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2012:

Annus horibilis?

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Wedding reception turns tragic Gunmen kill two guests, injure others Two others murdered in Kano www.nationalmirroronline.net

Vol. 3 No. 2

Sunday, December 30, 2012

N150

Kogi governor undergoes surgery in private hospital He won’t be taken abroad –Surgeon

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FAREWELL TO A DEPARTED GENERAL

Arrival of the remains of Gen. Andrew Azazi. Military officers and others at the burial ceremony at the Peace Park, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN.

See story and more pictures on page 9

Jonathan, governors, service chiefs, others give Azazi final salute How we met –President I wept at news of his death –Amaechi Ijaw history project to write book on late General News Obasanjo, Shonekan, Amosun unite feuding Ogun monarchs Pg. 9

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What’s new Interview

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Seven Days TALKING POINT OF THE PAST WEEK DECEMBER 30, 2012

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Merger: How far can opposition parties go? Applause

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I have given up marriage proposals to be where I am –Dr. Ofure Aito Dr. Ofure Aito is a lecturer of Literature. She was a pioneer student of the defunct Bendel State University who studied English and Literary Studies. She also had a Master’s degree in Mass Communication from University of Lagos and a second Master’s degree in Literature from the same university. She was the second best graduating student in 1996.

Days after the late governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, was buried, Kaduna State Governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, together with his inherited commissioners, special advisers and other top government functionaries shunned the special prayers organised in honour of the late governor by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). The prayer session was

put together by the Kaduna State chapter of CAN in conjunction with the state government. But the event was shunned by government functionaries and no reason was given. The solemn interdenomination service which held at the Anglican Cathedral along Ibrahim Taiwo Road commenced at about 10.00 a.m. and ended by 1:40 p.m., having only men of God, worshippers and journalists in attendance.

Boxing Day tragedy: Explosions rock Lagos Powerful explosions on Wednesday rocked Lagos Island, killing two persons and destroying at least 12 buildings and 15 vehicles. The explosions occurred at Giwa and Opeyatu area of Lagos Island when fireworks stored in a building in the Jankara market exploded at about 9 a.m. It was gathered that trouble started when a locked-up shop under one of the razed

buildings stocked with fireworks, popularly called ‘bangers’, suddenly exploded and went up in flames. Some witnesses said the fire broke out after someone mistakenly threw fireworks into the building in which cartons of assorted fireworks were kept. Others said the incident started in a residential building close to where the fireworks were stored.

Motorists, travellers groan as fuel queues lengthen The poor state of the nation’s depots and pipelines is a major problem affecting fuel distribution in the country. The distribution problem became pronounced during the Yuletide with fuel queues lengthening in Abuja, Lagos and other cities, worsening the plight of cash-strapped citizens during the festive season. Travellers to the East had to

take huge risks by carrying extra fuel in their vehicles to avoid being stranded. Investigations showed that most of the depots were currently in very poor condition which could not be used for fuel distribution. Of the country’s over 21 depots, about five, including Suleja, Ejigbo, Mosimi and Ibadan are presently being used to distribute fuel.

tacked the church early Tuesday morning during a Christmas Eve service. After the killing of Pastor Yohana Sini, 50, and five other church members in the early hours of Tuesday, the gunmen set ablaze the church and about 20 other homes in the area.

Fake SIM registration agents on the prowl The Subscriber Identity Module, SIM, registration exercise initiated by the Nigerian Communications Commission in 2011 has been hijacked by fake agents who also demand money from innocent subscribers before getting them ‘registered’. It was learnt that following the indefinite extension of the registration of existing telecoms

subscribers and the continuous registration of new SIMs, some agents registering subscribers have started taking advantage of the public by charging subscribers minimum of N100 per SIM card. Further findings also revealed that some accredited SIM registration agents working for a particular telecoms firm disguise to register for all networks.

Pirates attack ship, abduct crew members Pirates attacked another vessel off the coast of Bayelsa State in the oil-rich Niger Delta Region. The attack came a few days after armed pirates attacked, looted a tanker off the coast of Nigeria, and took five crew members hostage. Medallion Marine had last reported an attack on SP Brussels, a 7,600-tonne oil and chemical tanker. The International Maritime

Bureau reported the fresh attack on an Italian-registered vessel identified by the naval authorities as MV Asso Ventuno. According to the bureau, armed pirates attacked the ship near Bayelsa State and abducted four crew members before releasing the vessel. “The attack took place 40 nautical miles from the coastline of Bayelsa State,” the bureau said on its website.

Zaki Azzay MUSICIAN

MON

Politics

Yero, commissioners shun CAN’s prayer session for Yakowa

At least 12 worshippers were killed in separate attacks by terrorists in the North on Christmas day. Six worshippers, including the pastor of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN), were killed at Piri village, Potiskum, Yobe State when gunmen at-

THU WED D TUE

Rev Chris Okotie, the pastor of Household of God Church, was also the presidential candidate of the Fresh Democratic Party, FDP, in the last general election. In this interview, he speaks about the de-registration of his party by INEC, the 2015 election, state of the nation, among other issues.

security challenges and other acts of violence are a reflection of “deeper sociopolitical inequalities and pathologies. These were contained in resolution of the Colloquium released this week. The colloquium, convened by Prof. Chinua Achebe, was held at the Brown University’s Perry and Marty Granoff Centre for the Creative Arts in the United States of America.

FRI

INEC succumbed to pressure by de-registering parties –Okotie

The fourth edition of the annual Chinua Achebe Colloquium has said that poverty, originating from leadership failure and bad governance, is the main cause of conflicts on the African continent, adding that what the continent needs is indigenous investment and not foreign aids. The colloquium also raised concern that current

Xmas tragedy: Gunmen kill 12, raze 20 homes

SUN SAT

Poverty, main driver of conflicts in Africa – Achebe

Every Monday is a fasting day for me because it is the first working day of the week. I love to dedicate the whole week to God. It is more of a planning day for me apart from a fasting day. It is not a day of appointment or of going out for me. Monday is dedicated to prayers. Tuesday is action day. This is when I start going to places, making business calls, withdrawals and putting deposits into my bank accounts. Every action resumes fully on Tuesday. Wednesday is also a full work day for me. Thursday is the same with Wednesday. It is about work in full swing. I relax on Friday. I don’t like traffic and anybody you go to on Friday would tell you to see him on Monday. Most people work half day on Fridays. They are days for retreats and to recollect the things I have done for the week and then plan the weekend as well. Saturday is mapped out for performances or shooting of ‘True Nigeria’ which is my TV show. I go to church on Sundays. I attend Fountain of Life Church in Ilupeju. After church service, I usually sleep. When I wake up, I stay with my family. I don’t like attending events on Sunday. *By Adaeze Amos (0802 301 2293)


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Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

THE

Big Read SUNDAY SPECIAL INVESTIGATION

December 30, 2012

2012: Annus horibilis? A recapitulation of receding 2012 presents Nigeria as a country bedevilled by various unsavoury situations, ranging from insurgent attacks, kidnapping and air crashes, to a gale of sleaze in the management of the nation’s wealth. A lot of other breath-taking events also occurred in the year, which a library’s shelf can hardly contain. However, Deputy Editor, Kayode Fasua, in this chronicle, recalls 2012, one year that Nigerians cannot forget in a hurry.

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ttracted by the emptiness of deserted Lagos streets, which was hard to come by, a band of youths talented in the game of soccer had forged a corridor for the round leather game. In the makeshift tradition common with young budding players, they grouped themselves into two opposing teams, panting

happily as they played their hearts out. All of a sudden, they heard a wailing siren, and sporadic gunshots. In the ensuing stampede of everyone running for dear life, one of the sapped players was felled in a hail of gunshots from an advancing police team. His name is Ademola Aderinde. He thus became the first recorded victim of the historic civil disobedience over the January 1, 2012 sudden fuel price hike, from the Federal Government. Also in Kano, a boy was killed and 300 others injured in one day, as policemen fired gunshots on protesters. Patently grueling also was the case of Anas Gambo, a 16-year-old junior secondary school student in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital. He was shot dead in front of a mosque, while doing the mandatory ablution, preparatory to the afternoon prayer. All these are synopses of the nationwide reign of anarchy that followed the sudden fuel hike from N65 to N144 per litre, by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, on January 1, this year. Despite several assurances from the Federal Government in 2011 that there was no plan to jerk up the prices of petroleum products , the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, Reginald Stanley, had suddenly dropped the bombshell, following which hell was let loose. And in the greatest convergence ever in the history of Nigeria, a sea of heads comprising the lowly, the middle cadre and the high, gathered all day long at Ojota, Lagos’ main entre port and engaged in a sit-in, ensuring that all

JONATHAN SHOULD PROVIDE JOBS IN 2013 –EBIRERI

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activities were paralysed. That convergence was named ‘Occupy Nigeria’. And in other parts of the country, similar acts of civil disobedience rent the streets. But wrenched by the national standstill and the threat of further drift to anarchy, the Federal Government relaxed its rigid stance and announced a slight reduction from the N144 to N97, in the price of petrol. After the ding dong of parleys, the organised labour and the FG eventually reached a truce with the former calling off its two-week old strike. Oil subsidy scam Barely two months after the fuel hike problem subsided came fresh revelations of sleaze in the management of the fuel subsidy funds. About 72 companies and several officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources were investigated in connection with the scam. An ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives headed by Malam Farouk Lawan had in its report, recommended 72 companies for investigations by the relevant anti-corruption agencies, with a view to establishing their culpability and ensuring the recovery N230.1bn indicated against their names. The committee also recommended that marketers who obtained foreign exchange but did not import petroleum CONTINUED ON PAGE 4

2012: NIGERIANS GIVE DAMNING VERDICTS

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The Big Read

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A year of gripping air crashes CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 products, should be referred to anti-corruption agencies with a view to verifying what they used the FOREX for. The marketers, according to the executive summary of the report, should respectively make refunds as follows: Business Ventures Nigeria Limited, $ 22,927,339.96; East Horizon Gas Company Limited, $20,735,910.81; Emaded Energy, $6,606,094.30; Pokat Nigeria Limited, $3,147,956.19 and Synopsis Enterprises Limited, $51,449,977.47. Others are Zenon Pet and Gas Limited, $232,975,385.13; Carnival Energy Oil Limited, $ 51,089.57; Crownliness, $4,756,274.94; Ice Energy Petroleum Trading, $2,131,166.32; Index Petroleum Africa, $ 6,438,849.64; Ronadoil Gas West Africa, $4,813,272.00; Serene Greenfield Limited, $4,813,360.75; Supreme and Mitchelles, $16,947,000.00; Tridax Energy Limited; $ 15,900,000.00 and Zamson Global Res, $8,916,750.00. Pension scheme frauds Another startling revelation, this year, was the discovery of large scale fraud among the nation’s pension managers. A task force on the pension scheme headed by Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina had disclosed of mind boggling scams at the Pension Department of the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation. Maina said a sum N12 billion was found in the personal account of a former director of the Pension Department and another N4 billion was found in the personal account of a deputy director of the same department. As for the scam in the Police pension management, six civil servants were charged to court following their alleged complicity in the illegal diversion of N32.8 billion from the Nigerian Police pension fund between January 2009 and June 2011. The task force under the leadership of Maina claimed that it recovered over N159 billion in properties and cash from pension fraudsters. ‘Lawangate’ scandal and Hembe/Azubogu trial Two scandals of a kind, this year were perhaps the lowest point for the country’s legislative arm of government. Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and Other Institutions, Herman Hembe and his deputy, Chris Ifeanyi Azubogu, were accused by the Director-General of the Securities & Exchange Commission, Ms. Arume Oteh of demanding N44 million bribe from her, to give the commission under her, a clean bill of health in the probe into alleged fraudulent practices in the SEC. The two legislators were eventually arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Also, chairman of the House of Representatives committee on the scandal in the oil sector, Malam Farouk Lawan has been in the eye of the storm from mid-year till now. His ordeal was spurned by an accusation from billionaire oil magnate, Mr. Femi Otedola, that Lawan collected a $5,000 bribe from him to exclude Otedola’s company, Zenon Oil, from the list of companies indicted for siphoning the oil subsidy funds. Though Lawan stridently denied the accusation, Otedola produced video clips to back up his accusation, even though the veracity or otherwise of his accusation is still being investigated by the police. Ibori jailed in London In April, former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, was jailed for 13 years by Judge Anthony Pitts of Southwark Crown Court, London, United Kingdom (UK), for fraud totalling nearly £50 million (about $77 million). Ibori was charged with a 10-count charge of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. During his prosecution, Southwark Crown Court was told the amount he stole from the people of Delta State was “unquantified.” Before his extradition to the UK, Ibori, who evaded arrest in Nigeria after his supporters attacked policemen on his trail, was arrested in Dubai in 2010. He was later extradited to the UK, where he was prosecuted based on evidence from the Metropolitan Police. Earlier, Ibori’s wife, mistress and solicitor had been jailed over the same accusation of sleaze. He was Delta State governor

Dickson

Ibori

Nigerian paralympic heroes

from 1999 to 2007. Boko Haram insurgency Without let, insurgents from the dreaded Boko Haram sect were full of activities throughout 2012 as they pounded northern cities and towns with bomb and gun attacks. Of note in the group’s style of attack was the suicide bombing approach, in which nothing deters the attacker, as he is primed to die with his victims. Maiduguri, the Borno State capital was the most hit in the year. Apart from the fact that the city is acclaimed as the hub of insurgents, bomb explosions on daily basis, no matter how minute, was already a way of life. In January, multiple blasts rocked Kano, killing three policemen. In the invasion, a police station was razed with trapped detainees. In the massive attack, the Zone 1 Police headquarters was partly bombed and outgunned. Same attacks followed at GSM Market, Immigration Office and the State Security Service, SSS headquarters. On January 29 again, 15 persons were reported killed as another bomb rocked Kano. In February, an explosion also occurred at the military barracks in Kaduna, killing one suicide bomber. In June also, 24 persons were killed were 34 others sustained injuries in Kaduna when suicide bombers struck at three churches during worship. Also in that month, gunmen came in the dark of the night and holed up students of The Polytechnic, Mubi, and shot dead no fewer than 20

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of them , leaving others with severe injuries. Yet the insurgents recorded a bloody invasion of a cattle market in Damaturu, Yobe State, where they slew 34 persons. In August, gunmen also attacked worshippers at Deeper Life Bible Church at Otiteh in Adavi Local Government area of Kogi State, killing 16 of them. That same month, in Sokoto, the bombers reduced a police station and a number of vehicles to rubble. There, six policemen were consumed in the attack. Air crashes In March this year, in the heat of the Jos ethno-religious crises, a police helicopter conveying Deputy Inspector General in charge of Operations, John Haruna, and three others, crashed in a Jos slum, killing all on board. On Sunday June 3, however, the nation was jolted when in the evening, a Lagos-bound Dana passengers’ plane coming from Abuja, crashed at the Iju area of Lagos, barely seven minutes to landing. In the crash, all 153 persons on board died. Casualties were also recorded on ground as it crashed into about three residential buildings in the suburb. About 10 persons reportedly died in their homes, while others were injured. Also in October, the Taraba State governor, Danbaba Suntai, had an air mishap in Yola, Adamawa State, as he was piloted himself in a Cessna 208 plane said to have been bought for the state by his administration. The governor and three others on board with him were badly injured in the crash and are still in Germany for treatment. Following the incident, Garba Umar, who had been deputy governor for barely two weeks following the impeachment of Sanni Abubakar, is now acting as governor for the state. And on December 15, Kaduna State governor, Patrick Yakowa and former National Security Adviser (NSA) to President Jonathan, General Andrew Owoye Azazi, alongside four others died when an helicopter conveying them upon return from the burial of the dad of a presidential aide, Oronto Douglas, crash-landed and exploded in flames, in the Nembe-Okoroba area of Bayelsa State. None of the six occupants of the chopper survived. Governor Yakowa’s special adviser, Dauda Tsoho, a Warrant Officer who was Azazi’ bodyguard, Mohammed Kamal and two naval pilots, Commander Muritala Mohammed Daba and Lt. Adeyemi O. Sowole, also died in the crash. Yakowa’s deputy, Mukhtar Yero, had since been sworn in as Kaduna governor. Governorship elections In February, Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the governorship election in state. He beat 29 other contestants. He led with a total of 518,247 votes, while the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) 131,048 votes and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), 7,323. Same month, the PDP candidate in the Bayelsa governorship election, Seriake Dickson, won in the poll, with a total of 417,500 votes. Dickson’s closest rival of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Famous Daunemigha came a distant second with 23,548 votes, followed by the Change Advocate Party (CAP) candidate, Dr. Imoro Kubor who scored 22,534 votes; while Kemela Okara of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) polled 9,627 votes. As for Edo State, incumbent Governor Adams Oshiomhole won the July 14 election in the state. He scored 477,478 votes to defeat five other candidates in the election. Maj.-Gen.Charles Airhiavbere of the Peoples Democratic Party came second with 144, 235 votes, while Solomon Edebiri of All Nigeria Peoples Party scored 3,642 votes to come third. Roland Izeobuwe of Congress for Progressive Change polled 2,793 and Frank Ukonga of Social Democratic Movement Party, 807 In the October 20 election in governorship election in Ondo State, the incumbent, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party was also declared winner. He scored 260, 199 votes to win valid votes in 13 local government areas of the state. His main rivals, Olusola Oke of the PDP and Rotimi Akeredolu of the ACN scored 155, 961 and 143,512 votes, respectively. Cynthia Osokogwu’s murder This year also brought to the fore, the negative side of CONTINUED ON PAGE 5


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The Big Read

Sunday, December 30, 2012

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Jonathan should provide jobs in 2013 –Ebireri

powered, that is when they are easily used for crime and also take to violence. I will tell you today that no Nigerian is enjoying because the level of dependency has increased. This will only be reversed when Jonathan is committed to empowerment programmes, especially for the youths.

Anthony Ebireri, an engineer, is the Chief Operating Officer of Dakento Limited and a community development enthusiast in Sapele Local Government area of Delta State. HE laments the sorry state in which the country has found itself. Excerpts: What’s your assessment of Nigeria in 2012, especially in terms of security? It is unfortunate that the country has degenerated into what we are seeing today in the North. I served in the North and I know how peaceful the North used to be and how lovely the people are; but today, the spate of the bombing being heralded by the insurgents, especially Boko Haram, has worsened things. The truth is that I see all these as political and I feel that the political leaders should actually come together to resolve them, because it is something that can be resolved; it is not something that is impossible. We know everybody’s grievances; so let us settle them and move on. Nigeria has lost so many people all in the name of insurgency and it is so sad. We are one big nation and we, being the biggest black nation in the world are a pride to everybody. So, I believe Nigerians should all come together and forge a way forward. But I would appeal to the Boko Haram group, whosoever they are and wherever they are-they should sheathe the sword now because we are all one; be you Christian, Muslim, native religion person or whatever; because we are all created by one God. We are in a great country and I believe that this country has just started to attain the height that we all expect. So let us support reconciliation and whatever will unite us as one.

How would you rate the performance of President Jonathan? Well, because of antecedents, the expectations from the present government by Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was very high, that is why the North, South and every ethnic stock voted for him because there was this clamour for change, refined governance, and good political leaders in the country. Fine, he is still on the track of development but the speed at which he is doing it is not something that we will applaud him for. By now, we should have light 24 hours a day, good road, water in every community, good and standby emergency management authority and good security network. It is not just buying guns and giving to men of the security force but ensuring reconciliation here and there; so that peace will reign in our beloved country. This is what makes us a nation. Reconciliation and dialogue is what will bring peace and not buying of guns and deployment of military men in certain parts of the country. We are all one for crying out loud. Jonathan is trying but he needs to try harder. To me, there are lots of sycophants around him. The energy which these sycophants are using to give him ill pieces of advice, they can still use that energy to give him good advice. He has started the fight against corruption but that should be intensified. He has started the privatisation of the Power Holding Company

Ebireri

of Nigeria (PHCN) that should be done quickly so that we will have light at least 22 hours every day, and this will increase the productivity of this country. When it comes to our refineries, I believe he can summon the political might to repair them, and the issue of fuel scarcity will be gone in a jiffy. What has he done for the critical masses? Everyday this country churns out thousands of graduates but we don’t have jobs or businesses that will absorb them, not even empowerment programmes to make these graduates to be empowered. What has he done for our graduates? The truth is that graduates can be empowered; there are great ideas to make this happen and there are great idealists in the land that can make it happen. It is just for Jonathan to identify those that he will work with; I don’t mean sycophants. When the youths are not properly em-

What should president Goodluck focus on in 2013? For 2013, President Goodluck Jonthan should look at the local government level where development is critical, where people move from the rural area to the urban area. There are so many opportunities in the rural areas which can be explored. Take for example, a youth was asking me what can we do to make people move from the cities back to the rural areas. The answer is property business development in the rural areas because the urban areas are choked with housing; but if we relocate government headquarters to the rural areas, it will help to expose that environment to natural development. Small industrial parks could be set up where those involved in small scale businesses can be together. Set up marketing company for their products and that marketing company will take their products to the city, sell and remit funds to these individuals. These are parts of empowerment programmes. Also, government should provide electricity, accessible roads, pipe borne water and primary health centres for children and mothers. It is not too much to provide even sick bays in government-owned primary schools and other infrastructure that will attract children go to school. Most children do not like to go to school because school does not attract them in any form.

‘Lawangate’: Case of the hunter hunted? ally killed. Already, two men, Maduakor Chukwunonso and Orji Osita, are on trial in connection with her death. However, two other pharmacists who were similarly arraigned as they were accused of selling Rohpynol Flunitrazepam-a sedative-without proper prescription to Cynthia’ murderers, have been released unconditionally. The pharmacists were released based on the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, Lagos State.

Cynthia

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 the social media, as witnessed in the case of an undergraduate of Nasarawa State University, Cynthia Osokogwu, who was misled and killed by two male friends on facebook. The ‘friends’ asked her to come to Lagos as they could secure some wares for her to purchase. But upon her arrival, she was lodged in a hotel where she was assaulted, drugged and dispossessed. She was eventu-

Miscellany *In January, a Federal Capital Territory High Court set free former Speaker of House of Represe4ntatives, Dimeji Bankole, and his deputy, Usman Nafada, over their alleged involvement in a N40 billion loan scam. *Also in the month, after about 13 years of trial, Major Hamza al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, along with Lateef Sofolahan, a former protocol officer to the late acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief M. K.O. Abiola, were sentenced to death. A Lagos High Court, which handed down the verdict, found them guilty of the murder of Abiola’s wife, Kudirat. *TV legend, James Iroha ‘Gringory’ of

the Village Headmaster fame, died at the age of 69, following a protracted illness. *Former Biafran warlord, Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu who died in November last year at the age of 78 years, was given a state burial and interred in his Nnewi, his Anambra State home town, in March, this year. *Kabiru Sokoto, a wanted, suspected insurgent who espaed from police custody, was re-arrested by the SSS. *In March, a Briton and an Italian abducted by gunmen in Birni Kebbi, Kebbi State,in the previous year, were killed in a failed rescue attempt. They are Chris McManus and Italian Franco Lamolinara. *A May 29 Democracy Day speech by President Jonathan in which he re-named University of Lagos Moshood Abiola University, caused a stir. *Between May and June, Lagos doctors declared a strike over salary structure and 788 of them were eventually sacked by the state government. But they were later recalled when leader of the ACN, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, waded in. *The Federal Government ordered the suspension of N5000 new Naira note proposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria under Malam Lamido Sanusi. *FG’s proposed dialogue with Boko Haram still undecided as the latter neamed for-

mer Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari as one of its preferred mediators. *In May, Olaitan Oyerinde, an aide to Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State was killed by gunmen in the presence of his wife and children *In August, Petroleum Minister, Barth Nnaji, wasz removed under controversial circumstances. *On August 24, Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, breathed his last, at 82. *Between July 27 and August 12, the Olympics held in London, United Kingdom, where Nigeria did not win any medal. But the country’s afterwards won medals at the paralympic opinions, following which President Jonathan ‘showered’ the paralympians with ‘Naira rain.’ *Delta State Commissioner for Higher Education and a former lecturer at the University of Lagos, Prof. Hope Eghagha, was kidnapped in October along the AgborAbraka Road, between Agbor and Abavo by unknown gunmen. His police orderly was killed. He was released after a week, but there was no confirmation as to whether ransom was paid or not *Only recently too, the mother of the Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was kidnapped. She was later released after a ransom of N10 million was reportedly paid.


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The Big Read

Okei-Odumakin

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Promise

Violet

Eyo

2012: Nigerians give damning verdicts ADAEZE AMOS, VANESSA OKWARA AND ANGELA DAVIES

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he year is winding up, it is barely 48 hours to 2013. How the time flies! Yes, in less than two days from now, it would be new year and that adds another year to your age, likewise the age of Nigeria. The question on the lips of so many Nigerians even as the year comes to an end is: how has the country been fairing? Of course, the state of the country will never cease to be the topical issue through the first month of the brand new year. Sunday Mirror went to town and asked a cross section of Nigerians their views on the state of the country. The first person to react to this poser is Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, a human rights activist and the president of Campaign for Democracy who is of the opinion that the major problem confronting this nation is insecurity. Then followed by corruption. “The root cause of insecurity is from the ruination of our economy, widespread corruption and collapse of values. The more corruption became endemic, hard work ceased to be a determinant of success and greed became the order of the day. Those who have no access to official channels of corruption started to create their own lines .These are ‘419’, ‘yahooze’ and kidnapping. In the last 14 years of our civil rule in particular, we have seen an increasing culture of prosperity without work among the elites, lionisation of crookedness and a never -seen-before disparity between the poor and the rich. Whereas the level of absolute poverty has increased to 80 % within the period, the country has produced more billionaires without traceable sources of wealth. Where we measured corruption in millions and billions before, we now metre corruption in trillions,” she said. Okei-Odumakin, who is the founder of Women Arise, a Non-Governmental Organisation, further buttressed her point by citing an example of the numerous numbers of private jets available in the country. “As against about 50 private jets in the country in 2008, we now have 126 private jets, mostly owned by politicians and prosperity preachers. There is no way you would have this kind of conspicuous consumption on one end and excruciating poverty on the other without having social tension. The fact that the Minister of Youth and Social Development told the nation two years ago that there are 68 million unemployed youths in the country is clear we that have a factory to produce more social deviants than any society can accommodate.”

Okei-Odumakin stressed that our weak law enforcement system has encouraged the nationwide spread of insecurity as perpetrators are not punished. “That is an incentive for more entrants into this line of business. It is quite plausible that the powerful have been shielding the perpetrators of this heinous act. The way out is to invest in social security by creating jobs and enabling environment for enterprise to flourish. Like President Clinton said during his visit to Nigeria, any country that does not give hope to its citizens is so vulnerable. We must stop the production line of the pool of criminals by diverting the energy of our citizens into productive enterprises. People who are gainfully employed would not have time plotting how to perpetuate these heinous crimes. We should also strengthen physical security to check them with our law enforcement capacity to bring culprits to book. The combination of social security and physical security is to ensure a stop in the flow chain. If you killed all those who are engaged in violence today, new hands would emerge. Finally there must be political will on the part of the government. Justice, fairness must reign and the Convocation of a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) can lead us out of this logjam.” Reacting too, a legal practitioner, Chief Giwa Amu described leadership in the country in the last one year as “abysmal, worthless and a purposeless attempt at pretence at governance. “The Nigerian people are in pains, penury, poverty and anguish.” Onwu Promise, group head, Breakingof-Stones-Consulting Group fingered Boko Haram insurgency as being responsible for destroying the nation’s economy, especially northern Nigeria’s economy and suggests ways out of this menace come next year. “Boko Haram is politically motivated but they are busy destroying the economy of the North. This to my opinion can stop by collective efforts of our people mostly from the North. It can be curbed by everybody in that part of Nigeria helping the security force by reporting any suspicious movement, create positive awareness to the Alamajiris who they use to do their deadly act on the sacredness of human blood. We need public awareness in that part.” Promise pours his mind on the performance of President Goodluck Jonathan and the issue of fuel subsidy. “Our president has not tried enough. His government is the second most corrupt after Ibrahim Babangida. In my own opinion, he is too weak to be a president. We need good managers in government who will fight corruption since Nigeria has been dubbed one of the most corrupt nations in the world. Then the issue

of fuel subsidy came up but they just used it to enrich themselves. What we need in this country is to service the refineries and make them work well again,” he says. NK Violet, a human resources consultant, is another Nigerian who said she is frightened by the state of insecurity in the country “The state of insecurity in this country is frightening. For instance, the case of the Aluu Four that happened in Port Harcourtis sad. This honestly points to one thing which is insecurity, which is rampant in almost every part of the country. One is running away from insurgency in the north and then gets to Port Harcourt a bit late in the night and was mercilessly ganged-raped by some hoodlums. It is a fearful time in our nation indeed.” Another thing that bothers Violet immensely is the fuel subsidy removal. She said that IT never helped matters. “Right now, the fuel pump price of N97 per liter can only be got at Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) stations. The fuel subsidy removal brought about increment IN every single item in the market, and in transportation, and yet, no increase in salaries.” Cletus Ukpong, the Editor-In-Chief of Rivulet Magazine says that the way out of the insurgency is a constitutional conference. “The insurgency goes to prove that Nigeria has only been and shall remain a mere ‘geographical expression’ until different ethnic nationalities come together to freely discuss the basis for their co-existence. I strongly think a constitutional conference is the only way to bring this violence to a stop. It has even made some people to clamour for the breakup of Nigeria, but break-up may not necessarily be a solution to Nigeria’s problem. If we subscribe to such proposal, then we must be ready to witness the balkanisation of this country. “In fact, the challenges of this country are overwhelming and we should put the whole blame on the President. He is the one commanding not just the military and the police but the political and economic direction of this country also. But all the same, he deserves some understanding, pity and prayers because he inherited a country with broken foundation, a country that her political, economic and social structures seem to have been irredeemably destroyed. I have seen significant improvement of late in the area of electric power supply. But on fuel subsidy, I think the government should first tackle the monster called corruption, block off other financial leakages and gain the trust of the masses first, before any subsidy removal talk. What the Nigerian government needs most is of course is in short sup-

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Ukpong

ply is the people’s trust.’’ Raymond Eyo, post-graduate student of Development Studies condemns Boko Haram’s activities. “It is really unfortunate that a group of people will wreak such wanton aggression upon innocent citizens. Their gripe with Western education is ironical because the bombs, cars and other gadgets that they use for their operations are products of Western education. “Thankfully, the frequency of incidents of their carnage has recently dropped. I’m not sure whether it is as a result of the Federal Government’s onslaught against them or the reported negotiations to get them to talk and disclose their grievances. Either way, we pray and hope they’ll be defeated sooner than later so that Nigeria can live in peace.” Jonathan’s performance, Eyo also said, is not impressive. “On January 1, 2012, President Jonathan complained that he is slow because he wants to avoid mistakes. On December 25, he repeated the same confidencesapping gaffe. Jonathan is giving excuses for his clear lack of leadership ability. There is so much he can do and quickly too. At the moment, Jonathan is failing on corruption, security, education, employment, health and infrastructure. But thanks to almighty God that his power sector reform is encouraging. He needs to give it a lot more teeth. He is also doing fairly well in agriculture. I’ll personally like to see more attention on mining and tourism. Those can greatly boost Nigeria’s foreign earnings. “Jonathan also needs to be more frugal and fiscally prudent. Allocating N2.2 billion to Aso Villa banquet hall, for instance, smacks of insensitivity on his part. His 2013 budget is fraught with many other wasteful allocations that explain the heavily bloated 68 percent recurrent expenditure, as opposed to a mere 32 percent’s, for capital. “That said, I hope Jonathan heed the wisdom in former US President Harry Turman’s saying: “Progress occurs when courageous, skilful leaders seize the opportunities to change things for the better.” On the oil subsidy problem, Eyo insists that Nigerians deserve to have fuel at subsidised rates. “My long-held view on this is that as long as the Nigerian government cannot get the refineries operating at full capacity (and, why not build some more), given our huge oil endowments, Nigerians deserve to have fuel at subsidised rates. Rather than punishing the masses by removing the subsidy and subjecting them to higher fuel prices, Jonathan should be courageous and perspicacious to ensure the prosecution of all those responsible for looting the subsidy funds, irrespective of how close to him they are. After all, on September 18, 2010, he personally promised that there will be no sacred cows in his fight against corruption.”


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Dateline

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SHAPING THE FUTURE WITH THE PAST DECEMBER 30, 2012

Koko toxic waste dump

Drums of toxic waste

K AYODE FASUA

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ere it not for a story published in L’Unita, an Italian leftist provincial newspaper based in Pisa, the whistle might not have been blown on the massive shipment of highly toxic wastes to Koko, a Nigerian coastal community in then Bendel State. That was way back in 1988. The story on the toxic waste dump on the Nigerian shores was written by a 23-year-old female freelance journalist, Racaelli Gonalli. Nigerian students in Pisa who read the Gonalli story, promptly took up the matter, writing to the home government that some containerised industrial wastes classified as ‘toxic and radioactive’, with an ‘R’ mark were being shipped to the country. Alarmed, the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida stepped up action, to get to the roots of the matter. It was soon found out that it was the handiwork of an international syndicate comprising Italians and their Nigerian accomplices. Over there in Italy, a body called Chain of Saint Antuan which specialized in the “marketing” of industrial toxic and radioactive

wastes was soon found to be behind the incident. This group had a chain of global connection and was always in search of dumping grounds among the developing countries, to dispose of Italy’s dangerous waste materials. Italy, it was learnt, produced between 40 and 50 radioactive materials annually. Speaking on why she smashed the syndicate through her story, Gonalli had told Newswatch, a Nigerian magazine that, “I feel unhappy that we should be exporting our problems (toxic and radioactive wastes) to a Third World country which already has enough problems.”

Findings

While the Italian government was upset by the mounting heaps of industrial wastes in the country, it was also keen in knowing where the wastes would be shipped to. The government had always desired to know from the waste disposal firms if the countries they were shipping the wastes to, had good waste disposal facilities. After producing evidence to that effect, the waste dealers are thus granted official permission. So in 1987, Messrs S.I Ecomar, a company in the Italian waste disposal business, which was also a subsid-

Nana, whose compound toxic was dumped

iary of the Chain of Saint Antuan, got in touch with Gianfrance Raffaelli, an Italian businessman in Nigeria, who claimed to be residing at 126A, Nnebisi Road, Asaba, now Delta State. Raffaelli in a correspondence had asked his Italian partners to “ship your industrial raw materials to us in Nigeria.” The Italian had glorified his deal by convincing the Italian waste disposal company that the wastes would be disposed of by burying them in existing dumps. He also sought and got the endorsement of the pharmacists’ board of Nigeria to import the industrial and laboratory chemicals which were later found to include highly toxic, natural and synthetic resins, obsolete paints, non-marketable pharmaceutical residues, obsolete biocides and phito-drugs. To give utmost legitimacy to the ordinarily unlawful shipments, Raffaelli got a letter of recommendation from the Italian embassy in Nigeria, that Iruekpen Construction Company Limited, in whose name the wastes were to be shipped, was a genuine, functional CONTINUED ON PAGE 8


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Koko toxic waste dump CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7

corporate entity. That was how Koko, the little, Bendel coastal community became the victim, as it were, of the deadly toxic wastes. Upon arrival, the Italian ‘business men’ involved the locals to off-load the deadly drums and the menial jobbers were given N1.10 per hour, a job which many of them reportedly saw as lucrative.

Crackdown

As fallout of the Gonalli expose, and after some preliminary investigations, security agencies, especially the State Security Service, SSS, went after those connected with the crime. In the process, 54 persons were detained, among them immigration and customs officials at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, who were believed to have facilitated the escape of Raffaelli. Once the story of the toxic wastes’ disposal at Koko was blown open, the Italian in the centre allegedly bribed his way to beat security checks and jetted out of the country. But Sunday Nana, the man whose compound was rented for most of the toxic waste dumps, was promptly picked up. It was learnt that his large compound was hired for N500 per month, for the storage of the toxic wastes. But Nana was soon released following the discovery that he was ignorant of the mission of his ‘merchants of death’ tenants.

Salvaging the situation While Koko was brought to the limelight by the incident, the government was left with the duties of evacuating the toxic waste drums, relocating the locals many who would have contracted radioactive diseases and then, forestalling a recurrence. To that extent, a ministerial task force was set up on the Koko toxic wastes, headed by Brigadier Mamman Kontagora, Minister of Works and Housing. Also, an advisory team came from the US, comprising a radiologist, a clean –up technician, a chemical analyst and a medical doctor. Also, two teams of experts, one from Britain, the other from Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency,

Kotangora

Babangida

IAEA, were also on hand. It was revealed that evacuating the drums from Koko would pose no problem, as the drums reportedly arrived in the community with sealed head-covers and that with that, evacuating them would be less hazardous. But what showed that dangers, either immediate or remote, had been caused to the Koko residents was that some of the drums, once off-loaded in the little community, were unsealed and their contents drained by the Italians, perhaps to make the drums useful for another batch of shipment of the waste products. The military government then, alarmed by the large number of the toxic waste drums in Koko, a small port that could not accommodate large ships to make mass evacuation of the drums back to their senders, thus devised another means. Already, an Italian ship had been seized at the Tin Can Island, Lagos. Although, another Italian ship was detained at the Port Harcourt Port, that ship was too small for the task of carrying the toxic drums. It could only take 800 drums of the wastes at a time, meaning that for it to make impact, it had to come for the ‘consignment’ three times. Therefore, the option of moving the drums to Lagos for onward return to its Italy source became the most attractive, under the circumstance.

Again, chlorine was also found in large quantum in the composition of the resins found inside the wastes at Koko. Chlorinated water, if consumed in high concentration, the experts agreed, kills fast. And empty drums that once contained these toxic wastes were gleefully used by the Koko locals, to fetch water and sometimes, for cooking.

Health implications

Gonaili

Curiously, attempt to re-settle the Koko residents from their ancestral home ‘because of ordinary drums’ were fiercely resisted by the natives, many who read either ethnic or political meanings to the plan. They believed that if there would be health implications for their stay with the killer drums, then they must have contracted the accompanying ailments long before the Federal Government uncovered the toxic waste drums. But experts said the locals acted ignorantly. According to the experts, samples of the toxic wastes had revealed the presence of some harmful substances; to humans, wildlife, plants and aquatic life. They claimed that some of the components of the waste include resins, solvents and pigments, all of which are chemicals that can terminate life either abruptly or gradually. Their presence in the body of living organisms, including that of a human being, researchers revealed, causes inflammation of vital human organs. Since solvents are acidic and capable of poisoning the blood system, the effect, they said, could result in complications leading to cancer.

Evacuation Eventually, the Italian government offered regrets over the toxic waste dump, accepting that the wastes be returned to their ports of origin within its shores. Over 100 workers from the Nigerian Port Authority were employed to remove the wastes. The Nigerian government supplied the workers with equipment, protective clothing and gas masks, but some reports said the protective clothing was insufficient and many did not even have gloves to protect their hands. “The wastes were more toxic than many had realised and many workers began needing hospitalisation with problems ranging from chemical burns, nausea, to paralysis,” a report said. Dr. Soloman Ogbemi, the senior medical officer at Koko General Hospital, declared that the “seven premature births that occurred within a one two-week period in July (1988) were due to the high toxicity of the dumpsite.” The Italian government agreed to pay the cost of returning the wastes back to Italy, at least until they could determine the guilty parties. As a result, in July of 1988, two ships, ‘Karin B’ and ‘Deepsea Carrier’, began the process of carrying the wastes from Nigeria back to Italy. While en route back to Italy, the Italian Environment Minister, Giorgio Ruffolo, announced the Italian ports designated to accept the wastes as the Tuscan Port of Livorno and, either Ravenna or Manfredonia Harbour in the South Adriatic. The former was to accept the wastes from the ‘Karin B’ while the latter was to accept the wastes from the ‘Deepsea Carrier’. However, the announcement resulted in protests, strikes and blockades in all three ports in an attempt to prevent the wastes from being unloaded. In December 1988, however, workers began unloading the ‘Karin B’. The ‘Deepsea Carrier’, on the other hand, was still held at bay, with its crew sequestered on board, until August of 1989 when the ship was finally allowed to unload in Livorno.


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Widow of Gen. Andrew Azazi, Alero (2nd left) and family members at the burial of former National Security PHOTO: NAN Adviser, at Peace Park in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, yesterday.

Jonathan, govs, service chiefs give Azazi last salute

ROTIMI FADEYI AND EMMA GBEMUDU, YENAGOA

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resident Goodluck Jonathan, service chiefs, governors and ministers yesterday bid the former National Security Adviser (NSA) a final goodbye. It was at his interment in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State. Speaking at the church service that preceded the interment, President Jonathan said that the country would be a better place if Nigerians start to do things right, stressing that the late General was a man who believed in merit and competence. Azazi died along with former Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Yakowa, in a helicopter crash on Saturday, December 15 at Nembe when returning from Okoroba after attending the burial of the father of Special Adviser to the President on Strategy and Documentation, Oronto Douglas. A Nigerian Army ambulance with registration number NA 459 EO 1 bearing the golden casket of the late soldier arrived the venue of the requiem mass, Peace Park, at 10.02am. Azazi’s body was lowered in his grave at 2.53pm at the Heroes Park located on Gen. Sani Abacha Road in the state capital, Yenagoa. Bishop of Benin Catholic Diocese, Augustine Akubueze led the clergy that officiated at the commendation service. First daughter of the deceased, Akpolade Okoro, read the first lesson of the service, while

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Sunday December 30, 2012

his last son Pelede read the second lesson. Dignitaries that graced the funeral event included the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, Chief of Airstaff, Air Marshall Alexander Barde, National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki, rtd , serving ministers and members of the National Assembly from the state. Others include governors of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson; Rivers, Chibuike Amaechi; Delta, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan; former Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC),Timi Alaibe; President, Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People(MOSOP), Ledum Mitee, leader of the Niger delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF), Asari Dokubo. A serving senator from the state and kinsman of Azazi, representing Bayelsa West in the National Assembly, Heinekene Lokpobiri was conspicuously absent at the burial ceremony. The President noted that if Nigerians could emulate the virtues of Azazi by being committed and dedicated to the issues affecting the nation, there would be speedy development and progress. “Most of the issues they talk about corruption are not corruption, if we do things properly in this country, things would be better and Nigeria would move forward”, Jonathan said. He explained that he came in contact with Azazi when he was Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State shortly after the late Gen-

eral was appointed the Chief of Defence Staff. He said that Azazi would be remembered for serving the nation diligently, passionately and with commitment. In his homily at the church service, Most Reverend Hycinth Egbebo, Bishop Bomadi Vicariate called political leaders in Bayelsa State to ensure that they provide access road to Azazi’s native town of Peretorugbene. According to him, the government of Bayelsa State need to provide roads in such a way that several other part of the state can be linked to the capital city of Yenagoa by road. “We might not need aero planes to fly to our homes. We are now very certain that our aircrafts are not flight worthy enough to convince us that we would arrive our destination should we trust to fly in them” “It is my guess that corruption is the only underlining evil to explain the possibility of this plethora of air mishaps in Nigeria” “We need good roads instead, let us not pretend that we can fly as if we are in America or Europe” Egbebo said. In his tribute, President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, described Azazi as a man of integrity and prayed that God would give his wife and children the strength and comfort to bear the loss. “Everyone that desires of him should live the type of life he lived. Thank God that there is life after life. May God bless the soul of this gentleman,” Oritsejafor said. On behalf of the fed-

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President Goodluck Jonathan (3rd right); representative of the Vice-President, Prof. Tamuno Benebo (4th right); wife of the President, Dame Patience Jonathan (2nd right), Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson (right); widow of Gen. Andrew Azazi, Alero (5th right) and her children, at the funeral mass for the former PHOTO: NAN National Security Adviser, at Peace Park in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, yesterday.

Widow of Gen. Andrew Azazi, Alero (right) with her children at the funeral mass for former National Security Adviser, at Peace Park in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

L-R: Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson, his wife, Rachael; wife of the Rivers State Governor, Dame Judith Amaechi, her Husband, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi and the Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan at the funeral mass preceding the interment of the late General Owoye Azazi at the Peace Park in PHOTO BY LUCKY FRANCIS, GOVERNMENT HOUSE, YENAGOA Yenagoa.

eral executive council, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani AllisonMadueke, described the deceased as a strategic and fine intelligence officer who maintained a great sense of humility. “A big tree has fallen in Ijaw land .We will remember him for what he had contributed in Ijaw land. Gen. Azazi was an officer and a gentle man.” In his tribute, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, confessed that writing a tribute for his former boss had been a difficult task for him. Ihejirika said he had always emulated the footsteps of Azazi when he

worked under him, stressing that the late General spearheaded the transformation of the Nigerian Army and Defence. “Azazi was very fair and transparent. He believes in merit. He dislikes lobbying mediocrity and tribalism. He was a great patriot, very humble and tolerated dissenting views.” Adding his voice, the Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, said he wept on the day he heard of the news of Azazi owing to their closeness when he was alive. Amaechi told the congregation that he had always ate at the late soldier’s home in Lagos and

Abuja anytime he visited there, describing him as a dependable elder brother and friend. The Governor renamed Nkpogu street at Elekahia, Port Harcourt after Gen. Azazi given his worthy contributions to the nation. In his tribute, Governor Seriake Dickson, described the deceased as a great Ijaw patriot and directed the Ijaw History Project to commence work on a book on the late General. Dickson informed that the state government would institute a yearly memorial lecture in honor of Azazi. He also proposed the naming of a public place in Yenagoa in honor


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STORIES THAT TOUCH YOU DECEMBER 30, 2012

Lagos fire: ‘There was fire everywhere... I was struggling for life’ •Oh! I wanted to wake up my sleeping parents when my brother died in the fire –Son •I wrapped myself in a soaked blanket to escape – Dad TAI ANYANWU

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hmed Olasukanmi Awosanya spent his after-school hours, helping out in his father’s pub, otherwise called beer parlour at No. 45 Giwa Ojo Street, Lagos Island.

As a junior secondary school student, he had grown used to combining his studies with other house work. Deep in his heart however, Ahmed nursed the ambition of becoming a great footballer. And times without number, he had spoken enthusiastically about this dream to his elder brother. “He always told me that he wants to be a footballer and that I will buy jerseys, football and boots for him,” Oluwadamilola, Ahmed’s sibling, said. But Ahmed’s sweet dream was cut short in the early hours of December 26, 2013. It was the day after Christmas; and in the spirit of Boxing Day, many people relaxed while the cool harmattan wind penetrated through the congested Lagos Island. The Awosanyas took some time to rest because the previous day’s Christmas sale at their beer parlour

was huge and exerting. So while Mr. and Mrs. Almaroof Olawale Awosanya still slept, the kids watched a just released Yoruba movie in the family’s living room. Unknown to the children, it was their last opportunity to relate to Ahmed Awosanya. It also marked the beginning of sorrows for the family. “It was about five minutes past nine o’clock. I was in the bed, just resting. All of a sudden, a banger from the roof fell on my bed and the roof caved in. I had another big bang five munities later, ” said Mr. Awosanya. Awosanya, who occupies a twobedroom flat on the third floor of the building, further recalled: “I have a beer parlour there. When the market is too much and we cannot go home, we sleep in the apartment. The next flat is rented by another man who stocked banger.” He said more explosions went off intermittently, rocking the adjourning buildings to its foundations and that houses gave way and there was fire everywhere. “I was just struggling for life. My wife, my children and my friend who was staying with us, all struggled to escape, but one of my children died

in the commotion,” he said sadly. How did Awosanya manage to escape? He recalled, “I took a blanket, soaked it in water and wrapped myself, and entered into the fire. Before I reached the stair-case, the fire had burnt out the blanket. The first floor, second and third floor were badly hit by the fire, that is where I got burnt in my hand, lap, legs and all over. But I thank God that I am alive, I thank God.” Awosanya, who is now receiving treatment for burns and smoke-related poisoning at the General Hospital, Lagos Island, said that his wife was also receiving treatment in another hospital in Ebute Meta, Lagos. Awosanya’s eldest son, Oluwadamilola heard the explosions and quickly helped his siblings to run down the stairs only to realise that his Mum and Dad were still sleeping. “I met them at the foot of the staircase. They were agitated and asked of my junior brother. We searched for him in the mixed of the pandemonium without success. The building has two stairways; I followed the other one. Incidentally, Ahmed took the other staircase, we later found out that fire had caught up with him

in the stair case and he died. “My mom has not stopped crying for the loss of my younger brother. I miss him a lot. Ahmed was a good boy. I promised to buy the jersey, football and boots for him, but he is no more.” The Awosanyas also lost, about N150, 000 to the fire. A concerned citizen said, “We expect government to do something for these victims like buy drugs, pay their hospital bills and help to rehabilitate them. “Governor Babatunde Fashola only paid what I call sightseeing so far, nothing has been heard of government till date. Every day, these victims buy drugs both within the General Hospital and outside at very expensive prices. I wonder the type of government we have. Is it how these people should be treated? This thing happened unexpectedly. They deserve government’s sympathy and assistance.” Many businessmen who have their outlets in Ojo Giwa and adjoining streets, have been temporarily out of business, following losses in cash and wares, running into billions of Naira. Adetuwaju Wasiu sells rechargeable lanterns. He said, “My loss is in millions. I had just stocked my shop, because I buy directly from importers, most of who travelled before Xmas. So, CONTINUED ON PAGE 11

Mr. Wasiu on hospital bed

Emeka Francis


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There was fire everywhere... CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10

I bought goods ahead so that I could have articles to be selling, even after they must have travelled to their home towns.” He was in his shop on Christmas day. “All the money I made from the Xmas sales was still in the shop. You know that banks were not working.” He lamented that he has dependants in a wife, and four children who are attending an expensive private school, to cater for. All the same, Wasiu, now hospitalised at General hospital, Lagos Island, is grateful that he still has his life. Emeka Jude sang in the same tune: “I lost some millions of Naira. and life has not been the same for me. He said,” Someone that has been trading with N1,000,000 and suddenly, everything is lost; that person is going to start from the scratch, especially if he does not have collateral to get a loan from the bank. The person may be forced to go back to his village. It is a big tragedy.” Emeka Francis, dealer in generators, cried that he lost three shops that were stocked with generators of varying sizes and capacities, in addition to about N2 million cash. “As a business man, one spends money daily. At least you come in and the family will smile, because you are wearing a smiling face. You have what it takes to sustain a good life; but now, the fire has taken everything we have. It has become difficult to survive on the usual scale. It is a painful thing to cope without money,” said another trader. On the order of the Lagos State Government, the area has been cordoned off and the traders asked to stay off their shops for the time being, it was learnt. But one thing that agitates the mind is how dangerous explosives, which many have argued are not the common type, came to be stored in a residential building. A medic, who pleaded anonymity, described Governor Fashola’s comment on the unlawful importation of bangers into the country as a political statement that does not serve any pur-

pose. His words: “That is a political talk; they should not give us that. Everybody knows that bangers are sold in the open market. Small children buy it. Who imported it? That is number one. “Number two, the man that we are talking about brought those containers in just on Sunday, two days before its explosion. He asked: “When he was importing it, did he not declare what he was importing or did the thing not come in through the port? Did the policemen who led the containers to the parking shop not know it was bangers? “The thing happened in front of a police station. Or don’t you know that there is a police station in front of the warehouse? So, they did not see that the man was off-loading bangers? Let nobody make fools of us. Everybody is looking for money.” The concerned citizen observed that the importer, now at large, also must have paid duty on the items. He pointed out, “The police collected their own. Have you ever seen a container that is being transported on the road and the police will not stop them? What have the police been doing? Now that the thing has happened, everybody is shouting, ‘It is banned!’” He, howver, agreed that the bangers that could cause such impact on the environment were not the common types “It is the one that is being used by government anytime they are celebrating something. Or have you seen a common man using that one? It the one they use when they are celebrating something, the one that they will connect to battery and press; the thing will sound poooo..ya..ya..ya; that is the type. Can you afford to buy N500, 000 bangers? It is not the common banger. Shebi you saw the picture in the paper. It is government that is buying it,” he said. Meanwhile the explosive’s importer, who is said to have gone into hiding, was said to have visited the warehouse, five minutes before the explosions occurred.

Mr. Awosanya

Rescue workers and fire fighters battling to put the fire out and rescue survivors

One of the victims being abandoned at the hospital

Oluwadamilola Awosanya

Some of the traders of Jankara market moving their wares out of the troubled spot after the explosion

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Kogi governor undergoes surgery in private hospital •He won’t be taken abroad –surgeon OBIORA IFOH AND MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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overnor Idris Wada of Kogi State has undergone a successful fracture surgery at the Cedar Crest Hospital Garki, Abuja, and has declared that he would not travel abroad for any form of medical treatment. The governor was seriously wounded in a fatal motor crash last Friday at Lokoja. The accident which occurred as his car’s tyre burst, however claimed the life of his Aide de Camp (ADC), Idris Mohammed, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), who died on the spot. Wada, according to the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Felix Ogedegbe, was brought into the hospital at about 8pm on Friday with fractured bones in the thigh and after examination, was recommended for immediate surgery by the hospital doctors. The surgery, which he said lasted several hours, was proclaimed successful by the doctors who said that the governor was “hale, hearty, made and received calls this morning (Saturday)” when he woke up. Briefing journalists at the hospital’s premises in Abuja, Dr. Ogedegbe in company with Dr Tunde Olawoye and the governor’s Special Adviser, Media and Strategy, Mr. Jacob Edi, said that the briefing became necessary so as to avoid distortion of facts as well as “give the truth and nothing but the truth as regards the governor’s condition.” Ogedegbe revealed that the governor was brought into the hospital at about 8pm Friday after receiving prior medical attention at the Kogi Specialist Hospital, Lokoja. He said after due examination, the governor was briefed on his condition before he was told of the need to immediately undergo surgery to fix the broken thigh. “I can confirm to you that yesterday (Friday) eve-

ning at about 8 p.m, we received Governor Idris Wada into our care. We received him here in a condition that was very stable. We were told he had been involved in a car crash. He had already been to another hospital before he was brought here. However, when he got here, we assessed him. “There were no immediate life - threatening injuries. He was found to have fracture in his thigh bone. That was assessed. A whole team did a comprehensive assessment on him and we decided to take him to theatre. He has had the bone that was broken fixed and he had a very good night sleep and he is quite fine now, having woken up this morning and had his meal and is doing very well. So as much as I can tell you, he is stable. He is not in a condition where his life is threatened at all. He is doing very well at the moment,” Dr Ogedegbe said. On whether the governor would be flown abroad for treatment, the CMD said there might be no need for that as the hospital was fully equipped and had the capacity in terms of expertise to handle the governor’s condition. Said he: “We explained his injury to him. We explained the fact that we have the capacity to treat him here as can be done anywhere in the world. He immediately agreed to have full treatment here. He isn’t that kind of person that will say ‘I don’t care what you can do, I want to be flown to anywhere else in the world.’ He gave his consent for treatment and that treatment was immediately done. It was done as fast as it was needed to be done. There is no immediate need for him to be flown anywhere. “He is stable. He is fine. His injuries have been looked after to a standard that is up to what is available in any part of the world. He quite understands that and he was happy to accept the treatment. And he is quite happy with the outcome of

NIGERIA IN BRIEF

the treatment.” Also, the governor’s media aide, Jacob Edi, said that his boss had declined to be flown abroad but rather opted to be treated here in Nigeria. “The governor insisted that he believed in the medical situation in Nigeria. He would not love to be flown abroad and like the doctor said, it is not a life-threatening situation. So, let it be

owing to the lack of adequate publicity, funds, competition and sponsorship, the sport had not been able to grow beyond its current level. The chairman, however, said that the association would do everything within its means to surmount its problems in 2013 through the schools talent hunt. ``Part of our 2013 agenda

remote area within the nation’s capital. Specifically, the hospital is located at 4, Amuurie Omanze Street, off Ladoke Akintola Boulevard, Garki II in Abuja. The hospital, established in 2008, specialises in various forms of surgeries which include orthopaedic, trauma, neurosurgery, plastic and reconstructive, ophthalmic, ENT, obstetrics, among others. Wada was scheduled to be brought to Abuja National Hospital after re-

ceiving first aid treatment at Specialist Hospital, Kogi state, shortly after the incident, but he did not show up at the hospital for an undisclosed reason. Meanwhile, prominent Nigerians visited the governor at the Cedarcrest Hospital, yesterday. They include Vice President, Namadi Sambo; Senate President, David Mark; Taraba State Deputy Governor, Garba Umar; members of the National Assembly and dignitaries from Kogi State.

L-R: Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Tunde Lemo; former Head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan; former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; Agura of Gbaguraland, Oba Halidu Olaloko; Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo; Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Osile of Oke-Ona Egba, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso, and Olowu of Owu Kingdom, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu, after a unity meeting of the Egba monarchs at the Government House, Abeokuta yesterday

Obasanjo, Shonekan, Amosun unite feuding Ogun monarchs FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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ormer president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former Head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan and the Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun yesterday finally reconciled all the four Egba sectional monarchs, “in the interest of the race.” The reconciliation of the Egba traditional rulers was finally sealed at the meeting of the Special Committee charged with ensuring unity among the four sectional monarchs in Egbaland. The peace meeting held at the Government House, Oke Igbehin, Abeokuta, the state capital. It had in attendance, the four sectional Egba royal

Association set to promote sport in Lagos schools

The Lagos State Fives Association (LSFA) has promised to exploit the talents that abound in schools to raise future talents for the sport. The association’s Chairman, Nasiru Mohammed, made the promise in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos yesterday. Mohammed complained that

on record that the governor believes in what we have in Nigeria. Unlike some other influential Nigerians, Captain Wada insists that he wants to be treated in Nigeria,” Edi said. He also confirmed that the governor’s driver, Jubril Isah, who survived the accident with the governor, was in a stable condition at the Kogi Specialist Hospital and was responding to treatment. Cedar Crest is a private hospital owned by a Nigerian and located at a

is to ensure that fives is given the much needed publicity in secondary schools to get students acquainted with the sport. ``Part of the challenges confronting the sport are lack of publicity, competition and sponsorship, which we intend to surmount by next year,’’ he said.

fathers who include the Alake and paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo; the Osile of Oke Ona, Oba (Dr.) Adedapo Tejuoso; the Agura of Gbagura, Oba (Dr.) Halidu Olaloko and the Olowu of Owu, Oba (Dr.) Adegboyega Dosunmu. Addressing newsmen at the end of a closed-door meeting which lasted for more than three hours, Chief Obasanjo, who chaired the reconciliatory committee, described the feat achieved by his committee at uniting the royal fathers as the divine work of God. Obasanjo explained that the reconciliatory meeting, which finally resulted in unity yesterday, was at the instance of Governor Amo-

sun who had on November 3, this year, expressed dissatisfaction over the unhealthy relationship existing among the monarchs of Egba extraction. While noting the possibilities of frictions wherever human beings co-exist, Chief Obasanjo expressed optimism that the unity achieved between the four royal fathers would engender permanent peace throughout Egbaland. The former president further emphasised that the sincerity and determination exhibited by the four Egba royal fathers during the various meetings held towards restoring unity back to the land gave him the assurance that peace and unity has finally been restored to Egba

as a whole. Making reference to the crisis that once rocked Ife and Modakeke in Osun State and Umuleri and Aguleri of Anambra State, Obasanjo reiterated that “the most important thing is that the people must constantly work out solutions to such challenges through sincere dialogue, communication and discussions. “Where you make dialogue the oil of reducing friction in human relationships, then you have got the solution to disagreements”. Earlier in his address, Governor Amosun emphasised that he had only created a platform for ventilation of misgivings in order to achieve unity among the royal fathers, in a way that would impact on the lives of all Egba sons and daughters in the Diaspora.

Abia to rehabilitate health care centres –Commissioner

The Commissioner for Health in Abia State, Dr Okey Ogah, said on Friday that the state’s 2013 budget captured the rehabilitation of secondary healthcare centres in the state. Ogah said made the announcement while briefing newsmen in Umuahia on the achievements of the ministry in the out-going year. ``Already, we have commenced the systematic rehabilitation, recon-

struction and transformation of this sector,’’ Ogah said. He explained that new secondary healthcare facilities would be built in Ikwuano, Obingwa, Ugwunagbo and Isialangwa South. He said that the rehabilitation of the centres would help to ensure quality referral system and reduce the burden on tertiary health facilities. ``If you have a weak second-

ary health centre, people will depend on the tertiary health centres,’’ he said, adding that the situation had ‘’over burdened the tertiary health centre in the state. ``This is a national problem because the referral system and secondary health centres are weak. ``If we have these facilities functioning there will be less dependence on the tertiary health centre,’’ Ogah said.


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Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Interview ENCOUNTER WITH A NEWS MAKER

INEC succumbed to pressure by de-registering parties –Okotie DECEMBER 30, 2012

Recently INEC deregistered some political parties and your party was one of those deregistered . What is your take on this and what are your plans? Number one, I am very amazed at the level at which PDP is operating this nascent democracy because INEC, as far as we are concerned, is a government parastatal. And to that extent it will gravitate towards its benefactors. The power that they claimed they have is given to them by the PDP majority in the Assembly. And if an organization like INEC can succumb to political pressure by allowing itself to become a front for a disillusioned political party that has no ideological philosophy in this country that tells how far democracy is going to go . I am quite surprised and I think it is rather preposterous that this whole exercise is seeming to assume some kind of authenticity when it is a fraud abinitio. So we as participants in the political exercise that is known as democracy are quite disheartened by this development . And we have decided that we will definitely seek redress in the court . I believe that the judiciary, as the last bastion of our democratic philosophy, will rectify this anomaly and erase this aberration from our political landscape

Rev Chris Okotie, the pastor of Household of God Church, was also the presidential candidate of the Fresh Democratic Party, FDP, in the last general election. In this interview with Editor, Bolaji Tunji and Snr Correspondent, Ayo Esan, he speaks about the de-registration of his party by INEC, the 2015 election, state of the nation, among other issues. Excerpts:

Will you be joining other political parties in instituting this legal action or you are going alone ? We are proceeding as Fresh Democratic Party because that is the basis for the de-registration INEC has alleged that most of these political parties that were de-registered have not changed their executives for about eight years or so . It also alleged that the parties have not won elections in any constituency and that most of them don’t have headquarters at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. How true is this? Does that not tell you that INEC has no sense of direction. Who registered these parties in the first place, is it not INEC. Didn’t they do their home work properly before they registered the parties. It tells you that there is something wrong with INEC itself because if you claim that these political parties don’t have executive councils that are in line with the constitution requirements then why did you register them. The truth of the matter is that this is just an after thought . INEC is looking for a reason for carrying out what I called political irresponsibility . This is because the constitution is very clear as to the requirements for the registration of political party and this include having an office in Abuja which might have been inspected by INEC. So it tells us that those people who are responsible for the registration of political parties themselves are lacking in their responsibilities. And we should look at INEC very clearly and with a lot of suspicious as to whether they are able to do what they are created to do. Number two, that cannot apply to us , because our office in Abuja is very close to NICON and you can go there and find out for yourself , we have one of the best offices in this country . And we had the convention before the presidential election and INEC representatives must be present because during the convention, officers were elected to different positions and INEC’s reports concerning Fresh Democratic Party is that our convention are carried out and it was in order and to the best of their knowledge was in line with constitutional requirement of political parties. So for me that is just an excuse because Nigerians are wondering what this is about . This is like political marchetism. PDP is witch hunting particularly somebody like me. That is vey obvious. You cannot judge the existence of a political party by victories . I mean what is the trajectory, the longevity that it is given to a political party . Fresh Democratic Party has only participated in two elections at all levels How is it possible that in two elections, it would metabolize into a party like the PDP that is made up of political veterans who have recycled themselves. These are the ones who

Okotie Okotie

were in the First Republic. The true political parties we have in Nigeria today are the new political parties and Nigerians are observing them to see whether we are serious, whether we will be consistent because adherence to principles evoke respect. They are watching if Rev. Okotie will give up or will join the bandwagon. And they have observed in the past two elections on the platform of my political parties that I have refused to align myself with the PDP which is what everybody is seeking to do . And because we are a credible opposition, particularly in the last election, that is why they have come up with this contraption. This whole concept of de-registering parties because there are some of us that they are targeting and I want to say very clearly here that I am surprised that somebody like President Goodluck Jonathan who is supposed to be a watchman over the constitution will allow this kind of thing to happen . particularly after the speech he made during his campaign that he was nobody and how he started from nowhere and God has brought him to where he is today through a process. How can he then be a protagonist of those who will silence those of us who are embarking on a journey that he himself had undertaken. That is anti-thetical to the philosophy that

he was propagating during election. He should be somebody to say no this should not be. That we should not despise the day of small things and small beginning . INEC does not give subvention, it does not bear the burden of our financial responsibility . So if they are saying they can no longer bear the financial burden of our party that is a totally different matter but to de-register a political entity on the whimsical arbitrary notion of the ruling political party, to my mind is a transgression of the democratic philosophy What would you say could be the objective of this action? It is very obvious they want to silence the voice of credible opposition . Rev Chris Okotie is the voice of credible opposition in Nigeria. You can remember what happened during the presidential election last year. They did not only plagiarize my advert . You know how they copied my commercial on television . Suddenly they started saying I am Goodluck Jonathan because I said in the commercial that I am Rev Okotie . And they began to copy that, but I didn’t CONTINUED ON PAGE 14


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Interview

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 say anything because I thought you must have seen something great in what I am doing before you want to emulate it, which is good. It is good for us to set the pace . But the point I am making here with all due respect and I speak respectfully within the confine of conventional propriety that this is the beginning of what I called the medieval autocracy . This is how Adolf Hitler began. When people can no longer tolerate or accommodate opposition . What does democracy stands to lose with the de-registration. The answer is that democracy stands to lose the very substance of its definition In a country like this with the complexity and all shades of opinions , religions and ethnic nationalities, you need a level playing field where people can find a place to ventilate their political aspiration. I think it is the height of presumption and what I call impetuous political naivety for INEC to arrogate to itself the responsibility of de-registering or annihilate a political entity . It is like a limited liability company, would the Corporate Affairs Commission say because some companies have not made profit in the last ten years they should be de-registered . It staggers the argument of logic because if these people don’t have an ulterior motive, if they don’t have subterranean intentions, they cannot do what they have done . What really bothers me is the fact that a legal entity recognize by the constitution of Nigeria can be annihilated by a fiat . You don’t seems to understand the danger because tomorrow PDP can go back and tinker with our constitution and say if your party does not win twelve states in governorship election, you cannot participate in presidential election. What will you do ? Where do you draw the line ? That is the point. The point is, if democracy is going to succeed in our nation, we must respect the constitution and not looking for some lacuna that will enable us to frustrate and disenfranchise the rest of Nigerian people . So this elitism is part of the problem we have in this country today . And you know there are three things I mention during the campaign – eliticism, mythicism and Satanism . These are the diabolical trinity plaguing this nation today. Because a group of people who constitute the elite decide what would happen to the rest of the people. Let us even take their rigged election results that they gave . Let us just say those who voted for me are 20,000 what moral right does anyone have to obliterate the future of 20,000 Nigerians who said this is the man we want as the president . Americans went to war because less than 4,000 of their citizens were killed at 9/11 tragedy . A whole nation went to war . How do you reconcile that these same people who say they are democrats will obliterate the future of 20,000 people I am using it in a very conservative manner because it was much more than that, that desire to elect Rev Okotie as their president even despite their rigging . And how they tried to diminish my political career to make it look like I was a non-starter . They were not satisfied with that, they have decided that well because a political party does not have an office, it should be de-registered . Of what concern is that to them . It is only the Nigerian people who can decide that this party is not strong enough for us to align with . It is not the responsibility of anyone to decide and say because your party is a portfolio party or because you don’t win an election we don’t want you to exist That to my mind is the beginning of unbridled autocracy . And when a political party does not have a political agenda it begins the concept of Marcatism which is witch hunting which is what they are doing today . If we are to follow that logic, PDP should be de-registered . Who has brought Nigeria to the danger we are in today . Which political party has enriched itself to the detriment of the Nigerian people. Which party has embezzled the fund of the nation and enter into the national coffer of our nation with impunity ? Which party has caused the siege of insecurity we are having today. Think about the ills and the misfortune that have befallen the Nigerian people as a result of governmental profligacy of the PDP . If there is a party that must be de-registered today must it not be the PDP . But because we are powerless to fight them and because they have seized this nation they think that they can do and undo. But I have news for them , news that what they had begun they will not be able to accomplish. There is a God who oversees the affairs of men and has seen the suffering of Nigerian people and has come down to deliver. There is going to be a revolution in this country that will take out these last vestiges of anachronism that we are seeing in the political sector. And I will be there to vanguard it. Have you been discussing the issue with other political parties and apart from that, where are you taking the Fresh Democratic Party to ? What I said before is that we are going to court . We believed that this is an aberration. We believe that this is a transgression of the sanctity of our constitution. And that these men who should scrupulously guide the nation for the people are themselves poisoning the water from which the flock will drink . We believe that this is going to be the beginning of the new day for Nigeria. Fresh Democratic Party will follow the provision of the law and go to the judiciary to rectify this anomaly. And when it is done,

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘There is going to be a revolution soon’

Okotie

then we can begin to reassess our political process. I mean think about it, democracy in this country is just 13 years old and instead of consolidating and INEC busying itself with giving us free and fair election. They are concerned with what is happening to political parties that they themselves registered. What a contradiction. You just mention something on free and fair election , that INEC should focus on that . Looking at the recent governorship election in Ondo state and the one in Edo state the commendation had been that INEC did a thorough job. Are they not on the path of honour for the country ? If it is a universal acceptance that INEC did a thorough jobs why are some of the candidates in the elections in court? Why ? The issue here is not whether INEC has the capacity to organize the elections, that is the reason why it was created. And the billions of naira that was given to it . Remember the first election in 2011 when the ballots papers and all those things did not arrived and they had to postpone the election. So if we are to judge them by that they didn’t start well with all the money they asked for and was given to them. But I am not criticizing that, what I am saying here is that there is a nefarious intent conspired by the PDP to entrench and perpetuate itself in government And the only way they can do this is by silencing credible opposition . In a democratic space where there is over a hundred and fifty million people , 100 political parties are not even enough, if we are talking about representative government because the people even in one state alone can have up to twenty political parties. This is because each man has a view that must be recognized by the others, that is the beauty of democracy . The issue in

THERE IS GOING TO BE A REVOLUTION IN THIS COUNTRY THAT WILL TAKE OUT THESE LAST VESTIGES OF ANACHRONISM THAT WE ARE SEEING IN THE POLITICAL SECTOR.

AND I WILL BE THERE TO VANGUARD IT.

democracy is not the government but the people . What the PDP is attempting here is bastardising the entire process of democracy . This is not even about political parties, it is about the fact that a few men can arrogate such divine honour to themselves to determine who forms a party and who does not. What they have done now simply is to parochialise the definition of democracy to align with their ego-centrical sentiment so that they themselves can be the leaders to people who have rejected them. PDP has been rejected by the Nigerian people What you saw during the oil subsidy crisis when Nigerians gathered at the Gani Fawehinmi Park is a microcosm of the discontent of the Nigeria people and they had to bring the military to disperse them. If you allow Nigerians to freely assemble today , the PDP will be out of government because there is no government that is so disliked like the present one . They have done absolutely nothing but just theories and made belief scene that we have . I do not say that that in a disrespectful or derogatory manner because sooner or later the spokesperson of government will start to challenge the things that we are saying. But I am ready to take them on . The point I am saying here is that there is no place in this world where democracy is being practiced and the government in power conspires with its own cohorts and drags the electoral body into its conspiracy to deny Nigerians the rights of free assembly. And everybody has become the interpreter of the constitution and I heard all these PDP chieftains on the television and each one is defining what the constitution says. But the court will tell us where we stand . Let me give you one assurance there is hope for Nigeria. We are seeing the last vestiges of this primitive anachronistic democratic philosophy propounded by the PDP . They swore that they will be here for sixty years but I have news for them, they will not survive the next few years. It is always being said all over the place that the idea of the president having the power to appoint the INEC chairman shouldn’t be the case . That with such an arrangement the tendency is for that body to do the biddings of the president What is your take on that ? Definitely I said it in the 2007 election. I said it in the last election that INEC is a quango . A quango is an organization set up by government or a board to oversee an area of public interest and to develop it. And that organization is supported by government and as long as INEC is a quango it can never be free. To call INEC independent in my view is a terminological deceit. How can you be independent when you have a master that determines how CONTINUED ON PAGE 50


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Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics PROVIDING FRESH PERSPECTIVES TO ISSUES DECEMBER 30, 2012

2012: Political events that shaped the country P 16, 41

Buhari

FOR ME AS A PERSON, I BELIEVE IN THE SAYINGS THAT ‘SHOW ME YOUR FRIEND, I WILL TELL YOU WHO YOU ARE’. FOR GOODLUCK JONATHAN TO CONTINUE TO ASSOCIATE WITH TONY ANENIH DESPITE A SERIES OF ALLEGATIONS AGAINST HIM IS UNFORTUNATE ALHAJI MURJAHEDEEN ASARI DOKUBO

Tinubu

Merger: How far can opposition parties go? MUYIWA OYINLOLA

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he plan of some major opposition political parties to merge and form a new political party with a view of dislodging the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may have received a boost as indications emerge that they may succeed in the exercise. Apart from the fact that the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), have concluded plans to embark on the exercise ahead of the 2015 general elections, there have been calls in some quarters for the merger of some of the recently deregistered political parties with the trio. In fact, the Conference of Nigeria Political parties (CNPP) last week urged all the over 30 recently de-registered parties to join the merger plan. CNPP’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, also added that the conference supported the merger proposal.

‘’CNPP is in support of the three political parties that are trying to merge and calls on those de-registered to join the merger plan. ‘’We applaud the CPC, ACN and ANPP for trying to come together, this will enable them to form a united front,” he said. He urged the INEC’s National Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, to ‘’pay more attention to those things that can bring to bear, free and fair election in Nigeria. ‘’Government has stopped funding parties and if it has stopped funding parties, they would find ways to sustain themselves,’’ he said. Okechukwu urged the INEC boss to pay more attention to the Uwais Electoral Reform since he (Jega) was a member of the committee. ‘’He should pay attention to advance those causes recommended by the committee. ‘’We need free and fair election; if there is free and fair election, the political parties on their own will do their own internal censorship,’’ he said. However, one of the de-registered political parties, National Action Council (NAC), is of the opinion that whereas

there may be nothing wrong in parties merging to gain strength to win an election, it would be wrong if they embark on such exercise just because they are deregistered. Speaking in a telephone interview with Sunday Mirror, its leader and presidential candidate in the last general election, Dr. Olapade Agoro, disclosed that “you can merge but it shouldn’t be because you are deregistered”. Speaking further, Agoro, whose political party is currently challenging its deregistration by the electoral umpire, INEC in the law court said that “I see the deregistration of the political parties by the INEC as an agenda of the PDP; it is a ploy to turn this nation into a one-party state. A lot of these parties were formed by PDP members who were sponsored to create a form of support base for the PDP. “You will recall that the former President Olusegun Obasanjo resisted the registration of more parties after those formed prior to the 1999 election; it was the Supreme Court that ordered that the political landscape should be open to allow for freedom of association and the CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

Obi: Seven years after, a report P. 40 card

Briefly

Security votes should go to LGs –Fasehun

The founder of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Dr Fredrick Fasehun, has said that the monthly security votes that are being allocated to the state governors should instead be channeled to the chairmen of local governments who he said are in better position to justifiably spend the money. Speaking at his quarterly interactive media roundtable in Lagos, Fasehun said the governors have turned the security votes to pocket money and the funds have not been really getting to those who secure the people. His words: “The governors have turned the security votes to pocket money except in Lagos State, and so those who secure the security of the people are not being funded. If I have my way, security votes will be paid to the local government areas and not to the state coffers”. Fasehun said despite the provision of security by the OPC, no South-West governor has deemed it fit to finance the organisation, saying that OPC had been relying on the contribution by its members. He maintained that the current efforts of the National Assembly to amend the 1999 Constitution will yield no good fruit as, according to him, only the convocation of a national conference will bring the desired change in the country. Fasehun expressed optimism that despite the turning of deaf ear to the call for the conference by successive governments, the national conference will still hold soon. “I assure you that the national conference will hold and it is the only solution to our problems,” he said. On the continuous call for revolution in the country, the OPC founder said the revolution as far as he is concerned is talking about bringing changes and not necessarily a bloodshed. “Sovereign National Conference is a form of revolution and all Nigerians should counsel the government that this conference is sine qua non for the country. Bloody revolution will not work in Nigeria. We are not preaching bloody revolution,” he said.

Fasheun

Anambra Govt urges community to promote fairness in union’s election Anambra State Government yesterday called on Agulu community in Anaocha council area to uphold equity, fairness and transparency in the forthcoming town union’s election. Special Adviser to the Governor on Chieftaincy and Town Union Matters, Dr Godfrey Muotolu, made the call in a statement in Awka. The statement said that the government made the call in accordance with its agenda and respect for the rule of law, the dignity of the human persons and free and fair elections. It came in reaction to a petition written by Mr Paulinus Aniagboso regarding an alleged plot to disqualify him from contesting for the post of the President-General of Agulu Peoples Union in an election slated for Dec. 31. “Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria allows every citizen the right to associate and belong to any group or association of his choice without any hindrance. Chapter 1 of the Constitution stipulates that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria supersedes any other law or legislation which is inconsistent with any provision of the Constitution of Nigeria and due to such inconsistency, the law or legislation is, therefore, void and of no effect.


16

Politics

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

2012 IN RETROSPECT

2012: Political events that shap Incidences that politically shaped Nigeria in the last year were fundamental and massive yet from afar, it looked as if very little happened. Obiora Ifoh recaptures a few of them. New leadership for the PDP The Peoples Democratic Party had in March elected a new set of executives through its National Convention with former governor of the defunct Gongola State, Bamanga Tukur emerging as the national chairman of the PDP by consensus. Erstwhile governor of Osun and Lagos states, Brig.-Gen. Olagunsoye Oyinlola (rtd.), emerged the consensus national secretary of the party from the South-West. Others were Garba Chida (national youth leader); Abubakar Mustapha (national organising secretary); and Sam Sam Jaja (deputy national chairman, South); Chief Olisa Metuh (national publicity secretary); Kema Chikwe (national Woman leader), Victor Kwom (national Legal Adviser) and Bala Kaoje (national Treasurer) amongst others. Obasanjo resigned as PDP BoT chairman. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo barely a week after he helped President Jonathan reclaim his mandate resigned his position as chairman of the Board of Trustees, BoT, of the PDP, saying the move would enable him fulfill his duties as a statesman locally and internationally as well as to concentrate on his presidential library and mobilize investments into the continent. The vacuum created by this surprise resignation is yet to be filled and presently the party leadership has been searching for a suitable replacement. The Former President and the incumbent are said to be not in their best relationship since then and both have gone to the public to use inappropriate words against one another. Trial of children of PDP chieftains for subsidy scam The trial of Mahmud Tukur, son of the incumbent National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and Nasir Ali, son of Ahmadu Ali, the party’s former national chairman over alleged involvement in the fuel subsidy fleece, pitched the ruling party against members of the opposition, who particularly called on Tukur to relinquish his position to demonstrate his party’s commitment to the fight against corruption. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had in the wake of

the subsidy scam revelations arraigned the younger Tukur and Ali alongside the son of Ibadan-based businessman, Alhaji Abdul- Azeez Arisekola Alao, Abdullahi for shady deals at a Lagos High Court. They are still facing charges relating to conspiracy, obtaining money under false pretence, forgery and use of false documents. The argument was that the younger men were fronting for their fathers and that because of their hold on government, nothing may come out of the matter. This assumption is fast becoming the fact. US election: Controversy trails Tinubu’s invitation There was controversy over the alleged invitation by the Democratic Party’s National Convention to the leader of Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, following a publication by an online medium which described the invitation card as purchased. A statement attributed to Tinubu’s media aide had indicated that Tinubu was invited to the Democratic National Convention in the United States of America, where President Barack Obama got his nomination. The statement claimed that Tinubu was invited as the leader of opposition in Nigeria. But the claims were discovered to be false and that Tinubu obtained the invitation card after paying the sum of $5,000. This discovery led to the pummelling of Tinubu and his party the ACN by the PDP and its agents and for so many weeks, Tinubu found it difficult to wriggle out of the controversy. The summit became very controversial when it was revealed that it costs Nigeria government billions of naira particularly with the delivery of 200 exotics cars ordered for use by guests for three days event. The cars comprised 80 units of BMW X3 and X5 series with a market value of N13.5 million each, while the remaining 120 are exotic models of Honda, Jaguar and others. Coscharis Motors which supplied the vehicles admitted transacting the business with govnment but refused to state the number and cost. Few weeks after, the first lady Patience Jonathan travelled out of the country secretly for medical trip thus giving vent for wild speculation concerning her health condition.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 right to join any political party of one’s interest and ideology. “Political parties can come together if they have common ideologies and beliefs. But the way things are now, you cannot coax people to go and join other parties”. While he would not want to be categorical about whether or not the on-going merger plan of some political parties can defeat the PDP, he said “there is strength in unity, but such unity should be voluntary.” Meanwhile, an activist and election observer, Olufemi Aduwo, is pessimistic about the success of the on-going merger plan. Aduwo who is the convener of Rights Monitoring Group (RMG) said, the present merger plan of CPC, ANPP and CPC is “a marriage of convenience, an exercise of exigency and it will not work”. Aduwo, who also spoke with Sunday Mirror in a telephone interview said that “Tinubu (ACN’s National Leader) and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (Presidential candidate of CPC in the last election) are not birds of a feather, they’re only playing games, but my joy is that they are both smart. You will remember that they tried it in 2011 and it didn’t work, I wish them good luck this time around”. Continuing, he added, “An average Igbo man sees ACN as a Yoruba party. A Yoruba man sees CPC as an Hausa party. And with the defeat of the ACN in Ondo, they now know that Tinubu is beatable. Even in Lagos, with the victory of Obanikoro’s son at the tribunal where he was awarded victory at the local government election, they also see that Bola

Obasanjo

INEC conducts rerun elections in five states The five states are Sokoto, Kogi, Cross Rivers, Kebbi and Adamawa. The governors of these states had stood for election in April 2011 but their victory were upturned after a ruling by the Supreme Court which said that their election did not follow the rules and subsequently ordered that fresh elections be held in those states within three months. All the governors were returned with the exception of Kogi state where the former governor’s tenure had expired thus making way for a successor Captain Idris Wada who happens to be a relation of his to take over the mantle of leadership. Oshiomhole re-elected Edo State governor Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) emerged winner in the July 14 governorship election in Edo State for a second term in office. Oshiomhole defeated Major General Charles Airhiavbere of the PDP in a hotly contested poll, winning in all the 18 local government areas of the state with 477,478 votes representing 76 per cent of the valid votes of 630,099, to Airhiavbere’s 144,235, which represents 23 per cent. The governor was clearly the favourite to win the election but he won in grand style humiliating the self acclaimed godfather of Edo politics and former chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih as well as business mogul and the Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion. Mimiko’s victory in Ondo Another incumbent Governor, Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party (LP) yet

Achebe

in another hot contest defeated Rotimi Akeredolu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Olusola Oke of the PDP, his two major opponents to win the Ondo State governorship elections in October. Mimiko scored a total of 260,199 votes to emerge tops in an election that saw its build-up characterised by intrigues and brickbats. The election which was a personal battle for ACN leader, Tinubu witnessed massive deployment of human and financial resources in efforts by the ACN to win the state and achieve a regional integration for the South West states failed. Dickson muzzled Sylva out from Bayelsa government house. The face off between President Jonathan and his former home governor Preye Sylva took to the worse when former House of Reps member Seriake Dickson decided to throw his hat into the rings in efforts to chase the former governor out of office. The PDP national headquarters naturally cleared the way for Mr. president’s candidate at the primaries and with no Sylva to confront with at the home-front, Dickson had only himself to contend with at the governorship election which he won in a landslide. Former governor Sylva escaped the touch light of anti-corruption agencies and has being in hiding since then. INEC’s deregistration of non-performing parties From 63 political parties that participated in the 2011 general election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has continued to prune the unhealthy parties in its determination to achieve healthy development. More than half of the parties have now been deregistered and more than a dozen others may

Merger: How far can oppos Tinubu can be beaten in his base. “How many states is CPC controlling? Why did Buhari lose his home state? How many states are now being controlled by ANPP?” He queried. Commenting on the deregistration of political parties, Aduwo, while exonerating the INEC boss from blame in the exercise, said it was wrong to do so, stressing that the exercise was tantamount to denying the people the right of association. He added, “Today, we have a governor on the platform of Labour Party, we have one on the platform of APGA (All Progressive Grand Alliance), we wouldn’t have had these if they have not been allowed. It is only the big parties that would have been sharing the states among themselves”. Just like Aduwo, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, a member of PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), says the merger plan by opposition parties will not stop the PDP from emerging victorious in 2015 elections. Iwuanyanwu who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja described the move as a gang-up that would neither pull PDP down nor succeed on its own. “As a democrat, I should sound a note of warning; I have read recently about a gang-up of some political parties. They are not ganging up on the basis of ideology. They are ganging up because, they are afraid that

unless they gang up, PDP will win t political calculation,” Iwuanyanwu He noted that political parties we with the same ideology and manifes He also stressed that it was regretta tion parties was not based on ideolo ish interest with intent to pull down “I am in PDP, but I believe that dem is a very strong opposition. Democr worthless. “They are making a mistake; they do to change situations not how to p tics,” he said, adding that the merger consummated, because of conflictin He said the planned amalgamation as it would make it stronger. This he would win with greater majority and He advised opposition parties to tience as it was the practice in advan Iwuanyanwu noted that it took t


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Sunday, December 30, 2012

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

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

On Abuja housing demolitions T

he iron-cast resolve of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Bala Mohammed, to defy the cries of victims, and continue with the demolition of so-called illegal housing estates in the nation’s capital, Abuja, is pathetic. The situation requires urgent redress to prevent the now panic-stricken casualties from resorting to self-help or breaching public peace. The fundamental issue at stake seems how morally justified it is for the government to destroy already built flats, constructed with borrowed billions of naira, when the same government had consistently confessed its inability to remedy the 17 million housing deficits in the country. A few days ago, the FCT Minister boasted before a Senate Committee that nobody could stop him from further demolishing 37 allegedly unapproved estates built by private developers. The 500 units of flats earlier destroyed in Mimanuel Estate in Lugbe had triggered litigations. Mohammed’s appearance at the Senate seemed to be in response to a belated attempt by the Senate Committee on FCT, chaired by Smart Adeyemi, to paper the cracks of its curious claim that the land in Mimanuel Estate was originally allocated to the Senate. Two days after the Senate Committee’s claim on radio, Adeyemi, reports alleged, personally supervised the demolition of the estate worth billions of naira, thus fueling the suspicion that he and the Senate were interested parties and, therefore, could not be trusted to adjudicate on the counter claims of the property developers that they had official approval to build. In law and ethics, it was unfair for the Adeyemi Committee to sit in judgment over a matter it had vested interest, since

the apparent conflict of interest cannot guarantee equity and justice. The FCT Minister’s boldness when he boasted that nobody could stop him from embarking on further demolitions might have been premised on the immoral backing of the Senate, an interested party. Indeed, it was the intervention of President Goodluck Jonathan that temporarily stopped further demolitions during the last Muslim Ramadan, when public anger over the exercise shot to the sky. Thereafter, Mohammed bragged again that with his destruction of 124,000 private housing units, he had outdone the inglorious record of his predecessor in office, Nassir el-Rufai, who demolished 30,000 private housing units, which lands were subsequently allegedly shared to friends and relations, a development still under investigation. If, indeed, the building approvals were fraudulently obtained from bribe-induced FCT officials, as alleged, what investigation has been conducted to fish out the culprits; and what punishment were meted out to them to serve as deterrent to others? It is, however, the least surprising that Mohammed’s intransigence has provoked increasing public condemnation. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Development and former governor of Yobe State, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, for example, described the demolitions as “crazy” and unjustifiable at a time when the people are suffering serious housing deficits, which the government cannot provide. Speaking at the 2012 induction for new quantity surveyors in Abuja, Ibrahim said the FCT authority’s justification that defaulters ignored ‘stop work’ order was hollow. He asked:

“If defaulters don’t stop work, why not bring a law enforcement team to stop them, instead of allowing such structures to be completed?” Truly, where were the Senate and FCT authorities when the buildings were at the foundation level, up to when they were roofed? How come the FCT leaders were snoring until the complexes were completed, only for them to suddenly wake up to the realization that the building approvals were illegitimate? Does this not smack more of hypocrisy, high wire mischief and immoral love for socalled Abuja Architectural Master Plan, than serving the overall interest of citizens desperately looking for accommodation that the FG and most state governments have woefully failed to provide? The housing crisis is worsened by the nation’s deficient and confused mortgage system. It is also extremely difficult accessing title to land under the prevailing ‘militarised’ Land Use System. In fact, it will be of interest to the public, knowing how many housing units the FCT authorities have provided. Is the Abuja Architectural Master Plan not amendable to accommodate the genuine yearnings of Nigerians, each of whom borrowed money to pay N15 million for each demolished two-bedroom flat? In Lagos, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)-led state government overcame the challenge of demolishing buildings with unapproved plans by regularizing title via making property owners to pay token fines. The FCT authorities should learn to be proactive and thoughtful on the positive side, instead of subjecting less privileged Nigerians to unmitigated hardship, mostly for self-serving reasons.

Reminiscences DECEMBER 30 IN HISTORY 1922: Lenin establishes USSR

Vladimir Lenin, the Russian revolutionary who created Leninism, an extension of Marxist theory, proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

1944: Russia, US, UK give regents to Bulgarian Govt

According to Radio Moscow, Russia, the United States and Britain gave three previous regents of Bulgaria to the Bulgarian government because they were the “main culprits committing Bulgaria to the war against the United Nations”.

1957: East Germany demands visas from Allied countries

In an attempt to push the West to recognise them, East Germany ruled that travellers to their territory have to possess East German visas instead of Soviet ones. This law was imposed on diplomats and travellers from Allied countries.

1965: Marcos emerges Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos was inaugurated president of the Philippines.

1971: Iraq deports Iranian nationals

60,000 Iranian men, women and children were deported from Iraq following relations between Iraq and Iran ending.

1984: World’s deepest cave found in Mexico Speleologists in Mexico discovered what might be the world’s deepest cave after going through a maze of underground tunnels in the jungle. The explorations took place in the state of Oaxeca.

1994: Earthquake shakes northern Japan

A huge 7.5 earthquake shook northern Japan and workmen tried feverishly to repair the wreckage. 285 aftershocks occurred and the quake originated in the Pacific Ocean 300 miles northeast of Tokyo.

2003: US bans Ephedra over 155 deaths

The United States announced it would proceed with the ban on the sale of Ephedra, an herbal stimulant that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for 5,000 years due to its link to 155 deaths and dozens of heart attacks and strokes when used as a dietary supplement.

2006: Saddam Hussein hanged

Saddam Hussein was hanged in northern Baghdad for crimes against humanity. Iraqi state TV showed images of him going to the gallows before dawn in a building that his intelligence services once used for executions. The moment of his execution was not shown, although pictures of his body wrapped in a shroud were later broadcast on TV.


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Opinion

Sunday December 30, 2012

Uncensored U nc

Sheriff S Folarin

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

T

his outgoing year should have offered a plate of lessons for people in government as well as those in positions of influence to learn that in leadership, there will always be consequences for responsible or irresponsible act. Those to learn are the decision-makers who also control our national wealth: the President, members of his cabinet, lawmakers, judicial officers, security chiefs, governors, commissioners, local government chairmen, paramount rulers, kingmakers, political godfathers (and mothers), patrons of government, et cetera, et cetera. Unfolding realities following certain occurrences these past 364 days have shown that a stitch in time would have saved all, including the rich, the high and the mighty. Let us start with the Dana plane crash of June 3. The aircraft that crashed into a neighbourhood in Iju Lagos, about three minutes or less to landing, claimed almost 200 lives, including high profile persons such as husband of a serving Federal Minister, two newly promoted DIGs of the Nigerian Police, among whom was the father of a very close former student of mine. There were Nigerians visiting home from the United States after a very long sojourn abroad. There were also newlyweds and those preparing for their weddings. There was the very sad story of the pilot who was embarking on his last assignment with Dana to return home to the US that same day. All of them-and many more- never made it. They perished in the ill-fated flight from Abuja. Months after the Dana crash, a serving Governor, Dambaba Suntai of Taraba State crashed in his own plane that he was piloting. The fatality of that mishap has left the state, the people of Taraba, especially his immediate family, in agony.

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In search of responsible leadership Among those in that flight were his aides, who are like their Governor, in very critical condition. To date, there has not been any positive signal from his place of treatment in Germany. Weeks later while the nation was yet to recover from that shock, a helicopter carrying yet another serving Governor, Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State, the immediate past National Security Adviser, General Owoye Azazi, among others, also crashed, killing all on board dead. If the relevant authorities in the aviation sector had fixed the crisis in that sector in good time, these mishaps would have been avoided and there would have been no cause for this national embarrassment. Consider for instance, these startling revelations from the National Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (NATCA): the use of poor radio communications in the nation’s airports had been on for decades; poor VHF radios are in use by the two Area Control Centres (ACC) in Kano and Lagos, a claim corroborated by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA); the 124.1MHZ radio frequencies of Kano-East were in erratic working condition; and that between October 17 and November 24, there were 58 different reports on the frustrations of duty air traffic controllers and pilots on 128.5 MHz (Kano- West radio) with six reports of its total failure. Yet the reason people prefer to fly in Nigeria is that the roads are considered unsafe for a number of factors: long stretch of bad spots that could lead to delay or fatalities, use of poorly maintained vehicles that are prone to accidents, menace of armed robbers on the highways, and so forth. Someone has said that there are no roads in Nigeria, but that what obtain are deathtraps. The dangers on the highways are also a culmination of government irresponsibility. The roads are watched as they degenerate, and when it is time to award contracts for rehabilitation, it is not done with diligence and genuineness of purpose, but made a tea-time for ‘the boys’ who patronize or front for those in power. That is why people, including those in gov-

ernment, prefer to fly to avoid becoming victims of government irresponsibility. Yet, there is a load of such irresponsibility in the airspace they opt for. Incidentally, government people have become the worst victims of their own lack of performance in the aviation sector. Just three days ago, the convoy of Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State had a fatal crash along the Ajaokuta-Lokoja road, in which the governor was a major casualty and his ADC died on the spot. Ajaokuta and Lokoja are two major towns in the governor’s domain. Human error in driving may not be ruled out; but we must also understand that a bump on the road (which is a common feature of Nigerian roads) or a poorly maintained vehicle in the convoy could also have been responsible. Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State, who is reportedly ill and is on medication abroad, has been out of the state and country for several months, thus leaving a huge gulf in the state leadership. Enugu is a rich state known for its coal mines as well as commercial viability and being the eastern headquarters of the Nollywood industry. Enugu was the last major capital of the defunct Biafra Republic. With all that Enugu is known for, it becomes a big surprise as well as a huge national embarrassment that it does not have a medical centre that could cater for its governor’s health and the health of such Nollywood stars as Sam Loco Efe, Ashley Nwosu, Pete Eneh and Enebeli Elebuwa before departing in their prime. Today, we have Prince James Uche and Ngozi Nwosu on queue to go abroad for treatment. May God preserve these ones for us. Enough of wasting of our best talents due irresponsibility of leadership. It is the same story everywhere in the country. A very big nation with vast natural and mineral resources, very wealthy, but that cannot boast of at least one medical centre that can cater for its people no matter the ailment. With the level of Nigeria’s riches, one would expect that it should have had a UCH or a LUTH that will make the country the centre of medical excellence for Africa and other

developing nations seeking medicare. But what we have are Nigerians of all backgrounds, including serving President, First Lady, Ministers and Governors running to India, Spain and Germany for medical attention. It is shameful! The education sector is not left out in this charade of irresponsibility. As more and more public institutions are floated, yet more and more Nigerian youths are trooping to Ghana, Benin Republic, Canada, United Kingdom, Ukraine and Cyprus for their first and second degrees. This is capital flight of sorts, as tens of millions of dollars are being taken out of the country to be invested in foreign economies. The institutions are established for political reasons (federal character, geopolitical and ethnic balancing purposes) which inevitably go with a lot of mediocrity and lack of structure. Such institutions, which are without the essential ingredients of a moderate university go on to breed ‘unleavened’ graduates (pseudo-intellectuals, pseudo-professionals, cultists, brigands and prostitutes) and thus become unattractive to the teeming youths seeking quality university education. We have had too many instances of the irresponsibility of leadership this year, and government people have topped the list of victims of its own ineptitude. If the aviation sector is fixed, there would not be frequent air crashes. If the roads are fixed, we will not be recording avoidable road accidents. If the health sector is catered for, the mortality rate would be reduced. If the security system had been fixed and not been politicized long before now, terrorist strikes would not have been a daily occurrence, just as robbers and kidnappers would not have made multiplied and made huge fortunes from their high profile victims such as a Minister’s mother, Senator’s wife, Nollywood superstar, and the likes. I therefore have this message for our people in government: Make RESPONSIBILITY your New Year Resolution. •Dr. Folarin teaches Politics at Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria

Nigeria oil judgment: A small step in the journey... KOLAWOLE OLANIYAN

T

wo weeks ago, something momentous happened – and those of us who campaign for justice for the victims of oil spills in the Niger Delta had good cause to feel Christmas had come early. The event was a judgment (obtained by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project) in which Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court ordered the Nigerian government to punish oil companies over pollution, and it sent out a message of hope to the tens of thousands of people whose livelihoods have been destroyed. But while there was a pause for celebration the fight goes on because pressure is needed to make sure that the government adheres to this judgment. Oil companies, particularly Shell, have managed to evade responsibility for far too long. And the Nigerian government has allowed them to do so, putting profits before people.

As a result, communities in Bodo, an area badly affected by oil spills, are sinking further into poverty, unable to eat the contaminated fish or drink the water, stained black from the pollution. Oil spills have occurred since production began over 50 years ago and that’s what makes the ECOWAS judgment so significant. The Court ruled that the Nigerian Federal Government and six oil companies – Shell, Chevron, Elf Petroleum, Exxon Mobil, Agip Nigeria and Total Nigeria – have violated various human rights. These include the right to a general satisfactory environment and the right to natural wealth and resources, as guaranteed under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights ratified by Nigeria in 1983. The Court ruled that the government must now quickly implement the judgment and hold the oil companies to account. As a concrete example, this means the government has to compel Shell to com-

ply with national regulations, carry out a comprehensive clean up of the Bodo oil spills and properly compensate the people whose lives have been devastated. Shell also has to prove that it has done everything possible to ensure that oil spills do not reoccur. But this important decision comes against a backdrop in which the government has constantly given the green light to Shell to devastate people’s lives as the company wields enormous power. According to information in the Wikileaks disclosure of US diplomatic cables in 2010, Shell has employees seconded to all relevant ministries and has access to everything that they do. It’s also clear that oil companies wield tremendous influence over the regulatory regime that governs their operations. In fact, the investigation process into oil spills in the Niger Delta is a travesty. There is very limited information publicly available regarding the state of Shell’s infrastructure in the Delta. But it is widely known that the company has failed to adequately maintain it over the

years, with tragic consequences. The government has to exert its authority over Shell as, with the ECOWAS judgment and court cases pending in the UK and the Netherlands next year, the clock is ticking against such negligence. It is due to the total failure of the Nigerian system for regulating oil companies and ensuring that spills are properly addressed that the Bodo community decided to take Shell to court in the UK. And with countries across Africa, such as Ghana, Sierra Leone and Cameroon, starting to exploit oil, these judgments have implications beyond Nigeria. The Nigerian government and the oil companies operating in Nigeria have to set a good example and make sure that the industry brings development to the people, rather than allow a string of needless tragedies to continue. •Dr Olaniyan is legal adviser, Amnesty International, International Secretariat, London.


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Applause LIFESTYLE, FASHION & ENTERTAINMENT DECEMBER 30, 2012

I have given up marriage proposals to be where I am –Dr. Ofure Aito

yourself, is it me?

Dr. Ofure Aito is a lecturer of Literature. She was a pioneer student of the defunct Bendel State University who studied English and Literary Studies. She also had a Master’s degree in Mass Communication from University of Lagos and a second Master’s degree in Literature from the same university. She was the second best graduating student in 1996. She tells Adaeze Amos in this interview that for women education is power. You had two Master’s Degree before proceeding for your PhD. Was your PhD easy having had two Masters degrees first? When I started, it was no fun at all. I wanted to pull back several times. Some of my friends that started with me dropped because it was not something a woman would want to do. It’s not very favourable to women unless you are determined and really dogged and committed. After your PhD, what have you been doing? After my PhD, I have been writing, doing a lot of research and teaching because that is what my passion is-teaching literature. Then, being a role model to women, especially young girls, everywhere I go, I always want to pick up a young girl, an aspiring future lady or woman to go with me, see what I’m doing and maybe it would inspire them. Many of these girls miss directions but who is going to give it to them? They go to the wrong people for directions. So, it’s something that really bothers me. What keeps you busy? One of the things I do a lot now is attending international conferences and presenting issues, papers and arguments on national identity, sovereignty and the

power of literature in reconciling the differences in every society and individual; and promoting coexistence and tolerance. Are you married? Oh, no Don’t you feel lonely being single till now? I won’t tell you a lie, there are quiet moments that you feel the void of not being happy but then when you think of other things that you have done, then you ask

‘I CONQUER HEARTBREAK BY SINGING ABOUT IT’

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Do you think a girl-child should be empowered educationally? Oh yes, it is interesting when some of the students come to me and say, don’t you think we are wasting our time because we would end up in the kitchen, a baby factory and then a man’s servant. I told them no, you can’t be, except you let them make you so. You don’t need to fight your husband to let him know that you are his equal partner in this business of marriage. I have my siblings, my younger ones; they are partners because there was a way we were brought up. In my family, when we were growing up, there was no male, there was no female. The women would wash the car. As early as the 70s and 80s, I used to wash the car, my brother would wash plates. They would use stone to grind pepper and my mum would say if your sweat doesn’t enter the pepper or that pounded yam, you are not going to eat it. So, there was no disparity, no gender segregation in my house. My father of blessed memory and my mum used to call each other friends. I believe marriage should be like that. I should be able to have a husband I can call my friend. And my siblings, I’m so grateful they learnt from that. I go to my younger sisters’ homes and I find their husbands cooking and the wives washing plates. If my brother comes home before his wife, he starts the dinner. That is how it should be. Coming to education, it is very important to be educated even if you are not going to use it. There is nothing wrong in your knowing your right and claiming it or knowing how to claim it. Don’t be discouraged over the fact that most of them who didn’t go to school are millionaires. It is one thing to be a millionaire without education and another thing to be one with education. How would you feel if you have all the millions and people don’t reckon with you? But how would you feel if you have all the millions and you can sit and dine with kings and queens? There is a big difference. Education liberates your mind and sets the body in emotion. Is it because many are not marrying their friends, that is the reason behind high divorce rate? Obviously, maybe that is why I’m not married. I’m not scared of the boys. I can fight dirty if I want to but I’m not cut out for that. I don’t know how to struggle for a man. Once I see competition, I back out because to me if I’m good enough for you, you shouldn’t have CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

I VALUE MY DIGNITY MORE THAN MONEY –MILDRED

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Applause

Sunday, December 30, 2012

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‘I conquer heartbreak by singing about it’ Mima Ikyor, a diva, hails from Benue State. This graduate of Sociology from Kogi State University did her one year compulsory service with Nigerian Port Authority in Lagos and worked with Globacom, Nigeria, for some years before she took a walk to pursue her passion, which of course is music. This came about after she bagged an award for the Best Artiste Video of the year and nomination for the best Reggae Dancehall Artiste. In this interview with Adaeze Amos, she talks about her lifestyle. Excerpts:

‘My PhD has opened doors for me’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 any other person. Well, let me say that I fell in love just recently and within a few ‘whatever’, the love went sour. I thought I found my friend but something just went wrong. But I’m hoping that it would work out but if it doesn’t work out, I’m moving on for the next project. I’m not going to let a soured love deter me from my destination in this country and in this world. Can you reach out to married women who want to further their education and their spouses are stumbling blocks? Before now, most married women feel contented to the marriage and just lived the docile life of what a man can give them. But I’m so happy that the contemporary women, I call them the first modernist women, have woken up to the call for self-expression. Now, they take the bulls by the horn and no longer become subservient or they are more determined about who they are. But you see, the challenges of being married and wanting to further your education are always heavy. So, one thing a woman who wants to do that has to do is to weigh it. Put it on the scale and decide where the advantage is more. I won’t say leave your marriage in order to express yourself. Neither would I say let yourself be buried in your marriage. But weigh your options. Which one is better for you? Which one do you enjoy most? That is the most important thing because I enjoy being a doctor (PhD holder). I will give anything to keep it. And I have given so much up to keep it, to be where I am. I have given up social life, I have given up marriage proposals to be where I am because I weigh my options and I find out that this is what I want and I have never regretted it. It has opened so many doors. There is no embassy I go to and the doors are not opened. At least in my time, I have sat one-on-one with two ambassadors of nations. I have had conference with them. I have been a guest of a president in America. I have given a talk to American citizens in the university. I have benefited from American scholarship. I have travelled, I’m having fun, so I’m not looking back.

How was life like when you were much younger? When I was much younger, I used to listen to my daddy, the late honorable Ikyor sing songs by Don Williams, Kenny Rogers and lots of country music. So, I started loving songs like that and understood deep music even without beats. Growing up, Tony Braxton was on my mind; so also Brandy, Macy Gray, people with unique tunes. But now as a grown up, I get inspiration by so many successful good artistes and it is not a competition. I just want to excel in what I’m doing. Be different and not try to be exactly as another.

What is your style signature? My style signature is sexy and trendy. I love to appear as a lady all the time but more importantly a sexy lady.

The first time you performed on the stage, how did you feel? The first time I performed, I still remember vividly, it was a power horse event in Lagos and the event was well attended. The reception was good. I did my thing and right afterwards, people came over to interview me. Paparazzi took some shots of me. It was simply great and I felt great too.

Who are the people you admire? I admire 2face Idibia a lot, I admire P Square and a whole lot of Nigerian artistes who have made Nigerians finally accept the fact that music is a decent career. In fact, I generally have respect for all the talented Nigerian artiste home and abroad.

What aspect of your person do you like most? I love my heart so much. I have a good heart or rather I feel I have a good heart and my good heart sure would take me to places. In my mind’s eyes and with my persistence and focus, I see a successful and fulfilled artiste, a mother and a wife. What do you put together to be red-carpet ready? I don’t do much. I believe that sometimes, too much makes you appear a little trashy. I just wear a dress or outfit that fits or suits. Not too much make-up and not too many chains. I love to see very heavy of stuff like that on people but I don’t feel comfortable with a lot on me. But I can slip into very short outfits, or very long apparels and I’m good to go. What is your dress sense on stage? On stage, I can wear anything, so long as I’m comfortable in it. If it is an RnB song that I’m going in for, I go in a dress most of the time. I mean tight-fitted dresses that are classy. But if it is a danceable song where I won’t be comfortable in a dress, trousers go perfectly. The style doesn’t matter so long as it is good to look at.

What is your love life like? I’m lucky to be one amongst those that believe in love and of course get love as well and intend to keep it. I have a boyfriend but I would want to talk about him please. But I have a great guy; we love each other a lot.

What did you do when you had a heartbreak? When I had a heartbreak, all I did was sing about it and the song came out great. In fact, my Benue people really loved the song. The song is titled ‘Kanyi’. It came from my heart. I didn’t write it. I went into the studio that day to make a different song and as the producer was playing around with some instrumentals, the song just came out and that was how I sang my heart out.


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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cocktail Whispers

Stories by Olumide Segun-Oduntan

0818 941 8761 e-mail: lumidezy@yahoo.com

DECEMBER 30, 2012

Day Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde fell at Lagos Airport Can you believe that one of the most glamorous and celebrated African screen goddesses could actually fall while trying to walk from one point to another within an international airport? Well, believe it or not, that is exactly what happened to Nollywood star actress, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde just a few days ago. According to the information at Cocktail Whispers’ disposal, the hugely talented actress returned to the country some days back after spending sometime abroad. And it appears that she was really delighted to be back in Nigeria. But perhaps due to the excitement of being back home

or some other reasons, Omotola tripped and fell face flat at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos. Some of those who witnessed the incident may have probably thought that the popular actress was acting out a role. But it was a real life fall. Taking it in her stride, Omotola wondered why the escalator at the airport was not functioning at the time. She has however blamed the fact that she fell on the aviation minister and the Nigerian government. Well, here is hoping she did not injure any part of her body in the course of the fall.

Obafemi Martins getting ready to quit bachelorhood? If the information reaching Cocktail Whispers is to be believed, Levante FC of Spain striker, Obafemi Martins may be preparing to say goodbye to his colleagues in the bachelors’ club. In case you are not aware, the ace footballer has been involved in a sizzling relationship with Mario Balotelli’s elder sister, Abigail Barwuash since he met her in Spain. Cocktail Whispers gathered that the lovers recently flew in a private jet to a re-

mote Island in Europe for a romantic holiday before Obafemi flew back to Nigeria for Christmas celebration. A source close to the footballer disclosed that Obafemi is very serious with Abigail stating that is why he is no longer hiding his relationship with her unlike his previous relationships. In fact, the source says that Obafemi Martins may be considering marrying Abigail Barwuash very soon.

Nuella Njubigbo acquires brand new SUV Have you seen the sexy screen goddess, Nuella Njubigbo on the road lately? Well, let’s inform you that the beautiful role interpreter has something new to be elated about. Yes, Nuella is now a proud owner of a latest Toyota Highlander SUV model. And according to words reaching Cocktail Whispers, the very talented artiste, who started out as a script writer, is very excited about her latest acquisition so much that she has been sharing her good news with friends and well wishers.

Cossy Ojiakor denies posting nude pictures online Her controversial pictures went viral on social media recently and it became the talk of the town. This has also made many people to wonder what she is up to. But the lady at the centre of the much talked about pictures, sexy actress cum singer has come out to deny posting the nude pictures online. Cossy Ojiakor, who is not new to controversy, has not denied that the pictures showing her boobs (with one of the nipples covered in red) are hers.

But the tiny voice entertainer has disclosed that she was not the person circulating the picture on social media. In fact, Cossy claimed not to know the identity of the person responsible for circulating her nude picture. However, it seems that Miss Ojiakor is fed up with the controversy her boobs-baring pictures have generated as she has threatened to shut down her facebook account.

Cocktail Whispers learnt that Nuella, fondly called Ella, actually purchased her new jeep in Nigeria and it was said to have cost her millions of naira. It was also gathered that Nuella’s acting career has now received a huge boost due to her latest acquisition. According to a source, the actress is already cruising around town in her jeep, so you might see her in your neighbourhood soon.


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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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

Ketchup thrills at Lagos edition carnival

Having thrilled Malaysians with the cross country Poshhills carnival tagged ‘Malaysia Lagos Carnival 2012’, fast rising Afro pop artiste, Onyido Nkemjika Emmanuel, popularly known as Ketchup is back to his home country for the Phase 2 and grand finale of the carnival. Describing his experience in Malaysia, Ketchup stated that he was amazed with the

large turnout, saying that, “Malaysians were totally excited and the turn up was massive. I was surprised with the warm reception. They could have been out doing other stuff but they chose to make out time to receive me and make my time out there so memorable; Malaysians showed love to the brim.” Ketchup, who is always excited to give his best at home, has

BaruQ tackles trafficking, sex trade in Material Gurl Music buffs would be delighted to know that alternative Pop/Rock artiste BaruQ has returned to the music scene with his brand new single titled Material Gurl. Following the success of his last

single Misconception which received massive airplay and support from Beat FM, Cool FM (Abuja), Kiss FM, Rhythm FM (Jos) and Wazobia FM among others, BaruQ comes alive yet again on this new offering - the Dr. Tim-produced Material Gurl - which is off of his forthcoming debut album which is to be released in 2013. Backed by gritty Rock-infused electric and bass

guitar arrangements as well as stirring drum patterns, BaruQ tells a cautionary tale of a girl who loses her way to a material world by creatively painting a vivid and harrowing image of trafficking and illegal sex trade in Nigeria with his carefully crafted lyrics, ingenious wordplay and a compelling vocal performance to match.

Y! Black Ball: A memorable night of wholesome entertainment Y! Magazine dazzled many entertainment fans recently with its annual Black Ball, held at Landmark Events Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. Guests for the evening experienced a brilliant night of entertainment and were privy to the exclusive unveiling of the brand new look for Nigeria’s hottest youth-oriented magazine, Y!. There was dancing, champagne, spectacular prizes, and best of all, plenty of fun, style and class. The evening

Soul sing er, Ib Deiyem cember i roll s out has always been a month of celebration and surprises, and Soul singer, Ibiyemi Ajakaiye simply known as Ibiyemi has double reasons to be ecstatic this month. After what may have seemed a long wait, Ibiyemi finally releases the video to her 80s style up-tempo track, Play, alongside news of the arrival of her little bundle of joy.

excit ing n ew v ideo The fine vocalist, who has

was hosted by rap genius, MI Abaga, who was accompanied by the 3LiveChicks: Tosyn Bucknor, Anita Isedeh and Oreka Godis there to have a good time and to connect as the year draws to a close were celebrities such as Joseph Benjamin and Uti Nwachukwu; sexy sirens Toke Makinwa, and Waje; fashion maven Mai Atafo and subtle crooner Bez Idakula. And, what would a party be like

earned a devoted fan base courtesy of singles such as Can You Love Me? It Could Be, featuring Dipo, and smash hits: Don’t Leave Me and Ore, delivered a baby boy on Sunday the 23rd of December, 2012 in America. And you would be glad to know that both mother and child are doing well. Ibiyemi, who took some time off work to prepare for the arrival of her baby, is glad to finally release the Play video to her fans. According to her, “I am very excited about the next chapter of my life, both personally and professionally. Thanks to all the devoted fans who kept tweeting and sending messages asking about the video. I appreciate your patience. It’s here!” Play was directed by the talented Tosin Igho for IGH Films.

promised to set the Centre of Excellence state agog with the Lagos edition of the carnival just as he assured to also buzz his esteemed fans with his new released single Show Me Yuh Rozay. Indication to end the year 2012 with a bang is in the top gear as Ketchup who has been on top of his game will perform live at the five-day carnival. According to him, the carnival will commence on December 27 through to the New Year eve at DVB club, Lagos Island, Pink club, opposite Eko hotel, Wear-It-All respectively.

without popular blogger Linda Ikeji? The superb hosts kept things rolling throughout the night, starting by introducing singer Waje’s flawless rendition of the Christmas classic, Silent Night. There was never a dull moment throughout as the R ‘n’ B singer, Praiz, was the evening’s Prince Charming hunting down his Cinderella. His lady of choice was celebrity photographer, Toni Tones, who was treated to a heart-fluttering serenade by the charming singer and one more

Saheed Balogun returns with a brand new flick Those who have waited consistently to watch Nollywood actor and film producer, Saheed Balogun to return to action can now begin to watch their favourite actor anytime from now. Saheed has been missing in action for some time. And the reason is not farfetched. The fairly skinned role interpreter-cum movie producer was out of the country shooting his latest flick in the United States of America, Spain and South Africa and is now back in his base to present his latest work to his home fans. Still basking in the euphoria of the success of his last movie, Eti Keta, that was endorsed by the Director-General of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Chief Olusegun Runsewe and some top shots in the financial institutions, Saheed Balogun said that the success that greeted his last flick actually spurred him to come out with something bigger. Saheed, who some people now referred to as Mimiko’s Boy, said he was particularly challenged

surprise -a coveted pair of Christian Louis Vuitton shoes. And the fabulous cars kept on coming. Y! put guests in the drivers’ seat for the evening as they selected Efua De-Marro to win The Best Dressed Male and a slick, sleek, Watchlocker wristwatch. Oreka Godis did the ladies proud for best dressed, and was picked by the crowd to win the coveted BlackBerry Porsche phone.

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by t h e level of acceptance of Eti Keta by the Nigerian audience, hence his resolve not to settle for the less. When asked how much the movie might have gulped, the actor said he does not want to reveal much about the cost of the movie but hinted that it actually cost him a fortune.

g season that F laimon ekunle Day’s Day. Acc ages an the ma to Alay the mu been g in the hit the on Jan How learnt


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Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

God, His signs and wonders, by Pastor Adeboye

Praise Worship E-mail:richardeghaghe@yahoo.com

E-mail:titusanyanwu.2012@gmail.com

EDIFYING GOD

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December 30, 2012

2013: Cleric urges prayer for Jonathan, Nigeria K AYODE FASUA

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fast-rising seer, televangelist and leader of Ikotun-Egbe-based C.A.C Calvary Cry & Miracle Ministry, a church in Lagos, Prophet Oluwasegun Isedowo, has said that God directed him to alert the nation to pray in order to avert a major catastrophe.

He said, in a press statement, that the prayer should be focused on staving off attack on President Goodluck Jonathan in 2013. According to him, God revealed to him that President Jonathan had been marked for attack by some persons. He said though the specific month scheduled for the attack by evildoers had been spiritually revealed to him, he would not divulge it to the press owing to its sensitivity. “I will not publicise it for security reasons and for the fact that God has given a directive, which must be obeyed by the President and all peace-loving Nigerian Christians in order to avert the impending catastrophe,” he explained. Prophet Isedowo also said that it was revealed to him that enemies of the President had concluded their plan, which was intended via a very insignificant bomb explosion. His words: “God the Omnipotent did reveal that the attack could be averted if President Jonathan can fast for seven consecutive days in the first week of January 2013 with the support of all peaceloving Nigerians, especially, Christians, who must fast during the first three days of this same month.” Prophet Isedowo, who once predicted the capture of Laurent Gbagbo, former Ivorien president, during a live telecast

ev. Fr. Paul Adaja of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, at the weekend urged Nigerians not to lose hope in Nigeria in spite of its current economic challenges. Adaja gave the advice in Ado-Ekiti at the end of year thanksgiving mass commemorating the inauguration of the centenary celebrations of the Catholic faith. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ceremony also featured the ordination of two priests as well as deacons. Those ordained as priests are

Mgbidi 2013: Come multiply your blessing All roads lead to Mgbidi, Imo State on Saturday 5th through Monday, January, 2013, as The Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Ministry’s 10th anniversary train arrives its final destination for its annual international crusade titled: “That my wonders be multiplied”. The event comes up at the Chosen International Secondary School, Mgbidi, off OnitshaOwerri Road. It promises to be explosive with God’s divine presence. Founder and General Overseer, Pastor Lazarus Muoka, will take the centre stage of ministration as the church invites everyone for a shower of God’s blessing, healing and protection, in the New Year.

FRSC sets up help centres in Kwara

Prophet Isedowo

in Lagos, insisted that disobedience to the voice of God could spell doom for any nation or people. He said, “Should I be taken for an attention-seeking man of God and these warnings be unheeded, this could lead to the unfortunate balkanisation of the country in spite of the preparations to mark one century of Nigeria as a nation in 2014”. The prophet maintained that “should this avoidable catastrophe be allowed to manifest, the balkanisation of the country into three entities will be proceeded

by an internal crisis and civil war of immense magnitude, which will negatively affect all Nigerians, home and abroad. Apart from the specific message to President Jonathan, he revealed that God also sent him to all agents of evil deeds, to ritualists, especially in the Christendom in Nigeria that 2013 would be a year of severe judgment for them as they will be visited with sudden death, “unless they turn away from using their evil powers to spread diseases among the unsuspecting masses in Nigeria”.

Don’t lose hope despite challenges –Cleric

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Briefly

Rev. Anthony Arowolo and Rev. Patrick Ayemowa while those ordained deacons are Aina Patrick, Ajiboye Felix, Akor David, Alade Tope, Atoki Charles, Famosaya Marcus and Omoleye Alfred. The clergyman urged Nigerians to look forward to a better nation in 2013. Adaja, who is the Diocesan Secretary, lamented that the country had witnessed many calamities which consumed lives and property during the year. According to him, those who survived the calamities should demonstrate their gratitude by being faithful to God.

He said that some of the calamities include bombings, flooding, kidnappings, pension scam and several armed robberies, among others. ``I say we should not give up on Nigeria, the fact that we are still alive shows that God has good things in stock for us in 2013.’’ Adaja admonished both the newly- ordained priests and deacons to be faithful to their callings, adding that they should not allow themselves to be carried away by the celebration. He advised them to always remember that as priests, their main duty was

‘GOD’LL DEAL WITH BAD LEADERS IN 2013

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to nurture souls entrusted in their care with the words of God. Also speaking on the occasion, the Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Most Rev. Felix Ajakaye said the mission and vision of the Church was to ensure that all Catholics in the diocese reintensify their drive for the salvation of souls. The ceremony was witnessed by Bishop Emeritus Michael Fagun, priests and religious leaders within and outside the Diocese, seminarians, well wishers and parents of the new priests and deacons.

The Kwara command of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) at the weekend said it established Help Centres in the state to cater for emergencies during the Christmas period and beyond. Sector Commander, Mr Christopher Ademoluti, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin that the centres were located on Ilorin-Ogbomoso, IlorinJebba, and Ilorin-Omupo highways. He explained that they would monitor and take care of accidents and any obstruction on the highways in the areas. Ademoluti said more than 200 officials of the command, including administrative workers at the zonal office had been deployed to strategic locations to ensure sanity on the roads. The sector commander said the three centres were performing up to expectation since the beginning of the Christmas period. He noted that their presence on the roads had assisted several motorists. Reviewing activities of the command, Ademoluti said the command’s Mobile Court had prosecuted 31 traffic offenders on various highways in the state.

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

QUOTE If you have the Holy Spirit, you have the capacity to love God. He that loves the most has access to the secrets of the kingdom.

‘BE MINDFUL OF YOUR GODLY HERITAGE ’

-Pastor Olushore 31


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Praise & Worship

Sunday December 30, 2012

Expect a token from God’s abundance –Apostle Idong James

Loving others is kingdom behaviour, says Pastor Olushore In this edition, Pastor Israel Olusore of Livinglight Church International, continues in his X-ray of behavioural attitudes that are expected of Christians. Excerpts:

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RICHARD EGHAGHE

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Lagos-based cleric and Senior Pastor of Faith Alive Mission International, Apostle Idong James has prophesied that God is going to release a token from his abundance to Nigerians in the coming year.

Pastor James cited the book of Psalms 86 verse 17, which reads, “show me a token for good, that they which hate me may see it and be ashamed.” According to him, God is about to release His goodness on the people as they wait on Him at the beginning of the year. He made the disclosure recently while addressing the press on the forthcoming 2013 annual convention and camping of the church. He said the annual event, which is scheduled to hold from January 2 to 6, 2013 at the church’s auditorium in Orile Agege, Lagos, was a revelation from God and had been a platform for elevation and blessing to many lives over the past eight years. “It is a programme through which lives are fortified at the beginning of the year. Ever since God showed me this vision that I should pray with the people on January 2 of every year, it has been awesome; that is why in eight years as a ministry, we have not lost a single soul,” he disclosed. According to him, the programme is meant to lay the foundation for longevity, protection and security, and to give a name to the year, which will reflect in the life of every member. Apostle James disclosed that 2013 would be a year of evidence as the programme is tagged, ‘Evidence 2013’. The five-day event will feature seasoned and anointed men of God both within and outside the country, as guest speakers. Among them are Bishop Anietie Etukudoh of Livingproof Church, Lagos and Bishop Abraham Mensah from Ghana. Other dignitaries expected at the event include a representative of the governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Godswill Akpabio, the out-going deputy governor, Nsima Akpan, and other top government functionaries. Highlights of the programme include prayers and fasting, water baptism, Holy Communion and a thanksgiv-

ing service on Sunday. He called on every Nigerian to go back to God because “God is the answer if we are to succeed as a nation. “Anyone taking a political office must first of all acknowledge God. You don’t just jump into a new year, you must allow God to usher you into 2013.” Also holding alongside the camping is the Pastors’ Possibility Conference, an umbrella ministers’ forum for the equipping of gospel ministers for exploits in ministry, from January 2 to 4, 2013. According to the coordinator of the programme, Rev. Obot Etuk of City of Truth Church, Pastors Possibility Meeting (PPM) was established last October when pastors came together to intercede on a number of issues under the presiding leadership of Apostle James. Tagged ‘Evidence in Ministry’, Rev. Etuk disclosed that PPM is a platform for possibilities in ministry and life. He explained that PPM does not in any way compete with recogniSed Christian bodies like the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), but rather, it is an avenue to complement what God has in stock for ministry gifts and the body of Christ in general. He used the occasion to advise Nigerians to have faith in God, saying that what we go through as a nation won’t be forever but will get to a turning point for where God is taking the country. “God is working out His will for Nigeria. I believe, according to the scripture, that all things work together for good to them that love God. There is hope for Nigeria.” The president of PPM, Apostle James had earlier disclosed that the body is meant to avail ministers with the techniques and wisdom for ministry, adding that anointing on its own cannot deliver the mandate. “They need to know about the ministry of the ‘now’. The ministry has left the highway. We are now on a fast lane. We need to create awareness to the ministers that are coming into the system,” he disclosed. He, therefore, called on all those who are desirous of making real impact in the ministry and in life, to attend the programme.

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

ast Sunday, we learnt that the first behavioural expectation of people of God is to live a life of obedience to God. G Secondly, God expects us to work in love S with him. Working in love with God w will take further than working alone. w Mathew 22:37 says, “Hear, Oh! Israel the M Lord your God is God and you shall love L tthe Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your a mind. This is the first command. When m all your desire is to love Him, then you a begin to enjoy the best of God. b He that loves the most has access to tthe secrets of the kingdom. The Bible ssays in Romans 5:5, “God has shared his love in our hearts by the Holy Ghost h which he has given to us.” We all have w tthe capacity to love God. If you have the Holy Spirit, you have the capacity to love H God. Now hope does not make one to be G disappointed because the love of God d has been thought out in our hearts by the h Holy Spirit who has been given to us. We H can’t love God on our own, but God has c given us the Holy Spirit to help us to love g Him. From this moment, I see God helpH iing you and I see you loving God. I see tthe fire of God’s love being fired enough iin your heart. David was such a man after God’s heart. David was a God lover, So God had h tto be killing for him. God had to be bendiing earthly rules for Him. God had to be ssending his enemies on errand; and I see God sending your enemies on errand, in G tthe name of Jesus. Thirdly, God expects us to be working iin love with each other. He says that the ssecond commandment in Mathew 22:38 iis, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Love, do not hate. You can’t love your L neighbor and be scheming to kill him. n God gave me this understanding some G years ago. If I am in a relationship and y I am claiming that I love that sister or I llove that brother, I won’t be planning to go to bed with her knowing well that I am g not marrying her; knowing well that God n hates that act. That means that for one to h be telling you to come and have sex with b you means the person does not love God. y

It, therefore, means that you must run away from the person who makes such a sinful request. Such person is a destiny destroyer. There is nobody that loves God that will scheme to kill his neighbor. Killing might not necessarily be physical killing of a human being. It could be slander, gossip… talking ill about another person, scheming for someone to be removed so that you can take over the person’s position. Such does not show that you have the love of others. It cuts across a lot of things. But the Bible enjoins us to let brotherly love continueHebrews 13:1. Son, love doesn’t hate. Look at Proverbs 25:21-22, “If thy enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for in doing so you will heap coals of fire upon his head and the Lord will reward you.” Are we doing that? Is that what is obtainable? Hello. Instead, some of you are keeping malice; you are ‘killing’ yourself, brother and sister; husband and wife. Look at verse 22, “For in giving to your enemy, in praying for your enemy, you are destroying him unknowingly. Jesus came and he spoke from this background. He said, “Pray for your enemies, pray for those who despise you. I can never forgive that person, he has done much harm. It is a lie, you are killing yourself. You can’t enter into your possession. The behaviour of the kingdom is forgiveness. Is somebody forgiving right now? Love doesn’t hate. 1 Corinthians 13 says love does not avenge itself. “Vengeance is mine says the Lord.” So allow God to deal with that issue. After this message, you will begin to work with a free mind, and in mind. I see someone after today buying a gift for someone who had offended him. First John 4:16 says, “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love and he who abides in love, abides in God and God in him.” Can you imagine carrying God? Can any Devil be able to attack you? Imagine it, that God is here now, what else is here now? The whole host of heaven will be here. And God is here right now.


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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Praise & Worship

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2012 was perilous because people ignored prophesies –Primate Ayodele RICHARD EGHAGHE

CHURCHES DON’T EVEN CARE ENOUGH THESE DAYS. PASTORS WANT TO BE EVERYWHERE, SO, THEY WANT TO BE VERY, VERY, RICH. THERE IS GROSS CORRUPTION

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igerian top seer and founder of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Ministry, OkeAfa, Lagos, Primate Babatunde Elijah Ayodele, has described the outgoing year, 2012, as ‘a blood thirsty year.’ Speaking over the weekend, while giving a spiritual insight into some major events to watch out for in the New Year, 2013, at the local and international arena, the prophet remarked that he was vindicated for all the predictions he gave concerning the receding 2012. Reviewing the outgoing year in an exclusive interview with Sunday Mirror at his international headquarters in Oke-Afa, the popularly acclaimed ‘Nostradamus of Christendom’, lamented that it was so sad for the nation in 2012. “We recorded a lot of bloodshed. It was so sad for Christians and many innocent citizens of this country. It was so sad for pastors to be buying jet of about N4 billion when people cannot afford three-square meals a day, and when many don’t have roofs over their heads. “As per the nation, giving is a problem. Those who have didn’t want to give out. Only few pastors and men of God gave. I use everything I have to make sure that people smile. I stop my own children from school to pay the school fees of widowed children and orphans. “Now, I have a lot of children in the universities, notwithstanding the fact that people try to pay you back in bad coin after giving them help or support,” the cleric remarked. He said he was never deterred as he continued to assist the less-privileged. “Generally, people don’t want to help anybody, unless you are resourceful to that person. Churches don’t even care enough these days. Pastors want to be everywhere, so, they want to be very, very, rich. There is gross corruption in the country and the country is not doing well. As children of God, we are focused with what we are doing here.” Speaking on how well he fared with his prophecies during the year, Prophet Ayodele, who capped his prophecies in the year with the prediction of the recent Navy helicopter crash in Nembe, Bayelsa State, gave the glory to God saying, “Predictions come as God directs and it is for those that God loves He speaks through.” He clarified further: “Whoever that God loves, He tells precisely what and what will come up. It

IN THE COUNTRY AND THE COUNTRY IS NOT DOING WELL

•Ayodele

is now left for you to take to it if the thing is important to you or reject it, if it is not important to you. The thing is that we need to take the word of God seriously. As a leader, you don’t need to say ‘until this Prophet says it…’, before you do it. If you are a leader, any word that comes from any prophet or man of

God, take it and work with it. It doesn’t take more than prayers to avert any harmful or deadly predictions. But the kind of prayer and prayer points to be made, matters. That is where the prophet needs to be consulted, as he is important to the wellbeing of the society.” Quoting from the scripture,

the INRI spiritual leader recalled, “The holy book says, ‘my people perish for lack of knowledge’. So, anyone who dies for lack of knowledge is only ignorant”. He further pointed out that “many people are ignorant of God’s words and some pastors cannot see. That is one of the problems we are facing in Christendom. In time to come, you will see that churches will start fighting each other.” On Christianity and the umbrella body, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Primate Ayodele noted, “The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), does not seem to have good leaders. The so-called leaders are self centered. They are too ambitious of worldly things. Pastors no longer preach what is in the Bible. The focus now is how many jets am I going to buy, how many schools am I going to build? “And as you can see, most of the people going to that particular church cannot afford to pay the fee of such schools built in the name of the church, which is bad enough. “CAN has in fact, become like a political party where one person occupies two positions; yet prominent pastors that people look up to as fathers are doing nothing about it. That makes Christian leadership in the country to lose its respect. The leaders are now after worldly things: they want to build houses where politicians are building, and even want to build houses under the sea. There is none of these big pastors that is not money conscious. They are all after money, all of them. I have every reason to believe that it is because of money and popularity, that one person is occupying two positions in CAN now. It has never happened before. If people are conscious of the bread of the spirit, they will know the actual thing to do. “We are doing miracle because of money. Miracle happens in our church every day. I am saying this with series of references. It is not happening because of money but to proclaim God’s glory. The big churches will tell you that they have done

this, they have done that and when the people go there, they find nothing; that is why you see people going from one church to another. You see, revolution is coming to the church but I don’t know when. Churches will be fighting each other and be taking each other to court. Highlighting some of his prophecies that came to pass during the year, the seer travelled down memory lane to recollect: “I came out with a prophecy for Wale Babalakin to pray to avert litigation. Did he pray? He may have taken it for granted because there are prayers and there are people who pray and there are prayer warriors. Putting a prophecy in the newspaper is a serious matter. It is left for whoever concerned to pray or ignore it. It all depends on how the prophecy is handled or looked at. When a prophet says ‘pray so that you don’t cry’, it is a serious matter. “Now take my prophecy for the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan; was it taken seriously? “I prophesy to the President to pray seriously to prevent anything that will make him shed tears. What happened next? He lost a beloved brother. The so-called pastors might say ‘don’t listen to the prophecy, we will work against it.’ Maybe they would not pray as expected because when the Lord speaks through His prophet, He will always proffer the solution to the prophecies that ‘my son, this is what and what should be done to avert it’. Then the ideal thing is for you to call the prophet who gave the prophecy to ask what to do to stop it. He will tell you. Then you will go and do it on your own or in your own way, in your own interest”. He cautioned that there are people who are not prophets but claim to be prophets while citing another case of his correct prediction on the Ghanaian election. “They cannot see beyond their nose. You have to be careful about them. Look at the Ghanaian president’s reelection, we said it; that he is going to be re-elected and even went on television to prophesy it in our programme of December 1, 2012.


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Praise & Worship

Sunday, December 30, 2012

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‘The birth of King Jesus is joy to the world’ Founder and General Overseer of Global Success Ministry (GSM), Pastor Chima Emmanuel Okereke, in this message, muses on the significance of the birth of Christ, the king, saying the supremacy of His authority surpasses that of any earthly power. Excerpts:

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uke 1: 30 to 33 states, “And the angel said unto her, fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end”. Many of us have certain people that are in authorities, like the president of the nation, governors, and kings of some great kingdoms in Nigeria. Rich businessmen and women also abound. It is very great to have these people as friends, but how long will they last on the throne? The Nigerian president for example, spends only eight years in office constitutionally. The same thing with governors. But sometimes, they do not even finish their tenure. Some die in office, some are voted out after the first tenure. But here is a king who reigns forever. Nigerian kings and even our nation’s founding fathers, when the time comes, they die. So why do you put your trust in men who reign today and tomorrow, they are no more. If you desire a lasting joy, it is found in being a friend to the King who lives forever. Jesus said in John 15:11 that, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full”. If you really need fullness of joy, then the birth of the King of kings, Jesus Christ of Nazareth into your heart as a great friend, shall give you everlasting Joy. You could imagine when you have a president as a friend and you hope to receive N10 billion contract from him. He is supposed to sign the papers next week; and unfortunately, he took ill this week, then flown abroad for good medical attention. And after sometime, he came back to Nigeria in coma and afterwards died. You know very well that the N10 billion contract’s hope is gone. Now, wise men should consider this and increase their wisdom. If the governor is your tight friend and you people had agreed that by Monday, once he comes to office, you will be given an appointment letter as the new CommisPastor Okereke sioner of Finance; only for the same governor to attend a function during the weekend and failed to come back to the happening to the nation? We worship God more, but do not state alive. That will be the end of your long-awaited appoint- follow His simple commandments such as love. Even among ment. Everyone should learn lessons from the past in order to Nigerian priests, pastors, bishops; how many can really survive the present and the future. In Jeremiah 17:5, the Bible boast of true love for one another? If this is the case, then states this clearly, “Thus saith the Lord; cursed be the man our politicians who are not pastors or priests; how far shall that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose their own love go? The nation is dancing on the precipice and heart departeth from the LORD”. You just have to avoid this something has to be done urgently. Bombing and kidnapping curse by trusting God and not man. Apart from dying, man everywhere; killing of innocent citizens occur in this nation can change. Your best friend today may decide to deal with for no justifiable reasons. Our politics today is politics of you tomorrow because of a little misunderstanding; but business and not service to the people. If we need joy, there is when you trust God, He will command men and women to do only one Great Master who can do that and His name is Jesus things for you. God’s command is not subject to negotiations. Christ of Nazareth, the King of kings. We must do something quickly because of our children. The joy the world needs now is Jesus. Nigeria has a lot of There are evil spirits responsible for all these, I suppose; bequestions begging for answer, like, why can’t Nigeria’s eleccause, the spiritual rules the physical. If any president of this tricity supply be stable? Why can’t we have good roads in all major cities and towns? Why is it that our educational sys- nation wants to succeed, he needs strong, divine assistance. tem can’t become the envy of other nations? Our certificate Whoever that is calling upon God to intervene must first of here as medical doctor, is it being recognised and accepted all know the root of the problem. Our God rules over the spiribefore the United States of America’s medical experts? Why tual and the physical. He is the God of angels and man. He is it that the Giant of Africa does not have a national carrier? ruleth in heaven and on the earth. He is the president-general What happened to Nigerian Airways? Why is it that the Naira of all nations. He is the commander-in-chief of all commanders. He is the only one that can make dry bones to locate their as at 1980 was stronger and more valuable than the Naira of 2012, especially compared to the Dollar? Brand New cars you parts and rise to become exceedingly great army. He is the could buy for as low as N5, 000 then is sold at N2 million and only one that can open a door and no man can shut it. When above now. What actually happened to this nation or what is he speaks, no man can alter it. He is the only one that can

command the highest demon to come out of a man or nation and those demons will obey. It is only Jesus that has the solution to every problem. The problem our nation is facing today is because we have not really made up our mind to know the root of the problems in this nation, most especially those in the exalted positions, that is why many cannot leave a lasting legacies but rather, pains, sorrow and lack, despite the nation’s treasures. The poor keeps getting poorer every day. The Bible says that my people perish for lack of knowledge. I pray that our nation will not perish because of their ignorance in Jesus’ name. The spirit in charge of all these problems cannot be greater than the power of God. The Bible says that the Name ‘JESUS’ is powerful; the righteous runneth into it and they are saved. If you know the root of your problems, have you been able to get solution to end it? Now, how do we get solutions to all these? Let us start with prayers made from genuine heart of love. Someone needs to speak the mind of God to those in authority Let’s take an example from David in the Bible, in 1Samuel 30:1-8; when the enemies invaded and destroyed their land and took his wives, daughters and sons into captivity and burnt their land. After crying until they had no more tears to shed, David enquired of the Lord and the Lord told him what to do and as he obeyed the voice of the Lord, he recovered all that the enemies took away from them without losing one. I pray that because of the celebration of this season, God shall give to us the spirit of understanding to solve the problems of our nation in Jesus’ name. I rest my case but I love this nation; let’s continue with prayers for now. In the mighty name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I prophesy joy to all Nigerians this season. Love you all. God bless you. Happy and prosperous New Year. Remain blessed throughout 2013 in Jesus’ name. •For enquiries, send text messages only to the following number: 08067802407, 07038638984 and 08033599027

Briefly GSM celebrates Cross-Over Night Elaborate celebration of the cross-over night into year 2013, begins 7:00pm at the main auditorium of Global Success Ministry (GSM), tomorrow, Monday, December 31, 2012 and would last till after midnight, with the theme: 2013: ‘Journey to Greater Life’, extracted from the book of Genesis 26:12-14 Founder, General Overseer and Spiritual head of the church, Pastor (Dr.) Emmanuel Chima Okereke disclosed in an interview during the week. He said that the big celebration had become necessary in view of the marvelous work the Almighty God has been doing in the ministry, over the years. “We at the GSM, plan to cross over to the brand new year 2013 in grand style in the presence of God. Our Lord Almighty has been merciful and good to us in this ministry. He has continued to manifest His power and might with the abundance of miracles and shower of blessings in the lives of our members. Of great significance, the Lord has continued to use me mightily to deliver and to heal all kinds of ailments. He has actually touched the lives of every one of us. Those who come here in search of job can now testify to having good jobs, those with various ailments get cured, while those held in captivities or bondage are delivered and freed. The Lord has in every respect been meeting us at the point of our needs. “So, we have every reason to celebrate, glorify, lift His Name higher, worship and sing halleluiah in the highest as we graciously dance into the New Year. We are also inviting everyone to come and celebrate the great cross-over with us and stand the chance of benefitting from the special prayer that will lead them all through the New Year. Our Lord will be waiting for you,” said Pastor Okereke.


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Come and experience God at TOMOG Bethel –Pastor Oloruntimilehin Whatever is your need, you have a chance to experience God’s merciful, powerful touch at the forthcoming TOMOG Bethel slated for January 9 to 13, 2013, at Bosoro Beach, Badagry. Founder of Omnipotence Mission of God, Pastor Joshua Oloruntimilehin Daramola, speaks about the programme in this interview with Tai Anyanwu. Excerpts: Could you tell us about the programme you are about to have in January? Yes. The programme is called TOMOG Bethel. It used to be called Bosoro Bethel. TOMOG means The Omnipotence Mission of God. You will recall that Bethel is the place where Jacob slept and he had an encounter with the angel of God, who changed his life and he promised to come and give thanks if God helped in his journey of life. God fulfilled His promise to Jacob; that’s where God showed me to have a Bethel and gather our people from all our branches all over the world, to come and witness the power of God, to witness faith in God, to come and enjoy the angel coming from heaven because it is a place for visitation of heavenly angels. God has already put his stamp of approval on the programme. We have been having similar programme many years back; but introduced Bethel last year. It is a three-day prayer and fasting event. The first day, we pray for forgiveness of sins; the second day we thank God with a vigil; the third day we put our request to God. People ask what they want God to do for you and promise what they would do in return. Has such prayer requests always been granted to participants? We thank God that during the first year of the programme, a barren woman for 15 years gave birth to a set of twin babies after the encounter. Many people have bought lands, houses, cars, name it; and in fulfilment of the promises they made to God, some of these people have given to the church lands, big generators and some who promised to build a church in that Bethel have built a magnificent place of worship for us. God has already done a lot of miracles at our Bethel. God revealed that He would give our Church secretary something miraculous; today, he is a

Praise & Worship

Sunday, December 30, 2012

proud owner of a jeep, which he got as a gift. There is this nice lady who at age 31 has had many disappointments from men who had promised to marry her. At that Bethel, a prophesy concerning her situation came in the presence of thousands of people that in 2012, she would get her own husband, wed and deliver more than a child at a time. People thought that it was a joke. In February of the appointed year, he met a young man; they got married had a glamorous wedding with Salawa Abeni, popular Yoruba musicians sang at their wedding. The girl who had never taken in before conceived one hand and gave birth to triplets. God blessed their union with two boys and one girl shortly after, in November, 2012. The couple will be at this year’s Bethel to give thanks. I am inviting everybody to come and witness God’s wonders in the couple’s lives. Many barren people have got their own babies after that first Bethel programme. This year, I am inviting everybody to come to our Bethel this year which comes up between January 9 and 13, 2013, with their needs and expectations to receive their miracles. We have many mighty men of God like our Father, Supreme Evangelist Fakeye, the Ayo Ni Cherubim and Seraphim Leader; Reverend, Pastor Ashiwaju and other ministers. Are there going to be side attractions like entertainment? Many gospel musicians will be on ground to minister glorious tunes to the God of heaven. Some of them include Prince Debo, Femi Opalemo, Opelepo Anointing, Alapanla, Prince Saba, Evangelist Sukomi Oladele and Ayanfe Omo. We have a lot of them that will come and praise God with us. Will the event also feature prayers for our nation Nigeria? We have been praying for Nigeria, we will continue to pray for our dear country. But I have a message and request for our leaders. I have been saying in National Mirror newspapers and other media. President Jonathan should concentrate his efforts on giving our country steady light. Let me tell you, if our electricity supply becomes steady, God will put a light in Nigeria. All the evil things, happening in this country will vanish. Every negative thing will change to positive. The light will come through our people. You will be surprised that some people will retire from government. Some people will die suddenly, if they do not remove their hands from doing things that will destroy this nation. I am saying this because God revealed to me that when light is not available in this country the evil people will take over. They work under the shadow of darkness. That is the first thing that God told me. Let the Federal Government of Nigeria concentrate on providing steady light for the people. God said He needs light in every nook and cranny of this country.

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God’ll deal with bad leaders in 2013, says Pastor Bamidele As 2013 rolls to an end, Founder of Christ Glorious End-Time Evangelical Church, Pastor Lai Bamidele, warns bad leaders in Nigeria to turn back to God in genuine repentance or face the anger of God. Excerpts:

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his morning, I like to appreciate God for the life of all my readers. I like to appreciate my readers for staying with us from the beginning of the year till now. This time round, my message is not the usual preaching, but I have a message for the nation, particularly this Lagos. While I was praying concerning what God has for this nation for 2013, the Lord asked me to tell the leaders of this nation that they should repent. If they do not repent, lots of leaders that are in position, especially the politicians may not escape 2013. God is about to pass through this nation. God is about to pass through this land. The hands and mouths of lots of politicians are filled with human blood. And God said it is time for him to take vengeance. 2013 is going to be a year of vengeance. Those that did well will not see evil; but those that their hands are not clean, God is set to deal with them. No matter what a man becomes or where he happens to find himself, no one is greater than his maker. God has been patient with the leaders and those ones that are ruling this nation. But the time of judgement is 2013. A lot of politicians will not see the end of 2013, says the Lord of host. Many will be chasing money, in the course of that money chase, they will get that money to steal but they will not be able to eat that money, says the Lord of host. The Lord showed me a revelation concerning the e leaders of this nation that it is better for them to seek the face ace of God because there iss going to be a lot of catastrophe rophe coming upon many that hat refuse to repent. God said d he is going to visit vengeance ce upon their wives, children en and themselves as well. But the Lord sent me that I should tell them that it is high time for lots of them to repent pent from their evil ways. Many of them hem sacrifice human beingss to get to the positions they find themselves lves today. Many of them used d small babies while some kidnapped and killed to get to where they are and acquired the wealth they have amassed. But accord-

ing to the scriptures, “The prayer of a sinner is an abomination to God. The Bible exalted a nation but sin is a reproach.” All those ones that are dipping their hands in one occult or the other, many of them are covering with the name of God. They will go to occult, they will go to all manner of place; at the end of the day, on Sunday they will still carry their Bible and go to church. There is no one who can hide from God. God said 2013 is a year of vengeance. It is a year that He wants to take revenge over those ones that are misleading this nation. Those of them that hear, I advise them to go and seek God’s face whole-heartedly so that destruction will not await them in 2013. The Lord said we should pray particularly for the artistes in this nation. Two great artistes will go in 2013. Not because of anything else but because they have dipped their hands in what is not right.. The Lord sent me to the city of Lagos. The Lord said to those ones that are ruling Lagos should pray very well. Lagos will not scatter, Nigeria will not be destroyed, but the leaders in the state should pray very well, especially against those who might want to bring in ammunition into this state; that God should expose and deal with them. Wherever they are, the authorities should expose and deal with them accordingly. •For counselling contact: pst_lai@ phone08074484415, yahoo.com, 08027502864 and 08161285586


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Praise & Worship

Sunday, December 30, 2012

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ince the beginning of our ministry 10 years ago, we have effortlessly been spreading the message of hope to the world as demanded by our threefold vision, thus: Grassroots revival all over the world, revival of the apostolic Christian experiences among the body of Christ and finally, the revival of heaven consciousness among the body of Christ. These visions by all propositions are God-given. How we arrived at that conclusion is premised on the fact that a God-given vision must be aligned with the word of God, with the nature of God and ways of God. Our vision met the above demands. The first vision which is grassroots revival all over the world, is aligned with the word of God as it was derived from the Book of Mark 16: 15 -16, which says, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” It also conforms to the nature of God, as it is written in the Book of Mt 9:35, “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people”. Our Lord Jesus Christ in His earthly sojourn travelled from place to place, seeking occasions, and laying hold upon all opportunities that are beneficial to mankind. He went about seeking sinners on every side, that He may show them the way to heaven. And as He preached and sent the word, the word healed them. Along with that, He made mankind understand that nothing but the power of God can save them from sin and its consequences. So, as we the Chosen people preach and maintain holiness, we in consequence, revive the apostolic Christian experiences thereby re-enacting those occurrences of divine healings that took place in the days of the Apostles. We also know that God-given vision must be seen to be advancing the kingdom of God. We have taken this message to the market places, inside the buses and to our neighbours and have made a loud noise, blown our trumpets and same time deployed hundreds of buses and cars to the communities and neighbourhoods to accomplish this goal. And by so doing we have won many souls for God and are still winning many sinners and bringing them under the saving power of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus depopulating the kingdom of hell and populating the Kingdom of Heaven. We also recognise the fact that a God-given vision must be a blessing to the people. As we go about preaching the gospel, people are being blessed. The sick are healed, the afflicted are delivered, the dumb and deaf speak and hear. The insane have their sanity restored. Those that suffered terminal diseases such as cancer, HIV, diabetes, HBP, etc, received total healings. The crippled, disabled and bedridden are not left out, they also had their sorrow turned to joy. Broken homes have been united and breakthroughs have been made by many that came in contact with the ministry. Truly and without equivocation, the vision has brought tremendous blessing to the people of this generation. It has brought succour to many broken relationship and business. We also understand that a God given vision must be one that stands as a roadmap to unseen future which is real and which is the Kingdom of Heaven. 1Peter 2: 25 says, “ For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls” The state and condition in which sinners are found before their conversion to Christianity are like sheep going astray, lost and wandering in the ways of sin and unbelief, threatened to ruin and destruction but the gospel of salvation redirected them to everlasting hope. They were in the wilderness of ignorance and sin, till Christ, the true and mer-

Our visions are God-given, says Pastor Muoka In continuation of his message to mark the 10-year anniversary of the Lord Chosen Charismatic Renewal Ministry, the General Overseer of the church, Pastor Lazarus Muoka, recounts the visions of the ministry, saying they are all God-ordained. Excerpts: ciful Shepherd, called them back from their wanderings, by sending to them the Gospel of His grace. The third vision of the ministry which is to revive heaven consciousness among the believers is, pointing heaven as the last abode of the believers. Its acronym- heaven at last- has become the common greeting of the members and a guiding principle to the unseen abode. This vision was derived from the Book of Matthew 6: 33 which says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” We made people to understand that when they seek first the Kingdom and righteousness of God, the blessing of God becomes theirs. By this vision we draw the attention of the people to the fact that their first and chief care must be to promote the kingdom of God in this world, and seek after holiness and righteousness of God so that all the good things of the Lord shall be theirs. That God’s kingdom cannot be sought without God’s righteousness and holiness

which is the only way to happiness. That if we thus secured heaven, all earthly things will be superadded by God. We made them realise that they must not depend on the things of this world because they are temporal. Temporal things are for men of the world who make them their chief and principal aim and scope. We admonish them to look at the things which are not seen, the things of another life, things which are objects of faith, and not visible to fleshly eyes: we urge them to make these their aim and scope. For the things which are seen are temporal, that is, all the visible things of this life, whether comforts or crosses, whether prosperous or adverse, be it health or sickness, liberty or restraint, poverty or riches, honour or disgrace, life or death, they are all temporal, only for a short season, as the word signifies; therefore we told them not to eye them or trouble their heads much about them. Rather they should seek for things of a higher nature, such as neither eye has seen, nor ear heard; and these are the durable

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things; for the things which are not seen are eternal. 2Co 4:18 says, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” The temporal things do take up the heads and hearts, the minds and thoughts, of the men of the world and the substance of their endeavours. We taught them not to look at the things which are seen, because the unseen, the things of eternity, and the invisible encouragements of another world, are the mark and scope which every real Christian is aiming at, and contending for. We are urging everybody to embrace the revival going on. This is because, in the Chosen, there is security. We know we can do nothing of ourselves, but we can do everything by the help of our God; so we have determined to go out and serve with our flaming torch of holy example, and with our trumpet tones of earnest declaration and testimony. And signs and wonders have characterised all our meetings both in the local, national and international level, despite the fact that miracle is not enshrined in our vision. But God is using it to demonstrate His approval and support of what we are doing. There is no room meant for miracle, signs and wonders in our threefold vision but we are celebrating on daily bases testimonies of different kinds. Thus, our slogan has remains ‘God of Chosen answers prayers’ This is nothing but the reality of the revival going on and powered by God of Chosen to awaken the consciousness of men to return to God so that it shall be well with them. The actualisation of the ten billion souls mandate since our inception a decade ago, has actually recorded success taking into cognisance the miracles, signs and wonders that have taken place and the evangelism milestone that have been covered since the ministry came into existence ten years ago. The journey has taken us far and near, and open evangelical meeting have been held in almost all the cities of the world. And at every point during the crusade God Almighty wrought diverse miracles in the lives of people. But success is a journey and not a destination. Our destination is not only the targeted ten billion souls but in addition, that the souls won must know the true God and how to worship Him aright. They must be made to understand that seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness is the key to make all things be added unto us. They must be made to know that a Christian is not a sinner and a sinner is not a Christian. That is why the Scripture says of us, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1Pet. 1: 9). We are the chosen generation, a kingdom of priests, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that is, we are a people chosen by God before all other people whatsoever, to bear His name, and to bear witness to His truth. We are a people in covenant with Him, and so inexpressibly dear unto Him, that he that will hurt us touches the apple of God’s eye. We are chosen generation who by effectual vocation are separated from the world to the service of Christ, whose name we bear. We are peculiar people purchased by the blood of Christ. These distinguished favours are granted to us, that we might show forth the virtues, publish and proclaim the wisdom, power, goodness, mercy, the righteousness and truth of God, who had called us out of the darkness of sin, ignorance, and misery, into the marvellous light of knowledge, faith, holiness, and comfort. Beloved, all these expressions are meant to plead with you to join us and make Jesus King of Kings and Lord of Lord.


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Praise & Worship

Sunday, December 30, 2012

God, His signs and wonders, by Pastor Adeboye Signs and wonders is the main theme of the just-concluded Holy Ghost Congress of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), held at the Redemption Camp, Kilometre 46, Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, Mowe, Ogun State and the General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, took his time to teach on the theme, in this sermon. Excerpts:

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ll I am going to do in the next few minutes is to encourage your faith to grow. As soon as I have done that, the rest is between you and God and I am sure you will never forget this night. Isaiah 7, verse 14 reads, “Therefore, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name, Emmanuel.” We want to talk briefly on Signs and Wonders.

Now what is a Sign?

A sign is evidence - that what you claim to be is true. Pharaoh said in Exodus 5 verses 1 to 2, “I don’t know who is the Lord; I am not going to let Israel go.” Then God said ‘alright, I will give you a sign; I will kill all the first born in the land of Egypt in one night and then maybe, you will still say I don’t know you.’ In Exodus 12, verses 29 to 32 after God has shown Pharaoh a sign, he is the one who begged Israel to please go. And I am prophesying to someone straight away; all the Pharaohs who say you will not go, God will show them a sign. Nebuchadnezzar said in Daniel 3 v 14-15, he said to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, ‘if you don’t bow and worship my idol, I will throw you into the fiery furnace and who is that God that will deliver you out of my hand? So God showed him a sign in Daniel 3 verses 24 to 29, the same Nebuchadnezzar said there is no God like the God of Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego. As the Lord lives, before the end of this month, all those who have been saying ‘where is your God?’ They will come and bow and say there is no God like your God.

Now what is a Wonder?

A friend of mine once said a wonder is

that which causes you to wonder. In other words, a wonder is a miracle so big that your mouth will fall open involuntarily. In Acts 3 verses 1 to 10, when a man who has been lame for 40 years suddenly began toleap, to walk and to praise God, everybody in the church began to look at him with amazement. I am decreeing right now to every one of you here tonight and those of you who are listening all over the world; God will turn you to a wonder. So as we see in this passage, He said the Lord himself will give you a sign and the sign He will give is that a virgin will conceive and bear a son. And when you say a virgin will conceive, the first thing that will come to anybody’s mind is, impossible! So God says I will give you a sign by making the impossible possible. In the name that is above every other name, in the life of everyone here tonight and all of you who are hearing my voice, every impossibility will become possible. Now, the life of any man can be broken into three compartments:

Physical, Social and Spiritual.

I want to encourage you to increase your faith in the various compartments of a man’s life so that you can grab the God of wonders and go with your own wonder. When God said to Abraham in Genesis 18 verses 9 to 14 that a 90-year-old woman would bear a son, Sarah laughed because inside her, she was saying ‘impossible.’ But there is a God who doesn’t want to hear the word impossible. As a matter of fact, the moment he hears the word impossible, He rises on his throne and says let me show you a sign. Whenever somebody tells you that your case is impossible, begin to rejoice because there is a God in heaven with whom nothing shall be impossible. If He can make a virgin to conceive,

then what is the problem about a woman who is married? After all, she has a man. And I am talking about a God who can produce children out of stones. According to Mathew 3 verse 9, He can produce children from stones. So if doctors have told you like they told the lady who testified earlier on, that one of your tubes is not working and there is even something in your body that will not allow you to conceive and you saw her carrying a set of twins, then that should tell you there is still a God on His throne who can make the impossible possible. Some of you who are here, you were here when a sister was sharing her testimony. The doctors have told her she could never carry a baby for nine months, they said the womb was too small. So latest five months, the baby must come down. She wrote, we prayed and God told me she would have her child. And I wrote back to her and that month, she became pregnant; this time, she carried this thing to maturity and when the time came to deliver, she gave birth to four at a time; two boys and two girls from a womb that they say cannot carry one. The Almighty God put four there. There is somebody here today that which they say is impossible will become possible tonight in Jesus name. So when God says I will make a virgin conceive, He is saying anyone who is barren here tonight can also have their own wonders before they go. Now a virgin conceiving is totally unscientific, it is beyond science and medicine and so a virgin conceiving should tell somebody that what doctors have called incurable is very easy with the One who can make the virgin conceive, because this is a God that is not controlled by science and medicine. John 9 v 32-33, the Bible tells us of a

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man who was born blind and Jesus opened his eye and people began to argue whether it happened or it didn’t happened. The man said since the world began, it has never been said, it has never been heard that somebody opened the eye of someone born blind. There is someone who can open the eye of the blind, there is someone who can make the virgin conceived, that someone is here tonight. So I want to ask you a question; have you a physical problem? Do you believe that the God of wonders can solve that problem? If you believe, be it unto you according to your faith. The second aspect of a man’s life is the social aspect, that is when you begin to talk about career, promotion, getting married and things like that. But they all come down basically to one underline factor. And that has to do with material wellbeing. Why do I want to rise to the top in my position of work? Because if I get to the top, the salary will be different. They asked a young man not too long ago, why are you not getting married? He said “there is no money in my pocket”. Making the virgin conceive actually means producing something out of nothing. There is a God who can produce water out of the rock according to Exodus 17 v 1-6 He brought water out of the rock. There is God who can take the last and turn it to the first. You know the story of the widow of Zarephath in 1king... There is a God who can take the little you have and keep on multiplying it. He has done it before in 2king 4 v 1 -7 He told the widow to keep on pouring the little oil that she had and it will keep on flowing until there is no more room to contain it. This God who can multiply the little and turn it too much, this God who can produce something out of nothing, He is here tonight and He is now asking you, do you have a financial problem? Do you believe that this God of wonders can solve that problem? Do you believe? If you believe, be it unto you according to your faith. I have told you the story of my father in the Lord when he was alive. When things were very hard and he went to God in prayer and God told him, ‘the pot of stew that your wife has just prepared, tell her to keep ditching from it every day, not looking into the pot. Just keep on ditching from it. For days, mama will ditch; today it is beef, tomorrow it is chicken, the following day it will be goat meat. She kept on ditching until one day, curiosity overcame her and she looked into the pot and the pot became empty. Now, I know you don’t believe that, you don’t think it can happen. Be it unto you according to your faith. But I have also told you the story of what happened to me, they didn’t tell me, it happened to me. I went to preach in Onitsha and was returning. I got to Asaba, there was no fuel, I said no problem. I will get fuel when I get to Benin. I got to Benin, no fuel, I said no problem. I will get fuel in Ore. I got to Ore, no fuel. By now, my tank was reading reserve. Almighty God what do I do? It was a Sunday evening and I must go to my lectures on Monday morning in Lagos. And the Lord spoke to me and said son, take your eye off the gauge and drive on. And I drove all the way on reserve from Ore till I parked in my house in Surulere. There is a God who can bring something out of nothing. Is there anybody here tonight who is in need of a major financial breakthrough, and you believe that the God of wonders can do it for you? Be it unto you accor


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Praise & Worship

Sunday, December 30, 2012

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Not my head, not my blood –Pastor Chidi Pastor Chidi Anthony, General Overseer of Kings in Christ Church, tells the story of how a man sent assassins after his bosom friend and benefactor, to teach a moral in godliness. Excepts:

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oday is a prophetic day. I put on my prophetic mantle and declare the oracle of God concerning you. In this festive period, God says, “I will fight them that fight against you and will make them drink their own blood. I pity that man, that woman that is going to a shrine for your sake. He will go again and he will never come back; the person will go again and will never come back. And the Bible says ‘and they shall eat their own flesh and all flesh will know that the God of Israel is with you.’ I prophesy to you today in the name of Jesus; today marks the end of your problem, in the name of Jesus. Let me tell you a testimony of a young man I came across in the course of my ministry, just to demonstrate what God will do to those who plan evil for you. A young man lent N4 million to a friend of his because this friend comes every day to ask him for N100,000, N200,000 or N300,000 to meet one need or the other. At a time, his benevolent friend felt that the money his friend was always borrowing could not be the best way to solve the problems. Therefore, he chose to lend his friend some money to establish him in a business. He told the friend about it and gave him N4 million. He told the friend that he did not need to pay interest on the loan, but asked him to reimburse the principal after two years. The friend thanked him and collected the N4 million. He did business with the money and made so much profit that he built a house for himself, bought choice vehicles and began to live a good life within one year. Incidentally, two, three years passed and the friend did not return the N4 million to his friend. By the fourth year, the generous friend said to his friend, “You are doing very well. I thank God for your life. That has been my desire for you. Please, return the money I lent to you.” Instead of returning that money, the defaulting young man bargained with hired assassins to kill his dear friend for a head-price of N2 million. This ungrateful friend paid the assassin N1million as advance payment for the head of his good friend and agreed to pay the balance of N1million after they had killed the friend who brought him out of poverty. The heart of man is evil. He could have just paid that N1million to his friend but he preferred to kill the man who helped him. The hired killers collected the money from the wicked friend and gave them clues on how they would get at the good fellow. He said to them, “When you go to his house, there is a beer parlour there; if he is not in the house, stay in the drink joint and wait for him; he will show up. When he comes around, follow him to his house, shoot him and come back and take your balance.” Like the bad friend had thought, the target had not yet returned; so the assassins decided to wait in the beer joint. They drank for about two hours and the targeted fellow showed up. He had wanted to go straight to his house but a voice told him, ‘Why not go to the beer parlour and relax for two hours before you go home; after all you have nothing to do right now.’ The good friend said he obeyed the voice and went into the joint. Getting inside, he saw people drinking. Because he leads a lifestyle of generosity to other people, he told the operator of the joint to serve everybody drinks with the local specialty of isi ewu, nkwobi, ‘point and kill’, as they wanted.

While the joint’s operator was serving everyone, the hunted man saw that four men were sitting around a table where one chair was still empty. He went and occupied the vacant chair and began to drink with them. But unknown to him, they were assassins sent to kill him. And he said to the ‘service person’, “Bring also for me and my friends.” As they began to drink, he began to discuss Euro football with the hired assassins. The first set of drinks finished; he ordered for more. Then one of the killers decided to check if the man they were waiting for had come in. But it occurred to him to look at the picture of the man they were assigned to kill. He looked at the picture, it looked like the man who was sitting and drinking with them. He did not believe his eyes in the first place. So, he came back and called the other three and said, “Look at this picture.” The other killers asked, “What for? Is the man around? He told them that the man who had been offering them drinks is the target they are waiting to kill. Something said to them; go and shoot the man and go; but something said, ‘no’. They then called the targeted man out. When they came out, they asked him, “Is that how you buy drinks for everyone you see or is it because you know us? The man replied, “I have not seen you before. This is how I do. I told God that any money he will give to me that I will not share with other people, it is better if he did not give it to me. “That is why any place I go, I give out. I have given money to most of my friends to do business and return after they are established. They are millionaires today. Some do not return the money. I know the one who I gave N4 million for over four years. To pay me back has now become a problem,” he related.” He did not know when he mentioned the name of the friend who sent the hired killers after him. When the assassins heard the name, they asked, “What did you just say is the name of this friend? He repeated it. They brought out his picture and asked further, “Do you know this man?” He said, “I am the one.” They raised their jackets up, just a little to let him see the butts of their guns. The man froze with fear and said, please don’t kill me. Whatever you need I will give you. Look, I have money in my house. Please, take; don’t kill me.” They replied, “We can’t kill you because if we do, we can’t easily find someone else who will give us drinks the way you did.” They revealed to him that his unfriendly friend is the one that sent them to kill him. “He paid us NI million as advance payment for your head. He asked us to come for a balance of one million naira, when the job is done.” The rich good fellow now was disappointed with his friend. He cried, “Instead of giving me that N2 million, he prefers to kill me. Okay, tell him that I don’t want that money again; but please don’t kill me.” The assassins assured him, “We will not kill you, that man is evil. We will return evil for evil. They thanked him for the drink and told him to continue in his good deed and that his goodness would continue to do him good. With those words, they went back to the other man’s house and shot him. And I declare upon your lives, any altar that is looking for your head, any man, any woman that is looking for your blood, I command them to die. Anybody that said you will never crossover, anyone that said this year will see your end, I command that person to enter the grave, in the name of Jesus. I speak to you today, every of your enemy will die. Put your hands on your head and say ‘not my head, not my blood.’


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Praise & Worship

Sunday, December 30, 2012

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Be mindful of your godly heritage, says Prophet Adewunmi Presiding minister of House of Prayer, Pastor Segun Adewunmi, warns Christians to be mindful of those things that do not glorify God in their lives, such as their throne and wealth, to prevent Satan and its cohort from stealing them. Excerpts: Your throne The throne refers to the pinnacle of your glory. As a believer, you have a special place in God’s system. Gen 27:29 says, “Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be Lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee”. Whosoever is favoured with this type of destiny will definitely have those that will contest it with him. As soon as it was discovered that David was dying, Adonijah enthroned himself as king in place of his father with the connivance of the head of the army Joab. The fiery Prophet Nathan and Beersheba, mother of Solomon, had to remind the king of his covenant to enthrone Solomon in his place and the king took immediate action that corrected the situation. Today, God is taking action that will put you in your normal position. He is restoring all that were looted from you and especially your throne. The Bible, speaking in 1 Kings 1:32-34 says, “And King David said, “Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king. The king also said unto them, “Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon: And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him, king

over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God, save king Solomon.” You can see that with the above illustration, the restoration of your losses is completed. You only need to personalise the message and you will find yourself on your throne.

Your wealth We have a lot of people who were once wealthy but are now in poverty and penury. The very brain that thought out the strategy, the strength that worked and the circumstances that produced the wealth are still there but somehow they have become redundant, immobile and marginalised. They are like electric bulbs that have no electric current to illuminate them because the current has been stolen. God gives the power to get wealth; Satan steals the power to get wealth. After David had become a fugitive, he was given a village by the Philistines called Ziklag. He and the 600 men with him went out for daily bread and that situation provided the opportunity for the marauders (the Amalekite) to cart away their wives, children and other properties. When David and his men arrived to meet an empty and desolate village, they wept until there was no strength to weep any more. The climax to David was that some of his men who thought he had brought them bad luck were planning to stone him. But David remained steadfast in the Lord. He prayed and God revealed to him that he would not only get back his possession but would get a lot more. The Amalekites had looted other villages and were making merry when David arrived in their camp. “Then David attacked them from twilight until the evening of the next day. Not a man of them escaped, except 400 young men who rode on camels and fled. So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives”. 1 Sam 30:17-18 With the above authority, you will take

back all your possessions that the devil took from you. Cutting down the Amalekites has no other meaning than fasting with serious prayer. We can also consider the situation of the Shunammite woman whom Elisha told to travel out of her town because of an impending famine. At the end of the famine when she returned, she discovered that all her possession, including her home and field, had been stolen. She needed to see the King for the recovery of her possession but God was already speaking to the king through Gehazi about the miraculous resurrection of the son of the woman by the hand of Elisha, when the woman and her son arrived the palace. She was to get not only her possession but all the interests accruable on all her properties that were looted. You can see that in 2 Kings 8:6, the Bible states, “And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain officer, saying, Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now”. You may begin to look forward to repossessing that which is yours and their interest from the time they were removed. Job possessed more than double what he lost. Every good thing that you need is on its way back to you. Psalm 84:11 concurs; “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly”. It is not only the destiny of individuals that the devil steals. The devil through his agents also steals the destiny of associations like marriages, bands, clubs, townships and countries. The worst hit are the churches. If the pastor dreams that human waste is buried in his premises, that ends the progress of the place. All remarks about the church would be negative. It may also affect shop owners and artisans. The witches steal away their lives.

Carol of nine Lessons in Abuja RICHARD EGHAGHE

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t was a charged atmosphere at Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church, Dakibiyu District, Kubwa Branch in Abuja on Saturday December 22 as the church, popularly known as ‘The Peculiar Church’ held her 2012 Carol Service of Nine Lessons.

Some of the special guests who read from the nine lessons at the carol include Pastor Rasaq Okulaja of the Church of God Mission and Chief Executive Officer of Corart Ventures; Mr. Tayo Olugbemi, the Chief Executive Officer of ‘I Am;’ Ms. Rui Ame Okahni, the Controller, Client Services of GEMS Communications; Mr. Tony Ogunlana, Chief Executive Officer of Pressfield Communications and Presenter of the NTA Magazine programme, Entertainment In & Out; Pastor Mrs. Enujeko of the Divine Altar Assembly and the Hon. Peter Yohanna Ushafa, the

chairman of Bwari Area Council in Abuja among numerous others. The heavenly seraphs, though not visible to the human eyes decided in their droves as the host choir and their counterparts from Christ Apostolic Church, Qua Iboe and Cherubim & Seraphim Church, Dakibiyu Sub-headquarters churned out soul edifying carols to the delight of their guests. The host choir defied the rule of carol services as it is generally known with the rendition of traditional carol songs in various Nigerian languages of Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Edo, Ilaje, Waka, Senwele, Egba, and a bit of Reggae. The song, ‘Mi Wa Se’ a Badagry highlife tune and ‘Dede Eda Re Ti Se Laye’ (We Have All Sinned) rendered in the Egba language, when performed by the choir did not only lure the audience into an almost unstoppable dancing mood but drew loud applause and huge appreciation from them. A short playlet titled ‘Watch’ admonishing the people to watch and pray for the days

The Glorius Choir, performing the Mi Wa Se, the Badagry highlife tune

of evil are near, was presented by the church drama group, Peculiar Drama Ministry and a wonderful presentation by the Children ministry added to the fun. Standing in for the Senior Pastor and Leader-in-Charge, who was unavoidably absent, Pastor Samson Aliyu who delivered the carol message challenged Nigerians to exchew the act of sacrificial giving. “This is the

purpose for the birth of our Lord Jesus Chirst whom we today celebrate his birth” he added. Ms. Okhani, summed the evening up thus: “This is nothing short of an ecclesiastic experience right here on earth. I was lifted. It is like one is right in heaven. The songs are soul edifying and laden with messages. I wanted to leave but could not. I am particularly trilled by the traditional carol renditions.”


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Praise & Worship

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Wounds that destroy the world –Apostle Utibe-Abasi In this exhortation, Apostle Utibe-Abasi Emmanuel, the General Overseer of Rock of Salvation Church Ministry, Iju, Lagos, dwells on the worsening descent of sinful acts through sexual and fashion recklessness, stressing that coming to godliness has great values. Excerpts:

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had a vision which I will like to share with you all after persuasion by the Holy Spirit. But first, I want you to know we are all created in God’s image both male and female. When the Bible says God created man in His image and took the rib from the man to form the woman, there is still image of God in the woman (It’s like having a child and a grandchild, your blood runs through your child and your grand child), and God gave us the power of choice to choose between good and evil, in our world today if we rate goods to evil we will have 2 to 10, evil increases every day while good depreciates. The devil makes people to enjoy sins; worst of all, he makes them to be so sweet and easy (simple) so that people will enjoy committing them (sins) and see nothing wrong with it. Malachi 3 v 13 to 15 says, “Your words have been stout against me,” said the Lord. Yet ye say, what have we spoken so much against thee? Ye have said, it is vain to serve God, and what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of Host? And now we call the proud happy, yea, they that tempt God are even delivered. Sins and sinners are encouraged and celebrated, some believed it is vain and a waste of time to worship God. Our women and young ladies are not helping matters, they use their bodies disgustingly. At first, a man will come to your parents to ask for your hands in marriage, but now it is not so. You must get pregnant before you get married. A worker in my church after marriage, I found out that the wife was pregnant and wanted to discipline him my daughter asked me a question that shocked me, she said, “which is the greatest sin, a man to pregnant his wife before marriage or a man to get married and finds out that the wife can’t give him a child and take another wife? I answered her, “that none is the will of God.” She said, “It’s not also the will of God for a woman to be barren, the Bible says there shall be no barrenness in your midst. Go, be fruitful and multiply.” Are you not bearing children anymore? So, don’t blame the men, blame the women who have sold out their wombs for cars,

fashion and flashy things of the world. Luke 16 v 21 states, “And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table…” Moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores. You give your wounds to the dogs to lick because of your desire for fashion and lust of the flesh. Jeremiah 30 v 14-15 states, “All thy lovers have forgotten thee, they seek thee not, for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity, because thy sins were increased. Why criest thou for thine affliction? Thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity ,because thy sin were increased, I have done these things unto thee. The Bible says all thy lovers will forget and seek you not. After abusing you, they will see nothing good in you any more, now most men go all the way to the village to get a wife, because they believe those ones are a little bit reserved. I only wish you girls can listen to the conversation of men about you when they sit together to drink, they abuse and condemn you, you become as rubbish before them, your dressing, sweet perfumes, expensive hair style becomes nothing. When one disappoints you, you move to another and at the end of the day you destroy yourself becoming old without a husband because already you have satisfied all the men that supposed to have taken you as a wife and put the glory of God to shame. The Lord says He has wounded you with the wound of the enemy, that your sorrow is incurable because of the multitude of your iniquity. You will see some women going to grave without a child and you say it is the will of God. Jeremiah 29 v 11 says: for I know the thought that I think towards you, said the Lord, thought of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. This is the word of God. God can never give you evil, but because of your increase iniquities you are punished and your tears will never dry. Unless you repent Sincerely in your heart. Psalms 51 v 17 states that, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, and a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou will not despise. If you come to God with a broken heart and repent from your past iniquities, I believe God will hear from heaven and heal your wound. Ezekiel 37 v 4-5 says. Again he

said unto me, prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones, behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live. This minute if you feel you are not guilty of self made barrenness, I prophesy upon that dry womb to receive life and testimony in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. But first, you have to believe II Chron.20 v 20 says. Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established, believe His prophets so shall ye prosper. If only you can believe the word of this prophesy this minute, by this time next year you will be giving suck to your children in Jesus name Amen. In my vision, I saw a naked woman squatting and her private body was exposed, I heard a voice say to me, ‘’this is the wound that sends men to hell’’ and I ask why is it so dry and clean? The voice said, “The dogs have licked it”. Rev .22v15 states, “For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers and murderers, and idolaters and whosoever loveth the maketh a lie. The Bible says the dogs are with gate (outside the gate) waiting to lick to destruction. The wound that is leading men to hell. Prov.7 v 11-21 states, “She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house. Now is she without, now in the streets and lieth in wait at every corner. So she caught him, and kissed him and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me, this day have I paid my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come let us take our fill of love until the morning, let us solace ourselves with loves. For the good man is not at home, he is gone a long journey. He had taken a bag of money with him and will come home at the day appointed. With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. If you study this portion very well, you will find out that it is particularly referring to the married women, it’s a pity if this portion of the Bible is about you, both you the adulterous woman and the man involve

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with her for Rev.2 v 22-23 says: Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds and I ill kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am he which searched the reins and heart. And I will give unto everyone of you according to your works. The Lord says He will cast her and you dogs that is licking her wound into great tribulation, and will kill her children with death, that’s why you see most homes having financial problems the children looking so malnourished even with money, some children dying mysteriously, no peace in the family, broken homes, all these because of an adulterous father or mother. Prov.7 v 25-27 says, “Let not thy heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded, yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chamber of death. We all know adultery is a sin, so any married woman committing adultery automatically is an agent of the devil that is out to destroy, because I don’t see why a married woman, should be committing adultery, what will you teach your children. Some will say because of hunger, some, my husband doesn’t love and care for me, who told you your husband doesn’t love you? Was it not love that attracted you to him at first, then where has that love gone to? That is the question you should be asking yourself, and should know the enemies have done this. II Chron.7 v 14 says, “If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.”` If you are humble and sincere to yourself and your God, He will heal your family, God is love, peace and joy. He is everything you want Him to be, so if you have God, you have everything. My daughter asked me, ‘why is it in the law of Moses that if a woman commits adultery, the woman is stoned to death and not the man? I want you to know that a woman have power to say, if you commit adultery, it’s a thing of choice, only a man can be teased by a woman because she has all it takes to lure a man to sin. And to you men, PROV. 5V15-19 drink water out of their own cistern and running water out of their own well, let thy fountain be dispersed abroad, and river so f water in the streets. Let them be only their own, and not strangers with thee. Let thy fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be a loving hind and pleasant roe, let her breast satisfy thee at all times and be thou ravished always with her love. I’ve seen some men after two or three years of marriage, their wife’s becomes their punching bag, they get satisfaction elsewhere and lice their wives in want causing the to sin, the word of God says rejoice with the wife of thy youth, let her breast satisfy you all times don’t abandon her to embrace the bosom of a stranger for your way her always before the Lord and he sees all your doings.. Romans 6v1-2 says, what shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, because when Christ is in you , you should be above sin, lets not continue in sin that can condemn our soul to dead, in some hours time we are crossing into new year by the grace of God, if this grace is really what will be leading you into this wonderful New Year, allow this grace to take over your life and direct you into the part of righteousness.. Beware of the wound that brings tribulations, sorrows, pains and at the end, lead you to hell. •For enquires, call 08037187775


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Praise & Worship 33

Sunday, December 30, 2012

How to have a long lasting marriage Christian Relationship with Taiwo

Odubiyi

E-mail: info@pastortaiwoodubiyi.org.uk

M

y parents were married for fifty eight years until my father’s demise. I have been married for twenty two years and still counting. Did my parents have challenges that could have separated them? Yes, but they were determined to stay together and make it work. Have I had challenges in my marriage? Oh yes, but I know that the Lord who started the good work will finish it in Jesus name. I have heard people talk about ‘irreconcilable differences’ to justify divorce and make it seem right. But the word of God is sure, ‘Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. (Romans 3:4) Divorce which is the termination of a marriage does not bring any glory to God and He hates it as it is clearly written in the Bible. What couples need to do is to guard their hearts, change their attitude, accept and respond the right way to God’s words and their spouses. For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce. “For it covers one’s garment with violence,” says the LORD of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit that you do not deal treacherously. (Malachi 2:16)

Hope for the Hopeless with Pastor Goke

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Aniyeloye

e want to bless the name of the Lord for answering the prayer of His church and for opening our eyes to our responsibility as a church. We made it clear last week that when the church prays and wakes up to her responsibility, then the miraculous happens, the unexpected comes to be; there will be peace in the land. It’s my prayer that whenever we call unto him on behalf of this nation, He will be there to answer us. “Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with us; fight against those who fight against us! Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for our help. Draw out also the spear and Javelin and close up the way of those who pursue and persecute us. Say to us, I am your deliverance! Let them be put to shame and dishonor who seek and require our lives; let them be turned back and confounded who plan our hurt! Let them be as chaff before the wind, with the Angel of the Lord driving them on! Let their way be through dark and slippery places, with the Angel of the Lord pursuing and afflicting them. For without cause they hid for us their net; for without cause they dug a pit of destruction for our lives, let destruction befall ( our foes ) unawares; Let the net they hid for us catch them: let them fall into that very destruction”. Father, it is time You open a new chapter for this Nation, so that the entire world will know that we have You as our God. I know our nights are over, we are in the very morning of our days. Today is going to mark the beginning of our unending days of peace. “We will extol You, O Lord, for You have

If God is involved in a marriage, it should last for whatever He does will be forever. I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. (Ecclesiastes 3:14) But sometimes couples sleep and allow their marriages to sleep as well as I pointed out in my book ’30 Things Wives Do That Hurt Their Husbands.’ But of course, behind every evil is the devil. The enemy has done this, as Jesus said in the parable of the wheat and tares. In that parable, it is obvious that a failed marriage is the work of the enemy, satan, for he has come to destroy. But Jesus came to give us life and put life in marriages. Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ (Matthew 13:24-28) In ‘Love on the pulpit’, one of my novels, Jumoke asked Mr. Coker, “What’s the secret or secrets of your long marriage, because marriages are failing now, with couples throwing in the towel? What advice do you have for young people like me?” Mr. Coker laughed, cleared his throat and said, “If anything seems to last or is working, God is somewhere there, because

Satan doesn’t have any good plan for anybody. My successful marriage has been by the grace of God. Now, as you said, my wife is - a woman like a man, very tough. So, how have I been able to cope with her? When I was going into the marriage, I made up my mind that it was going to be for a lifetime, that I would not divorce my wife no matter what happens. And God has helped me, although I need to confess that I’ve been tempted to change my mind several times.” People laughed. He continued. “What young people need to know is that there’s no marriage that doesn’t have ups and downs, and so my advice is that couples should just stay together and patiently work through their issues. Getting divorced and marrying another person is not the solution, because the new person is not perfect too. When I feel offended, I call her and express my feelings.” Mrs Coker said, “We apologise and forgive each other when we have to. We discuss until issues are thoroughly thrashed out, we’re honest and faithful to each other.” Then she took her husband’s hand in hers, “He’s been a very faithful husband to me and I thank God for that.” Couples need to remember that keeping a marriage healthy and happy requires work. There are people who think the marriage will sort itself out with time. It will not happen on its own, a good marriage has to be built and couples must continue to build to the end. With this in mind, here are some ways to make your marriage last.

1. Don’t give up. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13) 2. Know that the marriage is not all about you. Your spouse also has needs and wants to be loved and heard. (Philippians 2:3) Be considerate, don’t be selfish, and don’t live in your own world. 3. Be forgiving. How many times? All the time for no one is perfect (Romans 3:23) 4. Be willing to have fun, laugh at yourself, create time to go out with your spouse, be romantic, and enjoy good sex with your spouse (Song of Solomon) 5. Don’t claim your right. Rather claim the word and the promises of God. 6. Don’t compare your spouse with anyone else’s spouse. 7. Don’t take your spouse for granted. 8. Accept your spouse the way he or she is. Acceptance is very important. 9. Be nice and loving to your spouse (Galatians 5:22-23) 10. Pray for your marriage. Hope for you. Maybe you are going through a challenging situation right now - you have tried all you know but nothing is happening. And indeed, you don’t know what is happening. You have probably invested time, energy, labour, love and integrity but all to no avail. You might have even prayed about it, talked about it, worked hard at it and got no result. The Almighty God is saying to you right now - begin again! And this time, go deeper! Talk again, love again, pray again and go deeper this time. I am praying for you. You can contact me for counselling.

The church should take up her responsibility lifted us up and have not let our foes rejoice over us. O Lord our God, we cried to You and You have healed us; O Lord, You have brought our lives up from Sheol (the place of the dead). You have kept us alive, that we should not go down to the pit (the grave). Sing to the Lord, O you saints of His and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, but His favour is for a lifetime or in His favour is life. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning”. The book of 2 kings chapter 7:1 says “ Then Elisha said, Hear the word of the Lord, Thus says the Lord: Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour will for a shekel and two measures of barley for a shekel in the gate of Samaria! (I mean to say in Nigeria). I like to declare and decree that the expiring date for our suffering in this Nation is now. All that has not been enough will soon be surplus, because Christ is our hope and our reality, in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are also his offspring . He forgets not His own. Anyone who says “it will never be well with this Nation, please Lord put them to shame and disgrace. I believe the time for God to intervene in the situation of this Nation is now. How long Lord, are you going to be silent and allow the wicked rejoice over the righteous, how long are You going to fold Your arms and allow the wicked have his way in this Nation. You never gave the enemies of Moses any opportunity to negotiate their way because it is dangerous to negotiate with the devil. Father, as from now, withdraw your peace from them, let your mighty hand rest upon them for destruction. David said “because they hate peace, let it be far from them” Psalms 109:6-20. We are so rich in this country, yet we are living like a pauper, we were pillar of Africa but today outside world is regarding us as pillar of failure. Lord why are we so rich but poor, You have endowed us with gifts ( mineral resources), Our land that was flowing with milk and

honey is almost dried. Our leaders believes in national cake, followers believe in chop make I chop syndrome. Leaders have disappointed themselves, disappointed the citizenry, their immediate community and even You (God). They have dinned with the devil and they are now paying the price. They’ve sold out their conscience, looking for power where there is no power. The welfare of the electorate is no more their priority, princes and princess are walking with their bare feet while the servant are riding on horseback. Abomination! It must stop now. Our liberation has turned to lamentation, our freedom has turned to free-bound. O Lord, if it’s our sin that has put us in this mess, please remember mercy. Habakkuk says in the book of Habakkuk chapter 3 verse 2 “ O Lord I have heard Thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the year make known; In wrath remember mercy”. Daddy, for the sake of the elect in this Nation, remember mercy and reinstate our hope. Don’t let our hope be dashed. One of the chief secrets to any successful ministry is a praying church. We talk often about the prince of preachers, do we? C.H Spurgeon, was asked a similar question on one occasion: what is the secret to the success of his ministry in this church? After the meeting he took that inquirer down under the main body of the church to a hall underneath, and there were hundreds of people praying while Spurgeon was preaching the gospel! Is there any wonder that people were being converted! While he was in the act of throwing the gospel net forth, there were people weeping and crying and travailing before God.another giant in evangelism was Charles Grandison Finney, now you mightn’t have agreed with all of his theology, but you couldn’t deny that God mightily used him. He was no “here today, gone tomorrow” evangelist. When he went into town he would stay there, perhaps, for months. He wouldn’t worry about the reaction of the

people, he wouldn’t worry about the numbers, he wouldn’t even worry when people got so upset that they walked out of his meeting or sometimes the whole of the congregation followed that one person- because whatever he lost by strong preaching, he regained by his strong praying. Just as Moses had Aaron, Charles had two men that followed him everywhere. It’s amazing, the difference between Charles and us, is that he had that strong praying support. I think it’s right to say that our emphasis has change today, from praying to Programme. Programmes are not unimportant, but they’re not as important as praying. Our emphasis has changed from interceding to entertaining. Our prayer alter is no more hot, that is why you see nobody trying to show case himself as somebody. Ladies and gentlemen we must return to our old time religion. Elijah said “if I’m a man of God...” let’s put this authority in use. It is important to have a good praise, exalt the Lord Jesus, we should get rid of this attitude that “anything will do for the Lord”, we should strive for the best and excellence for Him. Let us never replace interceding with entertaining, or even travailing before God with traveling. The sin of prayerlessness not only is tragically found in the life of individual believers, but it pervades the church of Jesus Christ in the west. To God, prayerlessness is sin, do you realize that? That there are not only sins of commission - that is, the thing that you do that God tells us not to do- but there are sins of omission, the things that we have left undone that we ought to have done. Probably very high in the “top 10” of those prayers. By His grace next week, we will talk more on “Christians, awake to your responsibility”. Remain blessed in Jesus name. •You can reach Pastor Goke Aniyeloye on gokeaniye@gmail.com or gokeaniye999@yahoo.com.


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Praise & Worship

Footprints with Dr. Tunde

Ojewole Email: ojewolea@babcockuni.edu.ng Phone: 08058299434

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he story is told of two women who were enjoying an elaborate luncheon in a posh restaurant. When asked the occasion for the luncheon, one said, “we are celebrating the baby’s birthday.” “But where is the baby?” said the inquirer, for there was no child to be seen. “Oh,” said the mother, “you didn’t think I’d bring him. Did you? Why he doesn’t know anything about it.” Many of us celebrated the birthday of our Saviour and forgot to invite Him! In our rush of observing Christmas with giving, eating, and so on, did we really stop to meditate upon the Christ Child who should be the center of it all? Was there room for meditation on the life of Christ during this Christmas? Of all the gifts given and received, what did you give the course of Christ? In your relationship, is there room for Christ? In your profession, is there room for Jesus? Is there room for Him in your inordinate ambitions? Are you willing to do anything, to push your agenda forward, with no room for righteousness? Is there room for Christ in your business dealings or have you banished your faith from your business? Is your life so compartmentalized that your profession would not recognize your practice if they were to meet on the way? Surely Joseph must have had some relatives in the town of Bethlehem. What about their family house? Likely that the house was small and perhaps had only one or two rooms and a shed for an animal or two. The only accommodation that could be offered to Joseph and Mary was this shed because “there was no room in the inn” (Luke 2:7). Here they slept, and when the time came, the baby was born here with only a manger in which to sleep.

Holy Inquiry with Pastor Paul

Nkirukah E-mail: pstpaul11@yahoo.com

Dear Pastor, I want you to help me find solution to how to make a resolution work with the help of God. I have been making a series of resolutions in the past years but none seems to have worked for me. Of great concern is that I have this habit of drinking alcohol and smoking, I even tell lies. Each year, I make resolutions against these things, I don’t keep them. How can I make a firm resolution this time round? How can I stop? -Tony A. from Abuja. Dear reader, Are you sure you are born again? I don’t think so, and I am not sorry saying this; you need the truth which only can make you free. I cannot feel sorry for telling the truth.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

No matter how tiny your accommodation, never keep Christ out! Jesus is the unseen guest in every home, the unsuspecting listener to every conversation. The promised king came to His people but “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not” (Isa. 53:3). The fact that there was no room for Christ’s birth was a sign that there was no room for Him in this world. The world tries to take Christ out of Christmas. The world says that there are too many other things to do at Christmas. Many say there is no room for God in this modern, fast-moving, self-sufficient world. They say there is no room for His law, His love, or His sacrifice for us. Things are going quite well and we don’t need the burden of Christ likeness. “He that rejects me, and receives not my words, hath one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). America have ejected God in the classroom, they have not made room for prayers and Bible Study. The result: school shooting like the one that occurred on Friday, December 14, 2012 at Newtown, Connecticut killing 20 primary school kids and 6 adults who came to their rescue. What about the Columbine school shooting? No room for Christ but condoms get shared freely to secondary school kids. Despise not the ordinary! The story is told of Peter the First-Emperor of Russia, who was a man of great wisdom, ideas and energy.

No room

At one time he decided to play the part of a beggar in a certain village. From door to door he tramped asking for help. Only one poor man showed him any kindness. The next day the royal carriage stopped in front of that poor home, and the man who had befriended Peter the Great was invited to live in the palace at Moscow. In New York, a dog hotel has opened its doors. It costs $25,000. It is complete with a dietitian and nine other employees. Depending on the size of the room, the lavish hostelry will cost from $9 to $13 a day. The rooms are individually decorated. The pampered canines will be fed liver and tripe stew. There is even an arrangement with an animal gourmet shop, which provides special cookies at $4 for three ounces. A village green has been installed and the dogs will receive four supervised walks each day. As the Yorubas say: “eniyan ko ri ibi sun, aja nhanrun,” meaning: “there is no room for humans to sleep, yet dog has a room for snoring.” Nigeria must stop paying lip service to issues of holiness. With the proliferation of churches, crime rate has not abated. Christmas without Christ is crisis. The political class should stop making Church affiliation another method of deceiving the masses. The clergy should stop being strange bedfellows with looters of our future. They have made room for their own pockets and no room for Christ. They call black white and preach peace when destruction is imminent. The political class felt threatened at the birth of Christ. A new king was born. To avoid making room

Answer these questions and win a prize 1.

Who said: “for what I want to do I do not, but what I hate I do?”

2.

Where in the Bible? Who received a double restoration of his former estate after praying for his friends in spite of losing all things he had? Locate the passage.

3.

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for Him, Herod ordered that all boys from age of two and below be murdered immediately. What genocide! When a government does not make room for the truth, error will reign. When you make no room for Christ you will welcome spiritual death and societal decay. In Campinas, Brazil, a group of drunken friends, went to pick up another friend. The mother accompanied her to the car and was so worried about the drunkenness of her friends and she said to the daughter holding her hand, who was already seated in the car: “my Daughter, go with God and may He protect you!” She responded: “There is no room for God in this car! Except if He (God) can travel in the trunk, because inside here is already full!” Hours later, news came that this group of friends had been involved in a fatal accident and everyone had died. They could not be recognized what type of car it had been, but surprisingly, the trunk was intact. The police said there was no way the trunk could have remained intact. To their surprise, inside the trunk was a crate of eggs, none was broken. Give Christ all the room He needs to operate in your life this coming year and you shall never be a statistic of tragedy in Jesus’ name! Let Him be the driver of your life. He can never crash! Make room for the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. You are the innkeeper for your heart and your life. Is there room for Him? Is the inn full? Can we make room? We don’t have room on the throne of our lives because we want to sit there ourselves. …Concluded Tunde Ojewole, Ph.D., is the University Pastor and Associate Vice-President for Spiritual Life, Babcock University. For enquiries: ojewolea@babcock.edu.ng; 08058299434/08060376577

Answers to December 23, 2012 Quiz

Who named all the animals at creation? Provide scriptural evidence.

1.

Belshazzar- Daniel 5:22, 26,27

•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.

2.

Christ’s love for the ChurchEphesians 5:25 No God- Psalm 14:1

3.

How can I stick to New Year resolution? In 2 Corinthians 5 verse 17, the Bible states that if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things have passed away and everything becomes new. Many people think or believe that this word means if you were poor, and that having become born again, you will become rich. Though it is part of it, the primary issue is that your old character will no more be exhibited. Let me tell you one thing; being born again simply means being born of God. If now you are born of God, you have to behave like God; because, a lion gives birth to a lion. Every lion behaves the same way. You have to give up everything that cannot make you act or behave as God. Let quickly take a look at the scriptures below for a better understanding. Genesis 1: 26 – 27 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. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he

them.” Moreover, another thing is, you need to have the fear of God. If you do, you can always obey his commandment. Furthermore, I want to also let you know through the scriptures what God said concerning alcohol. Proverbs 20: 1 reads, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink (alcohol) is raging, and who so ever is deceived thereby is not wise. That means the person is a fool. More so, Proverbs 31: 4 – 6 reads, “It is not for kings O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine: nor for princes strong drink; lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. Giving strong drink (alcohol) unto him that is ready to perish.” I don’t think you will want to perish? In Luke 1:15 the Angel told Zachariah that the child (John the Baptist) is filed with the Holy Ghost from the womb, as such he should not drink any strong drink (alcohol). If that should be, it means the Holy Ghost and alcohol are enemies. Whatever the spirit of God does not welcome is also an enemy to us believers, because He

lives in us. I want to also let you know that telling lies is an abomination unto God. See Psalm 101: 7. Meanwhile, I am very happy that you would like to make a resolution, but to make a resolution is not just by God but by your own determination, because God respects your choice. So when you are determined and God is convinced, you can be delivered. The Bible says in Mark 8 verse 36 that what profit is it for one to gain the whole world and lose his soul? Matthew 5: 29 says if one of your eyes will not make you enter Heaven, pluck it out for it is better to enter Heaven with one eye than to enter hell with two eyes. In conclusion, I am very happy to announce to you that I was once in your situation but today, I am free by the simple practice of what I have just told you. So practise the same and you will never be the same again. WHAT YOU REALY REQUIRE IS DETERMINATION AND THE FEAR OF GOD. I pray for you that you will not lose Heaven in Jesus’ name.


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Sunday, December 30, 2012

ami bags recognition award

MAAN celebrates end of the year

Linda takes gospel music to next level with Double Grace

pular Neo-Soul and Afro-pop singer, Lami Phillips, who recently sed her third single, But You off her sophomore album is in The recently flourishing Niews again. The talented vocalist was honoured a few ago in gerian gospel music scene will a with a recognition award for her immeasurable contrinot remain the same when n to humanitarian courses. Linda Etukudo, the daughIt was praise galore to almi, who is already a United Nations Ambassador, ter of the President of mighty God as Music Advertisers he award from Oxfam and was also unveiled as Christian Association Association of Nigeria (MAAN), m Ambassador to represent West-Africa. The inof Nigerian, (CAN), Agbado Zone in Ifo Local Governationally recognized organisation also selected Pastor Ayo Oritsejament area of Ogun State last Wednesand Sound Sultan as ambassadors. for, completes her day celebrated its end of the year party xfam is an international confederation of 17 radical and totally and the launch of 2013 almanac. A mininizations networked together in more than 90 overhauling misrally was also held within its environs tries, as part of a global movement for change, sion for Nigerian to enlighten and sensitize the teaming ild a future free from the injustice of poverty. public on the ills of buying and selling gospel music with global advancement focus. The hree crooners, according to Oxfam, are globally pirated music audio and video CD’s, highly talented singer, song writer, praise and worcredible and appreciated through which it was said can cause damage to ship leader, and dancer, has already commenced the the vehicle of their music and electronic gadgets. unique but herculean task she set for herself with they are therefore the best ceAccording to the zone’s chairthe release of her latest trend setting album, Double lebrities for the job. man, who also doubles as the depGrace. The waves making album was released on her Lami took to the stage as the uty chairman of the association in the local government, private label Linda Music. headlining performer and got the Hon. Akeem Adahunse, said this year’s celebration is Double Grace, recorded in one of Nigeria’s top music stucrowd dancing and clapping. Dignitarin fulfilment of his promise that the day-to-day dios, contains eight inspiring and spiritually enriching songs ies from the UK, Nether running of the association will be open such as Ese Baba, Final Say, Rest of My Days, Keep Loving Me, Lami, known for her stage presence and to all members in the spirit of Just Wanna Dance, Your Grace and A Place Called Home (Heaven). It strong live performances has not failed to push probity and accountconsist of a mixed-gill of praise and worship, pop, rock, R&B and other on her creative piece when it comes to what she knows ability. current musical beats which makes it appealing to all generation of good countries were in attendance and sang along with the diva. music lovers. She was awarded alongside 2Face and Sound Sultan.

Wonderkid, OzzyBosco, appreciates mothers with fresh single

Tillaman excites fans with catchy beats

aving wowed music fans with his debut single and video titled ‘Superstar’, the nderkid, OzzyBosco, is back in a bigger and better way. he kid star has come to cement a more feasible spot in the music industry h this new track, titled ‘Sweet Mama’ featuring his big brother, Flavour bania. The amazing vibe was produced by the award winning music proer, Master Kraft. Yes, the man is back. After he management team of OzzyBosco and others who have listened to the commercial success of the eet Mama’ disclosed that the song is well written, composed, and banging hit out to appreciate all the beautiful mothers in Africa and across ‘Koma Roll’ featuring Vector, it world who have sacrificed so much for their children. is only right for a grateful artiste to ou cannot but wine, twist and dance to the beautiful rhythms, top rhymes and lyrics of young OzzyBosco that in his follow-up single which is exon this song. actly what Tillaman did. Repeatedly, OzzyBosco on The crown-prince of Oyo Kingdom teamed the song keep hitting hard up with young music producer, Teckno to cook on how much he loves The wait is finally over. The long-awaited debut E.P up a massive tune with powerful vocals on a catchy his mother and from 16-year old Hip-Hop artiste and rising star Kilt Krabeat which all the mothnik titled ‘Prince of the Throne’ is finally here. Released carefully mashes up sounds from the west, the east ers in Afvia burgeoning Ibadan record label Gberatinrin Studios, proand beyond. The new song is titled ‘Ori Owo’. rica. duced by Buster Keyz - with Magic Fingers at the helm for ‘InThis new single from Tillaman is not only guaranteed to tro’ (Prince of the Throne) and ‘Forever’ - and featuring Phizzle, have every youth going crazy on the dance floor, but will most Mini Yong and Kentroworld’s DaFols, this 10-track record from one definitely also touch the core grassroots (market women and of Nigeria’s very promising young artistes is set to be the crucial cab drivers among others) as not only does it take soundtrack for the rest of your 2012. from Yoruba cultural folklore but it’s With room for only a handful of features on his debut E.P, this latalso a positive song in itest music effort is the quintessential introduction of Kilt Kranik to his self. Fuji music growing fan base and staunch critics. And with this E.P striking the right fans are in for a balance between radio friendly club singles such as ‘Gaga Go’ and ‘Bad Man’ great treat this festive and fierce hard-hitting rap tracks such as ‘Son of a Gun’ and ‘Forever’, this n as M&M can reveal ‘Prince of the Throne’ E.P has something for everyone, no matter what your Fuji star, Alhaji Su- party will be held in Man- eluwa’s fans in London and abroad. taste palette dictates. The audio n Alao ‘Malaika’ Ad- chester, London, United U S. The young and exciting Ibadan-based newcomer has e will release Special States of America and later Celebrities in the fashion had benefited pasteadily been building an undeniable buzz for himvideo on New Year’s in Lagos. world were also part of the tronage from the music self and this debut project over the Malaika kicked off the video. King Hakal and A Z fans all over the world. last 18 months. h i s And management of the cording to Shetade Im- video shoot at Agidingbi, Clothing line were part of managend Wright Way Media, Ikeja, and later put finish the first shoot of the video ace Fuji musician revealed ment team. anagement companies touches at Ajah, Lagos in in Ikeja. Some international that the album has sold ‘Special Day’, an eight track yeluwa of Fuji music, October 2012. fashion designers joined the over a million copies since effort was officially released on The Fuji star featured second part of the video at the new work was released Monday, August 27, 2012. The usic video, which has into the music scene. This generating awareness some notable movie stars Ajah, Lagos. album features tracks like; ‘My media, is scheduled to in the video which has been Part of the moves to re- has aided the sales of ‘Prop- Dubai Birthday’, ‘Ojo Aboki’, e music video shelves gathering momentum dur- lease ‘Special Day’ into the er Music’ album, previous ‘Alhaji Muda Odetunde’, and ing the preview of the work market is the demand from music effort of Malaika ‘Hon. Monsuru Owolabi (Banuary 1, 2013. wever, M&M has also to some members of Alay- Malaika’s fans both home and with sales is close to five tola)’. million copies according to that the video release

Kilt Kranik releases long-awaited debut EP

Malaika set to release Special Day’s video on New Year’s Day


36

Sunday, December 30, 2012

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Heart-throb Send text only to 08025253996

In need of a serious relationship/marriage I am Oyetola, 25 years old native of Oyo State. I live and work in Osogbo in Osun State. I need a God-fearing man, a Christian and working class fro a serious relationship that can lead to marriage who is between 27-30 years –08168104121, I am Oluchi, 30 years old and live in Lagos. I am fair in complexion, average in height and also beautiful. I need an Igbo guy; tall, dark, caring and a Christian. I am Bisola, 27 years old from Ondo State based in Lagos and working in a hospital. I need a humble and God-fearing man between 29 and 35 years old for marriage –08057899560 My name is Emmanuel Oluwaseyi. I am 20 years old. I am from Ibadan city. I need a girl between the ages of 18 and 20 for a serious relationship –08189077845 My name is Seun, 33 years old. I live in Rivers State. I need a working class lady for a relationship –07063093069 My name is Babatunde, I reside in Lagos. I need a loving, beautiful, mature and romantic lady for a relationship. Age and tribe are no barrier. –07035403371 My name is Samuel, 35 years old, a Yoruba and GND/PGD holder. I need a lady between the ages of 28 and 34 who may be busty but not too fat; a single mother of one –08152127288 My name is Akin, a mature business guy. I need a decent, mature and busty lady between 45 and 50 years with a good profession for a relationship –07054843044 I am Clinton Banjo, 44 years old. I need an intelligent and responsible woman between 36 and 40 years old for a relationship that will lead to marriage –07032925012

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When it is over, part well E verything in life comes full circle. The same thing should happen to a relationship heading nowhere. Are you stuck in a relationship that you’re just not happy in? Maybe you’ve been this way for a while and you have made every concerted effort to see if you could salvage what’s left of the relationship but it only gets worse? Either way, you know you want out but you can’t come up with the best way to approach this. Well, the end of the year is the best time to review that relationship, itemise the reasons why you think it’s not working and also the efforts you have made to save what’s left of it. If at the end of this review you still think the relationship does not have a future with you in it, I see no reason you should carry a cancerous relationship over into a new year. End it now and pursue peace and happiness with revitalised vigour as the New Year approaches. However, if you are already married, still put in more effort to see how you can salvage your marriage. If all your attempts proved abortive, then seek the help of third parties you know your spouse respects. Use the excuse of this festive period to invite them into your home and prayerfully see how they can help you resolve the seeming difficult differences between you and your spouse. In marital issues, never make divorce an alternative. Always seek out ways you can resolve issues with your spouse to restore the peace in your home. Having got that out of the way, if you are in a romantic relationship with someone and it is not going the way you originally intended it and you want to end the relationship, let’s see the best way you can break up without breaking legs, figuratively speaking. It seems that getting into a relationship can be easy while getting out can be rather difficult. Almost every break-up brings a bitter- sweet taste to the mouth. You once had a beautiful relationship with this person and now it’s over and its breakup time. You are scared of hurting their feelings and also scared of their reaction when you break the news and you are looking for the best way to handle it. People have different ways they react to difficult situations and decisions. So, it’s important to put into consideration your partners’ temperament and how he/she reacts to sudden unpleasant news

like the one you are about to give. Most ladies cry and throw tantrums when their boyfriends end their relationship quit. So if you are a guy who wants to end it with his girlfriend, it is important you consider the venue where you wish to do the break-up. I’ll advise you don’t do that in a public place that will attract a public scene. It’s best you do so in the privacy of her own home or around her close friends or family who will comfort her while you are gone. And if you are a lady, the reverse is advised. If your guy is the type that easily gets angry or show signs of being violent, then its best you do so in a public place rather than a private room or hotel where you can be easily raped or beaten up. I’ll suggest you write a mail, send a text message or quietly call the person on phone and break the sad news. Carefully plan out what you want to say to your partner. Pick your words carefully; remember you once had feelings for this person. Do not set out to be cruel. Make sure you respect their feelings. It’s not necessary to go into every detail of why you don’t want to continue this relationship but you may want to explain some of it. In all that you say, make sure you don’t put that person down or damage their self-worth. Tell the person you had a great time with them, but needs to move on since the relationship is not ideal with your dreams. Wish them well in their future relationship and move on with your life. The main theme here is that you need to treat your partner with respect and exit the relationship gracefully. If you had the guts to ‘toast’ her, have the decency to communicate your break-up decision with her. If you once had a relationship with this person, I think it is childish to just ‘run away’. Communicate your decision to end it in any way possible (in person, phone, and text). Don’t just run away. If you do this, you will stick out in the other person’s memory as a noble person, albeit in a sad situation. Also, you will alleviate a lot of stress in your life by making a clean break with your past. Breaking up well with your partner will help you enter into the New Year, feeling fresh with a clear conscience and fearing no accusation. I wish you happy hunting in the coming year! Happy New Year, friends!

Ichuls is my name. I am 35 years old, 5.9ft tall. I live in Lagos. I want a God-fearing lady between 24 and 30 years old for a serious relationship –08102110202 I am Tunde, 31 years old. I work and live in Lagos. I need a serious lady to settle down with in marriage –08023418205 I am Sunday, residing in Lagos. I need a lady who is sexy, educated, working and God-fearing for a relationship –08138345723 My name is Yemi, 47 years old; a widower looking for a working class woman from Delta State, who is above 30 years for marriage –08093149112, 07057003282 I am Vic-ceejay. I am from Imo State but based in Lagos. I am an SSS guy and I need a relationship with a lady –08029244189 I am Peace, a God-fearing, loving Christian. I need a decent Christian Lady with a good job for a wife between 26-37 years –07067349222 Ifeanyi, 35 years old single; 5.11ft tall, fair in complexion from Imo State. I am a business man based in Lagos. I need a caring lady between 30-35 years who can give me true love for marriage –08124996957 I am Tom, a graduate and very romantic. I live in Benue and needs a woman who can take care of me –08051301805 I am Richard, 38 years old, a Lagos-based engineer. I am dark in complexion, 5ft 7’’ tall and single. I need a caring and romantic lady from 22 years old –08036851909 I am Andrew, based in Kaduna, 50 years old, tall, black and slim; from Port Harcourt. I desire a medicine-related professional woman or working class person for marriage. She must be slim, tall and between 30 and 40 years old –08066856389

In need of a sugar mummy/daddy Segun is my name. I am 26 years old. I live in Lagos. I need a sugar mummy between 30 and 45 years old. –07058990002 My name is M.M. Faskiri from Kano. I need a wonderful sugar mummy –08030645667 I am Kelvin, 30 years old. I am handsome and clean. I need a sugar mummy that can influence my musical projects. I live in Lagos –08134570328 I AM Nata. 33 years old, HIV positive from Kaduna but lives in Laos. I need a Yoruba sugar mummy between 33-36 years old who is also HIV positive and influential to get married to as far as she can pay my school fees. I am an artist as well as a musician –07057331888 I am alibi, 26 years old. I live in Ilorin. I need a caring sugar mummy between 30-40 years. She should be pretty romantic and from any tribe –08168387492 My name is UK, a 26 years old based in Lagos. I need a sugar mummy that will help me financially and I promise to do what she likes. –08063025581 I am Ibrahim, 28 years old youth corper. I need a sugar mummy –08035980603 I am Emmanuel, 29 years old from Abuja. I want a matured lady for friendship –08036472487 I am Karis, 37 years old public servant from the western part of Nigeria. I reside in Abuja. I am 5.10ft tall, dark romantic highly educated. I need an attractive sugar mummy who resides in Abuja, 40 years and above –08033930306 My name is Vitalis. I need a working class or a business woman who is caring as a sugar mummy. I am 45 years old. She should be between 50 and 55 years old. –07043037438 ?????????????ake good of me and I will satisfy her NOTICE: Please note thatcare we don’t dofinancially personal connections outside this column. Calls –08034756927 to connect privately are not allowed. Just send an SMS or email and we’ll get your request published. The request is published on first come first served basis. Thank you!


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37

Weddings Engagements CELEBRATING THE JOY IN MARITAL BLISS DECEMBER 30, 2012

Yoruba actor, Yomi Fabiyi, marries British lover

You have a story to tell us about your wedding/engagement, or your new born baby. You can call this line 08051980588

BABIES OF THE WEEK

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aturday, December 22, will not be forgotten in a hurry for the family, friends and fans of popular Yoruba actor, Yomi Fabiyi, as he got married to his longtime British lover, Fran. The lovebirds exchanged marital vows at the Apapa Registry in the presence of selected friends and family members. Some weeks back, Yomi and Fran had a formal family introduction in the United Kingdom. The inseparable lovers then came down to Nigeria some weeks ago to formally introduce Fran to Yomi’s family. An overjoyed Yomi, who told his critics a few weeks ago that he wasn’t marrying Fran for any financial gains or for a British passport, described his wife as his true love. The couple was both dressed in white outfits. While Yomi wore a white suit with lemon green shirt, Fran was dressed in a halter neck wedding dress. The halter neck was tapped with blue fabric and beautified with a white design. Fran really looked simple with her earring and hair accessory. It was celebration galore for both the couple and their guests who were vividly happy for the new husband and wife. It was gathered that Yomi met Fran, a Human Resource consultant, through a fan that also doubles as his friend.

From the first day, I knew she’s my wife –Obinwanne OLUWASEGUN IJABIKEN

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n Saturday, December 8, Ngozi Nwaichi and Obinwanne Ogan, both from Abia State, quit singlehood. Both lovers were joined in holy wedlock at the Assem-

Mr and Mrs. Ogan

blies of God Church (Agbelekale 1), Abule-Egba, Lagos. The groom was decked in a cute black suit, white shirt, peach tie and a colourful corsage to match. Ngozi wore a simple but classic ivory gown that accentuated her lovely figure. She completed her bridal appearance with hair fascinator, earrings, necklace and bracelet. The relationship between Ngozi and Obinwanne began two years ago when the groom, Obinwanne accompanied Ngozi’s aunt to pay the Nwaichi family a visit. Thereafter they met again at a bus stop where they both exchanged pleasantries, called each other from time to time, became friends and last year December, Obinwanne popped the question, “Will you marry me?” and his heart-throb answered, “Yes!” According to Obinwanne, he knew that Ngozi was his wife from the first day he set his eyes on her. He appreciates the fact that she is loving and intelligent. He calls her “Akuugo”, an Igbo word meaning, “As precious as the eagle”. Ngozi, who calls her soul mate, “My Honey”, said he is humble, loving and down to earth. She is convinced that she made the right choice in marrying him. After the church blessings, all roads led to BSS Plaza, venue of the reception at Abule-Egba. The reception atmosphere was filled with excitement, love, merriment and all-round fun. Olive green and army green were the hallmarks of the day. The colours glamorously saturated the arena in form of decoration drapes, wedding cake and aso-ebi. When it was time for the couple to dance, Ngozi really rocked the floor with the popular Azonto dance steps to the admiration of all eyes. The highpoint of the event was when the chairman of the occasion, Ambassador Tony Ewelike, mentioned that he was also the chairman at the wedding of the bride’s parents many years ago. This declaration raised an overwhelming noise from the guests. The guests were sumptuously treated with mouthwatering delicacies and were mesmerised with sonorous music as well.

Ayomide Iyiola AbdulAzeez was born at Al-Iman Medical Centre, Dopemu, Lagos to AbdulWaheed and Medinah AbdulAzeez. He was delivered at 12:00 p.m. and weighed 2.5 kg at birth. Medinah disclosed that during pregnancy, “I craved for fruits and beans. I also loved eating amala with lots of vegetable.” Speaking about her physical body changes, Medinah stressed that, “Many people did not know I was pregnant initially because my stomach was not too big. However, I looked more beautiful during the pregnancy; I had no swollen feet, nose or face.” What do they love about Ayomide AbdulAzeez? “I am doing exclusive breast feeding for him; he sucks a lot, sleeps well and loves to play a lot too. He is handsome, calm and smiles a lot.” What do they want him to become in future? “We want him to be an Engineer,” she said. What is the meaning of his name? “Ayomide means my happiness has come and AbdulAzeez means the servant of the Powerful God,” Medinah explained.

Khadijat Toluwalope Busari was born at Jon-Ken Hospital, Akoka, Lagos to Mutiu and Hawau Busari. She was delivered at 2:12 p.m. and weighed 3.7 kg. According to Hawau, “during the pregnancy, I craved for fruits like watermelon, pineapple and orange.” Were there obvious physical body changes? Hawau said that during the pregnancy, she had swollen face aside from her bulging stomach. “Well, aside from my bulging stomach, my face was swollen,” Hawau emphasised. What do they love about Khadijat? “She is a peaceful, little girl,” Hawau said. What do they want her to become in future? “I want her to become successful in any career of her choice because we will support her as her parents,” Hauwa assured. What is the meaning of Khadijat? “Khadijat means the first and most favourite wife of the last prophet,” added Hawau.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

38

A Fashionista’s

World DECEMBER 30, 2012

I value my dignity more than money –Mildred Fair-complexioned and Delta State-born Mildred Onwuelo is a model. In this interview with Angela Davies, she reveals that as a growing girl, she was nicknamed Agbani Darego by her family because she was very slim. However, her passion for modelling makes the name to stick, as modelling is what brought the real Agbani Darego to the limelight. Did you ever dream of becoming a model? Actually, I never thought of becoming a model but when I was younger, they used to call me the Agbani Darego of my family because I was and am still very slim. As I grew older, I discovered that I had the passion for modeling and I thank God, it has been good so far. How did you feel being likened to a woman like Agbani Darego? It made me feel great and excited because we are talking about the first black woman to be crowned Miss World. How was growing up for you? My growing up was fun. As a child, I was more of a dancer. I also like to wear clothes to look very beautiful and stand in front of the mirror to admire myself. Define your style I just like to look elegant and fabulous. As a model, when strutting the runway, what goes through your mind? When on the run way, I know that people are not only looking and admiring the outfit I am modelling, they are also looking out to see how I will carry myself and the impact I will create at that moment; so I try to do my best. If I have to smile or ‘bone’ to create that effect, I do. It is about giving the audience something to remember you for. Who are your role models when it comes to modeling? I admire Kimora Simon because she started modeling at the age of 13 and today, she has her clothing line due to hard work and determination. Everything about her is fabulous and I love being fabulous. As a model, what are some of the negative impressions about models? There are so many and it is really destroying our career. Nobody sees models as responsible ladies, they see us as very loose girls and it is not nice because everybody is not that way. And this is because some models cheapen themselves just to get jobs done, people see and so they must talk. But the truth is we are all different people. Some models have said that models are not well paid. How true is this? Yes, it is kind of true. What they pay us is very little but I just believe when you get the big break nothing can stop you. You just have to wait for the right time to get the big break. The reality is that you have to start from somewhere to get to where you want to be. For how much can you model nude? I cannot model naked; I value my dignity more than

the money. Don’t get me wrong, I like money but I don’t love money but I love myself. Money is essential in life but the truth is that, it is a material thing and as such it comes and goes. But my dignity will remain intact. If you have to flaunt any part of your body, where will that be? That will be my legs because people tell me I have very fresh legs. What is that fashion item you cannot do without as a woman? I cannot do without my jean trouser because I feel very comfortable in it. The good thing is that you can wear a pair of jean with just any kind and colour of tops and it will just match perfectly. What thrills you about fashion? Fashion is just like a spirit, you see beautiful and nice things and you just love them. For me, I am thrilled by anything beautiful and lovely when it comes to fashion. Maybe I should just say I love fashion generally. Who are those fashionista you admire? I admire Tyra Banks. Aside the fact that she is black and very pretty, her fashion sense is impeccable. Also, she has really encouraged a lot of models. In Nigeria, I admire Elohor Aisien, Beth’s CEO. Although I have never met her in person, the way she dresses and carries herself is exquisite. What is your philosophy of life? Life is good and beautiful, let us enjoy it. How can you describe yourself? Mildred is very easy going, calm and playful. I am just me, I like to be myself. What makes you happy? Food makes me happy because I love food. I know I am not fat but I love food (Laughs) What is your favourite colour? My favourite colour is red; I guess it suits my complexion. Everybody has one fear or the other; what is your greatest fear in life? My greatest fear is death. Death does not come knocking at your door to inform you, it just comes and I am very scared. How do you love your make-up? I love my make-up simple. I believe you pray. What do you tell God when you pray? I tell God to bless my movement and also make me bigger and better. What advice do you have for girls that want to go into modeling? If you want to be a model, you have to be yourself, be humble and be determined to stand out. They should avoid trying to get to the top through shortcut. I want them to know that some people will encourage them while some will discourage them, but it is left for them to decide what they really want and be focused.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Opinion

Sunday December 30, 2012

2013 and your nextdoor neighbour F orty-eight hours hence, a new year will be pronounced on an innocuous time circle that shapes human existence, grants some soul-soothing allure and ensures the restlessness of hope. For those who survived the somewhat fiendish gale of various tragedies that occurred in this parting 2012, there would be convincing reasons to kneel down at respective worship centres on new year day, and jabber words of prayer, seeking forgiveness of sins and asking God for every imaginable blessing. But as in the mutating wonder characterising human moments, a man or woman sighted in a church or mosque, or even in a shrine praying, can again appear as a thief, robber, kidnapper, sore betrayer or in the least, a brawler. That is the incertitude in human character, for which those affected themselves sometimes make inward efforts to contain, but in vain. But as a constitution stands to uphold the sanctity of a nation and regulate the acts of power players, so do the statute books exist to maintain law and order by stipulating requisite punishment for any law broken. These are no strange homilies to the ears of anyone given to listening to radio, viewing the TV, reading newspapers or sitting in the patio, to learn from elders. What is, however, befuddling in the character of humans these days, perhaps, dovetails to the cliché of loss in value, which in any case remains a

factor, in the overall drift to this ensuing culture of the serpentine camaraderie. Take the prevalence of kidnapping, for instance. Often time, police investigations usually point in the direction of a black sheep within a family of the kidnapped, who must have arranged with external predators to abduct the victim with the aim of securing ransom either from the child of the kidnapped or someone who greatly cherishes the abducted person. Much as people have been playing Judas from time immemorial, the advancing form of betrayal, as is common nowadays, reeks of parched humanity, corroded by disillusionment. Without denying the fact that religious fanatics exist or that extremists are found in all religions, all yielding to violent acts, these days’ manner is peculiarly Nigeria’s. In a nutshell, it can be traced to the fact that a hungry man is patently angry. A society having 150 million population with about 80 percent of the people consigned to the bottomless pit of grinding poverty arising from joblessness, should go no further to lament its fate. Everywhere, the culture of communal trust needed to live in peace and harmony has taken flight in the face of mutual desperation to, not just survive, but also live up to social expectation. Jerkily, the country wobbles on as the people live with sharp reflexes, not sure of their neighbours and thoroughly disgusted with what seems to be the rudderless approach of government. All that have been hyped as major achieve-

ments of the Federal Government this year, to the ordinary man in the street, are cheap talks that present those in power as heartless comedians. In 2012, while useful efforts had been dissipated by the President Goodluck Jonathan government to catch the hare that are the insurgents, the bomb throwers themselves find ready-made planks in the army of the poor, the set of people who would go do thanksgiving, if they are able to feed two times a day. If I am gainfully employed with a roof on my head and without a landlord to harass me, and if I own a healthy car and I can stock my pantry with choice foodstuff, and if my room or living room is lit up 24 hours to enable me study, watch TV or use electrical appliances for domestic shores, and if I have recreation facilities in my neighbourhood to engage my extra time, and then someone suddenly turns up to engage me in a crime or bloody religious or political vengeance, will I go? While the weird dimensions in climate change come as stupefying scenery of the sculpture of the unseen hands, the western world is already appropriately animated by the changes, to make its environment worth living. They also work conscientiously, making those in government to render genuine accounts of their stewardship or get booted out of office. But here, while those in government are hidden away by tainted car shields and are regaling in the cool breeze of a reserved habitat, the poor also sit back

39

Kayode Fasua

kayodefasua@nationalmirroronline.net (08034101207; SMS only, pls)

in happy dejection, as they become carefree with socio-political and invariably, economic ethics. A menial jobber, who having sucked up a sachet of water known as ‘pure water’, ordinarily sees no harm in throwing the refuse on a paved street. Unknown to him, the sachet is not bio-degradable like a leaf or tomato paste. Its bits and mounds on the street, for instance, would be streamed by the rains to block some canal somewhere, resulting in flooding. This dimension of my appraisal of 2012 is what I consider inwardly gratifying in that, for the lot of the Nigerian masses, inspiration was never drawn through discernable mark of government presence, in this receding year. The year, in terms of clear government achievements, is akin to Wole Soyinka’s description of a wasted generation. So, as hunger hits hard in the neighbourhood and as the hope of securing a job by your nextdoor neighbour looks patently forlorn, simply re-sharpen your reflexes, though be merciful. And if you are the jobless pal, take consolation in God. Anything can happen. Happy new year.

Can Justice Ojo get ‘justice’ in Osun? OLUMIDE L AWAL

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rofound dispensation of justice is one cardinal issue that all living beings should hold paramount to hearts in our daily interactions. Be it at family, communal, corporate, state or federal levels, justice should be seen to be done when necessary and equitably too, without sentiments, ill-feeling or bad blood. It should be done with the fear of God.

Even in the Holy Quran, it is expressly stated and I quote Q4:135. “O ye who believe, be ye staunch in justice, witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or your parents or your kindrens. Whether the case be of a rich man or a poor man, for Allah is nearer unto both than ye are. So follow not passion, lest ye lapse from truth and if ye lapse or fall away, then lo I Allah is ever informed of what ye do”. The issue of appointment of a substantive Chief Judge for State of Osun, after the deserved retirement of the former Chief Judge, Olaniyi Ojo, has been very touchy, intriguing and full of needless innuendoes. It therefore calls for the wisdom of Solomon on the part of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the Governor of State of Osun, to do the right thing. And I want to trust, that the governor as a true Muslim, believes absolutely in the above Quranic injunction. It should be his guide in the onerous task at hand, so that he does not lapse or fall away from doing that, which is just right and equitable. Justice (Mrs) Oyebola Adepele Ojo, is about to be an unjust victim of equally unwarranted injustice against her person and career as the next rightful Chief Judge

of Osun State, all parameters and indices put together. Since the creation of Osun State, succession for the post of the Chief Judge has been without rancours, because the state chief executives concerned, be it military or civilian, has always followed due process; and did nothing that would have rocked the judicial boat. Hence an absolute cordiality, espirit de corp and respect among our revered judges in Osun was ensured. For reasons best known to Aregbesola, the status quo, God forbids, is about to be altered. The apple cart is about to be turned and Osun judiciary may not be the same again. Whereas the saying goes, that the last hope of the proverbial common man is the judiciary. Are we sure, that a ‘tainted’ judiciary, the type that governor Aregbesola is about to put in place, will be able to serve this noble role again in Osun? It is an unassailable fact that Justice (Mrs) Adepele Ojo is the most senior judge in the judicial hierarchy of State of Osun and so, is eminently qualified to assume the exalted post without hazzles. This much, the National Judicial Council (NJC) has said. The National Judicial Council (NJC) has done the right thing by approving and recommending Adepele Ojo as the most qualified to be appointed as the next substantive Chief Judge of State of Osun. Can such a respected body, as the NJC be wrong in its recommendation of Justice Adepele Ojo to Osun Governor for confirmation, after due diligence, but an aborted screening by the state legislature, which of course, seemed to have compromised itself unwittingly. What on earthdoes Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola wants to prove, by denying Justice

(Mrs) Oyebola Adepele Ojo her due right of becoming the next Chief Judge of State of Osun? Is there anything personal to the issue at stake between Aregbesola and Justice (Mrs) Oyebola Ojo? In this era of 35% affirmation for women in public offices, it is just appropriate, that the State of Osun should be part of history in this realm by getting Justice Oyebola Ojo appointed as a substantive Chief Judge. It is hard to believe that despite NJC Abuja’s due diligence on this matter, having found Justice (Mrs) Adepele Ojo as the most senior judge who also has discharged her duties meritoriously and without any blemish, Governor Aregbesola just wants to ‘sacrifice’ her on the altar of ego and “what-can-they-do-to-me?” parlance. Furthermore, Justice (Mrs) Ojo has meritoriously represented the retiring Chief Judge on several official engagements. She is from a senatorial district, (Osun West) that has never produced the Chief Judge for the state. Why denying her and her district their well-earned chance, based on merit for reasons Aregbesola is yet to disclose to members of the public. Though, I am not carried away by wherever Justice Oyebola Ojo hails from, the incumbent Chief Justice of the federation, Mrs. Aloma Maryam Mukthar was appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan based on seniority, backed by the recommendation of the National Judicial Council. President Jonathan did not bungle the system as Aregbesola is trying to do in Osun. The current Chief Judge of Lagos State, a woman of substance, was appointed based on seniority. The insistence of Governor Aregbesola to have a judge from the Lagos judiciary

as the purported next Chief Judge of Osun by whatever means, leaves an ash in the mouth. It leaves much to be desired. Whose ego is Ogbeni Aregbesola trying to satisfy in this regard, if information from the grapevine is anything to go by? Whereas, the said judge, though from Osun State, is at present No. 33 in the judicial hierarchy of Lagos State where he presently works, if he were to be sworn in on the same date he did so in Lagos State, he will fall to No. 11 in Osun judicial hierarchy. Why didn’t those favourably disposed to the Lagos judge being a Chief Judge by all means, not clear the 32 Judges ahead of him in Lagos State and ‘install’ him as Chief Judge? Or would he have literally gone over the heads of the 10 judges ahead of him in Osun State and become the Chief Judge and we would expect to have the other judges smile at him? What really is the matter with Ogbeni Aregbesola in this sensitive issue? Why fishing in troubled water. Why stirring a hornet’s nest for no just cause? It will be recalled that Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was himself a ‘victim’ of injustice as a result of the 2007 governorship election and the manipulation of its result. Aregbesola was bailed out of the injustice by the judiciary, in addition to most people being sympathetic to his cause. Walahi, I swear, human memory is very short. That power intoxicates; and absolute power intoxicates absolutely, is just apt to describe Aregbesola’s stand and stance on the issue of the next Chief Judge of Osun State. Why robbing Peter to pay Paul? •Lawal wrote from Ede, Osun State.


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Politics

Sunday, December 30, 2012

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Obi: Seven years after, a report card he took the oath as governor. Obi, who was now in charge, began full implementation of his Anambra State Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS), an initiative put forward to simultaneously develop all sectors of the state. Obi, who is now in his second tenure, which started after he won the February 2010 governorship election, is beating his chest, boasting that he has transformed Anambra State and made it a preferred partner for donor agencies and sponsors of developmental projects. Besides praising his developmental strides, hordes of individuals and groups, including some media houses, have honoured Obi with the Governor of the Year Award and most Prudent and Fiscal Friendly Governor Award.

Obi

CHARLES OKEKE, AWKA

G

overnor Peter Obi of Anambra State will be spending his seventh year in office in 2013.This fact has raised a critical question of what were his achievements and the contentious issues Obi’s administration has faced over the years. Ascension to power Obi became Anambra State governor in 2006 after over three years of litigation. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Dr Chris Ngige, winner of the 2003 governorship election. The decision was rejected by Obi and his supporters. Consequently, Obi, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) governorship candidate, petitioned the Election Petition Tribunal, saying the PDP and Ngige rigged the 2003 poll. The tribunal, which sat in Awka, the Anambra State, nullified both the declaration of Ngige as winner of the election and his swearing-in as governor. The tribunal ruled that Obi was the validly elected candidate and was therefore entitled to be sworn-in as governor. But the matter did not end there as Dr Ngige appealed the tribunal’s ruling. The Appeal Court, which sat in Enugu, upheld the tribunal’s judgment as it ordered Ngige to vacate the governor’s office immediately. Obi was sworn in on March 17, 2006. He was barely seven months in office when some elements in the state House of Assembly reeled out contentious allegations on the basis of which he was investigated and impeached.

Obi was relentless in the pursuit of his mandate and legal right. He took up the challenge and lodged a suit against his impeachment. The matter proceeded from the High Court to the Supreme Court where the impeachment was nullified. With the nullification of the impeachment, Obi resumed duty as governor. He, however, repositioned himself for the emerging challenges, especially as they relate to good governance and consolidation of power. The 2007 general election was fast approaching and all the contenders and their political parties were busy campaigning and strategising on how to win the election and take over power from Obi, who at that time has not completed his mandatory four year tenure. The 2007 governorship poll was eventually held with INEC declaring the PDP candidate, Senator Andy Uba, winner. Uba was sworn in as Anambra State governor at a time Obi was yet to conclude his tenure. Again, Obi went back to court, challenging the validity of the 2007 governorship election. He contended that the election was invalid for the fact that he did not complete his statutory tenure before it was conducted. Obi filed a tenure interpretation case and pursued it doggedly from the High Court to the Supreme Court which finally came to his rescue. The Supreme Court declared that the election which brought Andy Uba to power was invalid as it was conducted when Obi’s tenure was still subsisting. And with the controversial election declared void, Andy Uba left the office for Obi to conclude his four year tenure deemed to have commenced in 2006 when

His achievements Among the achievements recorded by the administration of Governor Obi on the basis of which he was honoured cut across different sectors of the state. Obi transformed the health sector and established as well as equipped the Amaku University Teaching Hospital in Awka. This was in addition to the rehabilitation and equipping of public and mission hospitals in Onitsha, Ogidi, Ihiala, Awka, Nnewi and other cities. Obi made impact in the education sector. He rehabilitated all the public primary and secondary schools across the state with over N6 billion. The governor also recorded considerable achievement in the judiciary. In 2007, Obi signed a legal notice increasing the jurisdiction of the five categories of magistrate courts. This action effectively positioned the courts to hear and determine the plaintiffs’ claims. He established the Customary Court of Appeal and attracted the Federal High Court, which has been sitting in Awka for almost four years now. The Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2010 which contains ample provisions for the smooth administration of justice was enacted by Obi’s administration. In the area of security of life and property, Obi has performed above average. One of the things he did shortly after he assumed office was the promulgation of public notice Number One on July 23, 2006 wherein some groups and organisations, such as the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) accused of fomenting trouble in the state were banned. Since then, other troublesome organisations and groups have been proscribed. The governor has been donating vehicles and gadgets to the police for effective service delivery. Governor Obi also provided roads for the 177 communities in the state. At the commissioning of the office of Anambra Road Maintenance Agency in Awka, Obi told the anxious audience that he had invested over N49 billion in the construction and rehabilitation of over 500 kilometers of roads since the inception of his administration in 2006. It was, therefore, not surprising that Labour leaders at this year’s May Day rally commended Obi. “There is no pretence with what Mr. Peter Obi is doing with Anambra State money. On April 12, 2012, about 112 Labour leaders and workers of Anambra State visited to all the completed projects in Anambra State, we went, we saw and we were all full of praises for the governor and his team for these projects. I am standing here now, I am looking at the

longest bridge ever constructed by any state government in Nigeria, and that is Odor Bridge. I am delighted to report that the Otuku Bridge has solved the transportation problems in Anambra West,” one of the Labour leaders said. Challenges However, there are contentious issues which have been confronting the government over the years and for which Obi has been severely criticised by APGA and the opposition. Such issues include the non-conduct of local government election and his frugal attitude, which prevented people from having access to free money. Obi has been criticised for using transition committees to run the state’s 21 local government areas since he assumed office. The matter is compounded by the court action initiated against the state government by the former Chairman of the Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC), Prof. Titus Eze, who is challenging his removal from office. For almost two years now, the case has dragged on with no end in sight. In 2008, a group led by one Dr Okey Umeano filed a suit filed at the state High Court seeking an order of mandamus to compel ANSIEC to conduct the local government election. The suit and others, which were subsequently filed by aggrieved parties, did not achieve anything as they were dismissed by courts. Anambra State workers have also been demanding that the local government election should be conducted. The state chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) expressed worry over the governor’s refusal to institute democratic governance in the 21 local government areas. The Association of Chairmanship and Councillorship Aspirants is another vocal group that has been battling Obi over his failure to conduct local government election. At a press briefing held in Awka recently, the group led by Mr. C.A.C Nnorom, urged the National Assembly to stop the Federal Ministry of Finance from releasing the monthly allocation to the Anambra State Government untill the council poll is conducted. Chief Victor Umeh, the embattled National Chairman of APGA, has been fighting Obi on the issue of local government election. A group known as the National Association of Igbo Youths had, in a sponsored advertorial, claimed that the problem between Chief Umeh and Governor Obi stemmed from Umeh’s purported position that the local government local should be conducted. Obi’s stance Obi has consistently maintained that he is ready to conduct the local government election. He said the poll had not been conducted because of the numerous suits filed against the government by some politicians. Addressing journalists recently, Obi said that after he won his re-election, ANSIEC wanted to conduct the poll, but some people challenged the decision, claiming that voters’ register was faulty. Summing up his position on the issue, Obi called on those who sued the government to withdraw their cases to enable ANSIEC conduct the election.


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Politics

Sunday, December 30, 2012

ped the country

2012 IN RETROSPECT

Jega

Mimiko

Oshiomhole

Chime

still earn the hammer in months to come but the exercise has sparked off a heated debate among stakeholders. While some viewed the action as a step in the right direction, others insisted that the electoral body lacked the powers to carry out such exercise. Affected by the exercise were Pastor Chris Okotie’s Fresh Democratic Party; Balarabe Musa’s Peoples Redemption Party; and the National Reformation Party, founded by the late nationalist, Anthony Enahoro. The National Advance Party of Dr. Tunji Braithwaite and the Democratic Peoples Alliance of former Finance Minister, Chief Olu Falae were also on the list. The licences granted to the affected parties have since been withdrawn due to their inability to win any electoral seat in the 2011 elections. Merger/alliance plot by opposition parties Leading opposition parties in Nigeria which include the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) with their leaders are putting head together to fashion a way to boot out the PDP from government. Leaders of these parties including former military President Mohammadu Buhari, former President candidate Ibrahim Shekarau and Tinubu have been meeting steadily in the past months to work out a modality to either form an alliance in the coming elections or former a mega party where all the parties involved in the talk will collapse into. The PDP has written off any such formation as an amalgam of strange bed fellows which it said can hardly rattle the party. Observers are of the opinion that no opposition party as they are presently constituted can win the presidential election.

Politicians and the Boko Haram linkage Before now, the activities of the sect was never significantly linked to anybody, but with recent development, more faces have been unmasked as allegedly being behind the groups activities. Two serving senators, Ali Ndume, Ahmed Zanna and former Borno state governor Senator Ali Modu Sherif have variously been in the news for alleged involvement in the sponsorship of the terrorist activities of the Boko Haram sect. Ndume and Zanna have been quizzed by the security agencies and left out of the hook while Sherif has remained untouched. Nigerians have continued to wonder why the government which once admitted the presence of the sect in all sector of the government can not wield the big stick and step on big toes in other to arrest the increasing destruction of live and property by the sect. However, only recently the sect waved an olive branch when it nominated Buhari, alongside other northern elite as mediators in the proposed peace talks between it and the government. They include a former minister, Dr. Shettima Ali Monguno; former Yobe State governor, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Ambassador Gaji Galtimari, Hajia Aisha Alkali Wakil and her husband, Alkali Wakil. Buhari, however, backed out, saying his nomination for the planned peace parley without his consent was a ploy by the PDPled government to indict and nail him. Controversy over Achebe’s book In his latest book, “There was a Country (A Personal History Of Biafra)” which chronicles his personal account of the war, Prof. Chinua Achebe’s views sparked off heated debate that raged for a long time,

sition parties go?

the elections in 2015, this is a wrong said. ere supposed to be a group of people stos to improve the lot of the people. able that the merger plan of opposiogy or common principle but on selfn the PDP. mocracy is best practiced when there racy without a strong opposition is

y should tell Nigerians what they can pull PDP down, this is a wrong polir would disintegrate soon after it was ng interests that would be involved. n would be in the interest of the PDP e said would be so because, the PDP d win back most of the places it lost. stay as they are and work with panced democracies. the Labour Party in Britain several

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Ndume

Dickson

bringing to the fore the age-old animosity between the Yoruba of South-West Nigeria and the Igbo of the South-East. Whereas the Yoruba argued that Achebe was unfair to their hero – late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who was Minister of Finance during the war, the Igbo insisted that Achebe was right to communicate his account of the war from his personal prism and vantage position as Information Minister for the defunct Biafran government. The major driver of the war and then Head of state General Yakubu Gowon’s role during the war was ignored in the ethnic interface. Senator, Assemblyman killed in Plateau funeral In what appeared as the climax of the sectarian violence in Plateau state, chairman Senate Committee on Health, Senator Gyang Dantong, and a member of the state House of Assembly representing Barkin Ladi Constituency, Hon. Gyang Fulani, were among scores of mourners killed in Matse village, Riyom Local Government Area by suspected Fulani gunmen. The two lawmakers were reportedly killed when the gunmen invaded the village as they were attending a mass burial for 63

years to get to power, adding that democracy required patience. However, former National Secretary of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and secretary, National Rebuilding Inter-party Contact Committee, Chief George Moghalu, while admitting that some of the past efforts to form an alliance against a ruling party did not succeed, is optimistic that there will be a difference this time round. While speaking in a recent media chat, he stated that “one major problem we have had in the past is that alliances, or discussion on alliances, discussion on merger, started few days, few months to elections, at a time most of the political parties have taken their positions. In a situation like that, there is no way you expect people to drop their ambitions, to drop their plans and whatever. So, that has been a major constraint, but this time around, negotiations, discussions have started quite early before elections, so that people can have the opportunity to look at all issues, dispassionately. Don’t forget that this time, there is no contest, nobody is a presidential candidate, nobody is a vice-presidential candidate, and nobody is a governorship candidate. We have a president in place, we have a vice-president in place and we have governors in place. “Elections have come and gone. It is about governance now. So, you

victims of Saturday’s attack in Karkuruk, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of the state. Another lawmaker, Hon. Simon Davou Mwadkwon, a member of the House of Representatives representing Barkin Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency and Chairman of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, Mr. Emmanuel Lomang, narrowly escaped death. Their death created vacuum in their various constituencies which have been filled through bye-election. Governors and their misfortunes Governors Sullivan Chime and Liyel Imoke have relinquished duties for over three months in search of therapeutic assistance for their health challenges. Two major issues came up; one is the issue of emergence of the era of private jet ownership by the rich which Nigeria is said to be ranked in pole position in Africa; and two, accumulated illegally ‘Leave syndrome’ which some governors and other public officers have arrogated to themselves, leaving their duties to suffer. In most states, the deputy governors are not permitted to act as dictated by the constitution and in so doing crippling the governance.

have enough time to look at how you can at the end of the day, merge or align— whatever language, whatever name you want to call it. So, you have enough time to look at the challenges, look at peoples’ expectations, look at what you want; you put everything on the table. I also want to say there appears to be sincerity of purpose; there appears to be commitment on every side that there is a need, at least, to get it right now.” Meanwhile, stakeholders in the polity are watching to see if alliance of opposition parties can indeed work, and dislodge the PDP from the seat of power which it has been occupying since 1999. The party has indeed boasted that it would at least rule for a minimum of 50 years before it can be upstaged. But the gathering of the opposition parties appears to be unsettling the PDP giving the condemnation of the alliance by some notable members of the party. Moreover, considering the fact that the opposition parties are grouping early enough as against some past attempts where they embarked on it close to the election, opinion moulders are of the view that 2015 may indeed be the time that opposition parties have been waiting for. However, one major challenge to the opposition parties is the power of incumbency which plays a major role in election in the country. The president, a large number of the governors, ministers, top government functionaries, and many more, are members of the PDP. They are also believed to be wealthy enough to dictate the direction of votes to the electorate.


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Sunday, December 30, 2012

GROWING UP with

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

HAPP

FUNNY ANIMAL PICTURE Cat drinking beer

Aunty Angela growingup5@yahoo.com

Hello children, How did you spend your Christmas Day? I hope your parents, uncles or even aunts took you out to visit interesting places, family members and loved ones. Well, today is the last Sunday in the year 2012 which incidentally is also two days into the New Year. Everyone likes to celebrate the New Year and children are no exception. I will not say you should make New Year resolutions; rather, parents should help their children set goals for the year and make efforts to enable them achieve them, especially concerning their academics. I wish you all a prosperous New Year in advance.

Facts about Ostrich

RIDDLES What begins with T, ends with T and has T in it? Answer: A teapot What belongs to you but others use it more than you do?

Answer: Your name When one does not know what it is, then it is something; but when one knows what it is, then it is nothing. Answer: A riddle

DID YOU KNOW? A duck’s quack does echo but hard to hear

R

•Ostrich family known as the Struthionidae is the largest living bird in the world. •They have long neck and legs. •Ostriches cannot fly but they can run fast. They are the second fastest animal in the world. They can run at 45 miles per hour (70 km. per hour) and can maintain this speed for at least 30 minutes. •Their wings help them maintain balance when running, but are mainly used for communication and courtship. •Ostriches eat plants, insects like locusts, and small animals such as lizards. •They lack teeth’s hence they swallow pebbles which help in grinding the food in the stomach. •Ostriches can go without water for a long time, however, they like water and enjoy bathing. •Male ostrich are mostly black with some white accents, while females and immature males are grayish-brown and white. •There are two basic types of ostrich: pink-necked, pink-legged birds and bluish-necked, bluish-legged birds. Their

Swahili name is Mbuni. •Ostrich do not bury their heads in the sand. It only appears so because when they can’t run from danger, they flop to the ground and lay still. •Ostrich kicks can kill a human or a potential predator like a lion. •Ostrich only have two toes with long sharp claws. All other birds have three or four toes. •An ostrich egg can weigh about three pounds. That is equivalent to two dozen chicken eggs. •An ostrich’s eye is almost two inches large, the largest of any land animal and it has three sets of eyelids. •They have very acute sense of sight and hearing; they can sense the predator from far away. •An Ostrich can live up to 75 years. •It grows about 25 cm (10 inches) per month during the first year of life. •At one year, ostriches weigh around 45 kg (100 pounds).

Doctor, it hurts

Three mice

JOKES

A man goes to the doctor and tells him, “Doctor, wherever I touch, it hurts.” The doctor asks him, “What do you mean?” The man says, “When I touch my shoulder, it really hurts. When I touch my knee, ouch and when I touch my forehead, it really, really hurts. Please doctor what is wrong with me?” The doctor looks at him straight in the face and says, “I know what is wrong with you. You have broken your finger.”

Three mice were being chased by a cat. When they were eventually cornered by the rat, one of the mice turned around and barked, “Ruff! Ruff! Ruff” Surprised by the sound from the mice, the cat ran away scared. Later that evening, when the mice told their mother what happened, she smiled and said, “You see, it pays to be multi-lingual!”

esearch has shown that a duck’s quack does echo, but it is hard to hear because it is difficult to distinguish the quack from the echo. There are several reasons why it is difficult to hear the echo. For instance, echoes are produced after loud noises. Ducks quack very softly, so the reflected sound is difficult to hear. Also, a reflecting surface is needed to hear an

MAZE

echo. Ducks tend not to live near reflecting surfaces such as cliff faces or buildings. An echo could

be heard more readily if the duck quacked whilst flying past such as surface.

BRAIN TEASERS

Two men got a lion and a goat to a river. They have only one boat. It is small and can only carry a man and an animal. How can the men and the animals reach the other side of the river? Answer: The men row across. One comes back takes the lion to the other side, then rows back and takes the goat As I went across the bridge, I met a man with a load of wood which was neither straight nor crooked. What kind of wood was it? Answer: Sawdust

QUOTE

Winners never quit and quitters never win. –Anon Children, you can send your contributions and pictures through this email address growingup5@yahoo.com or call telephone number: 0805 198 0588


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43

Sunday, December 30, 2012

TONGUE TWISTER

PY NEW YEAR

The crow flew over the river with a lump of raw liver. Fred fed Ted bread, and Ted fed Fred bread.

POEM

Mister Moon Mister Moon looks ooks out of the sky And watches me with his big bright eye Ands follows me wherever I go Hello, Mister Moon! oon! Hello! Of all the children ren that he can see Why does he choose hoose to follow me? And watch me with his eye so bright Good night, Mister Moon! Good night!

Answer to last week’s sport quiz

WHO INVENTED WHAT…?

Emmanuel Adebayor Jersey no 4

Charles Goodyear created vulcanized rubber

B

y the mid 1830s, it seemed as though the rubber industry in America was going under. The problem with the new material was that it was unstable thus becoming completely solid and cracking in the winter, then melting into grease in the summer. Miraculously the industry was saved by an inventor called Charles Goodyear, a man with no knowledge of chemistry but who worked stubbornly and tenaciously to develop vulcanized rubber. Charles Goodyear was an American inventor who developed a process to vulcanize rubber in 1839, a method that he perfected while living and working in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1844, and for which he received patent number 3633 from the United States Patent Office on June 15, 1844, 4, licensed it to manufacturers, and showcased d it at exhibitions. Vulcanized rubber could be used to manufacture shoes, oes, waterproof clothing, tires, res, life jackets, balls, hats, s, umbrellas and rafts. Goodyear discovcovered the vulcanizazation process accidenntally after five years rs of searching for a more stable rubber. er. He was actually lookking for ways to make ake rubber easier to work ork with while being resistant to heat and cold. d. One day, he spilled a mixture xture of rubber, sulfur and lead into a hot stove. The heat at overcooked the mixture but didn’t idn’t ruin it. When Goodyear picked up the accident, he noticed that the mixture had hardened but was still

quite usable. It was the breakthrough he had been waiting for. Without a steady job, he lived for years off of advancements from investors. When his experiments with rubber continually failed, Goodyear reduced his family to poverty, was jailed for debt and derided by society as a mad man. Today, his vulcanized rubber is used in everything from tires, shoes to hockey pucks. In 1814, Charles left his home and went to Philadelphia to learn the hardware business. He worked industriously until he was 21 years old, and then, returning to Connecticut, entered into partnership in his father’s business in Naugatuck, where they manufactured not only ivory and metal buttons, but a variety of agricultural implements. Charles Goodyear Goodyea was born on December Decemb 29, 1800 in New Haven, H Connecticut Connecticu and oldest of the olde six children. ch died on He di July 1, 1860 New in York City on the eve t of the th Civil War. W His sold son the Goodname year in 1865, 1865 the year the patent deexpired. Several Seve cades later, an Akron tire manufacturer named his own company Goodyear Tire and Rubber, in honor of the inventor.

POP


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44

Lessons of Life

ANGELA DAVIES lessonsoflife2@yahoo.com 08023342083

TRUE LIFE STORY ON MATTERS OF THE HEART DECEMBER 30, 2012

‘Is there anything wrong in marrying our housemaid?’

M

y name is Derex. I come from a very wealthy family. I am the fourth of five male siblings and we live in Lekki, in Lagos State. Right from my childhood, we had everything at our beck and call. My father owns companies in Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna and Port Harcourt and as a golden rule, immediately after your National Youth Service, you must work in one of the companies in any state of your choice. However, we all settled for the company in Lagos. Before we started working, my father paid us monthly salaries while we were still in school aside from our monthly allowance at the end of the month. He said he did not want us to lack anything. I was the most stubborn of all my brothers. As a rule, I only dated girls and made friends with people in our social class. I looked down on those I considered to be below my class. Because of my attitude, some of my extended family members consciously avoided coming close to me when they visited our house. I would describe myself as pompous but as I grew older, all that changed as I realised that life is what you make out of it. At the age of 18, I started dating a childhood friend, Claudia. Both parents encouraged and supported our relationship. Fortunately, we gained admission into the University of Lagos the same year to study Mechanical Engineering. In our department, they knew us together as a couple. Our friends and family members all believed that our relationship was destined by God as we were inseparable. The only thing that separated us was our compulsory one-year National Youth Service. While I was posted to Abuja, Claudia served in Lagos. However, despite the distance, we communicated a lot through the telephone and face book. Aside from that, we exchanged visits every two weeks throughout the duration of the service year. When I eventually returned to Lagos, I started working in my father’s company while Claudia got a job with one of the oil companies in Lagos as well. I made sure I picked her up after work every day since we both live in the same area. Sometimes, she spends the weekend with my family because my parents love and adore her a lot. After one of such weekends with us, my mother told me that she had something very important to discuss with me. “Derex,

my son, now that you have started working, why don’t you think of settling down with Claudia? Your three elder brothers are married and your younger brother is in the university. We all know she is a well brought up lady. Aside from that, everyone in the family likes her,” she said. I smiled and said, “Mother, I think you read my mind because I was thinking of proposing to her next weekend so that we can commence our marriage plans. I have waited for eight years to have her as my wife. I hope she will accept me?” “Of course she will. Claudia loves you as much as you love her,” she assured. The next weekend, I took Claudia to her favourite restaurant and proposed to her. She accepted without hesitation. This made me so happy and we both agreed to officially inform our parents. About a month later, both families met to start discussing about our wedding plans. It was however

agreed that the wedding should take place in the next six months, exactly on Claudia’s birthday. Both of us had no problems with that. I looked forward to walking down the aisle with the woman I love so much. But I later noticed that Claudia was not as excited as I was. I know that nobody is perfect but Claudia was too superficial and she cares only about herself. I felt with time she would change but how wrong I was. Some weeks later, I fell sick and was hospitalised. I spent about eight days in the hospital but Claudia only came to see me once. That was on the second day. She did not even bother to call to find out how I was faring. Iwas shocked, I must confess. Whenever I called her cell phone, she did not pick my calls. If she did she would simply say, “Please I’m busy; I will call you back later.” But she never returned my calls. Throughout my stay at the hospital, it was our house help, Shaki, who took care of me

generally because my parents travelled out of the country. Shaki had always been a hardworking and caring girl and we all like her personality, although she had to drop out of secondary school when she lost her parents in a car accident. Shaki prepared my food and brought same to the hospital for me. Sometimes, even when I had no appetite to eat anything, she encouraged me to eat and even spoon-fed me if I needed, so that I would have food in my stomach to take my drugs. It was during that period that I came to like her even more. Claudia’s parents too came to see me once at the hospital too. When I was finally discharged, I told the driver to take me straight to Claudia’s office but Shaki tried to discourage me. “Brother Derex, why don’t you go home straight and rest? You can see her tomorrow,” Shaki suggested. But I didn’t listen to her. When I got to Claudia’s office to enquire why she only visited me once and never bothered to call nor return my calls, she said that she had been very busy. “Sorry, Derex, I have been too busy. I will try and come and see you at home on my way home from work. Anyway, when were you discharged?” she asked. “I just left the hospital and I am on my way home but decided to see you first,” I emphasised. She gave me a hug and a peck and I left. Surprisingly, she did not come to see me as promised. Even when I called her phone, she did not pick up nor did she send a text message to explain why she couldn’t make it. I was feeling downcast but Shaki tried all she could to cheer me up. The next day, a Saturday, I went to their house and her parents informed me that she went out with a friend. I complained to them about her attitude of late and they told me, I should talk to her because they cannot tell me anything. “Well, I will advise that both of you should sit down and talk,” stressed her mother. “When she does not even pick my calls nor come to see me, how do we talk?” I questioned. All my efforts to get Claudia and to sit down and talk proved abortive. I loved her so much and really wanted to know why the sudden change in her attitude towards me and our relationship. To be continued next week.

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

RESPONSES

Re: ‘Cletus, I’m sorry I cannot marry an illiterate’ I really feel for Cletus, he is such a good man and does not deserve this treatment. But I also understand where you are coming from. Inasmuch as it will not be easy for both of you, I will like you to take good care of Cletus, explain your situation better to him than using his level of education as an excuse. Cletus has a good heart, I am sure he will understand. You should as a matter of urgency do something to improve his living condition and empower him financially. Ngozi, Kaduna – 08034079550 You are heartless and mean. You don’t have human sympathy by calling who saw you through the university an illiterate. It is

ungodly. You better go and bring Cletus back to life or face the nemesis. Prince Kc, Benue State – 08060330309 I lack words to qualify you but the only thing I can say is that you don’t have human heart. Your wickedness is beyond Jezebel’s – you consciously enslaved a loving and caring man only to psychologically kill him, rendering him a walking corpse. He helped you cross to the class you found yourself now so, why don’t you do the same thing for him so that he joins your class to satisfy your egotism, joy and happiness. You can hardly find men that would do this for a woman. Anzenge Yua Simon, Makurdi –

08064604040 You are wicked. You may have a good job and money but in your marital life, you may never find love or happiness. Ngozi – 08028302362 My opinion is that you should have married and molded him to your taste. After all, many literate men are animals in human skin. With what you have done, I pray that you will not fall into wrong hands. Moreover, love is not about being literate or illiterate; it is about caring and affection. The only mistake on the part of Cletus is that he should have let you know his intentions right from the onset.

Olalusi, Ifon Ondo State – 08030452035 You are wicked, heartless and self-centred. After all Cletus did for you, you now realised that he is an illiterate; that is quite bad of you. I will advise Cletus to take things easy as God will surely reward him for all the good things he did for you. Moses Godwin, Akure – 07066730101 It does not matter if Cletus is an illiterate or not. Remember, he was there for you when you were nothing. Please, don’t let your high classiness deceive you because I think he is the man designed for you to marry. Chuks, Agbor – 07038253294


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

45

Business FRESH BUSINESS NEWS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS December 30, 2012

TOLA AKINMUTIMI

T

he outgoing year may be described as one of the most exciting eras in government’s efforts aimed at further creating the necessary enabling environment and constructing a stronger macroeconomic policy platform for sustainable growth of the economy and by implications, Nigeria’s frenetic race to become one of the biggest economies globally by year 2020. President Goodluck Jonathan was very categorical about this mission when he laid the 2012 Appropriation Bill with the theme - ‘fiscal consolidation, inclusive growth and job creation’- before a joint session of the National Assembly on December 13 last year and promised that the budget would be “a stepping-stone to the transformation of our economy and country in our walk to economic freedom.” He stated that government had established four main pillars of macroeconomic stability; structural reforms; governance and institutions; and investing in priority sectors in order to achieve the broad objectives of the budget. The President, in a tone that clearly demonstrated his desire to improve the well-being of the ordinary Nigerians, assured that the Administration will promote job creation and inclusive growth by investing in critical infrastructure, human capital development and security including more support for the police, defence and counter-terrorism operations. “We shall also give priority attention to Information and Communications Technology, Solid Minerals development, Manufacturing, Aviation and Creative industries in order to further develop these sectors that are known to be sources of growth and job creation. “Let me now comment on a few sectors. The Agricultural sector is being totally transformed to enable us move from traditional farming to modern agriculture as a business both for our small and large-scale farmers. “Our objective is to ensure food security whilst also promoting exports in agriculture value chains where we have a comparative advantage. We intend to process and add value to different crops such as rice, cassava, sorghum, oil palm, cocoa, cotton etc”, the President promised.

Overview of the Economy

The administration may not have scored high in terms of the general wellbeing of the people as inflation remains high in the face of dwindling real income and socio-economic deprivation of diverse manifestations, the macroeconomic environment is getting better and prospects for improved performance of the economy are brighter than it used to be a few years ago. The country recently got a boost in her sovereign credit rating with Standard and Poor’s, one of the world’s leading ratings agencies, which upgraded Nigeria to BBfrom a B+, a rating which is three notches below investment grade, thereby joining Fitch in ranking Nigeria with this grade while Moody’s, another well respected global ratings firm, assigned Nigeria Ba3 rating, the first time ever it included Nigeria as part of its coverage. Similarly, by

Economy in 2012:

Great growth prospects, slow recovery

supports provided them by the government. Accusing the banks of failing in their primary financial intermediation roles in the economy at the 6th Annual Conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Abuja, the Minister of State for Finance, Dr Yerima Ngama, carpeted the banks for contributing little to the Gross National Product (GDP) and encouraging high interest rates on lending which, he said, had made credits inaccessible to farmers, small and medium enterprises and the manufacturing sector. The Minister said: “Since 1989 the Government, through the CBN and the NDIC have intervened to save the banking industry. In fact, it is the most protected industry in Nigeria. It is important that a healthy and strong financial sector is needed in order to have economic growth. To what extent this is true, is a subject of debate. “Most commentators believe that the banking sector is not supportive of the real sector. It only engages in financing imports at the detriment of the productive sector. For instance, the Textile Industry, Agriculture and Mining are not adequately supported by the banking sector hence the CBN intervention. “This cannot be sustained and it is therefore necessary for us to review our business model to ensure that the banking industry takes its rightful place in financing the vital sectors of the economy”, Ngama advocated.

Real Sector

Minister of National Planning, Dr. Usman

the assessment of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), despite the security challenges, credit crunch and myriads of other challenges which constituted a drawback to the country’s economic progress, the country improved on its overall economic performance scoring 4.18 points on a 10-point scale this year compared to the 3.93 per cent scored the previous year. Yes, power generation capacity has increased, the agriculture sector is adding more value to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate which rose to 6.48 per cent in Q3, 2012, multi-billion naira contracts had been awarded to fix decaying infrastructure in the transport sector, while the impressive portfolio of foreign direct investments (FDIs) is also being buoyed by foreign reserves which peaked at about $45 billion in November. The truth however is that the journey to getting the economy fully energised for global competitiveness is still long, especially when issues of per capital income parity, unemployment rate, insecurity, corruption, poor capital budgets implementation, housing gap and other Key Performance Indices (KPI) are used as its as-

Minister of Finance, Dr. Okonjo Iweala

sessment parameters. How can growth be explained when the real sector remains in near paralysis as policies to boost its performance continue to lack the vigour of implementation even as the import-dependent structure of the economy remains largely subsisting? How can President Goodluck Jonathan beat his chest as doing very well when the administration’s job creation drive, including the ‘YouWin’ component, could be likened to treating a leprous ailment with a mere rob of an ointment?

Financial Services Industry

Except for the far-reaching measures being put in place by the CBN which have helped in stabilising the financial system to a large extent, the banks are hardly doing better in terms of lending to operating entities in key sectors of the economy, especially the manufacturing sector. It was in recognition of the apparent statutory irresponsibility displayed by the financial institutions that made the Federal Government to openly indict them recently over their failure to impact positively on the economy despite substantial

Although many stakeholders believe that government’s initiatives targeted at reviving the real sector and improving job creation and other socio-economic empowerment of the citizenry are desirable for the economy, the general feelings amongst analysts is that the impact of such efforts are yet to be fully manifesting as the state of the sector is hardly better than it was in about a year ago. The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry in its just released (2012) Revised Business Environment Report, while commending the government for its bold strides to create enabling environment for businesses to thrive, identified the challenges of insecurity, high cost of capital and increasing cost of labour as major constraints to industrial efficiency and operational competitiveness requiring urgent attention. In its report which was signed by Director General of the Chamber, Mr. Muda Yusuf, also described the increasing exposure of the domestic market to unrestricted influx of finished foreign goods, including the sub-standard ones, as undermining factor to local companies’ efforts to improve their competitiveness, adding “the business and economic environment was typically characterized by upsides and downsides, but the latter seem to have outweighed the former. “The economy (as always) offered tremendous opportunities during the year, but the capacity of investors to harness the opportunities was constrained by the prevailing challenges of the operating environment. The limitations were even more profound for indigenous entrepreneurs” the report disclosed. CONTINUED ON PAGE 49


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BUSINESS

December 30, 2012

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

2015: Cocoa Revolution, The year 2012 will go down the memory lane as a year that a major step was taken by all the stakeholders in Cocoa production, as the minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina pointed out that there is no going back for the country to produce 100,000 metric tonnes of Cocoa as export before 2015. SINA FADARE who went to the field to speak to all the stakeholders about the reality of the minister’s pronouncement brought this report. CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY

“C

RIN has brought you a new product so that you can do better, there will be training which you are going to undergo. Experts have been sent to Indonesia and they are ready to teach you new techniques on how to improve your cocoa” he explained. The Director General pointed out that poor capacity building on the part of the farmers, lack of coordination, poor mapping system on the farm, inability to located their farms, lack of notable and dependable address and failure to belong to a functional cooperative system has been hindrances in order to get loan facilities from the banks, adding that if they can surmount these problems, their productivity will shoot up. If the Federal Government’s Cocoa Transformation Agenda (CTA) is targeting to achieve an aggressive and rapid expansion of cocoa acreage to at least one million hectares in the next four years with the establishment of a Cocoa Marketing and Trade Corporation (CMCT), analysts said there is a ray of hope. Also with the government’s plan to establish the Cocoa Marketing and Trade Development Corporation, specifically to harness opportunities in cocoa production in the country, with the hopes of increasing local processing, value addition and local consumption of cocoa products, as well as the establishment of a Cocoa Investment Fund to drive greater investment in all aspects of the cocoa value chain, cocoa explosion is imminent. If the scheme goes well according to plan Adesina, noted that the scheme is expected to create 390,000 jobs in the cocoa sector and an accelerated rural transformation bliss through the provision of basic facilities in cocoa-growing communities. Speaking to National Mirror on the practicability of this laudable programme, an Agric officer who had been in charge of cocoa in the last 15 years at the ministry of Agric and Rural Development in Ondo state, Mr Tobi Adenowuro said that it is achievable but not possible. According to him, cocoa explosion is achievable “because we have the where withal to make it work, but with the way things are going, we may not actually get there. He explained that most of the government policies are good idea on paper, noting that there is always policy somersault at the execution stage. Adenowuro explained that all procedural methods of cocoa farming should be keyed into and must be consistent in

order to achieve the desired goal. “There is timeliness in everything. When you are suppose to train farmers in March and you don’t get them train in August, you don’t expect them to put things they are not yet thought into practice to make the result come out”. He said that before CRIN introduced improved variety, “we were contacted in Ondo State and we had few of the variety. When that of CRIN came, we have about three hectares growing with the new variety. We are producing about 2.5 million cocoa pods under this Cocoa Transformation Agenda. This will be available for them this month. We have been registering them .We have registered 20,863 farmers under the said programme” Cocoa experimental farm at CRIN Speaking in the same vein, Mr John Ichado, a director in the Ministry of Agriculture in Kogi State said in as much as there are a lots of unwanted intermediaries between the farmers and government policies, little success could be achieved. He said that the Kogi State government is trying to act as intermediaries between the farmers and the banks so that they can access the needed loan that will assist their production. “You cannot give the farmers loan by mouth, accessibility is crucial. In the practical sense of it they are yet to access it. I was one of those that led them to the rural area. What we deserve was find out Prof.Malachy Akonda, Director General, CRIN is that some of these famers have no access to the so called loans; ironically they price for cocoa in the world market and heard from the media that such money its concerted efforts in facilitating acexists. Those who served as intermedi- cess to agro-inputs under the Growth aries served as blockade and at the same Enhancement Support Scheme, this may time feed them back that the farmers are translate into a revolution of cocoa proenjoining it” he lamented. duction at the end But the chairman of the Cross River The Deputy General Manager of the State chapter of CAN, Mr Nene Alphosus Association of Nigeria Cooperative blamed European policies for killing co- Exporters Limited (ANCE) Mr Joshua coa business in the country. He regretted Oshuntuyi, while speaking to National that Europeans determine the price of Mirror in Ibadan doubted the transforcocoa from Nigeria, stressing that this mation of these laudable ideas into realwas dangerous for the growth and future ity by government. of the business in the country. Oshuntuyi who was born into cocoa “Prices are determined by the Euro- farming, insisted that what “the governterminal market. The producer has no ment is saying is a mere political proinfluence because he produces what he paganda. I have been working on cocoa does not consume and he is compelled to farm for years. If government did not sell even when the market is saturated.” have its own cocoa plantation, how can it Alphonso also lamented the heavy tax- project the output? That is the question ation placed on the product by the state you could have put before the Minister government, adding that this was hinder- of agriculture. It is a mere political stateing the business from thriving beyond ment” the local markets. According to him, the new high breed With the promise of the Federal Min- can produce the desired output if we istry of Agriculture this time around, to have virgin land. Areas like Cross River make a difference in terms of setting up and Adamawa States may have such land a Cocoa Marketing and Trade Corpora- because they are developing cocoa area. tion that would help guarantee minimum CRIN can produce good seedlings, but

the question is where are they going to plant it? He lamented that this issue of cocoa re-birth did not incorporate the farmers, but ministry officials who have little to do in the production chain. ‘Since 1986 that there has been open market, it has been a race without consistency’ Oshuntuyi however said that there is a ray of hope if the govt can introduce the Cocoa Commodity Board in order to control the activities and operation of cocoa market as a whole. “In the past we are the best cocoa exporter, but because the people are fraudulent and put us into problem, we have to stop. Our members were owned that was why all those buying cocoa have to run away, because there was no sanity. The middle men are more or less fraudsters, they give them money to buy cocoa, and they will not buy cocoa and at the same time will not return the money. Therefore a lot of fraudulent activities became the order of the day”. But the Director, Product Development, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mrs Omowunmi Osibo expressed confidence that the cocoa revolution could be achieved. “It is very achievable, where there is a will there is a way. Nigerians are very hard working if we make up our mind to achieve it we would do so. We have improved seedlings and approved chemicals, capacity building of the farmers and making loan accessible, definitely it is what we can achieve”. According to her if the farmers can key in into the programmes made available to them by the government, the bumper harvest is at our reach in a matter of years.” When money is loaned, it is depositors’ money which must be paid back. There is need for collaboration between facilitating agents of government like CRIN and the farmers. It is also nec-


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

BUSINESS

December 30, 2012

Myth or real?

47

‘Cocoa industry can solve the problem of unemployment’ Mr Sayina Riman is the National President of Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN) in this encounter with SINA FADARE, he laments that there is no adequate measure put in place by government to get accurate data on cocoa production in the county. Excerpts;

PHOTOS: SINA FADARE

essary to commercialise these researches to the benefit of the society” she concluded. However when this reporter got to CRIN on a fact finding mission and how the institute is preparing for the monumental challenges ahead, despite the array of competent and seasoned professionals in all diverse areas of agriculture, particularly in cocoa, poor funding remains its albatross. Ironically, as of September 2012 when this reporter visited the research institute, it was discovered that a paltry Mrs Omowunmi Osibo, Director, Product Development, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, N5million budgeted for the institute for Abuja 2012 was yet to be received The laboratory was virtually empty and the only ‘Green what CRIN has put in place, cocoa exploHouse’ which supposes to be the modern sion is just at’ our finger tips’ day facility to monitor cocoa seeding was Corroborating Oloyede’s view, Dr nothing to write home about. Muyiwa pointed out that with the launch With all these challenges, the Institute of Cocoa Rebirth Programme it is possiwas only able to boast of the National ble to have explosion of cocoa production Cocoa Seed Garden with eight new im- within the next three years. She said that proved high breeds that is equals to none the Federal Government embark on this in Africa. This according to Mr Amos programme in order to make planting Oloyede, an agronomist would assist the seedling available to the farmers in the farmers to double their production if country so as to boost their production they avail themselves of these varieties. and export earnings. Oloyede who took this reporter round She said that the government has a the experimental farm, accompanied by projection of 2.6 million targets of cocoa Dr Abimbola Muyiwa of Crop Improve- seedlings which would be distributed to ment Division said that cocoa was aban- farmers and one million pods from CRIN doned for many years which accounted F3 amazons, adding that by the time all for its low production, until President these programmes matured; it would auOlusegun Obasanjo’s era came to its res- tomatically explode cocoa production in cue by creating the National Cocoa De- few years to come. velopment Committee, NCDC which gave Managing Director of Cocoa Products the crop an impetus. Ltd, a company processing cocoa in IleHe explained that poor funding of re- Oluji, Ondo State, Mr Akin Olusuyi exsearch on the crop has delayed its revolu- pressed similar optimism, with a caveat tion, adding that the new celebrated vari- that government should hasten the esety christened (TC 1 to TC 8) took 10 years tablishment of a cocoa board to regulate of research to accomplish and was spon- activities of stakeholders in the producsored by the Common Fund for Commod- tion, marketing and local utilisation of ity (CFC). He was optimistic that with the cash crop.

Riman

CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY

W

e need to put in place that culture of data base across the value chain so that at the snap of a finger we can say authoritatively that this is what we are producing at a particular time, so that we can have a margin of two to three error per cent when we give our estimate out. I do not know the source of the information of the minister, but l believe that with the new project coming we would soon get there when we are going to give authentic report which the whole world will depend upon. That is why we are organising this type of a conference in order to educate the farmers what is expected of them aside planting of cocoa. There must be adequate information about the size of the farm, location, how many tree of cocoa and what is their production capacity. The model will be comprehensive and address all issues concerning cocoa in all its ramifications Farmers who are the end beneficiary of any government policy are most of the time not aware of what is going on. What is your association doing to close this gap? We are organising an encompassing conferences in order to let the farmers know all the opportunities they have at their disposal and how to benefit from it. Again , we have developed a model that will give details of each farmers in the nooks and crannies of the country so that at the click of a button, you will get all what you need about cocoa in Nigeria. Again there will be accessibility to government incentives like the Grow Enhancement Policy for farmers which is just like a subsidy, so that other gov-

ernment institution would not hijack or divert it. A farmer will access it directly according to the model, there will not be any intermediary between the farmer and the input providers. For instance, it will be sent to the farmer through a cellular form with its identification number which will be exclusive to each farmer. We need to put all these in place so that we would be able to talk accurately on our production yearly. A farmer will go to an input provider with his number, his farm size might have been known on the net and he can access the input. He will pay 50 per cent of those imput, which would have been establish all over, so that the input provider will go to the government who will provide the subsidy of the balance of 50 per cent. That is how we want to push the farmers to decide their own fate. There will not again be ‘political or office farmer who will come forward to access what belongs to real the farmer as it used to be in the past. Some of them would want to trade and make profit from such a subsidy. This is the model we think all the stakeholders should embrace. We are organising a conference so that this model could be fine-tuned by stakeholders and make it the Nigeria model of our dream. We want to make it a model within the sub- region so that Ghana and Cote D’ovire will come to ask us how our model is working. We are collectively committed to it and that is why you see a lot of farmers came from all the 14 states that we have cocoa farmers. This is their project which in the long run will be beneficial to all the stakeholders. It is a re-awakening programme and we are sure we are going to get there.


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Sunday, December 30, 2012

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Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Business 49

Sunday December 30, 2012

Rivers LG to prosecute pipeline vandals Property Watch •For Lagos area as at Friday Dec. 28, 2012 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

T

he Okrika Local Government of Rivers State will start prosecuting pipeline vandals in its effort to protect oil installations in the area, the Chairman, Mr Tamuno William, has said. William made the statement in Okrika yesterday while launching a sensitisation campaign against pipeline vandalism, organised by the Port Harcourt Refinery. He said that it was sad that

instead of the council maintaining its tourism and rich culture, environmental degradation had become the order of the day. `` Okrika is an ethnic town of tourism and culture; how can we talk of tourism and culture when filth and other types of environmental degradation have become prevalent?’’ he asked. William called for partnership between the council and Nigeria National Petroleum

Corporation (NNPC) to protect pipelines in the area and save the environment. He said that his administration was planning a policy that would protect all Federal Government-owned companies and their facilities in the area. William condemned pipeline vandalism and said the council was doing all it could to ensure that all forms of vandalism and oil theft were drastically reduced. ` `We will ensure that we put

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 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 4. A land measuring 5.081 square metre at Ajasa, Ipaja, Lagos------------------------------N25m Estimated price in 5 years---------N50m 5. 2 nos bungalows on 800 square metres along Oba Akran, Lagos----------------N150m Estimated price in 5 years----------N250m 6. 1.12 acres of land with uncompleted building at Marwa Road, Satellite Town, Lagos---------------------------------------------------N1,5bn Estimated price in 5 years------------------N2bn 7. Uncompleted block of flats at Isheri -Osun, Lagos--------------------------------------------------N15m Estimated price in 5 years-------N20m 8. Four bedroom duplex at Gbagada------N18m Estimated price in 5 years-----------N30m 9. 8 nos of 3bedroom flats with BQ at Surulere, Lagos---------------------------------N80m Estimated price in 5 years----------N100m 10. A detached house at Oke Ira, Ogba, Lagos--------------------------------------------------N22m Estimated price in 5 years---------N35m •Compiled by Dayo Ayeyemi, E-mail: dayoayeyemi@yahoo.com

L-R: Country Manager, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Mr. Emmanuel Onyeje; Vice -President, Corporate Relations, Middle East and Africa, Nokia, Mr. Jussi Hinkkanen and Minister of Communication and Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, at the Nokia, Microsoft, and Dalberg-sponsored Nigeria Vision 20: 2020 Innovation Forum in Abuja, recently.

it across to Okrika people and those residing in our LGA (local government area) on the need to stay away from your pipelines and oil installations,`` he said. William said that part of his plan for next year was to demarcate the pipeline areas but pointed out that the cost would be enormous. He explained that his administration had in its agenda to fence the pipelines with wire-gauze and plant flowers around them to make a green-verge. William said that carrying out the plan would ensure that people would not have access to the pipelines any longer. He said if the NNPC partnered with the council, there were other security gadgets that would be installed near the pipelines that would easily detect anyone going near them. ``If we don’t catch you that time, we will catch you later and I have said that we are going to commence the prosecution of anybody who commits this offence of economic sabotage,`` William said. He commended the refinery for the campaign to alert the people on the dangers of breaking oil pipelines. William said that he would further alert the traditional rulers to sensitise their wards accordingly.

Economy in 2012: Great growth prospects, slow recovery CONTINUED FROM P45 The Chamber also noted that the broad issues and challenges included weak consumer demand, cost and access to credit, cargo clearing processes, transportation costs, especially the collapse of the rail system; institutional problems, corruption, especially in relation to public sector transactions.

Aviation sector

Despite a few air mishaps witnessed in the country during the year under review in which hundreds of lives were lost, the Federal Government’s Aviation Sector Road Map the implementation of which started last year is also being vigorously pursued with some level of achievements being recorded. Some of the key initiatives embarked on by the Federal Government during the year in its reform drive include, disbursements of the N300 billion Power and Aviation Intervention Fund, N106 billion committed to building five new international airport terminals as well as major remodelling and reconstruction works in the 22 airports and other capacity-building programmes in the aviation sector. The Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, said government was embarking on

the massive infrastructure development projects in the aviation industry as part of efforts to put into practical effect its Transformation Agenda in the aviation sector. As commendable as the efforts are, the industry is still confronted with diverse operational problems that have largely been dwindling the fortunes of commercial airlines and forced some to discontinue their services in the past year. The cost of operations and sometimes inconsistent policy frameworks have been linked to the downside of the sector and forcing government to beckon at foreign airlines to fill the vacuum being created by the exiting airlines. Most operators and industry analysts believe that the industry is not growing, despite efforts by government to reposition the sector, and that there is need to do more in addressing the policy-induced problems confronting the local airlines.

Agric sector

Arguably one of the most critical sectors to sustainable economic development of the country, the agricultural sector in the 2012 year recorded some remarkable achievements that are bound to transform into the mainstay of the economy in the years ahead. Major landmarks recorded

by the sector during the year include, an addition of a total of 8.1 million metric tonnes of food to the domestic food supply in the last one year , attraction of direct investments in the economy and other commitments, totalling about $7.8 billion (about N1.23 trillion); supports of international organisations for the Agricultural Transformation Agenda and the successful rehabilitation of farmers and residents of communities devastated by the flooding crisis that happened in the country a few months ago, amongst others. Speaking on some of the achievements of his ministry during the outgoing year, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, disclosed that “this year alone, from maize, rice, cassava, sorghum, we are adding a total of 8.1 million MT of food to our domestic food supply. That is 70 per cent higher than the target of 5 million MT we set for 2013; and 41 per cent of the total target that we set for 2015. “If we had not added the 8.1 million MT of food to the domestic food supply, which provided a significant buffer, Nigeria would have seriously felt the impact of the flood. We will continue to work hard,” he said. But then, one of the chal-

lenges still confronting the farmers remains lack of access to most of the funding windows that have been created by the Ministry in collaboration with the CBN, Ministry of Finance and the DMBs to support their farming and other agroprocessing businesses. Industry analysts are of the view that the Ministry, its collaborating MDAs and international organisations that have supported the ATA thus far should, however, concentrate more on giving cheap credit to farmers in order to consolidate on the modest gains of the ATA so far.

Transport sector

The transportation sector has continued to enjoy fiscal policy measures and element of political will to improve on the existing transportation infrastructure, particularly the road networks and more importantly the railways, in order to radically reduce the associated transportation cost on business operations to the barest minimum. For instance, the last two months of the year have witnessed massive release of funds for fixing existing federal highways even as the rehabilitation of standard gauge railways and other critical projects in the sector continued to get the needed political attention.


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Interview

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘We’ll challenge our de-registration in court’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14 much money you are going to get . It is not possible If we are going to be realistic in our democratic philosophy we must find a way around this because it is a mockery of the entire process. That is why you notice that INEC always speak on behalf of its boss . No matter the language, it is always in favour of the government . And for them to speak they must get power from the government which is what the government has done by amending the electoral act. Who amended the electoral act. Is it the Nigerian people? No, it is the PDP. So I think we have to call spade a spade. I have respect for Professor Jega, no doubt about that, he has proven to be an intellectual heavyweight in academia but as an administrator in my view he has not performed creditably enough . I believe that the fact that he can succumbed to this kind of pressure is an impeachment of the authenticity of his responsibility in that place . Because you cannot bring a law to me that recognized a contravention of the constitution . So he is saying he is to continue to de-register political parties and to register political parties and I am amused by such arrogance . He is only serving the Nigerian people, he doesn’t have any authority in himself . He has not contested any position in this country and say vote for me and so he does not understand the intricacies that are involved and the sacrifices that are involved in running for political offices .. So as an administrator in Abuja, he can make such a statement and create an impression that we are a burden to him.. But he must recognize that the political parties in this country are greater than INEC because the political parties in this country represent the people. INEC is an instrument of political parties to ensure free election . It is not an end in itself, INEC is a means to an end. The end is the Nigerian people and it is the political parties that represent the Nigerian people. I think that there is something wrong with the intellectual interpretation of what a political party is and what it represents to the Nigerian people. But in the usual way, because these people are very elitist and they think that, that business conglomerate that is called the PDP is the beginning and the end of everything for Nigeria . But I have news for them, they need to realise , the PDP may be juggernaut today and be a molt tomorrow but it will be nothing a day after. There are greater and powerful institutions in this country who thought that they own this country, where are they today and so shall it be that when the story of the PDP will be told posterity will remember a conglomerate of men and women who had antithetical political philosophy who came together and the only common denominator is to annex the wealth of the Nigerian people and to deny the Nigerian people of peace and progress . Where is Nigeria today after 13 years of PDP rule . We have retrogressed . Many opposition parties like the CPC, ACN and the ANPP are planning to come together before 2015 in order to dislodge the PDP are you going to join them or what is your view on this? I don’t know what they are doing. And it is really not my concern as to what they are doing. If they want to form an umbrella body to dethrone the PDP they are entitled to that . For me the issue on ground here is not dethroning PDP it is establishing a new social order . That is what the Nigerians need , it is not a gang up . But for Nigeria to survive within this global environment, there must be a new social order and it is that social order that we, as the new political parties must establish. The paradigm shift that we have been talking about must come to fruition . A generational shift and when I am talking about a generational shift I am not talking about a biological age bracketisation I am talking about genes because the word generation comes from the word genes . And the genes contain the capacities , the capabilities, the ability of any organism. Within the genes of the PDP there is a malfunctioning , they are debilitated by corruption and there is a pathological dysfunctionalities within the political protoplasm . PDP cannot takes us to the next level, it is a pipe dream . Can we then look at these political parties, the CPC and others. For example in Lagos state, the governor, Mr Fashola (SAN) is doing very well . In Rivers state, a PDP governor, Rotimi Amaechi people say he is doing very well and some others like that . Will you now say the parties have nothing to offer if they produce people like these? It is an insignificant number. It is infinitesimal. When we are talking about the PDP we are talking of the PDP as the central government because it is the central government that affects the life of the Nigerian people . Governor Fashola might do what he can but he can only do for Lagos state, the other governor you mention can do whatever he can do for the people of his state . But we are talk-

Okotie

ing about the generalities of the Nigerian people , a nation that is blessed with abundant resources. Both human and natural resources. A country that is wealthy , that its citizens can live far and above subsistence level majority of Nigerians are still living below the poverty level, less than a dollar a day. Not that we don’t have the resources but the great mismanagement of the resources is what we are talking about. This is why I am saying that if you want to de-register any party it should be the PDP. What I am saying here is that the responsibility of governance rest squarely upon their shoulders. When they were talking to the Nigerian people on the soap box politically and all the pontifications that they were making particularly this president, he gave the impression that he could empathies with the Nigerian people because he came from a humble background. But a few years or so since he succeeded the former president, up till now it seems to me in my own view that he has become a bonafide PDP member because he has began to exhibit the same quality and characteristic of the PDP and he is no more the man who stood before the Nigerian people and said ‘ I know and understand what you feel’. What I am saying here today is that if we are true to ourselves and if the truth must be told, we are sitting precariously on the edge of precipice . You can deceive the people some of the time but not all the time. So they are very confident and that confidence as far as I am concerned is just mere presumption because they don’t understand that all over this country a new crop of leaders is being prepared . A new philosophy is being enshrined in the heart of the Nigerian people so that when the time comes, from the East, from the West, from the North, from

TO CALL INEC INDEPENDENT IN MY VIEW IS A TERMINOLOGICAL

DECEIT.

HOW CAN YOU

BE

INDEPENDENT WHEN YOU HAVE A MASTER THAT DETERMINES HOW MUCH MONEY YOU ARE GOING TO GET.

the South there will be an opposition so gargantuan that even the military could not stop it . And all of these aristocrats and the technocrats who have ganged up against the Nigerian people will make their exit in ignominy. The agitation from the South East is that the presidency should go to the South East . How will you react to this and can the South East come together to aggregate what they are telling the country as it is ? It never cease to amuse me the extent to which these politicians could go. Nigeria has been balkanised, polarized along religious line , along ethnic line. Wazobia is the greatest evil that ever emerged in this country . In every setting, what is a federalism, the manipulation of the centrifugal and centripetal forces. You enter into a union because you want to be strengthened. The true Nigerian today in this county is the minority . There are Hausas in Africa, there are Yorubas in other part of Africa I am not saying these people are not Nigerians but the uniqueness of our nation is unity in diversity . But for you to say because you have majority numerical strength, you must lead this country, is diametrically opposed to the philosophy of federalism. Nigerians must look for a man that inspires unity, that pulls Nigerians together , that brings a cohesion of all ethnic nationalities That is what Rev Okotie represents, that is why I have not joined the PDP because all of these arguments are coming from the same party . Today, it is North, tomorrow it is the South West that is the politics of PDP’s divides and rule. But they are not going to succeed . That is why I am telling you that there must be a social order . Because that is why the South-South got offended and all these stuff began . And to pacify , a sort of palliative you bring President Goodluck Jonathan into the mix . My question is; has that solved our problems? The answer is no . Why, because if you vote a president on ethnic line you will go back to square one. Look at what happened in the United States and all other parts of the developed world . You need a man who can become the centre of all the aspirations and the desires of the Nigerian people . That he is a great father of a great household for the Nigerian people . So that whether you are a southerner, a northerner whatever you are, you look at that man and you are inspired . We have never had that kind of leader , the only strong leader we have in this country is President Olusegun Obasanjo but his own party had frustrated most of the things he wanted to do . I submit to you that this concept of fragmenting our nation along ethnic or religious line or geo-political line will not solve the problem.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Sunday December 30, 2012

51

Fayemi, Borrofice, Akeredolu mourn Adegbonmire ...ACN to play major role in burial ABIODUN NEJO, ADO EKITI, OJO OYEWAMIDE AND HAKEEM GBADAMOSI, AKURE

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kiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has described the late chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Wumi Adegbonmire, as one of the pillars of democracy in the South-West in particular and Nigeria in general. Fayemi, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olayinka Oyebode, said Adegbonmire was one of the most reliable Awoists who never wavered in the cause he believed in until he breathed his last. He said the deceased believed in the ideology of the progressives which he preached throughout his lifetime and excelled in all the responsibilities given him in the party and government, most significant-

ly as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) in theAdebayo Adefarati administration. Fayemi also recalled roles played by the late partyman in the last governorship election in Ondo State in which members looked up to him for direction and wise counsel. He urged the family members of the deceased to be consoled by the good life he lived, especially his selfless service to mankind and readiness to stand by the truth always. In the same vein, the senator representing Ondo North in the National Assembly, Prof. Ajayi Borrofice, described the death of the former Secretary to Ondo State Government and chieftain of the ACN as the end of an era. Adegonmire, who was also a chieftain of Afenifere, the Yoruba socio-political group, passed on last Friday at the age of 77. Borrofice, in a state-

ment made available to Sunday Mirror, said though it was painful to have lost the frontline Yoruba leader, consolation should be found in the meaningful and eventful life he led. The statement read in part: “I received the sad news of the death of Chief Wumi Adegbonmire, our symbol of progressive politics in Ondo state. Chief Wumi Adegbonmire, an astute administrator, writer, consistent politician and unblemished statesman, made a mark in the history of democracy both in Ondo State and Nigeria as a whole. “A frontline Afenifere, he was a loyal party leader. His fidelity to the tenets of dignity and integrity, marriage to the ideology of progressive politics had made him change not his skin like a fearless leopard. A staunch member of the Action Group, he moved with the party to its present form (ACN) before death

took him away from us”. Also ACN (Ondo State chapter) while commiserating with the good people of the state described him as a good strategist. In a statement by the Director of Media, Publicity and Strategy (ACN) Ondo State, Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, he described him as a thinker, strategist, consensus builder and one of the most committed followers of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who was consistent and courageous in the struggle for the betterment of the welfare of the people of Ondo State, Yoruba nation and Nigeria. Wunmi Adegbomire also known as Omo Ekun, said the former Secretary to the Ondo State Government was a veteran of the progressive struggle who remained committed to the end. He said would be missed by all the progressives in Nigeria, especially in the light of the recent development in the nation which calls for the rallying of all progressive-minded persons to confront the reactionary forces which has

Tsav frowns at denial of federal character in appointments HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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ADO EKITI

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Olabiyeye Olateru-Olagbegi, during her Call to Bar Ceremony, flanked on the left by the Chairman, Body of Benchers, Chief Idowu Sofola (SAN) and her father, Justice Adesuyi Olateru-Olagbegi, in Abuja recently.

ers, should be sanctioned or even prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others who may nurse similar intentions. He was apparently referring to the heated disapproval by members of the House of Representatives over the alleged lopsidedness of recruitment into the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), saying he was in full support of the move and eulogised them for taking a bold steps to halt the irregularities. In another vein, Tsav stressed that efforts were

ongoing to find out the remote cause of Boko Haram with view to finding their grievances. Tsav is a member of the committee recently inaugurated at the instance of the 19 northern governors with a view to finding amicable resolutions to the protracted violence occasioned by Boko Haram insurgents in some parts of the North. According to him, the committee has already began work and part of their terms were to visit

the entire northern region and also meet with stakeholders in order to restore peace and tranquility in the affected states to reverse the decline in development which has hit the region. “Frankly, the committee was about to visit Kaduna when we heard of the catastrophe which consumed Governor Yakowa and Azazi and we abruptly suspended activities in honour of the befallen heroes”, but added that, “we will soon resume back on track”.

burial ceremony will be a huge success,” he added. Meanwhile the party’s candidate in the October 20 governorship election in the state, Rotimi Akeredolu, has described the late Adegbonmire as a true progressive politician, worthy of emulation and who should be celebrated even in death. Akeredolu said, “To us when you look at his life, you discover that we have learnt a lot from him. His life typifies the ideals worthy of emulation. Adegbonmire is beyond the ACN. He transcends a political party. “When you look at his life, you will discover that he is a politician of note. He is a true progressive politician,” he added. The widow of the deceased who noted that her husband lived a fulfilled life, commended the party for their concern in the affairs of the family. She said, “Apart from his moral achievements and integrity, my late husband also had a fulfilled spiritual life because he died a true Christian.”

Ekiti Assembly increases, passes 2013 Budget ABIODUN NEJO

nti-corruption crusader and ex-Lagos police commissioner, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav (rtd), has descended heavily on those who usurped slots of recruitment meant for the people of the six geo-political zones, describing them as saboteurs.

The former police commissioner who spoke to Sunday Mirror at the weekend in Makurdi, on the raging issues of some privileged few who diverted positions of appointment and negated the principle of Federal Character, of equitable and fair distribution of power as enshrined in the constitution, as unfortunate. He lamented that some powerful persons because of their proximity to the people in the corridors of power had hijacked vacancies meant for the benefit of the people which consists of the six geo-political zones into nepotism by using same to favour their people at the detriment of others. Alhaji Tsav further advocated a stiff condition, adding that where one geopolitical segment had more than two thirds in the federal parastatal, if uncovered, the officer who offered the appointment depriving oth-

held Nigeria by the jugular. Meanwhile, ACN has said the party will play a major role in the burial of the deceased. Disclosing this yesterday in Akure, the state capital, the Deputy Chairman of ACN in the South-west, Senator James Kolawole, said this while paying a condolence visit to the Adegbonmires. Kolawole, while speaking with the widow of the late ACN chief and his children, informed that the party had directed the executive of its state chapter to immediately set up a committee that will work with the family to organise a befitting burial for him. Kolawole said, “We were sent by the National Chairman of our party, Chief Bisi Akande, to express our shock at the death of Chief Adegbonmire; he was fantastic and consistent. He was a man with principle and of strong character. “The ACN in the state has been directed to set up a committee that will work with the family of the late Adegbonmire so that the

kiti State House of Assembly increased the 2013 Appropriation Bill presented before it by Governor Kayode Fayemi from N93.6 billion to N97.6 billion before its passage. The Assembly said the new amount passed was to ensure implementation of some projects by government agencies in line with the Fayemi administration’s eight-point agenda. The breakdown of the approved budget shows that recurrent expenditure has N48.5 billion while capital expenditure has N49.1 billion. Chairman of the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Hon Ayodeji Odu, stressed the need for

proper monitoring of the budget by appropriate organs of the House. He said the report of his committee was unanimously approved by the lawmakers leading to the passage of the bill. Fayemi had on December 6, 2012 presented the bill christened, “Budget of Empowerment and Consolidation” to the Assembly. The House has also confirmed the nomination of members into the House of Assembly Service Commission and the Local Government Service Commission. The House of Assembly Service Commission has Chief George Ojo as chairman, while Hon. Bayo Akinola, Hon. Olaiya Kupolati, Hon. Foluso Ibirinde and Chief S. O. Abejide are members.

Anambra to seek further cooperation with the Church

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nambra State Governor, Mr Peter Obi, said yesterday that the state government would seek further areas of cooperation with the Church. The governor explained that the partnership was intended to make the state a better place in terms of all indices of human development.

He said this after a thanksgiving mass in honour of Francis Cardinal Arinze on

his 80th birthday celebration at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha. Obi, who described Cardinal Arinze as a gift of God to humanity and who also called on younger priests to emulate his apostolic zeal, said the state was happy in her collaboration with the Church in the area of education and healthcare delivery, said that buoyed by the success, the collaboration would be deepened and expanded.


52

News

Sunday December 30, 2012

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tragic wedding reception: Gunmen kill two, injure three in Kano, Maiduguri AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST AND INUSA NDAHI KANO AND MAIDUGURI

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t was yet another tragedy in Kano at the weekend, as two persons were believed to have been shot dead by gunmen, the third in the series within the Yuletide season. An eyewitness account told our correspondent in Kano yesterday that at

about 8 p.m. on Friday, two gunmen walked into a boutique, located on Zoo Road, opposite the Trade Fair Complex, pretending to make some purchases. But surprisingly, one of them pulled out a gun and shot the salesman at close range and immediately rushed out from the boutique. While making good his escape, according to our

source, the gunman shot sporadically into the air, a situation that compelled panic-stricken residents within the vicinity to scamper for safety in the nearby drainages. A few moments after the sad incident, it was gathered that security operatives arrived and cordoned off the area but could not make any arrests as the suspects had already vanished

into thin air. Several efforts to contact the Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Magji Musa Majiya, on the phone for confirmation were unsuccessful as he failed to respond to his calls. It would be recalled that the driver of an Interim Management Officer (IMO) was gunned down on Christmas day by gunmen, while the caretaker chairman, who was the target, escaped with bullet wounds. As at the time of filing

this report, no arrest had been made. In a related development, as violence continues to spread in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram Islamists sect attacked residents and guests at a wedding ceremony in Mafoni ward of the metropolis, killing two guests and injuring three others at 11:00 am Saturday. The gunmen were said to have targeted their victims, while about leaving the venue of the wedding ceremony attended by many guests from Kano, Yobe, Adamawa and Kaduna states.

An eyewitness and resident of Mafoni, Isa Audu in a telephone chat on Saturday said that the suspects cashed in on the crowd at the wedding ceremony and took positions in assassinating two guests, whose identities are yet to be identified by the Joint Task Force (JTF) and the police. He said the two gunmen came in a tricycle and started firing gunshots into the air at about 11.05am, after the two guests were shot severally in the head and chest before they fled into Lawan Bukar ward, after which soldiers rushed to the scene at 11.27am.

Governor Aliyu, pillar of unity –Okorocha PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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L-R: Former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar; former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida; Senate President, David Mark; VicePresident, Namadi Sambo; former President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari; Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu (sitting left below) and a guest, at the wedding of Jamila and Farida, daughters of the governor in Minna, Niger State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Six die, 19 injured in auto accidents K AYODE FASUA

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o fewer than six lives were lost yesterday in different auto crashes across the country, while 19 others were seriously injured, sources have revealed. Along the Jere Bridge on the Kaduna-Abuja Road, eyewitnesses recounted an accident which occurred at about 4: 40 pm, involving a Citron space bus with registration number XA 221 KTN and a motorcycle without number plate. A total number of 11 persons were reportedly involved in the crash in which two lives, including that a female child, were lost. Sources said a baby

was sighted playing among the corpses while the FRSC ambulance later arrived to convey the bodies to Sabon Wuse Hospital in the Federal Capital Territory. Also yesterday at the Ugbogui village on the BeninOre Expressway, four persons died in another accident in which 10 others sustained varying degrees of injuries. Sources said that the crash involved a truck with registration number XW 471 ABC, which collided with a Toyota Haice bus numbered XA 911 AAH . Among the dead were two men and two women. Meanwhile, the Public Education Officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr. Kayode Olagunju, confirmed the incidents

through a social media network, urging motorists to

drive with care and avoid night trips.

FG pledges priority on teachers’ education T he Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’I, on Saturday pledged the Federal Government’s commitment to give priority to teachers’ education through effective training to improve their skills. Rufa’I made the pledge in Sokoto at the closing of the 2012 Millennium Development Goals capacity building workshop for teachers. She said the nationwide programme was split into two and designed to target 40,000 teachers across the federation.

Represented by Mr Ojo Joel, the Director of Education in the ministry, Rufa’i said the workshops would improve teachers capacity in subject contents, pedagogy and general methods of teaching. She congratulated the National Teachers’ Institute (NTI) on the successful conclusion of the workshops. The Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, said the workshops were organised in 109 centres from Dec. 21.

mo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has described the Niger State Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, as a pillar of unity and a stabilising force in the nation. Okorocha, who stated this at the wedding reception of the two daughters of the governor, Dr. Jamila and Dr. Farida, in Minna, yesterday, said “Aliyu is a man that can stabilise Nigeria”. He explained that the Niger State helmsman was always working for the unity and progress of the country, particularly going by the large turnout of prominent personalities from all walks of life across the geo-political zones of the nation at the event. His words: “We are all here because of one man, Governor Aliyu; he is a man who can stabilise Nigeria and who is always working for the unity and progress of this country. Nigerians are gathered here today because of the calibre of person Governor Aliyu is. This is a testimony to the type of person the governor is.” Also, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambwal, in his

short remark described Dr. Aliyu as a man of the people, that can be testified with the number of Nigerians that graced the wedding of his daughters. “This large attendance from different walks of life, under this roof, is an indication of the kind of person Governor Aliyu is,” Alhaji Tambuwal stated. Vice-President Namadi Sambo, who served as the father of the day, stressed the value of marriage institution, urging the newly married couple to live an exemplary life, while praying to God to reward the families with good children. Earlier, the Chief Imam of Minna, Alhaji Abu Fari, while joining the two couples, Jamila and Sulaiman Aliyu as well as Farida and Murari Bello, received the sum of N100, 000 as dowries for each of the brides from the families of the grooms at the family house along Stadium Road, Minna. Among prominent citizens who graced the occasion were former president, Alhaji Shehu Shagari; former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and ex-head of state, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar.

NIGERIA IN BRIEF

Lagos Fives to publicise sport in schools Lagos State Fives Association (LSFA) has promised to exploit the talents that abound in schools to raise future talents for the sport. The association’s Chairman, Nasiru Mohammed, made the promise in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos yesterday. Mohammed com-

plained that due to the lack of adequate publicity, funds, competition and sponsorship, the sport had not been able to grow beyond its current level. The chairman, however, said that the association would do everything within its means to surmount its problems in 2013 through the schools talent hunt.

“Part of our 2013 agenda is to ensure that fives is given the much needed publicity in secondary schools to get students acquainted with the sport. “Part of the challenges confronting the sport are lack of publicity, competition and sponsorship, which we intend to surmount by next year,’’ he said.

Police release suspected kidnappers in Ebonyi The Ebonyi Police Command on Saturday in Abakaliki released some innocent suspects who were arrested in connected with the kidnap of a man on Dec. 21. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Franklin Ajah was abducted by a group of armed men at the Ugwuachara area of Abakaliki while inspecting

his building project. He was later found in a house at the Mgbukobe area of the town after an undisclosed amount of money was said to have been paid as ransom. Mr Sylvester Igbo, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Ebonyi, said that when the command got wind of the case, its men swooped

on the building where the victim was held hostage. He said that the police were able to effect the release of the victim after apprehending some suspected kidnappers. ``We employed the ‘Judge’s Rule’ system, where several suspects are arrested in connection with a case and screened to ascertain the real culprits.


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Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Osas P. 54 bullish ahead of Super Four

Kayode steps up to heavyweight P. 54 class

Sport

KEEPING YOU ABREAST OF SPORTING NEWS December 30, 2012

Gunners whitewash Newcastle in 10-goal thriller

T

heo Walcott scored three goals and set up two more as Arsenal overcame Newcastle in a 10-goal thriller yesterday and climbed to fifth position in the Premier League. Walcott, out of contract in the summer, swept Arsenal in front but Demba Ba equalised with a deflected free-kick. After Sylvain Marveaux tapped in to cancel out Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s low shot, Lukas Podolski nodded home. Ba levelled again, only for Walcott to score twice more, either side of a brace from substitute Olivier Giroud. Giroud hit the bar as Arsenal pushed for an eighth, but the result was secure and Arsenal extended their winning run to four games.

Game over! Robin van Persie celebrates after scoring Manchester United’s second goal against West Brom yesterday at Old Trafford.

EPL: Red Devils crush West Brom to remain atop, as Tottenham go third M anchester United will start 2013 with a sevenpoint lead at the top of the Premier League table after a hard-earned 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion yesterday at Old Trafford. This was not as comfortable for United as the scoreline might suggest, with the leaders forced to weather a spirited second-half display from West Brom. Nevertheless the outcome was a welcome early birthday present for Sir Alex Ferguson, who is 71 tomorrow. Shinji Kagawa, back from a knee injury, was influential in his first appearance since October while captain Nemanja Vidic helped United to only their fourth Premier League clean sheet of the season. Ferguson could even afford to start with Van Persie on

the bench ahead of Tuesday’s match at Wigan Athletic. If there was any grumblings from the home dressing room it was that they forced their fans to endure a tense second half after struggling to add to their early lead until Van Persie’s arrival. West Brom deserve praise for the way they reacted after falling behind, with Steve Clarke’s side showing why they arrived in Manchester in sixth place in the table. Despite the soggy conditions United passed it around in their usual effortless style, the hosts breaking the deadlock in the ninth minute when Gareth McAuley diverted Ashley Young’s low cross into his own net after a mistake by Graeme Dorrans. Young, one of five players

Mourinho wary of Juventus P. 55

recalled to the United side, then unleashed a powerful drive from 16 yards which Ben Foster did well to tip onto his bar. Michael Carrick was denied by Gabriel Tamas’s clearance off the line before half-time yet the West Brom player was guilty of a glaring miss during his team’s best period after the interval. The Romanian was presented with a glorious chance to equalise from close range but instead headed the ball away from the United goal. Peter Odemwingie also went close in front of the Stretford End before Van Persie completed the scoring with a delightful 90th-minute finish. Three days earlier Ferguson had berated the match officials during his side’s narrow win over Newcastle but this time he celebrated from the touch-

line as Van Persie curled the ball over Foster from the edge of the area for his 14th league goal of the season. Meanwhile, Tottenham won their sixth league game out of eight yesterday as they came from a goal down to beat Sunderland 2-1 and move up to third position in the Premier League. Gareth Bale headed wide and Emmanuel Adebayor’s two-yard shot hit the bar, before John O’Shea side-footed in from close range for the Black Cats. Sunderland’s Carlos Cuellar headed into his own net for Tottenham’s leveller. Spurs winger Aaron Lennon sealed the comeback when he burst through on goal and coolly slotted home to secure Tottenham’s 2-1 win away from home.

Martins stands by Levante switch P. 55

Handball academy takes off in Niger next year –HFN T

he Nigeria Handball Federation (HFN) has said that the proposed Niger State Handball Academy is to take off next year in Minna. The President of the federation, Yusuf Dauda, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview that the academy, when established, would aid the grooming of talented players to stardom. Dauda pledged the federation’s support to the State Government for the successful take off of the academy, saying the academy when fully established, would be a dream-come-true. “We will give Niger all the assistance to bring the proposal to limelight, because it will be of great benefit to the nurturing of our upcoming young players,” he said. According to him, lack of handball academy has long hindered the growth of the game in the country. “The future is bright for our upcoming and unidentified players as Niger State has agreed to respond to our utmost need of having an academy for the development of the sport,” he said. The president advised handball-loving Nigerians to make maximum use of the academy when established to restore the glory of the game in the country.

Falcao honoured with individual P. 55 award


54

Sport

Ekiti appoints new sports council boss

Knockout IFEANYI Eduzor with

08055829770 ifeduz24@yahoo.com

Fashola counsels boxers against violent protests L

SAYO OGUNDEJI

E

kiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has approved the appointment of Mr. Benjamin Olukayode Adewumi as the substantive General Manager of the Ekiti State Sports Council. In a letter signed by the State Head of Service, Mr. Olubunmi Famosaya, the appointment takes immediate effect. Until his new appointment, Adewumi was the Director of Sports of the State Sports Council. Speaking on the development, the Board Chairman of the State Sports Council, Prince Ademola Adetola, commended Governor Fayemi for approving the appointment of a substantive General Manager for the Council which he said would impact positively on the development of Sports in the state. Adetola congratulated the new General Manager and the entire workforce of the Sports Council, assuring that the Board would leave no stone unturned

Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sunday December 30 , 2012

Jolly Osas (right) contesting the ball with Yerna Ikpeen of Lobi Stars FC of Markudi during the 2012 Federation Cup final at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.

Osas bullish ahead of Super Four

H

eartland Football FC of Owerri striker, Jolly Osas, has said his side will repeat the Charity Cup feat at the Super Four pre-season tournament. The Super Four competition slated for January in Kano is meant for the country’s continental campaigners. Premier League champions, Kano Pillars and Enugu Rangers as well as 2013 Confederation Cup representatives, Heartland and Lobi Stars. Osas said his side will not only emerge winners of the Super Four competition but cart away all the laurels in the land. “Many people never gave us any

Dolphins resume camping after Christmas break IFEANYI EDUZOR

P

layers of Dolphins FC have returned to camp after a three-day break given to them by management of the team for the Christmas. According to the media officer of the club, China Acheru, the management of the Port Harcourt outfit decided to commence training immediately after the break to enable the players be in shape ahead of the next season. “It is true there is still uncertainty as regards when the league will start, but we are sure it will be a long season ahead so there was no need keeping them in camp throughout the festive season. “A three-day break from 24th to 27th December wouldn’t have hurt the team and that is why we decided to give them some time to visit and spend time with their families,” he said. Dolphins have won the Nigerian League three times and FA Cup four times in its 22-year history.

Dolphins of Port Harcourt players celebrate after winning an NPL match.

chance against Kano Pillars in the Charity Cup tie in Port Harcourt but we surged forward to record a convincing win. “We’ll repeat the performance at the Super Four tournament. “The four teams are champions and unarguably the best in the land but we’ve a season’s target to win every laurel available. “Winning the Super Four title will send the right signal that Heartland wants to make a bold statement this season. “We have quality players and the right environment to deliver the goods at the appointed time,” he said.

Kwara United secures new sponsorship

N

igeria Premier League (NPL) Club, Kwara United have agreed a shirt sponsorship deal with Yammfy farms. The deal was finalized on Thursday in Offa and was believed to be worth N60 million for a period of three years. Last term, it would be recalled that United also entered a mega million shirt deal with Chelfom, but the deal was terminated after the end of the outgone 2011/12 NPL season. Yammfy farms is owned by the Chief Monarch of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamasi Esuwoye who was impressed after watching the Afonja Warriors’ friendly duel against Oris Academy from the stands. “I am happy that Kwara United

honored my invitation to play a friendly match as part of our Ijakadi day celebration and that is the reason why I surprised them with the shirt deal as part of my own contribution to United,” the monarch said to supersport.com. Kwara United Chairman, Barrister Bamidele Aluko expressed satisfaction with the mega deal. “I thank the King for what he has done, and I promise that United would be champions of the NPL in this coming season,” Aluko said. The official unveiling of the shirt will be done next year before the commencement of the 2012/13 NPL season which has been tentatively fixed to kickoff on February 16.

Lagos fives set to publicise sport in schools T he Lagos State Fives Association (LSFA) has promised to exploit the talents that abound in schools to raise future talents for the sport. The association’s Chairman, Nasiru Mohammed, made the promise in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos yesterday. Mohammed complained that due to the lack of adequate publicity, funds, competition and sponsorship, the sport had not been able to grow beyond its current

level. The chairman, however, said that the association would do everything within its means to surmount its problems in 2013 through the schools talent hunt. “Part of our 2013 agenda is to ensure that fives is given the much-needed publicity in secondary schools to get students acquainted with the sport. “Part of the challenges confronting the sport are lack of publicity, competition and sponsorship, which we intend to surmount by next year,’’ he said.

agos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, has urged boxers to always show maturity and discipline when protesting against controversial decisions during their fights, saying that violent protests does not yield good result. He gave the advice at the “Governor’s Belt Competition” which is part of his fouryear-old annual Saturday Monthly Boxing Show which holds every December 26, to round up the yearly event when some boxers and their fans protested against the judges’ decision in one of the bouts at the show. Trouble began when a mild protest against the judges’ decision in declaring Joseph Otto winner over Rilwan Oladosu in a 60kg bout turned into a spontaneous reaction which delayed proceedings for about 10 minutes.

Fashola

According to the governor, referees and judges were human beings who can also make mistakes, stressing that the decision of judges can never be changed through protests. He, however, seized the opportunity to commend the state boxers for winning eight gold and a silver medal at the recently-concluded 18th National Sports Festival.

Kayode steps up to heavyweight class N igerian-born undefeated cruiserweight contender, Lateef Kayode (180, 14 KOs) has announced his plans to campaign in the heavyweight division. Speaking through his promoter Gary Shaw, he stated that he is looking for a potential opponent even as he expressed confidence that he will be successful at the heavyweight division. “He made a lot of headway campaigning as a cruiserweight, considering the fact that he appeared more times on Shobox than

any other cruiserweight in a decade, and I am quite convinced he will rule the heavyweight division. “The IBO completely ignored our ranking when granting Green a title shot, not allowing Kayode to challenge for the title. At this point, the heavyweight division which we fought our first nine fights in, seems to be calling. “Lateef is in the gym and feels very strong at his new weight. We expect to storm the heavyweight in February,” his promoter said.

Lateef Kayode(right) throws a punch at Matt Godfrey during their cruiserweight clash.

Haye vows to fight Vitali F ormer WBA heavyweight champion, David Haye (26-2, 24 KO’s) has vowed that WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko’s legacy won’t be impressive as it could be unless he faces him before he retires from boxing in the near future. According to him, “Vitali needs a fight people will actually remember, and the only recognized heavyweight out there is me. He’s had 50 fights against

nobodies. The only fight of his that people remember is the one against Lennox Lewis, which he lost. “I am aware that Vitali is interested in building his legacy but there’s really no one in the Top 15 right now that will help Vitali in that respect except me. “Fighters like Tyson Fury and David Price aren’t worth much for Vitali, because those fighters have been facing generally weak opposition,” Haye concluded.


Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Sunday December 30, 2012

Mourinho wary of Juventus

R

Mourinho

eal Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has admitted he is wary of the threat posed by Juventus in the Champions League. The Serie A champions finished top of a difficult qualifying group to progress to the knockout phase, and the Portuguese boss has acknowledged that Antonio Conte’s side will be tough to beat in this season’s tournament. “I’ll be honest: I do not like (Juventus) because I’m afraid of them. And I say that Conte’s team can win the Champions League.

“It is a collective, an extremely compact, solid, almost unsinkable ship. Missing a top player in attack? That’s just as well, I believe. This means that the goals can come from anywhere and at any time: a midfielder, a striker from outside the box. I mean it: it does not matter if there is a (Karim) Benzema or (Gonzalo) Higuain in a team structured like that. “This reminds me of my Porto in 2004. And if anyone, by chance, had forgotten, Porto won the Champions League final in Gelsenkirchen,”

Mourinho said. Meanwhile his future at Real Madrid has been shrouded in uncertainty of late, with his side having all-but surrendered their Liga crown to Barcelona amidst a string of controversial incidents, the latest being the decision to drop Iker Casillas from the side. The former Chelsea trainer admitted he has been forced to reflect on his future after recent events, but stressed he remains committed to the Spanish capital club as they strive for their 10th European crown.

Guardiola Martins stands by Levante switch tipped for coaching return L F ormer Barcelona president Joan Laporta believes that Pep Guardiola will return to coaching in 2013. The former Spain international is currently on a hiatus, having stepped down as Camp Nou boss at the end of last season, handing the reins to Tito Vilanova. Laporta, who remains a close friend of Guardiola’s, thinks that Paris Saint-Germain would not fit the coach’s methods but speculates he will take a job which allows him to be creative. “I think Pep will return as coach next year. He has a great personality, very clear ideas and he is very intelligent. “I have the honour of having good relations with him and, for me; he is the best coach in the world. “All the big clubs would have Guardiola as coach. What would it take to convince him? He likes to create. “There will be many reasons influencing his choice, he would analyse them all. I think he wants to have the power to decide on all sporting matters and must be comfortable working there. “Paris? It is not obvious how they would convince Guardiola to coach there. I do not know if Paris Saint-Germain have the adequate structure for him,” he said.

evante striker Obafemi Martins insists he made the right decision to leave Rubin Kazan, although it meant he had to take a “big” pay cut. Following a low period in his career where he looked set to end it all in the backwaters of the Russian league, the 28-year-old forward has since rediscovered his prowess in front of goal for the Liga side, having netted six times in 13 games. According to reports, Martins took a huge pay cut from being on an annual salary of two million euros at Rubin down to 600,000 euros to move to Spain and play for Levante, but the Nigeria international is still confident he made the right decision and is delighted to be

back among the goals. “I’m busy playing now and scoring goals, so I’m happy. “You know as a footballer, you can’t expect everything to be going up all the time. When things are difficult you try to sort it out yourself, you try to push yourself back up. “What I did was I made the decision to leave Russia and I’m in Levante now scoring goals. I wanted my fans to know that I can still play and do well, that’s why I left Russia. I chose the favourite team which is Levante and the pay cut was very big. I lost a lot of money because I love football. I have a passion for football that’s why I did it. And now I’m glad I made the decision and I’ve been playing now,” Martins said.

Falcao

tletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao has expressed his gratitude after being named Globe Soccer’s best player of 2012. The 26-year-old was awarded the prize at the star-studded event in Dubai, and he was quick to pay tribute to his colleagues at both his club side and in the Colombia national squad after a tremendous year on the pitch. “Without the help of my teammates at Atletico and in the Colombian national team I couldn’t have won what I have won,” he said upon receiving the trophy.

A

Guardiola

“Yes, I will be busy. I don’t feel under pressure to name names because you (the media) find them on your own. “We have the potential to be in the Champions League with what we have. We are open to strengthening the team, but the difficulty is to find what strengthens us. “Yes, we want players who can make an immediate impact that is why it is so difficult as well. Manchester United bought Robin van Persie for 24 million

Fergie rules out January deals

M

anchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has told fans not to expect any star signings at the club during the upcoming transfer window. United have been rumoured to have shown interest in Wesley Sneijder, Kevin Strootman and Robert Lewandowski, with the latter the subject of media reports suggesting a move to Old Trafford is imminent.

Ferguson

Lippi urges AC Milan to move for Drogba

M

arcello Lippi believes Didier Drogba would be a huge asset to AC Milan, should they consider a move for the striker. The former Chelsea forward has been linked with a number of clubs in recent weeks, with the AC Milan and Juventus seemingly towards the front of the queue for his signature.

C Martins

Falcao remained coy on whether or not he felt he was a worthy winner, adding: “I’m not the right person to decide who has been the best player this year. There are people who are qualified to make that decision. I’m very happy about the trophies won with Atletico and for the amount of goals I’ve scored. This is all very important in my career.” The former Porto forward was equally pleased to represent his home country at the event in the Middle East, stating the importance of putting Colombian football on the map.

Wenger plans for January transfer window

rsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he will be busy in the January transfer window. The Gunners have been linked with a string of different players in recent weeks and Wenger revealed that he will look to add to his squad. The Frenchman says he wants a player who can immediately come in and improve his side, as they fight for another top-four finish in the Premier League.

EURO BRIEFS

Dzagoev keen on Serie A move

Falcao honoured with individual award

A

55

pounds and he is 29 years old. “They have scouts all over the world. They looked everywhere. Don’t think that they just came in and bought Van Persie, they looked everywhere else. But to find the quality of striker that would strengthen a top Premier League team at the moment in the world is difficult,” Wenger said. Wenger also said he is ready to let fringe players move on but dismissed reports linking Andrey Arshavin with a move to Reading.

SKA Moscow youngster Alan Dzagoev says he would like to play under Roma coach Zdenek Zeman at some point in his career. The Russian was in impressive form for his nation during Euro 2012, and is eager to make the move to Serie A in the future.

Dzagoev

PREMIERSHIP TABLE TEAM

P

GD

PTS

1. Man Utd

20

22

49

2. Man City

20

19

42

3. Tottenham

20

10

36

4. Chelsea

18

20

35

5. Arsenal

19

18

33

6. Everton

19

9

33

7. West Brom

20

3

33

8. Stoke

20

4

29

9. Swansea

20

5

28

10. Liverpool

19

2

25

11. Norwich

20

-9

25

12. West Ham

19

-1

23

13. Sunderland

20

-5

22

14. Fulham

20

-6

21

15. Newcastle

20

-11

20

16. Wigan

20

-13

18

17. Aston Villa

20

-24

18

18. Southampton

19

-11

17

19. Reading

20

-15

13

20. QPR

19

-17

10


1.1 Vol. 2 No. 55

Sunday, December 30, 2012

www.nationalmirroronline.net

N150

N I G E R I A

million; number of farmers the Minister of Agric., Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said would benefit from Growth Enhancement Support Scheme.

I N

F I G U R E S

N475

million; an amount Honeywell Plc posted in profit, this year.

A year of misfortunes and disasters

Back Page

Comment

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

with Jim Unah

B

y 12 midnight tomorrow, all humankind that subscribe to the use of the Gregorian calendar would be bidding goodbye to year 2012. For well over 90 per cent of Nigerians, it would pass into history as a year of misfortunes and disasters, largely manmade and some, natural; which trailed the country from January to December. Even the flood disasters that wreaked havoc on farmlands, residential cities, suburbs and villages nationwide deemed to be natural occurrences have been shown to be the outcome of decades of neglect and failure of the state to apply what had been prescribed and used elsewhere as preventive remedies. The January civil unrest championed by organised labour and civil society groups was triggered by the arbitrary and unilateral removal of subsidy on petroleum products; ostensibly done by government to save the nation from the fraudulent activities of oil marketers who collected subsidy payments for petroleum products not imported. It is sinful, criminal and repre-

hensible to visit the fraud perpetrated by a few on the many, especially where the sinful, unscrupulous, few are privileged members of society. By failing to punish the subsidy cabals and oil thieves, and by inflicting hardships on innocent citizens, the Nigerian State sowed the wind; and the great misfortunes and disasters which befell the nation, such as the nationwide flood disasters, the many air mishaps not sparing leaders who resorted to air transport having aided and abetted the wreckage of road and rail transport; the several fire disasters, the most baffling of which occurred last week; as well as the merciless bombings of places of worship, private houses, markets, offices, et cetera, by the Boko Haram, were mere reprisals. When you sow the wind, nemesis, expressed in the law of karma, often compels you to rip the whirlwind. When politicians, political contractors, state actors and public servants steal public funds intended for infrastructure provision and development; when funds earmarked for road and rail construction and maintenance are embezzled by those who happen to be in control, and when the money budgeted for power projects are squandered and siphoned into private pockets, the country affected is thrown into a lurch – development is stifled; job creation is short-circuited, and mil-

lions are thrown into joblessness. The net result of this, as the Nigerian State has found out, is uncontrollable youth restiveness; leading to such socially disruptive life tragedies as brigandage, daredevil armed robbery, prostitution, serial kidnapping, hostage taking and outright insurgency. The problems of the Nigerian State are self-inflicted; and master- minded by its leaders. Paradoxically, as the churches and mosques are daily inundated by clerics and worshippers who pray and intercede for the ailing nation, the greater the misfortunes and tribulations that befall the country and its deprived, traumatised, and impoverished people. It would seem that the gods of Africa, nay Nigeria, are angry that the leaders entrusted with the care and wellbeing of the people have cheated and betrayed them by condemning them to a life of perennial hardships and abject poverty, even in the midst of plenty and abundance. A slumbering nation can be jolted and awakened to reality; but many think that the state of degeneracy of the Nigerian State is irretrievable, and that only a violent revolution can bring it back to sanity. Some other people think differently; especially the incurable optimists in our midst. The latter think that the way to re-engineer the architecture of the Nigerian State is to identify the different areas of prob-

EPL: Red Devils crush West Brom to remain atop, as Tottenham go third

Mikel battles over new Chelsea role J

ohn Obi Mikel is starting to adjust to David Luiz’s change from defender to midfielder at Chelsea as he battles to play beside the Brazilian. Mikel was arguably the most skeptical member of the Blues squad when interim boss Rafael Benitez first experimented with the move, even going as far as to say: “I think he needs to play at the back.” Benitez clearly thinks otherwise, having started Luiz in midfield again in Chelsea’s last two matches, to spectacular effect, and it now appears less of a concern for the Nigerian ahead of today’s trip to Everton. “It affects you because I’ve been here for a long time,” said Mikel.

“I’ve always played with Frank and now I’ve played with Rami (Ramires) as well - they’re all great players. Now I have to play with David Luiz. “It’s just a lot. I think, psychologically as well. You think, ‘If I’m playing today, who am I going to play with?’ - because they’re all great players.” Unless Chelsea convince the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to delay Mikel and Victor Moses’s call-up, the duo have just two games left before they link up with their international team-mates at the Africa Cup of Nations. Mikel could therefore face an even tougher battle to regain his first-team spot if Luiz continues to shine in his absence.

lems in the structure and fix them one after the other. Unfortunately, with the level of official corruption which has snowballed into a disabling weight, crushing every genuine attempt at solution, this latter strategy of problem fixing looks like an Israelite journey. However, let the problem fixers keep fixing. A solution might well emerge from there. Let the Nigerian State actors, in the new year, begin by appeasing the hungry, angry and impoverished masses of the people they rubbished in January last year by fuel subsidy removal with cheering, hope-rising, policies. Let the government introduce social security measures for the displaced, the unemployed and the destitute. Let the powers-that-be at various levels begin to make restitution for the children of the underprivileged that they armed to rig them into office and abandoned to their own devices and peril. Let the government develop infrastructure and create jobs for the people. Let the state find occupation for the displaced “Okada riders” in agricultural extension farms and in open apprenticeship schemes to reintegrate them properly into the labour market. Let the New Year bring happiness to all Nigerians, and peace and concord to their leaders; and let there be an end to inexplicable, avoidable deaths from misfortunes and disasters.

P. 53 PREMIERSHIP RESULTS Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham Aston Villa 0-3 Wigan Fulham 1-2 Swansea Man United 2-0 West Brom Norwich 3-4 Manchester City Mikel

It has been a tough two months for the midfielder, whose recent suspension was the result of his behaviour during the Mark Clattenburg affair, but he wants to put the whole thing behind him.

Reading 1-0 West Ham Stoke 3-3 Southampton Arsenal 7-3 Newcastle PREMIERSHIP FIXTURES Today’s Matches Everton v Chelsea 13:30

QPR v Liverpool 16:00

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Sunday, December 30, 2012  

Kogi governor undergoes surgery in private hospital. He won’t be taken abroad –Surgeon. FAREWELL TO A DEPARTED GENERAL: Jonathan, governors,...

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