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THE WEEKEND

1 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

Weekend

PUBLISHED SINCE OCTOBER 6, 1990 • Vol.XI NO. 3,188• SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013 • N100.00

ENCOUNTER Gov Oshiomhole

A Result Oriented Leader - Barr Osikhena-Boih

- Page 11

Benin City Erosion

Edo Partners World Bank

GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has assured residents of Queen Ede, in Ogbeson quarters, Benin City that government would do everything possible to arrest the gully erosion ravaging the area, saying the state government is in partnership with the World Bank on the problem and that government has already set aside the sum of N500 million to address the menace. explained, “those who Oshiomhole gave the are doing the design, assurance when he they already have an conducted a team of overview of the entire World Bank officials on problem. When they an inspection of the finish the design the next gulley erosion. thing is to look for the According to the money.” governor, “we are doing Oshiomhole disclosed our best as you can see that Edo State I came with some expatriates from Washington who we have written to come and see what is happening so that they can design an appropriate design which we are already By EUBALDUS ENAHORO working on. EDO State “The reason why I Government will have come is to show commence the them the problem. The construction of roads in people are coming to Abudu, Orhionmwon carry out the full study. Local Government Area This is not something like of Edo as from the next putting up PHCN or dry season in generator. You need to continuation of the carry out proper study administrations before you can start to developmental agenda address the problem. across the state. There is no overnight This was disclosed solution,” he noted. yesterday by Edo State The governor Governor, Comrade

government has put aside five hundred Million naira, adding “we are expecting that the World Bank would also give the additional money. “It is something that we are already working on and my visit today is not to come and see whether there is a problem. I have already seen the problem. I have only come to show the World Bank officials the extent of the gully erosion.” Conducting the leader of the World Bank team,

... Sets Aside N500m Mr. Benoit Bosquet, who is also the Sector Manager, Environment, World Bank, in

W a s h i n g t o n , Oshiomhole said the resources required to fix the erosion is

enormous. According to him, “with your support and the proper design, all

the details, we can find a lasting solution. You can see this school has Continues on page 4

Edo To Commence Construction Of Abudu Roads Adams Oshiomhole when he received Dr. Ebegue Amadasun and prominent Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), leaders from the twelve wards in Orhionmwon Local Government Area. “We are going to reconstruct the roads exactly as the same quality that is consistent with the policy of Edo State Government. You will agree with me that the longest road we have Continues on page 4

DECAMPEE: Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, receiving the Leader of PDP members that decamp to ACN in Abudu in Orhiomwon Local Government Area in Edo State, Dr. Ebegue Amadasun, while some leaders of ACN looks on.

RIGHT OF REPLY Orbih Got It Wrong

Anenih Destroyed PDP In Edo State - Page 18

MOMENT OF SCRUTINY

These Perilous Times - Page 5


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2 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

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CRIME Man, 42, Arraigned For Assaulting 11-Year-Old A 42-year-old driver, Girl Anu Adeoye, was threatened the girl with a

The Nigerian Navy Batch 22 Trainees winner company in a slow march during the passing out parade of 69 Regular Recruits Intake at the Nigerian Army Depot, Zaria, Kaduna State yesterday.

arraigned in an Ibadan Magistrates’ Court for allegedly assaulting an 11-year-old girl. Adeoye was alleged to have attempted having an unlawful carnal knowledge of the girl. The Prosecutor, Mr. Oluseye Oyebanji, told the court that the defendant was arraigned on a twocount charge of assault and threat to life. Oyebanji said that the defendant attempted to have an unlawful carnal knowledge of the girl without her consent on June 6 at about 6.30p.m at Inukoko Bodija area of Ibadan. He told the court that the defendant also

knife. The prosecutor said that the offence contravened sections 360 and 86 of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Vol. II Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria 2000. The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Defence Counsel, Mr. Collins Omoke, applied for the bail of the defendant on liberal term. The Magistrate, Patricia Adetuyibi, granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N50,000 with two sureties in like sum. Adetuyibi said that one of the sureties must be gainfully employed while the second must be the blood relation of the defendant. She adjourned the case to July 18 for hearing.

Court Sentences 3 For Joint Act, Theft

AN Abuja Grade Two Area Court in Kado sentenced three accused persons to five months imprisonment on a twocount charge of alleged joint act and stealing. The Police Prosecutor, Mr. Abdullahi Alhassan, gave the names of the accused as Aminu Sani, 35, Elijah Yusuf, 32 and Mukaila Abdul-Rahman, 38. He told the court that one Nnamal Christian, of Mararaba by Medical Centre Road, Nasarawa State, reported the matter to the Gishiri police out station on June 8.

He said that Sani and Abdul-Rahman were block industry operators at Gwagwa Karimo, Abuja, while Yusuf was a farmer at Gishiri village, Abuja. He said that the three accused, on the same day, went to Christian Block Industry in Gishiri village and stole his block making materials. Idi said that Sani, aside being an operator, was also the security man of the block industry. He listed the stolen items to include 100 bags of cement and 50 yard of black leather all valued at N178,000, and ran to an unknown destination.

He said the police was able to apprehend the accused in Gishiri village following a tip off with 30 bags of cement and a roll of black leather in their possession. The police prosecutor said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 79 and 287 of the Penal Code. Section 79 states that a criminal act done intentionally by several persons are each liable for the act in the same manner as it were done by him alone. Section 287 stipulates that whoever commits

theft is punishable with five years imprisonment or fine. The convicts pleaded guilty and asked the court to tamper justice with mercy. The Presiding Officer, Mr. Ahmed Ado,

“This is a clear infringement on the victim’s private life, and an insult to her integrity as a woman. “I therefore urged this court to invoke the necessary provisions of the law in punishing the accused to serve as a deterrent and to prevent future occurrence,’’ he said. The counsel to the accused, Mr. Amobi Udenze, said the matter as canvassed by the prosecution was contradictory, saying it was impossible for the driver to have discharged his passengers before Abakpa bridge. Udenze said the accused had a disagreement with the

victim beside Abakpa bridge over the amount to be paid from Abakpa last bus stop to Polo Park. “This lead to my client pushing her out of his vehicle when it was obvious that they cannot settle the dispute. My Lord, they were about six passengers on board when this incident was taking place. “It is baseless and contradicting that instead of presenting the picture of things before the court, my colleague is busy deceiving the court on this matter by claiming what he cannot substantiate. “Some of the passengers that were at the point of incident are

They were also sentenced to Three months or a N1, 500 fine on the second offence of theft. The police prosecutor however told the court that the complainant had recovered his stolen property.

Court Dissolves 3-Year-Old Marriage Over Husband’s Aggressive Behaviour AN Ilorin Area Court has dissolved a three-year-old marriage between one Bukola Kola and Kola Oniya over the aggressive nature of Oniya, the husband. Bukola, 39, a resident of Maraba Area, Ilorin, had earlier prayed the court to

FHC Adjourns Rape Case For Witnesses To ready to testify before THE Federal High unusual sound coming Testify this court,’’ he said. Court in Enugu has from the bus. adjourned a rape case involving a bus driver, Jude Anikwe, to enable the parties in the matter to produce their witnesses. Anikwe was alleged to have raped a lone passenger under the Abakpa Bridge in the coal city. The state counsel, Mr. Gabriel Agbowo, told the court that on May 15, 2011, a lady was raped at gun-point in a commercial bus under the bridge. He said that the accused, who plied the Abakpa-Polo Park route, raped the victim who was his lone passenger. “I am here with the eyewitness who alerted the police on hearing

sentenced them on the two charges. The accused were sentenced to two months imprisonment or a fine of N1, 000 each on the first count charge of joint act.

Justice D. V. Agishi adjourned the case to Sept. 19 for both parties to furnish the court with their witnesses.

dissolve her marriage to Oniya due to his aggressive nature. The petitioner told the court that her husband got easily provoked at a very slightest provocation. “My husband always reacts badly to every little joke I exchange with him, ” she said. She cited an instance when her husband refused to eat her food for threedays over a little misconception that occurred between them on Oct. 7, 2012. According to her, their marriage was contracted in

2010 and had produced one female child, Balikis. “My Lord, I want an end to this marriage because I’m tired of his frustration and threat every time,” said the complainant. The respondent did not object to the prayer of his wife, saying she was free to go. “My wife has bad manners whenever she is cracking her jokes and that provokes me a lot,” he said. He prayed the court to grant the prayer of his wife without any claim. The Presiding Judge, Mr Yusuf Abdulkareem, dissolved the marriage and issued a certificate of divorce to the plaintiff.

Police Arraign 2 Security Men For Allegedly Stealing 250 Litres Of Diesel THE police has arraigned two security men in an Abuja Senior Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing 250 litres of diesel at the headquarters of the Raw Materials Research and D e v e l o p m e n t Council(RMRDC). The accused, Shabi Audu, 31 and Abdul’Aziz Sa’idu, 35, appeared before Senior Magistrate Anthony Ogboi. The police also accused Audu and Sa’idu of stealing a vehicle loaded with Iron rods which was parked within the Maitama

premises of the agency. The Police Prosecutor, Mr. Emmanuel Adikwu, told the court that the accused persons conspired with one Abdullahi, now at large, to commit the crimes. He said that the accused committed the offence of criminal conspiracy and theft, contrary to sections 97 and 289 of the Penal Code. If convicted under section 289, the court

shall punish the duo with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years each or with fine or with both. They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. In a ruling, Ogboi granted Audu and Sa’idu bail in the sum of N20, 000 with one surety each in like sum. He ordered that the sureties must deposit their passport photographs with the court’s registrar and adjourned the case to June 26 for further hearing.


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Omo-Ojo, Okhuarobo Inspect NDDC Projects By THOMPSON ERHOMONSELE

EDO State Commissioner for Special Duties, Oil and Gas, Ambassador Orobosa OmoOjo yesterday joined the Edo State Representative in the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Barr. Henry Okhuarobo to inspect some of the projects being extended by the commission in parts of Edo State. First point of call was construction of a gigantic culvert at Upper Uwa to control the massive flood in the area. The project tour was at Aduwawa Primary School where there is an on-going rehabilitation and building of block of six classrooms and toilet and construction of a block of three classrooms which started about seven months ago and it is almost completed as the white boards are being mounted. Also inspected was the reasphalting of College and Ahanor roads as well as the construction of 80,000 litre Solar powered bore-hole all at Aduwawa in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area. The facility inspection tour was extended to the University of Benin where there is a 180 – room hosted is currently being construction for the medical students to equipped

with an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centre and a Supermarket which is to be completed and delivered in July 2013. In Ovia North East Local Government Area, the tour revealed that another Solar Energy – powered water borehole is rehabilitated NDDC at Ovbiogie Community and the water is functioning and already serving the people in the area. In Ovia South West, the project inspection tour also showed that work was on-going on the 47 km Udo-Ufunama road project that the commission was building as part of it has already been asphalted with side drains on both sides of the road. Men and materials were seen at work at the various construction sites were work was on-going on the projects which has reached different stages of completion.

The Edo State NDDC Commissioner, Barr. Henry Okhuarobo, at every project site, explain the purpose, specification and capacity of such project to the team of press men who being conducted round the projects, stressing that the projects were based on community needs. In his remarks, Edo State Commissioner for Special Duties, Oil and Gas, Ambassador Orobosa OmoOjo lauded NDDC for embarking on the project adding that they would impact on the socio-economic life of the benefiting communities adding it was in tandem with the transformation of Edo State that Governor Adams Oshiomhole is perfecting in the state. Residents of the benefiting communities also expressed appreciation to Edo NDDC for providing them with the infrastructure.

Communities Demand Commissioning Of EDSOGPADEC and Gas entered its second day communities but request that while others are yesterday, the was starting By THOMPSON Projects furnished effort should be expedited for the waiting to be furnished with revelation of an over whelming ERHOMONSELE AS the on-going inspection of projects executed by Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Areas Development Commission (EDSOGPADC) by the State Ministry of Special Duties Oil

desire of the benefiting communities for the completed projects in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area to be commissioned for public utilization and proper handing

NSE Bemoans Lack Of Application Of MR. Bola Akinribido, Chairman, Nigerian Society of Newly-Acquired Skills Engineers (NSE), Ikeja branch, said that lack of application of newly-acquired skills and knowledge was responsible for the poor growth of the engineering profession. Akinribido said this during an industrial visit of members of NSE to Tower Aluminium Nig. Plc. in Lagos. He said that some engineers most times failed to apply the acquired skills during visits to technical and engineering companies of this kind. “If we could apply the knowledge we acquired most of the time in our various areas of practice, I think it would make some positive impact on our profession,’’ he said. According to him, every engineer is expected have

knowledge of all aspects of the engineering profession. He said that experience should not be limited only to one’s area of specialisation. “A good engineer is one who is versatile in all aspects of the engineering profession,’’ he said. Akinribido urged the engineers to ensure that they applied the knowledge they acquired from the visit in their different areas of operation. He also urged the company to identify with NSE by ensuring that all their engineers were duly registered with the association. Mr. Ram Parthasarathy, the Managing Director of the company, said that the visit was an opportunity for the participants to grow in their various engineering endeavours.

“Our work involves virtually all aspects of engineering, which you have all seen. “It is now left for you to apply what you learnt today in your areas of practice,’’ he said. Parthasarathy commended the association for the visit and assured it of the company’s support.

Barrack Road, Apapa, and believed to be mentally unbalanced, is facing trial for attempted armed robbery. The defendant, who was not represented by counsel and whose plea was not taken by the court, was arrested at Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, in possession of a gun. According to the charge sheet, Onorode was in possession of the gun with the intent to commit felony to wit: armed robbery. When the charge was read, a State Counsel, Mr. Akin Adesomoju, urged the

over to the benefiting communities. 10 out of the 20 projects inspected by the Commissioner for Special Duties, Oil and Gas, Ambassador Orobosa Omo-Ojo (JP) and other officers of the ministry have been completed while others are at different stages of completion. The completed projects are solar energy powered water boles holes at Ugbekun, another within Ugbekun primary School as well as others at Oka 1 and Okha Communities. Also completed are blocks of six classrooms in primary schools at Enikaro, Ukhiri Eresoyen, Ukhiri Eson and Ikpe Communities with one of them

desks and chairs. An ultra-modern abattoir with a water-bore-hole at Ukhiri Eson and blocks of open stalls located at Oka Abiko have been completed. However, sanitary condition was the worrisome spectacle at the newly constructed open stalls at Oka Abiko which is littered with human feaces and other wastes hence the traders demanded for a standard water cistern toilet and improved sanitation n the market. By and large residents in the benefiting communities of the completed projects expressed profound appreciation to Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for ensuring that the projects were sited in their

commissioning of such projects. Commenting, the Commissioner, ambassador Orobosa Omo-Ojo (JP), who explained the on-going inspection of EDSOGPADEC is worth the while gave assurance that the Ministry of Special Duties, Oil and Gas would ensure fast-tracking of effort towards commissioning of the completed and completion of others that are at different stages of completion in line with the infrastructural transformation of Governor Adams Oshiomhole in Edo State. The commission also took time off to familiarize with IkpobaOkha Local Government Area and its leadership. The inspection exercise continues.

Amaechi Urges Nigerians To Demand Good Governance, Transparent Elections GOVERNOR Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers has urged Nigerians to insist on good governance and the conduct of transparent elections. Amaechi made the call at a conference of the state

Court Orders Psychiatric Evaluation Of Suspected Armed Robber AN Igbosere High Court in Lagos has ordered prison authorities in the state to conduct a psychiatric evaluation on one Wisdom Onorode, standing trial for alleged attempted robbery. Justice Ebenezer Adebajo gave the order at the arraignment of Onorode, who had been in prison custody since his arrest on April 29, 2007. Adebajo ordered the controller of prisons in the state to conduct a psychiatric evaluation on the defendant and report the outcome to the court within 14 days. Onorode, 23, who used to reside at No. 142, Queens

Some members of the PDP that decamped to ACN in Abudu in Orhiomwon Local Government Area in Edo State.

court to order an investigation into the mental state of the defendant. He said that because of the suspected mental state of Onorode and the fact that he was not represented by counsel, the court could not take his plea. Adesomoju urged the court to order an evaluation of the defendant’s mental state. The prosecution said that the offence was contrary to Section 403 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State, 2003. Adebajo adjourned the matter till Sept. 18 for mention.

council on information in Port Harcourt on Thursday, stressing that laxity among the electorate was responsible for weak governance in Nigeria. He said Nigerians had a greater percentage of blame for bad leadership in the country than the leaders. “The people should demand for transparent election and good governance and where they do not, they are 80 per cent of the problem,“ he said. Amaechi said the citizens must avoid remaining quiet when things went wrong in leadership on the assumption that nemesis would catch up with bad leaders. He said that such belief had impoverished the nation, while the leaders continued to squander the national resources. “Insist that election must be transparent; nobody will

give you your right, demand for it and claim it,“ the governor said. He said that his administration had completed 250 modern primary schools, which would be delivered to the host communities in September. Amaechi said that his administration had been addressing the problem of a large number of pupils in classrooms to ensure proper learning for the children. He also said that the administration would deliver six new model secondary schools to communities in September. Amaechi said that students of the schools would be equipped with laptops, tablets, beds and free feeding for nine months after which the

parents would take over responsibility of their training. He also said his administration would inaugurate the “Unity bridge“ linking two coastal communities, Opobo and Ikuru, to land transportation, in January. The governor said his administration had also built a new school of nursing and that students would move into the facility in December. He said that the cultural centre and many other projects were nearing completion, adding that his administration released money for the building of a new Rivers FM station. Amaechi said that the government also approved money for building a new printing press for the state newspaper, Nigerian Tide, and the building of a brand new digitised Rivers State Television.


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4 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

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Edo Partners World Bank

Continued from page 1 given way. Right now we are relocating the people of this school to another school. “We have also tried to talk with the federal government to draw from the ecological fund to deal with. Again that has not been successful. Our final hope now is the bank. We are hoping that you will help us out and have it fixed. A lot of communities down there, farmland, homes are all gone. But even more and more communities are affected. So the cost will keep increasing. Responding, Benoit Bosquet said, “we understand that the engineering design for this site is at a very advanced stage. He said, “we recommended that the environmental screening begin and also take the appropriate social and environmental measures to make sure that in addition to the engineering, the social and environmental issues are taken care of so that on that front issues are not made worse. “Your environmental specialist is here and we would be studying the screening and as soon as the studies are done and the necessary plans put in place. When that is in place then the work begins. When the

project is about to become effective it requires full effectiveness of both the state and federal government. “Edo State is among the first runners, you are doing your bit. There are still a few steps to be taken. I am sure that soon, most of the state level actions would have been taken by ensuring the full

Construction Of Abudu Roads

Continued from page 1

constructed in the state under this government is in Orhionmwon. When my attention was drawn to the bad road in Igbanke and I saw for myself the terrible situation there and I said my task is not to lament but to fix it. Today Igbanke township roads have been fixed, they are happy and I am happy,” he disclosed. Comrade Oshiomhole said for those who were afraid that in the second term the comrade will not work, “you have seen what we started in the first term, many of them we are already concluding them in the second term. In my campaign promises we said we will pay attention to the local government head quarters and Abudu is one of those local government capitals that have been neglected for many years.”

Omo N’Oba Birthday Ceremony To Be More Eventful By RAYMOND OSOGBE AS June 22nd birthday of the Benin Monarch draws near, the BNCL Publishers of The Observer group of newspapers has been hinted that, this year celebration is going to take a more eventful pattern. Prince Clifford Irowa Eweka, a member of the event planning committee disclosed that children’s party commemorating the event will come up today by 2.pm at the Oba’s Palace ground. Also, he said that on 21st of June, next week, there will be a re-launching of Oba Erediauwa’s famous book, titled “I remain sir, your loyal servant.” In the same vein, on the

management of the state which has the full compliments would be in place and the effectiveness condition would be met very soon. In addition we expect that next week Edo would receive the first installment of the preparation advance and finally the cash will start flowing from Washington to Benin City.”

22nd of June which is the Oba’s actual birthday, there will be a dinner party for expected guests of the palace. This party is expected to commence as from 3.pm on the said day. In the same vein as these events unfold, other stakeholders can key into the events, said Prince Eweka.

According to Comrade Oshiomhole, “the God we worship will enable us to complete the road to standard. In Politics the way to keep PDP permanently out of access to our treasury is to continue to use our resources to build Edo state. For as long as we do what they fail to do, we will remain here. The essence of seeking power is to use power to cause positive change. Changes that will affect people. People accuse me that I do not commission projects, the best commissioners of projects are those who use those projects.” “I have said time without number that it is still easier to enumerate what we have done than to try to capture what is yet to be done. I am happy that the school which I directed should be built has been completed. We can never make too much investment for our children,” the governor maintained. While receiving the decampees, Comrade Oshiomhole commended them for taking the decision to join the Action Congress of Nigeria which is moving to a higher level, the APC in the task to take the state to the next level “I welcome you as we have

always done, ACN is like America which is not the most populous nation, but as of today it is the world’s most powerful nation and the strength of America lies in its diversity which is creatively managed by governments after governments to transform America to a great power. Just as you will find Asian Americans, European Americans, Chinese Americans, and African Americans so you will find in ACN, people who decamp from Labour, People from PDP, people from ANPP and various other political parties, so everybody came from somewhere and therefore you are very much at home, “he added., Speaking on behalf of the decampees, Dr. Ebegue Amadasun who commended the Comrade Governor for his exemplary leadership which began during his days as the Nigeria Labour Congress President and now as governor described the Oshiomhole as a hero who has a traceable record worth replicating in all parts of the country. According to Dr. Amadasun they have decided from the twelve wards in Orhionmwon to Join the ACN to be part of the good history which Comrade Adams Oshiomhole led administration is offering in the state.

Despatch International Newspaper For Launch Tomorrow THE June 8, Launching of Despatch International Newspaper, a weekly has been rescheduled for tomorrow, Sunday, June 16, 2013. A release signed by the

Publisher/Editor-In-Chief of the Newspaper, Mr. Edwin Odeh, stated that it was rescheduled to enable the distinguished invited guests with previously scheduled engagements to attend the ceremony.

Government Special Announcement THIS is to inform the General public that the State Government’s ban on the use of motorcycles in Oredo, Egor and Ikpoba Okha Local government Areas of the state will take effect from Monday, 17th June 2013. Government’s decision on the ban is irrevocable. Therefore, any commercial motorcyclist who flouts the ban order will be arrested and prosecuted and the motorcycle confiscated and destroyed publicly. Law Enforcement Agencies and other paramilitary organizations, including the Neighourhood Watch and War Against Indiscipline have

THE Executive Chairman, Ovia North-East Local Government Area, Barrister (Mrs.) Lucy Omagbon has proposed a budget estimate of two billion, three hundred and twenty nine million, two hundred and forty three thousand, three hundred and eighty five naira, seven kobo (N2,329, 243,385.07k) for 2013 fiscal year. Presenting the budget yesterday at Okada to the legislative arm of the council,

been instructed to ensure strict compliance. The ban on motorcycles also covers such areas as Ugbowo, Oluku Junction, Ekosodin, Aduwawa and their environs. Tricycles or keke NAPEP is also, by this announcement,

CHANGE OF NAME AKPEH - I formerly known and called Miss Amenze Susan Akpeh now wish to be known, called and addressed as Mrs. Amenze Susan Okhuokhon. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

banned from operating on all major roads in Oredo, Egor and Ikpoba Okha Local Government Areas from Monday, 17th June, 2013. Signed: Peter Okhiria, Chief Press Secretary

CHANGE OF NAME IMONSILI- I formerly known and called Miss Sarah . E. Imonsili now wish to called and addressed as Mrs. Ekpen Sarah E. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and general public should please take note.

The venue remains at Precious Palm Royal Hotel, Isiohor, Benin City, while guests are expected to be seated at 3p.m. The ceremony is expected to attract dignitaries from all walks of life, while it is also expected to create the required awareness in the state. The statement further added that the Newspaper devotes most of its coverage to activities in Edo State.

Ovia North-East Proposes N2.3 Billion Budget For 2013 By OSAHON JULIUS Mrs. Omagbon, who tag the propose estimate a ‘budget of new era’, said the estimate will bring development to the rural communities and the local government headquarter. She said the vision was to ensure that the people have access to food, portable water, qualitative and quality education, regular electricity supply and conducive environment to live in, these she said was to be help actualize the developmental aspirations of the people. She put the capital expenditure at N1, 401, 261, 385.07K while the re-current expenditure amounts to N927, 083, 000.0k which show a decrease of N63, 805,745.05k (2.7%) of the 2012 budget. The recurrent expenditure for the year 2013 budget of N927,982,000.0k which is 39.84% of the budget estimate will be spent as follows, Personnel N600, 140, 000.0k, overhead cost N186, 460,000.0K. Consolidated revenue fund charge N131, 382, 000.0K and internal debt servicing at N10, 000,000.0K. Of the total sum of N1, 401, 261, 385.07k allocated for capital expenditure which represent 60.16% of the total estimate, the sum of N341, 200, 000.00k was proposed for the economy sector, N807, 911, 385.07k for the social sector while environment takes N132, 150, 000.00k and general administration N120, 000, 000.00k. “In line with the Comrade

Governor’s plan to make all schools conducive for the children, the highest allocation goes to this sector. We intend to build blocks of classrooms in some schools and also do massive renovation in others. We will distribute chairs, benche and teacher’s tables to all the schools throughout the 13 wards of the local government”, she emphasized. Mrs. Omagbon stated that the economic sector which takes the second highest allocation was deliberate as the administration seek to create developmental mark which will affect the lives of the majority of the following in Agriculture, manufacturing, power, commerce and tourism, cooperatives, transport and roads transformation. She said the administration also plan to build health centers with staff quarters and renovate others while drugs and hospital equipments will be equally distributed to these health centers. While thanking the legislative arm of the council for the peaceful coexistence between the executives, she hopes that the budget proposal will be given speedy consideration and approval so that work can begin in earnest. In his response, the leader of the legislative arm, Hon. Alex Uwagboe, promise that the house will give speedy consideration to the propose budget estimate.

Enogie Omorodion Hails BeninthroneMonarch and as well stabilize

THE Enogie of Idumuru, Igbontor, Igbanke, Orhionmwon Local Government Area, Edo State, has paid a glowing tribute to the Benin Monarch, Oba Erediauwa, just as he said that the Oba is exceptional in all human endeavours. Enogie Omorodion disclosed this at the Oba’s palace recently in Benin as he emerged from a meeting with the royal monarch. He extended thanks and praises to the Oba for helping him to sustain his

his reign in his Idumuru Igbontor, Omorodion Dukedom. Enogie Omorodion reiterated his unalloyed loyalty to the Benin Monarch, just as he wishes the Oba happy Birthday and many more eventful and prosperous years on the throne of his forefathers. The Enogie was accompanied to the Oba’s palace by Prince Henry Omorodion, the Odunoba of Benin Kingdom amongst many others.

8 Persons Killed As Arch-Rival Groups Clash In Benin By MIKE OSAROGIAGGBON AT least, eight persons have been killed in a renowned war between two arch-rival cult groups in Benin City. WEEKEND OBSERVER investigation revealed that the on-going crisis which sparked off about a week ago is between Eiye and “Black-axe confraternities. The cause of the bloody fracas is yet to be ascertained. It was also revealed that the victims of the on-going crisis

are men in their prime, some of whom were gunned down while others hacked to death by the rampaging gunmen. So far, Ogbelaka, Sapele road, Sokponoba, New Benin and Ugbowo areas of the state capital have recorded at least a casualty each in the on-going battle. Among the victims were a commercial driver gunned down Thursday after at the ever-busy Akenuwa street junction, by Benin-Lagos express way, near new Benin market, Benin City and a community chairman.

Residents have called on security agents in the state to swiftly arrest the ugly situation to check possible spill over to campuses and students communities in the state. Contacted, the spokesman, Edo Police Command DSP Moses Eguavoen stated that the Command has arrested some suspects, recovered two live cartridges and a cutto-size gun. He stated further that the Command is yet to receive official report on other casualties except that of new Benin, Benin City.


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5 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

IT was the best of time; it was the worst of time…” These are the famous opening lines of Charles Dickson’s “A Tale of Two Cities”.

geo-political zones, ethnic groups; religions are drumming and fanning the embers of separation, superiority and rivalry.

nationals of this country is most frightening, and scary and striking. For the umpteenth time, I have kept harping

as the children bears the brunt of deprivation and the womenfolk stares blankly at the threatening storm.

These Perilous Times These familiar words are somewhat similar to the situation we have in Nigeria today. It was the best of time in the 60s (despite the civil war between 19661970) and the 70s, 80s, 90s and even into the new millennium. Now, it is the worst of time, as the dark cloud hovering over the Nigerian nation portends something ominous p r e s e n t i m e n t , catastrophe. The nation is surely drifting apart towards the state of anarchy. And I tell you what, we are certainly living in

The Nigerian nation is thus prepared to dance naked before the global community, having lost all sense traceable to the diabolical love of power and ethnic chauvinism by the so-called elites. And because of this, this nation is been drawn to the load stone rock, destined for destruction. Because of this, the macabre and the bizarre have become common events in Nigeria. Indeed these are perilous times. Things are foreboding and frightening, with the numerous bomb blast, carnages, insurgency,

from the darkened cloud, as Nigeria slowly and motionlessly grinds it way into the darkened fortress of the violent and vexed sea. The ship of state is heading for the rocks, but the captain, is bemused with wine, carousing, having lost his sense of judgment and direction. The captains crew members are also bemused with wine thinking that all is well, and then the bang… Thus it is the worst of times in Nigeria. Tyranny is rife, bad governance

flourishes glamour and illusion prevails and insecurity remains. Freedom, liberty, justice, equity, and democracy have since vanished into thin air. Square pegs in round holes, bad leaders misleads, followers follow blindly. Right now, though am no prophet of doom, Nigeria is standing on the precipices. Our leaders have led us astray, our rulers have misruled us, that which had hitherto held us together is broken and we continue to drift apart

• President Goodluck Jonathan

• David Mark, Senate President

perilous times. Nigeria itself as a nation state has entered a period of great historic changes, the beginning of a transition… Sadly though, that which held us together in the past five decades or so (crude oil) is costing us more than we can ever understand, either socioeconomically, politically or otherwise. That which has held us together is no longer regarded as being relevant, as the various

and with economic and social failures everywhere. Nigeria’s economy as a vivid example remains tarnished by vast disparities across board. Simply put, in terms of global reality, Nigeria has no economy. A country where many have no access to clean water, regular electricity supply, qualitative medicare, sound education and what have you. The disparities in economic fortune of the

on these harrowing facts, but nobody seems to care, in fact the leaders careless. More than 140 million Nigerians now live on less than $1 a day. Hundreds of millions of Nigerians are under employed and unemployed and therefore without the income to purchase basic necessities of life such as food, clothing and shelter. Millions of Nigerians in the rural areas are forever the worst hit, living in the worst times because they are still living under primitive and stone age setting, lacking on all the basic necessities of life. Meanwhile, the political elites and the business moguls have so much to eat and drink, with surplus stolen money, whereas million of children are malnourished in Nigeria. Thus in the small melting pot called Nigeria, the leaders across board are in dire need of redemption even if they are apparently oblivious of this fact, while the populace are in dire need of salvation, economic and social salvation, even

Still, salvation for the masses is not forthcoming after these decades and may never come. The leaders do not need divine redemption therefore hunger and disease may never be abated nor mitigated, poverty would certainly continue to ravage the land once so blessed. The leaders in wait, enjoying their bounties and their booty, looted from the peoples treasury in the orgy of avarice, greed and wanton lust. The masses, the workers, the labourers are left dispossessed, deprived of the fruit of their labours. And suddenly a thunder both flashes forth

• Aminu Tambuwal, Speaker, House of Reps

rules, evil predominates, c o r r u p t i o n democratisized, insurgency takes prominence, injustice

and no longer united. That which separates us is now ever stronger than what united us.

“That which has held us together is no longer regarded as being relevant, as the various geo-political zones, ethnic groups; religions are drumming and fanning the embers of separation, superiority and rivalry.”


THE WEEKEND

n

6 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

I sight

Cultivating The Attitude Of Gratitude IT is very easy to recognize the big blessings, like a new job, a new baby, getting married, a new house or survival of a car crash etc. yet in the absence of “big” things happenings, its easy to overlook the smaller blessings that occur continuously and that are often taken for granted. The problem with us human beings is that we even from our childhood keep our eyes fixed on the big things to the extent that we fail to notice even the smallest benefits we receive freely such as the air we breathe or even the very fact that we are alive. The catechism states that man’s primary purpose is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. One excellent way to fulfill that purpose is to develop the habit of gratefulness. When we recognize God’s sovereignty and give thanks to him in all circumstances, we bring him untold glory and gain a deeper enjoyment of his presence in our lives. To really show us how ungrateful we could be, take a look at the irony of life: the very things certain people crave all through their lives to get are the very things despised and taken for granted by others. Just as some parents consider their children a burden and haul all sorts of insults and abuses on them, so also are there millions of couples out there who experience sleepless nights and do all sorts of things simply because they desire children. Again as much as there are so many people who consider their wealth as their greatest undoing. Having seen what gratitude can do for you in the previous chapters; I shall now consider how you can cultivate the great power of gratitude. The ability to cultivate an attitude of appreciation for the positive aspects of life as well as the

By REV. FR ALFRED AGBONLAHOR

blessings birthed from tragedies creates in us a kind of resiliency that enables us to be able to handle any situation that life offers; the high of a miracle, the low of heartbreak, and the plateau of daily chores. Here are three simple, yet powerful steps to creating an attitude of gratitude. One may as well call them the great A’s of gratitude. They are awareness, acceptance and appreciation. My people are

looking he reached for the bag and felt its content. Assuming they were just pebbles inside the bag, he took to entertaining himself by throwing the pebbles one after another into the river. He kept on throwing these pebbles into the river throughout the night, until it was morning. As he was about to throw the last pebble, the early morning sun arose and just then he saw for the

grateful for getting a basket of green balls? So it is with us because of our ignorance, we are completely unaware of the things we should be grateful for. Awareness is the first step to gratitude. To be grateful at all, one must first know what to be grateful for. To start with, if we were to really know who we are, we would spend the rest of our lives in unending thanksgiving

the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over creeping thing that creeps upon the earth”. So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-28. Does it occur to you even for a moment that God loves you, loves you more than a woman would love the child in her womb? Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion

destroyed for lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6 The very first step to developing that attitude of gratitude is that ability to develop the ability of consciousness. Consciousness is being aware of who we are and what is really happening. To put it straight, what comes between us and gratitude is ignorance and for ignorance, the scripture says, God’s own people are destroyed. The story is often been told of a certain man who after helping an elderly woman was offered a bag by the woman in return for the favour he had shown her. Without caring to look into the content of the bag, the man simply took the bag and kept on walking. Now it was very dark at night and he came by a river and decided to rest by the shore. Still without

first time what he actually thought were pebbles, it was a piece of pure gold! Prosperity is not in the possession of things, but in the recognition of supply, and in the knowledge of free and open access to a store of inexhaustible store house of all that is good- Charles Fillmore. It is my sincere conviction that the only reason why anyone could be ungrateful is ignorance. Ignorance is the refusal to recognize true value in that which is of utmost value, the refusal to distinguish properly between precious and cheap. Ignorance I must say is a certain form of blindness. Of course, how can one who is blind know the difference between red and green? Should anyone then be surprised if he finds it difficult to be

and gratitude would become for us a lifestyle. Does it occur to you that you are made in God’s own image and likeness and that God made you the greatest of all his creatures to have dominion and to exercise kingly power over the whole earth? Do you know what sort of God you have as a father? Then God said, “let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over

for the child in her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. Isaiah 49:15-17. Why then should you not be grateful for being alive and for knowing that you have a God who is ready at all times to help you more than any human being can? Be content with what you have; for he said, “I will never leave you or forsake you”. So we can

say with confidence, the lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me? Hebrews 13:5-6. Yet, we find that so many are unhappy today and sad because they have a deep seated feeling enough. They are like persons who go about chasing shadows while taking true realities for granted. If you are in Christ, you have a lot to be thankful for. You have escaped eternal punishment and have received eternal life. If you will that you cannot be thankful for anything else, this one thing should be a starting point to all of your praises to God. He is worthy to be praised. Awareness goes beyond a mere consciousness of who we are; it is also a consciousness of our state of mind. Do you find yourself constantly complaining and criticizing yourself or other people? Do you realize that whenever we start complaining, we are indirectly telling God that He no longer knows what he is doing? The best way to come out of ingratitude is to notice ourselves, the very moment we start criticizing others, complaining about our situations, judging ourselves or doing anything that makes us feel angry, frustrated or depressed. By being aware of our negativity, we can easily snap out of it. We could ask ourselves questions such as “why do I find fault here instead of appreciating?” from this place of awareness, change can come.

“The very first step to developing that attitude of gratitude is that ability to develop the ability of consciousness. Consciousness is being aware of who we are and what is really happening.”


THE WEEKEND

7 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

iNigeria’s Oil And Gas Sector In The

O l & Gas

Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) HAVING participated in the recently concluded Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) that lasted from May 6th to 9th 2013, at Reliant Centre in Houston, Texas, United States of America (USA), we were left speechless at the same time irked by the display of what is left of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector by the country’s Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), some of its subsidiaries; Nigerian indigenous private oil and gas companies/contractors and other big-time businessmen in the industry. Never have we seen such display of misplaced priority and share waste of Nigeria’s collective wealth from the oil and gas sector. It clearly showed the level of mediocrity, rot and unfocused pioneering of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry by those concerned. Without a doubt, the 2013 OTC annual event was indeed a memorable one and an exceptionally good conference worth attending by any serious-minded stakeholder in the energy sector. The OTC was founded in 1969, and it is the world’s foremost event for the development of offshore (and onshore) resources in the fields of drilling, exploration, production and environmental protection. OTC brings together energy professionals/ experts to create a comprehensive, peerselected technical program. OTC also showcases an exhibition of the latest products and services in the energy sector. The annual event is meant to promote and further the advancement of scientific and technical knowledge of offshore (onshore) resources and environmental matters. The OTC event brings together energy industry leaders and buyers who want to take advantage of the popular exhibition of the annual conference. Attendance at the OTC 2013 surpassed the 2012 total of 89, 400, and the sold-out exhibition was the longest in show history at 652, 185 ft, up from 641,

350 ft in 2012. The event had 2,728 companies representing 40 countries, including 244 new exhibitors in 2013. International companies made up 39% of exhibitors. Also, this year ’s OTC spotlight on new technology recognized 15 technologies for their innovation in allowing the industry to produce offshore (onshore) resources. The OTC 2013 was indeed a significant conference with deep and broad scientific and technical coverage, supported by excellent panels and executive keynote presentations. In the words of OTC Chairman, Steve Balint; “Technology is at the heart of the offshore industry and it was all here on display at OTC 2013”. The OTC 2013 availed participants the opportunity to make contacts, see for themselves the latest science and technology advancement in oil and gas production, exploration, construction, environment and all the logistics services that go with it in the industry on a global perspective. In other words, the OTC annual event, with the 2013 conference as an example, gave countries and their participants the opportunity to showcase/exhibit what they have produced/ manufactured, or services that can be provided in the advancement of energy development. Unfortunately, while countries and their services were busy showcasing/ exhibiting the latest hardwares and services for the advancement of the oil and gas industry, the Nigerian companies were busy distributing souvenirs, pamphlets and hand bags at their exhibition stands, using ‘hired’ tea-girls/

By ZIK GBEMRE

• President Goodluck Jonathan

waitresses to serve tea and meals. They even came with their caterers to prepare and serve the Nigerian dishes. In others words, there was no element of technical or scientific display of any produced/manufactured hardware or services for the advancement of the energy sector, in all the Nigerian exhibition stands at the OTC 2013 event. As a matter of fact, the NNPC exhibition stand that was adorned with Nigerian flags was the largest exhibition stand we could see at the conference. Yet, all they could offer were souvenirs, pamphlets and handbags/hand packs. Rather than exhibit latest products and services like other countries and their participants are doing, they were busy displaying and distributing pamphlets and souvenirs.

The one that we find most disturbing was some NNPC subsidiaries like the National Petroleum Investment and Management Services Ltd (NAPIMS), that were at the OTC 2013 event too with their exhibition stand. Even the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) that was set up to monitor the Nigerian Content Development Act implementation, was at the OTC 2013 exhibition event. We therefore cannot help but wonder what business does the NCDMB and NAPIMS have in such an exhibition event at the OTC? What sort of technological or scientifically-proven service does the NCDMB and NAPIMS have to offer at the OTC event as contributions to the advancement of energy development?

Obviously, the Nigerian companies, especially the NNPC and its stated subsidiaries that participated in the OTC 2013 event, do not have any tangible/concrete scientific and technological service to offer for the advancement of the energy sector. Hence, all they could offer participants at the conference were souvenirs, pamphlets/ tracts, tea, meals and hand bags. As far as we can tell, the NNPC had the highest number of participants at the OTC 2013 events. It was as if they airlifted their mistresses, friends and family members to Houston, USA for the OTC 2013 event. The number of tea-girls/waitresses and caterers that were attached to the NNPC, and handing out the so called souvenirs and pamphlets at the NNPC exhibition stand, is evident of this fact. The NNPC presence at the OTC 2013 event was more of a jamboree, more of a merrymaking for them, as they were seen to wine, drink and party at every night of the conference. What a sheer waste of Nigeria’s collective wealth from the extractive industry! They lodge in the best fivestar hotels, use the best cars, use their own caterers and waitresses/tea girls; all of this, without any meaningful contribution to the entire conference, as Nigeria’s representatives. Personally, I was ashamed at the whole scenarios. I was irked at the display of ‘wastefulness’ by the Nigerian companies, the NNPC exhibition and some of its subsidiaries at the OTC 2013 event. To the extent that some Nigerian private indigenous companies carried their Board of Directors Meeting to Houston, as part of their

own OTC 2013 experience. The Nigerian factor and wastefulness was heavily present at the conference. We are very good at setting ‘crazy standards’ in everything we do as Nigerians. Crazy standards that often make us look ridiculous and foolish in the eyes of the international community. As far as we are concerned, the NNPC, NAPIMS, NCDMB and the other Nigerian private indigenous companies that were at the OTC 2013 event, had no business having exhibition stands there because they have nothing concrete/relevant to offer for the advancement of the energy industry. The money used for the said exhibition stands would have been channeled to something else worthwhile. If anything, the least the NNPC and the rest could have done was to send few persons as representatives at the OTC event, without having to mount any exhibition stands at the OTC event. As big as Shell Nigeria is, they did not have any exhibition stand at the OTC 2013 events. And simply because they do not need it. Even other International Oil Companies (IOCs) like Exxon Mobil, Chevron Texaco, did not have exhibition stands at the OTC event. Though IOCs like Shell Nigeria and Exxon Mobil might be one of the sponsors of the OTC annual event, they do not need exhibition stands to make their presence felt. In fact, companies that were exhibiting their latest products and services in the energy industry, were expecting IOCs like Shell Nigeria to come and patronize their products Continues on pg. 8

“The OTC 2013 availed participants the opportunity to make contacts, see for themselves the latest science and technology advancement in oil and gas production, exploration, construction, environment and all the logistics services that go with it in the industry on a global perspective.”


THE WEEKEND

8 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

i

O l & Gas

Nigeria’s Oil And Gas Sector . . . Continued from pg. 7

and services that can be used in the fields of drilling, exploration, production and environmental protection. The OTC is not oil and gas buying and selling event for IOCs, indigenous oil companies and the NNPC and its subsidiaries to come and participate. Hence, the NNPC and the Nigerian indigenous oil companies have no business mounting exhibition stands at the OTC. It is absolute waste of the country’s oil and gas wealth. We also observed that most of these Nigerian private indigenous companies that were at the OTC 2013, also had business offices in Houston USA. And it is the oil wealth that they get from the extractive industry at home in the Niger Delta region, that is used to maintain such business offices in Houston. We cannot help but ask; why maintain offices in Houston that do not produce anything for them. This is yet another avenue of capital flight. Also, all the major Nigerian indigenous contractors in the extractive industry have mansions in choice areas in Houston, USA, that have become their hide-outs and holiday spots, even during the OTC annual event. The said mansions that are wellfurnished, and surrounded with the latest American automobiles/exotic cars, are usually left by the owners to waste; as the only get to make use of their mansions and cars when they are in Houston. We can imagine the tax money these Nigerian indigenous contractors pay to the US government on such property and cars. Whereas, most of them allow their business operations to suffer lack of funds when it comes to taking care of their host communities workers welfare. In fact, while other countries major indigenous contractors go to the OTC annual event to participate and make necessary contacts that would advance their countries thrive in the oil and gas offshore (onshore) technology output and relevance; those of

Nigerian private companies were busy showcasing their wealth and status as the ‘big-men’ in the sector. What sort of message are we sending to the international community of the oil and gas industry if all we do is to showcase our oil wealth as ‘private individuals? Whereas, at home, issues of unemployment, incessant strikes as a result of poor funding of oil and gas projects, and so on, are shocking our relevance across the global oil and gas sector. As a nation with a national oil corporation as the NNPC, it is so sad that we cannot even boast of having a researched product or technical service to exhibit at the OTC 2013 event as our own contribution to the advancement of offshore (onshore) resources in the fields of drilling, exploration and production and environmental protection. All the NNPC and other major private indigenous oil companies could offer at the OTC, were souvenirs, pamphlets/leaflets and bags/hand packs. Why waste funds to participate in a technical exhibition as that of the OTC event, when they have nothing concrete to offer to other participants? What a misplacement of priority. Those in other countries set-up research centers and factories that manufacture/produce what they exhibit at the OTC annual events. Why can’t the Nigerian companies do same? Why can’t the Nigerian businessmen and women in the extractive industry do same? Rather, they prefer to go to Houston to showcase their ‘statuses without any substance. The kind of funds wasted by the NNPC; its subsidiaries and other indigenous private oil companies, in the OTC annual exhibition events, are more than enough to establish industries that would employ our countless jobless youths; just like the Dangote Group, Ibru Organization and Eleganza Companies are doing. Everything about the presence and participation of the NNPC and some of its subsidiaries and other Nigerian private indigenous oil companies at the OTC

• Dieziani Alison-Madueke, Petroleum Minister

2013 event was a display of the rot and level of corruption in Nigeria’s extractive industry. And honestly speaking, the so called business men and women as major indigenous contractors in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry are far more corrupt than the Nigerian politicians. They practically use all the wealth gathered from the extractive industry in the Niger Delta and use same to live luxurious lives abroad. Whereas, the Niger Delta areas where the oil wealth is coming from is left to rot in perpetual poverty and want. Some of the major Nigerian indigenous private oil companies/ contractors in the OTC 2013 event, have not been

able to even pay their host community workers and host community contractors providing services to them for months. Yet, they have mounted exhibition stands at the conference that are practically irrelevant to aim of the annual event. The Nigerian indigenous private companies/big-time contractors in the country’s extractive industry should think of establishing industries at home that will focus on manufacturing the basic tools needed for oil and gas/condensate exploration and production. Some of them can decide to focus on establishing industries that would produce safety materials like raincoats, safety shoes, coveralls, helmets etc, that are often imported. Aside

the fact that such established industries will provide enough employment opportunities for our numerous jobless youths. It will also provide products and services to be exhibited at OTC events by the Nigerian indigenous private companies/ contractors. That way, they will have something to show and contribute to the advancement of the energy sector. At the OTC 2013 event, during the West African Development speech presentation delivered by the Minister for Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Medueke, who was represented by the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the NNPC; one of statements made by the

Minister was to call/invite foreign investors to come and invest in the Nigerian oil and gas/condensate industry. But the question is; which foreign investor would like to come and invest in Nigeria’s oil and gas/condensate sector and at the end of the day, such an investor is made a ‘sleeping partner’. Just like we have witnessed in Delta State, when the Shell (SPDC) oil and gas/ condensate assets/ interests, which includes; OML 34, 42, 30, 26, 40 etc, were divested late last year. Rather than allow the Nigerian indigenous private companies that bought over these Shell (SPDC) oil and gas assets/interests to operate and manage them, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke directed the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) to take-over the operations of these divested oil and gas/ condensate assets/ facilities. What is even more disturbing is the fact that the NPDC as a government parastatal, does not have the capacity and competence to run/ operate and manage these oil and gas interests. How can the Minister therefore expect any sane foreign investor to come and invest their hard-earned money in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector? The OTC 2013 event has come and gone. We strongly advise that the issues raised here should be given the needed attention as we learn from the experience. The NNPC and its subsidiaries and other Nigerian indigenous private oil and gas companies in the country that were at the OTC 2013 event should not repeat the same mistake in 2014. We should learn how to set our priorities right and do the right thing.

“Everything about the presence and participation of the NNPC and some of its subsidiaries and other Nigerian private indigenous oil companies at the OTC 2013 event was a display of the rot and level of corruption in Nigeria’s extractive industry. And honestly speaking, the so called business men and women as major indigenous contractors in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry are far more corrupt than the Nigerian politicians.”


THE WEEKEND

9 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

o MKO Abiola, Susan Rice And A

P litics

AMBASSADOR Susan Rice was up until recently the American Ambassador to the United Nations. Her long-standing aspiration of becoming the Secretary of State for her country was dashed when the Republicans in the Senate started sharpening their knives in anticipation of her formal nomination for that position by President Barak Obama. Sensing that her nomination would not scale through the Senate and that she would not be confirmed as Secretary of State due to the role she played in the cover up of the Benghazi affair in which the American Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other American citizens were murdered by a group of islamist terrorists, her nomination was withdrawn. Instead of Secretary of State, President Obama has now nominated her for the position of National Security Advisor which is a job that does not require Senate approval or confirmation. I wish Susan Rice well in her new assignment but I am constrained to ask the following questions. What did she put in the tea that she served to Chief MKO Abiola on July 8th 1998 just before he died? She was one of the last people that saw him alive, she served him some tea, he coughed violently and one hour later he dropped dead. What was in the tea? Was it Abuja ‘’green tea’’, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, Liptons or some other more exotic brand? Can someone please ask Susan Rice what her role was in the death of MKO Abiola? Who sent her to do the job and who was she working for? At that time she was Assistant Secretary of State for America in President Bill Clinton’s government. Was she acting on his direct instructions or simply on the instructions of her boss and controller in Langley? Chief MKO Abiola was the winner of Nigeria’s freest and fairest elections. That election took place on June 12th 1993. The following day it was annuled by General Ibrahim Babangida. Shortly after that, as a consequence of the sheer outrage that was generated by the annulement, Babangida was compelled to ‘’step aside’’ and hand over power to Chief Ernest Shonekan.

Deadly Cup Of Tea In what was clearly a strategic manouver he left General Sani Abacha (his own Chief of Army Staff) behind to be the Minister of Defence for the incoming administration. A few months later Abacha toppled the Interim National

By FEMI FANI-KAYODE

Pickering and two other faceless and nameless officials from the American Embassy met with Abiola on the very day that he was

• Susan Rice

• Late MKO Abiola

Government of Chief Ernest Shonekan which he had served and seized power for himself. Abiola was arrested and detained. He was never granted his freedom again. Four years later Abacha himself was murdered by forces that are yet to be identified and General Abdulsalami Abubakar took power. Exactly 30 days after Abacha was killed, those same forces that killed him murdered Abiola as well in an attempt to ‘’balance the equation’’. These are the facts and sequence of events. One thing is self-evident and cannot be denied no matter which side of the divide one may have been on in the June 12th saga- certain questions must be answered. And some of those questions are as follows. Who killed MKO Abiola? Who killed Sani Abacha? What role, if any, did officials of the Abubakar administration play in the murder of both Abacha and Abiola? What role did the CIA play and exactly what transpired in the room when Assistant Secretary of State Susan Rice (as she then was), Ambassador Thomas

Abiola in a terrible condition, coughing violently, writhing all over the floor in pain and breathing his last breath. Thirty minutes later he gave up the ghost.

in the Nigerian military. Very few of them are prepared to break ranks with the leadership and break the ‘’omerta’’ code of silence like Abubakar Umar did over the June 12th election. Very few of them are prepared to call a spade a spade, speak the truth, expose the lie and

meant to have been released. Sadly instead of being released on that day he dropped dead in what can only be described as mysterious and q u e s t i o n a b l e circumstances. This is all the more so because Abiola’s security officer and the man that was charged with looking after him and protecting him throughout the time that he was incarcerated (an honest, upstanding and courageous police officer by the name of ASP Zadok) told the Oputa panel in 2002 that Abiola was ‘’hale and hearty’’ and in ‘’very high spirits’’ just before going into the meeting with the Americans. He went further by telling the panel that as he was about to enter Aguda House (the premises where the meeting was scheduled to be held) with Abiola he was asked to leave his principal, to step out of the premises and to go and pick up another car from somewhere else by one of General Abdulsalami’s security officers. He promptly obeyed the order but half an hour later when he came back he found

I have no doubt that this was murder but the question is whose call was it and why did it have to happen? Was it done in an attempt to pave the way for an Obasanjo Presidency one year later? Could General Olusegun Obasanjo have been released from jail and elected President if Abiola had lived and if he had insisted on claiming his mandate? The Nigerian people have a right to know the truth and it is about time that those that have wielded power in this country for the last few decades told them. The powers that be must appreciate the fact that they cannot sweep things under the carpet forever and that one day, no matter how long it takes, they will be held accountable by God and the Nigerian people for the morbid, secret and oftentimes homicidal choices and decisions that they made. Yet the truth is that the military operates like a cult and we may never get an honest answer from any of them about what really happened. This is because there are very few Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar’s

damn the consequences. Most of them continue to spin the yarn and tell the dirty lie that Abacha and Abiola’s deaths were both from natural causes and that it was just a coincidence that one dropped dead on July 8th 1998, just 4 days before the 5th anniversary of June 12th, and the other droped dead exactly one month later on July 8th 1998. As they say ‘’the secrets are embedded in the sequence of events and the dates’’ and, in this case, the sequence of events and the dates really do tell an interesting and revealing story. Yet no matter how hard they try to cover her up and silence her, truth is stubborn and she cannot be drowned. She is like a pack of straws that are held together and pinned down by an allpowerful hand at the bottom of a river. As long as she is held at the bottom of that river she cannot be seen or heard. Yet one day, in the fullness of time, that allpowerful hand that seeks to supress her forever will get tired and let go and at that point Lady Truth will happily float to the top of the water

where she will be seen and heard by all. It is in the same way that one day, in the fullness of time, the pernicious and perfidious verdict of “death by natural causes” or “act of God” that the powers that be have claimed are the causes of Abiola and Abacha’s deaths respectively will be exposed for what they are. Those that continue to spin that lie and continue to conspire to hide the truth will pay a heavy price for their murderous deceit either in this world or in the next. The most filthy and despicable creature under God’s sun is the unrepentant and compulsive liar and he or she that bears false witness, that sheds innocent blood and that seeks to kill, jail, maim, defame and destroy the innocent in the name of the state. Their evil knows no bounds and they will surely burn in hell. Those that continue to perpetuate the lie, to hide the truth and to spin the tale that there was nothing untoward or mischievous about the death of Chief MKO Abiola, whose only crime was to win a free and fair election and refuse to renounce it, shall fare no better. The fact of the matter is that until these questions are answered and justice is done Nigeria will not know lasting peace and cannot possibly achieve her full potentials. It is a spiritual thing. Abiola gave his life that we may have a better tomorrow yet we refuse to acknowledge it or to bring his killers to justice. We are repaying his good with evil and the consequences of that are set out in the Word of God. Whatever anyone may have thought of him as a person, the fact remains that had it not been for Abiola’s sheer resilience, courage, steadfastness, sacrifice and gallant refusal to bow before the Nigerian military and give up his 1993 Presidential mandate we would not have democracy in Nigeria today. He was faithful to his cause to the very last. In return for that the least we could do is to ask the relevant questions, demand the appropiate answers and expose the bitter truth. We owe MKO Abiola, his wife Kudirat (who was also murdered) and all the other June 12th and NADECO footsoldiers and martyrs that much.


THE WEEKEND

10 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

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P litics The Coming Collapse Of The PDP I AM not a fan of any political party in Nigeria. The political parties are carbon copy of each other. They do not adequately represent or address the needs and interests of Nigerians. Nigerians are at a great disadvantage choosing a party that will fight for them. The choice before them is between Satan and Lucifer. Really, they have no choice. The opposition parties will not be responsible for the ultimate collapse of PDP. After all, they have never been a credible alternative or effective opposition. The PDP is its own worst enemy. The party lacks the refreshing resolve to steer the nation’s drowning ship safely ashore. Under the PDP central administration, freedom decays as material acquisition and corruption of the ruling class expand. The danger of political amnesia is that the PDP’s failure to govern in the present is often a direct link with a failure to remember the lessons of the past. It may sound like alarming exaggeration to say that the witch hunting and persecution of real and imagined enemies of President Jonathan and the PDP will prove a fatal plot at a fateful moment. No one therefore, should be surprised about the withering opposition and seemingly insurmountable absurdities that have literally drenched the party. The close minded attitude that excludes any possibility of learning, forms the bane of PDP’s undoing. I’m persuaded that there is absolutely no limit in the absurdities we’ll continue to witness. I have said it elsewhere and I would like to restate it here again that the PDP has been fooling majority

of Nigerians to believe that two and two are three, that water freezes when it gets hot and boils when it gets cold, and with other nonsense that might seem to serve the interest of the PDP led federal government.

By BAYO OLUWASANMI suspended from PDP. • Governor Aliyu Wamako suspended because he didn’t pick up call from the party’s chair, Bamanga Tukur. • In spite of the spate of

• Bamanga Tukur remarked “You see, if there is any security threat, the security people will take care of it, you could not link it up with the president.” • Two journalists of the Abuja based Leadership Newspapers – Tony Amokeodo, news editor, and political correspondent Chibuzor Ukaibe were arrested for allegedly forging the bromide of a presidential order. • PDP reintroduced Chief Richard Akinjide’s electoral voodoo mathematics of two thirds formula by declaring Governor Jang of Plateau State as the new chair of NGF even though he received 16 votes out of the votes of 35 governors. Governor Amaechi who garnered majority vote of 19 was declared the loser. • Mahmud Tukur, son of the PDP chair Bamanga Tukur, charged with N1.2 billion subsidy fraud.

Jonathan Of course when these beliefs were distilled, bottled, packaged, and sold to Nigerians by the army of PDP image makers and publicists, the people still won’t put the pot in the refrigerator when they wanted it to boil. Against the prayers of the PDP, Nigerians will continue to reject PDP’s Sunday truth being peddled in sacred, mystical, and in awe tones that “cold makes water boil.” Because of PDP’s bizarre and eccentric strong arm tactics, political persecution of individual liberty, intolerance, and disrespect for dissension within the party, its demise is assured. Samples of absurdities from PDP archive: • Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi

armed robbers, death squads of different stripes, abductors, rapists, kidnappers, and general lawlessness in the country, the PDP controlled National Assembly rejected the establishment of state police. • Nineteen northern governors shunned the Northern States Governor’s Forum. • Godsay Orubebe, Niger Delta Affairs Minister suspended by the Burutu Local Government chapter of the PDP. • United Action For Democracy (UAD) described PDP’s regime as “14 years of looting and political brigandage.” • Mbu Joseph Mbu Rivers State police commissioner withdrew police orderly and escort detail for the state’s Speaker of the House of Assembly.

“There have been pestilence of violence, ranging poverty, famine of insecurity, misery, and folly for all of the 14 years the PDP has been in power. These morbid miseries have been fostered by gloomy creeds of the PDP.”

improve the lot of Nigerians is at present, totally and utterly false and futile. Examine Mr. Jonathan’s midterm score card. PDP’s spending habit is ruthless and harmful. Last week it was widely reported in the media that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) collected N1.5 trillion in four months. Nigerians can’t see the visible proof of what the PDP led federal government did with the money. In a shipwreck the crew obeys orders without the need of reasoning with themselves, because they have a common purpose and trust which are not remote. The means to the realization of their purpose are not difficult to understand. But if the captain were dishonest and full of lies, in order to prove his commands wise, the ship would sink before his lecture was finished. Nigerians don’t trust the

Bamanga Tukur • First Lady Patience Jonathan lost 1.84 hectares land case to former First Lady Turai Ya’radua. • FG grounded Governor Amaechi’s aircraft from flying in Nigeria. PDP is fast becoming the largest redundant and persecuting party in Africa. If the PDP can claim superiority in anything, it is not in moral values but in morass. Everything the PDP claimed it has done to

PDP. PDP policy makers are not men and women of exceptional talent. They lack the emotional attitude, the empathy to connect with the sufferings of Nigerians. The old mechanism of hatred against those critical of its inept policies and barren programs outside the PDP, renders the party backward and primitive. Because of its bankruptcy of ideas, the

pursuit of personal political ambitions, internal acrimonious rancor, the PDP has submitted the nation to long years of unspeakable anguish like children who are compelled to look on while their mothers are being raped. There have been pestilence of violence, ranging poverty, famine of insecurity, misery, and folly for all of the 14 years the PDP has been in power. These morbid miseries have been fostered by gloomy creeds of the PDP. All these and other tyrannical and repressive policies have led Nigerians in profound inner discords that made all outward prosperity of no avail. I find the PDP central government to be in love with misery. The party grows angry whenever hopes are suggested to them. The PDP enjoys declaring social and economic wars on the people provided their immediate family members are not victims. If your head is cut off, it immensely diminishes your thinking power. I believe most of the heads of the members of PDP’s have been cut off. The PDP as the majority party is indifferent to Nigeria’s problems. It is remarkably astonishing that PDP remains calm and urbane and humorous to the torments and hardship our people go through. The party is dishonest and sophistical in arguments why things remain the way they are after 14 years in power. There is something smug and unctuous about the PDP: the treachery to the truth. The PDP needs a long residence in a moral and ethical purgatory. When a wounded bull has spent all his last energy, he’ll often scrape at the ground with his horns. The PDP sensed it is doomed, shows agony of defeat. This is the pathetic picture of a defeated party with its head buried in the dust! *** Perhaps the most distinguishing mark of a great thinker is his foresight to see the inevitable before it happens, to see what lesser minds cannot vision. – Bertrand Russell


THE WEEKEND

11 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

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What Jonathan Owes His People

GOODLUCK Jonathan – like former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Umaru Yar’Adua before him – is nothing short of a Nigerian-made emperor. Nigeria is an unformed, misshapen country. In such a location, personalities supersede institutions and personal power trumps the mandate of formal agencies and structures. Lately, Mr. Jonathan has appeared intent on demonstrating the extraordinary reach of his imperial powers. Last week, a desperate former Governor Timipre Sylva reportedly breached protocol at a wedding reception in order to publicly shake Mr. Jonathan’s hands. That handshake was tantamount to a public act of surrender – and a plea for forgiveness. Timipre Sylva succeeded Mr. Jonathan as governor of Bayelsa State. When Jonathan became president, Sylva seemed to forget that his predecessor, willy-nilly, had become a political god. Mr. Sylva operated as if his gubernatorial perch had any consequence when juxtaposed against the president. When Mr. Jonathan let it be known that he no longer wanted Mr. Sylva in the Government House in Yenogoa, the former governor thought he could hector his way to reelection. He traded accusations of corruption with Mr. Jonathan. He beat his chest and expressed confidence that he would earn a return to the governor’s seat, whether Mr. Jonathan liked it or not. Well, the impish governor was thoroughly humbled. Not only was he stripped of his ambition to stand for reelection, he was also picked up by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and charged with corrupt enrichment. A few weeks ago, EFCC officials – accompanied by reporters – arrived at his Abuja home. Their mission was to continue their fetish of humiliating him. Members of his household fibbed that he was not at home, but officials of the anti-corruption agency searched him out from a crevice where he was hiding. They EFCC then paraded their quarry – a subdued, cowering half-man – before gleeful press cameras. Mr. Sylva has since shed his

hubris. A model of penitence and humility, his haste to shake Mr. Jonathan’s hands last week was a symbolic capitulation. In the veritable sign language of Nigerian politics, the former president was saying to the man he once abused, “Oga, I pledge loyalty 110 percent!” There’s a good chance that Mr. Sylva is corrupt as the EFCC – on behalf of Mr. Jonathan – has charged. Yet, anybody who understands Nigeria would know that the former governor’s troubles have less to do with what he reportedly stole than with his failure to realize that mere mortals don’t talk back – must not talk back – to an emperor! Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State would do well to learn that lesson. Mr. Amaechi has emerged as one of the most visible and formidable faces of opposition to President Jonathan. Heck, he even floored Governor Jonah Jang, the president’s candidate to chair the Nigerian Governors

By OKEY NDIBE

• President Goodluck Jonathan

• Gov. Oshiomhole

Forum. In pugilistic terms, he’s managed to deal Mr. Jonathan a few telling – and embarrassing – body blows. In the end, however, victory belongs to the emperor. It doesn’t matter who is right, only who has might. And it’s, without question, Mr. Jonathan. He is commanderin-chief of the armed forces. The police answer to him. Agents of the State Security Service (SSS) are ever willing to please him. The EFCC is part and parcel of his personal arsenal. He has control over the richest purse in Nigeria. And he can – like many demigods – make and unmake

the regional context of the feud between President Jonathan, on the one hand, and, on the other, Messrs. Amaechi and Oshiomhole, got me thinking in a certain direction. There’s no doubt at all in my mind: the president will vanquish both governors. He will win, not because he is in the right – the jury’s still out on that question – but because, within Nigeria, he is a mighty, hurricane-grade political force. In spite of that conjecture – perhaps, because of it – we ought to ask: What does President Jonathan owe his people, specifically, and what’s his broader debt to history? Even if Mr. Jonathan spends a second term in office, his enduring legacy will hinge, I suggest, on his willingness and ability to nudge Nigeria to consider two central questions. The first has to do with the structure of the country. Nigeria styles itself a federation, but little in the way the country is organized

• Gov Amaechi

many things. If you’re an imperial president, then arithmetical abracadabra is easy as ABC. That’s why Mr. Jonathan was able to make the 16 votes Mr. Jang received in the Governors’ Forum election superior to Mr. Amaechi’s 19. Without uttering a public word, the president ensured that Nigeria’s aviation authorities stopped Governor Amaechi from taking to the air with his private jet. And now, Governor Adams Oshiomhole has had his flying privileges curtailed as well. Mr. Oshiomhole’s particular misadventure was to vote

against the emperor ’s candidate – and for the emperor’s foe. Last week, I had a long conversation with a Niger Deltan who made no secret that he was proud, oh, so proud, that President Jonathan was using the powers of his office to teach upstarts like Governors Amaechi and Oshiomhole who was who. “Sentiments apart,” the man said, whilst clinging to his sentiment, “it’s not right that these two governors from the president’s geopolitical zone should be poking their fingers in the president’s eyes.” My friend’s invocation of

and run justifies the name. Instead, with too much power locked up in the center and the president permitted to play god, Nigeria often resembles a kingdom, with Aso Rock as the one palace of power that counts. It is in the interest of the Niger Delta – and of all Nigerians – to have a country whose claims to a federal structure are borne out. Mr. Jonathan may excite some Niger Deltans by his immoderate use of the intimidating muscle of his office to bring his political enemies to heel. But what

happens when he’s no longer the president, and a president from a different geopolitical zone begins his own version of playing god? The Niger Delta’s oil-rich soil is soaked with the blood of martyrs who fought for resource control. Is Mr. Jonathan doing anything to enthrone a greater measure of accountability for the oil revenues generated from the Niger Delta? Is it right that future Emperors would have free passes to treat the oil resources as they wish, using them to reward friends or punish foes? What happens if – when – a different president shows scant regard for the sentiments of the people of the oil-rich delta? Is this president thinking of strategies for averting crushing poverty and bloodshed in his region? The second question pertains to the nature of power and agency in Nigeria. If Nigeria is to come closer to achieving a national identity, then it must move in the direction of strengthening institutions rather than the continued cultivation of personal aggrandizement. The Nigerian police (as well as EFCC officials) should be able to arrest or prosecute any suspect, even if the target is the president’s best friend. The electoral commission ought to be able to conduct transparently credible elections at municipal, state and national levels. The judiciary ought to be able to inspire public confidence that the country is truly governed by the rule of law – and that the law is no respecter of persons, only of principles. Those titillated by Mr. Jonathan’s imperial complex ought to realize that all Nigerians, but particularly members of minority groups, pay the price when we abide raw, rampaging power. If Mr. Jonathan is possessed of a sense of history, he would resist the temptation to throw his weight around. There’s a lot of work that a seriousminded president could do for Nigerians. Those who encourage the incumbent president to overuse or abuse his powers to further a vindictive agenda ought to be chastened by the transience of Mr. Jonathan’s tenure. And they as well as the president should remember that, at the expiry of the heady days of power, History inevitably shows up to reckon up a former president’s legacy, admirable or wretched.


THE WEEKEND

12 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

nGov Oshiomhole: A Result

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Oriented Leader

HON (Barr) Osikhena Boih Donald is a lawyer by training, full of ideas, result oriented, creative, practical and proactive. He is known to always make his mark in any public office that he finds himself. He had the opportunity of serving in the National Assembly, where he deployed the power of his office to influence the recruitment of many Edo People into Federal Government Establishments. While serving as Hon Commissioner for Commerce and Industry in the first tenure of Governor Adams Oshiomholes administration, his creative talent was at play again when he re-organized the ministry and injected fresh ideas into the affairs of the ministry and this resulted in several achievements recorded by the ministry. He is presently the Hon. Commissioner for lands and survey. WEEKEND OBSERVER had the privilege of interacting with him recently on certain key issues including his vision for the ministry of lands and survey. In this interview, Hon. Barr. Osikhena Boih Donald asserts unequivocally that his inspiration comes front Governor Adams Oshiomhole who, through the power of ideas and courage has been able to re-build and modernize Edo State. He also describes Governor Oshiomhole as the most dynamic Governor that he has ever seen. A young man with a knack for impeccable English Language, it is usually interesting while interacting with Hon (Barr) Osikhena-Boih Donald. Enjoy the interview. Excerpts:Hon. Commissioner, what is your vision for the Ministry of Lands and Survey? My vision for the ministry of lands and survey is very much in tandem with the vision of our dynamic and result oriented Governor, His Excellency, Governor Adams Oshiomhole which is to transform, develop and re-build Edo State. I want to thank the almighty God for making it possible for me to return as Commissioner in this epoch making administration. I also want to thank our indefatigable Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for finding me worthy to serve in his administration again. Since I assumed office as Hon. Commissioner for lands and survey, I have had series of meetings with the officials of this ministry and during those meetings, we were able to brainstorm and fashion out practicable strategies and means of attaining our desired goals and objectives. I have renovated my personal office because an office speaks volumes about the personality of its occupier and the establishment that he represents. I also went round the various offices and refurbished the office items there to enable staff

function in a decent environment. I have done much in terms of reorientating the thinking pattern of staff and they have become dedicated and dutiful. I achieved these through a workable supervisory mechanism by ensuring that staff sign in and out of the office. Therefore, there is no room for laxity. I am a man who believes in training and retraining of staff because that is the only way you can inspire and boost the morale of staff to enable them become more productive and efficient. To this end, I have been facilitating and sending them on relevant training programmes that will sharpen their skills. We are presently training our cartographers in order to ensure that they do not go into extinction. Other staff are also being trained based on areas of core need and strength. I am not saying that we have attained perfection but then it is a statement of fact that we have made significant progress. Sir, what are some of the plans that you have put in place for effective and efficient service delivery? We are now working towards digitalizing the

process in term of certificate of occupancy. (C. of 0.) We are doing this to ensure that as soon as anybody applies for (C. of 0), he or she gets it within a short time. We want promptitude and efficiency to govern our activity in this respect. We have

- Barr Osikhena-Boih

other to smoothen interministerial relations and address the challenges.. On the issue of encroachment or .trespass on government land, we are presently conducting a survey of land in some state government educational institutions so as to stem

• Barr. Osikhena-Boih

established a stable fee for (C. of 0) in order to ensure regularity in the process. We are also doing our best at checking double allocation, a situation where two people will be laying claim to a particular land with two sound documents. We are checking this through our digitalization process. We are also working towards setting up a central monitoring unit. Our plan is to pull some persons from the various departments together and establish them in the central monitoring unit. The essence of this arrangement is to ensure a close monitoring and supervision of the activities of this ministry. This is how the central monitoring unit will function. If for instance there is delay or challenges in any department of this ministry, someone perhaps from that department but a member of the central monitoring unit will go to that department and address the issue. Furthermore, whenever challenges occur in interministerial relations, the members of the central monitoring will handle the situation with a view to liasing with such ministry in

the tide of trespass. We are also trying to protect government land by fencing them or bulldozing round the land to enable people

comments on your experience so far? This is a call to duty and for me, it is a great privilege to be called upon to serve the people. Public office is transient and held in trust for the people. Consequently, a public officer must endeavour to deploy the powers of his office to the betterment of the people. These are my core values and philosophy about public office and God in His infinite mercy has always assisted me in achieving these. A public officer should serve the people with human face and not be hedgy and unnecessarily stiff. I have had an interesting, exciting and challenging experience since I started holding public offices and I must say that I have learnt much. My training as a lawyer has also been of assistance to me because it has assisted me in terms of understanding and appreciating any task that I have to undertake in my capacity as a public officer holder. With my knowledge of law, i am able to carry out my assignment within the ambits of the law. You had a prosperous

a walking encyclopedia. He is a wonderful person and a dynamo. He is highly gifted with great leadership qualities. He is courageous, intelligent, practical and highly interested in the betterment of Edo people and the state. Today, every Edo man and woman is proud of Governor Adams Oshiomhole. He is a selfless leader who believes in deploying public resources for public good. I think that God created him to be a leader and to show the light for others to follow in the words of the late Dr. Nnarndi Azikiwe. Under his administration and within a short time, Edo State has witnessed tremendous transformation and development. His works are standing very tall for everyone to see and are speaking eloquently for him. For me, he is my father and mentor and it is a great privilege serving under a man who is a strong teacher on the Core values of leadership and governance. What is your message for Edo people? Edo people are great people and I thank them for standing very firm behind

“Today, every Edo man and woman is proud of Governor Adams Oshiomhole. He is a selfless leader who believes in deploying public resources for public good. I think that God created him to be a leader and to show the light for others to follow “ stay away from such land. This will prevent encroachment on government land more so when this strategy is the auropatic and not curative. For government land already encroached on by some persons, and given the fact that government does not have urgent need for such land, we are requesting such people to come and regularize the process with this ministry to enable them become bonafide occupiers. You have had the opportunity to be in government for quite some time, what are your

practice as a lawyer in Abuja but you are presently serving the people as a public officer. Are you not missing law practice? Politics is an activity and not a profession. My profession and calling is law. I create time to read my law books and reflect on law and judgments of eminent jurists. I am proud to identify with the Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA) and I show interest and participate in its affairs. What are your comments on Governor Adams Oshiomhole? Governor Oshiomhole is

Oshiornhole in all these years. Edo people believe in Governor Oshiomhole. I want to request that they should continue to support our Governor with prayers and by being law abiding. Our Governor still has several great plans for us as a people and so he needs our support and prayers. What do you do during leisure time? I am a very busy person because this task calls for hardwork. However whenever I have the time, I read voraciously and relax with my family. Thank you Sir. Thank you my, brother.


THE WEEKEND

13 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

n Governor Oshiomhole Is A Revolutionary

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HIS story epitomizes the proverbial rise from grass to grace. This young man who was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth was determined and focused as he struggled through life by doing menial jobs to enable him acquire education. He however appreciates some persons whom he came across in his sojourn in life to become somebody, that contributed significantly to his elevation in life. He is dynamic with penchant for making good things to happen. His name is Honourable Chris Okaeben, Executive Director and Chairman of Petroleum and Gas Monitoring Committee. A young man who has a way with words, Hon. Chris Okaeben is an experienced hand in terms of Public Office, having served as Supervisory Councilor for three times in Oredo Local Government Council. He was also secretary to the same council. In this interview with weekend observer, Hon. Chris. Okaeben remarked that Governor Adams Oshiomhole’ s presence in the political scene of Edo State is divine, adding that Governor Adams Oshiomhole whom lie describes as truly “His Excellency” has succeeded through his development and transformation strides in launching Edo state into global limelight. Eloquent, thorough and very detailed in his analysis of issues, Hon. is Okaeben, is indeed an interviewer’s delight. Excerpts:-

As the chairman and Executive Director of the Petroleum and Gas Monitoring what is your vision for this committee? My vision for the petroleum and Gas monitoring Committee is very much in tandem with the Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s vision of transforming and rebuilding Edo state. Specifically speaking, my mandate is to ensure that unadulterated petroleum products are always available at all times for Edo People. We are also working towards synergizing with the security operatives with a view to protecting our oil pipelines against the activities of vandals. What are your opinions on Governor Adams Oshiomhole? Governor Adams Oshiomhole is a revolutionary leader with penchant for transformation, development and rebuilding of Edo State. Before now, Edo State occupied the back seat because our infrastructures had almost gone into extinction. Roads were terribly bad, our schools were un-inhabitable for our students and the

state was completely backward. Today all these have changed tremendously courtesy of the Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s giant development and transformation strides. Today, our primary and secondary schools have been rebuilt and transformed to world class standard, our roads have been expanded, reconstructed and rehabilitated. Benin City is being beautified, salaries are being paid as at when due, Edo State is now very conducive for business and commerce because security has been beefed up. What is more, the minds of Edo People have been educated towards commitment to their civic duty in terms

Leader - Hon. Okaeben

• Hon. Chris Okaeben

of payment of tax and by being law abiding. Still on the issue of roads, it is important to mention that road construction work is on-going across the state and in honour of the much revered Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, a former Governor of this State, the roads around where he lives in Ikeya, here in Benin City has been re-constructed to world class standard, and the man is happy. How would you describe your experience in politics? I have had a very challenging and interesting experience in politic. Let me point out clearly that I entered into the business of politics from the grassroot. I contested as Councilor

in Ward 7 under Oredo Local Government Council. I was asked to step down and was appointed as supervisory Councilor Youth and Sport under the leadership of Elder Sam Omede as chairman. Under the leadership of Hon. Victor Ebornoyi as Chairman of the Council and Captain I Hosa Okunbor became supervisory councilor again for Youths and Sports. Under the leadership of Hon. Victor Enoghama, I was supervisory councilor for works. I contested for a seat at the House of Assembly against Rt Hon. Uyi Igbe in 2007 and in 2011 (ran against Rt Hon Uyi Igbe again and the highly respected and

distinguished Governor Adams Oshiomhole prevailed on me to allow Hon Uyi Igbe to continue and I had to obey him. I was then appointed Secretary to Oredo Local Government Council during the leadership of Hon (Prince) Ekpen Erediawa. How has your sojourn into the sphere of education been? I was not born with a silver spoon. I was born into a polygamous family to Mr. and Mrs. Moses Efosa Okaeben, the Eresoyen of Benin Kingdom. My father had 3 wives and I am the eldest of the children. 1 attended the University of Benin Staff School and Adolor College for my secondary education. During my JSS 3 examination, I was almost denied the priviledge that I am enjoying today. I was advised to drop out of school and learn a trade and forgo education for lack of funds. I bluntly refused and did menial jobs to see myself through my JSS 3 and SSCE examination. In my quest for identity and to get established in life, I met the great Osaro Onaiwu. “The EARL” during his project help talent-hunt show. He saw potentials in me and indicated interest in me. I went to Lagos with him and I worked with him for some years and returned to Benin to pursue further

“Governor Adams Oshiomhole is a revolutionary leader with penchant for transformation, development and re-building of Edo State. Before now, Edo State occupied the back seat because our infrastructures had almost gone into extinction.”

studies. I studied Banking and Finance in the prestigious University of Benin and graduated with a B.Sc degree and did a masters degree subsequently. I must add that the well respected Mrs Angella Omokaro nec Ebagua whom I call my mother laid the foundation for the contact that I have today. During my 40th birthday, I had the priviledge of being honoured with the presence of the very distinguished Governor Adams Oshiomhole and His Excellency, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko. Dr. Olusegun Mimiko is one man who has really surprised me because during my visits to Ondo State, he received me warmly even though I am not from that state. Dr. Mirniko said something about me and I quote, “Chris Okaeben is worthy ambassador that every Nigerian should identify with. These kind words, coming from a great man are engraved in my heart and will continue to remain there. What is your message to Edo people, Sir? My message to the good people of Edo State is that they should continue to pray for Governor Adams Oshiomhole to enable him continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to us as a people. Edo people should be patient, should persevere, be law abiding, be humble and have the fear of God because these are the ingredients of life that will take Edo State to higher heights. Tell us something about your family life? I am a complete family man. I love my family. I am married and have four lovely children —2 boys, 2 girls. I read good books and relax with my family.


THE WEEKEND

14 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

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I sues Towards The Eradication Of Hunger And Poverty

FOOD scientists have in varying reports raised concerns over hunger that kills more people than many other dreaded ailments. They observe that hunger creeps in when people lack the opportunity to earn enough income to get education and acquire skills and provide basic needs for living. The Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO), in its search for solution to hunger and poverty, states that a large proportion of the world’s population has often experienced severe hunger. It says this has arisen from disruptions in food supply caused by war, plagues or adverse weather changes. It is in the light of the grievous effect of hunger on mankind that every nation across the world is working towards achieving food sufficiency to feed the ever increasing populations. The World Hunger Day 2013, marked on every May 28, is another UN strategy aimed at fighting hunger and providing sustainable solutions to poverty in the world. “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition’’ is the theme for this year and part of its objectives is to end hunger and poverty in 13 countries in Africa, South Asia and

Latin America. It is also aimed at creating awareness in countries plagued by hunger and celebrating the achievements of countries working towards hunger reduction. The countries comprise Bangladesh, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, India, Ghana, Malawi, Mexico, Mozambique, Peru, Senegal and Uganda. Irrespective of this intervention, stakeholders observe that through awareness campaigns, more organisations will be encouraged to work in partnership towards hunger and poverty eradication. In Nigeria for instance, the Agricultural Transformation Agenda is seen as a major tool for making progress in the enumerated areas. Observers note that with the introduction of the agenda in 2011, it is expected that necessary action will be taken to achieve a hunger-free country through an agriculture sector capable of driving income growth and enhance food security. Dr Tunde Arosanyin, National Financial Secretary, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), says Nigerian farmers are critical to ensuring food sufficiency. He lauds the efforts

By SALIMAT GARBA

• President Goodluck Jonathan

• Adesina

made by farmers and the government on the agenda but insists that more efforts will be needed to achieve Nigeria’s goal on food security and poverty eradication. According to him, the

synergy will promote private investment in agriculture, generate employment and transform Nigeria into a net exporter of agricultural commodities. “We are doing our bit to see how we can harness

“Presently, the food security situation in the country is still not good enough; according to UN, 35 per cent of 167 million Nigerians are hungry; they go to bed on empty stomach.It is still disturbing that for a country like Nigeria with all our endowments: the rain, the sunshine, the vast land that is suitable for agricultural purposes, we still spend close to 12 billion dollars on food importation.’’

an enabling environment to put food on the table of every Nigerian. “Presently, the food security situation in the country is still not good enough; according to UN, 35 per cent of 167 million Nigerians are hungry; they go to bed on empty stomach. “It is still disturbing that for a country like Nigeria with all our endowments: the rain, the sunshine, the vast land that is suitable for agricultural purposes, we still spend close to 12 billion dollars on food importation,’’ he says. To augment the efforts at hunger and poverty eradication, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) advocates enhanced involvement of the private sector in undernourished countries. In Ghana, for instance, the institute provided input into a draft biosafety policy expected to facilitate the introduction of agricultural biotechnology. In India also, IFPRI also developed rural business hubs research under U.S Agency for International Development’s partnership for innovation and knowledge in agriculture. Observers note that efforts such as this should be extended to Nigeria, even though there had been several calls for the passage of bio-safety bill into law. But IFPRI notes that problem of food and nutrition security in Nigeria has not been adequately and critically analyzed, in spite of various approaches at addressing the challenge. It wrote in its assessment of food

security in Nigeria that “food insecurity and malnutrition in rural areas of Nigeria resulted from nonimplementation and/or faulty implementation of the National Food and Nutrition Policy and National Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition’’. “The enormous amount of money spent in attempting to assure the food security of Nigerians without success calls for a fundamental review of the past approaches and achievements. “Although there have been a number of individual and institutional efforts and attempts at generating databases on food and nutrition security for Nigeria, these efforts are hampered by inadequate funds to implement large-scale surveys’’. It suggests the need to understand and appreciate the distinctness of nutrition and priorities its appropriate integration into all sectors and departments working on food security in Nigeria. It also recommends a strategic partnership and collaboration of all stakeholders to produce datasets that will inform new directions and a plan of action to seek a comprehensive integration of nutrition and coordination of food security interventions among partners. A hungry man, they say, is an angry man, and if the problem of hunger is removed from man’s wants, his entire problems are almost solved. The need to comprehensively solve the challenge of hunger globally cannot therefore, be overemphasized, observers say.


THE WEEKEND

15 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

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W ekend Discourse

Marriage And Social Deviation IN time past, marriage a universal phenomenon, used to be seen as the union between a man and woman or the union between two opposite

separation or divorce without the consideration of the scared vows taken or the effect it would have on the children- the by products of the union.

By ABRAHAM INOSEZILO OBODE

that are ‘victims’. This social acceptance of divorce and awkward marriage arrangements is now a world wide phenomenon. For

benefits of having dependents (children) and other listed benefits (ACLU 1999). When one views this situation critically, one would be forced to ask how we got here. It’s imperative to note that this problems did not just surface at once but is as a result of gradual shift away from the proper marriage arrangement. In some quarters in Nigeria, for instance, there is already a serious confusion as to what a proper marriage arrangement should be. Although many may ignore this development, it would be appropriate that I bring to the public notice the various distorted marriage arrangements being practiced presently in Nigeria that

economic interest 2. Lack of planning 3. Ignorance 4. Lack of proper orientation/ education 5. Social pressure. These factors have in no small measure, attacked the marital status of the Nigerian society, that the cultural and moral values have been thrown to the wind. Some of the ones I have identified include; 1. Accidental Marriage; this form of marriage has become common among couples in recent times. It normally occurs when there is internal pressure on the man or woman in relation to their age, family background, status etc, to marry and so frustration leads them to an emergency/ hurried set up of marriage procedures (without

modern society. It has gradually spread from the rural to the urban centers. It is the type where either the girl purposely get pregnant or due to ‘carelessness’ on the parties part, pregnancy emerge and it automatically becomes a reason for the marriage union. 3. House Fellowship Marriage - This is similar to the shot gun but in this case, the girl/ woman is unable to live with her spouse due to certain factors that probably, were not properly resolved or forseen; as a result, she ends up in her family of orientation while her spouse occasionally visits her and the children. Here the woman will continue to have new/fresh children for the man under her father’s roof who does

proper knowledge of the other spouse). And since the ‘qualified’ is not fort coming or available, the ‘undesirable’ becomes a v a i l a b l e . 2. Shot Gun Marriage This type has become unprecedented in our

not see anything wrong with the arrangement or setup. There are instances where the girl has her own apartment either rented or built by the man or all by herself; and the guy or man just

President Goodluck Jonathan

sex. At least that’s how the originator (God) made us to understand. However, in recent times, serious confusion has set in and marriage is no longer the presumed ultimate route from adolescence to adulthood. In fact, it has lost much of its significance as a rite of passage, a symbol of social status and a scared union of raising children and fostering companionship. Many ideologies of marriage arrangements have emanated, making it increasingly difficult for some to properly define marriage in a universal term. For instance, due to the marriage union between same sex people, (homosexual or lesbians), some now define it as the union of two consenting adults. In cases where by ‘normal’ couples wed, some may result in

This marital cases has been increasing steady and will continue due to the fact that the stigma attached to inordinate marriage arrangements, co-habitations and single/unwed mothers, has given way to greater social acceptance with h o m o s e x u a l i t y, lesbianism and divorce not left out. It has now become fashionable to no longer ‘endure an unhappy marriage’, singles dating married men/ women, quit the marriage when you feel like, send your spouse packing when he/she annoys you, e.t.c. Sadly, most religious denominations have realized the stigma attached to divorce and therefore no longer treat it as a sin. This might probably be due to the sympathy they draw from the stories of their members and other members of the society

instance, one third of all the people in the United States will marry, divorce and then remarry (R.T.Schaefer 2001; 359). Other countries like Canada, has 10% increase in divorce rate; Sweden has 27% and Netherlands 150% (Bureau of Census 1998c; 832). Unfortunately, Nigeria does not have statistics to show but with the drama and the actions of the marriage actors, it will be shocking to the west to hear a religious country like Nigeria submerged in this p h e n o m e n o n . In the same vane, the agitations of the activities of the gay organization in the U.S has led to the domestic partnership policy, which is aimed at allowing two unrelated adults live together under a mutual caring relationship with

Senator David Mark

is causing social deviations and the possible solutions. I am tempted to believe that the distorted marriage arrangements are as a result of the following f a c t o r s ; 1. Emerging new pattern of relationships and

Continue on Pgs 16 & 17


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16 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

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W ekend Discourse Continued from Pg 15

come in for refreshment, play with the children and go back to his own h o m e . 4. Co-Habitated Marriage- This is another marriage arrangement that is becoming popular. Contrary to popular believes that it occurs in boarding colleges and universities campuses, working class or adults now engage in these practices. This kind of ‘union’ is called marriage without papers in Denmark and De factos in Australia (Blanc 1984; Levinson 1984; O’Donnell 1992; Thomson & Colella; 1992). It must be noted here that this sexual experimentation, does not usually get parental consent or any legal backing. And in some cases, ‘couples’ would have lived together for more than six years with or without children before marriage is done. 5. Serial MonogamyThis marriage type is also of recent struggling to gain prominence from the ones listed above. It is where a man! woman marries a partner, divorce and then marry a different person again. Such man - woman may end up marrying two or more partners in their life time, and in each case making sure the children suffer after their exit. This is very common in the United States when the actors want to beat the law of b i g a m y . 6. Wait For Me Marriage- Of all the marriage arrangements, this is the latest and has now become fashionable in Edo State. In this type, the man /woman (mostly the men) travel abroad for more than five years and in some cases twelve years, leaving their wives and children behind and would hardly come back unless they are repatriated or they satisfy their purpose of

going there. In some cases the wife abandoned the children with relatives and also embarks on her own treasure hunt. It is even now fashionable to arrange or organize a spouse for a person here in Nigeria through a mere picture of the suitor/spinster abroad and a ‘befitting’ marriage is done without a fore knowledge or appearance of the person. To this home base actors, - dollar, pounds and euro is more relevant here. When these marriages are carefully scrutinized, it would reveal a great deal of deviation from the originator’s primary motive of establishing the marriage institution when compared to the Genesis model of marriage initiated by God, and the model recognized in 1st Corinthians 7:38, and Hebrews 13:4, it becomes imperative to search for or proffer solutions to this socioreligious institution that have come under severe attack. Now it is believed in some quarters that the remedies to the marriage institution are unattainable due to the modernization of the societies of the world, the emerging cultural patterns. goals/ carrier a t t a i n m e n t s , entertainments amongst others. But I must state here that the solution or correction to this ‘dysfunctional’ institution has a curative paradigm and must be sort after due to the psychological and socioeconomic problems it is creating in the society today. The solution I have for the dysfunctional marriage arrangements in Nigeria today is what I call Mutual Marriage: Mutual Marriage This is the ideal form of marriage which many should agitate or struggle to imbibe. It is that form where by the intending couples court

Marriage And for a minimum period of one year, to study each other’s behavioral traits and personalities/ qualities. Now in this case, pretence must not be accommodated neither should false alarm be allowed. Both parties must prayerfully and honestly allow themselves the privilege of expressing their

compare and acquit themselves with the kind of friends/relatives of their partners. This is necessary as it will reveal a great deal of information of their personalities. Another area of importance is the negotiation and decision stage. By this I mean that the intending couple

takes what decision and at what time), and any other issue deem important for the success of the intending c o u p l e . I must however categorically state here that this mutual marriage is not a utopia kind of settings as it may have its own flaws especially when the

into the new born baby Everyone is from family, hence a membe of one. It is the famil that ought to maintai the basic functions o socialization. But sadly there are adults who ar not fit to be fathers o mothers to run a hom but as they see their ag mates enter into th marriage institution the

intimate/innate desires, expectations and goals; while focusing on how to portray a real self and eliminate personal interest for the sake of having a collective bargain/ interest. When this is done, the individual socialization process over the years would be brought to bear and evaluation/ assessment carried out to determine if the parties can accommodate or appreciate each other for the ‘ever after life’ journey they intend to embark on. Another area for the intending couple to explore is the cross-social interaction of the parties with each others friends and relatives so as to

during their courtship must try as much as possible to discuss or resolve certain issues that can be a time bomb in their lives later on. For instance issues such as finances and budgeting in the home, number of children or size of the family, child rearing patterns, handling and treating of relatives/ visitors, job acceptance, religious affiliations, handling of in-laws, decision making (who

intending couple hurriedly go through the procedure highlighted above. But it can be preferred to all other shady marriage arrangements that are highlighted before it. Possible Solutions To Marital Problems Family — when a child is born, the brain is tabula-rasa (blank slate) and it is the duty of the family to inculcate the family and social norms, language, religion etc

also look for a partne and dive into a family marriage arrangemen without having any skill or knowledge to pas down or run a home Hence such perso engages in trial an error, guess work and i most cases plagued th institution into crisis tha becomes difficult t manage. But in case where there is a prope socialization process and were the famil unity is organized

“Family — when a child is born, the b the duty of the family to inculcate the fa etc into the new born baby. Everyone It is the family that ought to maintain


THE WEEKEND

17 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

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W ekend Discourse obtainable in other parts of Europe. So because of this, many Swedish couples chose to cohabit rather than to marry. This is why about half the babies in Sweden are born to unmarried mothers (Economist 1995). The Nigerian government should also

which give them the power to determine when there female employees will get pregnant [though this policy has its own advantages. The government action is needed here because, the pursuant of carrier might either keep the women too engross in

or increase the rate of marriage, and will also go a long way in determining child spacing patterns and the number of children in a marriage institution. These economic considerations have contributed to the attitude of some married couples in the US. While some decide to remain childfree (not childless), others have opted for only one child. This is because having children has become quite expensive. According to a

resist attempts by some so called powerful minorities to introduce a bill that would allow gays to operate freely in our society. The government must also look into the recently passed bill into law that protects the woman in school or place of work when she is pregnant for her not to lose her job. This appeal is coming in the heels that many banks and multinationals enforce subtle but serious laws

raising their children or they might likely pass child bearing age before they decide to ‘settle down’. Also, in r e p r o d u c t i v e technology, government should have a sound policy on it so as not to erode the primary functions of marriage / family institutions. Finally, government must also work hard to regulate the inflation rate of the economy, provide the basic amenities in the societies and create job opportunities for its citizens so as to be able to meet up with their family and marital responsibilities. This is necessary because the policy of government on its citizens might delay

government estimate in 1998, the average middle class family will spend $ 148,450 to feed clothe, and shelter a child from birth to age 17. If the child attends college (university), that amount could double depending on the course and school chosen (Bureau of the census 1999a:470). This is probably why some couples are having fewer children than they otherwise might and others are weighing the advantages of a child-free marriage; hence the recent visa lottery being sponsored by the US government for the 3rd world to come and populate their country for t h e m . 4. Media - the media is the voice of the people

Social Deviation . a r y n f , e r e e e y

r / t s s . n d n e t o s r , y ,

focused and purposeful, socialization is carried out through a systematic procedure that is all compassing with both couple engaging themselves in the collective running of the home with subsequent negotiations and decisions taken jointly for the overall benefit of the family. 2. Religion - since the marriage institution was instituted by God, as religion has told us, it be comes imperative for that same religion to guild and protect the union. Afterall it is the religious bodies that join most couples either in the form of wedding, or marriage blessing. And so every religious body must work very hard to restore the glory of this institution. For instance, divorce should be v e h e m e n t l y discouraged while family life departments should be setup with professionals such as social workers, s o c i o l o g i s t s , psychologists, sociopsychologists, to man, accommodate and treat cases that are related to marital and family problems in the religious institutions rather than the pastors say they are counseling their members. Also experts on family and marriage must be incorporated into the family life department along with couples that have developed cognitive experience, enjoyed a wonderful marriage union over the years and a celebrated family

success story. While the experts help the intending couples and already wedded couples through counseling sections, the ‘experienced’ couples are used as mentors and their success stories shared so as to help boost/energize the new ones. 3. Government-the government must be alive to its responsibilities in terms of the kind of laws and policies it makes towards the direction of the family and marriage institution. The government must resist pressures from interest groups that would want to lobby it into something inimical to the society. For example, many states in the US have adopted more liberal divorce laws in the last 20 years. Such as No-fault divorce laws, allowing a couple to end their marriage without fault on either side (such as specifying adultery). This accounted for the initial upward surge in the divorce rate immediately after they were introduced in the 1970s. The Nigerian government should resist the urge to be like those countries that have polices that do not encourage marriages. For instance, Sweden offers no married-couple allowance for tax purposes, no tax deduction for raising children and no way for couples to jointly file their income taxes, as against what is

rain is tabula-rasa (blank slate) and it is mily and social norms, language, religion is from a family, hence a member of one. the basic functions of socialization.”

especially through the opinion polls conducted by many media houses. Whether the electronic, print, or the telecommunication systems, they must all join hands to save the marriage institution from total collapse. This can be done through good and quality programs, features, and adverts that support, encourage and put the institution in a positive

light. New government polices that encourage and support marital bliss must be constantly bombarded in dramas, programmes and features as well as in a r t i c l e s . Conclusively, the marriage institution has suffered a great set back in recent times as a result of emerging new patterns of relationships and divers’ modifications here and there. But I believe that if the mutual marriage highlighted above is imbibed and adopted, it would be a giant step towards achieving or correcting the social malice and problems associated with the marriage institution in the past.


THE WEEKEND

s Delta State: Count Down To The Killer-Flood

18 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

I sues

“The Care of human life and happiness, And not their destruction, is the First and only legitimate object Of good government”. (Thomas Jefferson)

AS the quintessential epitomization of satyriasis lies and dovetails into saturnalian debauchery, so, nature abused, fights back with odium. Hence, Jean Louis Agassiz (18071873) observed that “The study of Nature is an intercourse with the Highest Mind. You should never trifle with Nature”. Man, has horrendously abused Nature over the years and now Nature is vengefully fighting back with and through CLIMATE CHANGE”. The climate change phenomenon has led to the horrid depletion of the Ozone Layer and has also precipitated disastrous climatological consequences on the planet Earth. Resulting in delugial floods, droughts, tornadoes, gales, h u r r i c a n e s , dermatological cancer, optical diseases and other multidimensional socio-economic aftermaths. In Nigeria, the weatheriological and meteorological bodies have warned of the coming of floods of biblical proportion in over 30 states of the Federation. In the last flood disaster the Federal Government doled out Billions of Naira to statutorily obligated institutions charged with alleviating and checkmating the effects of the floods and to the State Governments. Indeed, the Ministry of Works got 2.6Billion and an additional 556 Million, NEMA got 1.1Billion plus 1.24Billion, Ministry of Environment got 250Million plus 95Million, National Committee for Refugees got 150Million and Technical Committee on Flood Impact Assessment got

100Million. These monies are exclusive of what the Federal Government disbursed to the States and what various State Governments injected into the fight against floods, structures and compensations etc. The torrential rainfall, the opening of the Lagdo Dam by the Cameroonian Authorities as it happened Last Year, the slow pace of work on the Kashimbilla Multipurpose Dam being constructed by the Federal Government in Taraba State, the Collective Leadership inertia in most States of the Federation and the lethargic pace of the 23 Dams being constructed across the country will definitely precipitate terribly horrendous floods. The fight to checkmate the coming killer floods is on-going in Delta State, as illegal structures along drainage paths and waterways are being pulled down in Asaba, Warri, Sapele, Ughelli, Effurun, Agbor, Orerokpe, Aladja etc. In Warri the opening-up of culverts, bridges, waterways, gutters etc has gained intensive acceleration. The bridge along Lower Erejuwa Road, Ogboru/Nelson/ Deco/Avenue/Okandeji/ Ope/Omoine and Father Healey Streets are receiving commendable attention and personally supervised by Chief Omare, the Commissioner for Environment. In short, I saw the Commissioner hired an engine boat (watercraft vessel) and went to superintend the quenching of a fuel barge conflagration on the warri River Opposite Warri Club/Naval Base and there were two water hyacinth tractors doing cleansing of the Warri River. These efforts must be commended. But we must admonish

By BOBSON GBINIJE the Commissioner and His Excellency Governor Uduaghan, that this is a Molehill in a Mountain and a tip of the iceberg. They must note that Delta

shoreline protection measure, flood comber, rain chamber and speed breaker to floods. We also wish to draw the attention of the Hon.

Jonathan

State, River State, AkwaIbom State, Edo State, Ondo State, Lagos State etc as litoral States experience more rainfall and hence floods more

Commissioner and His Excellency to the Warri drainage plan brought from Holland by Late Chief (Dr) Esiri in 1963 and being executed by

Uduaghan

than other states in Nigeria and must be fully prepared for the incoming killer floods. The sand filling and building of a Model School on the Warri Prison Rice Farm along Esisi Road by the Okere Bridge is wrong. That Rice Farm acted as a

the then Warri Divisional Council, the Igberaja/ Abeke Drainage plan for Sapele Urban Area of 1961 and the 1962 Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh sponsored Bill on flood exigencies and the creation of the MidWestern Region etc. We call for attention to

be given to the Delta Development and Planning Authority Area Effurun (DDPA) and the NPA/Niger Cat/ Ugbuwangue/Ughoton/ Jeddo/Ubeji and Ogbokodo - as these areas have no viable and functional drainage systems and the existing ones are blocked by dirt. There is need for the channelization of the area and its environs into the Edjeba/Ugboroke/ Effurun etc Rivers and their tributaries. We admonish the commissioner and His Excellency that the Upper Ogunu, Okere Road/Ajamimoghan, Esisi, Pessu, Alawuru, Agbassa, Mccliver Roads be channelized to the Warri river based on proximity to various points. There must be massive sensitization based virtually on propaganda hype through Delta Television, Pointer Newspapers, Delta Fm radio and other communication medium to the people of Delta State on how to be prepared like the people of Oklahoma before the disastrous tornado in America. We are yet to see Waves/Flood breakers in our rivers. We call for the construction of flood/ wave breaker in all our rivers in Delta State to forestall inundation due to flood breaker absence. The Methuselah Sapele market that has been undergoing construction for over 8 years now after being burnt down should be dredged and beveled into

the Sapele river to avoid floods getting into the town, if the river Ethiope over shoots its Banks. The Sapele Urban Area should be channeled to the Sapele River and Ughelli town and its environs should be adequately channelized. This is not Government effort alone. All hands must be on deck to forestall the in-coming devasting and killer floods. We still call on Government to setup, exclusive of existing bodies, Delta State Flood Monitoring, Emergency, Rehabilitation and Refugee Assistance Body (DSFMERAB) to work with the People and all relevant Government Agencies to alleviate the shelter, refugees, health and food supplies problems etc. Finally, the tidal surge of force majeure is no respecter of lives and properties. We admonish the Delta State Government and the Nigerian Government to do their best and we hope that their best will be good enough to forestall the draconic tentacles of the killer floods. Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) posited that, “Beware of rashness, but with energy and sleepless vigilance go forward and give us victories”. We deserve the best from an Oil Producing State and it’s Leadership. CHIEF BOBSON GBINIJE MANDATE AGAINST POVERTY (MAP) WARRI. 08023250378

“The study of Nature is an intercourse with the Highest Mind. You should never trifle with Nature”. Man, has horrendously abused Nature over the years and now Nature is vengefully fighting back with and through CLIMATE CHANGE”.


THE WEEKEND

19 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

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T ibute A Personal Letter To Chinua Achebe Dear Achebe, IT was my dream to meet you in person. Even as old age closed up on you, I still did not lose hope of a memorable meeting with you. As an undergraduate at the University of Calabar, I once laid ‘ambush’ for you at the university’s famous annual “English and Literary Studies Symposium/ Lecture” immediately I saw your name among the list of literary giants who were to grace the occasion. As it may interest you to note, I drafted a list of Igbo proverbs which I needed you to break down or translate into your unique style of English grammar that made you a famous wordsmith. Besides, and most dear to me, it was an opportunity to have a memorable handshake and perhaps draw from your profound fountain of knowledge, and possibly engage you in a question and answer session, the way a child engages his father with innocence. That would have been a life changing experience for me! After all, the same ambush paid off for me at the same event where I had the privilege of a memorable handshake with your literary contemporaries like Soyinka, Flora Nwapa, J.P Clark, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, Ken Saro-Wiwa, etc. The first time I laid my hands on your first novel ‘Things Fall Apart’ I was engrossed with the style, choice of words and the overall simplicity of language that I felt so reluctant to let go. I am yet

By FRANK OPARA

to read a novel that holds a reader spell bound. Subsequently, I read No Longer at Ease, Arrow of God and the list goes on. The books simply portray you as a master story teller yet to be equaled in our lifetime. They are always new and pristine any time you pick them up to read not minding how many times you have read them. Thank you for those great works because with them generations unborn have a veritable compass to locate their past. I like literature. It was one of my favourite subjects in my college days. Reading your famous books ornamented my appreciation of literature to say the least. Your books led me into discovering many other African Writer’s Series books published by Heinemann like Weep Not Child by Ngugi Thiong’o, The Narrow Path by Elechi Amadi, etc. However, while sharing a thought with a friend over a certain issue of national interest, we slipped into a sudden reflection over your life on sighting a documentary on you on a local television station. You may not have lived a perfect life before God, the sole arbiter of life on earth, but in our society today where it seems every man has got a price, you vehemently refused to put your conscience up for sale. Your life on earth has once again proved that what is most fulfilling in life is to live an exemplary life of integrity. All the elegies, eulogies, encomiums and

ululations pouring in for you is not because of your vaunted riches either in cash stashed away in Swiss banks or property scattered across the length and breadth of the globe, but because of your moral rectitude. Simply put, you refused to be bought because your conscience remained priceless. You are one of the few whose material possessions, if any, could not be traced to the nation’s wealth. All you possessed in material wealth came via your God given talent; your creativity and sparkling brilliance. Right from your elementary school days where one of your mentors recognized the star that resides in your small fragile frame, you never betrayed either in logical reasoning or moral intelligence his prophetic vision, thus putting the lie to the Chinese proverb, “When men speak of the future, the gods laugh”. Ever since your painful demise, the world and especially the literary community have continued to rue the vacuum you have left. More so, they have been buffeted by worries over who fills the big shoes you have left behind. I have chosen to be skeptical. Did you actually leave any shoes behind? Methinks you became so disappointed and disenchanted with us that you took them away. Personally, I feel if there is anything to worry about it is how we as citizens and leaders should appropriate your exemplary life in a society that has bought the

• Late Achebe

franchise to canonize rogues and reprobates as leaders; a society that has been initiated into the cult of money, obsessed with the material, and is incurably corrupt. You were not the most intelligent in a nation so blessed with quality human resources. But what stood you out were your uncommon candour and courage and your principled refusal not to ingratiate yourself to the powers that be. I am very sure you must have heard about the debate going on ad nauseam to immortalize you by these same groups who have refused to adhere to your advice on good leadership. It has got me thinking what on earth they would come up with that would supersede the monumental timeless works which has made you a global icon. At a youthful age of 28 when most of those in that age bracket today are still ‘sagging’ their trousers, you wrote your most celebrated

“Simply put, you refused to be bought because your conscience remained priceless. You are one of the few whose material possessions, if any, could not be traced to the nation’s wealth. All you possessed in material wealth came via your God given talent; your creativity and sparkling brilliance.”

novel Things Fall Apart which has etched your name into the hearts of humanity. In life you rejected their tainted National Honours Award several times. In death I doubt if you are still interested because your back-to-sender body language depicts a polite NO, except if they decide to change their corrupt ways which had been your homily. Your wisdom gave you some prophetic element very rare with mortals. You predicted the fall of the First Republic in your fourth novel, A Man of the People. Shortly after the publication of The Trouble with Nigeria, whereupon you sounded alarm bells of danger about corrupt leadership being our bane, there was a military coup that took over the civilian government in 1983. One is tempted to slip into a vortex of ‘ifs’ at a quick glance of your life. Probably if not for bad leadership, you would not have been driven out of politics in your first attempt at joining Mallam Aminu Kano led PRP. If not for bad leadership the fatal accident that nearly claimed your life could have been avoided. And if not for bad leadership, may be you would have lived longer. Who knows? You decided to fall asleep when our leadership crisis leaves a sick feeling in the pit of

everybody’s stomach. At a time you chose to release your last true life story, “There was a Country” recounting in it the avoidable mistakes that led us to the bloodiest civil war ever, we are witnessing similar scenario which made majority of your kinsmen and women and their children, daily victims of ethnic cleansing. Could all these have hastened your demise? Would you have tarried a while if there was an inkling of hope of better leadership? Maybe you felt you had exhausted all you were sent to deliver to us mortals and it was time to go? Permit me to capture in your own words, using a popular Igbo proverb, the manner and style in which you have chosen to take your leave in Arrow of God, “The stranger will not kill his host with his visit, when he goes may he not go with a swollen back”. Well, if your ‘chi’ has invited you over to reunite with your ancestors, who are we to question Him? Go well Chinua! We will miss you! However, enjoy our own modest way of saying thank you for what you brought for us. I trust this letter meets you well as you rest in the bosom of your creator. Ijeoma, Adieu! • Frank is a media consultant with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Abuja.


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T ibute

Life And Times Of Margaret Thatcher IN the words of Shakespeare, ‘’ the entire world is a stage and all men and women are merely actors and actresses, they all have their entrances and exits, and one man in his time plays many parts’’. Again, Shakespeare at the eve of his death that was February 16, 1616 said and I quote’’ Death is inevitable omen and it will come when it will come’’. I think that was why Great Britain’s first female prime minister died on April 8, 2013. According to the Holy Bible as stated in Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, Verses 1-2 ‘’ To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the Heaven. A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted’’. However, death is a debt which we all owe but the date and time not known to us but to only God because He giveth and He taketh. A philosopher said ‘’death is a whip waiting for everybody by the roadside’’. Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher nee Roberts was born on the 13th of October 1925. She was a British Politician and was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990. She was the longest –serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century and was only woman to have held the office. A soviet journalist called her the ‘’Iron Lady’’, a nick name that became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style. As Prime Minister, she implemented policies that have come to be known as ‘’Thatcherism’’. The ‘’Iron Lady’’ was originally a research chemist before becoming a barrister. Thatcher was elected Member of Parliament (M.P.) for Finchley in 1959. Edward Heath appointed her Secretary of State for Education and Science in his 1970 government. In 1975, Thatcher defeated Heath in the conservative party leadership election to become leader of the opposition. Consequently, she became the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom. She became Prime Minister after winning the 1979 general election. As soon as she moved into 10, Downing Street, Thatcher introduced a series of political and economic initiatives intended to reverse high unemployment and Britain’s struggles in the wake of the Winter of Discontent and an ongoing recession. As a result, her political philosophy and economic policies emphasized deregulation (particularly the financial sector), flexible labour markets, the

privatization of state-owned companies, and reducing the power and influence of trade unions. However, Thatcher’s popularity during her first tenure waned amid recession and high unemployment rate until the 1982 Falkland’s War brought a resurgence of sup-

port, resulting in her re-election in 1983. Furthermore, Thatcher was re-elected for a third tenure in 1987. During this period, her support for a community charge (Popularly referred to as ‘’poll tax’’) was widely unpopular and her views on the European community were not shared by others in her Cabinet. Consequently, she resigned as Prime Minister and Party Leader in November 1990, after Michael Heseltine launched a challenge to her leadership. After the ‘’Iron Lady’s’’ retirement in 1992, she was given a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher, of Kesteven in the Country of Lincolnshire, which entitled her to sit in the House of Lords. Later, she withdrew from public speaking due to ill-health in 2002 as a result of stroke, and in 2013 she suffered and died of another stroke in London at the age of 87. During her second government (1983-1987) Thatcher was committed to reducing the power of the Trade unions but, unlike the Heath government, adopted a strategy of incremental change rather than a single Act. Several unions launched strikes in response, but these actions

By CHARLES IKEDIKWA eventually collapsed. It is therefore a truism to say that Thatcher’s reforms reduced the power and influence of the unions. The changes, I believe, were focused upon

and British companies continued to operate in South Africa, although other European countries continued trading to a lesser degree. In the words of Geoffrey Howe,

preventing the recurrence of the large-scale industrial actions of the 1970s, but were also intended to ensure that the consequences for the participants would be severe if any future action was taken. The reforms were also aimed, Thatcher claimed, to democratize the unions, and return power to the members. Importantly, the measures were to make secondary industrial action illegal to force union leadership to first win a ballot of the union membership before calling for a strike, and to abolish the closed shop. It is on record that the Thatcher’s administration resisted international pressure to impose economic sanctions on the former colony, where the United Kingdom was the biggest foreign investor and principal trading partner. In other words, the status quo remained the same,

one of her closest friends, Thatcher regarded the African National Congress (ANC) as a typical terrorist organization in 1987. By the end of March 1984, four South Africans were arrested in Coventry, remanded in custody, and charged with contravening the UN arms embargo, which prohibited exports to South Africa of military equipment. Thatcher took a personal interest in the Coventry four, and 10, Downing Street requested daily summaries of the case from the prosecuting authority, HM, Customs and Excise. Within a month, the Coventry four had been freed from jail and allowed to travel to South Africa, on condition that they return to England for their trial later that year. However, in August 1984, South African Foreign Minister Pik Botha resolved not to allow the Coventry four to return to

stand trial, forfeiting 200,000 pounds bail money put up by the South African embassy in London. In April 1984, Thatcher sent Senior British diplomat, Sir John Leahy, to negotiate the release of 16 Britons who had been taken hostage by the Angolan rebel leader, Jonas Savimba. At that time, Savimbi’s UNITA guerrilla movement was financed and supported militarily by the apartheid regime of South Africa. On the 26th of April 1984, Leahy succeeded in securing the release of the British hostages at the UNITA base on Jamba, Angola. By June 1984, Thatcher received a visit from P.W. Botha, the first South African Premier to come to Britain since his nation had left the commonwealth in 1961. The leader of the opposition condemned the visit and termed it ‘diplomatic coup’ for the South African government, and labour MEP Barbara Castle rallied European Socialists in an unsuccessful attempt to stop it. Following discussions that ensued at Chequers , Thatcher without mincing words stated that the policy of racial separation was unacceptable. She urged him to free jailed black leader, Nelson Mandela; to halt the harassment of black dissidents; to stop the bombing of ANC guerrilla bases in frontline states; and to comply with UN Security Council resolutions and withdraw from Namibia. In July 1985, Thatcher, citing the support of Helen Suzman, a South African anti-apartheid MP, reaffirmed her belief that economic sanctions against Pretoria would be immoral because they would make thousands of black workers unemployed; instead she characterized industry as the instrument that was breaking down apartheid. She also believed sanctions would disproportionately injure Britain and Neighbouring African Countries, and intelligently argued that political and military interventions were more effective. The iron Lady’s opposition to economic sanctions was challenged by visiting antiapartheid activist, including South African Bishop, Desmond Tutu, whom he met in London, and Oliver Tambo, exiled leader of the outlawed

“Death, everyone knows is that external price everyone must pay, a sort of universal debt hanging on humanity, like a sword of Damocles’. When it strikes, it leaves a permanent scar on the psyche.”

ANC guerilla movement, whose links to the soviet bloc she viewed with suspicion, and whom she declined to see because he espoused violence and refused to condemn guerrilla attacks and mob killings of black policemen, local officials and their families. During a commonwealth summit in Nassau in October 1985, Thatcher agreed to impose limited sanctions and to set up a contact group to promote a dialogue with Pretoria, after she was warned by third World Leaders, including Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi and Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohammed, that her opposition threatened to break up the 49-nation organization. In return, calls for a total embargo were abandoned, and the existing restrictions adopted by member states against South Africa were lifted. ANC President Tambo expressed disappointment at this major compromise. Margaret Thatcher’s father was Alfred Roberts, originally from Northampton shire, and her mother was Beatrice Ethel (nee Stephenson) from Lincolnshire. Iron Lady spent her child hood in Grantham where her father owned two grocery shops. She and her Elder sister Muriel (19212004) were brought up in the flat above the larger of the two, located on North parade near the railway line. Her Father was active in local politics and the Methodist church, serving as an elder man and a local preacher, and brought up his daughter as a strict Wesleyan Methodist attending the finkin street Methodist church. He came from a Liberal family but stood as was then customary in local government, as an independent. He was Mayor of Grantham in 194546 and lost his position as elder man in 1952 after the labour party won its first majority on Grantham Council in 1950. Finally, death, everyone knows is that external price everyone must pay, a sort of universal debt hanging on humanity, like a sword of Damocles’. When it strikes, it leaves a permanent scar on the psyche. Adieu, the first and only known ‘’Iron Lady’’ of great repute internationally. Charles Ikedikwa Soeze, fhnr ,fcida, fcai ,fscam, cpae,chnr, son ,emba, ksq Is a mass communication scholar from first degree to doctoral level and a public affairs analyst based in the oil city of Warri. ( 0 8 0 3 6 7 2 4 1 9 3 ) charlessoeze@yahoo.ca


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e

P rspective

Sins The Nigerian Child

NIGERIA on Monday, May 27th 2013 celebrated yet another Children and Youth Day during which the Nigerian Children and Youths were admonished by government officials, made up essentially of the same old people that have presided over such events in the last five decades, to be of good behavior and imbibe the essential leadership qualities of honesty, loyalty to fatherland, patriotism, fear of God and respect to constituted authority including their parents and guardians. It must be noted however that majority of the political leaders today are deficient in these virtues of good leadership which they inevitably mouth out at the various children and youth parade ground. In some instances, Children in their colorful school uniforms were conscripted by their school authorities and made to stage carefully choreographed match passes during which the political administrators of the various levels of government took the salute while some private and public television stations also hosted series of Children programs aimed at entertaining the large number of children that were in every convivial mood in the spirit of the Children’s Day celebration. These same broadcasting stations have in all honesty failed to play their social corporate role of naming and shaming serial abusers of the rights of the Nigerian children. At the level of state governments, it is expected that the 36 state governors were in frenzy mood to

outshine each other in rendering some flowery speeches to pour unrestrained encomiums on themselves and their wives [known as First Ladies] for implementing what they cleverly but deceitfully call Children friendly projects and programs. Some of these so-called First Ladies in the 36 states of the Federation are already used to running very expensive pet programs some of which claim to be championing the human rights of the Children of their beloved states but most people in the states know that these first ladies are only serving their selfish interest by using the influence of their husbands’ offices to extort money hugely from contractors and other dubious business entrepreneurs who do regular business with these state governments. I will however state that Nigeria as a nation and the political leadership over the last fifty years since Nigeria became an independent political entity from Britain, have not being fair to the Nigerian children because there are so many that exist in the body politic that severely affect the enjoyment by the Children of their fundamental human rights and these will not be addressed or redressed by simply organizing colorful match passes and parades as was witnessed on May 27th 2013 of every year. The Nigerian Children who are caught up in areas whereby terrorism and civil unrests have flared up over the years are usually the worst affected victims of these violence even as

By LAMAL CASSIUS

most of these children in these troubled spots and flashpoints of terrorists attacks especially in the Northern part of Nigeria are denied of their fundamental right to good and quality education in addition to the fact that their parents or guardians are put out of job because of the violence or are even killed thereby exposing these children to the vagaries of growing up in very harsh and hazardous social environment. In other parts of the country where there is relative peace and quiet, most of the children are faced with excruciating poverty because most parents of these children are either out of work or are too poor to enroll these children in good educational institutions. They are often left with no

alternative but either hawking bread, pure water or other variety of wares for their parents or guardians to make a living or they are compelled by circumstances of hunger to loiter around at bus stops to beg for alms. Two things normally happen to these categories of children of the poor. These two things are either the children are sexually violated by adult predator or they are recruited into the world of crime and criminality and used by adults to perpetuate evil and other manifestations of crime in the society. A major inequity in all of these atrocities committed against the innocent Nigerian children born into poor and disadvantaged homes is that the state governments and the federal government have no effective remedy in the event that they suffer such monumental crimes against humanity such as violent rape and other violations such as initiating and recruiting them into the World of crime and by so doing destroy their life chance forever. In The Guardian of Sunday May 26th 2013 the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development was quoted as saying that the Nigerian Children have been denied the full enjoyment of their rights in their states because the state Houses of Assembly have failed to pass the

Nigerian Child Rights Act even as she stated that the Child Rights Act was introduced because Nigeria’s national Government felt the need to give a legal backing to the commitment made by Nigeria under the United Nations convention on the Rights and welfare of the Nigerian Child. Why have these state governments failed to domesticate the Child Rights Act to fulfill Nigeria’s obligation to the International humanitarian laws or are these component of the Nigerian federation not part of the whole federation? Again, since the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development is so weak to wage advocacy programs in the 36 states of the Federation to successfully convince and persuade them to pass the Nigerian Child Rights Law in their respective states to benefit their children, why do we still waste so much tax payers money running that office of the Federal Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development? What is the relevance of this ministry when Nigeria does not have functional social welfare departments across the Federation thereby allowing all criminal syndicates and charlatans to invade the sacred responsibility of running motherless homes and other child welfare schemes as business enterprises and most of these private children home owners are now in the illegal business of turning these homes into babies factories whereby couples with issues of childlessness can pay huge price for their choice babies? Why do we sell and buy little babies in this modern age even with the abolition of slave trade? Government at the respective levels have spectacularly disappointed the Nigerian Children and unfortunately, these government officials dished out some lies during the public events to mark the Children and Youth Day celebration on May 27th 2013. The state Governors that have failed to persuade their state Houses of Assembly to pass the state version of the Nigerian Child Rights Act should ask themselves the soul searching question of why

they are deceiving their people by staging Children and youth Day parade when deep inside their hearts they hate these Children? To show how hypocritical these state governors are, one only need to know that their children are all schooling in Europe or America whereby these nations have long promulgated and are enforcing strict child rights laws but they have failed to give the children of the poor the opportunity of enjoying their human rights just like what their children are enjoying abroad. The children of the poor are all out of school because the state governors have diverted the Universal Basic Education fund which ought to be used to provide free, compulsory and quality primary and junior secondary educational opportunities for the children of the poor. The rate of boys drop out of school is a major national catastrophe which must be addressed and redressed fundamentally before we stop producing a generation of youth that are half baked educationally and therefore cannot drive the process of information technology and industrialization that will see Nigeria through in an increasingly competitive World. But, how can Nigeria benefit from the strength of her large army of Children when the majority of these children are born into poor homes whereby they are brought up in such a way that they are denied the educational opportunities that children of the rich get on a platter of gold? No nation will make it in our contemporary times if it fails willfully to educate its people and empower the children with the requisite skills to competently compete with their peers around the globe. We must make hay while the sun shine or we will forever regret this inequities that we have criminally failed to dismantled, so our children can have the best things that money derived from our rich natural resources can afford. Let us stop stealing our national treasury, but invest wisely in the educational and skill empowerment of our children.


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C unselling

Unlike our mothers, we have been encouraged to express our feelings, all of them even anger. The older generation of women, those aged 55 and older were raised to believe that nice ladies don’t get angry. But, young women got a different message, that you don’t have to be a ‘nice lady’ all the time says Sandra Thomas. Do you know that suppressing anger is a sure way to make you old before your time? Failing to deal with anger has been linked with numerous physical and mental ills as well as premature death according to Mara Julius. Research shows that women who suppressed anger during arguments with their spouses were more likely to die prematurely from cardiovascular disease, cancer and other causes than those who expressed their anger during arguments. Equal Opportunity Destroyer Now that we’re expressing our anger as freely as men, we are suffering like them. Men have long had a reputation for venting anger easily enough, may be too easily. Since their anger is often misdirected. “A man who is angry for one reason or another will come home and kick the dog.” Says Sidney Simon a Counselor and Professor. Research also, shows that women tend to express anger feelings more frequently to members of their families, especially, their husbands, even if their families are not the source of their anger. But some constraints must be practiced. Yelling and cursing solve nothing and can cause a lot of alienating, especially, when this involve children. Little kids don’t understand why mommy is really mad at dad or the people at work, but is yelling at them. When this occurs and it occurs frequently, it can cause a whole new set of

problems including guilt. Anger Is For Aging When you get angry, there are various physiological changes in the body, because anger triggers the fight or plight

With Researchers believe that reducing the amount of fat in the diet and the blood stream plays a role. The less fat there is, the better the overall especially, if you have type ‘A’ personality and get

surely nobody is advising that we hide the rage, frustration and other feelings that can eat us up inside, because, that does even more harm than expressing them. The answer is get

O.C. Madu GSM: 08056379608

Anger Is For Aging responses says Christopher Peterson a Professor of Psychology, Michigan. The adrenaline gets huped up, the heart beat faster, the

angry easily everything bad that anger does to men, it also does to women says Bedford W i l l i a m s . Anger also, affects our

angry when you are provoked says Dr. Julius, but don’t stay that way. Cool off and identify the source of your anger. Remove the source by

angry. If you get angry and deal with it quickly and effectively, the damage is minimal, if anything. So here is how to blow

respiration becomes more rapid and shallow and digestion stops. When they occur often, these changes take a toll on your health. Getting angry frequently, has clearly been established as a contributing factor to higher rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and other – life threatening illnesses.

mental capabilities. “All emotions have some influence on the way we think, but strong emotions can actually slow your ability to rationalize, solve problems and make decisions says Dr. Julius. When you are feeling anger, rage or hostility, it overwhelms you. In some people, it slows down the thinking process, in others, it stops the thinking process completely. Dr. Peterson also, adds that anger also, causes us to lose our sense of humour and to alienate people. It takes its toll on our energy, creativity and all those other things that might keep us feeling young.

identifying the underlying problem. If anger is handled correctly says Dr. Julius, all those related health pressure, elevated blood pressure, obesity, depression and even future heart problems or cancer can be avoided. You become ill during chronic prolongation of anger says Dr. Julius. In other words, it is not so much getting angry that hurts. The damage is done when you stay

your top without blowing it: Get busy to chili out. While men are quicker to fly off the handle, women tend to stew for as much as an hour, before their anger is spent says. Dr. Thomas. Its during this time that much of the physical damage is done. One thing that’s really effective is to do something physical during this time she advises. Take a walk. Go for a swim. Vacuum or clean

Eating To Tame Your Temper The wrong diet can make you feel grumpy, as well as look lumpy according to research, people that consume high fat diet are more easily angered than those who eat healthier diet. People that eat low fat diet always, show less anger and less likely to get depressed.

Extinguishing The Ire So what can we do? After all, we will get angry, everybody does and

out your closet, anything physical that you can do will help. Since anger triggers the fight-or-flight response, your body will want to fight or move (fly) Dr. Thomas explains. Exercise burns off this adrenaline more positively than does idle stemming, allowing you to think more clearly about how to deal with your anger. Take a ten-minute break. The work place is one of our most frequent sources of anger, but the office isn’t always the best place to unwind is by jogging some miles or kilometers in situations where we can exercise. Fear and anger involve the adrenals. They are the glands of combat. They are evolvement from the “flight or fight” age of man and should not be over stimulated. Anger is a natural stage for someone experiencing a trial to go through, but choosing to remain angry can desensitize a person to spiritual truth. It can also, lead to bitterness and resentment, hardening the heart and weakening one’s relationship with God, and others. This is why, its important, both during and after our teens’ trials, to listen and watch for their reactions to make sure the after shocks of emotion won’t chip away at their self – worth. Are they disappointed? Are they staying angry? Do they get discouraged or depressed easily? When we are bitter, we are angry and feel low self-worth. When we are better, we feel grateful and enjoy an elevated sense of value. So transform bitter into better.

“When you are feeling anger, rage or hostility, it overwhelms you. In some people, it slows down the thinking process, in others, it stops the thinking process completely. Dr. Peterson also, adds that anger also, causes us to lose our sense of humour and to alienate people. It takes its toll on our energy, creativity and all those other things that might keep us feeling young.”


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23 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

MOST of us buy shoes more for the beauty of the shoes than for its comfort and suitability. When you buy footwear in a hurry, you will regret it every minute of everyday spent walking in those uncomfortable shoes that

store to walk on. Many stores encourage you to test the shoe only on carpet which gives a false feeling and comfort and does not tell you how the foot and shoe work together on hard surfaces.

ask to see the manager. If your feet have unusually extreme variances such as short toes, high instep, very wide or very long, there are many manufacturers who will accommodate any style to your custom

shoes and that may be why fungus infections are so common. At least a woman should clean and maintain the exterior of her shoes and always keep them in good repair. Although they may seem comfortable, but old

Beauty Shop With Gloria Omoruyi

How To Buy Your Shoes

looked so great in the window and which you did not try on properly. Your shoe size is measured by the length, indicated numerically, and the width alphabetically there are some guidelines: Never tell a shoe sales person your size. Always have your feet measured each time you buy shoes. Not only do your measurements fluctuate according to climate and time of day, but different brands and styles of shoe may require varying sizes. • Make sure your feet are measured while sitting and while standing – this can make as much as half-an-inch difference. • Ask what the shoe is made of, both sole and upper. Feel the upper for softness and pliability. • Gently bend the sole (not the instep) of the shoe to test flexibility of the shank. This does not apply to certain types of sports or fancy shoes that have no shank. • Fit the shoe on the foot and test for a snug grip at the heel and instep. The toes must be able to extend fully at the front. Too big is as bad as too small. Find a non carpeted area of the

broken pair of shoes are in fact warping your feet and probably altering your posture for the worse. All shoes need frequent dozes of polish use a neutral (colourless) liquid, cream or paste and buff lightly. This will protect them from the weather and daily wear and tear. Suede shoes require brisk brushing with a stiff wire brush. Patent leather shoes can be shined with a soft damp cloth and they last longer if they are given occasional buffing with special patent cleaner. Do not try to clean fabric shoes yourself or any shoe that has exotic material. Take them to a good shoe-repair store.

• You may have one foot slightly larger than the other. Try on both shoes together. You may need a split pair, each shoe a different size. • Always shop alone for shoes. Your family and friends will try to persuade you to buy according to styles they themselves will prefer without consideration for the comfort or health of your feet. Take your time. • Do not let yourself be intimidated by a rude or opinioned sales person. If you are being given a hard sell that you dislike

fit and even orthopedic shoes can be made in fashionable styles. It is worth the extra cost if it saves you from crippling foot problems that always catch up, often later in life when your mobility is a precious asset. Making The Most of Your Shoes A good shoe that fits well and shelters and support the foot must be treated with the same care you would give to your best clothes. Unfortunately, we never clean the inside of our

“Never tell a shoe sales person your size. Always have your feet measured each time you buy shoes. Not only do your measurements fluctuate according to climate and time of day, but different brands and styles of shoe may require varying sizes.”


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N tion

Dialogue As An Important Strategy In Managing Conflicts In Nigeria Preamble FEW years ago (October 2010) New Era Educational and Support Foundation of Jos, in collaboration with Jewish- Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group of San Mateo, California, USA, organized a workshop in Jos, Plateau State with the theme “Building Bridges Through Interfaith Dialogue and Youth Participation”. The workshop which allowed about 200 Muslim and Christian youths to meet in a safe place for several days of face-to-face, in-depth dialogue experiences, provided tools for successful communication across old chasms of fear and separation. The participants at that workshop returned home with new tools of Dialogue and its new quality of listening-to- learn. They re-discovered their equality, shared humanity and appreciated the fact that “an enemy is one whose story we have not heard.” There is no doubt that the initiative of the organizers of that youth conference was to promote dialogue. In conflict management, dialogue is a critical factor which must necessarily start with a change in how people see and think about the other person, as well as the formation of a new human community—to bridge the gap of isolation, promote communication and understanding, as well as improve relationship. The questions remain: What is the role of dialogue in conflict management? Is dialogue a necessary tool in resolving the current BokoHaram conflict in Nigeria? To attempt an answer to the above questions is the preoccupation of this piece. Understanding Conflict And Conflict Management There is no society that is free from conflict. Conflict is always present when two or more parties perceive that their interests are incompatible and express hostile attitudes or try to pursue their interests through actions that damage the other parties. These parties may be individuals, small or large groups, and countries. Interests can diverge in

many ways: Over resources—territory, money, energy sources, food—and how they should be distributed; over power, how control and participation in political decision-making are allocated; over identity, concerning the cultural, social and political communities to which people feel tied; over status, whether people believe they are treated with respect and dignity and whether their traditions and social position are respected and over values, particularly those embodied in systems of government, religion, or i d e o l o g y . In a democratic society conflict is the basis for social change. And in a diversified, multi-cultural and multiethnic society like Nigeria with different interests, social interaction will not be entirely without conflict. And as conflicts relate to unequal or inadequate distribution or availability of resources, the potential that brings about conflict in the society must always be there. Thus conflict is unavoidable in every community or society. The degree of conflict varies from country to country: dealing with conflict ranges from stopping active wars to protecting and strengthening peace so that violence is not triggered. In areas currently in violent conflict, the main challenge is to contain the conflict, alleviate suffering, and if possible, reduce the violence—for instance, in the Sudan and Burundi. Where conflicts have abated but tensions remain high, principal tasks are reconstruction, social reconciliation and healing so that social and economic progress can be made and future conflicts avoided—in Rwanda, for example. Where conflicts have

recently ended and basic political order has been restored (Eritrea, Ethiopia) and in areas that have been at peace for some years (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania), the main tasks are to further political and social reconciliation while protecting and advancing the social and economic

emphasis is more on eliminating completely what may be regarded as the Sources of Conflict. This approach is negative. In Conflict Prevention emphasis is on detecting and identifying the signs of Conflict. This approach on its own is not constructive. But in Conflict Management,

a good approach in dealing with conflict, it is because it uses Dialogue as its principal tool. By definition conflict management is all efforts not only aimed at ending violence or keeping violence from occurring, but also pursuing positive goals of preserving, strengthening and building on good things where they exist or are coming into being. It is a constructive means of

progress that have been made. This means resolving tensions over ethnic relations, human rights, and political representation to ensure that further violence does not destroy or thwart larger achievements. Some call the efforts at dealing with conflict as conflict resolution, others refer to it as conflict prevention. I prefer the term conflict management. In Conflict resolution,

emphasis is more on the constructive ways of dealing with conflict in order to avoid systemic violence from occurring. Among practitioners, conflict management is a preferred term because you cannot resolve conflict, you cannot prevent conflict, but you can manage conflict and make it at least, less or minimal. Conflict Management As Tool Of Dialogue If Conflict management is

intervening to make conflict less or minimal. In practical terms, it involves creating room for those in conflict to begin to talk to each other, as well as, providing an enabling environment where the conflicting parties can be free to express their concerns, interests and fears. Where people are not able to talk to each other, they will almost always, continue to see themselves as enemies. Conflict

By REVD FR DR ANYANWU, CHRIS N.

management builds on certain basic concepts. Firstly, conflict and peace are not random, unexplainable phenomena. Both are created, and both can be influenced. Secondly, conflict and peace are not static. They are dynamic, connected processes that evolve over time. Thirdly, not all conflicts are violent; some conflicts are settled peacefully. Fourthly, managing violent conflicts require understanding the dynamics of conflict—peaceful and

violent—and understanding the ingredients of peace. Furthermore, effective conflict management requires an understanding of the particular conflict’s causes and applying different policies, programmes and techniques according to the particular type and stage of conflict. More so, through creativity, it is possible to develop a framework to

Continue on pg 25

“By definition conflict management is all efforts not only aimed at ending violence or keeping violence from occurring, but also pursuing positive goals of preserving, strengthening and building on good things where they exist or are coming into being. It is a constructive means of intervening to make conflict less or minimal. In practical terms, it involves creating room for those in conflict to begin to talk to each other, as well as, providing an enabling environment where the conflicting parties can be free to express their concerns, interests and fears.”


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a Dialogue As An Important... N tion Continued from pg 24 analyze conflicts and choose policy options to minimize it. That is why a conflict manager must be one who is trained to understand the dynamics of human relationship. In reality, the problem is not conflict, but the way one chooses to deal with the conflict. Conflict management is not easy because of the painstaking nature dialogue can at times take. But it is still the best alternative in promoting interpersonal cooperation and understanding, reinforcing social cohesion and building confidence and trust. Dialogue as a tool for conflict management, is also an essential ingredient of democracy. It is at its best when people, without compulsion, are free to negotiate. In promoting dialogue, conflict managers ensure that parties in conflict can agree to disagree, as well as disagree to agree. Nigeria and Experience Of Conflict Nigeria, like most countries in sub-Saharan Africa is still engulfed in incessant ethnic and religious conflicts. Several conflicts that have occurred since the country gained independence in 1960 include: Nigerian civil war (1967-1970); Kafanchan riot (1987); Ife — Modakeke crisis (1992); Zangon — Kataf crisis (1999). We cannot forget the agitations and unresolved crisis in the Niger Delta which culminated in the amnesty programme of late President Musa Yar’adua. Perhaps, the worst conflict that Nigeria has ever suffered since its independence is the spate of terrorism and violent attacks being perpetrated

almost on daily basis by a nefarious Islamic sect called B o k o - H a r a m . Since October 2009, when 190 alleged members of the Islamic sect were charged with killing 22 Police officers, setting 25 churches ablaze, burning down the prison in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri and releasing all the inmates. As well as setting public buildings on fire, a government panel that investigated the clashes between the sect and the security forces in Maiduguri in July 2009 found that at least 800 lives were lost and

attacks have extended westward to the important commercial city of Kano, which was subjected to a series of coordinated bombings in January 2012 with lost of at least I 80 lives, and southwards towards the Central capital of Abuja, where the United Nations mission building was bombed. Although official estimate suggest that about 2,000 people have been killed across Northern Nigeria since 2010, the actual tally may be much higher. Unofficial sources nave claimed that records at

The obstinacy of the Boko Haram sect in bringing about widespread fear through the wave of terrorism and violence has no doubt, heightened tension in the country. Fear and confusion has spread to other states of the federation, apart from the massive exodus of residents of the Northern states where these attacks appear to be frequent. Believe it or not, the fear of Boko Haram seems to have become the beginning of wisdom at the moment in Nigeria. Is dialogue the best alternative for resolving the Boko Haram conflict in N i g e r i a ?

200 houses, including police stations and churches, were destroyed in the crisis across the state capital. In 2010, Boko Haram stepped up their wave of violence, unleashing a systematic campaign of bombings and drive by shootings across much of northern Nigeria. The

the Maiduguri morgue indicate that at least 3,300 corpses arising from the violence have been recorded in that city alone. So far in 2012, Boko Haram has carried out 118 terror attacks in six northern states and Abuja, resulting in 308 deaths and 33 arrests, police said.

The thousands of lives and properties lost as a result of the activities of the Boko Haram insurgencies in Nigeria seem to be unquantifiable. The greater damage is a general apathy and wide spread, fear, prejudice, hatred and suspicion that appear to be spreading among groups in

Nigeria. There are ground rules for Dialogue before the process is started. First is the initiator of the Dialogue, who must be neutral and trusted by both parties. Second, are the parties involved in Dialogue, who must be known and identified. Dialogue requires the conflicting parties to see themselves as equals before coming to the round table. Besides, those who are engaged in dialogue must have an agenda. Boko Haram by its activity appears to be a sponsored terrorist group that has no religious tenet in their a g e n d a . It is difficult to dialogue with

a faceless group without a leader or one who can speak on behalf of its members. The inconsistency and contradiction of the group is multi-faceted. Today, they say they are fighting against. Western Education and Civilization. The next day, they are attacking police station to settle scores.

“Boko Haram by its activity appears to be a sponsored terrorist group that has no religious tenet in their agenda. It is difficult to dialogue with a faceless group without a leader or one who can speak on behalf of its members. The inconsistency and contradiction of the group is multi-faceted. Today, they say they are fighting against. Western Education and Civilization. The next day, they are attacking police station to settle scores. Tomorrow their fight is against the Press. At other times, they go to the open market to throw bomb. In the last couple of months they have narrowed their attacks on Christian churches. In the circumstances of inconsistency of this nature, it is difficult if not impossible to think of dialogue.”

Tomorrow their fight is against the Press. At other times, they go to the open market to throw bomb. In the last couple of months they have narrowed their attacks on Christian churches. In the circumstances of inconsistency of this nature, it is difficult if not impossible to think of dialogue. If the real identities of the BokoHaram sponsors are unmasked, if they are ready to stop wasting human lives, if they can come up with real agenda, then and only then can dialogue be possible. C o n c l u s i o n No doubt violent conflicts like the Boko Haram terrorists activities can breed insecurity and instability which makes nation and community building very difficult, as well as, socio-economic, political and technological development of a nation almost impossible. Every conflict in many ways relate to unequal or inadequate distribution or availability of resources. The sources of conflict must always be there in every society. The onerous task lies on responsible government to provide effective leadership that will address the needs and concerns of every group. Conflict management should also be understood as the important part of good governance. It is the formal responsibility in different ways, of the executive, parliament, the Judiciary, the police, and other state departments and provincial and local a u t h o r i t i e s . In most cases, when States fail to live up to these responsibilities conflict is being invited. In the absence of viable institutional mechanisms for protecting rights and interests, managing and resolving conflicts, the aggrieved or groups that feel marginalized will always be tempted to resort to violence. Yet groups who feel they are marginalized by the society in which they are an essential part, need to come together to articulate their concerns in a civilized way. They need to take responsibility and not become faceless like the Boko Haram. In the long run, there is no alternative to dialogue. This is because “an enemy is one whose story we have not heard.”


THE WEEKEND

26 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

e

H alth

Eradicating small Pox: Another Scourge in Sights IN his home office, Dr. Donald R. Hopkins has statues of the Hindu smallpox goddess and the Yoruba smallpox god. And, floating coiled up in a glass jar, something that looks like a yardlong strand of capellini but is actually one of the last Guinea worms on earth. Profiles in Science Donald R. Hopkins, vice president for health programs at the Carter Center, helped to eradicate smallpox and is trying to do the same to Guinea worm disease. Smallpox is gone, and Dr. Hopkins played an important role in its death. Guinea worm disease — formally known as dracunculiasis, or “affliction with little dragons” — is down to fewer than 600 cases worldwide, from 3.5 million in 1986, when Dr. Hopkins began leading the drive to eradicate it. He took up the cause when he was at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and now runs it as the vice president for health programs at the Carter Center, the group founded by former President Jimmy Carter to advance human rights and fight disease. It has not been swift; several target dates for eradication have come and gone. Nonetheless, “I’m increasingly confident that it’s less and less likely that the disease will outlive me,” said Dr. Hopkins, who is 71. Nearly all the remaining cases are in South Sudan, which is newly independent and largely at peace. A few are in northern Mali, which is too dangerous for eradicators to work in right now but is becoming safer since French troops ousted Islamist rebels. Ethiopia and Chad, the other two countries with cases, are not at war. Choosing a life’s work that requires visiting remote villages around the world seems counterintuitive for someone who, by his own admission, is terrified of snakes, rats, bats, airplanes, heights and food poisoning. Ernesto Ruiz-Tiben, Dr. Hopkins’s deputy and perhaps the only person who would still consider playing a practical joke on him, recalled sidling up behind his boss in a field of knee-high grass in Pakistan as he looked warily around for snakes. “I made a ‘ssssssss’ sound,” Dr. Ruiz-Tiben said.

“Don almost turned white.” Told that story, Dr. William H. Foege — a former C.D.C. director and himself a legend of the war on smallpox — laughed aloud and said he remembered someone bringing a harmless garter snake to the C.D.C. offices to tease Dr. Hopkins with, and trying to say it was a gift from Dr. Foege. That Dr. Hopkins keeps going back to villages teeming with snakes “proves

how important a professional challenge is to Don,” Dr. Foege said. “He’s one of the most tenacious people you’ll ever find.” Finding His Calling Dr. Hopkins attributes that tenacity to his Bahamian parents and to Coconut Grove, the neighborhood in Miami where he grew up; it was founded by islanders who sailed over in the 1880s looking for jobs in the new resorts springing up. He was one of 10 children of Joseph Hopkins, a carpenter, and Iva Louise Major Hopkins, a seamstress who made her children say their multiplication tables beside her sewing machine and recited the inspirational poem “Don’t Quit” to them. “I had tons of cousins, aunts and uncles within a three-block radius,” Dr. Hopkins said. “It was definitely ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ We didn’t rebel or get in trouble. It just wasn’t allowed. We were very serious about our studies, because of the high expectations.”

By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.

He knew he wanted to be a doctor; he won a local science fair prize for a lifesize clay model of the digestive system. Just 15 when he won a scholarship to Morehouse, the prestigious black men’s college in Atlanta, he had to quit his paper route to go. While at Morehouse, he won a travel scholarship and spent a year in Vienna, where he lived with a local family and came to love

in his class. A tropical disease professor rescued him from a boring summer job dissecting sheep hearts and nudged him into worm disease research. After graduation, he joined the Public Health Service, because he wanted to go to Africa, and to avoid being drafted for the Vietnam War. In 1967, Dr. Foege asked him to lead the smallpox effort in Sierra Leone, which then had the world’s highest

torturing humans since before history began. A calcified one has been found in an Egyptian mummy. People become infected when they drink from ponds containing tiny freshwater crustaceans, known as copepods, that themselves have swallowed microscopic worm larvae. The larvae escape being digested by either the crustacean or the human, and grow inside the body to about a yard long. They then migrate to the skin — usually in a foot, but

classical music while listening to operas for 12 cents in standing room. He saw only one other black person the whole year, he said. Adults were kind, he recalled, “but one little girl skipping along in the park took one look at me and screamed her head off.” Back in Atlanta, race relations were harsher. One incident “burned in my memory,” he said, was being with classmates on a bus in a white neighbourhood, and the driver flagging down a police officer to order them to the back. (The officer refused, he said, saying, “You know the law — I can’t.”) He still remembers the moment he picked tropical medicine. On a winter break trip to Egypt, he saw flies swarming on children’s faces, and later learned they transmitted trachoma, an eyelid infection that cause blindness. In medical school at the University of Chicago, he was the only black student

case rate, and test a new strategy: Instead of trying to vaccinate the whole country, teams would race to new outbreaks, vaccinating around each in widening circles until it died out. The strategy worked so well, Dr. Hopkins said, that Sierra Leone was smallpoxfree in less than two years. It took a decade more to eradicate the disease globally, but that was “a big morale boost.” After a stint fighting smallpox in India, he returned home, taught tropical medicine at Harvard and rose through the C.D.C. ranks, ultimately retiring as acting director in 1987. The Eradication Process At the time, leading public health experts had a lofty dream: getting clean water to everyone on earth. Dr. Hopkins suggested a more modest goal: Guinea worm, a plague of the rural poor, could be eliminated by simply filtering existing water. The worms have been

sometimes a hand, a breast or even an eye socket. Then they exude a burning acid to create a blister, which they burst through. As soon as the victim dips the inflamed area in cooling water, the worm (described by Dr. Hopkins as “a giant uterus”) squirts out millions of larvae, starting the cycle anew. Eradication relies not on a vaccine, but on simple filtering technologies and huge networks of local health workers. Those workers do many tasks. They find cases, treat ponds with a copepod-killing pesticide and teach families how to filter their drinking water. Workers also help victims inch the worms out, keep the wounds sterile and assure they do not reinfect local water. Dr. Hopkins excels at building those networks, finding local leaders to run them, and keeping health ministers focused even as the years pass. Mr. Carter backs him up, using his prestige as a

former president, telephoning African presidents to urge them to keep the pressure on or even flying to Africa to tour villages where the worm persists. In 1995 he negotiated a four-month truce in the Sudanese civil war that became known as the Guinea worm cease-fire. Now, with cases dropping steadily, Dr. Hopkins is optimistic. When programs are well run, he said, progress can be rapid; Ghana went from 501 cases to none in 18 months. In a telephone interview, Mr. Carter was full of praise for Dr. Hopkins, saying, “We could not have gotten here without him,” and adding, “I have a promise from Don that he won’t retire until the last worm is gone.” Dr. Hopkins had an answer: “If I even wanted to retire, exactly what would I say to President Carter? He’s 17 years older than me, and still going. He’s a tough man.” His list of awards is long, and offbeat. He won a MacArthur “genius” grant in 1995 and is now on the MacArthur board. He was knighted by Mali. He was presented with a tasselcovered horse by a Niger chief (he stayed on just long enough for a photo and then quietly regifted it to the local Guinea-worm team). In his office, he has two award plaques with pump handles on them — a reference to John Snow, the father of epidemiology, who traced a London cholera outbreak to one contaminated pump and halted it by removing the handle. And he has nearly 30 pictures or carvings of woodpeckers, birds he has liked since he saw them in his grandmother’s oak tree; when his Carter Center subordinates do particularly good work, he inks the reports they have written with a rubber woodpecker stamp. Asked if he ever became discouraged as the fight dragged on, Dr. Hopkins recounted a conversation he had about 25 years ago, shortly after arriving in India to fight smallpox: “I met a guy who said, ‘You guys can come here with your West African experience, but I’m Indian and I know my country and we’re never going to get rid of smallpox here.’ ” But we did,” he added. “So I’m sort of immunized against skepticism.”


THE WEEKEND

27 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

o Liberty To Sin?

T

day’s Diet

Memorise: For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. Galatians 5:13 Read Galatians When a king wanted 5:13-15 Bible in one to arrest Elijah he year: Exodus 18-20 Key point: Satan sent three batches of knows when to send soldiers and their a few or his whole captains in quick army to capture a succession, but when believer. Do you Elisha who had a know when to resist double portion of individually and Elijahs Spirit, was to when to seek the be arrested, a whole support of others in army platoon was sent. Are you resisting the devil? OPERATING in facing a band of the supernatural will soldiers or a whole naturally attract army because of your faithfulness in certain challenges. serving God? The You cannot serve and Lord will deliver please God and y o u . Satan at the same Some people are t i m e . still putting their Any time you trust in the arm of please God, you flesh as regards displease the devil. It security. Such are is impossible for you only awaiting to operate in the d i s a p p o i n t m e n t . supernatural without How much can you attracting the anger pay a security guard or fury of the for him to die for kingdom of you? Be connected darkness. After with the supernatural Elijah brought down of God today! When fire from Heaven and you begin to operate killed all the 450 in the supernatural, prophets of Baal, try and guard against their grand matron these three things: — Queen Jezebel indiscipline, pride resolved to kill him and immorality. within 24 hours. The Indiscipline is rife in more you operate in Pentecostal circles. the supernatural, the We think that greater the attack because we speak in from the enemy. tongues we can take

With PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE

liberty as license to live without control. If you study the life of Samson, you will realise that without discipline, you cannot go far in the things of the Kingdom. Some younger ministers serving under senior ministers have suddenly heard from God and have become general overseers so that nobody can oversee them or call them to order. When some leaders are transferred by their superiors, they will tell you they want to go and pray. Some workers and ministers will be transferred to a new parish and they will say because God has not spoken to them about the transfer, they will not go. They believe they are right, not knowing they are simply living in disobedience. Also, watch again pride. Never get to the point where no one can talk to you again. Lastly, watch against immorality.

“It is impossible for you to operate in the supernatural without attracting the anger or fury of the kingdom of darkness.”

CHANGE OF NAME EHIAGWINA - I formerly known and addressed as MISS L A W R E N T A EHIAGWINA now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. LAWRENTA LUKMAN. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME IDAHOSA – I formerly called MISS IDAHOSA FAITH IKUVBOGIE now wish to be called and addressed as MRS. OLIHA FAITH IKUVBOGIE. All former documents remain valid. All concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME OBOH – I formerly MISS LILIAN OSARIEMEN OBOH, now wish to be known, called and addressed as MRS. UDUAFEMEH O S A R I E M E N LILIAN. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

CHANGE OF NAME

AKPEH – I formerly known and addressed as MISS AKPEH AMENZE SUSAN now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. OKHUOKHON AMENZE SUSAN. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public should please take note.

JUBRIL – I formerly known and addressed as MISS JUBRIL FATIMA LAMI now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. LAWAL FATIMA LAMI. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities, UBTH and the general public should please take note.

THIS SPACE IS FOR SALE PUBLIC NOTICE SHINNING STARS CHURCH

The general public is hereby notified that the above named ministry has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under the Companies and Allied Matters Act No.1 of 1990. The Trustees Are 1. Pastor Asika Jones 2. Pastor Ohikhuai Henry 3. Pastor Sylvester Ivienagbor 4. Pastor Isaac Ovu 5. Pastor Impact Ogbeide Aims And Objectives To preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Any objection to the registration should be directed to the Registrar – General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, Maitama District, P.M.B 198 Garki, Abuja, within 28 days from the date of this publication. Signed: NATH OKUNBOR (ESQ).

Angela Weds Razaki

The solemnization of marriage between former Miss Uwadia Angela Aiweghianomon and Mr. Karimu Razaki (A Business man) took place on Friday 14th June 2013 at the Oredo Local Government Council Marriage Registry in Benin City. Amongst those present were Mr. Karimu Rashidi, Mr. Uwadia Philip, Mr. Clem Omoruyi, Mr. Aikpokpo Pius, family members, relations, friends & well wishers. Picture shows the couple at the registry. Congratulations. Photo: Sonnie. E


THE WEEKEND

28 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

i

R ght Of Reply Orbih Got It Wrong: Anenih Destroyed ”

PDP In Edo State MY attention has been drawn to the response of the loquacious Edo PDP Chairman’s response to a harmless comment by the South-South Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, who bared his mind at a lecture entitled “Political Governance in Edo State: 1999 till date” organised by Edo Political Forum where Ize-Iyamu reportedly told his audience that “ the crises within PDP and a godfather distracted the administration of former governor, Lucky Igbinedion.” Dan orbih in a reaction to this innocuous comment by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu went gaga to deceive the reading public by insinuating that “Ize-Iyamu was the principal actor in parties that contributed to the failing of the said administration.” This is a blatant lie because Mr. Dan Orbih was not a member of PDP during the administration of Chief Lucky Igbinedion. Dan Orbih and Mathew Urhoghide were both in the All Nigeria Peoples Party, (ANPP) building their castles in the air. They both were jostling to be governors of Edo State on the platform of an almost non-existent political party. How can people who were not in the PDP know what happened in the party and government more than people they describe as principal actors? Whatever stories Dan Orbih is telling today, are cock and bull tales he got from those who contracted him from then ANPP to destabilise Edo PDP. Pastor Ize-Iyamu was very mild in his comments at the forum. The fact remains that Chief Tony Anenih covertly destroyed Edo State PDP during the administration of Governor Lucky Igbinedion. Nigerians are well abreast of how political godfathers operate. They do not need Dan Orbih or anyone else to interpret it for them. So, when you are deceiving the people with language, they understand by reading in between the lines. Chief Vincent Ogbuluafor as National

By DAN OWEGIE Chairman of PDP worked decisions. He also will Schurrle:determine who occupies with Tony Anenih to destroy Edo PDP. When what position whether in they started their government or political

be recalled in 2008 during the state congress held in Benin City, the former Governor Prof. O. Osunbor’s faction including former Governor, Dr. S. O. Ogbemudia and Admiral Mike Okhai Akhigbe, held their Congress in Ogbemudia stadium, Benin City with the officials from the PDP National

Committee (NWC) recognized the Anenih faction and gave them the chairmanship and control of the party.” Sadly, it is this illegality of the PDP national secretariat under Vincent Ogbuluafor orchestrated by the manipulations of Anthony Anenih that led to crisis that engulfed the

headquarters and INEC in attendance. And another congress held by Chief Tony Anenih faction the same day at NTA, Benin City. No party official from the National Secretariat, Abuja and no INEC official attended. Surprisingly, Prince Vincent Ogbuluafor-controlled National Working

Edo PDP and led it to its death. Ironically, where is Vincent Ogbuluafor today? On the run? The Grace Group got other like-minded people from the state and formed the Action Congress which defeated the Anenih-led PDP in Edo State in the 2007 general election.

Chief Tony Anenih abracadabra party registration and chose to de-register all party loyalists close to Igbinedion and Ogbemudia simply because Governor Igbinedion refused “business as usual,” we were all de- registered and only those in the list of Chief Tony Anenih, made it to Ogbuluafor’s books at the PDP National secretariat in Abuja. That was how the duo nailed the casket of PDP in Edo. The Grace Group under the leadership of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu with a motto “no man is God” , which comprised all those Anenih excluded from his list, was established to halt Anenih’s manipulation of the PDP in the State. It was a truism that Anenih played God in Edo PDP and wanted to endlessly dictate most government

party even councilors at ward levels in all the senatorial districts of the state. So, you really do not need to establish an office and call it “office of the godfather” as sheepishly stated by Orbih for the public to know that political godfathers exist or not. When you do not do their bidding in government, they go all out to pull you down. That was the lot of Chief Lucky Igbinedion. Let me further lead Dan Orbih and his cohorts down memory lane. The genesis of the crisis in Edo PDP was properly captured by the Elder statesman, Chief (Dr.) E. K. Clark OFR, CON in an advertorial published on page 49 of the VANGUARD of Friday, May 27, 2011. In his open letter to President Goodluck Jonathan and National leader of the PDP, Clark stated inter alia: “It would

After the polls, he dumped Prof. Osunbor and surreptitiously pitched tent with the new government of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. But as it is customary, the Leopard cannot change its skin. Anenih came again with his overbearing character. He nominated three Commissioners into the Action Congress-led government. Why did Anenih instruct them to resign when it became apparent that his overbearing godfatherism instincts on Oshiomhole would not be tolerated? Let the truth be told. At that time, Oshiomhole explained to all what led to his difference with Anenih. While Oshiomhole wanted the massive transformation and development of the state in his annual budget, Anenih on the other hand, wanted “business as usual.” This was what placed him in a cocoon until Jonathan gave him a life line appointing him as Chairman of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) . To prove to Anenih that man pass man in Edo, all elections that have taken place in Edo since 2007, leading the ACN, Oshiomhole crushed the Dan Orbih godfather and have confined him politically to his Uromi enclave till date. So, if anybody Edo people, or Edo PDP any apology, it is Chief Tony Anenih, not Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu. He has to tender an unreserved apology for destroying Edo PDP’s government under Chief Lucky Igbinedion, just as Dan Orbih is unsuccessfully destroying the Oshiomhole administration. Mr. Dan Owegie is the Publicity Secretary of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN

“The Grace Group under the leadership of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu with a motto “no man is God” , which comprised all those Anenih excluded from his list, was established to halt Anenih’s manipulation of the PDP in the State. It was a truism that Anenih played God in Edo PDP and wanted to endlessly dictate most government decisions.”


THE WEEKEND

29 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

I Never Doubted Chelsea ANDRE Schurrle has Move told Bild he never thought his transfer from Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea would fall through, despite speculation it could have been called off. Schurrle, 22, wrapped up his move to Stamford Bridge after Leverkusen had secured the signing of South Korea international HeungMin Son from Hamburg as his replacement. That was almost two months after a move to London had first been talked about – but Schurrle said he was always confident that the deal would go through once Leverkusen had ensured his replacement. “There was a clear agenda - and I was in the loop all the time,” he told Bild. “Of course, I am totally relieved that Bayer made this step possible for me.” Speaking after the signing of Son had been confirmed, Chief Executive Wolfgang Holzhauser explained: “From the very beginning, we have made

clear to everyone that Andre Schurrle’s switch to Chelsea was only viable in connection with an adequate alternative. “With Heung-Min Son, we have now secured that alternative. Therefore, nothing stands in the way of Andre Schurrle’s transfer to England.”

United To Sign Ronaldo Or Bale

GET excited if you are a Manchester United fan because your club is going to sign Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale this summer. and splash out £85 million on Well that is according to either player. the Sun anyway who claim Ronaldo’s future in that the Glazer family have particular is being speculated given new manager David on across all the papers after Moyes the go-ahead to break he tweeted on Thursday: “All the world record transfer fee the news about my renewal

with Real Madrid is false.” A return to Old Trafford for the Portuguese superstar would be United’s preference but the Sun says

RVP Blames Media Shunning On Arsenal NEWLY - Appointed Netherlands captain Robin van Persie has claimed that he was forced by former club Arsenal to ignore the media during Euro 2012. Van Persie, 29, who replaced Wesley Sneijder as the Oranje skipper earlier this week, was criticised for staying silent during last summer’s tournament. The Manchester United striker, however, insists it was a decision made by the Gunners as, at the time, he was on the verge of completing a move to Old Trafford. “That was a wish of my club Arsenal and that had everything to do with the sensitivity of my proposed transfer to Manchester United,” he told Sky Sports. “I didn’t estimate the outcome really at the time. Maybe I was too naive. To be the only one to not talk, I became a mythical figure and the outside world thought I was placing myself out of the group.” Van Persie was filmed talking on the phone after Netherlands’ 1-0 defeat to Denmark, fuelling further speculation that he had drifted apart from the rest of the dressing room. The former Feyenoord man, though, says he was simply making a call to his family back home.

Nampalys Mendy

Cristiano Ronaldo

Gareth Bale

... Red Devils My Dream Club - Mendy

MONACO midfielder Nampalys Mendy has said Manchester United would be his “dream club” but that he plans to pursue his career in France for now. Mendy, 20, is out of contract in the principality, where his displays in helping Monaco to last season’s Ligue 2 title attracted widespread attention. But although United are reported to have shown an interest in him, the France Under-21 international does not see himself moving abroad just yet. “It’s encouraging. They’re the club of my dreams. It proves that I’ve done some good things, but I want to stay in

France,” he told lequipe.fr, adding that he would announce his plans when he returns from a holiday in Morocco. “I’ve already made my choice,” he said. French media reports suggest the defensive midfielder, sometimes described as “the new Makelele”, signed a precontract agreement with Nice some months ago. But he denied a move from the Stade Louis II was motivated by the fear he might not maintain his

place in Claudio Ranieri’s side after Monaco’s summer spending spree. “It’s not because of the competition. I’m not afraid of that. Everywhere I go, there’ll be that,” he explained. “And it’s not Ranieri’s fault either. If there had only been him, I would have extended my contract... it’s simply that I didn’t like several things that happened during the renegotiation of my contract.”

Everton Ready To Make Baines Top Earner EVERTON are ready to offer Leighton Baines a new contract in an attempt to stop the leftback from being lured to Manchester United by David Moyes. If Baines accepts the contract offer, he will reportedly become the Toffees’ highest earner. The 28-year old has two years left on his current deal but the new contract will increase his income by approximately £ 20 000 a week. At his introduction as Everton boss, Roberto Martinez expressed the

importance of keeping Baines at Goodison park. “It is very important [to keep Baines] and it is a case of rewarding players who have been phenomenal for the football club. I think Leighton is in that category.” “For Leighton, as the top performer he has been in the last few years, it is important that we reward his work and make sure that he can look forward to kicking on to the next chapter of his career with Everton. That is important for the club as a whole,” said Martinez.

“if Ronaldo signs a new deal at Real, Moyes is set to splash a record £85million to land Tottenham’s double Footballer of the Year Bale.” The paper adds: “United’s American owners are determined the club will continue to be a major European force despite Fergie’s retirement.” The Mirror also claims the odds are shortening on a Ronaldo return to Manchester but they speculate on a different method on how the deal might happen. They are claiming that Ronaldo’s plan is see out the remaining two years of his Real contract, and then take a £60m signing bonus as a free agent. “It seems Ronaldo wishes to remain master of his own destiny and that he will force Real to accept his terms,” reports the paper. If United manage to pull off either coup it would certainly be the deal of the summer but another one that would be close behind could be Edinson Cavani moving to other side of town and joining Manchester City.

Gunners’ Vietnam Trip Under Threat THE Arsenal and Vietnam July 17 friendly is doubt after My Dinh national stadium owners hiked fees for the game. According to the London Evening Standard, My Dinh Stadium management is asking for $71,300 for the match to be staged there. The price is seven times more than the regular booking fee the national stadium owners charge.

“The price the My Dinh stadium asked for is too unreasonable,” Le Hung Dung, vice chairman of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), said. VFF has now appealed to the Vietnam government and media to put pressure on the My Dinh Stadium owners to lower the fee. The match will mark the first time an English Premier League club visits Vietnam.

Wigan Choose Coyle Over McClaren AsLeague New Boss next term for the first

FA Cup holders Wigan Athletic, who were relegated from the Premier League two days after winning their first major trophy, are set to appoint Owen Coyle, the former boss of rivals Bolton Wanderers, as their manager. “In principle we have agreed a deal,” Wigan owner Dave Whelan told Sky Sports after concluding his search for a replacement for Spaniard Roberto Martinez, who left to manage Everton. Bolton and Wigan are local rivals in the north-west of England and Coyle’s record of relegation with the former in 2012 and failure to achieve immediate promotion back to the top flight may go down badly with some Wigan fans. He was sacked by Bolton in October. “People will remember him from getting promotion at Burnley. He had a tough time at Bolton, some of our fans will remember that too,” sportswear and leisure magnate Whelan added. “He has a belief in Wigan Athletic and I can feel that.” Whelan said the “total and utter priority” was promotion in two seasons despite Wigan appearing in the Europa

time. Scotsman Coyle faces a tough task with players being linked in the media with moves away and fears that fans could now desert a side which shot up the divisions thanks to Whelan’s money despite being in a rugby league stronghold. Coyle’s imminent appointment was welcomed by Wigan and Scotland player James McArthur. “Happy with the new appointment in Owen Coyle, another Scot. Hopefully everyone can get behind him and the team for the new season,” he said on Twitter.

Owen Coyle


THE WEEKEND

30 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

Barcelona Join Lewandowski Race ESPN understands Barcelona have made preliminary contact with Robert Lewandowski’s representatives, as the race for the Borussia Dortmund forward escalates. Manchester United had also recently been given encouragement by the 25year-old’s camp that a deal may be possible and retain significant interest, but are understood to now be concerned about Barcelona’s clout. Given Lionel Messi’s status as Barca’s talisman over the

Sepp Blatter

Stadia For Confed Cup Ready FIFA president Sepp Blatter is confident the stadiums for this year’s Confederations Cup - including the historic Maracana stadium - will be ready for the warm-up event for the World Cup. Construction is still ringing out across Brazil as work looks likely to continue right through to the competition’s start date of June 15. But an unworried Blatter told the BBC he was not surprised to find busy workers still buzzing over incomplete infrastructure, believing everything would be ready for the opening match of Italy versus Mexico. “I have seen worse situations,” he said. “Yes there is still work to be done, but it will get done. “I have been to many tournaments when the painters are still painting the stadiums an hour before the first match. It is not a surprise

to me that people are still working. “It just means that something has not been finished and they need to finish it. “Since I was first involved in 1978, I have witnessed a lot of problems like this, but when the tournament started, everything went well.

“Let us see. Let us hope this is the same,” Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo reacted angrily when he was posed the question that the Maracana may not be fully functioning for the Confederations Cup.

ODSFA Coach Eyes Trophy At Mimiko Tourney HENRY Abiodun, Coach of the Ondo State Football Agency (ODSFA), on Friday expressed his desire to lift the trophy of the ongoing Mimiko U-18 International Soccer Tournament (MISTON) in the finals on Sunday. Abiodun, who hailed his team’s fighting spirit, added that the boys will go all out for victory against Tiwa Warriors of Akoko at the

Stray Bullet Hurts Fan In Zambia Ticket Chaos A female Zambia fan has been hit by a stray bullet in a scrum for tickets in Ndola and lost her Kidney. The incident happened on Wednesday as police tried to control a stampede for tickets that went on sale ahead of Saturday’s 2014 World Cup qualifier between Zambia and Sudan there at 41,000 sitter Levy Mwanawasa Stadium. Phyllis Chifunda, 33 was injured after a police officer guarding a ticket centre at a Post Office in the suburb of Kansenji fired a warning shot that ricochet off the roof and hit her. Chifunda was rushed to Ndola Central Hospital where she was operated on and placed in the intensive care unit to recover. “She is still in the ICU because her kidney was removed. It was affected by the same bullet. She was operated last night around18:00 to 19:00 hours,” Ndola Central Hospital spokesperson Sheona Chalimbana told the press.

- Blatter

“The stadium was delivered and there were two test matches with complete success in the most absolute tranquility and security,” Rebelo said. “If what they are doing there is called major construction in your country, then frankly I pity the people of your country.”

and the police officer alleged to have fired his weapon has been detained in Ndola for questioning. The Zambia-Sudan tickets have received overwhelming demand especially the 14,000 lower-end US$10 tickets that were reportedly sold-out on June 12 when sale commenced. Demand has been huge following renewed interest in Zambia’s fortunes since their storming 4-0 win over Lesotho in another Group D qualifier in Ndola on June 8. Sales points at designated Post Offices across Zambia have been overwhelmed by demand forcing management at some ticket centres to shutdown and halting normal business due to poor crowd control. Meanwhile, a mini-riot also ensued a 40 minutes drive away from Ndola up in Kitwe where police use tear gas to disperse desperate ticket seekers at the city’s main Post Office.

Akure Sports Complex. “The boys have worked so hard right from the group stage to the quarter-finals, semifinals, and I am glad that they succeeded. “It will be a great one if we lift the trophy because every professional wants to have his name written in gold, but we must work hard at every step to achieve that,’’ he said. The coach added that ODSFA was gradually establishing an enviable reputation for itself; through the talents it had produced. “The academy can provide quality players for the state owned teams, such as Sunshine Stars, Rising Stars and other professional football

clubs,” he added. ODSFA advanced to the finals of the tournament after they defeated Fountain Youth Club of Ado Ekiti 5-4 through penalty kicks, after battling to a draw after regulation time. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a total of 16 teams featured in the tournament which kickedoff on June 5 in Akure. The 16 teams were made up of four teams from Ondo, eight from different states across the country and four others from abroad. The winning team will cart away S7, 000 (about N1.1m), the runner-up S5, 000 (about N792, 500), while the third placed team will get S3, 000 (N475, 500).

last two seasons, as well as the need to slightly alter the dynamic of a team in danger of growing stale, the Catalans are seeking to add extra spark and angles to their forward line - with this summer ’s purchase of Neymar the first step. They are now considering a move for Lewandowski that would potentially give them their strongest collective forward line since the MessiSamuel Eto’o-Thierry Henry trio of 2008-09. Meanwhile, Lewandowski’s agent has played down a report in German tabloid Bild that suggested the striker’s relationship with Dortmund had reached breaking point. Dortmund announced at the weekend that Lewandowski, who has been linked with a move away from the club, will not be allowed to join Bundesliga rivals Bayern

2014 World Cup:

Munich this summer. It has since been suggested the stance has soured matters between the Poland international and his current side, with Bild reporting that he would prefer not to return for pre-season. However, on Thursday, German news agency SID quoted Lewandowski’s agent Maik Barthel as saying: “We don’t know anything about this [the Bild report]. Besides, all that needs to be said from our side has already been said.”

Robert Lewandowski

Angola Rejects Hotel ANGOLA reject Mount Zion Hotel in Kampala booked for them by FUFA ahead of Saturday’s 2014 World Cup qualifier. FIFA member Decolas Kiiza, who received Angola at Entebbe International Airport on Thursday evening, said the Palancas Negras advance party rejected the hotel in the city centre and decided they will top-up and reside at the five-star Sheraton Hotel. “We shall do what they want since they agreed to top up,” said Kiiza. Uganda’s last Group J opponents Liberian resided at the Zion Hotel and only left on Wednesday after they had pitched camp in Kampala after losing 1-0 to the Cranes last Saturday. Meanwhile, Angola FA vice

president Osvaldo Oliveira told MTNFootball.com that they are in Uganda to collect three points. Angola, who lost 3-0 to Uganda in 2011, are expected to have a feel of the stadium on Friday. The Palancas Negras are third on four points tied with bottom placed Liberia, Uganda are second on five points while leaders Senegal have six points. Angola team: Masunguna Alex Afonso, Regio Congo Zalata, Elidio Jose Panzo, Fiston Kumbi Mukabidi, Amandio Filipe da Coasta, Kandu Mavanga, Adwa Mokanga, Fabricio Mafuta, Pedro Victor Mingas, Jose Pedro Alberto, Hugo Miguel Marques, Mario M. Oliveira, Guilherme Afonso, Hermeneildo, Bartolomeu,

Mgbolu Urges Eagles To Focus On World Cup Ticket AUSTIN Mgbolu, former Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Football Association (NFA) says he is optimistic the Super Eagles will eventually qualify for the play-off stage of the World Cup

Stephen Keshi

qualifier. The Eagles would need to defeat or secure a draw against the Flames of Malawi to qualify for the knock out stage to secure one the five African slots for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Brazil. Mgbolu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that he was optimistic that the Eagles would book a slot to compete at the World Cup. The Eagles were on Wednesday held to a 1-1 draw by the Brave Warriors of Namibia. Eagles currently sit atop

Group ‘F’ with nine points and Malawi closely following with seven points. “Well so far so good, the Eagles have done well having gone this far and presently topping their group is an indication that they are determined to pick up the ticket for Nigeria. “What they need is support from fellow Nigerians so that their last home game against Malawi, because a victory against Malawi or a draw certainly will hand over the ticket to Nigeria. “I wouldn’t want a

repeat of the performance we had about two years ago in the National Stadium here in Abuja. “Where Guinea came here to mess us up in the last Nations Cup. “So, invariably, so far so good, Keshi’s on the right track. Nigerians need to support them.’’ Mgbolu advised the Eagles not to give in to distractions, which might arise as a result of undermining their match bonuses by the NFA. He stressed that if the Eagles maintained their focus and resist distractions, they would achieve victory.


THE WEEKEND

31 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

National Stadium Lagos To Get Attention Soon

Tug Of War Championship To Hold June 19 ARRANGEMENTS have been concluded by the Nigeria Tug of War Federation to organize the 2nd edition of the annual Oba Yekini Adeniji Elegushi National Open Championship. According to a statement signed by the secretary of the Federation, Abdulkareem Macaulay and made available to our correspondent, the championship which is slated for June19- 23 at Elegushi Beach Resort off Lekki Epe, Express Way is in recognition of the legacies left behind by late Oba Elegushi, especially for his contributions to youth empowerment and his development within Lagos, particularly in Ikate land until his death. The statement noted that teams from all the states of the Federation including Military and Paramilitary formations are expected to participate in the three day championship. Meanwhile, both male and female teams from Edo, Plateau, Kaduna, Benue and Lagos as well as all the zonal Police

Enugu Police FC Intensifies Campaign For State League THE Police Machine Football Club of Enugu is intensifying its training for the Enugu State league, scheduled to commence on June 14 at the Rangers training grounds, Enugu. The club’s Team Manager, Ebere Amaraizu, disclosed this to newsmen in Enugu. Amaraizu told newsmen that the club would, however, still play Samba FC of Enugu; Gabros FC of Nnewi, and Rangers International FC of Enugu, before its first match in the competition, scheduled for June 17. Following the team’s good outing in its friendly matches played so far, the coach expressed optimism that the team would write the Police name in gold during the state league. The club had beaten FBF Football Club of Enugu, 2-1, on June 2, and overpowered Godly Boys FC, also of Enugu, 2-1, on June 13.

By MATTS AMEDU

- Elegbeleye

THE Director General of National Sports Commission, Gbenga Elegbeleye says that the Main bowl of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos will soon receive a facelift just as he promised staff of the commission of his determination to pay priority attention to their welfare. He told our correspondent during his first official visit to the stadium that he has taken records of all the need of the stadium and will work towards ensuring that it regains its lost glory. According to him, it is unfortunate that such a national edifice has been allowed to deteriorate over the years with a declaration

that his tenure will ensure that facilities at the stadium receives a face lift. “My visit has given me the opportunity to see for myself the true state of the stadium and very soon I will put logistics on ground to tackle most of the problems. “I also discovered that the tartan tracks at both the main bowl of the National Stadium and the NIS practicing pitch needs replacement and we are going to take it as a top priority. “The visit to the NIS also enabled me to find out whether it is still the same world class institute we have before or not. On getting there, I saw an improved library and a very neat environment but it is not what it is supposed to be and we are definitely going to do something urgent about the institute, “he stated. Earlier, while addressing staff of the Lagos liaison office of the commission, the Director General charged them to be committed to duty and avoid those vices that will make them not to put in their best for the upliftment of the commission just as he urged them to avoid truancy and other vices that will retard the development of the commission. “There is the need for staff of the commission to take their job serious and see government business as their business as that is the only way to move the commission forward.

Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole

Gov Oshiomhole Cup

Etsako-East Lift Two Trophies By KEHINDE OSAGIEDE/NICHOLAS EBOIGBE SKIPPER Ibrahim Odianosen’s 77th minute lone goal was enough for Etsako-East soccer team to secure this year’s Governor Oshiomhole Gold Cup for Suleiman Afegbua led Etsako East Local Government Council at the Benin Technical College Football Field, beating the host team Egor Local Government Boys.

The Coach Douglas Idahosa tutored male side and coach Jimmy Aiwumuagbon managed Queens swept the available gold’s for Etsako East, leaving Egor male and female sides with consolation prizes. This feat recorded by Etsako – East, according to many spectators and sports analysts at the match venue, is a sign of good things to come for the Edo North Area Council under the leadership of Hon. Suleiman Afegbua. In a post match interview with The N I G E R I A N OBSERVERSports, the Vice Chairman of the victorious Etsako East Local Government Council, John Osigbeme said that their council boss is already working out plans through a committee he just set up to look into sports critically and come up with a programme with a view to developing sports generally in the council area. Hon. Osigbeme who was

visibly excited after watching his Etsako-East male and female football teams established their soccer supremacy in Edo State, commended tournament host local council boss Hon. Victor

Enobakhare and cup donor, Barr. Idahosa for their initiatives. He as well commended the organizers of the championship, ESYCCA for unbiased officiating.

Nigeria Wins Gold, Silver At Int’l Taekwondo Tourney NIGERIA Taekwondo Federation (NTF) has won gold and silver at the Austrian Open World tournament organised by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). Nigeria also won Bronze at a similar tournament in Switzerland. The Minister of Sports, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja while receiving the Nigerian taekwondo team which emerged overall winner of the tournament in Austria. Reports say that five athletes, including Olympics bronze medalist, Chika Chukwumerije, competed in both tournaments which took place between June 1 and June 8. The country won gold and silver in the +80kg male categories in Austria, while the bronze was won in the +80kg male category in Switzerland. The tournaments followed a 22-day training camp

organised for the team by the Chika Chukwumerije Sports Foundation and sponsored by the National Sports Commission (NSC) in Germany. Abdullahi, who expressed joy at the team’s victory, said the NSC would continue to support the development of sports in the country. “I want to commend you and to encourage you to continue with what you are doing. “We will continue to support your initiative and the game of taekwondo in the country. “Our commitment is to give equal opportunities to all sports federations to prove themselves,’’ Abdullahi said. The minister expressed regrets that taekwondo would not be featured at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, next year as the game would have been one of Nigeria’s hope for medals. “It’s a pity taekwondo is not a Commonwealth sport; so, we would have said, given what you have achieved in this

tournament, taekwondo will give us medals at the Commonwealth Games. “However, we have the All African Games coming up in 2015 and the Olympics in 2016 and what this means is that we have a longer time to prepare for these games.

Champions Emerge As Enugu Schools Sports Festival Closes COMMUNITY Secondary School, Ibeagwani and Queens College, Enugu emerged handball champions in the boys’ and girls’ categories respectively as the Enugu State Schools Sports Festival begins to wind down. The Ibeagwani boys humbled Nsukka High School 11-4 in an all-Enugu North final while Queens College overpowered Special Science School, Agbani 5-1. Government Secondary School, Enugu thrashed Community Secondary School, Mmaku 9-4 to take the boys’ bronze while

Community Secondary School, Ibagwa Aka beat Girls High School, Nnewe 1-0 in the female category.

Bolaji Abdullahi, Sports Minister


CMYK

Weekend Sport

THE WEEKEND

32 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013

Dolphins Beg Fans On Poor Away Results

Nigeria Leaving Late For Confed Cup After AFRICAN champions Nigeria, who stayed in Bonus Row Namibia after their World Cup qualifier in a row over bonus payments, have delayed their departure for the Confederations Cup in Brazil, officials said on Friday. The Super Eagles failed to catch their flight to South America for the tournament, which begins on Saturday, after

Mikel Agrees To Join Galatasaray C H E L S E A midfielder Mikel Obi has given his word to Turkish champions Galatasaray he wishes to join them. Galatasaray sporting director Bulent Tulun said Mikel has agreed in principle to join them, according to a leading Turkey football website fotomac. The 26-year-old Mikel is to replace Brazil star Fillipe Melo, who is on his way out to either Brazil or Italy. Chelsea returning boss Jose Mourinho and both clubs are now to decide on this transfer, said Tulun, who met with other top officials this week on the matter.

Mikel Obi

players insisted they should be paid their usual win bonus for the 1-1 draw in Windhoek on Wednesday. The president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Aminu Maigari, met the team to explain that the organisation is broke and as result, they would only be $2,500 (1,873 euros, £1,594) each. Players had demanded double that amount. Now, the NFF said that Nigeria’s sports minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, had intervened in the row and the Super Eagles would now fly to Brazil on Saturday. “We are most grateful to the minister for his intervention in the matter, which means the team can now travel to Brazil on Saturday and arrive in Belo Horizonte before the first match against Tahiti on Monday,” said NFF general secretary Musa Amadu.

DUMBOR Awanen, General Manager, Dolphins FC of Port Harcourt, has pleaded with the club’s fans not to relent in their support, in spite of the team’s poor away run in the league. A statement by the club’s Media Officer, China Acheru, on Friday in Lagos said that Awanem made the appeal while speaking on the team’s poor away outings. NAN reports that Dolphins have drawn two and lost all other away games this season in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL). The statement said that the fans must continue to keep faith in the team to ensure the club ended the season on a high note. “I agree our away form is not what it used to be and you cannot keep complaining about referees any time you lose games on the road. “We could have done better in Bauchi and most other places we

Hon. Victor Enobakhare, Chairman Egor LG Council

Gov Oshiomhole Cup: Sports

Commissioner Commends Egor Council Boss, Idahagbon By KEHINDE OSAGIEDE/NICHOLAS EBOIGBE EDO State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Lady Omorede Osifo has commended Hon. Victor Enobakhare, the Executive chairman of Egor Local Government Council and his team for their immense contributions to the development of grassroots football in the state through sponsorship of youth tournaments. The commissioner made the

commendation in her address delivered by V.O. Obaghagie who represented her during the closing ceremony of the 2013 Governor Oshiomhole Gold Cup, organised by ESYCCA for U-17 boys and girls teams from the 18 local government councils in Edo State. While congratulating the Council boss for hosting a successful and hitch-free fiesta, she also thanked the cup donor, Barr. Henry

Idahagbon, the Attorney General of Edo State and Commissioner for Justice for his Commitment to youth and Sports development. Lady Osifo who emphasized that Edo State sports policy is centered on grassroots development, charged Edo people to continue to key into the agenda which is aimed at discovering raw talents and developing same. She also thanked the Comrade Governor for creating the enabling environment for the development to take

FIFA Confed Cup Big Test For Eagles - Eguavoen FORMER Super Eagles Coach, Austin Eguavoen, has said that playing against big teams in the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil would be a good test for the Super Eagles. Eguavoen, the Technical Adviser of City of David FC of Lagos, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Akure. “I know that playing

against big teams in the world such as Spain and Uruguay at the Confederations Cup will serve as tests for the Super Eagles. “I don’t have any fear because the team will always be at their best against big teams. I will always rate them high as African champions,’’ he said on telephone. The former Olympic U23 Dream Team handler said that it would be

wrong to assess the Super Eagles quality with the FIFA Confederations Cup which begins on Saturday. He said the Super Eagles would be playing against the best teams and players in the world which would help to prepare them for the 2014 World Cup. “I don’t want football lovers in the country to use the Confederations

Cup to judge the quality of the team as African champions. “The good thing is that we are going to play strong teams from South America, Europe and Asia which gives the players a pre-knowledge of what to expect at the World,’’ Eguavoen said. The Super Eagles will start its Confederations Cup campaign against Tahiti on Monday.

place in the state. The commissioner s p e c i f i c a l l y congratulated the female winners, Etsako East Local Government Queens. In the final match of the female category, Etsako East Local Government defeated Egor 5-2 on penalties after a goalless draw at regulation time. Etsako East also won the male football final contest after beating Egor by a lone goal. However, Etsako Central won the fair play cup in the Boys category while Owan West Girls won fair play trophy even as they got bronze by coming out third in the championship. Meanwhile, Akoko-Edo secured the third position in the male category. The dignitaries that attended the grand finale include, Egor Local Government Chairman, Hon. Victor Enobakhare, Rt. Hon. Paul Ohunbamu, Prof. Jimmy Kings, Proprietor of Kings Citidal Academy and Patron of ESSYCa among others.

have played on the road, but unfortunately the results didn’t go our way for various reasons. “But we have fans that we believe should stick with us and stand by us, no matter what results we are getting. “We apologise to the fans for our poor results and we now want them to still come out and cheer us whenever we play,” it said. Dolphins have a big South-South derby game in Port Harcourt on Saturday against Bayelsa United and Awanen has said they needed all the support they could get. “In games involving Dolphins and Bayelsa United, there is no home side but we can make the difference if we outnumber them at the stadium and out shout them too. “That is why we call on all our fans in Port Harcourt to come and watch us. We cannot win the league or return to the continent if we do not win these games at home,” the statement said.

Sports Consultant Canvasses Tax Rebate To Attract Sponsorship AYO Adedeji, a sports consultant yesterday appealed to the Federal Government to grant adequate tax rebates to companies that sponsor sporting activities in the country. Adedeji, the Managing Partner of Mich Consulting Firm, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the gesture would attract corporate sponsors to develop sports in the copuntry. The consultant said that the corporate sector were reluctant to stake their monies in sports because they do not have value for their money. According to him, companies cannot entrust their monies in the hands of sport administrations because of lack of accountability and transparency on the part of the administrators. “Lack of accountability and transparency on the part of sport administrators killed the interest of the private

sector from sponsoring sporting activities in the country. “They are business people, they do business to earn profits and that is why they need something that will give them value for their money. “If the government can institute a proper tax rebate formula to companies that sponsor sports, this will attract them and in turn help to promote sports in the country,’’ he said. Adedeji added that government had no business in developing sports, saying that their primary functions were to build sporting facilities and regulate laws that would guide sports promotion. He stressed that sports was a veritable tool of engaging youths actively, to contribute their quota to nation building, rather than participating in social vices that have a negative impact in the country.

Printed and published by Bendel Newspapers Company Limited, 24, Airport Road, P.M.B. 1334 Benin City. Telephone; Lagos: 01 4930929, Benin: 052 257492, 257531 Editor: HENRY BALOGUN - (08058767088). Lagos Office: 3/4, Amode Close, Kudirat Abiola Way, By Olushosun Bus Stop, Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos. Abuja Office: Floor 1, Edo House, 75 Ralph Shodeinde Street, Central Business District Abuja. Tel/Fax: 09-5237631. All correspondence to: 24 Airport Road, Benin City. E-mail: nigerianobserver@yahoo.com (ISSN 0331-2674)


Nigerian observer 15 06 2013