Lessons from Don Waney’s death News Analysis
Inter-party, inter-agency cooperation can go a long way in fighting crime and criminalities in the country, if such cooperation that led to the killing of Rivers deadly cultist and notorious kidnapper, Don Waney, is anything to go by, writes NATH OMAME from Port Harcourt…
ithout doubt, the killing of notorious cultist and kidnapper, Johnson Igwedibia, alias Don Waney, on
the night of Saturday, January 6, by a combined team of soldiers from the 82 Division, Enugu, and personnel of the Rivers State
Command of the Department of State Security, DSS, represents a huge leap in the concerted fight against cultism and
VOX POPULI SACRUM
criminality in Rivers State. According to the out-going General Officer Commanding, 2 Division, Port Harcourt, Maj-General Enobong Udoh, Don Waney was first traced to Owerri after the military raided his residence on November 21 last year, at his hometown in Aligu, near Omoku, in Ogba/ Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area. After he masterminded the New Year’s Day massacre that claimed the lives of 16 people with six persons undergoing treatment in hospitals in the state, Don Waney Cont’d on page 2
WEDNESDAY January 17, 2018
VOL.2 No. 55. N200
INEC insists on Anambra election By THEO RAYS, Onitsha
HE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that the Court of Appeal-ordered Anambra Central Senatorial district re-run election will hold this Saturday, January 13 as earlier scheduled. The hope for the conduct of the rerun election, which has suffered many litigations, heightened following a statement credited to the Anambra State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Nwachukwu Orji indicating that election would hold as scheduled on Saturday. Dr Orji was quoted as saying that the legal debacle hindering the election from holding had been resolved, noting that the legal department of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC had studied the judgments and asked INEC to go ahead with the election as ordered by the Court of Appeal as against the Justice John Tsoho Federal High Court judgment, declaring Dr. Obiora Okonkwo of the PDP as the Senator-elect for the /senatorial District. A Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by Justice John Tsoho had on 13 December last year, declared Dr. Okonkwo the rightful candidate for the seat, and asked the Senate to swear him in immediately. Many had awaited the decision of the Independent Electoral Commission, which during the hearing of Dr. Obiora’s uncontested suit had told the court that it would
Cont’d on page 42
• Traffic gridlock in Onitsha on 6 January as the Niger Bridge was closed for LG election in Delta State
Rising anger over Buhari, herdsmen • Benue’s killing fields • Why protect -Pg 2 herdsmen ? • Herdsmen make their case
Kanu is missing, IPOB can’t retreat – Edoziem
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
Lessons from Don Waney’s death Continued from Pg 1
then relocated to Enugu, where he rented an apartment and lived among unsuspecting neighbours. On Sunday, January 7, the lifeless body of Don Wanye; those of his Second-in-Command, Okechukwu Adiele and another gang member, Lucky Ode, all killed by a combined team of soldiers and DSS personnel as they “attempted to escape through the back exit of the apartment” were displayed in Bori Camp, Port Harcourt, for identification. According to a release from the army, they were shot and killed by eagle-eyed troops as they attempted to escape through the back door. “One of them died on the spot while the other two who sustained gunshot wounds died while being evacuated for medical attention,” the army said. The hoodlums were killed in the wee hours of Saturday night. Their three lifeless bodies with gunshot wounds were paraded at Bori Camp, at 9.am on Sunday, January 7. The healthy synergy among the security agencies was amply demonstrated at the parade of the three lifeless bodies at Bori Camp. The Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed and the State Director of DSS, Tosin Ajayi joined the out-going GOC, 2 Division, Maj-General Udoh celebrating the breakthrough in fighting Rivers’ deadly cult gangs. In the press statement he issued, Deputy Director of Army Public Relations, Col Aminu Iliasu expressed gratitude to members of the public for helpful information that led to the killing
To be serialised in The Oracle Today soon
Read about the great Rangers story from next edition
of the notorious kidnapper and his gang members. He added: “We also wish to solicit your further cooperation in volunteering useful information to track down and arrest the remaining gang members so as to bring them to face justice for peaceful, prosperous and secured Omoku community, ONELGA, Rivers State and the entire Niger Delta region.” The speed with which Don Waney and his henchmen were tracked and killed in a security drag net signifies how much could be achieved when there is synergy among security agencies and symbiotic cooperation between the federal and state government.
In the past, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP)-controlled Rivers State would be wary of sharing information with the security agencies under the auspices of an All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government, fearing that such information would not be properly used. Rivers has often been suspicious of the crime-bursting efforts of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS), an arm of the Nigerian Police commanded by CSP Akin Fakorede, especially. Cult-related clashes and killings have often elicited finger pointing, boiling over into the trading of blames by the PDP
and the APC in Rivers State. But this time, it was different. The visit of the Minister of Interior, Lt-General Abdulrahman Dambazzau, to Rivers State on the orders of President Mohammadu Buhari was not in any way politicized. Both parties welcomed the visit of the minister. Lt-General Dambazzau’s tone was conciliatory: “I was directed by the president to come to Rivers State on hearing of the New Year’s Day massacre in Aligu and Omoku in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, ONELGA. The federal government wants to partner with the Rivers State government to combat the menace of cultism in Rivers State.”
The minister paid a courtesy visit to Governor Wike at Government House, Port Harcourt. And the exchange was very frank, indeed. Dambazzau assured Governor Wike: “Rivers State is important to the country, particularly when it comes to the issue of the economy. It is very important that the federal government partners with the state to see how any security gaps can be closed for adequate protection of lives and property.” The minister’s visit presented Wike an opportunity to address the issue of insecurity frontally. “The security agencies have the
Cont’d on page 37
Rising anger over Buhari, herdsmen From Collins Ughalaa, Owerri; From CHINEDU NWAFOR, Abakaliki; NATH OMAME, Port Harcourt; BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia
NGER of Nigerians is rising over reports that President Muhammadu Buhari plans to run for a second term in 2019. The reactions are based on the President’s refusal to take responsibility on two most recent issues – fuel scarcity that made the usual end of year festivities an agonising time for Nigerians, and the unrestrained rampaging Fulani cattle rearers, who have been killing Nigerians without being brought before the law. The most recent killings in Benue State riled most Nigerians our correspondents spoke with. He’s not qualified to run THE Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Imo State has said that the President is not qualified to seek a second term from Nigerians. Speaking with The Oracle Today in Owerri, the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Imo State, Hon Damian Oparah said the President should first provide good governance to Nigerians. He also said the President should also address the security challenges in the country before conceiving of second term, saying that his government has disappointed the people. “The President is not qualified to go for second term. He wants to go for second term? Let him first stop the herdsmen and Boko Haram that are killing people. He should revive the economy and stop the fuel hike. He should govern well before talking about second term,” the PDP said. Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Malam Garba Shehu, had in November last year said the President would seek re-election in 2019. “Suggestions that the masses will desert President Buhari in 2019 were unfounded and utterly ridiculous. Ordinary Nigerians are the backbone of his mandate and the only reason he ran for office is to protect them against the rapacious merchants of corruption, who have held Nigeria back for de-
cades,” Mallam Shehu said. But, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Imo State said those urging the President to seek a second term in office were insane and do not love Nigeria. The State Publicity Secretary, Dr George Nkwoji, told The Oracle Today that the Buhari-led government had witnessed more genocides than countries in war, adding that the genocide that has taken place under the Buhari government could only be compared to what the Nazi did to the Jews in Germany. “On Buhari’s second term bid, APGA believes that that those who are urging him to do so are insane, do not love Nigeria and are dishonest to Buhari. In the first place, Buhari’s regime has witnessed more genocide than any war- torn country in the world. The crimes committed under his watchful eyes can only be compared with what Nazi did to the Jews. “Buhari is comparable to the dreaded Adolf Hitler. He is unfit to govern a multi-ethnic nation like Nigeria”, said APGA. The party also assured that they would “present a humane person to replace him,” in 2019.
Similarly, Most Rev. (Dr.) Emmanuel Chukwuma, has urged the President to ignore those pushing him to present himself for re-election. According to Chukwuma, who is the Anglican Archbishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical Province and Bishop of Enugu, “it is deceitful of anybody to advise the President to continue beyond 2019...” On the New Year attack in Rivers State, the PDP said President should emulate the Rivers State Government under Governor Nyesom Wike. The party said: “The quick and decisive response the police and the military used to locate Don Wayne could have been applied elsewhere to address the security challenges there and stop whatever some people are doing there. “Something that happened and within a week the perpetrators were caught. The Rivers State Government should be commended and the Federal Government should emulate the Rivers State Government”. Killings by herdsmen will affect Buhari’s re-election PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to directly confront
and effectively deal with the worrisome invasion of herdsmen killing and destroying peoples’ farmlands across the country will have adverse effect on his re-election bid in 2019. Dennis Deekor, a human rights activist said the people of Rivers State were grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari for his prompt intervention in the New Year massacre at Alegu and Omoku, in Rivers State that claimed 16 lives with 6 injured persons currently receiving treatment at various hospitals in the State. The President directed the Minister of Interior, Lt-General Dambazau, to visit Rivers State to partner with state government in tracking down the perpetrators of the heinous act. The Minister was in Rivers State on Friday, January 5. He visited the scenes of the attack with Governor Nyesom Wike, and the service commanders and the Commissioner of Police, later had a strategic security meeting t the headquarters of the 2 Division, Bori Camp, Port Harcourt. A day after, his visit, on the night of Saturday, January 5, a combined team of soldiers and operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, trailed Johnson Igwedibia, alias, Don Waney, the notorious cultist and mastermind of the New Year’s Day massacre to a flat in a community in Enugu, Enugu State. Don Waney, his second-in-command, Ikechukwu Adiele and another member of his gang, Lucky Ode, were killed as they attempted to escape from the backdoor. Decker stressed: “We in Rivers State are grateful to the President for sending the Minister to our State and directing him to mandate the security agencies to track down and arrest the leader of the criminal gang and mastermind of the New Year massacre. Why not Benue? We are aware that the Minister also visited Benue State where marauding herdsmen slaughtered 59 people. If the President acted very presidential in handling the New Year’s Day massacre in Rivers State, why can’t the President do so with the wanton
Cont’d on page 37
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
NEWS ACROSS THE NATION Kaduna teachers commence indefinite strike
eachers in public secondary and primary schools in Kaduna State have commenced an indefinite strike action over job security and welfare issues. The strike was called, Monday, by the state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), despite threat by the state government, Sunday, to sack any teacher that joined in the industrial action. In some of the schools in Kaduna metropolis only security guards were noticed in the premises as students and teachers remain at home. At the LGEA Primary School Mahuta and Unguwan Boro only security guards were at the premises while the classrooms were under lock and key. Also at the LGEA Primary School Unguwan Mu’azu some of the teachers were at the school premises but with no student on sight. One of the teachers who preferred anonymity said they directed the pupils to return home because of the strike, adding that the teachers were hanging around in case there might be new directive from the NUT. At the Rimi College in Unguwan Rimi only the management staff were at their duty posts, as teachers who resumed work and were briefed by NUT official on the strike pledged compliance. However, at Government Girls Secondary School Unguwan Mu’azu and Government Girls Secondary School Independence Way, Kaduna, teachers and management staff that resumed for work said they had not seen the NUT circular on the strike. Other schools visited were Government Secondary School Kargi Road, Tudun Wada, LEA Primary School Faki Road, Tudun Wada, both with no sign of activity. Reports from Zaria, Sabongari, Makarfi, Soba, Giwa and Ikara Local Government Areas indicate total compliance to the strike as teachers and students remained at home. The NUT Chairman, Zaria Local Government, Malam Yahaya Ab-
bas said the strike was inevitable as the state government had ignored all efforts to meet the teachers ‘demands. He contended that the sack of about 22, 000 teachers, one of the reasons for the strike, was carried out in total disregard to civil service rules and regulations. “The sack was not done in accordance with civil service rules and majority of the teachers passed the so called examination with more than 60 per cent. There is no justification for the governor to fix 75 per cent as pass mark, it has never been done anywhere in the world. “Even in Oxford, Cambridge or Harvard universities, if you get 70 marks, you are an `A’ grade student.” Usman Rabi’u, NUT Chairman, Sabongari Local Government appreciated teachers in the area for comply-
ing with the strike order by the NUT and urged them not to waiver “until justice is done.” He, however, urged the state government to meet the demands of the union so as not to prolong the strike. A cross section of teachers said on condition of anonymity, that they were dismayed by the lukewarm attitude of the state government towards addressing issues that led to the strike. The NUT had on November 6, 2017 given the state government a two-week ultimatum to reverse its decision to sack about 22, 000 teachers. The union had obtained an injunction from the National Industrial Court, Kaduna, restraining the state government from disengaging any teacher until the determination of the substantive suit on the matter.
NUT explained it proceeded on strike after the state government began issuing sack letters to the affected teachers after the Christmas and New Year holidays. The union is also asking the state government to stop the compulsory retirement of secondary school teachers; pay the 2015 leave transport grant of 3,338 primary school teachers, and that of all public school teachers for 2016 and 2017. Other demands include the payment of salary arrears of more than 15,000 primary school teachers from June 2015 to July 2016, and full payment of salaries of teachers omitted after screening and those being under paid. The NUT is stressed that the state government has also failed to promote teachers and provide teaching and learning materials to schools among others.
ublic and private schools in Maiduguri, on Monday re-opened for the second term academic session. It would be recalled that the Borno State Ministry of Education had directed the re-opening of primary and secondary schools on January 8, after the Christmas and New Year break. Also reports that academic activities resumed in most schools in Maiduguri metropolis, including temporary learning centres at Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps. Reacting, Alhaji Bulama Abiso, the Chairman, Borno chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), tasked teachers to comply with the resumption calendar. Abiso said that the teachers should ensure that they report to their posts and dedicate themselves to duty. He also called on the state government to implement the N18, 000 minimum wage and pay the annual increment and promotion arrears to teachers particularly at basic education level. Abiso noted that such measures were necessary to motivate teachers to put their best toward enhancing academic excellence. “We commend the government over the reconstruction and rehabilitation of school structures destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents. Improvement of teachers’ welfare is imperative to provide enabling teaching and learning environment,” Abiso said. Also, Master Abba Ahmad, a class 4 pupil at Sanda Kyaremi Primary School, expressed joy over the school resumption. Ahmad said they were provided with bags and instructional materials by development organizations. Maryam Muhammad, a 16-year old displaced person, called on the government to adopt proactive measures to enhance enrolment of dis• Archbishop Fortunates Nwachukwu, from Nvosi, Abia State, Papal Nuncio in Nicaragua with Governor Okezie placed children in school. Ikpeazu of Abia State. She noted that some of the displaced children were attending classes in temporary learning centres at the Bakassi IDP camp. “Most of us could not attend classes due to lack of space at the centre, I The minister noted that the pro“As a state government, we had clearly shows that our governor want to go back to school and called gramme was a continuous process no choice really, let me say that the and indeed the President feel same on the government to help me”. that would return all stranded Nige- Rivers State Governor made it clear about this issue. Statistics of the United Nations rians from Libya. to me that we should do everything “On behalf of the Rivers State Children Education Fund (UNICEF) The minister explained that “the possible to make sure that this exer- Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, I will showed that over 2, 295 teachers Libyan Government got the mes- cise was handled smoothly. like to thank President Muham- were killed and 19, 000 others dissage that as far as they are Nigeri“The Rivers State Government madu Buhari, the Minister of placed during years of insurgency in ans, we have zero tolerance for mo- would do everything in its power to Foreign Affairs and his team who the state. lestation.” assist federal agencies handling this worked tirelessly to make the reIt also indicated that 1, 400 schools Secretary to the Rivers State Gov- programme, because above every- turn of our brothers and sisters suc- were destroyed since the start of the ernment (SSG), Sir Kenneth Kobani, thing else, we are all Nigerians and cessful,” he said. Boko Haram insurgency in 2009. who led the state delegation, com- this programme is a clear indication Onyeama was accompanied by The UN agency indicated further mended President Muhammadu Bu- that when we work together, we officials from the Nigerian Immi- that three million children in the hari for making efforts in returning can achieve anything. gration Service, NEMA NAPTIP and northeast are in need of support to the stranded Nigerians. “What you are seeing here today military personnel. keep learning. It revealed that the organization was working closely with the government and partners to put children in the northeast back into learning enviuto spare part dealers in “We do not know how the issue the auto dealers because the deal- ronments. According to the report, more than Bayelsa have appealed to the of non-payment of tax and rents ers were facing untold hardship. state government and the came up because we have always An official, who preferred ano- 525, 000 children had been enrolled Governor, Seriake Dickson, to reo- paid our rents through the Nigerian nymity in the State Ministry of in school in the 2017/2018 academic pen the Mechanic Village shut since Automobile Technicians Associa- Trade and Investment, said the per- year, while over 37 temporary learnDecember 18, 2017. tion, who are in charge of the shops manent secretary was not on seat ing centres have been established, and about 92, 000 packs of learning Chairman, Auto Spare Parts As- in the market. to comment on the matter. sociation in the state, Mr Okoli Sun“From what we learnt, out of the “The permanent secretary was materials distributed to help children day, told newsmen in Yenagoa that 484 shops in the mechanic village, around some hours ago, but he continue their education. “UNICEF’s education response in the closure had caused setbacks to only 78 are being accounted for,” has gone out for an official duty. their businesses. he alleged. The ministry has no commissioner the northeast remains critically unOkoli said that the association Okoli appealed to the state gov- yet and no other person can speak derfunded, with just 54 per cent of the $31.4 million appeal received, leavmembers had always paid their tax- ernment to reconsider the reopen- on the matter,” the official said. ing a funding gap of $14.4 million,” it es and rents. ing of the village and dialogue with added.
491 returnees from Libya arrive P/Harcourt
inister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, has reassured Federal Government’s commitment to return all stranded Nigerians from Libya. Onyeama gave the assurance when he received 491 Nigerian returnees from Libya at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagba, alongside Rivers State Government officials. The minister said there were stories of exploitation and suffering by stranded Nigerians in Libya, which compelled Federal Government to act decisively. He added that “we made it clear to the Libyan Government that we want to see all Nigerians there. We insisted that we should see all of them, instead of hearing from them. “We made it clear that they (Libyans) are signatories to international conventions and we expected them to have control of those who guard our children. They cooperated with us because of respect for Mr President, there were people who were making money from these children and did not want them to return home. “We carried out rigorous outreach to ensure that we have everybody back.”
Schools reopen in Maiduguri for 2nd term
Reopen Mechanic Village, auto dealers beg Dickson
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
NEWS ACROSS THE NATION 2018 Legal Year: FCT Judicial staff tasked on commitment
legal practitioner, Mr V.V. Manga has urged the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court staff, to imbibe the culture of discipline and decorum within and outside the courts in the 2018 Legal Year Manga made the remark while delivering a paper at a training workshop on improved service delivery for senior staff of the FCT High Court. He said the effective and efficient performance of judicial officers’ responsibilities would not be completed without the significant functionality of the supportive staff. Manga stressed the need for seamless collaboration between the judicial officers and the general staff, adding that their role could not be overemphasised. According to him, the duties of court employees which include all statutory duties prescribed by law take precedence over all other activities and engagements. “The fact that court employees hold highly visible positions of public trust; it is desirable that a standard of conduct should be observed, considering the anticipatory disposition of the public toward the court. “Because of the pivotal role of justice administration in peace, progress and stability of the society, those who generally complement and support judicial officers in discharge of their duties must imbibe the culture of decorum.” A lecturer at the Department of Public Administration, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Dr Musa Idris, urged the staff to imbibe the means of managing stress. He said that the judiciary being the centre of activities of every society faced more challenges and needed to organise itself to meet the demand of the public. Idris said that success in the modern day business could only be achieved by a single brain decision and action, adding that individual would need the support and guidance of others. According to him, success will largely depend on the ability to build a team where individuals will come together in a common platform with a common objective to accomplish a permanent or temporary task for which the team is built.
Agim, DHQ new spokesman, resumes duty
ewly-appointed spokesman for the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Brig. -Gen. John Agim, has assumed duty. Wing Cmdr. O. O. Ademosu, in a statement she signed on behalf of the Director Defence Information, confirmed the assumption of duty of the new spokesman on Monday. Agim replaced Maj.-Gen. John Enenche who has been deployed to the Army War College, Nigeria, as its Commandant. Until his appointment, the new defence spokesman was Commandant Nigerian Army School of Public Relations.
Benue attack: Humanitarian crises overwhelm Guma council
hairman, Guma Local Government Area, Mr Anthony Shawon, said the invasion of some villages in the council area has left a huge humanitarian and environmental crises that needed urgent intervention. Shawon said, Monday, in Makurdi that the herders, who invaded Saav, Mbadyen and Uvir villages on Jan.1, had retreated to the forest of Dogon Yashi, stretching from Guma to Logo on the banks of River Benue, covering over 57km long. Shawon, who lamented the destruction of crops, farms and houses by the invaders, said survivors of the invasion had left their ancestral homes and were looking for shelter
in nearby towns. He said the state government had approved the setting up of camps for the displaced persons but regretted that the few already established were overcrowded by the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). “The camps at Guma and Gbajimba are overcrowded, but the Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) is already handling the situation because as a local government, the scale is beyond us.” He regretted that the invaders, who were hiding in the Dogon Yashi forest, were still attacking villages, burning down houses and destroying crops. Shawon said the attackers were
still destroying crops kept in farms such as soya beans, yams, guinea corn and rice. “They are openly grazing on farms after which they set them on fire,” he alleged. The chairman, however, commended men of the Nigerian Army for their quick intervention in quelling the crisis, even as he appealed to the Force to enter into the forest and dislodge the herders there. He, however, accused the Kabawa community in Guma of ferrying food to herdsmen in the forest in exchange for cattle. Shawon, however, disclosed that the Kabawa people who carried food to the herders had been arrested by
the police in Abinsi. He, however, regretted that the herdsmen were still carrying out open grazing in spite of the anti open grazing law on an open stretch of land from Mbagwen to Lokobi in the Local Government Area. According to him, that place is still open for invasion as the herdsmen are still doing open grazing there. Meanwhile, Gov. Samuel Ortom has set aside Thursday, Jan. 11 for the mass burial of the 71 victims of the invasion while Tuesday and Wednesday had been declared days of mourning. Flags will fly at half-mast while government offices will close at 1 p.m.
Ohanivo constituents adopt Umahi for second term From CHINEDU NWAFOR, Abakliki
•Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, second left, flanked by top officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), as well as Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the Senior Special Adviser to the President On Diaspora at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagba, as the head of Federal Government delegation to negotiate return of Nigerian immigrants in the Libya
PDP sweeps Delta council polls
he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), last Sunday, in Asaba won 23 out of the 25 local government areas of Delta in Saturday’s council elections across the state. Chairman of Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC), Mr Mike Ogbodu, gave the details when he announced the results on Sunday in Asaba. He said that PDP won the chairmanship elections in 23 local government areas. According to him, elections have been postponed in Ethiope East and Ughelli North areas due to reports of violence which has resulted in the burning of the DSIEC office in Ughelli. He said elections in the two council areas would be held on Jan. 9, 2018. “Following the completion of collation and counting of results from the chairmanship and councillorship elections held last Saturday across the state, I wish to announce that the PDP won the chairmanship elections in 23 local government areas. “Election in Ethiope East and Ughelli North were postponed due to reports of hostility that were deemed not suitable for the conduct of elections. However, the commission wishes to announce that chairman-
ship and councillorship elections in the two local councils will now hold on Tuesday, January 9, 2018,” Ogbodu said. Ogbodu said that the PDP also won 424 councillorship seats across the state, adding that 59 councillorship candidates of the PDP were returned unopposed. He, however, disclosed that councillorship elections could also not hold in Ward 2 and Ward 4 in Oshimili North local government area. He said elections could not hold in those wards as a result of a court order restraining the conduct of elections there. According to him, the main opposition party in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC) won one councillorship seat in Ward 2, Aniocha North local government area. However, the APC in the state has kicked against the exercise, describing the conduct and subsequent results as a big sham. State Chairman of the APC, Mr Jones Erue, expressed the party’s position in a statement made available to newsmen on Sunday in Asaba. He also alleged that the elections were conducted without substantial compliance with relevant laws.
“This election was conducted in substantial non-compliance with the provisions set out in the DSIEC Law 2017 for the following reasons. “Sensitive election materials were not delivered as expected to most of the polling units where the actual elections were due to take place. Where materials were even delivered, they did not arrive on time as most were hijacked and re-directed along the way. “It was observed upon a close examination that the result sheets did not accompany the materials in most of the local government areas. Even where result sheets were produced, they were in sharp contrast with the samples that were presented to our party officials during the DSIEC training exercise, and so were fake. “Many Returning Officers were not at the Polling Units to conduct the elections nor to announce the outcome. For example, a DSIEC Returning Officer at Ozoro in Isoko North Local Government Area was arrested in Ozoro, facilitating illegal thumb-printing of votes,” Erue said. Erue also alleged that the election was marred by violence in a large number of council areas and wards where election was due to take place.
eople of Ohaozara, Onicha and Ivo Federal Constituency in Ebonyi State, also known as Ohanivo, have unanimously adopted Governor Dave Umahi as their sole candidate for 2019 governorship election. The decision was reached during their meeting in Onicha, Onicha Local Government Area of the state which gathered party executives, youths and women leaders and community leaders. They hinged their endorsement on the fact that Umahi has performed beyond expectations. Addressing the people, Member representing the federal constituency at the National Assembly, Hon. Linus Okorie said Umahi has executed laudable projects across the 13 local government areas of the state. He noted that the constituency would deliver the governor in the 2019 governorship election with more votes than it gave to him in 2015 and called for continued support for the governor. Okorie disclosed that the constituency has already commenced wardto-ward campaign for the success of the Governor come 2019 elections, just as he commended the people of Abakaliki bloc for their support to Umahi. “We must continue to thank them, we must continue to say that they are the best people one can relate with because irrespective of their large numbers, they are very supportive to our governor, they are the ones driving his development and they are not giving him any trouble. The Abakaliki bloc has given the governor even more support than us and we will continue to thank them for believing in the governor who came on Divine mandate”, Okorie stated. On the state of affairs at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he said: “PDP has bounced back. All of you are witnessing the government of APC. They cannot even organize themselves; they cannot even hold a meeting. It took them over one year to appoint ministers; it took them over two years to appoint board members. They are so selfish.”
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
NEWS Nkole flags off constituency project From BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia
t was jubilation galore as the construction of the Amukabi – Ekeluogo road which connects two autonomous communities in Amangwu Ohafia in the Ohafia local government area of Abia State was flagged off at the weekend. The member representing Arochukwu/Ohafia Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Chief Uko Nkole, flagged the rural road, in company of the Deputy Chief of Staff to Abia State Governor, Chief Ukpai Agwu Ukpai. Nkole said the Amangwu community had communicated him that the road was very dear to them and based on this, he made one of his constituency projects. “Every year, each House of Representatives members is given opportunity to put constituency projects worth N150 million in the budget. We have eight clans in my federal constituency which have 153 villages and if you share the money, it will come to nothing. But we had a town hall meeting where it was agreed that the funds would be deployed based on priority. That is why we have put this project at Amangwu in the budget as one of my constituency projects,” Nkole explained. He told the people that contract for the project, which is domiciled with the National Directorate of Employment, has been awarded, adding that the essence of the flag off was to introduce the supervising agency and the contractor to the people as construction would commence without further delay. In his remarks Chief Ukpai urged the people to cooperate with the contractor to realize the project on schedule, reminding them that the lawmaker has fulfilled his campaign promise to the people of Amangwu. Head of Internal Audit, NDE, Chief Okoroike Linus, assured the people that the agency would ensure that the job would be executed according to specifications. “We will not pay the contractor until he has completed the road,” he said. Managing Director of Inspiration Company Nigeria Ltd. which is handling the project, Engr. Chima Wosu, promised that his firm would not disappoint the people. “I will make sure that we execute to the letter, what is contained in the contractual agreement,” Wosu assured.
CHANGE OF NAME I formerly known as EKWEANUO VALENTINE MMADUABUCHI now wish to be known as EZE VALENTINE MMADUABUCHI. All Former documents remain valid. Banks and general public take note. I Formerly known as MISS OBODOEFUNA ADLINE CHINONYE now wish to be known as MRS NNOLI ADLINE CHINONYE. All former documents remain valid. Banks and general public take note
I formerly known as ORJI CYNTHIA CHIAMAKA now wish to be known as IBE CYNTHIA CHIAMAKA. All former documents remain valid. Banks and general public take note I formerly known as OBINEME NJIDEKA BLESSING now wish to be known as sAll former documents remain valid. Banks and general public take note
Change your attitude to politics if... Okorocha tells Mbaise people From COLLINS UGHALAA, Owerri
overnor Rochas Okorocha has urged the people of Mbaise Clan to change their attitude to politics and wean themselves of clannish politics if they want to produce the Governor of the state in the future, saying that their clannish politics has separated them from the rest of the state. Governor Okorocha made this known through a press release by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, saying that the Governor had during a meeting with political leaders, traditional rulers, church leaders and other stakeholders from the three local governments areas of Mbaise Clan: Aboh Mbaise Ezinihittee Mbaise and Ahiazu Mbaise, on Saturday, January 6, at his hometown Ogboko in Ideato South Local Government Area.
During the meeting, Governor Okorocha advised Mbaise people to change their style of politics which he said was “too clannish both in practice and in words, to enable them attract the support of other parts of the state to produce the governor of the state one day”. According to the press release: “The Governor stated that before now, the political leaders in Mbaise had enthroned a very disturbing political development or practice that portrayed the people of the area as clannish which has unfortunately alienated them from most of the other areas in the state”. The Governor also “praised Mbaise people for being industrious, intelligent, resourceful, united and enterprising, and that they have been due to produce the governor of the state long before now but regretted that Mbaise people alone
cannot produce a governor without the rest of Imo people”. However, Governor Okorocha expressed the hope that “the new emerging political leaders in Mbaise would correct the mistakes of the political leaders of the old order by playing group politics instead of clannish politics”, stressing that with politicians of like-minds now waxing stronger in the area, Mbaise people can now work with other people in the state to produce a governor very soon. He also expressed his love for Mbaise people, adding that there was nothing he did in other parts of the state that he didn’t do in Mbiase. Governor Okorocha added that the Resin Paint Industry which he repurchased and handed over to a foreign company, SkyRun, that has begun production is in Mbaise, and the University of Agriculture and
Vertinary Medicine vis-à-vis other numerous projects of the government located in Mbaise. Also, Hon. Nnanna Igbokwe, member representing Ahiazu and Ezinihittee Mbaise Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, who led the delegation, assured the Governor that Mbaise people had decided to be on the same page with him for the overall good of Mbaise people, since he has shown that he is a Governor with large heart. The House of Reps member who recently left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC) also said that what some key political leaders of Mbaise extraction could not do for their people, the Governor has done it for them, adding that henceforth, the Governor would begin to see broadbased politics by Mbaise people.
Escravos-Lagos pipeline resumes gas supply From SOPURUCHI ONWUKA, Lagos
• Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, and former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (l), during the just-concluded 2017 AITEO CAF Awards which held at the International Conference Centre, Accra, Ghana.
Abia embarks on rural development projects From BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia
ural development has received a big boost in Abia State as the state government has kickstarted its rural development programmes. The State governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, who disclosed this to newsmen Monday at the Banquet Hall,Government House, Umuahia, said the rural development efforts of his administration would be driven by the ‘One Local Government, 10 kilometres of Roads and One Ward, One Project initiatives. According to him, 10 kilometres of roads would be constructed in each of the 17 local governments under the One Local Government, 10 kilometres of Roads, while a project would be done in each political ward of the state. Before now, the governor had promised that his administration would construct 170 kilometres of rural roads across the 17 local government areas of the state. “Our one local government, 10 kilometres of roads initiative is on-going. In the next two months, we are going to have at least five or six of those rural roads ready for commis-
sioning. We are working hard, using this dry season window to ensure that by the time we close the dry season, we will be ready to commission some of those roads and probably start the next set of six. We want to do it in three batches because there are 17 local governments, So that initiative is on going,” the governor announced while briefing newsmen. “We tried to flag off our One ward, One Project initiative, which is another thing that is new. Under the One Ward, One Project, the new thing there is that it is an initiative that ensures a bottom-top approach. We are engaging the President-Generals of various town unions, traditional rulers, the market women to feed us back on what they think are the projects that can touch their lives in a more profound way,” Ikpeazu added. Under this initiative the state government would embark on projects such as renovation of market stalls in the villages, installation of streetlights around market places and economic centres, building of town halls, meeting places, as well as renovation and equipping of primary health care centres. “I assure you that by the time we
will do a review in three months, we would have delivered between 15 and 20 rural-based projects under the One Ward, One Projects Initiative,” he said. He said he was striving to complete the Bende-Ndi Oji-Ndi Okereke -Arochukwu road to improve communication and, most importantly, for manufacturing of cement in Arochukwu to commence. “The road is advancing very well. We have successfully launched that 60 metre bridge at Ndi Okereke and today, it is easier to go to Arochukwu than it was last year. “We want to spend the rest of the dry season to see if we can do further two or three kilometres towards Arochukwu from the bridge. I think the bridge was well done and I think it has the capacity to stand heavy trucks because we envisaged that in a few years time, the cement manufacturing outfits around Arochukwu would come because part of why we are unable to utilize the lime stone deposit there is because there is no road to convey those heavy material from that location to other parts of Abia,” the governor said.
atural gas supply to the domestic market has resumed following the restoration of the Escravos-Lagos pipeline which went down last week. According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) the pipeline which came down last week as a result of a fire incident has been restored while gas supply to customers including power generating companies has also resumed. The corporation said the repair work on the pipeline followed an assessment of the damage with a view to getting a prompt solution. It would be recalled that a section of the ELP at Abakila in Ondo State blew up in flames on January 2, 2018 as a result of bush fire. The incident affected gas supply to customers in Ondo, Ogun and Lagos States with subsequent shutdown of a number of power plants. With the restoration of the ELP and resumption of gas supply, the affected power plants with a combined generating capacity of 1,143MW would resume power generation. The power plants include: Egbin Power Plant in Lagos State; Olorunshogo Power Plant, PEL Olorunshogo and Paras Power Plant in Ogun State; and Omotosho Power Plant in Ondo State. The 36-inch Escravos to Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) is a natural gas pipeline built in 1989 to supply gas from Escravos in the Niger Delta to various consumption utilization areas. It supplies gas to power plants in the South-west and also feeds the West African Gas Pipeline System.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
Papal Nuncio to Nicaragua hails ‘hard-working’ Ikpeazu
Okowa tasks newly sworn in council chairmen on prudence
he Catholic Papal Nuncio to Nicaragua, His Grace, Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu, has extolled the leadership qualities of Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, describing him as ‘God fearing.’ He made the remark in Managua, in Nicaragua, while speaking to foreign diplomats, top Nicaraguan government functionaries and the business community in a well-attended dinner organised in honour of Governor Ikpeazu who paid him a visit. The Catholic Archbishop, who was visibly happy at the courtesy visit by the governor, described Governor Ikpeazu as “a thorough bred humane and hardworking leader who is passionate about serving his people and God”. He assured the governor of his prayers and that of the Catholic Church in Nigeria and prayed God to crown the governor’s efforts with great success. Earlier in his address, Ikpeazu said he was in Managua to thank the government and people of Nicaragua for being good hosts to Bishop Nwachukwu, an illustrious son of Abia State, and Papal Nuncio of the Catholic Church to their country. The governor, who described service to others as the hallmark of leadership, assured that Bishop Nwachukwu has a good record of service that he will bring to his new assignment. Ikpeazu, who was accompanied on the visit by industrialist, Ochiagha Reagan Ufomba, has since returned to Abia State.
From JONATHAN AWANYAI, Asaba
3 elected Chairmen and their Vice took oath of office in Delta State at an occasion where the State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa admonished them to be prudent with the management of resources. “As Council Chairmen, I expect you to continue in the spirit of diligence, transparency, prudent management and accountability that this administration has become known for,” the Governor said. He cautioned the new council helmsmen to ensure judicious allocation of available resources. “The true test of a manager is not in the huge volume of resources at his or her disposal but in the astute management of the available resources, especially
when they are not enough.” Governor okowa emphasized, “in discharging your functions, fairness, equity and justice must be your watchword, you must carry everybody along in your activities. Governor Okowa who congratulated the Chairmen for their victories at the polls, urged them to pay priority attention to the primary health care system and environmental cleanliness, adding that special attention should also be given to the youths, women and the vulnerable in the society. He also, commended the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) for conducting a credible election by providing level playing field for all the political parties, and used the event to commend
the leadership of the PDP for their commitment to the party which ensured victory for the Chairmen in the January 6, 2018 local government polls in the state. “The overwhelming victory of our party, the Peoples Democratic Party, at the local government council’s elections over the weekend is ample proof that where there is unity, victory is inevitable; we went into the elections as one united, indivisible PDP family and the results are there for us to see today,” he said while taking a swipe at some few individuals belonging to opposition political parties who he alledged wanted to unleash violence during the election which resulted in the postponement of elections in Ughelli North and Ethiope East local government areas to
Police deploys special forces to Eket over Corps Member’s death From INIABASI UMO, Uyo
I’ve no plans to dump PDP for APGA – Oduah
enator Stella Oduah has dismissed reports that she was planning to leave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), describing it as untrue and based on ‘mere speculation.’ The lawmaker, who represents Anambra North Senatorial District, said in Abuja on Monday that the story credited to an online medium was based on mere speculation that was false. Oduah said those spreading the falsehood were probably taking advantage of her grievances with the party in the build up to the 2017 Anambra governorship election. “It is untrue, there is nothing like that; I am still a full member of the PDP. This is mere speculation probably because of my anger during the last governorship election. I am still a full member of our great party, the PDP; if I want to leave a party I will make it public myself,” she said. She urged politicians to refrain from attempting to score cheap points by giving false information about other political actors.
Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Governor Okowa who attributed the victory of the PDP at the polls to the elaborate campaign by the party for the elections, also, stated that his administration’s landmark achievements in the areas of infrastructural development, job and wealth creation, agricultural reforms and transformation in the health and education sectors spurred Deltans to turn out in their large numbers to participate in the elections. Responding on behalf of the newly sworn-in officials, the Chairman of Aniocha North Local Government Council, Hon. Chuks Oseme thanked Governor Okowa and all Deltans for coming out to vote for them assuring, “we will not fail in the execution of our mandates to our people.”
Aba shoe makers heading to China to sharpen their skills as one of the moves to improve the quality of products from Aba.
Women in Saudi Arabia to attend football matches on Friday for first time
omen in Saudi Arabia would be allowed to attend football matches on Friday for the first time in the conservative kingdom, authorities said on Monday. Female fans would enter major sports stadiums in the Kingdom to attend three football matches involving local sides as part of the Saudi Professional League competition, the government-run Centre for International Communication said in a statement. The three fixtures are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Jan. 18, the statement added without further
details. In October, the Saudi General Sports Authority, a state agency, said that as of early 2018 three stadiums, up to now male-only facilities, would be prepared to be ready for families, including allocation of special places for seating and entrances. They are King Fahd International Stadium in the capital Riyadh, King Abdullah Sports City in the western city of Jeddah, and Prince Mohammed bin Fahd Stadium in Dammam in eastern Saudi Arabia. In September, Saudi King Salman Abdelaziz issued a royal order al-
lowing women to drive, breaking a longstanding tradition as social reforms in the conservative kingdom gather pace. Powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is believed to have championed lifting the ban as he is seeking to open up the country and revamp its international image. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted Mohammed 32 as vowing that the kingdom would return to “moderate Islam’’ as he works on reducing the influence of the hard-line religious establishment in the country.
he Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State, Adeyemi Samuel Ogunjemilusi has ordered the immediate deployment of special forces from the State Criminal Investigation Department to Eket over the death of a Corps Member. According to a release by the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Bala Elkana, on Monday evening, the deceased was attacked by gunmen on a motorcycle while he was with fellow Corp Members in front of a shop in Eket. Details of what led to the attack of the deceased are still sketchy but the police said their investigation would unravel the circumstances that led to the murder of the Corp Member, as well as apprehend the culprits. “The incident was reported to the Police on 7th January, 2018 at about 2300hrs. “The 27 years old NYSC member attached to a Public School at Nung Obong in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area was attacked in front of a lock-up shop at Akanimo street, Eket, Eket Local Government Area. “The deceased was hanging out with other youth Corp members whom he visited when he was attacked. “According to an eye witness, the murder was carried out by unknown assailants on motorcycle, who opened fire at the deceased person. Security has been beefed up in and around Eket with intensive 24 hours patrols emplaced,” the police said in the release. The Commissioner of Police who visited the scene of the incident has assured the NYSC that the perpetrators of the crime will be apprehended to face the law.
Jonathan mourns Egele, visits family of late former Bayelsa Attornery-General
x-President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has commiserated with the people and Government of Bayelsa as well as the family of late Mr. Francis Egele (SAN), describing the late Senior Advocate and former attorney general and commissioner for justice in the state as ‘a personal friend and dependable ally.’
Egele died last Friday after a brief illness, Jonathan who expressed shock at the sudden death of Egele, remarked that the late Egele was a worthy Ijaw son and compatriot whose sense of patriotism and loyalty to our dear nation was never in doubt. The former President made this
known Monday while paying a condolence visit to the family of the deceased in Elebele Community in Ogbia Local Government Area, Bayelsa State. A press release issued by Ikechukwu Eze, the former President’s media aide, quoted Jonathan to have further described Egele as a successful constitutional lawyer and rights crusader who
would be remembered for his simplicity, cultured disposition, and care for the less privileged. “I am deeply saddened by the passage of Mr. Francis Egele (SAN), to eternal glory. “Mr. Egele was a highly esteemed lawyer who diligently served his country, giving his best shot to the efforts
towards reforming the criminal justice system. He will be remembered for his philanthropy, dedication to duty and useful contributions to the growth of the legal profession in Nigeria. “He will indeed be missed by his family, the good people of Bayelsa state, and the entire country,” the statement read.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
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The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
Fire service rescues woman from pit latrine
he Kano State Fire Service has rescued a 48-year-old woman, Aisha Usman, after she accidentally fell into a collapsed pit latrine at her residence on Sunday, January 7. Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the service, Alhaji Saidu Mohammed, explained in Kano, Monday, that the incident occurred while the woman was trying to use the rest room at her residence in Sharifawa in Gaya Local Government Area of the state. Mohammed said the service received a distress call from a relative shortly after the incident around 6.45 p.m. on Sunday after which it swung into action. He added that “upon receiving the information, we quickly dispatched our rescue team and a vehicle to the scene at about 7 p.m.” He expressed joy that the woman was rescued without sustaining injuries. He added that “we rescued the woman and handed her over to the husband.”
Educationist advocates more tertiary institutions in Jigawa E xecutive Secretary, Jigawa Agency for Mass Education, Dr Abbas Abubakar, has made a case for the establishment of more tertiary institutions in Jigawa State. Abubakar who spoke, Monday in Birninkudu, during an orientation programme for indigenes of Birninkudu Local Government Area of the state who secured admissions into various universities across the country, noted that there was need for the establishment of more federal, state and private tertiary institutions in Jigawa. The programme was organised by Birninkudu Progressive Forum
(BPF). “Currently, there are over 100 federal, state and private universities or tertiary institutions in Nigeria. However, majority of these institutions are in the southern part of the country. In Kano, we have only Northwest University and Bayero University and in Jigawa, we have only Sule Lamido University and Federal University, Dutse. “This disparity is also evident in the area of polytechnics, colleges of education and monotechnics. So, what is worth noting here is that there are many of our children from the North who qualify for entry into
these institutions, but are not enrolled due to shortage of such institutions.
“Every year, a large number of students complete their secondary school education and have all the requirements to be enrolled in tertiary institutions, but very few of them secure admissions. Why? Because there are not enough institutions to absorb them all,’’ Abubakar lamented. He noted that there is a need for Federal Universities of Agriculture, Federal Colleges of Education, Federal Colleges of Technical Education
NANS describes Benue killings as ‘cruel’, condoles with victims
Lagos Assembly sets January deadline for budget passage
agos State House of Assembly is to pass the state’s 2018 Budget Bill before the end of January. Acting Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Strategy and Publicity, Mr Tunde Braimoh, gave the assurance in in Lagos, Monday. “We are working round the clock; we have denied ourselves holidays, even weekends, to see that we bring to bear our impact on the budget for quick passage. We are, however, embarking on careful scrutiny, consideration, repositioning and re-aligning of the budget where necessary. “We want to see that we consider every kobo in the budget for the benefit of Lagos residents. We are going to be assiduous, meticulous and circumspect to ensure that the budget is adapted for the betterment of Lagosians,’’ he told NAN. The lawmaker also said that the assembly would break new grounds in 2018 to bring more dividends of democracy to Lagos residents, adding that the House would show greater understanding with the execute arm to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people. The House had on December18 set up a seven-man committee to scrutinize the state’s N1.046 trillion budget proposal, which state governor. Akinwunmi Ambode tagged; `Budget of Progress and Development’ on presentation to the Assembly on December 11. The budget size, which represents a 28.67 per cent increase over the state’s 2017 Budget of N812 billion, had a capital expenditure of N699 billion and a recurrent expenditure of N347billion.
and Monotechnics in Jigawa. The educationist further stressed the need for wealthy individuals in the state to assist government by establishing private institutions. He said that this would make tertiary education available and easily accessible to students of the state origin. Earlier, the Chairman of the Forum, Malam Bala Ibrahim, said that the orientation programme was organised to educate successful candidates on how best to conduct themselves in their respective institutions.
Inner streets of Onitsha were also jammed on 7 January following the closure of the Niger Bridge because of the LG election in Delta State
Authorities say 300 migrants storm heavily fortified border
uthorities said 300 people stormed the heavily fortified border between Morocco and the Spanish enclave Melilla in what they called a mass “violent crossing”. Some 209 migrants succeeded in reaching Spain in the incident. Spain’s two North African enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla, are a common target for entry into the European Union by migrants who try to climb
the border fences or enter the territories by sea. One Civil Guard police officer was injured in an attack by a migrant, the Spanish government said. Authorities said four of the migrants who reached Spain received treatment for injuries sustained during the crossing. NAN reports that the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said Spain has already received more arrivals this
year than in the whole of 2016. IOM said no fewer than 8,200 migrants had arrived on Spanish shores by Aug. 6, 2017 . The UN agency said Italy remains by far the biggest gateway, accounting for 85 per cent of arrivals by sea since the start of 2017 with more than 96,400. It said Spain is catching up with Greece, where 11,713 have landed.
he National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has described the alleged herdsmen killings in Benue communities as “heartless and cruel.” The association’s National Public Relations Officer, Mr Bestman Okereafor, in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Monday, condemned the action in its totality. We totally condemn the attack and its accompanying hardship on the victims and affected communities in Benue. “NANS condemns in all totality the New Year alleged herdsmen attack on residents of Benue, leaving at least 33 people dead and several others injured, thereby causing residents to flee the state to seek refuge in Nasarawa State. “We consider the lots of heartless and cruel activities of the alleged herdsmen as a threat to our democratic process. “NANS condoles with families, relatives of affected victims and Benue Government over the recent killings in some communities in the state. “We pray that God will grant them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss,’’ Okereafor said. He, however, urged security agents to promptly bring the perpetrators to book, according to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Nigeria’s foreign reserves rise above $40b, hit highest since 2014
igeria’s economy in 2018 continues to light up the splinters with statistical data and analysis pointing at the huge possibility of an economically relishable year. The Central Bank of Nigeria has revealed that Nigeria’s foreign reserves has hit a 3-year high after new Forex policies by the governor of Nigeria’s apex bank, Godwin Emefiele is yielding results. According to a statement released to TheCable by the Spokesman of the CBN, Isaac Okorafor revealed that Nigeria’s foreign exchange was at $40.4Bn, the highest since October 2014, a figure which represents a massive increase of over $1bn between December 2017 and January 2018.
He said the new figure lays credence to the vision of the CBN Governor, Emefiele shared at the Annual Bankers’ Dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers(CIBN) in November 2017. Okorafor said the discovered increase is due to the bank’s strategy to “manage forex demand by various sectors of the economy”. “Citing the CBN policy restricting access to forex from the Nigerian forex market by importers of some 41 items as the major turning point, Okorafor said the policy had helped to stop the hemorrhaging of the country’s external reserves, which hitherto witnessed heavy depletion due to huge import bills and other debt obligations,” he said.
Okorafor said the CBN forex restriction policy has ensured that the nation’s import bill reduced from $5 billion monthly to $1.5 billion in 2017. He added that the CBN also injected $210 million into the interbank foreign exchange market. A further breakdown of the figure showed that the CBN offered $100m to the wholesale sector while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and invisibles windows each received $55 million. Nigeria continues to relish a good economic period despite the breakdown in normal activities of many critical sectors of the economy.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
‘With Buhari as president, Nigeria is in coma’ Pg 10
2019: Breaking the graveyard silence in Orlu Zone
The march to ‘a successful’ council election in Delta From Asaba, JONATHAN AWANYAI reviews last Saturday’s council election in Delta State and notes that what has come to be regarded as a generally peaceful and orderly election in the Big Heart rode on the back of a state electoral —DSIEC—that adequately prepared for the exercise. Since the inception of the Fourth Republic, Delta State has always been rated as one of the leading democratic states in the country in terms of regular conduct of council elections. To successive governments in the State, that tier of government is the people’s government and, therefore, should be left for the people to decide those who occupy positions at that level. They also see the local government as the fulcrum of development hence, the need to enthrone an elected administration to drive the process. Therefore, seeing it as the nearest to the rural dwellers, past administrations saw the conduct of election as very important. At the end of every three years, politicians look forward to engaging the electorate in another round of electioneering. For the political parties and their leaderships, it is usually a time for them to rejig their internal system, re-organise their parties and membership and sell their manifestoes to the electorate. It is also another golden opportunity for parties to engage their members and then rake in finances from dues and other sundry charges that might be imposed on those wishing to run for either chairmen of councils or councillors as might be deemed necessary. All these are part of the democratic processes of re-building the parties at the grassroots. It is, therefore, no wonder that the decision of the governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa to conduct council election in the 25 local councils in the State was highly commended by individuals across the political divide. Prior to the election, Chief Mike Ogbodu, a lawyer and retired Commissioner of Police, who is also Chairman of the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) in an interview with The Oracle Today assured the electorate of credible election as 16 political parties battled for council seats. While speaking on the credibility of the polls, Chief Mike Ogbodu explained that Section 197 of the 1997 Constitution of Nigeria as amended, gave the governor of the state the powers to appoint the chairman of the state Independent electoral commission. “For me as an individual, I try to satisfy my conscience by making sure I do the right thing. Like I said in my acceptance speech, the independence of an electoral ommis-
sion is sacrosanct. There is nobody that can influence us. We are going to do the work according to the constitution and all relevant laws and our conscience. We gave everybody a fair playground to campaign, vote and ensure that their votes count and ensure that the right person emerges as winner. We are ready for the smooth conduct of the council polls across the 25 local areas,” he said. The Delta State local government election conducted by DSIEC last Saturday witnessed an impressive turnout of voters in Aniocha North Local Government Area of the State, even as the electoral body was hailed for peaceful conduct of the election in the area. DSIEC, through its officers deployed to the area, reported to the various centres on time with the needed materials for the election and it was observed that accreditation and voting proper commenced immediately without any form of delay in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. Communities in Aniocha North visited were peaceful with voters in high spirits and conducting themselves in an orderly proper manner. The communities visited included, IsseleUku, Issele-Mkpitime, Onicha-Uku, UkwunNzu, Idumu-ogo, Obomkpa, Ugboba and Ugbodu, where some notable personalities from the Local Government Area commended the impressive turnout of voters for the election. Those who spoke to The Oracle Today included the Honorable member representing the constituency in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Engr. Emeka Nwaobi, Chief Nkem Okwuofu, Chief Dan Okenyi, Chief Kress Njiokwuemeni, Chief Emma Eboh, Hon. Chuks Oseme, Chief Chike Diji, Mr. Ik Uwagwu and Comrade Kingsley Azu amongst others. Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa also expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the local government council election. Governor Okowa who spoke at Ward 3, Owa-Alero, Ika North-East local government area of Delta State shortly after casting his vote at Polling Unit 3, asserted, “I am satisfied with the process.” “DSIEC (Delta State Independent Electoral Commission) has given assurance that the
• Okowa election will be credible, free and fair and so far, you can see that people have come out to cast their votes,” the governor said, observing that the electoral process adopted by DSIEC which entails simultaneous accreditation and voting process reduced the crowding of polling boots. According to him, “the voting pattern adopted by DSIEC is such that once you are accredited, you cast your vote and you go for your business unlike in the past when accreditation would commence at 8 am and end at 12 noon before voting will commence. With this process, accreditation and voting continue from 8 am to 3 pm and you are expected to leave the voting centre immediately after casting your votes.” On the situation report generally across the state, the governor disclosed that at Ndokwa East Local Government Area, soldiers stopped electoral officers from moving materials, a situation which he said, was addressed, adding that at Ughelli North, suspected members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were said to have destroyed the DSIEC office. “It is unfortunate that some persons were not ready for the elections and they resorted to violence. I personally led the campaign of the PDP round the 25 local government areas of the state, even to areas I did not visit when I was campaigning for the governorship position and after that, the campaign from Ward to Ward, house to house continued while other political parties were not involved in any campaign,” he stated, reiterating, “I can assure you that generally, from information available to me, the state is calm and voting is in progress in the state.” Those who spoke at the other places
visited expressed confidence in the electoral process, sayng DSIEC was prepared for the election. At about 11.45 am, voters were seen exercise their rights at Ward 9, Akumazi, with those who spoke to The Oracle Today saying, materials arrived early and there was no crisis as the election was peaceful while two suspected members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) were arrested with guns at Igbodo, Ika North-East Local Government Area of the State. Speaking with journalists, the member representing Ika Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Victor Nwokolo disclosed that the troublemakers were caught early enough before they perpetuated their acts, which were designed to disrupt the election. He stated that security agencies nipped the situation in the bud by arresting the two APC members, stating that voting took place in a very peaceful atmosphere after the incident. At Ward 7, Emevor, Isoko North local government area, Dr Nelson Ejakpovi said at about 12 pm that, “I just voted, the people came out en masse to vote; voting is in progress and it is very peaceful,” while Chief Godwill Obielum disclosed that voting started early at Ward 20, Ushie, Ndokwa East local government area of the state. According to Chief Obielum, “I score DSIEC very high in this election; they were prepared and it gave our people confidence that they could come out in the morning and were able to vote in a peaceful atmosphere without any fear of intimidation. “ The Commissioner for Lands in the state, Chief Chika Ossai, however, disclosed that due to the terrain which requires material passing through different local govern-
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The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
POLITICS There seems to be much fuss over the New Year broadcast by President Muhammadu Buhari. What is your view? To me, I feel uncomfortable that irrespective of the public outcry to restructure the very fundamentals of the Nigerian State, His Excellency will at this point in time still feel that it is not the structure that matters, but process! It’s a bit confusing what he means by process because various ethnic nationalities make up the entity called Nigeria and some people are contributing more to the economic well being of the nation than others. And yet those who are contributing are not receiving enough. There is no equity in the process right now. I think what we need is true federalism. True federalism is also an integral part of restructuring. One expected that he would have dwelt more on how to fine-tune the processes precedent to true federalism. But, to him, even that is not necessary. And I think this will not go down well with several ethnic nationalities. Is it because they are now in power that the issue of how the country should fare has come to be regarded as a trivial issue? His national broadcast watered down what the people have been clamouring for. The speech did not depict somebody who feels the pulse of the people. It didn’t show that, more especially for a man heading into an electioneering period. And you know the various geopolitical zones are asking, let there be balancing. Restructuring has to do with trying to balance inclusion. Let those who feel deprived also have a sense of belonging and also know that they have a stake and are being recognized as people who have a stake. So, for us, I think Mr. President should look at what the people are agitating for. While some people feel that Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable, there are people who feel it is negotiable. And the people who feel it is negotiable are the majority. It is unfortunate that it is only the government in power that is not seeing the need for restructuring. Every other ethnic nationality sees it. I think that in this 2018, Mr. President should review that statement and tell Nigerians what they want to hear and not just what they want to hear, but what should be done so that there will be balance, so that those who feel aggrieved will also know they are being carried along in this estate. If not, I fear that people will want to come out and call for a break-up. Your take on the security situation In the area of security, not much has been achieved. The reason I am saying that is that if the past government was in place, I am quite sure that they would have achieved greater peace. If you also look at it again, you would recall that just before they left, they had tackled Boko Haram headlong. And Boko Haram issue is not the only security issue in the country. Even when some stakeholders in some of the areas are making efforts for peace to reign, the government doesn’t seem to be doing adequate work at the end of the day to ensure that peace is sustained and dovetails to development. Take the Niger Delta, for instance. It is the people of Niger Delta who have prevailed on the their youths who feel very aggrieved that this government does not have any vision for the region, to maintain. It is the people’s volition to let peace reign.
• Kennedy Tonjo West
• President Buhari
• Babatunde Raji-Fashola
‘With Buhari as president, Nigeria is in coma’
• West: This government is not bankable Hon. Kennedy Tonjo West is a youth Activist in the Niger Delta. He tells CLEM ONYEMAECHI, in this interview, that rather than raise hope of a better tomorrow, the New Year broadcast by President Muhammadu Buhari further traumatized Nigerians and portrayed the country as still existing in the Dark Age! It wasn’t that the armed forces overpowered them-- no. It stemmed from the resolve of the people of the region who said let us give peace a chance and see if the government would live up to its promises. On security and Niger Delta development Is there any tangible thing to show in the region for three years this government has stayed to justify the reason for peace in the region? Rather, it is the governors of the states in the region that are working very hard and tirelessly to ensure that peace continues to reign in the region. It is not the efforts of government at the centre, and that is why they feel they have actually tackled security in the Niger Delta. I want to say that Mr. President’s speech did not go down well with the people of Niger Delta. You talk about transformation in various key sectors. The mere fact that you have one person as the Minister of Power, Works and Housing is a big failure. Where is Niger Delta in the 2018 budget? Where is Niger Delta in the entire road network you want to do? The communities that produce oil, where did you recognize them, where are they? The budget for 2018, does it give hope to Nigerians? It is unfortunate that for the past three years, Nigerians have not tasted governance. There is no government. What is happening within the littoral states? What is government
doing to eradicate gas flaring within the states? As a matter of fact, gas flaring has increased to almost 28 per cent when they could actually harness all this gas and transform to power. What is government saying about making a stringent law that would compel the multinationals to stop gas flare? How fuel crisis spoiled everyone’s Christmas party I will shout it: the last Christmas was the worst that has ever been celbrated in Nigeria. Did you witness the high cost of living? Prices of commodities were higher than they used to be. You said you have made giant progress in agriculture, yet it did not reduce the price of rice. It did not reduce the prices of foodstuffs in the market. They escalated instead. Fuel was sold at N300 per litre? Unimaginable! And you are the Minister of Petroleum? Fuel for N300? So, for me, it would have been better if the president did not even make a presidential speech or national broadcast at all than make a speech in which he seemed to be merely laughing at us, the people. Laughing us to scorn in the sense that if you said people are sabotaging the economy by increasing and escalating the price of fuel, and you are the man in charge. So, it is either you are not doing your job very well or the petroleum minister is not doing his job very well, or that you have forgotten that you are a petroleum minister So, there is nothing
assuring about the broadcast, rather, we are being made to lick our wounds without even talking. Still on the President’s speech and the Niger Delta You are talking about the success of the Ogoni clean- up exercise when you have not approved any money for it. How, then, can you talk about success when you haven’t even done anything? It’s unfortunate because this Ogoni clean-up project is getting to two years now, yet no fund has been released while funds have been released to prosecute similar projects in the north! It’s not satisfactory at all. Or, consider the Maritime University at Okerenkoko, how much has been approved? How much was approved for the NUC in 2017 for the university? So, it does not comprehensively capture the indicators that should give hope and succour to the people of Niger Delta. The East-West road was not captured. There is no talking about a bridge that can link up even an inch neither did the speech say anything about any deliberate effort to remediate the plight of the Niger Delta people. As a pressman, have you ever seen any federal housing estate in the Niger Delta? With all due respect, the people of the region don’t feel this government; we don’t have a stake in this government. That is how the government has made us feel. And it’s quite unfortunate.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
• Adamu Adamu
• Rotimi Amaechi
• IG, Idris
• Nyosom Wike means that any moment from now, they can increase price of fuel to N200 since Nigerians did not complain. So, I don’t think the essence of increase in fuel price was sabotage. No. I think government orchestrated that to test Nigerians to see how they would react if the price of fuel increased to say N200 per liter in 2018. Otherwise, why would Mr. President say he would set up a team to probe sabotage and then the Minister of State would say it was neither smuggling nor hoarding. If Mr. President didn’t know how it happened and it wasn’t the handiwork of fuel marketers, then who did it?
• Seriake Dickson Niger Delta also has security problem In terms of security, just look at what is happening. If the governors of the states were not committed to empowerment, would there have been any empowerment in the region? No. You talk about capital projects that would dovetail into economic activities, what about oil production? Rather, what we are hearing is that they want to sell all the refineries. The people who are in government want to buy them and that’s why they are negotiating. The government of the day under Muhammadu Buhari as minister of petroleum is a bad omen to the oil industry. It’s unfortunate, but it is the stark reality. Has there been any refinery functioning optimally? None. So, I think that Mr. President’s national broadcast did not give any hope. Except for the sake of protocol that a speech should be made, it was nothing more than flowery statements that were not necessary at all. That’s just what we got. The speech wasn’t a strong indicator of economic prosperity, security, and infrastructure. Infrastructure and possible hike in fuel price Okay, the kind of dilapidated roads that have not been given attention since this government came in, you think that FERMA can do them in 12 weeks? How? It was not a realistic speech targeted at empathizing with
• Udom Emmanuel
• Ifeayi Okowa
I want to say that Mr. President’s speech did not go down well with the people of Niger Delta. You talk about transformation in various key sectors. The mere fact that you have one person as the Minister of Power, Works and Housing is a big failure. Where is Niger Delta in the 2018 budget?
the people; that can drive patience from the people to know that we are trying to do something more especially the careless one paragraph statement where he talked about the fuel scarcity. For crying out loud, if you change the chemistry, you have changed the result. If you are petroleum minister and fuel is N300 now, interestingly these were the same people who came out in 2012 when they talked about increase in price
of fuel from N76 to N100 in January 2012. The same set of people who criticized it is the same set of people who increased it to N145. Nigerians being as patient as they are did not complain and now they are testing the waters again. This was the same set of people who kicked against deregulation. Today people are buying not that you are going to the black market, people buy from the pump at N300. What signal does that show? It
Purchase of 10 trains coaches isn’t much of an achievement You got 10 train coaches and you are celebrating? 10 coaches of train from Kaduna to Abuja, is that what you celebrate? Meanwhile, there is none going from Rivers State down to the north, which has been an old order we see on a daily basis. And then you say you have won in transportation sector, that there is improvement in transportation. Are you going to say that? Is that the scorecard--that you just bought 10 coaches? Where is the foundation of the rail line that you are talking about—the Lagos-Kaduna-Calabar rail line that we have not seen— laid? What have you achieved? And then you are telling us you woke up one morning and reconstituted FERMA and gave them 12 weeks to finish…What kind of abracadabra government is this? This government is hocus-pocus. This government is not sincere; this government can’t take us out one inch from where we are. And look at the humongous 2018 budget, I mean, I think there is a collapse of governance. I think that Nigeria presently is in a dark age. As far as governance is concerned, Nigeria has gone back to the dark age. We are in a coma. Nigeria is in a coma. That is exactly what we are facing now. It is a pity, but that is it. There is no economic prosperity; no security and we have not moved an inch in all the sectors, infrastructure, security, shelter, health, no way. As far as we are concerned, Nigerians should be ready to vote out this government come 2019 and not sell their conscience. This is not a government. There is nothing to be hopeful in this government. Nobody can take this government to the bank, nobody. It is a pity.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
POLITICS “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” -James 4:17. One of the tragedies of heroism is that heroes are often locked up in themselves and must necessarily be saved from themselves by someone. They are powerful but ever too weak to redeem themselves. Thus, the greatest service to heroes is taking any action that would rescue them from their own very selves! Despite his power and prestige, self-made Okonkwo, in Chinua Achebe’s classic, Things Fall Apart, became a tragic hero because his Umuofia Community could not save him from himself: Okonkwo needed somebody to save him from the fear of failure and being called a weak man. Apart from saving them from themselves, heroes like Okonkwo need to be stopped from destroying the family and society because of their wrongly set values and goals. It is only the kinsmen of the strong man that can tame him in the spirit of “umunnawuike”. That is why it is believed among the Igbo that no one, no matter how highly placed or positioned, is stronger or bigger than his kinsmen; that no matter one’s position in the society, under the spirit of “umunnawuike” and “okwuru anaghi aka onye nwe ya,” the Igbo can control their sons and daughters and save them from self-imposed ruination or perdition. Like Okonkwo of Things Fall Apart, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State appears to have been acting impulsively all this while; that is, taking action before he has had time to think it over. This attitude has upset a lot of people in the State, and instead of enjoying the love of his people, the governor has become a man whose name triggers sad memories, with many asking if God no longer exists, or if He is keeping a distance from Imo State which was put in His hands in 2007. The need to save Imo State from what seems the grip of Governor Okorocha has become a very urgent task that requires those with the capacity to do so not to stay away or keep quiet, like the people of Umuofia did to Okonkwo. Imo State should be saved from “ruination, balkanization and bastardisation” that the Okorocha government has come to represent to many Imo people. No one who has been to Imo State or knows the State very well in the last seven years would reject the call to save the State. This is why the leaders and politicians in Orlu Zone should rise to the occasion to redeem the State. It has become their lot to do so now. No one needs to engage in fisticuffs in order to save Imo. What the politicians in Orlu Zone need to do is break their cold silence in relation to the governorship election in the State in 2019 and throw their hats in the ring. The long contemplation of whether to run or not to run should stop. What needed now is a united front led by the people of Orlu Zone to redeem Imo State and rebuild its broken fortunes. Orlu Zone is not in short supply of credible politicians that can stop what many have described as the “rape” of the State in the form of handing over to an in-law and the pain that has been unleashed on the people over the years, the establishment of a ruling dynasty and wasted opportunities and resources. And as a matter of fact, the leaders and politicians from Orlu Zone will share much of the blame if the plan to enthrone Uche Nwosu as governor, so that he can in turn hand over to Okorocha’s son after eight years, succeeds. But, why should Orlu Zone be interested in becoming the governor of the state again in 2019? Have they not been in power for long? Some people have even gone as far as likening the Imo situation to South East’s claim of marginalization by the North, which is accused of putting hurdles in South East’s way to the Presidency. This premise is built upon the false assumption that Chief Achike Udenwa who became governor in 1999 did not win the governorship primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 1998, but that it was merely handed over to him because the leaders of Owerri Zone believed in zoning and, therefore, selflessly denied their son, Barr Anumudu, the opportunity to have become governor in 1999.
2019: Breaking the graveyard silence in Orlu Zone COLLINS UGHALAA, in Owerri, writes that with the governorship zoning arrangement in Imo State obviously dissembling, it has become incumbent on candidates from Orlu zone (where Governor Okorocha comes from) to throw their hats in the ring as a way of scuttling the governor’s plan to install his son-in-law as the governor of Imo State come 2019.
• Gov. Okorocha
Nothing can be further from the truth as Chief Udenwa won the PDP governorship primary election, so much that the leaders only had to do the right thing by standing by the truth. Since then, governorship election in the state has not been done based on zoning, as Governor Udenwa won his second term solely on his performance, political sagacity and power of incumbency, even though that election was keenly contested by politicians from the three zones, even in his party, the PDP. At some point politicians from Owerri and Okigwe zones ganged up against him and formed what they called The Abuja Group, leading also to the formation of the Onongaono Group. This was done in order to wrestle power from him, in clear disrespect to anything called zoning. Is it then proper to change the goalpost in the middle of the game or make different rules for different people on the issue? Should people be encouraged to blow hot and cold at the same time? But some could argue that in 2007 the governorship slot was zoned to Okigwe, leading to the emergence of Governor Ikedi Ohakim. Anyone who knows about the incidents of 2007 in Imo PDP would know that the emergence of Dr Ikedi Ohakim was not related to zoning. One can safely say that God wanted it that way and Dr Ikedi Ohakim well positioned himself to be used by God to do new things in Imo. The claim that the emergence of Ikedi Ohakim as governor in 2007 was as a result of zoning is also part of the propaganda that has remained unchallenged for a decade. Imo people had the opportunity to make good a case for zoning in 2011 with Ohakim running for a second term and preaching zoning, and if they had any respect for zoning, they would have allowed Ohakim complete his tenure, in keeping with anything called zoning. But, the singsong then was that there was no zoning.
Is it not then better for those who now sing zoning as their new love song to consider letting Ohakim complete his truncated term as a demonstration that they mean their words? But since they seem not to be reconcilable to this, is it not then proper to conclude that they are still holding strongly to their song of no-zoning, while publicly preaching zoning to deceive others? Nevertheless, with the onslaught and propaganda led by politicians and top businessmen and women from Owerri Zone, Chief Ethelbert Anayo Okorocha from Orlu Zone became governor in 2011. But while Owerri Zone led the campaign against zoning, majority of Orlu Zone came out boldly and made a fruitless attempt at ensuring that zoning of the governorship position became part of our political equation. But that fell on deaf ears and Owerri Zone had their way and gave back the governorship to Orlu Zone. It was not, therefore, Orlu Zone taking back power. Like in every political environment, those who made Okorocha governor from Owerri Zone in 2011 fell out with him before the 2015 general elections. They regrouped and began to rehash the music of zoning. The rehashed music was so strong and deafening that the political parties bought into it, and for the first time in the political history of Imo State more than four political parties gave their governorship tickets to Owerri Zone. But during the governorship election, both Okigwe and Owerri zones from across the political parties on their own went back to the issue of no zoning and openly worked to return Governor Okorocha for a second term. While Owerri Zone worked against their people in 2015, Orlu Zone supported them and gave them running mates. It is rather clear that from political developments in the state since 1999, Imo people have not voted based on zoning. It has been based on popular choice. Therefore, the ar-
gument that Orlu Zone is marginalizing the rest of the State is just propaganda to draw sympathy from the gullible. The true position is that even when the leaders of Orlu Zone made the case for zoning, those accusing Orlu Zone now of marginalization kicked against it and rather preached no zoning, preferring to claim that the people needed credible leadership instead. Now, credible leadership is more needed in the state and not even the youths would listen to the baseless zoning mantra as we head into 2019. The people of Imo State having rejected zoning and preferred voting a preferred candidate based on credibility and competence have demonstrated that anyone can be voted governor irrespective of zone. They have taken this position higher by also saying that they do not vote based on political party affiliation but based on the integrity and competence of the candidate. This position too informs the free movement of politicians from one party to the other, because they too believe that Imo people only consider their competence and not zoning and political party membership. Another reason politicians from Orlu Zone should declare their interest in the 2019 governorship election is that Governor Okorocha who is their brother is no longer running for governorship election, as he would be leaving in 2019. Also, Imo people and the political parties should bear in mind that parties in opposition can really not do so much about zoning. Rather, opposition parties should be preoccupied with winning the election, and they can pick their candidates from the most strategic place irrespective of zoning. This is what the PDP at the national level has done, by keeping their presidential ticket in the North, not minding that President Buhari is from the North and that any other person from the North could do two terms in office. The political parties in Imo State, especially the PDP, should emulate the national leadership of the party. When they win they would have the opportunity to look at the issue of zoning and see how to get it implemented, if they consider it overwhelmingly important. However, there is the urgent need to stop Governor Okorocha from establishing a ruling dynasty in the state by not keeping quiet and allowing him produce Uche Nwosu as his successor, or anyone else, in 2019. The best way to do this is not to leave the whole of the 12 local government areas in Orlu Zone for Governor Okorocha to win as he did in 2015. Giving the ticket of any political party to a candidate that cannot boast of winning his LGA like it happened in Okigwe Zone in 2015, or Owerri Zone where a governorship candidate only won three LGAs despite his claim of popularity, is like already writing the election result for the governor ahead of the election. Making this mistake again would mean leaving the governor alone to play in an expansive football field and scoring as much as he wants. In fact, he would be having fun! That is why qualified people from Orlu Zone should come up now and do something: be part of the governorship election in 2019 by declaring to run. To sit down and do nothing and shout “Uche Nwosu cannot be governor” is inconsequential. What will ensure that Uche Nwosu becomes governor only in his wildest dream is that qualified politicians from Orlu Zone should throw their hat in the ring, and run!
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17. 2018
How do you see the 2018 budget presented by the President to the National Assembly recently? The 2018 budget when looked at casually appears big when compared with last year’s budget. But, in reality, when you compare the net value in dollars, it is too small to turn our economy around. For instance, the federal government’s rate is pegged at N305 per dollar while the actual rate is N370 per dollar. So, when you use the federal government’s rate or the actual rate, the budget is still very small. If shared among Nigerians, it is not up to $500 per person per annum. This indicates that there will still be poverty and hunger in the land in 2018. The money that will turn the economy of the country around must be three times the amount budgeted. The worst is that this budget is a mere estimate of an expected income and its expenditure. And, from history, government has never implemented up to 30 per cent of its budget, including this administration. So, how can 200 million Nigerians have a good standard of living with this budget? However, there is one step this government has taken that can prevent a total collapse of the country and that is investment in agriculture. At the moment, about 35 per cent of Nigerians has gone into farming at various levels--subsistence or commercial. That is the only thing that is holding Nigerians, otherwise, so many people would have gone into the streets. And any employment created through agriculture and agro-allied industry is sustainable. In terms of infrastructure, President Muhammed Buhari may have good intentions for Nigeria but the grab, grab attitudes of people working with him is setting him backwards. While I must admit that a good number of his cabinet members are working hard, most of them are actually superficial. So, we have got square pegs in round holes and the economy will continue to swing until round pegs are put in round holes and until those who put the interest of Nigeria above their own, are brought to work for the country. So, there is no easy way to fund the budge, even if fuel sells 80 or 90 dollars per barrel. There is this proverb which states that a healthy man is found in a healthy body. Somebody cannot be sick in the body and you say his mind is normal. So, the ill-health of President Buhari has affected his performance in the last two years or more that he has been in the saddle. But he has done well in the area of anti-corruption. Buhari has exposed corrupt people more than any previous leader before him, but when the society is rotten, what do you do? It is those who work with him that are inimical to the interest of the people and members of the society. They are pretending to be working, but they are not actually working for the interest of the country. Can’t you see it is only Buhari that is not named in one corruption scandal or the other? So our hope for our economy will come from God. I don’t see hope around those people working with Buhari. I don’t see hope around these people surrounding Buhari. Over 80 per cent of them are hungry, looking for food to eat. So, the poor is getting poorer and the rich richer. All Nigerians must join hands to fight corrup-
‘2018 budget too low to turn economy around’ Chief Victor Ikechukwu Anigbata, an Onitsha-based businessman, is a former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Anambra State. A well regarded commentator on public affairs, Anigbata, in this interview with GABRIEL EJIOFOR, speaks on the 2018 national budget PDP’s chances of winning 2019 general election as well as the chances of Ndigbo producing Nigeria’s President in the near future.
at the helm of affairs, we expect him to manage the economy until credible people with self-discipline take over the management of our nation. I would like Buhari to probe every aspect of the economy and those found culpable punished. Without it, we are heading nowhere. Justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done. What are the chances of Ndigbo clinching the presidency of Nigeria soon? It has been my advice that since politics is a game of probability, that a wise man must not cast all his eggs in one basket. If Igbo are looking for presidency, I am seeing APC as an easier way to that. You know Jonathan presidency affected Igbo presidency. He took the chances of Ndigbo. If Umaru Yaradua had completed his tenure, the next presidency would have come from the South East since South West had produced Olusegun Obasanjo but this arrangement was distorted by Jonathan’s emergence. If the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) had continued under Shehu Shagari, Ndigbo would have had their own share and it would have killed agitations of all kinds. But, now APC is in power; if government and Nigeria chooses to do the right thing, the next president should come from the South East. I would advise good thinking South easterners or Ndigbo, especially those who can see the virtues and visions of Buhari to look closely at APC. Do Ndigbo have qualified people for the presidency of Nigeria? Ndigbo have more qualified people to become the president of Nigeria than any other part of Nigeria. I mean people who believe that good name is better than silver and gold. The likes of Chukwuma Soludo, former CBN Governor, Nnia Nwodo, Ohanaeze, President–General, Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President, Willie Obiano, former Governor Peter Obi, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, even Ben Obi, Anyim Pius Anyim, including my humble self are also qualified. I mean these people can stand on their own irrespective of odds. They would do better than even the current administration if given the opportunity, even carry anti-corruption war without fear or favour.
• Chief Victor Ikechukwu tion or it will finish us. So, I am talking about the whole budget. When you narrow it down to capital and recurrent expenditure, it is nothing. Not because the amount involved is not big but because it has no value compared with other international currencies. PDP has just concluded its National Convention, where they elected new chairman and other national officers. Against this background, do you think there is any hope for PDP in 2019?
Even with the election of new national officers, I don’t see any immediate chances for the party in 2019. They practically ran Nigerian economy aground. They led our system into economic dungeon. After 16 years of oil boom, there was nothing to show for it. Do you see successful eradication of corruption in Nigeria ? There is no hope. The only hope will come from Nigerians joining the war against impunity, corruption and injustice. With somebody like Buhari
How do you see the victory of Governor Obiano in the just concluded governorship election in the State and what should he do with this victory? It is only his performance that will determine his future leadership. He should stabilize the economy of Anambra state not only by paying workers and pensioners their salaries as and when due but by carrying out policies that will enhance the creation of more jobs. Anambra’s economy should be private sector-driven rather than government-driven. With that, we can transform overnight. Small-scale industries, cottage industries can change the state through provision of jobs. APGA can be a national party if everyone realizes that charity begins at home. If money politics is stopped, APGA will sweep South East. I will advise him to do whatever he can to provide capital projects like roads, while maintaining the existing ones because maintenance is as important as building new ones.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
PDP wins All 22 LG chairmanship seats in Delta council poll • DSIEC orders rerun in Ughelli North and Ethiope East Though the election was peaceful in some areas and marred by various degrees of irregularities in others, the State chairman of the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC), Mike Ogbodu, on Sunday announced PDP as winner of 22 local government areas. From Asaba, JONATHAN AWANYAI reports.
he ruling Peoples Democratic Party in Delta State won 22 out of the 25 local government councils where elections took place in the state on Saturday. The Chairman of the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission, Mr. Mike Ogbodu, who supervised the declaration of results in Asaba, the state capital on Sunday evening, said there would be rerun election in two local governments where the exercise could not hold. Ogbodu said elections could not hold in the two councils of Ughelli North where DSIEC office was set on fire by arms-wielding political thugs and Ethiope East as a result of widespread violence. He said the election in the two councils would hold on Tuesday. The DSIEC chairman however noted that the result for Ika South could not be declared due to the absence of the returning officer, whom he said was indisposed. Ogbodu said the PDP also won 424 councillorship seats across the state, adding that 59 councillorship candidates of the PDP were returned unopposed. “In accordance with Section 46(1) of DSIEC Law, 2017, 59 councillors of the PDP were returned unopposed,” he said. He explained that the postponement of Ughelli North and Ethiope East was backed by Section 33 (1&2) of the DSIEC Law 2017. Ogbodu added: “Result of the councillorship elections for OtorOwhe Ward 01 of Isoko North Local Government Area is yet to be declared owing to an order of the High Court of Justice, Delta State, sitting at Ibusa.” The announcement of the results led to hot exchanges of words between the leaders of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) over the alleged malpractices perpetrated during the election. APC, Emerhor, Omo-Agege, Aginighan, others reject exercise, describe it as a charade * Call for immediate cancelation Reacting to the declared results, the Delta State All Progressives Congress (APC) condemned the local poll and called for a cancellation of the election. The opposition party urged the local electoral body to organize a repeat election that would be transparent and peaceful.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Delta State Chapter described Saturday’s council poll across the 25 local governments in the state as a sham that cannot stand. In a statement issued by the APC State Chairman, Prophet Jones Ode Erue, the party accused the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) of conspiracy with the ruling PDP in the state to perpetuate a greedy and political dynasty that is already gasping for life. “To let it stand would be that DSIEC has in connivance with the People’s Democratic Party perpetuated a greedy and political dynasty that is already gasping for life. The election was conducted in substantial non-compliance with the provisions set out in the DSIEC Law 2017,” he stated. The APC state chairman alleged that sensitive election materials were not delivered as expected to most polling units where the actual elections were due to take place. “When materials were even delivered, it was observed upon a close examination that the result sheets did not accompany the materials in most LGAs. Thirdly, where result sheets were even produced, they were in sharp contrast with the samples that were presented to our party officials during the DSIEC training exercise, and so were fake,” he said. Erue said many Returning Officers were not at the Polling Units to conduct the election and also announce the outcome of the elections, adding that violence marred the elections in a large number of LGAs and Wards where election was due to take place. According to him, “a DSIEC Returning Officer at Ozoro in Isoko North Local Government Area was arrested at a Hotel Annex in Ozoro facilitating illegal thumb-printing of votes, and was handed over to the Nigeria Police at Ozoro.” He said violence marred the elections in a large number of LGAs and Wards where election was due to take place; in fact, we gathered that the DSIEC Office at Ughelli was burnt down while election materials were not yet issued out. His words: “We are not shocked by the outcome of the election because we had issued out a note of caution previously, warning about the potential for active connivance between DSIEC and PDP officials or agents. Continuing, he said: “Our party
Breakdown of the results as announced by the Returning Officers include, Aniocha North, Aniocha South, Bomadi, Burutu, Ethiope West, Ika North East, Isoko North, Isoko South, Ndokwa East, Ndokwa West, Okpe, Oshimili North, Oshimili South, Patani, Sapele, Udu, Ughelli South, Ukwani, Uvwie, Warri North, Warri South, and Warri S/West,
PDP- 25,272; PDP-26,943; PDP-74,857; PDP-83,897; PDP-46,377; PDP-71,124; PDP-78,952; PDP-79,784; PDP-44,195; PDP-67,092; PDP-67,525; PDP-47,306; PDP-46,183; PDP-35,752; PDP-77,090; PDP-62,668; PDP-46,941; PDP-32,858; PDP-103,308; PDP-48,074; PDP-92,564; PDP-107,973;
was very well prepared for peaceful elections. Unfortunately, the people were let down, but more importantly, DSIEC demonstrated to the whole world that it is not yet able to deliver such an onerous responsibility for conducting peaceful elections on behalf of the people. We recall that PDP had been boastful that APC was not on ground in the state; however this election has proven that to be completely false. The bastardization of this simple election that ought to be peaceful shows that PDP is now a dying party in the state, and that they were totally amazed by the level of preparedness, organization and mobilization that APC mustered across the entire state. There is no doubt that PDP is now experiencing a backlash from the masses given the overall poor performance by its Council Officials and the State government that oversees the Councils. “In all of this, we are most saddened that during the process of this election, at least three of our members were shot in Ughelli South LGA, and not less than a dozen others were cut with machetes and injured by PDP thugs, just as numerous vehicles were
APC -2798 APC-11,250 APC-1079 APC 2,791 APC-4,403 APC-2,838 APC-5,394 APC-4,372. APC-126 APC-2,107 APC-5,440 APC-7,229 APC-1,898 APC-277 APC-4,533 APC-5,491 APC-2,878 APC-5,611 APC-593 APC-6,231 APC-2,806 APC-1,751.
damaged. We wish these gallant ones swift recovery in the weeks ahead, just as we extend our deepest appreciation to them for standing up for what is right and just. We stand with them in their pain and by God’s grace, timely recovery.” “It is disheartening that the people of Delta State have been robbed once again of their constitutional and inalienable right to freely pick leaders of their choice. This is a crime against the people, and the day is nearer when PDP will have no choice but to beckon to the voices of the people who are tired of the poverty that PDP has inflicted upon them over the years”. While calling on DSIEC to cancel the elections across the state, he stressed a fresh election that will be transparent and peaceful should be organised in order to substantially comply with the extant DSIEC Law 2017. Other prominent leaders of the All Progressives Congress in Delta State also described the local council election held on Saturday as a charade and called for the cancellation of the exercise because it was marred by irregularities. The APC leaders; Olorogun
O’tega Emerhor, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Power Aginighan, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh and others, in their separates reactions to the outcome of the election, blamed the State governor for allegedly instigating the irregularities and compromising the exercise. Addressing journalists at his country home at Evwerni, Ughelli North LGA, the 2015 governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, called for the cancellation of the exercise as it has been compromised. According to Emerhor “Two nights ago we had intelligence, particularly last night, that the sensitive materials would not be available for the election. In fact, we are aware from intelligence that they had started writing results for an election that had not been conducted. But as a responsible party, we decided to wait till the day to find out. “And as it happened in Ughelli North, that was how it happened in Ughelli South, Uvwie, Udu and in the whole of the Central; no sensitive material arrived at any place. Delta North the same thing happened. Even in Okowa’s local government, in Delta North, no sensitive material was made available. “I can confidently tell you that the strategy of the Okowa government in this election was not to conduct an election. It was clear that they were afraid of being defeated in the field and therefore decided to take away the sensitive materials.’’ The poll was a complete sham -Omo-Agege The Senator representing Delta Central senatorial district, Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege in his reaction said that he was disappointed with Dr. Okowa, noting that Okowa is not confident enough even with his smart agenda to conduct a free and fair election. While describing the entire electoral process as a sham, the Senator condemned DSIEC officials for allowing themselves to be used to subvert the will of Deltans, noting that the burning down of DSIEC office at Ughelli was a spontaneous reaction of the electorate and not APC members. According to Omo-Agege, “for almost three years, a man who brags on a failed smart agenda, we would have thought that he will be confident enough on his purported achievement to allow the elector-
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
He also commended the electorate for turning out to vote for candidates of their choice. “You can see the success of the election with the people coming to cast their votes, and those who had voted are waiting for it to be counted,” he said. The PDP Chieftain hailed the Delta State governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa for providing a level playing ground for all parties, and making logistics available for the conduct of the election. Speaking on the effect of the election on the chances of the PDP in future elections in the area, he said that the party is getting stronger in the area. “We will continue to consolidate our position in the area. We had identified our past mistakes, and we had taken care of them,” he said.
• Mike Ogbodu ate to decide who should be their counsellors and their chairmen. “He knows he’s not on ground and cannot win the election on ground and have decided to hijack the result by conducting the election without the original result. The electorate has right now become so enlightened and there’s no way they are going to sit down and allow Okowa to write the results or intrude as usual, that was the reaction that you saw all across Delta central. “As far as I know APC didn’t raze anywhere in DISEC office. The information I have is that the people of Ughelli North refused to be intimidated; they refused to allow Okowa to write results of election and impose his crones on them. I think it’s a general reaction of the people and the entire electorate and not APC. “APC members had nothing to do with it, what the Police should be looking at is to know who caused this and why the people decided to raze that place, they should be looking at electoral officials who insisted on proceeding to conduct an election knowing fully well that the original result sheet has been handled over to PDP officials in the local government on the instructions of the governor and his thugs. “As far as am concerned, it’s a spontaneous reaction. There comes a time where you push people to the wall and when they have no other option but to react and that is what you saw. On his part, a member of the APC caucus, Power Aginighan, said there was no election in the three
• Okowa councils of Bomadi, Patani and Burutu, alleging that materials meant for the exercise were diverted to an unknown location. Aginighan stated: “I have it on good authority that, in an attempt to subvert the democratic will of the people, DSIEC officials assigned the responsibility to conduct the elections connived with the Peoples Democratic Party to rig the elections through a plot to fingerprint ballot papers in unknown locations and announce election results. “I unequivocally condemn this primitive approach to politics and declare that the APC will reject any result that emanates from such a kangaroo process. I can categorically report that there was no election in Bomadi, Burutu and Patani LGAs.” A former National Deputy Chairman of the PDP and now a chieftain of the APC, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, said the election was a fraud, adding that it didn’t hold in many polling units. DSIEC, PDP, others affirm process credible, commendable In a swift reaction, DSIEC Director of Public Affairs and Communication, Arubi Orugboh, dismissed the accusations by the APC. He described the party’s observations as blatant lies designed to discredit the image of the commission. “These cries and allegations are usually normal in an election, especially when a party has lost out woefully. It is not a new thing. “If you followed this election very well, you will agree with me
that the APC is not on ground here, not even during the campaign before the elections. “The allegation that DSIEC colluded with the PDP to divert electoral materials is entirely false and can never hold water. “Non-sensitive materials were dully dispatched to every ward across the state before the election day; so also, on election day, we delivered sensitive materials accompanied by security agents.” Mr. Orugboh enjoined the people of the state to disregard the cries and allegations of the APC and accept the result of the election as the wish of the electorate of the state. A stalwart of the People’s Democratic Party and commissioner represnting Uhrobo ethnic nationality in DESOPADEC, Sir Amos Ithiwe said: “It is obvious that the APC is not on the ground anywhere in my LGA and entire state. They are not even acting like a party that desires victory. As a party that is well entrenched, we will remain victorious even in 2019.” Hon Christopher Ochor Ochor, the Executive Director Social Services Development, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, (DESOPADEC) also described the council poll as a credible and commendable process, as the there was no incident prior, during and after the election in his council area. “I have to thank DSEIC for a good job. Here in Ukwuani Local Government Area, right from the handling of the materials to collation of results, the process was without hitch,” he declared.
Observers urge cancellation of Delta LG poll The Coalition of Civil Society Groups in Nigeria have called for the cancellation of the January 6th council elections in the 25 local government areas of Delta State, adducing alleged widespread violence and electoral malpractices as reasons. The groups observed that aside the general violence and malpractice recorded in the three senatorial districts in the state, electoral materials arrived late at voting centres. At a press conference organised by the groups in Warri on Sunday to assess the outcome of the exercise, the accredited civil society stressed that there was no transparent distribution of electoral materials in the polling units visited by members of the observer groups. Chairman of the groups, Mr. Friday Maduka, who addressed journalists on behalf of other groups’ leaders, listed some of the local governments where violence broke out to include Ughelli North and South, Ethiope West, Ukwani, Uvwie and Sapele. He said: “The election was marred by late arrival of materials, voters were seen stranded at the polling units waiting for voting materials. “At most of the voting units visited in Delta Central, there were no voting materials throughout the scheduled time for the election exercise,” he said, adding: “The election was marred by late arrival of materials, voters were seen stranded at the polling units waiting for voting materials. “Most of the voting units visited in Delta Central, there were no voting materials throughout the scheduled time for the election exercise. “In Ughelli North, there was commotion as angry voters, hav-
ing waited in vain for the arrival of voting materials, took to the streets to vent their frustration and disappointment at not casting their votes. “Similarly, in Obiaruku, Ukwani Local Government Area, we observed snatching of ballot boxes. “There was violence, voters were scared away from polling units or voting centres such as Oyubu waterside in Oghara, Okodibo, unit three, and also in Oyubu land; and in Jesse beside police station ward three,” he alleged. “We conclude that the election held on 6th January, 2018, in Delta State was marred by violence, lack of transparency, not credible and not peaceful across the state. “The election process fell below international best practice. Therefore, we call for the outright cancellation of the election, and we call on Delta State Independent Electoral Commission to conduct a fresh election in the State,” Maduka stressed. Passengers stranded at Onitsha Bridge Meanwhile, many travellers and commuters were on Saturday stranded in Onitsha, Anambra State following the closure of the Asaba end of the Niger Bridge for several hours for the conduct of local government election in Delta State. The Oracle Today gathered that the Anambra State government had earlier, through a public service announcement, warned travellers about the curfew imposed in Delta State, which started on Friday night. However, travellers from within and outside the state, who took chances, were disappointed when they got to the Onitsha end of the bridge. It was further revealed that the restriction order caused huge vehicular and human traffic on the ever busy Onitsha Expressway. Some of the travellers who commented on the incidence expressed disappointment at the development, adding that they were not aware of the election and the public announcement. Commenting on the development, Sunday Ajayi, the Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, said the corps started to witness traffic as early as 6am on Saturday. Ajayi said: “You know, the road was shut down due to the election in Delta like it was done during the governorship election of November 18, 2017 in Anambra. “Due to pressure, we had to press for the reopening of the route before 3pm. “As you can see now, we have controlled the traffic and the road is free now.”
The march to ‘a successful’ council election in Delta Cont’d from page 9 ment areas from Aboh to Iselegu, voting material arrived at about 11 pm, stating that he cast his votes at about 12.30 pm at DSIEC Ward 3, Unit 5, Iselegu. He stated that the area was peaceful and voting was in progress while the Commissioner for Information in the state, Hon. Patrick Ukah who voted at Ward 12, Unit 3, Okpanam said voting material was a little delayed as DSIEC officials waited for security agencies to deploy officers to escort voting materials to different areas. He lauded the electoral process, noting that the concept of voting immediately after accreditation helped in decongesting
the polling booths as people left for their different homes after voting. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairmanship candidate for Warri South local government area, Hon. Michael Tidi voted at 10.15 am at Ward 17, Unit 14, Idimi-Jakpa quarters, Okere and expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the election the DSIEC, stating, “this is one of the most well organised elections by the DSIEC; it is transparent and people are happy to come out and vote without fear, with confidence that their votes would count.” The Commandant of the Delta State Nigeria Security and Civil Corps, Ego Sam who was seen monitoring the exercise, said all measures were taken in collaboration with other security agencies to
ensure a hitch-free election in the state. She observed that the election was peaceful without security threat. However, in some areas, the election was enmeshed in crisis following the death of an ad hoc staff member of Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) and violence unleashed on voters by thugs alleged to be members of the opposition party. The ad hoc staff member of DSIEC was reportedly killed at Onicha-Ugbo, Aniocha North Local Government Area of the State. It was gathered that the deceased, who was in his 30s, was reportedly killed by suspected political thugs. Also, the election witnessed a delay in the distribution of election materials and subsequent disappearance in some areas like
Ndokwa East Local Government Area. The election also took a worrisome dimension as suspected hoodlums burnt down the Ughelli North office of the DSIEC in the early hours of Saturday. The building housing sensitive materials for the exercise was razed by some youths said to be working for a top politician. The Oracle Today gathered that many persons were injured in the incident but no life was lost as the hoodlums shot indiscriminately into the air to scare people away. Ughelli North is the country home of Delta State 2015 governorship candidate of the APC, Olorogun O’Tega Emerhor, and the Senator representing Delta Central, Chief Ovie Omo-Agege.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
For the Records
• Sir Chris Okoye (left) Chairman, Board of Fellows/College of Fellows, Nigerian Society of Engineers
Implement outcome of our lectures – Okoye L Protocols et me begin by wishing everyone present here tonight a hearty compliment of the season, praying that the peace, joy, love and hope that this special time of the year represent be found in our national as well as our personal lives. Happy celebrations. On behalf of the President and Chairman of Council, Council and Board of Fellows/College of Fellows of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, it is my delight and privilege to warmly welcome all our special guests, our distinguished fellows and our new conferees/spouses to the 6th Fellowship Conferment Lecture and the investiture ceremony for the conferment of the distinguished fellowship of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) on our new conferees. It is always a beautiful sight to behold yet another set of our outstanding Engineers receiving the highest award of our noble Society. These are distinguished men and women who have proven their mettle and displayed their worth in diverse specialities of our most esteemed profession and vocation. After tonight, they shall be proud Fellows of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and to say more grease to their elbows or more vision to their intellect would be perfectly in order. Ladies and gentlemen, while welcoming you once again to this august occasion, allow me to iterate that today’s gathering is both auspicious and historic. It does not only afford us an important opportunity to functionally consider another salient aspect of our profession in an interactive manner as has been the pattern of the Fellowship Lecture Series of our Great Society since its inauguration, but it allows us to bring to a closure one of the most engaging, insightful and impactful lectures in the series. Indeed, not a few persons who have followed the progress of the Lecture Series have described them as veritable change agents towards Nigeria’s drive to a robust socio-economic development. It is pertinent to recall that the philosophy that gave birth to the Fellowship Lecture Series is the need to ensure that the outcomes of these lectures are taken to implementable levels as against the culture of generating communiques for the archives – as we have witnessed too often in our clime. Consequently, the board and the college are determined to engage all stakeholders that appreciate the relevance of the Fellowship Conferment Lecture series – be it the legislative, executive, judiciary, private sector, the community, local NGOs or the international agencies. We
are compelled to interface with everyone for the good of our dear country. Indeed, that these lectures do not end up being just another collection of communiques is a task that must be done! Since inception, the goals of the Fellowship Lecture Series have been not only to generate discussion points that impact directly on our national development but are also geared towards making sure that we create the enabling platform for incubating thoroughbred engineers for our national development. Indeed, a most instructive Chinese proverb admonishes us to grow grains, if we want one year of prosperity, to grow trees, if we want ten years of prosperity and to grow people if we want 100 years of prosperity. Our avowed aim in all these lecture series has been to initiate the processes through which we could put in place the institutional and legal framework for the growth of the engineering family in Nigeria. Ladies and gentlemen, if you recall the need to bridge this yawning gap between our professional practice and integrity and the need to properly register fully qualified engineers necessitated the BOF/COF going for the Charter status on our very first outing. The charter is essentially to determine who is a registered engineer, given that a registered engineer must be a practicing engineer. Indeed, that is the best practice the world over and the BOF/COF thought that was the place to begin if we want to have Nigerian engineers practice and be regarded as world class engineers. The first lecture theme was: Charter for the Nigerian Society of Engineers and the Engineering Profession in Nigeria. The second point which necessitated our second and third lecture themes: Engineering Education Reform and the Competitiveness of the Nigerian Economy and
Empowering Engineering Teachers: Bridging the Industry-Academia Gap is the training of these engineers. Our proposition is to reduce to the barest minimum the divide between the industry and the academia. Having put the foundation that will drive our future engagement in our quest to re-make the engineering family, the fellowship Conferment Lecture series then extended its visionary probe and widened its scope to include more telling developmental issues on a national platform. The fourth fellowship Conferment Lecture emerged with the theme: Power Sector Reform in Nigeria: The Missing Link. Whilst the fifth lecture dwelth on the implementation agenda arising from the fourth theme. In those well received and widely acclaimed lectures, we identified where Nigeria’s power sector development missed the energy plot. Apart from all the other recommendations that emerged from those lectures, the fundamental outcome of the previous two power sector lectures is that there is a nexus between power demand and power supply, and between power demand and a vibrant manufacturing sector. The poor investment inflows reflected in weak infrastructure and low entrepreneurial activism in the power sector as an ecosystem. Indeed, there is no way you can create power without a necessary demand pull for it. And to have a demand pull, you need a manufacturing sector that is vibrant. And to have a manufacturing sector that is vibrant, you need a serious input of local content; which now brings us to theme of this evening’s lecture, aptly titled: Nigerian Content Oil and Gas Act: Extending the Act to Cover Other Sectors of the Economy. Ladies and gentlemen, whether we believe and
“Apart from all the other recommendations that emerged from those lectures, the fundamental outcome of the previous two power sector lectures is that there is a nexus between power demand and power supply, and between power demand and a vibrant manufacturing sector.”
accept it or not, for now the Nigerian economy is oil and gas driven, therefore the 6th lecture is titled: Nigerian Content Oil and Gas Act: Extending the Act to Cover Other Sectors of the Economy is an apt end to the engineering input to our national development, more so with the recent emergence of the Nigerian economy from recession. However, while not pre-empting what we expect to be a most incisive lecture, let me make bold to state that for the Nigerian Content Oil and Gas Act to make the needed impact in its immediate and other sectors of our economy, the focus on jumbo contract awards must necessarily shift to local capacity building, and local capacity utilization. Equally, local content and capacity providers must have access and be able to leverage upon available local and foreign without too much bottlenecks. Distinguished fellows, conferees and our guests, to do justice to the final Fellowship Conferment Lecture in 2017 with the theme: Nigerian Content Oil and Gas Act: Extending the Act to Cover Other Sectors of the Economy is an award winning engineer of proven professional sagacity, a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and also of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers. He is currently the Deputy National President of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers. He is a man who has put in over 37 meritorious years in the energy, oil and gas industry covering the entire value chain but with specialty in Refinery and Petrochemicals sector and Bio Fuels development and deployment. Ladies and gentlemen, let us rise to feet and make welcome Engr. Onochie A. Anyaoku. FNSChE, FNSE. Mr. President, members of the high table, ladies, gentlemen, our conferees/souses and all fellows, let me close by urging all our conferees and indeed all fellows to join hands with us in this new movement that has since gathered momentum. This new movement is essentially to take our destiny in our hands as professional engineers. We must redefine our profession knowing that it is the way we make our beds that we will lay on it. Enjoy the evening and God bless you all. Being welcome address by Chairman, Board of Fellows/College of Fellows, Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr. (Sir) Chris Okoye (FNSE), at the 6th Fellowship Conferment Lecture and Fellowship Conferment ceremony held the NAF Conference Centre, Abuja.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
• Stock • Insurance
Electricity: Debts, disputes spur liberalisation campaign Sopuruchi Onwuka
CBN EXCHANGE RATES JAN. 8, 2018 Currency Buying(NGN) Central (NGN) Selling(NGN)
US DOLLAR Pounds Sterling EURO SWISS FRANC YEN CFA WAUA YUAN/RENMINBI RIYAL S/ AFRICAN RAND DANISH KRONA SDR
304.95 413.2073 367.4952 312.1929 2.6927 0.5419 434.8646 46.9687 81.3113 24.6229 49.3487 435.3771
305.45 413.8848 368.0978 312.7048 2.6971 0.5519 435.5776 47.0461 81.4446 24.6633 49.4296 436.091
305.95 414.5623 368.7003 313.2166 2.7015 0.5619 436.2906 47.1236 81.578 24.7037 49.5105 436.8048
Petrol scarcity re-echoes subsidy controversy P21
e-Platform FG raises alarm over new malware targeted at bank accounts P22
ter coverage to low tariff settlements in pretence to use estimation to reap high revenue from poor services. “There are customer classes that Discos won’t want to hear they are not metered; but there some customer classes that they don’t care whether they have meters or not. If you install meters in a place where supplies are just an hour in few days, is it not the amount of energy that the customer consumes that he will pay for?” Spokesman of the Association of Nigeria Electricity Distributors (ANED), Chief Sunday Odutan, agrees that spreading of bills for unaccounted consumption on unmetered customers is prevalent in the market. He also pointed out that most unmetered customers are reluctant to pay the estimated bills. He said their refusal to pay worsens the rapidly growing market revenue shortfalls. Managing Director of Green Energy Limited, Engr. Chris Okaa, explained that most customers refuse to pay estimated bills based
on the understanding that “the estimated bills have no bearing on reality.” And all industry players that spoke on the issue agree that disputes arising from billing disagreements form the basis for collection shortfalls that translate to huge debts along the investment loop in the sector. According to Chief Sunday Odutan, the market revenue shortfall as at August stands at princely N892 billion. And the former Group Executive Director in charge of Gas and Power at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. David Ige, put total debts to distribution companies, the transmission company, generation companies and gas companies at over a trillion Naira. Gencos also advance a pack of unpaid invoices totalling over N500 billion. The huge debt impasse in the industry remains at the centre of proportionate crises that regularly spark trade of allegations
ombination of commercial disputes among players in the electricity business loop, poor revenue returns, mounting debts and trust crisis last year marred operations and spurred calls for market liberalization in the electric power sector. The situation which defied regulatory interventions and official sanctions worsened power supply to homes and businesses in the country and built unrecoverable debts at the upstream end of the industry. Under the gas-to-power programme of government, the full investment loop from gas supply through power generation and transmission to distribution relies on the marketing efficiency of the distribution companies (discos) for cost recovery plus margins. In a well worked out commercial relay arrangement, generation companies (gencos) take gas from suppliers to fire their turbines and deliver volume generation to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) which delivers to discos under strict allocation supervision of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET). The discos are obligated to sell the provided electricity to different classes of consumers at agreed tariff rate, generate adequate revenue from which NBET settles gencos according to the volume of power they deliver to TCN. Gencos are responsible for gas cost. The gas-to-power programme, it would be recalled, is part of the reform process in the industry which was recovered from the inept hands of the public sector and delivered into the efficient hands of the private sector in a privatization programme midwife by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE). The privatization programme saw the BPE selling 17 units of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Plc to private
investors who are obligated by performance agreements to grow capacity in the sector in order to close electricity supply gaps in the economy. Over the years, however, there has been a consistent commercial malfunction that left investors in constant outcry against reliance on discos for cost and revenue returns. The discos have also thrown up myriad of operations, regulatory, commercial and policy issues as reasons why commerciality of the business relay among investors in the link has run into a glitch. Also, the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) which enforces policy, fair market and operational compliance in the industry has shown disturbing weakness by continuously shifting its deadlines on discos to invest in facilities and processes that would enhance commercial efficiency, customer satisfaction and revenue collection. Operations inefficiency and consequent customer dissatisfaction that underlie low revenue collection account for the piling debt that has thrown the industry into deep debts. The industry is in conclusion that the huge debt burden on discos might crumble the nation’s electric power sector unless the operators address the issues of customer satisfaction and billing disputes associated with outrageous electricity bills whimsically slammed on unmetered customers in their networks. Investigations by The Oracle Today revealed that despite regulatory demand that all electricity consumers must be accurately metered for billing purposes, most residential, commercial and industrial customers still haggle out their bills with the distribution companies. An independent marketing consultant to some of the distribution companies who tried to explain the situation said the distribution companies deliberately stall me-
NCAA, NAMA lower minimum visibility for 18 airports P27
Stock Market Highlights As At 8 January, 2018 Summary
ASI DEALS VOLUME VALUE EQUITY CAP
39,849.65 5,769.00 604,532,996.00 N16,171,607,827.47 N14,181,158,745,095.27
Most Traded S/N Coy (By Volume) Volume 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
TRANSCORP NB DIAMONDBNK FCMB FBNH
5 Top Gainers Company DANGCEM MOBIL GUINNESS CONOIL NB
Last Close N223.11 N170 N95.6 N29.4 N138.1
Current Change N234.26 11.15 N178.5 8.5 N100 4.4 N32.41 3.01 N140 1.9
Top Losers Company 115,186,127 N203,282,815.67 VITAFOAM 88,292,548 N12,362,874,544.65 DANGSUGAR 82,721,728 N162,320,557.57 CILEASING AFRIPRUD 41,161,806 N80,073,142.83 40,493,974 N379,128,564.94 UPL
Last Close N3.25 N21.85 N1.43 N4.53 N2.59
Current Change N3.09 -0.16 N21.7 -0.15 N1.36 -0.07 N4.48 -0.05 N2.55 -0.04
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
BUSINESS News SEC, NSE approve Flour Mills’ N39b rights issue By SAMSON AKINTARO
he Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange have given Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc the go ahead to raise N39 billion through rights issue. The company had in December 2017, through its Stockbrokers; Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers Limited submitted an application to the regulators for approval and listing of a Rights Issue of 1,476,142,418 ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each at N27.00 kobo per share on the basis of 9 new ordinary share for every 16 ordinary shares held. At a signing ceremony, which rounded off the pre-offer processes and documentations, Flour Mills Group Managing Director, Mr. Paul Gbedebo, confirmed that the company has received regulatory approvals from the SEC and NSE and wasready to proceed with the rights issue. He said the rights issue will enable the company raise funds to support its long-term strategic plan with a view to ensuring sustainable growth for the company. Shareholders had at an extraordinary general meeting in 2015 authorised the directors to raise up to N40billion of additional equity funds through a rights issue. “The rights issue is part of our strategy to grow and build longterm value for all stakeholders. The proceeds from the rights issue will be used to strengthen the company’s capital base by deleveraging our balance sheet, supporting our working capital needs and positioning the company to exploit value-accretive opportunities, while giving greater operational and financial flexibility to ensure business growth and continuity,” Gbedebo said. He noted that Flour Mills has a long and rich history in Nigeria and continues to evolve into becoming the leading food and agro-allied group in Africa. According to him, Flour Mills’ commitment to sustainability as a corporate strategy is shown in different levels of its operations and activities, while the company’s customer-centric culture remains focused on both product and process innovation aimed at building value for all stakeholders. In a statement, the Company’s Secretary, Umolu Joseph, said the full terms of the rights issue will be set out in a rights circular to be mailed directly to shareholders of the company, which contains a provisional allotment letter and participation form.
Lagos gets own Consumer Protection Agency By VICTOR NZE
agos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, has inaugurated the board of the State Consumer Protection Agency, with a pledge to protect the rights of consumers in the State and ensure they get value for money spent on goods and services. Speaking at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja , last Wednesday, while inaugurating members of the board chaired by consumer rights advocate and lawyer, Mrs Olufunmilola Falana, the governor said concerted efforts would be made to end the daily reported cases of violation of consumers’ rights in the State especially con-
sidering the vantage position of Lagos as the largest commercial market in Sub-Sahara Africa. “The establishment of the Consumer Protection Agency is a strong demonstration of our commitment to the protection of the rights of consumers, the promotion of consumer satisfaction in the State and our resolve to ensure that they get value for money spent on goods and services. “The need for the Agency has become more imperative in view of the fact that Lagos State, with its huge population, provides the largest commercial market in SubSahara Africa, with the highest reported cases of daily infractions on the consumer rights.
“The Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency is therefore meant to complement our reforms on the ease of doing business in the State especially as it affects the development of the Industrial, Commercial and Consumer satisfaction value chain,” Governor Ambode said. While reeling out the terms of reference of the board, the Governor said the agency had been designed to be an effective service centre for the protection of the interests of Consumers, settlement of Consumer disputes and for other connected purposes as enshrined in the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency Law, Cap.C13, Laws of Lagos State, 2014. He said owing to the responsibili-
• Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (r) accompanied by wife, Dolapo, greets Minister for Transportation, Mr Chibuike Amaechi after the Interdenominational Church Service for this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day at the National Ecumenical Centre, Abuja, Sunday
NBS to release 91 data in H1, 2018
he National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is to release no fewer than 179 reports on different sectors of the economy this year. According to the 2018 tentative data release calendar posted on the bureau’s website, the NBS is expected to release 40 data in the first quarter. According to the calendar analysed by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the bureau will release data on consumer price index and
inflation, price watch on diesel, petrol and kerosene. Other items on the calendar are telecommunications data, monthly Federal Account Allocation Committee disbursements, gross domestic products and foreign trade merchandise. Road transport data, exportable crops survey, prison statistics, pension asset and membership data, annual postal service data and
Following a downbeat 2016, investment banking fees for equity products rose 41.5 per cent to $22 billion on an issuance recovery. Fees for bonds beat mergers and acquisitions as the number one product, rising almost 15 per cent to $31 billion. Japan Post Holdings Co Ltd, the biggest follow-on offering of the year, and Japanese SoftBank Group Corp, which agreed to buy a large number of shares of Uber Technologies Inc in late Decem-
food security survey report are also listed. The bureau is expected to release 51 data in the second quarter. The data will focus mainly on statistics on immigration, pension asset and membership, job creation, smart nutrition survey and labour force as well as capital importation report. It will also focus on air transportation data in addition to petro-
Investment banking fees at record high in 2017
• SEC MD, Gwarzo
ties of the agency, members of the board were carefully selected both from private and public sectors based on their impeccable character, remarkable track records, experience on the subject matter and passion for the job. The Governor, who urged members of the board to hit the ground running, also tasked them to be dutiful and nurture the new agency to become an institution that will guarantee timely delivery of effective services to aggrieved consumers, just as he enjoined Lagosians to utilize the alternative commercial dispute mechanism to be offered by the agency that will guarantee reduced time for the resolution of consumer related cases.
uoyed by a recovery in equity issuance, global investment banking fees rose 16 by per cent to an estimated $104 billion in 2017, the Media data shows. This is the highest level since its records began in 2000. The rebound in fees to above pre-crisis highs will be welcome news for global advisors who complain they are being squeezed by regulatory requirements amid competition from boutique players.
ber, were the biggest corporate clients of 2017 – paying out $382 and $378 million, respectively. Japan saw a 50 per cent rise in total fees to $5.5 billion. Blackstone Group was the biggest financial sponsor fee payer, shelling out $679 million, an increase of 87 per cent over the previous year. JP Morgan was the biggest global investment banking earner of the year once again, racking up an estimated $6.7 billion in fees.
leum products data and inflation reports. In the third quarter, the bureau will release 46 data ranging from socio-economic survey, social statistics, road transport, rail transportation data, and solid minerals and mining sector survey. In addition, the bureau will release manufacturing sector survey report; transport and storage sector survey, and creative industries sector survey reports. However, the bureau will be releasing 42 reports in the last quarter of the year. It will be releasing sectorial distribution of value added tax report, petroleum products demand survey and power sector report, among others. The bureau will also be releasing monthly reports on FACC disbursements, consumer price index and inflation reports as well as price watch on diesel, petrol and kerosene. NBS released no fewer than 162 reports on different sectors of the economy in 2017.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
MTN, Ericsson to start 5G technology trial in Africa By SAMSON AKINTARO
TN and Ericsson have announced plans to begin the first 5G technology and applications trial in Africa, which is part of a 5G demonstration starting in the first quarter of 2018. The announcement came after the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at AfricaCom 2017 to collaborate on the rollout of 5G technologies in South Africa, one of the first of its kind in Africa. The 5G trial with MTN achieved a throughput of more than 20Gbps with less than 5ms latency, which is the highest achieved on a mobile network in Africa. The 5G trial is based on com-
mercially available baseband hardware and 5G mobility is supported. MTN has tested a range of 5G use cases and applications in its Test Lab proof of concept in South Africa, which will lead to commercial deployment in the near future. According to MTN, the company and its partners will continue to identifying 5G use cases and applications for the digital transformation of industries such as mining, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing and utilities. Babak Fouladi, CTIO, MTN Group, speaking on the announcement said, “In collaboration with our partners we are continuously pushing the boundaries of how 5G can meet the diverse needs of our
customers. 5G gives us the opportunity to rethink how our business can add further value to the lives of our customers.” Seckin Arikan, Vice President and Head of Global Customer Unit MTN at Ericsson Middle East and Africa, said “Ericsson is the first to launch a 5G trial with MTN in Africa, supporting our strategy of delivering next-generation mobile broadband, cloud as well as providing support for massive Internet of Things (IoT) deployment.” Speaking at the event, Chief Technology and Information Officer for MTN SA Giovanni Chiarelli, said that 5G offers a whole new world of potential for South Africa and the continent. “With 5G, re-
mote healthcare through connected robots could offer world-class surgery in the most remote parts of the continent and the world. Self-driving cars could change the face of road safety, along with smart agriculture, smart mining and smart cities. There is no doubt that 5G will offer the consumer higher speeds and lower latencies but to achieve this, we need the capacity that comes with additional spectrum thus once again we call on the government to urgently release the much-needed spectrum that is required in South Africa, to lower the cost of data and drive growth and development for all South Africans,” Chiarelli said.
• Dubai Airport Management welcoming the Managing Director of Med-View Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole, at a brief ceremony at the airport during the carrier’s inaugural flight to Dubai.
HE Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has called for the rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries to end the recurring scarcity of petrol in the country, even as it also called to question the claims by the government on turn around maintenances (TAM) carried out on the facilities. South-West Chairman of the union, Mr Tayo Aboyeji, who made the call in Lagos, described the present scarcity of some petroleum products in the country as ‘disheartening.’ “It is disheartening to know that despite the fact that the nation is a major producer of crude oil, it cannot refine the product for its local consumption. It is ridiculous that for the past 15 years now, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had been spending billions of dollars on Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) of the refineries with nothing to show for it. “If all our four refineries are producing at their maximum output, the country will not be spending billions of naira on importation of refined product. “This is the right time for our refineries to work, the Federal Government should as a matter of ur-
Fuel scarcity: NUPENG flays NNPC over TAM claims gency fix the refineries now,” he said. The chairman urged the NNPC to increase supply of petrol to depots in order to reduce the scarcity nationwide. According to Aboyeji, it is not yet time for total deregulation of the sector and advised the government to reduce import duty and provide waiver to oil companies to import the product. On petrol stations selling above
the official pump price, Aboyeji urged the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to investigate properly before sealing such stations. “To me, it is not all about the pump price; it is about where they are getting the product and how much they are getting it. Are these private depots selling above the exdepot price of N133.28? “Since DPR started the sealing of petrol stations that are selling
above official pump price, we have not seen them asking questions in private depots how much they are selling to marketers. Oil marketers are in business to make money; they cannot get petrol at higher price and sell at lower price. “It is the responsibility of DPR to find out the source of where the marketers are getting the product before sealing the stations,” he said.
By VICTOR NZE
Commission (SEC) concluded the share allotment and capital clearance review in December 2017. “The support of our shareholders has been critical to the rebuilding and transformation of Union Bank over the past 5 years. With 20% oversubscription of the Bank’s Rights Issue, they have once again demonstrated a high level of confidence and support for the bank’s short to medium term strategic pri-
orities. “Having successfully raised the required capital, we will accelerate the pace of doing business in 2018 as we begin to deploy this fresh capital across identified business areas which will increase our capacity to serve customers better while also delivering returns to our investors in the short to medium term,” remarked Emeka Emuwa, Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank.
Union Bank’s rights issue records 120% subscription NION Bank of Nigeria (Union U Bank), one of Nigeria’s longstanding and most respected financial institutions announced that the Bank successfully raised N49.7 billion through a Rights Issue which closed on October 30, 2017 with subscriptions recorded at 120%. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Securities and Exchange
Firm issues Nigeria’s debut 10-yr Naira bond By VICTOR NZE
rivate equity-backed Viathan Group has issued Nigeria’s debut 10-year corporate infrastructure bond in local currency to raise 10 billion naira ($32 million) at a yield of 16 percent to fund power assets. Viathan, owned by Synergy Private Equity, develops and operates offgrid power solutions in Nigeria. It issued the bond backed by InfraCredit, a triple A rated credit facility set up by Nigeria’s sovereign wealth fund and GuarantCo. Synergy has committed capital of over $100 million and has invested in 10 companies in Nigeria and Ghana, it said. Viathan provides power solution for government, household and businesses in Nigeria, using natural gas as fuel. The bond issue stretches the yield curve for corporates in Nigeria to 10-years, extending maturity for businesses in a country dominated by short-term bank loans. High interest rates have dogged new corporate issues for years. Viathan plans to use the proceeds to refinance existing short-term bank loans, expand its generation capacity by 7.5 megawatts (MW), and build a compressed natural gas plant. Nigeria needs an estimated 160,000 MW of electricity to meet local demand. However, it only has capacity of 12,132 MW, of which just around 7,000 is operational. Twelve pension funds and two insurance firms bought the Viathan bond which was priced at a premium of 82 basis point to the 10-year sovereign benchmark bond through a book building. The 2027 notes will be listed on over-the-counter exchange FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange.
1.8bn tourists set to travel world by 2030
utgone Secretary-General of O the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Dr.
Taleb Rifai, has disclosed that an estimated 1.8 billion tourists are expected to be on the move by 2030 and this could be a “disaster” or a long-lasting “opportunity” for the planet. Rifai in his valedictory speech at the UN Headquarters in Geneva, penultimate week, said that new data showed people made more than 1.1 billion international trips in the first 10 months of 2017 – a 7 per cent increase on the same period in 2016. However, Rifai further added that ‘it’s all up to us to ensure the trend translates into positive change in line with the UN-led Sustainable Development Goals agenda.’ Rifai, many believe, changed the UNWTO and what it is during his term, while others posit the Jordanian raised the bar of the UN agency very high and has built a legacy for himself like none of his predecessors had. In his final speech, he addressed not his legacy, but the legacy of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. “I have been touched by every person I have met throughout my humbling, rewarding yet challenging journey and deeply moved by many of the tourism stories I have come across around the world.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
ENERGY Cont’d from page 17 between government and discos who have been the butts of all blames in the non-performing arrangement. Whereas the discos point at huge electricity debts owed by government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), government points at their huge debts to NBET and Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC). The cyclical trade of debt accusations sparked a parallel agitation by the gas suppliers and gencos for direct participation in the market through a legal channel that entitles maximum demand customers to be directly services by power producer. Thus, in a response to a spate of public outcry against the debt burden on the crumbling power sector reform process, Minister of Power, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, in May, activated section 27 of the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act 2005 with declaration of the Eligible Customers in the Nigerian Electricity Market. He said the declaration came after government’s assessment of the market status and the need to propel retail competition in the market where Discos have shown loss of capacity to fulfil their obligations to consumers and suppliers. In response the declaration, the Discos served a breach of agreement notice to Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), citing the Eligible Customer Regulation issued them by NERC. Mr. Sunday Odutan, condemned the declaration, saying the Eligible Customer regulation would prompt customers that consume over two megawatts per supply hour (2MW/h) of electricity per month to leave the supply network of the Discos for direct contract with power generators. In their objection, the discos stated that the declaration was premature and inconsistent with the pre-conditions established under the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA), 2005. They argued that “the level of competition envisaged for such declaration, which should be in tandem with sufficiency of power supply, does not currently exist. Nor has there been an implementation of the Competition Transition Charge that is specified under the Act.” Mr. Odutan pointed out that the Eligible Customers contribute an average of 60 percent to Discos revenues with which, according to him, they cross-subsidize the low tariff paid by residential customers. He warned that the huge revenue gap that would be created by the exit of Eligible Customers from their network would now be imposed on the residential class of customers via increased tariffs under the Competition Transition Charge. According to him, there would be a minimum tariff increase of N4 per kWh on the residential class customers upon the exit of Eligible Customers. In blaming government for policy crisis and prevailing market revenue shortfall of N892 billion, Mr. Odutan listed government’s unmet commitments in the sector to include: Debt free books; Cost reflective tariff; N100 billion of subsidy payment; Payment of MDA debt; and commitment to
• Egbin-power plant
Electricity: Debts, disputes spur liberalisation campaign return on investment for the investors. He described the new regulation as a disruption in policy similar to “a previous situation in which the regulator, arbitrarily, removed Collection Losses from the DisCos’ tariff in April 2015, a contributor to the current market shortfall.” Polarised against ANED on the Eligible Customer regulation, Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC) said the declaration was strategic step to improving efficiency, competition and the economy. Spokesman, Dr. Joy Ogaji, stated: “With stranded generation capacity in the electricity market and poor market liquidity, declaration of eligible customer is the brilliant way to liberate the electricity sector from the current monopoly by some under-performing companies.” According to her, the policy directive will lead to increased energy supply, enable Gencos ramp up their generation capacity to supply eligible customers, address financial viability of the electricity supply value chain, and solidify the benefits of the power sector reforms. She said the National Electricity Power Policy (NEPP) 2001 and the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act 2005 provides for the development of Nigeria electricity market with wholesale competition recommended to assist in monopoly control and cost insensitivity. She blamed private sector monopoly in electric power distribution for the huge gaps between
Gencos can now sell power to suppressed
load centres thereby making up dwindling revenue and pay their gas suppliers. Customers now have the permission to cooperate amongst themselves providing the enabling environment and also infrastructure to be classified as eligible customers.
available generation capacity of 8,000MW, and actual average daily generation of about 3,750MW. Meanwhile the demand estimate for about 30 percent of Nigerian households with access to grid electricity stands at 17,720MW. “This figure proves that there is a huge gap in delivering generation capacity and also a bigger gap in meeting grid connected as well as suppressed load three years after privatization. The implication is that transmission and distribution infrastructures are yet to be put in place to take stranded generation capacity from the generation companies who are willing to sell power to suppressed load centres desperately in need and willing to buy power,” Dr. Ogaji stated. On market illiquidity, she lamented that “the 11 Distribution companies have enjoyed the monopoly of bulk power purchase and are still unable to distribute and account properly for power purchased and distributed” over three years after privatization. According to the Dr. Ogaji, the poor market operation by Discos
remains the major hindrance to Gencos who are waiting desperately to sell more power to end users willing to buy more power for residential, commercial and industrial use. With the declaration, she said, “Gencos can now sell power to suppressed load centres thereby making up dwindling revenue and pay their gas suppliers. Customers now have the permission to cooperate amongst themselves providing the enabling environment and also infrastructure to be classified as eligible customers.” Dr. Ogaji added that the declaration would guarantee cash flow, boost confidence of gas producers, power producers and manufacturers of industry products. She said the Eligibility Customer regulation would deepen the liberalization of NESI, improve efficiency, promote national economic development through supplying electricity to the productive sector of the economy, and support economies of scale through bulk purchase of electricity. According to her, there will be
reduction of technical and nontechnical losses for bulk High Voltage supply, reduced financial risk by supplying credit worthy eligible consumers, increased attention to consumers, choice of energy supplier for customers, efficient electricity market, increased investment in the sector and bankable long term supply contracts. The declaration, she said, posts a powerful signal that the electricity sector is evolving towards full retail competition which would also ensure a reduction of financial risk by supplying credit worthy eligible consumers. In allaying the fears of the Discos, Dr. Ogaji said distribution companies could procure additional power as eligible customers, increase efficiency, and reduce losses. A former CEO of one of the distribution companies confided in our reporter that the eligible customer declaration was long overdue, explaining that it would help dismantle monopoly of ANED, enthrone professionalism, deepen the market and end the regime impunity by network concessionaires. With no visible point of convergence with the Discos over unsettled bills, gas and power suppliers had stridently called for further liberalization of the market to enable direct supply deals as provided by the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005 and associated policy directives derived from the law. They argue that unlocking the intricate commercial bond in the market would save the wobbling sector from total collapse.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
ENERGY By VICTOR NZE
HE current petrol scarcity which has pitched product marketers and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the one side against consumers with blames being traded off as the commodity swings back and forth in supply, has also brought to the fore issues of inconsistent and weak economic policies by government as regards the controversial fuel price subsidy debate. It would be recalled that in May, last year, the Federal Government announced a price hike in the pump price of the premium motor spirit (PMS) to the present N145 per litre claiming that the decision was informed by the need to halt further subsidization of the landing costs of the product while allowing for market forces to dictate the actual price of the commodity. “The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) will be announcing a new price band effective today, 11th May, 2016 and that the new price for PMS will not be above N145 per litre. “We expect that this new policy will lead to improved supply and competition and eventually drive down pump prices, as we have experienced with diesel. In addition, this will also lead to increased product availability and encourage investments in refineries and other parts of the downstream sector. It will also prevent diversion of petroleum products and set a stable environment for the downstream sector in Nigeria. We believe in the long term, that improved supply and competition will drive down prices,” said Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu in a statement in Abuja, in May. However, Kachikwu while making a presentation in Abuja, last Thursday, before a joint committee on Petroleum (Downstream) of the Senate and the House of Representatives, said while the landing cost for petrol stood at N171 per litre, the current price of N145 per litre can no longer be sustained. His statement was correctly inferred by analysts to mean an impending hike in the price of the commodity. This is just as the Director of Press in the ministry, the Idang Alibi, and the NNPC have since issued statements ruling out any such move on the card by the Federal Government. According to Kachikwu, the Federal Government, through the NNPC has been bearing the cost of N26 per litre, representing the difference between N171 and the current official price of N145 per litre. Kachikwu had told the public hearing at the National Assembly that the NNPC has incurred a cumulative loss of N85.5 billion in importing petrol and selling at the current retail price of N145 per litre, since October 2017. He also said the price was fixed in the first quarter of 2016, when crude oil was selling for $49 and expressed fears that
Petrol scarcity re-echoes subsidy controversy with crude price rising to 67 dollars a barrel, the pump price, may no longer be sustainable. However, Chairman of the joint committee, Senator Kabiru Marafa raised questions of secret subsidy payments by the government, even as he asked who was making the payment to cover the calculated difference of the N26 in the landing cost of N171 against the pump price of N145. “If there is subsidy payment, then who approved it and how much has been paid out as subsidy so far. If you want to provide the subsidy, it should come through the National Assembly but we have not received any request for subsidy payment from the Executive arm.” Claiming that about N10 trillion has been paid out as the subsidy, Marafa had lamented that stakeholders in the industry, particularly the NNPC, have not been transparent in the running of the sector. Invariably, what the development means is that the Federal Government has not halted the subsidy regime afterall as earlier claimed. This issue of inconsistent policies has remained the major clog hampering the wheel of economic growth on the continent, with Nigeria, not an exception, as posited by some financial experts who spoke to Oracle Today Newspapers, as they also re-echoed a report earlier released in July by the World Bank. The World Bank Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) Africa Analysis which was released last July, scored the progress that Nigeria and some other African countries were making on strengthening the quality of their policies and institutions low, while also noting that the weakened trend was observed in 40 per cent of the region’s IDA countries, notably commodity exporters and fragile states. The International Development Association (IDA) is an international financial institution which offers concessional loans and grants to the world’s poorest developing countries. According to the report, a common pattern across countries that experienced a weakening in their overall policy and institutional quality was slippage in economic management including monetary and exchange rate, fiscal, and debt policies. This, it said, can in part be explained by unfavorable economic conditions like deteriorating terms of trade, sluggish global growth, and difficult economic conditions, that continued to take a toll on countries across the region, deepen-
Eko Disco apologises to Lagos residents
• Ibe Kachikwu ing macroeconomic vulnerabilities. Weakening of fiscal and external buffers constrained the scope for macroeconomic policies to mitigate the effects of adverse shocks to economic activity. “Governance underpins all sectors of World Bank Group engagement, and moving forward, despite these slight gains, it will remain critical that SubSaharan countries implement or expand governance and public-sector reforms that will upgrade financial management systems, increase transparency, reduce corruption, protect rights, and improve public services,” notes Albert Zeufack, World Bank Chief Economist for Africa. Further reacting, Deputy General Manager at Access Bank Plc, Dr Chukwujekwu Ozoemena, said: “This is the sound of the inevitability of an impending fuel price increase. The N10 trillion in subsidy payments? That figure must either be wrong or the Joint Committee Chairman misquoted. Let’s recall that in May 2015, Buhari said; ‘I don’t know what fuel subsidy means. I can understand if Nigerians pay for those costs.’ But today, is saying he is subsidizing Nigerians. Who is subsidizing who? For Seye Ogunrotimi, an IT Consultant based in South Africa, it is about sincerity of purpose on the country’s economy managers.
“When lies run around for twenty months, it takes just one single month like this for truth to catch up with it. They planted the ‘FG removed subsidies payments” story about 20 months ago as an achievement.’ We have now paid more than a national budget as subsidies. A retired public servant, Ama Ochu: “It appears that NNPC has run out of ideas on how to assist the poor masses over this fuel crisis and on the chain reaction it has on the rising cost of other goods and services. How long will Nigeria continue to remain under a ‘curse?’” “I think for the World Bank, they are actually looking at some of the statements as well as body language of our economic decision makers and it appears they are not convinced as to who is actually formulating these policies. The Finance ministry says one thing today; the CBN says another, while the Bureau of Statistics flattens everything with its own forecasts. And when our investors read these they are confused. “Nobody knows for sure who is influencing fiscal policy decisions. A clear case is the date of exit from economic recession. You can see all the various projections. Another one is the multiplicity of exchange rates. It is things like these that signpost uncertainty especially for key investors,” said financial analyst and Bergen, Norway-based George Ikwuka.
HE management of the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) on Sunday apologised to its consumers over the irregular power supply. General Manager Corporate Communications, Mr Godwin Idemudia, said the epileptic supply was due to last week’s system collapse on the national grid. Idemudia, said the system collapse resulted in nationwide blackout. The General Manager said for the past five days, power supply to electricity consumers under Eko Disco has been epileptic. “Until Generation goes up, there is nothing we can do now because National Grid (NG) is the only source of our supply. “We feel your pains. “We are, therefore, appealing to customers to bear with us, as supply will be restored as soon as these repairs are concluded. “EKEDC highly regrets any inconveniences caused by this irregular supply,” he said. Nigeria on Jan.2 was thrown into a nationwide blackout as the country suffered total collapse of its power system grid. The collapse followed a fire incident on Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company Ltd (NGPTC’s) Escravos Lagos Pipeline System, which supplies gas to plants generating 3,182 Mega Watt (MW). All the plants shut down. These plants include Egbin 1,320MW; Olorunsogo National Integrated Power Plant (NIPP) 676MW; Olorunsogo 338MW; Omotosho NIPP 450MW; Omotosho 338 MW and Paras 60MW power stations. The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, which confirmed the collapse and the shutdown of gas supply to the plants, described the incident as a setback to the power sector.
Fuel: NIPCO declares friendly rates in 2018 Sopuruchi Onwuka
midst the current fuel crisis in the country NIPCO Plc has offered market friendly rates for all petroleum products from its depot in 2018. This comes as Sir Paul Obi Foundation promoted by the Company Secretary of Nipco Plc offered free education to some 30 indigent students of Ogberuru community in Orlu Zone, Imo State. New Managing Director of the company, Sanjay Teotia, stated in his New Year message to staff that Nipco would provide unfettered access to all petroleum products, including Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) also known as cooking gas to Nigerians from its facilities in Apapa, Lagos. Stating that his company would “remain a reference point as a market leader in products marketing, working for the benefits of our stakeholders,” Teotia declared; “Our depot will continue to be a major player in ensuring unfettered access to pe-
… Sir Paul Obi Foundation offers scholarship to 30 indigent students
troleum products at market friendly rates.” In the LPG business, he said; “We would seize the opportunity of our present status as the outfit with the largest LPG storage facility in the country to enhance access to the product by promoting the consumption of LPG, otherwise referred to as cooking gas through flawless operations with a view to aligning with the federal government policy to revitalize domestic cooking gas use across the country.” According to him, NIPCO’s meteoric rise among its peers has consistently shown that the organization is a world class company, operating in a highly endowed oil and gas country. “We would continue to build on our Corporate Social Responsibility programmes. Our desire is to significantly impact positively on our host community in sports and education through series of sponsorship school programme in Apapa LGA, Lagos and
other parts of the state and the country at large,” he said. “I am excited with our modest performance in 2017 which would not have been possible without the support of our stakeholders of which staff contribution is very crucial, he said, adding that he would strive to motivate the workforce based on a transparent performance driven reward and compensation system aimed at enhancing the company’s service delivery. Meanwhile, the Company Secretary, Barrister Paul Obi, launched a nonprofit making and non partisan foundation aimed at contributing to the progress of humanity through the encouragement of educational pursuits. The organization, Sir Paul Obi Foundation inaugurated at the famous town of Ogberuru in the Orlu Zone of Imo state, awarded scholarship to about 30 indigent students in the
town and neighboring autonomous communities. Twelve of the beneficiaries graduated from the universities while about others were at secondary school level prior to making secondary school education free in the state. Speaking at the inauguration of the foundation, Barrister Obi who chairs the organization’s Board of Trustees said the foundation was established in memory of his late father, Augustine Okoronkwo Obi who died before he could graduate from the university. He explained that the foundations was initially for indigent people from Ogberuru autonomous community but has now been extended to 12 autonomous Communities in the area making up the ochasi clan . He also pointed out that the goals of the foundation are to support the handicapped, empower the youths,
social regeneration and champion campaigns to draw the attention of government to erosion gullies ravaging some parts of the clan. He said the project which is attracting the support of the traditional rulers in the area and beyond, would be attacking poverty within its available resources through educational support with the ultimate aim of improving quality of life of residents of the communities and the state in general. Barrister Obi noted that it was in recognition of his service to humanity that he was honoured with the chieftaincy title of OCHENDO OGBERURU in 2010 stressing that the supports of the traditional rulers have been legendary in view of the pedigree of the person behind the foundation. He also lauded the support of some of the blue chip companies he is associated with such as NIPCO, 11PLC, IPSL, RSL etc who have shown interest in partnering with the foundation in relevant areas.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
FG raises alarm over new malware targeted at bank accounts T Stories by SAMSON AKINTARO
HE Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu has warned Nigerians to be wary of a new form of Marcher malware, targeted at bank users. The latest evolution of Marcher malware, according to security researchers, combines three common security threats into one multi-step attack and has been infecting Android devices belonging to banking customers. Security experts say the attack usually begins with a phishing message delivered by email to a phone. The message pretends to be from the target’s bank and contains a link that often is obscured by a Web address shortener like bit.ly. The link takes the victim to a bogus bank page where the bandits request the target’s bank account or PIN information. Once the hackers have that information, they instruct victims to log into their accounts using their email address and password. All the information entered at the fake banking site is harvested by the hackers. Speaking at the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) colloquium 2018 held in Lagos, the Minister said his ministry had received reports about the threats and therefore urged Nigerians to be security conscious, especially, with internet banking. “We have received reports that a malware called MARCHER and similar malware have been released and targeted at Africans. It is therefore pertinent to inform financial institutions and other notable stakeholders to sensitize and inform Internet users about the threats posed by these malware to ensure the security of personal information and avoid Internet users falling to such prey to such threats.” Speaking to the theme of the meeting: “The Nigerian Internet Today: Issues And The Way Forward”, Shittu noted that the growth of Internet literacy in Nigeria has been very slow, even as internet coverage is minimal. He however, blamed this on lack of technical know-how, telecommu-
nication infrastructure, awareness, finance and competitive regulatory policies. “We are working round the clock to ensure that very soon; broadband penetration in the country would have risen above 30 percent. Let me add here very quickly that the high hope and proclamation on the achievement of 30 per cent broadband penetration by 2018 is sacrosanct. The Government is creating an enabling environment for the sector to thrive. We enjoin all relevant stakeholders to keep supporting the government in making sure that broadband becomes a basic necessity in every home. Some years past, the internet was known to be used only in the educational sector for research, but today every facet of Nigeria’s economy cannot do without the existence of ICT” the Minister said.
To deepen penetration of internet in the country, Shittu said the government would invest in a national backbone infrastructure that will carry and distribute data capacity from the shores of the country to the hinterland. “We realized that a fully established national backbone infrastructure will boost capacity distribution of broadband and deepen internet penetration in the country. Government will also ensure that Nigerian terrestrial bandwidth is patronized to boost the economy and operators’ confidence” he added. In what appears to be an agenda setting for the year 2018, Shittu said there would be there would be strict implementation of the local content policy this year. “Our developers and software innovators will be encouraged to grow their businesses in Nigeria and even outside
the shores of the country. Government will patronize our local ICT companies. Government will also encourage start-ups in the ecosystem to survive and grow. We will also encourage multinationals already operating locally to show us plans for knowledge transfer and local capacity development, so as to have positive impact on our national economy”. According to the Minister the ICT ecosystem will bring about new players from the OTT space to disrupt the system, hence, “regulation that will balance the interests of these players and the investments already made by telcos will need to be addressed. The investments required to fund the mobile broadband revolution will be addressed also. Government is putting in place all incentives and an enabling environment for inves-
tors’ confidence not to be eroded further”. “We recognize the fact that Internet governance includes more than Internet naming and addressing. It also includes other significant public policy issues such as, inter alia; critical Internet resources; the stability, security, safety and continuity of the Internet; and developmental aspects and issues pertaining to the use of the Internet. Definitely, developing these policies will require wide public consultations with all stakeholders.” He said Nigeria as a country must use the Internet as a tool to drive education, and ensure people’s socioeconomic advancement in an inclusive manner, while adding that the task of improving the lives of the vulnerable and the underprivileged is not for the Government alone, but for all stakeholders.
NITDA committed to FG’s local content policy–Pantami T
• NITDA DG Dr Isa Pantami
HE National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has reiterated its commitment to driving local content development policy of the Federal Government. The agency’s Director-General, Prof. Isa Pantami, who made this known in a statement said the policy was aimed at boosting the nation’s economy and to create more jobs in the country. “The agency will continue to partake in activities geared toward the regulation of the Information Technology (IT) sector and encouraging entrepreneurship in line with the desired goals of the Federal Government. “Strategic and actionable plans will be put in place to promote and develop local contents that will yield a better quality. “These plans will further attract foreign
investors to the Information Technology sector of the country,” he said. The director-general expressed the agency’s full support of Federal Government’s local content development policy and the need for local original equipment machines that would ensure improved quality of IT products. He said that the improved quality of IT products would attract greater patronage and enhance the country’s economic growth, saying that the agency was encouraging diverse innovative ideas by training of Nigerians. According to him, with the proper coordination of such innovative ideas, the agency will serve as solution to problems, create jobs and generate more revenue for the country.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
ITU adopts new satellite surveillance for aircraft safety
MainOne listed as Microsoft’s connectivity provider
Stories by SAMSON AKINTARO AINONE, West Africa’s leading comM munications Services Company and operator of the premier Tier III Data
HE United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has now adopted the main technical principals of enhanced aircraft automatic dependent surveillance via satellite, to track in-flight aircraft worldwide. According to ITU, approximately 59,000 aircraft are in flight worldwide at any given time, which is why the ability to effectively track, monitor and report them is paramount to ensuring the safety of passengers and crew, as well as that of communities on the ground. Aircraft automatic dependent surveillance is a technique in which aircraft automatically provide, via a data link, data from the on-board navigation and position-fixing systems, including aircraft identification, fourdimensional position (e.g. latitude, longitude, altitude and time) and additional data, as appropriate. The technique is termed “automatic” because there is no intervention from the pilot or interrogation from terrestrial stations, and “dependent” because the data is dependent upon on-board systems such as global positioning system and altimeter. The system relays the information to the relevant airline operators and air traffic control centers who then track the aircraft identifying any anomalies in its flight profile and initiate emergency procedures where necessary, enhancing safety in the sky. “Since the tragic loss of life with the disappearance of flight MH370 in 2014 over the South China Sea, ITU has undertaken activities to improve the tracking of in-flight aircraft using advanced information and
• Houlin Zhao ITU Secretary General
communication technologies,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “The adoption of these technical principals for enhanced aircraft surveillance via satellite will make great strides in saving lives.” Different aircraft automatic dependent surveillance systems have been standardized within the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), such as terrestrial automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) and automatic dependent surveillance-contract (ADS-C). The technical principals adopted by ITU support implementation of reception of ADS-B via satellite that would enhance surveillance of aircraft, particularly in areas
where terrestrial receivers cannot practically be deployed, such as in oceanic, trans-polar and remote regions – and would be a major step in the implementation of the ICAO global aeronautical distress and safety system. “The adoption of the technical principals in ITU’s report is a major step towards improving international global flight traffic safety, through the cooperation between ITU and ICAO,” said François Rancy, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau. “It also advances implementation of World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 decisions on internationally recognized spectrum for aircraft automatic dependent surveillance via satellite.”
China to fund Nigeria’s $550 million satellites N
IGERIA is set to acquire two new satellites to bolster the operations of Nigerian satellite company, NIGCOMSAT. The Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu, who disclosed this in Abuja, said satellites would be fully funded by the China EXIM Bank at a cost of 550million dollars. According to Shittu, the initial agreement was that the China EXIM bank would provide 85 per cent of the total cost ($550 million) while Nigeria would pay the remaining 15 per cent as counterpart funding for the projects. He, however, stated that as Nigeria could not be able to meet her obligation in paying the counterpart funding, the agreement was renegotiated with the China EXIM bank and the manufacture of the satellites, the China Great Walls. “Initially the agreement was that they will provide the cost of the two satellite 550 million dollars minus 15 per cent which is the counterpart funding. Because we could not afford this 15 percent, we have renegotiated with the China EXIM Bank and the China Great Walls who are the manufacturers and they have happily agreed to pay the entire $550 million to procure two new satellites,’’ he said. The minister stated that the new satellites would ensure that the Nigerian satellite company (NIGCOMSAT) would conquer the entire African continent in regard to the provision of satellite communication services. He said that the Chinese had appreciated the potential market that existed in the
satellite business in Nigeria and the African continent. “This is a very big business opportunity and I am sure that the Chinese appreciate the potential market which is so vast and that is why they have agreed that even without our ability to contribute 15 per cent they are prepared to pay the entire sum of $550 million for the procurement of the two new satellites for Nigeria,’’ he added. Shittu revealed that the production of the satellites would commence immedi-
ately the final agreements were signed. He said: “”It takes two years to produce because it is when we sign the papers they will start production. “We hope that before the end of this month we will sign the papers and then they will commence the production. It is the completion of the production that the two satellites will be launched.’’ He added that Nigeria had nothing to lose because the country would not put anything into the project in terms of financial resources.
Center, has announced its official listing by Microsoft as an ExpressRoute Connectivity Provider for Nigeria. The listing follows MainOne’s launch of its Cloud Connect product and successful delivery of the Microsoft ExpressRoute service which connects large enterprises in Nigeria to Microsoft’s Azure Cloud. With this recognition, MainOne will continue to offer private, high-speed connections for customers to Microsoft Azure thus improving the performance of their enterprise applications and cloud infrastructure services. Speaking on the achievement, Funke Opeke, Chief Executive Officer of MainOne says the growing migration towards Cloud services globally informed the company’s Cloud Connect solution which guarantees predictable and reliable private connections ranging from 50Mbps to 10Gbps to Cloud Services. “We have noted that Nigerian businesses have a lot of their IT workloads in the public cloud offshore due to the agility and ease of onboarding that it offers. However, unless large Enterprise users put in place private connections, performance suffers over the public Internet. This service directly addresses that connectivity challenge and comes on the heels of MainOne’s earlier selection as a Microsoft Cloud Service Provider.” MainOne is the first network provider to offer this service in Nigeria through the Equinix Exchange in Amsterdam.
Apple to mitigate chip flaws U
NITED States’ device maker, Apple Inc is set to release a patch for the Safari web browser on its iPhones, iPads and Macs within days, after major chip makers disclosed flaws that leave nearly every modern computing device vulnerable to hackers. Browser makers Google, Microsoft Corp and Mozilla Corp’s Firefox all confirmed that the patches they currently have in place do not protect iOS users. With Safari and virtually all other popular browsers not patched, hundreds of millions of iPhone and iPad users may have no secure means of browsing the web until Apple issues its patch. Apple stressed that there were no known instances of hackers taking advantage of the flaw to date. Alphabet Inc’s Google and other security researchers disclosed two major chip flaws, one called Meltdown affecting only Intel Corp chips and one called Spectre affecting nearly all computer chips made in the last decade. The news sparked a sell-off in Intel’s stock as investors tried to gauge the costs to the chip maker. In a statement on its website, Apple said all Mac and iOS devices were affected by both Meltdown and Spectre. But the most recent operating system updates for Mac computers, Apple TVs, iPhones and iPads protect users against the Meltdown attack and do not slow down the devices, it added, and Meltdown does not affect the Apple Watch. Macs and iOS devices are vulnerable to Spectre attacks through code that can run in web browsers. Apple said it would issue a patch to its Safari web browser for those devices “in the coming days.” Shortly after the researchers disclosed the chip flaws, Google and Microsoft released statements telling users which of their products were affected. Google said its users of Android phones, more than 80 percent of the global market, were protected if they had the latest security updates.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
VOX POPULI SACRUM
Of officials, offices, offerings
HAT services do our officials offer us? What are the purposes of all the offices that we create? How are officials of governments helping our peoples in the various situations living in Nigeria entail? DAILY, evidences abound about the failure of those entrusted with running Nigeria to ensure that the country works for its peoples. It does not matter how small and simple the issue is, or how troublesome its challenges are. Nigerian officials step over those failures and target new areas to display their incompetence. WHEN would Nigerians start living with certainties about some expectations from their governments? What can they expect from their governments as rights? Do the promises made at elections mean anything? How should Nigerians start holding their officials to their words? THESE questions apply to government ministries, agencies, and parastatals. There is no difference in their indifference to the people whether they operate as federal, state or local governments. What will change their attitude to the needs of Nigerians? A RECENT example of the indifference was the 6 January 2018 closure of the Niger Bridge to traffic because of the local government election that held in Delta State. Traffic stretched on both sides of the Niger Bridge for kilometres. There were similar scenes at boundaries of Delta State with Edo, Rivers and Bayelsa States. TRAVELLERS, some of who started their journeys at night, discovered they could not enter or exit Delta State. They were caught in the curfew that began at midnight and was to be lifted at 3pm on
6 January. those that fellow travellers, trapped in the gridlock, REACTIONS to the ordeal of those who travelled provided. What would have happened to her and on the 6 January across Delta State vary. Some the baby if they depended on those who are hired blame them for not heeding the warning about to provide emergency services? How would the the closure of the bridge. Others wondered why governments have explained failure to provide asthe roads had to be closed because an election was sistance to her, if anything went wrong? going on in a State. Must roads be blocked to con- 6 JANUARY exposed the minimal services that Nigeduct election? None of these positions addressed rians get for the high costs they bear for governthe situation that was unleashed on travellers ments to operate. If we have governments that because of the election. cannot realise the possibilities of emergencies with IT is the convention to close boundaries of States traffic gridlock of the type the Delta local governduring elections, whether they are the general ment poll caused, we would not be surprised by the elections or elections within the State. Among low commitments to daily governance. the reasons often given is the security of electoral THE Delta State local government election was the materials. In 19 years of consistently conducting second implicating the closure of the Niger Bridge elections - federal, state, local government, bye in less than two months. Only on 18 November nothing has changed. 2017, the governorship election in Anambra State ACTIVITIES are shut down to accommodate demands saw the Niger Bridge shut, all traffic in and out of of the election, including the movement of materiAnambra State, stopped for the duration of the als and personnel. The restriction in movements exercise and now this. The hardship last November of the people is supposed to ensure the safety of was nothing in the scale of what happened on 6 election materials, and minimise chances of people January. compromising the process. BARRING any last minute legal obstacles, the Anambra 6 JANUARY was trying. Hundreds of families were Central Senatorial seat re-run would be contested leaving the South East and South South back to on Saturday 13 January 2018, a week after the gridtheir places of residence after the end-of-year lock in Onitsha and Asaba. Seven local government festivities. From Lagos, there were also families areas are involved - Awka North, Awka South, Njikwho were travelling to homes in the East or South oka, Dunukofia, Anaocha, Idemili North, and Idemili South. South – at least, four of them have direct links to ARE there no ways of holding election without the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway. As the lockdown disrupting peoples’ lives? Must the boundaries for elections go, parts of the Expressway would not of States be locked because of election? What be in use on Saturday. Has anyone prepared for posmeasures are installed to assist those who would sible emergencies? be caught in the gridlock? Did anyone think about THAT elections have always been held this way is no those who would be stuck in traffic? reason for ceasing to search for solutions to the WHERE were the emergency services chaos these elections cause. Better security, and on 6 January? Did they hear of the more importantly a determination that it is possible chaos that the closure caused? What to hold elections without the lockdown could lead did they do? Did they spare a thought us to those solutions. for the thousands who were stranded? LEADERS, whatever their offices, should strive to Did they realise there could be emerimprove society’s conditions, by their actions, gencies like fire and or accidents? They otherwise they become officials with offices but no did not plan for the fact that someone offerings to the public. could fall ill in the traffic? FAMILIES, young and old, were stuck in that traffic. They ran out of food and water. They spent over six hours Our Vision in some cases, trapped in the frozen movement, and limited by their purses, TO BE among the top five newspapers in Nigeria and, and the emptying sources of things in due course, the Numero Uno; to be a newspaper of they could buy as the jam persisted. records that effectively caters to the information needs Nobody thought about them. Nobody of all segments and sections of the Nigerian society as well as all social classes and cultures. Essentially, we saw their situation as an emergency. want to be a responsible corporate citizen, a commerANNOUNCEMENTS on the proposed cially viable, properly organised media business, which closure of the Bridge for the election meets its obligations to society, government and the had assured that the security and emerworkforce. gency agencies would be at work. They were not there. The few who turned Mission up were not on official duties. They were helping out. WE INTEND to contribute to the development of an WHERE were the Federal Road Safety inclusive Nigerian society, with a view to getting rid of Corps, the Police, the Civil Defence the dark sides of our national life (slothfulness, greed, Corps, the Fire Services, and the ambucorruption, nepotism, totalitarianism, etc); to continulance services of the States? Who were ally engender and sustain national debates that would to cater for people if there were emerultimately lead to the enthronement of healthy national gencies? Where were the thousands of values--hard-work, justice, equity and fairplay, transparpersonnel these organisations keep at ency, good governance, resulting, in themselves, the public expense supposedly to serve us? egalitarian Nigerian society of our dream. We will give What do they really do and when do voice to the voiceless and at all times, strive to be balthey do them? anced, objective, honest, truthful and fair to all sides; so OF course, there were emergencies. that through The Oracle Today, our people, the Nigerian A woman was reportedly delivered of people can see a bright light at the end of what has been a baby in the gridlock. There were no a very dark tunnel. And we shall do all this in absolute emergency services in sight, except trust in God who blesses good intentions.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
OPINION By EHICHIOYA EZOMON
EAD men don’t bite, writes Robert Louis Stevenson in the adventurous novel, “Treasure Island.” So, why would the Nigerian government appoint “dead persons” into boards of parastatal organizations? Going by official position, they were assigned when alive, but their demise occurred during the pendency of release of the list of appointees. Fair enough! Yet, the debacle gave foil to critics to denounce the government as “shoddy and incompetent,” and to call for withdrawal of the list “in order to remove a clear and recognizable danger to the integrity of these bodies (parastatals),” said Timothy Adewale, deputy director of Social Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP). In explaining the genesis of the list, and the two-year delay to release it, the Presidency pinned the mix-up to “human errors.” But the public was enraged, and took umbrage with the assertion that, “no human undertaking can be free of mistakes,” and that, “there is no scandal” in the exercise. Really? That was unnecessary moral equivalency. Rather than rationalizing a seeming mistake, the Presidency ought to offer an immediate apology, make corrections to the list, and move on to guaranteeing a clinical efficiency in the next batch of appointments, for “all parts of the country to be equitably represented.” Well, the government has “listened to the concerns raised” and toed the path of rationality by ordering the withdrawal, and clean-up of the list, according to Presidential spokesman, Mr. Garba Shehu, who told a national daily that “the entire list is being scrutinized all over again.” Stunningly, Shehu was quoted as revealing that: “Even after the list was published, one nominee died... There were
By PAUL SHINKMAN
hile the Trump administration says victory against the Islamic State group is all but secured in Iraq and Syria, the terror network has found successes elsewhere this year. Islamic State group operatives entered the continent en masse in 2016 in Libya, where as many as 8,000 fought to establish a foothold in the coastal city of Sirte to serve as a lifeboat amid steady losses in Iraq and Syria. A U.S.led mission of airstrikes and special operations forces helped win back the city earlier this year, but not without scattering some of those fighters to other corners of the fractionated and wartorn country. Now roughly 500 Islamic State group fighters are in Libya, though that assessment fluctuates, officials with Africa Command say. The group’s presence there continues to be a focus of U.S. attention as it still poses a threat in planning attacks against Europe and Western interests in North Africa, officials say. In 2015, the Islamic State group scored a propaganda win when Boko Haram, the Nigerian hard-line extremist group, declared itself an affiliate branch. The group fractured in 2016 when some fighters split to join the Islamic State group instead of remaining loyal to their own leaders. This new branch, dubbed ISIS-West Africa, poses a more significant threat than Boko Haram, Africa Command officials say, due to its increased capability to plan and launch attacks. It was responsible for the attack on the convoy in Niger in July that killed at least 70 people. The Islamic State group continues to operate in the Greater Sahara region,
Needless moralising dead persons’ appointments also complaints about some persons who had left the party but made the list. We are looking at those ones, too, with a view to replacing them.” While those looking at the list “will be reporting to the President very soon,” let me recall the premonition I had when President Muhammadu Buhari promised many board appointments and cabinet positions were coming: That something might go wrong with the compilation, and release of the names. Remember the hullaballoo over alleged 81 of 100 appointments going to Northerners, and government’s attempts to debunk the claim? That’s the kind of feeling I had. I was concerned with: Will the appointments be representative of members of the All Progressives Congress, achieve merit, or skewed to favour interest groups? Will likely APC appointees turn out to be opposition stalwarts? Will some persons reject their appointments? Will the compilers duplicate, and include dead persons’ names? The Buhari administration hadn’t formed the cabinet when pressures began to mount for the dissolution of boards, occupied by members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party. So, in October 2015, the president directed APC state chapters to submit equal numbers (50) of nominees. But months, and a year later, grumbles grew into public outbursts, and schism in the party over the appointments. Inter-
estingly, the president’s wife, Aisha Buhari, arrow-headed the reward campaign on the BBC Hausa Service in Abuja in October 2016. Her championing was two-fold: Compensate APC members and flush out non-members in the government. Her words: “Firstly, it was people that brought the government into power. More than half of those people are not appointed into the government. Some people that are not politicians, not professionals were brought into the government. “They even come out and say to people, ‘We are not politicians,’ but they are occupying the offices meant for politicians... Those that know they don’t have voters’ card, they should give chance to those that have; they are the ones that struggled and know what we want to do.” Similarly, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), retired Colonel Hameed Ali, parroted the “monkey dey work, baboon dey chop” tale last year in Abuja at the commissioning of the national headquarters of the Buhari Support Organizations (BSO). “When you come in (as the winning party), you shake off everybody and bring in your own,” Ali said. “That is what democracy is all about... But today, we have members of the PDP calling the shots. That is what we will begin to fight for. We will fight for our right position, our vision and our mission for this government.”
Obligingly, President Buhari, at a meeting of the National Executive Committee of the APC in Abuja on October 31, said he was “keenly aware that our supporters are very eager for these appointments to be announced,” promising that, “by the grace of God, these appointments will be announced soon. Especially now that the economy is improving, we will have the resources to cater for the appointees.” Barely two months after, on December 29, the government released the list of 209 board chairpersons and 1,258 members, which confirmed my uncanny worries last October - possible dead persons’ names, duplications, PDP appointees, etc., on the list. The attendant uproar has overshadowed an otherwise celebratory moment for the APC members, who believe the appointments would help to consolidate the gains of the party across the country, in the light of the daunting task of defending its mandate in the 2019 general elections. The rest is now history - history which, as a guide, teaches insightful and useful lessons that humans almost always ignore to their consternation, as the board appointments fiasco has shown.
• Ezomon, journalist and media consultant, writes from Lagos.
ISIS By the numbers in 2017 (2) largely at the border of Niger and Mali, though that comprises a relatively smaller number of troops. The Pacific Rim Navy Adm. Harry Harris, chief of U.S. Pacific Command, said in October that it has witnessed terrorism and attacks inspired by the Islamic State group in Malaysia, Bangladesh and the Philippines. “As we succeed in degrading ISIS in Iraq, Syria and Libya, radicalized, weaponized and displaced terrorists will seek new footholds in the Indo-Asia-Pacific,” Harris said in a speech in Singapore at the time. In 2016, the commander of the Islamic extremist group Abu Sayyaf based in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao, Isnilon Hapilon, was named the Islamic State group emir for Southeast Asia. Philippine forces, currently leading operations against the extremist network there, killed him in October during a campaign to retake the city of Marawi, though Harris said the leader’s following represented an ongoing threat to the region. “It’s important to understand Hapilon’s rise in 2016, when in just a matter of months he started uniting elements of several violent extremist organizations – building a coalition under the ISIS black flag,” Harris said. “Today, Marawi is a wake-up call and a rallying cry for every nation in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. Foreign fighters are passing their ideology, resources and methods to local, homegrown, next-generation radicals. So we must stop ISIS at the front end and not
at the back end when the threat can become even more dangerous.” When asked for specific numbers of ISIS fighters or operatives in the region, U.S. Pacific Command declined to comment. “We do not comment on intelligence matters for security reasons,” says Navy Cmdr. Dave Benham, a spokesman for the command. The Caribbean Then-Marine Gen. John Kelly, when he was still commander of U.S. Southern Command, first observed in March 2015 that people from Caribbean countries like Suriname, Venezuela, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago had travelled to Syria or Iraq to join the Islamic State group, where “they get good at killing and pick up some job skills,” like working with explosives. As many as 100 had returned to their homelands, which were largely devoid of intelligence or law enforcement infrastructure to hunt them down on their own. In January 2016, Kelly, now White House chief of staff, observed that the Islamic State group’s presence in the region was on the rise at a time when the Islamic State group was encouraging its followers to stay away from Iraq and Syria and plot attacks at home instead. “It seems like the Islamic extremists and terrorists have shifted a lot of their message,” Kelly told reporters at the time. “’Why don’t you just stay at home and do a San Bernardinp or do Boston or do Fort Hood?’” Southern Command did not immediately respond to requests for comment
on the current status of the Islamic State group in the Caribbean. Reports persist, however, that local Muslims find inspiration in the Islamic State group and that it continues to target tourists in the region, prompting warnings from those governments • PAUL SHINKMAN is Senior National Security Writer for United States News (USN).
THE GROUP Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Ikeddy Isiguzo Editor Felix Oguejiofor Abugu Deputy Editor/Head, Lagos Bureau Sopuruchi Onwuka Abuja Bureau Chief Tony Ailemen Head, Graphics & Designs Nnamdi Alex Chukwu Advert Manager Andrew Udeh Circulation Manager Felix Oti
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
Travel & Hospitality Lagos will be Africa’s tourism hub – Ambode
AGOS State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has restated that his administration remains totally committed to developing the tourism, hospitality and sports potentials of the State and make it a must-visit and Africa’s best tourism destination. The Governor who said this while flagging off the Agege leg of the justconcluded One Lagos Fiesta (OLF) at the Agege mini-stadium, explained that the event, which has become an annual event in the tourism calendar, is aimed at promoting arts and cultural potentials of the State. He said the event is also aimed at encouraging youths to develop their talents in the creative and entertainment industry to compete favorably with their counterparts from other parts of the world. Represented by the State Deputy Governor, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, Ambode added that the State government planned to use the platform to grow the local economy and encourage the development of small-scale businesses, stressing that the annual event is remarkable for promoting the growth of local entrepreneurs since it started three years ago. Ambode expressed happiness that the annual fiesta was embraced by residents especially the youths while assuring that the government would continue to run an all-inclusive government where everyone is a stakeholder in the administration of the State.
Parks Service partners NFC on wildlife
Stories by VICTOR NZE
HE Nigerian National Parks Service (NNPS) has disclosed plans to partner with the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) to produce the wildlife documentaries. Conservator-General of the Service, Alhaji Ibrahim Goni, who stated this when he paid a courtesy visit to the NFC, Monday, in Abuja said that the country’s parks were endowed with diverse natural resources which offered alternative options for economic development via tourism, research, education and employment generation. He said that since Nigerians were beginning to recognise the value of the vast wild lands of undeveloped areas across the country, the Service was poised to explore the potential. “Today, people recognise the value of not only our lands but the biodiversity that thrives in them. “We have been recovering plants
and animals that have virtually disappeared due to development, habitat fragmentation, climate change, invasive species and other threats. “In our houses, we watch wildlife films and documentaries from South Africa and Kenya, among others; so, we feel that it is high time we started having our own wildlife films,’’ he said. Goni said that the films would enhance “the survival value of multitudes of wild species that flourish as natural systems that help to regulate climate, air quality, and cycles of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, mineral elements and water. “The documentaries and films will teach the values and workings of nature in places largely free of human influence, and compare them with landscapes dominated by humans.” The conservator-general said that the films would also show the economic value of some plants and animals for the benefit of the citi-
zenry. “They are potential sources of food, medicine and industrial products; the parks protect the species and the communities that underlie these values, thereby serving as reservoirs of seed stock for restoring the species that are lost elsewhere,’’ he said. Goni said: “To preserve biodiversity in parks for future generations, we must first discover the breadth of life forms that exist. We are working with professional scientists, university students, schools and partners for the purpose of biodiversity discovery.’’ He, however, lamented that these resources had been underutilised due to the lack of optimal publicity and participation of private investors in the management of the parks. He said that the awareness of this lacuna was the rationale behind his visit to seek the collaboration with the Nigerian Film Corporation in the publicity of the content of parks, as
well as its needs and security challenges through documentaries and films. Responding, Managing Director of NFC, Dr Chika Maduekwe, pledged the support of the corporation in efforts to showcase the potential of the parks service, just as he commended the parks service for reaching out to the corporation for a viable collaboration that would be mutually beneficial to both organisations. “We will help in producing documentaries and films on the challenges facing our parks and the way out; we will regularly broadcast the documentaries and films on Lamingo TV (Nigeria’s equivalent of National Geo-Wild channel). At the end of the meeting, Goni and Maduekwe resolved to set up a six-man committee, with three members each from the two agencies, which would produce a roadmap for the actualisation of the proposed venture.
Four Points by Sheraton, Hennessy liven up Rooftop Bar
our Points by Sheraton Hotel in Lagos has announced the commencement of a worthy partnership with Hennessy to create a unique entertainment experience every Thursday evenings at the facility’s Office Bar. According to the General Manager of the hotel, Marc Wozniak: “Thursdays at the Four Points Lagos is now Friday eve, and undoubtedly described as one of the best events to happen on that day of the week on the island. “We are inviting our valued customers to come and enjoy worldclass entertainment alongside great Hennessy based cocktails to shake off the day’s work stress while taking in the panoramic view of the rooftop bar; savouring well-seasoned barbecued jumbo prawns; signature ‘dodo’ (plantain) alongside our well spiced snail. “Those visiting can be sure to experience some soul lifting live music performances from our band of the day and also dance to your own choice of beats during our silent disco every Thursday’s fortnight. Wednesday evenings is also not left out; as our customers can now get a bottle of Fantinel Prosecco Brut or even a complimentary room night according to the value spent. “The bar opens every weekday from 6pm and 12pm on weekends and public holidays. Four Points by Sheraton Lagos looks forward to welcoming all fun loving fans to the roof top bar to relax and unwind,” remarked the General Manager.
• Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule (m) on stage dancing at the Badagry leg of the just-concluded One Lagos Fiesta (OLF) which held in the state simultaneously for eight days across fives zones from December 24 till early hours of January 1, 2018
Ijakadi Festival to be included in National Calendar
INISTER of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that the “Ijakadi” Festival in Offa, Kwara State will be included in the National Festival Calendar in 2018. The Minister stated this at the grand finale of the 2017 celebration of Ijakadi (traditional wrestling) festival in Offa near Ilorin in Kwara. Mohammed who was a guest of honour at the event said Ijakadi festival had come to stay and grown
from strength to strength in celebration of rich Offa culture, adding that the significance of the festival was not just about the history of the people, rather a celebration of the virtues of “equity, justice and wisdom”. The Minister said that the festival also showcased the affinity between the Offa and Ile-Ife, and how Moremi Ajasoro, the daughter of Offa rescued the Ife Kingdom from the `Igbo’ marauder.
“What we have come here to celebrate is history that dated back to 14th century. We have an MoU with the British Council through which every year, we train festival managers all over the country. I want to assure you that the Ijakadi festival will benefit from this training. “This kind of festival is one of the reasons why this government has placed so much emphasis on our culture being encouraged and we are going to put Offa in the world map.”
The minister said that the government would assist to put the festival on the world records to attract people from across the globe. There was also horse raising competition among the five Offa districts while a raffle draw concluded the event. The star prize for the draw was a motor bike while the first and second Runner up for draw went home with a generator and a flat screen television respectively.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
AVIATION Stories by VICTOR NZE
HE Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in conjunction with the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has lowered minimum visibility for takeoff and landing of flights for 18 airports which have improved navigational aids, including Performance Based Navigation (PBN) and other equipment that enhance visibility during inclement weather. This new minimum visibility will take effect from Thursday. Before now, the average minimum visibility was 800 metres below which flights were not allowed to operate to the airports, but now flights can operate when visibility is about 150 meters, depending on the available navigational aids. The implication of this is that flights that were hitherto stopped from operating to airports when the visibility were below 800 metres can now operate; so even at the height of harmattan haze last December, airlines would have operated with the minimum visibility. In the statement signed by NCAA spokesman, Sam Adurogboye, the regulatory authority said it carried out a review of Aerodrome Operating Weather Minima for 18 airports in Nigeria in recognition of improvements in visual and navigational aids within the affected airports. NCAA said the review was in compliance with the provision of Part 8
NCAA, NAMA lower minimum visibility for 18 airports of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs Part 8), and in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Doc.9365. “In this review, the Regulatory Authority took cognisance of improve-
ments in visual and navigational aids within the affected airports. The reviewed Aerodrome Operating Minima would serve to enhance the operating capacity of the aerodromes. This is due to the fact that it will avail
the operators with improved minima for low visibility operations,” the regulatory authority said. According to the review, the landing minima specified for all the 18 airports were determined based on
2017 safest year ever for commercial air travel – Group
ERO deaths were reported for passenger jet travel in 2017, making it the safest year on record for commercial aviation, according to the Dutch aviation group To70 and the Aviation Safety Network (ASN). Reports released from the two groups, Monday, said that there were no deaths aboard commercial passenger jet airplanes in 2017. “2017 was the safest year for aviation ever,” said To70’s Adrian Young. For cargo airplanes and commercial passenger propeller airplanes, there were 10 fatal incidents in 2017 resulting in 44 deaths on board aircraft and 35 deaths on the ground. The deadliest aircraft-related incident of 2017 occurred in January, when a Turkish cargo plane crash landed in Kyrgyzstan, killing four crew members and 35 people on the ground. Young also cautioned that the risks involved in aviation remain high, as evidenced by the Turkish crash and other more minor fatal incidents last year. “The risks to civil aviation remain high as shown by the seriousness of some of the non-fatal accidents,” Young said, adding: “It is unlikely that this historic low will be maintained; in part, these very positive figures rest on good fortune. Nevertheless, the safety level that civil aviation has achieved is remarkable.” Fatal incidents involving passenger jets have been falling steadily for decades. Reuters notes that as recently as 2005, 1,015 deaths occurred on commercial passenger flights around the world. The last fatal commercial jet crash in the U.S. occurred in 2009, when a passenger jet crashed in Clarence Center, New York, killing 50 people. The last fatal commercial jet crash worldwide occurred in Medellin, Colombia, in November 2016 and killed 71 people.
• From second left: Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika in company of the Managing Director, Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), Mr Jack Li at the inspection of the level of work at the new terminal of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja project
NAIA’s new terminal requires additional funding –FG M
INISTER of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has proffered reasons causing the protracted delay in completion of the new terminal building at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, (NAIA), Abuja, explaining further that additional funding was now required to see the project through. The NAIA new terminal project is part of the US$500 million dollars loan from Chinese EXIM Bank and 100 million dollars counterpart funding from Nigerian government. Sirika, while inspecting the project, Tuesday, told newsmen that one of the causes of the delay was a foundational issue which had altered the master plan of the airport, as he explained that the planning of the project did not envisage that the building would lead to additional works, power and water supply. Sirika added that it was also discovered that the building would block both the control and fire towers which would require relocation. He said that additional work was also required to link it with the existing terminal as well as expanding the apron to accommodate bigger air planes. Another reason according to Sirika, is the insufficient capacity of the existing power and water supply in the airport to cater for the new building.
He said that all the challenges would result to requiring additional funding. According to him, the project is being funded through 500 million dollars loan from Chinese EXIM bank and 100 million dollars counterpart funding from Nigerian government. The quality of work is acceptable but the pace of work is not acceptable because this project should have been delivered by now. “The contractor has told us some of the challenges he has been facing regarding some of the components of work and some additional works required for this project to be put into use. Unfortunately, some of these components are complex which would delay this job and some of them are from the foundation like that of the sewer and water. “There is also the problem of the control tower blocking the access into the terminal apron and also the inadequate nature of the apron itself. All of these are not small works to be done but the intent of the government is to fast track the construction to ensure that it is being utilised soon. “I am very disappointed that all these problems could not be factored in during the planning stage of the procurement. It is a 600 milliondollar project based on the initial
arrangement but because we now have additional works to be carried out to be able to complete it, there is need for additional funding,” he said. Sirika said that the Abuja light rail that was almost completed would terminate at the airport which would not be utilised if the terminal building was not completed. He said that government could not give any specific date for its completion, considering the amount of funds required to correct all the anomalies since it was a loan project. According to him, government is committed to the project to ensure its completion as soon as possible and the contractor has given his word that if the power issue is resolved, part of work would be completed before March. Managing Director, Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), Mr Jack Li, said the work was about 88 per cent completed, noting that the cause of the delay was occasioned by external factors not included in the contract, as he also added that it was the responsibility of the government to make provision for the power and water supply. He, however, promised that the project would be delivered within the year if the issues concerning power and water were resolved.
applicable criteria as defined in the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) regulations and these includes all relevant amendments, as well as available navigational facilities, including Instrument Landing System, Voice Omni directional Radio Range and Distance Measuring Equipment (ILS,VOR/DME, etc) or PBN Navigational Specification (RNAV/GNSS). “On the other hand, the reviewed operating minima provided for a performance based takeoff minima for the affected aerodromes in Nigeria is determined by available visual aids for takeoff. These are Runway Centre Lights, Touchdown Zone lights, Runway Edge Lights, Threshold Lights, Runway End Lights and Runway Surface Markings. The 18 aerodromes where the operating minima and takeoff minima have been reviewed are Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Dutse, Eket and Enugu. Others are Gombe, Ilorin, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Owerri, Sokoto, Uyo, Yola and Zaria,” the statement said. NCAA said the last time weather minima were actually reviewed was in 1983, but a semblance of revision undertaken in 1993 only stated that the takeoff minima shall be equal or greater than landing minima at all airports. “This is to allow for an air return to the same airport should there arise an emergency,” NCAA said. “However, this present review allows for takeoff as low as 150 metres Runway Visual Range (RVR). While some airports in the country with Category Two Instrument Landing Systems (ILS Cat II) can permit landing with 300 metres Runway Visual Range (RVR). “Before this review, the lowest visibility with Category Two ILS in the nation’s airports was 800 metres/550 RVR (Runway Visual Range). Based on the review, the following airports now have ILS Cat II approach and landing minima, Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Kaduna, Ilorin, Gombe, Owerri, Sokoto, Uyo, Yola, Dutse, Calabar and Enugu,” the regulatory body said. NCAA said the implementation of these revised aerodrome operating minima (both takeoff and landing) shall be based on compliance with applicable Standard Operating Procedures for Low Visibility Operations at the affected airports, adding that this is executed by Flight Crew, Air Traffic Controllers (ATC), Aerodrome Operators and the Meteorological Agency. “To ensure the seamless operation of these revised minima, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) shall continue to ensure prompt and regular provision of required meteorological information. These will include flight visibility and Runway Visual Range (RVR) values to all ATC units in the airports. Thus NiMET and NAMA shall ensure constant updating of the Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) with the available RVR values as appropriate. All airlines, Aerodrome Operators and Air Navigation Service Providers are required to ensure adequate training of their personnel and flight crew that would be involved in low visibility operations. The Air Navigation service provider is expected to ensure regular flight calibration of all available navigational aids. This is to ensure safe and efficient flight operations, especially during low visibility operations,” the statement also said. The agency added that with this review it has provided a pragmatic solution to the incessant flight delays and cancellations occasioned by inclement weather, noting that it is expected that passengers can now heave a sigh of relief as their travel plans would now be in real time.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
INSURANCE & PENSION 7,000 insurance agents T still unregistered - ARIAN
Natural disasters: Insurers to pay record $135b
HE insurance industry will pay record claims of US$135 billion from last year’s spate of natural catastrophes, according to a report published by Munich Re. Further, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria (HIM), the Mexico earthquakes and wildfires in California created overall economic losses (which include uninsured losses), of US$330 billion, said Munich Re in an overview of natural catastrophes in 2017. Munich Re said this is the second-highest figure ever recorded for natural disasters, which was only surpassed in 2011, when the Tohoku earthquake in Japan and floods in Thailand contributed to overall losses of US$354 billion in today’s dollars. The overall loss figure of US$330 billion, for all types of natural disasters, was almost double the 10year, inflation-adjusted average of US$170 billion, said Munich Re, noting that insured losses were almost three times higher than the average of US$49 billion. For its report, Munich Re tracked a total of 710 natural catastrophes, which was significantly higher than the average of 605. The U.S. share of losses in 2017 was even larger than usual: 50 percent, compared to the long-term average of 32 percent. When considering North America as a whole, the share rises to 83 percent, Munich Re noted. “Some of the catastrophic events, such as the series of three extremely damaging hurricanes, or the very severe flooding in South Asia after extraordinarily heavy monsoon rains, are giving us a foretaste of what is to come,” said Torsten Jeworrek, Munich Re board member responsible for global reinsurance business, who added: “Because even though individual events cannot be directly traced to climate change, our experts expect such extreme weather to occur more often in future.” While the reinsurance industry had hoped the relentless soft market would be alleviated by last year’s expensive catastrophes, rate increases were relatively measured during the January renewals — mostly as a result of the abundance of reinsurance capacity provided by capital market investors backing insurance linked securities (ILS). This fact was highlighted in two additional reports that were published this week by Willis Re and JLT Re. In Willis Re’s renewal report, titled “Willis Re 1st View – January 1, 2018,” James Kent, global CEO Willis Re, confirmed that last year’s catastrophe losses stopped a further decline in risk-adjusted rates in most markets and classes. However, the continued supply of capital has prevented “widespread increases in risk-adjusted rates particularly on loss free portfolios,” he said The good news is that there has been a general stabilization of rating levels across a wide range of classes — not just property catastrophe — as well as pricing improvement on some primary classes of business, added Kent. He noted that this provides a better trading environment for reinsurers heading into 2018 than was the case before the catastrophe events.
Stories by VICTOR NZE
HERE are about 7,000 unregistered insurance agents in the market as only 3,000 out of the 10,000 identified practitioners have been duly cleared to operate in the industry, according to the Association of Registered Insurance Agents (ARIAN). The group also warned that business will no longer be guaranteed for Insurance agents not registered by ARIAN and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).
ARIAN President, Mr Gbedebo Olamerun, who made this known, Thursday, in Lagos, said that so far only 3000 insurance agents had registered with NAICOM although over 10,000 unlicensed agents were transacting business in the insurance industry, leaving a staggering 7000 unregistered agents in the industry. He advised insurance companies to ensure that their agents were registered by his association and NAICOM to enjoy robust enterprises in 2018. He said the association had put
in place monitoring and compliance mechanism to check illegal operators. Olamerun said that larger number of registered agents would improve the quality of insurance practice in Nigeria. “Increased registered agents will increase premium collection and automatically boost the sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the country,” he said. Olamerun said his association would continuously equip members with skills needed to sell insur-
ance business at the grassroots. “Our members, henceforth, will also get certified by Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) to enhance their proficiency. He said ARAIN had been able to push for a reduction of the amount for the proficiency test certification which had been the most expensive requirement for agent’s registration with NAICOM. He said that the association was working to ensure that the number of registered agents reached 20,000 by 2020
Allianz Invests $96.6m in Digital Microinsurer BIMA
•An official of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) distributing food and other relief materials to pensioners during the verification exercise conducted by the agency at one of the centres across the country.
Obaseki assures health insurance for civil servants
do State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has met with the state’s civil servants of directorate cadre, pledging to build their capacities and provide health insurance scheme for them. The civil servants included permanent secretaries and other senior workers on salary Grade Levels 15 to 17. Addressing the civil servants at Government House in Benin, Tuesday, Obaseki said the meeting was to share thoughts towards ensuring a more efficient and result oriented civil service. He noted that due to the present economic situation, there was need to avoid the luxury of running government as in the past and embrace efficiency based on use of technology. “We will emphasis training and re-training for our civil servants; we need to create an environment where we should enjoy coming to work,” he said. Obaseki said his administration would not negotiate the health of the people of the state as the State
Health Insurance Scheme would be made compulsory for all, especially the civil servants, to enable them to access quality good healthcare. “I am tired of medical request to travel abroad for medical care,” the governor said. The governor said his administration would start a housing project within the year and called on the workers to key into the project and ensure they benefited. “The era of automatic promotion is gone because people must earn their promotion. Promotion will not be delayed as assessment will be done on time; delay in promoting workers will not be tolerated, “he said. Responding to suggestions made by some of the civil servants on how to move the state civil service forward, the governor promised to recruit more workers, provide more facilities, logistics, and secure additional 1,000 computers in addition to the 1,000 bought in 2017. Earlier, Head of Service, Mrs Gladys Idahor, appreciated the governor for his commitment to improve
and develop the capacity of civil servants in the state. Idahor pledged the loyalty and commitment of the workforce, saying “this year we will be more committed and dedicated as civil servants to ensure effective service delivery”. The highpoint of the event was the inspection of an Information Technology and Communication Centre at Government House, for the training of civil servants.
LLIANZ X, the digital investment unit of the Allianz Group, has announced a $96.6 million investment in BIMA, the digital microinsurer. Stockholm-based BIMA uses mobile technology to serve low-income customers in Africa, Asia and Latin America. With its investment, Allianz becomes BIMA’s sole insurance shareholder and the largest strategic shareholder overall. “Our investment in BIMA underscores Allianz’s commitment to digitalization, supporting the growth strategy of the group in emerging economies…,” said Oliver Baete, CEO of Allianz SE. BIMA’s delivers affordable insurance and health products to emerging markets customers who need them but cannot access them through traditional channels, said Allianz in a statement. BIMA’s business combines mobile technology, partnerships with mobile operators and a dedicated 3,500-person sales force to achieve scale and profitability. “The strategic investment in BIMA contributes to the digital transformation of the Allianz Group and our commitment to emerging markets,” said Nazim Cetin, CEO of Allianz X. “Allianz’s participation in BIMA provides an ability for us to deepen our emerging markets footprint and use the latest technologies to distribute insurance products to customers who need it most,” said Coenraad Vrolijk, regional CEO of Allianz Africa. Since launching in 2010, BIMA has operations in 14 countries on three continents with 24 million registered customers to date. Allianz’ investment will allow the company to continue its rapid growth trajectory by harnessing soaring mobile penetration in emerging markets and deliver against an ambition to reach 1 billion consumers. “We are very excited to have Allianz as a shareholder. Allianz is the perfect insurance partner and investor for BIMA because of their strong commitment to emerging markets and overlapping footprint,” said BIMA founder and CEO Gustaf Agartson.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
INSURANCE & PENSION
Africa’s reinsurance market anticipates recovery A Stories by VICTOR NZE
FRICA’S US$ 6.8 billion reinsurance market operators may have repositioned in expectation of the much anticipated recovery projected by the Africa Reinsurance Pulse, launched during the 22st African Reinsurance Forum in Port Louis, Mauritius, in October, last year. The second edition of the report had projected a remarkable recovery for the US$ 6.8 billion valued market. This is as reinsurance executives continue to be bullish about the prospects of their markets. It would also be recalled that in 2016, Africa’s GDP growth dropped to 1.8m per cent, below the global average of 2.5 per cent. Insurance premiums declined by 15.3 per cent to US$ 61 billion. However, the contraction is mainly due to the depreciation of some key African currencies against the US dollar. For 2018, the
senior reinsurance and brokerage executives interviewed in the report expressed the hope that results will improve markedly as the underlying market fundamentals remain largely unscathed from the current decline. The Africa Reinsurance Pulse is an annual research series, conducted by Dr. Schanz, Alms & Company, and provides an authoritative overview of the current state and future prospects of Africa’s reinsurance markets. According to the report, contrary to the development in United States dollar terms, in original currencies, most African insurance markets continued to grow in 2016. “Going forward, they are expected to benefit from the low insurance penetration, the recovery of commodity prices and the continent’s need for infrastructure. Africa’s young and growing population, its expanding middle class and technological innovations,
which alter consumer habits, drive demand and create product opportunities as well as new avenues for distribution.” However, according to the executives, Africa remains dependent upon factors external to its own sphere of influence. While insurance markets contracted, excess capacity continues to flow inwards, driving competition and, as a consequence, protectionism. To some interviewees, this threatens markets as they exclude themselves from access to foreign expertise, limit the potential for risk diversification and thus increase the exposure within the ‘protected’ domestic economy. Current premium rates are low compared to the average of the past three years, but due to large losses, rising claims and the introduction of Risk-Based Capital regulation, pricing seems to stabilise. Still, current profitability is depressed as well. According to the interviewees,
we might be closing in on the bottom of the cycle. Driven by an increase in rates in life insurance, cost reductions, tighter underwriting discipline and a steady recovery of the economy, returns are expected to improve. The inflow of excess capacity into Africa is expected to continue, albeit at a slower pace. Since Africa will remain a growth market, reinsurers rather trim their costs than reduce capacity. Due to low exposure to natural catastrophes and largely uncorrelated risks, Africa remains a ‘diversification play’ and will continue to attract capacity. A vast majority of executives assume that reinsurance exposure will grow as fast as or even faster than GDP as the concentration of values continues to rise, while rates decline. As a result, premiums are expected to grow at a slower pace than GDP. Only once the economy rebounds, premiums should outgrow GDP again, provided heightened demand will translate into
stable or rising reinsurance rates as well. On average the reinsurers and brokers surveyed were active in 20 African markets. Over the course of the past three years, a majority of them increased the number of markets they are active in. Going forward that trend will continue as to most of the reinsurers and brokers interviewed an expansion into new markets and/or new lines of business is a top priority for the next 12 months. The report further noted that although there is no uniform trend across the reinsurance sector in Africa, rising protectionism and excess capacity are major concerns, underwriting quality, risk management and expertise are seen to be improving. “An expanding middle class, a deeper understanding for insurance products and the emergence of new technologies will benefit insurance markets and help increase insurance penetration,” it said.
Legacy funds: Insurance firms owe over N25b - PTAD
ENSION Transitional ArrangePdisclosed ment Directorate (PTAD) has that insurance firms op-
erating in the country owe over N25 billion to the agency in legacy funds and assets. Executive Secretary, Sharon Ikeazor, who said this recently in Lagos, while assuring that also that the agency is making moves to recover the said amount from the affected companies, said PTAD had given the affected companies a one year notice to pay up. It would be recalled that Federal Government had discontinued the release of pension intervention funds to insurance companies following the consolidation of treasury funded parastatals’ pension by PTAD in August, 2015. She reminded that it is in the fulfillment of its mandate under the Pension Reform Act that PTAD has taken over the administration of Legacy Funds and Assets in the custody of insurance companies and has directed the concerned 12 insurance companies to transfer all Legacy Funds and assets in their custody to PTAD. Ekeazor noted that an amount well over N25 billion is still being owed by some insurance companies, stressing that PTAD had given the insurance companies one year in which to repay the monies owed taking into consideration the fact that the monies have been with them since 2015 and they knew they were to hand over to PTAD since then. “While some of the affected companies complied, some of them said they will not be able to meet the deadline of December 2017. Among companies that have complied are; Leadway Assurance with full payment of N33.3 million, AIICO Insurance complied in the form of transferring properties and investments worth N1.5 billion and NICON Insurance substantially complied transferring fixed assets worth N13 billion to PTAD. “The value placed on them are yet to be verified and reconciled. The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing is carrying out the valuation of those assets to determine their actual value,” she added.
•Managing Director, Brit Property Nigeria Limited, Dr. Bright Ihesiulo (l), flanked by staff of the company during the cutting of the one year anniversary cake
Catastrophe bond issuance hits record $10.5b
ATASTROPHE bond issuance surpassed $10.5 billion in 2017 – a new record, according to the latest report from the Property Claims Services Unit of Verisk Insurance Solutions. Results from 2017 are signifi-
cantly higher than the last record – 2014’s $7.8 billion in catastrophe bond issuance. In 2015 and 2016, catastrophe bond issuance decline to $6 billion and more than $4.5 billion, respectively, versus the previous heights hit in 2014.
For 2017, there were 36 cat bond transactions, a jump over 20 from 2016. What’s more, the average transaction hit $290 million, a 3.6 percent jump for this statistic over the prior year. PCI said that Hurricanes Harvey,
Guinea, Sovereign Trust record PAT increases U nderwriting firm, Guinea Insurance Plc has said its Profit Before Tax (PAT) grew by 194.64 per cent from N46.9million at the close of financial year ended 31 December, 2015 to N138million in 2016. According to the company, Profit After Tax grew by 134.87 per cent from N7.2million loss experienced in 2015, to N2.5millon profit in 2016. The Chairman, Board of Directors, Godson Ugochukwu, who revealed this at the company’s 59th AGM held in Kano, said the company successfully overcame the challenge of solvency margin during the year, as its solvency margin stood at about N3.015billion in 2016, against N2.981billion in 2015. He added that Gross Written Pre-
mium grew by 4.18 per cent from N870million reported at the end December 2015 to N907million achieved in same period of 2016, while Shareholders’ Fund fell to N2.897billion from N2.899billion in 2015 representing a marginal drop of 0.08 per cent. He further reaffirmed the Board’s commitment and resolve to grow the company through strategic deployment of its distinctive competencies to gain competitive edge in the marketplace. He described as modest, the remarkable operational and financial successes the Board and Management of the company were able to achieve in less than a year amid the harsh realities of economic headwinds experienced during the period.
“As pledged in year 2015, we positioned ourselves for the future and initiated rigorous actions to get Guinea Insurance out of the woods, and guided to a path of profitability.” Godson pledged to continually focus on building capacity, reposition the brand, build a tribe of loyal customers who will become the company’s brand ambassadors, and ultimately transform it to a world class enterprise. Meanwhile, Managing Director/ Chief Executive officer, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Olaotan Soyinka Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc has shown a consistent rise in the company’s profitability after it recorded 352 per cent Profit After Tax (PAT) increase in third quarter (Q3) 2017.
Irma and Maria along with two wildfires in the second half of 2017 helped drive the increase. Before this, experts focused on new lines of business, new regions and talks of innovation to drive long-term growth through a “protracted soft market.” The catastrophe event-onslaught, however, will likely reduce innovation for some time, PCS said, “Innovative ideas [for new kinds of catastrophe bonds] took a back seat to sorting out a series of significant catastrophe losses – a process that may go on for a while,” the PCS report stated. Still, PCS urged insurers to not forget about catastrophe bond innovation, because the market will soften again eventually. “Sooner or later, the market will soften again, and if we don’t invest for that eventuality, the market will have no choice but to endure the slipping rates and looser terms that tend to prove problematic in the long run,” PCS said.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
Seven arrested for Delta Petroleum Stories by XAVIER NDAH
S • The kidnappers, the old man and the house they keep their victims
Police rescue 76 yrs kidnapped victim recover 2 AK47 Rifles T HE police have recovered two AK47 rifle, 6 Magazines loaded with 180 Rounds Of Live Ammunition all hidden in a Special compartment Constructed under the Operational Vehicle Of some kidnappers in Abia State. Making this known was a police source with the police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Inspector General of police. Our source said this discovery was made following a follow up on the kidnapping of a 76 year old man Elder Benjamin Okoye who was kidnapped on December 15, 2017 in Aba Abia State. It was gathered that the kidnappers had demanded a 80 million Naira ransom before the IRT Operatives were deployed to track them. Police sources said a painstaking effort led to the arrest of two of the Kidnappers in Aba town who took a combined teams of IRT Operatives and CPS Aba Police Personnel to the Kidnappers camp at Okpukwu Umuobo Area Of Aba Town where a three bedrooms rented house used for keeping kidnapped victims was raided. It was gathered that the ailing 72-
year old victim Mr Benjamin Okoye a hypertensive patient who was kept without his drugs was rescued alive and four more Kidnappers were arrested with bullet wounds inside the house as they attempted to escape. Our source gave names of the six kidnappers arrested so far as Chinonye Anoro 26,Prince Sylvester 35,who is the owner and driver of the operational bus used for eight kidnapping operations in Aba, Kingsley Papa 45,Ugbonabo Danjuma 43, who is the gang leader, Moses Clever 31,Ogoro James 26, All the suspects we gathered have confessed to several kidnappings within Aba and other parts of Abia State. Four out of the six kidnappers have further confessed that they formed their gang from the Prison and as they came out from Prison in October 2017, they recruited others and started kidnapping. The two AK47 Rifles used for their operations were also recovered in a special compartment which they constructed under their operational golf car. Our source said efforts to arrest remaining gang members is in progress.
We have made a number of convictions over impounded 2,671 rifles – Customs
Nigeria customs has said that Tbeenhea number of convictions have made following the intercep-
tion of the 2,671 pump actions rifles that were imported into the country recently. Making the disclosure was the Public Relations officer of the Nigeria Customs Service, Joseph Attah, while giving the breakdown of activities of the commission for year 2017 recently in Lagos. According to Attah five officers have so far been dismissed from service for their alleged involvement in illegal importation of the fire arms into the country while eight were promoted for their roles in the interception. “At the time of their arrest all five officers were attached to Lagos area. “Operatives of the Nigeria Customs service in January 2017 intercepted a 20 ft container load of arms. When it was searched a total of 661 automatic pump action rifles which were carefully concealed behind steal doors were recovered. “Eight persons including five officers of the service, the clearing agent, the driver of the truck and his conductor were arrested. “Soon after the seizure was made, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col.
Hameed Ali (rtd) ordered a full scale investigation into the circumstance surrounding the illegal importation. Attah, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs, said that after their dismissal, the five officers and their accomplices were arraigned in an open court “ a number of convictions have been secured, we don’t have the power to dictate how long it will last. It will be determined by the court. Attah who gave detailed account of the achievement of the service in the last one year said that the service raked in a total sum of of N1,123 trillion in 2017. According to him,the commission has made a total of 421 trailer loads of rice totaling 252,666 units of 50kg bags valued at N3,789,990,000 to Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs) in the last 22 Months. Attah said the donations which were in line with a presidential directive on the disposal of perishable seizures after due diligence of court condemnation, were carried out in four states of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Edo. The donation was carried out by the National Logistics Committee consisting members from Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Airforce, Nigeria Police Force, FRSC,NSCDC, NAFDAC, NTA, NAN, NUJ and Red Cross.
EVEN men suspected to have kidnapped and killed the pro production manager of the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources in Port Harcourt have been arrested by the police. The suspects Nduka Alaribe AKA Abiola 34, who is the gang leader, Adimibe Kanayo 30, Okpako Emperor 37, Ayakazi Woyin-Kuro 32, Wisdom Uchechi Chidi 35, Nkere Uwam 38, and Godstime Eme 35 were arrested by the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) operatives. Police sources disclosed that the IGP had given a marching order to the team to track them after the kidnappers had collected a ransom and the manager was not released. The manager one Ubani Onyema, 64, was kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Woji Port Harcourt on October 16,2017 and taken to an unknown destination. According to police source a ransom call was made to the hostage’s company demanding 100 million naira, but was eventually negotiated down to N10 million which was paid to the Kidnappers despite not getting a proof of life. Following this, Police source said the IRT operatives were deployed to Port Harcourt on the orders of the IGP Ibrahim Idris and they swung into action as the hostage was not released after the ransom was paid as negotiated and agreed. According to police source the unrelenting follow up by the IRT Team eventually led to the arrest of seven of the Kidnappers. The suspects we gathered has confessed to various roles they played in the kidnap, and have also admitted that the hostage, Ubani Onyema, died on the very day of his kidnap as a result of gunshot wounds he sustained during the kidnapping. The suspects we gathered had
• The suspects
told the police that they never intended to kill the man but they went ahead to collect the N10 million ransom since money was their target. The gang leader, Nduka Alaribe AKA Abiola had told the police that he organised the kidnap and had , recruited the hostage keepers,
brought the two cars used for the kidnap, led gang members to pick up the ransom. Godstime Eme 35, the second in command, a university graduate,had purchased the preregistered sim which he used in negotiating for ransom and picked up the ransom and was also respon-
Woman arrested for
28-year- old woman, Anuoluwapo Joshua who was arrested by the police for allegedly stealing a three year old baby, Akamaka Patience Francis at Redemption camp in Ogun state has said that he stole the child to impress upon the husband. According to police source the woman had disclosed that he was pregnant for the husband before she left him and relocated to the northern part of the country. On her return she could not give an account of the baby which she claimed she left in the North and since then the husband has been mounting pressure on her to bring back the child but to no avail and in a bid to satisfy the husband she opted to stealing one to present. The woman was arrested on December 29, when the child was sighted inside the youth center at redemption camp during the
Church organized children’s end of the year party. Police image maker Ogun state Abimbola Oyeyemi disclosed that the suspect stole the child on July 2017 during the monthly Holy Ghost congress of the Church. He explained to the police that the mother of the baby had made a complaint to the police that her baby was stolen by an unknown person when she went to pack the children’s clothes in the new auditorium where she had gone for prayers with her husband and efforts to trace the child since then proved abortive. Oyeyemi explained that luck however ran out on the suspect on the 29th of December when the child was sighted inside the youth center at redemption camp during the Church organized children’s end of the year party. On receiving the information, the
DPO Redeemed Division Superintendent Police(SP) Olaiya Martins led detectives to the center where they set a trap for the suspect as they waited patiently until the end of the program when the suspect came out to pick the child and was promptly arrested. Oyeyemi said the woman had confessed to the crime and has admitted that she lured the child out of her parents sight and took her to Ofada area of the state and has been taking good care of the child since then. Further investigation police said has revealed that the suspect was pregnant for somebody in Lagos but travelled to the Northern part of the country where she claimed she was delivered of a baby girl but she didn’t return with the baby which made the man who impregnated her to be putting pressure on her to bring his child. She later informed
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
killing Niger Resources manager • Suspects
Two brothers in police net for alleged rape T
wo brothers have been arrested by the police attached to the police Ogun state command for allegedly raping a passenger. The brothers Paul Jibunor 23, and Nkoenye Jibunor 28, were arrested following a report from one Ijeoma ( Surname withheld) who complained at Ojodu Abiodun Division that she flagged down a taxi at Fela shrine Oregun Lagos and negotiated with the driver of the cab on an agreed fee to take her to Iwo street Ojodu Abiodun. According to her, when they got to a particular spot the men forcefully dragged her down and have unlawful carnal knowledge of her in turns after which they dispossessed her of her belongings. She stated further that she sighted the three men at Adebayo area of Ojodu and was able to recognize them. Police spokesman Ogun state Abimbola Oyeyemi told The Oracle that upon her report, the Divisional Police Officer,DPO, Ojodu Abiodun
sible for monitoring the movement of late Ubani Onyema on the day of his kidnap. Nkere Uwam 38, was the mastermind of the kidnap, who also worked in the same company with the victim. Wisdom Uchechi Chidi 35, a notorious leader of Greenlanders cult
terrorising Ahoda-East LGA provided the arms used in the kidnap. Ayakazi Woyin-Kuro 32, assisted in the recruitment of gang members while Okpako Emperor 37,who also worked in the company was part of the plot to kidnap Ubani and Adimibe Kanayo 30, also worked in the company was part of the plot to
• The suspect
• The mother and the stolen child
her relatives that she was going to Nasarawa state where she was based to bring back the child only for her to invade the redeemed camp where she stayed for some
days before successfully stealing the child which she presented to her relatives as her daughter. Meanwhile the commissioner of Police, CP, Ahmed Ilyasu has or-
Man arrested with 114 bags of Indian hemp
kidnap Ubani. Police said items recovered from them include 1 AK47 Rifle and the two vehicles used in the kidnap while effort is ongoing to arrest other fleeing gang members, recover remaining arms and the body of N Indian hemp wholesaler who the victim which they confessed to was caught with 114 bags of the have dropped into the River. substance has pleaded for mercy as he will never go back to the business gain. The suspect one Noah Olaore said he went into the business of selling the substance to enable him save money for his children to go back to school on January after the yuletide season. Olarore was arrested by men of the police Ogun State Command with one Hundred and fourteen bags of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp. The suspect who was arrested on the December 29,in front of M.K.O Abiola stadium Abeokuta was arrested following an information received by men of Federal Anti Robbery Squad that some hoodlums who are specialized in importing hard drug from Benin Republic into Ogun State were on their way coming said he wanted to use the advantage of the yuletide rush to make a higher sales to make more money . It was gathered that upon the information, a team of FSARS operadered the immediate transfer of tives led by one Inspector Adeyemi the suspect to the state criminal Akeem were detailed to go after investigation and intelligence de- the hoodlums and they accosted partment for further investigation them in front of M.K.O Abiola stadium where the suspect was arrested and prosecution.
stealing baby in church
police station Superintendent Of Police (SP) Bamidele Job detailed detectives to the area where two of the suspects were arrested while the third one escaped. Oyeyemi said the suspects were interrogated and they had confessed to the crime. According to him, further investigation revealed that they have been involved in series of rape cases around that area adding that their mode of operation is to use uber taxi to pick their victims to an isolated area where such victims are raped in turn before dispossessing them of their belongings. He said some of the victim’s properties such as necklace, phone and wrist watch were recovered from them. Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police, CP, Ahmed Iliyasu has ordered that the suspects be transferred to State Criminal investigation and intelligence Department for discreet investigation and prosecution while efforts are on to arrest the escaped member of the group.
with the exhibits. Police said further investigation led the Police to Igbo-Ora in Oyo State where more bags of the weeds were recovered which made the total bags of Indian hemp recovered to a total of one hundred and fourteen. The Commissioner of Police,CP, Ahmed Iliyasu has ordered a full scale investigation into the case with the view of arresting other members of the syndicate.
Head Office: 116 Awka Road, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria. Lagos Bureau Office: 25 Remi Fani-Kayode Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria. Hotlines: 08091999222 , 08033580234 08171824606
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The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
Love and Living
...With Ireto Temofeh
MODEL OF THE WEEK
Facialist to Prince Harry’s fiancée reveals what all brides should do before their big day
Name: Eve Tel: 08089728173 •
If you want to be our next ORACLE GIRL, e-mail or forward your photos/data to email@example.com. Call 07031028714.
Is this the end of under-eye bags? There are myriad lotions and potions on the market that promise to banish under-eye circles for good. But the latest product to make such a claim is receiving such rave reviews that sales are reportedly up a staggering 9,000 per cent on Amazon. Baebody’s Eye Gel is packed with Hyaluronic acid, Matrixyl 3000, vitamin E and plant stem cells with women claiming the potent formula is ‘the best they’ve ever used’. It is is now sweeping social media after some 9,800 people, mainly women, left reviews on the online marketplace, with many claiming it trumps its pricier counterparts. Many have even posted before and after photos showing the results, with wrinkles and dark circles appearing visibly reduced after using the gel which is around £18 for 50ml pot. As well as bags, the cult product promises to tackle wrinkles, crow’s feet and puffiness, as well as firming and hydrating skin - leading to the huge spike in sales according to Popsugar. Women have taken to Amazon’s
review section in their droves to hail the ‘dramatic’ effects of using the gel with some claiming to have noticed results in as little as a week. One customer wrote: ‘I’ve been using for 20 days. Pic on right is current. My eye lines are very deep so I knew it was going to take some real magic. ‘Already I see they are starting to fade. I will continue to use because I like that they are beginning to fade.’ Another enthused: ‘I was very skeptical even after reading reviews. But I have to say I see a dif-
ference after just one week. My skin doesn’t seem dry at all and I use it twice a day.’ And Joshua Beattie wrote: ‘I used this once last night. As soon as I applied it, I could the formulation was thoughtfully crafted. I saw notable improvement in skin texture around my eyes after getting this morning. ‘Dark circles show marked improved also after waking up from 1 single application. This is the first & only review I’ve done on Amazon but felt compelled to write one given the results.’
ike any bride-to-be, Meghan Markle will want to look her best on her wedding day. From her gown to her hair, the closest attention will be paid to every detail of her appearance to ensure she’s at her most dazzling when she walks down the aisle. Now London-based Nichola Joss, of whom Meghan is a known fan, has offered a hint at what the future royal’s skincare regime might be in the lead-up to the May 19 ceremony, giving other brides-to-be the chance to replicate her signature glow for their own big day. Speaking to Marie Clarie, Nichola, who counts Kate Moss and Jennifer Lopez among her roster of clients, revealed her approach involves a little more than just cleanser, toner and moisturiser and requires starting five months in advance... which conveniently is almost exactly how long we have to wait to see Meghan herself walk down the aisle. Nichola advises starting ‘four or five months’ before the big day if a bride needs corrective work for conditions like acne or scarring. Brides should also start by seeing their facialist every two weeks, with the possibility of cutting down to every three weeks as the day draws closer. This early period is also the time to use serious corrective products that require a lot of healing time, such as ‘acid peels, intense microdermabrasion, or laser treatments’, according to Joss. Two months before the wedding, treatments should focus on making the skin calmer and more hydrated.
Meghan has previously credited the technique - which sees Joss manipulate the skin on the inner-cheek - with helping to sculpt and tone her cheekbones. Joss also advocates massaging the skin with facial oil - targeting areas like the neck, cheek and forehead. Ideally this would be done by Joss but she also provided followers with a step-by-step guide to help them with the process at home. Be gentle on the day On the morning of the wedding, Joss advises using only ‘simple, nourishing products’. Also be sure to keep dirty hands off your face, leave spots alone and drink plenty of water. Nichola reveals the four biggest skincare mistakes we ALL make (and why young women should avoid wearing too much makeup) Nichola Joss previously shared these tips to all women looking to improve their skin... 1. Not cleansing correctly ‘If you don’t remove cleanser correctly, cleansing particles sit deep in your skin,’ Nichola ex-
Contd on page: 34
Have constant massages Nichola is famed - and loved by the A-list - for her bizarre ‘inner facial’, which costs £250 and involved her massaging the inside of her client’s mouths.
Romantic Joke CAR DOOR If a man opens the car door for his wife, you can be sure of one thing: either the car is new or the wife.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
“I can’t stop dating my boss, because my wife denies me sex”
t all started when I was sacked from a bank. My search for a new job took me to a company in Ibadan. At the interview, I sat before the female Managing Director. I noticed how sexy she looked in her suit. Her skirt was quite short and I ogled at her sweet thighs. She was busty and had a perfect figure. I resolved to chase her and get her to fall in love with me when I got the job. I was employed as personal assistant to the Managing Director. As her personal assistant, I was able to get close to Funke, my Managing Director. My MD was still single and didn’t appear keen on marriage. I wanted to show her that I love and care for her although I’m married. So I invited her for a party just for the two of us. “I’m having a party at a club this Saturday and I’d like you to be my guest,” I said. “That’s wonderful, Bayo. I’ll be there,” she replied. “Hope your wife won’t mind.” “No, she won’t.” That Saturday, I saw a lovelier side of my boss, and I was carried away with her very affectionate attitude. Wasn’t this what I’d always wanted? I and my boss made love for the first time that weekend and became tight lovers. At the office we tried to be discreet, but we couldn’t avoid a kiss whenever we thought nobody was looking. Funke and I continued seeing each other and making sweet love after office hours. She looked so beautiful whenever I held her in my arms. At those moments, it was like only the two of us existed in the whole wide world. We were so much in love. Through the grapevine, my wife found out about our romance.
She demanded for an explanation and threatened to bring down the roof. But I told her that my MD was a very wicked woman who had the habit of retrenching workers every 6 months at the company and that my name had been penciled down for retrenchment. For that reason, I had to seduce her to keep my job. My wife initially believed my lie, but soon she discovered the truth that my MD wasn’t sacking anybody and she threatened to commit suicide if I don’t stop. My wife has now given me one month to resign my appointment with the company, but I can’t. When you point a finger at others, four fingers are pointing back at you. How can I resign just like that? Besides, the real reason I’m happy with my relationship with my boss is because unlike my wife who denies me of sex, my boss lets me have sex with her anytime. My wife denies me sex but my boss is a very passionate woman. I’ve explained to my wife that I won’t resign because it would be difficult for me to get another job. And she’s furious. But what I didn’t tell her is that as long as she continues to deny me of sex, I’ll continue to date my boss. She’s busy pointing accusing fingers at me instead of her to look inwards. In marriage, sexual satisfaction is not rocket science. Women should understand that if only they can satisfy their husbands sexually, there will be little or no need for the man to look outside.
Facialist to Prince Harry’s fiancée... Contd from page: 33
plains. ‘That will lead to congestion and cause breakouts and also an imbalance of pH levels. Essentially, you have to make sure you cleanse off your cleanser. ‘In the evening I always make sure I remove any environmental grime, and then do a second cleanse to cleanse the skin slightly deeper.’ 2. Skipping toner ‘This is one of the most important elements for keeping skin clean and maintaining its pH levels,’ Nichola explains. ‘It can also re-balance, refresh, and remove any cleansing particles that are still in the skin - as well as helping to remove cleanser.’ 3. Wearing too much makeup ‘Nowadays, girls in their twenties wear far more makeup, layers of foundation and
contouring and illuminators, and that can be quite damaging because there’s quite a heavy build-up on the skin,’ says Nichola. ‘The most important thing is to remove all of your makeup and do a gentle exfoliation. Too much makeup can cause congestion and cause breakouts.’ 4. Rushing your routine ‘It’s imperative to break your skincare regime up into stages,’ says Nichola. ‘As soon as you get home, the first thing you must do is remove the grime and pollution, then allow your skin to optimise the heavy-working products like anti-ageing products. ‘Do those first steps very early in the evening and leave for at least three to four hours. ‘If they’re working throughout the early evening while you’re cooking or watching TV, they can work quite freely and you’re still active and moving therefore
your blood is circulating quite highly. That helps the function which helps efficacy of the product. ‘And then, when you put an oil on at bedtime, because you’ve given these products time to work. ‘When you massage an oil in at bedtime, it traps those products skin-deep so it keeps them working.’ Nichola also reccomends an anti-ageing supplement called Lumity. The two-part supplement programme (you take one in the morning and one at
night) contains a variety of useful vitamins and amino acids, and was created by a Cambridge University graduate. The celebrity favourite also contains nutrients including lysine, selenium, vitamin D and magnesium to support hormone production. ‘I’ve been using it religiously for about a year,’ Nichola reveals. ‘It makes a massive difference; helps to heal the inside of my body and helps me to recover quickly. ‘It also helps to re-balance my hormones, and helps with hair as well.’
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
Relationships and Love Advice
“My man always talks about his ex”
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Dear Love Doctor, I have been married for 12 months. My husband and I are living together, we have no kids yet. He has grown up kids with his girlfriend before, (he ddnt marry the woman), and he got married and got divorced as well. Now that we are living together he always talks about his ex, and other past girlfriends too. I am the sort of person who doesn’t like to talk about my ex boyfriend because I don’t really see the point in talking about it since it’s past. If he asks me about my ex boyfriend, that’s the only time that I talk and just briefly too, not to the extent of telling him everything my ex boyfriend did to me. What can I do to stop my husband from always talking about his ex? From Augustina.
Love Doctor’s Advice: tion like, “When you speak about your exes, I’m not sure how you want me to feel?” At this point, you can check out your interpretation by saying, “Do you want me to feel hurt or disrespected?” When you ask this question, it will wake him up to the fact that you are feeling hurt and disrespected. Then
Men seeking relationship/ marriage Sam, a senior citizen, needs a lady from Ebira land, Kogi State. Tall, not fat, busty. Age: 45 years and above. Should be comfortable financially. 07066070500.
I think he’s carrying some feeling that’s unresolved regarding his exes. Maybe he feels hurt, wronged and angry. The bottom line is we don’t keep ruminating and mentally revisiting issues and people from our past unless we’re feeling unresolved. However, to get him to stop, you would ask a ques-
Call Love Doctor: 07031028714, 08131161840, 08077821830 for Counseling, infertility & Direct Hookup.
he’ll say, “Of course I don’t intend this.” This way, he’ll realize how you’re feeling without your making him feel attacked. Then once you’re talking, you could ask him what’s still troubling him. Getting him to talk about the unresolved feelings will help him put the old business behind him.
Do you have advice on this problem? Please share your thoughts. Call 07031028714 or 08131161840. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Do you have a marriage/wedding, birthday, anniversary or club or town meeting announcement to make? Call 07031028714 now! Note: If you have fertility problems like childlessness, inability to conceive or get pregnant, miscarriages, fibroid, low sperm count, STDs, or need a male child or female? Call 07031028714, 08131161840.. Love Doctor can help you succeed in your marriage/ relationship.
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The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
It happened to me:
‘I drove away my only true friend’
y daughter Olivia was due to start school and I attended the parents information session to find out how best to prepare my baby girl for big school. I walked into a full room of mother’s looking me up and down and I immediately knew what they were thinking. I had my daughter when I was 16 and was now only 21 so I did stick out like a sore thumb in a sea of middle-aged faces. It was quite a formidable school with an excellent academic reputation and I knew that in an area like this having a baby in your teens was not the norm. I prided myself on having got my life together — since having my baby I’d met a wonderful older man, Steve who took on Olivia as his own, and provided me with life’s luxuries including a beautiful house and a nice car. I’d gone back to college and enjoyed working part-time as a dental nurse, in fact the only thing I didn’t have was my own family and friends as they had turned their backs on me when I fell pregnant. Steve’s parents had passed and he had no siblings so it was pretty much just the three of us which was lonely and isolated at times. When Olivia started school I volunteered in the canteen and joined the P&C and found parents beginning to slowly open up to me, it was then I
Monday came and there was no sign of Joanne. I found out she had taken her daughter out of the school. I was completely distraught at what I had done. Everyone soon found out due to Sarah’s big mouth. met Joanne. Joanne was in her early thirties and was just so bubbly and easy going, she seemed to understand what I had been through and included me in working bees and encouraged me to help on class trips. We became firm friends and conveniently lived close-by so saw each other a lot, she was my only friend and I was determined to keep her in my life. I suggested we should walk to get fit and walk the girls home from school together every afternoon which she too thought was a great idea. I also started cooking extra at dinner and dropping it around to her house on my way past. I planned shopping trips and family outings together and was thrilled to have found a soul mate. I often rang Joanne in the evening to have a chat before I went to sleep and it was during one of our regular chats that Joanne dropped a bomb. Joanne said
I was smothering her and she needed more family time but that she would still see me at school, I said I understood but I was deeply hurt and had no idea where this was coming from. I had thought everything was great. I started to feel isolated again as Joanne withdrew further, so I began to follow her from school so we could run into each other shopping and changed my volunteer day in the canteen to the same as hers. I even took my daughter and enrolled her at the same dance school as Joanne’s child so that we could hang out during lessons, but Joanne wasn’t the same around me — the comfortable closeness we had shared had gone. My hurt turned to irrational thinking and I felt sure some other mother had been jealous and tried to break up our friendship. It rapidly got to the stage where Joanne would see me and walk
the other way. I drove to her house to find out why she turned her back on me and saw Sarah who was another mother from our school at her house. I was furious being convinced Sarah had been filling Joanne’s head with lies about me as she had always turned up her nose at me. I got out of the car and seeing red slapped Sarah across the face. Sarah had a complete look of shock on her face. I wanted the driveway to swallow me up when I heard Sarah had gone to Joanne’s house to bring her daughter’s school bag back after Sarah’s daughter had picked it up by mistake. I left in a hurry embarrassed at what I had become, I was using Joanne to fill a void in my life. I arranged to see a therapist and would apologise to Joanne and Sarah on Monday. Monday came and there was no sign of Joanne. I found out she had taken her daughter out of the school. I was completely distraught at what I had done. Everyone soon found out due to Sarah’s big mouth. I needed a fresh start so have moved Olivia to a new school two suburbs away and have started to make new friends but have learnt a lot of important lessons, not the least about boundaries. • Do you have a story or comment about this confession? Call 07031028714.
The Oracle Today Wednesday Janaury 17, 2018
Rising anger over Buhari, herdsmen Cont’d from page 2 killings of innocent people across the country by these herdsmen who are armed with sophisticated guns and other dangerous weapons? Just one deft move by the President exterminated the dreaded cultist that has been terrorising the State for close to 10 years.” Decker asked: “If President Buhari orders all service commanders and commissioners of Police across the country to deal with herdsmen the way the New Year’s Day massacre in Rivers State was handled, I am sure the indiscriminate killings of Nigerians by the herdsmen will stop. How can the President continue to keep quiet when herdsmen kill farmers; graze their cattle on these farms and destroy the farm yields? And this is happening across the country.” Igwe knocks for Buhari over second term ambition YOUTH leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ebonyi State, Elder Sam Igwe, has urged
President Muhammadu Buhari to hearken to the advice of Rev. Fr. Mbaka by dropping his second term ambition insisting that the President has demonstrated high level of inability to rule the country. Elder Igwe in a chat in Abakaliki noted that Nigerian youths are angry over the poor performance of Buhari in office and are already waiting to change him come 2019. He, however, advised Buhari to honourably resign or quietly leave office after his present tenure than waiting to be disgraced out of office. “President Muhammadu Buhari has brought hunger to Nigeria. Nigerians are tired of his leadership. We, the Youths are asking him to step aside. He is not capable to be a President. His poor performance has almost destroyed this country. The president has made the country an object of ridicule and we, the youths are very angry. “Look at the recent killings in Benue, Rivers, Taraba, under his watch. Buhari should listen to Fr. Mbaka who told him he was going
to win in 2015 and he won. Now, the same Fr. Mbaka has asked him not to re-contest because Nigerians are ready to change him. He should just listen to him. Buhari should change now or step aside honourably or wait to be changed in 2019”. On the herdsmen killings across the country, he said: “President Buhari knows every step to ending the wanton killings by herdsmen and they are all available for him to utilise but he just chose to be silent. So, the President deliberately allowed the killings and I don’t know what he wants to achieve with it. He should end the killings by herdsmen.” Former deputy National President of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chief Abia Onyike, said judging by President Buhari’s performances in office, he does not merit re-election, but since re-contesting is his legitimate right, he is free to do so. Onyike who spoke with The Oracle Today noted that Buhari’s administration has impoverished Nigerians, but knowing that governance is all about interest group,
He’s inconsiderate - Harry President Muhammadu Buhari reported plan to seek for re-election, 30 months into his first term of four years indicates that he is inconsiderate of the sufferings that millions of Nigerians are passing through. Sontoye Harry, a lawyer, said it is unfortunate that Buhari is putting his campaign structure together when he is yet to pull the economy from the fangs of recession. “Nigerians are suffering. The price of foodstuffs and other
• Armed Fulani herdsman
Cont’d from page 2 profiles of all cult kingpins in different parts of the state and they know their locations. There is no wisdom in the politicization of security. Insecurity can affect anybody. You can never know the rest victim of insecurity,” he said. Governor Wike bemoaned: “In every system, the security agencies know the flashpoints. Here we requested for the strengthening of security around these flashpoints, especially areas with high prevalence of cultists. I expected that security would be beefed up in these places. I ask the question: Is there an orchestrated plan to tag Rivers State as unsafe? Is the situation above the security agencies despite the information we have made avail-
there are still a hand full of people who would want him to continue for their selfish gains. He said: “Whether Presided Buhari should run or not is not the issue. It is his legitimate right to contest. And nobody who is qualified to run by age was ever stopped from running. Government is an interest group. If he is devilish, there are people who are benefitting from his authoritarian rule, because, every government represents a class of interest. So, I cannot say that Buhari should not contest. However, he has not performed very well in such a way as to merit being reelected. “But there are people who believe that his anti-corruption crusade is a very important element of his governance style, and those people are ready to die for him. But, if you look at his performance, sector by sector, and if you look at the way Nigerian people have been impoverished and the way naira has been devalued, there may be the tendency to say that, he has not done well on the whole. “In agriculture and the anti-corruption crusade, some people believe in him. So, that is why there is still the need for a contest to determine what the Nigerian people actually want.” On the issue of herdsmen killings, Onyike said: “It is the politics of the caliphate and politics of Jihad. That is what is playing out. Over the years, the Igbo people have been crying about the nature of the Nigerian federation and many elements within the Middle Belt including those who had the opportunity to provide good leadership never bothered because they saw themselves to be closer to the Northern caliphate. So, what goes around comes around.”
items are so high. He should be more concerned about how to improve and grow the economy rather than be fixated on his second term.” “The economy will play a crucial role in the choice Nigerians will make in choosing their next president. Buhari should improve the lives of Nigerians if he wants them to give him a second chance. As for me, I don’t think his administration has improved the lives of Nigerians in the past 30 months. So, the ball is on his court, really.” A businessman, Oke Ihounda, said the timing is bad, especially after the nationwide fuel scarcity that severely affected the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. He stressed that for the president and his handlers to inform Nigerians of the desire to vie for a second term a few weeks after the harrowing fuel scarcity could be interpreted to mean contempt for the plight of Nigerians. “Why would President Buhari’s aides tell Nigerians few weeks after a nationwide fuel scarcity that depleted their financial resources and affected their travel plans for the Christmas and New Year holidays? These people should show Nigerians some respect. They should know that we have feelings and that we can think, too.” Cleric berates Buhari The senior pastor of Faith Assembly based in Asaba,Delta State recently bashed the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government, saying it has not done enough to fulfill its campaign promises to Nigerians. The clergy who spoke with The Oracle Today on the re-election bid of President Buhari said that “rather than improve the living conditions of the people; the APC-led government only inflicted hardship and poverty on the nation through harsh economic policies” In also three years of his administration,the promise of change has become a premise of doom. Nigeria is ravaged by an economy in recession, heightening insecurity, epileptic power supply and a host of other ills. He also berated the President for his silence on various issues of national interest ranging from the reported killings in various parts of the country and the lingering fuel crisis.He advised President Mohamadu Buhari not to think of another four years in office as he has failed Nigerians woefully.
Lessons from Don Waney’s death able to them?” “The peculiar nature of Rivers State requires peculiar intervention,” Wike said. “Before now, I have been shouting that we need support to fight crime. I have made this complaint several times.” The Rivers governor berated politicians for allegedly using cult-related killings in the state to play politics in order to score cheap political points by concocting false allegations against the state government. He insisted that the Inspector-General of Police has refused to deploy special squads to tackle cult activities and kidnappings in the state despite repeated request made by him
to that effect. Wike, then, directly accused the oil multinationals of, inadvertently, nurturing a nest of cultists by awarding pipelines, flow stations, installations and oil formations surveillance contracts to them. Governor Wike underscored his position: the oil multinationals pay the cultists handsomely for these contracts. With huge bank accounts, the cultists set out to acquire sophisticated arms and ammunitions to their imprints on those contracts to forestall competitors from dislodging them and attacking the oil facilities under their duty of care. The cultists also use their sophisticated weapons to terro-
rise communities and law-abiding persons. The above scenario, aptly delineated by Governor Wike, sets the ladder for the making of a communal warlord, bolstered by the patronage of oil multinationals. With such new found clout, chiefs, traditional rulers who also desire to eke out a living winning some contracts from the oil multinationals queue behind the reigning warlords, the cult leaders, the kingpins recognized by the oil multinationals. To be sure, Wike has succinctly encapsulated one of the key factors in the breeding of a colony of cultists in Rivers State: the economic factor! Therefore, it is incumbent on the intelli-
gence and security agencies to ascertain if, indeed, there is a subterranean taproot with multifarious branches as a second probable factor: the political influence! This debate is bound to continue on this plane! Rather than bicker and issue acerbic and insinuating press statements anytime there are violent cult skirmishes and killings, both the Rivers PDP and the APC could harmonise their positions in furtherance of the collective war against cultism and criminality in the state, using the fruitful cooperation between the federal and state governments on the Don Waney’s case as a template for the way forward.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
The Law and You
With Barr. Ken Akpom 08162016410
Conducting a search
t is now a very common scene on our roads to see uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement agencies blocking the main roads and in some cases dangerously blocking free flow of traffic at the express roads. Stop! Stop!! Come down everybody!!! Wetin you carry!!!! etc, have been the cajole used all in the name of searching. It is even funny that some unauthorized officers abuse this Lawful enactment for some selfish and personal interest reasons hence, giving bad image about the authorities entrusted with these functions. Also some citizens, out of ignorance of the Law and who never cared to consult the Lawyers who are properly and adequately equipped to assist whosoever is in trouble or problems relating to such a Law are victims of these illegalities. It is on this premise that I decided to discuss this topic. WHAT IS A SEARCH The examination of a person’s body, or that of house, vehicle, aircraft, premises or any other vessel with the intention of discovering some evidence of guilt to be utilized in a criminal prosecution or action or acquittals or any other criminal offence which he is to be charged is regarded as search. The discovery may be contraband, stolen property or illicit, etc. NECCESSITY FOR CONDUCTING SEARCHES The necessity for conducting a search is to obtain evidence with which to prosecute an alleged offender. This is one of the reasons the police usually mount some road blocks urgently especially after the report of a violent crime in other to track down the criminals with the information of the identity of them given to them. The result of a search usually gives a clue as to the strength of the prosecutor’s case thereby determining to a large extent whether a case should proceed or not. FORMS OF SEARCHES Basically there are three forms a search can take. They are: (1) Search of persons (2) Search of premises (3) Search of things
in such circumstances), suspect the offender to have committed any of these recognized offences under the section or as informed. Similarly, section 150 (1) of custom and excise management Act and section 32 of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency empowers these two agencies to conduct searches in the performance of their work. It is very important to state that our women being scared and highly respected are adequately protected by the Law from indecent search. To this end, the law in section 6 (2) CPA; section 44(3) CPC; section 150 (1) CEMA provides that where a search is to be conducted on a woman, it shall be done by a woman who is a security officer. This is to be done with strict regard to decency. SEARCH OF PREMISES: The general rule regarding searching of premises is that the police officer or any other officer conducting a search on premises must be with an authentic search warrant before embarking on such mission. The use of force or military procedures is not acceptable by law as it must be done orderly. It is illegal to embark on the search of premises without search warrant. However, there are some exceptions as; (a) Custom and excise management Act, section 147 (1) gives powers to custom officers to enter or break into a place where there are reasonable grounds to suspects any concealment. (b) If a person to be arrested under a warrant is suspected to be within suspected premises, search may be conducted on such premises without warrant. Note: there are so many other circumstances which you need to consult with a Lawyer near you for guidance/assistance or you can call me through any of my phone lines. Do not take laws into your hands. SEARCH OF THINGS: this simply means the inspection of things such as vehicles, ship, cars, etc, including “wetin you dey carry”. Police, NDLEA etc, are empowered for such but without abuse or illegalities. I wish to state here that these agencies are legally instituted and always have good intentions for the general public. After all, they take big risk in conducting these searches and deserve our commendations. Also, we should note that they are a very large family and cannot fully be monitored by their overseeing authorities and the public assistance to guide them by reporting mistakes by their men is usually appreciated and once they are found guilty they are not spared by the Law.
SEARCH OF PERSON: Section 28 of Police Act empowers a police officer to search the body of a person whenever he intends to make Lawful arrest or suspects reasonably a crime. Likewise section 29 of Police Act empowers a policeman to detain and search a person. It should be noted that this search cannot be because of undue influence or with malice or to ridicule or cajole a person/personality as some of my callers have been com- PROCEDURAL RIGHTS OF AN ACCUSSED plaining to me. The police must reasonably, (reasonably here is So far, I have tried acquainting my readers with some explanaobjective, that is would a reasonable person conduct a search tion of the criminal aspects of Law they put to me so that our
rights are not unjustly and unlawfully trampled upon because of ignorance. However, I wish to warn and advise that when one knows one’s rights but pursues it wrongly it will become illegality and one cannot fight illegality with illegality. My candid advice to everybody is to consult a lawyer who is well and properly trained to handle Legal matters whenever cases of Law come in one’s life. Always seek Legal advice/opinion in everything or venture you want to embark upon. You may wish to call on me if a Lawyer is not readily available to you. Come to think of it is there no procedure of treating an accused, or has he no rights? Yes, there are as follows: 1. Right to be handed to a policeman or police station where arrest is made by a private person. 2. Right to be brought before a Court within the Jurisdiction of an accused within 24 or 48 hours of the arrest. 3. Right to be bailed on re-organization or without sureties as the case may be. 4. Right not to be handcuffed or subjected to unnecessary restraint except by order of the Court or where reasonable fear of escape is envisaged. 5. Right not to use excessive force on the accused. 6. Right to be informed of the cause of the arrest except where the cause is known to the accused. 7. Right of a woman to be searched by a woman police and with decency. 8. Right to be showed a valid search warrant before search is conducted. 9. Right of the execution of search warrant of premises in the presence of two respected neighbors. 10. In the North, right of a woman in purdah to withdraw before a search is conducted in their home. WHEN AN ACCUSED IS ARRESTED WHAT CONSTITUTINAL RIGHTS HAS HE? i. Right to silence. ii. Right to a lawyer or counsel of his choice. iii. Right to be informed of the crime he is alleged to have committed. iv. Right not to be treated like or termed a criminal but rather treated as innocent until a Court proves otherwise. v. Right to bail in a bailable offence. vi. Right to public apology upon a wrongful arrest or false imprisonment by the Law enforcement agencies. Finally, Lawyers know them best and is always ready to assist once contacted. Consult one around you when in such needs.
CASE 2 Is it right for a police man to search my wife? Dear Lawyer, Please, a policeman came to search for the theft of a generator in my house as a co-tenant reported me to their station. However, he did not see the generator but saw something that looks like Indian hemp in my house and also before my arrival to my house the policeman searched my wife even when she refused the search on her body. Please, has he the right to search the body of my wife as a man and deviate from the main purpose of the search which is the lost generator. Can the Court admit his evidence? Tunji, Ibadan, Oyo state. Answer: Dear Tunji,
What can I do if I’m unjustly arrested? Dear Lawyer, Please, I was wrongfully and unjustly arrest, detained and charged to Court and I felt disgraced and embarrassed. Please, can i sue them for redress? Solomon, Jos, Pleatuea State.
A police man has no right to search the body of a woman. It must be done by a female police officer. Secondly, the Court can admit in evidence the Indian hemp found on you if it is relevant to the case, except in cases of involuntary confession any evidence respective of how it is obtained is admissible once it is relevant.
Answer: Dear Solomon, Nobody is above the Law no matter how highly placed one is. Law is not a respecter of persons. If you are wrongly arrested and detained, the defendant may be liable to false imprisonment. Likewise, in the case of search of persons or premises, the complainant could be liable in damages for malicious procurement of search warrant. Finally, in the case of a complainant eading to the prosecution of suspect, the complainant will be liable for malicious prosecution. I will advise you to consult further any Lawyer nearest to you or call me again on my line if not clear.
• Do you have questions or seek legal clarification on issues concerning your marriage, probate, property, etc? Call or send a text message to Barr. Ken: 08162016410, 08075763840. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
With Douglas Omoyooma
How I met and fell in love with Fela – Laide Babayale
n a that with Oracle Today at Tera Culture during the premiere of a new musical on Fela entitled Fela and The Kalakuta Queens, dedicated to celebrating Fela and his wives and written, directed and produced by Bolanle Austin-Peters, the pensioner lamented the plight of Fela’s wives. She said: “It is only Bolanle Austin-Peters that is doing anything to honour his wives. The children are doing Felabration and they are just doing it for their own pocket; it is not is not for us. Is it not obvious they don’t honour us? Since Fela died we have been completely forgotten. Bolanle really gave us honour. Fela had everything but he chose to fight for the masses. We suffered with fela. Fela is from a wealthy background and I am also from a wealthy background but I fell in love with him because Fela was fighting for the poor masses. For Babayale, every moment with the afro beat legend was exciting: “Every time with him was exciting. Fela was a nice person to be with. You just loved him. Everyday of my life with Fela was exciting. He never tolerated docile people and he always paid us well because we worked for gum as dancers.”
wenty years after he passed on, one of the wives of late afro beat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Laide Babayale has revealed that ever since the music icon passed on, the estate of the late singer and multi instrumentalist has abandoned all the wives Fela married in 1977.
was in secondary school, my house was opposite the Shrine in Surulere Night Club. That was how I met him and became his dancer. I started with Fela as a girlfriend before he eventually married me. Fela just saw me and liked me and me also I liked him. It was a mutual feeling.” Was she not intimidated buy his presence? “I felt that way but that was what I wanted; that was what I was looking for. I am a music lover. I was in love with Fela. It was the music that attracted me to him.” What was her parents reaction? “Ah! They did not take it lightly at all. I was taken out of Fela’s house more than 10 times and I always went back. There was no time I stayed away and up till this day my parents never come to terms with my affair with Fela.”
Marriage 1977 is the year Fela made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for marrying 27 women in one day. Babayale opens up on circumstances that led to the decision. She continues: “Fela loved us and was not happy with the way people were treating his women. He married us because he wanted to make us proud; he did not want us to be disgraced. They used to call us prostitutes and igbo smokers. He knew how we had fought with him and suffered for him. We left everything, sacrificed everything just t be with him. We never abandoned him to surfer alone, any where Romance with Fela they were taking him to we went with him. By Babayale reveals that she met Fela at a very marrying us he gave us honour and showed us tender age when she was in secondary school. appreciation.” Recounting how she met Fela she continued: “I Death In 1999, the world was shocked by the sudden death of Fela after a protracted battle with HIV/ AIDS, Recounting the day Fela died, she continued: “I was at work that day and the news was a shock to me even though i had it coming. I saw him two weeks earlier at Kalakuta. I was with the late Olikoyi Ransome-Kuti, Aunty Dolu and late sola. It was about two weeks after that he I knew he was going to die. I cried out of his room that day. I cried because I never expected to see him that way.”
• Laide Babayale
Elder O opens up on plans for 2018
Comedian, Elder O definitely had a brilliant run in 2017 and as 2018 kicks-off, the comedain shared his plans with The Oracle Today. Excerpts:
• Elder O
2017 was a brilliant year for you as your comedy show, Comic Relife with Elder O was a resounding success. What are your plans for 2018? My plans this year 2018 is to expand the brand and try to reach out more internationally. Then, I’ll add one or two upcoming comedian into my crew and see how we can help them to grow too as the brand gets stronger. I strongly believe that God’s grace the name ‘Elder O’ will become a formidable name in the industry this year. We’ve set goals and made plans to surpass our achievements last year and with the right people and team around, the goals will be achievable because we won’t be leaving any stone unturned. Na hustle from all corners because the hustle is real.
Can you share your best moment as a comedian with us? I’ve had several moments that I cherish so much as a comedian but I know I have one or two that are so special. Like when I hosted my first big show and the very 1st edition of COMIC RELIEF with Elder O in 2016. I actually heaved a sigh of relief after that show because I never expected the heavy crowd we had that day. Knowing fully well that Surulere, Lagos have been abandoned for years when you talk about comedy shows because comedians always feel that mainland will not want to buy tickets to come for shows. But God used us to prove them wrong and now almost all my friends want to host shows on Surulere soil too. So, coming into the hall on December 4th 2016 to see that mammoth crowd was my best moment so far.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
Efe Prime opens year with ‘Blessed Be the Name’ W
eeks after the release of his debut single, ‘Hallelujah’, thriving gospel singer, Efe Atiyo, aka Efe Prime, has delighted his fans with a new year gift; a new track titled ‘Blessed Be the Name’. The mid-tempo song, which was picked as a fan-favourite via an online poll he conducted, talks about the presence of God which is deserving of worship and total devotion, bringing about blessings, glory, power, miracles “There’s worship in the atmosphere, the presence of God is everywhere. Blessed be the name of the Lord. According to the singer, who is also a senior executive at Kwesé Entertainment, ‘Blessed Be the Name’ is dedicated to those who are holding strong to their faith, believing that a miracle is
close. “I do have a strong bias towards music that reflects intimate and passionate worship. The response towards the release of my previous single has spurred me to do more. This song communicates to people’s hearts in a way that takes all defies all the defenses we put up especially in this time and age where genuine trust is in scarce supply,” Efe said. With over 15 years as a worship leader and choir coordinator in Christ Embassy churches in different countries, the singer says that he is on a mission to raise music ministers. “As a first step along with my almost two decades of media experience, we are already working on other projects that will help further promote and sup-
port the gospel music industry and artistes in Nigeria and across the world,” he adds. Commenting on his previous release, the founder of Kwesé TV, Strive Masiyiwa Efe Prime as a highly talented Nigerian singer, song writer and worship leader now based in South Africa. “I share this today as a surprise present to him, and as a token of my own appreciation to all my “staff partners,” as all Kwesé employees are shareholders in their company through a staff share ownership scheme. Every single person at Kwesé TV is an entrepreneur. That is why they have built the fastest growing and most exciting television network in Africa,” Strive wrote.
Why Nigeria has almost no female music producers
ooking across the Nigerian music industry, you would notice one thing. It’s a man’s world. Men dominate the scene at a rough ratio of 10 to 1. From Wizkid to Davido and Tekno, the biggest stars have mostly been male artists who enjoy a fan base stretching from one end of the continent to another. This is not to say there haven’t been women. Nigeria has been blessed with its fair share of successful women as top artists. Think Evi Edna Ogholi, Onyeka Onwenu, Oby Onyioha, Salawa Abeni Lijadu Tiwa Savage, Omawumi, Simi, Yemi Alade and more. Many great women have been musicians, thrilling fans and competing favourably at the highest level. But behind the scenes, the story is different. When you leave the front-facing side of music and go to the back-end, you would discover the absence of women. Female producers, mixers, engineers, designers, and editors are few and far between, and the ones who do exist are consistently overlooked and discounted. The Problem A clear case for this is Nigeria’s most prestigious award ceremony, The Headies. At its last edition, no female producer made the cut. But that isn’t new. Since its inception in 2006, no female producer has ever been nominated for the award. In that time over 20 different men have been considered for the honours. This doesn’t mean that female producers don’t exist or aren’t creating quality work in Nigeria. What these lack of numbers show is that there is a greater propensity of Nigerian women in music to lean into performance rather than production. But why is that? To find a female music producer is an experience that can be likened to meeting a unicorn. Even amongst music industry professionals, a female music producer is rare. More unfortunate is the fact that for the past 12 years, no trending pop record has ever been produced by a woman. The most recent time one stirred the waters, it was DJ Toxiq, who scored the speculative hit, ‘Ogede ti Pon’, performed by Pasuma Wonder, and housed on his experimental album “My World.” In fact, Toxiq produced the 15-track project, except for three records. But why are women sorely lacking in music production? Toxiq, speaking to Pulse, blames the propensity for the industry to ‘downgrade’ the efforts of women in production. “As a female producer, people don’t
normally recognize you when you make a beat. No one expects a girl to produce. I didn’t even expect myself to produce. That’s a major challenge, people not taking me seriously. They want you to do something free just to test you because you are a girl,” she says. This is a real problem. While there have been advancements in the societal stereotyping of women and the type of jobs that they ‘expected’ to excel in, professionals in the music industry still treat back-end work as a man’s turf. Women who enter the world of production will have to overcome this barrier, working extra hard to prove themselves. Dunnie, a young producer in Lagos, who discovered her passion for production in church, recently started producing professionally, says that while it may be a novelty to see a woman producing, it’s a harder job to sell. “Well, people will mostly be attracted to you as a female producer, the next and harder step is getting them to work with you. But once they see that the beat is dope, they would always want to pay for them.” she says. A close cousin of production is sound engineering. While there are a few women in production, there are less female sound engineers in Nigeria. The most prominent is singer Simi, who mixes all of her records herself. After discovering that she enjoyed working with sounds, she’s pursued it to a professional level. In 2016, Simi handled the mixing and mastering of Adekunle Gold’s eponymous debut album. She says that irrespective of her achievements as a sound engineer, people still look at her with wonder. She says that it isn’t ideal for people to consider gender in the music industry, rather than rate people based on what they can do. “When I tell people that I am an engineer, they say, ‘oh I have never seen a woman do that.’ It’s not supposed to be about gender. It should be about if you are good at what you are doing. Society conditions women to embrace the visible aspects of the art, it’s a stereotype,” she says. That attitude manifests itself in many blatant ways, in the music industry. It might just be what’s keeping women away from the console. A producer who refused to be named for this story once shared a story with me about a lady who tried to learn production at a popular studio in Lagos, along with a few other guys. She quit after two months because she felt she was treated like differently and “less than her male counterparts.”
A close cousin of production is sound engineering. While there are a few women in production, there are less female sound engineers in Nigeria. The most prominent is singer Simi, who mixes all of her records herself. After discovering that she enjoyed working with sounds, she’s pursued it to a professional level. In 2016, Simi handled the mixing and mastering of Adekunle Gold’s eponymous debut album. She says that irrespective of her achievements as a sound engineer, people still look at her with wonder. She says that it isn’t ideal for people to consider gender in the music industry, rather than rate people based on what they can do. “When I tell people that I am an engineer, they say, ‘oh I have never seen a woman do that.’ It’s not supposed to be about gender. It should be about if you are good at what you are doing. Society conditions women to embrace the visible aspects of the art, it’s a stereotype,” she says. That attitude manifests itself in many blatant ways, in the music industry. It might just be what’s keeping women away from the console. A producer who refused to be named for this story once shared a story with me about a lady who tried to learn production at a popular studio in Lagos, along with a few other guys. She quit after two months because she felt she was treated like differently and “less than her male counterparts.” Encouraging women towards music production is important. Production is a creative effort, where people link up sounds together and push the boundary of human enjoyment, stimulation and connectivity via sounds. People tend to associate the ability to think creatively with stereotypical masculine qualities, according to a 2015 research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The findings suggest that the work and achievements of men tend to be evaluated as more creative than similar work and achievements produced by women. This needs to change, most importantly from childhood. Women should be encouraged as early as possible to pursue merit in skill (just like we do for boys), rather than being admired and appreciated for their physical qualities. As they grow, for those drawn to the art, they can begin to evaluate and be encouraged to chase other aspects of the music, away from being at the centre of the lights camera and action. That way, we can build a generation of young Nigerian female producers, mixers, engineers, designers, and editors.
My family thought I was crazy when I dumped my job for music – Adekunle Gold
rban highlife creator, Adekunle Gold has opened up on his family’s reaction when he broke the news to them a couple of years ago that he was dumping his six-figure-paying job for singing. In a chat with Oracle Today, the singer said: “The greatest decision I have ever taken was quitting my job in 2014. I was working with a social media brand activation company and I was the Brand Manager. I was earning very good money. I mean earning that kind of money today one would still be very big. I wasn’t getting shows then but I knew that my music was suffering and I wanted to do something about it. So I just woke up and resigned.” How did his family react? “They thought I was crazy. Everybody thought I was crazy because I didn’t have any backup plan.” Was he not scared of failure? “Then, I was very fearless. Who wakes up in the morning, from earning good pay and just decides to quit? There was no backup plan and it was not like I had saved money somewhere. I just felt I was helping someone else build their dreams and mine was lacking. I wanted to do my thing and so I quit to the shock of everyone around me.”
John Boyega set to storm Nollywood
ver since he starred in Star Wars the career of Nigerian British actor, John Boyega has continued to grow from strength to strength. And obviously aware he has a fan base back home in Nigeria, little wonder he cam visiting recently. Accordig to a close source who opened up to Oracle Today, aside reuniting with his family in South Western Nigeria, one of the reasons he came visiting was o make his push into Nollywood. “John Boyega is no doubt making waves in the industry globally. Thanks to his role in Star Wars which gave him a foothold in Hollywood. He understand the import of the popular saying, east or west, home is the best and he is already perfecting plans to storm Nollywood and that was part of the reason he was in NIgeria recently. “As a Nigerian based in the UK, he is so proud of the exploits of Nollywood and wants to contribute his own quota. Watch out as he takes Nollywood by stormy,” the source added.
Tontoh Dike lands new ambassadorship deal
espite the wave of controversies trailing her, actress, Tonth Dike, has landed yet another endorsement deal. According to sources, the deal is not unconnected with her recent butt enlargement procedure. According to a source: “Though she is going through a lot of controversies, Tonto Dikeh is unstoppable. She has landed yet another endorsement deal. In fact I can reliably inform you that it is not unconnected with the recent butt enlargement she had. “The platform behind the procedure was so impressed they had no choice but to sign an endorsement deal with her,” the source added. Confirming the development, Tonto Dikeh hard shared pictures on social media t announce the deal though details are still sketchy.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
INTERVIEW Barely a week after Enugu fiery Catholic priest, Rev Father Ejike Mbaka of Adoration Ministry, Enugu, in this interview with CHUKS EZE in his office, advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to consider running for re-election in 2019, another vocal Enugu clergyman, Most Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Chukwuma, has in same manner urged the President to ignore those pushing him to present himself for re-election.
Archbishop Chukwuma to Buhari: Forget re-election bid • Okorocha is disgrace to APC, Ndigbo • No 2019 opposition to Governor Ugwuanyi
According to Chukwuma, who is the Anglican Archbishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical Province and Bishop of Enugu, “it is deceitful of anybody to advise the President to continue beyond 2019...” Speaking on Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, the Archbishop described him as the worst South East governor. “Governor Rochas Okorocha is a big disgrace to APC, to President Buhari and to Ndigbo … he is a big disaster in governance,” Chukwuma insisted. How do you feel that Nigeria started the year 2018 on a bloody note, with killings in Rivers State, Southern Kaduna, Benue and Adamawa States, among others? What does such development portend for the country? It is really unfortunate that Nigerians are not yet comfortable with the security of the country, in spite of all the bogus promises from the present administration in the last three years. Some people have continued to claim that the country is overcoming terrorism, insurgency and all that, and you ask: Where is the proof? It is both unfortunate and embarrassing that the New Year took off in Nigeria on a bloody note, with killings in several parts of the country, like you have noted. Thank God that some of the suspected arrowheads in the Rivers New Year eve killings are said to have been killed, but a lot more needs to be done. So, those latest developments pose a question as to why the federal government cannot provide adequate security for Nigerians, with all the money that is being voted for security. Of particular concern are the activities of Fulani herdsmen. The challenge to Mr President, in all of this is that if Buhari could declare IPOB a terrorist group, why then has he refused to declare killer-herdsmen a terrorist group too? IPOB is a non-violent organisation, yet it was proscribed. But herdsmen, who are becoming more deadly and destructive than Boko Haram, are allowed to have a field day while carrying out their
• Archbishop Chukwuma
mayhem in parts of the country. It is unfortunate! We are saying that it has come to the point that the federal government must declare the herdsmen a terrorist organisation and the security agencies must as well declare a state of emergency on killer-herdsmen in Nigeria, because the situation is getting out of hand. We are very much worried about the future of the affected areas. And if the federal government does not take decisive action by clamping down on them now, the situation may escalate to an internal war, which would be very unpalatable. Are you in support of the recent $1 billion request by the President to fund war against insurgency in the Northeast? The thing is that there is profound doubt whether all the billions of dollars being quoted are sincerely going to be utilised to beef up security or whether it is a deceptive move to stockpile and steal money by politicians and security agencies, without any noticeable intervention in event of attack. Why do our security agencies always take post-attack measures; why are they never there before attack, knowing the situation that has been on? Why is it always after attack that we hear them deploy so-so and so number of troupes for surveillance and all that? Who is deceiving whom? We are worried over such continued method of solution after fire thing, and such development must change now. Failure to do that may lead
to stakeholders mobilizing their youths to face the herdsmen in a fierce manner, which may lead to war. Therefore, if you do not want war, take appropriate decisive action now. That is why I continue to fault Mr President for saying that the unity of this country is not negotiable. It is negotiable! No matter how much we shy away from the truth, it must prevail someday. With the herdsmen harassing and killing people recklessly everywhere, without any meaningful action by the federal government, the peace and unity of this country is seriously under threat. We cannot continue to claim that we want to be united without avoiding things that are threatening the so-called unity and peace of the nation. We want to see action now. Let the killer herdsmen be dealt with seriously now, for all to see. Herdsmen are not supposed to be deadly. And if the perpetrators are not real herdsmen, as have been claimed by some people, it is the responsibility of the government to fish out whoever they are and deal with them according to the law. Ahead of 2019 general election, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo recently asserted that the Igbo will only root for Presidential candidate who would give assurances of protecting the interest of Ndigbo; what is your take on that? For me, I am not interested, as such, in whether the President of this country emerges from any tribe. I am rather interested in
good governance. The personality, integrity and credibility of whoever would lead Nigeria, is my concern and the concern of the church, as well, irrespective of religion and tribe. I say this because, sometimes, you ask yourself: among the Igbo, are we even seriously ready to help ourselves to be in leadership? When we are serious about that then, we must start from home and get united. Imagine that in the South East, the senators and even the ministers in the zone are not even united. For instance, the other day, the Minister of Science and Technology, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, was having meeting with some APC stakeholders in an area, while his Labour and Productivity counterpart, Dr. Chris Ngige was holding another meeting at another location with some other stakeholders. If everybody continues to keep splinter groups in that manner, where then is the unity? Even when they were asked to nominate SGF, as we gathered, they could not agree. So, most of our politicians are self-centred, greedy and have no concern about the welfare of the generality of Ndigbo. Therefore, let God bring out somebody, from anywhere, to be a President who would be able to sort out the problem of Nigeria, and not one who would run the country based on tribal or religious inclinations. We want a messiah who can save the country from corruption, economic crunch, unemployment, hardship and incessant wasting of
innocent blood. That is what we should be concerned about. Are you satisfied with the performance of political office holders in the South East, including governors, National Assembly and state legislators as well as ministers among others? My rating is 60 per cent for some of them while many others have put up much lower performance. Some governors are trying while others are just wasting public funds on irrelevant things, such as Imo State governor, who is a disaster in governance. The bailout fund has not been used to bail out anything in Imo State; it has rather, been used for moulding of statues, partying, irrelevant awards and other lavish ceremonies, dayby-day. Pensioners are not paid in the state and workers are groaning over no pay or half pay, as the case may be. So, what is your rating of the governor, as he enters into the last lap of his second tenure? Governor Rochas Okorocha is a big disgrace to APC, to President Buhari and to Ndigbo. Like I told you, he is a big disaster in governance. Imagine that the governor distributed empty checks to Imo State workers and pensioners in December. How can a governor engage in such criminal, demeaning act?
Cont’d on page 42
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
Anambra Central: INEC insists on election
abide by its order. With Orji’s announcement, INEC is back to conducting a re-run on he 13 January 2018 date it had set before Dr. Obiora got his judgment. Orji said the commission has already commenced training of its ad hoc personnel. “Our legal department has asked us to go ahead and obey the Court of Appeal order against the Federal High Court judgment. So, we are going ahead to conduct the election on January 13. We are going on with the election as scheduled,” he said. Anambra Central Senatorial District consists of the following seven local government areas - Awka North, Awka South, Njikoka, Dunukofia, Anaocha, Idemili North, and Idemili South. Victory in the election is by simple majority of the votes cast. There had been a lull in the campaigns for the seat with the undecided matter of what INEC would do. The Anambra Central Senatorial District has been without a Senator since 2015 when the Court of Appeal, Enugu Division, sacked the occupant of the position, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife following a petition filed by Victor Umeh. The court asked INEC to conduct a re-run in the district within 90 days, while disqualifying Ekwunife and her political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), from participating in the re-run. PDP challenged its exclusion in the re-run at the Federal High Court, Abuja that granted judgment in its favour. On the appeal against the High Court judgment Umeh contended that the PDP would not field a candidate in the re-run since it was on its instance that the election was
• INEC Chairman Mahmoud Yakubu.
nullified on 7 December 2015. On Monday, 20 November 2017, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja delivered a judgment in favour of Umeh in which it ordered INEC to conduct the re-run election within 90 days of the judgment. The judgment excluded PDP from contesting the election. Following this, INEC fixed the rerun for 13 January 2018. But on 13 December, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja declared Dr. Obiora Okonkwo of the PDP as Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District in a judgment Justice
Tsoho delivered. Tsoho, among other reliefs, asked INEC to issue certificate of return to Okonkwo and ordered the Senate President to swear in the PDP candidate immediately as the Senator for Anambra Central Senatorial District The Oracle Today gathered that some candidates did not show interest in the seat because they still think that the Federal High Court judgment, which was on a pre-election matter could resolve the matter in favour of Dr. Obiora at the end of the day. As if to confirm that the last had
So, if Okorocha does not take time, the church will rise against him one day and he would not even finish his remaining tenure. I am therefore, warning the governor again to change his ways. I have also asked his party, the APC and Mr President to call the governor to order. Okorocha is a huge disgrace to APC and Mr President. The governor is even a bigger disgrace to Ndigbo. He is not representing the South East well; he is the worst governor in the zone. He has no regard for the people of the state, no regard for the church and for men of God. He has no fear of God and no respect for mankind. He is a pretender and a sycophant. He has been wasting bailout funds on worthless things. I therefore, urge relevant agencies to place Governor Okorocha under financial investigation. EFCC should go after him and investigate how he has been spending the bailout fund and Paris Club refunds. He has also taken huge loans such that every local government area in the state has been plunged into enormous indebtedness now. I challenge the EFCC and ICPC to investigate the governor and save Imo State. He is the worst APC governor and the most corrupt, and I do not mince words when I say so. Imagine someone creating Ministry of Happiness and allocating the position to his sister? Is Imo State Okoriocha’s business outfit? He is running the state as if it is his personal property, and it is unfortunate. Let him be investigated and made to give account of all that he has spent public funds on, which are not for the development of the state. More so, it
is a mark of gross irresponsibility for cheques issued by a state government to bounce. That is a very shameful act.
not heard about the litigations on the election, a law firm, S.T. HON (SAN) & CO has written to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to suspend the Anambra Central Senatorial re-run election slated for Saturday, January 13 2018. In a letter to INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu titled ‘Request to stay action or suspend conduct of the re-run election in the Anambra Central Senatorial District, Slated for Saturday, 13th January, 2018’, and signed by Sebastine T. Hon, SAN and Festus Keyamo, SAN, the firm averred that conduct of the re-run election for the Anambra Central had been overtaken by an extant court judgment of December 13, 2017, which ordered INEC to issue Dr. Obiora Okonkwo of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, with a Certificate of Return, COR as the Senator-elect representing the Anambra Central Senatorial District. “For the avoidance of doubt, certified copies of the said consent judgment and the judgment order have already been served on your office by bailiffs of the Federal High Court. Our office also wrote several letters to you, not only informing you of that judgment but also forwarding certified copies of same to you. “Till date, you have refused to, failed and or neglected to comply with the judgment of this court of competent jurisdiction,” the firm wrote in the letter to INEC. “Also, bailiffs of the Federal High Court went to your office today, 8th January, 2018 to serve you with Form 48, but you refused service and instead directed them to serve
the legal department of INEC, when you know or should know that personal service, unless substituted service is ordered is mandatory when Form 48 is issued.” The firm accused INEC of deliberately refusing to acknowledge service, noting that the Chairman’s body language and that of the Commission, “suggest that your Commission is preparing to go ahead with the disputed rerun election, in spite of the consent judgment of Coram Johns Tsoho J of the Federal High court, Abuja.” It, however, warned Prof. Yakubu that his Commission knows well that “it cannot lawfully or validly go on with the planned rerun, hence it has briefed a Senior Lawyer, Asiwaju Solomon Awomolo, SAN, to file a Motion on Notice at the Federal High Court, seeking to vary the consent judgment of Tsoho, J. We have already been served with this Motion and we have responded therto accordingly.” “However, in paragraph 9 of the affidavit in support, Alhassan A. Umar of INEC’s Legal Department has acknowledged the existence of prior Court of Appeal decisions and the decision of Tsoho J., and has stated that the ‘Commission is bound by the subsisting orders’,” the firm added. The firm declared that in the light of the documents before the courts, voluntarily filed by INEC admitting that unless and until the judgment of Tsoho, J., is set aside, the re-run cannot go ahead, it would be preposterous for Prof. Yakubu and INEC to go ahead and conduct the Anambra Central rerun on January 13.
So, anybody who comes out from any party to contest governorship in 2019, he would only be coming out to test his popularity. Another thing is that the State is operating zoning formula just like it is in Anambra State. It is the turn of Nsukka zone now, and since the governor is from Nsukka and he is performing nicely, he should be allowed to complete his second term. Other governors who had emerged from other zones were allowed to do their second terms. You cannot push the governor away like that. It was the same way that we insisted that Governor Obiano should be allowed to run his second term in Anambra. If Ugwuanyi was not doing well, we would urge the people to push him away; but he has been awesome in office. He is a governor that is not arrogant; he is sincere, open, approachable, and the people love him. He is concerned about the people and cares for the poor and less privileged. His consistency in payment of salaries and pensions gladdens people’s hearts. The Child Rights Act was passed into law under his administration, which was not done by his predecessors. The IGR has increased in his time, which is another mark of sincerity in governance. So, I am happy with him. Above all, he is doing well for his zone Nsukka, and I see no reason why anybody from Nsukka should come out to contest against him.
My advice to Mr President is that he should forget 2019 re-run. He should not listen to those pushing him to run in 2019. Anybody that is above 70 is out of order. President Buhari has done his best and we commend him for his efforts so far. But, he should just go and rest at the end of his current tenure. God has spared his life after the illness that he experienced last year. So, he should return to his village, in Daura, in peace. I do not think that it is advisable for the President to continue due to his age. So, as far as I am concerned, it is deceitful of anybody to advise the President to continue beyond 2019. Those encouraging him do not love him and they do not love this country either. They are a bunch of selfish elements who want to seize such opportunity to continue to milk the country dry. Moreover, Mr President should remember that he had repeatedly stated earlier that he would seek office for just one term. He should not renege on that in order for him to keep his integrity intact. Anything against that would ridicule him. It is always good to bow out when the ovation is loudest. Another thing is that the youths of this country should be given a chance to lead the nation. The youths are not happy. We cannot continue to recycle same old people every time. Nigeria needs a new wine in a new wineskin, if we want a new Nigeria. The country does not need people who are old, analogue, with weak intelligence quotient as her leader. We are tired of executive stealing, corruption and recycling of same old names in Nigerian politics.
Archbishop Chukwuma to Buhari: Forget re-election bid Continued from Pg 41 Are you sure that allegation is not one of the many yet to be substantiated weighty accusations and rumours against the governor? What rumour? I am an Archbishop and you should know that I do not make careless public statements. Many of the affected people came and besieged my Cathedral, with the bounced cheques, crying for help – that the cheques that had been issued to them by the Imo State government had bounced – and that they had nothing with which to celebrate the Christmas. How can you issue dud cheques to pensioners when you are partying about with the state’s funds, and moulding images of people who do not even have credibility in their countries? We all know that check bouncing is a serious offence in Nigeria, and I urge the relevant agencies to ensure that the issue is not swept under the carpet. Let it be properly investigated, because, we are watching. I am saying that Governor Okorocha has been unable to entrench credible leadership in the state. All that he has been doing is scaring all opposing politicians away. What type of governance is that? Under his watch, crime rate has increased in the state; and to make matters worse, he is not even in good terms with men of God in Imo State. The other time, he changed the Assumpta Road to Buhari Road; if not that that the people rose and stood firm against such move. Nobody said he should not name roads after whomever he may want to, but he should build new projects and christen them after such people.
What can you say about Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State? It seems that you do not hide your support for his re-election, do you? Yes, the governor of Enugu State is doing well and I do not hide the fact that I love him. I will continue to commend him and support him. He is doing road networks both in the city and hinterland, as well. The roads are there for everybody to see. He has fixed so many roads that were in terrible conditions before he came on board, and he spreads his projects across all the 17 local government areas. He also pays salaries as at when due. Look at the budget that the governor recently presented to the state House of Assembly – a sincere and realistic budget. If you look at the outrageous figures that were being presented by many state governors, just because we are in pre-election year, you would shudder. And when you consider the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of most of the states, as well as their estimated expected federal allocations and other incomes, you find that those budgets are unrealistic and deceptive. Are you saying that Governor Ugwuanyi deserves re-election? One thing is that Enugu State is a PDP State. I am not a card carrier but that is the true situation in the state. There is peaceful co-existence of people and parties in the state and the people are happy with the party and the governor.
There is on-going national debate over Buhari’s 2019 Presidency, with some people urging him to re-run and others advising him to jettison such idea; what is your input on that?
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
SPORTS Stories by MADUABUCHI KALU
inister of Sports and Youth Development, Hon. Solomon Dalung, has given account of his stewardship after more than years of overseeing the sports industry in the country. Dalung who gave himself a pass mark said Nigerian sports despite the difficulty situation it found itself due to the economic down turn recorded very important mile-stones of which he singled out the winning of Bronze medal by the Nigerian female Hockey Team in international tournament as the greatest achievement of the industry in 2017. He equally mentioned other achievement of Nigerian Sports to include the country’s qualification to the 2018FIFA World Cup, the winning of Afrobasket by the D’ Tigeress, the elections into the various sports federations amongst other as the numerous achievement of the industry in 2017. “I would like to start by saying that Nigerian Sports in 2017 despite all our challenges did well. It is true that we would have loved to have done better but when we consider the circumstances under which we operated, we will have no choice than to give ourselves thumbs up. “Like I said we would have loved to do better but we did our best under the circumstance we found ourselves. “There is no gain saying that funds were one of the greatest challenges we encountered in 2017 due to the economic situation in the country as the country was in recession though we have been able to pull out of it. We believe that 2018 will be better in terms of funding and other things. “Nigeria participated in the World Power Lighting Championship in Mexico City from 30th November to 9th December 2017. The championship was mandatory as a qualifying competition for 2020 Tokyo Paralym-
Dalung gives account of stewardship, achievements • Says “all hands must be on deck to grow sports in Nigeria”
• Solomon Dalung pic Games. 72 countries entered for the competition with Nigeria presenting 11 athletes. “The performance of the female Hockey Team was significant if it is
noted that Nigerian hockey team last featured in any international tournament about 14 years ago. And to me, one of the greatest achievements of 2017 is the performance of the hock-
ey female team, which after 14 years out of international competition went and won a bronze medal. I considered that a serious achievement and it is also quite encouraging.
“Basketball, the following medals were won by Nigeria at the recent competitions, gold medal in Women the FIBA Afrobasket Championship in Bamako, Mali, silver medal at the FIBA Men Afrobasketball, Tunis, Tunisia, silver medal at FIBA Africa Under-18 3x3 boys, Bamako Mali, Silver medal at the FIBA Africa Under-18 girls, Bamako Mali, Silver Medal at FIBA Africa 3x3 Nations Cup women, Lome, Togo, we also participated in sprint in Morocco where we won medals including gold, silver medals. “In scrabble, again we maintained our dominance of the world championships. In football, Nigeria made a lot of progress both on and off the pitch. These include (A) the Super Eagles’ qualification for 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia with a game to spare an outcome that is sustained even with the application of FIFA penalty on the team for inappropriate fielding of a footballer who already had two yellow cards. The Nigeria Football Federation in-house Committee is investigating the circumstance to development to make appropriate recommendation to the government on this issue. “We have also the qualification of Super Eagles Team B as the home based Super Eagles Team are known for finals of the fifth African Nations Championship takes place in Morocco,” Dalung said amongst other thing.
Ezenwa sets personal targets at CHAN My only regret in
uper Eagles goal tender and the Captain of the home-based Eagles, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, has set two goals in this month’s Africa Nations Championship which Morocco will be playing host to in Rabat. According to Enyimba International goalkeeper, the two things Ezenwa has set for himself to achieve are helping the CHAN Eagles win the tournament and attracting European suitors with his talent at the tournament. “Anyone will be happy making the final list of those who will be representing the country at this year’s Africa Nations Championship. I think it is a great opportunity for me to showcase my talent,” Ezenwa began. “The target I have set for myself is for me by the grace of God to make everything possible for my beloved country to carry the trophy down to Nigeria and also make myself available for foreign countries to pick interest,” Ezenwa declared. Meanwhile, CHAN Eagles’ No2 goalkeeper, Dele Ajiboye is looking forward to the team’s first game against Equatorial Guinea and the other two games against Libya and Rwanda in the group stage of the championship. “I am really happy about the list and when you talk about football, as a player I have played against Rwanda, Libya and Equatorial Guinea as well. “I believe by the grace of God we will be on top of the group and we will qualify for the next stage. “And I believe with the calibre of players that we have and the coaches as well we will be able to do well. So, everything is going to be okay for us. • Ezenwa “And I pray for God’s good luck. So, we need to pray for God’s favour,” Ajiboye said.
2017 – Moses
• Compares Eagles to Chelsea
igerian and Chelsea of England FC striker, Victor Moses has revealed his regret at the outgone year 2017 saying being squished out of the three man shortlist to become the African Player of the Year was his greatest disappointment. It is recalled that Mohammed Sala of Egypt and Liverpool was last Thursday named CAF Africa Footballer of the year after beating off Gabanese and Borrusia Dortmund goal poacher Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Senegalese and and Liverpool’s club mate, Sadio Mane. Mohammed Salah had in November been named British Broadcasting Corporation Africa Player of the Year. It is important to note that the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) had frowned at the missing out of Victor Moses in the final shortlist but that has since been confined in the trash can of history as Salah is the continental Footballer of the year. In the words of Moses: “Nigeria was the first African country to qualify for the World Cup. We are like
Chelsea, we believe in ourselves. “Chelsea have loads of games coming up, we’ve got a great squad and the manager we have here, we know what we are capable of. I must have done well, it felt so good to be nominated. “I have worked so hard. It’s a bit crazy and it shows how far I have come,” Moses declared. Despite having been squished out of the final three-man of the 2017 CAF African Footballer of the Year, the Antonio Conte’s indispensable member of the Chelsea squad is hoping to bounce back from the setback to lead Nigeria, the most populous black nation on earth to more Promised Land next year. Moses recorded very impressive achievements last year as he pocketed a championship medal, got married and established himself as indispensable man in Manager Antonio Conte side and helped Nigeria become the first African nation to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Russia
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
SPORTS Ronaldo ‘stole’ my Ballon d’Or, Ribery claims
ranck Ribery is not a happy man over what happened in 2013 as he believes that he ought to have won 2013 Ballon d’Or instead of Real Madrid and Portuguese super star, Cristiano Ronaldo. He is of the opinion that the award was “stolen” from him. The Bayern Munich star said that it is “incomprehensible” that Cristiano Ronaldo picked up the prize that season after he had enjoyed such a formidable season with the Bundesliga club. The France winger led Bayern to domestic glory and played a leading role as they snatched the Champions League with a 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund at Wembley. He, however, blamed his plight on his country’s media who he claimed heaped the blame of his country’s poor 2010 World Cup outing to the players. Such exploits are generally seen to go hand in hand with winning the game’s greatest individual prize, but Ribery’s contribution was overlooked for that of Ronaldo. Indeed, he did not even finish second, with Lionel Messi pipping him for that spot. “It was as if it was stolen from me,” Ribery told Canal Football Club. “It’s incomprehensible. I won every trophy, I couldn’t have done more. It was an injustice.” “I didn’t have my country behind me,” he claimed. “I saw it with my own eyes that the French said Cristiano should win. Did the Portuguese want it to be Ribery or Messi? Of course not.” Ribery feels that he was made a scapegoat after France’s shambolic World Cup 2010 campaign, in which Raymond Domenech’s side crashed out at the group stage and even staged a strike against their coach by refusing to leave the team bus. And the 34-year-old still points his finger at the media. “In 2010, they needed someone to blame,” he said. “Everyone in France believed I was the problem – even my parents. “I can’t forget the actions of certain French media. It’s a scar that stays with me, it was too much.” Ribery’s current contract at Bayern expires at the end of the season.
Oshoala redeems Nigeria’s image in Accra Storie by MADUABUCHI KALU
t is no longer news that the much publicized AITO CAF Awards have come and gone in Ghana capital, Accra but what is news is how one single individual, Azeezat Oshoala came to the country’s rescue as the only Nigerian player to have won an award last Thursday night. The Awards ceremony was the first since coming to power by current CAF President, Ahmad Ahmad, a former executive member of the continental football governing body, who swept out former long serving president of the body, Isa Hayatou. The Awards ceremony which held at the prestigious Accra International Conference Centre saw a lot of former winners of the main awards feature prominently, a departure from the past awards. However, what is of interest to millions of Nigeria football loving fans is the near absence of Nigerian winners except for Super Falcons informed striker, Azeezat Oshoala, who retained the prestigious prize she won last year, making the third time she will be winning the award. The Nigerian female football amazon has been in top form for his club despite being rendered redundant in respect of national team duties. The Super Falcons forward sur-
prised many when he moved from Arsenal to Dalian Quanjian last February. The Lagos born-female footballer took the Chinese League by storm as she led her club Dalian Quanjian to a league and cup double in his first season. Oshoala’s retention of her award
did not take many by surprise as no female player on the continent could rival her performance last year. Before her club exploit, Oshoala had earlier in the year, helped Nigeria made history by winning the Africa Women Nations Cup for a record
You’re ‘little man, fake”, Conte tells Mourinho
helsea’s Italian Manager, Antonio Conte, has labeled Manchester United Manager, Jose Mourinho “Little Man” for referencing the match-fixing scandal that he was caught up in during his time in Italy but later fully acquitted by a court. According to Conte, he is ready to meet with Mourinho face-toface to get answers about their recent war of words as the Chelsea manager labelled his Manchester United counterpart as “fake”. Conte let loose following Chelsea’s FA Cup third-round draw against Norwich City on Saturday
Pele still optimistic of African team winning World Cup
he greatest footballer the world has ever seen according Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), the only footballer who scored a hat trick at the World Cup at the age of 17. The only footballer living or dead to have indeed won the World Cup three times, no other player has won the World Cup three times except the Brazilian, Edison Arrantes do Nascimento (a.k.a.) Pele. The man who has been declared as the player of the century by FIFA has reiterated his conviction that an Africa team will one day win the World Cup. The three-time world champion with the Brazilian national team, Pele, had in 90’s predicted that an African country will win the World Cup before the end of the 20th century, is still optimistic that it will come to fruition despite the fact that no African team
• Aiteo African Footballer of the Year Award winner, Mohammed Salah (second right) flanked by first runner-up, Sadio Mane (left), African Female Footballer of the Year winner, Asisat Oshoala (second left) and second runner-up, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the press conference after the CAF awards at the Accra International Press Conference.
have reached the semi-finals of the Mundial since his prediction. In his words: “Yes I said so because it is amazing how many talented African players we have around the world but when the time come for national teams, then problems begin. It is hard to say why so, because there is no special reason for that. “Africans play leading roles in all positions with the exception of goalkeepers and teams do not show themselves that way.” Nigeria, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, and Senegal will fly African flags at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. It is yet to be seen whether Pele’s desire or prediction will come to past in Vladimir Putin’s country, we are crossing our fingers waiting for time to unfold what it has in stock for the continent as far as the greatest Football party is concerned.
as the Italian said Mourinho was a “little man” for referencing the match-fixing scandal that he was caught up in during his time in Italy but later fully acquitted by a court. And, when asked in his postmatch press conference for more reaction to Mourinho’s latest jibes towards him, Conte insisted he is ready to talk to the Portuguese when Chelsea take on United next in the league on 25 February. “The situation is very clear. I don’t have anything to clarify,” Conte told reporters. “It will be the opportunity in the game against United when we go to Old Trafford. “Me and him face
to face. I’m ready. I don’t know if he’s ready. “I consider him a little man, I consider him a man with a very low profile. “When there are these types of comments, before (making them) you have to know very well the truth. “Before you make this type of comment, before to hurt another person, you must pay great attention. You show you are a little man. “I know him very well in the past. In the past he was a little man in many circumstances, is a little man in the present and for sure he will be a little man in the future,” Conte said.
8 times and by winning two most important trophies in China, she extended he brilliant performance beyond the reach of any other African female football players. Without Oshoala, the country would have returned from the awards ceremony in Accra with nothing to show for it, but thank God that the hard work and commitment of Oshoala made the difference and at the same time made it possible for the three time Africa champions to return home with the second most prestigious individual awards. After receiving the award the Super Falcons’ star broke down into tears and said: “When I left Arsenal to China, people said my career was over. Here I am winning this award once again. “To all the young girls out there, don’t let anyone talk you down. Always follow your dreams.” Meanwhile, South Africa’s Women National team, Bayana Bayana, won the Women’s National Team of the Year award ahead of Nigeria’s U-20 female team, the Falconets.
Murray undergoes hip surgery, eyes Wimbledon return
hree-time grand slam champion, Andy Murray underwent hip surgery on Monday and is determined to return to action in time for this year’s Wimbledon. The 30-year-old Briton, who has not played a competitive match for six months and last week withdrew from the Australian Open, posted an update on Facebook. “Today, I underwent successful right hip surgery at the St Vincent Hospital in Melbourne,” Murray said. “I’d like to thank Dr. John O‘Donnell and all of the staff for looking after me. I look forward to returning to competitive tennis during the grasscourt season,” he added.
“Thanks to everyone for all the well wishes and support over the last few days. I’ll come back from this.” Murray, who ended 2016 as world No1, has slipped down to 19th in the ATP Rankings.
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
Force your way out of your clubs, Lawal tells Eagles’ bench warmers Charges players to emulate Mikel
By MADUABUCHI KALU
ormer Super Eagles utility players, Garba Lawal, has advised Super Eagles players who are currently warming benches in their various clubs in Europe to force their ways out on loan in order to secure playing time in the FIFA World Cup, saying it’s not good that in World Cup year, Nigeria has a loads of bench warmers who are also think-
ing of making it to the Mundial. “It is the way we prepare that will determine what we achieve at the World Cup. Preparation is vital if we must do well at the World Cup,” Lawal began. “We know we have a lot of young players in Europe but the problem is that most our national team players are bench warmers and almost all of them are thinking of making the team that will represent the country
at the World Cup. “The World Cup is a different ball game entirely. You need to be on top of your game to do well at the World Cup because the Mundial is the gathering of the best the world can offer as far as the round leather game is concerned. “So, how can you give your best to your country when you are not playing regularly for your club? It is not possible. That is why ambitious
2018 World Cup: Mwaruwari reveals Super Eagles key players By MADUABUCHI KALU
ormer Zimbabwe international striker, Benjani Mwaruwari has tipped three Super Eagles’ players to play vital role in Nigeria’s 6th World Cup appearance in Russia later in the year. According to the former Portsmouth striker, Eagles’ captain, John Obi Mikel, Chelsea’s Victor Moses and Arsenal and Eagles’ striker, Alex Iwobi will be critical to Eagles’ good outing at the Russia World Cup. It is recalled that the three players picked by Benjami Mwaruwari were very critical to Nigeria’s World Cup qualification and Mwaruwari is of the view that if the troika could heat top form, the three time Afri-
can champions could go far at the Mundial. He, however, opined that the influence the three players will have on the team depends on the team’s gaffer, Gernot Rohr. Captain John Obi Mikel led by example scored vital goals against former continental champions Algeria and Cameroon. On his part, Chelsea wing-back, Victor Moses scored four times in four qualifying games to prove his importance in the team just as Arsenal’s Iwobi hit the back of the net twice including the decisive winning goal against Zambia. Probably this is the reason Mwaruwari hopes the three players hold the key to Eagles’ success at the Mundial.
Why I withdrew from Australia Open - Serena Williams
ormer world No1, Serena Williams has given reason she withdrew from this month’s Australian Open in Melbourne. The 36-year-old American mother of one penultimate week played her first match since giving birth in September. The 23-time Grand Slam winner and the reigning Australian Open champion, said: “Although I am super close, I’m not where I want to be.” Williams is not the only tennis star to pull out of the Australian Open as former world No.1 and British No1, Andy Murray last Thursday also pulled out of the tournament, which
serves off on 15. Williams was eight weeks pregnant with daughter, Olympia when she won her seventh Australian Open title in 2017. The world number 22 said: “My coach and team always said ‘only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way”. “I can compete - but I don’t want to just compete, I want to do far better than that and to do so, I will need a little more time. “The memory of last year’s Open is one that I will carry with me, and Olympia and I look forward to coming back again,” she declared
In his words, the former Portsmouth striker said: “The Super Eagles have a lot of good players in their team but I believe Mikel, Iwobi and Moses are the most important players in the side,” Mwaruwari began. “They will be critical to whatever Nigeria achieve in Russia and it will be important for the coach (Gernot Rohr) to get the best out of them. “If the three players hit top form in Russia, then I believe the Super Eagles will go far in the competition.” The former Zimbabwe international striker during his playing days had stints with clubs in France, England and South Africa.
players would rather go on loan in order to keep fit for competitions. “If you are not playing regularly for your club, there is no way you will be able to measure up with what is required of you on the pitch because there is no way you can give what you don’t have,” Lawal declared. Continuing he said: “My advise to those of them who are not playing for their various clubs is to force their ways out on loan in order to get playing time because without playing competitive football, you will certainly be match rusty which is not what we need at the biggest stage of world football,” Lawal said. “I think there is need for them to emulate their captain, John Obi Mikel who was frozen out by Chelsea Manager, Antonio Conte and he moved to China in order to get regular playing time and he is playing regularly in his club, he is even the captain of the side. “Mikel moved to China because he knew that this is a World Cup year and it is only his form that will guarantee him a place in the squad despite being the captain of the team. This is what I expect from those players who are not playing regularly in their clubs. “As it is now, none of the players who are warming benches in their various clubs will be able to displace Mikel because he is playing regularly in his club. “It is true that nobody wants to get injured in a training game. If a player is not playing and World Cup is fast approach, that is not good for any player,” Lawal said. Lawal’s opinion is shared by a lot of people even as the like of Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Iheancho have been linked to be considering a loan move in order to get playing time to enable them make the cut for Eagles’ World Cup squad. Both players are with former English Premier League champions, Leicester City but have not been playing which has seen them lost form while their compatriot, Wilfred Ndidi has continued to shine like a million stars since making switching over from Genk, of Belgium.
Bolt to have Dortmund trial, eyes Man U move By MADUABUCHI KALU with agency report
amaican legendary speed star, Usain Bolt has revealed that he is set to have a trial with German giants, Borussia Dortmund even as the former sprinter king says his dream is to sign for EPL giants, Manchester United. According to Daily Express, the eight-time Olympic gold medallist, he is to train with the Bundesliga side in March. But the 31-year-old, a Manchester United fan, insists he is still holding out hope of playing at Old Trafford even as he reveals he could get a helping hand from Sir Alex Ferguson. He told the Daily Express: “In March we’re going to do a trial with Dortmund and that will determine what I do with that career, which way it goes. If they say I’m good, and that I need a bit of training, I’ll do it. “It makes me nervous. I don’t get nervous but this is different, this is football now. It’ll take time to adjust but once I play a few times I’ll get used to it. It was the same when I started track and field. I was nervous for a while until I started getting used to the crowd, people and everyone around and it falls into place. “One of my biggest dreams is to sign for Manchester United. If Dortmund say I’m good enough, I’ll crack on and train hard. I’ve spoken to Alex Ferguson and I told him he needs to put in a good word. He told me if I get fit and ready; he will see what he can do.” Bolt retired from athletics in August following the World Championships in London. He has yet to make a decision on his future away from the track but the Jamaican insists he believes he has “a chance” of becoming a Premier League footballer. He added: “I watch a lot of football, I understand it, I play it. With training, I could be good. I and (Paul) Pogba talk a lot. I watch and ask him a lot of questions. I want to play but it has to be in the top league. I’m not content to be average. “I strive to be the best and if I get a chance to play for a team like Manchester United it will be a massive deal.”
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
BOLD & BLUNT Since the September 14 military invasion of the home of IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, nothing much has been heard about IPOB. Is the organization fear-stricken? I beg to differ because since that murderous invasion of the home of our leader, we have continued to rally, we successfully boycotted the Anambra State elections, we protested at the deceptive Ohaneze Ndigbo jamboree in Lagos, we opened a high tech international headquarters in Germany, we demonstrated in the open in Onitsha and Aba, we have continued to open new family meetings all over Biafraland, we continue to engage local and international partners, so in reality nothing has changed. Most people unfortunately equate the potency of IPOB with the manifest presence of our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, but the fact is that he prepared us to function, even in his absence. If there is anything that will convince the doubters that we are as strong as ever, it is the very advanced stage our preparations for our 2018 referendum has reached. It is very unfortunate that Ohaneze Ndigbo leadership and South East governors eager to justify their collusion in the cold-blooded murder of their own people have trumped up the narrative that IPOB has been weakened. It is blatant falsehood that bears no resemblance to reality. Ask the average person on the streets of Biafraland and they will tell you they stand with IPOB. Our activities are more spiritual than physical; that is why they cannot understand how best to tackle our agitation. We don’t know where and how some commentators got the information or impression that IPOB has retreated. You can’t label an unarmed group a terrorist organization with constant military attacks and active connivance of those you are fighting and working to save like Ohaneze Ndigbo and Igbo governors, then expect our trajectory not to be altered. We gave order for our people to boycott Anambra elections which was complied with. Akwa Ibom and Enugu State elections were successfully boycotted too before that. We stopped the poisonous army vaccine programme also. If not for INEC falsified figures, Anambra State election would have been declared null and void as less than 1% of total registered voters took part in the whole exercise. We IPOB can do many things but we don’t have the power to stop INEC from hyper-inflating their figures to 17%. There is still much suspense in the public domain over the disappearance of IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. What is the feeling in IPOB circles and what are you doing to resolve this seeming mystery? It is common knowledge and an open fact that before Nigerian Army invaded our leader’s compound on 14th September this year, he was moving from place to place,holding rallies and meetings without fear or favour. He single-handedly, through the grace of God, brought South East and South South together for the first time in 50 years. We know that Aso Rock ordered the Nigerian Army led by Buratai with the approval of the five South East governors with the leadership of of Ohaneze Ndigbo, to kill Nnamdi Kanu and his family in his home on the 14th of September 2017. The video footage and still photographs are in the public domain for those too blinded by hypocrisy to see what truly transpired. Every right thinking and conscientious person is missing the absence of our leader, especially the rank and file membership. The disappearance of our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, presumably killed by the Nigerian Army, is a huge blow but not a terminal setback for our movement. What it did is to galvanize and enthuse we die-hard Biafrans even more to accomplish the liberation of our land which was what he lived for. Whoever ordered the deadly invasion of his home or kidnapped him will eventually answer to the people because, dead or alive, Nnamdi Kanu must be produced by this Buhari government. With the disappearance of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the agitation for Biafra seems to have lost steam. What has accounted for
Though Kanu is missing, IPOB can’t retreat – Edoziem • Says group has made ‘advanced’ preparations for referendum this year - Edoziem Mazi Chika Edoziem is the Head of Directorate of State (HDOS) of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). In this interview with BONIFACE OKORO, Edoziem gives an insight into the operations of IPOB since the September 14, 2017 military invasion of the Afaraukwu home of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, in Umuahia where he alleged that 28 civilians were killed during the invasion. The HOS said the group sorely misses Kanu but revealed that the military invasion rather than cow IPOB, has spurred group to be more resolute in its quest to restore Biafra. He says that plans for IPOB to achieve referendum for Biafra this year have reached advanced stage. Excerpts: this? Actually the disappearance of our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has had the opposite effect to what our enemies intended. It made us to become more determined and focused, contrary to media speculations and insinuations of the chattering classes. Quite rightly we feel angry and enraged that our leader was the victim of assassination plot and conspiracy by those he was fighting to liberate from slavery. We never
knew the extent envy and jealousy could have driven Ohaneze Ndigbo leadership and South East governors until pictures emerged of how items looted from Kanu’s compound were received in Umuahia. The pictures are now with the prosecutors in the Hague and will be made available to the public in the coming weeks. Rather than losing steam, the collusion of Ohaneze Ndigbo and Igbo governors with Aso Rock to invade the home of our leader and
kill him has made our agitation grow from strength to strength. No doubt we miss his awe-inspiring words of encouragement delivered with fearlessness. IPOB is the largest single mass-movement on earth, therefore the decision to restore Biafra sovereignty is an indestructible sacred oath forged in blood which cannot lose steam because of the disappearance of our leader, no matter how important his physical presence is to the movement. He succeeded
The Oracle Today Wednesday January 17, 2018
BOLD & BLUNT
• Ikpeazu in planting the unquenchable spirit of Biafra into the life of millions all over the world. Let me ask you this question, since the invasion of our leader’s home, have you not been seeing series of peaceful protests and rallies going on around the world, including IPOB show of force in Anambra State on 16th November 2017, with another IPOB protest in Aba after Anambra State governorship election? IPOB family members worldwide are formidable, relentless, resolute and determined to restore Biafra. No man born of woman can stop the emergence of Biafra as an independent political entity under God. No amount of unprovoked unlawful killings by the Northern Muslim-dominated Nigerian Army or betrayal by the likes of Ohaneze Ndigbo and South East governors can stop us. What manner of support/cooperation has IPOB received from her international allies, particularly in the wake of the Operation Python Dance II crackdown, proscription and branding of IPOB as a terrorist organization? Our contact and reach is extensive all over the world. Don’t forget that we have presence in over 100 countries and territories around the world. We are the singular largest political mass-movement in the world. There is no leadership of a country or career diplomat anywhere in the world that doesn’t know about IPOB and what our leaders stand for. In Argentine universities, IPOB and the ideology of Nnamdi Kanu are subjects of academic study. While we are not at liberty to divulge sensitive details about our operations and diplomatic alliances, the location of our global headquarters coupled with rejection of the terrorist tag by USA, EU and Britain speaks volumes. IPOB is a refined freedom fighting organisation. We have professionals, academics, artisans and highly skilled strategists all over the world that know how to get things done. The diplomatic isolation we suffered during the darkest days of the war will not happen again, neither will we be pushed to war, ill-equipped and ill-prepared. Honestly, the cooperation we are getting is encouraging. Has IPOB taken stock of its losses, human and material, during the Operation Python Dance II in the South East? Yes we have. The pain and hurt we feel inside our hearts are the catalyst that fuels our rage against this oppressive state of Nigeria and her corrupt leadership. We are guided by the sacrifices of those we lost and the ones in detention, so we owe their memory a duty to restore Biafra in their honour. Since the inception of our noble quest to liberate our land, we have
My message to Biafrans at home and abroad, particularly those who are still to join the struggle for Biafra freedom, is for them to do so now before it’s too late. They must disregard the antics of our detractors and saboteurs who will do anything to keep us divided thereby allowing the Arewa caliphate to keep treating us as their conquered slaves. suffered untold and unquantifiable human and material hardship but in the end, our freedom will be a befitting reward. We cannot fail to mention those that fell at Uga Junction near Head Bridge Onitsha on 31st August 2015, 2nd and 17th December 2015 at the same Head Bridge Onitsha. Those murdered in cold blood on February 9, 2016 at National High School Aba. The massacre at Nkpor on 29th and 30th of May, 2016 of those that came to remember our war heroes. We also remember those who lost their lives on 20th January 2017 during our solidarity rally in support of the swearing in of Donald J. Trump, then newly-elected President of America. At that peaceful rally in Igweocha, Rivers State, the Nigerian government and its security operatives, especially the Army and Police, shot and killed 21 innocent civilians in cold blood; and most recently, the invasion of our leader’s compound that consumed the lives of 28 civilians. We remember those that were tortured and killed in Aba during Operation Python Dance. We will continue to hold Buhari, Buratai, leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo and five South East governors responsible for the deaths of our people. Is IPOB seeking redress in any form? Those complicit in the death of innocent IPOB family members will never be forgiven. Ikpeazu, Obiano, Umahi and Nnia Nwodo must be made to face the consequences of their treachery at the appropriate time. It is one thing to collude with our oppressors to keep us down as slaves which is a forgivable crime, the idea of inviting them to come to our land and kill us as these people mentioned above did is unforgivable before God and man. They will face the full might of the law in civilised countries where the rule of law applies. We have filed pro-
cesses in US courts and ICC in the Hague. Our team of international lawyers led by the renowned prosecutor, Bruce Fein, is working tirelessly hard to ensure justice is served. The best redress we can ever have, apart from making sure Nwodo, South East governors, Buhari and Buratai are jailed for their crimes against humanity, is to free Biafra from Nigeria. In this regard, our upcoming referendum is vitally important. IPOB was seen as using Anambra guber poll as a bait to secure referendum on Biafra. The election held and no date for referendum was given. Don’t you think that many may no longer take your group seriously? How can you come to such conclusion given the facts on the ground? IPOB’s successful boycott of Anambra governorship election is part of our standing commitment never to participate in any electoral exercise organised by INEC. We ordered the boycott of Anambra election on November 18, which our people heeded with less than 1% of total registered voter participation. The fact that INEC chose to massage the figures on the orders of Aso Rock does not alter the fact that the elections were successfully boycotted. For a country that, throughout its history, has been steeped in fraud, lies and deception, fair-play will never rank as one of their key attributes. Were you expecting INEC to say that less than 1% voted so that credit will go to IPOB for successfully stopping the elections? Of course, not. But we are satisfied that our approach is working. How can anybody say that people no longer take us seriously when the same people send their soldiers to shoot us anytime we peacefully gather together? If people no longer listen to us, how come we stopped the military’s compulsory vaccination programme? Even
• Nnia Nwodo Northerners listened to us and refused their soldiers to vaccinate their children. All over Nigeria, people followed the instructions of IPOB and withdrew their children from school. It was when the army left that our children were allowed to return to school. We successfully boycotted LGA election in Enugu State on November 2, 2017. The same boycott strategy was deployed to render the Akwa Ibom Local Government Election meaningless. If you want to see or know what IPOB can do, ask the proprietors of GT Bank. How can it be said that IPOB retreated into its shell when IPOB has ensured that all known traitors and saboteurs in Biafraland have been identified and are fast losing their relevance before the people. Nobody is taking what these saboteurs are saying seriously again. Our relentlessness made it possible for Nnia Nwodo to confess that he is a saboteur. Have you forgotten that we exposed the hypocrisy of Ohaneze Ndigbo led by Chief Nnia Nwodo at their Lagos jamboree conference late last year. Seriously speaking, do you think that IPOB will succeed without the support of political, religious and community leaders, the intelligentsia and civil society groups from the South East? We have already succeeded because the same people you alluded to, or at least the serious-minded of them, are with us. There is no right thinking Biafran that is not in support of IPOB. Those who are opposed to what we are doing like Nnia Nwodo and South East governors are only doing so to please those that put them in power. No other organisation can boast of the level of intellectual resource at the disposal of IPOB. We successfully opened our new world headquarters on 7th and 8th December last year in Langerfield Germany where all the relevant information and correspondence pertaining to IPOB can be sent to or obtained. It is a miracle from God Almighty Chukwu Okike Abiama and testament to our resolve and determination that IPOB is still as strong as ever despite the opposition of corrupt leadership and morally bankrupt politicians across Biafraland. What is your message to Biafrans? My message to Biafrans at home and abroad, particularly those who are still to join the struggle for Biafra freedom, is for them to do so now before it’s too late. They must disregard the antics of our detractors and saboteurs who will do anything to keep us divided thereby allowing the Arewa caliphate to keep treating us as their conquered slaves.
WEDNESDAY January 17, 2018
VOX POPULI SACRUM
GUEST COLUMIST NNENNA OBIANO
NENNA OBIANO reviews last November 18 Anambra State governorship election and avers that the outcome, despite obvious misgivings about the governor’s first-term performance, bespoke an irreversible decision by Anambraians to cut off their noses in order to spite their faces! Last November 18 Anambra State governorship election, was really not an election as much as it was a referendum on Peter Obi. It was an opportunity for all who had grievances to air them and take revenge as the case maybe. This group (of aggrieved stakeholders) was not limited to the incumbent administration and APGA. The Catholic Church, which Obi empowered as political a machinery, was just as active. Of course, we must not forget the Anambra elite who are particularly aggrieved at Peter Obi. Last but not the least is his new party, the PDP. The incumbent administration must be commended for its election strategy, however. The media hype despite the incompetence of the government was superb. The government used the media to exploit all the weaknesses of the elite and the aggrieved and played them up for whatever the effort was worth. The incumbent governor practically opened up the state vault to defeat his nemesis. No cost was spared because “we have to defeat Peter”. Everyone who could be bought was well bought. The economy made it easy to purchase votes if not loyalty. As long as you disliked Obi, there was a place for you. The state coffers being empty was not a problem. When it seemed like it depleted, borrowing was not a problem. Throwing everything good and bad at the “Oracle”, as Obi was referred to, was the mantra. Truth did not matter. The propaganda on Obi was so much and loud it drowned out any other candidate. Obi was not on the INEC ticket but he was on the ticket. The incumbent governor was so obsessed with, and focused on, Obi that nothing else mattered. He was prepared to outspend Obi and he did. He had to do anything Obi had done and more. At the end of the election, he “ won” so much that he had all believe he won all 21 local governments. Yes, the governor may have finally bested Obi and won, but at what cost? Empty state coffers, which cannot be hidden forever? Struggle to govern a state when all the saved funds have been squandered ensuring Anambra rejoined the list of indebted states? The obsession may have led to a “win” but the final act is yet to be played. Four more years and all will judge just how well he governed. How much debt will be left to his successor; how much of the state will be functional? Only time will tell but for now, let’s enjoy the euphoria of the win. The positive thing about the win though is the survival, for now at least, of the party--APGA. The party has been
Anambra 2017: Cutting off our nose to spite our face be the kingmaker all by himself thus diminishing their roles. I can see where this could be frustrating but once again, it is not about the state or the electorate but about themselves. They can all pump their fists because they won but did the state win? A lot of these people will openly tell you they know the incumbent is incompetent and has done nothing but the joy of beating Peter Obi trumps all considerations especially when they get paid doing it. It is expected that they will prevail on the incumbent administration to fulfill some promises. If that does not happen, we will all pay the price. As for Mr. Peter Ob, he may be down now but certainly not out. Let’s remember that the administration, this administration has but four years and they seem to go by quickly. One never knows who is coming next and in this business, revenge is best served as a cold dish! PDP
• Gov. WIllie Obiano
• Peter Obi
given a new lease of life and it is hoped it can yield more successes though the funding of the party is dependent on the state’s finances. The Church played its own role. The Anglican Communion was more neutral and fair, may be because the three top runners were Catholic. The Catholic Church simply forgot its vows and robes and waded into the dirty politics of misinformation, arm-twisting, divisiveness and, where necessary, blackmail. The upper echelon of the church may as well have removed their robes. All the teachings of the Bible were thrown out the window. Everyone, even the Pope, is entitled to individual preferences on whom to vote for. However, in the case of the Church in Anambra, the problem was using the pulpit to coerce congregation who listen faithfully because they trust. The question one asks is, how much of the decision was based on the truth and what was best for their congregation? How much of the propaganda did they know were lies but went along with it? How much of what the incumbent administration said that were pure fabrications, which could be proven and were proven, did they turn a blind eye to? And what was the motivation? Greed? Maybe not as much. Malice and revenge (which are sins by the way) towards Obi?
Sticking it to Peter Obi seemed to be the mantra. The Church’s role was so nauseating, it makes it hard to actually think you can go to these “men of God” for confession. Whom do they themselves confess to? It is hoped that they can make restitution to their congregation when the time comes and things go South! We hope they don’t. The irony in this is that the very Church that Peter Obi empowered politically has now turned against him and used that power against him. It is the law of Karma. Incumbent, please take note!!! The solution is that the Church having played out itself as fallible as anyone else should probably return to the original purpose for which they have the robe--to lead the Church of Christ as Christ did. ‘Anambra elite’ Vs Peter Obi The elite finally had their chance to get theirs against Peter Obi. I am still trying to figure out what exactly they have against him. I have heard of people saying he thinks he knows everything; he handles state money as though it is his. I have also heard about people who are angry because he brought the incumbent and now he does not want him and want to bring someone else. I guess part of the angst is why he should
Oh my! What a party!! All the top players but a few in this party at one time or the other suffered in the hands of Peter Obi and APGA. How dare he come into this party to lord it over them again! How much of one man can we take? He comes into the party and wants to take over and impose his own candidate. We will not let it happen! Never!! The party, not having won a gubernatorial election in 12 years, has been fragmented and fractured. It became a collection of warlords for rental. It became all about money. Which one of them wanted a governor? Not the Senator who preferred to be the highest-ranking member in the state. Not the house members who were all important even though they have done nothing for the state. Is it the warlords who will lose their cash value with no structure to rent out? Some of the members had genuine grouse of not being recognized for their longevity in the party. It seemed impossible to stop Peter Obi taking over their party so they did what they do best: rent themselves out to the highest bidder. In this case, there was an additional incentive--the intense dislike for a Peter Obi. It worked! The incumbent won! The irony of it all is that they are all back in PDP to fight for position and structure. Some have moved to APGA but hope to use the PDP structure to win future elections. It may work but 2019 is a lifetime
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Published on Jan 9, 2018