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PDP: Rays Of Hope, Mixed Signs Of Healing COVER 17

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GANG WARS:

CITYFILE 7

SPECIAL REPORT 22

Lagosians Ask For More Footbridges

Lagos’ New Bloody Frontiers

Four Years Of Sanusi: The Debate Continues BUSINESS 29

TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Vol. 30, No. 12,827

Jonathan In Sokoto Sunday, February 9, 2014

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DEFECTIONS: Senate Moves To Douse Political Tension Among Members From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja he leadership of the Senate T has begun a quiet move to douse political tension arising from mutual distrust and disunity that has crept into the chamber. To this extent, the leadership may convey a special meeting on or before the resumption of the Senate on Tuesday, to provide an opportunity for lawmakers to exchange frank talks on how to stop the growing negative trend of resorting to violence, based on political affiliations. It was learnt that issues relating to alleged non-remittance of funds as well as the crisis created by defection of some Senators last week, have been isolated for serious discussion. Many senators are worried about the rapid manner in which the Senate had treated sensitive matters in the past. The investigation being conducted by the Senate Committee on Finance into the allegation of no-remit-

President Goodluck Jonathan (right) being treated to a traditional welcome on his arrival at the Sultan Bello Airport, Sokoto, by the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Muktar Shagari...yesterday. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

Rivers In Wait-and-see Mood, Awaits New CP From Kelvin Ebiri and Ann Godwin, Port Harcourt S the Rivers State Police A Command awaits the arrival of the new Commissioner, Johnson Ogunsakin, stakeholders and residents in the state have called on him to carry out his duties in accordance with the law, even as the state government and the All Progressives Congress (APC) said they would adopt a ‘wait-and-see’ stance. Although the deployment of

the new Commissioner of Police was with immediate effect, the Rivers State Police Command spokesperson, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Ahmad Muhammed, told The Guardian that he is not aware of the time and date CP Ogunsakin will resume duty in the State. A senior Police officer, who pleaded anonymity, said many of his colleagues in the state look forward to a new Commissioner of Police that will maintain a cordial relationship with the State gov-

ernment. he explained that for several years, the Rivers State Government has been funding the Police and providing adequate logistic assistance in terms of vehicles, bullet proof vest and others items. “You will recall that Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s relationship with the immediate past Commissioner of Police was very frosty. And because of this the governor had threatened to withdraw support for the Police. This explains the reason why nobody has seen the govern-

ment donating vehicles to the Police. We expect a better relationship between the new CP and the state government. A lot of police in the state want the synergy that once existed to be restored” he said. Rivers State Government officials said the stance the government has adopted is that of wait-and-see. They said it would be too early to determine if the new CP will be professional and refuse to meddle in political affairs of the state. Similarly, officials of the APC in the state declined to com-

ment on the deployment of the new CP. They explained that they would rather watch and see if he will adhere to the rule of law. Some residents alleged that former commissioner, Mr. Joseph Mbu, created a scenario that forced the people to lose confidence in the Police, while others viewed Mbu as a fearless police officer. executive Directive, Institute of human Rights and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

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Tension In Lagos APC Over Registration Of Members NEWS 3

Reps Explain Disagreement With Okonjo-Iweala NEWS 2

FG Shares N581.5bn With States, LGs In January • Oil States To Get 48.45bn Derivation Revenue


THe GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

2 | NeWS Sunday, February 9, 2014

NeWS PPA Threatens Legal Action Over exclusion From National Confab From Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja He People’s Progressive T Alliance (PPA) has faulted Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue over exclusion from the forthcoming conference. Speaking yesterday shortly after the National Working Committee meeting, Chairman of the party, Mr. Peter Ameh, vowed to seek legal justice to ensure that the party, which was regis-

tered in 2006 and contested elections in 2007 general elections, was not intimidated or relegated. “It will be very painful that our members would be disenfranchised from the national conference and for this reason, we are not going to take it lightly. We will use every lawful means to be able to ensure that members of our party will not be oppressed in a very unjust manner”, he said. According to Ameh, the party has satisfied every condition required to be part of the conference and, as such, could not explain reason for the exclusion of over 20 political parties, including PPA. His words: “We are really aggrieved by the decision of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue as released by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, which excluded over 20 political parties from the national conference.

FG Shares N581.5bn With States, LGs In January By Marcel Mbamalu

• Oil States To Get 48.45bn Derivation Revenue

He three tiers of governT ment has shared a total of N581.498 billion as revenue

It said that the gross revenue of N479.950 billion received for the month was lower than N597.752 billion received in the previous month by N117.802 billion. This, according to the Ministry, is as a result of serious disruptions recorded in production and lifting operations due to sustained vandalism of pipelines and force

for the month of January Information released by the Ministry of Finance on its website, at the weekend, stated that the sum of N581.498 billion was shared between the three ties of government for the month of January 2014.

majeure declared at Bonny Terminal. “The distributable statutory Revenue for the month is N473.607 billion. The sum of N7.617 billion refund by NNPC was also distributed,” according to the official website. It also said that the sum of N35.549 billion is proposed for distribution under the

SURe-P for the month of January. “The Federal Government received the sum of N221.61 billion, excluding VAT; and 52.68 percent while state government got N112.176 billion and Local government got N86.483 billion, excluding VAT. N48.461 was set aside for distribution amongst the oil producing states as derivation revenue,” the statement explained.

Parents of the groom, Sir Ademola and Lady Wemimo Osinubi (left); the couple Abayomi and Oluranti, with parents of the bride, Rev. Charles and Magaret Oderinde, during the wedding ceremony of Abayomi and Oluranti at the Methodist Church at Opebi, Lagos… yesterday. PHOTO: CHARLES OKOLO

Rivers In Wait-and-see Mood Over New CP CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Humanitarian Law, Anyakwee Nsirimovu, described Ogunsakin as a professional police officer, but urged him to be a peoples’ centre police commissioner by working in harmony with the State government to protect lives and properties of the people. According to him, “Mbu created a scene that made people to lose confidence in the police; the new commissioner should endeavour to rebuild that confidence by doing his job according to the law. He

should not be a detector or a commander, but should see himself as someone, who has come to serve.” Similarly, a human right lawyer in the State, Idaye Opi, in a telephone interview, tasked Ogunsakin to be straightforward and avoid being partisan. “The other police commissioner has done his own part; he was fearless, not easily influenced, so, I will advise Ogunsakin to adhere strictly to police work and avoid being involved in politics.” Also, Mrs. Agnes Ndukwe, a

trader who regretted that the activities of the police was affecting the economy of the state, charged the new commissioner to give all parties equal attention and leave politicians to their game. Ogunsakin before his redeployment to the State was the Commissioner of Police in charge of Special Fraud Unit, Lagos. He was born on August 1, 1957 and hails from Ikere ekiti in ekiti State. The new CP enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force as a Cadet ASP in 1982. He started his police career in 1984 in

Ibadan as Divisional Crime Officer, Bodija Police Station. In 1985, he attended Anti-Riot Mobile Police Training at Gwoza, Borno State and was the Unit Commander No. 4 Squadron, Ibadan. In 1989, he joined the Interpol Lagos as a detective Superintendent. At Interpol, he became head and shouldered above the rest and was made the officer incharge of Organised Crime Division, Officer in-charge of europe/North America economic and Financial Crime Division and ACP in-charge of Interpol.

Senate Moves To Douse Political Tension Among Members CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 tance of funds to the treasury, had contributed to the growing tension in addition to the defection. While the allegations by the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, had attracted applause from the All Progressive (APC) Senators; their Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterparts had always called for caution until the full details were revealed through the probe. Also, heated controversy generated by the intrigues and game of wits playing out in the Senate over attempts by some PDP Senators to formalise their defection to the APC has thrown up key issues of sentiments and interests arising from growing opposi-

tion or even a two-party system in the nation’s apex law making body. The heated argument among Senators last week over the matter, as well as the pressure mounted on the President of the Senate, David Mark, to read the letter sent to him by the group of eleven defecting Senators, was interpreted by many Senators as a direct withdrawal to the dark days of “Banana peels” in the Senate. Indeed, the argument was made during the heated debate that was said to have overtaken the Senate last Wednesday at a closed door session, when it took a final decision that forcing Mark to read the letter in violation of senate standing rule, would amount to setting a dangerous

trap for him. There was also the case of deep suspicion and mutual distrust among the 11 Senators to the extent that a few of them were reported to have gone to tell Mark not to read the letter even though they had appended their signatures to the document. The list comprises Bukola Saraki, Adamu Abdullahi, Shaba Lafiagi, Ibrahim Gobir, Aisha Al-Hassan, Magnus Abe, Wilson Ake, Jibrilla Mohammed Bindowo, Danjuma Goje, Ali Ndume as well as Umar Dahiru. One of the Senators reportedly told Mark that he suspected foul play in the desperation attached to the whole issue and would want to be counted out. The strongest obstacle, which

frustrated the bid by the defecting senators from getting their defection formalised and recognised by the Senate, is a provision in the Senate Standing Rule, which states that, “reference shall not be made to any matter on which a judicial decision is pending in such a way as might in the opinion of the President of the Senate prejudice the interest of parties thereto.” Mark also harped on a court order asking parties to the suit to maintain the status quo until its final determination. But this position did not go down well with the aggrieved senators as well as members of APC caucus, who described the issues as two matters that were not related.


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NEWS

Reps Explain Disagreement With Okonjo-Iweala From Adamu Abuh, Abuja, HE House of Representatives at the weekend offered an insight into why they are dissatisfied with the performance of the Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. The House through the Dr. Abdulmumini Jibrin-led Committee on Finance has vowed not to be dissuaded by the antic of the Finance Minister,

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who is yet to offer convincing explanation on the state of the nation’s economy. In a statement made available to The Guardian, the lawmakers warned the minister to stop discerning Nigerians that were concerned with the state of the nation’s economy. It noted: “The Minister’s latest attempt was in a statement issued from her office citing a reduction in domestic borrowing and reasons for

the seemingly uncontrollable rise in the recurrent expenditure. “For us we have carefully refrained from responding to the Minister’s assertions and claims over the past couple of weeks in view of the fact that a public hearing at which the actual state of our economy will be known has already been scheduled for March 3-6. “Nonetheless, we are compelled to say, as we have often

stated, that no one is excited about the celebrated insignificant decline in domestic borrowing. What the people are asking is, borrowing at what cost? “What is the cost of these socalled reduced domestic borrowings, how are they serviced? How are the decisions taken? Beyond that, since the Minister is in the habit of comparing our situation with

Chief Tony Anenih (left), Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, AAlake of Egba land; and Olori Morisola Sijuade, mother of the bride during solemnisation of holy matrimony between Oluwaseyi daughter of Ooni of Ife Oba Okunade Sijuade and Olanrewaju son of Professor and Mrs. Olu Odeyemi at the St. Pauls Anglican Church, Ayegbaju Ile-Ife, Osun State…yesterday.

Slow Pace Of Work At Yakubu Gowon Airport Worries FAAN From: Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos OT satisfied with the pace of work going on at the Yakubu Gowon Airport Jos, which is aimed at remodeling it as a perishable cargo airport in the country, the General Manager, Corporate Communications of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Yakubu Dati, has charged the contractor handling the project to hasten up and complete the work as scheduled. Dati charged the contractor at the weekend after inspecting the level of work done at the airport. According to him, “the pace of work at the Yakubu Gowon Airport is a bit slow compared to other airports across the country. Since this project started across the country, the Minister of Aviation has been able to complete Yola, Sokoto, Benin, Kano, Lagos, Abuja and almost 80 per cent of the airports have been completed. By now, we expect Jos should have been completed. “So, we are appealing to the

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contractor to step up on the work because Yakubu Gowon Airport is very critical to the inter-solution of the aviation sector in the country because it is one of the airports that have been designated for cargo, that is, for the export of perishable and non-perishable agricultural products. We are trying to change from the days of loading potatoes in trailers to Lagos to putting them on the aircraft out of the country.” Dati further explained that because of the uniqueness of Jos as apple-producing area, the hitherto much money being spent on import will be reduced, adding that the government is therefore very concerned in seeing that the work is completed as soon as possible. On whether the contractor is facing peculiar challenges unlike other contractors, who have finished their project, Dati said, “contractors always have their challenges, but it is the ability to overcome those challenges that makes the difference between success and failure.”

He believed that if the contractors in Yola, Benin, Sokoto and others are overcoming their challenges, he expects nothing less from the Jos airport contractor to find out how they are overcoming theirs, so that, he too will apply the same strategies. Dati, however, expressed optimism that the Manager of Yakubu Gowon Airport, Mr. Jim Opotu, was on hand to lend support to the contractor to make sure the project is completed on time. He particularly appreciated the efforts of the airport manager in terms of mounting surveillance gadgets across the airport, which is mainly his own effort in addition to the water treatment there and other expansions, which are all geared towards creating enabling environment for the take off of the airport. Dati also commended the airport manager’s effort for the commencement of the auto-modern car park, which will complement the modern airport terminal that is under construction.

Jigawa Lawmaker Empowers Youths, Women From John Akubo, Dutse lawmaker, Safiyanu Ubale Taura, representing Ringim / Taura Federal Constituency has empowered 1000 youths and women with different work tools worth over N40M. Taura, who was represented by the Jigawa State Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Rabiu Isah Taura, said the gesture was

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to complement the effort of the Jigawa State Governor Alhaji Sule Lamido on poverty eradication and youth empowerment. While disbursing the materials to the beneficiaries Taura said, “it is necessary to join hands with his political leader Governor Lamido to eradicate poverty by empowering people to be self-reliant.

Considering the fact that over 70 per cent of people from his constituency are FADAMA famers, he bought 800 water pumps and disbursed them to the peasant farmers to enhance their agricultural activities. He stated that about 200 rural women got grinding and spaghetti making machines while 50 youth were given vulcanizing machines.

those of other countries, why would she not tell Nigerians that the cost of our domestic borrowing remains one of the highest in the whole world! “In 2011, our domestic debt stock was N5.6trn. It rose to N6.5trn in 2012, and by 2013 it climbed higher to N7.1trn. Domestic borrowing for 2011 stood at N852bn, N744bn in 2012 and N588bn in 2013. For 2014, it is put at N572bn. The cost of servicing the debt was N495bn in 2011. In 2012 it increased to N559bn and jumped to N591bn in 2013. In 2014 a whopping N712bn has been earmarked for debt servicing. “On the issue of rising recurrent expenditure, the Minister should tell Nigerians her accomplishments in the drive to lower it instead of repeatedly passing the buck. It does not help to keep laying the blames at the doorsteps of previous administrations or attempt to drag the late President Umaru Yar ‘Adua and President Goodluck Jonathan into the problem. “The Minister said cuts have been made in the recurrent expenditure, but in what areas and by how much? Are the cuts anything to be proud of?”

PDP Slams Nyako: “You Are A Product Of Injustice” From Emmanuel Ande, Yola HE Adamawa State chapter of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has replied the statement Governor Murtala Nyako made, last week, to formally receive the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar during the All Progressive Congress (APC) rally held in Yola. The embattled Governor Nyako, who spoke at the occasion claimed that he left PDP due to injustice, impunity and lacked of internal democracy in the party. The Adamawa State chairman of PDP, Mr. Joel Madaki, told newsmen at the weekend in Yola that Nyako lacked the moral rights to comment or complain of injustice, pointing out that he was a beneficiary of the alleged injustice and impunity of the party. “Governor Nyako is not an issue of discourse. In the first instance, his emergence as the PDP gubernatorial candidate in 2006 was based on impunity. If he is a man of moral rectitude, he would have insisted that the right thing should be done. I challenge Nyako to tell the world whether the chairmen of councils and councilors who are currently serving were subjected to the party’s primaries,” he stated. Madaki pointed out that the recent crisis in Adamawa chapter of APC was due to the injustice and the impunity of the governor, whom he said his exit from PDP was a huge blessing for the party. “The governor has also forgotten that it was under his watchful eyes that the Adamawa

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State House of Assembly was closed for more than three months thereby preventing members from carrying out their constitutional duties. It is equally his act of impunity that has denied Adamawa State of a substantive chief judge for the past two years. The governor should disprove these facts that I have stated. He completely went against the PDP constitution and INEC operating rules. “The word impunity should properly be understood by Governor Nyako and to say he has let the people of Adamawa down is an understatement, and very soon we will tell him in case he does not know,” he said. The PDP chairman, who also lamented over the alleged disappearing of the 21 local governments Federal Allocations monies for the month of January 2014, which resulted to the nonpayment of council salaries for last month appealed to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to investigate the whereabouts of the missing funds. “The case of sharing money from the Federal Account to local governments is becoming a thing of concern. For instance in my local government (Fufore), the sum of N1.7m was released to the local government in January 2014 as against N132,996,448.63, which the council is entitle to from the Federation Account. With this, can Governor Nyako stand in the temple of public justice to accuse anyone of impunity? The EFCC should consider this as a report for proper investigation”, he maintained.

‘States Have Powers To Create LGs’, LASIEC Boss By Kamal Tayo Oropo

HE Chairman of the T Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) Justice Afolabi Abdul-Fatai Adeyinka, has again reiterated that states have powers to create additional local governments in their states, adding that any state that has done so, must, however, notify the Senate for the listing of the new councils. Justice Adeyinka stated this while addressing members of the Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission, who paid a fact-finding visit to the Commission (LASIEC) on the conduct of referendum for the creation of additional local governments in Ekiti State. The LASIEC boss pointed out that he would not be a party to anything that is unconstitutional, stressing that the Supreme Court had even confirmed that States have powers to create additional local governments. Adeyinka also urged the Ekiti State SIEC to carry out the referendum in conjunction with relevant technical partners, particularly the Office of the Surveyor-General of the State for the production of Geographical Information System (GIS) map as well as the Ministry responsible for Physical Planning and Urban Development in the State, so, as to guard against boundary conflicts. He stressed the need for effective collaboration between State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) and their respective State Governments for the provision of adequate security in view of the sensitive nature of the job of the commissions. Speaking during the visit, a member of the four-man delegation, Barrister Dele Oloje, stated that the visit was to enable members of Ekiti SIEC seek assistance from LASIEC on the conduct of referendum for the creation of additional local governments in Ekiti State. While making a presentation on the conduct of referendum for the creation of additional local governments, the Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, Mr. Adeyinka Jeje, gave details of the various stages, materials and activities required for the success of the exercise. Mr. Jeje particularly emphasised the need for adequate publicity and consultation with relevant stakeholders, including traditional rulers, religious leaders and community leaders among others. It would be recalled that the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) in 2002 conducted a referendum, which gave birth to the present 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas in the state.


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Sunday, February 9, 2014

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NEWS Nigerian Emerges IbE President INTARNATIONAL HE International bureau of T Education (IbE), the world’s leading curriculum organisa-

ICAN President,Alhaji Kabir Mohammed, (left) Mrs.Evelyn Owuama,ICAN past president; Majr-Gen.Sebastian Owuama (rtd) and ICAN immediate past president,Mr.Doyin Owolabi at a dinner held at Point Four Sheraton,VI,Lagos in honour of Majr-Gen.Owuama on his appointment into the board of IFAC…yesterday.

Man Absconds As Wife Delivers Triplet From Muyiwa Adeyemi (Head South West Bureau Ado Ekiti) OR what many may describe as blessing, a bricklayer, Mr. Adewale Omole, has absconded from his home. He fled because his wife gave birth to triplet. Mrs Abosede Omole, the mother of the triplets, expressed fear that her husband may never return home because of his inability to cope with the financial challenges. She is calling on Nigerians for help. Mrs. Omole, who disclosed that the family had been blessed with the two children before the arrival of the triplets said they were living in lagos before the scan revealed that she might deliver more than a baby. According to her, “We were living in lagos but when I was feeling very uncomfortable with the pregnancy, we went for scan and the result predicted twins. Since then my husband has been behaving strangely and complaining on how he would cope with raising the twins. He asked us to relocate to Ekiti State, our home state

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and I thought his attitude would change. but when I was due to deliver the babies, I could not afford going to hospital but went to a spiritual home, Sabbath Mission Church, located in AdoEkiti with the hope of getting assistance from the Mission clinic, but when I could not deliver the babies safely in the mission clinic, they rushed me to Ekiti State University Teach-

INISTER of Information, labaran Maku, has stated that journalists would fare better under a more conducive operating environment, as that will increase their productivity. Maku spoke in Umuahia, Abia State, at the laying of the foundation stone of the N145 million State Secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), which Gov. Theodore Orji embarked upon with the pledge of completing and delivering it before the end of his tenure. Maku, who is also the super-

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ing Hospital (EKSUTH) where I was delivered of the triplets on Friday, January 31 of this year. “Immediately my husband who was already jittery of the twins heard that I gave birth to triplets he absconded and switched off his phones. She said since the  disappearance of her husband, life had not been the same again, as

she, the two previous children and the newly born triplets now find it difficult to survive. The woman who could not control her emotions while speaking to news men yesterday appealed to the state government, traditional rulers, politicians as well as other well meaning members of the public to urgently come to her aid as one of the triplets

is having some complications, so that she does not die prematurely. Corroborating her ordeal, the Matron in-charge of maternity at EKSUTH, Mrs. Adenike Oluyide said one of the triplets is currently battling with life at the Special baby Care Units of the hospital and appealed to spirited Nigerians to assist her in any form to safe the life of the baby and the family.

Church Drags Edo Monarch To Court Over land From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City HE Esan Diocese of the AnT glican Communion has dragged the Onogie of Uromi, HRH Anslem Eidenogie, before a state High Court in Esan North-east local Government Council of Edo State, over alleged trespass on a land. The Church, through its counsel, G. O. Giwa-Amu, in suit number HCU/1/2014, asked the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining “the monarch, his servants, agents or privies from enter-

Maku lays Foundation For N145m Abia NUJ Secretariat From Gordi Udeajah, Umuahia

ADO EKITI

NATIONAL vising minister of Defense, also commissioned the ultra modern  administration building of the Abia State broadcasting Corporation (bCA). He commended the governor for providing conducive environment for journalists in the state, saying he was glad to lay the foundation of the NUJ secretariat, saying: “where people work, determines their productivity.” He described the bCA building as a historic, noting that it would propel the state’s development and that of the state.

EDO ing and/or in anyway trespassing and interfering with the claimant’s entire land in dispute.” besides, the church are asking for a N5 million damages for the trespass on the land it claims measured 3735.678 square meters, situated along Uromi/Ubiaja Road and Ojomon Street, Uromi. The church, in its statement of claim brought before the court said through a customary grant by HRH Ogbidi, the then Onogie of Uromi, (great

grandfather of the defendant), and the entire Uromi community gave the land to the church then known as the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in 1930, adding that as at the time of the grant, the defendant’s predecessor was a regular member of the church, and contributed financially to the building of the church, Saint Paul’s Anglican Church, presently on the other part of the land. The church also alleged that the defendant without its permission, January 2, 2014, commenced building of

commercial stores on the said land, arguing that the defendant was aware of a judgment on the suit between Gregory Okpere and the church where he was said to have mediated in. Hearing comes up on February 10, 2014 at the state High Court Uromi. It would be recalled that one Gregory Okpere had laid claim to the same land leading to a court action, after which Honourable Justice D. I. Okungbowa, on October 17, 2006, delivered judgment in favour of the church.

Omisore Declares For Governorship, Promises Change By Abiodun Fanoro and Seye Olumide ORMER senate member, Iyiola Omisore, who represented Osun East on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has formerly declared his intention to run for the Osun State governorship election scheduled for August 8th. Omisore, who is contesting on the platform of PDP said his interest to occupy the Abere Government House remains has not changed. Addressing mammoth crowd of well wishers and supporters during the flag off of his ambition at the Freedom Park, Oshogbo, yesterday, Omisore highlighted his eight-point agenda; decried the pauperi-

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NATIONAL sation of Osun people through “inhuman taxes, demolition of markets without alternatives, destruction of the state education heritage and creation of religious crisis in an otherwise harmonious state by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).” The former chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, promised to restore dignity of education, which he claimed has been completely messed up by Gov. Rauf Aregbesola, focus on agriculture and rural development and address the lingering religious crisis. He said: “I am here offering myself for service. I am here to correct the anomalies and set

our state on sustainable paths.” While urging the people of Osun to be weary of the ongoing registration exercise of the APC, Omisore said that from all indications, “the Aregbesola led government has dragged Osun backward and there is the need to redeem the state.” Former governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, appealed to the people of to give Omisore a chance to govern the state, saying: “PDP remains the best option to move the South West forward.” “Omisore should be given a chance to govern Osun state because the massive turnout of supporters indicates the readiness of the people for a change. It has shown that the people are tired of the administration of the APC.”

tion in Geneva, Switzerland, has elected Nigeria’s Professor Godswill Obioma as its President, at the 63rd Annual Conference attended by member states. The election of Professor Obioma was facilitated by a high-powered Federal Government delegation led by the Supervising Minister of Education. Other members of the delegation include Nigeria’s Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Mrs Maryam Katagum and the Rivers State PDP Chairman, bro. Felix Obuah. Prof. Godswill Obioma is one of the world’s most experienced technocrats in curriculum development. The Professor of Mathematics has played a critical role in shaping the IbE in the last few years, making his contributions to the growth of the organisation priceless. According to the Supervising Minister of Education, the election of Prof. Obioma was an endorsement of the international community of the efforts of the Jonathan administration towards improving the nation’s curriculum and basic education. The Minister said that the Ministry will continue to partner with the IbE and other educational agencies of the United Nations in its quest to ensure that all less privileged Nigerians have access to quality education at the tertiary and basic levels.

HIV/AIDS Patients Cry Out Over Dispensation Of Expired ARV Drugs BENUE From Joseph Wantu, Makurdi PAlPAblE confusion has enA sued among some persons who are living with HIV/AIDS in benue State, as they alleged to have been given expired antiretroviral (ARV) drugs at some public hospitals in Makurdi, the state capital. In their revelations to The Guardian, some of the patients informed that the confusion became unavoidable when most of them that collected the three months package last November could not differentiate the dose that was to expire in December last year among the packages. The three months dose was to be taken from last December to February this year, while they were advised to start taking the dose that was to expire in December. One of the victims, Dooshima Apir, a HIV/AIDS carrier at General Hospital North bank, Makurdi, said she never knew she was taking the dose in the wrong order, due to her inability to read until her son told her. Also narrating his experience, Dominic Ameh who received his drug from bishop Murray Hospital, High level, Makurdi confirmed that one of the doses was to expired in December, stressing that while some of the literate ones followed the instruction by taking the package that was to expire in December, majority who are illiterates mixed things up, hence the complains.


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THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

NEWS NANT Uncovers N6b Hidden Funds In Agriculture Budget From Abosede Musari and Itunu Ajayi, Abuja

• Seeks National Assembly’s Scrutiny Of Budget

HE National Association T of Nigerian Traders (NANT) has called on the Na-

President of the association, Ken Ukaoha declared in an address that the proposed 2014 budget might have been prepared in a hurry going by the number of ambiguous and repeated headings under which separate funds seemed to have been hidden. It was revealed how over N6 billion was hidden under similar headings and separate funds allocated to them. Ukaoha argued that this style of budget preparation

tional Assembly to properly examine the 2014 budget before passing it into law, adding that some government officials may have used the avenue to embezzle fund. The association gave this position as it uncovered about N6 billion of such hidden funds in the budget of the ministry of agriculture at a stakeholder’s session held on Friday in Abuja.

NATIONAL only provides opportunity for stealing. “The budgeting system in the country provides opportunities for stealing and not hardwork,” he noted. Aside from the allocation of inadequate funds to some critical programmes, which were pointed out, NANT also highlighted what could be termed deliberate attempts to steal money by those who

Trouble In Lagos APC Over Registration Of Members By Tunde Akinola

• No Course For Alarm, Says Party

OLLOWING the ongoing nationwide registration by the All Progressives Congress (APC), some members of the party in the Lagos State, who happen to be part of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), have accused the party of marginalisation. Representatives of Isolo Chapter of the CPC in the persons of Messrs Solomon Lepakje and Dolapo Omikunle, who visited the The Guardian on Tuesday, alleged that they were marginalisation by the members of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the process. In a statement issued

through the wards chairmen, and Local Council Development Areas (LCDA) Chairman, Alhaji Amoo Alade, the CPC caucus alleged that the merger of three political parties to form APC seems a game of deceit, as ACN refuses to comply with the manuals for membership registration as being stated. “Having conducted a section of training for the trainers of the registration officers at poling unit level in which the chairman of Isolo CPC/APC LCDA Alhaji Amoo participated, so that he could train the registration officers in his local government area,

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it was later discovered that the submitted list of names of CPC in APC has been swapped and manipulated for only ACN members. “Manual for membership registration spelt out clearly that wards supervisors to comprise of the merging party ward chairmen such persons that are deemed qualified to carry out the assignment. Local government areas supervisor to comprise of the merging parties that are deemed qualified. The group therefore expresses grievances on the perceived injustice, calling on the part to see means of settling the matter amicably.

prepared the budget. For instance, the analysis presented by Edwin DanielIkhuoria on behalf of NANT highlighted areas where issues were deliberately repeated several times and funds allocated to them separately. Some headings were not properly captioned and yet funds were allocated to them. Capital budget items such as seeds appeared three times with N1billion allocated, seeds and seedlings was repeated with total of N288 million allocated, improved seeds appeared eight times with N1.3 billion allocated, access to seeds and feeds appeared two times with N27.5 million allocation, inorganic fertilisers appeared 14 times with total allocation of N2.1 billion. Others were organic fertilisers, which also appeared 14 times, access to fertilisers appeared two times. The ministry also budgeted for school feeding programme and feeding of the less privileged members of the public in six poverty stricken states of the federation. While the total amount concealed under these repeated headings ran into almost N6 billion, participants at the session

wondered what was ministry of agriculture’s business in feeding school children and the less privileged. Also, the purchase of agricultural equipment and that for the provision of agricultural facilities, which accounts for 49 per cent and 39 per cent respectively of the capital budget of the sector were not properly enumerated as they stated in no specific terms what equipment and facilities to be provided. Comparing the ministry’s previous budgets, NANT also revealed that these and many other components were budgeted for annually. The session therefore sought to know why the same items are budgeted for every year and what happened to those procured in the previous year. In his remark, the president of National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria, Engr Henry Olatujoye noted that the 2014 budget cannot provide more than 160,000 employment as against the proposed target of government since only 1.6 per cent of the national budget is allocated to the sector. He used the medium to urge officials to desist from working against existing policies by granting waivers to importers of banned products.

Akanu Ibiam Airport: Bishop Chukwuma Commends Jonathan, Oduah By Chijioke Iremeka NGLICAN Bishop of Enugu A and Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Southeast Zone, Rt. Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Chukwuma has praised President Goodluck Jonathan and Minister of Aviation, Princess Oduah for their commitment to improving airport facilities in the country, praying that God would protect them. Bishop Chukwuma, who spoke to journalists at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, on the economic and social benefits of transformed aviation sector, said, “some people have come before and we know their results, but we now see sacrificial commitments in this current team and we need to encourage them.” He noted that Federal Government, under the present administration, has done well. “Whatever anybody is saying contrary to what we see, should not be acceptable by Nigerians. We should look at the good part of what the Minister has done and nobody should rubbish her.” According to Chukwuma, the Southeast chapter of CAN will not take any action that is geared towards destroying the good work of the Minister in rebuilding the sector.


6 Sunday, February 9, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

NEWSPEOPLE

Fayemi: 49 Garlands for the People’s Governor By Olayinka Oyebode ROTOCOL was broken for a few minutes at the recently concluded Nigeria Media Merit Award (NMMA) that took place at the redeveloped Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort, Ikogosi-Ekiti when the organisers announced a special presentation to Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi. To the curious crowd of journalists, media executives, businessmen and government officials at the resort’s main auditorium, venue of the award ceremony, the question was what could be the special presentation other than the traditional award usually reserved for the host governor. The special presentation turned out to be an enlarged version of a cartoon published earlier in the week by a leading national daily where the cartoonist had brilliantly captured the frustration of the opposition who are at loss over which of Fayemi’s numerous achievements could be faulted. The unveiling of the drawing drew a thunderous applause from the audience. Subsequently the issue of development in Ekiti State became the recurrent topic by various groups and personalities in the hall that evening. The award-winning cartoonist who was a nominee at the NMMA, when asked to comment on the drawing simply said: “the cartoon speaks for itself.” According to him, Governor Fayemi has done so much to develop the state and its citizens that he had in the process, inadvertently, raised the bar of governance as well as qualification for political office in the state. A vast majority of the participants at the event who are mostly first time visitors to the Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort- where nature and modernity have a perfect blend- could not but agree with him. The new life that has been injected into the Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort is an eloquent testimony to the transformative leadership style of the Governor who masterminded the redevelopment of the once moribund spring to a world class standard tourist centre. But in actual fact, Ikogosi Warm Springs, like the Ekiti Project itself, remains a work in progress, as the government has concluded plans for the second phase of development with a foreign technical partner.

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The successful transformation of Ikogosi Warm Springs, many believe, is a product of courage, vision and penchant for excellence which the Fayemi administration is noted for. In just about three and a half years, the JKF administration has impacted positively on the lives of the citizens and the various communities with its well structured developmental strategies anchored on the 8point agenda. Just as the JKF’s Midas touch has brought life back to Ikogosi, two moribund industries- Ire Bricks Factory and Odua Enterprise Centre (formerly Oodua Textile) have also been resuscitated. This has helped to expand the State’s resources, provide job opportunities for the youths, encourage new skills acquisition by workers and enlarge the middle class in the State. By ensuring peace and tranquillity and putting relevant laws in place to protect investments and investors, the state has been able to attract scores of billion naira private sector investment. Fayemi’s quiet revolution in the agriculture sector has energised the sector, leading to more youths embracing commercial agriculture under its Youth in Commercial Agriculture Development (YCAD) scheme. This pragmatic approach to agric business and the attendant empowerment programmes for the young farmers is gradually making Ekiti the food basket of the nation, while raising a crop of young entrepreneurs in that sector. A passionate and compassionate leader, Fayemi in the bid to take good care of the indigent elderly citizens of the state, established the Social Security Benefit Scheme that gives every qualified elderly citizens N5,000 stipends monthly. The number of beneficiaries has since been increased to 25,000 elderly citizens drawn from the 16 local government areas of the state. Other components of the social security scheme include the food bank (where indigent old people could go and get a meal and or food items). According to available statistics from the State Bureau of Statistics [SBS] , within three and a half years, the JKF administration has generated jobs of different categories to the tune of 3,327 in 2011 and progressively increased the figure to 10,465 and 30,187 in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

Fayemi A total of 736.715km of roads have been constructed since 2010 when he made known his plan to make all parts of Ekiti accessible by major roads before the end of 2014. Water dams in the state have become functional in the bid to increase water supply and coverage by eighty per cent. The huge investment in education including the computer per child initiative, massive renovation of all public schools and the introduction of various capacity building programmes for the teachers has also started to yield positive results with the remarkable performance of students in external examinations as well as state and national competitions. The comprehensive renovation and equipment of all the general hospitals and health centres across the state as well as the Free Medical Mission programme which has covered nearly 400,000 people has also helped to create a more healthy citizens. Indeed the JKF vision of banishing poverty and sickness in the state is becoming a reality.

Fayemi has demonstrated that an activist in government can make a difference. In three and a half years he has shown through his works that he is a builder of a new dawn, working with imagination, insight and boldness. He presents the challenge that calls for the best in people and brings them together around a shared sense of purpose. His eyes are on the horizon, not just on the near at hand. He is a social innovator and change agents who is able to motivate the citizens with better ideas for optimal productivity. As an inspiring leader, Fayemi has been able to replace transactional politics of yester years with transformational leadership. His emphasis has always been on how institutional framework can be strengthened to ensure effective service delivery; How leaders and the led can work together to achieve common goals. What mechanism and processes should be put in place for genuine and effective empowerment of the citizens towards the attainment of the good life for all. JKF continues to espouse this concept of good governance, participatory democracy and strengthening of institutions in practical terms especially in the running of the affairs of Ekiti State by laying emphasis on key elements of good governance including accountability, transparency, efficiency and effectiveness, responsiveness, the rule of law and forward vision. He believes that trust is a public good without which no great thing can be achieved collectively. Hence, he believes trust has to be earned. Fayemi’s unique approach to governance and style of doing development with the people has inspired hope of a better tomorrow for Ekiti people. Curiously this has remained a big headache for the opposition, many of whom find it extremely difficult to deny the pace of development that is evident in all the nooks and crannies of the state. Thus, from the rolling hills of Ekiti comes forty and nine gbosas for John Kayode Fayemi, this innovator, social justice crusader, democrat and change agent - Oni Uyi, Oni Eye!- as he clocks 49 today. Oyebode is Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ekiti State


TheGuardian

Sunday, February 9, 2014

www.ngrguardiannews.com

7

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Cityfile In Lagos, Pedestrians Ask For More Footbridges By Omiko Awa and Chijioke Iremeka AGOS,as a mega-city, has its Lmaybe own problems; some fresh while others are just recurring issues. Among the recurring issues are the incidents of vehicles running over pedestrians on the highways and pedestrians refusing to use the footbridges, where they exist. The latter has resulted to the loss of lives, especially school children and the physically challenged. A trip around Lagos reveals that despite the fact that some people choose to cross the expressway, where there are footbridges, the facility needs to be put in more locations and at the right places too. A cross section of people who spoke to The Guardian say they choose to cross the high-

ways irrespective of the risk of being knocked down because of the distance between the bus terminals and the bridges. To them, it’s faster to run across the expressway than take a long walk to their homes or destinations. Also, some of these bridges have been turned to mini markets and robbers den and people cannot freely pass through. According to Kehinde Salawu, a resident in Ago, “thugs take over the bridges at night and we have heard cases of rape and robbery on some of them, so people avoid them like plaque at night.” Others complaints are that many of the bridges are not friendly to the physically challenged as well as the elderly. Some of the bridges are not

only long, but are built with sharp and ungentle stairs, which are not helpful to those with limb or heart problems. Just as government agencies are worried that people are not using the pedestrian bridges, more people want these facilities to be built on Ikorodu Road, LagosAbeokuta Road, Oshodi-Apapa expressway, Agbara-Badagry Road and other places where the population is on the increase. According to a pedestrian, Mr. Adekunle Omotosho, the number of people knocked down by vehicles at Iyana Isolo on the Oshodi-Apapa dual carriage way on a monthly basis has gone up. “Most times, you will come out in the morning to find corpses on the road. Many of

Cele, Bus stop, Lagos.

A footbridge along Lagos/Abeokuta Expressway, Ikeja, also a trading place.

whom are victims of hit-andrun drivers. Every week, we see either LASPO Tech students knocked down or other road users run over at the spot; countless souls have passed away on that spot.” ESIDENTS of Amuwo OdR ofin, Orile and Coker areas, who usually alight at the Second Rainbow bus stop towards Mile 2 are also appealing to government for another footbridge to be located in their areas, saying the one at Mile 2 Estate is rather too far away from them. In fact, when The Guardian visited the location, no single person was sighted making use of the bridge. In a nutshell, it has turned to a spot where early morning trainers go to train on terrace climbing. Traders at the popular Ladipo auto market have also called on government to locate a bridge at bus stop on the Oshodi-Apapa expressway as a way of saving lives and preventing traders from crossing the expressway. At dusk, this spot is usually very busy with traders crossing the expressway, which in turn causes traffic gridlock, on the route. A week hardly passes without one or two persons being knocked down and killed by a hit-and-run driver at the spot. And it was so last week when a hit-and-run driver knocked down a trader. Though most motorists and other road users are not well informed on road use and safety signs, Lagosians are calling for the drawing of Zebra Crossing signs at spots

An accident victim being carried after he was knocked down recently at Toyota Bus stop, Lagos.

No footbridge at the ever busy Iyana Iba junction, along Mile 2/ Badagry Expressway.

where government could not build a bridge. UT Lagos State GovernB ment, through its Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Aderemi Ibirogba said there is no place in the world where pedestrians run across the road without using Zebra Crossing, saying that the problem with Zebra Crossing signs is that most motorists and road users do not respect them. He noted that when they see those signs, they do not understand them, adding that the state government is currently sensitising road users on the meaning and the uses of road signs. “We have also made our traffic laws available, so that, road users would know the dos and don’ts of using the road. While using Zebra Crossing, somebody has to be there to clear the road, but in our locality, we lack that culture and that is why most motorists would see signs or approach a junction and speed off. “Those who are asking for more bridges are exercising their rights and it’s good for them to do so. But you would be surprised that those bridges that are already in existence are not in use by the people. Government doesn’t need to put bridges at every bus terminal. Not using the bridges is an attitude thing; pedestrians should learn to walk to the bridges and make use of them,” he stated On crossing the express and

the arguments that follow, Ibirogba said, “they do not make any moral justification.” He queried, “how can people say the locations of the footbridges are far from their bus terminals and therefore would not use them or risk their lives, running across the road? “If you were given the options to follow a long route to life and to follow a short route to death, which of them would you choose? The distance maintained in building the bridges is deliberate and if it would be safe for one to walk, let one walk and safe one’s life,” he asserted. He debunked the allegation that the state task force deployed to ensure that people do not run across the road extort money from the offenders, saying that any one found guilty of such extortion would be punished accordingly, even as he calls on the masses to report any case of extortion by the taskforce to the appropriate quarters. “Yes, I would agree with the fact that the previous bridges built in the state are not friendly to the physically challenged, but we are redoing them now. The recent ones built are physically challenged friendly. As you know, Lagos state government is physically challenged friendly. You can see this posture in our transport system and everywhere in our buildings. “As for the security challenge on pedestrian bridges at Ijaniki and Alaba towards the Mile 2 Estate, we will go there


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Sunday, February 9, 2014

www.ngrguardiannews.com THE GUARDIAN

CITYFILE

That Sachet Water Might Be Dangerous! From Ann Godwin, Port Harcourt

HE sale of sachet water (popularly referred to T as ‘pure water’) continues to gain momentum in cities, like Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. This might be attributable to its cheap cost. With as low as N100 – the price of a bag – an individual can start retailing, while with a few thousand naira or thereabout, production of sub-standard version of the product can take off. At a forum for small businesses in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, last year, NAFDAC boss, Dr Paul Orhii, disclosed that daily sales of pure water rose to N7 billion, even as four million pure water companies register with the agency yearly. Orhii, who called on producers of sachet water to ensure compliance with hygienic standards, warned that NAFDAC would not fold its hands and watch unscrupulous persons jeopardise the health of Nigerians. He disclosed that the agency has reduced timeframe for product registration to 90 days. “If you have good products and you have filed all the necessary papers and you have paid all the required fees, you will be able to get your product registered within 90 days. Your product must pass through all laboratory analyses and proof to be of standard before it can be allowed into the market for the sake of the health of Nigerians,” he said. A recent survey by The Guardian, however, revealed that some of the sachets sold in Port Harcourt are manufactured at the backyards of residential areas, rather than at standard factories. In places, like Diobu/D-line in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of Rivers State, and Rumukpukwu, Rumuekpiriko, Rumuaholi in Obioakpor Local Government Area, the products were being produced under unsanitary conditions. Some were being churned out from so-called factories near open sewage. Persons who retail the product also do not help matters; most of them do so under unhygienic situations. Health experts, meanwhile, have reiterated that production of sachet or bottled water in a dirty environment constitutes grave health hazards to members of the public. Are consumers aware of the risks - diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever, etc? Do

Mind your mouth... A pedestrian reaching for a sachet of ‘pure water’ on a Port Harcourt street.

consumers opt for this cheap variant due to government’s failure to provide potable water for its citizens? Water is one of the indispensable resources of nature needed for the continued existence of all living things but the government has failed to provide citizens with safe alternative. This has resulted in the production of drinking water by individuals who have little knowledge about healthy manufacturing practices. The ugly development moved the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in the state to conduct a routine surveillance on production of pure water sachets. As a result, over 10 such factories were shut down for operating in unhygienic conditions and for failing to register with the agency. According to NAFDAC’s Public Relations Officer (South South Zone), Mr. Cyril Monye: “We

PHOTO: ANN GODWIN

have shut down about 10 factories because they violated NAFDAC directives. The water produced in such environments was not fit for consumption. Some of the factories we shut down did not have NAFDAC’s number. Some had fake numbers. Some people produced sachet water behind their toilets. We also made some arrests and have handed the culprits over to the police.” He deplored the attitude of residents who discover the production of sachet water in dirty environments but fail to report the same to the agency: “Some of the manufacturers sometimes utilize very small spaces at the backyard or close to toilet pits in residential areas and start pure water business. People see them and fail to report. They know that these people are not doing the right thing but they keep quite. It is very bad”

Some residents who spoke to The Guardian, however, said, they prefer sachet water because it is very cheap; others said that they would have loved to purchase quality drinking water, regretting that the economic situation in the country has forced them into downing sachet water, or resorting to the borehole. According to Mrs. Elizabeth Nnodim, “It is unfortunate that only very few wealthy Nigerians, especially politicians, enjoy quality things in this country, and our governments do not care about the poor masses who voted them into office. I am always excited when I go to a function and I am given bottled water, but it is sad that I cannot afford it. That’s why we drink pure water, which is very cheap and affordable” Mr. Evans Onyema said he is aware of the health implication of substandard water, and blamed government for failing to provide safe

Amid Insecurity, Borno Community Vows To Embrace Western Education ORNO STATE… And minds picture scenes of violence and School Pupils Get Free Books, Pens B destruction perpetrated by Boko Haram. Translated, the sect’s name means ‘Western education is forbidden’. But in one of the state’s communities, Gamboru, there is no room for intimidation, as efforts are ongoing to give Boko a prime position. Alhaji Bukar Kolo Tobaco is head of Gamboru Ward. According to him, it is the responsibility of the community’s leaders to ensure that education thrives, promising that every indigene will be involved in making sure children are in school. “This move is very important for us. It will help children,

help families and help the entire community. As leaders, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our children are educated, and we’ll get everyone in this community involved. We want all our children to be educated.” The ‘move’ Alhaji Tobaco spoke of is the initiative by 1 GAME– a grassroots advocacy and campaigning organisation that combats violence and ignorance through mobilisation and public awareness, and pressurises leaders to support

1 GAME Project Development Coordinator, Agafi Kunduli (with back to camera) shows samples of exercise books and pens for school children in Gamboru to ward head, Alhaji Bukar Kolo Tobaco (in brown attire). They are flanked by leaders of Gamboru community.

programmess that protect lives and help put children in school. The 1 GAME Campaign is currently working to improve school enrolment and access to learning materials for children in Borno State. Okon Nya, Press Affairs Coordinator for the organisation said 1 GAME believes significant and lasting change is possible if indigenes of Gamboru community in Maiduguri, Borno State, come together and take a stand. Agafi Kunduli, 1 GAME Campaign Project Development Coordinator, at a meeting with leaders of Gamboru Ward in Maiduguri on embracing Western education, said the roadmap for improving the lives of Gamboru’s children is a humanitarian issue, and must involve everyone’s participation and commitment. He said the first step is to agree to push every child back to school for the new term. “In order for us to move the needle in the right direction, we need to have solidarity,” Kunduli said. “It’s going to take time, it’s going to take volunteers and it’s going to take commitment on the part of this entire community.” Kunduli said it’s time for the community to decide what is acceptable and what is not. “It’s important for us to say, ‘in our community, we do what’s best for children and families first. It’s just what we do,” he said. “When we have all our children in school, we would have built the perfect future for this community.” Kunduli who showed samples of branded 1 GAME exercise books and pens to the community leaders, said children who agree to return to school will get books and pens from the organisation to assist them in learning. Gamboru leaders on their part promised to mobilise indigenes and move from house to house to ensure that every child returns to school for the Second Term.

...It’s time for the community to decide what is acceptable and what is not. “It’s important for us to say, ‘in our community, we do what’s best for children and families first. It’s just what we do’,” he said. “When we have all our children in school, we would have built the perfect future for this community.” Gamboru leaders on their part promised to mobilise indigenes and move from house to house to ensure that every child returns to school for the Second Term.


Sunday, February 9, 2014 9

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

NOTEBOOK

What’s Wrong With That? ByAdidi Uyo LAW and ‘floor,’ if you could just put your ears to the ground, so to say, sound alike. In one word, the two words are homophones. Now, imagine that you are a newspaper reporter, and you are conducting an interview. Imagine too that the person you are interviewing is an emerging giant in the Nigerian political firmament, a man who has a keen sense of contemporary Nigerian politics — because he has been and is still involved, and a man well known for his aversion to the planned National Conference. To your question about his reaction to the conference, he gives you a piece of his mind. Here is an excerpt of his response, which your newspaper published, verbatim: “The dialogue is for who (sic) and by who (sic)? Government is about trust…. The level of deceit in the country is very high. Now, they have adopted public deception as their strategy…. I see deception

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here…. I see lack of honesty and integrity here. Nigeria is being deceived. So where is the sovereignty? …. Why now? How many months to the election? …. Can’t you smell the odour of deception when it is passing by? This President was the Vice President when Umaru Yar’Adua told the world that the electoral process was floored and he promised that he would do something about it.” Let’s stop it there. Can you see what is wrong with that word, ‘floored’? Of course, that was not the word that the political juggernaut emitted. ‘Floored’ can certainly be ‘flawed.’ It is in error. The political juggernaut, as you must know, is the former Governor of Lagos State and a leading light of the All Progressives Congress, APC. ‘Tinubu vindicated on National Conference’ was the headline of the story from which that excerpt came, and it was published early this month in The Nation. To write or speak the English

language flawlessly is no doubt a very tall order, and blessed is that person who can. However, the flaw in the

“Controversial leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF), Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, spoke to Lib-

LANGUAGE ON PARADE response by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was not his, but the reporter’s. In transcribing spoken language into written language, we have to be very careful about such words that sound alike, but are totally different in spelling and meaning. But if you ask me, I’d say this is a flaw that sounds perfect to me, because Tinubu’s response was tantamount to flooring the President and his planned National Conference. He actually carpeted the whole thing! “Our demand at confab: Let’s go our separate ways, form separate countries.” That was the headline of news story in The Guardian of December 5, 2013. Check the lead-in to the story and see whether you can find anything wrong with it.

erty Radio, Kaduna, on a wide range of issues bothering on the proposed National Conference by President Goodluck Jonathan, why the preference by the people of the South-South for a Sovereign National Conference; his recent incarceration in Benin Republic, and why he became a Muslim, reports Northern Bureau Chief, Saxone Akhaine” It is true that President Jonathan’s planned National Conference is bothering many people in Nigeria, today. However, that very word, ‘bothering,’ is what is wrong with that lead-in sentence. ‘Bother’ is a word that is commonly confused with ‘border,’ and the correct word here should be ‘bordering.’

Just to show you how common the confusion is, here is another case in point: “Sanusi explained that the problem with government revenues bothered on leakages.” It is the first sentence in the 13th paragraph of a news story with the headline, Why I’m Blowing The Whistle, by Sanusi” – The Nation, February 6, 2014. ‘Bothered’ should be ‘border.’ By the way, something that always bothers me is the way we confuse these two things with one another: ‘correction’ and ‘criticism.’ To be sure, what we are doing by trying to answer the question, ‘What is wrong with that?’ is nothing, but correction. It is not criticism, at all, and should not be confused with it. In our last excursion on the language train, we ended by asking you to say what is wrong with a sentence that was extracted from a news story, Why Senate Failed To Read Defection Letter.” The sentence read: “One source explained that the standing rules of the Senate bar the

Senate President from mentioning any matter that is already in the court as this would amount to sub judice.” You are right if you fingered the expression, ‘sub judice.’ Because it is an adjective, sub judice cannot be preceded by ‘amount to;’ a phrase that should come before a noun. That last part of the sentence should, therefore, have read: “this would be sub judice.” But you would be correct to say that the explanation being given by the source amounts to a grand deception. That construction, to be sure, is just a correction, by which I mean an example of the correct usage of ‘amount to,’ since what follows it is a noun phrase, ‘a grand deception.’ It must not be seen as a criticism of what the Senate President is doing, even though it may remind you of that line by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to wit: “Now, they have adopted public deception as a strategy.”

Ending Inter-Agency Security Rivalry By Fatima Goni INALLY, President Goodluck Jonathan has clarified that the reason behind the replacement of service is not connected to seeming interagency rivalry. This was

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against the media reported on his remarks while commissioning the Air Force Comprehensive School in Yola, Adamawa State. Jonathan urged a synergy among the nation’s security agencies, adding that Nigeria is already

Who owns the land?

exposed to ‘cancer’ of insurgency. Few days before his visit to Yola, suspected Boko Haram members were reported to have attacked churches and mosques, killing innocent citizens in Borno and Adamawa States. The recent attacks may have dissuaded the President from visiting the home state of his new Chief of Defence, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, who is from Adamawa. It should also be recalled that immediately after the announcement of the new Chief of Defence Staff, the Nigerian Air Force was reported to have attacked and killed a group of people suspected to be members of Boko Haram at the Nigerian-Cameroonian border. Badeh, who was former Chief of Air Staff, had promised to crush terrorists by April 2014. Meanwhile during his recent visit to Yola, President Jonathan described Air Mar-

shal Alex Badeh as a good manager, whom he had observed over the years, adding that other service chiefs were carefully selected because they are close friends and thoroughbred professionals who strongly believe in our national unity. The new service chiefs are Major General Kenneth Tobaih Minnimah (Army), Rear Admiral Usman Jibril (Navy) and Air Vice Marshal Adeshola Nunayon Amosu (Air Force). Apart from the obvious interagency rivalry amid stiff and daring military operation, ethnic warlords and tribal champions have accused the system of plotting to retain some of the military chiefs to prosecute the 2015 general elections. We should not loss the fact that the military has so far succeeded in restricting and cornering Boko Haram insurgency in some states in the North East. A few years

Nigeria In Need Of Ideologically Oriented Parties By Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) IDEOLOGY has been deÏtrines scribed as a system of docthat seeks to explain and change a nation. It seeks to interpret the working and structure of society and posits the need for change in the existing situation through a programme of practical politics predicated on a comprehensive theory of human nature. In the words of Andrew Jackson, President of the United States between 1829 and 1837, “a political party is a political organisation that typically seeks to influence or entirely control government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office.” He described political ideology is a set of

conscious and unconscious ideas that constitute the goals of a political party, expectations and actions. Similarly, in 2009, at Aminu Kano 26th Memorial Lecture, Sen. Uche Chukwumerije offers some insight into the concept of ‘ideology’, when he coined the term in four dimensions: Contents — the systematic body of basic philosophical principles, espousing the character of an existing social system, its flaws and merits; Programme of Action — a set of proposals designed to effect the postulated changes in the existing system; Functions — the value of the ideology as a perceptional screen, which sifts the proposed remedial options; Effective Leadership — quality of leaders and managers, who pos-

sess integrity to live what they preach and leaders who command enough mobilisation skills to lead the country. In recent times, Nigeria political landscape has been heated with series of unconstructive positions, destructive arguments and negative utterances that can impair our national democracy. It is regrettable that the dreadful consequences of absence of parties with clear, strong ideological orientation has continued to haunt the peace and future of our country. It is time to rethink and discourage unproductive words in our society; and stop giving baseless prominent attention to political gamblers. It is saddening that while other nations climb upwards to enter the ozone layer of

the most economically advanced nations, Nigeria is soaked in corruption and under-development. More importantly, it was a famous political analyst and keen observer of political intrigues and practice in Nigeria, Prof. Leonard Karshima Shilgba, who lamented in a recent article that it is not a difficult conclusion that politicians generally form political parties for the dominant purpose of contesting and winning elections rather than as vehicles for coordinating development efforts on the basis of some deep political and economic conviction — ideology. • Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) is the Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Abuja. 

ago, terrorists were having field days in other parts of the country including Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, Kogi, Niger, Sokoto States and even the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Politics aside, the Nigerian military has recorded tremendous success in its war against insurgency. The relative peace so far recorded in the troubled states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe before the recent unfortunate development even in worship centres, is attributed to the gallantry, determination, sacrifice and relentless struggles of the Nigerian security agencies. Though, it has continued to lose its finest personnel in several coordinated attacks against terrorists, it has remained undaunted and more committed to ending the dastard act across the country. We cannot deny the fact that there are security hiccups that are not peculiar to Nigeria alone. Big, independent and advanced nations like the United States of America, France, United Kingdom, China and Canada among others have their own fair share of these challenges. The aforementioned governments have continued to reel out plans, strategies and programmes aimed at overcoming their individual challenges, which appeared to have hampered their progress. Citizens of these countries believe that changes within the security sector are tailored towards guaranteeing their safety, so they hardly question them when implemented. Without doubts, we still have a long way to go in banishing terrorism from our dear land. More re-organisation, strategy reviews, policy alteration, shake-up, alignments and realignments are part of what to expect in positioning the Nigerian military for opti-

mum performance. It is the prayer of all Nigerians, irrespective of tribe, religious, ethnic or political aspiration for Nigeria to overcome its security challenges as soon as possible. The human and material loses so far recorded are too massive to be quiet about. We cannot continue to act as though those precious lives we keep losing in separate attacks are not precious to us. We have every reason to be worried about this sad occurrence. Every soul lost in any of these attacks should be a source of concern to any Nigerian. All government requires from us is cooperation and understanding, as it goes about making necessary changes in the nation’s security make-up to overcome the challenges posed by insurgent groups. The successes so far recorded in the war against insurgency must be sustained. We need not allow unnecessary primordial and clannish issues distract us from consolidating on the gains. Even members of the international community are happy with Nigeria’s modest achievements in its efforts to end terrorism in the country.   As Nigerians too, we should cooperate with the security agencies in providing necessary support and information for the protection of lives and property. The new heads of these security establishments should seek to breakdown the wall of mutual suspicions and interagency rivalry among their personnel. They should make effort to share intelligence report. They should all realise that they have common goal of ensuring that Nigeria is safe for both Nigerians and her visitors. They should work collectively in harmony to ensure that the nation overcomes her security challenges. Fatima Goni, Kofar Dukawuya Kano


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Sunday, February 9, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Backlash Abraham Ogbodo

08055328079 (Sms only) abogbodo@yahoo.com

The Gospel According To Sanusi ALLAMSanusi Lamido Sanusi is back again M like a bad coin. He hardly makes the news for the right reason. If he is not entangled with some bank executives over issues of ethics and best practices, he is tackling national legislators and just anybody, including President Goodluck Jonathan over the efficient management (or lack of it) of national resources. He understands the underlying psychology of the business of news making. He knows for instance, that when a dog bites a man, it is not news. But it is big news when it is the other way round; a man bites a dog in the street. It is for this reason that the sound counsel of one Senator Emmanuel Anosike to the super banker, that there are more sensible channels of official communication will sound like foolishness. Last week, Sanusi sauntered into the Senate chamber to trigger off a new alarm of missing billions of dollars. When his whistle sounded late last year, it was to draw attention to 49.8 billion dollars that could not be traced to the national treasury. This figure was drastically reviewed down to $10.8 billion following a meeting of three key members of the treasury family to reconcile the figures. The members are; Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who also coordinates the economy for President Jonathan; Petroleum Minister Mrs Diezani Allison Madueke, who sells crude oil to earn all the money for government and Sanusi himself, who keeps the money pending when it will be divided and carted away by the various shareholders. At the session to announce the harmonised position to the Senate Committee on Finance after the reconciliation, Sanusi managed to admit that he had acted on a wrong lead. Perhaps for the first time in his public life, Sanusi looked unsure. He, it was, who stormed the Na-

tional Assembly once upon a time and reinforced his claim before the almighty senators that they - legislators - were a drain on the nation because an incredible 25 per cent of the recurrent budget was going into paying their salaries and other emoluments. Following his effrontery, the legislators had attempted to rework the CBN Act to subject the bank and its governor to legislative supervision. The move failed and Sanusi emerged even stronger. He conquered the legislature so to say. And he might have been encouraged by that great feat to go for the executive. As we all know, he wrote to the President, who appointed him, saying the national earnings were not being properly run. It turned out a misadventure, not because Sanusi lacked the courage and strength to prosecute the fight as required but due largely to the fact that his radar failed to pick enough intelligence to stage a perfect ambushing. Not one to give up so easily, he dressed up the miscalculation in dry sophistry. Hear what he told the Senate Committee chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi: “I repeat Mr. Chairman that we did not see the letter as a conclusion of our investigation but an invitation to investigate. So the conclusion that $49.8 billion was missing was wrong even though we had the allegation that it was unremitted.” He added: “...the second half is the issue around the domestic crude lifting of $28 billion from which we feel there is a short fall, there is a general consensus among us on this even though the amount has been disputed.” Interpretation: Sanusi was saying that the matter was not finished. In the loud undertone, he was only running away to fight another day. And he returned last week rearmed and threatening. Inexplicably, he shifted off the familiar line of attack when he discarded all

three previous figures - $49.8 billion, $12 billion and $10.8 billion - and settled for 20 billion dollars as the authentic amount missing from the federation account. He told the Senate Finance Committee that of the $67 billion worth of crude sold between January 2012 and July 2013 by the NNPC, only $47 billion was remitted, leaving a shortfall of $20 billion. As if a prize is at stake, Sanusi made his case and then went ahead to destroy the opponent’s case in order to pick the trophy. He said it would be wrong for the NNPC to claim the missing billions were used to offset accumulated subsidies on kerosene importation because an executive order had suspended payment of subsidy on kerosene since 2009. He said: “Let’s know what happened to the remaining $20 billion... I have submitted to this committee a written evidence of a presidential directive eliminating subsidy since 2009 and the NNPC needs to provide where it got the authority to buy Kerosene at N150 and sell at N40 and put the burden of loss on the federation.” On the surface, Sanusi sounded too patriotic to be questioned. He spoke as if he was helping President Jonathan to query the NNPC for financial recklessness. But deep down, he was actually telling the President to show why he should not be impeached for directing the NNPC to withhold part of the remittances to the federation account. Sanusi is also saying that kerosene is not sold at controlled price anywhere in Nigeria. Or, that if the NNPC in spite of the presidential directive goes ahead to share subsidy money among some importers of kerosene, it is the corporation business and not a national undertaking. Except the CBN Governor is pretending, he cannot say that Kerosene is sold across the country at unsubsidized rate. The stuff usually goes for between N100 and N120 per litre in the free market, but kept at N50 in NNPC and a few selected sales outlets nationwide. Besides, if the cost of importation according to Sanusi is N150 per litre and it sells less than that in most parts of the country, it means money is being spent to address the difference between cost and selling price, plus the profit margins of the importers. It is a different matter if the Governor is saying that the alleged missing $20 billion is too much to pay for kerosene subsidy in the period under review in which case, the call has to be for external auditors to wade into the records and settle the matter in a manner that will be agree-

NE spectacle many newspaper readers could O not miss last week was the front-page display of some of our former leaders who gracefully at-

SUNDAY NARRATIVE

tended the National Council of State (NCS) meeting on Tuesday. Apparently, president Jonathan summoned them to for an update on where the statecraft is anchored at the moment and why it has become absolutely necessary to revisit the journey so far. The statecraft is a voyage and leader after leader try to push it forward from where the previous leader stepped off. There are also issues about the centenary celebration and the proposed confab, which should interest our venerable leaders. The Council of State is an advisory body comprising the President, his vice and all former presidents and heads of the Government of the Federation. All former Chief Justices, the Senate President, Speaker and Governors are also members, including the Attorney General. The gathering is purely advisory and could intervene on issues such as, national population, award of national honours, prerogative of mercy and on any other matter that is brought forward by an incumbent. He is also not obliged to take any particular advice and the Constitution does not explain whether attendance is compulsory or not. Those who attended last week’s meeting were; Gen. Yakubu Gowon, still his ebullient self with a good smile; former civilian president, Alhaji Shehu Shagari was there, still his humble self, except that he has a distant look on his face. You do not need binoculars to observe that the Turakin Sokoto has seen many years. At 89, whatever drags him out of his home to Abuja couldn’t be anything other than patriotism. That Shagari still considers it a duty to offer his time to discuss national issues bears testimony to a good heart. There was also Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, always his dandy self and Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar. Not the least was chief Ernest Shonekan, leader of the interim administration put in place after the exit of Babangida on August 26 1993. The real point here is to salute these leaders, for finding time to visit the State House and discuss Nigeria. The affairs of Nigeria are menacing and burdensome, but these leaders keep coming and smiling as if they see hope. One is tempted to ask where cometh their inspiration and hope for Nigeria. Or, is it just showmanship? To impress we ordinary citizens that there is still hope? In their closets, after they return home, away from the klieg lights, do they feel some disappoint-

Alabi Williams oruku35@gmail.com 08116759790 (Sms only)

What Could Be On Their Inner Minds! ment and frustration that in spite all their efforts, individual and collective, that Nigeria remains sluggish? Take Gen Gowon for instance, does he look back with great disappointment that the ‘new’ Nigeria he laboured to recreate as a young soldier, is yet to materialise, even as he is soon to clock up 80. When Gowon had to take up the challenge of leadership in his early 30s, he was not frightened, but he grabbed it with both hands and set about developing a template upon which the future of Nigeria would stand. During his time, planning was taken seriously and all of the things that would make the country grow were put on the ground, with little resources. Does it worry Gowon that Nigeria does not have sufficient electricity many decades after he left office? Looking back, how would Gowon feel when he realises that roads and infrastructure are still the major challenges of our time? How does Gowon contemplate today’s Nigeria that is so divided along lines of religion, ethnic origin and ideology? How does one explain to him that the North, which did not discriminate against him for being of a minority tribe when he was chosen to lead the Nigerian army and the country is today bitterly divided and Nigerians are killing fellow Nigerians aimlessly. Take a look at the Plateau, where he comes from, which used to be celebrated as one of the most peaceful places in Nigeria, it is now a killing field and no one is able to contain the onslaught? But Gowon still manages to smile. He does not betray bitterness. Instead, he prays and urges Nigerians to pray, because, if what the polity is confronted with today required military solution, Gowon would have recommended such. Does he feel betrayed or guilty that he failed to do certain things, which could have moved the country forward on a faster lane? But there is no art to read the mind’s construction in the face. Then we have Aliyu Shehu Shagari; this great

teacher has witnessed the best of Nigeria. Pardon if this sounds as if the best is gone. He was a national parliamentarian and twice federal minister during which he managed four different portfolios. In 1979 he was elected as Nigeria’s first executive president. The political class at that time designed a vision of what they want Nigeria to be, a country with great opportunities in industry, agriculture and human development. They promised a green revolution and an industrial base of iron and steel. They introduced federal universities of technology and polytechnics to provide manpower. But there was still a poor understanding of the linkage between democracy and development. The political class thought it was an opportunity to drink champagne and eat rice at the expense of a muchneeded growth. That young democracy was made to suffer and the soldiers thought it was their prerogative to return. Today, if we dare to look back at the sins of the Second Republic politicians, they would look like child’s place compared to ongoing ravaging. If the hospitals were mere consulting clinics under Shagari, what are they today, even with tremendous leap in medical science and oil earnings? It is amazing that the man has not given up on Nigeria. Does he feel guilty concerning what he didn’t do to sustain that republic? Babangida has not lost his toothy smile. He came with a walking stick and never misses a good photo opportunity. This man was very meticulous with power; he did not let a chance slip without first developing a theoretical base to build upon. He assembled distinguished academics to backup his policies, which took endless time to materialise and perhaps, also explains why he was not in a hurry to go. In the end, Babangida could not register himself positively in the consciousness of the people. But he is full of hope for Nigeria. His optimism is second to none among all the leaders. While others pray, IBB is very sure that Nigeria cannot break up. Did he put some

able to all parties. This is unfortunately not the case because the CBN boss is itching uncontrollably to abandon the official stage and perform in the open to the talking drums in the background. Even as CBN Governor, he maintains a lean and austere look and if he were to be auditioned for a role in Shakespeare Julius Caeser, a good director will readily pin him down to Character Cassius, who was part of the conspiracy to dispatch Emperor Caeser. Altogether, the season is very rife for Sanusi to perform and harvest cheap accolades. When it was suggested that the President might ask him to resign ahead the June 2014 terminal date of his five-year tenure at the CBN, the opposition All Progressive Peoples Congress (APC) stepped in unsolicited, to say the man was the best thing that has happened to the Nigerian economy since 1960 and he should be left in peace to do his job of blowing the whistle on missing state funds. He was even reported as saying that the President does not have the powers to sack him before the end of his tenure, except with two-thirds legislative approval. Which is another way of saying he can challenge the President to a wrestling contest and nothing will happen. The APC is in the background applauding him as a super performer. As it is, Jonathan and other spectators may have to put up with the Sanusi show till the curtains are drawn in June, which is not too far from now. He is the typical drunk in the Chinese ware shop. A rough push may cause more damage, yet leaving him completely unmanaged is not a way out of the dilemma. Needless to add that it will require more than conventional wisdom to smash a stubborn tse-tse fly that is perched on the scrotum. His rating is relatively high when he manages to separate politics from banking. Before his appointment as CBN Governor, he was the MD/CEO of First Bank Plc and acclaimed as the first Northerner to get to the management apex of Nigeria’s premier commercial bank. He was rated best Central Bank Governor in Africa by the Financial Times. Sanusi could have as well moved up the ladder to become the Most Loquacious Central Bank Governor in the whole world. He is not reserved like the chairman of the Federal Reserve in the US. He is central to all the issues including 2015. And this tends to make him sound and look more like a State Governor than the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. unifying blocks in place to ensure Nigeria does not break? Oh yes he did. He is from the middle belt and married to a Niger Deltan. So, there is hope for Nigeria. The only challenge is how to transfer this hope to all the corners of Nigeria, particularly in the Northeast, where some persons have lost touch with IBB’s idea of Nigeria, a country where citizens, both high and low are free to move around without looking behind their shoulders. Chief Shonekan was also there. This gentleman was doing his business quietly when Babangida handed interim power over to him. It was a flitting experience as the man was hardly seated when Abacha came. It is difficult to remember what that regime stood for, except that it ended so abruptly. The consolation is that we are reminded of those events each time we see the man. Abdulslami Abubakar is credited with nurturing the process that brought about this democracy. It was Abubakar who calmed the nerves and steered the military out of political power. The man is loveable, a peace ambassador. He must do more. Gen Olusegun Obasanjo and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari did not grace last week’s occasion with their presence. Obasanjo seems too involved. The man has an ongoing quarrel with Jonathan and the PDP. The man had written to be given holiday away from the affairs of the PDP. Considering that OBJ does not suffer many fools gladly and also his military temperament, it might be too soon to share tables with GEJ at a Council of State meeting. The tables could be upturned. So, it makes sense for now that the senior citizen of Owu stays away, so that there are no rough tackles. Or accidental discharge? As for Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, leader of the opposition, that Council of State might not be a particularly comfortable place to be. Imagine having to be sandwiched between Shagari and Babangida; and staring at OBJ right ahead of you, while a Jonathan voice booms endlessly. That setting could bring back ugly memories of December 31, 1983, August 27, 1985, 2003, 2007 and 2011. All of which could make anybody angry. Which is why a national confab is more like it, so that all the angry people in the land will converge and pour out their grievances. Mouthing that Nigeria must not break up and cannot break up is not a thing to decree from the comfort zones of Aso Rock or Minna. It is a matter Nigerians must talk about. And I recommend that the venue should be somewhere in the Northeast.


TheGuardian

www.ngrguardiannews.com

Sunday, February 9, 2014 11

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Outlook How Africans Under-develop Africa By Victor Anazonwu ODAY, the world’s youngest nation, South Sudan, is in the throes of civil war. It took barely three years for the ululation of independence to give way to the drumbeats of war. The African curse has struck again. From Central Africa Republic (CAR) to Mali, Congo, Rwanda, Cote D’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leon, Nigeria and just about every other hot spot on the continent – past and present - Africans, it seems, are programmed to fight over everything from power to peanuts. In this part of the world, it is one day, one trouble. For many years, the dominant school of thought in explaining the frequent strife, wars and conflicts that dot Africa has pointed accusing fingers westward. This school of thought was ably championed by the Guyanese historian and political activist, Walter Rodney. In his seminal work titled How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Rodney held, in summary, that hundreds of years of deliberate rape and plunder visited on Africa by Europeans through slavery, slave trade, colonization and neo-colonization must be held responsible for the sorry socioeconomic and political conditions of African peoples and their continent. With a masterful use of historical reconstruction, statistics and the art of logical correlation, Rodney was impressive, compelling and even irresistible to generations of intellectuals from the 1980s. Today, with the benefit of hindsight and firsthand experience living and working in Africa for the better part of five decades, I have a new theory to propose. It is a theory, which challenges all those looking outside Africa for the source of Africa’s woes. Simply, the true origins of Africa’s underdevelopment reside within Africa itself, in the African people themselves. More precisely, in the African personality, concept of which is used to describe a fragile state of mind which makes the African notoriously self-serving, emotionally combustible, a danger to himself and fellow Africans, and therefore vulnerable to most predatory forces that make contact with the continent – from slavery to Al Qaeda. The real basis of each tragedy that has befallen Africa is naivety and greed; a deep enslavement to the pursuit of narrow (often material) selfinterest, a chronic incapacity for big picture thinking, an insufficient commitment to the pursuit of the communal good, and the people’s perception of each other as enemies and rivals, not as neighbours and partners. In Africa, people are perpetually willing to bring down the roof on each other at the slightest hint of dispute. The result: Africa is constantly rebuilding its house while other continents are expanding and beautifying theirs. Recently, a routine governorship election in Anambra State, southeast Nigeria, degenerated into total chaos. Not long before, a certain Asari Dokubo was busy threatening that Nigeria will go up in flames unless President Goodluck Jonathan (who comes from his own corner of the country) gets a second four-year term as president. Before him, several others had made similar statements to underline their political

T

CONversation

and other interests. In the North-eastern parts of the country, a group by the name Boko Haram has made a hobby of killing innocent Nigerians in their hundreds to press home their desire for the “full Islamization of Nigeria” and the “return of power to the North.” In the North-central region, years of bloodletting and communal violence among the peoples of Plateau State have destroyed the beauty and serenity of Jos – arguably Nigeria’s most naturally beautiful city. That is not to mention the militancy in the Niger Delta over resource allocation and environmental protection rights, which has only recently gone on a recess. In post-Independence Nigeria alone, the list of anomy stretches back unbroken to the bloody Pro-Democracy struggles of the 1990s, the frequent religious disturbances in the North, the Civil War of 1967 to 1970, the genocide against Igbos that preceded the war, the numerous military coups, and the Western Nigeria electoral crisis of 1964. In other words, it took just four years of the departure of British colonial officers for the Nigerian dream to go into jeopardy. The story has not changed ever since, only sub-plots, scenes and actors. Any explanation of the Nigerian, nay African condition, which ignores or downplays this failure of character, values and internal dialogue, is at once insincere, unhelpful and incomplete. The time has come for us Africans to tell ourselves some home truths or forever hold our peace. There are those who feel that the numerous conflicts that plague Africa are the direct consequences of either the “divide and rule” tactics of colonialists which pitted communities against each other (thus positioning the colonizer as peacemaker), or the “mindless” welding of distinct cultural groups together for mere administrative convenience – like the amalgamation of Northern and Southern Nigeria. But this is not true either. Even by our own indigenous accounts, the history of pre-colonial Africa is the history of inter-tribal and inter-communal clashes. This predated the trans-Atlantic slave trade and even the arrival of the first Europeans on the Atlantic Coast. Africans simply hate each other’s guts. We are also deeply untrusting of one another and unable to build lasting bridges across communal and linguistic divides. Foreigners have only exploited this proclivity down the ages. And our peoples have always been willing to collaborate with outsiders to take advantage of one another. The entire colonization of Africa was executed on this strategy of playing Peter against Paul. Till today, African countries would rather trade with Europe, Asia and America than with one another. To be sure, every society grapples with conflict. It is human. Europe went through the Dark Ages and has fought two World Wars. The Irish fought against Britain. The Catalans are still tussling against Spain. The United States fought a bitter civil war. The Chinese and Japanese have been perennial enemies. The Korean Peninsula has been soaked in tension for as long as anyone can remember. And the Arabs and Israelis still don’t see eye to eye. But the essential dif-

ference between progressive and not-so-progressive societies is the frequency of strife and the speed of recovery after each mishap. While in some other parts of the world, societies quickly nurse themselves back after every catastrophe, the victors and vanquished of African (and Arab) conflicts keep malice forever and desire to exterminate each other at the slightest opportunity thereafter. It is on record that until the very end of the massive traffic in human cargo between Africa and the “New World”, European enslavers hardly left the comfort of their easy chairs firmly installed on the beaches of Africa. They had no need to. For the most part, the task of slave raiding and transportation to the coastal ports were in the hands of African merchants, agents and chiefs. What were their rewards? A few bottles of rum or gin, mirrors, guns, colored handkerchiefs, walking sticks, hats, cheap European crafts or simply the animalistic urge to deal with a rival community or eliminate a local enemy. For those “goodies”, supposedly intelligent and powerful African chiefs were prepared to go to war, raid-neighbouring communities or get rid of un-favored children, relatives and servants. Just as modern-day African elites are prepared to rig elections, kill opponents and ignite ethnic conflicts to gain public office, fat domiciliary accounts and the right to be driven in official convoys. Cry beloved Africa. It is true that, at the beginning, the slave trade was also seen as a clever way of ridding African societies of criminals and social miscreants. But all credible narratives of slavery in Africa equally concede that this accounts for only a very small percentage of the traffic. And that soon, the lure of lucre made even the innocent children of neighbors and friends common targets of slave raiding. In this madness, it barely occurred to our “wise” old men that the youth, the strength of Africa, was being plundered. The old men sat contently in their huts, smoked their pipes, drank their wine, took new wives and nodded at the goddess of life. Indeed, it was not until the Europeans, for their own reasons (namely the dawn of the Industrial Revolution), decided that they had no further need for slaves, that our forbears were compelled to halt the trade – often by force. Numerous parallels exist between the follies of ancestral Africans and the blunders of Africans of today. “Africa’s largest political party”, the PDP, is mired in acrimony. Although saddled with the duty of leading Nigeria (Africa’s most populous nation) out of the woods, its members have decided that rather than governance, it is more profitable to begin jostling for positions two years ahead of the 2015 polls. Five of its 23 governors have left to join the opposition alliance, APC. The Jonathan Presidency is systematically being crippled by strife. And from the look of things, the worst is yet to come. Once upon a time, in Congo Democratic Republic, an alliance of rebels decided to end the tyranny of one Mobutu Sese Seko. But no sooner had they driven the villain from Kin-

shasa than the rebel movement split into numerous factions over the sharing of the booty. Thus began a proxy war, involving many countries, which rages on to this day. When the OAU intervened to end the hostilities, the many “rebel” groups were unable to agree on authentic signatories to the resulting peace accord. Even with the recent surrender of the M23 rebel group, the crisis is far from over. Many lives have been lost and others irreparably damaged. In Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Cote D’Ivoire, Kenya, Central African Republic, Egypt etc., the story is pretty much the same with minor differences in plot and characterization. At the heart of each conflict is not principle but the scramble for naked power and the loot of office. The cover up is ethnic, religious or both. Cry beloved Africa. Nigeria is a country held hostage by the wiles of its own leaders and followers. In 1999, the country rose as one to end a vicious military tyranny and start a new democratic experiment. But not long after, the cracks became all too evident. In Zamfara State, a governor who had not met the basic human needs of his suffering people decided that Sharia, the Islamic Legal/Judicial code, was the solution to all their problems. Even though the constitutionality and morality of his proclamation are clearly in default, the man lacked wisdom and humility to stop himself and the Nigeria State lacked the courage and will to stop him. So the Sharia fire spread in the North. Clerics, government officials and royal fathers, all lacked the courage to openly confront the truth: That in a secular, multi-ethnic country like Nigeria, no one needs the Sharia or Canon Law to make the society better. Good, exemplary leadership is all that is needed. People like Governor (now Senator) Sanni Yerima will someday answer for the thousands of lives lost in the Sharia riots. They made themselves willing tools in the hands of the devil to divide God’s children. Such people, it seems, are unable to discern that between Sharia and the Penal Code (and indeed all other bodies of law known to man) there is no fundamental difference. All frown at the same offences – drunkenness, adultery, stealing, murder, etc. All prescribe punishments for offenders. The differences lie not in the cardinal issue of definition of right or wrong but in the lesser matters of process and penalties. Why then would supposedly intelligent people make capital of some minor variations in cultural practices while ignoring the larger divine injunction that overrides them all - “Love your neighbor as yourself”? When will Africa find the time and sanity to confront the basic challenges of planning, production and development? When will Africans give up conflict, intrigue and bestiality and devote their energies and intellect to the tasks of value re-engineering, social progress, material upliftment and human development? When will we stop acting like spoilt children, perpetually in tears and in need of attention, and pointing at others to explain our dismal behaviours? • Victor Anazonwu is a Lagos-based marketing & communications practitioner.

By Obe Ess


TheGuardian

www.ngrguardiannews.com

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Editorial Justice And The Killer Cop OT surprisingly, and for good reasons too, security agencies, in parN ticular the Nigeria Police, have been placed on the spot by local and international human rights communities for their highhandedness in dealing with suspects in custody or at points of arrest. Quite a number of extra-judicial killings and tortures in these circumstances have been highlighted by the local media too. Against this background, the judgment of the Bayelsa State High Court, Nembe Division, sitting in Yenagoa, delivered by Justice Lucky Boufili sending killer policeman, Matthew Egheghe, to the gallows is most welcome. It is a bold statement that the law frowns at cruelty by uniformed officers of the state and that an appropriate premium is placed on life by the Nigerian state. That judgment would not bring back the dead, but it should to some extent console their grieving families that justice was served to the guilty. It would equally serve as a deterrent to trigger-happy men in the services who kill at the least provocation and continue to give a bad image to the institution as well as the country. Twenty-year-old Victor Emmanuel on his way from church about two years ago was callously murdered at a road block in Yenagoa in the presence of his mother following his harmless request to a policeman to stop extorting money from hapless motorists, which he considered illegal. The mother’s intervention and pleas to Egheghe and two accomplices to stop raining more bullets on Victor failed and the trigger-happy policeman snuffed out of the young man a life full of promise. He then callously put a pair of scissors in Victor’s hands with a view to perverting justice by showing him as the aggressor! Victor’s case reinforces the fact that many dastardly acts by a few conscienceless policemen are committed at road blocks in encounters with motorists (even against the Inspector-General’s directive on assumption of office) as some of these greedy men attempt to feed their corrupt instincts. In some instances, summary executions by policeman have been unearthed after painstaking searches by families and human rights groups. A certain Joseph Bajulaye’s case is the latest despicable act, his killing shrouded in controversy as ever. For weeks, Special Anti-Robbery Squad operatives in Lagos denied that the son of a widow was ever in their custody. Reports the other day said SARS finally claimed on January 27 that Joseph, incarcerated since November, 2013 died in a shootout with alleged colleagues when he led police to a place for investigation. A few days ago in Kaduna, Alhaji Ibrahim Mai Penti lamented the killing of his 14-year-old Senior Secondary School student son, Hassan Ibrahim, allegedly by some policemen. Human Rights Watch once claimed in a report that police killed no fewer than eight thousand innocent Nigerians between year 2000 and 2007. Global human rights body, Amnesty International, in a 2008 report titled ‘Nigeria Police Kill at Will’ accused the Force of “hundreds of unlawful killings every year”. It added: “Majority of cases are uninvestigated and police officers responsible go unpunished. The families of the victims get no justice or redress. Most never found out what happened to their loved ones.” Luckily, Victor’s case is now a refreshing exception. Undoubtedly, the police authorities deserve credit for cracking tough criminal cases. And there are many good men, thorough professionals in the Force. However, it is apparent that lack of proper tools for investigations to obtain concrete evidence to prove a case often incapacitate probe teams, leaving them with the illegal and inhuman option of torture of suspects to extract information. An efficient system must, therefore, be built to prevent officers and men of the police from resorting to such crude tactics. A reformation of the investigative system, to secure evidence through scientific means in line with modern investigation techniques, and a more professional training of officers are also required, starting with the recruitment process. Any reform of the system should, of course, be predicated on justice rooted in transparency and accountability. Citizens’ complaints against the excesses of the police personnel must always be fully and sincerely addressed by the Force to prevent further system breakdown while a regime of impunity thrives. With these done, Victor and many others would not have died in vain and the police force, a noble institution in the best of times, would not be dragged further to the mud.

LETTERS Government College Umuahia At 85 IR: The elite premier college Onwuatuegwu and the flying everything he had, sent the money SUmuahia, for boys, Government College ace of Nigerian Airforce and lat- for the upkeep of the school and entered into an Old People’s turns 85 years this er defunct Biafra, August Okpe. year. By early 1950s, the school had established itself as a firstclass secondary school in Nigeria. Famed for the scenic beauty of its environment, it sits on 1, 290 hectares of land, which accommodated a golf course, five standard football fields, 25 senior staff quarters, 50 junior staff quarters, dormitories, class rooms, laboratories and workshops including an extensive farm land. All that land is still there even though much of it is not now in use. GCU was the dream of every secondary school age child in Nigeria and the Cameroons. It combined the grammar and technical components of most schools as it had well developed carpentry, wood and metal workshops. In addition to the major and minor sports, the college provided opportunity and facilities for all the students to participate in two of the 33 activity groups in the college ranging from painting, sign-writing, basket-making, gardening, range shooting and traditional dancing. This was very unique to the school. It is no wonder the school produced many notable scholars like Chinua Achebe, Chukwuemeka Ike, Christopher Okigbo and Ken Saro-Wiwa, politicians Okwesilieze Nwodo, Achike Udenwa, Orji Uzor Kalu, several ministers and at the last count five groups managing directors of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (N.N.P.C). In the Army and Airforce as at 1966, the college had 16 senior and mid-level officers including Col. Alex Madiebo, Col. Anthony Eze, Major Tim

It is true that the Nigerian civil war left a devastating effect on the school, especially in its infrastructure, which the Old Boys have continued to battle to restore. But so is the sacrifice, which first principal, Rev. Robert Fisher, a Briton, made after the civil war. He mobilised his friends in Europe and made huge financial and material donation to the college. When he was about 80 years, he sold

Home! It is against this monumental sacrifice by Rev. Fisher that all Old Boys are enjoined to support the National President, Chief D.A. Nzenwa, who is working very hard with the national executive to restore the infrastructure at the college and indeed restore its past glory. In Unum Luceant (we shine as one!) •Aham Njoku, National Secretary, GCU Old Boys Association, Lagos.

To The Nigerian Spirit IR: Nigerians must be of a the secret of the smiling faces one Straders, special breed. Farmers, sees all over the country. An avercivil servants, students; age Nigerian toils day and night the society wakes every morning to start the crucial exercise to make a living.  There is no steady power supply, no running water, no good roads; all the modern amenities that make life livable are a luxury to the masses. Yet like soldiers in a war front, they carry on. They gather in their houses, churches, bars, and other rendezvous at the end of the day and let off steam like a boiling pot.  They infuse their lives with joy. A village clown once observed that you do not need money to live in Nigeria.  He explained that there are many social events going on every day of the week. He looks for posters for news about where there is a wedding, wine carrying, funerals, chieftaincy celebrations, thanksgiving and numerous other occasions.  He dresses up in his best cloth and goes to these events. There is no invitation required to get reception.  Here profoundly may lie

under excruciating circumstances to become successful. The first thing he does once he has money is to have a lavish occasion to demonstrate to his community that he has achieved social status. The size of one’s event is the measure of his acceptance.  The recognition accords him honour and respect.  In some unfortunate situations, folks are confronted with social pressure. They sell their land, personal property or borrow money to have a flamboyant funeral, for example. Nigerians at their best have a culture of celebration. They dance at festivals, churches, funerals, weddings and every other occasion. This tradition may appear infantile. However, it seems to help the society overcome like it does with the perpetual onslaught of injustice peppered by a corrupt political system.  They sing alwaysthanking God for everything.   •Pius Okaneme, Umuoji, Anambra State.


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Sunday, February 9, 2014

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COVER P/17 PDP:Rays Of Hope, Mixed Signs Of Healing

HEALTH P/ 21 Firm Moves To Leverage World Oral Health Day

ODUGBESAN BUSINESS

P/27 SPECIAL REPORT

P/22

10 Years Of Social Media

Imagine Life Without The Buzz!

Gang Wars: Lagos’ New Bloody Frontiers


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SPOTLIGHT

ODUGBESAN: Bringing Out The Best In People By Geraldine Akutu F there is one thing Yetunde Odugbesan believes firmly, it is that there is no shortcut to success— the individual just has to strive at being the best he/she can be. This is one of the many virtues and values her ‘wonderful parents’ imparted to all their children, who were brought up to be able to hold their own wherever they may be. “My parents are nurturers and they supported me in every aspect of my life. I have an elder brother and we are just two in the family. My parents encouraged and always advised me to do my best. My childhood experience was a blessed one and it made me who I am today,” she says. Born and raised in New Jersey in the United States, one of her prominent childhood dreams was to be the president of Nigeria or even the United States. As a teenager, she admired the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton and Benazir Bhutto among others. Little wonder then that during her elementary and high school education, she was always appointed for leadership positions. She was also a dynamic public speaker and today, she feels fulfilled doing what she is passionate about and following the dictates of her heart. “As I grew and matured, the leadership positions became more purposeful as well as powerful. I believe that today I am living my dreams and have worked hard to see them come to fruition. I am trying my best to do the same for others.” She attended Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA for her undergraduate and graduate studies. Her educational background is in media/journalism and global affairs. She is also a graduate of the United Nations Worldview Institute, an executive training programme for business executives and professionals in the field of global business. She was an Eagleton Institute of Politics Fellow and received a certificate in applied politics. She was also New Leaders Council Fellow and holds a Masters in global affairs with a concentration in international law from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. in global affairs as well. She has a degree in journalism and media studies with a double minor in organisational Leadership and Africana Studies from Rutgers University. She has had numerous trainings, public service and leadership appointments as well as academic awards. Her work experiences have taken her through the areas of academia, government and public/private sector. She has equally worked with United Way of Essex and West Hudson, Rutgers Institute of Anti-Corruption Studies, United Nations Population Fund, New Jersey State Ethics Commission and Division of Global Affairs among others. “I am extremely passionate about leadership. I believe that it is very important for people to develop their leadership skills and competences. I started my consulting firm to provide leadership development and training for companies, HR divisions, organisations, professionals, executives and senior management personnel. I know exactly what it takes for a person, company or organisation to be successful globally. My service develops people into stronger public speakers, efficient and effective managers and important influential leaders. We also specialise in organisational management for companies and organisations. “Yetunde Global Consulting, where I am the CEO, is a management consulting firm, which specialises in leadership development and training, organisational management and business strategies. We provide custom seminars, workshops, curriculums and training. Our areas of expertise include: Communication strategies, public speaking, body language development, image development, speech writing for dignitaries and government officials, custom keynote presentations, social media implementation, organisational management, performance measurement, conflict resolution, project implementation and completion, business consulting, developing strategic partnerships, global business branding as well as business plan development.” In her view, it is her passion for public speak-

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ing that distinguishes her from others in the field. To her, it is a calling and an avenue for contributing her quota to the society. “From a very young age, I was a public speaker. When I was 20 years old, I was already speaking in front of hundreds to thousands of people. But my accomplishments and consequent accolades are not meant for me alone, as they also serve as a testament to motivate other young people to work hard and live a life of service. Speaking before audiences is where I feel most comfortable. I love motivating people, developing their leadership skills and working with professionals, high-level government officials and business executives on their communication strategies, decision-making process and pub-

lic image. “I am doing what I love and grateful that at my age I have found my purpose, calling and niche. I have many sources of inspiration and these include my parents, mentors and innate purpose. I believe that when the individual has a purpose, nothing and no one can stop it. I want to see young people succeed. I want to be able to do purposeful work. And most importantly, I want to see other young women rise to assume leadership positions. “I have a non-profit organisation called

Young Woman’s Guide. I have held workshops for young women in Lagos on leadership training, personal empowerment and self-confidence. I look forward to partnering with secondary schools and universities in Nigeria to teach leadership courses and develop leadership curriculums.” Odugbesan , is however, quick to say that vision, commitment, focus and doggedness are key ingredients to succeeding in any endeavour. “I had grandiose visions for my life and I worked extremely hard to actualise them. I’ve done a great job in balancing my life. I make sure that I create time for myself, nurture my relationship with my family and maintain a productive social life, but most importantly, I surround myself with positive people, who are

also visionaries, achievers and public servants. To be successful, there is need to pick and choose carefully those you spend time with, prioritise your goals, make time for yourself, the people and things that matter, nurture your relationship with God and never ever give up. You have to keep on going.” In advocating for girls empowerment, what have been the challenges? “It takes resources to take empowerment to the next level. With my non-profit outfit, Young Woman’s Guide, which I have been funding on

my own, I hope one day to be able to take empowerment of young girls and women to the next level with the support of sponsors that believe in our mission. One of my goals is to be able to sponsor young women’s education, entrepreneurial pursuits and to continue providing leadership training through the Young Woman’s Guide Leadership Institute. I believe it’s important for corporations to ensure that young girls have access to quality education as part of their social responsibility.” So, what measures does she think should be taken to make girl empowerment a success in Nigeria? “Education is very essential. Ensuring that young girls, throughout Nigeria receive quality education is imperative. We must also invest in their personal well being by providing them holistic resources in the areas of sexual health and reproduction, safety measures, mental health, leadership training and more. Empowering girls is not just a catch phrase; it must be implemented,” she says. She also believes that for women to contribute effectively to nation building, there must be gender equity, equal opportunities and the inclusion of women in the decision-making process. Towards this end, investing in female education reduces the gender gap in employment. And ensuring that women play an active role in the political process and equal representation will facilitate political stability, human security and gender balance. What programme is her organisation putting in place to ensure that women realise their potentials even in the midst of poverty and political strife? “We provide free seminars and workshops generally for women on personal empowerment and overcoming obstacles and challenges. We also have public service components, where we give back to the community and work on uplifting women and girls.” But how does she cope with her tight schedule and running the affairs of her family? “I believe it’s important to have a balance. At times we women have a tendency to throw ourselves completely into our careers and professional pursuits. We thereby neglect other important areas in our lives. For me, an individual can only be considered successful, when he/she has succeeded in both the personal and professional lives. My personal and professional lives are extremely important to me.” Over the years, life has taught Odugbesan many and varied useful lessons. “Some of the very important lessons life has taught me are: Never apologise for being who you are. Appreciate your accomplishments and be grateful to people who supported you. Always be prepared. Opportunities may only come once, so you must always be on time and at alert when the moment does come. Follow your dreams and create your own path. Everyone has a special mission, a destiny only they can live out. Always be grateful for what you have and where you are now.” She advises women aspiring to be entrepreneurs to strive to turn their visions into reality. “They must constantly build partnerships with people, who will take their company to greater heights. They must also take their businesses as well as brands extremely serious. Women entrepreneurs represent their creations and therefore, must take control of their self-branding. If you have a vision, start working toward materialising it. Don’t waste time, second-guessing yourself. With time, you will see that the areas that make you apprehensive will become clear and everything you need to start the business will somehow materialise. Where there is vision, intent and purpose, success will naturally fol-


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Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Cover PDP: Rays Of Hope, Mixed Signs Of Healing

Kwankwaso

Mu’azu

By Leo Sobechi T could be safely argued that things seem to looking up for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), ever since it changed the baton of leadership from Alhaji Bamanga Tukur to Alhaji Adamu M’uazu. The new chairman has through his major political outings and utterances given hope that the party could be healed. If nothing else, it has become obvious that the new helmsman is passionate about restoring PDP to its full length and stature as the dominant political party in Nigeria. Even the former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, hinted at M’uazu’s passion in an interview with journalists. Atiku disclosed that before Mu’azu was made chairman, he came to him; “but I told him that much as he is passionate, he may not be able to do the job he has been given. Almost all the founding fathers of the party have left.” What Atiku did not actually anticipate was that some interesting political characters like the founding fathers he alluded to were arriving PDP! At a meeting with National Assembly caucus of the party, M’uazu found the courage to inform the legislators that talk of automatic ticket should escape from their mouths, reminding them democracy does not respect short circuiting mandate giving through elections. Solidarity visits have continued to be paid on the new chairman as sign of goodwill from states and organizations. During a recent visit by stakeholders from three states, M’uazu also rejected the plea of exclusion hinted by some actors, saying that the party needs people. He also sounded a note of warning to the almighty PDP governors that there would be no imposition of candidates. While disclosing that the party plans to set up committees to bring back internal democracy to the party, he declared that there would be a level-playing field for all the members that may aspire to run for elective offices during the 2015 general election. The new chairman told the stakeholders: “I am a product of democratic process. I am here to deepen the dynamics of internal democracy within the party. Every member who has interest to contest the forthcoming elections and indeed the primary elections should go back to the villages and towns and contest. Because I am a product of a democratic process, I would ensure that democracy is deepened in the party and the country generally. Go back to the people and appeal to their sense of judgment for them to elect you. There would be not imposition of candidates from Abuja. Those claiming that they know the president or know the national chairman would be disappointed.” These,

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no doubt, are ambitious pronouncements, but it is left to be seen how he reflects his avowals in this actions. However, what could pass as the greatest advice to the new chairman came from Enugu State Governor, Mr. Sullivan Chime. As a lawyer, Chime enjoined M’uazu to keep his eyes on the party’s constitution, stressing that, “if we play by the rules, PDP will not only be the number one political party, but will continue to rule this country for over 100 years.” The advice makes meaning when placed side by side with M’uazu’s realization that he came at a time the PDP was having some problems. His words: “I came at a time our party has lost some grounds; we will regain the lost grounds and move ahead. This is the dawn of a new era… There will be no more imposition of candidates from Abuja.” Happy enough, the national chairman assured the stakeholders that he would be guided by the PDP constitution and refrain from touching or retouching any state party structure. Serial violence done to the PDP constitution has been at the root of constant recriminations in the party. But unless the chairman extracts similar assurances from the governors for the operation of internal democracy in state party structures, room still exists for possible rancour. When state governors would try to shepherd delegates to national convention with dictation on how cast their votes, M’uazu would be made to look like a rubber stamp. The point is that equity must not just be done when those who apply are prepared to do equity. Internal democracy must run down the whole structure. On the other hand, M’uazu may have adopted a clever strategy by allowing local council chairmen to demand that governors

Lamido

do not impose candidates on them. This way, it could be said that PDP is on the path of healing by handing power back to the owners: the people, which is what democracy is all about. A chieftain of the party who attended the stakeholders’ solidarity from Abia State, chief David Ogba Onuoha-Bourdex told journalists at the venue that the outpouring of solidarity and support for the emergence of Alhaji Adamu M’uazu as the national chairman has rekindled the sense of amity and unity that would restore the party to its winning ways. He noted that recent developments in the country show that as a truly national party, whatever happens in PDP affects Nigeria. “The optimism that PDP is back on its winning ways stems from the fact that our new national chairman represents the new generation of leaders. He was governor in the present dispensation and easily connects with both incumbent state governors and members of the National Assembly. The major issue that threw up the recent challenges in PDP was the age gap between the former national chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and present political actors in the system; M’uazu has come as the best bridge to resolve the divisions,” Onuoha-Bourdex explained. The chieftain added that M’uazu’s “vitality and democratic credentials would stand PDP in good stead to weather every storm,” stressing that having taken a principled stand against the bogey of automatic tickets, “M’uazu has shown that he Babangida-Aliyu would drive President Jonathan’s transforma(APC). M’uazu’s winning streak must have tion agenda as it relates to politics.” reflected in the defection of APC giants like forYou poach me I poach you IF you poach from us, we poach from you! mer governors of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim That is now the new tricks between PDP and Shekarau and his Sokoto State counterpart, the wave making All Progressives Congress Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa to the PDP. There are signs that the balancing acts would continue as tell-tale signs suggest a North West versus North East battle following obvious plots to deny General Muhammadu Buhari the Presidential ticket of APC. What is in the offing now is how the merger proponents would receive the shunting aside of GMB or the choice of Atiku’s protégé as presidential flag bearer. Signs of the impending showdown could be seen from Speaker Aminu Tambuwal’s declaration that he remains rooted in PDP in addition to Shekarau’s and Bafarawa’s entry. Shekarau has become to the

The optimism that PDP is back on its winning ways stems from the fact that our new national chairman represents the new generation of leaders. He was governor in the present dispensation and easily connects with both incumbent state governors and members of the National Assembly. The major issue that threw up the recent challenges in PDP was the age gap between the former national chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and present political actors in the system; M’uazu has come as the best bridge to resolve the divisions.

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COVER Chief Ebenezer Babatope, a former minister and stalwart of the PDP thinks it is too early to write off the PDP. In a chat with GBENGA SALAU on what the new chairman is doing, Babatope assures that the PDP will bounce back. How will you assess the new PDP chairman’s effort in addressing the crisis in your party? HE chairman is going about it in the proper way. I was told that he held a meeting with the House of Representatives members and that he is meeting the senators and the governors. I think he is doing a very, very good job. By the time he finishes, he would have been able to assemble good opinions on how to move the party forward. He cannot do more than holding meetings with the people in the party, making sure that members of the party move together and prepare very well for 2015 elections. And that is what he has been doing, meeting people, meeting the stakeholders. Many believe that indiscipline is high in the party, in moving forward, what will you suggest? The party eventually will get itself together. Elements who want to leave the party have gone and I wish them the best of luck, even though I would have been happier if they remained. But I can assure you that when you talk about discipline, PDP will really establish itself when we have a party. And that is what I believe that the present party chairman and all other leaders of the party are doing now. We want to build a party and in whatever we do, the party is supreme. You said the party is supreme, but most of your members don’t take the party’s instructions and positions? It is because of some people who wanted to leave the party. The PDP is not a bad party, it is very well organised, but we do admit that there are some structural mistakes that had been made and that is what the chairman and all others are correcting. By the time we finish, everybody will have a sense of ownership and responsibility and I can assure you that the party would have been well prepared for elections. The president’s input is expected to be key in resolving the crisis, how do you think he could get involved and not escalate the crisis? He is involved already; he goes to the NWC meetings and other meetings of the party. He is the leader of the party. Don’t you think the case in hand now demands a special treatment? What special treatment? You media men are painting a mountain out of a molehill. Every party in the world must have its own teething problems. Only this month, Obama gave a state of the union address to Americans. But we are very resolved in the PDP to resolve our problems, move ahead to

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BABATOPE:

PDP Remains The Party To Beat • APC Is Most Disorganised Party

win elections. And by the grace of God, we are going to win elections. You said that your party is going to win elections, but the opposition is moving in a ravaging way, (cuts in)?

That is not correct, hold it, you will find out that the APC is the most unorganised party we have in this country. You hold it; their own time is coming. No doubt, the opposition is moving with

growing members? That is your feeling; that is your view, it is not the popular view on the streets. You wait and allow the APC to bring out all its arsenal, and I can assure you that the APC is the most disorganised party that we have in the country and time will prove us correct. Some have alleged that the president is too soft and that he needs to get tougher, especially with the opposition? If he gets tough with them, then that would not be democracy. Democracy involves freedom of choice and the ability of people to organise themselves to speak freely. So, he should not device any carrot and stick to run the country. I feel we should meet on the arena; the battlefield and the better party will win the election. The chairman is making efforts to get those who defected from the party to return; yet those who left were people who did not take instructions from the party, disregarding the position that the party is supreme? We shall be very happy if they want to come back. If you watch the elections of 2011, the areas where we lost the presidential election is the area where many of these people are coming from. We are going to be happy if they come back. The new chairman is planning a major offensive, reorganising the party to make sure that everybody comes back. If they do not come back that is their choice and that is what democracy is all about. I can assure you that it is not going to ruffle the PDP, the party will learn from its mistakes and move ahead to win elections. The party chairman is doing very well; he

We shall be very happy if they want to come back. If you watch the elections of 2011, the areas where we lost the presidential election is the area where many of these people are coming from. We are going to be happy if they come back. The new chairman is planning a major offensive, reorganising the party to make sure that everybody comes back. If they do not come back that is their choice and that is what democracy is all about. I can assure you that it is not going to ruffle the PDP, the party will learn from its mistakes and move ahead to win elections

Mixed Signs Of Healing For Ruling Party CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17 APC the moral equivalent of Rotimi Amaechi. Taunting APC, the former Kano State Governor disclosed that the fledgling party had been “hijacked by cliques that employed undemocratic tactics to ruin the party.” Subduing his sense of frustration, Shekarau accused the APC of violating critical norms of democracy, since according to him “within these six months, various unconstitutional decisions have been passed by a clique of the leadership of the party.” “And in our position as bonafide members of that party then, we challenged such decisions…APC has nothing to show in this last six months, there is nothing on ground, not a single member of APC has been registered, not a single leadership structure exists anywhere within the states. No structure of interim leadership at ward levels, at local government levels, at state levels.” Then Turaki’s second excursion IT was chief Olusegun Obasanjo who made the timeless statement that when one is confronted with an ambush the only alternative was to move ahead. Being a soldier, Baba Iyabo knows the intricacies of tactical maneouvres. That witticism may have explained Atiku Abubakar’s second defection from PDP. In Turaki’s second voyage of discovery to the APC, there is nothing to suggest that it was a product of his political ingenuity, rather it could be argued that the G.5 governors that defected before him after the great walk out of Eagle Square, must have ambushed his political calculations. So, in keeping with Obasanjo’s recommendation, Atiku had to move on for his polit-

ical good and safety. Between PDP and the former vice president, the political excursion was a step long awaited. The ruling party is better for it. M’uazu’s must have heaved a silent sigh of relief because he may no longer wonder how to tackle issues that concern his in-law, Atiku just as happened to Dr. Okwy Nwodo, when busybodies bore tails that he was secretly working for Atiku against Jonathan’s emergence at the 2011 PDP primary election. On this moral freedom square, the PDP national chairman could navigate his way towards uniting the remnants of party faithful. The visit of members of the party’s Board of Trustees led by chief Tony Anenih is a ceremonial confirmation of M’uazu’s healing strategies. PDP as it is today could be said to be more manageable for M’uazu. The ambitious troublemakers seem to have found a new haven in APC. But that does not mean that all fear is gone. Speaker of House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal said he was not leaving the PDP. His deputy, Emeka Ihedioha gave indications last week in Imo State that he was not interested in contesting for the House again in 2015. Governors Sule Lamido and chief Servant Aliu, had earlier echoed similar sentiments. What if these ones have an ace up their sleeves? Do Tambuwal and Ihedioha want to reenact the magic that threw up their election at the Green chamber during the Presidential primaries? Would PDP witness a new rapprochement among northern political forces in the party in a last ditch effort to yank off the presidential ticket from President Jonathan? When that come comes to become, (apologies to K. O. Mbadiwe) how would M’uazu respond? Reflecting on the tidal waves of defections that assailed the party in recent times,

Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, said PDP has become leaner to be stronger. He is correct to a great extent. But until the issue of the party’s presidential ticket for the 2015 election is resolved, Nigerians may not believe that the party has been trimmed for cohesion, efficiency and effectiveness.     Rooted in the North ALL the same, it could be based on the inspiration offered by M’uazu’s emergence that chairman of Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Niger State, Chief Servant, Babangida Aliyu, has been explaining his refusal to join APC alongside his G.5 colleagues. He stated:  “I led a protest, which came to be known as G7. It was not intended to kill the party and move away. Many people asked me, ‘you led the group, how come you did not move?’ I didn’t move because my conscience, understanding and my position is with the PDP. And I believe in 2015 PDP will form the government.” While extolling M’uazu’s emergence as PDP chairman, the governor explained that what M’uazu went through at the end of his tenure as governor of Bauchi State must have prepared him to serve PDP at these trying times. “His return has brought hope to the party; the challenges faced by PDP will make it face elections in 2015 better,” Aliu declared. Traditionally PDP as conservative political party is more rooted in the North than anywhere else. There is hope then that this realization has reawakened in the minds of the political actors after M’uazu succeeded the mercurial Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, as national chairman. How long PDP’s new found hope would last depends on the sincerity of its leaders. If things continue this way, APC should take credit for helping to


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COVER

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar (left); Interim National Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Bisi Akande; National Leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Adamawa State Governor, Vice Admiral Murtala Nyako; and Maj.-Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), during the official launch and grand rally of APC at Muhammadu Ribadu Square, Jimeta, Yola. By Armsfree Ajanaku OLLOWERS of the round leather game of football, especially the European minted version, know of a certain period called the January Transfer window. It is a mid season period where football clubs can buy players. Once that window closes, a club has to wait till the “summer” for any new “transfer” of players. The transfer window is a mechanism for moderation of movement. When there is too much movement or too many shades of motion, there could be mishaps or multiple crashes. Although it has certain trickster similarities with football, politics however has a more cavalier set of rules governing the movement or “transfer” of politicians from one party to the other. In politics, especially the Nigerian variant with its bags of contradictions, there are absolutely no “transfer windows” to temper the restlessness of constant motion. Political gladiators as a result have the leeway to jump from one end of the political divide to the other. The transfer window clarification would be helpful to those not used to the unpredictable, mostly bewildering realities of Nigeria’s peculiar brand of politics, who may see the flurry of defections convulsing the nation’s political landscape as events from an outer space. Political adversaries, who tore furiously at each other a short while ago, have suddenly become chummy companions, holding hands and slapping backs in newfound camaraderie. Bosom political friends, who had jointly poked fingers at a common ruling party enemy, are increasingly finding themselves in opposing aisles of a political terrain akin to quick sand. As such, the exact colouration of the nation’s political landscape is somewhat difficult to decipher. It is so because the calculations are extremely cold and Machiavellian. It is about 2015, and in this business the question is not about the permanence of friends or foes. Since the new fad of defections began, none has caused as much ripples in the political space as that of former vice president, Atiku Abubakar. As the latest big fish to dump the drying pond of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for what looks like the increasingly populated fold of All Progressive Congress (APC), Atiku has underscored the pragmatism and irony that generally shape the melodrama that is politics. All political moves have to be rationalised. Atiku in providing a believable narrative for his latest move, made allusion to his famed struggle for democracy and constitutionalism since 2006. He was at the centre of the drama when the G7 coalition of governors walked out of the mini PDP convention last year to form a faction of the ruling party, which was christened the new PDP. So abundant are the ironies and inherent contradictions of these political transfers that many close watchers of the political space have failed to spot some of the most glaring ones. Since the former vice president already led the coalition of ‘rebel’ governors to form the nPDP, was it correct to shape the defection as one from a sinking PDP to a blooming APC? The accurate thing to say would have been that the former VP had finally moved from his nPDP camp to berth at the APC port. The defection was not from the mainstream PDP, which he already dumped in the first place, when he spear- headed the walk out from the party’s mini convention last year. But because correctness and accuracy are not the goals, but the direct victims of politics, especially the Nigerian variant, the current spate of ship-jumping by politicians would never be accurately chronicled for what they are.  The fundamental issue in the scramble for 2015 is the permanence of ambitions. And it seems that other big fishes in the

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ATIKU: Taking Advantage Of APC’s February Transfer Window APC are already in the know that the ambitions of the former vice president have a way of traveling miles ahead of him. A chorus of voices within the party is already sounding a note of warning that the former number two should tread softly in going about what may become yet another shot at the ultimate prize, the presidency. There were no such warnings for Atiku in the period between 1999 and 2003, when he gained momentum to become vice president and the ultimate prize was just a touching distance away. Although historians would someday crack their brains about the various fallouts that effectively took the former VP out of a realistic equation for the presidency when it was within reach, Atiku himself would have asked if the management of his ambition was not his Achilles heel. A flash back to 1999 would certainly tell the story of how Atiku a star of Nigeria’s democratic firmament took his place. Elected Governor of Adamawa State and preparing to settle down to the business of governance, Atiku was pulled away to become running mate to Olusegun Obasanjo, who needed a politically savvy Young Turk to make the rounds. It was a ticket that combined the wisdom of the old with the vigour of the young. The effect of this arrangement was that Atiku emerged as a powerful number two with the clout and influence that belied his office. As chair of the National Council on Privatisation (NPC) the former vice president was instrumental to the sale of Nigeria’s decaying public assets, and there were deafening whispers that he used the opportunity to cultivate a good number of friends, such that the residence of the vice president became as attractive to patronage seekers as nectar is to honey. Added to this was Atiku’s magnetic persona as well as what has been described as his generosity, which contrasted sharply with the stingy (some say frugal) disposition of his principal, Obasanjo. But matters were said to have come to a head, when Atiku’s influence also began to permeate the rank of state governors, a most crucial political block with the powers of life and death over presidential ambitions. Although there were no governors to determine who got the ticket in 1999, by 2003 the governors were poised to be king makers and determine who carts away the very big prize of the presidential ticket of the ruling party. It appeared Atiku was in the reckoning, and with a support base straddling the North and the South courtesy of the famed PDM structure bequeathed to him by the late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, Atiku looked unstoppable. The story has it that this was the point Obasanjo reached the conclusion that his politically savvy young Turk was also about to send him into a bitter political wilderness. The former President was thus compelled to stoop in order to conquer the rights for a second term. The incongruous picture, true or not, emerged that the eminently proud Obasanjo had to go down on his knees to beg Atiku not to drown his second term dream. Atiku resisted temptation, dithered and declined to run. Obasanjo won a second term and trained his guns on his number two. Beyond famously declaring that, “I don’t know who will succeed me, but I know those who will not,” Obasanjo harassed Atiku out of

the PDP, forcing his deputy to seek solace in the waiting arms of Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Action Congress (AC), which was in search of friends from up North to give the party a pan Nigerian colouration. In what became a presidency shaped by animosity and vengeful brinkmanship, Atiku in return teamed up with the anti-third term forces to scuttle Obasanjo’s fox like moves to grab a third term by an amendment of the 1999 Constitution. Atiku got the Presidential ticket of the AC but soon faced the challenge of his seat being declared vacant. He fought all the way to the Supreme Court to retain the vice presidency, while he managed to compel Professor Maurice Iwu’s rascally INEC to put his name on the ballot. Many had expected that Atiku would stay put in the opposition and build it into a force capable of routing the PDP in the 2011 general elections. But the lure of movement got the better of him. He pushed his way to a cold welcome in Adamawa, where Governor Murtala Nyako made things difficult for him. He even visited his former principal, Obasanjo in a public show of reconciliation. In the political cauldron of 2011, Atiku’s exertions were focused on winning the PDP Presidential ticket. His disciplined and well run campaign with the pay off line: Making Good Things Happen was based on the calculation that he had a fair chance of winning the PDP ticket. Through an arrangement for a northern consensus candidate by the Northern Elders Political Forum led by Adamu Ciroma, Atiku used his skills as an astute political operative to edge out former President Ibrahim Babangida and former National Security Adviser, Aliyu Gusau. He was however defeated in the PDP primaries by President Goodluck Jonathan, who went on to win a substantive first term.         With the recent defection to the APC, there are those who are eager to know what Atiku’s strategic motivations are. In what was apparently a move to further cement his credentials as a democrat, the former vice president made a show, traversing the country to consult supporters on what platform to move to. Already in the APC, which was endorsed by the vast majority of his supporters as the preferred platform, there is a constellation of presidential hopefuls who have dug their heels in, building the party and nurturing it with the hope that they will be given a chance to take a shot. Former helmsman, General Muhammadu Buhari, publisher of Leadership Newspapers, Sam Ndah Isaiah, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and some unnamed dark horses are said to be in the reckoning. With Atiku in the mix, there are those who think the APC pond of ambitions would become too combustible for victory in 2015. But what does the former number two have up his political sleeve? To take another shot at being king, or to be a kingmaker? These questions have been met with deft rhetoric about giving Nigeria good governance and rescuing it from the missteps of a “clueless” helmsman. But since he announced his defection, very interested parties have been keen to know what he expects in return from this risky venture. Only then can be begin to think of how to evolve a sharing formula for what could be the spoils. 


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

20 Sunday, February 9, 2014

COVER

Amaechi

Jonathan

Wike

Recovery For Rivers’ PDP Not In Sight By Kelvin Ebiri OLLOWING extended periods of conflict within the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State, the possibility of achieving genuine reconciliation among aggrieved supporters of Governor Chibuike Amaechi and the Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike’s group, remains elusive. Prior to the time Ameachi decamped from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APCF) last year, relationships between the governor and Wike, who now leads the PDP in the state, had deteriorated over 2015 politics Crisis erupted in the Rivers PDP when an Abuja High Court ousted the state chairman of the PDP, Mr. Godspower Ake (Amaechi’s ally), and replaced him with Mr. Felix Obuah, who is a political ally of Wike.  Amaechi’s faction lost the state PDP party structure, which the governor and his supporters perceived as a deliberate attempt to weaken his grip of the state politics. Over time, that situation elicited other events. A few days after the Abuja court installed Obuah as the chairman, twenty five proAmaechi state lawmakers led by the Speaker, Otelemaba Amachree vowed never to recognise or work with the Obuah led state executive of the party.   The lawmakers said they remained irretrievable supportive of the duly elected Ake led executive committee of the party. The State council chairmen under the aegis of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) also joined the political skirmish by vowing never to accept or work with Obuah. The chairmen said the installment of Obuah was part of a calculated plan by a faction of the party to create an environment to warrant the declaration of state of emergency in the state and illegally remove Governor Amaechi from office. A day after the court declared Obuah as the PDP chairman, pro-Amaechi members of the State House of Assembly suspended the chairman of Obio-Akpor council, Timothy Nsirim, his vice and all his 17 councilors. The suspended council officials who are Wike’s political protégées were replaced by a caretaker committee headed by Dike Chikordi. In a bid to thwart Chikordi’s takeover of the administration of the council, pro-Wike PDP faction members stormed the council secretariat at Rumuoduamaya, with a threat to cause mayhem if the caretaker committee members attempted to resume work. This paved way for the Police to seal up the council for the next six months. The refusal of the pro-Amaechi lawmakers to recall the suspended Obio-Akpor council officials led to their suspension by the Obuah led PDP state executive.  Not done, Obuah went ahead to announce the suspension of 14 Rivers State commissioners and others from the Peoples Democratic Party. The political scene changed dramatically following the decision of Governor Chibuike Amaechi, some members of the National Assembly and the State House of Assembly to

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decamp to the All Progressive Congress (APC). The phenomenon of an incumbent governor switching political party following political disagreements or due to personality conflicts within his political party has never occurred in Rivers political history. Hence, when Amaechi and some of his core loyalists dumped the PDP for the APC, this act became the most prominent political event of last year. It was on November 26 the governor formally declared his intention to join the APC. He claimed his decision to dump the PDP was with the overall interest to protect Rivers’ people who he said had suffered neglect under the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. In addition, he explained that the issues raised by G7 governors were not resolved. Amaechi also alleged that he left the PDP because of the refusal of the federal government to refund the state the money expended on federal roads and that major industrial and strategic security projects that were originally slated for location in Rivers State had been moved to neighbouring states without even the courtesy of an explanation. A source close to the governor disclosed to The Guardian that any effort by the new chairman of the PDP, Adamu Muazu, to woo the governor back to the party would be futile. He said Amaechi has vowed to remain in the APC even if everyone leaves. He further revealed that the governor would only leave the APC only when President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife decamp to the party. “Ultimately, the path to reconciliation can only be laid by the president and other critical stakeholders of the party. The president should look to plant the seeds of reconciliation by calling Amaechi, Wike and other stakeholders together to address their grievances. His taking sides has plunged the PDP into deep crisis that will be difficult to overcome,” he said. The road to mutual reconciliation might be a long and tortuous one, because of personal political considerations ahead of 2015. The crux of the crisis in Rivers State stems from calculations of who the next governor, and his deputy would be. While Wike has rhetorically been campaigning for Jonathan’s second term bid, he has been mobilising his supporters under the aegis of Grassroots Democratic Movement, for his possible 2015 governorship. Amaechi and his supporters’ return to the PDP

might be detrimental to Wike’s and several others’ political ambition, hence, everything humanly possible would be done to scuttle a peaceful resolution of the crisis, which has now reduced the PDP to a minority status in the state House of Assembly for the first time since 1999. Another hurdle against Amaechi’s return to the PDP under which platform he was elected the Speaker of the Rivers State of Assembly between 1999 -2007 and then Governor from 2007 till 2011, is the demand for the return of all the oil wells ceded to both Bayelsa and Abia States. Amaechi said; “I have told the President that I belong to APC. If you want me back to PDP tell him give Kalabari people their oil and I will come back. He cannot. The President cannot, instead, he will take more,” he said. The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, David Iyofor told The Guardian that the return of wells remains a prerequisite for any possible reconciliation. He regretted that since the governor publicly declared his condition to return to the PDP, nobody has come to say the oil wells will be returned and that he should come back to the party. “Amaechi has given his condition to return to the PDP publicly; and since then, he has not gotten any response from anybody. If the conditions are met, that will be a step towards reconciliation. As we speak, nobody has come to say we are going to give you the oil wells in Soku and 41 oil wells ceded to Abia State,” he said. He added that Amaechi is not bothered whether Mr. Wike and Obuah might possibly thwart his return to the PDP. “Ultimately the path to reconciliation can only be laid by the President and other critical stakeholders of the party. The President should look to plant the seeds of reconciliation by calling Amaechi, Wike and other stakeholders together to address their own personal faceoff. His taking sides has plunged the PDP into deep crisis that will be difficult to overcome,” he said. Wike’s position is that he would only relinquish his grip of the party’s structure if the governor returns the mandate of Celestine Omehia, who was ousted by the Supreme Court in 2007 and replaced with Amaechi. He said; “as far as the PDP structure in Rivers State is concerned, nobody gave us any PDP structure. We fought for our mandate and we won in court. If they say that they should take the structure from us after the court had given judgment, then, the PDP should also take the governorship of 2007. PDP should also return

Ultimately, the path to reconciliation can only be laid by the President and other critical stakeholders of the party. The President should look to plant the seeds of reconciliation by calling Amaechi, Wike and other stakeholders together to address their grievances. His taking sides has plunged the PDP into deep crisis that will be difficult to overcome.

it to the man who was serving as governor that time. Our own condition is this; we will surrender the party structure since he says he will no longer obey court judgment. He should also surrender the court judgment of 2007. If you (Amaechi) do that, then we would also surrender the court judgment that brought Felix Obuah. For us now, we are telling the PDP national leadership that our own condition is this; we are willing to make peace. We are willing to surrender the party structure, if he (Amaechi) would also surrender the mandate that the court gave in 2007. He should give it back to the man who had that mandate,” Wike said. Spokesperson for the PDP chairman in Rivers State, Mr. Jerry Needam, told The Guardian that the party will be willing to accept the governor back within its fold if only he can abide by the rules and regulations of the PDP. Needam explained that prior to the time the governor decamped, he had by his utterances and actions undermined the leadership of the PDP and overtly worked against the interest of the party. He pointed out that the PDP had merely suspended the governor for anti party activities, but he opted to decamp to another political party that has proven to be antagonistic to the PDP. “He (Amaechi) was running against the principles of the party. He was running down the party by his actions and utterances. While in PDP, he was romancing with Senator Bola Tinubu and others who are not members of the PDP. He was attending their meetings. That does not show loyalty to the PDP. We warned that before Amaechi defected, he was involved in activities of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). That was why Kenneth Kobani and Abiye Sekibo resigned from ACN,” he said. Though the road to mutual reconciliation will be a long and treacherous one, because of personal political considerations ahead of 2015, Needam said the PDP will be willing to accept Governor Amaechi back if he repents and desists from antagonizing the party. He pointed out that one characteristic of a good politician and leader is the ability to make compromises when the need arises. “The only reasonable thing to do is that if you belong to a political party, you must abide by the principles of the party. And if you belong to a party, you must be prepared for reconciliation. Christ came to reconcile us with God. We will be willing to accept Amaechi back, but he must change and seek genuine peace and reconciliation. Members of the PDP will be willing to accept Amaechi back,” he added. The reality of 2015 remains very crucial. While Wike has virtually visited nearly all the 23 local government areas under the guise of campaigning for Jonathan, he has been mobilizing his supporters for himself too. Amaechi’s return to the PDP will to a large extent be determined by how the PDP resolves the issue of the composition of the state executive of the party. It will be impossible for the governor to return to the party while his camp remains disempowered. The possibility of Wike to concede his grip of PDP to Amaechi is also difficult at this point. So, the PDP remains fractured.


Sunday, February 9, 2014 21

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

HEALTH By Gbenga Akinfenwa HE International Business Machines CorT poration (IBM), an American multinational technology and consulting corporation, which specialises in manufacturing and marketing of computer hardware and software, is set to establish a new pan-African Center of Excellence for DataDriven Development (CEDD) to assist Africa in overcoming its health challenges. Interestingly, the company is presently focusing on only two areas. Two of the center’s first focus areas are healthcare and education, which have constituted a major challenge to the continent. At a lecture held at the University of Lagos, last Thursday titled: “Impact of Technology on Society”, the company noted that Sub-Saharan Africa is home to approximately 25 per cent of the world’s disease burden, yet the most common form of healthcare outside of cities is delivered by community health workers. According to the Director, IBM Research – Africa, Kamal Bhattacharya, CEDD will collect encyclopedic knowledge about traditional and non-traditional diseases in Africa,

IBM To Launch Data-Driven Development To Combat Health Challenges adding that with access to Watson’s cognitive intelligence, doctors, nurses and field workers will get help in diagnosing illnesses and identifying the best treatment for each patient. “For example, women in sub-Saharan Africa account for 22 per cent of all cases of cervical cancer worldwide mainly due to a lack of services and knowledge. “Watson could provide new insights into the evolution of cervical cancer in Africa and suggest new approaches for its prevention, diagnosis and treatment. By feeding back valuable clinical data about their field observations, healthcare works will be able to contribute to improving Watson’s inference abilities. He disclosed that despite the fact that decades of development work in Africa have significantly helped to improve the livelihood and raise the standard of living

of millions across the continent, traditional approaches have often fallen short because of commercial unviability, a domain specific scope and a lack of accurate data. Bhattacharya said, “In the last decade, Africa has been a tremendous growth story, yet the continent’s challenges, stemming from population growth, water scarcity, disease, low agricultural yield and other factors are impediments to inclusive economic growth. “With the ability to learn from emerging patterns and discover new correlations, Watson’s cognitive capabilities hold enormous potential in Africa, helping it to achieve in the next two decades what today’s developed markets have achieved over two centuries.” He stressed that big Data technologies have a major role to play in Africa’s devel-

Firm Moves To Leverage World Oral Health Day By Gbenga Akinfenwa N continued commitment to total oral health, the Oral-B ’Sharing Smiles’ campaign kicked off in Lagos on Thursday. Structured to reach disadvantaged communities that cannot afford dental care products and consultations with dentists, the OralB team takes advantage of the World Oral Health Day (WOHD) to spread its message of ‘Sharing

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opment challenges: from understanding food price patterns, to estimating GDP and poverty numbers, to anticipating disease, adding that the key is turning data into knowledge and actionable insight. According to him, with the new development, IBM is recruiting research partners such as universities, development agencies, start-ups and clients in Africa and around the world. “By joining the initiative, IBM’s partners will be able to tap into cloud-delivered cognitive intelligence that will be invaluable for solving the continent’s most pressing challenges and creating new business opportunities. Prof. Rahamon Bello, the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos in his lecture, noted that for Africa to join, and eventually leapfrog, it needed comprehensive investments in science and technology that are well integrated with economic planning and aligned to the African landscape. “I see a great opportunity for innovative research partnerships between companies like IBM and African organizations, bringing together the world’s most advanced technologies with local expertise and knowledge,” the don said.

and Consumer Relations Manager, Ajewole Ayotomiwa, said the camPractical Psychology paign is the brand’s way of sharing smiles to indigent communities around Nigeria. “Oral-B places high value on dental health and hygiene and this is why we have decided to reach out to these communities to show them we care about their wellbeing especially as we approach the Valentine By Passy Amaraegbu season — one of love and care.” T was a joke but the exercise truly highlighted The consumers are also actively inthe perversity of lying habit. Immediately the lecvolved in the selection process, turer entered the class, he asked his students that which determines the communities anybody who has never lied should raise his or her that will take advantage of Oral B’s hands. Only one man did. Who else? Who could Mobile Dental Clinics. Several communities were nominated and even- exhibit such unusual courage? tual winners were chosen through Nath. Yes, moralistic Nath. He was notorious for his attitude of presuming to be spiritually supethe brand’s Facebook page. Also speaking on the campaign, Mr. rior to others. Yet there were some students with Ojo Folarin, Brand Operations Inte- excellent character in the class but they remained grations Manager noted that the humble. ‘Sharing Smiles’ campaign is timely The truth is that at one point or the other, we all in Nigeria where the social life of have lied. Consequently, we shouldn’t only accept consumers is hampered due to lack it but assiduously seek to end this negative habit of confidence in their oral hygiene. because it is seriously consequential. “With healthy oral habits and con- Increase in heart-beat is a major consequence of sistent oral care, consumers can de- lying. The reason for this being that a liar lives in a velop the healthy and fresh breath contradictory environment. A liar is afraid that his increase their confidence in them- audience will discover his shameful behaviour. selves and their abilities. It is also a Consequently, he makes double efforts to cover his great opportunity to do something misdemeanour. He becomes extremely cautious, selfless and good for someone else, thereby putting unnecessary stress on his nervous an opportunity to share a refreshing system. This is why professionals like, psycholosmile.” According to Ojo Folarin, severe gists, criminologists, psychiatrists, lawyers and oral distress is caused by a buildup forensic personnels can readily detect lying beof seemingly minor issues ignored haviours. In advanced countries, a device called lie detector over time. is useful in the tracking of lying tendencies. This device like a detective dog, can pick up relevant incriminating signals from the suspect. Lying exposes people to emotional and mental stress and strain. New lies have to be manufacrules for the method of Christ healing in her book Science and Health with key to tured to cover the old ones. Negative emotions the Scriptures, and found, by strictly ad- such as fear, worry and anxiety are magnified in hering to these rules herself, that spiri- the life of the liar. The consequences of nervous breakdown may be imminent. tual healing was repeatable, and Lying destroys interpersonal relationship as well universally applicable. She acknowlas damages trust and goodwill. Imagine lying to edges the noble role medicine has one’s doctor, psychologist or counselor! How played for centuries in combating diswould they be able to help the individual? For inease, and states that the thought of a doctor, as well as that of a patient, influ- stance a lady who is billed to submit her first urine ences to a large degree, the outcome of for pregnancy test submits the last and lies about it. One suffering from depression denies the onset a case. of the health problem. What will be the conseIn the Chapter titled: ‘Physiology’, quences? Eddy says, ‘Instead of furnishing Daily health problems are compounded or comthought with fear, they (doctors), should try to correct this turbulent ele- plicated because of lying. More seriously, some patients who would have survived, die before their ment of mortal mind by the influence time due to the lie of the medical personnel or the of divine Love, which casteth out fear.’ patient or the family members. At other times, For anyone desiring healing, be they lying increases the cost of medical treatment. practitioner or patient, as medical research is reinforcing, and as the distin- Wrong diagnosis and prescription can be the product of lie. guished doctor is practicing, starting with God or spirituality can be that first By no means, this list is inexhaustive. Yet the constep to ultimately learning to rely radi- sequences are heavy. It is time to arise against this negative habit of lying. In another edition, we concally on God, as Christ Jesus recomsider the cure for lying. mends — a method which always results in healing. Dr. Passy Amaraegbu, A clinical psychologist lives in Lagos. drpassy@yahoo.com m_asolanke@hotmail.com

Smiles’. The campaign seeks to provide free dental services through Oral B’s Mobile Dental Clinic (MDC) to people who ordinarily cannot afford the service. Throughout the period of the campaign, several disadvantaged communities in Lagos, Abuja and Oyo states will be visited and given dental services free of charge. Procter and Gamble’s Brand Communications

Health Consequences Of Lie I

Oral-B Mobile Dental Clinic testing a patient.

Prayer And Medicine By Moji Solanke

NASHAMEDLY, the distinguished professor of a foremost teaching hospital, rose to inform a gathering of church members, that he prays before he performs any surgical operation. He added, with complete conviction, he was sure his prayers influenced the outcome of any treatment he administered, positively. This is certainly food for thought, especially as many of the medical profession in Nigeria, given the opportunity, would talk in a similar vein. Is there a link between prayer, which is spiritual, and medicine, which is material, when it comes to doctoring the physical body with the goal of healing? This question has occupied the thought of the best thinkers, from priest to philosopher to physician. Yet there are those who would make an exclusive case for either medicine or spirituality, in the recovery of health; insisting that there is no benefit in mixing two diametrically opposite standpoints of treatment. Moreover, Nigeria constitutionally allows individuals freedom to practice their faith, yet legally, the preponderance of protective support is

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clearly for the medical rather than the religious practitioner, regarding the outcome of treatment and care administered. Why then would a doctor pray, and then publicly admit this, albeit as a Christian, rather than a strictly medical gathering? The answer is not all that far-fetched, particularly if attention is paid to recent trends in medicine, especially in the Western world. Respected scholars are finding, from years of research and study, that the faith of a patient actively helps the healing process, at times totally reversing both the diagnosis and the prognosis. This is further buttressed by the increased use of placebos in medicine. The average Nigerian, regardless of their professional calling, would also readily admit, often with practical proof, of the efficacy of faith and prayer in the recovery of health. As early as the mid nineteenth century, in far away North America, a devout Christian woman made a startling discovery. Mary Baker Eddy found out that physical healing does occur, even without any medical intervention, provided the individual was willing to turn wholeheartedly to God, and rely radically on the method of healing practiced by Jesus Christ. She wrote the


TheGuardian www.ngrguardiannews.com

22 Sunday, February 9, 2014

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Special Report

Youths on rampage

Gang Wars: Lagos’ New Bloody Frontiers Adewale fought for every breath while sum- and some other weapons of destruction, and moning a final surge of strength to survive the anger in their hearts, they fight indiscriminately. RAGEDY should have a darker beginning, a gunshot. But he barely made it to the hospital. Only on January 26, 2014, some suspected hoodlums invaded Olaiya Street, Mafoluku, Oshodi, writer once noted. But not for Waid Adewale He closed his eyes to the world forever. vandalising no fewer than 50 vehicles and buildKamorudeen. His day had been very peaceful, ings including a parish of the Redeemed Chriscomic with a happy denouement. There was no Mourning Yet On Judgment Day tian Church of God (RCCG), Tree of Life Parish in warning of death, let alone, from a gang war. As HE Shooting of Adewale is one of the series the wee hours. he walked out of the gate of his father’s house of gangwars that have taken over Lagos in Like children born into adversity, and heir to this fateful night, he was happy. He played with the last few years. In January 2013, members of the commotions and chicanery of barbarities, everybody and promised to be back after the they descended on the street. The chill in the air Chelsea vs Liverpool game he wanted to watch. Eiye Confraternity and KK engaged one anBut as soon as he stepped out, a bullet hit him. other in a gun battle in Ketu for days, vandalis- did not dampen their spirits, rather it tinged the passion of the over hundred youths belonging to “Drop him!” one person shouted. “Drop him. ing vehicles and robbing residents in the process. a notorious gang in the area for revenge. Drop the bastard.” The clash was due to a long-standing feud be- A lot of people have been shot dead, stabbed Another added: “Finish the bastard. Finish tween the two confraternities. Innocent peo- and battered, as thugs battled it out in the him off.” ple were not spared in the process, as thugs streets of Lagos. In one reported incident, gunThe shot was precise. It hit him on the chest, puncturing his heart. Anybody, who pulled the assaulted many of them. A fight had also bro- men mistakenly blasted a young man and his ken out in the area during the New Year carni- girlfriend as they were running for cover. Antrigger, must have trained hard for this. The val known as Westside Carnival where two other pregnant lady was caught in the crossfire moment the bullet hit him, he staggered. He members of the KK gang were killed. between gangs. stumbled. Gradually, he went down, his knee The intense rivalry between Eiye Confraterbent. He clutched his chest, as if his heart was HERE are gang and cult groups all over the going to fall out. Stumbling through the gate, nity and Black Axe members also rocked Bariga and Shomolu area of Lagos in August, place — Agarawu, Mushin, Fadeyi, Shomolu, he collapsed on the floor. last year, as the two groups clashed. In the war, Ebute Metta, Oshodi and Ajah. From Mushin to As Adewale looked up, he knew who they were: members of a rival gang. They were over two suspected cult members nicknamed Wale Shitta, Oshodi and Isale Eko, the war is often between area boys and members of National Union 20, and they came in one vehicle. They had ma- Rewire and Moliki Ibadan were stabbed to of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). Land dischetes, sticks and cudgels and guns with them, death. The killing was a reprisal for the murder of another member, Isiaka Oyefeso, who putes and extortion, usually accompanied by immediately they hit him, they sped off. Now was allegedly slain by members of the Black widespread violence, are quite common among the score would be 2-2. the Omo-Onile of Ajah and other emerging settleRoused by the crack of gunshots, a lot of resi- Axe on Okesuna Street, Shomolu. dents rushed out to see Adewale bleeding pro- In the LSDPC Low Cost Housing Estate, Isolo, it ments on the fringes of the metropolis. To say there are recurrent gang wars in parts of fusely. Everybody knew him as the son of ‘Baba has become a Holy Grail to hear that someLagos is to over-flog an obvious fact. But many soVulcaniser’. On Demurin Street, Alapere, Ketu, body fell during the yearly carnival, which he was very popular. He was known to be a seri- holds on December 26. In fact, the carnival is cial commentators wonder why the state govous and focused person, so to say. He had just an opportunity for feuding cult groups to im- ernment has not been able to contain this serious challenge. graduated from the university and was waiting prove on the previous year’s score. SurprisNigeria’s security weakness or challenge has for his call-up letter. The clean-shaven, nice den- ingly, most of these fights started basically because of ego trip: Someone flirted with been most evident, yet by some measure, Lagos titioned 24-year-old Adewale, on April 3, 2013, is in worst shape. It shares many of the country’s had hosted everybody to a double celebration: somebody else’s girl or someone looked the wrong way at somebody else. They were perpains. In fact, on a regular basis, residents wake his passing out from the university and his sonal, minor conflicts that escalated to up in the morning to see reminders of deadly birthday. tragedy. And because these boys have guns clashes, which sadly, leave many dead and prop-

By Gregory Austin Nwakunor

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erty damaged. Since May 1999, when the country started its journey to the fourth republic, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of gang wars in the state. No Farewell To Cannibal Rage who is a gang member? And what is the SlookO,mission of every gang? These questions so simple, but the answers are becoming more pressing for Lagosians. Where did Lagos go wrong? What has society done about this? Is it the responsibility of government only to prevent these perennial clashes? What are other stakeholders doing about it? The religious organisations, police, schools, development associations and vocational centres, parents and guardians? Urbanisation experts say the causes of crime, especially in a place like Lagos, are manifold —lack of social control, lack of socialisation in the family and schooling, crisis in local traditions and values and lack of integration into society, deliberate government policies to disenfranchise certain sections of society as well as weak law enforcement and criminal justice systems. They also say that population explosion, economic inequality and deprivation, social disorganization and poor governance contribute. They harp on the fact that where law enforcement agencies are relatively inefficient, ill-equipped and corrupt, and policies designed to ensure public safety are apparently targeted at low income groups, then there will be crises of this magnitude as observed in Lagos. In the UN Habitat 2005 report, it is noted, “the lack of long-term solutions to social, economical and governance issues and the fail-

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

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SPECIAL REPORT

Glowing In Communal Conflicts, Sectarian Wars By Gbenga Salau, Gbenga Akinfenwa, Chijioke Iremeke and Paul Adunwoke ANG wars in Lagos State have become a recurring issue that no week passes without skirmishes or clashes between one group and the other. In the last few months, these clashes have attracted serious attention because of the loss of life and damage done to property. Painfully, innocent persons are cut in the crossfire and residents wake-up to see collateral damage to property and vehicle parked in neighbourhoods. The Guardian investigations reveal that most of these wars are fueled by the activities of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), who quarrel over control of parks, as well as members of cult groups, who engage in the war for fun or in retaliation for past attack. The incessant clashes in Mushin and Fadeyi area have led to the loss of many lives: lives that are usually not limited to the conflicting parties, but also, residents and passersby, who are caught up in the web of the crisis. This is usually the case when guns are used. Findings revealed that the violent confrontation between warring parties in Mushin and Fadeyi is fueled by economic reasons. The different groups fight to control the area so as to collect dues from commercial drivers, motorists and petty traders. Each of the groups, which over the years, had engaged in one fracas or the other, have a supreme leader by whom the followers are identified or called. Findings also revealed that many of these boys who perpetrate these acts grew up and live within the locality, but have become lords and governments onto themselves that nobody queries their action. It was also gathered that when one of the groups feels that the other is encroaching on its territory or wants to overthrow the other, crisis begins. A pointer to that effect was the killing of financial secretary of the NURTW in Mushin popularly called Sempe Taiye in one of the many violent clashes in Mushin area of Lagos last year. A resident told The Guardian that because of the huge revenue these touts get from their operations, they are willing to sacrifice anything to continue controlling their domain when any group wants to take over or even fuel the take over of another territory. According to him, these touts engage in this clash in order to loot. “It is usually done when these boys are broke, so, they create confusion and tension within the area through throwing of bottles across the streets.” As a result of this, he disclosed, “residents and other people would run for safety including shop owners and petty traders who might have abandoned their shops and wares, with the boys carting away anything in sight.” Another resident said parents of many of these boys have no control over what they do. “Their parents can’t call them to order because they no longer have the authority or control over them again,” he said. “Some even still live in the same building with their parents.” It was also learnt that besides the groups fighting for supremacy over collection of dues, members of the factionalised Odu’a People’s Congress (OPC) engage each other in free for all. This is also about supremacy and control of territory between the Fasheun-led OPC and Gani Adams’ faction. “However, the crisis among the factionalised OPC is not as bloody and fatal as those competing to control parks and bus stops,” said Lekan Ogunade, a resident of Ogunjobi Street, Fadeyi. According to Taofeek Lawal, who grew up in Asogbon Lane, “gang war was a fun for us (indulgence) then.” He said, “while I was growing up with my siblings, I was among those who fought group wars on regular basis. When we come back from school, some of us will gather and the next thing that comes to our mind is to go and intimidate the residents of the adjoining street and nothing more. The idea will mature and we will move and beat them up and later they will restrategise and come back again? To him, it was a show of who is stronger and the person that is weaker, which has to be determined after school fight, though not with weapon in most cases. “This continued until my father decided to do something before we all turned area boys or even get killed. My father gathered all of us and moved away from the Island so that we would not continu that way. And I must say that was the wisest decision he took at that point because I still see my friends and mates, with whom we indulged in that war; they are all area boys today. “They didn’t have the opportunity we had. Their parents may have thought of it but there was no money to do so. I would want to say that these wars could be linked to poverty and poor security system on the Lagos Island and entire Nigeria because the police knew about us then but they never did anything to stop us.”

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mayhem started, it has left tales of woes in economic and wanton destruction of properties. It’s obvious that there are no plans to re-establish public confidence, peaceful co-existence and reframe the agenda for a sustainable development within and outside Ajah community. The cause of the crisis in the community seems to be in two phases: conflict between two rival families (Olumegbon and Ojupon), claiming supremacy over kingship and land matters in one hand, and supremacy battle on the control of parks between Ilaje and Ajah indigenes on the other hand. In 2007, when the Olumegbon family arrived Ajah with the building of a palace on the Ajah-Badore Road by the head of the family, this did not only serve as a threat to Ojupon family, who had long been resident in the area, they (Olumegbon) also announced their presence by revoking rights to all plots of land bought by the residents. The Guardian’s checks revealed that the action, which followed the judgment of the Supreme Court gave ownership of the community to the Olumegbon family, meant that all previous transactions made with Ojupon family, who had sold the land previously, became null and void. In 2011, after a clash broke out between the loyalists of the two families, their mercenaries, who include area boys, took advantage of the crisis to rape women and loot properties of innocent traders and residents. On February 12, 2011, a day after the state governor, Babatunde Fashola, commissioned mini water works in Badore; the community erupted in another bloody mayhem. Again, another fatal clash ensued between Ilaje youths and Ajah indigenes in December of that year, after a disagreement over toll at motor parks, as the two parties laid claim to the control of the parks. Ajah indigenes alleged that the Ilajes are settlers, as a result of that, have no right over toll collection in the area, noting that they could only be co-opted through the indigenes permission. The argument led to a face-off where dangerous weapons were used. Three Ilaje people were killed and about 12 houses burnt by Ajah indigenes. This continued for a time until many residents were forced to relocate from the area to more peaceful ones in the state. A resident, who spoke to The Guardian, said no one seems to know when and how the next clash will occur. His anger is that the law enforcement agents are most times, overwhelmed and ill equipped, to contain the miscreants. “Many-a-times, they watch helplessly as area boys openly assault indigenes, residents and passer-by in the broad day light,” he said. On May 25, 2013, about six people were killed and scores inflicted with varying degree of injuries in a renewed clash between three opposing cult factions in the community. Guns and other deadly weapons were freely used during the fracas that lasted for hours before security operatives came to the scene. It was blamed on the battle for supremacy over control of motor parks between Ajah, Olumegbon and Ilaje factions. Last November, it was also the same story as two people were brutally killed and eight others injured over collection of toll. On several occasions, traders in the community, under the auspices of Association of Nigeria Markets Women and Men of Ajah Ultra-Modern Market, to stage series of protests to

JAH, a sprawling community in Eti Osa Local Council, and A one of the fastest growing areas in Lagos State, in the last 10 years, has earned itself the sobriquet: ‘Theatre of communal conflict’. A place where respect for human life is on the wane, and crime against humanity is on a steady rise. For years, the community has continued to erupt in orgy of violence, which has led to loss of innocent life, looting and raping, leaving residents in constant fear. Since the mayhem started, it has left tales physical and economic woes. It is unfortunate that, as the incessant violent clashes seem to be growing by the day, the state government and security agencies are getting confused and helpless, as innocent residents are being sent to their early graves. In fact, since the

Police trying to quell a clash

register their grievance on the spate of violence in the community. In fact, after the last clash in May, they urged the police authorities to ensure adequate security in the area. They also bemoaned their fate in the hands of the hoodlums because they have always been victim of the incessant mayhems. Sequel to the clash, the traditional leader and overlord of Ajah, chief Fatai Lawal Olumegbon, was arrested in connection with the unrest, and taken to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Ikeja. He was accused of masterminding the lingering crisis in the area. His palace was searched to confirm whether he was actually harbouring most of the thugs and arms. He has since been released. The media officer to Olumegbon, Peter Fowoyo, who spoke with The Guardian, debunked the allegations. He noted that the mastermind of the arrest and fracas are the opposition to the leadership of the traditional leader. He noted that the traditional ruler had raised an alarm through a Save Our Soul letter to the Police Command, a copy of which was shown to this reporter, after a phone call from a man, who identified himself as the leader of the terrorist gang with a mission to gun down two or three people to spur the Olumegbon side into positive or negative action, but the area commander claimed he didn’t see. However, the Commissioner of Police, who was copied, acknowledged the receipt. “I would like to make a passionate appeal to you sir to do everything humanly possible to prevent any form of pandemonium to rear its ugly head in Ajah again,” the letter read in part. He noted that the report of Supreme Court of Nigeria, the tribunal of inquiry into Ajah land dispute and the High Court of Lagos State confirmed the Olumegbon of Lagos as the overlord of Ajah and Okun Ajah in Eti-Osa Local Council of the state. Despite the fact that some of the residents of the community who spoke with The Guardian appreciated the efforts of the state government and the Inspector General of Police for their timely intervention in curbing the lingering crises whenever the hoodlums are at it again, it is obvious that the crisis has gone beyond the obeisance of cultural and religious values. “It is high time the government; the people of the community and other stakeholders found a lasting solution to the constant mayhem,” said a resident. WHILE most communities suffer in the hands of NURTW members, Somolu, suddenly, has become the place where cult members engage in reprisal attacks. Not long ago, residents of Somolu, in Bariga, woke up in the morning to see reminders of a deadly clash between rival groups, which left some people dead, many injured and property worth millions of naira damaged. As a result of the crisis, some residents formed vigilante groups in order to provide security for themselves. Chairman of the Landlords and Residents Association and Community Development Association (CDA) Agunbiade Street, Somolu, Ademola Bello, said that their problem is beer parlor operators, who close late in the area. According to him, “many of them still open at 1am, while some others operate till the wee hours of the morning. Most of the gangs hide in these beer parlours.”

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TheGuardian

www.ngrguardiannews.com

Sunday, February 9, 2014 27

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Business 10 Years Of Social Media

Imagine Life Without The Buzz!

Ohuabunwa

Dr. Ibraheem

that blunder was already making the rounds on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and others. These incidents depict the dramatic changes RREVOCABLY, the social media has changed that have taken place in just one decade remodern society in the way people relate and model along the line of digitalization, even as garding the way people learn about what is dia professionals have continued to be able to understand themselves; businesses and the happening. stakeholders insist that the business landscape control what they put out. But, in the most reway people work have also undergone remark- has passed through a decade of transformaSocial media tools, especially Facebook, cent times, this control for content is being able transformation in the last 10 years of this Twitter and Wordpress, present great opporchallenged by ‘unprofessional’ jobs on blogs tion. buzz. Businesses in Nigeria are specifically keyed in and other online platforms, with some of them tunities for journalists and media organisaAs this transformation continues, investors of tion to connect with their audience, to facebook and twitter accounts with the goal having immediacy that is hard to compete Facebook and Twitter are smiling to the bank, distribute content, find sources and underwith. of driving traffic to their websites through even as the former marks a decade of business these platforms. Mr. Toni Kan, a partner at Lastand their readers. Facebook groups have For instance, a technology blogger, Robert operations. Scoble, claimed to have reported the 2009 Chi- succeeded in connecting like-minded individgos-based Radi8, a PR firm, says every hit on a After 10 years, Facebook, the stallion of the dig- company’s website is as significant as a busiuals and businesses in one platform to disnese earthquake to his Twitter followers three ital revolution, now boasts of 1.2 billion cuss interests or experiences, publicly or minutes before the US Geological Survey anness deal sealed at the boardroom. “ As a commonthly users — and 757 million daily users as pany, the number of visitors to your website, privately. nounced it. The Twitpic of Flight 1549 in the of December 2013. Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook or twitter accounts,” he says, “is diInternally, newsrooms now use Facebook Hudson River hit online platforms, shortly afhad set up thefacebook.com on February 4, 2004. rectly or indirectly linked to your business for- ter the crash in January 2009; just as there was groups offering for editorial teams or desks to Not yet 30, the young man currently has an es- tunes. Don’t forget that virtual buying and share links, files, photos, and events around a widely disseminated video of Neda, the Irantimated net worth of $19 billion. stories or topics. It could also be used to creselling online today has overtaken the physical ian student shot in the chest during the In the fourth quarter of its 2013 financial year, market, where goods and cash are physically ate group documents for collaborative workprotests of Iran the same year. the social networking giant reported $523m ing. At 5pm, Friday, November 22, 2010, Wikileaks moved around in such a risky manner.” and a 63 percent increase in revenue, a feat, Other important tools offered by the FaceMazi Sam Ohuabunwa, a former chair of the released the largest classified Military leak in which rode on the back of stronger mobile ad- Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), who, history. “The 391, 832 reports (the Iraq War Logs) book account include Interest lists (similar to vertising sales. Facebook had no revenue from at some point, presided over the affairs of Twitter lists), Graph Search (relatively new document the war and occupation in Iraq, mobile advertising sales as at 2012. from January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2009 (ex- and used to find photographs, captions, proNiemeth Pharmaceuticals, posits that the soTwitter has no grim results either: it has about cial media has introduced new parameters for cept for the month of May, 2004 and March file information and updates), Embedded 240 million users around the world, with posts and ‘Follow’ tools, among others. measuring business growth. “Social Media has 2009) as told by soldiers in the United States’ fourth quarter revenue upping 40 percent. Army,” the ‘gossip’ website posted on its home become a great opportunity to expand busiHaving raked in $600 million in 2013, the com- ness network and to grow market reach in a page. pany estimates that 2014 revenue will double most economical manner. It is a wonderful in- Wikileaks continued: “They detail the events as New Way To Teaching, Learning F COURSE, the social media experience exto $1.2 billion. To bring this to fruition, Twitter seen and heard by the US military troops on the formation sharing and marketing tool,” Mazi plans to spend $390 million — one-third of its tends to the classroom, where the chalk ground in Iraq, which became the first real Ohuabunwa tweets. revenues — on capital projects, including data and the blackboard are virtually giving way to glimpse into the secret history of the war that Also corroborating this view from his Cape centres. As it looks to reaching “Facebook level town base in South Africa, Mr. Azu Okparaugo, the United States government was privy to. The the screen and the mouse. This development ubiquity” in user growth, Twitter will also com- Chief Executive of Eagle Tourism, Cape Town, reports detail 109,032 deaths in Iraq comprised appears to be pushing a new wave of reforms mit $600m in non-cash compensation for em- observes that Facebook and other social platof (sic) 66,081 civilians; 23,984 ‘enemy’ (those la- in primary and secondary levels of education, ployees, meaning it will hire more engineers forms like twitter have revolutionised the way beled as insurgents); 15, 196 ‘host nation’ (Iraqi where pupils now engage more in social meand sales agents. dia (including applications on smart phones) business is done in the 21st century, creating a government forces) and 3,771 ‘friendly’ (coalithan on their textbooks. To leverage this, modern platform where businesses could con- tion) forces. The majority of the deaths Not Business As Usual therefore, primary school teachers now ennect with clients and constantly communicate (66,000, over 60 percent) of these are civilian courage pupils to use social media in solving deaths. That is 31 civilians dying every day durwith them. S the social media keeps humanity entheir take-home assignments. ing the six-year period. For comparison, the “It affords businesses the opportunity to grossed, it also forces every ‘operation’ to re- make their clients an important part of their Seen struggling with a computer after sign‘Afghan War Diaries’, previously released by WikiLeaks, covering the same period, detail the ing in to the Wikipedia website at a cybercafé decision making, as they (clients) constantly deaths of some 20,000 people. Iraq, during the in Ajao Estate, Isolo, Lagos, nine-year-old Miss provide feedback and participate in business Favour, a Primary 5 pupil, was asked why she activities. It has helped businesses to take posi- same period, was five times as lethal with had to visit the cybercafé that is populated by equivalent population size.” tive steps and shape products in line with Facebook (founded 2004) — 1.2billion adults. “My teacher asked us to get a labeled No thanks to this ‘leak’ by WikiLeaks, the airclients’ demands,” says Okparaugo. users diagram of the eye from the Internet; he said waves were overtaken by criticism against the United States over what was seen as its callous- we must submit it tomorrow,” she answered. ness to the Arab world, even without any form Further probe revealed that little Miss Favour The New Media • Twitter (2006) — 240 million users paid as much as N300 for the voucher that auO doubt, the world is in the midst of what is of verification. arguably the biggest process of change, es- Perhaps, a good local example of how the social thorised her to access the Internet at the cy• You Tube (2005) bercafé. According to her, the task of media is dominating the media space in such pecially for the media since invention of the an ‘unprofessional’ manner is the oga-at-the-top downloading a well-labeled diagram of the printing press in Europe in the 15th century (it syndrome, which went viral on the Internet af- planet would be done the following week; •Flickr (2004) — more than 98 billion was several centuries earlier in China). meaning that the ‘minor’ would have to reWhen the January 1966 coup took place in La- ter it was tweeted and shared across Facebook images uploaded accounts by UNILAG students. The joke, which turn there unassisted by his teacher. gos, Nigerians got the hint from newspapers, The five-minute interaction with little Miss 24 hours later appeared as banners on T-shirts radio, or conversations in bars, where few • LinkedIn (2003) — over 140 million Favour actually led The Guardian to the ‘elites’ had read it in the newspapers or head it and became household slang in Lagos and in teacher, who simply gave his name as major cities of Nigeria, followed an ensuing on the radio. Professional journalists filtered registered users worldwide Suleiman. According the male teacher, the the information, which has remained the case drama from a Channels TV interview where a essence is to expose the children to the social management staff of the Nigeria Security and until very recently. • Wikipedia — (2001) — over 5 million Even with new means for delivering informa- Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) could not provide media and help them become competitive in his organisations website and, instead, referred a fast-changing world of technology. articles in English, 1.3 million in French, 19 tion — first TV, then the Internet, web videos, mobile phone applications and the iPad — me- his TV hosts to the oga at the top. While the live million in total CONTINUED ON PAGE 28 programme was still on air, the video clip of

By Marcel Mbamalu, News Editor

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•Businesses, Academia Relive Experiences

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THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

28 Sunday, February 9, 2014

BUSINESS

Why All My Students Follow Me On Twitter, By Dr Amobi Dr Ifeoma Theresa Amobi, an expert in new media technologies and online journalism educator, is a lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos. In this email exchange with News Editor, MARCEL MBAMALU, the widely travelled don said, since the majority of Nigerian students are mostly found on social media, it is important to prepare them for a fast-changing industry, by using the social media as a pedagogical tool. In what ways would you say Facebook and other tools have ‘transformed’ teaching and learning process in Nigeria? HAVE learned that apart from the use of social media every day just to communicate with each other, to view pictures and keep up with friends’ birthdays, social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have today become a new frontier for teaching and learning. These platforms are inextricably woven into the lives of young people and have also become very important tools for reaching, not only the young people but also the older generation. This is demonstrated in the ways the news media use social media both as news sources or tools for gathering news, to generate feedback from their audiences due to its interactive nature and to enhance media convergence through creating linkages with sister organisations. Journalists also use social media to share information with people and create social communities that may be mutually beneficial to their work. Since it has become evident that familiarity with the new media is only acceptable when journalists are proficient in the use of multimedia to source, process and disseminate news, it becomes imperative, therefore to integrate social media into the journalism course resources. What specific experiences would you cite? As a scholar and Online Journalism educator, with deep interests in new media technologies, I have concluded that since majority of students are mostly found on social media, in order to prepare them for a fast changing in-

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• Social Media Should Be Integrated Into Journalism Courses dustry, social media must be employed as a pedagogical tool. The challenge is for scholars to remain relevant in the face of a rapidly changing technological environment. I have found that today’s generation of students, often referred to as “digital natives” or “millenials” are very much at home with social media. In course of my interactions with them, I find them animated each time I use social media as platform for pedagogy. I, therefore, integrate social media into teaching all my courses in many ways: I maintain a Wordpress Blog where I post all my course outlines. This blog is linked to all other social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and YouTube, such that any message published on it is automatically posted to the others. Students offering all my courses are expected to download the relevant course outline through any of these social media platforms at the beginning of each semester. They are also expected to access their assignments through the same platforms. It is mandatory for students who offer my course to sign up and maintain their personal and group blogs as well as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts where they post their works- reports, photos, videos, and podcasts during the semester and send me their blog URL through which I can access their other social media platforms. In this way they are not just content consumers but content creators. Each class is required to maintain a Facebook page for sharing of ideas and experiences as well as discussion of topical or burning issues among themselves or the course lecturer. Students are also required to familiarize them-

I have found that today’s generation of students, often referred to as “digital natives” or “millenials” are very much at home with social media. In course of my interactions with them, I find them animated each time I use social media as platform for pedagogy. I, therefore, integrate social media into teaching all my courses in many ways

Dr. Amobi selves with the security settings including the use of the privacy options. They are expected to link their pages to their blogs as well as their Twitter accounts so as to share their tweets, posts and comments across all platforms. I expose students to the use of Facebook and Twitter to conduct research, using features such as hashtag to identify the subject matter. Thus Social media tools often enrich a research methods class by providing students with a way to collect data, share research, and monitor online conversations through survey, Focus group discussions, In-depth Interviews and Ethnography research. Students are all required to follow me on Twitter, as well as other communication scholars and news makers. I demonstrate the informational value of Twitter by insisting that students post informational tweets and links and must first develop themselves as informational resource before they should follow other Twitter users. I teach them that many people will not follow them unless they have something to contribute to the Twittersphere and to promote their blog posts on Twitter since traffic to their blog can increase if enough people share or retweet their blog

post URL. I also share my research work with them by posting the links in my tweets. To explore social media and journalism, all students are assigned in groups to cover various major campus-wide events using a collection of mobile apps, SmartPhones, iPads or digital cameras from our State of the Art World Bank equipped Centre of Excellence in Multimedia and Cinematography Studios in the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos. The original photos are uploaded to Google’s Picasa, audio interviews uploaded from the field using Audioboo, and 20 “tweets” posted to the class blog during four hours of any live event. Videos are uploaded to the class YouTube account. I encourage students to google their names at the beginning of the semester, and screen capture a .jpg of their Google results and do the same thing at the end of the semester to assess their web presence. What are the major challenges for the use of the social media? Findings of a study I conducted in 2012, showed that while students have a significant engagement with social media — particularly social networking — and are aware that it can be a powerful tool for journalists; they are still not experimenting enough with social media as a production platform. Results also show that in addition to the high uptake of social media, students would like to see more integration of social media into the structure of their curriculum and class. Again, in spite of the high student participation on social media especially Facebook and Twitter, uptake and engagement with social media among institutions of learning is low, and even though majority of them maintain presence on social media, studies have shown that majority of schools have a hard time determining how to monitor and manage their social media pages, and what they will be used for. Suggestions I, therefore, suggest that classroom materials should be designed to challenge students’ beliefs about online communication and content creation. Students bring their biases to the classroom, and it is the job of the lecturers to confront those biases to prepare students for the working world. Consequently, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, YouTube, Flickr or Picasa and Google+ should be used as pedagogical

Businesses, Academia Relive 10 Years Of Facebook arrangements for computerised exams in which the results are electronically delivered But what is ideal would be for the primary to the candidates on the spot. Registrations for school (name withheld) to provide a comexams conducted by WAEC, JAMB and National puter laboratory to take care of all the chilExaminations Commission (NECO) are already dren’s Internet needs. The Guardian was told being done online, leaving no room for comthat the average child in the school pays N50, puter/social media illiteracy among Nigerian 000 per term. students. When confronted with the risk to which the This is where the age limit being enforced by under-aged children are being exposed, just the like of Yahoo and Google becomes controfor the simple assignment of downloading a versial, especially as many children are now enlabeled diagram that should have been done rolled in secondary school at age 10 or 11, when at school or at home, the teacher said: “We will they are also expected to have become sociallook into it sir.” media literate. This argument is strengthened The pervading influence of the social media by the fact that some of the entrance exams for notwithstanding, children under the age of 12 secondary schools are registered online; alare, in many climes, statutorily bared from though parents and teachers are expected to having authorised access to the Internet, the assist the children in the process. reason for which Yahoo, Google and others The Anambra State Government, for instance, block certain age limits from opening email says it has donated 25, 000, computer, includaccounts with them. ing laptops with complete accessories and softEven the West African Examinations Council ware. Mr. Peter Obi-led state government (WAEC), which recently announced the introcomplemented the materials with schoolduction of 39 new subjects in its yearly tests books and syllabi. Government officials say the for Senior Secondary Certificate Examination project gulped N2 billion. The story in Anam(SSCE), has alluded to “changing times” as part bra State is almost replicated in some Southof the reason. And leading the first list in the west states of Lagos, Osun and Ondo states, electives category is ‘Computer Studies.’ among others. WAEC’s Acting Head, Test Development DiviExpectedly, things have also taken a dramatic sion, Mrs. Olayinka Ajibade, was quoted as say- turn for good at the tertiary level of education. ing that the fresh initiative was in line with the Senior Lecturer at the University of Lagos, Dr IsNigerian Education Research and Developmail Ibraheem, in an email exchange with The ment Council’s new Secondary School CurGuardian, says classroom relationships are riculum. The NERDC has the responsibility of changing, even as the pendulum of power reviewing primary and secondary schools’ swings from the almighty teacher (who curricula. wielded a lot of power) to the student who now Already, state governors are falling over them- has the ability to compete for that power, and selves trying to make a mark in education reeven become more powerful. forms by encouraging Computer Studies. “This assertion,” Dr Ibraheem says, “is based Similarly, the Joint Admissions and Matricula- on the rising powers of students to rival their tion Board (JAMB), which organises the Uniteachers in the access to sources of knowledge. versity Matriculation Examinations (UME) and The teachers no longer wield complete authorthe UTME (for Polytechnics and colleges of ed- ity over the knowledge they pass across as such ucation), is in the final lap of concluding knowledge is now commonplace.”

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According to the Don, who says he teaches courses in Mass Communication at the UNILAG, the near ubiquitous availability of online resources is rendering the curriculum that fails to take on board this development rather obsolete. “Social network platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google, WikiLeaks, and Wikipedia are harbingers of transformational currents in learning,” he says. He argues that these developments have engendered the movement away from the traditional classroom-based system of learning that emphasises the role of teachers to that of the mutual, simultaneous and dual roles of both teachers and students. “A New York Times article from 2008 even suggested that a future Nobel Prize winner might not be an oncology researcher at a distinguished university but a blogging community where multiple authors, some with no official form of expertise, actually discover a cure for a form of cancer through their collaborative process of combining, probing, and developing insights online together,” remarks Ibraheem. He believes that a hybrid form of teaching that combines normal classroom teaching by the teacher with the transformative experience of the new media, such as Facebook is capable of enhancing learning experience and outcomes for both teachers and students. “This underlies the pivotal role of technology in driving changes in pedagogy and learning experience. It is even more relevant in a clime such as Nigeria where lecturers’ and students’ learning experience are often confronted by a seemingly insurmountable hill of lack of upto-date…learning resources.” In the same vein, Dr Ifeoma Theresa Amobi, an expert in new media technologies and online journalism educator, who also teaches at UNILAG, says since the majority of Nigerian students are mostly found on social media, it

is important to prepare them for a fastchanging industry, by using the social media as a pedagogical tool. In an email exchange with The Guardian, the widely travelled don says that today’s generation of students, often referred to as “digital natives” or “millenials” are very much at home with social media. “ In course of my interactions with them, I find them animated each time I use social media as platform for pedagogy. I, therefore, integrate social media into teaching all my courses in many ways: I maintain a Wordpress Blog where I post all my course outlines. This blog is linked to all other social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and YouTube, such that any message published on it is automatically posted to the others,” Amobi explains. The Mass Communication teacher further says that “students offering all my courses are expected to download the relevant course outline through any of these social media platforms at the beginning of each semester. They are also expected to access their

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BUSINESS Four Years Of Sanusi

The Making Of New Banking Era By Geoff Iyatse OT many could ever imagine that ChukN wuma Soludo’s imposing figure in the banking sector would fizzle out within the same five years he made that dazzling reputation. But suggesting that an equally big name, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi rattled the banking sector with his unprecedented sacking of chief executives of five commercial banks few months after his appointment. Even before his confirmation, experts had suggested that Sanusi, being a banker, would usher in an era of “real” banking regulation. But the scale at which he moved against established players was not envisaged. The rumble of the first batch of ‘distressed’ banks brought to the fore the sheer courage the then new CBN governor brought with him. It also marked the beginning of debates and legal fireworks that would last for his entire regime. Without any notice, five chief executives were ousted while CBN’s appointees too charge of the interim management. Three more banks fell not long after the first shocker. If the intervention was controversial, the bailout package Sanusi single-handedly administered to the banks was more contentious. Many sought to know whose responsibility it was to extend such assistance — CBN or the Ministry of Finance? That the special injection was a loan that would be repaid did not go down well with the majority, including the National Assembly, which invited the governor for some explanations. Where was the money sourced? Was it a form of quantitative easing? Shouldn’t there be recourse to the lawmakers for approval? Indeed, issues around the guarantee were addressed except that many believed such bal-

intervened” pinned to Sanusi’s deftness and prominence resonated across the country: at financial symposiums and other public fora where he spoke. The governor carried on with his defence, while those who suffered the brunt were subjected to prosecution, alleged constant harassment and sometimes violation of human rights. Shareholders and sundry stakeholders, in turn, went to courts to challenge the actions of the apex bank. The first impression Sanusi’s intervention gave was that Soludo’s recapitalisation was a fraud or that the equally bright chief regulator mismanaged the process. That argument is one debate that might last forever, as the ongoing reforms that seem to cast shadow on the propriety of the much-celebrated Soludo’s consolidation are also being faulted. One-by-one, Soludo’s scorecard that was once celebrated seems to shred just as every policy he instituted or sustained has been reversed. Prominent among the policies that have given way to new thoughts at CBN is specialised banking. Soludo ran a one-size-fits-all model described as universal banking. Under his regime, banks, fueled by consolidation, exploded in sizes and operations leading to emergence of ance sheet expansion could be avoided if the institutions could harness opportunities CBN exercised a little more patience and cauacross the financial system with a single lition. cense. The era was characterised by increase Having burnt their hands in margin trading in financial innovations, number of financial following the capital market crash of 2008, the products and aggressive invasion of banks banks were said to rely excessively on the exinto insurance, mortgage, capital market and panded discount window (EDW) to meet daily bureau de change obligations to customers. Sanusi said the practice amounted to postponing the evil days while The system generated huge opportunities for banks to create additional value for shareshareholders of affected banks said the instituholders and contribute more to national tions were only passing through a phase and economy. Amid enormous opportunities, that the global financial meltdown was partly there were questions bordering on skill inadresponsible for their predicaments. Of course, a new brand of rhetoric on “why we equacy on the part of management. There

‘We Need Another ‘Sanusi’ To Lead CBN Arize Nwobu, lead consultant with Chartered Stock Analytical (an investment advisory company), is a firm supporter of what others loathe in Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). In this interview with GEOFF IYATSE, the financial expert says Nigeria does not need an individual short of Sanusi’s obstinacy to take charge of the apex bank. E expect the next CBN governor to emerge in the next few W months; what kind of regulator do you think the sector needs? Let me say that the present governor fits the bill very well but for the fact that he is not interested in second term. The next governor should be in the mould of Sanusi. Nigeria is a place where lawlessness prevails; it is a country where the laws do not apply across board. The so-called big men like to break the laws. Hence, we need a bold and courageous individual to man the apex bank. So, anybody that must get the job should have strength of character apart from being technically sound. The Central Bank is very strategic to the financial system, which is the propeller of the economy. We cannot afford to put anybody there. Whoever must serve in the capacity must meet necessary conditions, including technical expertise, temerity, character and independence of mind to pursue required policies like Sanusi has done. We need people with deep knowledge of financial mathematics, people who can innovate and engineer things that can create a quantum leap in the system. This is what Sanusi represents. We need people with strong background in finance. We must think outside the box before we can innovate. And unless we innovate, we cannot achieve development. Shouldn’t somebody who has worked directly with Sanusi in the CBN be considered for succession if you say the governor has done well? It doesn’t necessary follow that only those who have worked with him can follow up his policies. If anybody within the system fits into the personality I described, it is okay. Once you have a smart brain, he can look at what he has done, add something to it and run with it. The next person might even do more than Sanusi. Innovation drives development; that is what we want. We are tired of stagnation; we are tired of maintaining status quo. Many people would wish we had a successor who is less political, more professional and sober…

Nwobu In this country, you must fight your battle. Sanusi is patriotic. What is patriotic in misleading a country; what is patriotic in raising alarm when you are not sure of the facts? As a human being you are bound to make mistakes. I think Sanusi committed the error not because he wanted to indict anybody; it was as a result of his patriotic zealousness. He has zero tolerance for unethical practices. This is a country where billions are embezzled and nothing happens. People are scared of speaking to those in power. Here is a man who says you have to account for this. Who says $10 billion is small money? Take note that he is still fighting the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), saying that $20 billion is unaccounted for while the Corporation says it has not rectified its account. How long should account ratification take? In the history of the country, huge amounts of money have missed. There was a case of missing N300 billion that was earmarked for road construction. Nothing has been done about the matter till date. Nobody asks questions; everybody has surrendered to intimidation. But there is one person who is taking the authority to task. When it becomes necessary, one should fight corporate wars; that is how change evolves. If you run away from corporate wars, the society remains. Late Nelson Mandela had to fight the authority before South Africa gained freedom. And that is what we need. When Sanusi took over the banking sector, he said corporate

were also allegations that several banks explored unintended loopholes created by the system for financial malpractices. The banks were also accused of abandoning their core mandates for ancillary services. The rapid inroad of banks into different financial markets gave birth to the notion that the banks “are too big to fail” with attendant compromises. But Sanusi felt he needed to establish new boundaries. Hence, he went further to categorise banks into regional, national and international, with many choosing to play national. But he did this not without facing criticism of how the regional format merely duplicates the roles of microfinance institutions. Besides, the leverage the banks lose in universal banking, they gain through holding company structure. And that has become a practice with more and more operators establishing holding companies, a situation many analysts say is a return of memory of humongous universal operation. Also, not many banks have started doing real intermediation since the policy has come to stay. They rather mop up funds from the public and pour it on government vault through bonds. The next most lucrative business is foreign exchange trading (both legal and illegal). The introduction of specialised banking amounts to policy recycling. Universal banking was introduced in 2000 based on impression that it was the needed option. Soludo sustained it because of overwhelming confidence in its efficiency. But Sanusi changed it on indentified “weak regulation” of the approach. In about four months time, there will be crucial changing of guard at the apex bank. The overall assessment of the performance of the new model or what seems to be the easiest solution to probable challenges will determine whether the policy will stay or not. The debate goes on.

governance was at zero level. I like him because of his political position; I also like him for his professional expertise. He has what I call holy anger; he is angry at the system. Everybody needs to have a measure of holy anger. We need somebody with holy anger too to succeed him? Yes. If not, they will pocket CBN. Things must be done according to established laws. The President asked him to resign but he said he wouldn’t unless he got two-third majority of the National Assembly to oust him. You don’t do things outside the orbit of the law if a society must develop. You can’t remove him by presidential fiat but through stipulated process. Did it not amount to incompetence for the governor to raise alarm when he had not completed investigation in the case of the missing oil fund? No, it did not. When you are zealous about something, you could commit some errors. He did not do what he did to mess some people up. He did because he was convinced that he was doing the right thing. If he did not get the figures right, does it make $10 billion small money? Some people said he should not have written the President but talked with the NNPC’s boss. Why would he do that in a formal setting that requires documentation of official matters? He did what he should have done even though he got the figures wrong. He might be roped in the matter as accomplice if he did not approached the matter officially. But it would have been wrong to leak the information to the press, which I don’t believe he did. The letter was in the Ministry of Finance and the presidency. Anybody in the two offices could have leaked its content. Does the President think everybody in the Presidency or the Ministry of Finance or Aso Rock likes him? Why must it be Sanusi? Sanusi inherited a banking sector that was strong enough to bankroll projects of any size while he is leaving behind a system that is extremely risk averse. Is this also a plus to Sanusi? With due respect to Soludo, he only scratched the surface. He recapitalised the banks; this was done in Asian countries except that he had the backing of President Olusegun Obasanjo. There was no creativity in what he did; I say this everywhere I go. It was after capitalisation that banks invaded the stock market and overturned it. It was after the recapitalisation that corporate governance dropped to its lowest level. It is good to recapitalise but that in itself is not sufficient. How many big projects did they fund after the recapitalisation? They opened branches and destroyed stock market through margin loans. What Sanusi did has more depth. He cleaned the balance sheets, clear the mess and set banking on the right track. What right track? The right track is conservatism. We should know that poor lending in Nigeria has nothing to do with Sanusi’s conservatism. Banks have always been risk averse; they shun long term lending but do round tripping in foreign exchange market. There was a time they were only involved in foreign exchange transaction. Do you call that banking? Secondly, they

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

BUSINESS In the past four years, Dr. Godwin Owoh, an economist and debt management expert, has matched every policy statement of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with an opposing and, sometimes, unconventional views. In this interview with GEOFF IYATSE, he insists the country does not need a rabble-rouser to lead the bank again but a calm individual that can restore its sanctimonious character.

Four Years Of Sanusi

We Must Discourage Emergence Of Partisan CBN Governor, Says Owoh

EYOND the ongoing permutations, what B kind of individual would you want for the CBN governorship? The first thing is that we need somebody with deep knowledge of financial laws and status. He must also be disposed to obeying the laws. The person must understand that the Central Bank cannot be run with the mindset of a politician, using its resources to project personal interests and galvanise follow in anticipation of joining partisan group. That is very important if the independence of the institution must be sustained. The independence of CBN lies in non-partisanship. But it has not been confirmed that Sanusi or any of his deputies is going into active politics after service? Actions speak louder than words. The recent numerous donations, unjustifiable interventions and statements that tend to be populist point to that. Somebody who works should not have much time for talking. The CBN is too sanctimonious for its leadership to give to excessive public pronouncements that it will later withdraw. The activities and incidents that occurred recently in the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Limited, a subsidiary of the Central Bank, are instances of what I am saying. Last week, its board, which Sanusi presides, said anybody in the rank of general manager who has spent eight years in the system should go. This is a policy that should operate in the public sector that they have smuggled into an aggressive profit-oriented manufacturing company where long years of experience is an advantage. You cannot introduce such extreme public sector policies into a profit-oriented company regardless of the fact that the people you are asking to go were not engaged on tenure basis and that they are not found wanting in their duties. Operationally, Sanusi has not shown that he is not apolitical. Look at the minting company critically. It has board, executive directors, general managers, assistant general managers and so on. Why was the policy designed for GMs and AGMs? The EDs are political appointees because their tenures are fixed. Why would you bring that into core operational level of a manufacturing company? How could anybody tenure a technical position, forgetting that you will require between 10 and 15 years of experience if you are advertising for the same position? You are asking another person who has only eight years of experience to quit! Essentially, it shows that Sanusi is not profitoriented but otherwise. He believes every office should be tenured even while we are talking about productivity. We should also remember that this is a groundswell of corruption. It means that if you make somebody GM of the company, he knows, from the beginning, that he has only eight years. He will use the time to loot and leave. People within that bracket can connive to loot since their staying is not a function of

Owoh productivity or innovativeness; it is not a function of transparency. It is a political appointment as it were. CBN governor must be a technocrat and not a politician because that is the only position in Nigeria that surpasses legislative, judicial and executive power. It is the only position that exercises the three functions without interference from anybody. It is a serious position. They make pronouncements that have form of laws; they can close a bank without any query form anybody. They can stop you from being a managing director just as they have to ratify such appointment. It means that somebody who occupies the position must be neutral and politically unbiased by conduct and otherwise. Then, an individual for the position must sign an undertaking that he will not be involved in active politics five years after his tenure. How does that check the individual’s excesses while in office? Once he knows he cannot jump into politics for any benefit for five years, he will not waste his time hobnobbing with anybody. Since there is no such condition, there was an instance where a deputy governor was attending political meetings, awarding contracts to politicians and supporting their cause. He was a card-carrying member of a political party such that two months to the end of his tenure at the apex bank he was appointed a minister. He declared openly that he had been a card-carrying member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). I am talking about Shamsudeen Usman. The career path of the governor of CBN and deputies is clear. They represent the country at the International Monetary Fund (IMF); they are the ones who should return as board members of the bank. We need them to represent the interest of the

country at development organisations and relate with multinational institutions on behalf of the country. Their career path is huge. But what we see today is a situation where people come into the bank to galvanise resources and run budgets that are not subjected to legislative approval. And before you realise what they have done they are neck deep in active politics. Also, anybody that must be appointed must belong to a professional association. Apart from your core training, you should be a member of a professional association. What value is that going to add? It gives room for the body to discipline the appointee where there are cases of misdemeanors. What if he withdraws membership or subscription after appointment? That becomes a ground for removing him from office because he ceases to qualify for the position. If, for instance, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) gives you privilege to serve in the office, you cannot continue when your membership is withdrawn. Isn’t Sanusi a member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN)? He wasn’t until he was conferred with an honorary membership by virtue of being governor of the Central Bank. That means he has not fulfilled the requirements. The way it is, the governor of CBN runs CIBN rather than the other way round. It is also important that the governor has a

calm mien. He must be sober so that he can concentrate on his core mandates. If CBN governor is as calm as you suggest, would he be able to stand up against pressure? The office is under the Presidency. His duties are operational and technical such that he needs not engage in public debate with anybody. He is banker and chief economic adviser to the government. It is a position that requires the highest level of calmness. There are channels he relates to in the economy, one of which is membership of the economic team. He attends the National Economic Council where he can relate with all government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). He oversees banking regulation and monetary policy. You can see how sanctimonious the office is. Sanusi is like a reverend father who goes along the streets to talk about the immorality in the church when he has ample opportunity to do that in the liturgy. He is like a physician who goes about revealing the ailments suffered by his patients. It is a position where you advise the President and not the public. So, you think a conservative individual is what the office needs? Yes. That is actually the meaning of the independence of central banks all over the world. Where else do you hear central bank telling the public that there are leakages in the federation account? It does not happen. How can CBN governor tell the people that the government needs to do reconciliation, which is an everyday thing? You have four deputy governors, about 27 directors and around 3000 employees across the country. Do you have to go on air before they do their work or are you saying that they are not doing anything? What else do they do if they cannot reconcile accounts without taking the matter to the public? What we have had is like charcoal pot telling a gas kettle that it is black. I think the challenge lies in the lack of technical capacity in the office of the Minister of Finance. Section one subsection one of the Banking and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) says the governor shall exercise his functions under the Act subject to the supervision of the Minister. It means the minister has neglected the responsibility, cajoled to abandoned or does not know how to do it. In that case, do you fault the governor or the system? The governor ought to have been adequately grounded in professionalism and the requirements of the position such that even if the supervising ministry is not aware of her mandate he will not exceed his boundary. Can Sanusi tolerate his subordinate coming out to point out things he has done wrong? Or is he claiming that he is perfect? Has any of his subordinates opened up on items the CBN has not reconciled? He is only abusing the patience of the President. How can he go about raising false alarm on issues that could cause serious capital flight and loss of investor confidence? Why doesn’t he concentrate on his job as required by the law? Has he submitted the budget of the CBN to the National Assembly as required by the Fiscal Responsibility Act? Is that not breach of public accountability? The governor we want must not come from the banking sector. The CBN has been operated like a commercial bank and that must be stopped. When a banker comes into the system, he moves in with his baggage, and that is a problem.

Poor Lending Has Nothing To Do With Sanusi’s Tight Monetary Policy CONTINUED FROM PAGE 29 buy government’s bonds and call it banking. Banks have never played in real sector. The reason is that infrastructure does not support that. There is huge infrastructural deficit that discourages that. In the small-scale enterprise (SME) sector, there is information opaque hence banks run away from it. There is also the challenge of power. It is easier for banks to fund importation; bring your container then they will stay with you to collect their money. Going by the alleged reckless manner the interim management of the ‘troubled’ banks ran the institutions, is it correct to say there is improvement in corporate governance practice? The corporate rascality has reduced. I don’t have record about the mismanagement indict-

ment against the interim managers; I can’t talk on conjectures. What I know is that since Sanusi came, corporate rascality has reduced. Do you know that CBN has corporate governance project? That shows how important it is to the bank. Does it make any change when you remove CEOs from offices when they can still exert overwhelming influence from outside? Sometimes, policies are not airtight. There are intended and unintended consequences of every policy. That is why it is good to evaluate policies overtime. Yes, such scenarios are possible because we are subjective human beings. Mr. A might be removed as CEO but still has a loyalist in office that still do things to his benefits. But when the law catches up with them, it will have its full course.

Executive Director Fidelity Bank, Mrs. Onome Olaolu (left); Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) President, Alhaji Kabir Alkali Mohammed; and Managing Consultant Finesse Consulting and Lecture’s Guest Speaker, Mrs. Fola Ogunsola, at the Inauguration of Fidelity Chapter of ICAN in Lagos.


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BUSINESSAGRO

World Fish Supply By 2030 Depends On Aquaculture

Farmed fish for global protein requirement By Fabian Odum (With Agency Reports) hE World Bank, Food and T Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the International Food Policy Research Institute report that fish farms hold the ace in global fish supply by 2030. In a recent report, the future of feeding the world through fish farming, also aquaculture will provide close to two thirds of global food fish consumption because as catches from wild are beginning to dwindle.

It also said demand from an emerging global middle class especially in China is on the increase. Findings from “Fish to 2030: Prospects for Fisheries and Aquaculture,” a collaboration between the World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), highlight the extent of global trade in seafood, which tends to flow heavily from developing to developed countries. According to FAO, “At pres-

ent 38 per cent of all fish produced in the world is exported and in value terms, over two thirds of fishery exports by developing countries are directed to developed countries. The “Fish to 2030” report finds that a major and growing market for fish is coming from China which is projected to account for 38 percent of global consumption of food fish by 2030. China and many other nations are increasing their investments in aquaculture to help meet this growing demand.” It added: “Asia, including

Agriculture, Strong Component Of Agenda 2063, Says Zuma By Kamal Tayo Oropo hAIRPERSON, African C Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, speaking within the framework of the 22nd AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, urged all stakeholders in the fortune of the African continent to make sure agriculture is a strong component of the Agenda 2063. Mrs. Zuma said the AU should partner with governments, private sectors and other organisations, develop science and research, trade,

industry, infrastructure, human resources and other sectors, in order to improve agriculture. Ensuring good distribution and attracting young people were also stated as steps towards the development of agriculture. She addressed the media on the theme of the Summit: “Agriculture and food security” and the Africa Agenda 2063. “Africans should not be forced to sell their lands to other people, the land should belong to the people, Africa for Africans” she said. The lack

of strong land tenure policies have driven some African countries to sell or grant long leases to foreign investors, Africa should empower the people in terms of land,” she explained. Moreover, the people working on the land must be given access to technology and capital so as to enable them to produce and process the food to be more competitive in the international markets as well as create jobs. The generated income will therefore remain in the country and the activity will add value to the people working on those lands.

South Asia, South-East Asia, China and Japan, is projected to make up 70 per cent of global fish consumption by 2030. Sub-Saharan Africa, on the other hand, is expected to see a per capita fish consumption decline of one per cent per year from 2010 to 2030 but, due to rapid population growth of 2.3 per cent in the same period, the region’s total fish consumption will grow by 30 per cent overall. The report predicts that 62 per cent of food fish will come from aquaculture by 2030 with the fastest supply growth likely to come from tilapia, carp, and catfish. Global tilapia production is expected to almost double from 4.3 million tons to 7.3 million tons a year between 2010 and 2030. “The fast-moving nature of aquaculture is what made this a particularly challenging sector to model - and at the same time, embodies the most exciting aspect of it in terms of future prospects for transformation and technological change,” said one of the

impacted production. If countries can get their resource management right, they will be well placed to benefit from the changing trade environment.” Fisheries and aquaculture are a vital source of jobs, nutritious food and economic opportunities, especially for small-scale fishing communities. Yet threats from large-scale disease outbreaks in aquaculture and climate change-related impacts could dramatically alter this. Árni M. Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General of FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, emphasized that unlocking the potential of aquaculture could have longlasting and positive benefits. “With the world’s population predicted to increase to 9 billion people by 2050 - particularly in areas that have high rates of food insecurity — aquaculture, if responsibly developed and practiced, can make a significant contribution to global food security and economic growth,” he said.

Nigeria’s Food Import Bill Drops N900Bn By Fabian Odum O increasingly move T away from food importdependent economy,

Mrs. Oyinloye Bolatito, (left), Economic Justice Campaign Manager, Horn East and Central Africa Oxfam International Mr. Marc Wegerif, Gender Officer Oxfam, Boyowa Roberts, Oxfam Ambassador in Nigeria Tuface Idibia, and Oxfam Media Officer in Nigeria, Safiya Akau during Oxfam press briefing held in Lagos on…Friday. PHOTO: PAUL

report’s authors Siwa Msangi of IFPRI. “Comparing this study to a similar study we did in 2003, we can see that growth in aquaculture production has been stronger than what we thought.” The World Bank’s Director of Agriculture and Environmental Services, Juergen Voegele, said the report provides valuable information for developing countries interested in growing their economies through sustainable fish production, though he warns that carefully thought out policies are needed to ensure the resource is sustainably managed. “Supplying fish sustainably, producing it without depleting productive natural resources and without damaging the precious aquatic environment, is a huge challenge,” he said. “We continue to see excessive and irresponsible harvesting in capture fisheries and in aquaculture, disease outbreaks among other things, have heavily

Nigeria has recorded a N900bn drop from N2.38trn in 2011 to N1.5trn in 2012 Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina revealed this during a working visit to the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, (FIIRO), Oshodi, Lagos at the weekend. he said the country has enough in terms of human and natural resources to feed, not only herself but the rest of the world. Akinwumi, who was received by the Director

General, FIIRO, Dr. (Mrs.) Gloria Elemo, said the institute has a role to play in the attainment of this goal given the over 250 process technologies it had developed. he said government is consistently working to further reduce the inport bill till we become a net exporter of food. “The more food we import, the more jobs we create for farmers in the countries from which Nigeria imports, he said, adding that there should be of necessity value addition at every point of the food value chain. Dr. Mrs. Elemo said FIIRO’s developed technologies cover almost all Nigeria’s food/feed crops especially immediately relevant to the

President’s Agriculture Transformation Agenda like cassava, yam, sorghum and rice. Towards the full exploitation of the value chains, Adesina said there is the need for increase budget for Research and Development for the institute and generally in the country because making money from processing require value addition. On utilization of high-energy foods derivable from crops like sorghum and other grains, the Minister revealed the Dangote Group in investing 36 million euro while the group is ploughing $45m in Challawa Valley for a tomato processing plant.


32 Sunday, February 9, 2014

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THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Sunday, February 9, 2014

33


TheGuardian

34

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Junior Guardian Corona Wins Neander 2nd Athletics Competition S part of activities geared toA wards discovering inherent qualities in students, promote healthy rivalry, as well as develop interpersonal relationships, Neander International School held its second Art Exhibition and Athletics Competition last week. At the end of the Art competition, Peter Jamal Onwu of Child of Promise School, Ajah emerged winner, smiling home with a Samsung Notebook while Jone Ubah of Jasper Montessori School, Lekki and Nnamadu Chiamaka of Laura Stephens School, also in Ajah were second and third respectively. Ubah got a bicycle for her effort, while Chiamaka went home with metal easel. In athletics, after keen contest in 100M, 200M, 400M and 4 by 100M relay girls and boys among six schools, Corona, Victoria Island with five gold, two silver and one bronze medals was declared the overall winner. Kiddies Quest School and Corona Ikoyi were second and third respectively. For emerging the overall winner, Corona VI was rewarded with an LG home theatre, while Kiddies Quest and Corona, Ikoyi got Yamaha Keyboard and water dispenser respectively. On hand to present the prizes to the students were the proprietor Chairman of Neander International School, Mrs Modupe Oguntade and Justice George Oguntade (middle) with students of Corona School, Victoria Island, winner of the and chairman of the school, Justice Adesola Oguntade (rtd.) and Mrs. first prize for the athletics competition.

Modupeola Oguntade. The Principal of the school, Mr. Idris Agbaje said the need to catch them young was why the competition was instituted. “I cannot see any competition that is athletics based in the country, which is strictly for primary school pupils and we felt that is really not fair. So, we thought there is a need for primary school children to showcase their athletic skills. “So, the competition is strictly for primary school pupils and that is why our school is not involved, because we are a secondary school. “It is always good to catch them young. We want to discover their talents early and give the students some focus so that no matter how young they are; there is something they can showcase. In developed clime, talents are discovered, when they are still very young and in primary schools.” Commenting on the Art competition with the theme, National transformation, Agbaje, like the chief judge of the art works, Mr. Rukeme Noserime, a former dean, Faculty of Arts and Designs, Yaba Tech, commended the students on their interpretation of the theme with their art works. “It says something. We think these young ones don’t know what is happening, but they actually do. I am really happy with their performance,” the principal said. — Gbenga Salau

SOLUTIONS TO BRAIN TEASER (17)

WORD POWER GAME WIDOWER POLYGAMY

Caucus a) group b) shell c) inside d) fruit

ENJOYMENT VITAMIN

CREATIVE MODERN

PREDICT DIVORCE

Sparkle a) shine b) large c) blind d) rise Whet a) damp b) wave c) sharpen d) hide Gallivant a) dance b) globetrot c) move d) stay Raze a) pick b) destroy) work d) remove Decadence a) dirt b) corruption c) sense d) fall Flagrant a) blatant b) nice c) delicate d) book Pause a) silence b) push c) cool d) delay Shallow a) far b) down c) low d) long Lounge a) salon b) cell c) firm d) dead Sammy Oyaletor Is 2

POEMS If I Were Food

If I were food Eating me would be so good People will eat me and be merry Because I will taste like berry I would make you grow tall Because I would give my all To make you healthy And become wealthier By Jewel Johnson Ocean Crest School, Lekki

Fairy

Sammy Oyaletor (right) and his sister, Daniella Oyaletor on the occasion of his two years birthday. Mum and dad wish him long life and prosperity.

I have diaries of fairies First was Tinker Bell And next Winker Bell I have a diary of a special fairy Her wings glow, as she flows Her wings glow, as she flows She is also serious And at the same time curious And always precious By Stephanie Green Heartfield Foundation School, Surulere COMPILED BY KIKELOLA OYEBOLA

Cross section of public secondary schools students in Amuwo Odofin Local Council of Lagos State during sensitization seminar on Global Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) and Drug Demand Reduction (DDR) for the schools organised by Institute Chartered Chemists of Nigeria (ICCON) held at Awori Ajeromi Grammar School, Amuwo Odofin Lagos. PHOTO: PAUL ADUNWOKE


36| Sunday, February 9, 2014

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IBRUCENTRE

Sunday School Hypocrites In The Church Memory verse: “A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.” Proverbs 19:5. Bible passage: Acts 5:1-16. Introduction A hypocrite is someone, who deceives and misleads by pretending. Hypocrisy is a carefully preconceived intentional series of acts and omissions aimed at taking undue advantage of others. Hypocrites are usually a great danger to others, as well as themselves. A good Biblical example is Achan in Jos. 7. Reasons • Honour seeking, I Sam 15:13,20; I Sam. 15:25-30. They want to be respected in the church but secretly commit sin.

... With Pastor Enoch Adeboye

• Pecuniary gain. Ananias and his wife wanted the praise given to Barnabas, when they were not as faithful, Acts. 4:34; Acts 5:1-10. • Dishonesty and lying, Prov. 11:1. • Pride. Jesus said people love chief seats in church and public places, but are not willing to pay the price, Matt. 23:2, 6. • Irresponsibility, Matt.5: 37. • Disobedience, Jam. 1:22. God knows God knows all things and no one can deceive him. He knows: • The secrets and deceits of the heart, Ps.44: 21; Jer. 17:9 -10; 1 Sam.16: 7. • Thoughts of man, Ps. 94:11,139:2; Isa.66: 18. • All hypocrisies, Lk. 12:1-2.

God Never Fails (2) By S.K. Abiara OU need deeper understanding of Y God’s word, indwelling of the Holy Spirit not to fall in to the trap of Satan, especially when you seriously needed divine intervention regarding any unpalatable challenge you are faced with. The solution they promised may sound genuine and not harmful. You cannot be very sure of its consequence in the nearest future. More importantly God is a jealous God.  He will not share His glory with any graven image or mortal being. We are blessed to have the Bible at our disposal. We shall be exploring the scriptures together to shed more light on the topic of the day. In case you come across anybody promising deliverance, protection, prosperity, peace, healing etc outside Christ Jesus this is what the word of God says about them. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were they thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, to birds, and four-footed

beasts, and creeping things”-Roman 1:1823. There was never a time in the Bible that God encouraged seeking assistance in lesser gods. God is never tired of helping whoever sincerely seeks His help. He wants His people to acknowledge Him by taking their troubles to Him alone. There was a king in the Bible that needed information about his well being on a sick bed.  He abandoned God his maker and he sent for the god of

Ekron. Let us read the story and God’s reaction to it from II Kings 1: 2-6; “Now Ahazizh had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured him. So, he sent messengers, saying to them. “Go and consult Beelzebub, the god of Ekron, to see if I will recover from this injury. But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Go up and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, ‘is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going off to consult Beelzebub, the god of Ekron?” Therefore, this is what the LORD says: ‘you will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!’ So Elijah went. When the messengers returned to the king, he asked them, “Why have you come back?”  “A man came to meet us,” they replied.  “And he said to us, ‘go back to the king who sent you and tells him, “This what the LORD says: Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending men to consult Beelzebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore, you will certainly die!”  What exactly is your need?  God can meet all your needs. Go to Him in prayer. Seek His face with sincerity in fasting. Find His will in the Scriptures. Have faith in Him and His word. He will answer you.  God Bless. Prophet Abiara, General Evangelist, CAC Worldwide. skabiaraofciem@yahoo.co.uk

At Valentine, Let’s Promote Agape Love By Gabriel Osu HE valentine season is here again. On Friday February 14, the whole world will be agog with the frenzy and excitement that the season generates. For ‘lovers’, especially married couples, it is a day they are expected to rekindle their love for one another. For all, it is a period when true love is shown and more consideration given to our fellow brothers and sisters, knowing fully well that we are all from one divine source-God. Unfortunately, many of us do not seem to understand the true essence of Valentine. Some misconstrue it to be a period, when licence is given to indulge in all forms of escapades in the name of love. For those addicted to alcohol, it is seen as an opportunity to drink themselves to stupor. For those proficient in extramarital affairs, valentine seems to offer an ample opportunity to further throw caution and reasoning to the dogs. But should this be the case? Definitely not!

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The big multinationals in the fashion and entertainment industry, including some of our electronic media are not helping matters. For commercialisation’s sake, they have succeeded in brain washing many youths to see love just like the typical monkey loves banana. They project more of the romantic and superfluous concept of love to the detriment of true love, which is the agape type of love. Check out the films they churn out from Hollywood and even our own Nollywood; their concept of love is promiscuity and immorality. They now take delight in projecting the women folk as objects of lust contrary to our culture and the tenets of God. If you doubt me, take a look at some of the indecencies Nigerian young musicians and producers churn out today in the name of music and entertainment. They sing vulgarity and project nothing but superfluous nudity. Rather than edify the audience, it ends up doing more

damage to their moral life. I want to use this medium to challenge the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigerian and all radio and television stations owners in the country to begin to pay more attention to the content of some of the programmes they dish out, especially in the name of entertainment. A situation, whereby a male musician ‘fries’ his hair and decks ear rings like women is not acceptable. Neither do we accept a situation, whereby our ladies are compelled to wear indecent attires in the name of shooting videos. What is the Censors Board doing? Are they sleeping? If so, they should wake up and do something fast to address these anomalies in our media and entertainment industry. Back to Valentine day, how should we celebrate it? Valentine is originally the name of a Roman Priest at a time, when there was an emperor called Claudias, who persecuted the church at that particular time. He was believed

to have been persecuted for encouraging legitimate marriage at a time, when the Emperor forbade soldiers from marrying. One of the men meant to judge him in line with the Roman law then was a man called Asterius, whose daughter was blind. He was supposed to have prayed with and healed the young girl with such astonishing effect that Asterius himself became Christian as a result. In the year 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to a three-part execution of beating, stoning, and finally decapitation all because of his stand for Christian marriage. The story goes that the last words he wrote were in a note to Asterius’ daughter. He inspired today’s romantic missives by signing it, “from your Valentine.” But, should such a sacred day that depicts selfless love be dedicated to immorality? Very Rev. Msgr. Osu, Director, Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos.

• All the ways of man, Job.31: 4; Ps.1: 6. “Rewards” for hypocrites • They are cursed, Isa. 29:15-16; Job.15: 34-35. • They die before their time. A good example is our Bible passage. Those who are not dead physically are dead spiritually, Job.36: 13-14. • Their shame will not be hidden, Jer.13: 25-26. • Hypocrisy is a sin and will not go unpunished, Prov. 11:21. Conclusion Hypocrisy is a sin against the Trinity. It is living a lie. Sudden death and destruction are distinctive possibilities for all hypocrites, Gen. 39:9, Acts 5:3, 9. The only solution is repentance, Isa. 55:7. We pray for repentance and restoration for all hypocrites and their households in Jesus name.’

Living Waters By Pastor Lazarus Muoka

The Benefit Of Holiness “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly nor standeth in the way of sinners nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful… he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper,” (Psalm 1:1-3). T is the Lord’s desire to teach us how to be blessed IFrom today, and to warn us of the destruction of sinners. the above passage, the destiny of the righteous and the wicked are described. This teaches us that happiness is the ultimate reward for the righteous, while misery awaits sinners. If we can avoid the entanglement of the ungodly, who is desperately wicked, and the scornful, who turns revelation and the existence of an invisible world into ridicule, we shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. We will have the rivers of pardon, grace, promise, protection, provision, healings and the rivers of communion with Christ. The man, who delights in God’s word, obeys His commandment, has patience in the time of suffering, faith in the day of trial and joy in the hour of prosperity, shall not wither in life. He shall neither lose his beauty nor his fruitfulness and whatsoever he does shall prosper. He is blessed in the morning and in the evening. His happiness is not shortened; he is like those trees that are continually green and flourishing. Are you righteous or living in the consciousness of heaven? Do you think you are missing a lot in the world, because you are maintaining holiness and righteousness? Are you having fear of being sacked from your work or punished for the truth you stand for and fear of God? I want to comfort and assure you godly people that God will defend you in the midst of your troubles. Isaiah 3:10 says: “Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings” Of course, there may be trouble this year, but it shall be well with the righteous. In the time of trouble the Lord will surely show His might. He is a good man; he does nothing, but good. In every circumstance, the righteous shall eat the fruit of his doings. Lev. 26:3-4 says: “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruits.” In the covenant of blessing God entered with the righteous, He promised to bestow upon them a variety of blessings, so long as they continue to obey Him as their Almighty Ruler. Beloved, God has made divine provision for the righteous from creation, and there is no doubt that good awaits the righteous, while the unrighteous has no inheritance in the Lord.


38| Sunday, February 9, 2014

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IBRUCENTRE By Ernest Onuoha

From The Rector

‘But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek to be His worshippers. God is a Spirit: and they that Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor worship Him must worship in spirit and truth,’ John 4v23-24. HE lengthy conversation Jesus had with the woman of Samaria at the end led to Jesus saying to the woman: ‘God is looking for true worshippers, who would worship Him in spirit and in truth.’ Yes, genuine seekers, true worshippers, who are not hiding in the Church possibly for what they can get out of the Church, but those who have come to meet with Him in truth and in spirit. It is a common sight to observe today that many people fill most Church auditoriums and at times we have overflow, yet, most persons are yet to accept Jesus, as Lord and personal Saviour. The idea of ‘brokenness’ is not really witnessed. But what does God require of us? The Psalmist gives a clue: ‘the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: A broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise,’ Psalm 51v17. Impliedly, when people

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True Worshippers are touched, there is brokenness from inside and such brokenness God does not overlook. At such moments therefore, people do not feel any longer real good with sin. But steps are taken to confess and forsake them, as a way of being in fellowship with God. No doubt, true worshippers are not comfortable with sin. But they go ahead to depict a life that is reflective of their new status in Christ. The New Testament Church is highly illustrative here: ‘And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all

I Shall Not Die (1) By Gabriel Agbo CHILD of God is not supposed to die anyhow. When you walk in the knowledge of a functional covenant with God, nothing is permitted to take away your life prematurely. Nothing! Be it disease, demonic power, evil, hardship, or whatever. Nothing and I mean absolutely nothing is permitted to terminate your life before fully fulfilling God’s programme. Everybody has assignment(s) that brought him or her into the world. God cannot just waste His time and resources making a wonderful creature like you. Also, look at all the things put into the process of bringing you into this world - your parents coming together, your miraculous formation in the womb and birth, your growth, etc. Millions do not survive these stages, but you did! This clearly shows that there is a definite divine plan for your life. True! Now, also look at all you’ve been through in life. Almost everybody has some painful stories to tell. Some have theirs characterised with protracted pains, bumps of

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life, calamities, disappointments and regrets that though they are now successful, they still shed tears each time they remember what they have been through. Even presidents, business moguls, kings, celebrities and men of God are all in this category. So, you may not be wrong to describe this world as generally unkind. Once you are born, the world begins to unleash its unkindness on you. Yet, in all these, an unseen hand kept you alive and going! I remember preaching like this many years ago and a very wealthy man in Lagos, with tears, sat me down and began to tell me all he went through in life and how God’s grace has miraculously kept him. Yes, God has a purpose for your life. When you eventually discover and walk in the knowledge of God’s will for your life, it automatically makes it impossible for your life or your mission on earth to be truncated. When you locate and obediently function in your divine place, nothing; no sickness, situation and nobody is permitted to eliminate you before your exit time. The Psalmist under-

things common; and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need. And day-by-day, continuing steadfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to them day by day those that were saved,’ Acts 2v42-47. The Church could pray with one voice and through it, God will perform miracles. The case of Peter in Acts 12v5, 6 is very illuminating here. The Church prayed fervently with one accord and Peter was subsequently released from the prison. They knew the powers in prayer and were not ashamed to use the weapon of war-

Leadership: Collective Responsibility stood this very well when he said, “I will not die, but I will live to tell what the LORD has done.” Psalm 118:17. Yes, it is only the living that can praise God or give testimonies. Your staying alive after all those tough times and near-death situations will certainly bring glory to God. But like the Psalmist, you must refuse to die before your time. You must insist that the will of God be fully executed in your life. This is the only way His name will be glorified. When you die prematurely through the various means we had earlier enumerated please don’t ever delude yourself that the will of God had been done. No way! I have problem with many statements that I see on obituaries today. Most proclaim the submission to the will of God, when actually the death was caused by Satan or carelessness or disobedience or lack of knowledge. Even Christians, unfortunately also die this way. True! Rev. Agbo is a minister with the Assemblies of God Nigeria. gabrielagbo@yahoo.com        

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works (Hebrews 10:24) By Taiwo Odukoya HE 2013 report of the annual T rural economic development conference in Peoria, Illinois threw up some interesting facts. Only 30 people had attended a typical city council meeting in a city of about 115,000 people. “Besides a surveyor, representing a sub divider, I was the only citizen in attendance at a planning commission meeting,” a citizen lamented. Further statistics revealed that in a village of 3,500 adults, only 3 to 7 turn up for a typical village board meeting. In a city of 5,000, only 5 to 7 turn up for a city council meeting. The results are equally dismal for school board meetings or constitutional hearings. The question is: why do people show so little interest in such weighty matters? A few answers might suffice: Apathy who cares? My opinion doesn’t matter. Lethargy - I can’t be bothered. The government will do what it wants anyway. Indifference - one crook is as good as another. Complacency - why rock the boat? The truth is that the welfare of

Why Churches Are Dying Internally, By Akin-John Akin-John, who also spoke on naHURCH growth expert, Dr. tional issues, gave some hints on C Bola Akin-John has called on how churches can be revived. Said church leaders and pastors to go back to the Biblical way of doing things. The head of the International Church Growth Ministry, Ipaja, Lagos, who gathered pastors and church leaders together every year for seminars and conferences, is not happy with the conduct of some men of God and their members. At a press conference in Lagos, recently, to herald his forthcoming programme, International Church Renewal Conference with the theme: “Church/Ministry Turn-around” holding on Monday, February 17 to 21, at the Decross Gospel Mission, Araromi Bus stop, Abeokuta Expressway, Lagos, Akin-John said the spirituality expected of these men of God and their members is seriously lacking today.

fare to release Peter. We also read of a selfless convert called Barnabas, who sold all his possession and laid it at the feet of the apostles for the common good of all. Of course, he did not do it for recognition but the Church decided to acknowledge it and named him son of encouragement. Ven. Ernest Onuoha Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State. www.ibrucentre.org

he: “how can we turn our churches around to what God or Jesus Christ the head wants us to do? How can the church become spiritual, and not just somebody’s empire or copying from others, what they have to offer? “We want to call pastors and church leaders to go back to the Biblical way of doing things, not in terms of showing that they have nice structures, as it goes beyond that. Rather in terms of knowing God and doing His perfect will. We have a lot of churches out there, but you can hardly find godliness there and corruption is on the inAkin John crease. The people parading themWhile urging them to repent and selves, as God’s children should show Christ-like behaviour, he said show Godly character in what they having a nice structure, as a place do and where they work, which is of worship does not mean spiritu- the hallmark of a true disciple of Christ.” ality, as it goes beyond that.

Odukoya the generality of the people in any given geographical space is tied to how effective those who have been elected to govern perform. This is a generally accepted principle. But also more important is the fact that the effectiveness of those who govern is directly determined by the willingness and ability of the people to hold them accountable. The willingness to be involved by actively participating, directly or indirectly in governance is at the very heart of citizenship. It was the American politician and one time Governor of Illinois, Alder Stevenson who said, “As citizens of this democracy, you are the rulers and the ruled, the law-givers and the law-abiding, the beginning and the end.” George Nathan put it this way: “Bad officials are elected, when

Primate Udofia Tasks Politicians On Forgiveness By Adeniyi Idowu Adunola RIMATE of the African Church, His P Grace, Rev. Emmanuel Udofia, has advised politicians to remain focused and forgive one another, as that is the mark of God’s children. He made this known during his visit to African Church, Salem, Lagos, recently. He said: “If we don’t forgive one another, nothing good will come out of it.” He said they should be disciplined and be exemplary role models, showcasing the qualities of Christ, as the light unto other people’s darkness, for the nation, society and the Church to be the very best, to happily live in and serve, at all times. He added that whatever they do now, they should remember that one day they would give account to God. “Wherever we are, we are there because God wants us to be there. And one day, He will call us to give account of it”. He urged them to rule in the fear of God, noting “When they have the fear of God in them, they will be able to plan well and do what they want to do with passion.”

good citizens do not vote.” Every way you look at it, citizen participation, at every level, is a critical component of nationbuilding. But it is important to note how much of a decline there has been in citizen participation, particularly in this part of the world. A comparative global report by IDEA on voter turnout in parliamentary elections across the world showed Nigeria scoring 50.3%, placing her as 157 out of 169 countries. Decades of military dictatorship, which usurped the basic rights of citizens, and recent democratic experiments that have not lived up to the expectations of the people, have created inequalities, depleted trust and resulted in a decline in civic engagement. In his phenomenal 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr. describes two opposing forces that seemed at play in keeping the Negroes in America subservient to the Caucasians in his era. And King’s theory very well describes the current situation in Nigeria. On the one hand is complacency, resulting from many years of oppression, which has succeeded in draining the selfrespect of the generality of the people and forced them to become passive on-lookers in the decisions that determine the outcome of their lives. This is aided and abetted by the complacency of an uppermiddle class, “which, because of a degree of academic and economic security and because in some ways they profit by segregation, have become insensitive to the problems of the masses.” On the other hand is bitterness and hatred for the political class, brought upon by the growing disillusion with government. One way this bitterness and hatred expresses itself is through violence, as seen in widespread cases of kidnappings and partly responsible for the ongoing war of terror in Northern Nigeria. The only way out of the current fix is not more passivity, but active engagement. Nigerians, at all levels, must rise up and take responsibility for the direction of the nation. We can no longer afford to just sit back idly and point fingers at our various governments. NIGERIA HAS A GREAT FUTURE! Pastor Taiwo can be reached at pastortaiwo@tfolc.org


SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2014

Campus Faith Initiative

Global Entrepreneural Leader

BARBARA CORCONA

MONDAYS–FRIDAYS IN THE GUARDIAN

OAU: Students Say No To Unlawful Eviction From Hostels By Kemi Busari EQUEL TO the commencement of the 24th Nigerian Universities SGames (NUGA), students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, the host institution, have express dissatisfaction over the university management’s decision to evict the students from their halls of residence. According to a release signed by the institution’s Registrar, Mr. Dotun Awoyemi, students are directed to vacate their hostel rooms before 12 noon, February 7, in order to allow the management, make proper preparation for the games delegates. The Registrar in the release, enjoined the students to be law abiding and cooperative with the directive, adding that they would be back to their rooms after the games. While reacting to the directive, the Chairman, Pace Setters Movement (PSM), a students’ pressure group in the institution, Sanyaolu Oluwajuwon, said, “we are not opposed to the games, but we are mostly discontented with the fact that the university management has selfishly concluded plans to force students to go back to their respective houses, shortly after they have barely returned from an horrific strike which lingered for six months.” Sanyaolu, maintained that students who are the actual reason for the games organisation supposed spectators should not be left out under any condition. “The management can better still lodge the delegates elsewhere or allow some hostels to be free for students who will love to stay back on campus to watch the games,” he stated. Describing NUGA Games as once in a lifetime educational experience of students, Adejinmi Babafemi, said “the university management can simply lodge these athletes at the university’s conference centre and other hotels outside campus with the NUGA fund that was allocated to the university for this purpose, instead of sacrificing the lives, welfare and interest of the students.” The NUGA Games which has initially been postponed twice is expected to commence on February 12 and end 22.

UNILORIN Expels Eight Over Misconduct By Daniel Anazia The University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) on Monday announced the expulsion of eight students over various offenses ranging from membership of cults, examination malpractice and breaching of the institution’s code of conduct. This was made by the Dean, Students Affairs, who said the affected students were shown the door for misconduct. According to the Deputy Registrar, Student Affairs Unit, Mrs. Kate Sallee,

Kemi Busari, 400 Level, Political Science

LAFETE /48 AYANDA

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CONTNUED ON PAGE 40

FEDPOFFA Students Protest .. ASUP Vow To Continue Strike TWO WORDS /40

By Adewale Kazeem

Fill It

If you are knocking on a door and it refuses to open – Ask Questions

TUDENTS of Federal Polytechnic Offa, Kwara State, on Thursday staged a protest over the ongoing ASUP strike. According the students, the strike has affected their academic lives. Life Campus gathered the protest started about 8am, with intention to stop all the activities in the school, including all staff schools, however, the school security personnel pleaded with the students and promise to consult the school management in order to find solution to the strike so that students can return to back the

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classroom as soon as possible. The students led by the SUG former President, Com Omuiyadun Hammed, stated in their placards, “No to divide and rule, ASUP strike must end; world suffer not because of the violence of bad people, but the silence of good people.” Omuiyadun noted the brave step by some progressive students of FEDPOFFA was not a motive to undermine or weigh strength with the incumbent SUG Exco. “We want to show them (Exco) that all students are solidly on ground to reason together towards finding immediate end of the protracted ASUP Strike,” he said. He added, “we will to continue the struggle on Monday in another diplomatic manner, which will include visit to media houses….No retreat, no surrender, it is a collective hands rescue mission” The incumbent SUG President, Com Reliable, who later joined the protesters said, “the strike must end to save the lives of students.” He noted that the protest was sparked off by the resolution of ASUP NEC meeting held on Wednesday to continue the strike.


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CAMPUS

Ui Student in EFCC Net over $90,000 Scam By Daniel Anazia N UNDERgRADUATE of the University of ibadan, orowo Jesse omokoh, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly obtaining $90,000 from one Mrs. Jette Jacob, in a romance scam. The 28-year-old suspect allegedly met Jacob on a dating site and struck a romantic affair that necessitated him moving to Johannesburg South Africa in 2013 to link up with his lover. Life Campus gathered omokoh allegedly arrived in Johannesburg, on February 4, 2013, to meet with

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Adeniran Ogusanya College of Education Reduces Tuition Fees oLLowiNg the students protest on Monday over the hike in tuition fees and delay in the release of their first semester results among other issues, the management of Adeniran ogunsanya College of Education (AoCoED), otto-ijaniki, Lagos, has reviewed downward the fees. The protest came few weeks after students of the Lagos State University (LASU) went on rampage over similar grievance of hike in school fees. According to the institution’s spokesman, odunayo Adebowale, the College management and the students’ representatives met with the state government through the office of the Directorate of Higher

F

TWO WORDS

Education in charge of tertiary institutions on February 3 to resolve the disputes. He said, “both parties have resolved the disputes, it was jointly agreed to reduce the tuition fee from N120,000 to N95,000” He added, “the protest was uncalled for because the management has begun the process of resolving the disputes before some students decided to demonstrate. He noted that no life was lost during the protest as security agents promptly arrived at the scene to calm the situation, adding that normalcy had returned to the campus. “The school was not shutdown, some students barricaded the gates and their actions made other students to flee from the campus,” he explained.

According to the students’ union executives, the protest became necessary because most students were yet to pay their fees due to the hike. Mariam Salami, a member of the Students’ Parliamentary Council (SPC), the legislative arm of the union, told Life Campus the union had made several consultations to resolve the disputes with the management, which yielded no result and this demoralised the students, “and pushed us to a peaceful demonstration,” she said, She added that the obstruction of vehicular movement on LagosBadagry Expressway resulted to traffic gridlock, while students fled the campus for fear of the unknown.

UNiLoRiN Expels Eight over Misconduct

UNN : The Search For The CAMPUS Queen

uki@poisenigeria.org,

Fill it.. Ukinebo Dare Experience is the best teacher, but the tuition fee is very high. I am Uki Dare, C.E.O of Poise’ Graduate Finishing Academy, mother of two and wife of one. I will share with you lessons I have learnt from my experiences around transforming from a young lady with big dreams to a young C.E.O with massive goals. I won’t bore you with long prose and philosophical arguments I promise to be real and answer all your questions in just TWO WORDS. Hi guys, Ever asked these questions: what oN EARTH are employers looking for? How do i determine my worth? why doesn’t anyone appreciate my value? I have a short story for you. ikona was village facing extreme famine, everyone had run out of food and water was a scarce com-

modity. There was no hope anywhere around and no one knew how to solve this problem. Even the king was so hungry that he couldn’t carry his staff and wear his crown. one day the village woke up to sad news, the king had died leaving no successor. with their thirsting throats and aching bellies they buried him and began the search for a new king. A stranger heard of the King’s death and rode into town in an entourage of flashy cars and bags of money hoping to immediately be recognized as the most valuable option and be chosen as their King. They didn’t give him a second glance. He hired dancers from far and wide to come and put up a show hoping to impress the people but the people did not laugh and cheer, they didn’t even come out of their houses. He was perplexed. The next day, determined to be their King, he carried bags of gold to every house, they threw the gold at him asking what a dying men needed with gold. He couldn’t figure out what kind of ungrateful people rejected gold? Someone had even threatened to kill him if he ever showed up in his compound again with useless things. Just before giving up, he decided to ask someone what was going on and she said “Leave me! i am too

hungry to talk, please go away.” Then it hit him! These people are starving! He drove all night to a far-away town and used his gold to buy all kinds of food, fruits and drinks. He hired people to go into the village and begin to prepare a feast before he arrived. He then instructed them not to tell anyone who was coming but to say their master was just passing through the village and would only spend one night. Early the next morning, the villagers were awaked by the sweet almost forgotten aroma of delicacies which they had lost all hope of ever eating. The children breaking palm kernels were stopped in their tracks as the aroma of meat being fried enveloped them. “Everyone harassed the cooks. “who is your master? what can we do to make him live with us? will he share his food with us? is he from our land?” No answer then an announcement. “The Master is almost here! He will spend the night and continue his journey tomorrow.” “what!” immediately the elders discussed, “Surely anyone one who could find such bounty in this wilderness we call home, must never leave this land.”, “what should we do?” immediately, they sprang into action, they got the King’s robe, staff and crown, stood

Jacob who is believed to be an Australian based in Johannesburg since November 2012. According to a statement signed by the Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Mr. wilson Uwujaren, reads, “five days after omokoh arrived and took up residence with her, Jacob was found dead in her apartment with some of her valuables missing. After the incident, omokoh reportedly fled South Africa and returned to Nigeria.” The statement continued, “The South African police, which is investigating the mysterious death, are suspicious that omokoh has a hand in the demise of Jacob. on March 15, 2013, the EFCC received a petition from Richard Stanford of Australian Federal Police, asking for help to track omokoh, alleging that the Nigerian defrauded Jacob to the tune of $90,000 in a dating scam.” Uwajeren said, the commission operatives reportedly swung into action immediately, but the suspected fraudster was elusive until few days ago when he was nabbed. He stated that the suspect would be arraigned in court as soon as investigation is completed.

at the entrance to their city waiting for him and began to sing “Long Live The King!”. we have a saying at Poise’ graduate Finishing School. “Employers know what they want, if they see it and they recognize it, they will acquire it.” Your value does not come from your environment, but it can will only be recognized in an environment where it is needed. Sometimes, the thing you are searching for is searching for you so don’t be discouraged. Ask yourself this very important question: “what do my goals, require of me?” Here is my advice to you in Two words. If you are knocking on a door and it refuses to open – Ask Questions If you have sent out your resume out 20 times and have never been called for a test – Edit IT If the job you want requires experience - Go Volunteer If you are being undervalued – Solve problems in summary, if there is a gap between your current capability and the requirements of your dreams and aspirations – FiLL iT

CONTNUED FROM PAGE 39 names and departments of the expelled students has been published. Sallee, who also double as the Secretary of the Student Disciplinary Committee (SDC), said in a statement the management of the university recently tried the students and found them guilty. Sallee said, the students included Temidayo olakunle, department of Educational Technology; Dennis Adeniji (Sociology) and Ademola oguntade (History and international Studies). others are Muhammed Suzo (Accounting), olakunle oyinloye (Sociology), Ahmad Surajudeen (Statistics), Azeez Said (Sociology) and Abdulwaheed Sanni (Common and islamic Law). The Deputy Registrar adds that two students were also rusticated for one academic session. According to her, the students are Habeeb Shittu, department of Chemistry and Abdullahi Mohammed, department of Private and Property Law. “The university also suspended one Mayowa Salawu of the Department of Zoology pending the outcome of investigations into allegations that he associated with or belonged to an unregistered club on campus,” she said. Sallee, noted that Sulaiman Araba, a student in the department of Social Science Education, was exonerated from the charge of misconduct leveled against him. “in its sustained bid to uphold fairness and justice, the penalised students would be given the opportunity to appeal against the punishment meted out to them,” she explained. She added, “Those who are not satisfied with the penalty they got should route their appeal to the University Council through their Heads of Departments, Deans of Faculties and the Vice Chancellor. This should be within 48 days of the receipt of the letters conveying the SDC’s decision to them.”


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FROM THE DESK OF THE CEO

National Development Strategy

NICHOLAS OKOYE, Founder EMPOWER NIGERIA Initiative,

Nicholas Okoye’s The Nine Pillars of National Development

Pillar One: Government Policy (paper 5)

EDUCATION E KNOW that our education is presently in a mess. We need a visionary leader at the helm of affairs in this sector to save Nigeria from the slide. Please let us stop appointing Politicians to the Education portfolio, it too important a job to be left in the hands of someone that wants to be compensated for political support. As I said in paper 4 on Government Policy as one of my Pillar’s of National Development, our civil servants and middle class are spending $10 to $12 billion dollars on educating their children aboard. This means that as we are spending over N3 trillion naira on Civil servant benefits and allowances, our Civil servants are spending this money on schools fees in foreign schools and in the process boosting the economies of countries around the world from the UK, to the USA, to Ghana, to Cyprus. How can we expect our Political leaders to really build a society of our dreams when we, the Nigerian people ourselves are not cooperating? We are spending all our money aboard and then we complain, that Nigeria is not working. How can it work? When we prefer to educate our children aboard, we prefer to drink and eat food grown and flown in from aboard, we love luxury goods, and we are presently the second largest Champagne drinking society in the World. Second only to France where the product is made. We glorify spending on very expensive lifestyles all channeled to suppliers and manufacturers that are based aboard. So there is something that is fundamentally wrong with our society and so what do we do?

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National Education Policy: we need a reorientation as a Nation. Nigerians need to love and be proud of their country. And the Education Ministry will need to come with up with a new curriculum that gives our children a National Pride that makes them to love their country. We

also need to build some of the best schools in the world right here in Nigeria. And why can’t we do that? Our people have all the money in Word, what do our oil and gas moguls, telecommunications giants, banking tycoons do with all their money? After you have bought the Private Jet, the homes in Monaco, LA and Miami, the 100ft Yachts, what next? We need to start making commitments and investing in the future of our Country and we can do that by recreating the Education sector so that first of all we educate our best brains in country in some of the best schools in the world. And I do not mean the most expensive schools in the world either. I always wonder why some of our Pentecostal churches would build some very good schools but make the school fees unaffordable and unattainable for their members.

and to create a job for themselves? We really need to look at the curriculum all over again. The Education leaders have been so preoccupied with changing the time we send in school from 6-5-4 to 6-3-3-4 that they have completely forgotten that the content of what we are teaching our children is outdated and needs a complete redesign that would train an army of achievers that would drive Nigeria forward to compete with Nations around the World for the future. I must congratulate the “Nigeria Education Research and Development Council” for only recently introducing a new focus on Trade and Entrepreneurship and introducing the 39 new subjects at the secondary school level which includes photography, salesmanship, painting, interior decorating, this is help but we need to do more.

National University Curriculum: So what is the Nigerian curriculum designed to achieve? When did we last do a review of the curriculum in Nigeria? I speak to children that have schooled in Nigeria all the time and I find it scandalous that many of them are not taught the Nigeria history as it should be. Why? Maybe we are so used to sweeping the dirt under the carpet we believe that we can build a Nation on lies and pretense. Our children are not taught about the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, the hurt and the lessons of the past and the blood that was shred for Nigeria in that period. Anyone that is not taught the past is bound to repeat the mistakes of the past. How many Nigerian children know our heros? How many Nigerian class rooms have pictures of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Tafawa Belewa, Hebert Macurly, Alvan Ikoku, Obafemi Awolowo?

Education systems and Infrastructure: I know you have seen those adverts in the newspapers when a State Governor wants to praise himself on building a new school he shows off the buildings of the school and calls it the model school. I have seen Imo State, Rivers State and other states do this. I have equally seen the adverts from private schools showing off the beautiful buildings that have been built for the children. However I must call their attention to the fact that buildings do not constitute an education policy neither do they teach children. We need to teach our children the right content for us to get them on the right path to building a true Nation. We must get the content right first and this means that we need committed teachers working with a world class curriculum that puts our Nation on a new level for development and progress. In my opinion you cannot build infrastructure for Education without teachers. We must first focus on teachers and make it a great profession and get some of the best minds to become teachers then we

What is the true design of our present curriculum? Are we teaching our children to be workers and to look for a job or to be entrepreneurs

ple, which has been used to produce minced meat, filling etc. The producer puts the minced food into a funnel, which is placed on the top of the grinder. From there the material goes on a horizontal screw conveyor. This screw conveyor, which can be powered by a hand wheel or an electric motor, squashes and partially mixes the food. At the end of the screw conveyor there is a knife installed directly in front of the fixed hole plate. At this opening the minced meat comes out of the machine. The fineness of the meat depends on the size of the holes of the plate.

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Education Finance Reform: this is one of the most difficult subjects in today’s Nigerian educational system. I will offer solutions here because I know that it is a big issue and is a major drawback to development of our education system. I will deal with this subject next week as it is a key to the successful development and redesigning of our education system in Nigeria.

Covenant-University-Ota Buildings ar not content

Meat Mincers

MEAT MINCER or meat grinder is a kitchen appliance for fine chopping (‘mincing’) of, or mixing of raw or cooked meat, fish, vegetables or similar food. It replaces tools like the mincing knife or grater, for exam-

are on our way to getting things right. If we have all the beautiful buildings in the World and we do not have teachers then we have failed woefully. And we need part time nonworking teachers volunteers as well. We need to get successful people that are in industry to go back to the class room for a month, a week or even a weekend to teach and inspire our children. We need to have parents’ mentorship programs that will support the teachers to get our children more interested in entrepreneurship as we know the jobs required for our population of young people are not being created by the economy. I will gladly be the first volunteer if the State or Federal Ministry of Education would organize such a program. In any case with the new curriculum on Entrepreneurship starting from the secondary school level, schools will need the partnership and support of industry to get the message across.

unit can be mixed different kinds of meat (for example beef or pork) with each other homogeneously By changing the hole plate it is also pos- and/or can be mixed the meat sible to produce breadcrumbs or fill with additives, like salt or spices, sausage casing. After the drop from the before grinding it. Without such a retainer, it is possible to change the mixer unit, the additives must be hole plate. By removing the fixing mixed into the meat after grindscrew the grinder can be disassembled ing it, which adversely affects the completely for cleaning. Besides the taste and appearance of most domestic manually or motor operated grinders, there are also grinders for butchery (table- or shop-grinders for example) and for the food industry. Some large machines are able to produce several tons per hour. A basic optional feature for larger grinders is the mixer unit. With this

products. Minced meat is an important ingredient in some specialties such as Coconut Rice, Meat balls, Hamburgers, Sandwiches, Meatloaves, etc. Meat mincers are unbelievably affordable. They are small and very portable. They could be used in places like restaurants, hotels, fast foods, clubs, suya joints, Food carts and even at home. A meat mincer is an equipment you should not even think twice about acquiring, due to its efficiency and portability. Know any hotel owners or food store owners, they would really appreciate it if you told them about the meat mincer. To find out more about this and other business ideas, visit our virtual showroom at www.empowernigeria.com, or contact our sales rep at 01 2771388


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GLOBAL eNTRePReNeuRAL LeADeR

By NICHOLAS OKOYE, EMPOWER NIGERIA Initiative,

More on Accurate Thinking

Barbara Corcoran

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.

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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.

ARBARA CORCORAN is an American businesswoman, consultant, investor, speaker, author and TV personality. She is the owner of a $5 billion a year business ‘The Corcoran Group’. Barbara Corcoran’s credentials include straight D’s in high school and college and twenty jobs by the time she turned twenty-three. It was her next job that would make her one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country when she took a $1000 loan to start The Corcoran Group. Corcoran was born on 10th March 1949 in edgewater, New Jersey. She studied at St. Thomas Aquinas College and in 1971

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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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attained a degree in education. After she graduated, she tried teaching for almost a year however she clearly wanted something greater; Corcoran wanted to be her own boss. After working at almost 20 odd jobs, that included waitressing, she decided to start her own business. So she took a $1000 loan from her wealthy boyfriend at that time and used that to co-create a business in real estate which she called ‘The Corcoran Group’. By mid 1970s Barbara Corcoran started publishing ‘The Corcoran Report’ that featured real estate data developments. Later on her boyfriend eloped with her secretary but left Corcoran with a thriving business and no regrets whatsoever. Corcoran had laudable entrepreneurial skills as she managed to turn a $1000 into billions. In 2001, the real estate mogul sold part of her real estate company to NRT LLC for seventy million dollars. Corcoran has mentioned several times that she was not a straight A student in high school or college but using her innate entrepreneurial talents she made it to the top. After she sold her company her worth as a real estate expert increased even more and she emerged in the New York real estate scene as a prominent personality. Corcoran is also a well-known media person; she appears in the famous NBC show NBC TODAY as a real estate contributor. She hosts CNBC’s “The Millionaire Broker with Barbara Corcoran”. She is also a columnist for ‘The Daily Review’, ‘More Magazine’, ‘Red Book’ and writes a weekly column in the ‘New York Daily News’. Corcoran has also appeared in many other TV shows as a guest including ‘Larry King Live’. She is often invited to real estate events as a business speaker. Corcoran is also a business consultants; she provides consultancy through television production business called ‘Barbara Corcoran Inc.’ She is a ‘Shark Investor’ in the hit NBC series ‘Shark Tank’ in which she invests in the start-ups and businesses of new entrepreneurs and in exchange for that she gets a percentage equity of that company. In the first season of the show, the 8 businesses that Corcoran invested turned out to be very successful. Corcoran’s entrepreneurial spirit is appreciable. She has also penned many books. These business books are best-selling in the market as they provide a lot of education related to business as well as entertainment. Barbara Corcoran is a very inspiring motivational speaker. She has an inspirational attitude towards life which has a great influence for young businessmen and businesswomen. Currently, she lives in New York City along with her husband and two children.


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Welcome to another edition of Passnownow.com in The guardian. Trusting your week has been great; we do hope you enjoyed our last week’s package. Did you learn anything new? Please tell us what this column has taught you so far or what you are looking forward to seeing in the Passnownow column by sending us a mail at info@passnownow.com. This edition promises to be filled with exiting articles and tips for your learning pleasure. so what are you waiting for? Dig in!

Although Ajifa looks like a toddler, she is in fact 19, having stopped growing just before her second birthday. Ajifa weighs just 1st 3lbs, and still needs to be spoon-fed and carried everywhere by her mother Apila, 42. The teenager was a healthy baby when she was born in 1994 and it wasn’t long before she started to walk and talk. However, her development got stalled. Doctors initially told her mother and father, sekh, 52, that Ajifa would start growing again. They blamed cancer for her condition, before suggesting that it could be a hormone disorder and the family is still at a loss as to why Ajifa is how she is. scientists believe that Ajifa could have what is described as laron syndrome, a rare genetic condition, which is believed to have affected just 300 people across the globe - with a third of them living in remote villages in ecuador’s southern loja province. PAssNOWNOW is Nigeria’s prime People living with laron lack a hormone learning based social Community called insulin-like growth factor 1, or igfthat employs contemporary solu1, which stimulates the cell to grow and tions and innovation to teach, endivide to form new cells. gage, entertain and empower Too much of the hormone can lead a perYoung people growing from son to develop breast, prostate or bowel Teenage into early adulthood. Our content provides teens, parents cancers at an early age, meaning people and teachers reading selections and with laron will never get cancer, or diabetes. games they can access during their ‘Ajifa is likely to maintain her child fealeisure. Our contents include; class- tures for a long while of her life,’ Tam fry work support, test and exercises, from the Child growth foundation exam support, school forum, etc told the local newspaper. Mr. fry believes Ajifa ‘probably’ has laron syndrome. Ajifa’s younger sisters Rini, 17, Rabiya, 14, and brother Danish, eight, are taller than her, while her vocabulary extends only to ‘maa’, for mother, ‘baba’ for father, and ‘didi’ for sister. she is physically and cognitively similar to a two-year-old, and has an iQ of less than 20. Her condition bears an uncanny resemblance to a Us woman, Brooke greenberg, who died in October last year, aged 20 after puzzling doctors for years. No formal diagnosis for Brooke’s condition was ever given, leading doctors to term it ‘syndrome X’. instead of going to school or out to work like her peers and siblings, Ajifa, who lives in Mirapar, West Bengal, india, passes the time playing with local children, only able to take a few baby steps without help. Trapped in the body of a ‘she’s a delight and always has a smile on toddler: Teen, 19, stopped her face, but it’s heartbreaking to see her growing just before her sec- trapped in this life,’ Mrs. Khatun told The ond birthday. (Weird News) sun. Her father said his ‘beautiful’ daughter is always smiling and brings joy to her famAT fiRsT glANCe Ajifa Khatun could ily. be any little girl, playing with her ‘she doesn’t communicate much but she brothers and sisters and getting a knows what’s going on around her,’ he hug from her doting mother. said.

This section deals with appropriate set of rules which are valid and allowable in english language. PROCRAsTiNATe \pr - kras-t - n t, pr -\ (Verb) – to be slow or late about doing something that should be done: to delay doing something until a later time because you do not want to do it, because you are lazy, etc.

Did you know? One out of every five Nigerian children is out of school. This brings the number to approximately 10.5 million children. Did you know? Of The 123,000,000 Young People Between The Ages Of 15 And 24 Who Cannot Read Or Write, 61% of Them Are Women. Educate The Girl Child Today!

examples: He procrastinated and missed the submission deadline. He told her to stop procrastinating and get to work. synonyms: Delay, stall, Drag, Hesitate, Prolong, Postpone. Antonyms: Advance, Complete, forward. RePRieVe / r pri v/ (Verb) - cancel or postpone the punishment of (someone, especially someone condemned to death). (Noun) \ri- pr v\ - an official order that delays the punishment of a prisoner who is sentenced to death examples: Under the new regime, prisoners under sentence of death were reprieved. (Verb) He accepted the death sentence and refused to appeal for a reprieve. (Noun) synonyms (Verb): grant a stay of execution to, cancel/postpone/commute/remit someone’s punishment. synonyms (Noun): stay of execution, cancellation of punishment, postponement of punishment, remission, suspension of punishment, respite; pardon, amnesty, acquittal; continuance. Antonyms: Charge, Punish.

PAssNOWNOW is a Technology driven learning Hotspot for Nigerian secondary school students and school leavers. We’ve been rated as part of the 5 start Ups shaping Nigeria’s online education- http://techloy.com/2014/01/11/5-startupstransforming-online-education-nigeria. Our 2014 social Media Week event will showcase ways through which technology is being used to empower and educate Nigerian secondary school students and teenagers in order to stimulate and enhance their learning experiences. Participants who will include students, teachers, tech enthusiasts and stakeholders from the government and Private sector will on hand to discuss, answer questions and offer solutions on the importance of technology in education in the 21st century, the benefits of e-learning platforms and innovative education initiatives. student participants will have the opportunity to register for fRee on passnownow.com and start making use of the contents/resources available on the site, there and then. This event is aimed at increasing students’ interest in studying, reduce exam failures in the long run and create lifelong learners. There will be Refreshments and light entertainment and we look forward to welcoming you on the 20th of february. PANelisTs 1. Mr. Bambo Bashorun, Director of iCT and Co-coordinator of the Opon imo Project, Osun state government 2. Mr. stanley Muoneke, Business Development Manager, intel West Africa 3. Mrs. folashade Adefisayo, Proprietress, Corona secondary schools 4. Mrs. Roseline ilori, Country Manager, MTeCH Communications limited session Moderator: Ms. Modupe Olateju, PHD – founder/CeO, The education Partnership Centre

N.B: Readers/learners can send us questions on any subject of difficulty through; info@passnownow.com or visit our facebook/fan page to post your questions and you will get answers as soon as we get them. if you’re also preparing for any exam, visit www.passnownow.com to practice past questions on various subjects from JAMB and WAeC. Next week promises to bring you more interesting packages. inform your families, friends and teachers to join this train of fun! enquiries: +234.802.235.2545, +234.706.054.5017 info@passnownow.com Also join our enlightening and intriguing conversations on Visit www.passnownow.com Now!

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Saturday, February 9, 2014

LAFETE

YOUTHMAGAZINE

MTN, Celebrities Take To Twitter To Discuss Love In The Spirit Of Valentine S St. Valentine approaches, top A Nigerian celebrities and musical stars have been engaging Nigerian youth on the social media, sharing love tips and stories, personal experiences and providing answers to complex issues via the MTN twitter handle. Top on the MTN’s twitter handle was the ‘Limpopo master’, Kingsley Chinweike Okonkwo (aka KCee). He talked about love using one of his hit tracks, Pull Over, that recorded over a million downloads on the MTN Callertunez platform, two weeks after his album launch, as a discourse. In his words: “Valentine is a day for the exchange of tokens of affection. He also tweeted in response to his fans, explaining that valentine can also be the best time to visit the less privileged, orphans or the physically challenged.” The ‘Kedike’ crooner, Chidinma Ekile, was also a special guest on the MTN twitter handle. She enlightened followers about her growth since she won the third edition of the MTN Project Fame and cleared the air about her relationship status. She admonished Nigerian youth to believe in and engage themselves in

social activities that will empower them positively. Rave of the moment, HarrySong while tweeting through the MTN twitter handle shared his experience from the recently concluded 56th Grammys Award and showered encomiums on the leading ICT and Telecommunications Company, MTN, for granting him an opportunity to be part of the prestigious award. Among other artistes who have also graced the twitter handle are Praiz and D’Prince. When asked where they will be on the evening of February 14, they all gave same answer: they will be performing live with other leading Nigerian artistes like Don Jazzy, Wizkid, Iyanya, Davido, Sound Sultan, Banky W, Tiwa Savage, at the MTN Valentine Rave Party, holding at the Eko Hotel and Suites. Interestingly, every day, at least a celebrity will be the special guest on the twitter handle, till February 14, to interact with followers. Other artistes expected to grace the twitter handle include Don Jazzy, Wizkid, Iyanya, Davido, Sound Sultan, Banky W, Tiwa Savage, Mike, Monica, Ayo and Hafeez Oyetoro (aka Saka) among others.

‘I’m Rebranding With My New Album’ FTER years of hardwork and two successful A albums, Teni Teni and Ise Mi, fast rising singer, Yinka Ayanda, is poised to release her

Ayanda

third effort entitled, Alapa Masise (Lazy Bone), which she describes as a banger. According to Ayanda, a Senior Cabin Crew with Arik Air, the new album is part of an effort to re-brand her music. “It’s like a re-branding. The world is going to be seeing a new Yinka, who is totally different from the one you used to know,” she says. The musician began with contemporary African music, but now she describes her kind of music as a fusion of soul. “When I started, I was working in contemporary African music but that was then. Now, I have apala and soul fused in a unique way and I think it’s a whole new Yinka.” How does she get inspiration to write her songs? Hear her: “Wow! I get inspiration from the happenings around me, people’s experiences, my experiences, and ultimately from God.” On her favourite song in the album, Ayanda says it’s Alapa Masise, “but this is my album so my judgment could be biased; I think we should leave that one to my fans to decide.” The new album parades hit tracks like Alapa Masise (Lazy Bone), Iya (Mother), Sebotimo (Cut your Coat according to Size), Oko Mi (My Husband), Ise Mi (My Work), a remix, and Ore Ogede.

Don Jazzy (left), Michael Ikpoki, chief executive officer MTN and KCee

Evexia Concept To Healthy Living By Daniel Anazia VEXIAS Concept, a health oriented outfit with focus on providing screening services to client, recently visited Orile Idi-Araba in Ilupeju area of Lagos during one of its outreach programmes. According to Dr Yetunde Duze, Registrar, Department of Community Health and Primary Care, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), the outfit mission is to provide appropiate screening services, health promotion, disease prevention and support programs for children, women and the elderly, so as to help attain a level of health that will permit them to lead a productive life. The outreach which was sponsored by a mobile phone company based in Ikeja, Lagos, held at the palace of the Baale of the community, Chief Kamorudeen Yusuf Kushimo, witnessed large turnout of residents, mostly women and children, who

E

were screened by Optamologist and Dentist in the team. Residents enjoyed free blood pressure checks, dental examinations, eye examinations, deworming exercise. The children were also given toothbrushes and corrective eye glasses for those with refractive errors.

MultiChoice’s Night Of Glory, Telling The Story Of Two Decades the new device in the presence of the DG of National Broadcasting Commission, (NBC), OR those who were at the 20th anniver- Emeka Mba, who represented the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, the Chairman, sary gala night of MultiChoice held at Senate Committee on Information, Senator Eko Hotel in Lagos, it was, no doubt, a Enyinnaya Abaribe and the Chairman of night well spent, as the entertainment MultiChoice Nigeria, Adewunmi Ogunsanya. provided by the celebrating company to In his speech, Ogunsanya said it was necesthe numerous guests was simply wondersary to celebrate two decades of operating in ful. The firm proved that it could deliver other forms of entertainment besides the Nigeria, given the odds it had to contend with on arrival in the country, which included screen for which it has been known over the years through its DSTv and GOTv plat- inclement investment climate characterised by frequent government policy shifts, battered forms. image on account of military dictatorship and After welcoming guests, the excitement its poor human rights record, as well as a dire started with an electrifying presentation lack of broadcast infrastructure and other from the Crown Troupe of Africa, the things. dance-drama group, which mounted the “We started with satellite broadcast, which stage with a narration of MultiChoice’s journey to Nigeria, while subtly giving an was the first in Africa and second in the world. insight into the country’s political history It was an enormous challenge, as the market had not previously experienced pay-tv. And at the same time. In between, there were being the first licensed operator, it was not an speeches by the Chairman and MD of the easy task. It came with the need to constantly company, and then the DG of NBC, who innovate to stay ahead with cutting-edge techrepresented the Minister of Information. The long list of guests was intimidating, nology, while still creating digital television as many captains of industries and media channels, which are backed with world-class gurus were present to witness the 20 years service,” Ogunsanya said. To him, the success of the company is built celebration of a company that has promon years of investment and deep commitment ised not to rest on its oars. This was evito the growth of digital broadcasting and supdent, as the night also witnessed the port structure in the country. The investlaunching of a new technology, DSTV Explora, dubbed the gateway to extraordi- ments, he noted, have boosted the profile of Nigerian content across the African continent nary world of entertainment. and other parts of the world. “The moment you connect your DSTV He said his organisation is committed to the Explora, your TV viewing experience will country, which is evident in the period the change forever. This is extraordinary organisation came to invest in Nigeria and the entertainment at the touch of a button,” John Ugbe, MD, DSTv said, while launching corporate social responsibility projects it had By Gbenga Salau

F

executed over the years. To him, the event was about celebrating a great television, as it has been an interesting pioneering journey. “We can celebrate our success, as the largest investor of local content specifically created to cater for Africa’s diverse cultures and language market, especially in the area of AfricaMagic. What we are celebrating is commitment to promoting Africa’s cause and growing the local football leagues. “This is just the beginning and we are committed to the people of Nigeria and improving the lives of communities. I look forward to the celebration of the next 20 years,” he said. Ugbe, in his speech, said the organisation pride itself in being a global leader not just in the area of technology innovation, as it has continued to invest in cutting edge technology. “We will continuously expand the frontiers of content provision to remain competitive globally and not just on the African continent. We want to hold our own anywhere in the world. We create content, provide funding and assistance for others to produce content. And we also buy content. We rub off on the economy in Nigeria and we have exported Nigeria beyond Africa. “We are in the vanguard of creating a fully African culture. We are happy that Nigeria’s pop music is played on the street of Nairobi,” Ugbe said. He listed some Nigerian artistes including Olu Jacob, Chinedu Ikedieze and Osi alias Aki and Pawpaw, as no longer belonging to only to Nigeria but to Africa and the world,

because of his organisation’s commitment to promoting African cultures and artistes. “We are building our state of the art studio and production infrastructure locally, investing heavily in the future of Nigeria and Nigerians,” he said. He thanked all those, who had contributed to the company’s success story including staff, dealers, and subscribers among others. He appreciated their contributions by saying ‘thank you’ in the major Nigerian languages. Ugbe added that the company recognises the family as the pillar that has sustained its operations over the last 20 years. “At MultiChoice, we pride ourselves as the global leader in technology. We bring entertainment to homes in over 50 countries across the African continent. The theme for our 20th anniversary celebration, ‘Keeping Families Together for Over 20 Years’, was not chosen casually. It is a major responsibility for MultiChoice that serves both as a mantra and a philosophy, a promise that we will continually invest in cutting-edge technology and the content we put across daily will help create the atmosphere we call home,” Ugbe said. Adding spice to the night were Tuface Idibia, Omawumi, Daddy Showkey, who wowed guests with hit tracks, Waje, Seyi Shay and Crown Troupe of Africa. Because the event started behind schedule, it was an opportunity for people to chat, as they had a cocktail before helping themselves to the rich menu on offer.


Sunday, February 9, 2014 49

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

LAFETE

YOUTHMAGAZINE

BY SHAIBU HUSSEINI

shaibu70@yahoo.com

Around and about... Uche Jombo Drops After The Proposal

available in all major stores on the Island, in Surulere and Ikeja. According to the award winning actress who has always kept a slim built shape, ‘’we are still working o distribution so it can’t get to all the nooks and crannies. It is also available online at girlyessentials.com, Konga.com and will be available on Buyam.com also. With the advent of the online stores, distribution is a lot better as the reach is wider’’. But beyond the DVD, which Kate hinted comes with a free six weeks meal planner, is the plan to hold special fitness classes for some of her fans that have shown interest. “They want to have the DVD and also experienced it live,” she quipped.

OPULAR Nollywood actress, Uche Jombo, P last week released her 13th movie as an executive producer titled After The Proposal. The movie, which stars Patience Ozokwo aka Mama Gee as well as fast rising actors like Bellinda Effah, Keira Haywatch, Theresa Edem, Anthony Monjaro, Shan Faqua and Uche herself, have recorded impressive sales figure. Directed by Desmond Elliot and produced by Uduak Oguamanam and Uche Jombo, the movie tells the story of a widow (Patience Ozokwor) who is blessed with three daughters and no son, and who could not wait for one of her daughters to bring home a man. When Kenneth (Anthony Monjaro) finally proposes to Mary (Uche Jombo) after 8 years of courtship, his excitement of getting married was short lived when the demands from the elders of the village threatened to prevent the marriage as he sets out to purchase the endless items on her price list. The many twists and turn of the comic film is what has endeared it to many. Producer of the movie and head of Uche Jombo studios, won best actress award at African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) 2013 for her role in Lies Men Tell. Uche has so far shown that she could also be regarded as a good producer as she has continued to win admiration for her gallant strides as a producer and executive producer. The actress who has featured in over 100 movie productions has over 12 movies in her pouch. Some of the movies she has produced include Lies Men Tell, Misplaced, Mrs. Somebody, My Life My Damage, The Place, False, Holding Hope, and Nollywood Hustlers.

Star-Studded Opening For Berlinale 2014 INISTER of State and Federal M Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Monika Grütters, Jury President James

Royal Arts Academy crew shooting Apaye in Bayelsa Inspired by true events, Apaye tells the story of Elder Irene Yepayeye Uriah, born in the creeks of what is now Bayelsa State, who was abandoned by her husband and left to fend for her six children. She struggled and toiled to provide for her family and to make sure they enjoyed a life that she never had. Against the odds, she became a woman of substance in a community that never believed any good could come from her. The movie stars the inimitable Clarion Chukwurah in lead role. Also starring in the movie is popular Royal Arts Academy to offer actor Kanayo O.Kanayo and fast rising Belinda ‘Apaye: a mothers love soon Effah, Mbong Amata, Millicent Jack and many more. Screenplay was by Uduak Oguamanam, HE Emem Isong-led Royal Arts Academy Kehinde Joseph and Vivian Chiji while the film has announced that it is ready to put out was produced by Emem Isong and directed by Apaye, A Mother’s Love. It is a moving story of a Desmond Elliot. Niyi Akinmolaran worked as woman’s quest to succeed against the odds. assistant director of the project. A statement from Royal Arts Academy indicates that the

T

movie will be premiered on March 7 at the Silverbird Cinemas, Victoria Island, Lagos. It will however show in all cinemas nationwide same day.

Massive Rush For Kate Henshaw’s Fitness DVD ANS of popular Nollywood actress, Kate Freleased Henshaw, who want a copy of her recently fitness DVD would have to wait for the next batch that will be produced. The actress and talent judge on the wave making Nigeria Got Talent (NGT) show confirmed last week that her distributors have exhausted the initial prints, and so, she is back to the studios to make more copies. She, however, assured that the new prints of Katefitforlifes would be

All That Jazz

Schamus, and Festival Director Dieter Kosslick led other important dignitaries and filmmakers from all over the world for the formal opening ceremony of the 64th Berlin International Film Festival at the Berlinale Palast. The festival, which got under way with the opening gala at about 7.30pm on February 6, also featured the introduction of the International Jury. The jury comprise James Schamus (USA), iBarbara Broccoli (USA), Trine Dyrholm (Denmark), Mitra Farahani (Iran), Greta Gerwig (USA), Michel Gondry (France), Tony Leung (People’s Republic of China), and Christoph Waltz (Austria). Anke Engelke hosted the opening while The Asteroids Galaxy Tour provided the music. Following the opening gala was the premiere of Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. The director of the movie showed up at the premiere with an array of stars in the ensemble of his new comedy including Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Saiorse Ronan, Bill Murray, Fisher Stevens, and Jeremy Dawson. There were also other filmmakers, diplomats and government officials in attendance. The festival continues with screening of films, both in and out of competition, panel discussions and networking sessions. The festival ends on February

BY BENSON IDONIJE benidoni@yahoo.com

McCoy Tyner And The Universality Of Black Music AZZ musicians, through several sources and J‘Universality influences, have successfully imbibed the of Black Music’, the most obvious being through personal visits to Africa. Many have visited Africa over the years since trumpeter Louis Armstrong’s home - coming to Ghana: The pianist Randy Weston worked and played in Nigeria and Morocco in the 60s; Dizzy Gillespie landed in North Africa to record the classic, Night in Tunisia; Ornette Coleman has carried out experiments in Morocco; Art Blakey and Lester Bowie have visited Nigeria. In addition, people like John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman and the trumpeter Don Cherry have further explored the spiritual realm of the ‘Universality of Black Music’. But perhaps the exponent who has continued to make his influence felt in contemporary terms is the pianist Mc Coy Tyner. His Blue Note album, Extensions speaks volumes for this feat. Recorded in 1979 with Asante as the first offering, the four originals feature Tyner with altoist Andrew White; guitarist Ted Dumbar; bassist Buster Williams; drummer Billy Hart; Mtume on congas and two spots for the voice of Songal. A purely experimental recording and complete departure from his usual style at the time, emphasis shifted to group inter play rather than individual solos. This was in keeping with the demands of African music where group vocal- harmonies and the call – and – response pattern dictate the melody pattern. The album design is even more expressive and provocative, projecting an African village setting and environment with men, women and children dressed to suit the culture of the people. Pianist McCoy Tyner is currently receiving accolades from critics, most of whom are hailing him for his prodigious efforts on the piano outside of the John Coltrane quartet. I don’t have a problem with that, but what I do quarrel with is the fact that the critics also claim that Tyner was burying his talent with Coltrane and that he should have left long before he did. The indisputable and obvious truth is that as leader of his own group and master of situations, he probably has more freedom to experiment and express himself more freely and individually now as he has done with

Extensions. But he owes it all, a whole lot, to Coltrane in terms of tutelage and mentoring. Tyner’s career after Coltrane has been far from being an anti-climax. Along with Bill Evans, Tyner has been perhaps the most influential pianist in jazz of the past forty years, with his chord changes being adopted and utilised by virtually every younger pianist. As a matter of fact, pianist McCoy Tyner’s artistry and innovation embrace a multitude of styles, from African and Latin rhythms to the modal harmonies of the post-bebop era. His amazing versatility has continued to enable him excel in a wide variety of settings. No doubt, Tyner owes this achievement to John Coltrane under whose tutelage he acquired all the discipline and experience. Tyner left Coltrane in 1965, after over five years with the famous quartet - to explore his own destiny as a composer and bandleader. But when he broke out as a leader, he found that the American musical landscape was changing, with rock-nroll replacing jazz as preference for music consumers. Through faith and determination, Tyner prevailed as a soloist and side man. Among his major projects is a 1967 album entitled The Real McCoy, on which he was joined by saxophonist Joe Henderson, bassist Ron Carter and fellow Coltrane alumnus, Elvin Jones. His 1972 Grammy award nomination album, Sahara broke new grounds by the sounds and rhythms of Africa. Tyner has always expanded his vision of the musical landscape and incorporated new elements, whether from distant continents or diverse musical influences. More recently, he has arranged for big bands, employed string arrangements, and even reinterpreted popular music like Miles Davis. BORN Alfred McCoy Tyner on December 11, 1938, Tyner grew up in the fertile musical hot bed of Philadelphia. His parents imbued him with a love for music from an early age. His mother encouraged him to explore his musical interests through formal training. His decision to study piano was reinforced when he encountered the legendary be bop pianist Bud Powell, who was a neighbour of the family’s. Another major influence on Tyner’s playing was Thelonious Monk. As a teenager in the 50s, Tyner often found opportunities to learn directly from other

notable Philadelphia-based musicians. He played with numerous natives of the thriving home town jazz scene, including trumpeter Lee Morgan and the Heath Brothers, and even led his own septet for a while. When Tyner and Philadelphia saxophonist John Coltrane first played together, Tyner was 17 and Coltrane was still busy making history with Miles Davis’ band. But John often confided his interest in leading his own band with Tyner. While Tyner patiently waited for Coltrane to leave Miles’ group and start his own band, another saxophonist, Benny Golson invited Tyner to join him and trumpeter Art Farmer in forming a New York-based ensemble, Jazztet. Tyner finally joined Coltrane in 1965 for the classic album My Favourite Things, and remained at the core of what became one of the most seminal groups in jazz history, The John Coltrane Quartet. The band, which also included drummer Elvin Jones and bass player Jimmy Garrison, had an extraordinary chemistry, fostered in part by Tyner’s almost familiar relationship with Coltrane. Tyner’s block chords reminiscent of Red Garland’s, the pianist who had a stint with Miles Davis, distinguished him from other pianists of that era and became essential to the group’s sound. Both Tyner and Coltrane left and

embraced Eastern musical ideas, such as pentatonic scales and modal structures, which elevated the group’s performances to a spiritual level. Tyner has recorded over 50 albums, most of which have attracted the attention of jazzmen and devotees. One of his great recordings is Enlightenment. Recorded from the 1973 Montreaux Jazz Festival, it is percussive, powerful and highly inspired. McCoy Tyner propels his group with the confidence of a virtuoso. Another highly attractive recording is Remembering John, a tribute to his former boss and mentor. It is a setting that is mainly Tyner’s extrapolations on Coltrane compositions. The selections match his peerless keyboard improvisations with the equally adventurous support from an aggressive rhythm section. IN 1995, Tyner recorded his own interpretation of Infinity originally recorded in 1965 and 1966. Infinity is the title of one of the last three albums released by John Coltrane although none of the songs bear this title. McCoy Tyner, using Michael Brecker, a major saxophone voice as soloist, recreated it in 1995. Other albums that are noteworthy include The Turning Point, Journey, Revelation, Manhattan Moods, Looking out, Trident, Focal point, Fly With The Wind, Passion Dance and Horizon among


Saturday, February 9, 2014 49

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

LAFETE

YOUTHMAGAZINE

BY SHAIBU HUSSEINI

shaibu70@yahoo.com

Around and about... Uche Jombo Drops After The Proposal

available in all major stores on the Island, in Surulere and Ikeja. According to the award winning actress who has always kept a slim built shape, ‘’we are still working o distribution so it can’t get to all the nooks and crannies. It is also available online at girlyessentials.com, Konga.com and will be available on Buyam.com also. With the advent of the online stores, distribution is a lot better as the reach is wider’’. But beyond the DVD, which Kate hinted comes with a free six weeks meal planner, is the plan to hold special fitness classes for some of her fans that have shown interest. “They want to have the DVD and also experienced it live,” she quipped.

OPULAR Nollywood actress, Uche Jombo, P last week released her 13th movie as an executive producer titled After The Proposal. The movie, which stars Patience Ozokwo aka Mama Gee as well as fast rising actors like Bellinda Effah, Keira Haywatch, Theresa Edem, Anthony Monjaro, Shan Faqua and Uche herself, have recorded impressive sales figure. Directed by Desmond Elliot and produced by Uduak Oguamanam and Uche Jombo, the movie tells the story of a widow (Patience Ozokwor) who is blessed with three daughters and no son, and who could not wait for one of her daughters to bring home a man. When Kenneth (Anthony Monjaro) finally proposes to Mary (Uche Jombo) after 8 years of courtship, his excitement of getting married was short lived when the demands from the elders of the village threatened to prevent the marriage as he sets out to purchase the endless items on her price list. The many twists and turn of the comic film is what has endeared it to many. Producer of the movie and head of Uche Jombo studios, won best actress award at African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) 2013 for her role in Lies Men Tell. Uche has so far shown that she could also be regarded as a good producer as she has continued to win admiration for her gallant strides as a producer and executive producer. The actress who has featured in over 100 movie productions has over 12 movies in her pouch. Some of the movies she has produced include Lies Men Tell, Misplaced, Mrs. Somebody, My Life My Damage, The Place, False, Holding Hope, and Nollywood Hustlers.

Star-Studded Opening For Berlinale 2014 INISTER of State and Federal M Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Monika Grütters, Jury President James

Royal Arts Academy crew shooting Apaye in Bayelsa Inspired by true events, Apaye tells the story of Elder Irene Yepayeye Uriah, born in the creeks of what is now Bayelsa State, who was abandoned by her husband and left to fend for her six children. She struggled and toiled to provide for her family and to make sure they enjoyed a life that she never had. Against the odds, she became a woman of substance in a community that never believed any good could come from her. The movie stars the inimitable Clarion Chukwurah in lead role. Also starring in the movie is popular Royal Arts Academy to offer actor Kanayo O.Kanayo and fast rising Belinda ‘Apaye: a mothers love soon Effah, Mbong Amata, Millicent Jack and many more. Screenplay was by Uduak Oguamanam, HE Emem Isong-led Royal Arts Academy Kehinde Joseph and Vivian Chiji while the film has announced that it is ready to put out was produced by Emem Isong and directed by Apaye, A Mother’s Love. It is a moving story of a Desmond Elliot. Niyi Akinmolaran worked as woman’s quest to succeed against the odds. assistant director of the project. A statement from Royal Arts Academy indicates that the

T

movie will be premiered on March 7 at the Silverbird Cinemas, Victoria Island, Lagos. It will however show in all cinemas nationwide same day.

Massive Rush For Kate Henshaw’s Fitness DVD ANS of popular Nollywood actress, Kate Freleased Henshaw, who want a copy of her recently fitness DVD would have to wait for the next batch that will be produced. The actress and talent judge on the wave making Nigeria Got Talent (NGT) show confirmed last week that her distributors have exhausted the initial prints, and so, she is back to the studios to make more copies. She, however, assured that the new prints of Katefitforlifes would be

All That Jazz

Schamus, and Festival Director Dieter Kosslick led other important dignitaries and filmmakers from all over the world for the formal opening ceremony of the 64th Berlin International Film Festival at the Berlinale Palast. The festival, which got under way with the opening gala at about 7.30pm on February 6, also featured the introduction of the International Jury. The jury comprise James Schamus (USA), iBarbara Broccoli (USA), Trine Dyrholm (Denmark), Mitra Farahani (Iran), Greta Gerwig (USA), Michel Gondry (France), Tony Leung (People’s Republic of China), and Christoph Waltz (Austria). Anke Engelke hosted the opening while The Asteroids Galaxy Tour provided the music. Following the opening gala was the premiere of Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. The director of the movie showed up at the premiere with an array of stars in the ensemble of his new comedy including Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Saiorse Ronan, Bill Murray, Fisher Stevens, and Jeremy Dawson. There were also other filmmakers, diplomats and government officials in attendance. The festival continues with screening of films, both in and out of competition, panel discussions and networking sessions. The festival ends on February

BY BENSON IDONIJE benidoni@yahoo.com

McCoy Tyner And The Universality Of Black Music AZZ musicians, through several sources and J‘Universality influences, have successfully imbibed the of Black Music’, the most obvious being through personal visits to Africa. Many have visited Africa over the years since trumpeter Louis Armstrong’s home - coming to Ghana: The pianist Randy Weston worked and played in Nigeria and Morocco in the 60s; Dizzy Gillespie landed in North Africa to record the classic, Night in Tunisia; Ornette Coleman has carried out experiments in Morocco; Art Blakey and Lester Bowie have visited Nigeria. In addition, people like John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman and the trumpeter Don Cherry have further explored the spiritual realm of the ‘Universality of Black Music’. But perhaps the exponent who has continued to make his influence felt in contemporary terms is the pianist Mc Coy Tyner. His Blue Note album, Extensions speaks volumes for this feat. Recorded in 1979 with Asante as the first offering, the four originals feature Tyner with altoist Andrew White; guitarist Ted Dumbar; bassist Buster Williams; drummer Billy Hart; Mtume on congas and two spots for the voice of Songal. A purely experimental recording and complete departure from his usual style at the time, emphasis shifted to group inter play rather than individual solos. This was in keeping with the demands of African music where group vocal- harmonies and the call – and – response pattern dictate the melody pattern. The album design is even more expressive and provocative, projecting an African village setting and environment with men, women and children dressed to suit the culture of the people. Pianist McCoy Tyner is currently receiving accolades from critics, most of whom are hailing him for his prodigious efforts on the piano outside of the John Coltrane quartet. I don’t have a problem with that, but what I do quarrel with is the fact that the critics also claim that Tyner was burying his talent with Coltrane and that he should have left long before he did. The indisputable and obvious truth is that as leader of his own group and master of situations, he probably has more freedom to experiment and express himself more freely and individually now as he has done with

Extensions. But he owes it all, a whole lot, to Coltrane in terms of tutelage and mentoring. Tyner’s career after Coltrane has been far from being an anti-climax. Along with Bill Evans, Tyner has been perhaps the most influential pianist in jazz of the past forty years, with his chord changes being adopted and utilised by virtually every younger pianist. As a matter of fact, pianist McCoy Tyner’s artistry and innovation embrace a multitude of styles, from African and Latin rhythms to the modal harmonies of the post-bebop era. His amazing versatility has continued to enable him excel in a wide variety of settings. No doubt, Tyner owes this achievement to John Coltrane under whose tutelage he acquired all the discipline and experience. Tyner left Coltrane in 1965, after over five years with the famous quartet - to explore his own destiny as a composer and bandleader. But when he broke out as a leader, he found that the American musical landscape was changing, with rock-nroll replacing jazz as preference for music consumers. Through faith and determination, Tyner prevailed as a soloist and side man. Among his major projects is a 1967 album entitled The Real McCoy, on which he was joined by saxophonist Joe Henderson, bassist Ron Carter and fellow Coltrane alumnus, Elvin Jones. His 1972 Grammy award nomination album, Sahara broke new grounds by the sounds and rhythms of Africa. Tyner has always expanded his vision of the musical landscape and incorporated new elements, whether from distant continents or diverse musical influences. More recently, he has arranged for big bands, employed string arrangements, and even reinterpreted popular music like Miles Davis. BORN Alfred McCoy Tyner on December 11, 1938, Tyner grew up in the fertile musical hot bed of Philadelphia. His parents imbued him with a love for music from an early age. His mother encouraged him to explore his musical interests through formal training. His decision to study piano was reinforced when he encountered the legendary be bop pianist Bud Powell, who was a neighbour of the family’s. Another major influence on Tyner’s playing was Thelonious Monk. As a teenager in the 50s, Tyner often found opportunities to learn directly from other

notable Philadelphia-based musicians. He played with numerous natives of the thriving home town jazz scene, including trumpeter Lee Morgan and the Heath Brothers, and even led his own septet for a while. When Tyner and Philadelphia saxophonist John Coltrane first played together, Tyner was 17 and Coltrane was still busy making history with Miles Davis’ band. But John often confided his interest in leading his own band with Tyner. While Tyner patiently waited for Coltrane to leave Miles’ group and start his own band, another saxophonist, Benny Golson invited Tyner to join him and trumpeter Art Farmer in forming a New York-based ensemble, Jazztet. Tyner finally joined Coltrane in 1965 for the classic album My Favourite Things, and remained at the core of what became one of the most seminal groups in jazz history, The John Coltrane Quartet. The band, which also included drummer Elvin Jones and bass player Jimmy Garrison, had an extraordinary chemistry, fostered in part by Tyner’s almost familiar relationship with Coltrane. Tyner’s block chords reminiscent of Red Garland’s, the pianist who had a stint with Miles Davis, distinguished him from other pianists of that era and became essential to the group’s sound. Both Tyner and Coltrane left and

embraced Eastern musical ideas, such as pentatonic scales and modal structures, which elevated the group’s performances to a spiritual level. Tyner has recorded over 50 albums, most of which have attracted the attention of jazzmen and devotees. One of his great recordings is Enlightenment. Recorded from the 1973 Montreaux Jazz Festival, it is percussive, powerful and highly inspired. McCoy Tyner propels his group with the confidence of a virtuoso. Another highly attractive recording is Remembering John, a tribute to his former boss and mentor. It is a setting that is mainly Tyner’s extrapolations on Coltrane compositions. The selections match his peerless keyboard improvisations with the equally adventurous support from an aggressive rhythm section. IN 1995, Tyner recorded his own interpretation of Infinity originally recorded in 1965 and 1966. Infinity is the title of one of the last three albums released by John Coltrane although none of the songs bear this title. McCoy Tyner, using Michael Brecker, a major saxophone voice as soloist, recreated it in 1995. Other albums that are noteworthy include The Turning Point, Journey, Revelation, Manhattan Moods, Looking out, Trident, Focal point, Fly With The Wind, Passion Dance and Horizon among


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50 Sunday, February 9, 2014

Birthdays OGUNEDOJUTIMI, Rufus Olutusin, administrator and community leader will be 70 on Monday, February 10, 2014. Born on 10th February 1944 to the family of Chief Albert and Mrs. Juliana Ogunedojutimi of Ayadi Quarters, Ode-Irele, Ondo State, he was educated at Methodist Primary School, Ondo; Methodist School, Ode-Irele; Manuwa Memorial Grammar School, IjuOdo, Okitipupa (1960-1964); Federal School of Science, Onikan, Lagos (1967-68); P&T Training School (1969 – 72) and University of Lagos, Akoka (Business Administration – 1984). He started his career at Post and Telecoms (P&T) in 1969 and retired in 2001 as Senior Manager in NITEL. He attended management course at the British Post Office Management College, London. He is the founder, Yinkolu Widows, Needy and

Datsun. By early 1990s, his business empire had grown to include oil and gas, banking and insurance, food and beverages, farming and animal husbandry, real estate, publishing, transportation and food processing. He was turbaned the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland in 1980.

Ogunedojutimi

Arisekola

Sofola

Youths Foundation, Satellite Town Baptist Church, current Chairman, Close 40 residents, Satellite Town and Chairman, Zone 3 CDA Satellite Town, Lagos. Olutusin is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM).

lazeez-Alao, businessman, administrator, publisher, philanthropist and community leader will 69 on Friday, February 14, 2014. Born on February 14, 1945, he attended St. Luke’s Primary School, Adigun and ICC Primary School, Ibadan; Christ School, Ado Ekiti and Lagelu Grammar School, Ibadan.

He also studied Western, Arabic and Quranic education. He set up Azeez Arisekola Trading Company in 1961 and later the Imperial Chemical Industry, ICI of the United Kingdom appointed him a dealer for Western region. In 1972, he registered Lister Motors and became the major dealer of

ARISEKOLA, Aare Abdu-

SOFOLA, Kayode (SAN), administrator and Chairman of United Bank of Africa (UBA) Group will be 64 on Thursday, February 13, 2014. He is a 1974 graduate of Law from Birmingham University, Birmingham. He has an LLM from the University of London in 1975 and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1976. He has been in private legal practice since 1976, and he is the Principal Partner of Kayode Sofola Chambers. He was made Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in 1995. Between 2004 and 2007, he served as the Chairman of United Bank for

Africa. He currently serves on the board of several companies, including the telecommunications company, Etisalat.

Compiled by Gbenga Akinfenwa gbengaherkin@yahoo.com

Event • The investiture of the new executive members of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Ewekoro Local Government Chapter, Ogun State, comes up on Friday, February 14, 2014 at Hallmark Event Centre Hall, Itori, Ogun State by 2pm. The event would be used to launch N5m NYCN Building and presentation of awards to eminent personalities that have contributed to the growth of the area. Chairman of the day is Alhaji (Chief) R.A Bakare, royal father of the day is HRM, Oba Mufutau Hamzat, while the executive chairman of the council, Oludele Soluade is the chief host.

The Guardian’s Deputy Lagos City Editor, Mr. Godfrey Okpugie gave his daughter, Rita out in marriage recently in Benin City, Edo State. Picture shows from left to right: The groom’s father, Mr. Aroloye, the bride’s mother, Mrs. Okpugie, the couple, Emma and Rita, the bride’s father, Mr. Okpugie and the groom’s mother, Mrs. Aroloye at the wedding ceremony.

Boye Leyimu (father) left, Eniola Leyimu (celebrant) and Nike Leyimu (mother) as they rejoice with their son, who was recently called to the Bar in Abuja.

Ibadan Grammar School centenary celebration held at Chevron Club, Ikeja, Lagos by the class set of 1965-71. National president of the Old Students’ Association, Prof. Charles Aworh (middle), to his right, is Mrs. Sade Obadagbonyi, member of the Lagos exco of the association and to his left, is Mr. Titus Ajayi a member of the executive of the set and the Principal of Ibadan Grammar School, Mr. Femi Adekunle. Behind the president is Prince Abayomi Adebayo pioneering chairman of the set.

Regional Sales Manager, Lagos, GSK Consumer Nigeria Plc, Shakirat Sadiq-Bamgbopa (left), winner of a Microwave Oven, Moyo Ventures and Partner, GSK Horlicks, Mrs. Foluke Balogun at the trade launch of the re–launched Horlicks Chocolate and Original Malt Flavours at Oke-Aarin retail market, Lagos.

Chairman of Ohanaeze, Lagos State, Chief Fabian Onwughalu (2nd left), Chief Solomon Ogbonna, Eze Ndigbo of Mushin, Dr John Nwosu, Eze Ndigbo of Somolu, Eze Leo Agha and others when Chief Ogbonna hosted the Ohanaeze executive in Lagos... at the weekend.

Managing Director, Digital Horizon, Port Harcourt, Akhigbe Irenen (left), his wife, Philomena and Deputy President, Nigerian Institute of Surveyors, Bern Omo Akhigbe when Digital Horizon donated survey equipments to Auchi Polytechnic.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

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51

ENTERPRISE

Youths Must Not Give Up On ‘Project Nigeria’ By Bisi Alabi Williams

SIDE being value driven and result oriented, Wale Tejumade also has a penchant for excellence. His life and career as a UK certified human resource analyst and Peak Performance coach has transformed and inspired many lives. He is a Nation Builder and a product of Gemstone Foundation founded by Nation Building Strategist, Fela Durotoye. Like many others in this line of thought, Tejumade’s drive is to make Nigeria one of the world’s most desirable nations to live by 2025. This calling, according to him, is one that young Nigerians need to collectively pursue and believe in. As a little boy, the life he pictured is not the one he is living today. Initially, his dream was to become an automobile engineer, but this is a direct opposite of what he does now. He also dreamed of being a man of impact and great influence on people around him and the larger society. Now looking back with contentment, the dreamer smiles to himself and says: “I am on track”. He acknowledges though that the dream of making impact in life can’t be fully realised until a man is dead. After school, he had been privileged to work at two major banks in the country. At First Bank, he worked in the Financial Institution unit of the marketing arm, while the second bank availed him the opportunity of working in all the spheres/units of branch banking operation. “These experiences, coupled with my natural talents no doubt influenced my decision to become a management consultant and to succeed in the new field. All my life, I have been a management student up to professional level,” he says. He ventured into management consulting by divine directive. “More so, that is the only career that could help me exhibit or showcase my natural potentials, skills and competences. My strengths in consulting lie in the area of corporate training, brand strategies, business management and development,” he says. His organisation does recruitments too. “By God’s grace, today, we have clients that cut across both the private and public sectors of the Nigerian economy. We have also been instrumental to the development and success of some notable SMEs. However, there is no business venture without its own challenges, and my field is not an exemption here. The success outweighs the challenges, though,” he says. As a speaker and trainer, nothing gladdens Wale’s heart more than having people walk up to him or send messages of how they were impacted and influenced by his words. “I receive such compliments quite often and I treasure them always. It makes me want to do more,” he says. Being a certified e-commerce consultant and corporate trainer, he tells Nigerian youths that the journey to being value driven, focused and successful only begins when a young man/woman discovers his purpose. “I mean when he/she can boldly answer the question: ‘what am I living for?’ Until that is done, a man’s life may be full of frustrations and regrets. “It is always a joy seeing and helping others discover purpose and

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find fulfilment in life. And in the process of helping others achieve success, overtime, I have discovered that doing this often helps to create a pathway for my own success too.” His unique selling point, he believes, is his uncommon ability to blend and bond with his class or audience, regardless of age, race and class, which has helped him in making lasting impact on people’s lives. In his view, it is dangerous for Nigerian youths to lose faith in the system, because the nation belongs to them. “They must not give up on ‘Project Nigeria.’ A rubber isn’t useful if it’s not stretched, and this is why every Nigerian must always strive for the best. A nursing mother always believes her baby will be fine when he/she is sick. A worthy mother will not give up on her child just because he has malaria. “I feel the challenge with most Nigerians, and not just the youths, is that many of them are yet to transcend from being just citizens of Nigeria to being custodians of the nation called Nigeria. With the custodianship mindset, everyone is able to take up responsibilities that will positively impact the country, but the citizen mindset makes one keep relying on government to solve every issue.” Although not given to loud celebrations, one thing that has kept Wale going as a Peak Performance Coach and author are the commendations he has been receiving over time. His latest project is his book titled Overcoming Examination Failure, written to address the decadence in the education sector. “I must state that the reviews and endorsements the book has received are so humbling,” he says. So, rather than celebrate his successes, Wale prefers overwriting his last record of success. And he believes this is the honourable path that successful people and those that desire success should tread. His advice to President Jonathan is to always remember that posterity would one day beckon on his time and space as president of Nigeria. And when that time comes, what would people say or remember about him? Aside his parents, Wale says he has been greatly inspired by the likes of Fela Durotoye, Niyi Adesanya and Jimi Tewe. Some of the values he grew up with were inculcated in him right from his youth by his parents, who clearly left valuable footprints in the sands of his young life. “These values, as I recall them are excellence, diligence, holiness, humility and selflessness. They are the real essence of life.”

Tejumade

CHIGO: Defining A World Of Joy, Laughter

By Ijeoma Opara HIGOZIRIM Igomma Otefe-Edebi is bound to make an impression on the very first encounter with her. Her sense of humour is simply captivating. One of Nigeria’s fastest growing comperes, she has a way of engaging her audience, while also tickling them to bits with laughter. You cannot but be affected by the effortless manner with which she brings out the humorous aspects of issues. Having been on this field for over eight years, she describes the compere world as the most exciting on earth. “As a business, you have to be careful because it’s about your personality. If you don’t work on your personality, emotions and value system, it will kill the business. The business is you and you are the business; so you have to keep growing— spiritually, physically, financially, mentally and every other way to keep trying to be the best version of you there can possibly be. “You are the product, the place as well as the package. As a compere, you have to keep growing, evolving and developing, or else, people will get tired of seeing you at events. So, if you are not concerned about your personal development, the business is already doomed,” she says. Having handled countless formal and informal events across Nigeria for corporate bodies, government, NGOs, families and individuals, she is of the view that the journey has been a good one so far. She goes down the memory lane to recall how it all started. “In retrospect, I think it started from my choir days in the Christian Union fellowship UNIBEN/UBTH chapter. I was hardly ever the choice for soloist acts, but I was always asked to introduce the choir songs and fill interludes with my innovative speeches. Then, in my early days as a call-centre agent at Econet Wireless, whenever we had simple team events, I always compered and everyone had a blast. “Then came the big day in December 2005 and the staff end of year party was coming up. By that time, the company had become Vmobile Nigeria. The crowd would be a mix of Nigerians and South Africans and cutting across all levels of executives. There was an audition call for a compere for the event, which was to hold at Federal Palace Hotel garden for a thousand people. Everyone and even my bosses at the Centre encouraged me to go for the audition. So, I went for it and got the part together with one other guy. The two of us were eventually engaged to handle the event. “We didn’t know they had a backup plan and had invited a popular comedian, so that in case we flopped, he would take over. Well, they regretted it because he didn’t have much to do. I got several accolades at the event and afterwards, people started asking me to compere their weddings and family parties. I decided to pursue it because I really enjoyed it, as it came to me easily and on top of that, it was bringing extra income. As time went on, bigger jobs started rolling in. My first corporate job was the launch of the Nokia Care Centre on Victoria Island. Hon. Abike Dabiri was among the several dignitaries that graced the event. She walked up to me at the end of the show and poured so much encomium on me. I felt so encouraged and honoured because this was someone I grew up watching on TV. I have since grown my skills and abilities on the job.” Surely, she must have had her fair share of challenges on the job; what are these? “First is the confusion that comes with being a comedian, which is quite serious. A compere is not a comedian, whose role at an event is basically to tell jokes and make people laugh. Some people may choose to contract a comedian for five minutes up to an hour or even more. A comedian can even be an item on the series of activities in the event flow. However, the role of a compere is to guide the event from the beginning to end,

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moving it from introductions to ending it on a high note. “A compere cannot just be an element on the programme because he/she holds the programme together, knowing when to be serious or to play and when to be sober. He/she also covers up for glitches, highlight points, observes properly the protocol and so on. There are times people call me to just come and crack jokes for five minutes during a programme and I have to decline, because that’s not what I do.” Chigo, as she is popularly called, grew up in Ikeja, Lagos. Her father was a civil servant with the Nigerian Airports Authority (NAA) now FAAN, while her mother worked as a sales executive at UTC. “Life then was pretty simple and highly controlled, because we lived in the very private and reserved NAA quarters, (now FAAN quarters),” she recalls. She had her primary education within the estate before proceeding to Federal Government Girls College, Owerri in Imo state for her secondary education. However, the graduate of biochemistry from the University of Benin quickly adds: “It was clear to lecturers, classmates and friends that my reading biochemistry was an error. They all said I should have been in Theatre Arts.” Describing herself, Chigo says, “I honestly cannot reconcile the extrovert that I am today with the introvert that I seemed to be, while growing up. All I can say is that it is possible that the countless hours spent in front of the TV with a zero social life could have helped me develop my spontaneous wit and sense of humour, my clear diction and mastery of the English language. I think it also made me comfortable with being among a lot of people, because it’s like I was trapped indoors for so long that now I am happy to be with people.” As a mother and compere, she says there had been interludes in the course of her career, when she had to take breaks to have babies and nurse them to some level of independence. “Even in pregnancy, clients were still calling and I was sneaking in bookings here and there. But I have a strong support system at home. My husband, a consultant psychiatrist/psychologist is my pillar and rock. Then there are also my parents, who gladly monopolise my children’s attention during holidays, my nanny and my domestic assistant/consultant, as I call her. “I am also a heavy planner and organiser. I plan ahead and this minimises surprises and as a result, my children do not suffer from my absence, as they are well taken care of. Even something as basic as their meals are structured and scheduled, as much as possible to ensure they are not just fed on carbohydrates and snacks alone when I’m not around. All my free time is also spent with them. My husband is my biggest fan and cheerleader, closely followed by my parents,” she says. What qualities must an individual possess to succeed in her line of business? Says she: “You must be physically fit and healthy, as you will be on your feet for hours. There is also need to possess excellent verbal communication skills, quick wit and a high sense of humour. An intending compere must equally be humble, intelligent and have some knowledge about everything and anything, which requires some research skills, be confident, understand societal trends and be fashionable. Above all, he/she must have a passion for the job. “This is not a job you get away with just doing for the money. You need to show up and be there with the people till it’s over. I have had to compere events even when I was ill. Once the event starts, I forget any illness.” How is she perceived by those around her? ‘Well, people say I am crazy. They say they understand why God gave me a psychiatrist for a husband and some even ask if it was when he met me that he decided to study psychiatry, so he could help me with my ‘issues.’ But really, I am a simple girl, who just wants the world to be happy and filled with laughter. No tears, no sorrow, no bad news. Just jolly good fellows all the way; so I do all I can to spread the joy, laughter and happiness no matter what it takes.” Her philosophy? “I am quite a philosopher and I must tell you I have so many, though I have two major ones, which are: ‘nothing happens by accident, you make it happen’ and ‘keep growing.’ In her leisure, Chigo loves reading and watching TV, especially the entertaining channels, as well as swimming.


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52 | Sunday, February 9, 2014

GRASSROOTS Opposition Flays Government’s Apathy On Council Poll ONDO By Gbenga Akinfenwa NDO has not conducted local O government elections in the last seven years. The state’s council areas are being run by caretaker chairmen contrary to section 7 of the constitution. In 2012, the House of Representatives came heavily on erring state governments, including Ondo, with an order to immediately conduct council elections. A motion was also raised by the legislators to suspend release of allocation to such local governments, but was annulled, as it was described as unconstitutional. The sponsor of the motion, Friday Itulah claimed that the system of appointing caretaker committees to head local governments is alien to Nigeria and a violation of Section 7 (1) of the 1999 constitution. He warned that if the practice by the state governors was not checked, it might bring the country to a lawless state. Based on this, political watchers, had expected the Mimiko’s administration to swing into action and set up machinery for the conduct of free, fair and credible poll to appoint officials into the third arm of government in the state. But a lot of people are shocked that the gov-

ernor has not deemed it fit to address the anomaly. The opposition alleged mismanagement of funds as the reason why the state government has kept mute on the issue. It added that the use of interim council officials confirm the fears that local government appointees have become the conduit pipe through which the state funds have been fritted away. Late last year, the hope of the people were raised with the approval of the list of members of Ondo State Independent Electoral Commissiion (ODSIEC) by the Assembly as a prelude to the poll, but since then, the disquiet on fixing of date to conduct the poll is creating anxiety, with the fear and rumor that Mimiko might not conduct the council election before the expiration of his tenure. Though the governor has constantly claimed that there was need by his administration to deliver quality service at the grassroots and work for the people, the state government has not really towed this line. Until now, the state government hasn’t come out to formally explain why it has failed to conduct the much-expected

OGUN By Gbenga Akinfenwa HE federal and state governT ments have been tasked to ensure even development of the rural

Mimiko council poll. When The Guardian tried to speak with the state commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinrinade

on the state’s position on the delayed poll, he could not be reached on phone, even at the time of filing this report.

Group Calls For ANSIEC Chairman’s Arrest Over LG Poll NNEWI NORTH From Chuks Collins, Awka HE last may not have been heard of the rescheduled Nnewi North Local Government election, which was suspended at the collation stage on January 18, 2014, as a non-governmental group, Leaders With Conscience

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(LWC), has called for the sanction of the acting chairman of the Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC), Mr. Sylvester Okonkwo. Okonkwo, who announced the indefinite suspension of the collation of the Nnewi North Council election on January 18, 2014, had claimed that he “got a report that there was violence and molestation of poll officials at the Nnewichi polling centre, hence the action to suspend and cancel the entire process. The Police, however, denied knowledge of any violence or even threat of violence whatsoever on the date of the election in any part of the council area. No report or further reaction has come from the electoral commission or the state government on the matter since. But in a recent media chat in Nnewi, the spokesman for LWC, Comrade Paulson Ojukwu, said Okonkwo was trying to pitch citizens of the council area against one another through his rash decisions on the election. He said, “Contrary to Okonkwo’s ignoble claim and

posture, the Nnewi North Council election, which we monitored was adjudged by all the observers and monitors to have been exceptionally peaceful, transparent and commendable.” Ojukwu, accompanied by a handful of LWC members said it was curious that not minding that it was only the council election that election took place on the day, Okonkwo could still not visit Nnewi or be forced to do so before his imagined ‘Nnewichi violence’ story. LWC said they have also petitioned the Police, demanding the immediate arrest, investigation and prosecution of the ANSIEC chairman. Okonkwo had told journalists that the conclusion of the poll “would take at least one month, pointing out that it would help to allow tension subside. He then suggested setting up of a Caretaker for Council in the interim.” Nnewi North is the home council of the oil magnate and governorship candidate of the Labour Part, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah. Popular in the area, his party swept all the about 198 polling booths in the one-town council area during the

November 16, governorship election. Ahead the suspension of the state’s Commissioner for Commerce and Industries, Mr. Robert Okonkwo, who voted at the St. Stephen’s Anglican Church polling centre said it had “been very peaceful and smooth, as usual with every election in Nnewi”. At about 2pm on election day, Chief executive of Innoson Group, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, as monitored by media men, was on his way to cat his vote An APGA chieftain, Mr. Goodboy Momoh, who also voted at St Stephens Anglican Church polling centre said he was happy that the tradition of peaceful conduct and disposition for which the town was legendary in elections was dutifully maintained. In a quick reaction, the state chairman of the Labour Party, Sam Oraegbunam, said he was very shocked at the action of ANSIEC boss, Okonkwo. He said the cancellation was apparently because they found out that LP had trounced all comers, including APGA.

Group Tasks Nigerians On Impunity In LG Elections NATIONAL By Gbenga Akinfenwa

ECLAIMNAIJA, a broad-based R citizens’ platform, set up to enhance the participation of grassroots, organisations and local institutions in promoting electoral transparency, accountability and democratic governance has challenged Nigerians to put pressure on state governments on transparent and credible elections at the grassroots. The platform also tasked Nigerians to persuade State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs), especially in states where elections have not held to conduct free and fair elections.

In their Civil Education Series made available to The Guardian, the group stated that local government elections have only been held in 23 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), while 10 states are yet to conduct elections. Three states, Plateau, Nasarawa and Kano states have scheduled their elections for the first quarter of 2014. “Of the 10 states yet to conduct their elections, Ekiti, Imo, Osun and Oyo states election were stalled due to Court cases,” it stated. The group noted that calls to curb impunity in elections becomes imperative due to the

‘Rural Development Will Check Urban Drift’

fact that in the 23 states where elections have held, the ruling parties in the states won virtually all the positions. From the foregoing, the group said, “it is clear that, as citizens we need to put more pressure on state governments and the SIECs to organise more transparent and credible elections, especially in states where elections have not been conducted.” It therefore call on the need for autonomy of SIECs, to end the current situation where state governments appoint, finance and control them, saying such practice compromises the electoral bodies from being independent.

The group stressed that lack of autonomy of SIECs fuels the impunity in local government elections, leading to imposition of candidates, monopoly of the electoral space by the ruling parties, lack of public awareness and voter education, and apathy/disenfranchisement of the teeming majority of the electorate. “On the openness in local government budgets, we need more people to write to state governments to publish the state and federal allocations released to councils and local government chairmen, asking them to publish allocations they receive from state governments,” the group submitted.

areas, to curb the problem of ruralurban migration. This was the view of an Information Communication Technology (ICT) expert, Mr. Sulaiman Olubiyi Ismail, in a chat with Journalists at the weekend, saying rural development is a panacea for rural-urban migration. Ismail, the Chief Executive Officer of the NIT Group, Lagos lauded the on-going rural and urban infrastructural development of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State, adding that the spate of development in the state would further open it up to business opportunities through the various projects. His words: “the current road expansion and bridge construction by Governor Ibikunle Amosun will enhance development as well as open the state for business”. While describing as painful some of the houses and other structures demolished to give way for the construction, Ismail appealed to the victims to develop some level of understanding, adding that the state and her people would be better for it in future. “Amosun is leading a positive revolution in Ogun state and I am sure that future generations would not forget him because infrastructural development will definitely  fasttrack development,” he said.

Rural Farmers Benefit From Bank’s Generosity KANO From Abba Anwar, Kano UCCOUR has finally come the way Sfarmers of residents of Kano, especially rural as one of the new generation banks has unveiled plans to embrace more grassroots farmers to alleviate poverty in the state. At its first Customers’ Forum held at The Afficent hall, in Kano, the bank promised to ensure that the less privileged in the society are well taken care of. Managing Director and Chief Executive officer of Unity Bank, Mr. Henry James Semenetary, who spoke at the forum said it is part of the philosophy of the bank to always bring its customers closer, so that bank-customer relationship can be boosted in all ramifications. He revealed that they are putting robust banking software that would handle the e- banking and payment in their easiest form. “Our watch word is responsibility accounting. Accounts should always be with the customer not any other person. Give us the opportunity to handle your businesses”, he pleaded. He further revealed that they have designed appropriate plans for farmers, both poultry and non-poultry alike. Adding that agriculture remained their focus. “Six out of 10 farmers have account with our customer-care bank” he informed. While boasting that the bank was the largest employer of labour in the banking sector in the country, the MD assured that the kind of facilities that would come in the next few months would surprise all customers. Customers at the forum called on the bank to do its best at ensuring that federal government loan facilities for farmers reach farmers at the grassroots. They added that the bank should make good use of its staff strength and work for all for more productivity.


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Opinion Not An All-Propaganda-Congress A S a writer who has questioned the heart of the All Progressives Congress (APC), I am pleased to notice that it is clarifying its mission and character. On December 1, 2013, I asked the question: “Is APC Less Dangerous Than The PDP?” At that time, five governors elected on the platform of the People Democratic Party (PDP) had just joined the APC, thereby granting the latter a vast acreage in relevance and credibility. It is a political currency called defection, and since then, the APC has made a mint of the word, which now seems to hold the exclusive meaning of someone joining the APC from the PDP. Somehow, a defection from the PDP is being made to sound as if it justifies itself while it demonizes the PDP. I write this article to clarify one point: that to criticize the PDP is not to justify the APC. Every party, especially one, which claims to stand for change, must earn its credibility. It is not news that the APC hopes to become Nigeria’s dominant political force. There is nothing wrong with seeking to replace the PDP, produce the next President, run the National Assembly and produce a majority of the country’s governors. All of that is legitimate; it is precisely what the PDP has done since 1999. But the PDP progressively became richer and more insensitive to the tears of our people. It is in those tears that the APC wishes to swim on its way to political dominance. “Those compatriots who have lost faith in our dear country because of insufficient and corrupt leadership; count on us for we represent an Agent of change for committed, transparent and focused leadership,” it says in the preamble to its manifesto. “As a change Agent, APC intend to cleanse our closet to halt the dangerous drift of Nigeria to a failed state; with a conscious plan for postoil-economy in Nigeria. “To achieve this laudable programme APC government shall restructure the country,

devolve power to the units, with the best practices of federalism and eliminate unintended paralysis of the centre.” These claims market the APC pretty well. As I observed in previous comments, however, a new party can basically place anything in its shopping basket in a bid to acquire power. The PDP did, and for 15 years, it used every such craft and every trick to snatch power, knowing it could then do whatever it pleased. That is how we found ourselves with the monster of impunity; corruption and bad governance to which the APC says it is an answer. Can the APC do it? In terms of winning political power, the party is on the ascendancy, but as we have seen, winning power is not the same thing as using it for the public good. If Nigerians have learned anything from their recent history, it is that words are not the same as intent, or even of ability. On this count, the APC seems to be saying to Nigerians, “Trust me.” Only a fool would trust the APC, as currently established, to be any different, let alone better than, the PDP, which is currently collapsing on its head. However, while the opponent’s own goal may be enough for you to win the semi-final, it is not proof that you are capable of winning the final. Let us remember that some of the APC-ers who are currently gushing with a certain pseudo-patriotic spirit were well-known clean-up men in the PDP and other parties. In other words, if the APC is an answer to the PDP, is the APC also an answer to the APC? Can the APC discipline itself to serve Nigeria and not the APC? “Democracy, to be stable and meaningful, must be anchored on the principle that government derives its powers from the consent of the governed,” APC says in its manifesto. “This means that governments are instituted on the basis of free, fair and credible elections, and are maintained through responsiveness

to public opinion. In addition, the exercise of political authority is rooted in the rule of law. APC believes in the doctrine of social contract between the leaders and the led; which means that the public office holder is a trustee of the people and that power must be used in the interest of the people rather than in the interest of the public office holder.” It is unhelpful to argue with this analysis. In fact, those members of the ACP who travelled in through the New PDP made a stronger case during their journey, repeatedly stressing the necessity of a “democratic temperament.” They demanded a democracy inspired by free choice, the rule of law, transparency, and accountability. As one of those who challenged the APC to reach for enduring an enduring platform, I am pleased to learn the party will use the Uwais Report to change the electoral law, and seek to make the Independent National and State Electoral Commissions (INEC) truly independent. If elected, the party says it will institute an anti-corruption response through deploying the relevant agencies as strong and independent bodies. Some of us also thought the APC should institute an aggressive grassroots voter-registration scheme, which it put into play last week. While I commend the APC for these proposals, the truth is that they do not go far enough to protect Nigerians should the party win power, and it must be clear that this is the heart of the challenge. What happens should the APC be elected and it begins to protect its looters? Only by the establishment of clear internal standards and mechanisms, from the beginning, can the party hope to answer this question. While it has accepted the need to provide a code of conduct, the party says such a document will be prepared by a body that has yet to be established. That is unacceptable because such a code is

sonala.olumhense@gmail.com Twitter: @Sonala.Olumhense the only way to tell those who genuinely want to use the APC to shield Nigerians from the rain from those who want to use it to shield themselves. It is the only way to guarantee the level playing field the APC has often spoken about, as opposed to a level playing field for the APC to compete with other political parties. The battle for integrity is not the battle between political institutions, but the battle between right and wrong. That is why it is vital for any political party which proclaims change to demonstrate that it will have even higher standards for itself than is demanded by law. That is how desperate our situation is. This is why, in a previous article, I called on the APC to “set clear standards, and demonstrate that those standards are higher than partisan politics and the APC itself.” This is more important now than when the APC started out. The party is attracting an assemblage of people who ought to sign this code, as a pledge, so they know they are really committing themselves to true patriotism. If they do not pledge to serve the people openly, they are almost certain to serve themselves privately, and that is the standard to which the APC says it objects. Let every top member, every official at every level and every electoral prospect sign such a pledge and be judged by history. All those who sign should get a party button, which proudly proclaims: “I SIGNED!”

Rising Profile Of Human Rights Commission (NHRC) By Clement Iornongu HE amended National Human Rights Commission Act (2010) has in no small measure conferred enormous powers and legitimacy on the Commission. This can be discerned from the recent directive to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) by the presidency to investigate the weighty allegations made by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former Nigerian President, in his open letter dated 2/12/2013 to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. The National Human Rights Commission was established vide Decree No: 22 of 1995 by the then maximum Military ruler Gen. Sani Abacha. He ruled the nation with terror, recklessly violating citizen’s fundamental rights and basic freedoms with impunity. Unfortunately for him, he assumed power at a time when respect for human rights was an instrument to measure delivery of good governance and tenets of democracy worldwide. Having towed a different direction, Nigeria became a pariah state in the comity of nations. Consequently, to acquire some form of legitimacy for his draconian rule he had no choice than to establish the Commission but deliberately ensured that the Commission’s operational legal framework was weak in that the commission had no independence and also the tenure of the Chief Accounting Officer was unsecured. But then, by just establishing the Commission in 1995, Nigeria gained acceptance in the International Human Rights Community to the extent that in the year 2000, the Commission was accredited by the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) with ``A’’ status which implied that the Commission was not only independent but also effectively carrying out its mandate. The international community was almost deceived on this one until when the then Executive Secretary of the Commission Bukhari Bello was arbitrarily removed from office in 2007 for daring to assert the independence of the commission. The international community reacted swiftly and Nigeria was promptly stripped of the ``A’’ status and reduced to ``B’’ status as a mere observer. As said earlier, democracies are measured by respect to, promotion and protection of human rights and observance of the rule of law. The dramatic removal of Bello exposed Nigeria to allegations of operating a sham democracy and rule of impunity. Nigeria was again isolated by the international community. With increasing isolation of Nigeria for its human rights records and intense pressure, something had to give.

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Consequently, in 2010, President Goodluck Jonathan signed the National Human Rights Commission (Amendment) Act 2010. The amended Act secured the tenure of the Executive Secretary, granted wide powers to the Commission to conduct investigations and inquiries in such manner as it considers appropriate; arrest and investigate human rights violations and to make awards and recommendations which will be recognized and enforced as the decisions of a High Court. After the amendment of the Act, Professor Bem Angwe, an erudite Professor of law was appointed as the Executive Secretary of the Commission. The Governing Council of the Commission was also inaugurated. The Council is headed by another human rights Czar, Professor Chidi Anselm Odinkalu. With the amendment of the National Human Rights Commission Act, the appointment of the Executive Secretary and the inauguration of the governing council, the tempo of activities of the Commission have been heightened. Citizens’ confidence in the Commission has also deepened as the promotion and protection of their rights is guaranteed. The Commission has also regained its ``A’’ status with the ICC. The result is the number of high profile cases been handled by the commission which has also enhanced its national and international visibility. These cases include but not limited to: • The petition by the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, to the Commission against Joseph Mbu, the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State wherein he accused the Commissioner of Police of exercising his duties without recourse to necessary constitutional and legal standards. • The petition to the commission by Clara, Governor Sullivan Chime’s wife, that the husband had incarcerated and subjected her to horrific and intolerable conditions that curtailed her freedom and threatened the enjoyment of her human rights. • The petition by Global Rights Group and National Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria (NATOMORAS) with respect to the killing of eight (8) persons on September 20, 2013 by security operatives for allegedly belonging to the Boko Haram sect. But nothing has conferred more legitimacy on the commission than the recent directives given to the Commission by President Jonathan to investigate the allegations contained in Obasanjo’s open letter to him dated 2/12/13 earlier referred to. In a memo reference No: HAGF/NHRC2013/vol2/5, addressed

to the Executive Secretary of the NHRC Prof. Bem Angwe, the Attorney General of the Federation requested the commission to investigate the allegations contained in Obasanjo’s letter. Some of the allegations to be investigated by the Commission include: keeping over 1000 people on political watch list and training of Snipers. This assignment, in addition to the petitions earlier mentioned, has saddled the commission with higher and nobler responsibilities. I have no doubt that the calibers of men at the helm of affairs at the commission have the moral, professional and intellectual capacity to discharge these responsibilities. I met with Professor Bem Angwe, the Executive Secretary of the Commission in Geneva on September 3, 2013 during the Pre-session of Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Human Rights situation in Nigeria. Professor Bem Angwe with confidence, satisfaction and a sense of responsibility assured the Permanent Missions present that the NHRC Act had been amended to give the Commission the desired independence and also imbued with expanded powers to operate as any other National Human Rights Institution of global reckon. It is therefore safe to submit that the recent directives by the President to the commission, Governor Amaechi’s petition and the complaint of Sullivan Chime’s wife to the commission, the petition on the alleged extra juridical killings of suspected Boko Haram members in Abuja recently by the military, attest to the growing confidence Nigerians have reposed in the commission. To my mind Section 6(3) of the amended Act, which provides that ‘In exercising its functions and powers under this Act, the Commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other authority or person’, is fundamental to the discharge of the Commission’s functions. It is of interest that in the exercise of its functions in relation to Obasanjo’s letter, the Commission has indicated that it might put its searchlight on acts of human rights violations in Nigeria committed from 1995. It is suggested that the commission utilize the enormous powers conferred on it by the Amended Act to promote, protect, uphold and sustain the rights of Nigerians so that citizens will appropriate the democratic tenets of basic freedoms, equality, equity, justice, security, order and good socioeconomic life. • Iornongu is a legal Practitioner and Executive Director, Int’l Centre for Peace, Charities and Human Dev. (INTERCEP)


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Opinion What Will Cow Eat While Grass Grows? By Kole Omotoso LABA, Mr. Trouble’s condescending assistant and manipulator, complained that he was getting fed up with the successful politicians telling everybody about how they rose from poverty into wealthy prominence. The hero of June 12 used to regale anyone who would listen; Alaba was complaining to Mr. Trouble, about how he used to fetch firewood to sell on the streets of Abeokuta in order to earn money to maintain himself. Tell me, Oga Trouble, can you imagine me going into the bush to get firewood, carry it by foot (in spite of the okadas and keke marwa all over the place) into the streets of Abeokuta or any other Abe to sell to people who now cook with gas and generator electricity? Before you know it, they are out of secondary school and with government scholarship they are off to a university and now their educational grass is grown. But before then, what did they eat? Knowing Alaba as he does, Mr. Trouble had to think deeply in order to answer his question. Remember that Alaba is the original ChildWiser-Than-Parent. Whatever question he asked, he already had the answer. He was simply waiting for Mr. Trouble to speak before he applies the spanner into anything he said. So, while thinking of what to say, Mr. Trouble wanted to know what Alaba had against Golden Oldies telling their stories, in the twilight of their glorious lives. Alaba had nothing against such stories except that it was fiction. And such fiction must not be panel-beaten into facts. What’s the young to do? Go looking for firewood to sell? Throw away their shoes because Goodluck didn’t have a pair to where (to wear?)

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until just before entering government house in the Bayelsa State? They were travelling by train towards the north of the country. All along, at various stations, they saw desiccation. The desertification met them earlier than they expected and there had been no rain for months. Mr. Trouble could see that it was the environment through which they were travelling that made Alaba think of cows and grass and eating. They saw herds of cattle making their way in the opposite direction down south under the guidance of their herdsmen and boys, all of them toting Kalashnikovs instead of herding sticks. The cows were lean and their young could hardly move. A truck drove along the herds of cattle carrying the weak young cattle. But there was hardly any grass to put before them. Yet, they and their parents must be fattened before they can be presented to the greedy markets of the southern cities of Lagos and Onitsha. But what does the plight of the cows and the herdsmen and boys got to do with those who insist that education is the only means of breaking out of poverty? Mr. Trouble was having difficulties following Alaba’s incredibly fertile but dangerous mind. Patiently, Alaba explained to Mr. Trouble that he was using the grass and cow situation as a metaphor for a lack of resources for the poor to get out of poverty. That should not be too difficult for Mr. Trouble to comprehend, would it? Not really, except that there is a point at which education can no longer get anyone out of poverty because, one, education itself is poor, and two, there are the working poor to demonstrate that there are jobs

that work you to the bones but keep you forever in grinding poverty! What do the golden oldies of firewood fetching generation have to say about that? Mr. Trouble listened carefully to Alaba and then, he made his own suggestion. We are here, on this train. Outside are the cows going south. Let us ask them what they are eating while grass is growing. So, at the next train station Mr. Trouble and Alaba got off to go and interview the cows as to what they eat while grass is growing. But they were shocked when the herdsmen and herd boys wanted to know why Mr. Trouble did not ask them, they who are leading the herd to the south, what they eat while the grass is growing. Because they also have to eat before the cows can eat and then bring them the wealth upon which they can live. Mr. Trouble apologised and asked what do the herdsmen eat while the cow waited for grass to grow? We eat the cows! You eat the cows? Mr. Trouble asked in astonishment. Well, we eat parts of the cows, like the ears, the tails, sometimes even the tongues but that leads to the death of the cows. You see by the time we get to the grass, the cows without tongues are unable to eat to stay alive. So, we only eat the tongues

in situations of extremity! Looking around, Alaba and Mr. Trouble saw that most of the herd of cattle were missing both ears, tails and even horns. You don’t eat the horns as well? Alaba wanted to know. Cooked very well, over good fire and covered with spinach, the horn is a delicacy. Now, that we have learnt what you herdsmen and boys eat while grass is growing, may we ask you what the cows eat while grass is growing? Well, said the herdsmen and boys, exchanging small smiles among themselves. Well, if you want to know that you have to go and ask the cows themselves! What the herdsmen and boys did not know is that Alaba could speak the languages of birds and animals and understood where they were all coming from. In no time at all, Alaba moved among the cows, the he-cows and the she-cows asking them questions and listening to their stories. Alaba frowned and moaned and wondered and Mr. Trouble wanted to know what he was learning from the horse’s mouth, apologies for such a cheap figure of speech. The cows were also feeding on themselves. Their fears is that by the time the grass grows, they would no longer want to feed on grass!

The Emerging Peoples Democratic Party By Alex Nwalor HE era of Alhaji Adamu Muazu as the National chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) promises to be interesting. Within two weeks of assumption of office, Muazu has recorded notable landmarks in the history of the party. He is credited with attracting Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, the former governor of Sokoto State and Ibrahim Shekarau, the former governor of Kano State, to the party. Both men are heavy weights whose presence in the party promises to balance a number of factors. Muazu inherited an outfit that was almost dead. His immediate predecessor, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, almost buried the party alive, until the President was able to hear people out. Today, Tukur is history and Muazu has stepped in to give the party a new lease of life. The conversion of Bafarawa is remarkable, as a man whom Olusegun Obasanjo, as the President of Nigeria, could not bring to join PDP, tried as much as he could to convert him. Bafarawa later paid a heavy price for this when the Obasanjo administration ensured that the PDP candidate won the governorship election in Sokoto State to succeed Bafarawa and not the candidate that ran under Bafarawa’s party, the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP). However, Bafarawa took the development with calmness, explaining it away in his oft-repeated assertion that power comes from the Almighty Allah. He brought a principled approach to bear on the scenario when he recognized his successor as governor-elect and invited him over for handover briefings. Surprisingly, Aliyu Wamakko turned down Bafarawa’s invitations. It was hardly surprising that Wamakko, on assumption of office, apparently saw Bafarawa as the big, stumbling iroko tree. Wamakko dragged Bafarawa to court over corruption allegations.

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JAW JAW By Didi Onu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been probing Bafarawa but has not indicted him. In the same vein, the Sokoto State High Court has been trying the former governor, but to no avail yet. All the same, he has been kept restless. Amidst a seeming perception to frustrate him, Bafarawa has trudged on with stoic determination; expressing interest only in how to rescue Nigeria from bad leadership. Some politicians may not like his courage, but he has not shied away from telling truth to power. In the bid to ensure that leadership in Nigeria is taken as seriously as possible, the politician played a leading role in the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC); to prevent a one-party system in the quest for an enduring democratic culture. If PDP was taking things for granted, the likes of Bafarawa believe that a viable alternative should be presented to Nigerians so that they can enlarge their coast. But his dream for the APC was aborted midstream, as he soon found out apparently that everyone in the party’s top echelon was not as committed and sincere as he thought. Those who ought to play a major role in making the party an acceptable platform are hinting that they may be as bad, even worse, than the PDP they aspire to topple. If Bafarawa expected equity and justice in APC, what he got was betrayal and hypocrisy. He was dealing with people who seem prepared to run with the hare and still hunt with the hounds. They gave Bafarawa a taste of what was to come when they left him behind to negotiate with Governor Wamakko; a presentation with one thing and action on another script, something he considered the height of betrayal. This obviously informed his decision to leave the party. Significantly, while Bafarawa was making his calculation, a bridge-builder in the person of Muazu stepped in to reconcile PDP with itself and with Nigerians. He presented aggrieved

people with an Olive branch. He expressed readiness to mend fences, to fulfill a mission to give Nigerians a new PDP where impunity will be a thing of the past. He is showing determination towards enthroning a reinvigorated and reformed PDP that will meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians. Muazu was quick to sell this idea to some men and women of goodwill. As a former governor who was in charge of Bauchi State when Bafarawa was in the saddle in Sokoto State, Muazu and Bafarawa, presumably know each other well enough. It is safe to opine that the PDP under the new chairman is different from the PDP of old where bad deeds are celebrated is. The new PDP promises to work with and for the people. Many of the members, including Bafarawa are in PDP not just for political gain, but to help reform and reinvigorate the party that the people will be proud of. Nigerians expect the party under Muazu to be divested of those ugly underpinnings that have not augured well for the party and the people of Nigeria. A way to achieve this is to eschew intrigues in politics, and embrace Bafarawa’s open approach to politics. What is important in the entire set-up is to reform the PDP, a party that has been wrecked by internal crises and a rampaging opposition. The PDP certainly needs to adopt a new and workable strategy. Its biggest challenge is the forthcoming general elections. Since President Jonathan has promised electoral reforms, the coming election will help to put this to test. But at least, the party can boast of more than a few men of character who can help it to be ahead of its opponents. Notably, PDP’s main opponent, the APC, has demonstrated that it may not be a better alternative. Many people believe that Its handling of the Bafarawa-Wamakko case in Sokoto State puts a question mark on the sincerity of some of its leaders. Significantly, however, Nigerians should be trusted to make wise and intelligent choices when the time comes. •Nwalor, a public affairs analyst, writes from Lagos.


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GAMBO SALLAU: Rare Brinkmanship In Kano’s Turbulent Politics From Abba Anwar, Kano ONOURABLE members and my colleagues, today I want to tender my resignation letter to step out and cease to be the Speaker of this hallowed chamber. The reason for my resignation is based on principles and loyalty to remain a member of my party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).” Those were the words of Gambo Sallau, former Speaker of the Kano House of Assembly. It was an unexpected move when he tendered resignation as speaker, instead of caving under pressure and defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and joining the All Progressives Congress (APC). It was a rare act of expression of loyalty to one’s party, particularly at times like this. He was clever enough to step aside honorably before his colleagues began to scramble for his seat. He saw the handwriting on the wall and did the needful. When other members of the House defected to the APC, his party, the PDP was left with just seven members out of 40 legislators. While the defecting members plotted to disgrace him out of office, he got smatter than the ‘mob’. The former Speaker had always been his own man and nobody’s boy. He had never been in the political camp of Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, Kwankwasiyya, for which many people respected him. In spite of that ideological difference, Sallau was never antagonistic to the governor

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Sallau That clearly translates to why the legislature and the executive had a smooth working relationship under him. One thing he did not give away was his staunch membership of the PDP Garkuwa (the Shield of PDP) that largely consists of the followers of the late governor of the state, Muhammad Abubakar Rimi. Not even once throughout his tenure a Speaker did Sallau pretend to be a follower of Kwankwasiyya political movement. A related

argument is that of the state deputy governor Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who is also known to be a staunch follower of the Rimi political school, as well as the late Chief Michael Imoudu faction of the defunct People’s Redemption Party (PRP) of the second republic. Though, a super-loyal deputy governor, Ganduje is seen to be within the PDP Garkuwa. Sallau is a grassroot man. Born in Kafin Maiyaki of Kiru local government, in Kano state, Sallau earned a diploma in Mass Communication at Bayero Unversity, Kano, in 2011. He is currently enrolled for a higher diploma. He was an assistant secretary of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Bebeji local government. He held the position of Secretary of Kiru local government council. After which he became the chairman of Kiru local government. Sallau has been in the state assembly since 2003. He was the minority leader of Kano State House of Assembly from 2007 to 2011. In his political history it was reported that Sallau had never defected from his party. When the members elected him as Speaker it was reported that it did not go down well with some quarters. Even though he wore the red cap, which is the symbol of Kwankwasiya, he refused to follow Kwankwaso to the APC, an act that earned him commendation by the national Coordinator of Lawyers for Sustainable

Democracy in Nigeria, Barrister Muhammad Zubair. Zubair said; “We need people with such toga of confidence and loyalty to their parties in the present day Nigeria. This action of the former Speaker shows that we still have principled politicians around. And this tells much on the survival of democracy in the country.” Politics according to the lawyer should go beyond loyalty to personality, but to the party. “Our association is urging the leadership of the PDP to, as a matter of urgency make recognize and appreciate the former speaker. He deserves respect and commendation for sticking to issue-based politics.” But for Sharu Garba Umar Gwammaja, an assistant to governor Kwankawso on Media, the former Speaker’s refusal to follow Kwankwaso to APC showed that he (Speaker) was not committed to the welfare of Kano people. He said since more than 87percent of the PDP politicians followed Kwankwaso to the new party, “Gambo Sallau is not representing the real interest of his constituency Kiru/Bebeji. If you look at it critically the member representing the same constituency at the federal House of Representatives, Abdulmumini Kofa, the chairman House Committee on Finance is still with our people and the governor.” The Guardian reliably gathered that there are some moves advanced by some elements to garner support in Sallau’s constituency to recall him.

elections in the state, the same scenario played out. At that time, some of our politicians threatened to defect from the PDP, (a few actually did) but not long after the party recorded victory, and they all crawled back. The same thing happened during the 2007 and 2011 elections. Yet, despite the huffing and puffing of such characters, hallucinating that the fortunes of PDP had dwindled, the PDP emerged victorious as expected. And in their shameless manner, they came back to the same party that they worked against in the course of the election. In essence, what the foregoing reveals is that we are confronted with the same old tricks, as we prepare for the 2015 general elections. Yet, it is almost certain that once we are done with the 2015 elections, pin-drop silence will replace the present cacophony. Sadly, they will wait till 2019 and start all over again what has become their stock in trade. However, what makes their antics very unfortunate this year is the fact that they have some cowardly puppeteers, who determine the level of the noise they make. These puppeteers, who straddle both the ruling PDP and the opposition APC are watching to see, which side the political pendulum will swing in the state; though they may think they are clever, the good people of Kaduna State know them for professing loyalty to the PDP by day and hobnobbing with APC kingpins by night.  Interestingly, what seems to unite this selfserving group is their inability to come to terms with the rising profile of the Vice President, Arc. Namadi Sambo. Evidently not comfortable with his position in the hierarchy of things in the state and the country, they erroneously assume that encouraging some lightweight politicians to decamp from the PDP in his home state, and drawing media attention to such inanity would be a way of assailing the reputation of the VP. The cold calculation of those behind this campaign of calumny is to create the erroneous impression that the VP is a politician without strong following in Kaduna, in particular and the North in general. If they succeed in their machination, on which they have some willing collaborators in Abuja, the idea is for these political desperadoes to position themselves as the 2015 ‘Northern messiahs’ for President Goodluck Jonathan. While it is easy for critical observers to see through this cheap blackmail, those who seem determined to set back the hands of the clock would not allow peace to reign in Kaduna State. We should stop them in their tracks before they

derail PDP and the Jonathan-led administration. It is noteworthy that since the emergence of democracy in 1999, Kaduna State has been a solid bastion of the PDP, and will remain so, given the reality on ground. While there exists a vocal minority, who delight in promoting discord and hate, majority of our people recognise those fighting for their interest. Just because those people have chosen to work behind the scene does not, and cannot, suggest a dwindling of fortunes for the PDP in the state.   The point to underscore is that those brandishing such whimsical fantasies will do same to APC once they have achieved their selfish goals. The absence of any ideological direction in their political life lends credence to their penchant to swiftly get into bed with the strangest political bedfellows and change camps whenever the music changes. But they are assured of meeting their political waterloo at the next general elections in Kaduna State. From 1999 to date, I have participated in all the elections that produced the PDP Governors in the state and it is also on record that I successfully coordinated (in the state) the elections that ushered in Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua (of blessed memory) and Goodluck Jonathan. All these candidates defeated their opponents at each of these elections in the state. I can, therefore, say from experience and a position of practical knowledge that those playing the ostrich, today, will not have the last laugh in 2015. The sheer strength of the PDP and its widespread acceptance has become so intimidating to other parties that the movement of a few individuals with doubtful political following is immediately highlighted as gain. But the reality will dawn on everyone when the PDP wins the state in 2015, because we are ready to continue working assiduously toward improving and expanding the fortunes of the people of Kaduna State. That is the charge the Vice President is leading, not only in Kaduna, but also in the entire North, no matter what the mischief-makers may want their crowd to believe.

Kaduna And The Politics Of 2015 By Isaiah Balat N many ways, the politics of Kaduna State mirrors that of the country, not only because the state is sharply divided along religious lines, but also because of its ethnic composition that engenders fierce competition for power among the different socio-political groups. Even at that, the significance of Kaduna goes beyond its locality, essentially because it has for decades been the political headquarters of the Northern region. However, while the politics of the state has always been fascinating, never in recent history have we had the kind of situation that obtains today, where some charlatans, parading themselves as political leaders, would sell all manner of dubious stories. Even when many people know that the forebears of some of these characters hail from Niger, Chad, Cameroun and others, that fact has never been held against them. But now, out of desperation, they want to divide the North with their half-truth ‘history’ in a bid to get at the Vice President. In what is no more than sheer political chicanery, a former elected governor of Kaduna State has suddenly become an ‘alien’ in the state he ruled less than four years ago, just because of the inordinate ambitions of some politicians. Ordinarily, it would not have mattered if the essence of this madness were merely to profit from the electioneering season. But the agenda of the politicians in question is more sinister than that: they are bent on bringing others down in the bid to promote their own interests. And in doing this, nothing seems sacred to them, so long the end justifies the means. While most of these political gamblers are already in the camp of the opposition and are surreptitiously working against the interest of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), they are still posturing as members, indeed, leaders of the ruling party and they would want the world to believe that they alone can deliver Kaduna to President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015. They have devised a plot to denigrate the person of the Vice President in pursuit of their ambition. So desperate have these politicians become that almost on a daily basis, they invent stories about how ‘unpopular’ the VP has become in the North, just as they are now screaming themselves hoarse about the ‘dwindling fortunes’ of PDP in Kaduna State. They persist because the VP would neither be distracted by

I

Balat the antics of those who do not wish the PDP and the Jonathan administration well nor join issues with political time-servers, who would want to drag him down with them. Yet, there should be a limit to the kind of dirty politicking that is becoming a daily fest, as we move towards 2015 general elections. As one of the five founding leaders and financiers of the PDP in Kaduna State, I consider it rather unfortunate that some misguided political manipulators in Abuja are buying into the fraud. But since these Abuja armchair ‘strategists’ know little about the politics of Kaduna State, we can pardon their ignorance by telling them some home truths. The first issue to tackle is whether the PDP is as ‘unpopular’ in Kaduna State as some of these politicians would want the world to believe. A party that has always controlled the state since the inception of the current dispensation in 1999 with a history of performing governors should have no problem winning any election, even if there are some disgruntled elements within its fold. Since I am not aware that any of the prominent politicians from Kaduna State, holding elective or appointive offices, has defected from the party, I, therefore, wonder, where these faceless politicians get their stories. Indeed, in the build-up to the 2003 general

• Senator Balat, a former Minister and prominent politician from Kaduna State, is currently a Special Adviser to the President, in the office of the Vice President


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PERSPECTIVES By Tunji Olaopa HE centenary of the founding of the Nigerian state is something to be celebrated. But more than that, it calls for deep and profound reflection for the simple reason that a hundred years is a life time. Whatever may be the shades of opinions on the preparation for the celebration of this event, no one will doubt its momentous nature. There is therefore the urgent need to insert reflective thought into the celebrations. James Baldwin gives us a critical insight: ‘There is never a time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment, the time is always now.’ When the Northern and Southern Protectorates were amalgamated by Lord Lugard in 1914, he could not have been aware of the century long socio-political and economic implications of creating a plural state that is constantly threatened by centrifugal forces of ethnicity, religion and bad political economy. For the forty six years preceding Nigeria’s independence, the nascent state was rigged with several implosive landmines and less-than-nationalist colonial calculations that, in part, have had determinative effects on the fifty four years of independence. Nigeria has had, therefore, a hundred years of tragic solitude, to parody the title of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s widely acclaimed novel. Like the novel and its protagonist’s founding of the city of Macondo, the metaphoric Colombia, Nigeria‘s founding owed a lot to the ‘colonial ingenuity’ of a couple. However, unlike Jose Arcadio Buendia and Ursula Iguaran, Lugard and Flora Shawn had no utopic desires for Nigeria. In spite of the utopic intentions of Buendia, Macondo is still very much like Nigeria in the series of misfortunes and turmoil, within and without, which ravaged the city. And furthermore, just as Macondo’s future was determined by the deciphering of a code that several generations of the Buendia family failed to decode, Nigeria’s fortune, I believe, hangs on our capacity to come to term with our colonial founding and postcolonial maturation. The code that must be deciphered and interpreted to forecast the path of national development for Nigeria is the institution of the civil service as the machinery of government. The civil service system in Nigeria is the only institution that has the badge of continuity linking us to the past and the future. Apart from being the best that could be salvaged from the ambivalent legacies of the colonialists, the civil service system constitutes the focal point of any attempt to redeem the next hundred years of postcolonial and post-independence existence for Nigeria. My hypothesis: the salvation of national integration and development lies with a rejuvenated institution which has been rethought to surpass the logic of colonialism and the limitations of post-independence. It does not take serious reflection to agree with Thomas Taylor Meadows’ conclusion on the glory of China: ‘the long duration of the Chinese empire is solely and altogether owing to the good government which consists in the advancement of men of talent and merit’ in the civil service system. Meadows’ observation was made in 1847 when he was the British Consul in Guangzhou. By 1853, William Gladstone, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, reckoned with Meadows’ recommendations and commissioned Stafford Northcote and Charles Trevelyan to investigate the dynamics of founding a good government on the operations of an efficient and effective civil service. The Northcote-Trevelyan Report of 1854 has since become the template for a modern civil service institution around which any state can ever hope to make progress through administrative facilitation of the production and distribution of public goods and services to the populace. And democracy brings its own progressive assumptions into the dynamics of the administrative competence of any state. Since its ambivalent founding in 1954, the Nigerian civil service has had enough time to make a full cyclic transition from evolution to growth and reformulation of its founding essence since 1914 to date. The civil service system in Nigeria owes its existence and evolution to series of constitutional and administrative necessities. The year 1954 is very significant in Nigeria administrative history because it signals the formal establishment of a civil service structure with a truly Nigerian framework. Before this period, the civil service in Nigeria was strictly a colonial affair. The colonial administrative machinery was narrowly focused to handle the state function which was basically the maintenance of law and order. The strategy for carrying out that function was essentially through an arrangement which not only excluded the colonised personnel but also facilitated the exploitation of the colonies. Thus, from 1934 to 1954, seven commissions and committees

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Reflections On The Centenary became the precursor to what would become the Nigerian civil service: Hunt Committee (1934), the Bridges Committee (1942), the Tudor-Davies Commission (1945), the Harragin Commission (1946), the Smaller Commission (1946), the Foot Commission (1948), and the Phillipson-Adebo Commission (1953). The evolution of the Nigerian character of the civil service reached its culmination in the post-1954 period with series of reforms that constituted the beginning of the institution of the civil service system in Nigeria. Thus, from 1954, the civil service became the centre of furious and progressive reforms meant to ensure that the evolution of the system would transform it into an adequate institution around which the nascent post-independence state would become true to its stated ideals of providing basic amenities to the Nigerian masses who endured the horrors of colonial administration and its exploitative logic. The Gorsuch Commission (1955), for instance, became significant for confronting from the beginning the hierarchical structure of the colonial arrangement, especially as it differentiates between the ‘generalists’ and the ‘professionals’. In a sense, the professionalization angle to the reform of the Nigerian civil service took its root from Gorsuch. Newns Commission (1959) took that reform initiative further with the establishment of a Westminster model organisational framework compatible with a ministerial form of government. This was achieved through the integration of departments with the ministries through the grafting of the ministerial structures on the departmental structure of the colonial service. One fall out of this was the creation of the post of the permanent secretary to whom the Minister could direct all decisional problems. These reform initiatives were progressive but not definitive. The Newns recommendations, for example, have endured with the civil service system in Nigeria to date, yet we cannot say the civil service has made historic advances that ought to transform the dynamics of governance in Nigeria. And another century of nationhood looms ahead of us. The Nigerian civil service was born in tentative hope that it would eventually acquire the capacities and competencies to drive the engine of socioeconomic growth in Nigeria as long as the state endures. No state in the world has any other hope of deliverance. In a century, Nigeria has made valiant effort at evolving a good governance paradigm that would bring the people into a democratic relationship with the state. However, in a century, we have not yet arrived. According to Henry Hampton, ‘What drive people to the public service is a sense of possibility.’ The possibility is that of making impacts that would last a century. Herein is the mandate of the Nigerian Government: the belief in the possibility of building an impactful civil service that would endure for another century, and the political will to lay its foundation. The first condition of such a mandate is however to rethink the historical dynamics that has constricted and determined the evolution of the institution. We have so far been examining how the Nigerian civil service began its centennial evolution from the colonial administrative logic which was initially meant to facilitate the exploitation of the colonies. From the perspective of hindsight, the history and the evolution of the Nigerian civil service constitute the sum total of an outstanding starts; evolving, immature and weak structures, ambivalent decisions, bold steps, compromised reforms and fortuitous breakthroughs. The Nigerian civil service has passed through the eye of the storm on its march to greatness. Yet it has not arrived at its mandated destination. Taking the historic hindsight further, we proceed to examine some dynamics of misses and losses that intervened in the evolutionary progression of the Nigerian civil services and, in some senses, short-circuited its early success, especially in the immediate post-independence period. When the Nigerianisation Policy was launched, its intention was to put the nascent civil service in Nigeria on a trajectory that would facilitate a smooth and efficient transformation of government policies into noticeable infrastructural and socioeconomic goods that the citizens can identify with. Or, ask Norman Tebbit, how can people be governed

Sir Lord Lugard

by those who do not speak their language? The language of the people is the language of good governance and the machinery that enables that language is the civil service system in any state. Thus, the Nigerianisation Policy was intended to redefine the colonial administrative system in such a manner that its language would be clear and meaningful to Nigerians. The first snag to this worthy governance intention was the unintended clash between the administrative principles of representativeness and efficiency with regard to the placement of Nigerians who will replace the expatri-

ates. The eventual subordination of merit to representation diminished the capacity the civil service required to facilitate socioeconomic growth and development. This was further complicated when the leadership of the civil service were seconded to the various regions. The secondment became, in the long run, a paradox. On the one hand, it further depleted the capacity quotient of the federal civil service to oversee and direct the administrative trajectory of Nigeria along the path demanded by post-independence expectations. On the other hand, it enabled the regions to achieve outstanding

Since its ambivalent founding in 1954, the Nigerian civil service has had enough time to make a full cyclic transition from evolution to growth and reformulation of its founding essence since 1914 to date. The civil service system in Nigeria owes its existence and evolution to series of constitutional and administrative necessities. The year 1954 is very significant in Nigeria administrative history because it signals the formal establishment of a civil service structure with a truly Nigerian framework. Before this period, the civil service in Nigeria was strictly a colonial affair. The colonial administrative machinery was narrowly focused to handle the state function, which was basically the maintenance of law and order. The strategy for carrying out that function was essentially through an arrangement, which not only excluded the colonised personnel but also facilitated the exploitation of the colonies. Thus, from 1934 to 1954, seven commissions and committees became the precursor to what would become the Nigerian civil service: Hunt Committee (1934), the Bridges Committee (1942), the Tudor-Davies Commission (1945), the Harragin Commission (1946), the Smaller Commission (1946), the Foot Commission (1948), and the Phillipson-Adebo Commission (1953).


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Sunday, February 9,

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PERSPECTIVES

y Of The Nigerian Civil Service

administrative success which, quite tragically, is what Nigeria is still attempting to recreate in terms of the multiplicity of genuine reforms. The essence of the success of the regional civil service, especially as demonstrated in the Southwest, is the one-to-one rapport between the political and the administrative leadership. This prescribed relationship constitutes the dynamic framework that activates the efficiency required to utilise manpower and implement policies. This relationship would be moderated by a strict code of political accountability within which ministers would be accountable to the government and civil servants are expected to be apolitical and impartial while serving as confidential advisers to the ministers. This arrangement consolidates a politics-administration nexus that defines public administration today. Thus, between Chief Simeon Adebo and Chief Obafemi Awolowo, there developed a very strong and professional synergy that transformed the socioeconomic landscape of the Southwest. This outstanding success was also recorded in varying degrees in the Eastearn and Northern Regions. The visible infrastructural effects are still with us today. The Awolowo-Adebo model of administrative partnership demonstrates poignantly the truth of Peter Keen’s assertion that ‘complexity and trust go together.’ The Southwest administrative experiment, which is the most celebrated, teaches a simple lesson: to achieve governance requires unparalleled cooperative effort and political will that would turn policies into wonders of effective execution. If the essence of the lesson had been imbibed, it would have been enough to change the contour of our centenary as a nation. The story would have been qualitatively different today. We have been attempting to relearn the simple lesson of the Awolowo-Adebo experiment since independence. And progress has been excruciatingly slow as genuine reform initiatives have been punctured by political misadventures, global hiccups and national reversals. For instance, the hope of ever getting the Nigerian civil service on course was dashed with the advent of military intervention in politics in 1966. It is quite unfortunate that some of the most genuine and promising

reforms were initiated during the long period of military executives. Let us consider first the attempt by Adebo and Udoji to domesticate the essence of the Fulton Report within the Nigerian administrative context. This 1968 Report was an urgent attempt to bring the civil service into the twentieth century within the strategic demand for professionalism and managerial competence in public administration. The Nigerian civil service had been operating within the originating framework of the Northcote-Trevelyan administrative dynamics, itself rooted in Max Weber classic bureaucratic model. Yet postindependence and its governance imperative demands more in term of skills and capacities. In 1971, the Adebo Commission was the first to confront the deep managerial issues in the organisation and structure of the civil service (outside of its mandate of wages and salary). At this juncture, the military had already initiated a ‘new federalism’ that placed the government solely at the ‘commanding height’ of the Nigerian political administration, and characterised by increased centralisation of political authority, ascendancy of federating forces, greater structural differentiation of the constituent states, and expansion of the policymaking and execution functions of the Federal level. The Udoji Commission of 1974, recommended by Adebo, clearly clarified the deep intent and imperative of the Fulton Report as well as the fundamental challenge of the Nigerian civil service, which it considered to be inability to respond to and internalise global best practices that can be appropriately deployed within the complexity of modern administration for development purposes. Specifically therefore, the Commission recommended wide ranging institutional reappraisal. Central to this reappraisal is a new style public service infused with ‘new blood’ working under a result-oriented management system rooted in project management praxis that is operated by professionals and specialists in particular fields. It also recommended the standardization of conditions of service, increase in public sector wages, a unified and integrated administrative structure, the elimination of inefficient departments. Unfortunately, the deeper implications of the Udoji Commission Report were jettisoned for the implementation of its wages component. And the Nigerian civil service lost its second transformatory moment. What followed was the acute breakdown of democratic governance tradition under the debilitating command structure of the military as well as several reform attempts to arrest the gradual but steady degeneration of administrative structures. When the 1975 purge of the civil service happened, it represented the climax of the erosion of the essential capacity of the civil service system in Nigeria. The structural adjustment programme of the early 80s then became the last act in an administrative drama that ensured that a very strong colonial legacy turned into a shadow of itself, without capacity or competence. From the 90s onward, there followed serious reform agenda saddled with the task of making sense of the challenges of the Nigerian civil service and how the rot can be arrested. Yet, the foundation of the lacklustre performance of the civil service had already been laid, and the status of the Nigerian centenary had already been decided. The best we can do is to look forward to another centenary of achievements on a better foundation. ‘The important things of tomorrow,’ says Andrew Grove, ‘are probably going to be things that are overlooked today.’ So, our redemption is to look forward to tomorrow with a willingness to reappraise yesterday so that we can recover all that we left behind. Our centennial historical excursion so far, has been a sober reflection on the evolution of the Nigerian civil service within a progression beginning with the commencement of colonialism and down to the post-independence institutional operations of the civil service system. Unfortunately, the hindsight of evolution could only furnish us with a long litany of what could have been but were not. In other words, the future of the Nigerian civil service still needed to be rescued from the realm of possibility into that of administrative actuality of capacities and competences that would activate a professional unfolding into a world class institution capable of efficiently and effectively providing the service delivery of public goods

The essence of the second transformatory moment that must be recovered for the next centennial of the Nigerian civil service is the urgent need to put in place a system of new professionals who are willing and ready to engage the dynamics and demands of a performance-oriented civil service system. The managerial imperative behind the Fulton Report which Udoji recommended is a call to public service and organisational performance. This managerial imperative asks a fundamental question that drives the execution of reform objectives. to Nigerians. For Richard Hooker, the English theologian, ‘Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better.’ Transforming the Nigerian civil service is the only foreseeable mandate worth considering if the next centenary would constitute a huge dossier of administrative achievements within the overall dynamics of nation building and national development in Nigeria. A functional and professional civil service system in Nigeria is still possible. And, as we highlighted in the second part of the serial, that possibility had been amply demonstrated in the regional governance framework that brought administrators and politicians together in a synergy never before witnessed in the history of Nigeria. We cannot therefore abandon the future; rather, the civil service in Nigeria need to step into its true history: ‘the coming into being, the bringing forth of the new,’ according to Herbert Aptheker. How do we activate this true history? I will suggest that we make effort to retrieve the two transformatory moments that could have launched the Nigerian civil service on the path of institutional consolidation after its colonial evolution. The first moment was defined around the inability of the federal civil service to tap into the wealth of administrative competence and experience represented by Adebo, Udoji, Akilu and others who were the beneficiaries of a civil service system dedicated to professionalism and service. The Federal Government’s loss was the regional government’s gain. The second transformatory moment was defined by the Adebo’s and Udoji’s recommendations that would have reconstituted the operational dynamics of the civil service along the managerial and performance-oriented framework that ensure continuous organisational learning that keeps the civil service abreast of current global best practices adapted to local exigencies. Since the return to democratic governance in 1999, there has been serious and genuine attempts to come to term finally with our administrative dilemma and jumpstart real reforms strong and committed enough to redirect the trajectory of service delivery on behalf of the Nigerian citizens. The three programmes of civil service institutional renewal since 1999— the Obasanjo Civil Service Renewal Programme, the Yar’Adua public sector reform and the current Jonathan Transformation Agenda—all have the objective of transforming the civil service into ‘a world class institution for the efficient and effective execution of government policies and programmes with professionalism, excellence and passion.’ This objective is captured in the irreducible reform blueprint titled National Strategy on Public Service Reform (NSPSR). The NSPSR is fundamental because it represents the first time in a century that the objective of civil service renewal would be captured in figures, charts, projections and genuineness. We can say that, with the NSPSR reform blueprint, Nigeria has already made a very solid institutional commitment to the century. The first condition for the success of reform is, surprisingly, passion, the express statement of the enthusiasm that one is ready to commit into the enterprise of organisational transformation. It is this combination of enthusiasm and commitment that gives any project its first animating force. If reform must persists through its many complex phases, then it requires a statement of intent like the one provided in the NSPSR document outlining where we are and where we intend to be; it is a commitment to the next century of the Nigerian civil service. Such a document commits Nigeria to fighting in her own cause rather than trusting the experience of others. ‘We seriously undervalue the passion...a person brings to an enter-

prise. You can rent a brain, but you can’t rent a heart,’ says Mark McCormack. The important point to note, especially with regard to the business of reform, is that those with the passion and commitment alone do not necessarily outperform everyone else. Rather, there must also be a will to push through to excellence. The complexity of reform is so vast that passion can fail. While commitment to the cause of reforming the civil service system in Nigeria can launch us into the next century, what is needed to sustain and make a success of the hundred years is will and resolution. Let us reconsider the essence of the two transformatory moments we are attempting to recover for the next centennial of the Nigerian civil service. First, Chief Simeon Adebo succeeded in the Southwest because he got the unflinching commitment and the political will of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. From the AwolowoAdebo model, we learn the essential lesson that creative cooperation is the soul of reform success. And, for Nancy Kline, ‘Synergy takes place best in structure.’ The politics-administration dichotomy is founded on the necessity of the political and administrative leadership combining their strength towards administering and achieving service delivery that will humanise and deeply satisfy the public. Arriving at an adequate dynamics of good governance goes beyond the politics of policy making; it requires the unique administrative inputs that will make explicit the trajectory of execution and the best way to achieve it. This was what Adebo achieved for Awolowo in the regional civil service of the Southwest. When the Action Group declared its slogan to be ‘Life More Abundant,’ it was not just paying lip service to a biblical statement. Rather, it was a call to service, to ‘work more abundant’ between the politicians and the administrators, as Adebo testified. The essence of the second transformatory moment that must be recovered for the next centennial of the Nigerian civil service is the urgent need to put in place a system of new professionals who are willing and ready to engage the dynamics and demands of a performanceoriented civil service system. The managerial imperative behind the Fulton Report which Udoji recommended is a call to public service and organisational performance. This managerial imperative asks a fundamental question that drives the execution of reform objectives: How do we undercut organisational complexity to increase performance and efficient service delivery? Performance management is the framework by which we connect our reform enthusiasm with reform objectives; it gives strategic direction to reform trajectory through channelling the capacities and competences of the civil service professionals. The dynamics of performance requires that data on performance be regularly published to enable benchmarking. This will not only allow the public officials to judge their work vis-à-vis others, it will also allow the public to understand and assess what they are paying for. To step solidly into the future, therefore, requires that we should annex to the NSPSR document (a) a viable model of politics-administration synergy that can adequately confront the complexity of reform; and (b) generate a performance management framework that can utilise the capacities in pursuit of effective service delivery. The last century is gone, and we can no longer cry over spilt milk. The next century is what we must re-envision and energise. ‘Great ideas,’ says C. D. Jackson, ‘need landing gear as well as wings.’ The transformation of the Nigerian civil service for the next century needs more. Dr Olaopa is Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Communication Technology, Abuja tolaopa2003@gmail.com


58 Sunday, February 9, 2014

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INTERVIEW

OLOMOLA: Marriage Needs Selfless Dr Femi Olomola (PhD) is a distinguished town planner and former president of the Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON). His firm, Femi Olomola & Co was credited with preparing the six Master Plans that the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) adopted as a template for granting operating licenses to anybody aspiring to establish a private polytechnic in the country. Olomola and his wife Kunbi recently celebrated their 35th marriage anniversary. They both separately spoke to ROTIMI LAWRENCE OYEKANMI on the principles that have helped them to sustain their marriage. Recently, you celebrated your 35th marriage anniversary. Let’s go back to the beginning, how did it all start? T all started in 1975, during my industrial attachment at the Industrial Training Fund (ITF). That was the year the ITF was established and I was among the very first set of students to take part. In those days, my course, Town Planning, was a three-year programme and during my second year, I was posted to Abeokuta, (Ogun State) for three months. It was there, one evening, at a simple party held in a room, and I remember very well that the organiser of that party was a teacher in one secondary school. We were all there and my wife was also there. She was in Form 3 or 4 then, at the Reverend Kuti Memorial College in Abeokuta. It was incredible. I met her that day, I liked her and we danced together. In those days, there was no GSM (Gobal System for Mobile telecommunication) or electronic mail, so, she just gave me her name and address and I also gave her mine. Thereafter, we were writing letters to each other. In those days, it took about three weeks to get a letter through the post office. Then, I was in the Polytechnic and whenever I got her letter, I would reply and we kept on writing and replying each other. That was how it all started. I finished my National Diploma (ND) in 1976 and she also completed Form 4 in 1976 and in 1977, she finished her secondary school. By that time, I had worked with the Lagos State government for about one year and then, I got a Federal Government scholarship, which took me to England for further studies. I travelled out of Nigeria on September 25, 1977 when she was just finishing her secondary school. Before I left Nigeria, I took her to my mother in Ilesha (Osun State), just the two of us. And I told my mother: ‘this is my wife to be.’ My mother said something that day, which was very instructive. She said: “Femi, look at her very well. Voluntarily, you brought her here and you are telling me she is going to be your wife. She is a very young, innocent girl. Once you commit yourself in my presence here, you can’t get to England and come back to tell me that you are no longer interested in her after wasting her time.” My mother also warned me: “If you do so (renege on your vow), I will curse you even though you are my child. So, think very well before you make any pronouncement.” I was taken aback by her statement. But I told her that, yes, ‘I want to marry her.’ A week after, I travelled to the United Kingdom. Throughout my stay in England, normally, there were choices and lots of other girls – undergraduate students and others – but my mother’s caveat was always on my mind, and that facilitated my asking her to join me in England. While I was there, in my first year, my family back home took all that was required to her family and did all the traditional marriage rites, and on the strength of that, she did an affidavit that she was married to me traditionally. On the strength of that, the British Embassy gave her a visa and in 1978, she joined me in England as my wife. So, I got married in the second year of my degree course in England and everybody was surprised. They found it strange and funny. Why was I in a hurry? The traditional marriage took place in Nigeria and she came to England as my wife. We didn’t go to any Registry because I didn’t believe in it as such. Why? When I was in the Polytechnic, I was a member of the Black Nationalist Movement, which was very active, and part of our philosophy then was that, Africans have their own way of doing things before the white man came and so, we should not take hook, line and sinker, anything coming from the white man. In my own way, I saw marriage as one of those things. Our own traditional system of marriage and the way our culture settles disputes and other issues, I found them superior to the English or Western weddings, where you have a weeding in a week and a divorce the following week. This was what I saw, while I was in England. So, when my wife was trying to persuade me that we should do it (wedding), I said no. This is a traditional marriage and I would prove to the whole world that a Nigerian consummated marriage, the traditional marriage, is as good if not better than the English one. And to the glory of God, 35 years after, that traditional marriage has survived and we are celebrating it. It couldn’t have been rosy all along. Both you and your wife must have gone through some challenges. How did you manage your disputes, for instance? If I say it has all been rosy, I would be telling lies. There have been challenges, even serious challenges. When we got married, the job we were doing together wasn’t really easy. I was younger then and of course, we disagreed. What I have learnt is that, when you (husband and wife) are arguing, don’t stand near each other, because you (husband) will say something, she (wife) would reply and that would raise the tem-

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Olomola and his wife, Kunbi

po of the argument. By the time you respond, it goes to the higher level and each comeback pushes it to a higher level still. If you are not careful, you may slap your wife. It happened to me in England, I must say it. We were arguing and arguing and we were close to each other and the next thing, I gave her a slap, which of course, I regretted later. The way people look at it, once they hear you have beaten your wife, and it’s even worse in England, nobody wants to know what led to it, they would conclude that you have battered your wife, and the sympathy is more with the woman than the man. I regretted that action and since then, we have learnt our lessons. After that episode, whenever we get into an argument, and if the argument seemed to be taking a new dimension, one of us would insist: “Let us please forget this discussion!” And we have both agreed that, once any of us says that, nobody talks again. We have been applying that principle and it has worked for us all these years. We have seen this as a strategy for avoiding crisis because in many, many cases, before any man would go to the extent of beating the wife, the thing would have started like a mustard seed. The other thing is that, from the day one we got married, I told myself and I told her that this marriage must work. As a result, that philosophy, that determination that our marriage must work, regardless of the circumstances, has kept me going personally. Let me give you an example. When I was in the civil service, I would give my wife the usual house allowance at the beginning of the month. From that beginning

of the month, I would get good meat, tasty soup and everything. But gradually, as the month progresses to say, 21 or thereabout, everything would just nosedive. And when I complain that I am hungry, or ask why the food is not ready, she would tell me the money is finished! Then, I decided that I would be giving money twice a month. I’ll give the first half at the beginning of the month up to the 15th and then give the second half on the 15th. We tried that and it improved the situation of things. Again, I have a policy. I told my wife never to spend a kobo on house keeping. Her salary is personal to her. That’s my own policy and that’s the way I was brought up. I told her, your salary is personal to you, if, in your wisdom, you decide to now take something out of it and buy something for the house, it is your choice, but you don’t have to. I have always struggled to make sure I live up to what is expected of me. We also adopted another policy. I asked her to always write down anything she buys for the house in a book and at the end of the month, I would reimburse her. That now gave her some confidence, knowing that she would be reimbursed for whatever she buys. That worked for so many years. The other thing about my wife is that, she is an extremely reasonable woman. My wife is not the type that would divert household money or money for food to buy gold or jewelry. No. I can swear on that. If you give my wife, N10, 000 or N20, 000 for house keeping, the entire amount would be used for that purpose. Not even N1 would go elsewhere. I have that confidence in her. What would you describe as her virtues?

She is an extremely faithful woman. Since we got married, my wife never, ever had any extra marital affair. Another unique quality she has is that she is devoted to the children. When our children were small, they were her life. For example, a lot of girls in those days, when they were bringing up their children, would not breastfeed them for long, because they don’t want their breasts to drop. But not my wife. All our children, even while we were in England, took breast milk until they rejected it themselves. And throughout our stay in England, we never, ever put our children under foster care. She would take them to the crèche in the morning and collect them when we close from work. My wife would not part with any of her children or leave them under the care of somebody. She is also very humble. I think she gives me more respect than I deserve. She respects me a lot. She taught the children to respect their father. I have a cup, which I use to take my tea and she tells the children, ‘that is your father’s cup and nobody touches it.’ I have my own set of cutlery and my own plate and they all know daddy’s plate or daddy’s cutlery. The children grew to know that this is a no go area. Your three children are female. Did the fact that you did not have a male child affect your marriage; did both of you also agree on the number of children you wanted to have? We never sat down to agree on the number of children we wanted to have. Circumstances made it so. For my first child, I was in the first year of my degree course and she was going towards the final year of her own programme. That was the most stupid time for anybody to get pregnant. At that time, I remember reading in the


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INTERVIEW

Love, Determination To Succeed

Olomola’s daughters: Bosede Olomola (left), Mrs Olayinka Olumodeji (first daughter) and Abidemi Olomola

London Times, the story of a lady who had been on the pill for several years and she just suddenly went blind. These are some of the side effects of all these contraceptives. So, we told ourselves that with all these stories of contraceptives, let’s just have one and now that it has come, we should just let it be. Our second child, I was in the final year of my degree course and preparing to go to Nigeria and one way or the other, my wife got pregnant again. By the time they did the test, we discovered we would be having a baby during my youth corps programme. So, I had my second child while I was doing my youth corps programme in Jos. As a corper, I had my second child, so there were four of us doing the youth corps programme together in Jos. Interestingly, even the third one, I had her when I was doing my PhD in England. My family normally would come in the summer and I would come to Nigeria during Christmas and before we knew it, the third child was on the way. After that, we said ‘enough is enough.’ Interestingly, the children are all girls and that created some little tension in the family and everybody came in with their advice that we should have a boy, which is the typical Nigerian culture. But I was able to convince my family that the idea of going for another round (pregnancy) was out of it. It was a big problem with my Dad, because I remember at a time, he called me and asked me a question in form of a parable: “If you go to the market in the morning, what will you see there?” I replied, ‘I will see a lot of people.’ My father now said: “But if you go to the market around 6.00pm, what will you see there?” I thought about it and replied: ‘There will be nobody there, of course.’ Then he said: “That is the story of a baby girl or having female children. In the morning, your house will be full, but by evening time, when they are all married, your house will be empty.” He said that was why it was necessary for me to have a baby boy, so that he would still be at home when all the girls exited through marriage. The pressure was high on me but I resisted it and even my wife, in fairness, was worried that I may decide to go out and get another woman pregnant to have a baby boy for me. And you know, in our culture, once somebody has a male child, that person already has an edge. But I assured her that it will not happen, and I put it in black and white. I wrote a letter, signed it and gave it to her to keep. I wrote: “I, Femi Olomola, promise that I shall not have a child outside this marriage.” I signed it and gave it to her. Was it your personal conviction that it didn’t really matter whether you had male or female children or did your sojourn in England influence you? I must admit that my sojourn in England affected my thinking. I was in England when Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister and a lot of the resolutions of the Beijing Conference on women empowerment influenced me. I

began to see women as equal to men. In my school, in Newcastle and even in Nigeria here, you would see girls who were more brilliant than you. We were given the same project, they would make their presentation in the studio and you would see for yourself that theirs were better than yours. Then, I saw Margaret Thatcher; she was a Prime Minister, who was very strong and effective. All those things changed my perception

about women and I told myself that, all this African thinking about boy or no boy, I wasn’t going to buy it. We hear of divorce cases very often, these days, but you have done 35 years. What then is the secret of your success? My own experience of life is that you only need love to get married. But the moment you get married, you need determination to take over the marriage for it to be successful. When love

comes in and you get married, that is fine, but for you to sustain that marriage, you need determination and constantly telling yourself that your marriage must work. If you try one approach or strategy and it doesn’t work out, for goodness sake, don’t give up. Try another. Both of you must have that Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) anyway. Your wife must be determined that your marriage must work and you also must be determined that the marriage must work. Secondly, I think a man should internalize his family problems and never externalize it. Naturally, women have a talent for talking and saying things that would really hurt you and go right to your bone marrow. God has given them that ability to talk. When your wife is angry, let her say anything she wants to say. For goodness sake, absorb it, internalize it and don’t let it filter out. The average woman, in the course of talking, may abuse your family, which may have far reaching implications, and the moment you now take it to any member of your family, you are going to generate a lot of wahala (trouble). And the moment your family hates your wife, that is even a bigger wahala. Another thing is that, when it comes to the issue of money, I believe that a man should, first of all, see it as his duty to provide 100 percent for the needs of the house. I don’t believe that you should be sharing financial responsibilities with your wife. I never did it. I don’t know how, but God has a way of doing it. I believe I should be responsible for paying the house rent, feeding the entire family, paying the school fees and all other expenses. It is my own belief and it has worked for me. I believe the aura around you, call it God or whatever, if that is your objective for yourself, one way or the other, things would work out and make you achieve it. But if you are the type of husband who believes that your wife must pay school fees or must buy provisions or must take care of other expenses, the blessings you would get from God, the aura around you would follow that pattern. The resources at your disposal would just be enough to do the things you want to do, since you have divided it. You have automatically told your

Trust Is Absolutely Essential In A Marriage –– Mrs. Olomola How did you meet your husband? MET my husband when I was doing my remedial course in Form 3 to 4. We were asked to come to the school during the holiday for classes and I used to stay in the hostel. I wasn’t a native of Abeokuta, so I used to have a phobia about going out then. One day, one of my seniors insisted that I shouldn’t be staying alone in the hostel. She said: “Do you know who they call giripa?” I said ‘no.’ She said that was what would come and attack me when nobody is around. So, out of that fear, I followed them to a party organised by one of our teachers, where I met my husband. In the course of your marriage, you would have had your high and low moments. What were the lessons you learnt along the way and how did you sustain the marriage? It is determination. He is a man full of determination. He always had the determination that this our marriage, no matter what, must work. There were challenges, though. Recently, there was a big one that gave me emotional problems, not just for me, but also for our home. But he brought everything back to normal. Both my husband and I have a philanthropic spirit. We like to help. For me, anything I am doing, I make sure that I intimate my husband about it, because I believe if you are helping somebody, particularly the opposite sex, and your spouse does not know about it, it might lead to what you did not bargain for. I belong to the Lion’s clubs and as an instructor in school, a lot of our students, when they have problems, they come to me and I help them. My husband does the same thing. He has a clean mind, but ladies, nowadays, see a man that has made it, who loves his wife and family and the next thing is, they would want to be part of that family. What my husband did not have in mind, they would want to push him along that line, but with his own determination, it would get to a point where he would resist it and say my home is my home. So, with that kind of attitude, he is able to do away with a lot of potential problems, because some men who now have two wives did not originally set out for that. It just happens. My own advice to any man who wants to help a woman is, please let your wife know about it, so that at least, she would have an input. Nothing should be hidden. But have you ever had any challenge to your mar-

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riage from another woman? I trust my husband absolutely. He helps a lot of women, both married and single, particularly, if the woman is a widow, my husband would take special interest in her children. But for some women, when you take special interest in their children like that, they would see it as an opportunity and reason, ‘why don’t I grab this man also.’ Recently, a woman wrote me a note that, ‘how would I feel, with all what God has done for me, if God says I should let my husband be her husband and also father to her children.’ She wrote the letter with my full name on it. My husband didn’t know about this, he didn’t even know how the woman got my phone number. I just said, Whoa! What kind of a thing is this? I then called my husband and showed him the letter. My husband said she must be crazy and that he was just trying to help her and her children. What has gone into her head that made her think she could come and share from what belongs to me? Eventually, the lady and I had a conversation and it was then I told her that, with what had happened to her, it was better for her to make her children her husband. You have somebody helping you and even guiding your children in their education. Do you want to lose that opportunity? This man never proposed to you, so, why do you want to spoil that opportunity? But we were able to settle the matter. The divorce rate in the country is quite high now. What is the magic that has kept your marriage going for 35 years? There are so many things causing disunity in marriages that can lead to divorce. But with determination on both sides, if one partner wants to go astray, the other would quickly come in and bring the other party to his or her senses. Men are like Casanova. Some of them will not put in enough resources at home and they will not explain to the woman at home what is going on. They will put up a bold face. But then, you see them outside, lavishing money. Some women, the way God made them, they would rather add more to the one they are given to make more. But some other women can go as far as messing up themselves. All these things don’t go well with marriage. Some women are not respectful. They see their husbands as their mate, whereas, the Bible says

that after God, the husband is the head and a wife must give the husband his respect. Some husbands may not even have enough, but if you have, complement and still give him respect. Some women, their husbands would give them money for housekeeping, but they would go and lavish it on gold and dresses. All these things do not help marriages. A woman should love her husband with all her heart and respect the husband’s family and friends. She should not allow the world to penetrate their marriage. The world can be in form of friends or it could be an obsession with fashion or not facing the reality, especially when your husband cannot afford something and you want him to buy it for you. Whatever you can do, God does not say the husband should provide everything, you are to complement each other. My advice is for the wife to be faithful to her husband. If anything happens between you and your husband, call him and if he fails to reason with you, allow him to calm down. Then, later, you can bring back the issue. Don’t go and be reporting your husband to your in-laws or to your parents. Look for ways to calm him down. No matter how tough he is, he will later come to reason. The men should also own up to their responsibilities. Sometimes, financial problems could set in, a man should not use bold face and tell the woman, why don’t you go and do this. Men should call their wives and explain the true situation. Some men, when things are hard, instead of coming home, they would stay outside. They may not come home until around 11pm and the woman’s mind at home may not be at rest. Then, a man should not handover his wife to his family. A man should make sure there is a boundary. Some men flirt around even in the face of their wives. This is bad. There is no point jumping from one woman to another. Eventually, when you catch a disease, you would bring it to the woman at home. Some men believe that they are totalitarian and they can do whatever they like. No woman likes being cheated on. I will never cheat on my husband and I wouldn’t like him to cheat on me. And some men go as far as carrying women into their homes. Once their wife travels, they bring in their girlfriends. This is very bad. Men should respect their wives and their children too.


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FOREIGNNEWS Bus Crash Near Mendoza Kills At Least 18 ARGENTINA T least 18 people have been A killed in Argentina when a bus crashed into a lorry driving on the wrong side of the motorway. The crash happened as the bus approached the western city of Mendoza. Local reports say the truck, which had a Brazilian licence plate, was stolen and being driv-

en at high speed. Footage recorded by a driver shows the lorry driving on the wrong carriageway of the Number 7 national road minutes before the collision. Most of the victims, including the bus driver, died as the bus and the lorry burst into flames on impact. Witnesses say some passengers made desperate attempts to escape the flames, jumping off the vehicle’s windows. Thirty people were travelling on

Two Feared Dead As Rock Derails Nice To Digne-Les-Bains WO people were killed when a T falling boulder derailed a tourist train in the southern French Alps, local officials and firefighters say. At least nine people were injured. The train was travelling from Nice to the town of Digne-les-Bains on a line which crosses gorges and viaducts at up to 1,000m (3,200ft) above sea level. Images from the scene show the two-carriage train dangling from the tracks, the side of one carriage caved in by the rock. One of the injured is said to be in a critical condition, while the others, including the driver, are reported to have sustained lighter injuries. There were a total of 34 people on board at the time of the accident, AFP news agency reports.

FRANCE The agency adds that a total of 110 firefighters and 32 vehicles were deployed from around the region, as well as two helicopters. They are said to have encountered difficulties in reaching the accident because of heavy snow and the isolated location. “A rockfall occurred when the train was passing and caused the derailment,” Jean-Yves Petit, vice president of the regional authority in charge of transport, told Reuters news agency. Local mayor Jean Ballester told BFM television that the boulder fell from the mountain “with an extraordinary force’’.

UN Reports Rise In Civilian Deaths, Injuries AFGHANISTAN HE number of civilians killed and wounded in the conflict in Afghanistan has risen to 14 percent last year, the UN says. Nearly 3,000 civilians were killed and more than 5,600 were injured in 2013. The report said the gradual withdrawal of foreign troops left Afghan government forces more vulnerable to attack by insurgents. It said this had led to intensified ground fighting, which had contributed to an increase in civilian casualties, particularly of women and children. The UN Assistance Mission for

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Afghanistan (Unama) said 34 percent more children and 36 percent more women were killed and wounded in 2013 than in 2012. Taliban insurgents have stepped up attacks to try to gain the upper hand as international troops prepare to withdraw by the end of the year, and Unama blames 74 percent of civilian deaths and injuries on “anti-government elements”. Most casualties in 2013 were a result of roadside bombs or getting caught in the crossfire during ground battles between Taliban-led insurgents and Afghan forces. The spike in casualties reverses a fall in 2012. The deadliest year of the war was 2011, when 3,133 civilians died.

the bus, the authorities said. It had departed from the city of Cordoba, some 660km (410 miles) northeast of Mendoza.

Princess Cristina In Court Over Corruption Case SPAIN PAIN’S Princess Cristina is being questioned in court in connection with a corruption scandal involving her husband’s business dealings. It is the first time in history that a member of Spain’s royal family has appeared in court as the subject of a criminal investigation. Her husband Inaki Urdangarin is alleged to have defrauded regional governments of millions of euros of public money. The princess and her husband deny any wrongdoing, and have not been charged. The BBC in Madrid says the world’s media will analyse every detail of this corruption case, which has already gone on for three years and made headlines in Spain on an almost daily basis. Spain’s royal household admits the case has damaged the reputation and credibility of Spain’s royals, and, partly because of this scandal, the popularity of King Juan Carlos has fallen in recent years. Pro-republican campaigners vowed to demonstrate near the court. Princess Cristina, 48, stepped from her car and walked into the court on the island of Mallorca without commenting to the waiting television crews. King Juan Carlos’s youngest daughter will have to answer dozens of questions from a judge in a closed-door hearing. The judge has named her as a fraud and money-laundering suspect. The allegations relate to a supposedly not-for-profit organisation called Noos, of which Inaki Urdangarin was president. The foundation staged a series of sporting events for the regional governments of the Balearic Islands and Valencia. Mr Urdangarin is accused of organising the events at hugely inflated prices.

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ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE

Global Effort Risks Missing Potential Of Sustainable Use By Kamal Tayo Oropo S UK Prime Minister David Cameron prepares to host an international conference to tackle the booming illegal transnational trade in wildlife, experts welcome the new push to address this enduring problem but warn that efforts could fail without appropriate incentives for local people’s involvement. Starting from Tuesday, February 11, to Wednesday, 12, international conservation agencies — backed by the Royal Foundation – will agree a set of joint activities to address illegal wildlife trade, while heads of state and government ministers at the conference in London on February 13 will issue a declaration that is set to guide policymaking for years to come. But a paper, set to be published on Tuesday by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) reminds these, and other international initiatives, that a potentially valuable tool that generates incentives for local people to engage in conservation is in danger of being overlooked. The paper, made available to The Guardian, urges policymakers to combine law enforcement and efforts to reduce demand with incentives that encourage poor communities to use wildlife in a sustainable and well regulated way. “Effectively tackling wildlife crime means developing approaches that protect wildlife for poor people not from poor people,” it says. The paper— whose authors include staff at IIED, the International Trade Centre and the IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature) specialist group on Sustainable Use and Livelihoods— notes that wildlife is one of the strongest assets for sustainable development for many rural communities. A wealth of experience from across the globe demonstrates that sustainable use of that wildlife – through trade, tourism and trophy-hunting – can be one of the most powerful incentives for conservation as well as acting as an engine for local economic development. The illegal trade undermines that asset base and removes potential sources of income for communities, but heavy handed approaches to law enforcement (one of the key pillars of the strategies under international discussion) can inadvertently penalise poor people and restrict their options for sustainable use even further.

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RAFFICKING of wildlife, driven by escalating demand for products T such as rhino horn and elephant ivory, is a booming market worth US$19bn a year. It has long been a concern to conservation organisations — some of the species involved are highly endangered or are iconic conservation flagships — but has recently become of wider, national security, concern because of suggested links to organised crime and armed militant groups. But wildlife means more than just the elephants, rhinos and tigers that dominate the news headlines. There’s a danger that a focus on these iconic species will lead policymakers to develop ‘one-size fits all’ responses. Across Africa and Asia, the wildlife trade also involves many other species that could form an important component of local economies if people were allowed to use them in a sustainable way. “It is encouraging to see serious commitment from world leaders to address the deepening problem of wildlife crime,” says Dilys Roe, Principal Researcher at IIED. “But while strengthening law enforcement and reducing demand are important, we also need to pay more attention to how best to incentivise local people to manage and conserve wildlife.” Simon Milledge, head of IIED’s forest team says: “Heavy-handed law enforcement can be a blunt instrument for addressing this complex issue. If not well targeted it could have serious, unintended, implications for some of the world’s poorest communities as well as failing to recognise their potential to conserve wild species by using them sustainably.” The unintended consequences of heavy-handed responses to wildlife poaching were recently exposed in Tanzania, where a parliamentary inquiry found 13 people were murdered and thousands of livestock maimed or killed. By contrast, an example of well-targeted enforcement response occurred last month with a UN Security Council Resolution imposing sanctions on individuals and organisations illegally supporting armed groups active in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic through the illicit trade of natural resources, including wildlife and wildlife products. Well-targeted law enforcement is equally needed in demand and transit countries. “Sustainable wildlife use and a well regulated trade are important components of strategies to combat illegal trade and generate conservation success”, says Michael Murphree, Interim Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group.  “But we need more informed dialogue and debate moving forwards.”

Mortar Fire Breaches Homs Truce, Delaying UN Aid Convoy SYRIA HE Syrian government and T rebels have accused each other of violating a ceasefire in the

A rebel fighter (left) feeds pigeons in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo… yesterday. New aerial bombardment from explosives-packed barrel bombs in Aleppo killed at least 20 people, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. PHOTO: AFP

besieged city of Homs, where the UN is hoping to deliver aid. Mortar fire was heard early yesterday, and governor Talal alBarazi told state media it was caused by “armed terrorist groups”. The anti-government Syrian Observatory for Human Rights blamed President Bashar alAssad’s forces.

Given the violence, it is not clear if the UN aid convoy will enter the city. Trucks are poised to deliver food, water and medicine to some 3,000 civilians. On Friday, the first day of what should have been a three-day ceasefire, more than 80 children, women and elderly people were evacuated from rebel-held areas. Many of the evacuees looked frail and described extreme hardships inside the area, which has been under army siege for nearly a yearand-a-half.


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INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Nigeria And Africa At The World Economic Forum By Oghogho Obayuwana, Foreign Affairs Editor ATCHERS of proceedings of the World W Economic Forum (WEF), which ended in Davos Switzerland, recently would easily point to three dominant reports centring on global rules, global competitiveness and global gender gap. But naturally, there are of course other matters that compelled attention as around 2,500 delegates, among them, world leaders gathered to discuss and sit in palaver over a wide range of issues - from risks to the global economy to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria. The overarching theme of the meeting was: ‘The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business.’ It is not wrong to acclaim this a bold title, one that recognises the seismic changes that have rattled the global economy over the last six years. After all, Davos founder Klaus Schwab urged delegates to bring their brains, souls, hearts and good nerves to make progress. Now, the Global Risks 2014 report highlights how worldwide risks are not only interconnected, but also have systemic impacts. It is thought that to manage global risks effectively and build resilience to their impacts, better efforts are needed to understand, measure and foresee the evolution of interdependencies between risks, supplementing traditional risk-management tools with new concepts designed for uncertain environments. The leaders were briefed on the fact that the Global Agenda 2014 provides a top-of-mind perspective from the Global Agenda Councils on the challenges and opportunities of the coming 12–18 months. But would they be able to key into this agenda, which offers a comprehensive overview of the world, drawing upon the foremost global intelligence network and its collective brainpower to explore the most important issues we all face in the coming year? It is another kettle of fish altogether. The congress hall then rang to the stern words of Pope Francis who (through an envoy) urged Davosites to deliver “a new, profound, sense of responsibility,” adding that “The growth of equality … calls for decisions, mechanisms and processes directed to a better distribution of wealth, the creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor, which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality.” But the WEF is a very big umbrella, lesser perhaps only to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Like a big masquerade, people can only view the side they face at a time. Nigeria, led by president Goodluck Jonathan (who went with his economic team and more) did participate at the forum. For the African giant, it was a mixed grill of sorts. The world has been told that majority of the African countries are now enjoying stable governance. At Davos, Jonathan tried to draw global attention to the possibilities and potentials in Nigeria, as well as, how foreign investments are safe despite mounting security challenges. In this regard, he stressed that before much could be made of economic growth, political stability remains key!   Aside the controversy following varied interpretations of  Nigeria’s main presentation which ensued after the debate on “Africa’s Next Billion,” the debate also featured speakers like President John Mahama of Ghana; President Goodluck Jonathan, Aliko Dangote, billionaire business-mogul; Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International among others.  There are bright spots in the news on Africa; the population is projected to grow to 2 billion by 2050 and will soon have the largest workforce according to the Harvard Business Review. Additionally, Africa has a $2 trillion economy with about a third of its 54 countries garnering annual GDP growths of more than six percent. Of the top ten fastest growing economies in the world, six are in Africa and rich in natural resources, 60 percent of the world’s uncultivated arable land is in Africa. Mobile technology is exploding and yet, attendants at the Davos meeting were cautiously optimistic on Africa’s performance. In a sense, you could argue that world leaders also paid sufficient attention to the world’s wealthiest African, Aliko Dangote, who spoke on the risks of doing business in Africa to the ‘star’ of West Africa, Ghana’s President John Mahama, who rummaged on the democracy dividend. The controversy over president Jonathan’s comments stemmed from the fact that critics

Jonathan and Rwandan President, Paul Kigame at the forum picked an aspect of his speech, which dwelt on corruption. Here, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) disagreed with Jonathan, who they understood to have claimed that corruption is not the cause of all Africa’s problem. Even though Jonathan spoke during a televised debate titled, ‘Africa’s Next Billion,’ the chair of the coalition, Debo Adeniran said Jonathan’s statement suggests his ‘disconnection’ from the poverty and problems facing many Nigerians. “It is a known fact that corruption is the main reason why nothing is working in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. As a matter of fact, corruption is the biggest problem of Nigeria and the bane of development in other African countries. Every problem confronting Nigeria today has its roots in corruption,” he submitted.  Yet, for once, Africa appeared to have spoken in similar tone. We consider the contribution of other leaders more or less an expansion of what president Jonathan expounded.  Ghana’s Mahama was saying: “We are enjoying in Africa what I call the democracy dividend. The progress we are seeing, economic development are all part of the dividend of good governance, respect for human rights, rule of law. It has created an enabling environment that allows not only foreigners to come in and invest but for Ghanaians to invest. It has created an atmosphere for our young people to be creative, innovative…” According to the Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, there can never be an easy fix for youth unemployment. She was of the opinion that even in Africa, partnership between the public and private sectors can make a big difference. There were seven other interesting voices. First was that of Mohammed Dewji, Group Chief Executive Officer of Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania and Forbes’ youngest member of the rich list who romanticised with the dream idea. Waxing philosophical, he put this out: “I have a dream that Africa should have one bloc – north to south – we could trade freely, people can move freely and that makes business sense.” The second was that of Doreen Noni, Creative Director, Eskado Bird who roused delegates by saying; “We can only get our continent to have inclusive growth if we are educated and change our mindsets,” and to this Julian Roberts, Group Chief Executive, Old Mutual added: “We wouldn’t be investing as much in the rest of Africa if we didn’t believe. Africa will be the success story in the next decades…Africa is on the move and it is moving forward.” The fourth voice, blaring from Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International stressed the “need for a race to the

top so that we have policies and regulations that protect human rights, the environment and that reduce poverty.” Target SME’s and you target women because that is where they access the business sector. – Linah K. Mohohlo, Governor and Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Botswana put in. Our seventh voice on the heels of a submission by a clergy – Cardinal Turkson to the effect that long-term vision requires the patience to invest in the future, came from the Nigerian business icon- Aliko Dangote, who argued vigorously about the fact that Africa’s risks are mainly perceived and not real. “Unfortunately for us in Africa we are not really very good at telling our own story. But things are changing and people are beginning to understand that things are going very, very well,” he added. Following further the beat of the Nigerian drum in Davos, the coordinating minister of the economy Ngozi Okonjo Iweala wrapped things up by noting that “the idea behind the government’s ‘You Win’ campaign is that instead of young people in Nigeria waiting to get employment, they should create their own jobs and employ their peers and employ other people!  It will take quite some time to get to an appreciation of whether enough is currently being done to loosen the soil in Nigeria to make that kind of youth employing other youth happen.  Gay diplomacy was also at play in Davos and Nigeria was even given a mention at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) forum. Here, there was a panel, which addressed the need for LGBT equality across the globe. Primarily, panelists where of the view that; “there is a changing in the status quo regarding the equality of LGBT people.” A hot topic the panel discussed was the socalled ‘evangelicals’ campaigning’ in other countries across the world to discourage equality for LGBT people. The panel made assumptions to the effect that there are religious groups that are not having success combating

LGBT rights in the United States U.S. and are now going to other countries, attempting to influence legislation against LGBT people. Michael Beyer, Spectrum panel coordinator, said the results took him by surprise because he never expected the percentage of support to be so high. Many popular depictions of Louisiana show the state as not being supportive of LGBT rights, but most of the time this is not the case, Beyer said. Though the panel at the World Economic Forum discussed what it called ‘the extreme discrimination’ against LGBT people across the world in places like Nigeria, Uganda and Russia, the panel speakers did not mince words in stressing that the freedom global citizens have to sustain, support and even raise awareness about is a privilege. Melanie Stapleton, president of Spectrum, also agreed with this ‘ideal.’ “While we (Americans and by extension global citizens) have much farther to go in terms of being a nation that treats all citizens equally, we can at least take comfort that we do have the privilege of the freedoms granted to us to campaign and fight for equality of all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity,” Stapleton stressed It was WEF’s 44th annual summit. When they gather again next year, the natural expectation would be for prevailing issues in political economy to also take the centre stage.  Diplomatic watchers are however wondering if those attending the temple of globalisation actually deliver results, given their role in creating the situation the world faces today.  And as Dr Ahmed Heikal, chairman and founder of Citadel Capital said in Davos:  “Africa is the story. The big story is Africa. The Chinese and Japanese are fighting over Africa. This is a market of a billion people, of natural resources.”  When they gather again, the world expects to see positive changes that have taken place in Africa to justify calls for foreign investors. Nigeria should be taking a lead in this regard.

There are bright spots in the news on Africa; the population is projected to grow to 2 billion by 2050 and will soon have the largest workforce according to the Harvard Business Review. Additionally, Africa has a $2 trillion economy with about a third of its 54 countries garnering annual GDP growths of more than six percent. Of the top ten fastest growing economies in the world, six are in Africa and rich in natural resources, 60 percent of the world’s uncultivated arable land is in Africa. Mobile technology is exploding and yet, attendants at the Davos meeting were cautiously optimistic on Africa’s performance.


62 Sunday, February 9, 2014

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Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Sports How Rejected Cafu Rose To Become Brazil’s World Cup Great As Brazil celebrated on the pitch after the Final of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan, Cafu went further than the rest, clambering onto the podium to hold the Trophy aloft. After all, it was a moment of special significance for the vastly experienced right-back. For those watching in the stadium or at home, it would be hard to believe that the same player, the captain of the side that had just won Brazil’s fifth World Cup, had struggled so much at the beginning of his career, being rejected by one club after another as a teenager. “I think I heard the word ‘no’ nine times,” he told FIFA.com. In an exclusive interview, the legendary marauding defender - a genuine authority on A Seleção and the FIFA World Cup - talked about the challenges he faced when starting out and his dramatic rise to stardom. Nor did he hesitate when asked about this year’s competition hosts: “Brazil are the team to beat.”

Cafu in action for Brazil

With the World Cup trophy he story of your career makes fascinating T reading. You had a number of unsuccessful trials, but once you got your chance at Sao Paulo, did you think you would achieve so much, so quickly? That you would even play in the 1994 World Cup Final? NO. I never imagined that I would go so far, so quickly. I imagined playing for Sao Paulo, where I was at the time. But after that everything happened so quickly. The beginning of a career is hard for many players, often because of the ordinary day-today problems that football and life bring. I was rejected a lot in the early days – I think I heard the word ‘no’ nine times – and I began to think that maybe I wasn’t going to make it as a professional, let alone play for the national team. But then suddenly I had a good game in a friendly against Sao Paulo, the same club that had rejected me a number of times, and this time I made it through the selection process.

I needed to wait two weeks for my trial, which seemed to drag on forever. All I wanted was a chance. So when my opportunity came, I grabbed it with both hands. After I signed pro forms in 1991, I went on to be chosen for a Paulista state championship select XI, then for Brazil at youth level, then for the full squad, and then finally I became a World Cup winner. Do you remember a particular moment, a day when you felt things were turning around? That you had made it? When I signed my first contract with Sao Paulo I still wasn’t sure that I was going to have a successful career. Even after you turn professional the competition is so intense, and as I was a bit older than some of the other players, I thought that it would be harder for me. But when I cemented a first-team place and won my first trophy, I realised that I could afford to be a little more ambitious. I started to think about playing for Brazil. And when I achieved that, I focused on making sure I went to the World Cup. And once that happens, the only thing you think about is lifting the Trophy. So it was a whole series of triumphs, a really happy time, during which I earned a record number of international caps, became captain of my country, and won the World Cup twice. You started the 1994 World Cup Final on the bench. How did you feel when you realised you were going to come on? How was the news broken to you? Jorginho was playing well and having a good World Cup, and I was being eased in gradually during the games. I was playing for ten minutes here or 20 minutes there. In the Final, just 15 minutes into the game, Jorginho put his hand on his thigh. Parreira saw it and told me: ‘Cafu, get warmed

up’. ‘What, me?’ I asked. He told me that Jorginho had felt a twinge and that I needed to get ready. He asked if I was ready and I said that I’d been ready for a long time, and that I didn’t even need to warm up. I came on and thankfully we managed to beat Italy and become world champions. Turning to the 1994 and 2002 World Cup-winning squads, it is often said that the dressingroom atmosphere was as important as the level of on-pitch talent. Is this really true? For a team, especially at the World Cup, which is a short competition, if there is no sense of togetherness, then you won’t win it. Nobody wins the World Cup alone. Not even Pele, [Diego] Maradona or Lothar Matthaus could win it alone. It’s simply not true. There is always a team behind the stars, supporting them. Everybody needs to be focused, and if they’re not, then it won’t work, you won’t win it. In both 1994 and 2002 we were focused on one thing only: winning the World Cup. Of course you need talent. We had plenty of that. But if the talented players had just played for themselves, then Brazil wouldn’t have become champions. How does this type of chemistry in a squad work? Does it come from the coach or from a number of factors? It’s a number of factors. The coach is one of them, of course. But to win the World Cup a number of things need to come together. It’s not about a single episode or detail. A detail, or a lapse in concentration, can make a difference in the Final, but to get there you need to be completely prepared. You spent time at the national team’s training sessions in Brasilia before the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013. What was

it like to spend time with the players? Did you feel that the mood, the sense of focus, was different? I had the chance to talk to the players on the pitch. It was even said that I gave a speech, but it wasn’t like that. It was just a few words to try and inspire them and the coaching staff. I have plenty of experience and I thought I might be able to pass something on to the lads. I think it went down well. It seemed to get through to the players, and Brazil went on to win the Confederations Cup in great style. Results hadn’t been great for Brazil before the tournament, to the extent that there had been a change of coach. But in the opening game against Japan, Neymar scored a great goal early on and everything fell into place - including a real bond with the supporters. Did this surprise you at all? Not at all. I know what players are capable of and I know what Brazil can do. Especially playing at home with the fans behind them. Everything went right against Japan. Neymar scored with his left foot at a perfect time and the team clicked. In the final, Fred scored even after falling over. But that kind of thing only happens if you believe in yourself. Brazil had belief and that’s what happened. So it wasn’t a surprise to me. Brazil have to be respected, especially at home. It will be a year from the final of Brazil 2013 until the start of the World Cup. Do you think anything will change during this time, or will the Confederations Cup atmosphere resurface once Brazil take the field? I think the atmosphere will be the same as it was during the final. An atmosphere in which Brazil became champions, winners - beating Spain 3-0. Of course, the World Cup is a different, more difficult competition, but Brazil are the team to beat.

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SUN 09 Feb 2014  

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