S U N D A Y
Residents Hail Suspension Of Controversial Park ‘n’ Pay Policy CITYFILE 6
E D I T I O N
Insecurity: A Clarion Call For Bipartisanship
Government Must Change Tactics In Handling The Issue Of Security, By Religious Leaders
TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Vol. 30, No. 12,904
Politicians Close Ranks Against Insurgency By Marcel Mbamalu, News Editor FTER weeks of pouring A tantrums at one another over the insurgency in the Northeast, Nigerian politicians are beginning to close ranks to combat terrorism. The body language and comments from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC)
• Presidency Changes Tactic • Nigerians Have Decided To Win This War, Says Okupe in the last four days betray unofficial truce, especially as political gladiators, including President Goodluck Jonathan, now speak in measured language over the Boko Haram attacks. The President had commended Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, former Head of State and APC leader, as well as Asiwaju
Ahmed Tinubu over their latest comments condemning the insurgency. Confirming this, the presidency, yesterday, said that the Nigerian elite, irrespective of their political leanings, is beginning to recognise threat to national security. Dr Doyin Okupe, the senior special adviser to President
Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, in a telephone conversation, said the “responses of major stakeholders is quite encouraging,” even as the PDP, yesterday, applauded the political class for uniting against terrorism. “ It is becoming crystal clear that, perhaps, for the first time in our history, Nigerian politi-
45 Die In Nasarawa Communal Clash •As Gov’s Re-election Bid Stirs Controversy From Msugh Ityokura, Lafia ENEWED communal clash R between the Eggon and Gwandere ethnic nationalities in Igga, Nasarawa Eggon
Local Council Area of Nasarawa State at the weekend, claimed 45 lives. The Director of Press to the Governor, Illiyasu Yakubu, however, confirmed 35 deaths.
Although the two ethnic nationalities were said to be fighting over a piece of land, political pundits alleged that Governor Umaru Tanko AlMakura’s re-election bid was at the heart of the tussle. The latest communal clash is
said to have political undertone, given the insistence of the Eggon that Al-Makura should shelve his second term ambition, having promised to pave way for the Eggon people that gave him massive support CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
cal elite have come to recognise threat to national security,” he said. Dr Okupe, who buttressed his argument with what, according to him, transpired at the expanded National Security Council (NSC) meeting, disclosed that Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State expressed remorse and pledged to work with the Federal Government on security in the Northeast. He also stressed that former military President, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and APC leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu re-echoed the need for a collective fight against terrorism in line with Dr. Tom Ikimi’s (another APC leader) gospel of peace during his 70th birthday in Benin City on Friday. “The unanimity and the gen-
‘Nigeria To Optimise Geo-Spatial Information For National Security’ NEWS 2
Lagos APC Returns Ajomale, As Governor’s Adviser Emerges In Yobe NEWS 3
PDP Hails Political Class For Uniting Against Terrorism BUSINESS 26
Confusion, As Govt Dithers On New Auto Policy
CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
APC STATE CONGRESS: Cross section of the APC members in Oyo State contesting executive positions in the State Congresses which took place across the country yesterday at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba Ibadan. PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM
2 | NEWS Sunday, April 27, 2014
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NEWS ‘Nigeria To Optimise Geo-Spatial Information For National Security’ From Nkechi Onyedika, Abuja HE Surveyor General of the T Federation, (SOGOF), Prof Peter Nwilo, has stressed the
He pointed out that the Surveying Coordination map was last reviewed in 1973, stressing that so many developments have taken place, hence the need to bring the Act in tandem with modern
technological realities. On the continuous clash between Fulani herdsmen and some communities, Nwilo observed that the federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is trying
to create a more permanent grazing routes across the country. He noted that Nigeria used to have over 400 grazing routes all over the country but that only about 40 were gazetted.
Nwilo, who stated that most of the previous grazing routes were converted into housing estates, said: “That is part of what put the country in the condition it is today. A sub committee is already working
to see how we can correct the issue. Government’s thinking is that wherever you have grazing ground, you will have industries like milk industries, abattoirs, and storage facilities.”
need for the country to optimise the use of geo-spatial information and intelligence in addressing the present insecurity problems. Briefing journalists in Abuja, at the weekend, Nwilo said that military intelligence is hinged on map and geo-spatial information, stressing that it cannot be done effectively without imageries. “We need optimisation of the geo-spatial information as it is very useful to the military and the Police because you can use geo-spatial information to monitor crime. You have to combine your statistics with geo-spatial information. The problem is that we have not optimally used,” he said. On whether such technology could be used to trace the location of the abducted schoolgirls, Nwilo said, “ It is possible to track the location of the abducted children using imageries if they are put together or if there is a metal within the place they are kept. But where you have a forest, it is more difficult; you then need to use other methods. Nwilo noted that his office is currently working to review the Surveying Coordination Act to include the use of Unmanned Aircraft adding that government needs to put in place a policy to regulate the use of unmanned air- Editor, The Guardian Newspaper Limited, Martin Oloja (left); Managing Director, Emeka Ezeze; bride’s mother, Mrs. Sylvia Esajere; couple , Timi and Veno; bride’s father, Akpo Esajere during planes. the wedding ceremony of Timi and Veno in Lagos… yesterday.
Gov’s Re-election Bid Stirs Controversy CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 in 2011. Governor Al-Makura is of the Gwandere extraction, while former minister of state for the federal capital territory, senator Solomon Ewuga, is Eggon. The two men have been embroiled in heated political differences following, which senator Ewuga decamped from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party with his supporters. Professor Gyewade, while speaking with journalists in Lafia, insisted that the kind of politics Al-Makura is playing is alien to the people of the state, hence the series of
Lagos APC Returns Ajomale, As Governor’s Adviser Emerges In Yobe
crises recorded within his tenure with the heightened ten- By Kamal Tayo Oropo (Lagos) sion in the volatile state. and Njadvara Musa “When I said Doma was not (Maiduguri) coming back, people thought I was joking, but, today, all that is HE Lagos State chapter of history and it is the same way Althe All Progressives Makura is going and the same Congress (APC) yesterday fate that befell Doma will befall returned its interim state him,” said the ex- deputy gover- chairman, Chief Henry nor who berated Taal, as the Ajomale as the substantive governor is popularly called by chairman of the party in the his admirers, for not doing state. enough to tame the orgy of vioAjomale alongside 34 other lence in the state. executives of the party, were Serious fighting, according to elected through an affirmative security sources, was still going voice-votes from the 2,105 on as at the time of filling this accredited delegates for the report; even as the state gover- party’s congress. nor was in Abuja on national Though, two candidates were assignment. reported to have step-down The state’s Police Public for Ajomale, the congress was, Relations Officer (PPRO), Umar however, devoid of any vioIsmaila, said security has been lence or dissenting voice. beefed up to contain the crisis. Some corpses, according to security sources, are yet to be recovered from the bush; an indication that the death tolls could rise in the following days. Several others, who sustained CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 injuries, were taken to different hospitals in the affected council eral concensus of purpose and it’s environs. from the proceedings of the An eyewitness, who simply expanded National Security gave his name as Ombuga, told Council meeting clearly The Guardian that sophisticated shows that there is a meeting weapons, including AK 47 rifles, point among government, were used in the fight. the PDP and other opposition parties,” Okupe said. “Even the governor of Adamawa, who seems to have stirred the hornet’s nest with his memos, was remorseful and pledged to work with the Federal Government for security. “I was in Benin for the celebration of Tom Ikimi’s 70th
Notable members of the caretaker committee returned by the congress include Cardinal James Odumbaku, (deputy chairman) Joe Igbokwe (Publicity Secretary) among others, while former Commissioner for Establishment, Chief (Mrs) Kemi Nelson, led the pack of other new entrants elected into the party’s executive. The Yobe State chapter of the party also elected a 35-member State Executive through a “consensus” involving 900 delegates, including the governor, from 178 wards in the state. Alhaji Mai Mala Buni, emerged the party chairman at the hall of Damaturu Cultural Centre. Buni was the immediate special adviser to Gov. Ibrahim
Gaidam on political and legislative matters before emerging as state chairman of APC in the state. Former governor of the state; Sen. Bukar Abba Ibrahim, who moved the motion for the adoption of all the candidates for the election, informed the delegates that all the stakeholders were involved in the consensus process of electing the 35-member state executives. Meanwhile, former Lagos State governor, Senator Bola Tinubu, speaking through former Minister of State for Defence, Mr. Demola Seriki, urged members not to defect from the party, stressing the need for them to work together to ensure APC success in 2015 elections.
Stressing the need for hard work and commitment on the part of the party leaders in ensuring that APC wins in 2015, especially in Lagos State, Seriki urged the newly elected state executives and those who lost out during the contest to work with all party members for success of the party. He described the motion as a “big responsibility with few words of expression.” His motion was seconded by the Speaker of the Yobe State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adamu Dala Dogo. In his keynote address at the congress, Gaidam expressed happiness over the maturity expressed by the stakeholders and describe them as “law-abiding.”
Nigerians Have Decided To Win This War, Says Okupe birthday. In his speech, he preached the same gospel, saying that this (security challenge in the Northeast) is a national matter. This was echoed by Asiwaju, Gen Babangida and others. “The observation is that Nigerians of all classes and political leaning have agreed to come together and give support to the President. It has been decided that this is a war that Nigerians have decided that we must win,” said Okupe. Okupe’s declaration came on the heels of plea by a Chieftain of the APC, Senator Annie
Okonkwo, asking politicians to close ranks, stage a collective fight against insurgency and rescue the over 100 schoolgirls still in Boko Haram captivity. In a chat with The Guardian at the weekend, the former Senator said: “Sometimes, I wonder how a group of people could, for many years, continue to hold the nation to ransom. The Biafran War ended within 30 months and everybody came together and we became one. Since Nigerians came together to fight the civil war, why can’t
we come together now to fight Boko Haram once and for all? It is so embarrassing, and it is not good for our nation,” the Senator advised. “Insecurity in Nigeria,’ Annie Okonkwo pleaded, “is what everybody must put hands on deck to resolve. Whether you are APC or PDP, no party is happy with the way Boko Haram terrorises the country. You don’t know who would be the next victim. Boko Haram doesn’t spare people, whether they are Muslims or Christians. So, we must unite to fight the insurgents.” MORE ON COVER, PAGE 18
Sunday, April 27, 2014 3
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NEWS Utomi Tasks Youths On Economy By Kenechukwu Ezeonyejiaku OUTHS remain agents for Y turnaround in any nation’s fortunes, says Prof. Pat Utomi of the Lagos Business School. Delivering a lecture at the RAGE Summit, a youth empowerment programme organised by The Capstone Church, Yaba, Lagos, Utomi said: “One of the challenges that Nigeria needs to realise now is that it is the young that will save it. Young people see more clearly the possibilities and it is their future that we have to contend with. They have the power to see more clearly and wherever this happens, the youths have the obligation to play a rescue role. We need to overcome the challenges of the old recycling themselves and making decisions that affect the youths.”
Chairman, Cutix Plc, Engr. David Ifezulike (left); Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo; Anambra State Commissioner for Special Duties, Engr. Nobert Obi, and a guest, during the commissioning of Cutix power plant in Nnewi...yesterday.
APC Holds Congress In Kogi, Ogun, Enugu From John Akubo and Timothy Kolawole (Kogi), Charles Coffie Gyamfi (Abeokuta), Chairman of the Kogi State Lawrence Njoku (Enugu) and congress committee, Dr. Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu (Benin City) Saa’du Ayinla Alanamu, said
Exercise Postponed In Edo
HE Kogi State chapter of the T All Progressives Congress (APC) held a peaceful state congress with consensus still holding sway.
the event was very peaceful. He said: “From the look of things, the APC is already on ground. You can see that from the turnout of the people. And
not only this place, when you go to every nook and cranny of Kogi State since the beginning of congresses, you will find out that APC is not only winning but also on ground. “The unity in the party will make it win elections in the
state without controversy. We had some problems here and there but the committee has done justice to them. We have not satisfied everybody but the majority of the people are satisfied with the committee.” The Old Stadium Road leading to the venue was barri-
PDP Hails Political Class For Uniting Against Terrorism From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja HE Peoples Democratic Party T (PDP) has applauded the nation’s political leaders for uniting against terrorism, irrespective of differences in party affiliations. PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement yesterday described the development as unprecedented in contemporary history, adding that it “has restored the confidence reposed in the political class to provide leadership direction for the nation.” Stating that this is the only way to move the nation forward, the PDP said “in uniting, the political leaders not only rekindled the spirit of oneness among Nigerians but also revived the faith in the Nigerian project which were hitherto threatened by unhealthy dissensions.” “Our political class has shown their commitment to the unity and greatness of our dear country. They have shamed doomsday prophets who relentlessly
work against our unity by not only stoking the fires of hatred and dissensions but also by predicting disaster and countless negatives against our dear country. Their coming together to present a common front not only speaks volumes to the citizenry regarding the unity of the nation but sends very strong message to those behind acts of terrorism and violence in our land,” the statement said. The party also commended
President Jonathan for his untiring efforts in the fight against terrorism even as it noted the successful National Security Council meeting, which created the platform for unity among the political leaders. Calling on Nigerians to remain vigilant and continue to stand against actions that encourage violence and terrorism, the party said “the challenges facing the nation are transitory and cannot defeat the collec-
tive spirit of the Nigerian people and their proven determination to live as one.” “The PDP believes in Nigeria and Nigerians. We believe that our country will emerge out of these challenges a renewed, stronger and more united Nigeria. The time has therefore come for all citizens to look ahead and join hands in love to build a prosperous country where all will live in peace and unity irrespective of ethnic, religious and political differ-
caded by police vans. In Ogun State, the two factions within the party held parallel congresses. Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s faction held its own congress at an open space behind the M.K.O Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta while former governor, Chief Segun Osoba’s faction held its own at Kidot “O”Hall located at Quarry Road, Abeokuta. In Enugu, former members of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) dominated in the new leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that emerged at the state congress of the party held in Enugu yesterday. At a well-attended congress held at the party secretariat, members unanimously elected former senatorial candidate of ACN in the last election, Dr Ben Nwoye, as state chairman, while another ACN staunch member, Major Gen. Chris Eze, emerged secretary of the party in the state.
‘How Moral, Ethical Failure Undermine Nigeria’s Devt’ From Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos PROFESSOR of Sociology, Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Reconciliation Studies, Bethel University, Minnesota, United States of America (USA), Samuel Zalanga, has identified the challenge facing Nigeria and Africa as that of moral and ethical failure, arguing that the failure in Africa is part
of a broader degeneration in morality and ethics. Zalanga, who delivered a distinguished alumni lecture to the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Jos yesterday at the ASUU Secretariat, Naraguta campus of the institution, said the failure is worse in Africa because it has taken place where old institutions have been destroyed while new and effective ones have
not developed to substitute them. The topic of his lecture is, ‘The Fragile Dignity of Humanity and the Disappearance of Human: Neo-liberalism and the Suspension of the Ethical in the Struggle for National Development.’ According to him, “The most scary thing about this moral and ethical failure and hope-
lessness in the Nigerian context is that many people trust in religion as the solution or panacea of the nation’s or continent’s problems. Yet, from the perspective of a careful observer, empirical evidence about the role of religion in contributing to nation-building, national and human development in the past 50 years is a terrible failure as measured by the claims of the religions.”
Boko Haram: Borno’s Health System Still Operational, Says Commissioner HE Borno State governT ment has denied allegation by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) that healthcare services have collapsed in the North-East, due to the activities of insurgents, reports the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). The state’s commissioner for health, Dr Salma Kolo, told newsmen yesterday in Maiduguri, that the allega-
tion is untrue. Kolo said that no health facility has been closed down in the state due, to the Boko Haram insurgency. “I wish to state categorically that no healthcare facility has been closed down in the state, in spite of the insurgency. All the four general hospitals at the state capital are working effectively, so also are the public health facilities in the 27 local govern-
ment areas of the state.” The commissioner, however, admitted that although, some health facilities were threatened in the past, they were never closed. Kolo said: “It is true that some facilities were threatened in the past, especially those involved in the child immunisation programme. We have been able to forge ahead without closing them; our efforts have paid off as we have succeeded
in preventing the spread of wild poliovirus in the state. Let me say without fear of contradiction, that Borno State has not witnessed any new case of wild polio since the beginning of the year.” She said that the government decided to introduce new methods of distributing immunisation materials after receiving threats of attacks from suspected insurgents.
The commissioner said: “We decided to decentralise the distribution of materials among areas to make it easier for immunisation workers to get supplies without hitches.” The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that a report by NEMA on Thursday, said that insurgents had brought the health system to a “total collapse” in most local government areas of Borno.
UKEAS Set For 6th Int’l Education Exhibition NE of the leading educaO tional advisory organisations in Nigeria, the United Kingdom Education Advisory Service (UKEAS), is set to bring representatives from over 50 UK Universities and colleges to Nigeria and Ghana for an International Education fair. The fair will hold on April 29 in Abuja and on May 1 in Lagos before moving on to Ghana for the Accra event on May 3. The aim of the event is to provide prospective students who are desirous of an international education and degree with the opportunity to meet face to face with representatives of these universities and get all their questions about studying in the UK answered. It affords all participants the opportunity to have a one-onone discussion with the university representatives and even the possibility of getting on-the-spot admission offers from these international institutions if all academic qualifications are adequate. Meanwhile, an official delegation from Swansea University, one of the top universities in the United Kingdom, is already in Nigeria for the fair. A statement from the university described the visit as a “perfect opportunity to meet and speak to talented students who wish to study in the UK, because we recognize the high calibre of Nigerian students choosing to study with us. Swansea University offers opportunities for world class learning and we are glad to be able to help train Nigerian students to become future leaders.” The delegation was led by a Senior Lecturer, Dr Andrew Iwobi from the College of Law who will also be meeting the law graduates at UKEAS Education Fair in Abuja on April 29 and potential LLM offer holders are encouraged to see him for more advice. “There are a number of ways to access information on international education and one of the best ways is to have a one-on-one discussion with the UK Universities themselves.”
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‘Don’t Rescue Abducted School Girls With Force’ From Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief HE Federal Government should set up a committee of Islamic scholars and leaders to dialogue with insurgents in order to end terrorism in the North, said leader of the Northern Civil Society Coalition and President of Civil Rights Congress (CRC), Mallam Shehu Sani. Sani also advised President Jonathan not to use force in securing the release of the
two hundred female students from Chibok, Borno State being held by Boko Haram insurgents, saying such move would endanger their lives. In a statement issued in Kaduna yesterday, Sani said, “the abduction of the over two hundreds girls from Chibok is not the first time girls or children were abducted by the insurgents. As a nation, we simply hesitated to take preventive action when it happened earlier in other schools until Chibok happened in a larger scale.”
NATIONAL According him, “we have failed as a nation to protect ourselves, and end the insurgency, and now we have failed our children. Each day spent by the Chibok girls and other children held in the custody of the insurgents, our heart bleeds and our spirit is chained. “Our future generation has become innocent victims of the ineptitude, docility and infamy of the present generation. We have failed to provide
for our young ones a worthy future and now we are denying them the opportunity to live a free life. “The Chibok girls and other children in the custody of the insurgents can be freed, should be freed and will be freed. The use of force or the threat of the use of force to free them can only lead to a tragic outcome by putting the lives of the innocent children we failed in greater danger.” Sani argued: “If the nation had taken serious lessons from earlier brigandage by
the insurgents, we would not have been talking of the use of force to free our children. For over three years, the insurgents have been burning schools, killing teachers and abducting children. Why did our outrage wait until Chibok? “The use of force or threat of the use of force is not meant to free the children of Chibok but to save the face of our security forces, the government and the nation. The children of Chibok are clearly hostages and any attempt to free them
Hon. Akeem Sulaiman, chairman, Bariga LG (left); chairman conference of LG chairmen, the Onitedo Oba Tajudeen Afolabi Elomoro; Akinwunmi Ambode, former Accountant General of Lagos State; Onibeju of Ibeju Land, Oba (Dr.) Rafiu Olusegun Bamidele Salami; Onimedu Oba Hamzat Atiku during a visit to the royal fathers by Akinwunmi Ambode.
Don’t Politicise Daramola’s Death, Ekiti Monarch Warns From Muyiwa Adeyemi (Head South West Bureau, Ado Ekiti) PROMINENT traditional ruler in Ekiti State and the Onijan of Ijan Ekiti, Oba Oyewole Fadahunsi, has decried
EKITI the politicisation of the death of a prominent son of the town, Dr Ayodeji Daramola by politicians in their struggle for the June 21 governorship
94,926 Students Registered For 2014 Unity Schools’ Exams – NECO From Kanayo Umeh, Abuja TOTAL of 94,926 candidates registered for this year’s National Common Entrance Examination into Federal Government Unity Colleges and Federal Science and Technical Colleges nationwide. The Registrar, National Examinations Council (NECO), Prof. Promise Okpala, disclosed this yesterday while monitoring the conduct of the examination in centres within Abuja. He said that Lagos State topped the list with 26,826 registered candidates, followed by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with 18,726. While saying that Adamawa State has the highest number of registered candidates for the examination in the North East with 318 candidates, Prof. Okpala revealed that Yobe, Zamfara and Borno States kept the rear with 176, 113 and 218 candidates respectively. According to him: “This year,
NATIONAL we are examining about 94,926 candidates as against 88, 444 last year. There is improvement in the enrolment. It shows among other things the public confidence in the kind of educational services provided by the Federal Unity Schools. Teaching and learning and the kind of environment where our children are kept appear to be better to the conviction of parents. The increase in enrolment may lead to increase in the number of classrooms, increase the number of teachers and increase the number of laboratories indefinitely.” Speaking to journalists while also monitoring the examination, the Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Director Basic and Secondary education, Barr. Chike Uwaezuoke, revealed that candidates who pass the examination would be subjected to another test.
election. Oba Fadahunsi, who described the assassination of the former World Bank consultant as a colossal loss to the people of his community and the state in general, warned that such a grievous and sensitive issue should not be used as an instrument of politics. He made the statement in Ado Ekiti yesterday while reacting to media report that he had absolved former Governor Ayodele Fayose of complicity in the assassination of the former Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP) governorship aspirant. Daramola was killed by suspected assassins in his Ijan Ekiti country home in August 14, 2006 during the Fayose-led government. Oba Oyewole said that he has no power to pronounce anybody innocent or guilty and that only a court of competent jurisdiction could rule on the matter. He said that he has neither given Fayose a clean bill of health in the matter nor indicted him since the case is pending in court.
The monarch said, “It will be subjudice at this level for me to pronounce judgement on a matter that is pending in court. I neither said Fayose had no hands in Daramola’s death nor indicted him of being responsible, as such statements could be contemptuous. “What I said in the interview was very clear and unambiguous. I said Fayose owed the people of Ijan Ekiti and the state at large explanations on what led to Daramola’s death as chief security officer of the state at that time.
Election Tribunal Delivers First Ruling From Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos
HE Plateau State Local Government Elections Petition Tribunal has delivered its first ruling since it began sitting. This was followed by pre-hearing of written addresses in respect to two other petitions all in connection with councillorship tussles. The ruling was on a petition filed by Tanko Adamu and others against Mohammed Gero who was returned as councilorelect for Jom Ward in Kanam local government council. The petitioner through his counsel, Friday Shaibu, had challenged the election of the respondent on the grounds of requisite qualifications to vie for that office among others. During the preliminary hear-
ing, counsel to the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Sunday Sunny Odey and Lawrence Anyia, in their written addresses challenged the petition through preliminary objections seeking the throwing out of the petition for lack of merits and lack of jurisdiction on the part of the tribunal to entertain the matter. When the ruling came yesterday, the tribunal, after considering all arguments and submissions of counsel against both preliminary objections held that it had jurisdiction to entertain the petition in view of the fact that the return of the respondent as elected is being challenged on the grounds of qualifications.
The tribunal fortified its position by provisions of Section 100 (a) of the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission’s (PLASIEC) Law 2011. It held that even though Section 21 (5) and (6) of the same law empowers any person to challenge the qualifications of the candidate in an election, the same law restricts the right to question the qualifications of a candidate in an election. On the second issue, the tribunal held that the defects complained of are irregularities which can be resolved by an amendment and that in reaching the decisions, the tribunal is also guided by relevant sections of the PLASIEC law and accordingly refused the preliminary objections and also dismissed same.
Protest Over ‘Unpaid Retirement Benefits’ NATIONAL From Ann Godwin, Port Harcourt
ISMISSED employees of D the defunct Risonpalm Nigerian Limited in Rivers State have protested nonpayment of their retirement benefits. About 300 workers of the palm oil producing company were laid off in 2010 when the firm collapsed and was sold by the State Government to SIAT Nigeria Limited, the new management. Grieved by the development, the disengaged workers have threatened to shut down the new company if the state government fails to intervene within two weeks. Head of the group, Jude Woka, who led the peaceful protest to Government House, Port Harcourt, regretted that the state government has turned deaf ears to their pleas. He alleged that of N5b owed the workers, only N165 million was paid. “The non-payment of outstanding retirement benefits has brought untold hardship to the disengaged workers of the defunct Risonpalm. Over 100 of us have died while about 30 persons are critically ill and there is no hope for them. We have informed the company of our plight, having made several efforts to ensure that the entitlements owed us is paid. Honestly, we are running out of patience,” he said. Reacting, Chief of Staff to the State Government, Tony Okocha, assured that government would rise to the situation, stressing that it would be unfair to abandon the workers.
Rosicrucian Order, AMORC Holds Public Symposium LAGOS PUBLIC symposium with A the theme, “One World Religion – Is It Attainable?” organised by the Lagos zone of the Rosicrucian Order (AMORC) comes up on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja, Lagos, at 9am prompt. Speakers at the one-day event include Dr. Douglas Anele, Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of Lagos; Mr. R.T.B. Akinbile, Master Interfaith Network Project, Ibadan, Professor Sophie Oluwole of the School of Communication, Lagos State University and Professor John Idiodi, Professor of Solid State Physics in the Department of Physics, University of Benin.
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JTB Preaches inter-Agency Relationship, Communication For Performance From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City HE Joint Tax Board (JTB) at the weekend in Benin City, Edo State called for cooperation between tax authorities and other government agencies for effective implementation of the personal income tax. Acting chairman of the Board, Kabir Mashi stated this during the 129th meeting of board hosted by the Edo State. Mashi also commended Edo State Government and other states that have given autonomy to their Revenue Boards
and improved funding from government, insisting that Nigeria as member of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of information for tax purposes and a signatory to the multilateral convention on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters, has international obligations relating to exchange of information. He noted that the country would be unable to discharge these international obligations if we do not have a proper framework within
EDO which to locally share and utilise information among ourselves.” Relatedly, Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Pius Odubu called for the exchange of quality information among various tax authorities in the country, saying that such information would help to track down terrorists and their sponsors in the country. With the theme, ‘imperative of Exchange of information Among Tax Authorities,’ Odubu said the import of ex-
changing information among tax authorities cannot be overemphasized, especially as it relates to the curtailment of tax evasion, money laundering and other financial crimes. He said, “with the current security challenges in the country, exchange of quality information among the various tax authorities will in no small manner help in tracking potential terrorists and their financiers, who sometimes hide under the guise of providing humanitarian services while busy funding terror and organise violence across the nation.”
The Executive Chairman of the Edo State Board of internal Revenue, Oseni Elamah in his remarks, regretted that the multiplicity of taxes and levies imposed on tax payers in various states has continued to be a major disincentive to the growth of economies at the state and national levels. “The tax authorities, therefore, have a responsibility to ensure that tax administration at all levels of government is carried out in a transparent manner and in accordance with statutory provision, so, as to safe guard the integrity of the tax sys-
Senate Leader Lifts Communities in Cross River With N7b Projects From Anioetie Akpan, Calabar ORRiED by the dearth of W infrastructure in his senatorial district, Senate
Coordinator, Living Legend Series, Olu Ajayi (middle ) flanked by students of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, at the opening ceremony of Wole Soyinka @ 80 Life Painting Exhibition, which was held at the Centre for Arts and Culture (CAC), Abeokuta, Ogun State. PhOtO, ChARLES OKOLO
Varsities To Run Courses in Herbal Medicine, Vacancies Exist in FHi, Says Health Minister From Gordi Udeajah Umuahia NDiCATiON has emerged that the study of herbal medicine will soon commence in the nation’s universities. Health Minister, Prof. Onyebuchukwu Chukwu, gave this hint in Umuahia, Abia State at the weekend while fielding questions from newsmen. Saying herbal medicines could be effective on some illness, Chukwu called on producers of herbal medicines that claim their product can cure any disease to approach the National Agency for Food
and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for analysis and certification of such product, saying that soon herbal medicine will be a course of study in Nigerian universities.” interacted with management and workers of the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, the Minister announced that there are job vacancies in Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Nguru and University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital both in Borno State. Chukwu consequently advised those seeking employment in Federal Government
ABIA Health institutions to approach the hospitals, adding that Federal Government controls about 60 health institutions located in different parts of the country. Warning against the employment of non-fully qualified personnel in the health institutions, he insisted that
Atere Raises Hope Of A Better Nigeria HE Bishop, Diocese of T Awori (Anglican Communion), Rt. Rev. Johnson Akin Atere, has expressed
Nwilo Urges Govt To Manage National Security Using Geo-Spatial information From Nkechi Onyedika, Abuja HE Surveyor General of the Federation (SOGOF), Prof Peter Nwilo, has stressed the need for the country to optimise the use of geo-spatial information and intelligence to address the present insecurity problems in the country. Briefing journalists on the activities of his office at the weekend in Abuja, Nwilo said that Military intelligence is hinged on map and geo-spatial information, stressing that military intelligence cannot be carried out without maps and imageries. “We need optimisation of the
ABUJA geo-spatial information as it is very useful to the military and the police because you can use it to monitor crime. You have to combine your statistics with geo-spatial information,” he said. On whether such technology could be used to trace the location of the abducted school girls, Nwilo said, “it is possible to track the location of the abducted children using imageries if they are put together or if there is a metal within the place they are kept, but where you have a forest, it is more dif-
applicants must be subjected to rigorous interviews to ensure their qualifications. According to the Minister, meeting the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) has been slow partly due to the slow pace of the National Health insurance Scheme, adding that Nigeria cannot have effective UHC without putting in the right standards in place.”
Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba has released N7 billion for various projects, which include the upgrade of infrastructure. The projects, which include roads, dam, erosion control works and schools are scattered in Yakurr, Obubra, Abi, ikom, Boki and Etung local council area that make up the Senate leader’s district. Chatting with some newsmen in Batriko at he weekend after inspecting and commissioning of some of the projects, Ndoma-Egba said all the projects started from 2007 to date. Commending the quality of projects by the contractors, the Senator said, “most communities in my constituency have problems of portable water, but with the intervention of different government ministries, departments and agencies communities in idomi, Apiapum, Ediba, Mpkani, Ogada, Akam and Akparabong that never had water for years can now enjoy it. “i am looking forward to the time every community in the Central Senatorial District will have portable water.”
ficult, you then need to use other methods.” SOGOF boss noted that his office is currently working on the review of Surveying Coordination Act to include the use of unmanned aircrafts, adding that government needs to put in place a policy to regulate the use of unmanned aircrafts He pointed out that the surveying coordination map was last reviewed in 1973, stressing that so many developments have taken place, hence the need to bring the Act in tandem with modern technological realities.
confidence of a better country if every Nigerian would emulate Jesus Christ by living in peace and harmony, even in the face of provocation and by always standing for the truth. He made this remark his during Easter sermon titled, ‘The Risen Christ Will Come Again’, which was held at the Cathedral of St. James, Ota, Ogun State. The Bishop said the ongoing insurgency across the nation will soon be over and that Nigeria will emerge as a country that will be envy of other nations if only Nigerians could be tolerant of one another. He said that to have peace, every Nigerian must be prepared to make sacrifices, noting that Jesus made peace through His blood on the cross.
“Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace and all Christians must have the desires to witness love and peace, which Christ made through His blood on the cross to reconcile mankind to God. Atere, however, regretted that instead of the nation’s leaders to emulate Christ by showing love and care to everyone, they have allowed corruption to eat deep into the fabrics of the Nigerian society, turning themselves to promoters and sponsors of violence, kidnapping and killings. He called on government to find ways to release the abducted schoolgirls in Borno State, as well as making life more meaningful for Nigerians by improving their welfare through gainful employment and provision of social amenities.
NEWS We Stand On Zoning PDP By Ayoyinka Jegede, Uyo
KWA ibom State chapter A of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has zoned the governorship position in Akwa ibom State for 2015 to Eket Senatorial District. This was contained in a communiqué read early this morning by the State PDP Chairman, Obong Paul Ekpo at the end of the State executive and stakeholder’s meeting held at the banquet hall in Uyo. Ekpo explained that the 10 Federal Constituencies, the Party State Working Committee, Chapter Chairmen of PDP, and the body of Local Government Chairmen/ViceChairmen are in support of the decision. He added also that the decision is in pursuant of Section 7 (3) of the as Constitution Party amended in 2012. His words: “PDP stipulates adherence to the policy of the rotation and zoning of party and public elective offices in pursuance of the principle of equity, justice and fairness. “ The State PDP, however, called on President Goodluck Jonathan to call to order Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, Special Adviser to the President to desist from interfering in the affairs of the state, adding that the presidential aide’s recent visit to the state was to plant seed of discord. Ekpo urged President Jonathan to caution his aides, who are bent on causing disaffection in various states, saying that Alhaji Gulak was recently in the state to commission the Goodluck South South support Group Zonal Office. Ekpo, however, condemned in totality all forms of terrorism in the country, parrecent the ticularly bombing of innocent civilians in Nyanya, Abuja, and the abduction of innocent girls at Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Bornu State.
Book Festival To Discuss Awolowo’s Book And Photography S this year’s international Restoration Book A and Arts Festival (iRBAF) holds in ikenne, Ogun State from Tuesday, April 29 to Wednesday, May 7 one of the main features of the festival is the exhibition and discourse of Awolowo’s books and photographs. The festival, which will attract personalities, including Awolowo’s Jewel of inestimable value, Mama H.i.D Awolowo; Ogun State first lady, Mrs. Funsho Amosu; Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi; Pro. Olu Sofowora; and idowu Sofola. Others expected are Sam Omatseye, the Co-ordinating Minister for the econNgozi Mrs. omy, Okonjo-iweala, academics and students from primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. The festival will be held on two sessions 10 am to 2pm daily.
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
ABUJA For the city against the city? One of the FCT’s ‘constructed’ parks
PHOTOS: ITUNU AJAYI
Residents Hail Suspension Of Controversial Park ‘n’ Pay Policy From Itunu Ajayi, Abuja N early 2012, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), under the leadership of Bala Mohammed, introduced a park ‘n’ pay policy in prime areas, required motorists to pay for spaces utilised by their vehicles within a specified period of time. From its inception, however, the policy had been under fire from residents, who allege insensitivity on the part of persons employed by the four companies contracted to manage parking spaces. The Guardian, on Sunday, June 16, 2013, did a report on the pains experienced by FCT residents as a result of the activities of the companies in question. In the report, residents did not really bother about charges demanded by the companies. They admitted that similar practice obtained in developed countries of the world. Their grouse, however, was the unscrupulous behaviour of mangers of parking spaces. Motorists had complained of extortion and fraud in the hands of officials who clamp vehicle tyres for dubious reasons, thereby forcing motorists to pay fines amounting to thousands of naira. They accused them of deliberately surcharging people through a notorious tactic of hiding whenever motorists want to pay for a space. They appear afterwards, clamp the tyres and slam a N5,000 fine on the hapless driver. And should the car be towed to the office of the mangers, such motorist is asked to cough out N25,000. Another major question raised in the report was accountability with regards to revenue generated from the parking lots. Residents argued that such money could be used to provide toilets around the city to curb indiscriminate passing of urine in public places. Up till Thursday, April 17, 2014, residents who needed parking spaces were like beggars without a choice until Justice Peter Affen of the High Court in Apo ruled in a suit brought by an Abuja-based private savings and loans firm. Affen declared the park ‘n’ pay policy illegal and ordered its suspension forthwith. The plaintiff had sued the minister of the FCT, challenging the legality of the policy. Two private companies implement-
ing the policy - Integrated Parking Services Limited and Auntomaten Technik Haumann Nigeria were joined in the suit. The plaintiff had sought a declaration that the policy was illegal and not in pursuant to any Act of the National Assembly or the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC). It also sought the refund of N20, 000 collected by the third defendant, and another N100 million in exemplary damages. Delivering his judgment, Justice Peter Affen, held that though the policy might be described as “excellent”, it, however, lacked the backing of the law. In granting the reliefs sought by the plaintiff, the judge declared that the scheme was illegal, null and void, and ordered its immediate stoppage. The Guardian went out again to gauge the pulse of residents towards the suspension of the policy. Many people said they are surprised that government thinks it can force decisions down the throat of the people. According to them, policy makers should know that the times are changing and Nigerians are becoming wiser. Adeola Jones told The Guardian that policy makers in Nigeria are merely interested in copying programmes from overseas without putting in place structures for sound implementation. “It’s funny, isn’t it? We want to be like those countries out there. Yes they pay for parking spaces, but you can’t beat the social amenities put in place from the proceeds of the scheme. For over two years now, what has the FCTA done with the money it has taken from the people? Is there an account for such money? We are talking corruption here! $20m does not have to grow wings before we cry out. A N100 here, a N100
there, we think it is small, but at the end of the day it is actually something. Have you sat down to calculate what these companies make daily, and yet we cannot see anything being done with the money. For me, they should even be made to refund monies to all motorists surcharged in the last two years. It is good riddance to bad rubbish,” he said. He was not done: “If Nigeria wants to copy overseas countries,” he said, “let our government put in place things that would be of benefit to the people. That is why an American would say, ‘God bless America’. The FCTA did not even construct parking spaces. It is collecting money on existing roads and yet it cannot provide social amenities from the proceeds. If it had built parking spaces, we would have said, ‘okay, maybe they are trying to recoup money spent on construction.’ No! This is just free money for them. And for me, they must vomit it. N100 cannot kill anyone who can afford to drive a car in Abuja; one could even give such to a beggar. But the way government is robbing Nigerians blind in broad daylight is no longer acceptable.” Dr Ferguson Tobins, a lecturer at the University of Abuja, is of the view that the policy was a good one that brought sanity to parking within the metropolis. He, however, noted that the activities of persons charged with managing the parking spaces, have been inimical to residents. He advised the FCTA to adopt plans that would give the policy a human face, and also set up structures for accountability. “I feel unhappy about it because they took advantage of the
CONTINUED ON PAGE 7
The suspension of the policy is a welcome development. Most times, after we have parked, we begin to look for them to take their money, but you will not find them. They will hide somewhere and allow you to move away from your vehicle, then come and clamp the tyre, forcing you to pay a fine of N5,000. They would not even listen to your plea that the fine be reduced. They are troubling people; they should be stopped totally. They should be made to account for all the money they have collected so far.
THE GUARDIAN ww.ngrguardiannews.com
Sunday, April 27, 2014
‘FCT’s Parking Space Initiative Lacked A Human Face’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6
A lady also told a story of how her baby ran high temperature throughout the night. As she took the child to the hospital in the morning, she had to stop by an ATM to make a withdrawal. Before she returned, however, her tyre had been clamped. All her explanations fell on the deaf ears of the park manager.
people and tasked them unnecessarily. They don’t tell you the implication of not returning before the expiration of the ticket you purchased. If you exceed a ticket time of 30 minutes by as little as three minutes, they will clamp your tyre. Anything could have been responsible for your not finishing your mission within the 30 minutes you paid for, but they would refuse to listen and then force you to pay N5,000. This is wrong. There is no proper arrangement or rules of engagement. It was just arbitrary, collecting money from people and not accounting for it. The FCT should come up with a defined way of handling this thing. The policy is a good thing, but there should be a clear outline on how things should be. N100 is not a big deal, but the way they are behaving is what puts people off,” he said. Mrs. Titilayo Adetifa also faulted the modus operandi of the companies. She said she had fallen prey to the park managers, resulting in the loss of precious man-hours. “The policy is good,” she said. “After all, we see these things abroad. But the way the people managing the parking lots were carrying on portrayed Nigeria as a country where anything goes. But times are changing. For two days, they wasted my time after towing my car to their office. Imagine, if I was under the employ of someone. I am sure no boss would give his staff such hours off, simply because the staff’s car was towed away. They kept directing me to and fro. It was so frustrating. And again, let them account for the money. Enough of corruption in high places! We are tired! If they cannot show us what they have done with the money, then the policy should remain cancelled.” Boro Christopher said that the managers did well at the inception of the policy but eventually became unrealistic. He said the total cancellation of the policy might result in chaos in parking arrangements in the FCT. “Basically, they were organised initially,” he said. “There was a time when everywhere was clumsy and people parked indiscriminately. Motorists engaged in unwholesome activities on the road. When these people came, they brought sanity
and people became orderly. But at a point, they started using the policy to exploit people. When you park your car, you won’t see them around to collect the money from you. But as soon as you leave, they will come around and clamp your tyre. And sometimes, after paying for maybe 30 minutes, and you delay for two to three minutes before returning, your tyre would be clamped, and you will have to pay heavily. This is simply taking advantage of people. I am hoping that there would be a way of regulating the process so that the people involved would do the right thing. A total cancellation would cause problems on the road. This is Abuja and things have to be in order. If it happens abroad, why can’t it work here? The FCTA has succeeded in creating jobs for semiskilled people and secondary school leavers, but the issue of accountability has to be taken seriously.” In the words of Ayo Adams, “the suspension of the policy is a welcome development. Most times, after we have parked, we begin to look for them to take their money, but you will not find them. They will hide somewhere and allow you to move away from your vehicle, then come and clamp the tyre, forcing you to pay a fine of N5,000. They would not even listen to your plea that the fine be reduced. They are troubling people; they should be stopped totally. They should be made to account for all the money they have collected so far. I even heard in the news this morning that they are trying to lobby lawmakers so that the policy
In Whose Interest? A signpost showing various parking charges and fines would continue. But the lawmakers should understand that they won’t be lawmakers for life, so if the FCT administration succeeds in lobbying the legislators that are there today, they should be ready to continue to lobby the House every time there is a set of new lawmakers. The policy is not helping the people; it should remain cancelled.” Chris Eyo faulted the calibre of people recruited by the companies to manage the parking spaces, saying they behave like touts, and insult people with impunity. “The policy was a welcome development, but the way they went about the implementation made it undesirable. Because of the low calibre of people recruited to manage the parking spaces, they started behaving like touts at motor parks; they devised means of deliberately extorting money from people. They would hide while you park only to come out after you have left and clamp your tyre. It became worse by the day. So, the cancellation is welcome. The roads were built with taxpayers’ money and if any money is being generated from them, such money should be used to service the roads and put in place other social amenities.” John Chindo on his part said he was excited when he heard news of the suspension. “It was not as if the FCT provided parks for motorists where they could park and pay. It is very wrong for the administration to impose fines on areas they have no right over. They should also be held accountable for such
money. The rural areas are underdeveloped. Such money could be used to provide infrastructure for them. If the FCT can show what the money generated was used for, we might not really complain.” There was a drama around the federal secretariat about two weeks ago. A motorist had parked and looked around for the parking space managers. With no one in sight to collect money, the motorist gave a N200 note to a vendor near-by with a plea that he should forward the money to the park manager when he eventually showed up. The vendor did as he was instructed but the manager would have none of his explanation. One of the vehicle tyres was clamped. A while later, the car owner came back, pleaded and explained to the park manager, but he would not budge. It took just a phone call by the motorist. And before anyone knew what was happening, a number of soldiers had stormed the area, beat up the park manager and made away with the clamp. The motorist, as it turned out, was a military officer in mufti. A lady also told a story of how her baby ran high temperature throughout the night. As she took the child to the hospital in the morning, she had to stop by an ATM to make a withdrawal. Before she returned, however, her tyre had been clamped. All her explanations fell on the deaf ears of the park manager. For now, though, there is no cause to worry; motorists park freely in the metropolis without the former fear of park managers.
‘Everything Is Remitted To The FCDA’ (Culled from The Guardian’s report on Sunday, June 16, 2013) HE Guardian approached TWhile some of the ticket agents. some declined to com-
ment, saying they have instructions not to speak with reporters, John Halilu of Platinum Parking Management Services debunked all the allegations. He said the problem with users is that they are not patient. They hurry to park and leave without waiting to be attended, only to turn around and accuse service providers of playing hide and seek. He said that if motorists do not give specific instructions for vehicles to be ticketed after the expiration of their time, the agents have little option but to clamp the tires.
He, however, said that clamping is done after the expiration of a 15-minute grace period. He also said that vehicles are never towed to their offices without notifying the nearest police station. Halilu said: “I don’t think that is the reality; we are always around. You are a witness now. You can see our people all over the place. We have some monitoring team from the FCDA that are moving around to monitor the activities of the company.” On where the proceeds go, he said: “Everything is remitted to the FCDA because they awarded the contract, in the first place. Even when a tyre is clamped, we send the charter to the FCDA, as well. This con-
tains the details of the clamped car. Those who have to pay fines are given an account number to pay into. We don’t collect cash from them.” For the less than 10 minutes during which he spoke, he excused himself about 5 times in order to attend to motorists. And each time he came back, he was courteous, full of apologies for having to break the discussion. At the Integrated Parking Service, along Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, it took The Guardian quite some time to locate an agent. And after one had been found, he said they have instructions not to speak to anyone on their mode of operation.
THE GUARDIAN ww.ngrguardiannews.com
Sunday, April 27, 2014
When Akure Youths Protested Carnival’s Cancellation From Niyi Bello, Akure KURE, the Ondo State capital, boiled over on Thursday, A April 17, 2014, when hundreds of youths staged a violent protest over the state government’s sudden cancellation of a carnival they had organised, and for which millions of naira had already been expended. For several hours, commercial and social activities in the OjaOba central business district of the metropolis were on hold, as traders hurriedly closed their shops, and commercial vehicles withdrew from major roads, particularly the Oba Adesida/ Oyemekun roads – the main transportation artery of the city. The irate youths engaged security operatives in a free-for-all, throwing missiles at regular and anti-riot policemen drafted to disperse them. The policemen, in turn, fired rubber bullets and tear-gas canisters into the crowd, injuring many in the process. Residents also ran helter-skelter in the atmosphere of fear that enveloped the state capital. Amid the confusion, rumours that police bullets had felled some of the protesters at the Oba Nla junction, further incensed the youths, forcing the overwhelmed policemen to retreat and reinforce themselves. Security alerts were reportedly sent to drivers of government vehicles to swap their number plates and avoid flash points, as the youths vented anger on whatever was seen as having anything to do with government. Flowers along the road were uprooted. Billboards bearing the image of the governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, were completely destroyed or defaced. There were sounds of gunshots, accompanied by thick smoke from the burning of tyres around the palace of the monarch, the Deji of Akure, and the City Hall, the venue for the carnival. The youths claimed they were irked by the sudden stoppage of the carnival, which had been slated for the Easter holiday. They said the cancellation was done without ample reason from the state government and security agencies, which earlier had both given a nod to the event. The placard-carrying youths alleged that there was political undertone to the cancellation “by a government that has lost all hints of credibility and respect.” Before all hell was let loose, colourfully dressed youths had begun arriving Akure City Hall, as early as 7am. Many of them were seen exchanging banters with policemen stationed at strategic positions to provide security. At a corner, a stage was being put up for popular Fuji musician, Saheed Osupa, to perform. On the main road, several decorated floats on trailers
Tyres set ablaze by the protesting youths were getting ready to embark on jolly rides across the town. Persons to be given posthumous awards at the carnival included the late Oba Adebiyi Adesida, late commissioner for culture and tourism, Deji Falae, late traditional music maestro, Wale Glorious, late Chief Imam of Akure, Alhaji Yayi Akorede, and late politician, Alex Adedipe. The event was to start with a special prayer by chief Imam, Alhaji Kazeem Yayi-Akorede, who had earlier requested that the event be held on a Thursday instead of Good Friday, because Muslim faithful would worship at the Jumat mosque near the venue. Also, about 20 up-coming musicians of Akure origin were to showcase their talents at the carnival, while some leaders of the community were slated to speak on education, community development and youth empowerment. Sources disclosed to The Guardian that the carnival, an emerging new culture of social bonding among youths in the country and usually organised during festive periods, was initially slated for last Yuletide. It, however, had to be postponed following the death of Oba Adesida, the Deji of Akure –the carnival’s patron. With the successful transfer of monarchical authority to the daughter of the late Deji, Adetutu, the youths, according to them, had decided to hold the event in honour to the new regent and patron, and as a platform for social interaction during the Easter holiday. The commissioner of police, Isaac Eke, however, said that even though the event had been approved and security was to be provided for the youths, the carnival was cancelled following the receipt of last minute intelligence suggesting lives would be at risk. A spokesman for the state government corroborated the claim by the police, saying that the mood of the nation, barely hours after the Nyanya bomb blast in Abuja that claimed 75 lives, did not encourage a situation where hundreds of people would gather at a spot for whatever reason. The youths, speaking through Adekanbi Oluwatuyi, chairman of Akure Youth Coalition, organisers of the carnival, however, said government was merely using security agencies to halt the event without cogent reason. He said the youths had earlier requested the use of the Democracy Park in the centre of the town, but the state government turned down their request, saying the place was under construction. According to him, “a rational mind would know that that place is not under construction. The government and other bodies have been using that place for over two years. We went to Kabiyesi, and told the king. He, in my presence, called concerned authorities, including the commissioner for transport, Nicholas Tofowomo, the secretary to the state government, (SSG) and others whose names we don’t want to mention. And to my utmost surprise, they did not pick the Kabiyesi’s call. “After many steps have been taken, the king concluded that we should make use of the Akure City Hall, since it was built by indigenes of Akure. We were surprised to be told again that the state government said the SSS informed that we couldn’t hold the carnival, because rival cult groups would strike. I told them we are not cult members but Akure indigenes that want progress for our town. “In fact, I personally went to the SSS and told them that they should have given us the security report that cult groups were coming to strike instead of telling the government. I was shocked when the SSS said they did not issue any such report.” Oluwatuyi described as absurd report by the police area commander of Akure that the event could not hold because Boko
Haram sect members were in town. Investigations by The Guardian, however, revealed that the event was cancelled because of political undertones that could embarrass the Labour Party government in the state, only days after failing to secure victory at the Ilaje/Ese-Odo federal constituency bye-election. According to sources, government was uncomfortable with the fact that many who had financially assisted the youths to prepare for the carnival, some of who were billed to address them at the event, were from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressive Congress (APC).
‘Billboards bearing the image of Governor Mimiko were completely destroyed or defaced’
THE GUARDIAN ww.ngrguardiannews.com
Sunday, April 27, 2014
CITYFILE From Lawrence Njoku, Enugu HE will to survive is strong, and some resiT dents across the length and breadth of Enugu State are not ready to be washed away by the tides of economic downturn. As a result, many have embraced a fast-growing business – car washing. Before now, the job found willing hands in a few places, like Murtala Mohammed Park on Aria Road; Nkponkiti Road; Presidential Road; Coal Camp and Abakpa. Men, usually advanced in age, manned these spots. Since water is a very important factor in rendering this service, each location operated near streams, wells or public water points. Today, those indices have changed, giving way to the emergence of many car wash centres in an atmosphere of competition. From Awukunanaw to Achara Layout, New Layout, Independence Layout and Trans Ekulu, among others, several of such business interests have sprung up. As it seems, everybody is eager to get a bite of the precious cake. One key feature of these places is that they are run by young boys. Many of these are school dropouts or persons who, at some point, decided to switch trades. Probably in his 50s, Papa, as he is fondly called, washes cars at Presidential Road. “I started this place when Enugu had not yet developed. I have been here for more than 35 years. There were a few of us before. But today, these young boys are everywhere. They are leaving school and other jobs to compete with us. They want money and that is why at every corner of Enugu today there is a car wash centre,” he said. Investigation revealed that some of the operators engage in the business for several reasons. While some do it as their main source of livelihood, others embrace it as they await better opportunities. Still, there are others who take it up as holiday jobs. The Guardian found that those who engage in the business no longer rely on streams or wells alone but also water tankers. Some have dug underground tanks, which serve as reservoirs. Others use plastic tanks to store the all-important liquid. Some residents even set up car wash places and then employ youths to oversee them. The Guardian visited one of the oldest wash centres in the state –Ochonma – at the Nkponkiti/Presidential Road junction. The attendants in tattered work clothes and barefooted struggled to gain the attention of would-be customers, chorusing: “Oga, I go do you fine!” “Ah! Oga na you? Park well.” “Oga, u
Youths busy at a car wash premises in Enugu
PHOTOS: LAWRENCE NJOKU
Give Us This Day A Car To Wash
Enugu Youths Find Cure For Unemployment want make them spoil your motor with dirty water? Na me be number one here!” Washings here are done manually, and often with the excited attendants hurling invectives at one another. One of them, 26-year-old Ikechukwu, told The Guardian that he joined the place 10 years ago.
Hunger was about killing me, hence I decided to quit. As a mechanic, I could go on for days without anybody asking me to clean even a plug. But with car wash business, you are sure of a daily meal. You can see that I am always busy, attending to people. If I wash four or five cars a day, it goes into my pocket because I am not accountable to anybody. I have water here because the place is close to a stream. Things are better now.
‘It’s better than stealing or being idle’ Car wash centres in Enugu (above and below)
He said he and his colleagues operate within a union with each member making daily contributions into a collective purse. An indigene of Ebonyi State, he said he joined the business after completing of his Primary school education. “We pay N200 per car washed to the union. Our chairman and his executive use the money to run this centre. They make sure that water is supplied daily and that the environment is clean. They also pay fees to government. Failure to make payment means an attendant could be disallowed from working the next day,” he said. He said the union ensures that before any new person is brought in, such gets the recommendation of someone who vouches for his character. According to him, when he joined, he registered with N10,000. “But now the fees have increased to over N20,000 because so many people are joining and we don’t want to admit more. If you continue to admit people, one day you will turn up for work and spend an entire day without getting a customer. So, we regulate things to make sure we don’t have more members than there are jobs available.” He added that care is taken to ensure the new entrant is trustworthy, “not the type that
would steal from customers. You know that some customers could be careless, leaving their phones, wristwatches, and sometimes money and other valuables in the car. So, we do not just wash cars; we also ensure the safety of property. If this is not done, we would lose customers.” Another attendant, Emeka, said he has been in the business for the past 20 years. According to him, “If I must feed my family of four, it is from here. I pay my children’s school fees from here. On a good day, I may wash about six cars, depending on when I arrive for work. I make about N2500–N3500 daily after paying a commission to the union.” Unlike in some places where there are fixed rates for washing parts of a car, Emeka said there are no fixed rates at Ochomna. According to him, cost depends on agreement reached with car owners. “I may collect N700 from you or N600 or even less. It depends on what we agree upon. What I consider is what goes to the union’s purse and what is left at the end of the day. But certainly, I must feed my family and go home with something,” he said. Asked why struggling often marks their soliciting for customers, he said: “All of us are looking for what to eat. We are not in Enugu town to admire the traffic lights. So, it is a case of the survival of the fittest. What is important is pay your commission.” The story is, however, different at Uche’s car wash centre where machines are deployed. Uche has four young boys and a female clerk. The lady registers cars washed and persons who do the washing. She also collects the fees charged. Here, the cost of washing is fixed. Uche told The Guardian that he has been in the business for over 20 years. He, however, lamented that he faces a challenge getting people to work for him. “You can see how secure my compound is and what we have done to make customers relax when their cars are being washed. I have several machines here. There is also water. But getting people who will run this place is a problem. Nobody wants to work for someone else. That is why there are so many car wash centres in Enugu now,” he said. Uche said he is devising means to remain relevant in the business. According to him, he has begun talks with foreign partners on acquisition of more modern machines. Chinomso had been an apprentice for five years. He learned how to repair Mercedes Benz cars, and upon graduation set up an auto workshop at Achara Layout. Three years ago, however, he abandoned his profession and joined the car wash gold rush at Maryland, Enugu. He said: “Hunger was about killing me, hence I decided to quit. As a mechanic, I could go on for days without anybody asking me to clean even a plug. But with car wash business, you are sure of a daily meal. You can see that I am always busy, attending to people. If I wash four or five cars a day, it goes into my pocket because I am not accountable to anybody. I have water here because the place is close to a stream. Things are better now.” He, however, said that he does not intend to stick with the business forever. According to him, he would make some savings and veer off to some other trade in future. Asked why he thinks youths are rushing into the business, he said: “They need money. There is no way you will not make some money no matter how little, everyday when you do this business. It is better than stealing or being idle.”
Sunday, April 27, 2014
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
is unsettling and we cannot sit idle and allow it to happen. I salute the Federal Government for its gesture. It is good that government is ready to do it well for the military. But the gesture attracts a responsibility from the other end. The readiAbraham Ogbodo ness of government to spend money to build the capacity of the military to contain the cur08055328079 (Sms only) rent emergency is not a guarantee that the firstname.lastname@example.org game will automatically change. What will change the game is the content of honesty on the part of the operators of the system across board. Almost always, emergencies come with a range of opportunities too. If the military operators see in the current situation an opportunity to share generously in the so-called anyhow like ex-militants. They told him that national cake, then we must agree that we are AST week, I kind of put the blame of the inif he must speak or even talk henceforth, he ability of the Nigerian State to stem the up against a worse enemy than Boko Haram. Boko Haram terror at the doorstep of the mili- should do so sensibly with measured words People are getting to understand that secuand temper. tary. This was before the expanded National rity or more specifically, crisis management is But by far the most heart warming of all the big business in Nigeria. It has introduced a Security Council meeting on Thursday to post-meeting proclamations was the statespecifically discuss the worsening insecurity new expression called JTF (Joint Military Task ment that the Federal Government has in the country, especially in the northeast reForce) into military operations and formaagreed to help the military and paramilitary tions in Nigeria. The JTF has a tall mandate to gion. After seven hours of hard talk in the agencies to cultivate the capacity and capacouncil chamber of the Presidential Villa, a enforce peace anyhow where there is trouble. section of the participants who had been beat- bility to solve the Boko Haram question once The force has remained a permanent sociologing the war drums re-emerged from the talks and for all. The military and the other agenical feature in the Niger Delta since the start of cies represented at the meeting by their vari- upheavals in the region close to two decades repentant. As if jolted from a deep trance, they came to a ous heads immediately accepted the ago. It is also gradually becoming permanent sudden realisation that Boko Haram is after all challenge to do the needful if all the loose in the Northeast, which has an additional variends in the ongoing anti-terror campaign neither for Islam nor against Christianity. ant called Civilian JTF, which is complementgot tied up. They agreed that the movement is much a ing the main force to achieve peace in spite of scourge against Moslems as it is against Chris- What the council is saying, in effect, is that Boko Haram. the military has been less than ready for the tians and stemming it will require concerted Meanwhile, the Federal Government’s brand efforts. Perhaps to underscore the strength of Boko Haram challenge, which is not too difof peace is most difficult to achieve because it ferent from my position last week, that years is often exclusively pursued outside the realm unanimity at the meeting, five persons carefully picked to reflect geo-political spread had of huge defence spending failed woefully to of justice. And since peace without justice is translate to good purpose in terms of the to speak to newsmen on the key decisions at very expensive to attain, the JTF is on call in all combat readiness of the Nigerian military the meeting. This was unprecedented. The seasons to use big money to enforce peace in and allied agencies. But this is not the time to areas where there is trouble. If the motivation speakers were Governors Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, Dr Kayode Fayemi Of Ekiti weep over spilled oil; it is time to agonise less is the big budget, it follows that the military State, Theodore Orji of Abia State and Kashim and organise more. It is hoped that due diliand even politicians will do everything to susShettima of Borno State. Defence Minister, Lt. gence must have been conducted to estabtain the conditions that will ensure the ceaselish the extent of the deficiencies in the General Aliyu Gasau also spoke. less flow of the security votes. Nobody talks capacity and capabilities of the joint forces Collectively, the speakers spoke hope and about huge security votes when there is peace. and government is stepping in with exactly truth. They said politics was subsumed in the Even so, I do not want to think that soldiers face of danger at the meeting and that all par- what will be required to create a turn-around are aiding and abetting crisis in order to acin the anti-terror campaign. ties after knowing the true position had access the big security budgets. It is just that cepted Boko Haram as a common enemy. They As Nigerians await the new lease of life there is no better way to explain the JTF phepromised by the Federal Government, it is then turned to Murtala Nyako, Governor of nomenon in the evolution of the Nigerian Adamawa State, who retired from the military equally important to remind the various semilitary. Maybe it is the frustration of the mocurity arms, which are the direct beneficiaryears ago as Chief of Naval Staff, but who had ment that is planting in our imagination ies that by the gesture, the challenge is been talking like a farmer. Briefly, the man these wild possibilities. Whichever, the milireturning to them to give Nigerians definite had charged the Federal Government under tary has lost a great deal of its institutional answers regarding the issue at hand. Time is character to years of politicisation and recovPresident Goodluk Jonathan of carrying out gone past when mere efforts will be accepted ery is not coming easy. genocide against the north. Participants told as result. The determination of the insurhim that generals, either serving or retired, The situation in the Northeast is threatening gents to wreck large- scale evil on the country to envelop the entire country. I am saying this speak gracefully with facts and do not talk
is not the time to create opportunities out of tragedies. Whatever that is being invested to stem this affliction must reflect in proportionate measures at the out-put end. If it is 50 kobo that is due to the rank and file who are fighting in the frontlines, no Quarter Master General or Director of Army Finance or even a platoon leader should make it less. If 10 guns shall give the needed fire power advantage over the enemy, no director of procurement or whoever should reduce it to five, pocket the accruals and then make the campaign impossible for folks in the thick of the battle. There is something else, which I hope would have been discussed at the meeting. This is the Suggestion even by the President himself that the Federal Government has been infiltrated by Boko Haram operatives. I do not know what to make of this. Intelligence is crucial in any combat operations and if truly there has been an unholy collaboration between persons in the commanding heights of government and the insurgents to put the latter a step ahead of the former’s efforts, that automatically makes the mission at hand impossible. The good news is that the known parties have pledged for the umpteenth time to end the Boko Haram scourge and we are getting somewhere. In addition to better funding of the military operations, the Federal Government is making efforts to incorporate neighbouring countries like Cameroun and Chad, which have been fingered in the mess into a broader solution mix. If government does all of this and nothing changes, two scenarios will be propped up. It is either the military at its current state and form is incapable of dealing with the issue, which is very unlikely, or there is some merit after all in President Jonathan’s conspiracy theory that there are people who work in government who are against the insurgents in the day and switch allegiance in the night to undermine government’s good efforts at containing the rebellion. It takes us to a crossroad where only statesmen and not politicians are needed to show the way forward. And I dare say the supply in this regard is grossly inadequate. The socalled elder statesmen in Nigeria talk like tribal warlords. They cannot deliver help in either scenario. They will in fact complicate matters. A way out is to outsource the Boko Haram campaign to mercenaries if we wish to apply exclusively the military option or source statesmen elsewhere to hammer out a workable political solution.
HEN it became clear that the ongoing naW tional conference had overcome all the negatives that confronted the idea at conception
and that the 492 delegates were ready to kick-off the talks, I was really happy and said so here. I thought it would be a great opportunity to reorganize Nigeria and get her working like a real country. I still nurse that dream, but my optimism was weakened by some developments. The first was the response I got from one of my friendly readers. He too shared in my optimism, but wondered how that could be achieved when there was so much disparity in the balance between the numbers of Christian and Muslim delegates. He actually gave the figures in a very categorical manner and I wondered how he arrived at that. Did he singlehandedly carry out a census of delegates to determine who is a Christian or Muslim? Did he conclude that anybody who does not answer a particular religious name must belong to the other, or, assumed that so long as one answers a Christian name or Muslim name that person becomes an automatic believer in the faith? I know of many notable Nigerians, who were born to great religious traditions, but they have opted out because they prefer to serve the entire humanity. They do not think the particular faith they were born into was large enough to administer justice to all. Others had moved from one faith to the other, all in search of justice and spiritual fulfillment. So, how do you begin to decide who is who from a long list of delegates? I was wondering, but because I needed to be respectful, I simply sympathized with my reader, as I thought it was too much of a mental occupation for anyone to set out to disaggregate a list of 492 delegates, not with the aim of determining each individual’s mental and moral capacity, but just to know who is a Christian or Muslim. I told my reader that it did not occur to me at any point to pay attention to the idea of who among the delegates was Muslim or Christian, except that some were specially nominated to represent the two dominant religions. I thought that was enough, since the conference was put together to deliberate on how to revive Nigeria, which, to me is far more important than any other consideration. All the same, it disturbed me that such a marked disparity could happen to the list. A delegation of Muslim leaders led by our respected Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar 111 later met with President Jonathan, to seek explanation on why the list is lopsided
an affront on God Almighty, who licensed all of us to ‘go and multiply.’ But they are the same people who are unable to engage the ruling class to put this large population to optimal use. Two decades plus after IBB’s attempt, Kano State governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso also talked about the need to moderate Nigeria’s escalating population growth. Kano, according to the last census figures is Nigeria’s most populous state. Kwankwaso goes to Abuja every month, like the other 36 governors to collect handouts with which he attends to the large population. He most likely has discovered that what he gets from the federation account does not take care of the citizens under his control. The challenge of large populations chasing lean resources at Abuja is not limited to one state. But its impact is more in the North and perhaps, severe in the Northeast, where we are told more children of school age are actually on the streets, idle and waiting for the devil to engage them. A good number have actually been engaged and that is what government is spending huge defence budgets to address now in the name of insecurity. It is the most wasteful thing to do, to spend scarce resources to tame a population that has no skills, but is bent on setting the house on fire. And this is the reality of the moment. This is nothing to be proud of. This narrative is not about pegging the country’s population, but just to remind those who boast about their region’s population that what they have is not actual strength, until it is positively engaged and quickly too. With good education and modern survival skills, Nigerians, whether Muslims or Christians will make the country proud. What is the use of a huge population if all you score in the 2012 Olympics is zero, in addition to the money wasted by the sports ministry? What is the use of your population if all you can boast of is millions of homeless young boys who wander from city to city, looking for food to eat and waiting to be exploited by politicians? What is the use of our population if all we do is marry our young girls to men who are old enough to be their fathers, because we do not want to spend money to send them to schools. Conversely, we have so much to gain if we are all actively engaged. For instance, Lagos is the largest cattle market in the country, but Lagosians do not rear cattle. Lagos is also a coastal state that provides access to the sea for landlocked states in the north. The point is that with a population that works, we have so much
Beyond The Security Meeting L
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Numbers That Ultimately Count against the Muslim population. Details of what transpired were not readily available, but the fact that the conference continues to sit means there was some level of understanding between Jonathan and the group. But everyday, there are accusations and counter accusation as delegates’ utterances and body language seem tailored to nourish their religious beliefs. That seems so unfair to Nigeria. What is most unfair and dubious is the resort by some ethno-religious writers not to find other topics to research upon, except to dig up controversies and help to confuse their largely illiterate audience. There are hundreds and thousands of topics to research upon for the benefit of the people, but some persons are sold to religion and tribalism and they expend 98 per cent of their writing energy and skills into widening the differences colonialism and religion have sown. In today’s world, any population that is illiterate and lacking productive skills is a liability to itself and others. In spite of what the population figures may have said in 1863, 1963, 1960, 1973 and so on, what Nigeria needs now is citizens who have capacity to produce and pay taxes for the development of the country. Between 1960 and the time the First Republic collapsed, Nigeria was on a sure footing to achieving growth and development. The three regions were set on achieving growth on their own terms. It was a federation that encouraged healthy competition and that manifested in each region tapping into what nature had provided. The North brimmed with ideas of how to translate its fertile landmass into profitable use. The Western and Eastern regions did equally well with the available land in their domains. It was not about which region had more population, or which religion had more followers. Religion is not known anywhere to be an economic factor of production, even though some now use it to mop up the little that is available. We are also not
talking about oil politics, because in the First Republic, oil was not a major economic factor. We are talking about the ingenuity of our first leaders, a quality that had long taken flight because oil money has turned all of us, a once creative people into lazy, cowardly and thieving population. We are so scared of confronting the future and combating modern challenges. That is why we have resorted to dredging up decadent population theories. Of course, in politics, religion had been used to canvass votes and that is what some are still banking on. Instead of creatively engaging our endlessly large population like India and China, we are waiting to use it as tool for political blackmail. So, it is no longer strategic thinking to stagemanage population figures to achieve an immediate political upper hand, because even if we continued to do so, one day, that population will grow to understand that they have been used and abused. One day, even Boko Haram members and the kidnappers all around us will grow up and become a critical mass of social crusaders, who will use legitimate means to dismantle the political class and their backers. The backers are in the media, as well as in corporate Nigeria. Perhaps, it was this Armageddon called Boko Harama that Gen. Ibrahim Babangida foresaw as military president, when he toyed with the idea of a state policy on population control. The unwritten rule then was that four children per family was an ideal. But the policy did not move beyond the level of jingles for national orientation, because it is the same members of the ruling class who are most guilty of ‘sowing seeds’ recklessly as they have cheap money to support their expansive libido. Population, in any case, is a very touchy subject many people do not want to discuss, particularly the religious groups and the rights community. For some, attempting to regulate population is
Sunday, April 27, 2014 11
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Outlook One Stick Of Matches By Obu Udeozo IVILIANS cheat themselves in Africa. Democratic Governments do not maximize the power of their military establishments while in office! Soldiers have a revolutionary role at all times, in all societies and seasons. I rushed to offer assistance. Our Special Guest of Honour was losing a personal effect. She came down from an ivory black 4 — Wheel Drive Mitsubishi Prado Jeep. But when I encountered her ‘handkerchief’ my heart dropped! She explained it was a folded tissue paper. This is a true - life story. That distinguished lady had just dropped that waste paper right upon the smooth grass lawn of our Town’s Recreation Hall. Education does not matter to the Nigerian citizen. No quantity, length or magnitude of academic certificates appear to influence his conduct over the subject of our discussion. Nor does prestige, social status or official position make a positive impact in his calculations. And this is a tragic mind-set and a socio-cultural fact. This is the sequel to our last feature: Less Than Monkeys. How shall Nigerians recover our humanity from an apocalyptic squalor and curse? There is a Regime Crises in conducting public activities in this country. Nigerian Leaders hardly ever commend the policies and programmes of their immediate predecessors in office. A coup de tat logic impels the mood and manner of public servants in our nation. That is why a renowned Honourable Federal Minister’s counsel led to the cancellation of our nation- wide sanitation exercise. And plunged us into this abyss of putrescence, pollution and bilge-water till date. Even our Lord Jesus Christ, admitted that some form of ailments need the combined punch of fasting and prayers. Nigeria’s current crises over pollution, refuse dumps and black nylon bags is the equivalent of war against serpents. Black nylon bags have become the snakes whose heads we need to slash-off across Nigeria. And the first instrument for this liberation is - Anger! We need to recognize; we need to be ashamed enough; we need to be offended enough; we need to be mad over the degree of pollution, and putrescence we wallow in at the moment in Nigeria. Cus d’ Amato, lent his protégée the explosive secrets of anger. Said he, ‘’ Fear is like fire; it can make your tea, it can warm your house or it can burn it down”. We know into what theandric exploits and prosperity that Mike Tyson converted that maxim in the Heavy Weight Boxing Arena. Other sweet harvests of positive anger include Jesse Owen’s shaming of Adolf Hitler in Berlin 1936, when he won four Olympic Gold Medals over German Supremacist Racist taunts. Britain’s all time most spectacular athlete is [Nigeria Born] Daley Thomson who shrugged off similar slights against European rivals to amass a horde of Olympic Gold Medals in the Decathlon; in a career that lasted for 10 years; setting several world records in that specialty. Anger got Mo-
President Goodluck Jonathan hammed Ali into Boxing; to avenge his stolen bicycle; and he employed the same impulse to regain his Heavy Weight title from Leon Spinks in 1976. Recall our own J.J. Okocha’s recent revelations of how he recruited anger to punish and bewilder the opponents’ racist jibes with his ruthless dribbling runs across soccer fields in Europe! Anger inspired Mike Powel in 1991 at the Tokyo Meet, to terminate the perennial second fiddle status he played to Carl Lewis, when he bolted into the Japanese sky and surpassed Bob Beamon’s sacred 23 years old unbeaten Olympic record in the Long Jump. Nigerians need to get angry that our cities are branded among the dirtiest human habitations on the globe. We need a revolutionary reversal of accepted practices, common sense and democratic norms to escape from our current shame and curse of pollution and putrescence across Nigeria. It took a Captain Okeke, and his team of roving soldiers to keep Yola, the capital of Gongola State, sparkling in the mid-1980s. The sanitation program Nigeria needs at the moment requires instant justice. Defaulters would be penalized on the spot or detained. Not everybody heeds the sublime dimension of sermons. After all, the Holy Scriptures concede that not all men have faith. The next State of Emergency required in Nigeria is over refuse dumps, industrial pollution and black nylon bags. A compulsory sanitation exercise in the 36 States of the Federation and the Abuja, ought to be re-instated and restored forthwith. This is the time to seek the humane face and modulated services of our armed forces in peace time! Let us overcome the scotosis of applying the military wing of our nation only in periods of acute distress and war. That is not to comprehend the rainbow potential of total power. Certain citizens in human nature need the compelling coercion of State au-
thority to nudge or usher them into elementary steps for the communal good. Some people can only hear or heed the language of force in order to participate in any sanitation exercise — however, life threatening. We need knowledge that delineates society into the ancient landmarks of human existence. New Marshalls to implement and supervise the sanitation programs along the gradients of civil society. Thus, mechanic workshops, market places, mosques, churches, schools, industrial layouts, city streets, village communities, artisans, timber traders, welders, banks and other corporate organizations in Nigeria shall be compelled to respond to the new policy and project. This must go beyond the routine arm-chair campaigns. Erstwhile Health Workers and Institutions entrusted with the tasks of public health and sanitation must be re-trained. Those who cannot fit into the new vision shall be re-assigned or retired. Waste Segregation is the Holy Grail of this Program. Waste Segregation shall be made compulsory and critical facilities installed. Just as nature has East and West; Right and Left; materials and matter in our domestic homes, commercial centres and offices also have Wet and Dry. People need to be educated from Sokoto to Calabar; that in all decent civilizations effective waste disposal starts from the source. All combustible matters like black nylon bags, cartons and packets of consumer items, foil wrappers, shopping bags, artificial hair, clothe fabrics, plastics of all kinds, discarded papers and newsprints, fragments of wood and furniture et cetera - shall be classified, as dry combustibles - and separated as such from Source. Every home, office, school or human habitat- must Segregate their waste and take them to a Designated Centre for Burning. Or this can as well be safely done at home. The Wet axis shall contain organic waste like banana peels, corn cobs, rotten tomatoes, yam and cocoa yam tissues; orange and sugar cane crusts, kitchen waste from homes and restaurants, birds feathers and plumes, moi-moi, igba, and various detritus of vegetable and animal waste; all these constitute the non-combustible but biodegradable pole. The Segregation of Waste has immediate and lasting economic and agricultural benefits. All the hype about waste to wealth of official speak can only be realized after this deliberate exercise. For instance, every combustible material from our domestic, institutional or commercial sources are effectively and permanently eliminated by Safe Combustion. This reduces the aggregate of solid waste to contend with. A lorry load of combustible dry papers, black nylon bags, chop sticks, and rubbers, will obey One Stick of Matches! And thereafter, graduate into useful ash in a matter of minutes at the Segregated Dump Site. The only caveat is that those assigned to implement burning the combustible waste, must be responsible adults. This will prevent inadvertent or collateral fire or arson affecting valuable properties or facilities in the
aforesaid areas. Every intelligent and safety measure shall be made to insulate the public incinerators from performing gratuitous duties. A researcher in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, recently manufactured a waste and refuse combusting machine. His achievement was broadcast on The National Television Network (NTA). But as usual in this country; this multi-million Naira indigenous effort has been left to lapse into our legendary neglect and despair. Nevertheless, science, no matter how sophisticated is not witchcraft or surrealism. No human invention on earth at the street level can burn - water melon, agidi, rotten tomatoes, plastics, cartons, putrid vegetables and mud - in the name of science! You need the sensitive and deliberate policy of State Agency; like say The Nigeria Standard Organization to augment research discoveries. That ontological synergy between Research and Development, the private sector and government solicitude; which have impelled industrialized nations to their superlative feats and inventiveness; is totally lacking in our shores. At best the private sector in Nigeria is pre-possessed in predatory and rent seeking activities. Much more ought to come from this sector; but that is for another forum. At the Wet Axis of our New Segregated Waste these products shall be converted into instant organic wealth. Because those materials are biodegradable: several end- users will be willing to fetch and utilize these residues in various aspects of human activity. The soil of many farmers in those vicinities will rejoice to receive dependable manure sifted from such sites. More so, liminal folks currently ploughing for serendipitous strokes of gladness will glean their relief without hassles. Deports of Segregated Waste will announce metal scraps, wine and perfume bottles, plastic bodies and parts of electronics, cans of assorted drinks, sockets and miscellaneous items which these denizens seek; without the aggravated pain of rummaging through mud and bilge- water in order to pluck their luck. Chinua Achebe once said that, ‘the university must first understand its mission before she can fulfill it’. It is so with governance. We have to comprehend the totalizing implications of power for communal redemption. Pollution, waste and putrescence across Nigeria, worse than corruption; have become the snakes and anti-Christ of our current existence. There are God moments in the affairs of nations as well as private individuals. Just as there exist dedicated days in a year for say Martin Luther King Jnr., John F. Kennedy or Nelson Mandela days; from the mountain top through plateaus and valleys of governance in this country; we can select a day for our own miracle. Theoretically, One Stick of Matches can reduce by 70% all the waste materials in this country - if we have decency and administrative resolve to do so. The only snag is that our people’s concept of democracy is a short-cut to impunity. No people who permit themselves such degrees of scandalous license can hope to achieve either decency or sanity in our public sphere. It is time we put an end to the dehumanizing shame and squalor by way of the waste and putrescence in our streets and cities so eminently advertised across Nigeria at the moment. • Udeozo wrote from University of Jos Plateau State.
By Obe Ess
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Editorial Before The Eclipse Of Candles, Kerosene Lamps T is desirable but simply over-optimistic the claim that the Federal Government would in 12 months replace the use of domestic candles and kerosene lamps in Nigerian homes with ‘clean’ solar energy lamps. Reason: At every level of government in Nigeria deceit and cheap propaganda have been the hallmark even as basic needs remain undelivered to the people. So, this solar energy lamp plan must have come to 160 million Nigerians as another of those deceits, especially given the unrealistic time-frame being promised. The crux of the matter is that both parties — the ruled and the rulers, have a duty to get on reality road. The rulers, however, can do with greater integrity in the service of the people in whose trust they hold power if they would ever earn any faith or trust. Environment Minister Laurentia Mallam’s disclosure when she hosted some private company’s officials in her office that the “archaic” household beams would give way to more environmentally and ozone — friendly, clean solar energy lamps in one year deserves a clear thought on all intervening variables and developmental challenges. If the target declared is a serious factor in the equation, the promise smirks of ignorance or outright dishonesty to satisfy political ends. The candles and kerosene lamps are intended to be eclipsed by a ‘superior product’ under a phase-out scheme, while the energy lamp technology is distributed by Total Group at affordable prices, especially to the rural poor. For a fact, hundreds of thousands if not millions of urban dwellers are also not better off than the pitiable rural folk who are criminally denied regular electricity supply, a situation, which engendered the use of candles and kerosene lamps or whatever other crude device in the first place. Of course, the minister’s logic cannot be faulted that solar lamps offer a solution to clean and renewable energy, favourable to global requirements for positive action against climate change that has presented mankind with a present and real danger of existence. She had also appropriately expressed concern on environmental hazards and avoidable deaths from fire outbreaks from the two sources. Therefore, a synergy with other ministries including Trade and Investment, Finance, Health and Education to ensure success of the solar initiative is desirable. The solar alternative has been successfully introduced in a few developing countries such as Kenya, Indonesia and Pakistan and a more laudable move will be the establishment of a production plant in Nigeria to service the West Africa market. At any rate, attracting another industry will at least impact on the dangerously high number of unemployed hands in the country. The minister’s argument that the switch to solar lamps would slash the price of kerosene is neither here nor there. Where available, the product sells now for a minimum of N120 per litre, far in excess of the advertised N50 pump price — a reflection of the endemic corruption in the industry and totally dishonest attitude of most business men. High consumption of the product can also be linked to aviation fuel as refined. But then scarcity boils down to both lack of consumption data to work with by industry chiefs and refineries operate below capacity when they are functional at all. More importantly, like the Premium Motor Spirit (petrol), the importation of kerosene (Dual Purpose Kerosene, DPK) is shrouded in so much mystery. No one seems to know what quantities are being imported and at what cost, even by whom? Quite a number of unscrupulous marketers have, in collaboration with others in government circles been fleecing the country, collecting cash for products that are neither imported nor supplied. The burden of scarcity (and inflated prices) resulting from these sharp practices have painstakingly been borne by the helpless masses who, for being unable to afford high cost of alternative like liquefied petroleum gas, have found solace in firewood thereby depleting the forests and compounding environmental woes. To earn any credibility, government must first solve the riddle raised recently by a committee of the House of Representatives alleging a subsidy of imported kerosene to the tune of N70 billion weekly. One problem anticipated with the new solar lamps proposal is the usually high cost of local products against imported but substandard ones. Pricing will therefore be an important determining factor of its success. Will rural dwellers who struggle to feed be so attracted to solar lamps at its cost? Will it be subsidized enough to attract them? Will the awareness level be raised on maintenance culture to change fixation on candles and kerosene? Whatever move is made to get the target population hooked on solar, however, the big riddle remains: what is the way out of the mess Nigeria wallows in over electricity generation and distribution? Of course, in this day and age, Nigeria ought not to be talking about candles, lanterns and firewood. But too much deceit and corruption in high places have left the people at a crossroads. The hope is that the plan for solar a powered lanterns is not another of those lines of deceit.
LETTERS Talking Confederal Constitution Or Remoulded Federalism IR: Some optimistic Nigerians still believe that Ssomething good could come out of the National Confab. And with the intellectual and eloquent submission of the duo of Dr. Tunji Braithwaite and Olisah Agbakoba, both are legal luminaries and members of the ongoing National Confab, I see hope for Nigeria. I wish to align myself with Braithwaite, Agbakoba and other advocates of true Federalism. A quick flash back at history reveals that Nigeria’s Federalism was patterned after that of the United States of America. But is it practised accordingly? However, we must take time to establish the distinction between Confederalism and Federalism. Confederal system of Government creates a very weak centre and favours secessionism. By encouraging regional (state) autonomy, confederacy is somehow good. This system was practised by the United States of America (1783 - 1789), but it was later dropped in favour of Federalism. Modern federalism came into being as a result of the fallout of confederal system of government, as witnessed in American history. As a result of its advantages, many countries of the world embraced the federal structure. If practiced according to its letter and spirit, the merits of federalism could not be overemphasised. But do we have
true federal character and spirit? The American Revolution, which ushered in her independence, the Republican Government of confederally autonomous states with the subsequent adoption of Federalism, is a quintessential experience, which Nigeria should emulate. From the American experience, one could see that patriotism was instrumental to the success of American Revolution. The revolution was spearheaded by the patriots. Their relentlessness and insurrection against Britain’s hegemonic tendencies was quite pivotal in winning the American war. The United States of America was built on intellectual foundation laid by its founding fathers. The article of confederation was an example, and the Federalists like James Madison (one of the framers of American Constitution) and a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 drew inspiration from the work of John Lock and Thomas Hobbes on social contract. This convention produced the American constitution and ended the previous political tension hitherto posed by the Article of Federation. The Convention also marked the beginning of positive turnaround in American politics. The constitution that evolved from that convention with subsequent amendments (i.e. Madison’s Bill of Right) laid
the foundation of a Freedomfor- all society. The American people’s understanding of Federalism and their patriotic attitudes also contribute immensely to the nation’s progress, prosperity and unity. Despite conflicts over devolution of power since the enactment of the constitution, America Judicial System has been competently playing its constitutional roles as an arbiter of the constitution. More so, the principle of checks and balances plays a crucial role in their federal structure. Above all, strict adherence to the ideals of their forebears by subsequent administrations in America has put the nation in a leading position, even in this 21st Century. Like America, in its 1787 Constitutional Convention, we could achieve a lot from the present National Conference if we allow sound intellectual or ideological debate to prevail against ethnic and religious sentiments. The intellectual submission (Remodeling our Federal Structure), made by Agbakoba is a good step in the right direction towards a better Nigeria. The Constitutional convention of 1787 changed the political and socio-economic fate of America and its citizens. The same could happen in Nigeria with the ongoing National Confab, if we desist from primordial, partisan and kamikaze politics. That is my hope, my wish and ideological position. God bless Nigeria! • Femi Oguntoyinbo, Bells University of Technology, Ota.
Sunday, April 27, 2014 13
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
APC’s Bumpy Road To 2015, Ogun As Weak Link By Kamal Tayo Oropo ERHAPS, because of noticeable disappointment with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) many Nigerians are keen on what shape the alternative may proffer. Against this backdrop, main opposition, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has not only attracted a considerable number into its fold, but consequently a fair share of public attention and scrutiny. However, if feelers from the party’s key states during the congresses are any yardstick in measuring how tidy the APC can put its house in order ahead of the 2015 general election, the party certainly is making a very poor job of it. For example, in Ogun State, the party’s short lifetime is characterized by allegations of an intolerant and despotic chief executive and counter-allegations of insatiable and desperate party members. The Ogun APC clearly epitomizes a party in need of urgent surgical attention. In Kano State, the state congress could not hold yesterday. The Chairman, Congress Supervising Committee in the state, Mr. Mustapha Inuwa, said the decision to shift the exercise to April 28 (tomorrow) followed a meeting held in Kano on Friday between the committee and
The acrimony over the alleged marginalisation in the APC also became an issue with the Ogun State caucus in the National Assembly under the chairmanship of Senator Adegbenga Kaka, expressing concern over the development. It claimed the party had been fatally skewed against the interest of the vast majority of members in the state. stakeholders of the party in the state. He said “shifting the congress is necessary to enable stakeholders make wider consultation and arrive at a consensus during the election. However, the discord that trailed the parallel state congress in Ogun as well as noticeable tensions elsewhere, hardly come as a surprise to those following the trend in the party. In the run up to the congress, which was shifted from its original Wednesday date, purportedly to allow the party’s governors attend the enlarged security meeting called by President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja, party officials and followers in Ogun State used the occasion to engage in another round of fisticuffs. Curiously, the event, which created a deeper crack in the party, was called to reconcile warring parties. Though, the party for now seems to have one Interim Executive Committee, it may not be for long as the state of things point to emergence of
parallel Executive Committees in some flashpoint states. According to some party members in Ogun, the brewing trouble in the party, could have a far-reaching implication for party in the 2015 elections. As aptly put by a party source, the situation in Ogun is one week one trouble. The test of strength between the camps has greatly polarised the party, as those in the Senator Ibikunle Amosun Campaign Organisation (SIACO) group and those in the former governor Olusegun Osoba camp appear not ready for compromise. Those in Osoba group, otherwise referred to as Mate agbamole group, accuses the incumbent of not only sidelining other leaders of the APC in the state, but indeed seeking to completely hijack and dominate the party machinery. The acrimony over the alleged marginalisation in the APC also became an issue with the Ogun State caucus in the National Assembly under the chairmanship of Senator Adegbenga Kaka, ex-
pressing concern over the development. It claimed the party had been fatally skewed against the interest of the vast majority of members in Ogun. On Wednesday, Governor Amosun, was supposed to be in Abuja attending the enlarged security meeting, but he had to stay back in Abeokuta “monitoring” the reconciliation committee set up to look into the crisis generated during ward congress in the state. Deputy Governor, Mr. Segun Adesegun, was dispatched to Abuja for the security meeting. This according to sources close to the governor, was meant to achieve two things: firstly, the governor couldn’t trust anyone to handle his home front while away in Abuja. Secondly, Adesegun is believed to be sympathetic to those opposing the governor. As such, keeping the deputy governor away from the state had its usefulness. In spite the spirited effort by the governor’s handlers to water down the division in the Ogun APC, it is apparent that all is not well. They may,
however, be right when they say it is all about 2015. “Some people are not sure of their positions in the scheme of things and are getting desperate,” said a government house source. Indeed, nothing can be truer than this feeling. Those opposing the governor accuse him of being the one desperate about returning to office in 2015. They pointed out that no one in the APC is presently showing any interest of returning that he’s the one that has been flooding strategic areas in Abeokuta with his posters. “The governor is the only one that can solve the problems in Ogun State. He’s the one that created it in the first place and only him can resolve it,” said a member of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (APC) group in APC. The governor is supposedly towing the path of former Lagos State governor, Senator Bola Tinubu, by imposing candidates. They accuse him of not wanting the congress to hold, favouring handpicked candidates to represent the party. “He should be reminded that this is not Lagos. While Tinubu can get away with such method in a cosmopolitan Lagos, Ogun State is rural and our people will not accept any form of imposition”, said a party source. They claim the governor does not trust any one and is only interested in hijacking the party. The outcome of the congresses was the last straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back, as the two gladiators literally returned to the trenches. The ward congresses in some local govern-
ments were marred with electoral irregularities, absence of officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), non-display of party members’ names. The consequence was that the ward congresses were conducted in a parallel manner. So, the APC National Assembly Caucus picked holes in the outcome of the April 5 ward congresses. The caucus, in a petition dated April 6, addressed to the chairman, State Congress Committee, and signed by Senator Kaka, on behalf of other lawmakers, contended that their fear and apprehension was brought to fore with the conduct of the election, in which the Ward Congress Committees were not available in most wards by 10.00 a.m. as stipulated in the guideline. Apart from the lawmakers, some members of the APC from Sagamu Local Government Area stormed the office of the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Honourable Muyiwa Oladipo, and protested the alleged manipulation of result purportedly by the chairman of the council, Mrs. Funmi Efuwape. But, Oladipo, while speaking with newsmen disputed the claim, saying that consensus method was adopted in the council area. The conduct of the local government congress was not in any way different, as the exercise was characterised by parallel congresses across the three senatorial districts in the state, with pockets of violence in Ijebu East Local Government Area.
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
Sunday, April 27, 2014
HEALTH Nigeria-Manufactured Anti-Retroviral Drug Gets FDA Validation
Dettol Presents Prize To Winner Of Price Awareness Campaign
By Paul Adunwoke S the war against the scourge of HIV/AIDS continues, patients in Nigeria will get renewed hope of properly managing their health condition. This is as a result of the fact that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has validated a brand, Tyonex, as safe for HIV patients. Tyonex Nigeria Ltd Managing Director, Emmanuel Tyohemba Agba said he was delighted that no less a body than the FDA has waded into this matter, and the results are
By Daniel Anazia
there for everyone to see. “This Report validates what National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration Control (NAFDAC) did, it authenticates what Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) laboratory did, and it also confirms what the Independent Public Analysis Laboratory in Lagos did,” he said. According to Agba, the company, manufacturer and marketer of the ARVs, has always maintained that its products were safe. He said: “Although the FDA report has given us a clean bill, we are not resting on our oars. I
must stress that more work remains to be done to enhance the overall packaging of our ARVs to bring it to international standards. We will continue to improve our processes. Our commitment in this direction is irreversible, and we are working with other stakeholders to achieve this.” The clearance from the FDA, which is easily the world’s most respected food and drug regulatory authority, is a major boost to country’s fight against the pandemic and the first time FDA cleared a Nigerian-manufactured ARV, Agba said.
UNFPA Decries High Maternal Deaths, Pledges N2Bn In Aid By Kamal Tayo Oropo HE United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), while donating some medical equipments to the Lagos State government expressed concerns on the high rate of maternal and child mortality in Nigeria. UNFPA acting Representative in Nigeria, Mr. Omolaso Omosehin, expressed the concern in Ikeja, Lagos after handing over of the maternal health equipment and drugs meant for select health institutions in the state. He said it was particularly disturbing that the country, which only represented two per cent of the world population, contributed no less than 14 per cent to global maternal deaths. “Every hour, nearly 20 women die in Africa. Those deaths do not occur from road accidents from road accidents or flooding. They do not arise from sickness or war.
Mind, Jesus And Heaven (10) Health And Your Mind By Babatunde Ayo-Vaughan
HE notion of this topic may not acquire T serious meaning without the cardinal importance of the concept of faith to con-
firm its credibility. As I tried to explain it from the previous article, the true understanding of the functions of the mind might just be the gateway to the heaven for you. The understanding of the mechanism of faith, it must be stated, is predicated on the functions of your mind. This is why as I said, you have to appreciate the deep significance of what Jesus was trying to say when he said that ‘it is not everybody that says Lord! Lord! That will enter into the kingdom of Heaven. The bitter truth in this is that prayer as it is popularly conceived and praise worship as it is common among those who love to impress you that they believe in God might just not be strong enough to carry people to Heaven. The mechanism of the mind to truly connect to God may be much more important than any religious rituals. That is why it can truly take a man like Jesus Himself to state that ‘what defiles the man is within him because out of his within comes evil thoughts’. I am still waiting for that person to come and prove it to me that the ‘within’ can be something else other than the mind within man And if this same Jesus could also tell you that ‘the kingdom of Heaven is within you’ and there is no way we can conceive this ‘within’ other than your mind, then is it not high time that human beings began to drop all religious tomfooleries and begin the true effort of understanding their relationship with God and how to naturally connect with Him just as the other creatures are perfectly connected with God. They will come to appreciate why Jesus said man is of little faith and that if only he could increase in faith, the kingdom of Heaven will be his and everything that he needs will always be given to him just like all the other creatures are experiencing it. Jesus in His spirited attempt wanted man to know that God is not interested in organised religions and modes of worship. They are powerful tools of division and hatred among mankind. If there should be any religion at all, it ought to be predicated on the un-alloyed understanding of the principle of faith. The understanding of the concept of faith has unifying potentials. The unity of everything in creation and the binding of the whole of creation of God is resting on the functionality of faith.
Ayo-Vaughan, a psychologist, lives in Lagos
‘’Instead, they arise through complications of pregnancy and childbirths. These deaths are taking place despite every nation pledged commitment to reduce maternal deaths. “Nigeria represents two per cent of the world population, but it accounts for over 14 per cent of global maternal deaths. This is really disturbing,” he said. He urged governments at all levels and other stakeholders to intensify efforts at promoting maternal health to address the problem. He advocated the implementation of effective policies and programmes, strengthening of maternal health institutions and training of health personnel to confront the problem. He said UNFPA was committed to reducing maternal deaths in Nigeria and had pledged financial commitment of $2.5million annually from 2013 to 2017 (N2Bn) to tackle the problem. Some of the items handed over by UNFPA in-
cluded suction pumps, resuscitation tables, surgical gloves, balfour retractors, midwifery kits, among others. Omosehin commended the Federal Government for committing about $8.5million annually to improving maternal health, through SURE-P, saying the intervention if sustained would impact positively on maternal health. He also lauded the state government’s efforts at addressing the problem through the establishment of Maternal and Child Care Centre (MCC). Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris who received the equipments on behalf of the state government, commended UNFPA and its partners for the donation, saying it would go along way in promoting maternal health in the state.
NTI-GERMS protection soap, Dettol, on Thursday A presented a brand new Kia Rio car to its star prize winner of the Price Awareness Mobile Activation (PAMA) Campaign, Mrs. Doyin Rebecca Ntosi. The campaign was launched to raise consumers’ awareness of the reduction in the price of Dettol Soap from N120 to N100 and to reinforce the brand’s market leadership in the health and hygiene segment. At the presentation ceremony in Ikeja, Lagos; the Marketing Director for West Africa, Reckitt Benckiser, Oguzhan Silivrili, said the promotion re-affirmed the brand’s commitment to give back to society. He said that the reduction in the price of the soap was part of initiatives to make Dettol more affordable for Nigerians in line with the company’s conviction that good health was an inalienable right of everyone. According to Silivrili, the campaign, which coincided with the commemoration of the 50-year presence of Dettol in the Nigerian market, was also in recognition of the loyalty of the customers to the brand. Ntosi, who is from Abia State, expressed joy for being the proud owner of a brand new car. She thanked Dettol and Reckitt Benckiser for rewarding consumers and fulfilling their promise.
The Human Brain And Computer By Passy Amaraegbu
HE sphere of comparative psychology or behavT ioural science concerns itself with such issues like comparing the brain and the computer or library or
using experiments on animals (such as mammals) to extrapolate to homo sapiens. This trend has been confirmed to be of significant relevance and useful to studies in human behaviour. In this edition, we consider one of such comparable studies — the brain and the computer. Memory is the process in which information or stimulus is encoded, stored, and retrieved. The first level of memory process, encoding allows information that is from the outside world to reach our senses in the forms of chemical and physical stimuli. For instance, the sight phenomenon begins with the light stimulus hitting the cones in the retina located at the back of the eyeball. The retina is responsible for converting light into neutral signals which are now sent to the brain. In a similar manner, information is encoded into the computer. Take the issue of feeding research data into the computer. Storage is the next level of the memory process. From encoding (reception of stimulus or information) to storage (safe keeping) and making it available for use). There are two types of memory, viz; short and long term. Another way of looking at these two aspects of memory is to regard them as the various lifespans of memory. Of course short term memory is the one Head of Oncology, Business Franchise, Novartis, Ladi Ojo (left); Country Group Head, Norvatis Pharma Services, Vera Nwanze; and with the less lifespan. The study of memory places the Chief Consultant and Head of Haematology Unit, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Professor Sulaiman Akanmu during the Novartis brain in a position where it is comparable to the comCommunity Partnership Day/Blood donation drive in LUTH, Lagos PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU puter. First is the area of receipt of information referred to as encoding. The computer doesn’t possess the capacity of an organism which experiences psychobiological functions which are inherent in the central nervous system and the brain particularly but, in terms of encoding of pieces of information, the computer resembles the brain. The short term capacity of the computer is comparable to current and recent activities of the memory . In the computer such By Moji Solanke thought is beginning to accept the fact that pieces of information are displayed on the screen and its citizens can expect to live much longer, HE word ‘crisis’ makes everyone sit up and can be wiped away or stored. take notice. It connotes the imminent possi- healthy and active lives. This certainly turns However the current or recent memory of the brain head, its on crisis life mid a of the theory bility of a situation that has the potential of can never be obliterated. Studies show that even the negative consequences. It conveys an urgency since, by the theory of mathematics, the most minimal exposure of any information to the that needs immediate attention. When speak- graph must shift further to the right to achuman brain is as durable as the life span of that ining specifically about mid-life crisis, the belief is commodate longevity on the x-axis. dividual. The piece of information can be hidden but mathematical of principles the than that senescence is setting in, the heretofore ris- Higher never wiped out of the brain. science is the divine Principle of spirituality, ing graph has peaked, and has now begun an Another aspect of semblance between the brain and which may be called God’s law. The divine inexorable downward descent. Images flash computer is transfer of information. Pieces of enhotly before thought, which suggest to the indi- law reveals that man has the right to ‘enjoy coded information can be transferred from the short more than three score years and ten, and still to middle and long term memories and vice versa. In vidual that they are slowing down, retiring, withdrawing, or ‘acting out’, in a bid to capture maintain his vigour, freshness and promise’. the same way, there could be difficulties, and disturThis spiritually radical statement can be the essence of a youth that can be no more. bances, interferences and interruptions in any of the found in Science and Health with key to the More frightening is the thought that they are memory spans during or after the transfer or storage who, Eddy, Baker Mary by written helpless to do anything about it, and must suc- scriptures of information. The interference theory is one of the cumb, with as much dignity as possible, to de- in following the Biblical principles and the explanations for forgetfulness. example of the life of Christ Jesus, founded generation and depreciation. From the range of simple to the complex machine of Machines depreciate, wear out, become less ef- an award winning newspaper, a Church, an the mega computer, we are all intrigued by the huge house publishing a institution, fective over time, and are replaced. But man is educational quality and quantity of information the computer can not a machine. He is the creation of Spirit, God, wrote prolifically and established weekly and accommodate. Yet, the information the best and and therefore he is spiritual. Spirituality cannot monthly international magazines after what biggest computer can accommodate or store is only is supposedly middle age. But it did not stop an infinitesimal aspect of the human brain. The brain wear out or wear down. It is ‘new every mornthere. She also taught many, many others ing’ as the Bible says in the book of Lamentaconstitutes of billion cells (researchers place this betions. But in order to experience this, it must be how to enjoy the fruits of spirituality – tween 10 to 50). longevity, robust activity, productive lives accepted as true. We tend to experience that Consequently, the superiority of the brain over the which occupies our thought, and if, as the cal- and good health. computer isn’t based on the magnitude of life cells female, or male anyone, for need no is endar progresses and the earth rotates continu- There but also on the inherent nature of independent exisally on its orbit while revolving around the sun, to experience a crisis at any so-called stage of tence of the former. No matter the efficiency and effihuman life, provided the individual is willmakes an individual accept that he must becacy, sophistication and suitability of the computer, ing to base existence on the eternal, evercome less vital, then by all means he shall be it can never operate itself. spirituality. of ‘now’ the of immediacy green subject to a mid life crisis. Yet, this need not be. And many individuals, Dr. Passy Amaraegbu, A clinical psychologist lives in Lagos. firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com even in Nigeria, are proving it. The world
Overcoming Mid Life Crisis With Spirituality T
Sunday, April 27, 2014
OKON:Bringing Health And Skills To Women And Girls COVER P/18 INSECURITY:A Clarion Call For Bipartisanship
NEWSFEATURE P/22 Harnessing Diaspora Human Capacity
Sunday, April 27, 2014
THE GUARDIAn www.ngrguardiannews.com
OkOn: Bringing Health And Skills To Women And Girls Obot Valerie Okon is the 19th President of the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN) and Akwa Ibom State Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control officer. She spoke with AYOYINKA JEGEDE. What’s Medical Women Association of nigeria all about? WAn is an organisation made up of qualified female medical and dental doctors. It is registered with the medical and dental council of nigeria. It was established in 1976 and is an affiliate of the Medical Women International Association of nigeria, as well as the nigerian Medical Association. We currently have 27 state branches in the country and have carried out many activities. It is an umbrella, where qualified female medical and dental doctors in nigeria meet. What have been your achievements? We have reached out to women by offering them free breast and cervical cancer screening after which those that have pathological disorders are referred for specialists care. We have also been part of sponsorship for women with cervical and breast cancer. We have been giving women a lot of information on their health, which we call ‘Women right to health information.’ We have been going to parastatals, ministries and schools. We have also been educating people on non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. We have done a lot of health services screening for diabetics, hypertension, sickle cells and HIV/AIDS. We have gone to communities, villages, market places and prisons to offer health information or screening as the case may be, and also to support them. What’s Reach-G all about? During my investiture, I realised that as medical women, we have not done enough to reach out to girls. If you want to change the world, you have to invest in the girls and that’s why we coined a programme known as ‘Reach-G.’ It is about creating opportunities for empowerment and health in the girl-child. We try to advocate first to government for girl-friendly policies at work places, schools and girl friendly policies in terms of health services. We also try to give girls comprehensive health information and services because they are very prone to teenage pregnancies, psychological disorder and depression. We try to offer them health services as well as creating a fund, with which we give indigent girls scholarships to any level. We are also freeing violated women. Today in nigeria, there are many girls that are victims of rape, sexual and domestic violence. We are offering girls violence help lines, where they can call us toll free and we look into their issues and refer them because we are collaborating with FEDAR to ensure that these girls are being protected. We are also trying to set up the Reach-G Centre, which is like a comprehensive unit that will carry health information and services for these girls with a scholarship, counseling and mentoring section. There will also be a unit, where girls can go for recreation as well as services. Why are many women prone to ailments such as cancer, hypertension, diabetes, HIV/AIDS etc.? Breast and cervical cancers are more common among women, though men too have breast cancer. There are a lot of risk factors attached to these two cancers. Because it is only women that have cervix, they are the ones prone to cervical cancer. As regards hypertension, I think women undergo too much stress. There are a lot of risk factors concerning breast cancer, which includes the fact that all women are at a risk of developing it. Also, if a woman has never breastfed, she is more at risk of developing breast cancer. If there is a family history of breast cancer, there is the tendency that the woman could follow the lineage and may be prone to breast cancer. There is a particular category of people with genes that predispose them to what is called Boca 1 and Boca 2. Any woman having that genetic factor has the tendency to develop breast cancer. Obesity, smoking, alcohol, lack of exercise and high cholesterol are all factors that predispose women to breast cancer. We screen women routinely for breast cancer in all the 27 state branches in the country and teach them how to check their breasts on their own. We also have a few mammogram machines and we are pleading with the government to provide us with more of them because that is the easiest, simplest and fastest way to detect whether a woman has breast cancer or not. Cervical cancer also has some risk factors. For instance, if a woman is sexually active and has multiple partners, there is the tendency for her to develop cervical cancer. If after menopause, a woman still menstruates or begins to bleed, those are likely signs that she may have cervical cancer. This type of cancer mainly occurs among women who have many children or have multiple partners and are sexually active.
What are the causes of kidney disease among women? It is the same cause for both men and women. It may be as a result of the fact that a lot of women use bleaching creams, which can damage the kidney leading to renal diseases. Also, women are more stressed up. They are multi-tasked; they take care of their husbands and children, cook, go to work and do other house chores. The more the individual is stressed and doesn’t create time to relax, the greater the tendency he/she will quickly develop hypertension. This is coupled with the fact that many women hardly go for routing checks. When people have a headache, they take Panadol, but there is the possibility that they may be having blood pressure without going to the hospital for checkups. What is your view regarding girl-child and teenage pregnancy? Because abortion is not legalised in nigeria, many girls patronise quacks. So, what we do is to give them health information. Once a person is empowered with knowledge, he/she is able to take definitive actions. We believe when they are so empowered, the tendency of them getting involved in sexual intercourse is reduced, as this ends in unwanted pregnancy. We are also campaigning for education for the girl-child. An educated girl-child is more likely to stay in school and eventually get married with limited number of children she can take care of. Uneducated girl-child or one that dropped out on the other hand will go into early marriage without any skill.
We want to reach the girls with information and services. We want to screen them of HIV/AIDS and diabetes. With this, the girls that are SS will know they shouldn’t get married to another SS. We are also trying to collaborate with groups to see how we can give skills to girls that dropped out of school, so they can become self-sufficient. We offer women skills thereby empowering them economically. How’s your growing up like? We were a family of seven— my father, mother and siblings. Growing up was very interesting for all of us. My father loved to travel and that was where I formed the habit of travelling because he used to take me along. My mum used to sew and she made most of my cloths while I was growing. I came from a Christian family and grew up to know that we need to put God first in life. It was very interesting sitting, eating and gisting together. We grew up in a close-knit family. What’s your style in terms of dressing? I wear whatever is comfortable on me. I don’t like wearing dresses that reveal my sensitive parts. I particularly like wearing boubou. What advice would you give to to women? They should be determined, set goals for themselves and achieve them. They shouldn’t allow their sex to deter them. They can reach the top and become president and governors. Women can reach the top of their careers. Every woman and girl should avail themselves of all health facilities available. Women should care for themselves by visiting nearby hospitals and doing complete medical check up. It is not advisable to wait until sickness comes. With medical check up, you may detect anything early, which can be taken care of before it kills. Women don’t have reasons to die. On prevention and controlling of tuberculosis and leprosy in nigeria, cases of previously treated tuberculosis can be used to treat new ones. Women should ensure they avail their children of BCG immunisation at birth. If you have anybody living or staying around you, who has been coughing for some time, take interest and ask him/her how long it has been on. Refer the person to the nearest heath facility for proper treatment and care. It is imperative that nigerians live in well-ventilated buildings. They should open their windows and doors. Avoid overcrowding because that is what enables tuberculosis to spread very fast. Concerning leprosy, if there is any patch on your skin, it may not be eczema. Go to the hospital and be examined. Do not patronise chemists or buy cream to rub on it because it could be leprosy. If leprosy is detected early enough, there is no need to end up in disabilities. How do you relax? Whenever I am stressed up and I want to relax, I put on my best music and my dancing shoes. I love dancing, and at the end of it, I have a shower and go to bed and just sleep like a baby. Any regret in life? The day I will never forget in life or my biggest regret in life was the day I lost my mother. I believe that as a medical doctor, one whose mother suffered so much to see through medical school, she should not have died because of a disease. I grew up after my mother’s death and have never forgiven myself. I felt she toiled enough to enjoy the benefits of the years she sowed into my life. Unfortunately, she left me quite early, just when I was about to start taking care of her. Your most interesting moment That was when I had my third baby because for 10 years, I had been crying to God to give me a child. I had my first twins in quick succession and then I waited for 10 years without having a child. But all of a sudden and from nowhere, God answered my prayers and gave me my second son. That was the happiest moment in my life. Why do women sometimes have delay in child bearing? It involves a lot of issues because sometimes it has to do with hormonal delay. Delayed pregnancy could either be primary or secondary and there are a lot of factors that can cause it. These range from hormonal challenges to problems and abnormalities. It could be due to structural defects. My advice is that if a woman experiences delay, she should visit the gynaecologist that will investigate and proffer proper solutions to the challenge. How do you juggle being a professional, wife and mother? It is not easy at all. Do I really have a ‘me’ time? I just want to say that I thank God for giving me an understanding husband and loving children. Then again, women naturally multi-task; so I guess it comes with being a woman that we just cope. A loving and understanding family to support you is the icing on the cake.
Sunday, April 27, 2014
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
ENTERPRISE By Bisi Alabi Wiliiams AS the CEO of Rare Gem Consultancy (UK) and Arkright Consultancy (Nigeria), and a board member of various companies under the Rare Gem Umbrella, she Chinwe Maduike sees herself as the key ingredient in making it all happen, having being involved at the strategic and business levels. She is part of a talented team of c professionals who put the sparkle into all her business interests across continents. Her management style: a bit liberal, but extremely prudent. An introvert, yet, she behaves like an extrovert, a very unassuming lady of style and class. “You have to be liberal in today’s world. My business spans across four continents and the rules you have in one continent would be different from what you have in another. I have to be professional and not rigid. Everyone knows that there is a standard and this applies no matter the part of the world that we are operating in. One of the things that helped me at the beginning was the environment in England. I did a lot of research. This helped me. And this is something that a lot of start-ups don’t do or are afraid or lazy to do and these things don’t come easy if you want to succeed doing business. Being a woman didn’t stop me.” Her rich background in Politics and International Relations from Coventry University and MBA earned at the University of Hertfordshire has also helped a great deal. No wonder that Chinwe is reputed to have facilitated investment round tables, conferences and headed workshops for multinationals and African governments. She has no doubt built an enviable academic and vocational foundation with some of the best schools in the world as a certified business analyst, project manager, management consultant and management consultant of note. She also has consulting experiences and exposures with world class names such as VirginMedia, FORDJaguarLandrover, Office for National Statistics, CAPITA, HISCOX, Logica, Bank of England, Royal Bank of Scotland (HBOS), AIG Insurance, AVIVA, Volkswagen among others. She is also a member of World - renowned Chatham House in England. On her journey so far, she said; “I needed to do this because there is nothing better than learning on the job. My first mentor is a Jewish man, who is 76 years old man. He taught me the fundamentals and principles of business. There is also Dr. Olajide, a medical doctor doing business in England.” ‘‘Mum is my rock. I am here and she is managing all my businesses and she is 66 years old. She is that woman behind me. She is unshakeable and unbendable. She is a nursing director in London and she gives me the boost to go ahead. Mum has been working for over 40 years and she is so energetic. She speaks five foreign languages. I also admire women like Margaret Thatcher and Betty Bistrode. Thatcher was a woman amongst men; she took England to war and won the war. As women, we must not feel sorry for ourselves. And this is what I tell young girls all the time. God did not make a mistake when he made me a woman, when he made them women.’’ Chinwe has led multidisciplinary and multilocated teams to achieve financial and non-financial targets, whilst always upholding the unique culture and brand of the organisation. Her specialty in a myriad of business domains like oil and gas, automobile, the financial services sector, insurance services, education, training, real estate domain and more executive events planning and project management. This has placed in her hands responsibilities for multiple and large-scale projects, which her company undertakes, either as a sole engagement or in partnership with others located anywhere in the world. Maduike owns and runs eight companies, which have tentacles in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and now the Far East. As a management Consultant, she has been instrumental in introducing some seasoned foreign investors into some African countries and played crucial roles in structuring some multi-million dollar investment deals between some African governments and forging investors. Her first allegiance, she said, is to home
MADUIKE: Fantastic Opportunities Abound In Nigeria, But Untapped country, Nigeria. Those who know her say she works like a man and wins like a woman, making her earn trust and respect over the years. ‘‘It is with every sense of humility that I can say this without feeling like I am blowing my own trumpet, these men know that this lady is not just about beauty and brains, but I’ve got class, integrity and strength of character and all these sterling attributes no doubt endeared me to their hearts, so they trust and respect me absolutely.” So business is not about issues of gender, but about competence, capacity, character and compassion for the assignment and the ability to deliver on point. “Interestingly, I have had male and female models who have made my work count. I have worked with a number of government ministries and parastatal. And in
must organise ourselves to get a better deal at the negotiating table.” Despite her responsibilities, her tight work schedules, frequent travels and networking across countries, she still takes time out to mentor others. ‘‘Oh yes I am busy but you can never be too busy to invest in others because humans are a great resource that need constant re-assessment and grooming. They are the soul of a business that will thrive. At the moment, I have a mentoring program for students and I take on the MBA students from the London school of Economics and some other schools hands-on and put them on projects that I am working on. I see them as part of the job and my dream is that you go on to establish your own company. In addition, I always emphasis the team factor for those I am men-
making sure that the environment is conducive I was able to bring in my expertise from the past, helping to provide the kind of environment that they want to see and the right kind of policy that works.” On how Africans can transform the continent and position themselves for greatness, she said: “We must negotiate our terms of foreign investment in our respective countries and communities with the aim of enabling us as Africans to build a transformed Africa on our own terms, as we have the resources that are very much in demand in today’s world. We
toring from different parts of the world like Pakistan, Nigeria and others. “As an African woman, I do love to see people – women especially - out there fulfilling what they do best and breaking the glass ceiling. Working smartly, equipped with a total and unshakable belief in themselves.” This Imo State born lady takes a keen interest in seeing clients in their little beginnings, she talks to them about what’s going to happen and goes on to supervise their growth strategy.
I am surprised that Nigerians are too busy with other things that they are not seeing these opportunities they can readily invest in, which many Indians are buying into. I don’t know weather it’s because of all the happenings at home, the insecurity, the unfavourable business environment, the huge cost of doing business, but whatever it is, it is killing the businesses and we must fix it.
But she is worried about the cost of doing business here. She said; “Although, it must be said that the Nigerian government is gradually implementing reforms focused on infrastructural development in Nigeria, the quality of institutional and administrative frameworks in Nigeria is still a source for concern and we can still do better in this area. This is largely due to corruption, inadequate infrastructure, insecurity, technological drawbacks, undue influence and government inefficiencies to name a few. Nigeria’s laid-back attitude in addressing these basic requirements puts her in the same category with countries with huge potentials, but consistently weak or underperforming growth.” In spite of that, Chinwe her main aim is to bring in seasoned investors to Nigeria. She sees so many opportunities untapped, mind-blowing opportunities to explore. For instance, she would like to see products that are available in Nigeria also available in shops in the United Kingdom. She would like to see Nigerian farmers doing business in the international market. She would like to see opportunities where the Federal government would make the market much more open. This is something she is passionate about. “I am surprised that Nigerians are too busy with other things that they are not seeing these opportunities they can readily invest in, which many Indians are buying into. I don’t know weather it’s because of all the happenings at home, the insecurity, the unfavourable business environment, the huge cost of doing business, but whatever it is, it is killing the businesses,” she says. On her part, she says her team is not afraid of working too hard and taking on new challenges and assignments anywhere. “For instance, we are also working with a Russian firm on financing an oil vessel and last year, I was instrumental in getting investors to get into the power sector. Also for Agriculture we have investors wanting to invest in tomatoes and they are ready to come into the states. We also have investors in the hospitality area and they are thinking of building amusement parks and all that. “As a people, we need to harness our human resource potentials. In my opinion this is Nigeria’s greatest asset, our human resource potentials. A country’s potential for economic growth is greatly influenced by its endowments in terms of physical and human resource. It is estimated there are 160 million Nigerians. The potential for these are immeasurable if these human resources are put to good use.” Chinwe speaks Igbo, Yoruba and English very fluently. She is totally Nigerian, but is unhappy that today’s Nigeria faces enormous challenges, and one of its most crucial is power. She wants government to create an enabling, sound investment environment and favourable policies to guarantee financial rewards, like tax exemptions and renewable energy credits. She identifies other bottlenecks, such as bad roads, highly expensive local flights and hotel accommodation, which she wants corrected. She wants Diaspora Nigerians who have decided to return because of a combination of strong growth back home, and the economic slowdown in the West not to be deterred. The challenge, she said is for government to provide enabling environment so that many Nigerians who have great ideas will return home. She said, “In Nigeria at present, it takes at least 30 days to register and start off a business, but in some other countries it takes only a day. Nigeria has capacity to grow in leaps and bounds, but there has to be a change in the administration of policies.” When not working, Chinwe watches movies online. ‘‘Sometimes when I am writing a report and diminishing returns sets in, I take a break. I also travel a lot, surf the net and the other hobby I enjoy is make-up. I love high life music, like Orlando Owoh’s, no matter where I am I listening to him. Even while working or surfing the net, I always have this in the background when I am working. It’s incredible how it helps my flow of thoughts.”
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Cover INSECUrITy: A Clarion Call For Bipartisanship
result is pollution of the political atmosphere, so much so that ‘fair is foul and foul OT ready to reason and work togethis fair,’ to borrow from William er, the political class has gradually Shakespeare’s revered wisdom. embraced divisive politics, instead of The same ‘2015 calculation’ wrote the obitemploying bipartisan means to tackle uary of the authentic Nigeria Governors Nigeria’s numerous challenges, top of Forum (NGF), the original 36 members of which is insecurity. which have since been shared in nearFrom the awful exchanges between forequal measures to Governors Jonah Jang mer president Olusegun Obasanjo and (JJ) and rotimi Chibuike Amaechi (rA) facPresident Goodluck Jonathan, citizens are tions. Both factions are now in sleep mode, now being ‘entertained’ by the President as political troubles and events have put to and some governors, who trade allegations sleep a once vibrant political bloc. and blames over the security situation in For several months, until political expedithe Northeast. On the other hand, the ency temporarily kept them at bay, the rA Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All and JJ ‘boys’ held sway, holding down the Progressives Congress (APC) trade similar entire political landscape and forcing the blames and allegations. The result is that media to sacrifice development journalism the country is polarized, so much so that on the altar of frivolities. Newspapers, citizens wonder whether there is still one especially the politically inclined, devoted Nigeria to stand for and defend. their front pages to rA and JJ media stateChieftain of the APC, Senator Annie ments on the so-called crack in the NGF, Okonkwo, in a chat with The Guardian at whereas governance at state and local govthe weekend, expressed similar sentiments ernment levels suffered huge losses. when he called for a collective fight against Although governor Jang was the one putinsecurity. ting up the fight in the day time, many “Sometimes, I wonder how a group of argued that, at ‘night’ it was a battle people could, for many years, continue to between President Goodluck Jonathan and hold the nation to ransom. The Biafran War governor Amaechi over 2015 Presidential ended within 30 months and everybody election. Indeed, not long after, the drums came together and we became one. Since were rolled out in rivers with both parties Nigerians came together to fight the civil actively dancing to the war beats. With the war, why can’t we come together now to emergence of Amaechi’s kinsman, Nyesom fight Boko Haram once and for all? It is so Wike, a federal minister, on the arena — embarrassing, and it is not good for our and the governor also not blinking for a nation,” the Senator advised. second — it was a matter of time for the “Insecurity in Nigeria,’ Annie Okonkwo commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu, to be pleaded, “is what everybody must put redeployed to Abuja. Again, the media relhands on deck to resolve. Whether you are ished the show while it lasted. APC or PDP, no party is happy with the way The dramatic split in the NGF was the Boko Haram terrorises the country. you childbirth of disputations over whether don’t know who would be the next victim. the rivers State Governor, Amaechi, should Boko Haram doesn’t spear people, whether succeed himself or hand over to Governor they are Muslims or Christians. So, we must Jang of Plateau. Notwithstanding, a handunite to fight the insurgents.” ful of constitutional lawyers and other seriThe former Senator is worried that, at ous-minded Nigerians, many of whom had all levels of government, those elected to rued the negative impact of the NGF on revive Nigeria seem to have their own agen- governance at the grassroots, sang da. rather than tackle the country’s securi- ‘alleluia’ to that split as good riddance. ty challenge, create employment for teemWhether, or not, the situation has ing youths and invest in critical infrastruc- improved one bit, especially in the light of ture, political office holders are busy with the ongoing blame game over the Boko their messages of hate, undermining perHaram crisis, is now a matter of conjecture. ceived foes, in effort to either win future Political pundits, who, at the time, alleged elections — 2015 in the present circumthat 2015 was at the heart of the crises, stance — or to consolidate power. The appeared to have been vindicated by the By Marcel Mbamalu, News Editor
Nyako unfolding drama, as the emergence of strong opposition further divided public office holders, even on matters of national interest. The Amaechi-Jang controversy did not just end with the NGF break up; it cost the PDP some of its prized leaders, including governors Amaechi himself, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa, rabiu Kwakwanso of Kano, among others, and strengthened the amalgam that metamorphosed into the APC. But governors Sule Lamido of Jigawa State and Aliyu Babangida of Niger State beat a timely retreat back to the PDP after leading the protest march that led the like of governors Nyako and Amaechi into the waiting arms of the APC amalgam. Over 30 PDP members in the National Assembly also defected to the APC and are currently being threatened in some quarters with sack. In its characteristic resilience, the PDP, a political party that claims Africa’s number one in the most arguable manner, however, managed to get its own pound of flesh from an equally strong opposition. The return to PDP of some APC founding members, in the mould of Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa and Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa, actually dealt a serious blow to the pride of the opposition. The NASS, whose members owed allegiance to their home governors, turned the House to a battlefield, as defections brought in a new ‘arithmetic of majority’ between the dominant PDP and the APC to a controversial stalemate. The matter is still in the courtroom. In the midst of this frenzy, the Boko Haram sect and others were sweeping through the North East, killing at will. Meanwhile, by frustrating similar moves by some PDP senators to defect to the opposition party, Senate President, David Mark, however, managed to keep his ‘House’ in order. Following the defection controversy was that of the national conference. President Goodluck Jonathan was accused of habouring a hidden 2015 agenda, which he intended to achieve through the dialogue. The Opposition insisted, and still maintains, that it would not soil its fingers with that ‘portion of the king’s meat,’ even though its governors did send representatives for their individual states. But the President has received strong knocks for seemingly managing the political crisis and the security situation in a lack-lustre manner. For instance, his presence at the unity rally in Kano, a day after the Nyanya-Abuja
Buhari bombing, which killed over 70 Nigerians and left more than 200 others injured, calls for concern. Even as the President, at the rally ground in Kano, was taking on governor Kwakwanso’s unfortunate comments about why he would not receive his own president on a visit to his (Kwakwanso’s) state, the Boko Haram sect was busy in Borno abducting some 200 students of a Government College in Chibok. Now, on governor Nyako’s letter to colleague governors in the region, accusing the president of orchestrating genocide against the North; the Adamawa governor got subtle support from some quarters, even when it is obvious that it was distasteful to lend that support publicly. Although fellow governors, federal ministers and former leaders of the country, have reprimanded Nyako, a retired military officer, for being so ‘unprofessional’ with his criticism and unsubstantiated allegations against a sitting president, it would be recalled that President Jonathan had also replied him, accusing him of divisive tendencies. Suffice it to say that the media vultures also got a measure of reprimand for feeding fat on the trailing carcass of the Nyako-Jonathan war. The Adamawa governor, in the company of 11 other governors from the North had, barely two months ago, at the White House, the US seat of power, echoed similar allegation, saying he was not satisfied with the president’s war on terror. As political disagreements over sensitive national issues like poverty, unemployment, terrorism, and other security challenges, including ritual killings in the South West, kidnapping in the South East and Southsouth, and herdsmen-farmers rift in the North Central, subsists, there is need for patriotic and bi-partisan approach in resolving them. However, former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s recent and statesmanlike comment on the problem of insecurity and President Jonathan’s response provides a ray of hope, an indication that politicians are beginning to rise up to the challenge. APC leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, also joined the fray in condemning the attacks. Other political leaders and governors, irrespective of party affiliation, should borrow a leaf now!
Sunday, April 27, 2014 19
‘Bad Politics Depleting Social Capital’ From Kelvin Ebiri, Port Harcourt IGeRIA’S social capital is fast being depleted by deep-seated N disagreements, occasioned by unethical political intrigues. ordinary Nigerians had high hopes when military dictatorship ended in 1999, ushering in some form of representative government as typified by the former President olusegun obasanjo administration. Fifteen years down the road, Nigerians’ hope for socio-economic transformation remains elusive, primarily due to bad politics. Shortly after the condemnable Nyanya bombing, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) National Publicity Secretary, Mr. olisa Metuh, asserted that the attack for which the Jam at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-da wa wal-Jih d, popularly known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility, was politically motivated and could be traced to the utterances and comments of desperate persons who seek to undermine and discredit the present administration and make the nation ungovernable for President Goodluck Jonathan by instituting a reign of terror against the people. In a swift reaction, the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, described as despicable the PDP’s attempt to trivialise a very serious issue and make the opposition the fall guy for its own egregious failure. He pointed out that the PDP and the government it leads at the centre should realise that this issue is beyond politics and partisanship, and should reach out to other stakeholders to help find a way to end the insurgency that has now defied all measures, including a state of emergency. Though the APC had called on the Federal Government to urgently convene a national stakeholders’ security summit to help find a lasting solution to the spate of mindless killings in the country. The party had indicated that in national interest and in the spirit of bipartisanship, it is willing and ready to be part of any positive efforts to end the daily loss of lives and the damage to property that seem to have hit a new high since the beginning of this year. Despite this disposition, an expanded security meeting convened by President Jonathan shortly after the Nyanya attack, which was attended by PDP governors, those of Labour Party and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), allegedly excluded APC governors. The ruling party accused APC of aiding and abetting terror in Nigeria. To buttress the culpability of the APC, Metuh accused its governors of shunning the National Security Council meeting called by the President to deliberate on ways to bring the sponsors of terror to book. According to him, “Government is different from politics and it is quite unfortunate that in the pursuance of politics, APC governors shunned a meeting to secure the nation’s integrity and protect the lives of Nigerians.” Contrary to Metuh’s allegation, the chairman of PDP Governors Forum and Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio, shortly after the meeting confirmed that the APC governors were not invited. Stressing that several countries have risen and fallen as a direct result of the quality of the leadership, Port Harcourt-based lawyer and socio-political analyst, Mr. Kingsley Wali, said that concerted effort should be made to enthrone good governance and leadership for the country to develop. He expressed dismay over the present brand of bad politics, which is at the root of the unnecessary political headwinds that the country witnessed in recent times. He regretted that the country’s politics is bereft of ideology and that those involved in politics, have done so for personal reasons and what they stand to ben-
Akpabio efit. “When people are driven by national interest, there is a limit to what you can say in public because some things you say actually jeopardise national security and interest. When you have national crisis, people put aside their personal interest, ego and try to solve the problem. A practical example was when the twin towers was bombed by al- Qaeda. every American rallied around the president because he showed leadership. I remember very well that the whole world saw President George Bush mount the rubbles of the twin towers, supported by the Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani. “ He rolled his sleeves and made specific statements that were very lifting to the spirit of the American people and he said they were going to go after the enemies of America. The Americans bombed Afghanistan and Iraq. How successful that campaign was, is a different matter but the president sent a clear signal that America will go after those who want to disrupt the way of life of the Americans and he got the support of many Americans. “But right here, we are so petty. Imagine if somebody wants to build a healthcare center, some people will want to sabo-
tage it because they feel it will add political capital to the person. So, what was supposed to benefit people should not be done by him. Instead, of complementing him, they want to thwart his efforts,” said Wali. He observed that it is only bad politics that could spur a spokesperson of a ruling political party to accuse another party of sponsoring terror, and the government would not take measure to investigate the matter and prosecute those allegedly encouraging terrorism. ‘There is a peculiar situation in which we have found ourselves, which is that the Boko Haram people are strengthened by the crisis around the Lake Chad region surrounded by failed states. And you know that these terrorist groups go to failed states to build camps and resources. “Arms are so free in failed states. When you have these failed societies around Nigeria, what we should have been concerned with is how to cut the supply lines for the terrorist groups. Why are we playing politics with this? People feel that if you accuse a particular political party of being in support of Boko Haram, because of the sentiments, there is a tendency for people to reject the party. “If you can demonise a particular party, it simply means that those who are angry with Boko Haram not because the claim is right, but because of bad politics. We are not playing politics, what we are doing is just power game. People just want power not for altruistic reason. That is the problem we have in this country. I am worried for this country.” Similarly, Dr. uchenna Wilson told The Guardian that the reason for this kind of politics in the country is because of poor quality of politicians. According to him, most of those governing the country are completely out of sync with the daily realities faced by the ordinary citizens. He argued that many at the corridors of power are greedy, corrupt and disinterested in the welfare of the people. “Honestly, I strongly feel that it has become imperative for those who hold the reins of power to reconnect with the general Nigerian populace who have since independence been craving for a better Nigeria. The politicians should in the interest of the country, direct their efforts to protecting life and property as well as to serving the people. The political syndrome of egotism needs to be done away with as a matter of national urgency. “Frankly, what all Nigerians, irrespective of religion or political persuasion, need is a functioning government based on inclusive politics that truly have the people at heart. The eagle should allow the dove to thrive in this representative governance. Those offering relevant alternative policies and strategies and thereby ensuring a vibrant democracy should not be muscled,” said Wilson. A social activist, Sodi George, observed that so long as politicians fail to uphold the true tenets of their public offices, Nigeria’s genuine development and global relevance would continue to dwindle. He stressed that Nigerians must not allow their country to be held to ransom by a select few, who further their own gains while the rest of the people suffer socio-economic hardship because of their selfish politics. He argued that it has become imperative for the current crop of politicians, regardless of party affiliation, to realise that they are involved in processes and institutions that determine the wellbeing of citizens. According to him, the political class need to appreciate that the decisions they make have far-reaching implications, which means that they, by virtue of their political position, hold the fate of many in their hands.
Politicisation of Insurgency In The North From Saxone Akkaine, Northern Bureau Chief eRIouS concern has been expressed on the politicization of the insurgency, which has killed thousands in the North. Millions of people inhabiting the geographical landscape now live in fear, not knowing what the future holds. Several groups, religious and socio-cultural, have warned against ascribing religious or ethnic undertone to the terrorist attacks in the north undertaken by the Boko Haram sect. But political leaders, supported by the Arewa elders in the north, have now politicised the actions of the insurgents and are now apportioning blames to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government of President Goodluck Jonathan, apparently as an unfolding game plan towards the 2015 general election. Many, in response to the recent letter to President Jonathan by the Governor of Adamawa State, retired Admiral Murtala Nyako, that the he should be blamed for the alleged genocide by the insurgents, said it was a ploy to incite northerners against Jonathan and also make the country ungovernable. Also, the unfolding scene is a shameful display of political partisanship, poor planning and manipulation which left the Presidency in default damage control mode, after the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) leaders, apart from Nyako, accused
President Jonathan of conscienceless public grandstanding with the rising insecurity in the country, fueled by the Boko Haram insurgency. The ruling PDP was still trying to mend broken fences after it emerged that PDP governors met secretly with the President, while opposition governors had been cavalierly informed that the meeting had been called off. The APC was not amused and are demanding an apology. APC leader, General Mohammadu Buhari, in a statement Thursday, demanded an apology from the PDP; not only for the snub, but also for comments attributed to PDP officials, who continue to blame the APC for the endless Boko Haram terrorism that has transformed the northern part of the country into a huge killing field. Besides, some PDP governors, led by the Akwa Ibom Governor, Godswill Akpabio, are of the opinion that the Boko Haram insurgency is a political agenda of the north-dominated APC; and so asked that they be excluded from the meeting between the President and the nation’s 36 governors; to discuss the degenerating security situation, in the wake of the suicide bombing in Abuja that killed 72 people and injured over 164 others. The Presidency had, via a statement by Reuben Abati, the special adviser on media and publicity, invited all governors and the National Security Council for a meeting over insecurity in the coun-
try. But the meeting was rescheduled, ostensibly because the APC governors failed to show up. It was thus with a sense of shock that opposition governors learnt the meeting held with only PDP governors in attendance. As the brickbat exchanges intensified, with both sides trading accusations, Gov. Akpabio, insisted that only PDP governors were invited for the meeting. Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the two-hour meeting, Akpabio said, the PDP met separately with the President and the security chiefs because they are the ruling party; and it was incumbent on them to concert first before meeting the other opposition governors. He intimated that the decision to include the opposition governors in the meeting followed their consideration that the Boko Haram insurgency was a national issue affecting the whole country. But the APC found Akpabio’s explanations, trifling and an afterthought to douse the inferno of public criticisms that trailed the decision by the president to meet secretly with the PDP governors. APC National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, accused the PDP of outright deceit. He said the APC governors were misled by the Presidency, hence their absence from the security meeting. Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the truth of the matter is that the governors were given the impression that the meeting had been called off,
hence they did not attend. In fact, many people have seen the altercation that trailed efforts by the political leaders in resolving the present insurgency in the country as an unpatriotic act of playing politics with the lives of Nigerians, which are currently under the mercy of Boko Haram. Some of the actions of the Arewa elders in the north have not helped matters either. While supporting Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa on allegation of insensitivity on the side of the Federal Government to halt the genocide said to have been perpetrated in the north by Boko Haram, the Arewa leaders called on President Jonathan whom they were accusing of fanning the embers of genocide to put an end to the insurgency. The Arewa elders argued that, instead of the President taking offence at Governor Nyako’s statement, he should make efforts to raise an investigation panel on the issues raised by the Adamawa State Governor. National Publicity Secretary of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Alhaji Mohammad Ibrahim, who reacted to the contentious issue, said that “ACF had earlier called on Government to thoroughly investigate the source of funds, arms and ammunitions the insurgents use in carrying on with their deadly acts of terrorism against the people without much resistance from our securiCONTINUED ON PAGE 20
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
20 Sunday, April 27, 2014
OKOGIE: Greed Is The Evil That Has Beclouded Our Leaders Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, former Archbishop of Lagos and president Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is also a fearless social critic. In this interview with GBENGA SALAU, he expresses worry that political ambition has beclouded the political class. ESIDES the insecurity in the land, the politiB cal atmosphere is charged and the body language and utterances of politicians very divisive; is this healthy? I am really disappointed with our leaders; they are largely selfish; they think only about themselves and not about the nation as a whole. They only look at the nation so far as it could give them something, they do not seem to care directly about the populace, economy or other serious things. Many of the challenges we face are things God-fearing leaders would have addressed easily, but unfortunately, because of their greed, they want to hold on to power. They care more about their party losing at elections, instead of the good of the people. When you talk of party, Nigeria is not the only place where there are political parties. The parties, we have are really not political parties at all. Many of them have no manifestos, some just got things put together and call it manifestos, which is not. They are just manifesting their own wish, not what will benefit the nation or move the nation forward. One of the things I have noticed, I am not a politician, but in some of the states, you will find that there is a trend. For example, you can compare the kind of development in Ibadan, Lagos, Ondo, Ekiti and along that route down south, you can find others doing their best to build up their state. What are others doing, we have thirty something states. You talk about security, in so far as they and their properties are secure, they do not care. And it should not be, because what can they do without the populace, they are suppose to lead? 2015 is coming; you can see the hullabaloo going on already; the parties are fighting. Within the parties, they are fighting, outside the parties, they are fighting; where do you go to? Have we really got a nation? Is this what Macaulay, Balewa and others fought for? They never dreamt of this kind of thing, at all. What kind of leadership do we have? It grieves me a lot when I think about all these things. God really loves this country and it is the love He has for us that is still keeping us together. Instead of us to come together, we have people who instigate and cause confusion, so that people will think that Nigeria is a bad nation or the man at the helms should not rule. The other day, they said they know those who are responsible for Boko Haram but they do not want to name them, tell me brother, what kind of leadership is that? Will they wait until they kill one of their family members before they will talk, is that justice, is that what God brought us together for. Where do we go from here? Shouldn’t our leadership tread softly since it was once predicted that the country could disintegrate by 2015? I do not buy the idea that Nigeria is going to split in 2015, those saying so, that is their headache. What God has put together, it is going to be very difficult for anybody to split it. The greediness in them is what is urging
them on; I will do better when I get there. No, these things are gifts of God. Many of them believe that if they do not blow their trumpet, nobody will blow it for them. That is what is wrong with a good number of them. Some of them can give us six or seven refineries with the resources they have, but they are not satisfied. They are looking for more money. Those who even have the money, instead of using it for the good of the populace, to help the nation, they are not doing so. They want to help those they will put in position so that they will be godfathers and be getting kickbacks. They should know that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. They must remember that nobody in the history of the world has ever left this world to heaven with money. Everything perishes here, once the breath of life is off you, everything perishes here, no matter how holy you are. All the accolades that he was once this or that, once Nigeria’s president, are all empty boast. It is what you did that really matters, it is what people will remember you for and the only thing you can take to heaven. What is wrong with us, when you see the way people struggle for money, position, and power, even in religious circle? We started CAN, after Rev. Kandeh as president, I came next; and I was there for about eight years, myself and my secretary, who is dead now. I hope I am not going outside the discussion. Everybody knew in the nation that the Christians have a body. Even the Muslim group tried to imitate us because they envy us. What we were doing was, we only had one man in the centre, and any problem in any part of the country, the national body took it on. We carried it on our heads. We
were using our own money, not looking for or begging. Some people gave us money for the association, yes, but the money is not ours. It belongs to the association. No political party ever came around us, who are you to do that? That was why people say he talks and is not afraid of anybody, why should I be afraid, I’m sorry, I am raising my voice. Why should I be afraid? It is God that put me there, I did not put myself there. I am to protect and defend the interest of the Christians and that of the entire populace and non-Christians. We speak out whether you are going to kill us; we do not care. I have been in war front; I knew what happened, so who is going to threaten me with death? When we were told that they wanted to build a national cathedral and a national mosque, and we were given a hundred million each for that purpose, we told them, sorry, we do not want your money because we do not want your money to divide us. And if you must insist that we build it, Christians must get two hundred million not one hundred. I said go to the army; there were three chaplains that are respected in the army; Muslim, Protestants and Catholic. So, if you really want us to build a national cathedral then give us two hundred million. And Mongonu, who was the Minister of Internal Affairs then, got annoyed. I told him, sorry sir, the game of gun is not the first person that draws the gun to shoot, but the person that hit the target. And he kept quite and I reminded him also that I do not care what he has in his pocket, because he does not know what I have in my pocket. What do I have in my pocket,
nothing but my rosary bead, which is my gun. However, that is the problem with us, we think that by killing human beings like animals, then we would get somewhere; we would get no where. They say they know the perpetrators of this evil acts, but they are afraid to mention them, why, why? Guilty conscience; because they all have skeleton in their cupboards. If they do not, they will mention them. If they love this country, they will mention. Look at the way they are spilling blood, everyday you read in the papers. Whose names are we spoiling, we are not spoiling Jonathan’s name; it is the whole country. By the time they will realise the atrocity they have perpetrated on themselves, it will be too late. Look at what Gowon did to bring us together, God bless him. I still believe that God is still with this nation and God will keep us all alive to see what is going to happen in 2015. For us to tackle our challenges, especially insecurity, the leaders should not be playing extreme partisan politics, but that seems to be the situation? The kind of people we have today, they are rolling in money and they think that this money will save them. They are so selfish; they have allowed the devil to becloud them. They are only pre-occupied with how to get there and remove the person there. That is all what is in their head. And they are ready to dam the consequences, unfortunately. But who knows who will see 2015? Nobody. But one thing I believe in is, one with God is with majority. Unless you stand by the only one God, no other god will save you. And He is a just father. The funny thing in Nigeria is, all those perpetrators of evil, who shout at the rooftop, when they sense trouble, they will take to their heels, unfortunately. Some of them even before lightening the fire, they are gone. Daily we hear of seized ammunitions, I wonder what they are going to use the ammunitions that are seized for, if not 2015. Who are the importers, Nigeria is not at war with any nation. How do these Boko Haram people and armed robbers get their ammunitions? Somebody put it in the press sometime ago that even the soldiers are aiding the Boko Haram. Why can’t they name them, what is wrong with this nation, what kind of leadership do have we; our leaders should sit down to reason because for how long are we going to continue like this? But come 2015, if these leaders are not careful, they will be caught in their own web because the Nigeria of today, the populace is not that of twenty years back. Everyone seems to be alive and active. Looking at the exchange of words among our leaders, are we not throwing caution to the wind? In the first place, the governor is wrong, if you do not respect those in power, whether they get there rightly or wrongly is none of your business. If it pleases God, he can change him or her, so it is not proper to be insult him. I do not care who the governor is; he should not forget that he is a leader of people and nemesis is always there. And one thing I notice with these politicians is that, they are like lawyers; you find them abusing themselves within the courtroom, but the moment the court is over, they smile and exchange greetings as if nothing happened within the courtroom. That is the kind of things politicians do.
Politicisation Of Insurgency In The North CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19
ty forces deployed in the affected states.” Alhaji Ibrahim pointed out that “Governor Nyako being a victim of the calamity that have afflicted the Northern states is only expressing the frustrations being felt by other victims”. “ACF, therefore, calls on the Federal Government to urgently investigation the allegations made by Governor Nyako, especially the support being enjoyed by the insurgents from third parties within and outside Nigeria in order to get to the root of this insecurity ravaging the North.” Besides, the ACF spokesman noted: “Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state in a letter dated 16th April, 2014 sent to the Governors of Northern States accused the Federal Government of genocide against the people of the North”, adding that “he alleged that the Federal Government has failed to arrest the mindless slaughter and indiscriminate bloodletting by the Boko Haram insurgents and other terrorist groups which is a clear and systematic effort to destroy the Northern population for partisan political advantage.” Ibrahim also explained that “ACF had, in the last six years, expressed serious concern on the spate of killings and destruction of property by the Boko Haram insurgents and other criminals in the North especially in the North east region”. “It had also appealed to Government at various levels on the need to adequately equip and fund its military and other security personnel to tackle the insecurity challenges bedeviling the North, unfortu-
nately the measures employed by Government including a state of emergency have not yielded the desired result, hence the incessant attacks and kidnapping of innocent people by the insurgents and unknown gunmen”. “The scale and sophistication of the attacks being waged by the insurgents against unarmed people who do not even know or understand their grievance is beyond the capacity of the semi-illiterate almajiri (Boko Haram) that we know”. “It would be recalled that not long ago, our Military command informed the world that it had found and destroyed over 700 vehicles belonging to the insurgents in one of their camps, so as to wither the fighting being waged by the Boko Haram insurgents; how come the killings and kidnappings have continued to be on the increase especially in the North East region”. However, some elements in the north have also raised their voices on the dangerous mode of politicising the act of terrorism in the region, among whom is the former Governor of Kaduna State and Civil rights activist, Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (rtd) who criticised the Governor of Adamawa State, retired Admiral Nyako, over the allegation of genocide penciled against the Federal Government, saying such pronouncement was inciting and amounts to asking northerners to rise against the Government. While expressing disappointment over Nyako’s comments, Umar said, that
Governor Nyako, as a retired former military officer, should be aware of the weighty nature of his statement. Umar urged Nyako and other Northeast governors to channel all grievances over the current insecurity in their domain through the appropriate channels rather than embark on anything that could worsen the security problem the country is facing. Besides, the leader of the Northern Civil Society Coalition, Mallam Shehu Sani, while warning political leaders to desist from politicising the current terrorism and violence in Nigeria, said that the dangers inherent in such exercise would be too grave for the nation. According to him, “the ongoing insurgency and violence in the northern parts of Nigeria and Abuja stands unambiguously condemned. The abduction of innocent schoolgirls and the regime of fear and mayhem are most … intolerable. The unceasing violence is the most challenging threats to our freedom, our democracy and our corporate existence as a nation”. “It’s most unfortunate and regrettable that the Federal Government and the Nigerian political elites have not found the wisdom to stand up to this national emergency but rather chose to play politics with bloodletting. The allegations that the Federal Government or the ruling PDP is behind the insurgents and the insurgency is a political offensive by the opposition, but it’s out rightly false”.
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OYEGUN: We All Must Take Responsibility For Lapses the press doesn’t seem to have caught on. It is the one we now today described as cattle-handlers or Fulani herdsmen, I mean when did they start slaughtering people? When did they start brandishing automatic weapons, I thought their concern was grazing for their cattle; something very serious is going on and we don’t seem to have recognised that fact, not to talk of preparing to Nigeria is in a critical state; politically, ecoconfront the reality that is staring us in the face, nomically, security wise; yet the political that this thing is much wider and it is beginning class is sharply divided. Is this the best to spread all over the northern states. Unless we approach to solving serious state issues? confront it massively and on a war footing, we are ERTAINLY not. It is far from ideal, but in going to wake up one day and the Nigeria nation a way, probably to be expected given the will truly, well and truly be under siege. fact that we are headed for national elec- Does this not indict our security apparatus? tions just over eight months from now. But That is why I spent time narrating this abduction some of it, I agree with you, it is totally irrescenario. It is unthinkable, that there wasn’t any sponsible. The PDP statement immediately effort at hot pursuit, which means in that whole after that massive, unfortunate, dastardly community with an isolated school of young girls, bombing and the kidnapping of those girls there wasn’t one single individual in the entire that the APC was responsible, you don’t say community with a mobile handset who is being things like that. When the PDP mouthpiece entrusted to give us information, anything that is was challenged, he went as far back as the going on, let us know quickly? Not one? Because last, but one election to say that this is what we haven’t heard anything about anybody reachGeneral Buhari said then that precipitated ing the authority, there was no military formation trouble. First, it was not General Buhari that nearby; there was no police post nearby? So we made that statement, it was one of his party leave the situation to the public to judge whether officials that made that statement, but we are being adequately protected. But is the political class not also part of the probGeneral Buhari as person never said anylems we are facing right now; are you doing what thing like that and in any case, the circumyou ought to do irrespective of party affiliation? stances are different. Today’s circumstances are so serious, so severe and such a serious Everybody is becoming part of the problem threat to our national cohesion that that because to start with, this kind of problem would statement was totally uncalled for and quite not have arisen if religious sentiments have not frankly, irresponsible. been exploited unnecessarily, until it has now Secondly, the tossing backward and forbecome a monster that is threatening to consume ward about the need for a national come the nation. So, everybody must accept part of the together to discuss the nation’s security; the blame, all of us and we should be ready to now governors of the PDP met, then allegations, false allegations that the opposition governors were invited but boycotted the meeting, which of course turned out not to be true at all. Why should they make it a PDP affair in the first instance, when the entire nation is being threatened is something that I find beyond comprehension. So I agree with you the handling of the matter leaves a lot to be desired, not when so many lives are involved. Though the bombing has come and gone, people died but the case of these girls, over two hundred young girls that is still outstanding, nobody knows where they are. That is one that should put a chill in the polity, to ensure that all efforts should be geared towards finding those young Nigerians. I can imagine the agony that the parents, the relations, the friends are going through right now. These are not things for joke. The monster called Boko Haram and the threat it poses to this country I think was very properly encapsulated in the statement made by General Buhari, saying that these people are attacking the nation and that is the only appropriate way that we should answer. What bothers me is how in the circumstances that not once, not twice, students have been slaughtered in their schools, in their dormitories that the abduction of these girls could still have happened. We hear stories about girls being abducted, we never hear anything about their teachers, we never hear anything about their house masters, we never hear anything about anybody who was around to make sure that these kids who were sent from their homes to schools and in boarding houses were properly looked after, there is been absolutely no indication. They were able to go there, tell the girls they were soldiers, that they were moving them from one location to another? Quite frankly, it is incredible! Carrying 200 human in vehicles, which means it must have been fairly a long convoy and some of those vehicles twice breaking down on the road, so where is security? Is this the kind of nation we are running? Do we have the kind of government at the centre that can protect us? In the light of what went on before, students being slaughtered and in this nation we allowed that kind of thing to happen bite the bullet, to now confront this evil that is again in our own very eyes? It calls to questhreatening our nation and for that purpose, it tion the whole federal set up and the whole has to be all hands on deck. This is not somemachinery of maintaining security. All these thing for campaigning, this is not throwing at call for a really massive security effort, almost each other, except for the factual question like, putting the nation on a war footing because where is our security, what have they been doing, this must be crushed. People say discuss, yes what have they been up to? Do our politicians, I it is good to discuss but you cannot discuss mean those in government now, the opposition from a position of weakness. A nation against unfortunately has no role enforcing any of these a rebellion cannot discuss from a position of things, but those in government, do they have the weakness because right now, the federal sys- will, have they displayed the political will to contem seem to be a weaker party because the front these things. Have our religious leaders in initiative belong to these dastardly group this case, particularly in the north displayed the called Boko Haram. sufficient will to confront these things? Our reliWhat I even find more frightening is where gious teachers, what are they now teaching the
Chief John Oyegun is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of Edo State. He spoke to ALEMMA-OZIORUVA ALIU on the divisive state of the polity.
youths, are they teaching them that anybody who does this kind of thing will still go to heaven, with a hundred or thousand virgins waiting and that it is a trip straight to paradise; is that what they are still teaching or are they telling these people that what they are doing is evil and that it is not sanctioned by any religion and will earn them eternal damnation? These are the issues we need to be talking about. All the religious leaders as at today, what are they teaching their people? Will you say the sharp division in the polity has helped any party, beginning with the split in the Nigerian Governors’ Forum? I don’t think it started with the direct division in the Governors’ Forum. it is the total collapse of ethics in the PDP, the ruling that is at issue. The problem with the Governors’ Forum started with growing tendency of the federal government to step into states’ affairs, to take revenues that do not belong to the federal; to interpret the constitution and stretch it in a way that is disadvantageous to the states. Even PDP governors started questioning the status quo. If there was an issue between the states and the federal government, particularly if PDP governors were involved, they will say it is a family affair, but no, there is no family affair about the rights of the different levels of government; about their powers, about their responsibilities and things like that, but as far as what the Constitution says, there is no family affair in that. There are cases in court, some that are not yet in court, a lot of unconstitutional behaviour by the federal government, spending money from the federation account, which they are not entitled to. It is these divisions that the bold persons in the PDP governors started questioning. That was the genesis of the problem that developed. They
were being threatened to shut up, but unfortunately, these guys were too courageous for such and it ballooned from there, one thing leading to another. It is the crisis of the PDP and that was part of the problems of democracy in this country. Will one party control so much of our national life, local governments, states and the federal government? Will one party get into the mental frame that really it does not owe anybody explanation, will one party get into a situation where it can virtually tell the people I don’t need your vote anymore, I control INEC, I fix things down the line, I can get security operatives all over the country to cooperate in enforcing the PDP victory and things like that. That whole total situation
led to the arrogant impunity with which the country was being governed until the advent of the APC, which suddenly changed the political equations and politically changed the possibilities within the polity. Otherwise, if APC had not been born, only the good Lord can tell the direction with which this country was traveling. All of a sudden, there was a challenge and brakes were being applied in the system and in the confusion you can see what is happening, earlier we talked about diversion in the polity, all these are as a result of the confusion in the PDP. For instance the national conference, good idea, it is good that we talk, but is this the right time to talk going by the combustion within the polity, the kind of disaffection among Nigerians, going by the kind of security threats; which one are we going to do first? It is good to talk, but there is a time to talk and a time to work, I think this is the time to work. But does the APC have the capacity to give Nigerians the alternative they desire? Today, we have a Nigerian reality and Nigerian reality is based on a nation that is low on morality, a nation that is low on ethics, a nation that is low on what is right and what is wrong; a nation where impunity is reigning, that is the reality in the polity and APC lives in the polity. Years back when the opposition was fragmented here and there, you needed to beg people to even contest for offices; you beg them to even fill offices in party hierarchy, but today we have a very vibrant alternative, a party that even the blind can see has very high chances of becoming the next federal government. So, the context within the APC is necessarily thicker because people are now beginning to realise that holding an important office in what is coming will be a good pedestal to reach out politically. When we start nominating people for governmental offices, it would even be keener, but that will be resolved in due time and it will mark APC as truly committed to changing the tempo of politics and development in this nation Nigeria. What should the political class have done that they haven’t that has led us to where we are? What creates the environment for insecurity? If you don’t have good governance, if the people have lost hope, if the people don’t believe in government anymore, if the people have not been provided with alternatives by government and the government is not even showing any sign of appreciating that the problem exists; that the people are just milling around with nothing to do, they don’t have a stake, most of these youths have nothing to lose, they have no hope, they have no future, at least they don’t see it and nobody has offered them a future that is worth struggling for. And then these strange idea comes, from outside the country, from within the country, offering you some excitement, offering you food, offering you violent friends and all that, so it is a failure of government, total failure of government and that is the heavy burden that the APC is going to inherit.
Everybody is becoming part of the problem because to start with, this kind of problem would not have arisen if religious sentiments have not been exploited unnecessarily, until it has now become a monster that is threatening to consume the nation. So, everybody must accept part of the blame, all of us and we should be ready to now bite the bullet, to now confront this evil that is threatening our nation and for that purpose, it has to be all hands on deck.
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
22 Sunday, April 27, 2014
Nigerians on the move outside the country
Diaspora Nigerians: Harnessing Human Capacity of A Floating Population •More gains than pains HE eighties were years legendary ‘Andrew,’ Twho wanted to check out, would not forget. of the globe, come those some have described He wanted to leave the country for all the frus- as person non grata of some sort – they are job-
By Fabian Odum
trations that he encountered trying to make a break in his home country, Nigeria. Whether Andrew (part of a TV jingle played by actor Enebeli Elebuwa) was persuaded to hang on or not was a wait-and-see game at the time. Not even that popular commercial could dissuade the average Nigerian from seeking a greener pasture outside the shores of the country. In droves, many of the nation’s intelligentsia moved out; medical personnel filed into Saudi Arabian and Middle Eastern medical institutions, university dons picked their academic gowns and certificates and sought teaching appointments in diverse parts of the world and as far south as the Caribbeans and nurses/social workers moved to the United States and UK. Those who went for further studies, seeing and hearing what was happening in their home country, did not reckon with returning after getting the ‘Golden Fleece.’ Aside those who left, with the intention of doing things legal to earn a decent living, many also went into the dark side of the world of drug trafficking, financial crimes and other nefarious activities that have earned the country a ‘bad’ name. The diaspora population Some measure of demographics show that millions of Nigerians have emigrated to different parts of the world, but largest moves have been in the mid 90s. What is not clear is the exact population; not even Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Nigeria Diaspora would know. She supposes there are over three million, while former Central Bank Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo thinks it is 17million, in a paper presentation made to proffer solutions to thoroughly harness the human resources that should derive from the critical mass in foreign land. Whatever the figure, She says there are Nigerians in South Africa, the UK, India, Australia, USA, Italy and South America; the countries in the list is not few. Even Soludo believes that Nigeria is missing out on the real population as the focus has only been on ‘the post-colonial Diaspora, who voluntarily fled because of all kinds of ‘hardships’ or in search of better opportunities.’ The unproductive diasporans From the hoards of Nigerians in almost all parts
less, run drug rings, and other less-than-honorable deals either as qualified but lazy intellectuals or those who could barely write their names. And because they are abroad, they also ‘qualify as Nigerians in Diaspora. Abuja based poet and writer, Fedrick Nwabufo, writing in Village Square, a web portal, described some of the diasporans as “ ‘jobless’, who have arrogated a know-it-all, haveall-solutions to our national challenges. He believes Nigeria is ‘clumsy and does not lack people, who are full of hypocrisy but frowns at those who ‘cut down the nation.” Nwabufo mentioned certain Nigerians by name, “who sit in their luxurious cubicles abroad and spread poison in the name of seminally engaging the minds of Nigerians.’ He added, ‘they prod Nigerians to revolt and extirpate the government, yet they cannot take the frontline in their anarchist struggle.” Aside the mudslinging from the intellectual diasporans, Nwabufo wrote of the others, yet: ‘There are yet other Nigerians abroad, owing to their joblessness and frustration, whose business is to vituperatively mow down the government. Not that they know the ABC of governance, but they assume that because they are abroad it confers on them some intellectual stuff to speak about subjects they are patently blind to. Impacting the nation Obviouly, what readily comes to mind is the kind of impact this group of Nigerians have in terms of foreign exchange inflow. These figures tell the dollar side of the story: • Nigerians in the Diaspora remitted $21bn to Nigeria in 2012 • US and UK diaspora remitted $12.25Bn and $7.76Bn respectively • 2.6m adult Nigerians received money from overseas in 2011 But the former CBN Governor says the nation should get more than the forex transfers that has become the hallmark of the economic progress of Nigerian Diasporans. According to Soludo, the gains should include social remittances – “ideas, practices, mindsets, world views, values and attitudes, norms of behaviour and social capital (knowledge, experience and expertise).’This is as defined by North-South Centre of the Council of Europe. Dabiri-Erewa, in a chat with The Guardian on the forex returns of these Nigerians abroad
described it as quite encouraging, though there were sad experiences of those in Asian jails for various offences on her mind. However, in a magazine of the committee, Diasporan Wazobia, she comments on high flyers like Ahmadu Bello University-trained Nigerian pharmacist based in Canada, Dr. Isa Odidi. He came into the focus for having formulated a drug that prevents people from suicide thereby reducing its rate. While we have intellectual and entrepreneurial powerhouse in people like Dr. Odidi, for drug invention, there are numerous others scattered all over the globe, who work from the aerospace industry to ICT, and from the arts to Wall street. One such fellow according to Mrs. DabiriErewa is Obinna Okwodu of the United States’ Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (MIT). He founded, in 2012, the Exposure Robotics Program (ERP). She pointed out there is need to showcase the good that our Nigerians are doing abroad. All too often, it is bad press from the West, of Nigeria and her citizens abroad. In numerous fields, she affirms, Nigerians have proved their worth. In a report, Okwodu thinks Nigerians should get the positive impact of the diasporans by giving back to the young people at home. Our schools, he says should be able to see the application of classroom knowledge, specifically mathematics and physics, to solve complex problems as an entry into the world of science and technology. So far, about 80 students nationwide have benefitted from the ERP program since 2012, and ultimately, Okwodu and his team intends to be in other African countries, a case of diaspora intellectual export in action. It is not in any small measure that Nigerian Diaspora economic impact is regarded in international finance circle.
In January 2014, Nigeria’s Debt Management Office (DMO) considered doubling the $100million diaspora bond to tap demand from nationals living outside the country to fund projects back home. Director General (DMO) Abraham Nwankwo said the amount of $200m - $250m was sought, through the National Assembly approval, to enable diasporans invest more in the Nigerian economy without hindrance. This is premised on the return of the country to the international debt market, the first time in two years last July, issuing one billion dollars in Eurobonds to fund power projects, and as the
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Sunday, April 27, 2014
Harnessing Diaspora Human Capacity CONTINUED FROM PAGE 22 economy is set to grow at 6-7 per cent, before the recent re-basing of the GDP. Investment Summit for 2014 To show how indispensible this group of Nigerians has become, especially with respect to the economy, Diaspora Investment summits have been organised in the past and 2014 is not going to be left out. London is hosting another such meeting, ‘Nigerian Diaspora Direct Investment Summit (NDDIS)’ scheduled for June 2014, where the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Segun Aganga is expected to deliver the keynote address. Aganga, who lived in the diaspora for many years would be in the forefront to help mobilise Nigerians in the UK to invest in Nigeria at the occasion. NDDIS Co-Founder, Bimbo Folayan is also the Chairman of the Central Association of Nigerians in the United Kingdom (CANUK). He revealed that three States - Niger, Kaduna and Cross River, have indicated their willingness to partner with the NDDIS. This is aimed at supporting Nigerians in the Diaspora as a way of encouraging those willing to relocate and set up SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) to support the mining sector or to partner with existing businesses in the country. The summit is expected to be a platform for real deal making, having Business-to-Business meeting of Nigerians in Diaspora and Government and Private Institutions from Nigeria. For the second time, Folayan says “the NDDIS will open its ‘deal room’ and invite Diaspora businessmen to meet with Commissioners and
Investment Directors to discuss opportunities on a one-to-one basis during the summit.” Adapted from Nigerianeye.com Killing of Nigerian Students Abroad The House of Representatives raised alarm over the increasing number of Nigerian students killed outside the country. As a result, the Chairman, House Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa recently raised a motion in the House to ask the committee to conduct a public hearing on the matter. Dabiri-Erewa said Nigerian students had been killed in places like Ghana, Russia, United Arab Emirate, Malaysia and South Africa of late. But she thinks Nigerian embassies in those countries should investigate the cases thoroughly. Four Nigerian students had been killed since October 2013 in Ghana alone, she reminded the House. One Godwin Ayogu, a 300 level Social Science Student of the University of Cape Coast, Central Region, was killed on February 20 and his body found on campus. Not only that, such heinous crimes had taken place in South Africa, Russia, Maylasia and the UAE against Nigerians. In Dubai, Toba Falode aged 19, a student of the SAE Institute Dubai, and son of a popular sports broadcaster, Aisha Falode, died in mysterious circumstances. Dabiri-Erewa also referred to the instance of the killing of a Nigerian student in Malaysia, where a policeman snuffed life out of one Tunde Adelabu, a student of Lagenda University. She disclosed that about 80 Nigerian students are currently in danger in Malaysia, and without any intervention from our embassy in that country.
Diaspora Nigerians sorting issues at Embassy in Greece
Nigerians-In-Diaspora, Image Flipside HILE some of Nigeria’s diaspora population W have been very good ‘ambassadors’ of their country, others have been involved in things that have discredited the country and have been jailed as a result. Some have also lost their lives in very questionable circumstances that have left tears and sorrow for families and relations back in Nigeria. The year 2014 left such a list behind: Laolu Oresanya Teresa Teresa was a third year Electrical Engineering student of Donetsk National Technical University, Ukraine. She was admitted to the hospital on December 8, and was diagnosed by the doctors of having acute anaemia. Immediately after the diagnosis, money was paid to the hospital for the treatment that might be required. Oddly, the doctors never commenced serious treatment till December 12, saying she was under some medication and they were monitoring her. By the next day, the news came that her situation was critical and she had been moved to the intensive care unit, where she later passed on at around 7p.m. So the issue of not having money as painted in the Ukrainian media is not true. The diagnosis and autopsy were at variance; while the autopsy result indicated that she died of Sepsis, the doctors’ diagnosis claimed she died of acute anaemia. Obada Simeon Simeon went to India in search of the golden fleece. But he met death instead and is today history. His murder-triggered protests by Nigerians in the Indian state of Pamaji and led to a diplomatic face-off between India and Nigeria. Superintendent of Police (north Panaji), Priyanka Kashyap told journalists that Praveen Manohar Mandrekar, suspected of the murder, was arrested from Assagao village. Mandrekar, she said, surrendered himself to the police. Simeon was murdered on October 31. Kashyap said Mandrekar was the leader of a group of eight people that allegedly killed the Nigerian. That was the second arrest in the murder case. Another accused, Surendra Pol, was arrested
and remanded in judicial custody for 10 days. Kashyap said the police were on the trail of the remaining six accused in the case. The postmortem report revealed that Simeon suffered 29 stab injuries, which led into his death. Onyechiabi Iwuaka Five South African police officers beat a Nigerian, Onyechiabi Iwuaka, to death. The five, Boitumelo Ramahlala, Mashiba Mathata, Collins Sekoati, Thabo Mabotja and Clement Tsotsane, face murder and assault charges. They allegedly beat Iwuaka to death on May 21, while he was visiting a friend. His friend escaped the assault. Iwuaka died on the way to the Polokwane police station in Limpopo. The court was told the officers stopped on the way to the police station to buy water, as Iwuaka was bleeding from his ears. Mabasa said an ambulance was called for Iwuaka after he died. Iwuaka was said to be in his friend’s home, and was the wrong person to be arrested. The police men evaded questions, and said they never accused or hurt anyone. The magistrate, Janine Ungerer suspected they had coached each other on how to respond to questions. Adaobi Obih Last month, the body of 26 years old Adaobi Michaella Obih was found at an apartment at Riverstone Apartments in Columbus, Indiana. Her death is being investigated as a homicide. A spokesman for the Columbus Police Department said her neighbour, 36 years old Ryan Allen Klug, is a person of interest in the case. Ryan also lived in the apartment complex, but has gone missing since Adaobi’s body was found. The Columbus Police have not revealed how and why Adaobi was killed, but they’re currently seeking the public’s help in locating Ryan Klug. Adaobi was the first of two children and was already pursuing her PhD in Electrical Engineering at just 26 years old; she is of Nigerian parents.
Tolu Kalejaiye A Nigerian woman, Mrs. Tolu Kalejaiye was allegedly killed by her son, Oladotun Emmanuel in London. The late Mrs. Kalejaiye was stabbed to death at her £350,000 4-bedroom London residence in Wickford Essex on Thursday, September 26, 2013. The 46-year-old was found stabbed to dead. However, her son, Oladotun Emmanuel Kalejaiye has been charged for murder. Dotun was reportedly arrested by British Police few minutes after the discovery of his mother’s battered body in her bedroom. The late Tolu Kalejaiye‘s Linkedin profile revealed she was an accountant at TAK Consulting Limited in the United Kingdom. The Abeokuta-born woman studied Accounting & Finance at Middlesex University in Hendon, North London. Obede Ogbu Ogbu was a postgraduate Electrical Engineering student of Donetsk National Technical University, Ukraine. He died on December 18, 2013 his case was one of total neglect by the doctors. According to the doctors on duty, he was suffering from cardiac arrest, and rather than give him the urgent attention needed, they abandoned him. When it was enquired why no attention was given to him, the doctors asked to be given some time to smoke cigarette. The situation became critical and it was too late for Ogbu. Osezua Osolase Nigerian people smuggler, who used witchcraft rituals to force children to work as sex slaves was jailed for 20 years in June, 2013. Osolase, 42, tricked poverty-stricken Nigerian orphans into travelling to the UK with the promise of a better life. But the young victims were raped, sexually abused and subjected to voodoo-style rituals by a child trafficking ring. Osolase, the key player of a multi-million pound global sex trafficking ring, is said to have used ‘juju’ (magic) to control his victims. He told the teenage girls they would die or nev-
er bear children if they tried to escape or revealed what had happened to them. Once they arrived in the UK, the reality was explained to them that they were going to have to work as prostitutes. They were petrified that if they spoke out they would be harmed and killed. During the trial it emerged that Osolase raped one of the young girls, knowing he had HIV. Judge Williams described this as a ‘seriously aggravating’ feature to his crimes. At Canterbury Crown Court in June, 2013 Osolase was convicted of five counts of trafficking for sexual exploitation, one of rape and one of sexual activity with a child. Aderoju Bammeke and Jessica Ogunyemi Young British couple were part of a global internet banking scam, which could have netted a phenomenal £19million after hacking the accounts of nearly 2,500 people. Bammeke, 22, and his girlfriend Jessica Ogunyemi, 20, both of Manchester, were the UK ‘platform’ for a Nigerian ‘phishing’ scam that made £41,000 in just two months. The plot, masterminded by a gang in the West African country, involved sending fake emails to customers of banks including Barclays and Halifax. The emails told recipients that their accounts had been hacked and asked them to complete a form with their log-in details. But when victims obliged, Bammeke stepped in and helped the gang log in to steal money. Fashion marketing student Ogunyemi, his girlfriend at the time, helped him launder the proceeds by putting funds in accounts, hiding cash and allowing him to buy her a £2,400 Vauxhall Corsa. Bammeke has now been jailed for three-and-ahalf years at Manchester Crown Court after admitting conspiracy to commit fraud and unauthorised computer use. Ogunyemi admitted five counts of money laundering and was given a suspended prison sentence. With Agency reports and Nigerianeye.com
24 Sunday, April 27, 2014
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
Board a boat in measured steps, challenge of safety
That Lagos Waterways Be Safe For Commuters By Gbenga Salau
tor are rarely addressed. For Mosunmola Odulate, the recent acciIKE the Land of ‘Aquatic Splendour’ it dents had not deterred her from commutclaims to be, Lagos is traversed by watering to and from work by boat. She believes ways and canals, which is why many have moving by boat is faster and stress free, called for its utilisation for mass transportatherefore she takes precautionary measures tion. The clamour is based on the fact that when on the boat; she has a personal lifecommuting through road is becoming more jacket for her use when on board. challenging with many losing critical manAccording to her, she needs to leave home hour to slow traffic, a regular feature on Lagos before 5am to be in the office on time, if she roads. travels by road, but if it is by boat, she can Of recent, there have been efforts to tap the leave home by 7am and yet, not get late to opportunities in water transportation in the the office. state, though it has not yielded much fruit During the short chat, she said, “this is because the infrastructure required to attract some minutes after 4pm, by 5pm, I will be more persons to use that mode of transporta- home if I go by water, but if it is by road, I tion is not yet fully developed. may not get home till after 10pm.” That the figure may drop further is stating Odulate added that going by road in the the obvious; the frequent boat mishaps on morning makes her get stressed by the time Lagos waters in recent time would be major she arrives office. Apart from being as risky reason. In the last three months, there had as journeying by boat, the roads are free not been less than six accidents claiming over from armed robbery attacks. 20 lives. On how to ensure better safety, she sugIn January, there was a boat mishap at Irewe gested that besides enforcing that lifejackets Island in Ojo area of Lagos, where three people must be properly put on, lifejackets maintewere reported to be involved in the accident. nance must be taken seriously, as they get It was said that the three on the boat were expired after two years. travelling at night without light, but the boat She also said that the crew on board each got capsized after a bigger boat coming from boat must understand and be educated on opposite direction, pushed them off and they the importance of safety. Sharing an experitumbled into the water before they were resence, she said once she forgot her personal cued. lifejacket at home and when she asked a In February, there was a boat accident in crew member on the boat to help her wear Igede area of the city, where some pupils of St. the lifejacket properly, the officer told her Mary’s Anglican Nursery and Primary School, not to bother as nothing will happen. Igede, got drowned, when the canoe they padShe believed that ensuring that the capdled to school capsized. In March, before the tains and seamen are professionally trained latest accident, 18 people were reported to and boats in good condition would aid safehave died in an accident at Festac. ty. She disclosed that the last boat she With this, the earlier successes gradually picked that morning when she was going to recorded to woo more of the city residents to the office, stopped four times on the water, commute using the water channel suffered which is a sign that the boat is not in a good losses, as more people became scared to by state. boat from one part of the city to another. This She also stated that the regulators must be is more so, because when mishaps occur, resup and doing, wondering why the National cue process was slow, while the main causes Inland Waterways (NIWA) had to wait for of accidents on water, which is negligence on the recent boat mishap before it came to the part of those who should protect the secteach the passengers how to use lifejackets.
“The boats should not be overloaded, so the monitoring and regulating officers should do their job.” She noted that there are lots of logs on the waterways, which was what caused the recent accident. She however advised that pathways be created for fishermen and wood sellers, so that they do not endanger the lives of other people. She observed that those meant to monitor the waterways and engage in rescue operations during accidents rarely patrol the waterways. Jerry Obazele said he had continued to commute by boat because it is about having faith in God, as it is God that protects. He revealed that he prays before going on board a boat. He, however, suggested sensitising the operators that not everybody who uses the ferry is a seaman, who knows how to swim. Therefore, care should be taken as the passengers have put their lives in the hands of the operators. He also said that it must be enforced that passengers put on their lifejackets properly and not hang it on their necks while on board, besides ensuring that instructions are obeyed. Obazele called for increase in the number of rescue team members along the waterways, while boats should not be allowed to ferry people after 7pm, except major vessels. He also believes that providing lights along the waterways is important for safety. Femi Adelabu said he has continued to travel by boat because accident is not peculiar to waterways, though he pleaded for implementation of measures that would safeguard people when they commute on water. When the reporter visited the Marina Jetty, passengers were told to put on their lifejackets before boarding, unlike when many only put it on while on board. At Metro Ferry Jetty in Ikorodu, instructions for passengers are on display on the notice boards, advising them to fasten their lifejackets.
The notice reads in part, “In case of emergency or mishap such as accident or any form of attack, please remain calm and listen to follow-up instructions from the captains. In case of boat collision leading to loss of control by the captain and eventual capsize, do not panic, open your eyes and be at alert. Locate the closest exit from your sitting position. There are exits at the back and front of the boat. Where you are not close enough, make use of the windows by sliding the glass apart.” It was however observed that patronage has dropped. The usual rush of passengers often experienced was not noticeable, compared to the last visit to these jetties before the accident. Speaking on how to ensure better safety on the waterways, the Operation Manager of MetroFerry, Mr. Sakari Dekina, said that unlike the insinuations going around, the accident happened because the boat hit a log, which pierced the underside of the boat before water started filling the boat. He maintained that the waterways are filled with abandoned wrecks, debris and logs. Dekina said it was unfortunate that the rescue team came in late after a rescue alert was sent to them. To prevent accident, he suggested that, “the government should regulate the activities of fishermen, wood sellers and dredgers. If these stakeholders are appealed to, the waterways will be safe.” He also reasoned that channelising the waterways, which operators clamour for would greatly help prevent accidents, besides clearing water hyacinth. He further observed that getting in and out of the boat at the Marina jetty is usually difficult because of the concrete pavement. “NIWA and LASWA presence should be felt on the waters, they have ambulance and patrol boat, they are not meant to be parked at their offices.” Dekina claimed the recent accidents has not affected patronage as his company still conveys the same number of passengers it used to before the mishap.
Sunday, April 27, 2014
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‘What We Are Doing To Improve Waterways Safety’ The Area Manager, Lagos Area Office of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Mr. Muazu Sambo, spoke with GBENGA SALAU on the likely causes of boat mishaps, and what his agency is doing to prevent boat mishaps on Lagos waterways. HAT are the likely causes of boat mishaps? W Boat mishaps can be attributed to a number of factors. One of them is the total absence of the use of lifejackets. Another is, a boat may hit a wreck that is under water, which creates a hole in the hull of the boat, water then starts gushing in and within minutes the passengers have the option of jumping out or going down with the boat. The other is when people travel at night on waterways that are not illuminated, it could result in collision with another boat. In the past, collision had been reported between two boats or with wreck. Another reason is overloading, boat operators overload their boats, especially when our men are not at the jetty because if our men are there, they will not be allowed, as it is a must that they provide one or two extra seats in case of any emergencies. The use of substandard boats is also a cause, besides the use of canoes. Another source of boat mishaps is the use of incompetent boat drivers and captains. Some of them were not licensed by NIMASA, which is the agency of government authorised to issue competency certificate for maritime workers. These are some of the reasons. What is NIWA doing to enforce compliance and ensure better safety on waterways, especially looking at some of the issues you identified above? Our major concern in the regulation of the inland waterways is safety, which is why we have a special department for safety. We make sure that in every area office, there are search and rescue teams and the safety compliance teams. The Lagos area office Safety Compliance Team is currently at Ikorodu; they have been there since Tuesday to cover the five landing points in Ikorodu. We have covered Maroko, CMS and they have moved to Ikorodu. By the time we are through with Ikorodu, they will come to EbuteEro. Hopefully, by the time we resume in Easter, all the jetties in Lagos will be covered. Also, the management team of NIWA has designed a safety enlightenment tour for the six geopolitical zones of the country. As part of the tour, people are to be enlightened about safety on waterways. The management board has also approved the distribution of lifejackets to operators free of charge in all the zones. Lagos will represent the south west. This is to show you that at the highest level in NIWA, safety has been identified as a major concern and that is why the team that will come from the headquarters includes board members, the managing director and zonal managers. How do you interface with stakeholders to ensure that they do not endanger commuters? I will start with the loggers. On Monday, our safety campaign
• Rescue alerts, many times get to us late team had a meeting with the loggers at Oyingbo. It was to sensitise them on the implication of their activities on water and draw their attention to the last incident that happened along the Ikorodu waterway. So, we told them that their activities would have to be regulated. Luckily, they have an association, so it was easy to interface with them. And it is a continuous exercise. I quite agree with you that dredging can hamper safe passage of boats, but dredging companies do not operate in the open lagoon and routes that passenger boats ply. Most of them operate on creeks because better quality sand is in the creeks. To that extent, the activities of the dredging companies have less impact than that of the loggers. Lagos is a commercial city, are you looking at relaxing the ban on night travel so that the rush that is responsible for overload could be prevented? Do not forget that the ban on night travel with effect from 7pm was not only put in place to safe guard people’s lives as a result of absence of illumination on water, but also because of the security challenges in the country. The Nigerian Navy put that order in place and we think it is a good one. Generally, most corporate organisations close at 5pm and there are two clear hours within which to get home. And going by water from Maroko or CMS to Ikorodu is a maximum of 45 minutes. Even if you close at 6pm and hit the terminal by 6:15pm, before 7pm, you are at Ikorodu. I think the timing is reasonable and we will continue to cooperate with the Nigerian Navy on that. Are you not thinking of channelising the waterways? There is a natural demarcation for the different categories of water users. The fishermen do not come near the passenger boat routes because it does not help them in fishing, while the dredgers prefer the creeks, which are not routes for passenger boats. For the wood sellers, the suggestion is a good one and we are going to look into it. Are there plans to phase out the use of canoes for mass transportation on the waterways since you identified them as a major challenge? There is no law that has banned the use of canoes as a means of moving people. But the Lagos area office has advocated that canoes can be used for personal purposes. Fishermen can use their canoes for fishing. And you rarely hear of a fisherman drowning because they are good swimmers. So, we can allow fishermen to maintain canoes for fishing, but not to move people, feepaying passengers. The canoes are not too stable and not generally constructed for mass movement of people. Often times, many of the lifejackets used by operators look tattered? We have taken some concrete measures. If you were at Majidun yesterday, Maroko or CMS, you would have seen our safety compliance team not allowing passengers to use worn out lifejackets. When you use worn-out lifejackets, you will drown. So, we are
Sambo making sure that lifejackets that are used are standard ones. And it is because we want to emphasise on that we are going to distribute lifejackets to operators free of charge so that when we are enforcing, they will know that we have a good reason for that. Lifejackets that are worn-out would be seized and the boat will not leave the jetty without the requisite lifejackets. The other thing is that we have posted NIWA staff to some of the jetties in Lagos. We are going to have permanent staff of NIWA at each jetty to ensure that all measures necessary for safety are complied with. Also, we have insisted that every boat leaving must have a manifest and the enforcement team will ensure that each boat has a complete manifest, before leaving the jetty, containing the details of the passengers, the boat and persons to be contacted in case of emergency. We are doing this in response to some of the accidents in a proactive manner. The last incident, the rescue team was said to be slow, and got late to the spot? One of the messages we are sending as a result of this sensitisation effort is that whenever an accident happens, NIWA should be called immediately. What normally happens is that the circumstances of the incident do not allow the boat captain to make a call. May be, it is one fisherman that will make a call to narrate what happens and before he passes the message, it would take time. This last incident, NIWA got the information at 8pm, while the boat took off at 5:45pm. So it is when information reaches NIWA that we act, though we would want to be everywhere. So, the only thing we rely on is information. 24/7, NIWA can carry out rescue operations because our rescue men are living permanently within the area office located in CMS. However, what we are doing now is to enlighten operators and passengers on the need to call NIWA emergency numbers, which are on leaflets pasted on boats.
‘We Want Commuters To See Lagos Waterways As Route Of Choice’ The Managing Director of Lagos State Waterways Authority, Yinka Marinho, spoke to GBENGA SALAU on steps to make water transport a better option.
HERE had been not less than three boat mishaps in the last three months on the Lagos waterways, what steps are you taking to check the trend? The first accident was at Satellite, they left that neighbourhood at about 8pm. The boat had no light, no lifejacket and we do not encourage night travel. The LASWA waterguard left that jetty at 7:30pm, but the canoe left the jetty at 8pm, which is outside our operation hours. The waterways are supposed to be closed at 6pm but we extended it to 7:30pm to accommodate corporate commuters, because they need time to get to the jetty after closing from their offices. There is Marine Police, which ought to be on water at night, not LASWA. The mishap in Festac happened on a canal route, it is not a waterway, and there is no waterway that leads into that canal. The local government of the area has gone as far barricading the road that extend to that canal, but people went to break the gate. There is no jetty there, a canoe that was supposed to be a 12 passenger-one, had 24 people on it. It was a minor that piloted it besides, the place was not designed water transport. About a thousand yards away, there is a bridge and a tricycle park. It was never on our waterways route. In the Majidun incident, the boat ran into a log. Sometimes these logs are submerged in water, which makes it quite difficult to see them. And we have had meetings with the loggers on the need to take more care of their logs or else they become liable. In all LASWA jetties, we have waterguards, who superintend the jetties, ensuring the wearing of lifejackets before going into the boat and after alighting from the boat. Besides discussing with the loggers, what other measures are you putting in place to ensure that
loggers and other users do not endanger passengers? We have had an agreement with them. We are also going to channelise the waterways with our navigational buoys. With that, we do not expect any obstruction within that channel. People should look at it like a BRT lane on water. And when they do any thing carelessly that result in accident, they will be held liable for any damages that occur within the waterways. There will be charges to that effect. It is not only the loggers now; we have fishermen. Ultimately, we would have time zones in which various things will move in a way that it will not obstruct the peak times for movement of pas-
sengers. How do you hold these people liable when majority of them are not formally set up? They have associations. It is a business and any business is liable. They are organised and we have had meetings with the associations before. The last incident happened within the time frame you operate but yet the rescue mission came late? We say wear your lifejackets, what question you should ask is, “did everybody wear lifejackets? Before you leave the jetty, you are told to wear the lifejacket, but if you go midstream and decides to loosen the lifejacket, it is another issue. At the point of exit, they were all wearing the lifejackets, at the point of the accident, what we saw, because one man was in the water for 72 hours before he came up, if he had a lifejacket on, he would not have gone under. What steps are you taking to make more commuters see water transport a better option? We are moving 1.6 million people per month now and movement on the waterways is to complement the megacity transport, in the megacity plan, which is how we would integrate water, road and ultimately rail transport, to have an intermodal transport system. We are doing 1.6m a month; a place like Bangkok is doing over a million a day. Eventually, we hope we will develop to that level, moving goods on water, have less trailers on road, which makes road maintenance cheaper, as people will only be doing the last mile on roads. The state is dredging the waterways to make it navigable; now we are putting buoys along these routes so that navigation becomes easier. The buoys are solar powered, so at night, you see reflections through the bulbs on top, which aids direction. When I got here in 2010, we were doing about three hundred thousand, but we have gone up to 1.6m a month now. We have been using the media as well as engaging in continuous advocacy to let people know that water transport is here to stay. The jetties not conducive for easy transition between waterways and the roads have been redesigned. Also, we do not have the old stationary jetties, but floating jetties. These jetties adjust
themselves to the high and low tides, which aids movement in and out of the boats at the jetties. The goal is to get to a point where people will decide which mode of transport is the best to go by. Canoe is used as a major form of transport within the state, with the frequent accidents, are you not looking at phasing them out? I like us to categorise them. If you say canoes, there are those that are motorised. Those that can be categorised as canoes, you see fishermen in them; they are not passenger carrying canoes. There are some larger ones used by the local sand dredgers, they too do not carry passengers. Then, there are some that carry drinking water and goods to the Islands. Also, you have the boats with fibre and engine at the back; they are often called open boats. These are the ones that do a lot of ferrying of people within and around Lagos. These open boats are not allowed to cross the lagoon to Ikorodu; they just cross the channels. For instance, they cross through Bayeku to Ajah, none of them goes across the Lagoon. The state has a new company, LagFerry; they run from Marina to Oworonsoki and Ikoyi. This is besides the retrofitting aluminum ferries in Mile 2, which are 80 capacity carrying ferries and have provision for physically-challenged people. Operators claimed they are double taxed with NIWA and LASWA collecting rates? Lagos State Assembly enacted a law repealing NIWA activities on Lagos waterways, though the case is still in court. Lagos State has over 50 jetties; it is the one dredging the waterways to make it navigable. So, I cannot see how it would be doing all those things and another agency wants to charge for it. All the jetties were built by the state either through the Ministry of Rural Development or by former Lagos State Ferry Corporation. All the way to Badagry, Ketu and Ikorodu, there are jetties built by the state. We intend to build another terminal in Oke-Afa and a lot of enthusiasm is following that. In that regard, the best person that should do the planning of his people is the state government and it is doing it.
Sunday, April 27, 2014 26
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Business Confusion, As Govt Dithers On New Auto Policy • Freight Forwarders Threaten To Resist Enforcement
By Geoff Iyatse
NAC, Luqman Mamudu, confirmed to The HE Federal Government recently postponed Guardian that the Council joined the call for extension of the implementation date and, implementation of an extensive policy that indeed, wrote Okonjo-Iweala. Unfortunately, was conceived to breathe life into the morithe minister, who conveyed the first circular bund local automobile assemblage. The impleon the matter last year, did not act fast on the mentation was expected to take off February 28, recommendation to make a clear pronounce2014. ment regarding the position. That created a There was a mild drama and protest at the Tin hole in the policy, which concerned individuCan Wharf, especially, before the implementaals and groups struggled to exploit. tion date was shifted to July. The Nigerian CusOf course, those whose business operations toms Service (NCS) issued a circular informing clearing agents and importers that it would start would be positively affected by the policy becollecting the cumulative 70 per cent charges on gan to pressurise the Nigerian Customs Servimported vehicles and related parts on February ice (NCS) to commence implementation. For instance, following the pronouncement, the 28. manufacturers reportedly commenced mass But the Customs, which appeared to have foreimportation of completely knocked down seen the crisis, stood down the usual value is(CKD) and semi knocked down (SKD) parts, suance few days before the implementation deadline. Collection of the new charges was to re- which attract zero, five or 10 per cent depending on the state of the component involved. sume March 3, but for the determination of liNSC top officials, a source said, were incensed clearing agents who were bent on formed to stand down the earlier directive, frustrating the policy. They had declared protests which put implementation on February 28, to challenge the policy. while the government gave the impression Meanwhile, according to investigation, recommendation was earlier made by the National Au- that it would release a new directive that would accommodate recommendation for a tomotive Council (NAC), which had written the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of new date. But those SKD and CKD importers whose consignments were primed to benefit the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, recommending the adjustment of the implementation from the waivers started pressurising the Customs to commence “partial implementadate to allow more time for automobile dealers, who alleged that a company was privy to the pol- tion.” By ‘partial implementation,” NCS was to inicy and had taken advantage of it to import vehisulate the local manufacturing aspect since cles en masse. It would be recalled that Elizade, Toyota Nigeria there is no objection to it and start implementation straightaway. It was based on this Limited, Globe Motors, Coscharis, SCOA and logic that NCS was said to have released the CFAO Group, last year, petitioned the government, alleging that Stallion Group of Companies circular that informed importers and clearing agents that implementation would comwas given prior knowledge of the content of the mence straightway against earlier assurance policy, which it used to gain market advantage. by government. The group alleged that Stallion used the privi“It was as a result of poor communication leged information to open a $382 million letters between government and Customs and to an of credit, which covers three-year import totaling extent the freight forwarders. The circular, I 20,000 units of cars. It noted that the unusual am sure, was meant to address only the despeed at which it opened the letters of credit on October 2, while FEC was still working on the pol- mand of the manufacturers in exclusion of icy signaled a game play, saying the swiftness was those of importers of fully built units (FBUs). It was just unfortunate that the Customs to beat the deadline. were not clear enough,” noted a stakeholder They warned that unless the policy was rein the industry. viewed, Nigeria stood to lose about N134 billion The Customs, according to findings, said in revenue due to the alleged leak of information. there was no way they could implement the It was based on the complaint that ministries of policy partially. But the importers of the Finance and Trade/Investment were advised to knocked down parts who are majorly manuextend the “grace” period. Director, Policy and Planning Department of the factures, reportedly secured a counter order from Abuja to compel the clearing officers in
Lagos to go ahead with one-sided implementation. But Mamudu objected to the aborted move to implement the policy in part, assuming that was what Customs intended. He revealed that it was when the information got to Abuja that there was move by Customs to start implementation that it was directed to withdraw it immediately, noting that nobody expected NCS would start in such a drastic manner when there was already understanding that the new arrangement would be communicated. Mamudu, however, disagreed with the insinuation that the circular was withdrawn because the government caved in to protest by freight forwarders. He argued that the clearing agents cannot substantiate the claim that the policy will kill their business when “they are the people that will still be clearing SKD and CKD parts” that will replace FBUs as they presume. He disclosed that the suspension was to enable the aggrieved FBU importers make up for the alleged unfair deal by Stallion. While there was crisis in Lagos Wharf over the policy implementation, there was still no communication from the Ministry of Finance to clearly spell out the new timelines. It was the pandemonium created by the information mismanagement that preasurised Okonjo-Iweala to eventually sign the new circular on March 12. The circular, which was backdated to February 28, retains key parameters of the earlier one. The only difference is the implementation date, which it puts the arrival bill of lading of the subsisting tariffs at March 31 and the other on June 30. According to the tariff structure, FBU cars will attract 35 per cent duty and 35 per cent levy while FBU commercial vehicles will attract 35 per cent duty and zero levy. Imported tyres of all categories also attract 20 per cent duty and the statutory value added tax (VAT). Apart from the importation-prohibitive tariffs, prospective manufacturers are also given other incentives. CKD components imported by local assembly plants are to come duty free, while SKD parts are only charged five per cent duty. According to the policy, all tyre manufacturers in the country are entitled to pioneer status in addition to privilege to import twice their volume of production at five per cent
duty for a period of two years starting from the date they start manufacturing. The special consideration also applies to car assembly plants. Unlike other automobile importers, they can import FBUs in equivalent of twice their production figures at 35 per cent duty (for cars) and 20 per cent (for commercial vehicles) without applied levies. If the protest that trailed the implementation is unsettling, the misunderstanding that follows the government’s decision is much more worrisome. Protesting clearing agents who spoke on the issues insist it is a battle they have won, as the new date will meet strong resistance, even though the government claims the date was shifted to accommodate genuine complaints of auto dealers and not because of their opposition to the policy. While government dillydallies on the policy, the organised automobile service sectors have started taking advantage of it. Babatunde Ajani, a Lagos-based business development consultant, uses 2009 Toyota Avensis. Last November, he serviced the engine and changed the brake pads, after which he was invoiced N31,000. Ajani, for some time, had paid that amount at the service centre of the automobile dealer he bought the car from four years ago. But the charge was reviewed December unknown to Ajani, who does not take the risk of entrusting his vehicles to roadside mechanics for repairs. But to his chagrin, when his driver returned from a visit to the same centre (operated by a popular dealer) a certain date in January, he brought home a N62,000 bill incurred on the service that attracted half the cost two months earlier. Ajani confronted the company and demanded to know what informed the sharp increase. “They explained to me that the new tariff on importation has started impacting their operations negatively. Hence, they had to review their charges to remain in business. I was shocked to hear that from an organised company. How could they have increased charges when they still pay the same duties they were paying last year? That is rip off,” Ajani lamented. It was learnt that the majority of automobile service centres in Lagos have increased charges by between 50 per cent and 100 per cent. Customers say they cite the import tariff review as basis for the increase. And this is raising con-
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
Sunday, April 27, 2014 27
BUSINESS By Yinka Ogunjobi
ORMER Chartered Institute of Bankers of FOkechukwu Nigeria (CIBN) President, Mazi Unegbu, has urged Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor-designate, to sanitise and restructure the apex bank when he assumes office in June this year. In an exclusive interview with The Guardian, Unegbu called on Emefiele to beware of ‘political talks’ and jettison plans by his predecessor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to devalue Nigeria’s currency. His advice: “First and foremost, Emefiele must be able to understand his new environment. He doesn’t need to announce what he wants to do the very first day he assumes office. According to Unegbu, since the Zenith Bank Plc Group managing director is expected to resume in June, “he should take his time to study the CBN Act, call for the news emanating from that act, as well as some inside information and minutes of the last CBN board meeting and sit down to ruminate on them so he would be able to see, theoretically on a first-hand basis, what he needs to do. “For instance, there are so many things, which his predecessor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, was advised doing. One of them was devaluation of the Nigerian currency. It is sad that, even as at N170 to one Dollar, what is purchased abroad, in dollar terms, becomes more expensive in Nigeria. “That is why it was considered a good move, when Emefiele said he wasn’t going to devalue the currency at the confirmation hearing. The suspended governor, Sanusi, was already in the devaluation process and my view then was that when you devalue a currency, you are going to create more unemployment because you are making it weaker than other currencies. “So, the duty of the CBN governor is to find better methods of controlling inflation, the high lending rate and go for what I call development banking, not what has been happening under Sanusi. Secondly, he needs not to be circumspect; he doesn’t have to be a commentator on all issues. When he wants to speak, the President, the National Assembly and those of us in the private sector should listen, because any comment he makes has a bearing on management of the national currency, the economy, unemployment, inflation, interest rate, and other indicators that underline the performance of the economy.
Restructure CBN, Control Inflation, Unegbu Tells Emefiele • ‘Create Equal Opportunities For All Banks’
“I am saying that the new CBN Governor should not resume office talking about politics. He should avoid that because that is the only way he can be focused to help the economy that is already dislocated. In fact, we have faced so many dislocations — social and economic — as a result of the deadened economy. How can someone go to university for six to seven years only to remain jobless? His father would have sold his property to sponsor him, and yet cannot pay back. That is the cause of the dislocation we are facing. “There is corruption even in the central bank, and I mean every word of it. But I won’t
go into the details. I was once a managing director of a bank. When they come to you, and you don’t play ball, they probably go and write a report that will not be favorable to you. That is why most of the banks do everything to make sure they don’t get any negative report. I am saying this on good authority. “Now one of the things Sanusi failed to do, after dealing with the conventional banks, is to sanitise the central bank itself. I think that should be the first thing Emefiele should do after settling down. “He should look at various departments of the CBN and see where the problems are. He
should strategise and redeploy staff. He needs to make the CBN an institution that is strong; not an institution with strong personality, so when that personality goes out, the institution collapses. The new governor should think of building stronger institutions. I think that is one of the major things he has to do. He should also leave a level-playing field for all the financial institutions to perform. One of the good things he could do is to reappraise the functions and performance of micro finance banks, because we are talking about financial inclusion.”
What To Do About CBN Autonomy, Others, By Ugwu-Oju • Says Nigeria Should Emulate What Works In Other Climes As the Central Bank Governor-designate, Godwin Emefiele, prepares to take the mantle of leadership in early June, Emeka Ugwu-Oju, an economist and President of the SouthEast/South-South Professionals of Nigeria (SESSPN) says the independence of the apex bank and that of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should not be mistaken for power to act outside the statutory mandate of the institutions. In this interview with TUNDE AKINOLA, UgwuOju, a former bank executive, said the country’s monetary authorities should follow the line of global best practice. S the Central Bank Governor- tion and financial recklessness levA designate, Godwin Emefiele, eled against the suspended CBN prepares to take the mantle of leadership in early June, Emeka UgwuOju, an economist and President of the South-East/South-South Professionals of Nigeria (SESSPN) says the independence of the apex bank and that of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should not be mistaken for power to act outside the statutory mandate of the institutions. In this interview with TUNDE AKINOLA, Ugwu-Oju, a former bank executive, said the country’s monetary authorities should follow the line of global best practice. Despite the allegations on corrup-
governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and the NNPC, do you think the argument for total autonomy is still tenable? We cannot reinvent the will. As much as possible, the global best practice now is to have the independence of the monetary authority. In the United States, it is called the Federal Reserve, while we have the CBN here in Nigeria. The point, however, is that this independence is for monetary policies alone. The apex bank is to ensure that the monetary policy is what it should be and insulate the body from outsiders like politicians
who might, at a point, want an expansionary monetary policy when that is not what is needed for the economy. That is what the independence means. But unfortunately, we are now looking at other issues that would have been taken for granted in other climes. The president decided to intervene (in the CBN) not because of monetary policies, but due to ‘financial recklessness’ in the running of the institution, which I can say, has become a Nigerian phenomenon. Yet, the independence of monetary authorities is very much desired and it is the way to go. We need a balance so that we do not have institutions that spend time on non-core issues. The unfortunate thing about the current governor who has been suspended is that he spent more time on what was not his core business. I do not think I have seen any central bank governor in this world that will behave like Sanusi did. Do you think CBN and NNPC should render accounts to the public and should there be spending limits for the duo? On the issue of rendering accounts, any institution in both public and private sphere, for the sake of accountability, should always render returns. That is why we have annual
account. I do not think any institution should exist without rendering accounts. Everybody should be able to access it on the Internet. Should the National Assembly subject annual budgets of CBN and NNPC to approval? Based on the theory of independence, I would say both bodies should prepare how they want to run their institutions and because of their independence you do not want a situation whereby the budgeting approval process is used to influence certain things. So, they should have some independence as far as that is concerned; that is the essence of what the board is. But it is the responsibility of the Legislature to have oversight on whether they are doing what they are supposed to be doing with the budget, because they are the people running the institutions. That is why they have boards and the more reason emphasis should be laid on the type of people being appointed to the boards. For the NNPC, I think the goal is one of the main reasons the corporation is not working. It is like a government company in a commercial environment. The thing the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) should address is whether, or not, the NNPC should be run as a commercial organization. When you are commercial, you are faced with the market forces. If the NNPC, for
instance, is quoted on the Stock Exchange, then it has to be guided according to the dictates of the market. If they do not run it properly, the market will punish them because their shares will fall. If they are well managed, their shares will rise and I think that is where NNPC should be headed. Do you think that the CBN governor should continue to head the board? We should go with the global best practice; we should emulate what other western nations have done to make them succeed, since they started it before us. It is also open; if we want to try something else, then we should be free to do that. But if we are copying, it will make more sense to copy what works. In what ways does the PIB address the issues as they relate to the NNPC? We do not know which PIB, because it keeps changing. If I could say what I have said before, I think the essence of the PIB is to make NNPC become commercial; in other words, we will not have the NNPC that will depend on government for funds. It will be like any other company. State governments might have substantial shares in it, but individuals will also own shares — not NNPC as government parastatal. But if the PIB has changed again I would not know. The last time I checked, that was how they wanted the NNPC to be, a commercial venture that will be subjected to the dictates of the market.
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
28 Sunday, April 27, 2014
World Bank ‘Pledges’ $8bn Projects To Support Nigeria’s Economy
‘Food Festival Is Sign Of Growing Economy’
By Marcel Mbamalu VEN in the midst of Nigeria’s security challenges, the World Bank, at the weekend, pledged commitment to the twin goals of reducing extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity. To this end, the global financier, on Friday, approved a Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Nigeria, which take its development assistance to $8 billion in the next four years. The World Bank said, on Friday, that the new CPS would increase, to $2 billion per year, its development assistance for job creation, social service delivery and governance through the International Development Association (IDA) and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) financing. “The bulk of the financing programme will focus on increasing installed power generation and transmission capacity and improving the efficiency and governance of electricity delivery,” said Indira Konjhodzic, World Bank Task Team Leader for the CPS. She added, “Boosting agricultural productivity, improving farmers’ linkages with agro-processors, and increasing access to finance including long time financing to the citizens particularly women is a major focus of this partnership strategy.” According to the Bank, the new CPS covers financial years 2014 through 2017, and introduces a change in the Nigeria’s borrowing status. Nigeria was declared credit worthy for IBRD financing last year and is officially entering blend status from July 1, 2014. Experts believe that the rebasing of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) early this month, which bloated the size of its economy to over $500 billion (making it the biggest in Africa), has expanded the headroom for external borrowing. But Bamidele Oladokun of the World Bank’s Abuja Office explained, on telephone, that the new country partnership strategy was in line with the Bank’s renewed commitment and total alignment with “Nigeria’s development
HE vegetable cooking oil, Mamado, made T by PZ Wilmar, supported the inaugural edition of the Nigerian Food Fiesta, which
World Bank Country Director in Nigeria, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly (left), addressing a group of journalists…recently. agenda, Vision 20: 2020, and its mediumterm strategy for realising that vision” — the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan. “In support of these objectives, the CPS programme is structured around three areas: (a) promoting diversified growth and job creation by reforming the power sector, enhancing agricultural productivity, and increasing access to finance; (b) improving the quality and efficiency of social service delivery at the State level to promote social inclusion; and (c) strengthening governance and public sector management, with gender equity and conflict sensitivity as essential elements of governance,” the World Bank indicated in a statement that also quoted Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, its Country Di-
rector for Nigeria, as saying that the “CPS seeks to address inequalities in income and opportunities for the poor and vulnerable by developing more effective mechanisms for social service delivery including social protection programs, education, health and water service delivery.” The Strategy represents the joint World Bank Group’s programme under a common donor platform known as the Country Assistance Framework (CAF) and would work in close cooperation among development partners to enhance the effectiveness and transformational impact of national efforts and avoid duplication of tasks. This approach of the CAF is proving as very effective for better coordination and synergies among partners’ strategies of support to Nigeria.
ends today at the Tawafa Balewa Square Lagos. The event started on Thursday, April 24, 2014. The Nigerian Food Fiesta is organised by Aresveepee Limited, a specialized events company. According to Ndidi Ezeudeuyi, a brand management staff of PZ Wilmar, “Food Festivals are a key part of the cultural life of vibrant, successful economies. They are a very colourful and important addition to a country’s attraction for tourists. Countries like America, Germany, Britain, and Austria have hundreds of food festivals, which allow cities, regions or countries to showcase their food culture and allows leading food brands to share their offerings and interact with consumers in a friendly atmosphere. As leader of the cooking oil brand in Nigeria, Mamador is very delighted to be supporting the organisers of Nigeria’s first Food Fiesta.” PZ Wilmar, she said, is sponsoring a table at the Food Fiesta and is frying and cooking all sorts of delicacies — buns, fish, puff-puff — for visitors with Mamador Cooking Oil, which entered the market 15 months ago. Ezeudeuyi said PZ partnered with the largest cooking oil makers in the world, Willmar, to bring the high-quality cooking oil Mamador to Nigerian consumers. “PZ, as a group, firmly believes in its mission to bring high quality, healthy nutrition to consumers; Mamador is 100 percent cholesterol, and our triple-filter process makes it 100 percent impurities-free. Bringing Mamador to the Nigerian Market has created 45,000 direct jobs and created another 95,000 indirectly. Our participation in the Nigerian Food Fiesta also reflects our support for innovation and entrepreneurship,” she said.
‘How GDP Rebasing Will Influence Investment Decisions’ Nigeria’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was rebased recently, an exercise that puts its economy ahead that of South Africa. Henry Boyo, an economist, in this interview with GEOFF IYATSE, examines the real value of the economy after rebasing and how it will affect investment decisions. Is GDP rebasing a necessary economic option; what are its external and internal values? HE value of a country’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) serves as a measure of comparison with the relative size of the gross output of other nations. It also defines the structure and the sectoral potentials in each economy. Internally, the availability of current output figures provides government authorities with the necessary data to guide the planning and the monitoring of developments within various sectors of the economy, so that remedial and proactive actions can be taken to align results with objectives. Should Nigeria have stayed for 24 years before rebasing? Ideally, output figures should be reviewed at, say, five-year intervals, so that economic planning can be based on current information and figures. Additionally, such regular GDP revaluations will make shifts in consumer demand and investment patterns to be quickly recognised and properly harnessed in line with economic growth objectives. Thus, in view of the value of current output figures for planning purposes, it is not really clear why the government failed to review the country’s GDP for 24 years. Investors may have regrettably been denied reliable and
Boyo valuable information to guide business decisions for over two decades. What added value is the exercise bringing? The revised GDP figures may help to repackage the rich industrial and commercial potentials, which are waiting for exploitation in the economy. The information provided in the rebased values will enable both foreign and private investors to quickly identify profitable opportunities, in which to participate. Fortunately, this rebasing has captured over 20 additional output sectors that were not recognised in the 1990 base year estimates. People have argued that it will not deliver any good except the ego that the economy is now bigger than that of South Africa. How valid is this argument? It is true that the new GDP figure of over $500 billion would literally give us bragging rights over South
Africa’s now comparatively modest GDP of $370.3 billion. However, if all things are equal, foreign investors may now be compelled to take a closer look at the opportunities offered in the huge Nigerian market, in addition to their current involvement in the South African economy. What is the relationship between the size of GDP and foreign direct investment (FDI); does GDP really drive investment inflow? Increasing FDI in the real sector will certainly contribute to growing the GDP of the host country. This is without prejudice, of course, to the fact that domestic investors could similarly grow output if they had access to cheaper funds and appropriate government support as their foreign counterparts. So, in reality, buoyant output figures may attract foreign investors. Nonetheless, such investments may not necessarily go into the real sector if
an economy is also bedeviled by challenges such as a tortuous process of land acquisition, extended process of company registration and grant of expatriate quotas as well as the additional challenge of insecurity, where threats of expatriate kidnapping also exist. In such an event, in spite of the increased GDP, foreign direct investors may decide to simply stay away, or at best, decide on the less risky investment of lending money to Nigeria’s government at interest rates, which will be considered to be highly excessive in Europe and America, for what is actually a risk-free sovereign debt, which should normally attract less than two per cent interest in successful economies elsewhere. What parameters could determine the attraction of Nigeria to the international market now that the GDP has been rebased? I believe the parameters, which should make Nigeria attractive to foreign direct investment have been described above. It needs to be emphasised however, that political instability and insecurity would discourage the inflow of foreign direct investment, even if the profit potential is very high. The perception of a corrupt public service would also create obstacles to the attraction of foreign direct investment into our country, in spite of our buoyant GDP. In actual sense, is Nigeria’s economy bigger than South Africa’s by sheer size of GDP? Yes, literally, Nigeria’s GDP at $509bn is larger than South Africa’s current GDP of $370.3bn; this however, does not make the average Nigerian to be better off than his South African counterpart, as the average annual personal income of the Nigerian worker is barely $3,000, when compared to
South Africa’s average personal income of about $7,000. Besides, the quality of education as well as the facilities for health and other social welfare infrastructure, including power remain much more benign in South Africa than in Nigeria. Why would investors now prefer to put their capital in Nigeria than South Africa? Foreign investors have generally perceived South Africa’s economy as the largest in Africa. For this reason and for the other reasons of relative security and advanced infrastructure, South Africa may still remain as the first port of call for foreign investors. Nonetheless, this preference would change radically in favour of Nigeria, if we are able to put in place political structures that would engender peace and harmony, with a transparent and accountable public service that is committed to growing our economy. What does rebasing mean to the man on the street? In the short term, the higher rebased output will remain meaningless to the micro-economy, as it literally would not change anything. The wages of the man on the street will not also increase, neither will the purchasing value of his paltry minimum wage of N18,000/month; furthermore, public schools would not be better equipped, nor would quality education become more accessible to the masses, as a result of a much higher GDP. In the long run, however, if we have the right enabling political and economy environment so that foreign direct investments flow into the real sector, this would ultimately induce a positive trickle down impact on micro enterprises as well as the man on the street, as more jobs will be created with increasing consumer demand, which will propel additional economic growth.
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Blumberg To Invest $250m In Grain Storage In Nigeria LUMBERG Grain, a global investment firm B has indicated plans to invest $250 million in grain storage in Nigeria. Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who disclosed this in Washington DC at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group meetings, said the firm is working with the Minister of Agriculture and had sent a team to the country. She said, “They want to make Nigeria the hub for grain storage and cold storage in Africa for agriculture logistics, and they want to invest $250 million. They have their team, but the fact that we have the largest economy in Africa, is making them feel that this may be the place to make the hub.” The minister informed that the World Bank and the IMF had agreed to create a Social Protection Programme to address the issue of growth and job creation for Nigeria and some
other developing countries at the bottom end of the development ladder. Both development and funding bodies, according to Okonjo-Iweala, were putting together policies and suggestions on how more jobs can be created, and as well drive growth in this regard. “We just announced our rebased Gross Domestic Products (GDP), and this was very favourably accepted and looked upon, particularly when the institutions themselves participated, especially in the quality control. The rebase is stronger, it was well received, it elicited a lot of interest among participants and also private sector people, who came to say they were interested in investing,” she said. “The biggest focus about these meetings is looking at the global recovery, looking at a group of countries and what needs to be done
for them to either strengthen their position and make sure that whatever the circumstance, they are able to prevail and come out with a strong economy. “The other issue is that the recovery is on, but the one in the Euro-Zone is quite fragile. The reason for the fragility may be what looks to be an extended period of low inflation, and low inflation is not a good thing because that means that demands for goods and services is suppressed, and there’s even a fear of deflation, of fallen prices in Europe, as it happened in Japan.” The implication, she argued, is that if these countries in Europe continue to suffer from a period of low pricing, internal demand for goods and services will be low, meaning that the rate of recovery for those economies will be either slower, or reversed. To the Minister, of greater concern to Nigeria is
the tapering that is taking place in the US, that has to do with the phasing out of liquidity which they are putting into the economy, which she cautioned has very serious implications for our economy and its impact on portfolio flows, as well as in our bonds in the Europe market. She said the varied global economic developments place on Nigeria the need to continue to improve on its economic buffers, “because they are telling us, in the Euro-zone, they are not sure which direction it is going. In our case, that means we have to build our reserves, shore up our Excess Crude. We have to maintain very solid macro framework, because of our ties to the Euro-zone, in case something happens there. We are already doing that, we just need to emphasize that we must continue doing that.”
Firm Launches Research Centre For Paint Manufacturers By Chris Irekamba MANUFACTURING and consulting chemical A company, Falcons Chemical Limited recently, in Ijako-Ota, Ogun State, commissioned an ultra-modern laboratory designed to meet the raw material needs of paint manufacturers and allied industries. The laboratory, which was commissioning by the Bishop of Awori Diocese of the Anglican Church, Rt. Rev. Akin Atere had in attendance players in the chemical industry and a former director of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Professor Sunday Odunfa. In his speech at the event, the chairman of the company, Chief Tunde Adefarati said the new laboratory would serve the paint industries in Nigeria, provide freshly produced raw materials for their operations and also be of immense benefit to researchers. Adefarati said: “All things being equal by May 2014 two reactors would have been cleared and installed in the company’s new factory. These reactors have been designed to meet demands of Incan Film Biocide for paint industries and also special biocide for use in drilling oil. He said further that the company, which came into existence in the 90s, now has the capacity to produce marine anti-fouling biocides. This according to him “will be an advantage to paint companies who want to diversify into marine coating of which marine anti-fouling paint for the ship industry would be required” Giving a background to the establishment of the laboratory, the Falcon Chairman said the company was able to secure $550,000 USD to finance the building and also the equipping of the laboratory with state of the art modern equipment. According to him, equipment for the company’s microbiological; biochemical and chemistry laboratories can carry out analysis that used to be sent abroad by some companies in coating industries. “This tests” according to him, “were never carried out by the Standard Organisation of Nigeria in that they relied on results from multinational industries” While observing that the power situation in the country is still epileptic, he said, “We have put in place a strategy of local content with the hope that one day the Petroleum Industry Bill at the National Assembly will see the light of the day”
FIRS Director No-Oil, Innocent Ohagwa (left); Coordinating Director, Direct Reports Group, Queensley Seghosime; President Abuja Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ABUCCIMA), Solomon Nyagba; and FIRS Regional Coordinator, Alhaji Saleh Galadima, at the FIRS Day Abuja Centenary Trade Fair
Sofee Hosts Business Success Conference HE Sam Ohuabunwa Foundation For EcoT nomic Empowerment (SOFEE) is set to host the Business Success Conference 2014 with the theme: Optimizing Opportunities In The Federal And State Budgets. The objectives of the conference are to review federal and state budgets with focus on growth opportunity and profitability for operators in the Nigerian economy, to discuss how the 2014 budget will affect governance and business by a clear understanding of the economic policies and variables that will impact business performance. It is expected to equip participants with the knowledge for attaining growth and profitability outcomes in the 2014 business year. The Coordinating Minister for the Economy is expected to be the Special Guest of Honour,
while the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, will deliver the key note address. Dr Bright Okogu, the director Budget Office of the Federation and Pastor Ben Akabueze, the Commissioner of Budget and Planning in Lagos State, will present lead papers on the theme of the Conference. Dr Doyin Salami of Pan Atlantic University and Member, Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Austin Nweze, of Lagos Business School, Mr Herbert Wigwe, GMD of Access Bank, and Mr. Muda Yesufu, DG of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry will help participants discover opportunities and challenges in the Economic environment and understand how to navi-
gate their ways through in order to achieve success in 2014. According to the Founder and Chairman of the the Foundation, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, President of the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce, and Past Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, who would help participants assess opportunities in Nigeria’s rebased Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the one-day conference will hold on Tuesday, 29th April 2014 at the DRV Place, 9 Simeon Akinlolu St, off Oniru Estate Rd, Beside Four Point at Sheraton Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos starting at 9am to 5pm. He said attendance is by registration at or by emailing www.sofee.org.ng, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
At Fair, FIRS Takes Tax Education To Nigerians By Armsfree Ajanaku N Abuja, the nation’s capital there is still a Ibrations. huge buzz around Nigeria’s centenary celeA good number of government agencies have been hosting activities to mark the country’s historic moment thereby lifting the usually sleepy mood in the capital with colourful events. At the Centenary Trade Fair, recently organized by the Abuja Chambers of Commerce and Industry, one government agency that has effectively used the platform to enlighten the public about the key issues in its service delivery is the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
The event provided an opportunity for entrepreneurs, merchants, retailers, and policy makers to interact over a period of two weeks. According to the historical records, FIRS started as part of a colonial tax organization under the name of the Inland Revenue Department of Anglophone West Africa. The Department’s scope of administration covered Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and the Gambia. In 1943, the Nigerian Inland Revenue Department was carved out of the Inland Revenue Department of Anglophone West Africa and established as an autonomous body under the provision of the Commissioner of Income Tax. That evolution continued over several
decades to produce the FIRS as a critical revenue generating institution for the nation today. There is no doubt that the push to get information across to the public was necessitated by the need to address the historic face offs between government and the ordinary people over payment of taxes. Stories from Nigeria’s colonial past for example show that many ordinary people used to abscond or run to hide in nearby bushes as soon as tax agents appear to collect what is due to the government. But with the expansion of the national economy attendant flourishing of a vast number of businesses, the tax regime of the current times has to address the misconceptions, fears and
even tricks of both individual and corporate tax payers. Through a combination of skits, use of famous Nollywood actors and actresses to drive the key messages in tax education, as well as an avalanche of speeches, the FIRS team at the fair took its tax drive to citizens in ways and formats that were easy to understand, and that even generated laughter amongst the audience at the event. In one of the skits for instance, a small businessman with a great company profile find himself losing out of an important contract due to his negligence in not getting a Tax Identification Number (TIN) for his company.
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Sunday, April 27 2014
How Proposed Association In Outdoor Advertising Is Creating Tension By Gbenga Salau HAT Nigeria’s economy could be among T the best rated in the world is not in doubt. The challenge, however, has been converting the huge natural and human resources the country is endowed with into economic good for the citizenry. And some economic experts believe this is the time for Nigeria to act fast, as markets in the Western world are nearly saturated. One subsector that stands to benefit greatly from the vibrant economy is integrated marketing communications. Although professionals in this field are already playing active role in the Nigeria economy, it is the belief in some quarters that they could do more and thus propel further the economy into greater height if the government provides a conducive environment. This also informs the posture being adopted by some stakeholders in the business of Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising, who are saying that the sector must be given all the needed support among the integrated marketing communication subfields since apart from South Africa, Nigeria is the only other country that has the financial clout to create the most innovative and hi-tech electronic outdoor sites in the continent to support economic activities, thereby growing the economy. Practitioners in the industry are constantly worried about losing their main source of livelihood due to the antics of regulatory bodies, particularly the Lagos based agency, which oversees outdoor advertising in the nation’s commercial capital. They are troubled that it is not quacks that are currently threatening their livelihood, rather, the ominous sign is emanating from a regulatory body. A stakeholder said that the recent announcement by the Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency (LASAA) to spearhead the formation of an association to be known as Outdoor Advertising Regulatory Association of Nigeria (OARAN), is the latest in a series of assaults on the livelihood of operators in the outdoor advertising industry. The proposal has caused a great deal of anxiety among practitioners due to the antecedents of LASAA in its dealings with the industry. They see the move as a brazen and ill-conceived attempt to usurp the function of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN). The Managing Director of LASAA, Mr. George Noah said: “OARAN will serve as a platform that allows for idea sharing, protection of the industry’s interest and a general collaboration for sustainability in the emerging world.” Noah noted that OARAN is necessary because “outdoor advertising regulatory bodies are faced with similar challenges, including the decline of out-of-home advertising spending due to competition from Internet, radio and TV.” He added that the proposed association would help promote sustainable economic growth in a vibrant outdoor advertising sector across the country. Other outdoor regulatory agencies expected to join LASAA for the launch of OARAN include Ogun State Signage and Advertisement Agency (OGSAA), Ekiti State Signage Agency, (EKSAA) and their Kwara State counterparts, KWASAA among other prospective recruits. But in their reaction to the stated objectives of OARAN, some stakeholders affirmed that OAAN is better positioned to serve as a platform for idea sharing and protection of industry interest among outdoor advertising practitioners than LASAA. They would rather have LASAA or the proposed association faces its core duty of regulating the outdoor environment and leave the business aspect to practitioners. A marketing communications advisor,
Adeola Adeniran wondered why LASAA is interested in forming such an association, when the agency has not completely fulfilled its obligations to the industry. He is suspecting a hidden agenda in the proposed association because ‘LASAA wants to meddle in an area it does not have competence.’ “OAAN is better placed to drive the process of generating and sharing of innovative ideas in the outdoor advertising space. The industry association is also in a better position to harmonise the position of operators and take valid steps to protect members’ interests. So, I ask who is threatening the interests of the regulatory bodies that they now need to come together? I believe there is a hidden agenda.” Already. LASAA has reportedly perfected plans to host an outdoor conference and exhibition tagged Africa’s biggest-ever, which is slated for June. The agency has gone to town with the news that the world’s biggest outdoor agency, JCDecaux, is billed for participation in the event, while the agency’s Chief Executive Officer in Southern Europe is expected to speak at the expo. No fewer than 400 delegates from 30 countries from Europe, Asia, America and Africa are expected at the expo. The theme of the threeday conference is: “The Business of Outdoor Advertising in Africa— Opportunities and Challenges.” Since the announcement of the conference, outdoor advertising practitioners have been on edge. They wonder whether the regulator is turning itself into an operator. The impression created in their minds by the invitation to JCDeCaux SA, the number one outdoor advertising company
worldwide and a market leader in Europe and number one in Asia Pacific, is indeed unpalatable. A practitioner said despite being a global leader in the outdoor advertising market, JCDeCaux’s foray into Ghana and some West African markets was fiercely resisted. LASAA’s alliance with the agency, she said, is, therefore, perceived as a discreet move to bring the agency into the Nigerian market through the back door and secretly warehouse the entire Nigerian out-ofhome business in one single agency with the active connivance of other regulatory agencies. In September 2013, MediaReach OMD, a media independent agency in Nigeria, indicated in its annual publication, Mediafacts, that Nigeria advertising industry expenditure on Above-the-line advertising activities in 2012 dropped by 10.6 per cent to N91.846 billion in 2012 as against N102.755 billion in 2011. The report attributed the sharp decline to reduced media investment of 43.9 per cent on outdoor advertising. According to President of OAAN, Charles Chijide, 70 per cent of billboards across the country are vacant and practitioners are being forced to lay off more than 50 per cent of their workforce. And although he has used every available opportunity to raise alarm on perceived imminent demise of the industry, he said LASAA is unrelenting in its onslaught against the outdoor advertising industry. “Where then does the future of OOH in Nigeria lies, when it is generally known that outdoor advertising propels the growth of trade and commerce in ways
One subsector that stands to benefit greatly from the vibrant economy is integrated marketing communications. Although professionals in this field are already playing active role in the Nigeria economy, it is the belief in some quarters that they could do more and thus propel further the economy into greater height if the government provides a conducive environment.
that have endeared it to highly successful brands, as a must-use medium in every country across the world? But who will stop LASAA?” The LASAA boss, however, debunked all the insinuations of bringing in a foreign agency to take over outdoor advertising business. He also said for instance that the proposed conference is meant to take outdoor advertising to a new level, which informed the invitation of critical Nigerian stakeholders to the conference aside those from outside the country. He stated that the association for regulating agencies, being spearheaded by him is just an idea that could only come to fruition if other state regulating agencies buy into it. “If they object to coming together, they would all go their separate ways, as OARAN is just a suggestion.” He said the need to have an association of regulating agencies has become germane because of the many crises coming from the collection of rates, especially when operators and companies cross from one border to the other. And so, there are issues of policies, which OAAN cannot solve. Noah informed that regulating agencies would not do anything that will be detrimental to the outdoor advertising industry because if the industry collapses, the regulators would be out of business. To him, the claim that the regulating bodies are coming together just for revenue purpose is not true, as they cannot increase rates more than what the market can take. “Let me give you an example. When people pay for mobile advertising permit in a particular state and then move to another state, they would be harassed by the new state. These are common issues. As regulators in the industry, we should be able to sort these things out because the law says when you pay in a state you should be able to use it in any part of the country. This is just one of the issues, which this kind of gathering should be able to resolve,” he said.
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HarvestPlus: Vit-A Cassava Crusade Reaches 106,000 Farmers By Fabian Odum HE battle against ‘Hidden Hunger’ using T the growing of Vit-A fortified cassava scored more points in 2013, with a reach to 106,000 farmers as against the initial target of 100,000 farmers. These farmers cultivated a land area of 654 hectares in 272 villages across 14 states with average cassava stem yield increase from 200 bundles to 400 on-farm, and to 1,000 on-station. Aside the rural farmers, who are reaping nutritional and economic benefits of this investment, 50 private sector organisations have come on board the ‘special yellow cassava’ platform. Besides, state, local governments, non governmental organisations, and other development partners have been involved in the task of getting more farmers to grow the crop. HarvestPlus Country Manager, Paul Ilona revealed these at a media interactive meet for a 2013 review and work in progress for 2014 at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Oyo State, midweek. With a running theme, ‘Better crops, better nutrition,’ Ilona said HarvestPlus has been at the forefront of tackling improper nutrition apply the tool of bio-fortification to staple crops right from the farm. The target for the preceding year, according to Ilona is to add value to Vit-A cassava, making it more it more acceptable for food and income generation for Nigeria’s teeming population in the fight against ‘hidden hunger.’ Hidden Hunger, also known as micronutrient deficiency, is a major public health prob-
Products from processed Vit-A cassava on display at HarvestPlus meet at IITA during the week. lem in developing countries caused by lack of essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, zinc, iron or iodine in the diet. The result would be that children may be stunted in growth, have poor night vision or be plagued by frequent illness. Even in adults,
IITA DG Urges Governments To Tap Agriculture For Job Creation HE Director General of the International T Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Dr. Nteranya Sanginga has called on governments to make use of the potential in agriculture to create wealth and jobs. Addressing stakeholders at the Oyo State Economic Summit, the DG, who was represented by Dr. Kenton Dashiell, Deputy Director General for Partnerships & Capacity Development said there were opportunities for the youth to start small businesses in seed production, input supply, weed control, and processing, among others. Represented by Sanginga explained that the youth could also be farmers and use modern methods that reduce the labor, raise yields, and increase income. Citing the example of the IITA Youth Agripreneurs model, Sanginga said that there was the need to change the mindset of the youth. He explained that the Youth Agripreneurs project – the first of its kind in the CGIAR—
engages young people from various educational disciplines and through mentoring and training transforms them into agripreneurs. He added that making agriculture a business is at the core of the program. The economic summit attracted industrialists including the Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, Oba Otudeko; the Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group and Executive Chairman, Philips Consulting, Mr. Foluso Philips; and the Director General of Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Joseph Odumodu. The Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, in his welcome address said the State was ready to offer incentives and partnership to investors willing to explore opportunities in the agricultural and industrial sectors. He solicited more synergies from other foreign bodies in the human capital development of the state.
there may be recurring illness and easily prone to fatigue. World health statistics show that one in three people in developing countries like Nigeria suffer hidden hunger, which increases their vulnerability to infection, birth defects, and impaired development. Ilona says it is cheaper for the rural poor to source micro-nutrients from common staples like cassava, maize and millet among others than more expensive foods that are not in line with their daily diet.
Food Production Efforts To Consider Climate Change Impact By Kamal Tayo Oropo OUNTRIES need to shift to more sustainC able food systems, stepping up action to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva told participants at the seventh Forum on Agriculture in the Kingdom of Morocco. Climate change, according to Graziano da Silva, has the potential to reconfigure the planet’s food production scenario. It reintroduced “an element of uncertainty” after decades in which hunger was caused more by a lack of access to the means to produce or purchase food, rather than insufficient supplies globally. The world’s poorest are particularly vulnerable. Not only do they have fewer means to react, but they also tend to live in already marginal production areas, where the impact of climate change in agricultural production is felt to an even greater extent. He pointed to the recent findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which reflected these concerns and called for urgent action. The Director-General also spoke about family farming as a tool for rural development and stability, pointing out that the United Nations had declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming. He pointed out that climate change was a challenge that both large, modernised family farms and small-scale family farmers would need to face. Climate change is an issue that cuts across a broad range of development priorities, including ending hunger, supporting sustainable production, reducing rural poverty, improving food markets and building resilience. Graziano da Silva noted that some 500 million family farms account for about 80 per cent of the world’s holdings, yet also include many of the most vulnerable families globally.
Grazing Reserves Will Boost National Security – Agric Minister HE Minister of Agriculture and Rural T Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has stated that aside from the tremendous benefits of rapidly growing the livestock sector, creating thousands of jobs and raising national economic output, the establishment and effective management of grazing reserves will reduce frequent herder-farmer and other forms of communal clashes in the country to the barest minimum. The Minister made the assertion while inaugurating an inter-ministerial technical committee tasked with working out modalities for mapping and resuscitating 415 existing grazing reserves and stock routes spread across the country. The Ministers of Environment, Works, Interior, Water Resources, Science and Technology as well as National Planning are members of the inter-ministerial/government committee headed by the Agric Minister, with commissioners of agriculture of all 19 States of North-Central, North-East and North-West geo-Political Zones as well as some adjoining States. Adesina gave a rundown of major underlying factors heightening herder-farmer clashes, which are now assuming strife proportions in the country. Among these are high population growth and the resulting need to feed more mouths, which in itself creates the need for more farmlands, population change induced rural – urban migration, increase in the number of livestock herds (19 million cows, 45 million sheep and 35 million goats) with the need to feed them on ever shrinking grazers leading to incursions into farmlands by herders. Others are the continued practice of itinerant grazing of livestock instead of rearing them on established grazers and consequent overrunning of farms every now and then, and effects of climate change on the environment in the form of desertification and desiccation. Positing that these causative factors did not in themselves constitute enough reasons for the prevalence and rising incidence of herder-farmer and other communal clashes in the country, the Agric Minister argued that only 141 of the available 415 grazing reserves around the country are mapped and gazetted. Even then, he expressed doubt if any of the mapped and gazetted reserves was being effectively managed to realise the objective for creating them. Adesina, therefore disclosed that it was to address these inadequacies with a view to optimising them that President Jonathan directed the establishment of the technical committee with the active commitment and involvement of all stakeholders, including relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as States and Local Governments, with a mandate to develop maps and inventory existing facilities for effectively utilizing them.
Varsity Teacher Lists Ways Of Attaining Food Security From Charles Ogugbuaja, Owerri ORRIED by the rate of food insufficiency W and policy on Agriculture in the country, a don in the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, Prof. Christopher Chiedozie Eze, regretted the low agricultural yield in the country despite various agricultural policies and programmes put in place by the successive governments. The Professor of Agricultural Economics, who spoke on “Agricultural Finance: Panacea for Agricultural and Rural Development” at the 24th Inaugural Lecture, opined that lip service to the sector by the government at all levels must stop, while land and financial assistance must be given to famers and those in the field. Eze, also a lawyer, regretted that all the various programmes put in place in that regard by the past governments, such as Peoples Bank, Community banks, Family Support Programme, Small Scale Industrialisation, Directorate for Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure, Better Life programme, banking schemes among other integrated and rural development strategy, some have “left the communities worse off.” According to him, government must immediately commence to address poor storage facilities, processing, power supply and transportation and post harvest losses issues. He also identified smallness in cultivable lands for farmers as a major factor militating against the growth in agriculture, in view of the growing population, urbanisation and industrialisation.
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Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Junior Guardian Prime Rose Celebrates Easter Holiday Party they become what the society and their parents want them to be. She advised the pupils to Nursery and Primary Schools, be hard working and foGbagada Phase 2, Lagos to mark the school’s end of stu- cused in their studies. She called on government to imdious term. Gbagada playground, venue prove the falling standard of Nigerian education, saying of the programme tagged that most public schools are ‘Jean Affairs’ was filled to cain terrible state. pacity. There were activities “I once gave out used fursuch as singing, dancing niture to one of the public competitions raffle draws; schools, when I discovered soccer, castle climbing and there were public schools, parents dance competition where pupils sit on tyres to among others. study. Nigeria needs a generAccording the proprietress ation of well tutored chilof the school, Mrs. Bunmi dren to take over leadership Joseph, the party is a way of of the country,” she said. cooling off after a long term A parent, Sola Adeoye, who school exercises. “I am happy won a refrigerator during and fulfilled, seeing my chilthe raffle draw, said educadren display this level of intion is the most ideal thing telligence in today’s activities. Everybody is happy parents could give to their children. “There are other including their parents and schools near and far but I so I’m very happy.” chose to bring my children The proprietress, who believes in professionalism said here because of the potenshe wouldn’t want to go into tials I see in this school. I’m secondary education for now, overwhelmed with joy for saying she loves children and winning the refrigerator, too.” likes being with them, nur— Gbenga Akinfenwa ture and correct them till was a fun-filled afternoon IforTduring a holiday party held the pupils of Prime Rose
Pupils of Prime Rose Nursery and Primary School, Gbagada, Lagos dancing during the event
SOLUTIONS TO BRAIN TEASER (1) SINCERE RESTORE
WORD POWER GAME Languid a) relaxed b) pat c) roll d) chase
Mystery of death to man unknown There is no armour against death Everybody is always afraid of death Death is no respecter of any man The young, the old; both rich and poor Are all scared by the thought of death
Sparkle a) shine b) large c) blind d) rise Whet a) damp b) wave c) sharpen d) hide Haughty a) proud b) reasonable c) tall d) cool Peruse a) kill b) examine c) like d) bend
Life, longevity, science can prolong But has no power to turn back death Death will come when it will Doctors, lawyers and professors Die when least expected
Gallivant a) dance b) globetrot c) move d) stay Raze a) pick b) destroy) work d) remove
Death is an unseen agent Transforming the living body into dead Then sometimes it knocks and does not enter Many a time it enters suddenly without notice All shiver to think of death
By Okoro H Chinelo Okota, Isolo
Salient a) noticeable b) bold c) deadly d) nice
Caucus a) group b) shell c) inside d) fruit Minute a) tiny b) light c) catch d) wrap
PROVERBS Empty vessels make the most noise. As you make your bed so you must lie on it. A hungry man is an angry man. A stitch in time saves nine. Jack of all trades, master of none. He who pays the piper dictates the tune. Grasp all, lose all.
By Adeoye Olaitan Ibadan.
Johnny And His Teacher UMMER vacation ended and little Johnny returned to school. Two days later, his teacher phoned his mother to tell her that Johnny was misbehaving. “Wait a minute,” she said. “I had Johnny with me for three months and I never called you once when he misbehaved!”
Pupils of Meritland Montessori School, Ajao Estate, Lagos, during their Cultural Day activities. COMPILED BY KIKELOLA OYEBOLA
Mathematical Problem The teacher came up with a good problem.
“Suppose,” she asked the students, “there were a dozen sheep and six of them jumped over a fence. How many wouttld be left?” “None,” answered little Deji. “None? Deji, you don’t know your arithmetic. “Teacher, you don’t know your sheep,” replied Deji. “When one goes, they all go!”
By Olalekan Bakare firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, April 27, 2014 33
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
Government Must Change Tactics In Handling The Issue Of Security, By Religious Leaders • Nigerians Have Not Seen Benefits Of Emergency Rule Practically every Nigerian knows there is tension in the air. Just on Monday, April 14, there was a bomb blast at Nyanya Motor Park near the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. That singular act claimed the lives of many Nigerians. As if that was not enough, the following day, over 200 female students in Chibok, Borno State were abducted including the brazen destruction of innocent lives by the herdsmen across the country, just to mention a few. All this notwithstanding, the politicians are busy trying to outwit one another, especially as they prepare for 2015 general elections. The situation has gotten to a point that Nigerians are no longer deceived by their leaders, who can’t pretend that all is well, when it is not. There is a saying that “Heaven helps those who help themselves,’ which means that if you do not make efforts at solving that nagging problem, there’s no way heaven can come in. The security situation in the country requires that all Nigerians put their hands on deck. More importantly, there should be serious effort by those at the corridors of power to solve the problem. This would go a long way in reducing the tension, as they have the might to deal decisively with the problem at hand than the ordinary Nigerian. In this interview to find the way forward, some religious leaders told CHRIS IREKAMBA, NKECHI ONYEDIKA and ISAAC TAIWO the role politicians should play to ensure there is peace in the country, especially as 2015 approaches.
‘Government Is Trying But People Are Not Seeing The Efforts’ (Ustaz Mohammed Kabir, Imam of the Garki Market Mosque in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) HE security situation in the counT try today is worrisome and is beyond human capacity and imagination. Everybody is affected and all have a role to play as far as the issue is concerned. We all need to go back to God. Let us repent and show remorse for what we have done. Both Christians and Muslims have not been obedient to God, as we ought to be. So, we need to go back to God and seek His forgiveness. We also need to intensify prayers because only that can save our nation. Therefore, we need to ask God to intervene in our country. This country is indivisible by God’s design. He knows why He made us this way, and made the country to be multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-lingual. Let everybody be free to practise his/her religion. None of the religions encourage this crisis we are having now. There are some people, who are making comments that worsen the situation. It is written in the Qur’an that whenever you see calamity befalling any people, definitely they must have done something wrong. God will never change the condition of a people
until they change their habit. So, we should think and ask ourselves, ‘what have we done to bring about this situation?’ Everybody has contributed to the problem, both the leaders and the led. So, my advice is for us to repent, intensify our prayers and be our brother’s keepers. We cannot enforce religion on anybody. It is written in my Qur’an that there is no compulsion in Islam. A Muslim shouldn’t force somebody to become a Muslim. The only thing permitted is to convince, which doesn’t have to be verbally. You can convince people through your good behaviour. Someone can say, ‘you are practising a good religion,’ let me follow you. It shouldn’t be by these incessant killings. Even Prophet Mohammed during his lifetime lived in peace with non-Muslims in Medina. I don’t think there is need for all this chaos. If there is anything we can do, it is for us to show good habits and morals to the society. If I am truthful and trustworthy, people will see the goodness of my religion but if you lack good character, nobody will like to join you. Politicians should know that this power is a trust, bestowed trust on them by God and whatever they do with it, they will give account to Him
‘They Should Not Lure Youths To Become Political Thugs’ (Most Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma, Archbishop of Enugu Province and Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Southeast) E need an atmosphere of peace in the country and as politicians prepare for 2015 elections, they shouldn’t heat the polity through unguarded utterances. They should remember that they are to serve the nation and would be remembered for what they have done. No condition is permanent, as they will serve and leave. Their calling is to develop the nation and not to lead it into chaos through unnecessary ambition. Those that have been there before and did not perform should not expect Nigerians to vote for them again, as peoples eyes are now opened more than before. This should not be a platform for them to cause commotion. They should remember they are to bring comfort to the people of the land by providing employment. They are to do those things that will bring respite to Nigerians and not push electorates to violence by denying them of their rights. They should desist from past practice of luring youths to become political thugs, while their own children are kept abroad. God is the Judge of those things and they should not think that they can go free, when they in-
duce other people’s children into evil so that they can achieve their own inordinate ambition and self aggrandisement. Nigerians need peace and not a political party and will study the integrity and pedigree of ambitious political leaders. Rigging of election should be a thing of the past, as Nigerians are now looking for genuine leaders that would move the nation forward, who would also help the masses. Peace should be the watchword of politicians, as they prepare for 2015 general elections.
on Judgment Day. Politicians should ensure justice and fair play. The issue of corruption is very pathetic, as there is a high level of corruption in the society. There is also high level of poverty in the land and when poverty rate is high, it becomes easier for people to take to crime. The rate of graduate unemployment is also high, we see people with Masters and PhDs with no job to do. I advise the government to create more jobs for Nigerians. When people have something doing, they wouldn’t have time to engage in crime. The media should be very careful the way they report happenings in the society. Sometimes the media reports things that incite the people. They should ensure that their reports are objective, because if the people no longer trust the media, I don’t know who else they can trust. The problem of insecurity in the country is something beyond human understanding. Even if government is doing something, it is only God that can intervene and bring an end to this calamity. Government is trying but people are not seeing the efforts. It may be that people do not know what the government is doing. They only hear that the insurgents struck and killed so many people in a particular area or
‘Politicians Should Extinguish Insecurity Before 2015’ (Prof. Is-haq Akintola, Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) S we prepare for 2015 general elections, politicians A are expected to be patriotic enough not to allow the skirmishes that bedeviled some of our past elections resurface again. They can do this by jealously guarding words coming out of their mouths. They should remember they are coming to serve and are expected to show high level of commitment to peace and progress, as well as stability of the country. They are not expected to add more to the security challenges in the nation through the way they conduct themselves for 2015 elections, but should do everything possible to douse the tension in the nation. They are expected to be moderate and remember that going into politics is not an avenue for wealth acquisition to the detriment of electorates. They should eschew the spirit of covetousness that at the end of the day leads to impoverishment of the people they are expected to cater for. They are to build the country and ensure that at the end of their tenure, they leave a good legacy. They should desist from being egocentric and remember that politics with violence is a thing of the past.
that when the attack happened in a particular area, soldiers were nowhere to be found. If government is doing something, they should let us see it. Let government show us what they are doing so that we can be convinced. The only things people are seeing now are killings; they are not seeing what the soldiers are doing. They can, therefore, assume that government’s effort is not enough. But for me, I think government is trying. We are praying God to help the government bring an end to this issue because the problem affects everybody. Some northern elders recently asked the federal government not to extend the Emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States. All I can say is that it may be that those asking government not to do that are
not seeing the dividends of the emergency action. At least if the emergency rule has been declared in a state, let us see the benefits. It was because of these killings that government declared the emergency rule, which was operated for six months after which it was reviewed but the killings are still going on. This might be why those people are asking, ‘what is the value, what is the essence of this emergency rule?’ For me, however, I think government has to change its tactics. Government needs to seek another approach to deal with the issue because removing the soldiers completely may be another matter entirely. So, if government wants to extend the emergency period, let them come up with another strategy for dealing with the insecurity problem.
‘They Should Take The Issue Of Security Seriously’ (Rt. Revd. (Dr.) Johnson Akin Atere, Bishop, Diocese of Awori (Anglican Communion) S our politicians prepare for the 2015 general elections, I enjoin them to detest violence in all its ramifications, as no society or organisation could make progress in an atmosphere devoid of peace. May I counsel the nation’s political class that democracy was no licence for violence and I appeal to our politicians to be their brother’s keepers and know that Atere peaceful co-existence is the only track record and who must be thing that guarantee socio-eco- set to provide leadership wornomic development. They should thy of emulation, ensure high also take issues on safety of lives morale among their people and more importantly in their day-to- be prepared to maintain the day activities. good image of the nation at all Our politicians should endeavour times. To curtail the excesses of to emulate our Lord Jesus Christ our politicians, the relevant auby doing everything possible to be thorities should charge whomeek, humble, spiritual, holy, self- ever is arrested for electoral denying and forbearing, as they malpractices to court and those tend to be abundantly blessed if found culpable should be aponly they are devoted and obedi- propriately sanctioned, thereby ent to God. I equally urge politi- serving as deterrence to others. cians to not only be For us to have a free and fair compassionate and merciful, but elections in 2005, I urge INEC to should endeavour to carry out the purge itself of the old corrupt purpose and will of God for their guard to ossify the right value lives. system in the institution beAs we approach another election cause the last general elections, year, our politicians should know though better than the previous that those considered worthy of ones, were not totally free and election by the people should be fair given manifest rigging in leaders of proven integrity and some states.
‘Many Pay Allegiance To Their Religion At The Expense Of The Nation’ (Ven. Peter O. Ogunmuyiwa, Southwest Coordinator on National Issues of CAN and Provost, Saviour’s African Church Cathedral, Agege, Lagos) HE situation in our country now is quite unfortunate and the religious factor makes it more dis-
turbing. Religion, which ordinarily should help build a virile nation, is now being manipulated by evil ones to achieve certain agenda. Another worrisome thing is how the insurgency has penetrated our politicians. The loyalty of many politi-
cal office holders tilts more to their faith at the expense of the nation. For us, therefore, to have a peaceful nation, government must allow religion to be practised privately. Public officials must not carry their Ogunmuyiwa religion into their careers.
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Sunday School Marriage (3)
... With Pastor Enoch Adeboye
Memory verse: There is a way, which seems right to man, but the end thereof is the way of death, Proverbs 14:12. Bible Passage: Joshua 23:11-16. Introduction Marriage is a three-cord covenant between God, Man and Woman. Today, we make this life changing decision frivolously, out of desperation, in clubs, under peer pressure or as a career, financial, political, or even social move. The choice of a life partner must be made prayerfully and soberly without any unwholesome influence or interference. Let’s look at some Biblical guidelines. Unequally Yoked, Deut 7:3 • God strongly warned the Israelites against intermarrying with other nations, Duet.7: 3.
• Such unions activate the curse of disobedience, Joshua 23:1113 because: - It turned Israel from God. -Turned it to idol worshippers - Israel was God’s covenant people and ought to remain holy and pure to the Lord, Deut. 7:6. • A Christian belongs to a ‘’chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation”, 1Pet 2: 9; 2 Cor. 5:17 – 18. • He is an ambassador, 2 Cor. 5:20 -21; bought with a price, 1Cor. 6:5-20. • Should not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers, 2 Cor. 6:14 -16. • He is God’s Temple and has no agreement with idols. Righteousness has no fellowship with unrighteousness; light has no communion with darkness, 2 Cor. 6:14. King Solomon: 1Kings 11:1-4, 9, 11, 14.
We Are Justified By The Righteousness Of Christ ELOvED, this year’s commemoraB tion of the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ has come and gone, but the significant of it must remain an indelible mark in our consciousness. It is not something we can wish away or brush aside. Rather, it is something that should provoke us to seek Him, get closer to Him and understand the power of His resurrection, for by it we are justified. Phil. 3:8-10 says, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.”
Paul the Apostle said that he did not depend upon anything he could call his own, neither spiritual privileges nor natural accomplishments, for the righteousness, which secured him - a guilty sinner from the dint of God’s wrath, is the righteousness of Christ. The resurrection demonstrated Christ Jesus to be the Son of God with power. The Apostle had the belief and expectation that the mighty power that worked in Christ’s resurrection will work in his life and transformed him from spiritual death to a new life. And as he believed, so he received the transformation from death to life by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, in order to become justified by the righteousness of Christ, all Christians are expected to emulate this great apostle. Rom. 6:3-4 says, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptised into Jesus Christ were baptised into His death? 4 Therefore, we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the
glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” To show we are justified by His righteousness, we should arise out of the grave of sin as Christ has risen, and walk in newness of live. Christ’s resurrection is a powerful motive that put us under strong obligations and engagements to arise from sin, and walk in newness of life. The resurrection is both a pattern and a pledge of our resurrection, a pattern after which we are to conform in our rising from the grave of sin. Brethren, there are many, who claim to be Christians because they go to church or have their own churches. They may even believe they are righteous because they attend church services or are doing one good work and the other in the church. They may also assume to have been instilled with some moral discipline based on self-righteousness but they are without Christ and do not appreciate the work of grace cum that of resurrection by which we claim justification. The fact is that one cannot be a
The wisest and the richest man that ever lived was Solomon. Unfortunately, this great man failed in life, ministry and purpose because he loved strange women. • He married outside God’s chosen nation and people, vs.2. • His wives turned him to other gods, vs 4b. • His heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, vs.4c. • The Lord God was angry with him, vs.9. • The kingdom was taken away from him and given to his servant, vs. 11. • The Lord stirred up an adversary against him, vs.14. Conclusion Solomon made many wise choices but erred in one of the most important decisions in life. He had money, wisdom, intelligence, power but not a good wife. Whoever finds the right spouse finds a good thing and obtained favour from the Lord, Proverbs 18:22. You will have favour with God in Jesus’ name.
Living Waters By Pastor Lazarus Muoka Christian without acknowledging and appreciating the work. The belief in the existence of God does not automatically make one a Christian, rather it is a step to becoming a Christian. Christianity transcends beyond a mere belief in the existence of God. It is all about preaching and practising what you belief – Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. It is preaching the birth, death, resurrection and triumphant ascension to heaven of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is practising His doctrine of holiness and righteousness. It is going through a transformation experience that brings a total change of attitude. Anything short of this is religion and such righteousness based on religion is not justified. Beloved, the import of the importance of Easter is nothing but to assert that God’s way of justification of a guilty sinner is not by works done by him, but by faith in the Mediator, Who has satisfied the justice of God for him.
There Is A Life Changing Power The Sun Will Shine Again! In The Gospel By Gabriel Agbo
By S.K Abiara HE Gospel is simply the good news of God’s Son; focusing on Jesus Christ’s birth, life, doctrine, death and resurrection. It is the good news about God‘s Son, Jesus who was born as a man into the lineage of David for the sake of man. The word of truth, salvation, source of hope and God’s grace towards mankind are other words used to describe the Gospel in the Bible. The Gospel began in the mind of God (His eternal plan to save mankind through Jesus) immediately Adam and Eve fell in the Garden of Eden. The moment the fellowship God had with man was severed by sin. (Gen. 3:1-24) However, the gospel became a reality over 2000 years ago with the birth of Jesus. The angel of God appeared to the shepherd and told them about the good news. “That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you
good news of great joy for everyone! The Saviour—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David!”-Lk. 2:8-11. Without sounding too religious what the entire world need now is to embrace the good news of the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Son of God. The gospel is for ALL PEOPLE. Have you embraced it? Do you live by it? These days, the pages of newspapers both local and international are daily loaded with bad news. One hardly finds anything cheering in the electronic media too. Only those that consciously align themselves to the word of God, believe and live by it will have peace in the midst of the chaos that is already ravaging the globe. The gospel is not time or environmental constraint. It is good news because, as soon as it is embraced, it transforms the life of the hearer. It offers hope for the hopeless. It sets the captive free and brings justice to the condemned. “So now, there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power
of sin that leads to death”Rom. 8:2-3. Anytime and anywhere the gospel is being preached and the people receive and believe it, such people or person will automatically experience illumination; darkness and fear will be dispelled from that life. I can assure you that joy unspeakable, light and peace will fill such heart. The gospel is God’s good will to mankind. Apostle Paul by experience knows that there is an undeniable matchless power in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. So, after he encountered it, he became sold out to the same good news. That’s why he could boldly say, “… I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—Jews first and also Gentiles. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in His sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life”-Rom.1: 16-17. The gospel is a message of salvation, it has life-changing power, and it is for everyone including you! Prophet Abiara, General Evangelist, CAC Worldwide. email@example.com
“The terrible storm raged unabated for many days, blotting out the sun and the stars, until at last all hope was gone.” “As the darkness gave way to the early morning light...” Acts 27: 20, 33.
AM thoroughly being Ionblessed by these messages the prophetic intervention. My faith and courage are really being enhanced. The word of God is rich, vast, deep and very dynamic. I have in the past preached from some of these passages, but I think I’m receiving new insights into them. When you love and open yourself up to His word, you’ll begin to see things the way heaven sees them. You will begin to operate in the supernatural. You will still be a human but will be better equipped to do the will of God on earth. No situation will be able to harass or embarrass you again. Our God is alive and in perfect control of everything that happens in the entire universe. Praise God! Here, we want to see how God used the apostles prophetically. You know we have been trying to show that there are situations and problems that will only and always require prophetic intervention to solve. Paul was sailing to Rome to appear before Caesar. They were
276 people on board with cargoes. And suddenly the weather changed, the storm arose, the sea became very unfriendly and they were in real and serious danger of perishing in the water. You will not understand this except you have experienced a serious storm while sailing or flying. You would almost say your last prayers so many times over. Permit me to quote directly some of the fearful words used to describe what Paul and his cotravellers went through, “We had several days of rough sailing, and after great difficulty we finally neared Cnidus. But the wind was against us, so we sailed down to the leeward side of Crete, past the cape of Salmone. We struggled along the coast with great difficulty and finally arrived at Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea. We had lost a time. The weather was becoming dangerous for long voyages by then because it was so late in the fall.” The typhoon was so severe that it blotted out the sun and stars and all hope was lost. Did you get that? Please, let’s bring out those fearful negative phrases from that situation: rough sailing, great difficulty, against us, struggle along, lost a time, becoming dangerous, so late, so severe, blotted out and all
hope was lost. Wow! All these are just to describe what happened on a single journey? Just for Apostle Paul to sail to Rome and stand before the Emperor Caesar, Satan raised such a formidable chain of obstacles. Yes, the journey was that important to the forces of heaven and hell. God had told Paul that he would take the gospel to the gentiles, and going to Rome was a very important part of that mission. He would (through his trial) release the good news to the ruler of the empire and other Roman citizens. And reaching these people meant getting the heart of the then world. The enemy would have none of these and he promptly mobilised the dark forces in the air and in the water to stop the trip by all cost. He wanted to destroy (sink) Paul, the ship and all the other 275 passengers. But, you know very well that the real target was the word of God that the apostle was conveying. And this is exactly what the enemy is doing to you. He is throwing all those arrows and obstacles at you just to see that you don’t fulfill God’s purpose of bringing you into this world. Let him do all he can, but God’s purpose will always prevail! Rev. Agbo is a minister with the Assemblies of God Nigeria. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Why I Refused The Knighthood Of Methodist Church — Oni Michael Ayodeji Oni was the former Lay President of Archdiocese of Lagos, Methodist Church Nigeria. He has also served in different capacities and is still serving the church. On Thursday, April 17, 2014, he celebrated his 80th birthday anniversary with family members and friends. In this interview with CHRIS IREKAMBA, the former Chairman of Access Bank, former President of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Director in so many companies and an eye witness of the election that brought the current Prelate of the church, His Eminence, Dr. Samuel ’Emeka Kanu Uche, revealed why he refused the knighthood of the church, among other issues. HAT do you do for Methodist Church W Nigeria? Over the years, the Church has used me and I’m happy to be so used. I have just been retired as the Archdiocesan Lay President, Archdiocese of Lagos, a position I held for six years. Today, I’m a member of the board of governors of the Theological Institute, Sagamu. I’m also a member of the strategic and finance planning committee and of course, in my own church, I’m still being called to do one or two things. Why did you refuse the knighthood of the church? My father played a very important role in my life. He was not born a Christian, but later in life, he was converted and became a Methodist. When he became a Christian, he took God and everything about Him seriously. My father taught that ‘you must reverence God’ like David did. Before then, he had worked in Owa’s palace and knew the authority of an earthly king (Oba). My father worked in Owa’s palace up to 1918, at a time when the oba’s authority was absolute. If an Oba, Owa of Ijeshaland says, ‘go and cut that man’s head,’ that is it. There was no appeal and nobody questioned his authority. If the Alake of Abeokuta said, ‘go and do same thing,’ the authority was total. My father served in that palace and he told me there was no way you could wear a cap in the presence of an Owa (Oba) or in any court of law. So, if you cannot wear a cap before an earthly oba, how can you wear a cap in the presence of the King of kings? If you cannot do that in the presence of an earthly king, then for me, it is an abomination for anybody to do that in the presence of the One, Who created the universe. Again, you cannot wear your cap in the presence of an earthly judge and then you want to wear it with impunity before the Judge of all judges in the world. So, I told Methodist, ‘please spare me that trouble.’ Though my father died since 1963, if I wear a cap in the church, he will cut my head if it is possible. I supported it with what we have in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 11:7 clearly stated that, ‘a man ought not to cover his head in the church.’ So, when I put those two together, there is no way I can disobey my father and I told Methodist. I’m the only surviving son of my father and I will continue to obey him. And the Bible says: ‘when you know that something is wrong and you do it, it’s sin.’ If you know something is wrong and then you go and do it with impunity, it is sin. It is a deliberate sin and there is no forgiveness. How far have you gone with this message? I have preached it in Methodist and I’m still preaching it because I don’t want all the knights to wear caps, while in the church. What is the difference with the cap that Bishops put on? The cap that Bishops wear is different. It is Biblical. God designed for Aaron the dress, clothes and even the cap. So, that’s Biblical for Bishops and those ordained. But for a layman, it is wrong. What I stand for is Biblical and I supported it further with Isaiah 56:1, where Isaiah told the Israelites to ‘remember the road from where you were …’ I have to remember my root. My father counseled me that it was wrong to do so. I had to write to the church that it is unbiblical and the Bible says ‘I should remember my root.’ I must not disobey my root, which is my father. It is not out of pride.
I refused knighthood because of what I have explained and that is why they have compensated by making me the only official elder in the church for the time being. Others will come I believe. How did you see the election that brought the current Prelate, His Eminence, Dr. Samuel ’Emeka Kanu Uche into office? Please forget about Igbo, Yoruba or anybody. The choice was spiritual. It was same method that the cardinals used in electing the current Pope. The cardinals put themselves in an electoral college until the Pope was elected. And that was when the white smoke came out. In Methodist Church Nigeria, we did just like that. We have an electoral college and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, His Eminence, Dr. Samuel Uche was elected the Prelate. I was part of that process and so I knew what happened. We declared a fast for weeks and prayed throughout the period and on the day of that Electoral College. All the Bishops are eligible, but we have zoned it to somebody not younger than 60 and not older than 65. We did that in Uyo the other time, and we said you must be over 60 because we don’t want somebody coming for a third term. Each term is five years. We want somebody, who wouldn’t do more than two terms and the constitution says when you are 70, you must retire. If we take anybody below 60, it means by the time he is 70 he would have finished his two terms. So, we decided otherwise. We also decided that we don’t want somebody, who is 65 because he won’t be able to do one term. His Eminence Uche is over 60 and was one of the 11 or so candidates and at the time of voting, we prayed. People were nominated and initially four people were qualified. Out of that, two people scored below average. While one scored 2, the other scored 27 out of 90 and above. Only two people were qualified with His Eminence Uche and another Archbishop scoring 66. Uche scored 63 and was second. Going by our constitution, those two people became eligible to be voted for, by themselves. Nobody was thinking about Igbo or Yoruba or such thing. Again, we prayed for the two before voting. When we now voted, the man who scored 66 before now scored 69 and the man who scored 63 before got 90 and above. He was elected under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I was party to it and God sees anybody who says something different. Did you read the Prelate-Emeritus Sunday Mbang’s protest letter or the advertorial placed in one of the newspapers? I have a copy. I must not speak badly about a man of God. The Holy Spirit was not directing him and that’s what I’m saying. He was present and participated in all that happened that day. The method he was criticising was same method he used to elect the immediate past Prelate, Dr. Sunday Ola Makinde. It was exactly the same, word for word. In fact, the process was so good that one of the respected Archbishops suggested we include it in our constitution. I don’t think the Holy Spirit directed Mbang. He was more of the flesh than the Holy Spirit because he had no reason to complain at all. When I got a copy of that through the Internet and somebody sent another copy to me as well, I had no word for anything he said there. I just concluded the Holy Spirit did not direct him. How did you meet your wife? The person I wanted to marry many years before died. After that one, I went to England because I had a girlfriend to marry. But on getting there, nine days after, the girl died. I got to England in 1960. I was determined not to look for anybody to marry until after my studies. So, I went to the university, studied accountancy and became qualified as a chartered accountant. It was then that my mind was free to look for somebody to marry. Then on October 31, I remember I went to a friend’s naming ceremony of his child and I met this girl, who is now my wife. She had come with her uncle to the event and when I saw her, I became interested in her and from there, one thing led to another. I approached her and she told me her name was Iyabo. We exchanged phone numbers. This was in London. So, the following morning, I called her number just to confirm and truly she picked it. And as we were talking she said, ‘I’m not a young girl. I’m a widow and I’m not looking for any playboy. If you want to follow me, it’s better you know my person. I have an eight-year-old girl in Nigeria.’ After dropping the phone, I said to myself ‘if this could come straight from her, then she must be a truthful girl. Another girl would have allowed me to find things out by myself.’ Immediately, I made up my mind that this is the type of girl I wanted to marry. Already,
Springs Of Wisdom
By Pastor W. F. Kumuyi
Wrong Ways To Get Rich Na world of economic downturn, wisdom demands Ifuture. that we must store something for the unpredictable We save while working, labouring to make
Oni people had been disturbing me that at the age of 36 going to 37, I was not married. I went to England with two things in mind — to study and marry. I met her at the time my mind was free to look for somebody to marry. And then she came up with that statement within 24 hours of my meeting her. I said that is it, and I have not regretted it. What is the best moment in your life? There have been so many instances and memorable moments in my life. I called this one ‘a weekend experience.’ If God gives you a message, keep thanking Him. It’s a message so significant that I’m passing it to everybody. He first told me in a dream and I forgot. He now took me through a weekend experience I cannot forget. That weekend started on Friday, December 13, 2002, when I was invited to Christ Foundation, a ministry of the handicapped in Ibadan and I found myself in the midst of over 80 handicapped people of different grades. It was the first year anniversary of a friend of mine, who died on September 13, 2001. He founded the Foundation. At the event, I was put on the high table. And a voice came to me and I could hear Him just as I’m speaking to you. He said ‘Ayo, when you are in a group of handicapped people like this, do you know they would be in categories ABC, or 1, 2, 3?’ I said yes. ‘Do you know that category 1 would say God we thank you because we are better than category 2?’ ‘Category 2 would say God we thank you because we are better than category C, but what can you find common among them?’ I looked around and they were all happy for my friend, who was looking after them for eight years before he died. Then a voice said ‘if these people can be this happy, what is your complaint to God?’ I said I had no complaint. He said ‘your driver brought you to Ibadan and when you finish, he is going to take you back to Lagos. Everything is okay for you.’ He repeated it again. ‘What is your complaint to God?’ When I said none, He now gave me a verdict that I should go and apologise to God. That was the end of that conversation. When I got home, I told my wife what happened. The following day, Saturday, December 14, 2002 one of my nephews was getting married and I was the only person left because all the older ones had gone. I was the groom’s father and he was the only deaf and dumb in the family. He was getting married at Agege Marriage Registry. When I got to the place only to discover that his wife was also deaf and dumb. But their lecturer came and did sign language and they followed all the procedures. At the wedding reception, I was also at the high table. Then the voice that spoke to me the previous day came back and said, “Ayo, yesterday, you were with a set of handicapped people. Today, you can see that you are with a different set of handicapped people.” I said yes. But when it was dancing time, these deaf and dumb also danced even though they didn’t hear the music, but as they were looking at our feet, they were also dancing and the voice came to me: “what you do find common among them?” I said ‘happiness.’ He said ‘but you can hear and speak’ what is your complaint to God?” Again, I said ‘nothing.’ He said ‘go and apologise to God.’ I started thinking of what I did wrong. Then I remembered that some years back, I had a dream, where a man told me three times that “in all things and at all times, go and give thanks to God.” When he said it the third time, I replied: “Sir, what if there is a woman, who has only one child and that child dies. At the time, she has reached her menopause?” The man did not allow me to go further. He shouted at me, and said, “In all things and at all times, give thanks to God, no exception.” It was his no exception that woke me up. So in all things, everyone should give thanks to God, no matter the situation.
money to take care of our needs. Actually, there is nothing wrong with being rich or wealthy. If there is, the Bible wouldn’t have told us that “the Lord thy God: it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth.” Many personalities in the Bible including Abraham, Isaac, Job, Joseph of Arimathea and others were rich and righteous. Riches or wealth are in themselves not sinful, otherwise the Lord would not have given us the power to acquire it, nor encourage us to trust “in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.” But the Scripture is clear in cautioning us against the love, misuse or abuse of money. It condemns in the starkest terms, people who acquire wealth by wicked means, usually through cheating and trampling on the rights of other people. Persons such as Achan, Jezebel, Solomon, Judas Iscariot, Ananias and Sapphira lost their lives while running after money by hook and crooked means. Their fate is a lesson for those of us alive. Those who oppress other people, cheat, steal, gamble, bribe, sacrifice to idols or engage in prostitution, ritual killings, kidnapping in the name of money, do so at the peril of their souls. Naturally, the rich do not think of misery or hardship, while, they wallow in stupendous wealth. They do not think of sickness or death because they believe that their money can buy anything. They are not just wrong, but misguided. For one, the Lord denounces ill-gotten wealth by those who oppress, afflict or destroy the poor to become rich or increase their riches. Such denunciation reverberates through the scriptures. In one instance, the Lord declared: “woe unto the wicked! It shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him. The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor in your houses.” In another instance, He fumed: “What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor?” The Lord demands that employers of labour should reflect on their dealings with their employees, as He cannot stomach the oppression of the poor under any circumstance. He has nothing, but sharp rebuke for oppressors of the poor. He warns them: “forasmuch your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them. For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right. Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the Lord, the God of hosts, shall be with you.” The wealth of people in Bible days consisted of crops, grain, garment, gold and silver. The rich often stored these treasures to preserve their wealth. But sometimes they were ‘corrupted’, ‘moth-eaten’ or ‘cankered.’ Their rust was proof of how ephemeral and worthless earthly riches can be. How utterly foolish it is then to amass wealth, while all the time, rejecting God! “Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings: they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.” The Lord says in another part of the scripture: “As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.” Every Christian must guard against covetousness. Though it is legitimate to acquire land or build houses, it should not be done at the expense of others. There is great judgment for those who oppress people to be rich. To live and enjoy the blessing of God, you must repent and separate yourself from such evil practices. References: James 5:1-6; Deuteronomy 8:18; Proverbs 10:22; 1 Timothy 6:17; Isaiah 3:11,14, 15; Amos 5:11-15; 8:4-10; Proverbs 23:5; Jeremiah 17:11; 1 Timothy 6:9,10; (All scriptures are from Kings James Version).
Those who oppress other people, cheat, steal, gamble, bribe, sacrifice to idols or engage in prostitution, ritual killings, kidnapping in the name of money, do so at the peril of their souls.
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The Catholic Sainthood In Perspective By Gabriel Osu
“Going home, you will find your children. Give them a caress and tell them ‘This is the caress of the pope,’ (Pope John XXIII) ODAy, Sunday April 27, 2014, Thistory is being made with
Pope Francis canonisation of two of his predecessors, Pope John Paul 11 and Pope John XXIII. As would be expected in an event of such magnitude, the Vatican will be playing host to thousands of faithful. Tourists, top government functionaries and people of other religious inclinations would gather to witness such an epoch making event. Pope John XXIII, real name Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, was born in the province of Bergamo in Italy on November 25, 1881. The first son in a family of 14, his father was a simple sharecropper, but the Roncalli family did have aristocratic ancestry. He was ordained a priest in 1904. Pope John will go down in history, as one of the most important religious figures in the 20th century. He was a singular personality, who drew people to him. He was genuine, positive and open, capable of polarising the masses at all levels. Convener of the second Vatican Council, which helped open up the Church, he became increasingly famous for the signs and miracles faithful attribute to him, starting from the day of his beatification on 3 September 2000. There were numerous reports backing his sainthood cause, reports of graces and favours obtained from his intercession, came from all over the world, often accompanied by medical documentation. The second, Pope John Paul 11, was born on May 18, 1920, in Wadowice, Poland and was ordained a priest in 1946. When Cardinal Karol Wojtyla was elected Pope on October 16, 1978 the first non-Italian to head the Holy See in 455 years, he became perhaps the most articulate and outspoken leader the papacy had ever known. Fluent in eight languages, he has always had a keen understanding of the media, steering the Vatican into satellite transmissions and producing videocassettes. And he has not hesitated to bring his powerful personality into play in the pursuit of his
major goals of clarifying church doctrine, seeking contact with other faiths, and proclaiming the sanctity of the individual, body and soul. He was also credited to be the most widely travelled Pope in history having been to Nigeria twice in 1982 and 1988. The Pope passed away just days later, on April 3, 2005. Understandably also, there are many who may be wondering what exactly is the Catholic Sainthood? Generally, the word ‘saint’ is widely associated with godly men and women, who have lived exemplary lives. Some Christians refer to all believers as saints even those who are still living. For others still, there seem to be no justification for calling one a saint since it is only God that has a full knowledge of one’s spiritual disposition. And so we ask ourselves, what really is the essence of canonising one a saint? For the avoidance of all doubts, saints are those who follow Jesus Christ and live their lives according to His teaching. They are men and women like you and I. The only difference is that they chose to embrace the love of God offered through His Son Jesus Christ. They dared to live extraordinary lives of virtue and are believed to be in Heaven. Viewed from Biblical perspective, the word saint literally means “holy,” and, in the New Testament, saintreferred to all, who believed in Jesus Christ and followed his teachings. Saint Paul often addressed his epistles to “the saints” of a particular city (see, for instance, Ephesians 1:1 and 2 Corinthians 1:1), and the Acts of the Apostles talks about Saint Peter going to visit the saints in Lydda (Acts 9:32). There are two types of saints, those canonised by the Church and those acclaimed. While the Church in elaborate ceremony carries out canonisation, those acclaimed saints have earned the title by virtue of their good works and exemplary life styles, which are very glaring and widely acknowledged. Examples of people in
this category include Sts. Peter and Paul and other apostles of Christ. One needs not exercise any doubt as to the appropriateness or otherwise of them being citizens of heaven. Canonised saints can be venerated anywhere and prayed to publicly, and their lives are held up to Christians still struggling here on earth as examples to be imitated. The next step, beatification, requires evidence of one miracle (except in the case of martyrs). Since miracles are considered proof that the person is in heaven and can intercede for us, the miracle must take place after the candidate’s death and as a result of a specific petition to the candidate. When the pope proclaims the candidate beatified or “blessed,” a particular region or group of people with whom the person holds special importance can venerate the person. At this time and age, when secularisation is eating deep into the fabric of our society, the Canonisation of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII is a wake-up call for us all to embrace holiness. Let me make a clarification here. The Catholic Church does not worship Mary or saints, as some erroneously assume. We worship only God, but we revere saints because of their closeness to God. We also believe that when we ask for their intercession prayerfully, God is able to grant us our heart’s desire. We do not all have to be priests or religious before we serve God diligently. The two in their lifetimes were able to. We are all called to a life of holiness in the little things we do each day. Whatever we put our hands to do, let us do it well, such that even heaven would attest to our effort and reward us accordingly. We all have a good opportunity of becoming citizens of heaven, when we learn to shun selfishness, embrace love for our fellow human beings and put God first in our dealings. Very Rev. Msgr. Osu, Director, Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos.
At this time and age, when secularisation is eating deep into the fabric of our society, the Canonisation of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII is a wake-up call for us all to embrace holiness
His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos, during his visit to Nigeria in 1982. With him is M.C Rev. Fr. Gabriel Osu, as curate to Very Rev. Fr. M.J Colleran, SMA (late).
Spiritual Revival (4) By Seyi Ogunorunyinka N Jeremiah 6:19, the Lord Ibring stated that He was going to disaster upon the children of Israel because of “the fruits of their thoughts.” One of the things that we need to ask God for is that He should give us new hearts. Jeremiah 17:9 states that the heart of man is extremely wicked, and that is why there is wickedness all over the place. In Psalm 51:10-12 David asked the Lord, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.” If you have a bad heart, then your spirit cannot be right with God. God will not be with you and the Holy Spirit can no longer dwell within you. A lot of people nowadays believe that they are children of God; they quote scriptures and believe that they are speaking the language of the God but the Holy Spirit has long departed from them because their hearts are filled with evil. They no longer have consideration for anyone else
except themselves and lining their own pockets. Jeremiah 6:19-20 states, “Hear, O earth! Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people, the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not heeded My words Nor My law, but rejected it. For what purpose to Me comes frankincense from Sheba, and sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet to Me.” God cannot be bribed; He has no use for our money if we do not obey Him. Some people think that they can commit all sorts of atrocious acts and then give unto the Lord by building sanctuaries and so on. God has no use for such things; He rejects all such offerings. Jeremiah 6:21 continues, “Therefore thus says the LORD: “Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall on them. The neighbour and his friend shall perish.” Verses 22 and 23 continue with warnings of a great nation that will wage war against the children of Israel and defeat them. 2 Chronicles 7:14 states, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves,
and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.” The Lord is saying that we are still His children but His hands have been tied by our actions. Satan has blinded our eyes so that we cannot see what God is showing us; cotton wool has been used to block our ears so that we cannot hear what God is saying. Our pride and arrogance have so overcome us that we are able to disregard the words of the Almighty. Unless there is spiritual revival, where the satanic veils are removed, a lot of souls will continue to perish. We need to find out what these satanic veils are and ask God to remove them from our eyes, so that we will be saved. Pastor Ogunorunyinka, General Overseer, The Promisedland Restoration Ministries, Surulere, Lagos. pastorseyiogunorunyinka@gm ail.com
RCCG, His Royal Place Holds Conference HE Redeemed Christian T Church of God, His Royal Place holds a special Business and Career Conference with the theme, “From Glory To Glory,” today at RCCG, HRP Parish TFC, 22, Road Festac, Lagos. Topics to be dis-
cussed include generating multiple streams of income in 2014; the difference between job and work; and how to reposition your business and career for success in 2014 and beyond. Expected to grace the event include
the host Pastor, Seun Taiwo; ED, Inspiration Hour, Kehinde Olagbenjo and SME Business Platform, Emmanuel Odoemelam. The event will be rounded off next week Sunday, with thanksgiving service from
To Change Nigeria Is In your Hand, Akinde Tells Christians By Kenechukwu Ezeonyejiaku HE Archbishop of the EcTclesiastical Province of
Lagos, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and Bishop of Lagos Mainland, Most Rev. Adebayo Dada Akinde has called on Christians in the country to seek the face of God and bring the needed change the country craves. Delivering his Easter message in Lagos, Akinde said that Christians have a noble role to play in the affairs of
the country, adding that it is only them that hold the ace for a positive turnaround if there will be one. He said: “Clearly, all is not well with our beloved country, Nigeria. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, it says that Christians hold the ace for a positive turnaround if there will be one. God has given us clearly the mandate… ‘If my people, those who are called by My Name will humble themselves, will seek God’s face, will forsake their sins and call upon God;’ then, God has
promised three things: ‘He will hear, He will forgive and He will heal our land.’ “Nigeria needs the healing of God. This is the veritable time for us to raise our voices together, that God will do this upon Nigeria; that God will intervene in the affairs of Nigeria; that the Prince of Peace Himself, the symbol of the victory, which we have in the Christian faith should rain His peace upon this land. Nigeria will know peace, Nigeria will not go to war, Nigeria
will not disintegrate; that cannot be God’s plan for us. “So, we all have a duty as we celebrate that most beautiful and glorious event, eternal event of all times, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, let us humble ourselves, let us seek God’s way, let us forsake evil and God will intervene.” He noted further that the celebration of Easter, which is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, depicts the victory of evil and over evil and as such, a source of hope for every Christian in
the face of sufferings and afflictions. “In Easter, what we are doing is commemorating the resurrection of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ from the grave depicting the victory of evil and the victory over evil in our circum stance; the consummation of God’s love and forgiveness for sinners. So, the implications are: as each family celebrates Easter, it is important for every one of us to be thankful to God for His job for us whereby He has paid
the ransom for our sins. The second thing is to appropriate on a personal sense, Christ death on the cross at Calvary, as an atonement for our sins as well as to appropriate the victory, which His resurrection depicts in personal sense — victory over all the forces of evil. “So, whatever afflictions and unpleasantness we might be passing through, the Christian has to hope that he will be victorious because God has already done it in Jesus Christ.”
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IBRUCENTRE By Ernest Onuoha
‘But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, we have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe,’ John 20v24-25. HE canonical gospels including John reported T of different appearances of Jesus shortly after His resurrection. First Mary Magdalene, then to the disciples, to Thomas, to the disciples again excluding Judas Iscariot, to the seven and then to the two on Emmaus road. These were attempts to further prove to the whole world that Jesus was alive in flesh and blood. We recall the attempts made to rubbish the resurrection story of our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ. It was shameful that soldiers were bribed to say that the disciples came and stole Him, when the fact remains that the disciples including Mary Magdalene and the other Mary; all saw where He was laid after His crucifixion. And that was why the women that went to the tomb did not miss their way. It is, therefore, not a case of a mistaken identity
From The Rector Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor
How Deep Is Your Faith? as Jesus rose again and His appearance to different segments of His followers was to reassure them and to deepen their faith in the Father through the resurrection power at work. Thomas called Didymus was still not yet settled about this matter. Even when he was told by other believers that the Lord had risen, he retorted thus: ‘…except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe,’ Jhv25. The scripture was right: ‘blessed ‘are’ they that have not seen, and ‘yet’ have believed,’ Jh 20v29. It is possible that Thomas is not alone in this mess. A man, who followed, ate and drank with the Saviour and yet he was full of unbe-
lief. Such a betrayal of faith leaves much to be desired. It is sad even today that some men and women, who follow Jesus, are not deep-rooted in their faith. Yes, they carry the Bible but they are full of doubts and such is very incredible. Faith according to the writer of Hebrews: ‘Now faith is assurance of ‘things’ hoped for, a conviction of things not seen,’ Heb. 11v1. Was it not Jesus that said: ‘destroy this temple and I shall build it up in three days,’ Jh 2v19. The hope of every Christian, therefore, was that this shall come to pass and thanks to goodness, it came to pass, as on the resurrection day, He rose again. The faith of the believer at all time should not
waiver, but should remain like the northern star that does not move. Such a faith is capable of dispelling doubts and is not subjected to the whims and caprices of situations. There is no room for doubts but we are to be strengthened by our faith in Him, Who came, died and rose again. It is expected, therefore, that all who call upon His name should put doubts aside and follow Him closely with a simple faith. Ven. Ernest Onuoha Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State. www.ibrucentre.org
Success Without God Is Failure, Says Maduoma Leadership And Sacrifice By Ngozi Maduoma “To strive for success, happiness or material things apart from God’s way and purpose will lead to bitter disappointment and end in failure.” HIS was the submission of T the Most Rev. Dr. Caleb Maduoma, Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Owerri and Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Ideato, during this year’s Diocesan Synod held at All Saint’s Anglican Church, Akokwa in Imo state. The Archbishop noted that it is man’s search for food and survival that has led to his trying to develop through learning and acquisition of knowledge. He added that parents try to train their children and wards and the government endeavours to provide essentials of life, all in the pursuit of man’s posterity. Yet, according to him, the challenge of food security in Nigeria is enormous, with labour shortage in agriculture
being the most limiting factor. Speaking on the Synod theme, “Open wide your mouth and I will fill it: challenges for food security in our land,” the cleric emphasised that though there seem to be scarcity of food, job, money, capital and other necessities of life, the fact remains that those who seek God first will have all these things follow them. Therefore, he enjoined Christians to hunger and thirst for righteousness, after which he said God would fill their lives with all that they need for life and Godliness. Archbishop Maduoma quoted copiously from the Bible, explaining God’s promise of providence for those who believe in and follow Him; adding that God is faithful to His promises. The Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province observed that these days, the believer’s hunger for things of God is destroyed by worldly anxiety, deceitfulness of wealth, desire for things and life’s pleasures and
to him, this has led to spiritual death in the lives of many acclaimed believers. Hence, he called on the Church and Christians to live above food and be absorbed continually and earnestly in a search for obtaining the power of God being demonstrated in their lives. On the state of the nation, Maduoma stated that the fight against Boko Haram is not a matter for the President alone, but a battle that all must join hands to fight. However, he warned that those who think that they could continue to encourage the sect to kill and destroy lives of Nigerians should have a second thought because with God Boko Haram will soon be history like the other challenges the nation has faced in the past. The Archbishop called on all Nigerians to be involved in the 2015 elections and refuse to play politics with bitterness and self-interest.
Foursquare Holds Grace And Power Night BEOKUTA, Ogun State capiA tal will play host to the General Overseer, Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria, Rev. Felix Meduoye, on Friday, May 2, 2014 in a programme tagged “Grace and Power Night” scheduled to hold at MKO Abiola International Stadium, Kuto, Abeokuta. The vigil, which begins at 9pm and expected to attract members and adherents of the church in the Southwest region and the public is the second edition of the General Overseer’s regional tours,
which debuted with the tour of the Southsouth region in February earlier this year. Rev. Adedimeji Adegbesan, Coordinator, Ogun/Oyo axis and District Overseer, Abeokuta District of the Foursquare Gospel Church, said the coming of the General Overseer to the region would afford members of the church and the public the opportunity to be spiritually impacted by the ministry of the man of God. It will also be a time for the release of grace for salvation, healing, deliverance and
breakthroughs on attendees. The theme of the vigil, “Abeokuta Night of Undeniable Miracles,” according to the Personal Assistant to the General Overseer/Media, Rev. Tobi Akinbo, “will be preceded by two days of pastors of Foursquare Churches in the region praying with the General Overseer and the team of evangelists ministering to various needs of the members of the public at the Abeokuta District Headquarters of the Church, 11, Titilola Mustapha Crescent, Ita Iyalode, Abeokuta.”
By Taiwo Odukoya EAL leaders must be “R ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.” These were the words of Nelson Mandela, a man whose personal sacrifice defines true leadership. Mandela’s words assume even greater importance in a tumultuous world in desperate need of real leadership. According to leadership expert, Dave Anderson, the reward for leadership is the opportunity to make more sacrifices. An irrefutable sacrifice a leader can make is to sacrifice personal ambitions for the greater good; the willingness and readiness to build, strengthen and elevate institutions above personalities. The truth is, the average human being has a propensity for selfishness, exaggerating our own importance and building empires, where everything revolves around us. Contrariwise is to start defining leadership. True leaders build systems and institutions that allow for processes that are transparent and accountable. They establish a culture of continuity, and develop structures that are bigger than them. For such leaders, leadership is defined by one word — sacrifice. Their goal is to build and sustain something that will benefit people for generations and they are willing to forsake anything to achieve this. But the amazing thing is that they gain something much more valuable — perpetual honour. No wonder Jesus said: “whoever seeks his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” Perhaps you think the personality of Jesus is too high to identify with or emu-
late. How about Gandhi who said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” This reminds me of Gorbachev, the last president of the defunct Soviet Union, who facilitated its transition into a cluster of 15 sovereign states in the late 1980s. The Russians had fought a bloody battle during the Second World War and sacrificed more than any other nation to bring that war to an end. The man at the heart of this was Joseph Stalin. Emerging from that war as a hero, Stalin proceeded to build a Soviet empire, along with the Kremlin, with him at the centre of it. Leader after leader of the Soviet Union, from Khrushchev to Brezhnev, followed after Stalin’s leadership style. The result was wars and threats of wars across the globe. But one leader arose, who understood the imperative of subjecting personal ambition to the greater good, of building institutions and systems as opposed to personalities. That leader was Mikhail Gorbachev. Gorbachev instituted the famed policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). He whittled down the ambitions of the Soviet Union, inadvertently breaking it down, and removed the constitutional role of the Communist Party in the governing of the state. Gorbachev put an end to the Cold War and global anxiety. Do you know that the system Gorbachev built left no room for him? But he built it nonetheless, and left the world a better place, sacrificing what could have been his personal empire, for building systems and
Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. (Luke 17:33) institutions. This earned him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 and an enviable place in history. On the other hand, we have leaders today, who unlike Gorbachev are building personal empires to the detriment of building democratic institutions and structures that will last generations. This is the bane of most African countries, where elections and governance are largely about personalities seeking to gain and retain power at all cost. Or what do you make of the fact that the announcement of the results of the 2011 Nigerian Presidential elections sparked off a series of bombings that have continued unabated till date? Nigeria Has a Great Future! • Pastor Taiwo can be reached at email@example.com
Atilade Tasks Christians On Survival, Wellbeing Of Churches By Gbenga Akinfenwa IGERIAN Christian leaders have been urged to agree on a responsive and practicable agenda that will ensure the survival and wellbeing of churches in the country, to put an end to the incessant attacks on them. This was part of the communiqué issued at the end of a meeting of key Christian leaders with the president of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, and signed by Archbishop Magnus Adeyemi Atilade. He noted that for those who might not be aware, a lot of
work has been done by those opposed to Christ to marginalise and eradicate the church in the nation to the extent that the Constitution of Nigeria has been skewed in favour of Islam and the total exclusion of the church, adding that the worrisome implication is that constitutionally, the church does not exist in Nigeria. “The leaders of the church need to agree on a course of responsive action to the present challenges. We should be able to articulate clear steps and directions for the entire body of Christ in Nigeria. The stamp of authority and veracity of these
proposals to the church should not be difficult to convey to Christians in Nigeria. “As leaders of the church, we need to call for prayers of repentance and revival all over the land. Our nation has the unenviable record of being one of the most corrupt and lawless nations on earth,” he said. He emphasised that Nigeria church can no longer afford to stand aloof from governance, because for years, the attitude of Christians has been that politics is a dirty game and Christians should not get involved. “However, the reality
of the present situation demands that if politics is a dirty game, Christians should enter and clean it up. The easiest way to ensure that the machinery of governance is not utilised to destroy the church is for credible Christians to get involved in governance.” Atilade called for mass mobilisation of Christians all over the country to register for election and ensure that they exercise their constitutional right of voting on Election Day, adding that the prevailing attitude of Christians to stay at home on election days must change. He said that not
only must Christians vote, but they must also be trained to vote for those that will protect the church and ensure justice, fairness and equity in the nation. “Christians must consciously begin to think of dominating the seven mountains of Influence that govern the human society. These are Government, Education, Economy, Family, Media, Arts and Culture, and Religion. Apart from the mountain of religion, Christian influence is no longer felt in the other six mountains. Even in the families, the traditional Christian values that
used to run homes are being fast eroded in our societies. “Therefore, whether it is in the North or in the South, we keep receiving confirmed signals that the church is under attack. Our conscience is clear, that we are not the aggressors; neither have we done anything to precipitate these unwarranted attacks on us and on our places of worship. However, we are not going to fold our arms and wait for the church to be destroyed? Or we are going to arise and “contend for the faith that was once delivered to the Saints?”
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KALU: Fractured War Horse On A Mystery Mission By Armsfree Ajanaku HE most interesting feature about the Nigerian political space is in its infinite capacity to disgorge and somehow reabsorb the very gladiators that have made it their playground for many decades now. Specifically, due to its amorphous character, the space for politics does not possess the mechanism for identifying heroes or villains. There are also no known instruments for modulating political behaviour. These are the tell tale signs of a political system that does not possess the depth of purpose to evaluate and re-evaluate the contributions, claims and counter claims of individual actors. To put it in another way, the Nigerian political space is licentious, such that just when there is growing consensus that a particular gladiator is out of the game, he returns from the dead and dribbles his way back to relevance. And because amnesia seems an ingrained part of the Nigerian make up, such comebacks are immediately accepted for what they are: one more reality in a landscape littered with same of the same. The implication is that the Nigerian political elite never goes into extinction or out of circulation. With a certain chameleonic intelligence, the politician of Nigerian extraction is able to quickly assimilate, and blend with whatever political environment he is finds himself. It is usually more about survival than service, and those adept and at home with these cold calculations will let anyone know the overriding philosophy of their participation in politics: survive and consolidate your position first; then serve when it is expedient. So if he is not shaking hands and slapping backs with a bitter foe from barely a year ago in a newfound camaraderie, the Nigerian politician is plotting to outsmart a fellow party man for something remotely connected to party goals. And then, if his aspirations are blocked and he is prevented from playing from the center stage, the Nigerian politician is always more than ready to cross the Rubicon - that supposed line of no return. Talking about crossing lines of no return, the essence of the Nigerian politician in contemporary times is in his ability to make deals across all inconceivable boundaries. This is at the heart of the inability of the Nigerian people to make a clear choice among the host of political parties loafing around the nation’s political landscape. It is the reason why the recent flurry of defections, which represent nothing by the inelastic capacity of the politician for quicksand deal making. Crucially, as the 2015 political contests begin to take shape, the polity has started witnessing all manner of political back flips, mysterious engagements that are tasking the antennas of Nigerians. The other day, it was the garrulous Femi Fani Kayode paying a visit to Aso Rock to confer with President Goodluck Jonathan. On the strength of his tons of vituperations against the Jonathan administration alone, Fani Kayode would be the last person anyone would have imagined near the premises of the presidential mansion. Significantly, in scathing piece on last week, Fani Kayode ruthlessly put down the allege bid by his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to sell a muslim-muslim presidential ticket to Nigerians for the 2015 presidential contest. The former aviation minister made it clear that Christians would never accept such a lopsided religious pairing, and it could be on the basis of this opposition that he decided to show up at the doorstep of Aso Rock. But if the seeming rapprochement between Fani Kayode and the presidency, after many verbal duels is viewed in the light of 2015 dynamics, what are the calculations within which to situate the exertions of former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu? The former governor has been visible in recent weeks, making the rounds visiting several
key traditional rulers, opinion molders and even governors of the southwest. At least from his itinerary, he has attempted to overlook the political party divide in the Southwest, where he has been a guest of both Governors Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo and Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti and Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State. Generous pictures being splashed on the pages of the dailies from the visits also show that the former governor made ample time to undertake royal visits as seen in his presence at the palace of the Oni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade. Kalu’s brief explanation for his exertion in the Southwest makes allusion to the need to promote unity. But as a wily political operative himself, the former governor is too smart to believe that the critical public would take that as the real motivations for his new found cause. For an energetic man who is apparently unable to fathom a situation where he is an onlooker in the political space, many see the project of unity, which is necessitating the many rounds of visit as yet another dimension of the 2015 tug of war. After all, his last known project was to enthrone an Igbo Presidency. This he sought to achieve with the Njiko Igbo Movement, presented as a “non-partisan and apolitical initiative to help secure Nigeria’s presidential seat for a citizen of Igbo origin.” That project took off on the premise that Igbos have only tasted the presidency for only six months since the country’s independence. Although the less than a year taste of the presidency by the Ndigbo could be a fact of history, Kalu seems to jump the gun by circumventing the well know apex socio cultural organisation of the Igbos, the Ohaneze, by forming a new and parallel body. Added to this is the fact that the former governor is sounding more vocal than the majority of Igbo stakeholders who seem to have hugged the Jonathan presidency with all warmth. After all, some pundits argue that a President with middle names such as “Ebele” and “Azikiwe,” is somewhat also fulfilling the goals of an Igbo presidency. In addition, Jonathan’s masterstroke in appointing Lt-Gen Azuibike Iheajirika, from the same state with Kalu, first Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of Igbo extraction since the civil war, has endeared him beyond measure to the Ndigbo. Ironically, while he was on the road preaching the message of unity, the former governor also found time to engage in some partisan posturing. In Ekiti where he was guest of Fayemi, he reportedly urged the people to support the governor’s re-election bid. His considered view was that Fayemi had delivered on the promises he made to the people, including good roads, quality education and health, among others, in the governor’s developmental agenda. Interestingly, only a few months back, Kalu was fighting tooth and nail to return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), whose Ekiti governorship flag bearer, Ayo Fayose surely definitely find the endorsement of Fayemi bemusing. Close watchers of former governor Kalu’s trajectory in national politics point to the fact that the man has crossed several political rubicons, with the near suicidal implication burning critical bridges in the process. Without a clearly defined objective and strategy, he engaged former President Olusegun Obasanjo in several high profile spats, as the former chased a third term, while Kalu had his eyes on an unlikely run for the presidency. This confrontation with Nigeria’s civil war heroe degenerated into comedy when Obasanjo in 2006 set up an administrative panel that indicted politicians with the implication of barring them from seeking elective offices. Kalu promptly set up his own panel
NYAKO:In The Eye Of The Storm By Armsfree Ajanaku ACED with a little scrutiny, Nigerian partisan politics reveals one very unfortunate weakness: its legendary inability to cleanse itself. The Achilles heel of politics in this clime therefore is that for too long, dyspeptic characters who should have long exited the scene deploy all manner of stratagems to stay put. And they are well recycled, fouling the space and poisoning the atmosphere of a nation in dire need of healing and reconciliation. In summary, politics in the Nigerian context is severely limited in terms of being unable to offer opportunities to minds with the freshness and gravitas to be real statesmen. This human resource challenge results in the proliferation and overuse of dinosaurs who come back to haunt the polity with all manner of verbal incongruities. The implication is that the word decorum is rarely a part of the rules of engagement because there are no consequences for whatever is mouthed in the name of politics. No matter how bizarre and mind boggling statements might seem, there too many politicians prepared to ride the storm because they are assured that there will be no form of repercussion for indecorous statements and other indiscretions. Last week’s war of words between the Presidency and the Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako over the latter’s outlandish claims that the government’s war on terror in the North East amounted to genocide against the North, spotlights the crass opportunism and carelessness that underlies the disposition of a good number of Nigerian men in office. At a time of national mourning, following the latest dastardly acts of bloodletting by Boko Haram with its bombing of the Nyanya bus terminus in Abuja, and the abduction of hundreds of school girls in Borno State, traumatized Nigerians would have given anything to avoid hearing about the outrageous posturing that the governor has chosen to engage in. To the hundreds of Nigerian families who are still grieving over their loved ones cut down in their prime by this campaign of hate and terror, Nyako’s onslaught represents a deliberate attempt to accentuate their sorrows. If this were not so, many Nigerians wonder, what would have been the motivation for the outburst at this sensitive time, when the nation is still in the phase of shock, trying to come to terms with the horrible devaluation of human life? Why did the governor choose to further inflict more lacerations on the already severely dented psyche of the Nigerian? Ironically, many Nigerians shudder to realise that the man Nyako is a product of the Nigerian military, the only institution which has seemingly been able to rise above the ethnic and sectarian fault lines that have been exploited by demagogues to put the country in a constant state of implosion. With Nyako however, the contradiction may be gleaned in the fact that it is possible to pass through a pan Nigerian institution and remain a diehard sectional champion. As far back as the late 1970s, Nyako held top positions in the Navy, including positions such as Chief of Naval Operations at the Naval Headquarters, the Flag Officer Commanding the Western Naval Command and the Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Training Command. He was later appointed the Chief of Naval Staff in January 1990. He was later appointed the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff and retired from the Service in
September 1993 with the rank of Vice Admiral. In the eyes of Nigerians a people who have for years endured the psychological trauma precipitated by the near constant orgy of senseless violence, what Nyako has done with his verbally Improvised Explosive Device is befuddling for a man who actually leads a state. Unwittingly, the governor seems to have joined the long list of prominent Northern leaders that have taken up the unenviable job of speaking on behalf of Boko Haram, a monster created by the clear lack of responsible leadership in the North. And the trend is getting familiar. The last round of pro Boko Haram advocacy from Northern leaders was the calls for amnesty for the sect, even when it was clear that the leadership and other cadres of the terrorists were not willing to come to the negotiating table. Now, the new strategy which unwittingly plays into the hands of these blood thirsty hounds is to constantly accuse the government of committing atrocities against the North in its fight against the terrorists. Perhaps, this frenetic anti government and eventually pro-Boko Haram rhetoric is a result of the triumph of a Boko Haram inspired climate of fear. There is no mistaken the fact that the political elite in the North have been totally outclassed and outwitted by a bunch of outlaws, who now have to be appeased by their very creators. It is in this sense that Nyako’s talk of genocide in the onslaught against the terrorists by the government rankles. The now infamous genocide allegation did not for one instance place any focus on the atrocities being perpetrated by Boko Haram. And then in the threat to drag the Federal Government to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, for genocide, the governor conveniently left anything unsaid about bringing Boko Haram terrorists to justice. It is apparent that the sect’s victory is so total that leaders like the governor have not found it needful to mention, even in passing those defenseless citizens, Christians, Muslims and Nigerians of several other religious persuasion who were mowed down by Boko Haram’s campaign of hate and terror. None of these innocent people, thousands who have now paid the ultimate price due to a monster created by irresponsible leadership in the north was mentioned or remembered in Nyako’s outburst. What the Adamawa State governor has simply done is to continue the blame game that some governors are now so adept at. It is a long scene of finger pointing, wherein elites blame government for not tackling the crisis or for tackling it in a manner that is not satisfactory to the very creators of the monster. Beyond engaging so adeptly in this blame game, the likes of Nyako have not provided real initiative that would help stop the hemorrhaging of Nigeria by Boko Haram. In the end, this is all about politics and the 2015 presidential contest. Nyako was until recently of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but is now of the All Progressive Congress (APC), which now has the misfortune of being in charge of the Boko Haram strongholds. And from the way the likes of Nyako are going about the 2015 matter, the key issue is not about performance, but that power must change hands and return to the North. That makes the whole exercise so deadly.
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Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) Increases Students’ Bursary HE Chairman of Abuja T Municipal Area Council (AMAC) Hon. Micah Jiba has announced an increase in the bursary allowance of indigent students in tertiary institutions and secondary schools, to support their education. According to him, with the increase, indigent students in universities will now receive N100,000, and those in Colleges of Education N50,000, while secondary schools students gets N30,000
Our Error Re-UNIJOS Suspends Internal Strike Following an article on this page last weekend titled: ‘UNIJOS Suspends Internal Strike,’ wherein the ASUUUNIJOS Chapter and its Chairman, Dr David Jangkam, was misquoted, we hereby retract the report and apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Youth & Four Polytechnic Students Arrested For Robbery Graduate R Jobs Powered by Jobberman.com
EPORT reaching our news desk has it that, Four male students of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara State have been accosted for alleged envelopment in armed robber. This was made know to us by the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ambrose Aisabor. Aisabor stated on Tuesday that the suspects – Olawuyi
Babatunde, Osadahin Matthew, Bamikole Emmanuel and one other, identified simply as Adebisi – robbed one Adeolu Emmanuel. The commissioner said one of the suspects was a neighbour to the victim. Parading the four suspects and three other suspects in Ilorin, the Commissioner said the com-
mand was worried about increasing involvement of students of tertiary institutions in the state in crime. Aisabor said, “During interrogation, the suspects confessed to being members of a cult group – Eiye Confraternity. The suspects will be arraigned in court soon.” He also said officials of the command recovered two AK-47
rifles, which were left behind by some hoodlums in a bush around Offa poly as the police chased them. He also said the command saved a suspected mad man from being lynched by an irate mob. He warned residents of the state to avoid lynching suspected kidnappers or suspected criminals, adding, “Madness
ASUP And COEASU Strikes:Federal Government Want To Kill The Future Of Nigeria’s Students, says ERC HE refusal of the Federal Government to meet the demands the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) and the consequent shutdown of the Nation’s public Polytechnics and Colleges of Education for months now is worrisome. The blame for the prolongation of the strikes and the consequential suffering of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education students lies on the shoulders of the President
Xolani 2 NIGERIA IDOL CONTESTANTS
Jonathan government. We urge students, parents, workers and concerned members of the public to join the two unions in their struggle to save public education. In direct contradiction of his middle name “goodluck”, President Jonathan’s administration has meant nothing but BADLUCK to the entire education sector, students and workers alike. Under President Jonathan’s capitalist government, the fortunes of Nigeria’s education sector has seriously nosedived with over 40% of
youth illiterate. The Federal government has not hidden its complete disregard and disdain for the welfare of academic workers of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education as well as the long-suffering students of both sub-sectors of public education. ASUP has been on strike for about nine months cumulatively while COEASU strike has lasted for three months. To us in ERC, the demands of both unions can be met in a few days if we
CONTINUED ON PAGE 40
is not synonymous with criminality.” Aisabor insisted that the command would not condone lynching of suspects and urged the public to report any suspected criminal to a nearby police station. “Policemen will be justified to use firearms on a mob which attempt to lynch a suspect,” the commissioner added.
TWO WORDS /40
Check Milestones CARTOON SERIES /40
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Check Milestones a target of 6A’s in her 300 Level, 2nd Semester Uki Dare exams. It was three weeks into the semester and she just got 3/10 in an assignment but she was not fazed. She was telling her best friend Experience is the best teacher, but the Shade why she was not concerned. tuition fee is very high... “Continuous assessment is just 30% that’s not my priority, I will spend the last two weeks Hello Everyone, before exams sleeping in the Library to ensure I REMEMBER the first time I drove to Shagamu get a minimum of 65/70 in all exams, so even if I from Lagos, I did not know where to turn off get 10 over 30 in my C.A, I will still get an A.” She the express so I stopped to ask for directions. was expecting Shade to encourage but instead, Imagine my shock when the man I asked said I she looked at her with a disappointed look on was about to get to the Ibadan toll gate. Many of her face and said “Chichi! You are not getting us have heard of the saying, if you do not know 6A’s this semester.” where you are going, any road will take you there. But in this case even though I knew where “What do you mean by that? Back to sender!” I was going and I ended up at a surprise destination. Has that ever happened to you? Have you Shade explained, “Chichi Just because you have ever been surprised that you did something you a strategy for getting an A, does not mean it is didn’t mean to do? Has there been a time when the right strategy. Your continuous assessment you said, I never in my wildest dreams thought I scores are your milestones, they show you your would… Well, if you want to be better at predict- understanding of a course. If you are not passing them, that is a sign that you are not on the ing the future, here is my advice: Take Note of journey to an A and you need to change directhe milestones along the way. tion as soon as possible. Figure out why you got 3/10 and start working towards getting 10/10, When you are travelling, milestones are those then you will be on your way to an A.” Don’t green and white posts you see on the road between two states, that tell you how close to a ignore your milestones, they are the validation destination you are. Take the story of Chichi. She of your strategy.” was an intelligent young lady who gave herself
usually fill it with N5,000); do you have a right to act surprised if by the 6th week he runs away with the car completely? So: Don’t ignore the sign posts on your way…Observe Them
Shade is a good friend isn’t she? So like Shade let If your milestones indicate you are going in a direction you don’t want…Turn Round me say: You want to know if you are on your way to getting that promotion at the end of the year? Check your milestones
Your short term results are a good indication of your long term outcomes…Take Note
Every dream and every goal has milestones along Are you going to meet your target next quarter? the way but they won’t all come screaming out saying ‘here I am’. Don’t wait till your reach your Your weekly reports can predict that. destination before you find out you made a mistake with your strategy, you will know when you Is your business going to be bigger next year? are veering off course if only you decide to The feedback from your clients are your milealways… stones? If your relationship keeps having the same issues don’t wish them away, take note of them and do something to solve it.
So where are you going and how do you break your goals down into milestones? You can post your comments on the Poise’ Graduate Finishing The things you are doing everyday are a better Academy blog (poisegfs.blogspot.com) or send prediction of where you are going than the things you would like to do someday. We can all me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, I always enjoy reading from you. predict where we are headed if we take note of the milestones along the way. I am happy to introduce Eric’s Employability If you hire a driver and he has bashes the car and Expedition. There is a lot to learn from his story lies about it in the first week, money is missing and every week we will join him on his journey to success, it promises to be an interesting ride powthe second week, he missed 2 days of work the ered by Poise’ Graduate Finishing Academy third week and he tells you in the fourth week that he filled your tank for N20,000 (when you Thank you
Kris’D, Mr. Wazobia Releases Another Single
peace and unity, which seek to turn Nigeria’s ethnic and cultural diversities into a great advantage.
USIC lovers and fans of the artistes Kris’D, within and outside the Nigeria are now dancing to Shebi, a new hit single by the young, waves-making entertainer. Fun-loving residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja thronged the venue of his Kris’D Abuja Invasion recently, a public performance of the first hit single. According to the Enugu-born singer, the song came as an early morning inspiration to call on the world to think positive because attitude is everything. He described it as a sermon, which preaches positive attitude and thankfulness. The new song is captivating and danceable from start to finish. The Abuja based artiste carved a niche for himself, especially in value re-orientation with his Wazobia hit, a musical sermon on national
‘Federal Government Want To Kill The Future Of Nigeria’s Students’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 39 have a responsible and responsive government. Unfortunately, President Jonathan’s government and indeed all the governments at State and local levels are far from being responsible. In actuality, they are all anti-poor capitalist governments that defend the interests of the rich against that of the mass majority of Nigerians who are poor. One of the reasons why government does not care if public schools are shut for eternity as a result of strikes is because the rich and the politicians do not patronise public schools. Using looted funds, they often send their children either to expensive private schools in Nigeria, Europe or the United States. The ERC believes that only a government whose office hold-
ers live as the masses and whose children attend the same schools as the working masses can be proactive in preventing strikes through prompt implementation of demands and agreements. If the Supervising Minister of Education Nyesom Wike for instance has his children schooling in any public Polytechnic or College of Education in Nigeria, it may be difficult for him to maintain the same kind of rougish and provocative attitude with which he has been conducting negotiation with ASUP and COEASU. However, this kind of proworking people government is impossible under capitalism. It is only under socialism that we can have a government that fully and truly represents the vast majority of the population.
BY SEGUN DUROWAIYE
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NICHOLAS OKOYE, Founder EMPOWER NIGERIA Initiative,
FROM THE DESK OF THE CEO PILLAR TWO :
ACCESS TO CAPITAL PAPER 12 APITAL they say is the life blood of developC ment. I told you how important it is to have capital and when combined with a progressive Government Policy then that Nation is unstoppable. And these are only the first two of my nine drivers of National Development. By time I have listed and explained all nine pillars and a savvy political leaders users it for the development of a part of Nigeria or a President uses it for our entire Nation then we will truly be on our way to the Promised Land. There is however a unique relationship that capital has with labor which must be mentioned here. Nothing happens without labor. So if you have raised all the capital in the World but do not have the labor to make it happen it won’t work. I will talk about the access to skills in later papers but I Nigerian Students are always on the receiving end of the ASUU strike which is a deeper struggle of a capital and labor relationship that is not being managed must state here that labor is far too important properly. ASUU labor leaders need to start thinking in the 21st century and let go of the past and old ways of negotiations with their employer. A win win strategy to gloss over. will be much more effective for all stakeholders We cannot eat paper money, neither can gold nor cash be the cement that holds a building together, you need the right and progressive people that represent the labor that brings it all together. It is therefore imperative that when funds are raised a good look at the implementing team would help determine the sustainability of the project. There must also be harmony in the relations between capital and labor. As the Capitalist wants a return on investment just n the same way that the laborer wants a living wage in compensation for his labor, they both need each other and they both should work together to meet the ultimate goal of progressive development for a company, a community or indeed a Nation. Organized Labor in many third world countries are still reading the old books about labor and capital, and these books say that there must be fighting in order for labor to get treated fairly. They see the relationship between labor and capital as a war, in which there can never be harmony as all Capitalists are exploiters and they want to use you and dump you. So they are constantly at daggers drawn with the Capitalist. We see this a lot with the Academic Staff Union of Universities in Nigeria (ASUU), where Labor is the ASUU and capital is the Federal Government. The leadership of that union does not believe in harmony or a healthy employee/employer relationship as far as they are concerned it is time to strike and down work tools once there is a dispute, any dispute, it is always time to drop tools, walk out of the class rooms and go on holidays. ASUU goes on strike every year and I am waiting for this year’s ASUU excuse for yet another strike so they can take their usual extended holidays. And before anyone says I do not know the issues and so I should not take sides. Well ASUU has lost the moral high ground a longtime ago by their resulting to strike every year for any and every reason. I am sure they are not the only UNION that has a dispute with the Federal Government but they seem to be the only ones that strike every year. That is what I do know. I will not be surprised if they are not now planning a new strike even now as we speak, on the basis of one or two old issues that they will claim has not
been addressed. The last year strike that saw the Universities in Nigeria closed for almost nine months was a record breaker. I did study the nature of the demands of ASUU and it made me sick to my stomach. They want all kinds of allowances without the commitment to measurements and monitoring as is the practice in all organized labor relations. So compensation without responsibility. And the result of their labor which are the Nigerian Students being graduated every year from Nigerian Universities are becoming the worst in the entire World, and ASUU does not want to held accountable. Nigerian Graduates cannot write letters or even speak English properly and ASUU will tell you it’s the Government fault as they do fund Universities well. How can funding stop you from teaching a student how to write a letter or to speak English, you can even do that under a mango tree, so its not funding that’s the problem it’s the teaching. If the truth be told the majority of the ASUU members, not all of them as I do know some very good professors that can teach really well, but a good majority of them represent the deeper problem of Nigerian society which is based more on the lack of a national vision and the uncontrollable desire for cash without effort, authority without responsibility, spending without accountability.
know that the conditions are different in almost every school. They ask for University autonomy but do not want financial autonomy. Lets keep collecting from the Federal government no matter what, they say, when they know that most Universities in Nigeria have the capacity to be major industrial estates producing products, research and innovation that will bring in billions of dollars if their products and research are sold around the World. We are holding all this back because some small minded ASUU leadership does not want to move forward and wants Universities to continue to have its aprons tied to the Federal Government’s financial contributions.
for this to work we will need to be flexible with the labor laws and we will need Entrepreneurs to get more protection as they take the risk that creates jobs. Many states in Nigeria have not yet come to terms with what it really means to promote Entrepreneurship. In Lagos the strong attraction to set up here is more based on the environment that Lagos provides in terms of the pleasant lifestyle and not necessarily as a result of a major initiative to encourage Entrepreneurs to set up in Lagos. Excessive payroll taxes for micro and small businesses can and does put people out of business and thus putting unemployed people back on the streets on to the unemployed lines. We need to look at this and fix it for the In France you can hire but it is extremely hard future of the State and the NATION. to fire, so companies cannot respond fast enough to opportunities to adverse market What we need is a holistic view of the conditions. It is no wonder the most of the Entrepreneurship and MSME status in Nigeria global companies that dominate the World and the potential value of this segment to markets are United States, Japanese, Korean, local and national growth. In this case we can German and British. all agree on the incentives we should offer Entrepreneurs to set up in our environment or In the USA there are strong laws that guide our State especially if these Entrepreneurs are collective bargaining which is another word hiring people even if it is one person. We also for Unions. The Teacher Unions in the USA are need to streamline the access to capital for very strong but I have never heard of a nation- entrepreneurs and find ways to help make the al strike in the USA. This is largely because process seamless for them. In this way we can education is financed on a local level and use the growth of entrepreneurs in any particsometimes at the State level. In Nigeria when ular state as a basis for the community and ASUU strikes everybody goes home including National growth. In Germany many Labor Unions are reprethe State Universities that have nothing to do sented on the boards of companies so the with the Federal Government. Every State should have a special office for the Unions know when the company is doing promotion and the development of The most important point I am trying to make Entrepreneurs, Micro, Small and Medium well and will need to share its good fortune with its workers, the Union also knows when here is that Capital must respect Labor and Businesses directly under the office of the the company is going through bad times and Labor must respect Capital, they need each Governor and this office should offer tax will need to shed workers, cut salaries and cut other. The two must work together in order to incentives for startup in that state, offer all benefits. There is a strong harmony between meet the goals of the overall Nation. If the other kinds of support that could be useful to Nation were important to the Labor Unions capital and labor in Germany that is unravthe army of small time employers in the State. eled anywhere else in the World. And it can be then there bargaining will be done with a give It will also work closely with Entrepreneurs to and take approach and not this winner take said to be due largely to the fact that there expand the opportunities for small business labor embedded model in the board is work- all mindset that Nigeria labor leaders tend to in the state which in turn will expand Job crehave. ing. ASUU is represented on the Senate of most Nigerian Universities either directly or I support the growth of Entrepreneurship in at least their members are also members of the University Senates so why do they contin- Nigeria and indeed across Africa especially as a solution to Job creation. However in order ue to call out National strikes? When they
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CASE STUDY GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURAL LEADER
Guide to Personal Development
LARRY PAGE: THE GOOGLE MAN WHO
By Nicholas Okoye
More on Accurate Thinking
REDEFINED THE INTERNET ARRY Page, the co-founder of Google Inc, loved tearing down things, especially computers and fixing them back, from the age of six, to know how these things worked. He and his partner, Sergey Brin, changed the way information is retrieved today. Larry Page was born in East Lansing, Michigan, U.S to Carl and Gloria Page, who were computer science professors at Michigan State University and their involvement with the computer made Larry get interested in computers. Their house was littered with computers and “Popular Science” magazines. His attraction to computers started at the age of six. He was the first kid in his elementary school to turn in an assignment from a word processor. It was his older brother who taught him how to take things apart to see how it worked. He was interested in inventing things and became interested in technology and business at a young age. He attended Okemos Montessori School now named Montessori Radmoor, Okemos, Michigan from 1975 to 1979. He graduated from East Lansing High School in 1991. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer engineering from the University of Michigan with honors and Masters of Science in Computer Science from Stanford University. While being a Ph.D student, Larry Page thought about exploring the mathematical properties of the World Wide Web and this led him to meet Sergey Brin, his partner and co-founder of Google. They both met in March 1995, during a
spring orientation of new Ph.D candidates at the Stanford University in Stanford, California. Other existing search engines then, placed results by counting how many times the search items appeared on the page but Larry Page and Sergey Brin, thought about a better way or procedure that analyzed the relationships between websites and they called the new technology, Page Rank, which determined a websites importance by the number of pages and how important those pages were, that linked back to the original site. They both named this new search engine “Back Rub”, because the system checked back links to estimate the importance of a site. They later changed the name to Google, from a misspelled word “googol” which means the number one raised to the power of 100 zeroes to show that the search engine was intended to provide large quantities of information. On the 15th of September, 1997 the domain name for Google was registered and it was incorporated into a company one year later, on the 4th of September, 1998. It was originally based in a friends garage, Susan Wojcicki, in Menlo Park, California. Both Page and Brin ran the company as co-presidents until 2001 and hired Eric Schmidt as Chairman and CEO. In April 4, 2011, Page became the CEO of Google, while Schmidt became it’s executive chairman. Google’s first employee was Craig Silverstein, a fellow Ph.D student at
Stanford. The users of the search engine grew to over one billion in May, 2011, increasing 8.4 percent, from it’s former number of 931 million a year earlier, May 2010. In January 2013, it earned $50 billion USD in annual revenue for the year 2012. The first funding for Google was in August 1998 with a sum of $100,000 USD which was given before Google was incorporated and provided by Andy Bechtolshein, who is the co-founder of San Microsystems. Google is thought to be the second most successful startup company of all time by market capitalization, revenue, growth and cultural impact. Google’s initial public offering (I.P.O) went public on August 19, 2004. The shares were sold in an online auction format and the sale of 1.67 billion shares, gave Google a market capitalization of more than $23 billion. By January 2014, it’s market capitalization had grown to $397 billion. However, majority of the 271 million shares remained with google, which enabled the employees to become paper millionaires. Larry Page invested in Tesla Motors, a renewable energy technology. With the help of Google.org, the philanthropic part of Google, he promotes the adoption of plug-in hybrid electric cars and other alternative energy investments. Larry Page is married to Lucinda Southworth and they got married in 2007. They have two children, who were born in 2009 and 2011 respectively. Unfortunately, Page is suffering from paralyzes to both his vocal chords. This is a condition caused by an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and due to this defect, he would not be doing Google’s quarterly earnings conference calls. Larry Page has been awarded so many awards which include being named a World Economic Forum Global Leader of Tomorrow in 2002. He alongside Brin were named to the MIT Tech Review TR100 as one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35. He and Brin also received an honorary MBA from IE Bis School for embodying the entrepreneurial spirit and lending momentum to the creation of new business in 2003. In 2004, he received the Marconi Foundation Prize and was elected as a Fellow to the foundation. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and along with Brin, was named “Person of the week” by ABC World News Tonight in 2004. Page and Brin got elected as fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Michigan in 2009. In 2011, he was ranked as the twenty-fourth person on the Forbes list of billionaires and as the eleventh richest person in the United States. In 2012, Bloomberg Billionaires Index placed him as the twenty-seventh richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of $21.1 billion USD.
TALKED about making decisions in your life that are based on facts and I told you that over the years in a man or a woman’s life we are filled with all kinds of sayings and information which is totally inaccurate and based on myths, lies and non-truths. However we sadly make life changing decision based on this inaccurate information and in many cases we ruin our lives, our relationships and even our business. I gave you some examples yesterday and here are a few more. Multitasking. The myth and a load of rubbish. I am so sure there are many of you who go to job interviews and say that their ability to multitask is a big strength. I have seen it on many resumes from people who should know better. Well if the truth be told then I will tell you here and now, that multitasking is such a killer to peak performance and remarkable achievement, that nobody that truly succeeds in life accepts multitasking as a quality to have. Here is a question if doing one thing to save your life is and it is the most important thing to do why would anybody think of doing something else at that same time? How would you like it if you were on a plane and you peeped into the cockpit to say hello to the pilot and you heard him say that he is going to use this flight, your flight to test out his multitasking skills. He would fly the plane, speak to his ten year old kid who needs help with his homework, and he would give his sister marriage tips over the phone all while flying you from Lagos to Abuja. Well the chances are you will run off that flight there and then. Consider your son is going into surgery, and the doctor says he is the multitasking champion, and that while operating on your son, he will be giving directions to a doctor in India on a complicated heart procedure, and at the same time he will dictate a comprehension to his personal assistant for a medical speech he is going to give in a week’s time. What would you do to the doctor? What would you think of that hospital? Well the truth is that as we all agree pilots and doctors require all the concentration in the world to get their jobs done each and every time, then why don’t we apply the same standards to our own work. Please get rid of the multitasking guide and practice focus instead, you will get all the results in world with focus. As for multitasking you will just about get a few things done but none of them will be done well, and you will never be truly great at anything, to be outstanding and exceptional you will need to focus, forget the multitasking. Only the Smart succeed. Another Myth and this is so not true. And what people did not know is that it isn’t the smart people that rule the world of business or even politics it is the creative people. If you have all the knowledge in the world and all smartness in the world, but do not know how or when or where to apply your knowledge then you will not go very far. This is why our smart professors, inventors, software developers, scientists, patent holders, lecturers always end up working for Entrepreneurs. The only edge the Entrepreneur has over the very smart people is his or her CREATIVITY. And that is why I teach creativity, it is the key to succeeding with remarkable achievements. When you apply creativity to knowledge you will be unstoppable. More on Accurate thinking next week.
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A Stimulus To Great heights Book: Giants of History (The Making of Our World) Author: Lateef Ibirogba Year of Publication: 2013 Publishers: Sage Communications Ltd, Lagos Reviewer: Kayode Abimbola eFUNCT Newswatch D magazine’s first major storm, after the death of Dele Giwa its founding editor-in-chief, was its decision to name Gen. Ibrahim Babangida its 1989 Man of the Year. The reading public was aghast, because IBB was not exactly anyone’s darling back then. But the magazine’s publishers maintained that IBB’s choice was valueneuter. he was picked because he made news, full stop. This is the philosophy behind Giants of History, a window into the world of 150 personages, heroes or villains, who made or unmade the world — though an overwhelming many made rather than unmade the world. The Indian, Jawaharlal Nehru for instance, was listed just before the German, Adolf hitler — perhaps the most notorious personage of all time. Nehru, India’s founding Prime Minister, was a force for good for his country. On the other hand, hitler, though started off as a super-German patriot, bent on correcting his country’s humiliation after World War I, he ended up a force for undiluted evil for his country — and humanity. Listen to the author’s verdict on hitler: “he was the world’s most daring terrorist and brigand, who plunged the entire world into serious crisis for about seven years.” Closer home in Nigeria, the association is even more interesting: Olusegun Obasanjo, first
and only person to rule Nigeria as a soldier and elected civilian, was listed before Moshood Abiola, which the opening blurb describes as “symbol of Nigerian democracy and the acclaimed winner of the country’s first free and fair presidential election.” Both were preceded by Wole Soyinka, the first Black African to win the Nobel in Literature, who certainly has specific opinion on the duo. Obasanjo, with his ‘firsts’, and with all of his cumulative 11 years in power, comes across as what was not. Abiola, whose mandate was annulled, came across as what may have been, despite his tragic death in prison. Soyinka, of course, is master of his own fate: first African Nobel winner in Literature and, no doubt, one of the greatest playwright to come out of Africa; and an irrepressible fighter for human dignity — a definite force for good; a platform he shares with his late illustrious compatriot, Chinua Achebe, the most famous novelist from Africa and the most widely read on the globe. Now, if Achebe and Soyinka managed to achieve so much with a foreign language, why didn’t our scientists follow up to achieve so much in African science and technology — as western scientists and inventors followed the literary and philosophical flourish of the earliest western thinkers? That, is the lowest point, for Nigeria and Africa, in this wonderful capsule of moving forces of global history. Among the original thinkers, the scientific inventors, the technological visionaries, computer whizzes and razor-sharp entrepreneurs, Africa had no presence. That exclusive world belongs to the Greek and Roman mas-
ters: Socrates, Pythagoras, hippocrates the father of Medicine, Plato, Galileo Galilei, Aristotle, Julius Caesar, Leonardo da Vinci and others of the classical and medieval era. This brood is followed by the scientific inventors: John Pemberton, the pharmacist cum medical doctor who invented the Coke brand; George Stephenson, who built the first public railway line; the Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur, who invented the aeroplane; Thomas edison, the General electric boss, who matched his scientific
patents with brilliant entrepreneurial talent; Wilhelm Rontgen, who invented the X-rays; Graham Bell, who patented the telephone; Albert einstein, who propounded the law of relativity; Karl Benz, who founded Mercedes Benz; and, of course, Alfred Nobel, who invented dynamite. From his rich patents and smart entrepreneurship, Nobel left a hefty $186 million when he died in 1896, for the famous Nobel Prizes, for the globe’s foremost thinkers and scientific inventors. Indeed, the journey to
instituting the Nobel prizes epitomised the sheer humanity of these drivers of history. At the death of Ludvig, Alfred Nobel’s brother, erroneous newspaper editorials rejoiced that ‘the merchant of death is dead’, because Nobel invented dynamite. That troubled Nobel’s conscience; it moved him to putting in place the famous Nobel prizes. Louis Pasteur turned the personal disaster of losing three of his five children to typhoid to invent antirabies vaccines. Isaac Newton never mar-
ried or had children, yet his gravity theory has etched his name in history; same with Mary Slessor, whose love and care for foreign people, in a strange culture, has earned her immortality. Abraham Lincoln had no formal education because his parents could not afford it. Yet, he privately studied Law en route to becoming one of the greatest American presidents ever. James hadley Chase, master of crime thrillers, hardly had formal education, and just twice visited the United States, the setting of most of his novels. Steve Jobs, boss at Apple, adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, dropped out of university after only a semester, returned Coke bottles to earn food money and lived on free meals from a neighbouring hare Krishna temple. Yet, at his death, he bequeathed the world with the most charming pieces of gadgetry. This wonderful 322-page book, by Lateef A. Ibirogba, the current Lagos State Commissioner of Information and Strategy, is as much a rich capsule of the world’s moving minds from the earliest times to the present, as it is a motivational book. The grass-to-grace story of the listed is a pointer to the reggae musician, Jimmy Cliff’s quip: “You can get it if you really want.” This book, written in simple and flowing prose, is reader-friendly and superbly produced, should be a must-read for every young Nigerian and African. African youths need such positive motivation, if there would ever be a new African century, when Africa would break free of its laggard status, and make stellar contributions to developing the global community.
Half Of A Yellow Sun Release Date Now May 2 By Omiko Awa he release of the much T expected movie Half Of A Yellow Sun, which was scheduled to hold on Friday, April 25, but was postponed as a result of delays in obtaining certification from the Nigeria Film and Videos Censors Board (NFVCB) has fixed a new date for the release of the movie to Nigerian cinemas as May 2. The movie, whose theme centres on love, intrigues and betrayal, is the first Nigerian movie to get an official screen-
ing at the Toronto Film Festival (TFF) and also the first Nollywood collaboration with Hollywood. Release from Shareman Media, the Nigerian producers, and FilmOne Distribution, the Nigerian distributors, of the film reads: “The highly anticipated release of Half Of A Yellow Sun in Nigeria has been postponed due to delays in obtaining certification from the Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board for the public release of the film. Subject to obtaining the certification of the Board, the film is now rescheduled for release on May 2.”
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LAFETE BY BENSON IDONIJE email@example.com
All That Jazz
I Remember The Inimitable Benny Carter By Benson Idonije RBANITY is not a characU teristic associated with the improvisational capability of the jazz man. It is not even one of the pre-requisites for great musicianship, let alone an indispensible attribute. And yet, it was frequently used to describe composer, arranger, alto saxophonist and trumpeter Benny Carter as though suavity were all. It is not so much inaccurate as it is incomplete to call him ‘Mr. Urbane’ because the values Benny Carter has come to represent all through his professional career cannot be summed up neatly and simplistically with a single adjective. Others more applicable would include innovative, versatile, impassioned, virtuosic, distinctive, compositional. The last one strikes me as being particularly appropriate. There is a quality of logic in Benny Carter’s playing that is so palpable that one would be hard put to find its equal in the annals of the alto saxophone or, for that matter, in all of jazz; this has a lot to do with the uniqueness. Without forsaking the attendant emotional necessities, without actually planning a phrase in advance, Benny Carter brings to his blowing choruses a beautiful sense of order with tonal conception and phraseology etched in elegance, charm and beauty. Benny has been a writer of music almost as long as he has been playing. His best known work is the first Carter song ever published,
Blues In My Heart, which displayed in 1931 the same characteristics discernible in the later works that comprise his epic album Inherent Beauty And Structural Logic. Though, he was active as a recording artist, leading small groups since 1929, and his own big bands since 1933, it took him until 1976 to enter the studio with the express intent of setting down to posterity a complete album of his compositions rightly titled The King. Benny Carter is an instinctive melodist. Though some of his themes have been worked out at the piano, inspiration came to him in several ways: he would, for example, interrupt himself in the middle of a lively dialogue with friends, mutter a quiet ‘Excuse me’, whip out a scrap of paper, jot down whatever had come to mind, perhaps check it at a keyboard if there happened to be one nearby, and resume talking without skipping a beat. The King, his first jazz date in 10 years, represents his musical prowess and symbolises his resolution. For this recording, he surrounded himself with jazz men whose backgrounds are disparate, but who have in common with him the virtuosity, rhythmic essence and creativity required of anyone delegated to work with him: Milt Jackson, vibes; Joe Pass, guitar; Tommy Flanagan, piano; John B. White, bass; Jake Hanna, drums. What binds them together most firmly is the bond of their admiration and respect for Benny Carter. His love of melody, his ability to enliven and enrich a theme, his lack of pretension, all appealed to fellow musicians since he first
Benny Carter became an influence in jazz. The alto saxophonist Julian Cannon ball Adderley who acknowledged Carter as a strong influence once observed: “Benny could, and can play as many notes as anyone, but he makes it look so easy. Some of the younger players make it look hard and therefore spectacular.” He is a master of the use of space, of playing a group of notes staccato yet giving legato quality to the over all – this is noticeable in his solo
on A Walking Thing. The other side of the coin is his capacity for unleashing smooth processions of eighth notes as in the jaunty Easy Money. For all the creativity that goes into his writing and playing, the emotional values are never neglected. The concluding blues track is a case in point. There is a deceptive simplicity to the down – home phrase that constitutes the head. The blues was the only theme created spontaneously on
the date. Of the others, My Kind Of Trouble Is You has never previously been recorded by Carter. A Walking Thing was created two years later for a small combo date: Easy Money was one of a set of originals Carter wrote for a Count Basie album in 1961. Of similar vintage, but composed for an LP of his own, was the exquisite Blue Star. As much as any work in the album, Blue Star epitomises Carter’s genius for making something memorable out of a simple theme. Previously an up-swinger, Green Wine’s reincarnation takes on a moderately paced Brazilian flavour with a bossa nova under current. Malibu may offer a reminder for Benny Carter fans, particularly those who savoured the experience of his 1945 big band that featured among many others, such jazz stalwarts as the trumpeter Gerald Wilson, drummer Max Roach and the incredible Bump Meyers. The introduction of the melodic theme of My Kind Of Trouble Is You is assigned to vibraharpist Milt Jackson who gives it a blues treatment and feeling. And by the time he and pianist Flanagan finish making their statements, Benny Carter is inspired and feels the urge to offer variations. And, as is his custom, (in a trait he shares with Sonny Rollins) he leaves you completely unmindful of the melody at every turn, even as he gives the song a ballad treatment. The wistful I Still Love Him So stems from a 1955 Roy Eldridge- Benny Carter LP produced by Norman Granz
BY SHAIBU HUSSEINI
Around and about... Here Comes Zenith International Film Festival HERE is an addition to the now growing list of film festivals in Nollywood Enter Zenith International Film Festival, which the promoters say will be a yearly independent film festival dedicated to the promotion of the best in motion picture, from script to screen. The promoters in a statement signed by Michael Chima Nkenyerengozi also said that the festival will provide the platform for the most ambitious filmmakers to meet film distributors from all over the world. Participation, according to the Chima, who is a published writer, blogger and film critic, is strictly by application. He added that the competition is only by official selection and only 20 films will be selected by the international jury. Chima revealed that the maiden edition of the festival will be launched in Lagos before the end of 2014. ‘’We may not be the first and we may not be the biggest, but our mission is to be among the best international film festivals in the world’ Chima who is co-founder of Eko International Film Festival and One Naija, One Screen initiative said.
atch The MAAMI You Buy, It May Be Pirated
BARELY 24 hours after Ace cinematographer, Tunde Kelani, released his latest title,
for Verve. It is fascinating to observe the sensitivity with which Flanagan, Jackson and guitarist Joe Pass, all unfamiliar with the song, extemporise on its gentle cushion of changes. In the closing half – chorus, the pattern of Carter’s playing is typical, with the turbulent burst of notes leading from the fourth to the fifth bar of the bridge. Because they serve as a momentary contrast in what is basically an un-dissembling solo, the end result simply reaffirms Cannonball’s evaluation of his mentor. The King, as the title of this memorable album, is a reflection of Benny Carter’s profound musicianship, urbane disposition and regal charm. Benny Carter probably enjoys more respect for his musicianship from fellow musicians than anyone else. Ben Webster, the tenor saxophonist who often paired with Coleman Hawkins nick-named Carter the ‘King.’ Since then, influential musicians like Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry acknowledged this acclaim and began to use the title. Duke Ellington once recalled that when musicians had an argument over a musical point, they would look for Benny Carter. “Benny would be standing on the corner and would always settle the matter,” remarked the Duke. To say that Carter has had a productive and remarkable career would be an extreme understatement. As an alto saxophone player, composer, arranger, bandleader and occasional trumpeter, Carter was at the top of the profession until his death. He was ‘The King.’ firstname.lastname@example.org
Maami, on DVD, pirates have ripped the film, inserted in loose jackets and selling on major streets in state capitals across Nigeria. Maami was released on Monday. Kelani, downcast, said he was called by fans to draw his attention to the activities of the pirates who recreated the imprints and the jackets of the film, dubbed on cheap DVD for sales. The original copy marketed by Ajimson Integrated Services Limited is mastered on DVD, contained in a jewel box and laminated. Reacting to the incident, Kelani said: “Sadly, this may be my last release in Nigeria. Barely 24 hours after the release of Maami on Monday, they have pirated the film such that it has flooded every nook and cranny of Nigeria.’’ The filmmaker who feared that the Nollywood industry would continue to experience the menace of pirates and investors would suffer due to lack of infrastructure, especially when physical distribution channels are infested by pirates whose dangerous activities are unchecked, said he is no longer comfortable working in an environment that does not support creativity. “In the last 10 years, I have tried everything to survive the attacks. I have relied on donors and well-wishers to continue to make films, but each time I lose all the investments, therefore I cannot continue to live the rest of my life in this dangerous place called Nigeria.” Kelani said.
2014 ZUMA Filmfest To Highlight Nigeria’s Centenary Achievements HE Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) on T Monday said that the 2014 ZUMA film festival would showcase the centenary achievements of the country’s film industry. Dr. Danjuma Dadu, Managing Director of the Corporation disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. The NFC boss said the festival which coincides with the nation’s centenary would celebrate 100 years of outstanding achievements, success, development and growth of the film and video industry. He said the programme would present Nigerians and the international community an opportunity to review the hundred years of film production in the country. The Managing Director stated that the movie industry had help to project the nation’s rich cultural heritage to the world and contributed to the development of human capital. Presently, Nollywood stands as a home grown industry, with clear evidence to the initiative and enterprise of the ‘Nigerian can do spirit’,’’ he said. Also, the NFC boss stated that the event would be an avenue to further harness the vast potential and creative abilities in the industry waiting to be developed. Dadu said the festival which is the 7th edition has ‘Nationalism and Patriotism’ as its theme. Zuma, which holds from May 4 to 8 at Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja would feature brain-
storming sessions by stakeholders in the film industry. Other events include premier of new films, film and video market, exhibitions, master classes workshop ,children film festival and an award night.
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50 Sunday, April 27, 2014
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Birthdays ADENUGA, Michael Ishola Adeniyi, administrator, business mogul and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Globacom Communications would be 61 on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Born on April 29, 1953, he had his secondary education at the Ibadan Grammar School, Ibadan, Oyo State before proceeding to the North-Western University in Oklahoma and Pace University, New York, both in United States where he studied Business Administration. He owns Equatorial Trust Bank and Consolidated Oil, which became the first indigenous company to strike crude in December 1991. He later made foray into the telecommunications sector and with his Communications Investment Limited, CIL; he was issued a conditional licence in 1999 and frequencies to operate the Global System of Mobile Communications (GSM). The licence was later revoked. Again, when in 2002, the government through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), organised new auction for the GSM
licence, the CIL participated and was one of the four that won the bid in August 2002 through his Globacom Limited. He’s estate business and company traverse several countries in Western Europe, North America and the Middle East.
Grammar School, Ota, 198691. He obtained Diploma in Computer Science from Ogun State University (now Olabisi Onabanjo), 1999-2003 and later got admission to Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, (MAPOLY) for his National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) in Business Administration and Marketing respectively. After his youth service in Kwara State in 2005, he got admission to the University of Lagos for a degree in Business Administration, 2008-2010 and currently undergoing his Masters Degree (Msc) in Marketing, in
RAHMON, Rotimi, politician and chairman of AdoOdo/Ota Local Government, Ogun State is 40. He was born in the early 1970s to the Adebari family of Ibari compound, Iwoye, Osi Quarters, Ota, and attended St. James Primary School, Ipate Oyinbo, Ota, 1979-85; Anglican
the same institution. He is an Information Technologist with vast experience in IT business. Before he joined politics, he had managed a multi-million naira IT business in Ibadan in 2006 and also developed several marketing strategies for different thriving business organisations in Nigeria. He was the Sports Coordinator, Department of Business Studies, MAPOLY, 2001; Director of Sports, Students Union Government (SUG), MAPOLY, 2002/2003; Vice President (Academics) IQ Club, MAPOLY, 2005 and member, Junior Chambers International, same year. He was elected Executive Chairman of Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government on Saturday, July 21, 2012 and sworn-in on Monday, July 23, 2012, alongside other chairmen. Given his charisma, efficiency and leadership skills, he was elected Chairman of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Ogun State Chapter. Compiled by Gbenga Akinfenwa email@example.com
Emmanuel Taiwo and Ezekiel Kehinde Olatunji cutting their 40th birthday cake… recently in Lagos.
Bride’s mother, Mrs Lydia Omotunde (left); groom’s father, Elder Gabriel Alabi; the couple: Olusola and Ayodeji; groom’s mother, Lady Evang. Rachael Alabi; and bride’s father, Prince Michael Omotunde during the wedding ceremony in Ibadan, Oyo State.
HRH, Alhaji Abubakar Yahaya, Etsu Nupe decorating HRM Eze Chukwudi Ihenetu, Eze Ndi-Igbo, Ghana. Far right is Chief Mba Kalu Harrison at the Etsu-Nupe's Palace,Bida...Yesterday.
General Manager, Business Strategy and Development, Tantalizers Plc., Henry Arebun, (third left), Deputy Managing Director, Gbolahan Olabinjo (third right) with a cross-section of contestants of Nigeria Idol Season 4, as the company hosted the contestants in Lagos.
Air Commodore Inalegwu Agbeje, Air Commander 403 Electronic Maintenance Depot (5th left), and Oba Babatunde Akanbi Ogunronbi, Oba of Shasha Kingdom, Alimosho LGA of Lagos State (6th left) during the 50th Anniversary of the Nigeria Airforce held in Lagos... last week.
Brand Manager Squadron Dark Rum, Zekeri Dokpesi (left); Wande Coal and Assistant Brand Manager, Action Bitters; Gbemileke Lawal at the comedy show laffmatazz organised by Gbenga Adeyinka D 1st recently in Ibadan.
Chairman, Oshodi/Isolo Local Government Area, Bolaji Muse-Ariyoh, Commandant, Airforce Base Ikeja, Air Commodore Najeem Sanusi and Group Captain A.A Adedoyin during a courtesy visit to Oshodi/Isolo LGA.
Transition •The remains of late Mrs. Comfort Oluyemisi Agbalajobi of Papa-Epe, Lagos State will be interred on Friday, May 2, 2014 after a Funeral Service at the Rev. Braithwaite Memorial Anglican Church, Papa, Epe, Lagos. She died on March 25, 2014. The late Mrs. Agbalajobi was married to the late Ordinand Ayodele Agbalajobi and blessed with chil-
dren and grandchildren. • The family of Ogunsola announces the passing away of Chief Samson Oluyemi Ogunsola (a.k.a Amototo), who died at the age of 75 years. His final burial ceremony holds on May 3, 2014 at Ansar-Ud-Deen Comprehensive College, Iganmode Road, Ota, Ogun State by 12.pm.
Event • The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Destiny Sanctuary, Egbeda, Lagos, presents “Alone with God”, which comes up every Thursday by 6am. Ministering are General Overseer of RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the host, Pastor Olu David, Pastor J. Ashaolu and PICP, among others. Venue: 1, Destiny Avenue, off Karimu Laka Street, Egbeda.
52 Sunday, April 27, 2014
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
Sunday, April 27, 2014 53
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Opinion How Nigeria Defines Citizenship Y the time you read this, the 200 Nigerian schoolgirls in Boko Haram captivity would have been rescued. I do not know this for certain, but last week, 10 days last week after they were abducted, President Goodluck Jonathan was convening something called an “enlarged Security Council” to respond to the country’s security situation. According to reports, the idea was to formulate a response to the security challenges confronting Nigeria. Actually, the idea was to head off all of the local and international criticism and embarrassment. In addition to seizing the girls in Borno on April 15, Boko Haram had also fearlessly blown an Abuja suburb apart. That did not stop the Nigerian leader from a festive political rally in Kano where he was seen in merriment. The most important reason last week’s meeting was necessary is that Abuja is to host the World Economic Forum on Africa in just two weeks, and the government was worried about its image. On account of that international meeting, the “Security Council” gathering suddenly took on a very important profile, but both mission and composition were curious. Nobody was crying in the streets about our girls. Nobody was comforting parents in Chibok. And then, arriving in Abuja to hold Mr. Jonathan’s hands at the presidential villa were the heads of the country’s security agencies. Also present: governors or deputy governors from Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Ebonyi, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kebbi, Kwara, Kano, Nasarawa, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara. The meeting was also attended by the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Ayo Oritsejafor; the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, who also heads the Supreme
Council for Islamic Affairs; the Marshal General of the Federal Road Safety Corps; the Minister of Police Affairs; the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration service; the Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps; the Minister of the FCT; and the Attorney-General/Minister of Justice. The problem is that they all participated in a meeting that was both illegal and unproductive. First, an “enlarged” National Security Council is a fiction in Nigerian law. The constitution provides for a National Security Council, which comprises the President (Chairman); the Vice-President (Deputy Chairman); the Chief of Defence Staff; the Internal Affairs Minister; the Minister of Defence; the Foreign Affairs Minister; the National Security Adviser; the InspectorGeneral of Police; and any other persons the President may appoint to the Council. The president has the power to appoint whomever he wishes to the Council, but he does not have the power simply to invite or to “enlarge.” By design, the body is an advisory group that is so streamlined it does not even include the heads of the so-called “security agencies,” although it is obvious the president may hold other security meetings of his definition that may include them. Using this measure, at last week’s gathering, the interlopers outnumbered the legitimate members by at least 4 to 1. It is obvious that meeting suggests the government ignores the constitution under which it exists. The more startling point is that, as I have argued in the past, the government exists only in a very generic sense. Coming at a time that the entire country and the rest of the world was aghast at the Abuja bombing and the scandalous abduction of some 239 girls, the meeting was a veritable demonstration of why the government is dysfunctional and ineffective. It shows that the Nigeria government does not understand that it is defined first by a set
of laws, and then by public expectation. This misunderstanding is why the government does things that breach the law; things that breach common sense; and things that breach the expectations of the people. The “expanded” Security Council meeting breached the law, just as Jonathan and his party breached common sense by holding their infamous Kano rally just after the Nyanya bombing, and just as the government breached the expectations of the public by embarking on meetings in Abuja when the entire world was waiting for an active search for the abducted girls in Borno. Predictably, when Mr. Jonathan’s meeting was over last Thursday, the government vowed to find the girls, as if it took an unwieldy meeting of dignitaries in Abuja to prepare a vow. By that time, the girls had endured 10 days in the hands of their abductors, while the government sat on theirs. Mr. Jonathan was not overheard warning anyone not to touch a hair on the head of any of those citizens. By that time, the families of the girls had been through a lifetime of torment waiting for the government to do something. Many of the hurting parents had ventured into the Sambisa forests on their own, demonstrating the courage and the commitment that are lacking in their government. We have to hope that it is not too late. The abduction is an extraordinary story; it is very unusual that in a territory under a state of emergency, someone would walk and take what is the equivalent of an entire village of young women. Now that the government has vowed to rescue the girls, what follows? The vow came after the abductors had been awarded two working weeks to work with. We are now assuming that the entire village of girls is still in one location. We are assuming that they have not been distributed to various Boko Haram leaders or republics in three or four Nigerian States, or in three or four countries. We assume they are all still alive.
firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @Sonala.Olumhense
The vow also comes from a government that is rather lavish with vows and promises. In May 2012, I documented some of Mr. Jonathan’s vows. Equally important, Mr. Jonathan has not made himself memorable as a man who sets up a committee and actually implements its recommendations. He seems persuaded that all he needs to do to deal with a problem is to confer the illusion of action by setting up a committee. It is business as usual. Fortunately, the World Economic Forum next week means there will be closer attention to Nigeria than ever before, a factor one hopes will help the government to understand that responsibility, not power, is the objective of governance. What Boko Haram has achieved with the abduction of the Chibok girls is to put in play a game of chess in which the Nigerian government and its military, security and intelligence communities have been made to look very ugly. But this is no joke, and Abuja must understand that nothing short of bringing all those girls back alive and unharmed will improve that image. What the government must do now is to swiftly reach out to Nigeria’s friends and allies who have the appropriate resources, towards ensuring this story can end with some happiness. Actually, that should have happened two weeks ago. This is a matter that unites Nigerians and their resources, and the government should work to deploy our common nationality and humanity in that direction.
Leapfrogging Development With Rebased Economy By Temitope Oshikoya
N September, 2007, while I was the Director of Development Economics at the African Development Bank, I was privileged to be a special guest speaker at the 13th Annual Nigerian Economic Summit. My presentation was titled: “Leapfrogging to Development: Roadmap to 2020.” In the paper, I outlined South Korea’s success growth path and development story. In 1962, South Korea had a per capita income of only $87, four times below that of Nigeria. By 2005, its per capita income reached $16,300. By 2013, it had reached $22,590; a 260fold increase, and ten times that of Nigeria’s rebased per capita income. South Korea had transformed itself from a poor agrarian economy with a pool of unemployed labor to an export-oriented economy specializing first in labor-intensive manufacturing and then in capital and skill-intensive manufactures. The paper expected three stages of growth paths for Nigeria. Between 2007 and 2010, the economy was projected to be in a factor-driven stage, with primary sector-led growth. The GDP was projected to reach $220 billion and per capita income of $1,532 by 2010. Between 2011 to 2015, it was emphasized that Nigeria should reach a transition stage towards efficiency-driven economy, boosting drivers of productivity, secondary sector-led growth, labour-intensive manufacturing and SME-led growth, and solid minerals development, with a GDP of over $400 billion and per capita income of $2,450 by 2015. The efficiency-driven stage, between 2015 and 2020, will be tertiary-sector led growth, with ICT, telecom, tourism, entertainment, and regional financial services becoming drivers of competitiveness and leading to a GDP and per-Capita Income of close to $900 billion and $4,000 by 2020. Now comes in the outcome of the GDP rebasing exercise, which has been greeted with euphoria and hysteria at the same time. What can we learn from this GDP rebasing exercise? What are the remaining gaps to be filled statistically and data wise? What other areas do we need to focus on to translate opportunities into prosperity for Nigeria? A balanced approach to these issues are more pertinent than widely perceived positive spins and equally negative condemnation from different directions, with which the GDP rebasing exercise has been received. Overall this GDP rebasing is good for Nigeria. It is an exercise that should be carried out every five years or at most, every decade. In this case, we have waited a quarter of a century. Nevertheless, the exercise is overall positive for the economy. It helps us to partly overcome the deficiency of planning without facts, policy decision making without facts, and project implementation without
facts. If we do not know where we were coming from and where we are, how do we know where we are going. From a national accounting perspective, the rebased GDP provides the most realistic and up to date data on size of the Nigerian economy, its productive structure, sectoral composition, diversification, and historical trends. For sure, at a revised GDP of $510 billion in 2013, the size of the Nigerian economy is larger than previously thought or projected. With a previously estimated informal economy of 60% of GDP and coupled with overall growth in non-oil sectors of the economy, this larger size is not implausible. With its size, Nigeria is not only a member, but a leader of the SANE Economies—-South Africa, Algeria, Nigeria, and Egypt— Africa’s G4 growth poles. The structure of the economy is also changing. The Rebased GDP attempts to leapfrog development in terms of shifting sectoral composition towards services related activities. The share of services more than doubled from 23.6% to 50.2%. Telecommunication and Information services now accounts for 8.7% of the GDP; while the entertainment industry, hitherto regarded as an informal economy, is now accounted for in the rebased GDP. The rebased 2010 series showed industry declined from 46.1% to 25% due mainly to decline in oil sector to 14.4%. From a historical trends perspective, based on available data, in 1960, the oil sector contributed less than 2% to GDP, but rose to 10% in 1970 and 31% in 1974. In 1960, agriculture was the commanding height of the economy contributing 63% to GDP; by 1970, its share had declined to about half of GDP and to about a third of GDP in 1990, and now at a fourth of GDP in 2013. The diversification of the economy and leapfrogging to development will not be complete until other sectors beyond oil become the main drivers of employment, revenue and foreign exchange earnings. The decline in agriculture’s share of GDP should ordinarily be consistent with a fast growing economy where productivity and mechanization in the sector is yielding higher output per farmer, but releasing surplus labour to other sectors of the economy to be absorbed. However, while agriculture—a major source of employment, has declined to 24%, the next source of job creation, labor-intensive manufacturing, especially in SMEs, is still too low in terms of the contributions to GDP with a share of 6.8% in the rebased figures, which is the same as its share in 1965, and still below its share of 11.2% in 1983. More importantly, the share of manufacturing in total exports remains below 1% in 2013. The implication is that we are still in the transition stage, and the economy is still yet to land in the efficiency –driven stage of development. Productivity has lagged considerably behind other efficiency-driven economies, impacting the competitiveness of Nigeria’s economy.
Demand side of the picture is not fully reflected in the rebased GDP. It is important to know the changing pattern of private and government consumption and investment as well as exports and imports. Despite over-invoicing and under-invoicing issues, data on exports and imports and their disaggregated components are more readily available. Overall external trade as a ratio of GDP would have fallen given the rise in GDP. Government investment figures at all tiers of governments may be problematic especially at States and Local Levels, but can still be estimated from actual and budgetary capital expenditures. Private investment may have been estimated through survey of nearly 900,000 companies. The ratio of investment to GDP of 22% in 2012 may have fallen with the rebased figures. This capital formation ratio is very important as an indicator of future economic growth through both the multiplier and accelerator effects of average and incremental capital on the economy. Nigeria needs investment to GDP ratio of more than 33% to keep the momentum of economic growth and to leapfrog to development as China and other Asian Tiger countries have done. The more challenging data to obtain for aggregate expenditure components will be private consumption, which is usually treated as a residual. Private consumption and its disaggregated figures will be helpful in getting a better picture of wealth-poverty divide. Sectoral employment and income distribution subsystem, which allocates income among socio-economic groups are very important in assessing alternative economic development strategies. Indeed policies designed to meet the basic needs of the poorest groups in society could be effectively pursued only in the context of a broader strategy encompassing economic growth, diversification and structural change, and institutional reforms. A socio-economic development perspective requires extensive data base on demographic variables, wages and income distribution, household savings and consumption, and social accounting matrix. Clearly, stronger work and research efforts are needed in this direction as well as in constructing State by States Gross Product for balanced regional development. In conclusion, this rebased GDP is not so much about leapfrogging South Africa to become the ‘numero uno’ of African economies, but about using the rebased GDP with other detailed socio-economics variable and data including inputs-output matrix, social accounting matrix, state gross product matrix to ensure an integrated, regionally balanced, and socially balanced economy to leapfrog development for all Nigerians. Rebasing the GDP is the beginning, not an end in itself. But, we must still commend the efforts of the team that undertook this important exercise.
54 | Sunday, April 27, 2014
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Opinion How Naija Giant Mutates Into Cripple NE day, Naija man goes to pick up his new suit from his Naija Tailor. The suit was ready and Naija man tries it on. He looks at himself and looks at the suit as he smoothes the coat and the trouser over his Naija body. “But Naija Tailor, the left arm of the coat is not right, rather shortish.” “Yes you are right but if you do your left arm like this, then it will no longer be shortish.” Naija man does his arm the way Naija Tailor said and whaoh, the left arm of the coat was no longer shortish. “But then look at the right arm – rather too longish.” Again Naija Tailor advises him how to bend and twist his right arm so that the right arm of the coat is no longer longish. He contorted his right arm as instructed and the right arm was no longer longish. He moaned about the left leg and then complained about the right leg and he was instructed that if he bent his left leg side ways and turned the knee of his right leg inwards everything would be perfect. He does as he is instructed and of course, the coat now fits perfectly. As Naijaman walks along the road, a small boy shouts to his mother: “Look Mama, a genius of a tailor has sewn a perfect suit for this poor crippled man!” Naijaman got into an argument with the small boy who simply said to Naijaman: “You may not see yourself as a cripple, but as you walk along the way you walk along you look like a cripple, you behave like a cripple. You are a cripple!” “And the lesson of the story is. . . ?” Mr. Trouble asks Alaba, his genius assistant who claimed to be analysing the challenges of Obodo Naija. “You asked me about the fact that President Obama runs up or down the steps and stairs into his presidential plane.” “Yes, I did.” “And you said that if
the steps/stairs were designed in Naijeria, he would not run up and down them as he does without breaking his back.” “Yes.” And I am saying that he has no business breaking his back if he takes the steps/stairs at a time, Naija style.” “But steps and stairs are designed over time and space to specific natural laws.” “Except in Naijiria they are not. Here, like the Naija Tailor, the Naija Bricklayer, the Naija Carpenter, the Naija Professional tells you to distort your body to suit his or her error. The Naija Lecturer tells you to distort your mind to accept his or her illogicality. That is the rationale of my story. With the help of everybody in Obodo Naija, the Naija person distorst his or her body and her mind to accommodate, to manage, to make do, to tolerate the abundant human errors that have been the lot of the people of Nigeria.” Mr. Trouble looks at Alaba and says: “So, we run into trouble everywhere, right?” “It is called ergonomics, stupid!!!” “What does ergonomics mean?” “The word is made up of two Greek words – ‘ergon’ which means ‘work’ and ‘nomoi’ which means ‘natural laws’ ergonomics, like economics and agronomics. It means the science of work and a person’s relationship to that work. It is a discipline, which focuses on making products, services and processes and tasks to do with them comfortable and efficient for the user. It is the science of fitting the work to the user instead of forcing the user to fit the work.” Mr. Trouble looks at Alaba with amazement and respect. “At your age, I would not imagine that you have so much informa-
tion.” Alaba;’s immediate reaction is to shout but he restrains himself. “I have told you many times Mr. Trouble, that the Wisdom of Solomon is not synonimous with the age of Methuselah! Any child who reads can analyse the challenges of Naijiria! We not only break the laws that we make. We also break the laws that Nature makes. We seek national conferences to correct the laws that we make and break and build warehouse we misname churches to pray to correct the laws of Nature that we break. So, we are beset with chaos physically and spiritually. Do you understand what I am saying Mr. Trouble?” Some where in his mind, Mr. Trouble thought he could remember once talking to Alaba about these issues in this way. Or was it in another way? He could not remember. Anyway, he had to take the boy seriously now. “What you are saying, if I understand your drift is that the Naija Tailor and the Naija Carpenter and the Naija Bricklayer and the Naija Lecturer should not force the Naija person to distort their bodies and their minds in order to fit into their creations and designs. But rather that their creations and their designs should be ergonomically correct.” Alaba sighed
and wished that everybody could summarize his thoughts so concisesly and correctly. “All this would not be necessary but for the fact that when we eliminate the reasons why the quality of life of Naija persons has not improved over the years, we cannot eliminate design deficiency, we cannot overlook equipment malfunction, nor can we take for granted that there is no manufacturing defect, or environmental hazard. And even if we eliminate all these reasons for the poor quality of life of Naija people, what about human error?” “What about them?” Well, what happens when professionals fail to perform or omit to perform a task? Or they perform the task incorrectly? Or they perform an extra or non-required task? What if they perform the task out of sequence? Or they fail to perform the task within the time limit associated with it? Or finally suppose they fail to perform adequately to a particular specified contingency? I believe and I declare that ERGONOMICS should be made a compulsory subject for all school teachers and all university and polytechnic lecturers. Perhaps then we might not accommodate, not tolerate, not manage designs that do not fit us.
Nyanya And Fight Against Terrorism In Nigeria By Muhammadu Buhari INISTER terror and hatred have again reached from the shadows to steal the lives of innocent Nigerians. In Nyanya, 72 people were killed by a car bomb. Hundreds more were injured in the devastation. Their killings served no purpose except for those who exalt in evil. The bomb blast quickly came and went like the deadly thief it was; but we shall be left to endure the pain and loss from this terrible act for a long time to come. What the nation lost is irreplaceable. The number 72 seems like just another grim tally among the death statistics that have become all too common. But what occurred is much more than that. We must really stop and take notice of where evil is attempting to drive us. The abduction of over one hundred schoolgirls is unacceptable, condemnable and saddens me greatly. We cannot allow these merchants of death to make us numb to the tragedy they manufacture. Those who were killed were not merely numbers on a page. They were human beings, made of flesh and blood body and soul like all the rest of us. They were someone’s father or mother, brother or sister. They had parents; they were someone’s children. They were husbands or wives, neighbouring friends and colleagues. They had dreams and hopes. They were loved and loved others in return. Now, life has been taken away and those who cared for them must bear a grief no person should be asked to carry.
JAW JAW By Didi Onu
These people committed no wrong. Their only crime was to be ordinary working class people seeking to eke out a livelihood and tend for themselves and their families. For this, they were killed. They represent the backbone of the working people. Not many of them lived an easy life. Most worked hard and long for modest wages. They lifted themselves up every morning to earn their daily bread. They faced the many social and economic challenges and obstacles our society poses, yet they worked not to destroy but to make this a better place by bettering the lives of their families and loved ones. These people lived anonymously and died the same way. We do not yet know their names. But, in a fundamental sense, we know who they were. They were part of us. They shared the same aspirations we all do. We seek an improved fate for our children and hope to leave them a better life. We want to work and live in dignity and respect. We want a life of peace and harmony with our neighbours regardless of religion, ethnicity or background. We seek prosperity not poverty. We seek brotherly understanding not strife. We seek peace, not bombs. It was not just 72 people who were taken in this depraved assault. Each of us lost something that day. Yet, despite the loss and suffering, we must not cower in fear, and let the purveyors of death believe they have scored a victory over us. Those who committed this act have declared war on all that
is decent and good. They have declared war not against the state or even the government. They have declared war on Nigeria and all Nigerians because this murder took men and women, old and young, Christian and Muslim alike. In trying to scare, frighten and divide us, the evildoers committed injury to their own cause. For they have shown us that we all suffer inhumanity in the same way. No matter our religion or place of birth, we all bleed and are wounded the same way by injustice. Decency runs through the teachings of each religion and ethnic group that comprise the people of Nigeria. We may have our differences, but the vast majority of Nigerians stand united against the appalling violence committed in Nyanya and other places. These acts have no place in Nigeria. Those who commit them have no place in our country. The perpetrators may look like human beings. They may have limbs and faces like the rest of us but they are not like us. In killing innocent people, they have become inhuman. They live outside the scope of humanity. Their mother is carnage and their father is cruelty. They have declared war against the people of Nigeria. They have shown that they do not want to liberate the people. They want to kill them. Yet, with all the energy of their evil and ignorant hatred, they shall fail. The good people of Nigeria shall triumph. • General Buhari (GCFR), former Head of State and presidential candidate is a leader of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).
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Sunday, April 27, 2014 | 55
GRASSROOTS Group Tasks Grassroots, Civil Societies On Acts Of Impunity NATIONAL By Gbenga Akinfenwa IGH level corruption and indiscipline in H and out of government is a major barrier, hampering the development of the country. This was the position of Community Life Project/ReclaimNaija and Stop Impunity Nigeria (SIN), campaign partners at a one-day seminar on Grassroots Community Forum On “Impunity And The Rule Of Law In Nigeria”. The meeting took place at Isolo Community Centre, Isolo, Lagos recently, and seeks to eradicate impunity and enthrone good governance. It was an interactive session, which attracted artisans, market women, professionals and other civil society groups. Several discussants and the audience, dug intensely into the issue of impunity, the causes, and its implications. In his paper on the topic, CLP’s Programme Officer, Lanre Arileola, said the Nigerian state is corrupt, managed by corrupt leaders who have made the state an instrument of capital accumulation, rather than using it to project the interest of the citizenry, adding that a very good plan, supervised by a thoroughly corrupt state can hardly do a thorough good job. He gave different definitions of impunity as, exemption or freedom from punishment, harm, or loss; high sense of immunity from punishment of any offense; frequent occurrence of crime, knowing no one will be punished for the crime committed; and exemption A participant making contribution at the seminar from punishment or freedom from the injurilic finance mismanagement, bad budgetous consequences of action. He said leaders ing of public finance, diversion of public and individuals would continue to be corrupt because impunity ensures they do not get pun- fund for personal use, executing projects not properly thought out, compensating ished. politicians with projects, not disclosing cost He stressed that impunity is manifested in everyday living and in all aspects of human life, of projects and high benchmark from average market price,” he stated. like in electoral process, public finance manContinuing, Arileola said impunity in civil agement, civic responsibility and rule of law, society manifests itself when media reports which has made corruption pervasive. are influenced by financial gains, not voting “Impunity in electoral system is demonin election without concrete reasons, aidstrated when party members are used as elecing corruption by demanding consistent fitoral officers to rig votes, lack of internal nancial support from public officers, democracy mechanism within political pardriving without consideration to what hapties, inability of the electoral body to stand by pens to other road users, discarding refuse the rules and ensure that parties follow the through the window of a moving vehicle rules, poor voters registration system, late arand destruction of public facilities. rival of election materials without due explaHe added that non-payment of electricity nations, giving/collecting bribe, empowering bills as and when due, non-fulfillment of of thugs by corrupt individuals to chase voters, electioneering promises, neglect of one’s reand not punishing election violence offenders. sponsibilities and violation of the laws of “Impunity in public finance management is the land, are all acts of impunity. perpetrated when projects are not completed The Programme Officer listed exemption after mobilisation fee had been paid, forging of of select few from being jailed, judges receipts, inflating of figures, moving of funds staged managing rulings, paying fine in refrom one head to another without due placement of punishment over serious ofprocess, non-correlative punishment for pub-
Amosun Encourages Youths On Skill Development, Creativity OTA By Gbenga Akinfenwa HE wife of Ogun State GovT ernor, Mrs. Olufunke Amosun, has enjoined Nigerian youths to develop their personal skills, in order to achieve their goals and contribute meaningfully to the growth of the nation. Amosun, who spoke at the commemorative symposium, marking the 40th Birthday Anniversary of the Chairman of Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government, Ogun State, Comrade Rotimi Rahmon, with the theme: “The Roles Of Youths In Nation Building”, said if the youths can shun laziness, their level of creativity and personal skills can earn them a living, to avert the problem of unemployment. She emphasised that youths of today can accomplish their goals and turn around the fortunes of the country, if they show some sense of determination to build a better future for themselves. “The Choices you make shapes who you are. We are counting on you to take lead-
ership role today. You need to be determined to be great in life,” she stated. Amosun listed some of the elements of greatness that must be earnestly contend for by the youths, which include, integrity, positive thinking, reliability, good morals, hard work, good value, tolerance, determination and maturity, stating that such could only be attained through self discipline and will-power. “People should be able to identify with you as a person of your word. If you are not lazy your skill can earn you a living. Developing your skills is hinged on creativity. A skill that is practical to sell in your vicinity. Though it takes time before one can actually attain success, but with tolerance and perseverance, you’ll surely get to where you are destined to be, if you don’t lose focus,” she stated. She commended the celebrant for attaining the age, saying his several transformational projects in the council area have uplifted the standard of living of the people. Others who spoke include
Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Alhaji Tajudeen Bello, Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Vice Chancellor, Covenant University, Ota, Prof. Charles Ayo and a lecturer from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Dr. (Mrs.) Temitope Olaifa. They called for a change of attitude and orientation of the youths to build a better future for the country. The occasion was also graced by other council chairmen, commissioners, students of secondary schools and tertiary institutions, among others.
fences, poor judgment in criminal cases, disregard for the rule of law and its exemption to powerful people in the society and light sentences for treasure looters, among others, as display of impunity. “The consequences of impunity under the rule are extra judicial killings, escalation of violence, insecurity of life and property, lack of access to justice, corrupt police force, ineffective law enforcement, bad governance, complete breakdown of law and order, disintegration of the country, abuse of power, exploitation, lack of economic resources and extortion of the masses. “What you’ll find in a society with rule is
checks and balances in government, minimal level of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, criminal justice, informal justice. Beyond these, the rule of law implies that citizens are subject to the law, including lawmakers, themselves. Thus, no one is exempt from the laws of the land, irrespective of status,” he stated. Arileola tasked Nigerians, especially the grassroots, to embark on practices that are morally right, continue to raise the alarms and caution people when they do wrong things, in order to rescue Nigeria from the menace of impunity.
Lawmaker Seeks Speedy Passage Of Environmental Bill IFAKO/OJOKORO By Gbenga Akinfenwa N a bid to ensure inclusivIcommunities ity and participation of in areas where projects are proposed to be sited, a member of House of Representatives, Yomi Ogunnusi, has called for the speedy passage of the environmental safety bill in the National Assembly. Ogunnusi, who is representing Ifako/Ojokoro Federal Constituency, believes, if the amendment being sought by the bill is passed, Nigeria would join the list of countries with responsive laws on environmental impact assessment that would ensure that communities participate in projects sited in their areas. Having passed the second
reading in the lower house, Ogunnusi is soliciting the federal legislators’ support on the second reading of the bill. According to him, the bill is for an act to amend the Environmental Impact Assessment Act Cap E12, as well as strengthening the process of approval and decision-making on project inclusivity. In the bill, Ogunnusi said the Environmental Impact Assessment Act was first enacted in 1992 to set out the general principles, procedures and methods to enable prior consideration of environmental impact assessment on certain public and private projects. He said the bill seeks to ensure notification and consultation between organs and persons when proposed activities are likely to
have significant environmental effects on such towns and villages. “The bill will make the implementation of the law more responsive by ensuring that project developers, approving authority and persons whose livelihood will be affected by any proposed project or activity are involved in the decision making to safeguard the environment and ensure adequate re-mediation of the environment,” he said. For Ogunnusi, the essence of the bill is to strengthen the process of approvals on projects to ensure inclusivity of all interest groups. To make it a reality, the lawmaker called for an amendment of the section in the Principal Act to clearly define interest groups as contained in the law.
NIMET Cautions N’East Farmers Against Early Crop Plantings MAIDUGURI From Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri HE Nigerian MeteorologiT cal Agency (NIMET) has cautioned farmers in the Northeast against early planting of crops, following penultimate Saturday’s first heavy downpour in Maiduguri, Borno State that lasted for an hour.
The rain, which covered the central and southern parts of the state, also dropped the daily temperature of 42 degrees Celsius to 35, forcing residents to cut down their daily amount of water intake to a litre, as against two-three litres. Speaking on the issue, the Northeast Zonal Director of NIMET, Alhaji Ya’u Darazo said
farmers in the northeast should not be “excited and carried” away with the downpour; to embark on planting of crops and other vegetables, without stabilised onset of rainfall. “The commencement of the rainfall in Borno State and other neighboring states in the Northeast, is around May ending; while the cessation is around November,” said
Darazo, adding that it remains about a month for farmers to plant crops and vegetables this year. He said for more details on the sub-region’s rainfall pattern, farmers and herdsmen in the Northeast should strictly adhere to the 2014 seasonal rainfall prediction at the NIMET Maiduguri International Airport office.
Sunday, April 27, 2014
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The Return Of Omehia By Chigachi Eke N “Les Miserables” Victor Hugo believes that the Duke of Wellington triumphed over Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte not because Wellington fought better, but because it was time for Napoleon to fall. The relentless weeping of mothers whose unmarried sons were conscripted to fight the Napoleonic Wars disturbed the tranquility of the heavens. BJE Itsueli records that Napoleon conscripted 300,000 boys in 1813 and another 300,000 the following year. A man who could arrest and imprison the Pope would think nothing of endangering civilization if that could further his ambition. God took offence and everything worked in reverse for the military genius. The two decisive factors leading to his defeat were nothing military. The first was an innocuous answer given to the pointing Napoleon by a local peasant he recruited to educate him on the terrains. The peasant assured him that a particular section of the would-be battlefield at Waterloo was level. From his command post the Emperor ordered his cavalry to charge in the heat of the battle. And charge they did only to plunge head long into a ravine at the very place the peasant said the field was smooth. Wave after wave of his elite officers galloped into this mass grave, where they were crushed by their falling comrades on horseback. At Midi in Bruxelles, I boarded a Leuven train alighting at Waterloo Station. “Show me the valley where Napoleon’s horsemen perished?” I was curious. The second was nature itself. A heavy rain fell in the morning of the decisive battle greatly impeding Napoleon’s ability to wheel his heavy artillery pieces into fighting position. He was compelled to wait for the sun to dry the soft ground. The delay gave Wellington the precious time to out manoeuver his foe. When the first shot was fired, Napoleon’s infallible stratagem of fighting in column failed him before Wellington’s linear formation, which proved superior under the combined muddy ground and approaching darkness. Napoleon fell and Europe lived. When human action brings creation to the brink, the unexpected happens to bring expurgation. When man and nature cries out to the heavens, mysterious forces latent in the air and trees are stirred to intervene. That is the morale of that brief history - no situation is helpless. Now fast forward to the 21st Century Niger Delta. Rivers State. In 2011 I wrote Azubike Wanjoku, president of Ikwerre Youth Movement (IYM), and member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), concerning Celestine Omehia: “Wanjoku shoots himself in the leg allowing
the political differences between Chibuike Amaechi and his cousin Celestine Omehia to polarize his nation. IYM sets a dangerous precedent, publicly rubbishing Omehia, who once nursed lofty dreams for his people. Is evil not cyclic, what is your guarantee that Amaechi would be spared after 2015? It stands to reason that Ikwerres have a future beyond Amaechi and PDP; even Amaechi will concede as much. Wanjoku must personally return to Ubima and have a private talk with Omehia if the IYM truly cares about Amaechi’s security in and out of office,” (Google, “Ikwerre Rebellion?”). There is a phenomenon Wole Soyinka calls the Abiku metaphor. This is an untenable situation where evil turns up at the end of each political exercise, however your best efforts. In the preceding paragraph, I harped on “cyclic evil,” which is a derivation of the Abiku eternal evil. Many more will suffer because society looked the other way while Omehia was rubbished and insulted. It was with a heavy heart that we heard Ikanya Davies, Interim Rivers’ State chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) insult Goodluck Jonathan today. Why crucify Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso for doing what Davies taught him? “Even though they lack shame,” Davies caused to be published, “President Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party should for once respect themselves and stay away from the Niger Delta, since even his kinsmen in Bayelsa State have rejected him for disappointing them.” Wanjoku refused to act and the following year I turned to Ezenwo Nyesom Wike: “The search for reconciliation must be reduced to a search for a neutral third party respected by Omehia and trusted by Amaechi. This ultimate arbiter, I believe, is the Ikwerreborn Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, who does not depend on handouts from Amaechi to survive and so can afford to tell the governor what he did not want to hear. His hometown, Rumuepirikom in Obio/Akpor, is also far from Ubima, which makes him some-
what tolerant to Omehia. Guarded by the desire for common good, Wike would rather sacrifice personal ambition than endanger what little his people were able to garner politically since 1999. But now he must rise and save these two from mutual destruction; if not for their own sake then for the sake of their children who must be spared the sins of their fathers. In short, he must weld fragmented Ikwerreland together again,” (Google, “The Ikwerre Man’s Burden”). Credit must be given iconoclastic Wike for saving the state from internecine war as Jonathan’s Ijaw ethnic group was prepared to defend Jonathan’s incumbency from perceived attack by Amaechi’s. His action convinced Ijaws that Amaechi’s problem with Jonathan had nothing to do with Ikwerres, who massively gave Jonathan their votes in 2011. Granted that Wike did very little to reconcile Amaechi and Omehia, his handling of the dispute between Amaechi and Jonathan earned him honour. The flip side is that Wike’s gubernatorial ambition, endorsed by certain Ijaws, appears a greater danger today than Amaechi’s problem with Jonathan. His move has polarized the state into hostile “upland” and “riverine” camps. Hanging in the balance is the fate of ordinary Rivers’ people whose collective interests suffer. Political killings are here; with threats of more violence. Events in Rivers have degenerated to a level where a higher authority must intervene. The intervention manifested in the decision by the state’s past and present leaders to reconcile Omehia with Jonathan and bring him back to PDP from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). This will restore the balance of weakness/power without destroying the unity of Rivers. Omehia is a dove who avoids the hawkish upland/riverine dichotomy. On May 3rd Rivers’ people will join Jonathan to welcome him back into PDP, a prospect that
The flip side is that Wike’s gubernatorial ambition, endorsed by certain Ijaws, appears a greater danger today than Amaechi’s problem with Jonathan. His move has polarized the state into hostile “upland” and “riverine” camps. Hanging in the balance is the fate of ordinary Rivers’ people whose collective interests suffer. Political killings are here; with threats of more violence. Events in Rivers have degenerated to a level where a higher authority must intervene.
draws a soulful response from him. Omehia reminds the North that Shehu Shagari got his highest votes not from Sokoto but old Rivers. Same could be said of Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua. As long as Jonathan’s presidency is concerned, his argument remains that majority North owes his people a moral debt. The North must unconditionally elect Jonathan come 2015 while allowing the South-South to see to the issue of his competency. Jonathan is competent enough to lead this great nation out of the troubled waters four decades of military misrule put it. I talked about the morale of Napoleon’s downfall somewhere above. I shall now relate it to events in Rivers and the larger Niger Delta. Napoleon desired a continental European Empire by force of arms. In “Why the West Rules-For Now” Ian Morris records him urging his invading Grand Army, “Let us be masters of the (English) Channel for six hours and we are masters of the world!” His vision was not without precedents as the Habsburgs and House of Bourbons before him and Adolf Hitler after him attempted same. His appalling style was the problem. Eventually, Europe attained European Union (European Empire by other name) without war. Likewise, for Rivers people to turn to Omehia for direction means they are prepared to move forward without violence. In those days when the military kicked them in the teeth, there was no distinction between uplanders and riverine people. Everyone was equal victim and defeat united them. The plot was lost in victory as the kickers today are Port Harcourt boys. Omehia must also work for larger reconciliation, as Rivers recently seemed to stand aloof from other South-South sister states. One thing constantly overlooked by political commentators is memory. Minorities never forget, not because they are bad Christians but because their desires are deliberately denied them. Soyinka’s “The Trials of Brother Jero” and William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” warn Master never to be in a hurry in satisfying the desire of his Slave since that is the surest way of making a devil out of him. You have lost his loyalty forever. Nigeria kept these minorities denied to control them. Then Jonathan’s presence in Aso Rock led to a role reversal. The patriotic Master who preached “One Nigeria” now becomes violent in the Slave’s shoe. He wants an urgent return to status quo or else... For those asking what Jonathan did for his kinsmen in Bayelsa State and other minorities, my response is that he gave them hope.
Eke writes from Port Harcourt. email@example.com
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Okonkwo: We Need Internal Democracy In APC • Bi-Partisan Approach Is what We Need To Defeat Terrorism, Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Annie Okonkwo, in this interview with MARCEL MBAMALU, speaks on his party’s congresses, the ongoing national conference and the need for a collective fight against terrorism. S a founding member of the APC, A what would be your recommendation for the party leadership ahead of the 2015 general elections? The APC is a very big party, and there is no doubt that there is going to be some elements who are not ready to abide by the principles of internal democracy, but the party should rise up and be able to identify those elements. The good news is that the APC has a vision, and the party constitution is very clear. They must realise that it is very important for the party to grow; there must be internal democracy. But, if you need to go and lobby somebody in Abuja to make you a ward chairman, then something is wrong. So, we must abide by the principles of internal democracy as stated by the party. With some PDP defectors now returning to their original party, do you think the APC shouldn’t have accepted these politicians from the PDP in the first place? First of all, you should understand that there is freedom of association, and, therefore, there is no question of screening somebody to be a member of a party. The constitution gives you the right to belong to anywhere. A party cannot stop anyone from leaving to become a member of another party and nobody can suspend anybody unless he or she goes against the constitution or guidelines of the party. Again, the party cannot say that people who want to join should not join. But the most important thing is that there is party constitution that forms the guidelines. I believe the only way the party can be strengthened is when it works with its own constitution and manifesto, especially during its congresses and convention. I am happy the way the APC put up its guidelines, which shows that, for you to aspire to become an executive in the ward, you will have to pay at least N2,000 to show commitment. What that means is that anybody who comes and pays that amount has procured the right to participate in the congress and any attempt by a member of the party to stop the person from participating is undemocratic. But this is exactly what happened in Anambra State, and I condemn it with all sincerity of purpose. Do you see your party posing a serious challenge to PDP in 2015? If people would be able to submit themselves to democratic laws, there would be nothing like leadership tussles. Today, if you are a ward chairman, you are the party leader at that level; if you are a local government chairman, you are the leader at the local government level. But the APC decided in its constitution that it must democratise its leadership positions. It is not by appointment and even if it comes by consensus, people must agree; it is not by force. I think the most important thing is that, for the first time, we are trying to democratise the party leadership,
Okonkwo and if any leader emerges through a democratic process or through the congresses, then he is a leader indeed. But a member who tries to force himself on the people is an undemocratic leader; and that is what is happening in Anambra State. They want to impose people on the masses. People must be able to subject themselves to democratic principles. I think that, if the APC democratically elects the party leaders from the ward to national level, the party would have an institution, which the PDP or any other party would find difficult to beat. With the defection to PDP of some founding members of APC, like Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa and Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa, among others, what do you think went wrong? People have freedom of association. I am not happy that these individuals, who are founding members of the APC, left the party. But, if they had been patient for the party to hold its congresses, they would have probably seen reasons to justify their exit from the party. If, after the congresses, they have reasons to say, this is against the principles of APC, then they would have been justified in joining any other political party. But today, I still think that APC should be given a chance, which is being done right now. With what they are doing right now, in terms of internal democracy, everybody is accommodated and that is why I kicked against what was happening in Anambra State. It will be better for the party not to allow the problem in the state to degenerate because today the people in Anambra are not happy about what the chairman of the state congress is doing; and it has come to a stage that the party must respond immediately. Following the outcome of the last Anambra State governorship, where APC came third, many people believe that APC is not yet accepted in the South East. How would you react to this? The truth is that a lot of people in the Southeast, especially those parading themselves as APC leaders, are not doing enough in terms of
Sometimes, I wonder how a group of people could, for many years, continue to hold the nation to ransom. The Biafran War ended within 30 months and everybody came together and we became one. Since Nigerians came together to fight the civil war, why can’t we come together now to fight Boko Haram once and for all? It is so embarrassing, and it is not good for our nation enlightening the people. Importantly, we should ensure a transparent congress so that people would see that this party believes in internal democracy. But if things were not done properly in the South East, it would be difficult for people there to accept APC. The party must be able to change the way things are being done in the Southeast, especially for those who are parading themselves as leaders of the party, so that people would be free to join the APC in the south East. How would you want political parties, especially the main opposition, to engage the ongoing Confab? APC, as a party, decided that they are not going to be involved, but that does not mean that the states are not going to send their representatives to the conference. APC, as a party, believes that the conference is a waste of time because the outcomes of previous conferences were not implemented. Now, a lot of issues are coming up. Some delegates are saying that the outcomes be subjected to a referendum and that it should not be sent to the National Assembly. Some people also see it as Jonathan’s political strategy to win the minds of the people ahead of the 2015 general election. When you talk about national conference or dialogue, what would you be discussing? It should focus on key issues affecting the nation, which should be unemployment, insecurity and the rest of them. And when you talk of insecurity and unemployment, who are the most affected? They are the unemployed youths and people in the North targeted by the mayhem. But the ongoing national conference gathered professionals within and outside the country. Personally, I am not against the conference, but my concern is
implementing the outcome. So, are you saying that APC is right in officially boycotting the national conference? As a political party and the major opposition party, it is better for the APC to stay aside and watch. But that does not mean that the governors would not send their representatives to the conference, because they do not represent the APC; they represent the states. Whether, or not, convening the conference is good, governors must nominate people to represent their states. Opposition governors would have erred if they did not send delegates to the national conference. As an individual, do you believe in the ongoing National Conference? As a person, I believe that Nigerians should sit down and talk. I support it; but my concern is what we do after with the outcome. As a former Senator, do you think the present crop of lawmakers are doing enough to salvage the situation; would they be ready to legitimize the conference as it were? The National Assembly has nothing to do, because the truth of the matter is that any proposal should go through constitutional amendment; and there is procedure for amending the constitution, which is very rigorous. It is not just for the National Assembly to amend it; they don’t have all the powers to do that. It would still have to go to the states. One of the best things that could happen is for the outcome to go through a referendum. What’s your take on the blame game
between the PDP and the APC over insecurity? Everyone knows that the Boko Haram onslaught is the worst thing that has ever happened to this country and we must do something about it. Sometimes, I get baffled that, as a nation, we cannot go in and smoke them out once and for all. We need to do whatever we can to deal with the Boko Haram menace and finish it once and for all. Sometimes, I wonder how a group of people could, for many years, continue to hold the nation to ransom. The Biafran War ended within 30 months and everybody came together and we became one. Since Nigerians came together to fight the civil war, why can’t we come together now to fight the Boko Haram once and for all? It is so embarrassing and it is not good for our nation. Today, we are talking about boosting economy. But I wonder how we can boost our economy when some parts of the country are in disarray? This is a war we must come together and fight against. Don’t you think your party needs to work with the ruling party to do just that? Insecurity in Nigeria is what everybody must put hands on deck to resolve. Whether you are APC or PDP, no party is happy with the way Boko Haram terrorizes the country. You don’t know who would be the next victim. Boko Haram doesn’t spear people, whether they are Muslims or Christians. So, we must unite to fight the insurgents. Do you think the APC can produce a formidable candidate that can challenge President Jonathan in 2015? The party is working towards that. Nobody can predict what is going to happen in 2015, but I can assure Nigerians that APC ‘s convention will produce a presidential candidate that Nigerians would accept. APC will produce a candidate that has the people at heart, a candidate that will transform the country. APC will dislodge PDP in 2015.
Insecurity in Nigeria is what everybody must put hands on deck to resolve. Whether you are APC or PDP, no party is happy with the way Boko Haram terrorizes the country. You don’t know who would be the next victim. Boko Haram doesn’t spear people, whether they are Muslims or Christians. So, we must unite to fight the insurgents.
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58 Sunday, April 27, 2014
OGUN CONFERENCE: Mobilising Women For National Development
Oyo State First Lady, Florence Ajimobi (left); Ekiti First Lady, Bisi Fayemi; Ogun First Lady, Folorunso Amosun and Lagos First Lady, Abimbola Emmanuella Fashola at the conference.
By Bisi Alabi Williams HE First Ogun National Women’s Conference, which took place recently in Abeokuta, was a rallying point to discuss how to advance the contribution of women to political growth and development. The meeting, which brought together women from different sectors in Southwest was put together by the wife of Ogun State Governor, Olufunso Amosun and her NGO, Spouses of Ogun State Government Functionaries Association (SOGSFA), with the theme, ‘Uplifting Women for National Development”. Setting the tone for the discourse, Senator Oluremi Tinubu said the very first important value that women need to invest in is the ability to excel in education because life itself is about change and growth. And the ability to adapt and move with the times depends on how much information one has. Education, therefore, is key for the woman. According to her, education is a sure way for women to liberate themselves and transform their immediate environment. And when a woman is able to balance her career and family successfully, she should be applauded, not at the risk of overshadowing her accomplishment. She wants women to stop complaining about being marginalized, rather, they should rise up to the challenges facing the country and look for ways of strategically contributing their quota to national development. Tinubu, who represents Lagos Central in the Senate, stressed the need for women to express their competence because issues of national development do not discriminate about gender, but about competence, capacity, character and compassion “Now is the time for us to take the bull by the horns and do the needful, to be part of the change we want to see. To be part of the movement to build a new country where good governance thrives, jobs will be created for our teaming youth, efficient health care delivery, infrastructural development, power, security and fiscal federalism.” Tinubu commended the Ogun the first lady, for showing interest and dexterity in her works, which is about caring for women, the youth and the aged in the state. Evelyn Oputu, former Managing Director Bank of Industry, who delivered the keynote address on ‘Women and Nation Building’, said the survival of African race, according to the progression of the human race, depends on its women folk. She expressed optimism in the capacity of women to contribute towards nation building, even as she identified gender stereotyping, love for family and religion, as major challenges facing women. According to her, the role of women in nation
building is not just saying it but doing it. She said it is important that women should be involved in governance, politics and not just seeking for appointments. “Any accomplishment in life is nothing without the family. As women, we must live in the beauty of our dreams and believe in our dreams. Play like a man and win like a woman in your business. Present yourself respectfully and avoid sexual harassment. It is only by networking that women can break the jinx. That is why women must rise up and fight for themselves, she said” Olufunso Amosun said the Spouses of Ogun State Government Functionaries Association (SOSGFA) was formed two years ago to enrich family ties and improve the quality of life of the spouses of Ogun State functionaries. “Our mission is to ensure that all members render selfless support to one another and our local communities. Our strategy is to form a network by working hand in hand to develop and complement one another’s efforts. We are resolute not to allow idleness to creep into our lives and resolved to put ourselves to work by complimenting the hard work of our spouses,” she said. The Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun charged women to rise to the challenge of playing active roles in politics in order to be involved in the process of choosing leaders at all levels in the coming general elections. He said the era of relegating women to the background is over. He charged women to be interested in healthy competition with the male gender and noted that women are agents of change who have done so much in history. “You only need to collaborate with men to achieve a united front in all areas of human endeavours, including the home front. Some women even do things better than men. As individuals, we need to co-operate with one another regardless of the gender so that we can have a united front. You need to demonstrate greater level love, understanding and perseverance for yourselves, most especially now that the election year is approaching so as to hold the home front while the men run round for the campaign. He said the number of women in the Ogun State cabinet is about 40 per cent, adding that strategic positions they occupy and their performance has been instrumental to the achievements of the administration. He promised that Ogun State might blaze the trail in having an elected female governor, having demonstrated that whether male or female, they have the capacity to rival anybody in the world. Olufunmilayo Adegbesan, wife of Ogun State Deputy Governor said going by the history of
the state, the role of women in national development cannot be over- emphasized. Citing the cases of late Olufunmilayo Ransome Kuti, the first woman to drive a car, an indigene of Ogun State and late Margret Ekpo who also led other women to protest against injustice against women, she said there are models in Nigerian history for women to learn from. “Our gathering today is a historic one with very clear objectives. Our nation at a time like this needs men and women who are ready to commit themselves to the selfless task of nation building. The woman is a powerful agent of change; she is the first teacher, the sustainer and maintainer of the home. Women are at the very heart of development as they control most of non-monetary economy and they play important role in the monetary economy,” she said. Adeola Azzez, former chair of WIMBIZ said women should seize available opportunities around them. She urged them not to relent because the ability to make success is determined by the habit they develop. She urged women not to be afraid to try. Attendance at trade events and shows would also be of benefit. In every situation women find themselves, there will always be an opportunity available to you. And women must seize this opportunity and not relent. “Nigeria is in dire need of strong leaders. Embattled by poverty and deteriorating infrastructure despite its abundant resources, the nation has a lot to gain from a level playing field. WIMBIZ has made a conscious, decisive effort to groom leaders from the female populace of the country; leaders in the corporate world, in business and in politics. I urge you to take advantage of organizations like Women in management, business and public Life (WIMBIZ), which is cultivating a new species of focused, hard working, and passionate women whose voices will be heard in fashioning out a better future for Nigeria.” Azeez emphasized the need for women to venture into SME’s, taking a larger role to break the cultural jinx by combining performance culture with culture of responsibility. She noted that women should seize opportunities in the corridors of power and also strive to support one another in the quest to assume positions of authority. The Speaker identified, access to finance, rushing into business and fear of technology as some of the factors militating against women in building successful businesses. Iyalode Alaba Lawson, a frontline women leader outlined various business opportunities that abound in the Nigerian environment, all of which remain untapped mostly due to ignorance. She enumerated the following as means of
identifying business opportunities; formal training, knowledge gained in previous working experience, hobbies and ingenuity of the individual, as well as tapping from what others considered as problems. She also encouraged women to try and learn new ideas from everyday activities and consult relevant publications. Highlighting importance of a feasibility study for any new business, Mrs. Lawson said that SWOT, which stands for strength, weakness, opportunities and threat must be taken into consideration when establishing a business. All these, coupled with effective cash flow, continued education and focus will make a successful business. Women should campaign and raise awareness about the place of women/girls in society, she advised. She urged women not to be lazy but they should work hard, learn different skills and develop their career until they get to the very top. Delegates unanimously agreed that women should not be limited by any cultural or gender stereotype, but tap into opportunities in their environment. They resolved that children should be taught sexuality education as early as possible to stem the tide of sexual harassment. This, they said, could be added to the school curriculum. In order to curb continued violence against women, they demand more education on what translates to violence against women and how to curb it. In laying a solid foundation for the family, effective communication was identified as one key factor on which others depend to build a good home and a healthy relationship. Parents were advised to strive to perform effectively, their roles and functions in building strong family ties and understanding themselves better as a foundation to national development. In striving to build a better nation, women were advised not to handle their health issues with levity; they should watch out for symptoms and seek medical advice appropriately. Women were also admonished to be conscious of their looks, by dressing to suit different occasions. At the end of it all, participants acknowledged the efforts of the state government at uplifting women and building their capacities. They congratulated SOSGFA on the hosting of the conference, which they described as exemplary and prayed for its sustainability. Other dignitaries at the conference include; chief Bola Obasanjo; wife of former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, Bisi Fayemi, first lady of Ekiti State, Emmanuella Fashola, first lady of Lagos State, Florence Ajimobi, first lady of Oyo State. Others are; Bola kuforiji Olubi and Sarah Sosan, a former deputy governor of Lagos State. Delegates to the conference were drawn from six states - Lagos, Oyo, Ekiti, Osun, Rivers and the host state, Ogun.
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UK Helicopter In Fatal Crash AFGHANISTAN IVE Nato troops have been killed after a UK helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has said.
Officials have not confirmed the nationalities of those on board, but it is believed they are British. The MoD said the crash is under investigation, but said enemy action is not believed to be the cause.
It is the first fatal accident involving a UK military helicopter in Afghanistan since the conflict began. The crash happened near Kandahar air base, in Kandahar province.
South Korean Buddhist followers march with lanterns tied with yellow ribbons of hope for a safe return for missing passengers of the sunken South Korean ferry 'Sewol' during the Lotus Lantern Festival in downtown Seoul… yesterday. PHOTO: AFP
Opposition MDC Suspends Tsvangirai IMBABWE’S opposition Movement Z for Democratic Change says it is suspending its leader Morgan Tsvangirai for “deviating from democratic principles”. The announcement, by MDC
ZIMBABWE Secretary General Tendai Biti, follows a party meeting in the capital Harare. From 2009-2013 Mr Tsvangirai
served as prime minister in a fragile power-sharing government, with Robert Mugabe remaining Zimbabwe’s president. That unity government ended with the elections in July 2013.
Presidential Poll Set For Run-off AFGHANISTAN HE Afghan presidential election T will go to a second round, after no candidate reached the 50 percent needed for an outright win,
preliminary results show. Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah won most votes with 44.9 percent. Former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani came second with 31.5 percent. They are now expected to face a
run-off vote on May 28. Final official results are due to be announced on May 14 after a period for adjudication of complaints. The BBC in Kabul says there are increasing claims of fraud.
Again, Abbas Seeks Israel Peace Talks PALESTINE ALESTINIAN President P Mahmoud Abbas has said he is still ready to extend peace talks with Israel, despite a recent breakdown in the process. He said a new unity government with militant Hamas group would recognise Israel and renounce violence. But a Hamas spokesman said the group “will not give any cover for any negotiations with the enemy”. Israel this week suspended the talks, demanding the annulment of the deal between rival Palestinian factions. Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, rejects Israel’s right to exist and is designated a terrorist group by Israel, the US, EU and other countries. Mr Abbas’s Fatah and Hamas say they aim to form a unity government within weeks. Addressing a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in the West Bank town of Ramallah, Mr Abbas said the new government would follow his principles of recognising Israel and international commitments and rejecting violence. Mr Abbas said the cabinet would only deal with domestic affairs and that any peace talks would remain the responsibility of the PLO, which does not include
Africa’s Transformation Requires Visionary Leadership – Lopes By Kamal Tayo Oropo HE Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Mr. Carlos Lopes, has called for a ‘revisit of the global perception of Africa,’ which continues to be one of a continent plagued by crises and a place where making investments is hazardous. Mr. Lopes, according to a statement by the ECA, was speaking at the opening of a two-day “Global Growth Conference”, at the weekend, in Rabat, Morocco, at the initiative of the Amadeus Institute,an independent Moroccan think tank and policy organization founded in 2008. The Conference is focusing on “The economic emergence of the African continent”. Speaking to over 500 participants, Mr. Lopes said that other regions in the world, namely in Asia, are just as fraught with conflicts and widespread unrest, and yet, they are not branded as unstable, but rather, hailed as “attractive and dynamic contributor to world growth.’ “But the rationale has to change,” said ECA’s Executive Secretary, stating that what Africa desires is in fact, “structural transformation and not structural adjustment” and that in order for Africa to grow and transform, a clear understanding of our times is needed. To attain this objective, Mr. Lopes insisted that industrialization was indispensable to transformation, as it will help to generate employment, increase incomes and enable diversification. ” He underlined, however,, that the right starting point is “a leadership that provides a clear vision and mobilizes all sectors of society behind the development imperative.” Making a strong plea for a new culture of development in Africa, Mr. Lopes laid emphasis on the need “to change our approaches, attitudes, and priorities. We have to nurture a highly educated, healthy and skilled population that can imbibe the technology and build the infrastructure which is indispensable for progress.” While recognizing that some of the fastest growing economies in the world are African, he cautioned however against embarking on false hopes and insisted that this growth experience “is not sufficient as it falls short of seven percent, which is the minimum required to double average incomes in a decade. This is partly due to the fact that far too many of our economies are dependent on the production and export of primary commodities, and far too many are highly unequal”. This explains the need for real structural transformation through a “large scale transfer of resources from low to high productivity sectors. “This means a significant change in the sectoral composition of Gross Domestic Product with the share of the primary sector in employment and output shifting to industry and modern services, and a greater use of technology and increased productivity across sectors.” Talking about commodity based industrialization as one approach with prospects for success on the way to industrialization for transformation; Mr. Lopes explained that a commodity based approach “offers also an immediate scope for value addition and plenty of opportunity for exploiting forward and backward linkages. He also listed four requisites to achieve the industrialization agenda to meet the needs of a plural continent. These are mainly: The need for Africa to use its bargaining position by leveraging its resources and maximizing the demands in the commodities where it enjoys a dominant position; The right and latitude for Africa to free itself from a particular technology preference or paradigm and follow a green and clean energy pathway, all the more since its vast hydropower, geothermal, biomass, wind and solar power potential is an amazing asset; The need for Africa to focus on its domestic consumption. As an example, the shift from primary production towards modern agri-business provides a lucrative opportunity for a large number of smallholder farmers and for generating modern jobs for the continent’s youth; The need to give a human face to industrialization, which should be inclusive and offer a window of opportunity to women and youth, through boosting their empowerment and economic contribution. To accompany the implementation of these requisites, Mr. Lopes insisted, more attention should be paid to domestic resource mobilization, more robust data and better statistical systems, while accelerating the regional integration process, especially that its potential is still largely untapped. For her part, Madame M’barka Bouaida, Minister delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Morocco. Stressed the importance of adopting new approaches, such as promoting economic diplomacy, and south-south partnership and co-development. Harnessing technology to serve the transformation process which Africa is bound to opt for was underlined by Mr. Brahim Fassi-Fihri, Chair of Amadeus Institute. He said this would be a key means for Africa to master its development. “Africa needs to project such an image, all the more since the Continent has a lot of potential”
Moscow To Help Free Detained European Observers UKRAINE OSCOW says it will do all it can M to bring about the release of European military observers detained in eastern Ukraine by proRussian separatists. The assurance came as EU diplomats revealed they will meet on Monday to discuss new sanctions against Russia. Earlier, the G7 group of economic powers agreed to intensify sanctions. The West accuses Russia of leading a secessionist revolt in Ukraine’s east, after it annexed Crimea last month. Moscow denies the allegations. Rebel militia continue to occupy official buildings in a dozen eastern cities, defying the Ukrainian government in Kiev. Russia has tens of thousands of
troops deployed along its side of the border with Ukraine and has said it would act if its interests were threatened. The US and the authorities in Kiev have accused Russian jets of violating Ukraine’s airspace in a further sign of escalation. However, Russia yesterday rejected the charges. “Russia’s airspace monitoring systems have not registered any violations of air borders of the states adjacent to Russia, including Ukraine,” a defence ministry statement said. Negotiators are trying to secure the release of eight international observers who were seized and accused of espionage by pro-Russia gunmen. The observers were taking part in a mission linked to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
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Ominous Cloud Hanging Over By Oghogho Obayuwana, Foreign Affairs Editor
OMORROW, ambassadors of the European Union (EU) would be discussing in Brussels, the proposal by the United Kingdom (UK), Poland and Sweden, for a EU civilian mission to be set up to help Ukraine improve its justice system. Why does Europe (a possible battle ground, should NATO — North Atlantic Treaty Organisation — confront Russia over Crimea) want an improvement on the justice system of that country? Why has the international politics over Russia’s moves in Ukraine been producing more twists than had been expected? What is possibly behind the fact that there are now also agitations in another region in Ukraine, Donetsk, for independence, reminding the world of the sore that has opened up with the secession of Crimea? Especially for the first poser, the answer may very well lie in the fact that considering the manner in which Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has gained ground both on the table and in the streets, it may be a wiser idea for an extraneous Europe not to be seen to be meddling in the affairs of Kiev. As for the main business in Brussels tomorrow, a confidential report, which has never the less been published, says the sponsors of the Justice system proposal are arguing: “Re-establishing confidence in the rule of law in Ukraine will be vital for future stability.” But does it necessarily follow that when people in the streets; they have ipso facto lost faith in the justice system of their country? Diplomatic watchers think that the gathering EU ambassadors will be presented with their biggest dilemma over the whole Ukraine crisis, which is, how to respond if Russia were to invade eastern Ukraine — a prospect that seems very likely lately? They have also been asking or guessing how much ‘pain’ Europe would be willing to endure as a result of any Russian retaliation to further sanctions which the west has already on imposed on Moscow. Reports say the UK, Poland and Sweden are suggesting that their proposed mission would be set up under the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy. It would see experts in law and order deployed to Ukraine “monitoring, mentoring and advising” officials in both central and regional government. In the process, EU officials are expected to help reform Ukraine’s stormy political system. And specifically, the European Commission has announced that a ‘support group’, similar to the task forces put in place to help Greece and Cyprus through their financial crises, is also to be set up. It will be made up of staff from countries in the EU with specific expertise. According to the EU Commission, they will provide technical help to officials in Kiev — and will focus on reforming the political and economic systems in the country. Analysts have gone further to describe this part package of measures to support Ukraine and its interim government as a ‘red rag to a Russian bull’. Since this is seen as just a part of it, other measures, as announced,
Russian military build-up near Ukraine
include development assistance, a loan of 1.6 billion euros to help it pay off some of its debts as well as supporting economic reforms, the temporary removal of customs duties on Ukrainian exports to the EU, as well as a programme to lessen Ukraine’s energy dependence on Russia. Opinion poll followers are already predicting that many in Ukraine will welcome such measures. It has to be borne in mind that the protests in Kiev and elsewhere focused on the need for reform to the public sector, particularly the rule of law and order and tackling corruption. The EU ambassadors are expected to push forward the fortunes of the so-called package of measures from one plank of EU policy on the Ukraine question. Something that should encourage a pro-European government in Kiev to continue along the path on which it has set for itself. Another focus area would of course be the issue of a review of the existing sanctions on Russia. The ambassadors would be brought up to date on extra measures — and their potential costs to Europe — that could be imposed if Russia were to invade eastern Ukraine or does any similar thing. In fact, the EU is already looking ahead. When the body speaks of ‘Stage 3’ sanctions, these could include curbs on Russian banks and financial services firms. There might also be measures taken against Russia’s dominant oil and gas sectors, the pride of that country. Additionally, it is understood that Number 10 Downing Street would be concerned about how sanctions on Moscow could affect
Russian money in London. The European Commission and the EU’s foreign policy arm, the European External Action Service, are said to be continuing to work on the various options for such sanctions, and what the Russian response to each would be. But there should be a cost to Europe for doing this of course, which would have to be shared across the 28 countries that make up the EU. In this debacle of twists and turns, it has been feared that Germany could be hit by Moscow because of its reliance on Russian energy supplies. France could suffer because of a deal to supply Moscow with two navy ships worth 1.2 billion euros to the struggling French economy. Britain is nervous because so much Russian money is tied up in London’s financial sector. According to studies, all are vulnerable including many smaller EU states! Additionally, President Putin has warned European leaders that Ukraine’s delays in paying for Russian gas have created a ‘critical situation’. Pipelines transiting Ukraine deliver Russian gas to several EU countries and there are fears that the current tensions could trigger gas shortages. Meanwhile, proRussian separatists are holed up in official buildings in Donetsk and Luhansk, eastern Ukraine. If Europe is not seeing enough that suggest a tide in favour of an internal matter, do pro-Russian protesters care? These people seized the regional government building in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk the other day and reportedly declared a “people’s republic”. Now, these rebels have called for a referendum on secession from Ukraine by May 11, just as interim president, Oleksandr Turchynov,
called the unrest an attempt by Russia to ‘dismember’ Ukraine. As at Wednesday last week, Ukrainian security officials were being sent to the eastern cities of Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv after pro-Russia groups occupied government buildings. Western media have been reporting the dramatic changes in the public building already seized by protesters. The police, they say, have disappeared. In their place, pro-Russia activists are chanting “Russia! Russia!” Russian flags have been flying from flagpoles outside in the square. Already, Russia’s foreign ministry has accused Kiev of ‘blaming’ Moscow for all its troubles. But just as that jibe was being thrown, the United States (US) Secretary of State John Kerry said the events “did not appear to be spontaneous”. In a phone call to his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Kerry called on Russia to “publicly disavow the activities of separatists, saboteurs and provocateurs” According to the US State Department, the pair also discussed convening direct talks between Ukraine, Russia, the US and the European Union within ten days to further try out the hand of diplomacy. The situation on ground today is that Moscow has thousands of troops massed along its border with Ukraine. It says it has no intention of invading, but reserves the right to protect the rights of ethnic Russians. So, a bunch of sanctions has been raised with the right hand and on the left hand, a sheathed sword. How to wade the two successfully is part of the agenda to
be discussed by the EU foreign ministers meeting coming up Luxembourg. On top of this, there would be a meeting of the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, the US and the EU’s top foreign policy official also coming up? Without doubt, they West would wish to have various scenarios ready were Russia to invade eastern Ukraine. As things drifted last week Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsya told Russia’s Ekho Moskvy news agency that Kiev would go to war with Russia if it sent troops into eastern Ukraine. With that kind of roar coming from the Ukrainians, what is to be expected? International Relations expert Dr. Nwangu Okeimiri thinks, of things eventually get out of hand in Ukraine, besides the main theatre, it is Europe that would be quaking. “I think all of the consternation that we are having especially from our part of the world is because many people have been ignoring the dynamism of global politics. What happened in 1939 and the essential parts of she world got involved and we called it the World War is not the kind of thing we are likely to witness over Ukraine.” Asked to explain further, he simply said, “the circumstances have changed and there is no commonality of interests to suggest today that the Russia threat Ukraine could hurt a country like Nigeria or South Africa even if a full blown war ensues...”
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SPORTS By Samuel Ifetoye ITHOUT discipline, there is nothing “W you can achieve,” those were the words of former Super Eagles’ coach, Christian Chukwu. He couldn’t have been more appropriate. Since the demise of the golden generation of the country’s senior national team, the Super Eagles, which set Africa on fire in the 1994 Cup of Nations, there hasn’t being a better time than now to have a disciplined team. Chukwu said a player, who is not disciplined, shouldn’t be part of any successfocused team. “I remember when I went to the Nations Cup in Tunisia; I had to send some set of players packing because of indiscipline. Without discipline, there is nothing you can achieve. “This is a team work, it’s not an individual sport, if it’s an individual sport, like if you are a boxer, and I tell you to run and you said you are not running, you lack discipline. On the day of the fight, only you will suffer it. But if it’s a teamwork, where 10 or nine players are disciplined and one is not, you have spoilt the whole thing. There won’t be coordination and there will be grumbling and everything. And even if you are the best player in the world and you are not disciplined, the coach can drop you at any moment. If the reason why a coach is dropping a player is because of indiscipline, then everybody should understand and cooperate for him to succeed in his assignment.” Football enthusiasts have noted that the Eagles achieved much in 1994 because of the level of discipline in the team. That same discipline wasn’t sustained in 1998 World Cup, that was why the team lost woefully against Denmark in the second round. The fortune of the team nosedived to a level that the country could not qualify for the 2006 Mundial, losing the slot to Angola, a minor then, because the national camp had become a ground to exhibits acts that could not further a career. Many football faithful, in fact, lost hope in any transformation that may result in bringing back the days of glory, which the then captain, Stephen Keshi, was part of. Worse still was the Coach Samson Siasia-led Super Eagles, which ironically, was dubbed ‘Super Chickens’ for failure to qualify for the Nations Cup cohosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon in 2012, coupled with the bureaucratic inefficiency emanating from the football governing body, that many blamed for not acting on time when it should have. Football enthusiasts shifted their focus to leagues better managed and well funded in Europe, and little wonder Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Bayern Munich became the delight of Nigerians, instead of the Eagles. Football fans follow these clubs religiously, having the belief that the joy, which had eluded them, will always be found in taking to a club side and giving their full support. Then came the appointment of Keshi, whose mandate was to qualify the team for the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa and at the same time for the 2014 World Cup. Keshi did not only qualify the team to the Nations Cup, but against all expectation won it in grand style with over 80 per cent new players, mostly, a mixture of players plying their trade in the country’s local league. The victory was a big relief to many footballloving Nigerians and a salute to the new era of discipline that is now reigning in the camp. Keshi was to go ahead to qualify the Super Eagles for the Mundial in Brazil. Pundits have wondered if the same man, who did the impossible in South Africa with relatively unknown players, could win the Nations Cup where the set of golden generation of Cote d’Ivoire led by former African Football of the Year, Didier Drogba, and three time king of Africa Footballer Yaya Toure, failed to measure up, why then can’t the football authorities allow Keshi this time around to prove to Nigerians again how discipline can bring back the glory days. In the last few weeks, the country’s media, in fact, is awash with individuals and ex-Super Eagles stars offering pieces of advice, solicited or unsolicited, lending their voices as to who should be in the team and who should not. It got to a climax when Edo State government, through its commissioner for sports, made an appeal for the invitation of one of its indigenes to be part of the train to Brazil 2014. For football buffs, players around the world know quite well that qualification for the
World Cup 2014: Stephen Keshi’s Race Against Indiscipline
This is a team work, it’s not an individual sport, if it’s an individual sport, like if you are a boxer, and I tell you to run and you said you are not running, you lack discipline. On the day of the fight, only you will suffer it. But if it’s a teamwork, where 10 or nine players are disciplined and one is not, you have spoilt the whole thing. There won’t be coordination and there will be grumbling and everything. And even if you are the best player in the world and you are not disciplined, the coach can drop you at any moment. If the reason why a coach is dropping a player is because of indiscipline then everybody should understand and cooperate for him to succeed in his assignment. Keshi Mundial starts with the preliminaries. Players usually brace up not to be left out of the main action as regular appearances put a seal to laying claim to a particular position. Usually, it is those who featured in the qualifiers that mostly form the nucleus of a team with some additions in terms of qualities needed to solidify the team. What coaches all over the world either at club side or for coun-
try try to avoid are players who have disciplinary records and who may bring disharmony in order not to disrupt the plans and strategy of coaches in every given match. For supporters of Keshi, who has insisted he will not name any player who is not disciplined in his list, coaches who stick their ground achieve results. The Guardian checks revealed that Paolo Di
Canio, an Italian, whose football exploits was marked by controversies, was given a two-anda-half-year contract to rescue Sunderland from relegation, following the dismissal of Martin O’Neill an English Premiership side, in the 20122013 season. With discipline, coupled with his passion for the game, he was able to accomplish the impossible. Apostles of discipline in football hint at the success of Coach Josep “Pep” Guardiola. Upon being appointed coach of Barcelona, Guardiola revealed that Ronaldinho, Deco, Samuel Eto’o and others were not part of his plans for the coming season. By the time of his announcement, he had already offloaded full back Gianluca Zambrotta to AC Milan, attacking midfielder Giovani dos Santos to Tottenham Hotspur, and midfielder Edmílson to Villarreal CF. Deco went to Chelsea, while Ronaldinho joined Zambrotta in Milan. Lilian Thuram was initially going to join Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer, but the discovery of a heart condition put a stop to the move, and the veteran retired to tend to his health. Oleguer Presas signed with AFC Ajax, Barça released Santiago Ezquerro, while Marc Crosas was sold to Celtic. The fate of Samuel Eto’o took much of the summer to unravel, with the Camerounian linked with several clubs, but Guardiola finally declared that he would stay after he showed dedication in training and participation in the pre-season. Under Guardiola the team became more disciplined with a greater focus on possession and a disciplined and aggressive pressing style. At the national team, when the level of indiscipline was so high among players in the Argentine national team, a disciplinarian, Daniel Alberto Passarella, was employed to take over the team. Passarella banned long hair, earrings and homosexuals in his squad, leading to disputes with several players. Fernando Redondo and Claudio Caniggia eventually refused to play for Passarella and were excluded from the squad. Argentina’s performances never reached the expected heights, and the team was eliminated in the quarter-finals after a last minute 2–1 defeat to the Netherlands. After the elimination, Passarella left the post and was replaced by Marcelo Bielsa. But the same discipline won France and Brazil the World Cup in 1998 and 2002 respectively. In preparation towards France’s victorious outing at the 1998 World Cup, which they hosted, three notable players, Eric “King Eric” Cantona, Jean-Pierre Papin and David Désiré Marc Ginola, then at the peak of their careers, lost out after Aimé Jacquet was appointed as coach. Though there were criticisms, Jacquet stated that the team had done well and that he wanted to keep faith with players who were dedicated and disciplined. The decision was vindicated as Les Bleus subsequently won the World Cup in 1998. In the case of Brazil towards Japan/Korea World Cup, in June 2001, Luiz Felipe Scolari was appointed manager of his native Brazil, who with five matches remaining, were in danger of not qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Despite losing his first match 1- 0 to Uruguay, Scolari eventually guided the team to qualification. In the build-up to the finals, Scolari refused to include veteran striker Romário in his squad, despite public pressure and a tearful appeal from the player himself. Brazil entered the tournament unfancied, but victories over Turkey, China PR, Costa Rica, Belgium, England, and Turkey again took them to the final, where they beat Germany 2-0. At the end of 2002, Scolari resigned as the manager of Brazil. The same Keshi that everyone tried to impose players on, both in 2004 and 2006, handled the Togo national football team and unexpectedly qualified them to their first World Cup tournament, Germany 2006. If Keshi feels that some players are not in his World Cup plan just as Pep Guardiola, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Aimé Jacquet had insisted, why can’t the football authorities give the ‘Big Boss’ the same freehand and support and pray along with him so that he continued to bring smiles on the people’s faces?
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
2014 NNPC/Shell Cup
St Thomas Meets Brightville In Today’s Final T. Thomas Basic Secondary SBrightville School, Benin and College, Ibadan on Friday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, zoomed into the finals of the 2014 NNPC/Shell Cup, with each school beating their opponents convincingly. Analysts predict a clash of two talented sides, but are eager to tip three time qualifiers in the championship, St. Thomas Benin as favourites to take home the coveted trophy. The Benin boys trounced Dangogo Secondary School, Bangudu, Zamfara State 5-1 in the second semi-final match, while Brightville College won their ticket to the final match with a 2-0 victory over Government Model Secondary School, Kontagora at the end of the eightyminute encounter. “What I have seen is impressive, but there is still a lot of work to be done and that is where our partnership with NNPC/Shell to improve the talents in this championship becomes relevant. I see some potential players who will need to be nurtured,” said the Senior Coach of Feyenoord Youth Academy, Jan Gosgens, who led some coaching sessions with some of the teams before their semi-final matches. The All Nigeria Secondary Schools Football Championship popularly known as NNPC/Shell Cup was founded on the philosophy that youth sports and education can enhance the chances of success of youth who choose to pursue careers on the football field.
Pressure Not On Liverpool, Says Rogers manager, LhisIVERPOOL Brendan Rodgers has said team is not under pressure as it takes on title rivals, Chelsea at Anfield today The Reds, who face Jose Mourinho’s side in today’s crucial game, need seven points from their last three games to guarantee a first league title since 1989-90, while a loss would also end Chelsea’s hopes. “Everyone talks about pressure but that is Manchester City or Chelsea - when you spend that sort of money and expect to win the league,” said Rodgers. “I don’t think there is pressure on ourselves, only what we have from within. Look at Tottenham, when you spend over £100m you’d expect to be challenging for the league. “People talk about pressure but it’s absolutely wonderful. I haven’t slept better. It’s why we work and whatever happens we’ll have had a brilliant season. “We will do the best we possibly can. At this moment, we have been absolutely outstanding.” Mourinho has suggested he would rest key players in today’s game, ahead of their Champions League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.
Everton’s Belgian striker, Romelu Lukaku (left), battles with Southampton’s English defender, Luke Shaw in yesterday’s English Premier League.
Respite For Arsenal As Everton Falls ELIEF came the way of R Arsenal in the battle for the last Champions League place as Everton lost 2-0 to Southampton in yesterday’s English Premier League early kick off game. It was a potentially damaging defeat for Everton after two own goals for the Toffees, who were hoping to
qualify for next season’s champions League by displacing Arsenal, currently fourth on the log. Antolin Alcaraz headed a cross from Rickie Lambert past Everton goalkeeper, Tim Howard, after just 54 seconds. It got worse for the Toffees - a point behind Arsenal, who
host Newcastle tomorrow night - when on 31 minutes Seamus Coleman also turned the ball into his own net. Southampton are in eighth place, having equalled their best ever Premier League tally of 52 points. Relegation-battlers, Fulham blew a two-goal lead as Hull fought back to earn a dra-
Foreign Athletes Arrive Benin May 1st For Okpekpe Road Race *Oshiomhole To Compete For Prize Money. By Gowon Akpodonor ARATHON runners from different parts of the world are expected to storm Benin City, Edo State capital on May 1 for the second edition of the 10 kilometers Okpekpe road race. Over 14 foreign athletes are expected to battle with local athletes for the prize money at stake. A member of the organizing body, Zack Amodu, said that there would be accreditation and medical screening of all athletes before the race. He also disclosed that a route
tour for the foreign athletes, which is in line with international standard, would hold on May 1. According to Amodu, vehicles to convey athletes and officials would be stationed at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium at 5 am, while others will be stationed at Yak hotels and Okpekpe community to help convey athletes. He disclosed that Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, would compete as an athlete unlike last year, when he ran for fun and fin-
ished 131 position. Over N20 million is at stake for the race. Meanwhile, initiator of the Okpekpe road race and Chief Executive Officer of Padmozi marketing, Mike Itamuagbon, has declared that most of the proceedings from merchandise in this year’s edition of the Okpekpe road race would be devoted to charity organisations. Edo State Sports Commissioner, Chris Okaeben has assured that all logistics have been put in place for a hitch free race, adding that the state government is solidly behind the competition.
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matic 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage. Felix Magath’s side were well on course to give their survival hopes a huge boost for what would have been a third win in the past four matches, before a late rally from the FA Cup finalists. Following a nervous first half, Iran midfielder, Ashkan Dejagah curled the ball in from the edge of the penalty area and before the visitors could respond, defender Fernando Amorebieta headed in Kieran Richardson’s cross to give the Cottagers belief. However, Nikica Jelavic set up an anxious finish when he nodded in a scrambled effort with 15 minutes left and as the clocked ticked down, Hull snatched a dramatic equaliser through Shane Long in the 87th minute. Saido Berahino’s first-half goal, on 11 minutes, proved enough to give West Brom what could be a crucial victory in their own survival bid with a 1-0 win over West Ham at The Hawthorns. The Baggies are five clear of trouble, on 36 points with three matches left, while West Ham sit 14th on 37 points with two games to play. A superb 50-yard strike from Jonjo Shelvey helped Swansea beat Aston Villa 4-1
at the Liberty Stadium to close in on Premier League survival. Wilfried Bony slotted in his 14th league goal of the season to put the hosts ahead on 10 minutes, only for Gabriel Agbonlahor to level from close range from Marc Albrighton’s cross. However, former Liverpool midfielder, Shelvey quickly made it 2-1 when he took down a clearance and, from the centre-circle, sent a looping volley back up over Brad Guzan to net a late contender for goal of the season. Pablo Hernandez wrapped things up in the second half, having been set up by good work from Shelvey, with Bony rolling in a stoppagetime penalty. Gary Monk’s side are 12th, with 39 points and two matches left, while Villa are still looking over their shoulders, now just four points clear.
Results Southampton 2 - 0 Everton Fulham 2 - 2 Hull Stoke 0 - 1 Tottenham Swansea 4 - 1 Aston Villa West Brom 1 - 0 West Ham Man United 4 - 0 Norwich