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Saturday Edition

Sanctity of Truth Saturday, MARCH 15, 2014 Vol. 1 No. 25

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Seyi Shay

the pop scene’s new kid on the block p.16

‘bitterness I had for Buhari NOW IN THE PAST’ p.45 Curfew returns to Borno as soldiers, insurgents exchange fire

Babatope

Ribadu: How governors encourage corruption Ndubuisi Ugah, Lagos Steve Uzoechi, Owerri

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overnors got a disconcerting truth on Friday as former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, cited political office holders’ penchant for extravagant lifestyles as capable of fuelling corruption.

Ribadu noted that corrupt practices would be minimised if political leaders lived moderately. “Show us how to behave and we will follow you; if we have less private jets, we see you live in moderation, we will follow and copy you,” the exchair of the anti-graft agency said at a retreat organised by

the Governor Rotimi Amaechiled Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) in Lagos. But the NGF faction led by Gov. Jonah Jang was understandably absent at the retreat. Ribadu, a presidential candidate on the platform of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the 2011 general elec-

tion, advised state governments to put structures in their various states to curb corruption. “The states can do more and achieve more in the fight against corruption because they control a substantial amount of development resources. If they CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

ABIA POLICE ATTEMPT STOPPING MRS UZOR KALU’S MEETING AT IGBERE

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Ahmed Miringa, Maiduguri Muhammad Ali, Kaduna Ibrahim Abdul, Yola

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embers of the Boko Haram sect swarmed Maiduguri in their hundreds on Friday, attacking the Giwa Barracks and a residential area. Residents say the attack on Borno State’s capital started at dawn after the insurgents CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

President Goodluck Jonathan greeting the mother of former President Umaru Yar’Adua, Hajiya Dada Aya Musa-Yar’Adua, during his visit to the Yar’Adua family in Katsina …yesterday. With them are the sisters of the former President. PHOTO: NAN


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NEWS

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 MARCH 2014

‘Governors’ extravagant lifestyle fuelling corruption’

Content 15.03.14 STREET DIARY

Phantom Jobs A criminal gang is feeding on the desperation spawned by rising unemployment rate in the country. A group of female undergraduates in the University of Lagos fall victims.

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AIRWAVES

Watching the Idol It’s Season 4 of the Nigerian Idol and it seems the glut of reality shows is taking its toll on both contestants - whose quality plummet ridiculously - and the judges - whose indiscretion

continue to be an irritant for viewers

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BRANDS&IDEAS

N350m Free Airtime Pepsi and Airtel launch free airtime promo for subscribers on the network. But it’s drawn both praise and flak in equal measure.

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INSTYLE

Bringing out the ‘Animal’ in You

Just when you thought leopard prints are being tucked into the remotest path of the fashion closet, they make an even bolder return. Here’s a homage to fashion’s timeless creation.

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TRAVEL

SPORT

A Sleepy Town Comes Alive Idanre Hills has potential to bring some lustre to surrounding community. But that is if its hidden potential is truly nurtured.

CO N TI N U ED F RO M PAGE 1

leave the fight to centrallycontrolled agencies alone, we will not get the desired results,” he said, adding that state governments should as well create sanctions to punish offenders as deterrence to others. Also, Justice Mustapha Akanbi (rtd), former chairman, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), stressed the need to strengthen anticorruption agencies to fight the malaise. Akanbi added that given that corrupt leaders were powerful and influential, heads of anti-corruption agencies should muster sufficient courage to bring them to

justice. “The heads of these agencies must have the political will to fight corruption. Without courage, you can’t fight the menace; these corrupt people are powerful and it takes courage to fight them,” he said. Similarly, Prof. Akin Oyebode, urged anti-graft agencies to enforce the relevant laws in order to ensure appropriate sanctions for offenders, noting that impunity remained a major threat to the fight against corruption in the country. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the retreat, the third in the series, was attended by six governors and four deputy governors. The governors were Babatunde Fashola

(Lagos), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Adams Oshhiomhole (Edo), Abdul-Azeez Yari (Zamfara), Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers). States whose governors sent in their deputies were Imo, Osun, and Ogun. But in rationalising his absence at the retreat, Governor Rochas Okorocha, explained that he decided to stay away after having considered the financial implication which his attendance would entail. The governor made the disclosure at the Government House, Owerri, while aggrieved pensioners of the Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) who were protesting 40 months unpaid pension arrears.

Abia police attempt stopping Kalu’s mother’s meeting at Igbere l Govt: We are not aware of the incident Ikechukwu Ucheoma Umuahia

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he Police at Igbere in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State yester} 42 day barred members of Reality Organisation and other supBalogun, Egwuekwe in porters of Chief Eunice Uzor War of Words Kalu, mother of the former Germany-based Super Eagles defender, Leon Balogun, has governor of the state, Dr. Orji vowed to command a regular shirt in the Nigerian team even as Uzor Kalu, from attending the defender Azubuike Egwuekwe, meeting of the organisation. does not feel threatened by the Similarly, the police increased competition. had on Monday tried to } 25

stop some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Progressive Peoples Party (PPA) from the 17 local government areas of the state from attending a meeting with Kalu at his Igbere country home. But the state government, in its reaction, denied knowledge of the incident, saying it was not aware such a thing occurred. However, it was gathered yesterday that members of the

group and other supporters of the former governor’s mother in the 17 LGAs of the state and its representatives in the South-East and South-South states had started arriving at Igbere as early as 8 a.m. Suddenly, policemen from the state police command arrived in two Hilux vans and later was joined by other security men, who came in two other Hilux vans. CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

Curfew returns to Borno as soldiers, insurgents exchange fire CONTINUED FRO M PAG E 1

sneaked into the town. Security sources say the attack was an attempt by the sect to free some of its leaders being held at the barracks. Reports say it resulted in several deaths and caused the destruction of a property estimated to be in the millions. “They set many houses on fire in Fouri and killed innocent people. I escaped by the grace of God,” an eyewitness told New Telegraph. “I saw dead bodies and many people with gunshots. The gunmen came

to our area in droves, they wore flowing gowns and brandished guns, chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ as they set houses on fire.” Though the actual number of the casualties cannot be ascertained as at press time, a “civilian JTF” member, Mallam Audu said hundreds of the sect members were killed as soldiers engaged them in a prolonged exchange of fire, aided by an air force jet. He said the vigilante outfit arrested over 10 insurgents who escaped into the town and handed them over to the military. A resi-

dent, Alhaji Hassan, who fled the area, told our correspondent that the sound of explosions and the gunfire made them to flee their houses and trekked about 10 kilometres. There are unconfirmed reports though that the sect members freed some members held at the military facility. A mother of five, Hadiza Zubairu, said, “Right know I don’t know the whereabouts of my husband and two of my children, because I just managed to escaped with these three.” However, the police in Borno have denied reports

that the insurgents had also attacked the University of Maiduguri campus. The Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Lawal Tanko, in an interview with NAN in Maiduguri said: “The story indicating that the university had been attacked is not true. What happened was that the insurgents passed through a river channel behind the university to launch the attack on the barracks. Tanko said that the university campus was safe as both students and lecturers had been adequately protected. He, however, confirmed an

attempted attack on the Giwa Barracks, Maiduguri, by suspected members of the sect. “It is true that there is an ongoing exchange of fire between security agents and some suspected insurgents, but the incident is limited to the barracks area alone,’’ he said. Meanwhile, some residents in Kaduna whose villages were attacked by suspected members of the sect some days earlier has described how their kith and kin were murdered in cold blood because neither the military nor policemen came

to their rescue. ‘’We were left to our own devices because there was no security man in our area on Tuesday when the gunmen first attacked, and Wednesday,” Malam Idris Aliyu told our correspondent at Maigora village. According to him, some soldiers came on Wednesday after the attacks had subsided, claiming that one of their vehicles was bad. ‘’They towed it and immediately after they left, the marauders descended on Maigora village,’’ he said, adding that ‘’they never returned’’.


NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 march 2014

Jonathan visits Katsina, pays homage to Yar’Adua’s matriarch PRESIDENTIAL VISIT President Goodluck Jonathan arrived in Katsina State yesterday on a two-day visit. Ndubuisi Ugah with agency reports

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motions were high yesterday when President Goodluck Jonathan visited the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s family in Katsina State as part of his two-day visit to the state. The president, it was gathered, had reportedly knelt down in humility to pay homage to the matriarch of the Yar’Adua family, Hajia Aya Dada, who inci-

dentally was the mother of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, when he came visiting the late president’s mother. However, Shema while introducing the president to Hajia Aya Dada, prompted Jonathan in humility to kneel down before her to receive a motherly blessing. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that President Jonathan had arrived at the Yar’Aduas’ compound around 9.20 am accompanied by Governor Ibrahim Shema and other top government functionaries. President Jonathan, while being introduced to Hajia Aya Dada, in humility had knelt down before the matriarch to receive a motherly blessing. It was also gathered that

the president and his entourage were received by Alhaji Mustapha Yar’Adua, the younger brother of the late president, who led them to their matriarch. Aside from paying homage to the matriarch, President Jonathan also paid homage to late Yar’Adua’s elder brother, Alhaji Yusuf Musa Yar’Adua, before leaving the compound. The late Yar’Adua became the first civilian leader in Nigeria to take over from another after winning a presidential poll in 2007 with Jonathan as his deputy. Yar’Adua, 58, died of a chronic heart disease, pericarditis, an inflammation of the lining around the heart, on May 5, 2010, which constitutionally paved way for Jonathan to take over as president.

Meanwhile, Jonathan has said only the ruling party, PDP can stabilise the politics of the nation, and urged Nigerians to vote for it come 2015. Jonathan said this after inspecting a new secretariat complex of the party in Katsina. The state Chairman of party, Alhaji Rabiu Bakori, said the secretariat was conceived by Shema and built with the contributions and support of party members. Bakori said the secretariat was inaugurated in January by the party National Chairman, Adamu Mu` azu. Shema in a remark, said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state was united and formidable and would continue to support the Jonathan’s administration.

NEWS

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NEWS EDITOR, SATURDAY: NDUBUISI UGAH

ndubuisi.ugah@newtelegraphonline.com; 08033617741

The Week Ahead

National Conference begins March 17

President Goodluck Jonathan will inaugurate the 490 delegates of the National Conference from the six geo-political zones of the country in Abuja on March 17.

Nigeria oil and gas week holds March 17 The Nigeria oil and gas week 2014, which will feature about 7,000 exhibition visitors, 1,300 conference delegates, 200 exhibitors among others would hold from March 17 to 21 at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja. The programme, which is being supported by Sterling Bank, will also feature finance seminar, Nigeria Content seminar, technical seminar amongst others.

Lagos to close Dopemu, Iyana Ipaja bridges March 15 The Lagos State Government has said it would close both Dopemu and Iyana Ipaja bridges from March 15 to April 5 to pave way for their maintenance.

Securex holds trade exhibition March 18 The Securex West Africa trade exhibition show will hold in Lagos from March 18 to 19.

Ekiti PDP ward congresses holds March 19 The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ward congresses for the 2014 governorship primary in Ekiti State, which was earlier scheduled for March 12, will now hold on March 19.

Edo public schools assessment holds March 22 Chairman of the planned assessment of teachers in public primary and secondary schools in Edo State, Prof. Dennis Agbonlahor, has said the exercise has been fixed for March 22.

AFC summit begins on March 25 L-R: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Godknows Igali; Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar and Vice President, Mohammed Namadi Sambo, during their meeting on Niger Delta Power Holding of Nigeria, at the State House in Abuja …yesterday PHOTO: TIMOTHY IKUOMENISAN

How NigComSat staff’s petition forced Ahmed-Rufai’s removal Jonah Iboma with agency reports

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ndications emerged yesterday that allegations of gross financial recklessness and professional incompetence by members of staff may have led to the removal of Mr. Timasaniyu Ahmed-Rufai as Chief Executive of Nigeria Communications Satellite (NigComSat) Limited, by the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson. According to an online news medium, The Will, re-

ported that members of staff of the agency had alleged in a petition dated February 14, 2014, that Ahmed-Rufai’s manner of running the agency had sidelined management in the day to day operations of the agency. They also accused him of several other violations including contract splitting and handing contracts to companies operated by proxies. Ahmed-Rufai, whose tenure was due to lapse in June this year was sent on an indefinite leave on February 18, this year by the board of the

agency, following a directive by the minister. However, the Executive Director in charge of Marketing, Ms. Abimbola Alale, was named as acting Managing Director. Excerpts from the petition reads: “The staff of NIGCOMSAT Limited are generally disenchanted with the management and operational models implemented by the MD/CE. The issues involved are quite expansive and are all very dangerous to the survival of NIGCOMSAT Limited as a viable entity, and has restricted

the organisations ability to deliver on the precious services that are supposed to improve communications infrastructures in Nigeria and Africa while generating revenues, curbing capital flight and creating economic empowerment for Nigerians. “The general problems stem from the fact that the MD/CE operates the company like a private business, where all the management staff working with him are subdued to the point that they cannot make decisions on any issue in the company.”

The inaugural summit of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) with the theme: ‘AFC Live: Bridging the Infrastructure Divide’ will hold on March 25 at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Court adjourns ex-NIMASA DG’s trial April 22 The Federal High Court in Lagos has adjourned the trial of a former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Raymond Omatseye, till April 22.

Forms for 2014 CEDPA Global Workshop begins March 19 The submission of forms for this year’s CEDPA Global Women in Management workshop, which is sponsored by ExxonMobil Women’s Economic Opportunity Initiative will begin on March 19 and end on March 24. A statement from the organisers said applications are available for download from ExxonMobil’s website: www. exxonmobil.com.ng (under the ‘quick links’ tab).

FMCG stakeholders’ forum holds March 18 The Fast Moving Consumer Goods Games (FMCG) stakeholders’ forum has been scheduled


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FCT House committee condemns police attack on Nigerian in South Africa N EWS I N BRIEF

Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has condemned the recent attack on a Nigerian, Mr Clement Emekeneh, by the South African Police. Dabiri-Erewa (APC-Lagos) told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), yesterday in Abuja that the attack on the Nigerian was “ridiculous and unacceptable.” “As long as we continue to keep quite in the face of humiliation of our people, such maltreatment will not stop,” she said.

N4.642trn

AUCHI

SOKOTO

Poly admits 6,438 students

Insecurity: Cleric seeks divine intervention

The Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State, Dr. Philipa Idogho, said yesterday that about 6,438 out of 15,000 candidates were offered admission for the 2013/2014 academic session. Idogho disclosed this at the 31st Matriculation ceremony of the institution at Auchi. “This year, we are matriculating 6,438 students out of the thousands of candidates that participated in our admission screening exercise.

Sheikh Yusuf Alibawa, a Sokoto-based Islamic scholar, yesterday advised Nigerians to seek divine intervention to end the mayhem in parts of the country. He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Sokoto that special prayers by Nigerians to God would expose the perpetrators of the attacks. Alibawa expressed concern over the spate of killings of innocent Nigerians and destruction of property.

95%

The 2014 budget estimate is N4.642 trillion Construction work on the N1.2billion Baro port in as against the N4.95 trillion in 2013. Niger State has attained 95 per cent completion. Source: Budget Office Source: Inland Waterways Authority Governing Board

60% Over 60 per cent of drivers’ licences used in Edo State discovered to be counterfeited copies Source: NAN

Criminal charges: Outage stalls hearing of Babalakin’s suit DISAPPOINTMENT Power outage stalled Babalakin’s trial. Joseph Jibueze

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power failure in a section of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja yesterday stalled the hearing of an application by the Chairman of Bi-Courtney Limited, Mr. Wale Babalakin (SAN). He is seeking to quash criminal charges against him. The two-storey courthouse (popularly called New Building) was in darkness as the generator was said to have packed up. Several cases were stalled, and the few courts which sat did so without air conditioning. For instance, Justice Lateefat Okunnu, whose court-

room is in the same building had to delay a judgment because there was no electricity to power her laptop. She even asked lawyers to remove their wigs if they wished, although she wore hers’. Lawyers were seen pacing about the corridors, reluctant to go into the courtrooms due to the heat inside. Babalakin, in the application filed before Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo, if praying the court to dismiss the N4.7 billion fraud charges brought against him and four others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). They are facing 27-count of conspiracy, retention of proceeds of a criminal conduct and “corruptly conferring benefit on account of public action.”

Court grants bail to Edo ex-SSG, three others zz APC thugs allegedly assault two journalists Cajetan Mmuta Benin

L-R: Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), his Rivers State counterpart and Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Mr. Rotimi Amaechi ; Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Mr. Eze Mazumira, at the third NGF Retreat, held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos…yesterday

Ekweremadu, Ihedioha, Uduaghan, others mourn Uwechue Ndubuisi Ugah and Andrew Iro Okungbowa

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s Nigerians mourn the death of former President General of Ohazaeze Ndigbo, Ambassador Ralph Uwechue, who died on Thursday at Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, yesterday described Uwechue’s death of the deceased as shocking and painful. Ekweremadu in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Uche Anichukwu, in Abuja, described the octogenarian’s death as a

zz Enwo-Igariwey: He was a man of great passion heavy loss to Ndigbo in particular and Nigerians in general. “At the level of Ndigbo, Uwechue’s emergence as the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo represented a true handshake and indeed embraces across the Niger. It reaffirmed the oneness of Ndigbo irrespective of what side of the Niger they found themselves,” he said. On his part, Ihedioha in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr. Oke Opia, said the late Uwechue made his mark as a fine diplomat, who brought great skills and experience to bear during his leadership of the pan-Igbo body. “His exalted position

as president of Ohaneze Ndigbo did not in any way detract from his nationalist posture and an elder statesman with reach, contact and networks throughout the country and across the world,” Ihedioha said. Reacting also, Uduaghan in a statement by his CPS, Mr. Sunny Ogefere, said: “It is on record that the late Uwechue was Nigeria’s first diplomatic envoy to France, where he opened the Nigerian Embassy in Paris, 1966 and also served in UNESCO in Paris as consultant on general history of Africa project between 1967 and 1970.” Equally, the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo,

Chief Gary Enwo-Igariwey, said: “It is shocking and painful, we will miss him a lot because he was a man with a great passion for the Igbo race. He believed in the Igbo dream and worked tirelessly toward its achievement. “I worked under him and i find him a very committed man to the Igbo people and he had a very fine argument and position on issues and a very good knowledge of Nigeria. When you loss somebody of his nature, it is usually a painful lost and as a people we will strive on our part to try to copy and lived by those virtues, passion and commitment that he has bequeathed to us.”

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mid tension and apprehension soaked environment, the High Court sitting in Benin, Edo State capital yesterday granted bail to a former Secretary to Edo State Government (SSG), Dr. Simon Imuekheme and three others. The four accused were linked with the misapplication of N113million meant for execution of State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB) funds. Justice Esther Edigin granted bail to Imuekheme and others standing trial in the sum of N3m each and were required by the court to present a surety

each with a landed property within Benin jurisdiction. Dr. Imuekheme and the three SUBEB were accused of alleged diversion of N113million fund. The other accused persons are immediate past chairman of SUBEB, Sir Joseph Emoabino, Director of Finance and Accounts, Aghator Gaskin and Secretary of the board, David Eson Igbinoba respectively. Besides, thugs suspected to be loyal to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and those of the ex-SSG unleashed terror on journalists covering the court proceedings along the busy Sapele road in the ancient capital town.

Colleges of Education strike: Labour Ministry invites union for dialogue

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he Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity has invited the Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education in Nigeria (SSUCOEN), to find ways of resolving the strike embarked upon by members of the union. SSUCOEN embarked on a nationwide strike on March

4 over the inability of the Federal Government to meet the demands of the union. The South-West Zonal Chairman of the union, Mr. Lere Oladapo, confirmed the invitation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos.


Declare state of emergency on pension, retirees tell Ajimobi Sola Adeyemo Ibadan

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etired primary school teachers in Oyo State have risen from a threeday fasting and prayer session over their four-year unpaid accumulated pension arrears and gratuities, calling on Governor Abiola Ajimobi to declare a state of emergency on the board. While seeking divine intervention for the payment of their entitlements, the retirees who converged on the State Secretariat Complex, Agodi, Ibadan, under the auspices of the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) for an inter-denomi-

NEWS

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 MARCH 2014

ABUJA

BAUCHI

NOA tasks corps members on selfless service

NEWS IN BRIE F

national open air prayer session, tasked Ajimobi “to, as a matter of urgency, set into action the machinery for the payment of these accumulated pension arrears and gratuities.” At the end of the prayer session, the aggrieved pensioners kept to their chest their next line of action should the authorities fail to hearken to their call. The Chairman of the NUP, Alhaji Ganiyu Biyawo Azeez, while addressing the forum, urged Ajimobi to declare a state of emergency on pension as he lamented that retired teachers across the state were being owed various months of pension arrears.

The Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri, has called on members of the national Youth Service Corps (NYSC) across the country to offer selfless service during their service year. Omeri, who made the call in a statement yesterday in Abuja, said provision of selfless service would promote patriotism in line with the vision of the nation’s founding fathers. He noted that the scheme was established to encourage NYSC members to adapt to unfamiliar environment.

NDIC donates 2,000 textbooks to schools The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Company (NDIC) yesterday donated text-books to Bauchi State Government related to Basic Education on Banking and Deposit insurance to Ministry of Education in the state. In a statement signed and issued in Bauchi, the NDIC Managing Director, Mr. Umar Ibrahim, who represented the Banking Zonal Controller, Mr. E.O. Bantau, said that the books were to support the secondary children with a view to having basic knowledge in banking as well as in deposit insurance.

N3.54bn N35.830bn NAICOM exonerates self from alleged N3.54billion group life scandal

The amount the federal government has earmarked to spend on ex-militants in 2014.

(Source: NAICOM)

(Source: PAP)

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LAGOS Lantana College of Hospitality graduates 30 Lantana College of Hospitality a project of Women’s Board, Educational Co-operation Society; a not-for-profit organisation, which contributes to women’s development in both rural and urban settings has graduated 30 young girls in the hospitality operations career in its first graduation ceremony, which took place recently in Enugu State. Four best-behaved graduating students as well as four best-graduating students in academics emerged and were given awards.

$6.8bn Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) denies $6.8billion loss in Swiss deal

Ex-convict rapes chief priest’s wife in Igbo-Eze Uwakwe Abugu Awka

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notorious criminal said to have recently been released from prison in December 2013 has violated the wife of the chief priest of the dreaded Adoro Ero deity in Alor-Agu community, IgboEze South Local Government Area of Enugu State. A senior police officer in the office of the Nsukka Police Area Command, who confirmed the incident yesterday alleged that “The suspect has been arrested, he returned from prison not long ago and he wants to return to that place which means he likes

being in prison. A motorcycle which he stole has been recovered.” The suspect (names withheld) was said to have raped the victim(names withheld) aged about 67 on a day he also stole a motorcycle in the community and took it to a receiver based in Obollo-Afor, a border town in Udenu Local Government Area of the state. A competent police source told our reporter yesterday that the randy criminal “who returned from prison custody last December has been arrested by police with the help of the youth of our town and he is already detained at the headquarters of the state police command”

Adichie wins National Critics Book prize Tony Okuyeme

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igerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has won the US National Critics Book Prize for her novel Americanah, which tells the story of a Nigerian woman who moves to the US to pursue a college education. Other category winners for the US honour included Sheri Fink’s book about Hurricane Katrina. In 2008, Adichie’s second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, won the UK’s Orange Prize and Purple Hibiscus was longlisted for the Booker

Prize four years earlier. Her third novel was also named as one of the New York Times’ top 10 books of 2013. Her account of the patients, staff and families who took shelter in New Orleans’ Memorial Hospital during the devastating storm took the non-fiction prize. Frank Bidart won the poetry section for his collection Metaphysical Dog, while Amy Wilentz was honoured with the autobiography award for her account of journeys to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake in the country.

Kogi State Governor, Captain Idris Wada; Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza, officials of Kogi State and students of Crowther Memorial College Lokoja, during financial literacy training programme for students, an initiative of CBN, in Lokoja… Thursday

PDP holds crucial meeting over Ekiti election today STRATEGY Leaders of the PDP in Ekiti State begin search for their governorship candidate

Adesina Wahab Ado-Ekiti

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eaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will today decide which method to adopt in selecting the party’s governorship candidate for the June 21 governorship election.

Investigation by the New Telegraph in AdoEkiti yesterday revealed that aspirants and party leaders would meet with the national leadership of the party. Also, PDP leaders in the South-West such as Chief Bode George, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Chief Ishola Filani, among others are also expected to attend the meeting. It was also gathered that President Goodluck Jonathan may meet with the aspirants and party leaders. The main issue is whether the party’s candidate be selected through primary or by consensus.

The party is divided among those rooting for primary and consensus in selecting the party’s standard bearer in the election. A source in the party told the New Telegraph that whatever method is adopted, party leaders and members are poised to work together to win the election. “The issue of consensus is in line with the suggestion by President Goodluck Jonathan that it be adopted to choose our candidate and we hope it works. “If it does not work, we will go for primary and we are ready for that as well. In the President’s home state

of Bayelsa, when consensus did not work then, primary was adopted to select Seriake Dickson and he eventually emerged the elected governor of the state,” the source said. It was learnt that the list of delegates from across the state have already been sent to the state secretariat. Also ward congress to elect three special delegates per ward will be held next Wednesday. It was shifted from last Wednesday because of the ongoing continuous voter registration exercise. The candidate of the party is expected to emerge on March 22 at special congress in Ado-Ekiti.


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PORT HARCOURT Injustice: PDP hails Rivers students

N EWS I N BRIEF

OSOGBO

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rivers State chapter, has expressed satisfaction over the consciousness of students of the state’s extraction in tertiary institutions worldwide, which prompted the protest against bad governance by the Rivers State Government on Thursday. The party state Chairman, Mr. Felix Obuah, applauded the courage and unanimous disposition of the students against monumental injustice and deliberate denial of their right to benefit from the bursary scheme of the government.

IKORODU

Osun to spend N2.6bn on Ede Water Works

‘Dabiri-Erewa can govern Lagos’

The Osun State Government has said it will spend N2.6 billion to complete the ongoing rehabilitation of Ede Water Works. The General Manager of the Water Works, Mr. Gbenga Awojuyigbe, who said this yesterday in Ede, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that the government decided to complete the project to boost the supply of pipe-borne water to the people of the state.

Wife of the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Muyibat Oyefusi, has said the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has all it takes to be a governor in Lagos State and should be considered for the post. Oyefusi spoke at a town hall meeting in Ikorodu, organised by Dabiri-Erewa to distribute various empowerment items to members of her constituency.

N3.48bn

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The total import value of Shea nuts, and other nuts of Nigeria in the second quarter of 2013. Source: National Bureau of Statistics

The world’s position of Nigeria’s total area (including land and water). Source: worldfactsandfigures.com

The total size (in sq. km) of Monaco, France. Source: worldfactsandfigures.com

Navy impounds 87,500 litres of diesel in Rivers he Nigerian Navy said it Tof diesel impounded 87,500 litres worth N14.4 million, while on routine patrol of Isaka creek in Rivers State. The navy said it also arrested seven men conveying the product. The Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Commodore Godwin Ochai, handed over the suspects to operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) yesterday in Port

Okwu threatens to take over APGA’s national secretariat Julius Toba Abuja

Defection: My job is not threatened, says Shagari LOYALTY Dep. Gov. of Sokoto State, Dr. Mukhtar Shagari, says his loyalty to the PDP is unshaken. Onyekachi Eze Abuja

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he Deputy Governor of Sokoto State, Dr. Mukhtar Shagari, yesterday said there was no plan to remove him by the state House of Assembly because he refused to follow his boss, Governor Aliyu Wammako, to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Shagari, who spoke to jour-

nalists in Abuja, shortly after the inauguration of a 16-member caretaker committee of the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), also described as unfounded, reports that the party’s structure in the state had been handed over to former governor Attahiru Bafarawa, who joined PDP recently. He said he enjoyed the cordial relationship with the former governor for the benefit of the party. “I have made my position very clear to everybody. I joined PDP in 1998 and I joined based on principle. And I think it is the best party for Nigeria. Through that party I became a cabi-

net minister twice, I contested to be the candidate of the party in a transparent primary which I won. The party decided to bring in the current governor and gave it to him. I supported him and remained loyal to him. When he decided to leave I decided that I will not leave my party because I have principles. “I joined this party because I believe in it. I cannot move to a party that I don’t understand, I don’t know the people in that party; they have nothing political to do with me. I know sometimes when you take a decision you have to look at the consequences. But for me this is democracy and in a democ-

racy you have to be tolerant of each others’ opinions, likes and dislikes. “As far as I am concerned, I am still the deputy governor of Sokoto State, nobody has told me that I am being impeached and nobody has threatened my life. It should be understood that the governor and I are indigenes of Sokoto State and we were elected on the platform of PDP, he has left for APC and I remained in PDP, so it is the election made by the people freely is what is important. I don’t think that anybody will want to take away what the people of Sokoto State decided to do by making me the deputy governor of the State.

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Mr Taye Haruna; Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Mallam and Retired Lt.-Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, during the inaugural meeting with officials of T.Y. Holdings Limited/ Nigerian Conservation Foundation on private sector participation in the management of National Parks in Nigeria held in Abuja …yesterday

Harcourt. He said the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Usman Jibrin, had ordered strategic deployment of troops on waterways to stop recurrent attacks on the nation’s oil installations. “In furtherance of the CNS zero tolerance for crude oil theft and other economic crimes; our troops, while on routine patrol, arrested seven suspects with 250 drums of refined diesel at Isaka waterway,” he said.

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he factional National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Maxi Okwu, has issued a seven-day ultimatum during which he would take over the party’s national secretariat in Abuja. Okwu, who issued the notice while briefing journalists in Abuja, yesterday over latest developments in APGA’s one decade leadership tussle, described the continued occupation of No 41 Libreville Crescent, Wuse II Abuja, APGA’s national office by the Victor Umeh-led faction as

a contempt of the court. He lamented that despite a judgment delivered on January 15, 2014 by Justice Abdulkadir Abdul-Kafarati, who granted his prayers and removed Umeh and Shinkafi as the national chairman and secretary respectively, the duo still remained in office. “We will no longer accept those who are not in charge of the party to continue parading themselves despite our court victory,” he said. Okwu said: “Now we are seeking peace but they are resisting us. We know very well that no man can clap with one hand, we are ready to execute the judgment in our custody to take over the office by peaceful means.”

cont i n u ed from page 2

Abia police attempt stopping Kalu’s mother’s meeting at Igbere The vehicles bore the inscription, Nigerian Navy and another belonging to the state Task Force on Environment and Allied Matters and quickly took positions at strategic points in Igbere community. The security then started to turn back vehicles conveying people to the venue of the meeting. According to the supporters of the former governor’s mother, the security operatives allegedly informed them that they (police) had orders from above not to allow them attend the meeting. Addressing the members and other supporters later, Mrs. Kalu said it was unfortunate that some people would attempt to disrupt a meet-

ing she called to thank her supporters for keeping fate with her over the years. She said nobody no matter how highly placed would stop what God had destined should be, urging all her supporters to remain calm and committed to the course. Meanwhile, the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the state governor, Mr. Charles Ajunwa, denied the incident, saying government was not aware of the development and directed the New Telegraph to contact the state police commissioner. When contacted, the command’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Geoffrey Ogbonna, who said he was not aware of the incident as he doubted if police could take such action.


NCS generates N628.4m in February

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he Seme Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday said it generated N628.4 million revenue in February. The spokesman for the command, Mr. Ernest Olottah, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Seme, that the revenue was N154.8 million lower than what was generated in January. Olottah attributed the decline in revenue generation to low business activities in February. “In the month of February, trading activities were low because the year just started. As the year goes on, trading activities will increase and we will be able to

NEWS

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 march 2014

surpass our monthly target of N1.1 billion,” he said. He said that the command generated N8.48 billion in 2013, adding that the figure was N4.5 billion lower than the N13 billion target set for the year. Olottah said that the command would realise the N13 billion revenue target set for it this year by the management. He said the command made 103 seizures in February, with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N78.078 million. According to him, the items seized include cars, hard drugs, rice, vegetable oil, second hand clothes, frozen poultry products and general goods.

BAUCHI

FCT

‘Kafin Zaki Dam, an abandoned gold mine’

NEWS IN BRIE F

Bauchi State Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji Sani Bura, has described the Kafin Zaki Dam, a Federal Government project, as a gold mine which remained untapped. Bura, who said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), yesterday in Bauchi, said the dam remains a very critical infrastructure in the Federal Government’s efforts to encourage dry season farming in order to boost food production. He explained that the abandoned proposed dam was to be 11-kilometre-long, with a storage capacity of 2,700-million-cubic-litre reservoir.

N100bn Court declines jurisdiction in N100billion suit on Badagry demolitions. Source: Federal High Court, Lagos

7

WARRI

Cuba Foreign Minister to visit Nigeria

Guber aspirant vows to boost economy

Cuba’s Foreign Minister Rodriguez Parilla will begin a four-day visit to Nigeria from Saturday to March 18, Nigeria’s ambassador to Cuba, Ms. Laraba Bhutto, said. Bhutto, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday, said issues of bilateral and economic relations between both countries would be discussed during the visit. She recalled that in September 2013, Nigeria’s former Foreign Minister, Mr. Olugbenga Ashiru, had visited Cuba at the instance of his Cuban counterpart.

A governorship aspirant in the 2015 election in Delta State, Mr. Tony Prest, has promised intensive investments in the transportation and telecommunication sectors, saying they are important component of the economy, which impacts on development and the welfare of the people. Addressing his supporters during his volunteer recruitment exercise at Warri North and Ethiope East Local Government Area, Prest said necessary infrastructure like efficient telecommunication and transportation would be put in place.

N3bn The amount Ekiti State Government earns from the sale of granite annually Source: Economic News

N2.6trn

The federal government has said the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) on the 2012 floods across the country showed that loses and damages to farmlands, houses and environment is estimated at N2.6trillion.

Ekiti Guber: PDP NWC clears Peter Obafemi zz Bejide: I will defeat Fayemi if…

Adesina Wahab Ado-Ekiti

A L-R: Senior Sales Supervisor, Arik Air, Odion Andrew; Vice President, Flight operations, Capt. Ado Sanusi, Director, African Achievers award, Mr. Timothy Felix and Associate Vice President, Global Sales and Distribution, Arik Air, at the presentation of Awards to notable African Achievers, held at Presidential Hall, State House in Accra, Ghana PHOTO: ADEYANJU

Rivers: APC, PDP condemn upsurge in assassination, kidnapping Joe Ezuma Port Harcourt

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s condemnation and concern continue to greet the abduction of WAZOBIA Radio presenter, Mr. Anthony Akatakpo, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State yesterday expressed concern over the sudden rise in crime in the state. While the APC, in a statement by its Interim Chairman, Chief David Ibiamu Ikanya, described as “condemnable and unacceptable,

zz Urge new CP to be proactive the recent upsurge in assassination and kidnapping in the state”, the PDP through its state’s Chairman, Mr. Felix Obuah, condemned the act. The APC stated: “This upsurge started with assassination of an APC councillor and kidnapping of three PDP chieftains. With the kidnapping of popular On-Air Personality with WAZOBIA FM Port Harcourt, Mr. Anthony Akatakpo, after his home was attacked in the early hours of Thursday, the situation appears to be getting out of hand and is becoming

too much for us to bear.” The party also tasked the new Commissioner of Police, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin, to pick the gauntlet and address the situation before it gets out of hand. “We strongly condemn this upsurge in crime and wish to urge the new Commissioner of Police, Tunde Ogunsakin, to see this as a challenge that must be met. We suspect that this new wave of insecurity is being sponsored by the promoters of the redeployed controversial CP Joseph Mbu in order

to justify their failed campaign for the elongation of his evil stay in Rivers on the argument that during his stay we were not witnessing any assassination or kidnapping. We have strong faith in the capability of CP Ogunsakin to rise to the occasion and restore state-wide security if his antecedents are anything to go by,” the party stated. Meanwhile, the PDP in a statement signed by Mr. Jerry Needam, special adviser to Obuah, appealed to the abductors of this foremost comedian to release him unconditionally and save the already traumatised family further agony.

fter a careful review of procedures, processes and documentation as properly submitted, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday issued final clearance to Peter Obafemi to contest in the scheduled PDP primary for the Ekiti State governorship election. A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. Olisa Metuh, said by this decision of the NWC, Obafemi is now free to join other aspirants to campaign and participate in the congresses and the subsequent governorship primary.

Meanwhile, one of the leading PDP governorship aspirants, Ambassador Dare Bejide, has promised to defeat the incumbent, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, if given the ticket. Addressing his supporters in Ado-Ekiti, at the weekend, he said he had all it takes for him to defeat the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate or any other in the election. The former Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Canada, said: “I am a grassroots person. I have lived all my life in Ekiti apart from the three years I spent as a High Commissioner to Canada. I know all the politicians in Ekiti- Governor Fayemi is an Ekiti Abroad”.

Akpabio asks churches to handover hospitals for proper management

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overnor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State has directed churches in the state to surrender missionary hospitals not properly handled over to the state government for management. Akpabio gave the directive Thursday, during a town hall meeting/briefing for Itu/Ibiono Federal Constituency at Mbak, Itu Local Government Area headquarters, while reacting to a request for repairs of the road leading to at Mary

Slessor’s Hospital in Itu. He said: “When the church does not have the capacity to handle the Mary Slessor’s Hospital, then the hospital must be handed over to the state government for better health-care delivery to the society.” Already, the staff of the hospital are on our payroll. We pay for their salaries and that is not supposed to be so because it is the church that ought to handle that aspect.


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NEWS

N EWS I N BRIEF

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 march 2014

SOKOTO

IKEJA

Wamakko to distribute 244 ambulances to PHCs

Police arraign 13 suspected cult members

The Sokoto State Government yesterday said it would soon distribute the 244 ambulances it recently purchased to Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in the state. Special Adviser to Governor Aliyu Wamakko on PHC, Alhaji Ibrahim Jibril, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Sokoto. Jibril said the gesture was part of government’s commitment to provide effective and qualitative healthcare services in rural communities.

86.2

The life expectancy (in years) of Japanese women. Source: Telegraph.co.uk

ABEOKUTA

The Police in Lagos yesterday charged 13 suspected touts and cult members before an Ebute Meta Chief Magistrates’ Court. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accused are facing a three-count of conspiracy, breach of peace and belonging to an unlawful secret society. The accused include James Jackson, 24; Babatunde Fashola, 21; Suleiman Abolaji, 29; Ayomipo Sanni, 32; Rilwan Salaudeen, 24; Tosin Jacob, 34; and Adebayo Ojomo, 42.

84.6%

The percentage of male worker in Saudi Arabia’s workforce. Source: Telegraph.co.uk

Orogbo dies at 78 The Orogbo family has announced the death and burial of Madam Florence Olufemi Aderonke Orogbo, who died on January 21 and was buried at the family compound on No. 1, Orogbo Street, Afobaje Estate, Ota, Ogun State on March 1, 2014. Orogbo was a long standing full-time minister of the Good News of God’s Kingdom (regular pioneer) associated with the Oja-Oba Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Afobaje, Ota, till her death.

N27.07bn

The total export value of other quality raw cocoa beans of Nigeria in the second quarter of 2013. Source: National Bureau of Statistics

PDP petitions INEC, alleges manipulation of voter registration SHOWDOWN Ekiti may be set for a showdown as PDP and APC trade counter accusations. Adesina Wahab EKITI

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kiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over alleged manipulation of the ongoing continuous voter registration exercise in the state. In the petition dated March 13, 2014 and ad-

dressed to INEC National Electoral Commissioner, South-West, Prof. Lai Olurode and signed by the PDP State Secretary, Dr. Tope Aluko, the party accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of colluding with some INEC officials and security agents to register fake voters among others. However, the State Chairman of the APC, Chief Jide Awe, accused the PDP of raising false alarm, saying his party was law abiding and would not engage in any electoral fraud. The PDP also accused APC leaders of physically attacking its members in various towns across the state. The party named the

towns to include Ewu-Ekiti where its leaders such as Mr. Olatunde Olatunde and Mrs. Bosede Dada, were attacked for resisting the registration of fake voters. The PDP added that its members were macheted and brutalised in places such as Eda Oniyo, Ikun, Erinjiyan among others. Also addressing journalists on the issue, the PDP state Chairman, Mr. Makanjuola Ogundipe, alleged that some INEC officials were colluding with APC leaders to share unclaimed permanent voter cards. Besides, it alleged that the electoral body failed to let the people know the number of voter cards collected by their

owners and the ones yet to be collected. Ogundipe also alleged that 29 data capturing machines were in the possession of some state government officials and were being used for illegal registration of voters. He also defended the governorship aspirants in the state on the allegation that they left their state to go to Abuja seeking the party’s nomination instead of monitoring the exercise. “The aspirants are 14 and even if they are all at home, they cannot man the 2195 polling units in the state. Moreover, the party has made necessary arrangement to monitor the exercise and we are doing that,” he said.

ITB Berlin 2014: Nigeria may face sanctions Andrew Iro Okungbowa igeria may be expelled from the IBT Berlin, following the failure of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) to exhibit at this year’s international travel and tourism trade exhibition held between March 5 and 9. Nigeria was allocated exhibiting stand but failed to participate in the even. The NTDC, which is responsible for the promotion and marketing of the country’s tourism, was schedule to attend the Berlin event to exhibit alongside some operators from the private sector. But the Director General, Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, withdrew from exhibiting at the event on the opening day on the ground of lack of funds only to show up with a delegation on the second day of

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the event as ‘observers.’ Responding to the enquiries of New Telegraph, one of the officers of the organisers of the yearly world’s leading travel exhibition, Messe Berlin GmbH, said an order for exhibiting stand was forwarded to NTDC in a letter to it dated September 16, 2013 while a confirmation of the offer was conveyed to the organiser by the tourism body in a letter dated October 24, 2013. The organisation further stated that the action of NTDC was not accepted by it and that it would be made to pay the full rate for the exhibiting stand otherwise the country would be sanction from attending the expo beginning from next year. “NTDC has to pay the full stand rental otherwise we will not accept any demand for a stand for ITB Berlin 2015,” said ITB Berlin organisers.

Anambra councillors lament non-payment of salaries Dilionye Dilibe Onitsha

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future political battle may be raging between the Anambra State Government and political office holders in the 21 local government areas of the state over the inability of the state government to pay salaries and allowances of local government chairmen and councillors two months after being elected into office. New Telegraph gathered that the 350 councilors and 21 local government chairman who were each promised an official car and N2 million each as wardrobe and other allowances are yet to receive their salaries and official cars when it is just a few days to the expiration of Governor Peter Obi’s admin-

istration. Some of the councillors who spoke on condition of anonymity told New Telegraph that Obi had tricked them into spending their resources in the election only for the governor to renege on his promise. According to one of the councillors in Onitsha North Local Government Area, who was elected under the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the non-payment of the salaries and accrued allowances to elected councillors and chairmen would in future lead to a political turmoil between the incoming governor, Chief Willie Obiano and the political office holders in the local government as the burden would now be shifted to Obiano.

Stakeholders agree to improve electricity supply Johnychuks Onuanyim Abuja

S L-R: Bride’s father, Mr. Stephen Olawale Ehinmitan; the new couple - Peace Yeni and David Ayo Ajibola and bride’s mother, Mrs. Ehinmitan, shortly after the marriage ceremony at Enilolobo Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Giwa-Oke-Aro, Ogun State…recently

takeholders in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) last week agreed on the need to improve electricity supply to the consumers. Consumers have been complaining of epileptic power supply after several months of

unbundling PHCN and privatising the power sector. The stakeholders that met at the monthly meeting of the sector at the headquarters of National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in Abuja, were of the consensus that electricity consumers are only concerned about electricity availability.


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NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY

15 MARCH 2014

Saturday, March 8, was a major highlight of the social calendar for many in Lagos as they swarmed the venue the wedding between Busola Adumati, an educationist and Wale Ogundeji, a tutor at New Era Girls’ Secondary School, Surulere, held at the Community Nursery and Primary School, Magodo, Lagos. The event drew guests from various walks of life.

Wale and Busola during the engagement ceremony.

Chief Executive Officer, Relentless Media, Mr. Steve Ayorinde and his wife, Tope.

Mother of the bride, Mrs. Funmilayo Adumati and Odofin Ejiyan, Ekiti State, High Chief Thomas Awoleye.

L-R: Retired Col. Odebiyi and parents of the groom, Mr. and Mrs. Babatunde Ogundeyi.

Mrs. Felicia Onitiju and Chief Victoria Ayorinde.

L-R: Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Osun State Government, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon; Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, New Telegraph, Mr. Bolaji Tunji; Nollywood actor/producer, Kunle Afolayan; Managing Director, Forbes Integrated, Mr. Sam Davies; Chief Executive Officer, Relentless Media, Mr. Steve Ayorinde and Mr. Seun Soyinka.

Special Assistant on Protocol to Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ademola Folabi and his wife, Adedotun.

Mr. Gbolahan Gbadamosi and Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Osun State Government, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon.

Chief Executive Officer, Marketing Mix Ltd, Mr. Akin Adeoya and his wife, Florence.


Should quarrel prevent spouses from having sex? p.12

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NTWEEKEND ONLINE AT

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Syndicate offers phantom job to female varsity students, collect their phones What appears to be a good business turns awry for some female varsity students, WAHEED BAKARE writes

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ola is a student at the University of Lagos. She does a part-time job as an usher at big events, especially those packaged by multi-national companies. Her beauty and gait make her a sure candidate whenever the multi-national companies or their agents come around to select girls that will attend their guests at such events. The price, according to Bola, is right most of the time. For their effort, each girl gets between N30, 000 and N50, 000 for a job that will last a few hours. Besides, the organisers in most cases provide the costume at no cost for the ushers and make their hair to ensure uniformity of hair style. There had been cases where quality shoes were given to the ushers as part of the package. So, when Bola’s friend, Amaka, contacted her that a woman had offered them “job” through a girl from the University of Benue, Bola was elated. Bola said, “I have no cause to worry because we have been doing it for a while. I have worked for so many organisations in the past. Considering the money they paid us in the past and the number of hours we spent serving as ushers in events, it is always a good business. “The girl who brought this job came from the University of Benue. She contacted a girl who is also a student at the University of Lagos and that one got in touch with my friend. My friend, Amaka, now called me for the job. “This is how we network. Once someone gets in touch with you, you also bring in some of your friends. When I was called, I had nothing to be afraid of. Amaka had invited me for similar jobs and we were paid good money.” At the end of the day, the Benue varsity student recruited 10 girls mostly from the University of Lagos and National Open University of Nigeria to serve as ushers at an event on Victoria Island. It was learnt that the Benue varsity girl whose identity was unknown met with the 10 girls at a hostel outside UNILAG on March 6 and told them that their package would be N30, 000. Bola said, “When she got to our hostel, she placed a call to a woman who claimed to be the organiser of the event. The woman assured us that everything would be okay. The event was to be held around 12noon on

What becomes of me if those naked pictures become viral on the internet? Who will believe my story? This was my first time of participating in this business. But my friend who invited me had done it several times and she was well paid March 7. “The woman advised us to get a hotel at Obalende where we would make up and dropped our bags before leaving for the venue of the event. Since she also promised to make our hair, some of the girls lose their hair overnight. Around 8am on March 7, all the girls including the Benue varsity girl had converged on the hotel. “We paid N3, 000 for a room for two hours with a promise to pay additional money if we exceeded the two hours. I was a bit late

and they were all waiting for me. When I got there, we were asked to release our phones to a guy sent to meet with us by the woman. “Collecting our phones before events is not new except that the phones were usually kept in the hotel room. After the event, our phones would be released to us. Why our phones were usually collected was to ensure that we were not distracted by calls during events. “When some of us felt reluctant to release our phones, the guy called the woman and put it on speaker. The woman assured us that there was no problem. She said after the event, she would also launch a fashion magazine at a later date and want to select some of our pictures in our phones. “The woman even asked us if we were hungry and we said ‘yes.’ She said the guy we would bring food for us when he returned to the hotel. She said some shoes would be brought as well for us to wear the same shoes. We queried her whether she knew our sizes and she assured us that various sizes would be brought. “I found this to be strange too because if shoes would be provided, the organiser would have taken our sizes at least two weeks before the event.”

Bola added that at this point, some of the girls became suspicious and suggested that the girl who brought them together should follow the guy to where the woman was. We resorted to this because the girl has a friend among us who is a UNILAG student. It was learnt that all the girls agreed to release their phones. “Some of the girls released two phones and all the phones were of high quality and very expensive,” she added. Bola said the Benue varsity girl and the guy left the hotel premise but after a few minutes, the girl returned to the hotel without the guy. “When we asked her about the guy’s whereabouts, she said the woman called him and said there was no need for the Benue varsity girl to come with the guy. “We now asked her about our phones and she said the guy took them away. But before the guy left, he gave her his phone number as well as the woman’s. Luckily for me, I only dropped my low quality phone and hid the other one in my bag. “When we called the numbers left by the guy, the lines were switched-off. We waited for a few hours but we neither saw the guy nor the woman. This was when it dawned on us that we had been duped. At this point all the girls started crying,” she said. It was learnt that one of the girls felt bad because she had her naked pictures in her phone and was afraid that they could find their way on internet. The girl, who had naked pictures on her phone, spoke with our correspondent on the phone, lamenting that she regretted falling into such trap. The girl, a student of the National Open University of Nigeria, said, “What becomes of me if those naked pictures become viral on the internet? Who will believe my story? This was my first time of participating in this business. But my friend who invited me had done it several times and she was well paid. I asked her to invite me if she had another offer and it is sad that it turned out this way.” Asked if the Benue varsity girl who organised the girls could not have been part of the syndicate, Bola said, “We were convinced because she also released her Bold 5. She showed us the ticket of the bus she boarded from Markudi to Lagos. Besides, she has a friend at UNILAG who recruited most of the girls for her. The matter is convincing.” When asked if the matter was reported at the police station, Bola said all the girls were convinced and decided to bemoan their fate in silence rather than reporting to the police.


NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 MARCH 2014

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Woman who lured men for robbers arrested in Lagos Taiwo Jimoh

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ivian Michael is young, charming and beautiful. Her light complexion is also an advantage as men are always eager to go out with her. Besides, she is a graduate of Business Administration from the Lagos State Polytechnic. This, perhaps, explains why she speaks good English. But according to the police, Michael, 22, used her qualities wrongly. She is accused of using her beauty to lure men and give them out to armed robbers. “Their method of operation is to send the lady among them out to date a man of her choice, after having useful information about the victim, she will then invite her boyfriend and his gang to rob the man,” the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Mr. Chris Ezike, told reporters. Michael, who claimed to be an employee of the Lagos State Ministry of Finance, was arrested along with Shile Ganiyu, 25, Moses Ozowe, 22 and the gang leader, Tobi Dosunmu, who is also Michael’s boyfriend. The gang also specialises in snatching Toyota brand operated mainly in the South-West. Police said when the gang snatched cars, they took them across the border to either Benin Republic or Ghana where buyers were always waiting. During interrogation, the suspects except the lady admitted that they had launched series of attacks and snatched To y o t a p r o d ucts in the SouthWest.

The lady, who spoke with New Telegraph, denied any involvement, saying, “The leader of the gang (Dosunmu) is my ex-boyfriend. Whenever they go for operations, I do not go with them. “Dosunmu was my ex-boyfriend, he invited me to his house for a chat on the day we were arrested. We no longer go out together again but we remain as platonic friend. So, I obligue his request when he asked me to visit him. We were together in his room when the police came and arrested him and whisked me along with him. “It was because the police met me in his room that was why they said I am a member of the gang. I am not an informant to anybody. Dosunmu is simply my ex-boyfriend.” But Dosunmu said the gang relied on information provided by Michael to ease their operations, saying “I don’t just go out to rob. We worked based on information provided on a daily basis by our informant.” It was learnt that the members of the gang were arrested after one of them stole Toyota Camry along Atan-Idiroko Road. Explain how they met their waterloo, Dosunmu said, “I was walking along the Atan-Idiroko Road on that fateful day when I saw the owner of the Camry alighting from the car. I don’t know what actually his mission was. So, I hid in the bush and watched what he wanted to do. I saw him when he we n t to the bush path to uri-

Vivian Michael (middle) with other gang members.

nate. Before he could finish, I went straight to his car and used a master key with me to open the car and drove it away.” “Thereafter I successfully drove the car out of the area and took it to a hideout in the area before it would then be moved to either Benin Republic or Ghana to sell it to a buy who is waiting for the exact brand.” Items recovered from the suspects include one locally -made pistol, two live cartridges and the vehicle. The registration number of the vehicle is ABC-551-JR. It was learnt that Dosunmu and the lady were the first member arrested by the police before the two others were arrested in Lagos and Ogun states respectively. The police described one of the suspects, Ozowe, as “specially-trained cross border criminal who is familiar with Idiroko border route to Benin Republic.” The Commissioner of Police said the suspects would soon be charged to court. He said, “The lady and three others gang members were armed robbers who specialised in robbing unsuspecting victims of their Toyota Camry cars,” adding that they were arrested at Atan area along Idiroko border post after a tip-off.

IG Mohammed Abubakar

Armed robbers attack Argungu bank –Police

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he police in Birnin Kebbi said on Friday that seven suspected armed robbers on Thursday night killed two people during a bank robbery, the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN reports. The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Benjami Onwuka, told the state’s Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Aliyu, during an assessment visit to Argungu that Sgt. Bala Sanyinna and a civilian, Malam Isa Dantagago, were killed in the attack on the state-owned Savings and Loans Bank. According to him, four other civilians sustained serious injuries from gunshots. Onwuka said that one of the suspected armed robbers was apprehended by residents with an AK-47 rifle. He lamented that the slain policeman (Sanyinna) was only promoted from the rank of a corporal to sergeant earlier this week. The commissioner said the ar-

rested suspect was helping the police in their investigation. Responding, the deputy governor pledged the state government’s sustained support to security agencies to curb crime and insurgency in the state. While commending the residents for their alertness and support to security agencies, he urged other communities to emulate the effort of Argungu people in securing their areas. On his part, the Chairman of Argungu Local Government Council, Alhaji Salihu Ahmed, said efforts would be made to curtail violent crimes in the area, especially armed robbery and insurgency. The Chief Nursing Officer of the Argungu General Hospital, Mr Mohammed Kaoje, said one of the shot victims in the attack, Malam Halliru Isa, had been referred to the Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi, for further treatment.

Businessman charged with impersonating soldier, N5.5m goods theft

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businessman, Ikechukwu Okechukwu, who allegedly impersonated a soldier to rob a truck loaded with goods worth N5.5 million, was on Friday arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court. Okechukwu, 58, a resident of No. 7, Akinyemi Street, Agbado-Ijaiye, a Lagos suburb, is standing trial on a three-count of conspiracy, impersonation and robbery, the News Agency of Nigeria reports. The prosecutor, Paul Inedu, told the court that the accused committed the offences around 8.30pm on October 15, 2013 at Ojota, Lagos. He said the accused and his accomplices, who wore military uniform, robbed a truck with registration no. XU 144 AAA loaded with goods valued

at N5.5 million, property of one Mr. Daniel Chukwudi. “The truck which was heading towards Plateau State was loaded with ethanol chemicals, diamond, empty bottles, 125 cartoons of envelopes and 40 cartoons of iron sponge worth N5.5 million. “The accused intercepted the truck and diverted it to an unknown destination,” Inedu said. He noted that the offences contravened sections 79 (a), 295 (1) and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. The accused, however, denied the charges. The Magistrate, Mrs. Olufunke Hamzat, granted the accused bail in the sum of N200, 000 with two sureties in like sum. The case was adjourned to April 20 for mention.


Voices

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NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 march 2014

Street Diary

Should quarrel prevent spouses from having sex? Sex, best tool to resolve quarrels

Well, it depends on the nature of the quarrel. However, if couples keep bickering and having incessant quarrels, it can affect their sex life by a factor of 50 percent. Overtime, they won’t be sexually attracted to each other. I don’t think sex should be the best tool for resolving quarrels.

Nneka Madubugwu - works with a human resources firm Its absence may create more problems

Sex is too important in a marriage and its absence can only stretch the quarrel. It is easy to use sex as a medium to end quarrels and easy for its absence to create more problems. Once there is sexual chemistry between a couple, sex should be deplored as a useful tool in their marriage.

Omotola Okunlola - writer

No, it shouldn’t be

Lovemaking is pure and sweet between couple. So, when the heart is filled with anger, misunderstanding, pride etc, it is no longer lovemaking. A situation whereby couples are mad at each other, what are they making love for? So, my answer is a pure no. They should sort themselves out, so the make-up lovemaking would be wonderful.

Doris Unamba - unemployed graduate

Quarrel and sex can’t complement If couple fight or quarrel, what are they having sex for because sex is a thing of the mind? The woman has to be happy before they can have sex and same applies to the man. For the man to erect easily, he has to be happy and find his wife or babe attractive. When they quarrel, she is disgusting.

Edirin Eghagha - works with an investment firm

Sex, tool for reconciliation

No, it should not. Sex is a tool for reconciliation between spouses. Quarrel is inevitable but one of them needs to take a step towards resolving it regardless of whose fault it is. The longer time the quarrel takes, the more uncomfortable they are with the each other. It’s known that a continuous action for 11 days becomes a habit.

Rita Uzochukwu – student, Enugu State University

Cause of quarrel could be a factor

The question is pretty sensitive, especially when it deals with spouses. I also feel the answer varies. It also depends on the priority placed by both of them on sex. For instance, how important they feel sex is and what they tend to gain or lose if they don’t have sex. The cause of the quarrel and its magnitude is a determinant.

Lydian John - graduate, Anambra State University

Quarrel should prevent sex

Sexual abstinence during quarrels should not be encouraged

From my own perspective as an experienced husband, sexual abstinence during quarrels should not be encouraged as this can create a vacuum in marriage. The best way to tackle this is to settle all quarrels before bedtime. Wahab Hakeem - IT expert

Quarrels should not hinder sex Quarrel shouldn’t prevent spouse from having sex. Sex and quarrel are two different things and one shouldn’t hinder the other. It depends on the couple because sex helps couples resolve issues. But when they deny each other of sex; it triggers a situation that can affect the family, particularly the children.

Damilola Samuel – graduate, Lagos State University

not

No! Quarrel should not prevent sex. In marriage, sex is the catalyst, the secret worker that keeps the marriage institution going. A quarrel is a mere temporary misunderstanding: it comes and goes but the marriage continues. Sex settles the quarrel and gives you kids.

Olawale Adekoya - on air personality

Sex, instrument of intimacy It shouldn’t be because sex is an instrument of intimacy between couples. It’s through sex that they will solve their differences and build the bond with love. Couples should keep the sexual component intact.

It is not a good thing to do Using sex to starve a partner in a marriage is not a good thing. Women are more culpable in this issue of using sex starvation to settle score in marital dispute. They should not allow any rift to deny them the love, peace and the harmony which their marriage could offer. However, couple should always settle the differences between them. Sanni Mohammed - trader

It should not be The two of them should not deny each other sex in their marriage. They should always settle quarrel between them.

Amaka Okafor – businesswoman

Mrs. Olayinka Kola-Kazeem - baker

Sex should be used as a unifying force They should look for other ways to settle their differences and not use sex as a tool of denial in their marriage. If a partner is starved of sex and is not quickly resolved, it can lead to dissolution of the marriage. My candid advice is for couple to look at the root of any problem between them and settle it as quickly as possible. This is the right thing to do rather than use to punish a partner. Sex should be used as a unifying force to settle issues.

Ken GodswillUbah - businessman

Quarrel should not hinder sexual intercourse Sex is a communication and must be pointed out. It is a proprietary right within a marriage. A quarrel is a normal occurrence in every relationship. If you deny each other sex, a quarrel will emanate and/or continue. Successful marriage is predicated on constant communication. Quarrel should not be allowed to hinder easy flow of communication. Adebayo Coker – writer

Sex strengthens family bond

No matter what happens between couple, if there is harmony and true love between them, they will always find a way to resolve their misunderstanding. And one sure way to resolve misunderstanding and strengthen the bond in a family is through sex. So, neither of the two should repel the other when a call for sex is made. Sex makes things to work in the family. Ahmed Balogun - newspapers vendor

compiled by

Olushola Ricketts, Mojeed Alabi, Samuel Eda Elijah and Taiwo Jimoh


Travel Idanre Hills: Sleepy town with hiking potential p.42 Instyle Pep up your look with leopard print p.22

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C o n v e r s at i o n

For the Ejiros, it’s all about entertainment day got ovie stars to m ig b e th f o r, er is kid brothe h r A good numb o ro ji E b e mily rough Z le feat for a fa their break th b a rk a m re ly a tru dowed Chico. That is ardly foresha h g in g n ri b p st u unts an whose mode Y NEME reco N O S t. h g li e m a life in the li the Zeb evening with

“This industry is suffering,” Zeb Ejiro says, matter-of-factly as he reclines on his couch. “Don’t let anybody deceive you that they are making money; all the big movie-makers have stopped.” Coming from a man who has left an indelible imprint in Nollywood, the situation must be pretty dire. But, then, such discouraging outlook is hard to reconcile with the fact the “Sheik” has just rounded off post-production formalities on his recent movie. Surely, the movie has been shot, he said, but added that he doesn’t contemplate releasing it anytime soon. “I will not release it because of the situation at hand. I have spent nothing less than eight million naira, and if I release it in this market, I will go bankrupt. If the distribution structure does not take off immediately, there are going to be problems.”

Ikwue in his studio

Zeb had his elementary education at Ajegunle, a high density suburb of Lagos. He then went on to Kwara State to further his education. This was after his return from Equatorial Guinea where he was born. He would later become a disc jockey at clubs in Ajegunle. But in 1985, providence led him to a path that would bring him fame and fortune. “I was home one day and there was an announcement on television for people who could write a play script for 30 minutes. They requested that it should be sent to the Nigerian Television Authority. Selected candidates would be trained and given a job. So I wrote a play entitled Put My Ring on My Grave. It was a horror piece. Then I sent it. So, one day, someone called me and asked me to buy the papers that my name was there. Twenty-seven people were invited out of about 5,000 people who applied from all over the industry. We were trained by NTA and BBC. “We were trained in script writing, directing, producing, etc. So after the programme, I created my first soap opera called Ripples. It ran for five years. Till date, it is the longest uninterrupted TV soap opera on NTA.” Zeb stayed on with NTA for a while. “When I left, I was still writing for NTA on Village Headmaster, Second Chance, etc. Then at a point, I got tired of writing. I needed something more challenging. So, I thought I should create my own soap opera. That was Ripples.” After Ripples was rested he moved on to Fortunes, changing the name later to Mega Fortunes. Yet, his sight was still set on something bigger. “I moved to the movie industry. The first movie I shot as a director was Nneka the Pretty Serpent. Then, Fatal Desire where Hilda Dokubo debuted. Ikuku 2 followed. I produced Mortal Inheritance.” These are just a few of his productions that

Zeb ‘the Sheikh’

CONTINUED ON PAGE 14


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WEEKEND | CONVERSATION

C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 1 3

launched the career of several Nollwood stars. From Ameze Imariagbe to Vivian Metchie, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Genevieve Nnaji, Richard Mofe-Damijo, St Iyke Obi, Segun Arinze, Desmond Elliot and Ibinabo Fiberesima and a host of countless others. What sort of thoughts run through his mind when he sees the stars whose career he helped launch? “I would say I’m one of the richest and happiest producers and directors in the country today, in the sense that these are the same people who walked into my office years back looking so ordinary, begging me to make them stars. Many of them are about the biggest today and they have been working so hard making names for themselves. All of them too accord me that respect from time to time. I got Omotola JaladeEkeinde a Hollywood movie with Genevieve Nnaji and we all travelled. She shed tears and told me that I have been instrumental to her success. She said she was going to show her appreciation someday and that what she was going to do, I’ll be surprised. “I cried when she said that. Genevieve said the same thing too, because I gave her a major breakthrough. Regina Askia, Liz Benson, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Ngozi Ezeonu, Jennifer Okere, Alex Osifo-Omiagbo, etc. After an award ceremony one day, Chief Raymond Dokpesi called me and said that more than 80 per cent of people who received awards that day dedicated it to me, meaning I must have done a lot in their lives. I think it is based on this that the federal government commended my contribution by giving me the honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON).” His other major works include Domitilla, Tears in Heaven, Goodbye Tomorrow, Extreme Measure, Intimate Strangers, The President Must Not Die, Sakobi, A night in the Philippines, among others. He is not alone in this as his younger brother, Chico, became popular with the tag, Mr Prolific due to the intimidating number of his movies arguably unequalled by any movie maker in Nigeria in recent times. They are not alone as their wives and children are in the business as well. Chico’s wife, Joy, wears an additional cap as she is also a costumier. “Another unique aspect of the family is that our wives and children are part of this wonderful industry that has given Nigeria a better image than any other profession in this country,” Zeb pointed out at his Surulere, Lagos, office. “I am not alone in this because my wife, Mrs Joy Zeb Ejiro is the executive producer of all my movies. Likewise, Mrs Joy Chico Ejiro is producer of his latest movie and she does costumes. Melvin Ejiro, my son, now directs Classique. Marvin Ejiro is producer and graphic designer. Mimi, now Mrs Ikeneku, is an actress. Zino, my first daughter works for Jimoh Ibrahim in Abuja. Zeb Ejiro jnr, acts and sings. Barring Morris that works in an oil firm, it is a total showbiz family that we are.” He said: “When you look at my brother, Chico, his children Kome and Rule are already in the system as they also act.” You would assume the sobriquet “Sheikh” arose from the fact he is from Isoko, an oil-rich community in Delta State. By no means. He was given the name in honour of his contributions to the movie industry. “The truth of the matter is that I did not choose that name for myself. It was one of these tabloids that came up with the name. I guess it was because I was vibrant in various productions. At a point in this industry, I was the one calling the shots. My office at Aguda, in Lagos, then was the hob of the industry. If you wanted to be part of the industry back then, you had to come there. I guess the tabloid saw all that and just arrived at the conclusion.” Amiable yet thorough, Zeb harped on the problems and prospects of the industry and why a major reshuffling must take place in some parastatals in charge of the industry. Currently, he is engrossed in a privately-owned movie academy which he set up in his state, an institution which he said would impart rich knowledge to those who want to take up acting or television business as a career. Over the years, this mass communications graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, has held enviable positions, including being president of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP). He is presently the vice chairman of

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 MARCH 2014

‘Movie-making is in our gene’

Chico and his wife, Joy.

Zeb... ‘This industry is suffering’

“Another unique aspect of the family is that our wives and children are part of this wonderful industry that has given Nigeria a better image than any other profession in this country.”

Zeb and his wife, Joy.

AMP’s board of trustees, a trustee of the Directors Guild of Nigeria and a member of a few other organisations. Asked what he thinks of the various movie awards in the country, he said: “I think the only one that stands out is the AMAA (African Movies Academy Awards). They have done well so far. Because of them, there is something we look forward to every year. I tell you that at this point, the movie industry is so boring because activities are not taking place. Things are not happening as they used to. I am not saying AMAA is perfect, but they have done well although there is room for improvement.” Barring his recent movie which he is reluctant to release, Zeb was in some sort of hibernation. “You see, it gets to a point in one’s life when one gets bored about doing one thing again and again, and you just need something more challenging. I think I have gotten to that stage when going to locations is not too exciting anymore. I think I have gotten to a stage whereby I need to start impart-

ing knowledge to people because God has blessed me so much. That is why I have been spending my time building a film school in Delta State. It is called Film and Broadcast Academy. We intend to teach script-writing, production management, directing and anything that has to do with film making and television broadcasting. This is where I have been channeling my energy.” But he is less sanguine when the subject shifts to Nollywood. “The industry has done well. But, sometimes, tears run down my cheeks because this is not the industry we built. It is presently in total comatose. It is down and if care is not taken it will be out. Training is lacking in the industry. People are not trained. Most of the people you see in the industry today came in through apprenticeship. Apprenticeship is good, but it is better to go and get formal training, because you’ll raise your standard. When you go through our storylines today, they are so weak. When you sit to watch a movie, you’ll notice that you can tell the end from the beginning, no suspense anymore. You’ll find out that scripts are being written at locations. This is very unfortunate. You’ll see an actor in two movies and you can’t tell the difference. No characterisation. “I think Nigerians are tired of what we produce. Sto-


CONVERSATION | WEEKEND

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 MARCH 2014

rylines are shallow and lack depth. Plots are nothing to write home about. When there is nothing to keep you glued to your set, you switch it off. To change this, we need a change at the top. We need people who can handle the mantle of leadership. We need people who have vision. Training schools should be empowered to train us. We want a governing body. We need to raise standards, so that we can do more professional jobs so that we will be able to compete internationally. “Also, there is the distribution network problem. You see, Emeka Mba came up with this initiative and we rushed to buy into it. I personally spoke to him, that I was going to work with him to make the initiative work. But as I speak with you, there is nothing on ground. It’s sad. No structures. I have a movie I just shot. A sequel of Sakobi and I can’t release it because there are no structures. I was with Gab Okoye, president of licensed distributors and I asked him what the problem was. He was livid because he didn’t know. We have concluded now that all that happened at Planet One in connection with this initiative was a charade. If you look at it well, the directors-general of Censors Board and the Nigerian Film Corporation are spending their fourth year. If you measure the progress between when they came in and now, you’ll ask yourself what they’ve achieved. If you ask me, I’ll say: ‘no significant one. No development at all.’ I think at this point in time, my take is that there should be a shift. There should be a change of guard. We have a new minister of information and I think she should inject new blood into the Censors Board and the NFC. “People should be able to take responsibilities for their shortcomings. If his were tied, he should resign. If he doesn’t, he is going to impoverish other people who are looking up to him. That’s the truth. I know

Sleeves of the Ejiros’ movies

him very well. When he took over, I said ‘well, he is a young vibrant man and definitely he is going to bring a change.’ He actually put into motion things that would help make change but along the line, I don’t know what happened. Now you say people are complaining that movies are not selling. It means some people are not doing their jobs. “This industry is being funded by the private sector. The government can’t say they have done anything. What we need are structures. Even the Nigerian Copyright Commission, what are they doing? I look at the Copyright Commission and ask: what is their duty? In fact, in Nigeria we don’t even

need it. What is their job? What we need to do is to licence collecting societies. They can facilitate the arrest and prosecution of those pirating my works. NCC today cannot prosecute. So what is their essence? If the government still wants it, then let them put a vibrant person there who can bring about changes. Same thing with the Nigerian Film Corporation. This is a time to make a significant change, because this industry can create huge jobs for the unemployed. But as it is now, you’ll see that even those in the industry are leaving and this is not good for the economy. Is it only when you take people to London to do a road show, then you say

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you’ve contributed to the industry? How does it reflect to the growth and cash flow. It is funny. This is the time the government should make a significant change.” Zeb disagrees with the notion that Multichoice’s airing of Nollywood movies has contributed to the fall in sale of movies. “I would rather say that Multichoice has helped propagate Nollywood because it is seen all over Africa. They give about $3,000 for a movie. No other cable station in Nigeria will give you N40,000 for your movie. You as a producer have a choice. You can say you are not giving your movie to Multichoice. They don’t put a gun to your head. It’s some of these producers who give their movies out that turn around to say Multichoice is killing the industry. If you ask me, I’ll rather say that Nigerian television stations are the ones killing the industry. They don’t pay for

“This industry is being funded by the private sector. The government can’t say they have done anything. What we need are structures.”

Marvin... Zeb’s son who is also into movie-making

movies, instead they go on barter arrangement. They say they’ll give 20 adverts for a movie, but they end up giving five adverts and show. Some of the producers have come together and agreed that from April, we will fight any TV station showing our movies. Immediately the rights expire, we don’t want to see our movies shown by them again. We don’t need the barter, because we are ready to pay for the adverts . So let them too come and buy the movies.” Of his family, he says: “I’m from a family of five - my mother and dad with three boys. Peter Red Ejiro is my elder brother while Chico Ejiro is our baby brother. My mum had a strong influence on us. She was addicted to the cinema and always took us along. She got married to my dad here in Nigeria before they took off to Equatorial Guinea, where I was born.” Chico’s profile is just as remarkable. Nicknamed Mr. Prolific, as a result of having directed over 80 movies within a five-year period. He was profiled in an unflatering New York Times article published on May 26, 2002 (“When There’s Too Much of a NotVery-Good Thing,” by Matt Steinglass), and in an article from the international version of Time Magazine dated May 26, 2002 (“Hollywood, Who Really Needs It?” by Stephan Faris). He was also featured in the 2007 documentary, Welcome to Nollywood, which followed him as he made Family Affair 1 and Family Affair 2.


Maheeda Brazen in new video p.18 Asu Ekiye A singer’s tall dream p.19

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SEYI SHAY: I despise men whose motive is just sex Singer, songwriter and producer, Debora Oluwaseyi Joshua popularly known as Seyi Shay, has attained some remarkable fame and fortune that belie the less than three years she has been on the scene. She recounts the story behind her meteoric rise in this encounter with LANRE ODUKOYA MY PHENOMENAL RISE

WHAT I LOOK FORWARD TO

There’s something enigmatic about Seyi Shay and this, entertainment buffs are pretty much aware of. She’s got quite an impressive resume as a singer and when we asked her what the magic wand is, she answered: “If I tell you I know anything other than hard work, prayer and a good team around me, it would be completely false.”

On what she would consider her biggest fulfilment in 2014, she says, “I’m not sure yet, but I hope it is my forthcoming album.” MEETING ROMANTIC NIGERIAN MEN

Since she joined the industry, especially in the last eight months, she has been quite active on the live circuit, causing many to wonder if she has got plans for her sophomore album anytime soon. “Yes. I’m working on an album now and I hope to release it by the end of this year. So, apart from traveling here and there for gigs, I’m giving that a serious thought.”

Seyi Shay has a running impression on whether Nigerian men are romantic or not and how she deals with incessant advances. “Some of them are very romantic and some only want that one thing. I try to stay away from those types of men. I am now happily with someone I trust.”

MY SONG WITH TIMAYA

EXPLORING FRESH POSSIBILITIES

Her song, a soothingly rhythmic single with the Egberi Papa One of Bayelsa, Timaya, dubbed Killing Me Softly, is currently enjoying massive airplay and rave review. How did they come about this melodramatic fusion? She muttered: “I have always been a fan of Timaya. We met through Del-B, my producer.”

Apart from music, she shared other things she would love to explore if opportunities arise. “I would like to explore different charity organisations.”

PLAN FOR SOPHOMORE ALBUM

IN THE KITCHEN, NOT QUITE A CHEF UNDERSTANDING NIGERIAN POP CULTURE

Having honed her music skills in the United Kingdom and had a drilling through pop icon Beyonce Knowles, how she came to understand and blend seamlessly into the local pop scene is somewhat startling. She explained: “I have lived and schooled here before, so it was pretty easy especially with help from my mentor and his family, Sound Sultan.” THIS FOR MY FANS

So, what’s Seyi Shay cooking for her teeming fans, most of whom have not been part of her itinerant experience lately? “Trust me, I have my fans absolute interest at heart and same explains why I’m cooking a drop dead gorgeous album.” COLLABORATING WITH OMAWUMI

She has a few collaborations with male singers such as Olamide and Timaya, but none one yet with her female folks who are riveting performers and vocalists. Is she having collaboration with any of the industry top acts like Tiwa Savage-Balogun, Waje or Omawumi anytime soon? “I have already approached Omawumi and I look forward to it.” ON POSSIBLE RIVALRY

There’s a score of fledgling singers out there and the feeling of being rivaled cannot be totally displaced. Is she getting the feeling of someone snapping at her heels just yet? “Oh, not at all. I am happy for them all.” TRYING NEW HANDS

Having worked with a number of producers since her return to Nigeria, she is not averse to trying out new hands. “I hope to work with Masterkraft, Maleek Berry and Don Jazzy this year.”

As an adventurous one, does the singer experiment in the kitchen? “I’m not a master chef, but I know I’m very good.” FAVOURITE MEAL

Maybe she’s also got this fascination for a particular meal she wouldn’t do without in a week? “Yes, I’ve got one and it’s Amala and Ewedu.” PARENTS’ ROLE IN CAREER

Here’s how her mother finally endorsed her musical career with her last breath: “My dad has not really been a typical part of my life. He has kids everywhere. I’ve never really been close to him like that. Before my mom died, she wasn’t really a believer in this music thing, though she supported me. She paid for my violin, drama and piano lessons. But she never thought that I would take it this far and the day before she died, she told me: ‘Ok, I agree with you on this music you insist on doing, but make sure you put God first.’ I didn’t think she was going to die and nobody thought so too. She wasn’t sick, she just had a surgical operation and it went bad. In her spirit, she knew something would happen and she would not see me again. She said very prophetically: ‘You’d end up in Nigeria at the end of the day.’ And she added that before I marry or allow any man take that part of my life, I should make sure I’m a successful woman. It might sound controversial.”

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EbonyLife TV premieres Married to the Game

T

he season of all new shows and premieres continues on EbonyLife TV, with the premiere of its new drama series, Married to the Game (MTTG), a suspense-filled, cutting edge drama thriller. The series which launched on March 07 at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos, features rising Nollywood actor and model Alex Ekubo; Leonora Okine who played the role of Malaika in Shuga; musician and celebrity photographer, Toni Tones, along with Dada Omowunmi, Paul Adams, Daniel Lloyd, Lamide Pareto and Harry Dorgu. Entirely produced by EbonyLife TV, MTTG was created and directed by Walter “Waltbanger” Taylaur, whose short film The Wages is nominated for the Best Short Film at the 2014 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards. In the riveting drama, newlyweds giddy with excitement, Vincent and Gloria Coker are headed toward a blissful future together. Gloria (Leonora Okine) marries Dr. Vincent (Alex Ekubo) in a bid to appease her father, who is unhappy because of her total lack of interest in becoming a doctor and inheriting his hospital. The tale, however, takes a new twist when the couple runs over a stranger after their wedding reception. In the stranger’s possession is a laptop bag containing more than just a laptop. This discovery sets the newlyweds on a journey of deception, greed and murder, as they battle with forces determined

Crew and cast of Married to the Game

to tear them apart and destroy the future they once held dear. All is not as rosy as it seems in the Coker household, as dark secrets begin to emerge pointing to the grave realization that they may have both said “I do” to a complete stranger. Speaking excitedly about the launch and premiere, director of the series, Walter “Waltbanger” Taylaur’s words read in part, “Married to the Game is a roller coaster ride of a drama series; distinct in its blend of a cleverly crafted script, visually engaging cinematography and exceptional acting performances. It brings to African audiences a fresh and cutting edge approach to television viewing.” For Mo Abudu, executive chairman and CEO of EbonyLife TV, “This is another dedication to our precious viewers in Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world. We promised our viewers to continue to thrill them with the best of African entertainment and we are very happy not to disappoint them. “Married to the game” is a family series that no one should miss. It’s a compelling thriller and has the making of a hit. But this is what EbonyLife TV is all about. When you are poised to be the home of the Best African Entertainment Content, you can’t rest on your oars. I would like to thank Walter, the creator and director of the series; the actors; all the cast and crew; the guests and the press. Thanks for coming with us on this great journey.”

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LANRE ODUKOYA - 08059296445 lanreodukoya@gmail.com

E-BRIEFS

Pianist wole oni marks 40th birthday in grand style

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Clarion Chukwurah, K.O.K. others dazzle in new biopic, Apaye

the stables of Royal Arts Academy, Apaye, Fbirdrom A Mother’s Love, was premiered at the SilverGalleria on Friday, March 7. Apaye is the

ward-winning pianist, Wole Oni, recently marked his 40th birthday in grand style at his sprawling, Surulere, Lagos, Instincts Production studio Office. Speaking about his love for music Production, “when I was growing up as musically gifted son, I really loved the Piano, orchestra and Music,” Oni says. Staging a concert centred on a significant birthday, Oni is thinking about the arc of his career. Over time, his style has evolved. “I feel like I can get a lot of new, different colors out of the piano now,” he says. The Producer, during his birthday put up a mini- creative performance bringing in fellow jazz pianists and musicians like Mike Aremu, Ini Uko, Nene Soul-diva, Ayo Del, Kayode Olusoji, Martha Chiegbune, Femi Daniels, Ray Franklyn and Deejay Gosporella to perform various compositions. According to the unassuming man, ‘‘I feel blessed, honoured and incredible celebrating accomplishments at 40.’’ The award winning producer hosted friends, musicians, business associates and family to a lavish lunch. It was a high octane event that attracted a handful of society big-wigs, business tycoons and top newspaper entertainment editors and journalists.

moving story of one woman’s quest to succeed against the odds. Inspired by true events, Apaye is the story of Elder Irene Yepayeye Uriah, born in the creeks of what is now Bayelsa State, and left to fend for her six children. She struggled and toiled to provide for her family and to make sure they enjoyed a life that she never had. After weathering the tempest, she became a woman of substance in a community that never believed any good could come from her. The movie stars Clarion Chukwurah in a jaw-dropping performance as the lead character. She is ably supported by veteran actor, Kanayo O. Kanayo, as well as Belinda Effah, Mbong Amata, Millicent Jack and many more. The screenplay was produced by Uduak Oguamanam, Kehinde Joseph and Vivian Chiji. The film was produced by Emem Isong, directed by Desmond Elliot, Assistant director on the project was Niyi Akinmolaran.

Alex Ekubo not gay after all

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andsome model and actor, Alex Ekubo wasn’t lucky to get fair impression from some of his followers. They’d suspected him to be swinging the way of fellow men until lately when Yemi Alade’s video, Johnny, was released. Apart from being quite visible in the video, the strapping entertainer seems to be sharing an incredible dalliance with the singer, Yemi Alade. Though both have yet to confirm any romance, not much insight is needed any longer to know they both share some mutual attraction.

Patrick Ellis spoils self with 16m Mercedes Benz

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udding Nigerian music-video director, Patrick Elis, is now a proud owner of a Mercedes Benz vehicle. The young man who gained attention after he shot the video of Wizkid’s hit single, Holla At Ur Boy, few years ago, has since become the preferred candidate to shoot music videos of top Nigerian artistes. Words have gone to town that Patrick recently got a CLA 250 Mercedes Benz worth about N16 million.


18

SHOWBItZ

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 MARCH 2014

SHOWBITZ WITH SONY NEME

08111813096 nemesony@yahoo.co.uk

Jaywon to leave Kennis Music

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his is surely interesting times in the entertainment circuit. Iledare Oluwajuwonlo James aka Jaywon has written a letter, through his lawyer, requesting for his contract with Kennis Music to be terminated. In a press release made available to the media by public affairs unit of Kennis Communications, it turns out that Jaywon has requested to buy out his contract. Jaywon reportedly noted in the letter of his readiness and willing-

ness to pay off all costs therein. The statement reads in part: “Meanwhile, Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria IBAN MEMBERS and all broadcasters on all platforms are hereby advised to un-list the works (either single performances or and collaborations) of Jaywon from their respective rotational play lists until his (Jaywon) request to buy over his contract is fully completed to avoid litigation.”

ASU Ekiye dreams big

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e r a b s e o g a d e e Mah o e d i v w e n n i n i aga A

d like her last video for gle ‘Lasgidi Chick’ an sin s e on n ca at wh or ess also stake naked in thi nother season of madn aija Bad Girl’ she was ‘N t a tha ed le he op Ma pe e of ph sam , otogra Films describe this nude ph eo shot Frizzle N Brizzle vid Ma . dia me l cia the so ija Bad Girl. that has gone virile on for her new shot Na eo vid the ot sh tly en heeda rec

ince the release of his last album, Asu Ekiye had been in the cooler preparing for the release of his next major hit. It’s confirmed that he has concluded plans to hit the air waves with another effort titled Seiyo, which means dance in Ijaw. In a telephone chat with New Telegraph, the multiple-awards winner said: “This dance album is loaded with tunes from the Niger Delta. This time I am doing it in grand style. I will be hosting a live concert at the Abuja Sheraton and in Port Harcourt this year.” To make it a memorable outing, Ekiye further revealed that, “Darwin Hobbs who is the rave of the moment in American black gospel, whose song He is able is a favourite of churches across over

the world is flying in to do the tour with me”. And on March 16, the video of Seiyo will be shot and the “journey begins from there,” he enthused.

d o o w y ll o N r fo t r o p p u s s it s e c r fo in e r a lt a M l e t s Am

lta has always been Ageni-Yusuf, “Amstel Ma atu nn Ha , ger na ma nd doing to ensure d its support bra best and this we will keep the g tin mstel Malta has reiterate mo pro to ted ica the best they can ry. This was ded , are well motivated to be ally eci for Nigeria’s movie indust esp , ths you the t rship of the tha t to make a change.” reaffirmed with the sponso We will keep doing our par be. rs’ we Vie red the AMVCAs first gic Ma lt brand that also sponso ma ar second edition of the Africa sug low e Th t to the growth and s), on March 8, at s with same commitmen ue tin con r Choice Awards (AMVCA yea t las n tio ry. This is through Centre, Victoria edi an entertainment indust eri Nig the the Eko Hotel Convention of t en pm elo dev , Williams Sisters es such as the AMVCAs tiv tia ini d Island, Lagos. an s hip ers rtn one of the pa owtime, amongst others. The brand, which was Tour, and Amstel Malta Sh gos La Niin is a step in the right ws sho ng a part of the campaign bei e, pioneers of movie reality iev nev Ge For gn. It’s a big step in l Malta Box to be a part of this campai d gla y ver ger ia such as the Amste “I’m . ion ect all the motivation , has also offi- dir se our youths really need au bec ion Office (AMBO) in 2005 ect dir ht rig rney to success,” nd campaign, the keep pushing on as we jou to e hav all cially launched its new bra We . get can y to Success. That the themed around Journey d. campaign, saying that g of its new TV she sai zed the importance of the asi ph came with the unveilin em o als i Ob tform. “Amstel ent of NollyNigerians through the pla ng you e pir commercial and announcem ins to pes ho ths and I’m glad to aji and Chelsea he role in inspiring the you jor ma a wood star, Genevieve Nn g yin pla is lta cess is never that easy, nd ambas- Ma tiative. The journey to suc ini midfielder, Mikel Obi as bra h suc of t par a s,” he said. be ded s to stay true to their dream sadors, at the just conclu encourage young Nigerian I t bu , Mr Walter Drenth, AMVCAs. or of Nigerian Breweries Plc ect dir g tin rke ma e Th ans and will serve, as a According to Amstel is targeted at young Nigeri gn pai cam the d sai st you can be”. Ma lta ssage, which is “Be the Be tool to drive the brand’s me d enthusiasm the company’s position an Drenth also emphasized very happy to paign: “As a brand, we are with regard to the new cam goal is to inspire h a time as this. Our major launch this campaign at suc we strongly believe the best in all areas and the Nigerian youth to be will not settle for ld maximum results, as we that all our efforts will yie goals,” he stated. less in achieving our set

A

Genevieve


NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 MARCH 2014

SHOWBITZ WITH SONY NEME

SHOWBITZ

19

08111813096 nemesony@yahoo.co.uk

Odunsi: Nigerian artistes are not well informed Chief executive officer of Gas Promotions, Ayodele Odunsi, notes that there’s hardly any major company that does not now require the platform offered by entertainment to connect with their target market. The music promoter speaks with OLUSHOLA RICKETTS Can you tell us about Gas Promotions?

Wizkid at Polo ground

KCee, Wizkid and Harrysong set polo ground aglow

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izkid, Harrysong and KCee shone like the stars they are penultimate week as they serenade and excite polo buffs. The event was at the Ribadu Road venue of the Lagos International Polo Tournament, which came to an exciting end with MTN ambassadors performing. Known for his ability to leave crowds ecstatic and screaming for more, Wizkid, one of the three MTN ambassadors had set the tune for the night when he mounted the stage. The talented artiste demonstrated the reason why he is widely regarded as one

of the country’s best music exports. The polo enthusiasts sang along to Wizkid’s old hits like Holla at Your Boy and new tracks On Top Your Matter and many more to the delight of the massive crowd. Harrysong added spice to the show as he came on stage to perform his download chart-busting Tribute To Mandela. KCee put everyone on their feet with his Pull Over hit track as the venue was turned into an instant dance hall with the irresistible melody of the wave-making song. The first weekend of the tournament ended with Yemi Alade and her latest songs. The up and coming music star, had stepped on

Gbenga Adeyinka’s comedy train’s ‘four reasons’

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ere are four simple rules of life that will shape your thinking, courtesy of Gbenga Adeyina: “If you do not go after what you want, you’ll never have it; if you do not ask, the answer will always be no; and If you do not step forward, you’ll always be in the same place. Lastly and most importantly, if you are in Ibadan and you have not told someone that kings are coming to The Evolution of Laff Mattazz with Gbenga Adeyinka &Friends on April 20 at Kakanfo Conference Centre Ibadan, you will be making that person to miss the biggest show of the year. Gbenga Adeyinka

stage with her song that is enjoying generous airplay. At the event were some public figures who came to enjoy the “game of kings”. They include the Oba of Lagos, HRH Rilwan Babatunde Akiolu 1, vice president of the Dangote Group, Sani Dangote, and Senator Tokunbo Ogunbanjo. Others faces were former presidential aspirant, Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi, Dr. Desmond Majekodunmi, the Attorney-General of Ogun State, Mrs. Abimbola Akeredolu, and Ogun State commissioner for commerce and industry, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, as well as Prince Lanre Tejuosho.

Nollywood’s finest grace Chico Ejiro’s movie premiere

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ollywood heavyweight, Chico Ejiro, further proved that he is definitely a master of the game as he got the industry’s finest to grace the premiere of his new flick, When Dreams Fall Apart, last Sunday. The film premiere, which many described as one of the best in recent times, took place at the Younis Bashorun Gallery, Social Place, Victoria Island, Lagos. On hand to witness the event were the crème of the Nigerian film industry that converged to celebrate the famous producer. In attendance where Fred Amata, Emeka Ossai, Jibola Dabo, Monalisa Chinda, Uche Jombo Rodriguez, Emmanuel Mensah, President of Actors Guild of Nigeria, Ibinabo Fiberesima, Fidelis Duker, Segun Arinze and several others.

We are a team of professionals that render quality music promotions in Nigeria and in the international market. We seek to lead the industry by instilling pride in our people, creating value for our stakeholders and sharing responsibilities around the world. We saw the need for proper content marketing and music promotions in the entertainment industry and decided to establish a company with a new breed of creative thinkers who are flexible enough to enlighten our targeted market on the necessary steps to take to build their brands and ensure they remain in business. Why showbiz?

Showbiz is the fastest growing industry now and if one watches closely, every sector now depends on showbiz to remain relevant in the minds of its audience. Our passion for music, branding, content marketing and promotions brought us into showbiz. We have been doing this for almost a decade. Your father was also a music promoter; what can you say of him?

My dad is a pharmacist and a promoter in the United States. He once worked with the likes of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Femi Kuti, Sunny Ade, Majek Fashek, Ras Kimono and others in the US. But he never knew about my brand until two years ago because I wanted to build my brand outside his network. He was home recently and Tuface hosted us along with Tetuila. Do you think the industry here is at par with other developed countries?

I would say it is a growing industry that still needs more sincerity, focused and dedicated people as against the increasing number of greedy people. Nevertheless, Nigerian entertainment industry cannot be compared to that of the d e ve l o p e d countries where an ar-

tiste can survive for many years on the proceeds of one song and a video. In what ways do you think the industry can be improved?

Our people need to be properly informed. You would be amazed to know that even some of the most respected entertainers are not as informed as expected. A lot of people do not even know how to enforce agreements aand neither do they respect it. We need to begin to understand that the industry is a very lucrative one that needs a lot of expertise. How do you think piracy can be curbed?

Until we have a proper structure, piracy cannot be curbed. For instance, some organisations claim to represent the interest of artists by demanding royalties on their behalf but have no data of how many materials were used and how much they should collect. Who is your favourite act?

Internationally, I will go for R. Kelly because he knows how to remain valuable. Till tomorrow, his stage performance will keep you wondering why someone who is so famous is still very energetic and dedicated to his trade. In Nigeria, I have so many friends, so I would not like to mention names.


Ideas&Brands ON SATURDAY

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15 MARCH 2014

20

Report slams Marlboro for marketing to teens globally

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Pepsi, Airtel N350m worth of free airtime Seven Up Bottling Company, makers of Pepsi Cola, Mirinda, Mountain Dew among others, collaborates with Airtel on a national consumer promotion. The partnership, has however drawn both praise and flak. DELE ALAO writes.

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oth Pepsi and Airtel are known brands in the country. Though, the latter is older than the former in the market. Again, both are players in the different market segments. Pepsi plays in the beverage market while Airtel plays in the telecommunications market. Early this year, Seven Up Bottling Company, makers of Pepsi, Mirinda, Teem and Mountain Dew announced a national consumer promotion partnership deal with Airtel. The promo could simply be described as drink any of the Seven Up Bottling Company product and win Airtel airtime. This new partnership is understandable, considering some marketing challenges the two brands have faced in the past. For Pepsi Cola, the flagship brand on the stable of Seven Up Bottling Company, it has not been easy in the cola market; both local and international. Its arch-rival, CocaCola, has left no stone unturned in remaining the global No.1 Cola drink. In fact, the rivalry tagged: Cola war, has remained unending. For Airtel, barring its incessant name change in the past, the telecommunication brand had left some impressive imprint in the country’s telecom industry. From Econet to Vodacom, Vmobile, Celtel and Zain, subscribers on the network base is now about 25. Meanwhile, the partnership

will see Nigerian consumers winning airtime for every glass bottle of Pepsi, Mirinda, 7Up, Teem and Mountain Dew purchased in the next 70 days. Seven-Up’s head of marketing, Norden Thurston, said the partnership with Airtel is aimed at giving the Nigerian consumer the best of two worlds: drinking refreshing Pepsi, talking with exciting Airtel. On his part, the general manager, Value-Added Services, Airtel Nigeria, Victor BannermanChedid, said: “the partnership between Pepsi and Airtel, two of Nigeria’s leading companies is one of the most exciting things to happen to the Nigerian consumer in recent time. We are happy to begin the New Year on a very promising and positive note for the good of the Nigerian consumer. We recognise their importance and the immense roles they play in the success or our businesses.” Bannerman explained that there is a free one-minute voice Airtel airtime for every Seven-Up Bottling Company products purchased during the promo, which can be redeemed for Airtel to Airtel calls by loading the PIN. He said the one-minute free airtime could be exchanged for a new SIM card for those who are not on Airtel network. “Consumers can redeem up to three free airtime crowns per day and each recharge is valid for three days,” he said.

However, different schools of thoughts have expressed their views on the promo. A school of thought believes the partnership is an attempt by the Seven Up Bottling Company to save its dwindling fortune in the Nigerian market by “hiding” under Airtel’s banner. Also, the same school of thought is of the opinion that another brand, rather than Airtel, would have been much more better. “At least, a brand close to the beverage market would have been alright. Just as Coca-Cola partnered with a culinary brand, Mr. Biggs,” a Lagos-based marketer who asked not to be identified said. Another school of thought frowned at the words, “Free Airtel airtime,” which they described as “deceptive”. According to Chuks Aniagwu, an unemployed graduate: “I must buy a bottle of Pepsi and others for me to qualify for the Airtel airtime. So, what is free in that.” He added: “I wonder if regulatory agencies such as the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) have taken a critical look at the mechanism of the promo.” Besides, some analysts say marketing communications support for the promo is insufficient, even as ultimate beneficiaries, consumers, have not really been “excited” about the ongoing promo.

band of consumer advocacy groups are calling for Philip Morris International, to end its global “Be Marlboro” campaign, charging that it knowingly targets kids and teenagers. The cohort is also calling for countries to enforce stricter tobacco-marketing regulations. In the report called “You’re the Target,” the groups said the global campaign, launched in 2011 and created by Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett, has been found to target teens. That, the report says, violates laws restricting tobacco marketing in several countries, but it is calling for all countries to adopt stricter regulations that would in effect ban all marketing, promotion and sponsorship from tobacco companies. According to the report, Philip Morris International spent $6.97 billion on marketing and related expenses in 2012 on all its products. It said at least $62 million of that was spent on new brands and the rollout of “Be Marlboro,” citing PMI’s 10-K. The report comes from Corporate Accountability International, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Alliance for the Control of Tobacco Use, Tobacco Control Alliance, Framework Convention Alliance, InterAmerican Heart Foundation and Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance. The “Be Marlboro” campaign originally launched in 2011 in Germany, though it has expanded to more than 50 countries, according to the report, which said it’s intent is to revamp Marlboro’s image among “young adult smokers” and replace the Marlboro Man. But what it really

does, the report charges, is target kids and teenagers and get them hooked on cigarettes early. According to the report: “While tobacco companies claim publicly that they do not market to youth or design marketing campaigns that target them, a 2013 study conducted in lowand middle-income countries showed that 22% of five- and six-year-olds surveyed were able to correctly identify Marlboro cigarettes, the world’s bestselling cigarette brand.” The report said the company is using strategies that can be found in documents that were previously undisclosed but have since been made public, thanks to the massive tobacco settlement in the ‘90s among tobacco companies and many U.S. states. According to the report, these documents show that tobacco companies targeted kids as young as 13 and that such targeting increased youth smoking rates. It points specifically to the Archetype Project, which the report said outlines how to market to teens: “Using concepts and imagery consistent with the recommendations of findings from previous Philip Morris internal research on marketing to teens, the ‘Be Marlboro’ campaign draws on youth-oriented images and themes that suggest to young people that they should be a Marlboro smoker.” The Challenge Big Tobacco campaign director at Corporate Accountability International, John Stewart, said that “the tactics to get teens to smoke in the U.S. were being exported to low- and middle- income countries where regulations had yet to take root.”


NEW TELEGRAPH

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Airwaves

with eve banigo

Who judges reality TV shows’ judges?

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ucked away in my favourite corner of the room, in my favourite sofa all snuggled up. It is one of those cool Sunday evenings where you’re grateful you have nothing to do, except wait for dreary Monday morning. The remote control is far from my reach, and I’m too lazy to fetch it. So I try to find interest in what’s showing on TV. The Nigerian Idol Season 4 auditions on STV. And slowly ennui cedes place to critical interest. Reality TV Shows could be interesting and entertaining, or drab and unreal depending on the production values. The Nigerian idol is the local version of the Idol series. It is a musical talent show where individuals who think they have got incredible singing voices come to display their talents, and also compete to win. I’d watched snippets of the Last Season’s show, including the Grand Finale, where Moses Obi-Adigwe walked away with a juicy sum of N7.5m. A brand new car and other goodies. So, this evening, we are in Garden City, Port-Harcourt with the helmsman Ill Rhymz, in search of the next big thing musically. The excitement and eagerness from the increasing crowd is palpable, some of them have been waiting for this moment all their life. It is their one moment in time, face-to-face with destiny and failure or success is in their own hand. Some are with musical instruments, the most common the guitar. A ritual affirming of self begins, one after the other contestants promise a thrill, a musical trip for audience and judges. Some even claim the Golden Ticket - which is the pass given by the judges to a contestant who has been so exceptional in his or her performance - is already theirs. For quite a sizeable number, it is all bluff and bluster, no substance. Just a confidence-boosting ritual, as if claiming it verbally will imbue a non-talent with talent in the performance. The auditions proper begins, with Nneka, internationally acclaimed musician, Dare Art Alade, multiple award winning musician, and Dede Mabiaku, afrobeat and jazz musician as judges. Impressive panel, I must admit. Some of the auditioneers stay true to their word, impressing the judges, getting passes to go for the semi-finale in Lagos, while some are simply comical. I was actually in stitches over some perfomances. Honestly, there’s more comical than there are enthralling ones. What I find particularly impressive about this is the attitude of the judges. I actually do think they are one of the best I’ve watched on any Nigerian Reality show. They give critical and fair assessment on each performer, and this they do without being obnoxious or tactless. This is quite a far cry from Project Fame, West Africa, another musical talent show which I’m more familiar with. I think there’s a thin line between constructive criticism - based on thought and aesthetic competence - and an attitude steeped arrogance, conceit and intellectual pretence. I’m accusing the judges of Project Fame of the latter. I feel a good number of the judges at the Project Fame auditions in Nigeria go extreme lengths to

denigrate some of the auditioneers who do not sing or perform up to their expectations. I Vividly remember a particular episode, where one of the judges feigned slumber as an auditioneer was singing. The judge went as far as making mock snoring sounds, to indicate she was bored with the perfomance. I was thoroughly disgusted. It’s highly unprofessional and borderline inhumane, laughing in the face of a person who has mustered enough courage to display on national television, whatever musical talents he or she thinks they might possess. Encouraging words do go extreme lengths for a person. Putting a person down, no matter how moot the performance is is a terrible thing to do. It is in bad taste - bad taste seem the vogue in Reality TV - and raises a big question as to the judge’s talent. What’s ‘real’ about this condescending attitude anyway? Are these Project Fame judges trying so hard to impress on us that they are such odious persons in ‘real’ life? (Whatever reality means to such a person.) Of course, you do wonder, based on their attitude and performance what some of these contestant are doing inside your living room, on your TV set. I can get rid of them, simply by pushing a button on the remote control. I owe them no obligation. I’m not paid to watch them. Not so for a judge: you’ve been paid by these individuals to watch and judge them perform on national TV. Their willingness to pay you good money, just for a chance to make a public fool of themselves puts you, as their judge, in a five-star hotel. You get styled, and wear good clothes. You owe these performers your critical attention, seriousness. You need to curb this arrogant, self-inflated attitude? Or perhaps, you need to watch Nneka and her co-judges, learn

a thing or two, you know? I’m quite immersed in the show, although I think, based on the perfomances from the prospects - not the fault of the judges - the show still has quite a long way to go. I also wonder, midway, why most reality TV stars, whether a singing, acting or dancing talent show, fade away from the scene after enjoying “15 minutes of fame”. (Yes, it’s always that short.) One moment, the winner(s) are all over the media, gracing the covers of magazines, giving interviews in newspapers, attending major social events, basking in adoration from their fans. And then the next moment, they fade into the background, gone almost as soon as they came.

Is the platform for reality television shows not good enough to give these winners a firm stand in the entertainment industry? Or is there something extra missing? And if there is, what is it exactly? Do these reality TV shows need to educate their people, giving them tips on “staying relevant” after winning? Or is it the fault of the winners, who decide to rest on their oars after a big win, believing they will remain the “cock of the walk” forever? Or could it be that the criterion for selecting winners is faulty? What is the balance sheet of musical Reality TV Shows? Anyway, I put these nagging questions in some corner of my mind and watch the auditions till it’s over.

THIS MONTH ON DSTV

Expanding your Knowledge Bank with DStv’s BBC Knowledge

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ow did one man take control of the media and became one of the wealthiest, most powerful and formidable figures in the world? With media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the destructive phone-hacking scandal dominating the news agenda like never before, those who know him intimately reveal, for the first time, the secrets behind his soaring successes and reckless multibillion dollar gambles. One thing’s for certain, this intriguing man, and the Murdoch Dynasty, is not finished yet and you can catch him on this one episode special on Friday 21 March at 22:00 CAT on DStv channel 184. Other shows to look out for this month include, Trust me, I’m a Doctor, Evacuate Erath, Sinkholes-Swallowed Alive, How Human are You. Trust Me I’m a Doctor: Michael Mosley and a team of doctors tackle the top questions

about our health, revealing everything DStv viewers ever wanted to know about colds, sleep, stress, headaches, hearts, sun creams, exercise, vitamins and much more. The doctors experiment on their own bodies and visit the world’s leading research hospitals to find out what the medicine of tomorrow promises. Catch the doctors every Monday from 10 March at 22:00 CAT. Sinkholes - Swallowed Alive (one episode special): Massive sinkholes devour whole buildings with no advance warning. Quicksand swallows you so fast you are buried alive. It’s not just the stuff of horror movies and headlines it can happen anywhere to anyone and the show breaks down the science to get inside these freaks of nature. Tune into DStv channel 181on Sunday 23 March at 20: 05 CAT.


22 INSTYLE

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 march 2014

A blend of elegance and comfort Model, actress and events manager Adenike Adetokunbo Odedina’s style is bold without being immodest. The defining features are elegance and comfort, she tells ANGELA DAVIES. How would you define your personal style?

My personal style is sexy, elegant and comfy. What determines the kind of outfit you wear?

The occasion determines my outfit. If there is a dress code, I try as much as I can to follow the dress code; and if not, I simply follow my mood. But I must wear an outfit that would dazzle. What kinds of outfits take a larger part of your wardrobe?

Fitted jeans, short dresses and evening gowns make up a larger part of my wardrobe. Favourite piece of clothing

That would be jeans and top because I feel very comfortable in it. Most expensive fashion item you have ever bought

That would be a deep pink and flowered baby pink evening gown by Givenchy which I bought at £500 from Principal, but which I’m yet to wear. The gown has detachable straps hence it could also be worn as a tube gown. What is that attire you would rather not be seen wearing?

I can’t be caught wearing Iro and Buba because I don’t look good in it. Also, it keeps losing out.

The Angela Davies

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ne fabric which looks splendid on anyone despite one’s complexion is the leopard animal print. This print is in and out of fashion however, it is always a staple for women who want to add extra excitement to their wardrobe. Fashionistas know that the leopard print outfits are fabulous to wear especially when paired with the right accessories. The beauty of the leopard print is that you can wear and accessorize it the way to want to make your own fashion statement. However, it is not advisable to be in animal print from head-to-toe. It is better to break

in you with accessories in colours like black, gold, brown, red or even silver. For a more subtle look, you can also pep up your ensemble with animal print accessories like shoes, bags, bangles, belt or neck scarf and still stand out. However, when it comes to wearing animal print you have to be very careful because if you get it right, you will become a fashion queen but if you get it wrong, you will be seen as a fashion disaster. And you could appear trashy if you overaccessorise. So, why not tap into your animalistic side with these fun, flirty and stylish leopard print fabric and accessories.

Tips on wearing leopard print • If your outfit consists entirely of leopard print, choose minimal accessories. • If your leopard print outfit is just a top, skirt, pant or dresses with only a dash of the pattern, you can be a bit more extravagant in your choice of accessories like jewellery, bangles, handbag and shoes. • The best colours to wear with a leopard print outfit are red, deep purple, brown, black, cream and white. However, if the print includes a colour, it is important to highlight that shade through your choice of accessories. • Earrings, bracelets and necklaces

are an amazing way to complement your leopard print dress. However, black jewellery like black hoops earrings, a long necklace depending on the neckline of the outfit will go with any variation of leopard print. • When it comes to shoes, you should not allow your shoes outshine your outfit. Wearing a black stilettos, pumps and wedge are just perfect to compliment your outfit if you are confused about what colour of shoes is right.

And what are those fashion items you can’t do without as a woman?

That would be my handbag and perfume. Your most priced fashion item?

My most priced fashion item still remains my Givenchy evening gown. If you have to flaunt any part of your body, what will it be?

I will be glad to flaunt my boobs and curvy body. What is your signature perfume?

My signature perfume is Gucci by Gucci or Play by Givenchy. They both have alluring and long-lasting fragrances. Best designer

For foreign designers, I like Versace, but when it comes to Nigeria I like Jaiye Owolabi and Mood Deo. Their designs are unique and elegant. Best colour

I love colour pink because it is feminine and really brings out a lady’s beauty, fashion wise. How do you love your makeup?

I love it light and simple. What kind of shoes do you like to wear?

I like shoes with trendy heels and open toes. Are you a designer freak?

I am not a designer freak, but it doesn’t mean I don’t wear designer brands when I feel like, especially when it comes to my perfumes.

Tokunbo


INSTYLE

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 march 2014

Accessories to live for

Facts In the 1500s fashion designers showed off their designs by making doll size clothing versions of their own fashions. They would take their designs to shows in doll size mannequins.

The modern era of perfume was first launched in 1921, when Coco Chanel launched the exotic floral blend, Chanel No. 5.

Jewelries are an integral part of a woman’s life but did you know it were the men who first started wearing jewelries? This trend started with kings and royal people to impose their status and victory in the battle.

One of the key ingredients in manufacturing lipstick is fish scale.

Flatter your face with drop earrings Earrings help accentuate a woman’s face as well as her overall appearance. So, it won’t be a bad idea to spice up your look for that special event with drop earrings writes ANGELA DAVIES.

D

rop earrings are fun and stylish to wear. These earrings are one of a few classic accessories suitable for every occasion. Just as the name suggests, drop earrings hang just below the earlobe and could be static or dangle. They come in different lengths, colours and styles to suit every woman’s personal fashion statement. However, it is vital to choose drop earrings that will flatter, balance your face shape as well as complement your style and fashion taste especially when you are gorgeously dressed for special events like a wedding, red carpet, cocktail and other evening events. The key is to wear them with the hairstyles like long straight locks or updo hairstyles as they are more suitable to showcase the earring as well as make you look more feminine and sophisticated. To standout, opt for drop earrings in brilliant colours with a bit of glint with crystals, gemstones or pearls.

WHO WORE IT BETTER?

Short suit

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ho do you think wore the short suit better between actress cum Actors Guild of Nigeria, (AGN) president Ibinabo Fiberesima and singer, Omawumi Megbele? Fair complexioned Fiberesima wore this blue short suit with zips on both sides of the jacket and shorts to the premiere of Fathia Balogun’s movie recently. She paired the blue long sleeve short suit with a yellow camisole. She accessorized the outfit which flaunted her sexy straight legs with a statement necklace, gold drop earrings and black strap sandal which displayed her well pedicured toes. Her short crop hairstyle and light make up makes her look younger, chic and sexy. While singer Omawumi rocked a fuschia pink and black short suit to the Multichoice at 20 event late last year. She matched her short suit with a black camisole, fuschia pink chandelier earrings, shoes and bangle, gold bangle, chain anklet and cocktail ring. With her striking smile and golden brown full curly hairstyle, no doubt, Omawumi looks simply amazing. The tight fitted-shorts flaunts her legs as well. However, who would you pick?

Ibinabo

Omawumi

23


Start Up NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY

15 MARCH 2014

24

Banks now grant loans to make-up artists –Brownies Adeyi Adebimpe Brownies, Proprietress of Brownies Beauty outfit, in this interview with SEGUN EDWARDS says beauty therapy business has immense future in terms of services employment, and product offerings. When did you start this business and what was is like if you look back?

I started nine years ago, with a small outlet which is this place but now there is another place not far away from here. As at that time, the business was coming up but now the business has grown, if you check our fan page online, you see Brownies comes to Ibadan, comes to Abuja, we are known everywhere in Nigeria. There has been a lot of improvement from where we started, we started with make-up and all that, we have our own skin care line. Nigeria is noted for huge activities in fashion, beauty, skin care, which is witnessing a lot. From then to now there have been a lot of improvements. As a start-up, what is the capital requirement for this business?

To start this make-up business, one needs training, a good training is necessary. With between N70, 000 and N100, 000, you will get your bulk tool pack. With your tools pack, you can do as many beauty jobs as possible. You can do jobs for brides and with a bride you can make a reasonable return. You can give services to other clients, of course within a month you can get all of that money back. You can as well tie head gears for people attending social events like weddings and others. You talked about training, what is the process of training for the business?

There are various types of training, like some people want to learn the act of make-up artist. There are three major areas in this, it can be make-up, it can be nails and it can be skin care. We have different aspects of trainings, you have to embrace one, it could make-up, it could be skin care, it could nails with pedicure, but you have to learn the trade before you choose a particular trade you want to focus on. Do you now have a training outfit in addition to what you are doing?

Over the years, we have trained o lot of people. Our students are scattered all over and some of them are also training others. They are scattered all over, some of them are CEOs of their organisations. What is your background prior to becoming a make-up and beauty business person?

From previous interactions I have had with the media, I have always stated that I was going to have my own business and I knew I would be going into the fashion world. As a university student, I was always involved in activities that have to do with beauty and fashion and other social activities on the campus, like the Miss Campus and all that stuff. When I started, I learnt make-up and others. After these basic trainings, I went to Germany and had some basic trainings. I also went to South Africa, had some basic trainings. Besides, I bought a lot of

books on the business, watch a lot of videos. I also learn a lot of things on my own everyday about the business. So, the more I train, the more I thought out ideas. I have already had the mind of what I wanted to do, to impart knowledge to people. The industry is about meeting the needs of the people. Apart from these basic trainings on the business, what is your educational background?

I read Business Administration at the University of Ado-Ekiti and graduated in 2003. I did a post-graduate with the London College of Business and Information Studies. The programme was online. I also read Information Technology. After that all the courses I read were beauty courses and were online. I have done a lot of courses on the job. Could you mention a particular trainee from your stable making waves?

A lot of them are everywhere. Some of them have studios that are bigger than mine because of the financial support they got from their spouse or family members. Some of them are also willing to accept fees that I would reject from clients. Some of them are in the employ of make-up artists. Who are your clients?

Brownies

We work for everybody, students, the middle level people, the wealthy, the very rich and wealthy in the society. We cater for everybody in terms of their needs and ability to pay for our services. You also said the industry is huge with a lot of prospects, what is the future like?

Let me put it this way, the industry is big where we have outfit competing with their counterparts abroad and these have forced foreign beauty brands coming to Nigeria to invest because they see huge potential and market here. Many people now make their own brands, we have local products from recent brands in beauty businesses like Rose of Sharon, Zaron etc, and everybody is now making their own brands because of the immense prospects of the business. I learnt that some banks are granting credit facilities to businesses in the industry unlike before when no bank will look in the direction. This was made possible because of the huge potential in the business. A wedding job can fetch as high as N300, 000. Could you mention some of the foreign beauty brands that have found their ways into the country due to the huge market and the prospects of the business?

We have Macs, we have a lot others. On the prospects of the business, it is going to improve. This is because people now go as far

Brownies brides

Nigerian make-up artists are recognised all over the world and this is why we have a lot of people coming here to invest in the business as Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, to bring in their make-up artist. This is a sign that the industry in going to get better in the future. People are patronising the make-up artists to make them look good when they have social engagement unlike before when people didn’t care so much about their looks. Gone are the days when people were not bothered about how tied their head-gears. But people are now conscious about their look and now

engage make-up artists to make them look exceptionally good. Could you tell us some of the activities your outfit have handled?

I have done a lot of brides and fashion shows, fashion shows handled by the Nigerian Breweries. We have done the best of Nollywood awards, next movie star. We have worked with a lot magazines, we have worked with a lot fashion houses. I can’t count how many services I have rendered. However, I don’t do a lot of video shows because they take a lot of time. What’s the duration of training for would be make-up artist?

Three weeks is the duration for the basic class, six weeks is the basic advance class. We have three weeks and we have six weeks training programme depending on the applicant.


SOPOT 2014: American coaches have nothing to offer – Udo-Obong

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Bolt open to Reggae Boyz call up

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BRAZIL 2014

Balogun, Egwuekwe in war of words

Adekunle Salami and Charles Ogundiya

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ermany-based Super Eagles defender, Leon Balogun, has vowed to command a regular shirt in the Nigerian team even as defender Azubuike Egwuekwe, does not feel threatened by the increased competition for shirts in the team. Balogun, who can play either as a centreback or right-back, featured in Nigeria’s goalless draw against Mexico, coming in as a sub-

stitute for Efe Ambrose. But his involvement in the game only lasted for about 20 minutes before he picked up an injury that is set to sideline him for a month. The defender said, “It has always been my dream to play for the Super Eagles and now that I have a chance, I will grab it and that will start with the World Cup. I have everything it takes to remain in the Eagles but for now, priority is the World Cup. “The ultimate is the World Cup and I believe

my injury is just a temporary setback. I stand a good chance to play in Brazil.” Egwuekwe, subsequently, took the place of the 25-year-old Fortuna Dusseldorf player for the remainder of the game against the Mexicans but, even though he appears to have dropped down the pecking order, especially with the likes of Joseph Yobo lurking around the corner, the Warri Wolves player inCONTINUED ON PAGE 27

I’m ready to coach Eagles –Temile

}p-31


26 SPORT

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Leaguemania with Chimaobi Uchendu princehench@yahoo.com

08092747532

3SC/Prime derby: Akande siblings to cross family sword

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hooting Stars sports club of Ibadan and Prime FC of Osogbo will today rumble at the Lekan Salami stadium in a local derby. Akande brothers are billed to add pep to this fixture, as three of them square up in opposite directions. It has been tagged war of the Akandes. Prime Football Club defender, Tope Akande, would forget the blood and parental bond that exists between him, Abiodun and Niyi, his siblings with Shooting Stars and aim to upset the Oluyole Warriors in their backyard. Abiodun is 3SC first choice goalkeeper and stand-in captain,

while Niyi, who has played for Prime in the past, is a central defender. Tope, has been an instant hit since joining the Omoluabi Giants three seasons ago and he is one of most technically gifted player. The Akande brothers set to become first siblings to play against each other in the ‘Two Brothers Derby’ and the trio will certainly add a unique scenario as personal rivalry would add to what already should be an enthralling clash between 3SC and Prime. Prime Football Club, management has urged its fans to rally round the team by trooping to Ibadan en-mass to sup-

port the team against the Oluyole Warriors. The Omoluabi Giants urged the club’s lovers to troop en masse to the stadium insisting that the support would assist in the club’s quest for promotion to the elite premier league. “It’s a time to shout, sing and roar Prime to victory. It’s a time to proudly display your allegiances, let us take the opportunity to show our fantastic club, and state in positive light.” “Let us make 3SC’s match a showcase of regional pride and a celebration of all that is great about the ‘Two-Brothers derby’,” Prime media officer, Tunde Shamsudeen, said.

Christian Obiozor of Rangers challenges Festus Umannah of Wikki Tourists during the 2013 Nigeria Professional Football League Match

Heartland clear foreign players for league action

H

eartland FC have cleared foreign players in its fold for league action after the players missed the week 1 match against Dolphins in Owerri. According to the spokesman of the club, Cajetan Nkwokpara, the Nigeria Football Federation had cleared them to feature for the Naze Millonaires after the initially hiccup. He said the players were not eligible to feature against Dolphins last weekend because Heartland

did not request for provisional clearance from NFF. The Chairman of the club, Fan Ndubuoke,had accused the NFF of granting provisional clearance to foreign players signed by other clubs, but failed to do the same for the Imo State-owned club, hence their inability to feature in the game against Dolphins but it is now clearified that they never requested for the provisional clearance initially. He had informed that: “All four

foreigners around whom we built our team, the NFF did not give them temporary clearance. They gave every other club temporary clearance for their foreign players but they didn’t give to Heartland. “The central defender who we would have utilized against Dolphins, a Malian, he didn’t play. The Ivorian we signed as a replacement for Mosquito (Bartholomew Ibenegbu) they didn’t clear him so he couldn’t play. It’s the double standard in the NFF.

Justice Ogala reaffirms broadcast right injunction on LMC, NFL

J

ustice Mrs Ogala, of Lagos High Court has reaffirmed her earlier injunction on the League Management Company Ltd and the Nigeria Football League Ltd over the Nigeria Premier League broadcast rights. Bambo Adesanya (SAN), lawyer to Total promotion informed the judge of LMC’s disregard of her earlier injunction which asked all parties to return to status quo on the broadcast right, through its ,LMCs public statements on the ongoing broadcast of the current premier league season by Supersport without going through TPL. She consequently once again read to all parties the directive contained in the injunction and warned that all parties must keep and maintain the status quo as the courts injuction ruling directed or face the consequence. Meanwhile in continuation of the legal battle for the soul of the League Broadcast Rights, parties in the suit read their written submission on the issue of jurisdiction as specifically relating to whether or not the court can entertain the sworn affidavit of the chairman of Total Promotions, Niyi Alonge. LMC lawyer, Akin Olujimi (SAN) submitted that the omission of the phrase, I verily swear on oath by Niyi Alonge makes the plaintiffs statements unacceptable by the court but TPL lawyers countered his claim by insisting that the main point of their submission is that it is trite law that you cannot use technicalities to bar the court from hearing a suit .

RESULTS Sunshine Stars 0-0 Enymba Int’l. Bayelsa Utd 1-0 Sharks FC. Warri Wolves 1-0 El-kanemi Warriors. WEEK 2 FIXTURES Pillars vsSunshine Enyimba vs Rangers Nembe City vs Warri Wolves El-Kanemi vs Abia Warriors Kaduna Utd vs FC Taraba Nasarawa Utd vs Akwa Utd Gombe Utd vs Bayelsa Utd Sharks vs Lobi Stars Crown vs Heartland Dolphins vs Giwe FC

Irabor

The court adjourned to March 27 for the judge to deliver ruling on the issue of jurisdiction.

Abia Warriors promise fans more action

T

he players of Abia Warriors Football Club of Umuahia have praised the management of the team for fulfilling its financial obligations to the players, thereby motivating them for more action. The Captain of the side, Chima Uluocha, made the players’ feelings known while addressing newsmen in Umuahia. The Warriors skipper noted that in addition to the prompt payment of their salaries, the team management has also ensured prompt settlement of their match bonuses and other emoluments. He said the chairman of the club; Chief Emeka Inyama has also motivated them by making and fulfilling his promises to them. “in our last game with Kaduna united, the Chairman promised us a big amount of money if we won the game and he has since redeemed the pledge. We are very happy”, he said. Uluocha led by example by scoring Abia Warriors’ first goal in the Premier League from the penalty spot in a 2-0 victory over visiting Kaduna United. Meanwhile, Abia Warriors have asked for today’s Premier League match against El-Kanemi Warriors to be moved from Maiduguri because of security fears. The north-eastern city is the stronghold of Islamist militant group Boko Haram and Abia are concerned following waves of attacks by insurgents in Maiduguri and surrounding areas. In a letter to the League Management Company (LMC), Abia club secretary Oliver Ndife said families and friends of players have appealed for the match to be played elsewhere.


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NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 MARCH 2014

27

SOPOT 2014: American coaches have nothing to offer – Udo-Obong Vincent Eboigbe

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Nigeria’s Ike Diogu (r) with America’s Kevin Love at the 2012 Olympics

Ahmedu faults D’Tigers coaching set-up

Ifeanyi Ibeh

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former board member of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Colonel Sam Ahmedu (rtd), feels the best way for Nigeria to regain its rightful status in African basketball is to consider someone else other than Ayo Bakare for the men’s national team head coaching job. Bakare, who was recently named Technical Director of the NBBF, is the immediate past Head Coach of Nigeria’s D’Tigers, a position he held from 2011 to 2013. During the period Bakare was in charge he qualified and led the team to the 2012 Olympic Games, but thereafter failed to secure a ticket to this year’s FIBA World Cup in Spain after leading the Nigerian team to a disappointing seventh-place finish at the 2013 FIBA Africa Championship in Cote d’Ivoire. And with the qualifying rounds for next year’s FIBA Africa Championship set to come up later in the year, Ahmedu has called upon the NBBF to look beyond the choice of

Bakare this time around. “We failed to qualify for the World Cup because of the coach that was chosen,” said Ahmedu, who is the owner of Premier League top side, Dodan Warriors. “With all due respect he (Bakare) is not a bad coach, but his team (Ebun Comets) finished last in the Atlantic Conference last season. How do you take a coach whose team finished last in the Atlantic Conference to go and coach the national team? “There were other coaches that could have been used but because politics had come to be the mainstay, and some people in the federation felt these coaches were acquaintances to certain people wrongly perceived as enemies of the federation, they weren’t picked. They probably felt they were dealing with these individuals by not selecting these coaches, but by doing that they were dealing with the country and dealing with themselves.” D’Tigers’ captain, Olumide Oyedeji, however feels no other coach in Nigeria is more qualified than Bakare to handle the national

team. “I have always believed all our national teams should be coached by Nigerians, but there is no coach in Nigeria that is better or more experienced than Coach Bakare. He was the first coach to take the men’s and women’s team to the World Championships and Olympics, he has coached the junior national team, and he has led Ebun Comets to numerous league titles,” Oyedeji told New Telegraph.

n the aftermath of Nigeria’s failure to make the medals table at SOPOT 2014, Sydney Olympics gold medalist Enefiok Udo-Obong says there is nothing American coaches are bringing to the table; this is as he goes against the grain in praising the athletes for making it to the final in two events and setting an African record in another. Udo-Obong insists that in spite of not winning a medal of any hue in the three-day IAAF World Indoor Championship meet in Poland, Nigerian athletes acquitted themselves well. But the quarter miler takes the Athletics Federation of Nigeria to task for its decision to continue to rely on American coaches. “My only disappointment is the dependence on American coaches by the AFN. As far as I’m concerned this is an exercise in futility, it is a waste of public funds,” says Udo-Obong. “There is nothing these coaches are contributing to the team. Would the team to Poland have done any worse without them? That is the question we need to ask. That is where I fault AFN, its refusal to trust enough in its own coaches to get the job done.” With a country like Djibouti placing in the overall medal table, and Nigeria failing to get on it, Udo-Obong argues that it is not always about winning medal. The women 4x400m relay team reached the final where they placed fifth, and Gloria Asumnu also made it to the final of the women’s 60m placing seventh. And Udo-Obong sees these feats as worthy of cel-

ebration. “I think the Nigerian team to the Indoor Championship did well. The team made it to two finals and that is not bad; sometimes it is not all about the medals,” says Udo-Obong. “However, I was disappointed that Regina George got injured. With her presence in the 4x400m relay team they would definitely have done better; she did the fastest time in the heats in the 400m before the injury. I was also disappointed that Blessing Okagbare didn’t go to Poland, I expected her to have been there. She was a medal bet.” The Athens 2004 4x4 relay bronze medalist also does not think the male athletes did badly considering that they set a new African Indoor record in the 4x400m in a time of 3:07.95. He also wonders why Abiola Onakoya was not invited for the men’s relay team: “His (Onakoya’s) presence would have made the team stronger and probably got to the final. Howbeit, the new African record is an achievement in itself. Also Stephen Mozia the shot putter did well. He’s inexperienced, it is the first time he’s competing for Nigeria, but he has a bright future. “I think AFN should encourage athletes here instead of running after athletes in America. Asumnu and Toyin Augustus for instance wouldn’t have competed for Nigeria if they made the American team. It was when they could not that they settled for Nigeria.” Interestingly Mozia himself only last week officially switched his allegiance to Nigeria from the USA who he had hitherto represented.

Osaze, IK Uche debate, a distraction - Eguavoen Mercy Jacob

F

ormer Super Eagles coach, Austin Eguavoen, has asked Nigeria Football Federation to allow Keshi concentrate on the World Cup preparation and stop distracting him over exclusion of any player. Eguavoen said Keshi had been saddled with the responsibility of preparing Nigeria for the World Cup by NFF and for him to meet up with any target given to him he has to be given free hand to work. Eguavoen, who is currently with Bendel Insurance, however tipped Super Eagles and Argentina to qualify from their group insisting that the other teams in Nigeria’s group, Bosnia and Iran, cannot stop Nigeria from

progressing at the mundial. “I am convinced that the Super Eagles have done well so far, their friendly match against Mexico was part of the blending process and I hope it would help Nigeria at the World Cup. “Distractions are not good for our World Cup preparation. Keshi has to be giving free hand to do his work without any form of distraction. For me to tell you the attitude of Ike Uche when I was the Super Eagles coach, I would never do that because each coach has his own style and cannot be judged with my own style.” “And one thing every Nigerian should know is that we are blessed with so many talented players and all cannot be played at the same time so we should respect the coach’s decision.”

Brazil 2014: Balogun, Egwuekwe in war of words CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25

sists he is ready for the looming shirt war in the World Cup-bound Super Eagles. Speaking with New Telegraph, Egwuekwe said; “The national team is a big family. We all are fighting for a common cause and everyone called upon must give their best.

I have to continue performing well for my club and give my best whenever I am with the national team. “I don’t have any problem with new players coming into the team; I am up to the challenge.” On Balogun’s presence in the team, the Warri Wolves captain said he doesn’t feel threatened by the German-born defender.

“The more the merrier,” he continued. “There is no doubting the fact that we are both central defenders, but I just need to keep working harder. “The World Cup is the biggest stage for any player, and I am going to do everything humanly possible to make the team to Brazil,” he stressed.

A towering central defender at almost 2 metres tall, Egwuekwe’s aerial dominance is not in doubt. He also has surprising mobility and is capable of tackling with both strength and timing, making him a vital asset for Keshi, who has made the 23-year-old one of the key domestic-based players in his team.


behind the London outfit, but do have three games in hand and the opportunity to, at least temporarily, cut that gap this weekend, with Chelsea not in action until Saturday evening. Hull have seen a previously-impressive home record slightly tarnished by consecutive losses at the KC Stadium, but they still sit five points above water on their first season back in the big time. Steve Bruce will be keen to guarantee their top-flight safety as soon as possible so that he is able to give their first FA Cup semi-final since 1930, against Sheffield United, his full attention.

arcelona will aim to bounce back from defeat in La Liga when they host Osasuna at the Camp Nou on Sunday. The Catalans’ title ambitions were dealt a blow last weekend as they went down 1-0 to relegation-threatened Real Valladolid. As a result, Gerardo Martino’s side are currently placed third on the log standings with 63 points from 27 matches. Barca redeemed themselves with a 2-1 win over Manchester City in their midweek Champions League encounter. Midfielder Sergio Busquets has pleaded with the fans to continue supporting the club as they look to catch up with their rivals.

B

� As Real set to consolidate

Wounded Barca gun for Osasuna

anchester City travel to Hull City for Saturday’s lunchtime kickoff on the back of having been knocked out of two competitions in the space of three days. Since winning the Capital One Cup a fortnight ago, the Citizens have seen their dreams of an unlikely quadruple crushed by defeats to Barcelona and Wigan Athletic. With neither the Champions League or FA Cup trophies now on their radar, Manuel Pellegrini’s men can focus their efforts on attempting to chase down Chelsea at the top of the Premier League table. City are nine points

M

Yaya Toure

Hull face Man City backlash

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wo fiercely intense, always passionate, local rivalries with even more spice than usual take centre stage in the Premier League this weekend when Manchester United face Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur play Arsenal. The teams occupy four of the top six positions in the table and none can afford to lose in their pursuit of either the title or a top-four finish and the prospect of Champions League football next season. The other two places in the top six are filled by leaders Chelsea, who travel to Aston Villa, and Manchester City, who are at FA Cup semi-finalists Hull City. A win for Chelsea on Saturday would lift them to 69 points and put them 10 clear of Liverpool and Arsenal who are not in action until Sunday. Manchester City, who were knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona on Wednesday, are nine points behind Chelsea

EPL

weekend, City 11. Tottenham start the weekend in fifth place on 53 points with United sixth on 48 and with a game in hand on Spurs. Both Spurs and Arsenal have plenty to prove in their third meeting of the season following Arsenal’s 1-0 league win in September and their 2-0 victory in the FA Cup third round at the Emirates in January. Arsenal were knocked out of the Champions League on Tuesday when they drew 1-1 at Bayern Munich but lost 3-1 on aggregate and they come to White Hart Lane without 42.1 million-pound ($70 million) record signing Mesut Ozil. Manchester United and Liverpool get Sunday’s action rolling with a lunchtime kickoff at Old Trafford with United showing signs of improvement after what has been a difficult first season for manager David Moyes. United, who have not finished outside the top three for 23 seasons, have not been in the top five

� Tottenham, Arsenal too

wins and draw in their last three league matches and could close the gap on Spurs to two points if they win and Spurs slip up. “To see Man City doing well, and particularly Liverpool, is really difficult,” United striker Wayne Rooney told Inside United magazine. “It’s not nice when we know we are capable of being up there challenging and we haven’t been doing that this season.” Liverpool beat United 1-0 at Anfield in the League on Sept. 1 and lost 1-0 to them at Old Trafford in the League Cup three weeks later. They are 11 points ahead of United and are on course to finish higher than them for the first time since 2002. Brendan Rodgers’ side have been playing outstanding attacking football all season which has carried them to second place and, for once, they will start as

Man Utd, Liverpool light up England

Man Utd Michael Carrick (left) vies with Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge

Sam

ll eyes will be on Bayer Leverkusen as they look to halt their winless Bundesliga run with a trip to Bayern Munich on Saturday. Sami Hyypia’s men have a UEFA Champions League tie to negotiate against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday but their exit from the European competition was all but sealed by a 4-0 home loss to the Ligue 1 powerhouse in the first leg. Hence, their clash with Bayern should be their main focus of the week, especially seeing their hold on a group-stage spot for next season’s Champions League is in doubt after collecting just one point from their past four fixtures. Form is

A

BUNDESLIGA

not the only thing heaping pressure on Bayer, with heavy speculation Hyypia may be on borrowed time at the BayArena club. Leverkusen’s poor run leaves them third, level on 44 points with fourth-placed Schalke, and only five clear of fifth side Wolfsburg. Their opponents on Saturday, however, have no such concerns, as Bayern Munich have a 20-point lead atop the table. Pep Guardiola’s side also advanced to the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday, surpassing Arsenal 3-1 on aggregate, as they attempt to become the first side since AC Milan in 1989-90 to defend the European cup.

Struggling Leverkusen in biggest test

Global Football Special

Sunderland Fulham

19 20

Osasuna Getafe

16

Levante

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15

Espanyol

9

Elche

Valencia

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14

Sevilla

7

Málaga

Sociedad

6

13

Villarreal

5

Celta

Bilbao

4

Granada

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3

12

Atlético

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11

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Real

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LA LIGA

Cardiff

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West Brom

Swansea

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Hull

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C/ Palace

Stoke

12

16

Aston Villa

11

Norwich

West Ham

10

15

Southampton 29

28 9

27

28 Newcastle

Man Utd

6

29

8

Tottenham

5

26

Everton

Man City

4

28

28

29

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7

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Liverpool

2 3

Chelsea

1

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27

29

29

29

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41

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51

63

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66

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28 SPORT NEW TELEGRAP 15 MARC


Adebayor

Reports have emerged that Milan are currently monitoring the situation of Togolese striker Emanuel Adebayor. The 30-year-old has impressed since returning to the Tottenham first team following the appointment of new Coach Tim Sherwood. Rossoneri Coach Clarence Seedorf is reported to be an admirer of the player but it is said that any potential move for the former Arsenal man could depend on who leaves San Siro this summer. High profile names who could be on their way out of the club, according to the report, include Mario Balotelli, Mattia De Sciglio and Ignazio Abate.

A S Roma are aiming to rumble Roman Abramovich’s hopes of bringing Didier Drogba back to Chelsea next season. Blues owner Abramovich wants Drogba to hang up his boots at Galatasaray and join manager Jose Mourinho’s coaching staff. However, Il Messagero says Roma are willing to offer the Ivory Coast striker a one-year deal worth £3.5m for their return to the Champions League next term. If a move comes to fruition, it would see Drogba link up with international colleague Gervinho at the Stadio Olimpico.

Neymar

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Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has praised his assistant Zinedine Zidane for the part he has played in helping Karim Benzema improve as a player. The French striker has scored 12 goals in 14 games since the start of 2014, and is enjoying his most productive season in a Los Blancos shirt since his arrival from Lyon in 2009. And Ancelotti told RMC Sport that the upturn in form has been a result of working closely with Zidane, a World Cup winner with France in 1998, and one of Benzema’s idols. The Italian said: “I think Zidane’s done fantastic work, especially with Karim. He’s communicated a lot with the players and implemented a specific job with all attackers. His work is very important.

matches, including a spirited 3-2 victory at Real Sociedad on Monday, which followed a 1-0 success over Valencia. After two hard-fought victories, Paco is now hoping to pick up points against sides closer to Vallecano in the table. Valladolid will be well aware that a loss will see them slump into the bottom three, but they travel to Sevilla on the back of a shock 1-0 victory over Barca last weekend. However, Valladolid meet a Sevilla side that has recorded three Liga victories on the spin and another three points would boost hopes of European qualification. Real Betis’ chances of staying up are increasingly slim, although they visit fellow strugglers Elche on the back of a morale-boosting 2-0 win over Getafe.

Former Spurs striker Clive Allen believes the club can still make it into the top four of the Premier League, but they must beat Arsenal on Sunday to do so. The north London side are fifth in the table, six points behind neighbours Arsenal in third and four behind fourth placed Manchester City – who have three games in hand. Two defeats in their last three games have seen Tim Sherwood’s side fall off the pace in the race for the Champions League, and Allen knows it will be tough for them. He told talkSPORT: “I don’t think it’s over yet – they still have some big games coming up. “They’ve got to play at Liverpool and they’ve got Arsenal on Sunday which you feel they must win. “It will be a difficult task and their recent defeats have made it harder.”

Allen

uper Eagles player, Ramon Azeez, is expected to be in action when his Spanish side, Almeria, face Rayo Vallecano in a crucial match at the bottom of La Liga. The battle to avoid relegation takes centre stage this weekend as the duo occupy two of the three relegation spots with Almeria currently only above Vallecano due to a superior goal difference, while Real Valladolid - fresh from stunning champions Barcelona - also have 26 points and remain mired in relegation trouble in 17th. Vallecano may be fighting to stave off the threat of the drop, but they head into Saturday’s encounter at the Estadio del Rayo Vallecano in promising form. Paco Jemez’s men have won three of their last five league

Benzema

BRIEFLY

slight favourites against their arch-rivals.

Saturday

Saturday

Frankfurt v Freiburgs

Hamburger v Nürnberg

Vallecano Real Betis

19 20

17

Wolfsburg Augsburg Mainz 05 Hertha Hoffenheim Bremen Hannover Frankfurt Nürnberg

VfB Stuttgart 24 Hamburger Freiburg

Braunschweig 24

4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Parma Verona Lazio Torino

6 7 8 9

Elche v Betis Barcelona v Osasuna

Cagliari Chievo Bologna

15 16 17 18 19 20

Cagliari v Lazio Livorno v Bologna Milan v Parma Sassuolo v Catania Fiorentina v Chievo Genoa v Juventus

Sassuolo

Catania

Livorno

Udinese

14

Sunday Atalanta v Sampdoria

Sampdoria Atalanta

12 13

Verona v Inter

Saturday

SERIE A

Sociedad v Valencia

Sevilla v Valladolid

Genoa

Inter

5 Sunday

11

Fiorentina

4 Atlético v Espanyol

Málaga v Real

Milan

Napoli

10

Roma 3

27

27

27

27

27

27

27

27

27

27

27

27

27

27

26

27

27

27

26

27

1

Juventus

P

24

24

24

24

24

24

24

24

24

24

`24

24

S/NO Team

SERIE A

19

Schalke

Mö’gladbach 24

24

Leverkusen

3

24

Dortmund

2

18

20

21

23

24

29

31

34

34

35

35

36

38

40

43

44

45

55

58

72

Pts

20

20

23

26

26

28

29

36

36

38

38

39

44

44

48

68

24

Bayern

1

Pts

P

18

26

26

S/NO Team

2 Vallecano v Almería

27

27

27

26

SPORT

Sunday

Bayern v Leverkusen

Bremen v Stuttgart

Hertha v Hannover

Almería

18

27

BUNDESLIGA

Valladolid

17

Braunschweig v Wolfsburg

Dortmund v M’ögladbach

Hoffenheim v Mainz

Saturday

BUNDESLIGA

Tottenham v Arsenal

Man Utd v Liverpool

Sunday

Aston Villa v Chelsea

Swansea v West Brom

Sunderland v C/ Palace s

Stoke v West Ham

Southampton v Norwich

Fulham v Newcastle

Everton v Cardiff

Levante v Celta

LA LIGA

FIXTURES

been somewhat more painful to endure of late as Milan’s performances have been played with more purpose and passion. To make matters worse for the slumbering giants, a 4-1 humbling in the midweek to Atletico Madrid saw the Diavoli fail to progress into the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League for two successive seasons. It was the first time in 17 years the Madrid outfit had managed to make it into the final eight of the competition and Milan boss, Seedorf, has urged his team to remain united in the face of a crisis.

PREMIER LEAGUE Hull v Man City

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n a bizarre and previously unthought-of situation, Milan will host Parma as the underdogs at the San Siro on Sunday afternoon It has been two weeks that Clarence Seedorf and his men will willingly want to scrap off the Rossoneri books of the club’s history. Not only did they fall to a 1-0 defeat to Udinese in Week 27, but another Bianconeri team whipped them Black and White when they played host to Juventus the week prior. Chance after squandered chance has been the telling story all season long for the Milanello outfit, but it has

Bruised Milan Azeez meets Vallecano host Parma in relegation battle

with three matches in hand. Chelsea since mid-November but they will have eight games left after this have kept clean sheets with two

Drogba

“The fans we have are too accustomed to winning,” he said. “We’d like them to always with the team and not just with the titles. “Sometimes we don’t play well and that’s when we need them the most. Our needs are just as important as theirs. “On Sunday, the perfect scenario would be to win and in the quickest way possible, so that there’s no pressure and the fans don’t get nervous.” Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has referred to Saturday’s La Liga clash against Malaga as a cup final. The Whites are currently at the top of the La Liga standings with 67 points from 27 matches following last weekend’s 3-0 win over Levante. With the ‘Clasico’ against rivals Barcelona set to take place next weekend, Ancelotti says his side cannot afford to drop points at the Rosaleda Stadium on Saturday. “We have to keep going, we cannot relax, we have a cup final on Saturday,” he said. Osasuna will go into this game looking to end their two-match losing streak having lost 2-0 against Levante and then Malaga.

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NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 MARCH 2014

Lifestyle

Van Persie gets makeover from daughter

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obin van Persie looked as moody at home as he did when substituted by David Moyes during Manchester United’s victory over West Brom last weekend. The Holland striker posted a picture on Instagram of his face after his daughter Dina gave it a going over with a paintbrush. Last Saturday, despite United’s convincing win at The Hawthorns, Van Persie threw a strop when he was subbed midway through the second half.

Hulk’s London picture causes stir

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enit St Petersburg striker Hulk has caused a stir on social media by posting a picture of himself and his agent flying to London - on the same day the Russian club have sacked manager Luciano Spalletti. Chelsea had tabled a substantial offer for the Brazil striker last August, but were unable to finalise a move. Jose Mourinho was covertly filmed last month, bemoaning his side’s lack of strikers and even questioning the age of Samuel Eto’o. Hulk, pictured on a private jet, posted the image on his Instagram page, along with the message that read: ‘Going to work in London. With my manager and friend # Teo’ Meanwhile, Spalletti was sacked as head coach of the Russian club just a week before the second leg of their Champions League last 16 clash with Borussia Dortmund.

van Persie

Ibrahimovic dares fire, ice, tiger

Bolt

Bolt open to Reggae Boyz call up

U Hulk (right) with his agent Teo in London

sain Bolt has refused to rule out a sensational call up to Jamaica’s national football team after posting an image of a newspaper story on Instagram. Reacting to a story in The Jamaica Star, which claims he is ready to accept manager Winfried Schafer’s offer of a place in his World Cup 2018 qualifying squad, Bolt took a picture of the page and uploaded it with the message: ‘Jamaica how we look? Hmmm..A we say to the world and anything possible.. #SeriousFace #ReggaeBoyz #ForeverFaster #FutureOption #MadTalent #AnythingPossible’

The 27-year-old, who is a big fan of Manchester United, has previously spoken of his desire to play for the Red Devils. According to Jamaican publication The Sunday Gleaner, Schafer recently said: “In the German newspapers I read about Usain Bolt saying he wants to play football and he wants to play in Manchester (United in England). He’s a Jamaican and I want him to be on the national team. This is our goal. Maybe after the Olympics in Brazil (2016), I want to see him in our team. That is what I want to tell him. I hope he wants to play for his country.”

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aris Saint-Germain star Zlatan Ibrahimovic was causing a stir across Twitter on Monday afternoon as part of Nike’s Dare to Zlatan campaign. Nike Football have posted three dramatic clips which show the Swedish hitman battle through fire, ice and a lightning storm with a ball at his feet. The 32-year-old can be seen chilling out in sunglasses in front of a volcano, scoring into a tiger’s den with ease and trusting his killer instincts to avoid an earthquake whilst blindfolded. Zlatan has also taken to Twitter to post a series of amusing phrases to help inspire his fans to greatness during a question and answer session.

2014 Lagos Polo Tourney: How Lagos teams carted away prizes By Chimaobi Uchendu princehench@yahoo.com

08092747532

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he 2014 Lagos polo international tournament rounded off recently in a compromising situation as the club’s battle ground continued its make shift position, once again, due to weather condition. While the match between Ironclad 5thchukker vs Lagos Auden/Delaney continued in the Ajah Imeko ground, owned by Femi Otudeko, guests were chilling at the Ribadu ground of the Lagos polo club to witness the cup presentation and the closing ceremony of the 2014 Lagos international polo tournament which had MTN and Guaranty Trust Bank as its major sponsors amidst other numerous sponsors. The tournament was a good outing for the lagos teams as they claimed most of the titles, especially the highest celebrated cup of the tournament, the Majeko-

L-R: Asama Debbs, Fola Arthur-Worrey, President of Nigerian Polo Association, Dr. Tomi Asuni and a player receiving his prize at the 2014 Lagos International Polo Tournament.

dunmi cup. Ironclad Fifth Chukker beat city rivals Lagos Auden/Delaney 13-11 to the Majekodunmi Cup, while Lagos Goodfellows also won the Low Cup. The Majek Cup match which took place at the Brightwater saw fierce challenge from the Delaney team whose hope to claim their second title was dashed having won the independence Cup last Friday by beating T.J Dantata’s Kano Titans.

The First face of the tournament saw the Lagos 5th chukker claimed the Open Cup, while Lagos Unity Polo won the Dansa cup. However, the Ibadan teams showed up another disappointing outing as they could not bag any title. “we shall work on our flaws” said Koyin Owoeye, Captain of Ibadan Polo club, who also attributed their poor performances to lack of polo players. The 2014 Lagos international polo tour-

nament also saw first timers like, Olugbile Halloway, Seyi Oyinlola having their first ever encounter on the polo field. “I am in at last said Olugbile who has waited anxiously to see himself play during the tournament. The tournaments also put up an evening of relaxation and entertainment. Many guest will talk about it four years to come as they were thrilled to a night out of music, comedy, fashion and performances from artists like, Harry Song, Lynxx, Wiz Kid, Kacee and M.I. It was indeed a star studded event. Obafemi Otudeko of The Chukkers was voted as the MVP of the prestigious Majek Cup, while Maya, from the stable of the Ironclad was adjudged the best playing pony was given to Maya from the stables of the champions. Other sponsors of the 2014 Lagos International polo tournament are: Veuve Clicquot, Union Bank, Chapel Hill & Denham, UBS, Unity Bank, Caverton Group, Dansa Foods Ltd/Dangote, Southern Sun Hotel, Smooth FM, Beat FM, Delaney, Total, Polo Limited, Sony, Powerhorse and Avion Continental Group are co-sponsors.


NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 MARCH 2014

SPORT

31

I’m ready to coach Eagles –Temile

Former Nigerian winger Clement Temile is finally back in the country after many years abroad. In this interview with Vincent Eboigbe, the tear-away winger gives his views on a wide range of issues in Nigerian football, while also making clarifications about his footballer son. Many of your former team mates are into coaching, are you thinking along this line? In other words what do you do now?

now, the younger the better, even 10-year-olds are signed now.

I run a travel agency, Temile Travels and Tours Limited. We engage in group tourism; arranging tours for people abroad, we take care of this from the beginning to end, including visas, ticketing, hotel- all the works. Even when I was not in the country my wife was managing the business. I came back finally last December, but I am still off and on. Talking about coaching I have a different t vision entirely. I have my UEFA A license from England. I have coached in England for over three years, but my vision when I came back to Nigeria is of grassroots football, that will be my contribution to the nation that made me what I am. We all can’t be coaches in the national teams; that is not to say if the opportunity comes I won’t do it. But everybody has their vision.

You played in the Nigerian league for many years before going abroad. How can the league reclaim its glory

You were a member of the Eagles team to 1984 Nations Cup, when specifically were your first invited to the National Team

My first invitation to the National team was in 1982. I was also in the 1983team that went for Olympic qualifiers in Ghana before the Nations Cup in Cote d’Ivoire in 1984 where we lost in the final to Cameroon. That team was a very young one, Muda Lawal and Best Ogedegbe were about the most experienced in the team, they really didn’t play so much, they were there mostly to inspire the younger ones. Yisa Shofoluwe, Henry Nwosu, Patrick Okala, Sunday Eboigbe, Bright Omokaro, Humphrey Edobor, Rashidi Yekini, James Etokebe, myself, Tarila Okorowanta, Stephen Keshi were some of the members of that team. How was it like back then compared to now when there is so much money in the game and it looks as if that is the reason people go into it now

It was fun back then because we loved the game, we wanted to play and we just enjoyed ourselves unlike now, it is not as if I’m judging. Truth is there has always been money in football. In my time I didn’t want to go abroad to play because I was contented playing here. For instance I was playing for Abiola Babes and earning over N2000 and when you convert it that time it was like $2000 and if you went abroad then and sign a contract you earn about $2500 and you feel why should I go abroad? Then if you were young the joke was ‘he is still sucking his mother’s breast’ and no team will sign you. They wanted experienced players. Then you had players like Roger Milla, 25 -30 years going abroad. It is the opposite

Basically we have a chance of getting to the second round; with the current form they are now we can do it

The league can get back to the way it was. It has to do with the sponsors and organizers. You can hardly see an individual owning a team unlike then when we had Abiola Babes, John Mastoroudes of Leventis, Ben Osi Umunna of Rangers. Although Rangers was more a government team, but there were individuals associated with them, Patrick Osakwe in Flash, Governor Mumuni who also came out to sponsor a team. Now teams are under the sponsorship of state governments and they are being run like civil service, you can’t run football like that. Your son was also a footballer. There were stories in the press about him some time ago to the effect that he was adopted…

Yes he is still in football. Toto Tamuz Temile. There was some misinformation then. Truth is he was born by a Nigerian woman. I took him to Israel when he was about three years old. He’s so used to the system there, he grew up there and when I stopped playing and decided to pursue my coaching career in the UK, I placed him in the custody of an Israeli woman since he was already schooling there. We basically gave him that Israeli last name to enable him study and make it easy for me. That was it but then all the rumours started that he was adopted but that is not true. Currently he plays Petrolul Ploiești in Romania and he also plays for the Israeli national team. He was invited when Berti Vogts was the coach of the Super Eagles but he had already played for the Israeli team. Keshi is doing very well the Super Eagles; he has brought in home based players, how do you see that experiment….

It is not an experiment. The thing is that you can’t experiment with players. He knows what he’s doing hence he’s getting the results. He’s about the best we’ve had in a long time. How do you see the current Super Eagles team? Do they have any chance of progressing in

Temile

the World Cup

Basically we have a chance of getting to the second round; with the current form they are now we can do it. If Keshi sticks to what he’s doing now which is maintaining discipline in camp, knowing that no player is indispensable, taking the right decisions, listening to advice. There was an alleged gang-up by some players which led to the sack of Samson Siasia as coach of Eagles, a phenomenon suggestive of a mafia. Was there ever a mafia in the Eagles

There is nothing like a mafia. You just need to stand your ground as a coach. I really don’t know so much about Siasia’s time as coach; he was and still is my friend, we played together in Israel. Maybe he did or didn’t do certain things and that may have come to haunt him but that is not to talk about a mafia. What we used to do was agree on a course of action and follow it though. For instance we refused to travel to Cote d’Ivoire I think in 1895 because they didn’t pay our bonus. An Okada aircraft was waiting for us, but we didn’t move. When they paid our money we travelled. That is not mafia. There is so much money in football and it brings so much joy to our people yet they act as if footballers are nothing. What were your best and worst moments in football

To be honest I’ve had s o

many happy moments in my career that I can’t really point to only one or two. I can’t tell you that I lost a game and was sad because I was always happy playing; it was a part of me, I trained myself that win, lose or draw it didn’t affect my mood. The only thing is if I lose I go out with friends and we drink some beers; if I win we drink more beers even. I won the first golden boot in this country in 1984 that was nice. Once in the Nations Cup in 1984 against Malawi we were two goals down and I came in and scored two goals. I can’t say it was a happiest moment but that was a joyous thing for me because if we had lost that game we would have crashed out and Ghana would have gone ahead because they were in our group and we were head to head. I was on the bench and I came in and scored two goals and we moved to the semi finals. As for worst moments I lost a game in the final of the Challenge Cup against Leventis United at the National Stadium in Lagos, an own goal scored by Toyin Ayinla. We got a lot of promises then from Chief (Abiola) because that was the first time we were going to win the Cup and we lost. And then the Nations Cup that we lost. We won at home in 1980 and they gave the players houses, cars and honours; imagine if we had won in Cote d’Ivoire but we lost. Who were your toughest opponents

I’ve always had tough opponents, but they know me very well. The truth is that when I played I was light lightening, you couldn’t mark or hold me, unless you start boxing me; people like Bright Omokaro, he will start kicking and boxing and everything. People like Mike Emenalo who is Chelsea football director now, who will hold your jersey behind. And someone like Nicholas Ukadike, those were very strong defenders. Also Kadiri Ikhana as well, he was good.. Best players you saw in Nigeria

You could mention Jay Jay Okocha, Humphrey Edobor, Henry Nwosu, Rahidi Yekini, Friday Ekpo, they used to call him Zico, Yisa Shofoluwe, Taju Disu. They were fantastic players who loved to play.


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NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 MARCH 2014

Countdown to Fifa World Cup HISTORY OF THE WORLD CUP

From Meazza to Pele Vincent Eboigbe

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Chile out to crash Spanish, Dutch party Ifeanyi Ibeh

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he battle for the top-two spots in Group B is expected to be a straight off one between reigning world champions Spain and the side they defeated in the final of the 2010 World Cup, Holland. But Chile will be looking to upset the applecart and send one of these two pre-tournament favourites on the first flight back home when the group’s final games come to a conclusion on June 23. Not that the Chileans have much World Cup pedigree behind them, with their third-place finish back in 1962 when they hosted the tournament remaining their best finish to date, but a series of impressive results over the last six months, including a 2-0 demolition of England at Wembley, as well as a 2-2 draw with Spain, have raised hopes among fans of the South American nation. They also have the personnel to get the job done, especially the star duo of Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal, who have both been impressive for their respective clubs, Barcelona and Juventus. However, the World Cup is a different matter altogether and Jorge Sampaoli’s side will have to be at their very best in all their games. Fortunately, the Chileans have a game against Group B minnows Australia first, which will likely give them a huge advantage over the Spaniards and the Dutch, especially if they are able to record

FACT BOX SPAIN FIFA ranking: 1 Appearances: 14 Best ever finish: Winners (2010) Key players: Andreas Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez Captain: Iker Casillas Manager: Vincente Del Bosque HOLLAND FIFA ranking: 10 Appearances: 10 Best ever finish: Runners-up (1974, 1978, 2010) Key players: Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder Captain: Robin Van Persie Manager: Louis Van Gaal CHILE FIFA ranking: 14 Appearances: 9 Best ever finish: Third (1962) Key players: Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal Captain: Claudio Bravo Manager: Jorge Sampaoli AUSTRALIA FIFA ranking: 53 Appearances: 4 Best ever finish: Last 16 (2006) Key players: Tim Cahill and Mile Jedinak Captain: Lucas Neill Manager: Ange Postecoglou

GROUP B FIXTURES 13 June Spain vs Holland 13 June Chile vs Australia 18 June Spain vs Chile 18 June Australia vs Holland 23 June Australia vs Spain 23 June Holland vs Chile a big win over the Aussies. The Socceroos, in typical Aussie fashion, won’t go down without a fight though, despite their lack of quality playing per-

sonnel. Their top player, Tim Cahill, is way past his best and now plays his club football in the United States, while the team’s best defender, Mile Jedinak, plays for modest English side, Crystal Palace. But with their obvious overreliance on ageing veterans, the Aussies won’t make it past the group stage. Spain, as defending champions, will be under pressure to make it past the group stage as they attempt to become the first country since the 1962 Brazilian side to successfully defend the World Cup. But Coach Vincent Del Bosque can still call upon much of the 2010 World Cup winning side, such as Iker Casillas, Xavi Hernandez, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique and Andreas Iniesta, as well as a few fresh faces such as Brazilian-born forward, Diego Costa. The case is however the reverse for Dutch coach, Louis Van Gaal, who, following a disastrous Euro 2012 campaign, in which Bert Van Marwijk’s Holland team lost all three of their group games, has ushered out a chunk of the 2010 squad and has stumbled upon an encouraging blend of established squad members and blossoming youngsters. But the former Ajax and Barcelona coach can still call upon the services of worldclass players like Robin Van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben as he attempts to finally end Holland’s status as the best country not to have won the World Cup.

VERDICT: Spain will expectedly top the group, but it will be a battle for second spot between Holland and Chile. Whoever finishes second will nevertheless find it difficult to get past Group A winners Brazil in the Round of 16.

he World Cup is less than 100 days away. That period every four years which brings with it immeasurable excitement is here once more. And those who follow this game are already at the altar, waiting expectantly for the rites to begin. The FIFA World Cup originally Jules Rimet World Cup – named after the French man who spear headed the birth of the global event – has really come a long way. In its long history which began in Uruguay in 1930, the world has witnessed memorable moments, unforgettable matches and great individuals. Transportation was still at its rudimentary stage and so travelling to Uruguay was a big issue. It took almost two weeks, June 22- July 4, traveling by boat for teams to get there. Lucien Laurent of France scored the first goal in World Cup history, while American goalkeeper Jimmy Douglas posted the first official “clean sheet” in the tournament. Giuseppe Meazza, after whom a stadium is named in Milan, and Leonidas of Brazil were some of the earliest stars of the championship. The first three editions were won by Uruguay and Italy. Italy led by Vitorio Pozzo took it in 1934 and 1938. The next edition came up in Brazil in 1950 after the war years. This is when the World Cup really began to tick and inspire those great rivalries that still linger till the present. For the competition, Brazil built football’s biggest arena. And with players like Zizinho and Ademir, the Selecao expected nothing less than the cup, which to all intents and purposes was within grasp, before Uruguay snatched it away in what became known as the Maracanazo Alcides Ghiggia’s second goal which gave a 2 – 1 win, turned Maracana into a grave yard and saw the Uruguayans jubilating back to Montevideo. No nation had taken the disappointment of a loss as badly as the Brazilians did. For some two years, the national team would not use the Maracana. The jersey worn on that occasion, all white would never be used again. The spectre of this loss would not be laid to rest for so many years; even at that not completely. Switzerland 1954 was supposed to be icing on the cake for the Hungarian National team. The Magnificent Magyars played some of the most sublime football ever seen,

Pele

dominating the scene completely in the early half of the 1950’s Having won the Olympic gold in Helsinki 1952, the World Cup was supposed to be a crowning glory. With evergreen players like Puskas, Hidegkuti, Czibor, Kocsis etc., the golden team did not disappoint, enjoying a charmed progress into the final stages. However, it was Fritz Walter the German captain who received the cup at the end of what came to be known as the “Miracle of Berne”. This certainly was an anti-climax, especially as Hungary had demolished the dame Germany 8 – 3 in the group stage. The Hungarians class of 1954 is still seen by many followers of the game as the greatest team never to have won the World Cup. Twenty-eight years after the commencement of the World Cup and not having won the championship as yet, Brazil went to Sweden determined to rectify the situation. Providence was on their side as they had of some of the most fantastic players to have graced a football pitch: Didi was an incomparable passer of the ball. Garrincha was the star of the side. There were Vava, Zagallo, Nilton santos, Djalma Santos and a certain seventeen year old. The quarter-final match against Wales remains memorable not so much for the beauty of play, as with the determination of Wales to throw a spanner in the works. Eventually, the lot would fall on the 17 year old Pele to pull virtuoso performance in the second half to halt a plucky Welsh team. Brazil went ahead to beat Sweden in the final to lift the cup for the first time. The high point of this edition was the unveiling of Pele, who in time would be seen by many as the greatest to have played the game. It was also in 1958 that Just Fontaine of France created a record of thirteen goals in one championship. The record still stands to this day.


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A visual cocktail steeped in philosophy An exhibition that opened last Saturday in Lagos highlights the philosophical underpinnings of visual art, writes TONY OKUYEME

F

or the prolific painter and “dexterous portraitist”, Bolaji Ogunwo Olaniyi whose art practice spanning over a decade has witnessed myriad of critique and appreciation by fellow artists, art collectors and connoisseurs alike, an attempt to chart a course for a stylistic and thematic direction was, like most artists, quite cumbersome. However, his encounters with some famous philosophical quotes inspired him to explore new stylistic and thematic direction. His ongoing solo exhibition at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos, titled Visual Cocktails which opened last Saturday, offers insight into this new creative direction and his thematic preoccupations. As he notes: “An attempt to chart a course for a stylistic and thematic direction was quite cumbersome. However, somewhere along the line I found these philosophical anvils on which I have hammered my creative prowess into a definite shape. “ According to him, armed with this thought, he decided not to do different things but to temper his creative license in a different manner. “My art is not mimetic but cathartic; it’s a chromatic interpretation of places and events that have engaged my artistic psyche. My rich texture is not mere flamboyance or extravagance but a laudable feat that has received global recognition hence I have consolidated my rapport with my palette to churn out works that are didactic and enduring. “ Featuring about 30 paintings done mainly in the oil, acrylic, water colour and pastel mediums, Visual Cocktail, he explains, is a bid to satisfy the appetite for aesthetics and knowledge through orchestration of colours that are visually-edible, coupled with thoughts and world views propagated by the great minds. It’s an attempt to express timeless truth and proven ideologies in a visual language.

All the works are inspired by various philosophical and wise sayings behind them. Asserting that the power of vision enables people to see beyond whatever challenges confronting them at a particular period, Ogunwo said: “The best way to see is through the mind, not eyes.” He also notes with deliberate emphasis that “experience is not the best teacher; wisdom is the interpretation of knowledge.” Some of the quotes used by the artist include, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different result is insanity”, by Albert Einstein; Winners don’t do different things, they do things differently,” by Shiv Khera, and Plato’s “Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools speak because they have to say something”. Writing on the exhibition, artist Akin Onipede notes: “Bolaji Ogunwo’s title for his exhibition Visual Cocktail foretells of his eclecticism and passion to register his imprint on the vibrant Nigerian contemporary art scene. Featuring about 30 paintings done mainly in the oil, acrylic, water colour and pastel mediums, Visual Cocktail is Bolaji’s second offering in six years and a testimony to the height he has attained and still aspiring as a relentless academic.” Ogunwo bagged his first degree from University of Benin with specialization in painting and later proceeded to University of Lagos where he obtained a post-graduate degree in visual art, He is currently a Ph.D research scholar and a lecturer in painting at the department of creative arts, University of Lagos. He has to his credit over 30 notable local and international exhibitions. He is a member of Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA).

ic on canvas, 60cm “Smile” 2013, acryl

“Music and me”

” 2013 “Overflow

Ogunwo

, oil on can

vas, 90cm

x 120cm

2013, oil on ca

nvas, 90cm x 10

x 90cm

5cm


34 ARTS

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 march 2014

DESIRE IS A REBEL BIRD A Review of Leandre-Alain Baker’s Ramata

Didi Cheeka

“I

embodied the most arrogant and admired kind of femininity,” Katoucha had said. “I who was supposed to be diminished.” It is this admired, contrived hauteur you see in Ramata, the title character (as played by Katoucha.) Just below the surface, however, the diminished self, the suppressed rage prowls this glacial exterior. Of Katoucha, following her death at forty-seven years, her lover had said: “She was such a fragile, complicated and difficult person, never satisfied with herself.” I’d disagreed when a female producer - incorrectly referencing Leandre’s initial reluctance to accept Katoucha as Ramata - said the model was wrong for the role. No other black African actress would have brought to the role what Katoucha did: the artificially glacial exterior of a woman of the bourgeois and the reckless rage of a sexually-frustrated woman. Katoucha, Leandre said, “could go right from laughter to anger. But she always came back, and I attribute that to her past, what she ... lived through.” Katoucha Niane was a French model of Guinean descent, who worked, and later wrote, under the single name “Katoucha”. She was the daughter of Guinean author, playwright and historian Djibril Tamsir Niane. As a child, Katoucha’s family was forced into exile after her father came into conflict with Guinean President, Sekou Toure. In France, Katoucha began modeling; first for Thierry Mugler, then for Paco Rabanne and Christian Lacroix, and became known as Yves Saint Laurent’s “muse”. Katoucha stopped modeling in 1994 to focus on activism. She had been an outspoken activist against female circumcision, a rite she underwent at the age of nine. In her autobiography, Dans Ma Chair (In My Flesh), she recalled the experience. “I will never get the incomparable pain out of my head,” she wrote. “At that moment, I became a rebel. I remained so all my life.” The book seemed an exorcism of sorts, as if she was trying to understand her excision - what her mother had done and why - and her sexual abuse and rape. As if she was finally confronting the pain and fear from her childhood that had made her self-destructive - abusing alcohol and drugs and losing custody of her three children. In

REVIEW the book, which she dedicated to her three children, Katoucha talked about wild nights of partying, alcohol and drugs. She had allowed her inner demons to construct her haute couture persona - and her movie character. In an interview with Fatou Kiné Sene and Thierno Ibrahima Dia right after Ramata wrapped, Katoucha had said she only had the script that the director, Léandre gave her. “They did not want me to read the novel, especially since the story was so similar to my own life.” Paradoxically, this similarity almost denied her the role. “Initially,” Leandre said, “I was a bit reluctant about the idea of having her interpret the character Ramata because of this nefarious reputation that was attributed to her—even if this reputation was often exaggerated. Ramata - adapted from a novel by Abasse Ndione - is the story of a hauntingly beautiful woman in her fifties, who is married (for the past thirty years) to Matar Samb, a former prosecutor now turned Minister of Justice. They live in Les Almadies, an elegant neighbourhood of Dakar. One evening, Ramata enters a taxi that Ngor Ndong (25), of no fixed address and an occasional petty crook known to the police just happens to have stolen. Ngor takes Ramata to the Copacabana. This encounter unleashes the repressed desire lurking, like a tangible thing, just beneath Ramata’s cultivated upper-class reserve. Thereafter, Ramata becomes obsessed with Ngor and submits to her own awakened and raging desire, even though her desperate obsession and desire for this thug is luring her into self-destruction. “Ramata is a deeply wounded woman,” Leandre said. “A wound that dates back to her childhood and thus is constitutive of who she is. This encounter with Ngor Ndong, her young lover, will awaken in her the grief that had been dormant ...the hidden chapter of her past comes back to haunt her.” Almost unintentionally, the film seem to hint at the desperation, the amost physical and emotional impossibility of the satisfaction of [sexual] desire. There is an intensity and honesty, a shamelessness and self-sacrifice in Ramata’s deep longing and desire for Ngor. This “emotionally irrational need for Ngor plunges Ramata into an emotional abyss

“If one feels obliged to write at all about this film, it’s because despite its flaws it is beautiful in many ways” that unravels into self-destruction.” However, Ngor’s response betrays a running away, an inability - masked by male posturing, that is really infantile - to meet this need. In this first encounter, at the Copacabana, Leandre walks a thin line: the danger of a woman’s willing submission to rape. There is also the notion of the orgasm as cure-all. This encounter is, however, counterposed to the sterile emptiness of Ramata’s bourgeois existence, a sterility and emptiness expressed by faked passion. The trappings of Ramata’s marital life is, thus, a gilded cage - shattered by the liberating power of orgasm. Satisfaction [especially sexual ones] comes, not from owning things, but through person-to-person contact. But then, nor does it come from repeated orgasm. In this regard, Ramata’s obsessive quest becomes a desire for more than mere physical satisfaction: it becomes also a desperate quest for emotional and intellectual orgasm. It is precisely this that Ngor cannot give. Thus, sexual desire - with its tendency to become an obsession - becomes

self-destructive. Ramata selfdestructs due to her awakened refusal to settle for sexual dishonesty, to continue living a lie, to reject the imposed definition of herself as wife and mother so long as it’s based on self-deception and denial of who she is. I’m inclined to accept this. Society is inclined to to accept and respect an unhappily-married person, than a happily-single person (especially one who is female) that boldly seeks fulfillment. How consciously do we deny and suppress the deep longing and desire that lie unsatisfied, intangible and smoldering within us? It is, of course, true that desire is irrational. What do these moreor-less conscious irrational longings reveal to us about ourselves, our needs as humans? How does a male person deal with the destructive power of sexual revelation, viv., his revealed inabilty to pleasure his woman for thirty years of bourgeois married life?

It is this that is this film’s less-believable scene: Ramata’s spouse’s suicide after she throws his failure of thirty years in his face. It lacks conviction and takes the power out or Ramata’s decision to walk away from the marital lie. In the words of Leandre, he wanted “to break free from certain archetypes of African cinema, the anthropological side that is seen all too often in its films.” If one feels obliged to write at all about this film, it’s because despite its flaws it is beautiful in many ways. Ramata, as Katoucha astutely observed, is not an African film, in the traditional use of that term. It’s a human story set in Africa. All at once, this film feels like a painting, a visual novel and poetry, like intimate theatre. Leandre, I think comes from the theatre. From the outset, there is a tragic tone to the films narrative, an elegiac beauty. The staging is at once austere and elegant. The austerity lends extra burden to Ramata’s tragic solitude. There is something deeply moving about Katoucha’s face. It is a face that’d been whipped by the wind, burnt severally by the sun, by life. The arrogant beauty cannot quite hide this. She seemed to be in the grip of an inner, primitive struggle. None of the other characters are fully drawn. Not Ngor, the object of Ramata’s desire. Not DS, Ramata’s sister-in-law, nor Ramata’s daughter, Dieynaba. Not Yvonne, the club owner Yvonne and her daughter. There absent presence heightens the cold colours of this movie and starkly isolates Ramata in her quest for self-recovery or self-destruction. (There can only be the one or the other, not both.) On 28 February 2008, Katoucha’s body was found in the Seine River - as if her real life was immitating her reel life. The 47-year-old model was believed to have died from an accidental drowning: police believed that no foul play was involved, and that she was likely intoxicated and fell into the Seine. On the night of February 1st 2008, she had returned to her houseboat from a party. This was the last time she was reportedly seen alive. The Seine is reputedly a favourite dumping ground for the bodies of murder and suicide victims. Ramata will screen in Lagos, this April at Afridance - a weeklong screening of films from Africa as part of a conversation on ‘African Cinema’ - under the sub-theme, Film As A Subversive Art - subversion in the sense of a protagonist’s (who is invariably female) transgressive awakening to and exploration of sexuality. Cheeka is a Marxist critic, writer and filmmaker.


L ve&Lv ng

Life Experience: ‘I left my husband after I was diagnosed with cancer’ p.36 Sex Traditions Nyotaimori: The practice of eating from the naked body of a woman p.38

MICHAEL UCHEBUAKU

NTWEEKEND ONLINE AT

michael.uchebuaku@newtelelegraphonline.com 0813 116 1840

www.newtelegraphonline.com/loveliving

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY

15 MARCH 2014

35

‘I made my husband look violent to end our marriage’ Sometimes, the best way to deal with a jealous and possessive lover is to find a good reason to quit the relationship. For this writer, the only way to escape from her marriage was to label her man as violent.

W

hen I first met Timothy, I knew I had found the man I was looking for. He clearly felt the same — we were engaged within three months, married within six, and I was pregnant by the end of our first year together. To the outside world, although it happened quite quickly, everything looked perfect — we had everything other people wanted. But by the end of our first year of marriage, I got sick of people commenting on how great I had it. Because this really wasn’t the case at all. Timothy was lovely — kind, considerate, thoughtful. I always got breakfast in bed, coffee brought to me without asking and sweet, thoughtful presents for no reason. I also got phone calls at all hours and extreme jealousy about the relationship I was building with our three-month-old baby

Love Confession — the constant attention really began to wear on my nerves. I couldn’t go anywhere without him insisting he tag along. It wasn’t done in an aggressive, possessive way (I was allowed to do whatever I wanted), but he simply had to be there with me every minute that he wasn’t at work. I began to long for my carefree single days. Being a mother was one thing (my three-month-old baby was less clingy than my husband!) but I couldn’t stand being a wife any longer. Everybody loved Timothy, and I didn’t want to be the one who was looked upon as the “ungrateful one who walked out on the perfect marriage.” So I decided I had to make Timothy look less perfect. I wasn’t quite sure how to do it, and the idea really came to me at the last minute — not something I planned. Or something I’m proud of. One night I fell on the curb taking the bins out in the dark, and an ugly black bruise on my arm was the result. The following day, my friends wanted to know how I’d hurt myself, and the answer was

out of my mouth before I could stop it. “Oh, you know,” I said, pretending to be evasive. “I walked into a door.” As soon as I’d lied, it all seemed so simple, and soon I was doing it all the time. A naturally clumsy person, I often had bruises, and I always made sure my friends saw them, before putting on my evasive act. After a few months, two of my best friends sat me down and demanded to know what was going on. I wouldn’t tell them but my silence, and the months of evasion, had done enough. My best friend rang my husband and accused him outright of physical violence. Of course, he denied it, and angrily wanted me to explain what I had been telling my friends. I simply told him they were jumping to conclusions that I couldn’t talk them out of. But

Timothy was really angry. He kept pestering me to lay down the truth and clear his name — but every time he saw my friends they were rude and hostile, and he was soon over it. We separated and my friends never suspected that my husband wouldn’t hurt a fly. I have since remarried and had more children. My new husband is lovely — and distant when I need him to be. Personal space is a healthy part of our relationship. I heard that my best friend ran into Timothy and his new wife a few months ago — she told his wife to be careful of Timothy’s temper. I felt awful when I heard that: Timothy had never done anything besides want to be with me. And he has no idea that I actually led my friends to believe he was physically violent so I could get out of the marriage.

Name: Nicole Number: 08138880724

Woman marries dog in ‘romantic’ wedding ceremony ... After marriage to man failed

Odd news

A

British woman finally found the partner of her dreams – her pet DOG. While she can be sure they won’t leave the toilet seat up or put foam round the sink… there is the chance she might get fleas. Amanda Rodgers married her dog Sheba in a romantic ceremony in Croatia. The unusual service in Split was attended by 200 people and nobody barked their objection. The 46-year-old divorcee wore black stockings and suspenders for the ceremony while Sheba wore a more traditional white bridal frock. The Metro reports that she said: “Sheba had been in my life for years, making me laugh and comforting me when I was feeling low. I couldn’t think of anything more I’d need from

a life partner.” She married a (human) man 20 years ago but the marriage was short lived. While Mrs Rogers is presumably keeping her maiden name she does have the Twitter name @shebarodgers. Amanda organises a gothic music night in Brixton called Stranger than Paradise which she claims is “a twisted exotic romp of Balkan beats, gypsy laments and cossack high kicks.” (Source: STANDARDMEDIA)

If you want to be our next model, please send your photos to: ireto007@yahoo.com Call: 0703 102 8714, 0813 116 1840


36 LOVE&LIVING Love Songs

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 march 2014

K-CI & JOJO

All My Life

Man kills wife for refusing to have sex with him one last time

Baby baby, baby baby Baby baby, baby baby Baby baby, baby baby Ooh, I’m so glad

“J

ust one last time. Come on Martha. One last time. Real quick. Come on just one last time. Real quick. Come on. Please. Please Martha. Fine. Once I’m gone, I’m gone. This is it Martha…Oh come on Martha. You are technically still my wife, come on. Just one last time. Please!” Kurtis Worley begged. Worley went on like this for over an hour. He begged and pleaded, but his wife Martha stuck to her guns. “No. I said no. Now forget it.” she said. Worley finally gave up and retreated to the garage. He drank tequila and vodka until he was drunk and emotionally numb. He grabbed two knives and made his way back to the bedroom. By the time he returned to the bedroom Martha was asleep. Worley stood silently over the bed watching Martha sleep for five minutes. “Why do you want to leave me Martha? Why do you want a Divorce? I can change…I can change Martha.” Worley whispered under his alcohol

I will never find another lover Sweeter than you, sweeter than you And I will never find another lover More precious than you, more precious than you Girl, you are close to me just like my mother Close to me just like my father Close to me just like my sister Close to me just like my brother You are the only one, you’re my everything And for you this song I sing And all my life I’ve prayed for someone like you And I thank God that I, that I finally found you All my life I prayed for someone like you And I hope that you feel the same way too Yes, I pray that you do love me too I said you’re all that I’m thinkin’ of, baby Said I promised to never fall in love with a stranger You’re all I’m thinkin’ of, I praise the Lord above For sending me your love, I cherish every hug I really love you And all my life I’ve prayed for someone like you (So much baby baby!) And I thank God that I, that I finally found you All my life I prayed for someone like you And I hope that you feel the same way too Yes, I pray that you do love me

Love Poem

I close my eyes and see your more, face. than ever thought in life before. I feel your arm’s sweet embrace. Your everlasting love and grace. I close my eyes and see your tears, I close my eyes and see your as you take away all my fears. face. My eyes are open, now I see, How can a man be so much

Dead Again

A funeral service is held for a woman who just passed away. As the pallbearers carry the casket out, they accidentally bump into a wall. They hear a faint moan. They open the casket and find that

Beyond Impotent the woman is actually alive. She lives for 10 more years and then dies. They have another funeral for her. At the end of the service, the pallbearers carry out the casket. As they are walking, the husband cries out, “Watch out for the wall!”

Words of Wisdom: Love is a sacrifice

Life Experience

I

infused breath. Worley raised one of his knives and then repeatedly stabbed Martha in the head. Martha screamed as she was being pummeled in the head with the knife. Her two kids, Worley’s stepchildren, heard their mother screaming and quickly ran to her bedroom door to see what all the clamor was about, however the door was locked. The 15-year-old and 12-year-old repeatedly pounded on the door trying to get in. Worley opened the door, he stood there in the door way, naked, holding a bloody knife, looking like a psychopath. The older of the two sons attempted to get in the room but was deterred when Worley stabbed him in the throat with his blade. The two boys receded back, the wounded boy ran to the bathroom and other one ran to the kitchen to grab a knife. They tried again to get in the room, but were unsuccessful. They then called the police. When Illinois police arrived and broke down the locked door they discovered Martha lying face down in her bed

covered in blood, and Kurtis Worley was lying on the floor naked with two knives soaked in blood next to him. Worley had cuts on his wrist which indicated that after attacking Martha he tried to take his own life. Martha was ruled dead shortly after being administered to the hospital. Her eldest son, who was stabbed by Worley, was rushed to the hospital and had to undergo emergency surgery on his slashed throat. Kurtis Worley was charged with firstdegree murder and was booked at the DuPage County Jail. Worley confessed to the allegations against him and when interviewed by investigators Worley retold a very eerie, detailed story of that tragic evening at the Worley’s home.

Kristine Beulke

I CLOSE MY EYES

Romantic Jokes

Love Crime

am a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in January 2012 and immediately upon diagnosis, I left my alcoholic husband and moved two states away to enter treatment. The life that I once knew (career, family, home, dogs, San Diego) was over in an instant. Prior to diagnosis, I realize how my priorities were all wrong. I spent the majority of my time on things that weren’t important at all. But it’s amazing how radically that changed once I knew I was sick and fighting for my life. First, I became fearless. Other than my disease, I am afraid of nothing and no one else. It took a while for that concept to sink in, but sink in it did. Loud and powerfully. In the midst of massive chemo and emotional trauma associated with fighting my disease, I was also going through a horrific divorce. While it’s been over two years since

What is Ovulation?

O

vulation is a phase in the menstrual cycle. It occurs at about day 14 of a 28-day menstrual cycle. Specifically, ovulation is the release of the egg (ovum) from a woman’s ovary. Each month, between day six and 14 of the menstrual cycle, folliclestimulating hormone causes follicles in one of a woman’s ovaries to begin to mature. However, during days 10 to 14, only one of the developing follicles forms a fully mature egg. At about day 14 in the menstrual cycle, a sudden surge in luteinizing hormone causes the ovary to release its egg and begin

Love Education its 5-day travel through a narrow, hollow structure called the fallopian tube to the uterus. As the egg is traveling through the fallopian tube, the level of progesterone, another hormone, rises, which helps prepare the uterine lining for pregnancy. How Will I Know if I’m Ovulating?

Most women experience signs and symptoms before ovulating. Some symptoms may appear several days before ovulation, while others won’t happen until the day before or day of ovulation. Signs and symptoms that occur before ovulating include: Increase in sexual desire

Increase in cervical mucus (You

may notice more discharge on your underwear, which resembles raw egg whites.) Softening and opening of the cervix Ovulation pain (Ovulating is not usually painful, but some women feel a cramp or sharp pain in their side.) Signs and symptoms of ovulating that occur on the day or days after include:

Decrease in sexual desire levels Decrease in cervical mucus, changing from wet and abundant to dry and sticky A rise in body basal temperature Breast tenderness (usually several days after ovulation, sometimes mistaken as an early pregnancy sign) Wondering if you’re having ovulation symptoms now? Call the Fertility Specialist.

‘I left my husband after I was diagnosed with cancer’ I left him, the drama from this man has not stopped. The difference is that I simply don’t care anymore. I have one enemy these days: myeloma. My ex, court hearings, threats of more lawsuits and counter lawsuits? Whatever. While I still rush off to get frequent massages and go to yoga, I do it for the simple enjoyment of it, not as a coping skill. It’s a fabulous change in mindset. Second, I only spend time with people I want to. If I get invited to something and it’s not exactly what I want to be doing, I simply decline. That was an amazing epiphany — I don’t have to do anything. Saying no is simple and effective. I come first. I’ve learned to forgive in bigger ways. It started with my in-laws. Upon diagnosis, my ex sent me awful email ex-

After losing all my hair to chemo, things have changed for me... I no longer feel the need to try and be something I’m not changes between them about me. They were angry with me for leaving my husband. But I’ve forgiven them completely. I do everything possible to keep the girls in their lives. I text frequently and send cards and gifts for every occasion. And I make huge efforts to meet up for visits. It wasn’t easy but it was the right thing to do. I no longer feel the need to be perfect. In my prior life, I spent so much time making

sure that I looked the image of a successful and happy mom, wife, and employee. I would never let anyone see the horrible pain I was in while trying to survive an abusive marriage. Few people knew that my husband was an alcoholic and I helped him hide it. I spent so much time living up to the expectations that I had for my life, that I neglected to live my life in honesty and openness. After losing all my hair to chemo, things have changed for me. While my hair is back and my health has vastly improved, I no longer feel the need to try and be something I’m not. I’m quirky, klutzy, funny, sometimes snarky, forgiving, and everything in between. I’m imperfect and I embrace the real me. Letting go has been liberating and powerful. I live my life in openness and honesty. That has been a huge change. I started blogging and it’s all there — the good, bad and ugly. It’s me.


LOVE&LIVING

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 march 2014

Relationships & Love Advice

Wealthy women shouldn’t marry, says millionaire’s daughter

‘My wife isn’t D educated enough for me’ Dear Love Doctor, I am a 40-year-old master’s holder. I am married. My wife and I have been together for 6 years. She is truly a man’s dream. She is the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. She takes care of me, is sociable and extremely intelligent. Her intellect is one thing that attracted me to her, but she never graduated from the University. Not only are we from different cultures, but also different social classes. I met her while she was waitressing at a restaurant. The idea of living apart from her is difficult, but I am also being confronted by girls who have a high education and the sort of job prospects that make for a more intriguing future. I do try to remind myself that her lack of education does not reflect her intellect. Indeed, she is smarter than most of the people I’ve met. I do wish she had more opportunities in her life. I am aware that I sound like an elitist jerk, but I’m feeling riveted by girls that can have a conversation about world events, politics, and history. She knows nothing about these things. What should I do? Should I marry an educated second wife who can discuss world politics and history with me? From Jide. Love Doctor’s Advice:

While you’re educated in “world events, politics, and history,” you need schooling in matters of the heart. Sorry, but you won’t get 3 credits for this romantic course. If your goal is to bear someone’s educational status on your arm to assist your upward climb, you may be disappointed in the end, because having a superficial partner would only cause more problems and complications in your marriage and family. Try to encourage your wife to go to school so that she may be able to discuss ‘world events’ with you. Invest in her personal educational development and you would be glad you did. That is the proper thing to do. Good luck! If you want daily love tips or advice, download The Color of Love Guide on your iPad and iPhone. Search for ‘Color of Love’ on your Apple Store now and download the App. *Send your comments/stories to Love Doctor. E-mail: ireto007@yahoo.com If you’re in a crisis, call for help: 07031028714, 08131161840 or 08023700641. For free marriage/relationships counseling, call Love Doctor Mike 07031028714, 08023700641 or Chris 08023913619. Visit www. romancestory.org

It’s my story. It’s my journey and someday my children will read it and understand how I got to this point in my life. It feels good to live in truth. I live my life with purpose. Few things are more important to me than helping other cancer warriors. To that end, I’ve started working with a fellow cancer survivor to bring awareness of myeloma to the forefront and to speed up cures and treatments. Myeloma is a tricky disease to navigate and I’m doing my best to help others power through their treatments and get well. I’ve learned to love differently. I love purely without any strings attached. I give of myself with no expectations. What I’ve found is that the

love I give is returned to me in new and beautiful ways. And, lastly, I’ve learned to be grateful for things big and small. Sure, the love of my family, boyfriend and friends is huge. But I love the smell of the mountains, the look of the waves crashing on the beach, the birds that nest abov e my doorstep, the purring of my cat at night, the smell of my freshly laundered sheets. I take a moment to know that I’m alive and every single day counts. I know it sounds trite, but it’s true and I appreciate it. I wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone. But, while looking at death’s door, I learned to live again. - By Lizzy Smith

37

aughter of millionaire says divorce law is a “gold-digger’s charter” after she is told to pay her unemployed ex-husband £1.2 million The daughter of one of the country’s richest men has warned wealthy women against marriage after her “gold-digger” ex-husband was awarded a £1.2 million in a divorce payout. Victoria Luckwell, 37, whose father, Mike, set up The Moving Picture Company, and is worth an estimated £135 million, said the current legal system in Britain acted as a “disincentive” for the rich to wed, because they had no way of protecting their family’s assets. Her comments came after her ex-husband, Frankie Limata was handed a £1.2 million payout by a judge, despite having signed numerous prenuptial agreements waiving his right to any of his wife’s money. Miss Luckwell has been told by a judge that she must provide him with £900,000 to buy a home plus £300,000 to pay off his debts, buy a car and furnish his home. As she left court she said: “Sadly I am left to conclude there is a strong financial disincentive for a wealthy woman to marry if she cannot be assured of protecting her family’s assets. Simply put, this is a gold-digger’s charter.” Her 71-year-old father added: “A law which rewards a gold digger after signing three legal agreements merits real criticism.” The couple, who have three chil-

Love News dren, met in 2005 and prior to their marriage unemployed Mr Limata signed three agreements promising not to make any claims either during or after the marriage on his wife’s property or gifts provided by her family. But when they split in 2012 he went to court asking for £2.2 million to keep him in the style to which he had become accustomed. Today after a lengthy hearing earlier this month Family Division judge Mr. Justice Holman ordered her to provide him with £900,000 to buy a home to live in while their three children, aged between two and eight, are growing up. In addition she must also provide him with £300,000 to furnish the property and pay off his debts. Miss Luckwell currently lives in a £6.7 million home in central London, but is now fearful that she may have to sell it in order to meet the payments to her ex. After the ruling she said her family were “pleased” that the judge had recognised Mr Limata had contributed no capital to the marriage, with all the finances coming from her family. She said: “We are all distressed that today Frankie was given a financial award at all, given the unforgivable breaches of his promises. “This has been a painful public hearing during which Frankie made cruel and wholly unjustified criti-

cisms of my family. Mr Limata claimed he had been forced to “live like a tramp” with all his possessions in bin bags after the couple split up. He previously turned down an £850,000 offer to settle the case and the judge criticised the legal costs run up by the couple of more than £657,000. In reaching his findings the judge said: “They do both need a suitable home in which to live. Victoria has one. Frankie does not.” He said the couple both had a “high” standard of living, allowing them to take expensive foreign holidays, eat at top restaurants and drive luxury cars. Miss Luckwell is considering whether to launch an appeal against the judgment.

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38 LOVE&LIVING

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 march 2014

Sex Traditions

SEXUAL COMMUNICATION

Nyotaimori: The practice of eating from the naked body of a woman N

yotaimori (serve food on the female body or female body presentation), often referred to as “body sushi,” is the Japanese practice of serving and eating sashimi or sushi from the naked body of a woman. Nantaimori refers to the same practice using a male model. This sexual fetish is a subdivision of food play. As a result of being served on a human body, the temperature of the sushi or sashimi comes closer to body temperature. Before becoming

Why not all men need worry about quick ejaculation

a living sushi platter, the person is trained to lie down for hours without moving. She or he must also be able to withstand the prolonged exposure to the cold food. Body hair, including pubic hair, would also be shaved, as a display of pubic hair may be seen as a sexual act. Before service, the individual would take a bath using a special fragrance-free soap and then finish off with a splash of cold water to cool the body down somewhat for the sushi.

A

True Confession from Overseas

‘I poisoned my husband’s Christmas lunch’

I

married young, and unfortunately realized too late that I had married the wrong person. My husband, who had been sweet and kind while we were going out, didn’t seem to want a wife; he wanted a slave! And every day, that’s what I felt I had become. The more I did for Ray, the more he demanded, until it seemed that, between the hours of housework he insisted I do every day, and the elaborate meals he wanted me to cook, I didn’t have time for anything else. My social life dwindled, and by our first wedding anniversary, I was absolutely miserable. I was too afraid to leave as I feared the consequences, for Ray was a very angry man. He hadn’t hit me yet, but his cruel threats and financial imprisonment were just as debilitating. And his family were even worse. Knowing Ray’s parents, it was easy to see where he got his personality traits from. Nothing he did was ever good enough for them, and nothing I did came even close. They seemed to be at our house all the time, checking up on their son’s wife, and Ray would almost have anxiety attacks over his mother’s pending approval of my cooking and cleaning. He never seemed to care how I might feel about her constant criticism. If she didn’t like what I had cooked, I was sure to get a serving of his most vicious insults once they had gone. If

she did approve, he would claim to have prepared most of it himself. The worst incident in our marriage was the first Christmas lunch, which I had to prepare. I was a nervous wreck as I basted the turkey, roasted the potatoes and glazed the enormous ham, all without any help, and it showed in the cooking. The food was either overcooked or undercooked as I rushed around in a state of panic, trying to make sure everything was perfect. In front of everyone, Ray said Christmas was ruined, and that it was all my fault. Nobody disagreed. For 12 months, I awaited the next Christmas with a growing sense of dread. I pleaded with Ray to ask one of his sisters to help me, or for him to help me himself, but he refused, and sneeringly told me I’d better do a better job than I had last year. Then he told me that he wasn’t going to buy me a present until after Christmas, all based on how I did preparing the Christmas lunch. I knew that Ray would find fault with whatever I did, and that this was just his way of getting out of spending any money on me — when he wouldn’t even give me two cents to buy the things I needed for myself. Something inside me snapped. For the first time, I knew I was going to leave my husband. But first, I was going to make his whole wretched family pay! A few days before Christmas, Ray came home with a bag of fresh prawns. “Cook these for entrée, and make sure they’re tasty!” Ray snapped. I nodded silently, forming my plan. I would make them tasty alright. So tasty with chilli they wouldn’t be able to taste anything else for a week! The same day, I snuck out to a local delicatessen and asked for the hottest variety of chillies they had, and I bought a whole bag. I ground them up in blender, seeds and all, to make a fiery red paste. I would marinate the prawns in this concoction until Christ-

mas, setting some chilli paste aside to add after the cooking as well! I couldn’t wait to see the look on Ray ‘s family’s faces as their tongues were set on fire. Christmas day arrived, and nothing Ray or his parents said could dampen my spirits, which seemed to make them try even harder because they were ruder and more critical than ever. Beaming with joy, I carried out the steaming plate of chilli prawns, and waited with baited breath. But nothing happened. “These are actually quite good,” Ray’s father announced, praise that would have thrilled me once, but today only sickened me with disappointment. “A little on the hot side,” his mother agreed, “But overall better than anything else you’ve ever cooked. Was this your idea, Ray?” With a sinking heart, I slunk out to the kitchen to prepare the next course. I was still going to leave Ray, but I would never have the revenge I craved for nearly two years of misery. Or so I thought. For you see, the strong taste of the chillies also masked the fact that the prawns themselves were not quite right. I’d been concentrating so hard on their marinating, I’d forgotten that they wouldn’t keep in the fridge for quite as long as I’d had them there. Even before they went home, Ray and his family were racing to the bathroom in what would become two full days of food poisoning. And it was while Ray was in the bathroom that I left, never to return again! Even though Ray took the credit for the prawns, I’m sure I got the blame for the entire family getting sick, but I wasn’t around to find out. However, it still makes me laugh to think that, though unintentional in the end, I got the best revenge of all by ruining their Christmas lunch for real! Your say: Have your say about this true confession... NB: Call Mike on +234-703 102 8714 if you have a story from abroad to share with us.

ctually, not everyone with premature ejaculation needs a “Cure”. That’s just like saying not every man with a small penis needs to seek enlargement. It depends on you and the particular woman you’re with (your partner). If your partner loves it the way you ejaculate quickly, stick to it! That’s because what works for one woman might not work for another woman. So since one man’s food is another man’s poison, you should be more concerned with the happiness or opinion of your partner about your performance in bed, instead of the opinions of your friends or other people. Not all women desire men who last long in bed. So as long as your partner is happy with your quick way of ejaculating, don’t look for a “Cure”. Again, never misunderstand your partner. There is this story of a wife who only wanted her husband to have a stronger erection, and not to last longer in bed. But the man misunderstood her and erroneously went in search of a “drink” that would make him last up to an hour in one round of sex, when all his woman wanted was a harder dick and a quick orgasm/ejaculation. It is wrong to assume what your woman wants. Never assume anything in bed. Ask your woman to tell you what she wants. And if you’re confused about what exactly she wants, seek clarification from her. Avoid being sexually misguided. Sometimes, what we think are sexual “solutions” or “cures” might turn out as poisons harmful to our relationships. Some marriages have broken up because men implemented sexual “solutions” which they thought made them more “manly” to their wives. Some women have left their husbands because the man “suddenly” started lasting too long in bed when all the woman wants to be happy is “the traditional quickie”. She never knew he had being taking drugs to make him last longer in bed and was very unhappy when she found out. Always inform your wife first about

The golden rule of sex in marriage is this: Stick to whatever makes your partner happy in bed your plan, before doing anything that would alter your sex life. Never assume or impose anything on her. Her opinion is important, so seek her opinion first about any sexual matter that is bothering you and work together as a team! The golden rule of sex in marriage is this: Stick to whatever makes your partner happy in bed. Don’t let other people’s opinions on sex issues dictate your performance in bed with your wife (because you’re not married to them but to your partner). Taking a long or short time to ejaculate does not make you less or more of a man. Therefore, to have a happy sex life in marriage, you should strictly be guided by what your partner wants or what gives her happiness in bed. Always seek your woman’s opinion first, before looking for what you think might be a sexual “solution”, especially when she isn’t complaining. Let your woman decide what is best for her about your performance in bed. In a nutshell, if you would like to last longer in bed, try to first seek your partner’s opinion and harmonize your sexual desire/s with your partner’s sexual desire/s. Don’t go about it unilaterally, and don’t be selfish. Carry your partner along because it affects her too. Don’t impose any sexual “healing” on your wife. In sex, just like in life, it is not how fast or how slow you come that matters. What matters is how well your woman enjoys your performance in bed. And since every woman is different and has her own peculiar sexual needs and desires, stick to what your wife feels is best for her in bed! Best Wishes in your sex life!


Travel&Tourism ON SATURDAY

NTWEEKEND ONLINE AT

www.newtelegraphonline.com/travel

Destination IDANRE: Sleepy town with hiking potential p.42

Travel Personality ANDY EHANIRE: A committed advocate for tourism p.40

ANDREW IRO OKUNGBOWA, EDITOR, TRAVEL AND TOURISM

andrew.okungbowa@newtelegraphonline.com

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY

8 MARCH 2014

39

HOSPITALITY

Premier Hotel Ibadan A long walk to keeping the heritage For years, its moniker, “the pride of Odu’a heritage” seems like a misnomer given the sordid state of facilities at the hotel. But there is now a rapid turnaround, writes ANDREW IRO OKUNGBOWA.

I

t was a product of a visionary and committed business leading outfit in the then Western Region of Nigeria, the Odu’a Investment Company Limited. Convinced of the nobility of its dream, the company birthed the Premier Hotel, Ibadan on August 10, 1966 as a resort, amusement, pleasure and relaxation centre. The stated objective of the hotel are: To provide first class catering and accommodation services comparable to those rendered in any International standard hotel in Nigeria; to be able to draw tourists and business – men from outside the Oyo State capital for their relaxation while on pleasure or business trip; and to widen the company’s revenue generating base while the avowed goals include: Retention of good customers; encouragement of repeat calls; and improvement of patronage Its vantage location atop the Mokola Hill, coupled with the sheer architectural genius made it then an inviting spot with tempting facilities and services. Over the years it grew to become a most revered and referenced institution in the country’s hospitality sector as one of the leading outfits. For the people of the then Western Region and to a large extent the present south western states, it remains an icon and heritage of some sort and a testimony to the farsighted business acumen of their forebears. Besides, what is of note to keen

observers of the hospitality sector is the fact that despite the passing of time, Premier Hotel Ibadan is still thriving whereas other statesowned hotels and the likes of Hamdala Hotel, Kaduna, under the then Nigeria Hotels - though with slightly different history and heritage - have either exited the scene or fallen to bad management. For the group managing director and chief executive officer of Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Mr. Adebayo Jimoh, the secret behind the longevity of the hotel goes beyond the mere sentiment of keeping the rich legacy and heritage bequeathed to them by their predecessors but rather because it is seen and managed purely as a business concern, which needs to be preserved for the benefits of the people. This, Jimoh revealed is responsible for the continuous investment

Swimming pool section

Frontview of Premier Hotel

by the group in renewing the hotel in order to enable it keep afloat and compete effectively with others. Also, the fast rate at which hotels and other hospitality outfits with mind-boggling facilities emerge has been a major inspiration to innovate. As a prime facility, he insisted the dream of keeping it as such in every respect both in terms of its facilities and services remain uppermost in the commitment of the group hence the renaissance of the hotel, especially in the last two years when again it was given a facelift and its facilities and services updated in line with international standards. According to him, the natural appeal of the hotel, its numerous standard facilities and breathtaking landscape as well as architectural design make the hotel a first place of choice for both business and leisure travellers as the hotel caters for both ends. As part of the plans to improve on the hotel’s heritage, he said that the group is in talk with some inter-

national brands for management of the hotel and others in its portfolio as well as seeking for private investors to shore up the fortunes of the hotel. Accommodation

It has 87 rooms - ensuites consisting of different room types such as classic, superior, deluxe double, executive deluxe, business, executive and diplomatic suites. All tastefully fitted and furnished with different amenities for the comfort and relaxation of the guest. Restaurant

For dining and wining, the hotel’s Oluyole Bar is well – stocked with different drinks and provides a colourful scenery for relaxation and leisure while the restaurant offers a rich blend of Nigerian and continental dishes. There is also a tea/coffee shop and bakery where pastries and baked items of different types and tastes are served while guest can relax and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee

One of the rooms

with the snacks of the day. Banqueting

As a business hotel, it has a good mix of banqueting and conferencing facilities fitted with modern gadgets and amenities to cater for different business and social events. The ranges include the function Room and the Banquet Hall. Leisure/wellness

The Olympic size swimming pool, which comes with an inviting ambience allows for swimming and different water sports as well as smooching and sun bathing while the gymnasium, which is equally well–apportioned provides ample opportunity to savour different fitness and wellness options in order to keep fit. There is also the Bamboo Bar, which is an exclusive setting for fun seekers to unwind and enjoy certain level of privacy and be serenaded by the beautiful and inviting scenery.


40 TRAVEL&TOURISM

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 march 2014

TRAVEL PERSONALITY

In Ehanire, tourism finds a tireless advocate

H

e is reputed to be a vocal voice, advocate of good governance and renaissance of the Nigerian tourism industry. His ebullient physique and posturing does not easily give away the fact of his doggedness and consistency when it comes to his conviction and expressing his views, no matter whose ox is gored. The story of his acquiring his polemical nature and deep intellectual instinct, which he brings to bear on issues without also undermining the physical realities and exigencies of the moment, is a long one for the Bini – born Andy Ehanire of a mixed parentage (born of Edo and Delta States parents). Although royalty and opulence hover around him, the majority of those who know him acknowledge that he does not throw his weight around. What perhaps may have shaped the views and convictions of this Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria Sociology graduate, are the stations in life that he has gone through. A student of development and management strategies, Ehanire enjoys a career spanning over 20 years in different fields, ranging from the Presidency, oil and gas, security and logistics, public affairs, liaison, consultancy and tourism where he is very passionate about eco – tourism, hospitality, management performance and transformation. Besides the interest he was to develop later in years for tourism, he attributes his motivation for the industry to many factors with his growing up in a forested environment as not the least. “First, there was the flair. I grew up where we hardly had neighbours, just forests and nature. Then the love for travel from studies in regional geography. At the Presidency we en- g a ge d i n digni-

Affable and with a regular smile, Andy Ehanire, superintendents over the Ogba Zoological Garden and Nature Park, Benin City, Edo State. But behind that friendly bonhomie lies a steely resolve to make things work. ANDREW IRO OKUNGBOWA chronicles his engagements in life. tary protection at various levels, from presidential to local and international events. “Then oil and gas experience was basically an obsession with standards in all ramifications of integrated services. A stint in Sheraton Hotel Lagos was equally an eye opener to the key issues in tourism. Then finally there was the dire circumstance at the zoo in Benin, which had collapsed and was in decay,” he says of his attraction to the industry. Given these developments, he saw a yearning gap and decided to plunge head long into what he describes as a “rescue mission.” His rescue mission, he says transformed the abandoned Ogba Zoological Garden and Nature Park to a place of interest again after so many years in the doldrums. “My instinct saw the need for a rescue mission. The uniqueness of the zoo was compelling – large expanse of old forest growth in an urban setting; a botanical garden and arboretum, a zoo with a good master plan and infrastructure – all were in disuse. So from what I would term a roving tourism enthusiast, here was a herculean challenge that has turned out to be my engagement in the last 15 years,’’ recounts Ehanire, a former vice-president of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) for the South South region. He describes the task of transforming the fortune of the zoo not only as daunting but challenging one, attributing this to lack of the zoo culture in Nigeria. Ehanire says, “Challenges! That is what drives creativity. In advanced countries, they seem to have a way of achieving much within a short time. In this part, you get into a quagmire most of the time. So, if your interest is not genuine, you will try to get out fast due to frustrations. In short, the way I usually put it is that zoo keeping is not in our character. Nearly all the zoos in Nigeria went aground at a time and few have survived with passable standards. “Zoos are amongst the most visited places on the planet. They gather strong followership from nature lovers, scholars and children. It is quite a demanding occupation with so many regulations and standards to comply with.’’ The support base for the zoo, he informs is hardly nonexistence from the Edo State government under which PrivatePublic Partnership arrangement his organisation is managing the zoo but for the Benin Airport road, stretching to the Ogba Z o o

Ehanire...eager to see Gov Oshiomhole visit the state zoological garden

community, which was recently constructed by the state government. This gesture, he says has been a life line for the survival of the zoo. Other factors affecting the zoo as catalogued by him include, poaching of the land, flora and fauna, flooding from the road construction without any restitution going to 18 months as well as not giving effect to the government guarantee as collateral for financing the various projects of the zoo since 2006 when it was approved by the state government and lack of institutional grants and technical supports. There is also the issue of habitat enrichment, which has been neglected over the years making the zoo almost obsolete as it fauna species are heavily depopulated while landscaping is another major area of lack as nothing is done to add value to its aesthetics and allowed for unhindered safari experience into the large expanse of forested zoo land. Besides, he is worried that the governor of the state, Adam Oshiomhole, is yet to visit the zoo despite several invitations sent to him. “Our beloved comrade is not familiar with zoos and has still not accepted our invitation going to six years, even in the face of multiple disasters. So as the guinea pig for first private management for a distressed zoo, without institutional support, it was like jumping off a plane without a parachute,” he cries even as he indicts the federal government and the federal Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation for also failing in their responsibilities towards the zoos and tourism development despite the series of letters and engagements he had had with them. ‘‘But in the last 15 years, we have had several visits from Abuja with no single action. Can you imagine that only recently a foreign organisation came to salvage Makurdi zoo when embarrassing photos were flying on the internet. So, what was our local response as a civilised people with governments at national and local levels? With domestic tourism being the new focus at NTDC, let us hope that they will remember the zoos. Yet, zoos are a major port of call for both local and foreign visitors,” he recalls. While bemoaning the state of the nation rich and unique eco – tourism, he has no kind words for the tourism industry as well, as he berates the administrators and public servants for what he describes as their “tunnel view of tourism development.” Hear him: “A prolonged state of ineptitude. The knowledge gaps are huge and we keep mediocre-tinkling beyond the verge of sanity. We are giant still wearing nappies. It’s a disgrace that our tourism master plan has put us in a quandary. We have no identifiable pilot schemes that put us at par with so many small countries that are thriving on tourism. Our hospitality infrastructure is good but the support services are deficient, while the people themselves are unable to key into the process.’’ Ehanire also decries the fact that the country’s tourism budget does not pay serious attention to investment in capital projects in the industry. To get out of the woods, he says there is the need to inject competent personnel and transparency to the system. Also, he calls for the infusion of conservation and tourism in the educational curriculum. Enough of the brick brace you would say as the chat probes into his private life. First how does he unwind in the midst of his deep-seated engagements? ‘‘Family, home, searching for knowledge and the occasional co-traveller.’’ Zaria in Kaduna State, he declares is his best destination in Nigeria and that is understandable while for internationally preferred destination London is it for him. “One is the seat of my alma mater, both are relaxed and culturally exotic; abroad, it’s the British traditions and vintage neighbourhoods,” he reveals of his appealing destinations. Looking into his crystal ball, Ehanire informs that the future of the country’s tourism industry lies in domestic tourism. “Domestic tourism is our best bet. We need to appreciate our own resources.”


CHEF’S CORNER

TRAVEL&TOURISM

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 march 2014

41

‘China was a great place to work, but I love Nigeria’ Magnus Falk is the executive chef of Abuja Sheraton Hotel. In this chat with ANDREW IRO OKUNGBOWA, he recounts his culinary odyssey.

C

LEAN-shaven with an almost bald pate, Magnus Falk comes across as a very passionate and committed culinary expert. You cannot help but notice the almost infectious way and captivating manner he carries on with his job as a chef. Of course, this is something that appears innate in him and comes with age. Perhaps it is right to say that he didn’t chose the kitchen as his theatre of creations but rather that the kitchen chose him. Why? Because Magnus was born into the profession as growing up, his parents were chefs, so he spent most of his childhood days in Sweden watching his parents garnishing and idolising foods. He grew up loving it as he lived most of his days in hotels along with his parents. It was therefore not surprising that like his parents, Magnus developed an uncanny passion for food

Learning Curve

Abuja Sheraton Hotel’s menu offerings Special recipe: Concept of African fine dining is on the way as we are working on a concept of fusing the Nigerian food Luigis: Italian - offers pizza, pasta and many more into the continental style of serving it. Obudu: Steak restaurant Boathouse: Casual all day Favourite menu by a la carte guests: Steaks are very popular Lobby bar: Snack menu with the expatriates while the locals do prefer the Theme nights: home cooking from the Mexican, Indian, African buffet and BBQ Papillion: Buffet restaurant with local and continental cuisine

Favoured Nigerian food by foreign guests: Suya, spicy flavours and still not to far from home in taste and way to be served Popular food with Nigerians: BBQ menus work well for them. It is still in their comfort zone with some local spices and marinades.

leading to an early career in the field. His early professional path saw him through some of the top-rated restaurants, hotels and eateries in his native Sweden and bagging training at the famous Johanna’s, a Michelin-starred restaurant. Since then, he has never faltered on his devotion to the culinary world, honing his skills as the opportunities arose. In 1994, he bade goodbye to Sweden and headed for London where he worked in such highly revered and sought after spots as Mogens Tulstrup and Sir Terrence Conran, with special attention to ala carte and exclusive catering. He was later to set up his own restaurant where he experimented with a lot of recipes for five years before again moving on. This time he settled for China where he opened a new vista to his profession. First, he started with the Dalian Hotel as an executive chef. ‘‘This was a very exciting period in my career,” says Magnus, as he recalled his sojourn in China. ‘‘Asian cuisine amazed me both in its complexity but also in its simplicity. It is an experience which remains part of my repertoire.” Having had enough of the Asian world by his own admission, he moved back to queen Elizabeth 11’s land – London – again to start off another interesting journey as he teamed up with world’s renowned Chef Christian Sandefeldt. Together they worked on different projects, among them Chef Sandefeldt’s famous fine dining restaurants and the innovative Gastro Pub concept. A keen observer of his environment, Magnus after a three-year stint on his second stop in London decided to be a complete globetrotter as he headed for Africa, signing up with another world famed chef, this time, an Irish by the name Conrad Gallagher. With Conrad as the group executive chef of the Sun International in South Africa they turned on the magic, creating real captivating and savoury menus. He was also at a point in the Sun City and The Royal Livingstone at the Victoria Falls in Zambia and then headed back to South Africa to the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town. It was from South Africa that Magnus moved to the west region, this time to Nigeria where he pitched tent with the Federal Towers in Victoria Island, Lagos and later to Abuja Sheraton Hotel where he presently entices the people with his delightsome culinary skills. “I relish the opportunity to be part of a dynamic management team,’’ says the culinary expert of his Abuja Sheraton Hotel move. ‘‘Nigeria has always been close to my heart and I think it will be difficult to find more eager to learn and receptive people anywhere in the world than it is here. I think African cuisine is on the verge of joining the main stream cuisines across the world and I am privileged to play my small part in it.”

The challenge of working in Nigeria: With regards to supply, it is hard to get a lot of stuff but the people are fantastic and willing to learn. It is very difficult to get the quality of items that is not used in local cuisine for a decent price. You have to be very careful with expiry dates and receiving since suppliers try to offload their old stock without saying anything.

the weather are fantastic. Favourite Nigerian food: My favourite Nigerian food is Nkwobi and suya. They have a nice mixture of spicy seasoning.

Attraction: I love Nigeria. The people and

Working with Nigerian cooks and chefs:

Lessons learnt: Be patient. Relaxation: Playing squash and watching football

They are not scared of working hard and their attitude to make sure that all is done before they leave is next to no kitchen I have been to. The biggest challenge is that they are a bit scared of asking when they don’t understand something. Most preferred destination: China was a great place of working and living. The food is to me the best in the world. The culture and the mentality of the people are great.


42

TRAVEL&TOURISM

DESTINATION

IDANRE: Sleepy town with hiking potential

Idanre is a typical sleepy and laid back community, writes ANDREW IRO OKUNGBOWA. But it has a rich history and enchanting natural appeal that could transform the fortune of the town and its people if nurtured.

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N the many occasions that one has visited Idanre town what easily catches one’s attention is its exciting pristine and laid back nature. The quietude and its natural appeal is something that you can identify with, that is, if you are the type that enjoys a serene and calm environment. Yes you can’t miss out the tinge of development and transformation that you see around especially as you explore deeper the innards of this community that appears sculpted on an undulating and valley–like landscape. But going past those elements what usually holds the attraction for many visitors to the town is the Idanre Hills (Oke Idanre as it is known in the local parlance). It is said to span a sprawling 900 square kilometres and hilly inselbergs of about 3,000 feet above the sea level. Its fame as the highlight of the town, including its rich history, cultural and material heritage as well as living museum, precedes it - a point evident in the fact that a first time visitor often tends to make a dash for the hills. As locals say, a visit to the community that leaves out Idanre in the itinerary is incomplete. One thing they never tell such visitor though is the arduous and taxing process which getting to the summit of the hill or the old town entails. You might be deceived by the seemingly effortless pace of your guide or the little lads or old men and women that you see going to and fro the hill as you contemplate your first tentative steps at the foot of the hill while your guide beckons. Their agility and adept display come naturally because the hill forms an integral part of their life and defines their existence both on the material and spiritual planes. Their progenitors lived all their lives at the other side of the hill going by their rich history. It was only in recent history, it seems, that they

relocated downhill to forge a new existence as evidence from the stretch of buildings and human activities suggest. Experiencing the old settlement is a journey on its own. Surely, it is not a simple and easy one; but for the adventurous adept at climbing and hiking, there is a sense of thrill evoked by thoughts about conquering the height and rugged hills. You have to contend with the steep 640 steps or thereabouts leading to the top of the old settlement. As you make your way up, you come across a number of resting places and shades where you can rest to calm your weary soul and aching legs. To a great extent you heave a sigh of relief once you finally sight the old settlement, and here the guide picks the narration as he regales you with the history and way of life of his people, with regard to famed old settlement. His almost spiritual and philosophical tone may be chilly, but it’s simply an attempt to enliven the legendary tale of his people. The old village with some of the abandoned and dilapidated buildings coming into sight as you both stride further into the forest was to the people then a safe and secure haven. At least, it provided security against invading foes back then and even from the vagaries of nature as it was for them a somewhat fortified cocoon, which served to keep enemies at bay as they were never sure what lay on the other side. So, happily they lived their lives, developing into a well–structured community. But despite their seclusion they still managed to maintain a relationship with the outside world and even allowed visitors into their midst. One of the early visitors was the Europeans and white missionaries. With the pass-

Aerial view of Idanre town

ing of time the people succumbed to pleas then to move downhill to begin a new life. It was around the 1920s that they eventually heeded these calls and moved over to the undulating and valley–like landscape, which the lower hills itself presented with their vast and rich opportunities. The life and structures here are still guarded jealously by the people, especially as most of them, the traditionalists and their monarch, usually gather here at certain periods of the year to worship their ancestors and offer sacrifices and engage in some indulgent feasting. One of such festivals, which are celebrated today with all excitement and pomp, is the Orosun Festival, which holds in Orosun Mountain, one of the inspiring and most impressive mountains standing at 3,018 metres above the sea level. The festival holds every May. It is a rich socio–religious and cultural event as the people return home to celebrate with their loved ones and visitors. One thing you can’t miss is the mysticism which your guide embellishes the story with. Listening to him and relating to the environment itself you are captivated by the awesome and sometimes spell-binding nature

of the history of the people and the ancient settlements. Some of the surviving structures or material - cultural, spiritual and physical elementswhich date back to the millennia include: Living abodes

A number of buildings – built with red earth and iron roofs have survived the elements and even though they are looking abandoned, some of them still have some semblance of life and you actually come across a few persons within. The people constantly visit these timeless buildings particularly during the festival periods. The palace of the Owa

Just like the other structures, the palace of the Owa (Oba), reputedly over a millennium, offers a welcoming embrace. Not much really to go by, but it is still kept till date and some find some art and craft of the people among other objects as you take in the sights. Ancient footprints of Agboogun

It is one of the living mysteries of the old village as you are led to a spot which is traditionally called the footprint of Agboogun etched on a rock. It is believed to bear the imprint of whomever steps on it. But before attempting to step on it you are warned by the guide to undertake some soul-searching to avoid any untoward consequence. Noah’s Ark/others

Tourists atop Orosun mountain

One of the idolized structures is an ancient wooden sculpted piece in the form of a ship, which is popularly regarded as Ark of Noah by the people. This is just one of several cultural pieces that dot the landscape. A number of shrines, caves (Ojomu, Omi-Iwo and Olofin and Uwo-Akota, the cave of wasps) and rivers (Arun river – reputed to have both therapeutic and curative powers), old court belfry, thunder


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One of the rocky formations at the old village...with tourists

water (Omi Aopara), burial mounds and grounds and the mysterious handwriting also number among the attractions. Old school building

There is the old school building too, which has survived the years and it bears a testimony to the early missionary incursion into the village and the people’s acceptance of the new teachings, especially with reference to education. A guest house There is also a guest house atop one of the flat beds of the old village, abandoned as well and it is a throwback to Lord Lugard’s guest house in Mount Patti in Lokoja, Kogi State. Fauna/flora

As a forested enclave, one of the richness of the old settlement is the lush presence of fauna and flora giving picturesque scenery of the wild. Some of the wildlife are said to be indigenous and endemic to the settlement. These include a species of monkey and bat, which the people take delight in poaching. A mountaineer’s pleasure

One of the most delightsome appeal of Idanre is its hiking or mountaineering potential as it provides a pleasurable feel and most exciting moment for people with a knack for this adrenaline-pumping pastime. For the locals, conquering this height though is not a daily affair with the highest peak and perhaps most sought after height being the Ojimoba region. It was not until 2009 when the present government of the state introduced the Mare Festival, a mountain-climbing festival and marathon that the people saw the other use of this most enchanting natural gift of theirs. Since then, the tourism related event, which holds mid December yearly, has been attracting attention to the community and the mountain as many people who hitherto were unaware of the existence of the town and the amazing mountain have taken note. It would not be a bad idea to note the date and see the town in its splendour because it is actually the time of the year that the town comes alive and its tourism finds its groove. Perhaps what is needed now is for the government and the people to infuse more facilities and amenities into the laid back community in order to rouse this sleeping beauty. Idanre town is about 24 kilometre from Akure, the state capital and less than one hour drive.

Tourists ascending the steep steps leading to the old village

One of the markets in Idanre town

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CONFLUENCE

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... a finger on the city’s pulse

Super Eagles squad still awaits pledges by Dangote, Elumelu

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Dangote

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frica’s richest man and the world’s 23rd richest on the Forbes list, Alhaji Aliko Dangote is owing the Super Eagles of Nigeria a “paltry” $1m pledge. The Super Eagles squad that won the African Nations cup last year in South Africa has pleaded with the billionaire businessman to redeem the promise he made to them after they won the Africa Cup of Nations. Team goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, who spoke with the team’s media officer Ben Alaiya on behalf of the other players said: “We understand the busy schedule of Alhaji Dangote; we are just asking his aides to help remind him of the promise to us. It’s just a reminder to patriots who are very busy and may not have been prompted after they made their pledges, because the players are determined to bring

more honours to fatherland at the forthcoming World Cup.” But speaking with BBC Sports, Dangote said the promise has not been redeemed because nobody from the team or NFF had contacted him. “We’ve been waiting for Nigerian officials to collect the money but nobody has written to us. We will write to them, asking for the account numbers of the players, then we’ll make the transfer immediately.” Interestingly too, we gathered that another billionaire and founder of the multi-billion dollar Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu, is also owing the Eagles, many months after the Nations Cup ended. Elumelu who recently invested $300 million in a gas-powered electricity generating plant promised the team $500,000, but is also yet to redeem the pledge.

Who wants Gov. Mimiko’s job in 2016?

Awujale plans big for 80th birthday

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pon completion of Ondo State governor, Dr. Olusegun Rahman Mimiko’s term in 2015, some illustrious sons of the land are already slugging it out to grab the mantle. Interestingly so, the governor is reportedly searching for a worthy successor. The Ondo State gubernatorial election is already billed to hold in 2016. Privileged sources spilled that the name of Akinsola Akinfemiwa, the former managing director of Skye Bank has been rumoured as one of the contenders for the post. A seasoned banker with over 30 years of banking experience, Akinfemiwa is yet to decide on which party platform to contest. But he is said to have sympathy for the All Progressives Congress (APC). However, he might have to jostle for the party’s ticket with Sunday Ehindero, the former inspector-general of police and Senator Remi Okunriboye, the Owo born politician and businessman. Rotimi Akeredolu, the gubernatorial aspirant on the platform of APC in the 2012 election is yet to indicate his intention to run. We learnt that the APC leaders in the state are not particularly given to his candidacy and this is just the backlash of his poor performance during the previous election.

Elumelu

T Esho and wife, Olamide

Bolaji Esho dispels marriage breakup tale

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agos socialite and owner of Eldorado night club, Awolowo Way, Ikoyi, Bolaji Esho, is peeved beyond description. His grouse is fueled by a tale of breakup involving him and his upwardly mobile wife, Olamide. Their marriage which endured years of childlessness until sometime last year when they got a lad, is reported to have crumbled like a pack of badly arranged cards. It was also reported that Olamide had moved out of their matrimonial home and jetted out to the US behind Esho. Her relocation to America according to the report is to begin a new life of her own. Esho had reportedly battered Lamide even before their first issue came to life, in fact, shortly after they

he Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona would turn 80 years on May 10 and plans are in top gear to celebrate the revered monarch. The event which will be holding at the grand pavilion right in front of the traditional ruler’s palace will be an assemblage of the high and mighty. We learnt that Evang. Ebenezer Obey will be serenading the celebrant and the high octane guests storming the city.

settled down as a couple. Esho allegedly pounced on his wife at the slightest provocation. Olamide allegedly sauntered into the US when Esho was still believing that she had run to her mom after one of their spat. CONFLUENCE spoke to the man about town who dispelled the tale as being spurious and callous of the author. “When people no longer understand why some things happen to your family, they cook up whatever is sensational enough to sell their paper. Let me put my wife and boy on Skype and hear us talk.” Shortly after, he made good his promise by engaging his boy and wife on Skype. He acknowledged that Olamide is in the US with the kid, but argues that it’s just one of their vacations.

Bola Shagaya’s son, Sherif’s political ambition threatened

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ajia Bola Shagaya’s son, Sherif, is kicking off his political ambition, but not all is well with his transition from business to the murky waters of politics. Sherif, the managing director of Kashton Concept Nigeria Limited aspires to represent the people of Asa West, Kwara state in the House of Representatives in 2015. But the new breed faces intense competition from more experienced politician and incumbent, Hon. Moshood Mustapha, another aspirant and popular lawmaker from the state, Rasak Atunwa. Sheriff, Mustapha

and Atunwa are described as having huge grass-root following and sway in the state. Sherif prides himself on being a fresh and younger option and, also flaunts the mother’s extra ordinary rapport with President Goodluck Jonathan through his wife, Dame Patience to counter the steel of opposition . While Bola Shagaya is believed to have paved way for her son’s upcoming nomination as the flag bearer of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) for the House of Representatives slot in the state, Sherif is said to have initiated an engagement

programme with his constituency. He has initiated and perfected series of empowerment gestures to boost his goodwill and popularity ahead of the election. One straw that broke the camel’s back is that a good number of the grass-root followers still hold it that Bola Shagaya remained indifferent to the plight of the community - until the need to curry support for Sherif’s ambition. Although, Sherif is perceived as one who’s bringing a relatively fresh political approach to the table, her mother’s reckless abandon may be his only undoing.


Talking Point N’Conference: Analyst sets a sequencing agenda p.51 Sen Zannah Khalifa ‘Govt’s claims about talks with B’Haram to satisfy the public’ p.52

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TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE MEETS Ebenezer Babatope

Babatope

Babatope: How Tunde Bakare changed the bitterness I had for Buhari Chief Ebenezer Babatope, the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria’s director of organisation and former minister of transport and aviation believes he would have been killed if he had yielded to pressures to resign from Sani Abacha’s cabinet. Babatope, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party’s board of trustees, in this interview speaks on his sad experience with former heads of state Yakubu Gowon, Muhammadu Buhari and Olusegun Obasanjo.

Party of Nigeria (UPN) from September 1978 to December 1983. I had a very good experience based on the fact that all my involvement in Nigerian politics had been based on the philosophy and teachings of late Awolowo. Even in the PDP, I am very happy that nobody has obstructed me in expressing those Awoist views and therefore I can say conveniently and very comfortably too that I am not regretting a single moment of participation in Nigerian politics.

Since Second Republic, you have been an active participant in Nigerian politics; how has it been?

You said you never regretted moments in Nigerian politics. What about your detentions and imprisonment experience?

I have enjoyed it all the way and I am lucky to have been trained and brought up politically by one of the greatest leaders in Africa, the late Papa Obafemi Awolowo. It was a wonderful experience to have worked side by side with a great leader like Papa Awolowo for five years and three months. I was director of organisation of the Unity

Prison life is something which is normal for anybody who is a radical political activist. I was detained about three-four times before I was finally sent to prison by the Buhari/Idiagbon military regime. So, I can’t consider that to be anything which CONTINUED ON PAGE 46


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‘I don’t believe in the One-Term Agreement Jonathan reportedly made’ was nursing a kind of rabid bitterness against Buhari over this matter but I had a chance encounter with Pastor Tunde Bakare at the airport and he tried to bring me out of this feeling of too much bitterness against Buhari. Pastor Bakare preached to me and, believe me, I decided from that moment that I was never going to nurse any antagonism or bitterness against Buhari, but it is going to be difficult for me to forget the event. I had forgiven him but each time Buhari come out that he wants to be President; my mind will go to all my colleagues who went to prison and never came back or died in the process. But that notwithstanding, that is what politicians must face in life. These are the things you can refer to as most trying moments of the period we spent in prison and also after. So Pastor Bakare changed your perception about Buhari?

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will deter my interest in politics. In fact, if there is anything at all, I think it has been something that had propelled my belief in fighting for the rights of the oppressed and fighting for a just society. What was prison experience like for you?

When we were in prison, there was a time we used to console ourselves by saying somebody was feigning madness. And when you feign madness, that means you are already exhibiting the prison traits of loneliness and frustration, which can lead to disappearance and someone being cut off from the rest of humanity and therefore you can be talking to yourself and doing all funny things. You can also talk about the monotonous nature of the food they served you because the prisoners prepared the food. When I was in Jos prison, the prison authorities gave us a concession of picking prisoners who will serve us food and who will prepare our foods, those who will wash our clothes. That in fact spoilt us a little. And at that particular time too, the military regime led by Buhari and Idiagbon were giving every political detainee a tin of milk per day. In fact, it came to a point that I started to save my own tin of milk and when the tins of milk reached about 72, I parcelled them and sent it home to my family in Lagos. What were your sad moments in the prison?

I can tell you one without wasting time. The death of my father was a big blow to

me because my father died while I was in prison and as his first child I could not attend his funeral because Buhari and Idiagbon refused to allow me to go and bury my father. Well, you could say that it was an abnormal thing to allow somebody detained in prison yard to go and bury his father but then we are Africans; we are Nigerians where we have customs. All of us know that when a man died, the custom is that his children will be gloried by seeing that they bury their father. So, I was not allowed at all and the only thing that was done to me was that there was a man who was the Prison Controller of Jos at that time, his name was Alhaji Biu. He was very kind, so he allowed my family to visit me in prison and then we were able to plan the burial of my father at Ilesha and it was an occasion that I will forever remembered because I sent a note to late Papa Obafemi Awolowo from prison that I would love him to attend my father’s burial. My father and Papa were born the same year. Papa Awolowo went to attend the funeral and Prof. Wole Soyinka, one of my heroes, who we always called ‘Bros Kongi’ was also there. Many of my friends also marched to Ilesha to give my father a befitting burial so they didn’t want people to know that their friend Ebenezer Babatope was in prison. Again, they locked me up in prison for 21 months or thereabout without anybody telling me concretely, what I had done because I was not a political office holders but I was a party functionary. I was the Director of Organisation of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). I was based at the party’s

headquarters but that could not amount to you pounding on me and then you go and detained me. And in fact what was interesting was that, I had already been allowed by UPN to go and read law at the University of Buckingham. I was preparing to go to Britain and read Law when the coup took place. So, when I wrote a letter to the Buhari regime saying that they should return my passport so that I could go for my course in University of Buckingham in London, then a man called Longe, who was the Secretary to Buhari’s government at that time replied me that very soon the security agents are going to call me to come and account for what I did in the political process during the Second Republic. The next thing that I heard was that they sent two security staff to my house in Lagos to go and look for me. I was officially detained and I spent about 21 months in the prison yard. Do you have any bitterness against Buhari over your prison experience?

How can I forget my prison experience during Buhari’s regime? Buhari gave me diabetes. While I was in prison, one Dr. Anthony at Yola hospital first told me in 1985 that I would have to be careful not to become a carrier of full blown diabetes. At that time, he complained about toxin or protein in my blood. So, many of friends died in the prison and I can’t forget that. Some left the prison and went to die. That is enough for someone to know that man’s inhumanity to man would be condemned in all its severity. I do not have anything against Buhari anymore. At a time, I

Yes, he changed it. In fact, I have not fulfilled the promise I gave to him. I promised him that I was going to attend his service one day and I am still going to do that. I have known Tunde long ago; he was in the university when I was student affairs officer of the University of Lagos. He was a contemporary of Gbenga Daniel at the university and they were two radical students who were pro-Awolowo’s politics at that time. So, I will visit Tunde because I want to say thank you to him because he brought me out of that incident. Even though my father died as a Methodist clergy, I was still not carrying in me the Christian mind of ensuring that you forgive your opponent or those who have done very badly to you and then you face life with Christian fortitude. But Pastor Tunde really preached to me. It was a 20-minute encounter which I can never forget. So, now when I see Buhari, except that I recognise that he is of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and I am of the PDP, I don’t hate him. But if he says he want to contest against President Goodluck Jonathan, we have to contend politically. Why do you intend to compete with him politically?

I have to campaign for my party and Goodluck Jonathan. We do not only want to defeat him and the APC, but we want to electorally crush them. I am a democrat and I believe in democratic process. The Nigerian people will decide the next president, but I know within me that Jonathan is fit to continue as president of Nigeria. Prior to the 1999 presidential election, there was a report that you said that if Obasanjo became president, you will run to the next border. Why did you say so?

In 1999, myself and my friend, Bode George, were in London. Then George told me one day that he was preparing to come to Nigeria to come and campaign with PDP for Obasanjo. So, I said: “Bode, if you people


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get Obasanjo to become president of Nigeria, I would be heading for the next border.” And, interestingly, when George came to Nigeria, he told Obasanjo what I said. I and Obasanjo were good friends before. He took me to Angola when I was 33 years to be a member of the federal government delegation to observe the fifteenth anniversary of the founding of the MPLA, then led by late Agostinho Neto. But we later turned against each other. Why and when?

It was after the Ali must go. It is a pity that Segun Okeowo has died and may his soul rest in peace. Obasanjo turned against me and set up Justice Muhammed Commission of Enquiry that found some of us guilty and they said we were promoting and supporting the students so they hounded many of us out. The regime then said that under those circumstances must I be rehabilitated. In fact, I was dismissed and it was the council of the University of Lagos that said I was retired instead of dismissal but up till now, I have no pension benefits.

“The death of my father was a big blow to me because my father died while I was in prison and as his first child I could not attend his funeral because Buhari and Idiagbon refused to allow me to go and bury my father.”

But Obasanjo seems to be against Jonathan’s re-election?

We have all debunked and castigated

it through a collegiate of leaders like Alhaji Shuaibu Oyedokun, who was former PDP Deputy National Chairman (South). We also have people like myself, Senator Bode Olowoporoku, Senator Olu Alabi, Senator Yinka Omilani, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Alhaji Yekini Adeojo, and there are so many of them who you can mention that are there. Bode runs a collegiate system and that is what is going to be the undoing of the APC. We are also going to involve all our young men, even Kashamu Buruji would have to come in because he has some qualities that you cannot close your eyes to.

But you once said his regime was responsible for the birth of your physicallychallenged daughter.

So Bode George is the rallying point in South-West PDP?

So you feel no bitterness against Gowon?

He is. Bode George is the rallying point for PDP in South-West now and that is why we thank God and the Supreme Court for

Are you still on good terms with Obasanjo?

Why not? The only thing is that when we have points to disagree, we disagree. When I wanted to be the National Secretary of PDP, I went to him and I knew he was not going to support me. Even though he professes now that he likes the Awolowo family, but it was apparent that when he was leader of this country, he didn’t do that. So, we had to face each other brutally at that particular time. He wrote a book called, Not My Will, where he said something about Papa Awolowo and I replied him with a book too, called, “Not his will, the Awolowo-Obasanjo saga.” I have no regrets and I am so sure that he has no regret because as you see him, Obasanjo possess a tremendous native intelligent. So, when you are dealing with him, you got to deal with him with care, but having said that, if there are occasions for us to work together, we will work together. He is a former president but he believes that things have to be through his own eyes alone, I don’t agree with that. So, precisely we are going to maintain a delicate balance. So, when we went into the national secretary contest, he didn’t support me then and it was apparent that he went for Olagunsoye Oyinlola. But as far as I am concerned, that is just a phase in the life of a man. So the struggle continues.

We should leave that to God. It wasn’t him that directed the security men who came to my house and they were with my wife who was pregnant. My wife, because of the pressure of being put on house arrest for some days by the security men while looking for me, later gave birth to a physically-challenged child. I must tell you anytime I see my daughter - very beautiful girl of mine, Ope, who resembles me the most - I feel sad. No bitterness at all, but it is a matter of history that it was Gowon’s security men that created that situation. That notwithstanding, it did not really make me hate Gowon or to forget his contribution to national politics and to the programme of Nigeria. I won’t do that. Your appointment as a minister and exit from Gen. Sani Abacha’s regime till date remains a controversy, especially within some members of Awolowo’s political group. Can you comment on that?

So you were dismissed from public service?

They dismissed me from my work as students affairs officer of University of Lagos and it was the council of University of Lagos that said, ‘no, under the terms and condition of service of the university, Babatope would have to be retired’. So they retired me. When I now put up my paper to mark my services so that they could pay me my benefits, of course the military regime at that time ensured that nobody gave me consideration for retirement benefits. So, up till now I have no retirement benefit, nobody has paid me retired benefits anywhere despite the fact I was qualified. But as far as I am concerned, I have taken it as price for political leadership.

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him for his letter. He has never said he is out of the PDP. If Obasanjo said I am out of the PDP, of course, then the field would become very clear for us to go into open political contention. That is the type of life that appeals to politicians. If he leaves the PDP, we will contend with him. Given President Obasanjo romance with APC, don’t you see him working against PDP interest in 2015?

There was a publication in the papers when Obasanjo said President Jonathan gave a promise that he would spend only one term. Obasanjo did not expand on that because as a lawyer and political activist, I know that those things which former President Obasanjo is talking about do not conform with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I don’t believe in the one-term agreement at all. Even if he has said it since it does not conform to the provisions of the Nigerian constitution, one should close ones eyes to it and dismiss such thing. I can tell you conveniently today that by the grace of God and with the consent of the Nigerian people, PDP will present President Jonathan for election in 2015. How do you see tussle over PDP leadership in South-West?

I have known Bode George for about 47 years now. Bode George is somebody who in fact carries tremendous political intellectual ability to lead the people. I have known Bode since we were in university, so Bode is a major galvanising force for the PDP in the South-West. And Bode is doing

giving a unanimous decision to free Bode from something which was put on his head by those chaps of APC. They wanted Bode George to be liquidated politically, but Supreme Court ruled on the basis of facts of law and got Bode out of the hook of the APC boys. To us, it is a major victory. Those who knew that they could use the case to hang Bode George were the boys of the APC. I don’t want to go beyond that because as I am talking to you, somebody is already writing a book on the event and the book will soon be out. Tinubu is a major factor in Nigerian politics and you cannot close your eyes to Bola. Bola knows politics and that is why some of us who are opposed to him will make sure that we rally round the PDP to make sure that we checkmate Bola in 2015. Apart from your bitter experience from Obasanjo and Buhari regimes, you also suffered a major blow during the Gen. Yakubu Gowon administration.

It is true that I was detained by Yakubu Gowon, but on the balance sheet of history, Gowon has not offended me at all. I am full of praise for Yakubu Gowon; he acted like a true son of a priest. His father was a priest just like my father was a priest. Gowon put me in jail when my group, the Lagoon Echo Speakers Society of University of Lagos, was opposed to him and we contributed a lot to make sure that Nigerian people rejected him. But when you put the totality of his life in Nigerian history and you watch the way he has carried himself, honestly you cannot but full of praise for him.

I wrote a book about Abacha regime and the June 12 struggles and the struggle for democracy. It was our leaders who met in the house of late Pa Alfred Rewane in Ikeja that nominated us to go and serve in that government. I have put everything in black and white in my book, “The Abacha Regime and the June 12 Crisis.” It was when they decided to say pull out of that government that I refused because those are the issues that I analysed also in that book. How can I pull out of that government after we were all party to supporting that government when they came? Why did you refuse to withdraw from that government?

If I had withdrawn from that government, I will not be talking with you now as Babatope. Why did you think so?

My bones would have cracked up in the grave. I won’t say more than that. So you refused to leave the government because you were afraid of possible attack from Abacha?

It is not a question of being afraid; it is a question of facing political realities. What did they do to me? They didn’t do anything to me. Abacha didn’t do anything to me. My friend Gen. Oladipo Diya, who was his deputy didn’t do anything to me. We were in government and somebody suddenly said ‘pull out’. And then you analyse why they said you should pull out. They do not have any semblance of political realism. So, if I had done so, of course the whole world would have said this fellow just turned against a regime of which he was a part. So, if anything happened to me they would have been justified to get rid of me in whatever way they wanted. So you believe Abacha would have killed you?

I didn’t say that. You can say that everything that happened during Abacha’s regime was done by him. But I am telling you that if I had accepted to quit the government, I would not be talking to you today.


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CPC has new exco in Oyo –Shittu Alhaji Abdulraheem Adebayo Shittu, a two-time Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice in Oyo State and the gubernatorial candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) in 2011, told SOLA ADEYEMO that Ajimobi runs an elitist government and should be voted out in next election. How comfortable are you in the defunt All Progressives Congress (APC) as a former governorship candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC)?

I will assure you that my political stature in APC is growing by the day. This is because members across board, not just within CPC, but generally in APC know that I came into APC with a lot of integrity. I came into APC with a lot of refreshing ideas, and that I represent a refreshing alternative to whatever happens in APC or the other parties that formed APC. I will say I am fairly comfortable, although there are divergent challenges having regard to the fact that three parties came together to become one. There are challenges no doubt: the challenge of people finding it difficult to accept somebody who wants to change the old order to a more refreshing one. But I am happy that I have the intellectual, political, moral and physical capacity to confront these challenges. So, I am not intimidated by whatever is perceived an uphill task. I want to assure you that things will turn out well even within APC. You and your running mate in CPC, Mrs. Esther Adedokunare, are no longer in the same camp. What caused the strained relationship?

If anything has strained our relationship, it is greed. Yes. It is simple as that. The woman felt that she had starved enough; perhaps because she had been out of job for quite a long time before I picked her. And she expected that there must be material consideration to keep her as a former running mate. She saw an opportunity in the current government wanting to beef up its ranks and she jumped at the opportunity. I should believe that she would perceive that she is more comfortable materially now than she was before. But I don’t lose any sleep about that. I know that when the chips are down the best and closest to God shall survive and triumph. Are you still interested in the governorship race?

Sure. That has been my abiding ambition to bring about change; a refreshing change generally. Over the last several decades, you will agree with me that governance in Oyo State had been dominated by the elite. I mean people who are elite in government and who run elitist government. Government, which is insensitive to the plight of

the poor, the unemployed, the wretched, the jobless. I have been in Ibadan, Oyo State for the past 35 years of my political journey and consistently, I have lived in the midst of the people. I have interacted very close with the people, and I know where the shoe pinches. That is why I have crafted my seven-point cardinal programme which will be the hallmark of my administration around the people. You organised a parallel executive for the defunct CPC recently. What informed it?

We had an exco for the defunct CPC, even after the emergence of APC. Our organisation had an unwavering ambition in my candidacy as governorship candidate of the party. Along the line, the erstwhile chairman of the CPC jumped the ship because of greed and because of some unwholesome practices. He decided to surreptitiously seek commissionership post in the current government. And we welcomed it when he was appointed. But in the process of appointing another chairman, this man kicked and said that we should allow him to combine the chairmanship of the party with the commissionership, and we said no. The day we were to elect another chairman, some people brought thugs to disrupt the whole thing. At the end of the day, we had to relocate on the advice of the officers of the party. So, we removed him and passed a vote of no confidence in him. And then we elected a new state Chairman of the CPC family in person of Mr. Suleiman Oyaremi. That was why we elected a new substantive exco which is committed to my gubernatorial ambition. You said you are still interested in unseating Governor Abiola Ajimobi. With the power of incumbency, how do you think this can be possible?

You see, a lot of people get carried away by this so-called power of incumbency. I am not afraid; I’m not scared or intimidated by that because of the fact that I am bringing into the race my integrity. And I know that by the grace of God, mine will not be the first time that somebody from outside power will be defeating an incumbent. Remember the current governor defeated an incumbent in the last general election. It will not be a new thing. I want to keep my powder dry, but I assure you that I am not intimidated. I know that an incumbent necessarily has certain advantages, particularly in relation to finance. But I need to let you know

Shittu

What the ordinary people of the state including those in Ibadan want is what can lift them off the poverty level that in an election like we are looking at, it is not money that is the sole determinant. Many more things will come into play, and I believe that by the grace of God, it will be my turn to be the standard bearer of APC in the next election. There is this recurring decimal in Oyo State that Ibadan indigenes decide who becomes the governor. As someone from Oke-Ogun, what magic wand do you think you have to break the jinx?

Even though in 2011, I canvassed that position, a lot of people did not believe, but I believe now that you will agree with me that people have now accepted that position. What is common among the people is poverty. Poverty has now become a potentially twin-servant of the electorate. That is what is common to 90 per cent of the citizens now. What the ordinary people of the state including those in Ibadan want is what can lift them off the poverty level. I want to assure you that up till this moment, most of my supporters are Ibadan indigenes. Of course, the explanation for this is that I have lived in Ibadan for 35 years. I have related with Ibadan and I married from Ibadan. In fact, two of my wives are from Ibadan. And I am the person who is closest to them. They know me inside out. They know that I am passionate about what will lift

them from their state of perpetual poverty. I believe that at the appropriate time, Ibadan should lead the vanguard for my emergence as a governor of Oyo state. Some members of the APC are leaving for other parties. How do you see the development?

I think you should look at it from the perspective that there is no yardstick you will use to say that I am the cause of their leaving. If I am not the cause, and if I am lucky to have the gubernatorial ticket of the APC, I can assure you that a lot of such people would come back. If I have the ticket, the best thing that will happen is for the APC to have me as its gubernatorial candidate. Is having that ticket is the major consideration?

Well, you see, there is nothing that is beyond God’s power. We would make effort and pray over it, and we have been praying. I want to assure you that a lot of people who don’t even know me but have heard of me, have known me by reputation. I have been praying for a transformation. And God has always done it in the past. Remember the story of David and Goliath; remember the case of Moses and Solomon; remember the case of Prophet Yusuff and his formidable brothers and so on. I mean, history is replete with such examples. Remember the case of Adebayo Alao-Akala, an incumbent, who was defeated by Ajimobi. So, it would not be a new thing, and I can assure you that I am taking things in my stride. I am not intimidated. I know that I will put in every effort that I can: intellectually, politically, socially and otherwise. And I will leave the rest to God.


FACEOFF | POLITICS

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 march 2014

49

There is no CPC again – Adedokun Mrs. Esther Adedokun, the Special Adviser on Political Matters to Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who was the governorship running mate of the Congress for Progressives Congress (CPC) in Oyo State in 2011, in this interview with SOLA ADEYEMO argues that Ajimobi deserves a second term. Your former party, the Congress for Progressives Congress (CPC) recently inaugurated Oyo State executive. How do you see the development?

No, no. Even when we were in CPC in 2011, our chairman died in a road accident when we were travelling to Abuja on January 4, 2011. Based on this, the national secretariat gave us an interim chairman who was from Ogun State, he was supported by the secretary, Alhaji Kamil Adepoju, who is from Ibadan here. Then we had seven-man exco. Those were the people that we used till the Election Day. And they were still the formidable executive of the party till the merger. But what do you have to say of a new exco put in place recently by your boss and gubernatorial candidate then, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu?

That cannot be exco of CPC. There is no CPC again. The exco that was launched, I think was for Shittu Campaign Organisation. I don’t think it was for the party because the former chairman, Alhaji Oladimeji Laoye, was picked to be the leader, and was not picked at a congress. It was because that man is no longer there that Shittu picked another person as chairman. You were his deputy in the governorship race in 2011. What is your relationship with him now?

I stepped aside because after the merger Governor Ajimobi automatically becomes the leader of the party. I stepped aside because of my loyalty to the party. Once you are loyal to the leader, you are loyal to the party; and once you are loyal to the party, you are loyal to the leader. I saw Governor Abiola Ajimobi as the leader of the party and so I had to leave the group of Shittu. I came to him (Ajimobi) and I saw that everything he was doing was the same with our manifesto then. I felt there was no need to have Shittu as my leader and at the same time have the governor as my leader. I don’t believe in hanky- panky. Now we are in APC and Senator Ajimobi is the leader, so I have to be loyal to him and that was why I joined his train.

So, it was wrong for him to say that I joined Senator Ajimobi’s train because of greed. If it were because of greed, I would have shown that during the election. Then, we were the bride: PDP was looking for us, just as ACN and Accord were looking for us. I was the one Shittu was sending to all the meetings with those parties. I had meeting with Ajimobi; I had meeting with Rashidi Ladoja, as well as with Adebayo Alao-Akala. If I could come out of those meetings without demanding money from those people, then that allegation was very wrong. I did not ask so as to maintain my integrity. I had the opportunity to make myself a millionaire, but I did not. I was so loyal to him, because I knew the moment I asked for any money or I took money, my integrity would be impinged fall. And I would have failed him one way or the other. The opposition party would then have penetrated us and split us. So, I never looked at the angle of money even when I was without any dime. I was so loyal to him. Why did you part ways with him?

But the reason I had to leave is this: when we became APC, I noticed that the former chairman, Alhaji Abideen Oladimeji, was taking some steps then that were wrong. One of such was that they were bringing people in as leaders not as members. Many people came to our party and they made them leaders. I told them that it was wrong. But they did not see what I was seeing then. Another time, they had a meeting and told us that our group was now with Senator Lanlehin. And I said this was wrong because Lalehin was a leader in his own party while Shittu was also a leader in our party. I asked Shittu whether he wanted to make Lanlehin his deputy. But they could not answer that question and some other relevant questions I asked them. Oladimeji then saw that as an opportunity to go drive me wage between me and Shittu. They saw me as an enemy among them that did not want Shittu to fulfil his ambition. I told them that since Ajimobi is the leader of the party, we should go and see him and discuss. Instead of seeing reason with me, they accused me of anti-party activities. It was at that meeting that Shittu shouted me down, and it was the day I stopped going to their meetings.

Ajimobi’s regime is wiping the tears of the suffering masses in this state.

Are you still with the governor?

I am still with him, and I believe Shittu has also joined the train. Has he joined the train?

Yes. But he said he would still contest the governorship election in 2014.

I can tell you I want to run for governorship. Everybody is free to run for whatever they want to run for. But Governor Ajimobi remains the leader in Oyo State. I believe that Shittu knows better that the governor is the party leader in the state. When I asked him why you joined the train of Ajimobi, he said you did so out of greed is that correct?

That was very wrong of him. As I am sitting down here, I have my business. I was formerly in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and my salary in PDP then was N120, 000. I left PDP to join CPC in order to contest. When I was in CPC, there was nothing for me there, but I saw it as an avenue to fulfil my political career; to elevate my political knowledge. Up till when I left the CPC, they did not give me any money. I had to struggle to get money to do what I am doing. At present, I am running a restaurant.

Adedokun

Governor Ajimobi appreciated my efforts and he rewarded me. How will you rate Governor Ajimobi’s performance so far?

I must tell you, we have never seen a governor like this in Oyo. I once met him in Abuja and I told him that personally I didn’t like him but I like all he has been doing. I said it was just as if we gave our CPC manifesto to him. He has performed excellently in all areas. Ajimobi’s regime is wiping the tears of the suffering masses in this state. I am using this opportunity to appeal to others to support Ajimobi. If we don’t allow him to go for second term, the future of this state is bleak. There will be no continuity and all the laudable projects he has been executing would just be abandoned. Is that not a madness syndrome? From the series of opposition my country have against the governor from the APC, Accord, Labour and PDP, do you think he can get the need for the second term?

What did the people angling to go back to the Government House forget there? Ladoja, Akala and the rest, what did they not do then that they want to go back there to do? Any son or daughter of Ibadan that says Ajimobi should not go for second term should be asked if he or she is a bastard. Do they want to say that what is good is no longer good? They were alleging that Ajimobi prevented women from selling on the streets. Yes! But since they left, have you heard of any accident whereby street traders were killed by hit-and-run drivers? Do they want women to still be on the road?


50 POLITICS

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 MARCH 2014

Even the President has the right to dream, by Lagos Asembly’s majority Leader Dominik Umosen

I

f you ask the Majority Leader in the Lagos State House of Assembly if the presidential directive to the new national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Mua’zu that the party should retake the South-West from the All Progressive Party (APC) is realisable, he would tell you that the president has every constitutional right to dream and fantasize. According to him, the last nationwide registration of members by the APC has shown that the party is warming up to take over the federal government from the PDP. “Everybody has the right to dream. And I will not blame the president for dreaming that his party will recapture the South-West. But the people are not stupid. The people are not going to vote for a party that is synonymous with nonperformance. From Ekiti to Osun down to Oyo and Lagos, the message is clear. Even Ibadan that no one thought could be clean has been brought back to live. Look at the flyover across the Lagos-Benin Road that Governor Amosun constructed; the federal government had that road for many years but no one thought that it was necessary. How can people abandon all these for the PDP? “Now, let us come down to Lagos where wonders are really happening. Will people choose decadence to action that they can actually see? So it must be some form of day-dreaming for anyone to think the PDP could return to the South-West. As for the centre and the study conducted by the APC, I implore you to do your own independent study and see what you would come up with. From1999 to date, what has Nigeria got to show for it? Is it decrepit federal universities? Is it federal hospitals that have become worse than mere consulting clinics? “There is nothing good in whatever the Federal Government is in charge of There was a time when trains moved from Oshogbo to Kafanchan down to Port Harcourt. These things are no longer working. So on what basis is the PDP going to retake the South-West?” “They spent billions trying to improve our power infrastructure but, till date, we still don’t have electricity for months. Is that what people are going to vote for? Do you need a study to know that this is a deficit? I do not think so. I think an alternative has come in the APC. Nigerians are embracing the party in their thousands. The party’s last registration exercise showed that several constituencies have registered for the party. The PDP should start rounding-up and prepare to hand over to an APC government at the centre,” he told New Telegraph at the Lagos State House of Assembly complex. Regarding the National Conference which begins this month, Adeyeye said he does not believe in it. “I do not know what the Yoruba agenda at the conference would be. But maybe at a better time and a properly-constituted National Conference,

Adeyeye

we will have an agenda that we will call a Yoruba agenda. But for this conference which I do not believe in, all I can say is that I wish the president and all those that will participate in it a very happy conference,” he said, re-echoing the views of the National Leader of the APC and former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Adeyeye disagreed that there is any moral burden on the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly who is embroiled in an alleged case of fraud. “One must make it emphatically clear that the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly is not involved in any fraud whatsoever because there are no charges against the speaker in this regard. Rather, what we have in court is an alleged case of money-laundering. And when you say money-laundering, at that time when they (he did not say who), brought out the case, it was a case ofsaying the Speaker collected more than N500,000 from the House without passing through a financial institution. That is the case we have in court”, Adeyeye said. “There is nothing more than that. T hat we collected more than N500, 000 from the House of Assembly without passing through a financial institution. Now, I ask you: What is a financial institution? How did the money get to the Lagos State House of Assembly? It was the bank that brought the money. So really, there is no case. But of course, those who took the case to court have a right to do so in a democracy. And we have the right to defend ourselves. Given

I do not believe that the federal government is doing enough to solve the problem in the North. We are toying with fire. We must be careful in handling the situation that the matter is subjudice, I do not want to discuss the issue any further. Let us wait for the pronouncement of the court on the matter,” the Majority Leader explained. As a medical doctor in politics, Adeyeye said he does not feel like a fish out of water. “I feel very fullfilled. I graduated as a medical doctor in 1991 and practiced very actively as a specialist anaesthetist till 2007 when I became a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly. That means that I practiced medicine actively for 17 or 18 years of my life. Having done that, I decided to serve my community in some other area. I think I have done well and I am happy and fullfilled. “I am happy that I went as far as I could as a specialist anaesthetist. My wealth of experience as a medical doctor has often been useful to the House on several occasions. Whatever profession one belongs to, there is room for you in government. You do not need to have studied law to be a lawmaker. You only need to be an active member

of your community to know where the shoe pinches to formulate policies for the problem to be solved.” He discountenanced the rumour that it is a policy of the Lagos State Government not to employ any applicant over 30 years of age. According to him, “Nigerians must gradually reconcile with the reality that they must look towards generating employment, than seeking employment. The Lagos State Government, including the local governments, maybe has about 100,000 people on its payroll. With about a population of 22 million, who employs the over 21 million others? It certainly cannot be the government. “As it is today, the Lagos State Government is paying about N6.8 billion as remuneration for workers in the state. This amounts to about 25 per cent of the entire revenue of the state. It means that 25 per cent of our revenue goes to take care of about one per cent or less of the people. By the time you employ 200,000 people, you are already using more than half of the revenue available to you.” He said there are a lot of states in the federation that can not pay their workers unless they get allocation from the federal government. “But thank God for Lagos State which has been running the business of government without going cap in hand to Abuja. The most important thing is what the government of Lagos is doing which is to create an enabling environment for private people to create employment,” he further said, adding that government alone cannot employ everybody because even in communist states, people still create employment opportunities. The over 900 billion public debt profile of the Lagos State government also did not create undue panic for the Majority Leader in the LSHA. According to him, what matters most is not debts but what the borrowings are meant to achieve. On the issue of insecurity in the country’s north-east, Adeyeye echoed the APC position that the federal government is not doing enough to contain the situation. “Well, it is unfortunate that we are where we are now. It is unfortunate that we are not getting the right feel of government as Nigerians would have expected. I do not believe that the federal government is doing enough to solve the problem in the North. We are toying with fire. We must be careful in handling the situation. “I expect that the federal government will do more than it is doing to contain the situation in the North. Passing the buck and giving excuses why they are unable to contain the situation is becoming boring. The excuse that this is not a conventional war and as such gathering intelligence is difficult, has become nauseating. For crying out loud, what is difficult in policing two or three states? If it requires moving the entire Nigerian troops there, then let us do it,” Adeyeye said.


POLITICS

Talking Point

51

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY

15 MARCH 2014

National Centenary Conference: Sequencing agenda priorities PROPOSED SEQUENCING OF PRIORITISED CONFERENCE AGENDA

By Nathaniel Abara.

A. Phase One - Social

T

he alarm bells are ringing. Unless the national conference organizers and leadership intervene immediately, we may not after all have a successful conference and a new people’s constitution. Going by the agenda items being so vigorously canvassed by various groups, there are fears that sectional interests may hijack the conference. Furthermore, an examination of the recommended agenda items in the Report of Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue seems to suggest that invisible hands may be at work to either derail the process or predetermine its outcome. So vigilance is the watchword. According to Professor Steve Dutch, “Eternal vigilance is not the price of liberty. It’s the price of everything.” Nigerians must therefore remain vigilant and focused. The 1999 political constitution was designed primarily for politics. It was therefore not surprising that the first conference convened in 2005 to review it was called the National Political Reforms Conference (emphasis ours.) But, we need to work towards a broader forward looking dialogue and a new centenary constitution that embed profound social, economic and governance changes, in addition to political reforms – especially fundamental changes in the national power sharing configuration across the social, economic, governance and political domains. In this nation building enterprise, social issues and challenges should command the highest priority in the conference deliberations. However, for now political considerations and distractions charge the atmosphere. This means that many delegates, without being fully aware, may be heading to the conference to be engulfed in partisan politics. To avoid this, we examined the thirty eight agenda items recommended in the Report of Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue. Our findings reveal that seven of the first ten items on the agenda have to do with politics and governance. Only the fifth and last two items deal with the people. Also, 75% of the last twenty items are social issues. In other words, people issues are largely at the bottom of the agenda. We therefore propose that the organizers and leaders of the conference regroup the recommended 38 agenda items in four thematic areas and phase the proceedings in the following order of priority: (1) Social, (2) Economic, (3) Governance and (4) Political as depicted in Figure 1 below. This will enable the conference start with the much less controversial and the much larger number of social issues which affect the whole 170m of our people, progress to the economic aspects touching on the 90m who are economically active, and then on to the more controversial subject matter of governance which engage about 3m in the state sector, and finally to the most controversial political issues of particular interest to an estimated 2m partisans. This order ensures that, within the context of the limited time available for the dialogue, the concerns of the larger segments of the society are dealt with first and that the conference atmosphere is not overheated right from the onset. Accordingly, we propose the allocation of conference resources in order of priority as shown in Table 1 below. For example, of the three months proposed for the confab, we recommend that the conference devotes five weeks to social issues and three to the economic agenda, and one week each

(Purpose: A new social order of citizens and civil society empowerment, mobilization, engagement, participation and transformation) 1. Restoring the National Ethics, Morals and Core Values, S 2. Religion, Secularism and the Secularity of the Nigerian State, S 3. Good Governance; G, S e. Citizenship/indigenes — Settlers dichotomy; S, G f. Justiciability of the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy Judicature: G: a. Fundamental human rights; 4. Education: S a. Investment in education; b. Decentralisation and National Education policy; c. Return of Missionary and Private schools to original owners; Kutigi

d. Institutinalizing Tsangaya/Almajiri education system

to governance and political issues. We also propose that 219 delegates be assigned to social issues, 109 to economy, 82 to governance and 82 to politics. In this way, more time and delegates are deployed to address issues that will benefit the largest number of Nigerians. TABLE 1 CONFERENCE PRIORITIES AND DEPLOYMENT OF RESOURCES Priorities

Population Resource Deployment

5. Health: S a. Health Policy b. Investment in Health c. Healthcare Delivery 6. Science, Technology and Development: S, E a. Science and Technology Education;

Agenda TimE

Human

(m)

(%)

(Weeks)

(Delegates)

Social

170

100

5

19

Economic

90

53

3

109

Governance

3

2

1

82

Political

2

1

1

82

Set Up and Wrap Up

3

Totals

e. Nomadic Education.

13(weeks/3 months) 492

What is uppermost here is not in the exact numbers, but the fact that we deploy human resources, time and effort in accordance with the people’s and national priorities. We are also well aware that the various issues in the above priority areas are indeed interwoven. In other words, deliberations on politics, governance and the economy should not be handled as ends or in isolation, but should focus on and serve the interests of the citizens and the nation. That is the talk we should walk. Once we sort out the people and economic issues well, the governance and politics will more easily fall into place. Based on the foregoing therefore, the 38 recommended agenda items in the Report of Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue are regrouped and sequenced below to facilitate the dialogue. In addition, may we suggest a slight change on the confab nomenclature? With a unique event strategically holding at the mark of the centenary of our nation not long after 50 years of independence, at the dawn of the 21st Century and the 3rd Millennium, the dialogue needs to bear a special name -The National Centenary Conference. For this generation and many to come, no other national dialogue will ever be like it.

b. Technological Adaptations and the National Economy; c .Research and Development; d. Promotion and Improvement of indigenous Technological innovations; 7. Democratization: S, P a. Deepening democracy; b. De-militarization of national psyche, c. Democratic culture and orientation; d. Mechanisms for a more inclusive participatory democracy. S, G 8. Languages and Language Policy; S 9. Gender issues; S 10. Youth Unemployment and Development issue; S, E 11. Physically Challenged Persons and National Development; S, E 12. Investment in Sports, S 13. National Youth Service Corps (NYSC); S 14. Pension Matters and Rights of Senior Citizens; S 15. Federal Character, S 16. Boundary adjustment; S 17. Population and Credible National Census; S 18. The Environment, S Abara, adviser on public interests and former investment banker can be reached via etdcls@gmail.com


52 POLITICS

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 MARCH 2014

There have been sustained attacks by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State. Why do you think the crisis has proved intractable?

It has been very pathetic and disturbing for a nation like Nigeria not to contain a small insurgency like Boko Haram. It is very disappointing and my people are very disappointed. I don’t know the reason behind the lacklustre attitude of the military, but we are really concerned and some people are even sceptical about the attitude of Nigerian security towards this particular issue. What has been the toll of the crisis in Borno?

The casualty figure is over a thousand within the last one month because Bama alone is about a hundred, Kauri is about 200. There is also Gulumba area, which has never been reported in the media because that place has not been accessed. I’m talking about since Boko Haram attacked that area, and they burnt up to 20 villages in the area because there was no security. Nobody was able to go and see what has happened at the area. But those people who ran away from the area and came to Bama and Maiduguri have reported to us that at least 300 people were killed and then almost 20 villages were razed. What do you think are responsible for these incessant attacks?

Since the imposition of the state of emergency, the people in Borno, particularly the youth, volunteered and were able to drive Boko Haram members into the bush, and while they were in the bush the military ought to have gone there to wipe them out, but unfortunately there has never been a time when the military were able to chase the Boko Haram into the bush. We don’t know why it so. The insurgents had an ample time to regroup and at the same time recruit from the surrounding villages and they are forcibly taking people and training them and after sometime this forceful recruitment will become a voluntary acceptance because they would give villagers N50,000 or N100,000 which they will never get in their life time. Therefore, this unwilling recruit will become a willing recruit after some time. For this reason their number has tripled, it has just multiplied to whatever level one cannot understand because sometimes they may even attack a village with about four hundred, five hundred people and then they are spread all over. They may attack two different locations at the same time which means their number has really grown to a level that has overwhelmed the Nigerian army. But why have the Northern elders not spoken to their youths to sheathe the sword?

It is only now the governors from the North are urging them that enough is enough. We have been talking to the boys since but, unfortunately, there has been double standard on the government’s part. They will say they want to go into a negotiation, at the same time they will be attacking the boys. If there is a negotiation taking place, there is bound to be cease fire; but it has never been so. They are talking about negotiation just for the sake of satisfying the public, but they don’t have the intention to go into negotiation and this has infuriated the boys in such a way that they don’t have

Government talks about negotiation with Boko Haram to satisfy the public Senator Ahmad Zannah Khalifa represents Borno Central Senatorial District and is the vice chairman, Senate Committee on Gas. In this interview with CHUKWU DAVID in Abuja, he laments the inability of the military forces to quell the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria’s North-East. Zannah further reiterated the resolve of northern elders to petition the ICC in protest against former chief of army staff, Major Gen. Ihejirika’s handling of the Boko Haram crisis confidence that the government will negotiate with them and give them freedom. Again, whenever their members are caught within the city or wherever, they will be given to the security agencies, and such person would be shot. They believe that whether they go on fighting or go back home, they would be killed, so it is better for them to die while fighting. I think this is the notion they have and eventually they found out that the military are incapable or unwilling to eliminate them. That unwillingness emboldened them to come and attack even military barracks. Are you in essence saying the dialogue committee set up to negotiate with the Boko Haram has not achieved anything?

It has failed woefully, because it has achieved nothing and it was not intended to achieve anything. It was just to satisfy a certain section of the country while my own people are being killed. Before the dialogue committee went to Maiduguri, all the detainees that were in detention of government were killed and that was immediately after the state of emergency. The state of emergency was imposed because they said about 20 local governments were in the hands of Boko

It was just to satisfy a certain section of the country while my own people are being killed. Before the dialogue committee went to Maiduguri, all the detainees that were in detention of government were killed and that was immediately after the state of emergency Haram, but as of today, the 20 villages are still in the hands of Boko Haram. You could see that it is in the hands of Boko Haram, although they have not hoisted their flags. Schools are shut, there is no judiciary, there is no local government administration, there are no open markets in most of the cities. And you think it is in the hands of government? It is not?

Do you not think that the military’s performance may have been tempered by the condemnation it got when it attacked the sect’s members in Baga?

Before that time, the military were having a free day killing innocent people within the cities. With regard to Baga, my senator colleague told me he counted 228 fresh graves at that time. I think you are aware that all these people were killed by the military; not by the insurgents. The insurgents killed one army officer who sold alcohol in the city, burnt the house and went away. The military just descended on the people. We have lost almost a hundred thousand people. You have claimed that your life is under threat, what kind of threat are you facing?

My house was raided three months ago. For what reason? They said I was holding a Boko Haram officer or commander. Unfortunately, that man was not found in my residence; he was found in somebody else’s residence. But in spite of that, the military came out to say that he was found in my house, which was a blatant lie. There have been other instances which I cannot say but


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NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 MARCH 2014

I know that certain things have taken place and I was very wary. I was warned by one top security personnel that I should be wary. I know I was under the watch of certain security agencies.

neered by Sheriff. After these officers were deployed out of Maiduguri, that was when this security situation became worse and it has given the Boko Haram a breathing space to get more people into their fold.

Is that why you have been absent from your constituency for some time?

We learnt that these Boko Haram insurgents have external connections, some of them are based in Cameroun and that some are in fact Camerounians; is there any possibility that their extradition may be sought?

Exactly, because I knew that my life was under threat. I stayed away until now that things are getting out of hand, I have to go to the higher authority to give me security coverage so that I will go and come back safely. That is what I did. My constituency understand what I am going through. I told them that it was not necessary that I should be there and that I am taking all the necessary precaution in order to safeguard their lives. My physical presence is not all that important. How would you react to the alleged involvement of your state’s fomer governor, Ali Modu Sheriff in the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East?

I really don’t know why, but the first allegation we made was that when he was vying for governor in 2003, he went into alliance with the Boko Haram and they supported him. He promised that he was going to implement sharia, and when he could not implement sharia they fell apart. So, after falling apart, he came to say in 2005 or 2006 that they were threat to his administration or whatever. So, he formed a certain security setup called Operation Flush, and that was the genesis of the whole misunderstanding and the whole insecurity in the state. And of recent, when the state of emergency was imposed and the vigilante, or what you can call the civilian JTF, were able to fish out the Boko Haram within them and sent them into the bush, those that they could apprehend, they caught and handed them over to the security agencies. When the security situation had calmed within the state capital, Sheriff wanted to go into Maiduguri in order to start his campaign but the security, the civilian JTF now said: ‘no, you have created insecurity in the state, your presence is not needed in the state since you have an involvement in the whole affair; we don’t want you to be in Maiduguri’. So, he felt that these people were a threat to his ambition, and made his way to transfer those officers out of Maiduguri. I came and cried, I said: ‘these people are the pillars of peace in Borno, why are you transferring them out, please leave them’. The Chief of Defence Staff then was able to bring them back to Maiduguri. But after two or three weeks, the then Chief of Army Staff sent a signal that they must report to where they were posted. We knew all these things w e r e being engi-

They are not Camerounians; there are very few Camerounians in Boko Haram, if there is any. Most of them are Nigerians. They went into Cameroun and they were given free access and they were being allowed by the government of Cameroun to stay in that country and this was as a result of an agreement between the Camerounian government, the Chadian government, the Nigerien government and the French government when five French personnel were kidnapped by Boko Haram. So, they were given free and fair access and assured that they would not be arrested. So, they have freedom in Cameroun. Therefore, they can come and attack from Cameroun and go back to Cameroun after attack. But of recent, they have now taken action to send them away. So, this is the level of involvement of Cameroon. I cried over this almost a year ago to the government, asking why the government was not contacting the authorities in Cameroun, Chad and France. If they are not listening why can’t Nigeria lodge a complaint at the United Nations? Some Northern elders led by Professor Ango Abdullahi has called for the prosecution of the former army chief, Gen. Ihejirika at The Hague; what is your position on this? Also, are you still in PDP?

I am in PDP, I am a PDP Senator and I am still in PDP, I haven’t defected. On the allegation that Ihejirika will be taken to The Hague, we are still gathering our evidence. Although we have enough, we are still looking for more. I want the government to be serious. If the president is being misled by certain people in the past, now let him be awake, let him be serious on the matter because this involves human lives; you cannot play politics with human life.

EDGAR’s WORLD JOSEPH EDGAR josephsamsponedgar@gmail.com

Where is my invite to the National Conference?

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es, where is my invite? I’ve never been so angry. Immediately the idea for the National Conference came out, I indicated my interest to attend this talk shop that has been designed to rehabilitate tired politicians and technocrats while pretending to discuss issues of national interest. I immediately went to my constituency in Shomolu to submit my name. We are a group of area boys who meet every Saturday morning to play football under the fruit tree and discuss politics. Some of the best arguments can be found here. The chairman who has not been too happy with me was only too happy to make my life miserable. I had over the past one month decamped from PDP to ACP, decamped back again to PDP and finally I’m now in APGA, simply because I was owing Uche, the grocery shop boy who was a die-hard APGA supporter. This inconsistency did not sit well with the chairman, since I was distorting the power configuration within the group. Apparently, each time I move camp, all the Calabar people followed me and the boys who sell “pure water” did the same. He stared at me and wanted to know why I wanted to go to the National Conference, I told him that men who have never won an election, who have never cheated on their wives and who have never met Patience Jonathan should also have a say. He looked at me and, with a whiff of smoke from his nostrils, said “yes”. He felt that with my bowlegs and strong command of the pidgin English, I would represent not only our group interest but that of the entire Shomolu well. So I went back home very happy. My joy was short-lived when news suddenly filtered to me that one ijebu boy was chosen over me. I was incensed, apparently, he had a very beautiful sister who

Tinubu assured me that he will speak with Jonathan, his bosom friend. I relaxed and went shopping for the okrika I would wear. My confidence increased, when I met Jonathan at the CMS bus stop on his way to the Eko Hotel

was light-skinned and short and who sold oranges at the park. He had sent her to the chairman to request his attendance and that was how my mandate like Abiola’s mandate was scuttled. Well I didn’t give up and took my case to Tinubu. Tinubu assured me that he will speak with Jonathan, his bosom friend. I relaxed and went shopping for the okrika I would wear. My confidence increased, when I met Jonathan at the CMS bus stop on his way to the Eko Hotel. He stopped his motorcade and further assured me that my presence and contributions would go a long way to not only solve his 2015 presidential wahala and, more importantly, he needed me because he knows that I have the permanent solution to that Amaechi irritant. When the list now came out I did not see my name o. I checked the entry for Shomolu, no Edgar; I checked Akwa Ibom, no Edgar; I checked my house keeper’s home state - Delta, no luck; I checked PMAN and still no Edgar. I became incensed and called Tinubu who referred me to his daughter, Iya ‘loja. I am now looking for my APC card before I go meet her. How will we achieve greatness as a country, when sagacious people like me are left out and retired and hapless people are being called upon? People who don’t have Twitter accounts, people who have never heard of facebook, who are not in tune with current issues that affect world economy and world politics. All those people that are going for that conference, how many of them know Pistorious? How many of them know that O.J. Simpson is in Jail? So, how will they discuss international issues as it affects Nigeria? That conference needs me o. Shomolu people are restless, the ijebu boy and his beautiful sister are in hiding as I move to reclaim my mandate - a mandate freely given to me by the people of Shomolu, but stolen by the beautiful skin and sexy eyes of the ijebu water vendor. As we write, negotiations have commenced with the usurpers and the only condition I have given is for them to send the Ijebu girl over for just two weeks. Once this condition has been met, I will forget the mandate. Failure to do this, ASUU and NUPENG have assured me of their total support. Dem kuku they look for small excuse to go strike .


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NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 MARCH 2014

Abuja: Houses everywhere, none to live in One of the problems facing civil servants in Abuja is lack of accommodation. SIMEON OGOEGBULEM in this report finds out that houses are available but beyond the reach of the masses.

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or a first time visitor to city centre of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja is a city to behold. With wellpaved roads, functional street and traffic lights and perhaps water gushing from the taps, Abuja remains Nigeria’s nearest comparison to Europe. From the very high brow areas of Maitama, Asokoro, Wuse II, Jabi and the several “less glamorous” districts of Wuse, Garki as well as the fast developing new districts like Nbora, Guzape and Wuye, they all share one common indices-dream houses of people with taste and class. Add this to an array of housing estates that litter every part of the city, it becomes everybody’s ideal city to live, work and raise children. With the security challenges in different parts of the country and the attraction that Abuja provides in terms of social amenities, it ranks number one in the city of choice in Nigeria. However, houses located at Garki, Maitama, Asokoro, Wuse, Jabi and Utako District are practically beyond what the middle and low income earners can afford. This growing trend of high cost of accommodation has indeed pushed the staff of many government organisations to form cooperative societies in order to acquire landed properties through mass housing schemes. As a result of the high cost of accommodation, most of the people who are mainly civil servants live outside Abuja. Nasarawa State towns of Mararaba, New Nyanya, Masaka and others, host the largest percentage of people working in Abuja but living outside the FCT. For those willing to be close to Abuja, they find respite in the satellite towns of Kuje, Kubwa, Gwagwalada even up to Kwali and Abaji. Until 2003 when the FCT Administration (FCTA) under Mallam Nasir El-Rufai embarked on indiscriminate demolition of houses, most residents who could not afford the rent in the city centre took refuge from the elements in several villages mostly located in the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC). By the time the ill wind of the demolition has ceased, most resident woke up to the reality of the fact that an accommodation problem that they were grappling with has exacerbated. In the place where most of the villages stood, stylishly constructed housing estates have sprung up. To further compound the situation was the ill-advised and poorly executed government policy of monetisation. Under the monetisation policy, government sold out houses that were meant for civil servants in a very controversial manner. In line with monetisation policy, government jettisoned the idea of constructing new building to house public servants. While the bulldozers were pulling down houses,

An estate in Abuja

government set out to convince Nigerians that a new approach would be adopted in solving the peculiar Abuja accommodation challenges. One of the measures touted by government to solve that residents’ nightmare was the allocation of lands to estate developers for the development of mass housing schemes for the people. Government officials had shouted themselves hoarse by swearing on their mothers’ graves that housing in the federal capital would not only be in large supply but affordable. The accommodation situation in Abuja beats all known economic logic where prices are to some extent determined by supply. Thus when supply outweighs demand, a crash in prices becomes inevitable. However the reverse is the case in the federal capital as the cost of accommodation continues to compete with the sky despite the fact that more and more houses are being built on a daily basis. At the last count, there are over 500 housing estates in Abuja city centre excluding those situated in far flung suburbs like Gwagwalada, Bwari and Kuje. These estates range from straight-jacket one-to-two bedroom houses meant for low income earners to the luxury and super luxury apartments beautifully finished and targeted at the upper crust of the society. With this number of housing infrastructures, one would easily conclude that accommodation for residents would be there for the asking. However, the reality on the ground is that over 90 per cent of people who earn their living in Abuja centre do not live in the city. In addition to these sprawling estates, whose occupancy level is below 20 per cent also lies numerous buildings in several parts of the city that has not been occupied since their completion. The reason is not farfetched. Cost of accommodation in Abuja is very high and beyond the reach of any civil servant who depends on his salary alone to meet his needs. The question now is why is it that the construction industry in Abuja is still booming when house demand is almost at zero level? Experts in the building industry have tried

The accommodation situation in Abuja beats all known economic logic where prices are to some extent determined by supply. to proffer answers to the seeming anomaly. According to Mallam Alhassan Abdul, a retired civil servant residing in Abuja, the problem of having too many unoccupied houses in the capital city is as a result of misplacement of priorities on the part of government and the estate developers. Abdul pointed out that most of the time, government does not actually consider the fact that the majority of the residents of the capital are civil servants and artisans and as such should lay emphasis on building house that the masses could afford. Abdul, who resides in Gwagwalada, said, “How many residents can afford to buy a three bedroom bungalow at between N15 and N20 million?” He urged government to revisit the housing component of the monetisation policy in order to enable government to provide cheaper houses for the people. He was quick to submit that it is only government that has the financial muscle to provide cheap and quality accommodation to the people. For Phillips Uduak, the problem of accommodation in Abuja boiled down on greed on the part of government officials. Uduak believed accommodation challenges in Abuja and other cities in Nigeria would remain so as long as government broods over land and stop using land as an instrument of curing favour. According to him, countries that have strong economies all over the world do not toy with provision accommodation for its citizens. He expressed concerns that relevant authorities were either unaware of the situation or simply not doing enough to intervene through appropriate measures. He urged the FCTA and the area councils of the FCT to al-

locate lands to small estate developers and cooperative societies who were willing to build affordable houses. Uduak said, “There is nothing ‘low’ in the houses meant for low income earners in the city,” adding “most houses in the low-density areas of Abuja were not occupied because most residents could not afford them.” However, an estate developer who does not want his name in print attributed the high number of unoccupied houses in the federal capital as direct consequences of strict enforcement of money laundering regulations. The developer said as a result of the strict enforcement of money laundering regulations both in Nigeria and Europe, slush funds find it increasingly difficult to leave the shores of Nigeria or even enter the banking system. According to him, most of these funds are now diverted into construction of estates not necessarily to take advantage of the housing needs of the city but as a way of laundering the funds. The estate developer stated that while the project is on, the developers would engage in “deceptive” marketing of the houses, when in actual fact the building were not meant for sale. To support his argument that most of the estates were built with slush funds, the developer wondered if these sprawling estates would still be unoccupied were they financed with bank loans. The promoters of these estates, he argued, would have at least rented these buildings out in order to have funds to service the bank loans. Going further, he submitted that no financial institution would fund these estates and still be lying fallow as such financial institution would move in a determined manner to recover its funds. For Mrs. Rachael Emmanuel, government should take over these estates through the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and allocate them to civil servants and other members of the organised labour. Emmanuel said it was only through such measure that these buildings would be put into proper use.


RVP wants to extend United deal

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oger Federer moved into the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open at a windy Indian Wells after defeating South African Kevin Anderson 7-5, 6-1. It was the 10th win in a row for the Swiss, 32, who has put his poor form of last season behind him. “There is a sense of calmness to my game n o w,” said the world number eight. L i Na, 32, reached the s e m i - finals of the women’s competition for the first time since 2007 with a 6-3 4-6 6-3 victory over Dominika Cibulkova.

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LMC suspends league games in Maiduguri

anchester United striker, Robin van Persie, says he wants to extend his contract at Old Trafford. The 30-year-old has been dogged by claims he does not get on with manager David Moyes, and it has even been suggested he may leave in the summer. But the Netherlands international, insists he is content at United. “The truth is I’m very happy here,” he said. “I signed for four years and I’d be delighted to stay longer, beyond the next two years I have on my contract.” It has also been suggested that Van Persie has not been impressed by United’s training methods under Moyes. However, speaking in an interview conducted for the club’s match programme, United Review , ahead of Sunday’s encounter with old rivals, Liverpool, he spoke in glowing terms about the manager. “There is no doubt I’m learning new things and progressing with David Moyes,” he said. “The sessions we have on the training ground are fantastic and I’m learning a lot from them every day. “There is mutual respect between us and the work environment is actually good. He really wants things to work and I want the same.” Van Persie has admitted the huge amount of debate about his future is partly down to his limited public statements. Comments he made about his own performance in the 2-0 defeat by Olympiakos earlier this month were interpreted as criticism of his manager’s tactics. Van Persie’s body language when he was replaced at West Brom on Saturday did not impress either, especially given Baggies boss Pepe Mel was not alone in believing the forward was fortunate to avoid a red card.

Indian Wells: Federer, Li Na hit semis

SPORT EXTRA

NEW TELEGRAPH ON SATURDAY 15 MARCH 2014

Chimaobi Uchendu he League Management Company, has announced the immediate suspension of all Globacom Premier League fixtures in Maiduguri until further notice. The suspension order was contained in a statement from the Office of the Chairman of the LMC, which cited current security intelligence as the reason for the decision. “We are constrained to put on hold all Globacom Premier League games in Maiduguri until further notice due to latest security intelligence from the area and the suspended games include this weekend’s match

between El-Kanemi Warriors and Abia Warriors,” the statement read. It further advised officials of Abia Warriors not to proceed to Maiduguri for the match but to await further communication from the LMC. “Once again, we want to reassure Clubs that decisions of the LMC at all times will be guided by the need to serve the greater good and hinged on existing realities,” it stated. It could be recalled that Premier League Clubs had before now complained of the Maiduguri security situation verbally without a written document to the LMC to back their fears until Abia Warriors took the right step which was reciprocated by the League body.

helsea manager Jose Mourinho insisted on Friday that he has a high regard for the Premier League leaders’ major English rivals after being accused of lacking “respect” by Manchester City’s Yaya Toure. Mourinho’s side are seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table ahead of Saturday’s trip to Aston Villa. However, the Portuguese manager continues to play down Chelsea’s prospects of winning the Premier League by pointing out that City, who already have a better goal difference, can close the nine-point gap to the Blues

by winning their three games in hand. His claims prompted a reaction from City midfielder Toure, who earlier this week accused Mourinho of a lack of “respect” by discussing the prospects of rival teams. “It’s his (Toure’s) opinion,” Mourinho told a news conference at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground south of London on Friday. “I respect it.” However, he added: “If, to say before the Munich match and before the Camp Nou match (in the Champions League)... if to say the English teams can do it, this is not over, Arsenal and City have enough quality to go there and turn things around, if supporting the teams from the country where I am and work, if this is a lack of respect, okay so be it.

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I respect English rivals -Mourinho C

Bayern president won’t appeal judgement, quits club

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li Hoeness is to resign as Bayern Munich president and chairman in the wake of his conviction for tax evasion. The 62-year-old, who played for Bayern from 1970-1979 before retiring Fethrough injury aged 27, will not appeal derer will against his three-and-a-half year senface Alexandr tence. Dolgopolov - who “Tax evasion was the biggest misknocked out Rafael take of my life,” he said in a stateNadal in the third round ment. “Bayern Munich is my life’s - after he beat Andy Murray’s work and will also remain so.” conqueror, Milos Raonic, to reach his first Hoeness was found Masters series semi-final. guilty of evading taxAfter also winning in Dubai two weeks ago, es worth 27m Federer, a 17-time Grand Slam winner, admiteuros ted his recent improvement had taken him by surprise.

(£22.5m). As a player, Hoeness won the 1972 European Championship and the 1974 World Cup with West Germany and three successive European Cups with Bayern. Following his retirement he was appointed general manager at German giants Bayern, who have reached three of the last four Champions League finals and won the tournament last year at Wembley. He was initially charged with evading 3.5m euros (£2.9m, $4.9m) in taxes but then admitted to another 15m euros (£12.5m) and was found guilty of “seven serious counts of tax evasion”. In a statement on the Bayern Munich website he said: “After discussing the matter with my family I have decided to accept the judgment. This corresponds to my understanding of integrity, decorum and personal responsibility.


Hospitality

Sport

Premier Hotel Ibadan

A long walk to keeping the heritage

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he tyranny of the majority is one thing; the tyranny of the vociferous is another. Both are inimical to the health and cohesion of society. The vocal minority has given a specific definition and accent to the menace of the nihilistic primitives that call themselves Boko Haram. The effort to taint the entirety of Muslims in the north of Nigeria has gained a dangerous level of acceptability and must be challenged. Every modern war on militant insurgency depends for victory on winning the hearts and minds of the theatre population. Alienate this population and you are in for a permanent and expensive frustration. Boko Haram is not Islam nor is Islam Boko Haram. “Boko Haram Islamist sect” is the preponderant characterisation that dominates headlines or contents of news items about Boko Haram in the vast majority of Nigerian news media. This is as thoughtless as it is inflammatory. Even if Boko Haram has deliberately cloaked itself in Islamic tenets and precepts, it should be divested of such pretence – both as a mark of respect for the sensibilities of Muslims and as a combat strategy. Boko Haram does not have the express or implied mandate of Nigerian Muslims. Enough of this “Islamic sect” or “Islamist sect” nonsense because we are unwittingly playing into the terrorists’ hands and drawing attention away from the fact that they have killed and maimed more Muslims than non-Muslims. Youthful Muslims may very well embrace them as avengers of insults and insensitivity towards Islam. Not to mention revving up islamophobia. It is possible to write an excellent piece on the militant group without tarnishing an entire religion. A good template is to be found in Kunle Oderemi’s “That Tanko Yakassai’s goof on Boko Haram”, Nigerian Tribune, May 3, 2012. A strategy of isolating the murderers is the winning one. The current toxic rhetoric, tarring every Muslim with the sewer brush of Boko Haram, has the effects of losing hearts and minds, fertilizing the recruitment nursery, nourishing empathy with the insurgents and delivering defeat not just to the Federal Government but to the Nigerian people. As a part of an overall strategy of war against terrorism, we need to study the Obama administration’s approach to alQaeda, which is markedly different from the Bush administration’s blanket besmirching of global Islam. Some strategies work on the universal level, some don’t. President Obama’s has the appeal of universal applicability. It would be foolish not to adopt and adapt it. On its part, the northern leadership should, mainly and primarily among other things, create a multiple battalion of Boko Halal (a primary duty which one Prime Minister, six military Heads of State and

Sanctity of Truth w ww. n ew te l e g r ap h on l i n e . c om

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth – Buddha

SATURDAY, MARCH 15, 2014

N150

The muslim north is not Boko Haram

BROADSIDE EMMANUEL ONWE dronwe@rocketmail.com

two Presidents should have since accomplished to the envy of the rest of Africa) and unleash them on northern Nigeria. Otherwise, how may the subscribers to, and sympathisers with, Boko Haram be weaned from violence when they cannot see or imagine better prospects for their lives? Anyone who disconnects the Northern youth’s attraction to insurgency from the Dickensian state of existence in Nigeria is either ignorant or wicked – and those who blame it all on the administration of President Jonathan are worse than ignorant or wicked. Those who insist, as, I do, on this point of view are not offering an excuse for Boko Haram but an explanation. Anyone fearful of the adverse consequences to the unity and progress of this nation posed by Boko Haram should similarly be apprehensive about the grave impact to our national cohesion that the virulent anti-North prejudice and bigotry that has exploded in the South portends. Hate, too, is explosive and inimical to the best interests of a nation seeking unity in diversity and mutual respect. If we blame all Muslims for the atrocities of Boko Haram, as some numbskulls are falling over themselves to do, we will thereby alienate the very community that can provide the vital intelligence needed to

LIPSTICK

counter and, finally, contain Boko Haram. Bear this in mind: the vast majority of northern Muslims did not vote for President Jonathan and they do not feel that they have a stake in his administration. To hold the vast majority of the guiltless amongst them blameworthy for the atrocities of Boko Haram is to wilfully emboss a recruitment sticker cards for the terrorist group. BOGIES AND BOKO HARAM

Boko Haram has become, by random misattribution, the bogeyman of the Nigerian society, especially of the securocrats. The terrorists are held accountable for anything from bank robbery, rape, carjacking to genital mutilation, kidnapping, avowal to topple the president and the imminence of Nigeria’s apocalypse. Boko Haram, on the other hand, insists that its aim is to bomb, kill and maim its fellow compatriots until we abandon western education, accept Sharia Law, repudiate the Trinity and finally establish a Stone Age republic – this last is the only interpretation suitable for a nation that forewent western education (compare Afghanistan under the Taliban). There is no evidence to advance the supposition that Boko Haram stands for any purpose other than the mission it has

Brazil 2014: Balogun, Egwuekwe in war of words

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publicly proclaimed. The remarkable thing, in a perverse sense, about atavistic groups such as Boko Haram, is that they work hard to stand by a code of honour and truth. Boko Haram has explicitly denied certain atrocities, for example, the kidnapping and killing of British engineer Chris McManus and his Italian colleague Franco Lamolinara during the botched rescue attempt in Mabera, Sokoto State, on March 8, 2012. As Alex Vines, the head of the African Programme at Chatham House, London, said on BBC Radio 4 on March 10, 2012, “It is not the work of Boko Haram but rather of a local group after extortion and ransom payments”. Yet, there are those who persist in attributing such atrocities to Boko Haram. Why? Who profits from a more expansive free franchise of violence? Surely it would enhance Boko Haram’s reputation for menace if it claimed responsibility for every violent set-piece spectacular? It would rather be counter-intuitive for it to refute attribution for any such mayhem. Thus, the question is raised: who might profit from the nearly one trillion naira budget for security if the threat of both the real and phantom Boko Haram were multiplied and promoted? If there are powerful people who profit financially from the now lucrative economics of Boko Haram, what chance do the Nigerian people stand of being adroitly defended? You see, it’s easy to turn fallacies on their heads. May be Boko Haram is the creation of disgruntled politicians. Or, maybe it has become the nourished monster of fifth columnists with an eye for massive financial gain. Or, maybe if Boko Haram ever represented, even in a vestigial form, a political sword wielded by disgruntled politicians of northern extraction, it has since been seized by superior and sophisticated trans-border terrorist entities. They are driving the sword into the very heart of our republic. Politicians are merely rattling the sabre. Or, may be....

BY CHUKWUEMEKA EMENIKE

Printed and Published by Daily Telegraph Publishing Company Ltd: Head Office: No. 1A, Ajumobi Street, Off Acme Road, Agidingbi, Ikeja-Lagos. Tel: +234 1-2219496, 2219498. Abuja Office: Telegraph House, Ministers Hill, Mabushi, Abuja, Nigeria. Advert hotline: 01-8541248, Email: info@newtelegraphonline.com Website: www.newtelegraphonline.com ISSN 2354-4317 Editor: Laurence ani. All correspondence to PMB 10000, Ikeja, Lagos.


Binder1 friday 15th 2014