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Saturday Edition

Sanctity of Truth

Saturday, MAY 3, 2014 Vol. 1 No. 74


Nigeria’s most authoritative newspaper in politics and business




Catching ghost workers and life with Demola-Seriki p.13

A soul sister’s strides p.21

Nobody wants to leave Nigeria p.47 Nyanya blast:

2 Camerounians allegedly arrested as police confirm 19 dead

l Senate President: We’ll take the war to their doorstep l US condemns blast

The morning after... Abuja Environmental Protection Agency workers clearing debris from Thursday’s bomb blast at Nyanya, in Abuja photo: Elijah Olaluyi

Tambuwal begins covert consultation for 2015 l Meets Tinubu, IBB, royal fathers lJonathan, PDP plot his removal as Speaker

Suleiman Bisalla Abuja


committee comprising top politicians from the National Assembly has been making consultations across the country to drum up support for the

2015 presidential aspiration of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. The 15-member committee, with membership drawn from the six geopolitical zones, is headed by an All Progressives Congress (APC) legislator from

the North-Central. It is not clear who is funding the committee which began operation at the beginning of March, but an authoritative source told New Telegraph in Abuja that there are plans to

expand membership. Already, the members, have visited APC leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Lagos, former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Ota, Ogun State, and former President Ibrahim Babangida in Minna,

Niger State among other political heavyweights in the country. The legislators are also billed to visit some state governors, mainly those in the APC and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Ex-Delta military administrator Col. David Dungs is dead p.8

Onyekachi Eze and Nnamdi Amadi, Obinna Odoh, Wole Shadare Abuja/Lagos


ecurity operatives, yesterday put the number of deaths in Thursday’s blast at Nyanya, a densely-populated suburb of Abuja at 19. In a joint press conference at the scene of the incident, Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, said 60 persons were injured and are now receiving treatment in various hospitals within the territory. The blast occurred some 100 metres from the scene of the April 14 blast. Mba, accompanied by the Department of State Security’s Deputy Director in charge of Public Relations, Ms Marilyn Ogar, said that the injured excluded six persons who have been treated and discharged. “As I speak to you, we have been able to scan through all the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Jonathan sets up C’ttee on abducted female students p.6




Content 03.05.14 INSTYLE

The Smart Casual

Although considered a casual wear, jeans can still blend seamlessly with some formal dresses.



Straddling Three Worlds

Lawyer and singer, Omawumi, has become an advocate of a vocation the youth hardly consider farming.



Lights... Action

A project funded by the US State Department seeks to give Niger Delta youths a hands-on experience in film-making.




Former Super Eagles midfielder, Edema Fuludu, relives memories of playing under Clemens Westerhof.



Experiencing Nature

Nike Lake Resort’s enchanting environment is a feature that attracts visitors to the Coal City.




Radio and television critic, Eve Banigo, writes that the recent Mr. Nigeria pageant organised by Silverbird could have scored a high had there been some attention to detail.


others in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but who are considered to be sympathetic to the APC. They will also visit traditional rulers who are considered to be politically influential. A source close to the committee told New Telegraph that the members had very useful consultations in all the places they had visited. “I can tell you that the Speaker’s aspiration is being welcomed with enthusiasm in the areas they have visited, mostly in the South-West. The enthusiasm there is, in fact, higher than in the North,” he said. However, the source said though Tinubu gave the committee a resounding reception, and did not reject its mission, the APC leader brought up the issue of Buhari, which took much of their time. “He asked the committee why they would not support Buhari. He said after all, Buhari contested when there was no much money and still won 12 million votes. He (Tinubu) said now that Buhari has

19 dead and 66 injured in blast CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

hospitals, from a private hospital in Nyanya called PANAF to Customs Hospital in Karu, to Maitama, Asokoro, National Hospital, Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital and Wuse Hospital, and we present you with this figure of a total number of 19 dead and 60 injured. These 60 injured excludes six persons that were treated and discharged. That is the situation as at now. “We equally want to confirm the fact that three unexploded IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) were recovered at the scene yesterday by personnel of Police Bomb Disposal squad. Those IEDs have been rendered safe,” Mba stated. The police spokesman who did not confirm the alleged arrest of two Camerounians in connection with the blast, however, said investigation was ongoing and appealed for information from members of the public. According to Ogar, it will be too premature to begin to talk about arrest, but said that the outcome of investigation of the first blast would be made public immediately it is ready. “The call now is for all Nigerians to rally round security agencies. It is not a time to say they are not doing what they are supposed to do. If you look at the total number of security operatives in the country, it is very little compared to the population. “So we are calling on Nigerians to rally round us with information. Don’t think that any information you have is useless; give it to us, we will make the best use of it,” she assured Nigerians. Also, the police have directed families of victims of the blast to check the following hospitals for identification of bodies and the injured: National Hospital, Asokoro General Hospital as well as Maitama General Hospital. Others include the Mararaba General Hospital and Nyanya

General Hospital, Customs Hospital, Karu, Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital, and PanRaf Hospital, Nyanya. The medical director of Nyanya Hospital where most of the victims were first taken to, Dr. Frank Idegwu, told New Telegraph on Saturday that 28 victims were brought to the hospital but two of them died before any treatment could be administered. Idegwu, however, said the casualty figure from the first blast was higher compared to the recent one. “The nature of the injuries this time were mostly lacerations, fractures of the limb, skull, etc. A source at the hospital’s record office said residents had been swarming the hospitals in search of their relations who might have been affected by the blast. The blast has expectedly sparked an outrage, with the United States embassy in Nigeria being among the first to condemn the attack. A statement from the United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria, Public Affairs Section, in Abuja said, “Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of those who were killed or injured in this heinous act”. The statement further stated that the attack was not only on innocent people but on a democratic nation itself, stressing that lawlessness violence and intimidation have no place in a democracy. “We continue to stand with the Nigerian government and people as they face the threat of violent extremism,” it added. Senate President David Mark has meanwhile charged the federal government to intensify military action against Boko Haram. “Now is the favourable time to declare war on terrorists,” he said, noting that in the last two weeks the sect had inflicted great harm on the nation. According to him, in abducting teenage students at gunpoint and holding them captive, the sect transgressed

every line of restraint. “No reasonable government will negotiate with a terrorist group. The federal government of Nigeria will not do that because Boko Haram has touched the heart and soul of the nation when they kidnapped over 200 female students in Borno State. We will now take the war to their doorsteps, at least to preserve the sovereignty of our coun-

was fruitful deliberation”. Also, New Telegraph on Saturday source did not give details of what transpired in Minna but said the visit to IBB ended the first round of the assignment before the Easter break. He disclosed that the members would visit Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar in Sokoto, emirs of Kano and Zazzau, Tor Tiv, as well as other influential traditional rulers in the North before heading South. On his part, the Speaker has been criss-crossing the length and breadth of Nigeria consulting stakeholders on his ambition. He has personally visited former Heads of State, traditional rulers and stakeholders. There are even permutations that one of the APC governors may be paired with him as presidential running mate in 2015. Governor Adam Oshiomhole is one of the likely figures

being positioned as Tambuwal’s running mate in the event he gets the APC’s ticket. Tambuwal has neither indicated that he will dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) nor has he publicly aspired for the presidency in 2015, but his romance with the top leadership of the opposition APC and his conspicuous absence at PDP rallies which had President Goodluck Jonathan in attendance recently, has fuelled speculations that the Speaker is getting set not to only dump the PDP but to seek the presidential ticket of the APC. Though Tambuwal’s state governor, Aliyu Wamakko, dumped the PDP few months ago alongside four other state governors, the Speaker maintains close ties with the governor. He was by Wamakko’s side when the governor made a triumphant entry into Sokoto after he was suspended from the PDP. Contrariwise, Tam-

- Additional reports by Dominic Adewole and Emmanuel Onani

Security agents investigate sales of Hilux vehicles Waheed Bakare and Emmanuel Onani ndications have emerged Ibegun that security operatives have joint investigation into

the importation and sales of Hilux vehicles to enable them to trace those who buy the “operational” vehicles being used by the Boko Haram sect. This development is coming on the heels of latest intelligence reports that the suspected insurgents used Hilux vehicles - a special brand of Toyota automobile - to further their deadly activities. Members of the sect had on April 15 stormed Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, in the wee-hours of the morning, where over 200 schoolgirls were ordered into waiting Hilux vehicles and taken to an unknown destination. Also, on February 25, 2014, suspected fighters were said to have driven in a convoy of Toyota Hilux vehicles,to Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, Yobe state, where about 59 students were hacked down in their prime. In the light of these and other deadly attacks in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, a highly-placed security source told New Telegraph Saturday that a joint team of the military, the police and the

Tambuwal in covert consultation for 2015 governors and there is money, why won’t they support him,” the source said. But after serious consultations and persuasion, Tinubu gave his approval of the Speaker but advised the committee to find a way of persuading Buhari not to contest the primaries because “he is not the kind of person that will be taken to Eagle Square and be defeated, the source said. He said once Buhari agrees to step down his aspiration, the APC strongman would be willing to support the Speaker’s project. “It was a very frank and fruitful discussion,” the source said. According to him, the committee has also been to Ota in Ogun State and had talks with Obasanjo, whose political associates are reported to have been working for the APC lately. No details of the discussions were given but the source said “There

try Nigeria.” Senator Mark made the comment at the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, in Asaba, Delta State, yesterday, during the funeral mass of Obi-Bridget Ngbelenwa Okpuno, mother of Chief Uche Luke Okpuno, the contractor handling the Asaba International Airport.

buwal was missing in Sokoto when Jonathan went to receive former governor, Attahiru Bafarawa, into the PDP recently. Some PDP supporters also believe that the manner in which the Speaker handled the defection of 37 PDP legislators to the APC was suspect. In the Senate, where Senate President David Mark holds sway, defecting lawmakers only narrowly escaped having their seats declared vacant. Meanwhile, feelers from the National Assembly reveal that agents of the Presidency have begun penetrating the legislators with a view to plotting the Speaker’s removal from office. “It appears Jonathan is prepared to fight this time. The PDP foresees that if the Speaker is left on that seat, he could cause substantial damage to President Jonathan’s 2015 ambition. So, Jonathan is ready to fight now,” a source told New Telegraph.

Department of State Service (DSS), was intensifying efforts at unraveling the attraction to Hilux, as vehicle of choice by the fighters. The high-ranking police officer, who craved anonymity, largely because he was not authorised to speak on the sensitive matter, said surveillance operations have been intensified at borders in the three states under Emergency Rule, to check the smuggling of these vehicles. His words: “One thing that is certain, is the fact that a joint team of military, police and SSS, is at work to check the illegal importation of Hilux brand of vehicles into Borno and other emergency states. “Our men at the border are under very strick directive, to quiz those bringing in Hilux trucks through the Borno, Adamawa and Yobe longstretched borders. “We are on top of the situation and very soon, the public will be adequately informed of our findings; we are determined to end this challenge”, he assured. He drew our correspondent’s attention to an earlier press statement, where the police high command, had warned owners of vehicles with unregistered numbers, were advised to withdraw them from the highways,just as operators of vehicles painted in police or military colours were asked to close shop or risk arrest. A one-star General, who spoke with our correspondent, also on condition of anonymity said, “our counter-terrorism operation, is not meant to throw the baby away with the bathe water. “They are those who use these vehicles you referred to, for legitimate business, and the military will do everything to ensure that their legitimate rights are protected”, he said. It will be recalled that Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO),had earlier released a statement on behalf of the Police High Command, which read in part: “... the Nigeria Police Force has commenced special operations nationwide. The operations encompass extensive counterterrorism sweeps, detailed overt and covert surveillance operations, intelligence-driven raids, arms mop-up exercise, special stop and search exercise, amongst others. continued ON PAGE 4


2015 more than do-or-die, Asari-Dokubo insists Joe Ezuma Port Harcourt


former militant leader and founder of the Niger Delta Vigilante Force (NDVF), Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, has cautioned to the leaders of the Boko Haram sect, that no amount of threat can stop President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term ambition in 2015. He also declared that the interventionist agency, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has come to stay and no president of Nigeria, no matter the region he comes from, can scrap the NDDC or reduce the 13 per cent derivation currently given to oil-producing states of the Niger Delta. Speaking in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, at the NDDC Strategic Partnership with Niger Delta for ex-militants under the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Asari-Dokubo said the reported campaign by the Northern delegates at the National Conference for the scrapping of the NDDC would not be acceptable. He also alleged that the Boko Haram insurgency was politically motivated with foreign support due to the nation’s porous borders with Niger, Chad and Cameroun. The former militant leader, who said the NDDC had come to stay, said: “They have started oo! The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, said in a video that we should not play with them. He said, Goodluck, I am coming for you. Niger Delta, we are coming for you. Are we going to allow them to shoot the guns and throw the bombs? That is when we will dance?” On the 2015 elections, AsariDokubo said: “2015 is more than do-or-die. It is our very survival that is being challenged, and we must tell them. You are a man and I am a man, we are going to meet at the battlefield. Be prepared, be watchful. The enemies should not be allowed.”

Says its our survival that is being challenged Kicks against moves to scrap NDDC

“In this region, there will be only one vote. The people from the North have said they should scrap the NDDC, that they should reduce the 13 per cent derivation to five per cent, and that nobody owns oil.” Asari-Dokubo, however, turned down the offer of an amnesty when it was pronounced by late President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2008. He claimed he was a freedom fighter and not a militant. He maintained that he had done nothing for which he was to be pardoned, insisting that he fought to liberate his people from years of cumulative oppression. “We have to gather again and tell them (North) that they cannot dare it. The North cannot scrap the NDDC. The North

cannot reduce the 13 per cent derivation to five per cent. If they try it now, they will see. It is because our brother is the president that we are hanging on peacefully”, he continued. He told the management of the NDDC that it was uncharitable of politicians from the Niger Delta to attain elective offices or key government positions and later turn their back on the electorate or those who really need their services. Asari lamented: “When our people come to power, they lose respect for our people. To them, our people are not important. This is not right. We must try to develop capacity among our people and make our people to have economic power. As long as we do not have economic power, we will continue to play the last

fiddle in the scheme of things”. He observed: “If we beg to pay our rents and our children’s school fees, then what is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of life if I stand at the gate of NDDC and beg anybody that comes in and goes out for money? Why would we allow our people to become beggars in the midst of plenty?” Asari-Dokubo asked: “When others became president, when others became whatever; head of produce board; Cocoa Board and everything, they produced the Dantatas; they produced the Otedolas, the Dangotes, and all that. But which person would the managing director of the NDDC create among the persons here by the time he leaves office.”


he Chairman of The Patriots, Professor Ben Nwabueze, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to summon courage to send to the National Assembly an executive bill in terms of the National Conference and referendum bill prepared and submitted to him by the group as a way of salvaging the ongoing National Conference. Nwabueze in a communique jointly signed and issued by him and Chairman, Ethnic Nationalities Movement (ENM), Mr. Solomon Asemota, at the end of the meeting of the two groups held in Abuja, yesterday lauded the president’s



NDUBUISI UGAH;; 08033617741

The Week Ahead Okpekpe road race holds today The second edition of the 10-kilometre Okpekpe road race in Okpekpe, Edo State will hold today. However, the former International Association of Athletics Federation World Cross country champion, Mr. Joseph Ebuya of Kenya, has been ruled out of the event due to an injury he sustained during a training session.

Kenyatta visits Nigeria May 4 Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will pay a state visit to Nigeria from May 4 to 6 to finalise bilateral agreements earlier made between both countries.

World Tennis tourney begins May 5 Nigeria, alongside 200 other countries have arrived in Japan for the 2014 World Table Tennis Championships beginning from May 5.

World Economic Forum commences May 7 The stage is set for Nigeria to host the 24th edition of the World Economic Forum on Africa (EF) between May 7 to 9 in Abuja.

Midwestern junior classic begins May 12 A new national tennis championship, the Midwestern Oil and Gas Junior Tennis Championship, has been added to the Nigerian tennis calendar with the inaugural event scheduled for may 12 to 18 at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club.

Fani-Kayode: Court adjourns to May 14 The absence of the prosecutor on Wednesday stalled the trial of a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, before a Federal High Court, Lagos. Consequently, the judge, Justice Rita OfiliAjumogobia, expressed displeasure at the prosecutor’s absence and therefore, adjourned the case till May 14.

NAWOJ holds triennial congress May 16 About 1,000 women journalists will converge on Badagry, Lagos State, from May 16 to 18 for the Triennial National Delegates Conference of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ). The committee in a statement issued by the Head of Logistics and Protocol, Mrs Iyabode Ogunjuyigbe, said the conference with the theme, ‘Career Women and Nation Development’, will usher in a new set of leaders to steer the affairs of NAWOJ for the next three years.

NDA entrance exam holds May 17 The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader in Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State, Chief Tony Chukwu (left), with the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, during the deputy speaker’s consultative rally held at Ehime Mbano...yesterday

How Jonathan can salvage National Conference –Nwabueze Yekeen Nurudeen Abuja


bold initiative in convening the National Conference. They, however, expressed displeasure that the conference as convened and constituted was totally different from the type they demanded and envisaged as first step in transforming Nigeria into a new, better and united country. This was as they condemned the insecurity in the country particularly the abduction of schoolgirls from Government Girls School, Chibok and the series of bombings in Abuja and North East region. The groups stressed that if the president could follow their suggestion by sending the two bills to the National Assembly, he would have played his part,

adding that it would be left to the Nigerian people to mobilise to the National Assembly to pass the bill into law in the shortest possible time. “We applaud President Goodluck Jonathan’s bold initiative in convening the ongoing National Conference but feel pained and disillusioned that the conference as convened and constituted is totally different from the type we have demanded and envisaged as first step in transforming Nigeria into a new, better and united country,” the elder statesmen said. They advocated that the federal government should establish an Ethnic Nationalities Commission which they stressed it must assume re-

sponsibility for organising, mobilising support for publicising and for funding of the ENC. This, according to them, must not be left to private initiative alone in a territorially extensive country where the ethnic nationalities are dispersed throughout its entire length and breadth, adding that they must be effectively mobilised for future conferences to be held at regular intervals. “Ethnic Nationalities’ role in building a nation requires of them mutual understanding and mutual tolerance of each other’s position and conflicting interests, the spirit of peaceful co-existence, patriotism and solidarity necessary for national integration,” they said.

The Nigerian Defence Academy Entrance Examination (NDAEE) will hold on May 17 in 23 centres across the country. A statement signed by the Academy’s Registrar, Brig.-Gen. H. E. Ayamasaowei, said only candidates, who make the national minimum cut-off mark in the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) are to be eligible to write the NDAEE on the said date.

Sanusi knows fate May 20 A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed May 20 to decide on whether or not to issue an order reinstating the suspended Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

Adeyemi College anniversary holds May 22 Adeyemi College of Education (ACE), Ondo State will hold its 50th anniversary and 33rd convocation ceremony on May 22.

Defecting govs: Court fixes May 23 for ruling An Abuja Federal High Court has fixed May 23 for ruling in a suit instituted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against its five governors who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC). The PDP had sued the governors, seeking a court order to declare their seats vacant on account of their defection. Governors Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara, Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto) and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), had on November 26, 2013, left the PDP for the APC.





Atiku urges FG to seek foreign assistance � Ekweremadu, Saraki, CAN, JNI condemn attack � Commercial banks shut Our Correspondents


idespread condemnations yesterday trailed Thursday’s bomb blast in Nyanya, a suburb of Abuja, where about 19 people were killed. The sect had on April 14, bombed a high capacity bus park in the area, which left over a hundred Nigerians dead and several others with varied degrees of injuries. Boko Haram claimed responsibility of the bombing. Among those who condemned the blast yesterday were former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI), and a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Kwara State, Senator Gbemisola Saraki. Reacting to the blast, Atiku reiterated his call on the Federal Government to enlist international support in its current war against terrorism. A statement by his media office in Abuja, said it was high time Nigeria solicited international support to tackle its current tough and seemingly intractable security challenges. While commending the sacrifices and patriotism of the security forces in dealing with the threats of terrorist violence, Atiku Abubakar, however, advised Nigeria to urgently seek international support and should do so urgently. He advised the Federal Gov-

ernment to seek assistance because the world is so interconnected that no nation should be an island onto itself. Atiku explained that because of the global dimension of terrorism, no developing country like Nigeria should go it alone, adding “we need to learn from the professional experiences and ideas of other countries confronted by terrorist threats.” Also, Ekweremadu expressed deep sadness over the deaths and injuries arising from the unfortunate terrorist attack. While condoling with the families of the victims, he described the act as dastardly, wicked and ungodly, saying that it was perpetrated by the enemies of the nation. He said: “We have overcome difficult challenges in the past, and this too shall be overcome. I urge courage among compatriots, as we must never surrender our collective innocence and values, sanctity of human life to the enemies of the nation.” On his part, Mohammed directed that free medical treatment and feeding should be given to victims of the Nyanya bomb blast. The minister, who gave the directive after visiting the Asokoro District Hospital on Thursday night, where some of the injured victims are receiving treatment. A statement issued yesterday in Abuja, by the Special Assistant on Media to the minister, Mr. Nosike Ogbuenyi, condemned the blast, describing it as a serious emergency. “What happened was an incident that could not be fore-

seen, as insurgencies are occurrences that are difficult to predict,” he said. CAN in a statement signed by the Secretary General, Rev Musa Asake, blamed the act on some persons who seek to destroy the lives of fellow compatriots in the name of an ‘ungodly ideology.’ “Last night’s attack in Nyanya, the second in 15 days, is a clear indication of the terrorists’ motive which is to demoralise and destabilise the Nigerian work force by putting fear in their minds. We must not allow this to happen,” he said. Similarly, JNI has called on the Federal Government and security agencies to rise up and protect Nigerians. In a statement signed by its Secretary General, Shiekh Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, JNI also condoled with the families of the victims. “JNI strongly condemns this act of terror and sympathizes with all the affected victims and also consoles the families of those who lost their lives in the unfortunate incident. Meanwhile, the branches of all the commercial banks operating in Nyanya and Mararaba area in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) failed to open for business yesterday, following Thursday’s explosion in the area. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that customers of the banks who hurried to carry out transactions, especially to collect money were jolted when they found the banks’ gates locked. About 10 branches of the major banks are located in the area.

Security agents investigate sales of Hilux vehicles CONTINUED FROM PG 2

“Police operatives involved in this exercise which will be drawn from the Bomb Disposal Squad, Counter-Terrorism Units, Police Mobile Force and Joint Border Patrol Units, Force Intelligence Bureau, Police Dog Section and conventional Police Teams, are expected to pay special attention to Motor Parks, Airports, Seaports, Border points, Recreation Parks, Major Markets, Shopping Malls, etc. “In ensuring a successful execution of this special operation, the IGP has ordered all Zonal AIGs and CPs including other Commanding Officers to ensure effective deployments of men and resources throughout the period of the operation. “The Police High Command strongly advises owners of unregistered vehicles to withdraw them from the

highways immediately. Persons and companies operating vehicles painted in Police colours or bearing Police insignia are also advised to withdraw them from public roads forthwith as field operatives have been directed to arrest and bring to book all such violators...” Efforts to reach the Director of Defence Information (DDI), Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, for comments, were not successful, as his phone line was not reachable. Also, the Deputy Director of Press and Public Relations of the DSS, Marilyn Ogar, could not give the service’s position on the matter, as an operative, who picked a call put to her phone, simply said: “madam is in a meeting at the moment.” But another security source said plans were in the pipelines to check on those who bought in Hilux in Nigeria.

He said this was necessary as some of the vehicles might have been bought within the country to carry out nefarious activities by members of the sect. The source said, “All options are opened. It is also possible that some of these vehicles were bought here (in Nigeria). Security agents will find out who are those buying the vehicles, especially those who bought many. However, this is without prejudice to those who also bought the vehicles and are using them for legitimate businesses. “This has nothing to do with the manufacturer of the vehicles or the dealers. But their cooperation will be sought to get the identity of their customers where necessary. The insurgency is a problem and this is the time information should be divulged by the betterment of all.”

Scene of the bomb blast at Nyanya motor park on thursday night in Abuja.


ACF calls for review of offshore proceeds Ndubuisi Ugah with agency reports


he Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday called for a review of the formula for the sharing of oil proceeds derived from offshore activities. Similarly, the Eggon and Alago communities of Nasarawa State have agreed to live in peace and forget the communal crises between them and others in the area. A statement issued in Kaduna, by its National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the onshore/offshore dichotomy must be revisited to ensure that states were not short changed. It opposed continued inclusion of the proceeds from offshore activities into monies shared to oil producing states, saying it was wrong. It argued that proceeds from offshore activities were neither from the ``efforts of the states or any host communities, nor



caused any degradation of the environment’’. The statement further said continuing with the present arrangement would have negative consequences to the economic well being of non oil producing states. “ACF is however not opposed to the principle of derivation that will compensate for the environmental degradation due to any exploration, or to reward efforts. ACF, therefore, calls for the review of the current situation to allow for the proceeds from offshore activities to be shared to all the states,” the group stated. Meanwhile, Eggon spokesman, Mr. Ibrahim Jatau, who made this known at a meeting with Alago and other tribes in Tudun Adabu, Obi Local Government Area of the state, said: “The security challenges facing our area, the state and some parts of the country have negatively affected the socio-economic development of the state and the country.



Amosun promises housing units for workers Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State has promised to deliver 1,000 housing units solely for civil servants in the state. Amosun, who spoke at the May Day celebration held on Thursday, at the MKO Abiola International Stadium, Abeokuta, disclosed that 200 units of the houses will be ready by May 29. He added 500 housing units will be constructed by December while the others will be delivered later.




‘Find abducted Chibok girls’ Worried by the kidnapping of 236 girls from Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, Women Forum of the Lagos State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday called on President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration to find and bring back the kidnapped girls. Speaking at a press conference in Lagos yesterday, the APC Women Leader, Mrs. Kemi Nelson, described as saddening the slow response of the government to the kidnapping in the first few days of the capture and the ambivalence of the current leadership in arresting the situation.

FG promises funding of Armed Forces The Federal Government has said it will focus more on the issue of funding the military in other to ensure that proper fund necessary to move the Armed Forces to clamp down security challenges within the country are lured to the security agencies. The Director Navy at the Ministry of Defence, Mr. Akanni Ola told Defence Correspondents that problems of attracting funds for the military to deal with the problems of security had always lingered in various government quarters.

APC upholds Ogun Congresses


he newly elected State Executive Council members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Ogun State, will be inaugurated on May 6. Also yesterday, the party announced that it has fixed Monday, Wednesday and Friday next week for a fresh congress in Anambra State. This is sequel to the certification of the recently conducted State and Local Government Congresses by the headquarters of the party. “I am pleased to announce to you that the national body of our great party has upheld totally the results of our State and Local congresses conducted in the past few weeks and has also certified us to have met all the guidelines and procedures of the congress. They have said they will send officials from Abuja to do the inauguration on Tuesday, Governor Ibikunle Amosun told newsmen in Abeokuta yesterday. Meanwhile, Secretary of

the panel, Dr. Ahmed Aminu, disclosed that the National Working Committee (NWC) of APC in order to ensure justice and fairness in the party reconstituted Anambra Congress Committee to meet with stakeholders of the party calling for a fresh congress in ward, council and the state. Following the controversy that trailed the party’s ward, local government and state congress last month, APC according to a statement signed by the party’s Interim National Secretary, Tijjani Musa Tumsah, re-constituted a nine-man committee to review the Anambra State Congress. After our investigation, the secretary of the newly re-constituted committee, it was observed that some people who went to bank to buy forms for the congress were given the opportunity to participate in the congress which was undemocratic.

Benue to begin biometric registration of workers next week Cephas Iorhemen Makurdi


overnor Gabriel Suswam of Benue state has disclosed his administration’s readiness to commence biometric registration of the workforce in the state next week. The governor, who disclosed this yesterday, during an interaction with journalists, said the gesture had become imperative because of the need to fish out ghost workers to ascertain the exact number of authentic staff on the payroll of government. He lamented that the over bloated workforce in the state was fast crippling the civil service, said most people have been fraudulently made to appear on the list of workers. Suswam, who spoke

through his Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Solomon Wombo stated that during the biometric exercise, all civil servants in the state will appear in person and produce valid documents such as employment letters and that of promotion among others to be captured to enhance payment of salaries. He stated that already, the state has screened consultants and banks to that effect, adding that details of the contract terms would be made public as soon as possible.

CHANGE OF NAME DANIYAN: I, formerly Mrs. Akpo Ekaruo Gloria Daniyan now to be known, called and addressed as MS Akpo Ekaruo Gloria Gordon. All former documents remain valid. Public note

L-R: Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin; Chief of Army Staff; Lt.-Gen Kenneth Minimah; Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar and Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, during a Security Council Meeting in Abuja …yesterday

Insurgency: God will soon expose Boko Haram sponsors –Gaidam Hassan Jirgi Damaturu


obe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, has said God would soon expose sponsors of the Boko Haram sect, which had killed thousands and abducted hundreds, including the Chibok’s schoolgirls and destroying properties in the North-East regions. This is as the organisers of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa 2014 said the event will still go ahead as planned from May 7 to 9 in Abuja, following assurances by President Goodluck Jonathan on the robustness of the security arrangements that are being put in place for the meeting. The 24th edition of the forum will witness the presence of about 1,000 leaders from politics, business and civil so-


� World Economic Forum will still hold-Organisers � Jonathan assures participants of safety ciety. However, Gaidam, who disclosed this in Damaturu, said the activities of the sect would soon coming to an end as God would get hold of the sponsors. According to him, God will not allow them to succeed again to destroy the properties of the people of North-East and Nigerian at large. He prayed Allah to bring to an end the evil acts and guide the insurgents to the right path, stating that: “I have prayed to God to expose the sponsors of Boko Haram soon or later.” Gaidam also called for the special prayers for the 234, secondary schoolgirls kidnapped by suspected to be of Boko Haram members in chibok of Borno state over three weeks

The number of fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants of CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) of 2008. (Source:

ago. He said: “We were better off before 1999 from all indicate of development, things are getting worse since the PDP government took over the affairs of this country, almost everything were becoming worse than military.” The governor, who urged Nigerians to decide their destiny in 2015, said: “You know what transpires in the country we are faced with several human misters. People are suffering in object of poverty. “With an APC government at the centre it is my view that the insecurity in the country will be over and everything will be improve upon. Nigerian will be better again.” Meanwhile, a statement is-

sued by the forum’s Associate Director, Media Relations, Oliver Cann, said: “The 24th WEF comes at a crucial time for the continent. Taking place under the theme, Forging Inclusive Growth, Creating Jobs, it will bring together over 1,000 leaders from across politics, business and civil society, including Premier Li Keqiang of China and 11 African heads of state and government, as well as President Goodluck Jonathan and senior members of the Nigerian government.” The statement added that the WEF had received assurances from President Jonathan that security arrangements in Abuja will ensure a smooth and successful meeting next week.



The estimated percentage prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in girls and women (15 - 49 years) of Yemen in 1997.

The number of fixed-telephone of subscriptions per 100 inhabitants of Belgium in 2012..









DIG sensitises Oyo residents

NGO disburses N75m loan to beneficiaries

As part of its pro-active measures to contain the current ravaging insecurity challenges in the country, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) in charge of investigation, Peter Gana, yesterday, met with various stake holders in Oyo State, sensitising them on the need to be security conscious. Among the stake holders met were hoteliers, commercial drivers, chief security officers in higher institutions, school teachers, bankers and members of vigilante groups. Gana intimated them of the need to maintain a synergy among all, including security operatives, in order to nip the problem of security in the bud.


The percentage of individuals using the internet in Bangladesh in 2011. (Source:

A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Akwa Ibom State, Master’s Touch Community Company has given loans worth N75 million to boost small businesses in the state. Its Chief Executive, Mr. Aniefiok Bassey, disclosed this yesterday in Uyo, while inaugurating the Mbiabong Timber Market branch office of the organisation. “We are here to add meaning to the life of the downtrodden through provision of loan facilities for small business,” Bassey said.

IKEJA 2015: Ajomale tasks party LGA excos Lagos State chapter chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Otunba Henry Ajomale, yesterday charged the newly elected party council chairmen in the 20 local government and 37 Local Council Development Area (LCDA) in Lagos State to work passionately toward APC victory in 2015 elections. Speaking at the party’s secretariat in Ikeja during the swearing-in of the newly elected APC local government chairmen in Lagos yesterday, Ajomale said the focus of the party executives should be directed toward the development of the party, adding that more attention should be on women and youths who formed the larger percentage of electorates in the state in wooing them to APC for the party to win next general elections.


The number of newspaper journalists per 1m inhabitants in Germany in 2004. (Source:


The total area (in sq. km) of Colombia. (Source:

Ekiti guber: Bamidele suspends rallies over attacks on supporters

zz LP candidate’s claim unfounded–APC

Adesina Wahab Ado-Ekiti


he governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the coming June 21 election in Ekiti State, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele, yesterday said he has suspended further campaign as a result of incessant attacks on his supporters by All Progressives Congress (APC) thugs. Addressing journalists in Iyin-Ekiti, Bamidele said he would rather suspend further open rallies than endangering the lives of his supporters. The claim was, however, faulted by the spokesman for the Kayode Fayemi Campaign Orgnisation, Mr. Dimeji Daniels, who said the LP was the aggressor. But Bamidele, while speaking on the incident, said in the past three days, his supporters had been under siege in Iyin-Ekiti because political appointees under Governor Kayode Fayemi were doing

house-to-house attacks on his supporters. Giving an account of what led to the attacks on his supporters, Bamidele alleged that Fayemi came to campaign in Iyin-Ekiti ‘at gunpoint’. “On April 25, I was supposed to hold my rally in Isan-Ekiti, the hometown of Fayemi, in line with the arrangements all political parties made with security agencies including the police. “Few minutes before 8am, the Onisan called me that we should not come and I asked him why and he could not give any reason,” he said. Meanwhile, Daniels in his reaction, said: “On two occasions when the Labour Party through its spokesperson, Mrs Bolanle Bruce, claimed that its members were attacked, the police faulted their claims. “In like manner, Labour Party cried blue murder on Thursday, 25 April, 2014 after it had wreaked havoc on IlupejuEkiti,” he said.

Jonathan sets up c’ttee on 276 abducted female students Anule Emmanuel

P L-R: Senator Ifeanyi Okowa; Senate President, Senator David Mark and Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, on arrival at the Asaba International Airport for the funeral service of Obi-Bridget Okpuno, mother of the Chairman of ULO Construction, Chief Uche Okpuno, in Asaba…yesterday

Canada: Abduction of schoolgirls appalling

Andrew Iro Okungbowa


anada yesterday described as appalling, the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok, Borno by gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members. This came as a group based in Canada, African Women Acting (AWA), said it had concluded plans to protest on the street of Canada tomorrow. A statement by Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and issued by the Canadian High Commission in Abuja, said Canada pledged to continue to closely monitor the situation and work with Nigeria to combat terrorism. “Canada condemns in the

Leo Sobechi


ational Chairman of United Progressives Party, (UPP) Chief Chekwas Okorie, has hinted at the possibility of a working relationship between his party and the All Progressives Grand Alliance, (APGA) stressing that very soon the sequence of events will commence to actualise the union.

l Nigerian women in Canada to protest strongest terms the kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls, along with other terrorist acts committed against unarmed civilians, by Boko Haram. These acts are absolutely repugnant and will never be tolerated. “We are concerned about the safety and wellbeing of these girls, including recent reports that suggest they may be forced into marriage by Boko Haram,” the statement said. The statement said Canada had made it a priority to promote the human rights of women and girls worldwide. According to it, Canada has been working with the international community to end

the practice of child, early and forced marriage. “We will continue to closely monitor the situation and work with Nigeria to combat terrorism and secure the welfare of its children and youths,” it said. The statement said Canada had on December 30, 2013, listed Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation. According to it, Canada’s Criminal Code criminalises membership in, and the transfer of money to support Boko Haram. However, a statement by the Executive and Artistic Director of the group, Nigerian Sonia Aimiuwu and the General Manager, Linda Nourse, said all Nigerian

women living in the country have been urged to show support for the abducted schoolgirls. We kindly invite all women to join Nigerian women to make this demand. Please come with your head wrapped, bring along a billboard paper and a marker,’’ said AWA, a cultural and artistic group, in the statement. The venue of the public protest is Dundas Square by 3pm and it is part of effort by Nigerian women to put pressure on the federal government to intensify its action at getting the remaining abducted schoolgirls rescued from their abductors who are believed to by the insurgent group, Boko Haram, fighting in the North East.

resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday set up a special fact finding committee comprising of security agencies and international organisations to assist in the possible rescue of 276 abducted female students in Chibok area of Borno State. The decision was reached after a high powere security between the President and service chiefs at the presidential villa over recent bomb blast particularly in Nyanya. Briefing State House Correspondents after the meeting, Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, said the setting up of the committee was in view of the inconsistent and contradictory information available to government on the Chibok abduction. Suspected terrorists had abducted 276 girls of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, on April 15, this year. Maku who was joined by spokes persons of the security agencies said yesterday’s meeting received updates on the second Nyanya bombing, the ongoing search for the Chibok girls, and efforts made so far to deal with related incidents of insecurity and terrorism in the country. According to the information minister, the security chiefs also briefed President

2015: Okorie hints of possible UPP, APGA alliance In a statement made available to New Telegraph on Saturday, the UPP founder recalled that APGA led by Chief Maxi Okwu took the bold initiative to mend fences with him as the founder of APGA stressing that he was moved by the fact that Okwu has continued the fence mending by

reaching out to notable foundation members of APGA. Part of the statement reads: “I wish to bring to the knowledge of the general public that very soon sequence of events will commence to actualise the coming together of United Progressive Party, (UPP) and

the All Progressives Grand Alliance, (APGA) for the mutual benefit of the two political parties and their members all over the country. “It will be recalled that the leadership of APGA under Maxi Okwu as National Chairman took the bold initiative to mend

fences with me as the founder of APGA and this was at a time I had founded another political party, the United Progressive Party (UPP). I must commend Maxi Okwu who has continued his fence mending initiative by reaching out to notable foundation members and leaders of

Jonathan and the meeting on efforts so far made to locate and rescue the girls, and bring the perpetrators to justice. President Jonathan he said gave instructions for additional proactive measures by security agencies to enhance public safety, including increased public awareness for citizens to step up their cooperation with security agencies by reporting suspected activities and persons likely to cause a breach of public peace, safety and security. The meeting which commenced at about 11:30am went for a break and later resumed with extensive and intensive aerial surveillance by the Air Force efforts analysed. Maku told journalists that the Air force has been carried out in all the routes leading into and out of Chibok up to the Chad and Cameroun borders intensive aerial surveillance. “Other parts of Borno and Adamawa states are also under the searchlight.” He added. “Every information relayed to security agencies has so far been investigated, including the search of all places suspected as a possible hide-away of the kidnapped girls. The police, backed up by the military and DSS, have combed and are still combing all reported places that the girls might have been taken to.” APGA such as Dr. L. A. Chukwuma, Chief Ralph Okey Nwosu and others”. Okorie added that wellmeaning Nigerians from all walks of life including leaders of rival political parties have variously expressed their excitement at the possibility of a synergy between UPP and APGA before the 2015 general election and beyond.

Nigeria must cut reliance on oil income – Okonjo-Iweala zz Closed banks’ debtors will not access new facilities –NDIC Ndubuisi Ugah with agency reports


oordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said Nigeria needs to diversify its income beyond oil exports by finding ways to generate more taxes from other industries. Similarly, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), yesterday said debtors of closed banks with nonperforming loans worth N250 million were barred from access to new loan facilities. Fielding questions from journalists in Abuja, Okonjo-Iweala said: “We need to ramp up our efforts to tax the non-oil sectors of the economy to create more revenue for the government.” “Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude producer and its largest economy, relies on oil sales for about 70 per cent of its income, a figure that should fall to 60 per cent and eventually to 33 per cent, she said. Producers including Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and Eni SpA (ENI), among others, operate in the country. Nigeria, a country of about 170 million people, is a member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The government is targeting N7.2 trillion ($45 billion) in income from oil and gas this year. Meanwhile, Managing Director of NDIC, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, said this while opening a three-day 2014 Bank Examiners’ Conference on Friday in Lagos. The conference has as theme, ``Sustaining a Safe and Sound Financial System through Effective Banking Su-

pervision’’. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in September 2012 published the names of 113 companies. The CBN also published the names of a total of 419 directors and shareholders over non-performing loans from commercial banks. Ibrahim said the CBN gave the directive and that banks had been notified of the development. He said that already the commercial banks were aware of the sanction as they had been notified. Ibrahim, however, said that the corporation relied on the bank examiners to ensure compliance with the new directive. The managing director said that the names of the debtors would be populated through the CBN’s Credit Risk Management System and approved private sector credit bureaus. He noted that the on-site and off-site examiners were confronted with the challenge of delivering on the corporation’s mandate of bank supervision using best practices. Ibrahim said that radical reforms had taken place in the banking industry since the last examiners’ conference in 2011. The NDIC head also said that one of such reforms was the implementation of the riskbased supervision which led to significant improvement in risk management practices by banks. Ibrahim said the objective of the conference was to update the examiners’ knowledge and skills on contemporary supervision tools to deliver its bank supervision mandate effectively.

Hijab: Groups demand reinstatement of sacked nurses zz Decries discrimination, calls for justice

Muritala Ayinla


group, Muslim Associations in Nigeria yesterday decried the unjust sack of three nurses by the management of National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi and the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), for using shoulder length hijab, describing the development as invitation to anarchy. The groups also demanded the immediate reinstatement of the sacked nurses, calling on the government at all levels to allow the dictates of the constitution to prevail regarding the right to use of hijab by Muslim women and girls in public places. They also said the sacking of the nurses and maltreatment of women in Hijab was one of the reasons why the dreaded Boko Haram sect dubbed western education as evil, saying continued discrimination against women who choose to put on



hijab would lead to serious crisis in the South-West states, if not urgently addressed by the government. The groups which consist of Islamic Medical Association, IMAN; the Federation of Muslim Women Association in Nigeria FOMWAN; Muslim Public Affairs Centre, MPAC; Movement for Islamic Culture and Awareness (MICA) and Muslim Right Concern (MURIC), said the three nurses were sacked by the management of the hospitals because some individuals in the hospitals were not happy with their use of hijabs. Briefing journalists at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, the Chairman of Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria, Dr Ganiyu Olabinjo, said the group would no longer condone injustice constantly meted on those who use hijab despite the fact that the constitution allows its usage.

KADUNA Commission receives 1,353 complaints


The Public Complaints Commission (PCC) yesterday said it has received 1,353 complaints in Kaduna State in 2013. In a statement issued to journalists in Kaduna, said the commission had resolved 341 out of the cases it received during the period under review. It said the remaining 1012 complaints were being investigated. The report said most of the complaints received had to do with breach of contract, wrongful dismissal, non-payment of salaries, land related matters and non payment of severance benefits, among others.


The total number of fixedtelephone subscriptions in Bangladesh in 2011. Source:

ILORIN Kwara begins channelisation of Atikeke River

Kwara State Government yesterday began mass demolition of buildings vulnerable to flooding in Ilorin metropolis. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the action was part of government’s plan to clear the water ways and avert perennial flooding. Some areas to be affected in the first phase of the demolition exercise will include some buildings in Omosebi, Gaa-Akanbi, Pipeline and Royal Shekinah Hotels areas.


The internally generated revenue of Plateau State in 2012. Source: National Bureau of Statistics


IKEJA Security guard steals N2m jewellery

FA security guard, Uduak Koffi, was on Friday charged before an Ebute Meta Chief Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, for allegedly stealing his employer’s jewellery valued at N2 million. Koffi, who lives with his employer at 29, Adetoro Ipaye Street, Graceland Estate, Ajah, is facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing. According to the prosecutor, Inspector George Nwosu, the accused committed the offences on March 28 at his employer’s residence. He said the stole jewellery valued at N2 million from the complainant, Mrs Zuliat Unubun.


The percentage of male internet users of Palestinian Authority in 2011. Source:

Anenih’s kinsmen battle Oshiomhole over alleged marginalisation Cajetan Mmuta BENIN


he Esan Elders Forum (EEF), a socio-cultural and political body, yesterday criticised the Edo state Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, for what they tagged as the continued plot by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration to shut the area completely out of the scheme of things in the state. Members of the group who are mainly kinsmen of chairman Board of Trustee (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih, also condemned in very strong terms among other issues, the appointment of Mr. Igbaekemen Jerry Obazele as the head of service of the state, and the appointment of Professor Agbebaku as the substantive Vice-Chancellor of the state owned Ambrose Alli University (AAU).

l Govt: They are protagonists of clan politics They described the appointments as “Greek gift and good riddance to bad rubbish”. But the Special Adviser on Media to the governor, Kassim Afegbua, described the allegations as false. The body in a statement signed by its National Chairman, Julius Akpede, the Adhoc Committee Chairman, Mr G. O. Uwangue and the Director of Publicity, Mr. Lawrence Odiase, respectively alleged that the present Head of Service (HoS) of the state, Mr. Jerry Obazele, was appointed just few months to his retirement to create the impression that the area was being carried along in the scheme of things. They also noted that the law establishing two new universities particularly the University of Science and Technology, Uzairue, “gives the governor enormous powers to appro-

priate and reprobate, convert and acquire the new university as his privately owned institution.” According to them, the law stipulates that the university will “be funded solely and structured by the Edo State Government before accepting offers from private sector investors.” The forum said the provisions of the law were grand ploy by the governor to acquire the institution after he leaves office. The EEF further observed that the existing tertiary institutions in the state were being under funded. Meanwhile, Afegbua said: “The governor has never marginalised anybody or section in the state. This is a situation where people will be reading clanish sentiments into government plans to move the state

forward. The govenor does not take any decision without consultation.” Afegbua pointed out that AAU, Ekpoma, has its own council that is headed by a Professor and the body advises the governor otherwise, if his decision on the VC was wrong. He added also that traditional rulers drawn from Esan speaking area of the state were present on the day the current HoS was sworn in. Afegbua urged the people to assist the government of the day, saying, “They have the capacity to help government because all over the world, people support government’s funding of education.” He said: “They should act like Pastor Chris Oyakhilome did for the school recently when he donated a 1, 000 capacity amphitheatre for the school.”

A cross-section of the newly elected All Progressives Congress (APC) Local Government Area Chairmen, during their swearing-in at the party’s secretariat in Ikeja, Lagos…yesterday. PHOTO: TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE




KADUNA College trains 103 counter insurgency operatives N EWS I N BRIEF

Over 100 counter insurgency operators from Nigeria and nine other African countries have concluded a four-week intensive training on internal security. The training, which was held at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State, drew participants from 11 agencies and organisations, as well as Senior Course 36 of the college. Other participants were from South Africa, Togo, Cameroun, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Benin Republic, Liberia, Sierra Leon and Ghana.


The total population of the city of Singapore, in 2010. Source:



FG cannot supervise states, LGs -Oshiomhole

BATNF pledges sustainable social investment

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State says the Federal Government cannot supervise states or local governments as the constitution prescribes a federal and not unitary system of government. Oshiomhole spoke yesterday when he granted audience to Hon Ifaluyi Isibor, the Federal Commissioner representing Edo State in the Federal Character Commission (FCC). “Some private companies pay as much as N500, 000 tax monthly to government. This is quite unacceptable now that government is preaching transformation,” he said.

The British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATNF) has reiterated its commitment to growth and sustainability of its Corporate Social investment, through partnership with relevant stakeholders. This commitment was made by the General Manager of the foundation, Ms Abimbola Okoya, during the BusinessDay Giving Back Conference, with the theme “Transforming Nigeria’s Education System: The Role of Corporate Investing” held at the Civic Centre in Lagos.

$240.8bn 190,000 The nominal GDP of Colombia (IMF) in 2009. Source:

The number of adults and children estimated to be living with HIV in Angola in 2008. Source:

Anambra guber: Obiano denies involvement in multiple registration Uwakwe Abugu Awka


overnor Willie Obiano of Anambra State yesterday appeared before the Anambra Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, where he insisted that he was never involved in any form of multiple registration in the voter’s registration as canvassed at the court by his opponents. Also, Obiano insisted that he never worked in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in any capacity nor had anything to do with the making of voter’s registration. This clarifications came as the counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Chief Ademoyega Awomolo (SAN), confirmed that Obiano had just one voter card. Obiano, who spent quite

l Gov has just one voter card –INEC

some time in the witness box told the three-man panel headed by Justice Ishaq Bello, that when he was seeking to vie for the seat of governor of the state, he had on August 19, 2013, applied to the INEC for the transfer of his voter’s register to the state. He explained that following the successful processing of the application he filed, he was subsequently issued a voter’s card in Anambra State on September 3, 2013 when he visited the office of the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in line with the two-week time given him within which the card would be ready. Candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the last November governorship election in the state, Dr. Chris Ngige, his Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) coun-

terpart, Tony Nwoye as well as Obiano’s rival within his All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Dr. Chike Obidigbo, had all argued at the tribunal that the governor was involved in multiple registration as a voter before the election he eventually won. In addition to this claim, Obidigbo has also prayed the tribunal to declare him winner of the election on the basis that he was the rightful candidate of APGA and not Obiano since his nomination as candidate was authenticated by Chief Maxi Okwu whom the court has declared as national chairman of APGA. Testifying yesterday under cross-examination by Oba Maduabuchi, counsel to Obidigbo, the governor who is first respondent in the petition filed by the challenger, told the court

that when approached INCE office in Lagos for transfer of his registration to Anambra, an official of the electoral body, who said is “one Mr. Nsofor told me to write an application and attach my Lagos voter’s card. “I did that the same day and when I submitted the application he told me to return on August 21 when he told me to fill a form and I also did my biometric capturing after which he told me to pick my voter’s card in Awka in two weeks time, then based on the date he gave me, on September 3, 2013, I went to the office of the Resident Electoral Commissioner in my state to pick up the new card. “So, at no point in time did I have any double voter’s card as is being alleged. The valid one I used all through the period of that election is the one I brought here today”, the governor also stated.

Former ANPP guber candidate, others defect to PDP in Edo Cajetan Mmuta Benin


he crack in the wall of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may have started caving in as one of its core stakeholders and former candidate of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party during the April 2012 governorship election in Edo state, Chief Solomon Iyobosa Edbiri, yesterday defected to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state. Edebiri left APC with thousands of the party leaders and members drawn from the 18 council areas in the three senatorial districts who thronged the PDP secretariat located on the busy Sapele road in Benin C the state capital. The well attended reception ceremony in honour of the new members also heralded a mammoth crowd of leaders and members as well as support groups of the opposition PDP. There were hordes of armed mobile and regular policemen including officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NCSDC), who sweated for hours to control the traffic gridlock along the route to team-

ing crowd of party faithful. With the defection, the membership of the ruling APC in the state has been depleted, following the contentious outcome of the recent of ward and local government congresses held in the state. In his speech, Edebiri called on President Goodluck Jonathan to declare his desire to contest the 2015 Presidential election in order to continue to give citizens of the country a sense of true belonging through the administration’s developmental strides. He said he decided to join the PDP after a craeful reflection on his political values and belief against the background of the way APC was carrying on its in the state and the realisation that the ruling party “was built on deceit and it will only destroy our hopes and aspirations instead of helping it.” While describing the PDP as a party of democrats with a lot of experience leaders determined to give Edo people a better life in the near future, he said it was difficult for him and his teaming supporters to continue to stay in a place (APC) where what was said is different from what was done.

Ex-Delta Military Administrator, Dungs, dies at 64 ormer military governor of last week. FDungs Delta State, Col. John David Jok, the District Head of Ri(rtd.), is dead. yom, in Plateau, had not been The deceased’s younger brother, Mr. Sunday Dungs, said yesterday in Jos, Plateau State, in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that “Col. Dungs is late. That is the only thing I can tell you for now.” “The younger Dungs hung up thereafter, but family sources indicated that the retired army officer slumped in his Rayfield, Jos, residence,” he said. The sources added that he died on the way to the hospital. NAN reports that Dungs death had been particularly devastating for the family, who lost the father, Chief Dung Jok,

buried as the son, David, died on Friday. “The death is particularly shocking because Col. Dungs’ father is still in the mortuary, waiting to be buried,” Mr. Dan Manjang, former Special Adviser (Media) to Governor Jonah Jang, told NAN. NAN also reports that Dungs’ demise is also devastating for the Berom ethnic group, after the sudden death of former Senate President, John Wash Pam, on May 1. Pam, 73, who was Deputy Senate President between 1979 and 1983, died at the National Hospital, Abuja.

FIRS collects N1.05trn in three months Federal Inland Revenue profit tax contributed 60.4 per TedheService (FIRS) has collect- cent of the revenue while 39.6 N1.05trillion revenue in the per cent came from non-oil

L-R: Officiating Minister, Goodnews Miracle Bible Church, Arcbishop George Amu; General Primate, Cherubim and Seraphim (Unification), Arogundade Adepoju and Deputy Primate, Adeoye Hunnu, during the funeral service of Primate Sunday Adediwura Solomon, on the church premises in Lagos…yesterday PHOTO:GODWIN IREKHE

first quarter of 2014. It said in its quarterly revenue report that the amount exceeded its target for the period by N50.9 billion or 5.06 per cent. According to the report, the revenue was generated from petroleum profit tax, non-oil taxes, including income tax, gas income, capital gain tax, stamp duty and Value Added Tax (VAT). It showed that N638.1 billion was collected from petroleum profit tax as against the target of N447.4 billion while N418.3 billion was collected from non-oil taxes as against its N558 billion target during the period. It indicated that petroleum

taxes. A breakdown of the total collection showed that company income tax contributed N174.3 billion, N2.4 billion from gas income, N783.8 million from capital gain tax and N2.8 billion from stamp duty. The VAT, comprising Nigeria Customs Service Import VAT and Non-import VAT contributed N212.4 billion or 20.1 per cent of the total nonoil taxes collection during the period. Other non-oil taxes collected were Education Tax, N12.6 billion; N12.9 billion from Consolidated Account and N144 million from National Information Technology Development Fund (NITDEF) levy.



We celebrate your life of commitment and loyalty to friendship. We celebrate your life of service to the nation. We celebrate your life of contribution to democracy and service to humanity . As you add another year today, this is wishing you continuous good health, long life and God’s abundant blessings in all your endeavours. Signed: Dr Orji Uzor Kalu Founder/Chairman, Slok Group On behalf of Committee of Friends

What would you do if you discover that your child is a cult member? p.12



3 MAY 2014


Terrorism: Union beefs up security at Lagos parks Following attacks carried out by members of the Boko Haram sect in Abuja, officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in collaboration with security agents have taken step secure some major parks in Lagos. TAIWO JIMOH and CAMELUS NNAJI, who visited some of the parks report. One of the bomb detector at Biode motor park


n April 14, Nigerians woke up to hear another news of a dreaded attack by a terrorist group, Boko Haram, in Abuja, which left about 100 dead and over 100 injured. The sad event, described as one of the deadliest by the sect happened around 6:45am at Nyanya Park where civil servants and other residents board buses. A car laden with Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), was detonated by one of the men who drove it to the park, killing scores of people and injuring many more. About a hundred were injured. 17 luxury buses belonging to the federal Capital Territory [FCT], Transport Unit 26 were damaged while some privately-owned vehicles were also burnt. On Thursday, another bomb went off directly opposite Nyanya Park killing nine people and injuring 15. Like the Nyanya incident, it was learnt that a car laden with IED was detonated by a man suspected to be a member of the Boko Haram. Immediately after the April 14 bombing, the Lagos State branch of the National Union of Road Transport Workers called for security meeting on how to strategise and avert possible attack in Lagos. A visit to some major motor parks in Lagos metropolis by our correspondents shows that the union has taken some steps to forestall possible attack by the sect or any other group with ulterior motive. At the Popular Biode Motor Park in Ojota, one of the features noticed in the park is that vehicles coming in to drop passengers or pick them were subjected to check by some selected trained members of the union in the park. One of the men in the park who does not want his name in print because he was not authorised to talk to the press, said, “Since the issue of Boko Haram started the majority of motor parks in Lagos are not serious about the security. They only rely on the local vigilantes who were always in mufti on the park.” “When the blast of the Abuja Motor Park happened, it was then the leader-

Central survelliance camera mounted at Deeper Life Garage Gbagada by the Government

ship of the state union call for security meeting. What you are seeing us doing here is the outcome of the security meeting. The sources added, “Our park being an inter-state park could be attacked. We don’t want to take any security chances. This is why we are using bomb detectors to freak vehicles coming into the park. Any of our vehicles that just returned from journey are well scrutinised before they are allowed to park in the garage. This is to avoid break down of law and order. At the Owen Motor Park closed to Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park in Ojota, some trained bomb detectors were also seen freaking vehicles entering the premises. One of the leaders at the park, Alhaji Muhammed Jamiu, however, said prior to the Abuja bomb blast, the union had appointed some of its members to be freaking vehicles entering the park and those leaving the premises. “We had recorded some feat in the past. There was a time we arrested some people who boarded a bus and pretended to be passengers. Whereas they were robbers who had the intention of robbing passengers on the highway,” Jamiu added. He, however, said the recent bomb

blast at the Abuja motor park promoted the NURTW to summon a security meeting, with some officers of the Department of State Security in attendant. “The DSS taught some selected members of the union on how to use the bomb detector in the park. They also promised to be visiting our parks on regular basis and also update us on new security development,” he added. NT Street Diary learnt that DSS gave bomb detectors to officials of inter-state motor parks in the metropolis. Jamiu noted that with the introduction of bomb detector, “they have made our job easy and we make sure that we search all vehicles entering our park.” He, however, urged all travellers who board vehicles at the park to cooperate with the union, saying the step was to ensure that security was guaranteed in the park. At Deeper Life Taxi Park in Gbagada area of lagos, Assistant Secretary of Taxi Cabs and Car Operators Association, Mr. Akiniyi Ilesomi, said the group had also put some measures in place to wade off any attack. He said “God is first and foremost our security. If you want to secure yourself, God must come first. However, in our garage, we make sure police patrol and surveillance is going on. We have the

Mosefejo Motor Garage Oshodi

Divisional Police Officer’s phone numbers. We also check and monitor the type of passengers we have. We check their luggage and try to identify whether there could anything harmful to the public. If we suspect someone, he or she will be delayed until we are certain he has no weapon of destruction with him.” Asked whether they have any equipment or bomb detector to screen passengers boarding their vehicles, Ilesomi said, “Right now we don’t have any handy screening machine with us. But we have the one government mounted in this park, which is capable of surveying the entire garage. Help us to tell the government that we need bomb detectors to enable us to check passengers and their luggage.” At Bariga new garage which occupies a wide expanse of land and usually patronised by many passengers especially during the rush hour, one of the officials, Mr. Akibu Olufowobi, the NURTW has advised its members throughout the state to be security conscious. Olufowobi said, “They have told us from the state council of the National Union of Road Transport Workers Association of Nigeria at Abule Egba that we should be security conscious. As a result of this, we have constituted a

security monitoring team, which constantly patrol the garage. “The team also has our mandate fish out bad boys and miscreants who use the garage as hideouts to plan crime. We also check passengers’ luggage. We have a bomb detector to assist us screen our passengers. If we find any object that could breach peace on any passenger, such person will be handed over to the police.” He added that a joint patrol team of police and soldiers were also in constant surveillance of the garage to ensure that things were in order. At Oshodi garage motor park, Mosefejo division , a man who wished to be identified as Baba Sunday, said no longer had security challenges at the park after some hoodlums had been evacuated. But at Ikawo Olaso Ojuolo Park in Oshodi, Mr. Oluwole Smith, a member of NURTW, said, “We cannot take security issues lightly here. What we did was to set up a patrol team on our own. We check all luggages. We also enlighten our drivers and passengers on security tips and on how to be security conscious. We also liaise with our state council at Abule Egba on any challenges we have like provision of bomb detectors in this garage.”



Lagos needs N25bn to remove shipwrecks – Commissioner

Muritala Ayinla


he Lagos State Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Prince Adesegun Oniru, yesterday said that about N25billion will be required by the state government to completely remove abandoned shipwrecks along the state coastline and waterways. The commissioner, who also blamed boat mishaps recorded recently in the state on abandoned vessels on the state coastline, noted that there were about 200 shipwrecks and abandoned vessels currently lying on the state’s coastline including lagoons. He said this at the ongoing ministerial press briefing to herald the seventh anniversary in office of the Governor Babatunde Fashola administration. Oniru stressed that the vessels were responsible for some of the environmental issue, saying that such wrecks, posed a danger to navigation on the waterways as well as the health of residents due to the toxic substance arising from the decay of the wreckage. He noted that aside its environmental degradation, there were also security concerns as these wrecks could provide miscreants with hideouts for their activities. He said: “There are also security concerns as these wrecks can provide miscreants with hideouts for their activities. Removal of ship-

…blames boat mishaps on shipwrecks, logs

Shipwreck in Lagos. Inset: Fashola

wrecks and abandoned vessels is not a small task and it will cost nothing less than N25billion to effectively remove the wrecks from the state’s coastline.” Lamented that efforts to get the federal government to aid the protection of the coastlines had yielded little result. He however, said it was

Police arraign driver for snatching handbag


he police on Friday arraigned a 25-year-old driver, Samuel Uche, in an Abuja Senior Magistrates’ Court, Life Camp, for allegedly snatching handbag belonging to a woman, Mrs. Fatimah Thani. Uche, of no fixed address, was arraigned on one-count of theft, the News Agency of Nigeria reports. The prosecutor, Cpl Simon Emmanuel, said the accused attacked Thani and snatched her handbag on April 25 while she was returning from work in company with her daughter. He said that the accused ran into a nearby bush where he was later apprehended and brought to the Life Camp Police Station on the same day. The accused pleaded guilty to the charge when asked by Senior Magistrate Abdullateef Abolaji

to respond to the allegation brought against him. Abolaji, however, refused the prosecutor’s application for a summary trial of the accused. He said that theft was a serious offence and asked the prosecutor to bring witnesses to prove his case against the accused. Abolaji, however, admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N20, 000 with two sureties in like sum whom he ordered must be resident within the court’s jurisdiction. He also ordered that the sureties must have verifiable home and work addresses and also deposit their driver’s licences and national identity cards with the court’s registry. Abolaji adjourned the case until May 12 for hearing.

not the responsibility of the state government to cough up the required money. The commissioner therefore said that government was currently working on a law aimed at prosecuting owners of abandoned vessel on its coastline. “Our ministry is working with the


Ministry of Justice to put a law in place. You cannot anchor a vessel out in the Atlantic and whenever there is a strong wind or surge and the anchor snaps and then it’s at the mercy of the Atlantic, then they leave it there and disappear, when the legislation is put together, it will be a thing of the past.


“Once the law is ready, it will be brought to the executive and once it is passed, the bill will be passed to the House of Assembly to look at it and pass into law,” he noted. On the boat mishap incidences, the Managing Director of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Yinka Marinho, said aside shipwrecks, abandoned wood logs could also trigger boat mishaps Marinho noted that the boat incident at Majidun was as a result of the boat hitting a log being pulled from Ondo State via Epe into Ebute Metta sawmill. “The logs are very huge and they can’t be carried physically. Sometimes the logs lose while being pulled and when this happens, they float along the waterways to whichever way the current carries them, when the boats are coming, it is not very visible to see those longs. On that unfortunate day, the boat hit the log, that size of log could affect any size of boat.” The LASWA boss said his agency was currently dredging ferry channels as well as working on legislation to tighten the waterways especially channels dredged for ferry services and commercial activities. Marinho said:“ We just concluded the Ebute-Ero channel now; we have navigational boys as we dredge now. We have something like BRT lanes along the waterways, and those lanes, we will have laws to restrict anybody or local fishermen, loggers who could obstruct the movement of those boats that are supposed to do ferry services.”

Security guard charged with theft of building materials


security guard, Michael Akpan, who allegedly stole 24 bags of cement and some electrical items at a construction site, was on Friday in Lagos charged before an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court. Akpan, 25, whose address is unknown, is facing a charge of stealing. He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. But the prosecutor, Sgt. Ingobo Emby, told the court that the accused committed the offence at 3am sometime in April at Itedo area of Lekki, Lagos. He said the accused stole 24 bags of cement and electrical components worth N124, 000 from a construction site at Itedo, Lekki, property of Mr. Olabode Adebayode, an engineer. The accused was caught at the construction site by another security guard

in the area, Emby said. He said the offence contravened Section 285 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 285 prescribes a

three-year jail term for offenders. The Magistrate, Mrs. I. Omotosho, granted the accused bail in the sum of N20, 000 with a surety in like sum and adjourned the case to May 19 for mention.

Tipper driver trapped in collapsed building in Ibadan Sola Adeyemo Ibadan


tipper driver was on Friday trapped in Ibadan when a twostorey building under construction collapsed at Ologuneru in Ido Local Government Area of Oyo State. The building situated along EleyeleIdo Road, behind Geoniks Petrol Station,

collapsed around 3.00 pm, few minutes after the Friday Prayers. New Telegraph gathered that about 10 construction workers working at the site when the building collapsed escaped unhurt, and another worker was rescued. The driver was at the site to drop a load of granite when he decided to relax at the ground floor of the building. Suddenly, one of the site workers said there was a big and loud sound

and before they knew it, the building had collapsed, while concretizing the second floor of the building. Officials of the state fire service, emergency management agency and Nigeria Security, Civil Defence Corpse and sympathisers were seen making frantic effort to rescue the tipper driver, same with an emergency bus of the state government was seen rushing to the scene of the incident.



Street Diary


What would you do if you discover that your child is a cult member? Counsel, pray and allow the law to take its course

Resort to prayer

The deed is done already and getting mad with him or her will not solve the problem. I go to God in prayer to change his or her heart.

(Adebisi Orekoya, unemployed graduate)

I will feel really bad

God forbid, I don’t really know what to say. For sure, I will feel very bad after all the years and effort I put to train him or her. This is the reason I do not what to but it is really a bad thing.

(Lara Afolabi, an undergraduate) I will disown the child

I will disown him immediately. I don’t even have the time to look at what could have happened. He stops being my child from that day I found out. After all the struggle I went through to make my children have better lives, one of them will now say nothing interests him than being a cult member.

(Dotun Philips, a student in South Africa)

I will help him out

It depends on the situation of things. I will be shocked for sure, but more importantly I will look at where I have failed. He’s my child; I will look for how to help him out but what I will not do is to reprimand him.

(Douglas Kukoyi, undergraduate)

We would sit down as parents to appraise our own role in bringing up the child. What is the level of our responsibility? We make further enquiry about his school, friends and the cult. Every fact that is to be gathered would inform our decision. We shall employ counselling mechanism and put him/her through the word of God and prayer. We issue press release condemning cultism and allow the law to take its course.

Talk with him, seek God’s guidance

I shall speak to the child first and ask why he joined in the first instance. I won’t scold him or else he will run from home and become more hardened. As soon as he or she gives me reasons for joining, I will know how to get him out of it because it is not easy to renounce. God will guide me through.

(Abiola Adenekan, Circulation Officer, The Nation Newspaper)

(Mr. Lekan Oladapo, legal practitioner)

I will appeal to him, pray

I will handle it with careful

This is a very serious issue; one has to be very careful in handling such situation. This is because any minor mistake can be of great consequences. The best thing to do is to pray for such child and advice him or her. It is not easy though but one has to be very prayerful and careful.

(Akinremi Toyosi, teacher)

I will be disturbed and agitated to find out my child is a cult member but I won’t be hostile and aggressive about it because such may make him run farther away from me. Instead I shall deploy the two approaches of appeal and prayers. By citing examples of those that have been destroyed by cultism and those who have made it without being involved in cultism, and I shall be prayerful because God is above everything.

(Mrs. Yemisi Adeniran, journalist)

I will pray for the child

I will talk with the child I am a mother; I tell you this can’t be easy at all. I advise all mothers not to lose their cool or temper because if this happens one might not be able to handle the situation at all well. I will have to call the child and talk sense into him or her; I will talk on the consequences and disadvantages of being a cult member. (Ayeni Bose, accountant)

For one’s child to be a cult member, the parents should be faulted. The parents have failed in their parental responsibilities. If I am to be in that position, the only thing I can do is pray for that child because I tell you it is very hard to get out from such group. Cult is an evil thing, that child bears the characteristics of the devil. So, the only thing one can do is to pray and leave the child to God.

(Goodluck Ewoh, pharmacist)

Farmer, 36, arraigned over attempted arson

I will pray, counsel him

I will go to God in prayer; God can change his heart. I will also talk to him to find out what may have triggered the desire to join a cult. It may even be psychological or peer pressure. I won’t stop praying until things get better.

(Olaolu Adekanmbi, a lawyer)

compiled by

Mojeed Alabi, Olushola Ricketts AND Victoria Ewoh


36-year-old farmer, Omotayo Ibraheem, who allegedly attempted to burn down a building and breached public peace, was on Friday brought before a Tinubu Magistrates’ Court in Lagos. The accused, of No. 17, Cole Street, Elegbata, Lagos Island, is facing trial on a two-count bordering on an attempt to commit arson and manner likely to breach public peace. The prosecutor, Sgt. Daniel Ighodalo, said that the offences were committed on April 29, at 2am, at his residence. Ighodalo said the accused had always threatened to burn down the building, kill the occupants and had broken down the door leading to the house twice.

He said the accused, on April 29, locked the entrance into the building of the above-mentioned address, and threatened to burn it down. Ighodalo said the occupants had to invite members of the vigilance group in the neighbourhood to plead with the accused to open the entrance gate, and later invited the police. The prosecutor said the offences contravened sections 166(d) and 340 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. Ibraheem, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge, the News Agency of Nigeria reports. The Magistrate, Mrs Olaitan Ajayi, granted the accused bail in the sum of N100, 000 with two sureties, in like sum.

Three technicians to spend five months in prison Zuba Upper Area Court in the FCT on Friday Aprison sentenced three technicians to five months in for stealing a Bajaj motorcyle in Abuja.

They are Chima Onu, 22; Tijjani Mojeen, 22, who are auto mechanics, and Abdulmalik Bello, 25, a panel beater, all of Yimi Village in Zuba, FCT. The Presiding Officer, Malam Aminu Sa’ad, passed the judgment after the accused persons pleaded guilty to the two-count charge of joint act and theft. Sa’ad, however, gave the convicts an option to pay a fine of N20,000 each. Earlier, the prosecutor, Momoh Ibrahim, had told the court that the matter was reported by one Shuaibu Saka at the Zuba Police Station, FCT, on April 14. Ibrahim said that on the same date, the convicts conspired and stole Saka’s Bajaj motorcycle, valued at N116, 000. He added that the motorcycle was recovered from the convicts during investigation, noting that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 79 and 287 of the Penal Code.

Showbiz ‘Yes, I’m pregnant,’ says Caroline Danjuma p.20 Travel At home with nature at Nike Lake Resort p.39




03 MAY 2014


C o n v e r s at i o n

Sholape Demola-Seriki The Perfect Script

Omosholape Safiya Demola Seriki’s story reads like a fairy tale. At 14, she was already an undergraduate of law at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria before frequent strikes called by academic and non-academic staff compelled her to complete the study in England. In her teens, she completed her master’s degree in information technology from the Middlesex University, UK. She was barely twenty when she started earning a whopping £30,000 per annum. At age 26, she was already an assistant director at the Bureau of Public Enterprise under ex-FCT minister, Mallam Nasir el Rufai. The chief executive officer of BerylNetworking, a towering IT firm and Demani Bisket Stores, an upscale spot for assorted fabrics is the wife of former minister, Demola Seriki with whom she has two kids. She speaks of her time in the public service, being a mother and career woman in this interview with LANRE ODUKOYA


It was from the Bureau of Public Enterprise under Mallam el-Rufai Nasir that I got my first job with the public sector. So, it was after Nasir left for the ministerial appointment that I transited to the ministry because a lot of the works I did with the BPE was information-related because of my information technology background. They didn’t have the site where you could visit to access information about the BPE and information was so hard to get. Nobody knew what the next department was doing. So, if you were part of the management, you didn’t know what was going on and it was an era when everyone was very interested in the privatization programme because it’s the government assets and it belongs to everyone. There was a lot of keen interest in what we were doing and it was necessary to

have something in place whereby, at just a click of a button, you could just know that these are the things happening at the ministries, power sector, agriculture, aviation and so on. So, it took us up to nine months to harness all the information. And when we got information on the BPE, we then realized that what we were doing was much larger than the bureau. Therefore, we had investors coming from abroad and their first contact was going to be online and we needed to give them as much information about all the sectors as much as possible. So, the whole picture of what these potential investors need doesn’t end with the BPE. It started with us and they had to liaise with the ministry to know what they need about a particular enterprise. So, we had to go to the ministries to know all the enterprises they had, the people in charge and the ministries’ contact persons for people to be able to get the information they wanted. That also helped the international community to understand Nigeria better. For instance, we’ve had situations where expatriates were sent to Nigeria and we had a list of schools

in Nigeria, particularly Abuja and Lagos on our website, so once you’re on our site either as an expatriate or a business person, you can take advantage of the link we already established for you. We also had domestic flight schedules, so you could plan your trip into Nigeria. Everybody became reliant on that site. We were giving more than people expected of us. People became more aware and it brought more traffic to our site. CONSOLIDATING THE LEGACY

What I did for instance at the ministry of information, every project that I did, there are terms of reference because we always had a problem whereby a contractor comes, delivers a project and once he leaves, immediately they cut the tape. The people in the ministry cannot first of all understand how to go about maintaining and updating a site, in case it’s an HR software, how to use it to the full capacity. So, what we did was to make sure that in every term of reference, the company provides a person who

“I was one of the Nigerians from Diaspora that was sponsored by the World Bank and UNDP to work for the ministry.”

comes into the ministry and stays there for almost a year or two and works hand in hand with people in the ministry guiding them. Therefore, if they have a problem, they already someone to run to who can put them through because when you go through trainings for a couple of days, if you don’t keep practicing, you will forget, but if someone is there to keep guiding you, after a while you’ll get used to it and you’re not frightened to open a system and explore it. So, it was very important to tie a contractor to the ministry which they didn’t like. SOJOURNING OUTSIDE THE BUREAU

Actually, when I left the BPE, I worked with the ministry of information as a special assistant to the minister, Chukwuemeka Chikelu, on information technology and I managed the reforms of the ministry under the World Bank and UNDP. I was one of the Nigerians from Diaspora that was sponsored by the World Bank and UNDP to work for the ministry. It was after then that I went back to England to work again as a consultant. But when I worked with Emeka Chikelu, he handed me over to Frank Nweke Jnr and I served with him for a bit as well because the work I went to do with the ministry was project-based. That was to manage the reforms, all the human resources, get rid of ghost workers, identify the good workers and at the same time train the staff within and build in-house capacity as well. That was




‘The fact that Demola Seriki is a when we set up the pilot library (information centres) because then, we had several in Nigeria that had been closed. So, under Emeka Chikelu, we started a few back where people could actually go into the library and access information, read newspapers, go online and at the same time we made sure that instead of those libraries to wait on government funding, they were able to fund themselves. People of the community actually rented space from those information centres for special occasions like weddings, board meetings, seminars and so it was able to fund itself. EARNING THE VP’S CONFIDENCE

When I worked at the BPE, the organization was under the presidency and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was one we reported to directly. We got so much support from him on all the projects we did and when we started developing the website, we said, ‘whose face should we put on the website to welcome people to the site?’ And it came to mind that we should have the vice president talk about what we do. So, I discussed that with my team and I discussed it with the director-general, Mallam el-Rufai Nasir. He assured me that he would tell the vice president. After a month, we didn’t hear anything from him but he asked me to speak with the marketing department, Joe Anichebe in particular and prepare the questions you want to ask the vice president. After one month, we were having a management retreat from Abuja; we’d spent a day, and the second day at about 7am the DG said we were going to the VP’s office now for the interview. Thank God that Joe was in the hotel, so we just quickly put our things together because

“It’s possible for you to be making money and you’re unhappy because you don’t have anything else you’re doing.”

those times still readily come to mind. But you must know how to sacrifice wisely. You have to look at the big picture and at the same time, you have to be true to yourself; are you happy? It’s possible for you to be making money and you’re unhappy because you don’t have anything else you’re doing. You may be making the money and not have a life because you’d be sure that you could actually be doing a lot more with your life. LEVERAGING PARENTS’ VAST INFLUENCE

we had the questions prepared already. As soon as we got there, we got a very warm reception from the vice president. He answered all our questions and we recorded him. Everything went very well. He even told me he knew my dad. Later on, when we were to launch the website, we went back to ask if he’d help us launch it. The VP got back to us that he would do it. On the day of the launch, an hour before the commencement, the VP had to go out of Abuja. They sent us a message that the VP said he wasn’t sending anyone to represent him and that we should postpone the event and reschedule because he wanted to launch it himself. He resent us another date and the VP made it. There were a couple of ministers in attendance. I was very lucky because the directors I worked with like Mrs. Irene Chigbue was very supportive. SURVIVING THE LURE OF COMMERCE IN THE UK

It’s true that at a very young age when I was in England, I was on 30,000 pounds job per annum and

My parents, Alhaji Mohammed Shaba, ex-helmsman of the Nigerian Railway Corporation and Bisi Dan Musa of Bisket Stores are great influence on me and one can’t really ask for better parents. But if you ask me whether their influence opened doors for me anywhere; I’d tell you yes and no. I was very young when I came to the Law School. After graduating, I’d finished my Master’s degree in IT and I wanted to set up a company, at a time when I wanted to get projects running, the excuse was that, “oh, you’re still young, you don’t need the money.” Then someone said to me, if you need people to take you seriously, you need to get an office. I realized that people don’t want to take you seriously in the beginning until you get a record to prove that you’ve achieved certain things on your own. My major breakthrough was in IT and it was achieved through the grace of God and a lot of hard work. Your parents would not be there in England to give you any assistance. There you must survive on your own. And then with the World Bank, if you’re going to be their consultant, no matter what and whoever recommends you, you

Style Connoisseur... Seriki seldoms follows fashion trend. But she loves Chanel, Gucci, LV and other ‘designers who have stood the test of time’.




devout muslim was an attraction for me’ must meet a certain criteria for them to pay you as a consultant. My achievement is also as a result of discerning what to study, IT and law. DRAWING STRENGHT FROM PERSECUTION

It was happened truly that my mom was unfairly treated for just helping kids who had no one to support them. And I saw all that she went through at that time which would ordinarily dampen anyone, but as a Muslim, to smile is a charity to a fellow person you meet. Charity is important even when you commit a sin, it’s good to perform an act of charity. A system has been put in place in Islam that if properly followed, everybody is taken care of. Charity is also one way to reach God. By nature, my mother likes a lot of people and it’s what I’ve grown to appreciate. I grew always having people around sharing my mother. At any point in time, I was always in a group, if there’s a group of 12 year olds, there are about four of us. If there’s another group of 10 year olds, the same thing, so you have to fight for your identity and you have to be strong. That’s the only option because you’d meet people with different characters. But at the same time, because of all the circumstances we’d been through, when you see it’s not really appreciated, it makes you think deeply at how human beings think and how the world is. It can be quite disheartening that’s how life is. So, all we now do is for the sake of God.


Children emulate their parents. So, when they do something which you don’t like, you’d quickly know it’s because you did that thing right in front of them. With kids, it’s the environment they study; when they see you get up from the bed and you’re talking about doing this and that, in their mind, they start to copy. In my mom, I saw her always working and I always wanted to work. I see that in my daughter too because when I’m doing something, she wants to assist me. So, I see a lot of similar traits between me and my daughter. But my son is more quiet and everything is in the hands of Allah. I just put everything about them in God’s hand, once they know Him, the sky is the limit.

24-hour supermarket in Nigeria and I grew up to see this. In other words, I grew up in business and know that when I have kids, in their formative years, I would naturally want to spend most time with them. I realized that the retail business is the one that would allow me to spend more time with them than my consultancy. I enjoy looking good everywhere I turn. MOST TREASURED FASHION ACCESSORIES

I love Rolex wrist watches. I love shoes too, Chanel, Gucci, LV and other classics because I enjoy designers who have stood the test of time in their crafts. I don’t follow fashion trend. I can dress to follow a trend; I can wear what was in vogue ten years ago. I create my own trend.



The beauty started from grandmother to my mom and to the rest of us, Alhamdudillahi. You see how beautiful my mother look even with her age, people still pass by and tell me, your mother is very beautiful.

I like Cape Town, it’s such a beautiful place with a lovely beach. I like to visit Mecca for holidays. I love being there because it’s my number one choice of holiday spot.



First and foremost, I love dressing well. I do to also suit the occasion, I honestly like glam. I love watching fashion shows and reading Vogue magazine. I’ve been reading vogue since I was a little girl, so I’ve always enjoyed lifestyle. So, I think that being sociable doesn’t necessarily make you glamorous. My grandma was a fabric merchant and my mom had the first ever

I’ve said this once before. What attracted me to Demola Seriki was the fact that he’s a Muslim. Before he goes to bed every night, he reads the Holy Quran. It was a priority for me that I marry someone who is in the same religion for the sake of the foundation that one must get right to avoid possible conflicts.




Flaunting it Known more as Miss Hot Legs, Vanessa Adekola is ex-Miss Nollywood UK. The director and creative choreographer at Hot Legs Dance Company tells ANGELA DAVIES why she loves to flaunt her legs in short dresses.

Jeans and blazer: Smart casual look for men Angela Davies


lthough jeans are often considered casual wears; however, you could combine it with a nice blazer for that corporate but casual look. This will make any man look dapper without sacrificing comfort. That is why jeanss are an extremely versatile wardrobe basic. A neat pair of jeans, dress shirt or Tshirt and blazer can be worn to varied occasions like a formal event, social gathering, a date and to the office on Friday, depending on how you choose to harmonize the colours and the fashion statement you want to make. However, the jeans should be clean and neat and there should be no holes or tear in the knees or scuffing around the hems. The jeans should neither be too loose and baggy nor should it hug your body too tightly. Your shirt should fit well and you should tuck in your shirt if the tail is too long and held in place with a dressy belt. For more effect, choose a blazer in neutral colours like black, gray, cream and navy blue. However for special occasions, you can select and wear a stylish blazer in tuxedo styling, shawl lapels or with a buttonhole for boutonnieres with your jeans for that classy look that is formal but fun. Remember, with a well tailored blazer, nice shoes and wristwatch you can wear your favourite pair of jeans anywhere for that great and comfortable look.

Define your personal style My personal style ranges from classy to sexy. However, sometimes I just want to dress down. That is when my tomboy side comes to life. What determines the kind of outfit you wear? Definitely, the event I will attend. The way I dress to church is different from the way I dress to a movie premier. For a movie premiere, I definitely want to look glamorous and standout. What kind of outfits make up a larger part of your wardrobe? They are definitely short dresses and playsuit. That is because they fit my figure and I love to show off my long sexy legs. Favourite piece of clothing Well, you can never go wrong with a nice comfy shot and a top. Clothing item you will never be caught wearing? You will never in a million years catch me in a tacky outfit unless I am playing a movie role that requires that or a transparent clothing without the appropriate underwear. Where do you consider the sexiest part of your body? Definitely my legs. It’s not for nothing I’m called Miss Hot Legs. They are long, sexy and beautiful. Most expensive fashion item you have ever bought. My Michael Kors hand bag. Fashion accessories you can’t do without? I love big rings and earrings. Are you a fashion freak? Not really. I dress to please me and not follow fashion trends. What kind of jewellery appeals to you? I love costume made jewellery. Signature perfume I have a few which include White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor, D & G’s The One and Burberry Weekend. How do you love your make up? I love my makeup light, but when I’m filming, I like it colourful and classy. Best designer I’m my best designer because I design, but for my bag, I love DKNY. Best colour I love bright colours. What kind of shoes do you love to wear? Wow! I love a good pair of high heels any time.


Leggy...Adekola loves dresses that accentuate her most prized feature, her legs – and of course, her perfume, Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds (inset)




Accessories to live for

Trendy and comfortable men’s leather sandals Men’s leather sandals are trendy, comfortable and easy to wear as they allow your feet breathe, writes ANGELA DAVIES


f you are looking for a footwear that offers style and comfort combined, then a leather sandal is a great option especially with your traditional attire. They are simple but trendy, easy to wear, stylish and comfortable. These sandals come in different designs and adjustable straps for style and a comfortable fit. However, many men prefer to put on either the black or brown colours to harmonize their traditional attire. Some young men even wear leather sandals with short and T-shirt for a casual look. Tips • Ensure that you buy and wear sandals made with genuine leather. • The leather should be extremely soft so that it would not hurt your feet • Sandals should indeed fit the foot. • The straps of the sandals should neither be too tight or too loose. • To enhance comfort, ensure that the sole of the sandal has some finish on the inner side. Leather sandals for men make the outfit complete and let your feet breathe thus enhancing the comfort of wearing.

Facts Udiminue Joshua Samuel birthed the Josh Samuels brand at the age of 17. At age 19, he was the official male designer for the Nigerian Idol Season 2. And at age 20, he was given the prestigious Young Fashion Designer of the Year Award, a platform put together by Style House Files in collaboration with the British Council and MTN.

The bikini was named after the island Bikini Atoll, where the US military tested its bombs in World War 2. It was so named because its creator, Louis Réard, believed the revealing suit would create a shock like that of the atomic bomb.

Coco Chanel is credited with popularizing the concept of “costume jewelry” in the 1920s, creating seasonal jewelry that mixed fake pearls with real stones.

Eyeliner became popular after its discovery in King Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt in the 1920s.


Wash your face to remove make up

Simple tips for a flawless face


very woman wants a flawless face. Pimples and blackheads are the two major impurities many women do not want to see on their face as they could be frustrating to deal with. You can achieve a flawless face with a lot of determination and discipline if you follow these simple tips. • Always take off makeup - Ensure to take off your makeup before you go to bed at night. • Wash your face twice daily - Make sure you wash your face twice daily, once in the morning and once at night. Then, keep oily areas of your face like nose and cheeks oil-free by using an oil-free cleanser. • Don’t Pop Pimples - Popping pimples could push infected material even further into your skin which could lead to scarring, redness and swelling. • Don’t touch your face - Even if you are not picking at your blackheads, touching your face transfers bacteria from your hands to your skin. Your hands are the dirtiest part of your body and are often the cause of many cases of blackheads. Avoid resting your face on your hands or even touching your skin. • Facial steam - It helps to removes excess dirt on the skin, open your pores as well as get rid

of blackheads. You can also use a warm face towel and hold it on your face until the blackhead moves to the surface. • Drink water often – It is good to drink enough water daily. • Wash your pillowcases - Your pillowcases catch dead skin cells and excess oil from your face when you sleep on them at night. Wash them at least once a week to remove the build up of dirt from the fabric to help keep your face clear of blackheads.


3 MAY 2014


I don’t compromise my dressing – Oshilaja


o Olukayode Oshilaja, Chief Executive Officer of Orshea Concepts Limited, a firm of real estate advisors, every day is for relaxation irrespective of whether he is at work or not. He says, “What is in there for me is that I’m driven by passion for excellence and whatever I do must be something I enjoy doing. “At work, I enjoy myself. For instance, I brought loud speaker from home to the office. I connected it to my laptop for the purpose of watching movies or playing music to nip off boredom. Not that there is no work to do but there are lot to do but at the same time there is need for relaxation.” His definition of relaxation, he says is for him is to derive the utmost enjoyment in everything he does. “Relaxation for me is even in what I do, as I enjoy every step of my work and I make fun from it. The harder my job gets the more joyful it becomes for me and the more fun it is for me. I don’t just know how to say okay ‘this is closing time,’ ‘we are going to have drinks,’ I don’t just know how to do that.” He will rather spend his weekend at home if he has the opportunity of doing so, adding that this allows for introspections into what he had done and what he hopes to do in the week ahead. “Certainly my house is my club. When I close on Friday and if I ‘m not hanging out with friends or I don’t have a compelling need for social engagement, I’m always at home for the weekend. The only thing typically that takes me out on weekend is when I have to go to Church. Oshilaja says, “When I have to go to church, I go to Church on Sunday morning, other than that I think Saturday is time to rest, I rest a lot at home on Saturday. I wake up very early though, because I do a lot of introspection at those times, I wake up very early, have a cup of coffee and off I go back to sleep.” While not admitting he is a recluse of sort, he however discloses he is not an advent party seeker “I’m not a party goer. I can have an invitation on a Saturday and choose not to go. At the expense of the party, I’ll just sit down at home, have a good meal and treat myself to a glass of wine and a lot of things in the house.” Recreation, according to him, has also always been part of his normal life routine as he indulges himself in his most cherished exercise -bicycling- for purpose of keeping fit. This, he does, with his membership of the cycling groups of his residential area, admitting however that he has lately not been participating in the usual cycling around Lagos with his groups. He attributes this to lack of time and busy schedules. “I do move around from Monday to Friday. On Saturday, I’m knocked out. So, I hardly have time for that (bicycling). But within my estate I ride. I love bicycle; I like riding bicycle. I’m planning to acquire the latest bicycle for my riding pleasure. But other than that, I’ve not been taking part in riding in recent times,”

I find it very difficult to stick out for any particular menu, because my cook takes care of everything

Olukayode Oshilaja, is the CEO of Concepts Limited, a firm of real estate advisers. He tells SEGUN EDWARDS in this interview that he seldom adheres to weekend special norms individuals like him are accustomed to. Rather, he depicts himself through his dressing. Oshilaja states. Unlike some people, he does not attach importance to having any special menu or doing a particular thing during the weekend. Oshilaja notes, “I wish I have a particular escapade or act or thing that I indulge in on weekend. For me, I think any emphasis you place on any particular indulgence could a nemesis. So, I don’t indulge in any particular activity or activities. “There was a season when bread and butter was my best food, there was also a season when local menu like amala and ewedu or Abula were my favourite menu. But to say that this particular menu is my best, I don’t have. I’m just myself, but I can tell you that whatever I’m doing at a particular time is the best for me at that point in time. “I find it very difficult to stick out for any particular menu, because my cook takes care of everything. Whenever he comes to me and ask what do I want for breakfast and I say what do you have, and he tells me what he has, I will say just give me anything to eat. When he comes to me for launch and I say don’t bother and for dinner before he closes he says what would I have and I say okay just do this, may be eba and okro soup or any other. But he’s the one that bakes it, I don’t give options, it’s what he makes that I eat.” Oshilaja however stresses the importance of his appearance either on week days or weekend, saying “that is one thing you can say about me. I don’t compromise my appearance. Lately I’ve been a bit slack but I’ve always been precinct. I’ve always been precinct in my appearance, my clothes, my combinations, the way I dress I’m not your fly dresser. I’m very conservative when it comes to clothes. I’m not the designers brand person, I believe in wearing good clothes. I believe in combining them well, I believe they must fit well. He also says he

depicts his dress code for the working days from his weekend: “I’m a convenient dresser may be that is why I may not fit in into what the current day fashion talks about. But I “I cannot dress in a certain manner because it won’t let me move around in my business. So if I wear a shirt and a trouser and a convenient shoe that cut it for me,” he says. For weekend, he explains “for a lot of the time, I do Jeans and T-Shirt. If you don’t see me at my desk or attending meetings, you won’t know I’m a CEO, you won’t know at all because I don’t carry myself I don’t have that carriage, I love my buba and bokoto simple, I’m a Yoruba boy.” Oshilaja, who will clock 41 years this May, equally acknowledges his preference for his favourite colours when it comes to dressing down for weekend as he states that, “my preference is for brown and blue at any point in time. Brown native cut very well for me. I do a lot of AsoOke cap, precisely blue Ofi clothing with a comfortable foot wears preferably brown slippers.” Delving into his birth place as well as his growing up days he says: “I grew up in a very interesting environ-

ment in Lagos. I was born in Island Maternity during the reins of Dr. Olurin of Ejire Memorial Hospital but I grew up in Okupe Estate, in Ikeja. I grew up in the best home you could have. The only thing is that at some point, I got separated because I lost my mother. Thereafter, I went to the boarding school. I also had part of me growing up on the Lagos Island He notes that his growing up on Lagos Island helped shaped his vision for life, as well as moulded a lot of ideas he has today as a successful man, saying, “I’m very proud to have grown up on Lagos Island, in Bamgbose, Oil Mills and Glover streets.” Oshilaja, a graduate of University of Ibadan, currently oversees a firm of real estate advisors; the business sector which he says has become attractive in Nigeria. He says his forays into the business since 2011 when he left paid employment have been challenging, because the real estate sector had witnessed a crash just “when we set out.” So, his outfit had to do a lot of other things, like sales which was his background.

Nneka Strides of a soul sister p.21 When a music group splits p.22



3 MAY 2014


OMAWUMI MAGBELE: Straddling three worlds

Singer and mother of one, Omawumi Megbele has established herself as one of Nigeria’s top tier artistes. She is an actress and an ambassador as well to many brands. Her talent shone so brightly as a contestant who emerged as the first runner-up in Idols West Africa talent hunt in May, 2007. The budding singer was to later release her debut single dubbed, In the music and it’s been a roller coaster ride to fame and fortune for the graduate of law. Little wonder her debut album, The Lasso of Truth became a huge hit in both artistic and commercial terms. She spoke to LANRE ODUKOYA on music, motherhood and charity. BEING TRUE TO A DREAM While growing up, music has always been my dream. But then, when I was still in school, I never saw it as a livelihood, far from it. Back then, music was not one of the career choices you could tell your parents because parents believed more in white collar jobs, especially the professional ones and that was why I studied law. LASSO OF TRUTH GOT ITS TARGET Really, I am quite happy with my last album Lasso of Truth. I am happy with the attention I am getting from it. I have a very strong fan base and really, I am enjoying every bit of the attention I am getting. Right now, I am moving on to the next level. I am trying to put my money where my mouth is. I’m making a live album soon, because I can’t keep saying I perform live and I don’t have a live album. BETWEEN A LIVE ALBUM AND THE MISSIONARY ALBUM A regular album is mainly produced in a studio. If you understand the mechanics of working in a studio, you’ll know that most of the sounds you hear are softwares already installed on a computer and producers can use these computer-generated sounds to make music. But what I am trying to do with a live album is to tow the line of people like Femi Kuti, Asha, Angeli Kidjoe, Yossou N’dour who make live albums. With these, when you hear the sounds, you’d know they are real music instruments, though it costs a lot of money, it’s real music and it’s worth it.

FULFILLMENT’S HERE Oh yes, by the grace of God I am fulfilled. You know, I’ve always generally being a content person. In as much as I am a go-getter, I understand the joy of been happy, and I am not very interested in amassing wealth. But if it comes, I’ll accept (laughs). So, I’m a very fulfilled young woman. Remember that when I got into the industry, it wasn’t exactly rosy, because we had the likes of Weird Mc, Queen Payne, and a couple of female acts. But you’d also agree with me that, there was no prominent female vocalist, and it was difficult then. If you remember, my first song was In the Music. It had a bit of South African feel to it. It was different and fortunately it worked for me. GLOOMY DAYS I’m generally a happy person and it’s very difficult for me to get to that point where I am very down, because most times, I even feed off other people’s energy. So, I am a happy person. I make people happy and that’s what gives me the happy and content vibe that I have. It’s hard to find me on a low spirit. The lowest point you can find me is when I am disappointed about people’s opinion regarding me. But it doesn’t really bother me to the extent where I need to correct the opinion especially if it’s not true. PACT WITH AGRICULTURE AND One. org… Well, I’m an artiste and by virtue of that, I stand as a spokesperson for the people through one of the most important tools which is music, and the organisers of ‘one. org’ needed artistes that could appeal to the

middle class and grassroots to encourage farming and all that it entails. And then, looking inwards into Nigeria, I must commend the Ministry of Agriculture, because a lot of people are not aware and in tune with the massive industry and economic value that agriculture brings to the country. But personally, I am aware because I’m a small time farmer, I have an acre of land in Warri where I produce crops and livestock and the growth is really impressive, because we make money off agriculture. So, now it’s my job to make people see farming as a cool job and a possible career path for the youths and make the government see a clearer picture as well. JOGGLING MOTHERHOOD, MUSIC AND AGRICULTURE… It’s a way of life for me. I just see it as what I need to do, and most times it doesn’t even feel like I’m doing anything. For instance, I do a lot more than these things you mentioned. I just started my own NGO called Omawonder’s Little House of No Regrets which empowers women and young girls. BALANCING MUSIC CAREER AND PARENTING… I always told myself that when I start having kids, I’ll quit music and become a teacher. But it’s not happening, so the thing about it is that I am blessed with a large family because you can’t do it all alone. I have 13 siblings. So, everybody is involved in grooming my child and she’s not missing out on anything, because I always make sure I attend to her school work. I bath and take her to school myself. It’s not stressful at all.




AMAKA IGWE: Sunset at noon


ifty-one-year-old Nollywood powerhouse, Amaka Igwe (MFR), passed on at the late hours of Monday, April 28 in Enugu where she had gone for pre-production preparations for a forthcoming Igbo soap in company of her husband, Charles. She suffered an asthma attack and was promptly rushed to the hospital when first aid could not resuscitate her, but she breathed her last before they could get to the hospital. Igwe is survived by her husband of 21 years Charles Igwe, three children, an aged mother and siblings. Igwe was an accomplished social crusader, writer, producer, director, entrepreneur and teacher. Sometime in January, she and her siblings staged a befitting 80th birthday celebration for their mother, Madam Patience Ijeoma Isaac Ene in Enugu. Also, barely two weeks ago, she celebrated her 21st wedding anniversary. She is the founder of BoBTV Expo, founder and CEO of Top Radio 90.9FM, Amaka Igwe Studios, and the newlylaunched Q Entertainment Networks.

With the evolution of Nigerian TV drama and film, she hit national limelight as the writer and producer of award-winning TV soap, Checkmate, and its offshoot, Fuji House of Commotion. Her foremost movie projects include Rattle Snake and Violated. Funeral arrangements are not concluded yet and Nollywood sings the dirge: “Last night, Amaka was on set of her current movie! And Last Night, Amaka Died, still working on a Movie! Goodnight, great woman! Goodnight!! :’( Tears rain down. Rest in Peace, Great Amazon. Rest. We Won’t Miss you, because everywhere we turn in Nollywood, we see you! We feel you, Amaka!! I remain ur friend, even in the afterlife! - Don Pedro OBASEKI, PhD (Enogie-Isi of Benin Kingdom). Actress Genevieve Nnaji’s was just as devastated. “This is the darkest day of my entire career. That I believe sums up how I feel right now. Your legacy will leave on Aunty Amaka. I promise you. #RIPAmakaIgwe” Torrents of praises are still pouring in honour of the deceased, an industry colossus.

LANRE ODUKOYA - 08059296445

Yes, I’m pregnant again - Caroline Danjuma



insome Nollywood actress, Caroline Danjuma (nee Ekanem) who married Musa Danjuma nine years ago has confirmed that she’s on another ninemonth course. Beautiful Caroline has two kids with her businessman spouse already and it won’t be wrong to assume the child would share the mother’s sunning looks. Carol’s mother is also in her 50s but looks equally pretty and trim. Caroline has taken a hiatus from acting, now she spends more time growing the multi-media business funded by her husband.

Music bodies on war path


nother trouble may be brewing in the music industry as members of the Music Promoters of Nigeria (MUPAN) have vowed to stage a protest against the leadership of Music Advertisers of Nigeria (MAAN). The brewing conflict is tied to the former asking the latter to put an end to some practices considered unwholesome. MUPAN’s president-general, Hakeem Isekolowo, who debunked allegations that MUPAN under his leadership is not doing enough to save members of the group from marginalisation by MAAN, said he was worried by some activities of MAAN such as monetising music logos and other sharp practices. Addressing journalists recently in Lagos, Isekolowo asked: “If we don’t promote artistes, spend a lot of money on studio sessions, will they have anything to market?” Speaking further, he added that “it is so disheartening when they come up with their superiority argument. We have done a lot and we won’t relent in fighting for our rights. These people are just fraudulent and they go about carrying out some of their activities with impunity. “We don’t understand them, instead of them to team up with MUPAN and other bodies to fight piracy; they are only interested in milking artistes especially young artistes dry. They just interfere in our activities unduly and I doubt if they have a code guiding their operations. MUPAN under my leadership won’t relent in calling for justice because my members have invested a lot in this industry and we won’t allow anybody or group to make a mess of our hard earned reputation through some illegal acts,” Isekolowo said. While disclosing that his group has teamed up with other groups to fight MAAN over its highhandedness, the group’s head said they are finalising strategies on curb MAAN’s perceived excesses.

Hubby dazzles Ini Edo on 32nd birthday


ni Edo’s husband, Phillip Ehiagwina, gathered friends and well wishers at a surprise birthday party he threw for her last week . Ini turned 32 on April 23 and her five-year-old marriage survival despite several rumours of stormy affair has survived after all. The couples’ photos at the surprise party goes to tell how much love resides their home.

Pasuma, Beautiful Nubia prep for centennial gig


s Nigeria centenary anniversary celebration continues, two of Nigeria’s finest musicians, Wasiu Alabi Pasuma and Beautiful Nubia are set to treat music lovers to another special centennial concert in Lagos. The concert, scheduled to hold on 10 May at the Blue Roof, LTV 8, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos, will see the two artistes sharing same stage to deliver vintage music they are both renowned for to their fans and some invited celebrities. “It is going to be an explosive concert as the two artistes on the bill are very special musicians with cult-like followership. Both Pasuma and Beautiful Nubia have promise to deliver their best and make the gig a memorable one for attendees,” said Ibrahim Adebayo, CEO, Harmony Films & Records Int., who organised the concert alongside ADK Links Ventures. According to Adebayo, they are breaking from the norm by having an afternoon gig which will kick off at 12 noon. He added that apart from the two headliners, some of the big shots in the music and comedy circle have confirmed their attendance as guest artistes at the gig.




Strides of a soul sister

Nigerian-born German singer, Nneka Egbuna, has a distinct voice that stands her out from the crowded field and a style that has earned her plaudits. Egbuna, a judge in the Nigerian Idol Season 4, speaks with OLUSHOLA RICKETTS

Being your first time as a judge in a reality show, how would you describe the experience? It’s been very educational I can say. I have learnt a lot and I have never done anything like this in my life. It is a new challenge, but I am learning to appreciate other peoples’ opinion and some sense of empathy. I am also here to edify talent, which is my major role. The publicity is also good for me. I am not going to say I didn’t think of it. Why do you think you were considered as one of the judges? I am a musician and songwriter. Due to my CV, they probably thought it would be good for their show to have an international artiste on board who is a Nigerian and raises her flag outside the country. I think they wanted to associate with that and I thought it might also be a good thing to associate with them. It is also an opportunity for me to return to the grassroots, which is giving back to Nigeria by supporting young talents. This is what I am here for. How would you assess Nigerian reality shows? I cannot compare because I am an artiste, not an actor and this is the first time I would have to sit 48 hours before a camera and judge people. It is not my thing to judge people; I have an issue with judging people. It is challenging, but I am learning. I need to also console myself that it is almost like a game here and it is only one person that would win the contest at the end of the day. We have so many talented young people here and not all of them will make it. So, I have to tell myself it is okay and I have to tell them too that everything is okay even when I know things are not okay. This doesn’t mean they are bad. I once featured on a reality show in Germany and I did not win it. A friend influenced me to go for a particular show I did not really know much about. I got there, and almost at the end, they asked me to do Spice Girls. I could not identify myself with that type of music; I have never been a fake person. You should not tell me to do something

within an hour and expect me to do it with all my heart. I said it was okay; it was not my life and I walked away. I appreciated them and a couple of years later I got my own record deal. I am doing my thing my own way at present. So, for the contestants who might be eliminated or could not continue the show because they are tired or they could not identify themselves with a particular song, my story should inspire them. If you believe in yourself as an artiste, then there is no reality show that will tell you that are not good. This is beyond Nigerian Idol! What would say of Dare Art Alade’s reaction to Royal George, a contestant from Benin? It was simply too harsh. I think there are certain comments that are unnecessary. Sometimes, we the judges have to disagree to agree and we agree to disagree. It is what I meant when I said I have to learn to work as a team because it cannot always go my way. If Darey and Dede agree to what I disagree with, then I will have to look deeply again and see how to balance it. Are you satisfied with the Nationwide vote? Kindly speaking, I am not. I do not know where the problem is but I think it has nothing to do with talent anymore. I want to be real because that it what I represent. It is now almost about connections - who is connected well or who knows who get more votes. I don’t know how one can change that. I hope it would change itself in a matter of time. If you had the opportunity to change anything about the show, what would it be? I would make it more African. it is called Nigerian Idol. I will bring in that African spirit; probably make the stage look a bit more colourful, cultural or traditional. I will also encourage more traditional music. How would you compare the Hennessey Artistry you took part in about two years

ago and Idol? Hennessey Artistry was supposed to be about bringing artistes together. I got engaged because of the artistic aspect, not that I drink Hennessey or so. I just thought it would be a platform to interact with Shina Peters; I grew up listening to him. It was a way for me to connect to Nigeria because I am always travelling around. How has it been with your album, Soul is Heavy? It is a compilation of all my hit tracks that I have done in the last 12 years of my career. So, I decided to make it for Nigerians because I have the impression that my music is not up to date back home. The album is me, my life and everything that has been happening in the 12 years of my music career. It also includes the ups and downs, competitions, the fame and what it brings. It talks about my faith in God in spite all my weakness. This is what I am telling these talented kids here; you don’t have to sell your heart or soul to become somebody else and you don’t need to be what people want you to be.

What is your take on Nigerian entertainment industry? I do not really understand what Nigerians mean by hip-hop. I see someone like a Tiwa Savage on hip-hop award and she does not do hip-hop. Hip-hop to me is life, attitude, a revolutionary lifestyle, black consciousness, depth and a message. I do not see this in their songs. What a Tiwa or Sheyi Shey probably does is more of African music or Nigerian music. Nevertheless, I think there are a lot of awesome and talented artistes in Nigeria. I am glad that they are all coming back home and trying to give back to the society. Some are still trying to take from the society also. We need to play more live music and represent who we are. I think things are getting better unlike some years ago where everyone wanted to be an American. Look at Burna Boy, D’banj, Wizkid, to mention few. It is like the pride is coming back home - where it is cool to actually have a Nigerian accent and to just be you. What informed the free show you staged at the Computer Village some years ago? The idea was to interact with people at the grassroots. What I wanted to prove is that we have some people out there that may not have the money to come see a show at Eko Hotel or pay one million for a table. I try to speak the mind of many people who do not have the courage to do so. My music is not just entertainment; it is beyond that and I need to share it with the people around me. The experience at computer village was awesome because there was no barrier between myself and the people. There was no bridge at all. Using Idol as a yardstick, do you think there is hope for the country’s creative industry? I think some of them are very courageous and bold. We have a lot of great talent that has to be nurtured in the right way. It should not be in this level alone; there should be more institutions investing in the youths.



Plantashun Boyz

KC Presh

Olu Maintain

KUSH without Torimiro

Remedies without Tony Tetuila

When a music group splits...

PLANTASHUN BOYZ - TUFACE This is about the most criticized separation of all. Until lately, Faze would have been considered one who had weathered the storm and a survivor too, but Tuface beat him to that. Plantashun Boyz was a highly successful Nigerian hip-hop band consisted of Ahmedu Augustine Obiabo (Blackface), Innocent Ujah Idibia (Tuface) and Chibuzor Orji (Faze). They had three hits, Body And Soul, Sold Out and Plan B to their credit. After the split of the band in 2004, they all launched solo careers to varying success. Tuface has probably achieved the most success to date winning MTV Europe Music Award, Mobo, Kora, Hiphop World Awards to mention but a few. Some internal bickering arose and when not properly managed, Tuface broke out of the three-man band. He was alleged to have disappeared with the group’s composition, African Queen which was to later earn him his first major award, Kora. As to why the group split, Idibia said in an interview: “In life, people come together and at times depart each other’s company. Even marriages break up. There are different decisions, different things happen. Basically for me and the rest of the group, we just went solo. There wasn’t any quarrel or clash of egos as such. Just the fact that Nigeria was not too conducive for a group to survive for long like the long surviving Irish pop group, U2. Let me just put it like that. We came together and at a point had to go our separate ways due to the normal conflicts between people. In life, people must disagree. Husband and wife must disagree.

The Nigerian music industry like every other around the world has a sour history of splitting music group. In some cases are lucky survivors while other member(s) sink into oblivion. This often finally reflect the powerhouse of the group where members hitherto thought they were equals. This listing, in no particular order re-tells the story of overshadowed stars of yesterday and surviving characters. LANRE ODUKOYA writes Like an African proverb says, even mouth and tongue do quarrel. For us as a group, due to our individual differences, we could have some clashes. Maybe today, I oversleep and one would come and wake me and tell me, ‘Hey, why are you still sleeping? Don’t you know we have somewhere to go?’ Maybe, we were supposed to go somewhere and Faze would come late and there would be small quarrel or maybe we quarrel over which song to do and which one to drop. It’s the normal squabble you will expect from when two or three people come together. As at that time, I don’t think we had a leader.” KUSH - LARA GEORGE AND TY BELLO Ty Bello, Lara George, Emem Ema and Dapo Torimino formed the defunct group, KUSH. The quartet met at Rock Solid Choir while studying at the University of Lagos and they made a huge statement with their debut album, The Experience. Somewhere along the line, DKG Music, a record label in the United States signed them on. The album was produced in London, Minneapolis and Los Angeles. This group also broke up sometime

in 2004. However, two of the quartet, TY Bello and Lara George are doing great with their solo careers. According to George in an interview she granted, “there was more against us than for us.” She further illustrated with a concert where the group was paid N70, 000 but ended up with less than N10, 000 net profit. She said they were getting more church gigs at the time but churches feel music should be done for free. THE REMEDIES - Idris Abdul-Kareem This group is among the pioneers of the hip-hop genre in Nigeria. The group comprised Tony Tetuila, Idris Abdulkareem and Eddy “Montana” Brown. The group’s songs Judile and Sakomo launched them to stardom. They tried to return to their individual tents, but after one or two singles, they scampered off the radar. Tetuila had alleged that his partners had a plan to relegate him to being just a dancer and the allegation gathered some steam that finally burnt away the bond that existed among the famous trio. From all indication, AbdulKareem who fought for local acts

to be more rewarded at the Star Mega Jam where he alleged that the Nigerian Breweries had treated 50 Cent better than the local artistes hired to perform, is the last man standing now. He released a single recently after the single, Jaga Jaga that got former president, Olusegun Obasanjo upset. KCPRESH - KCEE In 2011, a hip-hop duo known as KC Presh broke up after several years of performing together. KC and Presh had issued a statement claiming their break-up was a strategy to pursue their individual careers after being together for 12 years. They got public reckoning as winners of the 2002 Star Quest. Theirs was probably the most mutual separation in recent history. Since then, little or nothing has been heard of Presh while KCee keeps churning out hit after hit. His most recent are Limpopo and Pull Over. His consistent relevance has also earned him a couple of brand endorsements. MAINTAIN - OLU This group released hits like I Catch Cold, I am looking for a Wifey, Alo and Dormitilla and became the darlings of afro pop fans. After their break up which was rancorous, its members Olu, Tolu and Bamo launched individual music careers with Olu Maintain turning out to be the most successful among the trio. But after his mega hit song, Yahooze, Olu went into oblivion until last year when he returned with a single and video dubbed, Nutty and another one recently titled Enuff Efficy.




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Lola Adewole’s Bespoke fashion house opens in Lagos


ashion for Life, a unique Nigerian fashion house has blazed a new trail with new works leaning towards invoking trends of technology in fashion. The new materials, with digital prints on all which can be customised in any way by the label, were unveiled at the FFL private showroom in Lekki, Lagos. According to the label’s chief executive, Funlola Adewole, “It feels good; it’s my passion so I am very happy to unveil a new collection. What I am unveiling today is the line of digitally-printed kaftans. What you would normally see in the industry or in the fashion world are the fabrics which have been made commercially. But what you see in these works I have here today is that I have actually designed the fabrics and I have also designed the style on the fabric. “Like what I am wearing, you would the printed style on the fabric, that is what I am launching today and like I have been saying, if you want it customised or even your face on it, we would digitally print your face on the fabric and you wear it around. If you want to send a message or you are in a certain mood and you don’t want to say it but want everybody to know, you can send the message across through what you are wearing. We can have it printed on that fabric. We have been able to do it on the commercial scale because we do understand the tricks of the business.”

Born to a father from Abeokuta, Ogun State and a mother from Delta State, Adewole said “the inspiration for the collection came simply because the world is ‘e’ now and everybody is either on social media, sometimes you don’t even call your family members now but you are in touch with them and there are so many ways we communicate which are mostly through technology, so why not introduce same into fashion. And there are lots of things that I have planned but I have only started with this, trying to make fashion technological as well.” She would not however accept that the target is the elite. “You know this is just the introductory stage and we have a lot of capital pumped into it and nobody is into business for a margin, maybe not profit but at least to break even. For that reason, it might seem highbrow yet, but as we go along, we will make it available for everyone who wants to have it. So because of that, we are bringing in a lot of things like discounts, reductions and I have been able to categorise the works as cheap, very cheap, expensive, not-too expensive so at the end there is something for everyone. And the reason for that is to be able to embrace everyone and get them to be fashionable but it is not expensive when you compare it to the work and capital expended in the materials,” she enthused.


Obaro Ibru battles to save marriage

T Sola Laditi: Dire situation on the homefront


n 2009, Otunba Niyi Adewunmi, Dr. Mike Adenuga’s close ally gave his heiress’ hand out in marriage to Tayo Laditi, but the managing director of the defunct Equatorial Trust Bank doesn’t seem proud of that decision. The four-year-old marriage which has yet to produce a child is in dire straits. Allegations of promiscuity against Tayo became unbearable to Sola who thought prayer was enough elixir to bringing her man’s love back to him. The situation degenerated to fierce misunderstanding that sent the dark-hued, calm and charming lady back to her father’s house. The union which was formalised at the Redeemed Christian Church of God’s City of David Parish and presided over by Pastor Idowu Iluyomade may be strained further barring timely intervention. The patience of Sola’s mum, Grace Adewunmi, a deaconess is said to have been stretched to the limits. She was her daughter’s only succour when the chips were down. In the mean time, Sola is chanelling her energy into growing her business, a beauty parlour on Ligali Ayorinde, Victoria Island, Lagos, to an enviable brand.

he marriage between Obaro Ibru and his wife, Hairut, is dangling on the brink. Obaro, who is one of the children of Olorogun Michael Ibru and Dr. (Mrs.) Cecilia Ibru, is one of the most celebrated silverspoon kids in Nigeria. He is also a very stylish man, who knows what time it is on the fashion scene. Among many other things, Obaro is also very controversial and he is a regular sight at popular hangouts on the Island. Recently, he was engaged in a spat with Louise Priddy, who is described as his old flame. The spat earned Louise bruised lips. The popular socialite is reported to be tinkering with the idea of pressing charges against Obaro. Over the last few years, Obaro’s wife, Hairut was said to have become very disenchanted with her marriage over issues that had to do with her husband’s lifestyle. Their union is reported to have become less blissful on account of these challenges. Sources disclosed that Hairut is peeved with Obaro’s voracious appetite for partying. It was also gathered that Hairut, an Ethopian, has become distressed over what she is facing in her marriage that she has withdrawn into her cocoon. But when she learnt of her husband’s spat with Louise, she went ballistic. Since then, she has been threatening to make life hell for Obaro. So bad has the situation got that the daughter of Ethiopian billionaire, we gathered had absconded with their three kids. Obaro fervently prays to his wife to allow him access to the kids and reportedly promises her a Range Rover Sport SUV if she allows the family return to what it was.

Igbo in Lagos honour Gani Adams


ational Coordinator of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Otunba Gani Adams has added another feather to his already studded cap. The popular promoter of Yoruba culture and tradition was last weekend conferred with a chieftaincy title by the Igbo council of traditional rulers (Ndi Eze Udo) in Lagos. He was conferred with the title of Ezienyi Ndigbo (Good Friend of the Igbo). The OPC leader took time off his national assignment as a delegate at the ongoing National Conference in Abuja to receive the honour, being one of several titles and awards he has been bestowed with by different groups and communities in the country. According to the vice president (South) of Association of Eze Ndigbo in Diaspora and Eze Ndigbo Ikeja, Lagos State, Eze Uche Dimgba, the




11. IDEA 12. USED 16. IN 17. KILO 18. PLAN 22. URN 23. OWO

24. SOB 25. POT 26. UROLOGY


honuor bestowed on Adams will further strengthen the unity between the Yoruba and Ndigbo. Dimgba, who described the OPC leader as a unifying factor between Ndigbo and Yorubas, explained that the title conferred on him was as a result of his steadfastness on issues of national concern. “Otunba Adams is an upright man, he doesn’t change; he doesn’t waiver nor quiver. With people like him, the sky will be the beginning for Nigeria and not the end. So, the chieftaincy title is an honour that he truly deserved,” he said. Otunba Adams on his part, called

Hadiza Okoya and Olamiju Akala wed in grand style


he traditional and engagement ceremony between Hadiza, the daughter of Chief Rasaq Akanni Okoya, the Aare of Lagos and chairman of Eleganza Group of Companies and Olamiju, the son of Chief Adebayo Alao Akala, former governor of Oyo State, was held last weekend in Lagos. The very colourful and classy ceremony was held at the Okoyas’ expansive estate, Oluwa Ni N Sola Estate, in Ajah, Lagos. The grand event had the signature of Subtle Elegance, the wave-making event company.

for greater cooperation between peoples of the South-West and South-East geo-political zones and enjoined leaders of the two zones to close ranks and foster unity among the people. The OPC leader, who described the honour as historical, acknowledged the contribution of Ndigbo to the development of Lagos and assured that the Yoruba will continue to accommodate them in the scheme of things in the state. He however warned against unguarded statements that could trigger crisis among the people, saying: “The Yoruba have always been accommodating and that is why we have lots of Igbos doing business in Lagos and even in other towns and communities in the South-West.” He added: “We believe that the Igbos are our partners in progress. The Igbos have a stake in Lagos, as there is no doubt that about 60 per cent of investments in the state belong to them, but arrogance and unguarded statements by some people should be eliminated. So, the people of the Yoruba and Igbo nation should close ranks, be their brothers’ keepers and foster unity in the country.” Also speaking, the vice president (South) of Association of Eze Ndigbo in Diaspora and Eze Ndigbo Ikeja, Lagos State, Eze Uche Dimgba, said the honuor bestowed on Adams will further strengthen the unity between the Yoruba and Ndigbo.


Literature Chiding Chimamanda p.33



3 MAY 2014

A whiff of creativity in the Creeks Ebere Ameh writes on a project launched to give Niger Delta youths a hands-on experience making films


The Song of a Solitary Country Boy Timothy Akinleye


he stories told of the Niger Delta have always been that of pollution, deprivation, militancy and violence. Recently, the youths of the region came out to change the narrative by telling their own story, re-writing their own history and repositioning themselves for a brighter future. This they did through the Niger Delta Legacy, an initiative of the US State Department in partnership with some local organisations. They launched the initiative to mitigate the violence and conflict in the Niger Delta region. Spearheaded by filmmaker Jeta Amata, who is set to transform the lives of the youths of the region by teaching them how to make films to improve their lives and shun violence. The outcome of the journey which started in October 2013 is three films – Truce, Save our Soul and The New Dawn made by the Niger Delta Youths from Ozoro, Nembe and Erema, respectively. The US assistant secretary of state for conflict and stabilization operations, Ambassador Fredrick Barton and the US ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle hosted the cream of Nigerian society at the debut of the films from their forthcoming TV series, Dawn in the Creeks: A Niger Delta Legacy, at the Silverbird Galleria, Lagos, on Sunday, April 27. “The United States has a huge partnership with Nigeria and we said what can we do to lessen violence, especially with the election coming soon. We decided to use filmmaking to see if we can bring the Niger Delta together. The project is about the young Nigerians, telling the stories about their own communities and telling the story of how violence is not the best way to go and we think that is an incredible thing,” Entwistle said. Talking about the project, Ben Murray-Bruce who is also a Niger Deltan said: “I’m expecting three good movies by the Niger Delta guys who have chosen an alternative to what they were doing before. I think this is a way forward and signs of better things for the Niger Delta. It is about taking them out of doing something negative to doing something positive, from idleness to doing something great, which will create employment, and give them alternative ways of making money.” He encouraged multinationals, private companies and individuals to follow suit and support the people because government cannot do it alone. “When the people are supported and employment is created, crime level would drop to its lowest level,” Murray-Bruce added. Full of excitement, the young filmmakers are ready to tell the story of their journey from nobody to somebody. “In every person’s life, there are things you know you can do but you don’t have the opportunity to do it. So


Amata in a discussion with the US Consular General, Lagos, Mr Jeffery Hawkins shortly before the premiere of the films

The US Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations, Ambassador Fredrick Barton proposing a toast to a brighter future for the youths of Niger Delta while the US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle and the new film makers look on

when this opportunity came, I was happy that I was chosen. Initially I thought I won’t be able to do it but with a little training, I saw myself not only doing it but doing it well,” Stephen Moses, director of the Truce said. “We are using the movie to tell fellow Niger Delta youths and other youths in Nigeria that violence doesn’t pay. We are also telling them that apart from violence, there are so many things we can do to make a living. We also used the opportunity to showcase our culture and we have plans to do more movies which by Gods grace we’ll continue to use to educate and entertain the people.” For Helena Emasaruome, a script writer, the Niger Delta Legacy which brought the opportunity to them is a dream come true. “In my community we have so many challenges and different NGOs always came to see how they would help out to no avail. To God be the glory, the Niger Delta Legacy has come and this is an opportunity to tell the world our story and our desire to change. I’ve always

liked writing. I have about four novels which I have not been able to publish for lack of funds.” Making a movie is indeed a difficult task but picking and training inexperienced villagers how to make films is even more daunting. This was confirmed by Amata, who said he was consoled by the fact that he went to the grassroots, met and not only connected with them, but is also impacting their lives positively. On the possibility of the project fizzling out as soon as the ovation is over, Amata explained: “We provided a full set of equipment for each of the groups in the seven communities and we gave them money to start. So they have started a business for themselves and they will take it up from there. This is like a pilot program and it will start airing in July and there will be series on how they were selected, how they were trained before we go immediately into doing the next season.” He added that there are plans to help them market their films and teach them new initiatives and new ways of

running the film business. The First Lady of Rivers State Mrs Judith Amaechi lent her voice to the project. “It is wonderful, it is a good start and hopefully this will help not only to create employment for our youths who are all very talented but help to educate all on the need to shun violence,” she said. “One day, Niger Delta youths would be on world cinema stage. I’m here for the film, I’m here for the talents, I have come to boost their morale, I have come to support them and let them know that they can actually be the best in the world.” An American initiative with an entirely Nigerian content, Entwistle disclosed they have spent millions of dollars on the project. “The important thing is that the young Nigerians are taking control of their lives and their future and shunning violence. “We are doing a lot all over the country in the south and in the north to promote reconciliation, to promote inter faith mediation. We are very involved because we care deeply about what happens in this country.”

Looking down the empty streets this morning I find nothing but herds of animals on fours and twos Whose droppings adorn the terrain The bare surface of the rural tarmac. Walking through the woods, I hear nothing save the squeaks and the chirrups: The sickening songs that cut through The vast unattended shrubs. Further into the grotesque interior I feel the heavy hands of the wild winds Under whose imperious jumble of discordant tunes Defenseless vegetation bend. Everywhere! I see Nature in its crudest form: Its repulsive nakedness The crudity of the forgotten beginnings. Here before me lie in truest form Those luxurious paintings The alluring leisurely visions of hypocrites The illusory pleasurable country-side. Nature in bondage they ensconce themselves In the perverted luxury of Modernity Beckoning to this rustic maid Whose raw open embrace they never wait to feel! Heaven knows the numberless bare beauties And many rare souls Have been silenced and stifled In the dark recesses of this graceless dungeon. The sight of these rough roads, The intimidating and annoying quietude, The deluge of these whirlwinds, Remind me of the missing link. I once dreamt of a paradise on earth There, Nature weds Modernity And poets philosophically rule Peace, beauty, abundance and freedom everywhere. For who know not an artless Nature In an orthodox Modernity Breeds anarchy, epidemics, war and hunger. Written as satire on what most writers say about the village life as being good, and best.








3 MAY 2014


Why spectators stay away from stadia


Oboabona faces Utaka’s fire in Turkey



Yobo ready to tackle Mikel


No World No WorldCup Cup pressure for pressure for Anthony Ujah Anthony Ujah Ifeanyi Ibeh

A Ujah

nthony Ujah has said that he is not under any form of pressure to make the final list of players that will represent Nigeria at the forthcoming World Cup in Brazil. World Cup appearance is a big deal to every footballer but Ujah intends to take positives from any disappointment that might come when coach Stephen Keshi names his final list for the Mundial. The player who last played for the Eagles at the Confederations Cup in Brazil, feels he didn’t particularly impress the coaches during that champi-

onship in June 2013 and so is not overly disappointed that he has not been invited since. Ujah said: “ I won’t feel disappointed if I am left out so I am not under any form of pressure. because during my first invitation I didn’t give the coaches a reason to call me back but I have kept on working hard because I believe in myself and I just have to stay positive and hopeful of getting a second chance to prove my worth. “I had a good time when I was there and seeing experienced players now in charge of the team meant a lot to me CONTINUED ON PAGE 27

My talent assured me a place in Westerhof’s team – Fuludu




Leaguemania with Chimaobi Uchendu

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Sharks good for League title –Osawe

Mixed reactions trail league officiating


harks defender, Alaba Osawe is confident that the Port Harcourt side would win their first-ever top flight title in Nigeria this season. The Blue Angels’ biggest achievement since they were founded 42 years ago remains the WAFU Club Cup which they won in 2010. Sharks have come close to winning the Federation Cup on three occasions when they finished as finalists in 1979, 2003 and 2009. In 1996, Sharks were also close to winning a first league title, but got pipped on goal difference by Udoji United after finishing on same number of points. But Osawe, who has been a rock in defence for Sharks, believes this is the Port Harcourt club’s season to end their chase for a first league title. “Yes we can win the league (this season) because we have shown we are a winning side. What I believe is that this season is Sharks’ season,” Osawe said. “But we must keep our heads cool and remain disciplined because it is still a long season. With God’s help and barring any injury to our players, we have a good chance of winning the league.” Osawe also said Sharks are not under pressure to win a first league title considering the success of their city rivals, Dolphins. Dolphins, formerly known as Eagle Cement FC and founded in 1988, have won three league titles in 1997, 2004 and 2011 as well as four Cup titles in 2001, 2004, 2006 and 2007. The centre half is, however, unfazed by the feat of Dolphins, who have now adopted the tag Pride of Rivers, but wants to make history with the Blue Angels. He said, “We are not under pressure to win this league. The good thing is we have a good team to compete and one that can win the league. Sharks is a special club and all the players want to make history here, but we know we have to play well and take it one game at a time,” he said.


TOP SCORERS 4 GOALS Aminu Isah (Kaduna United) Kingsley Eduwo (Sunshine Stars) 3 GOALS Gbolahan Salami (Warri Wolves) Onyekachi Okafor (Crown FC) Ifeanyi Inyam (Sharks FC) Terkaa Melai (Lobi Stars) Danladi Isah (Sharks) Babalo Haruna (Gombe United) Saibou Badarou (Heartland FC) 2 GOALS Charles Okoro (Giwa FC) Dele Olorundare (Sunshine Stars) Luther Iyorhe (FC Taraba) Bobby Abel (FC Taraba) Ifeanyi Egwim (Dolphins FC) Seun Sogbeso (Nasarawa United) Christian Obiozor (Rangers) Peter Ebimobowei (Bayelsa United)


Supporters of First Bank and Stationery Stores engage in brawl last Sunday at Agege stadium

Why spectators stay away from stadia Vincent Eboigbe


he crowd violence that followed the week 12 match between First Bank and Stationery Stores both of Lagos State, in the lower division of the Nigerian league, has once again highlighted, in forceful relief, the reason spectators refuse to go to Nigerian stadia to watch matches. Immediately after the encounter which ended in favour of the home team, First Bank, last Sunday at the Agege Stadium, irate supporters of both sides engaged in a free for all fight that lasted for almost 30 minutes as the very few police officers on duty, struggled to put the fight under control. Finally, the hopelessly outnumbered policemen had to use tear gas to disperse the two set of supporters. As the melee lasted, unattached fans, some of

who were fairly elderly, who probably had come to stadium to have a nice time with their families, had to scamper for safety with burning eyes from the effect of the tear gas. “It was really scary to see supporters of the two clubs fighting and throwing things at each other like that. I love football, but I must admit that this is discouraging especially for spectators who are not staunch followers of the game or any of the clubs,” said a female fan Olufunke Ayenugba. Chairman of the Security Committee of the Agege Stadium, Olatunde Green, however promised that efforts will be intensified to ensure there is no repeat of the incident. “We don’t want fans to break loose in this stadium; that is why we are here to curb any security beaches. When we were trying to settle the matter both set

of supporters refused. That is why we had to use tear gas to disperse them,” Green told New Telegraph. Green was however, at a loss as to the cause of the mayhem. “As far as am concerned the officiating was good, but the Stores supporters complained about the second goal, they said it was offside. The match officials officiate according to the rules of the game,” Green noted. “We are going to have a meeting with all the teams, we want families to come in here and watch matches without fear, but this sort of crisis will discourage people from bringing in their families. We need to educate club supporters that there will be human errors regarding officiating sometimes, but they should lay their complaints through recognised avenues, not to take the laws into their hands.”

Declare state of emergency in Nigeria League now –Bazuaye


ormer Julius Berger of Lagos player, Balwin Bazuaye, has called on stakeholders to declare an emergency on all leagues in Nigeria and save them from collapse. The former coach of Bendel Insurance declaration is coming on the heels of recent bad performance of teams that represented Nigeria at continental club football in the last two seasons. He wondered why Nigerian League champions cannot qualify for the group stage of both the Champions League and the Confederations Cup. “I’m not happy that no Nigerian club is at the group stage of the Confederations Cup and the Champions League. It shows that something is wrong somewhere.

I don’t know if the problem is with the quality of champions we produce or poor attitude of clubs towards Africa club football. I was surprised when Premier League defending champions, Kano Pillars, crashed out at the first round of the Champions League, while an unknown club from Mali eliminated Enyimba in the second round. It shows that our champions are not serious or that they are not worthy champions. I want to ask the NFF and the LMC to declare state of emergency in the League so that worthy champions that can compete favourably on the continent can emerge at the end of this season.


here are discordant tunes over officiating in the Premier League this season. Respondents however agree that the level of impunity by referees in the past had been curtailed. Most of the clubs that were contacted to add their voice on the quality of officiating, scored officials average, but insisted that the appointment of referees for League matches should be returned to the League Management Company to allow for easy monitoring . They alleged that those saddled with the responsibility of assigning matches in NFF are being mischievous, in connivance with some club officials, while others see no problem with officiating. They cited what happened in the match between Bayelsa United and El Kanemi Warriors as an example to buttress their point. “What happened when Bayelsa United played El kanemi is a good example of impunity that exists in the league. The center referee and his assistants did not follow the script they had been given and at the end of the day, the NFF had to spend money to convey an Organizational and Disciplinary Committee meeting to resolve the stalement, which was unnecessary. Though we have seen some improvements because of the presence of cameras and live matches on Supersport, there is still room for improvement”. Every week, clubs both at the National League and the Premier League cry foul over officiating, though it is not peculiar to Nigeria, it could be minimised to the barest minimum when integrity is made the watchword of referees. “Why are our referees ignored both by CAF and FIFA? We have not taken time to analyse this, but the earlier we did, the better for our League which has started attracting attention from players outside Nigeria.”

Long list of coaches jostling for Giwa post


en Duamlong has joined the long list of coaches scrambling for Giwa FC job. Ex-Mighty Jets handler Bernard Ogbe is also among the coaches who have indicated interest in taking over at the Nigeria Premier League side. Other interested coaches who wish to replace suspended Abdullahi Biffo are former Shooting Stars coaches Festus Allen and Hakeem Busari. Biffo was suspended by the team President Chris Giwa, before the coach submitted his resignation letter. Veteran coach Kadiri Ikhana has already been linked with the post. “Many coaches are interested in taking over Giwa FC,” a top source hinted. “In fact the team has received applications and interests from coaches, the team is pondering over who to appoint, but they are not in a hurry. “The coaches include Kadiri Ikhana, Festus Allen (Former Bukola Babes FC), Akeem Busari (former 3SC), Emmanuel Deutch (Cameroonian, a former JUTH FC coach, Ben Duamlong (immediate past coach of Kaduna United), Bernard Ogbe and Audu Isa Pele (Ex-Mighty Jets and ExJUTH coach).”




PSA lists Lagos International Squash Classics as World Tour


Oshiomhole during last year’s Okpekpe race

Okpekpe Race: 3,000 athletes battle for $25, 000 Charles Ogundiya


head of the second edition of the much anticipated 10-kilometre road race in Edo State, on Saturday, May 3, it has been confirmed that over 3,000 athletes are battle ready for the $25, 000 prize money. According to the race coordinator, Yusuf Alli; “We have confirmed over 3,000 athletes for this year’s event. All of them are coming here for the prize money especially the foreign based athletes, while the Nigerian athletes promise to give the foreigners a good run for their money.” Meanwhile, Malta Guinness has finalised plans to participate in the Road Race for the second year running, in a

bid to promote healthy living as well as provide a productive platform for Nigeria’s vast youth population. With the extended partnership with the rights owner of the race, Pamodzi Sports Marketing, Malta Guinness Low Sugar has now become the official Malt drink for the competition. Marketing Director, Guinness Nigeria Austin Ufomba said that: “We see the Okpekpe Road Race as an ideal platform to touch the lives of Nigeria’s vast youth population, as well as a way to affect the lives of the host communities of the race. “Malta Guinness Low Sugar is all about giving the energy that every Nigerian needs to achieve their dreams as well as staying fit and healthy. This partnership is all about working together to,

among other things, propel the growth of road race in the country as well as offer the youths of this country a constructive endeavour to channel their energies.” Mr Mike Itemuagbor, Chief Executive Officer of Pamodzi Sports Marketing, expressed delight in the partnership extension. He stated that the alliance would go a long way to helping his company to achieve the objectives of the race which include ploughing part of the revenues from hosting the race into charity work in the host communities. Cash prizes await male and female participants, with $25, 000 (about 4 million naira) for the first place winner in the male category and $15, 000 (over 2 million naira) for the first woman who reaches the finish line.

ollowing the success of the Lagos International Squash Classics, the Professional Squash Association has listed the tournament as part of its 2014 World Tours. According to Chief Executive Officer of PSA, Alex Gough, the last major tournament hosted by Nigeria was in 2008 and the return of the tour to Lagos would lure a lot of top class players to the competition. “It is fantastic to see high level international competition returning to Nigeria, and the enthusiasm and passion for the sport which is so evident among the tournament organisers is great to see,” said Gough. The tournament tagged 2014 Lagos International Squash Classic is a PSA International 25, which is one of the highest levels for the fourth quarter of the year in the PSA calendar. According to the Chairman, Lagos State Squash Association, Sanya Akindele, hosting the tournament would indeed improve the fortunes of the game.

“We’re delighted to be working together with the PSA to see top class squash return to the country and to see some of the biggest names in squash coming to Nigeria,” he said. For the Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the Lagos Sports Classics, Wahid Oshodi, this is an indication that the Classics has grown in international stature in its first year.


Remo Football Academy wins Ladi Adebutu Cup


emo Football Academy has won the 2nd edition of the Ladi Adebutu Under- 20 Football Competition. The team defeated Zuma Football Club of Iperu Remo in the final match played at the Old Police College ground, Iperu Remo, Ogun State on Sunday, April 27, 2014. The tournament which started on March 16 was sponsored by Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu in his effort at developing grassroots soccer within the Ogun East district and featured teams from the Remo and Ijebu divisions. Aleke Babes FC of Ijebu, Igbo had earlier won the 3rd position in a 3rdplace final played on Sunday, April 20, 2014. The sponsor, Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu in his address at the occasion, highlighted the principal objective of the tournament which is to create a forum for youngsters to spend quality

time in developing their physical and individual sporting skills. “it is therefore my aspiration to continue this competition on a yearly basis for the aforementioned successes, hoping that somehow, someday, as an added bonus, we will succeed in the creation of icons and leaders, and ultimately raise a successful under-20 team”. Hon. Adebutu listed some of the gains recorded from the maiden edition, which includes the raising of a worthy team that participated up to the quarter finals in the Sir Kesington Adebutu Under-18 football competition held last year, and the invitation of some of the discovered talents from the competition, namely Udoh Akpan, Sunday Michael and Femi Ayodele all of the Remo Football Academy to the National Under 17 and Under 15 teams respectively.

No World Cup pressure for Anthony Ujah CONTINUED from PAGE 25

Henshaw’s opponent, Mabika Taylor (left) jabs an opponent

Henshaw targets African Cruiserweight belt Charles Ogundiya


igeria’s cruiserweight boxing champion Ekeng Henshaw has said that he is battle ready to dethrone Mabika Taylor of Gabon as the African cruiserweight champion come May 24, in Gabon. The bout already sanctioned by The Nigerian Boxing Board of Control, will see the two going head to head in an African Boxing Union 12 rounder. Henshaw who is an Inspector in the Nigerian Police believes he will do well in Gabon.

“I have been training very hard because I know he is not an easy opponent. He is the current African champion and ranked ahead of me in the world. It will not be an easy fight, but I am ready. “I have watched some of his fights; my coach also watched his last fight where he knocked out his opponent,” Henshaw said. I have studied him and know his weaknesses, which I am going to capitalise on,” he said. The Nigeria champion however appealed to the Nigeria government and the Nigeria Police to support him in order to achieve his goal of becoming

African champion. Henshaw said; “I need assistance from the government, the Cross River State government and the Inspector General of Police to assist me in this fight because I am not going to Gabon on my own, I will be representing Nigeria. As an officer of the Nigerian Police I believe the force should be solidly behind me.” The former amateur boxer recently turned professional has three professional fights already, two wins and a loss, while his opponent, Mabika has 13 professional bouts, winning 11, five knock outs and two loses.

as I picked up a lot of things from them. The coaches (Stephen Keshi, Daniel Amokachi and Ike Shorunmu) are legends of the national team. I might not have made a lot of impact but I took a lot of positives from my first experience with the national team.” The striker believes the national team set up has a good scouting system to monitor Super Eagles players wherever they may be plying their trade, and as such he has not lost hope completely. The Cologne star who has scored 10 goals for the German side which just got promotion to the Bundesliga, said he is remaining positive because in football you never say never. “Not all the players being invited are being watched regularly in Nigeria. I believe the national team handlers have a good scouting system and get the reports they need,” Ujah said. “In football everything is possible. I have had a good season so I feel I have something to help the team with. So I will stay positive and be patient.” He however hopes he gets anoth-

er chance to prove his worth while also recalling his first time in the Super Eagles with nostalgia. Ujah also revealed that he never at any time doubted Cologne’s ability to get promotion. “We had difficulties in the first four games of the campaign, which we drew, but after those games we found our rhythm and became more consistent,” he said.



oseph Yobo could make a return to Norwich starting line-up when they welcome title contenders in the English Premier League on Sunday. The Nigeria captain was sidelined for about three weeks and his expected comeback last weekend against Manchester United was delayed after he failed a last minute fitness test.


Yobo ready to tackle Mikel

t is the turn of Super Eagles striker, John Utaka, to face the meanness of his compatriot, Godfrey Oboabona, who will be in the defence line of Rizespor when Sivasspor arrive for a Turkish Super Lig match today. Oboabona was solid in the defence for Rizespor as the less-fancied side held the league champions, Fernabhce to a goalless draw in Istanbul last weekend. The former Sunshine Stars of Akure captain ensured that his national teammate and Yellow Canaries top striker, mmanuel Emenike, was frustrated throughout the encounter. He will be called upon to mete out similar treatment to yet another Nigerian, Utaka when they welcome rejuvenated Sivasspor. Utaka has been in an impressive form recently,the former Lens of France hit man has scored seven times this term and five of those goals came in their last eight games. But the former Portsmouth of England player will have to find a way past Oboabona if he is to continue his scoring spree. Oboabona has been a regular feature for Rizespor as he has not racked up 18 league appearances for the modest side.


Oboabona faces Utaka’s fire in Turkey



ajibade oluSesan



anchester City look to continue their Premier League title charge today as they travel to Merseyside to take on Everton. The Toffees are making their own push for a Champions League berth, so both sides have a lot to gain and lose from this huge clash. City enter the game on the back of a solid 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, which saw Edin Dzeko and Yaya Toure net first-half goals at Selhurst Park. Everton, meanwhile, have sandwiched losses to Palace and Southampton around a win over Manchester United. Coupled with Liverpool’s slip-up at Anfield against Chelsea, City are now within three points of the league-leading Reds with a game still in hand to be played on May 7 against Aston Villa. Arsenal’s win over Newcastle Monday evening has all but assured the Gunners another fourth-place finish, sitting four points above Everton. Both teams desperately need to win this match to make strides toward achieving their goals, but

while Everton’s two losses have been cancelled by two Arsenal wins, likely denying them Champions League football. A decent share of injuries have taken their toll on both teams recently, especially City. They were without Yaya Toure for much of the Liverpool loss as well as the Sunderland draw, but his return helped spearhead the result against Palace. They were still without David Silva, Jesus Navas and Matija Nastasic last weekend, as Manuel Pellegrini pointed out in the pre-match conference. There’s no telling if they’ll be back for this one, but City have looked OK without them the last two matches. To make things better for Pellegrini, he’s gotten both Toure and Sergio Aguero back in recent weeks, both of whom are primed to make an impact in this crucial matchup. We’ve already seen both players score in the last two wins, so things are looking up for the Citizens.

tletico Madrid can crown a superb week and wrap up what would be a remarkable La Liga title triumph


Atletico may wrap up La Liga Sunday

who will come out on top in the end? Not long ago, a win was projected for the home side at Goodison Park, but a lot has changed since then. As mentioned before, City did what Chelsea could not and what Liverpool must: take three points at Selhurst Park. That came on the back of a win at home against West Brom, a good bounceback showing after the loss at Anfield and the bogey draw against sudden upstarts Sunderland. Everton had won seven Premier League matches on the tret until Palace waltzed into Goodison Park and showcased more of their remarkable turnaround, defeating a second top-five opponent in less than a month. The Toffees then handed David Moyes his final defeat as Manchester United manager before slumping to a 2-0 loss to Southampton last weekend. Overall, Everton have still won eight of 10 in league play and City seven, but their stumbles have come at inopportune times for both. City have gotten lucky with Liverpool sliding back to the pack,

City chase crown to Goodison Park

Global Football Special


ilan’s Riccardo Montolivo admits beating Inter will not rescue a poor campaign, but says there is extra incentive to win Sunday’s derby. Serie A giants Milan have endured a testing campaign, and sit 42 points adrift of leaders Juventus in 10th position. Clarence Seedorf ’s side has an opportunity to secure a rare high point in a season of lows, when they face rivals Inter at San Siro this weekend.


Milan eye Inter scalp

tuttgart could have Martin Harnik available for their crucial Bundesliga clash on Saturday despite the Austrian winger needing shoulder surgery. Harnik dislocated his shoulder in Stuttgart’s 0-0 draw at Hannover last week, which took the relegationthreatened Swabian club five points clear of the Bundesliga’s drop zone with two games left. Stuttgart will host highflying Wolfsburg in the penultimate round knowing a draw should be enough to secure top-flight football for next season, and Harnik could play after the 26-year-old was involved in training on Tuesday. Huub Stevens’ Stuttgart have not lost in four games as they attempt to avoid relegation and Georg Niedermeier believes the Dutch coach’s focus on defence has been crucial, as his side has conceded just two goals in that period. “Stevens values defensive work greatly and that has worked very well for us of late,” the 28-year-old defender said. The draw at Hannover took 15th-placed Stuttgart to 32 points, five clear of Hamburg, who occupy the relegation play-off position.

Stuttgart fight dirty against Wolfsburg


P 35

SERIA A No. Team 1 Juventus

Pts 93

Pts 84 65 58 55 54 52 50 46 41 41 36 36 36 36 32 27 26 25

No Team P 1 Bayern 32 2 Dortmund 32 3 Schalke 32 4 Leverkusen 32 5 Wolfsburg 32 6 M’gladbach 32 7 Mainz 32 8 Augsburg 32 9 Hoffenheim 32 10 Hertha 32 11 Frankfurt 32 12 Freiburg 32 13 Hannover 32 14 Bremen 32 15 Stuttgart 32 16 Hamburg 32 17 1. Nürnberg 32 18 Braunschweig 32


Pts 88 84 82 65 59 57 52 45 43 43 42 41 41 37 36 35 35 33 32 22

P 35 35 34 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 34 35

NO TEAM 1 Atlético 2 Barcelona 3 Real 4 Bilbao 5 Sevilla 6 Sociedad 7 Villarreal 8 Valencia 9 Vallecano 10 Celta Vigo 11 Levante 12 Espanyol 13 Málaga 14 Granada 15 Elche 16 Osasuna 17 Getafe 18 Almería 19 Valladolid 20 Betis

PTS 80 78 77 73 69 66 60 52 46 44 43 39 37 37 36 35 32 32 31 30


NO TEAM P 1 Liverpool 36 2 Chelsea 36 3 Man City 35 4 Arsenal 36 5 Everton 36 6 Tottenham 36 7 Man Utd 35 8 Southampton 36 9 Newcastle 36 10 Stoke 36 11 C/Palace 36 12 Swansea 36 13 Hull 35 14 West Ham 36 15 West Brom 35 16 Aston Villa 35 17 Sunderland 35 18 Norwich 36 19 Fulham 36 20 Cardiff 36


and the Eagles are keen on a more long-term deal. Chamakh admits he has enjoyed himself at Selhurst Park but has refused to say whether or not he will extend his stay or move to pastures new. “Everyone knows I have enjoyed being here this season,” he revealed. “We had a big challenge when I came here - probably bigger than any challenge I’ve had before, s o that was good for me. “We did really well this season, there was a good atmosphere among the players and now that we are at the end of the season I can look back and be really happy about what we achieved.”


helsea are considering a shock move for Tottenham midfielder Paulinho in a move that could pave the way for Romelu Lukaku to head in the other direction. Paulinho joined Spurs for £17 million from Corinthians last summer, as part of the club’s overhaul following the world record sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, but the Brazilian has failed to impress at White Hart Lane. After a promising start under former manager Andre Villas-Boas, Paulinho was sidelined by an injury sustained against Stoke in December and has found himself out of favour since


Boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather has contemplated calling it quits but says it is only legacy which is keeping him from throwing in the towel. The pound-for-pound ace has admitted he is in two minds about whether he wants to continue boxing, with the allure of adding to his already glittering résumé preventing him from bringing the curtain down on an 18-year career.

Rene Girard’s men will allow Saint-Etienne to keep the race for third place alive with victory over a Montpellier side who are all but sure of their place in the top flight for next season.



Dortmund Bayern Dortmund Hertha Berlin Nürnberg

Stuttgart v Wolfsburg

Bundesliga Saturday Nürnberg v Hannover Dortmund v Hoffenheim M’gladbach v Mainz Braunschweig v Augsburg Frankfurt v Leverkusen Hamburg v Bayern Freiburg v Schalke Bremen v Hertha

LA Liga Saturday Barcelona v Getafe Málaga v Elche Osasuna v Celta Vigo Valladolid v Espanyol Sunday Almería v Betis Levante v Atlético Sevilla v Villarreal Real Madrid v Valencia

Serie A Sunday Catania v Roma Chievo v Torino Genoa v Bologna Parma v Sampdoria Udinese v Livorno Milan v Inter

Premier League West Ham v Tottenham Aston Villa v Hull Man Utd v Sunderland Newcastle v Cardiff Stoke v Fulham Swansea v Southampton Everton v Man City Sunday Arsenal v West Brom Chelsea v Norwich


2 Roma 35 85 3 Napoli 35 69 4 Fiorentina 35 61 5 Inter 35 57 6 Torino 35 52 7 Lazio 35 52 8 Verona 35 52 9 Parma 35 51 10 Milan 35 51 11 Atalanta 35 47 12 Sampdoria 35 44 13 Genoa 35 40 14 Cagliari 35 39 15 Udinese 35 39 16 Chievo 35 30 17 Sassuolo 35 28 18 Bologna 35 28 19 Livorno 35 25 20 Catania 35 23

Thousands of Formula One fans on Thursday commemorated the 20th anniversary of Ayrton Senna’s death at the scene of the sport’s darkest day in Imola in Italy as tributes poured in for the late Brazilian master driver. Brazilian flags were hung on a fence at the Tamburello corner where the triple world champion’s Williams careered off into a concrete barrier on lap seven at 190mph (307km/h) in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

Bundesliga Pos.Player Goals Team 1 Robert Lewandowski 18 1 Mario Mandžukic 18 3 Marco Reus 16 3 Adrian Ramos 16 3 Josip Drmic 16

Serie A No Player Goals Team 1 Ciro Immobile 21 Torino 2 Carlos Tévez 19 Juventus 2 Luca Toni 19 Verona 4 Higuaín 17 Napoli 5 Llorente 15 Juventus 5 Palacio 15 Inter

La Liga No Player Goals Team 1 Cristiano Ronaldo 30 Real Madrid 2 Diego Costa 27 Atlético 2 Lionel Messi 27 Barcelona 4 Karim Benzema 17 Real Madrid 4 Alexis Sánchez 17 Barcelona 6 Adúriz 16 Athletic Club 6 Antoine Griezmann 16 Sociedad

EPL Pos. Player Goals Team 1 Luis Suarez 30 Liverpool 2 Daniel Sturridge 20 Liverpool 3 Yaya Touré 19 Manchester City 4 Wayne Rooney 17 Manchester United 5 Sergio Agüero 16 Manchester City 6 Olivier Giroud 15 Arsenal


Captain Montolivo feels that the slim opportunity to reach the UEFA Europa League and to avenge December’s 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture has provided extra motivation, but added that three points will not be enough to excuse a disappointing season. Speaking to Corriere dello Sport, he said: “First of all, for us this should be a derby of pride, to redeem a season that has not been great and to try to take a Europa League qualification place, and to avenge the derby from the first round. “In short, for many reasons, we want to win. However, it is not that one game, even if it is the derby, can lift an entire season from being negative. “I would like to win more now that I have the captain’s armband. With Inter we are six points behind and with only three rounds to play.

Olympic 100m silver medallist Yohan Blake has confirmed he will compete at July’s Glasgow Grand Prix and says he is ready to “light up the track” again. The Jamaican, 24, was unable to defend his 100m title at last year’s World Championships because of injury. He will race against World Indoor 60m champion Richard Kilty and Kilty’s British team-mate Adam Gemili.


ith Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco both out of action, attention in Ligue 1 turns to Lille’s quest to secure a UEFA Champions League place. Leaders PSG and secondplaced Monaco will both sit out this weekend due to the participation of Rennes and Guingamp - who were scheduled to be their respective opponents - in Saturday’s Coupe de France final. That means the title race cannot be settled until next Wednesday, but Lille’s place in the Champions League can be determined when they visit Bastia on Friday. Lille need to win in Corsica to seal a return to Europe’s premier club competition regardless of what fourth-placed Saint-Etienne do in their clash with Montpellier on Sunday. However, any slip-up from


roughly the same amount Spurs will command for Paulinho. Paulinho recently admitted he has become frustrated at Spurs, while Sherwood responded by telling him to earn his place in the starting line-up.

leti c o’s superior head-to-head record means they would seal their first La Liga title since 1996. Real host Valencia on Sunday and play their match in hand at Real Valladolid on Wednesday. Former Argentina captain Simeone was a key member of the 1996 team, who also won the Copa del Rey that season, and the commitment and intensity he showed as a player seems to have rubbed off on his current charges.


Enyeama’s Lille look to secure Champions League place

if they win at Levante on Sunday and Barcelona and Real Madrid lose at home to Getafe and Valencia. Diego Simeone’s outperforming Atletico side set up a Champions League final clash against Real with a 3-1 comeback win at Chelsea on Wednesday, the latest in a series of brilliant performances that have transformed the club into a genuine force in Spain and Europe. Victory at Levante would put Atletico on 91 points with two games left, while defeat for second-placed Barca against Getafe on Saturday would leave them stuck on 84 and end their bid for a fifth title in six years. Barca host Atletico on the final day of the season. Even if they lost on Sunday, Real, third on 82 points and with a game in hand, could still draw level with Atletico if they win their last three games and their city rivals lose their last two. However,


Tim Sherwood took over. Chelsea’s move for the midfielder is, according to the Daily Telegraph, being overseen by agent Giuliano Bertolucci, who also played a role in David Luiz, Ramires and Oscar moving to west London. Roma and AC Milan are also reportedly interested in Paulinho, but while Spurs will be loath to sell to their bitter rivals, their hand may be forced by their interest in Lukaku. The Belgian striker has scored 14 goals on loan at Everton this season and Chelsea want £25 million -

Chelsea eye Paulinho signing C

afael Benitez will look to crown his first year with Napoli with a trophy when they face Fiorentina in Saturday’s Coppa Italia final. The Spaniard took over at the Stadio San Paolo last May after Walter Mazzarri left to join Inter. He has enjoyed relative success in his maiden season Napoli, all but securing a return to the UEFA Champions League for next season, a competition from which they suffered a narrow exit in the group stages

this term. Former Valencia, Liverpool, Inter and Chelsea boss Benitez has won a trophy with each of the last four clubs he has managed and is on the brink of continuing that streak with Napoli at the Stadio Olimpico. But the 2012 winners face a stern test if they are to regain the trophy against a Fiorentina team who represent their only competition for Serie A’s final Champions League spot, and who will be desperate to end a 13-year wait for silverware.

Napoli, Fiorentina battle for Copa Italia trophy

Graham Gooch has been sacked as England’s batting coach with immediate effect, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Thursday, as the fallout from the Ashes drubbing continued. The former England captain joined the team as a consultant batting coach in late 2009 before taking up a fulltime role in early 2012. His departure was announced two weeks after Peter Moores returned as England coach in place of Andy Flower, who resigned following the whitewash Down Under in January.


arouane Chamakh says he has been revitalised since arriving at Crystal Palace but it remains to be seen if he will stay. The Moroccan striker struggled to settle in England after signing for Arsenal from French side Bordeaux and a loan spell at West Ham also failed to bring the best out of him. One or two eyebrows were raised when Palace snapped him on a one-year deal, but he has shown some of his best form


Chamakh coy on Palace future

But the Nigeria has confirmed himself available to help Norwich in their drive to escape relegation. It remained to be seen if Obi Mikel will find a place on Coach Jose Mourinho line-up when brusied Chelsea push for the only available trophy of the season. Aston Villa’s Gabriel Agbolahor has consid- Mikel ered their match against Sone Aluko’s Hull City as their most important game of the season. The Villa Park landlords are battling the drop. Aluko has found regular playing time rare recently in Steve Bruce side but his efforts in their 2-2 draw at Fulham last weekend should get him more playing time in Yobo the run-in. PH ON SATURDAY Y 2014






Moyes puts Man United woes behind...hits Miami Beach


s Manchester United’s new dawn began with a thumping opening victory for Ryan Giggs, former boss David Moyes chose to escape with a sunshine break to the Sunshine State. The day after United thrashed Norwich City at Old Trafford, Moyes - sacked as manager on Tuesday, was pictured on Miami Beach as he tried to put a dismal week behind him. The Scot doesn’t seem to be able to leave it all behind, however, as he was snapped checking his phone in Florida - is he in the running for any managerial jobs, we wonder? Moyes was also pictured in the airport in Miami and in a restaurant with his wife Pamela, but again he could not resist checking his phone. It is believed that he has reached a financial settlement with United, thought to be around £7million. A statement for the League Managers Association said: ‘The LMA and Manchester United are pleased to confirm that terms of


settlement have been agreed between the Club and David Moyes in respect of the termination of his employment. ‘A settlement agreement is in the process of being finalised. No further comment will be made in relation to this issue.’ There have been allegations of players mocking Moyes behind his back in his later months of Old Trafford, and he did not thank them in his own LMA statement. Part of it read: ‘In my short time at the club I have learnt what special places Old Trafford and Carrington are. I would like to thank the United staff for making me feel so welcome and part of the United family from my first day. And of course thank you to those fans who have supported me throughout the season. I wish you and the club all the best for the future.’ Sir Alex Ferguson, the man who hand picked Moyes to succeed him at United, has also spoken out about the departure, claiming it was ‘upsetting the way it came out.’

Drogba launches men’s underwear range


idier Drogba has launched his very own men’s underwear range which will see a percentage from every pair of pants sold go to his charity foundation. The former Chelsea striker teamed up with Marseille-based designers HOM last year to create an exclusive range of men’s underwear and beachwear which will go on sale on May 1. The 36-year-old took to his official Instagram account to post an exclusive image of himself wearing the new range. Drogba wrote: ‘I’m very proud to announce the launch of my underwear brand. The first underwear brand that will be launched to support a foundation, my foundation, The didierdrogbafoundation.’

The Galatasaray forward recently received a hero’s welcome upon his return to Stamford Bridge as the Turkish side were knocked out of the Champions League by Chelsea in April. Drogba failed to get on the score sheet over the two legs as Chelsea fans celebrated the return of the player who scored the winning penalty to hand the Blues Champions League success in 2012. Speaking of his new venture with HOM, Drogba added: ‘By producing my own line of underwear I’m able to achieve two goals; to design a fashionable men’s underwear range, and to create a product that will directly support my charitable foundation - to aid in healthcare and education in the Ivory Coast.’



Meet the woman carrying next Djokovic


ovak Djokovic has announced that he is to become a father after his fiancee Jelena Ristic fell pregnant. The world No 2 took to Twitter to tell his 2.91million followers the news, posting an image of himself with Jelena along with the message: ‘Jelena is pregnant!!! We will be parents soon! #blessed’ The pair, who announced their engagement in September last year, have been together for almost nine year. Novak Djokovic announces that his fiancee is pregnant on Twitter It is not yet known whether the birth of his first child will affect Djokovic’s schedule this season, with the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open all still to come this year. The Serbian struggled to find his best form in the first two months of 2014 but turned things around with consecutive victories at the Paribas Open at Indian Wells and the Sony Open in Miami. Djokovic is optimistic of being fit for the Madrid Masters in two weeks’ time after a wrist injury suffered in training was found to be not as serious as first thought.

Ovie Ochuko hails Abraka Turf over Polo, Tourism growth


is Royal Majesty, AVM Lucky Ochuko Ararile (rtd) has heaped praises on Prince Albert Esiri for spearheading the development of the noble game of Polo and Promoting Tourism in the Niger Delta region of the country. The Ovie of Umiaghwa Abraka Kingdom, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the just concluded Abraka international polo tournament in Oria, Delta State, described Abraka Turf & Country Club as a shinning example of an individual effort at projecting the tourism potentials of Delta State and Nigeria internationally. While urging the state government to support the pioneering effort of Esiri in repositioning the state as one of the biggest tourism attraction in Africa, the Ovie also call on other worthy sons of Delta and corporate organisations to join hands in transforming Delta State, the region and the country generally. “Let me on behalf of the Umiaghwa Abraka Kingdom and all the entire people of Delta State, thank Prince Albert Esiri for his visionary effort at putting up this world class facility that has for the past decade been positively projecting the image of the state and the region internationally,” the royal father said. The Ovie, who ascended the throne in a colourful coronation ceremony


Chimaobi Uchendu


two years ago, described the Abraka 2014 experience as a great one whose memories would linger for a long time. He congratulated the players for their skills and thanked visitors and polo enthusiasts who were part of the historic annual fiesta. The event was decided on the lush lawn of the exotic resort which was packed full with top personalities who came to be part of the tourney. The long list of personalities who witnessed the prestigious polo event includes the Ovie whose entourage includes HRM Queen Oniemo, Princess Voke Ararile, Prince (Dr.) Obuks and Prince Ochuko Ejohwomu and the Ojeba of Agbor Kingdom, HRM V.N. Ikechukwu. Others personalities were the former Minister Police Affair, Chief Bozimo, Chief (Dr.) Mrs. Cecilia Ibru, Dr. Leslie Akporiaye from the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, Dr, Paul Okumagba, Chief & Mrs. Yoma Esiso, and Chairman of Ukwuani LGA, Ochor Chris. The resort is set on several

The Ovie of Umiaghwa Abraka Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, AVM Lucky Ochuko Ararile and HRM Queen Oniemo pose with players of Ashton Wells team ( winners of the International Gold Cup standing ) and Ashbert Raiders (Seated ) who were runners-up.

hectares of lush cultivated tropical gardens for families, couples and individuals; offering holiday accommodation in villas and apartments. Being away from the hustle and bustle of the business hubs of Nigeria, Abraka Turf and Country Club is the perfect environment to completely relax or embark on all the adventures this magnificent re-

gion has to offer. Abraka’s unique combination of location, country club atmosphere, luxury accommodation and friendly staff, makes packing your bags to leave this exotic place a great challenge. The Turf and Country Club, boasts of a breathtaking setting that is surrounded by lush tropical jungle and bordered by the beautiful River

Ethiope. The Turf has equestrian facilities for polo and horse riding and has the best stables in the country with various breeds of horses, ranging from local to argentines. Other activities to be enjoyed at the club include archery, clay pigeon shooting, lawn tennis, squash, canoeing, and a driving range for golfers.




My talent assured me a place in Westerhof’s team –Fuludu

How did football start for you? As a young boy growing up, football came to me naturally. Growing up in the ghetto then the only thing we did apart from going to school was to play football. The passion was there. I started playing very early. I played for my primary school in the early ‘70s and then played for my secondary school. When I gained admission into University of Benin, I was drafted into the school team from my year one. I participated in two NUGA games for UNIBEN. Professionally, I played for New Nigeria Bank as an undergraduate and became the team captain in 1987. How did you combine football with education? I was fortunate and blessed by God to have met someone like Coach Godwin Izilein, who was such a fantastic motivator. I met him during my days at NNB. Most coaches would have told a player to choose between football and education, but Izilein encouraged me to excel on both fronts. He provided an official car to take me back to the campus after training and after each match. He made it easy for me to do well and I appreciate his effort in my life. There was a time when I was in UNIBEN and I had to make a big career sacrifice as I dropped football to concentrate on my education. I was invited to the national U-20 team ahead of the World Youth Championship in Chile, in 1987, but because of my exams I opted out because I needed my degree first. So I stayed back to do my degree exams.

Former Nigerian international, Edema Fuludu, in this interview with CHARLES OGUNDIYA, speaks on his football career, how education has helped him after retirement and his current position with the Delta State Football League. Excerpts: have a suitable platform to pick players instead of recycling old players.

league categories in Delta State, Div. 1, Div. 2 and Div. 3.

What are the challenges so far? The first major obstacle was selling the idea to the coaches, the players and those we call stakeholders in the game of football in the state; there was a lot of skepticism that it cannot work. It had failed in the past, people kept asking where it will start from, which team will be in division one or two and so on, but I told them that if you have a vision and conviction, you can be successful. We created a platform where everyone had a chance to compete and qualify to play in division one; a lot of the teams in the state registered, of course a few who believe it won’t work stayed away. At the end of the day, all the teams that qualified did so on merit and we are happy that the league has been progressing well since then. We have three different

What is your advice to current footballers with regard to education? I will first

Do you regret that decision? Honestly, I never regretted that decision. Now that my football career is over, I have my certificates to fall back on, and it has been putting food on my table. I had a degree in Business Administration, a diploma in Computer Science and I also have my Master’s degree. All these have prepared me well for the next phase of my career. How did the Delta State Football League come about? As an ex-international, football is my primary constituency. People keep shouting grassroots development, but nothing is being done about it. Whenever there is a problem with the national team or any other teams, the next thing they say is ‘let us go back to the drawing board’. But I cannot see the board, so I decided to partner with my chairman, Amaju Pinnick, and that was how we came about the idea of a state league; a league where we can discover talents from the grassroots. With this league, footballers will have a platform to exhibit their talent, and our Premier League teams will

I was asked to mark out Carlos Valdarama in the game. He was a big player and I had a good game even though we lost 1-0.

advise the Nigeria Football Federation to encourage the younger generation to combine football with education. The truth is football is deceptive. As glamorous as it is, a lot of people believe that they can just come into it and reap from it, but people must understand how deceptive it is. For example, in a given successful team, maybe only four or five of the players will remain in the spotlight some years down the road, while the rest of the players fade into oblivion. That is why I say that football is deceptive. I try to tell the coming generation as often as I have the opportunity, how some ex-footballers from my generation have become beggars. Some even went as far as carrying placards not long ago pleading with the Federal Government to come to their aid. So, those who are playing now should try and invest in what can sustain them after their career. And if they can’t do that they should go back to school. But it is difficult these days to combine education and football because the demands of the modern game are quite challenging. Only very few players can manage to combine both, but if you believe you cannot do that then get technical support for yourself by becoming a coach, or by learning a trade as soon as possible. This is particularly advisable for those players who are still young, because a time will come that if you do not leave football, football will leave you. It is what you make of your life that you will reap later. Can you describe your greatest game for the Super Eagles? I remember a Nations Cup


qualifying match against Uganda in Lagos in 1992; that match readily comes to mind, also my debut for the Eagles against Burkina Faso on February 7, 1991, it was a great game for me. The match against Colombia in the US Gold Cup in 1995 is equally memorable. I was asked to mark out Carlos Valdarama in the game. He was a big player and I had a good game even though we lost 1-0. And some other games like that. The only regret was that I did not feature so much for the national team because from 1991 Westerhof had started talking about foreign-based players; more of our people have started going to Europe and the focus shifted to the foreignbased professionals, although some of us still fought our way in because we were naturally gifted and hardworking. In the Nations Cup of 1994 when Nigeria won the championship outside the shores of the country for the first time, I was privileged to be part of it, but I did not make it eventually to the World Cup in United States of America. I was one of the three home-based players that were dropped from the team by Westerhof. The others were Isaac Semitoje and Nduka Ugbade. What do you think of Super Eagles chances at the World Cup in Brazil? Nigeria is as good as any other teams that qualified to the Mundial. If USA with all the financial and infrastructural power is not given high probability to win the World Cup, while third world countries like Argentina and Brazil without the financial muscle are rated highly to win the Mundial, then it boils down to winning mentality ingrained over the years which African teams lack, Nigeria inclusive. But we can only try our best at the World Cup. The unending face-off between Coach Stephen Keshi and the NFF, don’t you think it is a needless distraction with barely 40 days to World Cup? Keshi and the NFF should be working in harmony to achieve the objective of doing well at the World Cup. Any form of squabbles should not be made public. But I think they must have settled any mis-understanding. What do you think of Nigeria’s group for the 2015 Nations Cup qualifiers with teams like South Africa and Sudan? To me we have a very reasonable group. We should not find it difficult to get to Morocco and defend the title we won in South Africa last year.



Countdown to Fifa World Cup Adekunle Salami


he forthcoming FIFA World Cup will be unique in many ways positively and otherwise. The positive aspects are enormous. That will be a story for another day. Stakeholders from all aspects are excited about the World Cup in Brazil but the South American country is a big place. Brazil is one of the biggest countries in the world. Only fifth behind Russia, Canada, USA and China. Brazil has a land mass of 8,511,965 km square. Algeria is the biggest in Africa and 10th in the world. Interestingly, Algeria will also be at the World Cup. There are 12 venues for the forthcoming Mundial and they are not close to one another. The closest is Sao Paulo to Curitiba which is about 211 miles. This is about 33 minutes by flight and over three hours drive by road. For example, the distance between Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza is 1364 miles and it is 3hrs 30mins by air while Porto Algre to Fortaleza is 2001 miles which is 4hrs 13mins by air. Rio to Manaus is also 1774 miles by road and 4hrs by flight. Sao Paulo to Manaus is 1622 miles while Cuiaba to Sao Paulo is 1450 miles. FIFA normally works with the host country to reduce the logistics burden of visitors but this time, it is going to be tough and very expensive for people to enjoy the World Cup in Brazil. Journalists and other stakeholders are used to seeing venues near one another. For example, there were two venues in Johannesburg and another in Pretoria, just an hour away. At the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Gelsenkirchen, Dortmund and Cologne were venues all within an hour’s drive. Frankfurt and Kaiserslautern were also about eighty miles apart. No doubt, the competition is going to be stressful as spectators and journalists will spend more time in the air and plenty of money trying to watch matches. The government of Brazil has spent so money on upgrading the airports. The organising body argued that the spread was necessary to enable other parts of the country develop well like the bigger cities in Brazil. A journalist who covered the Confederations Cup last year, Lean Richards, stressed that it was tough. “Within Brazil, I flew nine times in just 18 days and that was a huge burden on my nerves and purse. It will be worse now that we are spending over 30 days,” Richards, English journalist said in an email message. For the Super Eagles, they will have to travel from camp base in Campinas to Curitiba for the first match. Campinas is near Sao Paulo and it is estimated to be about 300 miles to Curitiba. After playing Iran in Curitiba, the Eagles will again travel 811 miles to Cuiaba and the trip is about 1hr. 55 mins by air. Nigeria will play Bosnia-Herzegovina in Cuiaba. From Cuiaba, the Super Eagles will move to Porto Algre. It will take them 2 hrs 25 mins by air to cover the 1,045 miles. Eagles will travel over 2,000

Brazil 2014 Expectations:

Maracana stadium

Huge logistics burden ahead for all distance between venues remain major challenge

miles in the preliminaries alone. Spokesman of the board of the Nigeria Football Federation, Chief Emeka Iyama, said the federation was aware of the challenges ahead of the competition. He said, “We have sent people to Brazil for various reasons as part of our preparations for the competition. We know what to do and we expect the players as professionals to adjust to the situation. “There will be people from various departments working to ensure the logistics issues did not affect our performance. We are braced for it since it is a general thing in the competition. Other teams will also experience what we are going to face includ-

ing Brazil.” The media Officer of the Super Eagles, Ben Alaiya, told our correspondent that the experience of the Confederation Cup was enough for Nigeria to tackle the logistics problem in Brazil. He said, “Teams that played in the Confederation Cup last year have an advantage of what to expect because of what we experienced during the competition. The NFF has a camp base for the team in Sao Paulo and the place is good enough to link our match venues. “Coach Stephen Keshi has taken a good study of the logistics and work is on to ensure it does not affect the performance of the team. Those who were not at the Confederation Cup especially the

African countries could find it difficult. “Football is life and competition like this enriches the mind. Knowing places is also part of education. We are ready to face the logistics and make Nigerians happy with good results.” For a journalist, the task is equally huge as the time to write stories could be spent on logistics of booking flight and flying. Fans buying tickets are also in a tight situation if they did not consider distance and other logistics before picking the games to watch. The global showcase in Brazil will surely have many faces and until the first kick on June 12, one might not know the implication of the challenges ahead.

Sao Paulo stadium




Chiding Chimamanda Oris Aigbokhaevbolo


wasn’t sure how to react when the lady told me, “I used to love Chimamanda and follow her success until she said an interviewer should refer to her as Miss.” Hmm, I thought. It was an interesting position to be in, since in being male, an African male, I was the enemy. How do I reconcile progressive thought when a member of the group on whose behalf progressive arguments were made was rejecting what is today almost taken for granted. Had the bird fallen in love with the cage? Did the cage not exist for some people? In any case, it seemed only fair I pointed out to this new friend, a lawyer, a misconception about the exact word the novelist is said to have used. “You know the paper issued something of a retraction later,” I said. “The interviewer appears to have mistaken Miss for Ms.” I produced a receipt and wrote behind it: Mrs, Miss, Ms. I pronounced the words, emphasizing the sounds of the last two titles: “mis” and “miz”. “The first is for married women, the second is for single women and the last is a title for women, irrespective of marital status.” From her facial expression, I could see she didn’t know Ms. But then, in the manner of lawyers, she moved from surprise to stubbornness. “I’ll google it.” “But it didn’t have to matter that much,” she continued. “The venom and vigour she used to interrupt the interviewer was unnecessary. I felt sorry for her husband.” I chuckled. “What if the man is okay with it?” “He cannot be.” She said it with such matter-of-factness you’ll think she just got off the phone from talking to him. “You know he isn’t fully Nigerian.” “Even then… If a man loves me enough to marry me, I’ll bear his name.” Alas, Beyoncé at last: having a ring on it and other stories.


“So you are not a feminist?” “No.” This was even more bizarre than her point of view: meeting a female lawyer, in 2014, who was anything but a rabid, manmunching feminist has to be more arduous than finding the Grail. “These feminists are looking for what they already have. Women are the neck; we can turn the head wherever we like.” Marital Metaphor 101, this head-neck thing. But then I met her reading a book about finding a soul mate. So par for the course. It was time finally to unleash the one question certain to provoke an unrealised feminism into existence: “So you’ll pound yam?” I smiled. This is usually the point where women of the 21st century converge; feminists, non-feminists,

REVIEW post-feminists go hollering into the night, away from the pestle and mortar, united in their disgust for such a subhuman task. To her credit, she didn’t flee or hit back with the veritable side-eye. “No. we’ll find a way about it.” It was so level headed I let it go. “Chimamanda used to be my mentor. And when I read the thing she wrote concerning the gay law I thought well, they’ve gotten to her…” My new friend found her gay support strange, but far easier to understand than the Miss thingy. Her mentor had stumbled when she read Adichie’s essay on the gay law. After the Miss/Mrs/Ms. hullabaloo, her mentor tumbled from on high, falling off a pedestal she

probably didn’t realise she’s on. I am unsure if during this conversation, I was practicing, against a lawyer, some kind of devil advocacy. Being born, bred, buttered, and battered by Nigeria, means whatever feminist progressive thoughts I have are tempered with, ahem, tradition. In other words, a steady pounded yam supply in situ is nonnegotiable. Forgoing the troubled, precarious future of pounded yam to focus on literature: What does the seeming endless controversy generated by our foremost writer mean for the national corpus? I’m not sure, but I’d hazard that it probably isn’t very good news when a writer is discussed more than her work. The exception will have to be if the writer and her work aren’t separable, which for the country’s preeminent novelist, Chimamanda

Praiz steps out in rhythm like never before Tony Okuyeme


raiz, RnB crooner, former MTN Project Fame contestant and brain behind such hit tracks as Oshe, a collaboration with Awilo Longomba and Sweet Potato a collaboration with Chidinmma, has just released a new hit track that no doubt raises the ante. In Mercy the new hit track, Praiz sounds like you’ve never heard him. He’s simply piping hot.

Mercy is a deviation from the style set by his previous works. He blends his normal RnB with copious afrobeat rhythms throwing obvious elements of Soukous into the dance compelling mélange produced by Password. The song intros with a couple of synth keyboard strikes that fade under Praiz distinctive vocal cue for the kicks.

It is a love song, a song of commitment that would definitely stay on repeat at wedding receptions. It is about how Mercy, obviously a lady, has taken over the artiste’s mind and how urgently he wants to show how much he loves her. The way he played on the dual function of the word Mercy ─ as a name ─ and mercy ─ as an English noun for compassion ─ gives the song a whiff of well-placed lyrical playfulness that works well as a hook. The syncopated arrangements subtly flowing in and out throughout the 4:10-minute song, bestows an appropriate dose of jazz on the piece. The backup singers’ modulation borrows from Don Jazzy’s pattern to add the classic-chorister edge, while the energy infused in the whole piece boosts it as a dance

party favourite in a manner that is Terry-Gesque. The rhythm guitar riffs splashed all over the song add soukous flavour to the song, reminding everyone of Praiz’s recent hit, Oshey, where he featured Congolese Makossa big hitter, Awilo Longomba. Though some people would have personally preferred another adlib for the outro, Praiz thinks otherwise and he decided to go down memory lane to remind us of Diana King’s 1993 reggae hit, Shy Guy. That works well too. In all, it is a brilliant mix that combines the entire element that would lift the spirit anytime. The video will be released in May Day, with cameo appearances by Vector, Sean Tizzle, Inyanya and Timaya.

Ngozi Adichie, isn’t the case. Luckily, she wins prizes. But then again, she wins foreign prizes. Over here, her views on hair and female titles are more discussed, and in ways showing her less as a public intellectual than a celebrity with an uncanny point of view and a penchant for niggling interviews intended to needle the public. I recall that the day before the exchange presented here, Adichie had come into another conversation I had, and even in that talk, her new novel, Americanah, was mentioned only en passant—her Doctor Damages parody, protestations over the proposed adaptation of Americanah and her now infamous inbox all took precedence over her writing. Perhaps this only reflects the company I’ve been keeping; yet I am convinced this pattern repeats itself in many private conversations all over the country. Is this the sale of noise to sell books? If Nigerian women for whom she ought to be a champion are getting disillusioned with her comments, is it worth the trouble? There is a famous Gore Vidal quote imploring one to never pass up a chance to have sex or go on television; Adichie seems to have substituted for sex and television constant controversy. One hopes she throws her hair back and cackles upon receiving another Google Alert. Or that it helps books get sold. Those can be the only adva antages here. As the world is full of writers, it is the rare two-day stretch where just the one author receives such attentions around my way. Ms Adichie did, but on both days, her book, Americana, barely showed up beside her beside-the-point remarks. It is hard to imagine her hero and forebear, Chinua Achebe, ever in this position. So that Adichie’s plight, goes beyond her and raises a question about the way we live now: Is this the new measure of a writer’s success— the number of times she can be discussed without reference to books, her primary product?


3 MAY 2014


A cobbler’s bitter-sweet tale

What are the main challenges confronting you as a start-up? The main challenges we face at the moment is power. There is also constraints with regard to raising fund.

Tunde Sabiu, a cobbler, is behind Nigeria’s fast growing brand, Sabatini Shoes. In this interview with SEGUN EDWRDS, he speaks of the business’ potential but rues the many challenges that hamper its growth

How long has the business been in existence? We opened it formally four years ago, but the business has been on for like eighteen years. How did it start? After completion of a learning process at the shop of cousin from whom I learnt the trade, I commenced business in a one-room apartment on Old Yaba Road, Lagos. When I finished my secondary school education I told my parents I wanted to go into the business of shoe-making since I had a flair for it. The job requires utmost focus, and this is what I tell people who are interested in learning the business. It’s a job that can sustain them for most part of their life as long as they are focused. What was the business like when you started? Like I said, I learnt from a cousin and afterwards, I was making shoes in my own small way in Ebute-Metta. When I moved to this place, I would manufacture shoes and sandals inside and take them to the market to a few customers that were coming in to buy. Then the brand or the business was not really popular but later it started moving forward and people started coming to patronise us and they asked whether the shoes were actually made here. So as people started coming even from outside the country buying to resell, the business has been growing. How do your products fare against competition, especially foreign made shoes? There is really no difference between our products and that of our main local competitors, except the finishing aspect of our products when compared to foreign made shoes, the only difference comes in the area of moulding which you will see in terms of finishing because we use hand in moulding our own products, unlike foreign shoes which are moulded with machines to give them perfect shapes. Foreign manufactures don’t have to use their hands to mould shoes, they just put theirs inside the machine for moulding. But here, we use our hands to mould them to the shape we desire. But if we can get moulding machines, we will not have to use our hands to mould our products any longer. Even at that, there is not much difference between what we produce in terms of quality between us and most of our local competitors. If you visit any of our local competitors and compare our products, there is always a clear difference in quality between them and Sabatini shoes appear. A lot of people come here to say they can do what we do, even volunteer to work for us but by the time we try them, we find out they can’t and a lot of people don’t believe that these shoes are made here. Still, we insist that we make them here in our workshop. You said people don’t believe you make your shoes here. What makes your product stand out? Yes, they share the belief that this brand is foreign. Several times people who come here wonder whether these shoes are made here. We try to convince them that the brand is locally-made. We make these shoes here, they will check the name Sabitini, and we tell them it is our brand name and that they are made here. A particular customer, a female customer visits from America to buy and take them there for sale. She always places order for our slippers which she sells in the US. But the major challenge confronting the business

is funding, which is required for expansion but conditions for loan are not favourable to small entrepreneurs like us. For instance, we approached the Bank of Industry (BOI), for loan to grow the business and they asked us what we needed the money for; asking me to list the requirements and I said we want a multi-purpose power-generating machine. Though we have one already, we need the industrial-generating machine. I explained to them that we want a moulding machine and four other machines and they said like how much do we need? We said we need like two million naira, and they told me they need people that they can support with about 10 million naira. I could not understand how a higher request could be preferred over a lower on ten million. I also applied to StanbicIBTC for loan but the interest rate was scary, the bank was going to charge over five hundred thousand naira for a loan of one million naira. We need to open other outlets but we cannot make that move because it would put our business in disarray, The business has a lot of prospects but we need to be careful about accepting loans. That is why my spouse who is the pillar of this business is always interested in attending seminars that would enhance our views on how to expend without necessarily entrapping our selves financially. Of course, we are well-known and some big businesses in our locality patronise us to resell. We have the confidence of our customers. What was your capital base at takeoff? We started with one million naira.

I also applied to StanbicIBTC for loan but the interest rate was scary, the bank was going to charge over five hundred thousand naira for a loan of one million naira a lot of importers I buy from and who sell real leather, not synthetics. They sell Italian leather materials and whenever they have materials, they contact me. We also buy from other places and that is why we buy materials from Mushin (a suburban neighbourhood in Lagos).

What is your daily production capacity? For shoes, we are short of hands at the moment because we don’t want to compromise on quality. For shoes, we can make five but for slippers, we can make up to seven, eight or if possible, 10 pairs. They usually come out well.

You talked about training people, what is the duration of training for a prospect career person in this business and how many hands are on training at the moment? Presently, there are about six. Some have returned to school, because some of them offer to learn while in tertiary institutions. Sometimes they are up to 10 in training.

Where do you source your raw materials from? Mushin shoe materials market. We have

What is the duration of the training? It depends on the speed of learning of each individual., There are people who opt for six

months. There is a lady who is away on studies, she opted to learn for a year and is copping very well. She said she has a passion for the job and has not finished but is expected back to round up her training. What is your immediate challenge to expansion? The major challenge is fund for expansion, for acquisition of equipment and you know most businesses run on generators. We run on generator 24 hours everyday since public electricity supply is not reliable. So why did you not consider the BOI loan, at least for expansion? I did but they said the amount we were asking for was too small. Can you imagine that they said they are looking for applicants for loans of up to 10 million naira and above? We do not need that much money. Perhaps because of my background, I don’t like owing huge debts and a huge debt like that scared me. I just don’t like debts. I believe in hard work and perhaps with time, I will get the needed equipment for the business to grow. We needed those loans for expansion, but honestly, the interest the demanded was too much. How many pair of shoes do you normally sell in a month? Monthly sale for shoes depends on how business goes; but it’s about 30. For slippers, we can do another 30. It all depends on sales for the month. For example, for lady’s shoes it is mostly done by orders.

L ve&Lv ng

Life Experience: ‘I Was Born With No Vagina, Cervix or Uterus’ p.36

True Confession: I joined an online dating site and got fixed up with my brother p.38




3 MAY 2014


‘I cheated on my wife with her twin sister’ Love Confession Sometimes, when we fall in love with somebody, we also get attracted to someone else who looks exactly alike with the person we are in love with. For this writer, sleeping with his wife’s twin was his ultimate fantasy.


espite what you read next, I love being married and I love my wife. Nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing my beautiful wife Angelica. In our seven years together, we’ve had our ups and downs but we’ve managed to ride them out. And I’ve never strayed … until now. Angelica is a twin. She tells people she’s identical to her sister Lisa and as children, not even her dad could tell them apart. But I could always spot the differences — whether it was her slightly greener eyes or smaller mouth. I’m not trying to deflect blame here, but my life could have been completely different had our first meeting gone differently. I had met the pair at a dinner party and although I was being set up with Lisa, Angelica got in there first. Lisa seemed warmer and softer but her more dominating and older (by two minutes) sister continually stole the show by saying something

Odd news


n Arizona woman has been arrested on bestiality charges after allegedly trying to arrange sex with a horse via Craigslist. The woman, who’s described as transgender and who the police report is legally known as Donald Waelde, 22, posted this ad on the Missed Connections section of Phoenix Craigslist on April 8: “I am 22 years old and I want to play with a male Horse. Simple as that. If you have access to a Male horse, and can allow me access to a male horse, then contact me please ;) I will do something in return. Waelde’s ad caught the eye of another Craigslist visitor who reported it to the Maricopa County Sheriff ’s Office, Phoenix New Times reports. Undercover deputies contacted Waelde. During a subsequent conversation, she allegedly stated she wanted to perform oral sex on the horse and agreed to meet the undercover detective, the paper reports. The meeting took place on Tuesday and deputies brought along a horse from the sheriff ’s Mounted Posse as a prop. During the meeting, Waelde allegedly admitted to placing the ad and her sexual intentions with the animal. She was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit bestiality. A search warrant of her home was also executed, according to AZ Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Waelde’s arrest was the fourth case since 2011, where an alleged animal sex abuser was caught

clever or by making suggestive whisperings to me at the table. She was an outrageous flirt and, as I found out later, has a voracious sexual appetite. Angelica has an unusual mix of super confidence in the bedroom and debilitating low selfesteem the follow morning. I didn’t realise until after we were married that she had her own split personality. By night she’s experimental, demanding and insatiable; by day she’s like a baby needing to be looked after every minute. The fact that she doesn’t work only exacerbates the problem. I get phone calls all day at the office over the littlest things — Angelica wants me to drop everything and come running. I suggested she start a business, but she would have none of it. Matters only got worse when she said having a baby would make everything all right. My suspicion was that it had more to do with her competing with her twin sister who, although divorced, was doing a great job balancing her work as an interior designer and as a mother of a four-year-old girl. She also, as I found out, still looked pretty amazing. Angelica would continually bait me with pictures of her twin looking gorgeous in her bikini on some holiday. She would tell me that I probably believed I’d married the wrong twin and even suggested that I thought of Lisa when we were having sex. I don’t know if it was the badgering or whether there was a kernel of truth in what she said but I did start to fantasise about Lisa. In a strange way, it was quite erotic making love to someone who looked so much like the person I lusted over. She had the same pear-shaped body and hair, but somehow Lisa had become my fantasy.

“To be honest I thought that it would remain a fantasy, until one day my wife said Lisa would be coming to dinner...” Is it cheating when you are still sleeping with your wife? To be honest I thought that it would remain a fantasy, until one day my wife said Lisa would be coming to dinner that Saturday and without her child. I don’t know if my wife was simply testing me but my heart jumped at the thought. And I’m sure she was suspicious when it came to the day and I was shaven and had a new shirt and trousers. That night I couldn’t keep my eyes off Lisa or her backless dress. And I don’t know if it was

the wine but I’m sure she was flirting back at me all through dinner and we were both tipsy by the time dessert arrived. So when my wife said she was off to bed, I was relieved to have Lisa all to myself. The naughtiness of it only added to the excitement. After chatting about architecture and design, something I could never do with Angelica, I leant forward and kissed her. To my amazement she didn’t back away. I put my hand down her backless dress and felt that skin I had fantasised about so many times. I pushed her up against the railing and made love to her right there and then, not far from the bedroom where my wife slept. The next day my wife found me sleeping on the couch … alone. She never said a word. People say a twin knows when something happens to the other one. I’ve never been game enough to ask and find out. Courtesy: xojane.

MODEL OF THE DAY Name: Victoria Email:

Woman arrested on bestiality charges after looking for horse on Craigslist on Craigslist. “Cases like these are tough to talk about, but we will always go after those who commit sex acts with animals,” Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told KTAR-TV. Courtesy: dailymail.

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



Study shows men and women have different views on infidelity Love News


hich type of cheating is worse, sexual or emotional? It depends who you’re asking -- more specifically, what gender you’re asking. A new study published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology set out to determine how people feel about the two types of infidelity. Researchers from Kansas State University recruited 477 adults -- 238 men and 239 women -- and asked them to fill out several questionnaires on a variety of topics, including relationships and cheating. One such question was, “Which would distress you more: Imagining your partner enjoying passionate sexual intercourse with another person or imagining your part-

Love Crime

ner forming a deep emotional attachment with another person?” After analyzing the results, researchers came to a very clear conclusion:

“Males reported that sexual infidelity scenarios were relatively more distressing than emotional infidelity scenarios, and the opposite was true of females,” they wrote in the study. Interestingly, the purpose of the study was to determine which factors -- be it attachment style, feelings of trust, relationship habits, etc. -- would lead someone to feel one way or the other about cheating. But at the end of the study, researches discovered that the only factor that played a role was gender. Men were most upset by physical cheating and women were more upset by emotional cheating -- end of story. What do you think: Can it really be so black and white? Courtesy: Yahoo.

‘I’m sorry I have to get rid of you’ ...What drunk husband of 10 years told wife as he knelt over her in bed and strangled her with silk scarf


wife has spoken of the terrifying moment she woke up to find her husband kneeling over her trying to strangle her with a purple silk scarf but she is thought to be staying with him. Samantha Charlton, 40, was in bed asleep when her husband Michael returned to their home in Sunderland drunk after attending a funeral. But she woke up to find him on her chest, staring straight at her with a scarf, which had been a present from his mother, wrapped around her throat. He then told her, ‘I’m sorry, I need to get rid of you.’ She only brought the attack at their Sunderland home to an end using ‘all the strength she could muster’ to push him away. Charlton, 43, was jailed for two years and eight months for making threats to kill and assault at New-

Life Experience


’ve never met any woman with my condition in real life -– not that I know of anyway. It is entirely possible that I have because it is not all that rare, but it’s not something that’s ever come up in conversation. I have felt a lot of shame about it to the point where I ultimately decided that I wanted to tell my story anonymously. However, there are young women who have spoken out about it, and have actually shown their identity. That is absolutely amazing to me, and shows strength I hope to have some day, especially when you can expect Internet commenter responses like: “So are you a hermaphrodite?” or “How do you pee? Do you wear diapers?” At almost 30 years old now, I can finally (sort of ) admit that my feelings of shame are ridiculous; I have nothing to be ashamed of, and ignorant people are ignorant. This is not something I have done to myself; research says this is really a “roll of the dice” situation. The diagnosis was pretty typical of any girl in my position. At 16 years old I had breasts, hips and teenage hormones; but no period. I went to endocrinologists, gynecologists, even a reconstructive surgeon to find out what was going on. Doctors discussed amongst themselves over a period of months what they found (and didn’t find) on MRIs and Ultrasounds. The confirmation of my condition followed a laparoscopy, after which the doctor patted me on the back and told me

castle Crown Court. But it is thought she is standing by his side, as the couple celebrate their 10th anniversary, and she didn’t want him to go to prison. This is despite her husband previously admitting making threats to kill, affray, criminal damage, dangerous driving and harassment in 2001 against his ex-wife, who left him for another woman. In this latest case, Charlton, of Thorney Close in Sunderland, admitted threatening to kill his wife and assault. After the attack in February Mrs Charlton told police: ‘I had good reason to believe I was going to die. ‘I think I would be dead if I hadn’t managed to push him away.’ She managed to flee the house and run to a nearby friend for help. Courtesy:

Love Song Kedike From the first time I met you there was something about you I can never forget the way you take thief my heart I dey try to pretend to you I no like, I no send you but I no like we’re friends too cuz you give me a spark I just can’t help myself, I wan be your all And I see no one else, wey I fit give my heart I no go ever leave you I go dey there for you oh nothing wey dem fit do (to take me away from you) I no go ever leave you I go dey there for you oh nothing wey dem fit do (to take me away)

Love Poem

CHIDINMA you dey make my heart go Kedike Kedike ey, ke ke kedike Ey! you dey make my heart go Kedike (Kedike) Kedike ey, ke ke ke kedike uh oh ey I can tell what’s that too build my whole world around you No one else can do the things that you do for me I wanna be there for you Baby I really love you There is something about you that I cannot explain na you alone I want, na you alone I need na you alone go make me feel complete I just can’t help myself, I wan be your all And I see no one else, wey I fit give my heart


Love’s Healing Love is the medicine that heals the broken soul Let it inside, to flow and make you whole Let it inside, to heal, guide, and protect Your mind will rejoice, your heart won’t object Don’t keep it to yourself, not sharing it, ashamed For anyone knows- a lonely heart can’t be tamed When the night falls darker than ever before Love will find you and let you cry no more When the storm rages, bringing unwelcome fears Call on love to dry the thundering tears You ask me how I know and all these things I’m sure of Because I have faith and hope in everlasting love Send your poems with your name to, call 08131161840

Romantic Jokes


This guy dies and his wife gets him cremated. She takes the ashes home and lays them out on the table and starts talking to them. “You know that fur coat you promised me? I bought it with the insurance money. You know the new car you promised me? I bought it with the insurance money.” Then she whispers, “You know that blowjob I promised you? Well, here it comes...”

Words of Wisdom: A kiss is not a promise of marriage

‘I was born with no vagina, cervix or uterus’ “At this time in my life, I didn’t have a great and supportive boyfriend who could help me through this” that I’m still a “real female” and “I could always adopt.” I would go on to realize that I would be force-fed those two exact over-appeasing phrases from everyone and anyone who found out about my condition, for the rest of my life. I have what is called MRKH, Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome. If you look it up, an article will tell you that women with this condition typically have a partial or non-existent uterus and no cervix. It will also tell you that while our genitalia looks “normal” on the outside, we are born without a vagina. It will go on to reassure you that a woman with MRKH is STILL A REAL WOMAN and can ALWAYS ADOPT. There are surgical procedures available to create a neo-vagina. That’s actually what it’s called, a “Neo-Vagina,” like it’s sparkly and has a sound system and shoots lasers. What these informative articles don’t tell you is how

a woman experiences life with no functional reproductive system, the inability to have “normal” sex and the difficulties in identifying as a complete woman.

At this time in my life, I didn’t have a great and supportive boyfriend who could help me through this. Also, my mom had a strict “antifeelings” attitude and expected Vulcan-like control of my emotions. Consequently, she would not discuss the matter with me at all and I really didn’t know what I was supposed to do. What I thought I knew was that fitting in, impressing people and being attractive to men was really important. I was desperate to be really cool and a badass rebel so I drank, smoked, partied and wanted to hook up with guys. But my teenaged attempts at sex were all poking, pain, frustration, tears and shame. I still refused the corrective vagina surgery. At the time, I was informed that I would be getting what is essentially a “sex-change” operation and my 16-year-old self was absolutely mortified. My vagina was like a shallow pouch. It was impossible for a man to have sex with me, so my doctor suggested this “dilation method.” The tissue down there is apparently very elastic, so with the help of a short plastic rod I was encouraged to stretch the indentation into something penetrable. It sort of worked, I mean despite the fact that it was still painful and sex felt more like an invasion of my internal organs than something pleasurable, a guy could sort of get his stuff in there. After all, the importance of being sexually c o n t i n u e s o n pa g e 3 7



Relationships & Love Advice

Love Education

‘He wants to dump the mother of his baby and marry me’

What is Syphilis?

Dear Love Doctor, My name is Joy. I am 37 years old. I’ve been dating a guy for 13 months and he promised to marry me. We talked a lot and he showed love. Unfortunately, his former girlfriend just got pregnant for him without him knowing until five months after. The baby is now five months old, and the baby and the mother are living with the guy at home. He told me that he just wants the mother to finish breastfeeding the baby before he throws her out, that he doesn’t want to marry the mother of his baby. He said he never told her that he was going to marry her, and that she forced the pregnancy on him. Right now, he is begging me to forgive him, that he really wants to marry me. He says I should forgive him and accept his baby as my own. We love each other and I really need your counsel. My heart is on fire right now, because I don’t know what to do. Love Doctor’s Advice: Dear Joy, I really think you should leave him alone to face his new life and responsibility as a ‘married’ man. He now has a five-monthold baby and it would be wrong for him to do away with the mother just like that and hand over the baby to you to take care of him/her! Such an action would be highly irresponsible. Sometimes, when we are in love, we fail to see reality and understand when it’s over. Don’t jeopardize the life of a baby out of your selfish love for this man. Be selfless enough to let him go, for the sake of the baby and its mother. Sacrificing the mother of his baby and her baby for your sake would be an extreme measure. Things have changed now, and as a result, your “love” for this man will only serve as a distraction to him now preventing him from facing reality that he now has a family and living up to his responsibilities as a father and husband. Tell him to iron out his differences with his wife and make his mar-

riage work. He should be patient and marry the mother of his baby, except they are extremely incompatible. 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

c o n t i n u e d f r o m pa g e 3 6

acceptable to a man was something that had been constantly emphasized to me. It has gotten better, but if I go any period of time without intercourse or the dilation therapy, my vagina effectively “shrinks.” I have been in a long term relationship for a few years now, and let’s just say we’ve been able to manage the sexual situation. What I’ve had a harder time managing is people asking me when I’m going to have children. In my late 20s, I started to notice more of my friends and family members having babies and starting their own families. I’ve been very happy for them and adored their babies and have loved being an aunt or godmother while I simultaneously pushed away the thought that this is something I’ll never get to experience. I’m most likely not going to go through the surrogate process to have a child, but I’m probably not going to adopt either. Infertile women tend to be often reminded of the many orphaned, unwanted children out there that need families, and their wanting a biological child is pointless and selfish. I’ve been told “just admit that nature has won,” and “God created you like this for a reason and you need to accept it.” I’ve since realized that my acceptance or non-acceptance of this situation is irrelevant, and it goes deeper than not being able to have sex or babies. I can, and do, pretend that I have all of my female organs for conversational purposes. In attempts to bond with other women, I have faked having periods, all the while feeling like a total imposter. Breaking it down into the simplest terms, my younger self interpreted that a woman’s existence tends to have the narrow parameters of either “mother/ childbearer” or “sex object.” It is an unusual experience to be struggling with something that plays a part in defining your identity as a woman and knowing no one can see it. I’ve haven’t reavealed my condition to many people because I don’t want to make them feel uncomfortable, and

I already know what their reaction is probably going to be; “…real female… always adopt... “ After hearing constantly what a “real female” I was, I felt bitter and suspicious. Why would I have reason to think otherwise? I certainly didn’t need to be reminded, and came to the conclusion that people would say it to reassure themselves. We (as in humans) have a tendency to want to put people into quick, easy categories. Anyone that slightly deviates from that is subject to open discussion and interpretation. In some ways, many people may consider me very blessed: I have never had a period, I can’t empathize with anyone’s PMS or cramps, I’ve never had to worry about birth control or unwanted pregnancies. But that’s not all, I am extremely fortunate in many other ways. I have a great body, and I don’t mean in a Victoria’s Secret model type way. I am strong, fit and healthy. Some women with MRKH also experience some kidney problems, skeletal abnormalities or hearing loss. I have none of those. As far as I know, this condition is not life threatening, or even life-shortening. I am almost freakishly resistant to illness; I’ve never been sick more than a few days in my life. (Even after having septicemia from a burst appendix, I was out of hospital in a week!) Right now they’re in the experimental stages of uterus transplants. I’ve been thinking of all of the girls born today who could possibly have the opportunity to surgically correct the condition, so growing up and becoming a woman wouldn’t be an even more difficult ordeal than what it already is. I’ve also been thinking; if this surgery was available to me, would I do it? At 16, abso-fricken-lutely. But now, it doesn’t seem as important anymore. In the past few years, I have stopped trying to uber-female with the way I dress and behave, and have just focused on just being a good human being. Courtesy:

Dear Love Doctor, I went to a hospital for test and I was told I have syphilis. Please what is this syphilis? From Samson.


yphilis is an acute and chronic infectious disease caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum and transmitted by direct contact, usually through sexual intercourse. After an incubation period of 12-30 days, the first symptom is a chancre, followed by slight fever and other constitutional symptoms (primary syphilis), followed by a skin eruption of various appearances with mucous patches and generalized lymphadenopathy (secondary syphilis), and subsequently by the formation of gummas, cellular infiltration, and functional abnormalities usually resulting from cardiovascular and central nervous system lesions (tertiary syphilis). Syphilis is passed from one person to another during direct sexual contact with a syphilis lesion that involves vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Syphilis can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy and result in stillbirth or serious birth defects. Syphilis also increases the risk of HIV infection, which causes AIDS. The name “syphilis” was coined by Hieronymus Fracastorius (Girolamo Fracastoro). Fracastorius on the temperature of wines, the rise of the Nile, poetry, the mind, and the soul; he was an astronomer, geographer, botanist, mathematician, philosopher and, last but not least in the present context, a physician. In 1530 he published the poem “Syphilis sive morbus gallicus” (Syphilis or the French Disease) in which the name of the disease first appeared. Perhaps more importantly, Fracastorius went on in 1546 to write “On Contagion” (“De contagione et contagiosis morbis et curatione”), the first known discussion of the phenomenon of contagious infection: a landmark in the history of infectious disease. Source:

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Blackberry Connection

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True Confession from Overseas

‘I joined an online dating site and got fixed up with my brother’ H ave you ever been set up on a date with your brother? Not your soap-opera-separatedat-birth-evil-twin brother, but your legit older brother who you fought over the TV remote with and who would then turn around and fart in your face? The one who would noogie you for no apparent reason and con you out of your weekly allowance. Yeah, that guy. When I was in my mid-30s and perpetually single, I received an assignment to write a dating column for a local magazine. I was excited for the job because it came from an editor friend who I really respected. I wanted to impress her with scintillating and hilarious stories of love and loss, but the problem was I wasn’t much of a dater. My last relationship had ended four years earlier, and aside from a string of dismal dating experiences during the year I lived in London (midnight “cum round 4 a shag” text messages, anyone?), I didn’t have much to write about that was relevant or specific to Toronto, the city I live in. I had never tried online dating because it seemed so manufactured and insincere, but based on what I had heard from friends who’d tried it, I knew I’d be able to gather some good material. (After all, in what other forum would you be simultaneously praised for your good looks and harshly accused of posting a fake profile picture BY THE SAME PERSON? Seriously, that happened to a friend of mine.) So I joined an online dating site

Lovers in Court

Is it okay to have sex during your period?


that seemed to offer a thin veil of authenticity by using a specially formulated algorithm to match people based on an excruciatingly long and detailed questionnaire you had to fill out upon joining. It bears mentioning that I embarked on this adventure with the trepidation of a busty blonde in the first 12 minutes of a horror film. For reasons that I can’t quite explain -- especially seeing as I met my boyfriend, who I’ve been with for almost two years now, on a different dating site -- I was filled with self-loathing throughout this maiden online matchmaking voyage. It may have had something to do with the endless questions about my finances and my career. (I’m a freelance writer -- thanks for reminding me I’ll always be poor, Something inside of me said that this was not the forum for me. I gave the site four days before deciding that it wasn’t going to work. I don’t know why, but I just didn’t feel comfortable. Besides, the guys it was setting me up with were not my type. (In fairness, it’s hard to tell if you’ll connect with a person just by reading their profile, but when “preparing for the zombie apocalypse” and “feet” are listed among their interests, I think it’s a safe bet that it won’t result in a love connection for us.) A day before I was ready to erase my profile and consider randomly taking to the streets to drum up some

“ I wanted to impress her with scintillating and hilarious stories of love and loss, but the problem was I wasn’t much of a dater.” dates, my friend begged me to hold off. We were scheduled for a dinner date at her apartment and she wanted to see what the site was all about. I agreed to give it one more day. The next morning, as I scanned my emails through bleary, pre-caffeinated eyes, I opened the message that was to deliver my 10 new potential Romeos for the day. I quickly ran down the list fully prepared to trash the message within seconds of opening it, until a name caught my eye: Maurizio, 37, Toronto. “It can’t be,” I thought. “Not possible,” I said audibly. “Oh, no!” I screamed after clicking on his name. I was filled with equal parts horror and humiliation. How was it possible that of the thousands of people on this website, my brother floated to the surface as a potential match? How un-matchable was I that the


algorithm had to pull from my own gene pool? I felt like that girl who has to take her cousin to the prom because she can’t get a date. (Which is a pretty apt metaphor for this story, come to think of it.) Naturally, I called my brother right away. I wasn’t going to shoulder the PTSD from this experience alone or in silence. I told him to check his email immediately and after a brief pause, I heard a strained whisper from his end: “Oh, God, I think I’m going to be sick.” We made gagging noises, vowed never to appear on the same dating site again, and eventually conceded that all things considered, meh, we could do worse. Then we went back to gagging. The only thing that can possibly explain this egregious oversight is a seriously flawed algorithmic system. I mean, sure, we probably proved to have loads in common -- we both have one sibling, live in the same city, speak the same languages, lean left, and have an encyclopedic knowledge of “The Simpsons” -- but I think it would behoove any dating site to avoid fixing up people with the same last name. You know, just to be safe.

40-year-old fashion designer, Tosin Elegbede, has pleaded with the Agege Customary Court Lagos to dissolve her union with her husband, Femi Elegbede, because, as she claims, there was no more love in the marriage, threat to life, lack of care and other irreconcilable differences. The couple, who have been married for 14 years with three children, started having issues since March 2011. “He woke me up at midnight and started placing curses on me with a red piece of cloth, before I could say anything he threatened to strangle me. I became so scared of him that when he went out to urinate, I ran for my life till today,” Tosin said. The petitioner (Tosin) told the court that she was tired of the marriage and does not want to live withhim anymore, adding that he does not live up to his responsibilities as the man of the house. She said she had reported him to his family members, adding that it barely changed anything until she went

“ He woke me up at midnight and started placing curses on me with a red piece of cloth, before I could say anything he threatened to strangle me” to the police. “When he threatened my life I reported him to Isokoko police station where he signed an undertaking. His mother and sister were witnesses. He promised to start taking care of me and the children. I pitied him and took his word.” However, Mr Elegede stated that all the allegations against him were false, insisting that it was his wife that started it all. He told the court he never used cutlass to threaten

ral sex is generally not advisable during a woman’s period. However, if you must have oral sex with your wife during her time of menstruation, it should be restricted to the clitoris. Unless your girlfriend has a blood borne disease there is no health reason not to have sex while she is on her period. It is just a little messier. Some say that this is also the safest time of the month in regards to pregnancy although others insist that a woman can get pregnant at any time during her menstrual cycle, including during menstruation. Some females think orgasm helps with menstrual cramps and some males find it erotic. Obviously it is not for everyone. Perhaps you should try it once say closer to the end of the period and at least be openminded about it. However, some people are of the opinion that religion forbids a woman from having sex during her period. Stick to the missionary position. Lie on your back to lessen the flow of blood while you’re having intercourse. Also, be careful about deep penetration because your cervix may be lower and more sensitive during your period. If anything starts to hurt, just tell your partner and proceed with care. Have sex in the shower. Not only is this less messy from the get-go, it’s a change of pace, too. When you’re under the flow of the water, that other flow becomes a lot less noticeable. If you can fit two in comfortably, give it a shot (if you haven’t already!).

Wedding Traditions:

Courtesy: Call Mike:+234-703 102 8714 if you have a story.

‘My Husband threatened to kill me’

Abimbola Sodeke



his wife. “I never threatened her, not even with a cutlass. She was the one who even bought the cutlass for me and I do put it in my car in case of danger at night since I return very late every night. I also didn’t use any fetish power on her. I used the calabash to consult Ifa oracle due to some things I noticed about her. We used to do it together before, but when she started going to sleep in church, and going out without telling me, we stopped talking to each other. So I could not tell her I put a calabash under the bed; but I told my children,” he said. He added that he still loves his wife and is not ready to divorce her because he does not have another wife yet, and also for the sake of the children. Tosin pleaded with the court to grant her custody of the children and make her husband provide for their upkeep. The court president, P. A. Sokunle Adekunle Philips, told the couple to go to their homes and be at peace till the adjourned date of May 26, for judgement.

Eating from a toilet: France


fter the reception, the couple would be sent to their bed while the bridal party cleaned up the mess. This was done by dumping all the leftover food, drink and trash into a chamber pot. They would then barge into the couple’s room with a toilet full of garbage and would not leave until the couple drank it. Today, the soup is more commonly made up of chocolate and champagne, but it’s still served out of a toilet. The reasoning behind the tradition was to give the couple fuel to have sex. Courtesy:

Travel&Tourism ON SATURDAY


Destination Catch the Roots International Festival at The Gambia p.42




Starwood Nigeria gets new Area Manager

ANDREW IRO OKUNGBOWA writes on how Nike Lake Resort’s naturally enchanting environment, coupled with its expressed commitment to excellent service delivery culture is helping it claim a huge share of the market in the South-east


OR a first time visitor to this hotel in Enugu, one of the alluring and unique attractions is its natural scenery as evident from the well– manicured landscape – trees and flowers swaying; ample breeze and sounds of chirping birds. Stepping out of the car, you are struck by the breath-taking scenario and understandably linger a little longer as you try to fully appreciate its naturalness. Reluctantly, you finally walk through the reception to the relief of the doorman who had for some minutes been holding the door for the visitor. He exchanges pleasantries with you and resumed his position behind the door while watching furtively to see your next move. The guest officer warmly welcomes you to the world of Nike Lake Resort and then begins the exploration of the well–laid out service hotel, which boasts about 210 rooms and suites, all furnished to taste. The rooms and suites types, provide a view of both the beautifullylandscaped garden and serene lake, creating room for a continuing romance with nature. These include classic and superior rooms and executive suites while the features, depending on the room category comprise beverage and snacks mini–bar, complimentary newspapers, satellite TV and high speed internet facility. Other facilities of general nature are a business centre, fitness centre, and an outdoor swimming pool with ample sit–out area to relax and sun bathe with children’s splash pool, a massage therapy centre with in-house physiotherapist, two tennis courts, one volleyball and one basketball court. A lake view restaurant to savour rich continental dishes and Omenala (bush bar) restaurant devoted to homily African/Nigerian delicacies. There is also a sit – out/outdoor bar, which affords a view of the calm garden environment. There are also conference and banqueting hall for various settings and events, ranging from 600-capacity fully air conditioned mega tent to 400-capacity convention hall and three boardrooms of varying capacities and lots of gardens for outdoor events. Enjoy sundry services such as a kingly ride in a Limousine to catch up with your appointment and business in the city, tour package, airport shuttle service and concierge attention. According to the general manager of the resort, Mr. David Kanyandu, the focus is ‘‘largely conferencing business, followed by corporate travels as well as leisure during weekends


At home with nature at Nike Lake Resort and public holidays.’’ he said the the resort remains one of the glorious edifices and legacies of Enugu State and which serves as a tourist attraction even as it is devoted to looking after its guests. Kanyandu said, the hotel which was first opened in 1988 and has undergone various transformations, has achieved significant success as it is ranked the biggest hotel and conference venue in the South east region. Managed presently by African Sun, which has imposed its professional service delivery culture and excellent managerial skill on it, Kanyandu said remains a reference point in the region. Describing its alluring set up as ‘‘a superb hotel environment, serene, beautiful and tranquil setting,’’ he revealed that the success factors of the resort ‘‘include improved product offering and service delivery, strong and focused team, diverse food and bever-

age offering and conference services and diligent staff ’’. He listed the resort’s location as a major point that sets it apart from the rest. ’’The location of Nike Lake Resort separates it from the rest; tranquil setting, serene environment, managed by a strong and international brand. Array of sporting facilities, newly refurbished and ample parking space. A hotel with 210 rooms, a choice of five conference venues and two restaurants offers guests a variety of choices,’’ he said. Lately, a lot of investment has been made in the hotel by the owners, the Enugu State government with renovation and refitting of facilities. This effort, according to the resort’s general manager, is informed by ‘‘Enugu State government’s desire that Nike Lake Resort should reclaim the lost pride and continue positioning itself as the ultimate resort of choice in the South-east. The appointment of

a professional management company – African Sun - is meant to ensure the hotel operates at international standard.’’ The resort’s special packages for each market segment include the following: Weekender promotion - this is an ongoing promotion offering up to 50 percent discount to leisure seeking guest during weekends and public holiday; Ultimate getaway conference - an irresistible conference package targeting annual general meetings, retreats and team building sessions; and Nike Lake power - a loyalty based promotion offering value added benefits to corporate and individual members. To also ensure it enjoys the support of the community, the resort over the years has engaged in some social corporate responsibility projects. These include water supply to the community, regular visit to motherless babies home and old peoples’ homes.

WITH the exit of the former area manager of Starwood Nigeria, Mr. Alexander Gassauer who served for about 10 years in the country, a replacement has been announced by Starwood. He is Mr. Barry Currant who besides looking after the five Starwood properties in Nigeria and others in the pipeline, would also serve as the general manager of Sheraton Lagos Hotel and Towers. Currant who has since resumed at his new posting was until now the area manager, Cairo Hotels based at Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel and Spa in Egypt. The Irish–born hotel manager was educated at Shannon College of Hotel Management and Cornell University, with over 25 years experience in his kitty, Currant has over the years worked at various positions within the Starwood in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Guyana and Egypt. He was complex manager, Le Meridien Hotels Egypt, 2001 – 2004, area manager Starwood Resorts Egypt, 2005 – 2012, area manager, Starwood Hotels, Cairo, 2012 – 2013. He is also reputed as a thorough bred professional and human capital development expert. Married with two children, he is said to have recently supervised the opening of two new hotels in Egypt - Le Meridien Dahab and Le Meridien Cairo Airport. In his position, he will report to Mr. Hassan Ahdab, vice president, regional director - Africa and Indian Ocean.

Swiss International Hotels takes on two Nigerian hotels Swiss International Hotels has continued with its expansion in travel and tourism industry with the signing of two new hotels in Nigeria to bring its property in Nigeria to three and six in Africa. The new addition are D Palm Airport Hotel in Ajao Estate, Lagos, which will now be branded as Swiss International D’ Palm Lagos Airport beginning from June 1 and Swiss Spirit Hotel and Suites Mardezok in Asaba, which opens on July 1, 2014. It first property in Nigeria is the Mabisel in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Swiss International D’ palm present runs 60 rooms but this would be increased to 112 by January 1, 2015. Upon completion, the Swiss International D’Palms Lagos Airport, will offer upscale and spacious accommodation, a Swiss Café - Restaurant and Lounge, a TED and Co - Bar and Lounge, an Eventives Centre for meeting and events and an Inspirations Pool and Gym. The outlets are all branded with Swiss International concepts. For the chairman and chief executive officer of D’Palms, Mr. Samuel Onukwuli, it is a step in the right direction. “We have been looking for an international brand where we can be different from our fellow hotels in Lagos, which license system is offering our management team the right level of coaching through which we can exceed the guests expectations.” While Swiss Spirit Hotel and Suites Mardezok, Asaba, which will be the first internationally branded hotel in Asaba, Delta State, will offer a Swiss Café, Restaurant and Lounge, a BOX Meeting and Events and an Inspirations Swimming Pool.




GERALD TOSSA: Living his childhood dream P

EARL Court Hotel’s Mirabelle Restaurant has a plush and inviting setting just in the same manner as its menu set, which is pretty laid out by the young Beninoise executive chef, Gerald Tossa. It is not often that you have the buffet setting with a wide range of choice spanning continental, which is a mix of Europe, Chinese, Asia and French among others and African. But visiting on the last Thursday of the month for dinner, you are sure to be treated to a rich selection of buffet dishes spiced with live entertainment while Tossa and his kitchen staff treat you to their culinary expertise. Ordinarily, a la carte prevails every other day except again for special occasions and depending on the number of guests. However, Tossa explained that Mirabelle Restaurant runs a flexible menu list and guests are at liberty to order any menu of choice, which would be provided on request by the restaurant. With regard to indigenous dishes, Tossa says Eforiro is one of the main attractions for foreign guests. The soup is served fresh and cooked with fresh green leaf, stock fish, catfish, among others.

Besides the freshness of the ingredients, the attractive presentation is the catch word for the foreign guest. On the menu list of the hotel are such main courses as grilled salmon fillet, tiger prawns curry, chicken cacciatore, grilled T–bone steak, Asian mushroom steak and ratatouille lamb cutlet as well as marmalade beef steak. For African menu delicacies like egusi, ogbono, afang, efo riro and edikang ekong are regular names on the list. You could also try out the chef ’s menu or chef ’s delight for the day, one of such is starting with the starter – smoked tomatoes soup; main course – ragout de fruit de mer (a mix of seafood – poshed egg and tomatoes sauce served with seafood) and accompanied with white wine (Lachase brand) while the dessert is chocolate fondent topped with ice cream. There is also the Pearl Court Mushroom (grilled chicken topped with mushroom sauce sprinkled with parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and parsley, served with mashed potato and mixed vegetable. Tossa insists that these chef menus set are specially put together for the benefit of the guest. The hotel, according to the chef, prides itself

on the high quality and hygienic nature of its meals. ‘‘The quality of our food is the best because all our food items are the best. We don’t serve local steak; the steak is imported just as most of the other items,’’ he says, adding that ‘‘we don’t compromise on hygiene as we ensure that our food items are well preserved and fresh’’. He noted that the fact food and beverage are essential aspects of the hotel’s service, for most of the guests there is nothing like having a good meal and drink, certain of the source and the healthy state. To ensure it stays ahead of competitors, the hotel strives to eliminate delay in responding to clients’ order. ‘‘We work with time and don’t keep our guests waiting for food as we attend to their orders speedily.’’ Another initiative to retain a favourable market share is to keep its meals inexpensive. ‘‘We give quality food with good price; it is affordable and not expensive,‘’ he said, adding that a visit to the Parkview Estate, Ikoyi –based Pearl Court Hotel’s Mirabelle Restaurant would be a worthwhile experience.

Tossa was trained at the Laura Vicuna Catering and Hotel School in Cotonu, Benin Republic (2005). After graduation he worked briefly at O’ Grill Restaurant and Hotel Du Lac. In 2007, he moved over to Nigeria where he first worked at Cactus Restaurant in Victoria Island and then West Foster Harbour Hotel, Ikoyi, before pitching his tent with Pearl Court Hotel in 2011 as one of the pioneer staff of the boutique hotel. Young Tossa’s romance with the kitchen actually started from his teenage years when he was exposed to two television programmes – Hell Kitchen and Top Chef – in his country of birth. He reveals that the chefs made quite an impression on his young mind and ever since he has dreamt of becoming like one of them and when the opportunity presented itself, he jumped at it. ‘‘I like cooking; I used to watch some cooking programmes on the television then and developed passion for cooking from it as I just wanted to become like one of them,’’ he said. ‘‘I am enjoying it because it is my passion, it is what I have always wanted to do and I am enjoying doing it and doing it well.’’ Young Tossa sure thinks big as he says his dream is to be an A–list African chef in the world. ‘‘I will like to be a top-rated chef in Africa. I want to be among the best; that is my dream,’’ he says. But he concedes that getting to the top entails hard work and discipline. ‘‘It will take hard work, nothing good comes without hard work, if I keep working hard I believe that I will achieve my dream,’’ declares Tossa even as he tells you that ‘‘I am happy and fulfilled.’’ Heading Pearl Court Hotel’s kitchen, he says ‘‘is a big challenge for me at my age to be in charge of the hotel,’’ while his prayer is that the 36-room boutique hotel would expand and grow bigger than what it is now. ‘‘I hope that we would go further than this, but right now I can manage even a bigger hotel because I have the exposure and experience.’’ He is married with a baby girl and is expecting his second child “anytime soon.”


Tourism Devt Workshop holds in Lagos THE Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation in conjunction with International Style Week Limited, a Lagos-based consultancy outfit, are to hold a tourism development workshop in Lagos from May 14 to 15, at the Lagos InterContinental. Other collaborators in this workshop include the Centre for Tourism and Cultural Diplomacy (CTCD) of the Institute of Communication and Corporate Studies (ICCS), Lagos. Speaking on the workshop, the Chief Executive Officer of International Style Week and Programme Coordinator, Mr. Bassey Essien, said the workshop will bring together over 500 delegates from the 36 states of the federation. The delegates would include policy makers, captains of the hospitality sector, thespians, elected officials, practitioners in the creative industries and tourism consultants. He added that, the minister of tourism, Chief Edem Duke, will give the keynote address at the workshop. The workshop in Lagos will precede the Abuja Presidential Summit on Tourism that will take place in July. The Abuja summit will chart the course for revamping the tourism sector in Nigeria. The workshop will also feature exhibitions and showcase the vast tourism potential of Nigeria. The workshop is sponsored by Geneith Pharmaceuticals Limited, Intercontinental Hotel Lagos, and Cool fm.

Giza to host Egypt’s largest tourism project WHAT is to be the largest ever tourism service project in Egypt has been launched in Giza by the governor, Ali Abdel Rahman as part of effort by Egypt to revitalise its troubled tourism industry. The project cost is put at EGP 7. 5 million, which is to be funded by the Ministry of Tourism but executed by the Ministry of Antiquities. Located near Haram Street, the project will include 280 bazaars, commercial shops, restaurants and cafes with the aim of serving tourists. According to Abdel Rahman,

the tender to implement the project will be issued on a usufruct basis for the developers within a month. The announcement followed a visit by the governor to the project site, which he said would attract tourists due to proximity to the Giza Pyramids. A total of EGP 21m has been allocated by the governorate to develop roads in the area of Haram Street, with Abdel Rahman pointed out that the governorate has spent EGP 25m on this over the past two years.

Malaysia tourism RM105 million dips FOLLOWING cancellations of flights in the wake of the missing MH370, Malaysia tourism is to lose an estimated RM105 million. The country’s Minister of Tourism and Culture, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz has already giving an indication that the ministry is likely to re-adjust its target of attracting 28.8 mil-

lion tourists this year. However, he has expressed confidence in the improvement of the situation in the coming months while a representative of the Malaysian Association of Hotels said that the cancelation of reservations by the Chinese have had an impact and this could continue for several months.

Air Namibia to pull out of Ghana THE decision by the Air Namibia to stop its flight operations to Ghana by the end of June is causing some ripples within the country even though this is not the first time the airline would be taking this action in recent time. Last year it made a similar move but later rescinded the decision to pull out. If the airline eventually see through its decision it would then be the second airline this

year to pull out of the Ghanaian airspace as Virgin Atlantic pulled out of Ghana in September last year due to high fuel costs in Ghana among others. Although the Ghana Ministry of Transport and the airline management are yet to confirm this new development, but fears are ripe within the aviation and tourism circles in the country that this is a foreclosed action just waiting to be carried through by June.

ATBA to host African Travel Business in South Africa THE African Business Travel Association (ABTA) has announced it annual African Business Travel Conference for South Africa, which is bill November 2 to 4, 2014 at the Sheraton Pretoria Hotel. It would be attended by a host of the industry professionals from across the African continent to witness a legion of

educational activity, focusing on giving practical guidance on a host of business travel trends, challenges and opportunities. The conference will also give delegates plenty of opportunities for interaction with their colleagues, allowing all present to build a strong network of business travel contacts in emerging African markets.





Olowoporoku: Giving hotels a lift Ayokunnu Olowoporoku built an impressive resume helping hotels gain traction in the market. It’s to his credit that nearly all outfits that bear his imprint have grown into dominant players, writes ANDREW IRO OKUNGBOWA


E is self-effacing, almost reticent, as a matter of fact. But behind that facade is a great mind, high ambition and vision as well as clarity of purpose with quite outstanding achievements under his belt. It’s no surprise then that he commands attention whenever he climbs the podium to talk. Ayokunnu Olowoporoku is one of the founders and executive directors of Hotel Support Services Limited – Global (HSSL – G). His role in the almost 24 years old company spans finance, administration and technology. The two other co–founders and executive directors are Mr. Dele Coker and Mr. Dipo Efunkoya. The three are actually referred to as “the three musketeers” in the Nigerian travel and tourism industry because of their pioneering role as the first to set up an indigenous hotel management and consultancy company. They came on the scene at a time when the Sheraton and Eko Holiday Inn brands held sway. It was almost unthinkable for anyone to have done what they did at the time; but they took the plunge. Today, they are not the only ones better for it but the entire travel and tourism industry. Olowoporoku’s story is not the stereotypical one. But by dint of vision, hard work and discipline, he scripted his own story, which today reads like a compelling novel. After earning a Higher National Diploma in business administration and management from the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, he would later bag a post graduate diploma in management from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and also a masters in business administration (MBA) from the same school and crowning it all with a doctorate degree in business administration from the University of Birmingham, England this year. ‘‘I determined in my mind that I was going to work for a reputable conglomerate,’’ he said. Interestingly, every job offer that came his way then were modest start-ups run with just a sole proprietor. So for one year, he refused such offers. Sheraton years But fate smiled on him when in July 1985, Sheraton Lagos Hotel and Towers offered him a job. ‘‘That was the beginning of my sojourn in the hospitality business,’’ he says. It would appear then that true to his early dream to seek greener pasture only in companies with global renown came to fruition, because no sooner had he settled into his new job than his employers discovered his brilliance, skill and talent. ‘‘They saw the commitment and excellence that I brought into my job. So within six months I was already a manager to the envy of most Nigerian staff. The position I was employed for was as a front office cashier as a young graduate. But I didn’t quite start off in that position because during the training session, they realised that I was just too brilliant and skilful. So by the time I was starting I was already promoted a night auditor.’’

He actually earned four promotions within six months. With that came international recognition of his skill because in 1990 when Sheraton Park Towers in London had issues with their food and beverage control system, Olowoporoku was sent to the United Kingdom to resolve the issue. From his earliest days in the hospitality trade, the HSSL – Global executive director was like the proverbial boy who had washed his hands clean and could thus enjoy a meal with the king. ‘‘I was much grounded in the Sheraton principles and systems. I was a totally committed Sheraton man and the white man saw this in me that I think and behaved like them and they were willing to trust me fully.’’ Because he was held in high esteem by his bosses, he got drafted to the team that was saddled with opening the Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers in 1989 when the hotel came on board. While there, he was given other higher responsibilities and as always, he delivered on them successfully to the delight and satisfaction of his employers. Reminiscing on his five-year sojourn at the Sheraton, he describes it as a remarkable experience that laid the foundation for his achievement in life. ‘‘My Sheraton experience was wonderful and I always wished that it would continue to soar whether in Lagos or Abuja or anywhere in the world

because it is my reference point. I must wish Sheraton all the best and I wish that Sheraton would be the best hotel in Nigeria.’’ Even before he started his career at the Sheraton he had decided it would be a fiveyear stint. ‘‘From the beginning of my career in Sheraton I already knew that I wasn’t going to work in Sheraton for more than five years,’’ he reveals. HSSL Global years ‘‘We saw the gap in Nigeria at that time that we cannot allow foreigners to dominate the market and dominate the landscape, otherwise Nigerians would remain enslaved forever. We need to come into the market and introduce international standard into the Nigerian hospitality business in order to create awareness and develop the industry beyond the me diocrity that it was prior to Sheraton’s arrival. Then many parents didn’t want to send their children to study hotel and catering or tourism in universities those days. ‘‘Because they regarded it as a field for never do wells, loafers and intellectually backward peo-

ple and those were what they were. But I knew that that was not what it was because it is a very creative and glamorous business. It is a very intellectual-based business and a business like any other competitive business and a good industry. So it was necessary for us to come out to show to Nigerians what was available and what was possible,’’ he reveals of the vision behind the trio’s decision to set up their own business. How did they achieve this? Again, fate smiled on them - Dele Coker and Dipo Efunkoya who were also staff of Sheraton Lagos just as he was. According to him, the owner of Lakayana Hotel in Agidingbi, Ikeja, had approached Coker over the issues he was having with the poor run of the hotel. Then Coker referred him to Olowoporoku, who after listening to the man, came up with a prognosis of what needed to be done. After much consideration, he said the hotel owner reluctantly accepted the recommendation and also for them to implement the recommendation. That was all the break they needed as they registered Hotel Support Services Limited in August 1990, but formally started operation in October 1, 1990, in a one-room office they had sub-leased from a friend. Just the three of them - Coker, Efunkoya and himself and, of course, a secretary. But three months later they relocated to a bigger office and ever since, they had grown bigger with HSSL Global as their parent company with four other subsidiaries engaged in various businesses while Hotel Support and Management Company, one of the subsidiaries is into hotel and tourism management. ‘‘That was how it started because we felt that there was a gap, we felt that there was a need for it, the demand was there and that Nigerians were yearning for it,’’ he says, adding that ‘‘it was a hard decision because everything was going on well for us. I was living the good life and I had no single worry in life but now I was going into the unknown, taking a very big risk. But I wasn’t really bother whether I will fail or succeed but I knew that the chances of succeeding was high.’’ With the success story of Lakayana came other outfits in dire need of being fixed. The list include BJ Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos Travel Inn, Ikeja, Ibro Hotel, Abuja and Excellence Hotel, Ogba, Lagos. It was actually this hotel, which they helped to fit and brand from inception and ran for about 12 years that earned HSSL and the brains behind it all the accolades and propelled them to greater heights. For him, one of the most important things achieved is the fact that ‘‘it opened up the landscape quite widely and empowered a lot of people nationwide. We assisted many promoters who would have gone into it wrongly from going into because they didn’t have the wherewithal to do it’’. How successful has the journey been? ‘‘I can’t tell you that we achieved all that we were expected to achieve. There are too many challenges in Nigeria. We met with huge successes and we also met with disappointments and in fact sometimes downright failure but it is business and businesses are full of risk. But they have toughened us and taught us lessons,’’ he said, as we rounded off the chat held at his Abuja Sheraton Hotel room last week.




Catch the Roots International After a one-year-break, The Gambia is set again to roll out the drums to celebrate Roots International Festival, a cultural tourism event of sort that brings the world to this tiny West African country, reports ANDREW IRO OKUNGBOWA


OR many tourists, this is one of the best times to visit The Gambia to explore its abundant smiles, sun, sea, sand, warm hospitality, culture, arts and craft, cuisine and its sometimes simple, enthralling and scintillating tourism offerings served in their rustic but pure and natural captivating stage. It is the period for the celebration of the Roots International Festival, a biennial event where the best of the tiny West African country, otherwise known as the “smiling of coast of Africa” comes alive with a communal broth that in many ways encapsulates the richness of the destination as a tourism enclave of immeasurable pleasure and attractions. Billed to hold between May 9 and 17, it is the eleventh year re-enactment of the obnoxious slave trade era, as The Gambia, a coastal region, was one of the countries in Africa where many of the slaves were ferried to Europe and the Americas to work at plantations. The story of Kunta Kinteh and his fellow travellers was better told in a graphic, emotion–laden and compelling story by Alex Haley, the grandson of Kinteh in his legendary and seminal novel, Roots, a historical classic that is arguably the best rehash of the pains, troubles, trauma, disorder and disorganisation of the era. Being one of the coastal countries, which bore the stamps and relics of the period, the country over the years has managed to create a moving and colourful festival round the event. A festival, which is not only targeted at attracting the Diaspora back to their root to explore and savour the beauty of their ancestor home but also create a forum for spiritual pilgrimage, occasion to celebrate by the people and enjoy the bliss of their cultural wealth. The communal feast is put together by the country’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture with the other government agencies devoted to tourism development and promotion such as the Gambia Tourism Authority and the private sector weighing in to make the celebration a must see and memorable event


DESTINATION by people of all races and culture from across the globe. The country’s president, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Abdul-Azziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh who is mostly referred to as a magician and jujuman, plays quite a prominent role in the festival. That’s because apart from being the chief host and celebrant, he is also a major participant as a festival instituted by him, Kanilai festival, which holds in his ancestral birth place forms part of this event with him as the chief priest as well. In his welcome message to expected celebrants to the festival, the president underscored the import of the festival to his country. ‘‘The International Roots Festival affords us the golden opportunity to share with our brothers and sisters from the Diaspora the richness and the unity in diversity of The Gambias cultural heritage,” he said. “Above all, the festival provides for further strengthening of the bonds of kinship and unity, that bind us together as Africans as well as providing the unique platform to discuss our common problems and share our experiences as a people.’’ He added that ‘‘The Gambia attach great importance to this historic event and we all look forward to this symbolic reunion of Africans in a true spirit of oneness and love, thus bridging the gap that has separated the sons and daughters of Africa for so long.’’ This point was also stressed by the country’s minister for tourism, Aja Fatou Masse Jobe – Njie, who described the bi-annual festival as a celebration of not only Africa’s unity but the cultural richness of her people and the African continent. “This festival is already a recognised event and features prominently in the cultural calendar of the Smiling Coast — The Gambia.” The mission of the festival conceived in 1994 by The Gambian government with the first edition holding in May 1996, is to bring about a spiritual quest

Aerial view of Banjul

for enlightenment, discovery, development and fulfilment whilst confronting a physical past and coming to terms with the true history of the continent while the stated aims and objectives are: To reunite peoples of African descent with Africa while promoting The Gambia and her cultural, historical and traditional values; To further encourage Cultural Tourism and Investment in The Gambia, in particular and Africa in general; To forge closer ties between The Gambia and Pan African peoples, for meaningful mutual co-operation and development; To promote, enhance and encourage African Unity amongst Africans in the Diaspora and Africa; To establish the truth about the history of Africa and the experiences of its people using the vehicle of African arts, culture, music and dance; To reaffirm the common heritage of African people the world over and define Africas contribution to world civilization; To promote The Gambia as a cultural Tourist destination in the Americas, the Caribbean Islands and Europe, to further encourage trade and investment in The Gambias growing economy; To preserve, promote and develop those aspects of The Gambians cultural heritage that enhances cultural identity and foster National economic and social

Cultural performance

The festival runs for over one week and seeks to give the people a memorable experience of the slave era through the various activities that would be on showcase as well as the best cultural explosion of the country. Activities commence on Saturday, May 9 with the registration exercise and Juma service while the formal opening ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, May 10 at July 22 Square in Banjul followed by the carnival event and then the Futampaf or African rites of passage through Albreda and Juffureh, James Island, George Town (now Janjanbureh) and others. Fatou Njie - Jobe...minister of tourism

advancement; To provide the basis for the establishment of an African Diaspora Heritage Centre in Juffureh, the quintessential home of the African Diaspora as personified in Kunta Kinteh, the fore father of the late African American writer, biographer and historian Alex Haley; To celebrate the rich, diverse yet homogenous cultural heritage of The Gambia in particular and the West African sub region; generally; and To provide a platform for interactive discussions between Africans on the Continent and Africans in the Diaspora, on issues of common interest and concern to offer practical solutions by sharing knowledge and experiences.

The Gambia The smiling coast of Africa is a small coastal country occupying a landmass of about 11,295 square kilometers (4361 sq. miles), it is bordered by Senegal to the north and south while the Atlantic Ocean is to the west. The Atlantic Ocean and River Gambia run through the land giving it an appealing character alongside the tropical forest, which is the envy of many people. It boasts a population of about 1. 7 million with Banjul as the city capital while other administrative regions include Kombo St. Mary, Western Division, Lower River Division, North Bank Division, Central River Division and Upper River Division. Like many Africa countries, it is a multi ethnic and

Makasutu Culture Forest




Festival at The Gambia PROGRAMME OF EVENTS DATE Friday 9th May 2014



Saturday 10th May 2014

Shopping / Site Visits

Posh interior of Coconut Residence, Gambia


Ebunjan Theatre Complex, Kanifing


Banjul, Bakau, Bijilo, Tanji, and Batokunku

10.00am to 1.00pm

Introduction and orientation on festive week′s programme of events. - Registration of guests - Food and local drinks served. - Welcome greetings from the Minister of Tourism & Culture and members of the National Organising Committee. Traditional Music & Dance, Music of the Kora, Halam, historical narratives and traditional songs, including a drama.

Guest artists include: Sizzla Kalongi, Erykah Badu, Mutabaruka, Mystic Crew, Jah Cure and lot more

Sunday 11th May 2014


Arch 22 Grounds, Banjul


The carnival procession will start at 22nd July Square to Arch 22. The carnival will feature the different masquerades of the ethnic groups of The Gambia, Dance troupes, Drum symphony, acrobatic display of the Fulani tribe, and cultural entertainers from the regions of The Gambia and beyond. - International guests are invited to participate in the carnival procession.

Monday 12th May 2014

ROOTS PILGRIMAGE Day′s trip to the villages of Juffureh/Albreda.

Albreda / Juffureh Kunta Kinteh Island

Departures from Hotels at 8:00am (Journey by Boat)

Visits to Kunta Kinteh Island (James Island), the ancestral homestead of Kunta Kinteh, and other sites of historical importance including the Slavery Museum. Meet the village chiefs and elders of Juffureh, Albreda and North Bank Region, marked by a cultural festival.

Tuesday 13th May 2014


Kairaba Beach Hotel

11:00am 12:00pm

Various national and International speakers

1:00pm 2:30pm

Programme is co-ordinate by staff of the Gambia Port Authority. It entails zz Boat races; zz Pillow fights; zz Climb the greasy pole; zz Traditional drumming and dance; zz Award of prizes.

Carnival Procession Of Masqurades And Cultural Groups Ceremony to be presided by His Excellency The President of the Republic of The Gambia. - Official Speeches - Cultural Entertainment


Departure of initiates to Kanilai for the Futampaf Rites to join their adopted families for preparatory formalities.

elected president of the country being regarded as the father of the modern nation. He is also the man who gave birth to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which since 1975 has encouraged free movement and trading within the sub-region. The present government is leader by Dr. Yahya Abdul-Azziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh. A largely agrarian society, The Gambian also accommodates other forms of economic activities but in the last couple of years it has elevated tourism to a prominent level as one of its leading revenue earner with its providing over 25 percent of the coun-

Ebunjan Theatre Complex, kanifing


9pm -2am

“REGATTA” (Traditional Boat Race)

cultural land with the people generally regarded as Mandinka but other recognized ethnic groups are Fula, Wolof, Jola, Serahuli, Creoles or Aku, Manjago and Bambara. English is the official language of the country but because of the high numbers of Europeans visiting the country, French, German, Italian, Dutch and other Scandinavian languages. It remains a moderate society even though majority of its population are Muslims, Christians and animists are part of the country. It gained independent in 1965 with the former president Dawda Jawara (kairaba) the first democratically

TIME 2:00pm

MUSICAL JAMBOREE MezembiIndependence featuring International Guest Artists Stadium

At Night

July 22, Arch, Banjul

VENUE Mosque

Banjul Wharf Gambia Port Authority



Wednesday 14th May 2014

“FUTAMPAF” (Rites of Passage)

Kanilai Village

Departures from hotels 8:00am

Futampaf is a Jola initiation ceremony hosted by His Excellency The President of the Republic of the Gambia, Sheikh Professor Alhagie Dr Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh. Gambian names to be given to initiates, cultural dances and Kumpo masquerades featured.

Thursday 15th May 2014

Visit to Makasutu

Makasutu Culture Forest



African Gala Dinner (Taste of Africa) and Awards Night

Senegambia Beach Hotel Garden


A renowned eco-tourism lodge, internationally acclaimed; - Nature trail - Boat ride through the creeks; - Music and dance; - Food and drinks. Award of certificates to deserving collaborators and special invited guests, punctuated by African food and drinks buffet and a cultural extravaganza.

Friday 16th May 2014

Departures / Farewell

try’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Accommodation The Gambia has a rich blend of guest houses, motels, beach houses, and hotels for visiting guests. The list include: Coconut Resident, The Gambia Sheraton, Djaliba Hotel, Ocean View Hotel, the Kairaba Beach Hotel and Senegambia Tourist attractions/activities The country offers visitors different experiences – unique and naturally pleasing with a rich blend of cultural

Crowd of people at one of the Roots Festival...recently

Collection of feedback questionnaire

and contemporary entertainment packages within the confinement of the various regions. The capital city is perhaps the starting point for anyone wishing to have a bashful taste of the smiling coast as you drive through the huge arch at the entrance where you would be treated to the rich history of the country from the curated arts and craft on display. Then there is the Gambia National Museum on Independence Drive, Albert Market and then you can meander through some of the inter connected paved pathway to interact with the

people as you behold some pleasant and not too pleasant scenery and architectural pieces, which is a mix of traditional and modern make. Bakau otherwise known as the Senegambia area or strip (Bakau, Cape Point, Fajara and Kotu) is actually the centre of attention in the city, it is this place that for many makes The Gambia to rock because it is here many of the tourist centres are located with a number of activities unfolding round the clock all through the week. Hotels, bars, night clubs, shops and offices are heavily packed at this region, the heart beat of the countries tourism market. You can possibly be treated to all sorts of fun filled and leisure activities here ranging from clubbing, casino, the scarlet ladies, food and drinks of all kinds. Also at Bakau is the craft market, Katchikally Crocodile Pool, where you are allowed to interact with crocs freely without any attendant risk. There is the Bijilo Forest Park for a further feel of the wildlife experience. There is also the Serrekunda town or area where you can also feel the pulse of the people from the major market and other sites. Then you move over to Brufut Heights and Brufut Gardens, modern and charming location where you are captivated by attractive architectural masterpieces. TAF housing estate is one of them while the Gambia Sheraton clearly comes top with its naturally appealing scenery. Bird watching The country has an array of bird life attractions for many conservationists and ornithologists to explore. Some of the outstanding locations include Tanji and Abuko nature reserves. Wildlife Besides the bird watching sanctuaries, The Gambia is actually a haven for safari and enriching wildlife experience with it range of tropical forest, mangroves and swamps, a visitor to some of the wildlife sanctuaries is a guaranteed a fulfilling moment. Makasutu Culture Forest is one of such places to catch nature at is best and explore a number of leisure activities on display by the locals. Amazing numbers of eco lodges populate the coastal lines and forest regions, the list include the luxury eco-lodge of Mandina River Lodge, Lamin Lodge in Pirang Forest Park in the east of Brikama, Niumi National Park where you can do a spot of dolphin spotting. On the river bank itself further inland try out the ‘Find Your Roots Excursion’ which is a one day pilgrimage to the village of Juffure made famous by Alex Haley’s book ‘Roots’. Nearby is the slavery museum at Albreda, not far from the shore the ruins of Fort James Island. For real perfect eco tourism, the country’s six national parks and various forest parks are the spots to savour: Bijilo Forest Park, Abuko Nature Reserve, Baobolong Wetland Reserve, Kiang West National Park, River Gambia National Park, Niumi National Park and Tanji River Bird Reserve.

Gambia’s president, Yahya Jammeh with a guest

with eve banigo




Contestants at this year’s Mr. Nigeria organised by Silverbird


Going male-gazing

ill this day, I’ve never been able to understand my fascination with beauty pageants. It lies deeper than the fact that beautiful people are always appealing to watch. When I was a little girl, I’d gaze in awe at the bevy of beautiful women, with legs up to their necks, resplendent in their evening gowns, strutting in stiletto heels and mega-watt smiles. Perhaps, the fascination was borne out of the fact I was a tall and gangly child, and a part of me believed these women were once like this. I always took solace in that fact, and as I grew older, I decided that... Well, dear friends, that’s a story for another day. So, Saturday, April 26th, I patiently waited for the live broadcast of the Mr. Nigeria pageant. Silverbird Television, the organizers of the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, also bought the franchise to organize Mr. Nigeria. It’s almost no different from MBGN, except this is a competition for males. Interested males are expected to be good looking, above 5 feet 7 inches tall, have at least a secondary school certificate, and a passport. The winner gets the “Mr

Nigeria” title and proceed to represent the country in the international competition, “Mr World”. It’s been quite good, and it became even more popular when Kenneth Okolie, became the second runner up in the international competition, year 2010. Quite good, I must say. So, I sat back, and waited impatiently for the event to start. It was being held at Eko Hotel and Suites. The hosts of the show, Yvonne Ekwere (Vixen) and the other whose name I didn’t quite catch looked stunning. I’m a great fan of Vixen by the way. She does an amazing job at presenting, and always looks damn good. The judges of the competition were introduced, and some important guests too. Well, that’s where it ends. I’m still quite shocked that things still remained the same, and not quite in a good way. Silverbird are the organizers of the foremost beauty competitions in Nigeria, and you’d think everything would be so up to par. I’m not much of a technical person, but I know when something isn’t good. It’s horrid when the presenters are talking, then the camera is focused on a different person,

either some important guest or on the judges. It was confusing. Most times, the hosts would be saying something, or introducing an individual, then the camera would be focused on someone different. The lighting was quite poor too, like poor in a “you can do better than this way”. I felt it could have been brighter, or at least, be more focused on the contestants’ faces and bodies, since they were the main reason everyone was watching. Most of the

It’s horrid when the presenters are talking, then the camera is focused on a different person, either some important guest or on the judges

time, I found myself leaning forward, or squinting even to look at some of the contestants. Same with the sound was distorted. Almost like it was cheap sound system, because there was this annoying humming sound at some point, at times it would be really high, then it would be barely above a whisper. Fluctuating, just like that. Which got me thinking, was this what they plan on doing, year in, year out? . They had several months to plan and organize this thing. It’s really bad when you make people look forward to something, then serve crap in the end. It’s the little things that matter, they say. Lighting, camera, sound are little things compared to having your viewers pleased at the end of the day. It’s appalling to subject them to whatever mediocrity you’re serving.....if it’s not good enough, then there’s almost no point. Anyway, it was awesome seeing good-looking, well-built men strut their stuff all over the stage. My favorite part was where they all had to go shirtless. The pecs and abs on display were so good to look at. I had a grin plastered

on my face throughout that part. Yes, I’m shameless. My favorite contestants did make it to the top ten stage, then top five. Good work from the judges, no bias there. I mean, if I think anyone is good enough for top five, why should anyone think otherwise??? Haha! Just jokes, but I do have A good sense of judgment if I do say so myself. That’s me being cocky, ignore it totally. Emmanuel Idubese, 25 year old actor on the Shuga series won the competition, beating 19 other contestants to win the title, a brand new car, modeling contract and N1m naira. The Delta born actor when asked said, he would use his position to inspire other youth and encourage them to chase their dreams. He also revealed he’s involved in a number of pet projects, among which is the fight against domestic violence. Quite a man, I must say. Austin Igwilo and Michael Amilo were the runners up of the competition. Well, well, I did enjoy watching, aside every other mishap, it was entertaining. I really do hope that there would be major improvement for the next pageant. I do hope. I really do.


Nobody wants to leave Nigeria – Ebele Okeke?p.47 Tony Anenih is not doing his job – Ogbemudia p.50




3 MAY 2014


Boko Haram is deliberate sabotage, says ex-DIG Mr Udom Ekpoudom, a retired deputy inspector-general of police, tells DOMINIK UMOSEN in this interview that the insurgency in the country is attributable to those who are not happy that the president is from a minority tribe.

Several awards have been conferred on you recently by your people. How do these make you feel? While in service, I never nursed the hope of being praised by my people someday. Throughout, I operated with the fear of God and the determination to assist my people in whatever little way I could. As minorities, my people are still being oppressed till date which is why I helped many Nigerians, including fellow oppressed people from other states, in various ways, including scholarships, appointments, etc. I did not do these because I wanted to acquire political advantage after my retirement. I must confess that I am overwhelmed by the manner the people have shown appreciation. People retire and go back only to be ignored by their communities. And some retire but do not want to go back to their states because they know that they are not appreciated where they hail from. Since I retired and returned home, I have been honoured with several awards. For example, the biggest organisation in Annangland, the Afe Annang, conferred on me the ‘Ntrukpum Annang’ (Eagle) award; Essien Udim Local Government, bestowed on me ‘Abom Annang’ (beam) and another is ‘Obong Uforo’, (Father of Progress) award, among other awards. These awards, the former top cop said, make him feel fulfilled and appreciated by the people. Do you accept that there has been uncommon transformation in Akwa Ibom state under the Akpabio administration? When I was serving in the Police Force and intended to retire, I must confess that my plan was to retire and go somewhere to settle. Why? That was because the state, then, was very backward. It was an over-glorified village. Few tarred roads and very little electrification. But since Governor Godswill Akpabio came on board, there has been considerable improvement and a great deal of difference. When I told my colleagues initially that I intended retiring and settling down in Akwa Ibom, they thought I was mad. But after I invited some of them for a visit to appraise what is on the ground in the state, they now commended me for taking such initiative. Gov Akpabio has performed creditably, no matter what anyone might say. He is a miracle-performer. He might have made some mistakes, especially those caused by some overzealous aides, but he is so committed to transform the state. He has tried his best, in terms of provision of excellent road network, water, electricity, etc. From my assessment, he has done well. Does that amount to an endorsement

Some people feel that it is only people from a particular region in the country that are born to rule ing into the same trap. (This was before PDP stakeholders in the state zoned the position to Eket Senatorial District). As a great and loyal party member, I will wait for whatever directives the party will issue regarding which zone will produce the next governor of the state. If the PDP, to which I belong, says we should move to the left, I will follow suit as a loyal party man. Candidate to emerge from the Eket Senatorial Zone. But this endorsement of power shift to Eket Senatorial District was approved by the party leadership in the state with some provisos. ‘We must elect an experienced person; someone who loves the state and will continue from where his hard-working predecessor stopped. Not someone without any clue ‘, he said. Appraise the security situation in Akwa Ibom which has generated some apprehension in some quarters The state government and the security agencies are trying their best. There is relative peace in the state but I want to appeal to security agents; I want to appeal to the state government to nip in the bud what appears to be rearing its ugly head in the form of politically-motivated killing. As a person, I do not believe that Obong Godswill Akpabio is linked with this allegation. But some people who are overzealous might do that in the mistaken belief that doing so could endear them to the political leadership in the state. There are people close to the governor who could do that. He should tell them that politics is a game where you don’t have to kill your brother to enhance your interests because at the end of the day, you will remain brothers. You do not want people to die in questionable circumstances. On the whole, there is relative peace in Akwa Ibom and if the governor accepts this piece of advice, the state would be the best it can be.


of the governor’s Senatorial ambition in 2015? I have spoken severally on that issue. There was a time some people tried to blackmail me with this issue. But I will say it once more for those who want to listen that I am not interested in contesting any political tussle with the governor. I would like to stress that position at this point in time.

But as an elder citizen, what do you have to say about the bitter tussle about which zone should produce the next governor of the state? I want us to remember one thing: One of the reasons Nigerians detested military rule was imposition of candidates for elections. They complained that the military was fond of telling people when to stand and when to sit. Politicians in the country should resist fall-

What is your assessment of the current security situation in the Country? It is quite unfortunate that Nigeria is where she is today. It is unfortunate that some people are still living in the past in the sense that some people feel that it is only people from particular region in the country that are born to rule while others are born to be ruled. It is unfortunate that some people feel that some people from the South-South, for example, cannot rule the country. They try very hard to make it seem as if the president is not doing enough to lead this country. From my assessment, the president has done more than most CONTINUED ON PAGE 46




Boko Haram is deliberate sabotage, says ex-DIG C O N T I N U E D f r o m PA G E 4 5

of the leaders before him to provide effective leadership for the country. Yet, some people have encouraged a lot of disgruntled elements to destabilise the country. The president has put in a lot of money into the security agencies to fight the insurgency which is threatening some parts of the country. I don’t know why they say he has not done enough to strengthen the security of the country. I do not know which other president invested as much money as President Goodluck Jonathan to strengthen the security agencies so that they can perform their constitutional responsibilities. In my 34 years of service in law enforcement in this country, I know how we used to perform our roles; how state police commands could never boast of a single operational vehicle in the commands and how precious little was provided in terms of logistics support from the headquarters. But now, we see police stations receiving equipment from their state command headquarters, which means that money has been provided for them to enhance effective police responsibilities. What I am saying is that President Goodluck Jonathan has done a lot to checkmate the activities of bad elements in the society. Insecurity is a problem deliberately created and manipulated to create the erroneous impression that the president is not doing enough to exercise effective leadership. I am telling you that they will fail. They will fail in trying to create the impression that he is a failure.

The president has done more than most leaders before him What do you make of the allegation by Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State that the anti-insurgency operation constitutes genocide by the Federal Government against the North? Like I said, this is attributable to the inability of some people to adjust to the new political reality in the country. They should consider themselves lucky that President Jonathan is a God-fearing individual. If it were some people that I know, some headsof-state and presidents before him, definitely, some parts of the North would have become ghost towns by now. This is a president who stresses the need for security agencies to maintain strict rules of engagement. I have also not heard of any case of political killings, unlike in the past. The war against insurgency would have provided an excellent opportunity for the president to unleash mayhem and absolute terror on his political enemies. But because President Jonathan has always been a God-fearing man, he has refused to be tempted to do just that. I have known him since he was a deputy governor. It is not true that the military has been killing indiscriminately in the northern part of the country. What is happening now is an

operation to restore law and order in that part of the country. And the president is doing that with the fear of God. He emphasised and told operational commanders that no innocent life must be lost. Those who have an ything to fear are terrorists who are making life unbearable for law-abiding citizens. So it is very unfair for a retired armed forces personnel like Nyako to make such an irresponsible allegation against a God-fearing man like President Jonathan who is only trying to restore law and order in that part of the country. Do you share the sentiment that the president is soft because he lacks a military pedigree like his predecessor? We are not in a military regime. We are in a democracy. Democratic presidents do not act like military rulers. The conduct of President Jonathan so far has been an appropriate reference point for democratic leaders. His God-fearing nature and respect for the rule of law has been commendable. He has always been like that and is quite persuaded that not everyone in the North is a terrorist and, as such, should be protected from criminal elements.

‘It’s too early to say who our presidential candidate would be’ Senator Osita Izunaso, National Organising Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) argues that the intentions of his party with regard to some decisions are often misconstrued. He spoke with YEKEEN NURUDEEN Is it true that some Christian leaders in your party threatened to quit on account of the presumed predominance of the party in favour of one religion? There are procedures on how things should be done. We have not even finished with our convention to elect our national officers. We are not even talking about our presidential candidate yet. So if anybody is saying we are going to field a Muslim/ Muslim ticket, they are not being serious. When we get to that stage, we would do the right thing. But for people to now be saying that’s what we have done, they are not being fair to us. The convention will be publicly done. Right now, we have just finished our ward congresses, local government congresses, and the state congresses holds on April 23, the we will now have our national convention towards the end of May to elect officers of the party. Then we can now starting talking about primaries for other positions before you get to the national convention again to elect our presidential flag bearer. It is just those people’s wishful thinking. We are not even thinking about it. Femi Fani-Kayode may not be someone that will hide his feelings but his frivolity is also wellknown. Those things you are referring to are mere imaginations of some people. We haven’t gotten to that stage in our party. When we get to that stage you would know. A matter as serious as presiden-


That’s the mischief of our opponent. How can you refer to APC as an Islamic party? Am I a Muslim?

tial candidate of a political party is not something that will be discussed under the table, it must be done publicly. And even for presidential candidate to nominate his running mate, it is not something to be done privately. The party would get involved at the highest level. What is your reaction to the claim that APC is an Islamic party? That’s the mischief of our opponent. How can you refer to APC as an Islamic party? Am I a Muslim? Am I not the party’s national organising secretary? People are just playing up sentiments of religion unnecessarily. But the party could still hold its national congress to validate the presumed intention to field Muslims as president and vice president. Don’t you think so? Why don’t you wait till we get there. It is on record that APC is the first political party in Nigeria that have registered people publicly and it cost us some money but we didn’t go and beg for it. People queued up to register for APC, showing commitment to the party. The PDP has described your party’s congress as an embarrassment to democracy given the controversies. Do you agree? There has never been any case of violence, there has never been a case of anybody being shot at, but whenever you are conducting a political exercise in 8812 wards in Nigeria and expect everything to be 100 percent hitch free. But the field reports we are getting is very positive, extremely positive. We are very impressed with our party membership the way they have conducted themselves in the various states. We are very impressed with those we sent out. People think we are going to fail, they will be shocked.


Do you think the 20 committees set up by the national conference can anything tangible within two weeks? We have discussed this at the plenary. The delegates expressed their desire to have a long time. They pointed out that two weeks would not allow them to do justice. Like my committee, Public Service Committee, when we listed the people we wanted to discuss with, they are about 18 organisations, but we have to cut it down to about five, because if we have to invite all those people, we will not have any report. Looking at the rancorous way the conference took off and the stage it is now, do you think it can come out with anything meaningful? I think we will come out with something meaningful. Using the word rancorous, I wouldn’t say that was the situation. People expressed their mind and other people also replied. You can see that at the end of the day, they had 50 friends of the chair (the 50 wise men set up to look into the areas of disagreement then) and they all sat down and arrived at a conclusion of having 70 instead of 75 or two third as the majority votes on any decision. There are people who can control themselves when they are angry and there are people who cannot control their anger. When some people are talking, you will think they are quarrelling but in their minds, they are not fighting. So, I believe that if at that time, people can sit down and arrive at a conclusion, we can sit down and arrive at a conclusion on every issue. If you remember, this conference was based on the fact that a lot of people felt that there is something wrong and we have to sit down and talk. What people don’t know is that nobody wants to leave Nigeria. No matter what any ethnic group tells you, it is not true. Nobody wants to leave Nigeria. We are all in it and all of us will find solution and we are going to come up with a conclusion.


Nobody wants to leave Nigeria – Ebele Okeke Engineer Ebele Okeke, a delegate at the ongoing National Conference in Abuja and former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, in this interview with LATEEF IBRAHIM, says it is better to subject the outcome of the National Conference to a referendum.



Even if he (Lamido of Adamawa) decides to lead his people to Cameroun, would they be better off in Nigeria or in Cameroun? you can throw them to Nigerians and they (Nigerians) will tell you whether they want them or not. So, you prefer that the outcome of this conference should be subjected to a referendum rather than to the National Assembly? I did not say one is my preference. The argument is that if you send it to the National Assembly, you are still sending it to a smaller group, but if you make it something that people, the common people, can have a voice in, it would come out better. That is the idea. What do you expect at the end of this three months national conference? What I expect is that we would come up with good recommendations and we pray that the recommendations will be implemented because we are representing the various interest groups and we are all working towards a better Nigeria. As I have told you, nobody is going anywhere. We are here to stay. It is in our best interest to make Nigeria work.

You said nobody wants to leave Nigeria, but the Lamido of Adamawa openly threatened at the plenary session of the conference to lead his subjects to Cameroun if certain things persist. How do you juxtapose your statement with Lamido’s threat? Has he led them? I told you people will talk. You can talk, but that doesn’t mean you are going to do it. Even if he decides to lead his people to Cameroun would they be better off in Nigeria or in Cameroun? When he goes to Cameroun, they will not make him what he is in Nigeria. They might not respect him the way he is respected in Nigeria. Nobody is going to move, I tell you that.

It has been quite some time now that you left office, how has life outside office being? You are looking very good. You see, God has been very kind to me. As you can see, I am hale and hearty, which is very important. I have tried to keep myself busy. One, I make sure I exercise and I make sure I catch up with topical issues and this has really helped me since retirement. There were lots of radio and television issues that I never knew existed while in office and most of the people don’t know. Now, I get up, I go from television to radio and it is quite interesting. Also, I have a consulting firm and am equally doing a humanitarian work for two international organisations. One of them is based in Geneva, Water Supply Collaborative Council. The other one, a Sanitation and Water for all, is based in New York. So, I am working for them as what they call ‘The Watch’, that is Water Sanitation Ambassador. It is a humanitarian work but it makes me so happy because we are saving lives and my own side is to bring in more money into the system, for government to put in more money. So, I do high level advocacy.

You said the conference was based on the fact that people believe that certain things are wrong. What are these things that are wrong? How can the conference address the wrong things? Yes, the different committees will address the problems. But we are all human beings. We can address them to the best of our ability, but the greater Nigerians can also make their inputs and that is why the idea of a referendum would be very well accepted if the National Assembly can finish its activity on that referendum. Once this is done, whatever these smaller groups have come up with,

A major worry of most of those still in the service is how to effectively cope with life after retirement? What is your advice to such people? The advice is that you have to start early to think of shelter, because when a man retires without shelter that is when he suddenly aged. If you have shelter you can go into, whether you eat or not, your neighbour doesn’t know, because you have your own compound and you can hide your inadequacies within your household. But if a man retires or a woman retires and find out that there is no place to stay that is when he knows that ‘khaki no be leather.’




3 MAY 2014

Wind of change will blow away Fayemi –Anisulowo Dipo Anisulowo, the Campaign Director of ex-governor Ayo Fayose, tells ADESINA WAHAB in this interview that the people of Ekiti will vote out Governor Kayode Fayemi. Why do you think your party, Peoples Democratic Party, was not allowed to campaign at Isan-Ekiti, the home town of Governor Kayode Fayemi? It is a statement of fact that we were advised and not allowed to campaign in Isan-Ekiti the hometown of Governor Kayode Fayemi and that is despite the fact that we got police approval. The excuse was that the governor was coming to Isan that day to hold a meeting. It was unfortunate that they stooped so low to that level. The arrangement all political parties had with the police and other security agencies is that when a political party is having an engagement in one local government, another political party will not have anything doing in that same locality to avoid a situation where there would be any clash. In fact, if party A has a rally in a local government, party B will be some distance away. We were surprised that the Onisan of Isan called us that Governor Fayemi had a meeting in the town at the same time. The question is that why can’t the governor hold his meeting in Ado-Ekiti? Agreed that he may decide to do so anywhere in the state, why on a day that we have a rally in that town? Why is it that it is the Onisan that called us to stay away? Is he the security chief of the state? Apart from our case, what about the way they treated Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele of Labour Party? He was pointedly told that his safety could not be guaranteed in Isan. He and his team waited and tried to be allowed to campaign there and he was not allowed to hold his rally. The people of the state should ask the APC, their governor and leaders why they should shut out other people from campaigning in any part of the state. Are we no longer citizens of the state? This is a bad omen for democracy and it is unfortunate that those doing all these are people who tout themselves as democrats and progressives. The police prevailed on us to avoid Isan and we did and did not even go to Ayede. Fayemi has campaigned in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area where Fayose hails from and nobody stopped him. They don’t want other people to air their views, sell their candidates and manifestos. That is a great disservice to the state and our democratic experience. Let the people of Ekiti judge.

exposed them. You people should judge. The attack on the campaign office of Governor Fayose was done in broad daylight, but we thank God nobody died. There was no reason for that. They resorted to that because they are jittery and desperate and that is unfortunate. It is disheartening that the ruling party has elevated violence to an art and descended so low to accuse the opposition of masterminding violence everytime when they are the aggressors. If the APC is popular in the state as it has always claimed, why is it that they are the ones being attacked? Why are they raising the false alarm? They are good at committing heinous crimes and accusing others of same. In the last three-and-half years the APC has killed more than 10 innocent citizens of the state on account of violent attacks. More than 20 members of the party, including the State Chairman, Chief Jide Awe, a serving member of the House of Assembly, Kehinde Boluwade are currently facing trial in various courts in the state for (alleged) murder charges. Let the APC publish the names of PDP members that are currently facing trial on account of violence in the state. In all of these, how will you assess the role of security agencies? They are trying but they are under severe pressure from the sitting government and its leaders. That is why some cases have not been taken to court or when cases are taken to court, the charges are milder than the of fence s and the people released on bail. The APC people are also pressur ising the judiciary.

Those who killed Ayo Jeje and Madam Adewumi in Erijiyan-Ekiti will pay for their crime One thing is clear; they are only postponing their day of judgment. Those cases would still be revived very soon and justice will prevail. Those who killed Ayo Jeje and Madam Adewumi in Erijiyan-Ekiti will pay for their crime, just as those who killed Foluso Ogundare in EmureEkiti will not go scot free. We want to advise security agencies that they should be totally neutral if they want to maintain peace and order in the state. What evidence do you have when you said the standard of education has fallen in the state? We are coming out with publications on that and we will allow the people to judge. We are not propagandists. We don’t even have the instrument of propaganda and we don’t even want it. We want facts to be stated and made bare for all to see and we will put the whole thing in public domain. We are not frivolous. The teachers in the state know the motivation PDP-led administrations in this state gave to them and which showed in the performance of their students. Parents know how much they were paying as school fees of their children in the state university and other institutions when PDP was in government and what they are paying now. PDPled government increased the number of

Political violence keeps recurring in state. Are you not worried that the election will be marred with violence? The action of APC people has


universities in the state to three, APC people came and reduced it to one and still they cannot adequately fund the remaining one. It is a shame that the APC people are killing education in the state. What is your take on the allegation by the APC that your party attempted to bribe of some Independent National Electoral Commission staff? There is no reason why we should go to that extent. Why should we bribe INEC officials? We don’t have to do that because Ekiti people are behind us. But we have been advised not to allow these people to rig us out. APC leaders have gone to the ridiculous level of mopping up voter cards from our supporters, so that our support base will be depleted. They may go to other extreme and ridiculous level, but we are on our guards. They are doing many terrible things. They have the power of the press, but we have the power of the people. Do you agree with the view that your chances are slim in the election? Our chances are very bright. Our candidate, His Excellency Governor Ayo Fayose is a man of the people. The APC people are deluding themselves. It was funny hearing them say that the crowd attending our rallies across the state is rented. The people are always mobilising themselves. On April 2 this year when Fayose came to the state from Abuja after getting the nod as our candidate, you could see the huge crowd of people that lined the street from Ikere to Ado. Most of them had been waiting since very early in the morning, in the scorching sun and Fayose did not get to Ado from Ikere until about 7pm. If the people were rented, how much could they have collected to stay in the hot sun for hours? Everything was shown on television and those who watched the event should try and calculate how much would be spent to rent such a crowd. Fayemi, his campaign team and advisers did not sleep that day. To cover their shame, they cooked up a story that somebody shot at them from our campaign office. The police investigated, found out their lies and issued a statement warning against raising false alarm and heating up the polity needlessly. The man they alleged was shot is one of their band members and was in his shop the second day they claimed he was shot. We have the people behind us and we do not need to mobilise them. There is a wind of change blowing in Ekiti and nobody can stop it because it is from God. We are sure and confident that we are going to win the election. I want to appeal to Ekiti people to be patient because the days of the APC are numbered. In the next few months, we will get to the Promised Land.




Fayose is no match for Fayemi –Daramola Mr. Bimbo Daramola, the DG of Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation, in this interview tells ADESINA WAHAB that ex-governor Ayo Fayose is not carrying security agents along about his campaign programme Recently, opposition parties alleged that they were not allowed to campaign in Fayemi’s home town, Isan-Ekiti and fingered the Onisan on the issue; what is your reaction? I would expect that these guys operate with some level of civility. There was a stakeholders’ meeting between all of us (politicians) and security organisations and they said that no party, regardless of whether Governor Kayode Fayemi is running or not, that all parties should acquaint them with their programmes. We had done that and we complied for months. Way back before Fayose’s emergence, we had given the police, the Department of State Security Service our itinerary in order for people to know that on any particular day, a particular party would be at a particular location. They operate in breach. I am told that the only way Fayose tells security organisations that he is going somewhere is when he goes on air to make public service announcement. And he expects the police to give him cover on the basis of broadcast sms messages. It amazes me when people say my party and my candidate would not allow anybody to campaign. What strategic advantage will it give us? How will people know the difference if we don’t give them the opportunity to go and campaign? We would have shot ourselves in the foot if we don’t provide the opportunity for the people to know the difference between Dr. Kayode Fayemi who would espouse his campaign on the basis of achievements and records. He is different from people who will come and drop promisory notes and claims. For the Onisan of Isan, he is obligated as the custodian of the security of his people and the peace and tranquility of the town and must do everything within his means and powers to ensure that violence does not take over his town. I want to emphasise that my party and candidate are not violent and have exercised so much restraint to remain focused. Even before Fayemi became governor, he said he does not want to be a governor of the cemetery. Our weapons are not carnal but spiritual to the pulling down of strongholds and that has shown in what Governor Fayemi has done with the mandate of the people in the last three and half years.

scores one out of nine, will he say he has passed? For the Labour Party, it is a ploy to attract attention. It is also to scare people away because they are not popular. Make no mistake about this, 50 to 60 percent of the people have made up their minds on who to vote for and the swing vote may not be more than 30 percent and so you have about a month to the election and you go to rallies and less than 20 persons attend your rallies and your major backers are not proud to stand on the podium with you, how many people attend his rally? If Bamidele Opeyemi has headache today, the Ekiti Labour Party has headache, if he says his leg is paining him, the leg of Ekiti L a bour Party is also experiencing pain. Fayemi has name and integrity to protect and he came into the race heavily recommended on the basis of pro-democratic credentials and ‘Omoluabi’. Fayose goes about apologising, okay, there is room for penitence, but before Saul becomes Paul there must be a road to Damascus. You cannot avoid taking the road to Damascus and say your Saul has become Paul. I am ready to even become his campaign manager if he would appoint me on one condition, if he shows me the heart with which he governed as a governor and his new heart now.

Are you not worried that your party, APC, is being associated with violence most of the time? If I give you a microphone and a biro, how would you know the difference? You know that this one is a microphone because when you speak into it, it resonates, speak to a biro, it won’t, so you cannot dissociate the character, the credential, the antecedent and the pedigree of people from who they are. Before the emergence of Ayo Fayose as the PDP candidate, Fayemi must have driven past that place (Fayose’s office) hundreds of times, not one person had hurled any missile at this governor and then Fayose emerged and the scenario changed. And for the Labour Party guy, he is my colleague in the National Assembly, if a man

Performance of Ekiti pupils in external examinations is said to be poor signalling a drop in the standard of education, what do you have to say? In the first place, what claims does Fayose have to pontificate on education? You cannot give what you don’t have. A cobbler or carpenter knows nothing about Maths 101 or Simultaneous Equation. What does he know about education? When he was governor of this state, we had these ‘magic or special’ centres where people write WAEC and JAMB for others. Fayemi came and closed them down. Are you going to deny the fact that products of Ekiti State Univesity, since we came into office, have back-to-back emerged best students at Nigerian Law School? Are you going to deny

PDP alleged that your party is trying to bribe some INEC officials, what is your take on that? Can Fayose say that on camera? We know he tried to buy an INEC staff in his aspiration to become a senator. Tell him that I will mention the man he tried to give N10 million and the man said he would not touch the man, saying it was filthy lucre.


I want to emphasise that my party and candidate are not violent and have exercised so much restraint the fact that modern day scholarship and learning rely on ICT and where Fayemi has ensured that our students got 30,000 laptops? Teachers also got 18,000 laptops and there is no state in this country that has done that. Let Fayose impeach the integrity of our claims. Those things were not only given, they were backed by training. In a 21st Century world, won’t you reckon with ICT? Fayemi also introduced core subjects allowances for teachers, he introduced hinterland allowances for teachers serving in remote locations to encourage them to stay and teach there. When Fayose was in government, it was more dignified then to buy vegetables in Odo-Ado than to get a degree from the then University of Ado-Ekiti. Fayemi came and sanitise the institution and wipe out the handout syndrome. What are the chances of APC in the coming poll? The chances of my party and candidate are bright. Are you aware that a stipend of N5, 000 goes to 25,000 people monthly and that it has been so for nearly three years? That is 25,000 votes already. At least they would have one person who appreciates that effort and that is another 25,000 votes. I am giving you this scientific breakdown so that nobody would think this election

is in the realm of contemplation. Let say 2,000 among them have died or would have died before election and then less 2,000 from their relations, that is 46,000 votes for Fayemi. 10,000 volunteers, let say 1,000 of them are angry, that leaves 9,000 and some of them are married and they have relations too. Teachers will vote, beneficiaries of YCAD scheme will vote, members of Peace Corps will vote. The truth is that politicians may suffer selective amnesia but the people do not. So, we can reasonably explain where the votes will come from. And by stroke of luck, the PDP picked Fayose who goes about apologising. For the Labour Party guy, he is not prepared. He could only pick someone as a stop gap for his deputy. We don’t have the time for a governor who will be learning on the job. Also, you win election on the basis of structure you have on the ground. When Bamidele started, he said he is contesting because Ekiti people love him. Our colleagues in the National Assembly would come and meet me to say that Bamidele is contesting because he says Ekiti people love him and I would say to them is it that Ekiti people hate me? I challenge Opeyemi Bamidele to justify the mandate the people gave him three years ago. He should not compare it with mine but with others. To whom much is given, much is expected. Unfortunately the people gave him much but he has short changed them and the people should go and ask for the balance from Opeyemi Bamidele. His new line is that he wants to donate his salary to the people. Ask him how much is the salary? Which local government will take it first? What project will it be used for? Is that the job of a governor? Well the ball is in the court of Ekiti people.

50 Politics


Tony Anenih is not doing his job – Ogbemudia Mr. Samuel Ogbemudia Junior, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party and the eldest son of Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, a former governor of defunct Bendel State, spoke to journalists on what the state chapter of PDP needs to do in order to reclaim the state in 2015. CAJETAN MMUTA was there. You have not been active like your father despite being a member of the PDP. Is there any reason why you have decided to keep a low profile political life? There is a time for everything. I heard of a lot of people who were politically active and when they leave office they are finished. They are either down economically or they die. I believe as individuals we should know when it is time; when it is yet your time you should know, those around you should know when it is time for you to join the first eleven. Are you still in the PDP in Edo? I am in PDP and will remain in the party. In fact 99 per cent of those who are in All Progressives Congress came from PDP. I remain in PDP to help in winning back the souls of PDP members who defected to APC. How prepared do you think the PDP in Edo is for 2015? The PDP in Edo, Lagos, Ekiti, Osun need to be reorganised. We need to have fresh and enterprising leaders. The PDP has not won a single election in Edo since the present leadership came on board. When you go for competitions and you continue to lose you, then you need to change your team. If it’s a business you change the management or the board. For me, I believe that the PDP in Edo State should be recognised and the chairman changed, because it is either you have it or you don’t. So, there is need for serious re-organisation in the PDP for us to be able to challenge the APC and win back the souls of PDP members who have defected to the opposition. But the present party executive has tenure and says it has been recognised and is strategising for 2015? The result is what we are concerned about. The tenure can be cut short. (Vincent) Ogbulafor’s tenure, and Bamanga Tukur’s tenure were cut short for the party to forge ahead. So it’s not a question of tenure. Dan Orbih’s case should not be different. We are interested in results. It’s purely business. That’s what we are interested in; it’s not a

personal issue. Dan Orbih is my friend; he just does not have what it takes to give us the result, that’s just it. What do you think is the problem with the party and what is the way forward? The leadership is not on the ground. The job of the Board of Trustees Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih, is to organise the party and put strategies in place in each state. But most of the times, you see as part of the President’s entourage whenever the President is on official assignments. When does he have time to do the proper work? Apart from that, it looks like the PDP leadership in Edo is more interested in federal appointments than winning elections. Now, what is the contribution of most of these federal political appointees? What is their contribution to the party and how prepared are they for the next elections? We have to re-strategise so that we can win elections. That is my take on the matter. There is nothing new that has been introduced in Edo PDP. That reminds me of what Bill Clinton said ‘that you can’t keep doing the same thing day in day out but expect a different result.’ There is nothing being done that will change the game in Edo PDP, nothing. We are supposed to be winning the souls of those who defected to APC back to PDP, but instead they are chasing those who are criticising PDP out of the party. Criticism is what the party needs to correct itself, to correct its mistakes. If it cannot accept criticism, then there is a big problem. We are talking of 2015 and eight years after, Edo people must wake up and realise that we cannot have the same old people with the same old ideas telling us about the way forward. Some of them immediately they get to Abuja, you cannot get them on the phone again. How do you think this re-organisation you talked about can be carried out? Chief Tony Anenih should change his strategy. He should spread federal appointments among all the areas in the state instead of concentrating on some areas at the detriment of others. Those who have electoral value should be the ones to get such appointments. It seems he is just satisfied with the appointments at


federal level. He is not interested in elections. Your father, Sam Ogbemudia’s credentials are intimidating. Do you foresee those who came after him beating this record? Dr. S. O. Ogbemudia developed the former Midwest. Many people have come to say that they will beat his record. I remember Lucky Igbinedion said so in 1999 at the Central Baptist Church, Benin. The issue is that just as he has biological children, he has political children.

How many of those children have beaten his record? What we mean by beating his record is development and the wellbeing of the future generations. We must create the atmosphere for our children to excel in the future. In Nigeria the situation we have is that at 60, we are just beginning. It’s a problem. The average age at the ongoing National Conference is 61. So the mixture of youths and the old is very important. I am sure at times my father does not remember how he did it. It is destiny and the grace of God.

‘National Conference is an opportunity for Nigeria to rediscover itself’ Is the state of affairs in Lagos today consistent with your vision? Absolutely not. Actually, my vision for Lagos is that of a land of opportunities for everyone. A Lagos that will be a true melting pot for all ethnic nationalities; a Lagos where everybody will feel at home as it used to be and where everyone can just pick his or her bag and visit for the sundry opportunities present as in the ‘60s and ‘70s. That was the Lagos I grew up to meet which is different from the Lagos we see now. The environment is becoming very harsh and unfriendly. As a commercial nerve centre, I believe the environment should be more friendly. Government should try and adjust some of its policies to be people-friendly. People should feel at home, they should be more comfortable than they are now and then investors can also find Lagos more suitable for investments. This is my vision for a Lagos of the 21st century. As a former NIMASA director-general, would it be right to say there were things you did not do right given the high rate of oil theft? Unfortunately, most people do not understand that NIMASA is charged with maritime administration, not maritime security which is the responsibility of the navy. There is a clear distinc-

Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos, Mr Ade Dosunmu, is optimistic the National Conference will yield positive results and tells DOMINIK UMOSEN why

tion between administration and security in the navigation channels which is the responsibility of the Nigerian Navy. That is what the Nigerian Navy was set up to do. Yes, NIMASA collaborates with the Navy by virtue of the law, but as far as oil theft is concerned, it is no business of NIMASA’s. For instance, because NIMASA is responsible for only the merchant administration, it is not allowed to bear arms. That would be against international convention. Honestly, I think the Nigerian Navy needs to step up its action. I do not believe that unscrupulous elements in the waterways could be more powerful than the navy. The navy has more experienced personnel and is better-trained. It is more a matter of intelligence-gathering. This issue must be contained before it affects the revenue profile of the government. What are your expectations from the National Conference? For whatever it might be worth, it is good that it is taking place now, no matter what some cynics might say. Several issues that have been on the front burner in the last centenary are billed

for discussion. Issues like marginalisation, resource control, majority and minority dichotomy and all that. The conference is an opportunity to resolve all these. It is an opportunity for our people to come and talk, discuss and chart a way forward. I see it as an opportunity for Nigeria to rediscover itself, to strengthen its unity. If you look at the composition of the delegates, you will realise that they are very experienced people. It is difficult to come up with an idea that everyone will embrace or will believe in. What matters is that majority of the people believe in it. Governance is about the majority. Would you say President Jonathan has a grip on the country’s problems? Well, there might be challenges but that is not limited to Nigeria. A few weeks ago, a plane with over 200 passengers vanished in Malaysia. If it had happened in Nigeria, some people would have screamed incompetence The world is changing. Under the circumstances that we are operating in, he is doing his best to fix the challenges associated with our changing dynamics.





Adieu, Adamu Attah Dominik Umosen


he first civilian governor of old Kwara State (1979-1983), Alhaji Adamu Attah, died on May 1, 2014 at the age of 83. He died in his Abuja residence from age-related ailments, his family said. A lawyer and former federal permanent secretary, Attah who died at about 5pm on May Day, was buried according to muslim rites in his Kiroko, Okene residence. The burial was preceded by a prayer session led by Gov Idris Wada of Kogi State and his deputy, Yomi Owoniyi; the Attah of Ebiraland, Alhaji Ado Ibrahim and other personalities who came to payn their last respects to the fallen politician who ruled old Kwara State (present Kwara and Kogi States), on the platform of the defunct National Party of Nigeria, NPN. Both Gov Abbdul-Fatah Ahmed of Kwara and his immediate predecessor, Senator Bukola Saraki described the death of the avid polo enthusiast as a rude shock. Until his death, Attah was the owner of Fifth Chukker Club and Resorts. Adamu Attah was the son of a warrant chief, Chief Ibrahim Attah whom the British granted wide powers to under the Native Authority System which further undermined the traditional process of community leadership selection. … FORMER SENATE DEPUTYPRESIDENT, JOHN WASH PAM TOO. Former Senate Deputy-President, John Wash Pam also signed out of this world on May Day 2014, following complications from prostrate cancer which he had been battling with for some time. He died at the National Hospital Abuja aged 73 years old. “Baba died about one and a half hours ago”, his son, Ganan Wash Pam and Special Assistant, Williams Oshieshe(Jnr), confirmed. In the twilight of his life, Pam who hailed from Foron District of Barkin Ladi Local Governmwent Area of Plateau State, National Telegraph learnt, was not happy that his once-tranquil home state had become a theatre of vicious interethnic strife. Barkin Ladi, it would be

recalled, is where the former chairman of the Senate Health Services Committee, Dr Fulani Dantong was killed after marauding Fulani herdsmen ambushed the community and slaughtered scores of grieving villagers, including the late senator. According to eye witnesses, some members of the Joint (Military) Task Force advised the villagers, who were assembled to review burial arrangements for some earlier victims of interethnic clash, to flee for their dear lives, allegedly because the invaders were better-armed than soldiers. A prominent Berom elder before his death, Pam was deputy to Mr Joseph Wayas during the second republic between 1979-1983. His death at a period when Plateau State has been over-run by inter-ethnic strife, refocuses attention on the ethnic rivalry which destroyed the idyllic peace of the plateau, alongside its sensational tourism potentials. The former senate deputy-president, who died at about 10 pm, is survived by two wives and 18 children. Prominent Nigerians have been reacting to news of his cross-over into eternity, especially at a time when the country for whom he loved so dearly has been torn apart by insurgency which allegedly sponsored by politicians who are bent on sabotaging the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Late Senator Pam

Ahmed, Saraki mourn Attah Biodun Oyeleye Ilorin.


wara state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed and his immediate predecessor, Dr Bukola Saraki described yesterday the death of Alhaji Adamu Attah, first executive governor of the old Kwara state, as a great loss to Nigeria. Ahmed, in a statement by his press secretary, Oba AbdulWahab, expressed shock over Attah’s death. He noted that the deceased


was an illustrious son of current Kogi state which was carved out of the old Kwara state, adding that he contributed immensely to building a strong nation where equity and justice will reign”, In his own condolence message, Saraki described Attah as a statesman of repute, and a stakeholder in the Nigerian project whose contributions and antecedents are unmistakable in the history of Kwara and Nigerian politics The message, signed by his media aide, Bankole Omisore, added: Though gone, the impact of Alhaji Adamu Attah cannot be under-estimated in Kwara politics and apparently, his role and contributions in the administration of Kwara State. “His departure is painful, but the fact that his wealth of wisdom in the history of Kwara state administration will be missed is more painful. “I commiserate the with his immediate family, the people of Kogi State and, most especially, the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Idris Wada , the Kwara state and Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, and the entire people of Kwara State and Nigeria as a whole for losing one of our illustrious sons. “

Paramount ruler of Ebiraland, Alhaji Ado Ibrahim, presenting the certificate honourary membership to Mallam Mammam Yusuf

WASU honours CBN employee with Kwame Nkrumah leadership award Abdulwahab Isa


hana’s best known leader and advocate of pan-Africanism, late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah died in 1972, but his philosophies, immense leadership quality and the vanguard for Pan-Africanism, which he championed while alive, lives on. To immortalize this iconic leader, the Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Award was instituted by the West African Students Union (WASU),in 1997, particularly to serve as inspiration for African leaders in exemplary leadership. Till date, awardees have hit 23, including former United Nations (UN), Secretary–General, Mr. Kofi Annan; former Ghanaian President J.J Rawlings; former Secretary–General of Organization of Africa Unity (OAU), Dr. Salim Salim; Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo; President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; former CBN Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo and CBN DeputyGovernor, Dr. Sarah Alade. Other eminent recipients of the award include Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta state; former Imo State governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim; Prince Bola Ajibola; Dr. Paul Orhi of NAFDAC; Senator Musiliu Obanikoro and others. Some awardees included persons who rose to the peak of their careers and age, but a dynamic Nigerian recently qualified as the youngest recipient of 2014 Kwame Nkrumah leadership award. Alhaji Mamman Abubakar Yusuf, is a 45-year-old staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). While the induction ceremony is slated for July this year in Ghana, honorary membership certificate was presented to Yusuf at Okene, Kogi state at a colourful ceremony in Okene by the Assistant Secretary-General of West African Students Union (WASU), Mr. Peter Mougiza at the palace of the paramount ruler of Ebiraland, His Royal Highness Ado Ibrahim. WASU Country Representative, Comrade Babalola Olalekan described Mamman as a unanimous choice. He told New Telegraph at Ado Ibrahim’s palace: “We members of WASU singled out those that have distinguished themselves. Alhaji Yusuf has a rich profile and when his name came up, I forwarded it for ratification. The whole house supported him. Proper endorsement will be made in Ghana.” His Royal Highness, Ado Ibrahim captures the symbolism of the award: “It is not easy to appreciate what God

has given us. Many of us think that the award could be a very big house or big bag of money to be sprayed on this young man, but it is not the case. To say he has been appreciated by a recognized body in faraway Ghana is the best treasure he has in life,” he said, describing the late Dr. Nkrumah as a revered African leader whose vision for Africa remains unmatched by any other leader, dead or living. “Today, it is a different situation in Nigeria. The elders have let you the young ones down and the challenge is now in your hand, the youths, to rectify all these things we have done wrongly. Am happy the children recognized thisthat having such international recognition by which they can go from place to place and get themselves recognize; it’s our hope that tomorrow this young men can come out to provide exemplary leadership.” To WASU, Ado pledged his moral support. “Let me assure WASU that all

of us support you in spirit and prayers.” In his acceptance remarks, Yusuf said that as a young man, he engaged in menial jobs just to pay his schools fees. “Those who know my humble background will attest to my thirst for education. I struggled to have a West African School Certificate with no hope of pursuing a higher education, despite my quest for education. I had to seek greener pastures, travelling to Abeokuta to stay with an uncle. As providence would have it, I gained employment with the CBN. The job did not only give me satisfaction but the thought that I could pursue my academic dreams elated me. I ran a National Diploma and a Higher National Diploma Programmes in banking and finance on a part-time amidst the tight schedule working in a bank. The thirst for more education pursuit, made me to obtain a post graduate diploma in financial management and a masters degree in business administration.”

For the Madus, it’s prayer answered as they dedicate twins Amadi Nnamdi


n Sunday, April 20, Friends and well wishers of Honourable and Barrister Mrs. Edozie Madu gathered at St. Mattew Anglican Church, Maitama, to witness the dedication/ Baptism of their twins, Tobechukwu and Chizaram. The ceremony was presided over by Venerable Ben Idume, vicar of the church and after a solemn ceremony,

the twins were christened Michael Tobechukwu and Mitchell Chizaram Madu respectively. The Mother of the twins, Chizoba Madu, was full of praises to God: “I got married in 2007 and had my first baby in 2010. I prayed to God for these babies . So I have every reason to be grateful to God”. Tobechukwu means “Praise God” while Chizaram means “God answered”, Mrs Madu added.

Mr. and Mrs. Madu at the twins’ dedication

SEGUN EDWARDS 08111813095

Companies & Stock 3 MAY 2014

Forte Oil finally finds profit but....


or the year ended December 2012, Forte Oil Plc (formerly African Petroleum) had announced some profit. For instance, it posted a profit after tax of N1 billion reversing the previous year’s loss of N10.8 billion. This is despite a drop in revenue from N117 billion in 2011 to N90.9 billion at the end of December 2012. Operating profit also turned positive during the year reversing the N9.8 billion loss in 2011 to N2.8 billion in 2012. So how was this possible despite a dip in revenue? The company was able to achieve profitably despite a dip in revenue growth year on year by simply reducing overheads and direct cost. They were able to save an amazing N39 billion in cost over last years expenditure helping them turn into profitability. That was a remarkable feat in under one year and it will be interesting to see how this was achieved when they release their annual report. But the result, however impressive, still leaves loads of concern especially on the balance sheet side. Total loans have increased from about N9.3billion to about N13billion in just one year, while overdrafts made up a huge chunk of this rising 55 per cent year on year. It was also not generating enough organic cash from operations to cater for investments and repayment of loans. For example, whilst it generated N1.9billion in operating cash flow, it spent N3.3billion in investments and an-

other N1.8billion in net loan repayments. One may infer that the company could not repay its loans then as it had negative working capital also standing at N9.8billion as against N8.2billion negative in 2011 grappling with huge trade creditors. Whilst it had done well with cutting cost drastically, SG&A slicing off 77 per cent of gross profit was still a put off for any business. At the end of the first half of 2012 the industry average was about 76.5 per cent with the likes of OANDO posting 63 per cent and Total 67 per cent. The company had a negative retained earnings of about N53.8billion, implying that for it to be able to pay dividends some day, it will have to make enough profits in excess of N54billion.

It could also seek SEC approval to set of their share premium of about N62billion to pay this off thus wiping out almost N55billion in share capital. This, in analysts option, will be logical if current fundamentals justify their path to financial integrity. One year’s result is not enough for me to believe that is happening anytime soon. However, the company could said to have regained its momentum on the profitability track, as it recently announced a N1.1 billion profit after tax in its 2014 unaudited three months period ended 31 March. Other highlights of the results showed that revenue grew by 31 per cent to N34.8 billion compared to N26.6 billion same period in 2013, gross mar-

Flour Mills: Undone by failed Q3 profit growth


espite challenging economic and tough business environment, Nigeria’s major millers, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc posted an impressive result for the nine months ended 31st December, 2013. The company’s revenue rose from N139.2 billion to N178.9 billion a growth of 28 per cent, thanks to the volume growth in its core food business. Earning for the period after tax stood at N8.6 billion compared with N6.9 billion recorded during the equivalent period of 2012/13 financial year, a growth of 22 per cent. Increased production capacity and enhanced efficiency following completion of the ‘West Mills’ the company’s latest milling facility coupled with a small decline in overheads contributed to the improved performance. Additionally, it derived some benefits of synergy arising from internal restructuring and completion of merger with two former subsidiary companies, Niger Mills Company Limited and Nigerian Bag Manufacturing Company Plc. The company’s outlook for the last quarter of the financial year remains positive. Management says it will focus attention on its innovative routes to the market and distribution network to sustain the growth momentum and deliver good value to stakeholders. But before this positive turn, the company’s third quarter 2013 operations results was quite disappointing in terms of profit performance. From the close of its second quarter with an after tax profit of N5.83 billion, it managed to add just N100 million to the bottom line at the end of the third quarter. Profit growth failed during the quarter, as increase in revenue could not match rapidly rising costs. Both sales revenue and profit growth slowed down during the review period and with rapidly rising



gin increased by 72 per cent to N4.6 billion compared to N2.7 billion in the same period in 2013. Profit before income tax in the period also increased by 101 per cent to N1.26bn compared to N633million recorded in 2013, while it achieved a year to date (YTD) growth of 37.67 per cent in share price from N92.87 to N148.99 These favourable outlook was attributed to the successful launch of its newly repackaged lubricants and aggressive consumer engagement activities to boost market share. It also said it was as a result of its continued expansion in its retail network at strategic locations to improve market dominance, aggressive growth and expansion of its industrial/commercial customer base to meet its objective of being the supplier of choice and strong performance from Geregu Power Plant despite operational challenges. Forte Oil formally took-over Geregu Power Plant on November 1, 2013 following a successful acquisition of the 414 power generation plant located in Kogi State of Nigeria, under the Federal Government-led privatization programme to divest public power assets. It is adjudged as Nigeria’s foremost energy group with interests in downstream petroleum operations, power generation and upstream petroleum services.

Nigeria debt stock grows to N10.16tn- DMO


igeria’s total debt stock rose by N2.63tn ($16.84bn) from N7.53tn ($48.36bn) in March 2013 to N10.162tn ($65.2bn) as of March 31, 2014, indicating a 34.93 per cent rise within a period of one year. The data released by the Debt Management Office (DMO) during the week showed that from December 2013 to March 31, 2014, the country’s total debt stock rose by over N120bn from N10.04tn to N10.162tn. The statistics showed that the domestic debt component of the Federal Government alone stood at N7.18tn ($46.12bn) as of March 31, 2014. Going by the rebased Gross Domestic Product of $510bn, this means that the debt to GDP ratio of the country stands at 12.79 per cent. The DMO statistics also showed that the external debt of both the states and the Federal Government stood at $9.17bn or N1.43tn. The domestic debt stock of the states, on the other hand, stood at N1.55tn or $9.96bn. This was as of December 31, 2012. Over a one-year period, the total debt increased by 34.93 per cent as it stood at N7.53tn or $48.36bn as of March 31, 2013.

Ecobank considers non- dividend payment after 34 percent profit fall


an-African financial institution, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), is considering non payment of dividend to shareholders for its 2013 operating year. This followed the bank’s pre-tax profit of $222 million, which reflects a 34 percent decline on the previous year and said it would not propose a dividend for 2013. Basic earnings per share from continuing operations stood at $0.60 compared to $1.67 in 2012, the bank said in a statement on Friday. Impairment losses on loans included a $165 million one-off charge to address legacy assets, the bank said. “Our profitability for 2013 has been impacted by increased impairment provisions. A significant proportion

of these relate to certain legacy assets in Nigeria which the company took a conservative decision to fully address,” chief executive Albert Essien said. Ecobank is one of Africa’s largest financial institutions with operations in 35 countries and assets of $22.5 billion, according to the results and the company’s website. The bank saw a months-long leadership crisis that culminated in March when the board removed chief executive Thierry Tanoh and replaced him with Essien, previously the bank’s deputy CEO. Its profit after tax from continuing operations stood at $156 million, down 45 percent on 2012, the bank said. Revenue in the period was $2 billion.

FCMB grows Q1 profits by 15 percent


Emmanuel Ukpabi

costs, profit margin has declined. The full year outlook for both revenue and profit is no longer as impressive as the company’s second quarter figures had earlier indicated. The company closed its the quarter operations with sales revenue of N240.19 billion, which is an increase of about 17 per cent over the corresponding figure in 2012. This is however a significant slow down from the second quarter sales revenue figure of N168 billion. Based on the third quarter growth rate, turnover is projected at N326 billion for the milling company in the 2013/14 financial year. This is a mark down from the earlier projected sales revenue of N342.5 billion. The revised revenue projection in-

dicates a likely increase of 8.0 per cent over the turnover figure of N301.94 billion it posted in March 2013. This will be a significant slow down from the 17 per cent growth in turnover the company recorded in the preceding year. Revenue growth may step up in the final quarter, which is a critical selling period for the company. There was a far more rapid slow down in profit growth than revenue in the third quarter. After tax profit only inched up from the N5.83 billion reported in the second quarter to N5.93 billion at the end of the third quarter. This means that of the company’s additional sales revenue of about N72 billion generated during the third quarter, only about N100 million reached the bottom line.

igeria’s major financial institution, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) group has declared a 15 per cent rise in profit before tax (PBT) for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014. According to the group’s unaudited accounts for the period, PBT rose to N5.6 billion from N4.8 billion in the same period of 2013. The group net revenue also grew by 16 per cent to N22.3 billion. Commenting on the results, group Managing Director, FCMB, Mr Peter Obaseki, in a statement said the institution recorded positive developments in most of its key operating areas. He said that the net revenue rose as a result of “growth in earning assets, improved funding cost and the growing contribution of retail banking activities which compensated for the decline in unit commissions on turnover.” In the three-months period ended March 31, 2014, the group said its deposits rose by nine per cent year-on-year to

N687 billion due to a 22 per cent growth in current and savings accounts. Its fixed deposits, however, declined, while loans and advances grew 50 per cent year-onyear to N493.7 billion. The bank added, “It is also noteworthy that the investment banking group’s contribution to the group’s pre-tax profits increased in Q1, 2014. FCMB Capital Markets Limited and CSL Stockbrokers reported pre-tax profits of N198 million, 128 per cent higher than the same period in 2013.” FCMB reported gross income of N63.3 billion for the six-month period to June 2013, an increase of 17.4 percent year-on-year, from N53.9 billion in the same period of 2012. The bank reported profit before tax of N10.6 billion for half year 2013 and N5.8 billion for the second quarter of 2013, up 36.5 percent year on year N7.8 billion in 2012 and 20 percent quarter on quarter (N4.8 billion) respectively.




The comrade goes on trial The GAUNTLET


ven by the appalling standard long associated with public school education, it’s still shocking to know there may be just be some teachers who can neither read nor write. That’s the reason the news of a teacher in Edo State who could not read the words on “her certificate” has been such a huge hit. And that’s also why many observers are outraged the teachers’ union are frustrating attempts by the state to conduct a proficiency test to ascertain those who could actually do what their certificates profess. It’s hard to rationalize the refusal of the teachers, backed by the NUT, to submit to a test presumably based on knowledge commensurate to their academic qualification. But the irrational inclination is typically a labour pastime. The difference here is that the one being cast as the bully with the power of the state is Governor Adams Oshiomhole, a man who rose to prominence on the back of populist rhetoric. As president of Nigeria Labour Congress, the comrade was an unrelenting scourge to the state. He would hector the government to raise workers pay and call a strike if there was any perceived dithering, grounding economic and social activities. It didn’t matter then that the enhanced wages endlessly sought were seldom justified in terms of output. The retort was that no justification existed as well for politicians’ fat pay. Fast forward ten years later and you would see a comrade so rankled by the sense of entitlement he helped nurture in the public service. So intense was his disdain that he didn’t seem bothered his insistence on conducting an assessment test


Gov. Oshiomhole

for teachers last month may have breached a court order obtained by the union. Could it just be that the governor shows so much impatience in his face off with labour because he sees their actions as mere soapbox rant? If that were the case, it implies a negation of every convictions that had seemingly inspired the many battles he fought to force a better deal for workers and a large percentage of the population on whom the impact of policies like stoppage of fuel subsidy is most severe. The deductions likely to be drawn from this makes me shudder: that the comrade was just an opportunist who saw unionism simply as a means to burnish his credential as a man of the people

and, ultimately, launch his future political ambition. Is this the unraveling of unionism? While it has to be conceded that the labour unions seethe with insufferable hypocrisy, there’s no doubt the governor’s conflicted relationship with civil servants in Edo State underscores the chasm between progressive impulses and reality, and will be a constant point referenced each time a leftwing firebrand vies for public office. How would have Governor Oshiomhole reacted to the impasse if he were still the president of the NLC? A review of some of his epic face off with the government can offer some glimpse. When the Obasanjo administration, irked by how easily the labour

The South Korean example


lthough the resignation by South Korea’s prime minister Chung Hong-won over the handling of the ferry disaster is largely symbolic given that actual executive power is concentrated in the president, the action is nonetheless exemplary. And as is often the case when a foreign leader demonstrates such peerless conducts, there is a frenzied pace on social media among Nigerians to cite the action as an example our leaders should imbibe. Just why would the prime minister resign over a tragedy to which the state is only vicariously linked whereas Nigeria’s minister of interior,

unions mobilized to frustrate its policies through strikes, pondered a bill that would effectively emasculate labour unions and split its ranks, the comrade strongly condemned the move and galvanized public opinion against it. The government recanted as a result. Recall too the comrade’s jaunt across the country, needling governors who were unwilling to adjust salaries in their states to reflect the new minimum wage announced then by the federal government. Not even the argument that it’s wrong for the federal government to create a wage burden for states, knowing that it takes a disproportionate share of the national wealth and that states aren’t uniformly endowed was considered sufficiently convincing. Chants of “solidarity forever” and other union ditties drowned the argument that implementing a wage increment might entail some job cuts and every other appeal to reason. That bullish stance contrasts with the comrade’s latter day imperious attitudes and makes a statement more profound than his famous gesture of appeasement to a young street vendor whose dignity he had so callously assailed. There’s an implicit disavowal of collective bargaining - a principle the NLC seldom compromised in negotiations with the state - in rebuffing the NUT’s request for a mutually acceptable guidelines for the test and insisting that teachers participate in the assessment test simply on his government’s terms. This does not however diminish the importance of creating safeguards to prevent a total col-


Abba Moro, has ignored strident calls for his resignation after the poor handling of a recruitment exercise caused the deaths of some applicants? The answer is by no means because

there is an inherent inclination - or contempt - for the honourable in some cultures. I have seen a few persons who railed against such tendency commit a shameless volte face caught in similar circumstances. This is not implying everyone who has drawn some parallels between the South Korean example and the recalcitrant attitude here are just as inclined. I’m convinced it would help if we dwelt more on the issues that make it possible for disgraced public office holders to cling on than dash to Facebook or Twitter to indulge in a seemingly self-serving pastime.

lapse of standard and discipline in a profession as fundamental as teaching. Public schools, like state-run health services have long declined to a level where they have, more or less, become mere perfunctory functions administered with the sort of mindset that seemingly frowns on any expectation of some satisfactory result in terms of output. Such mindset is evident in teachers who lug their wares daily to school, neglecting the students as they transact their businesses. The rot is seen also in the fact that the civil service teems with workers who grow old on the job but are yet unwilling to quit, altering their retirement date regularly, and the discovery that some civil servants were working with “their children’s certificates or their brother’s certificate,” as a verification exercise carried out by the Edo State government revealed. Given that the teachers have long been accustomed to living without being accountable to anyone, there is bound to be a stubborn resistance. It’s gratifying there’s a commitment to enthrone a new work ethic among public school teachers; one that ensures salaries are truly earned and that people are not employed to teach students who they are hardly better than in knowledge terms. But it’s not a goal that could be achieved arbitrarily or via the sort of humiliation that results in teachers being asked to recite the lines of the national anthem before television cameras. Surely, Governor Oshiomhole didn’t have to ask a teacher to read the name on her certificate in public to know that education was in pretty bad shape.

Boko Haram and the Perils of Political Correctness


n the early 1980s, a scourge similar to the terror inflicted on the nation by Boko Haram emerged in the north. At the root of that scourge was a sect called Maitatsine. Their goal was just as evil and they pursued it with the fervour of a zealot. But they were eventually crushed by the government of then President Shehu Shagari. Today, hampered by the quest to be politically-correct, we’re seeing so much dithering from governments virtually held hostage by the silly antics of the opposition party bent on using the carnage caused by the terror group as a prop. I guess we would be seeing photographs of opposition governors visit to victims of the latest blast in the media in a few days, or their shameless


strut across bus parks in Abuja like they did in Maiduguri ‘in solidarity with the city’s residents’ ahead of the president who by then had yet to visit the troubled state. The government should free itself from the timid attempt to pacify all interests and take the necessary steps to curb the insurgency.



ach time a leader in public officer ventures abroad for medical treatment, the viability of our public health systems should be questioned. Why should a member of the public attend a hospital for treatment in Nigeria when those who are in charge of the facilities do not even trust such facilities with their health? Perhaps I have my head in the clouds. I seem to think that our medical personnel in Nigeria should be like those of the popular American television series Grey’s Anatomy, which has doctors, nurses and health care administrators as the major protagonists. The programme shows a healthy (forgive my use of the word) competition to save the lives of Americans. At the emergency unit of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, medical personnel are up to their ears in cases that require urgent attention. The unit seems overburdened with referrals but understaffed with personnel. The environment looks good and smells right, but the attitude of staff falls short of anything you might see on Grey’s Anatomy! Nurses shouting at visitors and patients alike both are already weighed down by ailments that have battered their psyche, youthful impatient but qualified personnel rushing prognosis at the eye section. An argument is ensuing as a young optomologist has one eye on the clock and another on her patient. “Madam there is nothing wrong with your eye, I can’t see anything, I have run all the tests” The patient is impatient! “I said the eye is paining me and you are saying there is nothing wrong with it”. In many of the public health facilities this is the attitude portrayed by the medical personnel. A lot of the facilities in Lagos have great environments and are clinically clean. Time and again Governor Babatunde Fashola has sought to transform the health of the people in the state by ensuring there is a purchase of up to date equipment but even this purchase has not encouraged proper service in the hospitals. No wonder each time a key person in governance falls ill, he takes a



This is not Grey’s Anatomy plane abroad and spends tax payers money leaving a gaping whole in the accounts that could have been spent in Nigeria instead of abroad. Just a stones throw from Obasanjo farm in Ota is the Ogun state Hospital medical facility the first thing that strikes you about the hospital is the location. Its right on the Idi Iroko road that leads to Bishop David Oyedepo led Winners Chapel. This hospital has a horrible environment. It is often bushy since the space left in between the buildings is overgrown with weeds a lot. The hospital often witnesses power failure and standby generators in the wards and theatres have been known to be without fuel. An acquaintance was admitted their recently and I was told that patients in the wards have to contribute money to fuel generators. One lesson that governments all around Nigeria would be learning is that healthcare is not just about equipment but its more about personnel. Healthcare delivery professionals are usually among the most respected the world over. In Nigeria a majority of those who work in public facilities have become restive, riotous and even recalcitrant. In Africa today, counting those who are trained in Nigeria and Nigerians abroad, Nigeria has

among the highest number of medical professionals. Ironically more of the qualified and experienced doctors are practicing abroad. The US, UK and the Arab Emirate have a large contingent of medical professionals of Nigerian origin who are in their mid forties and early fifties. These are the crème de la crème who still have the stamina and patience for research and extensive consultancy. Those who are left in Nigeria are either in their first 10 years of consultancy, have decided to make do with Nigeria or are too old to begin a career abroad. Those who do qualify to practice abroad and engage in research for higher qualifications believe that it is insane

The US, UK and the Arab Emirate have a large contingent of medical professionals of Nigerian origin who are in their mid forties and early fifties.

for them to stay in Nigeria and practice and so there is wide spread discontent, despair and detachment which could lead to a fall in performance and duties among many of these personnel. Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio boasted that he is building “a world class” medical facility in his state. He was speaking at a rally in Bauchi. The question is can he get world class personnel to work there? Three of my associates who are medical personnel are currently in the US. Their salaries are mind-boggling and the benefits attached are such that it would take a lot for them to come back to Nigeria. An urgent attitude change is needed to bring our healthcare system up to par. First of all government needs to change the general environment in which health care professionals practice. Premium has to be placed on a social security system so that medical professionals can get the benefits they deserve, patients can be properly treated and government officials can quit playing politics with health care. One area that is crying for attention is the information available for the treatment of ailments such as malaria, typhoid and measles. Many mothers still believe that measles would kill a child if treated with injections. In this day and age we are still talking about mosquito nets to combat malaria; pills and insecticides are still being used. By now we should be talking about total eradication. Every government that comes to power does the same thing. There have been no new trends of thought on how to improve healthcare delivery in over 10 years. It’s a shame. Being among the highest exporters of crude oil in the world ought to help us build world class facilities in healthcare, employ world class personnel to run them and have consistent research on how to eradicate killer diseases. This is burden we have refused to confront and it keeps haunting us in mortality rates. What a waste. Ogundadegbe can be reached at alexogundadegbe@

P-Square break up(?)... President Jonathan help! A

lot of people have all sort of request for the President. Some when they get the opportunity if ever, will ask for so much. Some will ask for scholarships for their children, jobs, power infrastructure, equal opportunity; others will ask for resource control, Governor Amaechi’s immediate deportation. Mine is simple. PSquare must not break up o. President Jonathan, I do not know how you will do it, but that is my request. This is the only favour I am asking you after casting my vote for you that hot afternoon in Shomolu. I stood alone on the queue and genuinely cast my votes because I felt very strongly that in my time of need you will be there for me. That time has come now. My favourite group is in crises. I do not know what the cause of the crises is, all I know is that they are on the verge of break up and if this happens, it will make our recent rebasing of the GDP meaningless. Not only will South Africa overtake us again, if care is not taken, Republic of Benin will do the same, because they will ramp up the exportation of okrika into our borders. This is a calamity of immense proportion and I think you should call an emergency meeting of the federal executive council to deliberate on this in order to bring about a concrete solution to this. Let me tell you, sir: if you solve this problem all your other challenges will simply disappear. Boko haram will hang their bombs, Amaechi will go on self exile to Fernando po, Tinubu and Buhari will retire and fade into oblivion and finally, I swear it to you, you will win the Nobel Prize for reconciliation and the world will worship and celebrate you as the new Mandela. In case you do not know who PSquare are, kindly ask that your social media expert to brief you. The one that has been sending us all sort of tweets and Facebook messages. The one that came up with that allegation against Sanusi Lamido, that irritant CBN governor that thought he was bigger than his bow tie. Sir, over the years, this group in their songs and dance have made us escape the misery



of your reign, they have made us forget the fact that we have no schools to go to again in the north-east, they have made us believe in ourselves again that as a people we can aspire from nothing to the very heights of our careers. They have shown how without any hope but raw talent and never-say-die-spirit. This group has more than ever exemplified the Nigerian spirit, the spirit that never accepts poverty, exclusion and deprivation. The

spirit that will conquer despite all adversaries. It is as a result of these and much more that I feel that this issue be addressed at the highest levels. Let me give you some small hints. I hear that one of the wives is in the middle of this whole wahala. This is where my mummy comes in. Our dear First Lady should immediately send a peace mission headed by Stella Oduah as a way of rehabilitating that

one. The mission is to get the aforesaid wife to accept reconciliation otherwise she will be deported. While the First Lady’s mission is at it, the brothers and their longsuffering elder brother, Jude, be immediately moved to OBJ’s farm for some hard labour and elderly advice. They should be shown the Diya’s video. The one that was shown at the Oputa Panel where he was crying and begging Abacha for his life. That video will bring them back to reality and make them see that the hopes of over 100 million Nigerians depend on them. If they do not reconcile and settle their rift, the same fate awaits them. We as a people will not sit down and watch our hopes dashed by some spoilt lady who happens to be extremely beautiful, but has failed to respect the traditional Igbo ethos that comes to play when marrying into an Igbo family, thereby causing tremors that is distracting the whole nation. When D’banj and Don Jazzy did theirs, we ignored but this one we will not ignore. Sir, let this be the one major achievement of your regime. This would lead to victory in 2015, I swear, and finally shut those old politicians in APC once and for all. Just look at the figures: the album sales are in the millions, stadia all over Africa filled to the brim just to watch these boys, millions of followers on Twitter and Facebook, YouTube and millions of hits on their blogs. These are voters, this is influence, this is power. With this kind of power behind you, you will not need to canvass for votes again. You will not need to go to Kano when your house in Abuja has just been bombed. You will not need to answer that Lai something, the APC spokesman, you will just throw Amaechi into the crowd and they will write failure on his face, your life will just be simple and you will not need to sweat like you did during your daughters last wedding. By the way, why was I not invited? You are playing with my vote o. Thank you so much, sir. - This piece was written before the music group tweeted that the crisis was over.




Mourinho questions Hazard commitment

Manu picks C Iheanacho, Yahaya for Benin warm-up Chimaobi Uchendu


lying Eagles coach, Manu Garba has named a 20-man squad for Sunday’s warm-up match against their Benin Republic counterparts in Porto Novo. Eaglets heroes from last year’s FIFA U17 World Cup-winning team, were prominent on the list of players selected, which includes, Kelechi Iheanacho, Musa Muhammed, Chidiebere Nwakali, Musa Yahaya, Taiwo Awoniyi, Abdullahi Alfa and Zaharadeen Bello. Alhassan Ibrahim aka Mu-azam, Wilfred Ndidi, Ifeanyi Matthew and goalkeeper Joshua Enaholo also made the squad. The test match will be played at Charles de Gaulle Stadium in Porto Novo from 4pm local time, which is the same time with Nigeria. Both teams have clashed at the same level previously. They drew 1-1 in Cotonou in September 2012 and a rematch in Manu’s list for the Benin warm-up includes Iheanacho above Abuja ended in a goalless draw.

After the test match, two players will then be dropped from the squad for the 2015 AYC qualifier in Tanzania in the weekend of May 9-11. NFF executive committee member Shehu Adamu will lead the team to both Benin and Tanzania. THE FULL SQUAD: Goalkeepers: Joshua Enaholo, Adamu Abubakar, Abdulazeez Abubakar Defenders: Musa Muhammed, Mustapha Abdullahi, Ifeanyi Nweke, Wilfred Ndidi, Izu Omego, Zaharadeen Bello Midfielders: Chidiebere Nwakali, Musa Yahaya, Kelechi Iheanacho, Abdullahi Alfa, Akinjide Idowu, Wasiu Jimoh, Ifeanyi Matthew, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi

helsea coach Jose Mourinho has hit back at star player Eden hazard after the Belgian questioned his manager’s tactics following their Champions League loss to Atletico Madrid. After their 3-1 loss at Stamford Bridge, Hazard complained about his side’s style of play, resenting how he often has to personally take the team forward. “Chelsea is not set-up to play football,” Hazard stated earlier in the week. “We’re good on the counter, a little bit like Real against Bayern. “Often, I’m asked to do it all by myself and it’s not easy.” Mourinho has since responded to his player’s comments, heavily criticising the 23-year-old’s ability and commitment. “When the comments come from a player like Eden it’s

Strikers: Alhassan Ibrahim ‘Muazam’, Taiwo Awoniyi, Sulaiman Abdullahi

Guardiola: I’ll not change my tactics


Adokiye dismisses Nigeria’s World Cup chances


ormer Nigeria international Adokiye Amiesimaka has affirmed that the Super Eagles are not geared up for the World Cup. The 1980 Africa Cup of Nations winner, and a former Chief Justice in Rivers State, said the Nigeria Football Federation’s eggheads are abandoning pressing issues for irrelevant ones which is a pointer that the country will only be going to make up the numbers in South America. “I have said it over and over again that we are not ready for the 2014 World Cup. Everyone is talking about the provisional list, no one seems to be asking, ‘what of the technical crew?’,” Amiesimaka told Goal. “It is like wanting to buy the best car but no one to drive the car, then of what use is it? Keshi said he needs an assistant which the NFF has refused. “Why are Nigerians not talking about that? As far as I am concerned our technical crew is not complete,” he added. “That is the area we should focus on and not just debating on players that should make the World Cup list which the coach does not want. “This shows we are going to Brazil for another jamboree. It means we are not firing on all cylinders because how do we explain not going to World Cup without our full technical capability. The chief coach is good enough which he has proved but the NFF are not ready to give him the assistant he wants.

Arsenal set for €122 million spree


he Gunners are in the market for two forwards, a goalkeeper, a central midfielder and possibly a new right-back and centre-back as they press ahead with rebuilding plans Arsenal hope to tie up two new signings before the World Cup as the Gunners press ahead with their transfer plans despite the uncertainty surrounding the future of Arsene Wenger. The north Londoners have already identified the areas of the squad that need rebuilding as they prepare to make use of a transfer kitty of around €122 million. Arsenal want to sign two new forwards (including a versatile player who can operate anywhere across

the front three), a central midfielder and a goalkeeper. They are also in the market for a new right-back and a new centre-back depending upon whether Bacary Sagna and Thomas Vermaelen remain at the Emirates Stadium next season. It is understood that the Gunners want to have deals in place for up to two players ahead of the World Cup, which starts on June 12. Wenger is heavily involved in the forward planning even though he has yet to sign a two-year contract extension which he agreed with the club last season and is unlikely to do so until after the FA Cup final on May 17.

British Grand Prix: Hamilton victories boost ticket sales


ewis Hamilton’s three consecutive wins have brought British Grand Prix ticket sales back on track, according to Silverstone chairman Neil England. England said he had some concerns early in the year, but that sales for the July 6 race were now “pretty much in

line with where we’d like them to be”. Silverstone, which first hosted the British Grand Prix in 1948, stages its 50th grand prix this year. It is not clear whether initial ticket sales were influenced by the debate about the quieter engines in F1 this year following rule changes.

But Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips said it “would appear” fans had now accepted the new, more fuel-efficient turbo-hybrid engines, which have been criticised by F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone and Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo. Ecclestone believes the cars are too

normal because he’s not the kind of player to sacrifice himself for the team,” the Portuguese tactician told reporters. “Normally you get these kind of comments from players like him, from players that can’t resolve a problem like we had in the first goal.” The Blues’ boss singled out Hazard’s inability to track back for the team. “Eden is the kind of player that is not so mentally ready to look back to his left-back and to leave his life for him,” he said. “If you see the first goal of Atletico you completely understand where the mistake was and why we conceded that goal. “The perfect team at the top level cannot make these kinds of mistakes.” Mourinho insists he had been trying to improve Hazard’s ability all season-long, yet feels the winger still needs to improve.


ayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has insisted he will not waver from his football philosophy despite the criticism which has come his way after his side lost scandalously to Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena. The former Barcelona boss have been questioned after his team turned in a sterile performance over two legs against Real Madrid, eventually going out 5-0 on aggregate to the Spaniards in the Champions League semi-finals. But Guardiola, who has led the Bavarians to the Bundesliga title in his first season in charge, remains steadfast in his beliefs and is adamant the Bayern players will need to adapt to him, rather than the other way round. “I have my own philosophy and we will use my philosophy against Hamburg, against Stuttgart, in the DFB-Pokal final and next year,” Guardiola stated.

Racism: NBA Owners agree to LA Clippers sale


ational Basketball Association team owners have agreed to proceed with efforts to force the sale of the LA Clippers following a heated race row. Owner Donald Sterling was banned from the sport for life this week after he was recorded making racist remarks. The 10-member NBA advisory committee met on Thursday and unanimously agreed to move forward in the process of terminating Mr Sterling’s ownership. A number of celebrities have expressed interest in purchasing the sports team.

“The committee unanimously agreed to move forward as expeditiously as possible and will reconvene next week,’’ said NBA executive vice president Mike Bass. A forced sale of the LA Clippers would require the approval of threequarters of the 30 team owners in the NBA. But Mr Sterling could oppose the sale in the courts, according to sports lawyers. Television star Oprah Winfrey, media executive David Geffen and boxing legend Floyd Mayweather have been among those touted as prospective buyers.




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


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



eligion is the opium of the masses (Marx). Identity politics is the only politics there is and religion is a pretty powerful badge. Nationalism (the last refuge of the scoundrel, to paraphrase Dr Johnson) is pretty potent, too – as events in the Ukraine are reminding us. In Nigeria, the scoundrels are the same hordes in the opiate haze of religion. The flashpoints and cauldrons of conflicts and strife around the globe have religion or sectarianism to blame: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central African Republic, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, Nigeria, etc. Post anno domini, the Crusades and Mohammedan Jihad drew rivers of blood, erected mountains of human bones and enacted upon humanity suffering of unimaginable proportions, notwithstanding claims of heroism, chivalry, and medieval piety. Inculcated in the consciousness of many Nigerians is the deep suspicion that northern Muslims, as opposed to their Southern counterparts, are steeped in destructive fundamentalism. The long history of sectarian and inter-religious violence, coupled with the ongoing butchery by Boko Haram, which has cloaked itself in Islamism, bears uncomfortable witness to this suspicion. Yes, the polity has been disfigured by the leprous infection of Boko Haram, thwarting any progress to a place where faith will become less relevant in political considerations in our society. The reverse has in fact, tragically, become the case. The Nigeria of today is a Nigeria where religion is everything in its body polity. Thus, the narrative that has besmirched the Muslim North, viewed unjustly and without proof, as irredeemably Boko Haram, has added insult to injury. This, then, is the prevailing mood among the section of Nigerians that cannot now, or in the near future, countenance the idea of a Muslim one-two at the top echelon of our presidential power structure. Here is the double jeopardy territory for those who sympathise with the notion of a Muslim/Muslim ticket. The northern half of the double act will be played by the usual, predominant actors. Hundreds of other ethnic groups that make up the Muslim component of the North will be seen nowhere near the stage. Sectionally and nationally, therefore, the negative discrimination spells one word - sinister. Muslims are shown to have held central power for 28 years and 14 days as at May 6,




The Muslim/Muslim question – in what order? 2019, the figure would rise to 17 out of 21 years. In those 21 years, a Muslim had held the presidency for 3 years. This simple arithmetic further complicates the solution. If the history of power balance between Muslims and Christians is reflected in the ratio demonstrated above (28:26), the near parity of control adds another layer of complication. How, then, might we wield the democratic sword in order to cut out a fair share for the northern Christians and for the southern Muslims? The issue spirals into perversity, as one would expect in a circumstance where any consideration of merit is merely peripheral and, instead, centres on primordialism.


Buhari... a likely presidential candidate of APC

2010 while Christians will have held it for 26 years, 5 months and 15 days by 29 May, 2015. Of those 26½ years, southern Christians will have held the position of head of federal government for 17½ years by 2015 against northern Christians’ 9 years. The position

of southern Muslims is a whitewash, having never held the top federal executive post. The question of a new settlement is now due for consideration. Should Muslims always take the northern turn and should Christians do the same in the South? Might there come a point at which inter-regional negotiations between the faiths in order to attain the ideals of the fair balance that we seek becomes inescapable? Why, for instance, has there been scant to zero attention paid to the potential presidential bid of Sam Nda-Isaiah, the northern Christian publisher of Leadership? The Christian north now parallels the Igbo as far as considerations of the occupancy of the top executive position in the land is concerned – indispensable in making others presidents but never deemed fit themselves to be made presidents. A Muslim/Muslim ticket will not be quite as negatively emotive, evoking primal suspicion and sense of phobia, as it has turned out to be, if the top half of the Muslim were, say, an Igbo from Afikpo or a Yoruba from Isale Gangan, Lagos and the bottom half is a Muslim from Banki. By 29 May 2015, the South will have dominated power at the centre for over 13 years in what will by then be a 16 year-old Fourth Republic. If Jonathan were to continue till

Binary Coalition for Peace and Harmony A non-binary coalition of purely southern Nigeria or purely northern Nigeria as a strategy to win and sustain central power is a recipe for a national disaster. Similarly, it would be catastrophic the day Nigerians consciously cleaved purely around religious faith as a political strategy to win federal power. For, whichever faith triumphed, the heart of its policies and style of governance would be inhabited by inflexible theology, either by design or by instinct. It would portend many ills among which would be the cessation of secularity in our national life and the curtailment of our freedoms and liberties on a scale that would recall totalitarian theocracy. At its level of political maturity, our pluralistic society can best thrive in conditions of peace and tolerance if we cultivate, in a deliberate fashion, a cross-cultural, crossreligious and across-Niger coalitions in the running of the central administration. Once we attain a higher level of political sophistication and social maturity, such that a civilized and liberal-minded middle class reaches a critical mass, meritocracy and ideas-driven politics will naturally assert themselves and gain currency as the norm. We are far from being there.

GAMES/CROSS WORD PUZZLE Types of musical instruments.













8 E P I P D G N I R T S O


4 7



9 10




14 16 18 19 21 24 25

16 Indicates a place 1 Protection 17 Kilogram 5 Covering for the head 18 Diagram of layout 7 Period of history 22 Vessel for hot drinks 8 Female sheep 23 Town in Ondo state 9 Small mischievous fairy 24 Gasp while crying 10 Second-hand 25 Cooking watertight container 11 Opinion 26 Urinary tract medicine 12 United States, abbr.

15 17


20 22



13 Science of life

U.S. county law enforcer 14 Ex Lagos state Governor

2 Number after ten 15 Paid man companion 3 Level in hierarchy 19 Unable to find the way 4 Indicate unwillingness 20 -- Domini, in the year of our Lord 5 Large member of rabbit family 21 Pinch something


6 Small songbird S e e s o l u t i o n o n pa g e 2 3

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Binder23333 saturday, may 3, 2014  

Tambuwal begins covert consultation for 2015. Ex-Delta military administrator Col. David Dungs is dead.

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