177 Battalion in Keffi Barracks, were alleged to have opened fire on the students who were on a peaceful protest. The circumstances of the

2015: Buhari, Tinubu woo PDP governors

United States former President, Bill Clinton, has blamed Nigerian leaders for squandering the country’s resources, adding that money realised from oil had been mismanaged. Clinton, who spoke at the 18th Annual ThisDay Award for Teachers in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, noted that the country could have invested her earnings from oil in other entrepreneurial endeavours rather than

squandering it. The former U.S. president said that Nigeria would be one of the greatest 10 countries of the world only if her leaders could effectively manage her natural resources well in a way that would reduce poverty across the land. He noted that the future of Africa depended on Nigeria and South Africa, but regretted that Nigeria had not done well with her oil money.

MON

Mondays are a bit loved by me because weekends are always hectic. So, on Monday, I try to relax. I wake up late. Then pray and go for my morning exercises. You know I work for myself. So, I have enough time on my hands. But this is not the norm because sometimes if I have studio work I buckle up to it. But when I’m not having too many programs for the week I relax a bit on Mondays.

TUE

MUSICIAN

Tuesdays follow almost the same pattern as the normal day because I wake up with prayers. I pray with my family and I go jugging and do my normal regular exercises.And then, I’m rushing off to work to bit the traffic. I meet clients in my office and that is also where I receive people who are trying to book me for their shows.

FRI THU WED

Clinton carpets Nigerian leaders for wasting resources

Princess Anne Inyang (Akanankwe)

There is no much difference on Wednesdays. I go to my office to see my clients Thursdays are almost the same pattern and same itinerary Same too

SAT

Ibinabo Febrisima is the President of Actors Guild of Nigeria. A mother of four and a onetime beauty queen, Febrisima is a household name in Nollywood. It was indeed a challenging period of her life when she was involved in an accident some years back while driving resulting in the death of a medical doctor. She relives that agony, her life in prison, how she copes with her four children in this interview.

Kaduna that strategy to woo PDP governors was in top gear. Ten opposition governors in the newly-formed APC have provided shield for the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, Rotimi Amaechi, in his faceoff with President Goodluck Jonathan as part of the plot to strengthen the opposition’s camp.

shootings were not immediately clear but it was learnt that the students had mounted a road block on the Keffi-Akwanga federal highway from Keffi roundabout down to the main entrance of the university, disrupting traffic flow on the ever-busy road which links Abuja, Kano, Kaduna and the eastern parts of the country.

Saturdays I go out for shows. Yes sometimes I have shows on Saturdays. I do my regular morning pattern and then I go out for shows.

SUN

Ibinabo Febrisima tells all –Her secret desires, love life and relationship with her children

Former military Head of State, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, and former Lagos State Governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, met in Kaduna to strategise on the possible defection of some Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governors to the All Progressive Congress, APC. Tinubu told journalists after the closed-doors meeting held at Buhari’s residence in

The council also set up a factfinding committee to investigate the allegations levelled against Justice Abubakar Talba of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in the police pension scam case brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, against a senior civil servant, Mr. John Yusuf. Justice Talba had passed a controversial two-year sentence with an option of a N750,000 fine on Yakubu, after the convict pleaded guilty to stealing N32.8 billion from the pension office.

Sundays of course I go to church mainly. I do have shows after Sunday service but sometimes I go to church programes as well in different churches. You know I’m a gospel artiste. So, I go to other churches on Sundays to minister *By Adaeze Amos (0802 301 2293)


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Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

THE

Big Read SUNDAY SPECIAL INVESTIGATION

NITEL March 3, 2013

Neglected, decaying facilities It is no longer news that the Nigerian Telecommunications Company (NITEL) is moribund. The story today is that its facilities, including buildings, telephone exchanges, transmission channels, cables, warehouses and offices across the country are rotting away. A few years back, its services was not for the poor but for the affluent. How did it get to this sorry pass? What happened to its privatisation? Is there any hope of its rebirth? Head, Special Investigations, Isioma Madike, exposes the rot in this once vibrant corporation

A

time was, specifically in the 1980s before it got burnt, when the Nigerian External Telecommunications (NET), located a few poles away from the famous Race Course arena in the heart of Lagos Island, was the cynosure of all eyes. The 39-storey building, built on a large expanse of land, was magnificent and the tallest in the country. So was the architectural design and colours that stand it out in that neighbourhood. It was a place to work in, according to those who had the privilege to work there. It was the headquarters’ annex of the Nigerian Telecommunications Company Limited (NITEL). But, that was then. Today, dirt, debris, and infrastructural decay have crept in on this aesthetics wonder. It is deserted, left to rot and has been taken over by squatters. A security guard, Okon Effiong, said that the illegal occupants are claiming to be paying rent to some NITEL officials, who authorised their stay in the complex. Inside, the air conditioning system has all the paraphernalia of antiquity. The toilets, with shaky seats, have a mushy, dark ambience that one can hardly see the cubicles clearly due to lack of electricity. On the outside, the lawns, which used to have well-manicured beds of flowers and shrubs, are now full of weeds. At present, the structure, like those of its kind across the country, is in shambles! The complex has gradually but steadily lost its sterling aesthetic splendour. Yet, the rot, according to those who should know, did not start today as successive governments embraced its neglect and mismanaged the elegant building into a symbol of ruin and decadence. It has not only lost the appeal that made it the talk of the town, but has assumed a new status of a slum, which, perhaps, is today’s legacy. Like the sprawling NET building, other facilities of the once vibrant NITEL, are in a state of neglect, with millions of naira worth of facilities rotting away. Its buildings, telephone exchanges, transmission channels, cables, warehouses and offices across the country, have remained desolate. It degenerates daily and plays host to all manners of creatures; from birds to rodents, reptiles, and the ever visible city miscreants. Together, they hang about as privileged beneficiaries of the edifices that are presently decorated with weeds, thorns and thistles. At the Ogba, Ikeja warehouse, located at No. 4 WEMPCO Road, the massive complex has been taken over by weeds. It now serves mainly as a depot or abode for mentallyderanged persons. Other loafers within the vicinity also find plenty of space for their trade in the compound. The complex could also be described now as refuse dump, where heaps of rubbish, are packed. The entire surroundings are unkempt, damaged chairs and tables as well as rusty irons littered the floors of the complex. From a distance, one could see some of the broken window louvers and doors, others gone with the wind. The roof of the gigantic building has big holes, which allow rainwater to flood the compound, while parts of it, according to neighbours, have become the sanctuary of criminals. The complex looks like a typical jungle where different types of humans and animals alike, enjoy unrestricted freedom at night. It is the same sorry story at NITEL Ladipo exchange. There are squatters in one part of NET building, Lagos

PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA

‘FAILING TO REVIVE NITEL WOULD TRANSLATE TO COLLECTIVE FAILURE’

CONTINUED ON PAGE 4

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NITEL PREMISES TURNED TO FOODSTUFF MARKET IN KANO

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The Big Read

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘Failing to revive NITEL would translate to collective failure’

NITEL wharehouse at Ogba, Lagos

NITEL digital exchange, Alagbaka, Akure

NITEL Iponri exchange

NITEL exchange overtaken by weeds in Awka, Anambra State

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 the complex, who refused to speak on their stay at the compound, while the other half appears to have been acquired by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). The company has erected a N51 billion Information and Communication Technology training institute known as Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) in that part of the compound. It is the e-training arm of the NCC. Similarly, the PWD Bus Stop NITEL Exchange in Ikeja has also been taken over by food vendors and rascals. And the Badagry exchange, according to sources, has been shut for over eight years now. Besides, some NITEL’s armoured cables worth several billions of naira have also been lost to road construction, as a result of cuts and other forms of damage, When Sunday Mirror visited the sites at Iponri and Mushin exchanges, the ambiences were uninviting with damaged generators and switchboards, which littered the floors of the buildings. A part of the Mushin exchange has somewhat become hideouts for criminals, according to neighbours, with the opening walls of the building creating a “short cut” road for passersby. There are many holes, containing black water on the floor of the building ostensibly from spill diesel on the floor. It is now home to heap of empty plastic water bottles, pure water sachets, worn-out tyres, plastics, damaged engines and all sort of dirt. The stench from the compound stinks, while parts of it now serve as parking lots for broken down vehicles. It looks more like a typical Nigerian Police barracks. Also in Mushin exchange, faeces stains are strewn all over the dilapidated building, some litter the environment, and smear the walls. Maggots and cockroaches, which parade the offices, act as disease vectors within the neighborhood. The building wear fading ash paints; a clear indication that little attention is given to the facility that was made available many years back. It has also turned into a grave yard as no visible activity take place in the place. The multi-million naira equipment in the company is not

only decaying, the transmission channels, and cables are equally in ruins due to abandonment. And the structure within the sprawling compound has become habitation for rats, snakes and other dangerous reptiles. The once boisterous and lively station is no longer what it used to be; the edifice is now a shadow of itself. It has largely been overgrown with weeds. But, Lagos is not alone in this inglorious and reckless abandonment. The story is the same in Katsina State. A visit to some NITEL offices and facilities in Katsina metropolis and its environs reveal similar characteristics of state of disrepair, disuse and damage. In one of NITEL’s facilities located within the state metropolis, there were dilapidated structures and couple of abandoned vehicles that had not been used for ages. The organisation’s giant antenna, which could be seen from miles in every direction, had turned rusty with age and overgrown with weeds all around its base. At the ever-busy IBB Way, a three-storey building that once housed NITEL’s facilities and offices had been mostly abandoned from the two top floors while a commercial bank rented the ground floor. Similar facilities located in Funtua and Daura areas of the state are also abandoned. Residents around these facilities say the places used to be a beehive of activities in the past; but, they have now become ghosts’ yards. The facilities in the three senatorial zones of the state, including transmission channels, telephone exchanges, buildings and vehicles, are either damaged or in bad shapes. Substantial parts of these compounds have become breeding grounds for snakes and other similar animals. Much of the underground facilities, like cables and transmission joints, have also been destroyed due to construction and expansion of road networks. Others, littered across some parts of the state have become make-shift warehouses, and haven for miscreants and the mentally sick persons. In some of them, vehicles with NITEL logos could be seen, which have become

dusty with their worn-out tires due to age and neglect. But, a former NITEL worker, who preferred to remain anonymous, recalled the good old days of the communication organisation, saying that government has the resources to revive its comatose state and make it competitive again. He said countries the world over, have public communication bodies like NITEL working side by side the privatelyowned ones and that NITEL should not be left to go down in history as a failed effort. According to him, “failing to revive NITEL would translate to our collective failure” in invigorating one of the foremost revenue-generating and employment-creating organisations in the country. “If, however, government feels strongly that it cannot revive or maintain NITEL, and bring it back to how it used to be in the old days, then the option of privatisation should be strongly and quickly reconsidered,” he added. But for the beautiful blue-coloured signpost at the entrance of the corporate headquarters of NITEL in Abuja that still gives the impression of a living enterprise, the parastatal is, in real terms more of a playing ground for many of the workers still hanging around. When Sunday Mirror visited the once stunning corporate headquarters of NITEL located at Benue Plaza, Central Business District (CBD) area of Abuja, it has lost its operational virility with most of the physical assets, especially the furniture, vehicles and gadgets, lying in state of rot. The facilities, because of prolonged exposure to climatic conditions, had depreciated in value. At least 15 vehicles were seen covered with dust and many of the tyres deflated, suggesting they were no longer serviceable. But, for the three employees met at the first floor of the premises, nothing seemed to suggest that the building was once a beehive of activities when subscribers and management of the multi-billion naira national carrier engaged in sundry telecommunications negotiations on daily basis. The human and vehicular traffic had gone even as the few CONTINUED ON PAGE 5


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Big Read

5

NITEL premises turned to foodstuff market in Kano

Jaji

Onagoruwa

Owerri NITEL offices under lock and key

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 workers’ faces portray a people uncertain about what the future holds in stock for them. Perhaps, it was abandoned because it no longer offers any hope for investments or desire for world-class, quality-driven telecommunication services. A similar visit to the Exchange Office of the company located at Durban Street, Wuse 11 area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) metropolis also indicated that the premises had been abandoned completely as nobody was found during the visit. But, enquiries by our correspondent from the Security man indicated that a manager still comes to work to monitor the decaying assets and to make sure they are not vandalised. “His stay is always brief as he has virtually nothing to do,” the guard said. In Anambra, the fate of NITEL has also been sealed as the parastatal is practically dead in the state. There are no signs that the company would ever bounce back to life and engage in real business activities. Checks conducted show that the offices of NITEL in Awka and Onitsha have been over grown by weeds, looking rusty and deserted by all the functional members of staff. Further investigations show that the NITEL exchange office in Awka and telephone services has virtually ceased as all the cables and wires, which made the system functional, were dead long time ago, and no member of staff had been on duty to rectify them. It is a few skeletal essential staff drawn from the security department that casually strolls in, hoping for the day their full entitlements would be paid to bring meaning to the privatisation exercise. Facilities in Ondo State NITEL are not exempted as they are also in a sorry state. Many indigenes of the state have had cause to describe this development as a sad commentary on the country’s wasteful culture. Investigations revealed that the firm’s telephone exchanges across the state have been out of use since 2006. While some of the exchanges have been vandalised, others have been taken over

by weeds. Years of disuse have rendered the 10 exchanges in the state moribund. A visit by Sunday Mirror to some of the exchanges in the state showed that few security personnel are stationed to guard the facilities. However, the exchange in Akure is presently occupied by the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST). Unserviceable NITEL vehicles littered the premises. One of the offices of the firm, which used to be along Oba-Adesida road, Akure, has equally packed up. It is now occupied by another company. Most of the cables and poles in the exchanges have been vandalised while some have been destroyed by road contractors. Some of the workers, especially security men, still report for duty regularly but there are no visible activities. A staff of the firm in the Akure office, who preferred anonymity, told our correspondent that some of the exchanges in the state were still functional but that they had been switched off because they were not being utilised. According to the source, “some of the facilities are functional but people are vandalising them. Even the ones within the state capital are being tampered with because they are not being utilised. After several years of disuse, the cables were damaged and some of them were vandalised. Also because there have not been activities, the offices in Owo, Ondo, Okitipupa, Idoani and Ikare have been overgrown with weeds.” In Bayelsa, Sokari Wameso, NITEL Territorial Manager in the state, said the exchange in Yanagoa, with an installed capacity of 1,000 lines, was shut in 2009. “We are still managing to secure the exchange and the NITEL premises in the state capital with the little sum of N10,000 management is providing to us for the up-keep of the premises.,’’ he said. For the ones in Benin, the Edo State capital, reptiles are having a fill day in the weeds that have overgrown the facilities, while the Akpakpava road exchange is occupied by the NIPOST. Also in Nsukka, Enugu State, the Chief Security Offi-

cer of NITEL, Patrick Ugwuoke, said that the exchange was abandoned since 2006 when government retrenched many of the workers. Ugwuoke claimed that the security guards had not been paid for years. “The facilities here would be completely vandalised if we leave,’’ he added. It is the same story in Delta State, where the 18 exchanges with installed capacity of 32, 500 telephone have remained comatose since 2006. Those affected include facilities in Asaba, Agbor, Ogwashi-Ukwu, Warri, Sapele and Ughelli. There is scanty security presence in these stations. In Kano, a disengaged employee of NITEL, Alhaji Ahmed Tijani, appealed to the Federal Government to reactivate the 19 exchanges in the state. Tijani, who worked for over 11 years in NITEL, however, expressed regret that most of the facilities in the state had been vandalised. “There are 19 NITEL exchanges in Kano State; two in the municipal, while the remaining 17 are in the local government areas of the state,’’ he said. The once enviable NITEL edifice, which overlooked the NIPOST office in the Kano business area of post office road, is now an eye sore. Apart from being taken over by weeds and occupied vastly by rodents and reptiles, the dilapidated structure has been turned to food stuff market of sort, with petty traders selling items such as meat, yam, tomatoes and onions. Part of the complex now serves as abattoir. The doors of the multi departments building are missing while the windows are shattered; this exposed the once pride of the nation to ridicule. It accommodated the GSM market shortly after the collapse before it was relocated to its permanent site at farm centre. The building as it stands today may collapse soon as huge cracks are now visible on its walls. Meanwhile, the chairman of junior staff quarter’s association, Adebayo Joshua, has said his members have been thrown into untold hardship by a Kano Magistrate court ruling on Friday. The court had ruled that the occupants of the quarters should vacate the premises effective immediately. “We have been living there for the past 13 years, and we have a case against the ejection pending before a Federal High Court in Kano. But, today, our properties have been thrown out, doors and windows pulled out. We don’t have anywhere to go from here. This is injustice as our case at the Federal High Court is coming up soon,” said Joshua. The NITEL landed property in Owerri, the Imo State capital, has been encroached upon by the state government for the construction of Heartland Resource Centre. The offices have been under lock and key for many months now. Only few senior officers are reporting for duties, but prefer to hang around without going into the office. Hoodlums have also converted the NITEL call centre to junk pack. This situation, according to a Political Scientist and public affairs commentator, Mallam Ahmed Jaji, is worrisome. To him, it is weighing down heavily on the development of the nation. He believes trillions of naira may have gone down the drain via this neglect and abandonment of NITEL facilities across the country. He reiterated the fact that facility maintenance and management, which ordinarily should preserve infrastructure and provide a safe and conducive environment, appears to be alien to leadership in Nigeria. “Inconsistency in policies and development focus are some of the reasons for the high rate of abandoned facilities across Nigeria. Privatisation of corporations like NITEL has somewhat become a vehicle for corruption in this country. I expect the electorate to take up candidates on this issue when they come soliciting for votes,” he said. However, this sorry state of affairs in NITEL may have encouraged a former manager of the corporation and 16 others, who allegedly attempted stealing cables worth over N50 million from its warehouse in Victoria Island, Lagos on Monday, January 13. A very reliable source at Victoria Island Police Station, who disclosed this, said that the suspects were arrested at NITEL Warehouse, Saka Tinubu, in Lagos. “We have been on surveillance for about two months for the suspects– after we got intelligence report about their activities. The ring leader, one Safui, had promised one of the police officers in the station N2 million to assist them to steal the cables.” The police source said that the suspects also attempted to bribe another police officers with N700, 000, after their arrest. The suspectCONTINUED ON PAGE 6


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The Big Read

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NITEL debt profile stands at N354bn –Onagoruwa CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 ed ring -leader equally threatened to use his influence to post the officers from the station to other areas if they did not co-operate with him. “They (suspects) came in with a disguised truck, with NITEL stickers, so as to suggest that they were NITEL staff. They were about driving out when our men swooped on them. A NITEL Warehouse Manager, one other NITEL staff and 15 others, were arrested on the spot. The truck and the cables are currently kept at the police station,” the source added. Meanwhile, one of the problems of NITEL had been its inability to meet its service obligations to Nigerians due to poor management, squandering of resources, overstaffing and political interference. It shares this misfortune with National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), which transformed to Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), Nigeria Railways, Nigeria Airways, and other failed public enterprises in the country. The attempted privatisation had also been fraught with allegations of fraud, which many believe contributed to its unending sluggish rigmarole for so many years. NITEL was the first national Carrier, which many considered a prized heritage. It enjoyed strong monopolistic grip on the nation’s telecommunication landscape at the time. However, there had been several failed attempt to privatise the corporation in the past few years. The more the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) tried, the more the exercise hit the rock, prompting many to believe that the corporation may have been doomed to fail. The first attempt to sell the company to Investors International London Limited (IILL) at the sum of $1.14 billion was in 2001. It failed because, according to sources, the company was unable to honour the terms of the contract agreement. In 2003, Pentascope, a Dutch firm, took over NITEL and the company made an initial progression by generating N51.43 billion as revenue in one year from 555,055 connected lines. But, that did not last for long. After 23 months, the connected lines suddenly dropped to 440,000 and the firm incurred a debt of over N40 billion, which eventually led to the revocation of the deal with it. Orascom, an Egyptian telecoms giant, took over in 2005, but could not make any meaningful progress as it failed to buy the company because its $257 million bid was said to be below the reserved price. By, 2006, NITEL was taking over by Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), which was celebrated with fanfare but the excitement was again short-lived after the $500 million deal failed to turn around the fortunes of the company. According to investigations, the last attempt to sell the company to New Generation Telecommunication Consortium of China at the price of $2.5 billion for 75 per cent stake in NITEL/MTEL was terminated due to failure of the Chinese consortium to pay the bid price. Globacom Limited, Nigeria’s second national carrier, had also attempted to acquire NITEL when it reportedly made a proposal to the Federal Government for the controlling interest in the corporation for $450 million through a Special Purpose Vehicle. But, like the arrangements before it, the Globacom deal never materialised. Along the

NITEL zonal HQ, Abuja

Ladipo NITEL exchange, Lagos

Abandoned NITEL truck in Kano NITEL exchange

The base of NITEL mast in Katsina State

line, the BPE had to deal with labour issues associated with the value of the once thriving company. The squabbles, somehow, exposed the corporation to many, who started perceiving NITEL as a worthless entity. In 2011, the BPE informed Nigerians that government was considering a guided liquidation of the firm. Former Director General of BPE, Bolanle Onagoruwa, gave the hint at the opening of the two-day investigative public hearing on the operational activities of Mtel/NITEL management board by the joint House privatisation, finance, communications, public procurement and information technology committees. She noted that the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) was favourable disposed to adopting ‘guided liquidation’ against the injection of proposed $1 billion for the re-activation of the two telecoms companies as alternatives. Onagoruwa put the debt profile of NITEL at the time at N354 billion.

According to her, the company’s liabilities include N65, 227,595,681 on equipment vendors, N81, 711,196,994 on bank claims, N183, 403,439,256 for government agencies and N24, 504,836,126 for others. She added that Federal Government raised the sum of N68, 248,884,000 through Debt Management Office (DMO) to offset outstanding salaries totaling N54.2 billion, leaving a debt profile of N122, 448,884,000 with Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). She explained that the implementation of some of the expansion programmes was stalled by the privatisation exercise. Other operational challenges, according to her, include ‘Sale of critical core assets of company like the NECOM house, lease office accomm and sale of NITEL headquarters. She also mentioned stolen and vadalised equipment, all technical personnel long exited, integration challenges due to multi-vendor, huge debt liability worth N103 billion arising from

uncompleted projects, zero revenue due to non-operation and lack of insurance cover for equipment Jaji noted that increased mobile telephone penetration in the country did not also help matters. As at December 2012, Nigeria’s active mobile subscribers stood at 113 million with over 150 million connected lines, according to statistics, which put the country’s teledensity at 80.85 per cent. Before the arrival of Global System of Mobile (GSM) communication, NITEL had over 500, 000 functional telephone lines. At present, NITEL had lost its place among other fixed wired and wireless service providers in the country. The GSM operators, including MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat, have continued to record huge profits as a result of increased patronage from Nigerians. Their combined efforts in 2012 were about 109 million subscribers, which were majorly active. According to NCC statistics in 2012, MTN Nigeria recorded 47.4 million subscribers, Globacom, 24.1 million, Airtel, 23.1 million while Etisalat closed the year with 14.9 million subscribers. Visafone had 2.65 million subscribers, and Starcomms Plc, 307, 844. Multilinks had 263, 767, while Zoom mobile managed 111,077 subscribers only. But, while the damage and neglect of NITEL continues, the government seems comfortable with its silent posture on what it intends to do with the telecommunications firm in the near future. Additional reports from Augustine Madu-West (Kano), Chidi Ugwu (Abuja), James Danjuma (Katsina), and Ojo Oyewamide (Akure).


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NEWS

Sunday March 3, 2013

7

Budget 2013: How Jonathan succumbed to lawmakers’ pressure GEORGE OJI AND ROTIMI FADEYI, ABUJA

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t has emerged that President Goodluck Jonathan signed the 2013 budget last Tuesday to avoid a long drawn out battle between members of the National Assembly and the Executive arm of government. Sunday Mirror gathered that the president hurriedly signed the budget despite the fact that both the executive and the parliament had not reached conclusive agreement on some of the few contentious issues on the budget. It was further gathered that the two parties (executive and parliament) agreed that the budget would still be returned to the drawing table for all the details to be worked out by representatives of both parties after the official signing. That was part of the rea-

son newsmen were hurriedly kept out of the signing ceremony at the last minute. Before last Tuesday when it became obvious that the President was not going to yield to some of the covert and overt blackmail from members of the National Assembly, the opposition lawmakers activated the veto factor and gave the president up till February 27 to either assent to the budget or the National Assembly would veto him on the matter. While Jonathan presented a total of N4.92 trillion last October 10, the Legislature on December 20 last year passed a total of N4.987 trillion, an increase of about N63 billion. The lawmakers and the Executive had both maintained their hard stance over the final total budget. According to the source, Jonathan had to sign the budget at a closed door session with the leadership of

the National Assembly without the usual ceremony including media coverage and short speeches after securing the understanding of the lawmakers that further consultation and negotiations would still continue for the budget to be implementable. A source close to the Presidency told Sunday Mirror on Friday that the President and his economic team had expressed serious concern over the increase in the budget figures, saying that it would affect the smooth implementation of the budget and realization of the plans of government on its transformation agenda. In particular, government had opposed some of the items under the constituency projects of the lawmakers, which members of the National Assembly insisted must make the budget. When members of the economic team of the president stood their ground on opposition to the new items

in the budget on the grounds of lack of fiscal resources to fund the project, the lawmakers came up with the idea that government should use the N100 billion meant for the salaries of the 45,000 ghost workers for that purpose. “They just have to work together to see how the budget could be implemented in the interest of all Nigerians since the present administration would soon be half way of the four-year term”, the source said. “Every government prepares budget with certain objectives in mind. The executive want a budget that it could implement and not the one forced on it which could be difficult to implement because a lot of factors including priority projects that would benefit the lives of Nigeria would have to be considered. “So the budget as it is would still be further considered by the Legislature and

the Executive to ensure that the implementation benefits all Nigerians”, the source stated. Jonathan had last Tuesday evening assent to the 2013 budget having secured the understanding of the leadership of the National Assembly that the observations of the executive arm of government about the Appropriation Bill as passed by the lawmakers would be further considered by the National Assembly through legislative action, to ensure effective and smooth implementation. In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati after the budget was signed, the President reassured Nigerians that the consultations with the National Assembly have been in the best interest of the country, and in pursuit of understanding and mutual cooperation between both arms of government.

Jonathan said the administration remains fully committed to the positive transformation of the country, and effective and efficient service delivery for the benefit of all citizens. Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government were further directed to work very hard to ensure that all the services, projects and programmes contained in the budget are successfully delivered on schedule in spite of the slight delay in its enactment. Journalists who had earlier been invited to come and cover the event, according to the tradition when budgets are signed were not allowed into the office of the President where he signed with the Senate President, Senator David Mark; House of Representative Speaker, AminuTambuwal; Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. NgoziOkonjoIweala were in attendance.

APGA crises deepen, as Umeh petitions Jega, CJN CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

L-R: Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha; former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida; Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III; Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd); Vice-President Namadi Sambo and Kaduna State Governor, Ramalan Yero, during a special convocation ceremony and launch of N50 billion ABU phase two development fund in Zaria, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Boko Haram: North in middle of civil war –Danjuma A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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ormer Minister of Defence, General Theophilous Danjuma, yesterday declared that the activities of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, in the North had put the region in the middle of a civil war. Danjuma, a renowned Army General, while calling on the elite to solve the insurgency, said the sect’s attacks had no immunity for anyone. Gen. Danjuma who made the declaration on the occasion of a special convocation and N50 billion fundraising for Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Phase 11 Development project, held in Zaria, described the insurgency as highly conta-

gious that it had crippled social and economic activities in the region. He urged leaders to emulate the nation’s founding fathers who in their times placed emphasis on merit and self-reliance to create a united country irrespective of tribe and religion. He said: “In the case of the North, the danger is very real indeed. Ladies and gentlemen, we are in the middle of a civil war in Northern Nigeria. There is no defined front in this particular war and, worse still, the enemy is faceless and unknown. There is no immunity for anyone. More, this war is highly contagious. Needless to say the social and economic cost is incalculable. I regret to confess that I have not suggested solution to

South

this problem. It is up to us the elite to get together and brainstorm to solve our many problems. I take this opportunity, therefore, to appeal to the nation for unity. We must unite in order to solve our problems.” Gen Danjuma commended ABU, the premier university of the North, for being the only truly federal university in the country. It would be recalled that Gen. Danguma had last year said Northern Nigeria was becoming Somalia, a statement which was greeted with condemnations by the Federal Government and other leaders. Earlier, former Millitary President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, attributed security and developmental challenges facing the nation

to declining fortunes of the education sector. Babangida, who was the chairman of the ABU convocation said, “The security, peace and progress we aspire for ourselves and our families are not attainable if the majority of the citizenry remain locked in the traps of ignorance and poverty. Ignorance and poverty are two sides of the same coin. Pocketing one of these coins by any community would surely lead to peace and prosperity for all, while picking the other would certainly result into stagnation, insecurity and anarchy that would engulf everyone.” Highlight of the convocation was confirmation of an award of honorary doctorate degree of science on Gen. Danjuma.

The ousted National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Chief Victor Umeh has petitioned the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Attahiru Jega, over what he termed as the unlawful dissident activities and factionalisation of the party by the governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi “and his cohorts.” Umeh averred that Governor Obi had, in a desperate bid to over-reach his (Umeh’s) appeal challenging the decision of the Enugu State High Court which removed him as the National Chairman of the APGA, has decided to take to illegalities. According to Umeh, Obi had in a breach of the party’s constitution, and Section 85 of the Electoral Act, elected national leaders for the party with Maxi Okwu, the National Chairman of Citizens Popular Party (CPP) as acting National Chairman and Alhaji Sani Abdulahi Shinkafi as acting National Secretary. But while Umeh pursues his case against Obi, the APGA yesterday staged a grand rally at the Dr Alex Ekwueme Park, Awka, the Anambra State capital, in honour of the late Igbo leader and Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, who was buried one year ago

in his Nnewi compound. At the event, Governor Obi was named as the new deputy national leader of APGA. Organised to mark the one year anniversary of Ojukwu’s burial since March 2, 2012, the rally which attracted party chieftains from different parts of the country, included Obi himself, the Nigerian Ambassador to Spain and widow of the late Ikemba, Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu; Plateau State Chairman of the APGA, Dr. Issa Arzuka Jega, and a former Information Minister, Professor Dora Akunyili, among others. However, Umeh in his petition stated that “the appointment of Barrister Maxi Okwu as the Acting National Chairman of APGA is the biggest scandal of party politics in Nigeria today. “By the time the announcement was made, he (Okwu) was the National Chairman of the CPP. Barrister Okwu along with Chief Chekwas Okorie and Hassan Bello were expelled from APGA in 2005. “They challenged their expulsions in court and the FCT High Court affirmed their expulsions on April 16th 2008, they pursued an appeal up to the Supreme Court and lost on the 25th of March 2011,” he added. Umeh also petitioned the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mariam CONTINUED ON PAGE 57


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News

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Bad leadership, bane of Nigeria’s development –Obasanjo FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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ormer president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, said that absence of quality leadership was one of the major factors that had over the years been responsible for development in Nigeria as well as other African countries. The former president, who acknowledged that Nigeria and Africa had enormous potential, also regretted it (Nigeria) lacked quality leadership that could harness such to realisation of noticeable development. Obasanjo spoke in Abeokuta during the final of Africa Region Inter-collegiate

Debate on Human Security in Africa, orgnaised by the Centre for Human Security (CHS), an arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL). The debate, however, featured universities and secondary schools from across the country and other African countries. The former president explained that there weren’t many good leaders in the country, stressing that leadership in any country was very important to development and growth. “On the topic you have chosen for this debate, ‘Human security in Africa’, whether it’s a myth or reality, threat to human security, high economic growth, whether it is flash in the pan or sustainable, “all

comes to one major thing and that one major thing is leadership. Very soon I do hope that we’ll bring leadership in all dimensions and in all ramifications. “I realise that we have many Nigerians and there are not many good leaders in Nigeria. “Whatever is the reason, it is something we have to tackle because we cannot continue the way it is. “That brings me to the hope and the bright future that I see in what Profs. Akin Mabogunje and Peter Okebukola are putting together (the debate). “It’s to try and prepare African youths, boys and girls together that future belongs to you, youth. “Nobody will help Africa, nobody can help Africa

11 key Lagos agencies begin Saturday operations MURITALA AYINLA

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s part of efforts to improve and enhance their services to estimated 21 million Lagosians, 11 key agencies in three ministries in Lagos State yesterday began Saturday service. Sunday Mirror gathered that commencement of weekend services by the agencies is borne out of the growing demand for services of the agencies by some residents. The staff of the agencies are expected to attend to enquiries, complaints, site inspection, other related and relevant services. With this development, processing of land title document could be done during weekend, while the vehicle inspection offices would also be opened for services. Speaking while flagging off the weekend service in line with the state gov-

ernment’s directive, the Commissioner, Physical Planning and Urban Development, Toyin Ayinde, appealed to Lagosians to make use of this opportunity provided by the state government to seek planning information, prescreen all drawings and documents prior to processing of development and other necessary permits before the commencement of their building project. The commissioner assured residents of timely and speedy processing of such when genuine and relevant documents are attached to their applications. He said: “I urged the general public who require the services of the ministry or any of its agencies to feel free to come to any of the designated offices on Saturday, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. where officers have been positioned to attend to enquires, complaints, site inspections on

development permits and other related services. “Apart from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development headquarters at Block 15, the Secretariat, Alausa, that would open for business, the District Offices in Ikoyi/VI, Amuwo- Odofin, Alimosho, Ikorodu and Somolu /Mushin (Ilupeju) would also be operational simultaneously for ease of access.” Other agencies that commenced weekend services include, Lagos State Physical Planning and Permit Authority, LASPPPA, Lagos State Building and Control Agency, Lagos State Urban Renewal Agency, Lagos State Motor Vehicle Administration Agency, Vehicle Inspection Service and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority. Others are Directorate of Land Regularisation, Directorate of Land Service, Directorate of Land Use and Allocation Committee and Directorate of Land Registry.

Fire razes SuperSports Lagos studio MURITALA AYINLA

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here was pandemonium at the popular Ojota Bus Stop yesterday when fire gutted the former Philips building, housing the multi-million naira Lagos studios of Supersports, a sports channel on satellite pay television, DSTV. The fire destroyed prop-

erties worth several million of Naira including the studios of the station before it was eventually put out by fire fighters from the Lagos State Fire Service. The fire fighters blamed the extent of damage on the failure of the management of the station to alert them on time, saying the nature of the materials at the studio also made it difficult to put out the fire on time.

The cause of the fire which started at about 3:45pm could not be ascertained as at press time. Speaking with Sunday Mirror, the Director of Lagos State Fire Service, Mr. Rasak Fadipe said the fire was aided by the padded materials used in soundproofing the studio, stressing that the roof of the building had already caved in when fire fighters ar-

and that is the truth. If we expect others from outside to come and help us, it is a second-class help. What do I see for the future? We have calibre of women, men, young and old that Africa needs to put itself up and to make its voice heard in the world today and tomorrow. “Alfred Mills in his book “Why Africa is poor” but it’s a choice, a choice that

our leaders have made. “But here watching you (students) at the college and university level, I believe that the materials are there,`` he said. Obasanjo expressed worry that he was shocked when Mr Aliko Dangote told him that six PhD holders and 600 master’s degree holders were among applicants for truck driver va-

cancy in his company. He stated that the issue boiled down to the problems of job and wealth creation, among others. While expressing satisfaction with the quality of the debate, the former President stated that Africa would soon resolve the crisis of leadership in order to achieve noticeable and sustainable development.

Fire fighters putting out fire in a warehouse at Ojota Bus Stop in Lagos, yesterday.

PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

Ajimobi, NSGF, Aregbesola, Amaechi commend NGE PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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yo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has commended the leadership of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) for its successful election at the weekend, saying journalists are an important part of democracy by virtue of what they do. The governor made this remark yesterday in Ibadan, during the visit of the new and old executive of the guild to his office, in Agodi, Ibadan. Ajimobi, who admitted that he owed his success in life to a journalist regarded as a father of the profession, who believed and gave him all the support he needed, including financial support, however, urged the editors to always be balrived the scene. Also speaking, the Director of Operation, Lagos State Emergency Management, Mr. Olusegun Magnus-Davies said the agency and other stakeholders were able to bring the situation under control. But for the intervention of the fire fighters, the fire was fast spreading to adjoining buildings within the area, where the headquarters of UAC Foods is also located.

anced in their reports. In the same vein, the Northern State Governors’ Forum (NSGF) in its congratulatory message has called on the newly elected President of the Guild, Mr. Femi Adesina, and the VicePresident, Suleiman Uba Gaya, to uphold the spirit of professionalism and political non-partisanship for which the body of editors is known and respected. The NSGF said, “At this time of the nation’s political development, what Nigeria and indeed Nigerians need is a guild that transcends political partisanship and one that will leave politics to politicians and only play the traditional role of mediating between the leaders and the led. “We have a strong belief that your colleagues must have seen these qualities and others in you to have elected you into this highly exalted office.” In a similar manner, the Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, through a statement by the Director of the Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, said the choice of Adesina by the body was a wise, informed and progressive one. He said the smooth transfer of power from one

executive to the other best exemplifies true democratic system that respects and recognises people’s choice. He said by so doing, the media top brass, has set example for the country on the manner of power transfer devoid of rancour. Similarly, Rivers State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has hailed Adesina on his emergence. Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. David Iyofor, Amaechi commended Adesina on his sterling attributes and wished him a successful term at the helm of affairs of the guild. Amaechi expressed confidence that the leadership of Adesina who is the Deputy Editor-in-Chief and Deputy Managing Director of the Sun Newspapers would take the guild to greater heights. “I also believe that his tenure would well represent the Nigeria Guild of Editors and cause an increase in professionalism in the field and among its members,” Amaechi said. The governor congratulated other members of the newly elected executive made up of seasoned professionals in the media industry.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Construction of Lagos-Abidjan road begins in 2014 –Jonathan T

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Tukur’s visit is to strategise on 2015 guber polls –Lagos PDP

ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire said that the construction of Lagos to Abidjan express way would commence early next year. While stressing the importance of the road, Jonathan stated that leaders of Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana met on the sideline of the 42nd ECOWAS Summit in Yamoussoukro on how to actualise the project. The President who spoke at the Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire Investors Forum on the

sideline of his state visit to that country, explained that the construction of the road was imperative to enhance free movement of goods and persons and reduce the encumbrances currently posed by the local customs and Police to business men. “We have charged the Ivorian Minister of Infrastructure and the Nigerian Minister of Works to work with the ECOWAS Commission that within two weeks they must come up with a blueprint and preliminary information on the project that we will discuss in Addis Ababa in May when we go for AU meeting” “This is because we

want a situation where the desk-work will be completed this year and by next year, we want physical construction. “We believe that when we have this express road the issue of movement interference by Customs and Police will be minimized because that will be an ECOWAS road. “The laws regulating the use of the road will not be the laws regulating that of the roads in Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire or Ghana. It will be an international standard and everything will be done in such a way that movement of goods services and so on will not be interfered with by local restriction”,

Jonathan said. According to him, the road project would not be financed with public funds but by development partners and some viable banks which would recover their fund through tariffs and toll fees. “It is a viable project that banks and business men within and outside the region will key into and which will generate enough money in short time. Jonathan further explained that the five countries with a population of about 236 million from the entire 287 million of ECOWAS member States, the project would integrate the entire region.

Ibadan ACN caucus adopt Koleoso as state leader the 11 Ibadan cities and other less city local government areas who unanimously adopted Chief Michael Koleoso as the leader of the party, warned that the negative consequences of the happenings in the party portend negative implications on its growth. They affirmed that “the natural leadership succession process within the progressive family had never been in dispute,” adding that attempts by certain individuals to force leadership on the party was aberrant to progressive tradi-

tion. The meeting also condemned calls for the adoption of Governor Abiola Ajimobi and any other public office holders for a second term in office, describing such as distractive, premature and unnecessary, and stressed the need for the political space to be democratised because the “ultimate power of choice” rests with the electorate. Some of the leaders at the meeting held at New Bally Hotel included Alhaji Isamotu Ashiru (Baba

he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Lagos yesterday said that the closed-doors meeting it held with the party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, was to strategise on the 2015 governorship election in the state. This is contained in a statement issued by the Lagos PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr Taofik Gani, in Lagos. It stated that the impromptu meeting was to reassure the state of the support of the national chairman, ahead of the 2015 polls. ``Hitherto, there were speculations that the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party had dissolved the state executive owing to factions. ``The chairman’s visit and the presence of party leaders in the state like the former Minister of Works, Chief Seye Ogunlewe, has vindicated the state executive that the status quo is intact. The statement added

that ``the party remains united in Lagos”. It also said the national chairman had charged the leaders to maintain the unity in the party and to ensure that aggrieved members who might have left the party in the past were brought back to its fold. ``We wish to reassure our teeming supporters that the PDP is determined more than ever to take over power in Lagos come 2015, and to ensure grassroots development in all parts of the state.” It added, ``We also welcome people from other political parties willing to join us and we assure that all members, new and old, will be treated with the same love and fairness for which the party is known.” It would be recalled that Tukur on Friday evening held a closed-doors meeting with the Lagos State Executive of the PDP at the Dominion Lounge, private airlines terminal, near the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

Gov. Obi (right), his wife, Margaret (middle) and APGA Acting BOT Chairman, Dr. Tim Menakaya (left) during the one-year remembrance of the burial of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumwgwu-Ojukwu and the grand rally by APGA at the Ekwueme Square, Awka, yesterday

Leader), Dr. Adeniyi Adelakun, Elder Kolawole Adeosun, Prince Tunji Adeoye, Pa Olayinka Adeleke, immediate past Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Mr. Kazeem Adedeji, among others. The ACN leaders, after hours-long deliberation on the need to return the party to the path trod by true progressives like Chief Obafemi Awolowo who put the people’s welfare at the epicentre of governance, condemned in strongest terms, the “illegal and unending dissolution” of party executives as done in some local governments in disobedience to the party’s constitution. A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting and signed by Elder Adeosun said “the Forum frowns at the divisiveness and the divide and rule tactics being promoted by a section within the party which has led to polarisation with the attendant dampening of morale of the majority of members of the party.” The communiqué read in part, “The forum affirms the supremacy of the party and reiterates that the interest of the party is greater than the interest of individual or individuals.

Kwara Assembly removes college chairman

Ilorin NBA seeks sack of Nasarawa varsity VC

KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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he crisis over who assumes the leadership of the Oyo State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has taken a new dimension. Some leaders and elders of the party at the weekend rose from a meeting in Ibadan, the state capital and raised alarm over the developments within the party in the state. The party leaders from

NIGERIA IN BRIEF

The Kwara House of Assembly over the weekend approved the removal of the Chairman, Governing Council of the Kwara State College of Education, IIorin, Musa Yeketi. This resolution followed the report of its joint Committee on Education and Ethics, Privileges and Judiciary on the facts surrounding the suspension of the Chairman. The Deputy Speaker of the House, Prof. Gana Yissa, who

presided over the plenary session, said the removal of the Chairman of the Governing Council followed an alleged financial scandal. “For the smooth administration of the College, the Chairman, Governing Council of the State College of Education, IIorin, Alhaji Musa Yeketi should be removed from office without further delay,” Yissa said. The House also directed

Yeketi to refund the N3 million car loan obtained from the Kwara state Polythecnic, IIorin when he was the Chairman, Governing Board of the institution which was offset by the College. It further directed the Council Chairman to refund N1 million for the purchase of diesel to his private residence and N1 million monthly imprest collected between April, 2012 and January, 2013.

The Chairman of Ilorin branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Kwara State, Rafiu Balogun has canvassed prompt removal of the Vice Chancellor of Nasarawa State University, Prof. Shamsudeen Amali “if found guilty” over the recent killing of three students of the institution allegedly carried out by soldiers. Balogun, in a chat with The Guardian Friday in Ilorin queried the alleged deployment of

Alake, OPC seek youth employment, culture preservation FISAYO FALODI

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he Alake of Egbaland, Oba Aremu Adedotun Gbadebo, has urged governments at all levels to initiate policies that would facilitate creation of more jobs for the teeming youths who are daily roaming the streets just as the National Coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress ,OPC, Otunba Gani Adams said preservation of our culture would prevent the youths from going into crime. The duo were speaking at this year’s Olumo Festival which was rounded off at the weekend in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. Oba Gbadebo said governments must find a way of creating jobs for the youth because, according to him, idle hands are usually the devil’s workshop. He also urged governments to further embark on policies that would strengthen the nation’s peace.

soldiers to the institution when the protesting students bore no ammunition superior to those of the Nigerian Police. He said the remote and the immediate reasons for the protest should be unveiled and those responsible for the killing of “the three potential Nigerian leaders” brought to book to serve as deterrent to others. According to the local NBA leader, “the killing of innocent

Also speaking on the occasion, Otunba Adams said there was the need to preserve Yoruba culture, adding that it was not a sin to promote one’s heritage or to speak one’s language. He said the neglect of Yoruba culture had led its youths to start emulating foreign ideas as they are facing a lot of pressure from the world around them. “So we should stand up to protect our heritage. Political differences should not be allowed to prevent us from elevating our culture. We were not born into politics, not even into sentiment of leadership, but into the atmosphere of our culture”, he said. Adams explained that the Yoruba should not only lament the artifacts already taken away by the Europeans but should initiate moves towards getting them back and also ensuring that it took possession of its remaining artifacts on ground in the region

students by soldiers is regrettable, condemnable, despicable, barbaric and quite uncalled for, no matter the situation. “In the first place, the deployment of soldiers to suppress students’ protest or unrest is illegal, unconstitutional and wicked. We are not at war and soldiers or any security personnel must not use gun to suppress mere civil unrest by innocent students who were armless.”


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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STORIES THAT TOUCH YOU MARCH 3, 2013

How two Ekiti monarchs were stoned, chased into exile ABIODUN NEJO, ADO EKITI

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he turn of events recently in two communities in Ekiti State put question marks on the sacredness and fortification which are known to be the hallmark of palaces in Yorubaland. While the youth of one of the communities, in protest of recurring deaths in their town, stoned their monarch and requested he should abdicate the palace, the monarch of the other area has become a toy in the hands of some armed men believed to be hired assassins who had forced him into exile. In both cases, the police in the state appeared to be helpless as the intruders had a field day in the two communities. February 21, 2013 will always be green in the memories of the traditional ruler of Emure Ekiti, the Elemure of EmureEkiti, Oba Emmanuel Adebayo. It was the day the youth of the community marched on his palace. It was also a day his words drew the ire of the

young ones, who in turn shouted that he should vacate the palace forcibly as they pelted him with pebbles and hurled sachets of water on him. The embattled monarch, a former commissioner of police, was said to have retreated into the palace in frustration while the rage lasted just as his chiefs removed their beads and other insignia of office and scampered for dear lives. Embittered youths of the town said that no fewer than 1two young ones in the community had died under different circumstances within two weeks, a situation which they said needed urgent attention for redress. That day, youth of the town had gathered in their numbers, marched round the town, sealed off the market while all shops were forced to close down as they marched round the community. On getting to the palace, the monarch, who is a Christian, stepped out to address them. But, according to sources, the manner the monarch spoke provoked the youth who expressed dis-

The Oniro of Iro Ekiti, Oba Afolabi Felix Adeniyi

content with the monarch’s utterance and, even, his continued stay in office. Sources among the young ones in the community said they were enraged by the refusal of the traditional authority to make moves to protect the lives of the future of the town. Chairman of Emure Council, Hon

Adewale Febisola, had that day in his address to the protesting youth, advised them to maintain the peace as he assured them that the traditional council would find spiritual solution to the matter. The policemen who were drafted to calm the situation could not help the

Anguish, unease trail massacre

Entrance of the university

IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA

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he nation woke up on Monday, February 25 to the news of unprovoked attack on students of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, NSUK, leading to the death of four of them and hospitalisation of several others. On that day, the entire students of NSUK were on a peaceful protest over the non-availability of water and erratic power supply on the campus and school environment. Soldiers from the 177 Battalion in Keffi

Barracks, were alleged to have opened fire on the students who were on a peaceful protest. The circumstances of the shooting were not immediately clear but Sunday Mirror gathered that the students had mounted a road block on the Keffi – Akwanga federal highway from Keffi roundabout down to the main entrance of the university, disrupting traffic flow on the ever-busy road which links Abuja, Kano, Kaduna and the eastern parts of the country. Both the dead and injured were taken to the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Keffi where two other injured students were re-

ported o have died later. A student of the institution, Oliver Akwai, told Sunday Mirror that nine students of NSUK were equally killed in an auto crash involving a commercial bus they boarded to flee the school campus when they were being chased away from their places of abode by security operatives as directed by the university authority. The school was shut down late in the evening of the protesting day thereby rendering the students stranded. The closure was announced in a statement signed by the Registrar, Dalhatu Mamman, urging the students to vacate the campus immediately until further notice, warning that, “Any student who remained on or around the campus would be doing so at his or her own risk.” In the melee, commercial motorists played the vulture as they took advantage of the destabilised students on that fateful day and hiked transport fares to about 300 per cent. This was, however, beyond the reach of many students, compelling the majority of them to board articulated vehicles that were a bit cheaper and affordable. It was equally gathered that the students’ decision to block the federal highway was borne out of the fact that their previous protests within the campus fell on deaf ears of the authorities of the university, led by Vice Chancellor, Professor Shamsudeem Amali. They therefore resolved to go out of the cave and tell the world about their pathetic plight, rather than die in silence. Little did

they know that their decision to protest to the knowledge of the whole world over the ill-treatment meted out to them by the school management in connivance with the Nasarawa State government would be hijacked by blood-tasty soldiers. Narrating the lamentable scenario to our correspondent, the President of the Students Union Government, SUG, of the university, Rabiu Tijani Umameh, said the campus had been without water for the past three weeks. Water, he said, is life “without which we cannot continue with our education and it will make the environment harsh and hectic for us”. The NSUK students’ president, who was visibly devastated on seeing the presence of heavily armed soldiers at the scene of the peaceful protest, complained: “This is a civil and peaceful protest; we don’t want to see military men here. Why should they come and shoot our students? Nevertheless, I have taken the report before the school authorities.” Ironically, barely a few hours after the university authorities had shut down the institution indefinitely, the water taps in the school community started running. Irked by that unusual development, the Nasarawa State House of Assembly at its plenary session directed its house committee on water resources, education and security to investigate the phenomenon after observing a one-minute silence in honour of the murdered students. The Speaker, Ahmed Musa Mohammed, expressed anger at the tactical return of water to the


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A tale of two Ekiti monarchs situation initially as the protesters made bonfire in strategic locations in the community. Spokesperson for the state Police Command, Mr Victor BabayemiOlu, had confirmed that the protesting youth in the community made bonfires in the course of the protest, but noted that his men were on top of the situation, adding that the community was now calm. But the situation at the palace of the Oniro of Iro Ekiti in the Gbonyin local council area, Oba Afolabi Felix Adeniyi, is much different as activities of the armed invaders to the palace had forced the monarch into exile. Oba Adeniyi told journalists in Ado Ekiti last Monday that armed men invaded the palace on the night of July 3, last year, shot sporadically, chased away the occupants of the palace and made away with

valuables, including money and beads. The monarch, who said: “Only the mercy of God saved me”, explained that after the armed attack and sporadic gunshots, the persistent text messages he received informing him that they were monitoring his movement and demanding ransom for his life, had forced him to go on exile from the community since August 20 last year on realising that his life was no longer safe. I have not heard in the history of Yoruba that armed gang invaded an Oba’s palace. When the Oba’s palace is not safe, the community is in problem. I have relocated from my community, Iro Ekiti, to elsewhere for my life. I only go there on the community traditional council meetings and other special occasions”. More worrisome to the monarch was the self-confession even before the po-

The Elemure of Emure Ekiti, Oba Emmanuel Adebayo

of students at Nasarawa varsity university barely a few hours after the students were sacked to their homes thus: “Who is fooling whom and who is sabotaging whom?” A female student, Hawa Saidu, who lamented the attitude of security operatives to students told Sunday Mirror that “over 30 students of the university were illegally arrested and detained by the police authorities while many others who were financially buoyant had to pay not less than N10,000 in the name of bail to regain their freedom. Those who could not afford the exorbitant bail fee were detained in Lafia under the custody of the Criminal Investigation Department, CID, of the police.” Worried by the alleged unjust killings

One of the student victims

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of NSUK students by soldiers, the National President of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Comrade Yinka Gbadebo, led a high-powered protest to the government of Nasarawa on February 25 to register its displeasure with the unfortunate attack and condemned the killings of unarmed protesting students of the institution. Gbadebo, who was represented by his deputy, Comrade Ahmed Jibrin, said: “With heavy hearts, we commiserate with the entire students of NSUK over the untimely death of some students, their families, the NSUK management and staff, and student union government of NSUK.” Consequent upon that, NANS hitherto declared the suspension of cooperation

Ekiti Police Commissioner, Mr Sotonye Wakama

tack and incessant threats to his life were possible owing to absence of police formation in the community, harped on the need to establish a police post in the town, being a border city with the neighbouring Ondo State, to curtail the activities of criminals and gunmen. Oba Adeniyi said he and the Oniroin-Council immediately reported the armed attack on the palace to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Ode Ekiti, but later withdrew the case based on the pressure from the community that the matter would be handled traditionally. According to him, shortly after traditional rites had been performed, one Lasisi Ibrahim, a native of the community came to confess to him that some people made a part-payment of N30,000 to him and others to exterminate the monarch. The embattled royal father said that Ibrahim had asked for N30,000 so that he could refund those who gave him the nefarious contract. But he said he was surprised when he summoned his Council Chiefs to listen to Ibrahim’s confession, when the culprit twisted his statement that he was sent by the dead to kill the king. “When the irate youth wanted to lynch him, I informed the DPO Gbonyin for his arrest as I did not want to take laws into my hands. He also told the DPO that dead people sent him to kill the oba”. However, spokesperson to the state police command, Olu, said the monarch needed not go into exile following the threats, as there was adequate security in the state. The police spokesman, who said Iro Ekiti was not the only community that did not have police formation in the state, explained that there was patrol of all communities.

with the government of Nigeria and declared Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State ‘persona non grata’ until those culpable are brought to book. “Nigerian students are directed to begin a process of civil disobedience against Emperor Tanko Al-Makura and all government institutions nationwide until justice is seen to be done and all the perpetrators of the unjust killings are brought to book in accordance with the law of the country, both military and civil laws,” Gbadebo directed. To back his words with action, NANS has, temporarily, relocated its National Secretariat to Nasarawa State with immediate effect and constituted a nine-man commission of enquiry to be headed by Comrade Obande Gideon Obande, to look into the remote and immediate causes of the crisis. Commenting on the unfortunate scenario, Nasarawa State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Yunana Iliya, urged Governor Al-Makura’s Congress for Progressive Change, CPCled government in the state to step up efforts at providing basic amenities for the people. He said until basic infrastructure such as water and electricity promised by the government were provided, the much needed change the people yearned for would only be a farce. He said: “I commiserate with the families of the deceased students and urge them to take the loss of their wards as an act of God and take solace in the fact that death is inevitable. The school authority and the security agents should expedite action to bring those involved in the killing of the students to book in order to

serve as a deterrent to others.” Iliya was, however, optimistic that the arrest and punishment to those involved in the dastardly act would go a long way to pacify the students and families of the dead that justice had been done. The PDP chieftain also challenged security agencies to wake up to their responsibilities towards bringing to an end the spate of violence and insecurity in the state in recent times. The Human Right Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, on its part condemned the killings, insisting that it amounted to a grave crime against humanity, and must not go unpunished. HURIWA urged the National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria, NHRC, to begin independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deployment of armed soldiers by the state government to unleash violence on peaceful protesters. In a statement jointly signed by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and National Media Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA asked the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, to explain the rationale behind the deployment of troops to quell a claimed peaceful demonstration by unarmed students. HURIWA stated: “We in the Human Rights community will be disappointed if the Nigerian Human Rights Commission fails to use its new found independence and its operational power to probe the brutal killings by armed soldiers of peaceful demonstrators in this era of democracy when it was clear that the lives of the soldiers did not come under any threat since the protesting students merely carried placards and fresh tree leaves.”

lice at Ode Ekiti by an indigene of the community that he was sent and paid by the dead to sniff out the life of the monarch, who said: “The dead people cannot pay or send somebody who is alive to go and invade the Oba’s palace and make away with cash and valuable property”. The insecurity of the lives of the monarch and others is heightened by the fact, according to the royal father, that, “There is no police station in Iro Ekiti which makes the security of the town porous to all evils. Iro Ekiti only accesses the police at the Divisional Police Headquarters, Ode Ekiti which is over 20 kilometers away from the town”. He appealed to the state government, law enforcement personnel and Ekiti State people to “save me and the whole community from the armed invaders and allow the community to be at peace and allow the traditional ruler perform his roles”. The monarch, who said that the at-


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Man in the News MARCH 3, 2013

Amaechi: In the eye of the storm K AYODE FASUA

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hibuike Rotimi Amaechi, governor of Rivers State and chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), has been in the eye of the storm for some time now. The suave governor was almost unseated as the NGF chairman last week following high pitch political intrigues within the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). What seemed as his first public disagreement with the Presidency came to the fore recently when there was a war of words between Amaechi and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe. The governor had criticised the minister over what he considered an undue delay in the implementation of the East-West Road project, saying that concerned governors should be allowed to execute the job, in the interest of the public. Wrought by Amaechi’s comment which naturally suggested that either the Presidency or the Minister’s office was inept, Orubebe fired back: “Port Harcourt (the Rivers State capital) used to be the Garden City of this country. Today, Port Harcourt is a slum. I think that he should concern himself more with utilising the resources at his disposal to develop Rivers State. “But reverse is the case in Nigeria as even governors from the South-South, particularly, Rotimi Amaechi, has no respect for the President of this country,” Orubebe quipped. In his reply to the minister, Amaechi, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. David Oyofor, averred that Orubebe only detoured “divert attention from his ineptitude and abysmal failure.” Oyofor, the governor’s spokesman, described the minister’s statement as “ludicrous and bizarre,” insisting that, “contrary to Orubebe’s words, he, Amaechi, has

great respects for the person of the President and his office. “Ordinarily, I would not have responded to the ludicrous, thoughtless and bizarre ranting of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, against Rivers State Governor but it has become imperative for me to do so and show clearly that the minister’s game plan is just to divert attention from his ineptitude and abysmal failure,” he stressed. But not too long after the exchange of words between the governor and the minister, the former began to see the manifestation of an act described in political circles as a direct confrontation against an awesome Presidency. In no time, moves thickened to have Amaechi removed as chairman of the elitist Governors’ Forum. But when the plot failed to gel as Amaechi reportedly rallied support from non-PDP governors, the crisis reached a crescendo in what appeared as factionalisation of the Governor’s Forum, from the PDP wing. A PDP-only Governors’ Forum thus emerged, with the Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio, as chairman. But sources said an end to the rivetting crisis is not yet in sight, especially in this era of merger parties posing some threats to the ruling PDP. But also in an attempt to contradict Orubebe’s allegation, the state’s news organ, ‘Tide’ had in a recent article, listed the achievements of the governor. “Apart from good road network projects, Amaechi has equally added more feathers to his enviable nest with the construction of 105 health centres, together with the on-going Dubai-like Garden City Galleria, which is a close shot at (Donald Duke’s Tinapa experience) in Cross River State. What is strikingly interesting in Governor Amaechi’s overwhelming giant strides is the fact that he is actually playing the role of a timely interventionist who inherited Rivers State without any tangible critical infrastructures on ground. Infact from

credible sources, Governor Amaechi is a leader with an unbelievable magic wand to have brought Rivers State to this admirable level with backlogs of infrastructural problems.” Quoting a newcomer to Rivers State, ‘Tide’ explained: “I seriously believe in this candid and honest opinion without picking a hole. Like I said earlier I am still new in Port Harcourt and can hardly mention most of the roads and schools that are currently being reconstructed and rehabilitated. Though there are still a lot to be achieved, I dare to say that even when Rivers State is not yet where she desired to be, she is certainly not where she used to be before Amaechi took over the mantle of leadership. The historic commissioning of the following projects: The 750 meter quay/berth 4,5&6 at FOT, the 376 meter quay/berth at FLT4 4.5 kilometer road linking the FLT to the FOT and the comprehensive network projects, a major project at the Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT). Others are the Federal Lighter Terminal (FLT) Onne, credence to the fact that Governor Amaechi’s human-faced administration in collaboration with that of President Goodluck Jonathan administration means well to Rivers State indigenes and Port Harcourt residents in particular.” Amaechi is not new to controversies, anyway. He became the governor of Rivers State in June 2007, following a Supreme Court verdict that he and not Celestin Omehia was the rightful governorship candidate of the PDP in the April 2007 poll. The case had drawn from the lower court up to the apex court before Amaechi finally triumphed. That verdict naturally sacked Omehia as governor of Rivers State. Amaechi was previously Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly from 1999 to 2007. He also ran successfully for reelection as governor on April 26, 2011. The governor was born in Ubima, in Ikwere Local Government area of Rivers State, and is an alumnus of the University of Port Harcourt.


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Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics PROVIDING FRESH PERSPECTIVES TO ISSUES

APC megaparty: How far can the opposition go? P 15

MARCH 3, 2013

THE COMING TOGETHER OR GANGING UP AGAINST THE PDP IS NOTHING NEW HERE. APC IS LIKE A NEW WINE IN AN OLD BOTTLE AND WE EXPECT NOTHING BUT EXPLOSION –DR CHINWOKE MBADINUJU

2015: Can Anenih ‘fix it’ for PDP? P 14, 16

Briefly Court declares Delta lawmaker’s seat vacant A Federal High Court on Friday in Asaba ordered the Speaker of the Delta House of Assembly to declare the Ukwuani Constituency seat in the assembly vacant. Delivering judgement, Justice C. Olatoregun-Isola also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election within 90 days. He said this was because the seat’s former occupier, Dr Alphonsus Ojo, defected from the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after his victory at the polls. Olatoregun-Isola said only the court was constitutionally empowered to annul election. He also said the court was not aware that DPP had two factions as claimed by the lawmaker. It will be recalled that Ojo contested and won the April 2011 election on the platform of DPP. Ojo had left DPP on the grounds that there was crisis in the party, saying he would not have been able to achieve his vision for his constituents in a crisis situation. The petitioners, DPP and Mr Chukwuma Dafikpaku, had prayed the court to declare that the seat of Ukwuani constituency had become vacant. In the suit, they joined as respondents the State House of Assembly, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Ojo and INEC.

Uduaghan decries injustice in N’Delta Tukur, Akpabio, Amaechi Jonathan

PDP Governors’ Forum and the crisis within A few days ago, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum became the latest victim of political shenanigan resulting in further decimation of the once famous and powerful group along party lines with a creation of PDP Governors’ Forum (PGF). Why did the PGF emerge and in whose interest? Obiora Ifoh takes a look at the politics of its formation.

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ince the emergence of Dr. Bamanga Tukur as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, almost a year ago, a lot has gone awry in the party, as the leadership has been swimming under currents of turbulent waves. But in the last one week, two major developments occurred; development which will redirect the course of the party into the right directions. First was the successful decimation of the Nigerian Governors Forum through the creation of the PDP Governors Forum (PGF) as well as the election of the new chairman of the Board of Trustees of the party. Incidentally, both developments came to be on same day in a manner that is akin to coup as the leadership of the party and the presidency took virtually everyone by surprise.

Why PGF was formed. To check the excesses of the governors: The emergence of the PGF could have been said to be germane considering the road to Golgotha for which the PDP has been navigating since inception. Tukur was never the choice of the PDP governors as the chairman of the party at the 2012 convention. They had worked and hoped that former acting National Secretary, Dr. Shehu Babayo, would emerge but for the insistence of President Goodluck Jonathan that Tukur was his preferred candidate. The governors had sworn to make sure that Tukur’s tenure was hellish Recall that barely a week after Tukur took charge of office, he summoned the 23 state governors who are members of the party to a meeting at the Legacy House in Abuja but only governors Rabiu

Kwankwaso (Kano), Jonah Jang (Plateau), Sullivan Chime (Enugu), the late Patrick Yakowa (Kaduna), Captain Idris Wada (Kogi) and Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta) attended with a few deputy governors. That was the first major outing of the national chairman. The failure of the governors was not explained. Tukur has also failed to force the governors to a round chair ever since then The most embarrassing moment of Tukur in his sour relationship with the governors was when they again failed to honour the him during his 77 birthday anniversary. Only three governors namely, Theodore Orji of Abia, Isa Yuguda of Bauchi and the late Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State honoured him with their presence at the book launch of his biography, the Global Villager. The governors, it was noted, were all in Abuja as many of them turned up at the Presidential banquet that night and even Tukur himself expressed surprise. The frosty relationship had only intensified recently when the governors decided to challenge the powers of the National Chairman over the suzerainty CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan has decried the injustice being suffered by the people of the Niger Delta region. Speaking at Silverbird ‘Man of the Year 2012’ award held Thursday night in Lagos where two Deltans bagged awards, Governor Uduaghan said it was unfortunate that decades after a Niger Delta activist, Isaac Adaka Boro, brought to the consciousness of the world the injustice being suffered by the people of the Niger Delta region, the situation was yet to be resolved. Minister of Finance, Prof. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Deltan, bagged the ‘Man of the Year’ award while Chief Newton Jibunor, also a Deltan reputed for his campaign against desert encroachment, was rewarded for his crusade against desertification in Africa. Others who were also given award at the well attended ceremony include Chief Emeka Anyaoku and Sergeant Georgeta Y., a Traffic Officer with the Nigerian Police; while post-humus awards went to late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti; late political icon, Mallam Aminu Kano; and Niger Delta activist, Major Isaac Adaka Boro. Presenting an award to one of the siblings of Boro, Governor Uduaghan stated that the late Isaac Boro “died fighting for fairness and justice in the Niger-Delta,” stressing that “today, we have not achieved fairness and justice in the Niger Delta.” While praying that the award should lead to the entrenchment of justice and fairness in the oil-rich region, Governor Uduaghan commended Silverbird for organizing the award which recognized the inputs of Nigerians to the nation’s development.

Uduaghan


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Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

MUYIWA OYINLOLA

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fter months of scheming and political gerrymandering, former Works Minister and Chairman of the Board of the National Ports Authority, Chief Tony Anenih, last week emerged unopposed as the chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT)of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The party’s BoT “is the conscience of the party and comprises elders, men of integrity, honour and experience as members”. And this is the second time the 79 years old politician and Chairman, Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) is being saddled with responsibility of leading what can be otherwise called the Elders’ Council of the party. Elected at a crucial time when President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term ambition is about tearing the party apart, among other crises including the division among the governors elected on the platform of the party, to mention a few, Anenih, otherwise known as Mr. Fix, indeed has so much to do to position the party for victory in 2015. And in fact, the astute politician with many years of political experience appears not to be oblivious of the task ahead when he told journalists in Abuja after his election on Tuesday that with his election “PDP is on the move again”. Asked to explain what he intends to do differently on his second coming as BoT chairman, Anenih said people learn more everyday. “I have grown further than the previous term I did as chairman. I have more friends and contacts now, I have more to contribute. The PDP is improving”, he stated. On the crisis in the party and how the BoT intends to intervene, Anenih said: “The party is big enough, and so their will be frictions. We are here to address all the issues and intervene as much as we can, while ensuring discipline within the party discipline. The restructuring of d BoT will bring forth better days for the party”. The party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur while expressing confidence in Anenih’s ability to reshape the party said shortly after the latter’s emergence as BoT Chairman that “it then means that the PDP is a repackaged political party to really face all the challenges ahead of the party as the 2015 elections draw nearer”. Also, in its congratulatory message on Anenih’s election as BOT Chairman the party described the unanimous election of Anenih as a bold step towards ensuring peace and harmony within the ranks of the party. This was contained in a congratulatory message signed by the National Publicity Secretary Chief Olisa Metuh, where the PDP expressed confidence that Anenih’s antecedents as a mobilizer and consensus builder over the years will contribute to the long term stability of the party. Metuh stated that: “Chief Anenih’s tireless participation and critical role in the formation of the PDP places him in good stead to provide wise counsel and direct the influential Board of Trustees to follow the noble ideals of the founders of the Party. His wealth of experience and acclaimed reputation as a democrat and consensus builder are assets that the Party needs at this critical point in our democratic evolution”. The PDP’s image maker pointed out that Chief Anenih’s unanimous election by all members of the Board of Trustees has disappointed opposition elements and doomsday prophets who expected the process to result in rancor and acrimony saying “this is yet another signal that the PDP is ever united and ready to overcome all perceived obstacles in our drive to provide focused leadership and service to the people of Nigeria”. Metuh in the statement also called on all party members across board to give maximum cooperation to the new chairman of the BOT who has himself pledged to broaden the spread of the umbrella to accommodate all and sundry. However, against the assurance of Anenih and glowing tribute of Tukur who is believed to be a pro-Jonathan 2015 politician, as well as the statement issued Metuh, Anenih who emerged after Jonathan ha dhad his way against the former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s men who had last month squared the position up with him,

Anenih, Jonathan and Obasanjo

2015: Can Anenih ‘fix it’? indications are rife that he may not have a field day in bringing peace to the party, as he is considered as it is being said in some quarters that Obasanjo’s men were forced to step down for him. It will be recalled that in the January election which Anenih contested along with five others including former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, Okwesilieze Nwodo, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and Shuaibu Oyedokun, a former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ahmadu Ali, no winner emerged. Prior to the election it had been thought that the new BoT chairman would emerge by consensus as against a ballot. But none of the contenders agreed to step down for another. It has been said in some quarters that Anenih’s emergence is to pave way for President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election in 2015. In fact, it was gathered that the real reason why no winner emerged from the January election was because Obasanjo wanted Alli to emerge as the party’s BoT chairman. Alli is said to be a loyal candidate of Obasanjo with whose victory pundits believe Jonathan’s second term cannot be guaranteed. It was gathered that while Jonathan was pushing the candidacy Anenih, many other chieftains of the party, including Obasanjo, were not comfortable with Anenih. It was learnt that while Jonathan did not openly pressured BoT members to vote for Anenih, he was said to have shown that he had confidence in him. It has also been said that Obasanjo is the brain behind those advocating for power shift to the North and a prominent backer of the alleged presidential bid by the Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido, with the Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, as his running mate. Anenih launched his steady rise in the political scene when he became the state chairman of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in Bendel State between 1981 and 1983 in old Bendel State. His admirers say his resilience and industry guaranteed the election of Dr. Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia as the governor of the state. But the victory was cut short by the military in December 1983. The election was a major upset because of the popular belief that the then incumbent governor, Professor Ambrose Alli was making a difference in service delivery. Anenih was to re-enact his winning streak in 1993 under a two-party system. During the build up to the politics of the aborted Third Republic, the former army chief, late Major General Shehu Yar’Adua and other politicians with similar inclinations, formed the Peoples Front and later the Peoples Democratic movement (PDM), which eventually coalesced into the defunct Social democratic Party (SDP). He became its national chairman through serious political engagement and manoeuvres while

the hitherto national chairman, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, was chosen vice presidential candidate. Anenih led SDP to victory at the June 12, 1993 presidential election reputed to be the freest and fairest in the annals of Nigeria. However, the military oligarchy annulled the result of the election, which was won by late mogul, Chief M. K. O. Abiola. Today, PDM is an integral part of PDP, though with some of the main stakeholders spread across a number of other existing parties. The annulment was like the proverbial two sides of a coin. While some political leaders chose to go on a forced sabbatical, others saw an opportunity to chart a new direction for the country, as the military government came up with the idea of a Constitutional Conference in 1994. Anenih became a member of the conference, which produced the current Nigerian Constitution. It was no surprise therefore that he became one of the chief promoters of the campaign of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s bid for power, this time, through the ballot box. In recognition of his experience and reach, he was made the deputy Coordinator of the Olusegun Obasanjo Campaign organization in 1999 making him what some of his associates and admirers called strategic planner and mobilisation expert. Since then, he has remained the man with a Midas touch politically speaking going by the opinions of his admirers. For instance, he is said to be one of the political figures that actually facilitated the ascendancy of late President Yar’Adua to power in 2007. Ditto President Goodluck Jonathan. And of course, his efforts and contributions to the success of his party have never gone unrewarded on each occasion at post-elections. Obasanjo made him the minister of works and housing and later chairman, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), a position he regained not long ago courtesy of President Jonathan. In summary, his credentials include; president of the Benin Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture from 1978 to 84; Chairman, defunct Social Democratic Party (1992-93); Member, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Policy Advisory Committee (1999); Minister for Works and Housing (1999-2003); Chairman, PDP Board of Trustees (2003-2007) and Chairman, Board of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). But the question is whether or not this intimidating profile can help him resolve the various crises rocking the party. Presently, Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and member of the party, Alhaji Babangida Aliyu, CONTINUED ON PAGE 16


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Politics

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Buhari

Tinubu

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Aliyu

APC mega-party: How far can the opposition go? OBIKE UKOH

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eactions have continued to trail the endorsement of the merger of four political parties by 10 state governors after their Feb.5, 2013 meeting in La-

gos. The governors, who ratified the merger plans of the leaders of their parties, vowed that the new coalition would wrest power from the PDP in 2015 and take the country out of its ``current political quagmire’’. The parties involved in the merger are Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) To demonstrate its seriousness, the coalition adopted All Progressive Congress (APC) as its new name. Chief Tom Ikimi, the ACN Merger Committee Chairman, said the name of the emerging party was agreed upon by all the parties involved. He recently said this in Abuja, while inaugurating sub-committees for the upcoming party. The subcommittees are on constitution, manifesto and INEC, legal and constitutional compliance. Ikimi said that the party’s manifesto would give special attention to education, eradication of corruption, uninterrupted power supply, full and gainful employment, affordable pump-price of fuel, health care delivery, mass housing and agriculture. He said that APC’s target was to design a manifesto that would be distinct from those of other parties, adding that the manifesto would particularly address the plight of ordinary Nigerians. ``Apart from defining clearly the philosophical and ideological content of APC, clearly distinguishing it from the other parties, you are to fully reflect on the social, economic and political situation in the country. ``You are to reflect on the plight of the generality of the people, urban and rural people alike, youth and women,’’ Ikimi charged members of the subcommittees. In the spirit of democracy, the PDP -- the ruling

party -- said that the planned merger by major opposition parties was a healthy development. The party’s Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, however, said that PDP was not worried about the development, stressing that the proposed merger did not constitute any threat to the party in any way. He said that the parties decided to come together because individually, they have realised that they did not have the ample strength to go to ``war with PDP’’. Bamanga described the PDP as the ``Messi Lionel of Nigerian politics.’’ Also speaking, Chief Tony Anenih, the newly elected Chairman, PDP Board of Trustees, said that the merger was no threat to the party. ``PDP is on the move again and it cannot be stopped by any merger of political parties. ``APC is not a threat to PDP; we never had a strong opposition, let’s see how strong APC will be,’’ he said. Anenih described the APC as ``a pack of weak blocks that cannot construct an enduring edifice’’. All the same, Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger conceded that the proposed merger posed a great challenge to the ruling party. He said that the formation of APC would put the PDP on its toes and make the party to work harder. Aliyu made the observation, while inaugurating newly appointed political office holders in Minna. The governor said that he was happy with the merger because of his concern for the growth of the country and its democracy. He stressed that if there was no strong opposition, the PDP would take the people for granted. ``When one particular person is allowed to continue to do a particular thin; he will think he is everything but when he knows there is an alternative, he will adjust. ``I urge all PDP members to sit up and do well, if not, we will be taken aback. ``We should not take the fact that we have been winning elections from 1999 till date for granted, if care is not taken, we will be surprised,’’ he said. Aliyu challenged the PDP to strive to work on how to compete for the citizens’ minds, hearts and attention so as to garner their confidence. Nevertheless, Alhaji Ado Adamu, the North East

Coordinator, Transformation Agenda for Jonathan 2015, stressed that PDP had no cause to be jittery because of the emergence of APC. He said that the development would have been a major threat to the ruling party if the merger was driven by ideology. Adamu stressed that the merger merely represented individuals and their positions. ``Let me tell you, if they were driven by ideology, then there would be reasons for us to start thinking about the merger. ``But this so-called merger of political parties is just a thing that will come and pass; PDP will rule this country for another 30 years. ``Only God can stop President Goodluck Jonathan,’’ he added. Adamu, however, noted that political parties’ mergers or echoes of it were not alien in the country’s political history, as there were similar instances during the First and Second Republics. The politician may be alluding to the alliance formed in the First Republic by the Action Group (AG) and National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC). The AG was led by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, while NCNC was led by the late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe. The alliance, known as United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA), was formed to wrest power from the ruling Northern People’s Congress (NPC). In the Second Republic, some opposition political parties also formed an alliance known as Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA). The PPA was set up with the sole aim of wresting power from the ruling National Party of Nigeria (NPN). Political commentators note that the Nigerian political system has never experienced the benefits of strong opposition, as the country’s democracy during the First and Second Republics was truncated by military interventions. They also recall that the previous alliances suffered serious setbacks because the leaders of the fusing political parties never deemed it fit to relinquish their personal political aspirations. With the embryonic alliance in Nigeria’s political landscape, political analysts are quick to ask a thought-provoking question: How far can the opposition parties go? •Ukoh is of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)


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Politics

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The challenges before PDP governors’ forum CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 of the Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, in regard to the running of the party in the state. The governors wanted to sound a warning that they would not compromise any attempt by the party leadership to interfere in the control of party affairs in their states. Naturally, they took sides with their colleague in Adamawa and had even visited the National Headquarters to register their displeasure about the situation in Adamawa. They also followed up with several meetings at the Villa with President Jonathan, warning on the consequences of not allowing the party at the state levels to be under the care of the governors. On several occasions the President had unsuccessfully attempted to wade into the crisis but without any breakthrough. To save the party from unnecessary bickering, the presidency had to work out a lasting solution by pulling the rug from under the feet of the governors who are anti-Tukur overtly led by Rotimi Amaechi who incidentally is the chairman of the NGF. To check the Progressive Governors’ Alliance (PGA) Shortly after the announcement of a merger arrangement between the opposition political parties, including the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and a section of All Progressive Grand Alliance, 12 of its governors came together to form the PGA as a unit under the larger NGF. The import of this new sub group of the larger NGF was such that the progressives governors will be united under one agenda to ensure that they come to the larger body with a set mind and agenda for the overall interest of the opposition camp. Incidentally, the NGF has only met once since the formation of the PGA but the PGA has met more than once on issues bordering on the merger. Commenting on the formation of the PGF, Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, who is an APGA member said that there was nothing wrong in the new forum as even his party with two governors has ‘APGA Governors Forum’. However, the elected chairman of the PGF and Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, said the challenges confronting the ruling party forced the leadership to look inwards and put its house in order, stressing that the party CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14 is challenging the right of Jonathan to run for a second term in 2015, alleging the president signed a document to run for only one term while campaigning in 2011. “I recall that at the time he was going to declare for the 2011 election, all the PDP governors were brought together to ensure that we were all in the same frame of mind,” he said during a radio interview in Kaduna, last month. He went on: “And I recall that some of us said that, given the circumstances of the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua and given the PDP zoning arrangement, it was expected that the North was to produce the president for a given number of years.

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Jonathan orders restructuring of HOS office

P

To contain personal ambition of some individuals Ahead of the 2015 general election, certain ambitions have started flying and if not checked at this early stage, they may prove a difficult task. Within the rank of the PDP, many individuals have been nursing ambitions to contest the presidency; some have even started oiling their machinery but one thing that could mar these ambitions is the ability of the party to throw its doors open to contest. The incumbent, President Jonathan, has not declared his interest to re-contest in 2015 but every signal is pointing to that likelihood. However, hopefuls among whom is the former Vice-President, Atiku Abubarkar, are still rearing to go again. Some governors, notably, Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu and Sule Lamido, both of Niger and Jigawa states, respectively have at one time or the other indicated interest; so also had the Vice-President, Alhaji Namadi Sambo.

resident Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the restructuring of the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation to enable it fast track the development of the country. Jonathan made this known in Abuja over the weekend at a formal send-off ceremony for two past Heads of Service of the Federation, Mr Stephen Oronsaye and Prof. Oladapo Afolabi. The president was represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo. He said his administration was committed to the transformation of the service into an enviable and modern institution capable of supporting the political leadership in its effort to fast track the development of Nigeria. ``It is in line with this thinking that I have recently approved the restructuring of the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to enable it drive the transformation of the service. ``It is envisaged that at the end of the restructuring, the present five office structure would be reduced to three. ``It will lead to slimmer, more efficient and fit-for-purpose organisation devoid of overlaps, duplications and fragmentation, more responsive and better able to provide quality management, direction and guidance to the Federal Civil Service,” he added. He, therefore, urged the Head of Civil Service of the Federation to ensure that the implementation of the restructuring of his office was carried out to the letter. Jonathan said that ``this is to enable our quest for a responsible civil service and one that takes cognisance of the need to deliver is achieved. The president said that government on its part would continue to provide whatever was needed to ensure the continuous development of the civil service. He maintained that this had become imperative in view of the fact that meaningful growth and development of the nation had a direct relation with the quality of the civil service. Jonathan noted with delight that the celebrities had made tremendous contributions to the development of the service. He said the two officers during their stewardship as Head of Service had demonstrated courage and commitment in implementing various reforms aimed at renewing and reinvigorating the service. ``I am very happy to note that the cur-

“I recall that at that discussion, it was agreed that Jonathan would serve only one term of four years and we all signed the agreement. Even when Jonathan went to Kampala, in Uganda, he also said he was going to serve a single term “For now, President Jonathan has not declared a second term ambition and we must not be speculating based on those who are benefiting from the campaign. “I think we are all gentlemen enough; so when the time comes, we will all come together and see what is the right thing to do”. Another major crisis rocking the party

is the creation of the PDP Governors Forum, headed by the governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio. It is believed that Jonathan did that to break the ranks of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) which is perceived to be too strong and has the tendency of given Jonathan a run for his money ahead of the 2015 pool. Anenih has also an herculean task of uniting members of the party in various zones and states, especially the South West that has lost both the positions party’s National Secretaryship and National Auditor, and had its executive dissolved due to court order.

Sambo

never envisaged such challenges in the 14 years of its existence. His words: “Today we are facing challenges. There is implosion in the party; there is treachery and we now have more Judases than disciples. What the PDP is doing is to cleanse its house. It is a moving train that will crush anyone that stands in the way. We will put our heads together in the PDP Governors’ Forum to promote the unity and progress of the party. We will not be fighting the government because we will be working in solidarity of the party. The formation of the Forum is to look inwards and project the party and the government. We are doing self cleansing. We can assure everyone that the Forum is not above the National Working Committee of the party. The Forum is subordinate to the party.”

Jonathan

rent leadership of the service has not only recognised these contributions but has made it a duty to celebrate it.” He, therefore, congratulated Oronsaye and Oladapo for being honoured by their constituency for their selfless service to the nation. According to him, retirement is a time for reflecting on the past and looking onward to the future. ``It is a time to move on to bigger and newer challenges in life and it is a very unique and exceptional time to freely assess one’s experiences and look forward to further useful service to the fatherland. He urged them to constantly reconnect with the service to share their experiences and guide succeeding leadership on the best human and material management practices. Responding on behalf of the celebrities, Oronsaye thanked Jonathan, Sambo, the Head of Service of the Federation as well as civil servants across the country for the recognition accorded them. He, however, challenged the civil servants to strive hard in transforming the civil service for greater efficiency and effective service delivery. He pledged that they would continue to support and advice the government on how best to move the nation forward for the general good of the society. The event which was attended by serving and retired government functionaries, witnessed the display of various cultural dances.

2015: Can Anenih ‘fix it’ for PDP?

Lamido


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Interview ENCOUNTER WITH A NEWS MAKER MARCH 3, 2013

Bucknor-Akerele: Those who see PDP as birthright cause present crises Recently, the main opposition parties came together to form a mega party, the All Progressive Congress (APC). How do you see the formation of this party? Well, of course, they are entitled to come together; we are running a democracy so they can come together to form the All Progressive Congress as you called it. But I think most of the people who are forming this party are far from progressive. They just shout progressive but they are not really progressive in character. As for the formation, let’s wait and see what they can do with it.

Senator Kofo Bucknor-Akerele is the former Deputy Governor of Lagos State and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. In this interview with Ayo Esan, she speaks about issues as they affect Lagos State and the country at large.

Do you agree with the view of those who feel the new mega party could pose a problem for the PDP in the 2015 presidential election? They have not come together yet and have not been registered by INEC. Let us wait for them to be registered and to see how the drama unfolds because, personally, I believe that the personalities involved in forming that political party are not going to be able to work together. I don’t see how they will work together because they are all very strong personalities who have their own agenda. Let’s wait and see what the constitution of the party will be and what their manifestoes will be. Maybe, until then, one would be able to judge more accurately. But personally I don’t see PDP being frightened by APC or whatever they call themselves. The South-West executive of the PDP was recently sacked and a 17-man caretaker committee was put in place. How do you see such decision by the National Working Committee of the party? There are so many cases in the Court of Appeal and in many other courts like that. I don’t want to really make any comments. I, like many others, are still waiting to see how that drama plays itself out. Almost all the state chapters of the PDP in the SouthWest are in crises. How soon do you think they would recover and face the election challenge coming up next year in Ekiti and Osun states? I think it is the authors of the crisis who must look at themselves and examine what they are doing to the party. This is because, quite frankly, PDP in Lagos State has been in crisis for the past 12 years and this is continuing. Those causing the crises are the same people who refused to allow others and wanted to hold on to the party. They don’t want to bring anybody on board and are the ones who feel that the party is their birthright and therefore they are the ones causing the problems. I think in the other states we have similar problems. You have various groups trying to exclusively take over the party. But the political party belongs to all the members. I believe the members should have a stake in the party. Once you try and exclude one side you are going to have crisis. I am appealing to those who are the cause of the crisis, they know themselves, that they should desist in the interest of the party and bring everybody on board. When I say bring everybody on board, it is not like you are holding on to the executive and then you say come and take two ex-officio positions. This should be something like, if one side takes the chairmanship position, the other takes the secretary’s. It should be

Bucknor-Akerele

done all along the line like that. If it is done that way there will be peace in PDP. But once one side thinks it can hijack the party, which is what is happening in Lagos, Ogun and other states in the South-West at the moment, then there wouldn’t be peace in PDP. How soon do you think the party would be able to come together in the region? I think it will depend on the maturity of the national executive because a lot of these crises, to me, could have been solved several years ago if the national executive had moved in and tried to resolve them. But they have left the wound to stay for long. It is like a festering wound. They have left the wound to fe. I hope the present executive will realise the seriousness of the situation, try and do something and not try and favour one group against the other. But sit the various groups down and then say, look this is a party, this is a cake, let

us share it evenly among everybody so that we can all move forward together. We learnt that there are underground moves by the elders of the party. Let’s zero in on Lagos PDP; what plans are you (elders) making to ensure you give the ruling party in the state a good race in the 2015 election? I don’t know what the underground moves are by the elders and I think I am supposed to be one of the elders of the party Yes of course? What we have done is that we have brought out a template of positions-sharing in the party. That is sharing of positions in the executive all the way down to the ward level. It seems that one side refuses to accept and CONTINUED ON PAGE 18


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Interview

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‘APC, no threat to PDP in 2015’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17 feel that it should be the one in charge of the party and it should be dishing out to the other side, instead of sitting down and sharing things among ourselves like brothers and sisters. The feelings in town is that if PDP had put its house in order in Lagos, many aggrieved people would have seen it as an alternative party. But now people seem not to have any alternative. Do you believe this? No. They do have an alternative. Look at what happened in the local government elections. We know that somehow ACN seems to have a stronghold on the appeal process. But then that is because they are the ones that set up the tribunals. They also set up the Appeal tribunal on local government elections. They are the one in charge so I am sorry I don’t think we can get justice. It is only in very rare cases where those people appointed by the ACN have conscience that we could get justice, and that has not been the case. In so many cases it was obvious that we won and yet announcements were made in one or two cases where the tribunals had the conscience to actually declare the true winner but it was reversed by the Appeal Tribunal which was also set up by ACN. I think we should have a process where the tribunals are completely independent. Until we get that we won’t be able to have true democracy. It showed that we could win. We won a lot of councillorship and chairmanship positions. But have you ever heard anywhere where election results were not announced, where only the winners are announced? Normally, we are supposed to know that this man scored this and that man scored this. In our own case, scores were not announced; only winners’ names were announced. This is also part of the constitutional changes that we need. But your party seemed not to have made much noise about the issue? What do you mean that we din’t make much noise on it? We went to court and to the Appeal Tribunal. There were lots of protests in the case of Ikoyi/Obalende and in Badagry. But then what! We had to be careful with the precarious situation in the country. We had to be careful that miscreants don’t hijack the system when there were protests or something like that. Are you saying PDP will offer platform to the people that are aggrieved with the programmes and policies of this government? I think so. On Thursday I had a weekly meeting here in my house and people from my local government came from CAN. They said they have had enough. They said there is no democracy in ACN. That, in fact, they are made to spend more money and when they finished spending the money they tell them to go and sit down and somebody else would just be picked. There are no primaries or congresses, nothing. Even if there are, somebody will just say ‘no, go and sit down I have picked this person or that person’. They were fed up; they came to join us. Anywhere I go, people are now saying, ‘when are you people going to take over the government of Lagos State?’ So people are fed up with the ACN. How prepared is your party for the challenge of taking over in Lagos State? We are preparing. We still have some time to go. Some of us are working very hard towards that end. You were at the meeting of the Yoruba Unity Forum in Ikenne last week. One of the things the Forum is saying is that the Yoruba are marginalised by the present Federal Government. How far has the Forum gone on the issue? As you all know we have been to the President several times on this issue and yet the marginalisation continues. At one stage, the president said we should produce facts and figures, which we did. I think you

saw it, it was published in the newspapers and since then appointments have been made and the marginalisation still continues. Obviously, there is a kind of systematic plan to marginalise the Yoruba or at least the South-West. What’s the next move on the issue? We are going to continue to speak up and pressurise. We can’t go and seize those positions ourselves but we will not leave the president alone. We will continue to pressurise him, that he must address this marginalisation. After all, the South-West states were the first people to adopt him and give him our support. And look at the way he has treated us. Certainly, we are going to start having a rethink about our attitude toward supporting anybody unconditionally. We didn’t give any condition, maybe that was our problem. We should have given some conditions for our support. How do you see the coming back of Chief Tony Anenih as the BOT chairman of the PDP? I have no comment to make on that. Those people who selected him know why they did. You were once a Deputy Governor, how do you see the clamour for local government autonomy? Certainly, I am for local government autonomy. This is because what has happened is that the state governments have hijacked all the responsibilities of the local governments. They have hijacked all the revenue generating avenues which should accrue to the local governments. They are just dishing out what they have or what they like to the local governments. The result is that at that level, everything is in a shambles. It is the duty of the local governments to keep the council areas clean but the job has been taken away. You have the PSP which is to collect the garbage, but apart from the collection of garbage, what about the cleaning of the environment by the local governments. They are not doing anything. You see potholes all over the place even here on Victoria Island, Lagos. There are many things which the local governments used to do, which they are no longer doing because they don’t have the funds. The funds are in the hands of the state governments who dish out as they please. I am fully in support of autonomy for local governments. Tenement rates which used to be a source of revenue for local governments have been hijacked by the states. So what are the local governments there for? It is like they are just elected to sit there and do nothing. Why then are many governors opposed to the granting of financial autonomy to local governments? Of course they will be opposed to the idea, why not? It is also a political thing. He who pays the piper calls the tune. They want to be calling the tune at the local government level; so that any local government chairman that does not dance to the tune of governors will automatically have its funds slashed. They want to be able to pull the strings on the neck of the local governments Let’s look at the participation of women in politics. After more than 13 years of civilian rule, we have not had a female governor. How soon do you think we can have a female as governor in the country? I think by the next dispensation we should be able to get a woman-governor in the country. It is up to you men to support women. We have not had a woman-governor because most of the time men will not support women. They would say if there is a woman there, how can they go to the woman to ask for favour? How can a woman be boss over them? But I still maintain that women are better managers. They manage their households and the family finances. If they are given the chance to manage the finances of the country, I think they will instill more fiscal discipline and Nigeria will be better for it.

Bucknor-Akerele

CERTAINLY, I AM FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT AUTONOMY. THIS IS BECAUSE WHAT HAS HAPPENED IS THAT THE STATE GOVERNMENTS HAVE HIJACKED ALL THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS.

THEY HAVE HIJACKED ALL

THE REVENUE GENERATING AVENUES WHICH SHOULD ACCRUE TO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

Bucknor-Akerele

THOSE CAUSING THE CRISES ARE THE SAME PEOPLE WHO REFUSED TO ALLOW OTHERS AND WANTED TO HOLD ON TO THE PARTY

Bucknor-Akerele


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HEAD, GRAPHICS

The smouldering Maina mess T

he massive looting of public treasuries has been raised to an art in Nigeria. No day passes without the news of uncovered scams across the country, and the figures involved are mind boggling. The replications of these scams coupled with the nonchalance with which the authorities address them lead to some deductions. First, they could have been contrived scams intended for specific purposes and so must have received the blessing of those who ought to have stopped them. Second, they keep recurring because those who ought to impede their growth have lost the moral right to do so. Whatever is the case, the development highlights the growing cynicisms of members of the public and the international community towards the anti-corruption drive of the nation, especially under the Goodluck Jonathan administration. The N195 billion pension fraud involving Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina, chairman of the Pension Reforms Task Team (PRTT), is the latest of such monumental rape of the nation by those entrusted with the responsibility of either ensuring the emergence of a more transparent system of government or protect our collective patrimony. There were also the case of John Abubakar Yusuf the masterminded of N32 billion police pension funds rip-off, and the over one trillion naira fuel subsidy payment fraud. The question is why is it so easy for federal public officers to bleed the nation? President Goodluck Jonathan set up the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) in June 2010 to arrest the noticeable unwholesome practices

in the nation’s pension scheme, and Maina, a Deputy Director in the Office of the Head of Service, was appointed as its head. It was given the responsibility of restructuring and cleansing the entire pension scheme through biometrics capturing, processing of payments of genuine pensioners and blocking loopholes that are prone to corrupt practices. It is now clear that the team has failed in this onerous assignment. The expose that Maina-led PRTT has turned itself into a Frankenstein monster is due to the diligence of the Senate. Its Joint Committee on Establishment, Public Service and Local Government Administration mandated to investigate pension administration beginning from 1999 uncovered the N195 billion fraud that has put question marks against the credibility of PRTT and its usefulness. Maina’s evasive conduct after he was invited by the Senate to clarify his position on the fraud; his recourse to the law court to stop the probe, and the series of attempts he made to denigrate the Aloysius Etuk-led Joint Committee in order to discredit its report, are pointer to a man with a troubled conscience. The Senate could not have erred in probing Maina in the exercise of its oversight functions. Shunning the invitations extended to him on the lame excuse that the Task Team is not a statutory body and so controls no budget that should come into scrutiny is a portrayal of a deliberate act to muddle up issues in order to hide the truth. The resistance to the right and power of our parliament to perform its oversight functions has been

responsible for our public officials growing bigger than the nation. This is why corruption has become a festering sore in the psyche of the nation and the culture of impunity is not abating. In recourse to the law court, Maina must have been misguided. It is very pertinent for the nation to know if he got clearance to embark on such despicable act that is patently a show of gross insubordination. It is equally important for the nation to know why the Presidency and the Inspector General of Police had conducted themselves in such manner suggestive of a resistance to the Senate probe by not moving against him when the Senate decided it. A stitch in time saves nine, the saying goes. There were early signs that the PRTT was derailing. As far back as March 2012, during a sitting of the Senate Committee, an Assistant Chief Account officer in the police pension unit presented weighty evidences of the duplicity of Maina, giving details of his phony bank accounts, the names of banks and relations used in the scam and that over N100 million monthly accruable interest was made by him. They were sufficient to raise the red flag, but nothing was done. This administration has its name to protect. The only option opened to it is to get to the root of this Maina mess. The Presidency needs to cooperate with the Senate, get a copy of the report of the Aloysius Etuk-led Committee when ready, submit it to further credibility tests and act on it. It is very important to get Maina back into the country from wherever he is hiding to face the music.

Reminiscences MARCH 3, IN HISTORY 1923: Time Magazine makes a debut

The first issue of the weekly periodical, “TIME” appeared on newsstands featuring Joseph Gurney Cannon, grand old man of Congress.

1966: Touré grants asylum to Nkrumah

Guinean President, Ahmed Sékou Touré, offered asylum to Kwame Nkrumah, following Nkrumah’s ousting as premier of Ghana on February 24, 1966. Nkrumah became co-president of Guinea. Touré threatened to restore Nkrumah as president of Ghana by force.

1974: Turkish plane crashes, kills 345 on board

A Turkish Airlines DC10 crashed near Paris, en route to London, killing all 345 people on board.

1985: England - Miners move to end strike

Miners’ leaders voted to end the longest running industrial dispute in British history without a peace deal over proposed pit closures.

1995: U.S. Marines kill gunmen in Mogadishu

US Marines killed several gunmen in Mogadishu whilst supporting the pullout of UN peacekeepers from Somalia.

2002: Switzerland joins United Nations

After about 200 years, Switzerland became no longer “Neutral”. They became officially a part of the UN upon voters’ approval.

2009: Sri Lankan cricket team attacked in Pakistan

Twelve gunmen fired on the bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team on their way to play a match at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan. Six Pakistani policemen and two civilians were killed and six members of the Sri Lanka national cricket team. The gunmen were believed to be members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

2012: Colombia - Rebel bomb attack kills three

After a “rebel bomb attack” in the North-eastern part of Colombia, two soldiers and one boy were dead as a result of the explosion. Another three soldiers were also injured in the attack that took place near the town of Tame. Officials claimed that the left-wing rebel group, Farc, was responsible for the attack.


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Opinion

Sunday March 3, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Corruption as the Nigerian cat with nine lives Uncensored U nc

Sheriff S Folarin

E-mail: sheffie2004@yahoo.co.uk 08094217972 (SMS only)

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here have been tales of brazen stealing of public funds here and there in Nigeria, and yet there has not been any case of bold steps to tackle the thieves. The long list of corruption cases include the Bankole saga, issue of stolen state funds by former governors of some states, Mainagate and Yusuf and the pension thefts, Hembe-Oteh money-for-clearance probe saga, the dirty Farouk-Otedola subsidy-stealing exoneration deals, numerous other cases of subsidy theft, established cases of money laundering against prominent national “leaders”, and all other nonsensical cases. The more the busting and arrests made, the more the cases of corrupt practices by public officers. There have been contentions in recent times that the present administration has more cases of corrupt practices that have passed through the needle’s eye. This is however an allegation that the Goodluck

Jonathan administration has not only debunked, but has also dismissed as opposition’s vicious attempt to discredit the government of the day and ruling party. Also, when the Transparency International once again listed Nigeria among countries with worsening corruption profile, the Federal Government spent ample time dismissing it as unfounded and a malicious assessment of the exploits of a hard-fighting administration that has unearthed so many cases of corruption. The question is not about the many corrupt practices that have come into limelight. The issue of concern is that the cases in the public eye have made bold headlines after which they soon fizzle out without any commitment to prosecution or logical conclusion. What of the strong links such people have with the government itself ? All of these suspects paraded end up walking the streets and flying in the air as free men. They become more famous or infamous and sooner or later get very plum posts in the same government that is prosecuting them. What can one say of the ruling party’s Board of Trustees chairmanship election that had spilt the party because of the government’s desperation to crown a redoubtable character as the chairman, to the consternation of some very powerful forces who are known to abhor corrupt elements at the helms of the party’s affairs? The case of Farouk Lawan took ages, and of course, it entailed the intervention of several concerned forces to take

the matter from the people’s court to a competent court of law. It is curious however, to find out that the other party in the case, Otedola, who offered and gave the bribe, seemed to have been sieved out of the whole bribe mess he was left off the hook and while Lawan was helping the anti-corruption agency with investigation, Otedola was playing the untouchable. You would only find him in such places as the president’s wife’s thanksgiving service and in the company of former presidents. What serious-minded country with an avowed and overhyped anti-corruption posture would create such an enabling platform for it to fester? While we see an expanding space of corruption, the President Ebele Jonathan administration sees something else when it checks itself in the mirror. The administration believes it is fighting corruption and should get accolades rather than public bashing for the numerous cases of busted corrupt practices. But the underlying factor is that the busted cases go unpunished and the culpable ones perpetrate their acts with increased impunity. The bottom-line is that the soaring profile of corruption is contradicting the professed war and selfacclaimed feats against the menace. My take is that government is not doing enough to fight corruption. While President Jonathan bears the looks of a serious-minded fighter of corruption, many of his aides are probably not as grim-faced, and are in the least ready for that. Yet, he does not help matters by trust-

ing and defending them. When last year, the oil minister was fingered by certain parties as culpable in the fuel subsidy scam, the president was quick to defending her. I think our president tends to avoid confrontation with heavyweights who are indicted in corruption cases probably because he is a man of peace. I presume he also deals softly with people indicted because of 2015 elections, in order not to lose the political heavyweights who are likely to be the gladiators (kingmakers) and bankrollers. But I feel he should demonstrate more courage and poke the nose of anyone who is found culpable. He should deal squarely with corrupt cases in order to stem this extremely dangerous tide. He should not spare or venerate any ‘sacred cows’. He should not allow a committee of snakes and gluttons around him. He should simply kill it. If Mr. President fails to act, he will be writing his name in the wrong side of history books and might emerge the president with the worst national corruption profile. Mr. President should change gear towards corrupt persons and groups the same way he changed towards the terrorism case. The fight against corruption should be focused, strategic, decisive, deterrent and productive. •Dr. Folarin is a Senior Lecturer and Head of Department, Political Science/International Relations, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria

Boosting cotton production in Nigeria HUSEYN MBAR

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he Federal Government in September 2012 released N54 billion to boost mass production of cotton in the country. A stakeholders’ workshop was also held in Kaduna, where experts brainstormed on how to revive moribund textile industries in the country. Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, who represented President Goodluck Jonathan at the workshop, said that 200,000 hectares would be acquired for the cultivation of cotton. The president also directed that improved cotton seeds should be distributed to farmers. To further demonstrate its commitment to improve cotton production, the Federal Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the West African Cotton Company (WACOT) on plans to revive cotton production in the country. Adesina, who spoke at the signing of the MoU, recalled that in the 1980s, Nigeria earned over 8.9 billion U.S. dollars from cotton. He said that the amount then represented more than 25 per cent of the nation’s GDP, adding that the country’s earnings from cotton had dwindled to mere 300 million U.S. dollars. The minister also said that the contribution of cotton to Nigeria’s GDP dropped significantly from 25 per cent in 1980, to only five per cent at present. He noted that out of 51 ginneries, which were in operation across the country in the 1980s, only 10 were currently operating at low capacity. Adesina said that the agreement with

WACOT was aimed at enhancing the productivity of the ginneries from 150kg to 450kg of lint, while increasing the production of cotton seeds from 120,000 tonnes to 760,000 tonnes by the year 2015. ``A major component of the plan is to multiply and distribute quality seeds, while raising the quality of local lint through the use of appropriate packaging and cotton grading,’’ he said. Mr Tembe Ravi, the Chief Executive Officer of WACOT, gave the assurance that his company would focus on how to enhance the yield per hectare of cotton farms, while ensuring competitive prices for cotton. In order to maximise the benefits of the Federal Government’s initiatives, the Bauchi State Government inaugurated a Cotton Implementation Committee, headed by the state’s Deputy Governor, Alhaji Sagir Saleh. Gov. Isa Yuguda, who inaugurated the committee, identified cotton as a valuable cash crop with enormous potential. ``For more than two decades after Nigeria’s independence, cotton contributed largely to the country’s local and foreign earnings, employment generation and value-added services. ``The present administration intends to evolve a strategy that is aimed at transforming the cotton value-chain into workable and profitable ventures, which can create jobs, wealth and reduce poverty,” Yuguda said. As a pilot scheme, the committee identified and registered 1,020 cotton farmers in 13 local government areas in the state for the 2012 cropping season. Each of the farmers was given a N10,000 grant to cultivate a minimum of one hectare of cotton. In addition, each of the registered

farmers was given 20kg of improved seeds, five bags of assorted fertiliser, 12 litres of insecticides and free extension services. Impressed by the performance of the committee, Yuguda announced the establishment of the Bauchi State Cotton Sector Development Programme. The governor, who spoke at the launch of cotton sales for the 2012/2013 season, said that the pilot scheme recorded a huge success. He directed that the number of registered farmers should be increased from 1,020 to 10,000 for participation in the 2013 cultivation season. Besides, Yuguda directed the chairmen of all the local government councils to appoint Cotton Desk Officers who would work with the committee. However, statistics obtained from the Bauchi State Ministry of Agriculture indicated that each participating farmer harvested 800kg of cotton, as against the anticipated 1.3 metric tonnes per hectare. Analysts, however, blamed the poor harvest on bad weather and other natural phenomena which occurred in most parts of the country. ``In a normal agronomy practice, each farmer was expected to harvest two metric tonnes (2,000kg) per hectare,’’ a document from the ministry stated. It said that the state government had directed that apart from the 10,000 smallscale farmers that would be registered for the 2013 season; 5,000 large-scale farmers should be identified to participate in the programme. However, in the 2012 cropping season, over 3,000 youths were engaged in cotton production, apart from the 1,020 registered farmers. Besides, the document stated that nego-

tiations had reached an advanced stage between the Bauchi State Government and a Chinese company for the establishment of a ginnery in the state. Nevertheless, Alhaji Babab Abubakar, the Chairman of the Bauchi State chapter of National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN), attributed the poor cotton yield in 2012 to excessive rainfall and intermittent dry spells that occurred in the year. ``Initially, the rain was too much and suddenly, it ceased for some time before resurfacing again. ``I cultivated 10,000 hectares of cotton and harvested 100,000kg. Although the government gave us free seeds, insecticides and N10,000 cash each, we got these items late and we, therefore, commenced cultivation late. ``We are appealing to the government to henceforth make available such incentives in good time,” he added. Malam Musa Maigoro, a cotton farmer in Zabi town who was forced to switch over to another crop, said that the decline in cotton cultivation was due to the low patronage of cotton and its poor pricing, forcing most farmers to migrate to other crops. However, Malam Umaru Waju, who still cultivates the crop, said that the situation had improved lately, as buyers now offered reasonable prices for cotton. Analysts, however, urge cotton-producing states to emulate Bauchi State in efforts to boost cotton production. They stress that enhanced cotton production will enable the states to boost their internally generated revenue, while aiding their efforts to create employment. •Mbar is of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)


PASSION A Lifestyle Magazine

Sunday March 3, 2013

Prolonged pregnancy: Causes and dangers on foetus >>43

Ibinabo Febrisima tells all –Her secret desires, love life and relationship with her children I love black jeans a lot –Ali Afegbua >>42

‘I am actually a tomboy; I became feminine of recent’ >>23

Can you really be friends with an Ex? >>46

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Passion

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

My children advise me on things to do –Ibinabo Febrisima, president, Actors Guild of Nigeria

Ibinabo Febrisima is the President of Actors Guild of Nigeria. A mother of four and a onetime beauty queen, Febrisima is a household name in Nollywood. It was indeed a challenging period of her life when she was involved in an accident some years back while driving and she mistakenly killed a medical doctor. She relives that agony, her life in prison, how she copes with her four children in this interview with Adaeze Amos. How do you combine motherhood with your tenure as the President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria? It is quite easy actually; my children are grown up. They are very independent children and we are coping. My children can do things on their own. They actually advise me on things to do. How old is the eldest? He is 21, and the youngest is five, the only girl. I have three boys and one girl. What are the challenges of being the president of the Guild? The challenges I’m facing right now are that I’m trying to push the health plan and insurance for members. This is not easy because a lot of them are saying there’s no work and therefore there’s no money. We must do something ... take our health seriously. It is not only when something goes bad that you remember you are a member of AGN. I want every member, old and new, to come back and re-register so that we know who they are, where they are and we can reach them and get on the health plan. I think that is the most important thing for us now. You still have a flat tummy and your waistline is still intact, what are you doing right? Let me tell you the truth, I’m the laziest person on earth. If you ask me to run or jog from here to the next pole, I may not be able to do so. This also means that I seldom go to the gym. Maybe I would have been looking better if I were a gym addict. For you to retain this figure, does it mean you stick to the right diet? That is totally out of it. As I’m waking up in the morning, I can eat Éba’ and good soup. How can a celebrity be eating Éba’ in the morning and not light food? Well, this is me. I will tell you the truth, I don’t pretend at all. I eat Éba’like mad. I can eat Éba’two or three times in a day. I can come back late, say, 2 a.m. and still eat Éba. This is me and that is how I have always been. Anybody that knows me knows this about me. If that is so, why is your tummy flat? I don’t know. Maybe it’s my nature. How come you have the features of a half cast? My mother is Irish. My grandmother is from Abeokuta; my father’s mother and I grew up with her. I grew up with a Yoruba woman and that is why I speak Yoruba. She really pampered me. Do you still have any hope of settling down? I will leave that to God. I really would love to have a family. I already have a family. My children and I, we are a family. You can’t separate us. Having a father figure wouldn’t be bad if it is the will of God. When you are down, what do you do to derive inspiration? I read a lot. I read inspirational books. I read the Bible and my friends somehow are surprised because they can’t figure how I would be reading the Bible. Don’t you go dancing? Why not? I dance a lot. I love to dance and enjoy life. Where do you hang out? I don’t hang out. But maybe someone might invite me and I would just go to have fun. How do you cope with stardom? That is not a problem. I feel free to live my life freely. I started this stardom thing early in life. For me, I have done it, seen it all. I have been everywhere. I know who I CONTINUED ON PAGE 23


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sunday, March 3, 2013

‘I think I’m the most humble person in life’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 22 am, I know what I represent. If anybody perceives anything by saying things the way they are, that is me. If I have offended them, sorry; if not, I will just be who I am. I think I’m the most humble person in life and life just carries me on. When you had a heartbreak, what did you do to wriggle out of the pains? Well, the grace of God saw me through. It was just very painful, especially the last one. But the grace of God kept me going. I got something to do, I got busy, I read like I said and I write. You must know God my dear, you must have God no matter what. There is nothing else. That is the only smile you can only have because when you try to be somebody you are not, it doesn’t ever work. In that challenging period, when you had that accident and the medical doctor was killed, how were you able to cope and wriggle out of this? The grace of God. I was there and I’m here today and I give glory to God. That is the way it is. I think people eventually saw the humility in me. They saw me as a star and so I was crucified. Nobody knew me as a person. Maybe this was the way God wanted people to know who I truly am and I thank Him. If per chance you see somebody in the situation you were now, what would you tell her? I still work with the prison. I still see them. I go there most of the time and I try to encourage women there. A lot of them while I was there actually told me their stories. What happened, why they did what they did. I usually go there to counsel them. It’s just life. Define your style? I’m the most ordinary person on earth; it’s just that I try to look good. How about movies? Are you back to acting? Yes, I have started. I just did one with Tinsel, I did Lion, I did Ojukwu movie which I’m still excited about. Even if I didn’t do a major role, I’m excited about that. Coming back into the movie industry is fun for me. You have many beauty crowns, what are they? I have been Miss Wonderland, I was first runner-up Miss Nigeria, and today I have the Miss Earth running. That is my own beauty pageant. The one for this year is due for May. What’s your beauty routine? I don’t have. Somebody just bought me cream. They said I should be rubbing cream, and the one I’m using now is Jergens cream. I used to use my baby oil but now I use Jergens. Haven been through with all that you went through, what now fears you? God! I don’t want God to get angry with me for something I did or promises I made to him that I have not yet fulfilled. My dear, I’m afraid of God. Who is the man rocking the love boat of your life? Nobody. If there is somebody and you are saying nobody, he could get annoyed, don’t you think so? Honestly, nobody. In fact, not now. Let me first find myself. My children are there for me. My son, in fact, I don’t breathe. If they see any guy with me, they would ask me who is he? Where are you people going to? When are you going to be back? Numerous questions at a time. When I wear a dress that is somehow, they would ask me, why are you wearing this dress? Are you coming back today?

Applause

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‘I’m actually a tomboy; I became feminine of recent’ Call her a fashionista and you are right. If you choose a style icon, you are still in order. Better still, a fashion pundit. She loves fashion with a passion and has poise and elegance. Her name is Farida Idrissa, an actress extraordinaire and a style icon. She is the Chief Executive Officer of Fab.Com, a fashion outfit that is interested in ‘creating’ fabulous people. This diva loves to flaunt her legs, especially when her top is covered or when she is in outfits that cover her legs. “Ït is wrong to flaunt both legs and cleavage at the same time although I break this fashion rule, I do that once in a blue moon, as she tells Adaeze Amos her lifestyle. Farida was seen at Halima Abubakar’s movie premiere last Sunday at Oriental Hotel. And just like other fashionistas, she was on the red carpet striking poses as paparazzi clicked hard on their cameras. She was simply dressed in a simple grey dress that flaunted her shape, curve and three inches of her cleavage. Farida drew attention to herself because of her poise and elegance. She affirmed that one thing about her is that she loves flaunting her style. “I am an easy-going person and I love to flaunt a lot. If the dress I’m wearing is covering my legs, I will flaunt my upper region, my cleavage. Then if my cleavage is showing, I will cover my legs. But today, I just decided to flaunt both my legs, cleavage and I do this once in a blue moon,” she said, smiling. This super screen diva still remembers her very first time on a movie set. “The two movies that brought me into prominence were ‘Last Drop’ and ‘This Day’. I still remember my first experience on a movie set very vividly. It was interesting. Honestly, I had fun because it was my first time. I wasn’t scared at all. I was bold and I delivered my lines accurately. That was why I opted for acting in the first place, although I majored in dancing and music but along the line, I changed my mind and focused more on acting and everything went on smoothly for me in the acting world. Maybe, because I was into a lot of school theatre and I was a social director in my school.” Idrissa wasn’t perturbed about all she heard about sexual harassment in Nollywood. She said that didn’t deter her from opting for acting because she believes in seeing things for herself. One thing with me is that I don’t look at things from the outside. I prefer to look at things from the inside. You see one thing with most Nigerians is that they exaggerate a lot. The reason is that even someone who has not acted before or who has not come close to acting would tell you she was sexually harassed or that she was asked for sex. I have not experienced that since I joined Nollywood. I have never been sexually harassed. I have never experienced it before.” The style icon says fashion accessories thrill her a lot.

“I love sneakers but on fashion accessory, I can easily spend good money on costume neckpiece,” she enthused. There are some fashion blunders this celebrity cannot stand and that has to do with the abuse of colours. “Some Nigerian ladies abuse colours and that pisses me off. They overdo their colours most often. You know colours come with seasons? But some Nigerian fashion enthusiasts overdo this. The colour blending or should I say colourblocking that is hot now, most ladies here are getting it all wrong. Yes, some don’t know how to go about with primary and secondary colours.” Talking about colours and styles, she said there are styles that are not meant for her. “I won’t be seen in flowing skirts because I wouldn’t want to appear bigger than I am. Actually, flowing skirts make me look bigger than myself. Apart from that, I was actually a tomboy. It’s just very recently that I became feminine. So, I would rather prefer wears that would cling on me and make me look more feminine. Then in the colour world, I’m attracted to red colour or shades of red the more. I can say that red is my favourite colour because it gives me that feminine aura of danger.” What are the qualities of the ideal man of this young lady who was a tomboy for years before she recently became feminine? “I am not expecting much from any man as my ideal man. The man must have to be honest and that is what matters to me,” she says as a matter of fact. But definitely a man who would not break her heart because she has not experienced that before. “Honestly, I have never had a heartbreak before. I don’t know how it feels like. So, my ideal man must be honest and that would help keep my heart at peace.” The fashionistas she loves are evergreen in her memory. “I admire Lanre Da Silva; I love her a lot. I also admire On Point, he is a good fashion designer.” Her favourite music artiste? “Wow, I love to talk about music because it is the food of the soul. Good music rejuvenates me, especially the kind played by Wizkid. “Wizkid is my favourite artiste, without mincing words. In fact, his music has youthful flow. Yes, his music comes with age and that is the fact,” she emphasised in a manner of unambiguous certainty.


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Faces & Events

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: Editor, S Director of T

Well-wishers cutting the birthday cake with Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim.

L-R: Chief Azubuike Emeruwa; Pastor Nwaerie Hezekiah and Reverend Margaret James

Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim dancing at the church service

Glory Word and World Outreach choir ministering on the occasion.

Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim at 46

L-R: Dr. David Adenodi; Bishop Jim Okewu and Pastor Kweku Emmanuel, praying for the celebrant, Dr. Ibrahim.

L-R: Mother Enikanoselu

The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Energy Group and publisher of National Mirror and Newswatch Newspapers respectively, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, OFR, on Sunday, February 24, 2013, celebrated his 46th birthday in Lagos. Dr. Ibrahim hosted friends, family members, members of staff of his conglomerate as well as well-wishers as he feted them in his VGC home in Lagos. Bishop Jim Okewu of Glory Word and World Outreach and his wife, Ene, during the service

The cake

Deputy Hea Newspaper and her hus

Managing Director, Newswatch, Mr. Moses Jolayemi (left), former presidential aspirant of the National Conscience Party, Chief Dele Momodu.

Editor, Sunday Mirror, Mr. Bolaji Tunji (left) and Head, Admin/HR, Newswatch, Mrs. Lara Alabi.

L-R: Chief Executive Officer, Global Fleet Oil and Gas Ltd, Mrs. Bridget Henry-Iyasere; Head, Admin/HR, National Mirror Newspapers, Mrs. Biodun Adewunmi and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Re, Lady Isioma Chukwuma.

Executive Director, Finance and Accounts, Nigeria Re, Mrs. Esther Ajayi (left) and Managing Director, NICON Properties Ltd, Barr. Lanre Alonge.

L-R: Mr. Gbende Fabiye of Newswatch Communications; Asiwaju Benson Akindeju; Dr. Ibrahim and Funmilola Oguntuga.

Business D and Monito (left) and B

Head, Audit and Finance, Global Fleet Oil and Gas, Mr. Bayode Victor; a guest, Farouk Yesufa, and Business Development Officer, Global Fleet, Mr. Bode Osunkunle.

Prince Olo Oloruntim


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Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Praise Worship E-mail:richardeghaghe@yahoo.com

E-mail:titusanyanwu.2012@gmail.com

EDIFYING GOD

QUOTE What is real is the excellence of this divine power and nature seen in all the creatures. –Bishop Enakirerhi

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Briefly Archbishop of Canterbury announces new Chaplain

L-R: Wife of the Anglican Bishop of Akure, Mrs Christiana Borokini; Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; Primate, Anglican Church, Nigeria, Most Revd Nicholas Okoh; Bishop of Egbu, Ven.Geoffrey Okoroafor; his wife, Ngozi, and others at the consecration of three Bishops, by the Church of Nigerian (Anglican Communion) held at the Cathedral of St Jude, Ebute-Metta, Lagos recently.

New Pope: World’s Cardinals meet tomorrow …as hope brightens for Ghana’s Turkson, Nigeria’s Arinze

TAI ANYANWU & RICHARD EGHAGHE

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ope Benedict XVI finally bowed out last Thursday as he moved from the Vatican by helicopter. But major questions still hang on the timing of the choice of his successor, as date for the start of the secret papal conclave may not be chosen until the world’s cardinals formally meet tomorrow for the first time. Some experts fear this “could go on for a while.” Meanwhile, the retired Pope Benedict XVI has moved to the sleepy town of Castel Gandolfo, used by popes as a quiet sanctuary for 400 years, awaiting the completion of construction works on his new home, NBC’s Savannah Guthrie reports. Observers believe that timing is important because the Holy Week begins March 24, with Easter Sunday coming up on March 31 and to have a new pope in

place for the church’s most solemn liturgical period, the chosen candidate would need to be installed by Sunday, March 17. The Vatican’s leaden bureaucracy, the curia, could act as a brake on the election mechanism despite Benedict’s attempt to accelerate progress on Monday by amending ancient church laws. The decision may also be drawn out as cardinals struggle to overcome deep divisions and rivalries over who is best placed to get a grip on the Vatican and move the church forward from an era of scandal and intrigue. “My sense is this could go on a while,” said NBC News’ Vatican expert, George Weigel. “There’s no clear front-runner. There is also a serious concern at the way in which the bureaucracy is operating amid all of this. It could be a very contentious conclave.” Thomas Groome, professor of theology and religious education at Boston Col-

Blood covenant and its implications

Keep your eyes off vanity of thiss world,

–Pastor Adewunmi

says Pastor Muokka

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lege, Mass., said the timing and duration of the conclave remained anyone’s guess. “My guess is that it will be a long one certainly far longer than the previous. There is no front-runner and a lot of issues to be weighted, most especially how to respond - finally and effectively - to the clergy sex abuse scandal,” he said. The longest papal election in history dragged on for two years and three months, lasting so long that three cardinals died and a fourth resigned before a decision was reached, in 1271. This obviously is causing some sort of apathy in some quarters of the about 1.2 billion Catholic population. The most recent conclave, in 2005, however, lasted only 24 hours obviously because the death of Pope John Paul II was not unexpected and cardinals had been positioning to take over for many years. In contrast, CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has announced the appointment of the Reverend Dr Jo Bailey Wells as his new Chaplain, based at Lambeth Palace. Her primary focus will be for the spiritual life at Lambeth Palace and for supporting the Archbishop’s pastoral and liturgical ministry. Speaking about her new position, Dr Jo Bailey Wells said: “I am honoured and delighted to be joining Archbishop Justin’s team at Lambeth as he takes on a heavy but exciting mantle. I look forward to supporting him personally and pastorally - above all by praying for his flourishing in that role - and so to facilitating the wider flourishing of God’s people in God’s church.” The Reverend Dr Jo Bailey Wells was ordained in 1995. Her ministry thus far has focused on nurturing faith, mentoring vocations teaching Old Testament and training leadership - in Cambridge, in the United States and in South Sudan. Previous positions include Dean of Clare College Cambridge and most recently Director of the Anglican Episcopal House of Studies at Duke Divinity School in North Carolina. She holds degrees from Cambridge, Minnesota and Durham and has written two books, God’s Holy People (Sheffield: 2000) and Isaiah: A Devotional Commentary for Study and Preaching.

GCM turns 21, holds Glory Summit At 21, the Glory Christian Ministry (GCM) is set to roll out the drums in appreciating God with the Glory Summit, scheduled to begin from Wednesday, March 6 to Saturday, March 9, 2013, at its newly completed ultra-modern Gloryland Dome, Odo-Olowu Bus stop, ApapaOshodi Expressway, Lagos. The event, which is expected to attract prominent ministers of God like Bishop Mike Okonkwo of The Redeemed Evangelicam Ministries (TREM) and Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Assemblies, has as its theme, ‘In The Power of His Spirit’, extracted from the book of Luke 14:4. It will feature worship, deliverance, thanksgiving and the Word of God, among others Briefing newsmen on the programme of activities for the celebration, the founding pastor and General Overseer of the GCM, Dr. I. S. James, revealed that the 21 years of the church existence has been a wonderful experience.

Sunday Mirror/Babcock University Bible Quiz: • Current and past winners can collect their prizes from the office of the Editor, Sunday Mirror, 151/161 Broad Street, Lagos anytime from Monday to Friday. Participants should always indicate their names when sending their entries.

S Should you apologise to a your wife? y

– –Pastor Odubiyi O

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Praise & Worship

Sunday March 3, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Pastor Okereke to Christians: Trust in God and celebrate Founder and General Overseer of Global Success Ministries, Pastor Chima Emmanuel Okereke, in this sermon, unfolds the abundance of blessing contained in trusting God. Excerpts:

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n John 5: 6, the Bible states, “When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith on to him, wilt thou be made whole?’’. The answer of the impotent man is not far from what is obtainable these days. In the same John 5: 7 “The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me’’. But it was to prove to him (the impotent man) that when Jesus comes to a situation, the tempter’s power is broken and you need not to put your trust in any man. In verse 8 states that “Jesus saith unto him, Rise take up thy bed, and walk”. And the Bible recorded that in verse 9 “And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath”. Glory be to God. I have good news for you brethren all over this nation; for as many of you that believe that your time has come to celebrate, shall be celebrated before the end of this year in Jesus’ Name. Do you know that the impotent man had suffered for thirty-eight (38) years, yet he refused to give up? What really attracted Jesus to him was that he had spent many years and yet refused to give up? The impotent man was waiting for man’s help and that was why it took him so long to get result. In Jeremiah 17: 5 “Thus saith the Lord; cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord”. If you trust in man, the problems might be increasing by the day but if you trust God to use man and bless you; then you are the next to be celebrated. When you trust in God as your helper, even if He will use man to attend to you; Miracles and Blessings will be coming to you easily because God wants His name to be glorified. However, whoever that is trusting God will not put his or her hands into sin. It is only when you are trusting man that you can tell lies, cheat and do all kind of things to please him and get his favour. This had been the reason for the high level of corruption in the society. The trust in man is highly risky. The man you are trusting to give you contract for example, might change his mind even after collecting bribe from you; he might be out of office before the time; he might die before the time that you people have arranged. So for you to have absolute freedom and achieve great results, you must trust in God. When God steps into your matter, you can go home and celebrate. Many examples abound in the Bible. In Genesis 26:1-14; we were told about Isaac who encountered a great famine in the land. The country he was living in suddenly began to experience very strong famine, poverty and starvation like we are experience in our own country. At a point, people started running abroad, to escape from the famine but God said to Isaac that no matter how corrupt this country is, you can still be honourable, no matter how people are

IN TRUSTING GOD, YOU NEED TO BE CLOSE TO

HIM,

YOU NEED TO LIS-

HIS WORD AND COMMAND-

TEN TO

MENTS AND ABIDE BY THEM poor; you will be rich. So stay in Nigeria, do not run to any where, God will put things in order than the outside world where you had wanted to travel to as a servant boy; will now welcome you as a hero to their Nation, should you choose to travel to any of those great Nations like America or any part of Europe. Isaac obeyed and trusted God and in the same Genesis 26:1214 “Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year in hundredfolds: and the Lord blessed him. And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him”. In the Name above every name, before the end of this year, great men and women, Politicians, Elites of this country shall suddenly hear of you and shall envy you in Jesus’ Name. The situation was bad but Isaac looked unto God because something on the inside told him that no matter how terrible things may appear that he is a different person. Trust God and believe my words for surely you will have cause to celebrate. Why don’t you just believe and trust God that you are the next to celebrate or be celebrated. If only you can change your attitude and amend your ways by running away from all those things of old that does not please God. Why don’t you start trusting God today, instead of building your trust in man or in your own human effort or ability? Remember that your ability to do anything is made possible by God. That man or woman you are trusting or building your hope on was created by God. That witchcraft, occult, or marine power you are trusting and building you hope upon, may fail you. Even your father and your mother, brother, sister, or friend can fail you. Believe me or not, Our Lord, Jesus Christ will never, never fail you. In trusting God, you need to be close to Him, you need to listen to His word and commandments and abide by them. You need to work hard and ensure His divine presence in whatever you do; like the scripture says, “work and pray”. I rejoice with you if you are actually doing this because you are the next to celebrate or to be celebrated in Jesus’ Name. Amen. •For more enquiries; please send text messages or call the following numbers: 07038638984, 08101597149 for prompt attention.

Dr. Okereke

Briefly

GSM holds covenant service

Founder and General Overseer, G.O., of the Global Success Ministry (GSM), Pastor (Dr.) Chima Emmanuel Okereke, will on Thursday preside over a power covenant service holding at the church’s main auditorium at Plot 34, Global Success Street, by FESTAC link Bridge, Alao Bus Stop, Amuwo-odofin, as from 7:00 a.m. A release by the Media Relations Officer of the church, Glory Orji, hinted that the programme promises to be one of its kinds as there will be deliverance, healing, prophetic declaration, fulfilment and powerful ministration by the G.O. The power covenant service, according to Orji, offers the rare opportunity to members and non-members of the church denomination to come into direct contact with God and making a vow before Him

for what they want the Lord to do for them, like in the Biblical days of Hanna, who came into covenant with God to give her a child, that she would in turn put the child in His service. God actually fulfilled his own part as Hannah got pregnant and gave birth to Samuel. And in keeping with her own vow before God at Shiloh, Hannah gave Samuel up to the service of God. “So, this is the special ‘Power Covenant Service’, where you can come and ask from the Lord and your supplications will be answered. What then do you want from the Lord or what do you want God to do for you? “We are calling everybody to come and ask from the Lord and get good results like Hanna,” she urged.


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Praise & Worship

Sunday March 3, 2013

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Christianity is a revolution, Invite joy into your life says Pastor Bamidele –Pastor Oloruntimilehin Pastor Joshua Daramola Oloruntimilehin, founder of Omnipotence Mission of God, urges all to spread joy all around and not sadness. Excerpts:

SADNESS AND JOY ARE TWO SEPARATE SITUATIONS THAT STRUGGLE TO

OCCUPY PEOPLE’S PSYCHOLOGICAL CONDITIONS

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f a person wakes up in the morning and hisses or says negative words to self, what the person just did is to invite sadness into his or her life. Sadness and joy are two separate situations that struggle to occupy people’s psychological conditions. One of these conditions must occur to everyone at a particular point in time. So long as they have to associate with friends, relations, neighbours or colleagues. However, there is the need for people to choose one and drop the other. Whichever choice someone makes goes a long way to determine whether or not the person’s life would be spent miserably or happily. A lot of people who complain about their lives and are unpleasant and hissing everyday without achieving some positive changes might eventually die complaining because they had actually invited sadness to themselves. For instance, a person who feels his or her heart with uncomplimentary thoughts or feelings will end up at the work place or market place making disgusting remarks. In that case, the person spreads sadness around and might not be able to either work well or make good sales at the business front. This is because the person had invited sorrow to his or her life. Whenever people are pessimistic about something, the result is always negative. It is what people say to themselves that they always get in return. For instance, a sick person who always says to himself or herself, “Oh I am not sure whether I will recover or die in this sickness” may not be healed because the person had triggered off forces of uncertainty about his or her life. Therefore, people should be careful about their utterances. Some parents condemn and make negative statements about their children even comparing them with other children and they think that they are doing fine. Inasmuch as the parent had pronounced negative words into the child’s destiny and had abused the children with their parental authority such children would not do well. Some parents indirectly curse their children when they offend them when they try to avoid making wrong statement concerning the children. The beginning of a friendship is like a honey and the end is as bitter as bitter leaf. No matter how serious a friendship

Oloruntimilehin

between two people is, definitely the friendship would when one them dies then the other would cry and be in sorrow. Therefore it is sorrow that ends any relationship. Similarly, joy and sorrow are in the life of husband and wife; the day one of them dies, the other would be in sadness because he or she would cry. Sorrow ends all things and joy starts and repairs things. Some people make negative statements about them and forget that there is authority in the tongue; then the statement manifests in the life of the people. There are people that take their problems to persons that cannot proffer solutions to the problems. Instead, they compound the problem because they utter negative advice or solution. People should know the type of friends they keep. It is needless to have a friend that cannot assist you solve your problem. People should not spend their life in sorrow; endeavour to think positively all the time. They should be optimistic that God will do it and change bad situation to good; there are some people that are not happy always, they are frowning, hissing and making negative statements. They do not have joy in their lives and they look lean physically; their faces are tough-looking because they imbibe sadness into their life. People that are fond of hissing do not spit out the saliva in their mouth after hissing but they swallow the saliva, meaning that they swallow sorrow. Brethren, I implore people to invite joy into their lives and let it be working and living with you. Send away sorrow and hissing and ensure you are optimistic and make positive utterances.

Pastor Lai Bamidele, General Overseer of Christ Glorious End-Time Evangelical Church, harps on the need for Christians to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ by practising the teachings of the master. Excerpts:

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urn with me to the book of Philippians 4:9, “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” This morning, I want to teach on the topic I call ‘The Practicality of Christianity.’ I like to start by saying that Christianity is not a religion but a revelation; a revelation that ends up in a revolution.

Christianity is not about going to church but ‘practising the church.’ It is, practising God’s word. So, as soon as you become a Christian, it is necessary to correct the impression that if we must succeed as Christians, we must know that Christianity is not a religion but a revolution that is born out of a revelation. What is a religion? A religion is a system of worship- Do as they, say not necessarily as they do; based on belief system and God. Revolution is a complete change, a change in the way things are done. So Christianity is not enough to be thought; Christianity must be caught. To be thought is allowed but to catch it is approved. Receive the grace to follow in the name of Jesus. You can teach religion; but you are to catch the revelation. To live holy is not the teaching; to live holy is a revelation. Not to lie is not in the teaching, not to lie is in the revelation. Not to be immoral is not in a teaching; not to be immoral in a revelation. You come to the point that you have the revelation. You have an encounter with God about what to do and what not to do. Christianity is not going to church, neither is it in buying a big Bible. You can be in church, you can have a big Bible that they use wheel barrow to push and you are not a Christian. Christianity is in the actions; Christianity is in the practice. In other words, in the era that we are in, it is only Christians that are practising Christians that will be blessed, that will receive breakthroughs and that will succeed. Christianity has left the rail of the covenant. People who confess Christianity say, ‘I am born-again; I have been born again; we have been born-again; we started deeper life from day one. We are the founding members of so, so church in 1902.’ We are in the era that people that must be blessed are the practicing Christians, people who practise Christianity, people who practice the word of God, word practitioners not concessioners. In other words, this is not the era of confessing Christianity; this is the era of practising Christianity. We are this time looking for practising Christians; not confessing Christians. ‘I am bornagain’ is not enough, we must manifest the fruits. Who is a Christian? A Christian is somebody who believes and practises the teachings of Jesus Christ, showing the qualities of a Christian faithful. They must see your good works; they must see your kindness. Christianity is a revolution born out of a revelation, based on the teaching of Jesus Christ and the belief that he was

Bamidele

and he is still the son of God. If Christianity is about going to church, then the seats provided for the congregation are also Christians because the seats are in church. If you look around, there are some house flies in church, sometimes some mosquitoes. If Christianity is going to church, all of them would have been Christians. So, don’t deceive anybody and the worst is in deceiving yourself, that you are a Christian; just by coming to church; even the devil goes to church. In case you don’t, the bible in Job says, “Children of God gathered and Satan also was there.” True Christianity is in the believing and the practice in the teaching of Jesus Christ, showing the qualities that are thought. This is when you have the revelation then the encounter with Christ. Christianity is very difficult to practice if you have not encountered Christ. It could bothersome, stressful, hard; but when you have an encounter with Christ and you are truly saved, practicing Christianity will be easy. Philippians 4:9 says, “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” I just want to draw your attention to the word ‘Do.’ So Christianity is about doing what we have learnt, what we have received, what we have heard, what we have seen in the Lord do not talk. What you have learnt in the kingdom, do it. What you have heard in the kingdom, do it. What you have received in the kingdom, do it. What you have seen in the Lord, do it. Another word for do is practice. Practice what you have learnt. Practice what you have heard. Practice what you have received. Practice what you have seen. •For counselling contact: pst_lai@yahoo.com, phone 08074484415, 08027502864 and 08161285586


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Praise & Worship

Sunday March 3, 2013

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Keep your eyes off vanity of this world, says Pastor Muoka In his crusade for the salvation of souls and actualisation of the 10 billion soulwinning mandate of his ministry, founder and General Overseer of the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Movement, Pastor Lazarus Muoka, cautions that we should not be carried away by the things of this world, so as to make heaven. Excerpts:

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Cor 7: 29- 31 says, “But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away”. Many people in this present generation have fastened their eyes on the things of this world as if these things will remain with us forever. They sleep and wake up thinking of the world. This has caused them from knowing that God is the Creator of these things and He only is eternal… that the things of this world come and go, that we all came into the world naked and naked shall we return to our Creator. The fashion of this world has darkened the senses of many people from knowing there is much evil in the world, thus falling prey to the devil that uses the things of this world as a trap to enslave mankind. Many have been enslaved by what they see in this world because they mortgaged all their life to it. They think that they have come to stay forever in the world and as a result forget that many before them have come and gone. Contrary to what they believed, God permitted us to make a good use of this world while we are in it so that we can please Him for trusting us with the good things of humankind. We should know that the fashion of this world passes away. The things of this planet are not permanent; they change and vanish almost as soon as they appear. As material things change, so also do fashion change every day. This world is like a stage, persons interchangeably act their parts upon it, and soon disappear, and the stage itself will also before long be pulled down. But there is a world to come, where we shall be for eternity, where the fashion never changes or passes away. If we know therefore that all the sorrow, joy, comforts, convenience, marrying, banqueting and crying will one day pass away, it should make us not to set our hearts upon the things of the world. This is because if the eye which is the gate into a man’s heart does not see, the heart may not desire. We know that sin first entered into the mind of man through the eye, and the eye has remained till date the favourite gate of Satan’s allurements. Therefore, if we can keep our eyes from looking on vanity, that is – things of this world, we shall be preserved from loving iniquity. We should know that our enemy, the devil, who deceived Adam and Eve with the things of this world, deceived them with what they saw. For what they saw in the Garden of Eden was what was used to

deceive Eve and she extended the deceit to Adam. They were also deceived by what they could eat. Gen 3:1-3 says, “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” It was when the woman saw that the fruit was good and pleasant to the eyes and potent to make one wise, that she collected it, ate and gave also to the husband who did eat. What we see is what devil uses to deceive us. What to eat and see are objects the devil uses to deceive people. You can see that the same thing devil used to deceive our fore parent is still what he is using to deceive us today. As a result, devil has turned the heart of man and made him to suffer. If you have not overcome this deceit of the devil, it means you are under the bondage of his deceit. Let it be known to you that the sweetness of what we eat can enslave us if it is not to give God the glory. You can see that as soon as Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they started hiding from God. Verse 7-10 “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” So from that time they ate the fruit, they started hiding from God. And from that time man turned their back from God who was having fellowship with them, and man started living in suffering and started following after vanity and from that time till date man is after what he sees and eats. The honours, pleasures, and profits of the world are all vanities and these have in many ways drawn multitudes away from the paths of godliness. When the eye is fastened on these things, it infects the heart which becomes alienated from God and divine things. Unless we turn away our eyes from vanity, we shall soon contract deadness of heart. This is because when our affections are alive to other things, our hearts are dead to God, therefore, the less we let loose our hearts to these things, the more lively and cheerful in the work of obedience we

shall be. My prayer is that God by his providence would keep vanity out of our sight. On our own, we must avoid whatsoever leads to or occasions it. The eye is apt to make a stand, or fix itself, when we come in view of an ensnaring object. As a result it is our duty to hasten it away. We must not allow our eye to fasten on material things of this world. He that fears burning must take heed of playing with fire and he that fears drowning must keep out of deep waters. He that fears the plague must not go into an infected house. So also he that desires heaven must ensure he keeps his eyes off from the vanity of this world. Somebody was giving testimony sometime ago in this church and said my pastor has told us that when you come to this place (church), you should forget your problem and listen, for God will take care of you. This is the principle of God. When we give all attention to Him, we receive His attention also. When Adam was in a good relationship with God, God was taking good care of him, and he was not lacking anything. If you fix your eyes and aspiration on God in this world instead of on the material and perishable things, He will supply all your need and you will be in heaven at last. If you will turn your back from the vanity of this world today and remain holy, honestly God will take care of you. The devil is very wicked and also very wise. He knows how to catch man; he had tried his strategy at the Garden of Eden and succeeded. What did he try them with? Was it not what they saw and could eat? After succeeding at the very beginning, he knows that he could continue to succeed if any man is ignorant of his way of operation which is what man sees and eats. The devil knows how to capture man because he has tested the same instrument at the beginning and succeeded. He can project thought into your mind to disregard this message. But, we who are in the light of our Lord Jesus Christ through His word must not fall prey to his deception again because the Bible says, John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” You must know the trick and deceit of the devil to be able to escape from his snare. For it is the knowledge of the deception of the devil, that will make you free from the yoke of Satan, from spiritual task-masters, from fear, oppression, limitation, barrenness, etc. For as many of us that are born again are expected to have known this truth. We should know that the devil deceived the first man and woman through what they saw and ate. The devil is still operating in same craftiness; same way to get to human being and now we have known this, we must therefore not fall into same trap.

We must come to the light in order to know the Truth. For only the Light that can reveal the Truth to us. And who is this Light? The Bible states clearly that Jesus is that light, He is the word of God personified and if we are born again through His word and following Him through His word, we must not allow the same thing that happened to Adam and Eve to happen to us. John 8:12, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Jesus is the fountain from which intellectual and spiritual understanding proceeds. Without Him all is darkness, misery, and death. The world, which is blind in itself, cannot come to have any light but in Christ alone. If you are in the Light, you shall be saved from ignorance, infidelity and sin. Those who follow Christ shall not walk in darkness. They shall not be left without the truths which are necessary to keep them from destructive error, and the directions necessary to keep them from condemning sin. It is our duty to follow Him, to submit ourselves to His guidance, and in everything take directives from Him, in the way that leads to happiness. Remember it is not enough to look at this light or gaze at it, but we must follow it, believe in it, and walk in it, for it is a light to our feet, not our eyes only. We are born again through Jesus Christ, the word of God and if we are born again and have the truth, we have the spirit of God and His truth and have known how our fore parents failed; we must not follow the same way. Remember the Bible says, there is a way that seems right in the eyes of man, but the end thereof is destruction. Beloved, let us not follow the way of the world, the way of vanity etc, which have taken so many people to hell fire. Let us not fasten our eyes on the things of this world for these will not remain with us forever. Let us not sleep and wake up thinking of the world as is the manner of the children of the world. Let us know that the things of this world come and go, that we all came into the world naked and naked shall we return to our Creator. Let us not allow the fashion of this world to darken our sense of knowing there is much evil in the world, thus falling prey to the devil that uses the things of this world as a trap to enslave mankind. Let us understand that many have been enslaved by what they see in this world. Somebody said in his testimony here that he observed that the more people serve God here in our church, the more they are blessed. That is a statement of fact. Let us serve Him without quivering so that we shall receive our own blessing. If we do this, we shall be blessed.


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rethren, every day in the life of a child of God is a plus. And that is to say that God has given it to us to utilise it well in serving Him. The Bible says that the conclusion of everything is that man is created to worship God, not just to become wealthy and die and go. No. The purpose of God’s creation is that we may worship. Today, I want to talk about another exciting, important and trilling topic: ‘The Baptism of The Holy Ghost and Fire. This message is an attempt to draw the attention of Christians to the design of the enemy to deceive one, through false doctrines, to believe that one has the Holy Ghost when he or her hasn’t anything like that. The baptism of the Holy Ghost is very important. It is the third and final work of grace for salvation of man by God which is actually the main reason why God went to the cross. Christ did not go to the cross only for us to prosper. No. To heal the sick and cast out devil, etc. He went to the cross and settled the debt we owe. You can read more about this in the book of Hebrew 9:22; Romans 3:10 and Romans3: 23 to 24. He also went to the cross to give power to live internally with God as He purposed when He created Adam and Eve. The process of achieving this is what is called being born-again. See the book of John 3:3-7. This is the power to become the sons of God. John 1:12-13 says so; 1John 3:9 says the same and John 5:18 also is explicit on this. A proper understanding of biblical process of salvation will show that number one, you are not born-again until you have received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Two, many people think that they are born-again when they quit drinking. That is not being born-again, it is self righteousness; when you stop doing all those bad things you usually do, it is a type of self-righteousness and an outcome of being bornagain, not being born-again per se. You are only a Christian because you have received the Holy Ghost, which is the spirit of Christ. Number three, you can only partake in rapture if only you are baptised in the Holy Ghost. There is no short-cut to it. You can see that in Roman 8:11. The fourth point to note is that one will remain carnal as long as one has not received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Roman 8:14 and Galatians 5:19-25 elaborates this. It is hard for one to understand the Bible process of salvation unless one has received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Number six, one can never pray as he or she ought to except by the indwelling Holy Spirit of God. See Roman 8:26. Without his indwelling, people will continue to serve God in error. This is one of the crucial issues with today’s generation of Christians. They are serving God in error because; they allow their carnal nature to lead them instead of yielding to the leading of the spirit of God. That is the seventh point. You can read more about it in John 14:17; 15:26; 16:12-13. Number eight, one can never have genuine comfort, joy and rest in your Christian life until you have received baptism of the Holy Ghost. The book of John 14:26; Matthew 11: 28 and Roman 14:17. The ninth point is that one can never have access to the power of transformation, to preach the gospel and cast out demons with evidence result without the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The sons of Skiver tried it and everyone knows what happened to them. The demon possessed them: Paul I know, Peter I know; but who are you? Why? Because they said, I cast you out in the name of Jesus Christ that apostle Paul preached. They have never had personal encounter with the spirit of God. That personal encounter is empowerment from above. Without the power from on high, one can never record that actual result. The scripture explains this in the book of Act 1:8. The tenth thing that the Holy Ghost will do is that one will continue to live worldly life unless one is baptised with the Holy Ghost. That is why you see a lot of men of God who misbehave today and you begin to

Praise & Worship

Sunday March 3, 2013

The baptism of Holy Ghost –Pastor Samuel Pastor Samuel Daniel of Global Grace Church, in this message, distinguishes between having anointing and Holy Ghost baptism, and warns on the dangers of running the Christian race without Holy Ghost empowerment. Excerpts:

Samuel

ask; is he not supposed to be a man of God? The reason is because they have anointing but do not have the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Even an animal can receive anointing of God. God can use anything that is available to perform His wonders. The scripture regarding Balaam ass is a case in point. It received anointing and began to prophesy, yet it is still an animal. But Holy Ghost cannot be given to an animal. The truth is that lots of people are animalistic by nature. God cannot give you Holy Ghost until you change that nature, repent from your sin and ask for the Holy Ghost. Being born-again is different from having Holy Ghost baptism. One can repent now and still lack that power that will change one’s life forever. The person will continue to live worldly until he or she is baptised in the Holy Ghost. You will see that in 1John 5:4. Now, a proper understanding of the mystery of salvation will settle the following controversies among others: Some people believe that speaking in tongues is a sign of Holy Ghost baptism. Yes, in the beginning it was an evidence of Holy Ghost baptism but as time went on, it is no longer evidence; it became a gift. You can read about that in 1Corinthians 11. It became a gift and it is not everyone that will speak in tongues. Therefore, when you speak in tongues, be careful to know whether you are speaking under the inspiration of God and not the devil. So, speaking in tongues or operation of any gift in 1Corrinthians 12:4-12, is

not evidence of the Holy Ghost. It is a gift; demon can impersonate every gift. For instance, in the days of Moses, when he performed miracles, Egyptian magicians also performed their own until God proved what made Him to be God over all. Psalm 68:18 and Matthew 7: 21- 26 will tell you that better. You can also read the book of Luke 10:17 -21 and Matthew 5: 45 as they are relevant scriptures. The second controversy is that the evidence that you have received Holy Ghost baptism is life changing from a sinner to saint. That is number one sign that if you receive the Holy Ghost you will change from sinner to saint, to a lover of God to a godless person. If you don’t normally go to church, when you see where they are singing a song, you want to join; things about God begin to trip you because something has happened inside you, and connects you to God. You begin to have the fear of God that will make you disentangle from those things you used to indulge in, which do not give God pleasure. You can see the scriptures in 2nd Corinthians 5:17 and John 4: 7-8. Number three controversy is that everyone in the church cannot speak in tongue. Did you hear me? Neither is it right for a minister to tell the whole church to rise up and begin to speak in tongue nor teach the people to speak in tongue. They make them falsely believe they have the Holy Ghost by so doing. It is an error. This is a dangerous trend in the churches today. It is the spirit of error. The book of Acts 2: 4

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warns us about that. 1Corinthians 12:2729, 1Corinthians 14:2-33; please go and read these portion and know. The Bible says study to show yourself approved, a workman that needed not to be ashamed. Note please, that operation of any gift is evidence of indwelling of Holy Ghost. However, it is a biblical fact that everyone that is indwelt by the Holy Ghost must operate a gift, which is the teaching in 1Corinthians 12. That is what apostle Paul meant when he was teaching. But everyone must not operate the same gift. The mystery you must take home today is that there is a difference between baptism of Holy Ghost for salvation and anointing of Holy Ghost for service. That is to say that one can receive anointing for service but that is not baptism of the Holy Ghost which can be given to anyone that is available for God to use for His purpose. Matthew 7: 21-23. A good example is Judas Iscariot, Balaam’s ass, etc. They all received anointing to serve but they never received the Holy Ghost. But look at other apostles that received genuine Holy Ghost, even when they want to derail, Holy Ghost will bring them back. Is it not the same sin Judas committed that Peter committed? Both denied the Lord. Peter even rejected Christ three times, but because of the spirit of God that is in him, he wept. The Bible says when you are converted, strengthen your brethren. That is what the Holy Spirit does. It does not mean that when you receive the Holy Ghost you cannot sin; you will derail because you are still in the flesh. But Holy Ghost will call you back to order; you will not have pleasure to sin. He that is born again sinneth not. Also there are some pastors who sleep with single sisters in the church. There are others who call themselves men of God who are having affairs with married women. Some of them scatter marriages when they give some women prophesy that so, so and so is not your husband. Meanwhile, the man had paid the woman’s dowry and done everything to the woman. There is a certain pastor who did such. His church has closed down now. The woman in question came for prayer because she had been looking for the fruit of the womb for five years. The pastor told her that her husband had low sperm count and will never be able to impregnate her. The pastor told the woman that God had told him to sleep with her and by that the covenant that was working against the husband would be broken and she would conceive. When the woman came to me, I told her that the God of Mary, Elizabeth, Serah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob can make her conceive even as her husband is having low sperm count. I told her to buy olive oil and say whatever she needed into the olive oil. I left her alone in my office and I told her to rub the oil on her womb; because I can’t see her nakedness as I am not her husband. She did so and I told her, “Go and meet your husband. Two months after the fibroid in her womb turned into a fine boy after their meeting. She is again pregnant with another baby. Hear me, these fake men of God only have anointing; they do not have the Holy Ghost. The Bible says in the book of Romans that the gift of God is without repentance. Those fake men of God are vehicles of dishonour, not of honour. Judas and Balaam were servants of God and were anointed but they were after money. A true servant of God must not commercialise his gift; if he does he will fall off. •For counseling contact Pastor Samuel Daniel via email globalgracechurch@ ymail.com , www.globalgracechurch. org or phone:08060143296, 08164392405


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Praise & Worship 37

Sunday March 3, 2013

Should you apologise to your wife? Christian Relationship with Taiwo

Odubiyi

E-mail: info@pastortaiwoodubiyi.org.uk

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here are men who think it is a display of weakness when they have to say ‘I am sorry’ or when they apologise to their wives as I pointed out in my book ‘30 Things Husbands Do That Hurt Their Wives’. A man was quick to tell me that real men don’t apologise. I thought about his words and came to the conclusion that some men just don’t understand what it means to be manly or who a real man is which is why many marriages are crumbling. They have heard a lot of wrong teachings and messages and are now unsure of what to do or what is right. It’s important therefore to define who a real man is.

Who is a real man? According to Leslie Ludy, a real man is the kind of man a woman wants to give her life to. He is one who will respect her dignity, who will honour her like the valuable treasure she is. A real man will not attempt to rip her precious pearl from its protective shell or persuade her with charm to give away her treasure prematurely but he will wait patiently until (marriage) when she willingly gives him the prize of her heart. A real man will cherish and care for that prize forever. James Grippando said of a real man: “A real man has no tougher judge than himself.” He doesn’t wait to be judged or corrected, he corrects himself and will apolo-

gise when he is wrong. Someone also said, “It takes a real man to realise that he made a mistake. But an even better man to try to make things right again.” The above definitions are right but do not completely define the real man. I will add that: 1) A real man is also a God-fearing man. He knows God, loves God, fears God and honours God’s word; 2) A real man cares more about integrity and pleasing God than the consequences and troubles that pleasing God might bring. In the book of Daniel chapter three, verses sixteen to eighteen, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and He will deliver us out of thy hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” These three men stated that no matter what happened, they would still serve God and honour Him. 3) This real man is definitely not without flaws for he is not perfect but he realises that without God he can do nothing and without Him, he is nothing. He tries to please God, do what is right, and make things right again. This is what makes a real man unique, it is the secret of his difference, and success in life and relationship. We have an example of a real man in King David in the Bible. In the novel ‘Too Much Of A Good Thing’, I wrote: Sitting back and looking at him, Nathan declared, “You are the man!” David’s head reeled back with shock as

if he had been slapped. “M-me?” He asked with a frown. “How?” Nathan stood up and looking briefly upward, before returning his gaze to David, he said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in His eyes? … David’s body went still … How could he have forgotten about God? … It occurred to him to deny the accusation and say he did not have sex with Bathsheba or that the woman seduced him. But he thought against the ideas; it would be foolish to do such a thing with God. He knew if he would be honest and admit his fault, God would forgive him, but if He chose to punish him by killing him, then so be it. God would be right to do so. He had to admit his sin. Quickly getting up, he spread his hands out to plead … David fell on his knees … Greatly troubled, he spoke, “I have sinned against the Lord! I have sinned against Him! It is true! Oh Lord, have mercy on me! I am sorry!” He began to weep. Nathan was momentarily nonplussed! Of all the things he expected, this was none of them. He had thought David would deny committing adultery as some men would have done and say ‘I did not do it, it’s a lie.’, or that he would argue with him about God’s decision to punish him or worse still, to order his servants to take him away and kill him. He had also thought he would give excuses such as say-

ing that the woman seduced him and that what happened was not his fault. He had also thought that he would trade blames as Adam did when he ate the forbidden fruit and said ‘The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’, or that he would say it was due to the pressures and responsibilities of being a king. But King David had done none of that. He was admitting his sin and asking God to forgive him! To apologise is not a display of weakness. Rather, it is a show of strength of character. It shows you are not full of pride. Some people don’t like to apologise because that will mean they are admitting that they are wrong. They think they are always right and admitting that they messed up is not something they are willing to do. But it’s not possible to always be right for no human being is perfect. Now, how would you feel if you were the offended one and your spouse refuses to apologise? You wouldn’t like it I’m sure. Remember the Golden Rule, ‘Do to others what you want them to do to you.’ (Matthew 7:12) Apologise when you need to. This shows respect to your marriage and respect is one of the backbones of love. Apology will easily turn a strong heart into jelly for ‘A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.’ (Proverbs 15:1 NKJV) Refusing to apologise will wound a marriage. Men need to learn how to properly apologise. Accepting that you are wrong and apologising to your wife for it makes you grow as a real man. Should a real man apologise when he is wrong? Yes, this will separate the men from the boys. It will also make a man’s wife respect and appreciate him more.

The realities of life Shepherd Life with Bishop Kingsley

Enakirerhi

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ife is a journey full of crossroads, ups and downs, uncertainty, hurdles to jump, mountains to climb and decisions to take. These and many more we are to face when we span through the length of our few days on earth (Job 14:1).

In life, there is a ‘truth’, a universal unchanging phenomenon which does not vary with time. Also, there is an illusion, the very anti-type of truth. This unchanging ‘truth’ is what I called ‘reality’. It is the real situation in life. Truth in this context is used to represent the real fact, the way things really are, not in the manner and fashion of your feeling. This real way of life is the truth about life. To worship the Almighty God there are sets of spiritual realities (truths) you must face and imbibe to live in eternity, to live and experience miracle. These facts are the spiritual realities of life. They are unchanging and have no comparative value. It does not respect your profession, race or bank account.

Your robe or spiritual rank will not affect it. It does not change with time, advancement in technology does affect it. On the other hand, there are also economic, educational, social, political, marital realities and so on. If we must make progress in life, if we must realise the originality and purpose of our life, we must face the reality. We must deal with it in its true value and nature; we must handle it with all sincerity and with renewed strategy. Proverbs 23:23 says: Buy truth itself and do not sell it. Depending on luck in this life is an illusion and a direct escape from reality. You cannot manoeuvre reality, neither is nearness to truth a truth. 2 Corinth 13:8 says, “For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth”. Therefore until we confront the truth about the realities of life, we will be chasing shadows all the days of our lives. There is someone above all things and behind all things. He is the Almighty God. This is a spiritual truth. Many socalled professionals have swayed and are on the fast lane leading to hell because they refused or have not realised this basic reality. On many occasions they have challenged the sovereignty of God and have His good name besmirched. They have

proposed unreasoning and unsound theories to justify their acute ignorance. Whether you are an Atheist or Agnostic, the divine reality of creation is that: as every house is built consciously by someone, so the universe and all that it contains was made intentionally by someone also. Gen 1:1 The truth is that “for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him form Him”. ( Colossians 1:16) This is a divine reality which must be known and acknowledged by all who profess faith in God. Because of ignorance of this reality, many people have yielded to the worship of idols and other substance created by God. There is someone above all things and behind all things. This person is God. He owns the affairs of men, He controls time and seasons, He establishes and dethrones kings and kingdoms. Why do you need to go through this reality check? You must have heard that God created all things, but deep down in you, there is no rooted conviction that God really exists. This may be due to the prevailing circumstances around you. That does not change anything at all. God is God and that is why He will remain the God He is forever. It is some-

thing you cannot change, it is not biological that we sleep and wake up; it is the handiwork and decision of divine reality. Believing in the sovereignty, omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence of God had generated a lot of waves among humankind. Anything less than what is real can never be called reality. What is real is the excellence of this divine power and nature (2 Corinth 4:7) seen in all the creatures. If you don’t believe God exists, if you are still depending on any other power for salvation, you are living in falsehood, you are escaping from reality. This is the day to face and embrace what is real. Oh! Taste and see that the Lord is good. He is ready to accept you, even as you read this excerpts. If you have believed before and have gone astray, come on, He is ready to forgive all your wrong and accept you as His own son again. Do not mind the oath you have taken in secret. They are all bunches of falsehood, Jesus is the reality. Come to Him now and He will deliver you. Those your ancestral charms are all falsehood, those idols you have in your closet cannot deliver you. Take a bold step and destroy them, they have nothing to offer to you. God is above them and to Him they owe their existence. This is a spiritual reality and you must stand up to embrace it if you must live in eternity.


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Praise & Worship

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Sunday March 3, 2013

How satan takes advantage of the believer(s)

“Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor 2:10-11). Satan is a cunning and crafty enemy. Satan is an artful and malignant spirit, and has many devices for injuring the cause of Christ and ruining the souls of men. He strives for ways to influence their minds, and irritate their spirits. He is unrelenting and unrepentant. He is wicked and sometimes winsome in his evil tactics. Satan is a liar the father of all liars. When he lies, he speaks his native language! He does not sleep or slumber too. He is constantly looking for whom to assault, deceive and devour. Paul enjoins us not to be “ignorant of his devices.” Here again, ignorance is deadly! Every believer is surrounded by a retinue of angels. “The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them” (Psalm 34:7). Angels are on guard by day and by night. His goodness and mercy follow His children every day (Psalm 23:6). God’s angels are “all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation” (Heb 1:14). This does not take away the believers’ power of choice. God does not force Himself on us. He is available, but we must activate His oversight otherwise, we would still be vulnerable! Paul observed correctly that Satan often takes advantage of the believers who are ignorant of Satan’s devices, tricks and plans. Satan finds loopholes in our lives that he enters through so he can take undue advantage. The Yorubas say: bi ogiri ko ba lanu, alangba ko le wo’be; that is “a lizard cannot penetrate a wall except the wall has a hole in it!” In like manner, Satan and his demonic host always look for

loopholes in the believers’ lives through which to take advantage unsuspectingly. The devil cannot do anything against you until he sees loophole in your life to make his entry point. Paul warns: “neither give place to the devil” (Eph 4:27). A child is safe while seated inside a car but in danger if he or she sticks his or her head and hands through the window while the car is in motion. So is the Christian safe in the arms of Christ. When we put on the WHOLE armour of God, we are invincible in Christ! However, when we expose any part of our life, the enemy finds his target there. It does not matter how tiny or how long the exposure. Any loophole is deadly in the battle that is raging! Like David took advantage of Goliath’s angry exposure on his forehead, so does Satan take advantage of the believer! Here are some of the ways Satan takes advantage of the believer(s): UNFORGIVENESS: Paul admonishes the church to practice forgiveness within the context of church discipline meted upon a fallen member who has shown sufficient evidence of godly sorrow and sincere repentance (2 Cor 2:6-11). After Satan has led a believer into open extreme sin and shame and the Church has reprimanded appropriately, such soul must be restored rather than leading them to be needlessly severe; to the injury of the offender and of religion. On one hand, Satan would gladly have kept the sinful man in the Church to pollute the Church, but on the other, since he has repented, Satan would gladly have the Church keep him out of fellowship! On the personal level, we must forgive one another for all wrongs we inflict (Matt 6:14; 18:21-22; Luke 17:3-4). Such was evidenced

in the life of Joseph towards his brothers (Gen 50:17-21); Jesus towards his offenders (Luke 23:34); and Stephen towards his executioners (Acts 7:60). When believers refuse to forgive, Satan will take advantage of such situation and plant bitterness into our hearts. Souls are lost which otherwise could be salvaged. Let us therefore be careful to remove, both from Satan and his partisans, all unforgiving spirit which always constitutes disadvantage or disparagement of the Gospel of Christ. ANGER: One of the believer’s greatest temptations is to defend one’s reputation, maintain one’s turf, protect personal rights and privileges, and to secure what is our own. “The heart is deceitful; and seldom more deceitful in any case than when a man is attempting to vindicate himself from injuries done to his person and reputation. Never let Satan persuade you to cherish unkind and angry feelings, and to keep up a spirit of resentment against anyone, even among brethren. Curb the temper, and restrain even sudden anger. “No man sins by restraining his anger; no man is certain that he will not who indulges it for a moment.” It is in this vein that Paul exclaims: “neither give place to the devil! (Eph 4:27). “Do not open your ear to the tale-bearer, to the slanderer, who comes to you with accusations against your brethren, or with series of surmising and evil speaking. These are human devils!” If you ever get angry, never lose control! Refrain from uttering any words that you would regret. “Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath” (Eph 4:26). Approach the one who angered you or irritated your spirit, by telling him what you have heard, and what you fear.

Answer these questions and win a prize 1.

According to the Bible, the seventh day of the week is…? Supply the passage.

2.

In line with the Gregorian calendar and modernity, the same seventh day of the week is called…

3.

Luke stated that Jesus was blindfolded when the soldiers mocked Him. True or false? Supply the scripture.

•Please, be informed that the first correct entry via text message wins the prize. See next week’s column for answers to the quiz. Send your answers with your names to 08054238905. Gifts: courtesy Babcock University.

Be open and unbias to receive his own account, listening carefully to his own explanation. Finally, settle the matter amicably, that Satan may not gain advantage over either of you. IGNORANCE OR INCOMPLETE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD’S INSTRUCTION: What you don’t know would harm you! Prophet Hosea lamented: “my people perish for lack of knowledge!” (Hos 4:6; Isa 5:13). Satan enjoys in taking advantage of the spiritually naïve and simpleton. The areas of your ignorance of the word of God constitute major loopholes Satan uses to keep you perpetually under his control. Too many scripturally illiterate Christians warm the Church pews every week. Satan likes them because they are no threats to his kingdom and they are his ready instruments of unrighteousness in the congregation. Satan reveres in making such people to rise in the echelon of power in the body of Christ so their unsanctified influence may pervade. The more their influence over the church, the more Satan’s purposes are enhanced. Money and political connection have drowned biblical truth in such places with Satan taking full advantage! Do not neglect the instructions of God in the Bible, through spirit-filled ministers, and through God-given dreams, visions, and deep impressions upon your spirit. “Every disobedience will receive a just recompense of reward” (Heb 2:1-3). Moreover, never add to or subtract from the instructions of God (Deut 4:2; Rev 22:18). Obey Him to the letter. Do not argue, negotiate or evade God’s instructions. May Satan never take advantage of you in Jesus’ name. Amen! •Tunde Ojewole, Ph.D., is the University Pastor and Associate Vice-President for Spiritual Life, Babcock University. For enquiries: ojewolea@babcock.edu.ng; 08058299434/08060376577

Answers to February 23, 2013 Quiz 1.

An Angel.

2.

Peter.

3.

Sunday.

Can God forget his children? Holy Inquiry with Pastor Paul

Nkirukah E-mail: pstpaul11@yahoo.com

Dear Pastor Paul, I am very young in the ministry as a believer and I seriously want to know if God can, for one reason or the other, forget His children in time of trial, challenge and need? Thanks for your prompt response, sir. -Ben, from Edo State. Dear reader, There is one thing you need to know, and that is, you have to know that you are too valued to be forgotten. There is no way God can forget any of His children. But how or what do I mean by ‘you are too valued to be forgotten’? I mean that your value equals your price; do you know your price? Your prize is the precious blood of Jesus that was shed for you on the cross of Calvary. There is no need beating around the bush; let’s

carefully examine what the scriptures below have to educate us about. 1 Corinthians 6: 20 reads, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. Acts 20 : 28 reads, Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” I think you can understand better now, according to the scriptures above, that you were bought with a price. So if you were bought with the precious blood of Jesus, then you are too valued to be forgotten. Isaiah 49: 13 – 16 reads “Sing, O heavens, and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. 14 But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me, 15 Can a woman forget her suckling child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they forget, yet will I not forget thee, 16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are

continually before me. According to the scripture above, it is evident and obvious that is not possible for God to forget you nor any other person, since you are graven in his palm, and he said that even when some mothers may forget their suckling child, yet will he never forget you. But we know that it is almost impossible for a mother to forget her suckling child that she cannot give her baby breast to suck, but even if they do, God cannot forget his own children. For more understanding, let us take a good look at Luke 12 : 4 – 7 which reads: And I say unto you my friends, be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do, 5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, fear him, 6 Are not five Sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? 7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered, fear not therefore; ye are of more value than many Sparrows. I know it may please you to hear and know the following scriptures which am about to show you below, please meditate

on it very well and digest it, and you will never ever think you have been forgotten by God, because you will be convinced that the scriptures are true Job 7: 17 and 18 read, “what is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? And that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? 18 And that thou shouldest visit him every morning, and try him every moment?” My dear, are you not now convinced that God visits his people every morning? If not so, do you think you can just sleep and wake up in the morning? Can you tell or explain how and who used to wake you up every morning since you were born? Or do you think that you can just sleep any time you like and wake up any time you like if God did not visit you to wake you up? If God has forgotten you, how are you waking up every morning? Psalm 37: 25 states, I have been young, and now am old, yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging for bread. Have patience; it will soon get to your turn. Don’t give up. May God bless and give you more understanding in Jesus’ name. Amen.


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Perfect Cut

Sunday, March 3, 2013

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Want a diva look? Opt for shades of neutral colours VANESSA OKWARA Going out on a special date or for a red carpet event? You can actually apply three sweet shades for a more natural look. Below are some tips to guide you. Remember to choose a base, main colour and a highlighter. What you need * Liquid foundation * An eye shadow brush * Powder eye shadow in a pale, medium and dark shade * Mascara Apply a small amount of liquid foundation on both eyelids using your fingertip. It also gives the eye shadow something to cling on to and prevents

it Genit slipping. li i G tly dab your eye shadow brush with the palest shade. Tap off any excess. Sweep the brush lightly over the area from the socket line of your eyelid to just below the eyebrow. Add the medium shade. Load the brush as before and tap off the excess. Apply the eye shadow over both eyelids and into the socket line, blending with the brush. Finally, add the darkest shade. Apply at the outer corners of the eyes above the upper lash line and into the socket line. Then carefully dust a little along the lower lash lines at the outer corners to create a V shape. Wear with a little mascara.

Wig tips to consider VANESSA OKWARA Hair extensions and wigs won’t bow out of the beauty world. No, not yet! If therefore you have just got a lace wig which, of course, is still hot in the fashion circle, below are some wig tips to ponder over. Wash-it-yourself You can wear your lace wig for up to six weeks depending on the adhesive used and your environment. If you are living in a dusty environment, for instance, you must wash the wig more often. The best way to know when your wig needs a wash is if it gets sticky, tangled and dull. Want to know how to go about it? Gently brush the wig to untangle any knot. Soak it for a few minutes into warm soapy water, shampoo preferably. Rinse thoroughly. But be gentle at all times. Drying To dry, pat the wig with a towel. Never wring the hair,

else it will lose shape. Don’t comb or brush when it’s still moist. Hang the wig on a stand to dry. You can spray a wig conditioner and then gently use your fingers to smoothen it out. Use good product Use only dedicated and specially formulated wig care products like shampoos, conditioners and combs. Do not use hairbrushes with nylon bristles, especially on curly wigs. The curls will open out. Avoid hairspray, mousse and permanent hair colours as well. Also remember to use the products correctly and in right quantities. Also remember if you are drenched and your wig is dripping; first wait for it to dry before brushing. Avoid friction Endeavour to remove your wig when you are ready to retire to bed. Or better still, wear a night cap/ net. Friction with the pillow, furniture, car headrests, to mention but a few, can wear out your wig.


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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ethnic Look MARCH 3, 2013

Achieve the Afrocentric look with Ankara accessories ANGELA DAVIES Wondering how you can achieve a different but unique look for your next event? Then try wearing ethnic accessories made out of Ankara fabric. This will definitely add that Afrocentric edge to your look. The Ankara accessories such as necklace, ruffles, earrings, headbands, bangles, shoes and bag trend have really taken the world by storm. These accessories give an ethnic look to whatever contemporary outfit you wear.


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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Managing Director, National Mirror Newspapers, Mr. Steve Ayorinde (left) and former presidential candidate of the National Conscience Party, Chief Dele Momodu

Faces & Events

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L-R: Chief Tunde Akindehin; Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Energy Bank of São Tomé, Mr. Funso Jolaiya and Managing Director, NICON Properties Ltd, Barr. Lanre Alonge.

Saturday Mirror, Ms. Gbemi Olujobi; Mrs. Oluwatoyin Akinrolabu, and Resident The Premier University of São Tomé, Dr. Yele Akinrolabu.

Mrs. Abisola and Mr. Hakeem Kilanko. L-R: Editor, National Mirror, Mr. Seyi Fasugba; Chief Executive Officer, Global Fleet Industries, Mrs. Bose Jinadu and Head, HR, Newswatch, Mrs. Lara Alabi.

of the celebrant, Madam Theresa Ibrahim, Chief Olatuja Patrick and Mr. Isaac u.

ad, Admin/HR, National Mirror rs, Mrs. Folake Bewaji (right) sband, Mr. Femi Bewaji.

L-R: Former Chief Security Officer, NICON, Mr. Adekun Emmanuel; Managing Director, NICON Luxury, Mr. Gabriel Olagbemi and Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Energy Bank of São Tomé, Mr. Funso Jolaiya.

L-R: BDO, Energy Oil and Gas, Mr. Olugbenga Ogundipe; Mrs. Peju Oyeyemi and her husband, Chief Executive Officer, YEBDA Global Resources Ltd, Mr. Tope Oyeyemi. Celebrant, Dr. Ibrahim and Sen. Bode Olajumoke.

L-R: Regional Manager, Mainstreet Bank, Mrs. Yvonne Kogolo; Branch Manager, Saratu Umar; Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim and Executive Director, Mainstreet Bank, Mr. Bolaji Shenjobi.

L-R: AGM, People and Facility, Global Fleet, Abimbola Ogunlusi; Ademola Adewunmi of First Bank Plc and Barr. Busari Busayo of S. A. Shitta-Bey and Co.

General Counsel, Newswatch, Mrs. Ibilola Adefope (left) and Chief Executive Officer, Global Fleet Industries, Mrs. Bose Jinadu.

Development Officer (BDO), Audit oring, Global Fleet, Ayoola Yemisi BDO, Ikotun Station, Funmi Lawal.

Niyi Elumaro (left) and Lukmon Odumosu.

oyede Ogunji (left) and General Overseer, The Omnipotence Mission of God, Pastor milehin Daramola.

Hon. Babatunde Muraina of Lagos State House of Assembly (left) and his wife, Felicia.

L-R: Head, Accounts and Finance, NICON Luxury, Mr. Timothy Afolayan; his wife, Kemi and Mrs. Toyin Oloyede.

L-R: AGM, Operations, Global Fleet Oil and Gas, Mr. Fidelis Lemchi; Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Global Fleet, Mrs. Gloria Ukeje and her daughter, Ezinne.

L-R: Michelle Gwyn; AGM, Accounts, Global Fleet, Mrs. Uche Ososanya and Procurement Manager, Daily Newswatch, Amara Ebonuogwu.

PHOTOS: YINKA ADEPARUSI AND OLUFEMI AJASA


42

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Dude’s Style Naughtiest Thing

‘I love black jeans a lot’

The naughtiest thing I’ve ever done

Ali Afegbua is a fashion designer and a blogger. He is the brain behind the clothing line, Suweba Clothing. In this chat with Angela Davies, he says he hates wearing oversize clothes. Define your style My style is simple but classy. Signature perfume I love Hugo Boss; it has a very interesting smell. I am in love with that perfume. Best colour I love black a lot. I also love deep shade of purple, browns and grey. Fashion item you cannot do without I would say my belt. It is really important in holding up my pant. I wear pants that are made from fabrics that could stretch due to stress, so I need it to be in place all the time. Best designer I really love Tom Ford. He knows how to dress women in men’s clothes and still make them look feminine and elegant. Describe yourself in three words Fun, creative and eccentric sometimes. Favourite piece of clothing That would be my black jeans. I have what I call three perfect pairs of jeans that I love so much. I love black jeans a lot. Philosophy of life Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it. Most expensive fashion item you have ever bought I will say a Leviton bag. I got it quite pricy. What won’t you be caught wearing? Traditional attires like kaftan, agbada or one of those oversize clothes. You could sentence me to wearing any of those and that will be punishment for me. What would you consider as a fashion faux? People trying to do the colour blocking fashion and as such wearing too many odd colours. That is unforgiveable. Your liking I like to blend things and actually bring out something good out of chaos. This is because in chaos you need to have a level mind so I have to bring out the best out of a bad situation. Dislikes I don’t like proud people - people that have unhealthy pride. However, it is good to have confidence and dignity but not pride that actually destroys things.

I toasted five girls in one night and slept with two –Chike Osigwe I felt like having some fun after a stressful day at work, so I decided to hang out at a club last week. All I wanted to do was just have one or two bottles of beer, chat, connect with people and dance my heart out till the wee hours of the day. On getting there, with the beautiful and sparkling dim lights, I found my way to the bar, sat down quietly and ordered for a bottle of beer for a start. Meanwhile, my eyes were popping from side to side looking at the people in there, and also to sight people I may know as I sipped my beer slowly. As time went by, the DJ started playing some really nice music and people went to the dance floor in ones and twos. Everyone excitedly exhibited their unique dance steps to the rhythm of every music and I was thrilled. I started moving my body where I was seated and knew it was time to go to the dance floor. “It is time to hit the dance floor and showcase some dance steps,” I mumbled. As I hit the dance floor, I saw a pretty young babe dancing and shaking what her mama gave her. I walked up to her and started dancing with her. A few minutes later, I started toasting her. I didn’t need to speak too much grammar before she agreed o become my girlfriend. After some minutes, I told her I will be back, gave her a hug and left. Funnily, I sighted another pretty girl who was dancing sensually alone so I went to meet her, started dancing with her and the same process followed. By the time I knew it, I had toasted five girls and they all agreed to be my girlfriends. I never planned this from home but I guess sometimes you just want to do something naughty and see how it plays out. At the end, I ended up sleeping with two of the girls inside the club. “Hey, don’t look at me like that, I used condom abi who no dey fear sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS,” he stressed. Was he drunk when he embarked on a toasting spree? “I was not drunk when I did all I did. I don’t get drunk when I go to the club. I am not an alcohol; if I have to take beer, I take just two bottles.” The truth is that I don’t have any regrets toasting five pretty girls and eventually sleeping with two. I was not competing with anybody, but I was just trying to be a man. Interview by Angela Davies


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Passion

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Pregnancy Talk with

Single’s Bliss with

Akpomiemie

Adaeze Amos …a peep into the world of a seriously searching sister! Waiting for Alex’s car... Prolonged pregnancy: Causes and dangers on foetus

T

he large ballroom was crowded with familiar celebrities who came to celebrate with Nkechi. Her baby will be due in two months time and she decided to have a baby shower first before the arrival of her bundle of joy, an idea Eric, her hubby frowned at. She was adamant on having a baby shower having waited for 12 years to be pregnant. Her in-laws especially her sister-in-laws had called her barren, her mother in-law even started making arrangements to get her son another wife to help her out because Eric was her only son and needed grandchildren badly before she becomes too old to carry them. But Eric never listened to his mother until eventually after 10 years it clicked. Nkechi became pregnant and it was like a dream until her tummy started getting bigger and bigger. So, at exactly seven months, she decided to throw a bash to welcome her baby. Nkechi’s friends were busy with their cameras taking some shots and the celebrant was busy striking poses and even raising her top to show her tummy that she was truly pregnant. “I wouldn’t want gossips to say I adopted my baby. Let them see that God remembered Nkechi just as He remembered Hannah, she giggled and she placed her two hands akimbo before the camera. After nine months (36) weeks, Nkechi was still waiting to observe some signs that would show the baby was due for delivery but she had none. 40 weeks gone, and still nothing. She went to see her doctor and she was told to wait. And she managed to wait. She was very eager for delivery having gone for ultrasound and was told that she was carrying a baby boy. When the gestation was 42 weeks, she was told by her doctor after examining her that her pregnancy was post-maturity pregnancy. “What does that mean, doctor?” she asked. “Oh okay, post-maturity pregnancy means prolonged pregnancy,” her doctor answered her with a smile. Nkechi didn’t smile back because, she was confused. Well, some pregnant moms may be in Nkechi’s situation even as you read this. Well, not to worry. Here are more explanations from Nkechi’s doctor. “Post-maturity, post term or pro-

43

longed pregnancy is the condition of a baby that has not yet been born after 42 weeks of gestation. That is two weeks beyond the normal 40 weeks.” Are you asking for the harmful effects on the mother? None, and that’s the fact. Hear the doctor: “Post maturity births do not have any harmful effect on the mother. But the fetus (unborn baby) can begin to suffer from malnutrition. After the 42 weeks of gestation, the placenta which supplies the baby with nutrients and oxygen from the mother starts aging and will eventually fall off. And if the fetus passes fecal matter which is not typical until after birth, and the child breathes it in then the baby could become sick with pneumonia.” Hey this is fearful indeed. But what actually could make a baby not being ready to be delivered when it is 40 weeks? Well, it is not the mother’s fault in any way, and health experts have affirmed to this. “Causes are unknown but post-maturity births are more likely when the mother has experienced it before or when you are unsure of your last menses, when there is miscalculation, the baby could be delivered before or after the estimated date of delivery. It can also be attributed to irregular menstrual cycles. When the circle is irregular, it is difficult to judge how and when or how the ovaries would be available for fertilization and subsequently result in pregnancy.” Babies who stayed beyond 42 weeks in the tummy have similar features. Surprised? Oh yes, it is true. Health experts said they have symptoms. “The most common symptoms are dry skin, over grown nails, creases on the baby’s palms and soles of the feet, minimal fat, a lot of hair on their head and either a brown, green or yellow discoloration of their skin.” Then guess the maternal risks? “Increased incidence of forceps assisted, vacuum assisted or cesarean birth.” To some expectant moms forceps delivery may sound Greek to them. Just hang on till next week when forceps delivery and vacuum assisted delivery will be made clearer to you. Cheers!

I’m back again this week, so let’s continue from where we stopped. Dating Alex and other married men comes with its nice aspect and sour part too. Let me continue with the gist about my wow moments with Alex. You see, our first night together was as if heaven came to reside on earth. I wished it never came to an end. Though unplanned, we ended up spending Friday and Saturday together. I ‘love’ Alex soooooo much! Kai! He is the first Nigerian man who knows how to kiss! Bobo na professional for that side. Other guys I have come across are nothing but dry in that aspect. They simply want to go to the main course without dishing appetizer properly! Some would make one want to puke the way they position their lips like a sleepy drunkard with tilt his head all in the name of kissing o! The main dish was something else. Abeg, Alex is a professor in appetizer, main course and even desert servings! Alex is the best o! You needed to have seen the way he maradonaed his wife when she called and he told her about an urgent trip to Abuja. Hmmnn…if only his wife knew he is not as busy as he portrays himself to be. Well, what he does with himself and time when not with me is none of my business so far he gives me all the things he promised! Did he? Read further! *Big grin and wink* As a result of my handling him properly in bed that Friday, and waking him to richer servings the next morning, Alex promised me that first thing Monday morning, he was going to be in front of the radio station where I work with a brand new car. Oh! Don’t get me wrong- he wasn’t coming in a brand new car but to make delivery of one to me. Trust me na! I be Akpomiemie for nothing? You see, in accordance with the meaning of my name which means life of enjoyment, I love to live life to the fullest! I was already serving him another version that Saturday evening when his pastor called. Haba! I never knew Alex was that religious and feared his pastor so much o! Because of my honey-pot, he had forgotten he had elders meeting in church that Saturday and his pastor called to remind him. That was how the whole rollicking ended o! Had I known, I would have switched off his phone while serving him the head spinning dish. Well, you needed to have seen the speed with which Alex got dressed! He didn’t even have his bath. Don’t ask me if I did! I was really shocked at his sudden change o after his pastor phoned him. Well, we zoomed off out of the hotel while the journey back to the mainland was something else o! I almost had a heart attack. He drove like legions of devils were after him. What a horrible way to end such mind blowing moment. He didn’t even take me to my apartment. When close to his church- a popular one in this Lagos, he searched his wallet, gave me N20,000 as taxi fare. He claimed that he urgently needed to be at the church’s elders meeting. Hmmmnn… na wa o! Angry is a very light way to describe how I felt. I was so moody that night at home. I got more pissed off when Simisola came with her holier than thou countenance. I had told her that I was going to the mountain for serious prayers and quiet time only for her to come asking me about my fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Well, I simply left her in my living room in anger. She did everything in her capacity as a friend to find out what was wrong, before she could ask any further questions; I started singing worship songs to make it seem as if I was only observing my quiet time and the yeye thing also joined me in singing. Like play-like-play, she turned it into very serious prayer session o! You needed to have seen the confusion on my face when my phone started ringing an hour thirty minutes later. It was Alex o! Kai! And Simisola was still busy kabashing! See me see confusion o, I felt like picking my phone, walking away to the toilet and speak with my new found ATM! Same time, I didn’t want to raise any suspicion. You see, among we sisters, picking a call or going to answer nature’s call during prayer time is unsaintly and I can’t afford to be seen as a devil! Na wa o! I continued kabashing with her with my attention on my ringing phone. The next 20 minutes was like eternity for me. Alex kept calling and calling while I had to put up with the pretense of praying! Lord have mercy on my soul! We finally ended the pretentious prayer session. I immediately picked my phone and dashed off for the toilet. Alex had called me OVER THIRTY TIMES!!! Just when I was about shutting the door of the toilet behind me, that yeye Simisola stopped me asking: “how true is this; someone said she saw you with my boss yesterday evening somewhere on the Island”? Wondering what was my response? Think no further! Trust me naa! I simply gave her a cold gaze and asked if any prayer mountain is located in Victoria Island? Feigning disappointment in her and anger, I slammed the toilet door on her face!


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Opinion

Sunday March 3, 2013

45

Kano Govt and its 2,000 mass wedding

T

he hodgepodge of newsbreaks in the last six months or thereabout has been so worrisome it tortures the nerves and makes one’s face permanently pouty. Staggering fraud was discovered in the nation’s police pensions’ board and some persons were assigned there to smoke out the thieves. But rather than deliver on the mandate, those put on the trail of the thieves themselves opted to put on the whole armour of merciless plundering. After some bouts of laughable court trial, the main man indicted for spiriting away a whooping N32 billion from the police pensions’ board was asked to go spend two years in prison as he was gratuitously given the option of fine of N750, 000. Then elsewhere in the country, it is either kidnappers are recording successes in their ‘trade’ or a bomb thrower or a suicide missioner has shattered flesh and materials into smithereens. Still in these impossible territories that are a country called Nigeria, will still be reports of armed robberies against which the police always arrive after the havoc had been done. These have been the recurring decimal until last Thursday when there came a fresh breeze of sort with a delighting report from Kano, of all places. The state’s Sharia Enforcement Agency known as the Hisbah Board, it was reported, had concluded arrangements to aid to the altar in one fell swoop, 2, 000 couples who will in the aftermath, be known as husband and wife. In the Islamic parlance, the Hisbah is to conduct for them, Nikkah, which is

the approved name for wedding. Women who are the beneficiaries of this marital largesse are widows and divorcees. As for the former, death, uncharitable death, had brought upon them, inescapable divorce through the exit of their husbands, while the latter became so circumstantially. For such ladies who had lost their breadwinners, it was not impossible that their men were killed in bomb or gun attacks, no thanks to the insurgents. This particularly brings forth the Kano Government as more benevolent than the legendary Good Samaritan. So, a ‘great thank you’ then to the Kano State Government under the Hisbah regime, for ending the torture of loneliness in the lives of these women and men but especially in the lives of these women. By making them get married, the sensual fantasising that comes with emotional burns would have been eliminated. Not only that, the twitchy craving for adulterous adventure would also be drastically reduced, if not totally eliminated. This match-making government organ called the Hisbah should please be replicated in other states of the federation where such is lacking. What more? This body had been too generous to screen prospective suitors to the ladies across the 44 local government areas of Kano State. In doing this, it had simply ensured that the hapless divorcees and widows were not espoused to rogues who could be armed robbers, ritualists, wife batterers, drunks or useless wayfarers. Among those saddled with the re-

sponsibility of screening the prospective husbands are officers of the local councils, district heads and divisional police officers. Again, government will make the lovers-to-be undergo HIV and Genotype tests to secure their health and medical compatibility. Apart from the fact that government is going to bankroll all expenses in the proposed mass wedding of 2, 000 men and women, each couple is to smile away with a N20,000 start-up, upkeep allowance, thus helping in ensuring truly chummy honeymoon, at least for the first week of the packaged wedding. In going into the supra-welfarism of match-making to promote the marriage institution, the Kano State Government should now be prepared for the influx of highly intelligent crooks into the state, who will rush to the Hisbah office to pick application forms for the gift of a spouse, knowing that certain perks will come with the offer of the gift of a soft-underbelly possession. Speaking seriously, however, it would seem that a people can hardly advance more than the level of their social education; otherwise, what is wrong with the conventional approach of ’boy sees girl, falls in love and the two march on’, the type that usually results in marriages? It is pedestrian, to say the least, for a state government to give vent to the theatrics of going around match-making when the potential spouses are jobless, despondent and lacking in ability to affect their generation.

Kayode de Fasua ua

kayodefasua@nationalmirroronline.net (07043855192; SMS only, pls)

If with effective electric power generation, the Kano government under Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso can float three big industries that should absorb 6,000 workers, among them the men and women billed for the proposed showy mass wedding, these people will probably not need a state-sponsored wedding or a N20, 000 take-off grant to live happily in the aftermath of their wedlock. Nonetheless, this is not to disparage the good intention of the Kano government but this approach of statesponsored 2, 000-person mass wedding is laughable and further suggests where to place Nigeria in the index of nations of proper ethical and economic values. But above all, sponsoring wedding is far preferred to the boom of bomb explosions or the sound of gunshots and the like. So, for the Kano Government, it is eternally soothing to live with terminal state-arranged weddings under an atmosphere of goodies, freebies and cool music, than to be consumed in conflagration, over reasons best known to its perpetrators. To the Kano 2, 000 prospective newweds, happy married life.

A case of the emperor’s clothes BAYO OLUWASANMI

I

n the propaganda battle, truth has always been and will always be first casualty. Truth is easily disturbed and decapitated. But no matter how slow, how long, and how tedious the journey is, truth will always resurrect and overtake lies and its purveyors. As a writer therefore, I have always been haunted by the gap between truth and lies. I’ve always worried between the difference in what one’s thinks and teaches, and what one does. The lies and fabrications that constitute the outfits of politics and politicians are products of human folly, and not decrees of fate. The embedded lies on which the political fulcrum oscillates guarantees no limit in the absurdities of government. Politics is mostly governed by sententious platitudes which are devoid of truth. In pursuit of political aims, the ruling class will submit the people to unspeakable anguish from fabrications. Politicians – most of whom are advocates of unreason – believe that they can profitably deceive the people as long as they keep it in a state of effervescence. They hate to be hurt with the truth and comfortable with lies. Government like any organization, are of two kinds. One aims at getting things done, the other aims at preventing something from being done. The government that shoots for not getting things done like the Jonathan

administration prevaricates to dupe and dodge the people in all fronts and at all times. The uproar and the ugliness that greet the hospitalization of the First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan came to life again at her “resurrection” thanksgiving service held few weeks ago at Aso Rock Chapel. Ordinarily, the news of a sick person would not have provoked the avalanche of gossips and innuendos that her illness attracted. But, because the patient is a public figure – the wife of the president – it becomes a sensational scoop that drives the tabloids into utter frenzy. The castle of lies that was constructed around the hospitalisation of Mrs. Jonathan meets the style and substance of Aso Rock media relations. Sometimes in 2012, Mrs. Jonathan became ill. She was ambulanced to Germany for treatment. There were conflicting reports of her diagnosis. Some reports claimed she had uterine fibroids. Other reports said she was treated for uterine cancer. Whatever the nature of her illness, all was not well with Mrs. Jonathan. First Lady and Aso Rock vehemently denied that she was hospitalized. Promoting, aiding and abetting lies especially in high places such as the presidency are tantamount to talismanic liability. We were served with growing heresy that promotes empty ritual, useless asceticism, and false mysticism.

We were deceived by empty philosophies and sounding nonsense. TV footage which featured the president, Aso Rock Chaplain Ven. Obioma Onwuzurumba aired on national television network shows a well dressed Mrs. Jonathan asking to be allowed to “take picture with my husband.” Abati, the agile ‘attack dog’ didn’t waste time to use the video to paint critic as liars: “The video clip aired by the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) was a confirmation that the President’s wife was hale and hearty contrary to what some people wanted Nigerians to believe.” “The video,” continued Abati, “has put paid to all the lies that people who play politics with almost everything. It was clear from the video that the scene was not a hospital scene.” “I don’t even know that hospital they are talking about,” Mrs. Jonathan shot back at critics on her return to Abuja from overseas treatment. “I do not have any terminal illness or cosmetic surgery,” the First Lady assured the nation. At special “resurrection” thanks giving service at Aso Rock Chapel few Sundays ago, Mrs. Jonathan confirmed what the media had said all along. With voices pitched in high decibel range, critics and Aso Rock propaganda machine are blasting one another on the state of health of the First Lady. However, on Sunday February 17, there was no doubt that the President’s propagandists misdirected their fire:

their emperor has no clothes! “I actually died,” Premium Times quoted Mrs. Jonathan as saying. “I passed out for more than a week. My intestine and tummy were opened.” “It was God himself in His infinite mercy that said I will return to Nigeria. God woke me up after seven days.” Mrs. Jonathan revealed that she had “eight or nine operations within a period of one month.” “I will be doing things that will touch the lives of the less privileged. God gave me a second chance because I reached there. He knew I had not completed the assignments He gave me that was why I was sent back,” said Mrs. Jonathan. We’re not sure where Mrs. Jonathan went during the seven days she was in a marathon sleep. But, we know this: she was not in Aso Rock. Until now, I thought the less-privileged were invisible Nigerians that the First couple hardly knew they exist. One of the things Mrs. Jonathan can do to touch the lives of the less privileged (and they’re many) is to re-allocate the N4 billion for African First Ladies Mansion for hospital for humans in the 21st century. She can also persuade her husband to ensure that corrupt public officials’ loots are garnished and use the money for socio-economic projects such as job creation, head start for children, portable water, etc. • Oluwasanmi, a US-based Nigerian, is a social analyst


46

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Connecting

Vanessa with

Vanessaonsunday@yahoo.com

Can you really be friends with an Ex? “Y ou are a great girl Jumoke, a wife material in fact. Any man would be proud to have you as a wife but I can’t afford to hurt you. That is why I’ve called you here to let you know I cannot go on with our relationship,” Kunle blurted out. Jumoke could not believe she was hearing correctly. “Honey, what did I do to you that you want to break up with me?’’ she asked, almost in tears as she realised that he was serious. Kunle could not look into her eyes as he tried to make her understand his sudden change of mind. “Please you did not do anything to me, everything is my fault. There was a lady I got engaged to two years ago who left for the United Kingdom to study but now she’s back and I’ve got to fulfil my obligation to her,’’ he said. Jumoke was transfixed and could only stare at him in amazement. For the first time since they started dating a year ago, she realised she did not really know Kunle. “How could you keep such a thing as serious as being engaged to another girl from me all these while we’ve been dating?” she asked him. He could still not look into her eyes as he said, “I’m sorry Jummy; I thought that relationModels ship was over but she’s back in the country and I realise that I still love her and will want to marry her. I hate hurting you like this, but its better I tell you the truth than keep it from you and you hear it from other people. Please forgive me, my dear. I never intended to hurt you, I swear. He stated earnestly with all sincerity in his voice that Jumoke’s anger melted like fax immediately. He was hurting her terribly, yet she can’t really be angry with Kunle for long. That is how much she has come to love this man who is now breaking her heart in pieces. “Please Jummy; I still want us to be friends. You are a great person and I’ll not like to lose touch with you. Can we continue as friends?” he asked her. Jumoke could not really give him a concrete answer as she walked out of the restaurant that day with a million thoughts racing through her mind. How can I be friends with the man I love and have shared so many intimate moments with? She loved Kunle with all her heart and thought he also felt the same way about her. “Men, why can’t we just trust them, eh? How can I be friend with Kunle who is now my ex after all the passion I’ve shared with him for almost two years now”? She mulled over in her heart. There’s really nothing wrong with remaining

friends with your ex, after all life must go on and there’s no need to continue bearing grudges against him/her. But what level of friendship are we really talking about here? Take for instance; there are friends you go out with, those you see only on occasions and friends with whom you share everything with. Which category will your ex fall into? He/she may not fit neatly into any of them because your relationship’s complicated in nature. It’s complicated because passion must have played a major role in that relationship. Chances are that the two of you shared intimate moments that are simply unforgettable and may require constant refreshing. In intimate relationships, sex changes everything. Relationships end, but that doesn’t mean the attraction that developed between the two of you has fizzled out. In that kind of scenario, what exactly will be the nature of that friendship? Will you be free to express yourself to your ex the way you used to do before? Can you see each other on a platonic level without the desire to touch and possibly get intimate again? The truth is that once you break up, it can be hard to know what’s okay to discuss and what’s too personal to disclose. If you’re hoping to continue a deep friendship, where you tell each other your secrets and pain like you used to do when the going was good, you’ll probably run into some confusion. It will be very difficult to know where to draw the line, because there is really a thin line between deep friendship and getting physically intimate with someone you have feelings for. Before you agree to be friends with your ex, you need to ask yourself if you would be able to create a future with someone else with your ex still hovering in the background. Hanging onto friendship with an ex can prevent you from opening the next chapter of your life and inevitably delay your healing process from the breakup. That’s why it’s advisable you pause and think it over before you readily accept the “let’s be friends” request from your ex. Take time between the breakup to get your acts and thoughts together before deciding if it will do you good to maintain friendship with an ex or not and if yes, what exactly will be the nature of that friendship. So, should you be friends with your ex? Only you can decide. Do yourself a favour by answering the tough questions honestly and then proceed with caution.

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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I need a humble and God fearing woman between 25-32 years for marriage –08127653373 I am Patrick; I am 25 years old from based in Lagos. I need a girl between 21 and 24 years for a serious relationship. –08028382230 I am Ikenna, 35 years old from Anambra state, business man based in Lagos. I am God fearing, chocolate in complexion and 5.6ft average. I need a lady from any state between 25 and 37 years old for a serious relationship that will lead to marriage –08167941870, 08076410832 I am Nelson; 37 years old I work and live in Lagos. I need a humble and God fearing woman between 25 and 32 years for marriage –08127653373 I am Felix 37 years I work live in Lagos. I need a responsible lady of any age for marriage within six months –08030575709 I am Kay, 32 years old from Lagos and working in a financial institution I need a working class matured lady single or a single mother between 30 and 45 for a lovely realionship –08026265752 I am Collins, 33 years old a working class living in Lagos. I need a working class and educated lady between 20 and 33 years for a serious relationship that could lead to marriage –08168085105 I am Kenny, 34 years old from Ondo state, I am based in Lagos. A graduate and working. I need a God fearing lady that will lead to marriage between age 23 and 29 years old —08186155830 My name is Fred, 25 years old. I need a humble sexy girl between 20-23 years for a serious realtionship –08087022217 My name is Ibrahim Adejoh, from Kogi state. I am 32 years old single, tall and good looking. I need a woman to be my wife between 22-27 years –08059655074 My name is Wale, I am 32 years old, I need a Yoruba lady between 23- 26 years old for a serious relationship that will lead to marriage –08139012094 Victor, a graduate needs a lady for a serious relationship. She must be less than 30 years old –08032637636 I am Clem, 41 years old, dark average height, Christian from the middle belt. I am a force man and a single father. I need a responsible and caring working class lady between 30-38 years old that is ready to settle down –08188330461 My name is Isiak Muhumamed. I need lady or woman from 30 years and above for a relationship –08125931042.


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Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

A Fashionista’s

World MARCH 3, 2013

I’ll never flaunt any part of my body –Maryam Self-assured Bisiriyu Maryam studied Physiology at the University of Ilorin. But she has passion for entertainment and handles the red carpet at events. In this interview with Angela Davies, she discloses that she promotes decency with her dressing and yet looks classy. What is style to you? Style depends on individual opinion and on one’s mood. It is also the mentality about yourself. Some people go nude and others go classy and they still look sexy. Define your own kind of style I am a Muslim; you can see that I am putting on my scarf. I promote decency with my dressing and I still look classy as much as I can be. I cover my hair even when I am handling the red carpet no matter what I wear. Which part of your body do you consider the sexiest? My hip. I have a little hip and a tiny breasts. It doesn’t look so obvious but I know I have got hip side. What kind of clothes do you wear to accentuate your hip? I like the high waist outfit. It could be a skirt or trouser and that is because they exaggerate my hip side and it makes me look very good. What are the things you consider when dressing up for a red carpet event? I really don’t take extra time to look good because I am going on the red carpet. It is about me so I dress the way I want as long as I can fit in. I can talk to the president of any country whichever way I am dressed because I know at that time I feel good in whatever I am putting on. I really don’t set aside a dress because I am going on the red carpet. If you have to flaunt any part of your body, which will it be? I don’t think I will flaunt any part of my body. I like to go decent. What is your worst fear in life? Not making heaven. Basically, the main reason of our creation is to serve God. I am not so holy but I trust in serving my God and I believe that if you don’t make heaven, coming to life is useless. How do you love your make-up? Most times I really don’t like wearing make-up but when I do it is usually light. What puts you off people? Dishonesty! I can’t stand it. Being dishonest can infuriate me because my dad brought me up to be honest. How was growing up for you? I wasn’t born with a silver spoon; I went through an

average kind of life. I went to a private nursery school but a government secondary school, Iganmode Grammar School. I went to the University of Ilorin, Kwara State where I studied Physiology. I developed myself to speak the way I do. Whoever hears or listens to me speak would think I studied outside the country. I don’t even know where the embassy is, that is the truth. What inspires you in life? What drives me in life is to be able to help the less privileged and that is why I am working so hard. And I am doing this because I want to be there for people when they need me. How would you describe yourself? I am a Sagittarian. The terrible aspect of Maryam is that she is temperamental. I get angry easily and get easily pissed off when you are not doing what you are supposed to do. I have this obsessive compulsive disorder, OCD. I like things being done accurately. I like it when you are prompt and sincere with me. But once you are not, you will never enjoy me because we would always have issues. Don’t you think that since you relate with people a lot, you should be able to control your temper? Exactly, that is why I am saying that I am aware now that I am temperamental, so I try to hide behind the big, wide smile so I don’t get angry any more. Do you love jewelry? I really don’t like jewelry much, but I like simple and classy jewelry. What makes you happy? The only thing that makes me happy is when I make someone happy. That is the only simple way I can explain myself. That is why I said what drives me in life is to be able to be there for people that need me. How do you relax? I am an athlete; you can see how skinny I am. I play basketball, football and table tennis and I go swimming once in a while. That is how I get to relax, I do pure sports. I don’t have any other life outside sports. When I am very angry back then in school, I just go and play basketball and I will be so happy. Sometimes too when I have issues with my boyfriend, I go out and play football. It makes me feel alright and happy. If you have to steal anything today, what would that be? Honestly, nothing really drives me crazy in this world other than heaven. If I could have my passport to heaven, maybe that is what I will steal. Aside from handling the red carpet at events, what do you do? I am also a part-time teacher. I teach diction and English in different schools.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

48

Lessons of Life

ANGELA DAVIES lessonsoflife2@yahoo.com 08023342083

TRUE LIFE STORY ON MATTERS OF THE HEART MARCH 3, 2013

‘Pressure from my dad made me lose my virginity’

I

still remember that very cold night of September 1, the day I decided to sell my body even though I claim to be a born again Christian. I did that because I was tired and frustrated about my father’s constant nagging because I was still single at my age. He made it look like a sin to be single. His constant nagging made me feel that God had forgotten about me after all my years of serving Him. It was frustrating still being a virgin and single at the age of 36. However, I sold my virginity to a man I don’t know, for a common N10, 000. If only I had remained just a little more patient at that time I would have married my God ordained husband but I thank God for giving me a second chance. As a growing young woman, I had how I wanted my life to play out. For me, I should be married at the age 25 to the most loving and wonderful man on earth and be done with child bearing at age 30 or 31 and watch my children grow up with me. But like the saying goes, man proposes but God disposes. I became a born again Christian in my second year at the University of Lagos. I was so deep into Christianity that all I had time for were church programmes and my books. I had some ‘brothers’ who liked me but then I was not interested in men because I felt they would be a distraction as I wanted to focus on school and God alone. I am the eldest of four children, three girls and a boy. Our mother died about seven years ago and we were left with our father. The truth be told, I am the only Christian in my family, the others hardly go to church but it seems everything moved on fine for them except me. My two younger sisters got married to responsible and wealthy men while I was still praying to God to give me a husband. I had moments when all I did was to cry myself to sleep because of my father’s attitude towards me regarding marriage. I had ‘brothers’ from church who asked for my hand in marriage but the problem was that they all wanted to go to bed with me first but that was not what I wanted. My father believed that I was still single because of my rules and standards; hence he decided to frustrate me. Sometimes, when I get home from church, he would ask the gateman not to open the gate for me which means I had to go and sleep at any of my sister’s place. Sometimes once I get home especially from church, he would say, “Abigail, so where is the man you came home

with? You carry the Bible everyday yet you are not married. You sister’s who do not even go to church are married so what is the essence of carrying a Bible every day? You better ask your sisters how and where they got the men they got married to from so that you too can toe that path. It got so bad that he complains about whatever I do and this really worried me. One day, precisely September 1, I took a rather drastic decision which I still deeply regret. I said to myself, “What has serving God and being a virgin at my age benefitted me? I am still single and my father is frustrating and making a mockery of me. I am tired. It is all going to end this night, I want to be wayward tonight,” I murmured. That night, I lied to my father that I was going for a vigil; he looked at me from headto-toe hissed and walked away. I found myself in front of a brothel with some other girls as my heart was beating so fast. In less than 20 minutes, two men arrived in a jeep and one said he was interested in spending the night with me; he introduced himself as Gabriel while the other man sat quietly as if he was disgusted with what his friend was doing. He later introduced himself as Robert. Initially, I was so scared but after we talked for a while, I followed them to their room. Gabriel proposed to pay me N10, 000 and I agreed. When we got to the hotel, it was obvious that they had just come into the country. I spent the night with Gabriel in his room and he was surprised that I was a virgin. He asked me my age and I told him. He shocked me when he said, “If at age 36 you are still a virgin, then, you should have had more patient and waited till your wedding night instead of giving it away to a total stranger and for a mere N10,000.” Tears dripped down my cheeks as if a sword was being used to pierce through my chest. “Abigail, the truth is that no matter what you are passing through in the hands of your father, you should have exercised more patient. But the truth is that if I was not already married, I would have married you,” Gabriel emphasised. I left Gabriel’s hotel room feeling so sad and rejected. A week later, Hannah, my friend in church came to pay me a surprise visit at home. “Hannah, I can’t remember the last time you came to my house,” I said. She smiled and told me her brother who lives in the United Kingdom just came into the country. “My elder brother just came into the country. But Abigail what you don’t know is that I have told him a lot of

good things about you. One of the reasons he is in the country is so that he will meet you so that you people can talk. He said he is willing to settle down within three months if you agree to marry him.” At first I was happy but when I remembered what I had done, tears rolled down my eyes. For Hannah, she thought it was tears of joy that I was finally going to be married whereas for me, it was tears of regret. Three days later, Hannah called to inform me that she had arranged for me to meet her brother in their house. I was so eager to meet him, however when I got there I prayed for the ground to open up and swallow me. I discovered that her brother was Robert and he recognised me instantly while I pretended never to have seen him. “Brother Robert, meet my friend Abigail, the woman I have been telling you about. I know you will like her,” she stressed. “I have seen this face before. Yes, she was the prostitute Gabriel picked up some days ago,” he disclosed. Hannah tried to tell him that he was mistaking me for someone else but he was so sure of what he was saying because I didn’t defend myself. At last, I told Hannah what happened and she was so disappointed. Robert told me, “I actually came to Nigeria because of you. My sister wanted me to get married to you because she likes

RESPONSES

and admires you so much. Hannah told me, you are the best wife any man could ask for but I guess she is wrong. As a born again Christian, you should have held on firmly to God no matter the temptation,” he emphasised. He told me to go back to God and ask for forgiveness. He also opened up that he would have gone ahead to marry me if I had slept with another man but not his best friend, Gabriel who was already married. I left there in tears and shame. Hannah told me he went back to the UK about three days later disappointed and heartbroken. Well, I know some ladies out there would have done worse than I did, but I am not judging anyone. My main concern is that parents should stop tormenting and putting pressure on their unmarried daughters because they would only push them to do unimaginable things which they later regret in life and find it very difficult to forgive them. It took me sometime to forgive my father because I blamed what I did on him. But just as Robert advised, I went back to God and asked forgiveness and I am happy to say that God gave me a second chance at marriage. I will be getting married in a few weeks.

Please send your advice to the phone number or e-mail address above. No calls, please.

Re: Rejected son

Dear Olanma It is so sad what you went through. Worst still is that Ikenna denied the pregnancy and his family supported him. This is now the case of the rejected stone becoming the corner stone. You should allow the boy to go to where he rightly belongs but not until Ikenna and his family apologies and appreciate what you went through all those years they never supported you. Ngozi, Kaduna – 08034079550

I advise that you keep your son with you because if they banish you, God will not banish you. Remember your husband who took care of you in your time of trouble and pain. Take your family members and run away from the town please. Innocent – 07039029045 Pray about it but if it was me, I will prefer being banished. I don’t have anything to do in the village.

08162786170 Please hand Ikenna over to his biological father. God has decided abinito that you are part of the throne. Nothing the devil can do to spoil it. Forgive them, concentrate on Desmond and your other children. Apeji Onesi, Lagos – 08060504740 I will advice you give them the child. Do it to save your child from insults. My

sister, I have a similar problem. Princess Celine – 08132718078 You should release the child to the prince because one day the child will like to be with his biological father. Adegoke Olusola, Kogi – 08035775228 Don’t give them your child. If they banish you, they will pay for it as there will be no heir. 07082688504


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Dateline

49

SHAPING THE FUTURE WITH THE PAST MARCH 3, 2013

Shagari

A scene during the Maitatsine crises

Maitatsine: Tale of religious war in the North K AYODE FASUA

T

he streets of Kano in North-Western Nigeria were often tempestuous in early and mid 1980, owing to the activities of one Mohammed Marwa, an heterodox religious crusader. He reportedly hailed from Marwa in Cameroun but was based in Kano. His nickname, Maitatsine, came about because he was always speaking in halting Hausa, usually saying, ‘Wanda bata yarda ba Allah ta Tchine’, which translates as ‘May Allah curse the one who disagrees with his version.’ A fiery preacher, Maitatsine who controlled a great followership in Kano, Maiduguri and other communities across northern Nigeria would rain curses on the government and all its policies, as he would urge his followers to unseat all organs of government in the country. Initially, he was ignored by both the Federal and Kano State governments but when the seething rage and many other open atrocities being perpetrated by Maitatsine and his disciples were becoming a clear case of insurgency, the military then waded in. The Maitatsine revolts In December 1980, Maitatsine’s armed group, the Yan Yatsine undertook a mass slaughter in the streets of Kano, against which the military promptly launched counter-attacks. An author, Elizabeth Isichei, writing on the incident, says “the city (of Kano) was convulsed by what was virtually civil war, and 4,177 died, among them Maitatsine himself.” In October 1982 also, almost two years after the death of the Maitatsine group leader, another crisis broke out in Bulumkutu, 15 kilometres from Maiduguri, Borno State between the Maitasine attackers and the military. About 3, 350 persons were

killed in the battle. In early 1984, more violent uprisings occurred in parts of northern Nigeria. In this round of rioting, Musa Makaniki, a close disciple of Maitatsine, emerged as a leader and Marwa, the original Maitatsine’s successor. From the new leader’s activities, more than 1,000 people reportedly died in Yola, the capital of Gongola State in March 1984 and roughly half of the city’s 60,000 inhabitants were left homeless. Makaniki fled to his hometown of Gombe, where more Yan Tatsine riots occurred in April 1985. After the deaths of several hundred people, however, Makaniki retreated to Cameroon, where he remained until 2004 when he was arrested in Nigeria. Around this time too, serious fracas involving the Maitasine group also broke out in Rigasa village near Kaduna, where some deaths were recorded. Also in 1985, around when the Maitatsine group was already waning in influence, a battle occurred in Gombe, in Bauchi State, where about a hundred souls were lost.

The man, Maitatsine Maitatsine was originally from Marwa, north eastern Nigeria, which was at one time part of Cameroon. After his early education, he reportedly relocated to Kano, Nigeria around 1945. This Kano dissident preacher had a long history of being incarcerated as his series of activities virtually turned him to a jail bird. The British colonial authorities sent him into exile at a time, but he returned to Kano shortly after independence. He was thereafter jailed in 1962 over his violent acts. While going about with his ‘foot soldiers’, Maitatsine became famous for his controversial interpretations of the Holy Qur’an. He boasted that he was a great prophet, branding himself a mujaddid in the mould of Sheikh Usman dan Fodio. Although a Koranic scholar, he seemingly rejected the hadith and the Sunnah and regarded the reading of any other

book apart from the Qur’an as paganism. Maitatsine and his men kicked against the use of radios, watches, bicycles, cars and the possession of more money than necessary. By 1972, he had had notable followers who also led other armed religious warriors known all over northern Nigeria as Yan Tatsine. His followers were also involved in a serious clash at a mosque in Kano’s Sabongari in 1972 that resulted in loss of many lives. In 1975, Maitatsine was arrested by the Nigerian police for slander and public disparaging of political authorities. But that arrest rather than whittled down his influence, rather made it soar as he began to enjoy public sympathy. As from that moment, he began to receive acceptance from religious authorities, especially after he making hajj, the Muslim’s holy pilgrimage to Mecca. As his following increased in the 1970s, so did the number of confrontations between his adherents and the police. His preaching attracted largely a following of youths, unemployed migrants, and those who felt that mainstream Muslim teachers were not doing enough both for the religion and the communities. Maitatsine’s activities took a fresh dimension in 1979, when he reportedly equated himself with Prophet Mohammed (SAW), saying he himself was an Anabi (prophet). By December 1980, he incited his Yan Tatsine troops of armed loyalists to attack other religious figures and any police man or officer sighted in the street. This then forced the Nigerian Army to become involved. A summary of armed clashes between 1980 and ’85 arising from his teachings and group’s activities, according to accounts, claimed the lives of no fewer than 5, 000 persons. But the man Maitatsine died in December 1980 shortly after sustaining injuries in one of the clashes but this did not stop his foot soldiers that carried on with the crusade until they were eventually crushed in 1984. According to media reports, the military cremated Maitatsine’s remains, which now rest in a bottle kept at a police laboratory in Kano, till date.


52

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net


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Business

53

FRESH BUSINESS NEWS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS Sunday March 3, 2013

TOLA AKINMUTIMI (ABUJA)

S

takeholders in agriculture last Tuesday in Abuja brought the issue of improved performance of the sector to the fore as 2013 Budget continues to generate serious debate as to which sector gets what. This is coming against the backdrop of persistent poor budgets for the agricultural sector on a yearly basis, lack of access to quality food by millions of socio-economically vulnerable Nigerians and the negative implications for their well-being and the economy. The debate elicited diverse remedial strategies from stakeholders on food security and has one common consensual streak running through the agitations: the imperativeness of deploying the right quantum of funds and creating a more conducive enabling environment for the sector. This is in order to achieve food security and make the availability of quality food a right of every Nigerian. The urgency of adequate funding of the highly productive sector, which analysts have identified as the most vital sector to sustainable growth of the nation’s economy took the front burner at a stakeholders’ forum as legislators, civil society groups, farmers, traders and other groups, including the media, engaged one another on how best to open the sector more to investible funds and other capacity building and regulatory opportunities At the well attended one-day ‘Stakeholders’ Forum on the Right to Food Legislation in Nigeria’ organised by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), with support by Oxfam, in Abuja, two House of Representatives members, Mannir Baba Dan’Agundi and Nkoyo Toyo, lent their voices to the growing agitations for improved funding and enabling legal instruments for the agricultural sector in order to guarantee food security in the country. The legislators, who spoke at the oneday ‘Stakeholders’ Forum on the Right to Food Legislation in Nigeria’ organised by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) in Abuja, particularly noted that the road to Nigeria’s meeting the Maputo Declaration’s 10 per cent budget commitment to agriculture remained in the creation of fiscal and legal enabling environment required to enhance the growth of the sector. Dan’Agundi, who is deputy chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, specifically hinted that the National Assembly was already working on a Bill that would professionalise the practice of agriculture as part of its efforts to ensure food security and improved contributions of agriculture to the nation’s GDP. “The Bill is just for the Nigerian Institute of Agriculturists. This Bill intends to regulate the profession of agriculture and make sure that what is obtained in terms of the quality of agricultural people that come out of our universities conform to the standards in other parts of the world. “Secondly, that will enhance the profession of agriculture in terms of expertise. Thirdly, it will also help address the issue

Food security:

Reps, others seek improved funding for agric sector

Minister of Agriculture, Adesina

of imbalance in terms of enrolment of students because nobody wants to return to agriculture. Presently, it is not attractive owing to some of these bodies that are not in place. People prefer to go to other professions that have regulations. These are some of the challenges facing the sector,” Dan’Agundi said. Speaking in a similar tone of concern, Hon Nkoyo Toyo, described the challenge of food insecurity as a national issue thatmust be totally confronted, adding that the “question is not just about food, it is also about whether Nigerians are eating the right food as of right that add nutritional benefits to their bodies.” While noting that allocations to the sector in budgets fall short of the Maputo Declaration target and that the use of envelope system in allocating resources to MDAs has not helped matters, the lawmaker however explained that funding from other sources, including FDIs, had been helping in closing the funding gap in the sector. Hon. Toyo said: “As long as we run the envelope system which is an arrangement that says this is what you get for a ministry, it will be difficult to change that. We must begin as a country to move away from that

Speaker, Tambuwal

envelope system and work more. I think what we also need to bear in mind is that beyond the budget, the current Minister of Agriculture is doing quite a lot to attract other non-government investments into agriculture and that is huge. “I don’t know whether the investments would meet what the Maputo Declaration says. Although it is not there in the budget as 10 per cent of the budget but I think we can still say that notwithstanding there is quite a lot of resources coming from private sector, investments, CBN, and state governments at different sub national levels and so on. “So, when you look at the aggregate going to agriculture it is not as deplorable as the way we think it is in terms of looking it at the budget. But I will still agree that there is more we can do to improve funding in the sector”, she added. In his opening remarks at the forum which attracted participants from MDAs, civil society, media and other sectors, CISLAC boss, Mallam Auwal Ibrahim Musa, said the event was the final leg of the centre’s efforts to deepen discourse on food as right by engaging CSOs, CBOs, Legislators, media, farmers and judi-

ciary among other stakeholders towards the achievement of food security in the country. He stated that whereas in some climes, the right to food is being treated as a derivative of the right to life and others have passed legislation to protect it, in Nigeria, the justiceability of Chapter 2 of the Constitution remains a major debate even in the ongoing Constitutional Amendments and that efforts by CISLAC and civil society groups to legislate on food as a right have not yielded much results. Musa however restated the centre’s other CSOs’, including donor partners like Oxfam, resolve to sustain the agitation for the passage of the Bill into law in order to ensure food security or the right to freedom from hunger for ordinary Nigerians. It would be recalled that at a recent forum on food security involving all stakeholders on the African continent held in Abuja, the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) and small holder farmers’ associations, including those of the continental group, the Regional Peasant Farmers Association; the Association of Small Scale Agro Producers in Nigeria (ASSAPIN) and the Voices for Food Security, among others, had called on the Federal Government to raise yearly allocation to agric sector to 10 per cent in line with the Maputo Declaration. Some of the farmers interviewed at a pre-conference Workshop on Advocacy and Capacity Building organised by the NANTS in collaboration with ASSAPIN and VFS and supported by Oxfam, particularly rued the continued isolation of small holder farmers in the current Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) of the Federal Government. Speaking with Sunday Mirror on food security and how to use the ATA as the catalytic tool, the President of NANTS, Barrister Ken Ukaoha, specifically canvassed a holistic review of the agenda in such a way that would make its primary object the small holder farmers. Ukaoha urged the government to ensure that farmers, especially the small scale group, receive credit at affordable interest rates, farm inputs and tackle the menace of portfolio farmers who, without farmlands, have sabotaged the country’s agricultural schemes over the years. He explained: “As much as recent government plans for better access to fertiliser is laudable, NANTS proposes that more attention be focused on organic farming, which is eco-friendly and will not contribute to climate change. “Agric policies should take the huge number of women, who bear the brunt of poverty and who are involved in Agriculture as well as the youths into consideration, in order to come up with projects that would attend the specific needs of these groups. “Proper coordination of agricultural sector-related funding should be prioritised. Government should look at harmonising already existing agric programmes so as to learn from the failures of already existing initiatives, and to prevent multiplication of duties”, the NANTS’ boss added.


54

Business

Property Watch •For Lagos area as at Friday March 1, 2013 A. Building materials Cement: Dangote Cement per bag of 50 kg.......N1,800 Burham Cement per bag of 50kg.......N1,800 Elephant Cement…………………N1,800 Sandcrete blocks 6 inches sandcrete block ..........N130 9 inches sandcrete block ..........N150 Sand Sand per tipper load .......... N12,000 Sharp sand (double) ..........N22,000 Gravel (single) ...................N18,000 Gravel (double) ..................N23,000 Granite ...............................N120,000 Reinforcement 8mm(153) pieces per ton (N125,000 10mm (153) pieces per ton .......... N135,000 12mm ............................................N161,000 16mm ........................................N172,000 20mm (53) pieces ....................N122,000

Sunday March 3, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Subscribers hail N22m fine on telecom operators T

he President, National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS), Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, on Saturday hailed the N22 million fine imposed on telecommunications operators that violated the rule on promotions and lotteries. The fine was imposed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Thursday following the flouting of its directive banning promotional and lottery activities by the operators. Ogunbanjo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in

Lagos on telephone that the fine would compel the operators to stop congesting their networks with promotions and lotteries. The had NCC imposed the fine on MTN, Airtel, Globacom and Etisalat. MTN will pay N10 million out of the sum for putting out five promotions (N2 million for each promotion) while Etisalat will pay N6 million for three promotions. Airtel will pay N4 million for running two promotions and Globacom will pay N2 million for one promotion.

The commission had, in a letter dated November 8, 2012, directed all telecommunications operators to discontinue with immediate effect all promotions and lotteries running on their networks. The N22 million fine came few months after the NCC had fined the same operators to the tune of N1.4 billion for offering poor services. Ogunbanjo said that the commission had once again carried out its statutory duty as a regulator of the telecommunications industry. The NATCOMS president

Bintube rallies support for Jaiz Bank

Wood Timber (hard) 1x1x12 ..........N1,000 Timber (hard) 2x2x12 ..........N600 Timber (hard) 2x4x12 ..........N700

T

he Managing Director of Jaiz Bank PLC, Malam Mohammed Bintube, has called on Nigerians to take advantage

Soft wood 2x2x12 ..........N250 2x3x12 ..........N300

of an alternative financing option offered by the bank that is practised and accepted globally.

Plywood 3x3x6-----------------N3,500 2x4x8-----------------N2,400 Roofing Sheet Corrugated iron sheet per bundle ...N10,000 Asbestos 4x8 per piece ..................N1,600 Asbestos (solo) ............................N1,100 B. Landed property Focus area: Lagos Mainland 1. Four bedroom detached house with BQ at Omole Phase 11, Kosofe -----N40m Estimated price in 5 years------------N60m 2. 800 square metres at block 47 at Isheri North Estate, Lagos ---------- N6m Estimated price in 5 years----------N15m 3. 6 bedroom wing of duplex plus BQ at Adeniyi Jones off Opebi, Lagos------- N55m Estimated price in 5 years------------N100m 4. A land measuring 5.081 square metre at Ajasa, Ipaja, Lagos------------------------------N25m Estimated price in 5 years---------N50m 5. 2 nos bungalows on 800 square metres along Oba Akran, Lagos----------------N150m Estimated price in 5 years----------N250m 6. 1.12 acres of land with uncompleted building at Marwa Road, Satellite Town, Lagos---------------------------------------------------N1,5bn Estimated price in 5 years------------------N2bn 7. Uncompleted block of flats at Isheri -Osun, Lagos--------------------------------------------------N15m Estimated price in 5 years-------N20m 8. Four bedroom duplex at Gbagada------N18m Estimated price in 5 years-----------N30m 9. 8 nos of 3bedroom flats with BQ at Surulere, Lagos---------------------------------N80m Estimated price in 5 years----------N100m 10. A detached house at Oke Ira, Ogba, Lagos--------------------------------------------------N22m Estimated price in 5 years---------N35m •Compiled by Dayo Ayeyemi, E-mail: dayoayeyemi@yahoo.com

said that the imposition of fine would compel the operators to adhere to all NCC’s directives. “The fine is a regulatory one. It will make the telecommunication operators to sit right. “The fine will also make them to concentrate on service improvement rather than compound network congestion,” he said. Ogunbanjo urged the NCC to focus more on protecting subscribers’ interests and to insist on better services by the operators.

L-R: Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, delivering her acceptance speech after her investiture as the Silverbird Man of the Year 2012, while Governor Isa Yuguda and the representative of the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Umana O. Umana, watch at the event at Muson Centre, Lagos, on Thursday.

Insurance: ‘Time to enlighten on ‘No Premium, No Cover’ policy’

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resident, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Mrs Laide Osijo, on Saturday urged members of the association to educate their clients on the new insurance placement policy.

Osijo said in Lagos that educating the clients had become necessary to avoid sanctioning of any broker by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM). The new policy, tagged `No Premium, No Cover,’ kicked off on January 1, this year. The policy aims at ensuring that no insurance cover is granted until its full value is

paid for and remitted to the insurance companies. According to Osijo, `No Premium, No Cover’ has been a provision in Section 50 of the Insurance Act, 2003, but has been neglected by insurance operators over the years. “Now, the industry is on the part of another regulatory framework that is shaping its business relationship with clients, with strict enforcement by NAICOM. “The onus is on the insurance operators and brokers to embark on enlightenment of clients on the overall advantage

of the new rule,” she said. She said that the enforcement marked the cessation of placement of insurance on credit in favour of `cash and carry’ insurance. The NCRIB president said that the rule would move the industry forward and end misunderstanding between brokers and operators over unpaid premium and non-remission of brokerage commission. She added that it would give the policy holder peace of mind as he would be sure of getting claims when the insured loss occurred.

Th Jaiz bank plc, which began operations on Jan. 6, 2012, has a capital share of N11 billion. Its aim is to deliver non-interest banking to Nigerians. Bintube made the call while speaking to mark the bank’s special day at the ongoing 34th Kaduna International Trade fair.. He said that the bank was built on strong fundamental principles of high ethics, fairness, objective and transparency. ``Jaiz offers financing products and services like other conventional banks except of course, they are devoid of interest. ``Our services are available to all Nigerians, irrespective of race or religion and it is about building partnership for mutual interest,” he said. Bintube said the bank had branches in Abuja, Kano, Kaduna, Maiduguri and Gombe. He also said that 10 additional branches would be opened across the northern part of the country before the end of the first quarter of 2013.

Expert counsels CBN on cashless banking

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financial expert, Mr Samuel Nzekwe, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to address existing challenges before introducing the cashless policy to other states of the federation. Nzekwe, a former Presi-

dent of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos yesterday that a number of matters had to be addressed first. He said the infrastructure

in place for the policy had not improved, and that this was highly necessary. ``The CBN needs to carry out its research effectively to prevent a policy somersault,’’ Nzekwe said. NAN recalls that the CBN,

in a statement it issued on Feb. 26 in Abuja, had stated that the policy would commence on July 1 in five states and the FCT after the Lagos pilot scheme. The five states are Ogun, Kano, Anambra, Rivers and Abia.


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‘Exam malpractices, major bane of Nigeria’s education’

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he National Orientation Agency (NOA) has said that examination malpractices are the bane to the country’s educational advancement just as it warned that something fast and drastic must be done to start orientating Nigerians about what ought to be done about the country’s educational sector. Speaking at a one-day stakeholders interactive forum on ‘raising integrity standard in the conduct of examinations in the Nigerian educational system’ in Lagos, the State

Director of NOA, Mr, Waheed Ishola, said the issue of education should be on the front burner of our national discourse due to its pivotal role in nation building and national development. He decried the condition of the educational sector in the country, saying examination malpractices were a major problem “Indeed, it is a cankerworm that has eaten so deep into the fabric of our education sector. This misnomer has made most of our children in schools not to give serious attention to their studies; instead , they engage in various anti –social activities.

“Little wonder that many of our so-called graduates are not leaving up to expectation in their work places.” He said it was this disturbing trend in our education system that had spurred the NOA under the leadership of Mr Mike Omeri into action by embarking on the present campaign slogan, “Do the Right : Transform Nigeria-Raising Integrity Standard in Schools” He said the agency believed that if something was not done fast, in no distant future, the system might collapse, thus putting our polity in a serious mess”

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STF foils attempt to bomb Jos mosque

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he Special Task Force (STF) maintaining security in Plateau State has said there was an attempt by some miscreants to bomb a mosque in Jos on Friday night. This was contained in a statement signed by the STF Media Officer, Captain Salisu Mustapha, in Jos yesterday. It stated that the at-

tempted attack on the mosque took place at about 8.30 p.m. The mosque, the statement added, was located on the Bukuru expressway in Jos South LGA.According to the statement, the miscreants threw a hand grenade into the mosque but it failed to detonate and thereafter, they fired shots in the air and escaped.

It stated that the STF had cordoned off the area and is closely monitoring the place. The statement added that investigations had commenced with the aim of apprehending the perpetrators. It called on the people to report any suspicious objects, persons and activities in their areas to security agencies

Aliyu pacifies NANS over students’ killing

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overnor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State has dissuaded the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) from allowing the killing of two students of Nasarawa State University to degenerate into national problem. Aliyu gave the advice at the weekend in Minna when he met with the NANS’ Director of Exchange Programmes, Mr Olusina Oyebisi, who presented a document to him on the issue. According to him, if the issue is not resolved it may affect the entire education

sector of the country. Two students of the university were allegedly killed by soldiers, while protesting against water scarcity on the campus and its environs on Feb. 25. Aliyu, represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr Joshua, advised NANS to embrace dialogue in resolving the matter while assuring that he would delivered their message to the appropriate quarters. He commiserated with the staff members and students of the university over the sad incident and prayed Allah to grant the

departed eternal rest. Earlier, Oyebisi urged President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure that those behind the killing of their colleagues were prosecuted. He stressed the need for the Federal Government to compensate the families of the slain students and students who lost their property during the disturbance. He said NANS was appealing to the State Government to reopen the institution for normal academic activities within the next one week and settle the hospital bills of the injured students.

Peace now prevail in Gwako village, says FCTA

L-R: Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulure; Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi; former Minister of Health, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi; his wife, Juliana, and husband of Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Arch. Lanre Olayinka, during a reception for the governor by Igbimo Ure-Ekiti, in Lagos on Thursday.

Community seeks end to chieftaincy crisis

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group of concerned citizens in Etikan kingdom in Ilaje local government area of Ondo state have appealed to the state governor, Dr Olusegun Mimko to set up a panel of enquiry to look into the remote and immediate causes of the crisis rocking the Etikan Kingdom as a result of attempts allegedly being made by some group of people to impose a business man as the community’s monarch, contrary to the wishes of the people. Making the appeal in a save-our-soul message sent to the governor by four representatives of the group namely Mr Oluwatobi Mebawondu, Mr

Kayode Elumalero, Mr Tosin Oholo and Mr. Thompson Ayo Onikan, the group urged the governor to suspend any action relating to approval or installation of any of the contestants to the stool of Olikan of Etikan Kingdom pending the time peace would return to the community. According to the group, Etikan kingdom has known no peace since about two years ago when some individuals vowed to scuttle the election of Barrister Busayo Adeola Oroyo as the Olikan-elect of Etikan Kingdom despite the fact that Oroyo was the unanimous choice of the Kingmakers.

“Apart from being unanimously elected by the kingmakers, Barrister Oroyo was also the candidate picked by the Oracle. He is also the one that enjoy popular support among our people. But it is unfortunate that one of his opponents has refused to accept the popular choice of the community. He has been the threatening brimstone and fire, saying that the entire community will not know peace unless the kingmakers’ decision was reverted. We told him this is impossible, but he refused to heed our pleas, and since that time, peace has eluded our community’’, the group stated.

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eace has now been restored between the Gwaris and the Fulanis in Gwako 1 village, Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The Secretary, Area Council Service Secretariat of the FCTA, Alhaji Alhassan Gwagwa, made this known after a visit to the area in Gwako village on Friday. Gwagwa said he visited the community to assess

the success of peace and the reconciliation efforts carried out after the clash. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that two people were killed and many others displaced as a result of the clash between the Fulanis and Gwaris in Gwagwalada on Dec. 24, 2012. He said that the committee set up to monitor the village got a report that some people now move about with dane guns and cutlasses.

``I warned both parties to desist from going to farm or moving about with dangerous weapons, especially guns or cutlasses,” he said. Gwagwa said that the Gwari’s had complained that the Fulani’s were vacating the village in fear of being attacked even after the reconciliation. On the issue of compensation promised to the affected victims, the secretary said that he would forward their complaint of non-compensation to the committee in charge of it.

2,000 laptops for Nasarawa workers T he Nasarawa State Government is to purchase 2,000 computer laptops for distribution to its civil servants, Mr Andrew Affi, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, has said. Affi, however, said yesterday in Lafia that the laptops would not be given out free of charge. ``Any civil servant who is interested will be given one for N135,000 and will be ex-

pected to pay up the money within 18 months,’’ he said. The permanent secretary said that some forms had already been made available those who are interested. ``Civil servants from the state, as well as those from federal agencies and ministries, who are interested to obtain their forms should contact the necessary organs,’’ he said. Affi said the move to

purchase laptops was part of government’s commitment to encourage civil servants in the state. He also said that the laptops would enhance the operations of the civil service. ``The world is becoming a global village. We cannot afford to be left behind. You cannot do anything without the computer these days,’’ the permanent secretary said


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C’River solicits affordable credit schemes for workers

he Cross River Head of Service, Mrs. Mary-Theresa Ikwen, has urged the Cross River Co-operative Credit/Savings Association Limited to ensure that workers’ welfare schemes are cheap and affordable. Ikwen gave the charge when she received the Board of Directors of the association on Friday in Calabar. “You have to sensitise the workers on the products your association intends to make available to them. “Welfare schemes such as car loan, car refurbishing

Zonal News

Sunday March 3, 2013

loan, catfish programme, among others, currently exist in Cross River,’’ she advised the directors. Ikwen also advised the board members to liaise with the State Welfare Department on existing schemes to avoid a duplication of products. She said the state government was conscious of the need to improve the well-being of its workers. The Chairman, Board of Directors of the association, Pastor Peniel Bassey, said co-operative societies were the vehicles

for economic growth and development globally. He said the new association was an idea brought up by the presidents of the various co-operative bodies in the state, which was to form a Credit/Savings Apex Co-operative. “The aim is to curb most of the financial problems of thrift and credit societies,’’ Bassey said. He said the association intended to establish a micro-finance co-operative bank which would meet the credit needs of the affiliated societies.

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SOUTH EAST ‘Imo’ll withdraw scholarship of indecently dressed students’

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overnor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State over the weekend said he would withdraw the scholarship from any student of Imo origin in tertiary institutions reported by the school authority to be indecently dressed. The governor gave the warning in Owerri while addressing members of the newly appointed Government Liaison Officers. He said that he had already requested school authorities in different government-owned higher institutions to submit names of Imo students found to have dressed provocatively to lectures to his office. “I have mandated the school authorities to bring the name of any female student found to have exposed the sensitive parts of her body for immediate

cancellation of her name as a beneficiary of the scholarship award. “The same goes to the young boys found exposing part of their inner wear in the name of sagging. “The school is for academic work and those that found themselves there must know how to dress properly,” he said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Okorocha, in the beginning of the year, started the implementation of a scholarship award promised to students of Imo origin in tertiary institutions. By the scholarship, students of the state-owned university (IMSU) are to receive N100, 000 each academic session while those of the polytechnic and colleges of education are to get N65,000 for their aca-

demic pursuit. Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Prof. Hilary Edeoga, has expressed concern over the difficulties in accessing the university’s land, saying it has hampered rapid expansion of the institution. Edeoga said this at the weekend in an interview with newsmen at the end of an inter-denominational thanksgiving service organised in the university to mark the second anniversary of his administration. Commenting on the challenges facing his administration since his assumption of office on March 11, 2011, Edeoga said that the host communities made it difficult for the University to access its land for expansion.

APGA crisis deepens, as Umeh petitions Jega, CJN L-R: Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole; Chief of Staff to the President, Mike Oghiadomhe and representative of Aliko Dangote, General Manager, Corporate Communications, Dangote Group, Mr Sunday Esan, at a grand reception in honour of Oshiomhole and conferment of award of excellence on Alhaji Aliko Dangote by Etsako Club 81 in Lagos.

NSF: ‘We’ll surpass Lagos in 2014 edition’

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ross River aims to surpass the achievements of the 2011 and 2012 hosts in organising the 2014 National Sports Festival (NSF), an official said at the weekend in Calabar. Vice-Chairman of the the 2014 NSF’s Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the state’s Commissioner for Sports, Patrick Ugbe, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). He said the LOC was working hard to ensure that all facilities were put in place well ahead of time to set a standard, adding that all sub-committees had been inaugurated. ``We want to set a standard, because if we are not going to surpass the achievements of Rivers and Lagos state, we would not have accepted

to host,’’ Ugbe said. NAN reports that Calabar in Cross River has been slated to host the 2014 festival, while Port Harcourt in Rivers hosted the 2011 edition and Lagos hosted the 2012 festival. The LOC vice-chairman said the state’s Comprehensive Sports Development Programme would come to bear on the hosting of the event. ``We will use the festival to show Nigerians what we have been able to achieve in our comprehensive sports development programme,’’ Ugbe said. He also said the state’s athletes would be nurtured to perform well during the event. The sports commissioner said Cross River was fast becoming the

biggest sports attraction in Nigeria with its serene environment for sportsmen and women. ``With our clean and green atmosphere, the festival is going to be another sports carnival,’’ he said. Ugbe also said the state was ready to host the victorious Super Eagles for winning the recent AFCON tournament in South Africa. ``Calabar is their home and they will present the trophy to the state governor as a mark of appreciation,’’ he said. The commissioner however urged the team not to relent in efforts to perform well at the FIFA Confederations Cup in June and also qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

CONTINUED FROM 7 Aloma Mukhtar, over the judgment delivered on February 8 by the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Innocent Umezulike, and the judge’s refusal to hear Umeh’s motion asking for a stay of execution of the said judgement. Umeh in the letter signed by himself and the National Secretary of the party, Alhaji Sani Shinkafi, which was dated February 21, 2013 and addressed to Jega, was made available to newsmen at the weekend in Abuja. In it, he accused Obi of leading the assault to destabilise the leadership of the party and hijack the machinery of the APGA. “We write this letter to the Hon. Chairman pursuant to the powers conferred on the Independent National Electoral Commission by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Electoral Act, both as amended in 2010, to register and monitor the activities of political parties in Nigeria. “It is with sadness that we once more bring to your attention the desperate use of money and corruption to remove the

lawful national leadership of our party. Leading this assault is the Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, elected on our platform. In our bid to resist his attempt to hijack the machinery of our party, he has resorted to various acts of destabilisation of the party,” the letter stated. But apparently unruffled by the Umeh petition, the Obi faction of the APGA which converged on Awka yesterday, featured speeches made by Governor Obi and other key APGA leaders, wherein they eulogised the late Ojukwu for his sterling qualities, which assisted the Igbo a lot and contributed to national development. Addressing the huge crowd of party supporters drawn from both the 21 local government areas of Anambra and outside the state, Obi said APGA would not fuse with any party and that they were following the ideals of Ojukwu, to the effect that APGA would remain an independent and robust party. Obi, who assured that APGA was ready for the coming electoral battles, stated that the re-organ-

isation of the party would start with ward and local government congresses, after which the national convention would be conducted to elect new national officers. The governor also donated two operational buses to each of the state chapters of APGA in Enugu, Ebonyi and Abia states respectively. Similarly, Chairman of Board of Trustees of the party, Dr Tim Menakaya, said APGA would not join in any alliance with any party for now because they didn’t need it. His words: “We will never join APC; we will match like soldiers of Christ; we had a meeting in Abuja on Tuesday and 18 members of the National Working Committee who attended have shown readiness to work with us.” Professor Akunyili, in her speech, called on the party members to support the interim party management. She also announced that they had selected Governor Obi as the new deputy national leader of the APGA, while the late Ikemba retains the national leader position, posthumously.


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Admission constraints: Adamawa Assembly FG to establish mega moves to check varsities domestic violence

he Federal Government is planning to establish mega universities to address admission constraints among Nigerians, President Goodluck Jonathan said yesterday in Zaria, Kaduna State. The President said this at a special convocation and launching of N50 billion Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Phase II Development Fund at the university’s main campus, Samaru, Zaria. Jonathan was represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo. He said that when established, each of the mega universities would absorb more than 200,000 students.

Jonathan, however, did not mention how many mega universities the government will establish or when and where they will be sited. The president expressed concern at the growing number of Nigerian university admission seekers yearly in the last three years which, he said, was about 1.5 million. He noted that the absorption capacity of the universities was about a quarter of that number. He commended the ABU for its contributions to education and national development, saying that the university had not disappointed its founding fathers. Jonathan said that university education de-

velopment was capital intensive and required the contributions of parents, well- meaning Nigerians and all other stakeholders. The Chairman of the project and former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), attributed the nation’s security and development challenges to declining fortune in education. “The security, peace and progress we aspire for ourselves and our families are not attainable, if the majority of the citizenry remains trapped in ignorance and poverty. “Ignorance and poverty are two sides of the same coin, in the same way that knowledge and progress are to another coin,’’ he said.

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he Adamawa House of Assembly at the weekend began public hearing on a bill for a law against domestic violence in the state. The hearing is being conducted by the House Committee on Women Affairs in Yola. The bill, sponsored by Mrs Wilbina Jackson, is seeking to provide maximum protection to victims of domestic violence, particularly women and chil-

dren, if passed into law. It is also expected to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women in line with the United Nations’ convention. Declaring the forum open, the committee’s Chairman, Mrs Wale Fwa, urged for quality participation from all stakeholders to produce an effective law. Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hajiya

NORTH EAST

Halima Mohammed, charged the legislature to collate inputs from all stakeholders, particularly from religious and cultural groups. The stakeholders that presented memoranda at the forum include the Muslim Council of NiIgeria, CAN and NCWS. They were unanimous in condemning domestic violence and expressed support for measures to contain such acts.

Senator Gaya donates equipment to NUJ AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO

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enator Kabiru Gaya, representing Kano South Senatorial District has said his donation of N5 million worth of items to the Kano chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has nothing to do with his political ambition but rather, his contribution towards the uplift of the professional standard of journalism practice in the state. Gaya, a former governor of Kano State, also said his gesture to the union was part of his appreciation to the goodwill he garnered from Kano journalists during his

tenure as governor of the state, during which he was honoured with an enviable award by media men in Kano. He noted that media practitioners desire support to enable them effectively function as the fourth Estate of the Realm, hence his huge investment in the upliftment of the profession, particularly in Kano his home state. Senator Gaya recently presented 20 computers, including internet facilities and 20 units of airconditioners to the NUJ Press Centre as well as a cafeteria and conveniences for the use of members.

The gesture, he explained, was to enable working journalists in the state to converge on the NUJ press Centre for the filing and dissemination of their stories, and avoid leakage, which is associated with public owned internet café. Gaya, who presented the facilities to Chairman of the NUJ, Haruna Abduljalal, in Kano, said apart from that, it would also prevent the leakage of information was in appreciation of the goodwill of members of the NUJ, whom he recalled honoured Gaya with an award, when he was the State governor.

L-R: : Secretary to Gombe State Government, Alhaji Sule Bage; Chairman, Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Rev. Tulfukut Kardi and State Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Abare Kalla, at a farewell ceremony for the 2012 Christian pilgrims in Gombe, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

‘Taraba uses sport to engage youths meaningfully’

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he Taraba State Director of Sports, Mr Dauda Mamman, yesterday said that the state was using sports to engage youths in meaningful pursuits. Mamman described sport as a vital ingredient in youth development in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. He said that the state had taken advantage of every opportunity to en-

gage youths in one form of competition or the other to turn them into respectable individuals. ``We all know the other benefits of engaging youths in sports, like developing their minds and making them healthy apart from preparing them for competitions. ``And for that reason we have set up a state football academy headed by a former Nigerian international

footballer, Tijani Babangida. ``Because we want the best sports personality to impact in the lives of those in the academy,” he said. Mamman told NAN that `` we have also taken sports into schools, especially football since it is most familiar to youths. ``Not forgetting the fact that we collaborate with both religious and corporate bodies who show interest in engaging youths in sports.”

Rector lauds Jigawa Govt over projects R

President Goodluck Jonathan (right), received by the Mayor of Yamoussoukro, Mr. Koukou Gnanragbe, during the President’s state visit in Yamoussaoukro on Friday. PHOTO: NAN

ector, Jigawa State Polytechnic, Dutse, Prof. Garba Goje, has commended the state government over the construction of additional classrooms and other structures in the polytechnic. Goje made the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Dutse. He said the projects in-

cluded Lecture Theatre, male and female hostels, upgrading of e-library, construction of drains and water supply. Goje said the project was executed to facilitate smooth take-off of three new courses introduced in the polytechnic. “The courses are catering, home economics as well as food and nutrition. “The e-library equipped

with 50 computers was designed to enhance research and academic performances,” he said. According to him, the polytechnic had also concluded plans to introduce new programmes on electrical engineering, building and construction, quantity surveying, welding and fabrication as well as architectural engineering.


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Don King to promote Afolabi / P. 62 Huck fight

Amike calls for grassroots P. 62 sports development KEEPING YOU ABREAST OF SPORTING NEWS

Sport March 3, 2013

Kagawa’s hat-trick sinks Norwich

Shinji Kagawa on the prowl for the Red Devils.

ANDREW EKEJIUBA WITH AGENCY REPORT

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hinji Kagawa’s first hat-trick for Manchester United inspired them to a 4-0 win over Norwich yesterday as they stretched their lead at the top of the Premier League to 15 points. Wayne Rooney added a sweetly-struck volley late on to complete the rout, which sees Sir Alex Ferguson’s men widen their advantage over neighbours Manchester City, who are not in action until tomorrow. Kagawa’s opener came when he tucked home Robin van Persie’s flick on in the box on the stroke of half-time, then Rooney played creator for his two tidy finishes after the break before adding one of his own in stoppage time - all in the space of 14 minutes. It was an ideal way for United to warm up for their UEFA Champions League duel with

Real Madrid in midweek and Ferguson rested Ryan Giggs for that clash as the Welshman was made to wait for his 1,000th senior career appearance, while Rafael and Rio Ferdinand were other notable absentees. United’s performance was low-key up to first-half stoppage time, with a brave Mark Bunn dive at Robin van Persie’s feet and a low Michael Carrick effort that barely troubled the Norwich keeper the home side’s only threat. With Norwich’s defence marshalled superbly by Bradley Johnson and Robert Snodgrass flying into challengers to expose any trepidation in United ranks, the visitors could feel well pleased with their efforts, but their good work was undone in those additional couple of minutes. Antonio Valencia stepped neatly inside Anthony Pilkington on the edge of the area before floating over a rare left-

Podolski excited by ‘special’ derby P. 63

footed cross. It was not exactly perfect for Van Persie, but when he stretched to control, the ball bounced down for Kagawa, whose shot caught Bunn by surprise as it crept in at the near post for the opener. Barely any pressure had been applied to the visitors’ box when Rooney sped into the area 14 minutes from time off an impeccable Michael Carrick ball and supplied the pass from which Kagawa doubled his tally for the season. Kagawa was not finished though and another Rooney assist created a further opening for the Japan star, who again finished clinically to complete his hat-trick. Rooney has a few of those of course. On this occasion, his goalscoring intervention was more brutal as he lashed a ferocious effort past Bunn in the final minute to bring the final scores to 4-0 in United’s favour.

Zabaleta defends Mancini P. 63

Milo Sec. Sch. Basketball Ch/ship dunks off March 4 ANDREW EKEJIUBA

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he 15th edition of the Milo Secondary Schools Basketball Championship will dunk off tomorrow with the state preliminaries ending on March 18. The Category Business Manager, Milo, Mrs. Adedoja Ekeruche revealed this in a well attended press conference in Lagos to herald this year’s event. She said the state preliminaries will be followed by hostilities at the four conferences, namely, Atlantic conference in Enugu, Western conference in Akure, Confluence conference in Lokoja and Central conference in Ibadan from April 15 to May 15. According to her, it is from the conferences that finalists would be drawn to participate at the national finals in Lagos later in the year. “Every participating team will be given N160, 000 each and the teams which qualify for the national finals will be given N200, 000 each. “Winners of the four conferences will go home with N30, 000 for first place, while the second and third place teams will receive N25, 000 and N20, 000 respectively,” she said. Ekeruche further assured that Milo will continue to expose and harness basketball talents in the country with the competition. She also assured that the winning team of this year’s competition will be exposed to international competition, just as last year’s champions went to South Africa for an international Basketball competition (Youth Fit Africa U-17) tournament which they won. In a separate interview, the Managing Director & Chief Executive, Nestle Nigeria PLC, Mr. Martin Woolnough, charged this year’s participants to demonstrate all the qualities of champions, both at state and at the conference levels. He also said that the theme for this year’s championship is “Champions, it is time to dunk”. Woolnough, however thanked, the Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF), National Collegiate Sports Federation (NCSF), Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) and the National Sports Commission for assisting in the organization of the competition, which has been successful since its inception.

Pains of a boxing legend! P. 60, 61


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The story of my life as a boxer •Opens up on the sudden downturn in his career Jeremiah Okorodudu, remember him? He was an ex- Olympian who won laurels for the country in boxing. He is having a running battle with the National Sports Commission (NSC) over its failure to reinstate him as national boxing coach after serving his father land meritoriously. In this interview with IFEANYI EDUZOR he goes memory lane on his problem with NSC, his involvement in boxing and his pains. Excerpts:

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ho influenced your decision to take to the pugilist game? Well, I fell in love with boxing in Benin at a very young age and was inspired by the achievements of legendary Mohammed Ali whom I wanted to take after in the pugilist game. Although, before this time I did not have the opportunity of watching any of his fights but I was fascinated by his achievements in boxing which I read from boxing magazines. All these influenced my decision of taking to boxing as a profession. How did your parents and relations react to your choice of sport? My mother was very supportive and she encouraged me to take to the game, but my Daddy did all he could to discourage me. I remember my father and a few of my relations told me that boxing contributes to the death of many people and they even gave me examples with Dick Tiger, Gene Fullmer and others who they revealed that blows they received in the ring contributed to their death. But I stood my ground, telling them that I wanted to be popular through boxing like Mohammed Ali. Really my father wanted me to go to school and train as a lawyer, arguing that as a lawyer, I would be well known in the country. At a stage I told them that if they don’t want me to be a boxer, I would rather become a musician, because I love singing and my father was furious at this, saying that I wanted an opportunity to be smoking Indian hemp. But I thank God that he later saw reasons with me and supported my decision to be a boxer. At a stage you went into music, how were you able to combine music with boxing? I did not find it difficult combining the two because both sportsmen and musicians entertain people. Aside the fact that I was a boxer, I was also talented at music and that was why I released popular songs which hit the airwaves. All these made me more popular with my fans, so like I noted earlier, I did not find it difficult combining the two because the two never clashed with each other. They never clashed because boxing, music and acting are all inter-related with entertainment. So you cannot practice one in isolation of the others. Can you tell us some of your achievements both in amateur and profession-

al boxing? It will interest you to know that I never lost a fight as an amateur boxer because I was the national Light middleweight champion for many years in the amateur category without losing a fight. I represented Nigeria at the Commonwealth Games in 1982 in Brisbane, Australia where I fought in the middleweight category and won two bronze medals. I also won two gold medals in the African Championship in 1982. In the world championship, I lost in the quarter finals, but won silver in Pre-Olympic championship. Then at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, I lost in the quarter finals and when I turned professional, I was also a national champion and fought many memorable fights. However, I had a shot at the world title which unfortunately I lost. Casting your mind back to your boxing days, which of your professional fights would you describe as the toughest and why? The fight I will describe as my toughest fight was the one against Mike Killock of England who once drew with Sugar Ray Leonard. I fought him in California and since I turned professional, that has been my toughest fight. I will always remember it for a very long time because in that fight there was a lot of tension with fans throwing coins inside the ring as a way of showing support for the boxers. It was a good fight and it ended in a draw. During your boxing days, fans associated you with jerry curls hair style, what made you take to it as a trade mark? I chose jerry curls to cut a nitch for myself. You will remember that my name is Jeremiah which is synonymous with jerry curl. Journalists’ then call me “The Jerry Curl Jerry” and that hair style made me very popular amongst boxing fans. If you will remember when I just came back from the United States, I was very different from other boxers. So, the hair style was a way of showing off and to make the game more entertaining. I really achieved that. The hair-do I wore then helped a lot in making me very popular among Nigerians and up till now people still remind me of it. In one of your professional fights with Joe Lasisi, you accused him of using some magical powers in the ring;

Jerry Okorodudu with daughter, Doreen.

can you tell us what really happened in that fight? It is true that Joe Laisisi used magical powers against me in that fight, although nobody believed me at that time. The only person who knew what happened was me. I was fighting Joe Lasisi, but I was not seeing him. I saw six to seven Joe Lasisis’ in the ring and I did not know who among them the real Lasisi was. So fighting him became very difficult and at a stage I broke my right wrist and I told my coach to throw in the towel in the eighth round because I couldn’t continue. Then, the next day, I saw people pouring their emotions on the pages of newspapers, but they still did not believe my story. However, many years later, Hunter Clay of blessed memory, one of the boxers in my stable, came to me in front of my manager of Haridot Promotions and confessed to me that he took Lasisi to a magician before that fight because of my popularity, so as to rubbish me. He further revealed that the talisman was not meant to kill me. He asked me for forgiveness and I told him that if God can forgive us our sins who am I not to forgive him. I am happy that notwithstanding all that they did, they were not able to pull me down because I believed in God and only trust in Him. Anything God has given me

nobody can take it away because I am what God wants me to be. You stayed in the United States for quite some time as a professional boxer and you suddenly came back to Nigeria to continue boxing, what made you come back to Nigeria? I came back when my contract with my boxing club in the United States expired. Immediately my contract finished, I told my wife that I wanted to come back because I have a job with the National Sports Commission. Secondly, I was also not happy with my continued stay at the club. Before I travelled out of the country, I was on leave of absence and so I decided to come back and serve my father land better. And when I came back, I won the African title and got a shot at the world title which I lost. You were on leave of absence before you traveled to the United States, why where you not reinstated after you came back? When I came back, I was re-absorbed into the NSC. I was in Kaduna attached to the zonal boxing team. In 1995, the then Sole Administrator of NSC, Shola Rhodes re-instated me back to my job because he was not the one that employed me. Later,


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–Jerry Okorodudu I WAS FIGHTING JOE LASISI, BUT I WAS NOT SEEING HIM. I SAW SIX TO SEVEN JOE LASISIS’ IN THE RING AND I DID NOT KNOW WHO AMONG THEM THE REAL LASISI WAS. be resolved, but up till now nothing has happened. I have written series of letters to the NSC without success. Even the Lagos Liaison Officer, Tayo Oreweme, has also been of tremendous help to me and advised me not to take the commission to court and if I was tired of writing letters of reminder to the Commission, she will help me do that. She was helping me do that, but when I later I became fed up with the whole arrangement I went to court. We were in court for three years before the Federal High Court, Lagos, gave judgment in my favour ordering the commission to reinstate me but they went on Appeal. It will interest you to know that while we were in court, the commission gave me another letter of reinstatement, a certified true copy signed by the former Director General of NSC, Dr. Amos Adamu, thereby contradicting themselves that I am not a staff of the commission. Based on this, my lawyer with Adokie Amiesimaka who has been very helpful to me presented the letter in court and Justice Mohammed got annoyed with the commission because they cannot prove that I am not a staff of the commission. We are going back to the court of Appeal come March 5. This is the fourth time we will be going to court without the commission showing up, which is an indication that they want to frustrate me, but I strongly believe that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man and I will get a favorable judgment at the end of the day. the secretary, Yusuf Dangwai, wrote a letter to the NSC advising them to re-instate me because my association could no longer pay my salary which they did. But suddenly things turned sour when Jim Nwobodo came in as Minister of Sports and cancelled everything Shola Rhodes did, including appointments made by the former chairman of the Commission. I then went to him, and told him that Shola Rhodes did not employ me and that my letter was signed by Dr. Patrick Ekeji. This was the most annoying part of the whole scenario because if we sportsmen cannot help ourselves, who is going to help us? Ekeji signed my letter of reinstatement, but when the NSC was not coming up with my salary, Nigeria Amateur Boxing Association (NABA) under the chairmanship of David Johnson, gave me temporary employment with the boxing federation pending when the commission will resolve my case. I went with them to the All Africa Games (COJA) in 2003 where I handled the national team and we won 4 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals. After, NABA said they could no longer pay me and referred me back to the NSC. When I went to the Commission, Ekeji promised me that when I returned from Cuba, he will ensure that my problem will

Is it true that the NSC is not eager to reinstate you because they have advised you to forfeit all the salary arrears before your case could be considered? Nobody has approached me on that. Even when Adokie Amiesimaka spoke with the Legal Adviser to the commission, Barrister Chinwendu, she said that I am too old to be a coach. He then asked her how old is Jerry Okorodudu and she said she does not know. But I know that there are some people above 60 years that are still members of staff of the commission. I am not 52 or 53, I am just 51 years this year, so, how can one say that I am too old to be reabsorbed. How have you been coping with the upkeep of your family since this case has been lingering on? My wife has been very helpful. She works with the military. She is trying her best to see that the family does not lack anything. I am also running a boxing academy and at times talk to friends who support me financially. At times my family, elder brother and friends have been very helpful. I thank God for using them to bless me. Do you think you and other ex-internationals have been fairly treated after serving Nigeria for many years with

your God- given talent and now you are dumped? To be sincere with you, I have not been treated fairly because it beats my imagination that after representing this country and winning laurels for her they will still be playing politics with my reinstatement. Having said this, I may not be justified to say that Nigerian Government has not been doing enough for her former sportsmen and women. It is the people who are managing sports that should be blamed for this anomaly. If you look at our sports administration you will see former cyclists, footballers, handballers, volleyballers and others serving as Directors in the ministry. So, if sports men cannot take care of those in their constituency, I don’t think the government should be blamed. How would you like government to compensate you and your colleagues? In every organisation we have what is called retirement benefit. Any athlete that is retired should be empowered and given enough money to be self employed. He should be given a life line to enable him continue life and not turn to a beggar after representing his country. Looking at Nigerian boxing today, what do you think is the major problem militating against its development, bearing in mind the poor outings we have recorded in the sport recently? The greatest problem facing Nigerian boxing is from the referees and coaches. I say this because many of our coaches are afraid to say the truth in order not to lose their jobs. Why must a coach be afraid to speak the truth? If a particular boxer is not good, tell them the boxer is not good and you cannot use him. Also this idea of restriction in the National Sports Festival is part of what is killing boxing, but I thank God that the Sports Minister, Malam Bolaji Abdulahi, has thrown the festival open. When you open the festival, you will see good boxers. If you watch the last sports festival in Lagos, you will notice that we witnessed primary school boxing. We call that in Benin in those days “new comers boxing championship” because they are beginners and these are the boxers you want to prepare and take to represent the country at international competitions? It is unfortunate when you say that boxers that have been to Commonwealth Games and World Championships should no longer represent their states at sports festivals. We need these boxers in order to make the festival more competitive and get the best boxers that will represent the country at international competitions. When you also look at the last sports festival, you will discover that boxing gloves used are not certified AIBA gloves and if the international body could get wind of it they can suspend Nigeria Boxing Fed-

eration (NBF) because the gloves were not Olympic approved gloves. Even the head guard they used was for professional boxing training. We don’t use that kind of head guard in boxing. Comparing your time as a boxer and now, would you say the game is progressing or retrogressing? There is no basis for comparism between our time and what is happening now. During our time Afuze Games Village in the then Bendel State was fully functional, Lagos State had its own at Surulere, likewise other states and competitions were organized on regular basis. That was why Nigeria was producing world class sportsmen and women. Today, instead of moving forward, we are moving backward. I keep saying that the people who are managing our sports are killing the major ingredient that unites Nigerians. When you speak the truth in this country you go to prison and that is the problem am facing now. They have not paid my salary for many years because they know that I always stand by the truth. You cannot come to my office and tell me that we are going to short-change boxers’ allowances and I will agree with them. What do you think is the way forward for Nigerian boxing? The way forward is to allow those who know their onus to handle boxing and employ coaches in all the zones. At least each zone should have about four or five coaches and provide them with the logistics to work. There is nothing bad in having five coaches in Lagos, Benin, Kaduna, Ibadan, Enugu, Port Harcourt and other zones whose duty will be to discover talent at the grassroots and nurture them to become future champions. There should also be zonal competitions where athletes could be discovered. We use to have mini festivals or age grade competitions and the senior category, what happened to these competitions? I fought in intermediate before graduating to the senior level and nothing prevents us from going back to that. You recently appeared on the popular TV show known as ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’, were you satisfied with your performance? The answer to your question is yes and I am really impressed with what the organizers of the programme are doing, because they have used it to touch the lives of many less-privileged members of the society. Having said this, I want to tell you that I am satisfied with my performance, although many people have asked me why I did not walk away when I got to the N1million mark, the truth of the matter was that Emeka Igwe, the Executive producer of Fuji House of Commotion who they paired me with told me he was sure of the answer, and I had no cause not to believe him. Remember he was the one that gave me clue to the answers that got me to N1 million, so, am happy with my performance and the opportunity given to me by the organizers to be part of the programme.


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Akinderu Fatai tourney gets date

Knockout IFEANYI Eduzor with

08055829770 ifeduz24@yahoo.com

Ajose wants re-match with Matthysse F ormer mandatory challenger for the WBC light welterweight title, Segun Ajose (31-1-14Kos) says he is eyeing a re-match with WBC interim junior welterweight champion, Lucas Matthysee (32-2,30Kos.) to prove to the world that he is still a good fighter. The Argentine defeated Ajose at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas last September, by a technical knockout in the 10th round of their scheduled 12-round encounter to win the title. Speaking from his base in the United States, Ajose noted that he has overcome that defeat and is now eagerly

awaiting for a re-match to enable him revenge the loss. “I am eagerly looking for a re-match with Matthysee to enable me prove to all my fans that I am still the hard puncher they know. “My target is also to fight WBC/WBA Super welterweight champion, Danny Garcia, Zab Judah or Adrien Broner to prove a point against any of them”, the Commonwealth champion said. Ajose, who said that his camp will announce his next opponent early next week, noted that his last defeat was a temporary setback which will not affect his chances of winning a world title.

Don King to promote Afolabi /Huck fight According to WBO Presiegendary boxing prodent, Francisco Valcarcel who moter, Don King has L conducted the purse bid in Miwon the right to promote the third fight between WBO Cruiserweight champion, Marco Huck (34-2-1,25Kos) and interim cruiserweight belt holder Ola Afolabi (19-2-4,9Kos). The two powerful cruiserweight boxers have met two times in the past, with Huck recording a victory over the Nigerian in their first meeting with a close unanimous decision while their second fight on May 5, 2012, ended in a draw.

ami, Don King won the right to promote the fight with a purse bid of $1.5 million as against Sauerland and K2 Promotions which offered $914,000 and $375,000 respectively. Speaking shortly after he was announced as the winner of the bid, Don King who shocked the other two promoters with his appearance at the purse bid announced that he is considering staging the fight on May 25 in Germany.

IFEANYI EDUZOR

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rrangement has been concluded for the kick off of the maiden edition of Hon Moruf Akinderu Fatai inter -primary school football competition slated to kick off on March 4. According to a statement by the organizers of One of the quarter-finalists for this year’s NNPC/ Shell Cup, Government College, Ibadan, Oyo State in a group the competition and made photograph. available to our correspondent, the round robin championship will attract 32 schools seeded in 8 groups. The statement noted that the tournament will kick off with a match between enry Amike, the be saddled with the respon- the Ministry of Educa- New Estate Primary School President, Nigeria sibility of discovering tal- tion to make their pupils and Ipaja Balogun Primary Olympians Associa- ents at the grassroots but to understand the benefit of School at the Methodist Prisports and the prestige it mary School, Ewutuntun / tion (NOA), has called on groom senior athletes. “It is very obvious that can bring to them as ath- Ogundale Central School the Ministry of Education to make sports in schools NSC cannot do all these letes,” Amike said. besides Bolade Grammar Amike, who placed School, Oshodi, while the seca compulsory vocation to things, talents are supengender grassroots de- pose to be from the grass- eighth in the 400m hurdles ond day of the tournament roots, NSC is suppose to event at the 1984 Los Ange- will see Hope Primary School velopment of sports. Amike told the News be the end result, but in les Olympic Games, called trading tackles with Monsufor the building of training ru Agoro Primary School. Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Nigeria it’s the reverse. “School sports must be centres and regular refreshin Lagos that the dearth of The tournament which is school sports in primary and encouraged, the school er courses for coaches. aimed at developing football He advocated that more at the grassroots is being secondary schools had made sports must be very formiit difficult for the sports at dable and so I appeal that training centres should sponsored by Hon Moruf we should start talking be provided at affordable Akinderu Fatai, member the grassroots level. The former national about the junior team and prices as well as gymnasi- representing Oshodi/ Isolo um with qualified coaches 1 Federal constituency at quarter-miller added that their development. “Am appealing to head to help develop sports at the Federal House of Reprethe National Sports Commission (NSC) should not mistresses, principals and the grassroots. sentatives.

Amike calls for grassroots sports development

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Lagos agog for GTBank Polo Tourney SAYO OGUNDEJI

T Ola Afolabi(left) lands a blow on Russian Valery Brudov during their fight for the WBO interim cruiserweight title which Afolabi won by TKO in round 5.

Hopkins targets unification fight for any weight division to BC light heavyweight have more than one chamchampion, Bernard W pion which he believes is not Hopkins says he would be happy to take on his WBO counterpart, Nathan Cleverly in a unification fight at the end of the year. Hopkins became the oldest boxer to ever win a world title, when at age 46, he defeated Jean Pascal on May 21, 2011 by a unanimous decision, surpassing the record previously held by George Foreman. He is also the former undisputed world middleweight champion, and the first fighter to retain all 4 world titles of each major boxing sanctioning body. He noted that it is wrong

good for the game. “To me, I think every division should have one king,” Hopkins said. “If you’re a champion and you have a title in the lightheavyweight division, why wouldn’t you want to be the undisputed champion? “I don’t want to walk around and three other people wear the title of a light-heavyweight champion. To me it’s an embarrassment. I’m glad that cleverly is thinking on the same lines as I’m thinking and that’s the way it should be,” he concluded.

he Lagos Polo Club is agog with several activities including the final matches of some of the most prestigious and eminent Polo cups in Nigeria. The events which began on February 27, is expected to end on March 10, 2013 at the Lagos Polo Club, Ikoyi. The tournament, being co-sponsored by Guaranty Trust Bank plc, is set to showcase the best of the Polo game to the world. This year’s event will feature Low Goal (The ‘Veterans’ Cup), Medium Goal (The Lagos Open Cup) and High Goal (The Majekodunmi Cup) Polo tournaments with participation by both Nigerians and foreigners alike. The age long rivalry between the teams from the ancient cities of Ibadan

and Kano will continue at this tournament as Ibadan-based Mapo and Eleyele lock horns with Dala and Ibah from Kano respectively. The Lagos team, Travia Trojan, will also have a chance to contend for a trophy with Eurovite/ Sublime Group from Kano in a match that promises to be enthralling for all Polo buffs. The Lagos International Polo Tournament will also have a variety of offthe-pitch activities including the Welcome Evening, Happy Hour, President’s Cocktail, Gala Dinner, Sponsors’ Night and Presentation of trophies. These side events will provide a relaxed atmosphere for the players, members of the Lagos Polo Club and invited guests to interact whilst being entertained by both local and international acts.

From L-R: Mr. Tade Oyinlola, Tournament Manager; Mrs. Oyinade Adegite, Manager Communication & External Affairs, GTBank and Hon. Habeeb Fasinro during the press conference to herald the Polo event in Lagos.

International Academy retains Lisaba Soccer title ANDREW EKEJIUBA

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he International Academy, Wasimi, at the M.K.O. Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta, successfully defended their Lisabi Soccer crown among secondary schools in Egbaland, which spread across six Local Government Areas of Ogun State.

Playing in the final of this year’s competition, the International Academy pipped their Football College Orile-Imo counterparts by alone goal. Speaking after the match, the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Gbadebo said he will continue to encourage the development of youths through sports.


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Podolski excited by ‘special’ derby

Podolski

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rsenal forward Lukas Podolski has described the north London derby against Tottenham, today as ‘something special’. The 27-year-old has been in impressive form since his move to Arsenal from Cologne and netted during the 5-2 win against their rivals in November. Podolski rates rivals Tottenham very highly, and Andre Villas-Boas’ men go into the game four points ahead of Arsenal. “They are a very good team,

very strong and they are third in the Premier League,” Podolski said. “I like derbies, it will be a tough match but we want the three points and we have the quality to win there. “It is something special when it is a derby, for the fans and for the club. When you play away at your rivals you must fight for the three points.” Arsene Wenger’s side has finished above Tottenham in every season since the Frenchman took

Pallister hails Giggs longevity G ary Pallister says Ryan Giggs will continue to rip up the record books and could carry on playing for Manchester United well into his forties. The former Red Devils defender believes the one-year deal announced on Friday - which will take Giggs beyond his 40th birthday in November - might not be the last one he signs for the club. In a record-breaking career, he has accumulated 12 Premier League titles, and won four FA Cups, three League Cups and two Champions League titles. “Giggsy is the modern-day equivalent of Stanley Matthews, who played in the top-flight until he was 50 years old. I’m not saying that Giggsy will still be playing at that age, but he has spent his whole career defying logic. “People might assume that this new one-year extension will be his last, but I’m not so sure. He remains in great physical shape and still has a huge hunger to play. “Of course, he has been fortunate that he’s not had any major operations and the injuries he has picked up have tended to be muscle-related, such as hamstrings, but he has made the most of that good fortune. “I was sitting next to Bryan Robson recently and after a Unit-

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Sunday March 3, 2013

Barca are lacking hunger, says Koeman

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ormer Barcelona star Ronald Koeman believes the La Liga giants have lacked hunger and drive in recent weeks. In the absence of Tito Vilanova, who is in New York recovering from cancer, Barca have stumbled, recording disappointing losses against both AC Milan and Real Madrid in the Champions League and Copa del Rey. The Netherlands legend and Feyenoord coach feels they have struggled lately, but he remains confident they will win La Liga thanks to their huge lead at the top. “I think they lack hunger and other things. That they drop off form at an individual and collective level is normal after playing so many games at such a high

level. It’s impossible to be as great as Barca have been for so many years. “Madrid are focused on the game in the Champions League more than the one against Barcelona. The distance between them and Barca is too great and Barca will win the title easily. “Barcelona has been far from their best. They have lacked a target man because (Lionel) Messi can play little behind or on the wing. Barca have sometimes lacked these resources,” Koeman said. Barca have a two-goal deficit to overturn against AC Milan in the Champions League, but Koeman feels they can do so with a top-level showing.

Giggs

EURO BRIEFS Matuidi honoured to play with Beckham

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SG midfielder Blaise Matuidi believes David Beckham has a lot to offer the capital club. The veteran Englishman joined PSG on a five-month deal in January after leaving LA Galaxy on a free transfer, and Matuidi feels Beckham is a source of inspiration for his new team-mates.

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Overmars backs embattled Wenger

Zabaleta defends Mancini F

ormer Arsenal star Marc Overmars understands criticism of Arsene Wenger, but called on supporters to stand by their manager. Overmars played under Wenger as Arsenal won the double of the English Premier League title and FA Cup in 1997/98, part of a significant trophy haul accumulated during the Frenchman’s early years in charge of the club.

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ablo Zabaleta has defended Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, who he believes has a tough job keeping everyone happy. The 28-year-old has been a key player under the Italian this season, particularly as he has been forced to fill in for skipper Vincent Kompany in the centre of defence on occasion. Zabaleta also recognises that Mancini has a hard time when it comes to the man-management aspect of the job, with 25 players all needing to be rotated. “With 25 players it isn’t easy for the manager to work and keep everybody happy. “Sometimes if a player has been dropped for a game because Mancini wants to make a change, it’s difficult for them, they go down, because they want to play. That happens in all teams,” Zabaleta said. Divisions were highlighted by last season’s dispute between the manager and Carlos Tevez, with the forward refusing to come on as a substitute and

Redknapp rejects drink reports

Q Mancini

spending several months away from the club. “When you lose a game everybody is upset,” explained Zabaleta. “It is difficult for the manager because his team isn’t playing well and sometimes after the game is not the right time to say something. “It’s better sometimes to calm down and talk about what happened. From something very small it grew so big.”

Fergie expects Rio to sign M ed attack was broken up, Giggsy sprinted back to cover his own left-back. Bryan and I looked at each other and shook our heads in disbelief. “Advancement in sports science means that players are playing longer these days, but I don’t think we will see anyone else getting close to 1000 games for United in my lifetime,” Pallister enthused. Pallister believes Giggs has benefited from lessons learned by United over their handling of George Best in the 1960s and ‘70s.

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anchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes Rio Ferdinand will be the next long-serving member of his squad to sign a contract extension. Ryan Giggs signed a new oneyear deal on Friday and Ferguson is confident Ferdinand will also remain at Old Trafford even though the 34-year-old centre-back has yet to commit himself, amid rumours of interest from the US, China and the cash-rich Far East. When asked if Ferdinand would sign a new deal, Ferguson replied: “That is a strong possibility. It would have to happen before the end of the season.”

Ferdinand is managing a longstanding back complaint but has still produced some impressive performances for United this term. “I think he has had a great season,” said Ferguson. “He has managed himself the right way and we have contributed to that in the preparation we give him. “He doesn’t play every game in the same way that Ryan doesn’t play every game. But in terms of key matches he has been absolutely brilliant. “Two weeks ago, against Real Madrid, he was excellent so we need to get him ready for the big one on Tuesday.”

PR manager Harry Redknapp has rejected allegations that several of his players indulged in late-night drinking sessions during a training camp in Dubai last month. Rangers took advantage of a break in their fixtures to travel to the United Arab Emirates on February 12.

Redknapp

Gustavo warns Bayern

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ayern Munich’s Brazilian defender Luiz Gustavo is confident his side will not underestimate Hoffenheim in today’s Bundesliga clash. The Bavarians comfortably sit atop the league table, by 17 points from Borussia Dortmund, whereas Hoffenheim are in a relegation battle, but Gustavo has warned that Bayern cannot afford to take the game lightly.

Gustavo


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N150

.3m, amount the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) said the Federal Government sold its equity in Egbin Power Plant in Lagos to South Korean firm, KEPCO.

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m, sum a statement from the African Development Bank disclosed as what the Board of Directors of AFDB extended to Federal Government to finance transport sector.

The leadership and the following

Back Page

Comment

E-mail: nwaunah@yahoo.com Unah is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Lagos

with Jim Unah

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he deplorable conditions in developing African societies, especially Nigeria, has nurtured and nourished the tendency to heap the blames of the failure of social regimes to deliver service to the people largely on mediocre leadership; without as much sketching the monumental impact of wretched following on the outcome of leadership selection processes. The immorality and profligacy of the leadership in any human community is essentially the product of the weakness, effeminacy, and corruption of the following. During leadership selection processes in virtually all institutions of society in Nigeria, it is not uncommon to hear remarks such as this: “although the person to be installed as leader has no pedigree, no manifest capacity to perform, he is an in-law, a kinsman, a friend, a brother devil – certainly better than an angel we cannot predict; provided we can talk down on him, manipulate him, call him to order, bend him to suit our purpose or turn him three-sixty degrees whenever he proves to be a hindrance to our parochial interests and sinister motives invariably at variance with collective wellbeing and the protection

of the patrimony and commonwealth.” The corollary of this is the socially perverted and idiosyncratically wayward cynicism often touted glibly that “although the person to be prevented from emerging as leader at all cost has pedigree and clout, has vision and mission which he can pursue with passion for the benefit of all and for the preservation of the commonwealth, he is too clear-headed and sober, too authoritarian, too focused, not easy to manipulate, too determined and too serious-minded to accommodate our excesses; we can’t have him as our leader. He is too strong for us. He is too full of himself. He takes things too seriously. He works too hard, et cetera et cetera.” This is the nature of the person whose character must be notoriously assassinated and prevented at all cost from emerging as leader, by many Nigerians, by the following. Surely, it is the first eleven that Nigerians reject as their leaders and conspire to run down surreptitiously. The following cannot reject and denigrate the first eleven and expect to have leaders that can address and fix their problems. Those they select as leaders do no have the pedigree and capacity to solve collective problems; they can only promote the interest of their caucus, a select few; whilst many go complaining and unattended to. People who have no clear vision of society, who have no discernible agenda; reluctant people who never envisioned to be leaders because they are ill-prepared and illequipped to confront the task of leadership; individuals with a burden of character are

the ones that are inflicted on the people by self-styled king-makers as leaders. How could we ever hold those characters smuggled into power by self-seeking, opportunistic, king-makers accountable? How could they even be expected to perform creditably, when they did not prepare for the task of leadership? The following have a lot do and a critical role to play in selecting their leaders. If they look for the wrong kinds of quality in their leaders, they can’t get the right caliber of leadership. It is what you sow that you reap. You cannot choose a wayward person without clear vision and mission and turn around to complain that there is no service delivery to the people. True leadership is something the individual cultivates and it flows from service and sacrifice. A person who did not prepare for leadership adequately cannot render service to the people and, by extension, can never offer true leadership. Shehu Musa Yar ‘Adua did not prepare for the leadership of this country. It was thrust upon him. So too did Goodluck Jonathan not prepare or equip himself for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Leadership of the country was also thrust upon him. Examples of leaders who were deliberately inflicted on the people, at the different levels of leadership and society, with the active connivance of the following are legion. But what became of those reluctant leaders and their leadership styles? They set the nation a hundred years backward. They created chaos and anarchy in

Gov Suswam charges AFN to back Ogba’s re-election ANDREW EKEJIUBA

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he Benue State Governor, Hon. Gabriel Suswam, has charged the board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) to stand solidly behind the president of the board, Chief Solomon Ogba, if he intends to run for the office for a second term. Suswam who was given an honorary president of the board of athletics, during his last election, revealed that Ogba has brought a lot of innovations to the sport of athletics since he came on board and there is every need to give him support so that he can consolidate on the achievements so far recorded. According to the governor, the AFN has several programmes in

its 2013 calendar which are geared towards discovering potential athletes that would do the country proud in both major national and international competitions. He added that the Junior African Athletics Championship billed to take place in Warri, Delta State, Nigeria is a manifestation of the seriousness of the AFN boss. Governor Suswam who was responding to questions from sports reporters at the Presidential Lodge in Minna, maintained that all hands must be on deck in order to move both track and field events to the next level, so that Nigeria will occupy its pride of place among athletic nations of the world. “Am not going to contest for the president of AFN if my current president is still interested in the position, therefore all the mem-

bers of the board should rally round him with full support so that he can continue with the good job he has been doing. This is the time he needs the support of board members most and we will be there for him,” the Benue State Governor said. He also said athletics is one big family, thus all the members in the board have tried in one way or the other to contribute their quota to the development of athletics, and charged them not to relent in moving the sport forward. Recently, the National Sports Commission (NSC) said they will soon dissolve the board of the 31 sports federations, in order to give room for a smooth, free and fair election for members, who are willing to come into their boards.

the institutions and societies they governed. There were leaders also who were properly chosen; and they had vision and mission, and initially delivered service to the people. But they overstayed their welcome, worked against the interest of the people they were supposed to govern; became over-bearing and dictatorial without a positive social purpose, and were eventually discredited and disgraced out of office by the people. Thus, whether reluctant or willing leaders, the rendering of service and the delivery of social goods and security to life and property legitimizes the right of command, the right to continue to function peacefully as leader. One leads and others follow, not because the right to lead was thrust upon reluctant persons by providence or by some self-styled king maker; much less is it because some selfperpetuating despot had decreed himself in office, but by virtue of the constant delivery of public good, public safety and public happiness by those who happen to be in control. So, let us select strong leaders who can discipline us and help us straighten our crooked ways. Let us yearn for and produce leaders who can task us to bring out the best, not the worst, in us. Let our leaders be better than us in most fundamental respects so that they can lift us up; not the ones to plunge us into anarchy and the low sink of debauchery. Let us pray for leaders who can make us strong, who can inspire us to greater and nobler heights; leaders who can drive us to the height of our potentiality and resounding success.

PREMIERSHIP RESULTS Chelsea 1-0 West Brom Everton 3-1 Reading Man United 4-0 Norwich Southampton 1-2 QPR Stoke City 0-1 West Ham Sunderland?-? Fulham Swansea 2-2 Newcastle Wigan Athletic 0-4 Liverpool PREMIERSHIP FIXTURE Today’s Match Tottenham v Arsenal 16:00 Monday, March 4, 2013 Aston Villa v Man City 20:00 LA LIGA RESULT Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona

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