Page 1

Big Read News

THE

P. 3-6

NEWS

P. 59

South-East governors to give Achebe a befitting

Living on diet of cement dust

Sad tales from Ogun communities

– Orji

www.nationalmirroronline.net

Vol. 3 No. 15

Sunday, March 24, 2013

N150

PDP reconciliation tour

Plot against Bamanga Tukur thickens

P. 7

Tambuwal, Lamido, Kwankwaso, Wamakko shun party chair at North-West meeting

Why Akpabio donated N6m to delegates –PDP

Heavy war ahead –Tukur

We made mistakes in 2011 elections –Jega

P. 7

ACN, CPC, ANPP didn’t tell us about merger, he says

Explosion rocks Kano again P. 9

Two bombers blown up by own explosives Northern Igbo call for ethnic conference

Army Chief: Security situation major challenge for us P. 58

Newly-weds: Daughter of Bishop David Oyedepo, who is the Presiding Bishop of Living Faith Church Worldwide, Love Jesutobi (right) and her husband, Stephen Ogah, at their PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI wedding ceremony in Ota, Ogun State, yesterday.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

2

What’s new 11

PDP’S LINGERING CRISES:

Any end in sight?

TALKING POINTS OF THE PAST WEEK MARCH 24, 2013

Kano bombing may trigger Newswatch: Drama as Ray Ekpu rejects petitioner’s document ethnic war, says Senate ties of the Boko Haram sect and other security challenges facing the country. Also, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, said the bombing incident may be a ploy to throw the North and the entire country into crisis, starting from Kano. Suspected terrorists had blown up a Lagos-bound bus killing about 100 persons including passengers, traders and others. At least 10 luxury buses were destroyed in the process.

It’s terrible, wrong to have pardoned Alamieyeseigha I won’t seek second term as –Gbonigi

Chidimma and Chidiebere Anake are Nollywood twins making waves in the Nigerian movie world. While Chidimma is a graduate of Mass Communication, Chidiebere studied Business Administration. They both spoke about their lives and other issues.

Tragedy in Calabar: 166 feared dead as boat capsizes At least 166 Nigerians were feared dead when a boat they were travelling in sank about 40 nautical miles off the coast of Calabar, the Cross River State capital. Eyewitnesses said the passengers were travelling in a large wooden boat, which departed from Oron, Akwa Ibom State on Friday and was heading for Gabon when it capsized off Malabo, near the coast of Equatorial Guinea.

Assistant Director, Information, Cross River Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Mr. David Akate, confirmed the incident, but did not give further details. The boat was carrying 168 passengers, adding that rescue efforts were still going on. The two known survivors were a young boy and a woman who had clung to a gas cylinder and were rescued by fishermen.

FG’s deregulation of downstream sector illegal, says court A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has declared as illegal and unconstitutional the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry by the Federal Government. Delivering judgement in a suit brought by a Lagosbased lawyer, Mr. Bamidele Aturu, presiding judge, Justice Adamu Bello, held that the policy of government to deregulate the petroleum

sector, by not fixing pump prices for petroleum products, was a violation of section 6 of the Petroleum Act, cap P.10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. Listed as defendants in the case were the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN).

vidual irrespective of the status. He was responding to comments made by the Deputy Senate Leader, Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central), that politicians work before and during elections and at the end of the day, those who become ministers were nonparty members with no loyalty to the PDP. Ningi also said that key ministerial slots were being enjoyed by non politicians. Tukur said that people must register at their various wards as party members for identification for appointments.

Abimbola Aboderin CHAIRMAN, CEO, ICON HOTEL

MON

Though we are identical twins, there are things we can’t do together, for example... –Chidimma and Chidiebere, Nollywood twins

The CBN governor, whose grandfather was the Emir of Kano, had openly expressed his interest in becoming the next emir. His decision not to seek another term has already attracted comments from international financial analysts, who foresee a shift in confidence levels in the economy and have called on the Federal Government to quickly name a replacement.

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has declared that anyone who fails to produce the membership card of the party will henceforth be denied ministerial appointment. Tukur, who was apparently angry that ministers from the North-East shunned the zonal meeting held in Bauchi, warned that there must be total loyalty from members to the party. He reiterated that the party was supreme and bigger than any indi-

On Mondays, I am at work. I go to my office at Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos to coordinate my business. Later in the evening, I come to my hotel to oversee the activities of the day.

TUE

26

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, has said he would not seek reappointment for a second term as the helmsman of the nation’s apex bank at the expiration of his current five-year tenure next year. Sanusi, who disclosed this during an interview with CNBC Africa in Abuja, said it was never his intention to stay longer than one term.

No ministerial appointment without PDP membership card –Tukur

For this second day of the week, I take my time to look into my farm. My Tuesdays are almost the same with my Mondays but the major difference is that this second day of the week is dedicated to my farm. I have a farm in Oyo State.

WED

Passion

CBN gov –Sanusi

statement of account of Newswatch Communications Ltd, prepared for the company by its financial specialist, Marino and Partners, had been tendered by one of the petitioners, Aruda, to prove the petitioners’ case against the new management of Newswatch. In his testimony as the second petitioner’s witness, Ekpu said he had absolutely no knowledge of the documents and could not therefore vouch for its accuracy.

I have a shopping complex in Lagos. On Wednesdays, I go to see what is happening there and I come back to my office on Allen Avenue before heading for ICON Hotel (my hotel) where I stay till late in the evening.

THU

Retired Bishop, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Bolanle Gbonigi, is the chairman of Yoruba Unity Forum, a pressure group championing the cause of the Yoruba race. Gbonigi speaks on a wide range of national issues, which include corruption in high places, perceived marginalisation of the Yoruba, problems on insecurity, the proposed centenary celebrations, among others.

There was a mild drama before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos as one of the former directors of Newswatch Communications Ltd, NCL, the former publisher of Newswatch magazine, Mr. Ray Ekpu, rejected a document tendered before the court by one of the petitioners in the suit filed by two minority shareholders of the company, Mr. Nuhu Wada Aruda and Prof. Jibril Aminu. The document in question, a

My Thursdays are somehow similar to my Wednesdays. But the major difference is that I stay more in my office to attend to my clients.

FRI

15

The Senate has expressed serious concern over Tuesday’s bomb attack at the Central motor park in Kano, saying the act of terror had the potential of igniting an ethno-religious war in the country. This is even as the leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, called on President Goodluck Jonathan to resign following his failure to contain the activi-

I start gathering momentum for the weekend.

SAT

Interview

Seven Days

I map out Saturdays for entertainment. This is the day I usually take a peep into the entertainment world to see what is happening in the showbiz with my manager and my artiste. Later in the day, I go out to play golf.

SUN

Politics

Sunday is my swimming day. I do swimming at home with my family. *By Adaeze Amos (0802 301 2293)


3

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

THE

Big Read SUNDAY SPECIAL INVESTIGATION March 24, 2013

Sagamu with its dust haze

Living on diet of cement dust

Sad tales from Ogun communities There are fears that the inhabitants of host communities of Cement Companies in Ewekoro and Sagamu in Ogun State now live in danger due to emissions from the companies’ factories. The fears are not misplaced. Experts confirm the risk of a cancer outbreak in the neighborhoods if nothing is done to arrest the ugly trend. But, is the government of Ogun State aware of this risk? What has the company been doing to mitigate the effect of these hazardous emissions? This and more are the focus of this investigative report by Biyi Adegoroye and Tai Anyanwu

H

ost communities, workers and visitors to cement manufacturing companies in Ogun State and elsewhere in the country have something in common – they are contending with gales of dust and other airborne production related particles, which are considered dangerous to health. Residents of communities like Elegunshe, Sabo, Ode Ilemo, all in Sagamu, like their counterparts at Ewekoro, which covers towns and villages like Alaguntan, Papalanto, Lageleke and Akinbo are in danger. The streets adjacent to the factories are also disturbed by what they described as a daily diet of haze of dust emitted from the plants. They expressed worries that air-borne emissions from the company’s plants pose great dangers to their health and properties. According to community leaders, youth groups

and landlords, who spoke to Sunday Mirror, heavy metal, gas and dust emanating from the production plants at Sagamu and Ewekoro often have corrosive effects on the roofs of their building and vehicles parked therein. “Our roofs, beds and vehicles are covered daily by dusts and other particles, while we wash our vehicles daily because of the pollution. We also fear the emissions are dangerous to our health,” said Yekini Adeyemi, a resident of Sabo at Sagamu. People that have visited Lafarge Wapco Pls, a cement manufacturing company, which has been in operation in the country for over 50 years, have their stories. For the residents close to Dangote Cement Company that is in the same neigbourhood at Ewekoro and staff at the cement plant at Sagamu, it is the same sad tale. The chemi-

HEAVY METAL POLLUTION OBSERVED IN CEMENT PRODUCTION FACTORIES –REPORT

4

cal contents of cement like calcium carbonate, limestone, calcite, cement kiln dust, iron, silicon and fly ash combine to emit air-borne particles, which are dangerous to health. A report by the Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria (CREN) titled “Earthworm as Bio-indicator of Heavy Metal Pollution around Lafarge, Wapco Cement Factory in Ewekoro, Nigeria”, seem to lend credence to this fact. It stated that “heavy metal pollution of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems has long been recognised as a serious environmental concern. The use of earthworm as bio-index of soil heavy metal pollution was examined to reach such conclusions. Using the Lagos/Abeokuta express road as transect, four replicates each of the soil and earthworm samples were collected from five points for analysis. “Using spectro-photometry method, heavy metal concentrations (Pb, Cu, Mn, Zn, Cd, Co) were measured in all samples of soil and earthworm. Histological studies were conducted on earthworm sections.” The result revealed dark spots and patches on the tissues of the earthworm samples collected from the cement factory area compared with clear earthworm tissues at the control site. Bioaccumulation of heavy metal in soil and earthworm was noticeable around West Africa Portland Cement factory at Ewekoro and could serve as a possible bio-index of heavy metal pollution.” The report further stated that the pollution is dangerCONTINUED ON PAGE 4

WE ARE ALIVE TO OUR RESPONSIBILITY – LAFARGE

5


4

The Big Read

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Heavy metal pollution observed in cement production factories –Report

Ewekoro town with dusty rooftops

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 ous to humans, and so, it cannot be any less perilous to properties as well. As could be seen when Sunday Mirror visited, vehicles parked within the premises or homes nearby suffer one form of damage or another. A former distributor of Lafarge at Sagamu, who did not want his name in print said the problem has been there for over 40 years of the company’s existence. “You see, when the factory was constructed, it occupied several acres of isolated land on the Sagamu-Ikorodu road. There were no residential houses at the time. But these days, expansion of the town has culminated in the construction of residential houses around the factory,” the former distributor said. He did not stop there. But said, “sometimes, the lorries will wait for days within the vicinity of the company, taking turns to load. During this period, we had to watch our vehicle daily, inhaling the particles. After sometime, many had to remove their truck because of the corrosive effect of the pollutants.” Motorists as well as commercial motorcyclists, who ply the area, are not spared of the heavy dusty particles from the company. They have to use nose masks to contain the toxic particles on that route, while the company has a custom-built car wash within its company premises for staff and customers. Residents of Sagamu community in particular, who maintained a structured relationship with Lafarge, said though, the company has maintained a good relationship with them, they have not discountenance the need for them to conform to international best practices. “They should at all times ensure adequate regard for the environment they operate as well as the residents in the vicinity,” they stated. The Secretary of Sagamu Community Development Council (SCDC), Oba Sikiru Bello, Elegushe the V1, said the community holds regular meeting with the company to address all these issues. “We have notified them of the pollution and the impact

Lafarge plant at Ewekoro

such pollutions are having on our health and property. On a daily basis, we wash our vehicles because of these emissions from their plant,” the Oba said, adding, “the insidious nature of the dust pollution emanating from the exhaust pipe projected into the sky at the company’s factory is frightening. If these particles could be so damaging to the paint of the vehicles, one can imagine the impact they would have on our heart and other organs.” The traditional ruler, however, has some kind words for the company. “They have made their impact felt in the areas of youth empowerment, construction of ICT training centre and digging of boreholes; we want them to carry out regular assessment of the impact of their production on our community and address the problem. The dust here is too much. We are aware of the fact that it has further been compounded by the on-going construction of the SagamuIkorodu road by the Federal Government. You see, if you come here during rainy season, the road is almost impassable. All these factors must be addressed,” the Elegushe said. Bernard Uzo, a dealer on electronics in Ewekoro town, also said, “when we sleep and wake up, we start to cough because every air we are breathing in is contaminated

by dust. No matter how much one tries to shut the door against cement dust, one would still wake up each morning to see the bed covered with dust. We have spring water here but we cannot drink it because it has dust deposits. Chest congestion, rasping and constant cough are common sickness we experience here. I personally don’t find it easy to breathe in and out.” One Pastor Paul of Winners Chapel, Ewekoro also explained that the air in the community is just full of dust. “The moment you decide to stay here that means you have accepted that you will have to live with the dust of the environment and will endeavour to take remedies to neutralise its effects in the body system. Those who know the secret ensure that they drink enough milk or ensure regular intake of red oil to neutralise the chemical, at all the times. The pollution has serious effect on everyone who lives or does business in this community. I have lived in Ewekoro for 10 years and I know how I have been affected by the dust. My family had to move out of this place because of the dust; I could not relocate with the rest of my family because I had to do my business here,” he told Sunday Mirror. Apparently aware of this danger, workers and visitors to the plant at Sagamu adhere strictly to an observable health and

safety policy, by utilizing personal safety equipment. These range from goggles, nose masks to helmets, which are considered compulsory before entry into the plant. Experts have said that cement dust inhalation is dangerous to the respiratory system of people exposed to it, and could cause cancer of the lungs. According to Dr. Ezekiel Ogunlewe, Consultant Cardio Thoracic Surgeon and Senior Lecturer at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), “it has adverse effects on the lungs of those who work or reside where cement is produced. It affects the lungs and also the covering of the lungs called the pleura and this can lead to cancer of the lungs or pleura, which is called Mesothelioma.” Ogunlewe told Sunday Mirror that a lot of people, who work in construction companies and live within cement production firms, do visit the hospitals with related complaints. “Most times, people do not know that they are damaging their lungs by inhaling cement dust until it is too late,” he added. For Adeboye Yekini Babatunde, who also teaches Chemical Engineering at UNILAG, that factory is, indeed, a source of pollutants to the environment. “It is not just the vegetation that will be affected, people and animals living in that environment are subjected to danger, because the natural environment has been altered. Residents of the area will begin to inhale dangerous chemical compounds, and other addictives associated with cement including calcium carbonate, limestone, calcite, cement kiln dust, iron, silicon and fly ash, which are dangerous to health,” he explained. According to the Cardio thoracic expert, the best way not to endanger one’s health is to avoid inhalation of cement dust on constant basis. Ogunlewe agrees with him even as he urged government to stop cement factories from citing industries where people live. “And if you work or live in such location, please always use nose mask to cover,” the don advised. CONTINUED ON PAGE 6


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

The Big Read

Sunday, March 24, 2013

We are alive to our responsibility – Lafarge Following complaints of dust pollution by host communities, Biyi Adegoroye and Tai Anyanwu, spoke to Mrs. Temitope Oguntokun, Communications Manager of Lafarge WAPCO, one of the companies in the area. Are you aware that people and groups from host communities are complaining that cement companies’ operations are causing environmental pollution in their communities? I would like to say that in our company, Lafarge, we are an international organisation. We are in 64 countries of the world. One of the key values of Lafarge is protection of the environment; and that is driven from the global office. It is a global vision that wherever we are operating, we are protecting our environment. And we have a lot of things to show for the protection of our environment and our adherence to environmental laws; even with the Nigerian authorities because we know the ministries of the environment and all that. So, we have a lot of things in place that make sure that we are complying with environmental protection. As regards the issue of pollution, it is just like every other manufacturing concern. There are times you have something like technical issues. When we have a technical issue, once in a while, it can lead into substitutions emission; basically dust emission. But as an organisation that is very proactive when it comes to health and safety, may be you would have seen that. With Lafarge, health is our number one priority. And with health and safety comes the issue of environment as well, in terms of protecting the environment. So, when we have such technical issues it will just be dust pollution but we are very proactive and the communities will attest to that. Such that whenever we have a technical issue and there is an emission, once we notice that that is the problem, we even shut down our operation. You can imagine what it means to shut down and how much a company would lose within that space of time. But we do that just to prove that no matter what problem that we are having somebody is being affected. And we stop our operations and fix that problem immediately and that has always been our approach. And the community, we are partners with them such that we have informed them that once they see that there is some emission coming from our operations, they have our link, to quickly let us know that something is happening. Once our attention is drawn to it, it is nipped in the bud. And that is just once in a while it doesn’t happen on a regular bases. If you had spoken to the community really they will attest to that fact. How do you take care of not just your staff but also the inhabitants of Ewekoro who are sandwiched between your factory and administrative section on the other side of the road? As an organisation we have a full scale policy and implementation on health and safety. And that cuts across all cadres of staff. In terms of visible once you can see, we have our policy on Partners Protective Equipments (PPE), which are mandatory for not only our staff, but for everybody that visit our factory. If you had attempted to enter that site, they will not allow you to enter without a PPE; you will have to undergo a safety induction ; and when you are talking about a PPE, like I said Partners protective equipment; they have the goggle, they have the nose mask, they have the ear muff, the helmet, the boot. All of these things are compulsory for the people within the factory.

So how do you offer protection to the people in the communities that are around your areas of operation and are exposed to inhalation of dust and other dangerous chemicals and gas? We do not produce dangerous gas, which is why you need to understand the process of cement production. In Ewekoro, we have a lot of health and safety initiatives that we have put in place at all of our locations. It comes as our Community Social Responsibility activities (CSR). It cuts across four key areas. We have health and safety as our number one activity. We have education; we have youth empowerment and we have shelter and contribution to basic and infrastructural development within the community. On health and safety, we do a lot enlightenment campaign within the community. We get NGO that go into the community to enlighten the people. We have a clinic that we have built at Itori; and we are donating an ambulance on Thursday to that same clinic to complement the services of that clinic. In Sagamu, we have a CSR clinic that is fully refurbished and fully put in place by Lafarge WAPCO. Regularly we do things; we donate medical equipment to the hospital. The important we want to say is that in terms of responsibility, we are an organization that is very positive about our operations. For many years now Lafarge globally has been at the fore front of advocating the reduction of carbon dioxide emission. Apart from the dust they are saying, there are things that are not visible to the eyes like C02 emission which is equally dangerous. Globally Lafarge has been championing it and Lafarge WAPCO as a member of the group we have action plans in terms of the way we are reducing it. What is your relationship with the Ogun State Environmental Protection Agency? It is a regulatory authority. We are mandated to relate with them. Generally what is Lafarge doing for communities in Ewekoro and Sagamu? I sent you a list of our CSR projects and programmes. If you check our CSR report, as a publicly quoted company it is published every year, it is there. We always keep an eye on what is happening within our communities. Wherever we operate, we always make sure that we not only contribute to the physical development of our community but also the economic development. So the things that we are doing in Ewokoro are not compensation. There are other companies that could be doing worst things now. They are just there. You know we are not even mandated to do CSR; it is not by law but our organization worldwide, you will be shocked that we have a methodology for putting in place community responsibility because we have to take care of our host communities, making sure that we take care of the environment and communities of wherever we are located.

5

People in the environment are endangered –Adeboye Adeboye Yekini is a Lecturer in the Chemical Engineering department at the University of Lagos. He says, in this interview with Tai Anyanwu, that no amount of compensation can assuage for the health hazards host communities of cement manufacturing firms are exposed to. How safe is it for someone to live within a cement manufacturing industry? Cement production is a process and it produces dust. It is a major pollutant to the environment. The siting of such industry is a source of production of pollutants to the environment. And it is not only vegetation that will be affected; the people living within that environment are subjected to danger; basically because the environment has been altered naturally. Ordinarily, man is supposed to breathe in oxygen but because of continuous injection of pollutant into the environment, the concentration of oxygen in that particular environment is altered. The oxygen, which the people would normally take in, becomes polluted air. It may not have immediate problems. But there will be a long term problem, especially with the respiratory system. This is because there is limitation to the amount of this dust that one will take that will become a major source of problem to the people living in the area. The respiratory system can be seriously damaged. Specifically, what effects can the accumulation of polluted air bring about in such an environment? Not only human beings will be exposed top health hazards; the water, plant or vegetation and animals within such area are also in danger. In terms of agricultural productivity in that area; it will be highly affected. When you look at it globally, citing of cement industry in a particular area is a major problem to the economic development of that particular area. This is so because the people, who live there cannot take in fresh air that can enhance their productivity. In terms of agricultural productivity, the activity of that industry will inhibit the agricultural production within that system. So, how will there be economic development in such an area? In that case, no amount of compensation given to the inhabitants of the area will be equivalent to the economic advantage. If you look at it from the industrial perspective, there will be employment opportunity and provision of infrastructures. But, the disadvantage arising from the activities of the company on both the people, vegetation and habitat, everything will be affected by the continuous injection of pollutants.

What is the major component of this pollutant? The major chemical composition of cement is carbonate, which is limestone. And you know limestone is a compound. And what we refer to as emission is a reaction because when you inject dust to the system, you take in dust and that dust will settle within your blood system, there is a maximum amount of concentration these There is this claim by medical experts dust can be within the system before it bethat exposure to cement dust leads to gin to pose a threat to your health. Though, cancer of the lungs or put differently, the management of such companies can what informed the use of nose mask? provide some safety measures in terms of It is because it is international standards. putting on nose mask, helmet and boot, the

Adeboye

health of people in the area is seriously in danger. It is not only dust threat, the noise from machines that drive the production process subject the ear drum to vibration. But, the company would provide these safety equipment to its staff and would neglect the rest of the inhabitants. Therefore, the people will begin to have problem with the ear organ. There can be blockage of the respiratory tract and the people will not be able to breathe very well. How safe is it to drink water from borehole sunk in such environment? We cannot specifically say water is safe until it is properly analyzed. But, there is what we call percolation. Borehole water may be safe for drinking because it comes from the water basin where percolation may not get to. But you can actually look at it from the point of view that borehole is not provided everywhere. There may be nearby rivers in some places; and mistakenly people go there to take water and use it to cook. People in such areas may not use borehole water to do everything every day. Out of ignorance, there will be some people, who will go to that nearby water to fetch and use it to cook food. And when it rains, the cement dust, which is a chemical compound that contains chemicals that may be casinogenic to our blood system, will be transferred to the nearby river. When people use such water to cook, the chemical will be transferred and they will take it as food. How can the effects of this continuous accumulation of pollutants be mitigated? I believe that before the industry was sited, the environmental impact assessment and hazards associated with it must have been identified; and its remediation must have been stated. But, when this mitigation is to be implemented only the company’s staff will likely benefit. For instant, enough milk intakes to dissipate the effect of the pollutant would be given to staff but will it also be made available to the villagers? The people that are really affected are the villagers; the staff are taken care of.


6

The Big Read

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

The Emission Control Regulation of 2012 takes care of the environment –Ogun Commissioner Lanre Tejuosho is the Commissioner for the Environment in Ogun State. He tells Femi Oyeweso in this interview that there is the Ogun State Environmental Protection Agency Law number 1 of 2003 as well as a law passed by the state House of Assembly in 2004, to protect both the environment and its inhabitants Is there any legal and institutional framework to curtail pollution by industries and other activities of corporate bodies in Ogun state? First and foremost, we have a law that establishes the agency, which is the Ogun State Environmental Protection Agency Law number 1 of 2003. It is the principal law we are using in the state. Likewise, we have a law by the ministry passed by the state House of Assembly in 2004; it is a law that provide for the general management of the environment. Besides that, we have some other regulations that have been passed by the agency, like the Environmental Protection Miscellaneous Agency Regulation of 2005. Then we have the Emission Control Regulation of 2012. So, all these are aimed at preventing pollution generally and control activities of industrial and commercial activities in the state. How often do you now carry on the spot assessment of these industries to ensure compliance with the laws? On the part of monitoring, we have in the agency, the Compliance and Inspection Monitoring Department (ICMD).This department is saddled with the responsibilities of ensuring that companies always complied with the said regulation of the state. As per the present arrangement, the agency ensures that a company is visited every quarter of the year by staff of the department. So, when they go out, whatsoever they see that is wrong, they made their report to the office then the recommendations for the company to do. These are sent back as feedback of the visit that have been done. The next visit will now be based on whether they have done what they were asked to do. If they fail to do it,

they know that they would be sanctioned according to the law. If you discover, in the course of your inspection, that any of the companies has violated the law, what is the degree of punishment available to such company? When we see any abnormalities, the first thing is that we call the attention of the company to it, that we have observed something and that they must make sure that they put mechanism in place to correct such. Sometimes we do invite them for meetings where we discuss it because some of those things may not be things they can do immediately probably because those things require huge capital to fix. So, we try to see that; but at least, within reasonable time they provide us with information as to when they will actually do it. They make us know the capital involved and how long it can take them to do it. Meanwhile, while they are trying to do that, they will still need to provide palliative measures during that period before they can actually get a lasting solution to it. But, in the process where we have drawn up a plan of action and they are not following it, we have the capacity to close their company down. We have closed down companies like that before. For instance, we have companies, which included one Chinese company, Drurry Nigeria plc and Sona Breweries. They were closed down around 2000. Drurry in Agbara has been closed down twice; first in 2004 and then in 2005. What was the company’s offense? We had complaint about their sulphuric acid plant that the gas was being emitted into the atmosphere and then the people in

Tejuosho

that area where the company was dumping it’s dislodge from the alum plant, complaint about the water that their animals are dying. The Commissioner for Environment in Ogun state then, Anthony Ojesina, made a visit to that area and then directed that they should carry out Contaminant Transport. Modeling of that area both air and underground water, which they were footdragging on. It is part of the plans to ensure that those errors on their part are corrected, but when they kept foot-dragging, we had no choice than to close them down. There is this complaint about Lafarge; what has your ministry done towards ensuring that it complies with the environmental safety standard? When Lafarge was commissioned, they had this equipment called dust precipitator. It is electro-static. But, whenever that equipment develops fault that is when you see the dust going up and we have always called their attention to it, that they should fix it. Of course, they have always responded to such emergencies. However, one of the problems they are having is that

they do not have the technician that can fix it here in the country; the person usually comes from France and that makes it to take some time for the person to come down here. Secondly, the company do submits its monthly Air Quality Monitoring Report (AQMR) to our ministry here. Most of what our people are saying is because there is national standard for the height of the chimney; so, if they have reached that, it is easily dispatchable in the air. Apart from a situation where the precipitator breaks down, you know it is a mechanical thing and could develop fault anyhow; so, they try to mitigate that by placing something like a bag in-between the process so that the dust that is going out would not pollute the air. Though we still engage them to improve on their precipitation and that is why you can see that their new plant, Lakatabu is more technologically advanced than the older one. They abandoned the previous phase they had because it was giving environmental problem. They are even scrapping it now and as time goes on, they will still scrap this one too for technological advancement.

Health and safety issues, our concern –Cement Company

Haulage truck on a dusty road

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 But, the company is not unaware of the danger posed by the factories and it has thus made safety concern a major company policy for workers and the community. Lafarge’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Temitope Oguntokun, insisted that the company is a responsible corporate entity, which carries out periodic environmental impact assessment and ensured environment friendliness. She, nonetheless, prom-

ised to look into the complaints of the communities, adding that relationship with the community has been cordial in terms of safety and environmental concerns. She restated the fact that her organisation has a full scale policy and implementation on health and safety. “And that cuts across all cadres of staff. In terms of visible ones you can see, we have our policy on Partners Protective Equipments (PPE), which are mandatory for not only our staff, but for

everybody that visits our factory. If you had attempted to enter that site, they will not allow you to enter without a PPE; you will have to undergo a safety induction; and the PPE is essentially protective equipment like goggle, nose mask, ear muff, the helmet and the boot. All of these things are compulsory for the people within the factory.” To the residents, she said, “in Ewekoro, we have a lot of health and safety initiatives that we have put in place at all our locations. It comes as our community Social Responsibility activities (CSR). It cuts across four key areas. We have health and safety as our number one activity that we do. We have education; we have youth empowerment and we have shelter and contribution to basic and infrastructural development within the community. On health and safety, we do a lot of enlightenment campaign within the community. We get the (NGOs) that go into the community to enlighten our people.” Oguntokun, however, deny claims that

her companies pollutes its environment of operation. “We do not produce dangerous gas, which is why you need to understand the process of cement production. As regards the issue of pollution, it is just like any other manufacturing concern. There are times you have something like technical issues. When we have a technical issue, once in a while, it can lead into substitutions emission; basically dust emission. But, as an organisation that is very proactive when it comes to health and safety, may be you would have seen that with Lafarge, health is our number one priority. And with health and safety comes with the issue of environment as well, in term of protecting the environment. So, when we have such technical issues, it will just be dust pollution but we are very proactive and the communities will attest to that,” she said. Aditional reports by Vanessa Okwara (Lagos) and Femi Oyeweso (Abeokuta).


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Sunday, March 24, 2013

7

PDP crisis: Anti-Bamanga plot thickens ...As three governors shun North-Central reconciliatory meeting

•Party justifies Akpabio’s N6m ‘Mr Bigg’s donation’ OBIORA IFOH, ABUJA; A ZA MSUE, K ADUNA

P

lot to frustrate the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party,(PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur during his reconciliation tour to different parts of the country has continued. One of such plots was averted in the North West geo-political zone last Tuesday by the host, Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi . Investigations revealed that during the event, Yuguda mobilised the ranks of top party stalwarts and other chieftains, including youth groups, women associations and the governor’s die-hard supporters in Bau-

chi, to scuttle the plan. However, the PDP crises have worsened, as three North-West governors and Speaker, House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal yesterday shunned the Kaduna reconciliation meeting. Governors Sule Lamido (Jigawa) Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto) were conspicuously absent from the meeting while only host governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Yero and Governors Ibrahim Shema and Usman Dankingari of Katsina and Kebbi respectively, were in attendance. Sources said Lamido’s absence might not be unconnected with his rumoured presidential ambition in 2015.

Sources close to the national chairman’s entourage made up of members of the National Working Committee admitted yesterday that they had nursed fears for the success of the tour to the zone because of insecurity and also being the primary political base of Tukur, in apparent reference to the gang-up against Tukur before his emergence as party chair and his face-off with his state governor. They noted that though the correspondences between Governor Yuguda’s officials and the PDP national secretariat before and on Monday, the day of the tour, did not reveal such fear, it was palpable. Bauchi State Government House sources said

L-R: Peoples Democratic Party National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur; Vice-President Namadi Sambo and Kaduna State Governor, Mukhtar Yero, during the party’s North-West special zonal executive committee meeting in Kaduna, yesterday.

We made mistakes in 2011 elections –Jega ...Says APC didn’t apply for registration, ‘until 5 days ago’ A ZA MSUE KADUNA

C

hairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, yesterday admitted that the 2011 elections were marred by mistakes, saying such would not repeat itself in 2015. Jega, featuring on Radio Nigeria, Kaduna National Station’s Hausa programme, Hanu Dayawa, said the commission had introduced new changes that would ensure free and transparent elections in future. On the controversy surrounding the registration of All Progressives Con-

gress (APC), the INEC boss said no political party had notified the commission of merger talks, much less registration. His words: “We are doing our best to ensure that the mistakes we made in the past are corrected. We are trying to introduce new things to bring about change in the system. “This issue has generated controversy in the past few weeks. First, the truth is that no political party had written to notify us that it is planning to merge with some other political parties until the past five days or so. “Therefore, it is not true that we had been notified. The issue became serious when one group came out to seek for registration, I

guess that was what made them to write and notify us.” He added: “We are doing our best to ensure that the 2015 elections will be more credible than that of 2011. We have been working hard towards this. We have reviewed the past and are looking at what we can do to improve on our performances.” Jega, however, denied collecting money from politicians. “People have said a lot of things on this. I have not collected money from anybody and I didn’t go to INEC to collect money from politicians. If I wanted money, with the education that God has given me and other means, I would have used them to make the money,” he said.

that the Monday event was perhaps the most secure, organized and carnivallike political gathering in recent times in the state and the zone. “It was the result of a carefully planned, elaborately laid-out and most inclusive arrangement fully backed by a combination of all stakeholders who were out to prove their love, respect and solidarity to the Bauchi State Governor. “When you recall that His Excellency, Governor Yuguda was out of the country until two days before the National Chairman’s team arrived Bauchi, you would better appreciate the challenges that stared us in the face”, said a top government official, who craved anonymity, at the weekend. The official disclosed that when information got to the state government that some miscreants and hoodlums believed to be working for certain political interests outside the state but within the zone were being recruited to disrupt the reconciliation tour, it was resolved that nothing of such should take place in Bauchi under Yuguda. “In fact, His Excellency, Governor Isa Yuguda was being briefed after every hour by his deputy, Alhaji Sagir Aminu Saleh while the entire coordination was left to the Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Ahmed Ibrahim Dandija. “Of course, the intelligence and security forces also swung into action and were instrumental in detecting and dislodging the trouble makers without undue fanfare. The overall goal was essentially to demobilize them”, the sources said. “Unknown to many, we were following the outcome of the national chairman’s tours to the three other geo-political zones in Ibadan (South West), Enugu (South East), and Port Harcourt (South South) and we resolved that as the geo-political zone of the National Chairman, the North East must be seen to be at its best in mobilizing support and solidarity for Dr. Bamanga Tukur with our Governor Isa Yuguda as the host Governor. “So you can now understand where we were coming. Besides, the National Chairman started the formative years of his business career in Bauchi. In other words, he is a

son of the soil. We are also grateful that this zone has the exalted position of the National Chairman. This explains why we decided to be on top of the game last Monday in Bauchi”, he said. He further disclosed that even on the day of the tour, the hoodlums operating under the guise of political stakeholders were identified and isolated from all the venues slated for the different segments of the tour starting from the Bauchi Airport where the national chairman’s plane landed through the Emir’s Palace, Government House, Government Lodge to the Multi-Purpose Indoor Sports Complex, venue of the enlarged meeting. According to the sources, these places were frequently combed by plainclothes detectives while others mingled freely with the crowd. At the over-10,000 capacity MultiPurpose Indoor Sports Complex which crowds of party supporters had filled as early as 8.00am, the security infrastructure mounted was too unbearable for the suspected hoodlums. The place was emptied thrice with conditions for re-entry made more stringent and cumbersome by men of the Police, Army, Civil Defence Corps and the Joint Tax Force (JTF). In a separate development, the party said its investigations revealed that the opposition, in their desperation to deceive Nigerians, have recruited political mercenaries who are heavily paid as hatchet men to fabricate and plant spurious and malicious reports in the media to stigmatize Akpabio and the PDP. According to the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, “these spin doctors have continued to portray Akpabio’s genuine benevolence and kind heartedness in bad light, all in a desperate attempt to disparage him and cause a division in the PDP Governors’ Forum. “For the avoidance of doubt, all the governors of the PDP are united and there is no division in the PDP Governor’ Forum. “Also, the leadership of the PDP completely identifies with Governor Akpabio and his landmark developmental projects with which he has brought uncommon transformation to Akwa-Ibom state. “The landmark achievements of Governor Akpabio stand out for all to see. His success in transforming Akwa Ibom from the obscure geographical area

in the country and placing it on the world map is phenomenal and unprecedented.” The party noted that Akpabio has been widely acknowledged for delivering on his electoral promises with optimal transparency, a development which has aroused deep jealousy in the masterminds of the orchestrated merger, whose governors have nothing to show. “It is only a group with selfish interests like the opposition that will see anything wrong in Akpabio’s continuous gesture in helping the less privileged and the needy. Also there is nothing wrong in Governor Akpabio helping in mobilizing PDP members who came for the party’s South-South zonal rally. The N1 million Akpabio donated to each of the six state chapters of the PDP in the South-South was not for an individual but to provide welfare for over 500 delegates from each of the chapters, who travelled all the way to Port Harcourt, River State capital for the rally. “Every single donation by Akpabio has been on issues, extolling the values of Akwa Ibom to care for humanity. However, in their desperation and traditional homage to deceit, propaganda and lies, the opposition has become completely blinded to the truth. “While Akpabio is using his resources for the benefit of the people, other Nigerians who have made themselves tin gods and emperors are busy appropriating state funds while converting the property of the state to personal belongings in their gullibility and blind quest for material acquisition. Tukur in Kaduna yesterday, also declared that the party was fully prepared to face a big political war ahead of 2015 elections, saying a new group, All Progressive Change,APC, was “busy parading itself as capable ofsnatching power. They are merely joking,” he said. Tukur who spoke during the North West reconciliation meeting held at Umaru Musa Yar’adua Indoor Sports complex, noted, “I am here to tell all our supporters about the virtue of patience. Patience is such a priceless thing, that the Hausa people say, ‘a patient man can cook a stone and drink its sauce’. I want to plead with our members in this zone to imbibe this teaching, because there is a heavy war ahead.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 59


News

8

Sunday March 24, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Achebe’s passage Sagay, Ikuforiji, authors extol his virtue

A

Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Prof. Itse Sagay, yesterday described the death of the literary guru, Prof. Chinua Achebe, as “one vacuum that will be difficult to replace”.

Sagay made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. He described Achebe as an ingenious writer and giant in the literary field. He noted that Achebe’s book, “Things Fall Apart”, lent credence to, and set the pace for other viable literary works in the country and beyond. ``Achebe established a great reputation for himself, from which Nigeria benefitted greatly. His literary works will be greatly missed, especially his prose writings. “It is indeed a historical loss and he is one genius that Nigeria will never forget in a hurry,” Sagay said. In his reaction, author of the book, “How Africa Underdeveloped Africans”, Mr Joshua Agbo, said that the exit of Achebe would create a great gap in African prose work. Agbo said that Achebe, one of the founding fathers of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), affected the lives of his fellow mankind positively. “He placed Nigeria on the global map and literary landscape. His book, `There Was a Country’, has begun to elicit tremendous reactions.

Let’s imbibe his virtues, Ashafa urges Nigerians MURITALA AYINLA

S

enator Gbenga Bareehu Ashafa, representing Lagos East Senatorial District, while describing the death as colossal loss to Nigeria, in particular, and the world in general, said the best way to immortalise Achebe was to imbibe his great virtues. He said Achebe died when he was most needed in fortifying the Nigerian project According to Ashafa in his condolence message to the bereaved family, “Achebe was an embodiment of great values most Nigerians crave for, an exemplary character. Let us celebrate him. The best way to immortalise him is to imbibe his values and what he stood for.

Yakasai, Tofa pay tribute AUGUSTINE MADUWEST, K ANO

S

econd Republic politician and northern leader, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, has described the death of Professor Chinualumogo Achebe as a great loss, not only to the people of Nigeria but also to the entire black race and the English-speaking people

the Wworld over. His first novel, “Things Fall Apart” was so far translated into millions of copies in over 50 languages in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Yakasai described the literary icon as an honest and selfless intellectual, who dedicated his entire life to speaking the truth and to the education of humanity. He joined politics not to gain patronage or enrich

himself. “He joined parties of his choice on the basis of their ideologies and principle and what they can offer to better the lot of their people,” he said. Former presidential flag bearer on the platform of the defunct National Republican Convention, NPN, Alhaji Bashir Othman Tofa,Alhaji Bashir Tofa also paid tribute to the departed writer, say-

ing that he had already immortalised his name through his literary works. He pointed out that Achebe was a great and controversial Nigerian, who loved his country. Tofa recalled, “But as a friend of mine said about this death, his writings have already immortalised him,” and declared, “May God place him near his ancestors, Amen.”

Flags fly at half mast in UNN DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

A

ll flags located in the two campuses of the University of Nigeria now fly at half-mast as part of mourning the literary icon, Prof. Chinua Achebe. Achebe was a lecturer and research fellow at the university before he left for the United States of America. A statement from the Vice Chancellor of UNN, Prof. Batho Okolo, described Achebe as a beacon of light that drew people to the institution. Okolo said ‘the management, staff and students of the university mourn with deep sadness and sense of immense loss the demise of the distinguished member of the UNN family, Prof Chinualumogu Albert Achebe’. He stated that Prof. Achebe was one of the academic titans whose presence on the faculty served as a beacon of light that drew the world to the University of Nigeria. “He taught in the Department of English as well as carried out research at the Institute of African Studies. “After the epochal ‘Things Fall Apart’ that gave a voice to African literature and its people, Achebe continued his pioneering endeavours with the founding of Okike, a foremost journal of African literature that birthed the careers of many a distinguished writer. “His work in leading research into the cultures of the Igbo and various groups in the Institute of African Studies further cemented the reputation of the University of Nigeria as a centre of liberal learning in the best traditions,” Okolo eulogised. The Vice Chancellor said that Achebe in his works gave to the language, culture and people of Igbo land a universality that positioned it as one of the major ethnic groups of human civilisation.

The late Achebe

A patriot of uncommon vision, says Onu N ational Chairman, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has described the late novelist and academic, Prof. Chinua Achebe, as a patriot with an uncommon vision. In a statement issued, the politician noted that “he was a patriot of uncommon vision, an intellectual pillar of universal appeal and with a distinct literary prowess. He was also an administrator of profound convictions and, above all, an illuminating pathfinder, whose works placed him on the mountaintop. He remained tireless in his resolve of showing the way for others to follow.” Onu noted that in his writings, Achebe showed extraordinary skill and ability. “He was able to bring African Literature to the attention

of the world at a time that neither African Literature nor African authors received any serious attention. As the widely acclaimed father of African Literature, his contributions to knowledge will continue to influence the thoughts of many generations yet unborn. “I join several others who mourn to salute this great son of Nigeria and Africa and a distinguished citizen of the world. Surely, his timeless legacies will live after him”. Works placed him on the mountain top. He remained tireless in his resolve of showing the way for others to follow. In his writings, he showed extraordinary skill and ability. He was able to bring African Literature to the attention of the world at a time that neither African Lit-

erature nor African authors received any serious attention. As the widely acclaimed father of African Literature, his contributions to knowledge will continue to influence the thoughts of many generations yet unborn. I join several others who mourn to salute this great son of Nigeria and Africa and a distinguished citizen of the world. Surely, his timeless legacies will live after him. It is my prayer that the Almighty God will grant his soul, eternal rest. May he also give members of his family and indeed, all those his works touched in different ways, the fortitude to bear the pain of his sad loss. The Vice Chancellor said that Achebe in his works gave to the language, culture and people of Igbo land.

PRISCILLA DENNIS

his death marked the end of a glorious era.

State, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, in a press statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mallam Danaldi Ndayebo, said Professor Achebe was a literary giant who lived a purposeful life of dedication to the cause of founding and development of African lit-

It’s a loss of national treasure –Tinubu

F

ormer Governor of Lagos State and National Leader, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday described the death of Achebe as the loss of yet another national treasure who died unfulfilled in his dream to see a better governed, fully democratic and united Nigeria.

Achebe’s words were like the arrows of God penetrating the fortresses of our leaders and striking their hearts to do good, unfortunately not many hearkened and that is why we remain stuck as a people and a country”.

Tinubu said notwithstanding his exploits on the literary stage and his world acclaimed status, Achebe had one regret and that is the failure of successive Nigerian leaderships to birth a new country and liberate Nigerians from abject poverty and want. Tinubu said: “Chinua Achebe lived an exemplary life of sacrifice and excellence. He was a critique-general who through his writings offered lucid suggestions and advice on how Nigeria’s problems can be tackled. We are able to glean from his writings a burning desire for change and a crushing devotion to the emancipation of the larger society”. According to the ACN Leader, Achebe’s writings will stand the test of time, but more importantly, his books, essays and commentaries will stand as ringing indictments to all the Nigerian leaders, nay Africa who fail to liberate their people from the shackles of want and poverty. The former governor said Nigeria has a lot to offer not just the world “but her citizens, but unfortunately, the best, the brightest and selfless amongst us are often shoved aside. Our loss has been the gain of other countries, the former governor said. “The world recognised and elevated him for the brilliance of his writings and his seminal interventions, while the Nigerian government treated him like an irritant and one of the pesky activists. We may do more to immortalise Achebe but he is already immortalised through his writings,” Tinubu noted.

His death a great loss –Northern governors

MINNA

T

he Northern State Governors Forum (NSGF) has paid tribute to the late literary icon and elder statesman, Professor Chinua Achebe, pointing out that

It called on the Federal Government to honour the memory of the great Nigerian, to serve as an inspiration to the younger generations. Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Niger

erature. According to the 19 northern governors, ‘’Thanks to the sacrifices and commitment of Professor Achebe, and his contemporaries whose writings have become leading lights in our country’s literary constellation.’’


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Sunday, March 24, 2013

9

Another explosion rocks Kano NDIC pays N90.13b •Two bombers blown up by own explosives AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO

T

wo suicide bombers were yesterday blown up by their own explosives as another explosion rocked the ancient city of Kano. The deceased were alleged to have disguised themselves as water vendors pulling a truck of jerry cans, while the other followed behind on a motor-bike. About three huge explosions were heard at the Eastern bye-pass, Hotoro and Sharada quarters of the city in the early hours of Saturday. Police source said the remote controlled explosives which went off at the Eastern bye-pass blew up two suspected bombers before they could reach their target which was a security check point. It was learnt that the explosion at Hotoro did not

cause any harm, as no one was injured. Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Magaji Majiya told our correspondent on phone that details of the incident were not available but confirmed there were explosions at the Eastern bye-pass and Hotoro. Spokesman for the Military Joint Task Force (JTF), Captain Ikedichi Iweha was equally not forthcoming with information about the incident when our correspondent called him on phone. However, four nationals of neighbouring Niger Republic are being detained by the Police in Kano for their alleged involvement in Saturday’s terrorist act in parts of the state capital that claimed two lives and left unspecified number of Mobile Police officers in critical condition. In a related development, gun attack in Dakata area claimed the life of a

shop owner, identified as Matthew Owoniyi, who was shot dead inside his chemist in the presence of his wife and two kids, one of whom was ordered to lie face down by three gunmen, who called at his business place at about 9:00 pm. The attackers allegedly made away with sales proceeds for the day, and his Golf car before hitting him with bullets thrice on the head. The state capital has been under siege in recent weeks, the most devastating been last Monday’s multiple bomb attack on the Kano Central Motor park, which claimed several lives and left many in devastating conditions. After Monday’s attack, there were two other incidents, the killing of female Police officer, Maimuna Yusuf at Farm Centre and a attack on a Mobile Police Truck that brutally injured nine police officers.

to depositors of 48 failed banks

DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

T

he Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, has paid a cumulative sum of N90.13 billion to depositors of 48 Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) inliquidation as at December 31, 2012. The corporation within the same time has also paid N2.50 billion to insured depositors of 103 closed Microfinance Banks (MFBs). Managing Director\ CEO of NDIC, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim who made the disclosure yesterday during the NDIC Day at the on-going 24th Enugu International Trade Fair also stated that the corporation has a crucial role to play towards the safety, sound-

PRISCILLA DENNIS

T

NIGERIA IN BRIEF

GOC tasks soldiers on good behaviour The new General Officer Commanding (GOC), 81 Division, Nigerian Army, MajorGeneral Obi Abel Umahi, has advised soldiers of 81 Records Office to be of good conduct in order to have prosperous careers or be bad soldiers and be caught. Addressing them during his maiden visit to 81 Division Records Office recently in Lagos, Umahi urged them to

be good soldiers, especially as the Chief of Army Staff was doing everything possible to provide the best welfare for soldiers. “If you have been doing well in your job and service to the nation, continue that way. If you are not doing well, you know yourself, and it is better you change because there comes a time when you must assess your life and stop

your bad behaviour, if not for yourself, then for your family and others,” Umahi said. Briefing Umahi on the operations of the records office, Lt. Col. I. E. Akpamontia, the unit’s commanding officer, identified accommodation as a major problem for soldiers in the unit and the GOC assured them he would look into it and their other needs as well.

ribank Plc, Bank PHB and Spring Bank along with preservation of over 6600 jobs in August 2011. He again disclosed that the regulatory authorities recently planned to introduce the promotion of financial inclusion initiatives in Nigeria through the agency banking and mobile banking, amongst others. “The exercise was meant to further the economic condition of our rural dwellers that have all these while been excluded from formal economy,” said Ibrahim. He noted that NDIC has created help desk that works 24 hours to enable customers report cases as arbitrary bank charges, account balances and fraud.

Oil subsidy removal: NANS vows to fight FG MINNA.

L-R: Senate President, David Mark; Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha and Senator Ganiyu Solomon, at the 128th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Conference in Quito, Ecuador, yesterday

ness and stability of Nigeria’s financial system. Ibrahim further disclosed that between 2011 and 2012, NDIC made cumulative liquidation dividend payments of N373.04 million, N620.0 million and N293.0 million to shareholders of Alpha Merchant Bank, Nigeria Merchant Bank and Pan Africa Bank, respectively that are in liquidation. He said that the feats were in addition to the settlement of all the depositors and creditors of the three banks for which the corporation established bridge banks in 2011. Ibrahim emphasized the seamless introduction of the three bridge banks to save over 3.7 million depositors of the erstwhile Af-

he National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has threatened to fight the Federal Government should it remove subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and increase its pump price from the present price of N97 per litre. Reacting to the announcement by President Goodluck Jonathan on government’s plan of total removal of fuel subsidy, NANS National President, Comrade Yinka Gbadebo, said the association would protest such action. Gbadebo, who stated this in an interview at the Federal Polytechnic Bida after the matriculation of new students, said although the president has the power to remove it, the move should not in any way tamper with the

current pump price of the product. He explained that, “NANS has no desire to fight the government, but we want to warn that government should not force us to fight as any policy that will affect the masses negatively will be resisted. We will not fight government, but government should not force us to fight it. “President Goodluck Jonathan has every right to say he wants to remove subsidy on oil. Our major concern is that we are still buying petroleum at N97, the moment he makes a public declaration that he is increasing the pump price from N97 that is when we will act.” He further stated that at the moment, the association is watching the government on what it is going to do on the issue before taking any action, urging government to

seek the opinion of people before embarking on any policy, stressing that without them, there can be no government. Earlier, Gbadebo while addressing the new students urged them to shun any act that could result in violence, stating that NANS was leading a policy where dialogue would be used to address any problem concerning the students. A total of 3, 146 students were matriculated into the polytechnic for National and Higher National Diploma programmes for the 2012/2013 session. The Rector, Engr Abdullahi Sule, who spoke through the deputy rector, assured the students of the school management’s preparedness to provide all necessary facilities for a conducive environment for teaching and learning.

FRSC set to mobilise 15,000 officers to key corridors The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) says it will mobilise 15,000 personnel for a nationwide special patrol to ensure an accident-free Easter celebration. FRSC Chief Executive, Mr Osita Chidoka, announced this at the monthly jogging of the commission in Abuja yesterday. Chidoka said the officers and equipment would be deployed in some key road

corridors where motorists had been noted to engage in over speeding. ``So, we want to use this operation to calm down traffic on those roads and enlighten the people more on the need to reduce speed. ``We are looking forward to using the time to do more massive enlightenment across the corridors where we are facing the challenges of speed,’’ he said.

Chidoka said that the commission would collaborate with the police and state road traffic agencies in enlightening the people and controlling traffic on those key corridors during the period. In his remark, Mr Emmanuel Amlai, the Acting DirectorGeneral, Consumer Protection Council, called on relevant traffic agencies to ensure that only road worthy vehicles were allowed to ply the roads.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

10

Man in the News MARCH 24, 2013

Akpabio: Thriving in controversial donations K AYODE FASUA

T

he seeming lull in the politics of the South-South region has now become bubbly, courtesy of Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State. Though, a governor, who has always been in the news, these past few weeks have again put him in the limelight for what many considered his over generous spending of state’s money. Last Sunday at a South-South reconciliatory meeting of his party, the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), the governor caused a stir through his response to a statement made by the Delta State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan. The Delta governor at the meeting which held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, had spoken of the need to empower party members, adding that infrastructural provision while party members “are hungry” could create disaffection. Specifically, he said, “If you air-condition the entire environment, and the stomachs of the people, of members of the party are empty, they will not appreciate what you have done. “So I want to join them to tell us to ensure that their stomachs are filled so that they will appreciate what we have done.” Akpabio was quick to respond, saying, “Well, my brother, Governor Uduaghan said you (party members) are hungry. So I will give the state chairmen from the six states (of the South-South) N1 million per state for ‘Mr. Bigg’s’ (eatery) right now. “All the state chairmen should see me immediately after my remarks so that at least, I will drop N1 million each for Mr. Bigg’s so that PDP can chart the course for empowerment.” It was at that moment that Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, and Uduaghan stood up while Akpabio was still making his speech and walked out of the meeting. Nobody could say whether it was Akpabio’s donation that led to their walking out, though both governors later denied that their having to leave the meeting was a walk-out. Ibim Semenitari, Rivers’ Commissioner for Information said her boss left to see off Uduaghan while Sunny Areh, Uduaghan’s Chief Press Secretary also defended that his principal left the meeting because the Asaba Airport in Delta State closes by 5:30 pm. Many Nigerians were appalled at the donation and were also quick to condemn the governor’s action Also recently, Akpabio was in the eye of the storm when he emerged as the chairman of the newly formed PDP Governors’ Forum. The formation of the Akpabio-led PDP Governors’ Forum came in the wake of a simmering faceoff between the Presidency and Amaechi, in which Amaechi and President Goodluck Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, had engaged each other in diatribes. But no one has been left in doubt that Akpabio is at the moment, the President’s ‘beloved son’, going by the level of camaraderie between him and the President’s team within the ruling PDP. Only recently, the Akwa Ibom governor stole the show

at a banquet of ‘naira rain’ which President Jonathan held for Nollywood actors and actresses in Lagos. While the President announced a donation of N3 billion to promote the cause of the practitioners, Akpabio supported the largesse with a N50 million donation, branding it, ‘President Goodluck Jonathan Prize Award for the best Nollywood actors, actresses, film maker and others.’ While attracting a smile from Mr. President, Governor Akpabio, on the occasion, also garnered thousands of admirers in the ‘Nollywood family.’ The governor’s generosity also recently extended to hip-hop singer, Tu Face Idibia. The musician and his wife, Annie, were given a SUV car and a sum of N3 million as wedding present by the governor. Besides, Akpabio who hosted a lavish traditional engagement ceremony for the celebrity couple in his state also vowed to sponsor 20 people to their nuptial ceremony in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirate. Political analysts have, however, believe some of the happenings especially between Akpabio and Amaechi has its origin in a Supreme Court Judgement, way back in 2011. Then, the apex court had ordered the Akwa Ibom State Government to transfer to Rivers State, 86 disputed oil wells, with accruing revenues beginning from April, 2009.

With that judgement, Akwa Ibom was thus compelled to refund about N350 billion to Rivers State. While he thrives in controversies, however, the Akwa Ibom governor has never betrayed emotions, smiling as he strikes one controversial cord after another, creating own tunes as it were, in the political calculations ahead of 2015 presidential and other elections. Akpabio was born on December 19, 1962, at Ukana, Ikot Ntuen, Akwa Ibom State. He attended the Federal Government College, Port Harcourt, from where he proceeded to study Law at the University of Calabar. He from there went to the Law School and was called to the Bar a year after. He served as a teacher at Afaha Secondary School, Essien Udim, Akwa Ibom State, in 1982, after which he joined Paul Usoro & Co, Lagos, a law firm, as Associate Partner. In 1995, Akpabio became Director, Corporate Affairs/ Legal Services of EMIS Telecoms. In 2002, he was appointed Commissioner for Petroleum and Natural Resources, followed by positions in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, and the Ministry of Lands and Housing in 2006. In April 2007, Akpabio was elected governor of Akwa Ibom State, taking office on May 29, 2007. He is currently serving his second term as governor.


11

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics PROVIDING FRESH PERSPECTIVES TO ISSUES MARCH 24, 2013

We’ll have female governors in 2015 –Olujimi P 12, 13, 14

IF MERGER HAS BEEN PUT TOGETHER BY GOOD PEOPLE, IT WILL DEEPEN OUR DEMOCRACY. AT LEAST WE WILL DEVELOP A TWO-PARTY SYSTEM IN NIGERIA. BUT I DIDN’T SEE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY, PDP, GOVERNORS AND THE SO-CALLED PROGRESSIVE GOVERNORS –PASTOR TUNDE BAKARE

Tukur

Amaechi

Akpabio

PDP’S LINGERING CRISES:

Any end in sight? KEMI OLAITAN, IBADAN; SAM OLUWALANA, PORT HARCOURT

W

hen members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-West faced the 2011 general elections with a divided house, it was not a surprise that at the end of the day, the party lost woefully to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The loss, to many observers, came about because members of the party were not ready to forget their differences and work as a united family. Noticeably, however, the party in the South-west has not achieved its desired reconciliation. This has been noticeable in Lagos, Oyo, Ondo, Osun, Ekiti and Ogun. Between 2011 and now, nothing has changed, with the party in virtually all the states polarised into many factions, a situation which some attribute to “the parochial interest of most of the party leaders.” While various attempts have been made by the national leadership to resolve the crisis in the states, all these have came to naught. It was the search for peace that led to last Friday’s visit to the zone by the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. The former old Gongola State governor, while addressing the teeming stakeholders of the party that converged on the Premier Hotel, Ibadan, venue of the meeting, charged the warring factions in the zone

to embrace dialogue for peace in order to move the party forward, appealing to them to take ownership of the party, hold and rebuild it for future challenges. The meeting had in attendance many notable party stalwarts from the zone that include the Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada; former governors of Ondo and Ekiti States, Dr. Olusegun Agagu and Mr. Ayodele Fayose, a former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore; Majority Leader, House of Representatives, Hon. (Mrs.) Mulikat Akande; a former Deputy National Chairman, PDP, Alhaji Shuaibu Oyedokun; a member of Board of Trustees of the party, Alhaji Yekini Adeojo; Senator Hosea Agboola; former Minister of Sports, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja and former Special Adviser on Media to Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, Mr. Diran Odeyemi. Tukur, while speaking at the meeting said, “reconcile yourself in all ramification, south -West is a great region in economy, politics and intellects in the country. South-West is a great region with heavy credentials. This heavy credentials demand from you heavy responsibilities to take over the reign of power through election. Reconcile and rebuild the party. You are the rightful people that should be in governance in your respective states. If you don’t get power, you can’t serve your people. Please reconcile so that this can be achieved. South West is very strategic. Eliminate them with your votes. I want the caucus to meet and reconcile the parties.

“So let this be the last time that the South-West will be under any party other than the PDP. For the party to regain the zone, he pleaded with feuding parties to forget the ugly experience of the past, avoid political bitterness and forge ahead to realise the objectives of the party, stating that in politics, there are no permanent enemies.” To many political observers however, the town hall meeting may not have achieved the intended peace that it was meant for, given the absence of many prominent leaders of the party at the meeting. For instance, any peace meeting in the South-West that does not have the presence of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, to many analysts, can only be a failure. Indeed, while Obasanjo may be out of office, his hold on the party in the region can only be ignored at one’s peril. To many of the party members, his words are like laws that must be obeyed at all times. And given his present disposition to the happenings at the national level of the party such as his absence at the recent Board of Trustees meeting of the party where Chief Tony Anenih emerged as Chairman of the board, the reconciliation efforts are thus seen as cosmetic Similarly, a state-by-state analysis of those that attended the meeting and those that boycotted it will reveal that a lot still need to be done to reconcile all the warring CONTINUED ON PAGE 13

Lingering issues over Ekiti deputy governor’s absent

P 14

Briefly

Osun establishes Citizen Mediation Right In line with the commitment of his administration’s six-point integral action plan, particularly the promotion and enhancement of communal peace and progress, the Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, is set to inaugurate the state’s Citizens Mediation Centre on Monday. Monday’s event is the outcome of a directive to the Ministry of Regional Integration and Special Duties to work out modalities for the establishment of a world-class Citizen’s Mediation Centre in the state. The establishment of the centre will assist in quick resolutions of civil matters among the people of the state through grievance mediation method. In a statement made available by the Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, State of Osun, Mr. Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru, the general public has been invited to the inauguration of the Osun Citizens’ Mediation Centre to be performed by the governor. The event is coming will hold tomorrow at 19, Fagbewesa Street, Osogbo, the state capital. Also called the Alternative Dispute Resolution technique, mediation is a strategy of settling dispute among people without recourse to litigation. It is adjudged the world over as speedy and cost effective mode of dispute resolution among the citizenry without undue recourse to the courts. This model of dispute resolution is similar to the traditional values of Yoruba people who would rather settle dispute through mediation than resort to the adversarial mode of litigation. According to the statement, the establishment of the mediation centre is coming at a time when the judiciary system across the world is moving away from the traditional adversarial system to an out-of-the-court method of dispute resolution.

Aregbesola

Bayelsa records low turnout at council poll

The local government election conducted yesterday in the eight local government areas of Bayelsa witnessed low turnout of voters, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. NAN correspondents, who monitored the poll in Yenagoa, Kaima, Sagbama, and Odi areas of Bayelsa, report that delay in the distribution of election materials compelled voters who turned up early to leave the polling stations. As at noon, some of the voting units at Odi, Yenagoa, Kaima had yet to receive election materials. However, Yenagoa residents defied the restriction order announced by the Bayelsa State Independent Electoral Commission as vehicles and pedestrians went about their businesses during the elections. Some shops remained open for business while restaurants in the state capital and Sagbama areas of Bayelsa enjoyed patronage. Speaking shortly after casting his vote at Opokuma community in Kolokuma/Opokuma council, Mr Timi Alaibe, former managing director of NDDC, observed that the poll was peaceful.


12

Politics

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

We’ll have female governors in 2015 Could you appraise the state of your party, the PDP, in Ekiti State now. In other words, what is the situation like? In Ekiti we are trying to get our acts together. It has not been easy because you know in a party where there are juggernauts and where democracy thrives, there is no way by which people won’t jostle and push each other. That is the way it has been with us. This is especially because we do not have a government in place that could regulate the space. That is why we have such problems. But in the last few weeks we have been trying to make sense of it knowing full well that in unity we can all regain our lost glory in the state. Every sphere of the party is helping us. The PDP at both the national and zonal levels are trying to put things together and ensure that we work as a team so that we can come back again.

Chief Abiodun Olujimi is the former Deputy Governor of Ekiti State. In this interview with Deputy Editor, Kayode Fasua and Senior Correspondent, Ayo Esan, she speaks about issues as they affect Ekiti State and the nation at large. Excerpts:

The gubernatorial election will be coming up in Ekiti next year. How prepared is your party? Thank God, the election remains about two years. It gives us time to put our acts together; that is why we are trying to come together. Whether you like it or not, the majority of the people in Ekiti State believe in and love the PDP. They are still in the PDP and all they are waiting for is for us to come together as a team. Immediately we come back together, pick somebody, and we all decide to follow him, it will be like a moving train. We are not afraid of election when it comes. Talking about reconciliation in PDP, we understand that recently the executive of the party in the South-West was dissolved of which the Vice Chairman, Chief Segun Oni, is from your state. Don’t you think this will bring discontent and disharmony in the party or what have you done to douse tension on this? There is no doubt that it brought discontentment. It is not easy for you to put people in place and remove them. However, because it is a party we joined of our own volition, we are going to have to sit together and make amendments. Thank God the national chairman was with us in Ibadan a few days ago and he said that we should all go and work together and see how we can rearrange all these things so that we get back on the track. My own take is that, the caretaker committee should not be there for long. In a month or two, the party should be reorganised. If it is going to be a new congress, let there be, and we will voluntarily pick the people who will lead us so that everybody will have a sense of belonging. Everybody must have the belief that I was part of the people that picked the team that is in charge. As soon as that is done, we will be able to move ahead again. There is a clamour, especially from a group known as Southern Agenda, that power should shift to the South this time round in Ekiti governorship election. Is the PDP thinking along this line? I will start from the beginning. A few years back, there was this Ekiti agenda which tried to locate the governorship to the three zones of the state. Then the Central has taken two shots at the governorship in the new dispensation in Governor Niyi Adebayo and then Ayo Fayose. The clamour was heavy and the leaders came together. It wasn’t a party thing; it was across the party lines. They decided that it would now be the turn of the North. There was an agreement that power should move to the North. That was why when the PDP was picking a candidate, it was from the North. When the ACN was picking a candidate, it was from the North. Nevertheless, a few parties picked from the zones that were not the relevant ones but the Ekiti people moved in one direction and voted for the North because it was an unwritten agreement. You know the Ekiti man prides himself on integrity and so it went to the North. Engineer Segun Oni became the governor, and by whatever contraption, Dr Kayode Fayemi is the governor, which means the North has also taken two shots because that was what happened in the Central Senatorial District. The belief of everyone is that the South must also take its two shots. Then it could be free for anybody and that is what informed the movement for the South Senatorial district. Whether you like it or not, I remember reading in the newspaper recently that Akwa Ibom Governor, Godswill Akpabio, said to his people that the governorship should now shift to another zone in the state. It is only normal and natural. Anyone that goes against it is doing so for selfish reasons. It would only bring bad blood and discontentment. As it is today, it is the turn of the South Senatorial District. The PDP knows it and all the other parties too even though some of them want to go against it. They are also afraid that there can be a reprisal because the South has six local governments while the other two have five local governments each.

Olujimi

There is the need, therefore, for us at least to balance all this. They are in the majority and yet they have not got close to the seat, which is not right. How would you assess the government of Dr Kayode Fayemi since he came to office? People keep asking me but I don’t like to do it. The reason is that I am in PDP, not in ACN and it is ACN that fights anybody that is on the seat of power. They would fight you until you even lose orientation. We have made up our mind that whoever is on the seat should be able to contribute his own quota to development and when the time is ripe we will tear down what we think he has not done right. However, journalists tell me they go to Ekiti and that the state is beautiful. I agreed with them but I asked, at what cost? What is the depth of the beauty that they have seen? Does it tally with what the people want? Do they have food on their tables? Are they living well? Are there infrastructure? Are salaries being paid regularly? Are workers happy? Whether you like it or not, Ekiti is a civil service state. Everyone depends on government. The moment a government starts to think about beauty because you really cannot quantify what has been used to beautify. Much money is lost in that direction. What about the welfare of their people? Then something is wrong if that is neglected because democracy is supposed to be the government of the people, by the people and for the people. If government is no longer for them, and it is for beauty, something is intrinsically wrong. I have asked people, can you take a list of roads that were tarred by Governor Fayose, take a list of roads that were tarred by Governor Oni and then take a list of roads that are being tarred now, you find out that they are one and the same. What is happening is somebody is not starting from clearing to the completion of the roads; he is putting asphalt over asphalt, breaking a tarred road

and putting curbs to make it beautiful. Somebody is taking bond to keep our children’s children in penury. There was a time it was zero allocation to local governments because we were servicing debt. There was a time Nigeria was servicing debt and the country could not move at all. It couldn’t breathe. Why is it that our state that is not yet agrarian, a civil service state, is so burdened with debts? Somebody will now incur everything and another person will come and clean the bad deeds. That is my take. If you ask for beauty, of course, Ado is beautiful, but it is nowhere beyond Ado. You were the commissioner for Works under Governor Oni; how will you compare the performance of your administration then with what Fayemi is doing in terms of road construction? Let me first clear it. I was commissioner for Works for about a year and a few months. Before I got there, there was an ambitious road programme: to tar 1,000 roads across the whole of Ekiti. What happened then was that every small area in Ekiti will have a feel of government because most of our roads are bad because of the terrain. By the time I got there, they had done about 405. We completed about 125 roads when I was there. They were still continuing before we left. When I got there I thought it was too much to be handled at once. We just decided that we were going to continue with those ones that were being initiated. Except, of course, some of them that didn’t do well and we had to terminate them. Till today some of our contractors are still the ones doing some of the roads in Ekiti and the roads we did are still what they are completing because we didn’t have the opportunity of completing them. We were not going to do Julius Bergertype road because it has to do with the depth of the stone, the finesse and our allocation could not cope. We had good contractors who were building the roads at the pace at which government could pay and not injure any other


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Sunday, March 24, 2013

–Olujimi event in Ekiti. Right now government has brought Lagosians into Ekiti to come and tar the roads as if they are tarring Lekki-Epe road, which is not a bad idea but which we can’t afford. Because of that, it is only a few areas that can be done. The others are suffering. The infrastructure and the staff are suffering. Too many things are left undone. We have identified that there is no notable governorship aspirant from the PDP in Ekiti State with barely a year or so to the election. People may have ambition but we have not seen any of them moving round and mobilising like former Governor Ayodele Fayose did before he won the election in 2003? Nobody could spend such amount of money any longer or campaign for three years again because the constraints are there. There is now a limit to how much you can spend on electioneering. You might say it doesn’t matter but at a certain stage somebody will go to court to challenge you. This is Nigeria and Ekiti is peculiar. Number two, how can you spend so much money from now when election is still about 18 months away? And you know that this government is to put every stop and even bring money from Lagos. So you need to conserve energy to be able to challenge them. There is no doubt that there are formidable people in the PDP, but you need to keep your gunpowder dry. All we need to do is to bring the party together and ensure that we are solid. If the people of Ekiti see that we are solid again they will give us their support. They have now had the opportunity of feeling two governments. At one time, they thought a messiah was on the way, now they know there is no messiah. The people know what they want. They are quiet about it and are very deep; they don’t talk too much but they know where they would go. You said the PDP has so many formidable people. I know you are one of the formidable people. Are you therefore coming out for the governorship race? So many people have been mentioning my name but I have not declared; that is the truth. But it is the turn of my zone, there is no doubt about that. If it is the turn of my zone and the people are clamouring, we will network and see if it is feasible. I am not one of those who will go into the political space just for the sake of it. I will only go after due consultations, and ensuring that it is a 50 per cent likely thing. This is because people go into it even

when they cannot win. They may say they want to use it to negotiate but I am not like that. I want to go into a thing I can really make a good showing and so I am waiting and keeping my gunpowder dry. You need first to have a party to sponsor you. When we get our party together, and I know they are willing, you will hear. I have been telling those who keep saying ‘Mrs Olujimi is there and will come out’; I say from their mouths God hears. The highest we have had of women in past elections has been that of Deputy Governors. How soon can we have a female governor? We are moving on. We are going to have a properly elected female governor very soon. It is true we had been Deputy Governors and whether you like it or not, it has permeated almost all the South. If you go to the SouthEast now, almost every other Deputy Governor is a female one. When you have a person that works with you, she must grow. We have slaved for you people; it is time for the men to show us a little mercy and say, ‘one of you join us’. I believe by 2015, we will be able to have at least two female governors and that will really be a resounding applause for government, for Nigeria and especially for the president. You worked with Fayose. What is the relationship like? Are you on talking terms? He is my boss. Christmas day was my birthday, he was here in my house for over three hours and we spoke. We are on talking terms. What you say is what people believe. He added value to my life, like I added to his. And so we can’t afford to be enemies. It is not possible for us to be enemies. But he seems to be out to contest for governorship? Yes. Would that not rubbish your ambition and the zoning arrangement in Ekiti State? Not at all. The truth is the party must support one person. The primaries must bring out one person. And when one person wins, every other person follows. There is no reason for us to despair, dissipate energy or get angry with one another. When the time is comes, we will know who it is, and as I told you, I have not declared. PDP has been in government for over 13 years now. How will you assess our democracy in the last 13 years? The last 13 years have been the best for Nigeria. We are not where we should be, we are not even close to there but for the first time, we have been able to determine a few things on our own. Our lives improve with any new government. Every new government brings new inno-

PDP lingering crises CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11

factions. A typical example is that of Oyo State. During the meeting, former Governor Alao-Akala was conspicuously absent. No reason was given for his absence. A close associate of Alao-Akala, Mr. Femi Babalola, while speaking with journalists a day after the meeting, said there was no reason for the meeting, maintaining that there is no crisis in the party in the state. Indeed, the meeting could be said to have further revealed the division in the party in the ‘pacesetter’ state as those who were present could be referred to more or less as those who are in the opposite camp of Alao-Akala. The situation could also be said to be the same with those who attended the meeting from Ogun State. Basking in the euphoria of snatching the control of the party in the state, the business magnate, Prince Kashamu Buruji, led the recently recognized state executive led by Mr. Bayo Dayo to the meeting. Conspicuously absent at the well advertised meeting were the loyalists of Chief Obasanjo, most especially members of the state executive sent packing by the national leadership of the party. Similarly, the significance of the former governor of the state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, could not be felt and with his absence and that of his supporters at the meeting, observers said the Ibadan meeting could only hope to achieve ‘a graveyard peace.’

However, at the Ibadan meeting, former Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State stole the occasion with his coterie of subtle campaigners for the next governorship seat of Ekiti. Also, when Tukur led his reconciliatory meeting to the North Central which held in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, Senate President David Mark, Governors Gabriel Suswam of Benue State and Jonah Jang of Plateau State were among party stalwarts that shunned the meeting. To many, this was a clear signal that the reconciliatory move by the party leadership could amount to mere jamboree in the long run It is no longer news that the reconciliatory tour of the PDP to the South-South ended in a fiasco as two governors, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State walked out of the venues of the parley in the middle of a speech being made by their colleague, Governor Godswill Akpabio, who is also the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum However, since that fiasco, there have been certain fallouts. Expectedly, the incident has further ignited the seemingly mutual animosity between the two contending Governors of both Rivers and Akwa Ibom states Their conflict might be said to have roots in the oil well dispute between the two states some months ago, with the

13

vations. It brings new people to be part of the political process, so we are having the benefit of experience from all over. Nigeria has benefitted immensely from democracy, from the PDP in the last 13 years and if you tell me we are not there yet, I will agree with you absolutely. The problem is not solely with the PDP. Yesterday I was at the airport , we were trying to get our boarding passes to go on the flight. I was on the queue and somebody pulled out and said a boy should come and get him his boarding pass ‘because I am tired of this’ and he was given his pass and he left. Does that have to do with leadership? No. Leadership is the smallest part of it, the followership is also to blame. Apart from that because we have the baggage from the military, most of us are still behaving like we are back there. We want to bully our ways and to do everything. Corruption is another bane that we have not been able to completely conquer. Whatever has been done we move two steps forward and then we undo them again. So the problem is not the PDP, it has to do with the followership. How many people have held their councillors and local government chairmen accountable? Those are the closest to the ordinary people. We keep quiet and just want to do the blame game and go to the media that they are not working. I learnt governments are also going against each other. There are parties in governments, which one is different from the PDP? None. Recently, the opposition parties, ANPP, CPC and ACN came together to form a mega party, APC. Do you think they can give the PDP a good fight in the 2015 general election? We have seen merger before. Don’t forget that I didn’t start in PDP. I was in the APP and we merged and became ANPP, thinking we could take over government. The problem with Nigerians and the political class is that the leaders always have selfish ideas underneath their garment. There is nothing altruistic about what is being done; except you are completely truthful about it and jettison ambition can you make the difference. What we thought then was that we should have a formidable opposition to the PDP because we had nine governors. We thought if we came together we could rattle and be like America where if you don’t rule today another time you can rule the country. The owners of the party were the ones that truncated it. Most of them are currently in this dispensation. They all wanted power and to run the party. They all wanted to have executive in their pockets so that they can nominate whoever became the candidate. I have not seen anything that has changed. Dishonesty is the name of the game, and ambition coupled with dishonesty cannot take us anywhere. I don’t believe that they are honest about what they are doing.

Rivers Government winning the battle through a court ruling. During the crisis, both the main actors engaged in a war words during the delicate period. Sunday’s walkout was Amaechi’s way of getting back at Akpabio who was said to be championing the cause of President Goodluck Jonathan who is said to be miffed by Amaechi’s alleged ambition in 2015. In a bid to justify Tukur’s explanation at the venue that Governor Uduaghan was on his way to an official assignment, the Delta Governor showed up at the Ibadan venue of the South-West peace parley few days later. This leaves Amaechi’s walkout unexplained. The two gladiators, Amaechi and Akpabio, according to political watchers in the South-South, will not reconcile their differences owing to high level ego and supremacy battle between them. Both possess strong personality, and one is not likely to give way to the other. Amaechi, in a bid to outsmart Akapabio, has pitched his tent with the party’s leadership by pledging his loyalty to it, while Akpabio on his own must have immersed himself in the self-congratulatory mode, as he was sure that his performance at the parley had effectively rattled Amaechi. After his election as the PDP Governors Forum, Akpabio has promised to weed out those he considers as ‘Judases’ in the governors’ fold in apparent reference to Amaechi and his ambition, which the President’s men consider as a sort of betrayal of the region.

Fayose

“If you are not a good follower, you cannot be a good leader,” he had said at the Sunday parley. Before then, after his election as PDP Governors Forum chairman, Akpabio hadalso kicked his rival in his post-election speech. ‘’We have too many Judases in the PDP Governors’ Forum. We have more Judases than Jesus among us and we are going to weed out those Judases among us,” he said, in a veiled reference to his main rival, Amaechi.


14

Politics

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Umeh Olayinka

Fayemi

Makanjuola

Lingering issues over Ekiti deputy governor’s absence ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

A

s the battle for the restoration of good health to the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka, intensifies, indications have emerged that some politicians in the state are already strategising to replace her. While some are said to be making entreaties to the governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, to install them as the deputy governor, some who consider themselves as political lords in the state are said to have been presenting candidates for the office of the governor. Elder brother to the deputy governor and the Sasere of Ado Ekiti, Chief C.O Famuagun, said that “but in all these, Governor Kayode Fayemi had repeatedly rebuffed such moves by describing Olayinka as not only his deputy, but a sister”. Anxiety over the state of health of the deputy governor got to a head on Monday when the state government, in a statement, said Olayinka “has taken leave to attend to issues relating to her health,” and urged all “well-meaning citizens of the state to remember her in their prayers”. The statement had provoked reaction from a source close to the deputy governor, who said she went on leave, not sick leave, and was free to do whatever she liked with her leave. The government’s statement, which came few days after the PDP in the state raised the alarm on the whereabouts of the woman, has, however, been hailed in some quarters for not keeping the public in the dark on the matter. There have always been insinuations in the state about the condition of health of the deputy governor, the latest being the rumour at the beginning of the year in January when she was rumoured to have resigned her position as the number two citizen of the state in view of her failing health. What it took to douse the tension and as well

clear the air on the rumoured resignation included her appearance in office and public functions coupled with the alarm by the governor that peddling of unverified information was on the increase in the state. This time round, Ekiti State PDP Director of Communication, Chief Gboyega Aribisogan, had in a press statement last weekend said the deputy governor was “down with some aliment, prompting her absence from office for over eight weeks”. Aribisogan, who gave the state government 48 hours ultimatum to disclose the whereabouts of the deputy governor, had said the government’s silence had given room to rumour mongers on the social media who had been saying she was in a London hospital or native healer’s place in Kogi State for an undisclosed ailment.” However, the state government’s disclosure less than 48 hours after, that she was on sick leave, began another round of insinuations by political watchers in the state. While some believe the government statement is a move to ease out the woman, who sources say is in her Lagos home, and shop for replacement for her, others say nothing is unusual about the statement, especially that the deputy governor has been in that condition for some time since assumption of office and had been coming back to work after treatment, adding that it was only a response to the PDP query. Chief Famuagun, who expressed confidence that the deputy governor would be back at her desk in no distant time, said there “is nothing unusual in a human being falling sick. I do not want to believe anybody is immune from sickness. Yes, she is ill, we are trusting God that she will be alright in no distant time”. The deputy governor’s elder brother, who said he was with the deputy governor last weekend, said: “There was even a rumour that she was dead, but I will tell you, she is alive. I was with her, she hugged me and asked whether I brought bush meat for her”.

Although the legal practitioner and Ado-Ekiti chief did not disclose the nature of the ailment, he said the woman was hale and hearty before she assumed office in 2010, saying: “Even during the three and half years that the ACN was in the trenches struggling to reclaim its mandate from the PDP, everybody saw her active involvement and that she was in good health”. Famuagun, who said he even at a point in time advised the deputy governor to stand down from office if that would give her good health and her life, described the deputy governor as “glory, which the Ado Ekiti community would not allow to go down”. It was for that reason that the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe, on Thursday called a meeting of the chiefs in his palace with a view to ensuring that “the pride” was not lost and charged the family to get to the roots of the matter and ensure necessary solution. The Ado Ekiti chief and elder brother to the deputy governor, however, advised those strategising to be deputy governor in the state to wait for their time as, according to him, “the office is not vacant for now. They should wait until she completes her tenure”. Government officials and sources as well as the deputy governor’s aides have continued to keep sealed lips on the health condition and whereabouts of the state’s number two citizen, saying the government had already made its position public on the matter. Even, Information Commissioner, Mr Tayo Ekundayo, had told Sunday Mirror in a chat that”: “Where she spends her leave is private to her. I do not know where she is. She applied for leave and she is on sick leave. I am not a medical doctor, so I cannot know the nature of her illness”. Ekiti PDP Chairman, Mr Makanjuola Ogundipe, said the PDP did not want the woman dead despite being an opposition party as he canvassed prayers for “miraculous recovery” for the deputy governor for her to be back at her desk.


15

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Interview ENCOUNTER WITH A NEWS MAKER MARCH 24, 2013

It’s terrible, wrong to have pardoned Alamieyeseigha –Gbonigi Recently, President Goodluck Jonathan pardoned some Army Generals, including former governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, and this has raised dust across the country; do you think Alamieyeseigha deserves this presidential pardon? What manner of pardon? I remember when (Oladipo) Diya and the rest were arrested over a coup. They investigated it and at last they said that it had been established that there was a strong suspicion that they planned a coup and that they were going to be killed. I wrote about three or four articles then, one after the other. That was about 1997 and I said you suspect them strongly that they were planning a coup against the Head of State, (Sani) Abacha. I said since it was suspicion, they have not executed it and if you do not have hundred per cent evidence that really they planned a coup, treat them with mercy. I wrote to Abacha telling him to have mercy. I told him that he was involved in executing three coups, and ‘now you want to kill these people you suspected; if it were to be you, you ought to have been killed three times over’. We thank God that it got to a point and Abacha died suddenly, just as he planned to kill me because I was on his list of people to be killed. But when (Gen) Abdulsalami Abubakar came, he pardoned these men. I am glad Femi Falana had come out to ask how same people can be pardoned two times, that General Diya and the rest were pardoned by Abdulsalami, so what kind of thing is this? Again, the Alamieyeseigha pardon is a terrible thing. It is completely wrong. Certainly, President Goodluck Jonathan only used the pardoning of these generals to cover up what he wanted to do. To settle the trouble between him and his former boss, that is what he has done. What Alamieyeseigha did was so bad to the economy, not only to his state but to the economy of the whole country. You don’t pardon a person like that because if you do, it means you wipe out in the record of Nigeria that he ever committed any crime. Therefore, he can elect people and can be elected. What about Mamman Vatsa and nine others who were executed for a coup, when even it was being discussed? Babangida quickly ordered their execution. Nigerians were not happy about how the execution was rushed. It broke my heart. Though, I did not know nor met him, he was a human being, a Nigerian like me and a very brilliant army officer. For them to rush to go and kill him the way they did, is still painful, but I am glad that his wife and eldest son are seeking pardon for their late breadwinner. If other generals too are pardoned and someone like Alamieyeseigha was pardoned, I think Vatsa too deserved to be pardoned. I hope the president will listen to that and pardon Vatsa and nine others. The Yoruba have called on the President to look into the marginalisation of the tribe in this dispensation and nothing has been done in this regard. What is your take on this? The Yoruba Unity Forum under the leadership of Chief (Mrs) H.I.D. Awolowo held a press conference recently in Ibadan where we expressed very clearly and in detail our complaints about the marginalisation of the South-West, especially Yoruba people. We have been complaining, hoping that President Jonathan would listen to us and do something about it. We have arranged to meet

Retired Bishop, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Bolanle Gbonigi, is the chairman of Yoruba Unity Forum, a pressure group championing the cause of the Yoruba race. In this interview with Hakeem Gbadamosi in Akure, Gbonigi speaks on a wide range of national issues, which include corruption in high places, perceived marginalisation of the Yoruba, problems on insecurity, the proposed centenary celebrations, among others. Excerpts:

Gbonigi

with the President, about four or five of us, to tell him in clear terms and in detail how we are marginalised so that people will not be thinking that we are crying wolf. We also want to let the people we represent know the basis of our agitation, because we are not representing ourselves. We are representing the Yoruba people. We called a press conference so that the people we represent don’t say we are inactive, that we are just making noise and not acting on their behalf. But a Yoruba had been there for eight years and nothing serious was done? Are you referring to Obasanjo? We don’t want to be bothered by the past. A lot had happened in the past. Obasanjo you are talking about became our president from 1999 to 2007. He is now out of power and if you continue talking

about that, it won’t help us. I believe in action, so I will advise our people to not just shout. We cannot be helped by talking grammar, they want real action and let us act, so that was why we called a press conference. We believe it would help us to achieve what we are pursuing, because certainly the president cannot afford to ignore the whole of South-West. There are calls for amnesty for the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, by some northern elders; do you think they are right in their demand as a way of putting to an end the activities of this dreaded sect? Every human being has the right to talk, to use his or her mind to think about what he or she thinks is right. But I have been saying it, one should think very well beCONTINUED ON PAGE 16


16

Interview

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘Sultan’s request on Boko Haram is disappointing’ like before … in a camouflage way. They don’t want us to be on our own. What we need to do now is to find a way out of our underdevelopment and not celebrating centenary of merging us together. We have failed to call ourselves together, sit down and talk, and listen to one another. We were not the same country before, we don’t speak the same language, and we don’t have the same culture but now that the colonial masters have merged us together, there is some good in it because we don’t have any past in the amalgamation. They decided and did it, so we ought to have come together to say that now that they have merged us together, do we like it, and sort out our differences. And with that conference, there would have been what I call mutual agreement that will benefit all of us. There was a particular time we called for Sovereign National Conference but our president at that time, Obasanjo, did not believe in it but at last he caved in.

Gbonigi

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 fore talking. Sometimes some of our people talk before they think. It is very disappointing to hear the Sultan of Sokoto of all people, the leader of Muslim community in the whole of Nigeria, say that amnesty should be granted to Boko Haram. These people are criminals, they have destroyed so many lives, Christians, Muslims alike; they have maimed people, destroyed property, how do you call for amnesty for this kind of people that are faceless? As the president has rightly said, you don’t grant amnesty to faceless people. Who are these people; what do they want? They have not come out to tell the whole world what they want and to boldly tell the nation that ‘we are the Boko Haram’. We should not compare them with the militants in the Niger Delta who had been there for many years. They did not hide but came out through their leaders to table their needs. They spelt out what they needed, they published their grievances in papers. Sometimes they organised peaceful demonstration. They cannot be compared with Boko Haram. There can’t be amnesty for Boko Haram because they are faceless. If you were to advise the president on insecurity in the country, what would you tell him? The first thing the president can do is to make sure the Federal Government, states and local governments work together to do something about unemployment of the youths. I have been saying it over the years and I will continue to say it that we do something about unemployment. Nigeria is a country with millions of able-bodied youths, educated and who studied in higher institutions, therefore they want to work. There is no doubt about that. If they have work to do, they won’t think about crime. I have always said that if young people in Nigeria come out of our tertiary institutions and secure jobs, they won’t think about crime; criminals won’t be able to lure them into crime because they will be busy and engaged in productive activities. It is because they have no work to do that some people lure them into crime. We have to work together to provide jobs. We have to lay emphasis on agriculture so that young people will have something to do to prevent insecurity in the country. The second thing is that we should make politics less attractive. What we pay our political office holders as salaries and allowances is so much that people now see politics as a business venture. They now see politics as a quick means to make money. What we pay those people at the top particularly our law-

WHAT WE NEED TO DO NOW IS TO FIND A WAY OUT OF OUR UNDERDEVELOPMENT AND NOT CELEBRATING CENTENARY OF MERGING US TOGETHER makers is abnormal, just too much and unimaginable. We went to America to borrow the presidential system but this is not the way the system operates there. I had an opportunity of being in that country for five years, so I know how they operate it. Politicians in America are not in politics to enrich themselves but to serve and meet the needs of their people. That is what we must also do. Certainly, we need to reduce the allowances we pay to our lawmakers at the top. We are prodigal the way we spend money. Despite the economic situation, a lot of money has been earmarked for our centenary celebration. Do we need all this? They call it centenary celebration and they have even started it. They say it will go on for one year; it makes one to be very sad because I can imagine people in Europe, America and other parts of the world laughing at us, that what are they celebrating? We are only celebrating our enslavement. We were made slaves by the colonial masters and we were under them for many years. They looted our raw materials in those periods because God has blessed Nigeria so much. They administratively siphoned our raw materials to build their roads, universities, develop their economy, particularly Britain. People will say they gave us education but what kind of education did they give us? They started with primary school, which people like us went to, but they were only teaching us art subjects to equip us to be civil servants, to be teachers in primary and secondary schools and civil servants to equip their offices in Nigeria, not to be technicians, doctors and engineers. The first few technicians and medical doctors we had in Nigeria were people who moved abroad through the churches, and sons of leaders of churches who had opportunity to go to England. They were the people who had the opportunity to learn science. It was not a policy of the colonial masters to equip us scientifically or technologically to develop our country. When we look at them, they are not our friends. Even up till now, they still try to maintain what they call the Commonwealth, common wealth of what? It is just a way to pretend that we are together

How do you see the merger of some political parties in a bid to control power and displace the PDP at the federal level? Do you see this as coming to fruition? Though these parties have merged, yet lately we heard of another political party sharing their acronym, APC. That has brought a setback as there is another APC which has been registered by INEC and so there is problem. This is one of the problems we have in Nigeria. There is no political party in here that has a national outlook, that’s why I always refer to them as strange bedfellows. When PDP started, I realised at that time that it was the coming together of strange bedfellows. They have different political ideologies but in order to win election and have political offices, they come together to form PDP. Their primary reason for forming the party was not in order to serve the people or work for them but to look for positions in order to get possession. The coming together of political parties to form APC is more or less the same thing with PDP, unless it is to prevent Nigeria from becoming a one party state. That will be a positive reason for coming together, and secondly, if the reason is to work hard to reduce poverty and to serve the people, to provide jobs particularly for the youth who have nothing to do, it would have been good. What we are seeing and hearing don’t show that the reason for their coming together is for the good of the masses. If it is still the old reasons of ‘let us come together and win election and share power and resources’, it is not acceptable but if they are really honest that the reason they came together is to cater for the people, because what we notice is that since PDP had been ruling us since 1999 they have not been working to cater for the need of the people. Are the APC honest about it? I doubt that this APC would stand because when selfishness comes in, it would be torn apart. Each group that formed the party will still remain there. They all come from different parties and will be fighting for the interest of their different groups. When this self-centeredness creeps in, they won’t be able to work together for the good of the common people, but we pray that they would be able to minimise this and make the people the main objective of their coming together. What do you think is wrong with the Nigerian system? It is sin. We are very sinful. Selfishness is the order of the day. We don’t mind the masses, and again selfishness has to do with pride and arrogance (arrogating to yourself what does not belong to you). In clear terms, it is sin and that is where the religious groups come in, the church, the mosque - teaching the word of God, the truth and nothing but the truth. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Let’s ask ourselves if we really love one another. The answer is no. Giving to the people their dividend of democracy from what is available, but a situation where somebody wants to allocate all the resources meant for the whole country, not caring about the situation of others, will not work; so it is sin. For this nation to move forward, we must embrace the true way of God and avoid sins. If the fear of God is there, those who rule us will do it the right way. What is necessary to get us out of this political, moral mess and others is to know our sins, confess and move away from them, especially our leaders, and I am sure things will turn around for this country.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

17

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A PUBLICATION OF GLOBAL MEDIA MIRROR LTD BARRISTER JIMOH IBRAHIM OFR „ PUBLISHER All the Facts, All the Sides STEVE AYORINDE

„

MD/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

BOLAJI TUNJI

„

SUNDAY EDITOR

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

„

COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

ADESOYE ADEKOYA

„

CONTROLLER, PRODUCTION

ISE-OLUWA IGE

„

ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

„

SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

CALLISTUS OKE

„

EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

FRANK OBOH

„

HEAD, GRAPHICS

Confounding scenario in aviation industry

B

arely two days after the Federal Government suspended the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) of Dana Air and grounded all of the airline’s flight operations, the AOC was hastily restored last Monday, according to a statement signed by the Special Adviser (Media) to the Minister of Aviation, Joe Obi, early last week. Obi said the AOC suspension which took effect penultimate Saturday was lifted after the Ministry of Aviation and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) officials met with Dana Air’s management team the following Monday. There had existed the apprehension, following the withdrawal of the Dana Air licence, that air fares which had already gone through the roof might skyrocket further, since Aero Airlines and Arik Air had earlier been grounded. The suspension of operations by Air Nigeria, Chanchangi and Dana Air last year, we recall, led to the acute shortage of seats for air travellers and shot airfares for one hour flight up to between N35, 0000 and N45, 000, depending on one’s choice of airline and the time of flight. The hiked air fares persisted until Med-View Airlines joined scheduled operations and was charging N16,200 per trip to Abuja. Reports have it that the latest withdrawal of Dana Air’s AOC was consequent upon a bad battery reported by the airline’s engineers to the NCAA. There were, however, claims of intrigues, with allegations suggesting desperate efforts some weeks earlier to withdraw the licence of the airline, but for the intervention of the former NCAA Director-General, Dr. Harold Demuren. Indeed, a statement by Dana Air announcing its brief suspension of operations last

weekend said “no specific reason was given for the action”. In other words, the airline was at a loss as to what warranted the withdrawal of its AOC. It is, therefore, not unlikely that the confusion witnessed in the past few weeks in the management of the nation’s aviation industry, that saw Dana Air losing its AOC for two days and the NCAA D-G, Demuren, being sacked; and then the sudden restoration of Dana Air’s AOC were the results of policy somersaults. The aviation industry is highly technical and capital intensive. Therefore, the decision to ground or permit any airline’s operation ought not to be precipitate, but carefully thought over and carried out after the appropriate checks. It is bad enough that monopoly fares are now being charged by the few airlines still in operation. Compounding the rather unjustifiable high air fares, the nuisance of touts, as well as the inconveniencing and dehumanising scramble for seats in the few airlines that fly the nation’s domestic routes with reckless withdrawal and restoration of AOCs can only fuel the confusion and privations that have been trailing the aviation industry in the country. Conflicting reasons had equally been given when, on September 20 last year, the authorities suspended the domestic operations of Arik Air, just 10 days after the national flag carrier, Air Nigeria, suspended its operations for 12 months, and a day after some senators suggested that Arik Air be designated as the national carrier. We have consistently argued that the business climate under which local carriers thrive is patently hostile, with virtually all the airlines bogged down by huge debts,

high cost of fuel, inadequate and substandard infrastructure, lack of in-country maintenance facilities, dubious regulatory profiles, an exploitative tariff regime, and the reckless allocation of landing rights and frequencies to foreign carriers at various international airports, etc. The Federal Government’s duty waivers in respect of imported aircraft and spare parts for air planes reported lately seem not to have done much in addressing the aforementioned obstacles. Besides, the government’s promise of 30 aircraft life-line to the airlines is yet unfulfilled. We are still insistent on the fact that, in spite of FG’s flattering pronouncements on its commitment to reviving the nation’s aviation sector, the airlines are yet to receive the kind of strategic and critical support their counterparts in many other nations enjoy from their home governments. It may still be reiterated, the public recognition of the bailout package the FG extended to airline owners in the recent past, but such funds were said to have been used to offset old and accumulated industry debt, instead of expanding operations. With the frequent unseen hostilities raging between government officials in their bid to wield power and influence on the aviation sector and industry players, growth in the sector may continue to be retarded. Therefore, notwithstanding the weaknesses of local carriers and their management, the Federal Government should persevere in finding ways to truly bring the crumbling sector back to life by genuinely and apolitically sorting out all identified problem areas that have been holding down aviation services in the country.

Reminiscences MARCH 24, IN HISTORY 1920: ‘U.S. women have most freedom’

A woman from South America completed studies on women around the world. She had determined that women from the United States enjoy the most freedom of all the women around the world.

1949: Truman authorises aid for Palestine President

Harry Truman authorised $16 million in aid for Palestinian refugees displaced and facing starvation as a result of Israel’s War of Independence in 1948.

1953: England Queen Mother dies

The British Queen Mother died at the age of 85 peacefully in her sleep.

1978: Strong winds split French tanker

The tanker, Amoco Cadiz, split into two off the coast of France during strong winds dumping 220,000 tons of crude oil on the Brittany coast line. The spill created an oil slick 18 miles wide and 80 miles long causing an environmental ecological disaster in the area.

1992: England Punch Magazine

The satirical British magazine, Punch, announced it would publish its final issue on April 8 after 150 years due to falling sales and subscriptions.

2002: Rhein-Main contracts out mail service

The Rhein-Main in Frankfurt announced its decision to contract out its mail service needs to a company named Pacific Architects and Engineers Government services.

2008: Greece Olympic Torch Relay Begins

Olympic Torch Relay started in Olympia, Greece and it went round the world promoting the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The Torch Relay ended in China on August 8 at the Olympic Stadium in Beijing.

2012: U.S. - Cheney gets heart transplant

Former United States Vice-President, Dick Cheney, received a heart transplant while at the Inova Fairfax Hospital in the state of Virginia. The 71-year-old man suffered from heart problems since the age of 37 and had to wait for a transplant for over 20 months before receiving it.


18

Opinion

Sunday March 24, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Jonathan’s national award, state pardon giveaways Uncensored U nc

Sheriff S Folarin

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

T

he Good Samaritan, that’s how best to describe President Goodluck Jonathan, for his generous acts of splashing national awards and state pardons on persons of diverse character. The most recent show of magnanimity was the granting of state pardon to a group of Nigerians who had hitherto been disclaimed as fugitives and had either been lying low or had since faded out in ignominy. Jonathan tried to restore their hope and dignity as humans by proposing to, and obtaining state pardon from the National Council of State. Among those granted pardon were former Chief of General Staff to late Sani Abacha; General Oladipo Diya; former Minister of Communications, General Tajudeen Olanrewaju; former Minister of Works and Housing, late General Abdulkareem Adisa; among others. The most controversial of the pardons was that offered to the former Bayelsa State governor, Mr. Diepreye Alamieyesiegha. Alams, as he’s fondly called by friends and the media, was the one that brought President Jonathan to political limelight in the country. He picked up Jonathan, from a crowd of unknown Bayelsans, and anointed him as his deputy governor; and when he got impeached after a catalog of corruption cases was established against him, Jonathan succeeded him as governor. And it was thereafter that Jonathan, considered as a lamb among all the Niger Delta political wolves at the time in the state government houses, was chosen as Vice Presidential Candidate for the ruling

party at the national level. What makes the state pardon phony is the perceived lack of consideration for the ethical implications of granting it to a ‘wanted man’. Alams was under trial in England, and was indeed in the spotlight in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly on multiple charges of money laundering, fraud, stealing, lack of financial accountability and indeed financial recklessness. He had been caught and docked in London and granted bail pending further hearing, when he jumped bail and fled to Nigeria allegedly dressed like an old woman. That act of ignominy had conferred on the former governor the tags of runaway thief, fugitive, fraudster, et cetera. Alams had brought shame upon his people of Bayelsa State and by extension upon Nigeria. He had further injured our image as a big-time colony of fraudsters and irresponsible people, particularly as he was a serving governor. Alams’ act of returning home from the United Kingdom as a wanted man and the act of hailing himself for ‘escaping’ like James Bond, the Hollywood (British film) character, compounded the woes of a disgraced nation. He had given Nigeria a very bad name in the international community, and after briefly serving that joke of prison terms, as well as the phantom return of stolen wealth, he became a free man again. With all this pedigree, it is believed that Jonathan had committed sacrilege to even consider Alams for state pardon. The pardon is generally viewed as over-the-top. What makes the act more ridiculous is that given the background of the administration’s avowed commitment to anti-corruption, pardoning an infamous example of corruption is contradictory and antithetical to the spirit of national renewal. It is a slap on our face as a people that someone can bring us to such despicable level of disrepute and yet get away with it, even in the middle of a long-drawn battle against corruption. It simply means anyone can get to public office and steal as much as he can, if caught, get spanked and asked to go and live large with his ill-gotten wealth.

The implication of state pardon is that the culprit is now “a new creature; old things are (have) passed away, all things are (have) become new”. Put differently, if any man be pardoned by the state, he’s as free as any other man and can rise to any levels in the land, either as Governor, Vice President, or Senator. If he was in the military, he would have his rank restored. He could even return to his office, if he is still within legal age limit. By that pardon, Alams could go into politics once again and aspire to become anything. By the pardon, whatever name you called him is your own problem, not his; and whatever tag you have for him is a figment of your prolific imagination; not his business. He’s as free as you are and can use just a fraction of that stolen money to buy his way to becoming your lawmaker or minister in the nearest future. President Jonathan’s act is widely considered as payback for Alams’ kindness to him. Alamieyesiegha was his ‘Oga at the Top” who defined his political future; and now as the new “Oga at the very Top”, Jonathan must return the favour. “One good turn”, they say, “deserves another”. It is just “natural” for President Jonathan to use his “good offices” to restore Alams’ full privileges as a citizen. If “Oga Jo” doesn’t do it, who will? And if not now, when will that be? Alams has his own future to redefine; his political destiny would not end with “ex-governor”, “ex-convict”, and “bail jumper”. He must end like others who had gotten jailed for impunity and yet returned to public life like saints and messiahs. The administration must admit that it goofed on this one. It is too obvious that the president’s kinsman and former boss is being favoured. Lumping Alams together with others such as Adisa, Olanrewaju and Diya, who were victims of persecution by the Abacha junta, was an infantile and ludicrous way of scaffolding or downplaying the magnitude of Alams’ crimes against the state. The pardon also rubbishes the administration’s image and worsens Nigeria’s corruption profile. For the Jonathan administration, it is another self-immolation politically.

But, are we surprised? Throwing awards and pardons around is this administration’s trademark. Before now, there were the 2011 and 2012 national awards and honours, which were like open bazaars for affluent Nigerians, which seemingly did not consider the awardees’ moral pedigree. Every thief or ex-convict now goes around with national medals around their necks, parading themselves as MON, CON, OON, CFR, GCON, et cetera (some credible ones have rightfully earned it though; but multitudes in recent times, do not deserve it). No wonder, some respectable Nigerians such as Chinua Achebe have turned down such offers repeatedly, as it continues to look like it is an expanding club of criminals that wear honours’ medals. The administration later realized its overzealousness in splashing honours around when some of its awardees were found wanting and arrested for financial crimes, which government to set up a committee to see to the identification of such culprits and withdrawal of awards. In some cases, persons who had gotten higher order of awards in the past were yet given lower order of awards in recent times. No wonder, General Domkat Bali politely turned down the award of CON, as he had earlier in his career earned the more prestigious GCON. Like the awards, the state pardon was also offered to some persons who had earlier been granted clemency by the Abdusalami Abubakar administration. These are obvious cases of the administration’s lack of consultation of the archives for proper records before consideration and announcement of such high profile national decisions. The administration has thus been persistently reactive, spontaneous and not strategic in decision-making. President Jonathan has to recruit people that truly want his success to advise him always scrutinize the records for him before he takes any major decision. •Dr. Folarin is a Senior Lecturer and Head of Department, Political Science/ International Relations, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria

The reform in Ekiti local govt system GBENGA SODEINDE

F

or any organisation to remain productive and relevant there is the need for it to undertake a reengineering process for both its human and material resources. A staff appraisal and audit are very necessary to ensure maximum productivity of the organisation.

That is exactly what happened recently in Ekiti State, when the state government decided to appropriately place the local government employees. The ‘surgical operation’ became expedient when it became glaring that the system had completely become a cesspool of corruption, ineptitude and a place of merchandise. People no longer had confidence in the system, while majority of the staff had become redundant, as a result of doing nothing. Those who actually performed their duties did so below the optimal level. This was the situation until the state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, intervened. At first, he sacked the chairman and members of the Local Government Service

Commission, who were seen to be ineffective. He also descended on those employees with N.C.E and B.Ed certificate, who ordinarily had no business being in the local government and those whose academic qualifications have no bearing with the local government system. The N.C.E. and B.Ed holders were directed to report at the State Universal Board and Teaching Service Commission T.S.C. for proper placement as teachers. This, however, did not go down well with the affected employees, who thought they were being witchhunted or sacked. The anti-development forces also harboured the same idea, that the government had sacked many local government staff and that the redeployment was a hoax. However, events of the last few weeks had demonstrated the good intention of the government, as the affected staff have now discovered that the state government meant well for them, just as the Local Government Service Commission gave assurances that their redeployment from the local government service to the SUBEB and T.S.C. was not to sack workers but to make them productive, and to reengineer

the local government system for maximum performance. As it stands, the affected staff members have now discovered the rationality in their redeployment; they have now seen that they were actually away, in the local government system and now have been properly placed on the job they were trained for. Many of them, who have remained for long on Grade Level 04 are now been properly placed on Grade Level 07 in the teaching service; this is a big plus as it is a sort of promotion, which was not possible when they were in the local government system. Besides, the redeployment has gone a long was to boost and strengthen the education sector of the state. Not a few of the affected workers are now singing the praises of the governor for making them realise their potentials. Mrs. Ronke Adebayo, a former staff of community department in one of the local government said, “I thought I was pursuing logical career at the local government, until the redeployment exercise, when I now discovered I had been in a wrong place. Now in the teaching line, I can faithfully

pursue my career as a trained teacher; the government has really done well. Initially, I thought we were being sacked, but now the truth has been revealed, that it was actually meant to reform the local government and make us professionally relevant. As typical of every sector of the state’s economy that has actually received a large dose of construction, development and reformation, the local government system in Ekiti as it is now can proudly hold its own as being a reengineered and a re-jigged third tier of government worth its salt. This is clearly evident during the recent time of the chairman of Local Government Service Commission, Chief Ranti Adebisi, who toured all the local government councils, where he gave the assurance of a highly productive local government system and the reception accorded him by the local government staff, who hailed the governor and his administration for doing a better job in Ekiti, was overwhelming. •Sodeinde is Special Assistant to the Ekiti State Governor on ALGON Affairs.


19

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Praise Worship E-mail:richardeghaghe@yahoo.com

E-mail:titusanyanwu.2012@gmail.com

EDIFYING GOD

QUOTE Faith is what confers the victory. Without faith, no one can experience true victory. –Pastor Olusore

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Associates recall last moment of Obadare

Briefly Madubuko out with Easter’s ‘Resurrection Praise’

•The vaccum would be difficult to fill –Cleric

HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE.

T

he shock created by the death, last Thursday, of the General Evangelist of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Prophet Timothy Obadare, is yet to wane, as his adherents across the country continue to lament the exit of the renowned blind prophet. Obadare, whose arm of the CAC is known as World Soul Evangelical Ministry (WOSEM) was based in Akure, Ondo State. He was aged 84. Up till press time, crowds of sympathisers still thronged the 65- 67 Adinlewa street home of the late evangelist and seer in Akure One of the late clergyman’s sons, Joseph Obadare, who had earlier made formal announcement of his father’s passage, informed that there was no concrete burial arrangement yet for the late Obadare but that every detail would be communicated in due course. The family, however, still awaits the arrival of Obadare’s first son who lives in the United States of America, but Joseph said, ‘We thank God for Baba’s life as he passed into glory this morning (Thursday) and every other detail of his burial will be communicated to you soon.” Speaking about the late evangelist, the Deputy General Evangelist of CAC worldwide, Prophet Gabriel Oyelami, described the vacuum left by Obadare as being too difficult to fill by anybody. He described the late Obadare as a leader and great confidant who he would miss greatly. He said, “I am going to miss this great man of God who has been my confidant since 1957, an astute gospel preacher, a bold, courageous, and upright man who always surrenders himself for the service of God and humanity. He, however, prayed to God to enable the church groom a new prophet that will be ready to preach the truth and lead the people aright. He pointed out that the world is filled with fake men of God

There is power in your mouth, –Pastor Daramola 23

The late Obadare

who are after material things of the world, saying, “We pray God should choose for us a good successor who will be filled with the Holy Spirit” Oyelami, however, said the death of Obadare could bring an end to the crisis that had engulfed the CAC for the past years, saying the leaders within the two factions can come together if God so wishes. “With God, all things are possible, and truth stands unchanged,’ he said. But he explained that the issue of succession should be left for God to decide while he said the burial arrangement would be made available soon. Of the burial rite, he said, “it will be a combined effort of the church and the family and probably supports from some state governments.” Speaking on Obadare’s last moments, Joseph Olakinbodewa, a pastor within the

Easter is not a Christian celebration –Pastor Samuel

41

church who is also the last interpreter to the late seer, said there was nothing spectacular about Obadare’s last moment but that it was a good one. He said that Baba Obadare, as the late prophet was fondly called, was never sick as being rumoured by some people but that the clergyman “was just having a personal time with his creator all along as he was no longer active in preaching and moving round for evangelism.” He said, “As a beloved of God, God knows how to deal with His ‘General’ because Baba was a General in God’s fold. At that period, Baba was communing with God and even when doctors came round to run test on him, they couldn’t diagnose anything wrong with him.” Olakinbodewa who is also the National Youth leader of WOSEM, described Obadare as an evangelist to the core, one who was given special assignment by God. He also described him as a loving father; “he was very loving and caring and was always ready to listen and give advice to people. “He was an epitome of good character, Baba was ready to conquer the world with his preaching; his only love is winning soul for God.” Also speaking, the Chairman CAC, WOSEM, Pastor David Oluyi, described the late preacher as a leader of God’s army and that he was never tired of working for God. “I have never seen anyone like him; he lived a good, exemplary life and was a good leader, worthy of emulation. “I have been with him for the past 43 years and I have not seen him with any evil power but he taught us about prayer, fasting, endurance and steadfastness,” he eulogized. He, however, said word could not describe how greatly the prophet will be missed by his followers in Nigeria and all around the world. Also, Obadare’s driver of 25 years, Pastor Gbenga Obatuyise, described Obadare as a real prophet of God who always believed in what is right, till his last moment.

Apostle Madubuko

Easter Sunday promises tremendous breakthrough, healing ,miracle and more as the founder and General Overseer of the Revival Assembly Church, Apostle Anselm Madubuko, declares an extraordinary morning service on Easter Sunday with the them, ‘Resurrection praise.’ at the Revival Miracle Cathedral, 1-7 Revival close off Cocoa road off Akilo Road ( by Guiness Breweries) Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos. The event slated for 9am, will showcase gospel superstar acts like ‘Agidi Gba’ crooner, Tim Godfrey, Award-winning gospel artiste – Samsong , the fire vocalist and instrumentalist, Frank Edward and superstar – Seun Bankole . Others include the Higher Dimension Choir of the Revival Assembly and lots more. Speaking on preparations for the extraordinary service, Apostle Madubuko disclosed that the Easter Sunday morning service is for people to come and experience God’s power to resurrect every dead soul and dreams, hope, marriage, business or any other thing dead in the lives of people through the power of the risen Christ. The Revival Assembly, which celebrated its 23rd anniversary in December 2012, is known for ‘Mega Gospel’ events that parade international and local a-list preachers like Dr Juanita Bynum from USA, and gospel artistes’ topmost event is the annual ‘Azusa’ Conference that comes up yearly in July.

Sunday Mirror/Babcock University Bible Quiz: Winners March 17, 2013 • Femi Ojetunji (08186353527) • Chijioke Obinwanne (07034692435) • Ezra Samson Woshi (08163449827) • Isitor Joseph (07062970195) • William Adeniyi (08060996362) • 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.

How to get rid of terrible sexual thoughts – Pastor Odubiyi 45


20

Praise & Worship

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

My song made 10 robbers drop their weapons –Pastor Inyang ADAEZE AMOS

T

Spirirual leader of PAINCARWE OUTREACH, Mr. Steve Akindasa, helps the founder, Mr. Peter Ebere Nwosu, pass on food items to a woman during the March outreach held on Ronke Street, Ijeshatedo, Lagos

Group woos Lagos community for Christ

…through free medical services RICHARD EGHAGHE

P

aincare Christian Outreach, a team comprising doctors, nurses, pharmacists and evangelists at the weekend hit the streets of Ijeshatedo, Lagos, to give free medical services to locals, and minister the gospel of Christ to them. The mission work, which was more pronounced at Ronke Street of Ijeshatedo, was facilitated by Mr. Peter Ebere Nwosu, Managing Director, Greenlife Pharmaceutical Ltd. According to its organisers, it was geared at providing free medical services, and drugs, for the poor and the needy in relatively backward communities, while also preaching the Christian gospel to win souls. About 5, 000 people from different streets and adjoining communities in Ijeshatedo benefited from the programme which include free medical consultations, diagnoses, prescriptions and dispensing of drugs, by the team of medical experts. For those with simple health issues or cases, available drugs were prescribed by the doctors; those with complicated cases were referred to the appropriate quarters for specialised medical attention, while others with visibly nothing to attend to were given Over-theCounter drugs and sound medical advice to ensure that they maintain good health. Everyone that came left with various food items and beverages like rice, beans, sachet milk, noodles, tomato puree, among others. Spiritual leader of the mission, Mr. Steve Akindasa, said, “Some people think Paincare Outreach is an NGO, but it is more of a mission that is out to provide succour for the needy and poverty-stricken members of communities, both spiritually and medically, while offering them the opportunity to embrace

God as their personal Lord and saviour, through the preaching of the gospel of God. Glorifying God for the success of the programme, presiding pastor of the Chapel of Miracles of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Area Zone 1, Region 2 Parish and host of the Paincare outreach, Gbolagade Olanrewaju, noted that the response was overwhelming and wholesome. “For a church that harbours not more than 100 people on a boisterous Sunday to get converts that triple that number is an evidence of the success of the programme. “We came here and built this church on a filthy portion of the street that is regularly visited by sanitation officers because of the level of dirt. But we have transformed the place and for this event today, I think God has shown that we are going to touch the lives of the residents here and beyond, even deeper,” Olanrewaju said. Speaking on why he was fired up by the Holy Spirit to bankroll the programme, Nwosu, who presides over Greenlife Pharmaceutical, remarked that, “Seeing the way people scramble for food in most of our communities makes me feel so sad and I sometime wept, because of my very poor background. I and my siblings saw and felt hardship as a growing child. We lost our dad quite early in life and the burden was totally on my mother to bring us up,” he said. He narrated that “One particular Christmas day, we had no single drop of rice grain in the house. You know what that means. Then my mother decided to go to the farm to see if she could get any kind of food at all for us to eat. But in the farm, there was nothing to bring home and she could not face us back in the house with empty basket. So she broke down in tears on her way back; she ran into a man

who gave her 50 kobo, and with that, she was able to get us something at least to eat. But you can imagine what kind of food 50 kobo would make,” he disclosed. Continuing, he said, “One day, she fell so sick and we could not do anything to help her because we could not afford even the cheapest medical bills in any hospital at all. After that day, I prayed to God and made a vow to him that any time he blesses me, I will do everything to help people in need. That is exactly what I am doing today,” he said. So far Paincare has touched not less than 20, 000 lives directly, as it provides succour for widows even as far as in the SouthEast, while also giving food and in some cases, monetary offer to people in dire need. Within the last one year, scores of communities have been visited by Paincare’s rare benevolence. These include Shasha, Igando, Ilaro, Isheri-Olofin and Yakoyo, and then, Nanka, in Anambra State. For each outreach, Paincare spends not less than N10 million on foods, beverages, medicines and logistics that could cater for as many as 5, 000 people on the day. This year, Nwosu said 14 outreaches would be held across various communities. Meanwhile, he has said the outreach would help set up three additional parishes of RCCG in various parts of the country, just as it has cultivated plans to build a hospital for the poor as part of ensuring that less privileged Nigerians have access to quality healthcare. Dr. Femi Ajagun, head of the medical team described the outreach as laudable adding that religion has a lot to do in promoting good health among the people. “This is what Nigerians need. More Nigerians need to assist the downtrodden more by embarking on such missions,” Ajagun said.

he biblical saying that God inhabits the praises of His children seems apt to describe the testimony of this woman of many parts, who is a princess, musician and cleric. Anne Inyang, the lady of gospel song and an indigene of Ibiono Ibom in Akwa Ibom State recently dropped a bombshell. The united Peace Ambassador who was born in Calabar but grew up in Lagos said she had an encounter with the raw power of God through praises in South Africa, about three years ago. According to her, while she was ministering in a South African church, unknown to her, there were 10 armed robbers present in the church, who were deeply touched. “This happened while I was ministering in South Africa, in Port Elizabeth. I was ministering in one of my songs titled ‘Akanan Nkwe’, a popular gospel hit that has made me win over 30 awards, including the United Nations Peace Ambassador award. “So, while I was ministering that Sunday, the power of God came down and His presence was felt in the whole auditorium, so much that some 10 armed robbers who were waiting outside the church, waiting for the service to be over so that they could rob the members, walked into the church and headed straight to the altar with their guns, knives and fetish power (juju) and dropped them at the foot of the altar and surrendered their lives to Christ after confessing. “When they entered the church, members didn’t notice them, because we were all engulfed in the power of God which can change lives. They too joined in the praises.” She said it was when she paused in the course of singing that the men confessed. Wonder how they made their confession? “They said they actually came to rob but that the power of God held them captive. So, what I and

Ann Inyang

some pastors of the church did was to start a Non-Governmental Organisation which catered for the 10 men and some teenage mothers. “Today, three of these 10 men are now pastors while the rest went back to school and are into more lucrative ventures.” Inyang, a mother of one-a boy, is also an actress. She is a graduate of Banking and Finance who was a manager with the First Bank of Nigeria Plc before she resigned to answer the call of God with her songs. She frowns at the way some Christians judge their fellow Christians, using physical appearance. She said she had been a victim of this. “You know the Bible says ‘man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart.’” “When I was working in a bank, there were people that tied their heads in scarf 24 hours of the day; and one among them embezzled the bank’s funds and she was imprisoned. It is the word of God that is in the inside of you that cleanses you and brings out what is in the inside, for people to see.” This means that a pastor can be trendy and still be spirit-filled? “Oh, sure. But hold on; I believe in modesty. You don’t have to walk naked on the street for people to know you are trendy. I also don’t believe in extremism, that unless you cover your hair with scarf, you are no longer of God. I could remember when I ministered in a church where they insisted I must tie my hair and while I was ministering, my scarf dropped from my head. I stopped and I asked them if I should tie my scarf so that the angels would not get angry, but they said I shouldn’t stop, that I should continue. “You see, all these things are doctrines that people were taught but I believe that as people begin to be washed by the water of the word of God, their lives would change. Invariably, what I’m saying is that, even with my make-up and jewelry, I’m still a spirit-filled and devil-destroying pastor,” she says, smiling cherubically.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Praise & Worship

Sunday March 24, 2013

21

Crossing the Red Sea, by Pastor Adewunmi Pastor Segun Adewunmi explains how one can overcome stubborn challenges prayerfully by drawing on the Biblical Red Sea experience. Excerpts:

T

his message is for those whose lives are in danger and there seems to be no way out of the danger. It is not only about hindrances but real threat to life. Red sea is a road block. A situation where the killer enemies are close by, the word ‘sea’ is about the world and its conspiracy of hindrance to whosoever does not belong to the world system. “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ”. (Rev 12:17) “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name”. (Rev 13:17) The Egyptians were held back and could not attack because the Angel of the Lord delayed their action with darkness. Children of Israel who had the light could not advance because of the Red Sea. Red Sea in today’s life could mean any of these situations: • A situation of terminal sicknesses when medical solution has failed. • A situation of debts with no foreseeable means to pay back. • A situation of serious criminal charges with all evidences against the victim. • Marital tension especially for women. It is also a prayer for anyone whose life is in a serious danger. The children of Israel did not only escape from the attack of the Egyptians but they actually witnessed the end of their enemies forever and ever. Today, you readers of this message will see the end of your enemies. God has a way of using our situation to deceive our enemies into a suicidal action. “For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in. And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so”. (Exo 14:3-4) Sometimes when you are going through a situation of hardship, it is probably in your interest because God shall permanently blindfold the enemy who will commit suicide.

Two types of enemies were involved in the Red Sea story: ‘The Ancestral or genetically enemy: The Egyptians had held Israel in hostage for over 400 years. This is to say several generations of Israel and fore-fathers of the generation that passed through the Red sea were in a situation of generational curse, a curse that pass through the blood line of Israel race. Right now many people are still going through spiritual slavery that generates from their parents and grandparents. With Red sea episode as prayer or spiritual bullet, victory is assured. The second enemy is represented by the Red sea itself (Enemy at work) which may include neighbourhood or co-tenant enemies, opposers of success, Obstacles of any form, Sickness that disturb progress. These are the Red Sea. Spiritually the two enemies work hand in hand because as the household enemy put a mark on us for others to identify us as spiritual slaves and treat us, relate with us in the same manner. Dream experiences of spiritual slaves What the slave masters do is to monitor slaves through the mark put on them. You must know that masters often put a padlock on the mouth of the slave. These two cause untold hardship and lack when it is spiritually applied. This is what leads to dream of failure such as inability to climb or descend hills, picking of snails in dream, eating or sexual intercourse in dream. Slaves are those that are pressed down at sleep. It is common for spiritual slaves to meet spider webs where others have passed without hindrance. Elemental forces In Rev 10:2, an Angel set his right foot upon the sea and his left foot upon the earth. The earth consists of the two elements and its implication is about our authority over the earth. “And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth”. (Rev 10:2) Believers are superior to their enemies because the powers of the believers are limitless. The magicians of Egypt, failed to bring out lice in Exo 8:17-18 “And they did so; for Aaron stretched

Adewunmi

out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt. And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: so there were lice upon man and upon beast”. (Exo 8:17-18) And even confessed to the superiority of the power of God in Exo 8:19. “Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said”. (Exo 8:19) This is to say all things that God created are under you and at your command. You may list how such things became instrument of war to believers as follows; • The Red Sea in the hand of Moses. Exo 14:21 • The earth opened to swallow the enemy of Moses. Num 16:28-34 • Joshua stopped the sun and the moon. Joshua 10:12-13 • Elijah called down fire over the en-

emies. 2nd King 1:9-10 • Our Lord Jesus stopped the wind. The Lord admitted that we could have tribulations in the world but we should be of good cheer for He has overcome the world. How to use the Red Sea story for prayer Our last Sunday edition explains that prayer is the word of God in our mouth. It also tells of Psalm 119:99 that says the testimonies of what was done in the past is our meditation (Prayer). Red sea story is a multipurpose bullet of prayer. It is for prayer of deliverance, breakthrough and recovery of stolen destiny. It is therefore recommended as follows; Prayer Duration 21days Daily Reading of Exodus 14:1-end, for morning, bedtime and midnight. Surely, deliverance will come •For counseling, contact Pastor Segun Adewumi on 08039425631 Or Email: past orsegunadewumi@gmail.com

Use divine nature to nurture, Rev Ezekiel tells pastors TAI ANYANWU

G

eneral Overseer of Christian Pentecostal mission (CPM) Rev. Obiorah Ezekiel, has charged pastors to aim at acquiring God’s divine nature and not just be content with their born-again status. The elderly man of God made the call at the just-concluded Back-to-Bible conference held at the church’s Ajao Estate headquarters, Lagos. Insisting that there is still more ground to cover, Ezekiel charged clerics “to climb up to the higher ground”, adding that pastors cannot function effectively at the natural level. Picking his text from the exemplary life of Joseph, who was sold

into slavery by his brothers, the cleric pointed out that the life of revelation, in the knowledge of Jesus Christ would expose pastors to hatred. Hence, he urged the servants of God to stand firm in the midst of criticism and persecution. The General Overseer explained that the conference titled ‘Glorious Divine Nature’ was a period during which the participating pastors would be further exposed to principles of divine nature and how to partake in it. He said, “In the Back-to-Bible conference, we open the Bible and talk about God and the life He has given to us. Jesus said, ‘I come to give life’ but how many people are taking that life which He has given? Many people have no idea about what this life is all

about; and how to get it. As we assimilate the word of God, we are expected to grow from glory to glory. This growth starts from the inside to the outside; it is nothing that can be made manifest that people can see. It is spiritual and what is spiritual is spiritual but it can be seen in the character of those involved,” he explained. Speaking on the topic, ‘Discover your empowered self,’ Rev. Marius Alugwe contended that all who have discovered themselves in God usually do things differently. His words: “David was a good example; he approached Goliath with God’s amour and not with the amour of flesh. Those that have discovered themselves are

not among those that envy others, murmur or complain; such people don’t run away from solving problems that make them realise their place in the ministry. You cannot say that you are a minister without solving problems. Self discovery will help you in fighting and conquering what is before you,” he added. Rev. Chris Kayode, in his lecture defined divine nature as a necessity, adding that pastor’s need for effectiveness in their respective ministries. He bluntly told the participating ministers that without that spiritual growth, pastors cannot lead the congregation well. “The congregation should not grow ahead of us; we must strive to grow ahead of the congrega-

tion. When our nature changes as a minister, the nature of the congregation will change. We should nurture the divine nature of God in us for it to grow. It is the expectation of God that the church will enter the glory of God before the rapture. “We have been called to glory and virtue. Jesus is coming for the glorious church but the church cannot be glorious if the ministers are not glorious. We will be delaying Jesus’ coming if the church and ministers are not glorious,” he asserted. The event also featured group prayers and glorious high praise to God Most High, which was conducted by the national/international coordinator of CPM worldwide, Rev (Dr.) Mercy Ezekiel.


22

Praise & Worship

Sunday March 24, 2013

Time for God to act, by Pastor Okereke Pastor (Dr.) Chima Emmanuel Okereke, General Overseer of Global Success Ministry (GSM) in this sermon reveals how faith can accelerate your prayer for immediate answer. Excerpts:

Okereke

M

ark 5:25-34 states, “And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood 12 years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. “And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? “And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague”. The issue of blood is a reproach to the woman because she could no longer be in the midst of people anymore, she could not move out freely, she was restricted to her own room alone. Her condition had brought her so much pains and shame; now before she met Jesus, she might be asking herself some questions like; when will this reproach be over? When will I begin to live a healthy life again without spending money on my health again?

When will I take up my responsibilities in life? How long will the reproach be? Will I die in this reproach? The answer to all these her questions is Jesus; as it came to pass that one day, she heard that Jesus was passing by. She planned in her mind what she could do to be healed; she walked to the place Jesus was passing and executed her plans by touching the garment of Jesus and behold, she was made whole. I don’t know what you may have been asking God and expecting Him to do for you over the years; He will answer you today in Jesus’ name. The woman with the issue of blood was no longer comfortable with her situation. So immediately she heard, she strategised her own way to get her healing, knowing very well that many people would be there for one thing or the other. She went even in her condition, pressing through the crowd until she was able to touch the garment of Jesus. In the days of old, many people suffered from various reproaches but God answered them when they came to Him and through His son, Jesus Christ their cries where all heard. In the book of Luke 18:35- 38; Jesus was passing by when the blind man enquired and was told who was passing by, he started shouting, ‘son of David, have mercy on me!’ Even when they tried to stop him, he kept on shouting until Jesus Heard him and his sight was restored. I am assuring you that this is the time for God to answer you; no matter how big or difficult the reproach seems

before you, God will surely answer you in Jesus’ name. The book of Matthew 19:26 says “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Something happened in one of our church crusade held at Bayelsa State; a woman with the issue of Blood for 23 years, came to the crusade, this woman was wrapped with a wrapper because ordinary sanitary pads and others could no longer hold the blood that comes out of her. During that crusade, the man of God prayed for her and instructed her to check herself in 15 minutes’ time that the blood flowing will stop, then we continued the programme, suddenly noise started coming from the back and we asked what happened? And they replied that the woman the man of God prayed for and asked to check herself in 15 minutes’ time had confirmed that the blood had stopped flowing and everywhere is dried up; Praise God! That day, the woman and family that brought her to the crusade ground could not stop expressing their joy for the marvelous thing God did for them. The woman had gone to places and had been given a lot of medication. She had done all kinds of prayers she could and nothing happened but on that day of the crusade, God answered her and the 23 years issue of blood ceased. Now in those challenges, problems or reproaches, there is something very important which you can do for God to answer you. If you know you are tired of that situation and want God to do a new thing in your life, then you have to make a move. The people we have used as example were tired of their cases. They could no longer bear the pain, discomfort and shame so; they made move to the rolling away of their reproaches into a new life, a new beginning and a new dawn. The question is this; how can you make the move? Sometimes the situation may get you confused but in that state, you still have the ability to think of something reasonable you could do to help yourself out, you may be weak but you could still force yourself to walk, if walking to that place could bring a change. The good thing is that all you need to make the move are imbedded in you. For example, the woman with the issue of blood used her ears, mind, legs and her hands; but we shall tell you how she used them judiciously and they made Jesus give her the answers to her plague. You could use your mouth to request, the blind man shouted and kept on shouting. God knows your desires but He said, “Ask and it shall be given unto you”. If you refuse to ask, you may not receive. The EARS; they are meant for hearing but the question is what do you hear with the ears, is it things that will add values to your life, things that will make you or destroy you. Sometimes what you hear could determine the decision you will make out of the issues you have heard. What you have been hearing had it made you take decision that have affected your life positively. The woman with the issue of blood heard and she decided in her mind her next line of action. Through your ears, you will be informed; Information brings transformation and the transformation could either be negative or positive but try by all means to ensure that what you hear with your ears brings a positive change in your live. The book of Isaiah 55:5 says, “Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David”. Do not give your ears to gossips and criticism of other people which will not make any impact in your life. What

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

you hear can make you or destroy you. Had it been that the woman with the issue of blood heard and never made any move to be healed, she might have suffered and died in that condition. She heard and work towards what she heard and God answered and granted her heart desire The HEART; she made up her mind, within her, she wouldn’t mind the kind of crowd that would be there but she must touch the garment of Jesus; and by doing that alone, she will be healed. What have you decide in your heart to do concerning the reproach you are facing, is it to go the wrong places for solution or to look up to Jesus the author and finisher of your faith? He that has the power to do all thing; If you have decided in your heart that looking up to Jesus, you will be safe; so shall it be in your life in Jesus Name. The book of proverb 4:23 says “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life”. It is through what you think in heart that the enemies can manipulate you to deprive you of your blessings. God knows your heart, he knows what you think, God is interested in what you think. Look at what Jesus told the woman with the issue of Blood; ‘thy faith hath made thee whole’. You cannot deceive God. Sometimes many people go to church with one problem or the other but they remain the same; it is because their minds have not been made up to meet with God. It is not just going to church but going to church with an understanding of purpose. Jeremiah17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”. I pray that the Sprit of God will guide your thinking so that you can receive your blessings in Jesus’ Name. The LEG; the woman’s state would have made her weak such that she may not be able to walk well but because she had made up her mind, strength came upon her such that she struggled in the crowd to touch the garment of Jesus and she got healed. No matter the condition you are into to now, as you make up your mind, He shall strengthen you to come into his presence and worship and you shall see Jesus rolling away the reproach in your life. Where have you used your legs to go in search of solutions to your problems? Those places you have been to in the past; did you get any solution to the problems you are facing today? Sometimes even those in good health spend their time and money to go to places where they do things that doesn’t glorify God. I pray that as you come into the presence of God in worship, He will answer and grant you all your heart desires in Jesus’ Name. The HANDS: now the woman struggled in the crowd and touched with her hands the garment of Jesus. The hands can do great things in the presence of God. You use the hand to appreciate and to praise God. Do not soil or defile your hands by using it to steal, kill and do all kinds of wickedness before God but rather use it to praise God for they are made for His pleasure. I pray that as you put all these teaching into practice today; you shall surely celebrate in Jesus’ Name. Do not faint, do not give up in that challenges or reproach of life; you can do something that will make God see the sincerity of your heart to answer and grant you your heart desire. Whatever you have asked of God, now is the appointed time for him to answer. Do not deviate from this teaching because the time has come for God to answer you. Remain Blessed, Love you with the love of Jesus. •For more enquiries; please send text messages or call the following numbers: 07038638984, 08101597149 for prompt attention.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Praise & Worship

Sunday March 24, 2013

There is power in your mouth –Pastor Oloruntimilehin Founder of Omnipotence Mission of God, Pastor Joshua Oloruntimilehin Daramola, emphasizes that there is power of the spoken words. Excerpts:

W

hat is authority? Everybody has authority. It is by authority that everybody is alive today. The authority in the mouths is what people use every time. About 75 per cent of what you say with your mouth comes to pass.

With authority, a person would pronounce that he or she would be going to the church and he or she would find himself or herself in the church. That person is a person of authority. In the same manner, a person would pronounce that he or she would like to have a loaf of bread and fried egg for breakfast. If the person could have bread without fried egg, he or she is not with authority. Sometime, a person would make a pronouncement and it would come to pass. Why? It is because the person had prepared himself or herself to let it come to pass since he or she had been making pronouncements severally and they had come to pass i.e. a talk-and-do person. People are advised not to condemn themselves because they are people of authority and whatever they say always comes to manifestation, instead they should use their authority to cast away the problems confronting them. What and how do people use the authority and are they well established? Who is a king? A person that makes pronouncements on issues that affect his people and the town after consulting with his cabinet and the pronouncement is carried out without any objection from anybody.

Based on this, kings are referred to as the second-in-command to God. Sometime ago, I told some people that any student that has authority and says he or she wants to pass his or her examination would definitely pass. It is out of the pronouncement; the student desires it and his or her mind accepts and starts to work towards passing the exam by paying attention to his or her studies. A lot of people make promises to give money to some people. It is already authorised but if they fail to give the money to the people they are not people of authority; same as if they did not give the actual amount they promised. Imagine that the hopes of the promised person have been dashed because they would have put their minds and plans on the actual amount promised. All these kinds of people are not people of authority and they are not honourable. What they should have done was to be working towards the fulfillment of the promise. Before a person becomes a person of authority, they must stand by their words. Many people become useless and messed up before man and God because they failed to fulfill their promises made to God and man. Therefore, a person can be a person of authority when his or her requests are granted and must be a person that stands by his or her words. The scripture advises

people to be very fast to hear and very slow to make pronouncements. Furhermore, the Bible emphasises the need for people to be careful in making vows they cannot fulfil because it is sinful before God and carries a curse. Ecclesiastes 5 verses 4 – 6 states, “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it. For he has no pleasure in fools; pay what you have vowed. Better not to vow than to vow and not pay. Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin nor say before a messenger of God that it was an error…” Many people are requesting from God, they pray fervently, fast, read the Bible very well but nothing positive is happening in their lives. Though they made promises or vows.

Oloruntimilehin

God’s word for varsity-owner clerics, by Pastor Bamidele Founder of Christ Glorious End-Time Evangelical Church, Pastor Lai Bamidele, reveals God’s warning to Christian leaders who operate expensive private universities. Excerpts:

T

oday, God opened my eyes of understanding to see so many things that this nation must prepare for in the course of this year. And God specifically instructed me that this message must be delivered as I have seen it. The lord sent me to some groups of people, most especially our leaders, our fathers in the Lord who have gone far in the work of the ministry. The Lord said that most of the churches that have established one private university or the other started the universities with the money of the rich, the poor, the peasants and all manner of people. Everybody contributed one thing or the other, no matter how little, especially the lessprivileged ones; to establish the universities. The Lord said I should ask all of you: where are your universities? Many of the churches that are having private universities, the Lord said I should tell you that many of you are gathering wealth but you don’t know who will spend it. Today, it is only those ones that are in high position, the same set of people that God does not want to be part of it, they are the ones that can afford the tuition fees of those institutions. Most of the private universities owned by the ministers of God or the Ministries are not affordable to the average members of their individual churches. The Lord said I should tell you that you are only gathering this wealth but you don’t know who will spend it. The Lord said I should tell all of you that it is better now to have a rethink and reverse your individual decisions. God showed me in the course of that revelation that children of most church members could not afford the tuition or school fees of these private universities owned by their General Overseers and founder. And because of this, most of the children are wandering and loitering all over the places because they are not privileged to enjoy the benefits of the same church and ministry they belong to. Many of the universities owned by these ministers of God are only being owned to further their nest. God said I should tell all of you: it is better for

you to repent now. Many of you have labored in the vineyard, many of you have paid a lot of prices, many of you have been following God faithfully all these years but only one wrong doing can make all of you to miss his kingdom. It is via your relationship with the less-privileged in your individual churches. There are some of the private universities that those who are less-privileged in the churches were taxed to raise money to build the universities. But how many of the children of those less-privileged in the churches are in the universities? It is the same set of people that are embezzling the money of this country, the same set of people that are ‘419’, duping and doing all manner of things that God does not want. The children of some of these thieves and dupers are in those private universities owned by various churches all over this country. God sent me to all of you involved one by one that it is better for you to repent and have a rethink. Eventually, all of you will leave this world and go and meet your maker. How will it be like when those ones that are ahead will be the ones that will be on the wrong side when they get to heaven? Whatever your university has that those ones that are less-privileged cannot be partakers actually belong to their parents who made contributions, and above all, they belong to God. You are a disappointment to creation. I humble myself before God today to say emphatically that most people that established these private universities own by missionaries, the Lord said you better reverse your system. There are so many minsters of God who will not make heaven because of love for wealth. May the Lord help us. The second people are still ministers that God send me to. The Lord said I should tell fellow ministers that in faith, that many have lost the truth via loitering along the corridors of power in this nation. Most Christian leaders go cap-in-hand to the people in government to seek assis-

tance in one way or the other. And because of that, their mouths have been shut from saying the truth and correcting those ones they should correct. God said they should be prepared for judgment. On that day, nobody will be there with you; nobody will help you. It is what you have done that judge you. Many of our leaders have corrupted their hands, because of that, when they see the truth, they cannot declare. If you look at the book Bamidele of Job 36:11, the Bible says, “If they will obey and serve Him, they will spend their days in prosperity and their years in pleasures.” Life is a training ground. Before you move to your next level, you must get set to prepare yourself ahead of the assignment. It shall be well with you in Jesus’ name.

23


PASSION A Lifestyle Magazine

25

Sunday March 24, 2013

Stand out in attentiongrabbing embroideries >>29

>>27

Things we can’t do together –Chidimma and Chidiebere, Nollywood twins

‘Not even a man can separate me and my sister’ >>27 I hit a man in a moving vehicle with a ball –Bob Manuel-Udokwu >>29


26

Passion

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Though we are identical twins, there are things we can’t do together, for example... –Chidimma and Chidiebere, Nollywood twins Chidimma and Chidiebere Anake are Nollywood twins making waves in the Nigerian movie world. While Chidimma is a graduate of Mass Communication, Chidiebere studied Business Administration. They tell Adaeze Amos in this interview that taking pictures and striking poses have a fascination for them, among other interesting things about their lives. What’s your field of study? Chidimma: I attended the Institute of Management and Technology, IMT, Enugu and I studied Mass communication. I served in Oyo, Ibadan, to be precise. Chidiebere: I also graduated from the same school with my sister but I studied Business Administration. I served in Osun State and I won the ‘Best Corper of the Year award’ in that state. Why did both of you opt for acting? Chidimma: We were bent on giving out to our society through acting and that is what we have passion for. Chidiebere: It is better for one to follow her dreams. I can say that acting is my dream and I’m enjoying it. How was growing up? Chidimma: Growing up was indeed fun. Our father made sure he gave us all that we needed. But one interesting thing about our childhood that I won’t forget easily is how our parents used to take us to markets to buy uniforms for us. We must wear the same types of dress, same colour and same style. We have carried on with this culture even now that we are grown up. If you check out our pictures, you will see that we have the same types of shoes and fashion accessories. Our wardrobe is just the same. Our parents were there for us. They were so caring, ready to make us happy and give us all that we asked for. I could remember some pranks we played on them as well (she looked at her sister and continued). I could remember how we used to collect school fees from our dad more than once and how we used to avoid house chores. We only appeared once the food was ready. Whenever I relive such childhood memories, we usually laugh over them. Our childhood was fun. Our parents gave us all we needed. Chidiebere: Our mum too was there for us. She showered us with love, care and much at t e n tion. S h e m a d e sure we dressed well and we have carried on with this culture of dressing well. My sister and I seldom joke with our dressing or the same way we turn out. Some twins are like cat and dog, quarreling and fighting over issues that should be ignored at times. Do you quarrel too? Chidimma: Yes, we do. We quarrel, after all we are human beings. But we settle almost immedi-

ately. Chidiebere: In fact, we even quarrelled today before this interview started but see how we are chatting with you happily as if nothing of such happened. What are some of the movies you have featured in? Chidimma: We have featured in so many movies. And the few I can remember are Days of Blood, Sisters’ Face, The Eye, The Light, Ujuaku the Tigress, Compulsory Risk, Onoja, Broken Soul, Mistic Ring, Early Grave, Jealous Friend and Revenge of the Gods. Others are My Business, Mystic Fish, Unbearable Pot, Ikenga, Scorpion Gods, Personal Desire, Female Lion, Two Rats, Lagos Girls, The Man, and so on. Chidiebere: And we are not done yet. We are still

shooting more movies. In fact, we are bent on giving out to our society through acting because that is what we have passion for. You are so identical that most people find it difficult to differentiate you. Doesn’t this happen in your family? Chidimma: Our parents know us with a quick glance. Chidiebere: We are identical before other people but within our family we are known so well. Can a mother never remember or recognise her own child? What are those stories that make you sad? Chidimma: Stories like babies’ malformation in the womb. Seeing twins ‘gumming’ together right inside their mother’s tummy. Chidiebere: You know, when my twin sister and I hear stories of how some conjoined twin come together while forming or cases of Siamese twins, we feel sad because they were never the fault of those innocent babies. We also thank God that our case was not like that else we would not have been able to pursue our dreams and destinies the way we are doing now. Some twin sisters are so close that they don’t frown at sharing same man or same lover. Have you done that before? Chidimma: That is an abomination, dating the same man? That is one thing we have never done before and we are not ready to do it. Chidiebere: It is true that we look alike or, should I say, we are identical twins, we have passion for fashion and good shoes but such a thing as dating a particular guy either by chance or choice has never crossed our minds before. Isn’t that an abomination? Although we wear uniforms or same colour and styles/types of dresses, shoes, handbags as it is common with twin sisters, we don’t stretch as far as sharing same man.

Are you ready to settle down soon or you are occupied with many other projects? Y e s , very soon we are going to settle down by the grace of God. Chidiebere: Marriage is an institution ordained by God and every right-thinking woman would wish to get married one day and bear children. We would settle down soon. As for projects, yes, we have eight films we are working on which would be released any moment from now.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Applause

Sunday, March 24, 2013

27

‘Not even a man can separate me and my sister’ Ngozi Enekwe is a fashion designer and a costumier. She is one of the Creative Directors of Gozel Green Fashion along with her twin sister, Chinelo. In this interview with Angela Davies, she speaks about fashion and also reveals how she and her twin sister, Chinelo, played tricks on a teacher while in secondary school.

W

hat made Ngozi Enekwe distinct among the many female guests at the premiere of the movie, Alan Poza, which held at the Film House Cinema, Leisure Mall, Surulere was her natural hairstyle and physique. The pretty lady was dressed in a cream-colour long sleeve-fitted knee-length dress, an animal skin high heeled shoe and carried a red envelope purse. But, what was more pronounced was her red lipstick. Defining her duties as a co-costumier, Ngozi said, “As a costumier, there is something they call aesthetics of arts. There is a difference between aesthetic in arts and aesthetic in real life. Aesthetic in real life, for instance, is when you make up to look beautiful but in arts or theatre, costume depicts one’s character. So, if someone is to play the role of a mad person in a movie, a costumier should be able to portray that person as a mad person using the right costume. Getting the perfect costume to depict the role of a particular character is what makes you a good costumier.” Ngozi is a twin; she and her twin sister are very identical. She grew up in a very large family and, according to her, growing up was fun because she and her twin sister always do things together, both good and bad. Identical twins are always known for playing pranks on people and sometimes even on their parents, hence, reminiscing on one of such pranks they played, Ngozi said that while in secondary school, she had to write an exam for her twin sister. “Funnily, some of our friends who knew about it kept laughing in the hall but the teacher had no idea of what was going on,” she said. What does she think can come between her and her twin sister? “Death is the only thing that can come between me and my sister,” she affirmed. In the case of some identical things, what separates them is a man but Ngozi says that no man can come in between them. “No, not even a man can come in between me and my sister,” she said. Talking about what she understands about style, she explained that it is what makes you different from others. And to achieve this unique look, she loves to wear fitted short dresses or free tops and shorts. “I love wearing free tops too,” she added. For the kind of outfit she would never be caught wearing, Ngozi emphasised that she hates tube and mono strap outfits. According to her, these outfits make one look casual and unserious; sometimes they cannot be worn to certain places. There is usually one fashion item that

every woman cannot do without depending on individual preference. For Ngozi, it is her red lipstick. “I can’t do without my red lipstick. I like it.” Talking about her most cherished fashion item, she noted, “I love bags. At present, there is this purple handbag I got and I really love it. That is my most cherished fashion item so far. It is not necessarily the most expensive but I like it because of the colour.” Given that she is a fashion designer, what thrills her about fashion? “Simplicity, uniqueness and arts because everything in life is raw material; it is dead but latent. It is the fashion designer who brings this dead material into life. I see fashion as something that tells your own story, past experiences and even your mood. You can depict yourself however you want through fashion,” Ngozi emphasised. Naturally, as an expert on beauty and look-good business, there are things that puts her off fashion, especially among Nigerian women. She says when they try to be what they are not. Citing an instance, Ngozi stressed that, ideally, a fat woman should not dress in what a slim one wears. “The fact that you see someone slim wear an outfit that is nice and suits her body type does not mean it will fit you. Women should dress to suit their body type,” she said. Has she got anything worth flaunting? She would probably show off her legs because comments from people indicate she has got fine legs. In this day when so many women spend so much on buying different kinds of human hair to look good and elegant, Ngozi wears a low cut. According to her, her hair is full enough so she likes showing off her natural hair. The single, Enugu State-born fashion designer divulged that although she is yet to be married, nevertheless she has qualities she would look out for in the man she intends to eventually settle down with. “He must be truthful, honest, handsome and intelligent. He should also be able to communicate properly,” she demanded. Ngozi studied Theatre Arts at the Igbinedion University, Benin, Edo State and majored in Costume Construction and Acting. She disclosed that she would love to be in the make-believe world. “I had always acted in school. If I see myself acting one day I would be so glad. If I see the opportunity and time to do it now, I would,” she revealed. Although, Ngozi is not a make-up person, she ensures she washes her face every night before retiring to bed. She loves to moisturise a lot too but described herself as unique, happy and funny.


30

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pregnancy Talk with

Adaeze Amos

Body changes in pregnancy (2) When Audrey and Ben tied the knots, it wasn’t long Audrey became pregnant. It happened before the end of their three months honeymoon. As Ben hurried back to Spain where he was based after the honeymoon to prepare Audrey’s visa to Spain, she was left with her parents in her family home in Lagos pending when her papers would be ready. While her waist line started expanding, her tummy too was protruding. Her nose became thick and bloated, which made her three younger brothers make jest of her. “So, this is how someone’s nose could become bloated and thick within a short space of time, just because of pregnancy, hmm!” Johnson, her immediate younger brother said, pointing at Audrey’s nose. The rest of her siblings who heard the question laughed. When Audrey told her doctor about her nasal bloating and thickness, the medical expert didn’t take her seriously but only explained that, “nasal stuffiness is common during pregnancy. It is caused by the increased amount of blood in the body and hormones acting on the tissues of the nose. Many women develop mild swelling in the face, hands or ankles at some point in their pregnancies. As the due date approaches, swelling often becomes more noticeable. Just drink eight to 10 glasses of fluids daily. Don’t drink caffeine or eat salty foods, rest and elevate your feet.” Apart from nasal thickness, below are the rest of the body changes in pregnancy. Many pregnant mothers discover that their feet are so swollen that they seldom wear sandals they were wearing before they got pregnant. Health experts have good answers for this. “Feelings of swelling, tingling and numbness in fingers and hands, called carpal tunnel syndrome, can occur during pregnancy. These symptoms are due to swelling of tissues in the narrow passages in your wrists, and they should disappear after delivery. Take frequent breaks to rest hands. Or better still, ask your doctor about fitting you for a splint to keep wrists straight.” Another funny body change is inability to hold urine, especially when you laugh, sneeze or cough. Ask your mother about this and she would tell you that this is no big deal. After all, no one would know that you soiled your panties with some drops of your urine but only you. Even doctors do acknowledge that this is a common problem in pregnancy. “Temporary bladder control problems are common in pregnancy. Your unborn baby pushes down on the

bladder, urethra, and pelvic floor muscles. This pressure can lead to more frequent need to urinate as well as leaking of urine when sneezing, coughing or laughing. Take frequent bathroom breaks. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Do Kegel exercises to tone pelvic. If you experience burning along with frequency of urination — it may be an infection,” said an expert. Are you having heartburns? You shouldn’t lose sleep over this. Your doctor is aware you are bound to experience this. “Hormones and the pressure of the growing uterus cause indigestion and heartburn. Pregnancy hormones slow down the muscles of the digestive tract. So food tends to move more slowly and digestion is sluggish. This causes many pregnant wo m e n t o

f e e l bloated. Hormones also relax the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. This allows food and acids to come back up from the stomach to the esophagus. The food and acid causes the burning feeling of heartburn. As your baby gets bigger, the uterus pushes on the stomach making heartburn more common in later pregnancy. So, ways out of this are eat several small meals instead of three large meals — eat slowly. Drink fluids between meals — not with meals, medical experts add. “Don’t eat greasy and fried foods. Avoid citrus fruits or juices and spicy foods. Do not eat or drink within a few hours of bedtime. Do not lie down right after meals.”

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Single’s Bliss with

Akpomiemie …a peep into the world of a seriously searching sister!

God has buttered my bread…!!! Yeah! I’m back with our gist! I enjoyed every bit of the movie with Alex. Oh! See you, I am not referring to the film itself o; if you ask me the title of the movie, I don’t even know it. I enjoyed the movie because while seated besides Alex in the dark cinema hall, he never knew that Desmond was seated right behind him and passed his complimentary card to me! Wondering how he did it? While Alex was glued to the movie, Desmond lightly tapped me and slid the card through my right side leaving it tucked under the nape of the neck of my dress! Let me not bore you, immediately we were done at the movie, Alex dropped me at home promising to see me the next day. Before I went upstairs, I called Desmond and he picked the call immediately as if he had been expecting it all the while! “Gracious Angel! I thought you would never call. I had been awaiting this like eternity” he started the discussion. “Really?” I responded, pretending not to know. “Oh yes! That is why I told Alex my phone number in such a loud voice in order for you to take note and as God will have it, a seat was vacant behind you guys and you know…” he continued while we both chuckled. We gisted like we had always known ourselves. We discussed almost everything you can imagine, except relationship and I immediately knew where we were headed. Desmond is such a lively fellow; I didn’t even know we had been chatting for so long until he greeted me good morning and told me to go have a shower and sleep. It was already 12 a.m. On getting upstairs, I met my apartment in disarray! Simisola did not only damage my bedroom door in order to get out of my apartment, she used razor blade in tearing all my dresses, soaked my shoes in my bath filled with water and mixed with groundnut oil and pepper, my panties were inside my toilet, while my mattress was soaked with water. She didn’t stop there. She smeared my orange cushion chairs with my newly cooked pot of egusi soup, broke my TV stand, pieced my lumber rolls and littered everywhere with the foams and feathers. My house was in disarray! I was not only confused; I was pissed off and felt like heading to her house to give her the beating of her life. But it was too late for me to move around. I simply sat on the floor starring at my apartment. Ten minutes later, Desmond called to find out if I was already in bed and was shocked when I recounted what had befallen me. I can’t precisely tell why I told him exactly what transpired between Simisola and I. I didn’t hold anything back. I just poured my heart to him while he asked for the direction to my place. Not up to 30 minutes later, he was standing at in my apartment gazing with more shock than I. Ten minutes later, we were in his car driving to Lekki Phase 1 where he lives. He seriously begged me to come along with him before I finally accepted. The journey was such a quiet one. I was torn between Simisola and Desmond. I was wondering how to pay Simisola back for the complete rubbish she did in my flat, same time, examining my head and conscience if what I was doing with Desmond was not too early. You know, in the bad girl’s dictionary, it is stated that “never give a damn about sleeping with a guy you just met if you already know you’ll never consider him as a life partner but do appear clean to some extent if he has the potentials you need in a husband”! That was simply what I was considering o! Desmond has husband potentials. We finally got to his apartment. I was speechless. Right from the exterior to the interior- it all smelt and screamed MONEY!!! Desmond finally showed me my bedroom for the night and helped me settle in. I declined eating anything. I simply had my bath and went to bed. Na wa o! By the next morning, Desmond came to wake me up for morning devotion! I was really surprised because I had thought he was an original bad boy because of the way he slid complimentary card to me the previous day. In short, the saying that: “never judge a book by its cover” is really true in this case o! He turned out to be a prayer warrior but I just pray he is not another Simisola sha. Indeed, God has buttered my bread o! Imagine, he asked me to go bath and get ready for church while he fixed breakfast. Hahahahaha…!!! This is dream come true o! In short, I will fight and tear into shreds any lady that dares try to step into his life or house because I WILL DO ALL TO STAMP MY PRESENCE AND AUTHORITY HERE! I will possess my possession because it is my miraculous bread and butter which the lord has given me. God promised I will lack nothing, I key into it and no woman, whosoever can upturn this! Till next week.


31

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

What to wear ‌ an evening event MARCH 24, 2013

ANGELA DAVIES Wearing a mono strap outfit to that evening event sometimes is a good way to break away from the formal dress style. There are lots of trendy styles and colours to select from depending on individual choices. Check outt Uzor Osimpka’s red evening dress and accessories.


32

Perfect Cut

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Fashionable peep to ANGELA DAVIES

The peep toe w can never go out one of those ladie high-heel shoes, for trendy and st platform wedge. colours, fabrics an worn to any event plete your perfect will feel more rela

The girly, flirty, co ANGELA DAVIES

D

o you want that blen and casual look thu a ready-to-wear to a Then, why not opt for fun lourful outfits which com shift dresses, gowns, jum camisole. If you are a woman w ture and also want to be at that cocktail or dinner meant for you. Remembe not forget to make up.

Get your li and kis VANESSA OKWARA Full, beautiful lips undoubtedly are worth being envied. They have always been a symbol of sex appeal. But don’t get upset if nature didn’t endow you lavishly but you can ale ways do something to enhance your w beauty. b Here are a few tips that can help make your lips much more kissable m and seductive! a Exfoliate your lips occasionally E Keep an old soft toothbrush in your bathroom and run it lightly across your lips once in a while. It will remove the flakies and stimulate the skin. In the alternative, make a honey and sugar paste and “scrub” it over your lips, then rinse. The most kissable lips are smooth, not dry or


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sunday, March 24, 2013

oe platform wedge

wedge platform wedge of fashion. If you are es who detest wearing then you should go tylish peep toe wedge They come in varied nd designs and can be t and are sure to comcom t look. ook. Also, your legs axed ed in them.

lourful outfits

nd between business us making every piece almost any occasion? n, flirtatious and come in shorts and jackets, mpsuit, trousers and

who loves fashion adventhe cynosure of all eyes r event, these outfits are er to accessorise and do

ps smooth ssable! even worse chapped. Use lip balm to stave off dry lips If you have dry lips or lips prone to chapping, try to moisturise them as often as you can by using a lip balm. In fact, make a habit of carrying a lip balm around with you and touch up as often as you can. Drink lots of water Drink the requisite eight glasses of plain water a day. The skin on our lips is very thin and when you are dehydrated, it’s one of the first places it shows up. Do not bite or lick your lips So you think biting or licking your lips is cute around boys? Well, your lips don’t think so! Biting injures the delicate skin on your lips and licking only serves to dry them out further.

Perfect Cut

33


34

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ethnic Look MARCH 24, 2013

Get splendid in Oleku style ANGELA DAVIES The Oleku style goes way back to the 70s, nonetheless, it has returned to the fashion scene. Today, women are seen wearing this short wrapper and blouse style, especially at weddings with so much grace and glamour. They flaunt the style using Ankara, Adire, satin, linen or even chiffon lace fabric as the blouse and Ankara as the wrapper. However, some women pair two different kinds of Ankara fabrics for the blouse and wrapper; it all depends on individual fashion taste. For women who have straight and spotless legs, it is a good time to show them off in this outfit. This stylish outfit can be beautifully harmonised with jewellery such as beads, costumed, high heeled, open toe sandals or high heeled shoes and clutch purse. If you want to stand out at your next wedding, birthday or other social events, why not try the Oleku style!

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

35

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Connecting

Vanessa with

Vanessaonsunday@yahoo.com

Seek parental consent in your choice of a marriage partner

I

got this e-mail recently and will like to treat it publicly because I believe it’s going to help someone who might be in the same predicament and needs to take an important decision like the writer. Getting parental consent in marriage is an age long issue that still generates heat and debate in some quarters in our society today. Let’s read this e-mail and have an open discussion. Please feel free to send in your own observations and comments. Dear Aunty Vanessa I love reading your column a lot. Your write-ups are always inspiring and I make sure I buy the Sunday Mirror Models just to see the topic you are treating for that week. Right now I seriously need your advice and I’m quite desperate. I met this guy last year and we have been dating seriously for the past seven months or so. Aunty, I love him so much and believe he is my soul mate. He has even asked me to marry him and I accepted. The only problem now is that his mother is against our union. I have met her several times at my fiancé house and she has always been cold to me. When I told him of his mother’s attitude towards me, he will brush it aside and tell me she will come to like me eventually because I’m the one he loves. When it came to the time when he took me to his parents’ house to formerly introduce me as his wife, his mother and siblings were not nice to me at all. In fact his elder sister was the one that boldly told me to my face that they don’t believe I am good enough for their brother since I came from a poor family background and also from a village their family does not like getting married to. She bluntly told me to leave her brother alone. Aunty, I’m so confused and desperate. Do I go ahead and marry him in spite of his family disapproval of me? I don’t want to lose this guy but at the same time if I eventually go ahead and marry him, will his family not trouble my marriage? Thanks and God bless From, Ogoochukwu My answer Ogoochukwu’s plight all goes to show the impact parents have on their children having successful marriages. Gaining Parental approval of the person you choose as a wife or husband is an important issue of concern especially in the African setting where it is embedded in our culture to seek the approval of both parents before exchanging the marriage vows. Even modernization and the western world influence especially on the youths did not completely erode the value of seeking approval from parents when it comes to the choice of a life partner. From my little observation of some Nigerian marriages and stories I have heard over time,

Heart-throb ...Find your soul mate here

Send text only to 08025253996

In need of a serious relationship/marriage I am Richard, 37 years old, 5.7ft tall, single, based in Lagos, an engineer and I am dark in complexion. I need a caring and romantic lady, between and 40 years old, for a serious relationship –08036851909. I am Kay, 45 years old and a widower. I need a rich Christian beautiful, curvy woman for a relationship. She should be living in Abuja, Lagos or Ibadan –07060586727. Dan is my name. I’m 29 years old, from Bauchi, who is looking for a brilliant working-class lady; religion is never a barrier –07036185447. My name is Ade. I am 28 years old. I want a very sexy lady for a serious relationship –08057992332, 07084593600. I am Nuhu, 34 years old, a graduate. I want a God-fearing, plump, fair-complexioned lady, from the North, and a Christian and graduate, between 18 and 28 years old, for marriage –08081715070. My name is Gabriel, a 39 years old man. I need a God-fearing woman from Oyo or Ogun state, between 25 and 36 years old, who is working or doing business. She must be AA or AS and lives in Surulere –07038462997. Oluwasegun is my name. I am looking for a beautiful and God-fearing lady, between 20 and 23 years old. She must be a Christain –08085461032. I am George, 34 years old, a graduate, based in Abuja. I want a serious relationship with a tall and God-fearing lady, between 28 and 35 years old. Must be a graduate and is working –07040094329. I am Idris, 40 years old. I live in Lagos, a civil servant. I want a Muslim lady to marry. She must be living in Lagos and a Yoruba –08033086629. I am Ola Madrid, a student, slim, dark and good-looking. I want a babe from the northern part of Nigeria for a relationship –08123320671. I am Yomi, 30 years old, well built, 6ft tall, based in Lagos. I need a slim, pretty lady, between 20 and 30 years old, for a relationship that will lead to marriage –080129833687. I am Supo; tall, sexy with a muscular body. I am chocolate in complexion and living in Lagos. I need a sexually active, beautiful, slim lady, between 18 and 35 years old, for a romantic relationship –08092862442.

when parents are against a union; watch it, few years down the line you may hear about serious issues in that marriage; sometimes resulting to separation, divorce or even untimely death. Before you crucify me, I am not saying this happens all the time. Of course there are cases of people who married their partners against their parents’ wishes and are genuinely happy today. All I am saying is that being “in love” and on cloud nine tends to blur our vision to see clearly in the journey of love. I know sometimes people voice unappealing opinion about someone we love either out of spite or ridicule and it’s best to ignore such remarks; but when you notice vehement opposition and outright rejection from people who are very close to you or from the family of the person you want to marry, it’s best you take a few steps back and do a serious rethink. Find out the reason behind their rejection and see if it is something you could iron out with them. If this proves abortive, seek out emissaries who you know they respect to plead on your behalf if need be. If it is deeper than that and you are sure this is the man or woman for you, then go to God in prayer to change their heart. There is nothing impossible with God. If you still get the inner signal to go ahead with the marriage in the face of opposition, then make up your mind that you will do all you can to win the opposing faction with love and the right attitude. You do this by going out of your way to be exceptionally good to your in-law and doggedly purse peace with them at all cost. Marriage is not always smooth sailing. There will be a time in life that you may need the intervention of either your own parents or that of your in-laws, so it’s best you court their approval from the beginning. Remember your parents/parents in-law will always be in your life and will also become grandparents to your children, so ask yourself if it is really worth getting married without their blessing. I’ll advice that you gain the approval of both parents before venturing into marriage. That way you kick start your martial journey on a smooth sail rather than one filled with rancour.

Richard is my name. I am handsome and need a beautiful, romantic, sexy lady for a long term relationship that will lead to marriage -07081633657, 08137917451. My name is Ibro. I need a Muslim lady who resides in Ibadan or Lagos, between 18 and 24 years old for a serious relationship that will lead to marriage –07068801418. My name is Frank. I am 45 years old, thick, tall, fair in complexion and need a selfless lady of humour for a serious relationship. Age is not a barrier –08036938206. I am Aremu from Egbeda Lagos. I am 40 years old, single Muslim and working. I need a single lady between 25 and 33 years old. She must be a working Muslim –08181646781. I am Wale, 38 years old, from Lagos. I require a lady of between 23 and 30 years old for a serious relationship that will lead to marriage –08093102434. My name is Shola. I live and work in Lagos; I need a working-class Yoruba lady for marriage –07055782313. I am John, 24 years old. I live in Lagos. I need a beautiful girl who will understand me for who I am for a serious relationship –07031941950. Olarenwaju is my name, 25 years old, from Ekiti State. I live in Lagos and want a lady for a relationship that will lead to marriage –07030847537. My name is Gbenga. I am 40 years old. I need a caterer, between 25 and 35 years of age, for a serious relationship that will lead to marriage. She must be AA or AS –08125884540. I am Wesley, 25 years old. I need a beautiful, slim girl for a serious relationship that will lead to marriage –0803912967. My name is Sam, 25 years old. I want a responsible Christian lady, from Lagos –07065075990. I am Friday, 31 years old, a clergy, living in Lagos. I need a God-fearing, humble lady, between 22 and 27 years old, that will help me to achieve my goals. I promise to marry her and she will always be happy and glad –07066540474. I am John Benson, 47 years old. I want a female friend who will be good and not materialistic –08075063750. Tunde is my name, 25 years old. I live in Lagos. I am tall, dark and handsome. I need a caring and God-fearing lady, between 22 and 25 years old, for a true relationship –08029326451. My name is Clinton, 38 years old, from Cross River State. A graduate, I work and live in Port Harcourt. I want a girl from Niger Delta or the East; must be a Christian, between the age of 25 and 30, for a serious relationship –08161668441. My name is Biodun, 24 years old, living in Lagos and a student of YABATECH. I need a patient, loving and caring lady who will understand me –07033573843, 07027877599. I am Mike, 30 years old, dark in complexion, 5.11 ft tall and a working class man based in Lagos. I desire a pretty Yoruba girl for a relationship. She must be the type that wants a baby and not too busy –08028553096, 07030595988. My name is Fahad, from Suleja. I want a lady, between 25 and 30 years of age, for love –07086228845.


36

Faces & Events

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

The Bride and Groom: Olanrewaju Dosumu and Princess Adewemimo Adeyemi

Alaafin’s daughter weds in grand style

H

is Imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, JP, CFR, LLD., the Alaafin of Oyo and Permanent Chairman, Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs, gave out his daughter, Princess Adewemimo Adeyemi, in marriage to Mr Olanrewaju Dosumu, yesterday at Aganju Fore Court of the Alaafin’s Palace in the ancient town of Oyo, Oyo State.

The Bridesmaids

Bride’s parents: His Imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi Iii And Ayaba Kafayat Adeyemi

L-R: Prince Abdulquadri Adeniran Adeyemi, Princess Ganiyat Adeola Adeyemi and Princess Balqees Adebunmi Adeyemi Groom parents: Alhaji Muftau Dosumu and Mrs Omolara Dosumu

L-R: Ayaba Rukayat Adeyemi, Ayaba Sulat Adeyemi and Ayaba Abibat Adeyemi

L-R: Ayaba Rahamat Adeyemi, Ayaba Aishat and Princess Badirat Adeyemi

L-R: Ayaba Haleemat Adeyemi, Ayaba (Barrister) Mojisola Adeyemi and Ayaba Kudirat Adeyemi

Officiating minister led by the Chief Imam Of Oyo, Sheikh Mashood Ganiyu Adebayo

A cross section of the Oyo Mesis


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Lead actor OC Ukeje with Kemi Lala Akindoju

Faces & Events

Sunday, March 24, 2013

ALAN POZA also premieres

‘A

LAN POZA’ is a hilarious romantic comedy, which explores the emotional adventures of a young music label executive and his adventures with the women he works with. The movie was produced by the award-winning Producer/Director, Charles Novia. The premiere which held on March 10, 2013 was starstudded with big names like Desmond Elliot, Bob Manuel Udokwu, OC Ukeje, Ibinabo Fiberesima and other Nollywood stars in attendance.

Charles Novia and Chris Okagbue

Chris Okagbue, Charles Novia, Kemi Lala Akindoju,OC Ukeje and Uzor Osimkpa

Guests at the premere with Charles Novia

Charles Novia, Kemi Lala Akindoju and OC Ukeje

Tope Oshin-Ogun Oluchi Sylvia

Ibinabo Fiberesima

Beverly Naya

Uzor Osimpka and Kemi Lala Akindoju

Bob Manuel-Udokwu

Grace Ama

Desmond Elliot

37


38

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

& ovies Music M Stories by Olumide Segun-Oduntan 08189418761 e-mail: lumidezy@yahoo.com

Nigerian Idol: Top 5 emerge as Efezino takes a bow The girl with the baby doll voice, Efezino bid her tearful goodbye as Nigerian Idol sailed past the halfway point and into the top five. It was a bitter-sweet moment for the young woman with a unique voice, who had struggled with song choices throughout the season and had brilliant song moments along the way. The competition is now left with five contestants hoping to be crowned the season three champion of Nigerian Idol. This week, the guest judge was brilliant singer and entertainer, Dare Art Alade, who came excited to see what the remaining contestants could deliver. Along with host Ill Rhymz, Jeffrey Daniel, Femi Kuti and Yinka Davies were the regular judges on the show. The themes for the evening were music from the late, legendary R&B singer, Luther Vandross, as well as something straight from the home shores: Highlife. The evening started off with a very special performance by Fatai Rolling Dollar Won Kere si Number Wa. At 87, it was a joy to behold his energetic and spritely performance, and he was eventually joined on stage by the eager group of contestants. An appreciative in-studio audience gave the performance a loud and prolonged standing ovation, thrilled by the performance. Fatai Rolling Dollar had this to say about young, upcoming performers: “I love what the young artists now are doing. They have a good message for the young crowd out there, and I absolutely love it!” It was then the contestants’ turned to perform, starting with Luther Vandross songs. Safeeyat started off the night, and performed So Amazing. Jeffrey told a disappointed Safeeyat that “…the passion and emotion that was supposed to be in this song, I was not getting that.” Dare gave his own critique saying, “I think you struggled to connect to the song.” JayFeel, was next, singing ‘ If I Didn’t Know Better’. While Yinka looked mildly pleased with his performance, Dare was blunt with his criticism telling the back-flipping singer, “I thought you didn’t really control the song.” Jeffrey added, “Your voice was scratchy.” Moses’ performance of If Only for one Night had the judges on the fence. While Dare told him, “One word: soulful,” Femi was disinclined to agree, saying, “It was good as usual,” then referred to his words of warning to the ‘teddy bear’ singer last week about sustaining a performance. Yinka was thrilled however, hugging Moses and saying, “That is what I’m talking about!” Abasiakan’ rendition of I’d Rather saw an ecstatic crowd rise to their feet, and the judges were effusive with their praise. Jeffrey told him, “That was greatness in the making right here!” Femi was equally enthusiastic, telling him, “What I loved most was the way you modulated changing key… it’s like you were flying and took us along with you.” However, Dare told him he needed to connect more with the audience. Debbie was the last for the evening, starting with a beautiful guitar intro for her version of Dance with my Father. Again, the judges gave mixed reactions, with Yinka saying the guitar worked for her but Femi telling the strumming songstress, “You can’t give your competitors any chance.” Then the competition switched gears and turned to the highlife tunes, starting with Moses and an experimental take on the classic song, Sweet Mother.

The Nigerian Idol top five contestants

Dee Dee Records unveiled A new record label, Dee Dee Records, is set to make a mark in the Nigerian music scene as it unveiled its Nigerian artistes last week in Lagos. According to the CEO of Dee Dee Records, Damien Iwumene, Dee Dee Records would take entertainment in Nigeria to the next level. Said he: “We have been making noise in the U.S. and we are known for what we do. Now we want to take the gospel back home and empower our youths. We have three American artistes and two Nigerian artistes so Dee Dee Records is one big crossAtlantic family of talented artistes.” He added that right from

his days in secondary school in Nigeria, he had always loved music. However, it was when he got to the US that he finally realized his dream after he set up Dee Dee Records three years ago. According to Iwumene, the two new Nigerian acts to join the label are Saint Leo (the masked One) and Indo while its American artistes include Ptyte, Moses Efret and Masq Satrazy. However, he disclosed that the label is currently concentrating on releasing the debut album of Nollywood actor, Moses Efret. “Right now we are pushing Moses Efret’s debut gospel album which should drop in May or June both here in Nigeria and in the U.S. Once we do that we will push St. Leo and Indo’s albums. They are currently in the studio recording. Moses Efret’s, Na My Time is available on YouTube. He disclosed that Dee Dee Reords had wrapped up plans for its artistes to do collabos with Flavour whom he described as a very popular artiste in the U.S.

Nse Ikpe Etim shines in new movie, Broken In recent times celebrated actress, Nse Ikpe Etim has been in the news for good reasons. She headlined Mr. and Mrs., dazzled in Phone Swap and got married to her heartthrob, Mr. Clifford Sule. She is once again in the news as the lead act in new emotive movie, Broken. In Broken, Nse plays the role of a woman who tries to bury her past, move on in life and pretends that the past never exist. But as always, a dirty past has a way of rearing its ugly head; the two children she left in the past surface and turn her ‘perfect’ life to a living hell in double proportion. Nse is not the only act with ‘living and troubling’ past in

the movie, Bimbo Manuel who plays the role of Nse’s husband is the father of the house girl, a secret he desperately wants to keep away from Nse. Kalu Ikeagwu, the philandering youth corp. member had a ‘bush-meat’ in the village girl that proves too strong to devour and digest. One way or the other, the lives of the three had a meeting point where sanity, life, happiness and silence got broken. Broken, the new movie from Bright Wonder will premiere on Thursday, March 28 at Silverbird Cinema, Abuja. Movie buffs will recall that Bright Wonder produced the mildly popular movie of Away and Beyond.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

39

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Yvonne Okoro, Oge Okoye, others storm screening of Contract The Silverbird Cinema, Alausa Ikeja, was recently abuzz with glitz and glamour as movie stars such as Ghanian actress, Yvonne Okoro, Oge Okoye, Lilian Amah and others stormed the press screening of much awaited movie Contract. Contract is a romantic comedy with unusual twists that exposes the flaws in being in control of one’s life. The comedy flick from the stable of Sparrow Productions and DesAmour, stars South African actor Homla Dandala (lead actor in TV series Jacob’s Cross) and Nigeria’s Benjamin Joseph and Yvonne Okoro. Contract was produced by award winning actress Yvonne Okoro, the star actress with mixed linage of Nigeria and Ghana. Speaking on the movie, Yvonne Okoro said, “This is one of the best movies I have produced and so much went into its production that will give the audience the value for their money when they go to watch the movie at the cinemas. Watch Contract and you will never be disappointed”. She said

further that “It was my desire to compensate my long standing fans for their love and support that underlined the choice of cast for the movie”. The new movie tells the story of a 40 year old Successful Businessman Peter Popolampo, ((Homla Dandala) the ultimate alpha male, rich, and a staunch bachelor. Despite his mother’s persistent attempt to find him a woman, Peter sticks to his rule of noncommittal casual dates, freedom and controlling his life until a yearning to have a child arises. In his quest to find the woman who will take his money, have his child and disappear, Peter begins a roller coaster, contracted relationship with Abena Boateng, a crude but clever local girl who is anything but impressed with Peter’s affluence. With a clear definitive contract outlining the dos and don’ts of bearing Peter Popolampo’s child, these two opposites must exercise every ounce of will power not to kill each other until the child is born.

GT the Guitarman dazzles in Ejika video

He has seemingly been off the entertainment radar for a long time since he has not been heard from at least musicwise in a long time. Yes GT the Guitarman has seemingly been on a hiatus, but he has working on a smashing new music as well as building up his portfolio, getting nominated for the RFIFrance 24 Discoveries Award. And in what would come as a pleasant surprise to his fans, the song, Ejika (Shoulder) is GT the Guitarman‘s return to the scene. It is a touching love story, guitar-driven Pop ballad with the unique GT storytelling. What will even excite his fans more is that there is now a video for Ejika. The Video was directed by 12 Digits pictures for Ember Entertainment.

Iyanya, Wizkid, Wande Coal, others land iTunes UK top 20 At the start of the year, Choice FM and DJ Abrantee brought together, the very best artistes and musician in the genre of Afro-beats music in what could only be described as the best and most exciting compilation release of the year. Featuring 30 of the biggest Afrobeats songs of the past 12 months, Afro-beats The Ultimate Collection has made history by charting in the top 20 on the iTunes UK Charts - the very first Afrobeats album to chart on iTunes UK. Fans and music listeners who expected nothing but the hits from their favourite Afro-beat stars such as PSquare, Iyanya, Wande Coal, Wizkid,

West Baba shines with two hot vibes Oladele Femishola a.k.a West Baba has a rare music talent that cannot just be overlooked. The Oyo State protégé, whose lyrical prowess is a talk of the town, has been into the rap game for some time now polishing his punch-lines until fate smiled on him and he was signed to entertainment outfit, Goldspan Entertainment alongside Shayo Master, Bigiano. And thus began West Baba’s quest to carve a niche for himself in the music industry in Nigeria. His latest singles; Koro and Familapoya are attestations to his stance to take the rap game to a highly different new level. Koro was produced by legendary Blazebeats (producer of Mavin Records’ Dr. Sid’s hit single, Afefe) and a must listen to confirm that West Baba is here to stay.

Davido and Naeto C amongst many others, poured out in droves to support the Choice FM and DJ Abrantee compilation. And they were not disappointed with the compilation peaking at number15 on the iTunes UK Charts - a history-making feat for Afro-beats music. According to the producers, whether you’re a huge fan of Afro-beats music, a new listener of the genre or are simply looking for infectious dance music that will enthrall and captivate you, this compilation has everything that you need. From the classic tunes that defined 2012 to the future hits for 2013, Afrobeats The Ultimate Collection has it all and for everyone too.

Flower Girl rockets Damilola Adegbite’s profile Damilola Adegbite, lead act in the romantic comedy, Flower Girl, is currently having the time of her life as her profile keeps rising for putting up a wow performance in the movie that has become one of the most watched and talked about since the premiere on Valentine’s day at the Silver bird Galleria, Lagos. Flower Girl, a romantic comedy flick that features Damilola Adegbite, as the Juliet looking for Romeo, Eku Edewor, Chris Attoh and other stars is directed by Michelle Bello (Small Boy) and co-produced by Michelle Dede (Big Brother Nigeria). The movie in the last one month has enjoyed positive reviews from cinema goers with special words for Damilola Adegbite for her role in the movie. The twitter handle of the model turned actress has continued to buzz with complimentary messages. Some of the messages read: “I just finished Flower Girl. You’ve actually become my favorite actress in Nigeria. Loved it.”, “I will make sure I watch every movie you feature in because I love the way you act. “Hi Dami. Were you nominated for an award?” Having enjoyed overwhelming acceptance in Nigeria, Flower Girl, is set to premiere in Ghana on the 5th of April, 2013 at the Silverbird Galleria, Accra.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

40

Lessons of Life

ANGELA DAVIES lessonsoflife2@yahoo.com 08023342083

TRUE LIFE STORY ON MATTERS OF THE HEART MARCH 24, 2013

‘Acquisitive tendency made me lose three children in a day’

W

hen I was asked what future plans I had as a young, growing girl back then in the village, I remember that I used to say that all I wanted in life was to complete my secondary education, get married to a rich man, have children early, start my businesses and then travel all around the world to buy goods as well as for sightseeing. Today, I have achieved all I wanted, but my only pain is that I lost my three children in one day. I am paying dearly for neglecting them by leaving them in the custody of nanny and maids. I was never there when they needed me neither did I take any interest in their education. Instead of enjoying the wealth I have amassed with them, I spend it on their treatment and their father blames me for what they have

turned out to become. I come from a very poor home. The truth is that we could hardly feed. My father had two wives and 13 children. We were eight girls and five boys. He was an ordinary farmer while my mother and the second wife sold vegetables at the market. Sometimes, I even weep for my family, especially when we fight over the little food left at home. The worst was that my father was less concerned about our education. However, some of us managed to complete our primary and secondary education. After my secondary education, I joined my mother in selling vegetables. That was when I discovered that I was businessminded. At a point, I told myself that I would never be poor in life and as such I must get married to a rich man before I’m 23 years old. I was determined to become

a very successful businesswoman in life, also give my children the best education and every other thing in life. Fortunately, when I was 20 years old, I met Ebuka when he came to visit his parents in the village for the Christmas celebration. Immediately I saw him, I told myself, “Victoria, this is your husband”. From his looks and the car he drove, I knew that he was well-to-do. When he subsequently approached me for marriage, I didn’t think twice. One thing I like about Ebuka was that he didn’t beat about the bush at all. He came to our house one evening and asked to speak with me. When we stepped aside, he said to me, “I think I like you and want you to be my wife.” He told me he had two automobile shops and his business was doing very well. In less than seven months, we got married and lived happily together. Ebuka wanted me to continue my education but I made him understand that all I wanted to do was business. “My dear, please understand that I am a businessminded woman. Just open a boutique, a big supermarket and watch me manage it well and make money.” “Well, I will do as you have asked but on one condition. You must at least start a part-time degree programme of your choice. My love, I want you to be educated,” he insisted. Although, I agreed, unfortunately while we were trying to make arrangements to get the form, I discovered that I was pregnant. We had to drop the idea, especially when I told him I could not go to school with pregnancy. Nevertheless, that did not stop Ebuka from opening the boutique and supermarket for me. In fact, he was so excited that he was going to become a father. He loves me so much that he can do anything for me, but it is sad to say that I took advantage of his love for me a lot. I was very excited about my boutique and supermarket. However, to focus on my business and also travel round the world, I had to rush having children. In three years, I had three adorable children, a set of twin-girls and a boy. We planned to have

three children so the set of twins made things easier for me. Ebuka adores his family so much, while he spoils me silly with jewelry, clothes and other expensive gifts. He pampers and spoils his children as well with all sorts of gifts he knows they will love and cherish. When I was set to face my business squarely, make money and travel round the world as I had always dreamt, I hired a nanny and a maid to take care of my children even though Ebuka didn’t like the idea. I was able to convince him to see reasons with me. Truly, I had no time for my family; I was more concerned about making money because I never wanted to experience poverty again in my life. The only reasonable thing I did as a mother aside from bringing my children into the world, was taking my two daughters to school on their first day. When Junior was of school age, it was his father and the nanny that made all the arrangements. The nanny took him to school on his first day because I travelled to London to buy goods for the shops. I told their father I would make up for that when I returned. I thought that buying my children expensive toys and clothes was what would make me a good mother. But I was wrong. They denied them my motherly love, attention and care. I remember that Ebuka kept complaining so much about my not being there for the children whenever they needed me, especially when they fell ill. I also remember telling him that that was why I hired the nanny. On one of such occasions, he angrily told me, “Victoria, you are the mother of these children so you must understand that the nanny cannot take your place. I love you so much but if anything should happen to my children, which could have been avoided with your presence, I would never forgive you,” he stressed. To be continued next week

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

RESPONSES

Re: ‘I helped a sister into my home, she took over my husband’

Dear Jasmine, I would advise you to return to your husband and take your position in the home as his legitimate wife. Patience, from her confession, is an agent of satan and should be flushed out of your home through prayer and fasting. The Bible says: “Kingdom of God suffers violence and the violence takes

it by force”. Patrick Adiasor, Surulere -08033452087.

dzyaniconsult@yahoo.com” dzyaniconsult@yahoo.com

You will be shocked to discover that even the pastor was acting all along. I’d long learnt my own lesson which is why I no longer go to church. There is no truth there. I’m sorry for the sad and hard experience.

I can imagine the pains you went through but I love the fact that you have moved on with your life. It is the best thing to do. I thank God for blessing you with a child. Do not worry about Anthony and

Patience; let them sort themselves the same way they entangled themselves. 08034079550. Why don’t you call Anthony, your husband, and inform him about the baby, he might take you back as his legitimate wife. -08023405244.

Re: ‘A fling with my secretary is making my life miserable’ Dear Vincent, My advice to you is to open up to your Human Resource Manager and confide in somebody that is more mature to handle this issue otherwise your career and life will be shattered. And remember what usually turns a happy home to sadness. Beware. muhammad taiwo <muhammad.taiwo@ gmail.com> I would advise you to fast and pray her out of your life. You cannot resign because of her, besides she is the CEO’s cousin. Pray also that the man who will marry her will locate her. In addition, keep the affair secret from members of staff and fortify yourself with the blood of Jesus, in case of any spiritual evil influence or spell, that might have

affected you through having sex with her. Patrick Adiasor, Surulere –08033452087. For failing to control your emotions, you get punished. More punishment awaits you if you do not rebuke the devil, Pamela and go back to God. Pamela is a spiritual wolf that could end your career and also scatter your family if you do not act fast. Tell your wife and pastor about it now and avoid her completely. Be wise. Apeji Onesi, Lagos –08060504740. My candid advice is that since you have yielded to her pressure and satisfied her once, then you have no reason to stop; you just have to properly handle how you will keep satisfying her desires.

08126658917. I will advise that you should resign from the company and look for another job in order to keep your family intact. Pamela is only a sex mate, she may not even be a trusted future wife. Ode Onu, Markurdi –08065799562. I blame you for the mess you found yourself. How could you allow a woman, your subordinate to harass you sexually in the office? You should have tackled her from the beginning by being firm and strict with her. But I think she is up to something, maybe to blackmail you. But you have to stop it now. Be firm in saying no and stick to it. 08034079550.

The mistake has been made but from now, always insist that the door of your office is left open. Also, you could secretly record her request and threaten her with it. Be resolute about not giving in again to her evil request. Finally, bring your wife into the scene if the above option fails. Nzubechukwu Glorious, Kaduna -08079903968. I think you are promiscuous yourself, if not how do you explain committing adultery to prevent harassment? This is unheard of. You better tell your wife the truth now before she hears it from another source. 08096840591.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Praise & Worship

Sunday March 24, 2013

41

Easter is not a christian celebration –Pastor Samuel I

Pastor Samuel Daniel of Global Grace Church distinguishes between Easter and Passover, insisting that true Christians must celebrate Holy Communion instead of Easter. Excerpts:

a m happy each time we have opportunity to study the word of God. The word of God is the spiritual food every one of us needs, to grow in spiritual stature and to live predominantly on earth. This week, we want to look at the topic, ‘Easter and Passover’; which is a Christian celebration?’ Lots of people are going extra lengths and preparing to celebrate Easter as grandiose as possible. The atmosphere is charged as the media is awash with talks about the festivities while marketers and corporate entities offer tantalising bonanzas. But should Christians celebrate Easter? Many do not know the foundation of Easter and that is why it is necessary for us to examine this important topic. Before we go on, I urge you to keep an open heart. Do not write me off as a fanatic. I am a Christian; and quite frankly, Christians must be careful not to make a mistake. If you read the book of Deuteronomy 12:29-32, you’ll see the Lord’s admonition. Verse 32 says, “Be careful not to move away from the instruction that has been given to you.” Make sure that you keep the commandment as instructed. But many people have deviated from the original instruction of what Easter real is. In the book of Mathew 26: 17-20, Bible says that Jesus commanded His apostles to find a place where they would celebrate the Passover. And when the apostle found a hall in verses 26-29, the Master broke bread, blessed it and gave to the apostles and said, “Eat; this is my flesh, the new covenant that is shared for many. And he took the wine as well and blessed and said, “Drink; this is my blood, for the new covenant, which is shed for many.” Also in the book of 1Corinthians 11: 23 -26, you see the account of Apostle Paul. Apostle Paul was not among the first 12. But when he came out by revelation, he received the correct instruction on how Christians should celebrate the Passover. He said, “I received it of the Lord in the same night that Jesus Christ was crucified that He took bread, blessed it and gave to His disciples.” Nobody taught Apostle Paul about what happened that day; but by the spirit, he was instructed. He was not there, but he was correct. He did not mix anything; he did not remove and he did not add. That shows that the accounts of Mathew and the account in 1Corinthians are correct. And that is how today’s Christians should celebrate our own Passover. Passover rather than Easter, is the festival that is biblically approved. At this moment, we shall X-ray the Passover and Easter, and we shall examine which of the two festivals is actually a Christian practice. Many of you may not know and I want to open your eyes of understanding right away. First, Easter has to do with Easterpainted egg; two, it has to do with Easterburning gallows or Easter rabbit and Easter sunrise service. On the other hand, Passover has to do

with unleavened bread, red wine and washing of one other’s feet. Have you seen the difference between the two? You still may not have noticed. But how Easter did come to be? You might have heard that Easter came from a pagan origin. In fact, new Catholic encyclopaedia, volume five of 1967, page 867, talks about early Christian faith. That particular page acknowledged that Jesus Christ and His disciples never celebrated Easter. I urge you to go and read it; you can also access the encyclopaedia on the net by clicking page 867 of the encyclopaedia. It also states that early Christians did not celebrate Easter in their time; because the Bible, in Deuteronomy chapter 12, clearly states how God wants us to worship Him. If Easter is not a Christian celebration, how then did it come to be enthroned. Before then, you need to ask five important questions concerning Easter. Another point is that Easter cannot be found in the scripture. Though new King James’ Version has included the original King James, it did not include it. What is in the scripture originally is Passover; but translators have added the word Easter into the Bible. The second point is that Easter was never instituted by God; Easter was not sanctioned by Christ. The fourth point is that the apostles never thought about Easter and five, Easter was never observed by the early church. Now, have you ever asked what rabbit and egg have to do with Christ’s death and resurrection? Egg symbolises spring season, the beginning and wet season of the year, in Europe. Egg represents fertility in the context it was used. Pagans used eggs to worship the god of fertility at sunrise and that is how sunrise came to be during Easter period. The Bible of cause did not tell us that Jesus rose at sunrise but rather that very early before daybreak, the King of glory rose from the grave. Have you now seen that? If anybody tells you to go to Easter service at sunrise, be careful because you might be worshiping that pagan God of fertility any time you do that. In the book of John 20:1-2, you will see that Jesus resurrected early in the morning while it was yet dark. Mathew 28: 1 and 2 also says so; Mary Magdalene went to the tomb of Jesus before day break. The name Easter was derived from an ancient goddess called Ishtar or Ashtoreth as it was called in Israel that time. In the book of 1King 11: 5 and 33, the bible called that goddess of fertility the god of the Zedonians; and God warned His children not to worship that god. The children of God should not even ask how Ashtoreth is being worshipped because it might make the peo-

ple of God to deviate from the ways of the Lord. Ashtoreth was worshipped in many nations. 2 Corinthians 23 and 2 Kings 23: 13 also talk about Ashtoreth; and help to explain the origin of Easter egg, the fertility symbol associated with this goddess. A book written by Alexander Hislop, ‘The true Babylon’, written in 1959 on page 103109 tells you about the story of how Ashtoreth was worshipped. They have nothing to do with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So Easter is not a Christian celebration. Jesus Christ did not command His followers to celebrate Easter. If you are a true Christian, you will not celebrate Easter. But let us see about the Passover. The book of 1 Corinthians 5:7 says that Jesus became our Passover that was sacrificed for us. Apostle Paul teaches that Jesus Christ became our Passover and that we who believe in His shed blood should no longer live in sin—Roman 6:1-2. It is true that we are saved by grace, but there are works that God wants us to put to the faith work. You will see that in the books of Ephesians 2:810 and Mathew 19:17. All are commanded. The Passover is a command that has been laid down. The Bible says in the book of Mathew; “Do this in memory of me. As often as you do it, you are showing the Lord’s death until His second coming. He did not tell us to celebrate Easter until He comes. He told us to celebrate Passover; but now if you read the book of James 2:14, 17, 24 and 26, you will see how you ought to celebrate the Passover. Passover has a great meaning in the life of every believer which is communion because you are not a Jew. It is only a Jew that is obliged to celebrate the Passover using that name Passover; and they have a day set aside for its celebration once a year. But as a Christian, Jesus has instructed us how to do it. He says, “As often as you do it, that means that there is no particular day, no particular month that we should do it. As I told you before, Passover has to do with unleavened bread, red wine and washing of one another’s feet. Those three things signify great things. Unleavened bread signifies the body of Jesus Christ that has no sin while the red wine signifies the blood of Jesus that saved us. And the washing of each other’s feet is God’s way of preparing us to go and dominate.

If y o u r e a d the book of Deuteronomy 33:12 where it talks about ‘Moses was blessing Asha’, he said ‘let Asha’s feet be dipped in oil.’ Asha was a business man. He said he would dominate everywhere he goes, he shall be accepted everywhere he goes. If the foot of a child of God is being washed, as a preacher if your feet is being washed everywhere you go, if others have failed there, you will be accepted, people will welcome you with all gladness because you have been prepared for it. That is what Jesus was doing. When you wash your feet anywhere you go to preach this gospel, you will be accepted. But many people today do not know the meaning of this. The book of John 13:17 records that if you know the meaning of what you are doing, “If you do this, happy are you.” A lot of people don’t know the meaning and therefore do not put it into practice. The happiness that accompanies it will not be there yet you are a Christian. I want to encourage you, a true Passover or communion is accompanied by true happiness, if you do it accordingly, happy are you. Passover means ‘God passing over human beings in remitting out justice of death of people’s sins (see Roman 3:26). There is a judgement that is already hanging on man’s head and that is a judgement of death; but through the death of Jesus Christ, he has passed over. Through His blood He redeemed us. Example is what happened in Egypt; God passed over Israel to kill the first born of Egyptians in the book of Exodus 12:27. Now I want to tell you the true meaning of Easter. Easter is not Christian celebration, but Passover is. However, because you are not a Jew, you are a gentile; you are not to celebrate Passover the way the Jews celebrate. You are to celebrate it as a Christian. How? It has to be celebrated the way that Jesus instructed His followers to do it, using bread and wine as a communion. And there is no date specified for communion taking. Because you are not a Jew, no matter how holy you may be, you are a gentile; and therefore cannot follow the Jews and do as they are doing. The way God deals with the Jews is quite different from the way He deals with the gentiles. •For counseling contact Pastor Samuel Daniel via email globalgracechurch@ ymail.com , www.globalgracechurch.org or phone: 08060143296, 08164392405


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Praise & Worship

Sunday March 24, 2013

43

The power of your choice Family FORA wit Pastor N. C with

Amaefula

E-mail: familyfora@yahoo.com Phone:08060315052,

G

od has given us life but He does not dictate for us the way we live it out. However, the way we choose to live our lives is our prerogative. We literally become what we place and keep our attention on. Each of us is like an energy magnet. We attract circumstances that are in agreement with whatever we are holding and emitting. One of the most amazing faculties we have is our power of choice. As soon as we decide what we want and go for it, fate has a way of delivering it according to our choice. With the above assertion, marriage is part of our lives and our ability to focus on what will make it work or crumble is obviously our choice. The rate of divorce which is skyrocketing in this generation is indeed a pervasion and an indication that man has consciously chosen not to follow divine rules for the best results. No one is expected to do the wrong things and get the right results. However, as long as one is not willing to change and do the right things, one is always bound to get the same results

every other time. This is a complete indication that divorce is a choice. And many have indeed seen themselves in it because they choose to focus on the negativities of their circumstances and never figured out the possibility of any positivity in their relationship with their spouse. Derek Prince (2006) says “if marriage was important enough to God that He used it to start history, to begin Jesus’ ministry on earth, and to typify His relationship to the church, we should be careful about the person with whom we enter into the covenant.” Many also who choose divorce as an option are oblivious of the divine important of marriage. Marriage is a gateway to fulfilling God’s purpose in relationship. So it is either God’s way or no way. God in nature is sufficient in himself. However, He is not an imposter as such allows man from the beginning to exercise his freedom in making choice. “The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden as its gardener, to tend and care for it. But the Lord God gave the man this warning: “You may eat any fruit in the garden except fruit from the Tree of Conscience – “for its fruit will open your eyes to make you aware of right and wrong, good and bad. If you eat, you will be doomed to die”. Genesis 2:15-17 Consequent upon the above, God expressed his expectation from man by giving him the option to choose what to eat amongst the fruits of the trees in the gar-

den. This is a clear indication that there are always options in making a choice. It then behooves the one whose prerogative it is to choose to exercise good judgment in picking one out of the available varieties. Furthermore, God made an exception from the long lists of fruits He gave to man. He did not hesitate in explaining the reason behind His decision. That particular fruit will not favor man rather it will expose him to unnecessary knowledge that will end up endangering his existence on earth. Then the end point of insisting on that choice is death. Beloved, we are still in the same process that Adam and Eve went through. We are always presented with a long list of options to choose from to facilitate our marriage union to the maximum and bliss or on the other hand hinder the foster of unity and progress in our homes. What are you choosing and where are you making your choice from? Are you choosing from the options or from the exception? God wants man to have free conscience void of delusion. Indeed Eve was tempted, but the temptation came out of the abundance of her heart. “Happy is the man who does not give in and do wrong when he is tempted, for afterwards he will get as his reward the crown of life that God has promised those who love him. And remember, when someone wants to do wrong it is never God that is tempting him, for God never wants to do

wrong, and never tempts anyone else to do it. Temptation is the pull of man’s own evil thoughts and wishes. These evil thoughts lead to evil actions and afterwards to the death penalty from God”. James1:12-15 Man’s ability to exercise his right of choice is a factor of decision. The choice can be to the wrong or right direction. The mishap in the society today is a result or by-product of people’s choice. There are rules and regulations that should bring orderliness in all facets of living, yet people by choice violet those rules, thereby causing commotion and rancor. In the same vein, the ability of man/ woman to exercise his choice in marriage is his sole responsibility. Hence one lives with whatever right or wrong choice that one has made. Our choice in life determines our character, friends, career, devotion to God or devil, commitment to hard work or laziness etc. More often than not, the devil who understands the power of our choice comes to negotiate our destinies by our choice. I charge you under God do not trade your destiny and posterity by your wrong choice in marriage. •Presiding Minister, Assemblies of God FESTAC 2, Plot 268A&B, 4th Avenue, FESTAC Town, Lagos. izuchukwudebelu@yahoo.com +2348028390885, +2348056027044, +234704414424.

Vices that bring down the high and mighty -Rev Izuchukwu Each time you chose to relish in infidelity, three dangerous seeds are being planted in your matrimonial relationship: distrust, suspicion and insincerity. “These vices not only rule the world but have brought down the high and the mighty,” says Rev. Chukwudebelu Izuchukwu of Assemblies of God Church, Festac. Excerpts:

A

young man came to me shivering that his boss’ wife had destroyed him. That the woman did everything to lure him to bed but he resisted until both travelled to the village. The woman planned it out for her husband to send both of them on errand to the village. On getting to the village, the battle of seduction intensified, taking another dimension. She requested that he drive her to the farm located outside a residential area. As they alighted and made for the farm, the woman turned, grabbed and started caressing him, and that was it. The rest is story. The ugliest aspect of it was that from that day, he lost his dignity and began to behave oddly. At his repentance, I ministered to him and restoration took place. In 2008 to be precise, one of the national dailies anchored an investigative programme to know women’s response over the challenge of losing or retaining job with bottom power. The finding was amazing. Virtually all the respondents reacted. They said that considering the on-going economic recession, it will amount to great folly for any woman to lose her job due to sex demand from the boss, her dedication to her husband notwithstanding. The few on the other side said they would try not to but when it becomes obvious that they are on their way out of the job, they have no choice than to mellow down. The uninteresting aspect of it was that most of the respondents had Christian names but void of its virtues. Many are into hawking of the body to remain relevant, as it were. There is no good prostitute anywhere. Any male or female that sleeps around in the quest to get money is

a prostitute. A prostitute does not necessarily need to reside in the brothel. Nowadays, prostitution has been dignified. There are many decent, educated and gentle prostitutes in Nigeria. It is believed that in this part of the globe, the ‘power of the beneath’ can get someone somewhere. It used to but is now failing with velocity. The power of the brain is the ultimate now. Wise people are switching over by paying the price for brain power. Women of substance in our society are known to be high, brainpowered individuals. The like of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Farida Waziri, Dora Akunyili, Oby Ezekwesili, Okpaleke, Ndi Onyuike-Okereke and others, cannot be ignored by the men folk. It is the brain that generates gain in this age. That of the beneath’s end-product is pain. A night stand or fling has consumed many and shall yet take more. May you not be a part of the consumption? Infidelity is a killer of the married. Husbands and wives are competing who to outdo the other here. There is no good infidelity anywhere in the world. A man once told me before his wife that the custom permits him to flirt but inhibits the wife. Another told his wife that his hobby was sex, so she should not attempt challenging his freedom with women, including the ones she knew. Very unfortunately, three seeds are sown here – distrust, suspicion and insincerity. This generation is at the mercy of these vices. Satan used good philanthropists to give practitioners condom against a conduct given by God. The unimaginable one was a woman who before her husband, narrated how she got another man to father her two children under the

husband’s nose. To graduate her offence, she pleaded with me to convince the husband to release her so she could pitch her tent with the immoral partner. By the mercies of God, they were reconciled. We all saw the Bill Clinton versus Monica Lewinsky ugly saga. The independent prosecutor, Ken Star dealt with Bill Clinton, his position as the sitting president of the strongest nation in the world then notwithstanding. Monica shamelessly submitted her dress she alleged to have contained particles of Clinton’s sperm for laboratory test. Consequently, Clinton was later charged with perjury and almost lost his exalted job to the scandal. The former World Bank president lost his job to infidelity. He was alleged to have offered his girlfriend a job she neither merited nor qualified for in the establishment. As a result, when the chips were down, the only option he had was to resign. Many are falling victim to this evil of infidelity yet many are still thronging the road to that valley. If you are among those harassing people with indecent dressing, retrace your steps early. Every attire that exposes your privacy or makes it to be a public thing qualifies you as grossly irresponsible and lacking adequate home upbringing. Every wear that makes you uncomfortable equally makes your genuine admirers more uncomfortable. •Presiding Minister, Assemblies of God FESTAC 2, Plot 268A&B, 4th Avenue, FESTAC Town, Lagos. izuchukwudebelu@yahoo.com +2348028390885, +2348056027044, +234704414424.

Izuchukwu


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Praise & Worship 45

Sunday March 24, 2013

How to get rid of terrible sexual thoughts Christian Relationship with Taiwo

Odubiyi

E-mail: info@pastortaiwoodubiyi.org.uk

I

am a Christian but I have been having very terrible sexual thoughts which I find very disgusting myself. I have prayed and prayed but such sinful thoughts have not gone. I feel that keeping quiet with it will give it and the devil more grounds. In what ways do you think I can get rid of these? I don’t want this to stand between me and eternity.? (A fan) Thanks for sharing this with me. It’s a good thing you realise that those thoughts are not healthy and have to stop, and that keeping quiet about them would only give the devil more grounds. There are people who think that having those impure thoughts is fun and harmless but they are wrong. Such thoughts are not harmless but very dangerous because they will set the mind of the person to do sinful things and the person might eventually begin to act on them, committing sin, defiling God’s temple. The person gets taken captive by sin. Sometimes people think they don’t have a choice or that they can’t help the way they think or feel. That is erroneous. We do have a choice and we should make the right choices. Impure thoughts will bring troubles, but resisting them brings joy, peace and life. How shall a person keep his or her way

pure? Or how can a person keep from sinning against God? Here are some things you can do to end those terrible thoughts. • The first thing which is the most important step to be taken to live a life of victory is to belong to Jesus. Behind every evil is the devil, and to be able to resist and overcome the devil, a person must give his or her life to Jesus because without Jesus we are nothing and without Him we can do nothing. • Psalm 119 gives another solution. Hide God’s words in your heart. 9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. By hiding God’s Word in your heart. (Psalm 119:9-11) Developing the habit of reading and meditating on the word of God will destroy impure thoughts. The word of God and sinful thoughts don’t go together. Sinful thoughts will keep a person from obeying God’s words, while God’s words will keep sinful thoughts away from a person’s heart. Read the Bible more. Memorising certain Scriptures in the Bible will help to overcome the challenge of impure thoughts and cleanse our lives. • Be more prayerful. You said you have been praying but the thoughts have not stopped. I wonder why that is so as God still answers prayers and prayers still work. The Bible says ‘Let God be true and every man a liar.’ If it seems you are not getting results, check how you have been praying and correct yourself. Pray fervently using the name of Jesus, and don’t give up, don’t stop until something happens.

•Try to discover what brings the thoughts or your stimuli. When the source of a problem is discovered, the problem is half solved. What is it that gets your mind going in that direction? If your mind is wandering into sexual fantasies, most likely it received some stimuli somewhere along the line which triggered the thoughts. Try to identify those things such as: magazines, TV programmes, and music that will make your thoughts impure. Stop watching or listening to them, avoid them. Also, pray and reject their power over you. • The Bible tells us another thing to do in a situation like this. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5) An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. If you are often alone, you may find Satan coming in like a flood during these times. It may be that the thoughts come in the night when you want to sleep, allowing time for your mind to wander and wonder, or perhaps your job is boring and unchallenging. When a mind is unoccupied the devil takes this opportunity to suggest sinful thoughts for you to dwell on. Be tough on yourself and your mind. When you want to begin to think about those things, tell yourself - NO! Pray immediately and say “I reject those thoughts in Jesus name.” Cast the imaginations down using the name of Jesus. • Concentrate your mental energies on other things. Fill up your mind and brain with other thoughts. Anything decent will do: your talents, good music; good books

etc, until you sleep off. Find something which can occupy your mind and displace impure thoughts. • Listening to messages that will teach you right thinking will greatly help. Keep resisting the impure thoughts following these ways, and eventually the habit will be broken. The God of peace will keep you. Scriptures to meditate on and commit to memory • 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Romans 8:12-14) • But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25) • If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience. (Colossians 3:1-5).

Enjoying in godly wealth Shepherd Life with Bishop Kingsley

Enakirerhi

F

ounder and General Overseer of Heroes of Christ Ministry, with International Headquarters at Ughelli, Delta State, Bishop Kingsley Enakirerhi, says God desires that His children should be wealthy but that the wealth must not be the ill-gotten type. God desires that His children enjoy wealth. Just as every earthly father wants his or her child to do well in life, so also God is interested in our prosperity. In Psalm 35:27, we are told, “Let them shout for joy, and be glad that favour my righteous cause: yea let them say continually, let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant”. Here we see that God has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant. Many people are angry when they see God’s children or ministers prospering, this is unfortunate because whether we like it or not, every servant of God who pleases God is a candidate of God’s prosperity. There is nothing we can do about it. However, it must be stated that the kind of wealth God desires for His children is the godly kind of wealth. This is the kind of wealth that is got in a genuine and legal way. God is against wealth acquired by dubious means, hence in Proverbs,

we are told that ill-gotten wealth shall diminish. No wonder, the children of such people end up selling those property or ill health consumes such wealth. In Proverbs 10:22, we are told that the blessing of the Lord makes rich and adds no sorrow. Whenever anyone makes godly wealth, such a person will enjoy that wealth peacefully. He or she will not be living in fear or bondage as some do today. Some have food but they cannot eat because of health reasons. Others have good homes but cannot sleep in their beds. A friend of mine told me of how he went to a man’s house and the man told him to sleep in his bed so that after he has gone, the rich man can sleep on it in peace. Whenever the rich man sleeps in that bed, he is always having terrifying experiences, hence he brought my friend to conduct deliverance in the room for him. Abraham, Isaac and Job are a few examples of those in the scriptures who made their wealth through genuine means. This shows that God is not against His children being wealthy. God wants His children to be wealthy in order to demonstrate His love towards them. In Romans 8:32, the scriptures says “he that spared not his own, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us things?” If God could give us His only son, what is wealth that He cannot give us? Another reason God wants to give His children wealth is so that they can walk in dominion. In Ecclesiastes 10:19, we are told that “money answereth all things”.

Money is very powerful; that is why so many people can do anything just to acquire it. I was looking at the dailies sometime ago and I saw the richest man in Nigeria sitting in the midst of governors. He was the only one seated in their midst who was not a governor of a state. That is money’s power. With money, a lake can be converted into a beautiful city. So God wants His children to walk in dominion, hence He is interested in their becoming wealthy. Another reason God wants His children to be wealthy is because He wants to fulfil the covenant He made with Abraham. God made a covenant with Abraham that He will bless him and make him a blessing. God told him that his descendants shall be mighty upon the face of the earth. And since we are all the spiritual children of Abraham, God who does not lie, wants to fulfil that covenant in our lives. A careful look at the story of the Israelites will reveal that God blessed them so much not just because of their relationship with Him but because of the covenant He made with their father, Abraham. The same way He desires us to be wealthy so that He can fulfil His covenant to Abraham. The greatest reason God wants to make you wealthy is so that you can be a blessing to God’s work. The church of God does not do business. God has so ordained it that He will bless His children and His children will in turn sponsor the work? It takes money to be on air. It takes money to hold crusades. It takes money to

erect church buildings. It takes money to establish branches. In Psalm 35:27, which we read earlier, God says He delights in blessing those who favour His righteous cause. In Zechariah 1:17 it is written “my cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad “. This is the statement of God Himself. Without money, spreading of the gospel will be greatly hindered. Has God blessed you? Then use the money for the work of the gospel. Eighty percent of whatever comes into my hand goes back into the work of the Lord. The wealth God has given to you is not just for you and your family alone. It is meant for you to sponsor the gospel. Another reason God wants to make you wealthy is so that you will be a blessing to others. Any wealth you have that does not affect others positively is not wealth. In Acts 4, the scripture records that those brethren who had property, sold them and brought the proceeds to the apostle’s feet for the distribution to the needy. I want to say to fellow ministers of the gospel that the money you receive is not meant for you alone, it is also meant to be distributed to others. God desires that none of His children should suffer lack. However, those He has blessed have refused to distribute to others. I challenge you today, be a blessing to others today with your resources. This is God’s will. As you reach out to bless others, you will also be a candidate of God’s blessing. •For counseling or enquiries send an email to bishopnoproblem@yahoo.com


46

Praise & Worship

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sunday March 24, 2013

A day to remember

H

ow do we get the lunar year? By the revolution-movement of the planet earth around the sun taking about 365 days. How do we get the month? By the movement of the moon around the planet earth taking about 30 days. How do we get the 24-hour day? By the rotating of the planet earth upon its axis. How do we get the seven-day week? There is no tenable explanation from the observation of any heavenly body or nature generally! The only explanation is found in the Christian Scriptures from Genesis 1:1-2:4—“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens” (Gen 2:1-3). The earth and all its known contents were created in six days, “by the word of the Lord” (Ps 33:6). “For he spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Ps 33:9). God rested on the seventh-day to commemorate the creation. The Sabbath is the Birthday of the world! It is God’s signature on His handiwork. You may forget or be ignorant of your birthday, but you cannot change your birthday! This is also true of the Sabbath. It is a day to remember! The Sabbath is the sign of God’s authority over His creation. “Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you” (Exod 31:13; see v. 17; Ezek 20:12, 20). The Sabbath signifies deliverance, freedom, release, and liberation. The Sabbath is “a real liberator,” providing a

“release from the hardship of life and social inequalities, not only every seventh day but also every seventh year, on the sabbatical year (Lev 25:8), and every ‘seven Sabbaths of years,’ on the jubilee year (Lev 25:8).” Jesus’ inaugural Nazareth Sabbath address draws on Isaiah 61:1-2 (also 58:6): “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18). Jesus’ healings on the Sabbath are acts of love, compassion, and mercy, teaching us that the weekly Sabbath, of all days, “is the most appropriate for healing” (Mark 1:25; 2:5; Luke 13:16; John 5:14; 9:38). It is a day to do good. A day of benevolent service. A day to show concern. The Sabbath emphasizes the importance of loving one’s neighbor and showing concern and compassion to the needy and the defenseless in the society. Freedom to rest on the Sabbath is to be granted to the manservant, the maidservant, the son of the bondmaid, the cattle, and the sojourner and/or alien. “Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh you shall rest; that your ox and your ass may have rest and the son of your bond-maid and the alien may be refreshed” (Ex 23:12; 20:9-10). The first entrance of the Sabbath in Genesis chapter 2 signifies “God’s initial entrance into human time to bless and sanctify human beings with His divine presence,” thus making the Sabbath a symbol of “God’s future entrance into human flesh to become ‘Emmanuel-God with us.’” The theme of Sabbath rest according to Abraham Joshua Heschel “is the same as happiness and stillness, as peace and

harmony.” The age of the Messiah is often described as a time of sabbatical rest. The annual Sabbaths provided release from personal debts, slavery, and social injustices, typifying the Messianic deliverance (Is 61:1-3, 7; 40:2). The concept of forgiveness parallels the release from financial indebtedness and social injustices of the annual Sabbaths; sometimes called “the release,” “the Lord’s release,” and “the year of release” (Deut 15:1, 2, 9; 31:10; Lev 25:10). William G. Blaikie noted: “The Sabbath is God’s special present to the working man, one of its chief objects is to prolong his life, and preserve efficient his working tone. The savings bank of human existence is the weekly Sabbath.” The Sabbath clears away the rust of the whole week. It is the symbol of divine commitment to restore broken relationships. It is the solace of my care-worn brow. Holy rest for humanity. A day to cease from anxious care. A day to forget all disappointments, grief, and oppression and tear. A Day of days. Israel Shenker in Coat of Many Colors (1985) wrote: “The Sabbath was not intended to be simply a desert of prohibitions, but rather an oasis for moral restoration and seemly pleasure.” The true and conscientious observance of the weekly Sabbath as a day of rest, worship, religious teaching has a direct bearing on the moral well-being of the community. It will yield the promotion of holiness, righteousness. A day to keep company of angels. A day of God’s majesty. A day for song, praise, and prayer. “If your soul has no Sabbath, it becomes an orphan,” adapting Albert Schweitzer’s quip. “The more a man bows his knee before God, the straighter he stands before men.” A day to fling wide the temple of our heart, free from earthly cares, adorned with prayer, love, and joy. A day with show-

Answer these questions and win a prize 1.

Jerusalem is also named as… after which King? Locate the passage.

2.

What sign did Judas give to identify Jesus when he betrayed Jesus? Supply the scripture.

3.

Who was said to be the wisest of men? Locate the Bible passage.

•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.

ers of blessings, precious reviving, and refreshing rest in a world of speed and hectic days. A day of splendor and triumphant gladness. A day to breathe the fresh air of heaven. A day to manifest the mercies of the Messiah. A day of surrender and faithfulness. A day of wonders that thrills the soul. A day to set our affection from earth to things above. A fountain of righteousness and garden of grace. A day of pure delight. A day of fellowship, friendship and family. A day of sure and safe retreat from every stormy wind and swelling tide engulfing our lives. A day of tender charity, steadfast faith, patient hope, childlike trust, quiet, brave endurance. A day for offering our lives in service and kindness to God and humanity. A day of adoration, thankfulness, worship, and praise. A day of covenant, consecration, and promise. A day that takes our hearts and minds far away from the press of the world all around us to God’s throne where grace abounds. The Sabbath is a sign of eternity. A day of rest and gladness and joy and light. A balm of care and sadness; most beautiful, most bright. A cooling fountain in life’s dry and dreary sand. A day of calm, sweet repose, and sweet reflection. A day of love and light. A day of miracles and healings. A day to raise affection from earth to things above. A day of grace and peace and shelter; an emblem of eternal rest. A day of God’s total presence and glory; crowning jewel of creation, blest, hallowed sanctified. A day to wipe away every tear from every cheek; banish care and silence fear. A day devoid of shadows. A day of recreation and renewal. The Sabbath is the brightest day of every week! A Day to Remember! •Tunde Ojewole, PhD, is the Babcock University Pastor in charge: Division of Spiritual Life. For enquiries, contact: ojewolea@babcock.edu.ng or call/SMS 08058299434/08060376577

Answers to March 17, 2013 Quiz 1.

Paul- Rom 7:15

2.

Job-Job 42:10

3.

Adam-Gen 2:19,20

Can I be called a god?

Holy Inquiry with Pastor Paul

Nkirukah E-mail: pstpaul11@yahoo.com

Dear servant of God, One of my friends told me that he is god, and when I asked him why he called himself god, he said that the Bible said so; but he could not show any place in the Bible where it is so written. Man of God, can a human being be called god? If yes, where can I find it in the Bible? Please help me out. Obiageli O., Delta State. Dear reader, You don’t need to beg me to do my job; it is my duty to preach the gospel for people to understand. Before we can go further, I will like to ask you this question: do you believe that the Bible is the word of God? Do you believe that all the words of God (the Bible)

are true? If you do believe, then you will not find it difficult to understand by the time I am through with the explanations. However, as you know that there is nothing we can do or understand without the scriptures, let’s quickly and carefully examine the scriptures below. Then we will know whether your friend is right or not. Let’s start from the book of beginning , Genesis, 1 : 26 – 27, which reads; “And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” When it is said that something or somebody has the same image and likeness, what exactly does that mean? God is actually saying that we have the same build-up (image) and we look exactly like him and we have the same characteristics, the same type of behaviour, in fact, it means that we are his photocopy, we look just exactly like him.

Furthermore, John10 : 30 – 36 reads, “I and my father are one, 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him, 32 Jesus answered them, many good works have I shewed you from my father, for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, saying, for a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God, 34 Jesus answered them, is it not written in your law, I said, ye are gods? 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken, 36 say ye of him, whom the father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the son of God?” Let’s also see Psalm 82 : 6 and 7, which reads; I have said, ye are gods ; and all of you are children of the most high, 7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. Taking a very deep thought on the scriptures above in Psalm 82, verse 6, which says ‘you are the children of the most high’, the question now becomes, ‘can a lion give birth to a goat? Can man give birth to dog? If no, what or who do

you think God will he give birth to? God must give birth to God, and the scripture says that you all are the children of the most high God; then who do you think now you are? Are you not god now? My dear, you are. However, it is not everybody that is born of God. The scriptures in 1 John 5 : 1 reads, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. In having to meditate on the scripture above carefully and thoughtfully, you will agree with me that it is not everybody that is born of God except the ones that believe. The meaning of being born again is being born of God. That simply signifies that before you gave your life to Jesus (being born again) you were born of man, but now that you are born again, you are being born of God. So until one is born again, he or she remains the product of man; but immediately you are born again, you become the product of God. So the answer is, yes, you can be called god if you are born again. Stay blessed this weekend.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Opinion

Sunday March 24, 2013

47

Of Akpabio, freebies and pen assassins BENJAMIN UFFOT

T

here is no doubt that one of the brightest sides of democracy is the celebrated freedom of thought and expression. However, there is everything wrong with freedom of expression that is visibly warped, skewed and sponsored to defame another member of the society –leader or the led. To men and women of goodwill, forthrightness and genuine love or appreciation for positive contribution(s) to our nation’s overall development, the twist being given Governor Akpabio’s gifts to Mr and Mrs Innocent (Tuface) Idibia is nothing but blasphemy condemnable in its entire ramifications. To many right-thinking Nigerians, what Governor Akpabio has done in this regard is re-writing history of appreciating our stars while they are still alive, unlike the common culture of only showing appreciation to our stars either when they are on the verge of giving up the ghost or after they have been declared dead of preventable aliments or diseases.

Mr. Idibia is a Nigerian brand appreciated everywhere in Nigeria, Africa, Europe, and other continents. Without being unnecessary immodest, as a music star, he stands tall, almost at the same pedestal with music icons like late Fela Anikulapo– Kuti, Sonny Okosuns and the living legend of juju music, King Sunny Ade, in terms of social-relevance and symbolic ambassadorial role in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, the past 15 years or thereabout, Idibia has remained the colossus of Nigerian music and his legendary humility has continued to be a major

attraction to most Nigerian youths in the entertainment business. From whichever angle this issue is objectively viewed, Governor Akpabio should be praised for his foresight and penchant for identifying Nigerian brands and according them the honour they rightfully deserve. In the campaign of calumny, the N50 million endowment fund he instituted to honour talented or exceptional actors and actresses in Nollywood is also being chronicled with same mischief and perfidy. The question really is: What is wrong in this? Again, the answer seems to be inevitable: the rapacious condemnation is apparently a product of shallow mindedness as it is common place that the bane of quality Nigerian or Nollywood films is inadequate funding. As a matter of fact, Governor Akpabio is not only characteristically displaying one of the things that denominate his uncommon transformation of Akwa Ibom from a rural state to what has come to be aptly called the Dubai of Nigeria, he is simply taking a cue from the transformational policy of President Goodluck Jonathan which has produced the $200 million Entertainment Fund for Nigerian actors/artistes being managed by the Bank Of Industry. It is a pity that in this jet age of Mars – bound robot explorers, hired pen assassins could be living with the thought that they can successfully lurk on in the media space with the intention of casting a cyst on the face of the public. This is particularly with reference to the money announced on behalf of other governors at Otuoke, Bayelsa State by

Governor Akpabio and the money given to the South-south state chairmen of the PDP. It will be a shameful lie for any columnist to fiend ignorance of the fact that governors in Nigeria usually donate en block at public functions and in most cases, one of them is usually the spokesman- Nigerians have witnessed this timelessly. The fact remains that the bigger amounts have been donated at such occasions severally in Nigeria, even by parties other than the PDP, and no one has really celebrated these donations out of contextual relevance in the media. Apparently, there is more to the ferocious media attacks on Governor Akpabio than meets the eyes: there is probably no other way of proving this than the jaundiced allusion made to the pre-active involvement of the governor in the politics as a practicing lawyer in Lagos. It is a good thing that the fact that Akpabio did not emerge from nowhere is involuntarily stressed in this regard. But, what is begging for question is the direct correlation between the governor’s honest display of goodwill to those who are, as it were, the ‘salt’ of our odyssey as a nation. The fact is that good leadership naturally attracts goodwill and when a leader concernedly spreads this to his people, there is a transmutation of goodwill to God’s will. Without any iota of doubt, this is exactly what has happened in God’swill Akpabio’s AKwa Ibom State. Thus, it is quite laughable, when in a bid to fortify emptiness and an obviously a shallow viewpoint, a ref-

erence is made to lack of health care in a state which has been nationally and internationally adjudged to be the best in availability of health facilities among its peers in Nigeria! There are so much disjointed points adduced by media attackers of Governor Akpabio which unequivocally leaked the frustration and true intention of their sponsors. However, the fact remains that what is done cannot be undone: in plain language, the uncommon educational, infrastructural and socio-economic transformation of Akwa Ibom State by Akpabio cannot be undone by politicians with known proclivity for being Professor Samuel Huntington’s ‘men on the Horse Back’ who never bothered that the weary beast be stretched beyond bearable titters socio-economically. The crux really is that sponsored media attack or not, any group or anyone aspiring to govern Akwa Ibom from 2015 and beyond, will have to prove to the people that he can better the best of Godswill Akpabio which has been attested to by national icons like Professor Wole Soyinka, Chief Ken Nnamani, the esteemed former senate president and many other top Nigerian leaders, including those in opposition to the PDP, that the governor is truly God’s will for the Akwa Ibom State. •Barrister Uffot of Jamesuffot2004@ yahoo.com, is a Lagos-based legal practitioner

Ladoja and Accord’s giant strides in Oyo L ANRE L ATINWO

W

ith a few weeks to the 2011 general election in Oyo State, the former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja dumped the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, of which he was a Board of Trustees member and moved along with his supporters to a little known party, Accord. He not only moved to Accord, he also announced his entry into the gubernatorial race, a move which was seen by many as political catastrophe. A shrewd businessman, Ladoja said his choice of Accord was based on the fact that it would be easy to sell to the electorate because of the fact that it is the first party on the ballot paper and that the symbol would be easy to explain to electorate. Many discountenanced the fact that he would succeed in the election knowing fully well that the time was short but the result of the election showed that within short time , Ladoja, the man of the people had recorded great feat as Accord had seven seats in the State Assembly and four seats in the Federal House of Representatives. After the election , Ladoja and Accord stayed on the side of the people when it agreed to have a workable agreement with the Action Congress of Nigeria

which won the governorship election but couldn’t control the majority in the State House of Assembly. In doing this, Ladoja believed that the governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, and the leadership of the ruling party would as gentlemen keep to the agreement reached before the alliance was sealed. He has since known that they were far from being honourable. As the preparation for the 2015 general election draws near, the slogan in the mouth of the Oyo electorate has been ‘Idera De’ (succour has come). Idera De which has been Ladoja’s campaign slogan since 2003 when he took over the mantle of the state from the late Lamidi Adesina and it became popular during his four-year rule of the state. What is happening in the pace-setter state now is that there is mass movement of people to “ACCORD” , the party of the masses. In the last couple of weeks, Ladoja had been busy receiving defectors from the PDP, All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP, and the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN into Accord. It began like a child’s play when Chief Ayodele Adigun and his teeming supporters dumped PDP for Accord. Chief Adigun, a former permanent secretary, commissioner and ex-secretary to the state government under Senator Ladoja led his supporters to Accord at a

AS THE PREPARATION FOR THE

2015 GENERAL ELECTION DRAWS NEAR, THE SLOGAN IN THE MOUTH OF THE

OYO ELECTORATE HAS BEEN IDERA DE (SUCCOUR HAS COME) ceremony witnessed by a large crowd. Another notable politician that has joined the party train in the state is Pastor Emmanuel Adeoti Osunsi who dumped PDP at a rally in Ajaawa. Personalities that attended the rally gave credence to how important the occasion was. Aside from the national leader, Ladoja, deputy national chairman of the party, Rev Adeniyi, and national secretary, Engr Nureni Adisa, were in attendance. Pastor Emmanuel Osunsi, exploded when he said that their move-

ment to Accord signalled the end of PDP in Ogo-Oluwa local government. In Ibadan North West, Accord has also received another “big fish” into its fold from PDP; the immediate past local government chairman in the council, Hon. Dr Remi Ayodele, led thousands of members of PDP which include chairmen of all the 12 wards in the council. It was the turn of Ibadan South West local government chapter on Wednesday, January 24, when Chief Akinbiyi and Alhaji Muili Oladepo led other PDP members to the party while Prince Opeyemi Fatola led the ACN decampees, Fatola said that their defection was based on their belief in Accord and its leadership. While Accord is consolidating its stronghold and extending its frontier, the PDP and the ruling ACN are entangled in crises. Ladoja’s leadership of the party has been drawing support from far and near and his experience in the political arena is what the party needs to step ahead of others in the 2015 general election. What would happen in 2015 is clearly showing face as the state may witness the return of Ladoja to the Agodi Government House, a feat that would bring joy to the teeming masses of Oyo state. •Latinwo is an Ibadan based media consultant.


50

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net


51

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wellness YOUR HEALTH AND HEALTH RELATED ISSUES MARCH 24, 2013

World TB Day: Do not stigmatise people with tuberculosis –Dr Orji VANESSA OKWARA

I

magine you are in a public bus and the person sitting next to you begins to cough and sneeze uncontrollably without even using a handkerchief to stop the spread. The first thought that would probably cross your mind is if the sickness the person has is contagious, you are likely to catch it by just being close to the person. Tuberculosis is a type of disease that can be transmitted through such person to person contact and this can easily lead to an epidemic if it is not curbed. It is on this premise that the World Health Organisation (WHO) marked out every March 24 to let the whole world know about this illness and how best it can be eradicated from the face of the earth. In a communiqué released by the WHO to mark this year’s World TB Day, the health body said the day should be used as an opportunity to raise awareness about the burden of tuberculosis (TB) worldwide and the status of TB prevention and control efforts. It is also an opportunity to mobilise political and social commitment for further progress. 2013 is the second year of a two-year campaign for World TB Day, with the slogan, “Stop TB in My Lifetime”. World TB Day provides the opportunity for affected persons and the communities in which they live, civil society organisations, health-care providers, and other partners to discuss and plan further collaboration to fulfil the promise of stopping TB in our lifetime through advocacy and action. Explaining how this bacterium spreads, the co-founder of a non-profit organisation called ‘Doctors Reach-Out Initiative’, which primary aim is to give medical aid and enlightenment to the less privileged in the society, spoke to Sunday Mirror about the burden of tuberculosis in our country, especially among the poor and what can be done to curb its spread. “Tuberculosis is an ancient disease that has been with the world for a long time. The usual acronym is TB.

The causative organism is Mico bacterium Tobaculi. It is a chronic infection of the lungs which is where the organism affects mostly. It is more or less a pulmonary infection. When the persons who are active with this organism sneezes, they spread the droplets containing the organism into the air and once it’s inhaled by the people close to them, they too can become active or latent carriers of the organism depending on their immune system. Some medical analyses show that at least 60 per cent of the world population have that organism in their system. But active infection only becomes manifest in 1/10 in that 60 per cent”. What this means in general is that you may contract this disease and not know you have it. Although your body may harbour the bacteria that causes tuberculosis, your immune system usually can prevent you from becoming sick. For this reason, doctors make a distinction between patients who have tested positive to tuberculosis as follows: • Latent TB. In this condition, you have a TB infection, but the bacteria remain

Survivor tasks students on breast cancer awareness A breast cancer survivor, Mrs. Juliet Aguwa, has tasked students to educate their mothers on ways to examine themselves, detect and ensure early treatment of the ailment. Aguwa, who is the founder of Courage

to Dare Foundation, gave the advice recently while delivering a lecture to female students of St. Anthony of Padua High School, Nkpor in Anambra on `Breast Cancer and its Curability’. She noted that the

disease kills more women in the country as a result of ignorance as well as stigmatisation of victims, adding that what every person passing through health problems needed was love and encouragement.

in your body in an inactive state and cause no symptoms. Latent TB, also called inactive TB or TB infection, isn’t contagious. However, it can turn into active TB, so treatment is important for the person with latent TB and to help control the spread of TB in general. An estimated one-third of the world’s population has latent TB. • Active TB. This condition makes you sick and can spread to others. It can occur in the first few weeks after infection with the TB bacteria, or it might occur years later. Dr Orji buttressed this point by stating that “a lot of people are latent carriers of the organism that causes tuberculosis and yet they do not know that they have it unless something else takes them to the hospital such as a chronic cough that refused to go even when they have taken several cough remedies. When they get tested, it will be discovered that they have this organism latent in their system for a while now. They don’t know they carry it, because it is asymptomatic. That means you may have it and yet don’t show any sign or symptom of falling ill. Even if it is going to be discovered,

it might be accidentally when you go to do a routine check,” he said. Medical statistics released by the USAID revealed that In Nigeria, an estimated 3.6 per cent of the population is living with HIV and AIDS. In addition, Nigeria has one of the highest tuberculosis burdens in the world (311 per 100,000), resulting in the largest burden in Africa. Despite the country’s rising TB detection rates and program coverage, many TB cases are still undetected. The high rates of TB/HIV co-infection result is a significant health challenge in the HIV/AIDS response. This co-existence with HIV/AIDS has made tuberculosis to rapidly increase the widespread of the disease. Dr Orji said people with HIV/AIDS have a higher chance of contracting this illness because of the breakdown in their immune system. “For people whose immune systems are weak, especially those with HIV infection, the risks of developing TB disease are much higher than for people with normal immune systems. This is because the micro organism that causes TB is dormant in the system of most people, waiting to manifest and once that individual contracts HIV, it will drop the body’s immunity where the white blood corpuscles can no longer fight the disease effectively,” the expert said. Some of the symptoms people with tuberculosis exhibit include: • A bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer • Pain in the chest • Coughing up blood in the sputum • Weakness or fatigue • Weight loss • No appetite • Chills • Fever • Sweating at night Is tuberculosis treatable? Dr Obiora explains: “Yes, Tuberculosis is curable and preventable. If you think you have been exposed to someone with TB disease, contact the hospital and medical centres to see if you CONTINUED ON PAGE 52

HEALTH NEWS Ensure adequate record keeping, immunisation workers urged Primary Health Coordinator of Kafur local council of Katsina State, Alhaji Suleiman Yusha’u, has enjoined immunisation workers to ensure adequate record keeping. Yusha’u gave the charge at a workshop organised for stakeholders on poliomyelitis immunisation campaign in Kafur local council. He noted that proper record

keeping and management would facilitate maximum success of the exercise. The coordinator cautioned field workers against framing fictitious statistics which, he said, could easily be detected by superior officers and urged them to live up to expectation. Yusha’u said governments and

supporting agencies were making enormous investment on the exercise aimed at uplifting public health as a prelude for improved health standard. He also commended traditional rulers for their support, which he described as a catalyst to the maximum success of the exercise and called for increased public support.


52

Wellness

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Poor hygiene, major cause of Nigerians’ ill health –Experts TOBORE OVUORIE

Y

ou see them squatting by the roadside, looking as if nothing is wrong and even engaging you in a long stare should you dare look at them. They take such position even before 7 a.m. and remain there for as long as their mission lasts. It isn’t a morning affair alone; defecating in the open is not strange in Oyo State. Arriving in the state especially through the popular Iwo Road in Ibadan, the state’s capital, you’re most certainly going to be welcomed by sights of residents defecating by roadsides, and every nook and cranny. But Oyo State is not alone in this poor sanitary habit. About 35 kilometres from Dass Local Government Area in Bauchi State is a community where open defecation is also common. Open defecation by residents of Yelwa community on the farms, market places, even behind residential areas, offices, churches and mosques has been the norm for long. But then, it is not only in Oyo and Dass that poor sanitary condition is inherent, most traditional communities and even some cities use open spaces when nature’s compulsion beckons. However, Sunday Mirror’s investigations reveal that despite the country’s level of civilisation, toilets are still not accorded the necessary priority in their construction or maintenance. However, in areas like Jere community under Kagarko LGA, Kaduna, where there are toilets, lack of pipe-borne water has forced many residents to answer nature’s call anywhere other than in their toilets. When our reporter visited the community recently, it was discovered that residents not only travel long distances to get water, they spend much of their meagre income on the scarce commodity. Consequently, many of them prefer not to use the toilet to avoid ‘wasting’ a whole bucket of water in flushing it. Indeed, Nigerians in other communities besides Jere are daily faced with acute water shortage and the associated sanitation-related diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea and dysentery. In Minna, for instance, statistics released by the Niger State Government shows that only about 35 per cent of the populace have access to improved water sources such as household connections, public standpipes, boreholes, protected dug wells, protected springs, and rain water collections. Consequently, residents depend mainly on vendors whose sources of sup-

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Your

BONE Health

with Dr. Olatunji Idowu

Osteoporosis: causes, signs and symptoms ply many cannot tell. The situation is even worse in some parts of Borno State such as Borno North, Abadam, Guzamala, Mobbar, Kukawa, Monguno, among others. Most residents rely mainly on open wells, and water ponds- unimproved water sources. But community and family health experts say lack of water is not the main reason for the high rate of poor hygiene in the country. They identified poor hygiene culture as a major cause of poor sanitation in most parts of the nation. President, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Osahon Enabulele, who is also a community and health expert, told Sunday Mirror recently that: “From the East to the West, South to North, many Nigerians are simply dirty. Hygienic living is not yet a norm for them if not, areas where they have considerable amount of water such as Oyo State, why do they still take to the streets? “Yes, some of their houses are without toilets but don’t be surprised that some of the persons squatting just anywhere have toilets, even if it is a latrine, at home! Since they don’t care for it, they abandon it and make the environment unsafe for us all. If you doubt me, check other areas of their lives; are they hygiene-conscious water or no water?” Indeed, further findings by Sunday Mirror confirmed Dr. Enabulele’s claims to be true. For instance, when our reporter paid Dass a second visit in December last year, it was discovered that while the habit of open defecation is most prevalent among men, women, aside from this, share sanitary towels and rags during their menstrual cycles. Rakiyya Aliu, a young mother of two confirmed our findings. “I help my sister with my own (sanitary napkins) and when she is also buoyant to buy some, she also lends me hers when I see my period. We do wash them and keep them properly under the bed along with our other things” she revealed. Dr. Enabulele however condemned such ‘generosity’. “For no reason should any woman share sanitary rags or napkins.They must be disposed of every

three to four months. They are supposed to wash them with soap and water, spread them in the sun to reduce chances of infections”, he counselled. Indeed, areas in Oyo state such as Idikan, Ori-Eru, Alepa, Fidibole, Oriyangi, and Inalende amongst others where poor sanitary condition is rife have been hit many times by cholera outbreaks over the years. Same had been noticed in Dass. A resident of Dass, Malam Nuhu Yahaya recounted to Sunday Mirror that “People die every rainy season because of cholera outbreaks; it was not long that we realised that the outbreaks were as a result of our poor hygiene habits. There was a year that we buried over 20 children who we thought had been struck by evil spirits but only to be told recently by some people from United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) that they died of infections.” According to a joint UNICEF and World Health Organisation (WHO) 2012 report, more than 1.1 billion people across the world engage in open defecation with no fewer than 34 million from Nigeria. Consequences of this have however been dire, as the faeces find their way into water sources when it rains which in turn results in cholera, diarrhea, and other preventable illnesses and deaths. Unfortunately, reports indicate children, are often at the receiving end. Statistics indicate 3.5 million children die every year before their fifth birthday because of diarrhea, while one child every 15 seconds dies unnecessarily from diarrhea-related diseases. With the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NIMET) predicting heavy downpours this year, Head of Water and Hygiene Section, UNICEF, Vinod Alkari advises: “improving the disposal of human excreta, keeping our environment clean by not throwing refuse around and stopping open defecations can drastically reduce disease burden due to sanitation-related diseases and contribute to economic transformation. This way, Nigeria will stop losing N455 billion annually as a result of poor sanitary habits among the populace”.

‘Nigeria has one of highest TB burdens in the world’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 51 should be tested for TB infection. The earlier you get treated the better so you don’t turn from a latent carrier to an active one. TB disease can be treated by taking several drugs, usually for six to nine months. It is very important to finish the medicine and take the drugs exactly as prescribed. If you stop taking the drugs too soon, you can become sick again. If you do not take the drugs correctly, the germs that are still alive may become resistant to those drugs. TB that is resistant to drugs is harder and more expensive to treat,” he warned. How do you protect yourself against this disease, especially if you have a family member who has it? The medical expert advised, “TB is spread through things as common as sneezing; if someone you know is down with TB, it is important that you

isolate the person and make sure there is proper ventilation and the length of time you spend with the person also increases your risk. But we need to be careful when we say you should isolate the carrier, you need to do so with love and don’t stigmatise the person. The person should be educated and told that what he/she is carrying is a danger to other people and also encouraged to take his drugs religiously”. When people with active pulmonary TB cough, sneeze, speak, sing, or spit, they expel infectious aerosol droplets 0.5 to 5.0 μm in diameter. A single sneeze can release up to 40,000 droplets.[39] Each one of these droplets may transmit the disease, since the infectious dose of tuberculosis is very low (the inhalation of fewer than 10 bacteria may cause an infection).[40] air. The ability of tuberculosis to be transmitted through the air makes it a potential roblem all over the world.

Osteoporosis is a condition characterised by a decrease in the density of bone, decreasing its strength and resulting in fragile bones. It literally leads to abnormally porous bone that is compressible, like a sponge. This disorder of the skeleton weakens the bone and results in frequent fractures (breaks) in the bones. Osteopenia is a condition of bone that is slightly less dense than normal bone but not to the degree of bone in osteoporosis. Composition of the normal bone Normal bone is composed of protein, collagen, and calcium, all of which give bone its strength. Bones that are affected by osteoporosis can break (fracture) with relatively minor injury that normally would not cause a bone to fracture. The fracture can be either in the form of cracking (as in a hip fracture) or collapsing (as in a compression fracture of the vertebrae of the spine). The spine, hips, ribs, and wrists are common areas of bone fractures from osteoporosis although osteoporosis-related fractures can occur in almost any skeletal bone. Osteoporosis symptoms and signs Osteoporosis can be present without any symptoms for decades because it doesn’t cause symptoms until bone fractures. Moreover, some osteoporotic fractures may escape detection for years when they do not cause symptoms. Therefore, patients may not be aware of their osteoporosis until they suffer a painful fracture. The symptom associated with osteoporotic fractures usually is pain; the location of the pain depends on the location of the fracture. The symptoms of osteoporosis in men are similar to the symptoms of osteoporosis in women. Fractures of the spine (vertebra) can cause severe “band-like” pain that radiates from the back to the sides of the body. Over the years, repeated spinal fractures can lead to chronic lower back pain as well as loss of height and/ or curving of the spine due to collapse of the vertebrae. The collapse gives individuals a hunched-back appearance of the upper back, often called a “dowager hump” because it commonly is seen in elderly women. Minimal trauma A fracture that occurs during the course of normal activity is called a minimal trauma, or stress fracture. For example, some patients with osteoporosis develop stress fractures of the feet while walking or stepping off a curb. Hip fractures typically occur as a result of a fall. With osteoporosis, hip fractures can occur as a result of trivial slip-and-fall accidents. Hip fractures also may heal slowly or poorly after surgical repair because of poor healing of the bone. If you have any problem or question about your musculoskeletal system (bones, joints and muscles) do send me a mail at tunjiidowu@live.com for advice. Meanwhile, your comments and feedback on the issues discussed are highly welcomed.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Business

53

FRESH BUSINESS NEWS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS Sunday March 24, 2013

Cassava Bread: Stakeholders seek funding, legislative supports TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

C

onvinced of the value-addition implications of the current efforts by the Federal Government to popularise cassava bread as a nutritious and healthier delicacy for Nigerian consumers, stakeholders in the gradually evolving agenda have canvassed some measures for urgent implementation in order to translate the idea into socio-economic benefits in the country. Most of the stakeholders who contributed to the discussions on the cassava bread project at the just concluded National Stakeholder Forum on Cassava Bread, organised by the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology and sponsored by the ‘Cassava: Adding value for Africa of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’, agreed that collaboration of government with stakeholders was required to move from the lethargic era that hallmarked the Presidential Initiative on Cassava, initiated about 10 years ago, to its commercial production for public consumption. Specifically, the farmers, processors, bakers and nutrition experts involved in the cassava bread project have identified two key measures namely, timely disbursement of the agricultural sector intervention funds and the enactment of an enabling Act, as crucial to the successful implementation of the High Quality Cassava Flour, (HQCF) agenda in a manner that would make Nigeria realise the cassava bread dream within the next few years. In his position paper delivered at the forum which attracted over 100 key stakeholders from across the country, the National President of the Nigerian Cassava Producers and Marketers Association (NCAPMA), Mr. Ayo Olubori, who took participants through memory lane on the achievements of the past initiatives of government to promote crusade on acceptance of composite flour, said the need for government to give the deserved attention to the agenda derived from the socio-economic implications of the project for the country which could only be ignored at the detriment of national development. According to him, the crusade actually represents reasonable demand for economic empowerment, employment generation, wealth creation,technological development, national growth, self reliant, amongst other values which has gone beyond the product to crafting strategies and designing workable

Minister of Agriculture, Adesina

a brea ad Cassava bread

templates ates that, if properly applied, a nvariably he wouldinvariably help in transforming the national economic landscape for good. On what he identifies as the way to getting the cassava development journey towards a fulfilling destination, the NCAPMA boss specifically canvassed a 5-point agenda for urgent consideration, namely moving cassava development beyond mere policy statement to full legislation; immediate release of the various intervention funds for cassava processors under the numerous cassava development initiatives since 2003 and allowing stakeholders like NCAPMA to manage Cassava Bread Fund Others are, inauguration of the proposed National Cassava Development Corporation; compensa-

tion for the untold hardships the processors have faced since the inception of Presidential Initiative on Cassava, and provision of adequate incentives as attractions to end users of cassava products. Speaking in a similar tone on the need for government’s support for stakeholders’ initiatives on the HQCF programme, the President of Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology, Professor Sanni Lateef, said members of the Institute believe that cassava bread “is a do-able commodity” and that Nigerians will like it and adopt it if standardised. The NIFST President who commended the CAVA for its initiatives targeted at adding value to the national drive for improved HQCF productivity, especially by recently

improving the efficiency of flash drier with a new heat exchanger in Ekiti, said appropriate legislative was required to standardise the project in order to ensure quality assurance at all levels of the valuechain. Professor Lateef said: “People are talking of legislation, that there is a need to legislate this initiative if we want it to be sustainable and enduring. There is need for the National Assembly to pass into law the cassava policy that is the use of high quality cassava flour in wheat bread. We also talked of the Bill for the establishment of the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology to be able to regulate food professionals. “Already, the chambers of the National Assembly had passed the Bill and it is now just for the President to sign it into law. The Bill was forwarded by the National Assembly for President’s assent in the last quarter of 2012 and we hope it would be signed into law so that it will give us enough legal authority or backing which is necessary for us to make the cassava bread agenda work”, the NIFST boss added. Another stakeholder and South East Coordinator of NCAPMA, His Royal Highness (Dr.) Philip Ajomiwe, who noted that the present Cassava value-chain programme of the government is a desirable development, particularly in view of the commitment by the Minister of Agriculture to the ATA, h however believes that is need for q quick funding intervention so th that processors, growers, fabricator tors and famers could access such fun funds for improved operations acro across the cassava value chain. The traditional ruler of Oriendu Autonomous Community in Abia State while commending the government on the ATA, particularly the commitment of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, to its successful implementation, reflected on the experiences he and others that were part of Nigeria’s trade mission led by the former CBN Governor to Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore during the President Obasanjo’s administration and pointed out that Nigeria could do better with HQCF than those countries based on her productive potentials. Ajomiwe, who is also the Chairman of De-Philajoms Agro and Allied Industries Limited, also commended the Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, for what he is doing to use agriculture as the platform for socio-economic transformation of the state.

Eze Ajomiwe said: “We need intervention of the Federal Government in areas of equipment, heat exchangers etc. This is March almost ending and nothing has started. We need the quick intervention of the loan to processors, the loan to growers, the loan to fabricators so that the dream of realising the quality and quantity we need to make the ATA a huge success is not cut short. “Our association, NCAPMA is ready to give Nigerians and the global community high quantity and qualitative HQCF the market requires if they give us necessary support to improve in our machineries, equipment we need for flash driers, heat exchangers and so on that will consume less because the pricing of these HQCF is very low”, he added. In what appears a re-assuring tone, Dr. Adesina who stayed for over two hours at the forum listening to stakeholders’ views on how to explore the frontiers of the cassava productivity agenda for sustainable national benefits, did not only assure them of government’s readiness to implement their recommendations but also promised to engage them in dialogue on quarterly basis with a view to accommodating their inputs in the ATA. Specifically, the Minister promised that he would do everything to ensure that the stakeholders have access to the Cassava Development Fund and other financial interventions by donor partners and others and policy supports, adding that “nothing is going to be done without the full know of the stakeholders. “So, when we are going to operationalise the Fund, how it is going to work, we will bring the stakeholders together and say this is how the Fund is going to operate and say, here are the things you have to meet in using the Fund”, Adesina promised. On the issue of legislation, he urged the stakeholders to push for the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology Act, adding that such positive agitation is “very important for the sustainability of government policies. In his concluding remarks, the Minister, who cited the experience in Peru where by legislation the government made the use of potato as compulsory in every food they process, said “if we are the largest processor of cassava in the world, then you must have legislation that says we must have to add X amount to every single product that we have”.


54

Business

Property Watch •For Lagos area as at Friday March 22, 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 Wood Timber (hard) 1x1x12 ..........N1,000 Timber (hard) 2x2x12 ..........N600 Timber (hard) 2x4x12 ..........N700

Sunday March 24, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

PENCOM accuses contributors of multiple registration T

he National Pension Commission (PENCOM) says it uncovered some multiple registration of Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) by some pension contributors. This is contained in a statement by its Corporate Affairs Manager, Mr Emeka Obiora, in Lagos yesterday. It stated that the RSAs were opened with different Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs). According to the statement, in the course of planning for the new transfer windows, we discovered a single contributor with six RSAs in six PFAs, and we are sorting it out. ``This development is wrong and in such situations the first

PFA of choice is picked for the contributor. ``This development is what is delaying the various transfer windows the commission is planning for contributors. ``The transfer windows will provide the contributor different options to choose from, on how he wants his contributions to be invested and how to collect his money as a retiree,” it said. PENCOM said that it would not roll out the transfer windows without clearing the data as it would complicate issues. ``At the heart of the transfer windows were biometrics and PENCOM will not have that in place with such problems,” it

stated. It advised contributors that are having problems with their various PFAs to inform the commission about it instead of going to another PFA. The commission said it had dedicated a whole department to make the transfer windows possible. It added that work was ongoing and as soon as the data were cleaned up, the guidelines for the transfer windows would be issued. PENCOM said that the Risked Based Supervision (RBS) adopted did not give room for any contributor or PFA to engage in shady business.

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

L-R: Deputy General Manager, Administration and Supply, Osun Water Corporation,Prince Oyedeji Daramola; General Manager, Mr Gbenga Awojuyigbe and Special Adviser to Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Water Resources, Engineer Tawakalitu Williams, during the Year 2013 World Water Day Press Conference, at the Governor’s Office, Osogbo over the weekend.

4. A land measuring 5.081 square metre at Ajasa, Ipaja, Lagos------------------------------N25m Estimated price in 5 years---------N50m

HASAL MFB offers N6m support to rice farmers

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

TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

H

ASAL Microfinance Limited, has provided about N6 million support to a Nasarawa State-based Integrated Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, as part of its corporate agenda to reach out to rural farmers in the country.

The financial support is coming on the heels of the bank’s recent restructuring exercise which led to the creation of a new Agriculture and Rural Banking Department, among other innovative moves, geared towards deepening its supports to the financially-excluded and under-served people in the rural communities. Unlike its past supports to similar SMEs and farmers’ groups in the past, the new

fund by the Bank is used to finance a multifunctional 50HP 2WD Tractor with service kit, a 7*7 Ofset Disc Harrow, Bottom Disc Plough, Furrow Disc Ridger and 5 Ton Tipping Trailer, which is considered as one of the key assets the farmers require to boost their productivity. While handing over the tractor to the elated farmers in Abuja, the Managing Director/ CEO HASAL MFB, Mr. Rogers Nwoke, said the gesture was in furtherance of the Bank’s philosophy to touch customers’ life for good by making them financially inclusive and improving their socio-economic well being at all times Nwoke, who recalled that similar supports had been extended to farmers, traders and other artisans groups by the

Bank over the past two years, urged the farmers to take full advantage of the opportunity for provision of the Tractor to improve their production for bountiful harvests and by so doing contribute maximally to ongoing efforts by the government to make Nigeria sufficient in rice production and net exporter of food in the near future. He said: “We are very delighted to offer this type of support to this group of farmers who, based on our field assessment, is mobilizing its members to improve rice production in Nassarawa State. This, to us, is a desirable step in view of the current efforts targeted at diversifying the nation’s economic base and ensuring that Nigerians do not import food before they can feed themselves.

We’ve offered N70bn loans to exporters –NEXIM Bank TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

T

he Nigerian Export Import Bank has disclosed that its funding support to Nigerian exporters at the end of the 2012 financial year was over N70 billion even as it restated its commitment to continue to support credible non-oil exporters in the years ahead Making the disclosure during the Finance Correspondents Association’s (FICAN), 2012 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Abuja, the Bank’s Managing Director of NEXIM Bank, Mr Roberts Orya, spoke on sundry local and sub-regional initiatives targeted at deepening export-import trade between countries in the West African sub-region and other regions of the world. Orya, who was represented by the Assistant General Manager/Head, Project, Very Reverend Ifeanyi Nwade, also said that under the direct lending facility, NEXIM grants short, medium and long term fixed rate loans to exporters directly under cofinancing arrangement with eligible banks. He noted that direct loans are available to assist exporters complete their exports sales by providing working capital, facilities and funds for procurement of equipment. The seasoned banker also disclosed that loans are granted directly to a Nigerian exporter in both local and foreign currencies up to 80 per cent of the total project cost, however, listed items not eligible for financing to include, armaments, ammunition and other military equipment; psychotropic drugs and narcotic. Others are, items prohibited by the international conventions or environmental constraints; pornographic and obscene materials and items prohibited for importation by prevailing government policies/guidelines. NEXIM Bank boss called on any bank wishing to participate in co-financing a project with NEXIM to be in good financial health as evidenced by three years audited accounts and meet additional criteria set by NEXIM from time to time. He said: “A borrower must be a creditworthy limited liability company, co-operative society, existing/new production units with a minimum of 50 per cent export orientation or an existing provider of export services. The borrower must establish that the loan will develop or expand his export business” Orya said.


55

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

STORIES THAT TOUCH YOU MARCH 24, 2013

Unending clash of Afonja, Igbomina in Kwara •How the staff of office presentation sparked violence WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

F

or several days last week, peace eluded the otherwise peaceful and agrarian community of Ganmo in Ifelodun local government area of Kwara State. It started as a fight between two people which otherwise should not have led to the mayhem that followed. Sunday Mirror gathered that someone simply went to the palace of Oba (Alhaji) Abdullahi Kolawole, the Oluganna of Ganmo in Ifelodun council area of the state and attacked a member of the royal family he met there. The action naturally should attract a reprisal but because it was pre-planned, some mob that had positioned itself on the other side of the road (a major highway that passes through Ganmo, dividing the town along the sides) trooped in and began a vicious mob action on the palace. Sources said before anybody could ask what the matter was, the palace had been torched. Also burnt were other buildings in the neighbourhood belonging to the family members of the king’s family. Prince Olawole Kolawole, son of the king who narrated the incident, said he had to hurriedly arrange for people to ferry the king out of the palace into safety. Olawole said he was the one who reported the matter to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO). The prince said before he returned from the police station, his own personal house had also been torched. Within few hours, according to him, about three persons who were members of their family had been killed while several others were seriously injured. Among the injured, no fewer than four persons later died in the hospital. Addressing a press conference few days later, the president of ‘Omo Ibile Igbomina’, a socio-cultural organisation of the Igbomina ethnic stock, found in the Ifelodun, Irepodun, and Isin local government areas of the state and who are the major Yoruba people in Kwara, Dr. (Chief) Samuel Atolagbe, said that last week’s attack on the Igbominas in Ganmo was the fourth in the last 11 years over the right of ownership to the town, a case that had been taken to courts for adjudication by the Afonja descendants of Idi Ape compound in Ilorin. According to him, the unwarranted provocation was first unleashed on his people between July 10th to 12th, 2002; March 18th, 2008, after the victory of the Igbominas at the Court of Appeal. Another similar attack, he said, also came on November 16, 2010 “which was very surprising because it came on a Sallah day and then, this latest bloody one of Sunday

March 17 and 18, 2013. Atolagbe said his people were being prevailed upon on each occasion not to fight back the way they ought to have done because of their belief in peace and the true process of justice. But he warned that his peoples’ patience was almost at its tether’s end. A past president of Omo ibile Igbomina, Alhaji Toyin Adewara, in his contribution at the press conference, threatened that in the event that the Afonja descendants who should be their fellow Yoruba brothers would not hesitate to keep provoking the igbominas, they might not be able to hold back a possible reprisal attack in future. Adewara called on the government of Kwara State to urgently arrest the unpleasant situation. Dr. Atolagbe had earlier at the press conference told journalists that a presentation of the staff of office to King Kolawole had earlier been scheduled for Saturday, March 16, but had to be put off by the government because of possible security reports of tension from their rivals in the Ganmo matter. He said surprisingly, the Igbominas who should be angry over the development kept their cool only to be provoked and attacked even after the ceremony had been shifted. When the mayhem entered the third day last week, the state government through the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, announced the cancellation of the planned presentation of the staff of office to Oba Kolawole because of the wanton killing and destructions in Ganmo over the matter. Gold said Government would hold on until all matters surrounding the chieftaincy row is settled in court. The Afonja Descendants, who are being alleged by the Igbominas as agents provateur, in their reaction to the disturbance, spoke on the platform of Ganmo Progressive Union through their president, Alhaji Yekini Opanle. To them, the governor of Kwara State had done well by cancelling the official presentation of the staff office to Oba Kolawole. The Union felt that “the prompt intervention of the governor minimizes the carnage and property destruction. Opanle described the presentation of the staff of office to Oba Kolawole, if it had held, as an “illegal installation of Alhaji Abdullahi Kolawole, who is a Baale (native head)” as a 4th class Oba (royal father), as against security reports “that drew the attention of the government to the pending Supreme Court case”. He added that were it not for the action of the governor, “the Ganmo crisis would have taken a sharp turn for the worst. “Consequently, the amount of carnage and property destruction was reduced to the barest minimum,” he claimed.

•A burnt building during the violence

•A torched vehicle

•Another burnt building and a car

•Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, accompanied by Acting Police Commissioner in Kwara State, Alhaji Abdul Bube, and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Alhaji Yinka Aluko during a visit to the trouble spot

The Afonja leader said, “The crisis that eventually erupted was the handiwork of the disgruntled elements and crestfallen celebrants whose illegal chieftaincy ambition was forestalled by Governor Ahmed’s timely intervention”. He accused the Ifelodun Local Government of “discriminatory, favourable treatment of the minority faction leader on the advice of Elese of Igbaja and Olupako of Share”. He also alleged the local council of “giving salary inducement to Alhaji Abdullahi Kolawole, the minority faction leader of the chieftaincy dispute while starving the Oniganmo of Ganmo, who is the majority faction leader”. He demanded that the salary be stopped, being the only condition to enter into negotiation over the matter. Former Governor Mohammed Lawal

who was also a descendant of Afonja had protected his family fight by creating a “Maro Local Government Council” and made Ganmo the capital. However, the traditional Igbomina land was also extended to Olunlade, about two kilometers beyond Ganmo into Ilorin land. They also got a National Secretariat called ‘The Igbomina HOUSE’, jointly owned by the Igbomina in Kwara and Osun states. The way it is at the moment, the decision of the Supreme Court on the Ganmo ownership matter between the Yoruba of Igbomina and Afonja of Ilorin extracts may be a problem that will never be resolved. However, the serial communal crises between the two communities dates to history, it was gathered. The founder of Ganmo in Ifelodun LoCONTINUED ON PAGE 56


56

SM Extra

Oba Lawrence Omowale, the Amapetu of Mahin Kingdom

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Oba Afolabi Odidiomo, the Olu of Igbokoda

Two Ondo monarchs at war •How ego, money ignited crisis OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE

W

hat could have led to the face-off between two traditional rulers who had always been cordial to a fight which has turned the two into sworn enemies? This is the question that members of the communities and people of Ondo are battling to find an answer to. Findings revealed that the two monarchs’ relationship extends beyond the present. The Amapetu of Mahin Kingdom, Oba Lawrence Omowole, and the father of Olu of Igbokoda, Oba Afolabi Odidiomo, were said to be school classmates. The cordial relationship was said to have informed the support of Oba Omowole for Odidiomo’s aspiration to the stool of Olu of Igbokoda. But the relationship seems to have irretrievably collapsed, as ego and money have created a wedge between the two monarchs. It was gathered that the installation of two persons as Baale and Oloja in Igbokoda by Amapetu of Mahin, few months to the installation of Odidiomo as the Olu of the community, first sparked off crisis between the two traditional rulers. The development reportedly irked Oba OdIdiomo, who felt he should be given total control over his domain. Sources said the bubble finally bust when Oba Omowole in connivance with the Baale and Oloja allegedly sold a parcel of land in Igbokoda to the Ministry of Niger-Delta Affairs. Attempt by Olu of Igbokoda to get the details of the land purchase was allegedly rebuffed by Amapetu of Mahin, a development which made the disagreement between the two monarchs to get dirty. When last week hoodlums invaded and attacked the palace of Olu of Igbokoda, the traditional ruler accused Oba Omowole of masterminding the attack. The invaders, numbering 10 and armed with cutlasses and other dangerous weapons, had invaded the community, unleashing terror on the residents. They destroyed the palace of Odidiomo. The hoodlums were said to have earlier attacked Ilaje High School while quiz and sports competition was going on and disrupted the event. Oba Odidiomo said the seed of the crisis was sowed some few months before his installation as the monarch of the town when Amapetu of Mahin Kingdom installed two people in Igbokoda as Baale and Oloja, a development he frown at because the two chiefs were living in his domain. He added that Amapetu ordered some members of the Mahin Task Force to ensure security for the chiefs. “I reported the development to Olugbo of Ugboland, Oba Obateru Akinruntan, who promised to intervene. There is a parcel of land in Igbokoda which Oba Omowole sold to the Ministry of Niger-Delta Affairs for N65m and when I demanded the details of the deal, he threatened to deal with me. I wrote a petition to the Ministry that Oba Omowole had been using thugs to harass me ever since. “Later, some hoodlums fired into my living room in an apparent assassination attempt. Two of the hoodlums were later apprehended and handed over to the police. The following morning, I was informed that a corpse was

found floating in the river and it was identified as that of a hoodlum that took part in the invasion of my palace and houses belonging to some of my chiefs,” Odidiomo said. All efforts to speak with Amapetu failed. But one of his lieutenants, Chief Mesagan, the Oloja Abereke, absolved Oba Omowole of the allegations, describing Olu of Igbokoda as a drowning man seeking public attention. According to him, Oba Omowole was responsible for the installation of Odidiomo as Olu of Igbokoda, and that he would not have masterminded the destruction of what he built. He stated that the discovery of a corpse in the river ignited the attack on the palace of Olu of Igbokoda by the people and not from any external forces as alleged. The account of Mesagan was not different from that of Chief Juwon Shemudara, a legal counsel to the family of one Prince Titiola Lebi, whose corpse was found floating in the river. In separate petitions sent to the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Osogbo and the State Police Commissioner, Shemudara claimed the deceased, a member of the Mahin Task Force, and two of his colleagues were seized by some people known as palace boys the previous day and taken to the Oba Odidiomo’s palace, where they were allegedly brutalised. The legal practitioner, who accused Olu of Igbokoda and some of his subjects of sponsoring Lebi’s killers, said a detachment of police from Igbokoda Division led by the Divisional Crime Officer (DCO) later went to the palace to secure the release of two of the victims and took them to their station. On learning that the late Lebi was still in the palace, according to Shemudara, the police immediately went back to the palace to take away the deceased but before their arrival, the thugs had evacuated him. “We started looking for him. Unfortunately, his corpse was recovered at Igbokoda river the third day which was on the 16th of March, 2013 with his stomach and eyes smashed. There were bruises all over his body, indicating that he was beaten and strangulated to death. This I believe prompted the youth to invade the monarch’s pal-

Unending bloody clash in Kwara CONTINUED FROM PAGE 55 cal Government area of Kwara State was an Igbomina man whose name was popularly known as ‘Ganna’ which means ‘wall’. He got this name because his hut at the time had a wall. Ganna which was his name overtime became the name of his town and later got corrupted to be called ‘Ganmo’. When it was the time to have the village chief too, they chose the original name they were called to be the title of their chief with a prefix ‘Olu’. So, he became ‘Oluganna’ of Ganmo, i.e. the owner of Ganna. This was the findings of the Sunday Mirror in Ganmo, last week. The matter has also been a subject of litigations in court, for many years. On the other hand, the Afonja descendants of Idi Ape compound in Ilorin whose ancient father was Laderin, a son of Afonja, who settled in Ganmo are also laying claim to the town. They have also been established in

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Lebi

ace to ask for the killers of the innocent boy,” Shemudara said. Also in separate letters to the state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, and the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Shemudara accused the monarch of arbitrary arrest and molestation of innocent residents of the town since his coronation five months ago. He appealed to Governor Mimiko to suspend and equally banish Oba Ododiomo from the town for what he described as the monarch’s unruly behaviour and dictatorship in the interest of peace and justice. But Odidiomo insisted that the plot was hatched outside Igbokoda, saying: “This is part of sustainable activities to destroy me. Last November, they fired into my bedroom. In December, when I accompanied some government officials to inspect our market, I was saved by my subjects when the hoodlums attacked us. Now they have burnt my palace. I implore the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, to order an investigation into this matter, as they are clear cases of rape, murder and arson and as a lawyer, I am aware they are grave offences.” The Ondo State Police Command has arrested eight subjects of the Olu of Igbokoda, Oba Afolabi Odidiomo for alleged complicity in the gruesome killing of Prince Titiola Lebi last week. The police also said they would soon invite the traditional ruler of the town Oba Afolabi to explain his alleged role in the death of deceased which has generated crisis in the area. The arrested chiefs are now being detained at the state Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Akure. When called on phone Police spokesman in the state Mr. Dele Egodo (ASP) confirmed the arrest of the chiefs. The police spokesman assured that whoever that is linked to the matter is arrested irrespective of his personality The father of the deceased, Pa Titiola Taiwo, has urged the police to fish out the killers of his son. Pa Titiola told journalists in Akure that his son was gruesomely murdered by the power-that-be for unjust reasons. Weeping profusely, he said: “My life has been ruined. I am now a walking corpse. What did I do to deserve this? Who did this to me? My joy has been taken away from me. I am finished. I am dead alive. Whoever did this to me will never know peace. Sorrow and tears will not depart from his house.” Ganmo for scores of years but still claim to be Ilorin people. To them, Ganmo is just an outpost of Ilorin which can be interpreted to be their one-time farm settlement. The Afonja descendants have also put in place, their obaship (rulership) arrangement and given it the title of Oluganmo of Ganmo. The argument of the Igbominas of Ganmo appeared to be convincing enough to the government which recently decided to grade the Oluganna and make him a fourth-class chief. Arrangement of formally presenting a staff of office to the Oba in this regard is said to be the immediate cause of the mayhem last week that claimed lives which unofficial accounts put at about 10, including those of two policemen while tens of people sustained serious injuries and properties worth millions of naira damaged. Before now, Sunday Mirror was told that the matter of ‘who owns papa’s land’ had been in court and that the Igbominas had been favoured up to the Federal Court of Appeal. It is said that the matter is presently before the apex court of the land yet to be decided.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

SOUTH SOUTH

Accord Party scribe alleges threat to life SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN

T

he crisis threatening to tear apart the Accord Party, one of the registered political parties in the country, does not seem to be may have worsened with the National Secretary of the party, Dr. Samson Isibor, alleging that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) collected N4.5m to recognise another faction of the party. In a press statement he made available to newsmen at the weekend, Isibor alleged “from my hideout” that a chieftain of the party and some elements of the faction (names withheld) were now after his life while particularly calling on the Presidency and security agencies to take note of

Zonal News

Sunday March 24, 2013

the threat to his life. Isibor stated, “I wish to inform the presidency and Nigerians that my life is in danger from some suspected security operatives (led) by an SSS official from Abuja Command office. This same official has been an accessory to my opponents using their influences to sponsor illegal detention and intimidation of Accord Party national officers. “These ex-national officers are under investigation by ICPC for the disappearance of N91.8 million from the party account and purportedly giving INEC Headquarters N4.5 million for their personal recognition which the ICPC is currently investigating... We therefore appeal to the ICPC to immediately come out with their investigations without further delay.”

In “a statement of sympathy” that was also circulated, Edo State Chairman of Accord Party, Hon. Joseph Omorogbe, condemned the continuous harassment and intimidation of Isibor. The state party categorically warned that should anything happen to the National Secretary, members all over the country are going to react emotionally. It would be recalled that as part of a seven-point communiqué state chairmen of the party released after a recent meeting organiSed in Benin City to chart a way forward for the party, it was commonly resolved by all the 36 state chairmen that Isibor remains the authentic National Secretary of Accord Party, in spite of underlying moves by the faction to remove him from office.

Dankwambo raises marriage committee for divorcees

G

overnor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State has inaugurated a 14-member committee to study the problems of divorcees in the state. Inaugurating the committee, Dankwambo decried the high rate of divorce in the state and said the committee’s objective was to facilitate marriages between the divorcees and interested suitors. He said the high rate of divorce was undermining the family unit in the state, adding that the problem necessitated government’s intervention. ``There is no denying the fact that the bedrock of a society is the family unit. ``It is, therefore, a thing of great concern that this

sacrosanct unit is today undermined by an incessant high rate of divorce, often on frivolous grounds. ``Considering the serious social and religious implications of broken marriages and the high number of divorcees (known in Hausa as Zawarawa) in our society, government has decided to intervene,” Dankwambo said. According to him, government had constituted the committee of eminent persons to examine the whole gamut of the phenomenon and proffer workable solutions. The governor said the terms of reference of the committee include reviewing the Kano State Zawarawa Committee’s report for

57

NORTH EAST

a possible adoption by the Gombe government. Another, is to propose the means of attracting Zawarawa and potential suitors to commit to marriage relationships. ``This includes the use of financial and material incentives as well as spiritual and moral counselling,” he said. The committee is also to suggest how government could be involved in organising the ceremonial dimensions of the marriage of Zawarawa by assigning the agency to coordinate the issue, among others. Dr Mohammed Usman of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi is the chairman of the committee.

Taraba police nab 2 suspected car snatchers

T

he Taraba Police Command has nabbed two suspected car thieves, Ibrahim Jafar and Shaibu Abdullahi, for allegedly stealing a total of 11 cars between 2012 and 2013. The Commissioner of Police, Mr Jubril Adeniji, who paraded the suspects before journalists in Jalingo at the weekend, said the duo’s ar-

rest had reduced the rate of car theft in the state. The police official explained that Abdullahi, who was caught while trying to escape with a stolen vehicle, pretended to be seriously ill and escaped from the police custody. He was later re-arrested at Gombi in Adamawa State. Adeniji said also that

Jafar, who recently left prison on March 6 for the same offence, stole another car from Adamawa and brought it to Jalingo for sale before he was caught. He announced that the command was currently carrying out raids in Jalingo between 12.30 a.m and 3.00 a.m daily to track down criminals operating in the state.

Borno to partner Thailand on agric development INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI

T L-R: Deacon at Living Faith Bible Church, Mr. Ime Ikiddeh; Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, DAC, Engr. David Oni; Group Coordinator, Brain Field Group of schools, Mr. Toby Nwokocha and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Baze Engineering Ltd, Engr. Gabriel ikhurionan, during the official commissioning of the ultra - modern Port Harcourt branch office of Dave Abion Consulting in Rivers State on Thursday.

NAFDAC introduces ‘small business support desk’

A

s part of its efforts to promote productive interaction with stakeholders and in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has introduced ‘Small Business Support Desk’ to encourage small scale businessmen/women in various parts of the country. Director-General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, who made this known at a stakeholders’ forum orga-

nized by NAFDAC in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State said that the idea behind the introduction of the Small Business Support Desk is to stimulate industrialization and alleviate poverty in the country. Dr. Orhii noted that the Small Business Support Desk would create an opportunity to liaise with the industry. “We have our rules and regulations in NAFDAC but we want to hear from you, to exchange views, to know areas to correct you,” he said.

“The aim of the Small Business Support Desk is to create a platform to liaise with small businesses to foster greater understanding of NAFDAC procedures and also to serve as an enquiry point for clients on regulatory issues. The desk also aims to improve access to information on product registration, to provide timely feedback to stakeholders and sectoral groups and to clarify NAFDAC’s laws and regulations to the regulated industry.

he Borno State Government will continue to partner the Republic of Thailand in the Borno Agricultural Transformation Agenda (BOATA) by training of 50 agricultural graduates in the massive production and processing of rice, poultry, fish, biogas and vegetables. Governor Kashim Shet-

tima who disclosed this said the move was aimed at addressing poverty, unemployment, and national food security in the state. Shettima spoke yesterday in Maiduguri, at the training organized by the Kasetsant University, Thailand. He said agriculture is mainstay of the state’s economy, expressing concern that farmers’ productivity and income had

continued to decline. The governor said, “With the training of these graduates in the agricultural sector from Thailand, under the coordination and supervision of Dr Ratanaporn Dhammakosol of University of Kasetsant, Thailand, agricultural yields of farmers in the state will rise from two tons per hectre to a maximum of seven, eight tons before the end of this year.”

Emir of Ningi, Alhaji Yunusa Danyaya (left) receiving a gift from the representative of the Director General, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Alhaji Ibrahim Lawal, during the graduation ceremony of 1,000 trainees of National Industrial Skill Development Programme by ITF in Bauchi State on Thursday. PHOTO: NAN


58

Zonal News

SOUTH WEST

E

Sunday March 24, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Security situation, Obadare, a legend of a major challenge, Christian faith –Fayemi says Army chief

kiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has described the late evangelist and founder of the World Soul Winning Evangelistic Ministry (WOSEM), Prophet T.O. Obadare as “inimitable legend of Christian faith whose impact would continue to be felt by mankind”. Fayemi in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olayinka Oyebode, also described Obadare as a cleric who had no equal and made Jesus Christ as his source of inspiration, despite being physically challenged. The governor remarked that Obadare fought a good fight of faith, finished his course and kept the faith which he received from the Almighty God and shared with humanity. Fayemi said the late

preacher of God’s undiluted word never departed from the path laid by his mentor and founder of the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola. He said Obadare’s death ought to be celebrated because his ministry was never tainted by any scandal for more than 60 years that he served in the vineyard of God. The governor urged contemporary and upcoming Christian ministers to emulate Obadare who was passionate about soul winning and never pursued filthy lucre. The legacies, left by Obadare, Fayemi added, would continue to live after him as he had found his way into the Hall of Fame of great men of God who laboured hard in the ministry before winning the crown prepared

by God for the faithful. “Prophet Obadare was an inimitable legend of the Christian faith whose impact would continue to be felt by mankind. “This great man of God held the whole nation spellbound with his oratorical prowess, sound knowledge of the Bible and preaching of the truth on the major radio and television stations in the country. “He was an efficient organizer of crusades and revivals where he reached out to ordinary people and was used by God to deliver the oppressed and minister to the needs of the people. “Baba has lived a fulfilled life and Nigeria is proud to have produced this global citizen whose impact reverberated across the globe in his eventful lifetime”, Fayemi said.

PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

T

he Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika, has said the current security problems confronting the nation pose a lot of concern to the Nigerian Army as well as the citizens of Nigeria. Ihejirika stated this at the Nigerian Army Training Centre in Kontagora, Niger State during the graduation of another batch of 705 soldiers trained in quick response. He noted that the challenges required regular reinvigoration of training of personnel in various courses, designed to equip

them with basic skills that would assist them to fit in the transformation agenda of the Nigerian Army. According to him, “We have witnessed an upsurge in acts of terrorism characterised by bombings, senseless killing of innocent people, attacks on security operatives and other acts of violence. And the training is to ensure that security threats are adequately addressed.” The Army boss who spoke through the Commander, Nigerian Army Training Centre, Major General S.A. Audu said, “These challenges call for regular reviews of existing internal security op-

NORTH CENTRAL

eration techniques.” He noted that the graduands had been sufficiently provided with the requisite combat skills to tackle the challenges they are likely to meet in the field, while urging them to remain disciplined and focused as any act of indiscipline would be sanctioned. Earlier, the Director of CTCOIN, Brigadier General TK Golau, explained that during the training, priority was accorded “house breaking and clearing, urban patrol, unarmed combat, skill at arms, embossing and debussing drills, road block, check point and search procedure”, among others.

NGO calls for law to provide succour for the aged

A

non-gover nmental organization, Liber Unity Friendship Foundation (LUF foundation) ) yesterday in Lagos called on government to enact a law that would provide succour for the aged. General Secretary, LUF Foundation, Mr Kevin Lawrence, made the call at its quarterly meeting and a one-day free screening for the elderly in Lagos. Lawrence said that many elderly people died due to lack of care and help from the government. ``The elderly people need to be taken care of. It is not only their immediate families that should care for them.

``Government should make provisions for them. This is what is obtainable in organised societies. “Most of our elderly people die due to hardship, lack of care and accessibility to health care. Government should be majorly responsible for these people who are at the twilight of their lives,” he said. Also speaking, Mr Emmanuel Oriakhi, Chief Executive Officer, Healthy Living Communications, Lagos, said if there could be hope for the elderly in our society, it would play a vital role in reducing corruption. ``I think it will be a great thing if a 70-year old person can have access to

free medical treatment, accommodation and even free transportation,” Oriakhi said. In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), some of the beneficiaries commended the organisers for the exercise. They also called on the Federal Government to take the care of the elderly serious since they now depend on their families and the society. No fewer than 250 people benefitted from the free health screening that covers diabetes, high blood pressure, malaria, fasting, blood sugar, weight check and full cardiovascular examination.

Protect public roads, FERMA tells Lagos residents

T

he Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) has warned Lagos residents to desist from channelling drains from their houses to the roads. Zonal Coordinator of the FERMA in the South West, Mr Oladipo Fagbamila, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos yesterday that FERMA had been blocking such drainage channels to protect the roads.

He said that tax payers’ money was used for constructing and maintaining the roads, advising that residents should ensure that the roads were not abused. According to him, such surface water from drainage diversions damages the asphalt and spoils the roads. ``People should endeavour to construct their runoff to flow into existing

drainage channels that are on ground and not the other way round. ``We expect people to be law abiding to do the right thing and not to spoil what government is using tax payers’ money to do,’’ he cautioned. Fagbamila said FERMA had started to open up and clean major drainage channels in the state because of the advent of the rainy season.

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mrs. Fatima Bamidele; Minister, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu and Liberian Deputy Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Bernice Dahn, during his visit in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

How I rejected N10m bribe – Civil Defence boss OMEIZA AJAYI

C

ommandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Dr Ade Abolurin has charged officers and men of the corps to shun corruption, disclosing how he recently turned down an offer of over N10 million from a group which wanted to supply laptops to the corps. Dr Abolurin who spoke yesterday at the National Cooperative Summit of the Corps in Abuja also disclosed how a team of private developers attempted to induce him financially to have him approve their proposal for a mass housing scheme for the NSCDC. “Some people came and met me and said

they wanted to supply us laptops and I said if the laptops would be highly affordable, then I will not have any problem with their proposal. When they were about leaving, they offered N10 million and I asked ‘for what?’ They just said ‘it’s appreciation.’ I told them instead of giving me that money, they should use it to subsidize the laptops that they wanted to supply. “Two days after, they came again and said ‘Oga, sorry o, it’s like we did not understand you very well before.’ They doubled the money and immediately, I walked them out with a firm threat to arrest them if they came close to my office again. “Some people also came to me and invited me for a

dinner in Sheraton. They said they wanted to build houses for the corps and I asked them if the houses will be affordable”, he said, adding that at the dinner the group also made attempts to induce him but he threatened to arrest them except for the pleas of some top Nigerians. While charging officers of the corps to shun corruption, Abolurin said it is only by so doing that they can face the authority and speak truth to it. Dr Abolurin also cleared the air on the status of the corps’ Lagos State Commandant, Mr Obafaiye Shem, explaining that the officer has not committed any serious offence contrary to the rumours making the round and he has not been suspended.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Zonal News

Sunday March 24, 2013

SOUTH EAST

NORTH WEST

T

59

Female stone crushers seek govt support

he leader, Dutsenreme women stone crushers in Bakori Local Government area of Katsina State, Malama Binta Ibrahim, has solicited increased government support for the development of their business. Ibrahim made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bakori yesterday. She said the business had attracted public patronage, explaining that they started with 38 mem-

bers but now had no fewer than 500 women. She said more women were joining the stone crushing business because of the proceeds from it and other financial gains in the community. While commending the wife of Katsina State Governor, Hajia Fatima Shema, over her support and visit to the site, Ibrahim called for construction of shades and toilets within the premises. According to her, the

shades and toilets when constructed will provide conducive environment for the business. She further said that there were no discrimination or any social disregard and challenged women to be self-reliant so as to assist their respective families. She said women have a lot to contribute for the development of the society and urged men to recognise the importance provided within the laws.

Kaduna to establish water regulatory agency A ZA MSUE KADUNA

K

aduna State Government has said it would establish a water regulatory agency to monitor the activities of water producers with a view to reducing cases of waterborne diseases. Addressing journalists to mark this year’s World Water Day in Kaduna State, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Adamu Makadi, said the ministry would soon present the proposed

water policy framework to Governor Mukhtar Yero for consideration. The ministry said the first stage of the maintenance work at Malali water works which involved installation of a new transformer had been completed while the next stage on intake pumps was expected to be completed soon. He appealed to residents to bear with government for the intermittent, interruption in water supply currently being experienced within Kaduna me-

tropolis and its environs. The ministry, however, decried the breakdown of boreholes across the state, calling on people to change their negative attitude towards public properties. According to him, “We are not comfortable with some water producers; we will soon send a policy framework to regulate water production in the state, to governor for action. The law will cover regulatory agencies, to monitor activities of water producers including ministry of water resources.”

Kano blast: Igbo want ethnic conference WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA

A

pparently disturbed by incessant killings and bombings, especially the last Tuesday’s Kano killings of Igbo traders at a motor park by members of the deadly Boko Haram sect, the Igbo in the North have called on President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately convene a conference of all ethnic nationalities in the country to determine its oneness. The Igbo Delegates Assembly, an umbrella organisation comprising Igbo in the 19 Northern states and Abuja made this call in a press statement signed by its president-General, Chief D.S. Inyamah, yesterday. The delegates condemned the killings of the Kano passengers, saying that the attack was targeted at Igbo traders

who were doing their legitimate business without any suspicion. “We view these unprovoked and senseless killings as a rehearsal of the pogrom unleashed on Igbo in 1966-1967, where almost 50, 000 of our kinsmen were slaughtered like cattle in Nigeria. “In the spirit of love and brotherhood, the Igbo embraced the northerners and indeed all Nigerians after the war that followed the killings; we did not only forgive but also went back to live with everybody as members of one family.” But the statement said what is now happening in recent times is a crusade of terror specially targeted to wipe away the Igbo and destroy their property. “Governments at all levels are appealing to us for restraint, in the spirit of the Lenten season and

love of the country; we agree but the Federal Government must change tactics by putting an end to this open declaration of war against the Ndigbo (Igbo people). “No more sacred cows; the sponsors of this murderous gang must be exposed. No more cover ups, the President must convene a conference of all ethnic nationalities to determine our continued oneness,” Inyamah stated. “In the interim, as we mourn our dead, adequate compensation must be paid to families of our brothers and sisters who lost their lives and property including those wounded” They therefore called on president Jonathan to address this ugly incident as the Igbos would not continue to fold its arms while its members are been butchered daily by the Boko Haram.

Kano plans Trust Fund for education

T

he Kano State Government is planning to establish an education trust fund to help in sustaining the state’s education sector, Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso has said. He made this known during a visit to the North-West University’s temporary site at Ado Bayero House in Kano. Kwankwaso said the fund would guarantee the

sustenance of both the State University of Technology at Wudil and the new North-West University. The governor said the new institution might not stand on its feet without proper funding. ``This will help us to also avoid the pitfall identified at the Wudil institution after my first tenure,’’ he said. Kwankwaso said the

state government had spent about N6bn in procuring facilities and infrastructure for the university, urging the staff and students to maintain them. “Our vision is to provide a world-class citadel of learning that provides practical education directed towards the training of highly knowledgeable, skilled and disciplined students.”

Anti-Bamanga Tukur plot thickens CONTINUED FROM 7 He added, “A group has come up and wants to pull the mat off our feet. We cannot allow that to happen. Because the PDP is the only party that is not religious, not sectional or tribal. We are one big party, and we intend, and we must remain so. “Let me inform you. The PDP stands for patronage. We are going to give patronage to all our members who have contested elections and lost. There is enough in the party to go round everyone. There is no need to leave the party.” Earlier, Vice President

Namadi Sambo had on the occasion called on the PDP faithful to shun all overtures by those who are bent on destroying the party through anti-party activities, saying that rather, members must be united and steadfast for the growth and strength of the party. Sambo called on the opposition to join the PDP, stressing that the party remained the only party with a clear manifesto aimed at transforming the country for good. Governor of Kastina State, Alhaji Shehu Shema, who spoke on behalf of

North-West PDP governors, said the party had brought much development to Nigerians since 1999 till date. Former Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, who spoke on behalf of all members of the National Assembly, called on the party to carry everybody along in its reconciliation drive. However, PDP stakeholders were later held to a closed door meeting at Gen.Usman Katsina State House, Kawo, Kaduna, to discuss issues bordering on the unity of the party ahead of 2015 polls.

L-R: Official of Enugu State Ministry of Water Resources, Ms. Chinelo Nnamchi; Permanent Secretary, Chukwuemeka Eze and Commissioner, Mr. Charles Ajah, during World Water Day celebration in Enugu on Friday. PHOTO: NAN

‘S’East govs to give Achebe befitting burial’ GEORGE OPARA ABIA

G

overnor Theodore Orji of Abia State has expressed shock at the death of Professor Chinua Achebe, a literary Icon who just passed away. And Orji captured the shock of his death in the deceased literary words: “Things have fallen apart, the centre cannot hold, we are no longer at ease.” The governor, however, said the governors of the South-East would do their

best to give the departed a befitting burial. Ugochukwu Emezue, Chief Press Secretary to Orji, said that Ndigbo has lost a literary icon, a legend of all times and a hero whose novels remain a reference point in and outside the country. The governor who lamented the exit of Prof Achebe maintained that he was yet to come to terms with the sudden demise of this statesman of international repute. He declared that the

late Prof Achebe impacted positively on the lives of people through his literary works. Achebe, the Abia governor stated, would be remembered for always standing up for Ndigbo at all times, despite all odds. “Though Professor Achebe was challenged through an accident that affected his normal movement , he waxed stronger, impacting knowledge to the younger ones as a lecturer abroad” , the governor added.


60

Zonal News

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Milito focused on recovery P. 63

Reina happy with life under Rodgers

Sport

P. 63

KEEPING YOU ABREAST OF SPORTING NEWS March 24, 2013

World Cup Qualifier

NNPC/Shell Cup: Lagos agog as Enugu, FCT battle for trophy ANDREW EKEJIUBA

T

he city of Lagos is agog as the two finalists of the ongoing NNPC/ Shell Cup, Purple Crown College, Enugu and Government Secondary School, Wuse, Abuja take to the field to determine the eventual winners of this year’s competition. To get to the final, Purple Crown College, Enugu, defeated Government College, Ibadan, Oyo State, 4-1 in the first semifinals, while Government

Secondary School, Wuse, Abuja defeated Government Arabic College, Gwale, Kano, 9-8 on penalties after a pulsating 1-1 draw in the second semifinal. Both matches were played on Friday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium. Sunday Mirror gathered that the third place match which is between the two semi-final losers comes up today by 9am, while the final game between Enugu and the FCT will take place by 3pm today at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.

Diamond Bank backs Kanu Cardiac Centre Super Eagles players celebrating after scoring a goal

Eagles survive Harambee Stars scare IFEANYI EDUZOR

I

t was a scary moment for Nigeria yesterday at the U.J Esuene Stadium, Calabar, as the Super Eagles narrowly escaped defeat in the hands of muchimproved Harambee Stars of Kenya in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier. Despite parading most of the stars that won the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa on February 20, the Super Eagles found their match in the visitors, who contested the ball with them in every department of the game. The African champions

who were playing their first competitive game since winning AFCON 2013 title in South Africa started the game cautiously and got every foot wrong in the early minutes of the match, allowing Francis Kahata to score off a freekick in the 36th minute to give the visitors a well deserved lead. Harambee Stars who vowed on arrival in Nigeria on Thursday that they will defeat the Eagles played with confidence and following the appointment of Belgian Coach Adel Amrouche, they wasted no time to show that they are in Nigeria

for business with their good football artistry coupled with quality defensive network. Apart from maintaining their one-goal advantage, the Kenyans came back from the break exuding confidence and refused to budge despite the introduction of Ahmed Musa for Obafemi Martins, Nnamdi Oduamadi for Sunday Mba and John Ugochukwu for Victor Moses. The visitors, who were encouraged by their first half goal nearly, increased the tally to two when their goal scorer, Francis Kahata collected a loose ball

Nigerians should be patient with Keshi –Babalade P. 62

with only goal keeper Vincent Enyeama to beat, but missed the target. Towards the end of the game, the Stephen Keshitutored side mounted pressures on the visitors to get the much- needed equalizer but the good defensive network of the Kenyans and the superlative performance of their goalkeeper prevented them from cancelling the goal. Just when it seemed to be all over for Nigeria, Nnamdi Oduamadi scored the equalizer in extra time to salvage a point and leave Nigeria at the top of the group table with 5 points.

Cantona P. 63 reveals Mourinho admiration

ANDREW EKEJIUBA

T

he Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Bank Plc, Dr. Alex Otti, has said the bank is playing a major role in the fund raising for the N5 billion Kanu Cardiac Heart Centre as it is an organisation devoted to touching the lives of people positively. The GMD/CEO stated this in Abuja at a N5 billion fund raising event for the proposed Cardiac Centre saying, “As a bank that gives back to society, we see it as part of our corporate social responsibility to support organizations that are touching the lives of people.” According to him, “For us in Diamond, this is not the first time we are supporting initiatives such as this, we have a few things that we are doing on our own and we also use avenues like the Kanu Heart

Foundation to support society to ensure that life gets better for the less privileged and to also ensure that people have hope in life.” The Kanu Heart Foundation (KHF) is a non-government, non-profit organisation founded by world renowned footballer, Kanu Nwankwo to help needy Nigerian children with cardiac diseases to obtain life saving surgeries within and outside the country. In a goodwill message, Senator Bala Mohammed, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory said the FCT has already allocated a parcel of land for the centre and that the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) would be ready soon. The event which was graced by notable Nigerians was chaired by Chief Edwin Clark while General Ibrahim Babangida, former Head of State, who was represented by his son, Mohammed, was the chief launcher.

Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi (left) with the GMD/CEO Diamond Bank, Dr. Alex Otti (right) at the Fund Raising event in Abuja.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Knockout IFEANYI Eduzor with

08055829770 ifeduz24@yahoo.com

Omotoso rues WBC title loss

W

BC welterweight contender, Wale “Lucky Boy” Omotoso (23-1-1, 19KO’s) says his recent defeat in the hands of American, Jessie Vargas (22-0, 9 KO’s) will not discourage him from his target of becoming a world champion. Omotoso last Saturday at the Home Depot Center, Carson, California lost by a 10-round unanimous decision to Vargas for the WBC Continental America’s title. Speaking from his base in the United States, the former undefeated boxer noted that he has taken the defeat in good faith, insisting that he

still posses the punching powers to defeat the best welterweight in the world. “My defeat to Vargas is a temporary setback which I hope to overcome very soon. “It is true that I lost the fight but that will not deter me from achieving my ambition of becoming a world champion, because I am convinced that I am better than most boxers in the welterweight category. “I am going back to the drawing board with my coaching crew and I promise to come back a better boxer next time,” he said.

ANDREW EKEJIUBA

T

he Minister of Sports and Chairman National Sports Commission, Hon. Bolaji Abudllahi would be making his first visit to Ibadan, the Southwest Zone I of the National Sports Commission (NSC) today to flag-off the 5th edition of the Splash FM/ ICPC Integrity Marathon. The one day event is organised by the NSC in con-

Kareem gets April 12 date ommonwealth SuperFlyweight champion, Yakub Kareem will defend his title against British Paul Butler on April 12, at the Liverpool Olympia. The fight which was originally scheduled to take place on March 8, was postponed because of late issuance of British visa to the champion. Speaking on the new date, the champion noted that he was happy with the development, promising Nigerians that he will not

disappoint them on that day. “I am happy with the new date because it will enable me settle down fully in England before the fight. “It is true that I will be fighting my opponent before his home fans, but I am promising my numerous fans in Nigeria that I will successfully defend my title,” he enthused. Kareem was issued visa by the British embassy few days before the fight which necessitated the change in date.

junction with Splash FM and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) with participants coming from all the states of the federation. All arrangements according to the Zonal Coordinator of the zone, Dr. Steve Olarinoye, have been concluded to give the Minister a rousing welcome. The 42km yearly marathon race will start at 7am local time at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium. Meanwhile, in explain-

ing the rationale behind his continuous sponsorship of the event, the Ibadan High Chief and Chairman Splash FM, Chief Adebayo Akande said he will not relent until the sole aim behind the sporting event yields positive impact in our society. “Integrity marathon race is for good governance, accountability and transparency in governance, all and sundry should join in fighting corruptions in our society,” the Agba Akin of Ibadan noted.

IBA Africa has granted wild cards to Mali and Rwanda to compete in the 16-team competition for the 27th Africa Cup of Nations, tagged, Afrobasket slated for Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, from August 20 to 31. The FIBA Africa Executive Committee stated that a lot of factors were considered before granting the two slots to the FIBA Africa Zones II and V countries based on their performance during their zonal qualifiers and past Afrobasket.

Mali finished third behind Senegal and Cape Verde in Zone II while Rwanda placed second behind Egypt in Zone V qualifiers held last year and early 2013. But their impressive record at the 26th edition of the continent’s biggest basketball showpiece also helped them to secure the wild card. The 16 countries that will be divided into four groups at the March 30 draw holding in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, are hosts, Cote d’Ivoire, defending champions, Tunisia, ten-

time champion, Angola and third place finisher at the 26th edition of the continental showpiece, Nigeria. Other countries includes Morocco and Algeria (Zone I), Senegal and Cape Verde (Zone II), Burkina Faso (Zone III), Central Africa Republic, Cameroon and Congo Brazzaville (Zone IV), Egypt (Zone-V), Mozambique (Zone VI) and Mali with Rwanda (wild card entrants). The 2013 Afrobasket will serve as 2014 FIBA World Cup qualifier slated for Madrid Spain with top-three placed countries carrying the continent’s flag at the world stage.

Hagler to attend ‘Hall of Fame’ festivities

F

ormer undisputed middleweight champion and 1993 Hall of Fame inductee, Marvelous Marvin Hagler will attend festivities planned for the 24th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Weekend scheduled for June 6-9th in Canastota, New York. “Marvelous Marvin Hagler is a legend and a fan favorite,” said Hall of Fame Executive Director Edward Brophy. “It’s very exciting to have him return to Canastota for the Hall of Fame Weekend.” Hagler turned professional in 1973 and won the world middleweight title with a 3rd round technical knockout over Alan Minter on September 27, 1980, and over the next seven years, successfully defend-

Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi

Afrobasket 2013: Mali, Rwanda Oba Cup granted wild card enters F

Wale Omotoso (right) squares up with Lanardo Tyner during their bout in Houston, Texas.

61

Sports Minister storms Ibadan for Integrity Marathon

SAYO OGUNDEJI

C

Sport

Sunday March 24, 2013

Nigeria’s D’Tigers looking set for the 2013 Afrobasket.

semi-final stage

IFEANYI EDUZOR

T

he semi -finals of the on-going 22nd edition of Oba of Benin U-13 boys and U-18 girl’s competition will be decided today at the Paragon Demonstration School, Benin- City. According to the statement by the Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria, organizers of the tournament, Kano will meet Akwa Ibom in the first semi- final match while Anambra will lock horns with Kwara State in the second semi- finals at the same venue. To get to this stage of the competition, Kwara State defeated Nasarawa by 6-5 on penalties in the quarter-finals while Kano sent Federal Capital Territory, Abuja parking by 2-0. Also, Akwa Ibom defeated Kaduna by 3-1 on penalties, while Anambra recorded a 2-1 defeat against the host state, Edo. Meanwhile the finals of the competition will be decided on March 25, at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.

Hot Tempo assures on Amaechi wrestling tourney IFEANYI EDUZOR Hagler

ed the crown 12 times with wins over Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, John Mugabi and Mustafa Hamsho. Hagler retired in 1987 with a record of 62-3-2 (52 KOs). Now an actor based in Italy, he was elected into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1993.

O

ne of the country’s leading wrestlers that will participate in the forthcoming maiden edition of Governor Rotimi Amaechi Wrestling Championship, Michael Obi, fondly called “Hot Tempo,” says he is ready

to withstand any opposition when the tournament begins in Rivers State. He told our correspondent that the rigorous training he has undergone ahead of the tournament has put him in good shape to challenge for the ultimate title in the championship. “I have intensified training to enable me

emerge as the overall winner of the tournament which I will use to launch myself at the world level. “It is true that a lot of foreign-based wrestlers will be coming from Europe, America, Asia and the Caribbean, but my experience at both the maiden and second editions of BRF Wrestlmania where I

came out tops will propel me to win the championship belt,” he said. Meanwhile his manager, Uzoma Ayakora popularly known as “Spider Man” in wrestling circles has reiterated the need for corporate organizations to finance his trip abroad to enable him perfect his wrestling skills.


62

Sport

Sunday March 24, 2013

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Nigerians should be patient with Keshi –Babalade Former Super Eagles defender, Ajibade Babalade, has called on Nigerians to be patient with the Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, as he continues his rebuilding process during the World Cup qualifiers. In this interview with SAYO OGUNDEJI, the ex-international who currently manages Shooting Stars FC of Ibadan speaks on the expectations of the team from the home fans and the need for them to pick a continental ticket this season. Excerpts:

T

he Super Eagles emerged champions of the last Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, despite not being rated as one of the favourites, what would you say helped the team achieve such feat after 19 years wait? I think the underdog tag really helped shift attention away from the Eagles and they used it to their advantage. We have patiently waited for this trophy for a very long time and many people, even majority of Nigerians never knew they would reach the finals talk less of lifting the trophy, and all thanks to the players for taking the bull by the horn when it mattered most and the coaches for a wonderful job done. Today, Nigeria is the champions of Africa and we must do our best to maintain the standard irrespective of the opposition because every team will be interested in beating the champions. This also means that the players must raise their game, each time they go out there on the pitch. Going by their performance in South Africa, do you think the team can sustain the momentum in the World Cup qualifiers, considering the fact that most of the players have not played together for a long time? What you need to put into consideration is the fact that the coach of the team, Stephen Keshi, has stated categorically that he is still building a team, which means the Eagles are a work in progress. Everyone can see that this team has character and the new players being injected into the national team understand the philosophy of the team, especially on what it means to wear the national team jersey. This philosophy will really help them give their best any time they represent the country. Also Nigeria as a country loves football passionately and always wants their teams to win, which in actual fact may not happen every time because the game of football is very funny. You can lose sometimes, even when you have put in your best and that is why we have to be patient with the team and give them the necessary support as they go through the rebuilding process. The fact is that they will lose some

matches at some stage of the World Cup qualifiers or future international engagements, but that does not make them a bad team. Thus we should focus on the long term project instead of instant success we are all used to. I was not particularly pleased with the reports I read in the dailies about the Nigeria Football Federation criticizing the list of players the coach released for the upcoming game against Kenya. The federation ought to give him the needed support and not create any division which in turn could have negative effects on the projects the technical crew of the team are working on. Which player in your opinion was most outstanding during the last Nations Cup? For me, I would not like to single out a particular player because the success of any team is based on the collective efforts of all the players on the pitch. But I am highly impressed with the performance of Kenneth Omeruo, for him to replace injured captain, Joseph Yobo and played very well shows that the future is bright for Nigeria. Emenike is a type of striker any coach would love to have in his team because he is massive, fast with the ball and can bully his way through the defence of the opposing team, and these are characteristics of a good striker, no wonder he emerged highest goals scorer. Mikel Obi also showed maturity and brought his wealth of experience to bear on the team, while Godfrey Oboabona by his performance proved to everyone that the domestic league still produces great players who are ready to play anytime they are called upon. I believe all these players are vital to the success of the Eagles under Keshi. Kano Pillars, Enugu Rangers, Lobi Stars and Heartland FC are representing the country in the continental competitions. How far do you think they can go and would you say the delay in the commencement of the Nigeria Professional Football League affected their outing? Definitely, the delay in the commencement of the league affected all the teams in the division including the ones playing

Babalade

on the continent, because most of the players were match-rusty. Even though most of them were involved in friendly matches, but it can never be the same like a real match situation where psyychologically, you put in everything ng in you in order to achieve victory y. As regards the Nigerian club sides playing in the continental competiompetitions, it is quite unfortunate we have not produced a champion after Enyimba’s nyimba’s feat and the teams contesting this time around must have that at the back of their mind and emulate the Super Eagles who against all odds, fought their way through to emerge champions. The performance of the home-based players in the Super Eagles has shown that there is quality in the league and all they need to be successful is to show determination and have a bit of luck. Your team, 3SC, has been given the mandate to strive and pick one of the continental tickets available; do you think this is achievable? It is achieveable, and everybody at the club is determined to make it happen, which was why we have brought in a couple of players we felt would add quality to what we already have to ensure Shooting Stars fly again, not only in Nigeria but on the continent. We did well during the last campaign, coming close to winning one of the continental tickets, but this time around, our focus is to win the league because we believe we have the experience and quality to make it happen this season. Gbolahan Salami has rejoined your team after a short spell with Enyimba of Aba and emerged man of the match in your first game; do you think he is back to his best? We are excited to have him on our side because he is a very talented player that can change the course of a game any moment he enters the field. He has the brilliance and has shown that he is a worthy professional since he rejoined the team, which explains why he won man of the match award. I think he is not fully back to his best be-

One of the home-based Eagles, Godfrey Oboabona in action for Nigeria during the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations semi-final match against Mali on February 6, 2013 in Durban, South Africa.

THE PERFORMANCE OF THE HOME-BASED PLAYERS IN THE

SUPER EAGLES HAS SHOWN THAT THERE IS QUALITY IN THE LEAGUE AND ALL

THEY NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL IS TO SHOW DETERMINATION AND HAVE A BIT OF LUCK.

cause the league just started and will need a couple of matches to confirm his soccer prowess before we can say Salami is at his best. Taofeek Adepoju and Dele Ajiboye were invited to the Eagles team in preparation to the Super Eagles game against Kenya, what does this say about Shooting Stars? Shooting Stars use to produce at least four to six players for the national team in the past and having two of our players invited again shows that we are not forgotten. 3SC still remains one of the best club sides in the country and we are working hard to up our standard because to whom much is given, much is expected. We believe more will be invited as the season progresses because we have many quality and experienced players in our fold.


N I G E R I A

$156 Vol. 3 No. 15

Sunday, March 24, 2013

www.nationalmirroronline.net

N150

m, amount the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) said the Federal Government realised from the sale of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

I N

F I G U R E S

82,

age at which celebrated novelist, Prof. Chinua Achebe, died on Friday after a protracted illness in a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

State pardon, fuelling of corruption and violence

Back Page

Comment

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

with Jim Unah

T

wo most damning problems confronting the Nigerian State, to wit, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party—PDP – is how to contain official graft and the daily carnage of the Boko Haram insurgents. But those would seem to be the least of the ruling party’s concern. Rather, expediency and the battle for the consolidation of political power which they have held with clenched fists in trust, not for Nigerians, but for the “core investors” of “project Nigeria”; owners of the nation’s “cash cow”; those swimming in oil wells or cascading in oil blocks, and basking in opulence par excellence; including the crude oil and public fund thieves, kidnappers and unscrupulous political contractors who collect mobilisation fee for state projects and disappear; since May 1999, appear to be the top priority of the government of the day. The testament that the Jonathan government has abandoned the fight against corruption is sealed in gold with the recent state pardon granted by the President and his party to former governor of Bayelsa State and mentor to Dr. Jonathan, Mr.

Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction and pilloried for mind-blowing financial crime. Unarguably, state pardon is a prerogative of mercy constitutionally vested in chief executives of state, which they may exercise as they deem fit. And so, presidential pardons have been granted to all manner of offenders from persons wrongly convicted or incarcerated for innocuous political misdemeanours to stone-hearted murderers and daredevil armed robbers; even in the most advanced democracies of mankind. Indeed, should the almighty America agree to furnish us with undistorted list of its pardoned offenders of the law, Goodluck Jonathan might well be exonerated. That argument is otiose considering that the context might be entirely different; as no American president is likely to consider state pardon for any thoroughly corrupt American if the country is embroiled in corruption issues as Nigeria is today. As it stands today, with the Alams pardon, President Jonathan has completely rubbished the token effort he had dissipated on corruption war. It is not at a time that corruption issue is about to tear the country apart that anyone would be granting state pardon to persons convicted for corruption offences. Many Nigerians think that this is indeed the time to firm up the battle against corruption; by punishing those who steal from public coffers, and sending strong signals to would-be offenders that graft is not tolerable by the

Nigerian State. People are exposed everyday for looting public treasury in sums of money that could fund two state budgets; yet, nothing happens to them. All of this is clear indication that the government of the day does not have the moral stamina to sustain any effective campaign against the scourge of official corruption. The Alams pardon is, therefore, the final certification of capitulation to corruption. The other worrisome capitulation by the Jonathan government is the failure to declare a state of emergency in the northeastern states where governors who fight for and collect security votes from the federation account are sadistically watching the daily killing and maiming of lives of the innocent, and the merciless decimation of businesses and properties – products of decades of genuine economic efforts and acquirements of hard working Nigerians. Two options appear to be inescapable for the ruling party: either they move in now and rein in the violence or convoke a sovereign national conference for Nigerians to decide how they want to continue to live peacefully together. Failure of the ruling party to do either of these may warrant the conscription of General Muhammadu Buhari to the rescue. As a matter of fact, so many Nigerians who had considered the General’s prophetic violence, should the ruling party retain power incumbency in 2015 through rigged elections, are anxious for a return of the country to the era of disciplined and

AYC: Flying Eagles thrash Congo DR 3-1 SAYO OGUNDEJI

N

igeria’s Flying Eagles yesterday defeated Congo DR 3-1 in the final Group B match to book a place in the semi finals of the ongoing Africa Youth Championship holding in Algeria. A brace from Aminu Umar and one from Abduljeleel Ajagun were all the Nigerian team needed to qualify for the last four of the tourney having started the competition on a poor note. The John Obuh-led team who needed to avoid a defeat to be sure of their progress after their 0-1 loss to Mali in the opener produced their best performance of the tournament as they tore the Congo DR defence apart. Despite the absence of striker

Olanrewaju Kayode who missed the encounter due to two yellow cards, he picked up in the first two matches, the champions were more businesslike in their approach and it was a matter of minutes before the Eagles got on the score sheet. Their efforts paid off in the 34th minute when inspirational captain, Abduljeleel Ajagun converted a penalty to give Nigeria the lead. Ajagun would have doubled the lead four minutes later after being played in by Aminu Umar who was impressive with his electric runs on the right wing, but his short went wide off the post. Barely a minute after the miss, Umar took the bull by the horn as he capitalized on Congo

DR’s defensive frailties in the 39th minute to beat the goalkeeper for Nigeria’s second, thus ending the first half with a two-goal advantage. Ajagun’s beautiful pass two minutes after the restart of the second half found Umar who despite being sandwiched in between the Congolese defenders, calmly tipped the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper to put the game beyond their opponent. Efforts to consolidate on their lead were however met with stiff opposition from the Congolese who appeared determined not to let in more goals, while Congo DR’s industrious move 18 minutes from full time produced a consolation goal.

prudent living reminiscent of the BuhariIdiagbon dispensation. The way the ruling party is going about the affairs of state, in several fundamental respects, is no way to run a country. You do not give state pardon to criminals in a community where criminals are lurking around in legions; and you cannot cure the Boko Haram mortal gangrene with lavender. Nigeria requires a firm, fair, just and disciplined leader to be held together. The country needs leaders who can uproot the culture of impunity, check corruption, and rein in the several pockets of militants and insurgents challenging its sovereignty and authority, and provide adequate security and opportunities for the pursuit of enlightened self interest by its otherwise happy and resilient citizens. My point in all of this is that President Goodluck Jonathan should wake up from political slumber and inertia, gird his loins, recall the Alams pardon or at least apologise to his countrymen that it was a regrettable indiscretion which would never happen again; and muster the political will to exercise the enormous powers of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by stamping out the violence and fear that have gripped Nigerians; and return the country, once again, to peaceful living. That would be all the preparation that he requires for his party to retain the support of the voters come 2015; not a vicious manipulation of the electoral process.

FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS Cameroon 2-1 Togo Congo 1-0 Gabon Namibia 0-1 Malawi Nigeria 1-1 Kenya Ivory Coast 3-0 Gambia Senegal 1-1 Angola South Africa 2-0 Central African Rep FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS

Today’s Matches Tanzania v Morocco 13:00 Ethiopia v Botswana 14:00 Lesotho v Zambia 14:00 Mozambique v Guinea 14:00 Rwanda v Mali 14:30 DR Congo v Libya 15:30

Printed and Published by Global Media Mirror Ltd. Head Office: 155/161, Broad Street, Lagos. Tel: 0805 423 8905 Abuja Office: NICON Insurance House, Second Floor , Central Business District, Area 10, Abuja. Tel: 08070428249, Advert Hotline: 08098305995, e-mail: mail@mirroronline.net Editor: BOLAJI TUNJI. All correspondence to PMB 10001, Marina, Lagos. Printed simultaneously in Lagos, Abuja and Ondo State. ISSN 0794-232X

Sunday, March 24, 2013  

All the facts, all th sides

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you