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Saturday Edition

Sanctity of Truth

Saturday, MAY 24, 2014 Vol. 1 No. 95


Nigeria’s most authoritative newspaper in politics and business

BORIS BORNMAN ‘I started out cleaning rooms and lavatories’ P.41

GM, Abuja Sheraton

CHARLY BOY ‘Even at 94, dad rode on my bike P.20

VICTORIA ABRAHAM ‘I took to writing as a therapy P.24

Jonathan signs 2014 budget, arrives S’Africa for security talks Simeon Oyoegbulem, Ndubuisi Ugah and Anule Emmanuel Abuja/Lagos resident Goodluck Jonathan has finally given assent to the 2014 budget. Although details of the


lDelayed budget will have minimal effect – Okonjo-Iweala amount signed was not disclosed, Dr. Reuben Abati, the president’s special adviser on media and publicity, said in an interview that the copy of the signed bud-

get had been handed over on Friday to the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. The Senate and the

House of Representatives had passed an appropriation bill of N4.695 trillion for the fiscal year early last month and transmitted the same document to the presi-

dent for assent. The budget which is about N53 billion higher than the N4.642 trillion preCONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Major sectoral allocations

◆◆ Defence – N968 billion ◆◆ Works - N133 billion ◆◆ Power - N111 billion ◆◆ Agric - N69.04 billion

North playing double standard on Boko Haram, says Sagay

lSoldiers kill two suspected insurgents in Katsina lDHQ denies report of another mutiny in Maiduguri Dominik Umosen, Ndubuisi Ugah and Ahmed Miringa MaidugurI


awyer and rights activist, Prof. Itse Sagay, has said the reason why the activities of the outlawed Boko Haram sect appears to have gained momentum recently is because the north, a stronghold of the sect, is frustrating the federal government’s effort to squash the insurgents’ activities. Sagay, who spoke to the New Telegraph in Lagos, said it was unfortunate that the north, which had benefitted immensely from the abunMuritala Ayinla


he Lagos State Government yesterday said it had received and is currently handling 34,799 cases of patients abandoned by their relatives in hospitals across the state. Similarly, about 1,200 Lagosians have applied for the adoption of babies from the state government. The Special Adviser to the state governor on Youth and Social Development, Mr. Dolapo Badru, who made the disclosure, also

dant human and natural resources in the country, could be bent on sabotaging the efforts of President Goodluck Jonathan in transforming the nation, despite being at the helm for almost 40 years. “What they (North) are doing is absolutely not good enough. We have a major problem on our hands. Even with the state of emergency, we are not doing sufficiently well. If you now withdraw it, it is like tying one of the federal government’s hands and expecting it to operate with just one hand. You reduce its capacity further and the possibility of solving the problem is made much difficult,” he said of an earlier threat by senators from the

north to vote against the president’s request for extension of emergency rule in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states. “The impression some of those northern senators and northern politicians are giving is that they are the ones encouraging Boko Haram. It is as if Boko Haram is their agent and part of their agenda. I think the major concern now is that of security. The Boko Haram menace is really taking the country by storm. It is a situation which worries me because it means a small group of people who are well-armed; who are absolutely-determined; CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

34,799 patients abandoned in Lagos hospitals explained that the adoption process is a situation whereby suitable persons by legal means acquire parental claim over certain categories of children with and without

blood relationship, adding that 88 babies had been released for adoption in the last one year. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

JIM IYKE AND NADIA BUARI A tale of an engagement gone awry






Content 24.05.14 ‘North playing double standard on Boko Haram threat’ CONVERSATION

A Hotelier’s UK Odyssey

Kazeem Durosomo, general manager of Pearl Court Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, recounts fond memories of his over three-decade career, which includes hosting Prince Charles, Alex Ferguson and his treble-winning Manchester United team. }13


Busty and Comfy

Being busty comes with occasional fashion challenge. But some creativity can help ladies look really comfy and sleek. }15


From Kondo to Anaconda

Nigerian rapper, Patrick Nwokolo, went into a hibernation of sorts after the controversy that trailed his song, Kondo. But Nwokolo is eager to put the past behind as his new song, Anaconda, is released. }17


Art of Recycling

Evolving Through Waste, an ongoing exhibition of works by Nigerian artist, Raqib Bashorun, which opened on Saturday, May 17, in Ikoyi, Lagos, highlights the importance of recycling. }23


Agu’s Pulpit Goal

Former national team goalkeeper and current assistant coach of Nasarawa United, Alloy Agu, speaks the excitement of being part of the Super Eagles team to the 1994 World Cup in USA, and his dream to become a church minister. }31

MY WEEKEND Executive Yoga

Tintin Imevbore, CEO of internet radio station, I Groove, outlines how some exercise regime including a Yoga timeout help him relax even on the job. }44 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

sented by the executive to the legislature on December 19, 2013, did not receive the assent of the president as a result of what government described as distortions noticed in the document. According to Abati, the president had signed the budget earlier on Wednesday without funfair and official ceremonies, but given that the minister of finance was absent at the signing ceremony, it was important for the president to officially hand over a copy of the budget to her. President Jonathan has since departed for South Africa where he is expected to attend discussions with other African heads of state and government on how to com-


who have no restraint about causing death and destruction, can just do what they like and we will be looking on helplessly. “So, I am disturbed about the future of the country. I am even more disturbed that they feel that they have done enough havoc in the North and have decided to move South to carry out the same kind of havoc. So, I am worried. It is very troubling. The very existence of this country is currently on the line, very more so. I confess that I am worried, coupled with poor politics,” he said. Sagay, who condemned what he termed the North’s lack of cooperation towards restructuring the country, said: “Look at the National Conference going on, the North is voting as a bloc to stall any progress; to make sure that the status-quo is maintained; as if we all wasted time going to the conference. “You see, one of the ways out of our current problems is re-structuring which will ensure that we have major federating units that will have a lot of resources; have a lot of powers and have a lot of autonomy so that such zones can carry on with their own lives without being affected by what is going on in other zones. We should not have a situation whereby paralysis, for example, in CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

He said: “Eighty-eight babies were released for adoption, while 87 adoption were legalised through the family courts; 62 were local, 20 international and five were relative international adoption. One fostering order was extended at the family courts.” He added that the agency had successfully carried out psycho-social assessment of patients in their various wards and assisted the team in proper diagnosis and treatment of patient ailment

one zone does not become imposed on others like it is happening now.” Asked if he thinks the sect’s activities have some political undertone, Sagay said: “You can see the northern leaders are not sincere. Their own regret is that Boko Haram has spread beyond attacking Christians and southerners, to attacking everybody, including themselves. So, they are not sincere. I have no doubt about it. This cry of power must return to the North, which has led attempts to undermine the federal government, are all part of the conspiracy by people who believe that they have the divine right to misrule. Do not forget that it is misrule by the North, which has put us where we are today. They think it is their right to misrule us, not allow a better person to rule. The north misruled this country for nearly 40 years and brought it down.” On how to achieve the desired restructuring, the human rights activist noted that “we need a lot of autonomy, a lot of re-structuring so that if they want to operate under a permanent Boko Haram threat, then that is their headache. They cannot drag us back. They cannot blame the president for not doing enough to check the problem, on the one hand, and reduce his capacity to

do so on the other hand. It cannot continue. The North is becoming too much of a problem for the rest of us.” Sagay also has some strong reprimand for the Borno State government: “I think that the state government was simply irresponsible. You did not inform the Federal Government, you did not alert the army for them to provide security before you go ahead with the examination. You did it unilaterally, bringing this whole problem on top of the whole country.” ( See full interview on page 45) Also, soldiers on Friday confirmed the killing of two suspected Boko Haram members in Katsina State. The commanding officer of the 35 Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Katsina, Col. Alhassan Gerema, made the announcement while speaking with journalists in Katsina. He said troops raided a house at Filin-polo Quarters in Katsina, following a tip-off. The commander said that two suspected Boko Haram members died during the operation and that one other member was captured. Witnesses said that troops surrounded the hideout of the terrorists and exchanged fire with the suspects. NAN reports that residents have vacated the area, following the incident. The report came just as it

emerged that three people sustained gunshot wounds, while houses and shops were burnt when gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram terrorists attacked Kimba, a village in Biu Local Government Area of Borno State. A resident, Mallam Umar Kimba, told one of our correspondents that some children were playing at the outskirts of the village when they saw some vehicles driving into the town. Sensing that they were members of the sect, the children were said to have fled. According to him, everybody in the village fled to Sabon Gari, a neighbouring community, while others sought refuge in Mandara Girau and Biu. He added that the attackers, who came in vehicles and on motorcycles on Thursday night began shooting indiscriminately before setting the town ablaze. He said they also called on the youth in the village to come out and join in the jihad against the government. “When nobody went out to meet them they started burning the houses and those who hid in their houses started coming out and running to safe heaven, but the attackers shot at the people. I left Sabon Gari this morning but we have taken the wounded to hospital in Biu before I left.”

34,799 patients abandoned for effective health care delivery for both out-patient and in-patient. According to him, a total of abandoned 87 patients were rehabilitated and reunited with their relatives. Giving the breakdown of the abandoned patients across the state, Badru said: “Forty-eight abandoned patients transferred to their homes; 23 patients rehabilitated at government institu-

tions; 33,399 patients were counselled. 67 are victims of road accidents; 816 of them were given financial assistant; 26 patient were abandoned and 324 of the patients are indigents and the destitute.” He said the agency had embarked on measures to stem the wave of crime, which was prevalent among school population. Speaking on the activities of his ministry in the last one

year, the Lagos State Commissioner for Sports, Youth and Social Development, Mr. Waheed Enitan Oshodi, said the state government was determined to make the state a hub for international tournaments in Africa. He said the state government in recent times hosted numerous games, training athletes and exposing them through competition with their counterparts from across the world.

‘Federal Government won’t cut GDP outlook over Boko Haram attacks’

bat terrorism in Africa. He is also scheduled to attend the inauguration of President Jacob Zuma before returning to Abuja on Saturday. Meanwhile, Okonjo-Iweala, has said that despite the concerns raised by the wave of attacks by the outlawed Boko Haram sect which have left hundreds dead, the federal government won’t lower its economic growth forecast for this year. Speaking in an interview published by Bloomberg, yesterday in Kigali, the Rwandan capital, where she’s attending an African Development Bank (ADB) meeting, Okonjo-Iweala said: “We are sticking to 6.75 per cent.” The sect had been involved

in several attacks which had left many people killed in explosions in Abuja, on April 14 and May 1, including the kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls of Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, last month. But the minister, who allayed fears that the impact of the sect’s activities may have adverse effect on the economy, said: “We have taken into account already whatever disruptions there might be.” She also stated that the federal government’s growth projection was lower than the 7.2 per cent forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), while Moody’s Investors Service “just told us they upgraded their projection to eight per cent.”

Abati disclosed that the continent’s five regions would each be represented by two heads of state and government at the talks which would focus on a collective action to effectively wipe out terrorism in Africa. Those who would be attending the talks include the leaders of Ghana, Republic of Congo, Chad, Angola, Rwanda, South Africa, Mauritania, Algeria and Ethiopia. The talk would take place ahead of President Jacob Zuma’s inauguration for a new term in office today. At a press briefing later on Friday, Okonjo-Iweala gave assurances that the delayed 2014 budget will only have a minimal effect on the economy.

There had been anxiety among analysts that consistent delay in the passage of annual budgets in the last 10 years would have an unwholesome impact on the economy. However, she dismissed such insinuations. She stated that the late signing of the N4.695 trillion budget does not have negative effect on the economy, and does not stop the government from spending money, since the constitution allows spending to go on pending the passage of the budget. “The budget has been signed a few days ago, the delayed signing has not hampered the running of the economy, because of what we have in section 82 of the constitution

which enables us to continue implementation based on last year’s budget where we can continue spending up to 50 per cent. “We have been able to continue running the country so the effect of the delay in the passage of the budget would be minimal, adding that the policies trusts contained in the budget would be very beneficial to Nigerians”. Some of the beneficial policies according to the minister include the zero per cent duties imposed on importers of equipment in the agricultural, aviation and solid minerals sub-sectors of the economy. Additional reports by Kenneth Tyohemba


Jang visits bomb blast scene, advises politicians on comments Musa Pam Jos, with agency reports


overnor Jonah Jang of Plateau State yesterday visited the scene of the twin bomb blast, which occurred on Tuesday at a busy terminus market area in Jos, with a call on President Goodluck Jonathan to arrest all those who had made unguided statements that the country would be made ungovernable for him. The governor’s charge came as the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) condemned the bomb blasts which killed many traders, who are mostly women. Also, Chief Imam of Apo Legislators’ Quarters Mosque, Abuja, Sheikh Nura Khalid, yesterday said Islam frowned at compelling people to embrace the religion. Jang, who was accom-

l CAN condemns attack

panied by members of the state executive council, alleged that it was unfortunate that some personalities in the country were fond of making statements that could threaten the unity of the nation. He said nobody was above the law of the country, stating that: “Whatever position you attend in this country that does not make the person untouchable, so I am calling on Mr President to take up this people and arrest them, now some of them have turned back to say Boko Haram, Boko Haram yet they said they will make the country ungovernable.” Jang, who was out of the country when the incident occurred returned back to the country yesterday and immediately visited the scene of the bomb blast to have an on-the-spot-

assessment of the level of destruction. “I expect that all politician should put heads together to find a solution not blaming game. Enough is enough, Nigerians should know that this time where we have an emergency, and as a nation we should put ourselves together to find a lasting peace and solution for the country,” he said. Jang have order the immediate demolition of the terminus market where the bomb blast took place, said it was illegal for all occupants of the market. “I have just met with the security chiefs in the state, we will make sure that nobody come here, we have already stated cleaning the place as you can see for yourself, have you seen anywhere in the world were road are turned into

market. I want to clearly warn that nobody comes here for our interest.” The governor had also ordered the immediate payment of the hospital bills for all the victims of the bomb blast currently on admission at various hospitals in the state. On its part, CAN in a statement signed by it Secretary, Rev. Fr. Stanley Igboechesi, described the act as mindless, heinous and unwarranted wickedness against innocent lives that have been cut short. “We appeal to all Christians to continue to pray for the healing of our land,” he said. Meanwhile, Khalid told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, that there was no compulsion in Islam. The Imam, therefore, urged the Muslims not to force people into the religion, as doing so was counterproductive.




NDUBUISI UGAH;; 08033617741

The Week Ahead

NSB holds May ball today

Chairman of the Nigeria Society for the Blind (NSB), Mrs. Abiola Agbaje, has said it will hold its annual May Ball event today, at the Shell Hall, MUSON Centre Onikan, Lagos.

Bureau de change operator knows fate May 27 A Federal High Court (FCT) High Court has fixed May 27 for ruling in a bail application filed by a 43-year-old bureau de change operator, Nurudeen Na-Allah, charged with misappropriating $1million. The prosecutor told the court that the money belonged to the accused’s master, Alhaji Murtala Abdullahi. The Attorney-General of the Federation had arraigned Na-Allah on two counts of misappropriation and theft. The prosecution said the accused was entrusted with the amount by his master.

Children’s Day holds May 27 The 2014 Children’s Day celebration will hold across the federation on May 27. The event is expected to be marked in solidarity for the abducted Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State by the outlawed Boko Haram sect.

Delta deputy speaker knows fate May 28 Justice Mabel Omovie of the Delta High Court sitting in Asaba has fixed May 28 to rule in the application by the state Deputy Speaker, Mr. Basil Ganagana, to quash the 10-count charge levelled against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), which bothered on corruption.

MASSOB holds Biafra Day May 30 The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MOSSOB) has slated Biafra National Day celebration for May 30 at MASSOB Freedom Square, Okwe in Onuimo Local Government area in Imo State.

Mimiko’s in-law for burial May 30 The remains of mother of the wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs. Olukemi Mimiko, Mrs. Felicia Modupe Adeniyi, will be laid to rest on May 30 in Ondo. A statement issued by in Akure by Mr. John Akindutire, said a wake keep would hold at the Oba Adesanoye Civic Centre, Ondo while the burial service would hold at St. Stephen Cathedral Church, Anglican Communion, Oke Aluko, Ondo State.

President Goodluck Jonathan and the First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, arriving Pretoria, South Africa, for a meeting with other African Heads of State and Government, on combating terrorism in Africa as well as the inauguration of President Jacob Zuma's second term in office…yesterday

W’Bank, AfDB: Conflicts threatening investment in Africa


he African Development Bank (AfDB) and World Bank yesterday said the spate of bombings in Nigeria and Kenya was raising concerns, which might prompt investors to shy away from the continent unless the situation was checked. While Standard Chartered Plc (STAN)’s Chief Executive Officer for Africa, Diana Layfield, said the violence won’t halt the bank’s expansion plans, World Bank’s Vice-President for Africa Region, Makhtar Diop, said industries such as tourism were already feeling the impact. The duo spoke separately at the AfDB’s annual meeting in the Kigali, Rwanda. “Conflicts in Africa are having an impact on investment in some countries,

particularly in the tourism sector. These events are slowing down economic growth, with infrastructure being destroyed and people being displaced,” Diop said in an interview during the AfDB meeting, which ended yesterday. Tourist arrivals in Kenya fell by almost a fifth last year as the country was hit by a series of bombings, including an assault by the Somali militant group alShabaab on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi that killed at least 67 people. Tourism is Kenya’s second-biggest source of foreign currency. While retail investors factor in increased political risks, there seems to be no change in appetite from companies with long-term commitments in industries such as infrastructure,

Alastair Herbertson, an investment specialist at Cape Town-based Investec Asset Management, said on May 21. Layfield said in an interview that Standard Chartered was planning to open 13 new branches in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Zambia this year. “Our belief in the medium-term and long-term prospects of those economies isn’t diminished. We still remain incredibly focused on growing our presence in both Nigeria and Kenya,” she said. Companies looking to make their first commitments in Africa may be particularly sensitive to the violence, Stuart Culverhouse, chief economist of Exotix Partners LLP in London, said on May 21. Culverhouse said: “For

new investors that have never looked at Africa before, this probably just reinforces their prejudices. I think countries have to work so much harder to keep that international interest alive.” Lingering tensions and political instability “could affect investors’ willingness to undertake planned projects” in Africa, the AfDB said in its African Economic Outlook released this week. While the security problems in Nigeria and Kenya are still relatively contained, there’s concern they will spread, Andrew Alli, chief executive officer of Africa Finance Corporation, said in an interview yesterday. “It’s extremely worrying, the levels of increasing violence on the continent,” Alli said.

Court rules on Boko Haram suspects’ trial June 4 An Abuja Federal High Court has fixed June 4 for ruling in an application filed by the Federal Government seeking to modify the trial of three Boko Haram suspects. The accused, Mohammed Yunus, Salami Abdullahi and Musa Umar, were arraigned on an eight-count charge of terrorism. The prosecutor, Mrs. N.B. JonesNebo, who said the accused held various meetings to carry out terrorist activities in various parts of the country, added that they were arrested by security operatives.

OPEC to review production target June 11 The 12-member Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will on June 11 meet in Vienna, Austria, to review its total production output, which currently 400,000 barrels a day falls below the formal target of 30million. A report said the cartel’s output rose 130,800 barrels a day in April to 29.59 million, driven by a recovery in Iraqi supplies, quoting OPEC as citing secondary sources. Iraq’s production climbed by 102,100 barrels a day to 3.3 million.

Court fixes Pfizer, Trovan suit for June 20 A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has fixed June 20 for trial in the suit filed by the Chairman of Trovan Victims Association (TVA), Mustapha Maisikeli, against pharmaceutical giants, Pfizer, the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Healthcare/ Meningitis Trust Fund and others.




FCT Senate to give PIB accelerated action-Ekweremadu


The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has promised that the National Assembly would expedite action on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). Ekweremadu gave the pledge when a delegation of the newly elected National Executive Council of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) visited him in Abuja yesterday. In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Uche Anichukwu, quoted Ekweremadu as saying the Senate was mindful of the benefits of the PIB to Nigerians and the petroleum sector.

MINNA Aliyu appoints new CPS Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State has approved the promotion of his Senior Special Assistant on Media Analysis, Mr. Israel Ayegba Ebije to the position of Director General (Media and Publicity) and Chief Press Secretary (CPS). A statement by the Commissioner of Information, Communications and Strategy, Danladi Ndayebo, said Ebije’s elevation came as a recognition of his hard work, dedication and commitment to duty. “Mr Israel Ayegba Ebije was first appointed Senior Special Assistant in 2011,” the statemen said.

AWKA Obiano to spend N10bn on road projects Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State yesterday said the government would spend N10 billion on construction of more roads in the state. Obiano, who spoke when he inspected ongoing projects in the state, expressed satisfaction with the quality and pace of work. The roads inspected, include 27 km Amansea-Ndiukwuenu-Awa-Ufuma Road, 4.5kilometre NdiukwuenuOkpeze Road and 5.5 kilometre Aamansea-Agu-Awka Old Road.

Dismiss Ngige, Nwoye’s petitions, Obiano, INEC tell tribunal Uwakwe Abugu Awka


egal fireworks resumed yesterday at the commencement of hearing into the petitions filed against Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State at the state Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, with the governor and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) calling on the panel led by Justice Ishaq Bello to dismiss the respective petitions against him for lack of merit. At the tribunal, the petitioners comprising Mr. Tony Nwoye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his party, Senator Chris Ngige of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Chike Obidigbo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the governor, who was elected on APGA ticket all addressed the court during the adoption of addresses. Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu

(SAN), who represented Obiano, Mr. Emmanuel Okula (SAN), for the PDP, Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN), for Ngige and APC, Hassan Liman for INEC all argued their points as Obiano and INEC told the court that it was clear that the petitioners failed to prove the case they brought against the respondents, saying the natural course of event was for their petitions to be dismissed. The tribunal had on May 7, adjourned till yesterday for the adoption of the written addresses of both the respondents and petitioners in the various petitions filed against the governor. While praying the tribunal to dismiss the entire petitions filed by Ngige and Tony Nwoye, including that of PDP for lack of merit, Ikpeazu stated that the petitioners did not discharge the burden of proof of evidence placed on them, therefore, they did not prove their cases.

Cholera kills Eight in Ebonyi Ugochukwu Onyekwere Abakiliki

L-R: Former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Uzor Orji Kalu; Mexican Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Marco Antonio Garcia Blanco and his Turkish counterpart, Mr. Mustafa Pulat, during a dinner with foreign ambassadors, in Abuja PHOTO: TIMOTHY IKUOMENISAN

Imminent blackout at Lagos airport, seaports, others today � FG mulls additional super grid power transmission system MAINTENANCE TCN to shut down Akangba Sub-region for annual routine maintenance, which will affect some establishments Adeola Yusuf, Abdulwahab Isa Lagos and Abuja


lectricity supply to Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos and other government and private institutions in the state will be disrupted today, New Telegraph has gathered. This is because the management of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) , Lagos Region, said two high tension lines serving some of these installations would be affected by the exercise. Also, the Federal Government has said it is considering adding a new super grid

power transmission system to enable transmission system cope with anticipated increase in power generation in the country. TCN said in a statement by its Station Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs. Celestina Osin, declared that the planned “outage, which will emanate from the Akangba Sub-Region is as a result of annual routine maintenance to be carried out by the organisation on the 132KV main and reserve busbar isolators.” Management of TCN, the statement continued, “has announced that there will be disruption of electricity supply to some parts of the Lagos metropolis from 10a.m. to 1p.m. on Saturday, May 24, 2014.” Osin said the “4X90 MVA power transformers at the Akangba 330/132KV SubStation which gives power supply to the busbar isolators have to be out of service for the period the maintenance on the busbar isolators will last. “Two high tension lines namely the Akangba-Isolo 132KV Lines 1&2 and Akang-

ba-Ijora 132KV Lines 1 and 2 will be out of service and this will affect customers in Mushin, Papa Ajao, Oshodi, Isolo, Ijora, Ijora Olopa, Ajele, Marina, Adelabu, Sanya and Amuwo Odofin as they will experience blackout. “We solicit the understanding of all customers that will be affected by the outage, more so as the information on this is coming at a short notice, we also apologise for any inconveniences the outage will cause them. With the maintenance, electricity supply to the areas will receive a boost.” Meanwhile, Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Dikki, gave the hint in Abuja, when he received a team from China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Company Limited, a subsidiary of the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC). A statement by BPE said the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) was will-

ing to consider all options to strengthen its wheeling capacity, adding that as the capacity of generation increases, TCN would become bankable due to increase in wheeling and transmission charges. He urged SGCC to liaise with TCN to key into the planned massive improvement in the national grid system, adding that the sector requires massive investment for rehabilitation and new construction. Speaking earlier, the leader of the delegation and Vice-President of SGCC, Mr. Cheng Wei, told the Director General that the visit was a follow up to the visit of Chinese Prime Minister to Nigeria. He stated that SGCC is China’s largest power company and the world’s largest utility company. He added that the company operates in China’s 26 provinces, covering about 88 per cent of the land area with an over 1.1 billion customer base.


bout eight persons have lost their lives in Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, following an outbreak of cholera that recently hit the people of the area. Those affected were children between the ages of 0 to 9 years old. Fielding questions from journalists in his office yesterday, the Chairman, Hon. Onyema Nwekoyo, explained that preventive measures such as provision of portable water via boreholes had been dug in those affected villages and its environs. “We experience out-

break of cholera in one of the villages which killed eight persons, mostly children and we spent huge sum of money to bring it under control,” he said. Nwekoyo said inadequate equipment and manpower to manage the existing healthcare centres in the area as major factors, which contributed to the increase in the number of those that died during the outbreak which happened barely two months ago. “There is an adage that says prevention is better than cure, so if we have put in place those necessary things we noticed were lacking in some of the health centres, we would have brought the disease under control immediately,” he said.

Niger Delta youths flay Kwankwaso Muhammad Kabir Kano


he Niger Delta Youth Assembly (NDYA) has said the recent media attacks by the Governor of Kano State, Dr. Rabiu Kwankwaso, on President Goodluck Jonathan and the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Godswill Akpabio, was an attack on the Niger-Delta people. In a statement signed by the President, Ben Jaja and Secretary, Mr. Joseph Tenelaibe, the group condemned the media report where Kwankwaso was quoted to have described President Jonathan as “evil” and Akpabio as a “vulture.”

The group said the resort by Kwankwaso to gutter language, in describing leaders from the Niger Delta may have been borne out of the political frustration that the affairs of the nation is presently being piloted by a Niger Deltan and a devious plot to distract their leaders from their transformation programs. “The reference by Governor Kwankwaso to the bowler hat, a common dress symbol of the Niger Delta people and popularly won by President Jonathan as “hat of evil” shows the disdain that he has for the Niger Delta people. This scornful attitude also exposes his “born-to-rule” mind-set.

Okorocha can’t save Fayemi from defeat – Fayose Adesina Wahab Ado-Ekiti


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has said the ‘importation’ of Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, to the state by the State Governor and All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi, will end up being an exercise in futility, saying; “one million Okorochas cannot save Fayemi from defeat on June 21.” Speaking through the Director General, Ayo Fayose Campaign Organisation (AFCO), Chief Dipo Anisulowo, in Ado-Ekiti on Friday, the governorship candidate, who condemned Okorocha for abandoning his duty post in Owerri for Ekiti election said; “Okorocha must have realised the futility of his efforts with what the Igbo people at Fayose Market did to him yesterday (Thursday).”

Fayose, who decried the arrest of two traders in Fayose Market for allegedly preventing Okorocha from entering the market on Thursday, added that intimidation of voters, who have made up their minds to vote for the PDP on June 21, would not work for Fayemi and the APC. “In the last 48 hours, Governor Rochas Okorocha has been in Ekiti State, moving from one place to another, canvassing support for Fayemi. We are aware of the millions of naira belonging to the people of Imo State that Okorocha has been wasting in Ekiti in the last 48 hours. “While we pity the people of Imo State who have been abandoned by the governor they elected, we make bold to say that Okorocha is only wasting his time in Ekiti because Ekiti people, including Igbos have made up their minds on who they want as their governor.

Group backs Alison-Madueke Chris Ejim Yenagoa


eaders of some nongovernmental organisations (NGO) in the Niger Delta region have called on some chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who are allegedly fuelling the $20 billion allegation against the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani AlisonMadueke, to back off on the allegation in the interest of peace. The group also claimed that the minister had remained an incorruptible leader, who was never known to be corrupt in all her dealings in public offices. Rising from a meeting in Yenagoa, the leaders of the Niger Delta Believers’ Group (NDBG) and the Niger Delta Peacekeeping Volunteer Front (NDPVF), argued that



the allegations against the minister were all lies meant to discredit the minister. Speaking on the alleged $20 billion scam, the leader of the NDBG, Mr. Engema Jumbo, said from their records so far, Alison-Madueke had handled so many public offices from 1998 till date and, therefore, had never been accused until the allegations came to fore. “This lady has served as member of OMPADEC Coordinating Committee and Board Member, Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) in 1998 till 1999. She was also a member, Board of Trustees, Society for Family Health in 2005, and in 2006 to 2007, she was Director, Pension Funds and also external director, SPDC. She was the minister of Mines and Steel in 2010 before she assumed this position she is holding. If she was corrupt, she would not have risen to this level,” he stated.

ENUGU Chike Okoli, Ex-Anambra commissioner, killed


Mr. Chike Okoli, a former Commissioner for Science and Technology, under the regime of immediate past governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, has been killed by suspected kidnappers who abducted him along with another victim May 17. Sources close to his family hinted at about 8.40p.m. yesterday that the second victim, who escaped from the den of the kidnappers at Ugwuoba in Oji River council area of Enugu State broke the sad news to the family late yesterday.

BARIGA Alma Mater to honour G.O.K Ajayi CMS Grammar School, Bariga, Lagos, to honour the late legal icon, Chief. Godwin Kolawole Ajayi (SAN). The school, in conjunction with its alumni, under the aegis of Old Grammarians’ Society, has scheduled a funeral rite programme in honour of Ajayi on May 26, at the Thomas Babington Macaulay Chapel on the school compound. President of the association, Mr. Toyin Akin-Johnson, said the programme, which is scheduled to commence at 11a.m, will be conducted by former students of the school including the Reverends George Bako and Olakunle Ajani respectively.


JALINGO Police warn grazers, farmers in Taraba The Taraba State Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Kalafite Adeyemi, has warned grazers and farmers on the Mambilla Plateau to ensure peaceful means in conflict resolution as she said the command was working round the clock to ensure that land disputes in area do not degenerate into violence. Speaking to journalists in Jalingo, the commissioner said an impending crisis in Mayo-Modowa area of Sardauna Local Government of the state was averted recently by the quick intervention of the command.

Edo monarchs chide Ize-Iyamu for dumping Oshiomhole SUPPORT Enogies of Edo South senetorial district blame Ize-Iyamu’s action Cajetan Mmuta Benin


raditional rulers in Edo South senatorial district of Edo State have condemned the action of former leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Osagie IzeIyamu, for decamping from the party to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). They noted that Ize Iyamu’s motives are selfish and he is singing the same old song. The over 60 Enigie, during a courtesy visit to Governor Adams Oshiomhole at Government House, Benin City, yesterday said they were happy with the development strides of the Governor, especially in the south senatorial zone and have absolute confidence in his government.

Chairman of the Enigie, Edomwonyi Iduozee Ogiegbaen, who is the Enogie of Egbaen-Siluko and five other royal fathers spoke on behalf of the Enigies. Speaking at the occasion, Enogie of Eyaen, Osazuwa Idurase, said the reasons given by Ize-Iyamu for the defection was selfish and not in the interest of the people of the state. He said: “The defectors said they defected because the Governor did not supervise the conduct of your party congresses in a democratic manner, so we are glad that was the only thing they said. They did not say it was because of bad governance or because of the bad thing you did to the Benin people. “It is pathetic and shameful because that was the same reason they gave when they left the PDP just a few years ago. They said the powers-that-be of the party deregistered them and did not conduct the party congresses in a true democratic process. They are singing the same old song. “Those who left the APC,

for instance, we hear left because they believe their chances of running for governorship is being frustrated. We hear they have been offered the Deputy Governorship position provided they are able to destabilise the party they are coming from. “If the highest price they will get for leaving the party is an offer of the opportunity to be a running mate to a Governorship candidate from another Senatorial area, we do not see their logic or the wisdom. In any case, the Lord knows who will be there in 2016.” In an address by the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Enigie, Prof. Aduwa Ogiegban, who is also the Enogie of Ogbeson, said: “Everybody that is here today is representing a community. Everyone of us is authentic and nobody is fake.” The royal father cited some areas where the Governor has performed wonderfully to include Sapele Road, Mission Road, Airport Road, Siluko Road, New Lagos Road, 5 junction, Uselu Road, Ogan/ Igbanke Road, Urhornigbe/

Urohmili road and several other roads in the state. The royal father said: “Those who are going home, the so-called home that is in ruins, allow them go because we do not want to return to the dark ages which they took us to some years back.” Responding, Oshiomhole expressed thanks to the Enigies for their show of solidarity, stressing: “I am really short of words this afternoon and I do not have the appropriate words to express myself but just to say sirs, your royal highnesses that I am extremely grateful. “I have made this point everywhere, even within our own household, that for the rest of my life, I will always remain indebted to the great people of the great Benin Kingdom.” Oshiomhole said: “It is possible for you to do your very best or to feel you are doing your best and anyone else thinks you are doing nothing, so I want to thank you so much for your consistent support for my person, my administration and the government of Edo State.”

‘Ethno-religious crisis may scuttle Nigeria’s devt’ Jude Opara Abuja


igerians have been warned to be wary of the rising incidents of ethno-religious crisis prevalent in parts of the country in recent times because of the ability of such to besides under developing the nation can bring a conflict that may spell doom for the corporate existence of the country. President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Abdulahi Abdulmajeed, gave the

warning yesterday in Abuja, during the unveiling of Save Nigeria Campaign. He expressed regret that the spate of violence recorded in the country has resulted to the death of many innocent citizens who were only going about looking for their daily bread.

CHANGE OF NAME Former Ola Aiyeola now Paul Ola-Aiyeola Johnson. Former documents remain valid. General public note.

Governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang (right), and his deputy, Ignatius Datong Longjan, during the governor visit to the scene of the twin bomb blast, in Jos...yesterday




UYO FG extends East-West Road


The Federal Government has added 23 kilometres to the 338-kilometre East-West dual-carriage way. The road, originally billed to terminate in Oron, Akwa Ibom, will now extend to Calabar. The Supervising Minister for the Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Darius Ishaku, said this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Uyo yesterday. Ishaku said the Federal Government has, therefore, ordered the contractor to ensure completion by the first quarter of 2015.



BADAGRY Ex-LG chairman makes case for Badagry

A former Local Government Chairman in Badagry, Mr Michael Zannu, has urged youths and political office holders to bury their differences and work as a team to develop the council. Zannu made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Badagry yesterday. “Youths and political office holders in Badagry should shun party differences and work as a team if they want this ancient town to develop like the other four divisions in the state,” he said.

The number of latest reported returned internally displaced persons (IDPs) of Sudan in 2009. Source:

Bayelsa hosts investment forum Director General, Bayelsa State Investment Promotion Agency (BIPA), Ms. Freda Murray-Bruce, has said the state will host its first Investment and Economic Forum (BSIEF) in Yenagoa, from July 16 to 18. Murray-Bruce, who said this, while briefing journalists in Yenagoa, said the theme of the event “Unlocking Bayelsa State’s Economic Potentials: Opportunities and Challenges” would focus on wealth creation, sustainable business growth and success within the West African sub-region. She said to demonstrate its commitment and the importance attached to the forum, the state government would create an official website and email account for easy flow of information.



The number of newspaper journalists per The total area (in sq. km) of Kenya. 1m inhabitants of Costa Rica in 2003. Source: Source:

Gunmen release abducted Reps Minority Whip’s father Cajetan Mmuta BENIN


bductors of Pa. Samson Imarhiagbe Ogbewe, the octogenarian father of the Minority Whip and lawmaker representing Orhionmwon/ Uhunmwonde federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Samson Osagie, have released him to his family in Edo State. Ogbewe, who was released Thursday evening, was kidnapped last week Sunday by gunmen. Osagie told journalists yesterday that his father’s abductors had taken him

to a far away forest where they kept him for about one week. He said: “The kidnappers confessed they were asked to do everything possible to stop me from getting elected in the forthcoming general elections, giving a political colouration to the second abduction of my father.” The lawmaker thanked members of the security agencies in the state for their efforts at ensuring that his father was rescued unhurt. Osagie, therefore, tasked the Federal Government to rise up to the security challenges threatening the nation.

INEC may not issue PVCs to 102,500 people in A’Ibom –REC …begins distribution in Gombe


L-R: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Uhomoibhi Ihoeghian; Nigeria's ambassador to Ireland and Iceland, Mrs. Bolere Elizabeth Ketebu and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Aminu Wali, during the presentation of letter of credence to Ketebu, in Abuja... yesterday PHOTO: TIMOTHY IKUOMENISAN

South-East engineers offer to supervise construction of Second Niger Bridge PLEA Following the refusal of the Federal Government to involve Nigerian engineers in the Second Niger Bridge project, the NSE has offered to monitor the project


he Enugu chapter of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) yesterday urged the Federal Government to involve Nigerian engineers in the construction of the Second Niger Bridge. The NSE Chairman, Mr. Ezekwesili Onah, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Enugu on the sideline of the chapter’s Golden Jubilee celebration. Onah, who said the plea followed government’s refusal to award the contract to local engineers, suggested that indigenous engineers should be involved in su-

he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday said it could not process permanent cards for 102,500 registered voters in Akwa Ibom State due to technical problems. Also, the commission has commenced the distribution of permanent voter cards (PVCs) to electorate in Gombe State. But the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Uyo, Dr. Gabriel Ada, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), attributed the problem to double registration by those affected, noting that because of this, permanent voter cards distribution would not take place in 205 out of the 2,980 polling units. “The 205 polling units are tagged zero units, so those who registered in these units are advised to go for fresh registration commencing on May 28,” he said. Ada said if all registered voters in 2011 turn up to collect their permanent cards, the commission would have distributed 1.6 million voter cards. “The exercise is starting today and will last till Sunday, May 25,” Ada said. The commissioner assured the people that adequate security arrangement had been made to cover all the 2,980 distribution centres in the state. “The permanent voter cards will be given to those with temporary voter cards. There shall be

no collection of permanent voter cards by proxy,” he said. The first phase commencing from May 23 to May 25, will take place in 10 states, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Benue, Enugu, Gombe, Kebbi, Kogi, Taraba and Zamfara. Meanwhile, NAN reported that scores of voters turnout in the various polling units to collect their cards in Gombe metropolis. At A.Y.U Gombe, Goni Ali and Dahiru Abubakar polling units in Jeka Da Fari ward, only few individuals had collected their cards as at 10 a.m. Mohammed Saidu and Haruna Adamu, expressed happiness for collecting their permanent voter cards, saying they were sure of participating in the 2015 elections. Also some people, who said they had lost their temporary cards, were told to fill the attestation forms and provide passport photographs before their cards would be given to them. The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Prof. Istifanus Dafwan, who spoke with NAN, apologised for the commission’s inability to commence the exercise by 8 a.m. as announced. Dafwan attributed the delay to logistic problems, saying some of the items came from Abuja around 2 a.m. and were distributed between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.

pervision and monitoring. NAN reported that President Goodluck Jonathan, had on March 10, flagged off the construction of the Second Niger Bridge. “We do not yet have the full technical details of the bridge but going by the information in the public domain we believe that the project is good. “The South-East engineers shall collaborate to monitor the progress of the project through coordinated joint industrial visits,” Onah said. Onah said indigenous engineers were disappointed that their plea to government

to award the contract to local engineers was not considered. “Nigerian engineers came out openly and pleaded that they are ready to handle the bridge both in design and construction at a reduced cost. “This will have afforded the government the opportunity to access our ingenuity and serve as a form of technological transfer to upand-coming ones because you learn by doing,” he said. He said government needed to take the engineers into confidence by appreciating what they had. “Now that the contract has been given out, we want

Muritala Ayinla

Fashola sets up c’ttee on LASU ASUU strike


ndications emerged yesterday that the lingering crisis between the management of Lagos State University, (LASU), and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) would soon be resolved as the state governor, Mr. Babatunde

Fashola (SAN), has set up an Executive Committee to resolve the issues. New Telegraph gathered that the committee would look into the issues leading to the face-off as the governor was bent at ensuring that issues are urgently and amicably

to be involved in the supervision and monitoring.” Onah also appealed to the Federal Government to promote rail transportation in the South-East by establishing an East-West Rail line. “The rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt-EnuguMakurdi rail line appears to be unduly delayed. The rail line linking the western part of the country to the northern part has long been completed and functional. “We call for speedy completion of works and restoration of rail line transportation on Port HarcourtEnugu-Makurdi axis.

resolved. The state Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Florence Oguntuase, who also confirmed this at a press briefing yesterday, said indefinite strike embarked upon by the lecturers would soon

be over as government was ready to look into their demands to end the crisis in the institution to allow for smooth learning process. She said: “At the moment the executive council led by Governor Babatunde Fashola has set up

an executive committee to look into the demands of the striking lecturers.” Oguntuase said the committee will be meeting today (Friday) with the aim to look into the demands of the striking lecturers and proffer solutions.

APC raises the alarm over arrest of members in Gombe


he All Progressives Congress (APC) has alerted the nation to the systematic arrest, harassment and intimidation of its members and supporters in Gombe State by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government in the state and its police collaborators. In a statement issued in Lagos, yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the clampdown on the APC in Gombe was similar to what obtains in Bayelsa State, over which the party had cause to raise the alarm on May 14 and was sure to extend to other states as the 2015 general elections approach, because of the desperation and anti-democratic credentials of the PDP. It said the situation in

Gombe State is marked by the continuous destruction of APC properties, including offices, flags, posters, banners and billboards in most of the local government areas and party headquarters. “Sadly, the police who are maintained by taxpayers’ funds and are expected to be non-partisan have been providing cover for the PDP agents who engage in this destructive spree, while being quick to arrest our members and supporters who try to resist the destruction of our party’s properties. “In addition, the police engage in frequent arrest and detention of our youths and supporters, who are then charged to court in an action that is clearly aimed at weakening their resolve," the statement said.

14 countries to attend Harare’s carnival party Andrew Iro Okungbowa


he streets of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, will today witness pure entertainment, culture and tourism as the Harare International Carnival (HIC), which has been dubbed the biggest street party celebration in Southern Africa climaxes. The country and visitors have been promised a hitch-free and colourful celebration as the various carnival bands and the over 14 foreign countries expected to take part in the event are set and ready to entertain the people with their carnival and entertainment artistry. Chief Executive of Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), the country’s apex body, which organises the carnival in conjunction with various private bodies, Mr. Karikoga Kaseke, said if the successes record-

ed in previous carnivals were anything to go by, then people should expect a joyous and successful celebration today. ‘‘This Saturday (today) is the climax of the carnival. It is the carnival street party, dubbed the biggest party in Southern Africa. We want to invite everyone who will be in Harare to come enjoy with the carnivalists from across the World. It is a family fun-filled day with lot of entertainment and give away from our sponsors and partners,” he said. Kaseke also expressed thanks to all the sponsors and many private bodies, the security arm and government agencies, which had in the last seven days helped with the various events leading to today’s street party marking the second edition of the Harare International Carnival (HIC), an annual event dedicated to promoting the country’s tourism.

Waku, Saror, others may defect to PDP Cephas Iorhemen Makurdi


ndications emerged yesterday that three strong loyalists of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State may have concluded plans to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The politicians include a chieftain of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and former senator representing Benue North West, Chief Joseph Waku; former senate Minority Leader and former vice-chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Prof. Daniel Saror and the Director-General of the campaign organisation for the APC governorship candidate during the 2011 general election, Senator David Iornem. Also set to defect to the



PDP is a former speaker of the state House of Assembly and House of Representatives member for Logo/ Ukum and Katsina constituency respectively, Mr. David Mzenda Iho. New Telegraph's investigation revealed that Waku, Saror and Iornem have concluded plans to ditch opposition politics and work with Governor Gabriel Suswam, especially now that the Supreme Court on May 12, had consigned to the scrap heap the suit brought against the Suswam by his APC rival at the polls, Prof. Steve Torkuma Ugba. Saror had also dragged the governor to court challenging his qualification to contest that election alleging forgery of certificate, but the case was finally struck out for lack of merit.


Kwara distributes maize seeds to farmers


Kwara State Government yesterday offered 14.2 metric tonnes of improved maize seeds to farmers for planting this cropping season. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the improved maize varieties, provided in partnership with West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme, would be planted on 710 hectares of land across the state. Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, in a message to the distribution of the seeds in Ilorin, said the state was targeting to harvest 300 tonnes of the maize varieties at the end of the season.


The number of people whose right to water is not satisfied worldwide in 2011. Source:


Association procures N16m tricycles

ANOCOWA Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association has acquired 50 tricycles worth N16.5 million for distribution to its members following the ban on commercial motorcycle operation in Kaduna State. The Kaduna state Secretary of the association, Alhaji Muhammad Usman, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Kaduna that the distribution would commence immediately. He said the tricycles would be issued out to the members on loan, payable within 12 months.


FCT Anambra compiles data of unemployed youths

Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has directed the state Ministry of Youth and Sports to compile data of all unemployed youths in the state. Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Mr James Eze, said this yesterday in Awka, during an interaction with journalists. He said the directive was in fulfilment of the governor’s promise to fight crime and criminality in the state through massive job creation. Eze advised unemployed youths in the state to register with the ministry or through their local government councils.

900,000 The number of internet users in Kuwait in 2007. Source:


The percentage of households with internet access at home in Africa in 2005. Source:

NEITI threatens oil block owners, extractive firms over tax evasion THREAT To stem the rising wave of tax evasion among operators in oil sector, NEITI threatens public exposure Ndubuisi Ugah with agency reports


he Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has threatened to make public names of oil block owners and extractive companies, which have been evading the payment of taxes. The Chairman of NEITI, Mr. Ledum Mitee, who made the threat in Abuja, at the capacity building workshop for civil society organisations, said this would curtail those companies’ fraudulent activities.

Mitee, who was quoted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said NEITI would engage the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to help it in exposing companies which are evading taxes in the oil and gas sector. According to him, the plan is in line with the revised standards of global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to hold the companies accountable. “Thus, the revised NEITI standards require, for instance, disclosure of production figure, disclosure of ownership of the licence-holders and disclosure of beneficiary ownership,” he said. He explained that the new standards also require improved reliability of data transparency on the part of state-owned companies and other government agencies on revenue

collected on behalf of government. Mitee, who harped on the need to restore transparency in the extractive industry, said NEITI was ready to collaborate with CAC to identify people behind these companies. “If you say XYZ Limited is this company and all that, sometimes it is abstract and it does not convey the information you want to convey. So the new process is going to ask us to report on the beneficial ownership, which means for the first time we are engaging CAC, for them to tell us the people behind those companies,” he said. The NEITI chairman said the new standards focus on expenditure, social services, public infrastructure and fuel subsidy payments, adding that the revised standards encourage contract transparency from compa-

nies and government. Mitee, however, disclosed that the aspects of the new standards, which were not captured by the current NEITI processes, would be incorporated in the 2012 audit reports now in progress. NEITI's Executive Secretary, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the Fiscal Allocation Disbursement Audit covering the period 2007 to 2011 had been concluded and would soon be made public. Ahmed was represented by the Director of Civil Service Organisation, Mr. Peter Ogbobine. “This audit covered actual disbursements of funds accrued to the Federation Account from the oil and gas sector to the three tiers of governments and other agencies of government which directly receive allocations from the Federation Account.

L-R: Grand Khadi, Bauchi State, Ibrahim Maraba; Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ibrahim Zango (rtd.) and Bauchi State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Sagir Saleh, with the state judges, during the valedictory court session in honour of the retiring Chief Judge, in Bauchi….yesterday




FCT Agency upgrades laboratory to meet standards N EWS I N BRIEF



The National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) said yesterday in Abuja, that it had equipped its laboratories to meet international standards and enhance its performance. The Public Relations Officer of the agency, Mr. Babajide Iletoogun, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the measure was to justify its establishment and functions. “We are stocking up our laboratories too and a reasonable measure of security is required to befit the status of our agency,” he said. He said in a statement issued in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State that the resignation was a bad omen for the party and one that could have been avoided.

Union to train 100 women

The Borno Cassava Farmers Cooperative Union, on Friday said it would train 100 women affected by Boko Haram insurgency, on professional agricultural business entrepreneurship to make them self reliant. The Chairman of the cooperative, Alhaji Lawal Umara, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri, that the beneficiaries would be drawn from Kukawa and Nganzai Local Government Areas of the state. Umara said the training would empower the women to produce varieties of food such as gari, cassava bread, cakes, chinchin, donut among others in commercial quantity for sale to the public.

FTAN plans to host tourism investment forum

The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) says it had concluded plans to host a tourism investment forum on June 10 and June 11. A statement signed by the President of the association, Mr. Tomi Akingbokun, yesterday in Lagos, said the forum would serve as an avenue to boost economic development and promote the nation’s domestic tourism potential at the international market. It said the event would be the second edition and that it would be jointly organised in collaboration with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).

2.9m newborns die yearly –UNICEF CHILD MORTALITY UNICEF mourns high child mortality rate, calls for action to check it


Mojeed Alabi

lobal health organisation, United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), has revealed that no fewer than 2.9 million babies die each year within their first 28 days, with an additional 2.6 million recorded still-births occurring globally. This revelation was the product of papers released recently at the UNICEF headquarters in New York, in the United States of America by the world's leading general medical journal in Oncology, Neurology and Infectious Diseases, The Lancet. According to UNI-

CEF, the majority of these deaths can be avoided if the victims had received quality care around the time of their birth “with a particular focus on the most vulnerable and under-served.” The report further stated that the newborn deaths account for a staggering 44 per cent of total mortality among children under five, and represent a larger proportion of under-five deaths “now than they did in 1990. These deaths tend to be among the poorest and most disadvantaged populations.” It further added that 1.2 million of those deaths occur when the babies’ heart stop during labour. “The first 24 hours after birth are the most dangerous for both child and mother- almost half of maternal and newborn deaths occur then.” Head, UNICEF’s Global Health Programmes, Dr. Mickey Chopra, said these groups of children required

the attention of individuals and organisations, stating that shifting high focus on the crucial periods between labour and the first hours of life could increase the chances of survival for both mother and child. “We have seen tremendous progress in saving children under five, but where the world has stumbled is with the very youngest, most vulnerable children,” Chopra said. To halt the figure therefore, the global body, has set aside Monday, June 30, to launch a campaign against the newborn deaths, which is themed: “Every Newborn: An Action Plan to End Preventable Deaths, ENAP,” which is scheduled to take place in Johannesburg, South Africa. Meanwhile, ahead of the launch, a Nigerian childrenfocused organisation, The Wellbeing Foundation Africa, has pledged to mobilise Nigerians and Africans to address the problem and

relieve mothers of what it described as avoidable sorrow. The group, led by its President, Mrs. Toyin Saraki, had on May 16, spearheaded an innovative social media rally in partnership with Save the Children, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, PMNCH, and the Americabased strategic communications firm, GMMB. The social media rally, which specifically held on twitter between 11am to 8pm, featured discussions on the themes which included: Importance of Client-Held Personal Health Records in Ensuring Quality Ante-Natal, Delivery, and Post-Natal Care; Importance of Government Commitments to Newborn Health, Prematurity; Technology and Social and Behaviour Change Communication in Promoting Maternal and Newborn and Child Health in Nigeria, among others.

Fayose, Fayemi differ over rally, billboards Adesina Wahab Ado-Ekiti


group, sympathetic to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mr. Ayo Fayose, the Ekiti Movement for Good Governance (EMGG) has described the rally held by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday, as a “show of shame and lack of respect for the sanctity of human lives.” In a statement issued at the weekend and signed by EMGG National Secretary, Dr. Abiodun Aina, said the rally was a reflection of the dwindling popularity of the APC in the state. The group said: “The crowd at the rally was obviously manipulated by television camera to portray the attendance as massive. It was disheartening that the APC leaders went ahead to hold the rally despite the Jos, Plateau State bomb blasts in which hun-

dreds of Nigerians were killed.” While describing the rally as shameful, EMGG said it was laughable that the venue of the rally was scanty despite the fact that people from the neighbouring states attended the rally. “The APC, with its poor showing during the socalled mega rally manipulated television cameras to deceive the public that the stadium was full to capacity when in actual fact, not up to half of the stadium was filled while there were several empty seats at the gallery,” the group said. Also, another group loyal to the candidate of the APC, Dr Kayode Fayemi, the Ekiti Youth Emancipation Movement (EYEM), has urged Nigerians and Ekiti State people in particular, to ignore the allegation Fayose that his billboards were being burnt by supporters of the candidate of Fayemi.

Nigerians in Italy want Chibok schoolgirls’ rescued


s the bring-back-ourgirls campaign gains ground increasingly across the world, both Nigerian and foreign women in Milano, Italy, have lend their voices to the call for the release of over 200 Chibok girls abducted since April 14 by the Boko Haram insurgents, with a public protest held in the city of Milan, Italy. The women under the aegis of Casa Delledonne di Milano (Women House of Milano) in their message pleaded with the abductees of the schoolgirls to release them to their families with immediate effect and not to further aggravate the trauma of both the girls and their families who have

since the forceful abduction of their children suffered heavy trauma. According to the group, it is an ungodly act and also act against humanity for anyone to hold anybody against his wish, especially young innocent girls in this case who are defenceless and helpless. The group also called on the Nigerian government and all well – meaning countries, organisations and individuals to join forces in ensuring that the girls were rescued alive from wherever they might be kept while their abductees and everyone of their sponsors are brought to justice.

Yuguda pledges to support Fulani herdsmen Yuzarsif Alhassan Bauchi


One of the leaders and organisers of Casa Delledonne di Milano (Women House of Milano), Mrs. Stella Okungbowa Spedale (second right), during the protest...recently


The population of Luanda, Angola in 2010. Source:

$179.6bn The nominal GDP of Ukraine (IMF) in 2009. Source:


The percentage of road transport that is powered by biofuels. Source:

auchi State Government has promised to support the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBA) to protect the interest of Fulani herdsmen in the country. The state Governor, Malam Isa Yuguda, made the remark yesterday, when he received the National President of the association, Alhaji Muhammad Ziriwa, who paid him a courtesy call at Government House, Bauchi. The governor represented by his Chief of Staff and Commissioner for Animal Resources and Nomadic Re-

settlement, Alhaji Abdulkadir Muhammad, said time had come when members of the association should be adequately represented in all aspects of life. He expressed concern over what he described as the false accusations being levelled against Fulani herdsmen whenever there was misunderstanding between them and farmers. The governor called on the association to be proactive by improving on its services to its members. Speaking earlier, Ziriwa said the visit was to express their appreciation to Yuguda over his numerous support and assistance to the association.

Companies & Stock


24 MAY 2014

Unilever profit heads low in five years


onsumer goods company, Unilever Nigeria Plc is headed for a profit drop for the second year and that could lead to the worst profit record in the past five years. The conglomerate is losing sales revenue in the current year after it managed to step up growth in 2013. Profit margin is down to the lowest level in many years, as costs are not moderating sufficiently to compensate for the slacken revenue performance. A drop of 41 per cent in profit in the first quarter in the current year is indicating the company may see a more rapid drop in profit this year than it recorded in the preceding year. Market observers say Mr. Thabo Mabe, who heads the company has not grown wealth for shareholders in the last year and therefore failed to match the N1.40 per share dividend paid for 2012 operations. The company is likely to lose even more money for investors this year, indicating that dividend may drop also for the second year. At the end of the first quarter in March, the company posted an after tax profit of about N751 million. This represents a drop of about 41 per cent from the corresponding first quarter profit figure in the preceding year. If the current growth rate is maintained, after tax profit is expected to be in the region of N3.7 billion for Unilever Nigeria at the end of 2014. This will be a drop of 23.1 per cent from the net profit figure of N4.81 billion the company posted at the end of 2013. The 2013 profit figure for the company was a decline of 14.1 per cent from the peak profit figure of N5.60 billion earned in 2012. A drop in profit for the second year is indicated for the company based on the first quarter performance and that

Thabo Mabe, Unilever MD

could lead to the lowest profit figure seen any time since 2009. The company closed the first quarter with sales revenue of N13.83 billion, a moderate decline of 2.8 per cent from the corresponding revenue figure in 2013. Based on the first quarter growth rate, turnover is projected at N57.8 billion for Unilever Nigeria in 2014. This will be a decline of 3.7 per cent from the company’s peak sales revenue figure of N60 billion in 2013. The company has been able to maintain a continuing growth in

sales revenue in the past five years and this trend may be broken in the current year if the current growth rate is maintained to full year. Profit is dropping well ahead of revenue, which is an indication that costs aren’t coming down reasonably enough. This has led to a significant loss of profit margin. Net profit margin went down from 8.9% in the first quarter of last year to 5.4% at the end of the first quarter of the current year- the lowest margin in several years. This is a continuing decline in profit margin from 10.1% in the 2012 full year to 8.0% at the end of 2013. Two major cost elements seem to be out of management’s control and they are responsible for the sharp fall in profit margin. These are distribution/administrative expenses and interest charges both of which claimed significantly increased proportions of sales revenue during the first quarter. Distribution/ administrative expenses grew by 32 per cent to N3.82 billion in the first quarter against the decline in sales revenue during the period. It claimed an increased share of sales revenue at 27.5 per cent compared to 20.3 per cent in the corresponding period last year.

BPE dismisses claims of banks’ collapse over power sector loans


he Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), yesterday, urged investors to discountenance claims of the imminent collapse of commercial banks that invested in the nation’s power sector. The Director General of BPE, Mr. Benjamin Dikki faulted the claims while speaking at an all‑parties meeting, Wednesday, in Abuja during a presentation to the owners of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Successor Companies (SCs) by the Africa Energy Team of the World Bank. Dikki noted that the fears by some of the eminent take-over of SCs due to the purported non- servicing of loans or about the prospect of stress to the banks due to their exposure to SCs, were misplaced as the successor companies did not borrow directly from the banks for their books. According to him, “furthermore, no assets of the SCs were pledged as collateral. It should be noted that it was the acquiring companies or SPVs that borrowed based on their cash flows and accounts. The SPA signed also requires that the consent of the BPE is obtained before the core investors can borrow. “The banks lent to the core investors based on their capability to pay. The investors are supposed to have made adequate provisions to take care of their obligations to their financiers from the outset. They knew that they were not going to make profit immediately on take-over of the SCs. Their financiers also were aware of this.” During the presentation entitled “Reform of the power sector in Latin American countries in the 1990s,” aimed at sharing experiences of the power sector privatization in these countries, Mr. Pedro Antmann reminded the investors that their primary focus should be to provide adequate and efficient power supply to Nigerian

Dangote Sugar must drive profit despite revenue constraint


angote Sugar Refinery may step up its profit recovery process this year if its growth rate in the first quarter is maintained to full year. Sales revenue has dwindled and that is likely to be in force even this year. Its Group Managing Mr. Graham Clark, seems to be promising to extract more profit from each naira of sales this year than he did in 2013. The company’s strength for this year lies in cost saving with which it is able to stretch out profit margin. Cost cutting has been the company’s defensive strategy in recent years in the situation of sustaining revenue stagnation. The profit recovery anticipated this year is therefore not rooted in improving sales or market share, which leaves the company’s medium-term outlook uncertain. It’s latest profit figures are nowhere close to the peak record of 2008. A recovery move made in 2012 could not be sustained last year but this year may see a strong









Profit Before Tax








Current Assets




Total Assets




profit recovery stride by the sugar manufacturing company after a flat growth in 2013. At the end of the first quarter, net profit amounted to N3.78 billion for the company, which is an increase of 9.5 per cent over the corresponding figure in the preceding year. Net profit is projected at N16 billion for Dangote Sugar Refinery at the end of 2014. This will be an increase of 47.5% from the full year profit figure in 2013. Profit growth was flat in 2013 at N10.85 billion after a strong recovery of 50.9 per cent in 2012. A

downturn in profit performance began in 2009, when the company’s after tax profit fell from the 2008 peak of N21.87 billion to N13.19 billion. The falling trend continued up to 2011 when its profit dropped to N7.16 billion – less than one-third of the 2008 high. The profit weakness of the company is induced by revenue weakness. For four years to 2009, the company was unable to match its 2006 sales revenue figure. Sales revenue has again been creeping down in the past two years from the 2011

Aliko Dangote

peak record of N107.22 billion. The weakness is continuing even in the current financial year. The company reported a turnover of N25.88 billion at the end of the first quarter. This is a decline of 6.4% from the corresponding sales revenue figure in 2013. Based on the current growth rate, sales revenue is projected at N105.5 billion for Dangote Sugar Refinery in 2014.

consumers. He said there were unusual challenges at the initial stages of the privatisation exercise but that with determination and the right strategy, it would be surmounted. Antmann urged the investors not to aim at making profit now but to endeavour to develop infrastructure and to meet the cost of supply. The World Bank official advised the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to make a provision in its rules to adjust tariffs in times of low generation and shortage of gas supply. Antman, drawing from experiences in other countries, said these challenges were normal at the early stages and urged investors not to focus on short term gains, but invest in infrastructure that will guarantee sustained future profits.

GTBank emerges 2014 African Bank of the year


oremost Nigeria’s financial services provider; Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank has emerged the “2014 African Bank of the Year” for the second consecutive time courtesy award from African Banker Magazine. The bank was honoured at the award of the yearly event held on Wednesday, 21st May, 2014 at Kigali Serena Hotel, Rwanda. The African Banker Awards is one of the biggest annual events that recognizes and celebrates the achievements of the financial services industry in Africa. It recognizes individuals and financial institutions contributing to the development and growth of Africa’s banking industry and changing perceptions of the continent’s domestic and international markets. Outlining the rationale for selecting GTBank as the overall winner of the coveted ‘African Bank of the Year’ award, the panel of judges commented that the award recognizes financial institutions that are industry leaders, consistently report strong financial performance and significantly contribute to the quality of service offered by the financial services industry within their country & across the African continent. Commenting on the awards ceremony, Publisher of African Banker Magazine; Mr Omar Ben Yedder said “We are here in Kigali where we have witnessed the transformation of a country. Since we have launched the awards we have witnessed the transformation of an industry. There is no room for complacency because there is much room for growth and development to achieve the transformation we all desire and work towards. Seeing local African banks finance and structure international deals is a step forward and unimaginable a decade back. I am also delighted to see 3 women pick up three coveted individual awards. Congratulations to them all!”


Should a married woman add her maiden name to her husband name? p.12


24 MAY 2014


I also want to give back to the society —Kanu Heart Foundation’s first beneficiary Although she was just two when doctors discovered she had hole in the heart, Enitan Adesola, 16, the first beneficiary of the Kanu Heart Foundation’s free heart surgery, tells CAMILLUS NNAJI she wants to be a philanthropist like her benefactor, former Super Eagles captain, Kanu Nwankwo, so she can help the needy.


hen doctors at Ikeja General Hospital, now Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), broke the news that two-year-old, Enita Adesola, had a hole in the heart in 2000, her family was dejected and confused. Although the diagnosis was right, the hospital was helpless as it lacked the needed facilities to correct the defect. The only option was for the girl to be flown abroad for surgery. This, of course, required a lot of money. While Enitan’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Muraina Adesola, were determined to ensure that the anomaly was corrected, the cost of the needed corrective surgery was beyond their reach. They were helpless as their daughter continued to suffer excruciating pains associated with hole in the heart. Muraina said, “When we heard from doctors at Ikeja General Hospital that Enitan had a heart problem at age two precisely the year 2000, we were confused and started running from pillar to post in search of solution. We were told one Baba at ikeja who had a native hospital could help us but when we got there, he could not but referred us to University College Hospital Ibadan(UCH), which was said to be more advanced in that area.” His wife, Amudat, added, “But at UCH, we met thousands of children and adults on the waiting list. Even the hospital was not reliable enough because of the critical nature of the ailment at that time. “One remarkable thing of note was that when we were heading to Ibadan, Enitan had a serious attack on the way, she was half dead as the matter became very serious, hope was almost lost at the sight of thousands of people with heart crisis at the UCH.” But hope came the way of the couple when Kanu Heart Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, floated by a former Super Eagles captain, Kanu Nwankwo, intervened. Amudat reflects on the experience “The hope that was lost and the destiny that must be fulfilled was God’s plan that Kanu Nwankwo would sponsor our daughter abroad for this surgery. A friend told me that Kanu was planning to establish a heart foundation for treating children and adults with heart problems, she said she heard the announcement on Brila FM, precisely from Mr. Larry Izamoje, who announced the plan. “We started looking for Izamoje who was very nice and accommodating when

Enitan Adesola

Beneficiaries with Kanu Nwankwo

we finally met him. He called Kanu about Enitan’s case and Kanu immediately accepted that Enitan would be the first beneficiary of the foundation.” “Izamoje asked us to write a letter to Kanu , stating our request which we did immediately. On June 3, 2000 at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, during a press conference organised for the launch of the Kanu Heart Foundation, we met Kanu for the first time. On June 21, 2000, the formal launching of the foundation took place at Sheraton and we were there. On that day Kanu announced to everybody that Enitan Adesola would be the first beneficiary of the foundation.” “Kanu immediately planned for our travel to Israel and asked us to get a referral letter from UCH for documentation. Do you know that on our way again, Enitan had another attack which almost claimed her life? As a result of this, the travel was delayed for three weeks yet Kanu and his foundation were patient and never changed their mind.” When Enitan was ready to travel, it was learnt that UCH medical staff pleaded with Kanu to take one or two more people from their list, resulting in the inclusion of Master Tosunmi Okude and another child for the medical trip to England for the heart surgery. But while the travel documents were being processed, the unnamed third child died two days before the departure day. It was learnt that Okude now lives in London with his family. Amudat said, “We cannot measure our thanks to the Almighty God who showed this special intervention through the Kanu Heart Foundation. Where would we have gotten the huge amount of money in dollars

required for the treatment. “I want to thank the foundation and the managers, if they are not doing well, they could not have carried out over 470 heart operations abroad, which even the government cannot do. Kanu is using his image to bring smiles on the faces of heart patients in Nigeria. For the beneficiary herself, many things have happened since then. The girl, who is now 16-year-old, is in SSS at Solad International School, Abeokuta. Enitan said, “I have had no complains

since my operation and I am in school now hoping to give back to the society what Kanu did for me as a philanthropist. After my secondary school education, I want to study law in order to fight for people’s right. Also I want to be a model, because I love the career. Academically, I am doing well and want to thank the man, Kanu, who I came to know as I grew up for fulfilling God’s plan for me and for sponsoring the trip which keeps me alive till today.”

Robbery scare rattles Ekiti banks Adesina Wahab Ado-Ekiti


ommercial banks in Ado-Ekiti on Friday hurriedly closed shop following the rumour that some robbers were operating in one of the new generation banks. The rumour that the bank, located in Ajilosun area of the town, was under robbery siege, sparked off anxiety as people scampered for safety to prevent being hit by stray bullets. Some customers who were inside banking halls of some of the banks were asked to lie on the floor as a security measure. The rumour spread when transactions had already commenced in virtually all the banks. Shortly after the news filtered into town, banks located in the Old Garage area and the popular Secretariat Road, had to stop transactions throughout the day and closed their main entrance gates. It was reliably gathered that officials in

some of the banks had to ask their customers to get out of the premises, having received security alert and would have to take extra caution to forestall being caught napping by armed hoodlums. In his reaction, the Public Relations Officer of the Ekiti State Police Command, Mr Victor Babayemi, described the information as false. Babayemi said there wasn’t any robbery in Ado-Ekiti or any of the towns in the state, urging the public to discountenance such and go about their normal businesses. It was later gathered that it was some armed mobile policemen that invaded the popular Fayose Market close to the bank the robbers were said to have invaded. He said: “The command has put machinery in motion to deal with such situation. But I want to say that there wasn’t any case of robbery in Ado Ekiti or environ. “We are assuring the members of the public of adequate security. We also appeal that they should go about their normal businesses without fear.”




Mother, daughter drown in Delta boat mishap Joe Obende Warri


Indian Hemp

Man bags six months imprisonment for drug trafficking


Federal High Court in Lagos, on Friday sentenced a 22-year-old carpenter, Sikiru Yusuf, to six months imprisonment for trafficking in illicit drugs. Yusuf had pleaded guilty on arraignment. Justice Mohammed Yunusa sentenced Yusuf, after listening to the review of facts made by a National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) officer, Mr. Lawrence Odede. Odede was led in evidence by the Prosecutor, Mr. Jeremiah Aernan. Odede told the court that he was an Exhibit Officer attached to the NDLEA, Lagos State Command. He said that Yusuf was brought to his office by the NDLEA patrol team with a bag

containing a substance suspected to be Indian hemp. The NDLEA officer said the suspected substance weighed 10.1 Kilogrammes. He said the NDLEA forensic expert tested the sample of the substance and it tested positive to Indian hemp. Odede told the court that in the course of investigation, he came across the statement of the accused and the certificate of test analysis. Other items included a request for scientific aid form, a sealed brown envelope and the bulk of the seized substance. The prosecutor tendered the items in court and they were admitted in evidence. Aernan urged the court to convict the accused. The prosecutor had told the

court that the convict committed the offence on November 2, 2013 at Akala area of Mushin, Lagos. He said the offence contravened Section 11 (C) of the NDLEA Act, Cap N30, Laws of the Federation, 2004. The accused pleaded for leniency, saying that he would never indulge in such an illegal act and promised to become a better person. The judge, however, sentenced him to six months imprisonment and ordered that the sentence should take effect from the day of his arrest. He also ordered that the bulk of the substance be destroyed. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the convict was first arraigned on April 14 and had been in detention since arrest.

EFCC to arraign oil mogul over N48.9m fraud

Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan

Car dealer faces N2.7m fraud charge


56-year-old car dealer, Vincent Omelebele, was on Friday charged with N2.7million fraud at an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court in Lagos. Omelebele, of 71, Palm Avenue, Mushin, Lagos State, is facing a three-counts charge of conspiracy, obtaining money under false pretences and stealing. The prosecutor, Inspector Stephen Molo, told the court that Omelebele committed the offences alongside others who were at large sometime in December 2011 at Aguda, Surulere, Lagos. Molo said the accused obtained a N2.7million grey 2008 Toyota Camry Car with chassis number: ATIBE46K88U224319, belonging to one Ms Maria Nobei. He said that the accused obtained the car from the complain-

ant on the pretext of selling it and remitting its proceeds to her. According to Molo, the accused, rather than fulfil his business obligation to the complainant, converted the proceeds from the sale of the car to his own use. He said that the offences contravened Sections 285, 312 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. Omelebele, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 312 prescribes 15 years imprisonment for the offence of obtaining by false pretences. The magistrate, Mrs. Joy Ugbomoiko, granted the accused bail in the sum of N500, 000 with two sureties in like sum. Ugbomoiko adjourned the case till June 10 for mention.

‘Folic acid intake can prevent pregnancy abnormalities’


Emmanuel Onani

he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said it has concluded plans to arraign the Finance Manager of Cetco Oilfield Services Limited, Akintunde Ajao, alongside his company, YPSL Limited, on offences bordering on forgery, conspiracy “and obtaining money under false pretences.” A statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, noted that the Commission had, on May 21, “filed four-count information at the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, River State against the suspect.” Part of the statement reads: “The suspect, allegedly acting on a directive purportedly from the River State Board of Internal Revenue (RSBIR), diverted the sum of fifty-two million, two hundred and eighty two thousand (N52, 282, 000) to YPSL Limited, a company

s preparations by Ijaws of the Niger Delta for the passage rites of late monarch, His Royal Majesty, Amaa Pere Amakosu of Ogbe-Ijoh/Warri Kingdom, Oduwor III, which flags off today, another calamity has struck in their domain. A 48-year-old housewife, Mrs. Alina Geoffrey and her 14-year old stepdaughter on Tuesday died in a mysterious boat mishap in Bent Island, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State. They had gone fishing when a furious storm capsized their boat and both of them drowned. Alina’s body was recovered on Wednesday by local divers and was buried same day, while that of her stepdaughter was recovered on Thursday and had also been buried. The Regent of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom and the Ijaw Toro-Ebediwe of Warri, Chief Samson Mamamu, confirmed the incident to New Telegraph, saying the development saddened the Ijaw given the timing of its occurrence. “It was an evil wind and we are

very saddened,” he had said in low tones. He revealed that there were tell-tales on the recovered bodies which indicated that they did not just drown. He said, “It appeared that aside the storm, thunder struck them to death. You know that we the Ijaw do not just drown like that. We are good swimmers. “Our men swim very well; our women swim and even our children. It is part of us. I think it was the thunder that killed them.”

A EFCC boss, Ibrahim Lamorde

allegedly promoted by him, to defrauded Cetco Oilfields Services Nigeria Limited. “Investigations by the commission revealed that Ajao used his office as Finance Manager to prepare a letter purportedly signed by the Chairman of the Board showing a false tax liability of Cetco Oilfield Services Limited to the tune of seventy four million, nine hundred and sixty three thousand,

seven hundred and twelve naira , eighty kobo (74,963,712,80) out of which he, on behalf of Cetco, remitted the sum of Twenty-six million, eighteen thousand naira to the RSBIR as the actual tax liability of the company and converted the balance of forty eight million nine hundred and forty five thousand, seven hundred and twelve naira, eighty kobo (48,945,712:80) to his personal use.”

neurosurgeon, Dr. Omotayo Ojo, on Friday in Lagos, advised women of child-bearing age to take prescribed amount of folic acid tablets to prevent abnormalities that could arise during pregnancy. Ojo, who works at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that folic acid had the potency to develop a baby’s cells and organs properly. According to him, congenital anomalies are common in Nigeria because women start taking folic acid only after conception. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, describes congenital anomaly as a condition existing at birth and often before birth, or that de-

velops during the first month of life regardless of causation. Ojo said: “The commonest congenital anomaly in children has to do with neural tube; when it happens, it will make the leg to be malformed, affects the heart and the head. “And where researches have been done, they found out that a tablet of folic acid everyday helps to prevent all this completely. “Here, it’s common because people only take folic acid when they have been confirmed pregnant. “But this development takes place at the third week of pregnancy, and that is even before the woman knows she’s pregnant; so, you can see she has already missed the nourishment.”




Street Diary

Should a married woman add her maiden name to her husband’s name? She can based on mutual agreement

In a typical African society, the culture is for the woman to drop her maiden name for her husband's name. But there are some exceptional cases where the lady's maiden name has become a household name and it could be quite difficult to change the name (Kim Kardashian and our very own Omotola Jalade Ekeinde). Personally I don't see anything wrong in a lady using her maiden name and her husband's name at the same time. In cases like these, there should be a mutual agreement between the two before they marry.

(Jane Ogonna Obinwa, undergraduate)

If the husband agrees with it, fine

It is for her husband to decide. However, it happens when the woman's surname is popular or the woman has made the surname great that she wants people to still identify her with it. We should remember that name travels more than the face.

(Tope Akeju, banker) compiled by

Mojeed Alabi, Olushola Ricketts AND Victoria Ewoh

There is nothing wrong if my wife chooses to add her father's name to my surname but what is important is that she cannot bear her father's name alone under my roof. If she wants to do that, she can go and marry her father.

(Adunola Akeem, businessman)


he people of Igbakwu and Omor communities in Anyamelu Local Government Area of Anambra State, have donated 200 plots of land for the construction of police college in the state. The Liaison Officer for the Local Government, Dr. Chinedu Anachuna, said the gesture was aimed at assisting the Nigeria police in their effort to train their members in state. According to him, the college has become necessary in view of the need to encourage the police in their effort to protect lives and property and enhance effective and efficient policing in the country. He described the Nigeria Police as best in Africa and urged the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar and

Chairman, Police Services Commission, PSC, Chief Mike Okiro, to immediately commence development on the land. Anachuna observed that in view of the security challenges in the country, there is need for all stakeholders in the country to join hands in assisting the federal and state governments in their task of ensuring adequate security of lives and properties of Nigerian. He however used the opportunity to console the Police Service Commission chairman who recently lost his mother. He said: “Your mother would be lying comfortably in the bosom of the Lord having gotten somebody like you who after his meritorious service as the former IGP, and now continues in the national sacrifice as the PSC chairman.” The liaison officer remarked that the commu-

There is no biblical basis for it. If they are married why would she want to include her maiden name? However, most women do this but it doesn't mean that it is right. I totally disagree with a woman including her maiden name with her husband’s name.

(Adefalujo Akin, accountant)

She can for proper identification

She can if the husband permits her to do so

A married woman could add her maiden name for proper identification particularly as it enables her old friends to easily identify her, especially on social network nowadays.

It is a matter of choice, if she pleases there is nothing wrong with it. She including her maiden name is not a crime or a sin. So let it be if she wants to and her husband agrees with it. It is not as if she won't bear her husband's name though.

(Bello Afeez Abiodun, ICT expert)

There is nothing wrong with it

(Adelana Yetunde, student)

There is nothing wrong in it if it pleases the woman to include her maiden name; there is really no problem with it. Most times the husband might be against it but if they agree then nothing is wrong if the woman does this.

I don’t fancy it

Well, it doesn't make sense but the women like it. I don't know the reason most women like the idea but I don't need or fancy it..

(Titilayo Atunnise, entrepreneur)

(Shobowale Temitope)

Anambra communities donate 200 plots of land to police Onah O. Onah Onitsha

It is wrong, I totally disagree with it

My wife can if she wants to

N29.6m theft: Court remands businessman in prison


IGP Mohammed Abubakar

nities deemed it necessary to provide the plots as part of their contribution to the development of the state and the country at large. He commended the effort of the Nigeria police and other security agencies so far in the ongoing struggle to secure the release of about 200 students of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, abducted by Boko Haram over a month now. According to him, the

Gov Willie Obiano

Federal Government can only combat crime and insurgency in the country if there are well trained and experienced officers and men of Nigeria police force particularly. He therefore, called on other communities, public spirited individuals as well as captains of industries and other well-meaning Nigerians to donate generously for the development of Nigerian police force in the interest of all.

n Abuja Senior Magistrates’ Court on Friday ordered that a businessman, Ibrahim Mohammed, be remanded in prison, pending further investigation in the case of theft and breach of trust against him. Mohammed, who resides in Maitama, Abuja, is charged with criminal breach of trust and theft of N29.6 million, the News Agency of Nigeria reports. The Senior Magistrate, Mr. Chukwuemeka Ubari, gave the order after the prosecutor said investigations had not been concluded. Ubari then adjourned the case until June 5 for the police to brief the court on the progress of the investigation. Earlier, the prosecu-

tor, DSP Fao Longe, from the Police Headquarters, Abuja, had told the court that one Nwunebe Eliar wrote a petition to the Inspector-General of Police saying he entrusted N29.6 million with the accused person to keep for him. He said that the accused, however, dishonestly misappropriated the money without the consent of the complainant. The prosecutor objected the bail request for the accused, saying police had yet to conclude investigation into the matter. Mohammed had, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge but would remain in prison custody, pending police investigation into the case.

Instyle Flattering outfit for the busty p.15 Travel Turbo charged thrills on the World Cup’s sidelines p.42




24 MAY 2014


C o n v e r s at i o n

‘To be a successful manager you must earn people’s trust’ Apart from reputedly being the first black general manager of United Kingdom-based hotel, Kazzem Kolawole Durosomo, general manager of Pearl Court Hotel, in Ikoyi, Lagos, has other fond memories of his over three-decade career, which includes hosting the Prince Charles, Alex Ferguson and his treblewinning Manchester United team. He talks to ANDREW IRO OKUNGBOWA DUROSOMO

Coming to Nigeria It never did crossed my mind that I will work in Nigeria because when I finished my studies in the UK, I earned a master’s of science degree in hotel management and worked my way through from night auditor to front office manager, food and beverage manager, operations manager, reception manager and, eventually, became the first black general manager to work in a big hotel chain. It never occurred to me that I will come to Nigeria to manage a hotel. It just happened that a friend of the founder of Pearl Court Hotel stayed at one of the hotels I was managing, Shrigley Hall Hotel, Golf and Country Club, and asked to see me. When we met he asked me what I was doing in the UK and why I haven’t considered coming to Nigeria; that Nigeria needs someone with my experience. I was shocked by this and I said, ‘okay, I will see how it goes’. Eventually, I got a phone call from the chairman (Deacon Olatunji Kolade Belo) that I should meet with them in Germany to start discussion. That was how I found myself in Nigeria. Lagos tax burden Although the Lagos State consumption tax happens in other countries as well, but my concern is the way and manner the tax officers are harassing the hotels and the lack of support to hotels and hotels associations by Lagos State. In Rome, Italy, it is just one euro for a guest, no matter how long you stay. But in Lagos it is five percent of your revenue and it is top line of your revenue not considering how you make the revenue. You have other overheads, for instance, here in the hotel, 99.9 percent of the time we are on generator. Lagos State doesn’t consider these things, all they want is just the five percent

of your revenue. When we were registering with the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) the amount was minimal, but now it is 50 percent higher than what NTDC was charging. For me, I don’t think Lagos State is working in partnership with the hotel industry. This is what is bringing revenue to this country now and what is the hotel industry getting back? I agree that every state wants to raise revenue, but Lagos State should follow the international standard. The investors are bleeding. Managing hotels in Nigeria what is happening here in terms of professionalism has to do with challenges with the staff. It happens in other countries as well, but in Nigeria it is tough. In the UK I managed by talking to my staff, advising on what we need to do, but in Nigeria I am hands-on, I have to be with them 24 hours. Theft is a major issue and I don’t want to blame the staff totally for that. But whilst I don’t encourage theft the investors, hotel owners or employers as a whole, need to look at themselves in terms of salaries. How can how you have somebody working 15, 18 hours a day for you, six days a week and you pay them N40,000? How is that possible and you don’t expect that person to go and steal chicken and tie it round the waist? The skills are porous. A lot of people working in the industry are not hospitality-trained staff. Somebody finishes from the school with a banking certificate, the next thing you see is, ‘oh, let me go and work in the hotel industry because it is easy getting job there’.

1983. I went straight to Scotland and it was a cold country. I didn’t know how cold it was going to be in Scotland because I only went with a shirt and trousers not knowing that I needed more than that. My mother was with me and she wouldn’t leave me alone. She was with me for one week before returning to Nigeria. Before I became a general manager as a black man in Europe it was tough. When we (about 25 of us in the class) finished our studies - masters of science in hotel management - while the white guys were given jobs the two blacks were left stranded. I started my career as a night auditor with a master’s degree because I was determined that I have to be a general manager in the UK and I was determined to work my way up. I had a very good knowledge of the industry by coming in as night auditor, food and beverage controller, reception manager, front office manager, housekeeping manager, operations manager and eventually becoming a general manager. That wasn’t the trend but it was largely because I was a black man, a Nigerian. You may become operations manager, a front office house manager, but to become a general manager you had to earn that trust because as a general manager you are the ‘Alpha and Omega’. In Europe the owners don’t sit on your back every day; you are left to do your job and you make your report every week to the directors. My career spanned over 28 years in the UK and it was at the later part of those years that I became a general manager unlike my colleagues that we studied together then.

UK odyssey I was 21 when I left Nigeria for UK. That was in






Durosomo says his wife - seen here with their children - swept him off his feet with her intelligence and beauty ... With Prince Charles (inset)


Interest in hospitality When we were in primary school my mother, Rafat Ikotun, was the executive housekeeper at Mainland Hotel, in Lagos, and when were young we used to go and see her there. That was where I grew my interest in the hospitality industry. When I travelled abroad to study for my first degree in business management at Heriot–Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland, I was wondering what I would do for my master’s. I was courting my wife then and I asked myself what job I would take on that will sustain me in the long term if I decided to stay back in the UK. I remembered the hospitality industry and my mother at Mainland Hotel and I just settled for hospitality. So I chose to go for masters in hotel management in Glasgow (University of Strathclyde). By then my wife and I were married. Tortuous road to the top There was this man whom I will never forget - Ian Pollock. This man - he is Scottish - worked in South Africa and went back to England to work as hotel manager. When he advertised that he was looking for operations manager, I applied although I was already operations manager in another hotel. I wanted to move for a change. He was actually the one who later told me that there were over 200 candidates who applied for that job. He said he sifted through all the CVs and shortlisted 20 and from 20 he shortlisted 10. Of course, I passed through every stage and from the 10 he made a shortlist of three. It was a tough interview and I have never attended such interview before. It took over three weeks because this man wanted the best. Eventually at the final stage of the interview when he decided that this is the man he wanted, he said to me: ‘tell me, with your experience, how come you have not become a general manager all these years?’ I looked at him and I said to him, ‘Mr. Pollock, you tell me why I have not become a general manager with all that I have done?’ He said, ‘because you are black.’ And

I said to him, ‘well, you said it.’ Then he said ‘okay, you know what? I am going to take you on but if you can prove yourself to me to be very good as you are on paper, then I am going to help you become a general manager.’ But he said I should give him two years and I said ‘another two years!’ An operations manager’s job is a tough one; you don’t get rest. And I said, ‘okay take me on, I will help you as an operations manager because without me you can’t be successful. If I’m good, you will have rest and have your weekends off.’ We shook hands and I joined the group. I didn’t know he has been talking with the director about me. So after two years I knocked on his doors and I said, ‘Mr. Pollock what about what you promised?’ He said, ‘okay, we will see, just be patient.’ Unfortunately for me, after two years this man was promoted in the group as director of operations, which means he became in charge of other hotels and the company brought another manager to take over his place and I was so disappointed. Then another prestigious hotel in London was looking for operations manager and I said, ‘am I going to be an operations manager all my life?’ They said to me that if you can be an operations manager in Strigley Hall Hotel then you must be good. I attended the interview and they gave me a letter of appointment, a nice flat in London and gave me more money. I went to Mr. Pollock, I didn’t bother to talk to my general manager, and said to him, ‘look I need to go’ and he said to me, ‘no, don’t resign yet.’ So he made a phone call to the directors and the CEO of the company. Then I got phone calls that I should be patient. The fact that I got phone calls from the CEO of the company was the reason I didn’t resign. That means they appreciated my patience, because if I go to London I will still need to prove myself and I decided to stay. Having Prince Charles as a guest My patience handed me my first general manager’s work at Palace Hotel and while there I looked after Prince Charles because he was our guest at the time. The

U p C lo se Birthplace - Lagos Vocation - Hotel management Education - Holds a BA degree in Business Administration from Heriot-Wall University, Edinburgh, Scotland; MSC in Hotel Mdministration, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland Present job - General Manager at Pearl Court Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos Previous jobs - Administration Officer, Department of Works and Pensions, UK; General Manager, Millennium Copthorne Hotel, Birmingham; General Manager, Barcelo’ Shrigley Hall Hotel, Golf and Country Club; General Manager, Palace Hotel, Buxton; Operations Manager, Shrigley Hall Hotel, Golf and Country Club; Food and Beverage Manager, Thistle Hotel, Manchester.

company was worried and didn’t know how I was going to handle it because it was a big security issue. But it went well. Prince Charles was asking me questions about Nigeria and I took pictures with him, it was good and the company was impressed about it. Before he arrived, his personal assistant and his staff came to the hotel, teaching us how to greet him and relate with the prince. So they were teaching me how I’d bow, let him be the one to stretch out his hand first. When he arrived we filed out, my staff and me, I bowed and he shook my hand and he said: ‘how are you? You are the general manager?’ And I said ‘yes’. Then he said, ‘you must have done well for yourself to be the general manager of this hotel’. Then he said, ‘Oh, I remember my mother (referring to the queen) was in Nigeria not too long ago; it is a troublesome country at the moment, isn’t it?’ He was very down to earth, a very calm person, if you

“The Manchester United team, Alex Ferguson, George Best and others would come to the hotel for dinner and I will be the one to look after them.”

were very uneasy, he made you feel at ease. He stayed the whole day and also took a room as well because he was making some presentations. I was impressed and proud and wished that my mother was alive then to see me having handshake and talking with the prince. My mother was a fan of Prince Charles and his ex-wife, the late Princess Diana. Encounter with Alex Ferguson I was working in Manchester when Manchester United won the treble 1999. I looked after Alex Ferguson and the rest of the football team. The Manchester United team, Alex Ferguson, George Best and others would come to the hotel for dinner and I will be the one to look after them. When they won the treble, it was at the hotel they came to celebrate it, the football writers association, all the footballers and most of the football managers were all there and I looked after them. I have also met Natalie Cole. I told her that if I had a daughter, she would be named after her and that was what I did as I named my first daughter after Natalie Cole. Swept off his feet by wife’s beauty and intelligence We met at the university, Herriot Watt. Being the only black person in the class I was always conscious of the people around me. She said ‘look at that tall, nice looking man’ and that was how we met. My wife was actually interested in African culture because when she did her sixth form in college she wrote a book about South Africa and that is how we met and got talking. We started going out and the first time she invited me to her home I was scared of what the parents were going to say, but they were very welcoming and never cared about colours. It was only when I proposed to her that my father-in-law wondered whether I would be able to protect his daughter from any racial issue. But we have been fine and I don’t think that I have faced any racial prejudices in my marriage and my children have not faced it too because we are always in the right places. Of course, her beauty was the attraction for me. It was the beauty first and intelligence.




Obsessed with the 80s look For actor and filmmaker, Deinso Odukwe, the desire to look good and comfortable never means jettisoning his love for the classic look. Odukwe, who defines his style as cool, calm and collected, speaks with ANGELA DAVIES. How would you define your style? My style is cool, calm and collected. I dress up in clothes that I feel comfortable in. I am not very big into designer names. For me, I am a young man but I love the style of the 60’s, 70’s and the 80’s because then you do not have to put in too much effort to look good. So, I think that is why my style is cool, calm and collected as long as the cloth looks good on me and I am comfortable in it, I am good to.

Flattering outfits for the busty Angela Davies


eing busty comes with its own fashion challenge especially with regard to finding suitable outfits. For women who are busty, it is about understanding what works for your body shape and putting everything in proportion by wearing the right outfits and accessories and still look alluring. Black dress Wearing a black dress is the best known way to flatter your busty figure because black does not over accentuate your chest and it is usually easy to find many styles of dresses in black. Wrap dress A wrap dress or top disguises what a woman wants to cover-up while giving the wonderful illusion of a curvy silhouette. However, the magic lies in the wrapping. Outfits with V or scoop neckline Since the main objective is to try and make your chest more proportional with the rest of your body it is advisable to consider a V or scoop neckline when picking an outfit as they work best for busty women. Empire waist outfits Empire waist dresses and tops whose waist line usually starts right below the bust are universally flattering on busty women because they help unify all of your body's features. Fitted, not clingy clothes Ensure your tops and

dresses are fitted, but not clingy to emphasize your busts and create a stylish silhouette. Fitted jackets Women who are busty should opt for a fitted, streamlined jacket style that is nipped in at the waist. Dark colours Wearing darker colour tops and blouses will have the effect of reducing the appearance of your bust. Cinch it in Instead of using a belt on an over sized top or dress, opt for one that is fitted around the bust to create a streamlined effect. However, belts too add some pep to your outfit. Stick to short necklaces Long necklaces have a tendency to sit gracelessly on a large bust. Hence, stick to shorter chains or collar style necklaces for an exotic feel. Scarves Scarves are a versatile accessory. Aside using them to add some colour to your outfit, you could use them to cover up a neckline that is too low or over accentuates your chest. Right bra Finally, wear the right bra as it will not only accentuate your bust and provide better support, but also make the rest of your clothes sit and look better, thus, giving you a flattering look.

What kind of outfits take up a larger space in your wardrobe? I will say casuals because those are the kind of clothes I feel comfortable in. What kind of cloth won’t you be caught wearing? You will not catch me wearing an agbada because it is too big. What is that fashion item you cannot do without as a man? My underwear and that is because no matter the kind of cloth I am wearing if I don’t wear my underwear, I feel awkward. I feel like I am naked and it has to be cotton underwear. Favourite clothing item That will be shirts. I think one of my best features is that I have broad shoulders. I love to wear good shirts that will flatter my shoulder. Best designers I like TM Lewin and John Lewis. I like their shirts. In Nigeria I like Mudi because he defines my style. I also love an Aba based designer called OJ because he makes very wonderful clothes. Fashion accessory you cannot leave home without? It will be my underwear. I mean my boxer shorts and singlet. What is that fashion accessory you wouldn't mind spending so much on? It would be shoes. Shoes are good and every man should invest in good shoes. What kind of shoes do you like? I love good shoes in black, brown and blue colours. Suede shoes too are really good. Do you follow fashion fad? No I don’t because following fashion fad doesn’t make any sense to me. Signature perfume I love Tom Ford because the fragrance is heavenly. Best colour I love blue. Have you seen a guy in a blue suit before? He looks like a lady wearing a red dress. I mean a lady wearing a nice red hugging dress, she looks outstanding that is the same way a guy in a blue suit looks.




Accessories to live for

Facts Remilekun Manoela Carolino Owadokun, the Creative Director/CEO of Buttons Couture initial’s collection campaign in 2010 involved the use of Nigerian celebrities such as Mike Anyasodo, Nomoreloss, Anis of Project Fame and Dayo of Hip-hop World, all wearing statement pieces embellished with buttons which become her trademark and earned her the nickname, Remi Buttons. Sneakers were first produced in 1800. They had a simple rubber sole design and the name sneaker comes from the fact that their soles are smooth, that they hardly make a sound on the ground.

Necklaces are forever Statement-making necklaces are beautiful and elegant. So, jazz up your ensemble and prepare to steal the spotlight wherever you go in showstopping pieces. ANGELA DAVIES writes.

Fashion Weeks originally where trade-only events for buyers and manufacturers. This has changed and they are now highly publicized events, which attract celebrities and the “crème de la crème” from all over the world.


tatement-making necklaces are eye-catching, audacious and unique. Wearing statement necklaces allows you to define your own style and stands you out at any event. The beauty of these stylish and vibrant necklaces is that whether you wear them with traditional or English outfits you will still be the cynosure of all eyes. They are made with different materials like gem stone, beads, glassy gems and pearls. They also come in varied attractive colours, style and lengths to choose from to complement your outfit. You will always find statement-making necklaces that will suit your personal style and boost your confidence at any occasion. So, add an instant panache to your look with stunning statement-making necklace and standout.



Get a healthy, soft hair...steam it

ave you ever steamed your hair or do you even remember the last time you steamed your hair? Steaming your hair is a deep conditioning treatment that makes your hair soft, adds moisture into your hair strands, promotes hair growth, treats damaged hair, stops breakage and strengthens your hair. You should determine the type of hair steam that you want. While some women opt for hot oil steams using only oil like olive oil and Jojoba oil which makes the hair very shiny others opt for hair steam using cholesterol. To begin shampoo and condition hair, rinse properly and then dry with a clean towel. Afterwards, massage properly into hair in small sections a mixture of cholesterol, olive oil and Shea butter. Put on a plastic or shower cap and sit under the


“Keds” was the first company to produce sneakers followed by “Converse” in the year 1917.

Olive oil

steamer for about 30 minutes. In saloons where they don’t have a steamer, they improvise with the normal hair dryer. After about 30 minutes, remove the plastic cap, rinse hair with cold water only and dry hair with a dry and clean towel, set and style hair as you want. Note that cholesterol hair treatments help to restore moisture and softness to hair after frequent styling process. Olive oil moisturizes and makes hair healthy while Shea butter also known as ori which is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins conditions the hair, protects it from dryness, reduces breakage and soften the hair cuticle. It is advisable to steam your hair about a week after retouching before braiding or fixing. Remember, a woman’s hair is her crowning glory, so keep it healthy always.

Shea butter

Steaming your hair makes it healthy and sleek

Charly Boy I thought my dad was wicked, insensitive p.20 Nadia Buari dumps Jim Iyke p.18



24 MAY 2014

For 'Dr. Pat', it's another return from the brink

New York-based rapper, Patrick Nwokolo, has just made a comeback to the music industry with a new single, Anaconda, featuring Nigerian hip-hop wave making producer, Young D. The singer had a popular collaboration with Sheyman, a producer and singer a few years back. Their relationship became sour on the claim of ownership of the single, Kondo and shortly after the news made the round, he scampered off the radar. But Nwokolo, known more by the moniker "Dr. Pat", would rather not dwell on the past and its misadventures. The Anambra State-born artiste spoke to LANRE ODUKOYA


BEING OFF THE SCENE es, I’ve been away from the scene for quite sometime because I’ve been in the USA working and doing music because that’s what I love to do. At the same time, being in America is like a cleansing and healing therapy for me. Basically, my being in the states is just to get my mind back to where its supposed to be so I would be able to refocus and get back on the scene the right way this time around. ANACONDA, THE NEW WORK Basically, few years back I dropped Hotter Than Fire and there was a phrase which stood out in that song which everybody called Kondo. And due to the fact that the phrase was so strong at that time, a whole lot of artistes tapped into the phrase; which is good. At the end of the day, people decided to tag me not just Dr Pat anymore, but Dr Pat a.k.a Kondo Master. Then I decided to come up with something bigger and different in its own way, so I laid back and thought about it and the Anaconda thing came to play. I started writing and putting it together in such a way that it would be a song anyone could listen to, dance to and enjoy. I also had to consider the trend of music in Nigeria now because I’ve not been in the country for quite sometime. Putting the song together was great because I had Young D around in America to stay with me for sometime. Actually, he came around with his wife to be delivered of their baby boy, so we were together for almost three months. During the time we were together, we came up with great songs and one of them was Anaconda. PENNING MORE SONGS Dr. Pat is a brand that a whole lot of fans out there haven’t really realized. People need to know how big a brand Dr Pat is as a person and as an artiste. Also, Dr pat will be coming up with more singles. I’ve been out of the scene and I really need to refresh people’s memory because the last time people heard from me was when I released Hotter Than Fire, so I need to drop more singles for my fans out there. NO ALBUM YET IN VIEW Not really, because right now I’m just trying to re-register myself back into the minds of my fans and I need more singles in order to reunite with all my fans. So right now it’s all about dropping hit

singles and then I’ll probably look into dropping an album towards the end of the year or probably the beginning of next year. GREATEST CHALLENGE My greatest challenge has been getting back on my feet because we fall once in a lifetime and we work really hard to get back up. Achieving greater heights in life isn’t always very easy, we encounter highs and lows and falling down in the midst of all these brings one back to the bottom of ones career. But when you put in your best to climb the ladder once again, there’s joy. I’ve been through so much and I’m getting back on my feet. SELF ASSESSMENT Basically, I’m so far from being successful but one thing I’d say is that I thank GOD for my life and for where I am right now. But in my wildest dream, I see myself beyond just being successful. my team and I are working really hard to get there. Right now we are still a little fish in the big ocean trying to become a shark. AWAY FROM MUSIC I work like every other person, I work as a fire safety director in America and it’s a 9am – 5pm job, but music is everything to me, it’s my heart, my goal, my passion. I’m sure when next I’m asked these questions I’d have much more answers for you. HAPPIEST MOMENT I give glory to God for all he has done in my life because I know there are many people out there who wish to be in my shoes. But my happiest moments are yet to come and I really look forward to it soon. NIGERIA IS HOME REGARDLESS Nigeria is my home and I love my country so I would definitely relocate to Nigeria. But America is like my second home and I would always come back for vacation.






LANRE ODUKOYA - 08059296445


Months after engagement, Nadia Buari dumps Jim Iyke

Project Fame West Africa auditions begin


TN Project Fame West Africa, the award winning music talent discovery and grooming competition is back for the seventh season. Searching for raw talents, the annual show will commence auditions on May 24 till 28 June across four West African countries - Sierra Leone, Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria. This year, thousands of young talents will fight to get into the prestigious Project Fame Academy, where superstars are made and to be tutored by the best in the music and entertainment industry. Previous superstars that have graduated from the ‘Fame Academy’ include Iyanya Mbuk, whose Kukere, with the famous Etighi dance won the best pop single at the 2012 Headies Award in Lagos; Mike Anyasodo, who by virtue of his Fine Fine Lady video won the 2010 Sound City’s Best R&B Video Award; Kesse Frimpong, who was voted Ghanaian’s Best Male Vocalist of the year 2012 and of course Chidinma Ekile, who won the Best Female Act (West Africa) at the prestigious Kora Awards in 2012. In addition, two outstanding music concerts will be held in Benin-City and Owerri to showcase Project Fame superstars alongside other Fame Academy alumni and the possibilities the show holds for making dreams come true for young people. The auditions will commence on May 24 at Monrovia before moving to Freetown on May 30. Other venues include Accra - May 30, Kumasi - June 1, Benin and Owerri - June 7, Ilorin and Abuja -14 June, Port Harcourt and Ibadan - June 21, while the Lagos auditions will hold on June 27 and June 28, respectively.


ollywood actor Jim Iyke’s celebrated romance with Ghanaian actress, Nadia Buari, may soon be enlisted in celebrities’ failed romance if the situation is not properly managed. It has emerged that Iyke is vehemently blaming the raging storm in his affair on US-based musician, Emma Agu, whom he accused of sharing some personal information about him with his lover to whom he got engaged a few months back. The tale has it that Iyke told Buari that he was going to Miami on business, but was spotted in New York with his ex-girlfriend, Keturah Hamilton. NY resident and blogger Agu reportedly called Buari to ask if she had called off the relationship with Iyke. Oblivious that her presumed fiancé was in New York, the Ghanaian lady afterwards blasted Iyke referring to facts sent to her by her New York source and after confirming that Jim was there with his ex, she separated from him. She was said to have called off the relationship on ground of alleged infidelity and demanded that Jim can come to pick the ring he handed her when the going was good. However, consequent upon Iyke’s condemnation of Emma Agu in the matter degenerating to what might become a break-up, the latter responded, his words partly read, "This overrated... with his amateurish acting skills thinks his name can bring any good to a writer or a blogger. The man with a tainted name, a rogue who has burnt every bridge he stepped on is trying to hold me responsible for whatever misfortune that has fallen him in the last 72 hours... sneaked into New York around 5am 3 days ago and did everything to keep it a top secret until the bubble burst right in front of him. When I got the hint that James was in Keturah’s house, I thought Keturah was lying. The girl said James came claiming that his relationship with Nadia Buari was over. She also said James (Jim) came to pick her up from Nigeria. I told her this guy might be lying. When I got in touch with Nadia's manager, he maintained that Nadia was aware Jim went to Miami and insisted he (Jim) was no way near Keturah's house." According to Agu, he has Iyke's invectives recorded on tape and will "play it to my world audience by 8.00am New York time, which should be 1.00pm Nigerian time. I need everyone out there to listen and find out why Jim Iyke should be taken off the streets. The guy can never change. That deliverance by TB Joshua never worked. It was a fluke." Meanwhile, Steph Nora Okere, one of Iyke’s many jilted victims is still unmarried years after their affair ended and has said in a recent interview that she’s still very much in love. So, there just may still be some waiting arms for the artiste to run into.

Branama queen Kefee out with Dem Go Talk


igeria’s female f e e gospel artiste, KeObareki Don Momoh is back with a new song titled, Dem Go Talk. The artiste said to have graduated from a film school in the United States recently has wasted no time in forging her music career and this new track attests to that. Dem Go Talk was produced by Teekay Witty and Kefee had this to say about the song: “You realize that a lot of people get affected by what other people say about them. I wrote this song to encourage them not to lose sleep over what others think about them because people must talk just like we must eat breathe and laugh, it’s just a part of life. Dem go talk but no mind them,’’ she said.

Acting couple, Chris Attoh and Damilola Adegbite throw birthday gig


hanaian actor, Chris Attoh and his wife, Nigerian actress Damilola Adegbite celebrated their birthdays (May 17 and May 18, respectively) at Casino Royale in Accra with friends and fans on Saturday through to Sunday morning. Damilola was spotted with her baby bump growing by the moment. The joint birthday party was put together by Empire Entertainment in celebration of the man (Chris Attoh) who will be the MC for the May 24 mega jam at the AICC, GHANA meets NAIJA.


Zamir: ‘Music comes naturally to me’ You may think that Mobolaji Razaq Ladipo's dream of winning the Grammy is rather ambitious. But Ladipo, whose showbiz moniker is Zamir, have got the talent can actually propel him to such height, writes OLUSHOLA RICKETTS

Why the stage name Zamir? I’m a rapper, songwriter, producer and a performing artiste. My stage name, Zamir means music in Arabic. The name was given to me by a family member, but l later thought of using it as a stage name when I got to know it means music. I want the name (Zamir) to standout and to be celebrated many years to come. What was your background like? I am the last child of the family. Being the last child, I always hanged out with my brother who was one of the reasons I fell in love with music and sports. He likes music and sports too. While I was in school, I did track and field sports and I used to come out tops. I played football for about 13 years. Then, I even had a dream of going professional. But when I got to the high school, I had a new love which was basketball. I also got several trophies and medals to tell you that it wasn’t just for fun. But the dream ended when I had a finger injury that made me unavailable to attend my college try outs. So I decided to take music seriously. At what point did you delve into music? Music for me started since the days I used to hang out with my brother. I used to look up to him, and would listen to everything he listened to. I started writing music at the age of 12, but it was just for fun and the attention from girls also encouraged me to do more. I began to take music seriously when I turned 15 and started recording. Then, I was a member of a group called L.O.S (Loud on Sound). It was formed back in high school and we used to put out free music. We started getting recognition gradually. Two friends, Tomi and Briss later joined the group and we recorded more songs that went viral too. At that point, I knew I could not do without music. Why did you leave LOS after all you achieved together? I didn’t leave the group. We were never a boy band, we are family. We all just decided to work on solo projects this year, so we could grow more individually as artistes and humans. Don’t be surprised if you hear a new song from us this year as a group or an album. Why music? I used to draw as a kid too. I guess I got that from my mum because she was a fashion designer and an artist. But I settled for music simply because it was so natural to me. I didn’t choose it, music chooses me. How did your parents’ react when they got to know your plans to do music professionally? At the onset, they were a bit sceptical about it. But I was able to convince them over the years with my performances and two sold out shows. They are now my biggest fans. How has the journey been so far? It’s been a blessing really. I make profit from what I love and enjoy doing the most and I learn new things every day. I’m indeed grateful for all that comes my way regardless of challenges that come with them.



Tell us about your latest single, Normal Dubz? Normal Dubz means on the regular. Anything that occurs often is normal dubz. It’s just like expressing what your everyday life is like. What kind of music do you listen to? I listen to all kinds of music to be honest, so I can only try and reduce the long list. I would say Kendrick Lamar, Tupac, Kanye West, Coldplay, Sade Adu, Erykah Badu, Fela Kuti, Sunny Ade. Are there artistes you wish to work with someday? Yes, of course. I will like do something with Sade Adu, Kendrick Lamar and Beyonce. Are you satisfied with the growth of the industry? Personally, I think the Nigerian entertainment industry is almost at its peak. It has grown over the years and I feel it can finally be widely accepted. It’s now left for us Nigerians to present it in its best possibly way. I believe with more creativity, we can go farther. What would you be if you weren't a musician? I will be playing professional soccer or basketball and who knows I could probably be a businessman in the entertainment industry. Do you have a peculiar fashion style? I like a mixture of class and vintage pieces. I’m not really into brands; I’m all after the quality of the item. Fashion is a huge part of me, so I like to look good always. How would you describe yourself? I am a relaxed person and friendly. If I don’t know you, I could be impatient sometimes; but I’m a cool guy if you get to know me well. Do you have any bitter experience? It would be July 4, last year. It was the day we (I and the other members of my group) had a car accident. How do you relate with female fans? I love all my female fans and show them respect. I just try to do everything the way it’s meant to be and I try to focus more on giving delivery music. What’s your guiding philosophy? God is life and there is nothing we can achieve without Him. So we should just stay happy and have no regrets. What are your plans in next five years? It is simply to do more songs. In five years I see myself going global. I want to be known internationally and contribute my bit to putting African music in an advantageous place. Hopefully, I can get a Grammy too and a couple of awards. Do you have words for up and coming acts? They should not follow trends. They should be patient because s trending song today will not be there forever. There should always be creative and put God first.



I thought my dad was wicked, Could you recall your late father’s last day on earth? He died in my house; too bad it wasn’t in my arms. After the hospital stabilised him, we were advised by the doctors to take him home and give him the care he needed to nurse him back to life. But I knew that age was not on his side. My father was over 96 years. On May 4, I went down to his quarters to see him. He had not been eating properly. As I went on my usual round to see him and crack a few jokes before I go do my thing, I noticed he was unusually weak. As soon as I entered his room, he beckoned on me to come. I bent over to kiss his forehead and he said to me, ‘I’m sorry Charles.’ I asked ‘what for?’ I couldn’t imagine that with his state of health all my father was thinking about was all the money I was spending to give him the best care and how emotionally drained I was getting. At that point I just laughed and said to him, “Daddy get well soon so that I won’t send you a bill you cannot pay.” I asked the nurse to give him his bath, while I go and do same and come back to feed him myself. I was just getting dressed after my bath when the nurse called the intercom and ordered me to come down quickly. At that point I knew what I have been getting myself ready for, has finally happened. I thank God that I not only spent quality time with him, we became almost inseparable. What were his fond memories while growing up with him? What I remember most about growing up in the early ‘50s in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, was the nonstop party in our house. Every day to me then was like Christmas, because dad and mum liked dancing a lot. As a result, there was constant flow of human traffic in our house. I didn’t like my father. I wrote him off as an overbearing, harsh, insensitive, rigid, strict and a wicked man. I was convinced that I wasn’t his favourite because I was the one that got punished the most. My dad never spared the rod when it came to putting me in check. My mum was my favourite. With her I could get away with murder; and she would always accuse my friends of misleading me. I avoided my father then, because he was always whipping me as I was always naughty. But all that changed some 27 years ago. So many, I have memories that will last me for the rest of my life, very good ones. Am happy I took care of him and my mum the way I did. For eight years they lived with me in Abuja. Together we went to all the comedy shows, musical shows, our morning walks, to the parks, even at age 94 he has been on my bike, given him so many rides on my bike. Can’t forget our usual intellectual intercourse, our provoking discussions, most evenings, from sex to politics to religion and what have you. H e always wanted to get involved with some of my community works. We brainstormed on a lot of levels, he was like my partner. I know my daddy passed on a happy man, and he showed me and told me that in a lot of ways. For me, I am happy. That is why I

Charles Oputa, otherwise known as Charly Boy tells SONY NEME and NNAMDI AMADI in this interview about his dad, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa’s last moment and why he was always having problems with the revered justice as a young man. insist on people congratulating me; not sympathising with me. Justice Oputa has given so much to Nigeria. After all he gave this nation Charly Boy. We will celebrate a man who lived a good life.

lover/fan but a disciple and an advocate of Charly Boyism, before I kissed him goodnight. Almost everyone knows the story, how I won the respect of this great man since the last 27 years.

What is your present place in the Oputa family? I used to be in the middle, my elder brother, Michael, and my elder sister, Charlotte, have passed on. It’s just me and my two kid brothers left, Edward and George.

Apart from the revered legal luminary that the world knew him as, what can you say about him as the man and father? On the bench he was the Socrates, and his judgments were so profound. I was somewhat a bit jealous of him, because in the beginning of building the brand Charly Boy, everyone just disturbed me with how so special my father was, as if I wasn’t special myself. As a father, I learnt from him how to keep your family together and how to stay committed to your wife. Since childhood till he passed on, my father was always lovey dovey with my mum; when he wasn’t kissing her, he was holding her hand. Seeing both of them challenged me to always work on my 37-year-old marriage. He was a loving husband and father, I thank God we shared so much together before he passed on. Our relationship with our father plays a huge part of who we will become. In many segments of society, people grow up without ever knowing their fathers. This is unfortunate because fathers should play as important a role in raising their children as mothers. A father is the model of a man for his daughter and she will choose a man who is like him. A father is the model for his son as well. Fortunately, my father was very active in my life.

What was his favourite food? My father is like me, he will taste anything that looks tasty. We are really not fussy about what we eat, but he likes semovita with nsala stew. I think that’s his favourite. What were your dad’s hobbies, likes and dislikes? He always told me about his military training at Achimota High School in Ghana. He was into sports at the time. He loved table tennis and soccer. As a teenager, I played a lot of table tennis with my father that was the only time we were not quarrelling about something. His dislikes? Children who don’t follow his orders. My father was like the drill master. What will you miss most about your dad? Our provoking discussions, our bike rides, his role in some of my community projects and the quite times we spent together. My father later became my hero, the outpour of love so far, has reassured me why I must walk straight and narrow like my father, because the name Oputa is sacred and smacks of integrity. How was it like being the son of a famous jurist? I am indeed humbled and proud to have come from such rich heritage of famous people. As Charly Boy, I am glad that I turned the famous jurist not only into a Charly Boy’s

What are the values you learnt from him? I was brought up on an overdose of morals, value and life principles. Initially we were not that close, especially when I set out on my own to build the brand we all know as Charly Boy. Things fell apart. B u t with

my tenacity, consistency, doggedness, ruggedness and tremendous focus I won him over. From then on we more or less became inseparable. I learnt from him how to say what I mean and mean what I say. I learnt from him how to be a good friend to my children too. I learnt from him how to take care and remain loyal to my wife. My father really taught me so much, but most importantly, I learnt from him how to stay content with life. I also learnt from my father that, being a good person doesn’t depend on your religion or status in your life, your race or skin colour, political views or culture. It depends on how good you treat others. My marriage has been modelled after my parents. I thank God that I grew up watching my mum and dad for over 60 years. My father was totally committed to the relationship with my mum, hence they lived together for almost 70 years. As a disciplinarian and how did he handle his children? I use to think my father was a bully. Even before he became a judge, our house was like the court room. He was the judge, the jury, the persecutor. Naturally I never won any case with him. I never for one day saw him punish the rest, just me. I admit I was always getting into trouble, but kai! It was like he just loved to pour out his frustrations on me. His influence on children’s choice of profession? In all fairness to him, he didn’t tell anyone of us what to study. We had that kind of liberty. It was only my kid brother, George, who went daddy’s way. That is not to say he didn’t wish it. He always called me a pocket lawyer, because we were always encouraged to speak out, ask questions, and take responsibility for our actions or inactions. That was the setting of my journey to the now. Can you please be detailed about your rough part with dad? Every good parent must feel some measure of concern for the future of their child. That’s a given. My father was only concerned because he couldn’t see how I would have a stable financial and secured future, venturing into entertainment. To him then, it was like I was being irresponsible throwing my life away. After all he made sure that there was a job waiting for me i n

Charly Boy with his father, the venerable Justice Oputa, who he said, had ridden on his bike “even at age 94”



insensitive –Charly Boy Mobil when I came back from the US after my five years sojourn. Every time I remind him about him being a non-believer, he would say, ‘parents are not God, they can make mistakes too.’ Oh my God, he would flog the daylight out of me. He was quick with the cane till I became immune to the pain of his cane, then he resorted to using his hand, till the day I feigned I was dead after one of his beatings. I think that was the last time he raised his hands on me. I was about 16 years old. Oh boy, I showed him pepper even with all the flogging and punishment, there was something about me that must have made him uneasy, he believed that my rascality will hinder my bright future. But I thank God he was hard on me like that, or else who knows. Some of those qualities he constantly preached about that I rebelled against are the same qualities that guides my life today.

But, I have a different mind-set about it all. It was the Truth and Reconciliation panel and in a round-about way, it opened our eyes to all the atrocities of the past. It got people talking, which was a good thing.

How was his social life like; his closest friends? In the 50s and early 60s when he was one of the most sort-after lawyers in Nigeria, he was constantly in the public and the public was in and out of our house. As soon as he was made a judge, the family’s lifestyle changed drastically. My father overnight became an introvert. He always told us that the life of a judge must be somewhat an isolated one. ‘You cannot be seen here and there, because what if they show up before you in court’ is it any wonder how he was one of the very few incorruptible judges around. He was high on integrity, a quality that is not only out of fashion, but doesn’t resonate with the mindset of the day. He didn’t have much friends even when he was very friendly. My father lived an exemplary life, he walked his talk.

There has been outpour of sympathy since the death of your father, how has this affected you? It is always painful when you lose someone that is dear to you, somebody you love, somebody you have grown up to adore. Somebody who later became my best friend, the reality bites but I always tell people to refrain the sympathetic tone of condolence they approach me with and say congratulations. Congratulations to a man who has lived a decent life. Congratulations to a man of integrity. That goes to show that in this rot, in this dishonesty and chaos there is still room for decency, integrity, principle and character. My father didn’t really have money so he didn’t have the worldly things and yet he was the happiest. From him I have learnt the act of contentment. A rich man is not somebody who can afford everything but somebody whose wants is very few. My father was rich in virtues. For me, it is a celebration of a man I have come to respect and adore.

As the head of the famous Oputa panel, what were some of the things about the panel and the country’s future? As far as he was concerned, he had done his work and done it to the best of his ability. It was up to the people who engaged him to know how they wanted to implement it what they want to do with it. However, he wasn’t so happy that most of the commission recommendations were not implemented. It’s like sending someone on a wild goose chase.

What are some of the thing Nigerians don’t know about your father? Nigerians surprisingly know a whole lot about my Dad. That he was an honest man, uright, had integrity, and lived a simple and content life. Lived by the golden rule, treated others with respect. But no one can know what a good father he was, to me and my siblings. How he adored and worshipped my mum. What should Nigerian leaders learn or emulate from your late father? Humility, simplicity, integrity, honesty, class, sincerity and love for the people you lead.

What last impression did he have of Nigeria especially concerning this crisis? I am happy that I shielded him from all the bad things happening around us in Nigeria. He liked to watch the news, but when the bombing happened, I manipulated it in a way, I took him away, I didn’t keep him around the television, sometimes we went bike riding. So when we had some issues that went viral or in the networks, I tried to keep him away from the TV, because all the time whenever he heard some bad news, he kept complaining about how bad things have gotten. He believed so much in Nigeria, he was so frustrated with the way some things are in the country. But each time he talked to some bright Nigerian youths who visit, his confidence in Nigeria would be reinstated. So I just shielded him away from all the bad news and exposed him to exceptional Nigerian youths.

...His father never spared the rod, he said. But with his mother, he “could get away with murder”

Now that the leadership of your family is on you, are we still going to be seeing more of the old Charley Boy or you are going to change pattern? I am not going to stop what I have been doing because my father

has passed on. I am just as constant as the northern star, I don’t change. I will keep been myself. My father was the last of that generation and I hear most of my family members say: ‘your father is gone, now who is going to take over?’ I just have this laugh in my mind. All the Oputas are worthy candidates. I am just going to intensify my efforts. My work is for the community and the betterment of my environment. I have been into community work since. My stint in entertainment world was all about creating an image, getting everybody’s attention, put a stamp in history. I say my call is divine, If you say I am an entertainer, that is belittling what I do. I am here to change my environment. I know I have affected the lives of millions of Nigerian youths and there is no stopping me. My father has gone but I am not going to stop. What is the breakdown of the burial arrangement? I don’t have the particular date yet, but I know it’s going to be towards the end of next month. So, by next week I should be able to give you the particular date. Well, we are taking our time to plan it well. It is one thing for a burial to be big and then it is another thing for this big burial to be thought through, specific and professionally handled that you will almost start to wish that you were dead yourself. You know I am a creative person. For me that is the key. I know the Judiciary in Lagos wants to do something there, Port Harcourt were he practiced as a lawyer want to do something too. Also, The Supreme Court in Abuja wants to do something as well as Imo State where he was a Chief Judge. Not forgetting my village too. Everybody wants to do something. So this is going to be one big carnival. Nollywood is coming; the crème of Nigerian musicians and comedians will be there. It’s a carnival that is how I have planned it to be.

Charly Boy




... a finger on the city’s pulse


Pastor Adeboye suspends erring church workers

Tambuwal tasks UAE on killers of Aisha Falode’s son



astor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God has suspended over 1000 church workers in the ministry's fold. The affected individuals are said to be "from the South West zone of the church". The zone comprises parishes in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo and Delta states. The immediate reason cited for the suspension is "not attending" the national workers meeting. The offence however "officially" falls under "indiscipline". The National Workers Meeting is described as a forum for the workers to interact with the leadership on and evolve better ways to move the church forward. The General Overseer was said to have taken the hard stance of suspending the erring members based on revelations the ministry had put in place a system that enables workers to notify the church (via section heads) well ahead before the meeting. The suspended workers are said to be those who failed to employ this measure. Although those affected are tagged "not on pay list" of the ministry, the move is said to be aimed at ensuring a more effective workforce in the face of slipping standard.

Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor to launch Eagle Heights University


resident of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and founder of the Word of Life Bible Church Warri, Delta State, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor is harnessing resources to float a new tertiary institution called Eagle Heights University. According to a message posted on the church's Facebook page, the Christian university will be located in Omadino in Warri and the ground-breaking ceremony for the proposed university will take place on June 3. The flamboyant cleric once announced at a birthday celebration of his that all he wanted more from God was a private jet. Just a few years after he announced this, he was reportedly blessed by "church members" who suc-
















10. ULNA 11. ASEA 12. OC 16. IN 17. CURB 18. DRUM











22. PAL 23. UAC 24. NIL 25. GAD 26. EXECUTE


T 0 P

20. FLEE 21. SAG



KWAM1 releases new album in honour of Awujale


uji music exponent, Wasiu Ayinde Anifowoshe otherwise known as K1 the Ultimate, has released a new album. The singer credited with wide spread acceptance of Fuji music titled the new effort, 'State Of The Nation'. Here is a reproduction of release issued by his handlers. Fuji music icon, the irrepressible Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde Marshall a.k.a. K-1 De Ultimate, is at it once again. He has just released another

r. Tunde Soleye, estranged husband of former beauty queen, Nike Oshinowo, has expressed his joy over the birth of Nike's twins. Nike welcomed a boy and girl via surrogacy last year and recently showed them off on the cover of Hello Nigeria. In a text message to Encomium magazine, Soleye said he rejoices with Nike over the birth of her twins. "Dear editor, thanks for the courtesy to inquire and obtain facts. Adenike and I have a very cordial, private and continued relationship. I rejoice with her and the twins on this grace, which is a milestone achievement for this much loved one. Let us pray in gratitude for mother and children. Thank you," he wrote.


peaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, has urged the Dubai police to do everything within its power to resolve the mystery surrounding the death of sports broadcaster, Aisha Falode's son, Toba, who was allegedly pushed from a 17-storey building in Dubai last February. Tambuwal gave this charge on May 20 when he received Amb. Rasheed Aldhaheri, the outgoing United Arab Emirates ambassador to Nigeria in his office at the National Assembly in Abuja. Aldhaheri, in his response said he has not been able to attend to the matter because he hasn't received any formal letter from Nigeria's ministry of foreign affairs. He said he could only act upon it if a formal complaint is filed by the Nigerian authority.

ceeded in enlisting him among proud owners of private jets.

Tunde Soleye congratulates ex-wife, Nike


LANRE ODUKOYA - 08059296445

K1 de Ultimate

hit entitled State of The Nation. K-1 has broken several record in album-making and concert attendance and has earned accolades for this. The new album dedicated to the Awujale of Ijebuland, HRM Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, is K-1’s commentary on the various challenges confronting Nigeria at the moment. The album also features a special dedication by the Waka music exponent, Alhaja Salawa Abeni. The special introduction for the album featured hip-hop ace, Olamide and new hip-hop artiste, Honey B. Perhaps it is in realization that despite his immense wealth and fame, he was yet to become a landlord in his town and had yet, also, to be conferred with a chieftaincy title in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State where he hails from. This might just be the impetus for that.


Opera Call of the Nightingale p.33



24 MAY 2014



The Passing Glory Timothy Akinleye Past were the days When Nature hid its spheres In the buds of these flowers When with pride would I Black Gold (2013, aluminium, steel, wrought iron, glass, plastic and wood)

Strive and show What admiration I had to mow. But now, The flower that once bred sweet

Cat Walk (2013, aluminium, metal and wood)


The art of recycling

Brews hemlock and danger. For what imagination stands it When Beauty a Lover’s maid Now tames the deadly fangs of AIDS? The day your Cupid arrows her heart,

Evolving Through Waste, an ongoing exhibition of works by Nigerian artist, Raqib Bashorun, which opened last Saturday, May 17, in Ikoyi, Lagos, highlights the importance of recycling, writes TONY OKUYEME


s most of his contemporaries, Raqib Bashorun reconstructs pre-existing materials, reinterprets and ultimately reposition them as recycled art. The creation of something positive from the inherent negativity of waste, and the reaction of surprise the materials inevitably draw from the observer, are the key factors in Bashorun’s art. These were brought to the fore in an ongoing exhibition of Bashorun's recent work which will run till Friday, May 30, followed with artist talk and book signing on Saturday, May 31. Titled Evolving Through Waste, the exhibition presented by Omenka Gallery aims to raise awareness to forms of waste whilst highlighting the importance of recycling. The exemplary display of wood, aluminium and plastic confronts us with the need to focus on the history around the material whilst raising questions of sustainability, and environmental concerns. Along with their aesthetic appeal, much of Bashorun’s sculptures speak against blatant disregard of proper disposal of waste. The works on display which include “Seek and Hide” (aluminium, metal, plastic and wood), “Cat Walk” (aluminium, metal and wood), “Contemporary Charm” (aluminium and wood) and “Waste Gift” (aluminium and wood), no doubt offer an insight into the artist’s creative engagement with reconstructing pre-existing materials, reinterpreting and ultimately reposition them as recycled art. Explaining the idea behind this, Bashorun disclosed that he saw waste in an artistic sense - as an "art form". "At take-off, I was not thinking of the popular expressions such as 'waste to wealth' or 'trash to treasure'; rather, I saw waste in an artistic sense-as an 'art form', and

I sourced for some, which readily or through modifications, I could connect with the other forms I created myself in wood to further my mission. My approach to employing these objects was one of exploration, experimentation, commitment and passion," he said. Professor Frank Ugiomoh asserts that “Bashorun’s career as an artist and teacher confronts us with works that emerge from a formed conscience that confronts us with the good a society should probe and seek knowledge from. History, which the artwork parades after all, is the way we understand ourselves in the present so that we might the future accordingly. This then is the value of these works presented to us. In their anti-mimetic stance which Bashorun comes with in his art remains their enduring value. Such a stance like the parable will always allow us to appreciate their diverse meaning as often as historical contexts change. May we get a bit wiser embracing these works and others like these.” Born in Lagos, in 1955, Bashorun studied general art and graphic design at Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos, in late 70s and early 80s. Bashorun worked for a short time in an advertising agency in Lagos before going to the United States where he read art education graduating with B.EdS and M.Ed (Curriculum and Instruction) in 1984. In 1986, he joined the art faculty of Yaba College of Technology where he rose to the level of chief lecturer having been head of the graphics department and dean of the art faculty. In 1999, he traveled to the United States where he obtained an MFA in sculpture from University of Missouri in Colombia Missouri. He has participated in 12 solo exhibitions and has been featured in over 26 group shows at home and abroad.

Commences the countdown bell The insidious heralds of endless hell! The funeral has really begun Before Death even plays its part And the mourning lovers each day a step apart What a trying time When dwelling among roses Whose scents are riddled with doses! Mother Nature but why Do you license this plague To fend my heart from its joy place? But within you is my succour From you these mysteries fly In you their elusive remedies lie.

Seek and Hide (2013, aluminium, metal, plastic and wood)

Stars in my City I(2013 , metal and wood) Contemporary Charm (2014, aluminium and wood)



'I took to writing as a therapy' Victoria Praise Abraham is an entrepreneur, blogger, motivational writer, speaker, and author of Treasures and 12 Golden Laws of Success. She sees herself as 'a product of adversity' and for that reason, has dedicated her life to motivating and helping people overcome adversity and succeed. In this interview with MICHAEL UCHEBUAKU, Victoria, who took to writing as a therapy, shares her story How would you describe your early life? My early life was wonderful. I come from a military background as my late father, retired Major S. O. Fadeyi, was in the military and so I had my own fair share of travelling around Nigeria in my younger days. But it was fun. I remember my early days in Kaduna, I did not even know I was living in the north being a westerner. Everybody loved everybody and life was good. I attended the Command Schools both for primary and secondary and like I said life was good. I attended Command Secondary School in Ibadan and for me those were fun times and I developed friendships that have lasted till date. I thank God Almighty for my childhood because the consciousness of God came to my very early although I did not become a truly committed Christian until adulthood. What inspired you to become a writer? I have always loved literature and I did very well in English. I actually studied physics education at the University of Lagos but have always lived a cosmopolitan lifestyle and have always enjoyed a wide and interesting read. But I did not actually know I would end up writing and in the media, but in 2003 after experiencing a bad patch in life I took to writing as a therapy. First a line, then poems and by 2003 I had written enough to fill a book and that was when I realized that what I had taken as a hobby and a form of therapy might actually be a career. I guess it is a combination of all of these and not just a particular occurrence that inspired me. How can your published works be accessed? My first title is called Treasures and the second is titled 12 Golden Laws of Success. They both sell online via the Amazon Store for my audiences in Europe, America and Canada, while physical copies can be found in Nigeria at Terra Kulture and Laterna Ventures both in Victoria Island, Lagos. What are the challenges you face as a motivational writer? The challenges I face mostly have to do with the lack of interest prevalent among the populace as regards the reading culture in Nigeria which is very poor. Also there are challenges within the polity like the present instability which does not allow for a perfect peace of mind as you are forced to pray harder for God Almighty's peace and security, something which the government should ordinarily provide. And then of course the lack of power and high cost to fuel my car and to keep my generator running. As an entrepreneur these costs end up eating very deeply into my income and I have to say that if not for the grace of God Almighty I

would not have been able to cope under such harsh economic and social conditions. There is so much that my contemporaries in other climes enjoy that I do not enjoy in Nigeria but I have made up my mind to continue writing and take writing as a career and as my business despite all the amazing challenges that I have faced in the course of this journey. Are you also a creative writer? I am a creative writer more than anything else. I have written a motivational, first monthly and now weekly since 2003 and I have written over 400 motivationals since the beginning of my career and will continue to write this weekly word of wisdom which I send to my friends and fans all over the world via the internet. I am also a blogger (@inspiringthoughtswithvictoria). I enjoy creative writing but I always bring a downto-earth practical side to everything I write because the issues we all face across the world are usually similar across board. How else can your motivational works be accessed apart from its book form? I am considering my books on cds so that people can listen rather than read them. This will help the physically

‘Nigerians need motivational writers and speakers because we are going through dire times' challenged amongst us and also open up a wider audience since the average Nigerian is either not literate or does not like to read at all even though it must be said that we still have the reading publics who take their reading very seriously even if it is a mere hobby sometimes. Do you think Nigerians really need help from motivational speakers or writers like yourself? I believe Nigerians need motivational writers and speakers like myself. We are going through very challenging and dire times and what motivational writers and speakers do is to help the average person withstand the many difficult patches in life because they must have gone through same and overcome so they stand to share their stories of triumphs either through prayers or the sheer grace of God Almighty. Nigerians can do with some can-do spirit at the moment. We need leaders who can galvanize us to take positive actions and this is what the average moti-

vational writer or speaker does. This is what I have done for the last 11years without any one paying me. We need many more in the polity even though some of our clergy men also double up as motivational writers and speakers. What makes you different or unique from other motivational writers? So many things makes me different. I am a product of adversity. I came through adversity and pain and because God Almighty saw me through those very dark and difficult period of my life I am not fake I am for real and when I say something I know exactly what I am talking about. Another very unique thing about me is that I am a very prolific writer as I have written dedicatedly, nonstop, for the past 15 years and so I have become astute in the craft of writing and my writings never end up on a sad note because for me there is always hope at end of the tunnel. I am also well versed and well travelled so I bring my wealth of experience into all my writings. Writing for me is also a passion and a gift of God so I do not need to get paid to write. If I feel it, I simply write it and this stands me out even as a social critic. All in all, I am who I am today only by the grace of God Almighty. Do you have a favourite writer? I like many writers including, Apostle Paul of the Holy Bible. John Maxwell, Dr. Myles Munroe, to mention a few. How rewarding has writing been in economic terms? Financial gain for me would be more what I would call soul satisfaction. I am happier when I do what I set out to do. For me, at this point, my joy is to see my words in print. I am not poor; I am rich, maybe not in naira and kobo - but rich in ideas, friendships and more than anything, rich in righteousness and for me this translates to true wealth. I never lack because I practice Kingdom economics. I have other streams of income around my writing. I desire to leave a lasting legacy through my writings and also to help rebuild my nation via instilling the right virtues in the younger generation via writing and if God Almighty helps me to achieve this then I would have been the richest woman that ever lived.

Rivals Rumble Real, Atletico take derby battle to Lisbon


Juventus want Drogba deal before World Cup



Sex, alcohol destroying players, coaches cry out




24 MAY 2014

My next stop is the pulpit – Alloy Agu }p.31

World Cup: Our plan is to take it game-by-game – Essien }p.27


Zaragoza snaps up Nigerian big man, Elonu }p.27

AWC qualifiers: ‘Rwanda cannot stop Falcons’ }p.27



Eagles: Ezeugo tips Mikel, Onazi for holding role }p.27




Leaguemania with Chimaobi Uchendu

08114495359, 08092747532

Sex, alcohol destroying players, coaches cry out


ootball leagues across the world are characterised by players whose lifestyles overshadow their artistry in the field of play. Some of them are lucky enough to avoid the ruinous effects of their rough lifestyle while others are not so lucky. In Nigeria, players are not remunerated well enough like their counterparts in Europe, South America and even some parts of Africa, to be able to live a flamboyant lifestyle. As if to compensate for this, they have taken to excessive alcohol and womanising. Recent survey indicates that

the output of players at their different clubs has fallen below average, due to the effects of alcohol and sex. Most clubs begin the season on high when the players are yet to be so deep into these vices, but drop in form as soon as they fall into the trap of these vices. According to a coach of a Premier League club based in the South Eastern part of Nigeria, who will not want his name in print, his current position in the league table can be attributed to his players who had resorted to excessive intake of alcohol and cavorting with multiple women. “There is a problem that must

be addressed before it ruins the fortunes of our league, it is sex and alcoholism,” the source said. “Players in other leagues across the globe respect themselves when the season kicks off, but our players do the opposite. Players in Europe are better remunerated and the condition of service over there is better and they respect their profession, but here in Nigeria I can tell you that our players are undisciplined”. He said he had coached several clubs in different geo-political zones and saw the same attitude irrespective of religious beliefs. He said: “It is not a matter of religious beliefs; it is now a na-

tional problem which must be addressed properly. Players union must come to the aid of clubs in this regard because as adults we cannot continue to chastise them because if we do, we might not have players to prosecute matches. That is how bad it has become. “For instance, my players came into the current season as giant killers, but fizzled out almost immediately because of the scourge of alcoholism and sex. The tide only changed when I raised the alarm on their lifestyles, but I doubt if they have learnt from their mistakes.” Another coach, with a club

Heartland boss promises better days

Madu excited by Giwa’s prospect


ewly-appointed GeneralManager of Heartland FC, Prince Ibeh Okechukwu, has urged players of the team to be focused, because better days await them. Okechukwu promised the players that the financial challenges they have faced in recent times will soon be a thing of the past. He however, urged them to continue to churn out good results in order to compel the government to make funds available. Heartland lost their last game 1-0 to Warri Wolves at the weekend, thus bringing their eight-game unbeaten run to an end. GOAL SCORERS CHART 6 GOALS Adamu Mohammed (Gombe United) 5 GOALS Nnamso Edo (Akwa United) Babalo Haruna (Gombe United) Aminu Isah (Kaduna United) Osaguona Ighodaro (Enugu Rangers) Gbolahan Salami (Warri Wolves) Peter Ebimobowei (Bayelsa United) 4 GOAL Kingsley Eduwo (Sunshine Stars) Danladi Isah (Sharks FC) Dele Olorundare (Sunshine Stars) Oghogho Oduokpe (Sunshine Stars) Ifeanyi Inyam (Sharks FC) DAY 14 RESULTS Kaduna United 2-2 Kano Pillars Elkanemi Warriors 1-1 Enyimba Heartland 1-1 Abia Warriors Bayelsa United 1-0 Akwa United Lobi Stars 3-1 FC Taraba Nembe City 1-0 Dolphins Nasarawa United 2-0 Giwa . Crown 2-1 Warri Wolves Sharks 1-0 Rangers DAY 15 FIXTURES Akwa Utd Vs Lobi Stars Fc Taraba Vs Heartland Abia Warriors Vs Crown Warri Wolves Vs Sharks Rangers Vs Gombe Utd Sunshine Vs Nasarawa Utd Giwa Fc Vs Kaduna Utd Pillars Vs El-Kanemi Enyimba Vs Nembe City Dolphins Vs Bayelsa

in the North West, said he had called the attention of the management of his side to the issues of sex and alcoholism, but nothing had been done to call the players to order. “It is only the players union that can call these players to order, because the clubs had tried to save them without success. “It is a problem that must be discussed by the League Management Company as part of its lecture series to sensitise players on the dangers of their lifestyles not only now but after retirement. “It is only through education that any meaningful breakthrough can be achieved,” he said.


Action between Warri Wolves and Sunashine Stars recently

Akwa players, officials groan over unpaid salaries


lo Premier League side, Akwa United, who have seen their fortunes in the league plummet, have attributed the slump to unpaid salaries and allowances by their sponsors, Akwa Ibom State government. According to Patrick Udoh, the Technical Adviser of the team, poor motivation of the players is a disadvantage to the side’s spirited fight to reclaim the league summit. “The non-payment of salaries and match bonuses of the players have dampened my players’ confidence and morale. We’ve been patient all this time with-

out getting our remuneration but the patience has been overstretched,” Udoh said. “The players have been living on hope which has almost run out, and the management needs to urgently step into the matter before it gets out of hand. The side needs incentives and proper motivation to urgently fight their way back to reckoning.” Meanwhile, Akwa United leading scorer (five goals) and defender, Nnamso Edo, is not expected to return to action soon after the injury he picked up in the game against Dolphins in Port Harcourt. Attacking midfielder, Aniefiok Godspower, and

central defender, Hamza Ikenna Onwuemenyi, are also nursing varying degree of injuries. Udoh said although his side will sorely miss the trio, he however, added that they will fight hard to earn a decent result against … as they have good replacements for them. “We’ll miss their services although we’ve worked hard to put in place quality replacements. “The last three matches have not been good for us, we managed to pick just one point out of nine; we can’t afford to lose further points as this will drag us down,” Udoh said.

iwa FC midfielder Christian Madu’s return to the fold has given the Jos based side some hope of gaining more points. Madu, who played for Nasarawa United last season but moved to Jos where he teamed up with Giwa FC for the current season, is confident that his side will maintain their Premier League status at the end of the current season and perhaps win a continental ticket . Giwa who restated his respect for his former club, however, said he had moved on as a professional player. “I still have respect for Nasarawa United. For now, they are doing very well going by their position on the league table. I had some interesting moments with the club while I was there, but as a professional you have to move on. Now I’m with Giwa FC and I’ve got a job to do. “My main objective this season is to help Giwa FC stay in the Glo Premier League. Remember this is our first season in this division. But just as my ambition is modest, I won’t rule out surprises like winning a continental ticket,” Madu said. He has appeared in all of the Elephants’ 12 league matches in which he played all 1 080 minutes without being substituted or suspended.


Ezeugo tips Mikel, Onazi for holding role


Vincent Eboigbe

former Super Eagles defensive midfielder, Emeka Ezeugo, is of the opinion that Mikel Obi and Ogenyi Onazi should be used together in the defensive midfield position in the forthcoming World Cup in Brazil. Mikel provides the creative impulse when he is in the colours of the Super Eagles, but he is used in a less advanced role in his club, Chelsea. The double role has been a dilemma for the midfielder overtime, but Ezeugo, who played the holding role for the Eagles with distinction, earning the nickname ‘Destroyer’ in the process, insisted that there should not be any confusion with regard to where Mikel should be deployed during the World Cup. Ezeugo argued that the defensive midfield position is the pillar of any team and must be manned by two players, adding that using only ‘small’ Onazi, who has played that role in the Eagles in recent time,will spell trouble for Nigeria in Brazil. “MIkel is more at home playing in the defensive midfield position, so I believe strongly that he should be used in that role in the World Cup. Mikel is strong and he will act as a leader in the team, even though he won’t be wearing the skipper’s armband,” Ezeugo told New Telegraph on the telephone.


“Anybody who plays that role must have a strong character and possess leadership qualities; he must be able to command the respect of his teammates, not someone who will be told to mind his business if he tries to talk to his teammates during matches. I used to do that in the Eagles even though I was not the captain. “We can’t leave it to Onazi alone, he is too small and will be easily intimidated by opponents playing in the same position; most of the players in that position are big. So we need someone who is also rugged like Mikel to complement Onazi in the front of the defence.” Ezeugo said coaches tend to prefer using two defensive midfielders because of the importance of that department in the modern game, and that Nigeria can’t afford to be different in a championship like the World Cup. Who then provides the creative spark for the Eagles in the midfield given that Mikel has more often than not done that in the team? Ezeugo was quick to give his suggestion. “We have other players who can easily fit the bill. I believe Osaze Odemwingie can easily play that role in Brazil,” Ezeugo added. The World Cup holds between June 12 and July 13 in Brazil with Nigeria playing her first match against Iran on June 16. BosniaHerzegovina and Argentina are the two other teams competing for honours in Group F with the Super Eagles.

AWC qualifiers: Rwanda cannot stop Falcons, says Igunbor Mercy Jacob


s the Super Falcons get set to take on Rwanda’s She-Amavubi in today’s Africa Women Championship qualifier in Kigali, a former star of the Nigerian team, Okunwa Igunbor, has said that the Rwandans are incapable of stopping the Edwin



Okon-tutored side. Today’s encounter is the first leg of the final round of qualifiers ahead of the AWC slated for November in Namibia, and Igunbor, in an interview with New Telegraph, believed the Super Falcons have prepared very well for the encounter having played a series of friendly matches, adding that the team has been boosted by the inclu-

sion of a number of overseasbased players. “Rwanda is not that strong a team that Nigerians would have sleepless nights,” said the former Super Falcons striker. “Though, there are no more minnows in football, the Super Falcons still remain the best in Africa. “That we are no more holding on to the trophy is just for

a while because I know this crop of players with the determination I have seen in them they are unstoppable,” added Igunbor. The Super Falcons coach, Okon, has also been talking tough ahead of today’s clash against the Rwandans and is confident of returning home with a win ahead of the return leg encounter.


Zaragoza snaps up Nigerian big man, Elonu Ifeanyi Ibeh


igerian basketball player, Chinemelu Elonu, has joined top Spanish side CAI Zaragoza.The 6ft 10in centre had previously played for Zaragoza in the 2009/10 season when he led the side to the second division championship. Prior to joining the Spanish side, the 27-year-old Elonu, who was born in the United States, spent the 2013/14 season with Turkey’ Tofas Bursa. A Bachelor of Science degree holder in Agricultural Leadership and Development from Texas A&M University, Elonu was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 59th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. He didn’t get much playing time with the Lakers and subsequently signed a two-year deal with Zaragoza. He had an opt-out clause that would

For Ghana’s Michael Essien, it’s one game at a time


fter missing the last World Cup with a knee problem, Michael Essien tells FIFA. com about his excitement with the talented Ghana team, which he goes out of his way to laud. “The squad for this tournament is the best Ghana has to offer, and the quality in depth is extremely good, especially in midfield. We have multiple options in most positions which is always a plus for any side.” The former Lyon dynamo, nicknamed the “Bison” for his incredible strength and his ability to dominate a match from box-to-box, is wary of making the prediction that Ghanaians want to hear: that they will do one better than in South Africa and finally become the first African nation to reach the semi-finals of a

World Cup

World Cup. It seems a wise position given their brutal draw into Group G with Germany, Portugal and USA. “Our initial aim will be to get out of the group into the second round, and then take it from there game by game. Who knows? We are certainly capable of going one better and making it to the semi-finals or even finals. Anything can happen, but we are realistic enough to know we cannot aim that high from the start. Get the first objective of making the second round out of the way, and we will see how far we can go. It will be a journey without doubt, one

we are looking forward to.” Incredible growth Perhaps befitting a player of his experience, Essien looks back fondly at the growth of Ghanaian football over the last decade – a time when the Black Stars reached their first finals in 2006 and then came within Asamoah Gyan’s missed penalty of reaching the last four in 2010. “I think we have done well for a nation that made its debut on the world stage in 2006. We did okay in our first outing and went one further in South Africa, and that says a lot about the players and the nation as a whole. Our desire to do well spurred us on in both World Cups, and I think it is fair to say


we have done better than some of the nations who have been to three or more World Cups. The squad for this tournament is the best Ghana has to offer, and the quality in depth is extremely good, especially in midfield. “Germany 2006 was very good, and we had a great time throughout the tournament. We were a young, talented group with no World Cup experience and in some way that helped us because we were fearless and had nothing to lose. Throughout the qualifiers we played very well and bonded as a team, as brothers. When we got to Germany we were ready to deliver and we did our best. I am proud to be one of the first players to be at Ghana’s first World Cup.”


have allowed him to sign with the Lakers after the 2009/10 season but the American side didn’t take up the option and Elonu moved to Greece where he pitched tents with Panionios. In January of 2011, Elonu joined French side, Pau-Orthez, and in the summer of 2012, he signed a contract with Turkish side, Tofas. Elonu’s move to Spain comes less than a week after another Nigerian basketball star, Oderah Anosike, joined French side, Strasbourg IG. The 23-year-old Anosike, who was also born in the United States but carries a Nigerian passport, joins a Strasbourg team already in the Final Four of the French LNB Pro A. With his impressive height, standing at 6ft 8in, Anosike is expected to reinforce the frontcourt of a Strasbourg side hoping to go one better than the second place finish they achieved last season.



tletico captain, Gabi Fernandez, does not command intimidating resume most Real Madrid players brandish but the former Zaragoza midfielder has been essential in Atletico’s phenomenal run under Coach Diego Simeone. He has helped the Mattress Makers to Europa Cup victory in 2012. He was influential in Atletico’s victory over Real Madrid in the 2013 Copa de Rey final and was one of the reasons why Colchoneros shocked the world to win 2014 La Liga.


Gabi Fernandez: Atletico

he spotlight will naturally shine brightest on Cristiano Ronaldo before, during and after this final. What else needs to be said about the Portuguese? He has won virtually everything in club football. He won the Champions League with Manchester United in 2008, he also won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup trophy and FIFA World Club Championship with the Red Devils . In 2008 and 2013, he won the World Footballer of the Year award, the first Portuguese player to win the award twice. He’s been phenomenal since he joined Real Madrid in 2008. He has broken several records at Los Blancos. Ronaldo is the first top European league player to reach 40 goals in a single season in two consecutive years, fastest Real Madrid player to reach 100 league goals, and the first player to score against every team in a single season in La Liga. He has one La Liga title and two Copa Del Rey titles since moving

to the Bernabeu. However, the current Ballon d’Or holder will need to be at his best to break down Atletico’s notoriously stubborn defence if he’s to lift his second Champions League trophy. Thankfully, Ronaldo has been at his best for most of this season. He has bagged a scarcely believable 16 goals in 10 Champions League matches this season. Playing in his homeland should inspire Ronaldo to cause the Atletico back four plenty of problems.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Real


ajibade oluSesan


he world of football will be focused on Lisbon come Saturday evening as Madrid’s two top

of the title race, but nothing is more important for Real than claiming a 10th European Cup. It might not have been four

Not since Valencia in 2004 have a team other than Real or Barca claimed the league title, and they did so with much more

Real, Atletico take derby battle to Lisbon T

Rivals Rumble

1955-56 Real Madrid 1956-57 Real Madrid 1957-58 Real Madrid 1958-59 Real Madrid 1959-60 Real Madrid 1960-61 Benfica 1961-62 Benfica 1962-63 AC Milan 1963-64 Inter 1964-65 Inter 1965-66 Real Madrid 1966-67 Celtic 1967-68 Man United


Global Football Special

tion. A return to Brazil had been mooted, as well as interest from the MLS, but Turkish newspaper Fanatik now reports that Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani met with Besiktas’ hierarchy and thrashed out a deal for the former Manchester City man. It is unclear how much the Turkish side will pay for the Brazilian but Milan largely just want the player off their wage bill so the sum is likely to be small. What’s more, Besiktas have reportedly only offered the player a one-year deal with an option of a second year. Robinho’s career hasn’t quite managed to live up to the early hype and after spells at Real Madrid and City, his time at Milan never really quite took off. This season he started just 15 games in Serie A, scoring three goals and now it appears his career at the top level has come to end. Aged 30, he has had a long, albeit inconsistent career, having burst on the scene in Brazil aged just

C Milan forward Robinho’s future at the club has been in the balance recently and it now appears Besiktas is his most likely destina-


Robinho set for Besiktas


idier Drogba’s move to Juventus appears to be imminent as reports in Turkey suggest the Italian club are desperate to get a deal done before the World Cup. Drogba will once again be a part of Ivory Coast’s side for the World Cup and Turkish newspaper Fanatik report Juve are keen to get a deal now rather than wait another month to tie it up. The 36-year-old had been weighing up his options with a coaching job at Chelsea apparently high on the list along with simply retirement from playing. However, interest from Serie A champions Juve tite appears to have whetted his appeand it now looks certain he will sign for the club, sooner rather than later. The striker has reportedly agreed terms with the Italian side and the rest of the details are a formality in tying up the deal. Drogba showed last season there is still some life in him yet having netted 10 times in the Turkish Super Lig in just 23 starts. And the slower pace of Serie A will be ideal for the ageing Ivorian and he could follow in the footsteps of countless players who continue to excel in Italian football well into their 30s.

Juventus want Drogba deal before World Cup



Ter Stegen

Atletico have had a fantastic season. I never believed they would win La Liga and getting to the final of the Champions League is unbelievable. I have played against them and I know how difficult a side they are. Real Madrid are definitely the favourites but in football anything can happen. It is difficult to predict which team will win but we should be ready for a surprise. It is sad that Atletico top striker, Costa may not play because of injury but I still believe they can prove themselves.

Nosa Igiebor

arc-Andre ter Stegen maintains that it was the correct decision to join Barcelona in the wake of interest from other clubs. The Germany international completed his move to Barca on Monday, having previously been at Bundesliga club Borussia Monchengladbach. There were fears that his switch may not go ahead when Barca were handed a two-window transfer ban in April for breaching rules over the signing of international

players under the age of 18, but that sanction has since been put on hold. The 22-year-old was unveiled at Camp Nou on Thursday and, despite joining at the end of a rare season in which Barca failed to win a trophy, Ter Stegen is confident that he made the right decision after having the chance to discuss moves elsewhere. “Barca is the start of a new stage in my career and I’m very proud to be able to join the system,” he said after agreeing a five-year deal.

Ter Stegen confident in Barca choice


The crafty schemer is the natural link between every level of manager Diego Simeone’s team. A tireless runner, tough tackler and creative passer, Gabi keeps Atletico strong defensively and efficient in possession. He also has a knack for thunderous long shots. limited resources than Spain’s behemoths. They have a smaller squad than Real, and their league pursuits may have exhausted them after a long season. But Simeone has been able to inspire Atletico to the league title, and it would be a brave man who would bet against them claiming an extraordinary double.

Real Madrid will have the edge because of experience. Athletico Madrid have done well this season, winning the La Liga and getting to the final of the champions league is a big plus for them, but Champions League is about experience. Real Madrid have a wonderful and experienced coach, Carlo Ancelloti which will give the team an edge ahead of their rival and neighbor Athletico. Its been long that Real Madrid won the Champions League last, getting to the final now, I don’t see them letting the trophy slip away from their hand. But anyway it goes, Athletico have had a good season this time around.

Emmanuel Amuneke


1998-99 Man United 1999-00 Real Madrid 2000-01 Bayern Munich 2001-02 Real Madrid 2002-03 AC Milan 2003-04 Porto 2004-05 Liverpool 2005-06 Barcelona 2006-07 AC Milan 2007-08 Man United 2008-09 Barcelona 2009-10 Inter 2010-11 Barcelona 2011-12 Chelsea 2012-13 Bayern Munich

1968-69 Milan 1969-70 Feyenoord 1970-71 Ajax 1971-72 Ajax 1972-73 Ajax 1973-74 Bayern Munich 1974-75 Bayern Munich 1975-76 Bayern Munich 1976-77 Liverpool 1977-78 Liverpool 1978-79 Nottingham Forest 1979-80 Nottingham Forest 1980-81 Liverpool 1981-82 Aston Villa 1982-83 Hamburg 1983-84 Liverpool 1984-85 Juventus 1985-86 Steaua Bucureşti 1986-87 Porto 1987-88 PSV 1988-89 AC Milan 1989-90 AC Milan 1990-91 Red Star Belgrade 1991-92 Barcelona 1992-93 Marseille 1993-94 AC Milan 1994-95 Ajax 1995-96 Juventus 1996-97 Dortmund 1997-98 Real Madrid


etz coach Albert Cartier has agreed a two-year contract extension with the club after securing their return to Ligue 1. The former Metz defender has enjoyed plenty of success since returning to the Stade Saint-Symphorien for a second stint as manager in 2012. After winning the Championnat National at the first attempt, the 53-year-old then oversaw Metz’s charge to the Ligue 2 title in 201314, as they won the division by 11 points from Lens. And having taken Metz back to the top tier for the first time since their relegation in 2008, Cartier has agreed a new deal to keep him under contract until 2016. “Albert Cartier is perfectly integrated into the ‘new FC Metz’ wanted by the president of Les Garnets,” read a statement on the club’s website. “It was natural that the trust between the two men blossomed over the past two seasons (and) led to the extension of the contract.”


Metz coach rewarded with contract extension

The match between the two Spainish clubs is the match of the century that will be full of glamour and excitement and I hope it lives to the billings, because getting to the Champions league final is always the desire of every player, playing in such a high profile match does not come often.I can recall in my days with Liverpool in one of the FA Cup Finals, it was so fantastic that the momeries still remain fresh. Realistically, I see Atletico Madrid winning the Champions League. Football is no longer what it used to be, where history counted, the round leather game has changed and people can no longer depend on history. It is now based on performance, past records can no longer be held rigidly. Real Madrid will be playing under pressure, because they are the big team and in a match of this magnitude the expectations are always high, and the players are likely to play COMPILED BY: under pressure,but for Atletico Madrid, this is AJIBADE OLUSESAN CHARLES OGUNDIYA an opportunity to shine.

John Fashanu


ormer Arsenal forward Gervinho has reportedly asked to leave Roma after the club didn’t offer him an improved contract, according to L’Equipe. The Ivorian has been in superb form since leaving the Gunners last summer, scoring nine goals and assisting a further 10 in just 30 Serie A starts. Those stats are a far cry from his Arsenal form where he was often ridiculed for his lack of composure and end product despite flashes of quality.


Man Utd target Gervinho wants Roma exit

18 to being a Real regular at 21.

Real Madrid might spring a surprise but I am giving the title to Athletico Madrid. The game is a local derby because both sides are from Madrid. The only difference here is that the teams are playing on a neutral ground. It has been a good season for the Spanish teams, two teams in the final of the Champions League, while Sevilla also won the Europa. They have shown that the Spanish League is the best across the Europe. As I said, the confidence in the camp of Athletico is very high now, they just won the league ahead of Barcelona and Real Madrid. The victory over Chelsea and the way they play against Barcelona on the last day of the league season to win the league shows what the coach, Simeone, have done to that team. They are not relying on a particular player, after the injury to Costa, people are expecting them to lose the game against Barcelona, but it is obvious they are a compact team, playing for each other which is a very big asset to the team.


start of this season and has the Copa Del Rey title already. If his Madrid side sees off Atletico in Lisbon to win, he will become the first manager to have won the trophy three times in the Champions League era. Though the former Lazio player can think of 2005 final when his side, AC Milan, surrendered a 3-0 lead to Liverpool and lost via penalty the 54-yearold still has the intelligence to bring Los Blancos their tenth European crown.


tletico Madrid Coach Diego Simeone says his side’s Champions League opponents Real Madrid will be dangerous no matter which formation they line-up with. The cross-city rivals face each other in Saturday’s final, the first ever in Europe’s premier club competition between two teams from the same city. Los Blancos have trialled different systems over the course of the season but the Argentine tactician says it will be up to the Rojiblancos to negate their threat, regardless of where it may come from. “They have played with three in midfield and three up front,” Simeone said to UEFA. “Now, in this recent period they have been playing with a 4-4-2, and it has given them very good results.

Simeone: Atletico


decades for the other half of Madrid, but quite astonishingly, Real have not made it to a Champions League final since winning their ninth title against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002. However, they will have to get past the La Liga champions Atletico, who were crowned on Saturday after holding secondplaced Barcelona to a 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou.


Sani Kaita

he Italian is only in his first season at the helm of Real Madrid but he has already achieved more in the Champions League with Los Blancos than his predecessors did in the past 12 years. Ancelotti is a winner; he has a raft of medals in his collection both as a player and coach. He has won the Champions League two times, during his time at AC Milan. He has one Serie A title, Copa Italia and World Club titles, all with Milan. He moved to Chelsea in 2009 and won the Double in his first season at the Stamford Bridge. He won the Premier League and the FA Cup for the Blues but got sacked following season when he ended the term trophy less. He moved to big-spenders in the French Ligue 1, PSG, and won the league title. He joined Real at the


Ancelotti: Real

clubs, Real and Atletico, go head-to-head in the 2014 Champions League final. Diego Simeone’s men have already achieved the seemingly impossible this season, breaking the Barcelona-Real duopoly for the first time in 10 years to claim Atletico’s first La Liga title since 1996. Los Blancos finished their league season with something of a whimper as they fell out








Balotelli in legal battle to gain access to daughter

W McIlroy breaks Wozniacki’s heart

…Calls off wedding after invitations were sent out


ormer world number one golfer, Rory McIlroy, has confirmed that ended the relationship he had with tennis player Caroline Wozniacki just days after sending out invitation cards, saying that he realised that he was not ready for marriage The two-time major winner said the high-profile split was ‘mutual and amicable’

after confirming the relationship had ended because he realised he was not ready for marriage. ‘There is no right way to end a relationship that has been so important to two people,’ he said. ‘The wedding invitations issued at the weekend made me realise that I wasn’t ready for all that marriage entails.

England to avoid Rio’s beach distractions


oy Hodgson’s England team will stay at Rio’s Royal Tulip hotel in quiet Sao Conrado, well away from bright lights of Ipanema and Copacabana beaches Hotel will not be cut off from the public, as it was in the World Cups of 2010 and 2006 Louis van Gaal’s Holland team are staying at Caesar Park on the lively Ipanema Beach


Gerrard, wife holiday in Dubai before World Cup


hey’ve been married for seven years but Alex Gerrard, 31, and her husband Steven, 33, still appear to be riding high. The couple treated themselves to a sunshine break to Dubai, along with their three daughters, Lilly-Ella, 10, Lexie, 8 and Lourdes, 2 - and were pictured having fun by the pool. Alex looked incredible in a white triangle string bikini which showed off the workout fanatics’




Chimaobi Uchendu


Cartier was presented with the La Martina Most Valuable Player Award. The award for La Martina Best Playing Pony was given to the seven-yearold mare Cata, ridden during the final by Saeed Bin Drai (0). The fight for the Desert Palm Trophy was won by team Desert Palm against UAE Polo Team by 7-5. The 2014 Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge was hosted under the patronage of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. A total of four teams with an international line-up had signed up for the prestigious event at the Desert Palm Polo Club in Dubai. These included among others: 10-goaler David Stirling from Uruguay.

Balotteli and girlfriend

South America storms England for 2014 Challenge

Cartier clinches Desert Palm Polo Challenge eam Cartier played at their best all through the week to emerge as oddson favourite. In the final, Cartier, including Adriano Agosti (0, CH), Saeed Bin Drai (0, UAE), Francisco Elizalde (+7, ARG) and Raul Laplacette (+6, ARG) played against team CNN and the foursome once again played a fantastic match and defeated Amr Zedan (0, KSA), Faris Al Yabhouni (0, UAE), Facundo Fernandez Llorente (+4, ARG) and David Stirling (+10, URU) by 11,5-7. This makes team Cartier winner of the 9th Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge at Desert Palm Polo Club. The prize trophy was presented by HH Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, youngest son of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. Raul Laplacette (+6) of team

excellent figure - the two-piece featured a gold embellishment on the delicate straps. With her hair tied back and a pair of mirrored aviator shades on, the WAG looked the part as she topped up her tan on a lounger. This summer sees the World Cup back again so it’s important that England players like Steven Gerrard get some rest before the campaign kicks off.

ith the selection for this summer’s World Cup looming he doesn’t need any extra pressure. But Mario Balotelli will have a lot on his mind after attending an Italian court where he is fighting a custody battle over his daughter. The Italian striker is in negotiations with his ex-girlfriend Raffaella Fico for the right to visit the child, called Pia, who is eighteen months old. Ballotelli did not acknowledge he was Pia’s father until February this year after DNA tests proved his paternity. He was allowed to hold her for the first time only a month ago in the court house in Naples, after the judge granted special permission. Balotelli and Miss Fico attended a private hearing at a court in Brescia, near Milan, to discuss how often the footballer will be able to visit his daughter. After a hearing that lasted about an hour the Serie A star’s lawyers said that they were confident he would have the chance to hold his daughter again before he leaves for the World Cup in Brazil. Balotelli’s lawyer Alessandra Capuano told Corriere della Sera: ‘We are well on track to finding a way for both parents to fully collaborate.’

Polo action

udi England will face South America in the first outdoor polo international match of the 2014 UK polo season when The St. Regis International Cup takes place at Cowdray Park, England, on Saturday 17th May. Having lost in 2013 to the South American side which included last season’s leading player, 10 goaler Facundo Pieres, the Audisponsored England team will be keen to reverse the outcome and secure an early season win. With the team yet to be selected, both of England’s 7 goal players, Luke Tomlinson and James Beim, have made themselves available and it is understood that the Selection Committee may look to include some younger members of the England Squad who are keen to establish their credentials wearing the England shirt. However, South America as always will have a wide choice of players to line up alongside captain Nacho Figueras and the England players will need every ounce of support from the home crowd.


My next stop is the pulpit – Alloy Agu



Former national team goalkeeper and current assistant coach of Nasarawa United, Alloy Agu recalls the excitement and joy of being part of Super Eagles team to the World Cup in the USA, in 1994 and why he was tagged Coach Clemens Westerhof boy during those unforgettable days. He also spoke with CHARLES OGUNDIYA. Tell us how you became a goalkeeper? I can say it runs in my family; my great uncle was a goalkeeper and another one was a player. When I was young, I use to go and watch him play and from there I developed interest in football; so you could say I was involved in the game from an early stage of my life. There was also some element of chance to: I was playing for my primary school, Ibem primary school, there was a day the goalkeeper got injured and the coach asked me to go in as the goalkeeper. I went in and a shot was taken, I followed the direction the ball was going, but somebody deflected it and I was still able to catch the ball. The coach was impressed and said to me; ‘from today, you are going to be playing in the goal.’ From that point, the whole of my career changed. I continued in my secondary school, to higher institution and then the national teams, starting with the Flying Eagles. Who can you say turned your career around professionally? Almighty God, He has always been my inspiration and I owe Him everything. But when you are talking about people that have given me inspiration, there are a lot of them like coach Tunde Disu, Paul Hamilton and Peter Fregene. When the White men came they also saw my talents; I am talking about Westerhof and Jo Bonfere. They all encouraged me and of course the late MKO Abiola did a lot for my career despite the fact of not playing for Abiola Babes. In what way did Abiola help your career? Abiola did everything to get me to play for Abiola Babes, but I decided to join NEPA of Lagos from where I got the call up to the Flying Eagles. There was a time Nigeria played against Cameroun in Yaounde, a World Cup qualifier, I was in goal that day and we lost 1-0. I made a lot of saves in that game. After the game, five teams in Cameroon wanted to sign me, I went to Chief Abiola and told him about the interest from these clubs, he told me not to sign for any of them, that I should go back to Nigeria and he gave me some money. Of course I listened to him and came back to Nigeria. That advice helped my career. Tell us the type of relationship you had with Westerhof? I had a very good working relationship with Westerhof. His influence in my career cannot be quantified and I will forever be grateful to him. God really used him to promote my career. The beginning of the relationship was when I got a contract in Benin Republic but Westerhof advised conagainst it, within that year I got a tract in Holland courtesy of Westerhof. MVV Holland had been relegated at that time, and they contacted Westerhof who had coached the club in the past, he told them that he had somebody who could help them out of relegation. He called me and said it was time for me to go to Holland. When I got to Holland, I was given the nod in my first training. It was not even a full side, it was a seven a side

game but fortunately the press was there at the training, and they saw what I could offer. They asked me what the difference was between a goalkeeper and the outfield players and I told them that the players have to kick the ball and I have to prevent it from entering the net, because I cannot kick the ball and catch it at the same time, the coach was impressed. The coach, SefVergoossen was able to confirm what Westerhot told him about me. Everything was settled immediately after the training. But I couldn’t start playing because I didn’t have European passport and I was not married to a white woman. I couldn’t play because I had no working permit. How did you now resolve the issue? My club went to court, because it was difficult for an African to play in Holland then. The plea of MVV was that they needed this player because of his qualities. They failed the first time so they had to appeal and eventually the club won the appeal and I was cleared to play for the club even without a work permit. I got the clearance and three days later I played my first game for the club against JC Roda. I was the first African to play in Holland without a work permit or having any of the European passports or being married to a white woman. All this was possible due to the influence of Westerhof who believed in me and what I could do. At the end of the season, MVV finished 10th on the table. Can we confirm the talk then that you were Westerhof’s boy? I am just Westerhof’s player and not his boy. He saw something good in me and he made me not only national team number one, but also the captain. You don’t just give someone that you don’t trust such responsibilities. He had confidence in me which subsists till today. I loved him because he always got my back, was always interested in my progress. He saw an opening in Holland and called me, that is why people keep calling him my father. I can recall a time when he brought a newspaper report calling him my father to my hotel room in Sheraton; he was laughing as he showed me the report. ‘These people are calling me your father, but I have met with your father,’ we laughed. Westerhof and I had a wonderful working relationship, the same with all the people I have worked with in the past. Westerhof is a father but not my biological father; I know his family just the way he knows mine. I was Westerhof’s wonderful player he cannot forget that. What was the experience like 20 years ago when Nigeria participated in their first World Cup? Awesome, it is a feat that you cannot forget. The record is there. Generations coming will continue to look at it and celebrate us. There is nothing more than to give glory to God for being part of that generation. We qualified Nigeria for their first World Cup and our generation took Nigeria to the fifth

I was the first African to play in Holland without a work permit or having any of the European passports or being married to a white woman position in the whole World. It was an opportunity given by God, not that our predecessors were not good, they did everything to qualify Nigeria, but God said it was time for Nigeria during our time. Can you rate the goalkeeping department of the Super Eagles especially the final slot between ChigozieAgbim and Daniel Akpeyi? That department to me is very solid. All Nigeria will also agree with me taking into consideration the performance of Vincent Enyeama for his club in France, the performance of Austin Ejide in Israel; I think we are very covered. For the final slot, I will say Agbim is doing well in the league currently. No matter how good you are as a player, if you are not playing every week, there will be consequences. But today, the young man is playing weekly and his game has improved significantly. I will say the goalkeeping de-

partment is in good hands with those three. I also have confidence in the goalkeeper coach, Ike Shorunmu, who is doing a wonderful job. Describe your second coming to Nasarawa United? I can say my performance during my first time in the club was my bargaining power. They love what we did the first time and they wanted us back. The truth is if we have not done well the first time, they wouldn’t have called us back. I have several offers before opting for Nasarawa United because I love it here. We are hoping to make the state proud. Any improvement noticed in the league? So many improvements really; you can see teams going out to pick away points unlike in the past. The officiating has been so wonderful. That is a good sign. Also, fans are gradually coming out to watch matches. You are a Bishop of a church… The best business in life is to be a minister of God, where you can speak the mind of God to people, show people love. One day I am going to end up fully in the ministry. I can just come out once in a while to help people in goalkeeping, but my major focus then will be the ministry. But for now, I am combining the two.



Countdown to Fifa World Cup

Suarez, Aguero, Neymar lead strikers charge

zz Emenike, Dzeko also in the mix


Ifeanyi Ibeh

ootball is basically all about winning. And in order to win, goals need to be scored. Although every player on the field of play, even goalkeepers, can get involved in scoring, the stars of the beautiful art of getting the ball into the back of the net are most often the strikers. And there is no better stage for these predators to showcase their knack for scoring than the biggest of them all, the World Cup. It is the ultimate stage for the best players on the globe to display their talent. It is where legends are born, villains made and hearts broken. For an example of World Cup villains and heartbreakers, look no further than Aiyegbeni Yakubu’s incredible miss from two yards out in Nigeria’s 1-1 draw with Korea Republic and Luis Suarez’s ‘Hand of the Devil’ save in Uruguay’s fortuitous quarterfinal win over Ghana, both at South Africa 2010. Yakubu has since been consigned to the archives and is no longer considered good enough for the Super Eagles, but Suarez will be leading Uruguay’s forward line in Brazil, where the two-time former world champions will be hoping to repeat what their ‘ancestors’ achieved last time the World Cup took place on Brazilian soil in 1950. Blessed with a fine first touch and tremendous all-round technique, the controversial Liverpool striker is one of world football’s most technically gifted strikers, and is one of the first names on the team sheet for club and country. Making his international debut in a 3-1 win against Colombia on February 8, 2007, Suarez, who has gone on to make 77 appearances for his country, scoring 38 times, was sent off against the Colombians in the 85th minute after receiving a second yellow card for dissent. In 2012, he was banned for eight matches after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra. Ironically, Suarez, with a black grandfather, is of mixed race and reportedly used the words his grandmother affectionately used for his grandpa ‘Mi Negrito’ in describing Evra. The last time the 27-year-old donned the Uruguay shirt in a World Cup game he ended up being red carded. While his fellow Uruguayans adored him as his heroics ended up being the difference in the match against the Ghanaians, Suarez will be looking forward to winning in less controversial fashion this time round. And if the performances he has been producing for Liverpool are anything to go by, he has more than enough to propel his team all the way in Brazil, especially when he has a reliable strike partner in the form of Paris Saint-Germain star, Edinson Cavani. Argentina’s Sergio Aguero is another striker expected to light up Brazil 2014. He won the Europa League and UEFA Super Cup in 2010 with Atletico Madrid before making a big money switch to Manchester City where he has gone on to win four titles: The FA Community Shield (2012), League Cup (2014), and two Premier League honours (2012 and 2014). The winner of FIFA’s Young Player of the Year in 2007, the same year he was named top scorer and Player of the Tournament at the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Aguero is a cunning operator in and around the penalty area. And even though he gives away plenty in height and weight to most other strikers, his predatory instincts, that have been likened to those of legendary Brazilian Romario, makes

up for his physical shortcomings. A gold medallist with Argentina at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, Aguero scored an impressive 28 goals in 34 appearances for Manchester City this season and will be looking to add to the 21 goals he has scored for Argentina in 47 appearances when hostilities get underway in Brazil. And with triple World Player of the Year, Lionel Messi, not too far away from him on the pitch, Aguero looks a sure bet to finally grab his debut World Cup goal in Brazil after failing to get one four years ago in South Africa. Another striker who will be looking to add to the 47 caps he has for his country is Neymar, who has scored 30 times for the five-time World Cup winners. Neymar was not considered good enough for Brazil’s team to the last World Cup by erstwhile national team coach, Dunga, but just over a month after the tournament, he scored on his debut for Brazil in a 2-0 win over the United States in August 2010. A perfectionist, Neymar has the ability to play either as a centre-forward or winger due to his energetic pace and playmaking skills. His dribbling skills, technical and playmaking ability are reminiscent of compatriot, Ronaldinho, who once described the youngster as both electric and explosive. This season, following his transfer from Santos to Barcelona, Neymar has endured a torrid time in Spain but that has not affected his brilliant run for Brazil. And with strike partner Fred providing the raw strength needed to complement Neymar’s lack of it, as was exceptionally put on display at last year’s FIFA Confederations Cup, Brazil’s opponents will not only have the humid Brazilian weather to worry about but also Barcelona’s record signing, who will be making his World Cup debut in June. Another striker who will be appearing at his debut World Cup in Brazil is Nigeria’s Emmanuel Emenike, who will be carrying the hopes of fans of the national team of Africa’s most populous nation. With 10 goals from 21 caps, the Turkey-based striker led the Super Eagles’ forward line at last year’s Cup

of Nations but was sorely missed a few months later at the Confederations Cup as the Super Eagles crashed out following loses to Uruguay and Spain. Blessed with good pace and unstoppable shots, he is one of the key reasons why there is an air of optimism around the Nigerian team’s chances of excelling in Brazil. And with 12 league goals in his kitty this season for Fenerbahce, opposing goalkeepers will need to be at their best in order to keep the 27-year-old from sending them to pick the ball from the back of their net. Another striker who will also be looking to hand goalkeepers the ignominious task of picking up the ball from the back of their net is Didier Drogba, who will be hoping to end his international career on a high with an impressive outing at the World Cup. With 99 caps for the Elephants, with the first coming as far back as 2002, Drogba is his country’s all-time leading scorer with 63 goals. But at the grand old age of 36 and with injuries taking their toll on the once powerful limbs of the former Chelsea star, it remains to be seen if Drogba would be able to contribute meaningfully to the Elephants’ quest of finally making it past the first round at the World Cup.








Call of the Nightingale A virtuoso performance by a new opera singer, Prisca d Nightingale, left the audience at the recent Catholic Praise Concert held in Lagos, writes EBERE AMEH


soprano of no mean repute, Prisca performs classical music with mostly Latin lyrics to a the admiration of her audience. At the concert, the ovation was very loud, an indication of her preparedness and the appreciation of classical music by the people. “Basically, I choose my repertoire based on the kind of event that I am billed to perform. I make efforts to know the kind of programme, Location and venue of the program and the kind of audience that would be in attendance . All these and more helps me with my choice of repertoire. So since the C.P.C is a Catholic concert, I choose songs that both the church and the audience will feel at home with,” Prisca said. Latin has remained the universal language of the Catholic Church. Despite having no native speakers any longer, it is to the Catholic Church what Arabic is to Islam. “Apart from being the language that the church is identified with, I am very comfortable singing in Italian language among other foreign languages which I sing. As a classical musician, it is important to learn to sing in different languages especially foreign languages. Classical compositions were made in indigenous languages which were mostly in Italian, English, French, German etc. So efforts are made to learn to sing these songs in the original language on which it is composed even though they can also be translated into various other languages,” she said. Talking about her kind of music and why she opted for classical music instead of the more popular contemporary music, Prisca said it's because the music is "for mature minds". “My kind of music is known as classical music. It is one of the oldest forms of music dating back to the medieval era, the baroque era, the classical era, romantic era and now the 21st century. It’s a kind of music that entails a lot of discipline in learning and practice. Like the saying goes, it is music for the mature minds.” Prisca’s journey into classical music goes back to her youth. “I always had special interest in music. I remember telling my mother at the age of nine that I would like to be a musician. As I grew older, I joined a few choral groups both classical and contemporary. I realized that I had more passion for the classical music so I decided to take it more seriously.” Her love for classical music led her to join the choir of the Musical Society Of Nigeria (MUSON) in 2002 where she retained her membership till date. Being a member of this choir directed by Sir Emeka Nwokedi did not only help her become a better singer, it also triggered her interest to the study of music. “Though I studied business administration in the university, I also had private music classes, took music exams and acquired music certificate of both MUSON and ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal School of Music), England. By the time I graduated from the university, I went in for a full music course at the MUSON Diploma School of Music and graduated in 2011.”


Born Prisca Chinelo Enyi to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Enyi of Udi Local Government in Enugu State, her parents not only appreciates music, they are also into it. “My father was an opera singer and my mother a good soloist. So as a child I grew up to appreciate the classical music and got supports from my parents. So, despite my B.Sc in business administration from Lagos State University, I also attended the MUSON Diploma School of Music with the full support of my parents.” So far, Prisca has recorded a number of successes in her musical career. In 2005 The Queen of Angels choir Awarded her The Best Soprano singer. In 2011, she also got the award of the Best Opera Singer from MUSON. In recognition of her role as one of the best soloists in Nigeria, Prisca has taken lead roles in opera productions such as Mabel - in ‘Pirate of the Penzance’ , Violleta - in ‘ La Traviata’, Pamina - in ‘Magic Flute’, Mary - in ‘The Nativity’, to mention a few.

Like the saying goes, it is music for the mature minds Despite her successes, Prisca notes that classical music is still not sufficiently appreciated in Nigeria, adding that it takes a mature audience to appreciate it. “Sometimes it is not easy getting events where this kind of music is appreciated,” she said. Beautiful and multi-talented, Prisca does a lot of other things outside music. “I am a dancer and used to be a member of Spirit Of David dance group before I left to study music. I am also an actor, make-up and makeover artiste. I was into bead-making and hat-making too. I am very good with making hair, and have plans of becoming a beautician one day. However, now, it is all about my music,”

Prisca enthused. Eager to help the youths realise their dreams, Prisca is already teaching and mentoring others to improve themselves and achieve their goals. “I teach music. I am also a vocal coach. I have hopes to do it in a bigger scale where young ones can come to learn and expand their knowledge and discover their God-given talents. I like teaching young ones what I do, giving them an opportunity and bringing out the talents in them. This I believe will help them become independent in life.” Prisca believes that music is what Nigeria needs now as she faces the challenge of terrorism, which has left many hearts broken and others grieving. “Apart from providing entertainment to people and providing a distraction for them from the hustle and bustle of life, music is very therapeutic too. It calms frayed nerves and comforts the broken hearted as we sing and pray for God to heal our nation.”

Ideas&Brands ON SATURDAY



24 MAY 2014


On World Malaria Day, Mortein steps up campaign


iqued by the frequent malaria attacks suffered by new mothers and children, Reckitt Benckiser through its insecticide brand, Mortein, has again raised the ante in corporate social responsibility, by intensifying anti-malaria campaign. The campaign was launched during the commemoration of this year’s World Malaria Day, in Lagos, on April 25. The Mortein Anti-Malaria Campaign train was at some public hospitals in Lagos to give succour to new mums and babies whose delivery coincided with the World Malaria Day. One of the hospitals was the General Hospital, Ajeromi in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government where Mrs. Gift Odia and her baby boy were presented with a certificate, cartons of Mortein insecticide and baby gifts. The second hospital was the Primary Health

Centre, Ijora in Apapa Local Government where Mrs. Kafayat Tajudeen and her newly born girl also received a certificate, cartons of Mortein insecticide and baby gifts. The lucky beneficiaries would also receive five years’ free supply of Mortein insecticide for their continued protection against malaria. Explaining the philosophy behind the initiative, Reckitt Benckiser's marketing director in charge of West Africa, Oguzhan Silivrili, said malaria has become a global health concern because millions of deaths occur annually due to malaria while in Africa alone, over 3,000 children are said to die daily from malaria. He added that the gesture from the company aligned with its global mission and vision of building healthier lives and happier homes, stressing that “we see malaria as a serious threat to the health of new mothers and their babies”.

Silivrili said Mortein will reach 500,000 new mothers and children this year through a series of engagements that would create awareness and provide education and counsel that would help them curb malaria. The marketing director was accompanied by two other executives of the company, the brand manager, Mortein, Mr. Oladipupo Ogundele and the marketing and activation lead, West Africa, Mrs. Omotola Bamigbaiye-Elatuyi, to the hospitals where they put hope and joy in the hearts of the new mothers and officials of the Lagos State Government who witnessed the presentation of certificates and gifts. Ogundele on his part revealed that the Mortein

Anti-Malaria Campaign was in line with the Roll Back Malaria programme and other initiatives aimed at eradicating malaria especially in Africa. "Mortein cares about the effect this disease has on women and children and is sparing no effort to ensure a significant reduction and eventual elimination of malaria in Nigeria," he said. He added that Mortein was forging deeper responses to malaria through various initiatives. One such efforts is to educate more consumers about the need for them to take prevention steps against malaria by maintaining a clean environment, avoiding stagnant water that breed mosquitoes and sleeping under insecticides treated nets.

On the control of vectors that cause malaria, the Roll Back Malaria manager for Apapa Local Government who is also the chief nursing officer at the Ijora Primary Health Clinic, Mrs. Finnih Oluwatoyin, said it was a simple and low-cost strategy which residents should embrace. Indoor residual spraying and long-lasting insecticidal nets are two globally acknowledged malaria vector control measures while Mortein is said to have met the IRS requirement. This informs the product’s twin-pronged approach of giving out free cans of the insecticide and treated mosquito nets as part of activities during the World Malaria Day. To this end, Silivrili reminded new mums that

one mosquito bite was enough to cause malaria and Mortein was committed to ‘‘kill mosquitoes dead hundred per cent’’ which is the key benefit of the product. “We wake up every day with the consumer in mind. Our mission is to create healthier lives and happier homes for our consumers and that is why we are taking malaria as a serious threat to the health of the consumers. That is why we are taking it very seriously and partnering with government to fight against it,” he said. Ogundele added that the eradication of malaria in Nigeria was a major company objective "to enable mothers and their babies have good sleep and live healthier life".

Pepsi ignites creativity in Nigerian Idol contestants


t was not all singing and dancing for Nigerian Idol Season 4 contestants, as a day out with Pepsi provided them opportunity for a variety of tasks and entertainment. Out of the usual daily rehearsals and klieglights, onto a sunny day in Lagos with Pepsi, the official beverage of the Music TV reality show, the contestants were quite excited to take on various tasks. The Pepsi Day Out with Nigerian Idol contestants started quite early with a gym session at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island. While still at the gym, they were surprised by a visit from Pepsi music ambassador, Tiwa Savage, who invited them to a live radio presentation and interview at Cool fm. She would later interact with them and offer tips on how to succeed in their music careers. At a studio in Victoria Island, the Nigerian Idol contestants were given the task of writing an advertising copy and recording a 15-second television commercial. It was a challenging task which stretched their imagina-

tion and brought out more creativity in them. Highpoint of the day was the dinner at Johnny Rocket restaurant, which was a mixture of fun and suspense as the contestants waited for the announcement of the winner of the television commercial challenge. Savage announced Anthony Akpan (Antwon) as the winner and Paul Enoma (Xolani) as the first runner-up to a thunderous applause by all who were present. Seven-Up Bottling Company's head of marketing, Mr. Norden Thurston, presented cash prizes of N50, 000 to the two winners. “I am quite confident that hopeful Nigeria will have another Tiwa Savage from these six contestants,” Thurston said. “While Pepsi associates with established stars in music like Pepsi Global ambassador Beyonce and Nigerian stars such as Tiwa Savage, Wizkid and Lynxxx, Pepsi is involved in Nigerian Idol to create a platform for young Nigerians to voice their dreams".

L-R: Sardauna of Lagos State, Ahmed Barma; Marketing Director, West Africa, Reckitt Benckiser, Oguzhan Silivrili; Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Ministry of Health, Modele Osunkiyesi; Chairman, Apapa Local Government Area, Ayodeji Joseph and Umaru Yaro of Arewa Youth Foundation, during the Mortein-sponsored World Malaria Day held at Tego Barracks, in Apapa, Lagos

Wild Fusion appoints new managing director


s part of its strategic growth plan, digital marketing agency and Google AdWords certified partner, Wild Fusion Limited, has named Noel Douglas as the new managing director. Douglas has over 25 years’ experience in the marketing and advertising, working with agencies across the globe. He

began with one of the most famous brand agency names and completed a full cycle to become one of their global Africa network managing directors. His creative journey has taken him across many countries and sectors in multi-disciplined environments. He is escribed as a very experienced client-focused director, who comes

with a thorough knowledge and understanding of the emerging markets of Africa. Speaking on his appointment, Noel expressed delight at being “given the responsibility of driving one of Africa’s leading digital agencies forward. It is a new chapter in our world of marketing – where we are at the forefront of new

technology – where traditional fuses with digital and the language become one. “For our clients, we will continue to push the boundaries of technology and creativity to grow their brand awareness and sales, whilst maintaining high standards of service and brand guardianship,” he said.

L ve&Lv ng


‘Help! She wants to dump me and marry her ex' p.37

Wedding Traditions: The Jumping of the Broom: America p.36




24 MAY 2014


‘I cancelled my wedding because of my fiancé's poor libido' Love Confession It is said that sexual compatibility is an important factor in marriage. In this story, the fact that the lady and her partner were sexually incompatible was enough reason for her to quit the affair.


t was a fairy tale beginning. I was a bridesmaid at my cousin's bachelor's eve in Port Harcourt while Chike was one of the groomsmen. The moment we set eyes on each other, we were instantly attracted, and spent the day getting to know each other and the night in each other’s arms on the dance floor. I didn't hesitate in giving him my number at the end of the evening, even with the knowledge that my boyfriend, Benjamin, was living in the same Rivers State. Things weren't going well with Benjamin, my boyfriend. To say the least, his business was not moving and our relationship had gradually degenerated from that of intimate love and friendship to sex mates. It was only in the bedroom where our quarrels, frustrations, harsh words and angry tears were replaced with passion and romantic fireworks. We had been together for four years, on and off, and during the off times when I would start dating someone else, Benjamin would go to great lengths to get me back, and it didn't take much persuading to get me back into bed with him. The guilt that followed meant an immediate end to many fledgling romances with other men. My family didn't like Benjamin, and were always encouraging me to take a break and give myself the opportunity of seeing what was out there. I could see the pleased looks on their faces at the wedding when they noticed the attraction Chike and I shared, and on the way home, my mother was full of praise for him and his wealthy family. Chike sent me romantic text messages at work the following day, and picked me up from my office in the evening so that I didn't need to walk in the rain to catch a cab or bus home. He took me to a restaurant where we had dinner and then left me on my doorstep with a sweet kiss on the lips. That weekend, Benjamin told me to come over to his place. And although I was quite tired of my affair with him, I decided to go so that it wouldn't look as if we were quarreling again. I got there to find Benjamin snoring in front of the television, and several beer bottles scattered on the floor around him. The disgust I felt towards him and his regular evening drinking ritual, especial-

ly after my dream evening with Chike, was enough for me to tell him there and then that I was quitting the relationship. Two weeks later, I couldn't hold myself anymore. I simply called Benjamin and told him that it was over between us. This time, I meant it, and no amount of persuasion from him would bring me back. My love for Chike blossomed, and I made every effort to avoid Benjamin. I changed my phone number and even changed my job to avoid the risk of bumping into him in the city. Benjamin finally got the message and didn't bother me again with his usual tricks. Meanwhile, Chike and I settled into a comfortable and happy life together. Because Chike had money, he showered me with gifts and weekends away. He even took me to Abuja and proposed to me at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel. I was happy but a little bit hesitant.

The reason was that Chike was perfect in every way, except I craved for him to be more like Benjamin in the bedroom. Every time we talked about setting a wedding date, I had a reason to put it off. The reason for my hesitation was that, after returning from Abuja, I came face to face with Benjamin my former boyfriend. As much as I tried to resist him, we ended up back at his place and made love. This time I vowed to be strong and make it

‘Chike was perfect in every way, except I craved for him to be more like Benjamin in the bedroom'

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the last time. Every time I looked down at my hand and saw my engagement ring, I was reminded of the love Chike and I shared. But it wasn't enough for me to turn my back on Benjamin. The fact was that Benjamin gave me sexual satisfaction in bed, but Chike didn't. Despite this, I still set a wedding date with Chike, made all the preparations, and ordered my designer wedding gown from London. The wedding was fast approaching, and the tension I was feeling was building. I wanted a life with Chike, but I realised that I would never be finished with Benjamin. Each time I made the decision to end it, my resolve crumbled. In the end the decision was taken out of my hands. The day before we were due to be married, Chike came to see me. The look on his face said it all. He told me he wanted to hear from me whether I could leave the past in the past and be his wife, and only his. I told him about Benjamin, and that as much as I loved him, I could never be rid of Benjamin. Chike spent several hours, along with my parents, begging me to reconsider. In the end, the wedding was cancelled and I felt that Chike was better off being set free, instead of getting married to a woman like me who would never be happy or derive satisfaction from his performance in bed. I think that if I had gone ahead to marry Chike, there was no way I wasn't going to cheat on him with Benjamin. So it was better I didn't marry him in the first instance. Chike always found it difficult getting an erection, and even when he did, he just couldn't make me reach orgasm. Besides, he didn't seem to want sex as much as I did, and it drove me crazy. I remember the day I confronted Chike over sex. I demanded to know why he just couldn't satisfy me in bed. To my surprise, he brought out a sex toy and used it on me. He used the same sex toy on me for several weeks until I asked him for how long I would continue to depend on a sex toy and not on my man to satisfy me in bed. I realized that if I had to depend on a toy for sexual satisfaction for the rest of my life in marriage, then it meant that such a marriage wasn't worth the effort. I had to cancel my wedding because of that. I believe that sex in marriage is important, even though it is not everything. At least one of us is now free. Benjamin still continues to toy with my emotions and I don't know what I'm going to do next. My life is now a miserable mess. I hear from my cousin that Chike has moved out of Port Harcourt in order not to set eyes on me again. I feel stupid to have lost my fiancé because of lack of sexual satisfaction, but still I think I took the best decision.



Love Song

Love News

"Losing You"

Study says women in relationships are 'programmed' to turn a blind eye to attractive men


omen in relationships are biologically programmed to turn a blind eye to attractive men, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of Amsterdam asked 226 female undergraduate students of different relationship statuses to study photographs of potential mates deemed scientifically 'hot'. Those with boyfriends or husbands were more likely than their single counterparts to be critical of the men, suggesting that women have an innate disposition to be faithful. Accompanying photographs of the men was a list of different scenarios such as 'they ran late for an

Life Experience


got messed around by men very badly when I was in my early twenties, and the repercussions of this were that for most of my late twenties I, myself, was not very nice to the men I used to meet through friends, at parties, eateries, etc. I found myself being hostile in order to keep men at arm's length, and it was only after several years that I realised this was what I was doing. And it seemed as though I'd already pushed away the man of my dreams. Victor was an amazing human being. He was kind, funny, intelligent - a little arrogant perhaps - and I was so scared by my feelings for him when I met him through friends that I chose to focus on his arrogance, and declared that I despised him. It sounds like a novel, I know, but it's true! It wasn't long before my friends, my family, everyone who would listen, knew how I felt about arrogant Victor, not my real feelings, of course, but the ones I was using to as a disguise. Unfortunately, Victor knew too. He had been so friendly when we first met, but after a few months of my coldness, he stayed well away and it was then that I realised how I truly felt. But too late - it wasn't pride; I was far too cowardly to own up to my problems and tell him how I felt. So I let it go, and hoped I'd meet someone even half as handsome and good as I knew Victor to really be. But inside, I was actually pining; desperate for a second chance to make things right. But I never even saw him anymore and my friends, tired of how I treated him, gave me no opportunities to repeat my disgraceful behaviour. Eventually, about twelve months passed. I hadn't seen Victor in all this time, and I supposed I'd moved on, although I wasn't seeing anyone else. One day, I entered the CMS bookshop in Lagos, and low and behold, to my astonishment, across a few

appointment' or they 'bought groceries for grandma.' After the photos were removed, the women were asked to write down which scenarios they recalled. Researchers found that women in relationships were more likely to remember the less-than-ideal traits exhibited by the hot men when compared with single women. Behavioral scientist Mariko L.Visserman, who led the study, concluded: 'These findings provide initial evidence for biased processing of behavioral information of an alternative mate, which may serve an important relationship protection function.' However, one commenter suggested that instead of being 'pre-

book shelves I saw Victor. All the old, warm feelings that I had tried so desperately to suppress came back up to the surface, and I knew I had to act fast. But how? I asked myself. It didn't seem likely that he would even give me the time if I walked over to say hello, and I wouldn't have blamed him if he had reacted in that way. But if there was one thing I knew about Victor, it was that he wouldn't turn his back on someone in distress. Even if that someone was as evil as me. Guess what I did? I sneaked over to within a few feet of him, and then I suddenly let out a pretentious cry of pain and fell to the floor as if I had knocked my foot against something hard. To anyone who had seen, it looked as though I had tripped on something and twisted or sprained my ankle. As strangers came running from all directions, Victor helped me off the floor and offered to drive me to the nearest hospital. Suddenly feeling very foolish, and not sure what to do next, I muttered that I would be alright, but Victor insisted. Victor ended up paying thousands of naira for me for completely unnecessary x-rays! Even after the x-rays, Victor was still waiting. "Someone has to drive you home," he said. I was so effusive in my thanks, and begged him to allow me to serve him supper at my place for his trouble. He reluctantly went along with my suggestion and we went to my apartment together, with me limping pathetically with a tightly bandaged ankle! At my place over a few glasses of

now there's just no use I don’t know why I fight it, clearly we are through Tell me the truth boy, am I losing you for good

Tell me the truth boy, am I losing you for good We used to kiss all night but now there's just no use I don’t know why I fight it, clearly we are through Tell me the truth boy, am I losing you for good

programmed' to not cheat, the women in the study were 'lying', because they know it's 'socially unacceptable to admit attraction to other men when in a relationship.' Ms Visserman's findings were published in the latest edition of the International Association for Relationship Research’s journal, Personal Relationships. The study only focused on heterosexual women and more research needs to be done to see if the same trend would apply to those in same-sex relationships. Courtesy: Dailymail

I know you're waiting for the rest that you can get from me Just treat me good and baby I'll give you the rest of me I'm not the one that you should be making your enemy I'm not the one that you should be making your enemy Tell me the truth boy, am I losing you for good We used to kiss all night but

red wine, our conversation became warmer, and we soon both realised just how well we could get along, especially when I wasn't being so horrible. We quickly arranged to see one another again the following weekend. Two years have gone by, and Victor and I recently got engaged. It's a wonderful relationship, and I can't believe I nearly ruined everything. A patient and forgiving man, Victor knows about some of my issues now, and why I was such an awful person. He knows I was only reacting that way because of the bad way men treated me in the past. But I have never told him that I faked an injury or a sprained ankle in order to get him to talk to me!

Tell me the truth boy, am I losing you for good We used to kiss all night but now there's just no use I don’t know why I fight it, clearly we are through Tell me the truth boy, am I losing you for good 08098668480

Love is an abstract entity Timelessly older than man The first gift from God to Adam His primest to his rib, Eve Enhancer of first sin Harbinger of maiden curse Love is a phenomenon with octopus faces Sometimes platonic At times lustful But mostly sincerely natural Beside laughter and cries Love is commonest to all races All men, sans beasts, sans classes For in nature love comes and in love Nature blooms

Romantic Jokes

There's nothing more I know you're taking it away from me I gave you everything and now there's nothing left of me I'm not the one that you should be making your enemy I'm not the one that you should be making your enemy

Timothy Akinleye

Love Poem Essay On Love

'I faked having an injury to get him to talk to me' ‘But if there was one thing I knew about Victor, it was that he wouldn't turn his back on someone in distress'


It is a game involving two players Two people ready to share hearts Joys, sorrows and problems For a person to love alone Is to oversimplify love This is mere admiration Love tamed may grow But if suppressed may destroy the bearer Admiration is gradual But infatuation is spontaneous Hence Alexander Pope in “Rape of the Lock Said, “Charms strike the sight, But merit wins the soul. (Copyright 1991)

Send your poems with your name to ireto007@yahoo. com, call 08131161840

Gorilla Cage

Man and wife in front of a Gorilla cage in a zoo. Man says: Excite him like you do to me! Wife removes her top, Gorilla goes crazy. Man :Tease him more, like you do to me! Wife removes her jeans. Gorilla goes wilder. Man opens cage, pushes wife in and says: NOW TELL HIM YOU HAVE A HEADACHE AND YOU ARE NOT IN THE MOOD!

Words of Wisdom: Love never fails

Wedding Traditions

The Jumping of the Broom: America


he jumping of the broom originated from America’s Deep South and has a place in history. During slavery, African-American

couples were not permitted to get married and the jumping of the broom was a custom used by slaves in place of a wedding ceremony. Many

modern African-Americans jump the broom as a tribute to generations that have passed. Courtesy: eharmony.



Relationships & Love Advice

‘Help! She wants to dump me and marry her ex' Dear Love Doctor, My name is Godwin, a final year student. There is a girl I love so much and wish to marry and she also wants to marry me too. But now her former love who travelled outside the country is back and is ready to marry her now. The girl is telling me that I should pray for her because she is getting confused and her parents are in support of her getting married to the guy. Please what do I do now? From Godwin. Love Doctor’s Advice: Dear Godwin, there is really nothing you can do because the decision is for the girl alone to make. She has to listen to her heart and make her choice. By the way, you are only a final year student and in no position to marry right now. So why torture yourself? If the girl chooses to wait for you, there is nothing wrong with that. However, if she feels she can't wait for you and decides to marry her former lover, you can't blame her for taking such a decision. I do think you ought to concentrate

Love Education

What is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?


elvic inflammatory disease (or disorder) (PID) is a term for inflammation of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and/or ovaries as it progresses to scar formation with adhesions to nearby tissues and organs. This can lead to infertility. PID is a vague term and can refer to viral, fungal, parasitic, though most often bacterial infections. PID should be classified by affected organs, the stage of the infection, and the organism(s) causing it. Although a sexually transmitted infection (STI) is often the cause, many other routes are possible, including lymphatic, postpartum, postabortal (either miscarriage or abortion) or intrauterine device (IUD) related, and hematogenous spread. PID can cause scarring inside the reproductive organs, which can later cause serious complications, including chronic pelvic pain, infertility, ectopic pregnancy (the leading cause of pregnancyrelated deaths in adult females), and other dangerous complications of pregnancy. Occasionally, the infection can spread to the peritoneum causing inflammation and the formation of scar tissue on the external surface of the liver (FitzHugh-Curtis syndrome). Multiple infections and infections that are treated later are more likely to result in complications. Source: Wikipedia

on your studies now instead of thinking of marriage. That is an unnecessary distraction which you don't need at the moment. 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 App store now and download the App. *Send your comments/stories to Love Doctor. E-mail: If you’re in a crisis, call for help: 07031028714, 08131161840 or 08023700641. For free marriage/relationships counseling, call Love Doctor Mike 07031028714, 08023700641. Visit


Outrageous movie trailer on missing plane hints at on-board AFFAIR behind plane's disappearance Odd News


new trailer for a movie about the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has hit the internet just 10 weeks after the plane vanished. Rupesh Paul Productions touted The Vanishing Act trailer at the Cannes Film Festival to look for prospective investors on Saturday. It could be in theatres within months as filming is expected to take place over 35 days and have more than 200 actors. Flight MH370 was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it lost contact with air traffic control on March 8. It was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers from 14 different countries. As the search continues for the missing plane, the film’s movie poster claims to tell the ‘untold story’ behind the doomed flight, reports. But based off the trailer it may not be the most accurate account of the tragedy. A Boeing 747 is used in the trailer instead of a Boeing 777 - the actual model of the plane that disappeared. The Vanishing Act's associate director Sritama Dutta said the only similarity between the movie and the disaster was it involved a missing plane. The 90-second trailer casts suspicion on a number of the passengers and crew members aboard. It hints a male MAS flight attendant could have been responsible for the tragedy that killed 239

people. In one of the scenes, a male flight attendant is fraught with jealousy when he spies a stolen kiss between a female flight attendant and another male colleague – one of them presumably his love interest. In another, a creepy male passenger wearing a blue shirt is seen staring down the camera with a look of menace on his face. As the tension builds, cutaway scenes of crew members being thrown around, passengers looking terrified, a passionate goodbye kiss between two flight attendants and a gun being loaded play out over a generic thriller score. Rupesh Paul, the man behind the production company, wrote the screenplay in 20 days based on a Malaysian journalist's theory about what happened. The journalist is one of the film's investors and wants to remain anonymous for now. Its budget is $3.5 million. The search for the plane continues in the southern part of the Indian Ocean. Courtesy: daily mail.

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True Confession from Overseas


'I drugged my twin sister’


y twin sister and I were always very close. We lived together, worked together and hung out together. We had occasional moments of sibling rivalry, but we never let it get in the way of our relationship. Sally was known as the outgoing twin and I was known as the quiet twin. It didn't bother me how people perceived us — until Thomas entered the picture. Thomas was the new guy at work. He was funny, gorgeous, and a genuine gentleman. Sally was also attracted to Thomas but I didn't think anything of it at first. Then one afternoon she mentioned that she was thinking of asking Thomas out for coffee. I already felt defeated. Sally was so outspoken that I knew that she'd be first in line. I tried to convince her that Thomas was a bit of a ladies' man, telling her that other girls had been talking about him. But to no avail. Suddenly, I had an idea. Sally and I were having a housewarming party that weekend and I suggested that Sally invite Thomas along. That way, the two of them wouldn't have the chance to be alone. The weekend came and I made sure that I was looking my best. Thomas arrived and he took my breath away. He was gorgeous. I showed him around and did the occasional flirtatious giggling and touching. All was going well until Sally greeted Thomas. She was a hundred times more vivacious than me. Thomas looked star-struck. And she looked stunning, so that didn't help my plan. Once again, I was devastated. I excused myself and went to the bathroom to regroup. Then I had a wicked idea. I rummaged through the vanity cupboard and found some sedative pills that had been prescribed to me.

Lovers in Court Abimbola Sodeke


rs Sefiat Musa has been dragged to a Customary Court in Lagos by her husband, Adbulahi, to dissolve their marriage of seven years adding that, there is no more love between them. He told the court that she is troublesome, uncaring and has extra marital affairs. He said his wife is fetish and an adulteress. "It is my adulterous sister-in-laws and my un-married mother in law that influenced my wife. She is having an affair with the gardener at the school where she works. I don't just want her again in my life because I don't even want her anymore," he declared. According to Sefiat, all the allegations levelled against her were false. "I have been married for seven years but never for once enjoyed my marriage because my husband comes home late at night claiming it's the traffic. I know that he is flirting with

As I walked back into the living room, spotting Thomas and how terrific he looked, any reservations I had went out the window. I grabbed a glass and filled it with Sally's favourite wine. Then I crushed two pills and stirred them in. I handed Sally the glass and she took a large gulp as she was already tipsy. Then, slowly but surely, Sally started to look very drowsy. She commented on how tired she was feeling and I suggested she take a quick lie down before we all went out to a club. I led Sally to the bedroom and told her I'd wake her when we were about to leave. 20 minutes later, I checked on her — she was sleeping like a baby. I pounced on my chance and started a conversation with Thomas. By now, I'd had quite a few glasses of wine and was feeling more confident. I wasn't taking any chances and wasn't interested in being subtle. I was all over Thomas. After a couple of drinks he also loosened up. Finally, I made my move and, much to my delight, Thomas and I were making out in my living room. I can't really remember what his kiss was like. All I cared about was that he was kissing me — not Sally. The next day, Sally awoke with a nasty hangover. She had no idea what had happened to her and I explained that she must've had too many wines and maybe was coming down with something. When she asked about Thomas, she knew something was wrong by the tone of my voice. So I explained that we'd both had too many wines, one thing led to another and then we ended up making out at the party. Sally was upset with me, saying that I knew she liked him. I apologised and played the innocent sister. I said that I never meant it to happen and that I'd developed

Seven signs of sexual incompatibility S

exual incompatibility can be a serious problem in a relationship. Many an otherwise happy partnership has fallen apart because a couple couldn't fix their sexual difficulties. But what makes a couple incompatible in bed? Here are some of the signs of sexual incompatibility you should watch out for …

‘I can't really remember what his kiss was like. All I cared about was that he was kissing me — not Sally' feelings for him too. Sally didn't stay upset with me long because she knew that I would never do anything to hurt her — normally. The next day, I saw Thomas at work. He told me that he never intended to take advantage of me and, in fact, felt really bad

because he'd always been interested in Sally. My heart fell on the floor. I tried so hard not to look crestfallen but I failed. He apologised and I assured him that it was a mistake on my part also. Sally never got together with Thomas because she knew I had feelings for him — sisters before guys. I feel so ashamed of what I did. No one should conjure up hideous plans to win a guy over, especially when family is involved. I haven't told anyone what I did. I know if I do, I would lose my sister's friendship forever. But I will never do anything to jeopardise my bond with Sally again. Your say: Have your say about this true confession. Courtesy: ninemsn

My wife is an adulteress women in our neighbourhood," she said in tears. She said her husband tried to rape her 17-year-old cousin living with them but was caught. She appealed to the court to tell her husband to stop lying against her. Sefiat added that her husband once tricked her into releasing

their children to spend a weekend with him but did return them again. She claimed he told her that he had taken them to Kano but confessed that they are in Sango Ota with his mother after the court threatened to lock him up. All effort made by the court president, P. A Williams, to persuade the two to reconsider the

dissolution because of their children proved abortive. He said given that they are unwilling to reconcile their wishes would be granted by the court. The court ruled that the custody of the children will remain with their mother and all other things except the medical fee should be a joint responsibility.

'My wife wants to corrupt my daughter'


professional nurse, Sekinat Busari, has pleaded with a Lagos court in Agege to grant her the custody of her only child and total dissolution of her marriage with Abdulkabir Busari. She told the court that her husband does not care for her and the child, threatens her regularly, adding that these have led to lack of love in the marriage. Sekinat cited an instance when she said their child was sick and her husband didn't

allow her take the child to the hospital or allow her treat the child as a professional nurse. He prefers herbs, she said. "Also, he threatened to take the child to Ilorin and I will never set my eyes on her again," she said. Abdukabir did not deny the allegations levelled against him, but told the court that he does not enjoy his wife's attitude. "I don't enjoy the western way of life she has chosen to live especially her mode of dressing. I don't want her to corrupt my daughter. As a good Muslim, all

part of the body must be covered. That was why I thought of taking my child to Ilorin were she can grow up as a good Muslim," he added. After much advise from the court president, P.A Williams, for the couple to settle their difference which proved abortive, the marriage was then dissolved. The court granted the wife custody of the child and directed Abdukabir to take all responsibilities barring for medical expenses which should be joint one.

1. PRESSURE Sexual incompatibility can often be shown by your partner putting pressure on you in some way. Maybe they push you to have sex when you don't want to, or pressure you to do something you're uncomfortable with. Someone who loves you would never do that. It's reasonable to discuss something new that he'd like to try, but not to pressurise you. 2. UNSAFE SEX A man who wants to have unsafe sex is definitely not good for you. It's not only risking pregnancy, but exposing you to the risk of diseases. He's also showing that he's too stupid or careless to think of his own safety. So don't listen to pleas that condoms ruin the sensation or that he's '100% clean'. Any smart woman should avoid a man who doesn't protect her health. 3. DRASTICALLY DIFFERENT LIBIDOS It's quite common for partners to have very differing libidos - and it's not always the guy who wants more sex. Work, stress and health problems can affect someone's libido. Or they may simply not want sex very often. This 'incompatibility' doesn't have to be a problem. With understanding on both sides, you can reach a compromise. But if you just can't meet in the middle, it's not looking good. 4. COMPARISONS Does your boyfriend compare you to a previous woman in his life and say that his previous girlfriend did what he liked? Comparing you sexually to another woman is definitely not cool. Even if he tells you how much better you are, it suggests that he doesn't respect women. And you absolutely should not tolerate being told that you're worse. To be continued next week.


Destination Turbo-charged thrills at World Cup's sidelines p.42

Travel Personality I was a lavatory cleaner – Bornman, Abuja Sheraton's GM p.41



24 MAY 2014




t was a fine Monday as I walked into the cosy reception hall to a welcoming smile from the young receptionist. I had barely settled into a seat when I noticed a number of people walking through the reception door and disappearing through another entrance leading to where you don’t exactly know until much later in the day. But that is not really what caught my attention. It was rather the commonality among a number of these people: donning sport wears on a Monday morning with carry–on bags slung across their shoulders. Anyway, one didn’t have to wonder too long as one settled down minutes later at the restaurant for a chat with the general manager, Victor Edosomwan. The first thing he says - I guess he says this to every first time visitor to Sunfit - is that this is not your "normal business or luxury hotel". Focus ‘‘Our core business is fitness,’’ the Edo–born general manager says as he engages you in a lively discussion on the mandate and operations of Sunfit, which runs these distinct line of businesses - fitness, spa and accommodation. ‘‘Our wellbeing portfolio is very comprehensive. Some people look at us as a hotel; no, we are not because no hotel in Nigeria has a comprehensive wellness options as we do here.’’ Edosomwan says seven years in the business of convincing Nigerians to imbibe the new doctrine of the hospitality outfit has been a huge challenge. ‘‘For us, the market has been challenging because a lot of Nigerians don’t take the issue of health seriously.’’ But despite this challenging terrain, he added that Sunfit has soldiered on and won quite a lot of converts in terms of getting people to understand the new gospel. ‘‘For now it is encouraging because a lot of Nigerians are beginning to realize the importance of fitness,’’ he said, adding that the outfit also engages in marketing and sensitising the public. For him, it is still a virgin market and he is hopeful that over time Sunfit’s preachment and investment in this specialized market would hit the bull’s eyes.

Exterior view of Sunfit

A typical session at Sunfit's gym

Sunfit: Designed for wholesome living Sunfit does not simply satiate the culinary yearnings and leisure needs of guests; it also caters to their health, reports ANDREW IRO OKUNGBOWA

A major part of Sunfit market is the corporate market, which the general manager says has ‘‘helped our market, and with that we have been able to convince Nigerians to take their health seriously and build on our membership.’’ For now, Sunfit boasts over 1,000 registered members in its fitness club while over 700 are active and regular patrons of the wellness packages. Sunfit, he says has resident physiotherapist and wellness instructors who design and assist members with the packages. Three categories of membership exist and these includ: Silver – limited to certain facilities; Gold – have access to all the facilities including spa while Platinum also have access to all the facilities in addition to hotel accommodation and the spa.

Besides, a regular hotel guest is also welcomed to the wellness facilities while both generalized and personalized services are available. The children are also not left out of Sunfit’s programme as there is "kiddies programme," annual Easter and summer events among others. Wellness facilities These include what Edosomwan describes as a "world class gymnasium", which among others is fitted with cardiovascular equipment, treadmills, stationary bicycles, horse trainers, steppers; a strength section with a number of machinery for massaging all the parts of the body; aerobatic studio for different aerobatic classes- morning and evening sessions; a dedicated room for spinning and in-door cycle while others are table ten-

nis, standard squash court, tennis court, basketball court and a shooting range. There is also an out-door swimming pool; a spa section, which offers a whole range of service line; indoor swimming pool; treatment room for sauna and steaming. Added to these is a dermatological product line for different body treatments, massage, facials and body scrubs, among others. Hotel facilities It has 42 rooms made up of deluxe, standard, royal and suites, all fitted with standard facilities while the suites, which is top range has a bedroom and a living room both tastefully furnished. Interestingly, there is also an in–room wellness facility with a stationary bicycle, which offers opportunity for in-

Swimming pool

door exercises. A restaurant sitting about 60 persons, serves both national and continental meals but as a healthy facilities, the meals are healthy dishes with a resident dietician overseeing the process as a strict health regime is observed by the kitchen staff. Buffet and ala carte are on offer with complimentary breakfast for in-house guests. There is also a sport bar with offerings such as red and white wine and tropical cocktails, a beauty salon for unisex, super mart for perfumeries and different personal items. Packages Sunfit special packages include corporate retreats, strategic sessions, honey moon and leisure offerings during festive and special occasions. All of these and many more packages the general manager says are geared at making guests take advantage of both the wellness and spa facilities of the hospitality home. “Our retreat is unique. Our stress management programme is also unique because they involve physical activities. Elsewhere, when people organise these types of retreats they do more of talking. But when people come here we take them through a unique experience of physical activities,’’ says Edosomwan.

HOSPITALITY BITS Voila Hotel Rewards for Swiss Hotels VOILA Hotels Rewards, an independent hotel loyalty programme, has signed on Swiss International Hotels as its tenth loyalty programme partner. With this new deal, Voila members staying at Swiss International Hotels and Resorts or other participating network hotels can earn points for

their stays and redeem the points earned for a variety of reward options including complimentary hotel stays, air travel and gift cards for major retailers. “When we were looking to expand our network, we felt Swiss International Hotels and Resorts held great potential to provide more

opportunities to enjoy rewards in some of the world’s most desirable locations,” said the managing director of Voila Hotel rewards, Peter Gorla, of the partnership. Swiss International, which operates from UAE (Ras Al Khaimah) has over 20 hotels under contract in major cities and resorts in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Greater China, the Middle East and Africa.

Golden Tulip Festac thrills prospective couples PLEASURABLE and golden moments await the families at Golden Tulip Festac, as the hotel has launched a special package geared at giving families a treat of a lifetime. The offer is for a family of four (the two parents and two children) and

include breakfast and dinner for the entire family and access to the many leisure and entertainment facilities of the hotel. The rate is put at n37, 000 per room for a night. For intended couples, the hotel ‘yes I do’ package provides opportunity to host wedding at the hotel’s lus-

cious and luxurious tropical garden amidst colours or at any of the ball rooms for 1, 000 guests. Details include complimentary room (night) for the couple and 50 percent discount on the space among others with a meal from N3, 000 per guest.





Chef Nyathi's sun-tipped career Executive chef of Africa Sun - Amber Residence, in Ikeja, Lagos, speaks about mastering Nigerian dishes and his signature "unforgettable dish" in this interview with ANDREW IRO OKUNGBOWA


WENTY three years on as a chef, Zimbabwean–born Leonard Nyathi, is not letting down his guard. For him, the best is yet to come, and it is a case of the older he stays on the beat, the more his culinary skill blossoms and the better, of course, for the guests. This Tuesday morning, Nyathi, executive chef of African Sun - Amber Residence based in Ikeja, Lagos, in the company of the hotel’s general manager, Willie Kazhilla and Kazhilla’s executive assistant, Mrs. Chinwe Okoro, was his voluble self – eager and willing to take one through his over two decades career as a cook. Straight out of hospitality and catering school in his beloved Bulawayo, a training institute, which he described as one of the best and largest in Southern African, the young Nyathi signed up with African Sun in 1992. African Sun is a Zimbabwean international hospitality management outfit with a huge presence across Africa and currently making in-road into the Nigerian market with its stamp of authority on Obudu Mountain Resort, Nike Lake Resort and Amber Residence with others in the pipeline. Nyathi rose through the ranks as a cook to earn the position of executive chef with African Sun. In the course of his career he has travelled round some of African Sun facilities across Africa. Today, he is in Nigeria as the executive chef of Amber Residence where in about two years he has treated the hotel’s patrons to his culinary expertise. There's no doubt that Nyathi is enjoying himself as a cook and his growing reputation in the group too, but training his eyes on you, he explains that even though Amber Residence is the smallest property in the group it is yet the most challenging ‘‘because of the environment and dishes’’. Nigeria has a lot of diversity and variety when it comes to dishes, he said, noting that he only learnt in details about the dishes when he came to the country. Also, he admitted that he has discovered within his short stay that Nigerians "eat virtually everything", making reference to vegetables as a classic example as he has since found out that some of the vegetables eaten by Nigerians do not feature in some countries' menu list. There is also another interesting discovery. Nigerians would hardly eat anything they don’t

More flights from Dana Air

DANA Air has announced the introduction of additional flights as it looks to strengthening its domestic operations and network across the country. With this development, the Lagos – Abuja and Abuja – Port Harcourt routes now enjoy additional flights daily. The airline's head of commercial, Mr. Obialor Mbanuzuo, said: "Dana Air route plans are entirely a function of customers' demand and the airline is consolidating its operations on the Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt axis following extensive market research that has shown strong customer demand for the additional flights especially the earlier flights that have been inaugurated on the Lagos to Abuja and Abuja to Port Harcourt routes." He also noted that Dana Air currently offers competitive web fares to guests following its newly introduced Flydana Mobile app platform while he assured of continued superior performance and creative service delivery.

Ogun tourism to boost socio–economic growth


know or are not familiar with, no matter how beautifully it may be presented, he said. However, he said he has mastered the art using his experience and skill to overcome the challenge overtime as what he requires is just to get the various ingredients used by Nigerians and then go to work, putting his expertise to bear. Enjoying myself For him, it has been a fulfilling career. ‘‘I am enjoying myself,’’ he said with a smile. He described his Nigerian kitchen staff as very warm and friendly, flexible, adaptable, eager and keen to learn to the smallest details. But the only challenge he sees is in regard to continental meals, which sometimes they grapple to handle. Nyathi's advise for any chef who wants to make it big and get to the top echelon ‘‘is never to be satisfied with your work. Even when you are appreciated and applauded by everyone, you must keep on improving and exploring new avenues so that you can remain at the top’’. He said that even though it has its own challenges, you still learn a lot from meeting different

‘Even when you are appreciated and applauded by everyone, you must keep on improving and exploring' people and working at different locations. Since joining African Sun he has virtually seen it all as he has worked in almost all the locations of the group across Africa. He considers Maleleng Intercontinental in Mpumalanga, near the Kruger National Park, South Africa, as one of the most outstanding places he has worked. He describes It is a flourishing natural and agrarian environment with a vibrant and thriving tourism industry. ‘‘I enjoyed myself while working and living there.’’ Menu set To drive home his point, and put your mind at rest that he has full grasp of local delicacies he reels out a number of them served

by the restaurant with accustomed ease. The list include the popular edikang ekong, afang, equsi, okro, banga and white soups down to pepper soup and even moin moin, fish and beef stew, rice – jollof and fried as well as ofada rice, which is fast becoming a must local dish in some of the hotels and coconut rice. However, the restaurant offers some eclectic choices, catering to every guest's needs. For instance, it incorporates both African and continental dishes ranging from America, British to Italian delicacies. Besides these regular dishes, Nyathi and his kitchen staff also treat the guests to Nigerian night on Fridays while for mid-week, there is a rich display of American and Italian dishes, among others. For the signature dish, Chef Nyathi's expertise comes to play with his specially designed signatire beef fillet, which he described as an "unforgettable dish", explaining that the ingredients used in preparing it and the manner it is prepared make it unique. If you are a connoisseur of wine then you should go for this signature dish because it is best accompanied with red wine. Other top-rated dishes at the restaurant are edikang ikong, okro and egusi soups, fish and beef stew.

OGUN State commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mrs. Yewande Amusan has assured of the state government attention to the tourism industry as a means of boosting the socio – economic growth of the state. She disclosed this while outlining the achievements of her ministry since the coming on board of the administration of governor Ibikule Amosun. Areas of performance include the upgrading of tourist sites in the state such as the Olumo Rock Tourist Complex and Madam Efunroye Tinubu’s shrine. Attendance at international expo in Spain where the culture of Adire was promoted, the hosting of ‘samodun’ festival held in Oyo while the state also participated at the Lagos Black Heritage Festival held in 2013 and this year alongside the annual Africa Festival of Art and Culture (AFAC), Lisabi festival of Egbas, the Notting Hill Carnival in London, Ojude Oba festival of the Ijebus and Black Heritages Festival organized and hosted by Prof. Wole Soyinka, The Ake Arts and Book Festival (AKEFESI).

South African Tourism names new global communications manager

SOUTH Africa Tourism has named Ms. Risuna Mayimele as its new global manager, communications. Mayimele has worked as marketing manager for SABC3, where she headed marketing and communications for the channel. Her career spans over 13 years, as a marketing communications practitioner experience in marketing research and strategic planning in the advertising and media industry. She has also had a stint in leading global advertising agencies in strategic planning in South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana. SATOUR’s chief marketing officer, Ms Janine Hutton, described her appoint as a plus for the organization, “South African Tourism welcomes Ms Mayimele to her new position. With her expertise, extensive knowledge and experience in media, we are confident that she is best suited to take over this challenging but rewarding position.




I started out cleaning rooms and lavatory –Bornman, GM, Abuja Sheraton TRAVEL PERSONALITY


oris Bornman is a self-made man and has every reason to strut about Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers with the swagger and mien typical of a man who has seen it all in his chosen field. Typical of a man who knows his onions, Bornman says: “A general manager sees it all because he is really a generalist. He needs to understand all the various disciplines within the hotel and have a working knowledge of them. You have to give direction and leadership in all the facets of the operation and drive the organisation to one common goal, obviously to achieve your financial responsibilities.” Any business, he observes, “stands on three pillars – the owners that you need to make a return to, your staff, whom you have to ensure that they are adequately provided for and your guests, whom you need to make sure that they are satisfied with your product.” All these, he adds make the job of a hotel’s general manager a tricky one, as “you have to strike the balance in these three areas. So that is what the job of the general manager entails.” But listening to him tell the story of his career as a top notch hotel manager, it reads like a tale straight from a telly-movie. Like every child, he had his childhood. But according to him, he neither dreamt of working in the hospitality sector nor finding himself at its top. However when the opportunity came almost three decades ago, Bornman wasted no time in grabbing it. After all, opportunity knocks but once. The beginning Although Bornman is not from a silver spoon background, this did not deter him to work his way from the bootstrap; first, taking to security job to fend for himself as his parents were unable to pay for his university education. “I am not from a wealthy background at all; I started my career in security. I was a security guard and I worked my way up. I trained myself, and got the opportunities and grew,” Bornman reminisces. “There were limited opportunities, my father was an artisan, a factory worker. We were four children and there was no money. There were no opportunities for me to go to the university, so I had to work,” he reveals. As he progressed in his security job, he saw a window in the hospitality sector and swiftly switched over. “But then I saw the opportunity and I took the opportunity and moved into the hotel business,” he recalls. It was this single and calculated move by him that changed his story from grass to grace. He admits that his achievements did not come on a platter and had to work up the ladder. “I started at the bottom, cleaning rooms and I had a very difficult executive house keeper, a German lady, who said to me ‘for the first three months you have to clean the toilets.'’ It was very good grounding and I just worked my way up,” he said, adding that “I have worked in every position in the hotel, which gave me a great advantage because I know what a waiter should be

‘I need to create my own opportunities; I don’t wait for other people to do that for me'

South Africa-born Boris Bornman, the general manager of Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers, in a chat with ANDREW IRO OKUNGBOWA, speaks of how he embraced the opportunity that moved him to the top echelon in the hospitality sector. doing. I know what a chef should be doing and I know what an accountant should be doing.” The Sun International, a South Africa hotel brand, was where he started his career, honed his skill and rose to the top as the chief executive officer of Sun City. Years later, he left Sun International and ventured into the restructuring of hotel properties from where he moved over to Starwood, his present employers. According to him, he has in the last 27 years enjoyed the thrills, travails and beauties of the hospitality sector working across Africa countries like his native South Africa, Egypt, Zanzibar, Namibia, Botswana and now Nigeria. A grateful Bornman acknowledges the fact that he has met great mentors and teachers who helped to shape his career but besides, he says the onus was on him to carve his career path and take charge of the opportunities that came his way. “Everyone drives his own career and it is not ought to other people to do so for you. I have always believed that whatever the mind conceived it can achieve. If you put your mind to it, you can do whatever you want to do and that has always been my philosophy. I am the master and CEO of my own company and my company is the Bornman’s brand and I treat my life as that. I need to manage my own career, my own life and I need to create my own opportunities, I don’t wait for other people to do that for me.” No

doubt his Christian faith plays a key role in his life as he says he totally depends on God and His words. “I am very religious, so I am a Christian and I truly believe in God and if you ask me the major key to my success, it was really because I trust in God and I try to stay in His words all the time. I truly think that is the only place where there is freedom.’’ To buttress this fact, his coming to Nigeria, according to him, was somewhat divinely ordained because he had options of going somewhere, adding that he has seen visible signs of God’s hand in the move judging by the success he has achieved in less than two years in the country. “Take coming to Nigeria for example, I am a highly qualified hotelier and I could go anywhere in the world and I had so many opportunities before coming to Nigeria but I just knew that this was the right place for me. And it has been going so well and I have been blessed in Nigeria and the property (Abuja Sheraton) has been blessed and the staff are doing very well.’’ To succeed in life, Bornman advises that people must first learn to take responsibility and charge of their lives and not wait for others to do it for them or blame people for their failures. “I think the key is to take responsibility for your own life. That is the first

step because a lot of people you find always blame other people or the circumstances, or the government or the church or somebody for where they are rather than saying the only person that can effect change is me and if I want change I need to change myself and I have to take full responsibility for my career.” Armed with this philosophy, he approaches life with all seriousness it deserves but beneath that facade is an uncanny equanimity, which he says for him, stabilises and shields him from all sorts of negativities. “I realise that what I put into life is what I get out of it and not what somebody else’s put into it. My advice is to realise that the limitations that you have are the limitations that you put on yourself and nobody put limitations on you except yourself.’’ Nigerians are richly endowed but most of them underrate themselves “I think the one part that I find sad is that Nigerians underrate themselves, they don’t truly see the potential that they have. That is the one thing that I think is sad because people are not proud to be whom they are, that they are Nigerians and Africans as well. Africans always think that Europe is better than them and that Americans are better than us, which is totally untrue.” However, on the flip side, he has this to say: “But the good part is that Nigerians have great attitude, they are inquisitive, great entrepreneurs, everybody is trying to better themselves and the guy that is selling newspapers by the roadside is trying to do it better and he is trying to better his life. I think that spirit you don’t find anywhere else in the world, you don’t find that really driving spirit elsewhere. I really enjoy Nigerian people.” Happy and successful Given his trajectory in life, it is obvious that this hotelier who is working hard daily to promote the Bornman’s brand on the one hand and that of his principal, Starwood, is a happy and fulfilled man. “I am a very contented person and very happy with wherever I am and I thank God for everything that I have because I grew up with very little and everything that I achieved mean much to me and I am very appreciative of them.” Borman was born in Johannesburg but lived in Cape Town. He is married and has two children. The wife is a psychologist and works as a counsellor while the two children too are in the hospitality business.





Turbocharged thrills on the World Cup's sidelines

The atmosphere in Brazil is increasingly upbeat as the World Cup kicks off in just a matter of weeks. ANDREW IRO OKUNGBOWA presents the concluding part of the amazing attractions to explore in the host cities.


Belo Horizonte ormerly known as Curral de – Rei and now Belo Horizonte, a Portuguese word for beautiful horizon, the capital city of the State of Minas Gerais has over the years undergone transformation, growing into a beautiful and attractive city with flourishing neighourhoods, all bearing the architectural imprint of the popular Brazilian, Oscar Niemeyer. Also called Beaga, Belo Horizonte is Brazil’s sixth most populous city with over 2.4 million residents, while its metropolitan area comprising a total 34 cities ranks third in the country, following closely Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Belo Horizonte, Brazil's thirdlargest Metroplex, is the first planned city in the country. Attractions Besides its football culture, as the city enjoys great appeal with two of the city’s rival teams Atletico Mineiro and Cruzeiro putting it on the global map, visitors to the city would certainly have a lot to savour from its beautiful creations, vivacious culture, entertainment and night life, eco tourism and rich life style of the people. Some of the parks to visit include the Pampulha Lagoon, St. Francis de Assisi Church, Américo Renê Giannetti Municipal Park, the city's first public park, the Liberdade Square in front of Palácio da Liberdade, Museum of Arts and Crafts, Brumadinho one of Brazil's best contemporary art museums, sun set at Topo do Mundo- a hilltop restaurant

Natal - Ponte Newton Navarro

with an awesome view. Savour amazing Italian food at Vecchio Sogno, Minas Gerais, which has given Brazil and the world the delicious pão de queijo. Graças a Deus, a delightful bar. Gold-Diggers' Towns – mining town, Mangabeiras Park – wonderful ride and view of the city, Mata do Jambreiro Nature Reserve – coastal forest, Santa Luzia, Brazil, Cordisburgo, Brazil, Casa de Guimarães Rosa and Juiz de Fora, Brazil. Recife The capital city of Pernambuco State in north eastern Brazil is the fourth largest city in the country and has over the years experienced a rich blend of the old and new in terms of its development with a rapid economic growth. Attractions It also has one of the busiest sea ports in Brazil with high rises and bustling streets. However, its rich artistic, music and folklore traditions present some entertainment for the visitors outside the enthralling football games. Generally regarded as the ‘Venice of Brazil,’ it offers rich arteries of street tours, beaches, lively art and entertainment scenes such as its off – season carnival (Recifolia), boat cruises, beaches with Boa Viagem beach - one of the spots to explore with its rich ranges of bars, restaurants and nightclubs, view the old city from the Praca da Republica, Teatro Santa Isabel, Catedral de Sao Pedro dos Clerigos to the Basilica de NS da Penha then Mercado do


Arena Pantanal - Cuiaba

Arena Amazonia

Sao Jose (Saint John's Market) for local arts and crafts. Other forms of attractions include its rich shopping mall, Casa de Cultural (once a prison but now houses craft and souvenir shops, and the locale for music and dance performances), Olaria de Brennand (a ceramics factory), Museo do Homen do Nordoeste (for popular arts), Olinda (a UNESCO World Heritage Site inscribed museum) CUIABA Is the capital city of Mato Grosso, which is also known as the Green City because it is home to the three of the most important ecosystems - the Pantanal, the Amazon and the Cerrado (a

large region of Brazilian tropical savannah). The rich history is aptly reflected in its cultural heritage and edifices like churches, mansions, palaces and museums. Attractions Amongst its most outstanding attractions is its upscale shopping malls of different sizes, its arts and crafts are also unique and reflect the life style and artistic culture of the people, one of such places to visit within the city centre are Casa Museu do Artesao and Pedra Papel e Tesoura. The city also has a bustling, fascinating night life for exciting entertainment with high profile bars, restaurants, parks and night clubs. One of such spots is Plaza Popular and Avenida CPA,

Cafe Cancun (offers Mexican style mood) while for country music then visit Geronimo West Music, Club Garage and its folkloric dancers would be good way to spend the time outside of the games venue for those who enjoy this form of entertainment. Visit also the city centre to catch a glimpse of its simmering architectural masterpieces of centuries down the line, the list include Arsenal de Guerra (Armory), the Casarao do Tesouro (Treasury) and the city's palaces. Some of the churches to see include Nossa Senhora do Rosario, Capela Sao Benedito, Catedral Metropolitana Basilica Senhor Bom Jesus de Cuiaba, Assembleia de Deus, Coxipo de

Manaus - Teatro Amazonas



Beach Park Fortaleza, Brazil

Beach-Salvador Manaus

Estadio Mineirao - Belo Horizonte

Ouro and the Muslim mosque. For a rich blend of wildlife and safari experience then visit Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park and La Salgadeira, which is spiced with restaurants, sports bars and river bathing while Pantanal, the Amazon and the Cerrado complete the list? Some of the parks include Parque Massairo Okamura, Parque Estadual Mao Bonifacia, Parque Municipal Lagoa Encantada, Horto Florestal de Cuiaba, Parque Federal da UFMT e Zoologico Estadual and Parque Ze Bolo Flo. Salvador This city, which is capital of the State of Bahia, has a peculiar


history as one of the first spots to host the Portuguese colonialists, so it is not only home to a mixed blend of immigrants, including Africans and Nigerians but also bears rich elements of the era and stretching down to modern day transformation. Attractions You would be taken in easily by the contrasting division between its high brow Cidade Alta and low brow Cidade Baixa areas both of which are linked by Elevador Lacerda. However, Salvador’s melting pot is Pelourinho, the city’s centre, where all sorts of entertainment could be harvested round the clock. You will find a rich African influence here including Nigeria with Casa Nigeria as one of the


centre’s attractions. Its art, culture and historical buildings, which have earned the inscription of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, particularly its festering churches with magnificence architectural designs, are telling signs of Pelourinho’s place in Salvador. The list include Sao Francisco Church and Covent - a most spectacular church in the world, this famous church is richly adorned inside with gold, silver and precious stones and has ceiling art that has been compared to that of the Sistine Chapel; Basilica Cathedral and Nosso Senhor do Bonfim church. Other attractions are Palacete Das Artes Rodin Bahia, Mam Museu de Arte Moderna, Castro Alves Theater, Ponta de Humaita, Ilha dos Frades, Bahia Art Museum, Carlos Costa Pinto Museum and the Modelo Market. Bale Folclorico da Bahia – for performances, Teatro Castro Alves, Our Lady of the Rosary of Black People, Castro Alves Theater, Island of the Friars, Bahia Art Museum, Flamengo Beach, Casa de Jorge Amado - Cafe- Zelia Gattai Theater Porto da Barra and Farol da Barra Beach. Fortaleza The capital city of the State of Ceará, Fortaleza (Portuguese for ‘fortress) owes its name to the period 1637 to 1654, when it was controlled by the Dutch, who built the Schoonenborch Fort. A

rich economic city, it harbours over 2. 4 million within its landmass of 313 square kilometers. Attractions One of its foremost attraction is the 34-kilometre stretch of beaches spotting restaurants, bars and nightclubs of rich blend - the Praia do Futuro (Future Beach) featuring several barracas - simple kiosk-restaurants built on the sand that serve fresh, typical seafood; Iracema is the home for bars and nightclubs. The city also features the Centro Dragão do Mar de Arte e Cultura (Sea Dragon Art and Culture Centre), the Beach Park, Brazil's largest water park, with several cuttingedge speed-slides distributed along 35,000 square kilometres. Cumbuco beach and sand dunes - tropical beach with a paradise-like tinge and plenty of amenities featuring hotels, bars, restaurants and nightclubs, Exotic canoa quebrada beach tour is another of the city’s beaches to enjoy exciting cruises and fresh water treat, Morro Branco – also offers sea and sand dunes exploration and Lagoinha beach – a fisherman's enclave of sort with rich water-related leisure. For theatrical performances, visit the Teatro Jose de Alencar, while for enlivened art Museum de arte houses the folk art and culture artifacts of the people, Martyrs’ square – is the people’s famous promenade.


Manaus The capital city of the State of Amazonas occupies a peculiar and captivating space – the confluence between Rivers Negro (Black) and Solimões - with the dark-coloured waters of the former and the muddy waters of the latter flowing side by side for over 18 kilometres without mixing, forming one of the Amazon's most majestic sights. It also has the distinction of being Brazil’s 12th most populous city with over two million inhabitants with an economic force to be reckoned with as reflected in the construction of the Manaus Industrial Pole among other economic landmarks. Attractions Just like most of the other 12 hosting cities, Manaus natural beauty as signified by its location, culture, traditions, arts and crafts are some of the amazing features that tourists to the city should explore. The Teatro Amazonas – is the home of the city’s annual Amazonas Opera Festival and the Boi-Manaus, celebrates the city's anniversary. Teatro Amazonas, Museu do Seringal Vila Paraiso, Sao Sebastiao Church, Museu Numismatica Bernardo Campos, Ponta Negra Beach, Parque Ecologico Januari, Bosque da Ciencia, Adolpho Ducke's Botanical Garden of Manaus, Palacio Rio Negro, Palacete Provincial and Palacio da Justica. Manaus Zoo, Arena Amazonia, Tupe beach, Museu Casa Eduardo Ribeiro, Parque Jeferson Peres, Espaco Cultural Chamine Theater. Natal Rio Grande do Norte’s capital city Natal is home to one of Brazil’s most impressive landmarks, the Three Kings' Fort, which again is the historical symbol of the city itself. It is also referred to by the people as the Sun City (Cidade do Sol) because of its tropical feature and this is one element of the city that most visitors cherish as it’s provide ample fun for the people. Attractions Gateway to the stunning beaches of Rio Grande do Norte, the city of Natal is perched on Brazil's Atlantic coast, at the mouth of the Potengi River. The city is surrounded by Dune State Park. Go on a buggy ride over 30-foot sand dunes or tour the dunes on a dromedary tour. The city is home to the cleanest air on the continent and also to the world's largest cashew tree. Its expanse of beaches beckon visitors to their entrails with the Via Costeira providing plenty of fun just as the Ponta Negra, Genipabu, Redinha, Pipa, Pirangi and various other beaches across the city. Other spots include Natal City Park, Dunas Park, Ponta Negra, Forte dos Regis Magos, Newton Navarro Bridge, and Alberto Maranhao Theatre.

Adventure in Natal Northeastern, Brazil


24 MAY 2014


‘Yoga is an essential part of my relaxation’


intin Imevbore, the chief executive officer of I Groove internet radio, has tasted the full benefits of relaxation from childhood, alongside his siblings. “My parents were cool. Coming from a United Nations background my father was very well-travelled and made sure that we were well-exposed. We’ve travelled a lot. I thank God a lot for my father and mum for what they did for us, educating and letting us see different parts of the world. For instance, we visited the Great Rift Valley in Kenya for camping as kids. “We visited Mount Kenya, Kilimanjaro, Tazania, Uganda, and Ethiopia as well as Malawi. It was a fantastic experience visiting, Greece, Turkey, Thailand and so many other countries in Europe. Amazing, when I reflect on what my parents did, I just appreciate the virtues of forward-thinking, parents who enabled five children to have the best from childhood; all free-minded university graduates but deeply-attached to their culture (he is from Edo State). Whenever we went on holidays, we usually did so to be able to tell our European classmates about our origin’’ Imevbore says he derives both relaxation from his job of over 20 years and entertainment which is suitable for relaxation. The man who was instrumental to the establishment of three wave-making radio stations, including Beats 99.9, Classics FM and Naija FM, has come a long way. “I lived abroad for many years I went to school in the UK, I was in Italy, where my broadcast career started about 27 years ago. I left broadcasting along the way but returned to Nigeria 9 years ago and returned to set up some radio stations in Lagos’’. According to him, relaxation forms an essential part of what he does everyday. ‘’I do relax, I make it a point to relax as I find time during work, I could take time off in my office, just to relax, meditate, do a little yoga, just taking time to meditate. I love fitness and consumption of herbal drinks, eating well and keeping fit, so it is a life style, I bring it upon myself if I want to and I find time so I decide that in my long years in this business, I need to find time to switch of. I swim on weekends and during the week, I go for walks, fitness walks, almost every day, I exercise, that sort of relaxes me a lot. My job might appear very stressful because we are working again in an environment that it very difficult in terms of depravity of broadcasting in the country.. But truthfully, I’m very relaxed because I’m enjoying every bit of it., I love what I do’’. On whether he devotes his weekend to relaxation or toes the typical executive’s line of not having enough time to unwind, he said that depends as he sometimes has to report for work on Saturdays and Sundays, adding quickly that even in those periods, everything is tailored towards having fun and being in a relaxed mood. Hear him ‘’It depends, sometimes I work on Saturdays and Sundays, it won’t be all day, I wiould come on Saturday around twelve noon I stay till about six or seven in the evening then go back home to relax, the same thing on Sunday, I go to Church on Sunday morning, have brunch with the family, relax then about two pm I still come to office, the fact that I even come to office, for me, is also a form of un-winding; it is a form of relaxation for me; its like a haven, music, entertainment creating ideas everything rolled into what I might be doing here. I Groove Radio, represents our own little sanctuary so, you feel that there is an air of relaxation, when you come in here; there is no tension , coming to work on weekend for me is a pleasure, I don’t feel under pressure like many CEOs do all the time’’. He says his weekend if he is not working

Tintin Imevbore, CEO of internet radio station, I Groove, located in Freedom Park, relic of the colonial era Prison building on Lagos Island, explains how his silver-spoon upbringing has always provided him the essence of life.

Imevbore in the studio

starts would commence on either Friday or Saturday. “If decide that my weekend has started, it is relaxation all the way. It can start on Friday, it can start on Saturday I can take a day off during the week and relax and bond with my daughter. Basically, relaxation for a CEO is creating time for your work, time for family and time for yourself.” To him, there are no hard rules to sharing or having special time with the family on any weekend even when he says he acknowledges the importance of family bonds in Africa, especially on special occasions like weekends, which he agrees is part of his Pan-African worldview. ‘’sometimes we do that, sometimes we don’t, the world has changed considerably. Nigerians have embraced other cultural habits of the world; we are in an evolving society. When we talk about being Pan- African, to me it is cultural dynamism; one culture accepting features of another, being flexible enough to assimilate but flexible enough to still remain traditional. Culturally, we have to take time off to bond with families, having to meet aunties and uncles to hang out, those are things you can a l ways or-

ganise at anytime it all depends on individuals I’m not family oriented, Ilike that, we do take time’’. He is also not the type that frets for any special menu for the weekend. ‘’Everyday is a special day for whatever special menu for me. I don’t have any particular menu for my weekend.” This posture also goes for what he consumes in terms of drink. ‘’I like some wine, may be little, but honestly, I don’t crave for a lot of it, I am not really a drinker.’’ Surely, one may put this on his western exposure. Specifically, this fact influences his dress sense, even on weekends, as he neither attaches any importance to a particular dress mode. ‘’I thank God I’m in my kind of job. I work in my own company and I dress the way I like again. I’m an African; I don’t believe I have to wear suits, even though I like the hot blazers or trendy jackets. But I do wear my own kind of

“Working for my own company, enables me dress the way I like,” says Imevbore

shirts made for me and I wear jeans when travelling.” ‘’I do go to Ikoyi Club, I’ve been member there for many years with my family. My sanctuary is my radio station and my family unless there is a specific request from my daughter. I’m not much of a mixer, I don’t hang out that way.” Even though Imevbore travels often, he reveals that most of the trips he embarks on outside the country are mostly aimed at growing his internet radio and mostly within the African continent. “I don’t travel to the West like I used to ever since I came back to Africa. I decided that Africa is where I’m going to be travelling to. I do go to the Far East, or I go to the Middle East and I go to Africa a lot, I go to East Africa, I go to a lot of West African countries because again I’m a pan-African, I believe in the unity of Africa. I believe that Africa should one passport, I believe that African countries with one passport should be strong economic partners.” While wishing to be able to embark on these trips with his family, he tries as much to cut costs while concentrating on his pet project. “Usually, these are business trips and once you set your mind trying to grow a company with a panAfrican perspective, you have to and do a lot of talking, a lot of connecting in other African countries and Africa is a big place and it’s not easy to fly to every African countries directly. “So, I may need to go to Zambia, I can’t get a direct flight to Zambia from here, I have to go to either Ethiopia or Kenya to connect or go to South Africa then connect. It is pretty complicated, but I enjoy it in Africa; I now know why the white man never want to leave the continent. When I used to live abroad as a child, I preferred my Africa, I didn’t understand why the whiteman didn’t want to leave Africa, but now I understand, Africa is too beautiful.’’ Elaborating on the advantages of internet radio rather than the conventional radio some of which he helped to establish in the country, he became excited. ‘’Well, I am coming from a terrestrial radio background, twenty-seven years of terrestrial radio. Many radio stations have been set up in Nigeria, but this one is a different project altogether. The idea was to create an African radio station that could reach out to Africans on the continent and in diaspora. It has to look good, sound good and be creative, it has to have all the necessary applications connected to the radio. So we have to reach out to people who can connect through their mobile devices - ipad, iphone, Galaxy, android phones and more. That was what I had in my mind. How to do it, where to do it well, in a hostile country for internet, like Nigeria; it was a challenge. I thought if I can achieve it here I will able to do it anywhere in Africa. He says he has achieved a sufficient level of success with his internet radio, commanding a sizable audience of about half a million monthly. “I think we are on about half a million followership or listeners in a months at the moment we’ve done quite a good job which is a good thing, we are young, we’re still starting and for a company that is pan-African to gain that kind of followership, we have to do a lot of work, and we have adopted the universal approach.”

Milestone I feel no different at 70, says Agbese p.47 ‘I Hope this is the President’s last request for emergency rule extension’ p.50




24 MAY 2014

‘The North is determined to keep Nigeria retarded’ Lawyer and rights activist, Prof. Itse Sagay, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, restates his call for true federalism and denounces what he calls the north’s “debilitating, feeding-bottle type of federalism”. He spoke with DOMINIK UMOSEN What do you think is really wrong with the country? I think the major concern now is that of security. The Boko Haram menace which is really taking the country by storm. Apart from actually holding onto the over 200 girls, there is no day that passes now without news of the explosion of one or some other bomb. I just got information that something perhaps major has happened in Jos. It is a very frightening situation . It is a situation which worries me because it means a small group of people who are well-armed; who are absolutely-determined; who have no restraint about causing death and destruction, can just do what they like and we will be looking on helplessly. I am disturbed because we have an army, we have a navy, we have a police force. But it does not seem we have been able to prevail against them with all these well-armed, well-trained men and well-paid agencies. So I’m disturbed about the future of the country. I’m even more disturbed that they feel they have done enough havoc in the north and decide to move south to do the same type of havoc. So I am worried. It is very troubling. The very existence of this country is currently on the line, very more so. I confess that I am worried, coupled with poor politics. Look at the National Conference going on, the north is voting as a bloc to stall any progress; to make sure that the status-quo is maintained; as if we all wasted time going to the Conference. You see, one of the way out of our current problems is re-structuring which will ensure we have major federating units that will have a lot of resources; have a lot of powers and have a lot of autonomy so that such zones can carry on with their own lives without being affected by what is going on in other zones. We should not have a situation whereby paralysis, for example, in one zone does not become imposed on others like it is happening now. With what is happening at the conference, including countless flip-flops, do you think we are anywhere close to realising this obective? No, we do not seem to be making any progress. The North does not want any re-structuring; does not want any change. They believe in this debilitating, feeding-bottle type of federalism where everybody is sucking oil proceeds from the Niger Delta without any productivity. They believe in that, not in producing, but in collecting money every month and sharing. That is why we have been stagnant. In fact, we are regressing. So these are the problems we have now, in addition to corruption and poor governance. What do you make of the initial threat by some northern senators to frustrate the president’s request for extension of emergency rule in some north-eastern states? What they are doing is absolutely not good enough. We have a major problem on our hands. Even with the state of emergency, we are not doing sufficiently well. If you now withdraw it, it is like tying one of the federal government’s hand and expecting it to operate CONTINUED ON PAGE 46

with one hand. You reduce its capacity further and the possibility of solving the problem is made much slender. The impression some of those northern senators and northern politicians are giving is that they are the ones encouraging Boko Haram. It is as if Boko Haram is their agent, part of their agenda. What is the impression they are trying to create? Are they trying to hamper or hinder the federal government from dealing with this problem? It is very unfortunate and to me, we need a lot of autonomy, a lot of re-structuring so that if they want to operate under a permanent Boko Haram threat, then that is their headache. They cannot drag us back. They cannot blame the president for not doing enough to check the problem on the one hand, and yet try to reduce his capacity to do so on the other hand. It cannot continue. The North is becoming too much of a problem for the rest of us. Do you share the notion that the assistance offered by some countries towards freeing the abducted chibok




C O N T I N U E D f r o m PA G E 4 5

girls breaches nigeria’s sovereignty? No, I do not think so. You cannot be talking about full sovereignty and at the same time be talking about requiring assistance. Sovereignty is not affected because we requested assistance. They are here at our instance. If these foreign nations had imposed themselves regardless of our opinion, it would be a different thing. They are here by invitation so our sovereignty is not affected. When they finish, they will go back.


‘The Borno State Govt acted irresponsibly’

ter. Why are we still importing petrol. President Jonathan has been in power since 2010. Why are we spending so much, trillions annually to import petrol, paying people making fraudulent claims, instead of refining all our petroleum needs in the country and exporting some of it. For me, that is failure of governance, importing what we have. It does not make sense. That is an area where we are strong. That is an area where we should be making money, not losing it. That is just one example. There are other wrong decisions like creating more universities when they ones we already have are not properly-funded. Those are examples of failure. For me, it is not a sign of greatness for a leader to go and put a university in his village. Chief Obafemi Awolowo did not put a university in IjebuRemo. Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe did not put a university in Onitsha. Sir Ahmadu Bello did not put a university in Sokoto. That is a sign of greatness. It shows that those original leaders were true leaders. Political leaders these days can not measure up to that level. What is likely going to assist President Jonathan is not so much his performance but the insistence by a group of people that a northerner must be the president.

Do you see any political dimension to the present insurgency? Well, the way I see it is that when the Boko Haram menace started, it really got bad at one stage, they were bombing Christians, churches and people of southern origin. Some northern politicians and leaders were quite comfortable with the situation. They, in fact, gave the impression that Boko Haram had their backing. Now that the destruction has become widespread; when Boko Haram is sparing nobody in terms of religion or ethnic background, suddenly we are hearing them cry. So you can see that the northern leaders are not sincere. Their own regret is that Boko Haram has spread beyond attacking Christians and southerners, to attacking everybody, including themselves. So they are not sincere. I have no doubt about it. This cry of “power must return to the north”, which has led to attempts to undermine the federal government, are all part of the conspiracy by people who believe they have the divine right to misrule. Do not forget that it is misrule by the north which has put us where we are today. They think it is their right to misrule us, not allow a better person to rule. The north misruled this country for nearly 40 years and brought it down. Would you say the Federal Government’s response to the insurgency has been adequate? It has been inadequate; there is no question about it. If we come to the specific case of the Chibok girls, for the first two or so weeks, the federal government was indifferent. The president was still travelling, making political alliances, as if nothing had happened. It is the interest of the international community suddenly forced the federal government to demonstrate consciousness. So all together, I do not think the federal government has done enough, particularly the military. People have said it is not the fault of the military, that they are not well-equipped, not wellmotivated. I am hearing that all over the place, including the allegation that what is made available to the soldiers do not get to them; that some of the resources due to them are hijacked at some point. So all these are leading to dissatisfaction among the troops, leading to reluctance to sacrifice because they feel they are doing it for nothing. Morale is thereby affected. Therefore, I feel that the federal goverment really needs to do a lot more. Is the allegation justified that the Borno State Government’s action in allowing students write the examinations at the Chibok School despite the absence of security deliberate? No, I would not say so. They would not do a thing like that. After all, most of the girls are from the state. I think the state government was simply irresponsible. We have a critical security situation in which you have these savage creatures going about destroying and killing, and you now invite these girls to school. And you know that the sole claim to fame by these savages is to destroy education, particularly girl-child education. You did not inform the federal government, you did not alert the army for them to provide security before you go ahead with the examination. You did it unilaterally, bringing this whole problem on the whole country. There is no question that the Borno State government acted irresponsibly. In fact, is the number one villain in this national burden. We blame the federal government for not reacting vigorously, but the Borno government was very irresponsible as a government. Considering that his administration has been badgered consistently by the north since inauguration, could President Jona-


than’s initial lethargy have been informed by exasperation from realisation that this is a problem the north visited upon itself? No, I do not think so. That attitude would not be proper. For one thing, he is the head-ofstate, the president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. And those are young, innocent children. The governor is not their father. The people who are suffering are totally different. Governors children will never be in that situation. His children are probably studying abroad. It is the poor man’s children and maybe those from the middle class that are suffering. So whatever annoyance the federal government might feel should not be transferred to these children

Nyako said is the most irrational outburst I ever heard from that level. It is an embarrassment which makes it clear to me that Nyako is unfit to head a government in this country. He is unfit to be a leader.

Do you support any form of trade-off between government and the terrorists, particularly as it affects the release of the adbducted girls? I support it absolutely. What is more important to us as a people? Is it the lives of these girls or keeping Boko Haram prisoners? In my view, the lives of these girls, their safety is far more important than keeping the Boko Haram prisoners in detention. It is not a pleasant thing, but if we can get the girls back, that is a small price to pay. And in any case, once we get the girls back, nothing prevents us from attacking them again and re-arresting them.

Has the Federal Government demonstrated sufficient capacity to engage Boko Haram? I think the federal government’s response to Boko Haram is too weak, and there is no doubt about that. I am told that in terms of equipment and morale-boosting incentives, the troops are not getting it. Someone even told me that if someone is killed, their families are asked to vacate the barracks within three month. So all these things show that the federal government has not really put together a package which will motivate these people. There is need to do that. We have failed, we have to admit that. The package should be attractive materially, in addition to providing arms and ammunitions so deadly that Boko Haram will dread ever confronting our military personnel. Also, the air force seems to have failed us. I do not hear of them strafing Boko Haram hide-outs. It is as if our aircrafts cannot leave the ground. We are even engaging British and American aircrafts to even look for where these people are. Why is it that we do not have similar equipment, with the huge sums of money being voted for defence?

What is your take on Gov Nyako’s allegation of genocide committed by the Federal Government in the north? When I read it, I was waiting for reactions. And the reactions I found, I must praise Nigerians that they were very moderate. If I were in a situation where I had to reply officially to that highly intemperate and irresponsible comment by Nyako, I do not think he would like himself for the rest of his life because he did not speak like a rational person. How can you accuse the president of genocide? Is he the one killing people? Are those killing not Nyako’s own people? Who were those that encouraged the killers initially? Is it not the same people in the north? Maybe this is why you suggested the president could become exasperated, but he should not be. But what

Do you foresee the possibility of the violence in some parts of the country leading to elections being postponed in some states? I do not agree that any part of the country will be disenfranchised. Maybe in those areas that are currently affected by the insurgency. Votes in such areas could be delayed. There are provisions for maintaining the status quo in those areas until there is peace. For me, the issue of whether President Jonathan will contest or not is strictly his personal business. I would have wanted to judge him on performance. If I were in his shoes, I would try to convince people that I have done well enough to be re-elected. He has difficulties in that area, there is no question about that. His performance really has not impressed some of us. We feel he could have done much bet-

What is your take on the decision of the Oba of Lagos to support a particular candidate to succeed Governor Fashola? Honestly, I was surprised. The Oba is a very experienced man, but his comment did not show that experience. In politics where a position is attracting so many competitors, you do not push out anybody too early because whether you like it or not, every other person will go after that person and bring him down. So I do not think it was in the interest of Mr Ambode for the Oba to have so expressly declared his support. It does not help him at all. I think it was a mistake. Even if you have such interest, you should quietly influence things and opinion for him and not declare it. Can the ongoing national conference address fundamental national issues like fiscal federalism? Well, the present percentage of derivation in the constitution is 13 per cent. The North, as I said, very sadly, do not want any change in the status quo because they regard this petroleum money as free money. So as long as you collect it, you do not have to work. They do not have to revisit agriculture, they do not have to resuscitate the groundnuts and cotton farms and so on. It is like pension, every month you just go and collect, have a nice nap and then you go back next month. The result of that is that the north is regressing, not developing. The agreement at the conference is that you need seventyper cent to make changes and they have the numbers. The South-South, South-East and South-West, put together, cannot achieve that percentage. They say they want to bring it down to five per cent. They do not intend to do that, only using the stratagem to bargain. What will happen is that they will say that it is even too high at 13 per cent. And by the time they shout it out, the South-South will agree that 13 per cent is better than five. In other words, they have a perfect strategy to maintain the status quo. I also understand that a committee has agreed that local governments will be removed from the constitution so that states can create them. The North will never agree because that is their major source of money. They have over 450 local governments out of the seven hundred and forty-four. And almost 30 per cent of the revenue is going there every month. These socalled local governments do not exist in reality. Will the North agree to lose free money. So the Northern strategy is to stall and stall and stall so that the status quo is maintained and everybody will go back even worse off.





I feel no different at 70, says Agbese Dominik Umosen pays tribute to journalist, Dan Agbese, who turned 70 earlier in the week


or a Catholic, the greatest experience might be a personal audience with the pope, but to a reporter, the greatest joy is an audience with a grandmaster of journalism, author and media administrator like Daniel Ochima Agbese whose professional exploits helped to define the contributions of the hallowed profession to the country’s socio-political development. At 70, the famous wordsmith feels fulfilled that he has significantly affected the lives of a generation of young men and women who credit the Okpowu, Benue State born “young old man” for inspiration in their respective careers. But if you had any illusions about the magical two scores and 10 years, the Benue-born wordsmith quickly tells you that attaining 70 years does not make you feel any different. “I still woke up from the same side of the bed and felt the same way I have always felt,” he told this reporter last week in Lagos. The former managing editor of Newswatch magazine in its original state might not feel like one waking up from a different side of the bed at 70, but he has no doubt that he and his fellow directors of the hit newsmagazine , Raymond Ekpu, Yakubu Mohammed, Soji Akinrinade and Dele Giwa who died earlier from a parcel bomb, made a mistake in selling the magazine. According to the veteran media administrator, selling the premium Newswatch brand by its directors was a genuine business proposition that was intended to inject fresh fund to reinvent the popular news weekly. “There is no doubt that we regret that decision, including the fact that there has been sig-

nificant criticisms that the Newswatch brand became a victim of exaggerated capacity of the new owner to sustain the publication’s hallowed tradition,” the accomplished journalist told New Telegraph in Lagos. Besides what is seen as the failure of the new owner to sustain the nostalgic mass appeal of the popular magazine, there has also been criticisms of the directors for their failure to conduct a sufficient due diligence regarding the enthusiasm of the new owner to sustain the powerful Newswatch brand which, in its prime, represented a toast to the professional ingenuity of its founders. How time flies. From a lanky young man whose first experience with the mystery of printed words was provided by newspapers in a public library in the country’s north in 1966, Agbese grew professionally to surpass the expectations of his teachers and mentors, including a former editor of the defunct New Nigerian and finance minister, Mallam Adamu Ciroma. An alumnus of the Columbia School of Journalism, Agbese has inspired a generation of journalists and writers. This sense of fulfilment has found expression in his family where his daughter is an assistant journalism professor in the United States. “I may not be rich, but I certainly derive a great sense of joy in the fact that I have impacted positively on several young men and women, including you (referring to this writer). What more could I ask for?” he enquired, rather rhetorically, and reminded the reporter that even least expected was the sensational piece, “An Illustrious wordsmith at 70”, with which the veteran columnist, Mohammed Haruna, heralded his 70th birthday. On the apparent reluctance of journalism schools in the country to tap into his wealth of experience, and that of other great professionals, for the ben-

efit of younger entrants into the profession, he said the University of Lagos once invited him, as an alumnus, to set the stage for possible collaboration but that “nothing more has been heard from the institution since”. Seventy is a momentous year in the life of any individual. The bounce and the swagger may have buckled under the vagaries of age, including greys at the temples, but the former editor of the Nigerian Standard (a publication in Jos) does not feel any different now than when he set out on a professional journey that eventually earned him so much fame and fortune. Still tall and gangling, but with the temperance of age splashed all over the impetuousness of youth, Agbese who clocked 70 on May 20, this year defined the dignity of accomplishment when he told the New Telegraph that “young people like you who credit me with their inspiration in life make me more than happy that I chose to pursue my dream”. And today, straddling that chosen course like a colossus that he is, Agbese still finds time to credit his teachers who insisted that he should neither abandon nor ignore the mastery over the English language which he clearly demonstrated so early in his life. A professional encounter with the master would not have been complete without demanding to know how his colleagues intended the abruptly-interrupted

I may not be rich, but I certainly derive a great sense of joy in the fact that I have impacted positively on several young men and women, including you

story of the founding editor-in-chief of Newswatch, Dele Giwa, to end. Agbese’s countenance changed, as did the lively discussion. But the veteran journalist soon recovered to reaffirm that notwithstanding the circumstances of the death of their former colleague, “Dele Giwa has never departed from our hearts and everything we have always done”. It took quite some effort for the wordsmith to refocus his thoughts on the discussion after this brief detachment for obeisance to his former colleague who was killed in a parcel bomb in the administration of General Ibrahim Babangida whom he ironically honoured with a 450-page book. “He lives with us in anything we do,” Agbese told New Telegraph, silent on the claim that the Giwa family never benefitted from the sale of the magazine which the flamboyant Edo State-born Giwa helped to found. Agbese, whose gift of the garb is legendary, still wonders why the experience of professionals like him has not been tapped by relevant journalism schools in the country as opposed to the worthy example set by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka which decided to appropriate the experience of the former director-general of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Dr Ndidi Okereke-Onyiuke by appointing her a visiting professor. Agbese said that despite the fact he had made his intention to offer his services and experience free of charge to any institution that might transmit it to the next generation, there has been no response since. He re-affirmed that his fulfilment as a journalist remains the fact that several other younger colleagues trace their inspiration to tested role models like him. “I can say that I am fulfilled. Wherever I go and see young people like you who rush to pay their respects, I always feel that the years were not wasted after all,” he said.


24 MAY 2014


APC wrote election results in Government House, hotels –Bagobiri Alhaji Yahya Bagobiri, staunch supporter of Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso before they parted ways shortly after the 2011 election, is deputy chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kano State. He tells MUHAMMAD KABIR how the All Progressives Congress (APC) allegedly rigged the May 17 local government election. How do you see the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the just concluded local government elections in Kano State? The May 17 local government election was nothing but a transformation of caretakers in the local governments to ‘elected’ administrators as assigned by the government of Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. On the day of the election, election did not start anywhere by 10a.m. as it is stipulated. In all the 44 local governments, nowhere one saw the arrival of election materials, even where they took the ballot papers, it was late at about 1p.m. And even at that, the ballot boxes that we saw were filled with thumpprinted ballot papers. After spending an hour, they took them away and claimed that there were elections. The report of security agents and civil societies clearly show that there was no election. In essence, the All Progressives Congress (APC) did not win any election; they merely declared themselves winners.

Are you planning to contest the outcome of the election? Right now, I can’t tell you whether we are going to court or not. But we have all our agents and party officials who observed the elections in place and they are compiling all the necessary evidence against the elections. We are collating reports from the 44 local governments and all the things that are incriminating, we will forward same to the national secretariat of the PDP who will tells us what to do. Specifically, what are your complaints? I think we have spelt out our grievances. First, there were no elections in the 44 local governments, and this is coming even after we have diligently followed all the necessary guidelines as enshrined by the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission (KSIEC). The electoral body tasked us and asked us to pay taxes, we paid over N126million. We followed all the rules to ensure our participation in the elections, but yet there were no elections. And to confirm this, you can ask the State Security Service (SSS) and Police; they will tell you that there was no election. Civil society organisations, international observers and many others have stated and agreed

‘No doubt, Governor Kwankwaso has clearly disfranchised his own people because of party differences' that there was no election in Kano. The outcome of the elections suggests that there is no PDP in Kano. Is your party contention ground in the state? That is exactly what they want to portray, but every sensible person will not accept this verdict. It is only when there is election you can talk of popularity test between parties. But in this case, there was no election. The APC-led government rigged the council elections. Their agents in collusion with the electoral body went to hotels and Government House to write the results of the local government elections. I can confidently tell you that there was no voting in 99 per cent area of Kano State on May 17. In 1999, there were elections in Kano, the PDP was the one having governor, but still the All Peoples Party (APP) won in so many places. In 2003, even with the Muhammadu Buhari’s influence, the PDP got 13 House of Assembly seats, one senator, and two House of Representatives seats. In 2007, the PDP won some seats in both state and national assemblies. Also in 2011, there was some balancing. So, there has never been a time in Kano that one party wins everything. So, common sense will not accept what happened in the local government elections. It is the theory of a cheat. In all the struggles of Kwankwaso, even when he was chased away in 2003, I was part of it and I know everything had happened. In 2007, as Minister of Defense, we went to the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), after the elections with our complaints but he told us he can’t listen to us, clearly, despite the fact that he was a minister. We went to the Police Commissioner who also refused to listen to us. So, Kwankwaso should realise that p o w e r doesn’t last forever.

So the PDP is still popular in Kano? As one of the leaders of the party, I cannot tell you that PDP is not popular. If you ask Kano people, you will know that we are the party to beat in the state. The APC said the performance of the Kwankwaso administration helped them win the election. What performance are they talking about? They are just telling lies. Nothing like performance under Kwankwaso. Their performance is just propaganda. Did your party lose any member during the council election? I think there are two people from Warawa Local Government who were attacked by the APC members and killed in the process. Many others were seriously injured in the attack against PDP members. But the APC accused the PDP of using thugs to disrupt the election? It is a lie. We didn’t use anything or anybody to destabilise the election. The security agencies can bear me witness that the APC was the aggressive party that fomented trouble during the council election. Does 2015 hold a brighter future for the PDP in Kano? We are determined to succeed. Time will tell that we are the party to beat. A PDP chieftain has vowed that with the outcome of the council election, his party will pay Kwankwaso back with the same coin in 2015. Do you support this? I don’t think that is right, more so that we in the PDP are known for conducting transparent election. Today, many have agreed that the Goodluck Jonathan administration allows free voting. No doubt, Governor Kwankwaso has clearly disfranchised his own people because of party differences. In 2015, we will show how transparent we are; we will allow everybody to contest; we will also show those who are deceivers and always claim they are the righteous that they are indeed liars. What are your plans to counter a repeat of what happened in 2015? In 2015, we will ensure that we allow open participation and provide level playing ground for everybody. We will show them that we are more matured than them. President Jonathan has been insisting that we should not in any way try to rig elections because of him; he said he want Nigerians to give him their clear mandates. And he has demonstrated that in all the elections conducted under his watch so far. You see opposition parties winning and the PDP is accepting the outcome of the election anywhere in Nigeria. The APC also accused some PDP leaders of collecting money from the Federal Government to mobilise for the party in the State. Are you a beneficiary in this purported largesse? Did they see the dollars? They are the one in government who steal from the state purse. The APC went to the local government treasuries and forced them to cough out N20million each few days to the May 17 election. That is N880million. Where has the money gone to?




Your allegation is baseless –Doguwa Haruna Umar Doguwa is the Kano State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC). In this interview with MUHAMMAD KABIR, he debunked allegations that his party rigged the Saturday May 17 local government elections, which the APC overwhelmingly won. For him, the election has exposed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as lacking the strength to face the APC even in 2015. Excerpts: As the state chairman of Kano APC, how do you see the May 17 council election where your party won in all the 44 local governments in the state? Our victory at the local government poll was overwhelming and well-deserved one. Well, it has been so nice. You know our system has been so open, because His Excellency, Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso has done wonderfully well in Kano with his resounding performance in all sectors. Also, one of the factors responsible for our victory at the local government poll was that the PDP helped us to win the election. How? The PDP has nothing to show on ground as something they did for the people. So, it has been good for us, because they are not truly on ground. But the PDP has accused the APC-led government of rigging the election in your favour. Did you rigged the election? Where were they on the day of the election? Most of them were nowhere to be found on the election day. In fact, most of them packed their family members into hotel rooms to lodge. We are true politicians who campaigned seriously for the election while they are just making noise after collecting their Dollars from above. Even in 2011, you can recalled that the same characters during the gubernatorial election they even swore that the election, which we were returned winners, will be upturned at the tribunal. We went to the tribunal to the Appeal Court and we were among the few that were taken to the Supreme Court. In all this, they failed. So, noisemaking is their job, but they can’t do either wise. They should accept defeat because they are not ground in Kano. We won the election fair and square. No rigging. You only rig when you are not popular. But in our own case, the APC is on ground in Kano, our government has performed creditably whereas the reverse is the case for them. So, there was no rigging at all during the local government election. The outcome of the election is the reflection of the wishes of Kano people. Are you saying the APC is deeply rooted in Kano? Not only deeply rooted, seriously rooted because of the many monumental projects Governor Kwankwaso has executed since his assumption of office in 2011. We are on ground. You know this is Kano, go out there and find out who we are. We are the only party existing. Others are near none-existence. How manage that the APC won all the available seats – councillorship and chairmanship – in all the 44 local governments of Kano State? It is very possible. You have seen it. It is a reality not a fiction. We have done it, and genuinely we did it, and we will continue to do it. We have the structures and the people which the opposition party lacks.

Since 1999 no party has won everything in any given election. When PDP came in 1999, the defunct All Peoples Party (APP) won some seats. The same thing happened in 2003, 2007 and 2011. Why the change now? In the history of Kano, which governor constructed a fly-over? In the history of Kano, which governor sent over 3000 students abroad to further their studies? In the history of Kano, which governor established three universities? So, if you are talking about history of Kano; we have already done that and if you are talking of popularity you can’t merged the popularity of Kwankwaso and Muhammadu Buhari and expect less popularity. What we are expecting is even more. So, winning all available seats is not strange. It is a product of hardwork, popularity, acceptance and performance. Are you saying it is because of the Buhari factor that you won everything? It is because of performance of Kwankwaso and the popularity of Buhari combined and what the PDP are doing from their angle. Earlier, you alleged that some PDP leaders have been collecting dollars from above. What evidence do you have to support this? You know they have been distributing money, some of their members are even ready to take them to court because they couldn’t get their own share. Don’t worry, you will see a Pandora box soon. Their secret would soon be open.

‘If this election has been fraudulent, Kano people would have demonstrated.'

The PDP accused the APC of using political thugs to disrupt the council election. Don’t forget we are the ruling party in Kano, we will as much as possible love to have peace. So, the issue of using thugs is uncalled for, because we are in government we want peace more than anybody. On the contrary, they used thugs but they didn’t succeed. So, their accusation is baseless. If somebody is using violent to get what he want, he will think everybody is using violent in his conduct.

talking about? That is what we have been crying for; that is why we formed the APC, that is their misgivings. We are praying that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should conduct credible elections so that Nigeria will be truly a democratic state.

Don’t you think that PDP will employ the same tactics you used in the council polls in winning all the elections in 2015? That is what we want. We want the same so that whoever wins the elections let him be given his mandate. That is what they refused to do. Recalled that during the 2011 elections in Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta states, they (PDP) won 100 per cent in all the elections. Nobody died and the elections stand. So, what are they

One civil society group also faulted the council election. Is this not a dent on the outcome of the poll? Not at all. You said civil society group faulted the elections; how many civil societies faulted the elections? We invited all the 36 chairmen of the State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs), 25 responded including that of Bayelsa and Rivers. They were even asking government to give them the formula we used

in having this peaceful election. If this election has been fraudulent, Kano people would have demonstrated. Have you heard any demonstration in Kano? So, it means the election was so transparent. The PDP is just crying foul because they don’t have anybody; they just want to have an excuse in Abuja. They are people who have history of failing in their wards. The son of one of them contested in the election but failed, may be he inherited the failure from his father. Nobody will come to Kano and will not appreciate what we are doing. We are talking of constructing mega power stations worth N15billion; we are talking of schools of Arabic Studies in all the 44 local governments; we are talking of constructing technical schools in all the local governments; we are talking of covering a whole River 17 Kilometres, we are talking of development. Why can’t people come out en masse and voted for us. Are you saying this election is a popularity test for the parties? They said that by themselves. And the outcome has shown that. The APC is more popular and accepted in Kano than the PDP.

50 Politics


‘I hope this is the President’s last request for emergency rule extension’ Hon. Eddie Mbadiwe, member of the All Progressives Congress (Ideato North/Ideato South Federal Constituency, Imo State), spoke with CHUKWU DAVID in Abuja about the extension of the state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States, and the party’s prospects in Imo State in the 2015 general elections As a member of the opposition party, do you really believe in extension of emergency rule? There is no solution to the problem yet. The insurgency has no solution; otherwise it will not continue. However, the point is that if you remove the state of emergency you have greater anarchy. That is my view on this matter. So, I supported the move. I think that is the right thing to do. It gets to a stage where you are thinking about what is best for Nigeria. And that is the way I look at it. That was why I voted for it. Are you worried that partisanship, sectionalism, religion and other sentiments influence opinions and decisions of members of the National Assembly whenever critical national issues are discussed? I am worried. But I also believe that the parties; all the parties, should always be concerned with national interest. Opposition parties should also be concerned with national interest. I think that we are mature enough now to look at issues very critically; and that is what I will recommend to everybody in parliament and outside parliament. If issues are not in the best interest of Nigeria, do not support them. Since the issue of emergency rule is in the national interest as you have noted, how would you react to APC members who initially kicked against extending emergency rule in those areas? Not most, but some of them. However, it is a matter of conscience. Some didn’t support it; which I understand. The feeling is that the emergency has not helped to address the crisis and this is understandable. But mind you, if you remove the emergency, anarchy would set in. The place might be set ablaze and I don’t want that in any part of Nigeria. As for me, there is a rider: I hope this is the last request the president will bring in respect of the emergency. They must go and solve the problem within six months. If they cannot solve it, I will not support it again. If they cannot solve it in 18 months, then it means they cannot solve it. Then they might have to look for other solutions. But for me, this will be the last request for extension of emergency that I will support. Apart from emergency rule, what other options do you think are available to the federal government? I am not the government. If they invite me to come and offer my suggestions, I will go and give them because I believe this thing can be solved. It can be solved within a month. I believe we are not addressing it the way we should address it. Some people say the capacity of emer-

gency rule to quell the insurgency in the North-east is undermined by sabotage. Do you share such sentiment? I don’t think it is sabotage. I don’t believe we have committed all our resources. If we are fighting insurgency, I believe we should commit all. It requires total mobilisation. It is not about sending people on patrol to get killed. It is not acceptable. Five soldiers and an officer were killed in Maiduguri last week. Five soldiers cannot resist the terrorists. They were ambushed and killed. So, I believe that we have not committed all our available resources. And having said this, I also think that we must be humble enough to admit that other people have more experience than us in handling this kind of problem. So, we are getting the Israelis, we are getting the Americans, etc, let us give them a free hand; let’s not pretend that we know everything. Give them a free hand to come in and let’s end this thing because if we don’t end it decisively, it can destroy this country. Give them a free hand for goodness sake. From the emphasis you have laid on giving foreign countries free hand to assist in the battle to rout terrorism, are there indications that this advice is being heeded by Nigerian government? There are no indications. Give them a free hand and accept that most of them are more experienced in such matters than us, which is true. Most of them are more qualified than our people. So, let’s give them the free hand and provide all the help that we can give. It is more than a month since Boko Haram insurgents abducted over 200 female students in Chibok, Borno State. How do you feel about this? I feel very sad. I think it is a shame and a disgrace. I think we have not put everything towards getting these girls. And I hope nothing happens to them because somebody has to pay for it. These girls are somewhere; even the Borno State governor says he knows where they are, and he brags about it openly. Why don’t they work with him to secure the release of these innocent girls. I have met with the governor; he is a very serious man. So, let them meet with him and let him lead them to where these girls are. Let’s get these girls for goodness sake and then punish the people who abducted them severely. You discountenanced sabotage as a factor in the war against terrorism in the country. Why? I did not; I said I don’t believe in sabotage. But sabotage is a reality, don’t you think so? Yes, sabotage is a part of war. Are you aware of that? It is an essential part of


war. It can be there but I don’t accept defeat. If you are sabotaged, let us get over the sabotage and do what we ought to do. I don’t believe in it; sabotage is part of war. Do you agree that the insurgency is part of the drama fuelling crisis in the buildup to 2015? Yes, you cannot rule it out. But I hope we do not give agents of destruction a chance to ruin this country. That’s why am saying that we should do whatever we have to do very quickly, so that in the next three months, we would have solved this problem even though we are giving a period of six months. We should restore normal governance in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states and prepare them for an election. I think it is very important. Shouldn’t the indigenes of these affected states cooperate with government to achieve results? But they are cooperating; they have a civilian Joint Task Force. There is nothing to suggest that they are not cooperating. You and your governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, are opposition stalwarts. Are you confident of support from Imo people in 2015? In Imo State, there is no qualms. We are not losing sleep. We are on solid ground.

Is there any likelihood of Governor Okorocha defecting to another party, perhaps judging from his body language? Owelle will not defect to any other party; he will not. Owelle is APC, and APC is Owelle. He is not going anywhere. But do you agree with those political analysts who say that if the governor remains in APC, he might lose Imo State in 2015.? Those analysts are wrong soothsayers and they will fail. Those who say that don’t know what they are saying. Go to Imo State and see the progress that government has made in three years. Which other government has done what Okorocha is doing? The people who will vote for him know that Okorocha has done a lot for them. Look at roads, free education and other infrastructural facilities and social amenities he built in the State. So, we are going to win election in Imo State. And I have a lot of brothers in PDP. So, I am calling my brothers and friends in PDP to come and join us to build the State together. You see, I have said it many times and I will never get tired of saying it, PDP has no place for Ndigbo in the scheme of things. So, Ndigbo should rethink and know where their future lies. In APC, at least, we can fight and get what is due to us. But in PDP, we don’t stand a chance.




ALGON president: Functional local govt system, key to Nigeria’s development The National President of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Mr. Nwabueze Okafor, tells NDUBUISI UGAH, that the only way to make local government administration more effective in Nigeria is to establish democratic structures at all councils in Nigeria, as well as the ongoing National Conference and among others. the local government will be spending? So, the very foundation, the very fulcrum is that we should have democratically elected councils so that we can have lathe structures in place to make sure that the local government itself, even while it is autonomous can thrive and have a system of checks and balances. We are now talking about states not allowing local governments to function, but when they’re now allowed to function, we should have all these structures in place so they can function well. Then there is the administrative and financial autonomy. The local governments need to have the resources to carry out programmes that will affect the lives of the people. The people are so removed from government because we do not have functional and robust local government system. The gaps between the people in the different communities and the states and federal government are so wide and distant. They don’t have the access to reach the government, so, the government they can reach are the local governments. So, we feel that if we put that in place, we would be able to get right a lot of things that that are going wrong in Nigeria. A lot of the challenges new have in Nigerian is because we don’t have a functional local government system. If you watch, you can see that most of the states where the security problems started, they don’t have functional, local government system. I can tell you. Some just started having local government elections. Some like Borno State have not had local government elections since 1998. So, you need to have a functional local government that is really functional, that the people can accept and that can address the needs of the people.

What is ALGON’s expectation from the ongoing national conference? The national conference is a welcome development. ALGON is being represented there. We ensured that we prepared our representatives, not just prepared them, we kept preparing and updating them on issues that are very important to us; issues that we expect them to canvass at the conference. These were issues that we expect them to push, to bring to the conversation at the national conference. These issues are very peculiar to us, especially issues that concern the local governments. We kept holding meetings to tell them how they would handle the challenges confronting the local governments to the Nigerians using the window of opportunity the national conference has created. And we are equally interested in the unity of Nigeria because we are an association that covers all the local governments in Nigeria. So, we are equally keen to protect the unity and to ensure that the entity of Nigeria is preserved because our membership cuts across Nigeria. Our members are well prepared to represent us there. You talked about challenges. We know that one of the critical challenges that ALGON is facing presently is the issue of autonomy. How far have you addressed this issue? To speak about the issue of autonomy is like belabouring what is obvious to everybody. We know that local governments in Nigeria had to contend with issues of their being emasculated by the states and the inability to fulfil on their mandates is because of that lack of autonomy. We have stated that over the years, we have continued to talk about that, that local governments in Nigeria need to be free to they can take on the peculiar problems of their different local areas and address them because they are closest to the people and know what the people in their local government areas need. This is because you find out that within a state, local government areas have peculiar challenges. There are some ethnic groups in the country that exist in a particular local government. They need the local government to drive their objective as a people. And they need their local government to promote their language and their culture because some of these ethnic groups are so small that they are swallowed up by the others in the state not to talk of the country. Is the removal of the power to conduct local government elections from state electoral commissions to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) one of the issues, which your delegates at the conference have pushed for? Elections are very critical because it firms the government. Like I told you before, some states could not organise local government elections for a long as 10 years. But for those periods elections were organised for State Assemblies, National Assembly members from those states, governorship and presidential elections were held more than three times in those areas. You begin to wonder because some of those states would tell you its because of security challenges that they could not hold local government elections, then it sounds funny. If you can hold presidential, governorship and election into National and State Assemblies and you cannot hold local government elections that is telling you that the problem is not security. But the good news is that, unlike when we came in that we had 11 states that had democratically elected local


government councils, we now have about 24 states within the last two years. We are asking that we have democratically elected local government councils. We know that the system of the elections might not be as good as we want it to be, might not be as free and transparent as we would expect, but we want to get first thing first- let us live to the Constitution which says that the system of government should be by democratically elected councils. When we do that, we would now begin to address the issue of having credible, free, fair and transparent elections. Should the recommendations of the National Conference be sent to the National Assembly for ratification or subjected to a referendum? At the end of the day, I believe that the bottom line is the people. My advice to the people at the conference is that they should ensure that whatever outcome from the conference should be the one that addresses the needs of the people, of Nigeria. I know at the end of the conference, we have democratic structure that we cannot ignore. We don’t just play to the gallery because certain people will feel comfortable with adopting whatever comes out of the conference. We have democratic structures that will challenge that position if you try to overlook them. But we have a shortcut to this: if there is a very strong feeling that we should have a referendum, why not make our representatives inside the National Assembly to pass a bill for a referendum for whatever is the outcome of the conference? There’s a way you can do this and kill two birds with a

stone because we have democratic structure you cannot ignore. The President has the power to establish the conference, National Assembly has power to make laws for the country. So, why not make a bill to the National Assembly saying that the conference will go for a referendum? And at an election year, will somebody at the National Assembly say that he is fighting against what Nigerians feel should be a direction for the country? How do you think you can make the local governments system more effective? It is very simple. We have to ensure that we establish democratic structures at the local government councils, that is fundamental, that is what the statutes say. Because our constitution makes it very clear that the administration at the local government should be by democratically elected councils. First and foremost, that is what we should have, so that the local government will have a legislative council that can plan, look at the budget and pass the budget, so that they can ensure that the different needs of the different wards, communities, quarters, towns that they are representing at the local government can be brought to the local council, and they ensure that these needs are addressed through a budget, budget that will come to the executive at the council and be implemented. That is the fundamental. Because when you don’t have democratically elected councils, you will not have legislative councils. And where would you pass the budget and where would you even draw strength to make appropriations in which

You mentioned security earlier on. People are of the opinion that state and community policing is the answer. Do you agree with this position? Both the federal and state police have their merits and demerits. The problem we have is the operation. If you have federal police and the managers of that force is not doing very well, that is the problem we have. I am of the opinion that though we have federal police, the state governments should be more involved in the management of the police force at their states. So you support of state and community policing? Community policing is very important, it’s a wonderful programme. And I can tell you, about 1985 when the Nigerian Police Force decided to post officers between the ranks of deputy inspectors of police to Inspectors of Police back to their states of origin, we found a change. A lot of them started leaving the force, because one, they could not operate in their communities and still perpetuate some of the things they were doing outside their communities. They could not afford to do that because people know them. Because when you’re working in your community and local government where they know you, there are things you do and you know you cannot get away with. They will keep it for you and your children. So, community policing is very important, if we want to ensure that the police fulfils its mandate, we will ensure that police- civil relationship is very good because modest intelligence information the police regim to function will come from the members of the public. So, community policing, I am all for it.

52 FEatures The changing lifestyle among Nigerians and their penchant for imitating Western taste may have accounted for the alarming boom of ‘junk’ foods, eateries and the attendant health concerns in the country, reports ISIOMA MADIKE ‘Boom in the industry is driving employment generation’ In time past, Chinese food was the rave in Lagos and other cities across the country. Virtually everybody joined the bandwagon, as it is typical of Nigerians. This witnessed an unprecedented surge of Chinese restaurants operated by Nigerians and at times, in alliance with some Chinese chefs. Besides the fact that Chinese food instantly became the toast of most Lagosians and other Nigerian elite, the dealers, who were the direct beneficiaries of the boom laughed all the way to the banks for as long as the bazaar lasted. It was like a day in the life of most Nigerians was, perhaps, incomplete without a visit to any of the various Chinese eateries, which dotted the streets in strategic places, in major cities. These eatery joints then became hot spots for all sorts of meetings, business or social gatherings. Soon, everyone, including kids and adults, men and women caught the bug. All of this happened about two decades and half or so ago. But today, the story has changed. The hitherto high number of Chinese restaurants in the cities has thinned out. While few, though, have managed to keep their heads in some highbrow areas competing with the more visible five star hotels, others have completely closed shop. Some other smaller ones have, indeed, refused to close shop even when it is apparent that they are gasping for breath. In all of these, Chinese food, it seems, are fast finding their ways into the dustbin of Nigeria’s history, paving the way, as it were, for a change of baton to fast food. The change, however, appeared to have signaled the end of an era and opened a new chapter. Welcome to the crazy world of ‘junk’ food. They are handy eatables that could be purchased and consumed at anytime and anywhere. The foods come in different forms, shapes, sizes and names like meat pie, burger, sausage and the likes. They also come with different taste and appeal but evidently with the same contents. It has become the fad for the city young lovers and kids. The eateries are usually conspicuous in the neighbourhood, especially because of their strategic locations. Their peculiar architectural structures are captivating as well as their surroundings. They easily command attention even as the pervasive aroma that perpetually hangs in the air tells one a fast food outlet is near. As fast as the meals, this line of food business is spreading rapidly all over the country. Since the United African Company (UAC) foods gave boost to the revolution on the food market with the opening of Mr. Bigg’s in 1986, which was quickly followed by Tantalizers, Sweet Sensation and Tastee Fried Chicken, it has been, according to Sweet Sensation, “one visit and you are hooked for good.” With that consumer mentality, fast foods have obviously become instant hits in Nigeria. Industry watchers estimate the spread at over 5,000 outlets nationwide. These branches, according to investigations, exist under over 150 different brand names. The names, which include, Chicken Republic, Favourites, Chiquita, Mr. Fans, Relish, Hunger Buster and many others are as attractive as the business itself. Operators in the industry say this number may be higher if the other less popular operators are taken into consideration. No wonder, some of these operators compare the eatery places to the World’s most famous fast food brand – MacDonald’s. From homes to work places through the


daily long traffic jams in the cities, handy eatables have gained enormous grounds. The craze for fast food, like the Chinese restaurants of yester-years by both the young and old, is on gain. But, the fever this time around seems to be catching on fast on kids, young lovers and the corporate office ladies, particularly the bankers as a way to show class. Indeed, the instant success of the likes of Mr. Bigg’s, Tantalizers and Sweet Sensation appears to be the needed tonic for others that followed. For the dealers, holiday periods have always provided opportunities for a boom market. The reason is that festive times are about the only periods that give ample opportunity for parents, who are pre-occupied with chasing money to take their kids out to such spots for a change. Before the craze, the womenfolk used to say that “the way to a man’s heart is good food.” This saying, however, is today secondary and complementary. The “gospel” presently seems to be “the way to the family’s heart is the child.” Also, the Biblical saying, “seek ye first the kingdom of God and every other thing shall be added unto you,” appears to have been re-written to read, “seek ye first the soul of the kids and every other member of the family shall be added unto you.”

Living on ‘junk’ food Incidentally, virtually all the fast food dealers have been able to identify the place of the child in this family brand loyalty contest. The emphasis has been on getting the kids to accept a particular brand, a development that is expected to rub off on the entire family. All the players in this market seem to know this and are employing varied strategies in an attempt to grab this market. For instance, operators now provide play areas and toys for children. An attendant in one of the Sweet Sensation branches in Lagos, who pleaded anonymity, told this reporter that some patrons act more often like the famed Oliver Twist because of the child-friendly atmosphere created in some outlets. “Parents could be enjoying their meals, while their children play with the facilities provided,” says another employee of Fendies in Igando area of Lagos, who also does not want her name in print. Investigations have shown, however, that ‘big boys’, who are into Advance Fee Fraud, known in local parlance as ‘419’ have rushed into establishing fast food joints, as a way of laundering their ill-gotten money and concealing their illicit trade. Their entry into the business has, expectedly triggered competition. Incidentally, the fierce competition has not been in form of product innovation as the contenders stock virtually the same product using the same ingredients but different labels. Rather, the competition has been more of words through newspaper, television and billboard advertisements. Even at that, the advertise-

ments have remained largely similar, both in message and character. This is because they share the same bottom line, which is to propel a prospective customer to choose one brand of burger, for instance, with a certain label over the other. Mr. Bigg’s was conservative in its marketing drive until the advent of Tantalizers and the other smaller competitors, which could be likened to the emergence of new generation banks that changed the conservatism of the old block. Even though, it launched an awareness campaign, Mr. Bigg’s, perhaps, never saw the need to erect billboards and other things that formed the vital part of aggressive marketing. Its emphasis before now had been more on corporate promotion than product. However, new operators are emerging almost on a weekly basis, while the old ones are hanging on to their strongholds. Mr. Bigg’s, which is believed to be the clear industry leader with international presence in Ghana, is said to have opened over 200 outlets.

Its closest competitor, Tantalizers, is also believed to have over 70 branches countrywide. Their positioning in the market is based on their outlets, spread, increasing brand visibility, turnover and customer loyalty. As a fast way of gaining prominence in the ever-expanding industry, some of them have gone to the regions to try to dominate a particular locality by competing with the more established brands. Fried Chicken and Dreams are concentrated in Abuja, the nation’s capital. Sweeties, Tasty Paradise and Abbey are for now making inroads in the Barnawa area of Kaduna State, while



O’Neal, which started operations in Enugu State, has grown and expanded to Abuja. For Renny’s, Owerri, the Imo State capital remains its main domain, although, it has now spread to Port Harcourt, Aba and parts of Bayelsa State. It is said to have opened over 15 outlets. The story is not different for Crunches, which also started in 2003 with only one outlet in Aba. Today, it has presence in Kaduna, Abuja and Calabar where it is believed to be highly patronised. Jude Nwosu, executive director of the company was once quoted to have said that his company uses Calabar as a “transit stop” for most visitors to Cross River State. In Ughelli, Delta State, Taste Alive and Crumbs are the places to be as many transporters plying the Lagos/Port Harcourt route have come to see these two eateries as the place to relax and refresh. However, stakeholders in the Nigeria quick restaurant business as well as industry report as at 2005 put the sector’s worth at over N325 billion. The report had also revealed that the sector is capable of growing at 40 per cent rate annually. Just as the industry is growing, the purses of those directly or indirectly eking out a living from the business are swelling as well. For companies with multiple outlets, the gain is enormous. Mr. Bigg’s, which is said to be the cash cow of the UAC group, reportedly had a turnover increase from N900 million in 1999 to N10 billion in 2005. The success story is replicated in almost all the fast food brands. Folu Ayeni, chairman of Tantalizers, with a N2.5 billion annual turnover may have since realised that his investment in the industry is a step in the right direction. He has every reason to be jubilant. Interestingly, the boom in the industry is driving the growth of other sectors of the economy as producers of basic items associated with the business like cooking gas, flour, sugar, serviette paper and general ancillary service providers are counting their gains as well. The industry has not done badly too in the areas of employment generation as it is said to be competing with the communication, banking and entertainment sectors with the number of jobs it is creating. The fast food sector absorbs largely unskilled labourers and middle-level manpower. Stakeholders say that the least number of staff a standard outlet could have is 30, while the big players have about 100 staff in each of their outlets. “This industry is labour intensive. Staff are needed in the kitchen, eating lounge, counters, car parks, doorposts and at the

management level. We cannot overemphasise the contribution of this business in reducing unemployment in the country,” Kess Akporotur, fast food consultant, was quoted to have said. There are those who believe that the sector may have employed over a million as of today. The increasing growth in that sector has equally stimulated the establishment of fast food consulting companies across the country. Beyond these, the industry is said to be facing a plethora of challenges. Kehinde Kamson, managing director, Sweet Sensation said: “Several agencies from federal, state and local governments approach us for levies. From day one, you are harassed from everywhere. The ‘area boys’ and different community leaders are after you.” Kamson also complained that the cost of diesel and maintenance of generators impact negatively on the profitability of the business. In spite of the goodies, Pat Umunna, ex-worker in one of the fast food eateries has some sore tales to tell. She was excited about the job and vowed to put in her best to en-

sure that she succeeded in it. But, that was as far as her dreams went. “I initially thought they were joking when one of them told me to proceed to the ladies for checking. But when I saw that she was serious, I obliged her and when we got in, I was faced with the greatest humiliation I had ever come across in life as she searched me to my pants. As if that was not enough, the women security equally searched to my pants after closing to ensure that I do not leave the premises with anything that belongs to the company,” Umunna recalled. Yet, if you think that is all that happens in such eateries, then hear Umunna: “Like when there are leftovers from a day’s sales, we are not allowed to touch it; the management would rather throw the food into the thrash can than give people to eat. Since we are most times within, working, we do not go out to buy food. What they do is to prepare food of a lower quality for us to eat, which is glaringly different from what is served to customers. Most of them have no First Aid boxes too in case of minor accidents.” Like Umunna, many others fear that the eateries may compromise in other ways like environmental abuses, use of substandard materials and even sale of expired products. This fear was particularly confirmed by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in 2006. Dora Akunyili, then director-general of the agency, said she was shocked when, on enforcement operation, caught one of the big players in the industry selling “stale and unwholesome food and bakery products to unsuspecting public. The water treatment plant installed at the outlet was archaic and malfunctioning, while the laboratory facility expected to ensure in-house quality control was in a sorry state.” Yet, health experts say that is just one of the many health hazards fast food culture has foisted on the consuming public. The experts are particularly concerned on the growing number of obese people in the country, a problem they attribute to excessive consumption of fast food


meals. Dr. Rosemary Peters, senior research fellow (nutrition) at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba-Lagos, said that most food served in fast food eateries do not have nutritional value, which, according to her, leads to obesity. “Well, in spite of the tremendous value the fast food eatery has added to the economy, one cannot deny the fact that the junk food it prepares has serious consequences on the health of the consumers. It is very important that people should be aware of what they take. This means that as we talk of the positive side of fast food, we need to know that it also has some negative aspect. It is necessary we point this out since virtually everyone in the society today, one way or the other patronise eateries. There are a lot of negative consequences that could arise from the consumption of the junk food from an eatery. “One of the major consequences of consuming junk food from eateries is obesity. You will recall that there was a time in the United State of America many people were getting obese. Of course, we know that USA is more or less the origin of fast food. Obesity is a precursor to different illnesses. I mean, it leads to various kinds of diseases like cardiovascular diseases, that is, heartrelated diseases: diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. The eateries mostly use flour products in their preparations and fry most of the things they prepare,” Peters remarked. Other experts point to what they call the more worrisome risk of developing cancer due to over-dependent on such meals. They are of the view that pastries especially, could lead to the formation of lumps in the stomach and that if it is not treated early, could lead to cancer. “People should not be too busy to eat right kind of foods. Fast food meals are junk and should be frowned at. That is the secret of Chinese longevity; they are more known with natural foods,” Dr. Abdulsalam Nurudeen, a medical practitioner with Bamgilead Hospital, Lagos admonished. Nurudeen said the proliferation of fast food outlet signals greater health dangers for the country than the money it brings. Children, he explained, suffer most because “the chemical used in preserving green peas, one of the major food ingredients used in the industry cause Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Children suffering from the ailment are restless and unable to retain information.” Spices are also said to be dangerous to health as excessive consumption of such could “wash away vital microorganisms in the human body, especially those that convert food into vitamins.” The changing lifestyle among Nigerians and their penchant for imitating Western taste are believed to be driving the alarming boom in the industry. There are also those who say the growth is stimulated by the inclusion of local cuisine in their menu. Before now, the Nigerian fast food outlets sold mainly pies, chips, sandwiches, cakes, French fries, egg rolls, sausages, hamburger and other such pastries that originated from the Western system. But as the industry grows and consumption heightens, many adapt products to meet local needs, taste and culture. Most of them now blend their menu with local cuisines, thereby offering three tiers of services; the fast food, African dishes and continental meals. The trend, which was once the preserve of Mama Cass, a caterer, who graduated from being a road side Buka otherwise known as “Mama Put” to one of the industry giants, is now embraced by famous, relatively unknown and new entrants into the business. However, all the players in this market have a common niche, which is service. The fact that they have nothing different to offer in terms of product means much would depend on the service rendered by the personnel. This is where good service comes in. And, perhaps, the decision on where the pendulum would swing rests more on how each player is able to play this niche to advantage.




Yes, you have done well sir!

rom my hotel room last week in Wuse Zone 6 Abuja, Nigeria, I watched the whimsical news anchor and reporter Richard Quest of Cable News Network,(CNN) interview a high up official from the African National Congress of South Africa. I was in Abuja to facilitate a lecture on how to improve customer care. The topic of the Quest business interview was the economy of South Africa and one of the things Quest jokingly asked the man is “what do you think of Nigeria, it’s now Africa’s biggest economy, they seem to have juggled some figures somewhere!” The man’s reply was polite and diplomatic but I could feel a little bit of cynicism in there somewhere. Our politicians and economists have worked some magic in the past couple of months; they have rebased our economy by looking at sectors that where not accounted for before now. We are talking, among others, about Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Entertainment via Nollywood and Cinema presentations. Although its difficult to calculate how much Nollywood really contributes to our economy, the movie industry which has been the butt of cynicism and jokes of many stand up comics, is now a billion naira industry which started off from traders in Aba and Idumota who got their seed money from electronics, automobile spare parts and some other not too salutary means that I am not at liberty to mention here. So Nollywood finally gains recognition from government and star actor Kanayo O. Kanayo who now chairs the board of The National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Studies can bring his expertise to bear in helping to develop our country just the way Hollywood helped the United States(dream on you say!) This attention given to ignored sectors in Nigeria has made the giant of Africa the biggest economy in the continent! ICT is big in Nigeria. At a recent seminar where I was opportuned to speak to


The irony of all this is the telephony and internet activity is occurring in an economy where there is little or no electricity, but Nigerians through innovation and adaptation have found a way around it officials of the Nigeria Communications Commission, I learnt that over 45 million Nigerians are consistently on the internet everyday; this group is between the ages of 17 and 39 and that over 98million Nigerians consistently use mobile phones for communication. The irony of all this is the telephony and internet activity is occurring in an economy where there is little or no electricity, but Nigerians through innovation and adaptation have found a way around it. It is important to note that there is no country in the West African sub region that has consistent uninterrupted power supply. Nigerians often use Ghana as an example. I have often heard that Ghana “recently celebrated 10 years

of uninterrupted power supply”. Nothing is further from the truth. Ghana has had frequent power failure in the last 10 years but the difference between Ghana and Nigeria is largely in the management of the situation. What this means is a timetable had been introduced which is followed religiously so that electricity loads can be shed from one area to another in Accra and its environs in such a manner that is manageable and agreeable to government officials and the citizenry. Governments in power have the knack of rating themselves as being high in performance mainly based on what they have met on ground and what they have done since they resumed. So if the governor of Akwa Ibom, (the highest oil revenue state in the federation), Mr. Godswill Akpabio, works infrastructural miracles, he is praised to high heavens: “Yes you have done well sir!” But what of the man who was before him? If the people did not praise his predecessor, for instance if in Akwa Ibom there was not much praise and physical development in the time of Obong Victor Attah, do we now say that Attah did not perform during his tenure? A similar parallel can be drawn in Lagos between the action governor Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola and his predecessor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. BRF as Fashola is fondly called, has apparently worked wonders in Lagos. Wherever he

goes there is nothing but praise, although some have withdrawn that praise considering recent developments in the amiable governors second term. But the question really is: if Fashola could do so much as it is claimed he has done, why could his predecessor not do such things and work in a similar vein? After all revenue was available to Asiwaju too was it not? The concept of development, who develops what and the role governance actually plays in business and infrastructural development has generated a whole range of debates. Who really determines whether a government has “performed” or not? Definitely it has to be the citizens of the country! Like we say in the customer service sector, “the customer determines the quality of the service, therefore the customer is always right. “ A question arose in a recent Facebook debate about the level of performance of our president Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. One of the respondents said Jonathan outperformed Obasanjo. I asked him: “why are you bringing Baba into the equation? “ Must we really compare the former to the latter to determine whether he has done well or not? Which metrics or indices do we use? Certainly not those of politicians and economists who seem to have their heads in clouds when they tell the populace that is paying more for food and non-existent electricity that “the economy is growing”. The first place the citizenry look is in their pockets. If the economy is growing why is food so expensive, why is petrol so difficult to come by, why is the general hospital in my area out of drugs and unable to provide essential treatment without me breaking my bank account? It appears that a reordering of indicators is in order. We need to look at how viable business is in certain environments, how much true foreign direct investment has come in and how many new businesses have been able to take off with out much hassle. These are some of the indicators.

Chibok girls still on my mind


he heat is still on. I have spent the last four days trying to think about what else to write, but my mind keeps drifting back to this situation. I hear the girls have been sighted in three different camps, I hear that my cousins from America have dropped real life Rambos to join the search, I also hear that some native hunters are even begging to be allowed to join this search. All these, to me, would soon lead to a monumental climax of this national shame. I just got my own t-shirt. I am so afraid to wear it. It is a white t-shirt with large writing in black - ‘bring back our girls’. I got that last night at a shopping complex in Lagos and two things immediately came to my mind: Asari Dokubo and the commercialization of the effort. When Asari stated his anti-campaign, I did not take notice but as he garnered momentum and some facts began to emerge, I started looking at his argument again. He says the whole thing is a scam, a set up and that we should not bother our pretty heads thinking or worrying about the girls. He even launched his own social media campaign and has been screaming that there is no situation. I’m beginning to think that he just might have a point there. Let us look beyond his scraggy beards his pot belly and look at the facts. When the pictures emerged, I saw so many girls, all well dressed with faces veiled and my mind went to the actual date of abdoption. How do you easily move these numbers without a major commotion. You know our girls, no matter the story you tell them,


there will be screams, scratching and biting with a lot running into different directions. How many trucks would you have used in conveying them. How come no teacher was abducted, not even the female ones? I hear the principal also had children or is it a child in the school; why was she spared? Why is one particular commentator from the north so apt in the behaviours of the kidnappers. He said the girls would be used as bait and some days later Boko people are asking for prisoner exchange. That one is even funny. I did not know we even had their members in any prison. I used to think they blew up themselves in every operation thereby not giving us the liberty of having their faces on our television screens a la crime fighters television show. Immediately the Americans emerged, we started to get positive vibes from the camp of the Boko. All these my analysis may just be musing from a man drunk from too much mango juice, but try as I can, my mind still tells me that

The second thing is the commercialization of the whole efforts. So called celebrities have all joined this matter because of the instant major boost of their social media relevance something is just not totally right with this situation. The second thing is the commercialization of the whole efforts. So called celebrities have all joined this matter because of the instant major boost of their social media relevance. Twitter handles, Instagram pictures, all sort of endorsements from real and fake celebrities. I even saw a poster of a show titled “bring back our

girls”. That is the Nigerian spirit. We always know how to survive sha. I’m sure some people will be praying now that the Boko people should continue to keep the girls, so that the gravy train should continue. The only person that I have not seen join this train, is my uncle General Matthew Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo. If he is not ill, then this goes to confirm my earlier position that this may just be the greatest scam ever perpetrated. Baba has been uncharacteristically quiet. Perhaps I’m the one missing his comments. May be Baba knows something we do not know hence his silence. After all, he was the one who suggested we use juju in South Africa. So I expected him to play an advisory role as we struggle to get back our girls. He has this uncanny ability to be spot on in his comments and intervention on national issues. His letters and remarks usually bring closure. That is why he is the Baba. See his SAP must have a human face comment and what it did to the IBB regime; see his comments on Yar’Adua during his illness; his visit to the Boko Haram leaders and his recent letters and all the commotion it caused. So you see why I am uneasy at his seeming silence in this matter. Well, real or fake, some children have been detached from their families and the community and this saga must come to an end. We must bring closure very early to this matter. We cannot afford to have this situation continue endlessly. I beg o, bring back our girl, otherwise I would enter that forest myself and it will not be funny.




Man Utd: Rooney wants to be captain


ayne Rooney still hopes to be named Manchester United captain, despite reports suggesting fellow striker Robin van Persie will get the armband. With defender Nemanja Vidic having left the club, new boss Louis van Gaal must appoint a skipper when he takes over after the World Cup. Van Persie captains the Netherlands team coached by Van Gaal. Rooney, 28, said: “I am interested in the captaincy. I feel I am ready, but it’s the manager’s decision.” Vidic, who has led United since 2010, joined Inter Milan, and vice-captain Patrice Evra also looks set to depart as his contract expires this summer.

Heineken House Lagos set for Lisbon showdown

Kelechi Iheanacho (left) tries to dribble past a Spanish player during the last U-17 World Cup in UAE-

F’Eagles: Garba plans I changes for Tanzania


lying Eagles coach Manu Garba is set to make some changes in his starting XI for Saturday’s 2015 African Youth Championship qualifier against Tanzania in Kaduna. Nigeria U-20 beat their Tanzanian counterparts 2-0 in Dar es Salaam a fortnight ago. Coach Garba is now most likely to start Abubakar Aliyu ahead of Izu Omego in the heart of the defence alongside Wilfred Ndidi. Aliyu is a big, commanding central defender and he is expected to deal better with the long balls of the Tanzanians and their bigger strikers. And the coach will also have to decide on whether to start FC Porto forward Chidera Eze ahead of his most effective striker Alhassan Ibrahim ‘Mu-azam.’ Eze has picked form since he recovered from a hamstring injury which denied him the trip to Tanzania. ‘Mu-azam’ has struggled with hamstring strains days leading to the return match, but his defensive capabilities could well give him the nod ahead of Eze. Taiwo Awoniyi will again lead the attack after he scored in the first leg in Tanzania. Meanwhile, visiting Ngorongoro Heroes of Tanzania suffered a huge setback going into the second leg in Kaduna as they will be without skipper and goalkeeper Aishi Manula.

Ngorongoro coach John Simkoko said Manula, who was forced out after the first half of the first leg due to injury, is on full international duty with Tanzania after he recovered from the injury. Interestingly, Tanzania are fresh from a training stint in Qatar. Officials disclosed that as many as 6,000 security men will be on duty at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna. “Everything is being done to ensure the safety of everyone involved in this match,” said a top police officer.

t promises to be a thriller to the end as the curtain falls on the 2013/14 Heineken House presentation of the UEFA Champions League this Saturday. Over three months, visitors to the Heineken House Lagos witnessed all the 44 matches of the knock-out stage of the competition. This evening the first showpiece between teams from the same city in the 59-year history of the European Cup will hold as Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid clash. It will be a special night to remember given the series of activities lined-up for the visitors attending the premium viewing experience at the upscale venue in Ikoyi, Lagos. The Senior Brand Manager Heineken, Ngozi Nkwobi, disclosed that the event is expected to bring together approximately 600 guests including celebrities from the entertainment and prominent former football stars.


Come home, Kaita advises clubless players Charles Ogundiya


former Super Eagles midfielder, Sani Kaita, has called on Nigerian players finding it difficult to get a club in Europe to come back home and join a team in the local league. The hardworking midfielder recently signed for Enyimba FC of Aba from his last club, Olympiakos Nicosia of Greece. He has already featured in four league matches for the Aba side, marking his home debut against Kaduna United with a goal last weekend. Kaita moved from Kano Pillars to Sparta Rotterdam in Holland, in the 2005/2006 league season. He also had a stint at Monaco before

coming back to Nigeria. “I will advise those Nigerian players currently without clubs, or playing in some obscure leagues to come back home and play. Coming back to the country will help put their careers back on track, and will also help their family. Coming back is not the end of the world,” Kaita said. He expressed happiness at coming back to Nigeria, while also looking forward to putting his career back on track. Speaking on his debut goal against Kaduna United, he said; “I feel very happy and very pleased to score a goal, my first goal of course and the important thing is that we got the three points which is very good for the team.”

I Nadal

Garros, Rafael Nadal and they could meet at the semi-final stage. Australian Open title holder Stanislas Wawrinka is also a potential quarter-final opponent. Andy missed the French Open last year because of back problems that eventually

TRANSFERS EPL clubs fight over Song


ottenham have joined Manchester United and Liverpool in the race to sign Barcelona midfielder Alex Song. Spurs and big-spending Ligue 1 side Monaco have both indicated they are ready to rival the Old Trafford club and Brendan Rodgers’ side for the former Arsenal star. Goal learned last month that United had made a shock move for the Cameroon international, while there is also strong interest in the player from Anfield boss Rodgers. The departure of David Moyes from Old Trafford has not ended United’s pursuit, with new boss Louis van Gaal aware of the need to significantly reinforce his central midfield.

Wenger plans double swoop for Fabregas, Griezmann


rsene Wenger wants to beat Manchester United to the signing of former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas , with Antoine Griezmann also on his radar. Fabregas is up for sale at Barcelona this summer with new boss Luis Enrique looking to overhaul his squad. And Gunners boss Wenger is keen to bring the Spaniard back to the Emirates, despite competition from United. New Red Devils boss Louis Van Gaal is believed to be interested in Fabregas, having turned his attention away from Bayern Munich star Toni Kroos. But Wenger not only wants to re-sign Fabregas, but according to reports he is also keen on Real Sociedad winger Griezmann.

Luiz close to €49 PSG move

D Kaita

Nadal stands between Murray and first French Open title f Andy Murray is going to win his first French Open title, he’s going to have to do it the hard way. The Wimbledon champion, seeded seventh, has been placed in the same half of the draw as the undoubted king of clay and eighttime winner at Roland

“I’ve captained United a few times and to get it on a fulltime basis would be great,” said Rooney, who moved to Old Trafford in 2004.

saw him undergo surgery last September. Murray and Golubev have only met once before in a tour event, in the final in St Petersburg in 2008, which the Scot won 6-1, 6-1. Golubev, 26, is ranked 55 but has been as high as 33 and beat

Wawrinka in Davis Cup in April. Should Murray get past the Kazakh, he will play either Australia’s Marinko Matosevic or German-Jamaican Dustin Brown, while talented German Philipp Kohlschreiber is the first seed he could face in round three.

avid Luiz is on the brink of sealing a sensational €49 million move to Paris SaintGermain. Chelsea are in advanced talks to sell the defender to the French big spenders and the deal is expected to be finalised before the World Cup. PSG have swooped for the Brazil international to fend off interest in Luiz from Barcelona, who are now likely to turn their attention to his international colleague Marquinhos. The 20-year-old, who only joined from Roma last summer, is likely to leave Paris as a result of Luiz’s imminent arrival. Luiz



Ezeugo tips Mikel, Onazi for holding role

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



In nomine Patris, et Filli, et Spiritus Sancti.

wenty-six years ago, the Ugandan writer, Fred Gureme, recalled the following anecdote in his New Vision no. 113 (1988): When President Yoweri Museveni visited the people of Rakai district where the AIDS epidemic in Uganda was first discovered, he asked the elders about “slim” – the local slang for AIDS. They told him that they no longer had trouble with the disease because everyone had returned stolen goats to their legitimate owners. And because people were no longer stealing goats, the disease had abated. Museveni then turned to his Ministry of Health Officials and said, “You see it. It’s a very difficult thing to mobilize the people with the truth. They quite readily mobilize themselves around a lie!” St. Benedict Catholic Cathedral, Oshogbo. Unblessed with the dreamy spires that distinguished the great cathedrals of the renaissance epoch, but in Rev. Father Paul Awowole, it’s blessed with something more substantial than spires; someone who, with his calm exposition of the scripture, makes the parish flock endure, with ecclesiastical equanimity, the leaking roofs and jagged thoroughfare that meanders into the churchyard off Mission Road, Oshogbo. But I shall reserve a tribute to the Holy man for another day. This is strictly about Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s church attendance on April 6, 2014, and the larger question of his alleged Islamic fundamentalism. It was quite a revelation. At the conclusion of his sermon, Father Paul Awowole stepped down from the pulpit and invited Aregbesola to a side lectern to offer personal homilies. According to Aregbesola, by persuading him to attend a full church service, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu had succeeded where Senator Babajide Omoworare had met resistance. It came to light that the bearded engineerphilosopher actually began his early life as a catholic altar boy. Such was his passion for the liturgy that his singular ambition was to proceed for a seminarian training in preparation for the priesthood. But his father would not countenance a life of permanent celibacy and zero grandchildren from his beloved son. In the last analysis, the storms of life blew him into Islam. Deep silence seized the congregation. “The Christian faith promises salvation, my own faith promises salvation…. Those trying to divide us along politico-religious lines are irredeemably ignorant. If votes were to be cast on the basis of religion in this country, no party would win.” Having made a succinct case for the commonality of celestial deliverance, notwithstanding differences in creed, he paused. If a pin had dropped, a thunderclap would have been heard. On the putrescence called Boko Haram, he said: “We must protest seriously against the sycophants who hide under religion to perpetrate evils on our land; it must be done nationwide. We reject everything that Boko Haram represents. Our religion rejects everything these characters project in the name of Islam. We must not be silent because Boko Haram represents pure evil.” With philosophical solemnity, Ogbeni Aregbesola unfolded the other side of his complex nature; the side which is unacknowledged by the vocal commentariat that can lionize or demonize a character and bring permanent ruination upon an

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

SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2014



Rauf goes to church

are parceled out with the stamp of vendetta placed on it; complete with a mandate to go par avion, delivering character destruction at the speed of a jet plane. Engagement with substance is now reserved for the fringes of academia. Freedom of speech has raided the vaults of freedom of thought, bankrupting it. We limp along noisily and raucously, beating the drums of simplicities, gossips, negative and destructive profiling. As venal, depraved, corrupt, arrogant, ignorant and self-obeisant as our rulers are, there still are gems to be found amongst the feculent brigands. Whether Aregbesola is one such gem is not the question I have set out to examine. But of one thing I am certain; it’s not a question that can be answered on the basis of ad hominem, resting on generalities, superficialities, bigotry and gossip. Our political contestations should be much more serious than that. I respect someone who insists that we are united by our love for our country; that if we must be fanatics, let’s become fanatics for peace and fundamentalists for freedom; that we debase our soul and our faith when we subscribe to the abomination of suicide bombing because we have our tomorrows to live for; that the messages of the heroes of the great faiths will continue to inspire us and will forever be chiselled in our hearts and cemented in our minds to help one another, love one another, laugh with one another, cherish one another, to pick one another up when life gets too hard; that we must re-establish faith in one another today! Is there room for legitimate criticisms? You bet. It’s my clear observation that the man comes close to exhibiting the characteristics of self-satisfaction and self-congratulation bordering on complacency and hubris. But the charge of narcissistic immunity, that peculiar sense of grandiosity that allows most of our retarded rulers to place themselves above normal considerations of common society hardly stands up to scrutiny. Is this, then, the anti-Christ who is busy Islamizing Osun State, turning schools into fundamentalist madrasas and our children into stone-age oriented Talibans? There is not in existence a shred of evidence to support the allegation.


otherwise harmless soul. In the inventory of demonization, being a Muslim in Nigeria today is a qualifying attribute that places you right at the top of the grid. This is quite different from the sort of brutal but often hilarious sobriquets which Nigerians invent for their rulers. They defined President Yar’Adua as “Baba Go Slow”, and yet he waltzed slowly into history by securing peace settlement in the Niger Delta (three previous heads of government could not achieve this feat over a-fourteen year period). Buhari is cast as a rabid Islamic zealot steeped in antiChristian bigotry. Yet, he crushed every violent or militant Islamist sect that reared its head under his watch (supposed liberal secularist heads of government could not achieve the same feat both before and after his reign). Jonathan is caricatured as our “Clueless President”. And yet he is clued on enough to establish 9 federal universities the significance of which, notwithstanding current events, will secure his most glowing legacy. Those institutions will enlighten the generation that will salvage this fractured and ailing republic now dominated by professors in gossip, and whose only mark of excellence lies in mobilizing the people around lies and sophisms. It is submitted that these contradictions lead to a central fallacy that must, at the very minimum, compel us to pause. How is it possible that thinking, rational people can so easily accept the simplistic, monodimensional definition of characters that are manifestly rich in complexities? In the case of Aregbesola, his profile in Islamic fundamentalism has gained currency and has defined him. I have listened to a

wooden disquisition of his tenure thus far from a warped perspective that veers right into the territory of defamation. As it turned out, the cross-examiner had never met the man he considers to be an Islamist hothead, nor had he ever had the opportunity of exchanging greetings, much less interrogating him on the matter. Aregbesola’s female deputy, the tenacious and redoubtable Otunba Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori, is as devout a Christian as you could care to imagine. His cabinet is teeming with Christians. He turns up for a marathon trek in the predominantly Christian Osun East district and tens of thousands of enthusiastic citizens turn out to join him. On any random evening, you might find the Prelate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican) or some other senior Christian cleric on a courtesy visit at his modest official quarters. The extant laws in the state remain strictly secular. Citizens’ limbs are not routinely placed on stones and chopped off with a curved sword, nor are they stoned in public galleries as a penance for adultery. The stereotypes that dominate gentle society’s perception of all things Islamic are absent. And, yet, in the world of the commentariat, Aregbesola’s extremist revolution has seen the State of Osun turned into a budding istan. By the time he is done cloaking our girls in hijab, decreeing Arabic as the lingua franca of the state, mounting crescents atop every building and finally raising a sword in jihadist crusade, Osun will transmogrify into Osunistan. The perils of moral shortcuts in the name of politics are upon us. Corrosion of candour has rendered porous all forms of public discourse. Blackmail and defamation

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

GAMES/CROSS WORD PUZZLE Different types of horns the world over.


























4 7



9 10




14 16 18 19 21 24 25


1 5 7 8 9 10 11 12

Town in Nassarawa state Place something Kind of pen Athletic Federation Nigeria, abbr. Top of a container Human forearm bone On the sea Officer Commanding , abbr.

16 Indium’s symbol 17 Imposed limitation 18 Percussion instrument 22 Friend 23 United Africa Company, abbr. 24 Zero 25 Be out having fun 26 Carry something out

15 17


20 22



A state in the USA

13 Chaotic failure 14 Indented area in the skin

2 Year’s coldest season

15 LGA in Delta state

3 Egyptian main river

19 Tear something apart

4 Snatch somebody away forcefully 20 Disappear quickly 21 Bend under weight 5 Examine in detail 6 Highest part

S e e s o l u t i o n o n pa g e 2 2

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Binder1 may 24,2014  

North playing double standard on Boko Haram, says Sagay. 34,799 patients abandoned in Lagos hospitals.

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