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HE only difference between the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, is in their names. APC is determined to do the things PDP did wrongly, with more intensity and insensitivity. Its politics of restructuring is the latest example. IT has become so enmeshed in the politics of keeping power, that it has forgotten that its campaign was for a Nigeria that works. APC appeared clear to have a clear mind about that type of Nigeria.

APC plays with Nigeria’s future THE ORACLE TODAY COMMENT

The assumed clarity was captured thus: · Initiate action to amend our Constitution with a view to devolving powers, duties and responsibilities to states and local governments in order to entrench true federalism and the federal spirit;

The VOX POPULI SACRUM

appointments and special nomination to contest elective offices; · Prevent abuse of executive, legislative and public offices through greater accountability, transparency and strict enforcement of anti-corruption laws whilst strengthening the EFCC and ICPC; · Amend the Constitution to remove immunity from prosecu-

· Strengthen INEC to reduce/ eliminate electoral malpractices; · Attract the best and brightest into our politics and public service by aggressive recruitment of private sector people, academics and professionals within Nigeria and in the Diaspora through internships, fellowships, executive

tion for elected officers in criminal cases; · Restructure government for a leaner, more efficient and adequately compensated public service; · Require full disclosure in all media outlets of all government contracts over N100m prior to

racle Contd on page 24

www.oraclenews.ng

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 21, 2018

Today

ISSN: 2545-5869 VOL.3 No. 7 N200

Stubborn fuel queues will linger By SOPURUCHI ONWUKA

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espite claims by the government that it has invested huge funds to arrest the persistent fuel scarcity in the market, fuel queues persist in Lagos and neighbouring states. Field survey by The Oracle Today reporters showed that only very few stations operated by major marketers attended to customers between Saturday and Tuesday while a lot of retail outlets bearing brands of independent markers closed to customers. In some cases, the filling stations that opened to customers only attended to those coming for vehicle maintenance, lubricants and engine injector cleaners. The scarcity, however, provided opportunity for rusty mushroom filling stations with questionable meters and products to gain attention of motorists as they capitalise

• Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu with PDP National Chairman, Chief Uche Secondus, Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu (left) during inspection of projects the Ikpeazu administration executed. Photo: Ibe Abarikwu. See story on page: 47

All round troubles over Buhari Contd on page 42

By FELIX OGUEJIOFOR ABUGU

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HE Nigerian political class faces a big dilemma at the moment: what to do with Muhammadu Buhari in 2019. With next year’s general election literally around the corner, there is increasing discomposure among members of the political class over the emerging poli-

Contd on page 41

• North fears his health, wants younger candidate Kanu’s case • Why APGA supports Buhari file missing: • Atiku’s chances bright if he agrees to one term IPOB fumes • PDP wooing former ‘strong’ members in APC Story on page: 14

Akinrinade, Ezeife canvass restructuring From CLEM ONYEMAECHI, Yenagoa

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HIEFTAIN of the defunct National Democratic Coalition, NADECO, and former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Alani Akinrinade (rtd) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to cash in on the prevailing mood in the nation and ur-

• At Dickson’s 6th anniversary

gently initiate a bill for the structural unbundling of “an overburdened centre through the removal of several agreed items from the current Exclusive List and their devolution to the constituting states in a way and manner that does not enfeeble

or endanger the manifest destiny of the nation”. Akinrinade spoke as guest lecturer on the theme, “Restructuring: The way forward for a new Nigeria”, in Yenagoa on Monday in an event organized as part of activities to mark

the sixth anniversary of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson. He contended that restructuring is unavoidable and inevitable for Nigeria, pointing out that with the APC Committee on the subject turning in one of many of the cardinal imperatives of restructuring report

More honours for Prince Igwe

Contd on page 42

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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

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The Oracle Today

Wednesday February 21 , 2018

Congratulatory Message The Management and Staff of

Allray Maritime Services Ltd. Is proud to identify with you as you receive The Keyman Award from Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines & Agriculture and also congratulate you on your birthday. Your relentless effort in capacity building is second to none and we want to commend you on your good works and also pray that the Almighty God will grant you more grace with long life and prosperity.

Happy Birthday Sir! Signed: Mr. Raymond Aliga MD/CEO, Allray Maritime Services Ltd. Eleganza Plaza, Libra Block, 1st Floor, Right wing 1 Commercial Road, Apapa, Lagos State.

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The Oracle Today

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Wednesday February 21 , 2018

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PRINCE ODINAKA IGWE The Management and Staff of

Betterlinks Services Nigeria Ltd. Hereby congratulate you on your birthday and also identify with you as you receive The Keyman Award from Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines & Agriculture. We are proud to be associated with you and we wish you many more prosperous years ahead.

Happy Birthday Sir! Signed: Chief Victor Nwaka MD/CEO Betterlinks Services Big Ltd.


The Oracle Today

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Wednesday February 21 , 2018

NEWS ACROSS THE NATION Herdsmen’s killings: I’m disappointed in IG Idris, Defence Minister -- Ortom By VICTOR NZE

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ENUE State Governor, Samuel Ortom has expressed his disappointment in the recent statements credited to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris as well as the Minister of Defence, Col. Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd) where both parties reportedly blamed the state’s Anti-Open Grazing bill was responsible for the continued attacks by Fulani herdsmen on communities. Speaking with a State Government House correspondents in Makurdi, the state capital, weekend, following his face-off with the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, since the killing of more than 73 people by herdsmen in the state, Ortom accused the police boss and Dan-Ali of ‘acting out the script of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders

Fulani herdsmen insist on nationwide operation

Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) instead of doing their jobs.’ “The truth is that I felt so sad when the minister of defence and followed by the IG of Police were acting the script of Miyetti Allah instead of doing their jobs that they are collecting taxpayers’ money for every month which I’m also involved in. “How can you say that it’s the Prohibition of Open Grazing and Provision of Ranching Law 2017 in Benue State that has brought those killings?” Wondering why there were killings attributed to Fulani herdsmen in other states without anti-open grazing law, Governor Ortom explained that “this law is a necessity arising from the killings that were taking place and for us, we sought to bring a permanent solution to the perennial problem of herdsmen and farmers’ clashes.” Further arguing that the lack of ac-

tion against the perpetrators of the killings was deliberate as the promoters of the violence were known to law enforcement agencies, the governor, however, applauded the media for highlighting the plight of Benue people in the hands of the marauding herdsmen and called for a change of heart from security agencies to bring the problem to a complete stop. “So, it’s not about the law. It is deliberate. We live in a country where people will come out in the name of Miyetti Allah and issue threats that they are coming to attack, that they will mobilise people to invade the land and take over the land. And even when you report to the authorities, no action is taken and they expect you to keep quiet. “When you are a leader elected by the people and they are looking unto you for protection, what do you expect me to do? I should speak. And of course, when I speak,

the media is able to alert the whole world and today, the whole world appreciates the magnitude of the problem that I’m going through. “How can you live in a state and you have seven IDP camps hosting more than 100,000 people and 60 percent of these people are children who should be in their schools. They are being denied their legitimate right, which we as leaders are supposed to give them, because of the non-performance of people who are saddled with sensitive responsibilities in this country to provide security for lives and property. “So, it is painful and really unfortunate and I expect those people who are responsible for enforcing the laws of our lands and ensuring security for lives and property who have demonstrated incompetence because of what is going on…take for instance, the president directed the IG of Police to relocate to Benue State to ensure that these killings

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ulani herdsmen under the aegis of a new group, the Gan-Allah Fulani Development Association, an offshoot of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association (MACBAN) have rejected the grazing land offer by the Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, insisting on nationwide operation. This is contrary to the position of the mainstream Fulani herders group, MACBAN, which has described Ganduje’s offer as a welcome but has yet to commit to accepting it. Ganduje had said earlier in the week that he is ready to accommodate as many cattle breeders as possible in the Falgore Forest for their business. He made the offer in a bid to help solve the herdsmen-farmers’ crisis which has inflamed passions in several parts of the country as a result of killings blamed on herdsmen. However, Secretary General of Gan-Allah Fulani Development Association, Alhaji Saleh Bayari, described Ganduje’s offer as neither feasible nor acceptable because the Fulani, like other Nigerians, have a right to live and do business in any part of the country. “We are quite appreciative of his (Ganduje’s) concern for our people, but if we all continue on that note, we will not have a country. We will not have a country, or a nation because it simply means that tomorrow, when you harass some Yoruba who have been living in Jos for generations, or some Igbo living in Kano or Sokoto, their state governors will just tell them to relocate. “Then, at the end of the day, we would have as many countries as the number of tribes that we have in Nigeria and that would not augur well for us as a country. By following Governor Ganduje’s directive, we are going to end up polarising the country on the basis of sentiments rather than nationalistic feelings and callings.”

stop. “The IG came here one day and left and he is sitting in Abuja and he has chosen to send his Force PRO to be insulting me on Channels Television for doing what is right and for him not doing his job,” Ortom said. Ortom, however, vowed to speak the truth at the risk of his own life, insisting that the era where state executives sometimes promote sycophancy and mediocrity was gone for good. According to him, he has resolved to offer himself as a sacrificial lamb to ensure that the truth prevailed as he noted that the truth had been suppressed for too long. “But the truth is that I have decided to offer myself. If it will require me to pay the supreme sacrifice for saying the truth, I’m ready to do it because the time has come that we must stop promoting sycophancy and mediocrity. “We must promote the truth. We must respect the constitution and the rule of law. The constitution and the law of our land is the only thing that can guide us to greater height. It’s the only thing that can lead us to where we want to be. It’s the only thing that can promote and project us to rank with other countries that are doing well. “And today, for the persecution that I’m going through, for doing what is right then, I’ve become a target? For saying that look, enough is enough, Stone Age laws should be repealed even if they were laws or if they were policies, we should discard them because they will not help us,” he stated.

371,444 PVCs uncollected in Ondo State – INEC

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•Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun cutting the tape to commission 85 KWP Solar Hybrid Mini Grid at Gbamugbamu village, in the Ijebu-East Central Local Council Development Area of the state, built in collaboration with the European Union (EU) and German Government, under the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP).

Nigeria’s democracy not delivering dividends – Jega A VICTOR NZE, with Agency report

mid calls from several quarters on President Muhammadu Buhari to either step down or not consider seeking re-election in 2019, immediate past chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, stoked the embers of dissent, last Friday, when he submitted that the country’s democracy was not delivering dividends to the people due to politicians’ autocracy Jega midwifed the General Elections which brought Buhari to power in April 2015. Jega who said this while contributing in a panel discussion on “Three Decades of Democratic Transition in Africa’’ organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)

in Abuja, attributed the situation to “politicians’ autocracy’’, adding that democracy was not thriving in Nigeria because of the autocratic nature of politicians, “who obviously were connected to military rule. According to him, democracy was in a state of flux in African continent and that there were very serious challenges of whether democracy was delivering dividends to the citizens, stressing that instead of providing the dividends to the people, it was now creating instability and crisis. “The challenges most African countries are faced with is that democratisation in most of the countries are on account of legacies of military rule. Clearly, everybody knows that military rule is an aberration, and if it has done anything in our continent here in Africa is that it has created very

dangerous legacies. “In Nigeria, we have been talking about `militicians’; many of the prominent politicians now are people who learnt politics under military rule, particularly under the Babangida politics of transition. “Many of them now have a do-ordie mentality of engaging in election and it is a mindset that was imbibed under the military rule,’’ said Jega. He said that there was growing frustration that democracy was not delivering what was expected of it whether in terms of legitimacy of regimes, in terms of stability, peaceful coexistence and quality of governance. “Most times, the electoral process is just a routine because candidates who do not represent the people are imposed on the people.

he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ondo State has said that 371,444 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) are yet to be collected in the state. Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Rufus Akeju, who said this in Akure, Friday, however, said that 44,410 voters were captured during the April, 2017 Continuous Voter Registration in the state. He said that 199 people reported that their cards were stolen during the first phase of 2018 revision exercise while 561 people were cases of de-faced PVCs. The REC reiterated his readiness to work with relevant stakeholders to ensure free, fair and credible elections in the state in 2019. He urged the residents to pick their PVCs at INEC offices in the 18 local government areas. Akeju said the CVR was ongoing and advised residents who just attained the age of 18 to register to enable them to vote in the coming elections. “We will do everything possible to ensure that 80 per cent of the uncollected PVCs were collected by their owners.” Akeju was the immediate past Oyo State Resident Electoral Commissioner and resumed as Ondo REC on Jan. 25.


The Oracle Today

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Wednesday February 21 , 2018

NEWS ACROSS THE NATION

Airport Road: Ambode orders Ladipo traders to vacate work sites

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agos State Government has approved the extension of the ongoing reconstruction of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road to the Ladipo International Market axis along Oshodi Apapa Expressway. This is also the state government told traders along the popular auto spare parts market axis of the work site to vacate in order to allow for improved pace of construction. State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who disclosed this during an extensive inspection of ongoing projects across the State, said the

extension was to complement the Airport Road reconstruction in line with the regeneration of the entire Oshodi axis. Accompanied by key members of his cabinet, Ambode also expressed concern that the presence of traders displaying their wares on the road was hampering the construction work and delaying the completion on schedule. “There is no point doing the Airport Road if we don’t extend that contract to where I am standing here and so I want to do it from Oshodi to Guardian Newspapers axis;

I want to rehabilitate the road and turn it to a modern road. The only way I can do it also is if you don’t do any trading on the road. “I promise you I will also do a Pedestrian Bridge at Toyota Bus Stop. So, the contractor that is doing the Airport Road will commence work on the Pedestrian Bridge and this road next week if you allow me. That is why I have come here personally; I was here yesterday. I don’t want to inconvenience you but I have come to appeal to you; just be patient with us; we will bring growth and development to

•Kogi State Governor, Alh. Yahaya Bello receiving the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara at the Kogi State Government House when the latter and some members of the House of Representatives Committee on Steel paid an official visit to the state, Monday.

this place,” the Governor said. Addressing thousands of traders who came out to hear from him, he said he had come out personally to appeal to them to leave the road to enable work continue and that if they comply, the project would be delivered by May 2018. “When I came here last year and I went through the Ladipo Market, I promised you I will do all the roads within the market and you will all cooperate with me. So, last year August, I fulfilled my promise; I awarded the contract of Akinwunmi Street, the Ladipo Street and then the other streets on the adjacent side. “The contractors have gone to work; I have just inspected the project at Akinwunmi Street and the drainage has been completed. You were the ones that told me I should come and do the roads; I have asked the contractors and they are promising me that Akinwunmi Street will be delivered by May but I have an issue and that is why I have called the Vice President of your association to stand by my side here. “Now, the only reason why that contract will not be completed on schedule is that some of you are trading on the roads that we want to repair and you were the ones

Northern Governors’ wives move to combat drug abuse

Kebbi Govt. to harness sugarcane in 2 LGs I

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EBBI State Government has said it will consolidate on its plan to establish an ethanol and sugar factory in the state so as to harness the abundant high quality sugarcane in Shanga and Koko/Besse Local Government Areas as well as in other places. State Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu who announced this, while interacting with sugarcane farmers from Tungan Amadu and Tungan-Mai ramu, weekend, told the farmers that the State Government has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), for the establishment of ethanol biofuel from sugarcane and sugar factory. The Governor said appropriate machinery would be provided to sugar-cane farmers for the extraction of sugar related products in the area. Meanwhile, Governor Bagudu has reiterated the commitment of his administration to improving the wellbeing of people of Yauri Emirate with emphasis on completion of Yauri Electricity sub-station as well as the Jega-Koko-Yauri road and clearing of water hyacinth in the area. According to the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Abubakar Mu’azu Dakingari, the Governor affirmed this at the palace of Emir of Yauri, Alhaji (Dr.) Zayyanu Muham-

madu Abdullahi during a visit to the Emir to condole with him on last week’s boat mishap which claimed lives and the passing-away of the father of the House of Assembly Member representing Yauri Constituency, Ahmad Aliyu Yauri. On the issue of bad roads, the Governor said his administration was committed to ensuring roads abandoned by the Federal Government were rehabilitated adding that the government would summon the contractor to discuss collaborative effort with the Nigeria Army Corps of Engineers to hasten the rehabilitation of the bad portion of the roads, prelude to full reconstruction to lessen the difficulty faced by motorists. The Governor informed the Emir that, he would provide more than one hundred and fifty million naira to the contractor handling the Yauri Power Sub-Station to expedite action on the project. In response to the frequent boat accident in Yauri Emirate water ways, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu said the government would provide financial support to inland water ways authority to remove and clear obstacles causing mishaps. The Governor said himself and Governor of Niger state have visited officials of inland water ways to seek approval to embark on the project, which was still being awaited.

In his remarks, the Emir of Yauri Dr. Zayyanu Muhammadu Abdullahi expressed dismay, anger, frustration, and displeasure about the way and manner the federal officials were handling issues relating to Yauri Emirate despite its contribution to the economic development of the country. He mentioned the abandoned roads project from Koko-Yauri to the border with Kantogra, the non-completion of Yauri electricity sub-station, and stalling the clearing of water hyacinth on water ways. The Emir requested the federal government to direct officials of inland water ways to remove all obstacles on water ways and also embark on patrol to enforce the ban on night journey by boats and canoes. Before leaving Yauri the Governor paid a visit to the family of late Ahmad Adamu Yauri father of Hon. Aliyu Ahmed Adamu, member representing Yauri constituency in the state House of Assembly. Late Ahmad Adamu died last Tuesday of an illness at the age of 95, leaving behind three wives and many children. Elsewhere Governor Abubakar Atiku paid a visit to the Alhaji Umaru Kare Yauri to sympathize with him on his prolonged illness wishing him quick recovery and good health.

that said we should come and repair the roads and so you need to talk to yourselves; I don’t want any trading on that road until we finish it. This is February, in another three months, we will finish it. So, the leaders in this market, please talk to your people, they should vacate the roads; let us bring development to your market. “I have come to appeal to you. If you don’t do it by way of appeal, you know I also have the power to close the market but I don’t want to do it and so let there be peace and when there is peace, there is progress and there is development,” he said. Responding on behalf of the traders, Vice President of the market, Mr. Jude Nwankwo commended Governor Ambode for delivering on his promise to transform the axis, assuring that they would cooperate with the government and vacate the roads to enable the contractor complete the project on schedule. “We would cooperate with you, we do not have any reason not to cooperate with you because all that you have promised to do, you have done it. More so, we are all beneficiaries of all the good work you are doing in Lagos,” Nwankwo said.

n continuation of the war against drug abuse, the Northern Governor’s Wives Forum converged in Abuja for a two-day training and sensitization workshop organized by the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) under the European Union’s ongoing project on Response to Drugs and Related Organized Crime in Nigeria. The workshop was held at the Sheraton Hotel Abuja from the 6th – 7th of February 2018, with ten governor’s wives accompanied by relevant delegates from their state. The workshop comprised module lectures, group activity sessions, documentaries and engaging interactions. UNODC Project coordinator Mr. Glen Prichard in his opening remarks expressed profound gratitude to the European Union for their support and commended the efforts of NGWF for their integrated initiative to fight drug abuse in the region as it is the most vulnerable with drug use leading to related crimes such as violence, extremism and radicalization. He added that by end of the training, the First Ladies and other delegates will be equipped with evidenced based information about what the real drug issues are and be able to separate from myths. Chairperson of the Forum Hajia Hadiza Muhammed Abubakar who declared the workshop open and expressed delight the UNODC/ EU was engaging the forum. She said with the ongoing research, data collection, programs

and interventions in Nigeria, the workshop would assist and guide the NGWF Drug programme in the North. The forum learnt the results of first comprehensive drug use research would soon be released. For the first time data gathered by UNODC will say who is using what drug with a state by state breakdown. Wife of the Kebbi State governor, Dr. Zainab Bagudu, was amongst the delegates and was acknowledged for her tremendous effort fostering the partnership with UNODC on behalf of the forum. Other first ladies present were those of Kaduna, Jigawa, Niger, Benue, Taraba, Gombe, Borno and Kogi, each of whom attended the training with focal persons from their respective states. Certificates were presented to the delegates and the workshop ended with closing remarks by the Secretary of the forum, Mrs. Eunice Ortom. Whilst thanking the organization, she pleaded that the relationship should be sustained.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21 , 2018

NEWS

Calabar residents laud Ayade over work on erosion sites

Residents of ravine-ravaged Ikot Nkebre community in Cross River State have praised Governor Ben Ayade for the ongoing massive remediation work in the area, describing him as a Messiah. The community had in the past suffered loss of lives and property to the open gully erosion. A landlord, Elder Peter Atteh, who has been living in the area for 20 years told newsmen that the past three years have been filled with trauma due to the threats occasioned by the gully. “I have been living here for over 20 years. The Cross River Basin Authority first awarded the job to a contractor who abandoned the project without a channel. Then there was this sand excavation that made this place look exactly like what you see today. Some persons have died and many houses collapsed as a result of this open gully,” he said/ Continuing, Atteh said: “We thank God for the governor, Prof Ben Ayade, who not only visited this place for an on-the-spot assessment. “The governor was so sympathetic that he vowed that he could not be a governor and watch the situation remain the way he saw it. Today, it is being handled, courtesy of him. For us, Ayade is a Messiah and we thank God for him because we can now sleep with our eyes close.”

Herdsmen now to carry ID cards in Ughelli By JONATHAN AWANYAI, Asaba HERDSMEN grazing their cattle within and around Ughelli South local government area of Delta State, would, henceforth, be made to bear Identity Cards after having their biometrics captured for them to continue in their businesses in the area. The identity cards which would be valid within Ughelli South council area alone would be implemented by a 16-man taskforce committee with membership drawn from the security agencies, traditional rulers, clergies, Muslim community and locals in the area. The task before the committee include stemming the tide of herdsmen invasion of communities in the area, promote peaceful co- existence among herdsmen, farmers and host communities, to provide inclusive participation of various interest groups in conflict management as well as to make appropriate recommendation to government on herdsmen/farmers activities. Inaugurating the committee, weekend, at the Ughelli South council secretariat, Otu-Jeremi, chairman of the council, Dr. Richard Kofi who doubles as chairman of the committee, noted that the ugly activities of some herdsmen in the area portends grave danger to lives and properties. In his address to the committee, the chairman said: “All herdsmen within the council area are to register and have their biometrics taken after which they will be given identity cards that will be valid within the area alone and anyone without the Identity Card will not be allowed to operate within Ughelli South.”

According to a staff of the University of Calabar and landlord of one of the buildings, Martins Agube, “we are happy for the state government that this erosion site is today being tackled. Many people have abandoned their homes here to save their lives due to the environmental hazard being experienced here. I sincerely thank Governor Ayade for keeping to his words and today, we are alive to see remediation work being carried out. Please, tell him that we only owe him our continuous votes.” Another resident, Peter Ogbodun of the Ministry of Police Affairs, narrated the activities of some contractors who had paid visits to the site in the past three years, promising to bring remedy but never returned. According to him, “many buildings went down as a result of the speedy collapse of this gully. Seeing the state government intervening today, we are happy. We are extremely relieved now because work is ongoing. It has been three years since the devastation and during this period we hardly sleep and when on outside duty we find ourselves restless as we wonder what the next story will be like. Thanks to our governor, Prof Ayade, who has finally come to our rescue even as we hope that the place be given a lasting touch.” Earlier, Project Manager of the erosion site, Engr. Victor Obijiofor, explained that it was a remediation job aimed at rescuing the community from the menace of erosion. He maintained that “the job is in different fingers as we classify it. This is one of the fingers and identified as finger one with others in other locations being worked on. The project is done in sections and what we are doing now is the dry season aspect which includes sand filling and compaction.” Obijiofor who intimated that the job duration was 24 months assured: “We are not resting on our oars hence embarking on the job with speed in line with the specified design to restore normalcy. The rainy season will soon set and what we are doing now is strictly for the dry season. Remediation job in the gully site is done by the Cross River State government in collaboration with the World Bank.”

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai (second right) chairing a meeting on the proposed 44.8KM Legacy Kaduna Light Rail Mass Transit Project, which connects Maraban Jos to Maraban Rido, Tuesday.

Igboeze North communities laud Ugwuanyi on road projects THEO RAYS, Onitsha

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HE ongoing construction of major roads in Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu State has attracted commendation for the Governor of the Coal City State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. Governor Ugwuanyi according to observers is changing the face of Igboeze North with ongoing massive construction of roads that connect several communities to the council headquarters in Ogrute. The roads which are being constructed by Ferotex Construction Company include: Ogrute Igogoro - Ikpamodo - Okpo - Amaja road and Ogrute - Umuogbo Uno - Ufodo - Isiugwu - Umuopu road. The Oracle Today correspondent who visited the sites reports that work is ongoing at an impressive From CHUKS EZE, Enugu level while the people are happy. gbo apex women socio-cultural orSome of the stakeholders who ganisation, Umuada Igbo Nigeria spoke to The Oracle Today did and in the Diaspora (UIND), has not hesitate to shower praises on said it is partnering with state govthe governor for deeming it right ernments in the south east in areas

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ership. People can’t forget this in a hurry,” said Prince Mama. In his words, a Senior Aide to the governor Owelle Bar Ejikeme Odumegwu who is also the Founder and Coordinator of Gburugburu Support Group said that the governor has moved Igboeze North to the next level with the road projects as it will certainly open doors for more development in the area, noting that good access road will make both rural and urban communities more accessible for business and most interesting making it easy for farmers to move their harvests from farm to the markets.

Umuada Igbo partners state govs to rollback poverty in S/East

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Group invites business proposals from Nigerians

group, The Investors Africa has invited business proposals from Nigerians “who already have existing small businesses and would love us to make them bigger and take them to the next level.” In a release signed by the group’s spokesperson, Ms Amara Blessing Nwosu, asking interested entrepreneurs to send their detailed business proposal to theinvestorsafrica@gmail.com, the US-based group added: “We are interested in Farming (livestock or plant), manufacturing of any kind and the likes. We are not

enough to construct those roads. The founder and coordinator of Good Ambassadors for Gburugburu, Prince Emeka Mamah (Ide) said the governor is replicating what he did at the University town of Nsukka in Igboeze North to the excitement of the people. “This is a wonderful development and we are happy and to me what this road project means is that the Ugwuanyi led administration has brought power back to the electorate. I believe that a big project of road infrastructure like this will translate to massive turnaround of psyche and minds of the people on democracy, good governance and progressive lead-

interested in buying and selling of goods and services. We want to work with creative minds. “If you are from other African countries and you think you’re capable of marketing and running a retail business that we will set up for you, contact us via same email.” In a telephone chat with The Oracle Today, Nwosu assured that “we have people who will visit and evaluate your business to ensure that everything is true before we invest in it. We are investors who deal with equity, we don’t give loan.”

of agriculture and skills acquisition to fight unemployment and poverty among the teeming youths in the zone. President-General of the group, Lolo Dr. Kate Ezeofor, who disclosed this in Enugu, also praised the “exemplary leadership and large-heartedness” of the governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuany, adding that ‘the governor is in the good books of the women group.’ The group was formed in 1998, with primary goals of advocacy visits and community outreach programmes, to mobilize Igbo women, both in the country and in the Diaspora, to work for Igbo unity, peace and progress of the Igbo nation. Speaking on the progress recorded by the women so far, Ezeofor explained that it is “partnering the government on poverty alleviation programmes. We are planning to

commence training of our women and youths in skills acquisition, at Emene, Enugu, where we have built a skills acquisition centre”. The woman leader also disclosed of plans to build a state-of-the-art hospital and diagnostic centre, adding that the Omogho community, in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State, has already volunteered nearly eight hectares of land for the proposed project. The medical centre, according to her, “is targeted at handling lifethreatening illnesses besieging the people of South Eastern Nigeria; and fruitful discussions towards bringing in best doctors from the Diaspora community, is already on course.” The Umuada Igbo, which has been granted special consultative status of Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), by the United Nations, had in the past, run other humanitarian services such as public health enlightenments on how to curtail diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, cancer, and sickle cell anaemia, as well as crusade against societal ills such as rape, and denying widows of their husband’s inheritance, among others.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

Crime

Area ‘G’ leading in Lagos community policing initiatives Stories by XAVIER NDAH

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he recent launching of the community policing and operation know your neighbour by the Commissioner of Police ,CP, Edgal Imohimi hosted by the police Area ‘G’ Command, Ogba have started yielding some fruitful results as residents of the area have attested to its benefits. Independent investigations revealed that members of the public in the Agege axis have started feeling the impact of the collaboration between the police and the people. The Area ‘G’ command headed by one Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP, Sanni Haruna we gathered has advised his men to follow all the instructions as handed down by the CP to the latter. The new Area commander we gathered has commenced familiarization tour of the police stations under him and has warned his men to live up to the expectations of the state’s police hierarchy which hinges on community policing and know your neighbour initiative. The thrust of the new community policing effort according to Imohimi, people have taken the act of knowing ones neighbor for granted and this is militating against the safety of the society. “Community policing is based on partnership. It is the people that know how their problem can be solved. I hereby call on everyone that we have decided to launch operation know your neighbours. “We have long taking this act for granted as everyone wants to be on their own. We don’t want to know the person sitting or living beside us. “This is however not possible as the next person’s act can easily influence yours. If you see something, say something and don’t keep quiet at your own detriment.” he said. “Cultists are also members of the society and I know we are not happy but what do we intend to do about it? “It is high time all traditional, civil and every other group that has influence on youths took issues of cultism and awareness very serious. “You should dedicate time to talk about the evils of cultism during your gatherings or town hall meetings. “Now i want you to warn your children that anyone arrested for cult related crimes will be diligently prosecuted.” he said. Edgal also urged residents not to allow drug peddlers hide in their neighbourhood and turn their children into drug addicts. “We must take back our communities from drug peddlers. We know where they are, we can’t say we don’t. “We should be able to share this information with the police and not let these hoodlums hibernate in our community to hide and sell drug to our children.” Edgal said. The CP further revealed that he discovered that people find it hard to share information with the police as there is no trust in the police.

• Edgal Imohimi

• Achom

However the Edgal initiative seems to be working as the Area ‘G’ command led by the Area Commander Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP, Sanni Haruna has taken the lead in community policing. The once labeled notorious Area ‘G’ Agege area which comprises Alakuko,Isokoko, Elere, Abattoir amongst others now wear a new face in terms of crime prevention and control. Our independent investigation reveals that the area is predominantly occupied with children of parents with disabilities. They lived with their parents and grew up to assist them by taking them around to beg for alms without any education or learning a trade.

“Now they are grown up, they have nothing to do so they resort to crime; the area is faces with nothing than robbery a resident who simply wish to be identified as Adeniyi explained. In one of the town hall meetings which this reporter was privileged to attend at Isokoko revealed a lot as the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Ayuba Nas was able to display his knowledge on community policing. There it was discovered that the Isokoko meeting have been split into the youth and Elders forum. The elders forum is meant to appeal to the elders to monitor and advise their children as the police will not spare anyone involved in

any form of crime. ” Because I will arrest them twenty times and am sure you will come here twenty times to beg for their release and if you fail to tame them I will turn deaf ear to your appeal so go and sit them down and advise them” Nas was quoted as saying. The youth forum is always a show of when in Rome behave like the Romans. DPO Nas came down to their level not just the feared DPO they used to hear about but a more friendly,tolerant but no nonsense officer who gets the crime rate low through partnership with youth and elders through interaction and synergy. Today the game has changed as they volunteer information to the local police. The Agege market which used to operate throughout the night with reckless abandoned has been identified in one of the town hall meetings as one of the major cause of crime since it serves as hideout to criminals now has a closing time. In fact the notorious boys of Olosanya,Isaloya,Ajegunle, Adarosa are all in partnership with the police through community policing. Woman SP Regina Achom in charge of Elere Police station is not an officer to be taken for granted although feminine her gentle and meek looks may portrays her feeble in terms of action. A unanimous independent voices during our findings within the Agege environs specifically at Elere area reveals that the area with the relentless operations of the ‘Awawa Boys’ where various sheds of criminal activities thrives has in turn made past DPO’s at the

Elere to be thrown to other less volatile areas. Natives who spoke unanimously with The Oracle Today now has a different story to tell. Taiwo Bamidele said they can now sleep with their eyes close as it has been a wonderful experience since the resumption of duty by the woman DPO Regina Achom. “Only God knows what and how she did it to stop the activities of the Awawa boys. I learnt that the police destroyed their shrine and their leaders were arrested and since then here has been peaceful. Achom in one of her meeting with resident had pleaded with the residents to avoid crime “It is your support that I need to fight crime, because as a policemen and women we cannot be everywhere. That is why I am here to preach community policing partnership to you; we need you to succeed in crime fighting. “I call on the Awawa cult group to come and talk to us and surrender their arms because there is no gain in troublemaking. Residents of the area were full of praises to the woman DPO who has made a difference and surpass where other past DPO’s who were all men failed. It was all praises for CP Edgal Imohimi for bringing in a DPO who understands the relevance of community policing and wish he should be making such decisions for this is the first time in a very long while the area is enjoying unusual and remarkable peace. Investigations revealed that the DPO Achom is successful following the adoption of the CP Edgal’s community policing and know your neighbour initiative of the command.

I am innocent says father who defiles his three children

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53-year-old man who was arrested by the police in Lagos for allegedly defiling three of his children has pleaded innocent. The suspect, Olusegun Adefemi, was accused of defiling his three years old daughter and the siblings who are 5 and 7 years old. The eldest Wisdom Adefemi accused the father, Olusegun, of sexually abusing his three-year-old sister, Favour. The minor was reiterating the

disclosure by the state Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, who said he ordered the arrest of Adefemi for defiling his daughter and attempting to defile his two sons. According to Wisdom, his father not only abused their sister five times, he also attempted to penetrate him and his five-year-old brother, Godspower, through the anus, but they refused because the pains were too much.

Police arrests fake lawyer

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he Police Ogun state command has arrested one Omoniyi Vacoster who has been parading himself as a lawyer and holding legal brief for unsuspecting members of the public. The suspect was arrested following a complaint by one Omomehin Oluwatoyin of Ogun state chapter of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) who reported that the said Omoniyi Vacoster has been coming to various courts in Ogun state to defend cases, but the Association’s investigation about him indicated that he has never at any time been called to Bar. Upon the complaint, the DPO

“My daddy slept with Favour he put her on the ground and then he did it. It was not once, it was five times. He wanted to do my own from the back but I refused and he wanted to do Godspower too. When we refused, he started beating us.” Edgal said he was arrested at No. 6 Ipakan Street, Ijede, after an official of Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC), Adekoya Sesan reported the incident.

Ibara division detailed the divisional crime officer DSP Dada Olusegun to arrest and investigates the suspect. On interrogation, the suspect confessed that though he read Law in the university, he has never been called to Bar having failed to go through the law school hence he is not qualify to practice as a lawyer. The commissioner of police CP Ahmed iliyasu has ordered that the case be transferred to state criminal investigation and intelligence department for further investigation and prosecution of the suspect. • Vacoster

The police boss said Adefemi had unsupervised access to his kids as he was separated from his wife over alleged spousal abuse. According to Imohimi “He inflicted grievous injury in the private part of the child as a result of forceful penetration. “Two older siblings of the survivor were not luckier as Olusegun Adefemi regularly abused them by beating them with cane each time they resisted him from penetrating them through their anus. “The girl has been taken to Mirabel Medical Centre for examination and treatment while her siblings have been placed in temporary home. The suspect would be charged to court at the end of investigation.” The suspect however denied abusing his children saying that he doesn’t know why they are lying against him.” I don’t abuse them. I usually drop them with my neighbors when am going out as I can just sit at home and expect food to come from nowhere. I cannot do that to my children. Only God will judge who is lying as I don’t know why my children are also lying against me. I believe it is a frame up.” he said.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

POLITICS

Nigerians are in chain, not Truth about constant change, under Buhari blood on trails of ‘Fulani – Nnajiofor herdsmen’ Pg 12

Pg 10

Something is wrong with anyone killing, destroying farms – Kalu • Abia Assembly ready to pass anti-grazing bill Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chikwendu Kalu, appeared on the Open Parliament, an audienceparticipatory programme of an Umuahia-based radio station, Love FM. He used the opportunity to disclose that Abia lawmakers were on verge of passing the anti-grazing bill into law but expressed fears about its enforcement, thereby advocating for state police; devolution of powers. Kalu also threw more light on the role of the Assembly in the suspension of the Abia Chief Judge, Justice Theresa Uzokwe, and why it recommended her removal insisting that in the entire saga, the House has no relationship with the National Judicial Commission, NJC, which frowned at the suspension of the Chief Judge without the Commission’s input. BONIFACE OKORO monitored the programme. Excerpts… Abia State House of Assembly has been considering the anti-grazing bill. At what stage is the bill? We are still considering the Anti-grazing bill, which is HAB 36. It is at the consideration stage. Once it passes that stage, the next is Third Reading, which is just as good as being passed. It came up yesterday but we couldn’t take it. And I must confess that it will be taken today in terms of considering the reports presented by the Committee on Agriculture that we decided to give out the bill for it to conduct a public hearing. I want to say that as a House of Assembly, that bill is very important to us in the sense that we have started meeting with the Nigerian Police, one of the security agencies; we have started also to interface with the National Security and Civil Defence Corps. These are people we can say that their constitutional responsibility borders on the internal safety of the citizens; the defence of their property and all that. I am sure that they will be able to cooperate with the State for the purposes of enforcing the contents of the particular bill when it is passed into law. But I have a little worry. Worry in the sense that what if after our interface, and somewhere along the line, an order comes from Abuja, considering the hierarchical command structure of the Nigeria Police, for instance, you should not do this, you should not do that; whatever understanding we had will amount to nothing. So that was why I said that if you allow me, I will advocate for a state police where the State Commissioner will be responsible to the Governor who is presumably the Chief Security Officer of the State. If it is otherwise, I am afraid about the proper implementation of even the law we are making as it concerns the anti-grazing bill or law. What is your reaction to the opposition to the bill in certain quarters? Let me quickly point out that law is very dynamic. The essence of the promulgation of any law is that once you perceive an ill coming up in the society, you will now be able to promulgate a law to be able to checkmate that particular ill or vice. The essence of any anti-grazing bill/law is to curb destruction of farm crops. The moment you notice that the herders get into the farms and eventually they will destroy same and eat up the whole thing. We were watching the entire thing and it is not really peculiar to Abia, it is throughout the federation. What we did was to see how we can counter same through promulgating the anti-grazing law. So, when somebody is now telling you that he is killing because there is a law that forbids an animal from destroying another person’s property, I think there is something wrong with the person.

know what he is doing. And I think I am one of the advocates of state police; decentralise the security agencies, most importantly the police, you decentralise same and the State Commissioners of Police will be taking instructions from the State. I continue to say that I am an advocate of constitutional amendment to be able to capture all these things because, if you look at our Constitution, for instance, the Exclusive Legislative list, 68 items are given to the Federal Government for them to legislate on. Only 30 are given to States in the Concurrent Legislative list. You will agree with me in the Exclusive list, States do not go near there in terms of legislating upon it In the Concurrent Legislative list housing both the Federal and State governments, you realise that if a law is made on a particular subject or item by the Federal Government and a State comes up to legislate upon on that, the law made by the State is nullified on the ground of inconsistency with the federal law. Where does a State come in, in the circumstance? So, we are practising military system of government, not even a federal system of government or a quasi-federalism because if you look at the definition of federalism as propounded by an expert, it is an agreement between the centrifugal and centripetal forces. The federal systems are to coordinate, nor to subordinate. What we are experiencing in the Nigerian federal system is subordination, not coordination.

• Rt. Hon. Chikwendu Kalu One, he is running foul of the law; second, he is not even considerate that this is somebody’s property and you allow your own property to destroy another person’s property. So, as far as I am concerned, he is running foul of the law and based on the content of that particular bill/law, to some of the States that have been able to it into law, he has to be apprehended. My worry is about the degree of the implementation by the implementation agencies – the police and other security agents. Where do they get their authority? If you look at the hierarchical command structure of the police, you have to agree with me that something must have to be done because of the implementation or enforcement of these

laws; because one thing is to make a law and another is the implementation. If the authority is coming from Abuja, you will agree with me that something is wrong somewhere. I have ever spoken concerning strict adherence to the principles of federalism. The Federal Government is looking for a way just to amass so many powers. This is a federal system and in a federal system, States have their powers and the Federal Government has its own powers, the local governments have their own powers. If somebody is telling me that the Inspector-General of Police will implement all these laws without “instructions” from the centre or the Federal Government and that he will be fair, I will tell that person that he doesn’t

Are you in support of devolution of powers? I did say that, I cited, for instance, the number of items in the Exclusive Legislative list, about 68. I equally cited the number of items contained in the Concurrent Legislative list, about 30. Now, if you look at them, there is need for you to reduce the enormous powers being wielded by the centre and give some to States so that they can function well and develop. That’s the remedy to all these. And to answer your question, I am supportive of the devolution of powers. The House recently recommended suspension of the State Chief Judge, Justice Theresa Uzokwe and directed the Governor to appoint an acting Chief Judge. What informed the decision of the House when it appears certain constitutional provision actually negates that action? Well, let me thank you for this question because it is a very recent development in our State. Precisely, on 26 January 2018, we were considering a petition dated 22 January 2018. That petition, as far as I am concerned, is so copious and the allegations there were very, very weighty; and based on a motion Cont’d on page 15


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

BOLD n BLUNT

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ll herdsmen are farmers (animal farmers) but not all farmers are herdsmen. Crop farmers consider livestock farmers worthy allies in the whole process of making food available. The waste from livestock provides a veritable source of manure for crops. It is one of the best kinds of organic fertilisers. So good is it that crop farmers even pay for it. Similarly, livestock farmers depend on the waste from crop farmers for the feeding of their livestock. They buy grass and unused crops, after harvest, from crop farmers to feed their livestock. At times, crop farmers even reach an agreement with their livestock counterparts for the animals to move through their farms during years of fallow to allow the land to rest and be re-energised. The movement of the herds through the land, during those periods enables the herds eat up the remnants of crops and grass in the land and directly defecate on the land, thereby giving the land the desired manure and making it richer and better prepared for greater yields when the crop farmers resume the cultivation of the land. Such was the symbiotic relationship that existed between the crop farmers and herdsmen, whether local or foreign. This relationship ensured bumper harvests for the crop and livestock farmers in those days and made food available for all at very cheap prices. Everybody benefited. There had always been herder/farmer clashes that drew no blood As expected, just as it happens in all other existing relationships of mankind, there is bound to be clashes between these sets of farmers. Every once in a while, some herds (cows, sheep, even local goats) would stray into lands with ripe or unripe but unharvested crops and eat them up without the authority of the farm owners. Every once in a while too, farm owners would rise in anger and harm some herds that make such unauthorised foray into their lands. But, the beautiful thing those days was that the world of farmers had traditional ways of peacefully resolving those conflicts among them. They knew they needed each other, so they guarded their relationship jealously. No conflict was too big to be settled peacefully. No blood was ever shed or even contemplated to be shed as a means of resolving any crisis. The Fulani herdsmen and their lifestyle were particularly intriguing and fascinating. Apart from the Igbo, the herdsmen were the most travelled of the other tribes. That’s why the herdsmen and the host communities in those days were natural allies. Whereas the host communities dwelt in cities or rural areas, the Fulani herdsmen dwelt in bushes; indeed they were the bush masters. So skilful were they in the management of their forest life that they earned the admiration of the host communities in Nigeria. They were simple, not greedy, in love with their cows, strong and untiring, not violent (in fact largely unarmed with only staves and knifes for domestic use), What happened to the friendly herders that had myths woven around them? As children, we were always captivated by the many myths woven around these people, myths that made us rush outside to watch them with admiration in Nsukka land, the land of my nativity. We were told that they lived in bushes, that they understood the languages of animals while the animals also understood the herdsmen’s language, that snakes and other animals in the forest dared not attack them because they had the juju that enabled them to morph into any animal species and live peaceably with all animals; that when they were hungry and had run out of food in the forest, they would morph into cows and eat grass before morphing back to human beings. To convince us about the veracity of this myth, we would watch to our chagrin how a boy of five would be commanding cows with only a staff and the cows would be obeying him while whenever we got close to the cows, they would send us running away with a mere roar. We will voluntarily offer them water to refresh themselves. We thought then that they owned the cows and marvelled at how rich they were yet how loving and caring they were to the cows that made

Truth about constant blood on trails of ‘Fulani herdsmen’

KENNETH OKONKWO (ANDY) posits that the herdsmen that unleash terror on farming communities across Nigeria aren’t necessarily ‘Fulani’, but hardened terrorists and criminal elements who have infiltrated the herders and are using them as a cover to continue Boko Haram’s mission of terrorism, conquest and expropriation of regional and or national resources. The solution, he says, lies in the government dealing decisively with these anarchist tendencies. house was crashed by patriotic US citizens inside the plane who got information that the plane was heading towards the White House to destroy it. President George Bush called them terrorists. He refused to attach any ethnic and religious colouration to their action. This is in spite of the fact that they belonged to one religion and were predominantly from one ethnic group. This strategy helped him to isolate the terrorists and enlist the support of the Arabs and Moslems in America and abroad to the fight against terrorism. Those terrorists were part of AL Qaeda based in Afghanistan, which had no government that controlled the whole country. In other words, terrorists operate better and freer in places where there is anarchy or a friendly dictatorship.

• Kenneth Okonkwo them even sleep with them in the bush. The Igbo were so thrilled by this lifestyle that they composed Igbo poems in admiration. Let me state one poem. “Anyi na aga ebe Anyi na aga, Anyi wee nepu anya n’iro, Anyi wee hu ka efi na aga, Anyi wee tie okokoko!!!, efi awusa nine ebuka, efi Igbo nine epeka”. Translated in English, it reads, “We are passing by and just looked around and saw cows passing and we screamed okokoko!!! Hausa cows are so huge and admirable, while Igbo cows are so small”. Anybody that understands the Igbo knows that they don’t like to play second fiddle in most things. But when it comes to the issue

of nomadic cattle rearing, they concede to the Fulanis. Such was the beauty of the relationship those days. Indeed, Fulani herdsmen were regarded as the most peaceful partners to their host communities, their only red line being the protection of their cows. The question, then, is, what has gone wrong today? Need to properly identify these anarchists On September 9, 2001, a group of 16 young men hijacked 4 US planes and in daring terrorist attacks brought down the twin world trade centres, damaged the Pentagon and attempted attacking the White House. The plane that was heading to attack the white

Anybody that understands the Igbo knows that they don’t like to play second fiddle in most things. But when it comes to the issue of nomadic cattle rearing, they concede to the Fulanis. Such was the beauty of the relationship those days. Indeed, Fulani herdsmen were regarded as the most peaceful partners to their host communities, their only red line being the protection of their cows.

Just who is a terrorist? The dictionary defines him as a person who terrorizes or frightens others. It defines terror as violence or threat of violence used for intimidation or coercion. From this definition, we can see that the whole idea of terrorism is the quest for power and resources using intimidation and coercion. That is why they invade cities, communities, kill, maim, destroy mercilessly so that victims, out of fear, would surrender their power and resources to them. In order to achieve this, they need to first instigate anarchy. These terrorists use falsehood and the media to cause confusion and mutual suspicion among prior established peaceful relationships in order to cause infighting among the groups and foment anarchy, which enables them to move in to take over power and the resources of both parties. This modern version of terrorism became known and popularized in Nigeria around 2009, when a group emerged and proclaimed that Western education is an abomination. They were nicknamed Boko Haram in line with their ideology. Initially, they unleashed unprecedented violence on their fellow Moslems who subscribed to Western education. They were roundly defeated with their leader killed because Nigeria rose up with one voice and attacked them. This was possible because they were given a name in line with their ideology devoid of any ethnicity or religion. When the terrorists saw that they had failed to instigate anarchy and were roundly defeated, they headed into the forest and took over the forest highways with their capital in Sambisa. The forest welcomed a new host and with their superior firearms and training, it was easy for them to overthrow the original bush masters, the Fulani Herdsmen. They became the new bush masters and their first victims were the Fulani herdsmen and their herds. That was why they manifested first and foremost as cattle rustlers. They killed the herdsmen and stole their cattle to feed their fighters in the forest and sell the rest to enable them raise money to buy weapons. From their forest hideouts, they started planning on how to instigate anarchy so they could take over territories. They tried interreligious conflict, where they started killing Christians in churches and their homes. With this, they attracted the sympathy of some un-

Continued on pg. 14


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

BOLD n BLUNT Continued from pg. 13 wary religious fundamentalists who started assisting them to with a view to using these anarchists to settle religious sentiments. But, Christians were prevailed upon not to retaliate. They were reminded that the terrorists started killing Moslems first and that this is a ploy by the terrorists to destabilise the nation. The terrorists failed. They tried North and South divide, where they started attacking southerners in the North. They bombed southerners, particularly the Igbo in Sabongari, Kano and other places. With this, they attracted the sympathy of some unwary ethnic jingoists who started assisting them to use them to settle ethnic scores. Again, the southerners were prevailed upon not to react. They failed again to cause anarchy but were, however, getting stronger. With their gradual increase in strength, they became a beautiful bride to some ruthless, rudderless politicians, who assist them with funds, just to use them cause anarchy in the country so that the ruling Party in power will be painted in bad light, which provides them with the tool to blackmail the government in power and convince the people to vote them out. With this flow of resources to them from different channels for different purposes, they became emboldened to start occupying territories, launching suicide attacks throughout the North including Abuja and its environs with its epicentre in the North East. They started forming cells in the Southern part of Nigeria including Lagos and Enugu. They were well trained in the art of Guerrilla warfare and the forest became their natural abode. Before the government then in power understood what was going on, it was quite late. For all we care, Fulanis may well be victims themselves! The regime of President Buhari came in with a promise to wipe them out. The regime dislodged the terrorists even in Sambisa. Having been dislodged, the terrorists took over the forest highways and started re strategizing. They met with the Fulani herdsmen in the bushes and dislodged them. They became the new bushmasters. As they move towards South, through the forest highways, they change in character and strategy to achieve their objectives of terrorism. They identified traditional trouble spots in the country and moved towards such places to operate. Such places like Plateau, Southern Kaduna, Benue, become easy targets as there has always been traditional mutual suspicion among the communities and their Fulani neighbours. In such cities, they manifest as saviours to the herdsmen against the purported onslaught of the communities. They start the manipulation of the parties by rustling the cattle of the herdsmen and convincing them that this is the handiwork of the host communities and they are willing to help. The unsuspecting herdsmen would in turn provide intelligence for them and even encourage their young children to assist them in the process. They use the ploy to indoctrinate the younger herdsmen and co-opt them into their terrorist gang. When they have perfected their plans, they would unleash a coordinated, unprovoked, guerrilla -attacks on the host communities, raping and killing women and children, slaughtering the men, stealing everything they can steal. The host communities would wake up to their consternation to see the level of destruction on their communities. It’s the terrorists, damn it! Of course, their first suspects would be the Fulani herdsmen but, unknown to them, it is the handiwork work of the terrorists. They would revenge by killing the innocent, defenceless herdsmen and their cows thereby confirming to the herdsmen that they need the services of the terrorists for protection. The cycle of violence continues until there is complete breakdown of law and order, while the terrorists continue with their evil agenda. When they reach the more elitist states in the south, they simply mix up with the traditional criminal elements, be they militants or cultists, and launch kidnapping and armed robbery operations to loot the resources of

• Herdsmen

Nomadic cattle-rearing involves trekking from one place to another in search of greener pastures. This method suits the ancient world, where forests were in abundance and boundaries not clearly delineated among nations. Farming was the main occupation of the people then and modern nations/countries with sophisticated major cities were not born. People were morally upright and terrorism was not on the cards. the people. They provide the criminals with sophisticated weapons. Both of them use the forest highways. That’s why whether you call them badoo cult in Lagos or kidnappers and or armed robbers in the South Eastern or South-South States of Nigeria. Whatever nomenclature they adopt, the common denominator is that the forest has become their meeting point. To buttress this point, the Plateau State Commissioner of Police, Undie Adie, paraded two suspected herdsmen for allegedly killing a seven-year-old, Muhammad Ibrahim, and stealing 15 cows and 14 sheep entrusted in his custody by his uncle, Ibrahim Haruna, at Agigi village in Bassa Local Government Area of the state... Adie said the suspects have made confessional statements on how they connived with some herdsmen to rustle the cows, sheep and kill the boy.” According to news reports, the suspects are Bala and Salish while some of the suspects are still at large” If this incident had happened in Tivland, Benue, the first impression, without investigation, would be that this was done by the host community. This would lead to the true herdsmen seeking help from the same terrorists to avenge them of their losses. The terrorists would invade the community killing innocent citizens, burning their houses, properties and looting the remainder. The host community in return would raise alarm that the herdsmen have attacked them and start organising armed militia to attack back. They would now attack innocent Fulani herdsmen and the vicious cycle continues, while the terrorists and local criminal elements would smile home with their loots. We have to rise up together as a strong and united country to face this menace by recognising, first and foremost, that we are not up against any ethnic or religious group or profession but against a brutal terrorist guerrilla warfare which has combined with some criminal elements to unleash ferocious attacks on all of us-- whether Christians or Moslems, Tivs, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa or Fulani using the forest highways as their natural habitat. They are almost succeeding in creat-

ing anarchy among the different communities that have hitherto lived in peace with one another. It is against this regard that the use of the name “Fulani herdsmen” is not helpful in this war against the terrorists, as this nomenclature provides a comfortable cover for the terrorists to operate without hindrance. If you address them as Fulani herdsmen, then you cannot deny the Fulanis the right to claim it is a communal clash because everybody agrees that before the advent of the modern terrorism, the Fulani herdsmen had been living peacefully with their host communities. It then implies that after the arrival of this brand of terrorism on our shores, there is a need to appraise our strategies and recommend new solutions. Ranching to the rescue The immediate solution to this scourge is ranching. Let us recognise that no great army can do anything against an idea whose time has come. Nomadic cattle-rearing involves trekking from one place to another in search of greener pastures. This method suits the ancient world, where forests were in abundance and boundaries not clearly delineated among nations. Farming was the main occupation of the people then and modern nations/countries with sophisticated major cities were not born. People were morally upright and terrorism was not on the cards. Today, the case is different. Modern cities have emerged. There is hardly any ancient grazing route from North to South of Nigeria that did not cross a major city. Even if there is no terrorism, nomadic grazing would still come to an end one day because the idea of allowing herds to pass through cities, defecating on the roads and such other public facilities, posing traffic, hygienic and other health challenges, is incompatible with the tenets of a modern state. The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja once expressed displeasure at the movement of cattle across the roads of the FCT with the attendant consequences. One cannot imagine passing through the streets of London, Paris, Washington and running into herds of cattle

competing with human beings for right of way and defecating along the streets, waterways and on such other social infrastructures. So ranching in the first instance is a consequence of a modernized society hoping to make their cities clean and attractive for investment and tourism for the outside world. Needs for enlightenment on imperatives of ranching The need to educate the children of these nomads in this world infested with terrorism has become very urgent and immediate. We know for a fact that terrorists more easily recruit persons who are poor and unlettered. The Fulanis should be more concerned in this regard because these nomadic children who are being recruited now along the forest highways by these terrorists will come back one day to haunt the Fulani nation. Lamenting the current crisis between ‘Fulani herdsmen’ and their host communities in Ayamelum, Anambra State, an elderly leader of Fulani herdsmen community in that area said: “The new generation of Fulani herdsmen are not as civilized and tamed as the ones that came in previous years. We the leaders cannot talk them out of killings without being killed ourselves. The influence of illicit drugs has changed the dynamics. During our time, when we first arrived in Ayamelum, we enjoyed cordial relationship with the natives, now it is different.” Quartering these children in ranches would assist in their education as all the previous arrangements to educate them, including nomadic education, failed in the past. Also, ranching will deny the terrorists the cover they operate under. When the herdsmen embrace ranching, whoever is found in the bush wielding AK 47, by whatever guise or name, and launching attacks on communities will be treated as a terrorist without hesitation and taken out. Ranching will increase the nutritional value of our herds and improve the health of the herdsmen. It has been proven that the excess trekking of our herds and the herdsmen under our harsh climate, especially in this era

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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

INTERVIEW

Nigerians are in chain, not change, under Buhari – Nnajiofor What do you make of the issue of herdsmen/ farmers clashes in Nigeria and the idea of grazing colony, considering that you are a farmer and there are many farmers in your constituency and herdsmen operate in your area as well? As a lawmaker representing the good people of Nkanu East State Constituency in the Enugu State House of Assembly, I want to condemn, in totality, and without fear or favour, violence and attack on our farmers, by any group, whether herdsmen, armed militia or any other group under any guise. The loss of any life is very painful to the entire people – nation and state. Human life is precious because God created each of us in His own image. Therefore, it is condemnable to kill any human being in the name of anything whatsoever; and I urge that every community should protect their environment and fashion out effective ways to block invasion of herdsmen or attempt by any other group to invade their communities. We should not leave everything to God. I also know that law enforcement agencies are there, but people should also endeavour to combine efforts to complement those of various official security agencies. So, traditional rulers and leaders of thought should be involved in the process of safeguarding their areas. Everybody should be on the alert and do every needful thing to ensure that our people do not get killed like chicken and that lives of our people do not get wasted any day. So, I condemn the killings in Benue, Rivers, Adamawa, Nasarawa and others. And I urge those at the helm of affairs to ensure that bad-blooded people, miscreants, armed robbers and cult people are not allowed to hide under the guise of Fulani herdsmen to attack communities in this country. Every monitoring and intelligence gathering mechanisms, including local, exposed, elitist and other special surveillance techniques, should be employed to arrest the situation once and for all. And on the issue of cattle colony, I use this medium to condemn it and dissociate myself, as a person, and on behalf of my constituency, the call for the establishment of cattle colonies in this country. We are vehemently against such move. Anybody who wants to rear animal should be able to buy a portion of land and fence it round, and then go and be fetching food or grasses to feed them inside that enclave. Why would the federal government call for the creation of cattle colony or colony of any animal, for that matter, as has been suggested by (the Minister of Agriculture) Chief Audu Ogbe? There are other Nigerians who do not do cattle business but they do piggery, poultry and rabbit as well as goat rearing, among others. The question is: What then happens to those ones? What about those who do rice farming, or potatoes, yam and cucumber farming, like myself? Would the government establish colonies for all of us? Therefore, we also condemn open grazing of cattle in Nigeria and I thank the governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who has declared that Enugu State does not want open grazing. Therefore, we stand on that to condemn anything that would make cattle to be roaming about anywhere in our beloved state and any time whether in the morning, day or night, destroying people’s farmlands, crops and valuables. But in any case, I call on my people of Nkanu East constituency not to ever take laws into their hands even in event of any provocation. They should rather report any suspicious movement of strangers or damage to their crops to the relevant agencies such as the Police and our community leaders. Luckily, our governor has also set up a special joint security committee to handle such complaints. All the tribes in Enugu State are represented in that committee which is headed by the Special Adviser to the governor on Security, Gen. Fred Eze (Rtd.), and they are doing very well. How has the present Enugu State House of Assembly fared since its inception, especially in 2017; what are your projections for 2018?

• Says APC has failed, turned Nigeria upside-down • Enugu eager to re-elect Ugwuanyi

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he House Committee Chairman on Information and member representing Nkanu East constituency in the Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon. Paul Nnajiofor has taken a swipe at the APC-led administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying it has inflicted enormous pains on Nigerian citizens since its inception. The lawmaker, in a chat with CHUKS EZE, in Enugu, while pointing out some milestones recorded by the Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi administration in Enugu State as well as those recorded by the state legislature, declared that Enugu citizens are pleased with the present dispensation in the state, and ‘eager to re-elect’ the governor in 2019. He also, noted that Nigerians are having it so rough and painful they, “had thought that APC was singing ‘change’ during their campaigns in 2015 but little did they know it was ‘chain’ they said they were bringing…Excerpts:

• Hon. Paul Nnajiofor Thank you immensely. The House fared well in 2017, through the clearly-defined leadership targets that were set by our amiable and humble able Speaker, Rt. Hon. Edward Uchenna Ubosi, who has also done well in uniting all members of the House. We have never had any issue that was not resolved within the House, owing to

the qualitative and effective internal crisis-resolution mechanism, which the Speaker put in place in the House. Mr Speaker also carries everybody along and there is adequate peace and harmony amongst us, which is why we have been able to do more than 23 motions, over 18 bills. These are pro-people bills and motions,

We all saw what the federal-sponsored army did to unarmed IPOB members in Abia State, for requesting for sovereignty, referendum and for speaking out against perceived injustices on Ndigbo. The federal government treated them like common criminals and proscribed the group after declaring it a terrorist group, without killing anybody. And we are all witnesses to how criminal herdsmen are allowed to have field day – going about killing innocent Nigerian citizens and destroying people’s valuables.

and we have as well done a lot of trainings and advocacy. We have partnered with so many agencies including UNICEF, DFID, some World Bank agencies and other foreign organisations from Germany and other countries. We have also established partnerships with the Institute of Innovative development, West African Media Repositioning Agency, among others. Mr Speaker has exposed the House to greater opportunities of knowing what obtains outside Enugu State. We have travelled to America for inter-agency training and workshop on Global Legislative Capacity – how to impact on our constituency using international opportunities and window of partnership. I could go on and on. So, our Speaker has done very well and we have absolute confidence in him. I am saying that 2017 was a very peaceful year for us; we had a very robust outing and our constituencies were happy for it because Mr Speaker made it mandatory that we should regularly reach out to our constituencies. That was why every one of us was able to carry out one constituency outreach or the other. For instance, you are aware of my little programmes such as medical outreach and empowerment programmes for women and youths, as well as various bursary programmes and support to widows, support to churches and our party, our communities as well as special interface between our constituents and Honourable Members, among others. So, we had a lot of opportunities and chances of improvement, as created for us by Mr Speaker. It is on record that there is no record of any fracas, fisticuff, violence or even exchange of words among House Members, and we enjoyed robust and sustained relationship between the executive and legislature in the state during the outgone year. Therefore, one could proudly say that it had never been so good in the Enugu State House of Assembly. The relationship between the Executive and Legislature in the state is that of perfect harmony and partnership in progress. There is absence of inter-agency suspicion between the Executive and the legislature in the state. What exists is the spirit of one state, one destiny and one hope, under the able leadership of Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the performing governor of the state. Did the House record any other milestone last year? There are several other remarkable achievements, top of which is that by the grace of God, we all saw the end of 2017 and came back in 2018 without losing any member. God also gave us other special privileges: One is the election of our Speaker, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi as the Deputy Chairman of Conference of Nigerian Speakers, as well as the election of one of us, Rt. Hon. Sunday Kelly Enemchukwu Udeokoye, as the National Leader of PDP. He

Continued on pg. 13


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

POLITICS

Imo community showcases unity, strength, resilience at Akokwa Mass Return

• Honours Gov. Okorocha, Senator Uzodinma, Ezenna, 108 others IBE NWACHUKWU writes on the glitz, splash and dash of Igbo culture as indigenes of Akokwa, an Anambra neighbouring community in Imo State celebrate some of their own at a Mass Return ceremony.

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t was an outright showcasing of unity, strength, resilience and rich cultural heritage by indigenes of Akokwa community in Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State at the official opening ceremony of a multi-million naira ultra-modern mosaic-of-the-heavens-hereon-earth Akokwa Unity Centre. The ceremony, which was organized by the Akokwa United Progressive Peoples Assembly (AUPPA), attracted eminent personalities from far and near, including members of the traditional, political and business classes. The occasion also featured the award of honours and chieftaincy titles to distinguished personalities, including Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma representing Orlu Senatorial zone and Chief Tony Ezenna, Chairman of Orange Drugs Limited. Altogether, about 111 personalities were either given honorary titles or conferred with various chieftaincy titles by the community. The splitting of Akokwa town into six autonomous communities a few years ago by the Imo State government, for administrative convenience, had created some grudges within the traditional institution in the area but the advent of Chief Paul Ngoka-led incumbent 14-man administration of AUPPA which came into being in 2013, brought about total reconciliation Consequently, the Ngoka-led administration brought together the six traditional rulers of the communities, including Eze Ikenna Okoli, the Agbakwuruibe III of Akokwa whose grand father and father were the first and second Obi of Akokwa respectively. The traditional rulers of five other autonomous communities sat together with Eze Okoli at the ceremony as they jointly con-

ferred the Chieftaincy titles on some selected distinguished personalities. They included Eze Charles Biere of Umuezeaga-Akokwa, Eze Don Opuruozo of Umuopia-Akokwa, Eze Charles Ejezie of Akwu-Akokwa, Eze lambert Emechebe of Owerre-Akokwa and Eze Michael Anyoha of Umukegwu-Akokwa. At the ceremony which created an avenue for the consolidation of peace and unity, three distinguished personalities, including Governor Okorocha, Tony Ezenna and late Prof. Elechukwu Njaka (MON), the first Akokwu indigene that represented Mbanasaa in the Old Eastern Regional House of Assembly in Enugu in the late 50s and early 60s and founder of the present Akokwa High School, received special awards, while 22 others received development pillars award, just as 43 others, 24 others and 19 others received great ambassadors award, development pathfinders award and posthumous awards respectively. For Chief Ezenna, it was a double award as he was given a Noble Excellence Award for his noble impact and developmental role to Akokwa clan and at the same time conferred with a Chieftaincy title of Ijele Akokwa (biggest masquerade) by the six royal father of the six autonomous communities. The ceremony also featured the presentation of great ambassadors awards to Senator Hope Uzodinma and Monsignor John Bosco Akam, founder of Tansian University, the presentation of the 2017 Akokwa-born Most Beautiful Girl (MBG in Nigeria in the person of .Miss Ugochi Mitchel Ihezue and the launching of N500 million development funds, among others, just as Late Hon. CIF Okenwa and Chief Ernest Ebiliekwe were among the 19 persons who were given

• Ezenna cutting the tape to officially open the unity center post-humous awards. In his opening remarks, the President-General of AUPPA, Paul Ngoka described Akokwa as a peaceable community explained which does not let blood from time immemorial, adding that they were grateful to all sons and daughters of the area, particularly Ezenna who funded and nurtured the state-of-the-art unity center to completion, without levying anyone. Ngoka who went down the memory lane, emphasized that Ezenna had from inception, given enormous financial and moral supports towards the completion of the unity center and the overall development of Akokwa. He however expressed optimism that the peaceful atmosphere which currently pervaded the community, would definitely usher in a rapid transformation in the area. In his speech, the chairman of the occasion, Barrister Okechukwu Muomalu (KSM), a lagosbased legal practitioner, commended the executive members of AUPPA for thinking out a grand occasion of that magnitude, and lauded all the awardees for their doggedness and vari-

Continued from pg. 13 represented Awgu North State Constituency prior to his election. Those are pluses to the present institution of Enugu State House of Assembly and a demonstration of the fact that we are good and that we are qualified to hold any position. Primary elections are expected to take place later this year, ahead of the fast-approaching 2019 general election. What are your expectations as regards the fate of you and your colleagues, as well as your party in Enugu State and beyond? The exercise actually commences from August 17, and we are praying and hoping that all of us in the Enugu State House of Assembly, including Mr Speaker, would be returned. That would enable us to continue the business of effective legislation, effective representation of our respective constituencies and effective representation and effective repositioning of our state, in conjunction with the hardworking governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who Ndi Enugu are already eager to reelect for second term. So, we are hoping that all of us will scale through our party’s primary elections and secure nominations to enable us to return to the House after general elections. As for the governor, his re-election is already certain. It may interest you to know that the hardworking governor is loved by all due to his dazzling people-oriented style of governance. He recently released the first tranche of N5million per community, which is part of his N10million per community VEC (Visit Every Community) project. He promised every community N10million for them to fund any priority development project of choice. That is under the first phase of government’s Key Development Needs 1 and 2, as the case may be. We appreciate the governor for that gesture and it is hoped that in that process, projects would

Everybody knows that Enugu State is a PDP state, whole and entire. PDP is the only language we know, speak and hear in this state, and the citizens are also pleased with the party because the governor has been wonderful just as we the legislatures have been awesome too. So, there is no window for any opposition to thrive in the state, especially the loophole-filled APC soon spring up everywhere in the state. This has never happened in Enugu State. Are you saying that all that you require to win re-election is your party’s nomination; don’t you have regard for the opposition parties? The 2019 general election is already victory in waiting for PDP in Enugu State. PDP will record wholesome and landslide victory, not only in Enugu State, but at the federal level too. The APC will not see our back both in Enugu State and at the federal level as well because they have been paying lip service to widespread bloodsheds in the country; they have failed to achieve any of their campaign promises and turned the country upside-down. We all saw what the federal-sponsored army did to unarmed IPOB members in Abia State, for requesting for sovereignty, referendum and for speaking out against perceived injustices against Ndigbo. The federal government treat-

ed them like common criminals and proscribed the group after declaring it a terrorist group, even though IPOB never killed anybody. And we are all witnesses to how criminal herdsmen are allowed to have field day – going about killing innocent Nigerian citizens and destroying people’s valuables without any prosecution or drastic approach to their menace. Nigerians have married two wives and they have realised that they had entered one-chance bus. The wish of our people now is that Buhari should return the country to its state when he took over from former President Goodluck Jonathan. That seems impossible because things have continued to deteriorate under the present administration. So, the question is: If you would proscribe IPOB, why not do same to Miyetti Allah and other organisations that encourage AK47-bearing terrorists ad cattle rustlers? We are therefore, praying that APC should fail throughout the forthcoming process. Their pri-

ous contributions to the development of Akokwa and prayed God to preserve and protect them always. The Second Vice-President of AUPPA, Barrister Ben Okoko, an Onitsha-based legal practitioner, in his own remarks, noted that the epoch-making event was a new dawn in Akokwa clan and the beginning of new things to come, stressing that the current administration was only getting started in overall development of the community. Responding, Governor Okorocha who was represented at the occasion by Hon. Louis Duru, Imo state Commissioner for Community Development Council, CDC, praised the community for their self-help programmes and pledged the state government assistance towards their other development-oriented projects. Also responding, Senator Uzodinma and Ezenna commended AUPPA for their hard work and peaceful co-existence which have now been translated into development programmes and pledged their continued assistance towards the community’s programme initiatives.

maries would fail, their nominations would fail and everything about them would fail because their government has failed Nigerians, especially the people of South East. Did the South East fare better under PDP administration? You that are asking that question, did you not fair better under President Jonathan’s regime? There was respect for human dignity and rule of law under Jonathan. But now, there is no iota of respect for law, for human life and human dignity. Everybody is afraid. This is the first time in the history of the country that virtually everybody is afraid and angry at the same time. Look at how an Honourable member, Hon. Hosea Ibi of Takum 1 constituency, in Taraba State, was kidnapped and murdered by suspected kidnappers for failing to raise N100million ransom. How would an honourable member raise such amount, from where? And it is not just about the south east; there was profound adherence to the principle of federal character, equity and fair play in all schemes of affairs, especially as regards appointments under PDP Presidency. But what do we have now? PDP is opposed to the present arrangement of more to the north and less to the south. PDP is opposed to APC and Buhari’s policy of regard for tribe of origin and religion of origin before appointment, as opposed to federal character principle. Our party detests APC’s policy of more to a section of the north and little to the south. PDP is the genuine initiator of ‘I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody,’ which APC’s President Buhari claimed to be at his inauguration. That was what all former PDP Presidents practiced and that would be the principle of PDP Presidency in post- 2019 general election, because we are a talk-and-do party. Everyone now knows that Buhari’s claim implies, ‘I am for everybody in the north and for nobody from the East’.


The Oracle Today

14

Wednesday February 21 , 2018

NEWS

Nwoye, a mistake Obidigwe will correct – APGA By OGE ONYEANUSI

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ATIONAL Coordinator of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Media Warriors Forum, Evang Chinedu Obigwe has reeled out reasons for immediate replacement of Mr Tony Nwoye in the green chambers of the national Assembly by Chinedu Obidigwe, the Special Adviser to Governor Willie Obiano on Political matters, come 2019 general election. One of his reasons for the call was what he termed ‘gross incompetence’ of Tony Nwoye and his inability to represent the people of Anambra East and West constituenc. Obigwe who disclosed this in a statement issued in Awka, Sunday, further added: “Chinedu Obidigwe, Akaoma jide aku olue umu ogbenye aka, will answer his people’s call to salvage them

from the suffocating grip of their current representative that has not made any meaningful impact in their lives.” He gave instances of Nwoye’s failed representation, amongst which include; his inability to call back RCC to finish Umunya axis of the Enugu /Onitsha expressway project abandoned immediately after the governorship election held in November 18th 2017. “Tony Nwoye used the Umunya axis of Enugu/Onitsha expressway project to score cheap political points during the November gubernatorial election and equally stripped off Oseloka Henry Obaze’s merited 2nd position in the election”, Obigwe said. Secondly, Nwony’s silence in the recovery of N43 billion naira debt owed Anambra state by the Federal Government which Governor Obiano, Chief Emeka Anyaoku and Anambra elders have

spoken about. “It will be an act of foolishness if Tony Nwoye is waiting to be approached by Governor Obiano, Chief Emeka Anyaoku and Anambra elders before he uses his Federal connections and influence to recover our 43 billion naira. ‘’That money belongs to the good people of Anambra State

and when paid will be used for the execution of more Federal roads in the State. For instance the money will go a long way in the dualisation of 33 Onitsha -Aguleri junction -Omor-Adani Federal road,” Obigwe equally opined. Pontificating on failed promises made by Tony Nwoye, Obig-

we expressed his dissatisfaction over the 2nd Niger Bridge project used by the federal government to campaign during the November 18th governorship election, noting that the project today stands unimplemented whereas Nwoye has not done anything in respect to that.

DSO: Ugwuani acquires 10,000 digital decoders for indigent families By CHUKS EZE

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ederal Government has officially rolled out the Digital Switch Over (DSO), in Enugu, at a special event that had the governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, and Director General of National Broadcasting Commission, (NBC) among others in attendance. With the DSO launch, which held at the premises of the Zonal Headquarters of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), in Enugu, television viewers in the state can now enjoy “crystal-clear television” viewing experience over about 30 channels, as was declared by the NBC DG at the event. In his address, Alhaji Lai Muhammed described the success of the Enugu DSO launch, as an indication that the project was already at its cruise level, pointing out that the team had moved past initial challenges that were experienced after the pilot launch in Jos, in April 2016. According the Minister, the DSO launch had earlier taken place in Abuja, FCT and three two other states, namely, Kwara, and Kaduna. He added that the next roll out exercise would take place in Osun State, and urged television and advertising practitioners to take advantage of vast opportunities inherent in the DSO scheme. He also called on all stakeholders – signal distributors, channel owners, TV content producers and advertisers – to take drastic steps to carry out urgent but scientific audience measurement and value creation in other to ensure adequate growth and creativity in the Nigeria’s creative industry. He also stressed that the continued reliance on subjective factors, by the advertising community when making decisions on their preferred contents, cannot promote growth in the industry, adding that “We need an objective and scientific audience measurement system that articulates the value of the contents to consumers as well as the value of the audience to advertisers particularly the television sector”. The minister donated 100 set top boxes to Governor Ugwuanyi, and thanked him for attending the event in person. In his keynote address, the gov-

ernor described the exercise as “a watershed in TV broadcasting in Enugu State,” and commended the DSO team for a successful outing in the state. Ugwuanyi regretted that Nigeria had twice missed adherence to the first and second 2015 Geneva deadline agreement, by members of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on DSO, from analogue to digital broadcasting, and still seem to be struggling over the third deadline. But he however, acknowledged that the process was a daunting ride and commended the Information Minister and the entire DSO team for their dexterity and commitment in their efforts to meet the target goal. While noting that he was conscious of possible discomfort that the economically challenged families would face in a bid for them to key into the digital switch over, Ugwuanyi made an instant purchase of 10,000 set top boxes at the event. “As a government, we have been intervening on behalf of our people. We are therefore purchasing 10,000 set top boxes which would be distributed free to identified low-income households in our rural areas. The boxes would be distributed in a manner that it would reach all the 475 autonomous communities of Enugu State, “he noted.

•Executive members of Atikunation, the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign group after their meeting in Calabar.

NLNG advises Nigeria to reposition for clean energy T By SOPURUCH ONWUKA

ime has come for Nigeria and other oil dependent economies to plug into the global movement for cleaner, cheaper and more sustainable energy in order to optimise the economic benefits of abundant natural resources. Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) which is currently the most environmentally efficient fuel factor in Africa stated that crude oil and its derivatives would soon recede into oblivion as the world beats back carbon footprints in the environment. Managing Director NLNG, Tony Attah, who delivered a presentation at the 2nd West Africa International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (WAIPEC) in Lagos, said Nigeria must unleash its gas potentials, and support the company’s expansion programme.

He said the company’s Train 7 project should be a model priority in preparation for a world that is fast making efforts to reduce its fossil fuel consumption and minimise carbon footprint. In a presentation titled “Global Energy Transition: Which way forward Nigeria?” to oil and gas chief executives and experts on Wednesday, Attah remarked that the global energy landscape is changing with major concerns for the environment, such as global warming, and increasing demand for cleaner energy. He remarked that with reduced appetite for crude oil as a dependable source of energy, gas is the best option for Nigeria in the future. He said: “The best bet for Nigeria is gas. It is available in abundance and three times cleaner than oil in terms of carbon content. Nigeria has to begin to think about the relevance of oil in the future.

Nnamdi Kanu: IPOB fumes over disappearance of case file

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he Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has raised alarm over the alleged disappearance of the case file of its leader Nnamdi Kanu at the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja. The group in a statement signed by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, described as “beyond a joke,” an alleged claim by the presiding judge handling the suit at the Court that Kanu’s case was missing/misplaced. “When we thought the judiciary and legal establishment could not sink any lower in Nigeria, the impossible has happened. Court of Appeal judges today sitting in Abuja have declared the file of the leader of IPOB missing/misplaced. It is unheard of in the history of the Nigerian judiciary that a mat-

ter coming up for final judgement almost a year after the appellate court jury adjourned the matter, having heard all the arguments”. “Not only is the delay by the Appeal Court illegal and unconstitutional, the conduct of those that heard and handled this very case is troubling. We no longer know what to make of the Nigerian judicial system. This is beyond a joke. The only thing missing from today’s court hearing is the proverbial snake because it wasn’t confirmed if the case file had been swallowed by yet another snake at the Appeal Court,” said IPOB. The statement further reads: “We are drawing the attention of the civilized world to the mess the Nigerian judiciary, terrorised by a brutal dictatorial regime, has

turned into. Instead of delivering judgement for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the judiciary would rather break every constitutional provision guiding the timeline in cases at the Appeal Court.” “This matter is one year overdue because the Nigerian constitution, which judges are meant to interpret and uphold, clearly stipulates that all Appeal Court judgements MUST be delivered within three months. It is up to a year without any judgement on this matter contrary to constitutional provision.” “The Chief Justice of the Federation must step into this matter before the already tarnished image of the judiciary suffers even more before the eyes of the world.”

Nigeria has to start to develop its gas resources in readiness for this future. Some critics say gas is not profitable but let me draw your attention to Qatar, a small fishing economy which was transformed from a GDP per capita of $2,000 in 1970 to a GDP per capita of $124, 000 in 2017 using gas. “Gas can lift Nigeria, which is where NLNG comes in. NLNG is producing 22 Million Metric Tonnes Per Annum (MMTPA) but we are not resting on our oars. We want to construct a Train 7 that will increase our capacity to 30 MTPA. It is time for gas. It is time to unleash Nigeria’s potentials. That is how we can survive the future with increasing appetite for renewable energy. “The thirst for cleaner energy is increasing and a lot of that has to do with increasing environment friendly policies. Countries like the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway and many other countries are making moves to significantly reduce their carbon footprint. Take for example India, which aims for 40% renewable energy by 2030. UK joins France to ban fossil-fuel cars by 2040. Norway aims for all new passenger cars and vans sold in 2025 to be zero-emission vehicles while Sweden has committed to 100% renewable energy by 2040.” “The world’s population will grow by an additional 2 billion people by 2050. They will need energy. Where will it come from? Most stakeholders in the future will not accept the carbon emission levels that are prevalent now. Renewables play a significant role in the growth of electricity, contributing almost 40 per cent of the growth in global power generation in 2016. By 2040, EIA estimates that 31% of world electricity consumption would come from renewables, roughly half of which will be from hydropower, as wind and solar power will grow rapidly in the coming decades.”


15

The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

NEWS Extra

South East honours industry stalwarts • Chrisnak, Brittania-U, others for ECCIMA’s Keyman Awards By SOPURUCHI ONWUKA

P

OLITICAL and business leaders across the country will this weekend pool together in Enugu to witness the installation of Pharm Sir Emeka Udeze as the President of Enugu Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA). Sir Udeze is to be installed alongside other members of the council of ECCIMA in a grand ceremony to be hosted by the Enugu State Governor, Rt Hon Dr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and attended by all the governors of the southeast region. The event, which is to be chaired by two-time Minister of Science and Technology as well as Power, Professor Bart Nnaji will pull pillars of industry and commerce across the country to the Coa City to join their friends and associates who will be conferred with the prestigious Keyman Awards by the new ECCIMA Council. Prominent on the list of business stalwarts that will receive ovation at the event is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chrisnak Group of Companies, Prince Chris Igwe. It would be double celebration for the 48-year old Prince Igwe who sits atop a chain of fast growing businesses that cut across virtually all sectors of the political economy, as he will also celebrates his 48th birthday Friday February 16, making the Keyman Award the zenith of blissful activities for him in the season of love. Prince Chris Igwe, a graduate of Business Administration and a renowned businessman with a track record of strategic business management and administration, started up and groomed Chrisnak Ventures Limited into a group of companies with about 20 viable subsidiaries. Supported by his wife, Princess Peace Igwe, in running the subsidiaries and business units, Prince Igwe has his tentacles spread across deep pocket and high reward business terrains ranging from shipping; cargo handling; airlines services; oil and gas; legal services; manufacturing; petroleum marketing, storage and tarminaling; freight forwarding and warehousing; farming; grocery retail chains; et cetera. The group employs over 3000 workers of different races from all over the world. His businesses also form part of the pillars that support Nigeria’s bilateral trade relations with major industrialized countries of the world while his oil and gas business arms assist in firing the engines of Nigeria’s economic development. Prince Chris Igwe hails from Isuochi in Ummunneochi Council area of Abia State. Also receiving the Keyman Award is Africa’s first woman in upstream petroleum exploration and production operations, Mrs Uju Ifejika. She is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer if Britania-U

• Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson flanked by former Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife (right) and the former Chief of Defence Staff, Lt. General Alani Akinrinade rtd, at the 6th year anniversary public lecture of the Restoration Government at the Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall, Government House Yenagoa. Photo by Lucky Francis. Nigeria Limited, an oil and gas producing company with assets in the shallow water offshore Niger Delta. Mrs Ifejika is a consummate lawyer who swept through the corporate community like a gliding falcon, strengthening systems and processes in a multinational major petroleum company before taking the daring challenge to stake fortunes in the risky offshore oil and gas exploration and production. Despite being a woman and a lawyer, Mrs Ifejika has effortlessly demystified the capital intensive, technology driven and globally standardized exploration and production business by not just running in a terrain many eminent petroleum industry experts have stuttered and faltered, she has rapidly grown her company from a domestic marginal field operator to a middle multinational independent company that is currently taking positions across the full upside ends of the business chain. Today, Britannia-U is a fully diversified oil company with eminent presence in new asset acquisitions and wildcatting as well as petroleum trading and logistics. Mrs Uju Ifejika is from Anambra State. Another candidate for the Keyman Award is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Platinum Mortgage Bank Limited, Chief Sir Emmanuel Mbaka. Others are the Chairman and Chief Executive of Erisco Industries Limited, Chief Eric Umeofia; and Chairman and Chief Executive of Cinnamond Drugs Limited, Mr. Chijioke Nneji.

Something is wrong... Cont’d from page 9

moved by one of the members of the House of Assembly, we entertained same under the umbrella of Matter of Urgent Public Importance. Accordingly, we looked at it, members made their inputs, considering how weighty the allegations were. And let me tell you, by the provisions of Section 128 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the House of Assembly has the responsibility to entertain any petition that has to do with any in authority within our state, once you are under our jurisdiction wherein if we make any law it will affect you. So, we had the authority to entertain the petition. If you receive a petition, if it is an allegation, it has not been proven. We now had to invoke the provisions of Section 36 of the Constitution that has to do with the twin pillars of justice, which talk about fair hearing. Against that particular backdrop, we now constituted an eight-man ad- hoc committee to hear all the parties involved and even the judges named in that petition.

Truth about constant blood on trails... Continued from pg. 14

of climate change, impacts negatively on the nutritional value of our herds and life expectancy of the herdsmen. Only the skin of the animals is the most cherished product as the hide from their skin is reputed to be the strongest due to its toughening by the sun. Ranching ensures greater security of herdsmen’s lives The lives of the herdsmen themselves are better preserved and secured by ranching. In this era of mutual hostility between the herdsmen and their host communities, no amount of security can protect the lives of the herdsmen who trek into the forests mostly individually or by families with their herds against the anger of a rampaging host community reeling under the pains of a terrorist attack by men they mistake or suspect to be Fulani herdsmen. The Fulanis should consider the danger imposed on these innocent herdsmen who are in the bushes, oblivious of the animosity against them, during the regime of a non-Fulani in Nigeria. The armed forces of Nigeria are necessary to any solution envisaged to handle the conflict. This is not a mere police action. The terrorists are well trained in the art of guerrilla warfare and deception. We hear about ambushes, inva-

sions, raids and so on. Indeed the Chief Press Secretary to the Benue State Governor, Terver Akase, said that between 2012 and 2017, Benue State has been invaded 50 times. Invasion is an act of entering as an enemy, especially by an army. These are well articulated, sophisticated, military-style attacks by well-armed and trained persons. The only persons known to have gone through this training are the terrorists, cultists, militants, who have engaged our armed forces in a war and battles before and occupied some territories in Nigeria, particularly the North East and are now scattered all over our forests. In order to ensure their optimum performance, our armed forces have to be adequately funded and equipped for their welfare and warfare. Modern fighting equipment has to be acquired for them. Constant training has to be organised for them to enable them keep abreast of the specialized skills needed to take out the terrorists and smoke them out of their forest hideouts.

Adequate funds needed for intelligence gathering The need for adequate funds has become more urgent when one realises that necessary intelligence is needed to trace these terrorists and differentiate them from the peaceful Fulani herdsmen whose interest lies in the safety of

their herds and their access to grazing land. Genuine intelligence is costly and risky. We have to boost the morale of our officers and men by ensuring that any of them that are wounded are given adequate treatment and the fallen ones given heroic burials with their families adequately compensated and catered for while the retired ones are rehabilitated and retrained to adapt to their new civilian lives. We must not allow some purported civil rights activists or professional politicians continue their media and verbal onslaught on our men in uniform when they perform creditably to overthrow the terrorist forces. When General Ihejirika was the Chief of Army Staff, the terrorists could not occupy any territory. He was accused of genocide and threatened with an action at the international criminal court. This demoralised the Army so much that when his successor stepped in, Nigeria lost territories in droves to the terrorists. We must continue to praise the gallant sacrifices of our men in uniform and assure them of their protection when they act within the law as they continue to guarantee our security and welfare by restoring peace in all the troubled areas of Nigeria. Dr Okonkwo is a legal practitioner and leading Nollywood Actor

They were given seven days within which to report progress to the House and I think they swung into action, inviting all the stakeholders, people that were indicted, one way or the other and they did a good job. But one thing is that in the petition, one of the allegations was that the former CJ was a signatory to the account of the Judiciary and quite a good number of other allegations. The moment that allegation came based on the fact that there were certain things that were done in the office of the Chief Judge, she should step aside for unimpeded access to all documents needed in the circumstance for purposes of that investigation. So we used the umbrella of Section 36 to say step aside, let us investigate your office. We needed to do it because we were on the road to Section 292 that gives us the power. Assuming she is found liable for any misconduct, we can now pray the Governor to remove her. And that was what we did. We don’t have any relationship with any other person apart from that investigation, marrying that Section 128 with Section 36 and having fair hearing in the circumstance because we were on the road to Section 292. And at the end of the day, the report came and we considered the report and she was indicted accordingly and we now had to invoke our powers within the ambit in the spectrum of Section 292, and prayed the Governor to remove her. It is now left for the Governor. We have finished our job, she is liable of misconduct and the resolution of the House has been transmitted to the Governor. It is incumbent on him to do our bidding or not. But the NJC said it was unconstitutional she was suspended in the first place without the recommendations from the commission and they said Section 292 demands that NJC be put on notice. We don’t have any relationship with NJC. There is no law that stipulates that the State House of Assembly has a relationship with NJC. I stand to be contradicted. The power of NJC comes under Third Schedule with particular reference to paragraph 21 of the 1999 Constitution as amended. What is the power? Governor, if you want to appoint, let me recommend. The relationship is between the Governor and NJC, not NJC with the House of Assembly. We are incompatible; we don’t have any relationship with NJC.


16

The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

PUBLIC NOTICE

WARNING AGAINST ILLEGAL USAGE OF GSM BOOSTERS The attention of the Nigerian Communications Commission has been drawn to the fact that GSM Boosters are illegally used by individuals in Nigeria. Individual desirous of using the GSM Booster should note that they can only do that in conjunction with licensed network operators. Note that GSM Boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore, interfere with other radio frequency equipment. For the avoidance of doubt, wilful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 2004. The Commission will not condone any agrant breach of this law. Accordingly, mechanisms have been put in place to monitor and anyone caught using the GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution. Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to cme@ncc.gov.ng.

KHALEESI

arpa6429


The Oracle Today

17

Wednesday February 21 , 2018

BU$IN£SS •Energy •Finance

•Stock

•Insurance

•Aviation

MTN’s N153bn IPO weighs investors’ confidence on telcos

By SAMSON AKINTARO

P

LANS by Nigeria’s biggest mobile telecommunications company, MTN, to shop N153 billion in equity funds from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) have raised great mix of expectations and fears over the response of investors to the volumes of shares to be placed on sale. While hopes are high that investors might take the advantage of the profit outlook hosted in the opportunity to share in the fortunes of the biggest player in the telecommunications industry, there also fears that plug into the grim experience of investors that burnt their fingers on the shares of earlier telecommunication firms that had successful public offers before going under. Investment analysts and deal brokers are curious that despite the exemplary transition of the telecommunications sector from public sector monopoly to the efficient and liberalized hands of the private sector, commercial viability and stable capital base have remained serious challenges that have sustained continuous ownership transfers in enterprises that play in the sector. However, it could be also be argued that despite strings of acquisitions and divestments in the sector, the Nigerian telecoms sector has remained shining light of the nation’s economy for over a decade running. Its contributions to the nation’s GDP have always been on the increase year-in-year-out and it is not surprising that many have been pressing it on the government to latch onto telecoms and indeed the ICTs to transform the economy. This, perhaps, explains why many stakeholders are anxiously anticipating the reported listing of MTN Nigeria, the country’s largest telecommunications operator, on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. But for some shrewd investors in the nation’s capital market, it’s a matter of cautious optimism based on experience of the past. While many Nigerians can count several gains of telecoms with their eyes closed, same cannot be said of those investors in the Nigerian Stock Exchange who got their fingers burnt by investing in the first telecommunications company to get listed on the

• MTN Building. Nigerian bourse, Starcomms Plc. To them, telecoms had brought nothing but woes and losses. Starcomms, now defunct Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operator, made history on July 14 2008, as it listed its 6.8 billion units of shares at N13.65k. This followed a successful Private Placement, where it raised N64.35 billion from local investors. The proceeds from the private placement, the company said, would enable it expand its product range and network in order to deliver more telecom choices to Nigerians nationwide. Addressing the investing community and stock brokers during the listing, Chief Executive Officer of Starcomms had said: “At Starcomms, we do not just cook up figures. We operate as a transparent company and today’s history making event is meant to drive our growth. We want to become the 3rd, if not 2nd biggest telecom operator in Nigeria by 2010. This is a promise, and at Starcomms, we keep our promise”. The enthusiasm that followed the listing saw the price of Starcomms’ shares jumped by five percent on the day of listing to close at N14.33k. But those promises turned out to be empty. The inherent technical challenges facing CDMA operations

CBN EXCHANGE RATES FEB. 13, 2018 Currency

Buying(NGN)

Central (NGN) Selling(NGN)

POUNDS STERLING 422.4694 EURO 373.8684 SWISS FRANC 324.9147 YEN 2.806 CFA 0.5503 WAUA 439.6392 YUAN/RENMINBI 48.1605 RIYAL 81.3002 SOUTH AFRICAN RAND 25.4686 DANISH KRONA 50.2124

423.1622 374.4815 325.4476 2.8106 0.5603 440.3601 48.2399 81.4335 25.5104 50.2948

423.855 375.0946 325.9804 2.8152 0.5703 441.0811 48.3193 81.5668 25.5521 50.3771

in Nigeria soon held the company by the jugular and its fortunes started nose-diving until it could no longer sustain its operations. Of course, those who are in the know would also cite poor management as the architect of the company’s downfall. Several efforts to resuscitate the business through merger and acquisition failed and after several warnings from the stock exchange authorities over Starcomms’ failures to meet its listing requirements, which include regular filling of financial reports, its shares were delisted by the Exchange in November 2014. By that time, Starcomms’ share price was only able to stagnate at 50 kobo by virtue of the existing per value rule, which was recently removed. Coincidentally, in a year that will be marking a decade of Starcomms’ historical listing, MTN Nigeria is bringing back the hope of a vibrant telecommunications sector into the Nigerian Stock Exchange through its planned listing. While discussions around the listing have been going on since 2016 as part of agreement to pay a $1bn fine for missing a deadline to disconnect unregistered subscribers amid a security crackdown, recent feelers from the MTN Group’s headquarters in Johannesburg have given strong indications that the listing will take

Energy

place this year. According to media reports quoting sources familiar with the plans, MTN Group is planning to raise about N153 billion ($500 million) from the sale of shares in its Nigerian business during the first half of this year. Standard Bank Group Limited and Citigroup are said to have been advising the Africa’s largest mobile phone company on the disposal of as much as 30 percent of the Lagos-based unit on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Most of the shares will be sold to local institutions and individuals, though foreign investors, according to reliable sources, could be brought in to ensure the process is a success, one of the sources said. However, while stakeholders in the Nigerian capital market are anticipating the MTN listing and hoping it would be a whole different telecoms experience in the market compared to Starcomms, they are also wary of the lingering delay in the company’s entry into the equity market initially planned for 2017. Speaking to The Oracle Today, the leader of stock brokers on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, also referred to as the Doyen, Mr Sam Ndata, said the brokers have been expecting MTN since last year when it promised to list. “They (MTN) have been saying they are coming since and we are still expecting them. The market will not react to their words until we see it happen because they have been saying a lot since.” Ndata said the capital market hopes to have different telecoms experience this time with MTN as it believes MTN is a stronger and “more serious” company than Starcomms. While lamenting that brokers and even investors lost huge amount of money in Starcomms, he called for a strong investor protection mechanism to prevent future occurrence. “What investors experienced with Starcomms and other companies like that was as a result of lack of investor protection. Those people came, raised money from people and disappeared and nobody has said or done anything. The investors have no choice but to move” he said. The Doyen urged the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission to come up with protection for the investors against such companies.

Egina: Why FG sanctioned $1.9 bn foreign contracts P20

Travel

Lagos to implement 10-yr tourism roadmap P26

Insurance

Pension scheme covers 7.82m workers P28

Stock Market Highlights As At 13th FEBRUARY, 2018

Summary

ASI DEALS VOLUME VALUE EQUITY CAP S/N Coy (By Volume) DIAMONDBNK FCMB FIDELITYBK UBA FBNH SWISS FRANC YEN

41,708.15 6,309.00 470,520,500.00 N3,682,735,640.95 N14,967,574,080,175.73

Volume Value(N) 67,697,424 N181,139,112.19 49,224,312 N126,181,794.28 42,775,666 N129,548,336.83 39,158,700 N437,585,295.95 32,595,282 N358,638,300.45 312.6991 313.2128313.7265 2.7414 2.74592.7504

5 Top Gainers Company WAPCO ZENITHBANK BERGER ACCESS DANGSUGAR

Last Close Current N50 N51 1 N29.4 N30 0.6 N9 N9.45 0.45 N11.55 N12 0.45 N20.7 N21 0.3

Change 2.00% 2.04% 5.00% 3.90% 1.45%

REDSTAREX N5.5 N5.75 0.25 4.55%

NESTLE DANGCEM NB GUINNESS INTBREW

N1360 N272 N133 N110 N60

N1320 -40 N258.7 -13.3 N127.8 -5.2 N105 -5 N57.5 -2.5

-2.94% -4.89% -3.91% -4.55% -4.17%


The Oracle Today

18

Wednesday February 21, 2018

BUSINESS

Lagos to ban sand mining by April By VICTOR NZE

T

HE Lagos State Government has declared its intention to ban all sand mining activities by April 30, 2018, with a view to forestalling flooding and continual degradation of the State ecosystem. Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Olawale Oluwo who disclosed this, Monday, at a meeting with miners and other stakeholders held at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, said that the State government has, however, granted the miners a 2-month reprieve to wind up their mining activities before enforcement of the ban. He said, since January 2016, the State Government through the Ministry had given a Stop-Work order to the miners due to the seeming imminent disaster and danger posed by their mining activities, but now has to resort to total ban

to protect public infrastructure as well as lives and property of citizenry especially of those who resides around coastal areas of the State. According to the Commissioner who was represented at the meeting by the Permanent Secretary, Engineer Bade Adebowale, “The government has to be decisive as the land degradation caused by activities of miners around areas like Ajah, Lekki, Epe and Ikorodu axis has reached an alarming stage, requiring urgent attention of everyone for the sake of prosperity and generation yet unborn”. He added that what is collected as fees for land restoration and haulage by the government is far below the gain from the business, which invariably places a lot of deficit on the doorstep of government. “Please obey the law of government in your own interest”, Olowu •Officials of Proparco and Access Bank at the official signing of the deal to contribute $25 million to the latter’s admonished. fund for SMEs in the agriculture sector of Nigeria

SAA promotes corporate travel Air Peace takes delivery of 2nd with incredible rewards By VICTOR NZE

S

outh African Airways (SAA) has urged corporate travel managers in Nigeria to take advantage of the airline’s incredible new Voyager – SAA frequent flyers’ reward system in flying from Lagos to Johannesburg, South Africa and beyond. During the company’s recently held a Corporate Travel Managers Forum in Lagos, National Sales Manager, South African Airways, Kemi Leke-Bamtefa, explained the new Voyager reward system to credit passengers with miles based on the amount of airfare and fuel levy rather than the travel distance or cabin class. “South African Airways is always prioritising the welfare of its passengers hence, our new Voyager reward is now based on the amount of airfare and fuel levy rather than the travel distance or cabin class. For every N48 you spend flying South African Airways, you are guaranteed 1 Mile,” said to Leke-Bamtefa. Continuing, he said: “In addition, South African Airways also offer corporate travel managers super corporate deals up to 14 per cent with seamless upgrades, priority boarding, priority waitlist and lounge access as part of the many rewards attached.” South African Airways opened its doors for corporate travel managers to leverage the incredible advantage of flying the airline through either a tripartite partnership which involves the airline, the corporate and a travel management company or otherwise a direct partnership between the airline and the corporates. The airline reminded the corporates aside flying the LagosJohannesburg route with the new A330-300 aircraft with exceptional configurations in both the Business and Economy cabins, passengers do not also require transit visa travelling beyond South Africa to other Southern Africa countries including Mauritius, Maputo, Harare and more where South African Airways

has route network. On his part, Sulyman Akinwande of South African Airways Cargo, a subsidiary of South African Airways highlighted the functions of SAA Cargo to include the air freight of general, specialised cargoes and courier services from Lagos across the world. Also, Mohammed Kwajaffa, Trade Relations Manager, West Africa at South African Tourism showcased South Africa as a fun and adventurous destination rated as the 5th most beautiful country in the world by a recent international ratings report. South African Airways presented amazing rewards to corporates at the forum which includes a Business Class ticket and free upgrade from Economy to Business Class from Lagos to any destination in South Africa.

Embraer 145 jet

I

ndigenous carrier, Air Peace, has taken delivery of its second Embraer 145 jet, to boost connectivity within Nigeria. Corporate Communications Manager of the airline, Mr Chris Iwarah, who disclosed this in a statement , in Lagos, said the aircraft, which arrived from the United States, touched down at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Friday evening. Iwarah said the arrival of the new aircraft marked 5N-BVD and named Chinonye Ezeani (Nee Onyema), was another proof that the airline was serious about its pledge to transform air travel in Nigeria, the West Coast of Africa

and beyond. According to him, the airline received the first of six 50-seater new generation Embraer 145 jets acquired on Jan. 31 and immediately set up a subsidiary, Air Peace Hopper to manage its plan to connect routes that some airlines in the country shy away from. ”The arrival of Chinonye Ezeani (Nee Onyema ) has proved beyond doubt that we are indeed serious about our pledge to end the travel nightmares of the unserved and underserved cities of Nigeria. It is our vision to democratise air travel in Nigeria. We are driven by the passion and belief that no one or city should be left behind. “As soon as we secure the approval of the regulatory authori-

Proparco provides $25m to Access Bank’s agric support scheme

A

With a network of over 300 ccess Bank has been awarded a syndicated branches in Nigeria and 7 overloan of $100 million by seas subsidiaries, Access Bank is FMO, the Dutch development the 4th bank in the country and one of the top 20 banks in Africa. bank. Proparco is contributing $25 In the agri-food sector, it works million. This line of credit will with SMEs, cooperatives and enable Access Bank to finance large companies, targeting planagricultural enterprises and thereby stimulate a sector vital to Nigeria’s economic and social development. By SAMSON AKINTARO Proparco’s financing will enable Access Bank to offer agrimobile is kicking off its seacultural businesses a long-term son of care by offering its credit offer that is not easily acteeming subscribers discessible in the Nigerian market. counted roaming rates when they The objective is to finance all roam on Etisalat network in the the actors of the chain: from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Acplantations to the first transfor- cording to a statement from the mations. company, the offer runs from By encouraging the financing now until June 30. of agro-food companies, this op“With a recharge of N5,000, eration will support the modern- customers get to make local calls ization of the sector and create in the UAE and calls to Nigeria at direct jobs (Access Bank current- the rate of N100 per minute, send ly employs nearly 3,000 people, SMS at N30 per event, receive 44% of whom are women), and free incoming calls from Nigeria indirect, through the support of and UAE and enjoy roaming data bundles in two variants by dialing companies providing local jobs. *6589# to activate either of the

tations and primary processing industries. This is the second Proparco transaction in favour of Access Bank. In 2012, as Proparco granted an initial $15 million credit line dedicated to financing SMEs in the countries where Access Bank Plc operates.

ties, we will start flight operations with our Embraer 145 jets.” Iwarah said that Air Peace would operate into the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Base in Port Harcourt and connect routes such as Enugu-Kano-Enugu, Benin-PortHarcourt-Benin, Port-HarcourtKano-Port-Harcourt, Lagos-WarriPort-Harcourt-Warri-Lagos and Lagos-Warri-Abuja-Warri. He said that the airline would also operate Lagos-Kaduna-Lagos, Lagos-Sokoto-Lagos, Abuja-Sokoto-Abuja, Abuja-Bauchi-Abuja, Lagos- Markurdi-Lagos, Lagos-JosLagos, among others. “It is a whole new experience we are bringing to air travel in Nigeria and the West Coast of Africa. We are pursuing our expansion project with a lot of grit. Our pledge to fix air travel in Nigeria and the West Coast of Africa is not an empty talk. “In three years, we have increased our fleet to a size of 24 aircraft. We are quite serious about our business model. It is both sustainable and economically impactful. We will continue to deliver the best flight experience to our loyal guests and prioritise their safety and comfort,” Iwarah said.

9mobile excites customers with UAE roaming discounts

9

data bundles” the company said. “The roaming package, 9mobile Roaming to United Arab Emirates (UAE), affords subscribers the opportunity to stay connected with family, friends and business partners in the UAE while the offer lasts. With this offer, 9mobile customers travelling to the UAE will continue to enjoy seamless and affordable connectivity on both voice and data on the go.” Speaking on the offer, Director, Consumer Segment, 9mobile, Adeolu Dairo, disclosed that the company took the decision to extend the validity period based on feedback from its customers, and to show our customers that we truly care. He added that it also affirms

the telco’s commitment to positive engagement with its customers as a key stakeholder group whose contribution to the overall growth of the business has and will continue to be appreciated.” “We never thought the roaming offer would receive such massive acceptance by travelling customers. With this offer, customers can continue to stay connected with loved ones while they spend time outside the shores of Nigeria. Keeping in touch goes beyond mere connectivity; clear and audible connections make life more enjoyable, and this is one of the many benefits of 9mobile roaming offers”, Dairo enthused.


The Oracle Today

19

Wednesday February 21 , 2018

BUSINESS

Onitsha Chamber of Commerce decries multiple taxations, extortions

By IBE NWACHUKWU

T

HE Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ONICCIMA) has decried what it described as the spate of multiple taxations and levies in Onitsha, in Anambra State, by ‘those who claim to be agents of the state Government on revenue generation.’ President of ONICCIMA, Mr Don Ebubeogu who made this disclosure, Friday, during an interactive session with newsmen in Onitsha,

Flour Mills of Nigeria emerges best dividends paying company

lamented that doing business in Anambra state is becoming increasingly difficult due to the activities of hoodlums who he accused of extorting money from businessmen from the point of sale and purchase till you exit Onitsha. “In Lagos one can move his or her goods from Idumota to Agege or Ikeja to Lagos Island, Alaba to Surulere without anybody molesting you but in Onitsha, it is difficult to move goods in a Datsun Truck or motor bike from Main Market to Upper Iweka, or Ochanja to Ose Ekwodu and others due to the activities of these hoodlums,” said Ebubeogu.

The ONICCIMA boss said it is pathetic that Government failed to address this problem as the officials even deny their existence, adding “We must hold Government accountable here. If Government is helpless, traders in Onitsha know how to address their problem after 10 years either as boys Oye, Bakassi boys. They will engage in self-help. These boys are graduating from collecting these illegal levies to snatching of bags to full time criminals”, said Ebubeogu The President accused politicians who recruit these boys of being behind these illegal multiple levies

because they create unwarranted revenue windows for themselves to extort money from people in the state. He further called for the re-branding of Onitsha as a city and the people in it by changing their value system, lamenting that Anambra state and indeed the entire South East has the lowest moral in the country today. He also called on the Anambra state Government to do something urgent by either setting up a task force that will immediately start arresting these hoodlums or empower traders themselves to arrest them.

F

lour Mills of Nigeria Plc, has emerged as the best company for 2017, according to the maiden edition of Dividend Payment Awards organised by Third Observers Nigeria Limited in Lagos. The company was given the Gold Award for regular payment of dividends to its shareholders spanning 36 years. In the Silver Award category, the winning companies are Total Nigeria Plc, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Berger Paints Nigeria Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. The four companies were awarded silver for their consistency in paying dividends to their shareholders in the last 20 years. The Bronze Award was won by Access Bank Plc. Learn Africa Plc, AG Leventis Nigeria Plc and May and Baker Nigeria Plc, having paid their shareholders for a minimum of 10 years. Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos and the Chairman of the event, urged Nigerians to invest more in the stock market. “We need to have more investors to invest in capital market, we can no longer depend on crude oil money again. I believe with more companies listed in stock market, we can turn around the fortune of our country and minimise our dependence on crude oil. “I do appreciate what is happening in the capital market presently and it is an opportunity for investors to invest in it. I am using this opportunity to commend Third Observer for rewarding companies that are paying their shareholders

• From left: Sulyman Akinwande of South African Airways Cargo; Stella Aghedo, Sales Executive, South African Airways; Kemi Leke-Bamtefa, National Sales Manager, South African Airways; Mariam Akinbola, Team Lead, Logistics and Olorunloba Koleosho, Travel Desk Officer both of Stanbic IBTC Bank during the South African Airways Corporate Travel Managers Forum in Lagos.

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lobal telecommunications vendor, Ericsson, said it has finalized 5G-readiness for operators by enhancing its 5G Platform with new solutions for the radio and core network. 5G is the fifth-generation wireless broadband technology which provides speeds 100 times faster than what 4G LTE offers. Ericsson said it has also launched 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) commercial software, based on the recently approved first 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standard, while introducing a new category of radio products called Street Macro – a new site type that addresses the need of operators to grow in cities with limited avail-

By VICTOR NZE

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do State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the state is ready to commit between 100,000 to 150,000 hectares of land to the cultivation of oil palm plantations over a period of five to ten years. Obaseki who disclosed this when he received Malaysian investors who were on a business visit at the Government House in Benin City, Edo State, stressed that his administration is determined to expand the total land available for oil palm cultivation in the state from the current 40,000 hectares to between 100,000 to 150,000 hectares of land. “The state is the home of oil palm cultivation in Africa with the three biggest oil palm producing companies located here. At a time in history, huge revenue accrued from oil palm production was used to drive development before the discovery of crude oil, which is no longer sustainable. Returning to oil palm production for us in Edo is the way out,” Obaseki said. The governor noted that his visit to Malaysia in October 2017 was to see how the state can use proceeds from oil palm cultivation to transform her economy using the development model perfected in Malaysia and the entire South East Asia.

Power: FG’s policy direction in order – Asuquo From ANIEKAN ANIEKAN, Calabar

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HAIRMAN of the House of Representative Committee on Power, Hon. Daniel Asuquo has stated that the government’s policies on Power, Works and Housing are on track, even as he called for support. Asuquo said this following the

recent controversy between the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and members of the House of Representatives Committee on Power over frequency of visits to the House. Asuquo said this in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, while speaking on efforts made by the government to deliver uninter-

Ericsson completes 5G platform for operators able radio locations. panded platform, they will get By SAMSON AKINTARO

Edo earmarks 150,000 hectares for oil palm plantation

“To capture growth opportunities presented by new 5G use cases, Ericsson expands its 5G Core System offering with new capabilities to support 5G NR and also enhances its Distributed Cloud solution” it said. Ericsson introduced its 5G Platform in February 2017 with additions made in September the same year. It comprises the 5G core, radio, and transport portfolios together with OSS/BSS, network services and security. Speaking on the development, Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks at Ericsson, said: “Operators who want to be early with 5G now have the essential pieces for launching 5G networks already this year. With our ex-

more efficient networks as well as opportunities to create new revenues from emerging consumer and industrial use cases.” Giovanni Ferigo, CTO, TIM, said: “Ericsson is an important enabler of our 5G in-field innovation activities that span several cities in Italy. Together, last December – marking an Italian record - we activated a 5G NR cell in the mmW frequencies in the city of Torino, reaching speeds above 20Gbps. We are looking forward to testing Ericsson’s new solutions that will contribute to address the wide variety of use cases we are working on.” Available in the fourth quarter of 2018, Ericsson said its 5G radio network software provides multi-

rupted power to the people. Asuquo, (PDP member representing Akamkpa and Biase Federal Constituency in Cross River State) maintained that “though it is unfortunate that the expectations of Nigerians have not been fully met, I can assure you that the government means well even though we have issues of band support for global deployment. It will allow operators to use new frequency spectrum as it becomes available. “The 5G radio network software announced today complements Ericsson’s already launched baseband and 5G radios. Operators can simply activate their 5G networks and take the first steps with commercial 5G capabilities and new applications leveraging advanced mobile broadband services. This will cater efficiently for growing data traffic and enable access to multimedia content, such as 4K/8K video streaming and virtual reality/augmented reality. According to Ericsson’s new economic study of enhanced mobile broadband, evolution to 5G will enable 10 times lower cost per gigabyte than current 4G” the company said.

implementation. “The policy direction of the government is apt so we wish they put in more efforts in making sure that projects are delivered on time. “We have a major problem of crash rate in the sector. If you look at the graph, there is a wide variance between the generation, transmission and distribution. Distribution is in the downward trend and its not supposed to be so and there should be improved level of delivery by the distribution companies”, he said. He stressed that although power supply is improving incrementally, one of the greatest challenges we have is stranded power which is generated but not being distributed to the Nigerian people. According to him, even though the current capacity for power available is 5000 megawatts, what we are able to distribute today is fluctuating between 3 – 4 thousand megawatts leaving over 2000 stranded which is not acceptable to the Nigerian people and called for more investment in the sector to bridge this gap.


The Oracle Today

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Wednesday February 21 , 2018

ENERGY

• Egina FPSO.

Egina: Why FG sanctioned $1.9b foreign contracts

By SOPURUCHI ONWUKA, Lagos and UCHECHUKWU UGBOAJA, Abuja

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EDERAL government permitted award of job packages worth $1.9 billion (N684 billion) in the ongoing Egina deepwater oilfield development project foreign com-

panies due to indigenous capacity gap in service skill sets and material production. The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote, told Senate Ad-Hoc Committee investigating allegation of cost overrun in the $16 billion project

that some contractors involved in delivery of crucial job packages were granted waivers to import materials that were not available in-country in order to drive the project to conclusion. Total in partnership with South Atlantic Petroleum, Petrobras, Statoil and China National Offshore Oil Cor-

Scarcity: NNPCto import 166m tons fuel this month By SOPURUCHI ONWUKA

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IGERIAN National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is mopping up refined fuel cargoes in the export market as it tries to arrest the lingering fuel scarcity in the domestic market. The Oracle Today learnt that all foreign refiners currently count on imports from Nigeria for large volume sales as NNPC remains in the market with head turning order for 1.66 million metric tons of premium motor spirit, also called petrol, for delivery before the third week of February. In Nigeria, spokesman of the corporation, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, stated weekend that NNPC has programmed to bring in some 100 million litres of petrol in two cargoes of per day in the month of February to boost supply. Already, he said, the daily cargo landing kicked off last week with 45 million litres of petrol discharged from ships into jetties. Mr. Ughamadu stated that a total of 756 million litres was delivered

last week, comprising 324 million litres of petrol on land and 432 million litres in marine storage. He said the supplies were enough to last for 22 days at 35 million daily consumption rate. The jetties that received the 45 million litres shipments include Nacj, Apapa; Bop, Apapa; Techo Jetty, Lagos; Dutchess, Oghara; Vine Jetty, Calabar; Chipet Jetty, Lagos; and ECM Jetty, Calabar. To ensure efficient distribution of the product to depots in the hinterland, the Nigerian Pipeline and Storage Company (NPSC), a midstream subsidiary of the NNPC, has been mandated to fix relevant pipelines to facilitate seamless pumping, in addition to massive trucking arrangement. The Oracle Today reports that the mammoth order from Nigeria is also sparking boom in the freight market for large crude carriers within the period. Trading reports released Tuesday showed that ocean going tankers from Norhwest Europe, the Baltics and the US Gulf Coast are

sailing on West African routes with Nigerian cargoes for mid February delivery. We gathered that the import surge is a troubleshooting measure by NNPC to arrest the lingering supply deficits in the domestic market which, according to market sources arose from low cargo imports in November and December. Low volume importation of petroleum products was responsible for the acute fuel shortage that crippled economic and social activities in the country since December, tanker tracking sources revealed Tuesday. The report is contrary to claims by NNPC that sharp market practices were responsible for acute scarcity of products during the yuletide period. Data from cFlow, S&P Global Platts tradeflow software, showed around 1,655,000 metric tons (mt) of gasoline, called petrol in Nigeria, was expected to land in West Africa in January, a sharp rise from around 920,472 mt in December and 490,000 mt in November.

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poration (CNOOC) operate the deepwater oil block covered in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 130 which hosts Egina field. Government agencies monitoring policy compliance in the operations and protecting government’s interests in the asset include NCDMB, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). The project area is also covered by the security surveillance operations of the Nigerian Navy. In responding to questions about compliance of the operators to the Nigerian Content law, Engr. Wabote explained that whereas the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act 2010 provided for in-country execution of all welding jobs, capacity gaps in sourcing of steel components and similar metal inputs prompted the regulator to grant waiver for importation. Spokesman for NCDMB, Mr. Obinna Ezeobi, told The Oracle Today that the Nigerian Content performance of the Egina field development project is a runaway success, saying the NCDMB was on ground with monitoring compliance and sanctioning defaulters in accordance with the provisions of the NDCMB Act 2010. Engr. Wabote had told the Senate committee that implementation of full provisions of the law would shut down petroleum industry operations in Nigeria until all capacity gaps

are closed. He however stated that companies grated import waivers on account of capacity gaps were also mandated to drive parallel capacity development initiatives (CDIs) to ensure that all encountered capacity deficits are permanently addressed until the domestic petroleum industry reaches full capacity development. He explained the situation of import waivers and patronage of foreign companies persists due to the lack of capacity by Nigerian owned companies to procure or manufacture mainly the steel equipment required to handle the project. He further said that what the NCDMB does in such a situation where foreign owned companies bid for these contracts is to grant them a waiver in lieu of a Capacity Development Initiative (CDI) which falls under what he described as Propriety Technology. “If a certain required raw material does not exist in the country a company will request for a CDI to carry-on with the project, and as for the Egina Project there is no existing steel companies in the country so we depend on these foreign companies to provide the steel,” he said. The Oracle Today reports that the NOGICD Act 2010 emphasizes in-country execution of petroleum industry jobs in Nigeria by both foreign and indigenous companies. However, contract preference is given to companies with core indigenous ownership interest without compromising standards, cost and best environmental practices.

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The Oracle Today

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Wednesday February 21 , 2018

ENERGY

Seplat launches health interventions in Imo State

SOPURUCHI ONWUKA

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eading indigenous oil and gas exploration and production company, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, weekend activated parallel health services interventions in Izombe, Imo State, sponsoring free eye treatment and maternal medical care. Managing Director, Mr. Austin Avuru, one of Nigeria’s most eminent geologists and industry leader, declared that Company is firmly committed to sustaining the corporate social responsibility (CSR) health and other programmes targeted at the socio-economic development of Imo State. He restated that Seplat takes the host communities as critical stakeholders of its business, adding that the health programmes form part of the corporate social responsibility packages evolved by the management to deliver benefits of partnership to the people. The Oracle Today reports that Seplat which operates the NNPC/ SEPLAT Joint Venture launched the inaugural edition of its Eye Can See and Safe Motherhood signature CSR programmes for communities in its Eastern Assets at Izombe, Imo State, last weekend. Seplat says it uses a team of tested medical personnel to drive the

CSR health programme which was initiated six years ago at the operational base of Seplat’s Western Assets in Sapele, Delta State. It explained that programme is driven with the support of the Ministries of Health in its host States of operation. In Imo State, last weekend, the programme witnessed a large turnout of members of the host communities comprising men, women and children who came to receive medical care. For the Eye Can See Programme, beneficiaries were tested for vision impairment issues, they received prescribed glasses and some had surgeries for cataract related visual impairments. The Safe Motherhood Programme saw pregnant women and nursing mothers receive Safe Motherhood kits made up of a maternity bag, vitamin supplements, treated mosquito nets and all medical items required for safe delivery. They also received lectures on danger signs of pregnancy and nutrition in pregnancy. Wife of the Executive Governor of Imo State, Dr. (Mrs.) Nneoma Okorocha, commended SEPLAT for the CSR initiatives which, according to her, have undoubtedly impacted the lives of members of the host communities.

She urged the company to sustain the programme towards deepening its contribution to the development of Imo State in the health sub-sector. General Manager, External Affairs & Communications, Dr. Chioma Nwachuku, in a statement, said both health programmes are in alignment with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Developing Goals (SDG) 3 which is to “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all.” Seplat stated that the programme would continue for a week to offer opportunity to more beneficiaries in Imo State. The Eye Can See and Safe Motherhood Programmes are both SEPLAT’s key Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) health initiatives executed annually in the Compa-

ny’s host communities with focus on providing comprehensive, quality and free healthcare to members of these host communities. Since inception six years ago, 49,109 patients have been screened, 22,173 glasses dispensed to persons with visual impairments,

while 2,226 surgeries successfully carried out on patients in the Eye Can See Programme. Similarly, the company’s Safe Motherhood Programme has impacted 13,746 women, with 1,500 children receiving pneumococcal vaccination, the company said.

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mand for clean tankers to take gasoline from Northwest Europe to West Africa is expected to slao after a large number of vessels were fixed on the route to meet gasoline shortages in Nigeria. “NNPC were mainly securing cargoes up to February 16 because of the scarcity down there,” a trading source said. He attributed the acute fuel shortages that hit Nigeria in October and November to greatly reduced deliveries of the product into the country. On the large volume import with delivery deadline for February 16, the source said, “there is scarcity and NNPC wanted gasoline (petrol) as prompt as possible.” Meanwhile, Medium Range tanker freight rates were coming under pressure with a weak US Gulf market and the end of the rush to ship gasoline to West Africa as the key drivers. The outlook for February looked bleak, one ship-owner said. Mr. Ughamadu stated in a release weekend that the NNPC is in hot chase of marketers who might take advantage of the massive fuel dump by government to resume cross border fuel trafficking. He said the corporation has sustained its crackdown on errant marketers and fuel hawkers, adding that a special task force has caught a number of street fuel hawkers. The hawkers, according to him, were arrested for buying large volumes of fuel in plastic cans for resell to desperate motorists at times of scarcity.

NNPCto import 166m tons fuel this month There was no indication of sustainable large volume imports by NNPC after February 16, according to the sources, a situation that consequently slowed activity in the clean tanker freight market. According to tanker movement charts contained in the report, de-

Why FG sanctioned $1.9 foreign contractsf f Cont’d from Page 20 Following the activation of the law in 2010, numerous foreign companies including GE Oil and Gas, Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and Daewoo Heavy Industries (DHI) have opened shops in Nigeria for in-country job delivery. Many indigenous oil service companies have also invested in massive capacity development to position for job opportunities while some of them forged technical partnerships with foreign companies as permitted by the low to ease transfer of technology and expertise. Whereas both indigenous and foreign companies in the country could qualify for jobs, thin status gaps exist between fully indigenous companies and foreign companies with indigenous partnership. However, NOGICD Act 2010 specifies that companies are classified indigenous if they have a minimum of 51 percent Nigerian ownership. Engr. Wabote however lamented that some of the companies parading themselves as indigenous are only brief case carriers for foreign companies who, according to him, hold as much as 98 percent ownership of the companies. He also added that when Nigerian Content started 90% of our local contractors were briefcase contractors without any known or established background in the field they represent, with most of them having unverifiable addresses outside the country. In response to questions by the Chairman of the Ad-Hoc Committee, Senator Adeola Solomon, the process of due diligence on the Egina Project Engr. Wabote responded that the NCDMB only has the powers

to monitor the performance of the Act and not to enforce it. He added that if the NCDMB goes full hog with implementing the laws “we will stop oil and gas business in Nigeria.” He cautioned that local content is not a sprint but a marathon “because in the local content attainment the board can proudly say it has achieved 50% of its target in the Total Egina Project but we can still do more with the support of the legislature in the overall NCDMB target. “We have the law but it is being taken advantage of in several areas which means we must review it for better compliance, Local Content Act is about domiciliation and domestication so I can say that on the Egina Project the strategy of domiciliation has been achieved. “We have always been carrying out what we call compliance review and in the process discovered many infractions as most companies have been defaulting especially as expatriate quota applications granted have been flagrantly violated, however I believe that with the new Executive Order signed by Mr. President it will drastically reduce such incidences in the future.” Engr. Wabote suggested amendment of the Local Content Act to enforce sanctions for breaches without any long drawn litigation process, adding that he would forward the various infractions to the committee as a guide in possible amendment of the law. The Senate committee however requested to have a copy of the waivers granted by the board and documented infractions made so far on the Egina Project so as to guide the Senate in the proposed amendment to the current Act.

•At the flag off of the SEPLAT Safe Motherhood Programme at Izombe, Imo State, Wife of the Executive Governor of Imo State, Her Excellency Dr. (Mrs.) Nneoma Okorocha presenting a Safe Motherhood bag to a beneficiary, with the SEPLAT CEO, Austin Avuru and Dr. Chioma Nwachuku, GM, External Affairs and Communication.

NNPC pledges support, partnership for schools I n keeping with its mission of touching lives in many positive ways, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has promised to support the Unity Schools Old Students Association (USOSA) and the Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, in their objectives of promoting quality education in Nigeria. The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated this when the National Executive of USOSA led by its President General, Professor Chidi Odinkalu, and the Vice Chancellor of the Usman Dan Fodio University, Professor Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, paid him a courtesy call. Addressing the executive of USOSA, Dr. Baru lauded the lofty objectives behind the establishment of the unity schools, stating that NNPC would always support any genuine effort to promote the unity of the country. He called for the restoration of

citizenship and leadership training in the schools as it was in his days to prepare the students for leadership in the larger society. He particularly expressed interest in the Mentorship and Transition Programme of USOSA which affords old students the opportunity to connect with current students in the schools to offer guidance and help. Speaking earlier, President General of USOSA, Professor Chidi Odinkalu, who described the GMD as an “outstanding ambassador of USOSA”, said the association was on a mission to correct the decline of standards in the educational system. He called on the GMD and other well-meaning Nigerians to support USOSA in the onerous task of restoring the past glory of the Unity Schools. Speaking in similar vein during his visit, the Vice Chancellor of the Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, Prof. Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, called

for the corporation’s support in the establishment of a School of Energy Studies. The Vice Chancellor who expressed gratitude to the GMD for the role he played at the Knowledge Sharing Workshop organized by the school recently and the exploration work in the Sokoto Basin said he was looking forward to a partnership with the NNPC Renewable Energy Division in the proposed School of Energy Studies. Responding, the GMD said NNPC would continue to tap into the huge resources of the university in furtherance of the exploratory work in the inland basins, stressing that it was his belief in the university system that informed the decision to secure the services of Usman Dan Fodio University and the IBB University, Lapai, to carry out the preliminary geological surveys of the Sokoto and Bida Basins respectively.


The Oracle Today

22

Wednesday February 21 , 2018

e-Platform

Experts task regulators on cyber security Stories by SAMSON AKINTARO

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ITH the increasing spate of cyber-attacks and new threats emerging on daily basis, experts at Deloitte have challenged industry regulators in Nigeria to take more proactive steps in combating cyber-crimes across the various sectors of the nation’s economy. Specifically, they urged the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Central Bank of Nigeria to begin enforcement of compliance to standards in relation to cyber security. While predicting increase in cyber-attacks this year in their 2018 cybersecurity outlook for Nigeria, the Deloitte experts said: “We also expect the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make additional giant leaps in its regulatory drive in financial sector especially within the payment space”. Citing similar efforts across Europe, the report noted that Cyber Security regulation provides an effective framework for prohibiting and preventing Cybercrime as well as punishment for every form of Cybercrime. “Though it usually comes late to the party as the technology usually grows to a level of maturity before regulations can come, this delay has also contributed to the free reign of criminal elements. However, regulations in cyber security took giant strides in 2017 especially with the advent of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) Customer Security

Program (CSP) and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).” “The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Europe’s new framework for data protection laws intended to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union has been in the light for a while now. It will come into force on 25 May 2018. The GDPR applies to all companies worldwide that process personal data of European Union (EU) citizens. This means that any company that works with information relating to EU citizens will have to comply with the requirements of the GDPR, which invariably means its coverage may go global except you can find a country that none of her companies transact with EU citizens. Even if there is one, Nigeria is definitely not one of them.” In line with these European efforts, Deloitte urged Nigerian regulators to strive to equate local laws with those of the EU. Just last year, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof Umar Danbatta disclosed that Nigeria ranked third globally in cybercrimes behind the UK and the U.S., losing estimated N127 billion in 2015 alone. Nigeria’s Senate President, Bukola Saraki had also last year expressed worry that the country is losing so much to cybercrimes, adding that efforts to revive the economy must necessarily include counter-measures to minimize the losses and shore up the country’s cyber security architecture to better repel attacks. In response to the challenge, NITDA, just recently, released what it described as guidance to combat cyber security threats. In

• Cybercrime the guidance document, which was directed at Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), other government establishments, the organised private sector and the general public, NITDA warns of potential cyber-attacks likely to be experienced this year, while

NCC approves new Infraco licenses for South East, North East

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N its efforts to deepen broadband penetration across the country, the Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has recently approved two additional Infrastructure Companies (Infraco) Licenses. The two new Infraco licensees are Zinox Technology Limited for South East and Brinks Integrated Solutions Limited for North East. This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Tony Ojobo. With this approval, the number of Infracos licensed so far is now four. Over a year ago, MainOne Cable Company Limited had been licensed to provide services in Lagos while IHS got its license to cover the North Central geopolitical zone including Abuja. The Infraco licenses are based on the NCC’s Open Access Model (OAM) in line with the National Broadband Plan (NBP) of (2013 – 2018).By provisions of the NBP, Nigeria is expected to attain 30 percent broadband penetration by 2018. As part of the initiative to achieve this, NCC, as the driver of this process, has so far licensed a number of companies to stimulate broadband penetration. These include Bitflux Communications Limited (Bitflux) for 2.3 Ghz and MTN Nigeria for the 2.6 Ghz licenses. Other licenses are in the pipeline in this process. As at December, 2017, Nigeria had attained

• Prof.-Danbatta, NCC-EVC 22 percent broadband penetration. With the licensing of four Infracos: MainOne Cable, IHS, Zinox Technology and Brinks Solutions, there are three more licensees waiting for approval to bring total number to seven. These are for South South, North West and South West.

urging them to take the precautionary measures. “The Agency’s Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT), in conjunction with other industry stakeholders, in their efforts at ensuring a safe and secure cyberspace, have intercepted some signals of potential cyber-attacks targeting banking, health and other systems, power and transportation systems, as well as other critical national infrastructure. In this regard, the need for all to be vigilant and proactive as far as security is concerned cannot be overemphasized” NITDA said. As a result, the agency recommended some precautionary measures, which include that: Efforts should be intensified at ensuring that any data is encrypted, particularly any sensitive or personal data; Networks are fully secure through the use of wired network thereby protecting them from possible hackers’ attempt at using Wi-Fi security lapses to remotely break into computer systems. Other measures, according to NITDA are: “Where Wi-Fi network is used, ensure that an up to date encryption standard is in use and turn off the service set identifier (SSID) broadcasting function on the wireless router if it is not needed; ensure that free Wi-Fi connections as well as other wireless connections such as Bluetooth or infrared ports are not used unless where necessary; ensuring that operating systems and other software applications are regularly updated with the latest

patches; ensure that anti-malware protection is installed on all IT systems as this will help in protecting your organization’s network from potential attacks through virusladen software and email attachments. Also, all security software should be adjusted to scan compressed or archived files; ensuring that appropriate guidelines are in place for connecting personal devices into the organization’s network; ensuring the use of credential vaults and multi-factor authentication instead of user passwords; ensure that the organization’s data and critical files are regularly backed up; and ensuring that there is an organization-wide enlightenment campaign, awareness and measures put in place to deal with cyber security threats as well as the procedures they must always follow when using their workstations. The agency also said it was working with all critical stakeholders to come up with effective ways of adequately protecting the Nigerian cyberspace. “We therefore call on all Nigerians to support the Agency by doing their best at protecting themselves as well as the information and systems under their care” it said.


The Oracle Today

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Wednesday February 21 , 2018

e-Platform

FG urged to do child online abuse survey Stories by SAMSON AKINTARO

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HE Federal Government (FG) of Nigeria has been urged to conduct survey on child online abuses in the country, to check its enormity. This call was made by the pioneer Lagos branch secretary, Cyber Security Expert Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), Mr. Remmy Nweke, in a paper, entitled “Nigerian Students, Technology Education and Cyber Crime” to mark the 2018 World Safer Internet Day (WSID) event organized by the International Centre for Leadership Development Nigeria (ICLDNg) at Itolo Girl’s Senior Secondary School, Surulere, Lagos. Mr. Nweke who is also the Lead Strategist and Group Executive Editor, DigitalSENSE Africa Media group, said the survey has become pertinent to help evaluate the enormity of child online abuses in the country, especially since the boom in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the country have been unprecedented. According to him, the Federal Government can urgently facilitate this survey via collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Youth & Sports and National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to quantity the crime, in addition to introducing a dedicated toll-free number to this cause. Nweke also called for the establishment of a Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOPC) portal, to aid reporting of child online abuses over the World Wide Web (www). While urging students, to always exhibit positive confidence whenever online and ready to share only content they are sure of,

From left: Director, Technology Solutions, AMESA, IQVIA in Technology, Ravi Akelia; Country Manager, West Africa, IQVIA in General, Remi Adeseun; President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Pharm Ahmed Yakassai; President, Nigeria Medical Association, Prof. Mike Ogirima; President, Nigerian Academy of Pharmacy, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi; and Chairman, IQVIA HCPSpace Advisory Board, Dr. Femi Olugbile during the MOU Signing Ceremony at the official launch of the IQVIA HCPSpace in Lagos.

Mr. Nweke, advised parents to take special interest and care on what their children do mostly online. “This is very key to safety of children online, while they must stick to Closed User Group (CUG), so as to stay safe and share beneficial information,” he said, enjoining children who wish

to use social media applications (apps) to ensure those have user content control or user setting options like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook to name a few. “Apply discipline in the use of social media and focus on your education first,” he advised the students selected from various schools in Lagos State. Nweke underscored some social media techniques for students to be wary of, comprising the use of use strong password, saying that the “longer it is, the more secure it will be.” He advocated for the use of different password for each social media accounts, stressing the need to set up security answers where applicable. “The two factor authentication is available for most social media sites. And if you have social media apps on your phone, be sure to password and protect your device,” he counselled, pointing out that they should be selective with friend requests. Nweke insisted that “If you don’t know the person, don’t accept their request. It could be a fake account” and further advised the participants including teachers to ensure they click links with caution due to frequency with which social media accounts are being hacked, especially by looking out for language or content that does not sound like something their friends would post.

MainOne sets to host 3rd IT stakeholder summit

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EADING technology company, MainOne, will for the third time host ICT stakeholders at its annual flagship event, Nerds Unite. With a focus on digital disruption with the theme “Radical Digital Transformation”, the 2018 edition will feature a keynote address from the author of Disrupting Africa: The Rise & Rise of African Innovation, Nnamdi Oranye supported by speakers from companies including Avanti, SAP Africa, Wema Bank, Andela and Microsoft among many others. The event which holds in Lagos on Friday, the twenty-third of February 2018 is expected to bring together over 500 mid to senior ICT executives across multiple industries for intense innovation sessions featuring latest best practices and emerging trends in data center, collaboration, enterprise networking and cybersecurity among hot topics. Nerds Unite is also expected to provide unparalleled networking opportunities with all these professionals under one roof. The radical digital transformation being witnessed globally in recent times is the key focus of the event. The event will have four predominant discussion tracks: “Disrupting the Nigerian ICT industry”, “Radical Digital Transformation: Perspectives across industry players”, “Digitalization and Business” and “The future of mobile content delivery in Nigeria”, with discussions led by executives from leading companies exploring various industries and the digital transformation altering industry verticals. Event participants will also be empow-

ered with technical insights on the latest trends as it relates to the realities of the Nigerian environment and how these can be adopted for improved efficiencies for their respective organizations. Created by leading provider of network and data center solutions, MainOne and its partners for ICT Executives, Nerds Unite is an annual technology conference hosted by MainOne which brings ICT Profession-

als across sectors together for impactful technical knowledge sharing sessions and social networking. Last year, the event featured the first ever showcase in Nigeria of Microsoft HoloLens, the world’s first self-contained holographic computer running Windows 10, in addition to representation by the Internet Society and a keynote by Microsoft.

Active phone subscription hits 145m

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atest statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed an increase in the number of active telephony subscriptions in the country from 142 million in November 2017 to 145 million in December. This also brings the country’s teledensity, which is the number of active telephone connections per one hundred (100) inhabitants living within an area, to 103.6 percent as against 101.6 percent in November. Number of internet users in the country also rose from 94.8 million in November to 98.3 million in December 2017. According to the data, Airtel, MTN and Glo gained more internet subscribers during the month in review while 9mobile was the big loser. The data breakdown revealed that MTN gained the most with 2,642.666, new internet users increasing its subscription in December to 36,069,597, from 33,426,931 in November. It showed that 9mobile lost 68,341 internet users in December decreasing its subscription to 11,338.839 as against November when it recorded 11,407,180. It said Airtel gained the most with 911,040 new internet users in December amounting to 23,985.203 users as against 23,074,163 users in November. The data showed that Globacom also gained 87,538 new users in December as the figure recorded was 26,997,817 as against 26,910,279 in November.

LG to showcase B2B portfolio at ISE 2018

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G Electronics (LG), the global leader in OLED products, is set to unveil its optimal vertical solutions adaptable to any business environment such as retail, public spaces and offices at the At Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2018 event. Futuristic, versatile displays including Transparent OLED, Open Frame OLED, OLED Video Wall with ultra-slim bezels and other amazing new products will also be relased at the event, according to the company. “The center piece of LG’s ISE booth is its 55-inch Transparent OLED signage, a stateof-the-art product that will have visitors marvelling at the razor-thin bezels and elegant form factor. But the most amazing aspect of this advanced product is its transparent OLED display. This unique technology is especially impressive in retail environments and art galleries where products can be placed behind video or special effects displayed on the Transparent OLED signage” the company said. LG added that its Open Frame OLED dis-

plays will demonstrate their capabilities in the form of the breath-taking Canyon Attractor, comprised of 60 Open Frame OLED displays in concave and convex configurations. These digital screens are ideal for illustrating OLED’s customizable form factor and superb picture quality. “The shape and size of Open Frame OLED displays can be tailored for multiple uses in any industry, such as large-scale video installations and informational displays designed to fit the contours of any commercial space”. “Another highlight of LG’s booth at ISE 2018 will be the 0.6mm-thin Even Bezel Video Wall which offers a seamless and immersive viewing experience. Its ultra-narrow bezels minimize distractions, making this product ideal for advertising high-end products in fashion and beauty. LG is also showcasing a digital signage video wall capable of delivering 1,500 nits of brightness for exceptionally clear and bright images, great for spaces with high luminance. LG’s versatile digital signage products offer optimal vertical solutions adaptable to any business environment and LG has

enhanced this capability to deliver the most advanced signage solutions for transportation. LG’s flight information display systems (FIDS) come in a wide range of sizes and orientation. An advanced anti-reflection feature allows passengers to see accurate flight information at a glance without distracting reflections.” LG will also showcase a 65-inch UHD video conference solution, which was developed in partnership with Cisco. This advanced B2B solution combines LG’s knowhow in premium UHD displays and Cisco’s industry-leading technology. “We are extremely proud of our leadership in the global B2B signage industry but even more proud that we are able to consistently offer such creative solutions for our vertical customers,” said Koo Kwang-mo, head of the Information Display business unit of LG Electronics B2B Company. “Our top priority is to be able to offer high value practical and effective solutions to a wider audience that includes retail, government, hospitality, education and transportation industries.”


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

ISSN: 2545-5869

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EDITORIAL

APC plays with Nigeria’s future Cont’d front page 1

award and during implementation at regular intervals; · Reform and strengthen the justice system for efficient administration and dispensation of justice along with the creation of special courts for accelerated hearing of corruption, drug trafficking, terrorism and similar cases of national importance; · Ensure full implementation of the Freedom of Information Act so that government held data sets can be requested and used by the media and the public at large, and then published on regular basis; · Amend the Constitution to require local governments to publish their meeting minutes, service performance data and items of spending over N10m. THE first signs of APC’s sophistry were in the time wasted debating whether Nigeria needed was restructuring and the definite statements that President Muhammadu Buhari made that Nigeria did not need restructuring. It would seem that the party did not know what it promised. “I have kept a close watch on the on-going debate about “restructuring.” No human law or edifice is perfect. Whatever structure we develop must periodically be perfected according to changing circumstances and the country’s socio-economic developments. We Nigerians

can be very impatient and want to improve our conditions faster than may be possible, considering our resources and capabilities. When all the aggregates of nationwide opinions are considered, my firm view is that our problems are more to do with process than structure,” the President said in his New Year message on 1 January 2018. APC’s committee on restructuring that the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El- Rufai, headed, had been working on the party’s position since August 2017. Did APC members and official not know that the President would dismiss restructuring in January 2018? President took his stand, not withstanding what the committee would recommend. He possibly took the decision, aware too, that the committee would recommend possible devolution of power. Key recommendations of the el-Rufai committee included resource control, making local government an affair of States, constitutional amendment to allow merger of States, state police, State Court of Appeal and independent candidacy. “These items are; creation of states, merger of states, delegation principle, fiscal federalism, devolution of power and resources between state, federal and local governments, federating units, form of government, independent candidacy, land tenure system, local government autonomy, power sharing and rotation, resource control, types of legislature, demand for affirmation for vulnerable groups; people with disabilities, women and youth, ministerial appointment, citizenship, state constitution, community participation, minimum wage, governance, judiciary, state re-alignment and border adjustment, circular status of the federation; and referendum,” el-Rufai listed as some of the matters that Nigerians wanted to be resolved in a new Constitution. THE APC committee proposed these for consideration: Food and Drugs, Fingerprint identification of criminals, Registration of business name, Labour matters, Mines and minerals, The police, Prisons, Public holiday, Stamp duties, Independent candidacy, Local government, Revenue allocation, Judiciary, Referendum. IT would have a great leap for Nigeria if APC were sincere. The party is not. It is going on with the rigmarole as if it is unaware of the President’s positions on all the listed items. Dealing with them in any manner that means devolving them to the States, is restructuring, the President has ruled that it would not happen. “From the presentation of the chairman of this committee, everyone now has an idea of what

the APC stands for when you say true federalism. I am going to promise that before the middle of February, it would have been considered and decided upon by the various structures of the party,” APC Chairman John Oyegun, said as he received the report. “The NEC and the Caucus of the party and whatever is there after will be presented to the authorities as the considered view and decision of the APC for appropriate implementation.” APC is using the report to buy time. It would be a major item in its campaign, elect us, and we would restructure Nigeria. President Buhari has rejected the report before it was presented, so who would present it to the National Assembly to make laws from it? Will the party act against the President? THE committee was set up in the President’s absence. His rejection of the committee’s work before the party saw it, meant that the matter should have ended there, but APC would not want to lost the campaign value of a document that proposes a better Nigeria. WAS that not how it got to power in 2015? What has it done about the things it promised? When would the document pass through the party processes before making the National Assembly? Where would the document rest in the internal squabbles that APC is managing? APC is in internal turmoil. Members are seeking alternative platforms to fulfil their 2019 electoral ambitions. A document that suggests a major change in our politics cannot get attention now LIKE the national conference resolutions that were produced under PDP, though more detailed, more aggregative of national view, but still consigned to the archives for mere reference purposes, APC knows that it would not restructure Nigeria. APC knows it would not restructure Nigeria after President Buhari has said so. The likes of Oyegun, and others applauding the report as the answer to Nigeria’s future, have already played politics with that future.

Our Vision TO BE among the top five newspapers in Nigeria and, in due course, the Numero Uno; to be a newspaper of records that effectively caters to the information needs of all segments and sections of the Nigerian society as well as all social classes and cultures. Essentially, we want to be a responsible corporate citizen, a commercially viable, properly organised media business, which meets its obligations to society, government and the workforce.

Mission WE INTEND to contribute to the development of an inclusive Nigerian society, with a view to getting rid of the dark sides of our national life (slothfulness, greed, corruption, nepotism, totalitarianism, etc); to continually engender and sustain national debates that would ultimately lead to the enthronement of healthy national values--hard-work, justice, equity and fairplay, transparency, good governance, resulting, in themselves, the egalitarian Nigerian society of our dream. We will give voice to the voiceless and at all times, strive to be balanced, objective, honest, truthful and fair to all sides; so that through The Oracle Today, our people, the Nigerian people can see a bright light at the end of what has been a very dark tunnel. And we shall do all this in absolute trust in God who blesses good intentions.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

OPINION Man who ‘broke the Bank of England’ backing secret plot to thwart BREXIT: A blaring headline in a U.K. paper about George Soros’ ‘secret plot’ is another sign of how antiSemitic tropes of sinister globalist conspiracies are invading the West. And Jews aren’t immune from their charms

It dealt with an individual Jew, the financier George Soros, and didn’t identify him as such. But two words in the headline - “Secret Plot” - said it all. Mr. Soros is, of course, the Hungarian-born 87 year-old American billionaire whose philanthropic foundation has have never written for the U.K.’s Daily Telfunded various political causes around the egraph and I don’t share much of its politics. world. The Telegraph was taking him to task But if, like me, you have always been fascinat- for donating 400,000 euros to a campaign ed by the news, and remember yourself read- trying to prevent Britain from leaving the ing newspapers from the time you learned to European Union. read, then you’ll also share fond memories of The problem with the piece wasn’t anythe daily paper your parents bought. thing actually written in it. It was a collection That first newspaper where, in the preof facts, most of them already well known, Internet era, you leafed through to check the about Soros and his support for the anti-Brexit football scores, followed the earliest election cause. However, there is no secret plot and Soros campaign you can remember, and where, for the first time, you deciphered a headline. In my is not the only, or even the largest, funder case, I was five, and it was the report of the of what is a very public campaign to try and signing of the Camp David Accords between reverse, by legal and democratic means, the Israel and Egypt. result of Britain’s EU referendum. There is no reason to accuse the authors of If you didn’t grow up in a Telegraph-reading home, you may not understand why after the piece or the editors of the Daily Telegraph of having anything against Jews themselves, all these years, I still feel something vaguely reassuring whenever I’m in Britain to pick up save for the fact that they just echoed in a a copy of its ridiculously massive broadsheet blaring headline at the top of their front page the very essence of anti-Semitism: That powedition. It still has those small-c conservative values, the “glamour” photos of beauties in erful global forces are conspiring behind the scenes to undermine the national will of soverdemure summer frocks and the obituaries of RAF squadron-leaders who flew in the Battle eign nations, and those directing these forces of Britain. are almost always members of a specific tribe. This is not about Soros. He is just the current Yes, I know it’s hopelessly out of step with today’s Britain and probably already was all hate-figure. It’s not about the Daily Telegraph, which is only the latest once proud instituthose years ago when I first read it, but it’s harmless nostalgia, interspersed with the tion to be infected by the latest strain of the occasional specimen of first-class journalism. virus. It’s not even about Brexit, though the Or so I thought until Thursday morning, when resentment which motivated 52 percent of the Daily Telegraph ran an anti-Semitic main the British electorate to carry out a national headline. act of self-harm and the furies it is still unleashTo understand what was anti-Semitic about ing, are important. But yesterday’s headline it, first bear in mind that it had nothing to do is a worrying indication of just how far the epidemic is spreading. with the Jews as a collective, or with Israel.

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I’m not an anti-Semitism alarmist. The periodical reports on a rise in verbal and physical attacks on Jews should not be dismissed out of hand, but even their authors, if they’re responsible, will admit that the rising statistics are to a large degree the result of better reporting, more awareness and the fact that most anti-Semitism today is the kind you see magnified online. At no time in history have the Jews been as strong, prosperous and better-positioned to confront their haters. Neither have we ever had so many allies willing to stand by us. The sewer of hatred on Facebook and Twitter is not new by any means, and we shouldn’t be shocked just because the underground stream of poison has been exposed for public viewing on social media. It was always there, and in the past was much worse. The Cossacks aren’t coming to burn our homes and if they ever do come again, we’ll be ready, and this time we won’t run. This is not about the Jews. The anti-Semitic tone invading Western political discourse is a sign of the illness in political movements and entire societies. It may end up directly harming Jews, but not necessarily. In this case the illness manifested in a right-wing publication, but in British politics it is evident in the last couple of years more widely on the left; in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, which has attracted all manner of Judeophobes. And the same is true today of most Western political cultures. The conspiracy theories of globalist bankers utilizing mainstream media and corrupt neoliberal politicians to serve their selfish sinister purposes, rather than those of ordinary people, are identical whether from left or right. And on either side, most of the theorists will never admit to being anti-Semitic. They are just “anti-racist” or “anti-imperialist” if on the

left, or “pro-Israel” on the right. And most of them really believe they have nothing against Jews, even while parroting themes straight out of the Protocols. The sickness is so pervasive that it has infected many Jews as well. Benjamin Netanyahu joined the anti-Soros chorus this week when, on Sunday he blamed him, baselessly, for funding the campaign against the deportation of African refugees from Israel. But why blame just Netanyahu? Jews are immune nowhere--from the Jewish supporters of Corbyn, who are shielding their Holocaustdenying colleagues, to the Jewish officials in Trump’s White House, and the Jewish writers and editors at Breitbart. And of course there are many Jewish Brexiteers rushing to defend The Daily Telegraph. One of the main hubs propagating the conspiracy myths is the Kremlin, under Vladimir Putin, who is without a doubt the most philosemitic leader in Russian history. Putin is a great admirer and friend of many Jews and there is no shortage of sycophantic Chabad rabbis and radical Jewish journalists eager to lionize him and join in with the conspiracists. After all, anti-Semitism does not have to be about hating all Jews; very often, it is about hating just the wrong sort of Jews, be they Zionists, progressives or globalists. You just have to choose your conspiracy. Sure, there are still some good old-fashioned anti-Semites who hate all the Jews. You can easily spot them from afar, feverishly tweeting away in their parents’ basements. But we live in egalitarian times: Jews, too, are more than welcome to join in the “enlightened” anti-Semitism of the 21st century. PFEFFER is Correspondent of Haaretz, an Israeli English-language newspaper.

Babangida’s ‘maradonic’ dribbling letters to Nigerians By EHICHIOYA EZOMON

Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, who died in inexplicable circumstances in 1998 while fighting to revalidate his mandate. hose who are too clever sometimes overreach themselves. This aphorism But for the resilience of Nigeria and illustrates the crafty persona of retired Nigerians, the Babangida debacle could have military leader, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babaplunged the country into internecine strugngida, in two contradictory letters he wrote, gles that the June 12 almost assumed prewithin hours of each other, last week, to “fel1998/1999 transition programme by the Gen. low compatriots,” one of which directly asked Abdulsalami Abubakar military government President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek that birthed the surviving democracy in May re-election in 2019. 1999. Whether it was meant to give weight to So, like the leopard that cannot change its the prior letter by former President Olusegun spots, Babangida was his old self, writing Obasanjo, also a retired General, or to upstage those letters the same day: the one bombastically fiery and dripping with misgivings, and the letter-writer Ebora Owu in his pastime, Babangida not only outfoxed himself, but also the other tempered and reconciliatory. Why he would write “similar letters” with different overplayed his hand in his decades-old artfultone and tenor may never be known, but the dodging disposition. guess is that the first letter had the “voice of Hence, the rave reviews and commendation by critics soon turned into sighs, and in Babangida” but the “hand of Afegbua” that some cases outright condemnation for “dribcrafted it. bling” the public in two separate missives he Being his long-time spokesperson, Mr. Kassim Afegbua, journalist and ex-Commissioner titled, “Towards a National Rebirth” and “My Counsel to the Nation,” respectively. of Information in Edo State, was used to issuing statements, in his character, on behalf Thanks to the Nigerian people that know Babangida more than he knows himself, even of Babangida, so long as they did not rock the boat. But the latest one headed, “Towards a some who hailed his first letter did so with a National Rebirth,” was oblique and serpentouch of incertitude or improbability. Why? tine. Because the man, who styled himself “Evil As Afegbua claimed, the statement he Genius” and “Maradona” - after the legendary world footballer, Diego Almaldo Maradona of signed “reflected the views of Mr. Babangida,” whom he said, “participated in the drafting Argentina, who infamously used the “hand process and fully endorsed the final version of God” to score a World Cup goal - has lost that was circulated.” Was that “final version” public trust since the 1980s. unabridged or untouched before disseminaBetween 1985 and 1993 when he was tion? This query is valid in that despite himself, “Military President” of Nigeria, on account of the Minna-based General is not prone to the August 27, 1985 coup against then Head of State, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari’s employing acerbic or caustic words in phrasing regime, Babangida, like a chess pro, played on his statements/letters to the public. If you observed, Mr. Afegbua, a member Nigerians’ intelligence in a convoluted political of the ruling All Progressives Congress, has transition that ended in the annulment of turned an opposition within. Recently on a the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by businessman-turned politician, Chief Moshood Channels Television programme featuring him and a member of the Coalition for Nigeria

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Movement (CNM), Mr. Akin Osuntokun, Afegbua had more harsh words for the APC than did Osuntokun, who was (still) of the Peoples Democratic Party. Perhaps, he had that psychology when Babangida asked him to prepare the statement that was rebutted, and later admitted as emanating from the same source as the second statement that was mellow in its observations, and construction. But why Babangida’s volte face? (He again publicized that he authorized the Afegbua statement, thus discarding the (first) rejoinder.) Mr. Afegbua might have gone out of his way to touch “raw nerves,” which Babangida would ordinarily not welcome. Still, he was not about to throw under the bus, for whatever political gain or mileage, a very loyal and dependable surrogate, who had stood by him through thick and thin. However, very disconcerting is the revelation by Afegbua that “some elements sympathetic to Mr. Buhari, amongst the Babangidas, were responsible for the (denied/ certified) statement.” Makes one to wonder if there’s division or a “cabal” in the house of the gap-toothed General! By the way, was it Babangida or the “fifth columnists” at the Hilltop Mansion that triggered the Police (and DSS) ill-advised declaration of Afegbua “wanted”? Recall that in the heat of the second statement refuting the earlier comment, one Ahmadu Abdullahi said that Mr. Afegbua was asked not to release the statement, but he defied the instruction. By whom: Babangida or some aide(s)? As the media captured in sensational headlines, and as insinuated by some observers, General Babangida’s aim could have been to sow “confusion” in the polity. What do you make of his not-so-stellar claim that, “I have not written an open letter to the President, I have just shared my thoughts with fellow

compatriots on the need to enthrone younger blood into the mainstream of our political leadership starting from 2019” even when the discourse was centered on Buhari? Do we take it that when he does write President Buhari an “open letter,” it would be devoid of ambiguity like Chief Obasanjo’s? Well, the tortoise, as they say, can never help himself from playing pranks! * Mr. Ezomon, Journalist and Media Consultant, writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

THE GROUP Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Ikeddy Isiguzo Editor Felix Oguejiofor Abugu Deputy Editor/Head, Lagos Bureau Sopuruchi Onwuka Abuja Bureau Chief Tony Ailemen Head, Graphics & Designs Nnamdi Alex Chukwu Advert Manager Andrew Udeh Circulation Manager Felix Oti


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Wednesday February 21 , 2018

Travel & Hospitality Lagos set to implement 10-yr tourism roadmap

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AGOS State Government has disclosed that a 10-year Tourism Master Plan will soon be initiated as part of efforts to improve revenue generation and further ensure that state remains the Tourism Hub of the country. State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, made the revelation while receiving a delegation from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago that paid him a courtesy visit as part of their tourism trip to Lagos State. The Commissioner said the Ministry, being the Cultural Mouthpiece of the State Government, is determined to make Lagos State the Tourism hub of the Nation and one of the top five tourism destinations in Africa, adding that Lagos has embarked on the massive promotion of its tourism products and potentials

through various governmentsupported entertainment shows and events. According to him, the Lagos Tourism Master Plan is at an advanced stage of production for tourism operators and other stakeholders in the sector to take advantage of the socio-economic benefits inherent in the plan and explore areas of possible publicprivate partnership collaboration.

Ayorinde stated further that October 2017 marked the 21st anniversary of the death of Late Afrobeat Maestro, Fela Anikulapo Kuti and as such the Lagos State Government, through the Ministry, joined the family to the celebrate the deceased musical icon while seizing the opportunity to create platforms for the development of talents and creativity in the entertainment industry.

He averred that the forthcoming Lagos City Marathon is also a component of tourism to showcase Lagos State as one of the tourist-friendly cities in Nigeria, noting that what distinguishes Lagos from other States in Nigeria is its vitality when it comes to offering different entertainment options in Arts, Culture and Sports.

FG reviews visa policy for foreign workers

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ederal Government has directed the Ministry of Interior to desist from giving visa to foreign workers whose skills were readily available in the country. This was contained in an Article 1(7) of Presidential Executive Order recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari. Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, who read Articles 1(1); 2(1); 1(5) and 1(7), on Thursday, in Abuja, during a special consultative meeting with 17 Directors-General of parastatals under his ministry, said the order, when fully implemented, would help Nigeria reduce capital flight, enhance local capacity, strengthen local manpower development, encourage indigenous technology capacity, as well as enhance national self-reliance and restore national pride. Onu said the order also proclaimed, especially in Article 1(5) that MDAs should ensure that before the award of any contract, Nigerian counterpart staff were engaged from the conception stage to the end of the project. “I am confident that with the signing by Mr President of this Presidential Executive Order, we have initiated a very important step in the onward march of Nigeria towards developing the necessary local capacity needed for us to look inwards in our search for solutions to our numerous problems. “Indeed, it is an important step towards moving Nigeria away from being a mere consumer country to an important producer nation.

• Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Fola Adeyemi; Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Steve Ayorinde; CEO Skyview Communications, Femi Lawson and Special Adviser on Arts and Culture, Mrs Aramide Giwanson, when the promoters of Tourism Innovation and Development Advantage (TIDA) visited the Ministry.

Marriott to surprise guests with Valentine packages

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arriott International Hotels brands in Nigeria have announced what they termed ‘exciting offers, thrilling and romantic surprises’ to their customers on Valentine Day. The hotels include; Sheraton Lagos Hotel , Sheraton Abuja Hotel, Four Points by Sheraton Lagos and Le Meridien Ogeyi Place, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. According to the Area General Manager of the Hotels in Nigeria, Mr. Barry Curran, participating hotels have put in place ‘alluring and heartwarming activities’ for the Valentine celebrations aimed at creating ‘unforgettable moments’ for the guests. “At Sheraton Lagos Hotel our themed; “Be my Valentine” day event will offer magical moments with club room’s packages starting from as low as N75,000; Room and Dining bookers will win prizes to make the season more special. “A photo booth will be set up beside the Pumpkin Leaf Restaurant where all lovers can get their pictures taken with a hotel photographer to capture the memories of the day while Diners will be welcomed with a special Valentine’s Day cocktail and treated to a special Valentine’s Day dinner curated for that evening. “For diners who may want a bit of privacy with a view of the pool; cabanas will be available at special rates. Those Spending Valentine’s day at Four Points by Sheraton Lagos, will enjoy the hotel’s deluxe room package open for reservations from 12th February, till the 18th of February, 2018, designed to encourage guests celebrate their loved ones, renew vows and reminisce on the past.

Ogun Govt backs visual tourism, TIDA Conference

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gun State Government has promised to support virtual tourism and the Tourism Innovation and Development Advantage (TIDA) Conference saying it would place Nigeria on the world map in the area of tourism development. State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Muyiwa Oladipo, said this while addressing newsmen in Abeokuta, last Thursday, ahead of the February 15 launch in Lagos. Oladipo said that the state government was pledging its support for the conference with the belief that Nigeria would become the focal point for tourism internationally after the launch. “Tourism in Nigeria is relatively new, l personally feel pained because Nigeria that calls itself the giant of Africa does not have tourist visas. The Ogun State Government has tried to get across to the whole world

by promoting itself as a location for tourist attractions. “In Ogun State, we have cultural tourism which entails so many festivals and the prominent one being the drum festival which is coming up in April. As for education tourism, we have the highest number of institutions in the country,’’ the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted Oladipo as saying. Oladipo who stated that with the launch of virtual tourism, the state and the country would be a reference point in tourism destination in Africa, recalled that in 2016, the state organised the first ever drum festival which became African Drum Festival in 2017. He said that this year’s edition would hold from April 19 to April 21. The commissioner also gave insight into why some famed tourists sites in the state were perceived not to be getting the

attention of the government. Also, Mr Femi Lawson, the Managing Director of Skyview Communications said the launch of virtual tourism at the forthcoming TIDA conference would help re-direct the negative perceptions about Nigeria and her viable tourism destinations. “The corporation believes that using virtual reality to promote tourism will captivate the minds of would-be tourists to the vast tourism potential of the country. With the aim of tapping into the tourism industry, Skyview Communications Company is partnering other organisations to host the conference,” Lawson said. Lawson said that the conference would discuss the challenges facing the tourism industry and why people were not buying-in into local tourism.

He said that respected stakeholders in the industry had been invited to share from their wealth of experience at the conference. Lawson also said that the launch of virtual tourism during the TIDA conference would help increase the patronage of Nigerian tourist sites. “It will give people the opportunity of experiencing the site while seated in their homes, offices or in other areas. Lawson noted that the Tourism Entrepreneur Development Academy (TEDA) would be another focal point at the TIDA conference. “We will be inviting experienced hands in the industry to come and mentor the emerging ones on the platform of TEDA,” he said The theme of the conference will be: “The Impact of Tourism Development on the Nigerian Economy.’


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Wednesday February 21 , 2018

AVIATION

Dana Air declares 90% Nigerian pilots Stories by VICTOR NZE

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ANA Air has disclosed that 90 per cent of its pilots and co-pilots were Nigerians in line with the Executive Order on Local Content Procurement. This is also the airline refuted reports alleging culpability on its parts over an incident which saw an exit door of one its aircraft fall off upon landing, last Wednesday. The airline’s Director of Flight Operations, Mr Segun Omole, who made the disclosure at the decoration of the five newlytrained pilots and co-pilots in Lagos, said the airline had boosted its Nigerian pilots from 20 per cent when it started to almost 90 per cent. “When I joined Dana Airline, we were only two captains who were Nigerians while the rest were foreigners, and Dana believed that in the long run, they will have to transfer the management of the office to Nigerians,’’ he said. Omole said that Dana Air had a total of 33 pilots comprising 16 captains and 17 co-pilots. He said that 27 of them were trained and retrained in 2017 to meet up with the flight standard regulations. “Of course, on the corporate side, it is a very expensive cost to train and retrain pilots every six months, and Dana Air has not shied away from the training,” he said. Omole said the airline had been training its pilots year in, year out. “We still have seven pilots that are still under training, and about a month from now, we will be doing more decorations,’’ he said. Omole said the five pilots that were decorated had gone through various flight trainings in and outside the country. He said that three of them were First Officers while the two pilots

had been promoted to Captain. According to him, Dana Air remains committed to safety and comfort of its passengers, and will continue to do that by building the capacity of its workforce. While congratulating the pilots, he urged them to maintain the airline’s safety records and serve the best interests of passengers. The trainees are First Officer Ayotunde Ilesanmi, First Officer Afolabi Damilola, First Officer Wahab Lawal, Capt. Ibrahim Kazeem and Capt. Slyvester Kalu. One of the trainees, Capt. Sylvester Kalu, thanked the management on behalf of the trainees for giving them the opportunity to serve the airline better. Kalu promised that they would always ensure safety standards for the benefit of the airline’s esteemed passengers. Meanwhile, the indigenous carrier, Wednesday, blamed a passenger for being responsible for

the unauthorised opening of one of its aircraft exit doors after landing and still taxing at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. A statement by the airline’s Communications Manager, Mr Kingsley Ezenwa, said that a thorough investigation of the passenger allegedly involved in the incident was ongoing. According to reports credited to some online media, the incident which occurred on Wednesday morning, created panic among the passengers aboard the aircraft. “We wish to state categorically that this could never have happened without a conscious effort by a passenger to open it. By design, the emergency exit door of our aircraft are plug-type backed by pressure, which ordinarily cannot fall off without tampering or conscious effort to open by a crew member or passenger.

“We also wish to enlighten the author that when an aircraft is airborne, it is fully pressurised and there was no way the seat or door could have been ‘shaking’ as insinuated.” However, Ezenwa said a thorough inspection was carried out on the said aircraft upon landing in Abuja by the airline’s engineers and a team from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and that no issue was reported. “There was also no threat to safety at any point. The flight was only delayed for eight minutes as we needed to demonstrate to the regulators that the safety and comfort of our guests is at the centre of our operations. “We wish to apologise to our guests for any inconvenience such report may have caused and for the slight delay on the return service to Lagos. A thorough investigation of the concerned passenger is ongoing,” said the airline.

•Minister of State Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika (m), with Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Usman Mukhtar (r), Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Clifford Omozhegian (l) and other stakeholders in the industry during the Minister’s visit to the MMIA.

African Open Skies deal holds benefits for Nigeria– Minister

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ESPITE reservations expressed by airline operators in the country over Nigeria’s implementation of the African Open Skies deal or the Yamoussoukro Declaration (YD), the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has assured that airline owners stand to gain more from the arrangement. It would be recalled that the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has maintained that its members were not fully ready for the full implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), as, according to them, the operating environment in the country favoured other African carriers into Nigeria than their members who oper-

ate from home. However, commenting, Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika said Nigeria with population of about 173 million people, half the size of West Africa, would be the greatest beneficiary of SAATM. Speaking at the General Aviation Terminal in Lagos, Thursday, Senator Sirika stated that Nigeria is at a vantage position to take advantage of SAATM, as he further advised the airline owners to ‘get their acts together, focus, reorganise, re-engineer, take advantage and be futuristic, looking at the future by organising themselves to take advantage of the SAATM rather than to sit there and be lamenting.’ The Minister explained that Ni-

geria is among the first 11 countries that went to Yamoussoukro and took a decision to liberalize the sector and open the skies for Africa, stressing that the African Open Skies deal ‘means growth, development, creation of more jobs, more security, more connectivity, more passenger experience and comfort.’ “Now arising from that and Nigeria being a signatory to that, the Single African Air Transport Market became the issue and Nigeria also joined to become the first 23 countries to make that solemn declaration on Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) and I think Nigeria with population of 173m people, half the size of West Africa, would be

the greatest beneficiary to this,” Sirika said. He also advised Nigerian domestic airlines to adopt business model that would bring money for them and not the practice of owing aviation agencies. “Look, there is an airline that owes one of the agencies N13bn. There is an airline that owes a total debt of N500bn which is the collective indebtedness of that airline. That airline crashed or at least it is being taken over. “Under this administration, it is not going to happen to allow them to continue to pile debt and go to the Villa and the debts are either waived off or the debts are post- dated. No Villa will call any airline. There is no door that is open for them,” said Sirika.

In a related development, the Federal Government has referred the incident to the NCAA for investigation, even though it appears it also going with the airline on its explanation provided on the matter of the exit door collapse of one its aircraft. Reacting to the incident when he paid a working visit to the Murtala Muhamed International Airport, last Thursday, Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirkia, described it as a ‘minor incident,’ saying the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) will still investigate the matter. Sirika, a pilot said the aircraft manufacturers designed doors in such a way that they remain closed during flight. “It is quite traumatizing for an air traveler after landing to see an emergency door falling inside the aircraft. It can be very traumatizing, very uncomfortable and very scary. We reason with them. We agree it is so. We apologize for the mishap but I want to just explain to those who are non-aviators that because of the way aircraft are built, of that size and of that kind of operations, the aircraft are pressurized and by pressurizing the cabin of the aircraft will force those doors to remain closed in flight at altitude. That’s why the emergency door did not fall in the sky. “On purpose manufacturers designed those doors to remain closed in flight and by nature because of pressurization, they remain so locked. Now the airplane landed in Abuja, during taxiing, the door fell inside. It is considered as a minor incident. ” “It is a minor incident in aviation because that is what ICAO designed it to be. Any incident that involves the loss of life or serious damage to aircraft or injury becomes an accident.” Sirika explained further that the reason the NCAA is investigating the Dana incident is because it falls within its purview to investigate minor incident of this nature, observing that if it had been a serious accident or serious damage to the aircraft, it would have been the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) investigating it. “I have been following up since yesterday (Wednesday) when I learnt of it with NCAA. They are investigating it and within very few hours, within one day or two, they will come out with a report and we will explain to Nigerians what happened. “And I want to use this opportunity to say that what has happened though very scary and uncomfortable, it is an incident that is minor and that kind of thing would not happen in-flight at altitude as to cause an accident or serious degree incident. “So we thank God for that. The airline is being investigated and NCAA is doing its job and I cannot be preemptive of their investigation and I hope the investigation would not last longer than a day or two,” said the minister.


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Wednesday February 21 , 2018

INSURANCE & PENSION Katsina Govt. spends N22.4bn on payment of pensions, gratuities

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atsina State Governor, Aminu Masari says his administration has spent N22.4 billion on the settlement of gratuities and pensions to retired civil servants between 2015 and to April, 2017. Masari who made the disclosure, last Tuesday, in Katsina when the Forum of Concern Pensioners paid him a courtesy visit, said that N11 billion was disbursed on the payment of gratuities and pensions in 2015 while N7.4 billion was disbursed in 2016 and N4 billion in April, 2017. Masari also said that the state government would establish a Contributory Pension Agency. Earlier, the Chairman of the group, Alhaji Musa Ibrahim, commended the government for timely payment of pensions and gratuities to retirees. He used the occasion to commend the state government over the provision of amenities and development projects and called on the people to support the administration in its efforts of moving the state forward.

Sigma Pension tasks SMEs on contributory scheme

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igma Pensions has urged the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operators to open Retirement Savings Accounts under the Contributory Pension Scheme and embrace voluntary contribution. Vice-President, Business Development (West), Sigma Pensions, Mrs. Mabel George, gave the advice at the ConnectNigeria SMEs Ebusiness fair 2018, which gathered many representatives of the SMEs. “For the medium and small-scale enterprises, we are very aware that it is important that they are able to contribute to the scheme. As long as you have a registered business, even if it is not a limited liability company or an enterprise, once it is registered with the CAC, you are able to come into pensions and do a voluntary contribution. “Because what the law states for paid employment is that you must have a minimum of three workers; but if you are an SME, you are coming in under the micro pensions which is just at the boarding stage and you will be able to make contributions at a voluntary rate to suit your income,” she said. Further explaining the issues affecting the entrepreneurs from growth and proffered solutions to enhance their development, George said: “What should be important to you is starting a business, have a health management scheme and most importantly, you must have a pension scheme. At Sigma Pensions, as a PFA for over 12 years, we want to see the SMEs, major firms and start-ups thrive in their businesses.”

Pension scheme covers 7.82m workers

Stories by VICTOR NZE

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O fewer than 7.82 million workers are registered under the pension scheme in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to 7.71 million registered workers in the third quarter of the year. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) made this known in “Pension Asset and Membership Data for Fourth Quarter, 2017’’ posted on its website.

The bureau stated that the Pension Fund Asset under Management as at fourth quarter stood at N7.5 trillion as against N7.2 trillion in third quarter of the year. It stated that Federal Government Bonds had the highest weight percentage of 53.81 per cent of the total pension fund assets. This, the report stated, was closely followed by treasury bills with 15.68 per cent weight. It stated that domestic ordinary

shares were 8.94 per cent weight while agency bonds had the least with 0.08 per cent weight. The report stated that participants within the age distribution of 30 to 39 year had the highest percentage composition. This, it stated, was closely followed by participants within the age bracket of 40 to 49 year and 50 to 59 year while participants above 60 years had the least percentage composition.

•Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Umaru Ibrahim, flanked by made members of the reconstituted Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) of the Corporation during their inauguration by the Acting Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) who was represented by the Head of Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit, Mr. Justin Kuatsea, in Abuja.

Lagos govt. decries tax evasion

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agos State Commissioner for Establishment Training and Pensions, Dr. Akintola Benson Oke has appealed to business owners, public and private organizations to pay accurate taxes to enable the government to deliver on its mandate and provide the necessary amenities for the public good. Speaking in Ikeja at the Rotary 2018 Symposium titled, ‘Effects of Business and Professional Ethics and Economic Growth in Nigeria’, organised by the Rotary District 9110, the Commissioner decried how tax evasion had contributed greatly to the dearth of public infrastructure across the country. Oke who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Establishment and Training, Mrs. Clara Omotilewa Ibirogba said it is surprising that some influential members of the society and business moguls are in the habit of evading taxes while others pay promptly as responsible and law-abiding citizens. While encouraging a change of

attitude, Oke noted that the effect of tax evasion will impact on the revenue accruable to the government, thereby making it difficult for the government to meet its set targets for the provision of public needs. “For any organization or individual to be a partaker of true democracy, accurate tax payment must become a corporate governance culture, which involves the citizens performing their civic responsibilities on one hand and the government doing its part on the other”, he opined. The Commissioner who presented a paper on the theme, “The effects of business and professional ethics on the economic growth in Nigeria”, said the Nigerian society must eschew some unprofessional practices that are detrimental to the overall image of the country locally and internationally. He, therefore, called on other States in the federation to take a cue from the financial and resource management technique of Lagos State in canvassing or-

ganizations and residents for prompt and adequate payment of taxes. Earlier, in his welcome address, the District Governor, Dr. Adewale Ogunbadejo stated that for some problems in the society to be solved, ethical consciousness must be given a priority for the benefits of generations unborn. “Our country is suffering. Many are immoral, unethical in behaviour and in business; corruption and negligence have ruined the entire nation. We have a chance to change it by doing and teaching the younger ones what is right”, the District Governor said.

Dogara wants life insurance for journalists

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peaker of House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, has called on owners of media organisations in the country to provide life insurance for journalists. Dogara made the call, last Monday, when he led a delegation of members of the House to condole with the Press Corps of the lower chamber on the death of their member, Mr Otei Oham of The Guardian. The Reporter died in a hospital in Calabar on Saturday after a brief illness. The speaker urged media proprietors to consider the risk journalists went through and place them on life insurance. He expressed concern that in spite of the role journalists played in promoting democracy in the country, some media organisations did not pay salaries as and when due. He, therefore, charged media owners to place the welfare of journalists on their priority list, to allow them fall back to a source of livelihood after retirement or in the event of death. Dogara described the sudden demise of late Oham as painful and urged members of the press corps to accept it as one of the inevitabilities of life.

Adamawa Govt. partners PharmAccess on health insurance

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he Adamawa State Government has commenced the implementation of the mandatory health insurance scheme in an effort to achieve universal coverage as well as promote quality and affordable health services in the state. This followed an agreement in Yola, the state capital, by the Ministry of Health and PharmAccess Foundation to lead the technical development process for the statewide insurance scheme. State Commissioner for Health, Dr Fatima Abubakar, who presented the contract document to PharmAccess’ Director of Advocacy & Communications, Dr. Olamide Okulaja, on behalf of the foundation’s Country Director Njide Ndili, said the partnership was a demonstration of the state government’s renewed commitment to invest in the sector in order to “reduce the financial burden on the people of Adamawa as they seek access to quality healthcare and pursue productive and healthy lives.” “Everybody knows how expensive it is for people to access health; so we have to think outside the box and see the extent to which we can support the people, especially the less-privileged in our society so that they can be able to access quality healthcare,” said Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr. Garba Ahmed.


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Wednesday February 21 , 2018

INSURANCE & PENSION

NIRSAL explores insurance for crops, livestock

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ANAGING Director of the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed, said the organisation was exploring possibilities of evolving insurance for herdsmen and farmers. Abdulhameed disclosed this at the opening of a four-day training workshop on risk modeling of index-based agricultural insurance on Monday in Abuja. The workshop was organised by National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) with the support of the World Bank. He said that NIRSAL worked with a consortium of underwriters to develop the Area Yield Index Insurance (AYII) product in 2017. “Today, we are happy to report that we have an index-based yield insurance product that covers risks from disease, weather, natural disasters and several other external factors. “Since the launch of the insurance product six months ago,

over 25,000 smallholder farmers have subscribed to it,’’ he said. He added that the organisation was also nurturing local and international partnerships to help expand the scope of agricultural insurance for small holder farmers in Nigeria. “A key aspect of our plan is to increase insurance coverage from the current level of about 0.5 million to 3.8 million agricultural primary producers. “We recently signed partnership agreements with a leading Moroccan agricultural insurance as well as a reinsurance company to provide technical support in expanding the range of agricultural insurance products in Nigeria,’’ Abdulhameed explained. Commissioner for Insurance, NAICOM, Mr Mohammed Kari, said NAICOM had embraced Index Based Agricultural Insurance (IBAI) as a strategic initiative for insurance penetration and a contributor to the development of agriculture. Kari said that the AYII was

NITEL/MTEL pensioners celebrate retirement benefits

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ensioners of the former NITEL/MTEL have commended Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) for taking steps to clear their retirements and pension benefits. Some of the pensioners, who spoke to newsmen in Gombe on Wednesday at the venue of the verification, said they had waited for too long for their retirement benefits and already lost hope. Mr. Samuel Onye said he lost hope of being paid and suddenly PTAD stepped in. “The exercise started on Monday, and I was verified today; we the pensioners are commending the Executive secretary Sharon Ekeazor. The way in which the exercise is being conducted is good because it was orderly; food is even served to us. My expectation is immediately after the verification I will get my benefits,” he said. Malam Adamu Abubakar also said he retired since 2006 and had not gotten his benefits. “It is God that has been sustaining us all this while; I am commending PTAD for taking steps to pay us. We hope we will get our benefits as soon as possible,” he said. Mr. Segun Oke, in charge of NTEL/MTEL pensioners help desk, said the challenges they faced included the pensioners who forgot their date of first appointment and promotions. “We are here attending to them; whosoever comes with an issue we will provide the information needed,” he said. He said the exercise was being conducted in an orderly manner, expressing the hope that the pensioners would get their benefits as soon as possible. Also, Hajiya Zainab Haruna, Permanent Secretary, Gombe State

Pension Bureau who was at the venue of the exercise, commended PTAD for organising the exercise in an orderly manner.

based on the “Anchor Borrowers Programme” of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) worth over one billion dollars. Commenting on the importance of the programme, he said it would spur rural financial markets and support economic development.

“Natural disasters can depress economic output, damage infrastructure and increase fiscal demands on government and donor organizations. “Using weather insurance to manage the risk of catastrophic weather events will stimulate economic development by im-

proving stability and opportunities for growth in the agricultural and financial sectors,” Kari said. He added that IBAI could have immediate impact on reducing vulnerability to weather risk by protecting the productive capacity of rural enterprises and farm households.

•From left: Executive Director, Operations, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr. Aminu Ismail, AMCON Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ahmed Kuru; Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency, Hon. Sir Jones Chukwudi Onyereri; Mr. Kola Ayeye, AMCON Executive Director, Credits and Dr. Eberechukwu Uneze, AMCON Executive Director, Assets when the House Committee visited AMCON as part of its routine oversight function at the AMCON Head Office, Abuja.

Insurers worry over 2018 Winter Olympic Games I

f South Korea’s Winter Olympics ends without a hitch, organizers will not be alone in toasting success. Their insurers will also be celebrating a tidy profit. The Games are being staged about two hours’ drive from one of the world’s most heavily militarized borders, in a host country that is technically at war with its neighbor and with teams that include two nations — the United States and North Korea — which have swapped nuclear threats. There are also concerns among Olympic organizers and sponsors that the Games, at the ski resort of Pyeongchang, could become a target of cyber hacking, a threat that could disrupt competition in the event of a major cyber-attack. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) takes out protection for around $800 million at each Games, which covers the vast majority of the roughly $1 billion investment it makes in each of the host cities. The policy will pay out for a range of mishaps, ranging up to declarations of war, actual war, or acts of war. An IOC spokesperson said it was in constant contact with the South Korean government about the security situation. “We have been informed that the position of the South Korean government with regard to security at the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018 has not

changed,” the spokesperson said. The IOC declined to reveal the premium it has paid for the Pyeongchang, but insurers said it was likely to be around 2-3 percent of the total cover. At the IOC’s coverage of about $800 million, this would represent a cost of around $16-24 million. One underwriter said this would be relatively high and could reflect the greater security risks surrounding the Pyeongchang event. At the summer Games at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, when worries were centered on an outbreak of Zika virus, and at London in 2012, the IOC paid premiums of about $13 million. At Beijing in 2008, it paid just over $4.0 million for the same coverage. In terms of corruption, theft or violent crime — which bedeviled the Rio Olympics — South Korea is a relatively safe country to host the Olympics, says research firm IHS Markit. “If you didn’t have North Korea, there would be very little to discuss,” said Duncan Fraser, senior partner at insurance broker JLT Sport Media and Entertainment. He said not all war scenarios would be covered. “If there is a war involving one of the five major powers, it is unlikely to be covered by an insurance policy, but if it just happens to be a war between North Korea and South Korea, without any sort of involvement of the U.S. or China or Russia, you might have cover there,” Fra-

ser said. As organizers prepare to stage the opening ceremony on Friday, political tensions surrounding the event are evident, despite South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s efforts to use the Games as a way to re-engage with the North. A team from North Korea is competing, and two of the reclusive nation’s most senior officials, including leader Kim Jong Un’s younger sister, will be among the VIP guests for the opening. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will also be there, two days after he vowed tough new sanctions against the North. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who met Pence on Wednesday and agreed they could “never accept” a nuclear-armed North Korea, is also among some 20 heads of state and top political leaders to attend the Games. Olympics sponsors as well as hoteliers, merchandisers, car hire firms and travel companies also typically buy insurance. Switzerland’s Swatch Group, which owns Omega, the official timekeeper of the Games, said it had taken out “several insurance contracts” as normal, a spokeswoman said. Discovery Communications, which owns European broadcaster Eurosport and is a first-time Olympics broadcaster, is insured against cyber attacks, said Dave Schafer, senior vice president for Olympics operations at the firm.

“We’ve taken a lot of measures around cyber security,” he said. “We feel very secure. But there can always be an issue.” Olympics organizers and contractors rely on many insurers and types of coverage. Firms worried about event cancellation buy so-called contingency insurance against loss of revenue. Political risk is offered as a standalone policy or an add-on to property insurance to cover disruption from terrorism or war. These policies typically also include accident and health cover. Adam Posner, senior underwriter for crisis management, North America, at Allianz, said the insurer had seen more enquiries for political risk insurance for the Games. Those concerned about an online attack, including by nation states, buy cyber policies, with broadcasters also able to buy cover against transmission failure. Still, some insurers are wary of covering these Games. Lloyd’s of London insurer Talbot Underwriting Services, which has covered past Games, decided against underwriting Pyeongchang after weighing up the risks against the premium it could fetch. “A number of enquiries came to Talbot for this year’s Winter Olympics, but we were unable to match our assessment of the exposure with the pricing,” said Alan Norris, Head of Contingency at Talbot.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

Anniversary

Isikaku’s projects, boost confidence in Isiala Ngwa South By BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia

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• Ifeanyi Isikaku (Onwa), Chairman Isiala Ngwa South LGA

n assumption office on December 29, 2016, the Ifeanyi Isikaku (Onwa)-led administration in Isiala Ngwa South local government area of Abia State, was confronted with a dilapidated infrastructure at the Secretariat of the council. The Executive Chairman also assumed office when the people’s confidence was at its lowest ebb. Isikaku studied the situations and set to work. He had to first of all do battle with termites that have been busy destroying buildings at the Omoba local government headquarters, through massive renovations, including the chairman’s and Administrative Blocks; provision of conveniences which were lacking as well as provision of a borehole and reticulation of water in the secretariat to provide a conducive environment for the workers to discharge their duties. To give the local government a facelift, Isikaku embarked on grading of roads which has been carried out twice- last year and this year- and is still ongoing. The grading of the roads did not only improve the aesthetics of the local government but created access to farms and has made evacuation of farm produce a sweet experience. Agriculture in the local government was boosted last year also with provision of farm inputs, including fertilizer to farmers at subsidized rates which resulted in bumper har-

• Gov Okezie with his Deputy, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu and Hon Isikaku handing tricycle to some physically challenged persons.

vests. Prior to the commencement of the Isikaku administration, the entrance of the Umuikaa-Omoba road used to be water logged. The administration tackled the problem by building a culvert in the area, in addition to doing a 500-metre road with cement pavement technology which is ongoing. In collaboration with Vicar Hope Foundation, a nongovernmental organization founded by the wife of Abia State governor, Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu, the Isikaku administration empowered 85 persons with 30 trained in tailoring, another 30 trained in catering and 25 in bead making while about 200 indigent women were given wrappers. They also partnered in organizing health programmes for the people. The council is participating in the school feeding programme and has equally provided bags, books, sandals and uniforms for hundreds of pupils. Also the council has commenced the rebuilding of the office block occupied by the Independent National Electoral Commission and other federal agencies which was burnt down during the 2015 general elections and is equally erecting a block in the Police Station for the Police to beef up security in the area. Isikaku said delivering on his campaign promises since the past one year was not just to improve the welfare of his people but boost their confidence in his administration and that of the state.

• Gov Okezie Ikpeazu and Hon. Ifeanyi Isikaku

• Massive road construction going on in the Local Government

• Distribution of fertilizer to farmers in support of the LGA’s agricultural programmes


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

Anniversary

Construction of culvert to check perennial flooding at the entrance of Umuikaa-Omoba Road

• Construction of culvert to check perennial flooding at the entrance of Umuikaa-Omoba Road

• Construction of culvert at the entrance of Umuikaa-Omoba Road which leads to Umuaru in Obingwa LGA

• Work in progress at the Umuikaa-Omoba Road, off Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway. The LGA deployed cement technology on the road with a strong culvert to save the flooding issue in the area.

• The water project completed at the council headquarters


The Oracle Today

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Wednesday February 21 , 2018

Double Celebrations of an Achiever The Management and Staff of

Integrated Oil & Gas Limited Felicitate with you on your 48th birthday and also on receiving The Keyman Award from the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture.

CONGRATULATIONS Signed: Engr. Tony Iheanacho Group Managing Director

Depot Owners. Oil & Gas Transport. Storage & Trading


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

Love and Living

...With Ireto Temofeh

MODEL OF THE WEEK

LOVE NEWS Doing yoga NAKED can boost your sex life, relieve stress and improve body confidence

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Name: Beauty Tel: 08189549698 • If you want to be our next ORACLE GIRL, e-mail or forward your photos/data to ireto007@yahoo.com. Call 07031028714.

yoga teacher is encouraging women to strip off for classes, claiming that practicing the ancient Indian art in the buff can pep up your sex life, improve body confidence and relieve stress. Rosie Rees, 30, from Perth, Australia, was first persuaded to disrobe after she returned from an intensive yoga retreat in India and was persuaded by her nudist housemate to try it in the nude. After quitting her corporate job to focus full-time on holding naked yoga workshops in her home city, Rees says she’s converted hundreds of women to the idea in the three years she’s been doing it and now plans to take the concept to the US. The 30-year-old, who is also a relationship coach, said: ‘When I first tried to do yoga practice without clothes - first in my bedroom and then in the backyard - I was shocked at how critical and judgmental about my body I was. ‘I didn’t like the various scars on my body, rolls of fat on my belly and I noticed all the cellulite. But I also felt liberated and free. As my practice progressed, I felt a lot more present with myself.’ Rosie first began practicing yoga in 2012 while working in a stressful finance job which had left her eating, drinking and smoking more than she should. After breaking up with her then-boyfriend, she made a spur of the moment decision to travel to India in Jan 2013 where she practiced yoga for 10 hours a day, six days a week.

She turned vegetarian, stopped drinking coffee and after two months came back to teach yoga in Brisbane to backpackers and hotel chains. Nine months after returning from India made yoga and relationship counselling her full-time job and she continued to teach yoga for the next two years. However, it was those first naked yoga sessions with her housemate in the backyard of her Perth home that made her believe she could convert other women to the practice. Rees says: ‘I became really aware of my body and breath, even the tiniest movement, how the air felt on my skin, the beads of sweat. ‘I began loving my body as it was, became more accepting and comfortable, began seeing any imperfections as unique parts of me. ‘I felt naked yoga was having a positive impact on me and it needed to be shared. ‘I approached a renowned yoga studio with the idea of naked yoga, but the initial reaction was skepticism. ‘I told them I wanted to desexualize nudity and wanted to help women overcome their body image issues.’ Finally, the yoga studio agreed to let her hold a class - and it was a sell-out. She says: ‘Naked yoga is not just yoga, it’s a spiritual journey. Yoga only releases stress, but naked yoga digs deeper into our souls. ‘It takes courage to come to a naked yoga class, but that courage Continued on Page: 34

ODD NEWS

Could THIS end the pain for millions of arthritis sufferers? A miracle jab that could ease the misery of arthritis for millions of sufferers has been developed by scientists. The breakthrough may reduce the need for hip and knee replacement surgery that cost the NHS more than £1 billion a year. It is based on a protein that boosts cartilage generation and reduces inflammation of joints. Experiments on rats and human cells were so successful human trials are now being planned. Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, claim it opens the door to a patient with arthritis forgoing an operation in favour of an injection. Dr Denis Evseenko, study author, said: ‘The goal is to make an injectable therapy for an early to moderate level of arthritis.’ It offers hope to more than eight million people in the UK with osteoarthritis - when the cartilage becomes thin. It is the leading cause of joint pain and stiffness. Offers new hope Until now, medications have

Romantic Joke been designed only to help relieve pain but these have side effects including stomach ulcers, high blood pressure and even stroke. The new therapy could be a game changer in the treatment of the condition. It also has the potential to treat other painful inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis. The procedure involves injecting a small molecule into a joint. Dr Evseenko and colleagues discovered it enhances cartilage regeneration while decreasing in-

flammation. They are optimistic after ‘auspicious early results’ that have been reported in the journal Annals of Rheumatic Diseases. What have studies shown? After application to joint cartilage cells in the laboratory, they proliferated more and died less. And when injected into the knees of rats with damaged cartilage, the animals could more effectively heal their injuries.

Continued on Page: 34

TIME FOR SEX

Lady 1: “Why is your husband so punctual when returning home from work?” Lady 2: “I made a simple rule: sex will begin at 9pm sharp, whether he is there or not.”


34

The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

True Confession

“I had an affair with my dad’s second wife” M y name is Testimony. But I can assure you that polygamy is not a good testimony. Polygamy is evil. And the consequences of polygamy linger even after the main actor may have passed away. That is why it is said that the evil that men do lives after them. My father was an Urhobo chief who had two wives. My mother was his first wife and they lived happily together for many years until my father decided to marry again. However, fate was to make me fall for my father’s second wife. When I turned 30, my father married a very young girl old enough to be not only my younger sister, but also my girlfriend, as his second wife. As his first son, my father told me to help his new wife adjust to our home. That was how I became friends with my young step-mother. I kept her company whenever my dad traveled and we became so inseparable that anytime she was bored with staying at home, she asked me to take her out for a change. As fate would have it, on Christmas Day last year, my father traveled out for business. There was love in the air and Onome, his second wife, was lonely. She told me she felt like swimming and I took her to a hotel with a nice swimming pool. Only two people were in the swimming pool that day, so we had it almost all to ourselves. Inside the water, I mistakenly put my hand on Onome’s breast while playing with her. When my hand felt her breast, it was as if a high current of electricity went through my body. Our eyes met and as we stared deep into each other’s eyes, I noticed the fire of desire in her eyes. I was also burning with desire, so I kissed and fondled her. We didn’t want the lifeguard to observe what we were doing

because we knew it was an offence to make love in the pool. So we swam to the extreme end of the pool where we thought the lifeguard wouldn’t notice what was happening. At the extreme end of the pool, we embraced. We made ripples in the water as we moved in unison in a most passionate lovemaking. My father’s second wife’s moans sounded like music to my ears. The fish that can see that its water is getting shallower cannot be stranded.

Later that day at home, Onome called me and said that what we did was an abomination, but she couldn’t help herself. She asked me if it was possible for her to divorce my father and marry me, and I said that that would be a crazy thing to do. My affair with my step-mum has continued up till now. This year, I’m thinking of traveling out of Nigeria secretly with Onome. But I fear if my father finds out, he’ll curse us. Onome says that she’ll take me to one

powerful native doctor at Ore in Ondo state who will give us charms that will cancel whatever curse my father might decide to pronounce on us if we elope. But I’m still afraid because I don’t know if it will work. Please I want readers to advise me on what to do because I’m so confused right now. Call or text your reactions to this story to 07031028714. Email: ireto007@yahoo.com

Could THIS end the pain for millions of arthritis... Continued from Page: 33 WHAT IS OSTEOARTHRITIS? Osteoarthritis - sometimes called ‘wear and tear’ - is a condition that occurs when the surfaces within joints become damaged. Cartilage covering the ends of bones gradually thin over time, and the bone thickens, according to Arthritis Research UK. Around a third of people aged 45 years and over in the UK suffer from the condition. This equates to roughly 8.75 million people. At least 20 million are known to suffer in the US. It is different to rheumatoid arthritis, a long-term illness in which the immune system causes the body to attack itself, causing painful, swollen and stiff joints. Replacement joints are often necessary for osteoarthritis patients, because the joint has been worn down and causes agonising pain. Dr Evseenko said: ‘It is not going to cure arthritis, but it will delay the progression of arthritis to the damaging stages when patients need joint replacements, which account for a million surgeries a year in the US.’ About 160,000 hip and knee replacements a year are carried out by the NHS in

England and Wales, with the figure rising by roughly eight per cent annually as the population ages. How does it work? As its name implies, the new molecule RCGD 423 (Regulator of Cartilage Growth and Differentiation) fuels regeneration while curbing inflammation. It exerts its effects by communicating with a specific protein in the body. This molecule, called GP130 (glycoprotein 130) receptor, receives two very different types of signals. These promote cartilage development in

the embryo, and trigger chronic inflammation in the adult. The study showed RCGD 423 amplifies the Gp130 receptor’s ability to receive the developmental signals that can stimulate cartilage regeneration. At the same time it blocks the inflammatory signals that can lead to cartilage degeneration over the long term. The team is already laying the groundwork for a clinical trial to test RCGD 423, or a similar molecule, as a treatment for osteoarthritis or juvenile arthritis. Dr Evseenko sees RCGD 423 as a proto-

type for a new class of anti-inflammatory drugs with a very broad range of uses. His lab has already developed several structural analogs of RCGD 423 with varying biological effects and potency. In a previous study, published in Nature Cell Biology, RCGD 423 was shown to activate stem cells to make hair grow. The lab is partnering with other scientists to explore the broader potential of these molecules. This includes using them to treat rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, neurological, heart diseases and baldness.

Doing yoga NAKED can boost your sex life... Continued from Page: 33 translates to better relationships at work, with family and most importantly, with oneself.’ She says women learn to ‘accept and love their naked bodies, it directly effects their relationship with their partners so men have become big supporters of mine.’ Rosie said: ‘In my old job, I was earning well but drinking and smoking too much, and had put on weight too. That’s when a friend suggested hot yoga. ‘The studio was down the road from me so

I decided to give it a shot. In six months, I felt more relaxed and alive than I had in the last three years. ‘I decided I wanted a fresh start but I didn’t know what I wanted to do. ‘My friend was going to India to study yoga and asked me to come along, so I jumped at the chance.’ She says leaving her job was terrifying, but that the trip to India changed her life. More and more women have since joined Rosie’s naked yoga revolution, and in the past three years she has run hundreds of

successful workshops across Australia. She has even been invited to the Naked in Motion studio in New York later this year to bring her unique brand of yoga to the USA. And the 30-year-old said as far as she is aware, she is the only person on the globe holding naked yoga workshops currently. Rosie said: ‘I feel like Australia is ready. Our women are ready to step out of their comfort zone, to participate in ‘self-love’, to appreciate and respect their bodies. I can’t believe why anyone didn’t think of it before.’


35

The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

Relationships and Love Advice

He made me abort my pregnancy, but now he wants me back

Love Search Women seeking relationship/ marriage Uchechukwu, 37, a graduate, tall, needs an evangelist or God fearing, tall, educated, employed and naturally endowed Igbo man for marriage. 08069088945. Bimpe, 34, needs a responsible, employed man. 08184384600. Joy, 29, a caterer in Lagos, from Delta Igbo, needs a responsible, matured, working man based in Lagos for marriage and job support. 08158522286. Gloria, 42, from Cross River, wants a mature and responsible man that is HIV positive between the ages of 45 to 50 years ready for marriage. 09094582013.

Dear Love Doctor, My name is Tessy. I reside in Lagos State. I am 27 years old. I got pregnant for my third date but he disappointed me. Along the line, I vowed never to fall in love with any man again. However, last year, I fell in love with a guy who claimed to love me more than anything in the world. I got pregnant at my first experience with this guy and I didn’t know until I went for a test. I told my boyfriend and he told me to keep the baby and that he was going to inform his family. I told my boyfriend to act fast, otherwise my family would kill me if they found out that I was pregnant. I also asked him if he wanted me to abort it. The following day which was Sunday, he asked me to come to his house in the night to take money to abort the pregnancy. And on Mondaymorning, my friend Ada went with me to abort the pregnancy. After that, Uche my boyfriend never called me until I recovered. Now, he is back asking for forgiveness, but I refused. He said that he needs somebody to keep forever. Please I don’t know what to do. Help me. From Tessy

Love Doctor’s Advice: Dear Tessy,

A

bortion is a sin against God and man. It is a sin against God and against your unborn baby too. I wouldn’t advise you to go back to a man who made you abort your own pregnancy. Having an abortion only makes you the mother of a dead baby, and I think you are already experiencing the psychological distress that goes with it. Since you have had un-protected sex several times with different men and got pregnant on two occasions, you need to go to the hospital and do a test for infections now for your own good. I really empathize with you on the emotional and psychological trauma that man caused you. You were too much in a hurry to abort your pregnancy because you were afraid. It was wrong for you to have rushed into having an abortion without first taking time to think. You must realize that human life is priceless and must not be compromised just because you are afraid of other people’s reactions.

Again, if you are not ready to have a baby or to get married now, you shouldn’t have entered into romantic relationships with men in the first instance, or had unprotected sex. You should have realized the implications of having a relationship before deciding to go into a relationship with a man or not. You shouldn’t have been so naïve. Those men took advantage of your young age and naivety or simplemindedness. You got pregnant the first time, yet you didn’t learn from your mistake. You fell pregnant again the second time. You could have abstained from sex or practiced safe sex, at least to avoid getting pregnant again. If you must have a sex without a condom, you must be ready to get pregnant. You can’t eat your cake and have it. You exposed yourself and now you are suffering the consequences. Don’t you know that having an abortion could damage your womb and make you infertile or unable to bear children

in future? You must desist from doing things that are dangerous to your health. Many misguided girls have died or suffered permanent injuries trying to abort their pregnancies. Now you need time to really get over that ugly experience and move on with your life. I don’t think a man who hurt you so much or caused you so much pain should have a place in your life anymore. You should put him completely behind you. He belongs to your past. For now, you need to abstain from sex, at least for some time and focus on your future. When next you meet a man, don’t rush into bed with him. First try to discover his true personality/character. It takes time to really know somebody. If he insists that he wants to marry you, tell him to go and see your parents or family first. Also practice safe sex and avoid the risk of contracting STDs and HIV/AIDS. Happy Ash Wednesday and Happy Valentine!

Do you have advice on this problem? Please share your thoughts. Call 07031028714 or 08131161840. Email: ireto007@yahoo.com Do you have a marriage/wedding, birthday, anniversary or club or town meeting announcement to make? Call 07031028714 now! Note: If you have fertility problems like childlessness, inability to conceive or get pregnant, miscarriages, fibroid, low sperm count, STDs, or need a male child or female? Call 07031028714, 08131161840.. Love Doctor can help you succeed in your marriage/relationship.

Joyce, 26, in Lagos, romantic, wants a caring sugar daddy who can also help her get a job. 08050572880. Sarah from Jos needs a HIV positive man of 35-40 years for marriage. 08090925014. Call Love Doctor: 07031028714, 08131161840, 08077821830 for Counseling, infertility & Direct Hookup.

Men seeking relationship/ marriage Kunle, 39, needs a companion or sugar mummy. 09069672839. Nathaniel, living in Abuja, huge, works, needs a honest and trustworthy lady who is ready to genuinely love and settle down for marriage. 08124647578. Francis, 35, from Benue state, in Lagos, businessman, needs a responsible lady between 30-34 years for marriage. 07066418095. Sam, a senior citizen, needs a lady from Ebira land, Kogi State. Tall, not fat, busty. Age: 45 years and above. Should be comfortable financially. 07066070500. Ephraim, a pastor, not buoyant, needs a buoyant girl of 20-30 years with big hips and big bust for marriage. Email: ugochukwuodor@yahoo.com


36

The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

The Law and You

With Barr. Ken Akpom 08162016410

Married women should be excluded in intestate succession of their father’s estate, except… I t is a very known fact that every father loves their children equally whether males or females. Likewise, it is a very known fact that fathers’ prayers for their female children is to get married to responsible men who will take good care of their female children. Fathers’ prayers are usually as in the biblical way of female children to live their parents’ houses, change their surnames, have children for the man, and assist their husbands to grow and gather possessions for their own children. This invariably means that those female children have changed their town of origin to the males and are not expected to come back to their parents’ houses to struggle or contest the inheritance of the parents’ estates. In reality, a man’s generation is the males that bear his name and blood. Because they cannot claim that their children from the males will inherit the estates of their own parents and at the same time inherit that of the mother’s husband. A situation where the mother of a child is married to a man from ‘A’ village and gave birth to children for that man at ‘A’ village but wants to inherit the estate of her father from ‘B’ village properly as in common law for herself, her heirs, etc. and the law permits such an inheritance what becomes the position of the long standing customary law of the village. Does it means that the children of the female child are from the village B and not village A? Will this create misunderstanding, quarrel and bad blood in a united and peaceful village? Also, will this type of law not make the female folks be dis-respectful, disobedient and insulting to their husbands simply because they know that when the husband quarrels with them they can simply pack their luggages and if possible their children back to the father’s house to be causing problems there too? I am not suggesting that the female children should not be recognized and protected by their brothers when it is very glaring that they are been victimized by their husbands. However, the male family members must ensure that any misunderstanding between their female members with their husbands are adjudicated properly but where there is no resolution then they should recall their sisters to their father’s estates. It is very important to point this out that female inheritance should not be made to be for her heirs, privy etc. as is done in the common law because our culture and that of the Europeans are not the same. And since the law does not underrate customs and traditions that are with good intentions to maintain peaceful and harmonious co-existence in a family, then the law should encourage and modify it but not to encourage the females to be misbehaving in their husbands’ houses. It is also a well-known fact that not all the females may get married. Some will marry and divorce; others may be ‘not married and not single, Ms.’ In any of these cases the customs of the various villages ought to protect them in allowing them the benefits of their late father’s estate for them to reside until their death and after their deaths the said estates should revert back to the males because the offspring of these females cannot claim to be indigenes of their father’s villages. Also, there is no problem in the female inheriting in the estates of the late father’s outside their villages or town and more so if the estates are sizeable enough to accommodate the males and the females without any compactness. It is in line with these arguments and more that I wish to highlight the various customs of each of the tribes in Nigeria as well as some Supreme Court Judgements on these issues. It is a known fact that the judgement of the Supreme Court of Nigeria is the final and nobody or Court can reverse it except its reverses it by itself. My submission is that the Supreme Court should please look into its earlier judgment which did not take into cognizance these areas of conflicts of interest that I have pointed out and correct or reverse its judgment if it pleases the court. I submit with the greatest respect to its decisions which are full of wisdom and experience. Last time, my good friend, Nnamdi visited me in my office he was lamenting about the attitude of one of his sisters, Nkechi. Nkechi is their first daughter and she got married to a fairly well-to-do graduate who has his own estate and is from Umuelu while Nkechi is from Umu-aron. Nkechi is a civil servant while her husband, Kelvin, has retired as a public servant. They have a son only but Nkechi believes that she can inherit from her late father’s estates; she kept on insulting, molesting and even walked away with the only son to her different location of work not even minding the ill health situation of her husband. Nnamdi further told me that his sister returned to their village at Umu-aron to demand for her own share of the small estate of their father as her own permanent share for herself, her heirs, privies, etc. and that her own son should now inherit it after her death probably to turn to become a son of Umu-aron and not Umu-elu. His sister according to him is now author of confusion, disunity, troubles and problems in an otherwise peaceful, loving and united family because of the way she misunderstood the

judgement of the Supreme Court in that regard. It is also in line with this narration and more that I wish to highlight some of the decisions of the Supreme Court on the procedures of some different tribes in Nigeria in this matter. Enjoy your reading. An interesting scenario of the Supreme Court judgement on this type of issue is in the case of Asika v. Atunanya, 2008 ALL FWLR part 433, at 1294. In this issue, the plaintiff who are mostly married women and daughters of the testator claimed against the defendant (a son to their brother, Fidelis) that they were entitled in equal shares to the property known as No. 25, American Road, Onitsha. The Will of their late father read in part as follows; “I give and bequeath in equal share unto my children namely; Paulina, Michael, Fidelis, Catherine, Cordelier and Felicia, all my possession” The defendant denied the claim of the plaintiffs to equal shares in their father’s property because they were all married women except one and that the native law and custom of Onitsha people, their home town, which according to the defendants applied to the parties only entitled married women the entitlement of their husband’s estates and not their father. NOTE: As I had earlier in my column stated, there are two forms of estates of a deceased person namely; Testate and Intestate. Testate is where the deceased made a genuine and perfect Will of how he wants his estates both moveable and immoveable partitioned and this must be upheld in law as in the scenario above that I am explaining. In the process of a Will, the dead speaks from the grave. Intestate is where a deceased died without making a will. In this case, native law and customs or if there was an existing statutory marriage which gives power of Administration of the deceased estates to first and foremost the spouse, the children, etc. will be affected. This case was not and is not applicable to the scenario above that I am explain-

It is also a well-known fact that not all the females may get married. Some will marry and divorce; others may be ‘not married and not single, Ms.’ In any of these cases the customs of the various villages ought to protect them in allowing them the benefits of their late father’s estate for them to reside until their death and after their deaths the said estates should revert back to the males because the offspring of these females cannot claim to be indigenes of their father’s villages.

ing. If the lawyer of the defendant had advised him properly, he would not have refused to abide by the last Will of their father and receive the defeat he received, as we will see from the decision of both the lower Courts and the Supreme Court. Also, it is true that native law and custom plays a big role in succession but once there is a valid Will, the common law takes precedence. In the case in view at the lower Court, the claim of the defendant was dismissed in part. He appeal to the Court of Appeal and one issue that the court contemplated on was whether women were not entitled to inherit the estate of their parents as a result of disqualification by native law and custom irrespective of provisions to that effect in a will. The court rules that “…………. the proposition by the respondent relating to the sharing of the estate in accordance with Onitsha Customary Law cannot prevail over the provision of the will”. He further approached the Supreme Court and lost. My write-up is not on testate (Will) but on intestate (without a Will) and I still appeal for a reconciliation of the conflict of law between common law ideology and that of the native and customary law which is repugnant to equity, fairness and justice. Concerning the reasons for a review, there are more explanations of this kind of ruling of the Supreme Court which gives married women right to inheritance to their parental family estates as in the common law contract. I also will like to draw the attention of the authorities concerning the case of Ajibaiye v. Ajibaiye (2007) ALL FWLR part 359, 132 in which there was an existing Will which states; “I also direct and want my estate to be shared in accordance with the English Law and as contained in this Will having chosen English Law to guide my transaction and affairs in my life time notwithstanding the fact that I am a Muslim”. In this case, the Court of Appeal did not follow the English Law by Muslim Law applicable to Will’s law of Kwara State. I appeal that a review or explanation of the intention of this law on discrimination of women according to Section 42(1) and (2)of the Constitution of Nigeria should be reviewed to take into consideration the havoc caused by allowing married women to inherit the estate of their fathers and converting their children from another man in another father’s town who will probably be contesting for the chieftaincy positions and other cultural activities and positions with the uncles. As well as constituting nuisance in such villages/towns because they assumed the takeover of their supposed temporary inheritance of their mother which ought to terminate at the death of their mother or her being able to resettle herself to another location. INTESTATE SUCCESSION ACCORDING TO YORUBA, IGBO, MOSLEM STATE The patterns of intestate succession under customary law in Ni-

Continued on Page: 38

• Do you have questions or seek legal clarification on issues concerning your marriage, probate, property, etc? Call or send a text message to Barr. Ken: 08162016410, 08075763840. Email: kenakpom@yahoo.com


37

The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

Love & Living

It’s Val’s Ash Wednesday …lovers’ day plus lovers’ dilemma

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HE much-anticipated lovers’ day is here with a bang and more, Ash Wednesday. Haha…ladies are like what the …! Today is supposed to be a sweet Valentine’s Day but with the ash combo, we don’t know how to describe the mix. The guys are super cool with this “phenomenon”, the strange coincidence in the history of the day but for the ladies, the feeling is like “ This can’t be!” I mean, many guys see the Val’s Ash Wednesday for this year as a sweet relief that would help them avoid the usual Val’s Day expenses. Some have even become suddenly churchy just a few days back, so they don’t perform their Val’s Day duties of submitting that fat wallet to bae. Guys aren’t smiling and I’m sure some are possibly on emergency retreat in church throughout the day but they’d better stay back there throughout the night too. I just wish the ladies would pay them back in their own coin by leaving for night vigil as soon as they return from church retreat. Tit for tat is what it should be, no cheating. The trend over the years is that February 14 spikes birth rate in places where it is an item like Nigeria. You can’t imagine how many November- December babies were conceived on that date. The statistic will blow your mind. In fact, if your birthday is like mine, which falls within that interval, your parents are suspect. But if church wins this year courtesy of Ash Wednesday, then there will be a great difference, talk about change and

Ify ARONU ifyaronu@gmail.com

The trend over the years is that February 14 spikes birth rate in places where it is an item like Nigeria. You can’t imagine how many November- December babies were conceived on that date. The statistic will blow your mind. In fact, if your birthday is like mine, which falls within that interval, your parents are suspect. that’s it. We will have less end of year babies this year if we choose to honour Ash Wednesday and Val’s Day in church over the convention celebration of Val’s Day, clubbing, partying and you know the rest. And you know how dearly Nigeria needs that lull in births, very seriously given all the social inadequacies we live with. I think we need to honour the Ash Wednesday in the national interest.

Still, there’s so much love in the air. I observed that the market was full of Val’s Day enthusiasts and shoppers by Tuesday. At this time of the year, you can spot men at the most unimaginable sections of the market. You can’t imagine this smallish secondary school boy at the ladies under wear section, seriously haggling with the seller over a pack of “pants”. He had only N1, 000 but the

pants were for 1,700 so he kept standing there for long hoping the seller shows some love. I kept visualising him making the epic presentation to his Val and she blushing and gushing over it…hmmm, it’s all right. Then came another group, thankfully girls but, secondary school students as well. This time they wanted towels and trust the sellers, they had just got Val’s Day stock comprising towels of all shades, colours and quality. My amebo mind kept wondering what those young girls needed towels for and at this time! Trust me, I asked. They said it’s for their own use, with a look like does she not know how hot the weather has been lately. I wanted to confirm the location of use but was tongue tied at that point, and thankfully because I doubt if I would have got any response, other than an abuse. My people, that is how I carried myself home with lots of Val’s Day thoughts in my head. The younger ones are taking it to another level but moderation is needed still. Lets spread the word. It is lovers’ day and time to play, it will do you a whole lot of good to play safe though. Here’s wishing you a sweet Valentine’s Day with a some “ash” to go with it. Cheers. Please send comments to ifyaronu@gmail.com

2019 Elections, politicians, social media

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HE 2019 elections are here again and our “politrickians” globally called politicians are out again for their usual expertise of brainwashing gullible and unsuspecting Nigerians, into believing they have good intentions for the nations, maybe they once did when they nursed idea of “saving” Nigeria, but as time progressed, they began “draining” Nigeria. They have gained the title “politrickster” from a lot of persons as they have mastered and perfected the art of tricking so many persons. They get better each year. With the varied experiences from failing in their promises of 2015, they would have more tricks to cover the deficits. I bet they are ready; after all, they are professionals, at what they do. Every pre-election year, new tricks are cooked up, from sharing bags of rice to eligible women voters in remote poverty-stricken villages, to doling out of money (recently in various currencies, to mark the importance of the giver) to whoever has open palm that needs greasing; most of these they perpetuate via leaders. (This is a topic for another day.) Also loud and deafening promises of fixing roads, providing water and a thousand other “projects” in their manifestos hit our ears with their campaign rallies, their radio jingles and expensively paid adverts on radio and television. No shortage of names to call their programmes, nor themselves. Their agenda, number of points noted, the projects listed, are accompanied with values like integrity, humane, trust, and account-

M

e& ore

Maureen Alikor maureenalikor@gmail.com

Of recent interest, so many social media platforms have recorded the massive intrusion of politicians and would be aspirants on its streets, as many of them are now interfacing with the younger generation that have found themselves a new nation; the internet. Politicians know how to fit into the age of their audiences. ability. The politician would hardly get enough time to say these. There are hundreds of people who are hired to speak for him, testify on his behalf and invoke the names of other people that have any element of credibility for the candidate to have a platform to gain the votes. This is the fourth industrial revolution: the advent of “cyberphysical” systems, and the year is 2018, a lot has changed, upgraded or being introduced and one of those changes, or would I rather say,

upgrades has been in the electioneering tactics and processes. This has been pushed, following the success of the last presidential elections, where the walls of the internet were the main tool for a lot of publicity as regards elections, candidates, voters and of course results. Of recent interest, so many social media platforms have recorded the massive intrusion of politicians and would be aspirants on its streets, as many of them are now interfacing with the younger

generation that have found themselves a new nation; the internet. Politicians know how to fit into the age of their audiences. One of the social media platforms that has a larger number of these persons is TWITTER. They are there. Twitter is one of the most frequently visited social media platform by generation young. On this platform they bare they minds, sometimes rather rudely, on situations that have gained their unpleasant attention. It is safe to say that, we should not be surprised of what would come out from this SM usage. So, our politicians who prior to this moment have proven not to heed advice ended up heeding them, and have thronged social media and are showing themselves via tweets, retweets, trending hashtags and online campaigns and movements like the #Redcardto … I believe the 2019 elections would be fun, entertaining and a whole lot of adjectives, I would not want to type, for the sake of my keyboard’s holiness. I have one prayer, may we or may we not experience the sharing of free mobile data as campaign strategies. I am a social media enthusiast and manager and I am following the trends, the declarations and campaigns, e-dramas, and I can manage your social media page for a token. Please send comments to maureenalikor@gmail.com


38

The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

It happened to me:

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y sister In-Law, Mandy, has never been a great judge of character when it comes to men. She’s had a string of rocky relationships owing to the fact (in my opinion) that she tends to go for ‘bad-boys’. My wife, Sian (Mandy’s older Sister) has always been protective of Mandy and she hates seeing her get hurt time and again. Sian tries not to interfere but recently it all became a little too much to handle when Mandy introduced us to her latest boyfriend, Dillon. As usual the relationship had rocketed along at a hundred miles an hour and Mandy had already moved in with the boy. Dillon was certainly what most would deem ‘tall, dark and handsome’ and he seemed nice at first but that soon changed. We first started noticing things weren’t right when Sian called Mandy one day on her mobile and Dillon answered. He sounded gruff and annoyed as though he were just arguing with Mandy and he was really rude to my wife, basically hanging up on her mid-sentence. The next time we noticed something was amiss was during a night out we’d organised with just Sian, myself, Mandy and Dillon. In fact it was Mandy who wanted to get us all together as when Sian mentioned the abrupt phone call in passing, Mandy said that we should get to know Dillon as he was nothing like her other boyfriends. The evening started out okay and we chatted over our starters happily at first. Mandy took a little while choosing a glass of wine to have with her main and Dillon was clearly annoyed. “Just order something!” he snapped after huffing and puffing for a while, Mandy just seemed oblivious to the outburst. As the night progressed and more wine was consumed, Dillon’s true colours were revealed in sickening clarity. He started belittling Mandy at every turn, telling little stories about Mandy with the sole purpose of making her look stupid. Sian and I went into damage control and tried to be positive when all we wanted to do was to tell the guy he was a jerk. Mandy had begged Sian and I to be nice to Dillon and in hindsight I don’t know how we bit our tongues all night. Sian and I got home that night and decided that we couldn’t sit back and let Mandy fall victim to this guy. She had become acclimatised to these types over the years and her self esteem was at an all-time low. We talked for half the night about what we could do. After hours of planning and scheming we came up with something de-

‘I scared off my sister-in-law’s boyfriend’

vious but effective. In Sian’s family, everyone has the keys to everyone else’s homes in case of emergency. I work at night so during the early afternoon (when I knew no one would be home at Mandy and Dillon’s) I snuck in and left the bomb-shell that I knew would see Dillon running for the hills. It was just a piece of paper with some information on it that Sian and I had compiled together. I left the document on the kitchen bench as I knew that Dillon would get home before Mandy and he would undoubtedly head to

the kitchen for a snack as most blokes do. I left the apartment and hoped for the best. Mandy called Sian later that night in tears as Dillon had apparently packed his bags and left without explanation. Sian went over to comfort Mandy and she later told me that she had to search high and low for our document but found it in the garbage bin in the kitchen. Sian used to work as a nurse so it was no problem getting her hands on paper with a medical centre letter head. I typed up a sufficiently official looking set of ‘test re-

sults’ for Mandy including not one, but two, sexually transmitted diseases which Dillon clearly took exception to. We never heard from him again and to this day Mandy doesn’t know about our deception. She’s with a boy who treats her with compassion and respect now and she’s a lot happier. Meddling is not usually our thing but in this instance it worked a treat. Do you have a story or comment about this confession? Call 07031028714.

Married women should be excluded... Continued on Page: 38 geria are different in variation according to the different ethnic groups in the country but I shall only briefly discuss the Yoruba, Igbo and Moslem systems. THE YORUBA SYSTEM All the children of the deceased are entitled to his real property to the exclusion of other blood relations. The landed property devolves on his children as family property. The children of the deceased have rights to the property but its management is under the control of Dawodu, the eldest surviving son. There are two systems of distribution of the deceased states by Yoruba customary law known as IDI-IGI and ORI OJORI. In the IDI-IGI system, the estate is divided per stripes that is, equally among the mothers in a polygamous setup with the children born by them taking their own portions. In the case of ORIOJORI, the estate is partitioned per capita among the children of the deceased and not according to mothers. However, the preferred system by the Yoruba and according to the ruling in a case between Danmole v. Dawodu (1958) 3 FSC 46 (1962) 1 ALL NLR 702 (pc) is the IDI-IGI is for avoidance to litigations and not contrary to natural justice, equity and good conscience. It need be mentioned that an illegitimate child cannot succeed to the estate of the putative father until he is acknowledged by the father in Yoruba Customary Law. Likewise, a surviving spouse is not entitled to succeed in the estate of the other as in the case of Suberu v. Sanminu (1957) Vol. 11 PSC 33. Also, at the death of the married daughter of the deceased, the estate does not move to her husband, or children but reverts back to the male children/family of the deceased as the estate of the deceased is not transferrable to another.

THE IGBO SYSTEM Under the principle of primogeniture, succession is through the eldest male in the family who is known as ‘Okpala’, ‘Diokpala’ or ‘Diokpa’. In the case of the nuclear family, succession is through the eldest male child of the deceased. With regard to the extended family, succession is through the eldest son of the ancestor and so on in that line irrespective of the fact that the ‘Okpala’ may in fact be junior in age to other members of the extended family. On the death of the founder of a family, his eldest son succeeds him as the head of the family. A female cannot be the family head no matter her seniority in the family. He also inherits from the father, the father’s personal ‘Ofo’ and other objects of worship. Where a title survives the holder, the eldest son inherits the father’s title. He is also entitled to the insignia of the hereditary office which he has no right to sell, they being family property. Under Igbo Customary Law, females do not possess the right to inherit land, that is, neither the daughters nor the widows of the deceased have right in respect of his real estate. The principle was brought out in the case of Ugboma v. Ibeneme (1967) FNLR 251. The only exception to this rule seems to exist in parts of Idemili Local Government Area of Anambra State where a daughter in respect of whom the ‘Nrachi’ ceremony has been performed inherits her father’s compound and other lands and houses. The Nrachi ceremony is usually performed where a man has only daughters and no son. In order to ensure the continuation of the family line, he persuades one of his daughters not to marry but to remain in the family with the hope of bearing a male heir. The rule that a daughter is not entitled to inherit her father’s estate is partly mitigated by her right to be

maintained by the person who inherits her father’s estate until she marries or becomes financially independent or dies. Moreover, an unmarried daughter has a right to be shown a portion of her father’s land or family group farmland for her annual farming needs. This right lasts until she marries or leaves the family group or dies. In Polygamous family, Igbos agree with the two systems; IDIIGI and ORI-OJORI, but they prefer the first and women do not have any right and share in the estate except with accommodation till they sort out themselves or die and the estate reverts to the family. THE MOSLEM SYSTEM The rights of succession under Islamic law are set out in the Koran. Succession under Islamic law is to the net estate of the intestate after the payment of funeral expenses, debts, legacies and other charges. The share which are inherited are of the following fractions only – ½, ¼, 1/8, 2/3 and 1/6 of the estate. If a Moslem dies intestate, his estate must be shared among his heirs entitled to share his estate under Moslem law. His male children must have equal shares and the female children half-share each. A child may only be disinherited of his legal share if he is not a Moslem, or if he kills his parents with the intention to inherit their properties. The rules of distribution are as follows. On the death of a man intestate, his widow is entitled to one-quarter of the estate. But if there are children or grand-children, her share will be reduced to one-eighth. Where there is a plurality of wives, they share the one-quarter or oneeighth equally between them. One significant point in the Moslem mode of distribution is that the estate is divided per capita and not per stripes.


39

The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

ENTERTAINMENT

With Douglas Omoyooma

I get marriage proposals all the time – Maryam Charles Movie producer cum actress, Maryam Charles has come a long way, both as an actress and a moviemaker. An indigene of Imo State, the thespian who is also a graduate of Sociology and Anthropology from Ahmadu Bello UNiversity (ABU), in this chat with DOUGLAS OMOYOOMA, opens up on her career and why she has dumped many marriage proposals in the past.

“M

arriage proposals come almost every day,” she began. “Men like women that are beautiful and above all creative. Women can’t say yes to all marriage proposals. Even married women get marriage proposals so I have said no to a number of marriage proposals because I never wanted them. “Marriage is a lifetime union,” she continued. “If you can spend your lifetime with a partner, marriage is for you. Howzever, if you cannot spend your lifetime with a partner, marriage is simply not for you. I believe a couple that prays together will survive anyt marital issue together. There are challenges in marriage and I believe these challenges, if properly addressed and handled cannot be too big to break the union.” Challenges Aside having a number of films to her credit, the actress is currently wrapping up work on her new movie entitled Honour, which should hit the cinemas anytime soon. What are her challenges working in a male-dominated environment as a movie producer? “Challenges are normal,” she said. “It all depends on how you approach them and handle them as they come. Nollywood itself is a challenge. If you’re up to the task, ready to face the challenges as the come and you will definitely move forward. One major challenge I can recall right now is managing people with different temperaments on set. Even people you knew before tend to change totally when they get on set. “You have to know how to balance yourself with everyone’s temperament if you want to get the best out of them. Managing people can be really be challenging. Some believe it is legendary not to keep to scheduled time but what will you do when they start giving different excuses for their delay? At times you just have to let them be and continue with your job.” Sexual harrassment in Nollywood One issue that continues to generate controversy is sexual harassment. Has

she ever had any experience? She said: “The way you present yourself in the industry is how you will be addressed. There is sexual harassment in almost all fields but the way you make people address you is how they will address you. I have never suffered any sexual harassment let alone setback from sexual harassment. I am always very careful how I do my things so I don’t subject myself to sexual harassment.” Current project “Currently, I have a few projects. I am working in the movie and outside the movie industry but what I can say for now is that Honour is my next movie. It is totally different from all the movies I have done in the past. The casts, storyline and the entire concept is unique and really different. “The movie gives a deep insight into the dangers of loss, depression, despair and hate and highlights the facts that with love and patience, all the negativities can ultimately be conquered. The movie shows that despite hopelessness and what ever challenges we may go through in life, love and patience will always lead one to that proverbial ‘light at the end of the tunnel.”

• Maryam Charles


40

The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

Entertainment

Mercy Aminu, Vincent Opurum set to tie the knot A ctress, Salma Aminu is set to tie the knot with her Abuja based actor lover, Vincent Opurum. According to information reaching oracle Today, the pair are madly in love and have fixed Friday and Saturday, February 23 and 24 respectively for their traditional wedding ceremony at Twins Palace Hotel. 500 Thousand Unit, Lokoja, Kogi State. Said an insider: “I can tell you that Salma and Vincent are so excited that on Friday and Saturday, february 23 and 24 respectively, they will be tying the knot. It promises to be an exciting experience as the creme de la creme of the movie industry will be on ground. That they were able to keep their romance a secret for this long is a big shock for the media.” Salma Aminu, an actress and movie producer is currently working on her latest movie offering, Traits which tells the story of a young doctor who was born abroad but never knew his dad. He came to Nigeria to look for his dad because he needed some answers since he was having some experiences which he felt had to do his bloodline. “He goes looking for his dad at his last known address in the North but unknown to him, his dad had relocated to western Nigeria but he stumbles on a meningitis breakout in the North when he gets there and moved by his instincts as a doctor, he stays behind to help curb the epidemic. “On the other hand there is this lady who is a medical student that flees to the north in order to get away from

• Mercy Aminu her abusive boyfriend as a volunteer to help control the meningitis. They meet and fall in love but by a strange twist of faith, the abusive boyfriend finds himself in the North too and then the story begins to unravel in a

tale of love, lust and betrayal. The movie features Ray Emodi, Salma Aminu, Vincent Opurum, Belinda Effah, Kelechi Udegbe, Lola Alao, Kayode Aiyegbusi and a host of other actors.

Judith Audu opens up on greatest decision ever

• Judith Audu

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ctress, Judith Audu has opened up on her greatest decision ever and she says it was her decision to marry her caucasian husband whom she met on social media. The producer of Not Just Married, a film which swept numerous

awards at AMVCA 2017 in a chat with Oracle Today said: “The greatest decision I ever took was choosing my life partner. He helped me frame my career and leads me in the right direction. I wouldn’t have been here if I were with someone else and this is a fact.

“He is not the jealous type. He is the type that supports, motivates, encourages and pushes me to be the best at what I do so he never gets caught up in something as petty as that. He understands how the industry works way better than me.” What should your fans expect from Judith Audu Productions, her production company in 2018? “We hope to be able to attract a lot of investors so we can achieve our goals. We appreciate our fans and we are grateful for their love, support and love. We owe them amazing content and we will keep doing just that. “This year I personally took on a lot of roles adding to my acting and producing credits. I did a lot of production management and casting, I learnt a lot and next year I am adding some new roles to that. Watch out for more awesomeness from Judith Audu Productions in 2018 and beyond, we just got started.”

Mr. 2Kay holds exclusive listening party

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onday, Feruay 12, fans and friends of singer, Mr 2Kay converged at the Rooftop Odeum of Tilt Terrance in Lekki Phase 1, on Lagos Island for the listening party of the singer’s second studio album titled Elevated. Hosted by media and fashion personality, Noble Igwe, fans were treated to a live listening, tales on the inspiration behind the album and interesting backstories from Mr 2Kay on his journey so far.

“I grew up in the area of guns and drugs and it is very difficult for someone to come out of that area. Most of my friends died during the era of the militancy struggle”, He disclosed. According to a statement from his management: “The Elevated is album is an essay of thanksgiving, reflection, and excitement stemming from Mr 2Kay’s glorious musical journey from the creeks in Rivers State to becoming a respectable force on the African soundscape.

“Every track on the album represents a part of his journey; lessons he has learned from failed relationships, blessings he has received from the most unexpected places and the overwhelming growth he has experienced in the past seven years of his musical journey. The event was also an opportunity for Mr 2Kay to celebrate life as he clocked 30 yesterday. The Elevated album is available on digital platforms across the country.

My dream for less privileged musicians – O’Jez boss

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oss of Ojez, Engineer Jospeh Odobeatu has disclosed that he is wrapping up plans to launch Nigeria’s first ever all challenged band. In a chat with Oracle Today, the boss of O’Jez Music who recently signed on NIgeria’s first challenged musician, Krazee Legs opened up on the project. He said: “I am passionate about challenged Nigerians. They have so much to ofer interns of nation building but they are totally ignored. At O’Jez we believe so much in the youths and we do all we can to encourage the less privileged and challenged Nigerians in music and sports because it is very important for us to give everybody an opportunity to express their talents. Nigeria is overflowing with talents and they need support. “We are right now at the screening stages of the band and I can assure you that it has been a oct fulfilling experience. Nigerians should watch our for its first all challenged live music band whih will be unveiled soon,” he concluded.

• Chief Jospeh Odobeatu

Real reason Iyanya dumped Mavin Records

• Iyanya

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ecently, singer, Iyanya confirmed that his time as at Mavin Records artiste had come to an end. The former MMMGsignee/co-owner was on a radio interview where he revealed that his Mavin days were over and he’s exclusively signed to Temple Music. Acording to a source who spoke on grounds of anomimity to Oracle Today: “When Iyanya broke from his former label owned by Ubi Franklyn, he had beg dreams because he believed Don Jazzy as a prolific music producer would be able to interpret his sound and take his career to the next level.” The feeling only lasted a few months because as early as mid-2017, the handwriting was already on the wall as Iyanya’s deal with Mavin Records wasn’t yielding results. Apart from his EP Signature, there was little to show for his being on the label. The source continued: “The rumours of a possible rift between Iyanya and Mavin were further fuelled after the label known for always tweeting and celebrating its artistes failed to wish the singer a happy birthday when the singer clocked 31 a few weeks ago. Neither Iyanya nor any member of Mavin Records have confirmed or denied the speculations but on the cover for the single of his latest single, Holy Water which was released by Temple Music, the Mavin Records imprint was conspicuously missing.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

NEWS

All round troubles...

tics of that election and what kind of role President Buhari should or should not play a role. Insistent that Buhari, or for that matter, the North, must complete a straight eight-year tenure, elements within the Presidency (members of the socalled cabal), are working round the clock to get the APC apparatchik to agree to field Buhari for a second term. Indeed, members of the cabal of which legal luminary and Professor of Constitutional Law, Itse Sagay is a vocal spokesman, have warned that ‘Nigerians would be embarking on a dangerous journey if they ever elect a youth as President.’ Sagay, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) said in a recent interview with a national daily: “…It is shallow thinking for anyone to think that if a youth becomes President, he will do better than the older one.” “It is very shallow thinking because, as I see it, it is the youths of Nigeria today who believe in overnight wealth, who want billions overnight, who don’t want to work for their living and gradually build up their assets and business. That psychology of overnight wealth is almost exclusively a youth attribute,” Sagay added. Such outright dismissal of the ability of young people to contribute to national development through political leadership, informed political analysts told The Oracle Today, is part of the strategies the cabal has adopted to de-market possible challengers of the President for the APC ticket and, by so doing, foist Buhari, in the end, on the party as the indispensable political figure the APC needs to retain power at the centre. “For members of the cabal who have wielded enormous

powers in this Presidency, who are indeed the ones who control the levers of power in the country and are responsible for most of the actions of the President, good or bad, it does not really matter how the President stands with the electorate at the moment,” an authoritative source lamented in a chat with The Oracle Today in Abuja. “Buhari’s performance is not an issue, not a factor against his possible re-election as far as these people are concerned. Of course, it’s all about personal interest. For, as long as Buhari is in power, they have everything to gain, even if his Presidency is not beneficial to the generality of the people.” However, while the Northern establishment may not be altogether averse to another four years of Buhari, it appears too immobilized by fears of the unknown to give its full consent and support to the project, loathe to contemplate a Yar’Adua encore. Although the President looks and acts healthy, there are still fears that his age and state of health may not enable him to stand the rigours of another four years in office. Moreover, the north does not to contemplate a situation whereby ‘another outsider’ would complete its term of office for a second time, as did former President Jonathan. “If he wins a re-election, he will perform so woefully and will be so pummeled for his poor performance that whatever is left of his reputation as a leader and national figure would have been completely destroyed,” a notable political figure said in a chat with The Oracle Today in Lagos. “Moreover, this country will longer permit a figure-head President for whom a ruinous cabal does everything and he takes both the credit and discredit - mostly discredit. The North is

also mindful of the painful accusation that it is only interested in power but hardly brings a value to bear on its leadership of the country. So, it’s a catch 2-2 situation for the North.” Thus, the North is actually looking Buhari already, it was further gathered, emboldened in its readiness to ditch the President by the fact that any of its young Turks that wins the Presidency may very likely insist on doing his legitimate two terms. “Everything will ultimately work out in the interest of the North - either way. But, I think they would prefer the emergence of a younger person to occupy the throne. While Buhari has given them unprecedented leverage over the rest of the country in terms of appointment and projects, all that may disappear into thin air should anything happen to him in-between. So, they would rather not take chances and are willing to support a younger person from whichever party,” the source added. Enter the South East. While the zone is pushing very hard for restructuring as its modus vivendi for being part of Nigeria, its politicians also have their eyes trained on what has come to be known as ‘Igbo Presidency’ and whoever is in a position to make that possible in the foreseeable future is a welcome partner. Early last December, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo said at a reception organized in his honour by Enugu State Chapter of the apex Igbo body on his arrival at Akanu Ibiam International Airport from the United States, that although Ohanaeze is a non-political association, it would advise “Ndigbo to vote for a candidate of the political party that has the best programmes for Ndigbo in 2019.”

• One of the many construction sites visited during Gov. Ikpeazu’s projects inspection. Photo: Ibe Abarikwu Apparently in line with Nwodo’s declaration, National Chairman of Igbo-centric party, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Oye was quoted recently as saying that the party would not field a presidential candidate but would support President Buhari’s re-election bid. Although critics have insinuated that Oye’s statement stemmed from Governor Willie Obiano’s desire to pay Buhari back in kind for allowing free and free governorship election in which Obiano emerged victorious in Anambra last November, there are also speculations that APGA’s position is, in reality, informed by thinking in political circles that Buhari is more likely to hand over power to an Igbo President come 2023 than any other President that will emerge in 2019. “Buhari winning and completing his eight-year tenure is the surest bet for an Igbo President in 2023,” a notable political analyst who works for one of the

mainstream parties contended in a chat with The Oracle Today. “Any other candidate would like to do two terms and that would prolong the quest for Igbo Presidency. If Buhari wins and completes his tenure, it would be so obvious that the country really does not want the Igbo if they should be denied the Presidency and then the Biafra, which the country appears so afraid of, will become inevitable.” The analyst, however, argued that if Atiku Abubakar, for instance, would come out openly to commit himself to one term, he is likely to secure the votes of Ndigbo and their South South brothers and Middle Belt allies. “In that case, if APC represents Buhari, Atiku is certain to beat the President because then the country will only have to choose the better of two old men. Atiku is much better than Buhari, to be sure,” he said. Meanwhile, the PDP has intensified effort to woo its estranged members who decamped to APC back into its fold.

Already, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is back in the fold. Others being wooed, it was gathered, are Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal; former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, many senators and Members of the House of Representatives. In point of fact, pundits have interpreted the recent camaraderie displayed at a meeting in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State, during a thanksgiving service in honour of Senator Magnus Abe of Rivers South East District, between PDP’s Governor Wike on one hand and Saraki, Abe and other APC stalwarts on the other, as part of the PDP’s fence-mending effort aimed at wooing estranged members back to the party. It is also speculated that among those being wooed are some of the young Turks that may contest for the party’s presidential ticket at its primary slated for August this year.

PUBLIC NOTICE AND CHANGE OF NAME

FREEDOM MARKET TRADERS ASSOCIATION ODOAKPU NIGER STREET NWANGELE CREEK.

The general public is hereby notified that the above named Association duly registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Abuja under Part “C” of the Company and Allied Matters Act 1990 wish to inform the general public on their change of Trustees and Amendment of Constitution. Old Trustees: Trustees to be Removed Mr. Samuel Solomon Mr. Chinedu Anunah Mr. Success Chiokwe - Chairman Mr. Chinedu Nwoye Hon. Chief Cyprian Okafor Mr. Chinedu Anunah Proposed New Trustees Mr. Chinedu Nwoye Mr. Friday Ogbonna Mr. Sunday Onu Mr. Abel Onugwu Mr. Chinedu Nwozor Any objections to the change of Trustees and amendment of constitution should be forwarded in writing to the registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent , off Aguiyi Ironsi Street Maitama Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed: Success Chiokwe Chairman.

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This is to inform the general public that the above named MINISTRY has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja for registration Under part ‘’C’’ of the companies and Allied Matters Act of 1990.

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AIMS & OBJECTIVE To preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission,plot 420 Tigris Crescent , Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street Maitama , Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed APOST. ELIJAH .U. EZEAMA President/ General Overseer

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This is to confirm that UZOCHUKWU IFEOMA ROSE and UZOCHUKWU IFEOMA AJUESE is one and same person now wish to be known as UZOCHUKWU IFEOMA ROSE. All former documents remain valid. Banks and general public please take note

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The Oracle Today

42

Wednesday February 21 , 2018

NEWS

Edo bans night-grazing, denies cattle colony deal By VICTOR NZE

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DO State Government has banned night grazing, the carrying of guns by herdsmen and has set up a seven-man committee in each of the 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs ) in the state to check clashes between herdsmen and farmers. The seven-man committee will include the chairmen or heads of the LGAs, the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs), representatives of State Security Service and four representatives from the communities in the state. Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, who presided over a stakeholders’ meeting with the Serikis Hausa/Fulani from the 18 LGAs in the state, charged the committee to “review all cases of herdsmen/farmer clashes in all the local government areas. He said the State Government would release the report of clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the state to the committees for review. He explained: “The committees will ensure the registration of all the Serikis Fulani in every community across all the local government areas and the Seriki Fulani will liaise with everyone rearing cattle in the area.”

UNN set to host SPEN4ND int’l workshop

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he University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in partnership with the Ideon Park, as well as the Lundavision, all in Sweden, is set to recreate the success story of the Scandinavian country in science and innovation a it hosts the 1st International Workshop themed; Science Park and Innovation Ecosystem for National Development (SPEN4ND). According to the UNN, the proposed workshop will draw from the expertise and vast experience of both foreign partners to benefit participants, particularly researchers, academics, investors, venture capitalists and innovative start-up companies. Scheduled to hold from February 20 to 23, at the Princess Alexandria Auditorium, UNN, the international workshop is also expected to identify and establish pathways and domesticating the precepts and principles drawn from the Swedish experience. Key deliverable expected at the workshop include: Building momentum in Nigeria’s achievement of the sustainable goals (SDG 1-17); building local capacity and skills set for Nigeria’s economic transformation, and others A statement signed by Prof Kenneth Ofokansi, the Director of International Collaborations, said key presentations and demonstrations at the workshop will bring added values to such fields as; ICT, skills acquisition and youth employment, industrial transformation, energy, agricultural revolution and social entrepreneurship and innovation.

•Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki (r) with a section of the heads of some of the Hausa/Fulani communities from the 18 Local Governments Areas of the state during their stakeholders’ meeting at the Government House in Benin City, involving the leaders and security officials. According to the governor, there will be another committee that will be headed by him (the governor) and members of the committee will include the State Commissioner of Police, the Director of the State Security Service in the state, the Commander of 4 Brigade with other members drawn from the communities across the three senatorial districts in the state. Obaseki noted, “Every three months we will meet with repre-

sentatives of the local government committees to review and examine the progress being made in resolving the herdsmen/farmers’ clashes in the state.” He added: “A special team made up of the Police, Army, Civil Defence Corps and other security agencies in the state will carry out random patrols and search operations. Any herdsman found possessing firearms will be arrested and charged with illegal possession of firearms as a cattle rearers

do not need an AK 47 to herd cattle. “We will not accept anyone with firearms and anyone found with arms will face the law. We need information to succeed in this fight and information is vital to the police and other security agencies. We assure you of your safety. “We have placed a ban on night herding; nobody should herd their cattle at night. We have also placed a ban on hunting activities by people from other states in the name of

to separate fallacies and fantasies from reality”. Yet he noted that “restructuring does not lead to an automatic El Dorado,” stressing that although “it is not a panacea for good governance, it is a strategic ancillary.” “Restructuring is not a once and for all cure or talisman but a means to an end. Any restructuring which leaves Nigeria with the current level of grinding poverty, feudal squalor, biblical misery and state larceny has not achieved anything,” he insisted. “Distinguished audience, it is not in the remit of statesmen and patriots to gloat over the avoidable misfortunes of their country but they must be forthright and fearless enough to point out lapses of judgment and unforced errors which may lead to national calamities,” General Akinrinade further declared. He, therefore, said the country must embrace decentralizing and devolving power away from a bloat-

ed and overburdened centre to the margins, stressing that genuine federalism aims to liberate the local genius of the people and unfetter their creative and enterprising spirit.” Raising a thumb for state police, Akinrinade said: “If we cast our mind back and against the series of misfortunes that have befallen the nation in recent times, it is obvious that some of these disasters could have been avoided or mitigated if we had done the needful. Had the country embraced devolution of power and the decentralization of the Police Force away from the current centralized inefficiency, it might have been possible to avoid or minimize the fallout of the current spate of communal clashes, marauding ethnic militias, violent kidnapping, urban banditry, cyber-terrorism and religious insurgency.” However, while agreeing with the principles of restructuring, chairman of the occasion and former Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife said restructuring without a deadly blow on corruption would not take the country anywhere. “Unless we clear ourselves from it, there will be no change. How did APC get formed? Some corrupt men came from one party and built another party. Today, APC, corruption, PDP, corruption is in charge. I am saying we must fight corruption,” he insisted. He disclosed that in furtherance of a terminal war against corruption, he and some Nigerians have formed a small group that is trying to create a new system in Nigeria.

hunting.” Chairman, Edo State Hausa Community, Alhaji Badamasi Saleh, requested that “Mechanism should be put in place to protect the sources of security information as most members of the communities find it difficult to volunteer information to the security agencies as they fear that their identities would not be protected.” Alhaji Usman Abdullahi, representing the Hausa/Fulani community in Edo Central Senatorial District, pledged that “The Hausa/Fulani communities are ready to cooperate with the state government and work with the security agencies in the state to fish out any member of their communities who engages in criminal activities.” Alhaji Abdulkareem Ibraheem, representing the Hausa/Fulani communities in Edo South, urged the state government to provide the necessary logistics that will aid the task of the monitoring committees in the various local government areas. Commissioner of Police Edo State Command, Johnson Kokumo, thanked members of the Hausa/Fulani community for finding the time to attend the meeting and assured that with their support, the clash between Herdsmen and farmers will be checked. Meanwhile, Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie, has denied any agreement with the Federal Government on the issue of establishing a cattle colony in the state.

Akinrinade, Ezeife canvass restructuring Contd from page 1

bold approval and the PDP buying substantially into the project through its legislative caucus, a new vista of bi-partisan cooperation has been opened. The guest lecturer argued that all the hue and cry and misconceptions about restructuring are misplaced, noting that at the end of the day, it would be a win – win situation for everybody. He said: “As a matter of fact, there ought not to have been a quarrel about restructuring in the first instance. It is a just and fair portion for all sections of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation weld together by colonial fiat in the sense that it unleashes the genius, the creative spirit and the visionary energies of the people within the nation space without any discrimination. But in an atmosphere of fears masquerading as facts, it became impossible

Stubborn fuel queues will linger Contd from page 1

on scarcity situations to enjoy activity. Across the states in the Southeast and South South regions, pump prices of products remained above the official N145 per litre except at some key retail outlets bearing the brands of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Few other major and independent marketers that sell at official prices seldom have fuel for anxious motorists that drive through. The situation comes against ex-

pectations that fuel would flood the market following claims by NNPC that it would land two cargoes of 30 metric tons of petrol daily though the Lagos quays. Spokesman of the corporation, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, stated in a media release weekend that NNPC has started schedule of feeding 30 metric tons of petrol into the market on a daily basis after dropping a head turning order among traders to mop up cargoes at the international market. See full story on page20

“We decided that anybody who wants to be involved in this new system to bring about a new Nigeria must take oath before any election,” the former governor said. “If you want to be Chairman, you must take oath; if you want to be a House of Reps member, you must take oath. If you want to be anything that affects the lives of human beings, you must take oath, and the oath is you are swearing to serve the people and not to engage in corrupt self enrichment”, the former governor stressed. He lamented that there is nothing to cheer about in Nigeria. “You cannot cheer the miles of cars waiting to buy petrol; you cannot cheer about our young men dying in Libya in the desert, or in the Mediterranean Sea. “You cannot cheer about the comprehensive failure of our country, Nigeria. They gave us change, from frying pan to fire. Suicide became something you know about, some jump into the Atlantic Ocean in Lagos. Some in other ways take their lives and some travel out. “I think Nigeria has failed God. Nigeria has failed man and there can be no other way to go to remake Nigeria, than to restructure Nigeria to work and for justice to prevail in the country,” the former governor maintained. The occasion attracted dignitaries like Afenifere chieftain, Yinka Odumakin,, Prof. G.G Darah, Shettima Yerima from the Arewa Youth, Ambassador Godknows Igali, former Petroleum minister, HRM, Edmund Dakoru, traditional rulers and National Assembly members.


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Wednesday February 21 , 2018

NEWS

Gas pollution: Ijaw youths threaten to attack Conoil facility By CLEM ONYEMAECHI, Yenagoa

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ASSIVe pollution occasioned by a gas explosion from Conoil’s Agulo oilfield, Wells 4 and 5, in Koluama, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa has sparked tension as Ijaw youths have threatened to attack the oil company facilities. At a press conference on Thursday in Yenagoa, Chairman, IYC, Central Zone, Tare Porri, lamented that since the explosion occurred on Monday, nothing had been done to tackle the spills which had spread to other communities near Koluama, Tamazo area of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state. “Today, we are very pained and as I address this press conference, Ijaw youths, especially Koluama clan, have mobilized massively to invade the Conoil facilities in that domain. “We are, therefore, using this forum to call on the authorities of the oil company that we are giving them within the next 24 hours to send their officials to address the issue that is currently going on at oilfield, well 4 and 5 gas explosion. “We hereby affirm that if nothing was done within the ultimatum period, Ijaw youths will have no other choice but to vent their anger at the firm’s operational sites,” Porri said. He further said that the Central

Zone had reached out to security agencies, particularly the Commissioner of Police and the Director of the Department of State Services on the situation of things around that environment. According to him, if the firm fails to remedy the situation, Ijaw youths would interpret it to mean that the company was no longer interested in doing business in their area. “We don’t want anything to happen in Koluama community; our environment is being damaged,

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HE Cross River State Government has decried the quality of service provided by the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) stressing that the company lacks the requisite capacity to serve the state. The government stated that the failure of PHEDC is apparent particularly in a wider section of Calabar South where the people have not seen electricity for between six months to one year. Director General of the State Electrification Agency, Dr. Jake Otu Enya made these known when stakeholders’ from the area led by the Clan Head of Efut Abua West, HRH Muri Joseph Edem visited him in his office to complain about the lack of electricity in the area. Lamenting the attitude of the distribution company, Dr. Enya stated that the PHEDC do not have one cable, feeder pillar and even a thunder arrester to go to their stores. The problem he said is from their management in Port Harcourt. “We have engaged them severally, even at their headquarters but nothing happened. They are the people that talk about fraud but this is the highest level of fraud because the entire infrastructure in the power sector was built by the government. “The Federal government did not quantify the monetary value of the entire infrastructure. What the Cross River State Government has put into providing infrastructure in electricity in the state is in billions. What is their contribution, they took everything and the worse is that the tariff they collect

on the management of Conoil to quickly stop the spills from the explosion, believing that they will also immediately commence cleanup of the impacted environment. “There must be remedial measures to ensure that environment is cleaned up within the shortest possible time because this community has suffered this kind of damage a few years ago. We cannot fold our arms this time around and watch our aged mothers and fathers go through the same situation. “It’s on this note that we are call-

ing on the Joint Military Task Force, Operation Delta Safe; the DSS; the police; the Minister of State for Petroleum and the NNPC to prevail on the management of Conoil to please come urgently and remedy the terrible danger awaiting Koluama community.,” Porri said. The IYC leader equally reminded the relevant authorities that most pipelines in the Niger Delta environment had expired, insisting that there was the urgent need to replace them in order to reduce the incidence of explosions.

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki (r) receiving a delegation of Malaysian investors at the Government House in Benin City led by Head of the Sime Derby Renewables, Azli Razali, and Principal Sustainability Officer of the same firm, Carl Dagenhert.

PHEDC lacks capacity to serve Cross River – Govt. ANIEKAN ANIEKAN, Calabar

our people’s means of livelihood, the ecosystem, and all of that are being affected. As we speak, the only livelihood which is fishing has been drastically affected. “For the past three days, our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, cannot go for fishing as the entire waterways have been contaminated. As it appears, nothing can be done by community-folks on their own because they do not have what it takes to clean up that quantum mess in the environment. “So, as a body, we are calling

we don’t have one kobo yet we are the people providing the infrastructure”. Continuing, he said “The state government purchased 187 number of transformer at the cost of N650 million. Of this number, 99 transformers went to Calabar Municipality, 25 to Calabar South, 8 to Yala and 14 to Obudu, so what is our benefit here. It is the PHEDC that collects the tariff”, he lamented. Speaking on behalf of the people of Calabar South, the Clan Head, Muri Edem regretted the actions of the PHEDC stating that the people have stayed too long without electricity and as a result, violent crimes are on the increase. He stated that the problem started with feeder pillar which the management promised to restore within two weeks but two weeks is now one year in some areas saying the management of the company are reluctant to invest in their own infrastructure.

Actors Guild inaugurates new exco in Anambra By OGE ONYEANUSI

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CTORS Guild of Nigeria (AGN), has inaugurated its newly elected executive members in Anambra State to pilot the affairs of the body for the next two years. The nine-man executive members include: Leo Ewuzie, State Chairman; Emmanuel Mbonu, Vice-Chairman; Ifeanyi Onyeyiri, Secretary; Peace Dozas, Treasurer; Ndubisi Collins Odowa, Director of Guild Services; Obinna Muoma, PRO; Abumchukwu Daniel, Financial Secretary; Osuoha Maduabuchi, Assistant Secretary and Ejike Obidimma, Chief Whip. The new exco were elected November 16, last year to take over the Comrade Samson Obidimma-led executive which tenure ended early in December.

The inauguration, which took place in Awka, the capital city of the state on Thursday, December 7, attracted Nollywood actors from within and outside the state. Commenting, National President of the AGN, Mr. Ejezie Emeka Rollas, tasked them to work assiduously to take the Anambra chapter of the body to the next level; adding that if Anambra State chapter got it right, other chapters would get it right also. According to him, “Eighty percent of human resources that make Nollywood what it is today are from Anambra State. Anambra State gave Nollywood the impetus that makes it the second best entertainment industry in the world. “The new executive being inaugurated in Anambra today has a lot of work to do in order

Buhari’s re-election dicey – Monarch By OGE ONYEANUSI

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n view of the rising social unrests arising the herdsmen killings across the country, President Mohamadu Buhari’s re-election bid remains dicey, according to the traditional ruler of Nawfia, Njikoka Local Government Area, Anambra state, Igwe Chijioke Nwankwo. Reacting to the planned bid by President Buhari to seek re-election in 2019, in his palace, the monarch said: “Unless he rectifies those grey areas like in the appointment and not using his Fulani kinsmen to fill the whole positions.

“I said it last year that there would not be election without restructuring and is like they are working on it now. So his re-election may not be possible depending on how he moves and has to be fast about it, all the accusations of appointing only his own people rectified and lasting solution to herdsmen’s attacks stopped forthwith. “We have a culture that if your animal gets into another person’s farm and damages the farm the owner of the animal (cow) will pay for the damages for allowing the animal to roam on that farm. You must have

them contained somewhere for sale. It is a private business and not for the over-riding interest of the people. Therefore they must find a place to rear their cows. I am entirely against allowing the cows to roam around. They can buy land and rear their animals not for free,” he stated. On the introduction of the state police as advocated by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the monarch opined that it would not make any serious impact adding that ‘already we have such security arrangements on ground with the vigilante scattered all over the place.’

to sustain the tempo and further move it to a higher pedestal”. In his acceptance speech, the Anambra AGN chairman, Evangelist Leo Ewuzie, thanked the body for handing over the mantle to him; promising not to betray the trust reposed in him. He also said that he would discharge his duty with humility, run an allinclusive administration, and lift the chapter higher than he met it. In a remark during the function, the Anambra State Commissioner, Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, Culture and Tourism, Barr (Mrs) Stella Onuorah, urged the group to work closely with the state government under His Excellency, Gov. Willie Obiano. Represented by the Director of Tourism in the Ministry, Mr. Umeokana Emmanuel, the commissioner said that Obiano’s government is in damn need of human potentials that would assist to develop tourism and entertainment in the state; and tasked the group to work with the state government towards achieving the goal. Also speaking during the event, a marketer/producer, Chief Okeke Cyprian Osita, said that without government support, Nollywood cannot develop in Nigeria beyond what it is today, and added that private individuals cannot afford to develop Nollywood to what obtains in the western world. Highpoint of the event was issuing of certificates to the inaugurated executive members.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday February 21, 2018

SPORTS

•Gianni Infantino

By MADUABUCHI KALU

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AGOS State Governor Akinwunmi is not a happy man despite the success recorded at last Saturday’s 3rd edition of annual Access Bank Lagos City Marathon reason being that the Lagos No1 citizen wants Nigerians to be the ones that should be carting away the top prizes run into millions of Naira and as a result, has vowed to change the narrative in the next two years. Speaking at the award ceremony at the finish point at Eko Atlantic City Victoria Island, Ambode who was there live with his wife expressed frustration at giving out the wards to foreigners particularly Kenyans and Ethiopians in both the male and female categories. He assured Nigerians that in the next two years, the country will be able to give the foreigners run for their money as he has made up his mind to hire the services of renowned marathon coaches to train some Nigerian athletes who will be able to compete favourably with their East African opponents for the top prizes. “My promise to Nigeria is this; I’m tired of giving this award to the East Africans and so, Lagos State is going to commit professional coaches and then we will go to Jos and then come back in two years’ time to give them (East Africans) fight for their money,” the Governor said. Speaking further, Governor Ambode commended all the athletes and organizers who contributed to the successful hosting of the 3rd edition of the tournament, assuring that efforts would be made to make the fourth edition which will take place on February 9, 2019 bigger and better. “I just want to say a big thank you to all the participants and also the organizers. We have done Lagos proud again and we have done Nigeria proud again. “This is the 3rd edition and we are getting bigger, we are getting finer and this is what this is all about. We have had over a 100,000 participants and we have broken all the records of last year and we are very excited about this. “Yes, this is the bronze level; the intention is to take it to the gold level in the next two years and I know we can do it. This is more about the energy of Lagos. Beyond the fact that we are able to show the aesthetics

Ambode vows to change Marathon •Pledges to make event bigger, better in 2019

• From left to right: President of Nigeria Athletics Federation (AFN), Hon. Shehu Guzuo; Snr. Staff of Access Bank, 2nd placed Kenyan Kipkoech Kiboss; MD of Access Bank, Dr. Herbert Wigwe; The winner of 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Abraham Kiprotich; Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode; Minister of Sports and Youths Development, Hon. Solomon Dalung and 3rd-placed Benjamin Bitok. and the improvement we have done in the last two and a half years, Lagos is getting better and then Lagos is getting more enjoyable. “I know we are going to do this again next year and so come Saturday 9th February, 2019, we are going to have a bigger marathon and bigger prizes,” Governor Ambode said. While also speaking at the award presentations at the Eko Atlantic City, the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Hon. Solomon Dalung commended the Lagos State Government, organisers and

sponsors of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, assuring that the Federal Government would partner with the State to prepare Nigerian athletes to compete at the top level with their foreign counterparts. It is important to note that Abraham Kiprotich breast the tape in 2:13:04 to emerge the winner of the 3rd edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon thereby carting away the grand prize of $50,000 and a gold plated trophy for his effort. Abraham’s time set a new Lagos Marathon record, three minutes better than the record set by his fel-

low compatriot, Abraham Kiptum in the second edition of the 42km annual tourney held last year. Meanwhile, Kenyan duo of Ronny Kipkoech Kiboss and Benjamin Bitok, came 2nd and 3rd in the time of 2:13:26 and 2:13:29 respectively. Both runners smiled home with $40,000 and $30,000 respectively. And in the female category, it was a clean sweep by Ethiopia as the trio of Alemenesh Herpha Guta, Tigst Girma Getayechew and Ayelu Abebe Hordofa came 1st, 2nd and 3rd to win $50,000, $40,000 and $30,000 respectively.

NFF mourns Austin Mgbolu T

• Mgbolu

he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) last week mourned the death of former spokesman of the Federation, Austin Mgbolu who served the football house from 1993 to 2001. The death of the Federation’s image maker came barely two weeks after the death of former chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission and former board member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF,) Deji Tinubu. The death of Mgbolu was made public last week. According report on the death of the former spokesperson of the NFF who served the Federation when it was still called the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), he died as a result of complications resulting in the major surgery he had. Mgbolu had a major surgery last month and appeared to have re-

gained good health before complications early last Wednesday morning, February 7, which led to his been rushed to the hospital where he died. According to the Secretary General of the NFF, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi the death of Austin Mgbolu was a sad even as he prayed for God’s protection for his family and his loved ones he left behind and the fortitude to bear the irreparable lost. The NFF scribe described the late Mgbolu as a thorough professional who performed his duties to the best of his ability and even as an analyst on television provided wise counsel for the advancement of Nigerian game. He prayed that God will grant him eternal rest. “This is very sad (Mgbolu’s death) and I pray that God Almighty will protect the family and loved ones

he has left behind and give them the fortitude to bear this big loss. “He was a thorough professional who did his job to the best of his ability and even as an analyst on television, he was forthright and provided wise counsel for the advancement of the Nigeria game. We pray that God will grant him eternal rest,” NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi said. For his magnanimity and encouragement of younger professionals, Austin Mgbolu was nicknamed ‘Booster’. The late Mgbolu served with the administrations of Sampson Emeka Omeruah (of blessed memory), Abdulmumuni Aminu and Anthony Kojo Williams, and briefly with the board of Brigadier –General Dominic Oneya (retd) who came into office when Williams was impeached in 2000.

The first Nigerian to breast the tape was Plateau State born Iliya Pam. He returned in 2:40:16 to win N3million, while Sharubutu Philbus came second in 2:54:16 to smile home with N2million and Kefas Williams placed 3rd in the time of 2:58:16 and pocketed the sum of N1million. There were also prizes for Nigerians in the newly introduced 10km family race, which saw Sajo Ismaila (male) and Ona Salay (female) drove home a brand new saloon car each courtesy of GAC Motors, the official Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Motor and other mouthwatering prizes. The 42km race started at the National Stadium, Surulere by 6:30am and ended at the Eko Atlantic City in Victoria Island, while the 10km race also began from Osborne and terminated also at the Eko Atlantic City with over 100,000 athletes battling for the various prize monies. Dignitaries who graced the marathon include Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung;, his counterpart in Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; representative of Chief of Army Staff, Major General David Amadu; General Officer Commanding 81 Division, Major General, Enobong Okon Udoh; President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick; ex-Super Eagles’ captain, Austin Jay Jay Okocha; British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright among others. The Nigerian Entertainment Industry was left out as Sound Sultan, Tiwa Savage amongst other entertainers performed at the event at the Eko Atlantics City.


The Oracle Today

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Wednesday February 21 , 2018

SPORTS

Immortalise Savage now, Oduah urges NFF, Ministry Stories by MADUABUCHI KALU

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ORMER board member of Nigerian Football Association (NFA) and the founder of Red Carpet Advertising, Prince Isidoreh Oduah has called on the board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Sports Ministry to immortalize the first General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Femi Theophilus Savage who died last December and was buried last week. Prince Oduah, a close friend of the late veteran football administrator made the call in exclusive interview with The Oracle Today Sports in his place in Ikeja. According to the former member of Anambra State Sports Council, the late Femi Savage was the pioneer General Secretary the Nigerian Football Supporters Club and performed exceedingly well as he introduced many innovative developments. Oduah said the Amaju Pinnick led board of the NFF and the Sports Ministry being supervised by Hon Solomon Dalung should not allow the late elder statesman to be forgotten as he was a big voice in Nigerian football during his reins as the Secretary General of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club. He recalled that the late Savage was first appointed into the posi-

tion of the secretary general of the Supporters Club in the early 70’s by the then chairman of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) Derby Allen an Englishman, who was so passionate about the beautiful game of football. He explained that Savage was later elected into same position having acquitted himself so well in the discharge of his duties. Speaking further, Prince Oduah disclosed that Mr. Allen was a consummate sports personality as he was a good coach, a good administrator and a good organizer saying that the idea of Nigeria Football Supporters Club was first muted by Allen’s wife before they keyed into it. “First and foremost, I would like to start by saying that I am pained by the death of my very good friend of over 50 years, Mr. Femi Theophilous Savage, who was buried last week. He actually passed on last December but was buried last week,” Prince Oduah began. “We started our friendship back then in Onitsha as young boys because Femi’s father was living in Onitsha as a public servant. “When his father was transferred back to Lagos by then I had come to Lagos, we met again and like they say, ‘old fire stick, easy to catch’, we renewed our friendship. One thing that strongly bounded us together

was our strong passion for the round leather game. We both love the game of football I can assure you of that. “Therefore, I am using this opportunity to call on the Board of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) led by Amaju Melvin Pinnick and the Sports Ministry to ensure that this great Nigerian who devoted his youthful time to the development of football in this great country is not forgotten. “In other words, I am asking those who are running the game in the country to immortalize this great Nigerian to serve as incentive for the younger generation. And by immortalizing him, the younger generation will be motivated in serving this country in any capacity they deemed fit,” Oduah advised. “I recalled that Femi Savage was first appointed the secretary general of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club by the then chairman of the then NFA, Derby Allen whose wife first muted the idea of Nigeria Football Supporters Cub. “After her served out the tenure of that appointment, elections were conducted into the various position of the Supporters Club and he was returned unopposed to same position and the then sports commentator extraordinaire, Shola Folorunsho was the pioneer chairman of the club

Nigeria emerges 5th in AWC N igeria on Sunday emerged the overall champions of the 5th African Wrestling Championship which ended at the Alfred Diete Spiff Sports Complex in Port Harcourt. Sunday also marks the end of the five-day competition in the Garden City. The five-day competition witnessed wrestlers from African countries contest for trophies in the Greco-Roman and Free Style models. Nigeria came first in four major categories of the championship which had 90 gold medals at stake. Team Nigeria wrestlers emerged top in the cadet women wrestling, junior freestyle, senior women wrestling and senior freestyle wrestling. At the end of competition, South Africa won the Cadet Free Style followed by Nigeria in the second place with Algeria finishing in the third position. In the Men Wrestling Cadet, Egypt came first with Nigeria and Algeria picking the second and third places. Nigeria won the Women version with Tunisia and second and third respectively. The host country again shot to the top spot in the Junior Category Free

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determine who will take over from Folorunsho and it was agreed on. “On that day, every member turned up and election was conducted and at the end of the day, Femi Savage scored 115 votes while the clique that wanted to take over the affairs of the club scored 15 votes. “It was a landslide victory for Femi and I. And at the end of the election, those opposing side came and apologized to Femi and I and at the same time pledged their loyalty and support. It was very interesting and that was when I discovered the strength and power in election,” “So, I am saddened that he passed on and I want to use this medium to once again condole with his children and relations on his demise,” Prince Oduah said.

NFF name coaches for various teams

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• The beautiful mats where the medals were harvested Style with Algeria and Egypt picking picking the second and third places. the silver and bronze medals. In the Egypt maintained her strength in Junior Greco Roman, Egyptian wres- the Greco-Roman with Algeria and tlers won the gold and bronze med- Morocco settling for the silver and als leaving Nigeria with the silver. bronze. Tunisia won the Women Wrestling, During the closing ceremony of Junior Category with Nigeria and Al- the championship, Rivers State Govgeria settling for the silver and bronze ernor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, said respectively. In the senior category, that the hosting of the championNigeria won her dominant area of ships, tagged “Port Harcourt 2018”, strength, the men and women Free- was geared towards foisting regional Style leaving South Africa and Egypt unity as well as provide platform for highly talented national wrestlers to prove themselves. Governor Wike described Rivers State as safe haven for investors, pointing out that the state has the capacity to host more events. relay Tuesday. “Rivers has the capacity to host He tested positive for acetaloza- more sporting activities with the famide, a banned diuretic which is cilities on the ground in the state,” considered a masking agent. he said. The CAS statement said Saito Meanwhile, Nigerian youth female had left the athletes’ Olympic wrestler, Sunmisola Balogun is relishVillage voluntarily and would be ing the gold medal she won at the Afprovisionally suspended from the rican Wrestling Championship which Olympics and other competitions qualified her for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games scheduled to hold in pending a full investigation. Buenos Aires, Argentina between October 6 and 18.

2018 Winter Olympics: PyeongChang records first doping ban apanese speed skater, Kei Saito has become the first athlete to be excluded from the 2018 Winter Olympics for a doping violation. Saito failed an out-of-competition doping test prior to the Games, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said. The 21-year-old had not yet competed in the Games but was due to compete in the men’s 5,000m

•Late Femi Theophilus Savage and I was the Publicity Secretary. “As the secretary general of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Mr. Savage brought a lot of development in the affairs of the club. He had a very big voice in Nigerian Football. “He was so good that when the then chairman, Folorunsho was transferred from Lagos to Abeokuta, a clique wanted somebody to replace him since he was no more in Lagos but I said no. I argued that Savage should take over and combine the position of the Chairman and that of the secretary general for effective administration. “That my suggestion caused serious argument and I said there was no need quarrelling over that, that what we should do is to conduct election the following Saturday to

he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Monday released the names of coaching crews of all the National Teams, bar those of the Senior Men Team (Super Eagles), U-20 Women (Falconets) and U-17 Women (Flamingos) whose contracts are running. Chairman of the Technical and Development Committee, Alhaji Yusuf Ahmed ‘Fresh’ told thenff. com that the appointments are with immediate effect and that his committee has done due diligence on all the names and approved the constitution. Yusuf ‘Fresh,’ who is also vice chairman of the NFF Strategy Committee, said: “All the coaches will be unveiled at a later date, alongside the coaching crews of the Under-20 and Under-17 girls that were appointed earlier as a result of their World Cup qualifying campaigns.” Super Eagles/Olympic men team: Salisu Yusuf (Head Coach); Imama Amapakabo; Kennedy Boboye; Fidelis Ilechukwu; Alloy Agu (Goalkeepers’ Trainer) U-20 Men (Flying Eaglse): Paul Aigbogun (Head Coach); Abdullahi Maikaba; Abubakar Bala; Hassan Abdallah (Scouting); Suleiman Shuaibu (Goalkeepers’ Trainer) U-17 Boy team (Golden Eaglets): Manu Garba (Head Coach); Nduka

• Coach Nduka Ugbade Ugbade; Jolomi Atune Ali; Bunmi Haruna (Scouting); Abideen Baruwa Olatunji (Goalkeepers’ Trainer) U-15 Boys team (Future Eagles): Alala Danladi Nasidi (Head Coach); Haruna Usman ‘Ilerika’; Ahmed Lawal Dankoli; Patrick Bassey (Scouting); Ernest Salolome (Goalkeepers’ Trainer) U-13 Boys team: Jolomi Atune Ali (Head Coach); Jude Agada; Abdullahi Umar Tyabo; Adewale Laloko (Scouting); Adeoye Onigbinde (Goalkeepers’ Trainer)


The Oracle Today

47

Wednesday February 21 , 2018

NEWS

Okowa to Deltans: Go, get your PVCs By JONATHAN AWANYAI, Asaba

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elta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has enjoined students in tertiary institutions of learning in the State who are 18 years and above to ensure that they have a Permanent Voters Card (PVC) by making themselves available for voters registration at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office nearest to them. Okowa gave the advice at the College of Education (COE), Agbor, during a one-day sensitization/awareness on voters’ education in tertiary institutions which was organized by the Directorate of Orientation, Governor’s Office in collaboration with the COE, Agbor. The governor, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah, disclosed that the advice had become necessary as it would enable them to make a well-informed decision on

who represents them at the various levels of government. “We will be failing in our duties if we fail to tell you of the power that you have as eligible voters; you have enormous electoral power to elect any candidate of your choice but you can only do this if you have your PVC”, Senator Okowa stated. While thanking the Directorate of Orientation and the COE, Agbor, for collaborating to organize the sensitization/awareness programme on voters’ education, the governor implored students of the school to put

what they were taught into practice by actively exercising their franchise in a responsible manner. Earlier in his welcome address, the Executive Assistant to the governor on Orientation, Barr. Eugene Uzum, said that the import of the sensitization programme was to adequately enlighten students in tertiary institutions of learning on the need to have a PVC. Barr. Uzum disclosed that the sensitization/awareness on voters’ education would take place in all the tertiary institutions of learning in the

state, adding that voters’ education was an essential ingredient needed to stimulate students’ interest in the electoral process. In his goodwill message, the Provost, COE, Agbor, Dr. Joseph Ukadike, who applauded the thoughtfulness of the conveners of the programme said “this workshop could not have come at a better time than now considering the fact that the country has always been yearning for violencefree electioneering process”, adding that stakeholders in the country’s political terrain should contribute

their quota to the attainment of a virile democratic process. In their separate presentations, the Head of Department (HOD), General Administration and Procurement, INEC, Asaba, Sir Felix Erabor; the Special Assistant to Delta State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Dr. Godwin Edozie; the member representing Ika South constituency in Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Festus Chukwuyem Okoh, and Hon. Innocent Osewezie urged students not to allow themselves to be used as political thugs.

Wike alleges INEC plot to rig polls in Niger Delta From NATH OMAME, Port Harcourt

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overnor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of planning to print illegal gubernatorial ballot papers for Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom states that will exclude certain newlyregistered political parties as a premise for the nullification of the elections of the three states. Speaking when he received a letter of nomination as “Independent Newspapers Political Icon of the Year 2017”, Governor Wike said that credible intelligence available to the Rivers State Government indicate that the indiscriminate registration of new political parties by INEC is for this purpose. “All the mass registration of new political parties is a deliberate plan by INEC to manipulate elections in three states. “Rivers State, Akwa Ibom and Delta States have been earmarked for the printing of ballot papers where some newly registered political parties will be excluded as a ground for the nullification of the elections by the tribunal. Governor Wike alleges: “After the nullification by the tribunal as planned, EFCC will be used by the APC Federal Government to arrest the three governors, so that they will not be around during the repeat elections. He said that the second strategy of the APC Federal Government is to use security agencies to unleash vicious violence on the day of the governorship elections in the three states to facilitate cancellation by INEC. He noted that the entire struggle to hold the Presidential election ahead of other elections is one of the schemes being devised by INEC to allegedly rig the elections. Wike stressed that the APC Federal Government has performed woefully hence they have nothing on ground to campaign with, except to use INEC and Security Agencies to rig. “APC is not a political party in the true sense of the word. It is a congregation of people who did not want former President Goodluck Jonathan to continue in office for personal reasons. “The fight against Jonathan was not in the interest of Nigeria. They have realised their mistakes, but they lack the courage to apologise because of their ego. If you move around, you will see that things are bad “, Wike said.

•Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential aspirant, Alhaji Suleiman Lamido (l) presenting souvenirs to the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, at Government House, Uyo when he visited with his Campaign Team.

Ikpeazu launches 2019 bid

From BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia

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here are indications that Abia State governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, may have used the media tour of projects done by his administration to launch his re-election bid. The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), led by the national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, who moved Wadatta Plaza to Umuahia and media practitioners from outside Abia, were invited to the two-day media tour of the projects. When last year, the leadership of Abia PDP went public with its resolution of no automatic ticket for all contestants amidst endorsements for Ikpeazu’s second term, speculations were rife that may be the governor was not interested in running again. But in the convoy of the governor last Monday were two branded coaster buses bearing the picture of Ikpeazu, listing some of the projects he had done in the last 32 months. Also, there two cars which bore the governor’s picture and the inscription “Ikpeazu for 2019.” The vehicles were conspicuously parked in front of the state party secretariat from where the convoy proceeded on the tour of the projects after a brief reception for Secondus and his entourage. The PDP national chairman, at the reception, lauded Ikpeazu for the numerous achievements.

Secondus said his leadership was on a rescue mission to salvage Nigeria since the ruling all Progressives Congres (APC) has failed Nigeria and Nigerians in all ramifications. “APC has collapsed. We must hold APC government responsible for the killings across the country. There is no food for our and no fuel for our cars. Herdsmen have been given license to kill,” Secondus said, adding that the centre could no longer hold for APC as the party was in a total mess. He said since APC has failed in governance, the best thing it could bequeath to Nigeria was a credible

election in 2019, and urged INEC to resist any attempt to rig the 2019 polls. “Since APC has failed in all things, they should give us credible elections in 2019 and go with honour. The PDP is on a mission to rescue our nation for the good of all. That is why we are focusing on the youths,” the PDP national chairman said. Welcoming the PDP national leaders, Ikpeazu said Abia was safe for PDP and expressed optimism that programmes rolled out by the Secondus would return the party to Aso Rock next year. According to Ikpeazu, Secondus

was doing a lot to rebrand PDP and called on party faithful to support him. The governor said his administration has done a lot. “We have done a lot to ask the world to come and see,” he said, adding “we have done things that have impacted on the lives of the people which the eyes cannot see.” He cited the training of 30 shoemakers in China on automated manufacturing of shoes as an example. Abia State PDP chairman, Chief Johnson Onuigbo, assured Secondus of the support of the party in the state.

the State, Jimmy Aninege, disclosed this to newsmen in Calabar during the inauguration of the South South Zonal Executives of Atikunation. He said that “the group has gone beyond popularizing the candidature of Atiku Abubakar, to also sensitizing our people in all the nooks and crannies of the state on the need for them to get their PVC. “As a deliberate policy in Atikunation, all states were directed to go out and see how they can sensitize the people and logistic arrangements have been made in the state. “Very recently, 18 local government structures and coordinators were inaugurated and they are already preparing the people’s minds

for registration and the turnout has been really wonderful. We are looking at being able to have 2 million votes”, he said. He maintained that Atiku Abubakar has the pedigree to manage both the human and material resources in an efficient manner that will move the nation forward as against what is happening in the country today. Also speaking, the Zonal director of Atikunation, Chief Douyi Douglas Naingba, disclosed that the South South Zone is a fertile ground for Atikunation, which, according to him, is like Atiku’s own home ‘because in all areas of the zone you go to, you see Atiku’s footprints there.’

2019: Atiku’s group targets 2m voters in Cross River ANIEKAN ANIEKAN, Calabar

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tikunation, a socio-political group working for the actualization of the presidential aspirations of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has stated that the platform is hoping to garner 2 million votes for him in the state during the next general elections. The actualize this, ambassadors and coordinators have been inaugurated across the 18 local government areas of the state to sensitize the people on the need to get their personal voters cards (PVC’s) and are also preparing people’s minds ahead of the elections. State Director of Atikunation in


WEDNESDAY February 21, 2018

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Benue needs snake colonies

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HE multifarious war against corruption has suffered further complications with the discovery at the Makurdi office of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, that a snake had been helping itself to N36 million kept in a vault. The number of snakes involved is uncertain. How would President Muhammadu Buhari manage this critical blow to his flagship programme, the most distinguishing item among the electoral promises made almost three years ago? Some scenarios have been built around the incident. Some have elevated it to the status of a mystery. Auditors uncover the missing money, which a change in the purchase procedures revealed. A sales clerk, Philomena Chieshe, told a team that included the JAMB Registrar, “I was one of the four sales clerks attached to JAMB office in Makurdi. My responsibility was to sell scratch cards to candidates and not involved in handling the revenues. It was the responsibility of Joan Asen and my other senior colleagues. I only remit money when am done selling the cards. “Few months ago, there was issue of fraud in the Makurdi office. Auditors were sent from Abuja to carefully flip the record books of the office, to perhaps, ascertain the current state of affairs. “In the course of the audit, N36 million was discovered to have been missing from the account. An investigation was launched. In the course of the investigation, it was discovered that Joan Asen, who is account staff and a lady outside JAMB have connived to steal the money.” Philomena added: “It was a mystery to me too. I have been saving the money in the bank, but I found it difficult to account for it. So I started saving it in a vault in the office. But each time I open the vault, I will find nothing. I became worried and surprised how the millions of Naira could be disappearing from the vault. I began to interrogate everybody in the house and office, and no one could agree on what might have happened to the money. I continued to press until my housemaid confessed. She said that the money disappeared “spiritually”. She said that a “mysterious snake” sneaked into the house and swallowed the money in the vault.” I was wondering who blew the whistle on the snakes until I noted the efforts the sales clerk made to secure government money. Whenever the money is recovered from the snakes, she should be appropriately compen-

sated. The police have not even declared any snakes wanted. Suppose the snake has been ‘murdered”, foreclosing the chance of it being the first snake to make it to court. It would have been the accused in the matter. Business-minded could go in search of snakes, killing them until the ones that have the money are found? What is N36 million anyway, to Nigeria? Expectedly, there are doubts about snakes swallowing bundles of dirty Naira. Snakes do not eat paper, not to talk of money, said some experts who forgot that the evolution and dynamics of society could have changed snakes in ways we never anticipated, and still not aware. Criminality in snakes and people should be punished. I expected to hear the position of the Inspector

General of Police Idris to go after the snakes; after all he moved his base to Makurdi to contain the Fulani herdsmen. He should know that snakes being involved in stealing is a major national issue. Since he is already in Benue, he should combine the assignments. If snakes in Benue State have the capacities to invade vaults and pilfer public funds, nothing stops them from becoming more ambitious. Their new targets could be banks and other places where there could be more available cash. They must be stopped. A proposal for snake colonies is in order. These new corrupt elements cannot be allowed to keep roaming the streets and constituting dangers to the financial stability of the system. My assumption is that a vault, with or without money in it, would be locked.

What manner of snakes could open a vault? Are we sure the snake was acting alone or had accomplices? Since the crime seemed to have been committed over a period of time, could it be the same snake or they were working shifts? Possibilities of them engaging in inter-state crimes abound. It is better that they are contained. The idea of snakes, of unknown species participating in organised crime is really a mystery. The fact that it is a mystery denies us opportunities to analyse the matter more scientifically. How would the government recover its money? It would ask the snakes to appear before a panel? Who would be the panelists? Snakes, if allowed to meddle into the fidelity of financial figures can finally damage the economy irredeemably. Snakes are sly, deceitful, deadly, and poisonous. When the fraudulent snakes are in the same Benue Basin, where Fulani herdsmen are creating new problems everyday, the dangers at hand cannot be under-estimated. It is obvious that the statistics on corrupt elements pose a new challenge. It would even be more challenging enumerating snakes and their accomplices and calling them to account. How are we about to do that? There are good sides to this saga. It would create more jobs in serpentine forensics, snake charming, snake farming, and when the issue of snake colonies is resolved, government would have created new jobs. Worthy of witnessing would be the cross examination of the snakes. Herpetologists would prosper, ancillary industries would sprout, but most importantly, the anti-corruption war could return to more steady operations if the matter of snakes competing with humans for higher attainments through corruption are decided. A more wholesome approach should be a launch of investigation of government offices throughout the country. We may just discover that the snakes in Makurdi were not an exception but the rule, highlighting the need for the snakes to be stopped before they start rampaging like the Fulani cattle. I am told that the money involved - N36 million - was not adequate for the resources that a full investigation would cost. If we set up a panel, by the time we are through with sitting allowances, money for purchase of fuel at N250 per litre, and the like, we would tell ourselves the money is not worth all the trouble. After all, a snake stole it, and it is an unknown snake.

The Oracle Today is published by The Oracle Newspapers Limited. Head Office: 116 Awka Road, Onitsha. Lagos Office: 25 Remi Fani-Kayode Street, GRA Ikeja. Abuja Office: 1st Floor, Plateau House, Central Business District, Abuja, FCT. ISSN: 2545-5869 Email: oracletoday2016@yahoo.com, Twitter: @oraclenews.ng Facebook: oraclenews.ng@facebook.com Website: www.oraclenews.ng Advert hot lines: 09078310060, 09061836916. Editor: FELIX OGUEJIOFOR ABUGU.

Wednesday February 21, 2018 Edition  

All round trouble over Buhari

Wednesday February 21, 2018 Edition  

All round trouble over Buhari

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