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The Oracle Today shines at 30th Enugu Int’l Trade Fair

From CHUKS EZE, Enugu

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he Oracle Today Newspaper, official media partner for the 30th Enugu International Trade Fair, is having swell outing at the annual business show, which was declared open

•We’re enhancing value addition in oil and non-oil sectors - FG •Theme apt, in consonance with our economic agenda – Ugwuanyi •ECCIMA, Enugu govt urge FG to develop fair complex

The by the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

VOX POPULI SACRUM

The opening ceremony of the business expo was attended by various dig-

Today newspapers, Felix Oguejiofor Abugu, among others Organised by Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA),the ongoing fair is the ninth in the series

racle

nitaries including President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor of Enugu State,

WEDNESDAY April 10 - 16, 2019

Rt. Hon, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the Managing Editor-in-Chief of The Oracle

www.oraclenews.ng

ISSN: 2545-5869

Cont’d on page 5

Today

VOL.4 No.14 N200

Anxiety, tension as herdsmen ‘return’

•Break pre/post-election lull, kill six in Anambra •P5 •Citizens decry govt., police ‘incompetence’ •Federal Government’s nonchalant posture rankles •1,229 killed in 2014 •800 killed in 2015. •2000 murdered in 2018. •Expect more skirmishes in the South, analysis warn •Anikwenwa condemns killings, reaffirms support for Atiku Abia School produces biogas

•P33

•Students of Chonoby Group of Schools, Agbogugu, Awgu Loacal Government Area of Enugu State in a group photography with some members of staff of The Oracle Newspapers when the students visited The Oracle Today stand at the on-going 30th Enugu International Trade Fair, Enugu.

Nobody promised Soludo guber ticket – Oye •P17


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

NEWS

...For speedy facilitation of VIP. Visit us @ the ongoing 30th Enugu International Trade Fair, Line A, No 9, opposite Chikason Group of Companies

Visit us at the on going 30th ENUGU INT’L trade fair.

..Visit us at Enugu State LGAs Pavilion at the ongoing 30th Enugu Int’l Trade Fair Or after the fair @ 25 Nsukka Rd, 9th Mile Corner, Enugu Phone: 08064111671 Email: viewerspridecomm@gmail.com.

CHANGE OF NAME

I formerly known as OGUGUA CHIGOZIE DONALD now wish to be known as ODILI CHIGOZIE DONATUS. former documents remain valid. Banks and General public take note.

I formerly known as ODO MERCY CHINASA now wish to be known as CHUKWU MERCY CHINASA. former documents remain valid. Banks and General public take note.

I, formerly EMEKA UZOMA JAMES, now answer KELECHI JAMES NWOBA. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

I formerly known as EKANEM KAYCEE LAWRENCE now wish to be known as UDOMA DANIELS. former documents remain valid. Banks and General public take note.

I formerly known as EZEJI SUNDAY CHIDOZIE now wish to be known as OFFOR SUNDAY CHIDOZIE. former documents remain valid. Banks and General public take note.

I formerly known as JONAH AKOR now wish to be known as MATHEW IKO-OJO. former documents remain valid. Banks and General public take note

I formerly known as OKAFOR MARYROSE UCHENNA now wish to be known as OKEKE MARYROSE UCHENNA. former documents remain valid. Banks and General public take note.

I formerly known as ONWUAMAEZE CHISOM PATIENCE now wish to be known as MRS. IBEZIM-UGWUOKE CHISOM PATIENCE. former documents remain valid. Banks and General public take note.

I formerly known as OZULU CHINELO THERESA now wish to be known as MELIFONWU CHINELO THERESA. former documents remain valid. Banks and General public take note.

I, formerly ENEKWENCHI NONYE MODESTER now answer MRS. NWEKE CHINONYELUM MODESTER. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

I formerly known as ONYENAGUBOR OLUCHI FAVOUR now wish to be known as MRS. DURU OLUCHI FAVOUR. former documents remain valid. Banks and General public take note

I formerly known as OKAFOR CHIOMA MIRIAN now wish to be known as NKACHUKWU CHIOMA MIRIAN. former documents remain valid. Banks and General public take note.

I formerly known as ADEWUMI ADELEKE now wish to be known as ADEWUMI OREGHENYE. former documents remain valid. Banks and General public take note

This is to certify that, CYNTHIA CHIZOBA OSAKWE and CYNTHIA MUNACHISO NWEKE are one and same person but now wishes to be known and addressed as: CYNTHIA MUNACHISO NWEKE Former documents remain valid. Banks and General public take note

This is to certify that, EZENWUGO GLORIA CHIKA and UMEZINWA GLORIA CHIKA are one and same person but now wishes to be known and addressed as: UMEZINWA GLORIA CHIKA Former documents remain valid. Banks and General public take note


The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

NEWS ANALYSIS

‘We love you, keep it up’ – Students tell The Oracle Today at 30th Enugu Int’l trade fair From CHUKS EZE, Enugu

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• Chairman of ANAMCO Ltd, Sir Godwin U. Okeke (R) flanked by the MD, Buchi Okeke (R) and ED Finance, Folowosele Adewole ( L).

We’ve rejuvenated, restored ANAMCO’s glory – G.U Okeke From CHUKS EZE, Enugu

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he Chairman, Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian auto giant, ANAMCO Limited, Enugu, Sir Godwin Ubaka Okeke, has said that under his management, the company has been rebranded, repositioned and restored to its past glory as the leading commercial vehicles assembling, sales and services firm in Nigeria. Sir Okeke, who is also the Chief Executive officer of G.U O Transport Company Limited, a household name in transport sector and subsidiary of G.U Okeke and Sons Limited, stated this at the ongoing 30th Enugu International Trade Fair. Speaking to our correspondent at the ANAMCO pavilion, Sir Okeke disclosed that ANAMCO had parted ways with Mercedes Benz over certain unresolved contractual terms. He said that the company, which is now under his management, is participating at

this year’s Enugu annual business expo to showcase a rejuvenated ANAMCO under a new partner, Dongfeng with some of its truck brands. According to Okeke, Dongfeng is a Chinese auto-manufacturing giant, with annual truck production capacity of 7,500 and bus manufacturing capacity of 1000, adding that ANAMCO aims at surpassing that capacity in Nigeria. He further explained that a team of experts from the partnering firm had visited Nigeria to tour various parts of the country to determine the nature of her weather, terrains and appropriate bearing capacity, pointing out that parts of ANAMCO brands of Dongfeng were fabricated and fortified to soothe the country’s needs. “I took over ANAMCO when it was in immense distress, but thank God that we have been able to put things in proper perspectives and the problems are now over. That is why we came to the trade fair to showcase

what we have – a rebranded ANAMCO and our Dongfeng definitive, rugged world-class trucks that are built for Nigerian roads. “Dongfeng range of products are among the best in the world, and their truck range, which are what we are displaying here, are designed for optimum performance, with low operating costs,” Okeke said. He added that with the current strategic production and distribution partnership that the Enugu auto company has with the Chinese company, that several sales and service network for Dongfeng brands of vehicles had been opened across the country, pointing out that the bus ranges would soon be introduced into the Nigerian market as well. Okeke stressed that apart from vehicle assembly and sales, that ANAMCO is also into spare parts sales, vehicle refurbishing, training, consulting and other services, including an ultramodern professional automobile repairs and service centre.

30th Enugu Int’l Trade Fair: More winners emerge

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ore trade fair lottery winners have emerged in the daily raffle being conducted at the ongoing 30th Enugu International Trade Fair, taking place at the permanent site, trade fair complex, G.R.A Enugu. The latest sets of winners emerged at the third and fourth draws that were conducted at the fair complex. Various items are available for the daily raffle including bags of rice, electric fans, vegetable oil among several others that are selected from products that are on exhibition at the fair ground.

Vice President, Trade Fair and Chairman of Trade Fair Planning Committee, Barr Jasper Nduagwuike had at the maiden edition of the lottery, noted that the exercise was aimed at giving back to participants, fora them to have experience pleasant outing at the fair and to encourage them to keep visiting the fair complex to catch fun. Barr Nduaguwuike had also stressed that apart from daily draws, that the grand finale raffle draw would take place on the last day of the fair, adding that star prizes for the grand finale include a weekend for two in Oakland Hotels, Enugu; Weekend for

two in Bon Sunshine Hotels, Enugu; as well as 55 inches television set, 7.5 KVA generator, and Double-door refrigerator, among others. So far, five draws have been held, with fifteen winners emerging for first, second and third categories, respectively. The Oracle Today had reported that Umeh Ebere had won the first prize of a mosquito-killer fan, at the maiden draw. Similarly, Nebonta Favour and Emmanuel Matthew bagged first prizes at the second and third draws, respectively.

he Oracle Today, official newspaper partner for the 30th Enugu International Trade Fair, played host to students of Chonoby Group of Schools, Agbogugu, Awgu Loacal Government Area of Enugu State when they visited the newspaper’s pavilion at the trade fair complex. The excited students, were led to the newspaper’s stand by one of their teachers, Okolie Donatus, accompanied by other teachers. The visitors were received by the Circulation Manager of the newspaper, Felix Otti, flanked by the Chairman of Correspondents’ Chapel, Enugu, Emma Nweze. Addressing the students, Mr Otti thanked them for visiting the Oracle Today’s pavilion, pointing out that the newspaper was a student-friendly outfit which always took issues concerning education seriously He admonished the students to always be serious with their studies to enable them achieve greater heights in life and their chosen careers. He also told the students that by their visit, they had established a healthy relationship with The Oracle Today, and assured them that the newspaper would always be there for the school whenever they needed its services. On his part, Mr Nweze urged the students to shun all acts of indiscipline both in their school and families, especially cultism and all acts of criminality. He also advised them to be focused in life as they were future leaders and hope of the Nigeria. Leader of the group, Okorie Donatus, thanked The Oracle Team for according them warm reception, adding that their outing at the newspaper’s pavilion would leave lasting memories on the visiting students as well as their teachers. He stated that they were at The Oracle Today pavilion to know more about newspaper business and as well to interact with the company. The Oracle Today team later engaged the students in a robust open interaction where they opened up on various experiences and challenges in school as well as their future careers of choice, among others. During the special interaction session, the students expressed their love for The Oracle Today, adding that they enjoyed every bit of the meeting. Also present on the occasion were the Head of Accounts of the newspaper, Abel Mukoro and some reporters.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

NEWS

Increasing spate of farmer-herdsmen killings worry citizens T From PAMELA EBOH, Awka

he tension in Anambra State was palpable and everyone knew that farmers and herdsmen will clash again, but no one knew, for certain, when and where. Yet the government and security agencies took no measures to avert the oncoming bloodbath despite ample warnings. So far, six persons have been killed in Mmiata Anam, Anambra West Local Government Area as a result of the continued farmer-herdsmen skirmishes. Two months ago, Chief Tony Nnaamah, the President General of Umumbo Town Union in Ayamelum Local Government Area, warned of imminent attacks and requested Governor Willie Obiano to rescue his people from the bondage of herdsmen. Obiano, currently on vacation abroad, had urged patience assuring that the herdsmen were gradually leaving the Eastern Region in batches. He said that within a record time, they would have all left with their cattle. Obiano disclose that there was a standing agreement between the state government and the herdsmen that any farm produce destroyed by the cattle would be paid for by the herdsmen, while any cattle killed would be paid for by the villagers.

Two units of mobile policemen and other regular policemen have been deployed, post attack to Mmiata Anam by Mr. Mustapha Dandaura, the Commissioner of Police in Anambra State to restore normalcy. Yet the time bomb that threatens to consume agrarian towns and villages on the grazing routes continues to tick with no coherent government plan to diffuse it. Predictions are that the problem would continue to escalate as the government seemed to have no containment plans. Since the Fourth Nigerian Republic’s founding in 1999, farmer-herder violence has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands more. This has been the trend throughout the Western Sahel Region where farmers and cattle headers have been locked in bloody combats over land and resources. Nigeria’s North Central Region bear the biggest brunt of these skirmishes, but South West, South East and South South States have not been spared. As the country’s breadbasket, and home to between 50 and 100 ethnic minority groups among them – the Berom, Jukuns, Tivs, Idomas, Mambila, and Nyandan – the north Central Region has for decades served as a watering hole for the Fulani herders from the north, who travel to the area to graze their cattle during the dry season. However, a combination of factors, ranging from climate change which brought about desertification, to shrinking of Lake Chad and the militarization of the Sahel region as a result of the collapse of the Libiayan government had escalated the crises. The Nigeria Conservation Foundation estimated that Nigeria loses about 350,000 hectares of land per year to desert encroachment. Lake Chad which provided succor to Cameroon, Chad, and northeast Nigeria, had shrunk by as much as 90 percent since the 1960s. The government did not prop-

erly manage these occurrences, a situation that has led to violent conflicts over dwindling resources. Indeed, government and security responses have been haphazard and uncoordinated. Benue State passed an anti-grazing bill while many affected communities created self-defence forces and ethnic and tribal militias, which resulted in further violence. On October 20, 2014, retired Major-General Lawrence Onoja committee recommended the ban of uncontrolled movement of livestock in Benue State and called a disarmament programme to pre-

vent unauthorised use of firearms. On its part, the Federal Government adopted a policy of establishing a network of grazing reserves and routes for pastoralists. It established 415 grazing reserves in Nigeria. In 2009, the government embarked on a 247 million dollars project to mark out grazing reserves across Katsina and Bauchi states as well as Abuja. The three reserves meant to serve the needs of around 15 million pastoralists, required 175,000 hectares of grazing land, building of veterinary units and constructing settlements for nomads.

The government also began demarcating a 1,400 km livestock route from Sokoto State in the northwest to Oyo State in the Southwest; and another 2,000 km route from Adamawa State in the northeast to Calabar in the Delta region. Besides grazing routes, the government earmarked 10 billion naira for the Great Green Wall Programme (GGWP), designed to help combat desertification, which is a major factor driving pastoralists from the far north to head south in search of better grazing These measures have not yielded

the required results. Global Terrorism Index reported that 80 persons were killed between 2010 to 2013. The number rose rapidly to 1,229 in 2014 and 800 by 2015. By 2016, the violence had spread to Enugu, Anambra, Delta and Ekiti States. Over 2000 people were murdered in 2018. Some prominent citizens and observers believe the farmers-herdsmen clashes were politically motivated. Many see the lull in herdsmen activities during the elections as evidence of ethnic politics. Conspiracy theories alleging that the clashes were part of a grand ethnic cleansing campaign. In his reaction to the recent killings, the former Dean, Church of

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•Representatives of The Oracle Today in front of the newspaper’s stand at the on-going 30th Enugu International Trade Fair, Enugu.

The Oracle Today shines at 30th Enugu Int’l Trade Fair Cont’d from Pg 1 since the fair was moved to the permanent site complex, located near Golf Course, G.R.A, Enugu. Meanwhile, this year’s edition has been extended by two days, to now end on April 17 rather than on April 15th, as earlier scheduled, meaning that it would now be a 12-day exercise as against the usual 10-day exhibition. ECCIMA President, Sir Emeka Udeze, explained that the extension was to allow exhibitors who were participating at the ongoing Kaduna International Trade Fair the opportunity to wind off and move down and partake in the Enugu edition. This would be the first time that Kaduna International Trade fair would overlap with Enugu fair. The theme of the Enugu fair is “Promoting and Enhancing Value Addition in the Oil and NonOil Sectors of the Economy for Robust Economic Growth and

Development,” and The Oracle Today, the flagship newspaper for the business show, is on ground to cover every bit of the fair to feed our teeming readers via its online and hard copy platforms. Speaking during the opening ceremony, President Muhammadu Buhari noted that the theme of the fair was in agreement with the economic policies of his administration. According to him, just like ECCIMA’s theme, the economic policies of his administration was geared towards promoting and enhancing value addition in the oil and non-oil sectors of the economy for robust economic growth and development, as well as creating a conducive business climate to enhance investment inflow and industrialisation. The President, who was represented by the Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelama, disclosed that in a bid to develop and promote the activities of MSMEs, that the federal government had taken pragmat-

ic steps, aimed at tackling constraints experienced by MSMEs. These, according to him, include expansion of the number of participating agencies in the Nigerian Enterprises Developing Agencies (NEDEP), to include Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission, Standard Organisations of Nigeria, and Corporate Affairs Commission, among others. Enelama, who was also represented at the event, further disclosed that the federal ministry of Trade and Investment had put up a steering committee to developed a road map on policy for implementation of MSMEs policy framework. He enjoined exhibitors and participants at the fair to take advantage of the business expo to exchange trade information and ideas, and as well, share experiences on other major issues, assuring that they would enjoy maximum benefits of the fair, which he added, would also have multiplying

effects on the nation’s economy. While hailing ECCIMA for its consistency in organizing the fair annually, he assured the chamber of maximum federal government’s cooperation and support. He also commended the Governor Ugwuanyi for his efforts at improving the economic standard of Enugu State, and as well congratulated the people and government of the State for coming second in the latest World Bank Ranking for States with fastest growth in ease of doing business, adding that states in other categories were Kaduna, Anambra, Abia and Lagos, respectively. According to him, “I want to congratulate Enugu State. In the latest World Bank Ranking for the fastest growth in ease of doing business which was released few days ago, Enugu State received a plaque and price as second best most advanced states in ease of doing business in Nigeria. Enugu

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Flood: NESREA sensitises Gombe residents on mitigating the menace

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he National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) will begin an awareness drive to mitigate the effect of flooding in Gombe ahead of the raining season. Mr Daniel Wuave, the Coordinator of NESREA in Gombe, who disclosed this to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday, said this would address the unpredictable changes in the climate. He said that people needed to change their negative attitude towards the environment, because “it could have severe devastating effect on our environment.” He decried the attitude of Nigerians of dumping wastes in drainages and building houses on water channels, which leads to flooding across the country. According to him, these acts against the environment have necessitated the awareness drive by NESREA to ensure that the human cause of flooding is addressed to reduce the effects in 2019. “Our vision is to ensure a cleaner and healthier environment for Nigerians in line with the Federal Government’s resolve to ensure that the environment is protected for the sake of all Nigerians. “In doing that, we have resorted to

awareness and sensitisation drive to ensure that the negative attitudes toward the environment is addressed by way of changing their mindset on how they treat the environment. “The message is simple; don’t dump wastes in drainages, don’t build on water channels and avoid indiscriminate felling of trees. With these, the huge damage caused by flood will be reduced to the barest. “We are set to take this message to communities, Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) and traditional leaders ahead of the raining season to reduce to the barest the effect of flood in 2019. “If there must be flooding in the state, let it not be as a result of human activities and if that is the case, the magnitude will reduce,” he said. Wuave appealed to developers to always incorporate flood mitigation into plans, adding that flood would be reduced when sewage systems were not blocked. The Gombe State Emergency Management Agency had disclosed that flood killed about eight people and destroyed over 200 houses between May and August, 2018 in the state.

ADC presidential candidate sets agenda for 9th NASS lawmakers-elect A

head of the 9th National Assembly’s leadership elections, Dr Obadiah Mailafia, presidential candidate, African Democratic Congress (ADC), has set agenda for the lawmakers-elect as regards the current leadership tussle in the legislature. Mailafia, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said the legislators-elect should elect their presiding leaders on four criteria. The 9th assembly would be inaugurated on June 9 as soon as President Muhammadu Buhari issues a proclamation letter to that effect to the Clerk of the National Assembly. However, intense lobbying has commenced at the Senate and the House of Representatives over who becomes the senate president, speaker of the lower house, among others. Mailafia, who is also a former deputy governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said the senators-elect and House of Representatives members-elect should refrain from electing any one with questionable character as presiding leader. ”I would suggest four criteria. number one; don’t pick any one who has skeletons

in his cupboard. They should not have criminal records. “I mean it will be scandalous to bring people with criminal allegations to the highest echelons of our parliament. “Number two, they should get people of the highest integrity. “Number three, they should get people who have the requisite experience; possibly, they are into their second or third term in parliament. That will be very important. “Finally, they should get people that have human touch who can show that they are in tune with the people and can help our democracy to move forward,’’ he said. Mailafia, who is also a development economist, said even if the presiding leaders of the 9th assembly would come from the majority party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), those four criteria should be used as measures. “The positions should be for people with the highest integrity. Anybody with criminal records in the past should go and resolve those criminal records. “It should be for people that have experience in parliamentary duties and people that have the human touch,’’ he restated.

From CHINEDU NWAFOR, Abakaliki

compelled to pay money some days before they could be allowed to write their names in the list. “Imagine 1000 of us paying#200? That is big money and they even said it will be monthly. It is unacceptable. “And on Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th April,2019, we paid #200 for submission of a form described as attestation form. “I know that federal government did not ask them to collect any money from us but since they have decided to, no problem one day they will vomit it”, he lamented. Another victim mercy Igwe told our Reporter that she didn’t not have the #200 and her form was rejected until she borrowed #200 to pay from a friend. When our Reporter visited the venue for the clearance, the lady who was collecting the money, told the angry volunteers that they were working under instruction. When our Reporter inquired from one Chidi who was involved in collecting the money he said it was for logistics and sending of text messages.

Ebonyi N-Power beneficiaries decry high-level extortion by officials

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eneficiaries of the federal government N-power programme in Ebonyi State have decried the high level extortion by government officials in charge of the program in the state. Some of the beneficiaries in both batch A and B who interacted with our Reporter alleged that the officials compel them to pay money for monthly clearance. According to them, they were compelled to pay #200 each, between April 3rd and 4th, 2019 for signing of their February and March clearance forms. N-Power is one of the federal government social investment programmes with over 2000 volunteers benefitting from Ebonyi State. Its office is located at the N-power office Centinary city, Abakaliki, Ebonyi state. One of the volunteers who gave his name as Ukpai told Journalists that earlier in January, when three weeks training was organised for the N-Agro volunteers, in Abakaliki local government area, they were


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

NEWS ACROSS THE NATION Saraki gives committee deadline to submit Budget report Stories by MADUABUCHI KALU

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ENATE President Bukola Saraki on Tuesday gave the Appropriations Committee till Thursday to submit the 2019 budget report. Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Sunny Ogbuoji told the Senate that only 24 out of 61 sub-committees had submitted their reports. Saraki insisted that the budget report must be presented on Thursday, April 11 ahead of the April 16 approval of the money bill. The Senate President noted the Appropriations committee will be forced to use Executive submissions if the sub-committees fail to submit their reports to the Committee by Wednesday. Saraki said, “It is unfortunate that only 24 committees have submitted their reports. Last week, we all took a decision here that we are

not going to waiver on our position. Our position is very clear: that all committees should submit (their budget reports). And those that don’t submit, then the Appropriations Committee should use the Executive submission. “That position is still where we are. And I want to appeal to all our committees that you really have just till tomorrow (Wednesday) to make sure that your reports get to the Appropriations Committee because Thursday, you must lay this report. “Vice Chairman of Appropriations Committee, if you don’t get report from our committees by tomorrow (Wednesday), then you just use the submission of the Executive. But come Thursday, you must lay that report.” President Buhari presented the N8.83 trillion budget proposal to a joint session of the National Assembly on December 19, 2018.

Court orders substituted service on Ag EFCC Chairman

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N FCT High Court in Apo, on Tuesday granted leave for substituted service on the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu. Justice Silvanus Oriji, gave the order of substituted service, after listening to the submissions of Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, counsel to an Abuja-based lawyer, Monday Ubani and a former Senator, Christopher Enai. Oriji had on March 26, granted leave to an exparte motion filed by Ozekhome to charge Ubani and Enai to court or release them on bail on or before March, 28. The judge held that the court had the power to make an order for substituted service of the process where it appears that prompt service cannot be conveniently effected. ”In exercise of the power of the court under Order 7 rule 11, I grant this motion,” he said. He said since the bailiff, Ishaya

Markus, was denied access to Magu by the armed security personnel at his office at the EFCC Headquarters. Ozekhome said that the operatives told the bailiff that he can only see Magu on invitation. Ozekhome, in the motion exparte prayed the court to order form 48 and 49 be served on any officer at the mail registry of the Chairman of the EFCC and legal Department at Headquarters in Jabi. He also prayed an order of the court by posting same at the gate of the head office of EFCC. Ubani, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja branch and Enai, ex-senator representing Bayelsa were invited and detained by the EFCC operatives on March,19. The applicants were detained for standing as sureties for Ngozi Olejeme, who once served as the Chairman of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund from 2009 to 2015.

•President Buhari, Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffre Onyeama, Gov. Ibukunle Amosun and others at the Presidential Villa

INEC to resume distribution of 11,228,582 PVCs – Okoye

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HE Independent National Electoral Commission said it would resume the distribution of 11,228,582 uncollected permanent voter cards this month. The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education, Mr. Festus Okoye, in an interview with our correspondent, noted that all the uncollected PVCs were still locked up at the Central Bank of Nigeria as promised by the Commission until after the elections. Okoye, however, noted that a supplementary election in Rivers State had yet to be concluded. “All the uncollected PVCs are still locked up because we promised to resume after the elections and, so far, we have concluded some of the elections. The last bit of elections will be done in Rivers State this

36 killed, scores injured as bandits, vigilantes clash in Katsina

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O fewer than 36 persons were killed in a clash between vigilantes and bandits in Tsaminyar-Jino community in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State. The development, according to the residents, started on Sunday when the vigilantes killed one Baban Kusa, a suspected bandit terrorising the community. The vigilantes were said to have stormed the community market at about 1:39.p.m and killed Kusa, which led to a reprisal by the bandits. The police, however, said 14 people were killed during the clash. Confirming the clash to newsmen Tuesday, the Village Head of Tsamiyar Jino, Alhaji Ja’afaru Bello, said 36 persons were killed and many sustained varying degrees of injuries. He said: “The reports I received indicates that 36 persons were killed during the unfortunate incident. As I speak to you corpses have littered our farmlands.

“We called the security personnel, but when they came and saw what was going on they just left without any information. So, we were scared of retrieving the corpses yesterday. “But since the security personnel could not retrieve them. I directed my subjects this morning to retrieve the corpses for mass burial today.” A victim of the clash, Malam Shu’ibu Tsamiya, said: “They killed my two brothers and my son at Ungwar Sarkin-Aiki and denied us access to their corpses. The number of people killed in this community is more than 40.” Another resident, who pleaded anonymity, said 27 persons were killed at Unguwar Rabo, while eight were also massacred at Unguwar Sarkin Aiki and one at Centar Na Ade. The source lamented that despite the repeated attacks on Tsamiya and other local governments in Katsina, the bandits still moved freely during the act with-

out being challenged by security operatives. According to him, “It is just like there is no constituted authority or security agencies in Katsina State. Nobody cares about our lives. We have become easy prey for bandits in the state.” When contacted, the Katsina State Police spokesman, SP Gambo Isah, said: “Only 14 people died. Security personnel have been mobilised to the area. “Out of this figure, seven are bandits while the remaining seven are members of the civilian JTF also known here as Yan Sakai. The civilian JTF went into the forest to fight the bandits having refused to heed police advice.” THISDAY reports that the attacks on communities in Katsina have continued in the past few months despite the deployment of thousands of military and police personnel in the state. Besides killing residents of the communities in the state, the bandits also kidnap people for ransom.

weekend. “Immediately after we are sure we have concluded some of these elections, the collection of PVCs will resume. “So, we will soon resume distribution of PVCs, but they are still with the central bank. “The continuous voter registration and collection of PVCs are done at the local government level. “So, what the commission will do is just to give an indication on when collection can resume, but we have not given that indication yet. “We are still busy with elections. But I am sure that within this month, definitely, the commission will set a date when collection of PVCs will resume.” Speaking on PVCs destroyed at the INEC office in Qua’an Pan LGA, Plateau State few days before the elections began, the INEC commissioner said the cards had been reproduced for all the voters who submitted their names for new PVCs. “They (the PVCs) were taken to the local governments and the owners came and collected a substantial number of them,” he added. Okoye also stated that the commission would set a date for the

commencement of new registrations. He said, “We are just coming out from a major election and in the 2019 regular budget of the commission, we made provision for the acquisition of new direct data capture machines that will enable us commence continuous voter registration. “So, I’m sure that the moment we finish we call ‘reverse logistics,’ that is, getting old materials that were used for the elections back to the custody of the commission, we will announce the date for the commencement of registration of voters. “But definitely, we have a major election in Kogi and Bayelsa before the end of the year and we are going to do continuous voter registration, especially in those two states concerned. Continuous voter registration will be statewide in those states. In other places, it will just be at the level of the local governments.” The INEC commissioner called for a multi-stakeholder approach to bolster voter registration and PVCs collections, adding that voters should refrain from waiting till the last minute to register for or collect their voter cards.

Netanyahu begs beach-goers to save him on Election Day

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ET out of the water and vote for me, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged beach-goers during an election day visit to the Mediterranean seashore on Tuesday. Wearing a sport jacket over an open-neck shirt and surrounded by bodyguards in suits and ties, Netanyahu went to Poleg beach, North of Tel Aviv, and posted a video of his appeal on his Twitter page. “If you want to continue with the Likud and me, then you have to go vote. Go to the beach later,” he said, referring to the right-wing party that he leads. Netanyahu said that otherwise, those enjoying a day at the beach would “wake up tomorrow morning” and find a left-wing prime minister

had replaced him. Election Day is an official holiday in Israel, with schools and offices closed, it was also warm and sunny, and with polling stations open until 10 p.m., voters had plenty of time to hit the beach. On Twitter, Netanyahu later said he was calling an emergency meeting with his campaign officials to discuss what he described as lower voter turnout in Likud strongholds compared with a strong voting percentage in “left-wing bastions”. Official figures posted by the Israeli Central Elections Committee put overall turnout, some eight hours before polls close, at less than a percentage point lower than at the same time during the previous national ballot in 2015.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

NEWS ACROSS THE NATION

Supreme Court verdict on Rivers APC primaries excites PDP Stories by MADUABUCHI KALU

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HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hails Monday’s verdict of the Supreme Court which upheld justice by striking out the ill-conceived and defective suit by elements of All Progressives Congress (APC) who sought to ambush the judiciary and secure an annulment of the Governorship, National Assembly and State Assembly elections in Rivers state, in which the APC did not participate. The decision of the Supreme Court in striking out APC’s mischievous attempts to reopen the issue of its already nullified primaries in Rivers state has reinforced the confidence Nigerians repose in it to protect our hard-earned democracy. This defeated attempt at abuse of court process has further exposed the APC as a purveyor of false claims and a party that has no respect for democratic process, the rule of law and the will of the people.

The APC has been deploying all manners of shenanigans to subvert the will of the people of Rivers state for which they are willing to cause a constitutional crisis in Rivers state, not minding the consequences. The PDP counsels the APC and its leaders to accept the will of the people of Rivers state and end their desperation to take over control of the state. The APC leaders should also stop their boasting as if they own the Supreme Court, as well as their threats to judges, that anybody who fails to do their bidding will be given what they now call the “Onnoghen” treatment. Why we can’t suspend Amaechi for alleged anti-party activities — APC Furthermore, the PDP charges the APC and its leaders to note that they cannot continue to suppress Nigerians, as the Presidential mandate, which they stole from the people’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, will soon be retrieved at the tribunal.

Ondo bank robbery: Police arrest suspect, as Akeredolu tasks security to fish out robbers

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NDO State police command has arrested one of the suspected armed robbers that attacked a bank in Idoani, headquarters of Ose Local Government Area of the state on Monday. This is coming as the State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu issued a marching order on all security agencies in the state to go after the armed robbers involved in the robbery. Armed robbers on Monday attacked an old generation bank in the town killing seven persons, while a police officer also lost his life. The police authorities confirmed that a suspect was arrested in connection with the robbery incident. Akeredolu who spoke at the palace of Alani of Idoani when he paid a condolence visit to the town, said he would give all necessary support to the security agencies to flush out the robbers. The governor, represented by the state deputy governor, Hon. Ag-

boola Ajayi, described the incident as unfortunate and implored the security agents to fish out those who perpetrated the devilish act. He said: “We are glad that a suspect has been nabbed and I’m very sure he will create a channel that will lead to the arrest of the criminals.” He assured that his administration would continue to partner security agencies to nip crime in the bud. Akeredolu, however, charged residents of the state to always assist the security operatives by providing useful information to help in reducing crime in the state. Speaking, the traditional ruler of the town, Oba Olutoye, said the bandits also came into his compound, damaged his door and by the time they gained entrance, they discovered it was a fruitless effort. He appealed to the state government to assist the bereaved in order to lessen the burden the incident had caused them.

•(USNC) Eliot Pence, Executive Director, US Nigeria Council in handshake with some Nigerian business executives.

Police tear-gas INEC staff protesting non-payment of election allowance

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OLICE in Enugu on Tuesday used tear gas on some INEC adhoc staff at the just concluded general elections, who protested the non-payment of their allowances in the state. Journalists, who were at the scene, reported that the tear gas affected passersby, school children and motorists who ran helter-skelter for their lives. Reports have it that the protesters comprising corps members, students and workers besieged the INEC headquarters in the state and blocked entrance and exit to the building. Mr. Tony Ani, a 42 year old man, who served as an Assistant Presiding Officer (APO 3) lamented the nonpayment of allowances for both the Presidential and Governorship elections including the inhumane treatment meted out to them. “You can imagine me at this my age coming here for the past three weeks over this issue of nonpayment.

FG accuses traditional rulers of aiding bandits in Zamfara, others

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OME traditional rulers in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina states, and parts of Kaduna, are among “unpatriotic persons” allegedly responsible for the rising spate of armed banditry/kidnapping in the areas, Cases of kidnapping, armed banditry and other violent crimes in the affected areas, had led to the killings of scores of people, rape as well as destruction of property. The Ministry of Defence, which made the allegation in a statement yesterday by the Minister’s Public Relations Officer, Col. Tukur Gusau, said those involved in the act, provided intelligence to the suspected bandits, thereby compromising ongoing military operations. “It is instructive to mention here that insurgency and terrorism are global phenomena that cannot be addressed through military actions only. The whole society has to rise in unison to support the government’s efforts to address the problem. “However, in spite of the concerted efforts of the Armed Forces and other security some unpatriotic

persons including highly placed traditional rulers in the areas were identified as helping the bandits with intelligence to perpetuate their nefarious actions or to compromise military operations”, Gusau said. While expressing the Ministry’s concern over the security situation in the affected areas, Gusau said efforts were being intensified, with a view to reversing the ugly trend. He insisted that the military operations going on in the states, were eloquent demonstration of the government’s commitment towards ending the spate of killings, and restore order. His words: “The Ministry of Defence is very concern about the security challenges in the North West particularly, in states of Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina and Birnin Gwari axis of Kaduna state. Due to the recent prevailing security situation in the states the Ministry through the Nigerian Army is now conducting Exercise Harbin Kunama IV simultaneously in Zamfara, Katsina and Sokoto States. “The purpose of the exercise is to

effectively flush out the activities of criminal elements in the North West. The Nigerian Air Force has also intensified air strikes against the bandits in Zamfara. So far, the combined efforts have yielded to lot of successes leading to the killing of many bandits, rescue of many innocent persons including the renowned Islamic scholar Sheik Ahmad Suleiman. “The Government is also addressing the remote and immediate causes that gave room to high spate of armed banditry in the states. Recently the government acted on the advice of the Ministry of Defence to suspend all mining activities in Zamfara State and environs following intelligence report that suggest close collaboration between the activities of the bandits and illegal miners.” He further noted that: “In the last three years, the Ministry of Defence had carried out several reforms geared towards the reorganisation and expansion of the Armed Forces in order to meet up with contemporary security challenges across the nation and the sub region.

“I worked at Akama Primary School, Ezeagu Local Government during the Presidential and Primary elections and we were told to fill attendance and payment details. “Ever since, we have not received payment and they will always tell us to write our names and account number just to pacify us, but as soon as we leave, they will trash it,” he said. A Corps member, Miss Chioma Emmanuel, who worked at Igboetiti, said she had not been paid any of the allowances including training allowance since the elections ended in the state. She noted that the idea of the protest was formed when a WhatsApp page was created for those yet to receive allowance. In the same vein, a student of Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT) who claimed anonymity for fear of being disciplined by the school authority, berated INEC for treating the issue of allowance with levity. “The painful thing was that after failing to adequately make provision for accommodation, they still refused to pay us. “This money is what I hope to buy study materials and augment for my upkeep,” he said. Reacting, the INEC REC in Enugu State, Dr. Emeka Ononamadu described the protesters as `impostors’ sponsored to pressurize INEC into paying those that did not work. Ononamadu, who refused to address the protesters, told journalists that those protesting were in the third category of payment. “One thing you need to know is that there are three sets of people we are dealing with now. “There are the corps members, those posted but did not work and those who were not posted but made the list because their names were subverted with that of others. “Those protesting are those students who are not corps members and who were not posted by INEC but bribed their way through and ended up working as Presiding Officers and APO 1. “Most of the protesters are in the

third category of people and if you see any corps member among them, then it is either the fault of their Local Government Inspectors or head of mobilization because they are the ones we are dealing with directly. “I am determined and resolute that I will not pay those not vetted or those who did not work but wants to be paid. “We are talking about 20,000 people to be paid and we have to follow due process so it does not backfire on us. “It is only those that worked in Enugu North, East and Nsukka that we are sorting out now and they would have been paid since yesterday if not that the payment platform managed by CBN had issues but has been rectified,” he said. Also, the Head of ICT, Mr Richard Onu said for three days now, he and his team had been working to ensure that the right people receive their pay. “Even as I speak, some people are already receiving payment. “Payment is not something that can be done in a hurry because there is a budget for payment and we have to ensure the right persons are paid that is why we are going through the painstaking process of vetting. “The only people yet to receive payment as at now are those who worked at Nsukka, Enugu North and East and it is because of the large number of people who worked there due to the large polling unit,” Onu said. Senate Committee on Local, Foreign Debt frowns at lopsided contract payment The ICT head also assured that those who were used to replace a lot of corps member who did not show up during the Presidential elections would also be sorted. He urged them to exercise patience as all the right persons eligible for payment would be paid. Workers were seen standing and watching the protesters who were chanting ‘INEC must pay us.’ As at the time of filing this report, the protesters have locked the gates leading to the building with chains and padlock blocking staff and visitors access to the INEC office.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

NEWS

‘Ikanda’, police most wanted suspect remanded in prison custody over murder

Rumpus in Abia IPAC as group sacks five exco members, may prosecute impostors

...as traders demand justice

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By IBE NWACHUKWU

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n Onitsha Magistrate court in Anambra state, presided by His Worship, Chioma Amuluche has remanded in prison custody one Ikechukwu Udensi (a.k.a. Ikanda) the suspected murderer of a 39 year-old Onitsha trader, late Ndubuisi Nwokolo, a father of two who was murdered in cold blood in Onitsha on June 29, 2018, by a group of miscreants led by Ikanda. The accused person had been arranged before the court with one other on a two-count charge of conspiracy and murder. The prosecuting Police Officer, ASP Kalu of the Homicide Department Police Headquarters, Awka had told the court that the accused persons had on June 29, 2018, conspired among themselves and others still at large and allegedly killed Patrick Ndubuisi Nwokolo at Ogalonye street in Onitsha Anambra state at about 11.30 in the morning. Kalu further told the court that the accused persons had soon after committing the dastardly act, allegedly escaped and were declared wanted by the police, adding that they were later picked up in their hideout in Onitsha, following a tipoff on Sunday, March 31, 2019 and since then have been in the police custody. The Chief magistrate after hearing the submissions of the prosecutor said that the magistrate court has no jurisdiction to entertain such criminal matter and ordered that the accused persons be remanded in the prison custody for 30 days pending the time the state Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP would perfect the trial at the appropriate court of jurisdiction. Meantime, traders at the Onitsha main market besieged the court premises with placard with various inscription like “We want justice. Ikanda is a murderer. Don’t leave him alive. Ikanda and his boys are deadlier than Boko Haram insurgents. Ikanda must die by hanging, among others”. Flanked by the late Ndubuisi’s wife, father and mother, the traders sang sorrowful songs calling on the Anambra state government and the judiciary to ensure that Ikanda pays for his crime against humanity It would be recalled that some nine months ago, precisely on June 29, 2018, the family of High Chief Clement Nwokolo JP of Oba village Umunede, Ika North East council area of Delta state was thrown into mourning, following the sudden murder of their son, late Ndibuisi Nwokolo. Ndubuisi, before death had two minors, Ozioma and Chidady Nwokolo. He was attacked by a group of criminals who claimed to be agents of the Anambra state revenue collectors and was beaten to death in broad day light, after which they escaped unhurt. Since then the perpetrators, of the dastardly act have been on the police wanted list until Sunday April 31, 2019.The then leader of the killer gang, Ikanda and his group was alleged to had accosted the late Ndubuisi at No 21 Ogalonye street on his way to his shop and killed him The late Nwokolo a trader who imports all kinds of wears at Amazing Grace Line, main market, Onitsha lives in Asaba since 2009.

From BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia

he crisis rocking the Abia State chapter of the Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC) has led to the sacking of five officials of the group who were accused of misleading the governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, over the true leadership of IPAC in the state. IPAC is also threatening to prosecute some of the affected officers as it has resolved to refer cases those accused of impersonation to the Police. Acting Publicity Secretary of IPAC in Abia, Uzo Ogbonna, who announced the sack of the alleged erring executive members at a briefing Monday after a meeting of the General Assembly of IPAC in Umuahia, listed those affected to include the Secretary, Austin Anyaegbu (APC), Assistant Secretary, Juliet Nwoko (AD), Publicity Secretary, Melvin Nwogu (YDP), Legal Adviser, Ikechukwu Nwankwere (NDLP), and Treasurer, China Uchegbu (ACD).

But the axed Secretary has rejected the sanction, saying the Augustine Ehiemere-led executive of IPAC has no such powers to sack him. Explaining why the action taken against the affected officers, Ogbonna said it was based on the report of the Disciplinary Committee set up to investigate their alleged misconduct in late last year. The five sacked officials were investigated for misleading the governor by “fraudulently presenting one Mr. Nnanna Ukaegbu, a non- IPAC member and an impostor, to the governor as the newly elected IPAC chairman.” Other sins allegedly committed by the sacked officers included “the recruitment of street urchins and miscreants purporting them to be chairmen of political parties during the fraudulent visit,” as well as having engaged in “unauthorised visitations to notable politicians and political office aspirants, collecting sums of money in the name of IPAC.” Ogbonna said the General Assem-

bly has further directed that “cases of impersonation be referred to the Police for further investigation.” Meanwhile, the General Assembly has replaced the sacked executives with the Uzo Ogbonna as Publicity Secretary, Joseph Nwulu as Secretary and Chums Nwachukwu as Treasurer. According to the acting Publicity Secretary, the appointed officials would occupy their respective offices in acting capacities until fresh elections are held to substantively fill these offices. While saying that the erring officials had attempted to cause disaffection and dissension within IPAC, Ogbonna insisted that they did not succeed in polarizing the body. “IPAC Abia State remains one strong indivisible body committed like never before to its cardinal objective of ensuring a rancour free political environment in the state and partnering with INEC and government to ensure the emergence of credible leadership and the deliv-

ery of good governance to the people of Abia State,” he said. The state chairman of IPAC, Augustine Ehiemere, vice-chairman, Hon. Chidi Nwosu and other executives voted unanimously to remove the affected officials. In a swift reaction, the suspended Secretary, Austin Anyegbu, has insisted that the Rev. Augustine Ehiemere-led executive lacked the power to take such action. He denied any wrongdoing, while claiming that his group represents the legitimate leadership of IPAC in Abia State. The Ehiemere-led executive emerged on November 9, 2018 in a rancorous election. But on December 19, 2018, Ukaegbu was presented to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu as the new Abia State chairman of IPAC by a delegation which Anyegbu was part of. That visit, according to IPAC sources, worsened the lack of unity in the group.

C’River: Police assure of peaceful Easter holiday as they parade 29 alleged criminals From ANIEKAN ANIEKAN, Calabar

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•President of Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) Sir Emeka Udeze presents a gift to the deputy governor of Enugu State, Barr. (Mrs.) Cecilia Ezeilo who declared open the ongoing 30th Enugu International Trade Fair on behalf of the State governor, Rt. Hon. ifeanyi Ugwuanyi

Bayelsa Police spokesman, 71 others decorated with new ranks From Clem Onyemaechi, Yenagoa

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he Spokesman of the Bayelsa State police command, Asinim Bautswat was among the 72 officers of the command decorated with their new ranks by the Commissioner of police, Mr.Shola David on Tuesday. The decorated officers were among the serving policemen recently promoted by the Police Service Commission. The Commissioner of police who is also a beneficiary in the recent promotion, now an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) performed the ceremony supported by some senior officers at the ceremony which took place at the Police Officers’ Mess, Yenagoa. A breakdown of the figure showed that 58 Inspectors were elevated to the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP); 10 ASPs gained promotion to the rank of Deputy Super-

intendent of Police (DSP) and four DSPs were moved to the rank of Superintendent of Police (SP). In his remarks, AIG David advised the newly-decorated officers to be professional in their conduct and shun acts capable of tarnishing the image of the police organization, thereby bringing disgrace to the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu. He congratulated them on their promotion and described it as welldeserved; urging them to realize their promotion meant a call to higher responsibilities and more dedication to duty. AIG David said the officers must give priority to public interest at all times and discharge their new assignments creditably as Bayelsa State, the Nigeria Police Force and the country were looking up to the police for exemplary conduct. He also urged them not to neglect their families and dependents be-

cause they had been promoted to new ranks, stressing that they also owe responsibilities to their families and communities as well. AIG David, who was also recently elevated from the rank of Commissioner of Police to his current rank, assured the officers that IGP Adamu was committed to enhancing the welfare of policemen across board. He said, “We know that elevation is something that families will rejoice with you. But we also know that promotion is not an end in itself. Don’t think (that) because you have been promoted to your next rank, that is the end. No. “It is rather a call for more commitment, a call for more dedication and you must expect additional and higher responsibilities. “We know that the job has prepared you for this higher rank; for this higher calling. Don’t engage in anything that will bring the image of the police force down.”

he Cross River State Police Commissioner, Austin Agbonlahor has assured residents and visitors to Cross River State of the safety of lives and property as preparations for the Easter holidays gets underway. The Police Commissioner gave the assurance at the State Police Headquarters, Diamond Hill, Calabar while parading suspected criminals who perpetuated a number of vices including armed robbery, murder child stealing among other nefarious activities. He reaffirmed the commitment of Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police to the maintenance of a people’s police where citizens participation in crime prevention/control is the utmost priority as demonstrated in the just concluded general elections. He said the command is desirous to contend with all criminal elements as the Easter holidays approaches and beyond to bring crimes/criminalities to the barest minimum. Giving a breakdown of the alleged suspects, he said there were 10 armed robbers, 9 murders, 2 cultists, 2 cases of defilement, 2 cases of unlawful possession of firearms, I case of child stealing and 5 persons who promoted native/communal crisis. While assuring the public of their safety, he said, “It is pertinent to reassure the good and law-abiding people of cross river state that the command has the capacity/capacity to deal with any miscreant or group of persons that may want to take the laws into their hands or dare to harass, intimidate or instil fears in the minds of Cross Riverians”. He sued for the cooperation, support and understanding of members of the public by providing useful information that could lead to the arrest of these hoodlums and crime perpetrators in hiding.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

NEWS Anambra vigilante operatives vow to synergize with police in stamping out criminals, fake revenue collectors By IBE NWACHUKWU

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he leadership of Anambra North zone of Anambra state Anambra Vigilante Group (AVG) has restated its commitment to compliment the efforts of the state police command in ridding the state of criminal elements Chairman of Anambra North zonal AVG, Chief Chinenye Ihenko (a.k.a. Okpompi) who disclosed this to newsmen in his office at Onitsha Main Market, shortly after spearheading the arrest and hand over to the police of about 80 fake revenue collectors who have been extorting the traders and their customers in the commercial city of Onitsha. He said efforts to rid the state of criminals become imperative following the recent upsurge of fake revenue collectors in some parts of Anambra North zone who have been tormenting traders in Onitsha and its environs. Ihenko further disclosed that as a complimentary security outfit to the state police command, AVG would not holds its arms and watch criminals and miscreants destroy the state, warning that all criminals especially those fakers and extortionists parading themselves as revenue collectors should have a rethink or be ready to face the consequences arising from their criminality He however commended Governor Willie Obiano for living up to his campaign promises, adding that the state will ever remain grateful to him

for his passion for security of lives and properties in the state. He also scored the governor high for his proven integrity and for becoming the best security conscious, human capital development and most workers’ friendly Governor in Nigeria, including his provision of an enabling playing ground for all inclusive governance in the socio economic and political development of the state . He recalled that Obiano had since assumption of office,provided an enabling playing ground and bequeathed to the people of the state, has a purposeful leadership with a vision and mission to accomplish. The Security expert recalled that the AVG had in the past faced challenges of criminals’, kidnappers’ and Armed robbery invasion, but the synergy between the police and other security agencies in the state, added to the financial and logistic supports he had given to law enforcement agencies to function optimally to reduce the situation to a manageable proportion. He therefore warned all those indulging in criminal activities in and around Onitsha to have a re-think or relocate pointing out that the state is not safe for any criminal.to dwell in. He welcomed the newly posted Anambra state commissioner of police, Mustapha Dandaura to the state and pledged a closer relationship with the state police command, aimed at stamping out criminality in the state.

Tension in Aguleri as Obiano recognizes new monarch By IBE NWACHUKWU

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alpable tension has pervaded the ancient city of Aguleri community in Anambra East Local government Area of Anambra state, following the recognition of Dr. Mike Idigo as the new traditional ruler of the area, by Governor Willie Obiano, amidst protests from some members of same Idigo family. Eze Christopher Idigo had joined his ancestors in January, this year, after being on the throne for 24 years (1995 to 2019) and his remains was laid to rest at the weekend, amidst tributes and encomiums. But the protests started when shortly after his interment and funeral ceremonies were on-going, Dr. Mike Idigo, a dental doctor attached to Enugwu-Ukwu General Hospital appeared on a royal regalia, meaning that he had just been crowned the new Igwe as a replacement to the late one. As if appearing on a royal regalia was not enough, Dr. Mike headed straight to the throne, sat on it and told newsmen that he was sad that the late Igwe, now his predecessor joined his ancestors when his services were still need most but at the same time, happy that he had just been selected to mount the saddle. He was also given a staff of office and chieftaincy certificate at once by Governor Willie Obiano. The new monarch noted that having served in the late Igwe’s cabinet for all the 24 years he reigned, he had learnt a lot of things that would assist him to make a good rulership. He described Governor Willie Obiano as a true son of Aguleri, having contributed immensely towards the burial ceremony of the late Igwe and his selection as the late Igwe’s successor.

But in what looked like an open protest, the Akaeze of Aguleri, Chief Gabriel Idigo told newsmen that he was selected to become the new king on January 19 during an enlarged meeting of Iruokechi family who he said inherited the throne from their fore-fathers, but unfortunately, Obiano single-handedly brought out Dr.. Mike to become the Igwe. Describing Obiano’s action as sacrilege by choosing someone else, when the ancestors had chosen himself, Gabriel said he was still considering legal action or allow their ancestors to strike, adding that he equally did not know whether it was the remains of late Christopher that was buried inside the casket or not because they were not allowed by the security forces to open the casket and see the corpse before the burial. Also speaking, some women from Idigo family (Umu Ada Idigo), Chinelo Felicia Ibe (Nee Idigo) and Chito Sole (Nee Idigo), noted that they did not participate in the burial ceremony of late Christopher because Obiano unleashed soldiers, police and other security forces on the family, a week to the burial ceremony, to the extend that they were harassing all the Idigo family members going out and coming into the compound. Insisting that they stood by Gabriel because he is the son of cousin to the late Igwe Christopher, the contended that though Mike is a member of Idigo family, he is not in the lineage of the kingship throne. In his own speech, younger brother to Gabriel, Chinedu Idigo, a lawyer, said he was molested by the security forces a day to the burial ceremony, adding that the security men told him that they were acting on an instruction from Obiano because he is the chief security officer of the state.

• Protesting drug dealers

Ohanaeze, NMA, Bianca, others pay tribute to late Ikedife, ex-Ohanaeze leader By IBE NWACHUKWU

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here were special tributes weekend at the Industrial city of Nnewi, Anambra state in honour of the late Dr. Dozie Ikedife, former President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo who died in December, last year at the age of 88 and was buried immediately, according to his wish. Among those who paid the tributes were Governor Willie Obiano who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke; the Nigerian Medical AQssociation, NMA led by its Anambra state Chairman, Dr. Emma Monago (Igweoba Obosi), the All Progressives Congress, APC led by its state chairman, Chief Basil Ejidike and Ambassor Bianca Ojukwu, wife of Late Biafra war lord, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. Others were Chief Mbazuruike Amechi, Chairman on the occasion; incumbent President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo; the CEO of Coscharis Group, Chief Cosmas Maduka; members of Alaigbo Development Foundation; Nnewi captains of industry; cabinet members of HRH Igwe Kenneth Orizu III; Senator Andy Ubah and PDP presidential vice president, Mr Peter Obi. In his tribute, NMA, through its state chairman, Dr. Monago described Ikedife as a colosus in medical practice, an icon of the medical

profession and an epitome of medical standard, adding that medical practitioners in the state in particular and the country greatly missed him. In her own tribute, Mrs Ojukwu said it has always been an issue on how to immortalise great men, especially of Igbo nation, adding, “I think individuals themselves, organizations, institutions should sit down and think of enduring monument for such a great man”. According to Bianca, “Such a monument should not just be in making statutes to remember the dead, but to set up projects that will showcase his philosophies, ideologies and all the things he believed in life where they will be discussed, espoused, promoted and investigated”.. “He’s a true Igbo man who advanced warfare and the course of Igbo nation. He was always there to fight for their rights,’” she said. She congratulated Ikedife’s son for bringing people together to honor his father”. Also speaking, the Anambra state government expressed worry over steady loss of great men in the state. According to Okeke, the Deputy Governor, “My concern for our state is that we keep on losing men of stature, integrity, character, yet nobody is replacing them. “Where are the young men to take over? This is a wake up call for all of us. Life is not all about making

money, getting married and raising children. “Let’s all begin to think of how to better our society through our characters and dealings with people. Legacy of a man is not his wealth, but what he contributed to humanity,” he said. He described the late elder statesman as one who stood for something good, little wonder the large number of great men and women that graced the occasion. He challenged his son to be courageous enough to step into the late father’s shoes by upholding truth and peace which he represented. On his part, the Minister for Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu described him as a special gift to the Igbo who knew the power of love. He said it was the understanding of the virtue as the strongest force that made him offer selfless service, which made him see goodness in others. In a remarks, Ikedife’s first son, Dozie Ikedife Jnr., said his father was devoted to his medical profession, a career he chose early in life, adding, “he woke up every day to a hectic schedule. He got to the hospital early in the morning and came home late, Monday to Monday. He was also very involved and active in our community and anything that had to do with Igbo improvement”.

ng the spokesperson of the organisation disclosed this to newsmen in Calabar during a pre-anniversary briefing. He said thousands of visitors are expected into the state emphasizing that several lives will be blessed through the activities lined up for the event and the negative image of the nation will be cleaned up. He said the 18 years of the leader has been eventful in the host communities as several crises engulfing the state has been addressed and the organisation’s impact is being felt across the world.

“In recognition of the Holy Father’s efforts at engendering peaceful coexistence, many communities have been approaching him for settlement of their disputes and have been going back with positive testimonies. “ The economic and social impact of the reign of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords which are being felt in the immediate environment are now beginning to be felt in other parts of the world like Rochester, New York and the UK”.

All set for Leader Obu’s 18th Coronation anniversary From: ANIEKAN ANIEKAN, Calabar

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rrangements are in top gear in Calabar, Cross River State for a week-long celebration to mark the 18th Coronation Anniversary of Leader OO Obu of the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star. The annual event which is undertaken by members of the organisation worldwide will feature a number of activities including charity works, paper presentations, commissioning of community-based projects and lots more. Christ Ambassador Edet Archibo-


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

NEWS

Overseer reveals secrets for church growth as Ministry celebrates 2nd anniversary

From BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia

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eneral Overseer of The Lord’s Kingdom Intervention Ministry Inc. Itumgbedeala- Olokoro, Umuahia South Local Government Area of Abia State has identified evangelism as a potent weapon for growing churches. Rev. Gabriel Nnabuihe pointed out that for a church to grow, those propagating it must experience what he called “Holy Spirit empowerment,” strive to be righteous, take care of the indigents and must be seriously committed to evangelism. “Evangelism is most important for the Church because it aids the Church to meet the needs of people. It also gives information to people who are far from the Gospel because

the Gospel will be preached to them and they will know Jesus as their savior,” Rev. Nnabuihe said during the second anniversary celebration of The Lord’s Kingdom Intervention Ministry, Itumgbedeala- Olokoro. Going down memory lane on how the branch came to be, the clergyman said “We had gone round to so many places in Olokoro to get a place, to establish a branch of the Church but we couldn’t because the time was not ripe. When it was time, the Lord did it. He spoke and we honoured the Word of God,” He expressed gratitude to God for the progress recorded by the Ministry in the last two years and commended the members for their abiding faith in God and their invaluable contribution to the growth of

the Ministry. Delivering a sermon with the theme: “The Secret Of Promotion And Demotion,” Prof. Ambrose Ugbogu, warned the public to careful as all that glitters were not gold. Ugbogu revealed that many cathedrals were built with “blood or dirty money” adding that “such churches should not be envied, as God cherishes little, diligent and faithful beginning.” He noted that the society, including Christendom, today only recognize material and fiscal promotion, jettisoning spiritual promotion, the basic thing in Christian life. Ugbogu who spoke extensively on Church growth and factors that could lead to demotion, advised Christians to crave for spiritual pro-

motion and shun any act that will push them to compromise their faith in Christ. He reminded the celebrating church that it is one thing to observe an additional year thanksgiving service and another thing to stay focused and unshaken. “God is interested in those who obey and keep His commandment, such people He promotes. The ability to begin and remain in truth is more important, because there are churches that started well but end up miserably because they deviated from the truth. “The glamour of promotion depends on how you maintain it, this is because maintenance is important when you are promoted,” Ugbogu said.

Ebonyi police confirm killing of 8 persons in Ikwo, Izzi boundary dispute

Herdsmen attack: Army, police, take over Anambra community From PAMELA EBOH, Awka

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By CHINEDU NWAFOR Abakaliki

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bonyi State Police Command have confirmed the killing of eight persons including a three months old baby in a renewed boundary dispute between between Ndiagu Alike community in Ikwo loal government area and Enyibichiri community in Abakaliki local government area of the state. Six of the victims said to be from the same family were burnt to death in a bus they were traveling in while two others were killed from bullet wounds the sustained from the attacks. The attack happened along the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike road near the border between the two communities. It was gathered that attackers blocked the road was shooting everyone on sight. Also, so many other travellers along the road were said to have sustained gun shots and are currently receiving treatment in different hospitals. The State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Loveth Odah confirmed the incident. She said the attack happened on Saturday. According to her, one of the victims is a wife of a Police officer serving in the state but who is on secondment to Borno state to fight insurgency in the Northeast. “It is a longstanding dispute between Ndiagu Alike community in Ikwo loal government area and Enyibichiri community in Abakaliki local government area that erupted on Saturday” “A vehicle was seen burning on the road. Allegedly set ablaze by warriors from one of the communities”. “The victims were coming from Abakaliki where they attended a matriculation of their son. Five of them were from the same family including a little baby and one is a neighbour who joined them. They were burnt to ashes. “Also three other persons were also attacked and two of them were killed. One of them, a woman was the wife of a police officer deployed to Borno state”. The communities have been having an interactable land tussle for decades and all attempts to settle the dispute by successive administrations in the state have prooved abortive. Meanwhile, the Special Assistant to Governor David Umahi on Religion and Welfare,Rev. Fr. Abraham Nwali, through a public radio announcement had cautioned the two communities to sheathe their swords as His Excellency would convene a meeting of stakeholders immediately he returns from his overseas travel.

Earlier in her testimony, the Resident Pastor of The Lord’s Kingdom Intervention Ministry (a.k.a Anointed Chapel) Itumgbedeala, Olokoro, Pastor. Alex Ijeoma Ubong, recalled that the branch was opened in February, 2017 with only five members. She revealed that the Church has suffered hiccups during the years under review but expressed happiness that “the Church of Christ must march on.” The donor of the worship center, Bro. Ndubuka John Orji, recounted his ordeal when he was hit by a serious ailment and how God used the Church (at the headquarters) to deliver him, which made him to offer his house for the opening of the branch.

• Something to covet: Council members of Enugu State Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture grabs Copies of The Oracle Today, official newspaper of the ongoing 30th Enugu International Trade Fair during the opening ceremony of the fair.

Promasidor’s takes career development to public schools in C’River

From: ANIEKAN ANIEKAN, Calabar

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s part of its nationwide drive to enlighten Nigerian Youths on career choices, the fifth edition of the education initiative has berthed in Cross River State. The initiative which is a career guidance workshop aimed at educating students on proper career choices had previously berthed in three Nigerian cities including Abeokuta, Abuja and Enugu with the plan to cover the rest of the country. Speaking at the West African People’s Institute, Cross River State the venue of the edition, the Head, Legal and Corporate Communications of Promasidor, Andrew Enahoro said the initiative is part of the Organization desire to give back to the society and also underscoring its commitment at ensuring proper career development among Nigerian Youths. He said the initiative is targeted at JSS3 students who are preparing to conclude their career focus in senior classes and the success recorded in the maiden edition of the event held in Lagos in 2017 informed their decision to move it across the country. According to him, “The Initiative is aimed at adding value to the lives of students and is targeted at Junior Secondary School (JSS) students who are preparing to conclude their career focus in the senior classes. “the Promasidor Harness Your

Dream (PHYD) has contributed immensely to help redefine how career choices are made and how dreams are achieved in our catch-themyoung drive and has helped students in making proper career choices that relate to their talents, attitudes and dreams in their educational pursuits”. He said Promasidor has been at the forefront of promoting youth development and for 25 years, Cowbell, its flagship brand, has through its Mathematics TV Quiz Show christened Cowbellpedia encouraged secondary school students to develop interest in the subject. In her response, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Cross River State, Dr. Pepetua Agi applauded Promasidor for the concept behind the programme saying the initiative will help shape the career of the children and enable them to become better leaders of the country. “The concept of the programme is to equip students with the skills they need to pursue careers that will enable them to become leaders of tomorrow. It’s a very important programme and also timely now that we have children who graduate from school and then stay for years without employment. This guidance will help our children to pick careers that they can handle and also enable them to contribute to the growth of society and also become the leaders

of tomorrow. “This programme will also enable them to meet with employers of labour so that we don’t just produce children who come out to look for jobs. It’s a laudable programme and helping the government to help the children. The issue of these children is everybody’s problem, parents, government, employers of labour”. He said the proper development of youths is everybody’s problem and solicited for concerted efforts on the part of parents, government and organizations to help shape the career of the children for the overall benefit of the country. “Everybody should join hands together and organize programmes like this to help our youths to be responsible and well-balanced youths tomorrow. So I will call on everybody including the private sector and individuals to join hands together and rise up children who we can comfortably hand over the leadership of this country to in future”. On her part, the Principal of the institute, Mercy Donatus Etim called on parents not to impose careers on their children so that they can play a proper role in society. She said based on the active participation of the students, it shows they are quite informed and said the programme should be more regular so that many more students will learn more about career development.

he Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Haruna Mohammed has confirmed the death of three persons in Mmiata Anam community, Anambra West Local Government Area of the state following an attack by people suspected to be Fulani herdsmen. He said the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mustapha Dandaura had ordered full-scale investigation on the matter with a view to bringing the culprits to justice. Mohammed said that Security operatives which include the army, police and others have cordoned off the affected community where the attack took place. According to him, the command has deployed two units of mobile policemen and other regular policemen to the area. We are working in conjunction with other security agencies in the operation. He however said that three persons were killed in the attack by suspected herdsmen and not six as earlier projected. But it was gathered that six people were killed in the weekend attack. A source who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “The victims were beheaded and I saw six of such victims. Also a resident of the area, Mr Orjiako Nnaluo said that the herdsmen entered farm settlements in the area around 5.40am, killing people, burning houses and raping women. “Before we knew what was happening, six people were already dead, while about 30 were left with varying degrees of injuries.” The PPRO further said, “We are on top of the situation and I can assure you that normalcy will soon return to the place. “We would not want to speak on issues that would jeopardise investigations but the outcome of investigation would be made available to the public at the appropriate time. The state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C-Don Adinuba said a report of the incident had been sent to the state Governor, Willie Obiano who is currently abroad. He said the governor might cut short his trip because of the development evrn as he urged the people of the area to remain calm. Adinuba said that government would do everything possible to end the frequent attacks by herdsmen in Anambra West local government of the state


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

NEWS

Foundation to hold first West African female blind football tournament in Enugu – Official

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he Director of Para Sports, BINA Foundation, Mr Amobi Chikwendu says the foundation will be hosting the first ever West African Women blind football camp and games in Enugu. The director told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Saturday that the Women Blind Football Game would be coming simultaneously with the Para-athletics championship for the country. ”Two events are coming up at the same time; BINA Foundation is the sponsor of the Para-athletics championship with the First ever Women blind Football camp and games. ”Some West African countries will be participating and they have declared interests in participation; by April 9 they will all be in Enugu. ” Countries like, Ghana, Togo, Ivory Coast and others with the host Nigeria and BINA Foundation will sponsor their movements and feeding. ”We want the participants to be comfortable because most people do not have much interest in physically challenged persons’ sports,” he said. He said that BINA was the first to have the female blind football teams in Africa and that they were in collaboration with a Non Governmental Organisation based in France. Chikwendu noted that the Nigerian female blind football team traveled to Tokyo, Japan for similar programme. “It is based on what happened there that BINA Foundation Proprietor, Lady Ifeoma Atuegwu, decided to replicate the same programme for Africa in Enugu. The director affirmed the readiness of the foundation to present blind football teams for the country in Japan, Tokyo 2020 Olympic. ”We have produced a formidable blind football team for Nigeria and we named them ”Star Eagles of Nigeria” and the players are selected on merit. ” In January this year, we hosted a festival for blind football trail for the whole country and players were selected from across the country. ”We have started registration of these players and after the visit of the France officials to the Women football games, I believe things will unwind. Chikwendu said that the Star Eagles were ready and that they had been training every day. The director confirmed that the foundation also engaged in other things in order to fix the physically challenged into the society. BINA foundation also engaged in Medical Outreach, Meal and Weals, as it takes food to the indigent and mad people in the streets to ensure they eat at least one to three meals per day. “We also train the physically challenged persons on skills acquisition like bead making, wire and works, shoe and bags making. ” We also have computer literacy programme for the blind, tailoring, catering, cosmetic, soap and detol and paints production”, Chikwendu said. (NAN).

Onitsha drug dealers protest against policeman’s alleged extortion, unlawful seizure By IBE NWACHUKWU

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rug dealers at Ogbo-Ogwu International Market, Bridgehead, Onitsha, Anambra state yesterday closed their shops and embarked on a peaceful demonstration in protest against what they termed excesses of one Sergeant Onyekachi Ogbonna, a policeman from Fegge Police Division attached to NAFDAC. Specifically, the drug dealers accused Sergeant Ogbonna of illegally arresting, harassing and intimidating their customers from far and near in order to extort huge sums of monies from them. The drug dealers, numbering over 20,000, carried placards with inscriptions: “Sgt. Ogbonna, leave us alone. Sgt. Ogbonna, stop chasing away our valued customers. Sgt. Ogbonna, shame unto you. Sgt. Ogbonna, authorities concerned should remove this bad egg in police force for us. Sgt. Ogbonna, we are not fools. How did you manage to own fleet of cars and buildings?. EFCC should investigate him properly”.

While the exercise lasted for about three hours, the demonstrators moved round the Bridge-head market in the peaceful protest, under the guidance of the chairman of the caretaker committee of the drug market, Hon. Anthony Ezioba and members of the caretaker committee of the drug market. At a stage, the demonstrators threatened to take their protest to the nearby Fegge Police station, but the caretaker committee locked up the major exit gate from the market and discouraged them from going to the station as they could have an open and bloody confrontation with policemen in the Division. Speaking to newsmen shortly after the exercise, Chairman of the market caretaker committee, Hon. Ezioba disclosed that the protest was the most civilized option adopted by the committee to express their anger to the authorities concerned because according to him, left for the traders, they would have launched a physical attack against Sergeant Ogbonna while allegedly carrying out his nefarious opera-

tions inside the market. Ezioba further disclosed that though each time they had opportunity to interact with the said Sergeant Ogbonna, he usually boasted to them that he makes financial returns to the police authorities after extorting as much as N5 million, N8 million or N10 million as the case may be. Also speaking, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the market, Marychaplet Igboamaeze; another member of the committee, Fred Ezenwa and a stakeholder, Hon. Obodoeze Ogbodoson, lamented that Ogbonna’s modus operandi is that he has so many informants who usually call and tell him on phone that a customer has just arrived the market with huge sums of money and at once he would go to an exit point and wait for the customer. Igboamaeze, Ezenwa and Ogbodoson further lamented that when the customer finished his purchases and wanted to go, he would arrest him and commandeer the vehicle load of drugs he bought to the police station on trump up charges that

• Beneficiaries of Fidelity Bank Loyalty Award display their cheque

Ebonyi N-Power beneficiaries decry high-level extortion by officials

From CHINEDU NWAFOR, Abakaliki

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eneficiaries of the federal government N-power programme in Ebonyi State have decried the high level extortion by government officials in charge of the program in the state. Some of the beneficiaries in both batch A and B who interacted with our Reporter alleged that the officials compel them to pay money for monthly clearance. According to them, they were compelled to pay #200 each, between April 3rd and 4th, 2019 for signing of their February and March clearance forms. N-Power is one of the federal government social investment programmes with over 2000 volunteers benefitting from Ebonyi State. Its office is located at the N-power office Centinary city, Abakaliki, Ebonyi state. One of the volunteers who gave

his name as Ukpai told Journalists that earlier in January, when three weeks training was organised for the N-Agro volunteers, in Abakaliki local government area, they were compelled to pay money some days before they could be allowed to write their names in the list. “Imagine 1000 of us paying#200? That is big money and they even said it will be monthly. It is unacceptable. “And on Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th April,2019, we paid #200 for submission of a form described as attestation form. “I know that federal government did not ask them to collect any money from us but since they have decided to, no problem one day they will vomit it”, he lamented. Another victim mercy Igwe told our Reporter that she didn’t not have the #200 and her form was rejected until she borrowed #200 to pay from a friend.

When our Reporter visited the venue for the clearance, the lady who was collecting the money, told the angry volunteers that they were working under instruction. When our Reporter inquired from one Chidi who was involved in collecting the money he said it was for logistics and sending of text messages. He further referred our Reporter to N-power main office to get further clarifications on the payment. According to him, the decision was taken during Ebonyi Npower management meeting. It was also learnt that the volunteers also paid #50 for the monthly clearance and if one fails to pay, he/ she will not have the form. Investigation showed that it was mostly the N-Teach and N-Agro beneficiaries that were meant to pay as N-Health volunteers don’t submit monthly clearance form.

the drugs he purchased were either fakes, unwholesome or contraband and will start demanding for millions of naira from the buyer, which usually end up in extorting the customer who after his ugly encounter, would swear never to come to Onitsha again for any reason. Also in a press statement, the committee noted that since the inauguration of the caretaker committee by the state government in November, last year, the committee members have tried as much as they could to be law abiding and at the same time, adhered to all the stipulated guidelines and directives issued by both the federal government, pharmaceutical council of Nigeria, NAFDAC, ministry of Health and other relevant bodies in sanitizing the market. “We have never obstructed NAFDAC officials, police or NDLEA from carrying out their duties and have also gone out of our way to advise our members and give relevant information that could aid these agencies in succeeding in their functions. The market has also been sanitized of fake, adulterated and pirated drugs but unfortunately, Ogbonna and his conscripted spies have turned us into cash cows, milking our members dry and crippling our businesses”. “Hiding under the cover of NAFDAC, just because he was attached to NAFDAC, Ogbonna has the penchant for demanding for operational license from our registered members, coercion and threat of involving NAFDAC has been his usual style of operation and we are raising this alarm because he has overreached and constituted himself with his lieutnants/informants into both the arresting, prosecuting and fining/financial sanctioning authority all rolled into one”. We therefore call on NAFDAC and police authorities to redeploy Ogbonna. We also call for a probe into his activities in Onitsha Bridgehead drug market. The relevant anti-graft agencies like EFCC should beam their searchlight on him and evaluate his assets and investments whether they are commensurate with his legitimate earnings as a police sergeant. “We pledge our continued allegiance to the relevant Government authorities and our renewed commitment to carrying out our business with utmost decency and regard to best ethical standards”. When contacted on phone, Sgt. Ogbonna declined to make any statement but rather switched off his phone, after hearing from newsmen. The Divisional Police Officer at Fegge, Rabiu Garba (CSP) told newsmen on phone that he was not aware of the rift between Sgt Ogbonna and the drug dealers, neither has the committee drew his attention to that effect. Also, the Divisional police Officer at Bridge-head market, Eddy Okeke, a lawyer, told newsmen in his office that he was not also aware of such a complaint from the traders. However, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Haruna Mohammed (SP), told newsmen on phone that the most effective way of handling this type of matter would have been for the traders to channel their grievances in writing to the state commissioner of police who will in turn look into it critically and if need be, summon Sgt Ogbonna for interrogations, rather than embarking on a demonstration of such a volatile nature.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

NEWS Extra

Anambra farmer urges FG to ban importation of palm produce

Jubilation as Ugwuanyi performs ground-breaking of first education versity in South-East • Urges Southeast governors to harness palm produce potentials • Reiterates commitment to rapid development of Enugu

• Harps on tree planting as good business

overnor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State on Tuesday performed the ground-breaking ceremony for the administrative building of the first University of Education in the South East geo-political zone, the Enugu State University of Education in Ihe, Awgu Local Government Area amid jubilation and excitement. The University which would be a degree-awarding institution in the area of education, will serve as a training ground for teachers of primary, secondary and tertiary education. The establishment of the new institution was recently approved by the Gov. Ugwuanyi administration, and the contract for the construction of the administrative building was awarded last week by the State Executive Council. Performing the ceremony, Gov. Ugwuanyi, who expressed delight and fulfillment, stated that the quest for the establishment of the University was in consonance with his administration’s commitment to providing and promoting better access to higher education as a way of stimulating knowledge, productivity and industry among the teeming population of youths in Enugu State. The governor recalled that his administration had earlier announced the release of the sum of N200 million for the commencement of preliminary construction works on the site, stressing that the proposed University will help to bring about a significant and positive transformation of the socioeconomic fortunes of the entire Awgu LGA and environs. According to him, “apart from graduating its own students, it is expected that the proposed University will also provide channels for students of other Colleges of Education in and around the state especially, the Enugu State College of Education (Technical), to obtain degrees in their chosen areas of study”. Gov. Ugwuanyi explained that “the prompt construction of an administrative building is therefore expected to stimulate the rapid development of the institution and prepare it for full commencement of academic activities in no distant time”. The governor, who reiterated his pledge to continue to serve Enugu State with the fear of God to enuse that opportunities for growth and development were extended to every corner of the state, disclosed his administration’s plan to revitalize the Awgu Games Village as part of its concerted efforts to transform the council area. He therefore, appreciated the people of Ihe town and leaders and stakeholders of Awgu LGA as well as the state Ministry of Education and other actors in the education sector, for their enthusiasm and support towards the historic and all important project. Earlier in their speeches, the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Uche Eze; his counterparts in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure and Information, Engr. Greg Nnaji and Mr. Ogbuagu Anikwe; Chairman, Governing Council, Enugu State College of Education (Technical), Amb. Fidelia Njeze; Awgu Council Chairman, Hon. Stanley Okeke; Traditional Ruler of Ihe and Chairman, Awgu Traditional Rulers’ Council, Igwe Goddy Ekoh, among others, thanked Gov. Ugwuanyi for his vision and commitment towards the establishment of the University, maintaining that the bold initiative will enhance quality education in the state and socio-economic expansion of the area.

By THEO RAYS

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enowned Anambra farmer and Chairman of Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) Anambra State chapter, Prince Ugochukwu Okpalaeke has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to as a matter of urgency ban the importation of palm produce such as palm oil, palm kernel and palm kernel oil to

pave the way for local production to thrive just as the ban placed on importation of foreign rice in the country has helped local production of rice to thrive. Speaking to journalists in Awka, the Anambra State capital, Prince Okpalaeke a National Order of Productivity Merit (NPOM) Award winner who is also the and the Managing Director of Eagle Food Processing

Industries, Umuchu, Aguata Local Government area of Anambra State, told the Nigeria Government that allowing importation of palm produce is counter-productive to President Muhammadu Buhari’s quest to use agriculture to diversify the nation’s economy, adding that the influx of palm produce from Malaysia and Indonesia to Nigeria is a bad omen that could undermine the develop-

• Onitsha drug traders protest against the high-handedness of Police Officer Ogbonna at Bridge-Head market

Group roots for Kalu as Senate President, vows to occupy NASS with 2 million members

From BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia

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group known as Coalition of South East Youth Leaders has vowed to storm the National Assembly with millions of their members to press home their demand for the election of a former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, as the President of the Ninth Senate expected to be inaugurated on June 9, 2019. The Coalition, in a statement it made available to The Oracle Daily in Umuahia, maintained that denying the South East zone the position of the Senate President would amount to violating the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “Denying South East the Office the Senate President is like setting aside the Constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria,” the group insisted in a statement endorsed by its President General of the Coalition, Chief GoodLuck Egwu Ibem, the Secretary General, Dr. Igwe Kanice and the Organising Secretary, Chief Anthony Ekezie. They dismissed as baseless, opinions by some All Progressive Congress chieftains that the South East

should not be honoured with the position of Senate President because the zone did not vote for the party or President Muhammadu Buhari, insisting that the constitution which provides for federal character remains the only legal instrument through which the country is administered. The Coalition which is demanding that Kalu be elected the Senate President in obedience to the constitution, said “we are going to storm the National Assembly with two million youths, women and men to press our demand for the office of the Senate President. We will not fold our hands and watch another zone take that which is rightfully ours.” “It is so surprising to hear some people say their zone voted massively for Mr. President and as a result, they should take all the positions. They forget that the country is governed the Constitution which clearly stipulates that national positions must be shared equally among the federating units and not by the number of votes cast for the ruling party. “When you say that a particular zone should be denied its right simply because the ruling party did not

win in that zone, you are simply saying that the zone is no longer part of the federating units and as such, it should not benefit from the federal structure. “It is very parochial for anybody or group to say because Mr. President did not win in South East during the last general elections, the zone should not be given its fair share,” the group argued. The group appealed to the leadership of APC to make the election of Kalu as Senate President a top priority when the Senate would be inaugurated on June 9, 2019, adding that if Kalu is elevated to the position, he would end agitations and political unrest in South East “because he is natural Leader with the capacity to mend fences when necessary.” The group further enjoined APC to emulate former President Dr. GoodLuck Jonathan who never marginalized any geo-political zone but ensured that every zone got what was rightfully theirs and called on the senators-elect of the Ninth National Assembly “to do the right thing by voting for Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu on the 9th of June, 2019.”

ment and growth of palm produce in the country. The farmer who is also a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Best Farmer Award winner lamented with nostalgia that palm produce which was one of the nation’s economic base at the outset of the country has been relegated to the back seat, stressing the need for Nigerian government to initiate moves to revive palm produce farming sector as part of its measures to diversify the economy via agriculture. He said: “In those days, palm produce was the economic base of the old eastern region of Nigeria, people have forgotten that eastern region was developed with revenues generated from palm produce just as the north used groundnuts to develop and cocoa was used to develop the western region, so allowing the import of palm produce in the country is most unhealthy and unfortunate because it is like an offensive against the development of local productions which has a lot of potential to make meaningful contributions to the growth of the our economy.” He reminded the Federal Government that palm produce is the economic base of the old Eastern Region and the proceed was used to pay workers and also execute development projects such as roads, establishment of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, building of the Hotel Presidential in Enugu and Port Harcourt, cement factories in Nkalagu and Calabar, establishment of farm settlement and cashew industries among others, lamenting that the discovery of oil has made both government and the people abandon palm produce to make fortune fast through oil. “As a palm produce farmer, I can tell the Federal Government and States too that the economic potentials in palm produce has not been harnessed at all and if given attention like they did to rice and harness the potentials, it will go along way to boost the nation’s economy and as well provide jobs for the youth. I believe that the fortunes of the Southeast States will improve on a fast lane if the Governors throw weight behind palm produce and galvanize the potentials thereof into reality. How long does it take to grow and harvest palm produce? Just about three years, so why can’t people be patient with that and go into it. Eagle Food has freely distributed over 1500 palm trees to schools and families in a bid to encourage palm produce farming,” he said. While insisting that government should ban importation of palm produce because Malaysia and Indonesia won’t allow it into their land from outside, he specifically called on the government of the Southeast States to as matter of urgency explore the economic potentials in palm produce by providing aids to farmers who are into palm produce farming such as allocation of land, provision of palm seeding and soft loan to enable them meaningfully invest in it. He also called on Nigerians mostly in the South East to embrace palmtree planting as part of measures to respond to the challenges of poverty and joblessness noting that South West is now planting


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POLITICS The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

A

nambra governorship election usually comes up three years after the general election in the country. However, the outcome of the general election often determines the future of politics in the State with regard to the tussle for the number one seat in the Government House, Awka the State capital. Following the outcome of the justconcluded 2019 polls, it is easy to predict that the next governorship election in Anambra three years away will be a battle of three political parties, namely the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) which is the ruling party in the State now, the All Progressives Congress (APC) which is the ruling party at the national level and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which is the main opposition party at the national level. From all indications, the aforementioned political parties have set their eyes on the Government House in Awka. At the moment, APC appears to be more concerned about the 2022 governorship polls. Frustrated with abysmal performance during the just concluded 2019 polls where the party couldn’t win a single seat in both National and State House Assembly elections, APC is running helterskelter to reorganize and put its house in other in Anambra State. The party has gone back to the drawing board to map out and adapt strategies toward Anambra 2022. With the rumour making round in political circles that the State governor, Willie Obiano may emulate his immediate predecessor Mr Peter Obi to dump APGA and defect to APC to safeguard his political future, APC in Anambra is busy trying to know where things went wrong and how to fix them back. Recall that after serving out as governor of Anambra State for two terms under APGA, Peter Obi left APGA and joined PDP to secure his political future. Similarly, Governor Obiano, according to rumours, is making plans to also dump APGA in a bid to fix his political future in safe hands. As part of effort to reorganize APC in Anambra, the leadership of the party is said to have set up a panel of inquiry to probe its abysmal performance in the recent elections. The party is also said to have concluded plans to organize a summit in Awka by next month to brainstorm on the way forward for the party with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, National Chairman of the party Comrade Adams Oshiomole and former Senator President Ken Nnamani along with leaders of the party in the State like Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, former Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju, Senator Ikechukwu Obiora and Obinna Uzor among others expected to attend. Speaking on the planned summit, the Acting State Chairman of APC in Anambra Hon. Basil Ejidike, a former chairman of Onitsha South Local Government Area made it clear that the target of the party is to win the 2022 governorship election, adding that the party would also use the three-day summit to tour all the 21 local councils in the State, pay visit to all the on-going federal projects in Anambra and conduct verification of the party’s membership register, among other things. Observers say effort to revive APC is not unconnected with the rumour of making the rounds that Obiano plans to decamp to the party. An observer Dr Ejike Nwangwu told The Oracle Today in his own opinion that the quick move to revive APC and inject life into the party shortly after the 2019 polls is “very, very suspicious,” adding that a very ambitious politician who intends to use the party to pursue his am-

Post 2019: APGA, APC, PDP review performances, position for 2022 in Anambra •Zoning, denominations as key factors •Obiano, Obi, Soludo, Chidoka, Ubas, Ezeemo, men to watch •Aguata vs Nnewi as fighting point Anambra is among the few States in Nigeria whose governorship elections fall outside the general election timetable. The separate date for its governorship poll, among other issues, makes Anambra politics unique and command national attention. Anambra State Correspondent, THEO RAYS reports...

•Obiano

•Obi

•Ngige

•Soludo

•Chidoka

•Andy Uba

bition could be the hand behind the new development in the party. Be that as it may, APC notwithstanding, the failure to win a single seat in Anambra during the National and State Assembly elections in 2019 polls is a strong player in future Anambra politics. For PDP, the future and hope of taking back the Government House in Awka,

which the party lost way back in 2006 via a court judgment, largely depends on many factors. First is the success of Vice Presidential candidate of PDP during the just concluded 2019 polls, former Governor Peter Obi. If PDP wins its case at the Presidential Election Tribunal and Obi succeeds to be sworn in as Vice President of the Federal Republic, then PDP is

definitely going to be the party to beat in Anambra for a long time. With two senators, six members of the federal House of Representatives and six members of the State House of Assembly, PDP is on ground already to face the present and

Cont’d on page 16


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

POLITICS Post 2019: APGA, APC, PDP review performances... Cont’d from page 15 future of politics in Anambra. Another factor that could determine the fate of PDP in Anambra is where the 2022 governorship candidate of the party will come from. It is most likely that the Southern Senatorial District has a better case for the Governorship House, Awka going by the clamour for zoning and rotation of power in the State. Already, the national chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Oye has indicated that the party is likely to pick its governorship candidate from Anambra South to balance the zoning equation having produced Peter Obi from Central and Obiano of North. Going by zoning it may be difficult to convince Ndi Anambra with a candidate outside the South in 2022. As for APGA, the future is hanging in the balance. If Obiano leaves as is being rumoured, then APGA is in great danger. Although the party won majority of the State House of Assembly seats and five House of Representatives seats in the just concluded 2019 polls, that cannot guarantee a blissful future for the party in Anambra. The failure to win a single senatorial seat made the chances of a bright future for the party often christened as Igbo party slimmer. For APGA to thrive again, there has to be a turn-around in the party with Obiano at the forefront to mobilize forces and inject life to revive the party with good performance. Another turn-around capable of injecting life into APGA is the success of Senator Victor Umeh at the tribunal. If Umeh succeeds in sacking Uche Ekwunife following his petition that Ekwunife is not eligible to stand for election in Anambra Central Senatorial election because she didn’t stand for PDP primary election and the election is conducted afresh and Umeh wins, then APGA will heave a sigh of relief to some degrees. That may be a tall dream but not impossible. It has happened before. It could happen again. If the Anambra Central election is cancelled PDP will lose the chances of fielding a strong candidate to the favour of APGA’s Umeh. Again like PDP, the future of APGA also depends largely on who will fly the flag of the party for the governorship polls in 2022. Political watchers are tipping former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Professor Chukwuma Soludo as the one likely to emerge the candidate of APGA for the 2022 race. Evidence to Soludo’s link with the APGA subsists in his close relationship with Obiano and the leadership of APGA. Recall that Soludo campaigned vigorously for Obiano’s reelection in 2017 and was widely noted for his pro Obiano’s slogan “if it is not broken why mend it?” Generally, the future of Anambra politics is going to be determined by two key factors: zoning and Church denominations divided between Catholics and Anglicans. At the expiration of his tenure in 2013, former Governor Peter Obi made a strong case for zoning and rotation of power among the three senatorial districts in Anambra State,declaring that it was the turn of Anambra North to produce his successor as, according to him, the South and Central have taking their turns respectively. Obi sold the message to the relevant stakeholders and they bought it. And eventually, Obiano from North emerged the governor to succeed Obi. During his campaign for his re-election in 2017, Obiano also successfully sold the idea of zoning to relevant stakeholders, telling them that if given the mandate to complete his second term and rule for eight years, power would shift to

• Ifeanyi Ubah

•George Muoghalu

The future of Anambra politics is going to be determined by two key factors: zoning and Church denominations divided between Catholics and Anglicans. At the expiration of his tenure in 2013, former Governor Peter Obi made a strong case for zoning and rotation of power among the three senatorial districts in Anambra State,declaring that it was the turn of Anambra North to produce his successor as, according to him, the South and Central have taking their turns respectively.

the South. Leaders of APGA in Anambra South led by Hon Linus Anigbogu, along with town unions, traditional rulers and church leaders were said to have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Obiano and the leaders of Anambra North that after Obiano, the South would produce the candidate of APGA for 2022. Consequently, Anigbogu and Co. mobilized support in the South for Obiano’s re-election. Under the said MoU, the South and the North will throw their weight behind zoning in 2022 and that could make it extremely difficult for the next governor of Anambra State to emerge outside the premise of zoning. A stakeholder in the North and factional governorship candidate of APGA in 2013 governorship election Dr Chike Obidigbo who is a pioneer champion of zoning in the State told The Oracle Today in a chat that it will be very unfair to deny Anambra South the chances of producing the next governor Anambra State after Obiano, adding that for the sake of equity, justice and fair play, the South has to produce the governor of the Light of the Nation in 2022. Furthermore, future Anambra politics will also witness a strong argument from the religious quarters mostly between the Catholic faithful and their Anglican counterparts. Since the return of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, the Anglican Church is yet to produce the governor of Anambra State. After Governor Clement Chinweoke Mbadinuju, a Pentecostal ruled from 1999 to 2003, the rest till date have

been Catholic. From Dr Chris Ngige--2003 to 2006 to Peter Obi--2006 to 2014 and the incumbent Governor Obiano 2014 to 2022, Catholics have been occupying the Government House in Awka. Come 2022 the Anglican fold is likely to come up with a superior argument that it is their turn to take a shot at the seat of power in Awka having waited since I999. Much more and as usual, the future will be characterized by intrigues and power-play orchestrated by the gladiators who will either play the role of godfathers, benefactors or fight to be beneficiaries of the system generally. Such gladiators include incumbent Governor Willie Obiano, former Governor Peter Obi, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, Chief Osita Chidoka, the Uba brothers, Senator Andy and Chris alias Eselu Uga and Senator-elect Ifeanyi Ubah. Others are George Muoghalu, Godwin Ezeemo who is coming to make a third attempt towards the Government House in Awka this time on the platform of PDP, Senator Ikechukwu Obiora and Obinna Uzor among others. While Obiano and Obi will be fighting to install their favourite candidates in Awka, the other sets of gladiators will be striving to actualize their dreams in the way they deem fit and good. Ifeanyi Ubah has proved that one can make it in politics without a godfather in Anambra by winning election into the Senate with a relatively unpopular party. In this case, nobody is ruled out of the contest whether godfather or not. It is expected that Obiano will back Soludo amid fierce

•Ezeemo

battle from Nnewi boys currently in APGA or those that may defect into the party ahead of the election. Whether Nnewi can unleash a capable hand against Soludo in APGA is yet to be clear. While Soludo leads the contest in APGA, Peter Obi’s choice for the PDP ticket is not yet clear. For PDP, former Aviation Minister and Ex Road Safety Chief Osita Chidoka could be ideal but the issue of zoning may work against him. If PDP buys into zoning and goes to south, then the likes of Godwin Ezeemo would be thinking of clinching the PDP ticket. Ezeemo, a two-time candidate of People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA) joined PDP last year to seek opportunity to govern Anambra under a more popular platform. Though he has not indicated his interest to run the race, there is no doubt that if the opportunity comes under PDP, he will grab it with two hands. Although the Uba brothers lost out in the 2019 polls, they cannot be ruled of Anambra politics come 2022. Both of them can further try their luck in the 2022 governorship race. Chris can run under PDP. Having run for Senate, nothing stops him from running for governor. Andy on the other hand can run under APC or go back to PDP to try his luck. Senator elect Ifeanyi Ubah is also interested in the State top seat at Awka. The rumour making the rounds that he has begun moves to defect to APC is not unconnected with his governorship aspirations. Knowing full well that it may be difficult to win governor under Young Progressive Party (YPP), the Senator-elect will look for a bigger platform to face the governorship challenge. Others who will throw their hat in the ring for the Awka top job in APC are National Auditor of the party, Chief George Muoghalu, Senator Ikechukwu Obiora, Obinna Uzor and youthful politician and philanthropist Johnbosco Onunkwo. If the three political parties decide to go South, then the fight for the State top job will be limited to Aguata and Nnewi, the two major power houses in Anambra South. Both Aguata and Nnewi have three local government areas each and their fight for the Awka job is not just good to hear but also interesting to watch.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

INTERVIEW

Nobody promised Soludo or anyone APGA governorship ticket in 2022 - Oye How would you describe APGA under your leadership for about four years now? APGA has done very well beyond the expectation of our traducers. God has granted us the grace to pilot the affairs of the party. I didn’t do it alone. There are men and women who have helped us to do this. We have worked as a family and carried one another along in prayers. When we came in, the party had got to a point, so we needed to up the ante, and we set out to make sure we achieve that, and the first election we won was Gwagwalada Area council in Abuja. That is a local council that no opposition party has ever won. Throughout the period of PDP, no other political party was able to win election in that local government, but we broke the jinx by winning the second largest municipal council area in Abuja, which is Gwagwalada. We followed that up with victory in the local government election in Niger state, where we won five council seats, we even defeated the governor of the state, Sanni Bello in his ward and he said they should leave it for us. As if that was not enough, we followed it up with victory in the Bayelsa state house of assembly election, and we won Sagbama 11 state constituency, the guy who won the election was Watson Belomonte. I was the one who sponsored his matter in court, and that was how he became a member of the house of assembly. As if that wasn’t enough still, we won a second seat into the Taraba house of assembly in a bye election. And it was in the midst of all these that the Anambra governorship election came, where our party produced an uncommon feat, winning 21 out of 21 local government areas in the state - a sterling record that will take another century to beat.By January 13 2018, we produced the first senator for Anambra under APGA, we had no single senator in Anambra before then,but we produced one and he was sworn in on the 18th of January 2018. You tenure has recorded some landmark victory. Why was it not replicated in the just concluded general elections, especially in the national assembly election? We are all aware that the Peter Obi/Atiku factor affected the fortunes of our party in the 2019 presidential and national assembly election, but after that our party picked up again and got 24 out of the 30 seats in the state assembly. But before that, in the national assembly election, we won five house of representatives seat, out of 11 in the state. If it was not for the impact of the backlash of Atiku/Peter Obi, which affected the fortunes of the party, we would have won all the national assembly positions in the state. The five we won was an improvement on the two we had. So generally, we did well. In the 2019 general elections, we made a foray into the north- very strong statements, winning three seats in Benue into the house of representatives, we won one seat in Taraba to house of representatives, won one seat in Abia state also into the house of representatives, that is Aba North and South federal constituency. It has been one victory after another all over Nigeria. What are your projections for the party? You know we work as a team, we had plans for our first tenure, and we achieved everything we set out to accomplish, we will do better. The first thing we will do is that we will build confidence in people about the party, unite our people, it is very important. We want everybody that feels aggrieved to bury their hatchet, let us work together, it is very important. We are not bragging about it, we need everybody, and in fact APGA is sweeter when we are more. Some of the people who felt aggrieved have their reasons, but I use this medium to ask them to sheathe their sword and let’s work together, because the future is very rosy. Some of the people who won election this time never won in the past, but when

The national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Oye has rated his party as the party to beat in the political landscape of Anambra State. In this interview with PAMELA EBOH in Awka, the cock party chairman insisted that nobody has been anointed to succeed the incumbent governor, Willie Obiano. He also spoke on the 2019 general elections among other issues. Excerpts: can’t say it with any tone of finality. As for me, I was discussing with the governor the other day, and I told him that his shoes will be too big for anyone who will take over after him, and he responded and said that in the fullness of time, God will bring a man whose feet will be the size of the shoes. Some APGA members are of the opinion that, a former Governor of the Central Bank, Prof Charles Soludo was promised the governorship of the state for 2022. Your reaction. Who promised? Did APGA promise? Did we issue a statement to that effect? This is just rumor. There is no official statement for that. You don’t just go about promising people anything. Usually, we hold primaries, and the candidate of our party is elected through primary election. If during the primary the people decide it should be Soludo, why not? Then why did Soludo suddenly start campaigning for Obiano’s reelection in 2017? He didn’t come into the campaign suddenly. He started by supporting Obiano and asking “if it is not broken, why mend it”. The truth is that Soludo looked at all the candidates and decided to support Obiano. Remember even before then, he had been a member of APGA. So he is not a new person in the party.

•Victor Oye their time came, they won. We will win in future. We are going to look at the welfare of our members. That is what we call stomach infrastructure. We believe that this party has reached a level where it should be able to take care of its members, not politics, politics, politics all the time. This is something we have been doing silently, without announcing it, but this time we are going to promote it, so that it would reflect our overall vision. We are also looking at the intellectual capacity of the members. I believe that as you are giving to the party, the party is also giving to you, by ensuring that our members get the opportunity to go for intellectual development abroad, and the party will sponsor them. We have a whole lot of things we set out to do, which I cannot espouse in this interview. We have very big plans for this party. Meanwhile, our expansion plan will continue. What road map do you have to ensure APGA win more elections, not just in Anambra State butin the entire country? We want to come out with a more elaborate plan on how to begin to win elections in Nigeria in a more concrete form, one of the ways to do that is building confidence in the people of the party, build cohesion and synergy here and there. We want to invest on our indigent members as a welfarist party and instil discipline amongst members so that when we give instruction or directive, it will be carried out religiously, that will also help the people to own the party.That is the kind of thing we want to do. We have other things we want to do, and we are working with some agencies on how we can send our 36 state chairmen and others abroad for leadership programmes, so that they get developed intellectually and even administratively, so that they acquire more skills on how to administer the party. So these are the things that will come into play in our second tenure. Some people said the Igbo lost woefully in the 2019 general elections. As the national

chairman of an Igbo party, so to speak, what is your take on that? You see, APGA is not an Igbo party, but APGA has Igbo origin. APGA is not a regional party, because when they went for registration, if they had said that the party would be a regional party, no one would have registered them. One of the conditions to register a political party is that you are expected to have a national outlook, that is why you are expected to have an office in all the states of the federation. So it is not good to say that APGA is a regional party, but those who project that, it is good because they want to achieve an interest, but for me and my colleagues, we are looking at a national party with a very strong regional base, and gradually we will achieve it. The last election was a tragedy for our people, and I was among those who spoke against putting all our eggs in one basket. My idea was if we could give President Buhari about 40 percent, then the other balance can go to anyone who we so much loved, but today we have lost out as far as I’m concerned, and it was that mistake we made on the 23 of February. That is having serious impact on our people in Lagos. The people there voted for a party they saw as theirs and didn’t want Ndigbo to do otherwise. When you go to Rome, behave like Romans. It has been observe that your party has started shopping for the next governor of the state. It was gathered that governor Willie Obiano is bringing in a top executive from a new generation bank to succeed him in 2022. How do you see that? As the national chairman of a party, there is no way the governor will have such a plan and he will not let me know. I can’t answer that question for now, but I know governor Willie Obiano is a man that strategises ahead of time. As far as I am concerned, it is still a rumour because no official statement has been made in that respect, so it is still within the realm of speculation. So it is still rumour, because you

Having worked for the reelection of Obiano, don’t you think it will be an injustice not to support him to become Obiano’s successor? No. Has anyone told you we are not bringing Soludo, or that it must be Soludo? Four years is still a long period. What we are saying is that before that time, things will show up, you will see it because its never hidden. Politics is like a pregnancy, and the conception would take place before nine months of the birth of the child. So the conception of the Anambra governorship baby has not even taken place and you are here talking about Soludo and a certain bank chief executive. Are you confident APGA has what it takes to produce the next governor of Anambra State? Everything about our future is in the hands of God, I don’t want to play God. Even prophesies are also inspired by divine connection, and If God doesn’t give it to you, you cannot say it. He speaks through his creations. For me, I believe that APGA as a political party will do very well in 2022, and no party can face APGA. This is the home of APGA, APGA has come to stay here, and APGA government has been doing very well. When people talk about Peter Obi’s achievement, they should be talking about APGA, Peter Obi was APGA governor, and all his achievements were recorded under APGA, so we are very very proud of what Peter Obi did as governor, because he made APGA proud. Now. Do you think Obiano has out performed his predecessor? Governor Willie Obiano is doing better. We are proud if him. We are also proud of the in coming governor, who will be APGA too, because a benchmark has been set and he must abide by that benchmark of delivering the dividend of democracy, and he has no option. That is why APGA government is different.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

NEWS Extra Enugu UDP refutes suspension of guber candidate

Withdraw your case from the tribunal, Ohakim urges aggrieved governorship candidates

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From CHUKS EZE, Enugu

he United Democratic Party (UDP), in Enugu State, has dissociated itself from purpoted suspension of the Governorship candidate of the party in the State at the just-condluded 2019 general election, Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena. Speaking to ourt correspondent on recent developments in the party, in Enugu, Chairman of UDP’s disciplinary Committe in the State, Hon Bertrand Agodo, described newspaper publications of purported suspension of Pastor Ozoemena, who he described as the leader and financier of UDP in the state, as action of some lazy feedingbottle politicians who have no other means of livelihood but politics. He Advised the general public to disregard the contents of such publications, which he described as highly mischievous, he noting that it had become imperative for the party to addrress the issue so as to put feed the public with the right information to save the reputation of the party from being dragged in te mud. “We deemed it necessary to refute in its entirety, recent false publications and charcter assassination of our gubernatorial candidate and financiar of our great party, UDP, Pastor Donatus Ozoemena on pages of some national dailies and social media platforms. “The State Disciplinary Committee of UDP hereby declare, categorically, that the purported suspension of Pastor Ozoemena from our party, as reported in some national dailies and online platforms, were sponsored by a non-existent disciplinary committee and fake members of UDP. So, the publications are false, unfounded and of no effect,” he said. Hon Agodo, who is also the State Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the party, said those behind the publications had joined UDP, allegedly, with ultimate aim of destroying the party, adding that as soon as their secrets were uncovered and they were suspended, they resorted to sponsoring negative publications against the party and her benefactor, Pastor Ozoemena. He explained that the state disciplinary committee was constituted by UDP executives on March 21, 2018, with the mandate to investigate all issues of anti parti activities and general misdemeanor of party members. According to Hon Agodo, the alleged mischief makers were reportedly, found guilty of anti-party activities and financial impropriety among others, and that they were later expelled on the recommendations of the disciplinay committee. “Pastor Ozoemena is still a bonafide member of UDP, whereas, those behind his purported publication of his fake suspension are unknown to our party. We have absolute confidence in Pastor Ozoemena and the general public should disregard all negative publications against his person and UDP,” he said.

From COLLINS UGHALAA, Owerri

is Excellency Dr. Ikedi Ohakim, the immediate past Governor of Imo State, has called on the governorship candidates in the last governorship election in Imo

State who feel aggrieved over the outcome of the polls to sheathe the sword and withdraw their petitions from the Tribunal, saying that doing so is in the best interest of the state. Ohakim disclosed this while speaking at the inauguration of the 2019

Inauguration Planning and Handover Committee of the GovernorElect, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, on Tuesday at the New Hall of Rockview Hotel, Owerri. Ohakim said that the aggrieved governorship candidates would be

• President Muhammadu Buhari and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi H.H. Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan during their meeting in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday

Anambra Police decorate 17 newly promoted police officers From PAMELA EBOH, Awka

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eventeen newly promoted police officers have decorated with their new ranks by the Anambra State Commissioner of Police (CP) Mustapha Dandaura. This is coming on the heels of the approval by the Police Service Commission for the promotion of Senior Police Officers on the recommendation of Inspector- General of Police, Ag IGP Mohammed Abubakar Adamu. Officers promoted from the position of Chief Supritendent of Police (CSP) to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) were, ACP Ahmadu B. Garba, ACP Odion M. Ekeinede, ACP Badaru Musa, ACP Ike Nwosu, ACP Henry B. Eze and ACP Adewuyi R. Babalola, Those Promoted from DSP level to SP include, SP Elem Amin, SP

George Okoro, SP Chris Uhunmnangho, SP Ibhadode Eromonsele and SP Ajuji Aminu Musa. Others include, SP Innocent Obi, SP Murtala M.Mudi, SP Murtala Isa Sabado, SP Nwali Solomon, SP Musa Rilwanu and SP Udenigwe Joycelin. Also decorated were two Assistant Superintendents of Police to Deputy Superintendents of Police and Six Inspectors to the Rank of Assistant superintendents of Police respectively. Addressing the newly promoted officers, the CP implored them to reciprocate the gesture done to them by exhibiting high sense of responsibility, discipline and professionalism in discharging their duties of promoting safety and security in the State. He urged the newly promoted Assisistant superintendents of Po-

lice to utilize the opportunity of the promotion to register for the ongoing confirmation of appointment in order not to lose seniority. Dandaura warned the officers to shun all forms of corruption and incivility to members of the Public, noting that the Command will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against any form of professional misconduct. Responding on behalf of the newly promoted officers, ACP Ahmadu B.Garba thanked the Police Service Commission and the Inspector - General of Police for finding them worthy of the promotion. He thanked the CP for finding time to decorate them despite his tight schedule promising that they will redouble their efforts towards protecting lives and properties in the Federation.

wards ensuring fairness, Justice and expeditious trial. “It is a common knowledge that election petitions are Sui generis, i.e unique procedure of its own, to this end, we expect some amount of decorum, cooperation from all and sundry particularly, the Bar as unnecessary adjournments and undue technicalities should as much as possible be avoided in order to ensure fair and speedy dispensation of Justice. “We will also solicit the support of the media in giving fair and accurate reporting of proceedings. “We assure you of our support and cooperation in ensuring that Justice is not only done but manifestly seen to be done. “We will not condone undue inter-

ference, undue influence and consideration of any form. We shall do our duties without fear or favour, affection or ill will,” Akanbi said. In his remarks, the Chairman of Yola NBA, Mr Aji Kamale, assured the tribunal of lawyers support and commitment for speedy dispensation of justice. In his remarks on behalf of security agencies, Adamawa Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed Sani, said the police was committed to providing adequate security during the tribunal sittings. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the tribunal had received 19 cases comprising two for Senate, seven for House of Representatives, and 10 for House of Assembly. (NAN).

Adamawa tribunal warns against attempts to influence members

T

he Adamawa Election Petition Tribunal, on Monday held its inaugural sitting in Yola with a warning against any attempt by anyone or group to compromise the tribunal. Speaking at the inaugural sitting in Yola, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Suleiman Akanbi, said the tribunal was committed to justice and fairness to all concerned. Akanbi said the tribunal has no agents and anyone who approach the public in the name of the tribunal was on his own. “We don’t entertain phone calls, no text messages; we are here to do justice, we have our names to protect,” Akanbi said. He urged for support of the public, members of the bar and media to-

helping the state when they withdraw their petitions, saying that he suffered suck fate when he faced 19 court cases for the period of four years he was Governor, and therefore would not want Ihedioha to pass through same horrible experiences and distractions. Noting that continuing with the court cases would be inimical to the progress of the state, Ohakim explained that it would scare away development partners and other investors because investors do not invest where there are litigations. He said the numerous litigations he faced was the reason the foreign partners for the refinery project located at Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area pulled out. He observed that Ihedioha is coming to lead in a collapsed state and therefore does not need distractions but prayers and support from all and sundry. He said that Ihedioha possesses the qualities needed to deliver and called on the members of the Inauguration Planning and Handover Committee to be good representatives of the Governor-Elect in their communities and and wards. However, the Governor-Elect, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, has commended Dr. Ikedi Ohakim for his display of the spirit of sportsmanship, assuring that Imo State will rise again under his watch.

FAAN speaks on casualties in Owerri Airport fire

T

he Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has said that there were no casualties in the fire incident that occurred at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri, on Monday. The General Manager, FAAN’s Corporate Affairs, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the video circulating on the social media was fake. The Monday fire outbreak, which affected parts of the terminal building, started at about 2.00p.m but was “swiftly curtailed” by officers of the FAAN. Yakubu said the fake video was from a petrol tanker accident from somewhere, adding that it was the handiwork of mischief makers. “The attention FAAN has been drawn to a false and malicious video presently trending online to the effect that there were casualties in the unfortunate fire incident that occurred at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri yesterday (Monday). “The Authority will like to state unequivocally that there was no casualty, as the fire was swiftly curtailed by officers of our Aerodrome Rescue and Fire Fighting Services. “The Authority will like to advise those spreading this falsehood to desist from such acts in their own interest,” she said. Yakubu added that all airports in the country under the management of FAAN were adequately equipped with fire service and other emergency equipment. ‘‘FAAN is committed to her core values of safety, security and comfort,” she added.


19

BU$IN£SS The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

•Energy •Finance

•Stock

•Insurance

•Aviation

•e-Platform

Economy worsens, Nigeria sinks deeper into debt

•Tourism

Energy

Oando shrinks to 3 SBUs, posts strong 2018 results P24 e-Platform

Teleology: ‘Court did not void sale of 9mobile’ The most miserable economies By SOPURUCHI ONWUKA

A

CBN Exchange Rates APRIL 9th, 2019 Currency

Buying(NGN)

Central (NGN) Selling(NGN)

CFA 0.5033 US DOLLAR 306 POUNDS STERLING 401.9616 EURO 343.485 SWISS FRANC 306.337 YEN 2.7464 CFA 0.5053 WAUA 424.2929 YUAN/RENMINBI 45.5579 RIYAL 81.5848

Nigeria was projected to rise, blaming the government for failing to translate the country’s resource wealth into rising living standards. Earlier in March 2018, the IMF also pointed at rising unemployment as the reason for worsening poverty in the country. Later in August, visiting Prime Minister of United Kingdom, Mrs Theresa May, deplored massive hunger across the Nigerian population, worrying that only few privileged citizens enjoyed the nation’s huge resource wealth. She also expressed concern at the population of poor people living in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, saying, “Most of the world’s poorest people are Africans. And increasing wealth has brought rising inequality, both between and within nations. “For example, much of Nigeria is thriving, with many individuals enjoying the fruits of a resurgent economy. Yet 87 million Nigerians live on less than $1.90 a day, making it home to more very poor people than any other nation in the world.” Just last Monday, reports released by the World Bank painted a depressing image of the Nigerian economy, stating that the economy has never done well in the past 24 years. The bank which released the economic score card of most strategic economies of the world classified Nigeria among nations in the bottom tercile of slipping economies having posted decelerating median economic growth rate that slipped from 5.4 percent per annum between 1995 to 2008 to 1.2 percent in the period between 2015 to 2018. The report also advanced a forecast which situates Nigerian in the

307.3381 2.7553 0.5253 425.6795 45.7076 81.8514

P26

Travel

WTTC launches global task force on human trafficking P27

Insurance

Reps raise alarm over discrepancies in N33bn pension deductions P28 Equity & Capital Market

Capacity building, partnership on-going with S/Korea to get it right – SEC P29

Cont’d on Page 19

Stock Market Highlights As At 9th april, 2019

Summary

ASI DEALS VOLUME 0.5133 0.5233 VALUE 306.5 307 EQUITY CAP 402.6184 403.2752 BOND CAP 344.0463 344.6075 ETF CAP

306.8375 2.7509 0.5153 424.9862 45.6328 81.7181

slipping economies with 2.1 percent growth in 2019, pointing at stagnant oil production volumes, low investments in the sector on account of fiscal uncertainty, as well as policy uncertainty, high inflation and infrastructure deficits in the non oil sector. The report also indicated that production in the manufacturing sector would also be limited by weakening purchasing capacity in the economy as household consumption remains subdued. It pointed at constraints to private investments in the economy to include multiple exchange rates, foreign exchange restriction, low private sector credit growth and infrastructure challenges. The forecast holds that the Nigerian economy would remain in the slipping state below 3.0 percent growth till 2021 as constraints continue to contend with resilience. The latest World Bank report also reinforces recent classification of the country as sixth worst economy in the global misery index by the team of analysts at FocusEconomics. “The misery index is an economic indicator calculated by simply adding the unemployment rate to the inflation rate. Despite its rather simple calculation, it is useful in determining how the average citizen in a given country is doing, as higher rates of unemployment and inflation are associated with increased socioeconomic issues for a country,” the team says. In the 2019 misery index, FocusEconomics places Nigeria as the sixth most horrible economies to live in,

NUMBER of performance indices generated with assorted tools used by various global institutions to monitor country growth profiles project bleak outlook for the Nigerian economy, showing misery and hunger as the country plunges deeper into the debt abyss. The World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a host of other globally reputable financial analysts and financial advisory consultants have all chorused the need for the country to deploy more efficient policy measures in raving up the economy to save Africa’s largest population from misery. Misery at home has been roundly blamed for the desperate moves by Nigerian citizens at home and in diaspora to escape poverty at all costs, leading to high profile crime, socio-security crises and communal clashes as large number of people scramble for limited opportunity. Ultimately, human life becomes cheap at times of strife. Although there have always been little precision gaps in the product of analyses advanced by the various teams of analysts that sound alarms on the worsening state of Nigerian economy, their regular convergence on the same positions have been very striking, solidifying concrete evidences that the successive governments have totally failed to lay the foundation for the economy to thrive. Every sector of the economy is failing: infrastructure is inadequate and dilapidated; access to electricity is lowest in the world with only paltry 3000 megawatts of unstable supply

for over 180 million people; transportation is unorganized, unregulated and unsafe; maritime business is conducted from one major quay for the whole country; aviation sector has one of the world’s highest mortality rates for airlines; and manufacturing sector suffers acute sub-optimization. The finance industry has also suffered rapid liquidity crises following activity downtimes across key sectors of the economy. Government interventions have been regular in the sector in terms of reforms and policy tweaks to salvage depositors’ and shareholders’ funds in failing banks. Thus, government has regularly brokered mergers and acquisitions to keep institutions up. The petroleum industry which funds government’s unrestrained spending spree is also enmeshed in debilitating fiscal and security crises. The situation has weakened the capacity of the public and private sector to provide employment for the country’s booming youth population. And the inevitable outcome is pervasive poverty. Last June, World Poverty Clock and compiled by Brookings Institute indicated that Nigeria has overtaken India as the country with the largest number of people living in extreme poverty, with an estimated 87 million Nigerians, or around half of the country’s population, gauged to be living on less than $1.90 a day. Data compiled by the World Poverty Clock was drawn from both household surveys and new projections on country economic growth from the International Monetary Funds’ World Economic Outlook. The report stated that poverty in

S/N

29,149.46 3,634.00 374,026,184.00 N3,057,257,127.99 N10,948,759,970,801.20 N10,568,156,819,587.70 N5,550,177,217.78

Coy (By Volume)

STERLNBANK CHAMS FBNH UBA GUARANTY

119,718,964 50,233,524 44,585,763 26,934,117 24,072,320

Value(N) N311,311,788.26 N14,060,975.14 N323,135,169.45 N161,941,612.65 N787,994,298.70

5 Top Gainers

Symbols Last Close STANBIC N43.2 GUARANTY N31.55 NB N60 ACCESS N5.6 MAYBAKER N2.3

Current Change %Change N46 2.8 6.48% N34 2.45 7.77% N60.2 0.2 0.33% N5.7 0.1 1.79% N2.38 0.08 3.48%

5 Top Losers NASCON ETI DANGCEM DANGSUGAR NEM

N20 N11.25 N185.5 N13.75 N2.33

N19.05 N10.5 N185 N13.45 N2.1

-0.95 -0.75 -0.5 -0.3 -0.23

-4.75% -6.67% -0.27% -2.18% -9.87


The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

ISSN: 2545-5869

The

racle www.oraclenews.ng

Today

20

VOX POPULI SACRUM

EDITORIAL Once more, a debtor nation

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igeria now owes local and international creditors a whopping N24.38 trillion (almost $80 billion). The figures released by the Debt Management Office (DMO) recently show that every state in the country is heavily indebted too: the states owe a total of N5.5 trillion. Once more, Nigeria is back on a debt trap. The nation that achieved “debt forgiveness” after paying $18 billion to the Paris Club of creditors in 2005 now owes much more than it has ever owed in history. The federal government led by Muhammadu Buhari should be ready to take the blame for this return to “a beggar and debtor nation”, to borrow the phrase used by Gen. Sani Abacha in the coup broadcast of December 31, 1983. It is ironical that it was that coup that brought Buhari to power as head of state of Nigeria after the overthrow of a democratic regime led by Shehu Shagari.

When Buhari took over in 2015, the counflesh. As the 2019 budget shows, we will try’s debt profile was not as bad as it has need to service our debts with about twobecome. It has now doubled! In just three thirds of our revenue this year. Already, the years, Buhari has moved Nigeria’s debt big projects for which the Buhari adminfrom barely N12 trillion to N24.38 trillion. istration said it borrowed from China, are And everyone asks: what has the money contracted to Chinese firms. Going by curborrowed been used for? Is it to build rent trends, Nigeria’s total revenue won’t monorails when the world is talking be enough to service its debts by 2021! This about speed trains? Is it for payment of is bankruptcy starring us in the face. a phantom “fuel subsidy”, which Buhari Life in the country now mimics the Hobpromised to end four years ago? Or is it besian state: laborious, miserable, nasty to fund “medical tourism”? Or is it for and short. From Borno to Zamfara and payment of salaries and allowances to from Kaduna to Lagos and Benue, killings ghost workers? No, payment of the N30, are reported daily. It has become normal 000 minimum wage has not even been to hear that scores of fellow Nigerians begun. are murdered in one night or that armed We cannot have a huge fiscal deficit and yet troops are felled by terrorists. All this is nobody is producing anything for export. the outcome of an economic crisis. It is a This administration is doing nothing to symptom of a failing state. What would encourage local production and exporthe security situation be when there is no tation. Oil price is rising again, but how more money to fund defence budgets and much can Nigeria get from this cash cow security votes? to pay its big debts and still get by? Many Whoever is bankrupting Nigeria should states owe more than N100 billion in be ready to answer questions later. The domestic and foreign debts; a state that younger generation is getting restless – owes N100 billion, even if it is an and frustrated. It is uncharitable to mortoil-producing state that gets a gage their future once more with humonrelatively huge allocation, is on gous debts. the road to bankruptcy already. Our Vision Domestic debts should be paid TO BE among the top five newspapers in Nibefore foreign ones. Only when geria and, in due course, the Numero Uno; contractors and banks are paid to be a newspaper of records that effectivewould they be able to pump ly caters to the information needs of all segmoney into the economy. When ments and sections of the Nigerian society they are not paid, they retrench as well as all social classes and cultures. Esworkers. And everyone loses. sentially, we want to be a responsible corpoWithout purchasing power, rate citizen, a commercially viable, properly organised media business, which meets its Nigerians won’t buy goods sold obligations to society, government and the in markets and can’t pay school workforce. fees. Stock prices will continue to fall. Mission He who goes a-borrowing goes WE INTEND to contribute to the developa-sorrowing, as the saying goes. ment of an inclusive Nigerian society, with a But is anybody worried about this view to getting rid of the dark sides of our prognosis? Or are the politicians national life (slothfulness, greed, corruption, nepotism, totalitarianism, etc); to continually still arguing over elections and how to share the “national cake” engender and sustain national debates that would ultimately lead to the enthronement among people who do nothing of healthy national values--hard-work, justice, and contribute nothing? There equity and fairplay, transparency, good govis every indication that the naira ernance, resulting, in themselves, the egaliis set to get devalued again. And tarian Nigerian society of our dream. We will the misery of Nigerians would give voice to the voiceless and at all times, worsen. The number of Nigerians strive to be balanced, objective, honest, truthliving below the poverty line now ful and fair to all sides; so that through The Oracle Today, our people, the Nigerian peois said to be 90 million, but we ple can see a bright light at the end of what believe the actual figure is much has been a very dark tunnel. And we shall do higher. all this in absolute trust in God who blesses The creditors will, sooner than good intentions. later, come for their pound of


21

The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

OPINION Nigeria: Predictions of failure (2) By OSCAR ONWUDIWE

A

nyone who has read Harold Smith’s book on Nigeria would realize that while the likes of our great Zik thought we got independence on a platter of gold, it actually came with a built-in programme, which was designed to make the new sovereign State of Nigeria fail, using tribal misunderstandings and mutual suspicion. Mr. Smith posited that part of the programme was to ensure that our future leaders emerged from those with military background. Why? Because Nigeria was put together by fiat and must be held together by fiat! True to this, we have had 40 years out of 59 years of such leaders. These military men are not bad people; it’s just that MANAGING DIVERSITY has never been one of their strong points. As human beings, our training affects our perceptions and attitude, so you cannot be trained for years in a unitary command structure without it affecting your worldview. It is not surprising, therefore, that by decree 34 of 1966, General Ironsi killed federalism. Then 33 years later, by decree 24 of 1999 General Abubakar gave Nigeria a unitary constitution with lies that we gave it to ourselves and it should be called Federal Constitution, despite the concentration of absolute powers at Abuja. We can decode this programme and install a new one for the benefit of all. Those who wrote the programme that has held us down for years were brilliant enough to know that the most important imperative in hu-

man development is the MINDSET FACTOR. They worked on our minds, hence we have remained on one spot heckling that there is nothing wrong with the engine of Nigeria, that all that is required is a good driver from one tribe or the other to make the vehicle of Nigeria move. Evidence of our ability to change any programme is that in 1911, while trying to defend why he had refused missionaries from establishing schools in Northern Nigeria, Lord Frederick Lugard said: “Western education made the African less fertile, more susceptible to lung troubles and other diseases and defective dentition”. Today, we all know that this is a big lie from the Governor General. The question now remains, when shall we take on the challenge of the other former Governor (Sir Hugh Clifford) who said we lack capacity to rule ourselves. I would give visibility to the quotes from the best paper ever presented by our own former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar GCON on the 30th of July 2016, which was his opinion on the issue of Restructuring Nigeria for greater National Integration and Democratic Stability. In that paper, Alhaji Abubakar defined national integration. Then he said we have only been struggling to live up to this ideal but have not done enough in terms of making the required sacrifices. He talked about the disengagement of a large portion of the population from economic opportunities and also the excessive centralization and concentration of power at the federal level and weak-

ening of the Federating States. Thereafter he said: “It is not a secret that many Nigerians from outside the North hold the view that the main beneficiary of the status quo has been the North, (an undifferentiated North)”, one of the reasons being “what some see as kneejerk resistance from Northern elements to calls for restructuring of the Federation”. He ended by saying that “Nigeria’s unity is under severe stress and Statesmen must rise up to the occasion and proffer solutions that are sustainable and can endure.” He said further: “We cannot tell a person who feels pain that he does not feel pain. Rather we should find out what the person says is the nature of the pain and try to find effective remedies,” noting, as he addressed the Northern Elders gathered, “interestingly, we too feel pain and need urgent remedies.” I need not say more. My friend Barrister Tony Nnadi of LNC is almost losing his voice shouting about the stifling effects of Abdulsalam Abubakar’s Constitution on Nigeria, but the “CHANGE” government seems more committed to resisting CHANGE. If there is life after death, I can imagine Sir Clifford laughing and punctuating his laughter with “I told you Nigerians could never rule themselves; I did not even know that conducting credible elections would also be impossible for them!” We have to prove Lord Lugard wrong by demonstrating that education is, indeed, good for the black man. So, as at today, Nigerian writers have made Nigeria proud before

the World. Nigerian sportsmen/women have made Nigeria proud before the World. Nigerian Professionals in different fields have made Nigeria proud before the World. Nigerian innovators (particularly the youths) have made Nigeria proud. All before the watching world! When will Nigerian politicians make Nigeria proud? When will Nigerian government institutions (particularly those in charge of maintenance of law and order, on which and for which we spend more money) make Nigeria proud? Last time President Buhari visited to address the National Assembly, some politicians kept rudely interrupting his speech. The President paused and reminded the unruly politicians that THE WORLD WAS WATCHING. I was excited to hear that our President knows that the world is watching. I hope he knows how his style of governance is being interpreted by the watching world. How do you fight corruption with a constitution that breeds corruption? Who would take the challenge of proving Sir Clifford wrong? When? How many more Nigerians would die for the ambition of our politicians? When shall we get it right? Nigeria’s failure was predicted in 1922, that is 97years ago. Today, we are more divided than we were back then. The world is watching and it is hoped that our politicians will find shame and be determined to emulate Ghana and Rwanda. . •ONWUDIWE, a Lagos-based legal practitioner is President of Aka-Ikenga

How APC ‘strongmen’ threw guber poll to PDP By EHICHIOYA EZOMON ew Telegraph did a beautiful analysis on Monday, April 1, 2019, on the “ReN surgence of the PDP” in the 2019 general

election, particularly in the governorship poll in which it snatched four states from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) that also lost two incumbent seats. At its December 9, 2017 convention, Uche Secondus, the new National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had predicted only a four-year stay in power for the APC. He said: “By my understanding, the mandate you have given to us today is clear and unambiguous. It is to return our party to power in 2019... Let me assure you great members and leaders of our party that by the grace of God, and with all hands on deck, the brief tenancy of the APC in Aso Rock Villa expires on May 29, 2019. By this, we serve them a quit notice.” To achieve that goal, the PDP literally re-wrote the political rule book. Its chieftains, influential backers, and mandated and self-imposed spokespersons ceaselessly savaged the APC government of President Muhammadu Buhari for alleged failure to advance its agenda for security, anti-corruption and the economy. The party churned out daily multiple statements, and addressed press conferences on “unverified” scheming by the President, APC, law enforcement agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rig the 2019 polls. Although it came short of its target, the main opposition party deserves the plaudits, especially coming from the ashes of the 2015 election, and its crisis of leadership, to record good results. But the touted PDP “resurgence” wasn’t by a dint of hard work, or political sagacity. The party was helped majorly by the division in the APC in most of the 36 states; and this should have been explained, at least, under a subhead in the analysis. Notwithstanding, the APC “loss” in the 2019 election was partly due to a rever-

sal of roles with the PDP. Prior to the 2015 election, many heavyweights of the PDP defected to the newly-formed APC. Former Vice President and presidential candidate of the PDP in this year’s polls, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, led the pack. Others were five governors, Senator Bukola Saraki (now Senate President), and many lawmakers in the National and State Assemblies. Their decamping added to the APC firepower against the PDP that fielded sitting President Goodluck Jonathan, to contest against retired General Buhari, who subsequently carried the day. Coming to the 2019 election, virtually all the bigwigs, who moved en masse to the APC in 2015, returned to their roots. They were Atiku and Saraki; House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara; three Governors, and many lawmakers. In one fell swoop, 15 senators and 37 House members triggered the wave of defections on the floors of the Chambers of the National Assembly. And unlike the “internal strife over tickets for the various elective offices (that) usually polarised the party (PDP) into factions each election year,” ahead of the 2019 polls, the division in the APC was volcanic, with its lava leaving political havoc behind. Three factional national headquarters emerged: The authentic APC secretariat; the New PDP (n-PDP) that led the decamping into APC prior to 2015; and a so-called Reformed APC (R-APC), whose members were body and sole in the PDP, but claimed to remain in the APC, as spoilers. This splintering, replicated in many state chapters of the APC, was complemented by several “candidates” laying claim to the party governorship tickets, culminating in the courts having to determine the “actual” candidate(s) even on the eve of the polls. The INEC, reputed to “pick and choose” the court judgment to obey in listing candidates, was overwhelmed. In Cross River State, it threw up its hands over who, between John Owan-Enoh and Usani Nguru Usani, would stand for the APC, as they

legally battled each other. But INEC finally credited Owan-Enoh on Election Day. This was after the electoral body, assisted by the courts, had barred the Rivers State chapter of the APC from fielding candidates for all elections, save the presidential poll of February 23. An “unknown quantity,” as the PDP described Biokpomabo Awara of the African Action Congress (AAC), barely 48 hours after securing the backing of the APC faction loyal to the Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, polled 173,859 votes against Governor Nyesom Wike’s 886,264 votes. That tells a lot had a “united” APC fielded a candidate! Hours to the general election, the APC in Zamfara State got a court reprieve to field candidates, and it won handsomely. But due to the crisis in the party’s chapter, the Appeal Court has vitiated the results, except those for the presidential exercise. Unless the Supreme Court decides otherwise, things are looking good for the PDP! Meaning the APC, owing to its congresses and primaries, may have lost two states before the 2019 election began. So, the party went into the voting a shadow of itself, which the PDP had foretold in 2017. Let’s take a typical example, Imo State, where the combined votes of the APC candidate, and two members that defected and featured as candidates of other platforms, were enough to vanquish the PDP candidate that emerged victorious. As noted by the New Telegraph, outgoing Governor Rochas Okorocha “was hell bent on having his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, as his successor, even when his party’s national leadership was not disposed to such idea.” In the governorship election, Mr. Nwosu, who decamped to the Action Alliance (AA), scored 190,364 votes. Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, another APC chieftain, who defected to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), polled 114,676 votes. And the APC candidate, Senator Hope Uzodinma, scored 96,458 votes. The scores by the three candidates of AA,

APGA and APC: 190,364+114,676+96,458 equal 401,398 votes, a margin of 127,994 votes over the 273,404 votes secured by former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, who “cashed in on the division in the Imo APC to return Imo State to the PDP fold.” Similar scenarios played out in Abia, Adamawa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu and Taraba where more than one candidate emerged from the primaries. Some that failed to pick the tickets defected to contest under different parties, while others remained to fight their “grievances” in the courts. In the end, the “APC votes” were split, and the party left in the lurch for the PDP to “shine.” • Mr. Ezomon, Journalist and Media Consultant, writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

THE GROUP Managing Editor/COO Felix Oguejiofor Abugu Deputy Managing Editor/COO Sopuruchi Onwuka Chairman Editorial Board Igwebike Mbanefo SE/SS Editor Odogwu Emeka Odogwu Acting BDM Kelechi Nze Head, Graphics & Designs Nnamdi Alex Chukwu Circulation Manager Felix Oti


22

The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

HEALTH

Prostate cancer: Prevention and treatments that work B HEALTH etween 30-50% of all cancers are preventable. Prevention offers the most cost-effective long-term strategy for the control of cancer. National policies and programmes should be implemented to raise awareness to reduce exposure to cancer risk factors and ensure that people are provided with information and support they need to adopt healthy lifestyle. Nearly all dreaded and terminal diseases are lifestyle attributed. Individuals are cautioned to lead lifestyles capable of prolonging and supporting their lives. Lifestyles such as smoking, sniffing, alcoholism, fat-intake, excess sugar, sexual promiscuity leading to sexually transmitted infections are such habits that should be avoided. Prostate cancer growth is driven by male sex hormones called androgens. Lowering levels of these hormones can help slow the growth of the cancer. The most common androgen is testosterone. Testosterone levels in the body can be lowered either by surgical removal of the testicles known as surgical castration or by taking drugs that turn off the function of the testicles, called medical castrations. Which Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) method is used is less important than the main goal, namely, that testosterone levels are lowered. ADT is used to treat prostate cancer and metastatic prostate cancer. Some of the situations in which ADT may be used include: (i) Men with NCCN- based intermediate-risk and high-risk prostate cancer who are having definitive therapy with radiation therapy are candidates for ADT. Definitive therapy is a treatment given with the intent to cure the cancer. Men with intermediate- risk prostate should receive ADT for at least 6 months; those with high-risk prostate cancer should receive ADT for 24 to 36 months. ADT may also be given to men who have had surgery and microscopic cancer cells were found in the removed lymph nodes. ADT is done to eliminate any remaining cancer cells and reduce the chance of the cancer returning. This is known as adjuvant therapy. ADT is necessary as adjuvant therapy when cancer has been found in the lymph nodes after a radical prostatectomy. Specific types of ADT are: Bilateral orchiectomy, LHRH agonists, LHRH antagonists, Anti androgen and combined androgen. The bilateral orchiectomy is the surgical removal of both testicles and was the first treatment used for metastatic prostate cancer more than 80 years ago. Even though, this is an operation, it is considered an ADT because it removes the main source of testosterone production, the testicles. The LHRH agonists is luteinising hormone-releasing hormone. The medications known as LHRH agonists prevent the testicles from receiving messages sent

by the body to make testosterone. By blocking these signals, LHRH agonists reduce a man’s testosterone level just as well as removing the testicles. Unlike surgical castration, the effects of LHRH agonists are often reversible, so testosterone production usually begins again once a patient stops treatment. LHRH agonists are injected or placed as small implants under the skin. Depending on the drug used, they may be given once a month or once a year. When LHRH agonists are first given, testosterone levels briefly increase before falling to very low levels. This effect is known as “Flare”. The flare occurs because the testicles temporarily release more testosterone in response to the way LHRH agonists work in the body. LHRH antagonist is a class of drugs known as gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH) antagonist, stops the testicles from producing testosterone like LHRH agonists, but they reduce testosterone levels more quickly and so not cause flare. The Degarelix (Firmagon) is the widely approved worldwide drug given by injection monthly to treat advanced prostate cancer. Allergic reaction is the side effect of the drug, but is very much manageable. As LHRH agonists and antagonists lower

With Dr. JOHN

NWABUEZE •Calls only: +234-8127227226, Email: ogudoben@gmail.com

testosterone levels in the blood, anti-androgens block testosterone from binding to so-called “androgens-receptors” which are chemical structures in cancer cells that allow testosterone and other male hormones to enter the cells. These drugs are: Bicalutamide (casodex), flutamide (Eulexin) and nilutamide (Nilandron) taken as pills. Anti-androgens are usually given to men who have “hormone sensitive” prostate cancer, still responding to testosterone suppression therapy. Sometimes, anti-androgens are combined with bilateral orchiectomy or LHRH agonist treatment to maximize

the blockage of male hormones. This is because even after the testicles are no longer producing hormones, the adrenal glands still make small amounts of androgens. Many doctors also feel that this combined approach is the safest way to start ADT, as it prevents the possible flare that sometimes happen in response to LHRH agonist treatment. Some, but not all, research has shown that combined androgen blockage can help patients live longer than treatment with just ADT, surgery or LHRH agonist or antagonists. Therefore, some doctors prefer to give combined drug treatment, while others

may only give the combination early in the treatment to prevent the flare. Traditionally, ADT was given for the patient’s lifetime or until it stopped controlling the cancer. Then the cancer was called castration-resistant, meaning that ADT has stopped working and other treatment options were considered. During the past two decades, researchers have studied the use of intermittent ADT, which is ADT that is given for specific times and then stopped temporarily according to a schedule. Using ADT in this way may lower the side effects and improve a patient’s quality of life. Only patients without evidence of metastases are candidates for this approach. Intermittent ADT has not been shown to be equivalent or superior to lifelong in men with metastatic disease. ADT will cause side effects that will generally go away after treatment has finished except in men who have had an orchiectomy. The general side effects of ADT include: Erectile dysfunction, loss of sexual desire, Hot flashes with sweating, Gynaecomastia-growth of breast tissue like that of ladies, Depression, Cognitive dysfunction and memory loss, weight gain, loss of muscle mass and Osteopenia or osteoporosis thinning of the bones. Although testosterone levels may recover after stopping ADT, some men who have had medical castration with LHRH agonists for many years may continue to have hormone effects, even if they are no longer taking these drugs. Another serious side effect of ADT is the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. This metabolic syndrome is a set of conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, high levels of blood cholesterol increases a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Currently, it is not certain how often this happens or exactly why it happens, but it is quite clear that patients who receive a surgical or medical castration with ADT have an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome. The risks and benefits of castration should be carefully discussed with your doctor. For men with metastatic prostate cancer, especially if it is advanced and causing symptoms, most doctors believe that the benefits of castration far outweigh the risks of side effects. Aggressive management of side effects is very important for patients receiving ADT. These include getting regular exercise, quitting smoking, following a healthy diet, supplementing vitamin D and calcium intake and receiving aggressive preventive cardiovascular follow-up care. •Dr. John Nwabueze Calls only: +234-8127227226, Email: ogudoben@gmail.com


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

BUSINESS

Dangote Sugar declares N1.10 dividend per share

•Despite decline in profit Stories by JEROME USHAKANG

D

ANGOTE Sugar Plc has declared a final dividend of N1.10 per share for the financial year ended, December 31, 2018, in spite of depreciation in profit. However, the dividend which was recommended by the Board of Directors of Dangote Sugar Plc is subject to approval by shareholders of the company at the forth coming Annual General Meeting (AGM) in June this year. In a statement notifying the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) the company said come Wednesday, June 19, 2019, the dividends will be paid electronically to shareholders whose names appear on the Register of Members as at Friday, May 31, 2019. It added that appropriate withholding tax, will be deducted after which it will be paid to shareholders on June 19, 2019. Also, dividends will only be paid to shareholders who have completed their e-dividend registration and mandated the Registrar to pay their dividends directly into their bank accounts. According to the statement, the qualification date has been slated for Friday, May 31, 2019,while

the Register of Shareholders will be closed from Monday, June 3, 2019, to Wednesday, June 5, 2019. Dangote Sugar Plc released its financial statements for the year under review, which showed that the company recorded a decline in its profit when compared to previous financial period. The company recorded a revenue of N150.3 billion for the period under review, compared to N204.4 billion in 2017. This represents a 26.4 percent decrease year on year. Profit before tax depreciated from N53.5 billion in 2017 to N34.6 billion in 2018, representing a 35.4 per cent decline year on year. The company’s profit after tax also dropped from N39.7 billion in 2017 to N21.9 billion in 2018. This represents a 44.8 per cent decrease. More so, Dangote Sugar recorded earnings per share of N1.85 in 2018 compared to N3.31recorded in 2017. This represents a 44.1 per cent drop. • Chairman, Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote. Dangote Sugar is one of the major subsidiaries of Dangote Group. The sugar manufacturer is competing with BUA Refinery Limited and Golden Sugar ComHE Securities and Exchange like savings account and after three electronically as a means of reducpany. Meanwhile, Dangote Sugar Commission, SEC, has ap- months they can withdraw their ing the unclaimed dividends profile. pealed to Nigerian youths to money same way as you do with the The SEC boss said that for every Plc is the largest sugar refining account that is mandated all acinvest in the capital market instead banks.” company in sub-Saharan Africa.

SEC advises youth to shun gambling, invest in capital market

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Financial Literacy: Ecobank MD mentors students on skill acquisition, personal budgeting

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HE Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan took out time to mentor students and teachers at Ahmadu Bahago Secondary School, Minna, Niger State in commemoration of this year’s ‘Financial Literacy Day’. In his presentation entitled: Learn. Save. Earn, the Ecobank Managing Director enjoined the students to imbibe basic financial principles at an early stage of their life which will help them to manage their resources effectively in the future. He took the students through several topics such as needs and wants; money management techniques; budgeting; spending and saving; different types of financial accounts; merits of saving with a financial Institution; Important banking terms and regulators of the financial sectors, among others. Akinwuntan on the occasion stated that students should be taught and encouraged to imbibe the right skill at an early age to prepare them for choice jobs and also inculcate in them the necessary skills and ability to set up their own businesses. He also stressed that financial literacy at an early age is a must for the younger population to be productive in future. The Managing Director, who also spoke on budget principles as a way to enhance financial planning said, “Budgeting can help you to distinguish between wants and needs? It is creating a plan for how you spend your money. Writing down how much you have and how much the things you need will cost, thus, allowing you to see what is left over for the things you want. It also stops your impulse purchases and help you to save.” Over 80 students attended the training while three students were presented with prizes. In addition, a

team from a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), known as Ja-Nigeria Limited, as well as CBN partner in the project led by Mr Mavi Utomudo. The Financial Literacy Day initiative is set up by the Bankers’ Committee through its Financial Literacy and Public Enlightenment Sub-Committee (FLSC) for children and youths in primary and secondary schools, public and private nationwide with the aim to educate them on financial literacy. During the period of Financial Literacy Day , top management of Banks go to different schools to tutor and mentor students and youths on basic money management skills. The Principal of the school, Alhaji Abdul Aliyu in his response, commended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Ecobank for choosing the school, stating that they would put to use what they were taught. He noted that the “interactive session provided opportunity for the students and teachers to ask pertinent questions about financial literacy and its benefits”. Akinwuntan was represented at the event by Head, Corporate Banking, FCT/North, Isah Salifu.

According to her, “You don’t have to go and gamble, there are so many products in the capital market that they can invest in rather than going to gamble and losing their money. We have various products that are very attractive where they can invest their money.” The Acting DG disclosed that the Commission has commenced investor education and enlightenment for Nigerians to understand the benefits of these funds which gives more interest than saving money in bank accounts. She also urged those have already invested in the market to fill e-mandate form and submit it to their Registrars so as to claim their dividends

crued dividends is automatically paid. Then, there is the use of regularization of multiple accounts. “We discovered that while dividend is growing and it is increasing unclaimed dividends, the pace is not as satisfactory as when we observe that multiple accounts which have not been claimed for many years are still being paid dividends.Those people that have multiple accounts can only lay claim on dividends in one account, all the others will keep warehousing dividends as long as they are not regularized.We therefore urge all those with multiple accounts to regularise such accounts so that they can also claim their dividends”.

HE Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has flagged off an above the line marketing campaign that amplifies the Exchange’s credential as a leading securities exchange that provides investors with varied investment options such as Stock, Fixed Income, Exchanged Traded Products (ETPs) and more. The Exchange in statement said that this is part of efforts targeted at boosting investor education and increase investor participation in the Nigerian capital market,

The campaign with a theme: “The Multi-Asset Sustainable Exchange”, will be featured across print, broadcast, outdoor and digital media. Commenting on the campaign, Head, Corporate Communications, Mr. Olumide Orojimi, said that the campaign is coming against the backdrop of the innovative offerings NSE has birthed since its intentional transformation that commenced in 2011. He emphasized that during this period, the Exchange has achieved phenomenal milestones, deployed

This was disclosed by Deputy Commissioner for Insurance, Technical, Mr. Sunday Thomas, in Lagos, who added that NAICOM has approached SEC and NSE to extend the submission date to allow insurance companies tidy their accounts in line with the (IFRS) 9. On efforts made by the commission to have seamless migration from the IFRS 4 to IFRS 9, Thomas, explained that the commission having issued the IFRS 9 guidelines, had a meeting with Chief Operating Officers of companies to educate them on the workings of the IFRS 9.

He stated that the commission also had one-on-one engagements with the companies to ascertain their level of preparedness, adding that the commission had make the process easy for the underwriters. He stated that IFRS 9 provides significantly improved information because it introduces a structured approach to the classification and measurement of financial assets that reflects the business model in which they are managed and their cash flow characteristics.

cutting edge technology for trading and the use of artificial intelligence to monitor its market; upscale securities in its market with the flagship listing of the first Sovereign Green Bond in an emerging market; establishment of an investors protection fund; launch of a corporate governance rating system and more recently the unveiling of the NSE Sustainability Disclosure Guidelines for quoted companies. Orojimi said, “As the Exchange transits to a demutualized Exchange, its credential as multi-asset securities Exchange will be adequately communicated through series of creative messaging in this campaign. While investors’ appetite for capital market products continues to evolve, this campaign highlights NSE’s offering which transcends stocks. We are committed to driving sustainable products, responsible investment in a market that is orderly and transparent whilst leveraging cutting edge technology.” This commitment is shared by all of our employees who continue to champion the development of new and improved experience for investors in our market. Orojimi added.

of indulging in gambling. Acting Director General of SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk who made the call said that there are various products and funds available in the market that would attract the youth populace in Nigeria. And therefore, encouraged them to take advantages of these opportunities and invest wisely. Uduk said, “We have mutual funds and it covers every asset in the capital market. Whether it is money market, insurance, capital market, real estate, infrastructure among others. The youths can invest in these products, rather than leave their money in savings account; they can also invest in mutual funds. It runs

NSE launches Multi-Asset brand campaign

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NAICOM solicits Insurers’ accounts extension deadline from SEC, NSE

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HE National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has secured approvals from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for underwriters to submit their 2018 financial accounts by the end of April 2019, in contrast to the statutory March deadline. The move is aimed at ensuring that underwriting companies in the nation’s insurance industry comply with the governing rules of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) 9.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

ENERGY

Oando shrinks to 3 SBUs, posts strong 2018 results

•Wale Tinubu

By OPURUCHI ONWUKA

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NDIGENOUS energy firm, Oando Plc, has finally disposed its gas and power business unit with final divestment of remaining interests in the company which is now Axxela Limited. Oando now would be seeking income and profit from remaining business arms: Oando Energy Resources (OER), Oando Trading, and OVH marketing where it has limited equity. Helios Investments Limited had acquired half of Oando Gas and Power (OGP) in September 2016 for $115.8 million (N41.7 billion) and thereafter renamed it Axxela Limited. Helios last week eventually mopped up the remaining Onado interests in the company and has full ownership of Axxela. In the initial divestment, it was agreed that Helios would take 49 percent stake in OGP for $115.8 million or N41.7 billion, Oando would retain 49 percent of the voting rights in OGP, while the residual 2.0 percent would be held by a special purpose entity. According to explanations pumped out by Oando, the deal was based on full appreciation of productive synergy between solid capital base from Helios and strong business expertise from Oando in consolidating Axxela as clear niche leader in the gas and power. At the time of the 2016 divestment exercise, OGP stood tall as one of the leading natural gas distribution network operators in the country and the largest indigenous gas distributor in Nigeria. It was delivering up to 70 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d) at peak to over 175 industrial and commercial customers along its vast gas infrastructure network. And at the time of total divestment last week, Axxela had become a regional player with the status of designated natural gas shipper on the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP). It maintained private sector-leadership of natural gas distribution in Nigeria, and was delivering 80 mmscf/d at peak to over 160 industrial and commercial customers.

Axxela’s business units, including Gaslink Nigeria Limited, Gas Network Services Limited, and Central Horizon Gas Company Limited operate over 280 kilometers of gas pipeline infrastructure. Expectations were that the 2016 divestment would assist Oando grow the OGP faster and position it for greater profitability within the tenure of Helios’ portfolio investment. Instead, both partners declared a $41.5 million or N14.94 billion total cash out by Oando, implying that Helios now holds 100 percent equity interest in Axxela. Axxela Limited declared in a statement that it is now fully owned by Helios Investment Partners after formal acquisition of Oando’s remaining 25 percent interest. “This follows Helios’ initial purchase of a majority stake in Axxela’s gas and power business enterprise in December 2016,” the company stated. The further sell down of Oando’s interest in Axxela in December 2016 was not pronounced, and many who got wind of it mistook it for the earlier divestment in September 2016. Does the total divestment confer any business advantage? Chief Executive Officer of Axxela, Mr. Bolaji Osunsanya, said: “While paying homage to our storied history and legacy, our recognition as being fully owned by Helios gives us global positioning, greater financial flexibility, and access to capital going forward. “As a partner of choice, we have immense pride in the growth, robustness, and stability of our existing business enterprise, enabling us spur the aggressive expansion of our footprint via our audacious growth initiatives in Nigeria and the West African region.” With the full divestment of Axxela, Oando has pruned it business units to just three: OER, Oando Trading and OVH Limited. OVH actually used to be Oando Marketing until Helios and Vitol bought deep into the business and altered the brand identity

reflect the partnership structure. Other business units totally sold or closed by the company include Eastern Horizon Gas Company Limited, Akute Power Limited, Alausa Independent Power Limited and Oando Energy Services (OES) which operated drilling services. Is the company deflating? No. The company’s Group Chief Executive, Mr. Wale Tinubu, thinks that the company is on course to strategic growth with more focused and calculated alignment of resources with core bussiness operations that yield optimum returns. Thus, Oando has been trimming down from rapid bloat after massive diversification from its signature trading and marketing portfolios. From gas distribution to captive power plants, oilfield services, refinery plans and crude oil production, the company’s management had coped with optimization. Riding the surf of soaring oil prices in 2012, the company braved a $1.5 billion adjusted acquisition of Nigerian business interests of fleeing ConocoPhillips. The loan financed acquisition soon met oil price headwinds in 2014, and left the company

struggling with huge loans amidst low market returns. The situation forced Oando into rapid portfolio realignments which imposed the option of divestments as the management scrambled and foraged for cash to meet the cost of funding. In a series of partnership agreements with a number of portfolio investors, Oando conceded its controlling interests in its downstream marketing businesses and totally sold off some fringe commercial entities in gas, power and infrastructure. The company has since left no one in doubt that it is consolidating its positions in exploration and production. The company had last year declared that its exploration and production unit, OER, and its trading unit, Oando Trading, would now form the two core business areas that would sustain profitability, aid rapid recovery and lead growth in the medium to long term. The two business arms in which Oando holds full ownership, according to Mr. Tinubu, would define the future of the group. Thus, revenues from stake sell downs and divestments, according to company sources, went into consolidation of upstream positions and capturing more spaces in trading. Crude oil lifting contract for the export of Nigerian crude oil and importation of refined petroleum products form the core businesses of Oando Trading, inside sources explain. The company has consistently emphasized that it would remain strong in the list of preferred participants in the crude oil term contracts and associated products swap arrangements with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Mr. Tinubu states that the company’s realignment of portfolios entailed sacrifice of low revenue ends of the business for consolidation of the core profit centres. The Oracle Today gathered that

The company had last year declared that its exploration and production unit, OER, and its trading unit, Oando Trading, would now form the two core business areas that would sustain profitability, aid rapid recovery and lead growth in the medium to long term

Oando Plc seeks to boost crude output from operated assets where projections show increased potentials. With over 470 million barrels of proven reserves and interests in 14 exploration licences OER is being positioned to drive production growth to over 75, 000 barrels per day in the next five years. So, despite the daring upstream acquisitions, subsequent divestments and sell downs, Oando appears to post stronger performance figures, indicating positive outcomes from calculated deployment of greater energy and resources in business segments that offer best returns on invested funds. In its 2018 financial report, Oamndo posted 37 percent rise in turnover from N497.4 billion in 2017 to N679.5 billion, pointing at recovering oil prices and increasing production numbers. The company’s gross profit increased by 9.0 percent, from N88.1 billion in 2017 to N96.3 billion in 2018, while profit after tax jumped by 46 percent from N19.8 billion in 2017 to N28.8 billion. Total group borrowings also decreased by 11 percent, from N237.4 billion in 2017 to N210.9 billion, while long term group borrowings decreased by 23 percent, from N 99.6 billion in 2017 to N76.8 billion. According to Mr. Tinubu, “Our 2018 results demonstrate the solid foundation we have built across volatile commodity price cycles, and our ability to deliver profitability despite a challenging local operating environment. Over the last few years, we have developed a reliable platform for future growth through the execution of a corporate strategy designed to streamline our operations, reduce our debt and optimize our asset portfolio. Our asset base is delivering strong free cash flows as evidenced by a 70 percent reduction in our Upstream Borrowings since the closure of our landmark acquisition of ConocoPhillips’s Nigerian asset in 2014. We remain confident in our ability to deliver significant value to shareholders in the years ahead as well as resuming our dividend payments.”


25

The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

ENERGY

FG expects N36 tr investments in oil projects Stories by SOPURUCHI ONWUKA

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ERVICE providers in the Nigerian petroleum industry now have opportunity to explore job openings in over 80 that host about $100 billion (N36 trillion) of contract packages. To make it easier, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) which promotes use of local goods and services in execution of petroleum industry contracts will now create networks and timelines for identified projects in the sector. Besides, host community stakeholders could also muster capacity by forming cooperatives for building and operating modular refineries to displace the illegal refineries that devastate the envi-

ronment in the Niger Delta. At the just ended second edition of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair (NOGOF) organised by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, the Executive Secretary, Mr. Simbi Wabote, declared that operating companies in the country are working on work plans to roll out over 80 projects in the short to medium term. He said the projects hold estimated cumulative value exceeding $100 billion or N36 trillion. The projects which are listed in the Compendium of Nigerian Content Opportunities in the Oil and Gas Industry launched at the event cover the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors

of the Nigerian petroleum industry. According to the board, the projects compiled in the compendium were collated from presentations by various oil and gas companies at the first edition of NOGOF in 2017 and updated at workshops organised by the board in October 2018. Mr. Wabote explained that the compendium was intended to create a database of Nigerian Content opportunities and help indigenous and potential investors prepare, improve their capacities and capabilities to participate in available and upcoming contracts and projects. Minister of State for Petroleum

Resources, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, stated at the event that government would continue to support the development of small scale refineries by host community investors as creative and productive way of ending crude oil theft, vandalism and environmental degradation. He hinted that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources would develop a policy that would encourage persons living in oil producing communities to form cooperatives, with which they can set up and own modular refineries. “We would have some agreements with them to stop the sabotage. We can work with NCDMB to put in a bit of funding. Then we put in technical know-how,

business structure around it and have a major shareholder who is an entrepreneur. That way the locals get to participate, get jobs, polish their skills sets, crude is paid for and not stolen and the environment is better dealt with,” he explained. He called on players in the industry to accelerate activities and beat the time lines for peak in the race against cleaner energy options. The minister pointed out that the industry must leave behind infrastructure legacies in the oopetrating environments, adding oil bearing communities should be well developed with proceeds from the sale of

NNPC depots soaked with petrol

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IGERIAN National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has declared that it has abundance of fuel stock across its storage facilities across the country, defusing fears of scarcity spread in some media reports. The corporation advised motorists and other petroleum products consumers not to engage in panic buying, saying there is enough petroleum products stock in 55 depots across the country. Corpotrate spokesman, Mr. Ndu Ughamdu, stated that 23 depots in Lagos, seven in Port Harcourt, 11 in Warri, six in Calabar and eight in Kaduna were fully stocked with white products. He also said delivery of 50 mil-

lion litres of petrol was underway, assuring Nigerians of an eventful Easter period. He also warned depot owners or terminal operators not to sell petrol above the official ex-depot price of N133.28k per litre, and marketers not to sell above N145 per litre. NNPC declared that the subsisting ex-depot petrol price of N133.28k per litre was consistent with the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency’s (PPPRA) template. He advised Nigerians to remain vigilant and volunteer information to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Industry regulator or to any law enforcement agency around them, on any station which sells petrol beyond N145 per litre.

Seplat wins NCDMB’s award for impactful local content initiatives

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EPLAT Petroleum Development Company Plc has emerged as the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board’s (NCDMB) most impactful independent upstream operating company for its local content initiatives at the Nigeria Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair (NOGOF) held at the new NCDMB headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. The NOGOF is an initiative of the NCDMB held from April 4 to April 5 this year, and was themed: “Maximising Investments in the oil and Gas Industry for the Benefit of the Nigerian People”. The two-day programme had in attendance major players across the upstream, midstream and downstream sub-sectors of the pe-

troleum industry as well as government agencies, industry regulators and the National Assembly. It was aimed at showcasing opportunities in the oil and gas industry and expose available in-country capacity to all stakeholders. The Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr Simbi Wabote, while presenting the award, congratulated Seplat for the achievement as the Company received accolades from many other stakeholders present at the event. The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, in his address, commended the Executive Secretary on this initiative while reiterating that the essence of the fair was to find lasting solution to current challenges bedeviling the industry.

Nigeria leads $30 bn African downstream investments

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OBUST private investments in the Nigerian fuel storage depots, distribution logistics, terminals, jetties and retail assets would account for significant portion of the cumulative $30 billion or N10.8 trillion investments being pushed into African downstream petroleum industry. According to the African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARA), other countries seeing massive investments in downstream assets, logistics and facilities are South Africa, Morocco and Angola. Speakers at ARA’s annual conference in Cape Town pointed at growing fuel demand in the continent where population and economic growth propel transportation needs

at galloping rate. Africa’s fuel demand grows at about 4.0% a year for petrol and diesel, trailing similar patterns in economic development underpinned by increase in population, improved efficiency, communications, higher energy budgets. In the refining sector, that has faced many challenges, there are green shoots of investment; most notably the huge Dangote Refinery in Nigeria, which is progressing fast, with refining units soon to be installed. On completion, this facility will massively alter the profile of fuel supply in Africa, but it will, in effect, just slow down the level of imports that remain essential as the continent continues to grow.

•President Kadcima, Mrs. Muheeba Farida Dankaka (left), with GMD NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru during NNPC Day at 40Th Kaduna Intl, Trade Fair.

ExxonMobil, Total, NLNG sign FID on projects

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HREE of the nation’s biggest investors in the petroleum industry, ExxonMobil of the United States of America, Total of France, and Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited, will sign cheques this year for execution of three separate development projects in the country. According to revelation by the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Simbi Wabote, the development plans would provide job opportunities for local contractors in the petroleum industry. He said Total would take final investment decision (FID) on the development of operated Ikike field in the next few weeks. He added that ExxonMobil was also working on plans for the development of operated Ibot field, saying the company would sign FID also in weeks. The NLNG Limited, according to him, is already working towards FID on its seventh liquefaction train before the end of the year. “Two years ago when we held this workshop we talked about ExxonMobil’s Ibot, Total’s Ikike and NLNG Train 7. Today they are going through the funnel and within the next few weeks they would take Final Investment Decisions (FIDs) on Ikike and Ibot and before the end of the year they would take FID on Train 7. We focus and follow through on those opportunities. Every two years we roll on new opportunities and add to the compendium.” Mr. Wabote said the FIDs are part

of the list of investment flows projected to generate project value of over $100 billion or N36 trillion in the board’s medium to long term project delivery plan. In his comments, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, called on government agencies involved in interface with the operating companies to work towards speedy execution of all necessary deeds and agreements for early delivery of the projects. He stated that the speedy development of the projects and associated job opportunities would require the roles and contributions of various entities, including the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) for ap-

provals, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for negotiations and the oil companies, who would take FIDs, among others. He promised that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources would midwife a special arrangement that would involve every agency of government and entity that has a role to play in the approval and development of the identified projects. “We must avoid a situation whereby NCDMB might work very fast and gets to the goal post and others are just taking off. We would create an arrangement that involves everybody and be clear about the deliverables, timelines and opportunities and bring out something which everyone can then drive.”

•Joins the divestment train?

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NVESTORS are sniffing for a whiff of opportunity from the rumours making rounds that Nigeria’s offshore champion, ExxonMobil, might want to cash out from any of its petroleum assets in the country. The anxiety follows reports, which the company has not confirmed, that the US supermajor is working on plans to divest interest from some assets in the country. The first story which is traced to Reuters cited industry and banking sources as saying that the firm has plans to take cash out of Nigeria to boost investments in home continent. The assets, according to the reports involve a number of oil and

gas fields on the coasts of Niger Delta, and the company’s cumulative cash targets from the sales is estimated to approximate some $3.0 billion or N1.08 trillion. The potential disposals are expected to include stakes in onshore and offshore fields and could raise up to $3 billion, two sources said. According to secondary sources, ExxonMobil officials did hold talks in recent weeks with several Nigerian companies to gauge their interest in the fields. One source in the Reuters report said that the company would soon open a data room which would provide technical information on the fields, such as seismic and production details.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

e-Platform

Teleology: ‘Court did not void sale of 9mobile’ M Stories by VICTOR NZE

ANAGEMENT of Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited (EMTS) has said the ruling recently delivered by the Federal High Court siting in Abuja did not amount to a nullification of the sale of its company, 9mobile to Teleology, as being reported across media platforms. EMTS in a statement signed by the Company Secretary/ Legal Adviser, 9mobile, Mr. Ore Olajide, therefore, described such reports as ‘incorrect, and a total falsehood.’ “Management of Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited (EMTS) is aware of the

news publication being circulated on online news platforms that the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has nullified the sale of EMTS to Teleology Nigeria Limited. EMTS hereby states that these news reports are incorrect, misleading, mischievous and a total falsehood. “The Federal High Court, Abuja did not nullify the sale of EMTS; the court on 1st April 2019 made an order for parties to maintain status quo as at April 25, 2018. As at the said date, EMTS (9mobile) was not a party to the suit before the court. The action before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court is not about the sale of EMTS (9mobile) but rather, the transfer of the license even without locus standi.

“EMTS (9mobile) has however appealed the order and also sought an injunction pending appeal at the Court of Appeal,” Olajide said. Clarifying on the recent reports, Olajide said: “The sale of 9mobile to Teleology Nigeria Limited has not been nullified. The court made

an order to maintain status quo as at April 25, 2018 when EMTS was not a party to the suit and we have appealed the ruling as well as sought an injunction pending appeal at the Court of Appeal”. 9mobile, however, asked its subscribers and all stakeholders to ‘remain calm as matters are un-

der control and we are working with our team of legal counsels to follow through as deemed necessary.’ “EMTS remains focused on providing best in class telecommunication services to its subscribers and will provide necessary updates in due course.”

Facebook to train female entrepreneurs in 10 Nigerian universities

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ACEBOOK’S Policy Programmes Head in Africa, Sherry Dzinoreva, says the company will intensify its female entrepreneurship training in 10 universities in Nigeria in 2019. Speaking during the ”SheMeansBusiness” dinner in Lagos, Dzinoreva said that Facebook was collaborating with ”She Leads Africa” to intensify female entrepreneurship training in Nigeria. She said that training would be intensified through its ”SheMeansBusiness” programme that was launched in Nigeria in 2018. According to her, the company trained over 4,000 female entrepreneurs in the country in 2018, through the SheMeansBusiness programme. ”We are going to continue to train thousands of women as well this year. Not very different from what we did last year, the only difference this year is that we are going into university as well. ”So we are going to be crossing 10 different universities across the country, as well as continuing to train female entrepreneurs. ”The ideas of the programme is for women to come together to learn how to use digital platforms to grow their businesses, but in doing so, we also have a number of other types of engagements. ”And as they do this, there are opportunities to network and learn how to actually grow their businesses. ”This year, we are bringing financial literacy into the programme as well. it is opportunity to empower and support female business owners and aspiring female business owners,” she said. Dzinoreva said that there was no specific criteria to engage on the programme, but just the entrepreneurial spirit of women who were either aspiring or existing entrepreneurs. She said that Facebook felt that there was definitely a need to do something a bit different for the women. ”There is something about creating spaces for women because we know that when women are doing well, their communities are doing well. ”When women are doing well; their families are doing well, businesses, industries are doing well and ultimately, the economy is driving as well. ”So we wanted to create a programme that was exclusively for women who were either one of you or are women who are thinking about opening a business and

just need a little bit of inspiration,” Dzinoreva said. The Director, Public Policy Africa at Facebook, Ebele Okobi, said that there was the need for women to be in charge of their destinies, as it would affect the nation. Okobi said that Facebook was interested in ensuring that women used its platforms – Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp – to create economic independence. The Co-Founder, She Leads Africa, Afua Osei, said that this was the company’s third year of working with Facebook on a programme to teach, train and support women entrepreneurs. ”And last year, we had the opportunity to work on a programme that was just focused on women, understanding the unique challenges, as well as opportunities for women entrepreneurs. ”We changed more than 4,000 women all across Nigeria. So we are so excited that our training continued to have a serious impact in helping women all across Nigeria. ”This year we are going to drive around in Nigeria, and we are going to get 10 universities all across the country. ”We know that young people are entrepreneurial, they are excited, but they don’t really have that much money. So we are going to teach them how to start getting into businesses with a little cash, ”We are going to bring the training and the expertise to them, so that they can have that experience on their campuses,” Osei said.

•President, Ethiopia Fintech Association, Hohete Arefeaine (left); Ugandan minister, Twamuhabwa Wilson; Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Dr. Vera Songwe; President, Africa Fintech Network, Dr. Segun Aina; and Chief Executive Officer, EFInA, Esaie Diei, at the launch of the continental fintech umbrella body at the 52nd session of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, in Marrakech, Morocco.

Africa’s digital economy needs cross-border cooperation to succeed -- Expert

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FRICA still lags behind the rest of the world in its digital transformation, and in spite of a growing number of innovative solutions, the ongoing lack of adequate infrastructure and connectivity is preventing the continent from realising its true economic potential. The best and fastest way to overcome these barriers, may lie in heightened cooperation between countries and their various regulators. This is according to James Claude, CEO of Global Voice Group (GVG) (www.GlobalVoiceGroup.com) – a provider of IT solutions to governments and regulatory authorities – who says that while many countries in Africa are individually working to increase their infrastructure and digital capabilities, the most effective solution will be to approach these challenges from a regional perspective. While attending the 5thCrans Montana Forum in Dakhla, Morocco in

March of this year, Claude noted that African governments have a crucial role to play in taking the continent to the next stage in its digital evolution. “Businesses, universities and young entrepreneurs are increasingly contributing to the digital economy and fostering innovation in Africa. Governments now need to work towards helping these private sector players to grow their solutions more rapidly and affect real change on the continent. This will require harmonising regulations that allow businesses and services to expand beyond country borders.” Africa’s potential as a global leader in the world’s digital economy grows significantly with each passing year. Africa’s population is increasing exponentially, and is expected to reach between 1.379 billion and 1.486 billion by 2025. In addition to this, the market penetration of digital technology is accelerating. Importantly, it

ria has been saving a minimum of N24.7billion monthly, just because of the implementation of this IT software. “In addition, look at the confidence of our citizens today it has improved significantly in Nigeria, because many people today have trust in online banking.’’ The director general said IT had further enabled Nigerians to obtain International Passports, book appointment for biometrics online. According to him, the Corporate Affairs Commission had automated its system, to enable companies get registered online without going to the organisation’s office. Furthermore, he said IT had enabled Nigerians to run online courses without physically attending institutions. Pantami urged all public institutions to effectively utilise In-

formation Technology for exchange of knowledge, boost creativity and inclusion. He said low internet connectivity, lack of digital skills, low integration of business technology with IT as well as non-digitalisation of some public institutions accounted for huge loss of government revenue. He warned that institutions which remained non-proficient in IT deployment were likely to be expired by 2020. He further cautioned that public institution defaulters of IT clearance from NITDA would be punished through the agency’s laws and with directives from the Presidency. The DG, therefore, urged all public institutions to strive to create IT action plans, retain good IT staff while attracting more world class IT experts especially the indigent ones in foreign countries.

FG saves N24.7bn monthly through IT – NITDA

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IRECTOR General, National Information Technology Development (NITDA), Dr Isah Pantami, says the Federal Government saves N24.7 billion monthly, through deployment of information technology. Pantami made the disclosure at the “March 2019 Lunch Time Reform’’ seminar organised by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms on Thursday in Abuja. “Under E-Governance today, so many leakages in government institutions have been blocked by IT (Information Technology) and that has integrated even the revenue of our country. “With the implementation of Treasury Single Account (TSA) and Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and BVN, the Federal Government of Nige-

is predicted that half of Africa’s entire population is expected to own smartphones by 2020, which already goes a long way towards overcoming infrastructural barriers to digital transformation and connecting people and services online. “Building on this, mobile money platforms such as M-Pesa has fundamentally changed the way that money is circulated on the continent. E-commerce is also growing rapidly as a result of mobile money, with online retailers that accept mobile money payments even providing people without bank accounts access a greater variety of goods. Similarly, small and medium businesses are able to increase sales and overcome many infrastructure restraints.” Claude explains that governments across the continent must build on this by creating more digital services based in Africa, facilitating more local tech companies, and continuing to invest in education and incubators that allow citizens to fully access and benefit from digital transformation. “Equally vital, is to ensure that regulators in every region and country have the visibility, transparency and the necessary data to make informed decisions that will help the digital economy across the different jurisdictions. This is an area in which GVG already has a lot of experience, having pioneered the regulatory technology solution, RegTech on the continent.” GVG has been helping regulators and government agencies to play a proactive and relevant role in developing their digital agenda. “Our solutions provide key data that help regulators to migrate from paperbased institutions to digital ones. We will continue to play this role, and focusing on Big Data for better regulation, compliance monitoring, revenue assurance, fraud prevention and also Digital Identity.


The Oracle Today Wednesday April 17, 2019

Travel & Hospitality

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WTTC launches global taskforce on human trafficking Stories by VICTOR NZE

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ORLD Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has announced the formation of a global taskforce to help prevent and combat human trafficking – an illicit activity that affects 30 million victims worldwide and relies on travel networks to operate. The taskforce comprises WTTC members and sector associations to become the first global industrywide initiative to assert zero tolerance and share best practice. As an industry, human trafficking is worth $150 billion annually and contributes heavily to modern slavery in which 40 million people worldwide are entrapped. Onequarter of trafficking victims worldwide are children (or 5.5 million). Meanwhile, 19% of victims are trafficked for sexual purposes, which makes up 66% of the illicit income generated. Human trafficking is present virtually everywhere, yet not all criminalize it in all its forms. The WTTC taskforce has thus been established for the purposes of: Prevention: to increase industry and consumer awareness of human trafficking. It is proven the more we know the more can be prevented; Protection: to train employees and travelers on how to identify and report suspected cases. Other are: Action; to encourage

governments to enact legislation which recognizes human trafficking as a crime throughout the entire chain and develop resources and support needs such as national hotlines; as well as Support; to provide assistance, employability training, and employment opportunities to survivors. The founding members of the taskforce include Airbnb, Amex GBT, The Bicester Village Shopping Collection, Ctrip.com International, CWT, Emirates, Expedia Group, Hilton, JTB Corp., Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority, Marriott International, Silversea, Thomas Cook, and TUI. On the formation of the taskforce, Gloria Guevara, President & CEO of WTTC, commented: “Human trafficking is a devastating widespread and critical issue that unfortunately relies on Travel & Tourism networks to operate. As a sector, we must do everything in our power to help eradicate the problem so that people may move freely and safely across the globe, but never coerced. “I am proud to today launch this vital taskforce comprised of the world’s most powerful travel leaders from across hotels, retails, airlines, cruise, technology, finance, and destination management, and are wholly committed to preventing trafficking, protecting victims, supporting survivors, and engaging with governments so that this pandemic ends once and for all.”

Aero commences Yola operations, offers N20, 000 promo fare to Lagos

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ERO Contractors has announced the commencement of its Yola operations with a Boeing 737-500 aircraft, as it also dangle an exciting N20, 000 promotional fare from Yola to Lagos as well as the N18, 000 Yola to Abuja fare. The airline, which is repositioning and re-engineering its scheduled and fixed wing operations as it increases aircraft in its fleet, marked its inaugural flight to Yola via Abuja on Tuesday with high load factor. The aircraft arrived at the Yola International Airport at exactly 6:00 pm to a ceremonial water salute by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria firefighters. Passengers on alighting from the aircraft lauded the efficiency of the nation’s oldest carrier, known for its goodwill and safety record. The aircraft had departed Lagos to Yola enroute Abuja on the flight commanded by the airline’s Chief Pilot, Capt. Imoleayo Adebunle. According to passengers who travelled with the flight, the coming of Aero has deepened flight options to travellers desirous of seamless connectivity from Lagos or Abuja to Yola in Adamawa State. Speaking on the commencement of flight to Yola, Interim Station Manager for the airline, AbdulMalik Musa, said the airline decided to make it a night stop in Yola and early morning departure to enable business people meet their morning schedule in Abuja and Lagos. He said it was a deliberate business strategy as Aero is the only airline out of the three other carriers operating to Yola doing night stop

in Yola and morning departure. The Station Manager assured that the airline would continue to provide on-time and excellent in-flight service on the route. According to him, “We are fully prepared for this service. As you can see the aircraft is on ground on schedule from Lagos down to Abuja. That is how we want to keep it. The schedule is morning departure. We commence boarding at 7 am and by 7:30, we are out of this place.

•Air Peace Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Allen Onyema signing an agreement with Vice President, Sales Africa, Embraer Commercial Aviation, Mr. Raul Villaron for the purchase of the airplane maker’s 30 jets during the Embraer Business Meeting with the Aviation World in Port Louis, Mauritius.

ATM to partner with CTO for Akwaaba travel fair

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EST Africa’s biggest travel and tourism fair, African Travel Market, Akwaaba, has signed a partnership deal with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) for this year’s event slated for September 2019. According to the organisers of Akwaaba, the partnership was signed last year at the World Travel Market held in London. The Caribbean Tourism Organisation is the board that represents the tourism board of the Caribbean Islands. At the ongoing Caribbean Tourism Organisations Annual General Meeting (AGM), in Carlton House Terrace, London, Business Development Manager, Akwaaba Travel Market, Laura Dein Gbagbo made a presentation about the upcoming event in September to participants. The CTO members were very ex-

cited to explore the African market for the very first time this year and will be using Akwaaba Travel market as a platform to shore up tourists from the continent and also showcase beautiful tourist’s’ site of the Caribbean Islands. The CTO’s participation at the Exhibitions was announced to partners as part of the Caribbean month’s events of 2019. The AGM witnessed a good turnout of partners from British Airways, the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Antigua and Berbuda, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Dominica, St Vincent and the grenadines, tour operators, Influencers and DMC’s. The AGM also featured a panel discussion moderated by JamieLee Abtar BDM CTO UK Chapter on the Topic, “Under the Influence; Paving the way for Diversity in Travel.

BA, Air France seek extension on new Abuja terminal use

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RITISH Airways and Air France have asked the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to grant them one month extension to move their operations to the new Abuja international terminal. FAAN has issued ultimatum to all foreign airlines operating at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja to relocate their operations to the new international terminal on or before March 31. The request by the two airlines sighted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday addressed to the management of the airport, sought the management’s approval to continue operating at the old terminal until April 30. FAAN’s Regional General Manager (RGM), North Central and Abuja Airport Manager, Mr Sani Mahmud, said that all other airlines had fully complied with directive with exception of Turkish Air, Air France and British Airways. Mahmud said that the British Air-

ways had requested that they be allowed to bring in their IT personnel to carry out check on their connectivity and other installations before relocating to the new terminal. He said that the request has yet to be granted by the management, saying that FAAN had ensured that the terminal was fully ready for all airlines to move in. On Air France, the RGM said the request was also similar to that of British Airways, explaining that the authority had provided all the facilities required for smooth operation of the airlines. He disclosed that Turkish Airline had a peculiar case because of their relocation to the new airport it built in Istanbul, Turkey. Mahmud said that the airline had earlier written to inform FAAN that it would commence flight Operations as from April 7 in the new terminal after their relocation to their new airport in Istanbul from April 2. “British Airways and Air France

have written to ask for extension of time till end of April to enable them to bring in their experts to check the connectivity but the management has not given the approval. “Turkish should have moved if not for the relocation to their new airport in Istanbul but they will move in very soon. “RwandAir, African World Airlines and Lufthansa have all moved before the March 31 deadline. “The delay is not from us because everything required has been provided, the connectivity, the offices and other facilities are all in place,” he said. Of the 13 international airlines operating in Abuja, eight have moved into the new terminal while five are yet to commence operations there. Those that have moved are Asky, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Côte d’Ivoire, Air Peace, Lufthansa, Emirates, AWA and RwandAir. Those yet to move are the British Airways, Air France, Turkish Airlines, Egypt Air and Arik.

Commenting on the deal, CEO of ATM, Mr IKechi Uko, remarked that CTO, the body that promotes tourism to the Carribeans, has never visited Africa before and the 2019 AKWAABA would mark their first visit to Nigeria. ” I am happy they chose AKWAABA from all the tourism events in Africa. This is actually exciting because they are our brothers in the diaspora who have a lot in common with us; this provides us an opportunity to re-engage them and know more about their challenges. ”A lot of Nigerian and African destinations are trying to sell to Nigerians in the diaspora the Badagry slave history, Ife-Yoruba history which links with that of Cuba; this will afford us opportunity to do these,” he said. Uko said as part of the activities lined up for 2019 AKWAABA, there would be an Africa Diaspora Tourism Conference which would be a celebration of 400 years freedom from slavery. He said that during the conference, there would be discussions on how to engage Nigerians in the diaspora and get more of them to visit Nigeria and West Africa. ”2019 AKWAABA has been slated for September 22 to 24 2019; the Africa Diaspora Tourism Conference will hold Sept. 23 when we will have most of our brothers in the diaspora discuss with us their challenges. ”In 2019 AKWAABA, we will still have our programmes that people are already excited about, like the Jollof rice contest which promotes our cuisines. The Jollof rice contest will be between countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Benin Republic and Senegal will be joining the contest this year. ”This year, Ugandan delegates would also be coming because they have shown interest in religious tourism. Generally for the year, we are going to expand those programmes we have been doing over the years,” he said.


28

The Oracle Today Wednesday April 17, 2019

INSURANCE & PENSION

Reps raise alarm over discrepancies in N33bn pension deductions

•Investigates PenCom, PFAs Stories by VICTOR NZE

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OUSE of Representatives has raised an alarm over what it termed as discrepancies in deductions made by in the remittance of N33 billion pension deductions by National Pension Commission (PenCom), even as it also asked the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, to appear before it over the matter. The House also invited the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, to appear alongside Emefiele before its Ad hoc Committee to Investigate the Activities of (PenCom) and its Administrators on Tuesday, April 9. Chairman of the committee, Johnson Agbonayinma (APC-Edo), who gave the directive at a public hearing in Abuja, said the invitation was necessary to clarify noticeable discrepancies in the pension deductions claimed to have been remitted by Aisha Dahir-Umar, Acting Director-General of PenCom. He added that submissions by the apex bank governor and the AGF would guide the committee in wrapping up the investigative hearing. According to him, the outcome of the investigation is in the interest of Nigerian pensioners and the public. ”This ad hoc committee invites the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) to appear before it on Tuesday, April 9, to clarify issues surrounding the money claimed to have been remitted by PenCom,” he said. Meanwhile, the Nigerian Union of Contributory Pensioners (NUCP) has said that “the new pension scheme has compounded, rather than alleviating problems faced by retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme.” In a memorandum submitted to the ad -hoc committee by the union and signed by its leaders, Messrs U.C. Ekpo and Emezuru Eugene, NUCP attributed the problems faced by contributory pensioners to some of the faulty provisions of the 2014 Pension Act (as amended). ”From the look of things, the whole essence of the new pension scheme is to create capital for the Pension Fund Administrators (PFA) to maximise profits and enrich them-

selves. ”Worse still, PenCom, which is empowered to strictly enforce the Pension Reform Act in regulating the activities of PFAs and Pension Custodians, has become a violator of the same Act in many ways,” they said. The union identified alleged unwholesome practices by PenCom to include lack of review of contributors’ pension every five years as provided in Section 173 (3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Others include; persistent delays in payment of retirees’ benefits to over 2 years; lack of standardised template and transparency in computation of lump sums paid after retirement; and gender inequality in the payment of lump sums, which they argued, contravenes the Pension Reform Act. The NUCP further noted that the sum total of anomalies and injustices perpetrated by PenCom in its implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme led to suffering, pain and premature death of pensioners in Nigeria. They, however, called on PenCom to confine itself to its functions as a regulator rather than meddling in the union’s activities. It would be recalled that the House had, after a resolution passed in February, ordered the committee to commence investigations into the activities of PenCom since April 2017 over allegation of violation of the Act establishing the commission and the N9trn pension fund controversy. However, the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOP) had, in two separate letters dated January 28 and April 2, informed the committee that the PFAs would not be able to appear before the committee on January 29 and April 4. PenOp had, in the letters, attributed the reason the PFAs would not attend the meetings ”to prior engagements slated for the same day.” Agbonayinma, who cautioned the PFAs against disobeying the order of the House, said the PFAs and other stakeholders in the industry were deliberately avoiding the ad hoc committee. According to him, the pension association, which the committee did not write letters to or invite, has no right to derail the lawmakers from holding the investigative hearing. ”If they fail to appear before the committee, we would have no op-

Plateau gets State Health Insurance Scheme

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LATEAU State Executive Council presided over by Governor Simon Lalong has approved a bill to establish the State Health Insurance Scheme. State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Chris Ahmadu, made this known to newsmen after the council meeting in Jos on Wednesday. The commissioner said that the bill, which would establish a contributory health management agency when passed into law, would also make it compulsory for citizens to subscribe to the scheme. “Highlights of the contributory scheme is that it will be compulsory for residents of Plateau except those covered under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). ”You will appreciate that health is a very important issue but a lot of us without healthcare plan are always

running into trouble at moments of ill health. “This is supposed to be an insurance, once you are a contributor, when you are ill and you go to a care giver you will be treated at a very minimal cost. “The advantages are enormous, as a beneficiary of NHIS, I can tell you that this is a very fundamental law that will affect the well-being of the people of Plateau. “For instance, once you are a contributor, if you go to the hospital, if your medical bill is N3,000 you may only pay 10 per cent of it and get treatment,” he explained. Ahmadu said that they were aware of some teething problems that NHIS went through but were working towards avoiding them. According to him, the bill is an important piece of legislation that will benefit the people of the state.

tion than to apply the law. That is, we would have to seek to issue bench warrant so that they can be compelled to come to appear before this ad-hoc committee. ”We would do just that to PFAs that refused to appear before this ad hoc committee ànd any organisation, not just the PFAs that are invited but the banks and PenCom,” he said. The lawmaker, who expressed concern over the development, said the committee would not succumb to any deliberate effort to undermine the committee’s work. ”We have been having different issues; people trying to avoid coming to the public hearing. We had our first public hearing. In order for us to continue with our investigation that was slated for Thursday, I believe some people are trying to derail the wheel of the progress of our ad hoc

committee. ”We invited different PFAs, we invited the PenCom, the acting DG, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and many civil societies who submitted document related to the subject matter. ”We never invited the so-called Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp). But we are surprised to be receiving letters; the first one we received before our public hearing telling us that the PFAs will not be able to attend under the umbrella of PenOp. ”There was no time this ad hoc committee wrote a letter to PenOp. They have been representing the various PFAs we have invited, the administrators, some of the banks and the custodians of the funds,” he said. Agbonayinma said the committee

was surprised to receive another letter from the association on April 3 ”writing to us that the pension operators will not be able to attend the investigative hearing slated for tomorrow (April 4).” The legislator, who condemned the act, described the move as ”a plot to derail the wheel of progress of the ad hoc committee.” ”This has to do with the Nigerian people, the workers who have worked and deserved to make sure that whatever money is deducted from their accounts should be put to use and the PenCom must do the needful,” he said. He, however, hinted that since no one has been indicted, the public hearing was ”to serve as an opportunity for the stakeholders to clear the air on issues raised and assure Nigerians that nothing is amiss.”

•(From left): Maureen Ada-Leonard, Education Chairperson, Professional Insurance Ladies Association (PILA), Ugochi Odemelam, Executive Director, Marketing & Business Development, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Olaotan Soyinka, MD/CEO, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc and Ose Oluyanwo, President, PILA, during the courtesy visit of the Association to the Corporate Head Office of the underwriter in Lagos

PTAD pays civil service pensioners 6 months 33% pension arrears

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ENSION Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has approved the immediate payment of six months arrears of 33 per cent increase in pension for Civil Service Pensioners, a statement from PTAD says. The statement released, Wednesday, said the Executive Secretary of PTAD , Sharon Ikeazor, approved the payment. Ikeazor said a total of N2. 6 billion was approved for the pensioners, adding that the payment was the final tranche being made to civil service pensioners on the arrears of 33 per cent increment. “In July 2010, the Federal Government had announced a 33 per cent pension increment for pensioners. “The Federal Government began the payment of this increment from January 2014, leaving arrears of 42 months outstanding. “Out of the 42 months that was outstanding as at 2014, 24 months was paid in 2016 and six months was paid in 2017.” Similarly, the statement said “Six months was paid in November 2018 and the balance of six months paid now. “With this payment, PTAD has

cleared the backlog of the 33 per cent arrears of three main departments of Civil Service Pension Department, Police Pension Department and Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pension Department,’’ she said. She said the payment was in fulfillment of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s commitment to pensioners’ welfare. She assured that the backlog of 33 per cent arrears owed Parastatal Pensioners would be cleared in due course. Meanwhile, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), says it has entered into partnership with the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) to eliminate pension fraud. ICPC’s spokesperson, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, in a statement in Abuja on Monday, quoted Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, the commission’s Chairman as disclosing this when Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, Executive Secretary, PTAD, visited him in office. Owasanoye said that one of the innovations of the commission since his assumption of office was the putting up of information on the commission’s website to serve as a guide to the public on the kinds of matters that

should be reported to it. This, he said, was so that some of the issues that were supposed to be handled by PTAD went to them directly via a link to their website. Owasanoye explained that by clicking on the petition dropdown menu on ICPC’s website, PTAD was one of the links displayed, which the public could use to send petitions, complaints or comments on petition matters directly to them. The chairman expressed concern that pension phone scam – a type of pension fraud perpetrated through the use of mobile phones – had become a very big challenge to the society. “We would therefore like ICPC and PTAD to really work hard together to tackle the menace,” he said. Earlier, Ikeazor, Executive Secretary, PTAD, said that the aim of the visit to ICPC was to share ideas and express some of the agency’s concerns over increasing cases of the fraud in the country. The PTAD secretary said that her office was regularly inundated with cases of pension scam in the discharge of their duties often perpetrated by fraudsters, and sometimes by the pensioners themselves or their next-of-kin.


29

The Oracle Today Wednesday April 17, 2019

EQUITY & Capital Market

Capacity building, partnership on-going with S/Korea to get it right – SEC sible people have different expectations some want to keep their money, some sell their shares to vie for political office, but as elections are over we expect that some of those people that withdrew prior to elections will come back to the market. Around elections in the history of Nigeria, we will see that there is usually a lull in the market. The statistics are not that bad; the day after the elections the market actually moved up and around sub national elections we saw that the market came down a bit. There was a time we did 42 percent and there was also a time we did -17 percent, there would always be sentiments. What is very important about the market is that in the long run even though you have fluctuations, do you have something that is looking upwards? The stock exchange index started in 1984 with 100, today we are in over 30,000.

The Capital Market Committee (CMC), held its first quarter meeting in Lagos recently and at the close of the meeting, took some resolutions on how to advance and deepen the Nigerian capital market. Although, the Acting Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Mary Uduk briefed the press on the communiqué of the meeting. However, shortly after the briefing, there was a group interview with reporters bothering on some of the knotty topical issues in the market . Excerpts by JEROME USHAKANG Has there been training for those that will drive the process of Derivatives and ETFs. ?

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ERIVATIVES are very good products to be in the market. As we speak, the Rule on Derivatives will be ready soon and we have been building capacity inhouse in partnership with South Korea. We have a Knowledge Sharing programme with them, they have been to Nigeria twice now and our members of staff are scheduled to travel to their country for more training. Even their ambassador has visited the Commission and all of that is part of building capacity and training the staffs. Even in the market the NSE is doing a lot in this area as well as the FMDQ who have taken some people to India last month on capacity building. All stakeholders including the CBN have been joining hands together to ensure that we get it right. You gave a directive on fidelity bond, what is the level of compliance? Fidelity bond is one of the requirements for all market operators; they have to file fidelity bonds every year. It runs from January to December of every calendar year. We observed that some people were not complying hence we issued a circular. In that circular, the management gave a reprieve of 45 days. We have started compiling the list of those that have not filed, those that filed after the date that we gave as the deadline. All of those persons will be sanctioned according to the provisions of the law. The gambling industry is doing very well, is the SEC looking at introducing a product that will allow youths to invest money as is done in some advanced countries? We presently do not have any laws on gambling, but we have mutual funds and it covers every asset in the capital market. Whether, it is money market, insurance, capital market, real estate, infrastructure among others. The youths can invest in these, rather than leave their money in savings account; they can invest in mutual funds. It runs like savings account and after three months they can withdraw their money same way as you do with the banks. We don’t have to go and gamble, you need to let them know that there are so many products in the capital market that they can invest in rather than going to gamble and losing their money. We have various products that are very attractive where they can invest their money. We have commenced investor education and enlightenment for Nigerians to understand the benefit of these funds

which gives more interest than saving money in bank account. What’s the update on margin loans so we don’t have the kind of abuses we saw prior to 2008? What is the discussion with CBN so that processes are not abused? Actually when there were such abuses, we did not have a comprehensive margin loans laws but now we have specific rules. After the meltdown, the SEC and the CBN came up with a rule on margin loans and it was after that we came up with comprehensive rules on margin loans. But after the issuance of the rules, we discovered that there were almost zero activities on margin loans. That is why the market suggested that it appears the rules were too stringent and suggested the need to look at the rules again with possibility of amending it. Due to our experience of the past we excluded banking shares from the list of margin loans but we also found out that in other jurisdictions you can give loans to buy bank shares. Due to that we now started engaging with CBN, the engagement is still going on and we believe that at the end of the day we will be able to amend our rules. What is the update on MTN? MTN might be in the market but it depends on the aspect of the market. We all know that a company cannot come to the market unless they are a public company and as we speak, MTN has not yet completed the process. There is a process for coming to the market, first you have to be a public company, and you need to have your shares registered with the Commission. However, I do know MTN had issues with the Nigerian government and they have been trying to sort it out. I think they have sorted out one aspect of that. I don’t think the other part has been sorted out and because they have committed to coming to the market, they have decided to come through listing by Introduction. I know that they are working hard towards that, they have visited the Commission to explain that and they also assured us that after the ‘Listing by Introduction’, once they are able to sort out the other issues they can now come fully. Right now, there is no formal application from them, but people need to understand that there are many processes for coming to the market. It can be either through Listing by Introduction of Initial Public Offering among others. When they file their application we will be able to give you the right information. What is the position of SEC in regulating crypto currencies? In the last CMC meeting,we talked about it and inaugurated a Commit-

•Acting DG, SEC Mary Uduk tee in respect of FinTech. The committee was charged with coming up with a FinTech Road map on the capital market community and we also informed you that we now have a dedicated Division in the Commission on that. The Committee is working assiduously to decide what regulations we can make in this area. The commission has the mandate to protect investors. We know that crypto assets are volatile unlike ordinary assets. Since January 2017, we have been asking investors to be vigilant when it comes to that area. We don’t want to get in the way on innovation. Regulators across the globe are paying attention to what is happening in this sphere. On the one hand, they want to protect investors and on the other hand, they want to support innovation. On all fronts the SEC is looking at development in the FinTech space. There is also ongoing collaboration led by the CBN, there is an interagency committee on virtual currencies on which the SEC is working with other market operators. In no distant time, the SEC will come up with regulations on crypto currencies.We are embarking of investor education so that investors understand what it’s all about. How many people have been mandated for the e-dividend and how many mandated accounts do we have. What is the quantum of unclaimed dividends? About one year ago, the SEC stopped the free registration exercise, specifically on March 31, 2018. At that time, 2.2million investors were mandated. It is interesting to observe that just because the free registration stopped, members of the pubic appear not to come forward again. As at the CMC Meeting, only about 2.7million investors had mandated their accounts. There is a strategy that is going to be reviewed and developed by the market in concert with the banks and registrars to entice investors. The fee for every approved mandate is N150 but investors are not going to be asked to pay the amount before they are registered. If you have 120 accounts, you just

mandate them company by company and the only thing you will pay per company is N150 even if you have dividend of up to N200, 000. It is just a processing fee for maintaining the portal and investors are not to be asked to pay at the point. Please encourage them to proceed to their banks and register. We believe that by the time we are giving report next, we would have improved. Unclaimed dividend in the market is being tackled in minimum of two solid approaches. One of them is e-dividend. For every account that is mandated all accrued dividends is automatically paid. Then there is the use of regularization of multiple accounts. We discovered that while dividend is growing and it is increasing unclaimed dividends, the pace is not as satisfactory as when we observe that multiple accounts which have not been claimed for many years are still being paid dividends. Those people that have multiple accounts can only lay claim on dividends in one account, all the others will keep warehousing dividends as long as they are not regularized. We want to see how far the registrars can go in regularizing the multiple accounts so that we can have a specific figure for the unclaimed dividends. We have a provision in CAMA that if unclaimed dividends stay for a specified time, those dividends should be returned to the paying company and that is what the Commission is doing. Now any unclaimed dividends which is 15 months and above should be returned to the paying company. That way the shareholders also benefit as that money could be invested by the company and result in more interest for the shareholders. The market has been down for over three weeks after the elections. Does it mean investors do not have confidence in the market? Market depends on several factors, some are global and others are domestic. Some are industrial and some are also in terms of the company’s performance. You can see sectors that are doing better, you can also see specific sectors that are doing well. Around election, its pos-

How strong has the market been and what has been the Contribution of the market to the economy? In terms of the contribution of the market to the economy we can look at it in terms of capitalization ratio as well as how many new issuances were made in the market. We know capitalization ratio has increased. It should be about 21 to 22 percent when you talk about equities and bonds. Last year, we were able to make more corporate bond issuance than the previous year. In 2017 we did about 23 billion and in 2018 we did about 323 billion. Going forward, we are hoping to do better.Supposed we are working to reduce transaction cost as well as time to market, we also advice sub nationals to come to the market so that we can have new issuances in the market. We have seen quite a number of activities in the bond segment recently and we are hoping that we will see more in the equities segment too. Not just private placement and Rights Issue, we also hope we will see more of Initial Public Offerings. Let me first of all congratulate you on the maiden awards for the Committees in the capital market, is there plan to sustain it? My only regret is that the award took this long to hold. The reason being that the regulator cannot work on its own, we require the support of the capital market operators who are one of the most important stakeholders in the market. I have been in this market for a while and I know that capital market operators are key stakeholders to the development and growth in the market. They have been there over the years. They are helping as much as they can to ensure the market is revived and they are doing that in partnership with the SEC.If we did not have their cooperation and partnership it would have been difficult. And a lot of the time they work with us pro bono. We set up these committees after the launch of the 10 year capital market master plan. A lot of them work in the various committees pro bono. Sometimes they have to travel and they do so at their expense. They bring their experiences to bear in the work that they do and we thought that it was important to let them know that we appreciate all that they do. We thought it was important to let them know that we appreciate what they do and we think it is the beginning of such partnership in the market.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

Love and Living

...With Ireto Temofeh

MODEL OF THE WEEK

LOVE NEWS

“There’s nothing romantic between me and Katie Price,” says Tom Zanetti after they were spotted hanging out together in Miami

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umours that Tom Zanetti and Katie Price are anything more than friends have been dismissed as “pathetic” by sources close to the DJ. Tom, 27 , was seen on set with the mum of five as she filmed for her new reality show, My Crazy Life, in Florida. His appearance in the Sunshine State triggered reports that there might be trouble brewing for the model’s third marriage after reports her 30-year-old hubby Kieran Hayler was “jealous”.

However, a source close to Tom has furiously denied their relationship is anything but professional. Speaking exclusively to The Sun online they fumed: “The speculation about their romance is just pathetic. “Tom’s there filming with Katie for her new show - and she’s a married woman! “He might feature in one of the episodes, that’s it.” After Katie posted a picture of the pair of them hanging out on Saturday, Tom followed suit, and gave a clue as to what he was doing in Florida.

Name: Emelda , Tel: +234 816 633 9597 • If you want to be our next ORACLE GIRL, e-mail or forward your photos/data to ireto007@yahoo.com. Call 07031028714.

ODD NEWS

Lawyer claims secretly taking a condom off during sex could be a crime

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f a man agrees to having sex with a condom and removes it, without saying, then he no longer has consent. It’s the disturbing, nonconsensual new trend that sees men secretly remove their condom during sex. ‘Stealthing’ is on the rise according to a harrowing new US study by Alexandra Brodsky, and victims’ charities say it must be treated as assault. ‘Stealthing’ is when a man secretly removes a condom during sex. But where does the law stand on this horrifying new phenomenon? Rape has legally been defined in the UK as the penetration with a penis of the vagina, anus or mouth of another person without their consent, states Rape Crisis, a UK-based charity.

And Ian Kelcey, a Senior Partner in the Criminal Law team at Kelcey and Hall Solicitors, believes stealthing could potentially be classed as rape. “If the other party made it a strict condition that they only wanted sex if it was safe, it is possible the courts could construe such activity, postremoval of the condom, as being rape,” he told The Sun Online. “We are still waiting for a case to come to court on this point but I think that is a possibility.” In non-legal language, it means that if a man agrees to having sex with a condom and removes it, without saying, then he no longer has consent. Then it is rape. Ian, who has specialised in cases involving sexual allegations, said he would

“caution a man to be very careful about partaking in this activity” as it could have grave repercussions. He added: “The other consequence is that if the woman were to catch a sexually transmitted disease it could be deemed to be a serious assault.”

Romantic Joke

Still Celebrating A married couple are out one night at a dance club. There’s a guy on the dance floor giving it large: break dancing, moon walking, back flips, the works. The wife turns to her husband and says, “See that guy? Twenty years ago he proposed to me and I turned him down.” The husband says, “Looks like he’s still celebrating!


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

ENTERTAINMENT

With Douglas Omoyooma

Day female fans held me hostage –Nelson Enwerem, Mr. Nigeria By Douglas Omoyooma

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wenty-three-year-old Nelson Enwerem, ex-Face of University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka, and graduate of Pure Physics from the University of Calabar, Cross Rivers State, who emerged Mr. Nigeria after a keen contest where he trounced 19 other contestants last year has opened up on the day female fans held him hostage at a pharmacy in Lagos. Speaking on the experience, Enwerem said: “The female fans are there definitely. They’ve been very supportive as well and I appreciate them a lot. A few days after winning the contest, I walked into a pharmacy and the sales girl recognised me but wasn’t sure so she asked me and I denied because I wasn’t looking good. “I had just woken up and was having a runny stomach. While the other girl was attending to me, she quickly googled Mr Nigeria and my face popped up! She shouted and told her friends so they held me hostage till I agreed to take a picture with them,” he added as his face split into a wide grin. Is he in a relationship and if not, could he describe his ideal woman? “No. I am not in a relationship,” he said, shaking his head vigorously. “Talking about my ideal woman, I desire an over all good woman who would be bad just for me,” he said, laughing as he continued: “On a more serious note, I like fair, tall and somewhat slim girls but that doesn’t mean that if I find love in the eyes of a dark-skinned beauty, I wouldn’t pursue it. However, she has to be intelligent with a good heart. A lady’s attitude towards those around her matters a lot to me.” “I can’t put how I felt into words,” he said recounting the moment he emerged Mr. Nigeria. “It was simply overwhelming. Let me describe it as a golden moment. I was blown away and I dedicated my crown to my parents, siblings, friends and everyone that believed in me and supported me throughout the journey and of course, I paid my tithes.” In retrospect he added: “Not quitting Mr Nigeria contest after I was constantly discouraged by a lot of people who told me that they (the organisers) already had their winner I believe is the best decision I ever took because lots of times, people tried to discourage me but thank God I refused to be swayed.” He has been Mr. Nigeria for a while. How has the experience impacted him and what is his happiest moment? “It has had its ups and downs but in all I thank God for the experience and exposure I’ve gotten from it. I believe my happiest moment is yet to come but so far it was the day my father introduced me to his kinsmen after

• Nelson Enwerem

I won Mr. Nigeria. The look on his face as he said he was proud of me was priceless. I will forever cherish it. And also, the elders described me as a beacon of light for the youths of my hometown.” “Growing up was exciting and full of wonderful experiences,” he added, recalling his early years. “I have my parents and siblings to thank for the upbringing I had that has helped mould me into the man I am today. I come from a comfortable family. “I have been told that I look more like my mum and I have her complexion as well. Talking about my work out routine, on Mondays I do chest and triceps. OnTuesdays it is my back and biceps. On Wednesdays I do legs and shoulders and on Thursdays, it is cardio variations and on Friday, I do upper body. Saturdays is for lower body while Sunday is rest and cheat day.” Brian Okwara won the maiden edition of Mr. Nigeria and veered into Nollywood. Today he is an A-list actor. Does he have any plans of going into Nollywood? “I have always had a flare for the entertainment and fashion industries so, yes, I would be

venturing into that as well as other plans I have for my future.” Who is his female celebrity crush? His visage is animated as he responds: “I really love Genevieve Nnaji.” If he happens to meet Genevieve Nnaji tomorrow, what would he tell her? “Wow! That is a hard one. I have never really thought of that because I might be star struck. But I will tell her I really adore her and I love the way she carries herself and that I admire everything that she has done to contribute to the growth of Nollywood and of course. I will complement her on how beautiful she is.” Advice Enwerem has a piece of advice for youngsters who want to take after him. Hear him: “Be the best version of yourself in everything that you do, never listen to the nay sayers. In the beginning they will mock you and ask you why do you do it but at the end, they will ask you how did you do it.”

“On a more serious note, I like fair, tall and somewhat slim girls but that doesn’t mean that if I find love in the eyes of a dark-skinned beauty, I wouldn’t pursue it


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

Entertainment

Actress, Queen Blessing set to mark birthday A ctress and movie producer, Queen Blessing Ebisegion will add another year in a couple of days and she has wrapped up plans to celebrate. According to a close pal who squealed to Oracle Today, the actress who had to hawk pepper and tomatoes to sponsor her university education is upbeat about her birthday. “It is going to be a creme de la creme affair. The movers and shakers of society will be on ground. I can assure

Real reason Don Jazzy is not married That he is one of the most successful contemporary music producers is not in doubt. However, he is also a super bachelor in his mid to late 30s who is yet to get married and settle down. And for this reason he has been the butt of jokes and even recently, a fast rising actress offered him her virginity so he could marry and settle down in 2019. In a chat with a TV platform, the music producer finally revealed the reason why he is not yet married. He said: “There are a lot of amazing people, that’s why I can’t pick one. It doesn’t have anything to do with my status. I have trust issues but I feel like even if I wasn’t Don Jazzy, I probably would be the same.” Meanwhile, his close pal, D’banj is happily married.

• Queen Blessing

you that Queen Blessing is a perfectionist and she brings that to bear on what ever she does and her birthday is not an exception.” Queen Blessing hit Nollywood in year 2000 as an actress but veered into movie production where she has been very successful. To date she has produced over 20 movies and counting. As a testament to her grace to grass story, in a recent interview she recounted her early years saying: “Growing up was not a bed of roses.

I was not born with a silver spoon but I have managed to create my own silver spoon. I had to sell pepper and tomatoes to pay my way trough school. I studied Mass Communication so I would have been just a TV presenter but I choose acting because I love it more and in 2000, I got into Nollywood and the hustling continued. However, after 19 years in Nollywood, I thank God for everything I am today. I must confess that the hustle is real and time waits for nobody.

Glamcliq, Amb. ElaJoe’s baby makes debut

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re you fashionable and stylish? Are you tired of hopping from salon to salon to fix your hair and do your nails? Do you fall between the age bracket of 18 and 55? You need not worry anymore as a platform, GlamCliq has come to the rescue. Speaking at the unveiling of the app driven platform recently in Lagos at , one of the brains behind the project, Amb. ElaJoe said: “GlamCliq was inspired by our interaction with beauty and style service providers who, although are good at what they do lacked the platform that could sufficiently represent what they can offer. Existing service portals charge them before they could connect with leads and potential customers, who sometimes don’t actually get to transact with them. “They wanted an easy to use platform that connects them with their customers at zero or minimal cost, where they know they are always in control. Glamcliq was also inspired by the need by the

Enter T. Banks, twins set to storm music scene

• ElaJoe everyday beauty and style consumer to easily discover qualitative beauty services within their vicinity at a competitive price.” According to him, GlamCliq is designed to benefit businesses in massive ways. He says: “First of all, our model guarantees that service providers only pay when they get business. Every business knows the value of quality advertising and when that comes in the form of a free app, then what more can they ask for? And when that advertising guarantees a paying customer, that makes it much better. With

GlamCliq, all a business needs do is to list their beauty and style service on the platform and add a youtube video promotion of their brand and the target audience will discover them through the GlamCliq app and request their services. We are targeting the age bracket of 18 to 55 years old, predominantly female in the B, C1 and C2 Sec. The image typifies the lifestyle of our audience.” Meanwhile, the app which debuted on Sunday, March 30 is available on google play store for download and it’s free.

Following the painful breakup of P Square, a new set of twins, Kingsley and Kenneth Monday, aka T Banks are set to storm the Nigerian music space as they prepare to drop their debut album next year. Speaking with TS Weekend, Kingsley, one of the twins said: “It’s been an exciting journey with lots of challenges but we are getting closer to our dreams. Currently we are promoting our latest single entitled Na God. Our fans should watch out! Commenting on growing up and how music started for them, Kenneth, the other half of the twins continued: “Growing up was fun because we have never been separated since we where born but people don’t get to believe us because we are non identical twins. At age 16, we kicked off our music career when we released our first EP entitled Bank Out, featuring songs like Screaming Dogs and I Need It Hot among others on December 5, 2008. This earned us recognition from family, friends and the then Delta State Government among others.” However, In June 2010, they relocated to Lagos and attended Green Platinum Talent Academy where they honed their skills before recording their first hit single in 2011. Speaking, Kenneth said: “Gown Girls, our hit song was produced by SosoBeat and we later shot the video with top Nigeria models, media men, models and costumes all provided by Ibile Vogue.” Their influences include P Square, Tuface and Mode 9, 50 Cent, Eminem, Lil Bow Wow and 2pac.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

NEWS

Increasing spate of farmer -herdsmen killings worry citizens Cont’d from page 5 Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Maxwell Anikwenwa charged the federal government to find a lasting solution to the on-going killings in several parts of the country, suggesting that the military should be re-organized to meet up with the challenges ahead. He lamented that Nigeria has never had it so bad like this in terms of bloodletting, describing the trend as madness of the century. Anikwenwa who was the Archbishop of Province II, Anglican Communion and Bish-

op Emeritus of Awka Diocese in Anambra state, told newsmen at the weekend in Awka, during his 50 years anniversary of marriage to his wife, Blessing, expressed concern that President Muhammadu Buhari is not bordered about the spate of killings. According to the Bishop Emeritus, Buhari claims to be fighting corruption. “Yes, it is good but if he folds his arms and watch Nigerians slaughtered like animals by the senseless blood-thirsty bandits and religious bigots, who will enjoy the money so recovered through the anti-corruption war”? “Government needs to sit up now or

else there will be a revolution in this country and if the revolution is allowed to take place, it will be disastrous. I’m surprised that Buhari is a military man and yet these killings are going on unabated. He needs to re-organize the military. Of the military cannot secure the citizenry, then they have failed Nigerians”. On the declaration of support for the presidential candidate of the Peoples democratic Party, PDP in the recently concluded presidential election in the country by the Igbo apex organization, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Anikwenwa who is a staunch member of the Igbo apex body, declared:

•Riffle- totting herdsmen

The Oracle Today shines at 30th Enugu Int’l Trade Fair Cont’d from page 5

State has done Nigeria proud”. Governor Ugwuanyi, who was the Chief Host, appealed to the federal government to accord Enugu international trade fair complex a facelift, arguing that it deserved to be upgraded, at least, to the level of those of Kaduna and Lagos considering the historical and political status of Enugu State. Represented by his deputy, Cecilia Ezeilo, the governor pledged the continued support of the state government to ECCIMA towards the development of the permanent complex of the international trade fair, especially as regards provision of access roads. The governor also commended the efforts of the federal government in repositioning the nation’s economy especially as regards current measures being taken to reform the oil sector and as well develop viable alternative to oil as Nigeria’s main revenue earner. “We seize this occasion to humbly, urge the federal government to develop the Enugu international trade fair complex and bring it to the same level as its contemporaries in Kaduna and Lagos, more so as Enugu is the regional capital and with this fair having been in existence for 37 years. “On our own, we assure ECCIMA of the continue support and assistance of the state government especially through the provision of basic amenities and the sustenance of the existing business-friendly environment in Enugu State. And on that note, we are proud to declare, once again, that Enugu State is open and ready for business”.,” the governor said.

Ugwuanyi further stated that in line with the prevailing realities in the country, that his administration was taking concrete measures to continue to enhance ease of doing business in the state, while also re-engaging in its campaign to attract investors to the State. He praised ECCIMA for its unswerving efforts in spotlighting key areas of investment and business in the Nigerian economy, and called on the chamber to help harness the state’s vast potentials in diverse areas including agriculture, solid minerals, manufacturing, medicare, power generation and tourism among others. According to the governor, although the recent World bank rating of Enugu as the second best in ease of doing best in the country was exciting, but that his administration would continue to improve on that feat in all spheres of governance. Earlier in his welcome address, the President of ECCIMA, Sir Emeka Udeze, had stated that the theme of the fair was thoughtfully chosen, pointing out that the reality of Nigeria’s economic challenges had been worsened by the volatility of the nation’s mono revenue foreign exchange earner, which is crude oil. According to him, that development had created a huge gap in the economic development of the country, particularly as regards loss of value addition in export of crude oil for refining and in the export of raw materials for processing and value addition abroad. He urged that the gaps and opportunities in oil and non-oil sectors of the economy be identified and harnessed for informed economic decision and needed policy reforms

to drive key sectors through effective support to the industrial sector and SMEs, while attracting investors with the capacity to set up more plants in the country. Udeze also identified bureaucratic bottlenecks and over-regulations by government agencies as the bane of the growth of SMEs and the industrial sector as well, and called on relevant stakeholders in the public and private sectors in the country to work out means of removing such hindrances. According to him, that is one of the sure ways to support the growth of SMEs and industrial sectors, which he described as main bedrocks of the country’s productivity and output towards reviving and stabilizing the economy. While enumerating the achievements of ECCIMA since its inception especially as regards its efforts at improving the state of facilities at the fair complex, Udeze reiterated the chamber’s appeal to the federal government to develop the permanent site of the Enugu International Trade fair complex, pointing out that that would go a long way to make fairs at the complex more worthwhile and result-oriented. “I once again re-echo our appeal to the federal government to earmark and release adequate fund to award contract to competent contractors for the development of the Enugu International Trade Fair Complex. “What is critical to us, as already contained in the master plan of the complex include; Ground Stand for ceremonies, Pavilions, Asphalting the internal roads, Water reticulation and electrical networking, as well as convenience building,” he noted.

Abia School produces biogas • School depends on solar energy From BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia

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ercy Girls High School, Mbawsi, in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area of Abia State has recorded a breakthrough in the production of biogas, the Principal of the school, Rev. Sister Lilian Ifeoma Chibiko, has disclosed. Rev. Sister Chibiko told The Oracle Today in her office that the school produces biogas by converting animal, human and kitchen wastes to gas that could be used in cooking and generating electricity. “We have tried it here and we have seen that it works and the next level is how we can transfer this produced gas to cylinders. That is the level we are trying to research more,” the Principal said. According to her, since the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, has achieved a similar feat, her school would go on excursion to Nsukka and tap from their experience. She said constant research on solar energy was responsible for the biogas breakthrough, adding “on daily basis, we are into solar, researching more and more, to see how we can make it cheaper to our people.” She said constant research on solar energy was responsible for the biogas breakthrough, adding that the school was being powered by solar energy built in the school. Rev. Sister Chiko, a renewable energy and climate change activist who became the Principal of Mercy Girls High last January revealed that the school depends on the solar system she built in the school for all its energy needs. “The dormitory, the refectory, computer laboratory, the Principal’s office, the Security post and the nearby convent are all connected to the solar system in the school,” she said. The Principal who is a member of the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Mercy (DMMM) congregation of the Catholic Church, owners of the secondary school, said she has trained teachers and the 53 students in the school and their parents in the skills of solar production, installation and maintenance. “Since I became the Principal, my teachers have been trained in this solar energy and some of them do go these days for installation and make some earnings. Also, my students have been trained in production and installation of solar energy,” Rev. Sister Chibiko said. “This solar has reduced the use of generator in this school. With the solar, I tell you sincerely that since this term, I have only bought fuel worth of N2000 which we use only in pumping water and fuelling the mower machine. “Nobody has ever complained because the students are very happy and it has contributed a lot in reducing pollutions and emission of carbon in the environment,” she said. According to her, about 90 per cent of raw materials needed for solar panel production are locally generated. She said the school lacked the resources to buy the laminating machine which would make their products compete favourably with imported ones and appealed for government assistance in that regard. She declared that she was ready to teach Nigerian youths the skills of solar production, a skill she acquired while working as Missionary in Finland and Uganda, stressing that her mission was to impart this knowledge to the youths as a way of making them to be self-reliant and shun migrating abroad where she said they are subject dehumanizing conditions. She also said that using solar energy would eradicate environmental pollution resulting from emissions from generating sets and called on the government to champion a switch over to solar energy and design a well-structured skills acquisition centres nationwide where the youth would be taught survival skills.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

EDUCATION Skills acquisition, key to stopping youth from migration – Renewable energy activist

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ercy High Girls High School, tucked away in the quiet town of Mbawsi, Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area of Abia State, was founded in 1961 by the pioneer Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Umuahia, Late Bishop Anthony Gogo Nwedo, and run by the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Mercy (DMMM) which the late Bishop also founded same year. But in 1972, government took over the school and handed it back to the mission in 2013, dilapidated. Since then, the DMMM, the original owners of the school, has been trying to revive the school. Rev. Sister Lilian Ifeoma Chibiko who joined DMMM congregation after her secondary school, is the current Principal of the school. She spent 11 years in Nigeria after her ordination in 1995 before jetting out to Europe, Sweden, to be precise, where she worked as a Missionary for 13 years, with African Immigrants living in Sweden before returning to Nigeria two years ago. This offered her the opportunity to discover how Nigerian youth suffer as they travel abroad in search of greener pasture. “I discovered that our youths really need to be empowered and that passion made me to decide to return to Nigeria two years ago because I have the passion to work for my country,” she told The Oracle Today during an interview in her office. “Since I came back, I have worked with Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana, in the area of renewable energy and one of the energies that is very very clean for all of us is solar energy,” she added. From Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, her congregation pulled her to Mercy Girls High School last year and made her the Principal last January. What is intriguing about the Reverend Sister’s exploits is that she did not study science. Rather, she studied Public Administration, as well as Educational Management and Planning in her First Degree, while her Masters Degree was in Social Work. “But out of passion, I developed this skill (solar energy production) in Finland and in Uganda,” she disclosed. And the renewable energy and climate change activist decided to launch her renewable energy campaign, starting with her school. Today, Mercy Girls High School, Mbawsi, depends on solar power for her energy needs. The dormitory, the refectory, computer laboratory, the Principal’s office, the Security post and the nearby convent also administered by DMMM are all connected to the solar system in the school. Also, teachers and the 53 students in the school have been turned to “apostles of Solar energy” as the Principal has trained them in the skills of solar production, installation and maintenance. Even the skills empowerment scheme has been extended to parents of the students. And they welcomed the opportunity with open arms. “Since I became the Principal, my teachers have been trained in this solar energy and some of them do go these days for installation and make some earnings. Also, my students have been trained in production and installation of solar energy,” Rev. Sister Chibiko said. “This solar has reduced the use of generator in this school. With the solar, I tell you sincerely that since this term, I have only bought fuel worth of N2000 which we use only in pumping water and fuelling the mower machine. “Nobody has ever complained because the students are very happy and it has contributed a lot in reducing pollutions and emission of carbon in the environment,” she noted. In the school, Rev. Sister Chibiko said they undertake production of solar panels, installation and maintenance. According to her, about 90 per cent of raw materials needed for solar panel production were available locally. “What we import is the padding wires and the solar cells. The rest of the materials are locally generated,” she said, adding that the greatest challenge was lack of laminating machine that would elongate the life span of the panels produced.

Depressed by the sufferings of African Immigrants in Europe, motivated by empathy to empower Nigerian youth with self-reliant skills that would make them cherish and live in their fatherland and shun migration abroad, Rev. Sister Lilian Ifeoma Chibiko, a renewable energy activist, is now at sea on how to realize her goal on how to make Nigeria embrace renewable energy to save the environment and train the youths in solar production skills. To prove her mettle, she has turned Mercy Girls High School to solar-based school, Reports BONIFACE OKORO

• Sister Lilian Ifeoma “But the challenge we have with the locally fabricated solar panels is that since it is something that will be on top of the roofs, in all weathers, it needs to be well laminated. “The laminating machine is what we don’t have to compete with the foreign made versions. Now, we cannot really push our products into larger markets because we must produce something that we can guarantee such that if the foreign made is guaranteed for 25 years, at least, our own should be up to 20 years and such machine is very expensive. It is only government that can help in purchasing that,” she explained. The school is also breaking new grounds as she disclosed that the school also produces biogas by converting animal, human and kitchen wastes to gas that could be used in cooking and generating electricity. “We have tried it here and we have seen that is works and the next level is how we can transfer this produced gas to cylinders. That is the level we are trying to research more,” the Okigwe local government-born Principal said, adding “on daily basis, we are into solar, researching more and more to see how we can make it cheaper to our people.” She said constant research on solar energy was responsible for thei biogas breakthrough, stressing that since the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, has achieved a similar feat, her school was looking forward to going for excursion at

Nsukka and learn from their experience. She said she was willing to teach Nigerian youth these skills and appealed to governments, corporate bodies or philanthropists to collaborate with her to reach the unemployed army of youth in the country and impart the skills to them. Is solar really affordable, at least, by the average man in the society? The Reverend Sister gave a double-edged reply: “Well, I will tell you yes and know. Solar is still expensive. But the commoners, the average population, can go by using small capacity which will afford them like four lighting points and another for charging of phones, which is very very important in rural communities. “So, to capture them, we have designed solar that costs about N10, 000 which some of them can afford in their homes to be able to have light and charge their phones. The bigger capacity is still very expensive.” According to her, it is very possible to replace ordinary electricity with solar energy. “It is very possible and very easy if our governments want to do that. For instance, if a community wants to use solar, a portion of land can be used as solar farm or solar village, as it is called. Many Panels will be mounted there and then distribute light to various parts of the community. whatever they want to power, solar can do that as we have the green tide energy that powers everything in life, so-

lar can do that but it will cost a lot. At least, if government can do that, it will help to save a lot of money. “Even in our markets where people use their Lister generators to distribute light to shops, it can be replaced by solar. “The initial cost will be expensive but later on, all of us will enjoy it; but more especially, our environment will be protected from pollution. “Noise pollution and the emission of carbon that is polluting our environment from power generating sets are killing people,” she noted. Dejection and deep resentment were boldly written on her face when asked what efforts she has made to attract governments to collaborate with her for realization of her dream for massive youth training in these skills, which was the major reason that prompted her return from Europe. After a deep breath, she said: “Well, I have done that. I have been to Abuja, I have moved to ministries and tried to talk to them, but the audience wasn’t really encouraging. I was completely discouraged. So, I said I better go and work with people in the rural areas who can understand me better. “I went to Aba when the Vice President visited on SME programme, carrying my panels there. He saw and admired it and the governor gave out numbers that I should call. I continued, tried following it up; they said they will empower me. After that I gave up because they were not picking calls. So I gave up. But I still look for opportunities to meet governments.” She said that there was need for adequate re-orientation of Nigerian youth to convince them that they can make it in life in their country rather than seeking greener pastures abroad. According to her, the harrowing experiences of African youth flocking to Europe, was, in the least, dehumanizing. She said the immigrants raise millions of naira to embark on their journeys into uncertainty, asserting that if such money was well channeled and the youth has the knowledge of how he can use it in doing a business, “he will do much much better at home than what they suffer when they go to Europe.” “So, they live miserable life. Some of them will enter into marriage with white people who will use them as sex objects in the house, they become maids in the house. So, it is really really challenging. “If our government can look into how to empower our youth and prevent them, give them hope back here because there is money and untapped potentials in this country that we need really to tap into, that will make our youth to believe in themselves, that, yes, even it is farming, I can take care of myself. “We need to re-orientate them, change their mindset to understand that life there is not easy, but you can make a living here in Nigeria,” she said. She said that time has come for governments to start creating sensitization programmes for the youth, providing a good platform for them to discuss their problems and proffer practical solutions and design wellstructured skills acquisition programmes and centres for the youth and ensure that they were absorbed immediately on graduation. She said her vision of making all to “go green, go solar,” for a clean environment, and mission of salvaging the youth by teaching them skills about solar production would make a greater impact if the government could buy into her programme.


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

SPORTS

Not winning AFCON 2013, my greatest regret – Odemwingie .Expresses gratitude to fans Stories by MADUABUCHI KALU

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T is no longer news that former Nigeria striker, Osaze Peter Odemwingie, last week shocked Nigerian football followers and fans across the global when he announced on last Wednesday that he has decided to quit the game that gave fame and fortune. However, the former Bendel Insurance FC player did not quit without taking stock of his illustrious football career. In announcing his retirement from the beautiful game, the former West Bromwich Airborne star said his only regret was his inability to win the continental highest football prize, The Africa Cup of Nations in 2013. Odemwingie has not played professionally since 2017 but had been hopeful of continuing his career. He helped Nigeria finish third at the Nations Cup in 2004, 2006 and 2010 but missed their triumph in South Africa. “I think not being part of the Nations Cup-winning squad when I was at my peak is a big regret,” he told BBC Sport. “I don’t think there is anyone that will say they are without regrets. “I did everything I could to be a part of that squad but it never happened, but I had an amazing time with my country. “A lot of interesting things to be proud of at club level that would be too much to talk about. “There were few mistakes but you learn as you grow and now I am in a good position to advice other young players.” The winger-cum-forward’s last admission referred to his botched transfer move from West Bromwich Albion to Queens Park Rangers in 2013. He drove himself to the London-based club late on transfer deadline day and waited in the car park in a bid to force the transfer through. After playing at the 2010 World

Cup, he went on to score at the finals four years later in Brazil. He produced 36 goals in 129 Premier League appearances between 2010 and 2016 in the colours of West Brom and Stoke City. “I can count on a lot of highs but three stands out for me. Playing in the Premier League and winning two player of the month awards,” Odemwingie explained. “Scoring a brace for Nigeria against South Africa on my Nations Cup debut in 2004 is also unforgettable. “To score for Nigeria at the 2014 World Cup against Bosnia was something special because I know what it means to my people back home. “Right now, I have a role as FIFA’s ambassador for the Women’s World Cup in France, (after) then I can focus on my coaching badges. Football has been good to me and I’m grateful. “I’ve scored goals at all the top clubs I played and I believe with the help of my teammates, I can still do the same here.” His final chapters in English football were at Championship clubs Bristol City and Rotherham – before playing out the final days of his professional career at Indonesian side Madura United in 2017. Born in Uzbekistan, Odemwingie also played in Belgium, France and Russia before spending seven years in English football including stints with Premier League sides West Bromwich Albion, Cardiff City and Stoke City. He marked his Nigeria debut with a goal against Kenya in Lagos in 2002, and was widely regarded as one of the most committed and dedicated players to have represented his country. As well as the three bronze medals from the Nations Cup he also has a silver from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, as Nigeria lost to an Argentina featuring Lionel Messi and Angel di Maria in the match for gold.

‘I like changing my daughter’s diapers’

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ENNIS super star, Serena Williams and husband, Alexis Ohanian care a lot about their daughter, Olympia. In an interview with People, the 23-time Grand Slam winner said: “In the beginning, my husband changed all the diapers because I wasn’t able to do much moving. Now it’s definitely more 50/50.

•Serena Williams and daughter

But I actually like doing it. This stage doesn’t last long. You can’t have it forever. It’s a great moment to enjoy because soon it won’t be there. It’s just been so amazing to have him in my life and to have my daughter in my life as well. He has done so much for the family and for us … it’s all new to me”. Ohanian said: “(Being) with a partner who is just as successful and just as motivated and everything, it’s awesome and it’s amazing. It’s been really, really fun.” For Serena, reaching last year’s US Open final was a big achievement just a year after becoming a mother and going through some serious complications: “Literally just back from having the baby, looking back, I don’t know how I did that. And I had the audacity to be upset when I didn’t win, and I’m like, ‘Why am I angry? This is beyond amazing.’” She, then, said, “I have a better shot now but we’ll see, I’m just taking it one day at a time.”

Playing for Nigeria, my best career decision – Troost-Ekong

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DINESE of Italy defender, William Troost-Ekong, says switching allegiance from the Netherlands to Nigeria was his best career decision ever. The 25-year-old, who so far has 30 caps, was born in the Netherlands to a Dutch mother and Nigerian father and has represented the European nation at youth level before switching allegiance to Nigeria. After winning an Olympic football bronze medal in 2016 and playing at the 2018 World Cup, the centreback is looking forward to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with the Super Eagles. “I think the decision to play for Nigeria has to be the best ever for me,” Troost-Ekong told BBC Sport. “We have some amazing and talented players in Nigeria and to get a chance to play for a great country like ours is an honour and immense privilege. “You cannot force anyone to choose Nigeria, you must love the country and be committed to it or you don’t brother. “Personally, I will be grateful for the opportunity and everything Nigeria has given to my career. “I’ve fulfilled some dreams by playing at the Olympic Games and on the biggest stage (World Cup) in Russia, now I look forward to living another dream by playing at the Africa Cup of Nations.”

•Victor Agali

Nigeria, hard nut to crack, admits Tunisian captain, Bourass

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FTER tasting their first defeat against Nigeria in the boys’ team event of the 2019 ITTF African Junior and Cadet Championships, Tunisia’s captain, Aboubaker Bourass had admitted that Nigeria remains the only dangerous team in the competition. Despite giving his team a 1-0 lead after beating Augustine Emmanuel 3-1, Tunisia succumbed to the superiority of the young Nigerians with Azeez Solanke and Abayomi Animashaun recoding an emphatic win over Youssef Ben Attia and Louay Hamrouni to give Nigeria a 3-1 win in their first group match. But a disappointed Bourass told NationSport that he was not surprised by the fighting spirit cum skills of the Nigerians as they are a complete team. “I think I started making mistakes when I played against Solanke and this really affected me to lose the match. We had thought we can give them a run for their money but it was not what we planned for before the encounter,” he said. “There is no doubt that Nigeria is a very strong team at every level because we are aware of their qual-

ity. But we cannot give up yet for the team event as we are still going to continue to work hard to ensure we make it to the final and secure our places in Thailand venue of the 2019 World Junior Championships later this year,” the 17-year-old said.

Nigeria has been drawn in Group Two alongside Tunisia, Ghana and Congo DRC with winners advancing to the semifinal stage of the competition. Finalists in the event are expected to secure their places at the WJC in Thailand come December 2019.

Pacquiao follows Mayweather in signing with Japan’s Rizin

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ILIPINO multiple world boxing champion, Manny Pacquiao has signed with Rizin, the Japanese mixed martial arts organisation that put together Floyd Mayweather’s exhibition fight in Tokyo on New Year’s Eve, its CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara said on Monday. Sakakibara posted photographs on Twitter of the 40-year-old Pacquiao signing a contract. “I’m here in the Philippines,” wrote Sakakibara. “RIZIN.15 will have this man in-

volved in a way. We will be ready to announce as I get back to Japan!” He did not specify in what capacity Pacquiao would be involved in the event scheduled for April 21. Pacquiao’s last fight was a unanimous decision victory over American Adrien Broner in January. Mayweather, who beat Pacquiao in a drab 2015 bout, came out of retirement briefly to score an easy victory over kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in the main event of Rizin’s prestigious New Year’s Eve show.


36

The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

SPORTS Stories by MAQDUABUCHI KALU

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HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have moved to provide support for former Nigeria captain and Coach Christian Chukwu who is currently sick and requires medical serious medical attention in the United States of America. According to the Grand Patron of Ex-Enugu Rangers Players Association, Benson Ejindu, Chukwu, who captained the national team to their first ever Africa Cup of Nations title on home soil in 1980, is very sick and in urgent need of support to enable him get medical attention overseas. Speaking further, Ejindu explained that the ex-Super Eagles coach needed the sum of $50,000 for a trip to the United States, where he would undergo surgery, medication and general after-surgery care. He also explained that a gofundme account was opened for Chukwu’s medical treatment, adding that $2,450 had been donated by various individuals. Meanwhile, the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, who is in the United Kingdom, told thenff.com on Sunday that he had mandated the Chairman of Enugu FA and Member of the NFF Executive Committee, Chidi Ofo-Okenwa, to pay a visit to Chukwu and get the details of his challenges and what needs to be done to return him to good health. “I am not in Nigeria presently but I have asked the NFF acting president, Seyi Akinwunmi, to take full charge and ensure that this matter is treated promptly,” Pinnick stated.

NFF pledges to assist ailing Chukwu • As Pinnick orders urgent action “It was for this kind of development that I spoke about the welfare foundation for our legends at the 2nd AITEO-NFF Awards in Lagos on April 1. The NFF would always be there to lend support to our legends in their hour of need.” Meanwhile, Ejindu, who made Chukwu’s condition known in a Facebook post, said several for-

mer Nigerian players had died because they didn’t get medical help on time, pleading that Chukwu shouldn’t be allowed to die after his selfless service to the country. “Former players like the late Kenneth Ilodigwe, Christian Madu, Kelechi Emetole, and others who have passed on could have lived longer, if more hands were on deck to help

with their health issues. Continuing he said: “I am asking you to join me, this time round in raising funds for Chukwu, who is currently in Nigeria receiving treatment for various ailments. “Your financial support will help fly him to the United States for better treatment. We are hoping to raise about $50,000 to cover

Christian Chukwu’s trip from Nigeria and all the medical expenses. The leftover funds will help set up a health and welfare account for all ex-Rangers players.” Chukwu, the first Nigerian to lift the AFCON trophy, also captained Enugu Rangers to win the Africa Cup Winners’ Cup in 1977. Between 2002 and 2005, Chukwu was head coach of the Super Eagles, leading the team to win bronze at the 2004 AFCON in Tunisia.

SWAN congratulates Wike, Ubah on electoral successes

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HE President of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Honour Sirawoo, has congratulated the association’s patrons, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike and Senator-elect, Ifeanyi Ubah on their electoral successes during the just-concluded Nigerian general elections. While Chief Wike was returned as Governor- elect for a second term, Ifeanyi Ubah got elected to represent Anambra South in the hallowed Red Chambers of the Nigerian Senate. Sirawoo stated that the confidence reposed in them by their respective electorates is a demonstration of faith and believe in their abilities to champion worthy causes. “Governor Wike and Senator-elect Ifeanyi Ubah have been strong pillars of sports development in Nigeria in recent years and we are sure that they will continue to speak and support sports development,” Sirawoo began. The leader of Sports Journalists in Nigeria, who just returned to the country after attending the 6th AIPS African Congress in Accra, Ghana, where Governor Wike’s victory was celebrated by sports writers in Africa said: “We are proud of our patrons and what they have achieved, especially in the promotion and administration of sports in Nigeria.”

• Ailing former National Team Captain and Coach, Christian Chukwu

AFCON 2019: Eagles are title contenders – Semitoje

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ORMER Super Eagles defender, Isaac Semitoje, believes the three time African champions have all it takes to emerge victorious at the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) just as he praised the coach of the team, Gernot Rohr. Semitoje also expressed happiness that the Eagles could pip the Pharaohs of Egypt 1-0 in an international friendly played last month at the Stephen Keshi International Stadium Asaba Delta State. “They are rugged and determined to excel. That shows good spirit,” Semitoje said. He advised Rohr not to close doors against quality Nigerian professional players wishing to lace their boots for their fatherland, adding that for the team to excel in Egypt, they needed aggressive and goal- orientated players at the Nations Cup finals. He added: “I’m satisfied with the level of play so far in Super Eagles. But that is not to say that we have arrived, there are more technical issues to be taken care of by the German- tactician. If you look at the last two games that our boys played in Asaba, you will discover that the boys were just

determined to make Nigeria proud; it was the personal efforts of the players that gave us the results. “Now, we have the AFCON ticket in our hands, we must build on the team in all angles, if they have time to play together, they would play wonderful well at the championship because they have the potentiality of winning the prestigious trophy for the fourth time. “Again our goalkeepers’ trainers have a lot of work to do. If Francis Uzoho is Nigeria’s first choice goalkeeper, he must brace up because if he makes that same mistake he made during the game against Seychelles against a tough team, Nigeria might not be able to recover. We have a lot of goalkeepers in Nigeria who are good enough to bench him; they should be given the opportunity to try their skills in the team.”

NRFF to change name in June

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RESIDENT, Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF), said that the federation would soon change its name to Nigeria Rugby Football Union (NRFU). Mbagwu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos that the new name would be effective from June. He explained that the decision was reached at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the federation held in Lagos over the weekend. “In line with the international body’s instruction, NRFF is changing its name to Nigeria Rugby Football Union. “The AGM, which is the first after our constitution was approved by the Sports Ministry and the NOC, sat in Lagos at the weekend to approve the new name. “We took the decision to comply with the international body’s directive but it will be effective from June,’’ Mbagwu said. The NRRF president said that the federation also directed all state affiliates to conduct election into their boards by December. “Other far-reaching decisions were also taken at the AGM. “All the state affiliates are expect-

ed to conduct elections into their boards on or before December. “Those states that are ready to have their elections should contact the federation to send delegates to monitor their elections. “However, the states must ensure that all stakeholders are carried along in the process of the election. “A three-member committee was set up to come up with guidelines within three months for the elections,’’ Mbagwu said. He further said that the meeting deliberated on the successes recorded so far on the development of rugby in various states. “The AGM also deliberate on National Council on Sports approval of rugby as one of optional sports for the next National Sports Festival, scheduled to hold in Benin, in 2020,’’ he said. Mbagwu said that AGM had approved Nigeria hosting of the Africa Silver Cup. “At the level of the board, we accepted to host the Africa Silver Cup tournament. Similarly, the AGM, which is the highest organ, has also endorsed the hosting.”


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The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

Crime

Late Kolade Johnson: Killer cop dismissed from service

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IGERIA Police Force has dismissed an officer, Inspector Ogunyemi Olalekan, after he was found guilty of a football fan killing Kolade Johnson, last Sunday. Police Public Relations Officer in Lagos State, DSP Bala Elkana, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday. The dismissal came four days after Johnson was shot by a police officer while he was watching a televised football match in Mangoro area of Lagos. Consequently, Olalekan and one Sergeant Godwin Orji were apprehended for their alleged involvement in the killing of the victim. According to the police, the suspects were subjected to internal disciplinary proceedings, known as Orderly Room Trial by the Command. In the course of the trial which commenced on Monday, both officers were tried on three counts bordering on discreditable conduct, unlawful exercise of authority, as well as action contrary to the Police Act and Regulations. The trial started with the reading

of charges and taking of plea by the suspects while five witnesses testified in the case. At the conclusion of the trial on Thursday, the police found Olalekan guilty of discreditable conduct by “shooting and killing Kolade Johnson,” among other offences. The Adjudicating Officer, Indyar Apev, thereafter, awarded the punishment of dismissal from service and prosecution against him. On the other hand, the command said there was no evidence linking Sergeant Orji to the shooting and was discharged and acquitted accordingly. It added that Olalekan has been handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department, Panti for prosecution in court. “The two Police Officers alleged to have been involved in the shooting of Kolade Johnson on 31/03/2019 were apprehended and subjected to internal disciplinary proceedings, known as Orderly Room Trial by the Command. The Orderly Room trial commenced on Monday 01/04/2019 and ended on Thursday 04/04/2019.

“They were tried on three count charges: (1) Discreditable Conduct (2) Unlawful and Unnecessary Exercise of Authority and (3) Damage to Clothing or Other Articles contrary to Paragraph E (iii), Q (ii) and D (i) First Schedule, Police Act and Regulations, Cap 370 LFN 1990. “The Trial started with the reading of charges and taking of plea. “Five witnesses testified. “At the conclusion of the trial, the first defaulter, Inspector Ogu-

nyemi Olalekan was found guilty of Discreditable conduct by acting in a manner prejudicial to discipline and unbecoming of members of the Force by shooting and killing Kolade Johnson; Unlawful and Unnecessary exercise of authority by using unnecessary violence, by using AK 47 rifle on the deceased in total neglect to the provisions of Force Order 237 on the use of Firearms. “The Adjudicating Officer, CSP Indyar Apev awarded the punishment

of dismissal from service and prosecution to the First defaulter. “There was no evidence linking the second defaulter, Sergeant Godwin Orji to the shooting, he was, therefore, found not guilty and discharged and acquitted. “The First defaulter, Inspector Ogunyemi Olalekan is handed over to Criminal Investigation Department, Panti for prosecution in conventional Court,” the police statement read.

Police promote spokesperson, Mba, 8,915 others

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CTING Inspector General of Police, Ag. IGP, Mr M.A Adamu, has decorated the newly-appointed Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Frank Mba, with a new rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police, in an exercise that also saw the elevation of 8, 915 officers. Other Officers decorated by the IGP include; ACP Igbafe Afegbai, 2iC Federal Inland Revenue Service {FIRS} and SP Atiku Ibrahim, Personal Assistant {P.A} to the IGP. While decorating the three offic-

ers, the IGP congratulated them and the (8,913 other newly promoted Officers of the Force, charging them to see their elevation as a call to rededicate themselves to the service of the nation and to continue to recognize and uphold the fundamental rights of the citizens. A statement signed by the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja, CSP Aremu Adeniran, said the decoration of the Inspector General of Police, Ag. IGP, Mr. M.A Adamu, decorating the newly-appointed Force Public Relations officers followed their March 31 ap- •Acting Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, with the new rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police, in a ceremony that also saw the elevation pointment by the IGP. of 8, 915 other officers.

Senate committee lauds police P/H Customs impounds nine 40ft container of military uniforms, others

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ENATE Committee on Police Affairs has described the Nigeria Police Force and its officers and men as ‘’miracle workers’ and ‘unsung heroes’ of Nigeria’s nascent democracy. The Committee which made these remarks on Tuesday, when the Inspector General of Police, Ag. IGP MA Adamu, visited the Senate to defend the Police Budget, promised to support the IGP and his Team and expedite action on the passage of the Police Reform Bill. The Committee which was enthused with the ‘inclusiveness’ of the Police Management Team

urged the IGP to continue with his ongoing strides towards repositioning the Nigeria Police Force, promising to do all within its powers to pass the Police Trust Fund Bill so as to create avenues for alternative sources of funding the Force. The Committee in recognition of the IGP’s sterling leadership qualities asked the Police Boss to ‘’take a bow’’ and thereafter brought the sitting to an end. The Senate Committee on Police Affairs is chaired by Distinguished Senator Tijjani Yahaya Kaura while the Vice Chairman of the Committee is Distinguished Senator Stella Oduah.

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ORT Harcourt Area II, Onne command generated a total of N94,044,676,428.01 in 2018 which is about 80 per cent of allotted Annual Target of N117.8 billion. The Command in a statement, Friday, said it also in the period under review recorded 61 remarkable seizures of various items such as 9 x 40 ft containers of Tramadol, Hyergra, Diclofenac and Analgesic Tablets of different types; 64 of 20 containers of foreign parboiled rice and other items such as military uniforms, boots and caps with a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1,617,153,753.00. A comparative review of the preceding year shows that the Command realized N373, 226, 990.74 more than it did in 2017 bringing it to about 0.35% increase in the Revenue Collection. “Specifically, when relating the revenue collected and seizures to the operational strategies used, I am happy to inform you that the Command focused mainly on intelligence base risk profiling of our system with 100% physical examination of cargo at the various Terminals and Sheds; meetings and sensitizing the stakeholders on the need and benefits of compliance; application of due diligence and professionalism in documentation and examination of cargoes; and importantly, building synergy with other relevant government agencies such •Port Harcourt Area II, Onne Command of the Nigeria Customs Service display- as NAFDAC, SON, Port Health, NDLEA ing some of the military uniforms stashed in a 40ft container and impounded and other sister security agencies especially Navy, Police and Immigration in the year.

for information which has proven to be useful at crucial moments. “It was on the basis of the foregoing that the Command recorded 61 remarkable seizures of various items such as 9 x 40 ft containers of Tramadol, Hyergra, Diclofenac and Analgesic Tablets of different types; 64 of 20 containers of foreign parboiled rice and other items such as military uniforms, boots and caps with a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1,617,153,753.00. “A comparative review of the seizure profile of 2017 revealed that the year 2018 surpassed with 37 seizures and DPV of N1,147,142,275 bringing to about 60.7% increase in seizures and 70.9% increase in DPV as regards to general enforcement. More so, we seized one hundred and twenty-six (126) containers which is 81% increase of the twenty-four (24) containers confiscated in the preceding year 2017. “All these seizures followed various infractions such as false declaration, concealment, wrong classification, import without end user certificate and complete disregards of import and export guidelines with intent to smuggle in illicit goods,” the agency said. Decrying the high rate of smuggling in the area, the agency described it as ‘unfortunate’, adding that it is still working in synergy with relevant agencies of government with a view to eradicating the menace.

“Nevertheless, it is worrisome and very unfortunate that despite the wide awareness on the dire consequences of smuggling activities on economic growth and development, some citizens still find joy in perpetuating this evil act only for their personal gains. “The Command has worked in synergy with other Customs Units such as the Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU), Valuation, CG’s Strike Force and Post Clearance Audit (PCA) to achieve maximum compliance to the extant laws on import and export for increased revenue generation; and anti-smuggling feat. “The overall achievement is sequel to the support of the ComptrollerGeneral of Customs and his Management Team with the full deployment of NICIS II application in the Command which necessitated training of five hundred and twenty (520) Officers/Men, and the resultant effect has yielded an intrinsic advantage in terms of revenue, control of infractions in the system and increased compliance level as a result of the additional functionalities. Furthermore, the Command has started in-house training of its Officers and Men on trade facilitation and with emphasis on oil and gas equipment. “The Command will not rest on its oars and will strive to justify the confidence reposed in us by the nation to make sure that this year achievement surpasses the former,” it said.


39 The Oracle Today Wednesday April 10 - 16, 2019

Anambra Civil Service: Chidi Ezeoke, Mni, where are you?

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gainst all advice, Chinedu Obigwe who calls himself Evangelist and National Coordinator of APGA warriors went ahead to write again about Dr Patrick Ifeanyi after I personally asked him to sheath his sword as politics is over. He proved he is a warrior and I was prepared to smoulder him and his principals as a Champion in the jungle, but I was prevailed on not to cut off his ear as he would expect. Before that, I had planned to revisit Nze Uche Nworah-led Anambra State Broadcasting Service (ABS) Awka to chronicle its good, bad and ugly history since Nworah assumed duties. However, a trip to the Anambra State Secretariat on Monday April 8th, 2019 changed the focus of my outing this week. At the magnificent Anambra State Secretariat, Awka, where thousands of workers troop in and out daily from all corners of the state and beyond, there is no toilet for visitors and the ones in the offices are not functional. Why? There is no water! The sumo spoilt and needed to be repaired or replaced. But for over two years, nobody cared; the Head of Service, Barr Harry Udu simply looked the other way. The people I inquired from were quick to condemn the alert governor, as he is called, Chief Willie Obiano but I disagreed with them because there is a Head of Service who is in charge of workers. The HOS, as the occupant is called, is the numero uno worker in the state. Unless Udu is a weakling and a coward, then forgive me as I haven’t seen that side before. I witnessed some others in the past including recent Lady Ifeoma Melifeonwu from Onitsha who later became Chairman of Anambra State Civil Service Commission and Mr Chidi Christopher Ezeoke, Mni, from Umuchu in Aguata, now a National Population Commission Commissioner representing Anambra State. They weren’t weaklings neither were they cowards. They got a fair share of the rights of the Civil Servants in the state. There was power and there was water supply in the Secretariat. Though all were not roses but incomparable to what I observed at the secretariat and what a brief investigation into the operations of the secretariat revealed. It was strange to discover that the public toilets building in the secretariat has been demolished

In

CORNUCOPIA By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu Telephone number: 08060750240

E-mail : odogwuchampionawka@yahoo.co.uk and the location turned into a public parking lot. Nice effort by the Uduled administration but an alternative would have been provided. As at press time, I was not told there was an alternative as people troop out to nearby bushes to pass urine and defecate. Every hidden corner stinks of human waste. Now it means every man to himself as far as convenience is concerned. Open defecation is what is being witnessed in the state secretariat environs! The premises look neat with interlocking stones and stuffs like that but beyond the veil of neat compound lies an unbelievable history. The buildings are being repainted and sincerely it was neat though unnecessary because the buildings are not up to two decades of its first painting. The Old secretariat building reroofing and repainting is in order because it has lasted awhile. I was worried when a visitor, a lady at that, was pressed and she approached almost all the offices pleading to use their convenience but she couldn’t gain access because there is no water. I was shocked to hear that there was no water in the secretariat for over two years, and therefore the toilets were not working. The lady defecated on her body and it was really messy. Her intension of coming to Awka that day was defeated as she first looked for enclosure to ease off tension and left disgracefully. Stories were told how staff of the ministries went through similar experiences of urinating on their bodies or defecating on their bodies. Worst hit are people in the Ministries of Health and Finance where people seriously pressed enter nearby farms or bushes to answer

the call of nature. That day Ministry of Economic Planning stank like hell, no thanks to toilets not flushed. Permanent Secretaries and Directors as well as top officials of the government use jerry cans to fetch water from home or elsewhere for use in the office and you see them carrying them up and down on arrival to duty every day. Strangely all the electrical points hitherto not functional are now all working though the Secretariat has no Public Power supply for over two years, until a media house blew it open. Some of the offices operate on generator sets and others stay without power supply. Now diesel comes direct from Government House to power the Lister generating set for the Secretariat but some still complain. What is a seasoned lawyer like John Harry Udu, the HOS of Anambra State doing about all these? Why can’t he fix these things? He has been there since Obiano’s emergence. He took over from Chidi Ezeoke, Mni. I heard that a lot of things are not in order since he assumed duties but no one is talking. Ezeoke gets his way, they said, but Udu does not and I ask why? Ezeoke was CKC Old boy, same as Obi and Obiano. Is this enough reason for a confirmed HoS of a state not to get his statutory approvals? I heard he went cap in hand to get Workers Day approval last year. There are political appointees of the governor including Executive Assistants, Special Assistants and Senior Special Assistants among others whom the civil Servants refer to as XYZ because they are too many and have taken over the training and activities the core civil servants would have been benefiting from. And a

•People fetching water to sale to top officials to use at Anambra State Secretariat due to lack of water

few slots by the civil servants are not enough hence they call it 5/100 which is a bad fraction. Civil Servants are agitated because nobody can talk and their Permanent Secretaries allegedly said all the reports they made to Udu, an Amawbia indigene has not yielded any fruit. Why would statutory administrative duties of civil servants like training and retraining be taken over by political appointees on temporary mission? I was told that there were Directors appointed by Obiano even Substantive Permanent Secretaries without the benefits of office for over a year now. Why is Head of Service not fighting for these interests? Why would Directors retire without enjoying their privilege of being promoted to Permanent Secretaries even when there are vacancies in about 10 ministries for them to be so promoted? Why would civil servants retire after 35 years without a home over their heads but politicians on transit within six months build mansions, yet they won’t allow carrier civil servants to enjoy their privileges of office because the politicians hijacked their responsibilities? Why would Udu be mum as the state civil service is being bastardized? I was told that civil servants now working in the Government House and Governor’s Lodge are from one location of the state called Omambala area and if you are not from Omambala, you won’t be working there. And seriously though not supposedly, since that happened the Governor now has a rest of mind as secrets on the shortcomings of the government stopped being leaked. Another thing I saw as not in order

is the news that the Chief of Staff awards contracts and Accountant General pays? It shouldn’t be so. The government awards contracts through relevant ministries then the ministry becomes accountable for the contracts so awarded in lieu of supervision and through the Commissioner give the governor progress report on the contract so awarded. Why would a level 13 officer be acting as the Accountant General of the State when there are Directors of Accounts? Is it true that Governor Obiano was deliberate on that, waiting for his people to measure up before appointing the right Accountant General? Can it be true that there are vacant openings for appointment of Permanent Secretaries in the Anambra State Civil Service, yet none has been appointed and 12 officers are acting as Perm Secs in those ministries? Why should this be, Mr Udu? Why would those who were promoted since 2017 by Governor Obiano as Directors not enjoy their benefits of promotion yet some retired without the benefits of office they were promoted to? And why should a ministry be doing selective promotion as some in same position have been promoted, others not? Why would erosion encroach frontage of the Ministry and Harry is waiting for some other person to complain about it? Flood from Ifite Awka first market through the Secretariat in front of B Division of the Nigerian Police through the Federal Secretariat is something else and should have been checkmated through NEWMAP or NASREA? Why would the HOS be waiting for anybody to announce measures to checkmate that? I don’t know--between civil servants and teachers-- who are worse in the denial of accruals to them as teachers who went for promotion interview in 2014 got their names released in 2017 because of governorship election. The arrears of the promotion are yet to be paid to teachers. In 2017, those due for promotion in 2015 and 2016 equally went for promotion interview in 2017 probably for election but those due for promotion in 2017 and 2018 as well as 2019 are yet to be promoted. Why? When shall they go for promotion interview and when shall the arrears be paid? Education Ministries over to you! If it is true that the HoS goes cap in hand begging others who are not in line of duties to appeal to the governor for his rights and obligations before they could be attended to, something is wrong somewhere and something urgent needs to be done to ameliorate the situation. He should be accorded the respect due that office but he should know that his duty is also to tell the governor the truth about workers’ due in the state and diplomatically pursue it to a logical conclusion so that workers can beat their chest and say they have a Head of Service who speaks for them not for himself. His position is statutory and has rules of engagement and disengagement so needless being afraid of sack. A new Anambra State Civil Service with happy workers is awaiting the action of Governor Willie Obiano not a joyful civil service based on propaganda. Harry Udu please hear this and fight for the interest of the workers! •Odogwu Emeka Odogwu is a known Journalist, Editor and famous Blogger, as well as Social Media Entrepreneur, publisher and Conversationalist @ www. odogwublog.com among others. Phone Number: 08060750240 E-mail : odogwuchampionawka@ yahoo.co.ukOdogwu


WEDNESDAY April 10 - 16, 2019

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Concorde Casino and metaphor of loyal wife “Y GUEST COLUMNIST our Excellency, your predecessor, Chief Achike Udenwa, granted an interview to a national daily where he made scathing remarks on you. I quote: ‘To be honest with you, if you remember how Ohakim came into power when I was leaving, he was not actually the people’s choice. He was a child of circumstances at the time. There were other considerations before Ohakim came in. It was a question of let us try him and see what he can do and he failed completely. He was very arrogant and did not even understand what the people needed. That is why he has been contesting and failing. He cannot make it even if he contests for 10 times. And in the case of Rochas, he came as a redeemer because of the poor performance of Ohakim’. What do you have to say about that?” That was the bombshell of a question thrown at me by one of the finest journalists of this era in Abuja few days ago. Was I thrown off balance? Was it unexpected that Achike Udenwa had to throw stone at me from a glasshouse? Am I shocked by his outburst? Let me explain how I feel, by what I have titled The Concorde Casino and the metaphor of the loyal wife. Imagine a loyal and honest wife suddenly confronted by evidence of her husband’s infidelity. She has lived alongside him for years. She sees him as she assumes he is: reliable, hardworking, loving and dependable. In her marriage, she is standing on a rock, or so she believes. But he became less attentive and more distracted. Small things she says and does irritate him unjustifiably. One day she sees him at Concorde Hotel Casino with another woman drinking, smoking weed and interacting with her in a manner difficult to rationalize and ignore. The limitations and inaccuracy of her husband’s perceptions become immediately and painfully obvious. Her theory of him collapses. What happens, in consequence? First, something - someone - emerges in his stead: a complex, frightening stranger. Her theory of herself also collapses in the aftermath of the betrayal. Her husband is not whom she perceived him to be - but neither is she, the betrayed wife. She is no longer the “well-loved, secure wife and valued partner.” The ground shifts continually around her feet. Is the once reasonably content wife now a deceived innocent or gullible fool? Should she view herself as a victim or as co-conspirator in a shared delusion? Her husband is - what? An unsatisfied lover? A psychopathic liar? The very Devil himself? How could he be so cruel? How could anyone for that matter? She looks in the mirror. Who is she? What’s going on? The dreadful inadequacy of our senses reveals itself. Under that condition, everything we hold dear crumbles to dust. We freeze. We turn to stone. This is nothing but the appearance of the eternal dragon, from its eternal cavern, from its now-disturbed slumber. Is this the underworld, with its monsters rising from the depths? How do we prepare for catastrophe, when we do not know what to expect, or how to act? As humans, under such circumstances, our bodies ready themselves for all possible eventualities. When such shock comes, first, we freeze. The reflexes of the body then shade into

IKEDI

OHAKIM

•Udenwa emotion, the next stage of perception. Is this something scary? Something that must be fought? Something that can be ignored? Now we are in a costly and demanding state of readiness. Our bodies are flooded with cartisol and adrenaline. Our hearts beat faster. Our breath quickens. We realise, painfully, that our sense of competence and completeness is gone; was it a dream? We draw physical and psychological resources saved carefully for just this moment. We prepare for the worst. We push the gas pedal furiously to the floor, and slam on the brakes at the same time. We scream, or laugh. We look disgusted, or terrified. And so, the deceived wife, increasingly unhinged, feels the motivation to reveal all she knows about the husband and the marriage to her best friend, to strangers, etc, or retreats into silence, and ruminates obsessively. Question, question! What went wrong? What did she do that was unforgivable? Who is this person that she has been living with? What kind of world is this, where such rubbish can happen? What conversation could she possibly initiate with this new infuriating person, inhabiting the shell of her former husband? What forms of revenge might satisfy her anger? She is by turns enraged, terrified, struck down by pain and exhilarated by the possibilities of her newfound freedom. She suddenly realised that her house was

built on a foundation of sand. She has been hit so hard that her anger, terror and grief consume her. Her sense of betrayal widens. Was it really so unexpected? Should she now feel guilty about ignoring the warning signs, subtle though they may have been, encouraged though she was to avoid them. Would anyone, including herself, put up with such a situation? She began to ask more questions: Are we stuck in the marriage like the two proverbial cats in a barrel, bound by the oaths that last in theory until one or both of us die? Under such circumstances, there is nothing but a fight - a fight with peace as the goal - that will reveal the truth. If we remain silent the monster under the rug gains a few more pounds. Maybe the husband who betrayed his wife has become too old and selfish. Maybe that selfishness got the upper hand. Maybe she did not oppose this tendency with enough force and vigour at the beginning. Maybe all that unaddressed conflict left both resentful, in a manner unspoken, but effectively enacted. Maybe respect slowly turned into contempt, and no one designed to notice. Why avoid the inevitable fight, when avoidance necessarily and inevitably poisons the future? Isn’t it better to prepare, to sharpen your sword, to peer into the darkness, and then to beard the lion in its den? You cannot be fooled so easily unless you

have gone very far down the road. Now she has been betrayed, driven by desperation, but determined to face the incoherence of the past, present and the future. To reemerge, to escape, to be reborn, she must thoughtfully articulate the reality she has comfortably but dangerously left hidden behind a veil of pretence of peace. She will never return to dry land, so to say, if she refuses or is unable to fight back. My late father, Maxwell, told me that what you hear in the forest but cannot see might be a tiger. It might even be a conspiracy of tigers, each hungrier and more vicious than the other, led by a crocodile. But it might not be, too. If you turn and look, perhaps, you will see that it’s just a squirrel. If you refuse to look, however, then it is a dragon. My father also advised me that if you shirk the responsibility of confronting the unexpected, even when it appears in manageable doses, reality itself will become unsustainably disorganised and chaotic. Then it will grow bigger and swallow all order, sense and predictability. I remember the writing of Professor Jordan Peterson, one of the greatest philosophers/ psychologists of the 21st century. According to Peterson, “When things break down, what has been ignored rushes in. When things are no longer specified with precision, the walls crumble, and chaos makes its presence known. When we’ve been careless, and let things slide, what we have refused to attend to gathers itself up, adopts a serpentine form, and strikes - often at the worst possible moment. It is then that we see what focused intent, precision of aim and careful attention protects us from.” Shall I confront the chaos of being? Shall I take aim against a sea of troubles? Shall I specify my destination and chart a new course? I sure will. I shall begin to point the light for all to see, that there is a serpent in the garden and he is a subtle beast, according to the ancient story (difficult to see, vaporous, cunning, deceitful and treacherous). A snake, they say, does not have to be taught to strike. It’s in the nature of the beast so to do. Achike Udenwa’s hate of my person has grown to Luciferian proportion. He has demonstrated his capacity to deceive, manipulate, scheme, trick, falsify, minimise, mislead, betray, prevaricate, deny, rationalise, exaggerate and obscure which is absolutely endless and positively demonic. I am pleased that Achike Udenwa has spoken first. I thank him a zillion times for dragging me out. I shall also speak. If for no other reason but for history and posterity. I shall speak because of the memory of those pensioners and councillors who died because someone wickedly withheld their entitlements. I shall speak for the memories of Chief Ogbonnaya Uche aka OGB, Chief T.E. Agwatu, Chief Uche Ogbe, Ikechukwu Ufomba and more than 50 MASSOB members murdered in my own Okigwe. The book is on its way. It shall tell our story for the interest of posterity, for the interest of peace and for you the reader to draw your own conclusions. •Dr OHAKIM is immediate past governor of ImoState.

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.

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Wednesday April 10-16, 2019 Edition  

Anxiety, tension as herdsmen ‘return’

Wednesday April 10-16, 2019 Edition  

Anxiety, tension as herdsmen ‘return’

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