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TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Vol. 30, No. 12,829

www.ngrguardiannews.com

N150

Ogiadomhe resigned not sacked, says Presidency From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja ONTRARY to insinuations C that the Chief of Staff (COS) to the President, Chief Mike Ogiadomhe was sacked, he actually resigned to pursue further political ambition, according to the Presidency. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, while confirming the resignation of the former COS to State House correspondents after emerging from the President’s office, said the resignation was in compliance with the presidential directive to all political appointees who might wish to pursue further political ambitions to disengage not to distract the administration. Abati, who quoted partially from the copy of Oghiadomhe’s resignation letter, said: “I can confirm to you that the Chief of Staff to the President has resigned his appointment and that it has nothing to do with the speculation, that one online portal was trying to do. “The President received the CONTINUED ON PAGE 4

National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) Chairman, Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (middle); Ayodele Akele (second left); President, Campaign for Democracy (CD)/Women Arise, Joe Okei-Odumakin (fourth right); Alhaji Yerima Shettima and others, during a rally to mark the eighth anniversary of Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti’s death at Beko Cenotaph, Anthony Oke, Lagos... yesterday. PHOTO: GABRIEL IKHAHON

PDP wants opposition to provide alternatives to govt’s policies From Abiodun Fagbemi (Ilorin), Adamu Abuh, Azimazi Momoh Jimoh (Abuja), Kelvin Ebiri (Port Harcourt), Gordi Udeajah (Umuahia), John Akubo (Dutse), Joseph Wantu (Makurdi), Emmanuel Ande (Yola) and Bola Banji-Idowu (Lagos) ETWEEN the two major poB litical parties in the country, the bickering in a bid to secure political advantages continues. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday threw a challenge to the All Progressives Congress (APC) to go beyond criticism and provide alternatives to government’s policies. But the APC fought back, accusing the PDP of truncating the nation’s democracy by “stifling popular participation.” While the PDP conceded that individuals have inalienable

• You are truncating democracy, APC replies • Says it exceeded membership target • Shekarau declares party political fraud right to hold opinions and identify with any political party they choose, it noted in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Olisa Metuh: “We advise that they should proffer solutions and alternatives rather than engage in constant condemnation.” Metuh said the party found it “difficult to understand the bitterness against it by the opposition,” as “such bitterness became more worrisome when former PDP members spoke negative things about the party from which they had greatly benefited.” He wished former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and oth-

er members who recently defected to the APC well and prayed that they find it in their hearts to accord the PDP due recognition someday because of the party’s contributions, “not only to the development of the country, but their individual political progress.” However, the APC has accused the PDP of sponsoring the sabotage of its ongoing membership registration in several states, stating that its rush to the media to condemn the process showed the ruling party as an obstacle to democracy. In a statement in Lagos yesterday, the Interim Publicity

Why Senate leadership Okah in alleged complicates defection failed jail-break – Page 3 – Page 4

Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the party had already exceeded its targeted membership drive across the country, though he did not specify the strength. Mohammed said that the PDP was engaged in a “campaign of lies against the APC membership registration.” It said “the only reason the PDP called a hurried press conference to spew out lies on another party’s membership registration is because the ruling party has seen the handwriting on the wall since the registration started, and has consequently become overtly jittery.” According to the APC, “the

Yoruba, Igbo leaders harmonise positions on confab – Page 5

PDP is wrong about its claim that the APC is engaging in phantom registration. The party should know that while anyone can manufacture numbers, no one can manufacture human beings. In the fullness of time, any party that gives a fake number of its membership will get its comeuppance.” The party further asked the PDP to stop sabotaging its exercise “by sponsoring attacks on registration officials and hijacking registration materials in Abia and Rivers, bribing some fifth columnists to sabotage the process in Delta, and burning down our secretariat in Gombe.”

SON institutes committee to review standards on cement –Page 20

It further denied any assistance whatsoever from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) or using any material from the commission, “except of course if the public spaces we are using for the registration are now being seen by the PDP as INEC’s property.” The interim Chairman of Jigawa State’s APC, Alhaji Badaru Abubakar, has described the alarm raised by the national leadership of the PDP over its ongoing registration as an indication that the PDP was suffering from the phobia of losing the 2015 election. He told reporters in BirninKudu after the chapter’s interim treasurer, Farouk Adamu Aliyu, registered, that only a guilty person takes to his heels even when no one is in pursuit. A group, All Progressives CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Minister, Afenifere commend work on Lagos-Ibadan expressway -Page 6


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2 Tuesday, February 11, 2014

10 Nigerian varsities shortlisted for World Bank’s projects From Nkechi Onyedika and Kanayo Umeh, Abuja

• Catholic Church seeks partnership with govt on education

EN Nigerian universities T have successfully emerged among the 18 African univer-

church and state in the affairs of education in the country. The ACE project is aimed at developing higher education to promote regional specialisation among participating universities. The successful universities were selected after their pro-

sities selected for World Banksponsored project, African Centres of Excellence (ACE). Besides, the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria has called for full partnership between the

posals were evaluated and adjudged to have met the requirements for the ACE project at the end of the Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting, held in Dakar, the Senegalese capital, on October 28, 2013. The new ACEs in Nigeria and their project titles are: University of Ibadan, Ibadan/Redeemers University, Mowe, Ogun State (African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases, ACEGID); Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (Centre for Agricultural Development and Sustainable Environment); African University of Science and Technology, Abuja (Pan-African Materials Institute (PAMI); Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (Centre of Excellence on Neglected Tropical Diseases and Forensic Biotechnology); University of Benin (Centre for Excellence in Reproductive Health and Innovation); University of Jos (Phytomedicine Research and Development, ACEPRD) and the University of Port Harcourt (ACE Centre for Oil Field Chemicals). Receiving a World Bank’s delegation in his office yesterday in Abuja, the Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, stated that the achievement was an indication that the Nigerian universities were doing well. The minister assured the World Bank’s team of Nigerian government’s commitment to the development of universities in line with global best practices. Wike also commended the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) for ensuring that the nation’s universities were shortlisted. In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of the National Uni-

versities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie, said that the project was aimed at developing higher education by promoting regional specialisation among universities and addressing common regional development challenges. He said that it was also aimed at strengthening the capacities of benefiting universities to deliver high quality training and applied research. “This is a very proud day for Nigeria. In the past five years, we have been hearing about the ranking of our universities in the world. I am insisting that I am more interested in the capacity and the capabilities of our researchers solving problems in their immediate environment,” he said. He tasked the benefitting universities to remain focused and provide what it takes to sustain the centres, stressing that first and second generation universities in the country should provide leadership in research. He assured the delegation that they have what it takes to be centres of excellence in Africa and that they could count on NUC’s support. According to the World Bank Task Team Leader on the proposed project, Mr. Andreas Blom, Nigeria is the first in the bank’s tour of seven countries because it is the largest and the most important country on the continent. “Nigeria will play the biggest role in this regional project. We have 18 countries participating in the project and Nigeria has 10 out of the 18 Africa’s centres for excellence. It is a clear demonstration of the potential and talents of Nigeria in the region.” Blom explained further that

the bank embarked on the African Centres of Excellence project for two reasons: many countries on the continent have asked for support for their higher education, and that Africa is a continent on the move with high growth rate, skills gap and need for professional human capital. He noted that the World Bank’s mission is to reduce poverty in West and Central Africa. According to the Catholic Secretariat, the church in the country is greatly disturbed that in this era of global digital transformation and educational advancement, the average Nigerian child cannot get the best educational training that will make him or her compete with his or her contemporary in any part of the world. It lamented that this was despite the availability of funds and other necessary resources at the disposal of the government and other stakeholders in the sector. In a statement yesterday in Abuja, the Director of Communications (CSN), Rev. Fr. Chris Anyanwu, noted that many parents had continued to seek qualitative education for their children outside the shores of the country, while those learning at home were at the mercy of exploitative school proprietors. Anyanwu, who observed that even this opportunity was for a privileged few, said: “For those in public schools, the children, who are in the majority, are educated at the mercy of ‘mother luck’ in spite of the huge sums of money allegedly spent by governments on these public institutions of learning. Prompted by this disturbing situation, the bishops have again decided to address this issue at their first plenary for

this year with the theme: Church/state partnership in providing quality education for Nigerian people. The ceremony is slated for March 8 – 14, 2014 at the Daughters of Divine Love Retreat and Conference Centre (DRACC), Lugbe, Abuja. The ultimate aim of the Bishops’ Conference in investigating this issue is the harnessing of all resources in collaboration between the church and the state, as well as other stakeholders with a view to salvaging the country’s education sector from its present abysmal quandary.” He recalled that in the statement issued at the end of their first plenary meeting for the year 1989, held in Lagos, the Bishops of the Catholic Church expressed grave concern at the state of education in the country as the sector was embedded in confusion in terms of policies, administration and ownership. The cleric pointed out that 25 years after, the nation’s education system was still in a quandary, despite efforts by subsequent governments and the introduction of several policies. According to him, the bishops have also chosen to organise in October this year the second national Catholic education summit. While reiterating the commitment of the church to the development of the people of the country morally, intellectually and spiritually, the bishops stated: “As religious leaders, we take the social and temporal order seriously as part and parcel of our prophetic presence. The church continues to stretch out its hands of collaboration to government in the common task of education. We demand once again the right to participate fully in the running of public schools, with firm Christian traditions.”

You are truncating democracy, APC replies PDP CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Congress Youth Frontier (APCYF), lauded APC youths for their loyalty and commitment. The zonal co-ordinator of the group, Azeez Theophilus Opeyemi, told a news conference that the large turnout of youths at the ongoing registration in Lagos was an eloquent testimony to the party’s resolve to make a change. He thanked the elders of the party for their steadfastness and urged them to lead aright, noting that with the amalgamation of progressive youths who were professionals in their various fields, the sky was the limit to the party’s envisaged achievement. Membership registration in Adamawa State has run into a problem, as the exercise was suspended in some parts of the state yesterday afternoon over alleged non-payment of officials. Some of the officials told The Guardian on the condition of anonymity that the party leadership in the state promised to pay their allowances before the exercise kicked off but that until yesterday, they had not been paid. The state started its exercise a day behind schedule due to

what some state chieftains of the party blamed on Governor Murtala Nyako and his group, headed by the interim chairman and Secretary to State Government, Mr. Kobis Ari Thanimu. The Guardian learnt that some key officials of the interim executive committee in the camps of Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd) and Marcus Gundiri might resign this week for being sidelined by Nyako and his camp. This comes as the Abia State chapter of the PDP has decried the APC’s use of schools and public buildings as its membership registration centres. The Publicity Secretary, Chief Uchechi Ogbuka, said the party was not against the registration but found “objectionable and totally unacceptable a situation where the APC goes about using public buildings and schools as centres for the exercise.” To stem this, the state Ministry of Education at the weekend commenced radio announcements against unauthorised use of schools and public property for such an exercise. Responding to the PDP’s po-

sition, Atiku challenged the party leadership to get off the moral high horse, stating that name-calling was a childish response to the crisis of confidence the ruling party was experiencing. In a statement yesterday from his media office in Abuja, the former vice president noted that it was inappropriate for the leadership of his former party to describe him as an ‘ingrate.’ He claimed that he worked hard in the formation of PDP and deserved respect and decent language from its leaders. “The personal insults in the PDP statement succeeded in doing just one thing, which is to depict its managers as childish, petulant, and above all, incompetent. They confirm the notion on the part of many that they don’t have what it takes to live up to their ‘sacred’ mandate. “But I challenge anyone of them to show their contribution except looting the Nigerian treasury. Those who wrap themselves in the PDP banner should at least recognise and respect those of us who made today’s debates possible,” Atiku said. Meanwhile, Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi yesterday formalised his

defection by registering as a card-carrying member of the APC in Port Harcourt, claiming that the party was out to save the country from PDP, curb corruption, revive the ailing economy and create employment opportunities. Amaechi registered at Ward 8, Unit 14 in his native Ubima in Ikwerre Local Council of Rivers State alongside his wife, Judith. But the PDP has described the APC’s extension of its registration by two days as an indication that “Nigerians have rejected the party” and were “not fooled in spite of attempts to hoodwink the people, undermine the electoral process and coax unsuspecting Nigerians by portraying the exercise as INEC voters’ registration.” According to Metuh, “this is the first sign of rejection for the boastful APC. It is a clear indication that the party is neither on ground nor does it command the followership it claims.” The PDP advised the APC to learn to be humble, noting that arrogance and pride, which are its hallmarks, have set it on an irreversible downfall well ahead of the general elections. CONTINUED ON PAGE 4


Tuesday, February 11, 2014 | 3

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

News Fashola seeks probe of alleged missing funds By Kamal Tayo Oropo OVERNOR Babatunde G Fashola of Lagos State yesterday said the issue of alleged missing funds in the country should be properly investigated, noting that “one could imagine what such funds would have done in boosting security.” This came as the Lebanese community in Nigeria presented N80 million cheque and trucks worth N20 million to the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), to improve security in the state. Fashola, who stated this during a courtesy visit by the Lebanese community led by the Consul General of Lebanon in Nigeria, Dima Haddad, at the State House, Alausa, added: “The tragedy of our nation is that while we are debating whether we have accounted for $20 or $10 billion or not, ordinary citizens are contributing to fund the responsibility of government.

Civil society groups seek information over NDDC’s debt From Anietie Akpan (Calabar) and Chijioke Nelson (Lagos) HE recent revelation of N1 T trillion debt obligation accumulated by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) may have provoked reactions from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the country which have evoked the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act for full disclosures. Also, the persistent excuses of the Federal Government for the high recurrent expenditure profile in the yearly fiscal plan and rising debt stockpile heaped on workers’ salaries and emoluments have necessitated the

call for full information, including the assessed high personnel cost in the budget. Recently, the Chairman of NDDC, Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw, said that the commission owed its contractors about N1 trillion, but added that only contractors whose jobs meet completion specifications will be paid. He also said that despite the huge debt, the commission would not hesitate to embark on legacy projects that fit into the transformation agenda of the present administration, even as he recalled the President’s advice not to award new contracts until all the existing

ones are completed to avoid abandoned projects. Also recently, the Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said: “People want increased salaries and employment from government. But how did we get to where we are today? In 2010, we had 53 per cent increase in expenditure associated with salaries alone. How many countries can you see make such increase? “Yet, people seem to be oblivious of its implications and nobody said it was unacceptably high. In an effort to make up for the 53 per cent increase in 2010, our domes-

tic debts increased sharply. We floated bonds, which ordinarily we shouldn’t have done. I want the media and everybody to know that the rise in debts was from 2010 and not from any other time.” Leading other CSOs on the call is the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), in separate letters titled: “FOI Request: NDDC Owes Contractors Over N1 Trillion” and “Request For the Details of Salaries and Emoluments of Civil Servants as Distinct from that of Political Office Holders,” to the Managing Director of NDDC and Minister of Finance respectively.

Kwara Speaker charges monarchs on peace From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin RADITIONAL rulers in Kwara State have been urged to continue to encourage peaceful co-existence among their people towards sustaining the appellation of the state as a state of harmony. Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Razak Atunwa, said this yesterday at Kaiama while paying homage to the Emir of Kaiama, Alhaji Muazu Shehu Omar Bagidi Kiyaru, in his palace. Atunwa, who attributed the peace pervading in the state to the massive support of the traditional institution to the state government, explained that meaningful transformation could only be attained in an atmosphere of peace, love and inter-communal relationship.

T

Wamakko wants all elections in one day From Eric Meya, Sokoto OVERNOR Aliyu G Magatakarda Wamakko of Sokoto State yesterday said that for the 2015 elections to be credible, all the polls should be conducted in one day. The governor, who spoke when the Ambassador of the United States of America (USA), Mr. James Entwistle, paid him a courtesy call, said if the elections were to be staggered, then, he should begin with the lowest and end with the highest position. “The practice has been to begin with the lowest, which is the State House of Assembly and end with the presidential election, which is the highest”. He stated that he did not see any reason for departure from the past by beginning the election from the highest position.

Area Manager, RCC Construction, Nader Jusef (right); Director, Highways, South-West, Federal Ministry of Works, Kabir Abdullahi; Spokesperson, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin; Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen and Afenifere chieftain, Senator Iyiola Omisore, at the minister’s working visit on rehabilitation/reconstruction and expansion of Lagos-Ibadan Dual Carriageway Section in Ogun and Oyo states…yesterday PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

The Lead Director, CSJ, Eze Onyekpere, said that the group was writing as change agents under its public finance management programme as they seek to ensure greater transparency, value for money and the rule of law in the expenditure of public funds in Nigeria. Listing the information demanded of NDDC, he said that the names, addresses, titles or designation of the companies that the commission owes about N1 trillion; the projects in respect of the debts; the extent of the work done in each project and the money so far paid for each project. Others were the remaining part of the project yet to be executed by the contractors and money owed to them; the duration of project at inception of the contract; and any variations approved in respect of any of the projects. But in the request for disclosure on civil servants’ salaries and emoluments, CSJ’s Attorney, Kingsley Nnajiaka, noted that the group was writing under the right to information guaranteed to all Nigerians by the Freedom of Information Act to request for the details of salaries and emoluments of civil servants and political office holders respectively. The request however, include the aggregate amount budgeted for civil servants as distinct from the sum voted for political office holders and as percentages of the overall personnel allocation for the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and in the 2014 budget pending for approval before the National Assembly.

Why Senate leadership complicates defection HE willingness by some T Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members at the National Assembly to defect has been with mixed experience. While those at the House of Representatives cross-carpeted with little or no resistance from the leadership of the House, it has not been same for those in the Senate. Though those in the Senate had made their intension known to its leadership, the letter containing their intent, which ought to be read on the floor to formalise the process, had not been read. This has even caused some uproar and bickering when some of the senators confrontationally demanded that the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, should read the letter containing their position on the defection, since the Senate President, who they gave the letter to, was not presiding at that sitting. Sources, however, revealed that the leadership of the Senate is dillydally in reading the letter because it fears it would empower and embold-

en the opposition to call for better accountability in the spending of the Senate, especially how the leadership of the Senate used the N60 billion allocated to it out of the N150 billion statutorily allocated to the National Assembly. This, to the sources, is why though the leadership of the Senate knew that even if the defection is completed, the ruling party would still be in the majority, it is afraid that allowing the senators to crosscarpet would trouble the peace in the Senate besides the opposition calling for more accountability from the leadership of the Senate. It was also gathered that it is the reason the Senate President initially demanded to have a meeting with the defecting senators in his office, which did not materialise, as they shunned the meeting with him after he had waited endlessly for the arrival of the lawmakers. For this reason, it was argued that there is more to it than meet the eyes. But it was learnt that the opposition and

the defecting senators are not relenting as it is perfecting strategies to outsmart the leadership of the Senate this week. The irony is that while the leadership of the Senate is feeling uncomfortable with the action of the 11 PDP senators who want to move to the opposition, as the days pass, suspicion has crept into the camp of the defecting lawmakers. Information has it that some of these senators had gone back quietly to meet the Senate

President not to read the letter as they were no longer interested in crossing over though they had initially penned their signature that they were joining the opposition party. During his interaction with journalists, giving an insight into how the issue was resolved behind closed-doors, Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Enyinnaya Abaribe, said the Parliament resolved to seek legal advice in relation to the provisions on defection in the 1999

Constitution, as well as the Standing Rules. He also added that the resolve was compelling because the Senate observed that both the defecting senators and Mark needed more time for consultation. He further argued that why issues evolving on the matter could be variously interpreted, the case of the Senate Standing Rules differs because it is only subject to the Senate President's interpretation.

Govt plans more border posts in Borno, others From Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri O check the infiltration of T illegal immigrants, the Federal Government is to set up more control posts, which will be equipped with patrol vehicles in the northeastern part of the country bordering Niger, Chad and Cameroun. This was disclosed yesterday in Maiduguri by the Borno State Comptroller of Immigration Services, Alhaji

Modu Musa. He added: "Insurgency in the North-East sub-region, bordering Borno State, has been facilitated with the porous nature of our border areas and lines with Chad, Niger and Cameroun, covering over 600 kilometres stretch. These border areas have also become havens for insurgents carrying out their nefarious activities on people's lives and property. As the illegal

routes had been identified by our officers, it is now for the Federal Government to move into action by establishing more control posts in this sub-region." He also noted that the existing control posts at Kirawa, Duji, Mallam Fatori, Gambouru, Banki, Damba/Masara, Baga, Danbaure, Sigal and Jilbe were inadequate to check the influx of illegal immigrants.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

4 Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Yero sets up panel on Zaria market fire From Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief OVERNOR Mukhtar RaG malan Yero of Kaduna State yesterday set up a panel to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the recent inferno at the Sabon-Gari Market in Zaria, which destroyed goods and property worth millions of naira. In a statement by his Director-General, Media and Publicity, Malam Ahmed Maiyaki, the governor expressed sadness at the inferno which burnt down several shops and affected many traders at the market, popularly known as Yan Katako Market. Yero also sympathised with victims of the unfortunate fire incident, stating: “This unfortunate fire incident is a setback, not only to the traders that have lost their belongings, but also to the government and entire people of Kaduna State because it has affected all of us.” However, he urged the victims to remain faithful to God Almighty, adding: “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those that were directly affected by the disaster, may God replenish all that they have lost.” While pledging that the state government would do all within its powers to provide assistance to the affected traders, he called on all indigenes to be proactive in disaster management and remain peaceful, law-abiding.

Okah in alleged failed jail-break ENRY Okah, who was H sentenced in South Africa to 24 years on terrorism charges, has allegedly been caught in a failed jailbreak attempt, according to prison authorities. “I can confirm that Okah is one of the five inmates that

attempted to escape and whose efforts were foiled,” Manelisi Wolela, spokesman for South Africa’s Department of Correctional Services, told Agence France Presse (AFP). He did not give details of the attempted escape from

Leeukop Prison in northern Johannesburg that is said to have taken place in January. Okah was convicted last year and sentenced on 13 counts of terrorism, including twinbombings that killed 12 people in Abuja as Nigeria celebrated 50th anniversary

of its independence in 2010. He was arrested, tried and convicted in South Africa where he has permanent residency. The department said most of the offenders involved in the botched bid to escape are serving life sentences for seri-

ous offences, including murder, kidnapping and robbery. Correctional services officials said security at the prison, which recorded 11 attempted jail-breaks in the 12 months until March last year, had been tightened.

registration. Do not be deceived, stay in your houses, when we need you, we will inform you.” Besides, the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Assembly Matters, Mr. Makanjuola Ajadi, has described the chances of PDP retaining its electoral victories across the nation as “brighter than ever.” Ajadi told The Guardian yesterday in Ilorin, Kwara State, that unlike some emerging parties in the country, PDP was not a product of any accident. According to him, “the beauty of democracy is the

existence of opposition to constructively criticise the ruling party.” In that vein, PDP members in the state yesterday declared their intention to control the state in 2015 elections despite the recent defections of some of its members to the APC. At a rally in Ilorin, supporters invoked the spirit of the state’s late political giant, Dr. Olusola Saraki, noting that he would not have opposed the move by Jonathan to run for second term in office. Led by his daughter, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, they said they would stand by Jonathan and prove to political analysts that “no matter the calibre of those who might have defected from the PDP, the party still holds the ace in the state’s politics.” Gbemisola said her father allied with the defunct Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) “when some elements within the PDP decided to shut us out of the party, but today they are out of the party and freedom of expression has returned.” She described as hypocritical the alleged reconciliation between her father and some of PDP members in the state before his death, as “those who came back to beg my father did not follow the terms of the agreement.”

APC says it exceeded membership target CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 Metuh said the PDP would not in any way cheapen its sacred mandate by joining in political mudslinging, adding that the private sector had been immensely successful in the past two years under its administration due to the “continued implementation of its manifesto and policies, and adherence to its ideology of transfer of wealth from public institutions to the private sector. “It is on record that under this administration, more small and medium businesses have sprung up across the country in the last two years.” He stressed that the revolution in the manufacturing sector under the PDP-led Federal Government would generate massive employment and guarantee technology transfer, and as well bring about a reduction in cost, increase in ancillary investment opportunities and boost medium- and smallscale enterprises. Apparently aligning himself with the position of the PDP, former Governor of Kano State, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, yesterday reviewed recent events in his former party, the APC, and described it as a political fraud. Shekarau, who spoke while officially announcing his

membership of the PDP in Abuja, lamented the absence of party leadership structure in the APC at local and state levels, pointing out that efforts at installing such local structures had been frustrated by persons who were bent on imposing themselves as leaders of the party. On his party, the PDP National Auditor, Adeyanju Adewole, alleged yesterday that the governors of APC-controlled states were coercing civil servants in their domains to partake in the ongoing registration, stating that it was the reason the exercise was extended by two working

days. Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State has urged PDP members in the state to support the party and ignore all the manipulations of the “one-man political party,” APC. Suswam said yesterday that “the whole party belongs to one man and the leader of the party in Benue cannot take any single decision, he runs to Tinubu in Lagos for consultation on everything about the party in the state. “Today, they are shopping for membership in the state, deceiving people that it is Sure-P or INEC voters’ card

‘Ogiadomhe resigned not sacked’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 letter this morning (yesterday) and he says he wishes to pursue other political necessities within our great party. “You will recall that about two weeks ago before the President travelled to Ethiopia, he had announced in the council that if there was any member of the cabinet or any major political appointee who wants to pursue some political endeavours, as he had been hearing rumours that some people wanted to pursue some other political interests in whatever capacity, that if such people were going to be engaged heavily in political activities, they should let him know and if they saw that they were go-

ing to be really busy that it would occupy their times, ordinarily then they should please step aside or let him know, or they should come and see him for discussion. It happened on the open floor of the council. “And you can see what I have pointed out as the reason for the chief of staff’s resignation. It is in line with that. So, we find the speculation, particularly by some of the online platforms as callous and completely unreasonable, considering that this is the man who has served and who has given time and energy to the pursuit of the good interest of our country. “The President appreciates his contributions and he would like to put on record

that indeed, he was a man who discharged his responsibilities diligently and the country is very grateful to him and the President personally would like to wish him well in his future endeavours.” The Guardian gathered last night that the presidential policy reform that triggered the resignation of the Chief of Staff last night may lead to major “resignations” in the presidential bureaucracy soon. It was also learnt last night that the President organised the soft-landing tagged “resignation” to pursue political career. There had been speculations since early 2012 that a private broadcast media mogul from Edo State might replace the Chief of Staff.

Why we can’t provide information on schools, Lagos tells court By Joseph Onyekwere HE Lagos State GovernT ment yesterday told a Federal High Court, Lagos, why it cannot provide information and documents relating to spendings on certain projects in the education sector in the past five years. A group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), had sued the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola and the State Attorney-General, Adetoro Ipaye, challenging their refusal to make available the information, which was sought for in accordance with the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act. The matter is before Justice Saliu Saidu. But Lagos State, in a counteraffidavit to the suit, argued that the FoI being a legislation of the National Assembly is only applicable in relation to public records of government of the federation and not of the states. In the counter-affidavit, which was deposed to by Toluwanimi Odupitan, a counsel in the Civil Litigation Department of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, the state

government reiterated the fact that Nigeria is a federation, and that the power to make laws on public records had been concurrently shared between the National Assembly and the State House of Assembly in their respective sphere of jurisdiction. The state government further contended that the FoI was not applicable to the records of states in the federation so far the states have not enacted same as laws vide their respective House of Assembly. “The public records of Lagos State Government are generated and kept by various Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Personnel of the State Government in execution of their functions and responsibility in the service of the state. “Such state government agencies and personnel are statutorily created or regulated by laws of the State House of Assembly and the handling of public records has serious security implications, which are routinely handled by rules established by the state government,” Odupitan stated. SERAP, in the matter, is seeking an order to compel the de-

fendants to release to it information relating to how the government spent the $90 million loan allegedly obtained from the World Bank to improve education in the state’s public secondary schools. It also seeks an order of mandamus compelling the governor “to rescind the suspension of anyone, including principals of any of the schools, for blowing the whistle or allowing journalists to cover the decayed infrastructure across primary and secondary schools in Lagos State.” The plaintiff, through its counsel, Oyindamola Musa, had stated in the affidavit in support of the suit that it resorted to filing the legal action following the refusal of the defendants to honour its letter dated December 1, 2013, requesting the information. It asks the court to determine “whether by virtue of the provision of Section 4(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the first defendant (the governor) is under an obligation to provide the plaintiff with the information requested for?” The matter has been adjourned to March 20, 2014 for hearing.

Jigawa digitalises Koranic recitation contest From John Akubo, Dutse HE Jigawa State GovernT ment, which won the hosting right of the 28th edition of the National Koranic Recitation Competition, has digitalised the process to make it less cumbersome. The chairman of the local organizing committee for the event, Prof. Haruna Wakili, made the disclosure yesterday while briefing newsmen on the modalities for the competition. The chairman, who is also the Commissioner for Education, explained: “One very significant aspect is the fact that for the first time, the process is computerised and the bill was shouldered by Jigawa State government while the Othman Danfodio University Centre for Islamic Studies hired an expert in ICT to come up with the software for computerising the process. “So, for the first time in history of the competition, Jigawa has championed its computerisation.” He said that after the competition, subsequent editions would now make use of the equipment, noting that Jigawa State has simply added value to the process.


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Edo senator hopeful of re-election, APC aspirants differ

Nasarawa employs 1,470 youths

From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City SENATOrIAL aspirant under the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, now All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo Central Senatorial District, Theophilus Okoh, yesterday vowed to ensure victory for the party in the district just as the incumbent senator for the zone, Odion Ugbesia, elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) insists his return to the red chamber is assured. Speaking with newsmen in Benin City, Okoh attributed the party’s loss in the last National Assembly election to internal wrangling within the party. Okoh also expressed reservations on the INEC 2015 timetable. “My fear for this time table is that if anything goes wrong with the presidential election it will have bandwagon effect on other elections. We have seen this kind of a thing before, am not comfortable with it.”

N a deliberate job creation Iernor, policy, Nasarawa State govTanko Al-Makura, has

From Msugh Ityokura, Lafia

A

Managing Director/CEO, PRM Africa, Mike Dada (left); Director, Brand Communication and Sponsorship, AFRIMA (All Africa Music Awards), Mallou Tsotetsi; Secretary to the Government of the Federation of Nigeria, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim and Chairman, Security and Protocol Committee, AFRIMA, Marlyn Ogar, during a meeting in Abuja on the hosting of AFRIMA in Nigeria.

taken 1,470 youths off the streets, training them as traffic marshals, sanitary inspectors and community watchers at the state National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp in Keffi. At the graduation ceremony of the youths, Al-Makura assured that more of such employment programmes would continue in keeping with the economic policies of his administration. Al-Makura said to ensure sustainable human development and create employment opportunities for the youth, government has introduced various youth empowerment programmes in the state in the past three years. It is in this direction that he noted that one thousand youths had been trained in various skills and had graduated in December 2013. The trainees were provided with equipment worth N10 million to enable them set up their entrepreneurial and other business ventures for selfemployment.

Yoruba, Igbo leaders harmonise positions on confab From Tunji Omofoye, Osogbo and Lawrence Njoku, Enugu VEN as the days of the E planned national conference is drawing near, various ethnic groups have been meeting to articulate and fine-tune their positions. The Yoruba ethnic nationality met yesterday at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade in Ile-Ife, Osun State and resolved to demand regional autonomy from the Nigeria federation for the South West zone. Besides, people from the zone would also seek for devolution of power with each state having its own constitution and control of the existing local councils under it. This was part of the decisions reached yesterday at the end of a meeting by traditional rulers and Yoruba leaders of thought. Also, there are strong indications that Ndigbo may rely on submissions made to past conferences held in the country to formulate its position for the proposed national conference, just as a four-member committee headed by former Governor, Okwesilieze Nwodo was set up to harmonize the Igbo position. This position, The Guardian gathered, is contained in Igbo memorandum to the national constitutional conference commission of 1994/95; the 2005 National Political reforms Conference as well as the submission to the 2012 National Assembly Committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution. Secretary of the Yoruba Agenda Conference, Dr. Kunle Olajide, who read the communiqué of the meeting to newsmen said the Yoruba would be seeking regional autonomy to enable people from the zone realize their full potential within the context of the federation of Nigeria. Olajide said the Yoruba expect people from other zones to buy into the idea, saying doing so would enhance rapid development of the

• S’ West seeks regional autonomy, devolution of power • East may adopt past submissions regions and the Nigeria federation at large. He said the Yoruba would fully participate in the conference, maintaining that the 15 delegates allocated to the zone would be selected from various socio-cultural organisations in the area. According to Olajide, under the regional arrangement, the six existing states in the South West would have their own separate constitution and operate freely under the context of the federation of Nigeria. Olajide applauded the Owa Obokun Adimula of Ijesaland, Oba Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran, who attended the meeting for the first time, noting that his presence serves as a boost and an indication of general consensus reached at the meeting. Chairman, Presidential Committee on National Conference, Senator Femi Okunrounmu, urged South West monarchs and Yoruba opinion leaders to perfect their strategies by selecting competent delegates. Okunrounmu revealed that the take-off time of the conference would be announced by the president from February 20 and advised that efforts should be made to select delegates who are experienced, committed and those capable of networking with delegates from other zones to enhance easy acceptability of their position. He stated that though 15 delegates had been allocated to the South West as participants during the conference, Okunrounmu advised that they should ensure they get additional delegates from a list reserved for elders, retired public servants and professional bodies to widen the scope of representation. According to Okunrounmu, 37 elder statesmen, one from each state and the Federal

Capital Territory (FCT) and two traditional leaders from each geo-political zone would be selected to participate at the conference. He said the Yoruba must regard the conference as an important matter, adding that they must do their homework well by ensuring that delegates from the zone maintain unity of purpose while presenting the position of the people from the area in order to avoid mistakes of the past. Okunrounmu said the Yoruba must rise up to the challenge of using the conference platform to re-enact themselves and occupy their rightful position in the country. His words, “My advice is that we should ensure we select delegates who are not only ready to go for the conference but those who will sacrifice their time and energy to defend the Yoruba cause. Those representing us at the conference should have flexible mind and should be able to interact and network with delegates from other zones to ensure that our position scale through easily at the conference.” Chairman of the meeting, retired Anglican cleric, Bishop Emmanuel Bolanle Gbonigi, said the Yoruba must work assiduously to achieve unity of purpose during the conference. Gbonigi said the meeting should ensure accommodation of views submitted by various socio-cultural groups and to avoid unnecessary controversy that might slow down the work of the committee. He added, “Our leaders and delegates selected to the conference must see the assignment as crucial.  They must speak with unity, love and place the interest of Yoruba above personal consideration.” The cleric, who noted that the

Yoruba have always been in forefront of development urged delegates selected to exhibit courage and work with tenacity of purpose to achieve the desired result. He expressed delight on the impressive turnout during previous meetings held to fashion way out for the conference. He also enjoined participants to be conscious of the devices of the devil to cause distraction and confusion. Dignitaries present at the meeting included the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, the Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran, National Chairman of Afenifere, Chief reuben Fasoranti, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, Chief Olu Falae, Dr. Kunle Olajide, Professor Muib Opeloye, Professor Ope Adekunle and Chief Ishola Awoturebo. Others were Senator Anthony Adefuye, Mr. Akin Osuntokun, Mr. Jide Adeniji, Tokunbo Ajasin, the Oludo of Ido Osun, Oba Adedapo Aderemi, representatives of Yoruba from Kwara, Kogi and Plateau states and leaders of various socio-cultural associations. At an enlarged meeting of Ohanaeze Ndigbo held at its secretariat in Enugu and attended by various Igbo organisations, they stated that reliance on such positions had become necessary “since the issues raised in them have not been addressed.” President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Enwo Igariwey, who addressed reporters at the end of the meeting, stated that the documents could not be discarded for new positions “because they were produced by our best hands and the base issues are identical.”

He stated that they resolved that the committee, which has four days to conclude its work, shall articulate other major positions held by Igbo groups on the conference. At the meeting held at the secretariat of Ohanaeze Ndigbo were representatives of the Prof. Ben Nwabueze-led Concerned Igbo Leaders of Thought, the former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwuemeled South East Peoples Assembly, the former Senate President, Ken Nnamani-led

South East Peoples Development Association (SEPDA), South East Economic Summit Group, Aka Ikenga, Igbo World Assembly, Igbo Women Assembly, Umuada Igbo, traditional rulers among others. Igariwey said the idea of the enlarged meeting was to present a uniform position for Ndigbo as done when the Presidential Advisory Committee (PAC) on the conference visited the South East.


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6 NEWS Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fulani leader wants more grazing reserves created

Oduah denies removal of SSS from airports From Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos

FULANI leader, Alhaju A Abdulkadir Salihu, has appealed to the Federal

INISTER of Aviation, M Stella Oduah, has denied allegation that the

Government to create more grazing reserves across the country to curb the incessant clashes between farmers and Fulani herdsmen. Salihu made the call yesterday when he received members of the 2014 Press Week Committee of the Kwara State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). The Fulani leader, who is also the National President, Jamu Nati Fulbe Association of Nigeria, said the perceived neglect of Fulani pastoralists had widened the gap between them. Salihu said the appeal was necessitated by the need to reduce the danger posed by the conflict between the two groups as well as economic losses.

UPN allays fear over delay in registration By Abiodun Fanoro HE Unity Party of Nigeria T (UPN) has re-assured its members in Ekiti and Osun states that the party would participate in the governorship elections scheduled for the two states this year, regardless of the fact that the party is still awaiting registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Bari Adedeji Salau, said it had fulfilled all necessary requirements for registration, and expressed confidence that INEC would soon register the party without further delay to enable it participate in the elections in the two states

Former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa (left); former Governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau and Chairman of the occasion, Chief Mike PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY-ELUKPO Ahamba, at the declaration of Shekarau for People’s Democratic Party in Abuja…yesterday.

Minister, Afenifere commend work on Lagos-Ibadan expressway By Seye Olumide INISTER of Works, Mike M Onolememen and the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, have expressed satisfaction with the ongoing repairs and expansion of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, urging Nigerians to dismiss negative publications on the project. Speaking during the inspec-

• Govt rules out concession tion of the project being carried out by RCCG and Julius Berger yesterday, Onolememen said the high level of criticism and propaganda in respect of the road has compelled the Ministry of Works, in conjunction with Afenifere, whose concern happens to be one of the factors that hasten the repairs and reconstruction, to carry out the inspection. “I must say that President Goodluck Jonathan is committed to the project and so far, the job done on both ends, from Lagos to Shagamu and Shagamu Interchange to Ibadan, has been satisfactory. The project is going on in line with the Federal Government specification and aspirations,” the minister said. He disclosed that the Federal Government has secured Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to fund the project. “This is very common in the United States and we are introducing it here under this project to make it faster,” Onolememen said. He debunked rumour

that the road is to be concessioned, saying: “Federal Government has no plan to concession the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway because we took it away from a failed concession.” He also said that government is committed to completing the project within the stipulated time. Onolememen, who estimated the contract figure to be N167 billion, said “there has not been revision of the project contrary to what propagandists are feeding the public,” adding that the Federal Government, in demonstration of good faith, is putting out N50 billion, N25 billion this year and N25 billion in 2015. If you look at both the main budget and the SURE-P budget, the N25 billion is secured. “This road would be completed within four years without any delay. I repeat, this road will never been concessioned, it will never be concessioned to anybody.” Speaking on behalf of Afenifere, the National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin,

commended President Jonathan over the project and for the progress so far made on the road. “Having gone round and seen the level of work done on the road, we, in Afenifere, say we are satisfied. We are also using this opportunity to commend the Federal Government and the contractors handling the project. We read in the newspapers all sorts of negative articles written on the road, but we have seen what is on ground. “We have seen the model of other roads, at the end, most of them do not last long, but having seen this model, we know that it will last long. That is why we are using this opportunity to commend the government for the ongoing reconstruction,” Odumakin said. He appealed to road users to bear with the government and the contractors on the inconvenience the ongoing reconstruction might cause. “We also want to appeal to the contractor to work with relevant agencies to minimise the pains that people suffer while this road is being reconstructed.”

State Security Service (SSS) officers have been removed from all the airports in the country. Meanwhile, the minister has given the contractor handling the Yakubu Gowon Airport terminal 30 days to complete the job. The airport is one of those slated for remodeling. Most airports have finished the remodeling. She spoke yesterday at the Yakubu Gowon Airport where she inspected the level of work so far carried out at the airport. During a courtesy visit to Plateau State Governor Jonah David Jang at the Governor’s Lodge and office, Oduah said the rumour being peddled that the SSS officers have been withdrawn from the airports in the country is “absolutely untrue.” She added that “the SSS personnel have come to stay and there is no reason to withdraw them from the airport terminals.” Although the minister said that the Jos airport ought to have been completed by now, she was however satisfied with the quality of work at the terminal, urging the contractor to finish up within 30 days or face the consequences. Oduah moved from the airport, about 40 minutes drive to town, to pay a courtesy call on Jang where she told the governor that out of the 16 airports in the country, Jos airport has been chosen as a cargo airport for fresh goods for export. The governor expressed happiness and appreciation to the President for choosing Jos Airport as the cargo airport out of the 16 airports in the country. Governor Jang who said he was not indicting his colleagues for sharing money to school pupils, added that politicians should stop playing politics with the future of the young generations.

Afe Babalola laments manpower shortage, poor pay in police From Muyiwa Adeyemi (Head South West Bureau, Ado Ekiti) OR the Nigeria Police to Fproperty effectively secure lives and of the citizenry as the country prepares for general elections, there is need to increase its manpower and ensure constant training in the art of modern policing. This was the position of the legal icon, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), who decried the paucity of manpower in the Nigerian Police. According to him, inadequate manpower is responsible for the loopholes in the country’s policing system and rising criminal activities in the society. Babalola spoke yesterday at the commencement of a oneweek maiden certificate programme in Social Justice organised for selected security agencies across the country by

the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD). According to the senior lawyer, the certificate programme is an off-shoot of the Bachelor Degree in Social Justice that would soon kick off in ABUAD, as the school has secured the requisite accreditation from the Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC) to run the course. “The Nigeria Police, as of today, has not been able to meet the United Nations manpower standard which prescribes that an officer should police 400 citizens. The total number of police personnel in Nigeria is not more than 370,000. How can they adequately police a country that has a population of about 160 million people? Therefore, there is need to employ more hands to boost the strength of the Nigeria Police,” he said.

Babalola, who lauded the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd) and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, for sponsoring the programme, said it would improve the competence and skills as well as academic attainments of the men of the Nigeria Police. He urged the Federal Government to address the poor welfare, poor remuneration and lack of logistics that have been hindering the proficiency of the police. “It is a known fact that the personnel of the Nigeria Police are poorly paid than any other police personnel in Africa. Because of this poor remuneration, police find it difficult to compete favourably with other organisations at the employment market. Therefore the intellectual

quality of some personnel of the Nigeria Police leaves much to be desired,” he said. The Minister of Police Affairs, who was represented by Alhaji Yakubu Mohammed from the ministry, described the programme as a unique multidisciplinary one that would further expose his men to modern policing system and how to be civil in the discharge of their duties. Governor Kayode Fayemi, who was represented by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Wale Fapohunda, said the promulgation of the Child Right Act, Gender based Violence Prohibition Law and Equal Opportunities Law by the government are targeted at entrenching social justice in the state.


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Activists remember Ransome-Kuti, urge better governance By Kamal Tayo Oropo and Tunde Akinola UMAN rights activists H have urged stakeholders in the proposed national conference project to insist on dialogue that will address all germane issues and which outcome will produce a new constitution that will only be subjected to a referendum. This call was made in Lagos yesterday during the eighth anniversary of the death of freedom fighter, Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti, organised by the Campaign for Democracy (CD). Addressing participants at the Ransome-Kuti’s cenotaph, CD President, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, urged human rights activists in the country to rededicate their lives to the emancipation of humanity so as to sustain Beko’s legacy. “This is the best we can do to the memory of Dr. Ransome-Kuti who taught us to insist on only the best for our country,” she said. Also speaking at another event in Lagos to commemorate Ransome-Kuti’s death, organised by Campaign Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), its Project Chairman, Debo Adeniran, lamented the manner in which the country is being managed since the advent of democracy in 1999, saying that democracy has brought nothing good but untold hardship to the people. Okei-Odumakin said Ransome-Kuti wanted Nigeria to have a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) to address the “multifarious issues that have made the country to lie prostrate at the intensive care unit. Though what is being offered at the moment is not a SNC but the pragmatic Beko, if he were alive will start from what is available to what is desirable and it is in his footsteps that we have accepted the idea of a national conference, but we insist there must be no no-goareas.” She added that RansomeKuti devoted the better part

of his years to serving worthy causes for the promotion of human dignity, defense of human rights and pro-democracy activities in Nigeria. Present at the event were former military governor of Lagos State, Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu; Dr. Ransome-Kuti’s daughter, Nike; his widow, Abosede; National Information Officer, United Nations Information Centre, Oluseyi Soremekun; Femi Aborisade, Ayodele Akele, among others. Adeniran said the greatest tribute the people can pay to the memory of RansomeKuti is “to destroy the powerbase of the political buccaneers of Nigeria and make it impossible for them to flaunt their ill-gotten wealth in our desperate faces. We seize this opportunity to call on all Nigerians of means and conscience to actively support us in this noble agenda.”

A cross-section of Catholic Knights of Saint Mulumba (KSM) during their third degree investiture in Abuja on Saturday night.

MASSOB launches number plate to identify Biafrans From Lawrence Njoku, Enugu HE Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has called on all Igbo to see the new Biafra number plate as their identity and one of the criteria for them to achieve freedom. Leader of the group, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, made the call yesterday in Nsukka during the launch of MASSOB number plates for motorcyclists in Nsukka region. Represented by Aba Regional Administrator of MASSOB, Larry Odimma, he enjoined members, who own motorcycles not to be afraid of purchasing the number plates, stressing that they would not be committing any offence doing so.

T

“The number plate is aimed at identifying Biafrans and forestalling criminal activities among people who hide under our name to perpetrate evil”, he said. Uwazurike added that the number-plate would be sold to people with unquestionable character in the region, just as he commended the freedom being enjoyed by his members in the state. “The national leadership of MASSOB applaud the freedom being enjoyed here in Enugu State, unlike what we witness in places like Aba, Ontisha and Umuahia where our members are constantly being harassed by security agents,” he said. He urged for continuity of peace and harmony in the conduct of activities of the

group in the state. Regional Administrator of Nsukka, Mr. Kenneth Okwudili, said the region expects its members who share in the dream of MASSOB to comply and get their number-plates, adding that since the creation of Nsukka into a region in 2010, they have sustained the struggle of MASSOB and the launch of the number-plate was part of their contributions to the sustenance and struggle of

the actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra. ‘MASSOB members will continue to partner and support the ideas of the Joshua of our time, Chief. Dr. Ralph Uwazuruike, in his course of maintaining non-violent approach in actualising Biafra’, he said. The high point of the event was the inspection of guard of honour and sale of the MASSOB number-plates at N1,500.

Court issues warrant against oil marketer in subsidy fraud trial By Bertram Nwannekanma OR continuously absentFalleged ing himself from trial over N979.6 million fuel subsidy fraud, a Lagos High Court in Ikeja  yesterday issued a bench warrant against an oil marketer, Mr. Oluwaseun Ogunbambo. The oil marketer and Habila Theck were arraigned alongside their firm, Fargo Energy Limited, on July 31, 2012, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged N979.6 million fuel subsidy scam. But trial of the accused had been stalled  several times owing to Ogunbambo’s absence in court. Consequently, the EFCC, at the last adjournment, accused Ogunbambo of footdragging in the commencement of his trial, claiming to be ill. But counsel to the oil marketer, Mr. Mobolaji Akintunde, had informed the court that his client sustained a spinal cord injury after falling from a bathtub. Akintunde also  told the court that Ogunbambo is currently receiving treatment at the Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Yaba, Lagos, and presented a medical report signed by one Brig.-Gen. J.A. Aremu (rtd) to

back up his claim, to which Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo ruled that the authenticity of the medical report should be verified. However, EFCC counsel, Emmanuel Jackson, yesterday told the court that though the medical report had been verified to be authentic, nothing in the report suggests that the oil marketer is not fit to continue with his trial in court. According to the counsel, since the defendant is not on admission in the hospital and could move from his house in Ikoyi to attend hospital in Yaba, he could as well attend court for his trial. He alleged that the claim of inability to attend court is a trick by Ogunbambo to further stall his trial, urging the court to disregard the document, or in the alternative, order that Ogunbambo subject himself to an independent medical examination to verify the genuineness of his claim. Consequently, Justice Onigbanjo, in his short ruling on the arguments of both prosecution and defence counsel, issued a bench warrant against the marketer and ordered the EFCC to execute it. Further hearing was adjourned till April 10, 2014.

Eight countries to participate in Enugu trade fair From Lawrence Njoku, Enugu IGHT foreign countries E have indicated interest to participate in the 25th Enugu International Trade Fair scheduled to begin on March 28 this year. President of the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), Dr. Ifeanyi Okoye, who announced this in Enugu, named the countries as Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, China, South Africa, Ghana and Togo. He expressed the hope that more would indicate interest before the event kicks off. The fair, with the theme: “Increasing Competitiveness of Nigerian Products in the Global Market”, would be declared open by President Goodluck Jonathan and would also attract participation from various corporate organisations within the country.

Delta ethnic groups back Uduaghan for Senate From Chido Okafor, Warri HE senatorial ambition of T Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan appears to be gathering momentum as representatives of the three ethnic nationalities that make up the Delta-South Senatorial District, namely: Ijaw, Isoko and Itsekiri, threw their weight behind his aspiration. At an extra-ordinary general meeting in Warri organised by the Stabilising Factor, a campaign organisation working towards the success of Uduaghan’s senatorial ambition, the General-Coordinator, Victor Agbateyiniro, said they decided to endorse Uduaghan after considering his performance and the three-point development agenda. According to the group, the several awards and laurels won by the governor were “eloquent testimony of how he has perfectly steered the ship of Delta State well to the admiration of all since his assumption of office on May 29, 2007”.


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PHOTONEWS

Divisional Head, Public Sector, Diamond Bank Plc, Sujiyanu Garba (left); Executive Director, North Business, Diamond Bank, Oladele Akinyemi, presenting the keys to a new 18-seater bus to the Director General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig. Gen Johnson Bamidele Olawunmi and Finance and Account Officer, NYSC, Mrs. O.A. Erukwu in Abuja. PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY ELUKPO

Director, Middle East and Africa, Mondelēz International (parent company of Cadbury Nigeria Plc), James Cordahi (left); Corporate and Government Affairs Manager (West Africa) Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Bala Yesufu and Director General, National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Botwen Orhii, at the reception held for the DG on his re-appointment in Lagos.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (middle), flanked by the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Olusola Oworu (left), President, Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote (2nd left), Oba Alara of Ilara, Oba Akeem Adesanya (2nd right) and the Oba Aladeshonyin of Noforija, Oba Babatunde Ogunlaja (right) during the formal introduction ceremony of Dangote Refinery and Fertilizer project to the host community at the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Akodo, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos

Coordinator, Centenary Lapel Committee, Chuks Chilaka (left); The Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Osita Chidoka and Florence Abhulimen, during the decoration of the Corps Marshal with the centenary lapel in Abuja.

Member, Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee, Sherifat Lawal (left) and Phlebotomist, Lagos State Blood Transfusion Services, Oyewole Abolade attending to the Chief Executive Officer of Chellarams Plc, Aditya Chellaram, after he donated blood during the blood donation campaign organised by Chellarams Plc, Lagos State Blood Transfusion Services and Rotary Club in Lagos.

Chief Sales Officer, EMEA and Americas, Grohe Brand, Michael Rauterkns (left); Regional Public Relations and Communications Manager, Grohe, Lina Varymiditou and General Manager/President, Grohe Middle East and Africa, Simon Shaya, during the Grohe press briefing in Lagos… yesterday PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU

EMEIA Tax Leader, Ernst & Young, Stephan Kuhn (left); Executive Director, Toyota, Kunle Ade-Ojo; Tax Leader for West Africa, Ernst & Young, Abass Adeniji and ASA Tax Leader, Ernst & Young, James Deiotte, at a dinner outing in honour of the visiting Ernst & Young EMEIA & ASA Tax Leaders to Nigeria in Lagos.

Manager/Regional Operations Champion, Lagos-South/West Region, Feyintola Mustapha; Financial Director, Shoprite Retail Supermarkets (Nigeria), Mubanga Muche and Sales and Distribution Executive, MTN, ‘Tsola Barrow, during the launch of MTN-Shoprite Partnership at Shoprite Supermarket on Victoria Island, Lagos.


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WorldReport Congo militia leader ordered rapes, massacres, say prosecutors Congolese militia leader A widely known as “the Terminator” led fighters, including child soldiers, in a campaign of ethnically-motivated rape and murder, the International Criminal Court was told yesterday. Prosecutors told judges that Bosco Ntaganda had committed the crimes while leading fighters of Hema ethnicity to drive ethnic Lendus out of the mineral-rich Ituri region in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo over a decade ago. The allegations against Ntaganda were made at the opening of hearings seen as a test for the global legal institution after a string of troubled cases. Ntaganda could face life imprisonment if convicted and has yet to enter a plea. “He played a key role in planning assaults against the civilian population in order to gain territory,” Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told judges who will decide if there is enough evidence for Ntaganda to stand trial. Ntaganda, who commanded the United of Congolese Patriots (UPC) militia, had

“failed to prevent or punish crimes by troops under his effective command or control,” she said. But defense lawyers responded that the Ituri conflict had not had the ethnic character prosecutors were ascribing to it. “The UPC was not a Hema militia - several commanders belonged to other ethnic groups, including those who took part in the events that form the basis for the charges today,” said defense lawyer Marc Desalliers. “The person before you is not Hema, and nor is he from the Ituri region. He grew up in the North Kivu province, he belongs to the Tutsi ethnic group,” Desalliers said. Ntaganda is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes including murder and rape, all allegedly committed during a 2002-03 conflict in the east of the country. “Victims were killed by bullets, by arrows, by nail-studded sticks,” said Dmytro Surprun, a lawyer representing victims of the alleged crimes. “Most of them were mutilated, some were decapitated, and their head borne as a trophy.”

Iraq militants ‘killed by own bomb’ T least 21 insurgents have been killed in central Iraq A after a car bomb was detonat-

Residents speak to a journalist in a flooded street in the village of Wraysbury in Berkshire, South East England…yesterday. Thousands of homes in southeast England were braced for flooding after the River Thames burst its banks, as a political row over the handling of devastating winter storms erupted into the open. PHOTO: AFP

Italy cautions India over marines’ trial They were eventually said, has reacted angrily to Letta tweeted that the Italian ItwoTALY an Indian decision to try allowed to return home for a Italian marines, accused four-week period to vote in government “totally rejects of killing two fishermen, under an anti-piracy law. Prime Minister, Enrico Letta said the proposal was unacceptable. “Italy and the European Union will react.” The marines, who had been guarding an Italian oil tanker, said they mistook the men for pirates when they opened fire off the Kerala coast in 2012. India’s Supreme Court has announced it will hear the case next week. The lengthy diplomatic spat began in February 2012 when Massimilian Latorre and Salvatore Girone were first detained on suspicion of murder.

the February 2013 elections. Rome initially refused to return them, arguing they should be tried in Italy because the incident took place in international waters. The marines eventually flew back to Delhi in March 2013. Italy’s deputy foreign minister, Staffan de Mistura, speaking outside the Supreme Court in Delhi yesterday, said the decision to charge the marines under the Suppression of Unlawful Acts (SUA) maritime security law was “unacceptable”. It was tantamount to labelling a friendly country and its two military representatives as “terrorists”, he

the use of the concept of terrorism”. Indian authorities had originally planned to use part of the SUA that would have brought the death penalty but said on Saturday it would use a different section that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail. Marines Latorre and Girone are currently on bail at the Italian embassy in Delhi. Italy has complained at the slow progress of the case. India says the delay is down to witnesses who were on board the ship with the marines failing to return from abroad to provide evidence.

North Korea rescinds invitation to U.S. envoy ORTH Korea has canceled N for a second time its invitation for a senior United States (US) envoy to visit the country to discuss a longdetained American’s possible release, the State Department said yesterday. The cancellation comes only days after detained American missionary, Kenneth Bae told a pro-Pyongyang newspaper that he expected to meet this month with the envoy. It signals an apparent protest of upcoming annual military drills between Washington and Seoul and an alleged mobilization of U.S. nuclear-capable B-52 bombers during training near the Korean Peninsula. North Korea calls the planned drills a rehearsal for invasion, a claim the allies deny. The State Department also said in a statement that civil rights leader, Reverend Jesse Jackson has offered to travel to North Korea at the request of Bae’s family. The State Department did not elaborate and referred questions to Jackson, whose

spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Analysts say North Korea has previously used detained Americans as leverage in its standoff with the U.S. over its nuclear and missile programs; North Korea denies this. Bae has been held in North Korea for 15 months. The North accused him of smuggling in inflammatory

literature and trying to establish a base for anti-government activities at a border city hotel. Bae was quoted last week in an interview with the Japanbased Choson Sinbo newspaper as saying that a Swedish diplomat told him the U.S. envoy on North Korean human rights issues, Bob King, would visit him as early as yesterday and no later than the end of the month.

ed by accident, reports said. They were filming a propaganda video of the would-be suicide attacker when the blast occurred, the head of the local Sunni pro-government militia in Jilam told the AFP news agency. Jilam, a farming area south of the predominantly Sunni city of Samarra, has long been an insurgent stronghold. There has been a surge in sectarian violence across Iraq in the past year, reaching levels not seen since 2007. The United Nations says at least 618 civilians and 115 members of the security forces were killed in attacks last month. However, its figures do not include casualties resulting from the continuing fighting in Anbar, where Sunni militants linked to al-Qaeda have taken control of parts of the cities of Falluja and Ramadi.

Burundi flood claims 50 lives T least 50 people are A reported to have died after floods and landslides hit the Burundi capital, Bujumbura. According to British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), it is not yet possible to give accurate figures because bodies may be hidden in the mud or under debris. One man said he had lost nine relatives. The main hospital’s morgue is full, and people are being treated outside. Water and mud flooding down from hills outside the city have washed away hundreds of houses, according to police. “The rain that fell in torrents overnight on the capital caused a disaster,” Security Minister, Gabriel Nizigama told reporters. “We have already found the bodies of 51 people killed when their houses collapsed or were swept away,” he said. The AFP news agency reports that torrential rain fell for 10 hours overnight and caused widespread power cuts. Roads and crops have also been destroyed. Bujumbura is on a plain that lies between a range of hills and Lake Tanganyika.

Tiger evades hunters, kills 10th person in India day after eluding a trap Sunday night in the forest attack the bait and left silentAset by hunters with a live outside Kalgarh village in ly.” calf as bait, a tiger prowling Reports that a killer tiger Uttarakhand state, accordnear villages in northern India killed its 10th person in six weeks. The female tiger is believed to have strayed from Jim Corbett National Park, India’s oldest national park, which was established in 1936 to provide endangered Bengal tigers with safe territory. The big cat’s latest victim was a 50-year-old man who was collecting firewood on

ing to Saket Badola, deputy director of the national park. The animal ate parts of the man’s leg and abdomen before being scared away by villagers waving shovels and metal rods. Hunters had almost nabbed the tiger a day earlier with a bovine calf. “On Saturday night the tigress almost fell in trap and was close to the calf,” Badola said. “But she did not

was on the loose began circulating December 29, when a 65-year-old man was mauled in Sambhal district of Uttar Pradesh state, across the border from Uttarakhand. Since then, thousands of terrified villagers have been told to watch out for the animal and to avoid the forests. The tiger has been on the prowl across an area spanning some 80 miles (130 kilometers).


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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12 | Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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Politics Gbemisola Saraki, Kwara opposition leaders close ranks for Jonathan From Biodun Fagbemi and Ezeocha Nzeh, Ilorin HEN Governor Abdul Fatah Ahmed of W Kwara state led his entire cabinet members to join the aggrieved G5 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC), he boasted that the PDP was dead in the State. What looked like a confirmation of that threat took place when 22 out of the 24 members of the State House of Assembly joined the governor to defect to the APC. This was followed by the defection of all the chairmen of the 16 councils in the State as well as all the five members of the House of Representatives from Kwara to the APC. In what looked like nailing the coffin of the PDP in the state, the assumed leaders of Kwara politics, former governor and now a senator representing Kwara Central, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, when he ordered his supporters in the state to declare for the opposition APC as he had begun moves along with other 11 senators to formally defect to the opposition party. But in a swift and bold move to make themselves still relevant in the politics of the state and never to be swallowed by the overwhelming political influence of Senator Bukola Saraki which he has now brought into the APC, a number of Kwara politicians who were formerly in opposition when the PDP was ruling in the State, re-grouped on Saturday to formally declare for the party and work against the APC to ensure victory for President Goodluck Jonathan in his reelection bid next year. In a mega rally held at the Arcade Santa Arena in Ilorin, under the auspices of the Gbemisola Ruqqayya Saraki (GRS) Movement and The Kwara Conscience, two major opposition leaders in the state, Senator Gbemi Saraki  of the Action Congress  Party of Nigeria (ACPN) and   Alhaji Abdul Rahman Abdul Razaq of the defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) and leaders of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and the Labour Party(LP), led their teeming supporters to declare for the PDP and pledge their loyalty and readiness to work for President Goodluck Jonathan if he chooses to seek re-election in 2015. Major opposition leaders who spoke at the rally included former governorship candidates of the

Saraki

CPC, ANPP and LP, who ran against governor Abdul Fatah Ahmed in the 2011 elections. Also present were the former deputy National Chairman of the defunct ANPP, Alhaji Abdul Wahab Femi, former ACN leader in the State, Shuaibi Olarewaju, former ACPN senatorial candidate, Lola Ashiru, former Speaker of the State House of Assembly,(1999—2003), Ezekiel Yisa Benjamin, Professor Femi Ogunsola as well as the Chairman, Federal Character Commission, Professor Oba Abdul Rahman. Addressing the huge crowd, the Convener, Gbemisola Saraki, who used the occasion to formally announce her return to the PDP, after leaving the party in 2011 to run for the position of the governor on the platform of the ACPN assured that with the return of those founding fathers who were unjustly chased out of the PDP, the party will remain a united party under a collective leadership. She stressed that the fact that the PDP is now stronger in number and spread across the State with the return of all those who had earlier left the party was due to the desire of the people of Kwara to chart a common cause, adding that the State cannot afford to drift from the center where she expressed confidence the PDP would continue to occupy. Carefully planned to coincide with the on-going nation-wide membership registration by the APC, Saraki noted “It is my pleasure to welcome our brothers and sisters who have remained steadfast in their desire to remain free, who are coming en-mass into our party the PDP, I want to assure you that in this new development, the PDP will remain a united party in Kwara under a collective leadership.   I am encouraged by the recent happenings in the PDP across the state. This is the spirit we need as we move together in unity. Every one is a stakeholder. unlike in the past, no single man or woman shall be superior to the rest of us; no individual shall appropriate the collective commonwealth to satisfy personal desire and ego. “The majority of Kwara state remains in PDP, we must therefore show our strength. We must begin to pull together and give our support to President Goodluck Jonathan. We fared better when we are part of the center. It is clear that the reason for defection by a loud few is for personal and selfish reasons. It is not about Kwarans,

Jonathan

majority of whom remain solidly committed to our part and the national leadership. “We must cooperate with the new Caretaker Committee in the State as we prepare for the congress to put in lace a formidable structure that will cut across the State. I urge all members to turn out for registration as we begin the process of harmonizing all the PDP groups in the State. Our strength lies on our unity, collectively we will rescue our State and Kwarans from the privileged few and we will establish a politics that cater to every one’s needs.” “With the recent developments in Kwara, I strongly believe that that this is the time for us to reclaim our pride. I therefore call on all Kwarans to come together and put a stop to this charade. I call especially on politicians like me to put ambitions under wrap to strengthen our party. We must be single minded, we must put the interest of the people before our individual ambition in order to safe Kwara from the hands of these few cabals.” She warned. Also the former deputy governorship candidate of the defunct CPC in the 2011 election, Sunday Fagbemi, who led a team of supporters of the leader of the Kwara Conscience Movement, Abdul Raham Abdul Razaq to defect to the PDP noted that they decided to return to the PDP because  “God in his infinite mercy has moved those criminals who chased us out of our party away.” In his speech, the former Speaker Ezekiel Yisa Benjamin assured that normalcy will return to the PDP, especially now that those major stakeholders have decided to stage a come back.  He noted that the Kwara PDP will never be threatened by the defections, stressing that their defection has proven them right that they were all selfish and never meant well for the people of the State. ‘The PDP is never threatened; you have witnessed what happened today in the rally and meeting of the new and larger PDP family. More people are now coming back to the party especially the founding members. They made it clear that they are back because those that came to snatch the party from them are gone. The population you saw today is nothing, because we controlled the number of people that attended the rally. By the grace of God, we

will be alive to see what will happen in Kwara in 2015. We are now free in the new Kwara PDP because it is a clear fact that the process that produced all these defectors was not democratic.’ “I have to correct the impression that what we have today is the coming together of aggrieved members of the PDP and APC, We have resolved now to follow the due process of democracy, where the choice of the people at primaries will emerge for all to work in unity. The era of picking a candidate single-handedly is gone for good in Kwara State because under Senator Bukola Saraki, real candidates were not given the opportunity to run for elections. We are happy he has left us to return peace to the people of Kwara.” He stated.   With the resolve of all the returnees to commence the vigorous process of  membership drive, after been disorganized by the mass defection in the State as well as their desire to use the PDP backed by federal might  to make themselves once more relevant in Kwara politics, it has become obvious that a tough battle will ensue for both the PDP and the APC in the quest to claim the state in 2015. Meanwhile a former senatorial candidate in Kwara State on the patform of the ACPN, Lola Ashiru has debunked claims that he was just joining the People’s Democratic Party PDP. Ashiru said he had been a member of PDP since his botched attempt under the ACPN at winning the ticket of Kwara South Senatorial district. He explained that his presence during the recent decamping exercise of some former ACPN members in Kwara to the PDP, was not to defect to PDP “but to give support to those joining my party which is PDP.” Lanre Aro an aide to Ashiru said, “it should therefore be put on proper record that the physical presence of Ashiru at the recent formal declaration of Senator Gbemisola Saraki and the APC group of Alhaji Abdulrasaq Abdulrahaman into the fold of the PDP was to solidarise with the people who were joining the great party. “Ashiru had been a card carrying and bonafide member of the PDP since the conclusion of the 2011 General Elections and would continue to do all within his reach to ensure that the PDP does not only win all subsequent elections but controlling all machinery of government in Kwara state come the 2015 General Elections.”

Gbemisola Saraki


Tuesday, January 11, 2014 POLITICS 13

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‘Lagos needs a man of probity, passion for greatness to succeed Fashola’ Professor Abdul Fatayi Kuti, former Nigerian Acting High Commissioner to Kenya says the successor of the outgoing Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) must be a visionary leader and a man of probity. In this interview with TUNDE AKINOLA, Justice Kuti who was also an Acting Chief Judge of the Abuja High Court outlined the prerequisite that should determine Fashola’s successor and spoke on other related issues. HAT are your views on who sucW ceeds Governor Fashola? Starting from Fashola himself, he is someone I admire a lot; he is a visionary. I think humility also played a great role in his life. I have been in places where this man had delivered speeches, without doubt, he is a quintessential leader. In fact, Fashola should be a future president of this country; my thought is borne out of the development he has brought to Lagos State. Do you think Lagos people should be part of the process of emergence of Fashola’s successor or they should leave it for the political parties? I think the Lagos State people should be fully involved in the process that determines the next governor because that is the essence of democracy. Anyone can become the governor and still perform but that would be working against the will of the people. He will surround himself with people like him and they will not be responsible to the people because they will know they did not get there through the will of the people. There is no way the will of the people should not take pre-eminence because we do not want a state where the vast majority would live in abject poverty and deprivation. We want an egalitarian system where the children of the poor could have access to education. All the elites we are talking about are like 0.02 per cent of the population and most of them are stealing the country dry. For instance, look at Nelson Mandela. There is no African president that will be elected on the

Kuti popularity of Mandela that will not seek a second term but he said no he would not re-contest. It is only a government that is truly elected by the people that can consider their various plights. All the good social amenities found in developed societies were made possible as a result of leaders that put the peoples’ interest before their personal interest. What criteria would you recom-

mend in the search for Fashola’s successor? Like I have outlined earlier, whoever will take over from Fashola must be a man of tested integrity, without probity it will be difficult to get a transformational leader. He must be a seasoned technocrat; he must be someone that does things selflessly. He must also have a portfolio to show what he has done and what he is capable of doing.

Fashola’s successor must also be a real manager of men. We cannot wear civilisation like overcoat and we cannot run government by trial and error. We need people who will not be carried away by personal ego. Do you think godfatherism has a role to play in who becomes the next governor? I do not see why we need godfatherism in Nigerian politics. We should expunge terms or issues like godfatherism in out political culture because it constitutes a stumbling block in the way of our development as a people. There should be nothing like that at all and I also believe people should get everything they want on merit not through any shortcut. If you do not do things on merit things will be messed up. We cannot expect development when some people are at the helms of affairs making sure they and members of their families are the sole beneficiaries of the so-called dividends of democracy. Democracy is government of the people, by the people and for the people and not for godfathers to hold sway. We do not need godfathers in a good political set up. As a matter of fact, I would prefer to use people who have not been in politics before to run the cabinet of any government. It is in such people that you find patriotism and genuine willingness to serve, unlike politicians who are driven by inordinate ambitions. It is a well-known fact that he who plays the piper dictates the tune. So the issue of godfathers playing any role whatsoever in the emergence of who succeeds Fashola can never

be in the interest of the people. They are interested in making whomever they install as leaders to give contracts to them and their associates and that is not how to run this government. This country is too big to be tossed here and there by some unpatriotic elements. This is a vicious circle that must be addressed before we can move forward. We need dynamic leaders that can transform the society. There is clamor for a Christian governor for Lagos State. What is your view on this? We cannot run political establishment like ours on a religious basis. When people are in power they should forget about the issue of religion but focus on how to bring succour irrespective of their religious inclinations. If we make it an allChristian thing it will not work and it will also not work if Muslims dominate the scene. We have to distribute these positions to people regardless of their religious background. We should be concerned more about the capacity and ability to perform. When we started to demarcate on religious basis we will end up mortgaging merit. We are all Nigerians, if it is a Muslim or Christian group that would lead us for the next 30 years so be it as long as there is development. Religious sentiment can never lead us to the right destination. A Christian could be governor and decides to have a Muslim dominated cabinet. If this is what will bring growth and development, it is welcome. In the history of developed nations I have never seen anywhere states achieve true development on religious basis, this is nothing but a mere distraction.


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14| Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Conscience Nurtured by Truth

FOUNDER: ALEX U. IBRU (1945 – 2011) Conscience is an open wound; only truth can heal it. Uthman dan Fodio 1754-1816

Editorial The voters’ register ITH the unveiling of the timetable by the Independent National W Electoral Commission (INEC), the race to 2015 has, of course, begun; but more than the race, the process is of paramount concern to all Nigerians. The voters’ register is one aspect of the process leading to 2015 that deserves immediate attention and thorough compilation at this juncture if the pitfalls of the past are to be avoided. The pertinent question to ask with a view to having a better election in the future is: what has changed since the general elections of 2011? Nothing. No doubt, all the bye-elections and state elections conducted across the country after 2011 have been riddled with sundry irregularities. Late arrival of materials, inaccurate voter registers, underage voting and other malpractices have been the hallmarks. Therefore, the state of preparedness by the electoral umpire towards mission 2015 is deserving of rigorous examination. While the INEC chairman has complained loudly about insecurity and funding as threat to the process, the issue of voters’ registration is one that is much more worrisome. Voters’ register as a key element of the electoral process has always been central to electoral fraud. So much so that in this day and age strange names such as Mike Tyson, Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela have been found in the electoral register in Nigeria. While many names were missing, outright, leading to disenfranchisement of a reasonable number of qualified voters, there have equally been a scandalous transposition of names in such a way that they were found in the registers of other states and constituencies. Instead of devising ways to remedy these obvious deficits, what is confounding is that at each electoral turn, registration of voters is always begun anew or almost so instead of updating of the extant register. This points to fundamental contradictions in ways Nigeria seeks to build and run institutions. When records are not kept appropriately, a nation loses not only materially but does the most damage to its institutional memory. While it is disheartening that the voters’ register, given the experiences of recent elections, is hardly worthy of being so described, despite the huge financial outlay on various registration exercises, there is no need for wholesale registration of voters. Although INEC seems to say this is not what it is about to do again, the concern is still genuine that wholesale registration at every election is an indication of inefficiency and fraud. The right thing to do is to display the existing register and allow Nigerians to verify their names. Those whose names are missing can then come forward to be registered along with those who have attained the statutory voting age of 18. If this is done, it will allow for order and, above all, it will cut cost. It must be stressed that the issue of registration and verification by the voters should start now. This will help to avoid the plague of double registration. The assertion of voters’ sovereignty should begin with voters going to ascertain that their names are in the electoral register. For full effect, voter education is then invaluable and community mobilisation is important to ensure citizens’ participation. Equally, INEC must address such issue as voters’ transfer. It is currently not being well done by the electoral umpire. This is for the benefit of those who have changed residency either for reason of change of job or others. The related problem of purchase of voter cards must also be checked. Politicians who have perfected the art and science of rigging by purchasing and warehousing voters’ cards must be fished out and made to face the wrath of the law. For the avoidance of doubt, there are things that are sacrosanct to make elections credible. One of them is ensuring the emergence of public office-holders through popular election based on secret ballot and universal suffrage. There is also the issue of how independent from government and political parties the elections are, and an integrity-based procedure for voter registration. Other considerations include effectiveness of the array of choices that the electoral and party system allows voters; the equality of votes; the proportion of the electorate that votes, and the extent to which electoral outcomes approximate actual votes cast in the electoral process. In all of these, voter registration and voter education are the bedrock on which credibility is built. Without a correct and comprehensive voters’ register there is no foundation on which to hinge a viable democracy.

LETTERS

Yoruba leaders and Awo consciousness IR: Towards self-preservaSBlacks tion, the South African proffered the Black Consciousness slogan. It helped them to remain Black and proud, to survive the onslaught of White supremacy, denigration of African culture, philosophy, and indeed personality. Too many Christians and Muslims are unChristian and un-Islamic because they lack Christ-consciousness and the consciousness of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Chief Obafemi Awolowo is unarguably the greatest modern Yoruba political leader. Even those who were not his admirers cannot deny that fact. His political achievements in the first free primary education in Africa, health, agriculture, television, stadium, etc speak for themselves. Would Awo (as he was popularly called) have achieved all those things if he were chartering airplane to go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Rome, Lourdes, etc? Would he have achieved that level of popularity if he played a religious card? He tried not to involve the traditional rulers in politics also, so that they could be the impartial fathers of their communities. Later in life, one King pocketed him by making his wife the Mother of the King. When conflict arose between that King and another Yoruba community, Pa Awo’s hands

were tied, and, naturally, he lost that community, politically. The late Chief Olu Awotesu also said some people went through Mama to create a rift between him and his political mentor, Pa Awo. It is part of Awo’s consciousness to learn from some of his very few mistakes. I don’t remember Pa Awo being invited to be the Chief Launcher of a particular palace, church, or mosque, because if that became fashionable, in the populous Yoruba society, would have undone him. Even being “Chairman” is different from being “Chief Launcher”. The latter means, outright, “bring plenty of money”, at

least in the Nigerian lexicon and psyche. But, do modern Yoruba leaders care? Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu can be as Awolowo-conscious as possible. Nothing better can happen to Nigeria in 2015 than the presidential election of General Muhammadu Buhari, for restoration of discipline, and decimation of corruption. There are those who fear that Buhari would be surrounded by the jegudujera (embezzlers). But it makes a lot of difference if the head is not corrupt. • Pius Abioje, University of Ilorin.

New direction for the nation IR: There have been propheSis going cies and claims that Nigeria to break into units if care is not taken. This is due to racial and party crises. Nevertheless, there is another option for the country – it can be divided into four regions. Each region will be governed by the deputy president. That is to say we will have four deputy presidents or we call each head of region. Then one president will be for the nation. Some responsibilities and measure of power will be shifted to the regionions to lessen the job of the president. States

will be under the control of the regions. The North will form a region. The Yoruba states will form a region. Igbo states also form a region while the rest states form the fourth region. At the region level, government will be by sending delegate(s) from states under such region(s) to deliberate on issues and take decisions. There is no need of separate arms as Executive, Legislature and Judiciary council at region. If this system of government is given a trial, hopefully, there will be a change. •Adeoye Adewale, Lagos.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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15

Opinion The anti-same sex marriage law (2) By Luke Onyekakeyah • Continued from Tuesday, January 28, 2014. HAT is liberty? It is important, at this juncW ture, to redefine liberty as it applies to personal choices vis-à-vis that of society. There should be a boundary line between personal choices and that of the larger society.  Where personal choices end, that of the society begins. Personal choices are not limitless otherwise, society will be in chaos. Nothing is absolute. Whereas, personal rights include right to sexual orientation, such choices should not impinge on society’s values. Unrestrained personal rights could destroy society. The law determines the limits of personal liberty, which is what the anti-gay legislation has done. Those arguing that same sex relationships are consensual and don’t harm anybody are myopic and ignorant. They need to reason beyond their noses to understand that same sex union injures humanity in totality. Consensual same sex relationships (whether in marriage or casual) are injurious to society. The human race would become extinct by the turn of the century, should every man and woman living today becomes gay. Only a few old and sick gays would be alive, awaiting death. When that happens, humanity would have annihilated itself. The human race would have been sacrificed on the altar of inordinate freedom and human rights. The earth would become desolate! From time immemorial, sodomy is evil. It is an anathema in Africa. There is no word for homosexuality or lesbianism in any African language. That is evidence that these depraved sexual practices have never been part of Africa’s anthropology. Tradition has always seen homosexuality as abominable. That doesn’t mean that some people were not engaged in it. But those caught in the act were exterminated for bringing curse to the land. They’re not allowed to live among normal human beings. It needs to be stated that the Nigerian anti-gay law is a sure safeguard for gays, who otherwise are endangered species, lynched publicly once

caught in the act. And, even if gay is legalized in Nigeria, people would still lynch offenders irrespective of the law. Nigerians simply hate this gay culture. The West and their gay protagonists pretend as if societies have no rules limiting personal freedom. In America, for instance, there is the law of decency. Husband and wife can’t have sex in the open. Women can’t walk the street with open breasts. These indecent conducts, which offend public sensibilities, are not permitted in all civilized societies. If personal freedom is limitless, why are people not allowed to go naked and have sex on the street as part of their freedom and human rights? Such conducts are not permitted because they put the society in harm way. The harm principle articulated by John Stuart Mill holds that “the actions of individuals should only be limited to prevent harm to other individuals”. Under the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789, “Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights”.  The world should acknowledge the fact that gay culture is of the West. And, because they control the powerful media machine and have institutions doling out grants (including scholarships) to their poor converts in Africa, they are working hard to give cultural legitimacy to gay culture. This is akin to slavery. Slavery is a bigger issue against human rights. The West violated the human rights of Africans and many native countries around the world through colonization and slavery. Africans were used to develop the West as slaves. Whereas the West has apologized to the West Indians and Jews (for the holocaust), they are yet to apologize to Africans.  Africans still resent their unimpressive history whereby their kits and kin were bundled in shiploads, enslaved and eternally alienated from their roots. Perhaps, the time has come for Africa to reopen the issue of reparation from the West for the serious human rights abuses perpetrated

through slavery and colonization. Africa should make claims in terms of the huge economic loss. Rather than talk of slavery and its human rights violations, they are instead accusing African countries of practising one form of slavery or the other and by extension violating human rights for refusing to permit an alien gay culture. The West wants to change our culture to which we say no. They want all of us to be homosexuals and lesbians, maybe, as precondition for global harmony. Interestingly, Africa is not the only region resisting the gay culture. The Russians, Chinese and Eastern countries are also against it. The West is afraid of China’s inroad into Africa and wants to foist something alien to truncate it. They want us to be homosexuals and lesbians against Chinese and Russian cultures. By so doing, they would have induced cultural conflict between Africa and China. What we are faced is a subtle reactivation of the cold war era between the East and the West in a new dimension. Africa is the new battlefield. If the West considers gay culture to be good, why not keep it to themselves? Why force other countries to embrace it? Why is the West afraid of our freedom and choice to say no? The West wants to subvert our culture. That is cultural imperialism in the 21st century. There is reason to believe that the West has a hidden agenda that is not in Africa’s interest. Gay culture is targeted at Africa’s youthful population. The West is not happy with Africa’s teeming youth population, while theirs is ageing and declining.  They are not happy that Africa holds great prospects for the future. Gay culture is one sure way to curb Africa’s growing youthful population. Different anti-reproductive campaigns are being mounted to curtail Africa’s growing population. Free condoms are distributed in some countries. In all of this, no one preaches morality in the campaigns. Only freedom and human rights are emphasized. However, all the strategies applied so far have failed. If Africans become homosexuals and lesbians, that automatically entails a drastic reduction of the pop-

ulation in a decade or two. That would please the West. The issue is beyond the freedom and human rights sloganeering. Every law must reflect the ethos, norms and culture of every society. The West has laws against polygamy and bigamy, which the African culture permits. No one has forced them to embrace polygamy against their culture. Africa is operating a culture that frowns at same sex marriage. Our values, ethos and culture don’t accept such union. The West should leave Africa alone on this particular matter. Historically, it was in an attempt to have a prince by King Henry VIII (1491-1547) of England that led to the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church. At a time when marriage was for life under the Canon Law and divorce was forbidden, King Henry VIII divorced Catherine of Aragon and subsequently married five other wives in succession. He did not abide by the extant Church law of monogamy in pursuit of his own interest. That Canon Law had its roots in Western culture as regards marriage. For not abiding by the West’s standard of maintaining one wife and instead embraced polygamy, King Henry VIII was excommunicated. That was a severe punishment, which shows the extent to which the West abhors polygamy. In the same vein, Africa abhors same sex marriage union and anyone caught practising it suffers severe punishment. What is good for the goose is also good for the gander. We are in a global village with its positives and negatives. If gay culture is one of the trappings, then Nigeria and indeed Africa would have to choose what is in our interest. The West cannot shove the gay culture down our throat. With the anti-gay law now in place, the door has finally closed to what has been an unnecessary distraction. Any man or woman whose sexual orientation is to sleep with a fellow man or woman should consider him or herself in the wrong planet. The earth planet is only for men and women who are attracted to the opposite sex. • Concluded.

The agonising search for democratic unity By Babatunde Faniyan HERE is no need for the hue and cry over the flurry of activities T on the Nigerian political field – defection or “carpet crossing” activities inclusive. Is a Nation State not a living organism, a dynamic entity? Is this Nation State not populated by human beings, themselves living super organisms? Living beings, each with completely activated five senses plus a nascent “Sixth Sense” on the wings – all senses in varying degrees of potency. And what is politics? An informed source described politics as: “The activities associated with the governance of a country or other area; the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power; activities within an organization that are aimed at improving someone’s status or position and are typically considered to be devious or divisive.” Now, the practitioners of politics are politicians. And politicians are human beings. Essentially and in strict terms, there are two groups of politicians – the progressive and the retrogressive. When a progressive politician moves, it is to join like minds, to chart a course to establish the greatest good for the greatest number of the citizens. When a retrogressive politician moves, it is also to join like minds for self-aggrandizement; an ill-wind destined not to blow any good to anyone. Nature and science (politics itself is a science) cannot encourage elements from these two groups to mix together. Did it not come to pass that in the original Action Group (AG) led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the early 1960s, Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, Awolowo’s deputy somehow became “uncomfortable” in the same “boat” with  Awolowo. He had to leave the AG for other ‘pastures’(in the build-up to the First Republic, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe with his NCNC won all the seats in Lagos in the West, the home base of Awolowo’s AG, right under the nose of Chief Awolowo). Did the same NCNC members led by Adeleke Adedoyin – a few years later, not “crossed the carpet” from NCNC to AG where Adedoyin became the first Speaker of the Western House of Assembly? Did Aminu Kano not carve out his Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) in the hot-bed of NPC-dominated Northern politics of  Kano and Kaduna and snatched members from the North-

ern Peoples Congress (NPC) with Sir Ahmadu Bello looking on? Did the following executive governors of states in the present republic not decamp / defect / cross carpet from one party to another – all of them into the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)? Imo State Governor, Chief  Ikedi Ohakim from the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA); Governor Aliyu Shinkafi from All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP); and Governor Isa Yuguda also from the ANPP? The Nation State is similar to the Animal Farm as conceptualised, created and presented by George Orwell in his classic of that title. Both are populated by animals. Well, a difference can be crystallised out in the fine details – the one is populated by “lower” animals and the other, by “higher” animals. Now, imagine a giant hall – containing thousands of living beings gathered to engage in politics. They include sheep, horses, tigers, goats, chickens, jackals, eagles, snakes, foxes, dogs, doves and wolves… Do we expect one in the group of horses, honey bees, and eagles to dwell in harmony amidst the group of snakes, jackals and hawks – for the purpose of engaging in politics as defined –  (“activities associated with the governance of a country. . .”)? No.  If they do, disaster can only be the end result. Is it not an established maxim that “Birds of a feather flock together”? So it is in the best interest of the nation and the citizens for politicians to ‘sort themselves out’ – so to speak. Where we have a problem as a nation is not in the activity of politicians moving from one political platform to another. No! They are simply finding for themselves their natural personal niches for optimum stability, that should do even the entire country a world of good – if properly managed by all stakeholders. Where we have a problem as a nation would be: • If and when the retrogressive group surpasses the progressive group in numbers and in material and in power – and they are allowed to hold the nation in a strangulating grip; • If and where the citizens themselves – superior in power to all the politicians by virtue of their numbers – are comatose, ignorant or simply go to sleep, surrendering themselves to the vice grip of the prevailing political force; and • Where the incumbent government takes what it believes to be “pre-emptive”, self-protective steps targeted against the “growing” opposition – steps which disrupt the natural, self-cleansing changes towards equilibrium. Steps that may plunge the nation into avoidable crisis (reference the handling of the political selfcleansing manoeuvres in Awolowo’s AG in Western Nigeria in

the early 1960s.) Political thinkers and writers from Aristotle to Rousseau have recognised that pure democracy is un-suited for any but the “smallest” societies. America is a “small” society as a result of its relative homogeneity, high level of literacy and political maturity. But Nigeria can never be defined as a small society by any stretch of the imagination. 170 million citizens made up of about 300 separate ethnic groupings make our beloved Nigeria a complex structure. Imagine the diversification in the orientation, outlook, development efforts and aspirations of the average Nigerian in Ikeja, Lagos State, compared with another in Kotangora, Niger State for example. To further compound the structure, there is the high level of illiteracy, ignorance, poverty and disease. We can now begin to see why the United States with her democracy continues to wax strong socio-economically, while here in Nigeria, (the same?) democracy had killed three Republics and is now threatening to tear everything asunder! When politicians across board and indeed the citizenry achieve what scholars call a “Democratic Unity,” a unifying point, and agreement on “who we are, where we are and where we need to be?” It is from this point that efficient governance can commence. A genuine National Conference is capable of taking us to this “Democratic Unity.” Are we doomed? No is the answer. The American secret is not that their democracy is perfect or the best form of government in the world, but that they have become competent at its operation. For us here, the panacea is right before us and is to be found in the realms of maturity, stability and unity of purpose – all of them intertwined. Maturity – Politicians with discerning minds who can learn and mature; Stability – when mature politicians “sort themselves out” (crosscarpeting is an integral part of this), and we have round pegs in round holes; unity of purpose  – when politicians across board and indeed the citizenry achieve what scholars call a “Democratic Unity”, a unifying point, and agreement on “who we are, where we are and where we need to be?” It is from this point that efficient governance can commence. A genuine national conference is capable of taking us to this “democratic unity.” God loves Nigeria and we have the right people to take us there. • Faniyan, a Lagos based author and communications consultant, wrote from Ikeja, Lagos


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Opinion Delta governorship: The issues are joined By Michael Agbamuche REFER to the publication in The Guardian Iment Newspaper of January 20, 2014 of a statemade by Mr. Macaulay, Secretary to the Delta State Government. I must say at once that it is a measure of the unpreparedness of the Anioma for the political struggle for the seat of the Governor of Delta State that they saw fit to respond to Macaulay’s statements by group advertorials. In the first place, Macaulay is only an individual even if he is Secretary to the State Government, he did not write or make a statement on behalf of the state government. It must, therefore, be that his views are entirely personal until such time as the government or the governor acknowledges his views as official. So those who placed advertorials in reaction have only succeeded in magnifying Macaulay’s views and creating the impression that he is so important as a person, or influential, that it requires the response of the entire Anioma as a group to successfully confront him. The contents of his statements are necessarily circumscribed by the fact that they are essentially his private and personal views and not that of the party in power, Delta State or the governor and his government. In any case, whether or not there was an agreement for power shift among the three senatorial districts of Delta State, The Anioma still have to get themselves prepared to fight for power which cannot be given to anybody but must be taken. The Anioma political elite as I have said elsewhere must address the quest for political power seriously and move away from the idea that it is going to be dashed to the Anioma. It is in fact a distraction probably contrived by political leader of one of the other senatorial zones to begin a debate as to whether there was an agreement or not to shift power. The second issue raised by Macaulay is even

more tendentious. Assuming it is even true that some persons were mounting a negative campaign of marginalization against past rulers of the state, so what I ask? Is it not true that there have been marginalization practised against The Anioma and that the heavens did not fall as a consequence. Is it not also true that in the context of Nigerian politics, marginalization is in fact a stimulus for the marginalized to seek emancipation. If they were not marginalized they may well have been content to continue to live as second class citizens in Delta State. The third point raised by Macaulay, directly connected to the second point is that the Anioma as a consequence of the marginalization intend to engage in vendetta against the people of the south and central senatorial zones. By this, Macaulay is in fact confessing that there is a reason for The Anioma had they wished, to engage in vendetta against people who he Macaulay has identified as being from the south and central senatorial zones. No evidence is provided in support of this statement. One is entitled to assume that it must be as a result of their guilty conscience that people like Macaulay fear vendetta. In any case, having confessed their involvement in the marginalization of The Anioma, peo-

ple like Macaulay from guilty conscience and fear of vendetta could never have been in support of an Anioma person for the Governor of Delta State. Consequently, his announcement formally stating what is obvious need not have elicited any reaction, this is aside from the fact that there is no electoral value in his support, even if he had declared for The Anioma. After all he is only an appointee to the position of Secretary to the State Government which was awarded him for reasons unconnected with his electoral value. As for the fourth point that The Anioma people did not fully vote for Governor Uduaghan in the 2011 election, I say so what if it were true. The issue on ground now is the 2015 elections and whether The Anioma can mount a fully focused campaign to take the seat of governor of the state. To have fully voted or not for the incumbent governor is hardly relevant in the context of the coming battle. The governor himself has always held himself out as enjoying full support throughout Delta State in spite of the fact that the only people who did not fully support him in the 2011 elections were the people of Macaulay i.e. the Isoko who voted for the DPP in large numbers in spite of the efforts of Macaulay.

All in all, there seems to be no reason why The Anioma or any other person should have reacted so strongly to Macaulay’s statements unless they believed that he was speaking on behalf of the governor or it was the official position of the PDP, the party in power in Delta State. At this point, I am obliged to acknowledge the reaction of the state chairman of the PDP Chief Peter Nwoboshi (himself a prominent Anioma son) which in my opinion was the best response, pointed and adequate which obviated the need for any group response like: IzuAnioma and Anioma Congress.

All in all, there seems to be no reason why The Anioma or any other person should have reacted so strongly to Macaulay’s statements unless they believed that he was speaking on behalf of the governor or it was the official position of the PDP, the party in power in Delta State. At this point, I am obliged to acknowledge the reaction of the state chairman of the PDP Chief Peter Nwoboshi (himself a prominent Anioma son) which in my opinion was the best response, pointed and adequate which obviated the need for any group response like: Izu-Anioma and Anioma Congress. Given the paradigms of Nigerian politics, it is likely that Macaulay is the arrow head of political schemers of Delta Central and Delta South origin who thought it a smart move to stir up the political space with some distracting material and if nothing else achieved, expose how focused or unfocused as the case may be The Anioma are. It is significant that The Anioma indigenes who are currently holding high public office in the state government have studiously avoided not only announcing their gubernatorial ambitions but any statements or involvements that could be regarded as distracting or annoying to his Excellency the Governor or not jumping the gun in the political race. What is good for the goose ought to be good for the gander which of course must mean that Macaulay ought not to remain secretary to the state government of the entire Delta State when he has demonstrated so clearly that he is a partisan activist whose partisanship may well impact on his functions as secretary to the government of the entire state. Indeed I ask myself in the final analysis whether he is not nursing gubernatorial ambition himself which ambition is necessarily inconsistent with The Anioma Agenda and explains his outburst. • Agbamuche is the Owelle of Akwu-Kwu- Igbo.

Gabriel Aduku’s anti-corruption example By Okechukwu Nwaeze RECALL my first meeting with Chief Gabriel Aduku (OON), Iference architect, with nostalgia. It was in 1991 at the biennial conof the Nigerian Institute of Architects which held at the Kwara hotels in Ilorin. It was the inimitable Arc. Nnimmo Bassey that got us introduced. I was struck first by the softness of his voice and then his measured manner of speaking. I practically strained my ears to hear him. He chose and seemed to be meditating upon each word he muttered. Simply put, Chief Gabriel Aduku radiated simplicity on that day. Since that auspicious meeting, I have come to know Chief Gabriel Yakubu Aduku at a closer range. I have often wondered how Chief Gabriel Aduku, a man who is given to a simple and Spartan lifestyle, has been able to attract a lot of attention in his incursion into politics. I have, however, come to discover that the attention on his person is no doubt due to the fact that he has an engaging personality and penetrating mind which grasps issues quickly, despite his soft and measured manner of speaking. Aduku who marks his 70th birthday anniversary on February 3, 2014 is a man who rose from very humble beginnings and has distinguished himself in his primary area of architectural practice and as a principled politician. Born on February 3, 1944 in Anyigba in Kogi State, Aduku attended various primary schools within his native Igala land before proceeding to the prestigious Provincial Secondary School in Okene where he passed the Cambridge West African School Certificate Examination in 1961. Two years later, he completed his Higher School Certificate in Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Physics in glowing colours. Thereafter, he proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1964 where he studied Architecture and graduated in 1970. There are positively interesting lessons to be learnt from Chief Aduku. While many of his mates in the university had their eyes primed on white collar jobs upon graduation, Aduku was romanticising on establishing a private practice as a fresh graduate. And it came to pass that when he graduated in 1970 he took his destiny into his hands by teaming up with like minds and founded Archcon, an architectural consultancy firm that is flourishing to this day. It is to the credit

of this man, that while some of his professional colleagues were designing projects fashioned after European models, Archcon gave their designs local flavours through the introduction of the concept of the hood which tended to shield homes from sun rays. This concept was as a result of the environmental challenges posed by the very hot weather conditions in Northern Nigeria. As a young architect, Aduku realised that architectural practice can be enhanced if all professionals identified and played active roles in the umbrella institute, so he became an active member of the Nigerian Institute of Architects. He served in various capacities at local, national and international levels, culminating in his serving as the President of the institute between 1991 and 1994, President of the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria from 1992 to 1997 and Council Member of the International Union of Architects. In a country where a lot of professionals mortgage professionalism for quick advances, his professional career has not been blemished in any way, as Aduku is not one to cut corners in order to make gains. He believes in the sanctity of professionalism in the practice of architecture. And, that is why he still revered among his professional colleagues as a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Architects. This principled belief is also what has characterised Aduku’s foray into politics. Not looking like the typical flamboyant Nigerian politician who is given to ostentatious lifestyle and primitive acquisition of riches, he is wont to tell his close associates that his joining politics was a deliberate measure, a step which was given fillip by the pervasive poverty and the malaise of under-development of his middle belt region. He is at ease in the company of peasants in his native Anyigba community and provides leadership direction in affairs affecting the generality of the people. In an era pigeon-holed by cross-carpeting from one party to another because of the allure of political positions or patronage, Aduku who is also the Amana Ogohi I Ata Igala, has been a foundation member of the People’s Democratic Party to date. It is in x-raying his membership of the PDP that we see a man of strong, principled character. Appointed Minister of State for Health by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2007, Aduku was falsely accused of corruption by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

(EFCC) in 2008. It is on record that he stepped down as a minister to allow for unfettered investigation; the first cabinet minister to do such in this country. From the Federal High Court, Abuja to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Aduku was exonerated and discharged of the charges. No cabinet minister has had such a clean stamp in Nigeria! Unlike most politicians who prefer to tap into legal technicalities to have corruption cases against them stalled at the courts, he pursued his case with the EFCC with vigour and the firm conviction to prove his innocence. He once recounted that he wanted accelerated hearing of the case against him because of his firm belief that corruption cases, especially those against public office holders, should not be swept under the carpet and his belief that a good name is the best legacy one can leave on the sands of time. Today, he stands vindicated. Despite the tribulations and humiliation he suffered under the EFCC, Chief Aduku has held his head high and continued his interventionist roles within his party, the PDP in Kogi State and at the national level. He has shown unwavering commitment to the ideals of the founding fathers of the PDP. Loyalties to worthy causes and to institutions have been a cardinal principle in Chief Aduku’s life. The party could have showcased him as a corrupt-free public office holder worthy of emulation, and the government could have honoured him if only as a gesture to make Nigerians realise that there could still be individuals who are incorruptible, even as public office holders. There are many members of the PDP who do not know that Chief Gabriel Aduku was the brain behind the party’s logo which is in use up to today. Not one to be bitter, Chief Gabriel Aduku has borne his travails with equanimity and has continued to believe in his party and country. A completely detribalised Nigerian, Aduku has friends and close associates across the length and breadth of the country, and he has been very accommodating to friends and associates, many of who will readily attest to his simplicity, loyalty, benevolence and, above all, his humanity. In a country where role models are hard to come by, where politicians worship filthy lucre, Chief Gabriel Yakubu Aduku (OON) is a shining example to be celebrated, especially as he clocked 70 years. • Nwaeze writes from Enugu.


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TheMetroSection Killed in his hotel room • Unknown assassins last week pulled the trigger on Imo-born U.S-based show biz promoter in Owerri From Charles Ogugbuaja, Owerri

MMANUEL Noel Tochukwu Unegbu, an indigene of Imo Stat e, was E talented in show-biz entertainment and promotion. After his education in Nigeria, he did not want to wander in other professions where his future was not assured. He found his talent early in life and decided to actualize it fully in an advanced country where he could acquire enough state of –the -art musical and show business equipment. He then proceeded to the United States some years ago to fulfill his ambition. His effort was not in vain as he made some fortune there. He has also been visiting his home state as desired to carry out such businesses. At a time he became the darling of the Imo State Government that invited him to come and exhibit his talent and get paid for it. Ironically, with his new prospects at home, Tochukwu never knew that enemies were planning how to snuff life out of him. According to friends, he was liberal and cheerful, only carrying out what he knew best with dexterity. The Guardian gathered that he was invited by a top government official at the Government House, Owerri to perform to the admiration of a cross -section of audience at the celebration of the 38 years of the creation of Imo State, at the Ahiajoku Convention Centre, New Owerri, about a fortnight ago. He came as requested, the event took place on February 3, and he participated in the ceremony. After the joyous ceremony, Unegbu proceeded to his hotel room situated at Amakoihia, a sprawling area in Owerri, capital city of Imo State. In fact, the hotel is the same in which a famous veteran Nollywood actor, Sam Loco Efe, passed on mysteriously on August 6, 2011. The deceased had organized the “Imo Got A Talent” show in 2012. That outing, sources told The Guardian, led to a talent hunt that identified more talented Imo show business entertainers. The U.S based show biz entrepreneur who owned Prince Noel Promotions USA/Nigeria, was in his hotel room, in the early hours of last week Tuesday when unknown gunmen released bullets into his head and other parts of his body, disappearing into thin air without anyone apprehending them. No one could explain how it happened, but a source told The Guardian that there had been a mild cry within the vicinity before the

The late Unegbu

The event took place on February 3, and he participated in the ceremony. After the joyous ceremony, Unegbu proceeded to his hotel room situated at Amakoihia, a sprawling area in Owerri, capital city of Imo State. In fact, the hotel is the same in which a famous veteran Nollywood actor, Sam Loco Efe, passed on mysteriously on August 6, 2011 lifeless body of the show promoter was discovered when his room was opened. Two persons suspected of the crime had escaped. Tochukwu’s body was still lying in a pool of his own blood when he was finally taken to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri, according to police sources at the Police Shell Camp, Owerri. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Mrs. Joy Elemoke, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), who confirmed the incident, also said the Command has begun investigation into the matter. The governor of Imo State, Chief Rochas Okorocha, has decried the killing. He was particularly enraged that the dastardly act happened at a period when the state government was

Imo State Police Commissioner, Abdulmajid Ali

celebrating low crime rate, including reduced cases of kidnapping, among others, that such incident that looked like contract –assassination could take place. Okorocha urged both the police and security agencies in the state to ensure that the killers of Unegbu were caught, describing the killers as “heinous and callous.” He said the perpetrators of the act would be hunted, apprehended and made to face the full wrath of the law. In fact, friends of the deceased, after the gruesome murder, described Unegbu as a “harmless person while still alive.” Sources told The Guardian that postmortem exercise had commenced to ascertain how he was killed, among other clues.

Borno donates N6.5 million to victims of police brutality at UMTH of the UMTH for the maturity From Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri they showed during the brutality, praised the committee ORNO State Governor, Alfor doing a thorough job and haji Kashim Shettima, assured that the recommenlast Friday directed that N6.5 dations of the committee, million should be paid to would be fully implemented. the victims of police brutalThe Chairman of the Comity at the University of Maidmittee, Alhaji Shehu Liberty uguri Teaching Hospital thanked the governor for his (UMTH). The incident ocmagnificent strides in the curred on May 15, 2013 over health sector especially in an alleged rejection of bodpolio eradication, noting that ies of slain police officers at UMTH management also conBama. Shetimma stituted a committee followThe policemen, according to hospital authorities, went The governor who received ing the police brutality on the report of the committee one of the medical staff of the on rampage at UMTH last set up to look into the incihospital. year after their colleagues dent, directed the State MinHe, however, said the comwere killed by suspected istry of Finance to mittee commended that govBoko Haram members in ernor for his timely Bama, destroying properties immediately release the and beating up hospital staff sum of N6.5 million to assist intervention on the matter the victims of the brutality. that averted the staff of the for allegedly not given the Shettima, who commended hospital embarking on strike victims required attention. the management and staff action and the committee

B

discovered in its findings that many staff members sustained various degrees of injuries. Liberty said the committee recommended that Dr. Abba Kabir who sustained a fracture in the leg should be given N3 million, Professor Ngada N500, 000, Chairman of Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) of the hospital, Dr. Bashir; N1 million and the 29 other staff members of the UMTH that lost their properties during the brutality should share N1 million. Liberty assured that the UMTH would nevertheless continue to partner with the state to provide healthcare delivery services to the people despite what happened.

Governor Rochas Okorocha has decried the killing. He was particularly enraged that the dastardly act happened at a period when the state government was celebrating low crime rate, including reduced cases of kidnapping In Imo State, people are discussing the “high- profile killing,” and people have become more careful again with the awareness of killers on the prowl.

Brief Elijah Adesanya, 90, for burial HE death has occurred of Pa Elijah Adesanya. He died TA service on November 12, 2013, at the age of 90. of songs holds today at his residence, No. 24, Bolarinwa Street, Anfani, off Ring Road, Challenge Ibadan, Oyo State at 5.00 p.m. A Christian wake / lying-in-state will hold on Thursday, February 13, at his residence, No. 4, Epe Street, Ikenne Remo, Ogun State at 5.00p.m. He will be buried on Friday, February 14, after a funeral service at Our Saviour’s Anglican Church, Ikenne Remo, Ogun State at 10.00 am. He is survived by his wife, children and grand children, among whom is Mr. Shola Adesanya. Adesanya


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18 Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Kano govt to deploy tricycle ambulances statewide By Wole Oyebade O enhance referral system T of the sick and pregnant women in the state, the Kano State government is to deploy customised tricycle ambulances across the state. The ambulances, specially made in China, are to facilitate referral from rural and hardto-reach areas to urban centres, as part of efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality. The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Abubakar Labara announced this recently just as he assured stakeholders that the government was working to tackle the challenges of inadequate human resource for health and transport services to health facilities. Labara, who spoke at the mega community mobilisation and engagement pro-

gramme, organised by Partnership for Transforming Health System II (PATHS2), at Indabo, Wudil Local Council of Kano State, said the government was not unaware of challenges facing rural dwellers in accessing free maternal and child services in the state. The rural dwellers constitute 70 per cent of Kano population. He said government’s efforts would further manifest “when the people start seeing tricycle ambulances come to their communities.” Labara added that each Local Council would have three tricycle ambulances for a start. The state Ministry of Local Government is to coordinate the scheme. He assured the rural dwellers that the shortfall currently experienced in requisite health personnel would reduce, when 100 doctors and pharmacists,

Gay marriage: Counselling better than 14-year jail term, say Christian theologians HE Association of Christian T Theologians (ACT), a Christian regulatory body in the country, at the weekend lent its voice to the raging debate over the 14-year jail term punishment recently endorsed by President Goodluck Jonathan for offenders of gay practice or same-sex marriage. Giving a reaction to the new law, the National President of the ACT, Prof. Kunle Macaulay said it was a law that sought to kill an ant with a sledgehammer. Reacting for the ACT, Macaulay said rather than impose a 14-year jail term on those engaged in gay practice, government should seek for ways of assisting the offenders, as the act is more of a psychic problem than crime indulgence. “As far as I’m concerned, it is not the law that matters. We’ve seen laws being broken in this country. If you make a law that says offenders of gay practice should be jailed for 14 years, these people can always retreat indoors and do it secretly. And once the practice festers in secrecy, it makes a mockery of the law itself.” “My main concern really is the need for rehabilitation, reformation and transformation. The homosexuals need help; they should be fished

out, counselled and transformed into responsible citizens. It is not fair to make a law that will lock up our youths and children in prison when in actual fact, they are suffering from some social and psychic drift, of which they require urgent help.” Macaulay, nonetheless, condemned gay practice, describing it as “an ungodly act. He noted that its acceptance in some Christian communities in Europe and the Americas was because they have allowed civilization to affect religious norms.” He said that was why he had insisted that Christian education should be left in the hands of theologians who are well-informed about biblical matters. Macaulay, however, commended the churches in Africa for taking a firm stance by not permitting same-sex marriage or any form of homosexuality in their circles. Speaking on the national conference coming up soon, the theology teacher insisted that the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, is not competent to represent the Christian interest at the confab. He averred that CAN, as currently constituted, has lost the confidence of Christians, “as some of its leaders have soiled their

now undergoing training overseas, return to the state. About 50 nurses are also being trained in Egypt. According to the Commissioner: “Health delivery is a gradual thing and we are getting there. We are training manpower, building facilities and doing drug-revolving programme with the support of

PATHS2. For the first time, the state government has spent N8billion on health in 2013. We are improving and it will improve as time goes on,” he said. Labara also urged the people to access any of the 16 mobile clinics provided to treat their ailments, adding that cholera and measles were still prevalent.

National Programme Manager PATHS2, Michael Egboh stressed that quality health delivery is the collective responsibility of all, as he appealed that the state government, development partners, traditional and religious leaders must further partner to improve access to health services. He added that PATHS2 was

also collaborating with the state branch of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, to provide support transport services for pregnant women, coupled with talks with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to deploy more medical health workers to communities in the state.

Put Nigeria’s interest first, Akiolu urges new Air Force boss By Odita Sunday HE newly appointed Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, has been urged to put the interest of Nigeria first in all his activities and treat every Nigerian based on merit irrespective of ethnic affiliations. The advice came from the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, during a visit by the Air Force boss to his palace yesterday. “In life, we should be close to God in all we do. I, the Oba of Lagos, have a special interest in Jonathan. Any political party that is anti-Lagos will never see my support, I always say it. I respect the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua because his father

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was part of the people who built this palace. I tell people that politicians don’t quarrel, they only play on your intelligence and they would agree later. By the Grace of God and wish of the Head of State, you are the Chief of the Air Staff today. “I want you to do the job diligently and serve the people of Nigeria. You must also prepare for what you would do when you leave the service. Where there is no peace, there cannot be growth and development. There are still many outstanding development issues In Lagos that the Head of State has not attended to. What politicians don’t know is that the growth of Lagos is the

growth of Nigeria; therefore they fail to develop Lagos. “I want you to treat every Nigerian by merit. Don’t say because people from Lagos, Badagry and the North would be running to you, but treat all of them equally. Don’t employ any sub-standard person into the Air Force, you should be firm. Don’t imbibe the culture of tribalism. Any person who conspires against you has conspired against this palace and we shall resist it.” In his speech, Air Marshal Amosu urged Oba Akiolu to express his gratitude to Mr. President for choosing a Lagosian to head the Air Force at this time.

His words: “Sir, we are here to celebrate because it has been a long time someone from Lagos would hold this enviable position. It means the President and Commander-inChief trust us Lagosians and South West. I am not a politician but the truth has to be told. I was in charge of the command of the presidential fleet for two years where the life of the President and his family was under my care. For the President to have trusted me again to say help me take care of the Air Force, I have come to plead that you appreciate Mr. President for what he has done for Lagosians. We really appreciate what he has done for us.”

Chief of Air Staff, Adesola Amosu (left) and Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu I, during Amosu’s courtesy visit to the Oba at Iga Iduganran, Lagos...yesterday PHOTO: ODITA SUNDAY

Briefs Church marks Valentine’s Day with couples HE Kingdom of Light Ministries (KLM) will hold its Anointing for Breakthrough Service on Saturday, February 15, at 7.30a.m. Meanwhile, the church will also hold Valentine’s Couples Timeout same day at the Corporate Headquarters, 1-2, Ajoke Kazeem Street, Subol Bus Stop, Idimu-Ikotun Road, Idimu, Lagos at noon. Presiding Pastor, Samson Makinde , Rev. Joseph Akpovbovbo and Jemi Ekunkunbor will minster.

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Edo govt seeks accreditation of medical institutions From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City S a way of appeasing protesting students of Edo State Schools of Nursing and Midwifery, who last week protested the withdrawal of the schools’ accreditation over statutory conditions, Edo State government said it has embarked on moves to revalidate the accreditation of the schools to reduce apprehension among the students and their sponsors that certificate from the school might not be honoured. The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. (Mrs.) Aihanuwa Eregie told journalists that the enabling law for the school has been reviewed in line with current standards and already sent to the Ministry of Justice for legal review before forwarding it to the state House of Assembly. She said to demonstrate government’s resolve in running standard medical training institutions, a new hostel has been built while existing ones renovated just as she said the library of the school has also been refurbished and provision of ICT facilities on the way.

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Onyema Ugochukwu loses brother ROMINENT Attorney-at-Law, businessman, politician and phiP lanthropist, Udechukwu Ugochukwu, has passed on. A statement by his nephew, Obi Ugochukwu, on behalf of the family says: “He died on, February 2, 2014, in a private medical facility in Abuja, shortly after his arrival from a two-month medical break in the United States.” Ugochukwu, younger brother to one-time Editor of the Daily Times and pioneer Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, was born on May 10, 1953 in Umuahia, Abia State. His elementary education straddled Umuahia, Kano and Jos. He proceeded to the respected Methodist College, Uzuakoli for the West African School Certificate Examination, O’ Levels and subsequently the Methodist Boys High School, Lagos for his A’ Levels. Between 1975 and 1980, he studied Law at the University of Ife, Ile-Ife and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1981 upon completion of his law school in Nigerian Law School, Lagos. He participated in the mandatory National Youth Service Corps NYSC, with the Sokoto State Ministry of Justice as a State Counsel, between 1981 and 1982. He began his legal practice in the Lagos office of the Abuka, Ajaegbo, Ilogu and Nwaogu Legal Practitioners in 1982, and was subsequently transferred to lead the Port Harcourt annex of the firm as Resident Solicitor. In 1984, he established his law firm, Ude Ugochukwu and Co Legal Practitioners in Port Harcourt. F uneral arrangement will soon be announced by the family.

Bisi Ogunjobi Foundation gives scholarship to 50 varsity students By Yetunde Ayobami Ojo TOTAL of 50 university undergraduates spread across universities in the country will on Friday, February 14, 2014 be given scholarship awards, which would cover all educational expenses, courtesy of the Bisi Ogunjobi Foundation. Ogunjobi is a former Vice President of African Development Bank and at present, the Chairman, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria. The award is expected to be presented during a book presentation and 2013/2014 Scholarship Award Ceremony to be held at Imperial Hall, Hillside, Otunba Jobi-Fele Way, Alausa, Lagos, on Friday. A statement by the Chairman, Planning Committee of the award ceremony, Peter Folorunso, stated that a total of 586 students have benefited from the gesture. According to him, medical doctors as well as erstwhile Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly had benefited from the programme. He further disclosed that this year’s event would also feature the public presentation of a book entitled: “Sharing Knowledge for Youth Empowerment and National Development”. The event would be chaired by Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Secretary General of the Commonwealth while chief host is Elder Bisi Ogunjobi.

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Business Sub-regional stock exchanges’ integration enters new phase By Bukky Olajide TAKEHOLDERS in West Strade Africa will soon be able to in shares of listed equities in other markets within the sub-region as the integration of their stock exchanges moves into another phase. The Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange {NSE}, Oscar Onyema, who also doubles as the chair-

• West African stockbrokers target bigger markets man of West African Capital Markets Integration Council (WACMIC) made this disclosure in Lagos yesterday. According to Onyeama, brokers will be granted sponsored access to trade through local brokers in the participating countries by April this year to allow entities which are not direct market operators of an

exchange to participate in the exchange by granting them direct access to the exchange’s trading facility via technology. He said: “We have set for ourselves a very ambitious target of completing the first phase of integration by the end of March 2014, and commencement of implementation by April 1, 2014; and we

believe it is achievable having carefully mapped out our implementation strategies.” Onyema said the benefits of integration of the stock exchanges were enormous as local companies would have a deeper pool of funds to raise capital while facilitating growth by creating a larger market for local and

international businesses. “Achieving integration will facilitate momentous growth in the markets, which will empower the region to remain relevant in attracting investment flows, by creating a much larger market for local and international businesses,” he said. During the second phase, qualified brokers would receive a common passports to allow direct access to local securities exchanges and central securities depositories as they would be recognised as trading participants. Onyema expressed hope that the establishment of a

virtual West African Securities Market (WASM) would be achieved before the end of March, next year. The Director of the Financial Service Division of Ghana’s Ministry of Finance, Joseph Chognuru, lauded the efforts to achieve integration as a bigger market would help boost investments. The four initial participating markets are the Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres which features eight francophone countries, the Ghana Stock Exchange, Nigeria Stock Exchange and Sierra Leone Stock Exchange.

LCCI tasks govt on trade facilitation, TSA implementation By Femi Adekoya within the ShaveTAKEHOLDERS nation’s private sector tasked the Federal

Superintendent of Foreign Operation, Electrobras Brazil, Pedro Jatoba (right); Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Mrs. Sola David-Borha; and Director-General, Debt Management Office, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, during the Nigeria Power Sector Investors Conference in Abuja, yesterday

Plastic manufacturers seek govt’s intervention on special levy By Femi Adekoya TAKEHOLDERS in the Ssought plastic industry have the intervention of the Federal Government in resolving an ongoing crisis revolving around the imposition of a ‘special levy’ on manufacturers within the sub-sector. Specifically, the stakeholders described the special levy on two raw materials (polypropylene and polyethylene) used to produce plastics, by government as capable of crippling the industry, while protecting the monopoly enjoyed by the only producer of copolymer in the country. The Guardian learnt that the imposed levy has continued to hike the price of key raw materials needed for the production of plastic products, thus necessitating consumers to pay more for products that should have cost lesser.

The stakeholders noted that with government incentives in terms of provision of gas at a massively subsidized rate, Indorama’s cost of production remains one of the lowest in the world. Indorama-Eleme Petrochemical Limited is a core investor in the hitherto Federal Government owned ElemePetrochemical Limited. According to them, the special levy imposed on the key raw materials serve as a channel for the firm to make more money, as the firm increased its price equivalent to the levy increase in March/April 2013. “By doing this, the cost to import raw materials in Ghana or Benin Republic became cheaper as the plastic industry in Nigeria pays a higher cost due to this levy. Analysts therefore wonder whether the incentives granted to Indorama have really been of advantage to the Nigerian econo-

my and the plastic industry. This is because the company seems to be the only one benefitting from this levy while the common man is suffering with the burden of higher price. “Apparently uncomfortable over the poor patronage of its polymer resins from the local plastic manufacturers, Indorama, by its letter dated October 3, 2013, petitioned the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and same copied to the Chairman, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alleging that 17 local plastic manufacturers have been importing Polypropylene with H.S. Code 3902.1000.00 under H.S. Code 3902.3000.00 belonging to Propylene Copolymer”. With negotiations and talks proving futile, plastic manufacturers maintained that Copolymer, does not attract import levy from

the Federal Government as it contains less than 95 per cent propylene by weight while the rest weight is ethylene with CAS No: 9010-790 and HS code 3902.3000.00 compared to the levied polypropylene Homopolymer. “The codes attached to each of the products are the same internationally. This is because Nigeria is one of the 148 countries that are parties to the HS convention since 1988. The country is also one of the 179 member countries of the World Customs Organisation since 1963. All these nations recognize and adopt HS 3902.3000.00 for copolymer. The copolymer code therefore does not form part of the ones that attracts a levy”, the manufacturers added. The manufacturers added that the effect of such import levy on copolymer would be adverse on the Nigerian public considering the cost effect on con-

Government on the need to accelerate trade facilitation processes as well as the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) to save the economy from the unbearable burden of avoidable debt obligation. Specifically, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) noted that the continued delay in returning government accounts to the Central Bank is adding to the huge cost of government debt due to poor cash flow management, stressing the need for urgent reforms to ensure proper tracking of government revenue and lodgements of government funds in the banks to reduce revenue leakages. Besides, the chamber added that the continued delay in the passage of the 2014 federal budget would have negative impact on the economy if not properly addressed. A TSA is an essential tool for consolidating and managing governments’ cash

resources. In countries with fragmented government banking arrangement, the establishment of a TSA receives priority in the public financial management reform agenda. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the primary objective of a TSA is to ensure effective aggregate control over government cash balances. In a communiqué issued at the end of its council meeting recently, the LCCI explained that there were growing concerns with issues on the fiscal operations of the federal government, especially with regard to remittance of revenues to

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

SON institutes committee to review standards on cement By Ade Ogidan (Business Editor) and Femi Adekoya HE Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has instituted a technical committee to review standards on locally produced cement, to address current raging controversy over quality of the essential building material being produced by the nation’s manufacturers. SON however allayed fears over the quality profile of made-in-Nigeria cement, stressing that the various brands in the country adhere strictly to the approved standards. Various stakeholders in the industry recently, raised concerns over the production of 32.5 grade of cement in the country, against the 42.5 grade, which SON earlier approved for imported brands. Indeed, a coalition of civil society groups and professional bodies in the construction industry had protested against manufacturers and importers of 32.5 grade cement, threatening to mobilise end-users against the “low strength” brands. But the Director-General of SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, explained in Lagos, yesterday that both 32.5 and 42.5 grades of cement are of acceptable qualities, even as he accepted that misapplication of both grades could compromise the integrity of a building structure. Odumodu pointed out that “there is no sub-standard cement brand being produced in the country”, saying that like other manufactured products, cement has its shelf life. “There could also be mis-

• To revive building codes, grading labels on product’s bags

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Odumodu application of cement types during its processing for construction. The 32.5 grade, for instance, is used mainly for plastering, block making, flooring and other lighter jobs. “The 42.5 grade of cement, on the other hand, is used for heavier jobs like pillars and high rise buildings, even though appropriate

application of acceptable ratios must be adhered to during mixing, to achieve the best results”, he said. According to him, unethical practices on the part of builders could compromise the integrity of a structure and “SON has intensified its enlightenment campaign to address the situation”.

Already, he said his organisation has been collaborating with all the stakeholders in the building industry to achieve higher standards in their respective operations. For instance, Odumodu disclosed that special training programmes are being embarked upon for artisans in the industry, to enable them to acquire higher skills in their respective operations. He said the technical review committee would comprise of technocrats in the industry, members of the civil society organizations, academia and the media, among others. Under the review agenda, bags of cement will now state categorically the grade of the content, while the building code will now be revived, to ensure compliance to ethical standards in the construction industry. Odumodu reiterated that SON has been proactive in its operations and would ensure that people are not exposed to products that

could endanger lives. Earlier, Dangote Cement Plc had debunked claims of producing low quality products stating that all the products rolling out from its three cement plants were certified 42.5 grade in line with international standard and quality benchmark, even as it hopes to increase its quality to 52.5 grade. Addressing journalists in Lagos at the weekend, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, DVG. Edwin, said Dangote Cement chose to produce 42.5 cement grade as it is stronger and has better qualities. According to him, the cement grade possesses higher strength capability and is rapid setting making it the preferred grade among block makers, builders and construction workers. Justifying the company’s preference for the production of 42.5 grade cement, Edwin said that prior to the nation attaining self-sufficiency in cement production, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) stipulated the 42.5

grade as the grade accepted one to be imported into the country and all importers complied. He said: “Dangote Cement as a responsible market leader has continued to produce 42.5 grade in its three plants in strict adherence to the stipulations of the SON. On its part, the Block Moulders Association of Nigeria believe that the allegation of poor regulation in the production of cement and its usage may need to be properly addressed. According to the association, SON had at several workshops for block makers had advocated the effective utilization of cement in enhancing the quality of blocks and buildings being erected. Its National President, Alhaji Rasheed Adebowale explained that capacity building exercises organized by SON had gone a long way in empowering block moulders, adding that there is a need for stakeholders within the sector to address key issues rather than embarking on a fault-finding mission.

LCCI tasks govt on trade facilitation, TSA implementation CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 federation account, loss of revenue to crude oil theft, poor tracking of government funds as a result of multiplicity of bank accounts and the increasing burden of servicing domestic debt. The chamber therefore called on the government to ensure proper alignment between expenditure and revenues in order to minimise domestic debt accumulation with its attendant

heavy burden of debt servicing. Furthermore, the LCCI raised concerns about the persistent challenges in the trade facilitation processes at the nation’s ports and its implications for the cost of doing business in the Nigerian economy. “Most often, importers are compelled to pay huge demurrage charges for delays which were not of their own making. There have been reports of delays arising from the Shipping

companies, Terminal operators and the Nigeria Customs Service. Invariably, the importers are compelled to pay for these short comings. Council called on the relevant authorities to ensure

immediate redress of the situation and put in place an appropriate regulatory framework to streamline the activities of terminal operators and shipping companies”, it added. On the issue of budget

delay, the chamber urged the National Assembly to accelerate the consideration of the 2014 budget, without compromising the quality of its deliberations and scrutiny of the budget, stating that the consequences of the delay would impact the economy negatively through the escalation of uncertainty in the economy, delays in delivery of infrastructure projects which has profound impact on productivity in the economy, delays in payment of contractors of government projects, and risk to contractual agreements on various government projects. Similarly, the chamber added that the continued delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill is negatively impacting on investment in the oil and gas sector with adverse implications for the economy, noting that the continued policy uncertainty has resulted in stagnation of investment in the sector. With electioneering process about to commence, the chamber’s council stressed the significance of the credibility and independence of the key institutions driving the electoral process and the political transition programme reiterating that the integrity of these institutions remains critical to the realisation of a credible political transition and stable polity.


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014 Business 21

Govt, IBM collaborate on Nigeria’s technology devt By Adeyemi Adepetun DENTIFIED challenges in Ieconomy key sectors of the Nigerian will receive urgent attention through the new collaboration between the Ministry of Communication Technology (MoCT) and U.S. based technology firm, IBM. This was discussed at a roundtable meeting in Abuja, at the weekend, between the MoCT and IBM, with the global technology firm identifying what it described as several “Grand Challenges” of concern to much of Nigeria and Africa in the areas of water and sanitation, energy management, financial services, human mobility (including transportation and public safety, healthcare and agriculture. The discussions at the meeting centered on the various processes necessary for facilitating the adoption of Smart Government solutions to enhance the development of Nigeria in the area of healthcare delivery, government to citizen engagement, transparency and accountability in government as well as deploying ICTs for inclusive development. Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson at the meeting, emphasized, “Technology is a key driver of economic and social development that should be adopted to facilitate the development of key sectors of the economy for the benefit of Nigerians.” Johnson said the ministry is committed to ensuring that ICT is leveraged to enhance and facilitate the transformational development of Nigeria in critical sectors of the economy such as power, health, education, agriculture, interior to enable inclusive development, job creation, transparency of governance and economic growth. To IBM’s team, led by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ms Ginni Rometty expressed support for Nigeria’s technology development agenda being coordinated by the MoCT. Ms. Rometty also reemphasized the company’s continued commitment to Nigeria’s scientific and technology development goals. “Technology innovation is a key ingredient for social and economic transformation, and critical for crossing the innovation divide. I am encouraged to see the Ministry of Communication Technology spearheading technology reforms in Nigeria, encouraging investment in key building blocks of growth such as education and skills, digital and physical infrastructure and scientific and technical research. “IBM will partner with the government, businesses, academia and innovators to aid the adoption of new technologies which will tangibly support efforts to spur development in Nigeria.” she added. Ms Rometty underscored IBM’s capacity to plug into the local technology ecosystem, supporting e-commerce and e-government

initiatives, spurring the transfer and commercialization of new technologies from academia to industry, and deploying IBM’s proven assets and research capabilities to help resolve “some of Africa’s most pressing challenges such as energy, water, human mobility, agriculture, healthcare, financial inclusion and public safety.” The meeting ended with government and IBM officials resolving to work together on key research areas via the IBM Research Africa Lab that will leverage technology to create solutions to identified challenges and also on best practices for technology enabled government that can be leveraged for Nigeria.

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Accion Microfinance Bank (AMfB), Bunmi Lawson (right); Chief Commercial Officer, Nwanna Joel-Ezeugo; and Director of Commerce, Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Hakeem Adeniji, during the visit of the ministry’s officials to the financial institution’s head office in Lagos.


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International Economy Tuesday, February 11, 2014

China’s export growth lagging, loans surge HINA’S export and C import growth likely cooled in January, a Reuters poll showed, underlining a broader slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy, though the Lunar New Year holiday effect may overstate the soft momentum. Weakness in China’s imports could be bad news for the rest of the world, particularly for major commodity exporters such as Australia. HSBC estimates China will overtake the United States to become the world’s biggest importer this year. Bank loans in China are expected to see a typical seasonal surge in January as banks get fresh lending quotas at this time every year, underlining relatively stable credit demand from the real economy. Many economists expect a soft slowdown in China’s economy in 2014 as policymakers try to embrace slower but better-quality growth to cut reliance on investment and pursue sustainable development. “Given the stable economic situation last year and increasing expectations over pushing forward reform, economic growth is facing increasing pressure in short-term,” said Xie Yaxuan, an economist with China Merchant Securities in a note. Fears of a sharper-thanexpected loss of momentum in China were believed to be one contributing factor in a fierce global financial market selloff in January, with emerging markets hit particularly hard. The median forecast of 19

economists polled by Reuters showed export growth likely slipped to 2.0 percent year-on-year from 4.3 percent in December, while import growth eased to 3.0 percent from 8.3 percent. Analysts said the reported export data was distorted by the Lunar New Year holiday, during which time most factories shut for extended breaks, and last year’s high base, which was inflated by speculative trade activities disguised as exports. “Caution must be taken when interpreting the numbers as seasonal volatility in the run-up to Chinese New Year is likely to have distorted the headline figures,” analysts at Capital Economics said in a note to client. Even if China’s economic growth sinks to a 24-year low of 7.4 percent this year, it will still grow nearly three times as fast as the U.S. economy, and will therefore add twice as much demand to the world economy compared to the United States, HSBC economist Frederic Neumann said in a note earlier this month. “A wobble on the mainland would shake things up elsewhere,” he said. January new yuan loans are forecast to have surged to 1.1 trillion yuan ($181.42 billion), more than double December’s figure and on par with 1.07 trillion yuan in the same time in 2012. The broad M2 money supply is likely to have grown 13.2 percent in January, easing slightly from 13.6 percent in December, according to the poll.

Containers State media have reported that China’s top four state banks speeded up new lending in January, handing over 430 billion yuan in the first 26 days of the month, up 10 percent over the same period a year earlier. New loans in the first quarter on an average account for a third of the full-year total over the past decade. The central bank warned in the middle of last month that loans have grown rapidly in January and commercial banks should set a reasonable pace on lend-

ing. “The robust pace of bank lending suggests that demand from the real economy remains resilient, underscoring our view that January’s seemingly weak data should be taken with a pinch of salt,” UBS analysts said in a note. Meanwhile, annual con-

sumer inflation is expected to edge down to 2.3 percent in January versus December’s 2.5 percent on declining pork prices and warmer weather. Producer prices are forecast to have fallen for a 23rd month, with the producer price index to drop to 1.7 percent in January from a

year ago. Retail sales, industrial output and investment data will not be published for January. The statistics bureau will release combined data for January and February next month to help smooth out distortions from the Lunar New year holidays. ($1 = 6.0634 Chinese yuan).


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014 Business 25

Coscharis bags Nigeria’s franchise for Rolls-Royce By Taiwo Hassan HE Managing Director, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited for Middle East, Africa and Latin America, Geoffrey Briscoe has said the franchise ownership secured by Coscharis Motors will roll in latest models of Rolls-Royce brand of luxury cars into the country in May. Speaking at a pre-media briefing in Lagos, over the weekend, he said that arrangements are in place to bring in latest Rolls-Royce models that

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.Wraith, other latest models hit Nigerian market in May are meant for the Nigerian market, weather and environment. According to him, the Nigerian market represents an opportunity for Rolls-Royce family, adding that there are lots of possibilities in the Nigerian automobile industry. Briscoe said that he came to Coscharis to inspect and see the amount of work done so far in Rolls-Royce showroom in preparation for the May

launching date of Rolls-Royce vehicles. Models expected include Wraith, Ghost, Phantom Coupe and others. He stressed that Coscharis Group is the franchise owner and the authorised dealer of Rolls-Royce brand of automobiles in Nigeria, sub Sahara Africa and North Africa. The Rolls-Royce boss explained that it was amazed to note that about 150 Rolls-Royce models

Govt urged to go into commercial farming HE General Manager of He added that modalities were try. T Shonga Farm in Edu Local also on ground for the out- Adebayo said the farm was colwith Malete Government Area of Kwara, grower scheme to support laborating Sangobiyi Adebayo, has called on government to go into commercial agriculture Adebayo told newsmen in IIorin, at the weekend, that this was the only way the three tiers of government could solve the nation’s food challenge. According to him, the era of subsistence farming is long gone, stressing that it is important for Nigerians to key into modern farming to enhance productivity. Adebayo explained that it was erroneous to see agriculture as a mere way of life, instead of a viable business. He said that the sector, if professionally harnessed, would engender food sufficiency and self-reliance. The general manager said modern intensive farming could be encouraged through agriculture-based financial banks.

‘No plan to sell ANAMMCO’ By Taiwo Hassan UOYED by the opportunities of the new automotive policy in the Federal Government to revive the nation’s moribund automotive industry, the Chairman, board of Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company (ANAMMCO), Chief Godwin Okeke, has said that there was no plan in place either in the short or long term to sell the moribund company. The Chairman, in a press statement, while reacting to the rumour that about three automakers were already jostling to buy the company, said rather, the board is puting in place efforts to revive the production lines soon. According to him, the board has perfected plans that would ensure that it maximise the opportunities that are available in the new automotive policy, adding that it will roll out its plans in due course. He however commended the government’s new automotive policy, describing it “as a right step in the right direction which will eventually contribute greatly to the National Industrial Revolution of the Federal Government.” “Anammco is thriving with functioning production infrastructure to implement the new National Automotive Policy of the Federal Government,” Okeke said. Earlier it was reported that three automakers were already jostling to acquire the moribund company, as the board was awaiting the final decision of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE)’s on the bidders.

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farmers to boost productivity and income. He described Shonga Farm Holdings as the first commercial farming centre in the coun-

Integrated Farm Institute under the Kwara Agriculture Master Plan to develop local farmers from the rudimentary stage to advanced commercial farmers.

are in Nigeria, pointing out that it’s a new dawn for the industry as specialised models are on their way to hit the shore of the country come May. “It’s great to back here to access the extent of the work being done so far. For us, opening a new market in Nigeria and Africa is something special because we don’t open too many new markets around the world for our specialised product that is unique in nature. “We are delighted to be coming into this emerging market and besides, there are about 150 Rolls-Royce cars in this market already that largely come from the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe,” Briscoe said. He however added that the mission of Roll-Royce is to ensure that prospective buyers and future owners of the brand are well taking care of,

especially in after sales service because “having a Rolls-Royce is like having a car for life.” “For us, it is a new milestone and a new beginning for this great organisation as we place a huge emphasis on our the way we service customers’ cars and look after them with keen interest,” he said. On the company’s market profile, the managing director said that only 3,600 models were sold last year- the highest sales ever recorded since inception. According to him, Rolls-Royce car is a huge investment with a masterpiece of art and recording such sale was huge in growing the brand worldwide. “We don’t compete against any other car manufacturer. We compete against big thing or piece of art that worth $10 million on the wall or diamond ring. We are only competing in high luxury car areas,” he said.

President/Chief Executive Officer, Coscharis Group of Companies, Dr. Cosmos Maduka said it was great to add the Rolls-Royce franchise into the group, pointing out that this would further expand the company’s horizon as a leading automobile company in the country. He said that his company moved in to get the franchise deal to curb capital flight being experienced in the automobile industry as car owners spend millions of Naira to bring down technical experts into the country to service their specialised cars like Rolls-Royce brand. He however pledged that his company would introduce a “bespoke programme” that will allow prospective buyers of Rolls-Royce to travel to United Kingdom and request for a model of his choice which includes, specification, colour, monogramme and configuration.


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Appointments Efficient human resource management as elixir to business growth 

Famuyibo By Yetunde Ebosele and Wole Oyebade HE saying that ‘time and tide wait for no man’ indeed captures the rapid changes in today’s business world. The way of doing business has changed and so are the strategies that had once made successful ventures few years ago. Worsened by today’s economic realities and inconsistency of government’s policies, businesses in Nigeria like their counterparts around the world, have three options: to succeed, survive or sink. Surviving the odds to break even, according to experts, is the most difficult of choices, requiring grits and guts of contemporary Human Resources (HR) practitioners. And whether a business succeeds, survives or sinks, it is a function of how the Human Resource practitioners adapt to change, necessary innovation and profitability. Leading Human Resource practitioners in the country made this submission recently in Lagos at the inauguration of Personnel Practitioners Consultative Association, Lekki/Ajah/Badore, of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM), Lagos State Branch. The practitioners observed that times were when building big factories were equivalent of good business.  Leading HR consultant, Dr. Oladimeji Alo said: “We are talking about intellectual capital, the central factor that will determine the success of any business.” Sharing his thought with members of the CIPM, Alo said that management function must understand these forces (Change, innovation and profitability) and identify with them, adding that “to stay relevant, become part of the solutions that business

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Alo needs to survive and succeed.” He added: “That is, accountants, purchasing managers, marketing managers, the public relation officers and also the HR managers must understand these forces. You become relevant, only to the extent that you represent solution to challenges facing the organisation.” Explaining the changing dynamics of today’s businesses, Alo, a university lecturer, management consultant and corporate executive of several decades,  observed that in Nigeria and the world over, there are some forces that have redefined the landscape of businesses. One of them, according to him is the changing demography, adding that in today’s Europe, the working population is shrinking, while that of its dependant is widening. For businesses and today’s HR, therefore, it is not about the shift in population, but meeting the needs of those that are younger and the majority, and how your company comes into this picture creatively. Second of the changing dynamics is the average consumers and their purchasing power that is declining. Unlike in time past, today’s consumes have a larger variety of goods and services to choose from, coupled with better information access about available options. The implication is that it is no longer sufficient for companies to create goods or services, but they must give the best value at competitive price. Third is high level of competition in virtually all sectors. There is also wide use of technology in businesses and the last, the emergence of the intellectual capital. According to Alo: “Today, you compete on the basis of the intellectual capital of your workers. This is not

about what they know, but about who they are and how they apply themselves to the work. “That is where HR has become the darling of businesses, because HR is the section that is saddled with responsibility of managing human capital. All these talks about innovation, change and profitability, arise from the intellectual capital available in the company today.” Continuing, he said: “While technology and finances are important in business, they do not guarantee success any more. Even in Nigeria, I can give you examples. If technology and finance would guarantee success, I’m not sure Starcomms would go down. So, it is not about the business model but the environment also moved against them. “To survive today, a company needs to raise its Innovation Quotient (IQ) and intellectual capital. These are the things that will determine whether a company survive or perish,” he said. By definition, innovation is not to produce a new thing or just another product; rather, “trying to figure out a way of doing something better than it has ever been done before.” What does Hers need to do? Alo proffered three key ways. They are: hiring for innovation, create a culture of innovation and lastly, train and reward for innovation. Hiring for innovation, he explained, entails having a successful employee that has tasted other climes. In hiring for innovation, HR must place emphasis on innovative quotient of candidates. “That is, someone who is inquisitive and not locked to one view point but ready to challenge the status quo. A reckless worker that is ready to move when the job has become routine. I would prefer an employee that has

worked in different organisations than one that has remain on one job for 20 years. ” To create a culture of innovation, on the other hand, is creating a room for workers to

Popoola “experiment and fail creatively. “That is, allow them to take informed risk, otherwise they will not innovate. I understand that Google allows its employees to spend 20 per cent of their time on projects

that they feel passionate about within the company’s resources. If it becomes good, the company profits from it. “BMW also encourage their workers to experiment. You

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014 APPOINTMENT 35

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Importance of human resources in business development CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27 can redefine the organisational structure for innovative purpose. We are the owner of structure and can review it to remove vestiges of bureaucracy. The best person to innovate is the guy who does the job,” he said. Alo, former managing director/chief executive officer of the Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC), advised that HR must constitute project team, constituting people from different departments, grade levels and of different exposures. The team must foster an environment that celebrates diversity and encourages i n c l u s i v e n e s s . He said:   “As HR managers, many of us like to recruit people we are comfortable with. Many directors, in the process, employ their relations, their town people and everyone becomes the same way. That is dangerous for i n n o v a t i o n . “As HR, we must encourage diversity and then encourage people to think differently. Allow them to do new things, while you guide. That is the job of HR.” On training and rewarding innovations, the guest speaker stressed that emphasis must be placed on capacity development of workers, coupled with research and development in the organisat i o n . He said: “Don’t forget, if you pay peanut you get moneys to work for you. People that are not well paid will not innovate. In that case, you will have ‘presenteeism,’ they

only bring bodies to work but their minds are at home. “The man that is not engaged cannot innovate. It is not all about salaries. If the guy is happy, feeling happily engaged, feels you are paying him a fair wage, feels that you value his presence and contribution, he would go out of his way to give you innovation in r e t u r n . “HR must also be aware that to promote innovation, there must be investment in research and development. What you reward is what you g e t . ” Giving these tasks, HR practitioners indeed have multiple roles to play, to support the strategic intention of their employers. The reward is that “for as long as you are supporting the strategic intention of your employer, you will forever be relevant. “You must ask yourself everyday: “How can I be part of the solution?” Profitability is all about innovation and change adaptability. In other words, you cover all your cost and still have something left. Any business that is not profitable in the long run will not survive,” he said.  Alo also urged HR practitioners to take time in propagating the ground for effective change to take place in the respective organisation. While the change process would take time, he, however, warned that any company that does not innovate is heading for extinction and “such examples abound in Nigeria in dozens… it is just a matter of time, they will go d o w n . ”

In preparing HR practitioners for the changing times, Alo observed that the CIPM, as apex regulatory body for HR management practice in Nigeria, is trying its best but the practitioners also need to complement the effort with individual self-development activities, to comprehend the entire gamut of the business and state of the economy. Vice President CIPM,

 

Anthony Arab me added that it was expedient for HR practitioners, to have a paradigm shift from mere administrative functions like allotting leave and canteen allowances to the workers. According to Arab me: “We must have competence management, learning and development, strategy development, creating employee value culture that makes your

company the delight of employees and their first choice. When you do that, you are making the difference, rather than make up the numbers,” he said. Immediate Past President of the body, Abiola Popoola said further that HR practitioners must be unrelenting in knowledge-sharing and innovating changes. Apparently in agreement

with Popoola, chairman of the Lagos Branch of the CIPM, Adedeji Omotayo, however, urged practitioners in the country to get certified and licensed by the apex regulatory body. He said that practitioners that complied would benefit from networking and knowledge sharing on evolving trends and job opportunities in the practice.


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014 APPOINTMENT 43

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Choosing the best recruiting tool for the whole company By Adebayo Sanni R folk take centre in the new technology show   – they, of all professionals in a company, use more social media, analyse vast amounts of data and spend half their time on mobile devices. They are more in tune with the wired and wifi world, with apps and social platforms changing the way they recruit, onboard, train and retain good people. We’ve seen HR managers among our customers blaze a trail in their use of tools and software to ensure their organisations lead the pack when it comes to finding and developing talent. But as the adage goes – with great power comes great responsibility, and as pioneering people in the people business, be reminded that there’s other software working in other parts of the business that will want to work effortlessly with the software you have. There are many blogs on the Internet discussing good recruiting tools, onboarding software, compensation and talent management, and so on. The value of these packages need to be measured not only in their ability to do the job and do it well, but in their ability to “speak” to the rest of the organisation, share information, and manage the hiring, on-boarding, compensa-

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tion, talent management and termination processes that comprise the tenure of employees. Two things have changed since the old days of software (we’re harking back to around 2007 now) when it took ages for users to get the software system to do for them what they wanted it to do, and it took a long time to decide what software to use. Firstly, software is being delivered in a way that makes it quick to get up and running, cost effective to run and easy to gain user acceptance. The second is that business people like HR professionals are deciding for themselves what software and tools are good for their job.  The first element is great for the business: software delivered on the cloud or as a service makes it more affordable but it also changes the business dramatically – decisions are made much faster and pressure has mounted on the manager who now has the reports he needs daily rather than monthly, and has the flexibility to make decisions and tweak the system to support those changes. The second element is a little trickier – you may love using a particular package and you’ve gathered a mine of information that will put you ahead in the recruitment league. But if that software is using code that is

not based on industry standards, or does not integrate with the main financial or sales systems, for example, you could find your precious information of no use to the rest of the organisation. For example, you may want to access sales quota data when evaluating the performance of a salesperson, or identify training opportunities with them.

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offer free medical services to the rural dwellers and those in urban slums that could not afford medical bills. The Commissioner added that the programme, which was coordinated by the state Ministry of Health, had brought relief to medical

needs of hundreds of thousands of citizens in the state. He stressed that the focus of government was to make available effective, qualitative, equitable affordable and accessible health care delivery system to the citizens of the state

Royal Exchange appoints group head OYAL Exchange Plc has R announced the appointment of Mukesh Malhotra, an Indian national, as the new group head, Strategy and Business Planning. Confirming this appointment to newsmen recently was the Group Managing Director, Chike Mokwunye, who said that the appointment of Malhotra was in continuation of the company’s resolve to employ seasoned professionals who could impact positively on the fortunes of the group and resolve to build a market-oriented organisation that would be responsive to the needs of the market and the ever-changing demands of the client, that keep Royal Exchange in business. Speaking further, Mokwunye added, “this appointment will enable Royal Exchange redefine its strategic vision, develop new products and channels to meet the ever-changing needs of the consumer and also enable the Group to be a dorminant player in the

cuss how the valuable information you’re gathering about potential and current staff needs to be stored, accessed and shared in your company. If you find a tool or software or app that really does it for you in your job your IT department can review it for you, and let you know if it’s going to be compatible with your organisation’s

systems. Even if these tools are external to the company, have them checked out. Also, make a list of the features that really appeal. Your IT guru may just find something that is easier to integrate with what the company already has, but has all (or nearly all), the features you wanted. • Sanni is the country manager for Oracle in Nigeria. 

Sir Okey Ofili, out-going head of service handing over to the in-coming Head of Service, Delta State, Sir Paul Evuarherhe. PHOTO: JACOB GBOGIDI

Kogi ministry honours staff with merit award From Kolawole Timothy, Lokoja MORU Mohammed, a night guard with the Kogi State Ministry of Health has bagged the 2013 merit award of the ministry for his dedication to duty. Also, a nurse with the ministry, Milam Shaibu Amedu Baba was conferred with the best staff award of the year under reviewed. Speaking during the presentation of the award and reception organised for staff of the ministry who retired in the year 2013 held at the premises of the ministry, the state Commissioner of Health, Dr. Idris Omega explained that the award was informed by the need to encourage those who have put in their best in the service of the ministry and contributed their quota to the transformation agenda of Governor Idris Wada in the health sector. The commissioner added that so far the state government had spent the sum of N181 Million for the three quarters as at December 2013 for the Free Rural Medical Service Programme organised by the Kogi State governm e n t . He added that under the programme over 115,000 patients were treated free of charge by the medical teams which involved surgical operation, laboratory services and outpatient treatment during the free rural medical s e r v i c e . According to him, the free rural medical service programme was designed to

It’s far more beneficial to see their history from end to end, across all business processes. If you haven’t done so already, take a trip to your IT department and let them know what you’re doing, and let them explore the software and tools you are using. The way IT is going, they will soon be knocking on your door anyway to dis-

insurance and other financial services sector in Nigeria”, he added. The statement from the Corporate Communications Department of the company said that Mukesh would be responsible for developing different business strategies for the various business subsidiaries, develop new products, enhance existing products/channels and also implement the revised 3-year Strategic Plan for the organisation encompassing all the functions in the organisation.

Mukesh


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Labour Labour may stage mass action on revival of public education From Collins Olayinka, Abuja ABOUR movement and its Lcountry civil society allies in the may soon organise mass action for the revival of public education. Speaking at a memorial organised for late Baba Omojola and Festus Iyayi in Abuja, under the aegis of ‘Abuja Collective’ labour activists, civil society activists and the academia such as John Odah, Prof. Assisi Asobie, Femi Falana, Tanko Yakassai, Yunusa Ya’u and Issa Aremu, warned that the present neglect of public education by successive governments at every levels might retard the economic development of the country in the long term.  Specifically, Issa Aremu, who is vice president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said that labour movement would not hesitate to organise mass action to draw attention to the need for government at all level to devout resources towards appropriate funding of public education. He also said that the dream of joining the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020 could not be realised with the direction the country is heading in the implementation of education policies and funding. His words: “Nigeria cannot be one of the 20 leading economies in the world in the next 20 or even 100 years until it gets its education priorities right. One of the key issues that should determine the election of next year should be education. I think labour will make it an issue amongst other core labour issues such as pension and wages. With all

these uncoordinated defections and deceptions, Nigerians are still looking at the issues that are influencing the political pendulum. I am shocked that the issue of polytechnic strike is not even discussed by the National Assembly. We are yet to hear political parties taking a position on fundamental issues that unite Nigeria.” Aremu stressed that unions in the education sector had been consistent in its struggle for better funding of the sector but expressed regrets that many of those struggles have not yielded the desirable results.    “The evidence to show that government is not interested in education is its persisted under-funding of the sector. While serious countries devote about 25 per cent to education, Nigeria devote about five per cent to the education sector in its 2014 budget estimate. “Provision of sustainable education service delivery lies with government and the key to educational recovery effort is in the quality of teachers.” Going memory lane, Aremu pointed out that adequate funding for education in Nigeria is not something that has not been done before and then sees no reason the days gone by cannot be reinvented. He added: “Nigeria had one of the best education systems in Africa in the 60s, 70s, and early 80s. In fact, Nigeria was education destination for most students in Africa. Even though the universities were few, the quality of products was top quality.

“The real key that pushed Nigeria’s rapid growth in the 60s was its high quality of education that nurtured its human capital development. This worked for a poorer Nigeria, then a richer Nigeria has no reason to put its education sector under lock and key for several months.” Speaking on the theme: “Revolutionaries and the Struggle for Emancipation,” immediate past General Secretary of NLC, John Odah, insisted that Nigerians must speak out against the desper-

ate and despicable habit of large sections of the political elite, trying to manipulate our religious and ethnic diversity for devious political agendas. He submitted that the needs of Nigerians for good governance, for accountable public officers, for qualitative education, for qualitative healthcare, for clean environment, are blind to their religions and ethnic divide. On the decadence in the education sector, Yunusa Ya’u commented: “Our schools are bad because our education system is in crisis, which is

the result of the lack of interest in education by government. That we can today tolerate governments, which pay lip service to education, knowing full well that we cannot as individuals find self-fulfilment and as a nation, cannot develop, without education, expresses one level of what I mean by the chance that society gives to us. That would-be- revolutionary intellectuals are unable to be educated is a concrete denial of the chance for them to be.” He argued that education trained minds to think and

reflect and also enable discourse and debate ideas, clarify, modify and update knowledge. He was however quick to observe that though education cannot be singled out as the sole cause of the challenges Nigeria faces as a nation, but it is clear that Nigeria education system and practice do contribute significantly to the specific trajectory that we have found ourselves in, not just with respect to the governance of the country but also in the contest of ideas that takes place in the society.

Kano govt, PATHS2 mobilise health workers for communities By Wole Oyebade O tackle the problem of inadequate human resource for health, the Kano State government in partnership with its development partner, Partnership for Transforming Health Systems II (PATHS2) is to deploy health workers to rural communities in the state. The deployment, according to the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Abubakar Labara, is to begin once doctors, pharmacists and nurses return from overseas training. No fewer than 150 health personnel are currently undergoing training abroad. The state government said this, in reaction to concerns raised by community leaders in Indabo, during a mega community mobilisation and engagement programme, organised by PATHS2 at Wudil Local Government Area (LGA) of the State. District head of Wudil LGA, Seriki Abdullahi Ibrahim, had expressed concern on dearth of necessary medical workforce, especially medical doc-

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tors, as the major challenge facing health care delivery in the area. He noted that courtesy of PATHS2 efforts, care facilities had been provided and drugs given through the Drug Revolving Fund mechanism, but medical doctors are still lacking in the Primary Healthcare Centres. Except for the General Hospital that has two medical doctors, none of the four PhDs has a doctor. Labara, however, assured the residents that the government was not unaware of their challenges, as had commenced efforts to tackle them. He said: “The difficulty will reduce once our 100 doctors and pharmacists return to the country. Health delivery is a gradual thing and we are getting there. We are not relenting in training manpower, building capacity and providing drugs with the support of PATHS2. And in a matter of time, the situation will further improve,” Labara said. The commissioner, however,

urged the rural dwellers to take advantage of 16 mobile clinics that have been provided by the government to treat their ailments, adding that measles and cholera were still prevalent. National Programme Manager PATHS2, Michael Egboh added that the development partner was also collaborating with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to ensure that medical professionals are assigned to communities in dire need of care

services. He stressed that PATHS2, though has improved standard of facilities, but it is not to replace the state government function, but to draw government’s attention to outstanding issues like human resource for health. Egboh said: “We are working to ensure that the NYSC post more doctors to this area. It is one of the tasks that the LG chairman can also undertake. Ours is to facilitate change and speed up action,” he said.


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Focus Morocco garners support for peace in Middle East Foreign Affairs Editor, OGHOGHO OBAYUWANA writes on Morocco’s various efforts to broker peace in the HE King of Morocco, Mohammed VI recentT ly convened an al-Quds (Jerusalem) Committee meeting, in support of Middle East Peace Process. The convocation is important because it is coming at a time most of Africa is in search of peace and stability. Conflicts in the Middle East have always promoted terrorism in Africa. The Middle East peace process is protracted, but diplomatic watchers think that with a moderate Arab leader standing up to be counted, something good can come from an Afro- Arabic initiative!  The historic meeting is coming on the heels of the United States’ Secretary of State, John Kerry’s visit to the Maghreb nation, with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders on hand. The 20th session in Marrakech, of the al Quds Committee of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), makes it the first time in more than 10 years that such a convergence would happen, in an effort to contribute to the renewed negotiations, while building on America’s drive to revive the Middle East peace process. Established in 1975 by the OIC and originally chaired by King Mohammed VI’s father, King Hassan II, the committee is now seeking a political solution to the issue of Jerusalem’s status, in order to further the peace process, to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  From interested parts of the world, Nigeria inclusive, global citizens watched international, non-Islamic observers, including representatives from the Vatican, the European Union, United Nations Security Council member states, and President Obama’s special envoy to the Organisation of the Islamic Conference labour to support a special road map for the Middle East conflict. “Morocco’s long history of leadership on this issue, its strong record of religious tolerance, and King Mohammed VI’s unwavering commitment to peace in the region, positions it to make a meaningful contribution to the peace process Secretary Kerry has been working so diligently on,” said Edward M. Gabriel, former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco, while asking delegates to ensure that deliberations lead to positive action.  For the records, Morocco has long shown an interest in Jerusalem and the well being of its residents, quietly funding up to 80 per cent of the OIC’s philanthropic projects in the Holy City, including the building of schools and hospitals and the maintenance of holy sites. According to King Mohammed VI, the country has “played an active role in advancing the Middle East peace process for decades. From 1994-1999, the late King Hassan II worked with Israel’s then-Foreign Minister, David Levy (who is of Moroccan origin), to bring the parties together. Following the signing of the Oslo Peace Accords, King Hassan was publicly honoured by Israeli Minister of Defense Yitzhak Rabin for Morocco’s efforts in furthering the negotiations. Since then, Morocco has served as an arbiter between the parties, regularly hosting both Palestinian and Israel officials.” What is further qualifying the North African country for the new calling? Following the modernisation referendum, during and after the Arab spring, the King has significantly advanced the causes of women’s rights, freedom of the press and the rule of law. In Morocco, women can now vote, drive a car, obtain a divorce, and hold senior positions, thanks to a new family code initiated by the King. The Mourchidat are the Islamic world’s only female clerics, a programme started in Morocco in 2004. The Mourchidat are thought to be a rare experiment in the Moslem world. But most importantly, diplomats think the King of Morocco holds a unique authority among both Israelis and Palestinians as a credible and honest broker, capable of facilitating a dialogue between the two. As a direct descendant of the prophet, Moroccans and historians believe, he possesses an authenticity within

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, with United States President, Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in 2013. ships and the acquisition of emergency med- duit between the three faiths. His position has always been clear: security for Israel and digniical equipment. Manifestly, it is a new impetus for the ty for the Palestinians. If the West focuses on Jerusalem Committee, which should drive the these two principles, as he has, the objective peace process in the days ahead. One good fac- has a useful clarity and direction.” tor about the process is that the King of In the days ahead, King Mohammed VI, as the Morocco has gained an international reputa- literal embodiment of moderate Islam, is tion as a moderate Moslem monarch, who is expected to simultaneously promote a seeking tirelessly a comprehensive solution to Western and democratic worldview. Morocco the oldest and most sensitive conflict in the is uniquely positioned to offer the kind of insight on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that “geopolitical international arena.” Would the Moroccan monarch give a new leading nations such as the U.S. desperately impetus to the ongoing world efforts to reach need. While America continues to play an intean implementation peace accord between the gral role in establishing peace in the Middle Israelis and the Palestinians? Experts think it East, the aid of a third party like Morocco would may become a case of what has been hidden be invaluable! from the wise and the prudent, being revealed In his recent speech in Cairo, President Obama rightly pointed out that Morocco was the first to the babe and the suckling.  In fact, by this calling, Morocco can play a sig- country to recognise America as an independnificant role in brokering the much-needed ent nation. Perhaps, Obama would be wise to peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. “repay the favour” and give Morocco due recogHere is a progressive Moslem country, with nition as an important delegate in the advanceboth African and European influence, and ment of Middle East peace. strategically located to be the centre of a After all, King Mohammed IV has already said in this regard: “The world still has a long way to Western-Moslem dialogue. Having survived the gale of the Arab spring go before states and peoples learn to accept with deft political reengineering, King diversity. It was of utmost importance that the Mohammed is now correctly seen as represent- United Nations became the standard bearer of ing the kind of moderate and progressive peace, tolerance, and mutual understanding world views on which the Western world and serve as a catalyst for a new form of coopershould capitalise and promote as “a formidable ation; one based on solidarity and dedicated to and open-minded new brand of Islam” Why? achieving the dignity and well-being of all peoUnder Mohammed VI, Morocco has reportedly ple.” become increasingly more democratic and the Now as the President of Jerusalem Committee, rule of law and human rights has been rein- one of the tasks of the Moroccan monarch is forced. It is today, a haven for moderate Islam: deploying great efforts to initiate a series of both men and women preachers have a role in social, educational projects in Jerusalem for the promoting an Islam based on tolerance and benefit of Moslem and Christian Palestinians. On the political level, Morocco has publicly said respect of other religions. For his political tinkering, Palestinians trust it is at home with the United Nations General and respect him, despite his effort to promote a Assembly’s decision to upgrade the status of more liberal Moslem democracy, which has the Palestinians to that of a “non-member earned him the condemnation of more radical observer state”. Almost certainly, this should Islamic fundamentalists. And as an advocate give a new impetus to the frozen Israelifor security and coexistence between Palestinian peace process. Palestinians and Israelis, he’s earned the favour Writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the chairof many Jewish leaders who see him as per- man of the U.S. Commission for the preservahaps, one of the only moderate Arab leaders tion of America’s heritage abroad, Lesley Weiss, recently submitted that for all the Holocaustwho recognise Israel’s legitimacy. Recently a Rabat statement circulated by news denying and minimising in the Arab world, agencies read: “As King, he is Commander of there is one Arab leader who continues to the Faithful, but King Mohammed VI has posi- speak out unequivocally about the horrors of tioned himself as commander of all faiths, and the Holocaust. The projection of diplomatic not just Islam, which signals to Christians and watchers is that the new wings now being Jews that he is open-minded and a natural con- given the Middle East peace process would fly far. 

the Moslem world that sets him apart as a conduit of genuine Islam. Recently, a joint statement released following the meeting between King Mohammed VI and President Obama at the White House, also said in this regard: “His Majesty commended the continuous commitment of the President and the efforts of the Secretary of State to advance Middle East peace.  The President acknowledged the contribution of His Majesty, Chairman of the Al Quds committee, to the efforts aiming to achieve a two state solution.” In squaring up with the Middle East peace process, it has to be noted that the Palestinian issue is fundamental for Moroccan diplomacy, which adheres to peace and to protect the inalienable rights of the Palestinians, especially the status of Jerusalem. INTERFAITH COMMITMENT  The fabled commitment of King Mohammed VI to the Middle East peace process may have been demonstrated recently by the messages he sent to Pope Francis and the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Ban Ki-Moon on the idea of promoting “the right climate for peace negotiations” between Palestinians and Israelis and making same to succeed.  Building on that, it was put out in the final communiqué of the Marrakech meetings thus: “The Moroccan sovereign head supported continued commitment of the United States to advance the peace process in the Middle East,” while President Barrack Obama in the same vein “acknowledged the contribution of His Majesty, President of AlQuds Committee, to the efforts of the two-state solution. Since becoming Chairman of the AlQuds Committee, King Mohammed VI has continued with as much care and benevolent interest through Bayt Mal Al Qod, an agency that was established in 1998 both Islamic and non-profit institution, on the initiative of his father, His Majesty the late King Hassan II.” But the interfaith commitment goes beyond mere working together. The Bayt agency today aims to preserve the rights of Arab-Islamic sacred city and improve the living conditions of its people through the support of funding programmes in the field of health, education, population and preservation of religious and civilizational heritage of the city of Al Quds. The agency, in the eye of diplomats, is currently engaging in several projects concerning the rehabilitation of housing for people in need, restoration or construction of schools, community centres and mosques, as well as granting of scholar-


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PERSPECTIVE

Fayemi’s campaign team and Ekiti 2014 With the recent announcement of timetable for this year’s gubernatorial election in Ekiti State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), incumbent Governor John Kayode Fayemi has characteristically unveiled his campaign team in style, writes John Ajayi. HERE is a fine line “T between eccentrics and geniuses. If you’re a little ahead of your time, you’re an eccentric, and if you’re too late, you’re a failure, but if you hit it right on the head, you’re a genius.” Half a century ago, when Thomas Watson (Jnr.) the second president of IBM made this golden remark, not quite a few in his generation knew he was making a prophetic statement that will outlive generations yet unborn. Today, the insightful and prophetic reflection of Watson Jnr. has not only reverberated globally, it has found a perfect expression and deep meaning in the style of politics of the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi (a.k.a. JKF). Since he assumed office as governor of Ekiti State, unarguably the best but difficult state to rule, JKF, who fought a determined but well-focused legal battle to reclaim his hitherto stolen mandate from former Governor Segun Oni of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been methodical, logical and strategic in his approach to issues, governance and politics generally. From whatever political or ideological divide you stand, you cannot but acknowledge the fact that Governor John Kayode Fayemi has been truly urbane in character, style and politics. Not only has he lived up to his calling as a highly cerebral scholar, he has constantly and unconsciously redefined politics in the hitherto violent-prone Ekiti land to the admiration and hidden envy of the most cynical critics of Ekiti people and their politics. Like every mortal, JKF may have had quite a few challenges and a little below expectations in certain areas, he has nonetheless delivered immensely on democracy dividends. He has democratized dividends in democracy reaching out to all old people on a monthly basis irrespective of party affiliations. Why then is the furore? With the paucity of funds and the meager allocation accruing to the state from the federal government, JKF has elevated the art and act of governance in Ekiti State from its past mediocre status to a more creative and robust productive engagement leveraging on all identifiable opportunities and networks. Most unique and outstanding about the activistturned politician is the fact that he has always turned challenges to opportunities and in the process unconsciously endearing and bonding himself more to the fastidious but appreciative people of Ekiti State. As a proud indigene of Ekiti State, I make bold to say that indeed, JKF truly represents and epitomizes the pristine Omoluabi symbol, the true ideal of an Ekiti. Unlike his peers and those before him, JKF’s recent declaration of intent to seek re-election into the exalted office of Governor of Ekiti State

through a well crafted press statement as an advertorial in major national dailies is also emblematic of the man with style and panache. Titled, “2014: I heed the sacred calls of Ekiti people to run for second term”, the content and indeed, the import of the widely publicized press report was unambiguous. The governor’s political ingenuity and intellectual sagacity was brilliantly deployed in the persuasive choice of words that appeal to reason. Take this sampler: “Our people can faithfully testify that together the Collective

Rescue Mission we promised at the onset of our first term in office has crystallized. Indeed, our people can attest to how we have rescued Ekiti State from the years of locusts and returned our dear state to the path of respectability, stability and development. Our people can affirm that we have kept faith with our Road Map to Ekiti Recovery – the 8 points agenda. Every stratum of Ekiti State can see our footprints on those key sectors we promised to touch. My readiness to heed your calls today is therefore a demonstration of our collective commitment to continue the good work we have begun”.

JKF’s excerpts as quoted are indeed statements of facts. Facts, and real facts as in facts on ground. A visitor to Ekiti State today or anytime will be amazed at the level of infrastructural growth and development of the predominantly agrarian and rural economy. For JKF, there is no colouring the fact as his midas touch has achieved almost 3600 degrees transformation of Ekiti State. His rebranding and repositioning the state as “… Ile iyi, Ile Eiye” has resonated well in the attitude and culture of the people who are homogenous in all aspects and ramifi-

cations. While I will restrain from all temptations to go into the details of landmark achievements of JKF to buttress my assertion that the governor’s argument on why he is qualified and deserve re-election, I will but try and limit myself to the reasoned logic in the declaration and indeed the composition of his electoral campaign committee. As someone not given to brash politics and undue egotism, JKF had counseled; “My decision to heed the calls of our people...does not translate to the closure of the politi-

cal space for contest. I therefore look forward to fair competition from my co-aspirants within and outside our party. I look forward to very robust debates and issue-based campaign”. Recognizing the enormous task ahead while also not ready to substitute real politicking for governance, JKF announced the appointment of five eminent indigenes of the state who are professionals in their own rights as campaign committee members. • John Ajayi is Publisher/CEO of Marketing Edge Magazine.


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MarketReport EQUITY MARKET SUMMARY

AS AT 10-02-2014

PRIMERA AFRICA www.primera-africa.com


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MARKET INDICATORS

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AS AT 10-02-2014

PRIMERA AFRICA

Investors’ wealth depreciates by N41 billion By Helen Oji QUITY transactions on the E Nigerian Stock Exchange re-opened on a bearish trend following loses recorded by some highly capitalised companies, resulting to a slide in market capitalisation by N41 billion. Specifically, at the close of trading yesterday, the All Share Index ASI depreciated by 125.70 basis points to 40,647.80 from 40,773.50 points traded on Friday while the market capitalisation of the listed equities dropped by N41 billion to N13.029 trillion from N13.070 trillion recorded previously. On the price movement chart, Nestle Nigeria Plc led losers table for the day, shedding N5.00 to close at N1135.00 per share while Oando Plc trailed with a loss of N1.02 kobo to close at N20.81per share. Nigerian Breweries, Guaranty Trust Bank GTbank and Zenith international Bank declined by N0.50 kobo, N0.43 kobo and N0.43 respectively to close at N153.50 per cent, N27.05 per cent and N21.80 per share. Conversely, Julius Berger topped gainers chart, improving by N3.50 kobo to close at

N74.05 kobo, Presco Plc followed with a gain of N2.19 kobo to N46.18 kobo while Betaglass appreciated by N0.97 kobo to close at N20.44 kobo. Other stocks that appreciated in price were Union Dicon and Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc which gained N0.30 kobo and N0.25 kobo respectively to close at N12.45 kobo and N11.89 kobo. The trading result showed that NEM Insurance of the financial sector recorded the highest volume of activities for the day, exchanging 165.200 million shares worth N130.391 million, Zenith Bank followed with account of 34.681 million shares valued at N756.282 million while FBN Holdings traded 30.004 million shares valued at N454.014 million. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) traded 29.319 million shares valued at N125.603 million and Law Union and Rock Insurance exchanged a total of 20.050 million shares cost N10.025 million. In all investors bought 445.475 million shares worth N5.230 billion in 4591 deals against 273.137 million shares valued at N3.181 billion traded on Friday in 5065 deals.

SEC explains closure of ‘New Nation’ offices By Bukky Olajide ECURITIES and Exchange Sexplained Commmission [SEC] has that the need to fur-

What Happened? The NSE All-Share index gained by 141bps (1.41%) and closed at 41.366.42. This represents a year-to-date performance of 0.09%. Market Capitalisation also appreciated 1.41% to close at N13.260trillion. Total value traded increased 86.77% to N 5.44 billion and total volume traded increased 53.45% to 396.96 million units. Where? At the close of trading, the banking sector represented 64.16% of the total market value traded, while the breweries sector represented 8.34% The Top 5 stocks as a % of total market value traded were: ZENITHBANK (31.92%), GUARANTY (8.94%), FBNH (7.51%), TRANSCORP (7.16%) and ETI (5.88%). On a volume basis, the Top 5 most traded stocks for the day were: TRANSCORP (92.20m), ZENITHBANK (74.47m), FBNH (27.79m), DIAMONDBANK (22.64m) and ETI (21.61m)

ther sanitise the financial sector informed reasons behind the closure of 32 offices of a wonder bank called ‘New Nation’. In an unprecedented clampdown, the Commission last week commenced a shutdown of the premises of New Nation in 32 states of the Federation, including the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) The Acting Director Enforcement, SEC, Eric Elujekor, described the organisation as an illegal fund manager that did not register with the SEC but existed with the sole aim of deceiving the public. Elujekor disclosed that the SEC had previously sealed off some offices of the company in Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Sokoto in the past. According to Elujekor, "It is a company that has so many offices. When we got knowledge of what they said they wanted to do, we invited the person in charge to tell us what he was doing. He came here and told us that he had 21 pillars, and that was the term he used. And those pillars represent a project that they intend to do and all these pillars are under a conglomerate they called New Nation. "What he said was that at the end of the day, when they were able to get people to participate in these pillars, Nigeria would be a ‘New Nation’. All the pillars are operating under different names like Women In Oil which is a limited liability company on its own. Another is called Global Defender which is a limited liability company. We have Grey and Strong which is also

a limited liability company". Speaking further, he said the exercise was carried out to ensure that no activity would take place in their premises again and to also use it as an avenue to inform the general public to be wary of such organisations and not part with their hard earned money to scammers. The director advised the investing public to seek and get information from the SEC offices in the zones, and its website or any stock broking firm nearest to them. "If you want to make an investment in the capital market, you want to put in your money maybe with a fund manager, first of all, you have to find out from SEC. You do not need to physically come to SEC to find out if these fund managers are registered by the commission who has the power to register fund managers in the capital market. “You can do that by going to the SEC website where you have market operators, click on it and then just enter the name of this company to find out whether it is listed as one of the registered fund managers by the Commission" he said. Elujekor affirmed that the closure of “New Nation” is also a message to operators that the Commission has zero tolerance for illegal operators adding that anytime SEC receives information on their activities, it would not hesitate to seal off their premises and hand over the operators to the relevant authorities for prosecution. The Commission had also sealed off the premises of Women in Oil in 2013 following a newspaper report that President Goodluck Jonathan had not approved any scheme for the advancement of women in oil.


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Law

Quote of the week “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead judicialeditor@yahoo.co.uk/ 08033151041 Desk Head: Ibe Uwaleke

Calling for a conference to restructure Nigeria The release of modalities for the proposed national conference by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, may have gone but there seems to be no end to reactions on the release. In this encounter, a constitutional lawyer, James Ezike, x-rayed the modalities with a verdict that the conference will end up as a jamboree without meeting the expectations of majority of Nigerians.

INTERVIEW By Bertram Nwannekanma ZIKE, arguably one of the foremost advoE cates for a national conference, expressed disappointments with the turns of event on the ground that the methodology of selecting delegates as released by the government guaranteed that nothing would be achieved except that it will give politicians a breather and perhaps postpone the evil day. According to Ezike, what Nigeria needs is a conference of nationalities and not a jamboree. The revered lawyer was also of the opinion that the conference is already dead on arrival. He said: “It is either that the government does not understand what the problem with Nigeria is or that they are afraid to confront it. “There are people who believe that the problem of Nigeria is corruption. I don’t think so, the problem of Nigeria is that Nigeria has not been formed. “This conference, all of us will provide the opportunity for the formation of Nigeria and the only way it can be achieved is to start from the grassroots namely; the various ethnic groups, no matter how small that make up the country, should come together to discuss the basis of complementarity and solidarity”, he added. Asked to explain what he meant by complementarity and subsidiarity, Ezike said: “Subsidiarity means that government is centred on the people thereby giving more power and revenue to the local areas; which will bring less agitation to gain power at the centre. “Complementarity means consensus in the sense that if there was no agreement at any point, the issue should not be abandoned on the basis of minority. No, but those who want that issue should be allowed to have it. “What it means is that the various nationalities no matter how small should come up with their ideas that they want for instance, state police. If 80 per cent say no, we don’t want state police, then they have disagreed on the matter; therefore, on the basis of complementarity, the states that want state police will be entitled to have it because they are sovereign. ‘Look at the European Union, they have a common currency but Great Britain said no, we don’t want your Euros, so they said the rest of you can use Euros, we maintain our Pounds Sterling. So complementarity does not mean that the majority would over rule the others. Therefore, for an Ijaw man to have a conference that is not on the basis of complementarity is hedonic travesty because he is a minority person. A person from oil-producing state can come out to say, we want 100 per cent of our oil and somebody who does not come from an oilproducing community cannot say no, you will not have it and because they are in a minority, he over rules them, since there is no consensus, it will remain the way it is. Then, where is the sovereignty?   According to Ezike, it is the failure to understand the history and philosophy of political ideology that is giving rise to this and failure to appreciate that the only way this country can move forward is by everybody understanding that he or she has limitations”. The conference may end up achieving state police; because many rebellious governors want it to enable them suppress their people and more revenue from the centre to the state, which will guarantee more rigging of elections and political violence. “We want a conference that will restructure Nigeria. There has never been anywhere a country is formed without the people involved having an option to opt out”, he added. “Let me explain with this anecdote, during

Ezike the Nigerian Civil War, Chief Anthony Enahoro was the foremost person in propagating one Nigeria. He was attending all the conferences and he was the face of Nigeria the world over. In Biafra, there was a man called Muokwugo Okoye. Both of them went to prison during the colonial era because of the lecture they delivered at Glover Memorial Hall, Lagos. When General Emeka Ojukwu called an ad-hoc conference in Enugu, Muokwugo Okoye was one of the delegates and he was one of those opposed to secession of Biafra. However during the General Ibrahim Babangida administration, Muokwugo Okoye and Enahoro met and said ‘we made a mistake, they formed a group known as Movement for National Reform (MNR) and they started talking about how to do things by consensus. They were in the forefront of the idea of six regions and devolution of power. They understood it. Also in the First

Republic, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe dressed in a national dress (Agbada). After what he saw at the University of Lagos at the war, he changed.  At that event, he was there with Chief Obafemi Awolowo for convocation immediately after the war. He thought he would get the loudest ovation because of his nationality role; his role in sabotaging Biafra and supporting national unity. He entered the place, there was not even a whisper but when Awolowo came in, they almost brought down the rafter. People were cheering him. From that day, Dr. Azikiwe became a changed man. He started wearing either Western dress or Igbo dress. So when politics came, he saw it as an opportunity and shunned all the invitations extended to him to join the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) by Alhaji Shehu Shagari and rather became a presidential candidate of the Nigeria Peoples Party (NPP). This was the man who inspired the late

It is a fallacy to think that if Nigerians are given a free hand, they will like to break up. It is a fallacy. You will be amazed to find out that all the ethnic groups want the same thing. We want peace, rule of law and basic amenities.

Nelson Mandela of South Africa; this was the man, who inspired the late Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and this is what he ended up doing. To Ezike, there is a lot of good by having people from different nationalities. “ I have always said that it is not only Europeans, who can form a country; we can even form a country that can include Niger. “We can form a country that can include Benin Republic. The problem with the country in the early days was not having wise leaders. If Sir Abubukar Balewa were a wise leader, Nigerian government would have seized Bakassi just like India did on the eve of their independence. They seized a country known as Goa; it is in India now. What of Tanzania, they became independent in 1961 and they seized the island of Pemba and Zanzibar because their people were there. There are a lot of things that can be done. Why was it the first thing General Muritala Muhammed found necessary to do, to bring back Nigerians in the Island of Fernando Po, now Equatorial Guinea? Nigerians constituted about 80 per cent of the population and the people and government of that country was not oppressing them. The emancipation of this country cannot come from the type of leaders we have produced so far. Solidarity is what the conference may achieve, that is what they did in Kenya. The Kenyans voted, they have a plebiscite and it was so to devolve governance to the local level. On the complaint by the NBA over the one slot allotted to it for the conference, the lawyer said the NBA or judges were not needed for the conference, as it is only ethnic nationalities that should choose their wise men. “The conference organised by the late General Sani Abacha and his men was more to the point than this one and the one by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 19767-78 that led to the 1979 Constitution had elected representatives. My argument is that it is strictly for ethnic nationalities and that no ethnic group is superior to the other. Asked whether he supports the idea of subjecting the outcome of the conference to the National Assembly for ratification, he said: “I gave you an example in Kenya that they submitted their own to the people themselves. The National Assembly has no role in this thing; absolutely no role, not to say that they should approve this or that. Again on the basis of morality, they should really have nothing to do because nobody really elected them”. On the issue of President appointing the chairman of the conference, Ezike has this to say: “I can say this that the President may have done this on the advice of some people. “Maybe this is not what he wants, the whole idea is that some people are afraid of a proper national conference, why should he decide for the people by appointing people to chair instead of allowing the delegates choose for themselves who will guide the proceedings. Let me say this, it is a fallacy to think that if Nigerians are given a free hand, they will like to break up. It is a fallacy. You will be amazed to find out that all the ethnic groups want the same thing. What do you think we want? Peace, rule of law and basic amenities. My definition of basic amenities is water. There is no state in the South where we have water and yet water is everywhere; what we have is boreholes here and there. I can tell you that because I used to own water engineering company. I can tell you that water is the easiest thing to supply. The technology is easy; the cost is low but no state including Lagos, supplies water except in limited areas. These are the basic things we want and security so that I can get into my car and drive to Maiduguri peacefully.   My car can break down on the road and I can sleep on the road. It used to happen. This is all we are asking for, but the government cannot give it to us.


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68 LAW Tuesday, February 11, 2014

LawPeople

“All the rights secured to the citizens under the Constitution are worth nothing, and a mere bubble, except guaranteed to them by an independent and virtuous Judiciary.” ——Andrew Jackson

The judiciary, for sometime now, has been undergoing some criticisms in many respects. But the stabilising efforts of the current Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mariam Aloma-Mukhtar, appears to be paying off and have restored some level of confidence in the system. In this interview with a Kwara State-based legal practitioner, Mallam Yusuf Ali (SAN), he contends that most of the criticisms are not well-founded. In his view, the National dialogue ‘is like a divisionary tactic’. He also spoke on the amendment of the Code of Conduct Act among others. By Yetunde Ayabami-Ojo N the issue of the criticisms by O some people of the negative practices in the legal profession and the leadership of the current CJN, AlomaMukhtar, he said: “Let me, first and foremost, say that quite unfortunately, most of the criticisms against the judiciary are not well-founded. But that does not mean that the judiciary is peopled by angels. It is a human institution and rather unfortunately, a Nigerian institution for that matter. Giving our predilection as a people, you cannot isolate the judiciary from the happenings in the immediate environment. “So, the judiciary, of course, has to take its own fair share of the Nigerian factor. Why I said most of the things were not justifiable, was because the cacophony of allegations of corruption, you would think that the whole place is totally down. But in every hundred allegations of corruption, hardly would you get two people who would be prepared to come forward to corroborate the allegation. This is a serious drawback in the fight against corruption. “Nigerians are used to spreading rumours and making allegations. They often shy away from naming names. Our country is so unfortunate that you are only corrupt if you are not from my own ethnic group. Once you are from my ethnic group, you are only taking part of the national cake. It is as bad as that. But unfortunately, this transcends every stratum of our lives and professions. We don’t have objectivity when it comes to the issue of corruption. Every right-thinking member of the society, I mean every right-thinking Nigerian, will have no choice than to support the efforts of the CJN to foster some level of sanity, decency and decorum to that important arm of the government. And like I will always say, the judiciary is not the last hope of the common man, but it is indeed, the last hope of every person that cherishes liberty, rule of law and human rights. Her tenure, he responds: “So far, so good, she has done well. In the general administration of justice, she has put some stamps of correct behaviour”. Asked to assess the judiciary as a whole, he said:  “Of the three arms of government, from the time Nigeria came into being, the judiciary has been the best of the three arms. On the allegations of corruption, he said: “If you talk of allegations, what of the proven ones in the executive and the legislative arms of government and nothing is being done about them? This is what I am saying. Nigerians are a bundle of interesting people. Let me ask you a question: Since you’ve been reporting, how many people have said judiciary is corrupt and they are ready to come forward with facts and figures, “that I was involved in a case and got so much.” How many? Why I say the judiciary is still the best of the three arms is because it is the only institution that has self-corrective mechanism. We have people who were caught on video collecting bribes; yet, they still sit in the National Assembly.  We have people who were alleged to have taken money to write a report about power, yet, they are still in the National Assembly. But in the case of judiciary, any person whose case has been proven before the NJC (National Judicial Council), is sent home”.

Ali

‘President Jonathan’s national confab is diversionary’ “Dialogue, at any level, is very good, even between husband and wife. But timing is equally very crucial. What is going on, at present, is like a diversionary tactics. We have more serious issues than to waste billions on dialogue at this point”. The fight against corruption in a larger context, he said: “It is a joke! Luckily, I had the opportunity of saying this on the December 9, 2013. I am the Chairman of NBA AntiCorruption Commission and we marked International AntiCorruption Day and I made this point that we were joking: “All of us! We are not ready to fight corruption, you and I inclusive”. Asked to comment on the proposed National Conference, he said: “Dialogue, at any level, is very good, even between husband and wife. But timing is equally very crucial. What is going on, at present, is like a diversionary tactics. We have more serious issues than to waste billions on dialogue at this point. We have too many security challenges at present that we appear to be helpless about.  Another election is around the corner and it is a dangerous thing to do when we are about to go for election because from all the ones we’ve had, even in colonial days, it always had factionalising effects on our polity.

One or more issue will become problematic. If it is not matter of Sharia, it will be matter of zoning or this and that. So, why do we want to add that to our current travails?” On the success of National Conference, he responded: “Not now! If we want to have a successful dialogue, it must come in the early period of an elected government. May be, in first one year so that you have sufficient time to do a thorough job. Concerning the opinion that it would negate the powers of the National Assembly. He responded: “No! The way it will be done, no matter what they decide, it will still go back to the National Assembly for the decision to become law or for an amendment of the constitution. The one that will negate the constitution is the one that they say must be sovereign and take all decisions by itself. That will totally be unconstitutional. But if it is just to sit down and aggregate views, which is another talk-shop, so, for me, they

should have gone back to what was done during Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure, where they had over 300 proposals for the amendment of the constitution”. On abolition of SANship with some legal practitioners contending that it has outlived its usefulness. He said: “It is not because I am a member of the Inner Bar. Every society, where you have nothing to aspire to, is a dead society. You as a journalist, you aspire to be an editor some day. Will you say that just because some people have abused the position of the editor in the past, you then abolish that position? Then, the question is to replace it with what. Every society or group that has nothing to aspire to is as good as dead. And nothing is perfect except God. Like I always tell people, beheading is not the solution for headache. The institution is not perfect, yes, but is abolishing it the solution to the problem? That is what I call a drunkard’s mentality. People who are drunkard, when they have problem, they take to the bottles, forgetting that what they have is temporary succour because immediately the

Do you know…

effects of alcohol have diminished, their problems are back, and stare them on the face. If you have a problem, it is better you think through it with a normal head but Nigerians like quick-fix. We don’t think well with respect to most of us. May be that is a result of military rule. Let there be light and there is light; let there be water and there is water. It doesn’t happen like that in real life. I am not saying that the institution of SANship is sacrosanct but why can’t we say these are loopholes or problems, let us address them. People who fail in their attempt to become one should not use the platform of abolition to campaign against it. And people should not think everyone that is appointed would be 100 percent acceptable. Just because some people feel disappointed, that does not mean you should, therefore, throw away the baby with the bath water. It is a very lazy way of looking at life, very lazy indeed!” On the politicisation of the judiciary, he responds: “Well, the judiciary is a part of the society and in fairness to, especially the Supreme Court, which in most cases has drawn the line by not choosing candidates for parties. But if a party has guidelines for choosing candidates and it did not follow that guideline, it has become issue of law. A political party is just like the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ) or the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA); it is voluntary. You should remember in recent years, NUJ approached the court over its leadership crisis. Yes! the court cannot appoint NUJ president but if you have your guidelines, if somebody wants to be NUJ president for example, he must have been in practice for not less than 20 years and then somebody who is just five years because he has acquired some money wants to contest, of course, that is an issue for the court to look into, because the person is not qualified ab initio. So, we must make that distinction. So the courts have kept faith by saying political questions we are not going to entertain. But when you make your rules, you must follow your rules. So if you do not follow your rules, the court must come in by saying: No! You cannot do this. And I think that is the distinction. So far, the courts have been doing very well in that regard. I will give them a pass mark because they’ve run away from real political questions in terms of choosing candidates for parties”. Asked his view on the recent defections of some PDP governors to APC. He said: “I am not aware of any court pronouncement that you cannot take your mandate to another party. I made the distinction earlier that the constitution has recognised that if there is faction within your party, then you cannot lose your position if you move. But if you are an individual elected as House of Representatives member for example, and you have a disagreement with your local council chairman and you move, that’s no faction. There must be a split in the national body of the party not a local quarrel.

Indemnity: A contract express or implied to indemnify against a liability, and the liability under which is coterminous with the liability it is intended to cover, and is independent of the question whether somebody else makes default or not: See Peter Tiwell (Nig.) Ltd v. Inland Bank (Nig.) Ltd. [1997] 3 NWLR (Pt. 494) 408 at 420, [C. A.].


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National conference: Making the most of an imperfect situation By Daniel Onwe VER the years, there has been the clamour for a national conference or dialogue or discourse, whether sovereign or otherwise. Despite the semantic variations, the issue is a forum for the Nigerian peoples and groups to come together, sit down and talk over the essence of their corporate existence. Previous governments have been evasive of this issue. Therefore, the present government deserves some commendation for rising up to the occasion by setting the machinery in motion for this long awaited and desired discourse. In his National Day broadcast on October 1, 2013, His Excellency, President Goodluck Jonathan announced the formation of a 13-man advisory committee on the holding of a national conference. On Thursday, January 27, 2014, the Federal Government formally unveiled the modalities for the National Conference. According to the said modalities, the conference shall be attended by no fewer than 492 persons, who shall be delegates drawn from the statesmen, retired military officers, the police and the state security service, traditional rulers, retired civil servants, Labour unions, the organized private sector, youth organizations, women groups, political parties, religious leaders, Civil Societies Organizations, Nigerians in the Diaspora, Persons with Disabilities, the media, ethnic nationality groups, professional bodies, to mention but a few. While this move has been commended by some, others have expresses varied levels of skepticism and have even gone as far as writing it off as “sheer waste of money,” “mere jamboree,” “political ploy of the ruling party,” and all what not. The modalities set out for the conference may not be perfect. Whether the government is organizing this conference with the best or the worst motive, one thing is certain – Nigerians can make the best of this National Conference. Therefore, I think this is not the time to sit back and be ascribing speculative negative motives to this gesture of the government. After all, only God can infallibly determine the motives of men. Obviously, a common denomination among all the political, economic, social, tribal and gender divides in the country is disaffection. If it is not the Igbos lamenting their woes since the civil war, it is the south-southerners agitating against their exploitation and degradation, or the Northerners crying of being disadvantaged, or the Yorubas, whose story would not be different, or the women who feel the need for liberation, or persons with disabilities who feel, and are indeed, excluded from the scheme of affairs. The list goes on and on. Each of these diverse peoples and groups in the country would make demands that are often time in isolation, and sometimes, even antithetical to the demands of other compet-

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ing peoples and groups in the country. Therefore, nothing can be more desirable and apposite at this point in time than a forum wherein the different peoples and groups in Nigeria can sit together, articulate their demands and balance them with that of each other. At least, for once, let the Nigerian people be the ones to come together and take ownership of deciding their fate. Our Constitution for instance, lies against Nigerians by declaring itself to be a product of “We the people of Federal Republic of Nigeria,” when we know that it was a hand out of “They, the military juntas.” This National Conference offers an opportunity for us to now speak for ourselves. This would hopefully lead to the solution of our lingering problems and correct the fallacies that have been engrained in the fabrics of our potity. In 1914, the colonial masters in a bid to maximize their exploitation foisted on us an amalgamation and even the name “Nigeria” without even deeming it fit to seek our opinion on that. One hundred years thereafter we are yet to unanimously express our ratification of that act of amalgamation. This is why I am of the view that the exclusion of the unity of Nigeria from the subject of discussion at the National Conference is uncalled for. I am of the considered personal opinion that our respective interests would be better served in a big strong and united Nigeria. However, I also think that our unity will be stronger and more viable if we sit down, walk ourselves through its essence and

then take ownership of it. There is an adage among my people that if you benevolently extract a chigger from a dog’s body without disclosing it, the dog will wrongly think you only mischievously pinch it (the dog). In other words, our unity as a nation is something we must deliberately consider and subscribe to, as against having it forced down our throats and warning us not to talk about it. I feel quite uneasy when the government consistently appears to be tele-guiding the discourse of the Nation Conference to exclude the unity of the Nigeria. We have to discuss and agree and collectively bind ourselves to this unity; it’s important. If the Conference is a reflection of the minds of the generality of the Nigerian people, then it should be competent to deliberate and decide on whatever is good for Nigeria and Nigerians. Now, it is becoming clearer, that the National Conference will hold. People still express some misgivings and raise interrogations such as why should the Presidency have delegates to the conference? How would the respective interest groups pick their delegates? Will the discourse of the Conference not be hijacked to satisfy selfish political interest, especially in the light of 2015 election that is around the corner? In the actual sense, the situation poses a test to the leadership disposition of the respective interest groups designated to be at the conference. It is one thing to accuse governments of selfishness in their agenda. It is another thing for the respective interest

groups and the individuals therein to show selflessness on their own part. This they will do by putting forward the nominees who will best champion the collective interest of their groups in particular and the Nigerian people in general, rather than seeing it as another avenue to get a share of the national cake without consideration for requisite competences. The delegate must see themselves as the midwives of the destiny of this nation, present and future, rather than selling themselves out as merchandize, susceptible to the highest bidder. There is the concern about the Federal Government participating at the Conference by nominating too many delegates. Much as that calls for concern, the government’s delegates are still the minority among about 492 delegates to the Conference. Therefore, if the other delegates are people of integrity and worth their salt, it will be unlikely that they will be swayed by the delegates of the government. So, the respective interest groups have a responsibility to put their best foot forward and ensure that their very best in all sense of it are the ones nominated to the Conference. Again, some quarters have insisted that it is a “Sovereign” National Conference or nothing. But even the Almighty does not grant all our prayers at the same time. So, when all your demands are not forthcoming it may be expedient to take what is offered and keep demanding for the balance instead of foregoing everything. Accordingly, I think it makes a lot of sense to accept the National Conference and then work towards making its decision “Sovereign.” May the mistake of the pre- 1999 democrats not reoccur in this circumstance. Before the military had to quit the political scene in 1999, there were the true democrats who boldly confronted them (the military) at the risk of their lives. These were the ones who truly fought for Nigerian democracy. But when the soldiers were apparently vacating the political space, these democracy fighters did not believe them and, therefore, stayed put in their fighting trenches. The political opportunists were the ones who emerged from nowhere and took over the political space from the military. By the time it occurred to the true democrats to relocate from the trenches to the political space, the said space had already been overrun and occupied by the political opportunists who have maintained their grip on political power till date, unfortunately relegating the true democrats to the background. It is therefore, imperative that all men, women, boys and girls of good will in Nigeria should get genuinely interested in this conference with a view of making the very best out of it. It is our country that would be talked about; it is our money that would be spent on it. Therefore, we cannot afford to stay aloof. • Onwe is a Lagos-based public interest litigation lawyer

SPA law firm explores ways of achieving judicial excellence By Omiko Awa EMBERS of the judiciary recently brought to the front burner some of the issues confronting the judiciary at the Sixth Annual Business Luncheon of SPA Ajibade & Co., a law firm in Lagos. Speaking on the theme: “The Future of Legal Practice in Nigeria - Achieving Judicial Excellence”, Professor Oba Nsugbe, the lead speaker, said the question of achieving judicial excellence is not asked often in many countries including Nigeria and in places where it is asked, the answers given are often superficial and their practical dissemination too often lost in translation somewhere along the line. He said to understand the reason of achieving judicial excellence is a matter of such import; Nigerians have to

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revisit and fully appreciate the unique roles judges play in any society. Stating that judges play multi-faceted roles, the don revealed that judges are the litmus test by which society’s social conscience can be judged, adding that they are the guardians of a society’s often hard won freedom, the last defence for the oppressed, the public face of justice and the impartial decision maker in the name of justice. Commenting on the level of judicial excellence attained in the country, Nsugbe noted Lagos is ahead of other states in the federation. Stressing the importance of excellence in the judiciary, Nsugbe noted that judges face serious challenges in carrying out their duties. “It is self-evident that judges do not carry out their work in a vacuum. They are not

immune from the severe problems which beset our country, whether it be chronic transport problems, poor infrastructure, chronic power outage, difficult working conditions, a crumbling education system and of course, corruption. “It is arguably easier to consistently get the answer right and to deliver it in an efficient and transparent way as a judge in a system, which is established and by a large working as opposed to a system which is not, or that is dysfunctional in many important respects,” he said. Highlighting the effect of these challenges on the nation’s judiciary, the law teacher informed that some foreign companies would do all they could to avoid our courts or contemplate doing business in Nigeria without insisting on the existence of an arbitration clause in the

contract. “We must be realistic and indeed honest enough to recognise the depth of the continuing problems and the height of the walls, which still need to be scaled,” he said. Suggesting a way out of the quandary, participants said the bodies involved in the appointment of judges, including the Nigerian Bar Association, should look into politicisation of judicial appointments, training and retraining of judges and other judiciary officers, the nation’s education system, retirement and out-of-service benefits, identified adequate and uniform remuneration packages, excellent work conditions, as well as support from the Bar, as practical means to achieving judicial excellence. They noted also that while

the nation was filled with brilliant and outstanding judges, there was need to ensure that the Judiciary in Nigeria reaches its full potential. In his closing remarks, the Chairman of the event, Justice Kumai Bayang Akaahs of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, noted that there was no justification whether for infrastructural, poor remuneration or whatsoever, for the collection of bribes. Commending hardwork and integrity, he said: “If a judge cannot give three judgments in a year, such a judge is not worthy to be, adding that if the intention of a judge for coming to the Bench is to acquire wealth, then he has definitely come to the wrong place.” Dr. Ajibade


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70 LAW Tuesday, February 11, 2014

FamilyLaw

“No woman wants to be in submission to a man who isn’t in submission to God!” T.D. Jakes

Legal perspectives of marriage (12) Paternity and modern science Are there psychological advantages of a legal separation? OR some people, yes. Some men and women may want to separate but are not sure they want to go through a divorce. The separation might be a “trial separation”—relieving some immediate pressures while the husband and wife sort out what they want to do with their lives. And a formal legal separation may provide some structure, security, and financial advantages during the period of separation. Annulment What is an annulment? An annulment is a court ruling that a supposed marriage was never valid. The most common ground for annulment is fraud or

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misrepresentation. For example, one person may have not disclosed to the other a prior divorce, a criminal record, an infectious disease,

an inability to engage in sex or have children. Annulment may also be granted for bigamy, incest, or marriage to an underage person. How common are annulments? They are uncommon because divorces are easy to obtain and the bases for an annulment are narrower than the bases for a divorce. One party may prefer an annulment, however, in order to avoid some obligations that a court might impose in a divorce. Also, in a few states, spousal support that terminated because of the recipient’s second marriage may be reinstated if the second marriage is annulled. Divorce What is a divorce? A divorce—referred to in some states as a “dissolution of marriage”—is a decree by a court that a

valid marriage no longer exists. It leaves both parties free to remarry. It usually provides for division of property and makes arrangements for child custody and support. May a couple get a divorce without lawyers? Most states permit do-it-yourself divorces. But the complexities of property division and taxes may make it advisable for both parties to have expert legal and financial advice. Are most divorces contested? No. Although divorces may be emotionally contentious, most divorces (probably more than 95 percent) do not end up in a contested trial. Usually the parties negotiate and settle such things as property division, spousal support, and child custody between themselves, probably with attor-

neys’ help. Sometimes parties reach an agreement by mediation, with a trained mediator who tries to help husband and wife identify and accommodate common interests. The parties then present their negotiated or mediated agreement to a judge. Approval is virtually automatic if the agreement is fair. If parties are unable to agree about property, support, and child custody, they may ask the court to decide one or more of those matters. One spouse may sue the other for divorce, alleging certain faults or offenses by the defendant. But this has become far less common than it once was. Most divorces now are no-fault divorces.

TO BE CONTINUED

How NJC’s intervention in state’s judiciary is fueling Rivers crisis By Iheanyichukwu Maraizu

Legal Opinoin CRISIS of succession is currently rocking A the Rivers State Judiciary and this crisis, if not checked or halted forthwith, is capable of worsening the already bad political situation in that state. How it all started: On August 19, 2013, the former Chief Judge of Rivers State retired, thereby making it imperative for a successor to be appointed immediately. In the exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 271 (4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended), the State Governor Chibuike Amaechi appointed the Justice P. N. C. Agumagu (President of the Rivers State Customary Court of Appeal) to act as the CJ of the state pending the appointment of a substantive CJ. It was this appointment that sparked off the controversy, which has raged unabated in the state judiciary from August 20, 2013, when it was made till date. The appointment was criticised by powerful interests in the state hinging their criticism on the same Section 271 (4) of the Constitution on which the appointment was based in the first place. The vociferous critics who rejected the acting appointment made by the governor charged that the said Justice P. N. C. Agumagu is not the most senior judge of the High Court of Rivers State whom the Constitution says must be appointed to act as the CJ. They argued that the Customary Court of Appeal of which the Justice Agumagu is the President is not part of the High Court of Rivers State. This is notwithstanding the fact that it is part of the state judiciary. Rivers State government explained that the said Justice Agumagu was appointed and sworn in as a judge of the Rivers State High Court long before the rest of his colleagues. He (Justice Agumagu) was only seconded to the Customary Court of Appeal upon its establishment. To it (Rivers State government), therefore, Justice Agumagu is the most senior judge of the High Court of the State. According to Section 271 (4) of the Constitution, if the office of the CJ of a state is vacant or if the person holding the office is for any reason unable to perform the functions of the office, then until a person has been appointed to and has assumed the functions of that office or until the person holding the office has assumed those functions, the governor of the state shall appoint the most senior judge of the High Court to perform those functions. This unambiguous provision of the

Constitution will be examined later against the refusal of the National Judicial Council (NJC) to recognise the person (Hon. Justice Agumagu) appointed by the governor to act as the CJ. No one has disputed the fact that the Justice Agumagu was appointed and sworn in as a judge of the High Court of Rivers State long before the rest of his contemporaries. What remains to be determined is whether this undisputed fact makes him the most senior judge of the High Court of Rivers State. As has been pointed out above, the position of the Rivers State government is that its appointee (Hon. Justice Agumagu) is the most senior judge of the High Court of Rivers State. It (the government), therefore, believes that it has satisfied the requirements of Section 271 (4) of the Constitution. The antagonists of the government counter this position by insisting that the Customary Court of Appeal where the government’s appointee (Justice Agumagu) works is not part of the High Court. To this group, therefore, the government should do the right thing by appointing somebody from the High Court. In my very humble opinion, the proponents of this view (i.e. that the Customary Court of Appeal is not part of the High Court) are wrong. In the first place, the President and other Judges of the Customary Court of Appeal are all High Court judges. No one can be appointed to the office of a judge of the Customary Court of Appeal without being first sworn in as a High Court Judge. The only difference is in the nature of duties respectively performed by judges of the High Court and those of the Customary Court of Appeal. Whereas judges of the High Court handle all manner of cases (in exercise of both original and appellate jurisdictions), those of the Customary Court of Appeal only handle appeals emanating from Customary Courts. In some places, original jurisdiction has by law been conferred on Customary Courts of Appeal on specific subject matters. In the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja for example, the Customary Court of Appeal Act has been amended to confer original jurisdiction (to the exclusion of any other Court) on the Customary Court of Appeal in chieftaincy disputes. Apart from the differences in the nature of their duties, there is no other difference between judges of the High Court and those of the Customary Court of Appeal. The qualification for appointment in both cases are the same. Thus Section 271 (3) of

Aloma Mukhtar (CJN) the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that for anybody to be qualified to be appointed a judge of the High Court of a state, he/she must be qualified to practise as a legal practitioner in Nigeria and must have been so qualified for a period of not less than 10 years. Section 281 (3) of the same Constitution equally requires a person who wishes to be appointed President or a Judge of the Customary Court of Appeal to be not less than 10 years at the Bar. Apart from qualification, appeals from the High Court go straight to the Court of Appeal. The same thing is applicable to appeals emanating from the Customary Court of Appeal. Customary Courts of Appeal and the High Courts have coordinate or concurrent jurisdiction. None can, therefore, sit on appeal in cases emanating from the other. Section 210 of the 1999 Constitution is very clear on this point. It is needless to add that the conditions of service for all judicial offices are the same (see inter alia Section 291 of the 1999 Constitution). I have taken the pains to highlight the foregoing points just to prove that the High Court of a state is not in any way superior to the Customary Court of Appeal of that state. In the light of this truism, there is no reason why the President of the Customary Court of Appeal cannot act as or indeed be the Chief Judge of a state. This is my humble submission and I stand to be corrected. The only thing that can disqualify the President of a Customary Court of Appeal from acting as or becoming the Chief Judge of a state is if he is not the most senior judge in the state.

In the instant case, the fact that the person appointed to act as the Chief Judge of Rivers State is the most senior judge in the state is not in dispute. It will, therefore, not only be unfair but also a dangerous precedent to disqualify him merely because he works in Customary Court of Appeal. The contention that the Customary Court of Appeal is not part of the High Court is in my respectful opinion fatally flawed. This is because the proponents of that view seem to understand the word “court” as a building. It is apparently for this reason that they erroneously argue that the Customary Court of Appeal is not part of the High Court. This is ridiculous to say the least. Section 258 (1) of the Evidence Act 2011 defines “Court” to include all judges and magistrates and…. all persons legally authorised to take evidence. In the light of this statutory definition of “court”, how can it be reasonably argued that a High Court judge is not part of the High Court merely because he works outside the building designated as High Court? Role of the National Judicial Council (NJC) in the controversy As noted above, the NJC rejected the acting appointment made by the Rivers State governor in preference to the person it sees as the most senior judge of the Rivers State High Court. The NJC reportedly followed up this position by writing to all the judges in Rivers State directing them not to accept acting appointment from the Rivers State governor or face its wrath. Needless to say that by this singular act, the NJC has worsened an already bad situation. But it is imperative to point out that the NJC lacks the power to meddle into an appointment validly made by the governor as Section 271 (4) of the Constitution is clear as to whose duty it is to appoint acting CJ whenever a vacancy arises. More importantly, by directing the governor as to how he should perform his constitutional duty, the NJC is in breach of the principle of Separation of Powers enshrined in the Constitution. Being a body made up of human beings, the NJC cannot lay claim to infallibility. Whenever it errs, therefore (as in the instant case), the NJC should have the humility to admit its error and retrace its steps. The political situation in Rivers State is already bad enough. If the stalemate in the state judiciary is not quickly resolved, anarchy could result and only God can predict what will happen next. • Maraizu is an Abuja-based lawyer.


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Civil litigation: A quick reference guide to substantive law and procedure Author: Hon. Justice Oludotun Adefope-Okojie Reviewer: Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) ON. Justice Oludotun H Adefope-Okojie has written an important book at an important time. Although Nigeria is fortunate to have a number of legal text writers who have produced works of great depth and variety, one increasingly realises that the usefulness of a legal text is more crucial than its volume or even the depth of its research. As an academic, one tends to come across many books either in manuscript or finished form. Yet, in evaluating the worth of a text, I have come to accept rather grudgingly that the test to be applied is simply this: ‘Will the book be read? Will it be useful, or is it likely to sit on the shelf and gather dust for years?”. These questions must be answered in the affirmative about this book. It is a book that addresses the compelling need for comprehensive, easy to read, secondary literature, to assist judges and lawyers to navigate the maze that Nigerian case law is fast becoming. The structure of the book, especially in the choice and sequence of topics is intuitive. The division of the entire work into subject-headings makes for clarity and greatly aids the search for authorities on specific points. The range of subjects is wide covering both recondite and obscure areas of substantive and adjectival law that have arisen for determination in our courts. The author brings to the text, profound perceptions honed in over 27 years of judicial experience in Nigeria’s busiest jurisdiction. The author mentions, significantly, that in writing this book, she was motivated by the need for judges to be adequately equipped to give Bench rulings especially on recondite points and issues. Bench rulings will tremendously reduce the long delays currently witnessed when courts have to adjourn to prepare rulings. The intractable delays witnessed during trials have become perhaps the most significant macro issue in the administration of justice in Nigeria. Good Bench rulings, of course, require confident and knowledgeable judges. The fiction that the Law resides in the breast of the Common Law Judge is after all just what it is - fiction. The law is really about scholarship and study - it is neither intuitive nor deducible. This reality underscores the importance of continuous legal education for judges. In many jurisdictions in the Commonwealth and the United States, for instance, judges are required to engage in many houses of continuous legal education activities. In some jurisdictions, they are even required to spend double the amount of time that lawyers spend in continuous legal education programmes. This is as it should be. It bears emphasising that in order to live to the rigorous demands

of judicial office, judges must at least be as knowledgeable as the best of lawyers. Books such as this one, in which judicial precedents are recorded, underscore the foundational importance of precedents in our trial system and jurisprudence. The doctrine of stare decisis is arguably one of the most significant legacies of the Common Law tradition of adjudicatory justice. It is as vital as the Rule of Law itself, as it assures the certainty of legal outcomes in cases where the facts are substantively identical. Unfortunately, today there is considerable confusion in locating judicial precedents owing to several inconsistent decisions that have been handed down by appellate courts. Recently, controversy has developed over what should really be a minor technical point, it is the question of whether where more than counsel is listed on a process will such process signed to one of them be competent even where the name of the one who signed is not ticked. The Court of Appeal in Ibrahim v. Sheriff (2004) 14 NWLR pt. 892 @ page 68 para E, held that where three legal practitioners represented a party in a suit, a court process duly signed by one of them is properly signed and valid as matter of law. The law does not also require all the legal practitioners whose names appear in a court process to individually append their signatures. Also in INEC v Oshiomole (2009) 4 NWLR pt. 1132 page 607 @ 656637 para F-C in INEC v Oshiomhole, the Court of Appeal specifically held that a court process signed by a junior counsel (whose name was not even on the list of the six senior counsel at the foot of the petition) was validly signed. The court upheld the decision of the tribunal on the same point held as follows: “The tribunal is right, the days of justice by technicality are definitely over. The petition in this case was signed and to dismiss the petition on the ground that there is no evidence that any of the six senior counsel listed at the foot of the petition signed it is to fall into the trap of undue technicality.” Again, the Court of Appeal, Lagos Judicial Division, in Panalpina World Transport Holdings A.G. v. Ceddi Corporation Limited (2012) 2 NWLR pt. 1285 at 501-502 para F.B held: “In the instant case, the originating processes bear the name of all the three legal

practitioners representing the 1st respondent. It is in evidence that one of the three legal practitioners signed the processes. The fact that the name of the law firm and address also appeared on the processes does not mean that the processes were signed in the name of law firm. …There is no law, which says that a litigant cannot be represented by more than one legal practitioner. What is required is that a legal practitioner known to law must sign the process and not in the name of law firm or partnership. Following the decision of this court in INEC v. Oshiomhole (supra), the argument of the appellant’s counsel that the court must ascertain the actual person who signed the process cannot be sustained.” However, in a recent twist, in Appeal No. CA/PH/23/2011: Sen. Sekibo v. Governor of Rivers State, the same Court of Appeal, but this time the Port Harcourt Judicial Division, on November 18, 2013, struck out a notice of appeal as incompetent on the ground that it contained the name of several legal practitioners and the name of the counsel who signed the notice of appeal was not ticked. This notice of appeal was signed exactly the same way the originating processes in Panalpina v. Ceddi supra were signed and the counsel who signed was physically present in court. The current trend of the decisions of the Court of Appeal to strike out processes on the ground that the name of counsel was not ticked does not only negate the earlier decisions of the same court, it stretches the ratio of the Supreme Court’s decisions on the issue beyond reasonable limits. The Supreme Court did not decide such principle in all the cases including Registered Trustees of the Apostolic Church v. Rahman Akindele (1967) All NLR Okafor v. Nweke (2007) 10 NWLR pt 1042 at 521, SLB Consortium Limited v. NNPC part 1252 page 337-338 para F-A and the more recent case of First Bank of Nigeria Plc v. Maiwada (2013) 5 NWLR part 1348p 444 at 494. In SLB Consortium, the Supreme Court per Rhodes-Vivour J.S.C instructively prescribed how processes should be signed as follows: “…All processes filed in court are to be signed as follows: First, the signature of counsel, which may be any contraption. Secondly, the name of counsel clearly written by him. Thirdly, who counsel represents. Fourthly, name and address of legal firm.” The State v Ikomi and The State

v Abacha readily come to mind as examples of two fundamentally disparate decisions of the Supreme Court on the same issue. Although the argument may be advanced that where appellate courts arrive at two fundamentally desperate decisions on the same issue, the latest decision is the law. It is clear that where an appellate court renders a judgment without overruling its earlier conflicting decision on the same issue, no real legal basis exists for preferring the later decision to the former. Clearly, these lapses have adverse effects. Aside from compromising a major pillar of our system of justice, they pose serious challenges to the teaching of law and the rendering of legal advice. But perhaps more importantly, inconsistent decisions test the integrity of our system of justice. According to Scott Herschovitz: “Courts are moral actors and a court can display integrity in much the same way that an individual can. A court displays integrity when its decisions reflect a commitment to a coherent and defensible view of the rights and duties people have under the law. Such a commitment can only be displayed by a pattern of decisions across time. If a court’s ruling changes capriciously, if it fails to pay heed to

On an aggregate basis, however, the image of the Nigerian judiciary is cause for concern. Sadly, both at home and abroad the reputation of our country’s judiciary has suffered a sharp decline owing to the belief that justice can be bought at will. Recently, when the judge presiding over James Ibori’s case in the United Kingdom wondered why all the charges brought against him were quashed in Nigeria – and remarked that Nigerian courts were over-awed by Ibori- no one could answer that gravely insulting remark in any credible way.

its pronouncements, we will doubt that it has genuine commitment to the views it expresses. On the other hand, if the court takes seriously what it has said in the past and it displays consistency and coherence in action, we will believe that the court acts on the basis of genuine convictions about the content of the law.” Ensuring that judges have sound research assistance may help. For instance, the appellate courts engage as research assistants high performing lawyers in the National Youth Service Corps programme, who may be tasked with cross-checking possible conflicts in the decisions of panels of the courts. A centralised data bank of divisions of the Court of Appeal will also be useful. The sterling reputation of its author greatly enhances the value of this book. Hon. Justice Adefope-Okojie is a judge who is well regarded for her erudition and personal integrity. As such, she represents the shining example, which the Lagos State Judiciary has set for the rest of the country. And it is perhaps appropriate at this juncture to blow their Lordship’s trumpets especially as they are ethically constrained from doing so. Transparency International in its publication titled: “Fixing a Car while the Engine is Running – the Experience of the Lagos Judiciary”, notes that while in 1999 eighty-nine per cent (89%) of practising lawyers regarded the Lagos judiciary as corrupt, by 2007 and beyond, zero per cent (0%) of lawyers thought that this was the case. This feat caused Transparency International to recommend the approach of the Lagos State Judiciary in fostering judicial integrity and

setting the pace for judicial reforms. On an aggregate basis, however, the image of the Nigerian judiciary is cause for concern. Sadly, both at home and abroad the reputation of our country’s judiciary has suffered a sharp decline owing to the belief that justice can be bought at will. Recently, when the judge presiding over James Ibori’s case in the United Kingdom wondered why all the charges brought against him were quashed in Nigeria – and remarked that Nigerian courts were over-awed by Ibori- no one could answer that gravely insulting remark in any credible way. With this book, Hon. Justice Adefope-Okojie joins the increasingly diminishing ranks of author-judges who find time for scholarship and research despite their incredibly busy schedules. That Hall of Fame includes such distinguished judges as Hon. Justices Chukwudifu Oputa, Kayode Eso (the author’s illustration in-law), Niki Tobi, Karibi-Whyte, Nnaemeka-Agu, Hon. Justice L.A.F. Oluyemi and several others. Her work and pedigree sit her comfortably in this illustration company. Like her ladyship, the language is forthright and direct. Not surprisingly, given her modesty, her photograph neither appears on the front or back cover, it is hidden away in the inner flap of the book. Something tells me that this is only the first of many books we will see from her ladyship. Meanwhile, let us savour this one, it is a commendable effort indeed and I most enthusiastically recommend it to you. • Osinbajo is a former Attorney General of Lagos State.


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014 NEWSXTRA

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Firm complements NBS on data collation From Anthony Otaru, Abuja N independent public opinion and research organisation in Nigeria, NOI Polls Limited has admitted that it is only complementing the efforts of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on data collations rather than being in compe-

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tition with the agency as claimed in some quarters. NBS is the only officially recognized and  reliable data collation body for the government and the private sector in the country. At a press conference in Abuja, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NOI Polls Limited,

Miss Oge Funlola Modie, said the only difference between her organisation and the NBS lies in prompt release of data. “While the NBS may release its data by six or for longer months, we release our data on a monthly basis using modern technologies,” she stated. Meanwhile, NOI Polls has put the nation’s  Consumer Confidence Index Scores for the month of January, 2014 at 83.9 per cent, Present Situation Index 64.7 per cent and Expectations Index at 96.9 per cent respectively. “The scores obtained in January indicate that consumers are positive about their personal state and stability of the economy,” according to the chief executive. “This optimism is

For the oil and gas sector, Ihua explained that in 2013, an average of 62 per cent of Nigerians purchased petrol at the official pump price of N97 while an average of 38 per cent purchased above the official pump price. expected to result in the purchase of more goods and services and ultimately stimulate economic growth.” On the Eagle 30 Business Confidence Index, Modie said: “NOI Polls has also concluded the Eagle 30 business confidence survey biannually for a five-year period of 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and

2013. The Eagle 30 Business Confidence survey captures the opinions of C-level executives from 30 leading companies in Nigeria and provides information about the existing business environment and short term business outlook.”  She also explained that in the aspect of Personal WellBeing (PWB) Index, her organisation started a monthly polls for that of January 2013 where seven indicators were used to measure it. “These were Standard of Living, Health, Achievement in Life, Personal Security, Social Interaction, Religion and Economic Situation,” she said.  Director of Research of NOI Polls, Dr. Boll Ihua, said that the quarterly analysis of the

energy sector for 2013 shows that power supply was best over the first quarter with an average of 41 per cent and worst over the second and fourth quarters with an average of 33 per cent. “In the area of telecoms, 40 per cent of Nigerians use dual lines (down from 455 in 2012 telecoms survey), 37 per cent use single lines (up from 26 per cent in 2012 Telecoms survey), 16 per cent use three lines (down from 19 per cent in 2012 Telecoms survey), seven per cent more than three lines.” For the oil and gas sector,  Ihua explained that in 2013, an average of 62 per cent of Nigerians purchased petrol at the official pump price of N97 while an average of 38 per cent purchased above the official pump price. Ihua added that NOI Polls is the foremost country-specific polling services in West Africa, stressing: “We partner with Gallup USA to develop opinion, research in Nigeria, we deliver forwardthinking research and relevant data on public opinion and consumer market on a range of topics.” He added that the organisation was established seven years ago.


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Sports Flamingoes can win World Cup, says coach, Nkiyu

Glo Premier League

NPFL clubs may sell shares to investors next season, LMC reveals LUBS in the Glo Nigeria C Premier League may sell their shares to the investing

public from the 2013/2014 season to make the clubs economically viable, Chairman, League Management Company (LMC), Nduka Irabor has disclosed. A report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes Irabor as saying that the plan would also enable state governments to divest more than 50 per cent of their stakes in the clubs. “Nigerians can start buying into the local football clubs from now when the owners are willing to sale, but certainly they will going by the rules in 2014/2015 season. “Present ownership resident in the hands of the government must be divested by at least 30 per cent. It is up to them to start the sales now or later in the year. “By the time 2014/2015 season starts, we need to see evidence that independent private sector people are in control of the clubs, not just by appointment or by directorship,’’ he said. Irabor said the LMC would encourage government to hold less than 50 per cent stake in the clubs after 2015, adding that the desire for governments' zero equity would be gradual. “We know that we cannot do without government at this

point. Not only do they own the infrastructure, they are a ready willing source of funding. “And we need to make our clubs commercially attractive and viable enough to attract more funding. We will go like the rest of the world because private sector seems to run businesses better. “Our clubs are not run like businesses all this while, but once people start to put in their money, they will be repositioned to reap the full gains of professional football,’’ Irabor said. He also said that arrangements were ongoing for Nigerian league players to benefit from a pensions scheme expected to commence this season. The LMC chairman urged the stakeholders in the league to collaborate with it toward protecting the financial future of the footballers and the clubs. “The arrangement has not been concluded. I believe that sometime this season we would have been able to finalise everything we need to do. “It is unacceptable that we are not looking at the future of the people, who are giving their best, the prime of their lives, physical involvement that cannot carry them too far. They are not thinking about life after football.

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Enyimba's Mfon Udoh tries to outwit an Anges de Notse defender during their CAF Champions League game in Aba on Sunday. LMC says the body would help states’ governments to divest their interest in Glo League clubs. PHOTO: MTNFOOTBALL.COM.

Malaysia 2014 WCL Division Five Championship

NCF picks Adegbola, Sharma, 13 others for tourney

‘Ricky’ Sharma and KIPPER Kunle Adegbola, Endurance Ofem are among wicket keeper, Yashpal the 15 players named by the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) for the country’s training tour of Sri Lanka and the forthcoming World Cricket League (WCL) Division Five Championship billed for Malaysia from March 6 to 13. Adegbola, Ofem and Sharma, who were exceptional when Nigeria battled for • Accreditation holds Feb 17, D’Banj to entertain fans promotion from the Division have been put in place for a N100,000 to each particiSix to Division Five in Jersey pating state for feeding and smooth competition. last year, is joined in the The maiden edition of the $2,000 dollars to the visitsquad by Vice Captain, Dotun countries. Victor Ochei Wheelchair ing Olatunji, Ademola Onikoyi, This year’s edition is Basketball championship Saheed Akolade, Emmanuel was held in Asaba in 2012, expected to draw particiOkwudili, Joshua Ogunlola but the organisers decided pants from South Africa, and Segun Olayinka. Others in the squad are the to move the second edition Benin Republic, Ghana and Onwuzuluike brothers, Osita in 2013 to Lagos to give it a Cameroun. wider outlook. The winner of the tournament will pocket N5 million, just as the organisers have set aside

and Chimezie, Leke Oyede, Jide Bejide, Seye Olympio and Isaac Okpe, who is on standby. The team, currently in a training camp in Abuja, is being managed by Coach Uthe Ogbimi. NCF Technical Adviser, Olisa Egwuatu told The Guardian on Monday that the coaches are putting finishing touches to the team’s preparations before they embark on a training tour of Sri Lanka. “These are the best players available to the coaches right now and they were picked based on what they can do and not based on any sentiment. We are carrying no passengers because we know the enormity of the task before us.”

“We are working closely to ensure that the Eagles surpass their second round finish at the World. It is achievable. What we need is to work with the football house to set up good preparation for the team so that they can arrive Brazil with the physical and mental strength to succeed.” He said that the performance of the Eagles at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in South Africa has shown that the country has the talent that can do the country proud at international football championship. He commended the team for

fighting hard at the event and said it would have played in the final if it had been lucky against the black stars. “The Nigerian team showed their fighting spirit in all the games they played and it accounted for it fight back from 3-0 down against Morocco in the second round of the competition.” While also revealing the plans for the Commonwealth Games in Scotland, Abdullahi stated that the ministry is not just interested in the development of football, but all other sports. He said that the ministry was

By Christian Okpara

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South Africa, others arrive for Victor Ochei Wheelchair basketball Feb 16 By Gowon Akpodonor T sports-loving Nigerians A look forward to the commencement of the 3rd

Victor Ochei Wheelchair Basketball Competition, organisers of the competition have disclosed that South Africa, Benin Republic, Ghana and Cameroun will arrive Lagos on February 16. The competition will hold at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos from February 18 to 22. Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, the President of Nigeria Wheelchair Basketball Federation, former Ogun State Sports Commissioner, Bukola Olopade said all participating teams, including the 25 teams expected from all states of the federation and the FCT would be accommodated at the Teslim Balogun Stadium hostel. Accreditation for the championship, Olopade said, would commence in the morning of February 17, adding that all logistics NSC Director General, Gbenga

Elegbeleye.

By Eno-Abasi Sunday EAD Coach of Nigeria’s U17 female football team, the Flamingoes, Bala Nkiyu is confident that his girls can put up a splendid performance, similar to that of their male counterparts and bring the World Cup to the country for the first time when the 2014 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Costa Rica gets underway. The Nigerian U-17 girls gave their preparation for the Mundial a boost after a 5-1 aggregate win over their Ghanaian counterparts in a two-leg international friendly on Sunday. The Flamingoes traveled to Accra with a 3-0 aggregate lead from the first leg, which took place at the FIFA Goal Project Centre in Abuja. According to media officer of the team, Jennifer Ifeoma Okoye, Nkiyu while speaking after the game expressed confidence on the Flamingoes ability to win the FIFA tourney. While stressing that the comprehensive victory over the Ghanaians was a great fillip, he, however, tipped the continent’s other flag bearers, Ghana and Zambia to succeed at the World Cup, adding that better preparations could see any of the African nations emerge champions at the competition. "I'm happy for the victory, though a double win over Ghana is not the ultimate as the friendly was meant to be a preparatory game for World Cup. I believe Ghana and Zambia will do well at the World Cup. We cannot write-off any team for World Cup. However, good preparations, in terms of tactics, skills and strength would help the Flamingoes challenge against any team,” he stated. On Flamingoes' readiness for the World Cup, Nkiyu said, "I am sure after the next three weeks of intensive training we will be ready for the World Cup. We must continue to improve to succeed at the World Cup."

NSC outlines plans for World Cup, other competitions

By Adeyinka Adedipe HE Ministry of Sports has T begun plans for Nigeria’s successful participation at this year’s international championship. Minister for Sports and National Sports Commission (NSC) boss, Bolaji Abdullahi, who stated this, noted that the NSC is working with the Nigeria football Federation to ensure that the Eagles do well at the Brazil 2014 World Cup. He said the plan is to ensure that the Eagles surpass their second round finish at the USA 94 and France 98 World Cup.

with working the various sports federations that would present athletes at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland. He noted that the target is to surpass the 10 gold medals Nigeria won at the last edition in New Delhi, India. He said the high performance centre in Abuja, which is the first in West Africa, would be used to prepare the athletes of the game. He also said the ministry is taking the Youth Olympic seriously, as the athletes would be the next generation of stars that would represent the country at international competition.


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014 SPORTS 77

Athletes plead with Jonathan for reception By Gowon Akpodonor PRONOUNCEMENT by the A National Sports Commission (NSC) at the weekend that it would organise a reception for Nigeria’s junior team that won the Mauritius 2013 African Athletics Championship is not going down well with the athletes and their officials. Instead, the athletes and officials want the Presidency to include them in Thursday’s reception for the Home-based Super Eagles, who came third at the recently concluded CHAN competition in South Africa. The Nigerian U-20 athletics team overcame stiff opposition from South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and the host Mauritius to top the medals table with nine gold, nine silver and seven bronze medals in August last year. Since then, they have been waiting on the Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi to forward their names to the Presidency for financial reward, the same way the Golden Eaglets and Flying Eagles were honoured

despite finishing second and third in their African Championships in Morocco and Algeria last year. When it became obvious that NSC boss was not forthcoming with any plan for the hosting, the athletes cried aloud, tagging him ‘a football minister.’ But the Director General of the NSC, Gbenga Elegbeleye told The Guardian at the weekend that the commission would host the athletes ‘at the NSC level,’ a declaration, which is not going down well with the athletes and their officials. According to Elegbeleye, a meeting among top hierarchy of the NSC to fix a date for the hosting of the junior athletes was scheduled for yesterday (Monday) in Abuja. However, the athletes and their officials have kicked against the plan, insisting that the NSC was only interested in caring for footballers and their coaches. “We won the athletics championship in Mauritius long before the Golden Eaglets won the FIFA U-17 World Cup in UAE. We expected the minister to include our name for that Presidential hosting but

it didn’t happen. The excuse the minister gave was that we won in Africa and the Golden Eaglets won at World level. Now, the Presidency is planning to host the Home-based Super Eagles who came third at the just concluded CHAN in South Africa. Don’t forget that the minister gave $200,000 to the Eagles despite failing to beat a 10-man Ghanaian side in their semifinal tie,” one of the athletes told The Guardian yesterday. One of the coaches on the trip to Mauritius said, “we know that President Jonathan has a listening ear unlike those people at the NSC, who only care for football alone. He (Jonathan) should give a directive that the junior athletes and their officials be included in the reception for Thursday. “We are all Nigerians and we should be  given equal treatment. It is demoralising to see footballers smile to the bank even when they fail to win and here we are languishing after doing the country proud in Mauritius. These are the same athletes preparing for the Commonwealth Games and they should be motivated.”

Medical doctors storm Uyo for maiden NMA Games By Chukwuma Muanya EDICAL doctors, under the aegis of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), will on Sunday begin the ‘Maiden Nigerian Medical Doctors’ Games’ in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. The games is part of the overall strategy to promote quality healthcare delivery in Nigeria by ensuring that medical doctors/dentists remain physically, mentally and medically fit through sports. According to NMA officials, the games will feature medical doctors from all the 36 states of Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory, with Health Minister, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, as the special guest at the opening ceremony and the Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, as the special guest. The NMA Games, a brainchild of the current leadership of the association, is expected to attract over 1000 medical doctors and will feature football, lawn tennis (male and female), table tennis (male and female), basketball (male and female), badminton (male and female), scrabble (male and female),

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Team Nigeria’s Divine Oduduru won the 200m gold at the African Junior Athletics Championships in Mauritius last year. The athletes and their officials are pleading with President Goodluck Jonathan to include them in Thursday’s reception for the Home-based Super Eagles.

200 to vie for honours at 4th DOAMF charity tourney By Eno-Abasi Sunday VER 200 amateur golfers, O as well as sponsors’ guests are expected to tee-off at the

4th edition of the Daniel Ogechi Akujobi Memorial Foundation (DOAMF) Golf Tournament, slated for the golf section of Ikoyi Club 1938, Lagos, on March 8. This number may go higher as the date for the tourney draws nigh. The event is in memory of late Master Daniel Ogechi Akujobi, who died in a ghastly motor accident on his way back to school at the age of 13. Since it made its debut, the tournament’s quality and profile has been on the upward

swing largely due to the judicious management and application of funds raised from the charity event. For instance, according to organisers, funds raised from previous tournaments were committed to a number of intervention projects including scholarship award to 20 less-privileged children in primary, secondary schools and tertiary institutions; back-toschool and mentorship programmes; building and equipping of the accident and emergency centre located in Obafemi-Owode council area, Mowe, Ogun State as well as procurement of an ambulance to support the centre.

Officials visit Oba ahead Lagos Polo tourney flag off S part of activities heraldA ing the 2014 Lagos International Polo tournament, the leadership of the Polo Club paid a courtesy visit on the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, in his palace yesterday. The party, including a team from Union Bank of Nigeria led by its Executive Director Commercial and Consumer Banking, South, Adekunle Adeosun, according to the Secretary of the club, Somuyiwa Sonubi, was at the palace to brief the Oba on this year’s Lagos Polo tournament. Sonubi told journalists that the visit was also to invite the

monarch to the arena for the Lagos Oba Cup, which is one of the trophies to be contested for during the two-week tournament. Sonubi, who also doubles as the Company Secretary of Union Bank, spoke further on the significance of the visit, “the visit is to inform the Oba that we are about to start this tournament in his domain, secondly there is a trophy at stake which is named after the Oba of Lagos and, above all, he is the grand patron of the Lagos Polo Club. So it is only proper that we keep him abreast with developments at the club.”

According to Co-ordinator of the Organising Committee, Pat Bassey, “a good number of corporate  organisations that are seeking partnership opportunities to support charitable causes have found the DOAMF event a good platf o r m . “This is definitely a bigger tournament in all ramifications and interest in sponsorship opportunities is very encouraging. With feelers emerging, this year’s edition will be bigger and better. The charity event, an 18-hole tourney, present opportunities for participants to win laurels, whilst also offering a platform for them to make charitable contributions towards positive interventions to meet critical and emergency needs of people in infrastructurestarved parts of the country.”

chess (male and female) and draught (male). Already, the zonal competitions/play-offs to choose representatives from the six geopolitical zones, Lagos and the host chapter, Akwa Ibom, have been held, with all eyes now focused on the final of the maiden national doctors’ games billed for Uyo. NMA President NMA, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, in a statement yesterday said, “with the anticipated high standard of the games and the enthusiasm so far shown by doctors, as well as lots of coaches and scouts, the games promises to be an exciting and revealing event with lots of opportuni-

ties to discover athletes and talents that can help improve the current performance of Nigeria’s various national teams. “We, therefore, invite all Nigerians, local and foreign scouts and coaches, including Coach Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, to come over to Uyo to discover abundant talents for Nigeria’s various national teams. “We also call on corporate Nigeria and governments at all levels to partner with the NMA in the organisation of the games designed to ensure medical doctors remain physically, mentally and medically fit to deliver quality healthcare services.”

Ahead African Shooting Championship

DSS Operatives, Air Force excel, as NSF’s Armed Forces shooting trials end   HE Department of State 24 shooters, was held in T Security Services and the preparation for the 11 Airforce shooters topped

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the score at the just concluded Nigerian Shooting Federation (NSF) trials for armed service personnel in preparation for major international tourneys this year. The trials, which featured

Secretary, Lagos Polo Club, Somuyiwa Adedeji Sonubi (left), Oba Rilwan Babatunde Akiolu 1, the Oba of Lagos and Executive Director, Commercial & Consumer Banking (South), Union Bank Of Nigeria Plc, Adekunle M. Adeosun, during the Polo Club’s courtesy visit to the Monarch…at the weekend.

African Shooting Championship in Cairo Egypt, this month, World Shooting Championship in USA, ISSF Junior World Cup (Youth Olympics qualifiers) in Germany in May, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, which holds in July, and the Second Youth Olympic Games slated for China in August. According to the NSF President, Wole-Madariola Olumide, the trial at the Abuja National Stadium had in attendance for the first time the Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigerian Prisons Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps. Olumide said the trial, which was for the 25 metres Male and Female Pistol and the 50 metres Male and Female rifle events, had the Department of State Security Services and Air Force shooters top the Pistol Score.


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European Round-Off

Messi always bounces back, says Iniesta • Title race open, says Fabregas

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (middle) vies with Valencia's midfielder Javi Fuego (left) and midfielder Oriol Romeu (right) during their Spanish league match at the Camp Nou stadium recently PHOTO: AFP nonetheless delighted to be back on top after Atletico had temporarily usurped them at the summit of the week. last standings “La Liga is very equal at the moment,” the former Arsenal captain told the

Napoli on Saturday but focused his ire on striker, Mario Balotelli. The Rossoneri took an early lead at the San Paolo through debutant Adel Taraabt, but an equaliser from Gokhan Inler and a double from Gonzalo Higuain saw the hosts claim a 3-1 win.   Speaking after the game, Boban was dismayed by what he saw as a chaotic display from Milan and felt that Taraabt’s debut represented the one positive for Clarence Seedorf’s side. “I saw a team in total confusion in the field who did not seem to understand anything,” the former Rossoneri midfielder told Sky Italia. “Errors may be here for a while as Seedorf develops the team but the only good thing was some impetus from Taraabt.  That’s why Milan are under pressure

club’s official website. “We have to play each other and we have to be strong. We can’t give away any advantages in games that are already going in our favour. I’m very proud of

this team. “In the first minutes we didn’t play well. They were very intense, but from the point Alexis scored (the equaliser) the game was ours. “This was a very important

match. When you have a chance to take the top spot you have to take advantage of it. It’s good to get it back so quickly. It was an important and fundamental match. We had to take the top spot in order to regain confidence.”. .

Arteta reveals Wenger’s fury over heavy defeat IKEL Arteta admits he M had never seen Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger as angry

rampant Liverpool and eventually went down 5-1, their second heavy defeat of the as he was at half-time at season after a 6-3 Premier Anfield on Saturday. League thrashing at the The Gunners were 4-0 down hands of Manchester City in inside 19 minutes against a December. But they responded to that defeat by taking 20 points from the next 24 available and Arteta says that is Arsenal's new challenge, which starts with a clash at home to a reeling and finding things difficult - Manchester United on you have Balotelli, who does not move, Robinho, who is inconsistent, and Taarabt, who has just arrived. In my opinion, a third central midfielder in this team is essential.” The retired Croatia international, who played 216 times and scored 25 for the Rossoneri after joining from Dinamo Zagreb in 1991, was particularly scathing in his assessment of Balotelli, who was in tears after being substituted at San Paolo. “(Balotelli) has never gave the impression of being a champion,” the 1994 Champions League winner added. “His football does not make a difference. Both at Inter and Manchester City never did great things. He is not among the true champions. “He is potentially strong, but to build a team around him would be a big risk.” Milan sit 10th in Serie A, with 29 points from 23 games.

‘Milan are confused, Balotelli no champion,’ blasts Boban VONIMIR Boban Z described Milan as being “in total confusion” against

ABRIEL Batistuta G believes that Napoli forward Gonzalo Higuain is a better all-round player than Edinson Cavani. The latter left the San Paolo last summer to join Paris Saint-Germain, prompting the Partenopei to replace the Uruguay international with former Real Madrid star Higuain. The 26-year-old has since netted 12 Serie A goals for Napoli and Batistuta is in awe of his compatriot’s impact in Italy. “It was not easy to take the reins from the Uruguayan, but Gonzalo is succeeding,” the former Fiorentina, Roma and Inter forward told Il Mattino. “Gonzalo churns out assists, returns to midfield, set outs attacks, pushes the team forward and is a presence in front of goal. “He doesn’t get the same number of goals, but I consider him to be a more complete player, so I prefer him.

ARCELONA midfielder, B Andres Iniesta has hailed Lionel Messi’s return to form after the forward scored twice in Sunday’s 4-1 win at Sevilla. The Argentine had gone through a barren run in La Liga, prompting dramatic claims that he had “lost his passion for football.” However, Iniesta says that the 26-year-old attacker will always respond to criticism and was delighted by the way in which the four-time Ballon d’Or winner inspired Barca to a come-frombehind victory that propelled the Catalans back to the top of the table. “Messi always responds. He never misses and in just a few minutes he can change a game. He’s a fundamental player,” the Spain international is quoted as saying by his club’s official website. “When you have a chance you have to take advantage of it. I think this victory will give us strength ahead of the match on Wednesday (tomorrow, against Real Sociedad in the Copa del Rey) and for the games to come after that. “We will fight until the end. The important thing is to not lose a lot of points and to improve as a team.” Meanwhile, Cesc Fabregas believes the Liga title race could go down to the wire, with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid all level on points. The Blaugrana top the table on goal difference after beating Sevilla 4-1 on Sunday, just 24 hours after Diego Simeone’s men lost 20 to Almeria and los Blancos saw off Villarreal. Fabregas believes all three of the title contenders are on the same level but is

Higuain better than Cavani, says Batistuta

tomorrow. The Spaniard said, "we know we need to improve and face those games in a different manner because after 19 minutes we were 4-0 down and it was like a car crash. "The manager was really upset at half-time, that's normal because it wasn't good enough for this football club. It was the angriest I have seen him." But Arteta says there is no

point looking back at a result the players can do nothing to change and he feels they have what it takes to bounce back, as they have already proven this season. "We have had two big crises already," the Spaniard added. "I think the Manchester United defeat was a different game to this, but City and this one are really hard to take. We have to react because there is nothing we can do about this now."

Accept Guardiola's decision, Lahm tells Kroos AYERN Munich skipper, B Philipp Lahm has told Toni Kroos that he must accept his exile from the first team with good grace. The Germany international reacted angrily to being substituted during the recent 2-1 win over Stuttgart and was left on the bench for the two subsequent Bundesliga games. While his captain can understand his team-mate's frustration at being frozen out, he says that Pep Guardiola's authority must be respected. "It's not nice for Toni, that much is clear," Lahm told reporters. "But the coach makes the decisions and everyone has to accept them." Meanwhile, former Bayern and Germany midfielder, Stefan Effenberg has also voiced his sympathy for the 24-year-old Kroos. "This is a bitter pill to swallow for Toni," he said in his capacity as a pundit for Sky.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 79


TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

By Mamun Mallam IGERIAN governments have at various N times, consciously or unconsciously, tinkered with different development models with insignificant results relative to the massive resources expended. When the Whiteman berthed at our shore some centuries ago, he Please send reactions and feedback for YOUTH SPEAK to: must have assumed that we lack any valuable editorial@risenetworks.org and 07067976667- SMS ONLY knowledge and so he produced his own prescriptions for our spiritual, political and socioeconomic malaise. These prescriptions, packaged in the models of development that have been used, were evident in the various development plans, programmes, projects and schemes that have been deployed to tackle our challenges. The Urban Development Model, for example, favoured the concentration of development efforts in the urban areas. The implicit assumption in this model being that the benefits of urban development would trickle down to the rural areas. Therefore, our colonial masters situated industrial and commercial centres in urban areas to serve their commercial and administrative interests. And as noted in a report submitted to Africa Economic Research Consortium (AERC) by Oyeranti and Olayiwola (2005), little attention was paid to rural development as it had little relevance to imperial interests. This approach occasioned rural-urban drift, rural neglect and urban decay and overpopulation with all its attendant consequences, but development never trickled down to the rural areas. Another model tried was Area Development Model. This model entails identifying areas endowed with resources and modernising features of human endeavours through a development agency that implement a programme. In Nigeria, this has been tried through River Basins Development Authority and Farm Settlement Schemes amongst others. This tends to create conduits for diverting funds meant for implementing the programme into pockets of officials that implement the programme. Sectoral Development Model, which involves yearly budgets drawn up on sectoral basis that takes into account government policies, strategies and projects, has been tried and the results have stubbornly refused to be in step with the efforts. Even the Structural Approach, which advocates transformation of major institutions and structures of the society and tends to tilt towards element of liberation, has been tried with little or no success. Better Life Programme for the Rural Woman of the Late Maryam Babangida and the Family Support Programme of Maryam Abacha, for example, were commandeered by wives of the military officers and other elite that did not wear the rural woman shoes and could not possibly have known where they pinched. A major feature of attempts at rural development in the first four decades of our independence is their supply driven nature, which almost always keeps development up there at the top in projects are that communities are the best needs, (Naidoo and Finn, 2001). According to mansions and bank accounts of policy makers judges of how their lives and livelihoods can be Susan Wong (2012), the philosophy behind but hardly at the bottom with the intended ben- improved and, if provided with adequate CDD is that involving communities in local eficiaries. The situation was so sad that even resources and information, they can organise decisions is not only an inherent citizen’s right, some researchers became disenchanted as evi- themselves to provide for their immediate but that participation can often lead to a better dent in, for example, Isah Mohammed Abbas’s (1993) Challenges of Rural Development in Nigeria The YOUTHSPEAK Column which is published daily is an initiative of THE GUARDIAN, and in which he lamented that rural development powered by RISE NETWORKS, Nigeria’s Leading Youth Development Centre, as a substantial strategy would continue to remain a strategy, a advocacy platform available for ALL Nigerian Youth to engage Leadership at all levels, engage mere political rhetoric and propaganda. But Society and contribute to National Discourse on diverse issues especially those that are pecucan the nation afford to let it remain just that? liar to Nigeria. Regarding submission of articles, we welcome writers‘ contributions by way of Oyeranti and Olayiwola (2005) exhort that well crafted, analytical and thought provoking opinion pieces that are concise, topical and poverty reduction strategies should be worked non-defamatory! All articles (which are not expected to be more than 2000 words) should be out based on each country’s economic, sociopo- sent to editorial@risenetworks.org To read the online Version of this same article plus past litical, structural and cultural context. And, as publications and to find out more about Youth Speak, please visit stated in the Project Implementation Manual of www.risenetworks.org/youthspeak and join the ongoing National Conversations’’. CSDP (2009), the search for service delivery mechanisms that are demand driven, covering Also join our on-line conversation 21676F3E @risenetworks RISE GROUP multiple sectors and depending on specific community needs became increasingly necesPublished by Guardian Newspapers Limited, Rutam House, Isolo, Lagos sary. Tel: 4489600, 2798269, 2798270, 07098147948, 07098147951 Fax: 4489712; Advert Hotlines: Lagos 7736351, Abuja 07098513445; Circulation Hotline: 01 4489656 Community Driven Development (CDD) is a All correspondence to Guardian Newspapers Limited, P.M.B. 1217, Oshodi, Lagos, Nigeria. development initiative that provides control of E-mail letters@ngrguardiannews.com; www.ngrguardiannews.com the development process, resources and deciEditor: MARTINS OLOJA . sion making authority directly to community ABC (ISSN NO 0189-5125) groups. The underlying assumption of CDD

What it means to be a rural woman and a rural farmer (1)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

If you have not come into contact with a woman that spends four to five hours of her daily life fetching water with a baby strapped to her back and River Niger just about seven kilometers away, or if you have not watched a helpless woman watch her helpless child die from malaria or diarrhea, or a farmer that could go half of the year in hunger because there is no road that could easily link his produce with the market, you could be excused for dismissing attempt to empower community members to address these needs themselves. use of resources geared towards meeting community needs. CDD has become a popular development intervention because of its approach towards empowering local decision and its reputation for getting resources to communities efficiently. From the participatory paradigm of development that is CDD emerges approaches like the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) besides the Need-Based Community Development. Some proponents of ABCD have dismissed any CDD approach that is not assetbased and, ironically, from which ABCD has evolved. Instructively, they come from parts of the world that are not in touch with the level of deprivation that Africa wallows in or the paradoxes that the continent is brimming with. If you have not come into contact with a woman that spends four to five hours of her daily life fetching water with a baby strapped to her back and River Niger just about seven kilometers away, or if you have not watched a helpless woman watch her helpless child die from malaria or diarrhea, or a farmer that could go half of the year in hunger because there is no road that could easily link his produce with the market, you could be excused for dismissing attempt to empower community members to address these needs themselves. Again if you have not caught a glimpse of joy in the eyes of community members that have just completed implementing their development plan or even a micro-project, or share the infectious satisfaction from the knowledge that they did it themselves, then you can be excused for concluding as John C. Allen (2007) concluded that these method demoralizes local residents because it focuses on negative characteristics. And I do not know where to situate Alison Mathie’s (2002) assertion that the needs-based approaches have often compromised rather than contribute to community capacity building, given that capacity building is not only an important element of CDD, but that community members’ skills and capacity for self development are greatly enhanced as they implement their own articulated Community Development Plans. Among the interventions that have utilised the CDD approach in Nigeria are the World Bank Assisted Community and Social Development Project and Fadama II and III. These two projects converge on approaches, but there are marked differences in both mandate and tools. Whereas the Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) is the CDD social, Fadama II and III are CDD economic. Alison Mathie (2002) reported that John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann at the Institute for Policy and Research (IPR) at Northwestern University articulated ABCD as a way of counteracting the predominant needs-based approach to development. Counteracting! The mandate and tools of CSDP may present it as a need-based CDD even though some elements of asset based approach are employed while the mandate and tools of Fadama III may present it as asset-based but some elements of need-based approach are employed. So in Africa it is apt to use one to complement the other instead of counteracting it. • To be continued Mallam works as development practitioner in Minna.


Tue 11 Feb 2014