Page 1

Sunday Edition

Sanctity of Truth Sunday, March 9, 2014

Vol. 1 No. 19



Nigeria’s most authoritative newspaper in politics and business



N1.8trn deposits trapped in dormant accounts –Investigation

Obi: I was impeached for refusing to approve N406m contract

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Sanctity of Truth


Page 15, MARCH 9, 2014

$9.438bn Abacha loot can build 100 teaching hospitals, others –Experts


Let your timepiece tell time... and more Go floral, get sexier

Funmi Ajila-Ladipo:

Nature and people inspire me


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National conference

Jonathan’s kinsmen seek scrapping of 36 states

lDemandregionsforIjaw,otherslNdigbo confirm participation lDelta protests Itsekiri exclusion Biyi Adegoroye and Leo Sobechi


resident Goodluck Jonathan’s Ijaw kinsmen say they will demand the scrapping of the current 36-state structure and its replace with 10 regions, at the forthcoming national conference. Expressing the views of the President’s ethnic nationality in an interview with New Telegraph on Sunday, Acting President of the Ijaw National Congress, Chief Charles Ambowei, said they would demand the creation of of 10 CONTINUED ON PAGE 5

Buhari: I’m not afraid of Boko Haram }7

239 missing as Boeing plane disappears }3

L-R: President Goodluck Jonathan; Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu; Vice President Namadi Sambo; and Senate President, David Mark, leaving Minna International Airport, Minna for the Peoples Democratic Party’s North-Central rally in Minna... yesterday

Police probe attack on Enugu Government House Leo Sobechi


he Enugu State Police Command says it has begun investigations into an

armed attack on Government House, Enugu. Unknown gunmen numbering about 50 in the early hours of yesterday tried to

force their way into the Government House but were repelled by security personnel attached to the Government House.

Confirming the report, the Police Public Relations Officer, Enugu Command, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, told New Telegraph on Sunday that the command

had begun an investigation into the armed attack, adding that three of the suspected attackers were in custody. C O N T I N U E D O N PA G E 5

PDP’ll reclaim Kwara, Nasarawa states –President





Joseph Onyekwere Sunday News Editor 0808-3000-343

We will recapture Nasarawa, Kwara states -Jonathan •Says those who left PDP are retrogressive •‘Whether you declare now or not, Jonathan carry go’ -Ali •Al-makura will soon join us’ -Mark

Dan Atori Minna


resident Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on Saturday declared that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will recapture Nassarawa and Kwara States, adding that those who had left the party were retrogressive in their activities. He described the PDP as the only party in the country that has not changed its manifesto but has continued with its legacies for all to see. The number one citizen of the country said during the North Central Rally for sensitization at the Minna Trade Fair Complex, Sango, Minna that the opposition, All Progressive Congress, (APC) has no vision or better plans for Nigeria. “We (PDP) will retain the North central States, we will surely recover Nassarawa and Kwara States so that we can start to reconstruct them for the betterment of the people. “Don’t allow people to use

the media to intimidate you: PDP is the only party that has not change its name, other parties and in fact the opposition can be likened to chameleon which changes its colour”. He also said that former members of the party who left for the opposition were retrogressive in their activities. According to him, “we are in the north central zone to inform our people of our activities and we are still the party for all Nigerians. PDP is not owned by any individual. You may recall that some people who have been with us (PDP) occupied various top positions for the past 12 years now with only 2 years to go they say PDP is not good enough and that they are leaving saying they are progressive, but for the past 14 years they were involved in retrogressive activities. Now that they have left PDP we will move faster and bigger.” The PDP National Chairman Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu in his remarks, advised the Niger State Governor Dr.

Babangida Aliyu to go back to other defected Governors and persuade them to come back to the PDP saying, “Governor Aliyu, you saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Go tell them that we will treat them equally, whatever had happened has happened. There’s

light at the end of the tunnel”. Meanwhile, PDP former National Chairman and member of Board of Trustees Dr Ahmadu Ali charged President Jonathan to continue come 2015. “Our President, ‘carry go’, whether you declare your


nknown gunmen numbering about 50 in the early hours of yesterday attacked the Government House, Enugu and tried to force their way into the Government House. But they were repelled by lynx-eyed security personnel attached to the seat of Enugu State Government. However, the Enugu State Police Command says it has begun investigations into the armed attack on the Government House, Enugu stressing that it hopes

to establish the motives of the attempted break-in at the end of the investigations. Police Public Relations Officer, Enugu Command, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, told New Telegraph on Sunday that the command had begun investigations into the armed attack, adding that three of the armed men were under custody. Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor, Mr. Chukwudi Achife, who broke the news to journalists, stated that the attack which occurred about 4.30am Saturday, met the stiff resistance of the security personnel at the

Umaru Tanko Al-makura will soon join the PDP because his deputy has join the ruling party. “The PDP does not need to preach to anybody because our transformation agenda has come and we have embraced it in totality. We are here to assure you that we will do all within our purview to get the Nassarawa state governor to join us soon,” he added.

L-R: President, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Sir Sunny Nwosu,; Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyema; Managing Director, Meristem Securities Limited, Oluwole Abegunde; and Managing Director, Meristem Wealth Management Limited, Sulaiman Adedokun, during the launch of Meritrade Online Stock Trading platform in Lagos recently.

Police probe attack on Enugu Government House Leo Sobechi

intention here (Minna) or not we are saying carry go. PDP will keep performing and will show to the common man that we are here to serve them, we will have no problems in delivering the dividends of democracy”, he said. Senate president David Mark assured President Jonathan in his remarks that plans are in top gear to ensure the Nassarawa State Governor

Government House. Achife said the hoodlums comprising 50 young men were carrying machetes and cutlasses adding that they tried to invade the Government House by forcing their way in. “The attackers were immediately engaged by security personnel who shot one dead and arrested three while the rest escaped. One of the security personnel was however injured in the attack,” he stated. The CPS explained that the arrested persons along with some of their weapons (machetes) have since

been handed over to the Enugu Police Command for further investigations. New Telegraph on Sunday reports that there has been increased apprehension by residents over the security situation in the State especially against the background of noticeable political schisms at the build up to the 2015 election. Enugu came out of an orgy of violence that predated the current administration when political thugs and members of student cult groups had a field day robbing, maiming and killing innocent people.

New Pension Scheme is fraudulent -Pencom Abdulwahab Isa Abuja


he National Pension Commission (PenCom) said that the new contributory pension scheme is structured with adequate in-built control to prevent fraud occurrence. It therefore, refuted allegaton linking some staff of the commission to fraud. Stating this yesterday in a statement by Head, Communication Unit Emeka Onuora, the commission refuted media reports quoting Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Mr. Ekpo Nta, saying that a junior Pen-

Com official with fiftybank accounts was arrested. Report in some media had quoted ICPC Chairman, Nta, as saying thatthere were serious cases of fraud running into billions perpetrated by junior officials in the Pension Commission but that only top officials were given attention in the chase for corrupt officers. PenCom said “no official of PenCom is involved in any form of looting of pension fund”. Explaining the working of Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), it said the new CPS created by the Pension Reform Act of 2004 to replace the old Pay As You Go pension system has eliminated irregularities and fraud that characterized the old pension.




Verdant Zeal holds 3rd ‘Innovation Series’ Concerned with the growing need to foster inclusive growth and development through purposeful leadership in the country and Africa at large, leading marketing communications firm, Verdant Zeal Marketing Communication has chosen, ‘Growing Leadership Innovation – Lessons for Africa’ as the theme for the third edition of its annual “Innovention Series”. Billed to hold on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, the programme will have as its special guest of honour and keynote speaker, frontline Ghanaian politician and statesman, and former

L-R: Mallam Yusuf Alli (SAN); NBA President, Okey Wali (SAN); Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN); his wife, Omolara; NBA chairman, Ikere-Ekiti, Olubunmi Olugbade; and two other NBA national officers at the commissioning of Chief Wole Olanipekun Bar Centre, Ikere-Ekiti...Thursday

$9.438bn Abacha loot can build 100 teaching hospitals, others -Experts Azubike Nnadozie & Chijioke Iremeka


ver N1.7trn ($9.438billion), funds so far recovered from the late Nigerian military dictator, General Sani Abacha is worth more than one third of the 2014 Federal budget, New Telegraph on Sunday can authoritatively reveal. This discovery puts the late dictator ahead of other notorious African leaders who stole from their countries, like the late Mobutu Sese Sekou of Zaire, and Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasongo of Equatorial Guinea. He was only beaten recently by the runaway Ukrainian leader, Viktor Yanukovych who stashed $157m in US banks. According to a neuroscientist and the Managing Director, New Chidicon Medical Centre, Dr. Philip Njemanze, it will take between $32 and $35 million to build and furnish a hospital to the standard of General Hospital Abuja. “The amount is equivalent to at least, 100 well-furnished teaching hospitals across the country.” He noted that the total budget for the health sector in the 2014 Appropriation Bill stands at N262 billion (N262, 742, 351, 874), while N273billion was allocated for the health sector in 2013. “Going by this, the funds can take care of the health sector’s budget for the next decade.” Prof. Gregory Erhabor, the President, Nigerian Thoracic Society and a Consultant

Chest Physician at Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Osun State, confirmed that such funds would improve the life of many Nigerians, who could not access primary health care services. More so, “the 2014 budget proposal for education sector is N493 billion, representing 10.7 percent of the total national budget proposal of N4.64 trillion. The funds in view will take care of education sector budget for the next five years. The 2014 budget on education is 15 percent improvement on the previous year’s budget,” said Eze Onyekpere from Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), a civil society organisation. He stressed that the funds is equivalent to 81 per cent of the 2014 budget proposed by the Federal Government, which stands at N4.64trn. “The Abacha seized and frozen assets would off set both the recurrent (N2.4trn) and capital (N1.1trn) expenditures in the current budget, if recovered and well managed.” According to the former Director of Distance Learning Centre, University of Ibadan, Prof. Francis Egbokhare, the money can be spent on 25 to 30 of existing universities in the country to make it great. “With N20 to N25 billion, a university is built with international standard. Without hi-tech laboratory equipment, it can cost N6bilion. Standard equipment increases the budget of a university.

Emeka Ndukwe (SAN) of Ebozue and Co. said the US and the UK confiscated funds would build over 50 higher institutions and over thousands of secondary schools in the country going by the education budget of the sector in the recent time. “But I don’t understand why these funds are still pending in US and the UK till now.” In the same vein, Prof. C.C Agbodike urged the federal government to intensify actions and follow up with the $39 billion case, lying fallow in Liechtenstein in order to enthrone equity and fairness all. Abacha seized power in November 17, 1993 and became the military head of state until his abrupt end in June 8, 1998, ended his five years dictatorial administration. Upon his death, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar was appointed head of state. Abubakar’s interim government had delivered a clear message to the Abacha clan that Abacha had looted huge sums and had to be restored. Sequel to this, his family members and their accomplice voluntarily returned $1 billion to the Federal Government of Nigeria during the tenure of General Abdulsalami Abubakar but Obasanjo’s government implicated the deceased general in wholesale looting of Nigeria’s coffers. It was estimated that the embezzlement of public funds and corruption proceeds amounted to $4 billion. In 2002, the Nigerian govern-

ment tentatively came to an agreement with the Abacha’s family to return $1 billion out of $1.1 billion that had been identified. Abacha was listed as the world’s fourth most corrupt leader in recent history by Transparency International in 2004 with estimated amount between $2 and $5 billion stolen within his two years in the office. The figure represents about 10 percent of Nigeria’s annual income from oil over five years. continue on pg. 5

presidential candidate, Mr. Nana Akufo-Addo. Joining Akufo-Addo as special guests and panel discussants on the third innovention series are, The Executive Chairman, Multichoice, South Africa Group, Mr. Nolo Letele, the executive secretary, Leadership Effectiveness Accountability and Professionalism (LEAP) Africa, Mrs. Iyadunni Olumide, The Chairman, Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr. Foluso Philips and the Founder, Arise Networks, Miss Toyosi Akerele. Mr. Opeyemi Agbaje banker, strategist, social commentator and political economist will be the anchor.

Raped six year old girl now VVF patient in Kano Muhammed Kabir, Kano A Six year old girl that was raped by a 40 year man has developed VVF and has been admitted at hospital in Kano raising serious eye brow among the Community and the Government, calling for a serious punishment against the perpetrator.

Already the suspected rapist has been arrested and is facing charges in the State high Court. State Commissioner of Women affairs, Dr Binta Tijjani Jibril, who is pursuing the case has promised not to rest until justice is been done in the case.

Publisher explains rationale behind Western Post The Publisher of Western Post, Tunde Rahman, has explained that the newspaper is poised to filling the void in the reportage of the old Western region, which has now been split into several states. Rahman, who left his position as the Editor of ThisDay, the Sunday newspaper, said the newspaper, which made its debut last Sunday, will pay close attention to events in the region, which are either not published or under-reported by national newspapers. He said this does not make the newspaper an ethnic or regional

chauvinist or champion. He explained that it is a way of ensuring that the needs of readers in the coverage area are satisfactorily met. Rahman said: “Going regional for us does not mean we are ethnic chauvinists or champions, but we are simply being realistic.”We are aware that in the craze to be national in outlook, so many tangible events and developments in the local governments, states and regions are left uncovered; let alone being intensely covered. This is the void we intend to fill in the case of the old Western Region.

Search for missing Malaysian plane yields no result •239 passengers onboard feared dead


he Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370, which mysteriously disappeared Saturday morning, is still missing but indications from the Malaysian aviation authorities show that a multinational search and rescue efforts has started. The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has deployed one aircraft and three ships in a search-and-rescue operation following the disappearance of the plane. The Malaysian government says its navy is cooperating with the Vietnamese navy. The search for the commercial jetliner that seemingly vanished without warning between Malaysia and Vietnam continued into the night as dark fell on Asia, officials said. Nobody knows what happened to Malaysia Airlines

Flight MH370, other than air traffic controllers lost track of it not long after it left Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, on its way to Beijing. The families and loved ones of the 239 passengers and crew aboard expected the worst as they awaited any significant development. The biggest clue so far is traces of oil that a Vietnamese plane spotted while flying over the search area. The oil slicks are between 6 and 9 miles long and are suspected to be from the missing plane, the Vietnam government’s official news agency reported. The traces of oil were found about 90 miles south of Tho Chu Island, the report said. In the meantime, the search area is being expanded and efforts to locate the plane will continue overnight, said

Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, director general of civil aviation in Malaysia. The area of focus has been in the South China Sea, where the Malaysian airspace and Vietnamese airspace meet. “We have no idea where this aircraft is right now,” Malaysia Airlines Vice President of Operations Control Fuad Sharuji said on CNN’s “AC360.” Bits and pieces of information have begun to form, but it remains unclear how they fit into the bigger picture, if at all. For instance, after the airline released a manifest, Austria denied that one of its citizens was onboard the flight as the list stated. The Austrian citizen was safe and sound, and his passport had been stolen two years ago, Austrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Weiss told CNN.



L-R: Executive Director, Heritage Bank Limited, Mr. Robert Mbonu; Managing Director/CEO, Thistle Praxis, Mrs Ini Onuk; Managing Director/CEO, Heritage Bank, Mr. Ifie Sekibo and Managing Director, Fund Adviser UK, Paul Evans, during a dinner to mark the bank’s one year anniversary held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

L-R: General Manager, R-Wells Media, Mr. Ukah Rabie; Managing Director/CEO, Mrs. Jibe Ologeh; and Business Development Manager, Michael Lestat, during a press conference to announce the forthcoming Mothers’ Day celebration in Lagos.


Managing Director Resources, Accenture Nigeria , Abayomi Olarinmoye; Human Resource Lead, Ronke Akpata; and Chief Financial Officer, Cadbury Plc, Oyeyinka Adeboye, during the Annual Forum to mark the International Women’s day organised by Accenture Nigeria in Lagos.

L-R: Regional General Manager, East, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Obinna Nweje; Co-founder, Apple Computers/ Guest Speaker, Steve Wozniak; and General Manager, Consumer Marketing, MTN, Mr. Kola Oyeyemi, during MTN Leadership Seminar with Steve Wozniak in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

L-R: Director General, Woman Development Centre, Onyeka Owenwu; Director General, National Orientation Agency, Mr. Mike Omeri; and Principal Secretary, Research and Documentation to the First Lady, Dr. Isiaka Aliagan, at the World Press conference on the forthcoming National Youth Concert, in Abuja …yesterday.

L-R: Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun; his wife, Olufunsho; and Executive Director, Marketing, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Mr. Benson Evbuomwan, during the Ogun State International Women’s Day Celebration, at Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta...yesterday.

Nigerian Navy Pullout Parade in honour of immediate Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba (left) and his Wife, Ifeyinwa, at NNS Quorra parade ground, Apapa, Lagos...Friday, PHOTO:GODWIN IREKHE

L-R: Amapetu of Mahin, Oba Lawrence Omowole; Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, Dr Bade Omoloja; Governor Olusegun Mimiko; and his wife, Olukemi, at the inauguration of the Igbokoda International Market, in Ilaje Local Government Area in Ondo State.




We want 36 states abolished, say Jonathan’s kinsmen CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

semi-autonomous regions, as federating units capable of exercising control over their respective resources. Ambowei, who spoke in Lagos, said the 10 federating units, which should include the South-South, would complement the existing SouthEast, South-West, North-East, North-West and North-Central, which was the case before the Nigerian Civil War. “This contraption of 36 states does not make anything meaningful economically to the nation. We can return to regional settings, and we are proposing 10 regions and it is contained in the earlier submission of the Ijaw National Congress. “We cannot return to six zones, because if we do, the Ijaws will still be balkanised, and for us, we are looking at a situation where the Ijaws will be in a contiguous, homog-

enous state, one littoral region like the Yorubas and ethnic Ibibio, Igalas, Idomas, Hausa Fulani, and Ogoni are in one region,” Ambowei said. The INC boss, who was Commissioner for Works in Bayelsa State when Jonathan was governor of the state, said only a return to true federalism would save the country and correct the perception of marginalisation. Alluding to the North, he said since independence, the region had exhibited a kind of superiority complex, as enunciated in a paper presented by the then Premier of the Northern region, Sir Ahmadu Bello, in 1960. “Specifically on October 12, 1960, the then Premier of the Northern region, Sir Ahmadu Bello said, ‘The new nation called Nigeria should be an estate of our great grandfather, Othman dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of

power; we shall use the minority in the North as willing tools, and the South as a conquered territory, and never allow them to rule over us; and never allow them to have control over our future.’” He said this philosophy had greatly influenced the perception of leaders of Northern extraction through the years, such that they felt uncomfortable with the emergence of any president of the country from the South. “This has formed the perception and when perception becomes a reality, you must know that there is danger. Today, perception has become a reality to us at the Ijaw National Congress. We now understand why try as he did, Chief Obafemi Awolowo never won a presidential election in this country; we can now understand why elections are rigged and why census figures have been consistently manipulated

to favour a particular region,” he said. Justifying the call for resource control, which he said was part of the 1963 Constitution, Ambowei said the position was supported by prominent leaders like Chief Obafemi Awolowo, whom he quoted as saying: “In a capitalist society whether it is a federation or not, it is dishonest to insist on sharing another state’s wealth on any basis other than that which the rules of the capitalist game allow. In this kind of society, any state is entitled to keep whatever accrues to it, either by the sweat of its brow, by cunning or the unaided bounty of nature; and to accuse a rich of lack of fellow feeling or unpatriotism simply because it insists on keeping practically whatever accrues to it is unrealistic and untenable.” Meanwhile, apex Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation,

L-R: Osun State Commissioner for Youth Development and Sports, Mr. Stephen Kola-Balogun; Executive Director, Marketing, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Mr. Benson Evbuomwan; Executive Director, Obafemi Awolowo Fundation, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu and Senator Bode Olajumoke, during the maiden U-10 Obafemi Awolowo Memorial Kids Cup sponsored by Honeywell, in Lagos…

‘$9.438bn Abacha loot can build 100 hospitals’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3

Obasanjo came to power and requests mutual legal assistance with Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the UK, Jersey and the US to enable his country lay hands on the loots. From September 1999 to 2005 about $ 1.2 billion was repatriated to Nigeria. In February 2005, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court rejected the appeal formed by the Abacha’s against the repatriation of the most of the funds frozen in Switzerland, totaling about $468 million. An additional $700 million were forfeited in the context of criminal proceed-

ings initiated in Switzerland, Jersey and Liechtenstein. In addition to freezing about $658 million, the Swiss judicial authorities handling the case have also indicted Mohammed Abacha and Atiku Bagudu under Swiss legislation concerning money-laundering, fraud and taking part in a criminal organisation. In September 5, 2000, the Swiss Federal Banking Commission (SFBC) published the results of an investigation involving 19 banks which have accepted a total of about $600 million on behalf of Abacha’s entourage. In particular Credit

Suisse, the second-largest financial group in Switzerland, comes under fire, as it was found to have accepted about $250 million from one of Abacha’s sons. In 2001, the government recovered $146 million from an unidentified bank in Luxembourg. In February 8, 2002 Swiss bank blocks accounts containing $60 million, which it believes are linked to Abacha and his family AND ordered an audit of the bank. Geneva’s attorney general instructed the banks to initiate proceedings to transfer $535 million to the Bank for Inter-

national Settlements. In 2003, Jersey’s long running investigation into Nigerian corruption approached its climax. $160 million of money embezzled from the people of Nigeria and channeled through Jersey by the late Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha, and his henchmen. October 2003 Obasanjo announced that an agreement has been reached whereby Switzerland will repatriate the $618 million frozen in Switzerland soon, against assurances from Nigeria that the returned funds will be devoted to improving education, health, agriculture and infrastructure.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has restated its resolve to participate in the forthcoming national conference even as it urged delegates to work as a team. Rising from an emergency meeting of its General Assembly and Imeobi yesterday, at the Ohanaeze National Secretariat in Enugu, the group stressed, “Ohanaeze Nd’Igbo will participate in the forthcoming National Conference as the apex socio-cultural organisation of Nd’Igbo.” In a statement signed by the Secretary General, Dr. Joe Nwaorgu, the group stated that “Imeobi empowers Ohanaeze leadership to strive to achieve the best out of the National Conference for posterity.” Ohanaeze said it took the decision after a detailed briefing by its President-General, Gary Enwo-Igariwey, adding that “the leadership is assured of the continued support of Ndigbo worldwide.” It added that in a motion proposed by Chief Nduka Eya, seconded and supported by Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene and Col. Ben Gbulie, in that order, “this Imeobi, having been briefed by the President General empowers Ohanaeze leadership to go ahead and work in the best interest of Nd’Igbo at the forthcoming National Conference.” Also on Saturday, the Delta State Government decried the exclusion of Itsekiri ethnic nationality from the conference. In a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Macaulay Ovuozorie, the state government said “the attention of His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel E. Uduaghan, Governor of Delta State, has been drawn to a protest by some Itsekiri people to the palace of the Olu of Warri His Royal

Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse II, over the non-inclusion of any Itsekiri person in the list of delegates to the National Conference released two days ago. “Following the request from the Federal Government to various stakeholders to submit names for the conference, the Delta State Governor, a strong advocate and supporter of a national conference, even before it was announced, reached out to various leaders of ethnic nationalities and other professional bodies and unions where there were Deltans. “Though the basis for selection for the conference was not ethnic representation, but for the governor, knowing the complexity of Delta State, it was important for every ethnic Nationality to be at the conference. Chief Isaac Jemide’s name (a prominent Itsekiri son) emerged from this consultation and was duly submitted amongst others to the office of the Secretary to the Federal Government and receipt acknowledged. “Even a follow up contact confirmed Chief Jemide’s name. Unfortunately, the name was not published alongside others that were released two days ago. On realising this, His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan immediately made contacts and was given the assurance that the anomaly will be corrected and an Itsekiri person will be at the conference. “The Delta State Government wishes to appeal to all Itsekiri sons and daughters to remain calm while it is being sorted out. “We also want to appeal to politicians not to use the situation to cause chaos.”

Police probe attack on Enugu Govt House CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Chukwudi Achife, who broke the news to journalists, stated that the attack which occurred around 4.30am on Saturday, met the stiff resistance of the security personnel at the Government House. Achife said the hoodlums comprising about 50 young men were carrying machetes and cutlasses, adding that they tried to invade the Govern-

ment House by forcing their way in. “The attackers were immediately engaged by security personnel who shot one dead and arrested three while the rest escaped. One of the security personnel was however injured in the attack,” he stated. Achife explained that the suspects along with some of the weapons had since been handed over to the Enugu Police Command for further investigation.



National Conference/News

Disability group decries under-representation Joseph Onyekwere he Centre for Citizens with Disability (CCD) has protested what it describes as under representation of People Living with Disabilities (PWD’s) in the National Conference billed to wtart any time this month. In a statement issued yesterday and endorsed by the director general of the Centre, David Anyaele, a thorough perusal of the National Conference list of delegates showed that PWD’s in Nigeria has 6 slots. According to him, it presupposes that the six major cluster groups made up of the Blind, deaf, Intellectual, leprosy, Physically challenged and Spinal Cord Injury would be represented at the National Conference and cut across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. “We observed with lamentation that the list of delegates presented by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), that the deaf community in Nigeria has no representation and no Sign Language Interpreter for the conference. Out of the 6 delegates representing persons with disabilities none is a deaf person. The list is made up of the blind and persons with physical disabilities, excluding deaf”, he said, expressing worry that the office of the SGF rejected the list of delegates send to them by the JONAPWD leadership which contends names of deaf delegates and four Sign Language Interpreters. He said: “This is how not


L-R: Chairman, Parents Teachers Association, Baptist Girls Academy, Obanikoro, Lagos, Mr. Ndu Njoku; Principal, Mrs. Eunice Akanji; Vice Principal (Academic), Mrs. R.O. Adeyinka; and Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Okorie Damian, during the school’s 24th Annual Inter-House Sports Competition in Lagos on Friday.PHOTO:SULEIMAN HUSAINI

Regionalism, fiscal federalism to top Edo agenda Biyi Adegoroye


he return of Nigeria to regionalism topped the agenda set by the people of Edo State for their delegates to the National Conference opening in Abuja, next Monday. The states delegates to the conference include Professor Edy Erhagbe, Chief Charles Edosomwan, SAN, Professor Sylvanus Oboh, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN and Chief Nosakhare Isekhure. Other items on the agenda listed by the people include Part-Time Parliamentary system of Giovernment, Fiscal Federalism; Decentralisation of the Police and Armed Forces along Regional lines; Independence of the Judiciary with First Line charge in the Constitution; Return of the Civil to Professionalism; Removal of Land Use from the Constitution; Removal of Immunity Clause and Carving a Role for Traditional Rulers. Hon Clement Ehebha, who read the Esan Forum agenda which was unanimously adopted as the Edo agenda, with corrections, said the problem with Nigeria is that it is governed by 37 strong men who are not accountable to the people. However, Governor Adams Oshiomhole said the State’s delegates to conference should canvass the interest of the ordinary people, saying “anything we

do which does not translate to prosperity for the average people will have no meaning.” He said: “In seeking to address the Nigeria question, there must be solutions we must proffer to raise the quality of life of our people.” He said the problem with the country is not which system of government is practiced or if we should revert to regionalism, saying “no country makes progress by making one step forward and two steps backward. We should deal with attitudinal issues and not system of governance.” He said desperate politicians could misuse state police to harass their perceived political enemies, saying “we have to be careful with decentralized Armed Forces, we can’t have sovereignty within a sovereignty.” He noted that the problem of Nigeria today is the battle for the control of the huge resources at the federal level. According to him, “52,4% of the declared revenue is under the control of the President, while the other 36 Governors share 26% which is slightly less than half of what the President spends. “If from 26% we can build 1km road, the Federal Government ought to build 2km road; if we build one school, they ought to have built to schools. Because there is so much money in Abuja, the debate today is not about

what should be the quality of the President of Nigeria, but which part the President should come from. “Unless we alter the revenue allocation formular, we may continue on the same old road. If we review the revenue allocation formular, let Governors fight in their states, let Local Governments fight in their states and let Abuja take up the ceremonial roles of receiving Ambassadors and presidents. The tension for the control of the Abuja will reduce.” Investment mobilization still challenge for Sierra Leone, says minister Joseph Onyekwere The Sierra Leonean Minister of Trade and Industry, Alhaji Usman Kamara has said that attracting and mobilizing investors has remained a major challenge for Sierra Leone and most

countries in West African region. Kamara who led a Sierra Leonean team to an investment forum in Lagos on Wednesday stated that it has been recognized that investment, both from public and private sources and the development of productive capacity are key drivers of economic growth. “It has been recognized that investment, both from public and private sources and the development of productive capacity are key drivers of economic growth. Mobilizing investment remains a major challenge for most countries in our region and doing so is now the current wave of trade and commerce, which is the reason for the Sierra Leone Investment Forum in Nigeria”, he said, describing the country as Africa’s New Investment Destination.

to include the underrepresented group in policy formulation and development. This a continued pattern of exclusion and neglect of the deaf and the disability community as a whole by the Federal Government of Nigeria on National discuss since the foundation of this country. We are concerned that this action of the government is in total at variance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) which Nigeria is a signatory. Also, this constant discrimination and exclusion of persons with disabilities is possible due to none prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of disability in the 1999 Constitution, even as amended, and this conference provides a platform to address these human rights abuses. What this means is that their views and opinions may not be captured at the conference.” As a result, the group is demanding for the inclusion of a deaf person and 4 Sign Language Interpreters on the list of delegates by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. “This is to ensure that the views and opinion of Deaf people in Nigeria are included in the National Conference”, he stated, urging the National Assembly to expedite action for the passage of the Nigerian Disability bill which the House of Representatives has passed awaiting the passage of the Senate and harmonization by the both chambers of the National Assembly.

Ekiti guber poll: PDP begins screening of aspirants •Anenih charges South West PDP on unity Onyekachi Eze


he Peoples Democratic Party yesterday began the screening of 17 aspirants vying to fly the party’s flag in the June 21 gubernatorial election in Ekiti State. Also, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party, Chief Tony Annenih counselled party members in the South West on the need for reconciliation and unity if they are to remain relevant in the party. The screening exercise

which was conducted by a committee headed by Senator Ndoma Egba, took place at the NWC Hall at the PDP National Secretariat in Abuja. About 17 aspirants who had earlier obtained the party’s nomination forms, took turns to appear before the committee. They were expected to present their tax clearance certificate, educational qualification and other relevant documents for screening. Three of the aspirants are women. Among aspirants sighted at

the PDP National Secretariat yesterday were former Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade, former governor of the state, Ayo Fayose, Senator Gbenga Aluko and Dayo Adeyeye among others. Last week, the aspirants struggled to beat the deadline for the submission of the nomination forms amdist fanfare by supporters. According to the guidelines issued by the party, ward congresses to choose three delegates for the governorship primary will hold March 12. However, most of the aspi-

rants appear disposed for a consensus candidacy. Anenih, earlier in the week played host to the executive and members of the South West Network at his residence in Abuja where he emphasised on the imperative for the group to work with elders of the party at the state and the national levels to stem the sliding fortunes of the party in the zone. “You must brace up to remain steadfast because some other people will try to attack you but since your goals are noble and genuine, then you have my blessing,” Annenih assured.


Poor access to finance, major obstacle to women financial empowerment, says Oteh Abdulwahab Isa Abuja


irector -General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Arunma Oteh has identified poor access to finance as one of the major hurdles hindering women financial empowerment. In addition to limited access to finance, she said women face discriminatory customary and other practices in inheriting land and property. Oteh made these observations yesterday in Abuja at SEC’s first quarter Learning Series which also celebrated International Women’s Day which scheduled for the 8th of March 2014. The DG disclosed that women all over the world faced with societal realities that threaten to limit their achievements and prevent them from attaining their economic potentials. “But of the many realities that women face, there is perhaps none as disenfranchising as poor access to finance. A recent study by the IFC showed that women-owned SMEs are particularly a financially undeserved segment. They are not only less likely to

obtain formal financing; they also often get charged higher interest rates. “According to a World Bank report on “Investment Climate in Nigeria” about 76 per cent of women rely on informal sources of funds and savings in sharp contrast to only about 1 per cent that obtained capital from the formal sector. Many other surveys have reported women being denied bank loans in high numbers “In addition to limited access to finance, women face discriminatory customary and other practices in inheriting land and property. In Nigeria, although women make up between 60 to 79 percent of rural workforce, they are five times less likely to own land than men” Oteh said that another reason for women’s economic exclusion is the disparities in earnings as in almost all parts of the world, women earn less than men. She said a study by the DFID revealed that when the incomes of men and women with the same educational levels were compared, women at every educational level earned at least 20 per cent less than their male counterparts and men with less education in some cases earn more than more educated female peers.



NBA president commissions IkereEkiti Bar Centre, hails Olanipekun Joseph Onyekwere


he president of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Okey Wali, SAN has commended the leadership of the NBA, Ikere-Ekiti branch, saying the branch would produce great lawyers who would become senior advocates in future. Wali made the commendation on Thursday in IkereEkiti while commissioning a 400-seater capacity multipurpose Bar Centre built and donated to the Branch by the former president of the NBA and former pro-chancellor of the University of Ibadan (UI), Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN. According to him, Olanipekun is an outstanding philanthropist who keeps his promises. He praised Olanipekun for making the donation.

Wali recalled that the former UI pro-chancellor promised to put up a structure that would serve as a centre for lawyers to hold their meetings and expressed gratitude that he has now fulfilled his promises. He therefore prayed that the branch would utilize the facility appropriately such that great lawyers in the likes of Olanipekun would emanate from the branch in future. He enjoined other responsible Nigerians to emulate the learned senior advocate in his kind gestures. In his welcome address, the elated chairman of the branch, Olubunmi Olugbade said history was made on June 22, 2012 when the branch was officially inaugurated in a very colourful manner by the former president of the NBA, J.B Daudu SAN, noting that

at that function, Olanipekun promised to build the structure for them. “During our inauguration ceremony, our foremost leader in this branch, chief Wole Olanipekun SAN promised to give us a Bar centre during our tenure. And today is the realization and fulfillment of that promise made”, he enthused. Olugbade recalled that Chief Afe Babalola SAN had promised to support them when the project takes off, adding that now that the structure is in place, the branch would require another small building to house a canteen, business offices, a library, generator and a bus. He expressed gratitude to the Chief Judge of Ekiti State, Hon. Justice Ayodeji Daramola for providing the land in which the edifice is erected.

The donor, Olanipekun said he is poised to continue to do more charity works for humanity. He stated that he had already requested for a parcel of land from the governor of the State, Kayode Fayemi to site a Specialist Hospital in memory of his mother in the Ikere town. According to him, no man is remembered for the amount of wealth he acquires or how much he left in the bank before he died but what positive impact he made. “Nobody is remembered for the amount of money stolen. Nobody is remembered for how much money he left in the bank before he died. People are remembered for the positive impact they made on humanity”, he declared. The structure was started on September 2013 and completed in February 2013.

I’m not afraid of Boko Haram -Buhari


ormer head of state and presidential candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, has said that he is not afraid of being targeted by Boko Haram. Buhari said in an interview with Sahara TV on Friday that the Federal Government had given him adequate protection. “I am not bothered by them (targeting me,”) said the general who described himself as a proud Muslim. Buhari slammed what he called the cowardly targeting of children in playgrounds, school students eating lunch, and shoppers at souks, by the group. Sahara TV said that in a recent interview with the Voice of America, the general referred to Boko Haram as “devilish,” and he did not let up when pressed further in Friday’s interview.

“Nigeria has the capacity to nip this in the bud,” he said, adding that one way to fight the group, and other wouldbe terrorist organisations is coming to agreements with neighbouring countries, like Chad, Cameroon, and Benin Republic over the unauthorised circulation of weaponry, and training grounds. He compared the group with the Irish Republican Army during the tenure of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The two groups, he noted, were similar, and so are the comparisons of issues surrounding the Nigerian army’s tarnished reputation fighting the group, and its relationship with average citizens. The same criticisms of rape, brutality, and distain of the public were levelled against the British forces, as is the case now with the Nigerian army.

L-R: Wife of Lagos State governor, Emmanuela Abimbola Fashola; Senator Oluremi Tinubu; Dr. Charles Esan; and a member of the House of Representatives, Yakub Balogun, at the 10th Edition of Lagos Central District Town Hall meeting in Lagos.

Obi: I was impeached for refusing to approve N406m contract Uwakwe Abugu Awka


overnor of Anambra State, Peter Obi yesterday revealed that he was impeached for being frugal. Also yesterday, eminent Nigerians who graced the end of tenure event put together by the Anambra state Elders Council in honour of Obi called for a greater sacrifice on the part of the political leaders in the country in order to trigger the sustainable growth of the nation. Former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth,

Chief Emeka Anyaoku; Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala; billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote, among several others who listened to the outgoing governor deliver an account of his stewardship agreed that he had set a good example of governance that could stand as a model. The eminent Nigerians extolled his virtues and called on other governors to emulate the governor. Obi who held the huge crowd at the Women Development Centre, Awka spell-

bound when he hinted that he was leaving no less than $156 million in the coffers of the state as at last Friday declared that “now, my dear people, we now have a state, having wrestled her affairs from the lunatics that siezed power in those ignoble days”. Besides, the governor announced to the people of the state that he has also left N27bn worth of bonds the state purchased from other state governments and the federal government but that under his regime, the state neither issued any bond nor borrowed. He also told the people

that he was impeached just after assuming office in 2006 after a three-year contest in court because he refused to approve a whopping sum of N406m for the rebuilding of the burnt Government House which he eventually rebuilt with N43m through direct labour. Other eminent people of the state, including traditional rulers graced the occasion and the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Afred Achebe who spoke for the monarchs present announced that coming Saturday, the natural rulers would honour the governor in Awka.




Elechi nominates Egwu, others to National Conference

Leo Sobechi


he headship of Ebonyi State delegates to the national conference revealed a role reversal as Governor Martin Elechi selected his predecessor, Dr. Sam Egwu, who in 2005 equally nominated him, (Elechi) to lead Ebonyi delegates to the 2005 political reform conference convoked

by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Other names on the delegates’ list from the state include the immediate past Deputy Governor, Professor Chigozie Nkwo Ogbu; Second Republic Senator, Dr. Offia Nwali; Chairman of the State Traditional Rulers’ Council, Dr. Eze Agom Eze; Senator Emmanuel Azu Agboti; University Don, Professor Nnen-

na Oti; Dr. Clement Mgbada; two immediate Council Chairmen of Ikwo and Ebonyi local councils, Barrister Celestine Igberi and Dr. Adaeze Nwuzor respectively. In his remarks at the Executive Council Chambers of the Government House, Elechi charged the delegates not to go to the conference in search of issues that would promote

Ebonyi at the expense of other states of the federation. The Ebonyi chief executive recalled the unsavoury experience of the state’s delegates in the 2005 conference saying, “we were pilloried for taking a stand against the proliferation of states”. He reminded the delegates that they were on a national duty adding that State Government “has

presented its position to the state delegates”. Elechi spoke further: “It is a national duty. Many want to be there. Many are called but few are chosen. You have been chosen on the basis of your past records, public standing, pedigree and personal prowess in assigning yourself for public duty. You are going there to participate in a national dialogue that will at the end of the day, give our country a better place”. “You are not going there to fight for anything that will promote Ebonyi state, differently from other states of Nigeria. You are going there to state what you believe is the best for the country and by implication, the best by any states. Therefore we, charge you to listen carefully to what your colleagues from other states may say without of course compromising your own conviction. It is in the process of given your best that others may learn from you”.

But the leader of the delegation, Egwu, disagrees with Elechi on the issue of state Police In an interview with this reporter. Egwu said: “Remember that I am equally against militia approach. I am not talking about vigilantes or whatever you could call it, it is state police”. He recalled that “when I was in government I recall the House of Assembly passed a bill, which I declined from assenting to, anyway; they wanted the state to have its own vigilante group and cited Anambra and Abia that had Bakassi Boys, Enugu that had Ebeano”. “I think I was the only governor that rejected that tendency then. My belief remains that once you do that you may not be able to control it because those young boys are not properly trained to handle situations you were subjecting them to. Again the moment they don’t have something doing, politicians can hijack them”.

Fayemi charges Ekiti people on industrialisation Adesina Wahab Ado-Ekiti

L-R: Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Prof. Modupe Adelabu; Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; and his wife, Erelu Bisi, during the 2014 International Women’s Day celebration, in Ado-Ekiti...yesterday

Atiku felicitates with women on International Women’s Day •Ezekwesili, US ambassador’s wife urge investment in women Olushola Ricketts


ormer vice president of Nigerian, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, yesterday felicitated with women on the international women’s day, saying he supports equal access to education and economic opportunity for all. According to him, equality means providing equal access to education and economic opportunity for all: men and women. “Supporting our girls & women will not make men less men, but will improve the home economy at the bare minimum. I married my wife, Titi, when we were both young, but I insisted she went back to school. She did, got an

HND, and became a lecturer. I have ensured all my female children have the same education opportunities as boys. My first daughter is a doctor. I also ensured my wives pursued their education. One of my wives is an accomplished scholar/academic at the zenith of her field. I wish all Nigerian women happy celebration of this International Women’s Day”, he posted on his facebook wall. Also, former Vice President, World Bank (Africa), Dr Oby Ezekwesili and wife of the Ambassador of the United State of America to Nigeria, Pamela Schmoll have called on the government to invest more on women to

ensure national growth during the unveiling of the 100 unsung Heroines project in Lagos. Speaking at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos, Ezekwesili stated that Investment on human capital determines a country’s productivity, adding that investment on the citizenry should not discriminate between men and women. “Investing in the productivity of a girl child is a smart move. We should ensure that girls have access to quality education and it is not just a means of transforming them to human capital but for them to also make good decision. When a woman can make a

good decision, it affects others in the community,” she noted. According to former Minister of Education, a Nigerian woman is a farmer, a pretty trader and a teacher, yet the experience and knowledge are constantly ignored by government. She revealed that many of the women who are actually playing commendable roles in society are unseen and uncelebrated. “They seem to be singing for the deaf and dancing for the blind. We need to celebrate Nigerian women not for aggrandizement but in line with the principle of motivation which reinforces will power,” she said.


kiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Saturday called on wealthy indigenes of the state not to leave the economic development of the state to the government alone, but to complement its efforts by coming home to establish businesses. Speaking in Ado-Ekiti during the inauguration of Prosperous Royal Hotel and Resort Centre, he said that a conducive environment had been created for businesses to thrive. Fayemi, who was represented by the Commissioner for Tourism, Mrs. Ronke Okusanya, commended the proprietor of the centre, Chief Abiodun Isinkaye, for bringing the project to the state. “The state government is happy with the giant strides by one of our sons, Chief Abiodun Isinkaye, who felt the need to support our efforts at developing the state economically. “I call on others to emulate Chief Isinkaye and help project our state in good light. The facilities here are

world-class and this shows the spirit of industry in the Ekiti man,” he said. In his remarks, the Royal Father of the Day, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, said people like Isinkaye should be encouraged to do more for the society. Oba Sijuwade urged the people of Ado-Ekiti, led by the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe, to make land available for the second phase of the project. In his goodwill message, former Governor of the old Ondo State, Chief Bamidele Olumilua, said the contribution of the private sector to the economic growth of the state and the nation at large could not be over-emphasised. Also speaking, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, noted that the step taken by Isinkaye was a challenge to other rich Ekiti people. In his speech, Isinkaye said he decided to set up the facility in the state as a way of giving back to the society. He explained that he had no political ambition and would always seek the goodness and greatness of his home state.

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NNS Bonny, the warship used by Nigerian Navy at the Musuem

Why many visitors to National War Museum are school kids Ahaoma Kanu


t might sound amazing but majority of visitors to the National War Museum, Umuahia in Abia State, the relic which showcases most of the equipment and effects of the Nigerian civil war, are school children from primary and secondary schools, according to museum sources. “What the Federal Government had in mind for this museum to achieve is first and foremost, to create a centre that would serve a research facility; showcase the devastating effects of war and thereby discourage it as well as keep a sort of memorabilia for the people to know what were involved during that period in time by keeping material evidence of the efforts of the people through the war. We may have achieved some of these purposes but yet to achieve others. I must tell you that most of the visitors we have here are students who come for excursions. We are still expecting the time this place will become a real research centre,” Mr Justin Nwaneri, a director at the museum revealed. The National War Museum was established on January 15, 1985 by the then Army Chief of Staff, Mag-Gen. Babatunde Idiagbon and commissioned on September 14,1989 by the Minister of Defence, Lt-Gen. Domkat Bali. The facility was established to preserve Nigeria’s war relics, illustrate the people’s efforts through the ages and to serve as a centre for research and information on warfare, military development and technology. The National Commission for Museum and Monuments takes care of the more than 40 museums across the country. During the Nigeria civil war, an esti-

mated three million lives were lost when a part of the country in the South East tried to secede New Telegraph on Sunday visited the museum located at Ogwunchara in Umuahia, Abia State. The museum from the outside looks bushy but the road is in good shape. The first sight that catches a visitor’s attention is the warship, NNS Bonny, painted in ash colour and sitting close to the entrance. Also, some fighter jets with their noses pointing to the sky and their wings looking ready for takeoff are also visible from the outside. Palm trees adore the entrance gate and give a cool serenity to the facility which houses relics of a very bitter era in the history of Nigeria. To get a full tour of the museum you need to go from the inside which houses an underground bunker that played a major role during the period the war lasted. The Nigeria flag stands at the entrance of the lobby, 48 years ago, no flag was hanging in the premises. The entire area was a camouflage and served as an operational base of the secessionist Biafra State; the bunker housed the propaganda machinery of Biafra and from there the Voice of Biafra broadcasted to the whole world. “This whole area was not inhabited. Nobody knew a place like this existed. The idea was for it to be a camouflage, a place Biafrans would be operating from and nobody will know,” said the tour

guide, who gave his name as Uche. The War Musuem Tour The tour is divided into four stages for better appreciation of the three exhibition galleries and the open air museum outside. The first is the Traditional War Gallery which displays the evolution of weapons in pictures and objects from the earliest time to the present; the Armed Forces Gallery which focusses on the evolution of the Nigeria Armed Forces from 1914 till date; the Civil War Gallery deals with events that led to the civil war, and showcases in pictures some of the activities, victims and events that occurred during the war while the Open Air Museum shows the hardware used during the war by the Army, Navy and Air Force on both sides. Traditional Warfare Gallery The Traditional Warfare Gallery is showcased in two rooms and captures pictorially the evolution of weaponry. On display in the first section are pictures of great African warlords like Chaka de Zulu, Amazons of Dahomey, Menelik I, the first Solomonic Emperor of Ethiopia, traditionally believed to be the son of King Solomon of ancient Israel and Makeda, ancient Queen of Sheba Menelik; and Colonel Ahmed Orab, the famed Egyptian soldier. Their era depicted the period when spears and arrows were used in warfare and the modes of move-

The power of this very battle shield lies in its potency, it has charms that are invoked into it that even a javelin or spear cannot penetrate it

ment were animals like horses, elephants and camels. Further down the section and also displayed in contrast are great historical battles; these show European fighters and their advanced weaponry. The second part of the gallery showcases some of the weapons as they evolved from the Stone Age. Several stone weapons are on display inside the glass shelves. About 17 weapons hang on the wall and a careful look at these weapons show a characteristic sharp edge which still looks very lethal notwithstanding the era when they were in vogue. Alongside the weapons are pictures showing the Ape age and how some of the weapons were used. Next on display is the coming of the Iron Age when weapons were cast from iron. Several spears, swords and daggers of different sizes and shapes hang on the show shelves. At the section displaying African Traditional Warfare and Technology, several spears or javelins line up the wall and have different distinguishing cast designs. Some with long heads, others have an emboldened grip area while some have their rear crafted in a way that both edges serve dual purposes in the art of killing. Three, hanging at a corner look eerie; and are fitted with leather hides which make them appear more like decorative artefacts than weapons of war. “Some of the spears showed status symbols in the society. Some also could tell the tribe or people using it,” the guide explained. Another set had spears with a combination of wooden body and metallic CONTINUE D ON PAGE 1 0

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‘The entire area was a camouflage and served as an operational base’ CON T IN UE D F RO M PAG E 9

heads. Most of the tip of the spears is designed in a way that once the target is hit there will be no chances of survival. “The deadliness of the spear is that once it perforates an enemy’s body, attempting to draw it out causes more damage as hinges in the design enable more tearing to occur should any attempt be made to remove it. Some of the spears are poisoned with venom to make sure that a target will remain down if hit,” the guide said. The next display shelf exhibits shields used for battle during the olden days. Hanging on the wall were different types from the raffia crafted shield, those made from hide and skin to those used during the Iron Age. One was conspicuous one outstanding, it was made from raffia craft and had feathers attached at several points on the body. “This mat type shield may look ordinary but the potency is extraordinary,” the curator said. He continued, “The power of this very battle shield lies in its potency, it has charms that are invoked into it that even a javelin or spear cannot penetrate. This shield can withstand assaults from arrows and all sorts without the offensive weapon doing any damage to it.” Next are communication gadgets which came in the form of effigies. A scepter which is a symbol of authority is also on display as well as a metal body armour used in battle. The fighters of old had a system of attack; they needed to be charged and motivated to frenzy in order to be fearless and ruthless and this state of viciousness is achieved through music. Some of such musical instruments were on display. Some display shelves also have some charms used by the soldiers to fortify themselves against the enemy. “The wars were not fought by physical weaponry alone,” the curator announced, “the soldiers made use of charms and amulets which have spiritual protection against danger in the battlefield”. A pictorial display showed the soldiers in their regalia of war looking daring. The next materials showcased were the different guns, long rifles, short guns both locally made ones which used cartridges and gun powder as well as those manufactured in Europe. A Louis automatic machine gun used during the

Second World War is also on display. Nwaneri explained that the materials are maintained by the conservation unit using chemicals. The Armed Forces Gallery The next stage in the museum is the Armed Forces Gallery which comprises of the Army, Navy and Air Force. An information board tells of how the Nigeria armed forces came to being. It started when an ordinance constituting the regiment of Nigeria Regiment of West African Frontier Force (NRWAFF) was promulgated in 1922. It was later renamed by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, during her first visit to Nigeria in 1956 to Queen’s Own Nigeria Regiment. By 1960, when Nigeria got her Independence, it became the Royal Nigeria Army. But in 1963, when the country became a republic, it became the Nigeria Army and remains so till date. Fiery looking black and white pictures showed how the soldiers of the NRWAFF took their oath of allegiance. Two bare chested soldiers licking the sharp edge of dangerously looking long knives hangs on the wall. The picture sends chills of fear and captures the meanness and ruthlessness of the soldiers. “The soldiers swore to the oath this way and this shows their acceptance to live by the sword and die by the sword,” the curator said. On display, pictorially, in this section are the caps and badges of the platoon then. Another picture shows a unique local officer, Captain Kyari Maigumeni, who was an RSM of the Nigerian Regiment for 24 years from 1929 to 1950. One picture that captures


one’s attention is that of three soldiers surrounded by several ladies. The picture had a queer story which the guide explained. “It was observed that when the soldiers returned from battle, their faces and demeanour were hardened and mean. So in order to make them happy, ladies were brought to cheer them up,” the curator said. The picture showed three relaxed soldiers chatting with the native ladies; their mood was more romantic than daring. Other pictures on display depicted the first soldier to be commissioned an officer, Lieutenant WR Pasey and also that of Lieutenant JTU Aguiyi Ironsi who later became the first Nigerian military head of state. The Nigeria Navy occupies the next room in the Armed Forces Gallery and had pictures showing how the Navy was established; the officers that handled the naval force, their uniforms, ranks and activities the Nigeria Navy had been in-

Biafra wall with flag and picture of late leader Ojukwu

volved in. The Nigeria Air force, which is the youngest of the armed forces established in the early 60s, is next. Several pictures show the era of their growth till date. From the German Colonel, G.Gaus and Timan, who were the first Air Marshals to the first indigenous Air ViceMrashal, Col. Kurobo. Also on display are their various uniforms, war gears, ranks and activities of the air force and this concludes the tour of the Armed Forces Gallery. The Civil War Gallery. The second gallery in the relic commences with just a few steps to left and showcases the Civil War Gallery regarded as the main attraction in the museum. Unlike the other two galleries which were built during the post-civil war period in Nigeria, the building housing the civil war gallery was erected during the course of the war which occurred from 1967 to

Stairs leading down to the bunker

1970. During that period, the location was top secret and was a hidden underground. The bunker, which is among the three located within the Umuahia vicinity, was built by Biafran engineers within 90 days and is about 30 feet deep. The bunker served a very critical purpose during the civil war and was at a time the engine room from where the world heard the voice of the then leader of the secessionist Biafran state, General Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. The first visible structure is a high wall that was not plastered. A Biafran flag hang on it with an illustrated picture of Ojukwu in full military uniform leaning on the wall under the flag. The curator explained that the wall was purposely left unplastered to show the originality and make visitors have a feel of that period. The wall is about eight feet high. Two paces to the front is a passage leading to a long flight of stairs on the descent. The walls leading to the passage are painted and have, on the left and right, pictures showing the casualties of the January 15th, 1966 and July 31st, 1966 coup d’etats respectively. Events from these two incidents culminated to the civil war. Some of the pictures show Alhaji Ahmadu Bello who was the Premier of Northern Nigeria; Alhajia Tafawa Belewa, the then Prime Minister; Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh, Minister of Finance; Major Kaduna Nzeogwu, one of the masterminds of the coup and so on. The casualty wall faces the path to the stairs leading down to the bunker. The staircases have three stages of descent and goes down a 30 metre stretch. Lining the walls of the stairs are pictures of the various actors during the Nigeria civil war. On the left are those of the Biafra leaders both civilians and military while those on the right represented the Nigerian leaders led by General Yakubu Gowon. A map of Nigeria as at that time is also displayed at the second descent. The stairs are brightly lit and one would not have a feeling of being underground. A black and white picture of Colonel Joe Achuzia, one of Biafran famed fighters hangs on the wall as well as that showing the Biafran head of state with his cabinet during an occasion marking Biafra’s second commemoration in 1968. Along the last lap of the CONTINUE D ON PAGE 1 1

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Here, you’ll find relics of Nigerian civil war CON T IN UED F RO M PAG E 10

descent are pictures showing the different periods during the war; a dead white mercenary on Biafra military camouflage uniform; captured Biafran soldiers; malnourished Biafran children as well as casualties of the war. One picture shows a Red Cross volunteer carrying the body of a child killed after an air raid. All the pictures appear on black and white but capture the carnage that occurred during that time. At the far end of the bunker stands a metallic transmitter which the secessionists used for their broadcast. To the left after the transmitter is the Announcement Room where the broadcasts were made. It is a small cubicle measuring eight feet by six and has the Biafran Coat of arm at the background. “This is where Ojukwu made all the broadcast to BBC, VOA, Reuters and other international media networks during the war,” the curator explained. A table and chair faces the front of the cubicle and one thought that comes to mind is if the furniture were sat on by the Biafran war commanders. A picture of Ojukwu, in full army uniform, making a broadcast with the Biafran flag by his side shows the reality of the room at a point in time. The Announcement Room is the last part of the Civil War Gallery and to get to the Open Air Museum outside, one needs to climb through the escape route to the outside. The route is a narrow long stretch of stairs with a small door which leads to ground level. One effect the Civil War Gallery has on visitors is the ability to make them come to terms with the history of Nigeria, the reality that the civil war happened. That is the mood a visitor would be in until rays of light hit you and you discover you are in open air and can see the large compound and human activity again. Open Air Musuem The scenario starts up an eagerness to see the weapons that may have killed, maimed and destroyed human lives during the war. The Palm trees adoring the scenery, along with the well mowed lawn, do little to shake off the feeling as the tour of the Open Air Museum starts. “These are the equipment that were used during the war, they produced the action 48

years ago,” the curator said. On display roofed stand is a Biafran Red Devil armoured tank. The description called it the Type A5 and show that the armoured vehicle was taken to Kaduna after the war and brought back to the museum 13 years later. It looks rugged in its dark green colour and bears the badge of combat; bullet holes; destroyed mechanical components; rusted interior but with a nozzle that still looks deadly. Another military hardware is the Biafran Red Devil Type D recovered from Umudike near Umuahia. The tank was used by the Biafrans to shell enemy positions with mortars and rocket by means of in-built torrent gun. One standard tank that is also on display is a French-made Panhard Armoured Tank which has a nozzle that was still looking unscathed. It was dubbed Oguta Boy and was captured by Biafran soldiers from Federal troops during the battle of Oguta on September 12, 1968. There is also the remains of a Radio Biafra transmitter used for internal service by the secessionists during the war. It was recovered from Enugu. Further down the museum are Armoured Personnel Carriers used for troops movement; heavy artillery guns like the 76.2mm and 105mm Americanmade guns respectively. The 105mm artillery gun on display, used during the Second World War, was used in along the IkotEkpene/Aba war front. Also on display are Bazooka anti-tank guns, locally made Ogbunikwe Launchers which was said to be a very formidable explosive invention from the Biafrans during the war. Also, a Saladin armoured vehicle and a fuel distiller cooking pot used by the Biafrans to refine crude oil for fuel are also at the museum. At the second part of the Open Air Museum, located in the middle of the compound, is the Air Force section. It consists of the aircrafts used during the war by both sides. Along the roofed display stages are several planes used by the Nigeria Air Force to execute the war. There are carcasses of Russian Ilyshin 28 Bomber and fighter aircrafts which destroyed many of the Biafran posts. A wreckage of a plane is also on exhibition and the aircraft, called MF-1 9B Small Bomber aircraft, belonged to the Biafra Airforce. The little

A NAF bomber used during the war

Engine of a MIG fighter jet

fighter plane was dubbed the Minicoin of Biafra Babies and wreaked havoc on the Federal troops as it was said to have made surprise attacks on advancing soldiers. Another NAF 102 Dornier aircraft is also on the stand and was used to strike the secessionists at Onitsha in 1967. Scraps of a NAF helicopter in which the then Nigeria Army Chief of Staff, Col. Joe Akahan, died near Yandev in Benue State, is also on display as well as the MIG fighter jet engine in which Col. Shittu Alao died in 1969. He was the Commander of the Nigeria Air force at that time. The NNS Bonny battleship appears to be the last hardware on display and did play a major role in leading attacks by sea during the war. One of the guns mounted on it still has a menacing appearance. The coil, though rusted, still emits a kind of deadliness. It may be on display at the museum but there was a time the gun was blazing, piercing metals and flesh, crushing bones, extinguishing lives and leaving thousands of people dead. Nwaneri explains that most of the time, visitors

become very emotional after touring the relic. “There are emotional reactions and also that of bewilderment. To some visitors, coming here seems like reopening painful wounds especially for those who may have lost someone during the war while to others it is just excitement. They don’t know and may have been hearing the stories. There is always mixed feelings,” he said. But with the historical monuments, relics and materials in the museum, there is a lack of the target visitors and some factors were identified by New Telegraph on Sunday. The first is that the museum does not have a website nor have any connection to the social media either through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. They only depend on mentions on newspapers for publicity. “We need to create awareness,” Nwaneri said, “We have not created the needed publicity. People come here requesting for our website and it will shock you to know that we don’t have one. We are yet to create one. We depend on having articles about the museum in newspapers,

It was observed that when the soldiers returned from battle, their faces and demeanour were hardened and mean. So in order to make them happy, ladies were brought to cheer them up

television and radio. People know about our existence but not as much as we would want to,” he said Adequate documentations are not kept of visits made to the museum. The register for visitors is haphazard and inconsistent. But some Nigerians expressed several reasons why there is low patronage of museums and relics in the country. Omolara Adejoro, a journalist, is of the opinion that not much importance has been placed on culture in educational institutions. “People don’t really know its essence. We are too busy with making money than going to visits such places. Maybe if the importance of going to such places is taught in schools, people can make it a priority to do that. Generally, Nigerians hardly cherish our culture; we prefer posing in front of a carved image for a photograph than knowing what the image entails,” she said. But for Duru Silver, the unavailability of information on such places of interest maybe the albatross in the tourism sector. “Tourism generally is driven by people’s interest. This is further developed by the availability of information on these areas of interest. In Nigeria, there is very little information available,” he said. A student who just gave her name as Freda believes that it is the culture of Nigerians not to have time for relaxation. “Nigerians do not have time for relaxation or time for assimilating what they perceive as not important. Of what good is a visit to the museum when it won’t earn them extra mark in an exam or put some extra money in their pocket? Besides, it just might be too expensive. It’s the same attitude we display towards tourism. We are either too busy making money or the means are not just there,” she said. Another responder, Kingsley Somachi, when asked by New Telegraph on Sunday, revealed he was just getting to know of the existence of such facility. “I am just learning now that there is a National War Museum. I think the ministry of culture and tourism is not doing well enough to enlighten the people of such places. Also the teachers in schools should learn to inform their students about such national treasures, that is if they are aware themselves.

Instyle For special needs children, home comes through a miracle p.13-14


Life Oodua Festival: 12


9 MARCH 2014

Celebrating Yoruba tradition

Participants at the Oodua Festival

Etaghene Edirin


le-Ife in Osun State of Nigeria is regarded by many historians as the cradle of civilization, and the source of the Yoruba race, people mostly found in the south western part of the country. The oral history of the race recounts the coming of Oduduwa, regarded as the progenitor of the Yoruba race as coming from direction of Mecca. But other accounts regarding the origin of Oduduwa creates controversy that has become a major challenge and mystery to some historians over time. But in all the accounts, one thing remains constant, and that is the fact that Oduduwa settled in Ile-Ife, hence the town is regarded by many as the source of the Yoruba race. As with every tribe and race, the Yoruba have a unique culture and tradition peculiar to them, which stands them out wherever they are found. And for the past 10 years, the Olokun Festival Foundation has been in the forefront of efforts to promote the culture of the Yoruba people. The organisation has been striving to uphold the enriching intellectual ideals and societal values of the Yoruba culture and tradition. For this reason, over the years, the organisation has solely sponsored various festivals in the South West of the country, and indeed Yoruba land promoting this noble objective. The Foundation promotes and sponsors about 12 different festivals in various communities on a yearly basis within the geo-political zone, with at least one festival in every south west term state. In this vein, the Foundation

Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade with Gani Adams during the festival

recently held the annual Oodua Festival 2014 at the Oduduwa Shrine in Ile-Ife, Osun state, in conjunction with the state government. The event which has become an annual pilgrimage for many Yoruba sons and daughters around the country and beyond, featured several events, including hunting and Ayo-Olopon competitions, as well as a beauty pageantMiss Oodua Beauty pageant; This year witnessed the presence of Mrs. Sally Mbanefo. Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, who was accompanied by the chief promoter of the Foundation, Otunba Gani Adams on a visit to

the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade Olubuse II at his palace. As part of activities to celebrate the festival, the foundation also encourages and promotes up and coming artistes and talents, even as it makes use of well known acts and notable figures in the entertainment industry to add spice, vigour and colour to the programme. Such moves serve to encourage young people, and give them a platform to showcase their talents. At the end of the beauty pageant, Miss Arigbabuwo Aderonke, an undergraduate of the Olabisi Onabanjo University emerged winner, and went home with a car prize. Speaking at the grand finale of the festival, Otunba Adams stated that the festival is dedicated to celebrating Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba race. He stated that in time the Oodua Beauty pageant, that produces Miss Oodua every year will rival other beauty pageants in the country, as their dream is to take it to a height where they would have contestants vying for the crown from outside the country. He also called on prominent sons and daughters of Ile-Ife to join hands with the foundation to make the festival a world-acclaimed event. Adams stated that Ife, as the source of Yoruba race deserves the best from everybody, even as he claimed that over 250 million people from around the world can trace their roots to Ife. He also called on the NTDC and government of Osun State to put in place, the needed

machinery to tap into the goldmine in Ile Ife. He said that the town has a huge potential as a tourist destination in Africa, as every year, millions of people from around the globe travel to Ife to see historical sites. While noting that every race is endowed with unique culture and tradition, evolving over a long period of time, the OPC leader stated that the trait of omoluabi instilled in every Yoruba child makes them show respect to whoever is older than them. “Perhaps the greatest hallmark of an omoluabi is the ability to do what is right at all times in order to maintain the family’s good name,” Adams said. He pleaded with parents to train their children in the culture of their forefathers, adding, that “there is nothing as good as this”. In her contribution, Mbanefo commended the organisation for the initiative, and urged the Yoruba to promote their rich cultural heritage, which she said is part of domestic tourism. Mbanefo promised to support every effort geared towards this end, even as she assured that the Federal Government would collaborate with the Ife people to promote their rich cultural heritage. She added that her administration would focus on the promotion of domestic tourism because this is the time for the younger ones to know about their culture. “Our children have to know where we are coming from, and we’ll know where we are going to,” she said.




For special needs children, Badagry home comes through a miracle

Founder, Lady Atinuke Oyindamola Memorial Home, Mrs. Elsie Akerele (inset a young Atinuke Akerele)

A daughter’s surviving a fall from a five storey building and being able to live through a life filled with challenges, struggles but yet succesful was all a mother needed to be inspired writes AHAOMA KANU


miracle is said to have happened when an extraordinary occurrence takes place in an ordinary circumstance. It affects people and leave them in awe of how an incident, a healing, a breakthrough occurs and leaves an impact on anyone that beholds it. To Mrs. Elsie Akerele, her miracle occurred when her six-year old daughter survived a fall from the fifth floor of their apartment then at Legico Flats located at the Nigerian Air force Base in Victoria Island, Lagos State. Baby Atinuke fell from a five-storey height and landed on the concrete floor with only a cut to the left eye. “My first daughter, Atinuke, fell from our flat at the base in 1976 when she was six years old and survived with just a cut to the eye. They were playing along the corridor and she slipped from a hole near the staircase. I was not at home then,” recalled Akerele, a retired business woman who now runs a home for physically and mentally challenged children in Badagry, Lagos State. After spending weeks at the hospital with several Electrocardiograph (ECG) scan along with other tests, she was certified alright by doctors. The family held thanksgiving services and thanked God for his guidance. But six years later, they found out that the child was not as well as the doctors and the test results showed. “When she was 12, she came late to an ex-

amination centre and was told by the gateman that she could not enter the premises because she was late. The shock of missing the exam which she had prepared for sent her into a fit,” Akerele said. At the hospital, it was discovered that due to the fall years earlier, Atinuke had become epileptic and thereafter, suffered regular bouts of seizures. But she managed her condition with the help of her family who got more knowledge about epilepsy and helped her. She was able to finish high school and got admission to study communications at Ogun State Polytechnic. She graduated and became a practising journalist. She also got married and had her first child but was not to make it during her second pregnancy. “On January, 16, 2007, Atinuke gave up the ghost while delivering her second child but her baby survived,” her mother recounted. She was 37 years old when she died. Her struggle, perseverance and determination to succeed in her short life despite her challenges and condition inspired her mother to start up a home for children with challenges. “I perceive the life of my daughter as that of struggle. With all her challenges she was able to manage her life and her condition. Many families locked up their children who were epileptic but she encouraged and inspired me with her will to survive at all odds. There were times she had seizures in class but she remained focussed on her studies. I had my

last child, David, years later and he was born with a condition known as Down Syndrome. Atinuke took care of him and was like a mother to David,” she said. Before the demise of her daughter in 2007, Akerele started taking care of abandoned children who had mental disabilities at her residence then at Idimu, a suburb in Lagos State. “I gathered them to be friends with David who also had Cerebral Palsy along with Down Syndrome. But when my daughter died, before I could come back from the burial ceremony and other activities, two of those children got missing and were never found up till today. I felt really bad and decided to start a proper home for these children because my late daughter was always urging me to start a home since I was taking care of six abandoned children all on my own then,” Akerele said. After putting up her house for sale, she proceeded to purchase a bigger land at Badagry, a border town in Lagos State. There she started the Lady Atinuke Oyindamola Home for Mentally Challenged Children in Badagry, Lagos. When New Telegraph on Sunday visited the home, the children were celebrating their maiden graduation. The home, located at David Akerele Street in Araromi Ale, Badagry, has three buildings; the main building houses the classrooms and living quarters while the other two are still under construction. A makeshift kitchen by the side of the main building serves

as a refectory. Cooking is done mainly with firewood. The children, all dressed in their blue check uniforms, looked happy as the celebration went on. A music band from Peter King College of Music, also in Badagry, was on ground to provide music entertainment. Those who could walk danced while others confined to their seats due to their condition cheered while visitors also joined in the fun. The home’s motto, “Hope in Righteousness,” is written boldly on the entrance of the home. Other sign posts indicate the several departments inside the building. There is the vocational arts centre; an arts and craft department; tailoring; beads making; hairdressing; music, mop making and shoe making departments. On entering inside, an odour of urine and disinfectant hangs heavily in the air. One of the kids comes in smiling and welcomes New Telegraph on Sunday with a salute. There are 26 children resident in the home and most of them have cerebral palsy, a form of paralysis believed to be caused by prenatal brain defect or injury during birth. Others have different cases of mental disability ranging from Down syndrome, epilepsy, autism and paralysis. The Headmistress of the educational centre, Mrs. Elizabeth Akinwumi, took New Telegraph on Sunday on a tour of the facility. The sitting room is bereft of conventional furniture, wooden benches around serve the




Two children at the home shake hands

Akerele, with some of the children and partners

‘At the hospital, it was discovered that due to the fall years earlier, Atinuke had become epileptic’ purpose of sitting. One of the kids with cerebral palsy was lying on a plastic mat; it is apparent he cannot walk. “So many of them can’t walk so we have special chairs for them though these are not the recommended orthopaedic types, we just have to improvise,” Akinwumi explained. Another child was lying inside a wooden pram, the only movement noticeable are those performed by his eyes. His limbs are irregular and show signs of non-functionality. He was wearing his shirt and was on diapers. The rooms are partitioned with wooden panels. There is a sick bay with one bed and what looks like a music room but with no standard music equipment; a desktop monitor sits on a table among a stereo set, two speakers and a television set. One Yamaha piano and a single piece of band are all that make up the music department. A coloured, “Welcome Back to School,” heralds one into the girl’s room which has four beds and a pram filled with stockings and worn out teddy bears. “So many of the children cannot control themselves so we are in constant need of diapers,” Akerele said. Another room has five beds with windows that had no glass louvers, wooden panes were improvised for the window blades and some mosquito nets were thrown on. “When we first came here, this place was a bush,” Akerele explained, “it took me and David to cut down the trees to create space to build our home,” she added. Akerele is 62 years old and an indigene of Lagos State. She has seven children with Atinuke inclusive. There is no electricity in the area yet so the home provides basic amenities like power and water for themselves. “We have no transformer so we buy fuel every day to power our generator. We also dug a well,” quips Akinwumi. On a monthly basis, the home invests more than N250, 000 to run the facility and these include payment for therapies, salaries, feeding and purchasing essential commodities like diapers and drugs for the children. “The drugs for some of the children for their seizures and

Late Atinuke Oyindamola on her wedding day

hyperactivity are very expensive. Also, some of them are born blind due to cerebral palsy so we do go to hospitals and I must say that the government hospitals are not helping us. They give long appointments so we make use of Ancillia Catholic Hospital at Agege and also Lagos State University Teaching Hospital,” Akerele said. One of the abandoned children, Iyana, had a recent eye surgery which cost the home N300, 000, a bill they yet to offset. Some of the children are brought to the home through referrals from the Lagos State Government, the police and parents who are made to undergo some procedures like swearing affidavits, having their addresses verified and so on. It became necessary when some parents brought their children, gave fake addresses and abandoned them. “Before we did not have much processes in place, we trusted that parents could not just abandon their children but with the experience of five abandoned kids, we had to introduce these measures,” Akinwumi said. Out of the 26 children in the home, the youngest is 10 years old and the oldest, 32. The staff strength is eight; four care givers, one nurse, a cook, an admin officer and a special education teacher. Patronage of the home by corporate organisations, donor agencies and government is minimal and this can be traced to their location in Badagry. “When I compare notes with other homes and orphanages, they don’t bother about things that are needs to us here. They have constant patronage from corporate bodies, churches, individuals and so on but we are secluded from the city. We are along Badagry expressway and as such, not many donors know about our existence. Only a few journalists have visited us to tell our story. People consider us as being at the outskirts of Lagos; they think about the distance, the traffic and the bad roads and see us as being in another world. That’s

David Akerele and mother

what we go through,” Akerele complained. Due to their partnership with the Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria, another charity that takes care of people with Down syndrome, a donor agency, Small World, undertook to build a multipurpose hall and a classroom for the home. Also, providence smiled at them during the birthday of Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, who donated two buses to the home. “David shares the same birthdate with the governor and we were preparing for his birthday when we were summoned to Surulere and on getting there I saw our name on a brand new bus. It was a shocking surprise,” Akerele recalled. In order to achieve the objective of taking care of kids with learning disabilities, the home requires a lot of support from good spirited Nigerians. “We need a steady supply of diapers and also want to complete our multipurpose hall,” Akinwumi said. She added, “To take care of a special child costs five times more than what is needed to manage a normal child. We want to put up a perimeter fence around this facility because reptiles are all over the place and pose a danger to our children. We are appealing to the federal, state and local governments to provide us with electricity and potable water. We call on corporate bodies, religious institutions, individuals to help us. We need an organisation to give us a constant supply of diapers,” she appealed. For the children at Lady Atinuke Oyindamola Memorial Home. they may be miles away from the hustling city of Lagos but they sure have a place they call home and a family that cares for them. It took a tragic accident, a miraculous survival and a perfect struggle through a life of disability of a young woman to make their lives worth living. They have late Atinuke Oyindamola to thank for their home.

Some of the children at the home

Sanctity of Truth


Page 15, MARCH 9, 2014


Let your timepiece tell time... and more Go floral, get sexier

Funmi Ajila-Ladipo:

Nature and people inspire me




e t o N r’s o t i d E

Pg. 46



e with Bayo Adeoy 080114867475


Multichoice boss, Biola Alabi resigns T

en know? What do wom


deepens Obasanjo, Kashamu war


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of Mulhe Managing Director has retichoice, Biola Alabi, nt from signed her appointme llite cable/sate the multinational her resigcompany. She dropped days ago. few a letter nation Celeb While a source informed on her did that Lounge that the lady source inown volition, another to do so. forced sisted that she was the South While she sat atop she disAfrican owned company, of the as one tinguished herself helm of affairs few women at the and she was in Corporate Africa, expansion of at the forefront of the brand across the the Africa Magic channels was able to make it she Most Powerful continent. No wonder on Forbes, list of Africa’s to the 11th position of the outfit for Women in the Media. of Corporate Affairs Last month, the Head resignation and also tendered his 10 years, Segun Fayose, the country on vacation. out of has since travelled

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queen The former beauty doctor is now a medical and who studied Medicine of Surgery at the College of LaMedicine, University a special gos, Nigeria, with health. interest in women’s oversees She founded and health the extensive cervical Kercampaign of the George ry Life Foundation.


bank. ent positions in the by Presi- managem as the bank’s Execuince he was appointed to re- He has served of Corporate dent Goodluck JonathanSanusi tive Director in charge Control place Sanusi Lamido Bank Banking, Treasury, Financial of Central as the governor and Strategic Planning. Emefiele has about the man All these we know of Nigeria, Godwin in as the new and his profile will soon be sworn been in the news that is Emefiele Lounge can has soared higher. governor. But Celeb Director, CBN do not know the Group Managing that many people is a great a position he bet Zenith Bank Plc, the banker of repute fan of 2010. Until that has held since August Manag- football lover and a die-hard We gathered then, he was the Deputy having Chelsea Football club. g the club bank, the of supportin ing Director he started that position that fans here in Nibeen appointed into before many of its has been on the visited Stamford in 2001. Emefiele geria, and he has . ent team since on many occasions bank’s managem Bridge various held inception and has

the social has remained off scene. that Celeb Lounge learnt who the multi-millionaire at many was a regular face clubs around – the A- list night off the ince his talk –of gone has the Island town birthday celebra- social scene completely. Ruat year last June in tion been making the Lagos, mours have the Delta StateWheatbaker, Ikoyi heard rounds that man may nothing has been n’s born business about KUTH Foundatio he have fallen on hard times. as boss, Gerald Azonobo

MARCH 9, 2014






With Funmi Azike

e more you don’t consum avoid this, ensure s coming along? use. calories than you ow are your workout trying. Just keep at Yes, I know you are r fibre into your diet way to a healthie • Incorporate more it; you are on your are and prevents bowel l you. Now that you Fibre aids digestion and and more beautifu you colon the fit and healthy, from cleaning h s disease. Aside committed to staying sugar levels, fibre-ric certain other measure balancing your blood might have to take less likely to A healthy diet is you feel full and to keep you in shape. your fitness pro- foods make high in fibre include nt to have cravings. Foods beans, brown rice, extremely importa to exercise and still oats, es, enough not vegetabl is It . to wheat, gramme junk food. You need carrots and apples. feed your body with that ents dietary adjustm make necessary to your fitness goals. • Eat at home will take you closer s that control over what recommendation This will give you Below are dietary helping you cut down goes into your body will help. healthy and make more unhealthy foods than frying, you For example, rather • Eat all your meals should choices. you methods like steamwhen eat can try other cooking Yes, that is right; can use daily). Skipping meals ing or baking. If you have to fry, you (at least, three times For is a healthier altercrave for more food. or canola oil which only makes you e oils sold in t, you are olive vegetabl breakfas common skipped the a native to instance, if you during the day with going to get hungry your the market. eating more than greater chance of foods. eventually eat. you healthy on when • Snack regular portion food not be encouraged do to cut down your Snacking should than The best thing to portions rather than but if you do have the need to, rather is by eating smaller healthier having to eat a bigger pastries/confectioneries, go for starving and then nuts, low-fat yoghurt options like roasted portion later. , fruits and vege(small portion), walnuts carrot, cucumber banana, foods ing apple, like nourish tables Eat • it we eat, as large as egg. Most times when more and garden body still craves for would appear, our we did hours. It is because • Drink more water you food within a few exercising more, the body and when Now that you are a not properly nourish tly hydrated of nutrients, it sends keep the body constan Drink the body is starved meals fed. For need to demanding to be ng your water intake. bodily • Eat all your increasi by signal to the brain up drink ts and a soft daily to help speed example, three doughnu but offer the body enough water and flush out ism metabol full feel boost might make you you functions, to lubricate all ment and in no time You also need water in the body little or no nourish of beans toxins. organs but, a small bowl muscles, joints and are hungry again flexibility during whole wheat the and or plantain strength d of for improve ended with a few slices body better. Fruits, s. Usually, it is recomm but bread will feed your provide vitamins, your workout daily 2.5litres of water vegetables and cereals your body needs. to drink at least, shown that recomwhich recent studies have minerals and fibre intake should be based mended daily water However, don’t allow satisfaction. on individual needs. • Never eat to your you top weight control dehydrated before favourite get to my of body one is your This cusan ancient Chinese water level. rule borrowed from be fed up your the body needs to , tom. They believe workout routines in very small portions ➢ Along with your all types of food but would have ion. There is some recommendations fitness and never to satisfact takes a these dietary overall it your on because this meaningful impact medical sense in is to nourish to send signal to the g. The whole idea while for the stomach would and wellbein use up most of the Usually, your body body properly and brain that it is full. next week, stay you begin to your Till e. before consum even fit. have had enough food calories you your time to chew feel satisfied. Taking and will properly aids digestion eat smaller also help you to portions. right • Consume the amount of calories of energy Calories are units we consume, in foods and drinks energy the they are burnt to produce are then excess body requires; the excess carbostored as fat. The salt, sugary hydrates, fatty foods, alcohol we confoods/drinks, and fat and contribsume are stored as our weight gain ute seriously to problems. To and associated health

• Never eat to your satisfaction.

Contents 09.03.14 COVER

T h e Te a m

Funmi Ajila: Nature and people inspire me

I brush my teeth twice a day morning and night - and I eat healthy. I love eating Boli (roasted plantain), salad and fish.

l Juliet Bumah

} 18-19



Other side of Godwin Emefiele

Many people do not know that the CBN governor-to-be is a great football lover and a die-hard fan of Chelsea Football club.

Vanessa Okwara l

Biwom Iklaki

+234 (0) 811 675 9770

} 46


Bayo Adeoye



‘Shea’ beauty

The benefit of shea butter cannot be over emphasised. This highly proclaimed miracle product contains important nutrients, vatamins and...

} 21


Go floral, get sexier

Intricate floral patterns on dresses never fail to make a woman look casually elegant.

} 22&43


H.E. Toyin Ojora Saraki

Omu Obilor

Funmi Azike

Stanlee Ohikhuare

Let your timepiece tell time... and more When a man is wearing the perfect timepiece, he radiates unmatched style, glamour and charm.

} 44


I’ll rather go to hell She tilted her head back and looked up at him. As she opened her mouth to say something, Pius brought his mouth down gently on it...

} 47

• Drink more water

• Eat nourishing foods




Championing Nigeria’s newborns L

ast week saw the publication of Save the Children’s highly anticipated ‘Ending Newborn Deaths’ Report. I was humbled and honoured to be named the National Newborn Health Champion for Nigeria at the launch event in Abuja two past Tuesdays, which highlighted the newborn health crisis and called for action to end newborn deaths. Statistics indicate that an estimated 2.9 million newborns die each year worldwide, and an additional 2.6 million are stillborn. According to Save the Children, every year within the first 24 hours of life, more than one million babies die. Nigeria has made some progress in reducing the number of deaths of children under the age of five years but this has been slow and the death rates remain worrying. Under-five and newborn mortality rates are among the highest in the world, with the poorest households suffering even more. It is paradoxical that whilst we have one of the youngest populations in Africa, so many of our newborns do not survive. We cannot sit down and fold our arms at such grand wastage of life, and the unbearable pain it causes mothers and families. We need to act now to ensure our newborns not only survive, but also thrive. The new report, ‘Ending Newborn Deaths, illustrates that half of first day deaths around the world could be prevented if the mother and baby had access to free health care and a skilled midwife. These deaths occur mainly because of premature births and complications during birth, such as prolonged labour, pre-eclampsia and infection, which can be avoided if quality healthcare is available and accessible. It is evident that we can no longer ignore the cry for health rights by young girl attendees and the complaints from midwives regarding the difficulties in referring patients to hospitals and the irregular remuneration that they receive for their work. Addressing these factors within healthcare is surprisingly integral to saving newborn lives. In many developing countries, health system inadequacies are typically exemplified by the insufficiency and inequitable distribution of health commodities. In Nigeria for instance, at least 60% of healthcare expenditure is still attributable to direct out-of-pocket private spending, and the lack of appropriate health commodities has vastly contributed to the country’s dismal under-five and newborn mortality rates. Moreover, Nigerian women are usually required to bring consumables and materials like gloves, catheter, cord clamp, and antiseptic soap, before they have their deliveries attended to in a health facility. For those who come in dire emergencies, their care is usually stalled or staggered until the full provision of the above materials. Since its inauguration, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa has worked tirelessly to prevent newborn deaths with interventions such as birthing kits (‘Mamakit’) for a safe delivery and the Integrated Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Personal Health Record (PHR) booklet, which monitors and stores key information ahead of delivery, potentially preventing needless deaths in newborns. By using these booklets to store key information from antenatal care until the child reaches the age of five years, the PHR allows risks to be identified from early conception to allow for safe delivery and to prevent stillbirths. By providing different levels of essential commodities embedded within the Wellbeing Foundation Africa’s Midwives Mamakit, the Hospital Mamakits, and the Mamakits for Mothers, we aim to ensure that all potential avenues through which a woman in labour can experience, as an urgent/emergency or scheduled/elective intervention, are well catered to. We know that if women are encouraged to get a Mamakit after attaining six months of pregnancy, within a cascaded

continuum of quality care and birth preparedness, then they are better empowered and indeed equipped, for a clean and safe delivery; and a clean safe delivery minimises the rates of newborn and maternal deaths stemming from infections in and around childbirth. Aside from the Mamakits, the Wellbeing Foundation also assembles Community Health Extension Worker (CHEW) kits, as well as Village Health Worker (VHW) kits, in line with the Nigeria National Primary Healthcare Development Agency’s specification, to help equip the community-based skilled health man-power to effectively carry out their activities. We are also working with partners in Nigeria to scale up access to essential primary healthcare services and commodities for women, children and newborns through the Saving One Million Lives (SOML) initiative.

with Toyin Ojora Saraki

Along with our partners, we have also been working to facilitate the signing into law of the National Health Bill, which will enhance the practice and provision of healthcare services in Nigeria; a fundamental step in securing the wellbeing of our mothers and newborns. In an effort to save millions of newborn lives, we are urging all global leaders to take a stance this year and commit to a blueprint for change initiated by Save the Children International, namely, the Five Point Newborn Promise. This agenda focuses on training and equipping enough skilled healthcare workers to make sure no baby is born without proper help, and removing fees for all pregnancy and birth services. As the Wellbeing Foundation Africa looks forward to the launch of the Every Newborn Action Plan in June 2014, the Foundation is pleased to see a renewed sense of urgency on the critical issue of newborn health, which will inevitably drive renewed action on newborn survival. In conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), we have been participating in working groups to advance advocacy and private sector engagement in the Every Newborn Action Plan; to promote and encourage the power of partnerships to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5. We believe that ending newborn deaths is within the grasp of our generation. With the deadline to the MDGs fast approaching and the upcoming launch of the Every Newborn Action Plan in June, we at the Wellbeing Foundation Africa welcome the release of this timely report and we call on everyone to act in order to ensure the survival of Nigeria’s newborns. Working together, we can combat the challenges in achieving scale of our efforts in our huge population. It is my belief that improvements in newborn health will also be driven by women themselves in taking up their health rights combined with the support provided by the National Health Bill, which will ensure adequate funding for primary healthcare when finally signed into law. I want to close by using this opportunity to reiterate my resolve to continue to work through advocacy, charity, social mobilisation, and social enterprise models, to improve newborn health in Nigeria. By empowering mothers and healthcare providers alike, our newborns will live and prosper, and bring joy to our blessed nation.




Funmi Ajila: Nature Funmi Ajila Ladipo is the CEO of Regalia Fashion and president of Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria. A woman of many parts, she is currently the ambassador for Culture and Tourism in Ekiti State. She talks about her job and aspirations with VANESSA OKWARA What has it been like championing the cause of FADAN?

I have been the president of the association for about seven months now and the tenure will run for a period of three years. For me, it is another level in my profession because I am leading a group of professional and creative people. Being the FADAN president has actually crowned my efforts because I have been in it for 27 years. What is your vision for the association?

I will be 51 years this year and I am a youthful person in mind. I am also energetic and hardworking. My motto is to be an agent of change. What we have in this society right now is a generation of consumers and not producers. Apart from us going back to the basics of producing for the nation, I also want it to be products with quality. I want us to try as much as possible to saturate the whole of Africa with quality products. If we are able to do that with what I call the tropical line, then people abroad can come looking for us. This is the country where people wear Aso Ebi every weekend. There is always something new that people are wearing. Let us satisfy our people with our products first. In Nigeria, every state and community has its indigenous fabric. It might be small scale, but where are they now? We have killed them. They are not being mechanised. We have turned them to zero level. Now that you are the president of the association, what are you putting in place to change this trend?

I strongly believe that people need to go back to school. We need to have strong and basic knowledge of what we are doing and then improve on it. I left school almost 27 years ago. There are new inventions in technology, so let us go back and learn more. That is why we, at FADAN have signed a pact with Yaba College of Technology. This is one of the things I have achieved so far as the president of this association. We signed a pact with them where members of the association, including myself, will go once a week on Saturdays between 10am and 4pm and have different classes in a day. There are ways of doing things now that are even easier than before. So it is a way for us to refresh our knowledge and be abreast with the rest of the world in fashion. In what way is the pact with YABATECH going to help members of the association?

We partner YABATECH to empower people and we are trying to encourage the state government to send their people who will also learn and become FADAN members. For us in FADAN, everything boils down to employment. All we are trying to do is to make sure we leave good footsteps in the sands of time. But there are people who went to fashion schools. Are you saying that those schools are not good enough?

I know some people went to fashion schools but how many of these fashion schools are really good? Some people are just making money out of people in the name of fashion schools. For me, it is important that people go to proper schools. I went to Yaba College of Technology and I studied fashion designing, textiles and everything that has to do with apparels. We are all professionals. I am not saying that we should go back to school like kids, but one thing we need to understand is that learning never ends until you die. Once you say, you want to stop learning, it means life has stopped for you. What was growing up like for you?

I come from Ekiti, but my mother is nomadic Fulani that migrated and settled in the Western region. Growing up was very good. My parents loved each other and there were few months’ age difference between them. My father was trained by the missionaries who took them to study in Canada. This is unlike what we see of mission schools these days where members of the church cannot even afford the fees of the school owned by the church where they worship. This is not good at all and should be looked into. My parents also died a few years from each other and we buried them in the same grave.




and people inspire me What made you to go into fashion designing?

It was my mother who discovered my creativity. In my growing up years, my mother was a caterer and we had a sewing machine in the house. During the

Christmas season, she would make Iro and Buba for us and that was how I started. After I finished my A levels at the Federal School of Arts and Science, Victoria Island, Lagos I was getting ready to read law at the University of Ife but my mother saw that I was the kind of person that would rather sit to paint and draw right from when I was a very young girl. Law was not my passion. So I thank God for my mother who recognised my passion for the arts.

For my everyday look, I dress simple. I might just disappoint people if I tell you what my everyday style is. I dress according to the way I feel, but I make sure that it is pleasing to the eye. I make sure that at least when you see me, you will like the way I look. I do not go overboard with what I wear. I do not have to go and buy a cloth woth N1million naira to look good.

How did you start your business?

For me, God is the ultimate. I just make sure I do the right things at the right time. Physically, my number one secret is exercise. I brush my teeth twice a day - morning and night - and I eat healthy. I love eating Boli (roasted plantain), salad and fish. I do not take sugar at all and neither do I drink carbonated drinks. I prefer to take juice or water. I take honey and lemon as well. I do not snack or eat just anything I come across. I also take a lot of bitters. I drink bitter leaf water and I scoop raw Aloe Vera and drink. These things help me to keep in good shape and health.

My mother gave me two sewing machines and I started from the house. I divided the sitting room into two and I was making my clothes on one side. Because I wanted people to wear my clothes, sometimes I would make them free for people. I was so excited owning my own business. What gave you the breakthrough in your career?

I was 24 years old when I started out in my career. The breakthrough came through a fashion show. At that time, I had two machines, but thank God for one woman, Mrs. Abba Folawiyo of Labanella Couture. I went to her and told her that I wanted to contest in the fashion show. She asked me to show her my illustrations and when I did, she laughed and asked how I wanted to accomplish the task because it was very big. I did not have a factory where clothes could be made, so she asked me to come over to her own factory where she also guided me. And that was when I won the Fashion Designer of the Year 1987/1988. I was only 24 years old. Till date, I am still in contact with such people. I respect and go to them for advice. What are the challenges you have experienced in the business?

We have a whole lot of challenges. One of the problems we have is that we do not have a centre for processing. We need a place where clothes can be processed. You buy all that you need from abroad. We do not have industries that produce the materials. People are not encouraged to produce. We do not have a textile industry. We can saturate the economy with this type of business and at the same time export the products. But when we do not have a centre for processing, we are not able to do much. Another problem we face in this country in our line of business is power. We use all our resources to ‘buy power’ by buying diesel and petrol. This gives room for textile companies from other countries to come into Nigeria and this kills the little efforts we make as designers locally. We as designers in Nigeria are not encouraged. We are not happy with the way things are run in this country.

You turned 50 last year and you still look very good. What is your secret?

What inspires you and how will you describe your designs?

I describe my clothing line as Afro centric. When I see something that I like, I build on it. Nature and people around me inspire me. Every inspiration is from God. When we take a peep into your wardrobe, what are we likely to see?

You will see all manner of creative clothes. I wear clothes depending on how I feel at that particular time. Anything I wear looks good on me. I have the body and shape to carry it. I used to be a model while I was in school to support myself and I made quite a name for myself in those days. What kind of things do you accessorise with?

I still go along with creative things. Some of them including bags, shoes and jewelleries are made by members of the association. In the association, we are over 100 people that are into different fashion items. These people need to be encouraged. I wear the designers’ clothes. People like Maufechi, Divine for Love, when it comes to bags, I also wear Modella, Kola Kudos and Grace’s hat. There are so many of them I cannot begin to mention so that others do not get offended. What has it been like being married to your husband?

I have been married for a while and marriage has been interesting. We learn every time. A marriage that is one year is not the same as the one that is 15 years old. The body is changing and priorities are getting higher. My marriage has been good and I thank God for it. I have four kids and I also have a grandson.

What’s style to you?

My style is simple and elegant. Style is all about you. It can be acquired, bought or you can employ a stylist to style you every time you need to go out. For me, style means the way you have been able to package and put yourself together.

Do you have a beauty routine that you follow religiously to maintain your beautiful skin?

I wash, cleanse, tone and then use a good moisturising cream. What kind of perfumes do you use?

What is your every day fashion look?

I love perfumes a lot. I use a whole range. But my favourite is Angel by Thierry Mugler. I have always loved perfumes. It is one fashion item I cannot do without. How do you relax?

I love to sing and cook and generally pray. I don’t really go out much unless to attend functions. I relax with my family and play with my grandson.




We don’t allow intruders in our marriage -Kayode and Seun Olagunju

Kayode Olagunju is an Assistant Corps Marshal at the Federal Road Safety Commission while his wife, Seun -an award-winning broadcaster with African Independent Television and Nigerian Television Authority - is Head Corporate Affairs, Transmission Commission Nigeria. They share their love story with BAYO ADEOYE How did you meet?

Kayode: I met her in the course of duty several years back. I was then the Sector Commander in Lagos. I attended a late night radio programme anchored by the late Livi Ajuonuma and she was the Continuity Announcer at the Daar Communication’s Raypower station, that day. She signed on the programme me, and disappeared. No ‘notice me’ stuff. Her beauty was compelling. At the end of the program, she came back to sign it off. I endorsed copies of Highway Code for all the staff on duty and slipped my call card inside her copy requesting that she should call me. She did not. I met her again, one early morning while attending another programme and she was still very stubborn. Somehow, I developed some new strategies that finally worked. Seun: It was a professional meeting. I was the announcer on duty and he came for a late night programme which the late Livi Ajuonuma anchored. Was it love at first sight?

Kayode: She actually thought I was married and to compound the issue, I was there with a lady friend. It was also a loud arrangement with a convoy of cars and many aides. We came in from the National Stadium where the Eagles had played a match and I was a member of the Local Organising Committee. She later told me she thought I was just irresponsible, leaving a wife at home, coming in with a girl and chasing another lady. When she finally agreed to meet me, I knew I was with my wife and I told her so. Seun: No such thing. I told you it was a professional meeting. She played hard to get...

Kayode: Of course from my explanation above, it could be seen that it wasn’t easy to convince her that she was not meeting a Casanova. It took several months of persistence and perseverance before I succeeded. Seun: Well, any respectable lady should not jump at a man at first interaction. I gave him a tough time of course. And there was no GSM then, so communication more difficult. He was always sending his friend and

PSO to me. I actually didn’t want to have anything to do with him because I thought he was married. It was after I found out he wasn’t that I gave him audience. After you agreed to date him, did you nurse any fear?

Seun: Fear of what? It was a well-considered move.

wants to get intimate with you and you don’t have to nurture the thought. I use my ‘church mind’ to perish the urge of getting too involved with ladies. You have to respect yourself, your position and your family. Do you feel jealous when you see women around him?

Seun: Why should I? I have absolutely no feeling of insecurity. It’s women who can’t hold their own who put a leash on their men. I have no such time. With your beauty and nature of your job, doesn’t he feel threatened at times?

Seun: A real man does not feel threatened. Although he might be in a better position to answer that question.

How did you propose to her?

How do you manage pressure and advances from men?

Kayode: We went to Whispering Palms in Iworo, Badagry and at the Lagoon side, I told her I would want to marry her. I also told her that she had no option and that we should agree on our wedding date right there. She thought I was crazy, but of course, the whole world now knows I was not.

Seun: Nobody has ever tried to force me to do what I don’t want. So if there’s no force, why should I be under pressure? If a man wants me and I say no, and we both go our separate ways, how does that create pressure for me? As adults, we should know how to say no and mean it.

How did he propose to you?

What if the handshake goes beyond the elbow?

Seun: No such romance storybook proposal. He told me from the go that he was looking for a wife, not a fling and that he wanted to marry me. Although I didn’t agree to that immediately. What was the duration of the courtship?

Kayode: Over a year. Describe her in few but romantic words.

Kayode: My sweet angel, my life. Is he romantic?

Seun: A bit. He’s a very practical person. I used to jokingly call him a ‘bush man’. Given your ‘fine boy’ look, how do you cope with female admirers?

Kayode: By appreciating the fact that not every lady that likes you

Seun: I don’t give room for that. How has the family fared, given your constant job transfer across the country?

Kayode: They have adapted and are coping well. They are in Abuja where our national headquarters is situated. As a senior officer, I must have things to do at the HQ regularly. We also go on vacation as a family to bond together. I love my family greatly, so any little opportunity I have to be with them, I don’t allow it to slip away. Seun: My job takes me away a lot too but after all these years, we’re used to it. I married a paramilitary man so I knew what I was in for. How does the home front fare when daddy and mummy are not around?

Seun: When the children were younger, my mother helped as best she could. When I lost her, things got a bit tough. But now they’re mostly in boarding house in secondary schools (although that’s deliberate). So it’s much better now. What role has she played in your life?

Kayode: She is my life. The lady that dared to be my wife. Describe him in one sentence Seun: He is the best thing that ever happened to me. You have been married for over 13 years, what has kept your marriage going?

Kayode: I think it is the ability to understand each other very well. Never expect a perfect partner and learn to forgive no matter how much you have been offended. Seun: Do not allow a third party into your marriage.




Chimamanda Adichie is a woman who wears her ‘Africanness’ proudly. You can too!

‘Shea’ beauty Biwom Iklaki


he shea butter (pronounced shee) is from the Karite (pronounced Ka-ree-tay) tree which can only be found in Africa. Shea butter is extracted from the Karite nuts through boiling. The substance (oil) is from pure yellow to pale yellow in colour. The benefits of shea butter cannot be over emphasised. This highly proclaimed miracle product contains important nutrients, vitamins, and other valuable phytonutrients required for healing. Its vitamins A and E properties are said to help moisturise the skin and prevent fine lines and wrinkles. Shea butter is used for the following: • Healing: The presence of several fatty acids and plant sterols give the substance greater healing potential for the skin against sunburn, cosmetic burn, dry skin, psoriasis and eczema. Its ability to stimulate collagen production makes it the perfect choice to help fade age spots, stretch marks and neutralise free radical damage. • Hair therapy: With direct application to the hair, shea butter adds moisture and absorbs into the hair and scalp quickly, healing damaged and brittle hair follicles and promoting healthy hair from the inside out. Most of our sophisticated cosmetics contain processed shea butter. We are blessed to have it in abundance, why not use the real deal? No doubt the unique healing properties begat the name Karite tree which means Tree of Life.




Go floral, Vanessa Okwara


loral dresses look playful and romantic. They brighten the wearer’s appearance and offer more colour and visual appeal. They remind us of everything pretty and feminine. Intricate floral patterns on dresses never fail to make a woman look casually elegant. A floral dress can be compared to a little black dress when creatively accessorised. A knee-length floral dress can be transformed from casual to professional when




To build a newspaper organisation anchored on the sanctity of truth.


To publish a newspaper of superior value, upholding the fundamental ethics of journalism: balanced reporting, fairness, accuracy and objectivity.

Sanctity Truth Sanctity of ofTruth www.newt e le g r aphonline .com


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

SATURday, FEBRUARY 22, 2014

Another chance for women’s progress


igerian women yesterday joined their counterparts in other parts of the world to mark the 2014 International Women’s Day (IWD), perhaps not on a very happy note as the country continues to witness incessant violence leading to scores of them losing their lives, children and even their husbands to Boko Haram menace, contrary to the purpose for which the day was designated. Nevertheless, this year’s event gives impetus and opportunity for assessment of their journey so far with a view to making amends where necessary, considering that a critical mass of women especially those in the rural areas are unfortunately unaffected by whatever change or success that has taken place. The first IWD took place on March 19, 1911 in Germany, before it was shifted to March 8, in 1913. In 1977, the United Nations (UN)General Assembly having realized the importance, accorded recognition to it as UN day for women’s rights and international peace with the aim of assisting nations of the world to eliminate inequality and discrimination against women. Two major world events have changed the face of women’s rights and movements around the world. The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994 in Cairo, Egypt, which called for countries across the world to empower women with greater control over life choices and health and the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women, a landmark event held

in Beijing, China, in 1995, that declared “Women’s rights are human rights.” These two events were monumental in the history of women’s rights advocacy. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women and re-affirms the fundamental principle that the rights of women and girls are an “inalienable, integral, and indivisible parts of universal human rights,” and calls upon governments to take action to address several critical areas of concern among them violence against women. The Nigerian women may not have had it so good given the policy thrust of President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration. Under this dispensation, some women have been appointed into key positions. Although women have had a fair share in appointive positions, it is not yet uhuru as the 35 per cent promise made by him has not been achieved in both appointive and elective positions. There are still challenges to achieving increased participation of women in elec-

As the country takes stock of the progress of her women, it must resolve to work assiduously to remove all obstacles to their full participation in nation building and thereby ensure a better future for all

tive positions. Nigerian women, therefore, will expect him to keep that promise even as the country warms up for another election year in 2015. For Nigerian women, this year’s IWD comes at a time when a number of events have painfully highlighted the continued existence of gender-based inequalities in our society. For instance, there have been increased incidents of rape, domestic violence, discrimination against women, lack of economic power, harmful traditional practices, maternal mortality; all showing that women are still very far from being integrated into the mainstream of governance. Besides, majority of women are still poor and lack access to medical care, potable water, credit facilities and even decent accommodations. Nigerian women would use this occasion to take stock of all these areas of shortfalls, and hold governments accountable with a view to mapping out strategies to make concrete changes for the growth and development of their womenfolk and society as a whole; the government, on the other hand, must re-visit the status of the Nigerian, bearing in mind that the position of women in any society is the real measure of a country’s growth and sustainable development. They can capitalize on the existing international instruments to demand equal opportunities. Nigeria is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Beijing Declaration, which have broad

guidelines by which member countries can use to begin to address genderbased inequalities, with allowances for country and community-specific strategies; which if implemented to the letter could change the face of advocacy for such rights. For instance, to mainstream women into governance the Beijing Platform for Action requires each country to ensure that every level of government and all decision-making bodies have at least 30 per cent women. Of equal importance is the need to educate and enlighten women on their rights. Formal education is the cornerstone for preparing women for meaningful contributions to society. They also need to be well enlightened so that they do not jettison the positive aspects of the culture in pursuit of a confused model of women’s liberation, which will set them at cross purposes with men. Whereas working in harmony and partnership with the men-folk will achieve more. As the country takes stock of the progress of her women, it must resolve to work assiduously to remove all obstacles to their full participation in nation building and thereby ensure a better future for all. We call on all tiers of government, agencies, non-governmental bodies and individuals to work in harmony to ensure peaceful co-existence by working against all forms of violence for meaningful progress to take place. Nothing can be achieved in a country where insecurity reigns supreme!

BOLAJI TUNJI Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief IKE ABONYI Deputy Managing Director FELIX ABUGU Managing Editor, South SULEIMAN BISALA Managing Editor, North GABRIEL AKINADEWO Editor, Daily LAURENCE ANI Editor, Saturday EMEKA MADUNAGU Editor, Sunday LEO CENDROWICZ Bureau Chief, Brussels MARSHALL COMINS Bureau Chief, Washington DC SAM AMSTERDAM Editorial Coordinator, Europe EMMAN SHEHU (PhD) Chairman, Editorial Board JOSEPH ONYEKWERE News Editor (Sunday) PADE OLAPOJU Production Editor TIMOTHY AKINLEYE Head, Graphics ROBINSON EZEH Head, Admin.



OPINION The Albanis’ Case and Doubting Thomases

Fatima Goni


ithin a week, many developments occurred in a jiffy. From the arrest of the suspected killers of Islamic cleric, Sheik Adam Albani to attacks in North-Eastern states and now to the recent warning signals from the Defence Headquarters on alleged sympathisers and backers of terrorist groups. It is not funny, especially for some of us who have relatives including spouses serving in the security agencies in the country. When members of the security forces are deployed in dangerous zones, we wonder if they would return home alive and whole. On the other hand, if they are in safer zones, the fear of anticipated redeployment can run shivers in our spines. Going through some social media, one could easily read doubting Thomases on every action of the security personnel on the ground. Reports quoting eye-witnesses are more regarded than statements from official spokespersons. When the Department of State Security Service in Abuja paraded seven arrested members of ‘Boko Haram’ over the killing of the popular Zaria-based Islamic cleric, yet some postings in social media expressed too much doubts. It could be recalled that Sheik Albani along with his wife and son were killed in Zaria, Kaduna State, while returning from

a preaching session at Markaz Salafiya Centre, Tudun Wada Zaria. The spokesperson for the SSS, Marilyn Ogah, not only announced the arrest, she gave permission to journalists at the head office of the service to ask the suspects questions. From the countenances of some of the suspect one could easily read lack of remorse, apart from the fact that most of them confessed to planning and killing their victims. Among the suspects was a graduate of English literature and a sub-regional commander of the sect in Kaduna/Niger states. Meanwhile in another story, the Chief of Air Staff was reported to have led assaults against Boko Haram in the North-East. It was reported that incensed by the rising number of deaths and galvanised by the barbaric acts of the insurgents and the need to lead by example, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu personally entered the battle zone when he flew one of the Alpha jets of the 75 Strike Group of the Nigerian Air Force, to conduct air strikes against enemy positions along Borno-Adamawa axis. As refreshing as the report was, surprisingly some still doubted the veracity of the courageous efforts of Amosu by claiming that his aide must have flown the fighter jet. Despite the air and ground assault by the military, the sect’s onslaught on Northeastern Nigeria continued unabated, while politicians and unknown eye-witnesses were busy dishing out gory tales about the

inability of security forces to do anything to curtail the excesses of the insurgents. Concerned about the rising verbal attacks on the security personnel on the operation and some sensational angle from various credible and not-credible sources, the Director of Defence Information, MajGen. Chris Olukolade issued a statement to caution those causing disaffection by their utterances on the security situation. Olukolade disclosed that the Defence Headquarters had noted with grave concern the inflammatory pronouncements by some highly placed persons in government and some apparently sponsored commentators in and outside the country who have consistently given false and misleading remarks to describe the disposition of troops in the ongoing operations. He therefore pointed out that it has become clear that the sustained campaign is intended to demoralise the troops and give the impression that the military is overwhelmed by the terrorist group. “This tendency,” he echoed, “is unfortunate to say the least.” So far the Defence Headquarters has restated that the Nigerian military cannot by any standard be overwhelmed by the insurgents and neither will the devious antics of their sympathisers and sponsors demoralise the fighting spirit of the troops. Before the arrest of the suspected killers of Sheik Albani, some of the students

of the late cleric were skeptical about the possibility and sincerity of security agencies unravelling the mystery and arresting the culprits. It is heartwarming that the students are now singing new tunes over the arrest. Dr. Abdulganiyu Abdul-rafi’u, one of the frontline students of late Sheikh Adam Albani commended the security agencies for the speedy investigation and operation in apprehending the suspects. He added that since the suspects claimed to be Muslims and that they allegedly carried out the act in the name of Islam, the SSS should take them to the Shari’ah Court where they could receive what they deserve. While we should encourage our security personnel to abide by the rules of engagement where necessary, they should also be transparent and sincere in relaying information to the public. We should be receptive and responsive to official positions, especially from the designated and professional spokespersons who don’t play propaganda. We should discountenance the propaganda messages of the terrorists and their conscious and unconscious backers alleging the inability of Nigerians troops to handle the insurgency. By the way, I always ask this question: Are our security personnel not like everyone of us who are human and deserve support to put in their best? •Fatima Goni wrote via from Kofar Dukawuya, Kano

Young people and the time of Nigeria C O N T I N U E D F R O M l a s t w ee k

Tony Usidamen Traitor fathers


ut where has the father, in his inexcusable absence, gone? Italian author and playwright, Giovanni Testori, wrote about those “traitor fathers” who had coined a medal with no flip side, “the medal of easiness, that did not envision its flip side: difficulty.” They then passed it on to their children, betraying the very ones they had generated. Indeed, the Nigerian society today is full of such “traitor fathers” who have failed to transmit to the young the values of hard work, dignity in labour, selflessness, social responsibility, accountability, fairness and respect for others, reminding us that fatherhood is not a “natural” given but is cultural and educative. The dearth of “adults” who are a presence bearing a true identity, a positive hope, a constructive certainty or meaning for their lives leaves many young people in an immense solitude, which they fill with the easy and sometimes terrible “games” that are readily available.

Thanks to these traitor fathers who have institutionalized corruption in every facet of our public life through years of bad leadership (with a score of 25 out of a possible 100 points, and ranked 144 out of 177 countries measured, Nigeria emerged the 33rd most corrupt country in the world in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index 2013), our youth have imbibed a lifestyle of greed and a “get-rich-quick-at-all-cost” mentality. But how can the youth see things any different in a society where corruption is the norm and thieving politicians and fraudulent businessmen are celebrated as heroes? Where a poor, hungry man who steals another’s ‘cube of sugar’ is imprisoned while a public official who embezzles ‘billions of dollars’ of our common wealth is allowed to go scot-free, or even granted Presidential pardon? The Need for Re-orientation

At individual and national levels, there is a paramount need for reorientation; a changed set of attitudes and beliefs. There is need for an education (The fundamental idea in the education of the

young is that it is through the younger generations that society successively rebuilds itself ), and parents and religious leaders have a role to play here, as much as educational institutions do. Let’s be clear: the concept of education I am referring to is not “mere acquisition of academic qualifications” (as, unfortunately, obtains in most institutions of learning today). No! I mean education as Luigi Giussani, Italian educator and founder of International Communion & Liberation Movement, describes it in his book “The Risk of Education” - “an introduction to total reality.” To educate means to introduce a person to reality by clarifying and developing his primary or original view. True education, therefore, has the inestimable value of leading a person to the certainty that things, in fact, do have a meaning, and “tradition” is an important component of the educational process. Unless young people are taught about the past (tradition) from within a life experience that highlights a correspondence with the heart’s deepest needs; in other words, from the context of a life

that speaks for itself (a true father figure - who could be a parent, teacher, or any responsible role model), they will grow up either unbalanced or skeptical. If they have nothing to guide them in choosing one theory (a working hypothesis) over another, they will invent skewed ones. The youth must take this past and these reasons, look at them critically, compare them with the fundamental desires of their heart, and say, “this is true”, or “this is not true”. As they grow older, following this educational method, their passion for life acquires an intensity and brilliance that even the educator could not have fathomed, and discloses to them the dignity of their personality and the affinity with the divine that gives it its substance. Of course, this “recollected awareness of the ultimate sense of life’s mysteries” must become a spiritual exercise, an ascetic path, and thus a suitable perspective from which to live out a goal worthy of their lives.” Tony Usidamen, a communications expert, wrote from Lagos. C onc l uded

Hardball ‘We want 10 regions to replace 36 states’ p.26

biyi adegoroye, ASSISTANT Editor, Politics


MARCH 2, 2014

Interview INEC is myopic, parochial, says Melaye p.27



Security votes as conduit for graft

Abuse of security votes in many states of the federation is the subject of the first part of this analysis by BIYI ADEGOROYE, with additional reports from SOLA ADEYEMO in Ibadan and JOE EZUMA in Port Hacourt


hen Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State slashed his security votes a couple of year ago, many of his colleagues must have viewed him as a spineless governor trying to play to the gallery. But he drew the attention of the nation to one fact- that the vote was a euphemism to finance a governor’s excesses and profligacy. Unperturbed, Okorocha reduced his security votes from N6billion to N2billion shortly after assuming office and re-appropriated the N4billion in that sub-head to developmental projects in the state. Though the action failed to win the minds of his colleagues, it confirmed public apprehension that security votes, (sometimes as high as N8billion annually), though a legal subhead in state and federal governments’ budgets, is a conduit to siphon public fund. Joining the fray, Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State said that security votes are a smokescreen by governors to divert public funds. He then abolished it in the state. To him, a situation where huge funds are spent in the name of security votes and at the neglect of developmental needs of the people is unacceptable. He was applauded when he reportedly accused his colleagues of hiding under the guise of security votes to divert public funds, while Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Olukayode Fayemi described security vote is as a system gone with old practice in his state. But no word came from the rest 33 governors, instead successive Inspector-General of Police dedicates not less than N600million to security votes, which can be used at will of subjects he so approves. Granted that many governors have been assisting the security agencies with operational vehicles, Armored Personnel Carriers, and other equipment, a number of them have made provision for this in the budget. Others even have dedicated security funds into which banks and other corporate organisations make contributions. Prominent among this is the Lagos State Security Trust Fund which has received over N9billion since inception. Since 1999, billions of naira of unaccounted funds find their way out of the treasury in

Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State

the name of security votes annually. Many analysts have argued that the idea of security votes has always sounded antithetical to basic democratic tenets of transparency and accountability in the handling of public funds. Some Nigerians believe that the governors under-write expenses of traditional rulers, godfathers and hangers-on from the security vote. As if confirming this, sometime ago, a political leader in Ibadan confronted a serving governor to demand for his share of the state’s security vote! While in another instance, a former Senator once complained that ‘our governor is tarring our roads without tarring our stomach.’ Observers found it inexplicable that a governor, in a democracy, would justify the practice of setting aside a huge sum of money, ostensibly for disbursement on security matters in a state, but for which accountability is neither demanded nor given. This becomes even more unjustifiable when security ex-

Inspector General of Police, M.D. Abubakar

penses are covered under sub-heads like general administration in the governor’s office. Hence many want it abolished completely because of its openness to abuse and corruption as its operation is shrouded in secrecy. Others hold the view that it is necessary because of contingencies in the conduct of government affairs where bureaucratic procedures hinder quick decision and its execution, especially during emergencies, as New Telegraph’s investigations have revealed. Not too long ago, a legal practitioner, Chief Nkereuwem Akpan, challenged the legality of the votes, in a suit he filed before a Federal High Court in Abuja. In the suit, he challenged the legality of funds deducted as security votes by the powerful and influential governors of Nigerian states and the Minister of the Federal Capital territory (FCT). In the originating summons, the plaintiff outlined nine questions for the court to determine, among which included “Whether by

virtue of the extant, sacrosanct and combined unequivocal provisions of section 16(2), section 120 (and other relevant provisions) of the 1999 Constitution Cap C 23, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, any of the defendants have the power, without lawful authority, to deduct monies from the statutory allocation made from the Federation Account to each of the States of the Federation or the Federal Capital Territory under the guise of ‘Security Vote.” He also asked the court to determine whether the policy of security vote was recognised either by the 1999 Constitution or any other law in the country, and to determine whether, going by the provisions of section 205(d) of the 1999 Constitution, “the criminal deductions so made by the defendants is not fraudulent, illegal, void and unconstitutional, and whether the 1st to 37th defendants (governors and FCT minister) are not to that extent CONTINUED ON PAGE29


Politics / Hardball

Acting-President, Ijaw National Congress, and former Commissioner for Works under the then Governor Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Charles Ambowei, in this interview with BIYI ADEGOROYE, argues that the National Conference will correct the domineering tendency of the North even as he makes a case for President Goodluck Jonathan’s reelection.



‘We want 10 regions to replace 36 states’

ecurity has become a major issue in the country today. What are your thoughts on this?

The foundation on which governance is based is the security and welfare of the citizens and it is on this premise that the daily decimation of civilian population and killing of soldiers and policemen by Boko Haram is very disturbing. Now let us not forget that the issue can be viewed from two planks - the issue of poverty and deprivation on one hand and impact of the killings on investments. When you look at the poverty level in the North, you wonder what meaningful development successive governments of Northern extraction have carried out there. It is a fact of life that when you fail to develop a people, you give room for the rise of monsters. Today we feel concerned because children are killed daily and our territorial integrity is compromised, as these insurgents get assistance, weapons, finance and mercenaries from other countries which harbour them to fight us. This requires urgent sub-regional, continental and global attention. Again it will not be right to say President Goodluck Jonathan is incapable of addressing the issue, because we are aware that terrorism today is an irregular warfare which defies regular military solutions. Second, inflow of investments into the North-East has been badly affected because people don’t invest in an unsafe environment. Also, each time there is a major national event, you will see that these insurgents come to embarrass the nation. That was why they increased their attacks recently by slaughtering children few days before and during the centenary celebrations. However, I know this is one issue that will feature at the National Conference. What is the position of the Ijaw nation regarding the National Conference which begins next week?

Our position regarding the National Conference is very simple. On May 17, 2013, as part of the Isaac Boro Day Celebration, we called on Mr. President to convoke a National Conference, which we considered would be his best centenary gift to Nigeria so that we can chat a new course for our great country. What we are canvassing is that this contraption of 36 states does not make anything meaningful economically to the nation. We can return to regional settings, and we are proposing 10 regions as contained in our earlier submission, (we have made a compact disk and booklet for this purpose). We are proposing 10 federating units; we cannot return to six zones, because if we do, the Ijaws will still be balkanised, and for us, we are looking at a situation where the Ijaws will be in a contiguous, homogenous state, one littoral region like the Yorubas and ethnic Ibibio, Igala, Idoma, Hausa Fulani, and Ogoni are in one region. We need to return to true federalism and correct the perception of some segments of the country as espoused at independence several decades ago. Specifically on October 12, 1960, the then Premier of the Northern region, Sir Ahmadu Bello said: ‘The new nation called Nigeria should be an estate of our great grandfather, Othman dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power; we shall use the minority in the North as willing tools, and the South as a conquered territory, and never allow them to rule over


us; and never allow them to have control over our future.” With this Ahmadu Bello philosophy, we can understand the perception of leaders of Northern extraction through the years. We can understand why the government of the Northern Peoples Congress and the National Convention for Nigerian Citizens, created the Mid-West region in 1963 to reduce Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s influence, but rejected the call for the creation of the Middle Belt region in his backyard. This has formed the perception and when perception becomes a reality, you must know that there is danger. Today, perception has become a reality to us at the Ijaw National Congress. We now understand why try as he did, Chief Obafemi Awolowo never won a presidential election in this country; we can now understand why elections are rigged and why census figures have been consistently manipulated to favour a particular region in the country. We are therefore going to make a continuous expose of and question statements like this and many more as a way of seeking equity and justice for all nations that form this country at

the National Conference. From independence, the country did not set out to create second class citizens and this must be made abundantly clear. But the nation practised true federalism early at independence?

Of course we practised it with the 1960 constitution which fostered an economic management strategy based on true federalism, and this enabled the three regions to develop themselves and manage their resources. We had North, East and West. For instance in 1963 when the Mid-West region was created, the 50 per cent derivation principle was in the Constitution. The fund from there was what everybody was using to develop the regions very well. They only contributed a percentage of their revenue to the Exclusive List, another to a distributable pool while they kept the rest to themselves. Up till today, this is practised in the United States and that is why states like California, Connecticut and New Jersey with different laws and practices can exist as part of a federating CONTINUED ON PAGE28



Politics / Hardball

INEC is myopic, parochial, says Melaye


ince you left the parliament in2011, you have been actively engaged in a non-governmental organisation, the Anti-Corruption Network. What has been the experience?

I would say that it has not been very palatable fighting corruption and corrupt persons in Nigeria because it is said that when you fight corruption, corruption fights back at you. But as for me, I am resolute because it is a battle of no retreat, no surrender. Having been in the parliament, I know that corruption is the bane of our development as a nation. Corruption is the reason why we are where we are; corruption is the reason why our schools are in a dilapidated condition. It is the reason why our roads are death traps. Corruption is the reason why our hospitals are mere consulting clinics. Corruption is the reason why there is power epilepsy in Nigeria. So I can say that corruption is the foundation of our problems and it’s a major obstacle we have as a country. In fighting corruption, he who must come to equity must come with clean hands. I am one of the most investigated Nigerians. I have been investigated, re-investigated, arrested, re-arrested and there was an attempt on my life in April last year. There were gunshots on my car but I thank God that I survived the attack. So it has not really been easy exposing corruption and educating Nigerians on the need for change and Nigerians becoming change agents. We are carrying out very holistic investigations, we have carried out a lot of enlightenment on the issue of corruption, we have made a lot of revelations and we have succeeded in one way or the other. We took Justice Talba to the National Judicial Council over the police pensions scam where he granted judgement to a convict in the scam to pay a fine of N750,000 for stealing the sum of N1.3 billion while serving as a director in the Police Pensions Office. It was because of our protest to the Supreme Court that the NJC sat for the first time on the issue and we were represented at the meeting. Justice Mahmud Talba was suspended for one year without pay. This is one of the modest successes we have recorded in our few years of operation in the country. We are resolute; no amount of threats or intimidation, no amount of threats, blackmail or name calling would deter us from championing this cause because we know that if we fight corruption the way we are supposed to fight it we will make a head way in this country. I am particularly concerned about the future of my great grand children that I might never know. We need a just and egalitarian society in Nigeria. We need a society where justice, equity and fairness will become the order of the day. No amount of intimidation can dissuade us from fighting corruption in Nigeria. You have also been on the streets to protest against alleged corruption in the Ministry of Aviation and Ministry of Petroleum Resources. How far have you gone with these campaigns?

To start with, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources is the most corrupt government establishment in Nigeria. Why I’m I saying that? The current Minister, Mrs. Deziani Allison- Madueke is the only minister in this country that has been indicted six times while in office, yet she is still there every Wednesday at the Federal Executive Council meeting under the watchful eyes of an unperturbed President. I am not just saying indictments; I mean indictments based on

The current Minister, Mrs. Deziani Allison- Madueke is the only minister in this country that has been indicted six times while in office, yet she is still there every Wednesday at the Federal Executive Council meeting under the watchful eyes of an unperturbed President

In this interview with ONWUKA NZESHI and PHILIP NYAM, anti corruption campaigner and former member of the House of Representatives, Dino Melaye, says the executive and legislature to perpetuate corruption.


reports of various investigations. Which are these reports you are talking about?

There is a public service convention in this country that once you are a minister and you are indicted, you are supposed to be fired or suspended until you fate is determined by the anti- graft agency. There are precedents of that policy in this country. When Chief Sunday Afolabi, a former Minister of Internal Affairs was involved in the National Identity Card scam, he was removed from office despite his relationship with the then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. They were contemporaries at the Baptist Grammar School, Abeokuta. In fact Afolabi died in prison. We have Prof. Fabian Osuji, who was Minister of Education during the same Obasanjo regime. Osuji was removed from office over his alleged involvement in the N55 million bribery for budget scandal. We have Senator Adolphus Wabara who was also removed as Senate President following the same bribery scam. In the government of the immediate President, the late Umaru Yar’Adua, Prof. Adenike Grange, Minister of Health and Gabriel Aduku, Minister of State for Health were removed over a N300 million scandal. But today, a woman has been indicted by six reports. The first is the Farouk Lawan Report on Subsidy which indicted her and the NNPC; the second is the Senator Bukola Saraki Committee Report on Subsidy which indicted her and the NNPC; the third was the Nuhu Ribadu Report; the fourth is the Aig-Imokhuede Committee that was commissioned by the Minister of Finance; the fifth is the KPMG Report, and the sixth and the latest is the NEITI Report which said that N1.23 trillion is yet to be remitted into the national treasury by the NNPC. So the woman has been indicted by six different reports and the latest like I said is the report by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that $49.6 billion is missing from the proceeds of crude oil sales. The Federal Government came out to say that it is not $49 billion, it is $10 billion. We are saying that even if it is N1.00, it’s an indictment. But with all these

indictments, this woman is still there and that is why we are fighting and that is why we have gone to court in protest. Did you go to court on the alleged corruption in the NNPC?

Yes. We are in court. We also took on the issue of the former Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah over the purchase of bullet proof vehicles. What is your view on the time table of elections recently released by the Independent National Electoral Commission?

It may sound very trivial, but I think that INEC is insensitive to have fixed the presidential election for Valentine’s Day. There are people who believe in that day. There are people who believe that it is a day set aside for them to express their love to their friends, partners and well wishers. We are not saying it is a public holiday, but what we are saying is that INEC ought to have been sensitive to the feelings of those who believe in that day. It is a special day celebrated all over the world. I am of the opinion that INEC ought to have respected the feelings of those who see it as a special day. But on a serious note, I think that Prof Atahiru Jega and INEC are so myopic that they have eventually become parochial. How can you place the presidential election on the 14th and gubernatorial election on the 28th? What time have you left for litigation before swearing in the winners of these elections? What if any of these elections is inconclusive and there has to be re-run or a run-off ? If a presidential candidate does not win 25 per cent in two-third of the states, there will be a re-run. So, if there is a re-run, it can only be done in March because if it is done on 14th, there is another election on 28th of February and to prepare for a presidential election is no joke. So if a re-run can only take place in March, what time have we left for litigation, when the law allows 120 days for litigation and we are saying that all litigations should be concluded before May 29th - the day of swearing of a new government? One would have expected these elections to have taken place in November or December 2014, to give room for the exhaustion of cases.



Politics / Hardball

‘We want Jonathan re-elected’ C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 2 6

its bridge building exercise, and it was their understanding of our issue that made them to vote for him. That was round one, and this is the second round, hence we are asking them to support him again.

unit developing at their own pace and according to revenue available to each of them. But by 1966 when the military coup took place, you found out that the military under Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi issued Decree 34 which abolished not only the regions but also the federalism and everything. Of course the counter-coup by Northern elements who were angered that somebody from the South was coming to dominate them decided to eliminate Ironsi. This was now the pivot upon which the military government that took over in the guise of using revenue to prosecute the Nigerian Civil War destroyed everything. This now took away everything, including the resources, fund and territorial control.

I want to take one of the questions you were asked on a television programme today to another level. Would you say the reticence of the Ijaw in recent times is because one of their own is the President or the amnesty programme which has taken care of your interest or both?

(Laughter) It is neither of the above. As a matter of fact, I will answer your question the way I answered a similar one earlier, by quoting Martin Luther King Jnr. at this moment. He said during the civil liberty struggle in the US: “Shallow understanding of people of goodwill is far worse than absolute misunderstanding of people of ill will.” What the Ijaw are doing, quietly behind the scene is to move away from the Kiama Declaration, the Isaac Boro 12-day revolution and militancy associated with vandalism of flow stations. We want to take these issues to the realm of knowledge and intellectual debate

What do the Ijaw people want out of the conference?

We want true federalism and resource control. Chief Obafemi Awolowo of blessed memory once said: “In a capitalist society, whether it is a federation or not, it is dishonest to insist in sharing another state’s wealth on any basis other than that which the rules of the capitalist game allow. In this kind of society, any state is entitled to keep whatever accrues to it, either by the sweat of its brow, by cunning or the unaided bounty of nature; and to accuse a rich state of lack of fellow feeling or unpatriotism simply because it insists on keeping practically whatever accrues to it is unrealistic and untenable. That is a sentiment we share in true federalism. We are committed to and are ready to defend anything that affects the territorial integrity, the liberty, the well-being of the Ijaw people. There is no doubt that besides the Hausa/Fulani in the North, the Igbo in the South-East and Yoruba in the West, the Ijaw are the fourth largest ethnic group in the country. Initially there were the tendencies that the three would swallow up the minorities. The protectorates of Northern and Southern Nigeria having been amalgamated under colonial rule until 1960, we would have prefered that the British created a separate region, or a state for the Ijaw territory which live in the swamps and creeks. Our conditions and that of the people in the hinterland were different, and some people will not bring themselves to understand our issues. This led to the setting up of various commissions of enquiry and various recommendations and one thing the report said was that they were very impressed with the submissions made by the Ijaw in Niger area. That their constraint was that if they were to begin to set up separate territory, then they have to train people to man the offices and that would have delayed independence further. Therefore, they resolved that in an independent Nigeria, all the three regions should make a concerted effort to develop the Niger Delta. That led to the setting up of the Niger Delta Board. Now, our people helped not to delay independence unlike the Northerners who said they were not ready for independence in 1958, hence the delay till 1960. The promise made to us was that the common enemy we had was the white man, and we had to get him to leave, so that we would be able to take care of ourselves as brothers and sisters. But


the experience of the Ijaw man from 1960 up to 1991 was that those promises were never fulfilled. How? The implementation of the Niger Delta Board did not take off when we got independence. Remarkably, as you will recall, when the Action Group, the NPC and NCNC went into the election in 1960, no one could form the federal government, because none could get majority votes. It was a party that was Ijaw-based, the Niger Delta Congress that the NPC formed an alliance with to form the first independent government in Nigeria. Shortly thereafter, when the Ijaw people now agitated that the creation of the region- then called Calabar-Ogoja River Region out of the Eastern region, (same way Mid-West were crying to be carved out of Western region), you will be amazed that NPC dumped us to form alliance with the NCNC. Ironically, they carved out Mid-West region which was a way of reducing Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s influence. -whereas, they refused our own agitation made in their own backyard. We therefore want the creation of our own states as a region. Tell me, which ethnic nationality in this country would you say has been balkanised into six states? It is only the Ijaw, and we are the fourth largest ethnic group in this country. So this was what gave rise to the founding of the Ijaw National Congress; we want a Niger Delta region. But the Yoruba are also scattered in several states?

There is a difference between being a regional block and having a number of states. We the Ijaw have been saying we want to be a regional block and if you then add three

states for us like we have been demanding; on the western province we will form what we call the Ijaw region made up of some states. That would have taken care of the Ijaw in Ondo, Edo and Delta. Then give us Oil Rivers States in the Eastern front to take care of Ijaw in Rivers and Akwa Ibom. That is just our case since this will come along with Bayelsa which will be at the centre. Even if you go back to the archives, to the days of Tafawa Balewa, that was one of the promises made, but it never happened. These were parts of what made Isaac Boro to start the 12-day revolution before the coup came as a way of subterfuge to the promises that were made. In 1991, the Ijaw National Congress as a platform was formed here in Lagos, because our people have a large concentration here, to advance this cause. What is the position of the Ijaw people on whether or not President Jonathan should seek re-election?

Our position is that whether President Goodluck Jonathan is an Ijaw man or not, it would not have changed anything, First of all, he has constitutional grounds to seek a second term in office. He is somebody who comes from a minority background; who is doing a good job in the country. Since he has set the country on the path way to restructuring and we can create true federalism under his watch and co-operation of all Nigerians, why should he not be given a chance? So for us, we at the home level have asked him to actually seek re-election. And we want to use this opportunity to thank all Nigerians. In 2011, there was no ethnic nationality in this country which the Ijaw National Congress did not interact with in

We therefore want the creation of our own states as a region. Tell me, which ethnic nationality in this country would you say has been balkanised into six states? It is only the Ijaw, and we are the fourth largest ethnic group in this country

What do you make of the move by the All Progressives Congress to split South-South votes by fielding Gen. Mohammadu Buhari and Adams Oshiomhole come 2015?

I will tell you that such a calculation does not make any meaning in this country. You will recall that in 1993, the Muslim/Muslim ticket of Chief MKO Abiola and Babagana Kingibe gave a landslide victory to the Social Democratic Party over the National Republican Convention of Bashir Tofa and Sylvester Ugoh. If Nigerians voted the way they did then and they repeated that in 2011 in favour of Goodluck Jonathan and Namadi Sambo, then there is nothing in the Buhari/Oshiomhole permutation; rather it is childish. Now, I am not taking an inch of integrity from either Buhari/Oshiomhole ticket or Jonathan/Sambo. But we must agree that each political party has its foothold in each state or region. For instance, in the US, you can say that the Democrats have their foothold in some states while the Republicans have theirs in other. So the rest states may be in red - meaning they can go either way. That principle is also applicable here, because the South-South is a product of a historical struggle which has aligned them with a particular ideology and philosophy like that of Isaac Boro and Melford Okilo, which cannot change because of the defection of some governors or some parliamentarians. This is because there has not been any 360 degree turn around from such a philosophy. If these defectors think they are popular, they should step down and seek re-election on the platform of the new political parties to see whether they will win. Secondly, neither Oshiomhole nor Rotimi Amaechi is a regional leader; rather they are both governors in their respective states. But when we talk about regional leaders, you can mention the likes of Chief Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe and the likes, because these leaders even commanded followership outside their regions. That is why we are not perturbed by such permutations.



Politics / Hardball

Ukpe: Akpabio has restored Akwa Ibom’s dignity Benefits

Isioma Madike


o Pastor Aniete Ukpe, Chief Press Secretary/Senior Special Assistant to Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa lbom State, the state has been lucky with the deliberate and determined efforts made by its political leaders to restore the dignity of the Akwa Ibom people. Leadership

I would say that the state has been lucky with the deliberate and determined efforts made by its political leaders at changing the face of the state, beginning with its capital, Uyo. The popular saying that government is a continuum has clearly manifested in the state as the present administration has not only continued from where the last government stopped in terms of provision of infrastructure, but has done more to ensure the steady transformation of the state. Since 2007, the government has been setting aside 80 per cent of its budget for the provision of infrastructure. Remarkably, the administration has also not abandoned any project initiated by its predecessor. The independent power plant, international airport, Meridian hotel, stock exchange building and others, all of which the present government took over at various stages of completion, were completed. The government did not stop at that but initiated its own projects too. Today, most of those are completed as well. Projects like the new government’s lodge, Hilltop mansion, e-library complex, dualisation of Ekim Itam-Ekom Iman road, Oko Ita-Use Ikot Amama road, phase one of the Ibom International Airport, the over- head bridges, and many others have long been completed.

The state has used it maximally, especially in wooing investors both within and outside Nigeria. And these investors have been leveraging on this superior facilities provided over the years. This drive attracted so many of them and has yielded fruitful results. For instance, Turkish investors showed interest in reactivating the moribund Peacock paint in Etinan. Also, investors based in the US, backed by indigenes of the state made a bold move to establish a chemical engineering plant in Ikot Abasi. According to Robert Chandler and Johnny Udo, promoters of the industry, the idea is to set up plant to manufacture specialised chemicals to provide solution to water treatment challenges in the state. Such factories now dot the state’s industrial landscape. Not forgetting the biscuit company in Essien Udim, the Ceramics factory in Itu and the Qua Steel Company at Eket. The list is endless. Free education policy

The answer is straight. Education is one of the most widely celebrated programmes of this government. I would say that Akwa Ibom State made history as the first in the South-South region to institute a free education policy. But, unlike the one initiated in the then South-West by the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the state’s education policy is not just free but compulsory. Already, this programme has registered the state towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target. The hitherto status for the state as a factory for domestic-workers has changed completely as most less-privileged children have now been enrolled in schools for quality education. Akpabio’s strides

Awe-inspiring! In the immediate future, Akwa lbom will have

one of the best road networks in Africa and also an unbeatable hospitality structure. What with the Le’meridien Hotel and the Tropicana Entertainment Centre. Not to mention the lbom Industrial City, the international airport and the Independent Power Plant. These would ensure uninterrupted power supply to both Akwa lbom and the neighouring states. Perhaps, the governor’s greatest achievement is not in all these noble projects, but in their far-reaching psychological consequences. He believes that restoring optimism is the beginning of progress. He has put optimism at its peak and progress now blows across the land like an ocean breeze. Suddenly, Akwa lbom people now feel proud to be identified as Akwa lbom people. They can now lift their heads up, shoulders high and thrust their chest out and march with dignity anywhere in Nigeria. In this, he is fulfilled as a leader because, if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. Ukpe

Security votes as conduit C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 2 5

in breach of their oath of office for bare violation of the Constitution. Akpan said he was empowered by section 16 of the 1999 Constitution, and section 51 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, as a citizen of Nigeria, “to know the details of these gargantuan and mind bogging deductions and expenditure tagged a ‘security votes’ and wantonly misappropriated and otherwise illegally deducted by the 1st to 37th defendants from the statutory allocations that went to each of the various states of the Federation and the FCT from the Federation Account since May 29th 1999 till date.” Akpan further asked the court to declare that the EFCC and the ICPC were in breach of their statutory mandate for failing to investigate the security vote deductions made by the state governors and the FCT minister. He also asked the court to order the two anti-graft agencies to immediately commence investigations into the security vote deductions, and prosecute the governors and the FCT minister once their immunities expire upon leaving office at the end of their term or removal from office. Though the Presiding Judge, Justice Adamu Bello, said the court has no jurisdiction on the matter before striking out the suit, the legal practitioner promised to pursue the matter to the Supreme Court. The issue of Security votes, especially at the federal and state government levels is such that draws wide criticisms and debate across the nation in recent times. While many people like Akpan, want it abolished completely because of its openness to abuse as its operation is shrouded in secrecy, others hold the view that it is necessary because of contingencies in the conduct

of government affairs where bureaucratic procedures hinder quick decision and its execution especially during emergencies, as New Telegraph on Sunday’s investigations showed. Most of the people in the security and governmental circles are not obliged to discuss the issue of security votes by the state government. They said part of the funds is used to boost the operations of the police, military and para- military outfits. In Rivers state, beneficiaries, according to a civil servant who craved anonymity because of statistical accuracy, said that the beneficiaries include the Police, Army, Navy, Air Force, Immigrations, NCDSC and Prisons. Items normally donated to advance the cause of security safeguard which include patrol of waterways, the cities and other vulnerable areas include , patrol vans, speed boats, Amoured Personnel Carriers (APC) arms and ammunition, kits and other gears. Before the state government relationship with the former Police Commissioner, Mr. Joseph Mbu, got soiled, Governor Rotimi Amaechi had provided APCs to the command for crime fighting, besides other logistics support such as cash during emergencies and election days. A legal practitioner, Mr. Austin Oko, however, says that the idea of security votes was an introduction by the military regime and has no name in the constitution or in the previous civilian administration but was copied by subsequent civilian administrations. He argued that the whole idea of Security votes was to obfuscate and create room for siphoning of public funds by governors. “The police, the military and para-military outfits have their various budgets captured by the federal allocation, why do they need special allocations from the state governments?’’ he asked. He said that with an unaccounted security votes, a governor would always dip hand in the

till and dole out millions to his personal friend from the funds. In his view, another legal practitioner, Mr. Moses Oha, did not quarrel with the idea of security votes but its abuse, pointing out that most public policies were done in good faith before they were abused. Drawing a parallel with what obtains in private companies where imp rests are given out for contingencies, he said: ‘’I believe these are the reasons why for the practice of security votes is prevalent is that although, most of the expenditure made by people in government are captured in the budgets, there are procedures for making these funds available as at when needed and sometimes these procedures are cumbersome and time wasting.” The Port Harcourt –based Legal practitioner agreed on the negative sides of the security votes, saying, ‘’the problem is that they are not accounted for. “Supposing they were not spent, how do we account for it like imprest? This makes it open to frivolous use. There is necessity for it but the expenses must be retirement. There should be openness to it. Sometimes when you hear the amount involved, it is mind-boggling, and you even discover that security vote is even the subject of quarrel by people in government.’’ Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), one of the three presidential candidates in the just-concluded Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) election, said, “Once security vote is made part of the budget of the state or federal government, it becomes the appropriation law of that state or the federal government. And once it is contained in the budget, approved by the House or National Assembly, it becomes legal. There is nothing illegal about it. But the problem really is with the politicians. The way the House of Assembly and the National Assembly approve security vote indiscriminately for governors

and the president is what should be questioned, not the motive behind the existence of security vote. He found it very amusing that the legislators at the state and national assemblies fail to do proper homework before approving this security vote in the budget. They fail to grill governor’s office staff to defend such allocation. “The governor, who is the chief executive officer, should be asked questions. They should ask what the security for the next year is meant for. What are the challenges they are envisaging? Why do you need so much? Why do you need so little? But they haven’t been doing that. And don’t forget, security vote is a sum of money for which the chief executive is not accountable for. That is the more reason why they should warn him from the beginning before the approval is given”. Acknowledging that some governors no longer touch government money for fear of being arrested by the ICPC and EFCC after their tenure, Akintola said they however, ” fall back on security votes to embezzle. So attention should be directed and focused on the state and national assembly. It is like blaming the conductor of a bus if there is an accident.” He sees it as the realities of Nigerian political environment where there is a wall of difference between what ought to be and what it is. “Many of these people live on government. The government has been the major industry which services these gate-keepers, traditional rulers, political jobbers, and what have you. There are also former political office holders, who cannot be ignored. You ignore them to your own peril.” Akintola also allude to other areas where security votes are expended. “There are usually the monthly or weekly security meetings where the governor has to take care of the chiefs of the Army, the police, the State Security Services in the state. The way out? He advised that abuse of security vote or its abolition can only be achieved through legislation and effective auditing of such accounts.




Where Abdullahi got it wrong I

cians feed on gossip. His boss would have been fed with various reports of his alleged anti-party affairs, given the fact that both Saraki (his god father) and President Jonathan have since fallen apart as a result of the crisis in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party. “I don’t want to be involved in this, if not because it was compulsory, I won’t be here,” he said, when asked to join President Goodluck Jonathan on the podium in Ilorin, Kwara State recently is still fresh in our minds. Of course, the rest is history. One can also understand the silent manner in which President Jonathan replaced the sports minister. What this means is that, his removal was a last-minute decision. There was indeed no formal announcement of his removal. Everyone was however left to interpret what his replacement with Tamuno Danagogo from Rivers State meant. It could be a re-deployment, some guests and other council members wondered. But trust the Nigerian media, in less than 10 minutes; online media were awash with several headlines of his sacking. Abdullahi has made the mistake of not simply playing the game along with the politicians. He is gone, but his successor Tamuno Danagogo must keep on with the pace of a revived sports sector. The new minister must also bring his luck to bear and get the Super Eagles to victory at this year’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

n recent times, Bolaji Abdullahi, the immediate Minister of Sports is one man that has featured prominently in the eyes of sports pundits and fans because of Nigeria’s victories in international sports. Watching him in the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa gives a glimpse of the love for him among his colleague ministers, perhaps because of some resounding milestones recorded by the sports sector under his watch. Twice before members of the Federal Executive Council, he had had cause to present trophies won by the senior and junior national teams, to the excitement of President Goodluck Jonathan and cabinet members. Although, some of his colleagues knew him as a very proud person, if not even arrogant, they had no choice but to identify with his achievements which have given credence to the transformation agenda of the present administration. At different events where he presented the African Cup of Nations for 2013 and the FIFA Under-17 World Cup to Council, ministers had to struggle to take photo shots with the laurels indeed giving some sense of pride to the minister who also saw himself as an achiever. Many will recall, however, that before his appointment as Sports Minister in 2011, Nigeria had recorded an extended abysmal performance not only in football fiestas but also athletics. This compelled President

Jonathan in 2010 to ban the country’s senior football team from international competition for two years. The positive change afterwards has variously been attributed to the retreat at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, which followed in 2012 with new strategies of boosting the sports sector. President Jonathan is not oblivious of the transformation that has taken place in the sports sector within this period under Abdullahi’s watch. But one thing is clear. Unlike the belief that ‘We are political beings operating in a political space’, he saw himself as a professional. He has been quoted severally as saying that there is really no correlation between managing sports and playing politics. This is where Abdullahi, an employee of the executive arm of the Federal Government started getting it wrong. He failed to see Mr. President’s diverse interests as his own. He is also believed to have been brought to limelight through nomination by a fellow politician, Bukola Saraki.


INEC’s search for morale booster

he Independent National Electoral Commission, two weeks ago, mooted the idea of a special salary package for its staff. Dr. Ishmael Igbani, INEC National Commissioner who represented the Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega at a public function in Abuja said the commission was working on a separate salary structure for INEC staff. Igbani noted that the only hindrance in this regard is the National Assembly, which he said “is a bit reluctant to do it because of possible agitation from other Ministries, Departments and Agencies. But we pay them hazard allowances and training. We have absolute confidence in them and will do everything to get them a salary that will boost their morale.” Jega had, during the public presentation of INEC Strategic Programme of Action in 2012 also noted that majority of INEC staff “are honest people doing honest job under very difficult circumstances. All they required was motivation and encouragement and inspiration from the conduct of those who are placed in positions of responsibility.” This is heartwarming for the workers of the commission as well as many Nigerians who are desirous in seeing free and fair elections in the country. Before now, there have been calls for INEC to be put on the first line charge to enable the commission function effectively, and truly guarantee its independence. This is borne out of the fact that allowing the commission to depend on the presidency for its funding is a way of circumventing its independence. Placing INEC on the first line charge will also uplift the welfare of its workers, just

Anule Emmanuel He failed to see Mr. President’s diverse interests as his own. He is also believed to have been brought to limelight through nomination by a fellow politician, Bukola Saraki. Considering the yet undisclosed ambition of the President and the momentum it is gathering, he needed to have learnt from Nasir El-Rufai, former minister of the FCT who regrets in his book ‘Accidental Public Servant’ his deep involvement in politics during Olusegun Obasanjo’s days. Who knows? Could El-Rufai have possibly made a better choice as Obasanjo’s successor? One thing which Bolaji also failed to understand as a professional was that politi-


INEC Onyekachi Eze

INEC staff are, however, not immune to corruption. They allegedly give result sheets to politicians before an election like workers in some government parastatals and agencies such as Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Communications Commission, and even the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission. Workers of this establishments enjoy special salary package, how much more INEC staff. Even the commission’s chairman, Prof. Jega and some of his personal aides are said to be on special salary, however, not from the Nigerian government but from the United Nations Development Programme, one of the donor baskets that support Nigeria’s electoral process. INEC ought to be concerned about the

welfare of its staff because the nature of work they do exposes them to undue influence especially by politicians. Last year the electoral umpire came under heavy attack following the arrest of its returning officer for Idemili North local government area of Anambra State, Mr. Okeke Chukwujekwu during the gubernatorial election in the state. The 54-year old was accused of deliberately withholding electoral materials designed for the elections, leading to the disenfranchisement of many eligible voters. Prof. Jega himself admitted that Chuwkwujekwu “messed up” the election. Because of Chukwujekwu’s actions or inactions, the election was declared inconclusive by INEC, which fixed another date for a re-run election in the affected local government. This was boycotted by some opposition parties which called for outright cancellation of the entire result. This is a great dent on the image of the commission. But is lack of staff motivation the problem of INEC? What control does the com-

mission have on the ad hoc staff used during elections and who incidentally constitute majority of workers on election duty? The ad hoc staff include: collation officers, returning officers and electoral officers, and none of them is INEC staff. There are allegations that some of them are card carrying members of political parties. Political observers believe that even if INEC puts its house in order and give adequate motivation for its staff, the ad hoc staff could pose great threats to the credibility of the elections. A case in point was the strike action allegedly embarked upon by the ad hoc staffs (who were mostly the National Youth Service Corps members) on the eve of last year’s governorship election in Anambra State. This resulted in the late arrival of election materials, delay in the accreditation of voters and other confusions that characterized the election. INEC staff are, however, not immune to corruption. They allegedly give result sheets to politicians before an election. Just like what happened in Anambra, they deliberately withhold election materials till such a time when the voters become tired and leave the voting centre. Jega admitted the presence of corrupt officials and staff of the commission who aid and abate rigging and other electoral malpractices during elections in the commission. This problem could be solved by adequate motivation through a special salary package.




Senators rattle Mohammed at budget defence


ertainly, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed was rattled by the Senate Committee on the FCT, when he came to the Senate to defend the 2014 budget of the ministry last Thursday. Mohammed had always enjoyed the compliments and courtesies of the lawmakers in the past. The cordial relationship was definitely as a result of the fact that Mohammed had served as a senator before his appointment as the minister of the FCT by President Goodluck Jonathan. In his previous appearances, the lawmakers used to show him comradeship. In fact, it was always like a family meeting full of fun, even when there were manifest shortcomings in the performance of the minister. But he received a big shock last week, when he came under intense criticisms from the senators. To the amazement and disappointment of the minister, the committee blamed him for the alleged resurgence of beggars, destitute and prostitutes in the nation’s political capital, reminding him that his predecessors had tackled these vices in the past. Trying to defend himself, Mohammed claimed that the continuous influx of people into the capital city, contrary to the expectations of its planners was largely responsible for the increase in social vices, revealing that the FCT Administration


his is the season of allegations; allegations of missing or stolen money. A day never passes without an allegation flying out or being published in the media. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC is the worst hit by this bug. But last week, at the National Assembly, it was the turn of the parent ministry, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, which was said to have misappropriated N500 million allocated for the promotion of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in the 2013 budget without accounting for it. While some of these allegations may be true, others are simply imagined or concocted. It is now clear that the NNPC is relishing in this unsavoury allegations because its operations are shrouded in secrecy. This secrecy is such that even the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was said to be ignorant of the intricacies involved in its accounting system. According to reports, while appearing before the Senate Committee on Gas, on behalf of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, her Permanent Secretary, Danladi Kifasi, said he could not explain the details of the expenditure of N500 million, because he was new in the ministry, having been posted there in August 2013. This report prompted the House of Representatives Committee on Public Account to confront the Permanent Secretary with the allegation of N500 million. The decision of the House to wade into the matter was understandable because of the tortuous

From the Chukwu David lacked the power for enforcement of laws that could tackle the problems. He also said that the FCT Administration made use of police for enforcement of laws, but lamented that the numerical strength of the Police in Abuja could not effectively tackle the problem. As he was still battling to exonerate himself from the blame over some of the social vices prevalent in the FCT, he received another devastating punch from the young, serious minded and seeming exuberant Senator Nurudeen Abatemi Usman, representing Kogi Central, who decided to throw courtesy to the waste bin and told the minister some bitter truth about certain deficiencies in the governance of the FCT under his watch. Without fear or sentiment about the existing relationship between the minister and the Senate, Usman accused the FCT chief security officer of failure in his responsibility to provide effective administration in the capital city, insisting that the minister’s “ineffective leadership” had resulted in the return of the city centre to

Although the minister initially felt insulted, he later realised that the senators had strong points on the issues raised its glorious days of the past. The comments of Senator Usman however, did not go down well with the Minister. This led to an altercation between Mohammed, who was visibly infuriated and the lawmaker. It took the intervention of the chairman of the committee, Senator Smart Adeyemi to bring the commotion under control. The minister took exception to the senator’s comment, accusing the legislator of having an attitude of impugning peoples’ integrity. The highly provoked Minister said, “I feel insulted by your comment. I see it as an attack on my integrity, and I take exception to it. You cannot tell me that it is the absence of leadership that brought

all the vices you are talking about in the FCT”. The matter however, eventually got to a resolution point when the Minister apologised to Senator Usman and the entire committee for misinterpreting the Senator’s intent, saying, “I apologise for reacting because I felt insulted but whatever, I am your servant and the servant of Nigeria, I would take anything”. He told the legislators that his administration was doing everything possible to tackle the various socio-economic challenges confronting the FCTA in the discharge of its mandate to the residents and indeed all Nigerians who have anything to do with Abuja. One good lesson to be drawn from the above scenario is that, in order to succeed in governance, there is a time to drop sentiments and face reality. Although the minister initially felt insulted, he later realised that the senators had strong points on the issues raised. For instance, previous administrations made efforts to rid Abuja of prostitutes and beggars. But under the current administration, they have returned massively, and obviously constitute serious nuisance in the nation’s capital city. It is expected that the minister, despite his protest for feeling insulted, would go back, have a rethink and articulate strategies towards sanitising the FCT and making it more habitable.

PIB: Furore over N500m budget From the


with Philip Nyam At an investigative hearing with the House Committee on Public Accounts, Danladi Kifasi debunked the allegation, saying it was baseless. journey of the PIB in the House. It is on record that debate on the PIB was stalled early last year when the proposed legislation elicited sectional sentiments, compelling the leadership of the lower chamber to set up a special ad hoc committee to take another look at it. The committee headed by the Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Mohammed Ishaku Bawa held a series of meetings culminating in a nationwide consultation in all the six geopolitical zones to aggregate the feelings of Nigerians. Unfortunately, up till today, that committee is yet to submit its report. Although Speaker Aminu Waziri

Tambuwal in his welcome address from the New Year break had promised that the bill would be one of the priorities of the House in this New Year, nothing has been heard about it. At an investigative hearing with the House Committee on Public Accounts, Danladi Kifasi debunked the allegation, saying it was baseless. He had in his testimony even denied that the issue of PIB never arose in his interaction with the Senate. According to him, “the issue we discussed at the Senate wing was purely gas matters and that issue was not really discussed” Director, Information Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Mr. Kingsley Agha also denied the allegations that the said publication is a total distortion of what transpired at the sitting of the senate gas committee last Tuesday. He said Gas Committee chaired by Senator Nkechi Nwaogu, was for budget hearing dealing with the ministry’s gas project as can be seen in the name of the committee.

He said reporters ignored the main subject of the sitting and delved into a subject the committee only mentioned in passing, disparaging the character and person of Danladi Kifasi as being incompetent to explain the ministry’s budget. “The reporters ignored this laudable presentation and capitalised on an aside - -- a one line comment that came from the chairman who wanted to know the full meaning of PIB. The permanent secretary explained that the PIB stands for the Petroleum Industry Bill and that the Vote allocated to this programme is for sensitisation, advocacy in the print and electronic media as well as billboards and purchase of vehicles. “That ended all references and discussions on the PIB. Now where did these reporters hear of the misappropriation of the N500 million and at what point in that meeting was the permanent secretary described as incompetent to defend the budgetary allocation of the ministry?” From the interaction that transpired between the House Committee on Public Accounts and the Permanent Secretary, it seems the lawmakers were satisfied with the explanation by the ministry. However, as the House resumes plenary next Tuesday, the public accounts committee would definitely submit a report on this PIB’s N500 million to set the records straight for Nigerians to know whether it is a ‘faceless allegation” or fact.



Politics / Stewardship

Ogunlola: Ijero needs to be delineated

Lawmaker representing Ijero Constituency in Ekiti State House of Assembly, Omowumi Ogunlola spoke with ADESINA WAHAB, on perception of legislators and her impact in the House in the past three years.

Impact made


hen it comes to democracy on this side of the continent, nobody wants to see an assembly member that is not giving out something to the people of his or her constituency. In that regard, in 2012, I did an empowerment programme and I empowered a lot of people. The aged people were given stipends; artisans were also given various start-up materials, and students were given financial support. Apart from that, on a monthly basis I give financial assistance to different people and groups in my constituency. Currently, I have two projects that I am executing in my constituency. In Ijero, we have a palace for the women that have been abandoned for over 30 years and I am renovating it and by God’s grace, I will complete the project before the end of my tenure. In Ikoro-Ekiti, I am putting up a police post. Bills sponsored

I have sponsored two bills. The one was the Bill on People Living with Disability. It is for the protection of the disabled in the society. The other one is Ekiti Public Cemetery Bill. The bill on the disabled people is an elaborate one

that touches their welfare and the responsibility of the government to them. We know that the primary responsibility of the government is to provide security and social welfare for the people. This bill will place what the disabled will enjoy at par with global standard. We know that in developed countries they give preference to people with disabilities in the society because they need special attention. For the Ekiti Public Cemetery Bill, like I said earlier, one of the responsibilities of government is to provide social services and welfare for the people and if that bill is passed into law, Ekiti State will be the first to have such a law. There should be places designated as public cemeteries to dissuade people from burying their dead in homes and other places where people live. If somebody has been living here for years and dies, does it mean his people will now take the corpse to his home town for lack of a place to bury the dead?

with other arms of government. Let me tell you something, if we start trouble here, it means nobody will be at rest. So, if the Assembly is supposed to ensure peace, I don’t think we should be ones fomenting trouble in the state. As far as I am concerned, it is normal for people to say we are a rubber stamp legislature, but I know we are not. We are doing what we are supposed to do without being rubber stamp. Moreover, we have a governor who believes in the rule of law. We have passed at least 64 bills that have been signed into law. It means the governor we have in place knows what the law is; that it is the basis for everything; it is the fulcrum for the operation of the government. We are not being manipulated; we all have a mind of our own and are representing our people. The issue of rubber stamp does not come up as far as I am concerned. Our people voted us into the Assembly to represent their interests and we are doing that very well.

A rubber stamp assembly?

Large constituency

We have heard that time without number. When we make laws, the purpose is to ensure peace and justice. Therefore as legislators, we must try as much as possible to be at peace

I have held meetings with the Resident Electoral Commissioner here in Ekiti State and Mr. Governor too has tried within the limits of his powers to impress it on INEC that Ijero Con-


stituency has to be delineated. But you know that is not within the power of any agency of the state government, it is INEC that has to do that. We can only appeal to their consciences for them to look at what the Constitution says. The Constitution says after 10 years you have to delineate and yet no consideration is given to Ijero Constituency. Ijero used to be three constituencies and was compressed into one. We have 12 Wards and 15 towns and I am the only person representing the whole place. When you talk about population, after Ado, Ijero comes next and you have some less populous areas having two persons representing them. We believe Ijero Constituency has not been given a fair treatment n this regard.

‘Constitution should be amended to block defections’ My election


am a member of Ondo State House of Assembly representing Akure South Local Government Constituency II. I started politics early in life, and eventually after my youth service, I started public politics by contesting for councillorship position in my ward on the platform of Alliance for Democracy which I lost. After that, I joined Labour Party at the formative stage and in 2007 and I was the candidate of LP in the House of Assembly election in my constituency, but unfortunately I was rigged out by the Peoples Democratic Party machinery then. In 2011, I contested again as LP candidate and I won and that took me to the House of Assembly in 2011.

Kunle Olajuyigbe is the chairman, Committee on Sports and Youth Development as well as a member House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, House Committee on Public Account at the Ondo State House of Assembly, spoke with BABATOPE OKEOWO in Akure on his legislative duties.


Defection is an opportunity given in the Constitution because Section 68 of the constitution that says ‘You cannot cross from one political party through which you were elected to another except if there is a division in the party.’ It is that division that people are now taking unnecessary advantage of. To me it is a wrong thing. The last time Hon Ifedayo Abegunde crossed from LP to APC, I was the one who moved the motion on the floor of the House that this man represents my constituency and he took away the confidence and vote of the people that was given to him on the platform of the LP. It was because he was an LP member the people voted for him. He now took advantage of that little lacuna in the Constitution. I want to see a situation whereby the current amendment of the Constitution


that is being done by the National Assembly would give proper consideration to that particular aspect of the Constitution that would not give this kind of opportunity for people cross-carpeting anyhow. To me I want to see that aspect of the constitution amended appropriately. Impact on my constituency

I have made great impact both by bringing in projects to my constituency and by my contributions on the floor of the House. First,

in terms of my legislative duties, I made a lot of impact during the debate on the Appropriation Bill and indeed other debates. I was able to bring in the dualisation of Ilere road into the budget and we are expecting that the project will be inaugurated very soon by the governor, because it is already in the budget and a lot of other road projects too are being executed. Recently, a new school was inaugurated in our constituency which was a direct intervention by the commissioner for Education who saw reason with me that project has to come to my constituency. So a lot of things are happening in the constituency as regards our direct influence. The other one is in the area of our oversight functions. In the House of Assembly, you find out that most of the legislative duties are done at the committee level and as the Chairman of the Committees on Works and Sports and Youth Development I have been able to do a lot and that has impacted a lot too on the development of our youths and specifically in my constituency and in the sporting arena a lot. Touching lives

We have carried out some empowerment activities by giving out commercial vehicles to some deserving ones in the constituency. We have also empowered some of our youths

particularly those who needed training by sending over 10 of my constituency people to Europe. They were directly and fully sponsored by me. They are in France and Italy. These people are engaging in one activity or the other to enhance their living standards and contribute to their families’ welfare over here. A lot of our artisans too that needed empowerment in terms of equipment and finances, a lot of our tailoring apprentices, vulcanisers and quite a lot of them have been empowered. We want to look at the widows and the elderly ones, what have we been able to do for them. Our widows are regularly given stipends to enhance their living standards. Bills sponsored

I have not been able to sponsor any private member’s bill but there have been about three motions that have been moved and that have scaled through on the floor of the house. I want to give kudos to the members of the House because most of the time there are people you call ‘motion killers or bill killers’; but to a very large extent in ODHA when you sponsor good motions that are of direct benefit to the people you find out that members of the House are always up to the task, particularly under the leadership of the late Speaker, Samuel Adesina.

Maritime NPA completes three capital projects in eight years machine p.38



MARCH 9, 2014

ICT World Effects of cell phone radiation p.41




N1.8trn deposits trapped in dormant accounts –Investigation •4.4m dormant accounts in 16 banks valued at N162.9m - CBN Chijioke Iremeka


ver N1.8 trillion customers’ deposits are trapped in the dormant bank accounts in the country. A New Telegraph on Sunday investigation revealed that because the country’s dormant account policy is not well thought-out to encourage huge and long-term investment in her financial institutions, it tends to encourage criminalities in the sector. A source at the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity, confirmed that deposits by Nigerians in dormant accounts as at last year stood at N1.8 trillion. He said neither the CBN’ Macroeconomies’ reports nor individual commercial banks had ever included the figure in their annual or quarterly reports made public. The source said “at the first Quarter (F1) of financial year ended April 31, 2013, banks veiled the value of dormant accounts in customers’ deposits under ‘bank liabilities’ and did not separate or mention the value of customers’ deposits in active ac-

L-R: Analyst, Events and Sponsorships, Martina Ogbebor; Analyst, Youth Market Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Mike Nwoseh, presenting keys of a brand new car to Ugwueke Tochukwu of Imo State University; with the former Vice Chancellor, Prof. Anthony Okere, and SUG President, Christian Ogbu, during Etisalat CliqFest held on the IMSU campus

counts and dormant accounts.” According to him, it would be finicky and transparent enough if the CBN would mandate the commercial banks to include this in their quarterly and annual reports, which would be made public for government to

make investor-friendly monetary policies in the country. A closer look at quarterly and annual financial reports of randomly selected banks including Zenith, UBA, First Bank, Keystone, Skye and Union bank confirmed that there is

no distinction between deposits in the banks’ active accounts and that of dormant accounts. But when contacted by the New Telegraph on Sunday to confirm the figure, CBN’s head of Corporate CONTINUED ON PAGE 36

Rice dealers vow to tackle smuggling

Azubike Nnadozie


ice dealers in Nigeria have declared it would no longer be business as usual for smuggling the commodity into the country. Rising from recent all-important stakeholders meeting in Lagos, the dealers which included Rice millers, importers and distributors association of Nigeria, RiMIDAN, key rice distributors, importers and other relevant stakeholders, including security agencies, made it clear that smuggling of rice into Nigeria has brought untold hardship to all and sundry.

They therefore issued a communiqué which formed their resolve to stop rice smuggling from neighbouring countries particularly Republic of Benin into Nigeria markets. The meeting equally resolved to alert government agencies and functionaries such as the Nigeria Custom Service, Special Fraud Unit of Nigeria Police, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, among others, on those dealing with smuggled rice so that the law would take its course. The stakeholders also resolved to ensure that in the next few days, every knotty issue about the rice

policy like high tariff, improved value chain, prosecuting the federal government’s agricultural agenda especially in the areas of boosting food sufficiency and so on, would begin to take shape properly. It will be recalled that rice dealers under the auspices of RiMIDAN has been crying hoarse over the non-implementation of the 2013 benchmark of $190 per metric ton duty on imported rice which in turn has resulted in the flooding of the Nigerian markets with smuggled rice from Republic of Benin. However, President of RiMIDAN, MR. Tunji Owoeye while explaining the reason behind the


stakeholders meeting, disclosed that the federal government has assured that it would soon resolve every contentious issue in the rice business in order to boost economy and make those in the sector to survive. “We want zero-tolerance on rice smuggling. The leadership of the distributors are ready to work with us, importers can now import legally while millers and rice farmers should fully be back to business,” Owoeye stated. Our correspondent learnt that resolutions at the stakeholders meeting would be sent to the variCONTINUED ON PAGE 36


Expect positive note for capital market –Sokunbi pg 37


Counting cost of fuel scarcity pg 34



Business / News Abdulwahab Isa Abuja


he number of power assets handed over to private investors in the last four months has increased to 16 with the handing over recently of Olorunshogo power plc to SEPCO Pacific by the Federal Government. Speaking at the handing over ceremony, the Chairman of NCP and Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Arc. Mohammed Namadi Sambo noted that since the passage of Electric Power Sector Reform Act

SEPCO Pacific takes over Olorunsogo power plant (EPSRA) 2005 and the unbundling of NEPA into 18 successor companies, very little was done to advance the reform of the Power Sector until the coming into Power of President Goodluck Jonathan led to the enunciation of the Transformation Agenda of the nation’s economy. A statement by Bureau of Public

Enterprises (BPE) quoted the VP as saying”It was the realization that Nigeria will not attain the desired economic growth without adequate power that informed the power sector reform.” In previewing the history of the reforms in the Nigeria electricity Supply Industry, Sambo said, “Reform in

this very critical sector commenced in 1999, with the inauguration of the Electric Power Implementation Committee (EPIC)”, this he said “culminated in the development of the National Electric Power Policy 2001; the enactment of the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act 2005, and establishment of Power Holding Company of Nigeria

L-R: CEO, Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency, Mr. Patrick Caulker; Sierra Leonean Minister of Trade & Commerce, Alh. Usman Kamara; and Director of Investment Promotions, Mr. Raymond Gbekie at the Sierra Leone Investment Forum in Lagos... on Wednesday

Counting cost of fuel scarcity Azubike Nnadozie


xactly three years after the last incident, nationwide fuel shortage has resurfaced, jolting Nigerians from the reverie of years of having enjoyed steady supply of fuel. The recent return of scarcity reminds one of the past years, especially during the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, when it was a national ritual which occurred mainly during festive periods and national holidays. Obasanjo was reputed for arbitrarily increasing the pump price of petroleum products, almost on a quarterly basis, but some relief came with the onset of the Yar’Adua/ Jonathan regime. His romance with increment of price of petroleum products dated back to October 1, 1978, when he was military head of state. But like a tiger that had tasted blood, petroleum products marketers and black market operators were always eagerly looking forward to such times, hoarding their products.

Analysis The present scarcity saga started when the Petroleum Products Price Regulation Agency the government agency saddled with the duty of allocating permit for the importation of fuel refused to settle over N100 billion fuel subsidy claims owed the oil marketers for the importation for the second half of 2013. The oil marketers who threatened to withdraw from the importation until government paid the arrears, made good their threat by withdrawing from fuel import, thereby leaving NNPC as the only importer of fuel to meet national demand which is over 35 million litre of Premium Motor spirit (PMS) per day. Even the late release of import allocation to NNPC and other oil marketers could not change the precarious situation. Despite the recent ultimatum given to the Minister of Petroleum by President Goodluck Jonathan to arrest scarcity within

five days, fuel shortages persisted nationwide with the price of PMS going for between N250nto N350 per a litre at the black market depending on the part of the country. With the return of fuel scarcity, economic activities and commercial services were grounded across the country as the cost of moving men and materials hit the roof, while commuters were stranded. Some of the towns affected by the incident which was earlier noticed in neighbouring states before hitting Lagos and spreading to other cities include, Abeokuta, Osogbo, Ondo Akure Abuja in the Federal Capital Lafia, Enugu, Aba Owerri Umuahia, Kaduna , Kano, Dutse, Gombe, Sokoto, Maiduguri, Damaturu , Jos, Makurdi, Ilorin, Mnna, Benin Asaba, Port Harcourt Yenegoa. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in what observers have termed a panic measure to calm the situation, released about 242 million litres of petrol to Lagos and other cities as part of an agenda to restore sanity.

(PHCN) to facilitate the repeal of the now defunct NEPA Act. The new Act gave rise to the creation of 18 successor companies from the unbundled PHCN in three categories, viz; Generation (six companies); Transmission (one company); and Distribution (11 companies.)” The VP noted that reform was a necessary tool for laying a solid foundation for sustainable power generation and service efficiency in the sector and the privatization of the sector was a key component of the reform and a pre-condition for the start of a competitive electricity market in Nigeria. Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of SEPCO-Pacific, Dr. Adedeji Adeleke noted that Olorunsogo Power Plc was SEPCO’s first venture outside China, but has since built over 10,000 megawatts of power in India, Iran and Saudi Arabia. He reiterated the belief of SEPCO-Pacific in Nigeria economy. Dr. Adeleke poured encomiums on the staff of BPE, adding: “I have not met a crop of individuals that are as committed, as straight forward as BPE staff”. He noted that it was the commitment and transparency exhibited by the BPE that led to the success of Federal Government power reform and privatization program, despite all the challenges encountered.

Budget: How MDAs hoard revenue from treasury –Okonjo-Iweala Abdulwahab Isa Abuja


oordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, yesterday in Abuja accused revenue generating ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government of not fully remitting to government coffers all monies generated by them. Okonjo-Iweala lamented that most revenue generating agencies were short changing the government by hoarding large chunk of revenue they generated. The act of hoarding revenue without remitting to the government coffers by revenue generating agencies, CME says contributes in no small way to the difficulty encountered in the budget implementation. Responding to the New Telegraph enquiry on complaint by some revenue generating agencies that Budget Office allocated to them revenue projection figure without consulting them , she said many of them had the

habit of concealing what they actually generated . Her words: “Every year, most of them want to maintain the same profile. They won’t admit their revenue is growing so that you won’t ask them to remit more. They will always tell you they have so many expenses they can’t remit anything, they don’t make any money and if you yield to that means there would be no money from them”. “Last time, imagine we have to go and compel some of them and go to their bank accounts. They refused to remit the money. We have to take permission from Mr. President to go and get the money because the Minister of finance and Accountant General have that right by law. We were projecting N54 billion and I think we were able to get N34 billion. Some of them took us to court. This is our revenue generating agencies. It is not enough for you to generate revenue and be spending it in your corner, refusing to remit and then go about getting friends to support you, that can’t be”, the minister further lamented.



News / Business

Smuggling: The hue and cry over rice Azubike Nnadozie


verybody eats rice, or almost everyone. For as long as one can recall, rice has been a common staple food found at the table of every Nigerian home whether rich or poor. Considering its importance to consumers on the one hand, and its economic viability to the nation on the other, the place of this essential commodity cannot be over emphasised. This perhaps accounts for the high level of interest and concern by Nigerians over any issue that directly or indirectly has to do with the commodity. In recent months however, rice production and importation into Nigeria have been at the front burner of national discourse especially against the backdrop of the Federal Government’s determination to boost agriculture, ensure food security and encourage backward integration. However, one knotty issue which is currently trying to deal the death knell on the rice sub-sector is the non-implementation of the agreed tariff on imported rice by the Federal Government. The issue alone, so to say, has continued to give stakeholders sleepless nights. Be they consumers, rice farmers, freight forwarders, rice millers and importers, among others, the stakeholders have risen in unison to call on the federal government to save the rice situation in the country. Rising from a recent meeting in Lagos, the Rice Millers, Importers and distributors Association of Nigeria, called on the federal government to urgently implement the dutiable rice tariff of $190 per metric ton which it approved as the new dutiable price for legally imported rice into the country. According to RiMIDAN, as a result of government’s reluctance over the new duty, smuggled rice have continued to flood the Nigerian market as rice millers and dealers in the country count their woes. Speaking at the forum in Lagos, the Secretary General of RiMIDAN, Alhaji Shaibu Mohammed disclosed that over 20 vessels conveying the product are trapped and stocked in Nigerian territorial waters due to non-take off of the new tariff regime in Nigeria. The situation he said has resulted in massive loss of revenue both to the government and importers, while consumers continue to groan under the cost of smuggled rice from mainly neighbouring countries, particularly the Republic of Benin. It was claimed that over three million tons of parboiled rice was smuggled to Nigeria through Benin Republic in 2013 alone. This resulted in over 300 billion Naira revenue loss to the federal government, while the Benin Republic and others allegedly gained over N200 billion via smuggling. According to a rice farmer, the government’s lack of serious commitment to encourage local rice producers has resulted to the crisis being witnessed in the sector, adding that the rice produced and processed in Nigeria remain the best quality product that consumers could obtain. In other climes, rice that came into a country illegally are designated as inferior as some have gone stale due to rough handling by the countries they passed through before being brought into the country. Only recently, the federal government through the Inter-ministerial

Offloading of rice

Committee on Dutiable Rate held a stakeholders meeting with rice dealers in Abuja. The meeting was meant to quickly arrest the rate of smuggled rice through neighbouring countries like Republic of Benin. It was agreed that in order to discourage the rate at which the commodity was smuggled into the country, a new duty tariff that would be import-friendly and commensurate with what obtained in the neighbouring countries was good enough hence the duty for legally imported rice was pegged at USD190. Regrettably, though the Government reviewed the dutiable price, the measure was yet to be implemented leading to dislocations and unease within the rice industry in Nigeria. Stakeholders lamented that USD570 remains the duty for rice in Nigeria despite international price crash and stiff competition from the Benin Republic. The claim is that to boost further boost the volume of Nigeria-bound rice through its ports, Benin Republic deliberately crashed dutiable rate to USD200 per ton. This made the place a heaven of sorts for smugglers of the product into Nigeria. The apparent inaction of the federal government has made it impossible to improve the value chain on rice, less than 100,000 tonnes of rice was legally imported into Nigeria last year. According to RiMIDAN Mohammed Abubakar, the continued inaction by the FG will create lack in the present administration. `` We all agreed at the meeting to introduce palliative duty and incentive in the sector to

reduce smuggling of rice. Somewhere along the line someone is holding the entire nation to ransom. `` We urged Mr President, as a listening leader to intervene in the issue,’’ he said. `` Quote me anywhere smuggling is not only affecting the farmer but it is rather killing them. `` The rice protectionist policy human face and Nigeria is losing,’’ he said. According to Mrs Esther Olumilayo, Chairperson of Rice Dealers Association of Nigeria there is called for the urgent need to ensure the availability of the product in the country if the government means well in its transformation agenda, especially as it affect the agricultural sector. One major way to do this, Isa explained was for the federal government to further reduce duty on rice or quickly implement the palliative duty introduced in December last year. Another rice dealer, Alhaja Rose Lawal appealed to the government to introduce new incentives to encourage the association to be more committed in local production of rice. As for freight forwarders, it has been a tale of woes over the rice situation in the country. Those who spoke to our correspondent lamented that their lives and those of their families have been endangered by the non-activity at the ports on rice. According to Mr. Ogbonna Ogo, a member of the Association of freight forwarders in Nigeria, these port users and operators have been thrown out of business since rice importation constituted their major consignment and key reason for their presence at

Regrettably, though the government reviewed the dutiable price, the measure was yet to be implemented leading to dislocations and unease within the rice industry in Nigeria

the ports. The forwarders have therefore urged the government to drastically reduce tariff on rice as to return them to normal business. Another freight forwarder said most of their members have put truck on sale due to inactive of the sector. He said that the development is increasing the unemployment rate in the country However, the greatest problem plaguing the sector at least for now, is the vexed incidence of smuggling, which stakeholders agree, must be tackled if the nation would make any progress towards foods security and self-sufficiency. The United Nations has identified and classified food as a security issue which availability or non-availability could affect world peace. Only recently, Chairman, Presidential Committee on Trade Malpractices, Alhaji Dahiru Ado Kurawa disclosed during interaction with newsmen that the Federal Government would review tariff on rice downward in order to tackle smuggling, revenue loss as well as encourage local production of the commodity . Reviewing the nation’s rice policy, some analysts are of the opinion that the government was paying lip service to the sector without tangible instrument on ground to support the policy It would be recalled that the Inter-Ministerial Committee which arrived at the non-implemented tariff of $190 per ton as a benchmark was composed of Presidential Committee on Trade comprising of Nigeria Customs Services, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Agriculture, Finance, Budget Office. Indeed, stakeholders are becoming restive in their quest for action by the Federal Government over the rice duty regime. It is left to be seen how this impasse would be resolved within the foreseeable future. For now, Nigeria’s loss is Benin Republic’s gain as far as the rice conundrum is concerned.



Business / News

Customs arrests officials in bribe scandal Azubike Nnadozie


omptroller General of Customs, Alhaji Dikko Abdulahi Inde Friday paid an

unexpected visit to the Tin Can Island Port Command of the Service, where he caught some officers involved in bribery and immediately seized the rank of

one of them. The unannounced visit saw the Customs boss arriving at Tin Can Island port at about 11 am, from where he reportedly went

Secretary of Eti-Osa East LCDA, Lagos State, Opeyemi Abodunrin (representing the chairman) cutting the tape to declare Ajah branch of Accion Microfinance Bank open recently. He is assisted by the MD/CEO of the bank, Ms. Bunmi Lawson, and leaders of various trade and market associations in Ajah.

N1.8trn deposits trapped in dormant accounts Communications, Mr. Ugochukwu Okoroafor wasn’t on seat, nevertheless, he referred the matter to his subordinate, Isaac Okorafor, who was able to give reports on 16 commercials banks. According to the CBN’ corporate communication, “For lack of time, we can only give report of 16 commercial banks for now. We don’t have the reports of new commercial banks yet. But in 16 banks, we have 4.4 million dormant accounts valued at N162.9 million.” The source also said in confidence that unclaimed deposits in dormant accounts, which he can’t mention, are to the advantages of the banks as they trade with the funds without interest. “It’s the duty of the bank to contact the accountholders by writing or calling them on phones because the CBN’s examiners take special interest on dormant accounts during banks examination to ensure there is no form of fraud.” The sources noted that some dormant accounts are conduits through which fraudulent people move funds. “This informed the CBN’s insistence that all commercial banks separate dormant account files from other files to reduce access to the files by unauthorised persons, except managers and head operations.” Recently, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) reportedly traced a whopping N26 billion to accounts earlier declared dormant in three commercial banks in Lagos. The anti-corruption graft, had since the tracing of another N12b to accounts allegedly belonging to serving directors in the civil service, had been keeping a close surveillance on the banks’ dormant

accounts. In a brief to President Goodluck Jonathan, titled: “CBN Audited Financial Statements for Year ended 31st December 2012,” dated June 7, 2013, the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, suspected some fraudulent activities at the CBN for not knowing the owner of N1.423 billion in its possession since 2008. FRCN’s report reads: “The ‘Know Your Customer’ policy is not properly followed by CBN to the extent that the CBN has an unknown customer with account balance of N1.423 billion in 2008. The CBN claim that they are taken steps to obtain the required details regarding the address of the customer.” Meanwhile, stakeholders have called on the Federal Government to review the six months time limit set aside for an account to go dormant in Nigeria, saying it falls below what obtains in Malaysia, UK and Ireland, where an account lasts two to five months before going dormant. According to the Vice Chairman, Keystone Bank Limited and Director of the Centre for Applied Economics at Lagos Business School, Prof. Pat Utomi, the six months time limit is not fair enough, rather the banks are pushing it too forward. He said, “I operated an account in America as a student over 31 years ago, the account still operates and can stay for two years before I initiate another transaction yet when I issue a cheque, it goes through. This doesn’t help our economy. The deposits in the dormant accounts are huge above the unclaimed dividends and should be used for long-term developmental projects.”

He added that long-term developmental projects are financed by the government from a pool of funds, just like the funds in the dormancy accounts and pay back when the owners come. “Singapore was built with forced savings.” An ex-bank chief, the former Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Broad Bank and Citizens Bank, who is currently Managing Director/Chief Executive, Maxifund Investment and Securities Limited, Mr. Okechukwu Unegbu, could not ascertain the exact figure but said unclaimed deposits in the banks, while he was in the banking sector was quite high. Likewise him, Barr. Emenike Azubuike, the legal counsel to the customers of failed Hallmark Bank said after bank consolidation in 2005, the customers’ deposits in the failed banks are yet to be fully paid by either the CBN or Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and these parts of the funds being spoken of. “Recently, Stock Exchange Commission (SEC) put the value of unclaimed dividends at over N1trillion, which is lower than deposits in the dormant accounts,” he added. In Nigeria, an account is declared dormant when there is no trace of transaction in the account for, at least, a period of six months, during which the account holder would not access the account until it undergoes the processes of reactivation. The ex-bank chief called on National Assembly (NASS) to enact a law to mandate the CBN to review their policy on dormant accounts and develop an Act, patterned alongside Ireland’s Dormancy Accounts Act 2001.

on an unscheduled visit to some areas considered as notorious for under-hand dealings. An eyewitness report confirmed the arrest of two officers whose ‘illegal duty’ allegedly included collecting bribes for their bosses. New Telegraph on Sunday also gathered that one of the officers was immediately demoted for alleged illegalities at the’ Second Gate’ area of the port. Our source disclosed that the officer was caught red handed by the Comptroller General of Customs. It was also confirmed that the ill-fated officer was immediately handed over to the Enforcement unit of the command for further disciplinary action. The Customs boss was said to have been so shocked at the impunity that was demonstrated by the officer that he had to yank off the uniform of the officer and ordered his subsequent arrest and detention. Our reporter also confirmed that the Customs boss, apparently shocked at the level of violation of Customs clearance guidelines, immediately directed that both the Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU) and the Enforcement Unit should no longer take part in cargo clearance procedure at the ports. He

directed that they should be at their various offices and not be involved in routine of cargo clearance any longer. The Customs CG’s visit was at the instance of the Presidency, which had reportedly showed him series of petitions that were written, insinuating that corruption is thriving at Tin Can port. However, the visit was not without its pains, as clearing agents experienced work stoppage throughout the duration. The Customs chief ’s visit to both PTML and Tin Can Island Port commands affected clearing of consignments for several hours. Our correspondent gathered from agents at the port that the CG arrived at about 11am, and stayed till about 5pm. Customs and Agents Relations Coordinator of ANLCA at Tin Can port, Alhaji Akanni Balogun lamented that the situation was unhealthy for business. He also urged the Service to ensure that visitations should be separated from port business, because of the economic implications for the nation. Balogun also alleged that, “it is not the first time the visitation of the CG has affected port operations”.

Rice dealers resolve to tackle smuggling C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 3 3

ous bodies and relevant government agencies for action. The rice dealers agreed to continuously collaborate and work together towards sanitising the sector which they said, has been taken over by unscrupulous people due to the inaction of the federal government on the agreed duty. However, the rice dealers expressed joy that government has now started listening to them and has promised some incentives for millers as well as make the business competitive by encouraging local production of quality rice. The meeting was attended by RiMIDAN officials, Rice Market Leaders from Daleko, Isolo, Lagos, G. Cappa, Oshodi Lagos, Iddo Rice Market Leaders, importers as well as representatives of enforcement agencies from Special Fraud Unit of Police, EFCC as well as the Customs which team was led by D.C. Chaza, Deputy Comptroller General in charge of Enforcement. Speaking at the forum Mrs Ifeoma Okorie, and the others, were unanimous that increased rice smuggling could rubbish the federal government’s Agricultural Agenda and therefore should not be allowed to continue.

The sensitization campaign against patronising smuggled rice would be carried out in other parts of the country especially areas where the products are being sold cheap to the detriment of legal dealers, the stakeholders equally agreed. Rice dealers provide employment for over 100,000 people including clearing agents, transporters and domestic staff. However, in the last one year, over 20 vessels have been trapped at high seas, due to non-take off of the agreed tariff regime. The dealers lamented that while Benin Republic raked in over N200 billion duty on rice in 2013 alone, over 3 million tons of parboiled rice was smuggled into Nigeria through Benin Republic, amounting to over N300 billion revenue loss to Nigerian government. There is therefore the urgent and crucial need to tackle smuggling, which according to Mr. Owoeye, was the Government’s mandate given to RiMIDAN and all those involved in the rice business. Again, effective collaboration of all stakeholders would ensure increased value chain and realise the objectives of the dealers, it was agreed.



Business / Interview

Nigeria’s capital market will trade on positive note this year –Sokunbi The Stock Exchange last year established online trading platform for a seamless online real time trading. Meristem Securities last Wednesday launched its Meritrade trading platform, saying the Company is the first in the country to key into the NSE platform. Chief Executive Officer of the stock broking subsidiary of Meristem Securities, Mrs. Gbadunola Sokunbi, spoke with Paul Ogbuokiri on the value this will add to the market and many more.


ou launched your online trading platform on Wednesday, how does it work?

The online trading platform, Meritrade was actually launched at the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The chief launcher was the chief executive officer of Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyeama. The online platform is a simple, transparent and convenient trading platform that enables you to trade just the way you want it. With it the investor can actually open a stocking account and buy and sell shares without walking into a stock broking House. It also enables you to fund the account by making deposit without necessarily walking into a banking hall. You can place orders for prompt execution, receive Contract Note instantly. Don’t you think the whole market should follow the example of Meristem Securities and make trading on the Nigerian stock exchange completely online real time?

The Nigerian stock exchange actually opened an online trading platform last year; X-Gen for any stock broker to key into, but Meristem is the first stock broking firm in the country to key into the platform. The X-Gen platform, enables completion of trading transactions with no manual intervention, Meristem is the first to link up to the FIX Protocol. With that move and the experience thus far, regardless of the teething challenges, we feel confident to launch the Meritrade platform which guarantees convenience; as it enables retail investors to trade from wherever, whenever and even on they go.. Does Meritrade guarantee transparency and security of investment?

With this platform, you manage and take full control of your investment at all times, unlike before, when you have go to your stock broker to enable you know the state of your account. With this online platform, you are actually in control of your account always. All you need to do is to log on to www. and you unhindered access to your account. The platform provides users with market data and information on all quoted companies, spiced with quality research reports that will guide safe investment decisions. Market activists are worried that the

Nigerian capital market is dominated by foreign investors, does that worry you too?

Yes, we have portfolio mangers. But then you cannot say that the market is actually dominated by these foreign investors now like it was before. I think in 2012, we had 60 percent of the market by foreigners. But last year, the ratio of the foreign investment to local was 50-50. Yes, one would expect that forSokunbi eigners should not be having equal percentage with Nigerians, because it is our own market. But it is not bad per se to have so much foreign investment in our market because it shows that the Nigerian capital market is still attractive. Also, the fact that the portfolio mangers are those who would sell off their shares even with out profit once there is any drop in liquidity in their own domestic market. That creates instability in the market. Are there implications?

It is a good thing for the market. It shows that there is value in our trading companies. That is what the Meritrade is trying to do to encourage out local investors to participate in what the portfolio investor is enjoying. But as to whether it is a source of worry, yes it is because one would expect that Nigerians should dominate the market to be in full control of their own economy. It is believed that the reason the market is slow in regaining the type of vibrancy witnessed before the market collapse in 2008, is because of loss of investors’ confidence in the market. Do you share this believe?

Yes, there was loss of confidence after the market downturn of 2008. People lost confidence in the market because of the losses they suffered. But down the line a lot things have happened since that time. A lot of changes have taken place and a lot of policy action had been taken to reposition the market. The management of Nigerian stock exchange has changed. I think our regulators are actually doing a lot to bring back the investors’ confidence. The online trading platform is one of them and that is what Meristem is championing.

Market has not rebounded?

It has rebounded. It grew by 47 percent last year and we expect that it would still grow more this year; it may not be as high as it grew last year. But we are very confident it would trade on a positive not this year. If the market continues to grow this year as you have predicted, what would that translate to in the Nigerian economy? This is because of the notion that; the market, as the engine of the economy; if it is down, the economy underperforms. It does not necessarily follow that if the market is down; the companies in the system are underperforming. The capital market is a function of liquidity. It is also a function of demand and supply. People could just sell because they need money. As you know we have numerous portfolio investors in our market, if there is any illiquidity in their own country, they would immediately sell off their shares in our market even at no profit With the reform in the power sector it is expected that the power holding companies would list on the market and that would make more shares available for trading in the market and give the market more dept. The market has not seen new listings in recent times?

It has to do with companies in the market. It also has to do with building of the confidence we just talked about. When the market was at its peak in 2007, we had companies coming almost every month to list on the Exchange. But after the downturn in the market in 2008, people have become cautions coming to the market. You know, listing on the market has to do with people coming to make money, so the quoted companies do not have confidence that if they go

to the market now with public offer, it would sell. Do you share the believe that if the deep pocket companies like the telecommunication companies and the International Oil Companies operating in the country list on the Nigerian stock exchange, it would deepen the market?


Do you consider that a source of worry?

Yes, it is really a source of worry. In some other countries, they have regulations that ensure that the multinational companies list on their stock exchange. But here, we don’t have such regulation and that gives the multinational Companies the freedom to decide whether they will list on the market or not. So as much as they could, they are trying to avoid investing in the country. Their coming to the market would boost the market. I think since we lack the regulation we will depend on moral suasion. It is hoped that in the nearest feature they would come onboard, because the government and the capital market authorities are doing a lot to persuade them to list on the market. What will be your advice to a prospective investor in the Nigerian capital market?

The Nigerian stock exchange is pushing a project that would transform the whole of West African markets and bring them under one umbrella as one capital market. A lot is happening in the Nigerian market. A lot of changes have taken place. There is a lot of opportunities. Like I said, the market gained 47 percent last year. That is the aggregate share index, a lot of companies gained more than that. Things are looking up for the Nigerian capital market and it is the place the investor should take his investment.


22 MARCH 2014

Paul Ogbuokiri


ight years after the Nigerian ports were concessioned to private terminal operators, the Nigerian Ports Authority have completed only three capital projects. The three completed projects include: the rehabilitation of the water breakers off-shore Lagos seaport, East and West Moles. It was build at the cost of N100 billion. The 1.6 kilometer common user dual carriage road in the Apapa port, built at the cost of N3 billion; the rehabilitation of the railway network in Apapa, constructed at the cost N800 million have both been completed. The organisation has about nine more on-going projects, most of which started over four years ago. They include: the installation of


PAUL OGBUOKIRI, 0802-779-0557

NPA completes three capital projects in eight years •Earns N470bn in four years marine fender in zones 1, 2 and 3 of Nigeria seaports, the N5 billion rehabilitation and expansion work on the NPA Headquarters. Only the sixth and the fifty floor of the complex have been completed. Work is on-going on the rehabilitation on the Tin Can Island Port Complex Quay wall and Quay apron; it has been on for over three years. Work is also on-going on the rehabilitation of

wharf 3 jetty, Apapa Dock yard: Rehabilitation of Julius Berger Terminal, Warri, is on-going. Shoreline control works in Akipelai, Ayakoro & Otueke, Bayelsa State, the rehabilitation of AMS Terminal Warri have not been completed. Rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt port road networks & water supply and the rehabilitation of the rail networks in the Port Harcourt port are

moving at snail speed. Port users Warri have accused the NPA of abandoning the dredging and rehabilitation of the Warri port. Meanwhile, the internally generated revenue of NPA which has been growing rapidly since after the concession of the seaports rose to N123.78 billion in 2010. A table of performance profile of NPA, made available to the New Tele-

L-R: Members of NIMAREX 2014 Planning Committee: Mr. Godswill Ukauwa, Chief Cajetan Agu, Mrs. Jean Chiazor Anishere; Chief of Policy and Plans, Naval Headquarters, Rear Admiral O.A Ikioda; Chairman NIMAREX Planning Committee, Mrs. Margaret Onyeama-Orakwusi; and planning committee member, Mr. Ekawu Odey during a visit to the Nigeria Immigration headquarters in Abuja…. on Tuesday

Jonathan to open NIMAREX 2014


here are strong indications that, for the first time since Africa’s biggest annual maritime event commenced four years ago,President Goodluck Jonathan will open this year’s edition of the Nigeria Maritime Expo. Top Federal Government officials and close aides of the President, it was learnt, have been working hard in order to have him grace NIMAREX 2014. With the confirmation of Nigeria’s former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, as the chairman of the event, the NIMAREX 2014 Planning Committee is moving relentlessly towards successful organisation and hosting. Babangida’s Co-chairman is the President of the African Union (AU), Nkosazama Dlamini-Zuma. Nigeria is in her centenary year, and the theme of NIMAREX 2014 is

aptly 100 Years of Maritime Development in Nigeria. Meanwhile, the Planning Committee said it has secured the confirmation of top rank speakers at NIMAREX 2014, including Chairman, Board of Directors, Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT), Onne, Rivers State, Dr. Chris Asoluka; Director, Shipping Development, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Captain Warredi Enisuoh; Chief Executive Officer, Starzs Investments Company Limited, Mr. Greg Ogbeifun; and Professor Dele Badejo of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State. As the exhibition holds on the sidelines, NIMAREX 2014 conference schedule will kick-off with the paper General Review of Nigeria Shipping and Ports Development (1914 – 2014)

by Asoluka. The first paper on the second day of NIMAREX 2014 will be Maritime Security and Safety in the Gulf of Guinea by Enisuoh, while Chairman and Co-Chairman of the session would be the NIMASA Director-General, Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi, and Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayo Oke. The paper discussants include Chief of the Naval Staff, Nigerian Navy (NN), Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin; Chairman, Century Group of Companies, Mr. Ken Etete; Comptroller-General, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Mr. David Shikfu Paradang; Inspector-General, Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Mr. Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar; and Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Alhaji

Dikko Inde Abdullahi. The second day’s other paper is Challenges of Maritime Capacity Development by Ogbeifun, with Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mallam Habib Abdullahi; and NISA Chairman, Chief Isaac Jolapamo, as Chairman and Co-Chairman of Session, respectively. To discuss the paper are Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Mr. Enum Joshua Okpo; Mr. Jack Langrishe of Pacific International Lines Nigeria Limited; Managing Director, NigerDock Nigeria Plc, Mr. Anwal Jarmarkani; Deputy Director, Maritime Safety, NIMASA, Engineer Vincent Udoye; President, Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM), Captain Adegboyega Sahib Olopoenia; and Group Managing Director, Slok Group,Mr. Joseph Nassif.

graph on Sunday, further show that the government agency responsible for the administration of Nigerian seaports internally generated revenue in 2011 rose to N133.95 billion. It generated a total sum of N134.3 billion in 2012, while it earned not less than N70 billion in the first six months of 2013. Making the total revenue generated by the organisation in less than four years stand at over N470 billion. New Telegraph on Sunday reported a fortnight ago that the organisation earned over N153 billion from the seven percent port development levy in the last eight years. However, the ports authority listed several achievements it said it had accomplished in the last eight years to include the upgrading of Port Infrastructure nationwide, increase in cargo offerings with attendant multiplier effect on national economy, improved security of port areas and establishment of Ship-To-Ship (STS) in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Warri Pilotage Districts. NPA said it has also established signal station at Oron and acquired pilot cutters, tug and security boats It said it rehabilitated light houses and other aids to navigation in the Lagos Pilotage District. It is also marking the Escravos entrance and Calabar Channel with channel marking buoys. According to the organisation, it removal 24 critical wrecks in Lagos and five in Port Harcourt and it is providing Nigeria a link to the world economy thereby encouraging international trade. NPA is also contributing revenue to government’s finances, even as it has reformed its corporate social responsibility to host communities – building of school in Onne, providing portable water supply by drilling of boreholes, road construction around Onne and Koko towns as well as award of scholarship to wards of retired NPA personnel. The organization also says that it handles over 90 percent of Nigerian cargo traffic through the sea and provides linkage services to port users such as clearing and forwarding agents, stevedoring contractors and international shipping agencies. It says it provides subvention to other Government parastatals / agencies such as NITT Zaria, Maritime Academy Oron.



Maritime / Business

ANLCA, NAGAFF drop opposition to transaction fees Paul Ogbuokiri


reight groups in Nigeria, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents and National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders have dropped their opposition against collection of a new tariff in the Nigerian ports, called Transaction Fees. Reason why they are shifting their position, New Telegraph on Sunday learnt was the inclusion of the associations in the sharing of the money with the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria. CRFFN which is the organ which will collect the fee from importers is the regulator of the freight forwarding industry in Nigeria. Most of its policies, especially the proposed Transaction Fees had been opposed by the freight forwarders under aegis of ANLCA and NAGAFF. The Minister, Senator Idris Umar in a recent peace meeting, to resolve the crisis that trailed the announcement of the new tariff, said that the associations should be funded from the transaction fees. The freight associations, especially NAGAFF and ANLCA had opposed the collection of the fees from the importers, saying CRFFN has no legal right to collect the fee from their principals who have no business with CRFFN. Senator Umar said the distribu-

tion method should be based on a pro rata basis, and that in order to protect the interest of the associations, the pro rata funding should form the basis for the associations to continue to collaborate with CRFFN. Feelers from ANLCA indicate that the association would not hesitate to drop its opposition if the proposal of the minister is adopted by CRFFN. At the end of its meeting in Lagos during the week, the association would support the collection of the transaction fees by CRFFN, saying it is welcoming the decisions of the Minister of Transport that associations should be funded from the transaction fees However, the association would wait for the modalities forwarded by the newly appointed commercial regulator of the port system, Nigeria Shippers Council. Special Assistant to the President of ANLCA on Media, Mr. Joe Sani, in a statement on Wednesday, said “ANLCA will await the outcome of the NSC modalities for a meeting of ANLCA-NSC to discuss it and take a position.” President of NAGAFF, Chief Eugene Newke in a telephone interview with the New Telegraph on Sunday said the association is no longer opposing the transaction fees in so far as it does not add to the cost of doing business in the port. He confirmed that the sharing formula has been agreed was agreed

Pilotage boards express concern over safety of navigation


he leadership of the pilotage boards of the four pilotage districts of Nigerian Ports Authority has expressed fear over the safety of navigation in the nation’s waters. Capt. Solomon Abiodun Omoteso, who led the leadership of the group in a visit to the NPA headquarters on Wednesday, expressed the concern. He called for an urgent implementation of the communiqué of a recent retreat held by members of the pilotage districts at Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, in view of the major issues discussed at the forum. Managing Director of NPA, Mallam Habib Abdullahi assured that NPA continue to place priority on safety and training and retraining of it pilots. He also added that the organization would continue to support the activities of the four pilotage

districts within the Nigerian port industry to ensure their maximum performance. He stressed that the NPA would also provide all the operational requirements of the pilotage districts within budgetary provisions. He commended the contributions of the members, consisting of mainly the finest nation’s master mariners, for their contributions to ensure enhanced performance of the various pilotage districts. While stressing the roles of pilots as Harbour Masters in the operations of NPA, Habib appealed to members of the pilotage boards to always make positive suggestions on the marine functions of the organisation, adding that such suggestions would be gladly considered by the Management with a view to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the system.

on in the recent meeting with the minister but that was done when the Commercial Regulator of the port was not yet in place. “Now that Nigeria Shippers Council, the port commercial regulator has been appointed by the Federal Government, we will have sit down with the agency and consider all the pros and cons. We have all agreed to submit to the authority of the CRFFN but we have to wait to the regulator and the modalities it is proposing,” he said. and ensure that the fee does not add to the cost it goverOn the issue of Customs benchmark, the National President commended the duo of Pius Ujubuonu and Chuks David

Kanikwu for the painstaking effort at coming up with their recommendations, after studying the benchmark database, forwarded to ANLCA by the Nigeria Customs Service, for the input of the Association, before publication. However, reasoned the National President, there was need for a second opinion. This informed the setting up of the Committee on PAAR, headed by Sir John Alfred Ofobike, who is also the Chairman of the audit committee. The committee, made up of four other members is to turn in their report within three weeks for consideration, before forwarding ANLCA’s benchmark position to the Customs headquarters.

On the issue of PAAR, all Chairmen of the Chapters agreed that PAAR is working. All of them also agreed that the time/period of issuance should be shortened, for PAAR to be meaningful. The decentralization of issuance of PAAR was suggested to facilitate issuance. The President requested members to prepare to hold many seminars to train their members continuously, so that ANLCA members can be experts on PAAR. Prince Olayiwola Shittu advised members to always utilize their free time to study intensively the CET and specialize on what they are used to clearing at the ports.

L-R: Capt Martin Inignwan, Capt Ishola Peters, Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Mallam Habib Abdullahi, Capt Solomo Omoteso and Capt Olu Akinsoji; when the leadership of the Pilotage Board visited, NPA headquarters in Lagos… Wenesday

MAAG to monitor logistics chain


he National Coordinator of the Maritime Advocacy and Action Group MAAG, Alhassan Dantata says the group is out to ensure fairness and equity for all stakeholders in the Logistics and Supply chain Industry. Dantata made this known while hosting a delegation of the Save Nigeria Freight Forwarding Importers and Exporters Coalition SNFFIEC at the MAAG Secretariat. The MAAG National Coordinator said the era whereby hardworking operators in the industry go home hungry is over and that the group will do everything within the law to protect the interest of members, and them a sense of belonging by enforcing the rule of law. He urged practitioners in the industry to be prepared for the expected overhaul in the industry

especially with the new status of the Nigeria Shipper’s Council as the commercial regulator of the ports, and advised members of the Save Nigeria Coalition to brace up for the challenges ahead. Dantata advised them to see themselves as members of the one family of MAAG and that unity of purpose should be their watchword. He said MAAG which is an umbrella body of twelve major associations and organisations in the industry has the mandate of those in authority to stamp out corruption and any wrongdoings from the system. Speaking earlier, the National Coordinator of the Save Nigeria Freight Forwarding Importers and Exporters Coalition, Chief Osita Chukwu had commended the National Coordinator of MAAG, Alhassan Dantata for the way he has been piloting the af-

fairs of the group. Chukwu said the Coordinator’s Philosophy and leadership style are in tandem with that of his Coalition and that these have restored hope in the industry. The SNFFIEC Coordinator said their visit is to show appreciation to the MAAG National Coordinator, and also to assure him that the Save Nigeria Group members are solidly behind him. He implored the MAAG National Coordinator to use his good office to cleanse the logistics and supply chain of the wrongdoings in the sector. Chukwu stressed the importance of educative programmes for practitioners to enhance their knowledge and boost their level of awareness about the industry, and according to him, through this, they will become useful to themselves and the country.



arket efficiency is somehow partly linked to transaction costs. Transaction cost on stocks trading is a major component that impacts on the level of net returns accruable to an investor. Analysis of the cost of buying and selling shares on the Nigerian bourse when compared with other bourses in Africa, developed and emerging markets save for Ghana shows a significant disparity. However, in a bid to further reform the capital market for increased participation, management of the Nigerian Stock Exchange most recently introduced a new product “X-alert” and consequently reviewed downward the transactions alert cost from 0.063% of the value of every transaction to a flat rate of NGN4 per transaction. This is expected to come as a relief to wide spectrum of investors, especially institutional and High-Networth-Investors (HNIs). Nevertheless the lowering of charge on SMS alert, total entire costs of transaction in Nigeria still remains high and un-competitive when compared with other peer markets in Africa as well as developed markets. While we welcome this new development from the Nigerian Stock Exchange, we are convinced that majority of investors will appreciate implementation of Federal Government announcement of abolishment of value added tax (VAT) and stamp duties on equities transactions as soon as possible to complement this initiative. Analysis of transaction cost on Nigerian Equities Market The transaction costs on the local bourse are summed up to 4.04%, made



NSE X-alert initiative and market efficiency

up of broker’s commission and statutory fees as depicted below We conduct a scenario analysis of the effects that transaction cost would have on NGN1million investment spent on purchasing 130,859 units of ACCESSBANK, currently trading at NGN7.50 and assuming the stock appreciated by 20% before exit. This scenario would result in NGN18, 555 in fees being charged for the buy transaction, whilst NGN23, 594 in fees for selling the stocks. The net value of the investment would be NGN1.06mn (NGN55,995 profit, representing 6% gain as against 10% before deducting transaction costs), with charges totaling NGN42, 149 (42.95% of total profit). A further analysis shows that the brokerage fees on both buy and sell sides (NGN13, 500 and NGN14, 574 respectively) took the biggest share of total costs, followed by SEC fee (NGN3, 000) on the buy side, and the CSCS transaction fee and NSE fee on the sell side (NGN3, 239 each). Additionally, for both transactions (buy and sell), there is a further VAT charge of 5% on each summing up to NGN1, 790 which further shrank investor returns. Transactions on the Nigerian Bourse Costly Compared With Peers The relatively high costs of transactions on the Nigerian Stock Exchange calls for concern to investors particularly at the retail segment of the market with such charges as the stamp duty still being charged on every transaction, which takes place on an electronic platform. We embark on a comparative look at the cost of transaction across markets in

BUY 1.350% 0.068% 0.060% 0.003% 0.300% 0.075% 1.856% SUB-TOTAL

SELL 1.350% 0.068% 0.300% 0.015% 0.060% 0.003% 0.300% 0.015% 0.000% 0.075% 2.185% 4.04%

BREAKDOWN OF 2013 TRANSACTION FEES BUY SIDE (NGN) SELL SIDE (NGN) Broker's Commission (+5% VAT) 13,500.00 14,574.46 5% VAT on Broker's Commission 675.00 728.72 CSCS Transaction Fee 0.00 3,238.77 5% VAT on CSCS Transaction Fee 0.00 161.94 CSCS Trade Alert 600.00 647.75 5% VAT on CSCS Trade Alert 30.00 32.39 NSE Fee 0.00 3,238.77 5% VAT on NSE Fee 0.00 161.94 SEC Fee 3,000.00 0.00 Stamp Duties 750.00 809.69 TOTAL 18,555.00 23,594.43 SUB-TOTAL (NGN) 42,149.43 Source: Meristem Research

Africa and establish that Nigeria’s statutory fees (exclusive of brokerage commission) remain the highest not only in Africa but also across major emerging markets across the globe (save for Ghana which is almost at same level with Nigeria at 0.7%) In the light of this, on reviewing transaction costs across global markets, we note that transaction cost appears highest in Ghana, followed by Nigeria, while the US has the least transaction cost with no charges on stock trades. Hence, lower cost of transaction appears consistent with the level of market development and by implication, market efficiency, as costs are lower in U.S, China, India and South Africa which are more developed compared with the Nigerian and Ghanaian markets. On the back of this finding, we think the current initiative of the NSE’s management should

improve agency cost, increase market participation and enhance the overall efficiency of the Nigeria equities market. Lower Transaction Cost Is Consistent With Market Efficiency Following the introduction of the Xalert system which took effect March 1, 2014, the question investors may want to ask is, could there be any possible impact of this initiative on the performance of the Nigerian bourse? Studies have linked reduction in transaction costs to direct cost savings, and other indirect benefits such as improved agency cost and creation of a more efficient market. Besides, lower transaction costs often times mean expected higher returns. Hence, reduction in cost is expected to induce better equities market participation, as investors will be generally encouraged to play the market more in expectation of better and quicker returns on investment.

Equities Transaction of Nigerian and other global Markets



Impact of Transaction Costs on Market Activity Retail investors, whose participation in the market has been improving in recent times, more often than not are at the receiving end of higher transaction costs as they usually do not have the required bargaining power to negotiate lower brokerage fees. Statistics from the Nigerian Stock Exchange reveals that retail domestic investments constituted about 25% of total transactions on the local bourse as at December 31 2013 with only about 3% of Nigerian population estimated to be participants in the market. This possibly indicates that high transaction costs may be a deterrent to retail investors’ participation. Whilst the introduction of the new x-alert system at a cost of NGN4 per transaction is expected to improve

Market Report

Source: ConvergEx Group

transparency in stock trading and ease of getting information on transaction details; nonetheless, it is an additional cost to investors across board. Institutional and foreign participants on the other hand are better positioned,



MARCH 9, 2014

due to the larger volumes of trade they execute, to bid for discounts. This is particularly discouraging to retail investors in bearish markets (as is currently being experienced with YtD return at -5.97%) as they consider the possibil-

ity that gains can be eroded in form of fees from buying and selling securities. Foreign investors most times take into consideration those risks relating to transaction costs in making investment decisions as to which country to allocate their funds. Thus, the higher the transaction costs, the higher the premium required for equity investments even after considering other risk factors such as exchange rate risk, political risk, amongst others. With a total transaction charge of 4.04% (for selling and buying); it implies a break-even level for an investor in the local market and subsequently makes short term stock trading rather difficult in a bearish market. Hence, a downward review of transaction charges will not only encourage more market participation, but also aid in reducing the risks investors undertake in equities investment.


Kingsley Roberts

Cell Phone Radiation Danger


an the radiation from your cell phone really damage your health? That’s the question scientists and researchers across the globe have tried to answer for the last two decades. Reports vary from definitive yes’s to absolute no’s, with most falling somewhere in-between, leaning toward—but not admitting to—potential health hazards. The effect of mobile phone radiation on human health is the subject of recent interest and study, as a result of the enormous increase in mobile phone usage throughout the world (as of June 2009, there were more than 4.3 billion users worldwide). Mobile phones use electromagnetic in the microwave range. Other digital wireless systems, such as data communication networks, The WHO have classified mobile phone radiation on the IARC scale into Group 2B possibly carcinogenic. That means that there “could be some risk” of carcinogenicity, so additional research into the long-term, heavy use of mobile phones needs to be conducted. Some national radiation advisory authorities have recommended measures to minimize exposure to their citizens as a precautionary approach. The rapidly evolving mobile phone technology raised public concern about the possibility of associated adverse health effects. The current body of

evidence is summarized addressing epidemiological studies, studies investigating adverse biological effects, other biological effects, basic mechanisms and indirect effects. Currently, the balance of evidence from epidemiological studies suggests that there is no association between mobile phone radiation and cancer. This finding is consistent with experimental results. There is some evidence for biological effects, which, however, are not necessarily hazardous for humans. No basic mechanisms of biological effects have been consistently identified yet. Using a mobile phone while driving a car is significantly associated with a higher risk of vehicle collisions Safety is a legitimate concern of the users of wireless equipment, particularly, in regard to possible hazards caused by electromagnetic (EM) fields. There has been growing concern about the possible adverse health effects resulting from exposure to radiofrequency radiations (RFR), such as those

from mobile communication devices. Mobile communication is where signal is transferred via electromagnetic wave through radio frequency and microwave signals. This signal produces electromagnetic radiation in the form of thermal radiation that consists of harmful ionizing radiation and harmless non-ionizing radiation. When using mobile phone, electromagnetic wave is transferred to the body which causes health problems especially at the place near ear skull region where they are known to affect the neurons. The radiations interfere with the

electrical impulses that two neurons connect each other with. This can lead to deafness and migraines. People using cell phones are prone to high blood pressure and other symptoms such as hot ears, burning skin, headaches and fatigue. There have been various studies into the connection between mobile phones and memory loss. Because of their smaller heads, thinner skulls and higher tissue conductivity, children may absorb more energy from a given phone than adults. International guidelines on exposure levels to microwave frequency limit the power levels of wireless devices and it is uncommon for wireless devices to exceed the guidelines. But these guidelines only take into account thermal effects, as non-thermal effects have not yet been conclusively demonstrated. The non-thermal radiation affects the human brain. Global System for Mobile Communications or GSM is the world’s most popular standard for mobile telephone systems. GSM is a cellular network, which means that mobile phones connect to it by searching for cells in the immediate vicinity. GSM networks operate

in a number of different carrier frequency ranges. GSM networks operate in the 900 MHz or 1800 MHz bands. Where these bands were already allocated, the 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands are used instead Regardless of the frequency selected by an operator; it is divided into timeslots for individual phones to use. This allows eight full-rate or sixteen half-rate speech channels per radio frequency. These eight radio timeslots (or eight burst periods) are grouped into a TDMA frame. Half rate channels use alternate frames in the same timeslot. The transmission power in the handset is limited to a maximum of 2 watts in GSM850/900 and 1 watt in GSM1800/1900. Code division multiple access (CDMA) is a channel access method used by various radio communication technologies. One of the basic concepts in data communication is the idea that it allows several transmitters to send information simultaneously over a single communication channel. This allows several users to share a band of frequencies. This concept is called Multiple Access. CDMA employs spread-spectrum technology and a special coding scheme where each transmitter is assigned a code to allow multiple users to be multiplexed over the same physical channel. The transmission power in the handset is limited to a maximum of 6 to 7 mille Watts.

Kiddies Teens


with Kate Robin Adanihuwan

08066519657 (sms only)


Hi Kids, It’s another beautiful Sunday with a promising week ahead. Having had your minds filled with so much school work last week, solving a few puzzles, completing the drawing of our little friend Hammy and laughing your hearts out with our jokes, will help prepare you for school tomorrow. A winner has emerged in our last week’s “Guess Who,” competition and I hope another kid will pick up our gift this week. Till then, have fun.

Crayon colours Read the words in the list below, then find and circle them in the puzzle.

Ten commandments for success • Be serious with your studies. • Don’t live your life to please others. • Don’t depend on anyone to get ahead. • Get rid of bad friends; surround yourself with people who will lift you up. • Obey your parents always. • Rid yourself off your addictions whether they are food, games, drugs or bad habits.

Help finish drawing Hammy

I’m a popular Nigerian comedian, who am I? Winner for last week’s “Guess Who” Qudus Bello 0813198.... Answer Innocent Idibia (Tuface) Send answer to this week’s Guess Who to or send answer to 08066519657

Amarachi Ike, Basic 3 Divine Confidence School, Ikotun, Lagos State

RIDDLES “As we have learnt,” said the teacher, “the former ruler of Russia was called a Czar, and his wife was called a Czarina. Now who can tell me what the Czar’s children were called?” A little boy at the back of the class raised up his hand and said, “Czardines!” .................................................. Marty: He was kicked out of school for cheating! Wade: “How come?” Marty: He was caught counting his ribs in a biology exam.” .................................................... “Now boys,” said the teacher, “tell me the signs of the Zodiac.

Guess who?

• Surround yourself with people who are as smart as or smarter than you. • Always be good and honest. • Put God first in everything you do. • Be persistent in pursuing your dreams

let’s start with you Tommy.” “Taurus, the Bull.” “Right. Now you Harry, another one.” “Cancer the Crab.” “Right again. Now Sammy it’s your turn.” The boy looked puzzled, hesitated a moment and then blurted out, “Mickey the Mouse!” ............................................... Teacher: “Give me a sentence with an object.” Pupil: “You are a very beautiful, teacher.” Teacher: “What’s the object?” Pupil: “A good grade!”


get sexier paired with a fitted jacket and work-appropriate heels like pumps or wedges. Sandals are popular, especially during hot weather. If they are flat or low-heeled, they are a good option for occasions when you plan to trek. Floral prints have strong patterns, which call for simple jewellery. A small, distinctive necklace such as a silver locket or pendant is a great complement to a floral dress. The same applies when selecting earrings: simple studs or loops can work well. However, you can still complement your dress with ornate earrings in matching colours to add visual appeal or you can forgo necklaces all together and opt for bangles or bracelets for a polished look. Adding a belt is another option. It adds contrast and gives definition to your total look. For a multi-coloured dress, choose a belt that is the same shade with one of the colours in the dress. So get the flower power and get sexier!






Let your timepiece tell time...and more Vanessa Okwara


wristwatch is one of the most important accessories in a man’s wardrobe. It speaks of his personality and exudes his innate style and charisma. Watches are one accessory that can never go out of fashion. Whether for office, formal or casual dinner with friends, when a man is wearing the perfect time-

piece, he radiates unmatched style, glamour and charm. There are a lot of watch makers and brands -from standard to luxury ones. You can choose from a simple steel watch to a unique watch in diamonds and other jewel encrusted types. Whatever your brand maybe, a good wristwatch will always make you look sophisticated.





Make a STATEMENT with necklaces Vanessa Okwara


re you looking for that jewelry that can add instant glam to your outfit? Statement necklaces will do the magic. The statement necklace is a powerful accessory; it can add glam to a simple outfit. Statement necklaces reigned last year. They surely will trend

this year as designers create even more enticing pieces. Statement necklaces are the perfect way to freshen up an outfit ‌even in the office! Age, budget and personal style aren’t limiting factors when it comes to statement pieces. They are great to wear with the ever-timeless

little black dress, a simple tee, or an outfit that needs a little extra pop to make it look special. Whether it is strings of chunky pearls, vintage sparkle, metallic, tribal, fabric or geometric, a statement necklace can take a strapless dress from pretty to awesome with one clasp!




Obasanjo, Kashamu war deepens with

Bayo Adeoye 080114867475

Multichoice boss, Biola Alabi resigns T

he Managing Director of Multichoice, Biola Alabi, has resigned her appointment from the multinational cable/satellite company. She dropped her resignation letter a few days ago. While a source informed Celeb Lounge that the lady did that on her own volition, another source insisted that she was forced to do so. While she sat atop the South African owned company, she distinguished herself as one of the few women at the helm of affairs in Corporate Africa, and she was at the forefront of the expansion of the Africa Magic channels brand across the continent. No wonder she was able to make it to the 11th position on Forbes, list of Africa’s Most Powerful Women in the Media. Last month, the Head of Corporate Affairs of the outfit for 10 years, Segun Fayose, also tendered his resignation and has since travelled out of the country on vacation.


he battle of supremacy in PDP South West that pitched former President Olusegun Obasanjo against Buruju Kashamu was taken beyond the radar of politics to the wedding of Chief Kenny Martins’ and Wole Olanipekun’s children in Lagos penultimate weekend. Remember Kashamu and Obasanjo are presently at loggerheads over accusations and counter accusations of fraud and political dictatorship. The classy event no doubt was successful, as it attracted bigwigs both in political and judicial sectors of the country as the parents of the two are highly ranked in the society. But for the gladiators who turned the wedding ground to a battle field, the party was a luxury event. According to an eye witness, Obasanjo who came in very late to the church was hinted that Kashamu was on his way to the reception. The former president stylishly avoided the Harbour Point, Victoria Island reception venue and left for home from the church. Kashamu too, Celeb Lounge

gathered was told that the retired soldier was present at the church, and he avoided the church and left straight for the reception. The reception was a celebration of sorts with the attendance of five gov-

Ifeanyi Ubah hibernating!


t’s no more news that Oil and Gas big boy, Ifeanyi Ubah, lost last November’s governorship election in Anambra State. Before the election, the boss of Capital Oil was one of those

Peter Obafemi’s ambition on course


an about town, Otunba Peter Obafemi’s dream of becoming governor of Ekiti State has received a major boost as he has crossed to the next stage of his ambition. Last week, Celeb Lounge learnt that the boss of defunct Ritetime Airways was among those shortlisted to contest the primary election of Peoples Democratic Party in the state. The society big boy has been nursing the ambition to rule his state since 2011, but this was dashed by the court ruling that declared the present governor, Kayode Fayemi, winner.

ernors and several other top celebrities including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Taiwo Afolabi-Sifax, Chief Subomi Balogun, Tayo Ayeni of Skymit Motors, Oba Akiolu and Oba Elegushi, among others.

Ex-beauty Queen, Matilda Kerry weds

E candidates that bragged that he would surely replace Governor Peter Obi, only for him to come in a woeful distant fourth position in the election. Today, Celeb Lounge learnt that the man has gone into virtual recluse and has refused to come out of his shell, months after the election. The once vociferous and happy-go-lucky man has gone on ‘self- exile’ moaning his losses, especially the billions he lost in the election and the takeover of his company, Capital Oil, by AMCON.

x Most Beautiful girl in Nigeria, Matilda Kerry, was led to the altar penultimate weekend by her lover, Festus Osazuwa, a business man with interests in Estate Management. The wedding which took place at the Chapel of The Healing Cross in Idi-Araba, Lagos was a reunion of past Most Beautiful Girls in Nigeria such as Agbani Darego, Chinenye Ochuba, and many others. During her reign, she represented Nigeria in the Miss Universe and Miss World pageants.

KUTH Foundation boss broke?

Other side of CBN governor-to-be


ince he was appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan to replace Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele has been in the news and his profile has soared higher. Emefiele is the Group Managing Director, Zenith Bank Plc, a position he has held since August 2010. Until then, he was the Deputy Managing Director of the bank, having been appointed into that position in 2001. Emefiele has been on the bank’s management team since inception and has held various

management positions in the bank. He has served as the bank’s Executive Director in charge of Corporate Banking, Treasury, Financial Control and Strategic Planning. All these we know about the man that will soon be sworn in as the new CBN governor. But Celeb Lounge can bet that many people do not know that the banker of repute is a great football lover and a die-hard fan of Chelsea Football club. We gathered that he started supporting the club before many of its fans here in Nigeria, and he has visited Stamford Bridge on many occasions.

The former beauty queen is now a medical doctor who studied Medicine and Surgery at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria, with a special interest in women’s health. She founded and oversees the extensive cervical health campaign of the George Kerry Life Foundation.


ince his talk –of – the town birthday celebration in June last year at Wheatbaker, Ikoyi Lagos, nothing has been heard about KUTH Foundation’s boss, Gerald Azonobo as he

has remained off the social scene. Celeb Lounge learnt that the multi-millionaire who was a regular face at many A- list night clubs around the Island has gone off the social scene completely. Rumours have been making the rounds that the Delta Stateborn business man may have fallen on hard times.






Juliet Bumah +234 81 1 675 9770

I’ll rather go to hell

atra allowed the phone to ring. Love is wicked, Brick & Lace sang and stopped. Tears welled up in her eyes. She dialed Room Service and requested for a bottle of cognac, coke and ice. It got to her in less than five minutes. Good service. She poured a large drink and settled on the couch. Richie called again. She tapped the green button and listened. “Baby where are you?” Richie asked from the other end. “Of what use is that to you? Go marry that woman. Yes, I know I have not been able to give you a child but I’m not God. So, go marry the woman,” Patra said in tear-laden voice. “I’m sorry, honey. Please forgive me. I know I deserve to be shot...” Richie began and Patra cut in, “Then what are you waiting for? Pull the trigger and spare me the task of poisoning you.” Richie’s heart nearly stopped beating. Poison? He remembered he saw a pack of rat poison somewhere in the house and had wondered what his wife needed that for. His mind went back to the well-prepared rice and stew he saw on the dining table which he ate about an hour earlier. Earth has no fury like a woman scorned! He couldn’t remember who said that, he didn’t need to. He broke out in sweat. His bowel moved and he had an urgent urge to use the restroom. He whispered, “Baby, you said ‘poison’? What do you mean?” His voice was shaking, barely audible. “I ate the food you kept on the dinning table. Was it poisoned?” “I’m sure if it was, you would have known by now. Look, leave me alone. You have hurt me so much.” Patra cut the phone and rejected other calls from him. ******************************** Patra looked around her. She felt so empty, so lonely. She poured another drink. The tears came running down her cheeks and she let herself cry until she could cry no more. Her heart ached. February 14 flashed through her mind for the umpteenth time. Richie had travelled two days earlier. He said he had a business meeting in Port Harcourt. It had to do with a deal he had been chasing for months. It was worth a pretty sum. He had complained that it came up at a time he didn’t want to be away from his wife. Patra encouraged him to go for it since it was important. They had agreed to have a special dinner the following weekend since he would be gone for five days. Patra felt so alone on Valentine’s Day. Everyone in her office talked about hanging out in the evening. Everyone had a plan for the day...except her. When she got home, she was lonely. She felt like going out but didn’t want to go anywhere around Ikeja which was her favourite. She didn’t want to run into her friends who would be hanging out with their spouses. Driving through the Third Mainland Bridge had always been an issue for her since she was robbed there some years ago. You wouldn’t find her on the Island unless it was absolutely necessary. She decided to go to the Island! Her husband took her to a cozy leisure arena on her birthday three years ago. She would go there. Problem was, she wouldn’t be able to find her way there. She dialled Richie’s phone number but it was switched off. He must be in a meeting. She’d take a cab. She sent him a text message, informing him of her plan. When she got there, she was ushered to a table. The lady asked, “Ma’m, are you expecting someone?” After a moment’s hesitation, she nodded, “My husband.” “Do I take your order now?” She asked. “Lemme study the menu first,” Patra told her. “Okay ma’m. Will be back,” she said and moved to the

next table. Patra settled into her comfortable chair. It was a table for two. From her dimly lit corner, she could observe other revelers. The place was noisy. The music was good. Love was definitely in the air. Suddenly she froze! She wiped her eyes with the back of her right palm. ‘No! It’s not possible!’ Walking towards her was Richie. He had a little girl in pink and red dotted gown in his arms. In his eyes were the twinkles she loved so much. He had that naughty curl at the corners of his mouth...only that they were not meant for her that moment. He stopped two tables from hers and gave the woman sitting there a peck on the lips and sat down. Patra shook her head to clear her thought. She must be dreaming, but no. He was still there, playing with the little girl who was struggling with him. Patra watched them, mesmerized. He set the little girl down and she took a few paces and slipped. Richie was up in a flash, he scooped her into his arms. Patra didn’t know what propelled her. She got up from her seat and move like someone in a trance towards them. Richie saw her and aged immediately. He said something to the lady beside him and her eyes popped in fear. They stood up hastily. She was pregnant! Patra got to their table and stopped. The little girl looked up, smiled at her and said, “Daddy, daddy, see”. She didn’t know how she managed it, she smiled at the little girl, turned to the adults and said, “I can see you are having a family outing. Cool. Very very cool. Well, enjoy it. If you didn’t switch off your phone, you would have known I would be here and spared me this.” She turned to the little girl again, smiled and walked away. She was beautiful, but she neither looked like Richie nor the lady. ***************************** Patra shook her head again. She felt woozy. Her phone was ringing again. That number had called several times. She picked it. “Ma’m it’s me, Pius,” the voice said. “Pius?” Patra could hardly think clearly. “Yes ma’m. I drove you from the airport. You said you may need me to take you round town...”

“Oh Pius! Where are you? Come over,” she said. About 20 minutes later, he called again. “Do come up to the room,” she told him. The intercom buzzed few minutes later. “Send him up,” she said into the mouthpiece and replaced it. She then switched off all her phones. She could barely get up to open the door. She swayed and Pius caught her and led her to the bed. He was alarmed when he saw the cognac bottle. He looked around the room, then at Patra. It was obvious she had been drinking and crying. Her eyes were swollen and her makeup had messed up her face, but she still looked very beautiful. “What could be her problem? Who could have hurt this angel?” he worried. “Ma’m, happened,” he said ever so gently and tears streamed down her cheeks again. He was confused. He moved towards her and stopped. Head bowed, she placed her two palms over her face and sobbed. Pius picked up the bottle of cognac, alarmed that she could gulp such quantity. He hesitated a bit then poured himself a drink. After a while, he took her hands and pulled her up. She hid her face in his chest and sobbed more. He clasped his arms around her and rocked her gently...until she curled her hands round his neck. They felt the heat! She tilted her head back and looked up at him. As she opened her mouth to say something, Pius brought his mouth down gently on it. He felt her stiffen, then she yielded. He fumbled with her clothes, got her free of them and released the mound that tormented his mind during the journey from the airport. A look at her magnificent body and he decided he would rather go to hell than not have her. He carried her gently to the bed and rummaged in the drawers for a sheath. None. He picked the intercom and requested for it from the reception. Then he turned down the volume of the television and joined her on the bed. “I don’t have a sheath,” she murmured. “I’ve taken care of that,” he whispered into her ears. She relaxed and he explored her body with his tongue. It was passion unrestrained. Buoyed by the cognac in her system, she wallowed in the joy he gave her. A gentle tap on the door, he got the sheath. He stepped out of his clothes and her eyes popped. Now she had an unrestrained view of those strong arms and firm body. Somewhere in her mind, an alarm went off but she was past caring. This would be the first time in six years that another man would come close to her. She was hundred per cent faithful to Richie from the day they started dating till they got married more than a year later. Everything changed suddenly. Pius took her to unimaginable heights and back. She cried more, but not out of frustration, but satisfaction. She needed it. She needed someone who would soothe her nerves. Richie betrayed her, she needed this. ****************************** Richie rushed into the restroom again. He had visited there three times after Patra cut their phone conversation. Was there rat poison in that food? Fear gripped him as his bowel moved for the fourth time.

Did Patra poison Richie? Find out next week. Hello readers, This is a series on Patra, an amiable, hardworking wife who got the most unusual gift on February 14. Feel free to drop your comments.




I’ve had a very interesting life -Yinka Ogunsuyi Mr. Yinka Ogunsuyi is the proprietor of Royal Regency Academy, Lekki Lagos. Born in Moba Local Government Area of Ekiti State, he clocked 50 on March 7. He spoke with TAI ANYANWU on his reflections at 50.

You’ve just attained the golden age of 50. Could you tell us a bit about your life?

My life is a testimony. My Father often said to me, ‘You are a lucky child.’ The circumstances of my birth were such that I was never meant to be born. At that time in history, 1964, when medical expertise was still hard to access, my mother was in labour for three days. Local medical practitioners in my village had done their best to bring forth the baby; and there was a problem. The option they had was to rush my mum to the only general hospital in my part of Ondo providence of Western Nigeria then, which was in Ado Ekiti. On the road, my father’s eye caught a small signage of a hospital on the road side in the town called Aramoko Ekiti. At that time, my mother was between life and death. He asked the driver to enter and enquire. He was informed that he had come at a very lucky time. The hospital was usually serviced by a visiting doctor; luckily the doctor was at the hospital at that crucial time of my mother’s labour. The doctor took my delivery; and he did that not through a caesarean session as it should be, but with the aid of forceps. Babies delivered through the means, he said, usually have deformities. Probing blindly, the forceps could pierce any part of the baby, but I came out clean. I was delivered eventually in transit. My father would tell the story about my delivery and say, ‘what a lucky boy’. My life is a testimony. In those days, your father could afford a car and a driver. Would you like to tell us about your background?

I am royalty on my mother’s side and nobility on my father’s side. In other words, I’m royalty and mobility combined. My father was a judge; and God has given me an expeditious life. But I thank God that he has given me the grace to be humble; because if you have this kind of landmarks, it is difficult to be humble. I finished primary school at the age of 10 when it was difficult to do so. I passed through secondary school at age 15, and found myself teaching people who were older than me in my own community. The pupils knew me and knew my age and yet I had to wield the stick of a teacher and exert discipline over them. I was not qualified for university admission because of I was under age. The age limit then was 16 years and this made it necessary for me to work before I met the requirements for university admission. I taught in a secondary school. I was handling class five pupils whom I was to assist to prepare for their WAEC examination. Funny enough, most of them were older than my elder brother. Today, most of them are accomplished personalities in their respective fields of endeavour. Some are captains of industry, publishers and legislators and commissioners in the present Ondo State Government. Wherever we meet they still call me ‘my teacher’. I have had a very interesting life. The restlessness in me and the policy of university admission made me go to Wesley College in old Oyo State. Chief Bola Ige had just given some information on education and told me that he was going to start a school which was going to award

certificates in Education. Not willing to stay at home, I applied and was admitted to the school. My experience in Wesley College, which was a teacher training institution, established my interest in Education and in teaching, as I am known today. Part of my life experience was that at 18, I was already the Public Relations Officer of my students’ union. I was having meetings with people like Chief Bola Ige, then governor of Oyo State. I was already playing an adult’s role, having meetings at government house and mobilising my colleagues in Aluta (students’ union), as we used to know it. Interestingly, I was the youngest corps member in our camp in 1984, at age 20. And there was a young lady, from Alvan Ikoku College of Education, known as Nnenna. She was also the youngest female corps member in the NYSC camp in Rivers State. After service, I was a teacher for a number of years before I went back to the university and graduated again. After that, there was no job. What happened to your dad’s links since he was a judge and could fix you in a job with ease?

I relied more on self-confidence and adequate preparation than on my father’s clout to lead a successful life. So, I spent my time doing a Postgraduate Certificate in Computer Studies. This enabled me to get a job in Port Harcourt again in April 1991, where I started my adult working career. I worked in Narrow Computers and I rose to become a branch manager. Micro City

Computers later ap-

pointed me as a General Manager in 1993 at age 29. I was reporting to a board of seven directors and was running the company day by day. But that was for a short time. I resigned and started my own computer company called Century Computers Incorporated. We had an affiliation with an American firm called Roto Incorporated of USA. And at 30, I had become a proud MD of a duly registered limited liability company. That is why I say that God has been very faithful to me. I have run my life at a very great speed. But there were times in my life that I felt I would not live long; because when I read about fast achievers, the devil begin to tell me that all the people that ran fast in life quickly ran out. And he would tell me that even the Lord Jesus himself lived for only 33 years. Outstanding people like Luther King Jnr., Bob Marley all died at an early age. By that time I began to be afraid when I looked at the flow of my life, because from an ordinary officer, I become a general manager within two years. I was transferred to Enugu as a branch manager in a pure Igbo speaking state. I also held other better positions before becoming a managing director. What that will tell is that I am like a general who rose from being an infantry soldier to controlling men. What informed your switch from ICT to education?

Like I said, I was a teacher and I think I was destined to be in the education sector. In all my years in the ICT industry, I enjoyed myself because I didn’t care about the money that I eventually made from it, yes; money wasn’t my problem. I was like a millionaire and my foray into ICT opened doors of wealth and opportunities. Then I worked for banks, consulted for the oil and gas industry, NNPC offshore locations and shipping firms. My company had its headquarters in Warri, Delta State; we had branches in Lagos and Port Harcourt. Almost 8 0 per cent of our earnings was derived from oil and gas firms; because we were contractors to Shell, Chevron and other oil companies. The exciting thing was that I was in money, but in all of this there was a nagging vision crying for expression in my spirit. I remember I told my wife more than once that one day I will be back in school. Due to the restiveness in the Niger Delta, we had to relocate to the South-West, where we had two branches. We came back to Lagos and I noticed that there was a dearth of schools i n the Lekki axis where we live. I noticed that the

private schools were charging so much unlike back there in Warri. I took a study to find out why it was that expensive here. I found out that there was this artificial classification of the Lekki areas where there were just few schools offering good and quality education. Our children had been in school for a year. Something struck me that we had to start this school now. The passion that drives this vision is that school fees must not be prohibitive. Like I said, the dots of our lives do not connect forward they only connect backward. Everything we were doing were all preparation time. It was just the vision right from the start till now clicked. So, what lessons has life taught you?

First and foremost in my 50 years, life has taught me basically that whatever you give you get; and whatever you sow you reap. There is a famous law that I’m guided with is that you can outsmart the other guy but remember that God is the master crafter. Life has also taught me that success is a product of commitment and passion; you must give back to the society. We talked about my background where we have royalty and I didn’t tell you that my mother sat on the throne of her father for 13 years before she died. So, I don’t have a distant connection to the throne. I’m a direct prince to the throne. But I’m saying that the high and mighty can be wise. Life is in circles; don’t think because you are up there you can buy the future for your child by looking somewhere and making provision in advance. The man that thinks he has set everything up for his child, it might be diverted once a good child comes in. Remember, if it is not from the right source, it was stolen from people. That’s all life has taught me. Why am I after a good and affordable education? My mother was a teacher and that is where the school’s name was derived - Royal Regency Academy - in honour of her glorious reign on her father’s throne. Many children went to school because of my mother. Another thing life has taught me is that no matter how long you live on this earth, one day you will die and go to your creator. How do you see the future?

All the great men we celebrate in history, including the late Mandela, were not celebrated because of their wealth or educational background but for their great influence. And that is how I see my life. I see life in terms of how much I can influence the ones coming behind. I see my future in terms of being involved in any community service around and to realign families in an expanding manner. About three years ago I was selected by the Badore community, where I live now, as the secretary of Badore Education and Intervention Committee. I wasn’t there at the time I was selected, but it tells me something that you are making an impression. All the time, the committee was surprised that a private owner was bringing his idea to the public. In the estate where I live, I am the secretary; that’s how life is. I have been involved in the politics of my place and I think in terms of giving back to the society. I don’t forget those that helped me to the top.




Trendy party wears Kate Robin Adanihuwan


very kid loves to go out and have fun. Taking your child out for a birthday party or any event might just be the thing to make him or her do your bidding in a jiffy, and you wouldn’t want that child looking out of place or dowdy. So this week, we are doing party wears for boys and girls. Check out your boys looking bold in nice plaid poplin shirts and bow tie, yet ready to hit the dance floor, or turn out looking hype and sportish in casuals. Your little girl can never go wrong in a doll dress or a beaded crystal dress.




Dietary recommendations to improve your fitness H

ow are your workouts coming along? Yes, I know you are trying. Just keep at it; you are on your way to a healthier and more beautiful you. Now that you are committed to staying fit and healthy, you might have to take certain other measures to keep you in shape. A healthy diet is extremely important to your fitness programme. It is not enough to exercise and still feed your body with junk food. You need to make necessary dietary adjustments that will take you closer to your fitness goals. Below are dietary recommendations that will help. • Eat all your meals Yes, that is right; eat when you should (at least, three times daily). Skipping meals only makes you crave for more food. For instance, if you skipped breakfast, you are going to get hungry during the day with a greater chance of eating more than your regular portion when you eventually eat. The best thing to do to cut down your food is by eating smaller portions rather than starving and then having to eat a bigger portion later. • Eat nourishing foods Most times when we eat, as large as it would appear, our body still craves for more food within a few hours. It is because we did not properly nourish the body and when the body is starved of nutrients, it sends a signal to the brain demanding to be fed. For example, three doughnuts and a soft drink might make you feel full but offer the body little or no nourishment and in no time you are hungry again but, a small bowl of beans with a few slices of plantain or whole wheat bread will feed your body better. Fruits, vegetables and cereals provide vitamins, minerals and fibre which your body needs. • Never eat to your satisfaction. This is one of my favourite weight control rule borrowed from an ancient Chinese custom. They believe the body needs to be fed all types of food but in very small portions and never to satisfaction. There is some medical sense in this because it takes a while for the stomach to send signal to the brain that it is full. Usually, your body would have had enough even before you begin to feel satisfied. Taking your time to chew food properly aids digestion and will also help you to eat smaller portions. • Consume the right amount of calories Calories are units of energy in foods and drinks we consume, they are burnt to produce energy the body requires; the excess are then stored as fat. The excess carbohydrates, fatty foods, salt, sugary foods/drinks, and alcohol we consume are stored as fat and contribute seriously to our weight gain and associated health problems. To


Fitness WELLNESS Funmi Azike With

avoid this, ensure you don’t consume more calories than you use. • Incorporate more fibre into your diet Fibre aids digestion and prevents bowel disease. Aside from cleaning the colon and balancing your blood sugar levels, fibre-rich foods make you feel full and less likely to have cravings. Foods high in fibre include wheat, vegetables, oats, beans, brown rice, carrots and apples. • Eat at home This will give you control over what goes into your body helping you cut down unhealthy foods and make more healthy choices. For example, rather than frying, you can try other cooking methods like steaming or baking. If you have to fry, you can use olive or canola oil which is a healthier alternative to the common vegetable oils sold in the market. • Snack on healthy foods. Snacking should not be encouraged but if you do have the need to, rather than pastries/confectioneries, go for healthier options like roasted nuts, low-fat yoghurt (small portion), walnuts, fruits and vegetables like apple, banana, carrot, cucumber and garden egg. • Drink more water Now that you are exercising more, you need to keep the body constantly hydrated by increasing your water intake. Drink enough water daily to help speed up bodily functions, boost metabolism and flush out toxins. You also need water to lubricate all the muscles, joints and organs in the body for improved strength and flexibility during your workouts. Usually, it is recommended to drink at least, 2.5litres of water daily but recent studies have shown that recommended daily water intake should be based on individual needs. However, don’t allow your body to get dehydrated before you top up your water level.

• Eat all your meals

• Eat nourishing foods

➢ Along with your workout routines, these dietary recommendations would have meaningful impact on your overall fitness and wellbeing. The whole idea is to nourish your body properly and use up most of the calories you consume. Till next week, stay fit.

• Never eat to your satisfaction. • Drink more water

Football Dirty politics ruined my Eagles’ career -Kpakor p.52



9 MARCH 2014

Brazil Top five players who will play their last World Cup p.53

Dapo Sotuminu, Deputy Sports Editor 08099400190, 08038154192

Brazil 2014: Presidency lifts Eagles with special bonus Ajibade Olusesan


he Federal Government has moved to forestall row that may erupt between Super Eagles players and the Nigeria Football Federation over match bonuses at the World Cup as it has ordered for the players to be paid double of their current bonuses for the tournament. Eagles exposed the country to internationalembarrassmentlast year when they refused to travel to Brazil for the Confederation Cup following reduction in their match bonuses. The NFF slashed theplayers’winningbonusesfrom $10,000 to $5,000 citing financial

constraints for its action. Though the matter seemed to have been resolved, reports emerged that the players were planningrevoltaheadoftheforthcomingWorld Cup again because over bonuses. But our correspondent learnt that the Presidency has decided to wade into the situation and has ordered that the welfare of the players be taken seriously at the tournament. Our sources informed that President Goodluck Jonathan ordered the National Sports Commission to raise the bonus of the players from $5,000 to $10,000 in the budget projection for the tournament.

“Mr. President is very serious about the World Cup and he has ordered that everything must be taken care of so that the country could have a successful outing in Brazil. He told the sports ministry to take care of the players’ welfare. The players bonuses and allowances are to be increased about 100 percent. It will be part of the budget for the World Cup and he has assured that the money will be released very soon,” the source said. ” The bonus is a special package for the World Cup and not a change of what the NFF has in place. It might not be applicable to other Eagles matches afterwards.”

Interview Owumi: Warri Wolves will beat Union Douala again p.55


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How FIFA stopped me from becoming CAF president –Adamu Adamu

Dapo Sotuminu


he former Director-General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Dr. Amos Adamu, who completed a three-year ban slammed on him by the Federation ofInternationalFootballAssociation

(FIFA), late last year, has revealed that the FIFA action was a simple technical move of stopping him from becoming the next president oftheConfederationofAfricanFootball (CAF). He noted that, the FIFA hammer fell on him because he is a Nigerian. “Normally,thebanforethicsviolation should not be more than one year or I get cleared, but FIFA decided to punishmewithathree-yearbanasa punishmentforthesinsthecountry committedpreludetothehostingof the 2009 FIFA Under-17World Cup.

The former CAF and FIFA ExecutiveCommitteememberrevealed thattheworldsoccerbodystopped himfrombecomingCAFpresident which he was already tuned up for becauseofNigeria’sbreachofagreement to repay a whopping $30million FIFA spent on security ahead of the Nigeria 2009. “Ahead of the Under-17 World Cup, FIFA insisted that the Nigerian governmentshouldcombtheentire country to ensure a highly secured tournament to allay the fears of participating countries who were

already threatening to boycott the competition if it holds in Nigeria. “FIFA called for a meeting with latepresidentUmaruMusaYar’Adua, wherethecostofthesecuritycombing was put at $30million. “The president requested that FIFA should help with the process withwhichthehostingrightwould be guaranteed. And that the country would pay after the games. To authenticate this, a written documentwassignedbetweenFIFAand President Yar’Adua. “The process was facilitated by


the chairman of the Local OrganisingCommittee,MainasaraIlohwho was also a witness to the signing oftheagreementdoneatthepresidential villa in Abuja. I was also in attendance.” C O N T I N U E s O N PA G E 6 2



Sport / Stars of Yesteryears

Dirty politics ruined my Eagles’ career, Kpakor laments science but I said no and I left for my home in Gboko. That was why my name Date of Birth: June 1, 1965 could not be written on POSITION: Midfielder the sands of time as one of Clubs: Hawks of Markurdi (1982), Nigeria’s football legends BCC Lions of Gboko (1984), Abiola who played in the victoriBabes (1987). ous Tunisia 94 Nations Cup National Team: Super Eagles squad and the country’s 1989-1994. historic outing at the USA National Team appearances: 11 94 World Cup. Honours: Won FA Cup titles 1989, Kparkor who started 1993, 1994 and 1997. Mandela Cup his football career in 1982 winners 1990. at Hawks Football Club of Awards: White Horse Player of the Month Award (April 1990), Makurdi, now known as Sportslinks’ Goal of the Month Lobi Stars said he joined Award (February 1994). BCC Lions in 1984. He stressed that even tributions to today; Benue state indithe Eagles, but genes hardly make the senior national some play- team, as the state’s football had been ers who were slaughtered by people whose interest is so influential to siphon tax payers’ money with impuconvinced the nity and without conscience whatsoever. coach to drop So how do you expect to see our players me and he did.” in the national teams as it was in my playHe noted that he promised himself not ing days? to ever give an account of how and why “It is a shame that, some of our former he retired from the Super Eagles just after colleagues are part of this grand design. he helped Nigeria qualified for the African But I know that one day Benue football will Nations Cup and FIFA World Cup finals in again bounce back to reckoning.” Kparkor revealed that he was struck by 1993. He said: “One gets to a stage in life a tragedy on June 15, 1991 when he suswhere you want to let the past remain as tained a career threatening injury just three it is and never be brought back to the pres- weeks from joining Dutch club giants, Feyent. I think this revelation, though 100% enoord FC from BCC Lions. “I broke my right accurate would cause damages to some lower limb in a professional league game people and the country at large. I don’t care against Iwuanyanwu Nationale of Owerri. I if it does and that is why I do not have re- was operated on in a London hospital and grets missing out of the FIFA World Cup 94. that was what kept me out of professional “With the way things had been turned league football in Europe.” into in the Eagles camp, I would have lived He said with all these, he got consolaa life of regrets if I had made that team to tion from the high points of BCC Lions in the World Cup, as I would have compro- 1990 when the club won the Nelson Manmised my conscience to play even if oth- dela Cup for Nigeria. That was the third ers were judged based on ethnic values. time a Nigerian team would achieve such I would have regretted it throughout my feat. The first was IICC Shooting Stars in entire life. 1976 and Enugu Rangers in 1977. “Well, I didn’t know how the other clubs “For me, the World Cup or any worldly feat cannot be more valuable than my were run here in Nigeria, but to be honest, conscience. It may be different for other I think the Lions of Gboko were on a differpeople. I was asked to mortgage my con- ent planet in club football management. “The club’ set-up and philosophy were not the type that would allow for govern“It is a shame that, some ment mentality and bureaucracy which are of our former colleagues common and still is in most governmentowned clubs today. are part of this grand “We were a model of club football mandesign. But I know that agement in Nigeria and many historians one day Benue football will tell you the same truth. I decided to will again bounce back to finally call it quit after the 1998 season because I also believed in quitting when reckoning” the ovation is loudest. At the time I left, if I



Dapo Sotuminu


ormer Super Eagles midfielder, and BCC Lions of Gboko legendary player, Moses Kparkor, has revealed that his fantastic career in the senior national team was cut shut and ruined by the dirty politics played by some of the influential players in the team at the time. Kparkor who made it to the Eagles in 1982 disclosed that he was not able to hit the limelight until he served as an apprentice for eight years as he was constantly suppressed being a minority. He told New Telegraph on Sunday that: “I joined the national team camp in 1982 and never broke into the main team until 1990. “It took me eight solid years of apprenticeship to wear the national jersey! But today how many of our players are ready to wait that long to play for Nigeria. No one is patient anymore here.” He stated that he retired from the national team because of politics during Clemens Westerhof’s era as Nigeria’s Technical Adviser. “I told Westerhof I was going and I left. He called me back many times to return to the Eagles but I refused to change my mind. “It was unbelievable how ethnic politics found its way into the Eagles which was then a united family. We were close to picking a first time ticket to the USA 94 World Cup when I left the team forever. “When I joined the team under Westerhof in 1989, I reached an agreement with the coach on how best to make my con-

had wanted to play good football for three more seasons I would have done so effortlessly. There was no secret in BCC’s FA Cup campaigns at all, except for the fact that, BCC Lions always play well in the FA Cup year in and out.” After winning the FA Cup title in 1989 against almighty Iwuanyanwu Nationale, Kparkor said every team began to be weary of the talents which abound in BCC Lions. So, when the second and third wins came, it became a legacy and something quite spectacular and dreadful. “In the Mandela Cup challenge too, there was no secret, except that our conquerors took us for granted that we were not Nigeria’s traditional top flight club in the mould of Shooting Stars, Enugu Rangers and Bendel Insurance, and so they paid dearly for it. That to some extent means they did not study our playing pattern, believing we would play the traditional kick and follow football. But they were all surprised with our kind of possessive football. “None of the teams ever knew we were the Samba Boys of Nigerian football. It is something to be proud of on reflection. “Our coach, Amoudu Shaibu is one of the first few best coaches in Nigeria. There is no question about this at all. So many changes have taken place in the league today like better playing pitches, security at match venues, improved officiating, publicity and marketing opportunities and so on. Yet, the yesteryears have refused to release the game’s standard, player’s quality and the full capacity crowd or fans that thronged the match venues compared to this generation. But we need to work a bit harder for things to get back to what it was in our days known in Nigerian football as the glory days,” Kparkor said.



Countdown to Fifa World Cup

PAST WINNERS • Mexico 1970 Winner: Brazil Runners-Up: Italy Third: Germany FR Fourth: Uruguay Golden Shoe: Gerd MUELLER (GER) Best Young Player Award: Teofilo CUBIL LAS (PER) Technical Report: For the first time the FIFA World Cup™ was broadcast in colour and nothing could match the brilliance of Brazil’s yellow shirts. With Pele rejuvenated and Jairzinho scoring in every game, Mario Zagallo’s men were unstoppable – they beat Italy handsomely in the Final and, with this third triumph, retained the Jules Rimet Cup. If Brazil’s tournament, others brought plenty to the party – not least ten-goal German marksman Gerd Muller.

Top five players who will play their last World Cup Gianluigi Buffon

Yet another Italian and one of the best goalkeepers ever will be making his last World Cup appearance this year. Buffon has made 138 appearances for Italy and also lifted the World Cup in Germany, 2006 and will also like Pirlo would like to go out with a bang. A brilliant shot stopper, brilliant with his positioning and possessing wonderful reflexes will be under the Italy sticks in Brazil.

Steven Gerrard

Yet another of England’s brightest gems, Liverpool captain will also lead England’s charge in Brazil. It will be interesting to seewhereRoyHodgsonplayshis skipper and given his newly founddynamismindefensive midfield,itmightbetheperfectployfor the Three Lions’ midfield which needs solidity on the pitch. Can the thirty three year old invigorate something special in country colours?

• England 1966 Winner: England Runners-Up: Germany FR Third: Portugal Fourth: Soviet Union Golden Shoe: EUSEBIO (Eusebio da Silva Ferreira) (POR) Best Young Player Award: Franz BECKENBAUER (GER) Technical Report: The country that invented football, England, finally found a formula for success on the world stage. Alf Ramsey’s ‘Wingless wonders’ overcame Final opponents West Germany thanks to Geoff Hurst’s historic hat-trick, though the debate over whether his middle strike crossed the line continues to this day. Eusebio was another scoring hero, his nine goals – four of them against Italy’s surprise conquerors, Korea DPR – taking Portugal to third place. • Chile 1962 Winner: Brazil Runners-Up: Czechoslovakia Third: Chile Fourth: Yugoslavia Golden Shoe: Florian ALBERT (HUN), Valentin IVANOV (URS), Drazen JERKOVIC (YUG), Leonel SANCHEZ (CHI), VAVA (BRA), GARRINCHA (BRA) Best Young Player Award: Florian ALBERT (HUN) Technical Report: Brazil were worthy winners, beating Czechoslovakia in the Final to retain their crown in a tournament that showcased the sublime skills of Garrincha. With Pele injured, Garrincha ensured his colleague’s absence was not felt, inspiring the Seleção to victory and finishing joint-top scorer in the process. This FIFA World Cup featured plenty else, including new 4-3-3 tactics and the infamous ‘Battle of Santiago’ between hosts Chile and Italy. • Sweden 1958 Winner: Brazil Runners-Up: Sweden Third: France Fourth: Germany FR Golden Shoe: Just FONTAINE (FRA) Best Young Player Award: PELÉ (Edson Arantes do Nascimento) (BRA) Technical Report: Brazil’s love affair with the FIFA World Cup™ began in earnest as they won the world title for the first time. A 17-year-old Pele introduced his prodigious skills to the world in Sweden, epitomising the Brazilians’ attacking flair and scoring six goals – two of them in the Final against the hosts. Third-placed France caught the eye too with Just Fontaine striking a record 13 goals.

Continues Next Week.........


Andrea Pirlo Italy’sMozartinmidfieldandone of the finest midfielders of this generation, Pirlo will also be donning his jersey for perhaps the last time for Italy. The 34 year old genius was one of the key players in the 2006 World Cup triumph for the Azurris and the gem for the squad who finished runners upinEuro2012.Juventus’set piece specialist also will be integraltoItaly’schances in Brazil and make no mistake he will give it his all to go out with a bang.

Frank Lampard Frank Lampard has given Chelsea 12 amazing years of service. He has created cherished memories and became the idol of many fans. However, looking forward, it is time for the club to let go. While Frank’s contributions in shirt sales and goal scoring feats are undoubtedly crucial, keeping a 34 year old veteran at the club with a huge wage bill is a risk not many will take. Furthermore, the presence of other midfield talents around the world may prove to be more attractive and less expensive acquisitions.

Miroslav Klose

The 35-year old currently is Germany’s joint highest goal scorer with Muller and is only a couple of goals short for the maximum goals in the World Cup, a record which belongs to Brazil’s Ronaldo. It is sad that a player of Klose’s stature never got going for any of the clubs he played in, but whenever it has been the World Cup, he has always hogged the limelight. The 35 year old might not play again in the 2018 World Cup and by the looks of it his career is already reaching its twilight.


How FIFA stopped me from becoming CAF president –Adamu C O N T I N U E D F R O M PAG E 5 1

The former president of the West Africa Football Union (WAFU), noted that FIFA as agreed met their own side of the bargain and went ahead to organize the event. “Soon after the Under-17 World Cup, FIFA Executive Committee members led by President Sepp Blatter came forward with a bill of $30 million, but were shocked when the late president came up with an excuse that Nigeria was broke and could not pay such amount of money at that point in time. “FIFA was shocked to the bone marrow and couldn’t believe that they were treated with such disrespect by the Nigerian president. At this point, I got the support of the CAF president who joined me to appeal to Blatter that the president should be given some time to get well as he had health issues. “It was while the waiting was on that president Yar’Adua died in office. And when President Goodluck Jonathan who was the vice-president at the time the agreement was signed with FIFA took over office and was approached by FIFA he denied knowledge of such as he was not informed about it by the late president.” Adamu who said he would not rush back to football administration but would for now contend with the business aspects of football, stated that, the $30million debt owned FIFA has not been paid since 2009. This he added, has forced FIFA to blacklist and they vowed never to allow any FIFA organised tournament hold in Nigeria. He disclosed that while this was on, FIFA was aware that I a Nigerian was in-line for the CAF presidency and they did what they had to do to stop me. “The issue of ethics violation that I was punished for is a usual thing which happens once there is an open bid for the hosting of a World Cup final. It’s like in a normal election either presidential, governorship or even at the local government level when the candidates promise to build more roads, houses and provide some vital facilities if voted into office. In my case I asked them to come and build four artificial turf pitches in my country. FIFA called it ethics violation as I didn’t make the request on behalf of Africa as a FIFA Executive Committee member representing the African continent. “Initially I was angry and went to the Court of Arbitration for Sports to prove my innocence hiring British lawyers. But as the matter dragged on, FIFA advised my lawyers to hands off the case which they did. At this point I threatened to report the lawyers to the British legal regulatory body if the legal fees I paid for their services were not refunded. The lawyers of course refunded the legal fees and that was how the matter was put to rest,” Adamu revealed.




09 MARCH 2014


Golf makes National Sports Festival comeback G

olf will stage a return to the National Sports Festival, billed for November, in Calabar, after it was excluded from the Eko 2012 Sports Festival. The sport featured prominently at the previous editions of the National Sports Festival in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, with over 20 states registering athletes for the sport. It was nevertheless left out of the Lagos edition but its now set to stage a return in Calabar with the Cross Rivers State government even planning to commission a new golf course in the state capital at about the same time as the Sports Festival. Disclosing these to New Telegraph on Sunday was the Nigeria Golf Federation’s Director of Youth Development, Ime Ekong, who stated that the development was a step in the right direction. “It was quite unfortunate that golf was excluded from the last festival owing to logistic reasons, but the Local Organising Committee of the Calabar Games have decided

Former President of the Nigeria Hockey Federation, Mr Patrick Ukah, taking a stroke at the Ikoyi Golf Club 1938

to include it this time around, and this can correctly be described as good for the development of the sport,” he said. “Golf is one of the fastest growing sports in the country and it was painful to deny the young ones an opportunity to show what they have got the last time. But this time around, they will all get a chance to showcase their talents in Callabar, where a new course will be launched for the purpose of the Sports festival.” Asked about the level of response from states expected to take part in the golf event of the National Sports Festival, Ekong expressed some measures of optimism. “I am sure all the states that took part in golf at the Port Harcourt Games, and many more, will be willing to take part in it this time around. All the Federation needs to do is to keep the various state associations updated. “I am very optimistic of a very good turnout because of the growing interests in the sport.”

Edet was a special golfer, says Runsewe


ormer Director- General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, has described late Nigerian golfer, Umoh Edet, as a special golfer, adding that, he would personally miss the former Nigerian number one. Edet, who turned pro in 2006, collapsed while playing football on Sunday, February 23, and was confirmed dead on arrival at a hospital he had been rushed to after efforts to resuscitate him at the football field failed. He was up until his death an assistant resident professional at the IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja, and Runsewe, who regularly plays golf at the elite club, has joined the growing list of people showering posthumous encomiums on the 2011 Nigeria Sports Festival champion. “A lot of people have shared their experience with Edet and I think it a sign that he has got

a lot of things that one can learn from him,” Runsewe said in an interview with reporters. “Personally, I cherished the way he comes to me to correct my swing. He is personally concerned about each player’s progress. That’s just the kind of person he was,” added Runsewe, who got to hang out with the late golfer a few hours before he passed away. “Even on the day he died, he walked up to me on the first hole and walked me to the green assessing my swing and correcting all flaws he noticed,” he recalled. “He is a selfless golfer, and we are all going to miss this young man who has left us even before his prime,” he added. Edet, who represented Nigeria at the qualifying tournament for the 2011 World Cup of Golf in Malaysia, was buried last week in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, leaving behind a wife and four children, including a set of twins

delivered two weeks before his sudden death. Edet finished last season in 12th position on the Professional Golfers Association of Nigeria Or-

der of Merit and had set his mind on securing a top-five finish this season as was the case in 2011 and 2012 when he finished second and fourth respectively.

PGA of Nigeria fixes annual meeting for March 20 he Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Tour’s Qualifying Tthe Professional Golfers As- School. sociation of Nigeria (PGAN) will take place on March 20, in Otukpo, Benue State. The event will take place at the Golden Palm Hotel, and top of the AGM’s agenda will be the dissolution of the current PGAN executives and election of new ones to run the affairs of the body for the next two years. Meanwhile, new golfers appear set to enter the Nigerian professional golf scene following the decision of the Professional Golfers Association of Nigeria (PGAN) to open the application process into

The application is open to amateur players with handicaps of between 0 and 4.4, and who must be golfers at a recognized golf club. They are also expected to have distinguished themselves as good golfers with unblemished character. Intending trainees are also expected to possess a minimum educational qualification of WASSCE SSCE/GCE O’LEVEL or its equivalent. In addition, all trainees must be resident in the same club where they are undergoing training.



Sport / News

Owumi: Warri Wolves will beat Union Douala again T

he General Manager of Nigeria’s CAF Confederation Cup representative, Warri Wolves Football Club, Prince Davidson Owumi, has given assurances to the Delta State government and Nigerians as a whole that the club will once again defeat their opponent from Cameroon, the Union Douala Football Club at the Warri International Stadium when the two teams play their second round second leg match today. The former chairman of the Nigeria Premier League board told New Telegraph on Sunday that, Warri Wolves’ players are battle-ready to subdue their opponent so as get the ticket to play in the third round of the continental championship. He said the match was a very tough one in faraway Douala, Cameroon, but his players who were well motivated and had proper preparations, were able to match their opponent ball-for-ball in front of their home fans in the first leg which the Nige-

rians won 3-2. “Union Douala FC were very strong and tactical in their home, but my boys pressurized them and they caved in conceding three goals from our sharp attackers against the two they scored. The boys surprised me with their performance. Earlier before the game, I had given the players some motivations and challenged them to win the match which they did. They made me proud. “In the area of motivation, we shall do more than we did last week in Cameroon and I am sure the boys will live-up to expectations giving us a third round ticket at the end of the game.” Owumi, a former chairman of Rangers International FC of Enugu, stated that, from what happened in the first leg game in Cameroon, Union Douala players will come out hot and aggressive against Warri Wolves on Sunday, but we are optimistic that our players are equal to the task and they would

give us the desired results. “It is important that Nigerians should pray for us as we go to the pitch for the second leg game, because there is nothing good one does without the hands of God in it. We believe He would guide us in the game and give us victory at the end of the day,” Owumi said. The former national team striker noted that, the kick-off time for the match would be determined by the Match Commissioner. In another CAF Confederation Cup game, N i g e r i a ’s second representative in the competition,

Erico warns Keshi on Uche’s exclusion from Brazil 2014


ormer Super Eagles assistant coach, Joe Erico, at the weekend sent a message of pleas to the chief coach of the Eagles, Stephen Keshi, over his planned exclusion of the Villarreal Football Club of Spain striker, Ikechukwu Uche, from the Nigerian team to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Erico who worked with Keshi as Eagles’ assistant coach to Amodu Shaibu before the crew was sacked after the Mali 2002 Nations Cup, stated that, the Keshi he knows could not have said that, a player of Ike Uche’s class is technically deficient to play in the current Super Eagles squad. “I am sure that, if Keshi had said these truly about Ike Uche, it may just be for the moment. And Uche would surely be given an invitation to the squad at the appropriate time.” The former Nigeria number one choice goalkeeper who last kept the goal for the Green Eagles at the Ethiopia 76 Nations Cup stated that: “The World Cup is in June where all countries are expected to present their best players; Ike Uche is not an exception, as he has been playing good football for his Spanish club. We should not also forget that, he has been scoring vital goals in Spain. What we want to see next is for him to transform this to the Nigerian national soccer team. “The issue of discipline or no discipline is just for the short scope of time which would be over before the 2014 World Cup begins. Keshi should be able to manage him within the time frame. I can tell you confidently that, there are some things all these superstar players do in the national team which they can never do in the European clubs. And this hap-

pens predominantly in the African teams every time. It should not be strange to Keshi because he truly needs a player like Ike Uche in his World Cup squad. We saw what they played against Mexico in last week’s friendly. The absence of a world class striker like Uche was badly felt. “I want to use this medium to task Keshi that he should not exclude the Villarreal of Spain striker from his World Cup squad as he badly needs him,” Erico said. Villarreal President, Fernando Roig, on Friday defended Ikechukwu Uche after he was labelled as ‘undisciplined’ by the Eagles chief coach. Roig expressed his anger over Keshi’s statement where the former Nigeria captain labelled Uche as a player that is technical indiscipline and unable to play good football for the national team.

The Villarreal bosssaid the star player has good character and questioned the rationale behind Keshi’s statements about the player whose form has been instrumental to the club’s positive run this season. “I think the coach of Nigeria is not talking about the same Uche playing in our team,” the Villarreal President stressed. When the player himself was questioned on the comments and the certainty of missing this summer’s World Cup, he was visibly disappointed and stated that he does not “understand the reasons for these statements,” but refused to be drawn further into the issue. “Actually I am very surprised and rather than seeking an explanation I will not understand. It is very sad for me, but I will not get into this issue,” Uche said.

Bayelsa United of Yenagoa, will be playing against Kondzo Football Club. The Nigerian team was forced to a goalless draw in the first leg played last weekend. CS Sfaxien of Tunisia are the defending champion of the Confed Cup as they won the 2013 edition of the competition.

Warri Wolves defender, Azubuike Egwuekwe

Sanusi: NICEGA Games’ May 7 date won’t change


he President of the Nigeria Colleges of Education Games (NICEGA), Mohammed Sanusi, has stated that the new date chosen for the 2014 edition of the NICEGA Games won’t change again after a postponement forced it to be moved to May at same venue, the Niger State College of Education, Minna. Sanusi who is also the Head of Competitions, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) stressed that, the 18th edition of the Games will hold as rescheduled even if the host does not have enough funds to kick start. He said: “We are not going to change the date in spite of the fact that we do not have money for this

Technical Officer, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Yusuf Alli (left); Chairman, National Academical Sports Committee (NASCOM), Yemi Idowu, middle, and Lagos State Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, Wahid Oshodi at the Season Two of the Lagos Premier Lotto Schools Athletics Championship at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.

competition. The major finance here used to be the subvention we get from the Federal Government through the National Commission for Colleges of Education, but unfortunately that is not in the budget this year. So, things are really very tough. We are talking of sports development from the grassroots.” He added that, it is sad that government refused to fund sports development from the grassroots; this has become so problematic for us. More so, when the NICEGA Games is different from other tertiary schools games because it involves future teachers and coaches. Sanusi, revealed that the Preliminaries and the qualifiers competitions to select the main competitors for the 2015 edition of the Games have been fixed to hold from October 2014 to February 2015, while the Games proper comes up in October 2015. The 17th edition of the Games took place at the Federal College of Education (Technical), Omoku, Rivers State, in April 2012. He stated that the postponement of the 18th edition was forced by the strike embarked upon by the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU). COEASU embarked on a nationwide indefinite industrial action on December 18, 2013, following the alleged government’s refusal to implement the 2010 agreement it had with the union.

News Create jobs for Northern youth p.32

Interview collapse of family values, cause of Nigeria’s woes -Martins p.52 NEW TELEGRAPH ON SUNDAY

09 MARCH 2014


TAI ANYANWU, 0706 438 0029



When wealthy Nigerians gathered for ‘spiritual warfare’ first MFM God’s Eagle Fellowship for this year. MFM-GEF is an outreach founded by Pastor Olukoya. It is a college to sensitise wealthy and t was the evening of Sunday, March 2, 2014, in influential Nigerians to the need to engage in the highbrow neighbourhoods of Ikoyi, Vic- spiritual warfare and to equip themselves with toria Island and Lekki areas of Lagos. Some tactics for waging successful battles against the residents had just left their homes, having rulers of the dark world. rested a while after the day’s worship in their According to Olukoya, ignorance is bad but respective churches. spiritual ignorance is worse. And bearing in For some, it was time to catch some fun at mind that we live in a crazy world, he says you their favourite recreational clubs on the Island, need to do certain things like adjusting your while others needed to deal with other press- prayer style to a commensurate level of aggresing matters. But for Chief Magnus Adekanbi, a siveness. Understanding these principles has Victoria Island-based shipping magnate, it was stimulated a tremendous scramble of people another opportunity to meet with the General seeking to become part of the God’s Eagle FelOverseer of Mountain of Fire and Miracles Min- lowship. The school which has been on for over istries, Dr. D.K Olukoya. one year now, meets quarterly at the Oriental So, at about 3:48pm, he slipped into the Hotel.j ‘owner’s corner’ of his posh Armada jeep, acThe meeting was preceded by singing, companied by his wife. The driver then set the dance drama, choir ministration and orcheselegant vehicle out of the premises. tra. Mounting the podium, Olukoya prayed to The destination? The prestigious Oriental commence the programme. He explained that Hotel, Lekki Phase 1. Reason? To join other the Eagle’s Club, as he fondly calls the school, influential and wealthy Nigerians at a fellow- was actually a spiritual warfare college “where ship for the elite set up by the church. From we teach your hands to battle and to war. And the huge reception area of the classy hotel, the we have covered a lot of grounds. If you want to couple walked hand in hand down a wing to he know what we’ve done in the past, you can buy banquet hall on the second floor. the CDs and follow up our course no 1, course And having satisfied all checks mounted no 2, course no 3, as we go along. by the security operatives of the MFM God’s “The agenda is to empower elites and leadEagle Club at the entrance to the expansive hall, ers in the arena of spiritual warfare; and to teach the couple was ushered to one of the beauti- them principles, tactics that they can use; and ful ly arranged executive also to teach the chemistry of prayer and the tables. Our re- power of prayer. Not only this one, to explain the porter, who mysteries upholding this world. So that when was closely you live in an environment, you know how trailing this to handle the environment in which you live, we a l t hy Pastor Olukoya explained while welcoming the c o u p l e , worshippers at the meeting held last Sunday. took a He added: “We started with tactics for spiriseat be- tual survival, learnt that you have to be a minside them, ister of interior affairs that you must be able to as other have control over what goes on in your mind g u e s t s and that you have to wage war against public s t r e a m e d enemy number 1 which is witchcraft. into the venue. Olukoya also explained that people needed All was set for to understand territorial power, pay attention t h e to their dreams which he described as one’s spiritual monitor that tells what goes on in one’s life, in the spirit realm. Other courses covered in previous teaching include the mystery of divine connection Olukoya and the secrets of power and we TAI ANYANWU


have covered so many grounds in learning the secrets of power, how you can be powerful, how you can be strong. Continuing Olukoya added; “Many feedbacks from people said that I have been of tremendous help to so many people and by the grace of God we intend to keep it so; so that you can have a readymade weapon to use. A rousing applause greeted in appreciation. With that, he started a new series teaching titled Deliverance as God’s Medicine Bottle. He urged his listeners to “listen to this very teaching because you may not have an opportunity of someone trying to explain this” His text was from the book of Obadiah 1:17: “But upon Mount Zion, there shall be deliverance and there shall be holiness and the house of Jacob shall possess their possession.” He explained that as far back as the New Testament the ministry of conflict had been in operation. Olukoya explained that the devil succeeded in hiding so much in the Old testament that most of the Saints of the old could not tell when the devil was attacking them. The devil succeeded to do a lot of masquerading in the Old Testament. Such that when the devil was busy harassing Job, he thought it was God. The preacher, who pointed out that Job said ‘The Lord has given, the Lord has taken; blessed be the name of the Lord’ declared that “the Lord did not take anything. It was the devil throughout. It wasn’t until the New Testament when Jesus came and he began to expose the works of the devil. And then the issue of deliverance took a new turn.”

Looking straight at the large gathering, Olukoya continued, “Look at the book of Luke, this is Jesus himself, you know this is a school, so we must open the Bible and see things ourselves. Luke 4:18: ‘The spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me; (1) to preach the gospel to the poor (2) He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted; (3) He has sent me to preach deliverance to the captives; (4) recovery of sight to the blind; and (5) to set at liberty to them that are bruised and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’ So there is something known as deliverance. “The Bible says we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places. We are in a a wrestling match, whether you believe it or not; whether you agree with it or not. The Bible says we wrestle not against this flesh and blood but against principalities, powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places. We wrestle against all these powers.” When it was time for ‘spiritual warfare,’ it was a sight to behold the top Nigerians taking on various topics. Even with their polished manner, they did not shy away from MFM’s style of ‘violent prayer.’ Here, you found highly placed Nigerians shaking their heads and limbs to the rhythm of ‘die, die, die.’ The meeting ended with a sumptuous banquet, which provided a fitting conclusion to an interesting session of teaching, warfare and social interaction.




Collapse of family values, cause of Nigeria’s woes -Archbishop Martins Aarchbishop of Catholic Archdiecese of Lagos, Adewale Martins, speaks on various issues in this interview with Tai Anyanwu Could you throw more light on the 2014 Year of the Family as declared by your archdiocese? e believe that the collapse of family values in our society is the real cause of the barrage of problems prevalent in Nigeria today. Therefore, the Year of the Family celebration is intended to hand over the family back to God. We believe that by doing so, we will provoke the healing of individual families and the larger Nigerian family. During the year, each member of the family will take turn to lead at the family’s prayer of devotion or at the intercessory prayer. This is supposed to train every member of the family to lead prayer in public. The memory verse of each day allows each member to have a greater contact with the living word of God. As Africans, we know the importance of the parents’ blessing on their children. This mode of prayer helps the father or head of the family to pronounce blessing on their children in the name of the blessed Trinity on daily basis. These children are conscious of what they are doing here and they do it wholeheartedly. Those who are fond of accusing or placing curses on their children will most likely stop it and certainly, this will bring about growth in their personal Christian lives. Now in order to ensure that every Catholic family comes to know the teachings of the scripture and about the teachings of the church on various issues concerning marriage and family, we have come up with over 30 themes on marriage and family to be taught in every parish within the archdiocese in the liturgical year. And the themes cover a wide range of topical issues affecting marriage, family and society such as respect for human life, childlessness, assisted reproduction and adoption, contraceptives and natural family

conversation.’ As husband and wife, you must recognise the fact that you are meant to complement each. There is no competition among ourselves and we should celebrate each other. Also, God have given us these children, you begin to teach them right from birth the values of Christianity and make sure they are well brought up. All these are ingredients of a holy family.


What is the message of the church to politicians? Politicians are getting prepared as 2015 draws near, the message of the church is that they should play their games by the rules. They should not get into things that will make them go violent or use violence in their campaigns, which will lead to people killing each other. Just tell them what you have to them and let them judge.

Archbishop Martins

planning. Other themes include the place of the word of God and the Eucharist in the life of a Christian, responsible motherhood and fatherhood, sexuality, education and chastity, possession of business with authentic values, single parenthood, separation, divorce and widowhood. To ensure that non-Catholics and Catholics within the Lagos archdiocese benefit from the celebration, efforts are being made to involve the social communication media. An interesting aspect of the programme is that no one is left out. In the course of the year, the Archbishop will meet with married

people, singles, the youths at different times. There are a host of other events. And we are mandating every parish in the archdiocese, the parish priest and their pastoral council, to organise different activities at various parish levels that will help us actualise our overall objectives. The Year of the Family began officially with an inaugural mass on Thursday February 27, at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos. And the year will come to an end on Saturday, November 29 this year. You must be the corner stone of your life and family, there is a saying that ‘Christ is the guest at every meal, the listener to every

What do you think about the national conference? The national conference is one that we hope will attain the purpose for which it has been called. They have to do well in achieving their goals. That is why it is important for government and those who are to facilitate it to make sure that the wishes of the people are respected and should find clear expression. What is the legal value of the national conference? One of the social values of the national conference itself will determine what the legal values will be. It’s not another talk shop that will not be able to realise the vision of the people in social, economic and other areas. Those are the reasons why the issue of the national conference came up.

Provide jobs for Northern youths –Akinadewo Tai Anyanwu


ev, James Akinadewo, a youth pastor in Motailatu Cherubim and Seraphim Movement, Lagos District Headquarters, has called on the Federal Government to provide jobs for an estimated 10 million jobless youths in Northern Nigeria. Speaking in an interview with New Telegraph on Sunday, he described the unemployment rate among Northern youths as a “time bomb.” The youth pastor also urged governments at all levels to reduce poverty among Nigerians, adding, “We must not be suffering in the midst of plenty.” Akinadewo traced the root of the nation’s problems to the unwillingness of many Nigerians to follow God’s

instructions. “Many of us are not doing the things the right way. I will call it bad leadership, impunity and wastefulness. A lot of things are going wrong. “When the word of God says ‘Thou shall not kill’ and we are killing every day, we are going against God’s word. God cannot bless a place where his laws are broken with impunity. “We need God and not lip service, because God says in the Bible that ‘if my people who are called by my name shall return back to me, call on me; I will come down and heal their land,” he affirmed. He stated that about 5,000 youths had been empowered though corporate social responsibility programmes initiated by his ministry while over 10, 000 street youths, now known as Jesus boys, have been taken off the streets.




What is your excess luggage? -Asks Pastor Chidi


any people, today, are going about with excess luggage and the luggage and they are weighed down. Recent, a young man, who boarded an aircraft, had his wedding ring on in the wrong finger. The passenger who sat beside the young man pointed out that he was wearing his wedding ring on the wrong finger. But this young man replied, “Don’t worry. I put the wedding on the wrong finger because I married to the wrong woman.” Many people who are alive today are mere walking corps. They walk about like normal people but inside, they are gasping for salvation. The book of 2Kings says in chapter 2 verses 19-22: “And the men of the city said Elisha, Behold, I pray the, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but this water naught, and the ground barren. And he said bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him. And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, ‘Thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land.’ So the waters were healed unto this day according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.” I want to share with us today on a topic I titled Excess Luggage. But before we go on, hear this experience. We should really be thankful to God who gave men the ingenuity that made creation of garment to cover our nakedness possible. We look good when we iron our clothes and put them on. The garments do a nice job of hiding our frustrations and. Listen to this pathetic case. On a typical counselling day, a young man drove into the church with his MR Mercedes jeep. When he stepped out of the car, his dressing was dazzling and expensive. The aroma of the perfume that he wore dominated the air even two hour after he departed. When he entered

the church, there were other young men for counselling in the church that morning. Seeing the young man’s expensive make up, I heard some of the other young men saying, ‘Oh! I wish you will make to be like this man. If you will make me like this man, L will never disChidi turb you again.’ But when the young man entered into my counselling room, he said man of God; I got your complementary card yesterday. I was told that if I could set my eyes on you, my problems would be solved. Thank God that I have seen you today. He added; man of God if you check and can’t find any solution to my problem, please ask your God to kill me. I asked with surprise; “Kill you, with your affluent and dazzling outlook? Why do you want to die?” Anybody who see me like this or perceived the aroma of my expensive perfume will think that all is well with me. But that is only a camouflage. He then bent down and pulled up his flowing regalia. And behold concealed under the rich regalia was a urine bag that was tied below his abdomen. He has a challenge; he cannot pass urine normally, a pipe had to be connected from his urinary track

to the bag tied around his waist. The reason he puts on the expensive perfume is to cover the odour of the urine drips into the bag he carried under his abgada. I was carried away while the young man related the level of his sorrows to me. I remembered the other young men in the congregation who desired that God should make to be like this sad young man. So in my heart I cried and said, ‘God of Chidi Anthony, please don’t answer the prayers of those young men.’ Hear me well; anyone who sees the young man believes that all is well with him; but he is saddled with an excess luggage. The truth is that many people today are nit different from the young man. Lots of people are going about with one form of excess luggage or the other. In their marriages, there is excess luggage. There are many broken home, no peace in such homes. A certain man brought out his wedding CD, but instead of allowing the film to play on, he was busy rewinding it. A friend who had settled down to recapture the man’s moments of the wedding excitements asked: “Why don’t you allow us enjoy your wedding film?” “I wish that as I am rewinding this film, God will rewind my marriage because I am tired of the marriage,” the man replied. Some couples are actually hoping that their wedding certificates have expiration dates because they are sick and tired of being in an unhappy union. It is sad that many people are happy only when they come to the church; but when they get back to their homes the happiness dissolves into oblivion. People are indeed carrying excess luggage and they have no idea how they would get rid of it. The Bible says that the men of the city came to Prophet Elisha and said to him ‘Master.’ Remember that it was their first encounter with Elisha. Before then, Elisha had been with

Wisdom wings for winning


isdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her... Prov. 4:5-12. Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Exo.19:4. Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind. Ps 104:3. The voice of wisdom is always heard and attended to. Wisdom is superior to weapons in the battle involving the supernatural. When wisdom is given pre-eminence, its main product is winning. Wisdom has wings and when you avail yourself to it, you become a highflier

in life. Wisdom wings can carry you to where human connections will not dare. The secret to unending winning is wisdom. According to Murdock (2000) the world does not have two problems; it has just a wisdom problem. When the problem of wisdom is solved, there shall be peace, prosperity, stability, righteousness, love, success among others, worldwide. If United Nations could locate the wings of wisdom and climb on it, the world would be more habitable. The ongoing crises of insurgencies such as terrorism, war, kidnapping, robbery, ritualism and so on are waiting for wisdom to come into play. Russia is after Ukraine in spite of the outcry of Ukrainians, NATO, United Nations, European Union, African Union, human rights organisations, to mention a few. Russia is fanning the embers to destabilise Ukraine, considering the 24-hour ultimatum issued for the vacation and surrender of Crimea city or face military action. Russian’s action is a clear display of folly and absence of wisdom. If winning is your longing then locate the wings of wisdom and fly on them, and you will definitely land safely and peacefully. According to the wisest man that ever lived on earth, Solomon, wisdom is the principal thing. By implication, when you get wisdom you have got the best and it will give you the rest. According to the Scriptures, the first set of people who came to see Jesus when He was born, were wise people. Till date only wise people are Jesus seekers.

Wisdom is winning, the duration of the battle notwithstanding. As powerful as the ancient Egyptian kingdom was, when God placed Israel on the wings of Moses (His eagle), her case became an impossible type to Egypt. When you access the wings of wisdom, victory becomes easy on all sides. Wisdom keeps you away from under-stepping and overstepping in all life’s endeavours. People, organizations, institutions and nations fail not because they do not have human, spiritual, economic and other resources but for lack of wisdom. The bible is full of stories of foolish and wise people. Equally, the world, colour, race, language, environment or currency notwithstanding is filled with foolish and wise people. Take a closer look at the people around you and there would be clear evidences of these two sets of people. Jesus said by their fruits you shall know them. The recent hoarding of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) by independent oil marketers in Nigeria is one of the greatest follies of this year. The killing of innocent fellow kinsmen or country men is a folly. The raping of a 10-year-old girl or a mad woman is another. The toughest battles of life are fought and won with wisdom; even so the ones ahead shall be won with it. Riding on the wings of wisdom has no substitute in the school of victory. Winning is guaranteed when wisdom wings carry you. You cannot ride on wisdom wings and fail in life. Jesus engaged wisdom in handling all issues of life until they began to wonder what

wisdom it was and from where it emanated. If you think wisdom is expensive then try foolishness and see where it will take you to. The parable of the ten virgins in the bible as narrated by Jesus in Matthew 25:1-13 is a clear illustration of two types of people found everywhere including the church. It further shows that one may be a virgin, welleducated and connected, traveled far and wide, religious and well-positioned yet a fool. On wisdom wings, you can get easily and faster to your destination. You have lost enough so it is high time you mounted the wings of wisdom for all round victory cum result. ‘Success does not mean the absence of failures; it means winning the war, not every battle’ - Edwin C. Bliss. You have met people who literally wander through life. They simply accept whatever fate brings them. A few may succeed by accident, but most suffer through a lifetime of frustration and unhappiness. Meanwhile, to those who succeeded by accident, it is not certain that the success will last because there is no successful accident anywhere. Therefore, this sermon is for such. . Izuchukwu Chukwudebelu is the\ Presiding Minister, Assemblies of God FESTAC 2, Plot 268A&B, 4th Avenue, FESTAC Town, Lagos. For enquiries contact hi: email izuchukwudebelu@ or phone +2348028390885, +2348056027044, +234704414424



Sermon / Faith

Soul hunting is it -Pastor Samuel T

he Bible speaking through Judah’s wise to King Solomon admonished believers not to love the world because all that is in the world is vanity. We should learn from the story of the Pharisee and the publican. It provides an eye opener in this regard. The Pharisee, we learnt, while praying to God, was boasting. He was telling God that he had been doing this and that. He was boasting of how he had been paying his tithes and offerings and how he was not like the wretched publican. But God did not acknowledge him. The publican, on the other hand, humbled himself, saw himself as nothing. He went to his closet, prayed to God and asked for mercy. God saw his heart and blessed him. God cannot be found within those things you want to do to become somebody in the world. God is in your soul. He is keen about those things that you can do that will lead someone to inherit the kingdom of heaven. For instance, the book of 1 John 2:15 says, “Love not the world neither love the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the father is not in him. For all that is in the world is the lust of the flesh.” The lust of the flesh is manifest, namely fornication, adultery, envy, jealousy, hatred, emulation, abuse of mankind. And He says, “The lust of the eyes and the pride of life are not of the father but are of the world. And the world passeth away and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the word of God abideth forever.” If you are such that love the things of the world, you are too keen on what you can become in the world, you want to be a super star, you want to be a popular man. I want you to know that there are three things that can bring down someone that is thriving in the way of the Lord. Number one is money, two is women and three is fame. Your money, fame and women can make you not to acknowledge God. God is telling us not to love the world because the world is not of God. Many Christians are going to church not because they love

God but because of showmanship. Many churches today are built not because they want to convert souls but because they are for showmanship. Many ministers of God today are so much in love with the world. They are in ministry, not because they want to convert souls, but to show they have anointing to perform wonders. What does it profit you to gain the whole world and lose your soul? Do you know that the things of the world will pass away? Houses will pass away, cars will pass away; your companies will pass away, your churches will pass away, your poverty will pass away; that is why the Bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil. When people are after money, they don’t love God anymore because the quest for money can lead one to do evil. It is then you see a young man taking a woman he loves to do money ritual. Some people use their mother to do money ritual; people take up arms to rob a bank. Then you see one who calls himself a pastor standing on the pulpit, manipulating people to raise money using his anointing. That is the love of the world. And Jesus said something in 1 John 3:1, “Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law, for sin is transgression of the law and ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins and in him is no sin. And whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not; whosoever sinneth hath not seen neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you, he that doeth righteously is righteous even as He is righteous. He that commiteth sin is of the Devil; for the Devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the son of man was made manifest that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever is born of God does not commit sin, does not love the world, but His seed remaineth in him.” And he cannot sin because he is born of God. If you are born of God then the lust of the world will not be in you. If you are born of God, money will not entice you, money will not entice you; things of the world, your money, cars, houses that you have

Revelational LOVE by

Franca Anyanwu

08033408354 or email:


nd there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, why was this waste of the ointment made? “It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages…” The above verse refers to an unnamed woman whom many referred to variously as ‘a sinner’, ‘that woman’ etc. but to whom Jesus applauded and said of her, that her name shall be so famous that wherever the gospel is preached, her name shall be a memorial. She broke a jar of ointment/perfume, so expensive that it could cost a year’s salary, at the feet of Jesus for the revelational love she found in the master. I can imagine the resolve and resilience that goes into the kind of sacrifice the woman of the jar made. It would have been such a wrench of the heart to part with such stuff. She had to ‘let go’, a very rich and

forceful way to express love. Every great story of love has been a story of letting go - God had to let go of his only Son for the world that He loves so much. - Jesus Christ had to let go of His own life to please His father and redeem the world too. - Jonathan had to let go of his father’s throne for David to become King because He loved David. - This jar-breaking woman had to let go of something worth a year’s wage because she was driven by the force of love. She had a noholds barred heart for God. Her love was so great and unbelievable that even the disciples who preached love could not understand its depth. When one is driven by love, there is absolutely no limit to what he or she can do. Have you ever got to the point in love with God or anyone where you had to say, “I give it all up for you?” That’s an extraordi-

will not entice you. All these things will pass away and your soul will perish. Brethren we are in the last age; we are approaching the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and I want to you to prepare your mind. The Bible says that Jesus Christ has come to save us with His precious blood so that we might conform to the image of God. God is sounding a warning that we should stay away from the world. Many people are fondling with computers. The prince of the world, the evil that brought the technology to the world, is deceiving people. Many people are on Facebook Samuel and internet without knowing that Facebook has corrupted the world. As a Christian, you must embrace the internet when it has to do with the things of God likewise Facebook. If you have been using the internet for things that do not glorify God, Christ is not in you. Contact us on,, 08060143296.

Totally broken, totally sold out nary level of brokenness and submission. You cannot separate love and submission. - Submission is not easy but it is made possible by love - Look at Jesus at Gethsemane - Ruth and Naomi When love rules, submission prevails. The word submission is made up of two words: sub and mission. It means to submit your own mission to another. It means to say like Jesus, “Not my will but thine be done.” The sacrifice here is that though you have your own will, agenda or mission, you decide to let you will go and submit your own mission to pursue and fulfill someone else’s. The woman in context must have had a very wonderful reason for buying such an expensive perfume. She must have saved for a year for it. She must also have denied herself many good things and luxury to be able to afford it. But here is the woman letting go of what she gave up almost everything to have. No wonder she got everyone’s attention. She was so unconventional and unusual because she was driven by the force of love. Have you ever given up everything for Him? It reminds me of my own story. My walk with God has been a history of letting go. Everything I spent my entire adult life fighting to get both as a banker and as an individual, have been laid down for him. Every money I made – I let go for Him. Every gold I had, even my societal status was all given up for Him. The sweetest part of this story is that He will never let you down. He

is a faithful rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Anything you let go for Him is not lost. I have proved this God over and over again and found Him super-faithful. It is a powerful fact that nobody can out-give God in any way. Inspite of what you do for Him out of love, he will always have more for you because His love is more and consistent. Nobody has ever given up anything sacrificially for God and had a reason to regret it. This jarbreaking woman is a perfect example. You can also see in the book of Mark 10: 28 – 30. “Then Peter began to say unto him, lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, verily I say unto you, there is no man that hath left house, or brethren or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundred fold now in this time, house, and brethren, and sisters and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” Certainly, we lose noting by giving our all to Him. If you will receive a hundred fold now and still get eternal life in the world to come, then all your labour of love for God is not in vain. REVELATION LOVE “She hath done what she could: She is come aforehand to anoint My body to be buried” (Mark 14:8). I have dedicated this piece to talk about love as a force that inspires uncommon sacrifice and achievements. It is therefore very important to note that there is nothing like love without revelation.




Understanding the master key to exploits! (2)

The voice of

Dominion by

Bishop David Oyedepo

Phone: 7747546-8; E-mail: feedback@lfcww.


ast week, we considered the importance of understanding God’s Word for doing exploits and what understanding does for us. This week, we shall be looking at Pathways To Revelationand How to Engage Spiritual Understanding for Exploits. Pathways ToRevelation: • Be born again and filled with the Holy Ghost (John 3:3): When you become born again and continue to walk in the fear of God, you are entitled to the inflow of revelation and outbreak of light. • Crave for light in the areas of concern in your life: Crave to know and understand what provisions have been made for you in the areas of concern in your life. Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters... (Isaiah 55:1). So, it takes a thirst to access what God has for you in His Word. Without a thirst, you are not entitled to revelations. You are only entitled to explosive revelation, when you

are really thirsty for it. • Engage the ministry of the Holy Spirit in your search (1 Corinthians 2:10): He is the Master ‘Revealer’ and Interpreter. It is only by His ministry you can access the deep things of God. He is the Master Illuminator of the Word that brings understanding. He is the author of the Word and the most competent to interpret it. When the Holy Ghost interprets the Word to you, your understanding blossoms naturally. How To Engage Spiritual Understanding For Exploits: There is no situation in life that does not have a root cause, and a light from the Word concerning the situation puts you in command of it. • Make a project of any goal that needs a change: You don’t have a change just because you want a change; you must be specific on the change you desire. Everything we have in reality begins as a project. It must first be a project

and should be spiritually driven. Every time light dawns, confidence is boosted, faith is aroused and result is inevitable. You cannot command exploits until you first execute the project that will guarantee their actualization. All men of exploits are those who knew how to make a project out of their goals, and they proved it by adequately investing in it. • Embark on a desperate search: This you do in most cases with fasting and prayer, to access the way out from the Lord, through His Word. It is a spiritual project and it can only be executed spiritually. There are certain things you will never see except you are in a fast. We serve a God that answers our heartfelt prayers, and He is also a God of three days. Anything you truly devote yourself to find, with the help of the Holy Ghost, is accessible within a three-day period. Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward(Isaiah 58:8). • Give yourself wholly to your findings: Whatever you find as the way out, give yourself wholly to it. As you run with what you have found, your profiting will appear to all (1 Timothy 4:15). It is not enough to find it; it is wisdom to give yourself wholly to it. No one changes position without revelation. As you

Unlocking the oceanic blessings


od can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us”, Eph 3:20 (MSG) The people at the helm of affairs in great places were born just the same way as you. But why does your life lack impact and adequate information to propel you to your desired level? Whoever you may know in whatever highly placed position cannot be compared to your Father who is enough to prosper you beyond measure. Many have so many complimentary cards of great and influential people yet their story has not changed. The Alpha and the Omega remains, He has not changed neither has He forgotten you. If He watches over the sparrow, how much more you? God is your Maker and He can do anything above your calculation. Every calculator has its capacity beyond which it would only display ‘error’. Likewise, the capacity of your brain cannot fathom the enormity of blessing He is capable of bestowing upon you. There is an order of blessing, it is called the oceanic blessing; the ocean remains a mystery which has become incomprehensible to any living creature because it is not influenced by any natural or artificial

phenomenon. The ocean is unsearchable, unending in flow, unstoppable, unexplainable in nature, immeasurable in volume. The description given above is simply the order of blessing God has earmarked for you this year. But for you to begin to flow in this euphoria there is the interplay of several covenant responsibilities among which are: •Embrace the word of God (Josh 1:8) If truly you want to enjoy the oceanic blessing this year, then you must give credence to the word of God. Every product has a manual; so also the word of God is the manual of your destiny. You must confess what you long to see or expect just as the word positions it. When you acquire a new product, it is expedient that you go through the manual in order to familiarize yourself with its functions. You must know that your future is in the scripture and to neglect it is to create lacuna which would eventually give birth to suffering. Meditate on what you discover and learn from the manual of life. •You must work (John 9:4; Pro 22:29) Hard work is not hard except for those who hardly work. A man who works is prone to some sins but one who hardly works is susceptible to all sins. I am a strong advocate of hard work because I do not know how to beg from people. Do not sleep at home, there is no miracle in the house after praying, it is out there where

engage heartily in the search for understanding of the Word, I see you gaining access into the deep things of God that guarantee your dramatic change of levels. Stop struggling with life; Go for light! Friend, the power to engage spiritual understanding for exploits, is available to those saved. You get saved as you confess your sins, forsake them and accept Jesus as your personal Saviour and Lord. If you are set for this new birth experience, please say this prayer: Lord Jesus, I come to You today. I am a sinner. I cannot help myself. Forgive me of my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood. Deliver me from sin and satan, to serve the Living God. Today, Lord Jesus, I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Thank You, for saving me! Now, I know I am born again! I willcontinue this teaching next week. The Exceeding Grace of God shall be your portion this year, in the name of Jesus! Every exploit in life is a product of knowledge. For further reading, you can get my books — The Force Of Freedom, Walking In Dominionand Born To Win. I invite you to come and fellowship with us at the Faith Tabernacle, Canaan Land, Ota, the covenant home of Winners. We have four services on Sundays, holding at 6:00 a.m., 7:35 a.m., 9:10 a.m. and 10.45 a.m. respectively. I know this teaching has blessed you. Write and share your testimony with me through: Faith Tabernacle, Canaan Land, Ota, P.M.B. 21688, Ikeja, Lagos,

must go through before taking delivery of your glorious destiny. •Remember your sacrifice (II Kings 3:4-5, Gen 8; 20-22 As you aspire to get the oceanic blessings, do not forget your altar. Every great man out there has an altar. Your altar should be the platform for getting God’s attention. For every altar, there is a priest, get a spiritual father who will always plead your case at the altar on the wings of your sacrifice. If you do not have a father, you cannot go further. Begin to give what your parents have you work. The menial job you are doing today is not your never given. This year, you will have uncommon last ‘bus stop’ neither is it the end of your life. It is only dominion and you will have more than enough preparing you for the greatness ahead of you. For thirty in Jesus name. years, Jesus worked as a carpenter, therefore you have no excuse, you must work! PRAYERS •Get the secrets of God (Deut 29:29; Job 29:2-4, 8-16) • I receive understanding to unlock the Every trade has its secret and God is the source of all depth of blessing in the word of God for my secrets. Your insignificance in that your field is because advantage! you lack the secret that others have. One idea from God † Holy Spirit, work on my sight to know can turn your rags to riches. There is no mint in heaven, what to do to turn my captivity around! all you need is an idea (insight) from God that is capable † Every satanic deception aimed to of transforming the fortune of your generations. The hard- keep me in the company of the poor, scatter ship and poverty in your life must not continue in the days now by fire! of your children? You cannot continue to run your life just † I am giving my way out of poverty by as everybody does; you need to get an edge if your story my understanding of sacrificial giving! must be different, after all life is not by luck but by light. † This year, I will enjoy the best and I Beloved, life can be easy if only you can pay attention to shall be preferred among the best! His instructions. In Jesus name •Be ready to pay the price (Pro 27:21) I know you have been blessed. Success in life has its definition in meeting its demands. Writesour testimonies, comments, etc., with Before you can pick anything in the market place of life; me through; you must be ready to pay the price attached. If you have Hotlines – 01-7903163, 08085845864. gotten a glimpse of where God is taking you to, then you Download our Online Radio App (Hebrewsmust be prepared to pay the price. Stop this habit of com- Live) on Android and Blackberry Q10 & Z10. paring your life with others; you are a unique masterpiece Online Radio: of God. In the Olympic competition, the gold medalist is com always crowned last, your long-awaited breakthrough Rev’d Femi Akinola – The Hebrews Internacan be likened to that of a gold medalist. There is fire you tional, Lekki, Lagos.



Word of FAITH

by Apostle Clement Apostle Clement Ogbonna Ogbonna, apostleofgraceinwo 08036774737


he book of Genesis 9:20-27 records; Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. Ham the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s nakedness. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father’s nakedness. From the above scripture, we observe that there are times fathers behave like children, especially in their old age. At such times, we should be mindful of what we do with them to avoid receiving unintentional curses from them. When a father misbehaves, be careful how you correct him; advise him, approach him and talk to him. No matter how sensible or correct you may be in your views, he still carries a mandate over your life. Canaan received a curse from Noah because of Ham, the father of Canaan. That curse affected the children of Israel from repossessing the land after many years of slavery in Egypt. The curse from an angry father can last till generations unborn. No matter how stupid your father may be, be careful in your relationship with him. Fathers have a great mandate from God to bless and direct us in life. Moses as a leader and a father to the Israelites was abused by Miriam his elder sister and she was afflicted with leprosy. Korah, Dothan and Abiram with their 250 family members were buried alive because of the insults the above three persons rained on Moses. The children suffered what they did not know. (Numbers 16:1-35). In our dealings with our fathers, we should be very careful no matter how right we may be and how evil they seem to be. “Bless

When a father misbehaves!

your father and receive a blessing; insult or abuse him and receive a curse. But I charge you to go for blessings instead of curses. Do not abuse, provoke, ill-treat or speak evil of your father. Fathers are great pillars of glory. Do not see nor discuss the nakedness of a father for it is disastrous, dangerous and destructive. Be friendly to your father and you will become the friend of success. David had King Saul as his mentor and father, but he suffered so much from him. Saul tried all he could to kill him that in 1Sam. 20:1-5, David lamented to Jonathan his covenant friend, “What wrong have I done that your father seeks to kill me?” when the attack became unbearable, David became a fugitive in his father’s land. He prayed that God should deliver him from the hands of Saul. The Bible records that one day God delivered Saul unto the hand of David but he feared to kill him. He only cut off part of his robe and showed him that he had the opportunity to kill him but did not because of his posterity’s sake. He looked at the king where he was sleeping and snoring, and shouted “Who am I to kill the Lord’s anointed?” He made this comment even though God had regretted making Saul a king and had rejected him even as a king over Israel. This tells us that the judgment of a father is not in the hands of a son. In the case of Eli, in the book of 1Sam 3, God spoke to the ch ild, Samuel, of how He was angry against Eli and his children for their sacrilegious sins. God told him that He had removed the consecration of priesthood from him and his household forever and had given it to him, Samuel. But Samuel was not there when Eli and his children committed the evil; but God told him of the evil. He trembled that he heard about the evil of his master (father). In the morning, Eli asked him to tell him what the Lord told him. He

THE Oracles of God

trembled, shook and cried not to say it. Eli persuaded him in love and said to him, “I know that the Lord is angry against me, but tell me what he said to you, fear not!” It was by this persuasion that he opened up to him with respect to him as a father and to his office as a priest. Many of us today have become story-tellers of the evil of our father. We reveal and tell people of the nakedness of our fathers. This carries a curse, be careful and “… tell it not in Gath and publish it not in the streets of Askelon…” 2Sam 1:17-20. As a child and even young man, many of my relations on several occasions told me some things that my Dad did against my mum in their early days of marriage and I told them, “That was then.” Try not to be poisoned by some information you hear about a father so that your heart will still be open to receive his blessings. I bought a car and gave to one of my spiritual fathers who had a serious marriage problem that even went on air. Some senior ministers told me that I was not supposed to do so because God has rejected him. My question is, “Were you there in the court of heaven when the verdict was passed?” Even if you were there, were you the appointed Executor? Who made you a judge over another man’s servant? Note that Samuel served Eli several years even after hearing from God that he had been rejected and was going to die! Today, many have been wounded, fallen in life and died prematurely because they spoke and fought against their fathers. Flee from the curse of executing God’s judgment against anyone. You should rather engage yourself in praying for your fallen father to come back to his senses. He may have provoked you to wrath as even written in Ephesians 6.

Okrika wears

God or Satan the Devil. We Frank Oboden Olomukoro i n v a r i a b l y express the nature of the Spirit in us through our beIn our local parlance, ‘okrika’’ means haviour. second handed or wears already used by Let us consider a case study! If an imthe whites (Oyibos) in Europe and America. moral spirit possesses a man, how do we These are discarded, rejected and dumped know the nature of that spirit? It manifests wears bagged by trade merchants in bales in the man or woman as a prostitute, forand shipped to Africa and other Third nicator, adulterer, rapist, homosexual and World impoverished countries, including the like. The man in Mark 5: 1 – 9 who was Nigeria. Each bale is a mix of varying de- possessed by legion, an unclean spirit in grees of used materials; the best of them Gadarenes violently drove the man from are classified as first grade. Compared to civilisation to the graveyard, is a classical brand new wears, ‘Okrika (second hand example. wears) are by far cheaper and affordable We are already used wears because by the less privileged, the middle class and Satan successfully wore Adam and Eve sometimes the rich. as brand new and corrupted them and an What is the spiritual application of the Adamic sinful nature became a transferred foregone paragraph? The world is an Okrika legacy through the human race. King Damarket, a trade centre where humans are vid struck this fact in Psalm 51:5 “Behold I either sold or purchased as second hand was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my commodities to be worn by spirits. In the mother conceive me.” beginning, God created man brand new Cain demonstrated this when he was (tear rubber), “And God saw everything that worn by the demons of murder, hate, malhe had made, and, behold, it was very good”. ice, strife, lie, violence, pride, arrogance, Genesis 1:31. Notably, men wear clothes, stubbornness, brute. These spirits or devils but spirits in possessing men, wear them formed his behaviour as we read in Genas clothes. As our wears are subject to us, esis 4:8…”that Cain rose up against Abel his so are we subject and ruled by the spirits brother and slew him.” that inhabit or wear us. Be it the Spirit of Our status was redefined by the en-



trance of devils into our being. Our Godcreated original standard fell, we lost our rights as sons and daughters. We became degraded, cheap, valueless and used wears that attracts only what the Bible describes in Romans 6:23, “the wages of sin is death.” We became rags in righteousness, gamblers, pagans, witches, wizards, idolaters, cultists, hypocrites, to name just some. No matter who you are, no matter where you belong, no matter how humanly placed, without Christ added eternal life value, you are simply a cheap second handed wear possessed or worn by some devils. A degraded life? Yes! But God was interested in buying. In John 3:16–19, God came down to our world, intent to purchase us with a price, His own blood. From one shop to the other, bending down to select, He sought for first grade whom He would transform to first born. “As many as believed in Him, to them gave he power to become His children” John 1:12. Second hand wears (okrika) are known to carry stale, offensive odour, stains and dirt. Equivalently, sin has a smell, an odour that is offensive to God, being the mark of a sinner. An okrika wear must be washed clean before it is worn. In the same vein, God has to subject every sinner through a cleansing process to rid us of sin. How?

Three steps are defined. Firstly, repentance and water baptism by immersion in the name of Jesus Christ who died for us because baptism is a death and burial symbol. Secondly, sins are remitted by the blood of Jesus Christ only as a sanctification process. Permit me to state that only the correct water baptism as prescribed in Acts 2:38, Acts 8:16, Acts 10:48, Acts 19:1–7, confers on the sinner forgiveness of sin. The generally accepted and practised water baptism by sprinkling and pouring of water in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost has no scriptural support. It is a denominational dogma and creed that will give life. The Holy God cannot wear a second handed wear (sinner) who is not first cleansed and set aside. You are either worn by God or you are worn by devils. I belong to church or to a Christian family or I burn candles, I’m born a Catholic or Anglican or Pentecostal etc has nothing to do with your salvation. We are all born sinners. Except you are born again by the spirit of God, you are not a part of God. Here is the tragedy! Any man not worn by God is not a part of God. To remain a sinner is to be worn by the devil, an okrika wear condemned to everlasting damnation. Contact:, 07033621866




The Lord’s Chosen ‘ship’ berths in Calabar

The Two-Day Holy Ghost-inspired crusade of the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Ministries titled: “There cometh one Mightier than all”, will take place on Saturday March 15 and Sunday March 16, 2014 at the Parliamentary Road extension, beside NorthWest filling station Calabar, Cross Rivers State by 8:00am daily. STANLEY CHIBUIHEM AMALAHA, writes on the signifance of the crusade.


lthough the city of Calabar, Nigeria’s former capital and the ‘Paradise of the Nation’, has been playing host to great men and women of God in the ecumenical world but none will be likended to that of the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Ministries taking place this weekend Sturday and Sunday 15th and 16th March, respectively, titled: There cometh one Mightier than all. According to Pastor Lazarus Muoka, the two-day Holy

Ghost International crusade of the Lord’s Chosen, will be the first in Calabar. “Jesus is the one Mightier than all. Come and experience the dynamic power of God who is mightier than all as you give your life to Christ.” He added, “sinners will be saved, the sick will be healed, bondages will be broken by the grace of God,” said the Pastor. In a related development, Pastor David Okonji, the presiding pastor of the Lord’s Chosen in Cross Rivers State, said

that they are calling everyone to take this golden opportunity and pertake fully in this crusade and be blessed by God. “God will use the General overseer during the event. No matter what your problem is. The Mightier than all which is our Lord Jesus Christ must meet you at the point of your needs.” He urged people to come and meet the Lord’s Chosen at the beautiful city of Calabar.

Cross Rivers State central Choir of the Lord’s Chosen preparing for the Crusade with Pastor David Okonji sitting at the middle

Cross Rivers State Reginal pastors of the Lord’s Chosen preparing for the Crusade with Pastor David Okonji sitting at the middle

Pastor Lazarus Muoka, General Overseer

Cross Rivers State Evangelical group with intercessors of the Lord’s Chosen preparing for the Crusade with Pastor David Okonji sitting at the middle

Lord’s Chosen Church Ebutemeta (sisters), with Pastor Marqus sitting at the middle

Lord’s Chosen Church Ebutemeta (brothers), with Pastor Marqus sitting at the middle

A Chosen sister evangelising

Cross Rivers State Youth choir of the Lord’s Chosen preparing for the Crusade with Pastor David Okonji sitting at the middle




Let’s meet the Lord’s Chosen in Calabar

Brother Chinoso and sister Veronica healed at Chosen previous Crusade

A girl from Calabar reveals of the Lord’s doing at Chosen

Mr. Nduka healed of 40years deaf and dumb at previous crusade

Women blessed with children at Chosen previous Crusade

A woman jubiliating at Chosen after healing

A Chosen blessed with miracle car

A woman testifying for successful delivery

Christian and Chinaza healed at previous crusade

Mrs Amadi healed of 10years stroke at Mb aise crusade

Chidinma ChidinmaIbe Ibehealed healedof of26yrs 26yrs deaf deafand anddumb dumbpreviously previously

Ilasa East (sisters) of the Lord’s Chosen, Lagos, with Pastor Newman sitting

Ilasa East (brothers) of the Lord’s Chosen, Lagos, with Pastor Newman sitting

Lord’s Chosen Church Ebutemeta (brothers), with Pastor Marqus sitting at the middle

Lord’s Chosen Church Ebutemeta (sisters), with Pastor Marqus sitting at the middle

On Marble

World Record

Winning means you’re willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else. Vince Lombardi

Poker star Phil Laak, 37, played live poker for over 115 hours in 2004 with a net of $6766 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas during the World Series of Poker - setting the new world record for the Longest poker game World Record Academy.

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

VOL. 1 NO. 19



Amalgamation? Yes, it was a huge mistake, Mr President


can understand President Goodluck Jonathan’s dilemma. In the run up to an election year, when he is expected to present himself again to the electorate for re-election as president of the federal republic, it is understandable that he would not like to be seen to be saying or doing anything that could be interpreted as an attempt to divide Nigeria, hence his enthusiastic declaration last week that the amalgamation of 1914 was not a mistake. In his first nationally televised media chat this year, which held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, two weeks ago, the president also assured he would not preside over the break-up of Nigeria. Such declarations are music to the ears of those whose support Jonathan sorely needs for his reelection but who are also pulling him from different directions insisting he has no right to seek re-election! But, the fact that Jonathan has had to disavow the country’s disintegration in several speeches in the past couple of weeks is a clear indication that even at the highest level of the country’s political leadership, there are palpable fears that Nigeria’s disintegration is a possibility starring us in the face. And you ask, if some people or sections are so frightened by that possibility, why do they engage, with such careless abandon, in acts or practices that inexorably draw us to the precipice every so often? In his speech at the inauguration of the National Advisory Committee on the National Dialogue ‘On Our Country’s Conversation Towards A Greater Nigeria’ in October last year, President Jonathan had himself acknowledged that there had been many similar conferences in the past aimed at bringing about a functional, progressive country. Indeed, from the Sir Hugh Clifford Constitution of 1922 through Sir Richards Constitution of 1946, the constitutional conferences in London and Lagos between 1951 and 1954, the constitutional conference of 1957, the constituent assembly of 1978, which resulted in the 1979 constitution, Babaginda’s 1989 Constitutional Conference, the Abacha 1994/95 Constitutional Conference, Obasanjo’s 2005 Constittutional Conference, the National Assembly’s Constitution Amendment proceedings of 2010 to the soon-to-start Jonathan’s National Dialogue, Nigeria has had about 11constitutional conferences in 92 years. This is more than probably any other country on the planet has had to contend with. The question Mr. President should ask is why, in spite of all the tinkering we have done with our constitution at various times in our history, the Nigerian centre still can’t seem to hold? The answer is simple: because one can never make something out of nothing. It’s like what they say in public relations---you cannot promote a bad product. Nothing works here because the


Notebook British created a community of people who have nothing in common with one another and who, therefore, cannot work towards a common goal. No other country on earth is as hated by its own as Nigeria. So, yes, Mr. President, amalgamation was a huge mistake. Amalgamation was wrong for several reasons. One—and very important—is that the British did not consult us when they decided to mould a mishmash of cultures, religions and vegetation belts into one incongruent entity. As many commentators have pointed out, Britain created Nigeria not because it wanted a big, hugely endowed, progressive black nation that would show the light for the rest of Africans to follow (apologies Zik) but because it wanted an easier and more convenient way to administer its expansive and disparate territories and exploit their vast human and material resources to service the socio-economic needs of Her Majesty’s imperial government and its people. As Walter Schwarz wrote in his book Nigeria, published in 1968, “The arid, predominantly Moslem North and the tropical, predominantly Christian South are different countries.” Similarly, in his book In Biafra Africa Died, author Emefiena Ezeani notes that the pattern the British used in creating Nigeria explains “how numerous pre-existing African states or ethno-political communities or units with hundreds of different languages came to be rec-


Felix Oguejiofor Abugu

reated by Britain as one single state, ignoring, (in the case of Nigeria), the wider and deeper historical and sociological divergences between the north and the south.” The truth is that everything about Britain’s Nigeria was deliberately skewed in favour of the North. Take another look at our map. You will find that the area called north is a whopping 83 per cent of the landmass, leaving a paltry 17 per cent for the South. Why should Kwara, Kogi and Benue, which share common boundaries with Oyo, Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi States respectively, all of them deep in the rainforest belt, be classified as North, same as say Borno some 1000 kilometres away in the arid Savanna region? You know why? Because that’s how the British desired it! In their wicked, cunning, selfish design to squelch the rise of a viable black nation, the humourless Brits contrived size as a political tool for the north to use in subjugating a more educated, progressive, cosmopolitan south. Are we not all witnesses to how the north has used that size to bully the rest of us into recognizing its ‘divinely-given’ kingship over Nigeria? How often are we reminded that our political rights are only as valid as defined by the North, hence a Goodluck Jonathan has no right to seek reelection as President because the north can’t wait to take back what belongs to it as of right? So, to the extent that Nigeria was, ab initio designed to be what it is today

and has always been—a wobbly, never-do-well--amalgamation was clearly a mistake. In an interview published in the maiden edition of this paper, former military president, Ibrahim Babangida spoke rather romantically about how traders from the south had interacted with their northern counterparts long before amalgamation, a reason he gave as establishing our oneness. But, even IBB knows that that is only commercial interaction and that wherever there is money to be made, traders can go to the ends of the earth, including enemy territory, to find it. Other northern leaders like Balarabe Musa, Abdulsalami Abubakar,Jibril Aminu, Atiku Abubakar, among others constantly inveigh against any hints of disintegration but they have never been able to tell us why the hand of fellowship from the north is always covered in blood. In his weekly column Broadside in this newspaper yesterday, Senator Emmanuel Onwe counted nearly 20 bloody hate riots in the north against non-indigenes between 1980 and 2009 (and more are certain to come). Boko Haram, for instance, is a clear repudiation of one Nigeria. So, 100 years after, where is the basis of unity when our very co-existence is perennially steeped in blood and intergroup animosity? Where is the love of brother that binds people? India and Pakistan were once one but they were so obviously incompatible that the British had to separate them. What is the difference between the situation in contemporary Nigeria and old India? Thus, if we can’t live together in peace and love, why don’t we go our separate ways? But, if we must stay together, then we must discuss and agree to the terms. That’s what happened in the case of EU that our leaders often cite as example of enlarging entity. We must never stay together by force. The national conference provides a window for such discussion. I repeat, there should be no no-go areas.

By Aliu Eroje

Printed and Published by Daily Telegraph Publishing Company Ltd: Head Office: No. 1A, Ajumobi Street, Off ACME Road, Agidingbi, Ikeja-Lagos. Tel: +234 1-2219496, 2219498. Abuja Office: Orji Kalu House, Plot 322, by Banex Junction, Mabushi, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Advert Hotline: 01-8541248, Email: Website: ISSN 2354-4317 Editor: EMEKA MADUNAGU. All correspondence to PMB 10000, Ikeja, Lagos.

Sunday march 9, 2014 issuu  

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