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TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

www.ngrguardiannews.com

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Vol. 29, No. 12,467

N150

Govt verifies Nigeria’s assets, uncovers 45,000 ghost workers From Madu Onuorah and Mathias Okwe, Abuja CLEAR picture of the assets A of Nigeria all over the world may soon emerge as President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday set up a special inter-ministerial committee to verify them. The committee, announced by Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, at the end of the fifth meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) this year, is expected to go round the world and verify Nigeria’s assets, including those owned

• Raises N2.4 trillion last quarter 2012 • Gives N5m to football supporters’ club by the country’s missions abroad under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the major Federal Government operators in the maritime sector, the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigerian Navy. The committee is headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, with representatives

of the Federal Ministries of Finance, Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) and  Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) as members. Other members include the representative of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) and the Special Adviser to the President  on

Performance Evaluation, Prof. Sylvester Monye. Besides, in the last quarter of year 2012, that is between September and December, the government raised a total revenue of N2.413 trillion, which it also distributed amongst the three-tiers of government in the country. The Central Bank of Nigeria

(CBN) disclosed this in its fourth quarter economic report released yesterday. The apex bank report is designed for the dissemination of financial and economic information on the Nigerian economy on current basis. The report analyses developments in the financial, fiscal, real and external sectors of the economy, as well as international economic issues of interest. The report is directed at a wide spectrum of readers, including economists and financial analysts in

Bakassi returnees sue govt for N30b over displacement - Page 5

government and the private sector, as well as general readers. Also, the FEC was told during its session that under the Federal Ministry of Finance Integrated Payroll and Personal CONTINUED ON PAGE4

How generator fumes raise cancer, sudden death risk, others, by experts By Chukwuma Muanya S electricity generating A sets become must-have household items in most Nigerian homes due to epileptic power supply, their use, sometimes round-theclock with the attendant noise and air pollution, has been associated with the growing cases of cancers, premature birth, low weight babies and childbirth complications such as neonatal jaundice and cerebral palsy. Newborn jaundice is when a baby has high levels of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a

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Shake-up in police as IGP redeploys 33 CPs From John-abba Ogbodo, Abuja N a move to reposition the ItheNigeria Police Force (NPF), Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar, has redeployed 33 Commissioners of Police (CPs] A statement issued by the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said the police boss charged the affected officers to show dedication and efficiency. The statement reads: ‘’The Inspector General of Police, IGP MD Abubakar, CFR, NPM, mni has ordered the immediate redeployment of some Senior Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi (third right) and other ministers, during the presentation of the cup to Federal Executive Council (FEC) members in Abuja… yesterday.

PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

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THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

2 NEWS

HONOURS FOR VICTORIOUS SUPER EAGLES

President Goodluck Jonathan (left) during the decoration of the Super Eagles captain Joseph Yobo in Abuja… yesterday.

Senate President David Mark (left); Captain of the Super Eagles, Joseph Yobo; President Goodluck Jonathan, his wife, Patience; Vice President Namadi Sambo and Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, during a reception in honour of the Super Eagles at the Presidential Villa, Abuja… yesterday.

A cross-section of Super Eagles during a special session with members of the House of Representatives at the National Assembly, Abuja… yesterday.

Chairman, House Committee on Sports, Godfrey Gaiya (left); Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha; Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi; Honourable Bimbo Daramola and Deputy Minority Leader of the House, Abdulrahman Sumaila, during a special session with the Super Eagles at the National Assembly, Abuja… yesterday.

President Goodluck Jonathan (left) decorating Mikel Obi.

PHOTOS: PHILIP OJISUA AND LADIDI LUCY ELUKPO


THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

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THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

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Generator fumes cause premature births, low weight babies CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 yellow substance that the body creates when it replaces old red blood cells. The liver helps break down the substance so it can be removed from the body in the stool. High levels of bilirubin make the baby’s skin and whites of the eyes look yellow. This is called jaundice. High levels of bilirubin - usually above 25 mg - can cause deafness, cerebral palsy, or other forms of brain damage in some babies. Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that can involve brain and nervous system functions, such as movement, learning, hearing, seeing and thinking. A recent study by Nigerian researchers at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) concluded: “The data available from this study shows that generator fumes contribute significant-

ly to the atmospheric level of Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and that the level is dependent on the distance from the point of generation. This suggests significant risk of cancer to the population in an environment where the use of generator is commonplace. Considering the lipophilicity of PAHs, small concentrations can accumulate over a long period of time. “…The control group had no 1-hydroxypyrene in their blood. After the period of exposure, percentage of death correlated with the distance from the source of exposure. Percentage of death ranged from 56 per cent to zero depending on the proximity to source of pollution.” The study published in Biomarkers in Cancer is titled “1-Hydroxypyrene Levels in Blood samples of Rats After exposure to Generator Fumes.” The researchers from departments of pharmaceutical

chemistry and biochemistry were led by Dr. Chimezie Anyakora. The other researchers include: Clinton Ifegwu, Miriam Igwo-ezikpe, Akinniyi Osuntoki, Kafayat A. Oseni and Eragbae O. Alao. PAHs are a major component of fuel generator fumes. Carcinogenicity of these compounds has long been established. The researchers exposed 37 Swiss albino rats to generator fumes at varied distances for eight hours per day for a period of 42 days and the level of 1hydroxypyrene in their blood was evaluated. The study also correlated the level of blood 1hyroxypyrene with the distance from the source of pollution. Also, researchers have warned that exposure to air pollution could trigger potentially fatal pre-eclampsia in pregnant women. According to a new study published in BMJ Open, women

with asthma are particularly vulnerable to the condition marked by high blood pressure and fluid retention. It blamed one in every 20 cases of pre-eclampsia on higher levels of ozone pollution in the air during the first three months of pregnancy, as well as an in-

crease in premature births. The only treatment is to deliver the baby early with an emergency Caesarean. The new study adds to evidence of a link between air pollution and premature birth, with international research earlier this week showing

higher pollution levels raised the risk of low birth weight. Another study found that heavy traffic fumes could increase risk of having a small baby and that particles that are affecting pregnant mothers mainly come from the burning of fossil fuels.

Gunmen kill four, kidnap Flour Mills’ manager in Borno From Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri HREE gunmen suspected to T be Boko Haram members on Tuesday attacked the premises of the Nigerian Flour Mills in Maiduguri, Borno State, and kidnapped its Administrative Manager, Malam Umar Baba Mai Salati, at gunpoint and whisked him away in his vehicle to unknown destination. Also, some gunmen attacked Bama and Damboa towns and the Gombouru ward in Maiduguri metropolis, killing four residents, including an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). The hoodlums also shot the Secre-

tary to the House of Assembly at his Damboa farm on Tuesday. The armed kidnappers, according to an eyewitness, were three in number. They pretended, at the Flour Mills gate, as if they were waiting for someone, before forcefully whisking Salati away. A security guard in the company said yesterday that, “shortly after he (Salati) came out of his office around 6.15p.m, one of the assailants pointed a gun at him and told him to stop. It was then that all the three gunmen entered his car and directed him to zoom off to unknown destination.” Another eyewitness told The

Guardian that Salati was picked up and whisked away at gunpoint while on his way home shortly after he closed from office. Confirming the incident yesterday in Maiduguri, the Borno State Police Commissioner, Abdullahi Yuguda, said the police were on top of the situation, as security agents have launched investigation to fish out the culprits. “We have preliminary information on the kidnap of Salati. This information could assist us in trailing the suspects, as this is the seventh incident and latest kidnap in this state,” Yuguda said. Damboa, according of the Joint Task Force (JTF), had been severally attacked, during which 18 local hunters

Baby Benedicta Tarhule with ash on her forehead to mark Ash Wednesday in Abuja… yesterday.

Shake-up in police as IGP redeploys 33 CPs CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Police Officers to various Commands and Formations of the Force across the country. The deployment, which is part of on-going efforts to reposition the Force for greater efficiency, particularly, as we commence our sojourn into the year, covers both some newly promoted officers expected to inject fresh ideas into the system, and other senior officers swapping strategic command positions. The IGP charged the newly deployed officers to adopt proactive and aggressive crime-fighting strategies and

to continually initiate policies and programmes that would strengthen the essential values of policing and best practices in law enforcement which include: transparency, accountability, respect for fundamental human-rights of citizens and the promotion of strong professional ethics in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Conduct for the Force. The IGP equally enjoined the officers to rededicate themselves to the service of humanity and to ensure that no stone is left unturned in efforts at tackling violent crimes, as well as corruption in all ramifications, head-on’’. The affected officers are: CP

Sabo Ringim- Kebbi; CP Musa A. Daura- Kano; CP Moses Saba-Ndagi-Ebonyi; CP Johnson A. Ogunsakin- Kwara; CP T. E. Ibitibituwa-Enugu; CP Hilary Opara-Kogi; CP Jubril O. Adeniji- Taraba; CP Mohammed A. Indabawa-Oyo; CP Mohammed Katsina-Imo and CP Usman Tili AbubakarAbia. Also affected are CP Olufemi D. Ogunbayode-FCT, CP Dorathy A. Gimba-Osun; CP Foluso A. Adebanjo-Edo; CP Mbu Joseph Mbu-Rivers; CP A.K. Shodipo-Cross River; CP Patrick Dey Dokumor-Ondo; CP James O. Caulcrick-FSI Police Detective College, Enugu; CP Steven Audu-Admin ‘F’ Dept. Fhq.; CP Wilfred

Obute-Comdt. Police College, Kaduna and CP Felix UyannaComdt. Police College, Oji. Also affected are CP A.J Abakasanga-Info Tech/Admin; CP Ambrose Aisabor-Admin ‘A’ Dept. Fhq., CP Chinweke Asadu-Fsi CP Legal; CP Adebayo Ajileye-CP Airport; CP Adams Audu-CP CTU; CP John Opadokun-CP PMF; CP Sherifat Dusu Olajoku-CP Port Authority; CP Salihu Garba, CP Provost, CP Mohammed J. Gana, Fdc CP SARS; CP Benjamin U. Onwuka-Dep. Comdt. PSC, Jos; CP Markus K. Danladi-Admin ‘E’ Dept. Fhq.; CP Ahmed Ibrahim-CP Training Fhq. and CP Isaac Eke-Admin ‘B’ Dept. Fhq.

Govt uncovers 45,000 ghost workers CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Information System (IPPIS), a total of 45,000 ghost-workers had been discovered during the implementation of the scheme in 251 Federal Government Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Altogether, a total of 153,019 workers were audited in the 215 MDAs as at January 2013. Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama, told journalists at the end of the Council meeting that the IPPIS was introduced to enhance efficiency in personnel cost planning and budgeting. Under this policy, which was opposed by unions in the MDAs, personnel cost is based on actual verified number of staff and not

estimates. Ngama stated that a total of 321 MDAs were yet to be captured on the IPPIS scheme. He added that the Federal Government had established the Treasury Single Account (TSA) as a unified structure of government bank account that gives a consolidated view of the cash position of the MDAs. Already, a total of 92 MDAs are currently on the TSA. By the end of next month, 97 MDAs based in Abuja will be added to the TSA scheme. Giving an overview of the execution of the tasks assigned to the ministry, Ngama stated that the Federal Government was planning to increase its capital expenditure to 60 per cent while reducing recurrent

expenditure to 40 per cent. And just before the commencement of the Council meeting, President Jonathan announced a cash gift of N5 million to the Nigerian Football Supporters’ Club for their “unparalleled support” for the Super Eagles throughout the AFCON tournament. The announcement followed the presentation of the cup to the Council Chambers, Presidential Villa, Abuja. Jonathan had on Tuesday night at the reception for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals rewarded the players and coaches with cash gifts, lands in Abuja and national h o n o u r s . The President announced a cash reward of N10 million for

the Head Coach Stephen Keshi and N5 million to other coaches and players. The team’s technical officials are to receive N2 million cash each. Also, while Coach Keshi was conferred with a national honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), his assistants – Daniel Amokachi and Ike Shorunmu – and team captain, Joseph Yobo, got the Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR). The remaining players of the victorious team received the Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) national honours. The players and officials were decorated with the national honours by President Jonathan after the announce-


THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

NEWS 5

News MTN denies police notification over Salami

Work to disrupt FCT water supply

By Adeyemi Adepetun OLLOWING a police report, which indicted telecommunications firm, MTN Nigeria, of complicity in the case involving the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, the firm said it was yet to be notified over the outcome of the police investigation indicting it. MTN Nigeria’s Corporate Service Executive, Mr. Wale Goodluck, in a statement yesterday said: “MTN’s attention has been drawn to reports in the media over the purported outcome of a police investigation allegedly indicting the company of suppression of evidence in a judicial panel of enquiry set up by the National Judicial Council (NJC) to investigate allegations against Honourable Justice Ayo Salami of the Court of Appeal. “The company was yet to be notified of the outcome of the police investigation over the matter, and had not been indicted.” He also stated that MTN did not in any way act contrary to the terms and conditions of its operating licence with respect to the investigative panel set up by the NJC over the 2010 Appeal Court contest of gubernatorial election results in Osun State. “We are constrained to speak on this issue because we are yet to get a copy of the purported police report. When this is done, we will respond appropriately. Suffice it to say that MTN has a stellar reputation for ethical conduct. Therefore, we take grave exception to any insinuation of unethical or improper conduct against us.

From Terhemba Daka, Abuja HE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) yesterday disclosed that works on the Lower Usuma Dam in Bwari Area Council in the city would disrupt water supply at the weekend. A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the FCT Minister, Muhammad Hazat Sule, in Abuja yesterday read: FCTA wishes to inform the FCT residents that water supply to the entire capital city will be disrupted as from February 15 to 17, 2013. Accordingly, the disruption in the water supply is as a result of cross connection of Phases III and IV to the existing Phases I and II water treatment plants at the Lower Usuma Dam, Abuja. The FCT residents are hereby advised to store water that will last for that period; assuring that normal water supply will be restored by February 17, 2013.”

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Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi (right); Chairman of Oyigbo Local Council, Felix Nwaeke and a member representing Oyigbo/Tai/Eleme Federal Constituency in Rivers State, Harry Mpigi, during the governor’s meeting with the people of Oyigbo at the council headquarters in Afam…yesterday.

Bakassi returnees sue govt for N30b over displacement From Lemmy Ughegbe, Abuja OR alleged acts of betrayal leading to the loss of their ancestral home at the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroun, the returnees of Uruan Local Council Area of Akwa Ibom State have instituted an action at the Federal High Court, Abuja against the Federal Government, claiming damages in the tune of N30 billion. In a writ of summons and statement of claim filed by Ukeme Ekpenyong of Wole Abidakun and Co. Law Firm, the plaintiffs include Bassey Augustine Efiong, Silas

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Clement Etim, Efiong Bassey Ekanem and Imaobong Edem Efiong (suing for themselves and on behalf of Bakassi Returnees of Uruan Local Council Area extraction. Named in the suit as first to sixth defendants respectively are the Federal Government, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the National Assembly, Cross Rivers State government, Akwa Ibom State government and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The plaintiffs seek against the defendants the following reliefs:

• a declaration that the defendants acted outrageously, recklessly, atrociously and unconscionably in their handling of the Bakassi Peninsula hand over issue; • a declaration that the defendants betrayed the fiduciary relationship between them and the plaintiffs by not acting in the best interest of the plaintiffs vis-avis the handing over of Bakassi Peninsula to the Republic of Cameroun; • a declaration that the plaintiffs were vulnerable as far as the issue of the handing over of the Bakassi Peninsula by the 1st defendant (FRN) is con-

Stakeholders want more community radio licensed

ECOWAS signs pact on peace, security

By Tope Templer Olaiya S Nigeria joined the rest of the world to celebrate the World Radio Day yesterday, the Nigeria Community Radio Coalition (NCRC) and its partners, the Institute for Media and Society (IMS), Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and the International Press Centre (IPC), have called for the licensing of more radio stations. In a statement jointly signed by Akin Akingbulu for NCRC, Edetaen Ojo for MRA, Lanre Arogundade for IPC and Lere Oyeniyi for IMS, the groups deplored the continued delay in the operationalisation of community radio and the absence of constitutional backing for independent broadcasting in Nigeria. “It is now almost three years since October 2010, when President Goodluck Jonathan approved the licensing of community radio stations across the country and accordingly delegated his powers under the constitution to issue broadcast licences to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the statutory regulator for the broadcast sector.

N an apparent move to be Ilenges on top of the security chalin the sub-region, the

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From Oghogho Obayuwana, Abuja

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as well as a Project Implementation Agreement (PIA) with about 10 training institutions. The institutions are peace and security bodies recommended by sub-regional experts for upgraded collaboration as part of efforts to strengthen their capacities to meet the security demands of the area. In this regard, the ECOWAS Commission said yesterday in Abuja that a key objective of the MoU is “to strengthen the training pillars of the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF), ECOWAS institutions, Member States and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) for the prevention and resolution of conflicts in the region, and to develop a full range of training at all levels, cutting across a broad spectrum including military, police, civilian and humanitarian issues” It explains further that the move is in tandem with the regional Peace Support Operations (PSO) concepts and the need for effective capacity building, particularly with

reference to the recommendation of the fourth Defence and Security Commission meeting which held in Cote d’Ivoire in August last year and called for the establishment of “Tactical, Operational and Strategic training facilities within the region” According to the document embodying the MoU released yesterday by the ECOWAS Commission, the training institutions are to operate as

regional PSO training for the strengthening of the ESF training pillars with support from ECOWAS in their staffing, curriculum development and any other areas as needed. They are also mandated to develop their curriculum on PSO in consultation with ECOWAS, taking into account the National, ECOWAS and African Union (AU) priority training needs regarding the

cerned and the defendants took undue advantage of the plaintiffs’ vulnerability thereby recklessly inflicting severe emotional distress on the plaintiffs; • a declaration that the failure of the sixth defendant (INEC) to register the plaintiffs in the voters register has deprived the plaintiffs of their voting rights both in the April 2011 general elections and the July 2012 local council elections; • an order directing the 1st, 4th and 5th Defendants (FG, Cross Rivers State government and Akwa Ibom State government respectively) to

immediately provide basic amenities like schools, health centres, potable water, proper accommodation and means of transportation in the plaintiffs’ new settlements; and, • an order directing the 6th defendant (INEC) to immediately commence the registration of eligible voters in the plaintiffs’ new settlements. The plaintiffs are also seeking N20 billion as general damages and another N10 billion for the footing of exemplary damages. Justice Mohammed Abubakar has fixed hearing in the matter for March 6, 2013.

ASF. Furthermore, it was agreed that where appropriate, ECOWAS “shall provide technical inputs into the development of the curriculum in response to regional needs, consistent with the Standardised Training Modules (STM) developed by the United Nations Department for Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO) Integrated Training Service.”

The Project Implementation Agreement (PIA), on the other hand, takes into cognisance relevant provisions of the Regional Protocol on Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security, as well as the Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance relating to the role of the Armed Forces, police and the security forces in the democracy within the region.

Police boss charges officers on modern techniques From Lawrence Njoku (Enugu) and Joseph Wantu (Makurdi) EPUTY Inspector General of Police, ‘F’ Department, Aliyu Y. Kafur, has expressed dismay with the level of compliance of men and officers of the Force to modern policing initiative. Meanwhile, a Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Benue State and an elder statesman, Abu King Shuluwa, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to embrace dialogue with the Boko Haram Islamic sect. Shuluwa who made the call in Makurdi during a chat with journalists yesterday stressed that the recent cease fire call was a mere propaganda, not-

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• PDP chief backs govt, Boko Haram talks ing that dialogue with the sect remained the best option for peace. Kafur said that despite the Force’s efforts in advancing policing with human face, officers were yet to embrace the modern ways in their relationship, investigations, arrests and execution of their duties. He said that the police authority in the country decided to choose the Central Police Station, Enugu and a division in Isolo Lagos as pilot stations for the modern policing initiative, which it was doing in conjunction with the DFID’s Justice for All project.

He told officers and men of Enugu command that the idea was to have a society that was free from tendencies that sought to deny people their rights to justice. Shuluwa added: “I am happy that everybody is now calling for dialogue with Boko Haram sect. President Jonathan should quickly find a way to dialogue with the sect, but if he refuses dialogue, he should better resign. This is because the security of lives and property of Nigerians is greater to us than anything.” Shuluwa who described the proposed centenary celebration as a waste of the coun-

try’s resources, further noted that the people had been celebrating independence for the past 50 years without any tangible achievements. On the planned merger by some parties in the country, Shuluwa said it was a welcome development, adding, “we need just three or five political parties. There is no use having up to 50 political parties. The merger will give a challenge to the ruling PDP to sit up if they have a focus. “The biggest problem that we have in this country is lack of strong opposition party. If there is strong opposition party, it will serve a lot of good because it would compel the party in power to sit up,” Shuluwa stated.


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THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

Reps probe sale of oil mining licence in Delta From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja HE House of Representatives has directed its Committee on Gas Resources to investigate the sale of Oil Mining Licence (OML) 26 by Shell Petroleum Company of Nigeria in conjunction with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Adopting a motion sponsored by Leo Okuweh Ogor (PDP, Delta State), the House

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directed the committee to “investigate the entire transaction in view of vast deposit of untapped gas resources in the OML and the secret, fraudulent and illegal sale of OML 26 to First Hydrocarbon Nigeria Limited and make appropriate recommendations to the House within four (4) weeks.” Defending his motion earlier, Ogor, who is the current

Deputy Majority Leader of the House, drew the attention of his colleagues to that fact that: “OML 26 comprised Ogini; Isoko Deep, Ofa and Ovo oil fields situated in Ozoro Kingdom, headquarters of Isoko North Local Government Area, Delta State.” According to him, the host communities of Ozoro Kingdom who by virtue of this

privilege position are supposed to be aware and notified about any transaction concerning OML 26 were never informed of the sale and transfer of the oil fields. Ogor lamented that the landowners, families and host communities had suffered environmental degradation throughout and therefore ought to be given the right of first refusal.

ICPC’s role supportive of good governance, says Ajimobi From Iyabo Lawal, Ibadan

• Stop using my father’s name, Lam Adesina’s son warns aggrieved politicians

OVERNOR Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has urged Nigerians to see the role of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) as complimentary and supportive of good governance. He made the call on Tuesday while receiving the Chairman of ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta, who paid him a courtesy call in his office. While commending the performance of the ICPC in the areas of investigation, enforcement and prosecution of those involved in corrupt practices, Ajimobi said the agency had greatly assisted in improving system development and system restructuring for effective and efficient performance in governance. “Most people have seen ICPC playing the role, not even of an auditor, but of the police or SSS (State Security Service) where all they do is to arrest. So we like everybody to know that the role of ICPC is complementary and supportive, and for people who have nothing to hide or mostly for people who like good governance,” he said. The governor expressed his readiness to work closely with the Commission in its efforts at preventing any

form of corrupt practice in his administration. “I think we should encourage ICPC to work closely with us in order to prevent corrupt practices. You know, by the time they tell us the ways to go and how to operate, it is a lot of prevention, and as the saying goes, prevention is better than cure,” he added. Ajimobi said his administra-

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tion would also collaborate with ICPC, especially in the areas of operational audit and how to improve the system of administration in the state. While commending the ICPC chairman for deeming it fit to assist to his alma mater, St. Anthony Catholic Primary School, Molete, Ibadan, he stressed the need for people

to always give back to the society part of what the society had given them. “And I am glad that you are even giving back to the society what you have benefitted in terms of wanting to improve the school. I believe most Nigerians in positions of power and authority and of influence, should not forget their background,” Ajimobi said.

He added: “Shell in conjunction with NNPC, without any notice to the public, landowners, families and host communities, sold OML 26 to an unknown third party, called First Hydrocarbon Nigeria Ltd. “The action of Shell has left the land-owners, families and host communities betrayed, dejected and deprived of full benefits of their rightful Godgiven natural resources.” “First Hydrocarbon Nigeria Limited is owned by persons who have served in government in very high capacity and by virtue of the position they held has knowledge of the vast potentials of OML 26 and merely used their position to buy OML 26 against office etiquette. “I want to inform this House that the deprived land-owners, families and host communities are vexed, agitated and are becoming very restive and the intervention of this honourable House is needed.”

Yar’Adua’s aide sues EFCC, demands N500m damages By Joseph Onyekwere ED up with his incessant hounding by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. David Edevbie, former Principal Secretary to the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, on Wednesday filed an action at the Federal High Court in Lagos against the anti-graft agency, praying the court to either compel the Commission to prosecute him for his alleged involvement in money laundering activities or in the absence of any concrete evidence against him, give him a clean bill of health. The plaintiff, together with five other persons, has since 2009 been the subject of investigation by the EFCC in

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connection with the sale of Delta State’s shareholding in Vee Networks Limited (VNL) while he was Delta State Commissioner for Finance. The suit FHC/L/CS/178/2013 is brought before the court for the enforcement of his fundamental rights to fair hearing within a reasonable time and the right to receive information without interference. He is also asking the court to determine whether the antigraft agency ought not to have prosecuted or exonerated him over financial crimes allegations following the sale in 2006 of the VNL, in which Delta State was a substantial shareholder. The AttorneyGeneral of the Federation (AGF) is the second respondent in the suit.

The plaintiff, through his counsel, Olasupo Shasore (SAN) of Ajumogobia and Okeke, is therefore seeking an order of the court to compel the respondents to prosecute him where investigation discloses evidence of wrongdoing or in the alternative, an order compelling the EFCC to make an official written communication exonerating him from any alleged financial crime arising from the VNL transaction. He is also praying the court to issue an order compelling the EFCC to disclose the results of its investigation into his involvement in the VNL transaction while he was the Delta State Commissioner for Finance pursuant to Section 1(3) of the Freedom of

Information Act, 2011. In addition, he wants the court to award him the sum of N500 million as damages for the agency’s “breach of his constitutional right to receive information without interference, as enshrined in Section 39 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (Cap 10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 1990, (‘the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Right’) and sections 1, 4 and 7 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 which denial has brought about loss of business and goodwill to the applicant over the period of the time of the denial.” Supported by a three-page affidavit, the plaintiff averred that he could not have been involved in any money laundering activity arising from the transaction because he had ceased to be a member of the Board of VNL as a Director and the Delta State Executive Council as Commissioner for Finance before the sale of the shares was concluded, and funds received by Delta State Government in June 2006. “After my resignation from the VNL board in August 2004, after which I was duly replaced by another appointee of Delta State Government – Mr. Onosode - and my departure from the Delta State government as Commissioner for Finance in December 2005, I was no longer entitled to receive information regarding the final negotiations that eventually led to the sale of Delta State’s shares in VNL in June 2006”, he deposed. However, by virtue of his position as the Commissioner for Finance and his role as representative of the state government on the board of VNL from June 2001 to August 2004, the plaintiff was in 2009 named along with five others as a co-conspirator in the alleged money laundering charges preferred against former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, by the Crown Prosecution in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2009. This was shortly after he was appointed Principal Secretary to the late President Yar’Adua replacing the previous Chief of Staff.

Govt to develop framework for climate service From Joke Falaju, Abuja HE Federal Government yesterday unfolded plans to develop a comprehensive National Framework for Climate Service (NFCS), so as to equip Nigerians and policy makers with science-based climate information for coping with contemporary challenges of climate change. The broad-based NFCS would be designed to incorporate science-based climate information and prediction into government policy planning, formulation and execution. Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at the opening ceremony of a twoday technical conference on “Application of Meteorological Information in Weather Disaster Risk Reduction and Socio-Economic Planning”. She noted that 2012 flood, which affected 27 states of the federation resulting in loss of over 200 lives and displacement of over two million people from their homes, could have been averted if state governments had heeded warnings by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) of the impending flood.

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At Lenten, Ahmed urges Christians to pray for Nigeria From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin S Christian faithful begin this year’s 40-day Lenten, Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has urged them to use the period for deepening the appreciation of the values and teachings of Christianity. “Since the Lenten season in Christendom marks a period of sober reflection, fasting and penitence in anticipation of the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday, it is imperative that the season is also used for a deeper and sober reflection on the state of affairs in our country”, he advised. Ahmed, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba, equally urged Christians to use the Lenten period to pray fervently and work vigorously for peace and stability in Nigeria so that governments at all level can deliver the essence of good governance to Nigerians across board.

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Ijaw Youth Council tasks Jonathan on corruption HILE some think that the W administration of President Goodluck Jonathan is too slow in tackling the menace of corruption, the Ijaw Youth Council, the umbrella body of all Ijaw youths in the country and the Diaspora, said it is better to tackle the problem in strict compliance with democratic ethos of due process, rule of law and measured openness. They, however, want the President to involve citizens in fighting corruption by providing incentives for groups and individuals to join the crusade. This was the position of the youth group at the end of a two-day session, which ended in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, yesterday. The group said in spite of his governance and leadership style, which critics say is slow and clueless, the Jonathan administration has continued to uncover the awful state of corruption in the country and coming out with different measures to frustrate perpetrators.


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THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

Senate accuses Presidency of shielding Maina From John-Abba Ogbodo, Abuja IGERIAN pensioners’ anger N and pain were apparently captured in the Senate yester-

Former Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe (second right), cutting the tape at the commissioning of CADD Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. With him are the Vice Chairman, Riverbank Technologies and Engineering Services Limited, Chris Obi Chikelue (left), General Manager, CADD Centre, Lagos, Vijay Baskarb, Managing Director, CADD Centre Training Services, India, Saravanan Karaiadselvan, and Executive Director, Riverbank Technologies and Engineering, Ayoola Jolayemi

Leaders seek direct payment of derivation fund to Ondo oil areas From Niyi Bello, Akure ITING undeserved backC wardness despite fiscal provision through the instrumentality of the statutory Oil Mineral Derivation Fund, oilproducing communities in the coastal stretch of Ondo State have requested for direct remittance of the fund to them. The derivation fund was put in place by the Federal Government to facilitate physical and human development of the oil-producing areas in the wake of agitation for resource control by community leaders and restive youths in the Niger Delta region. Though the law establishing the fund provided that 13 per cent of oil receipts are to be set aside for exclusive disbursement to the oil-producing

communities, several state governments, including Ondo State, have set up intervention agencies that have access to only a percentage of the released fund. The management of the fund, which accrues to the states on monthly basis, has led to a lot of agitation and controversies, with many communities accusing the states of shortchanging them while others allege outright misappropriation even when the development of the areas still beg for attention. Rising from a meeting held in Akure yesterday, representatives of oil communities in the two coastal councils of Ilaje and Ese-Odo, under the aegis of the state branch of Oil and Gas Producing Communities of Nigeria (OGPCN), appealed to the Federal

Government to follow the provision of the constitution to the letter. According to them, the 1999 Constitution that established the fund specifically states that the money should be set aside for the benefits of the oil-producing communities, unlike what has become the practice with the money being channeled through state intervention agencies. In a statement issued after the meeting and signed by Ondo OGPCN Chairman, Chief Adewale Omojuwa, and Secretary, Dr. Soji Omowole, the communities “resolved that the 13 per cent derivation fund as established under Section 162 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) should be released to oil and gas-producing communities accordingly.”

day as the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly did not only accuse the Presidency of shielding the Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, but asked President Goodluck Jonathan to sack him immediately. Maina was alleged to have misappropriated about N195 billion of pension funds and the Senate has asked him to appear before it for an investigation. The anger of the chamber was aptly conveyed by Senate President David Mark during a motion on the subject matter moved by the Majority Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba. Before putting the matter to question, a visibly angry Mark said he had allowed the matter being handled by the joint Committee on Public Service and Establishment and States and Local Governments to be fully exhausted and in the process, made several interventions to enable Maina state his own side but he took the chamber for granted. “We have been pushed to the wall and the reaction from the chamber is the correct reaction. So, no matter the depth, because somebody talked about the depth of the Maina situation, nobody in this country will be left to go scot-free if he is associated with Maina,” Mark said. “It doesn’t matter who is behind Maina. It is not for me to know whether somebody is behind Maina or not, but no matter who is behind Maina, we are not going to accept it.” Disclosing the level of efforts the chamber made to give Maina a fair hearing, Mark said:

Insists on sack of pensions chief over alleged N195b fraud “Let me give you the genesis of why I took so long to allow that matter to be brought to the floor. First, for those of you who have been following Maina, he bought over the entire press and gave the impression that the joint committee asked him for a bribe. “That is not a secret … and I say that he should be given a fair chance to come and explain himself and expose anybody here who asked him for anything. If we hurried over it, it could appear as if it is a cover-up and I didn’t want to do that. “I called the two committee chairmen and asked them if they had been reading what Maina has been publishing in the pages of (news) papers. I also directed that they should invite Maina, go for a public hearing and get the media houses to be there and let Maina say in the presence of the media houses and before this nation who asked him for a bribe, and I think that’s fair. That was the basis for asking Maina to appear before the committee. Mark continued: “Now, Maina wrote a petition to me along the same line, even though he was foolish enough, he didn’t sign it. He is a Level 14 or Level 13 civil servant. I didn’t bother so much about it because it is civil service procedure, because that was not the subject matter and the subject matter was serious enough. At least, to clear the name of the Senate, I told my Chief of Staff to call Maina and tell him that he must appear before the committee and clear himself. “I also forwarded the petition to the committees for their reaction and their reaction was

the he mismanaged certain amount of money and is refusing to appear before them. But Maina wrote another letter to the committee, saying that he had written a petition to me and that he was awaiting an outcome and again, he didn’t sign it. It was signed by somebody under him. That was to tell you the level to which he put himself. “Whether somebody is behind him or not is a different subject matter entirely. But I got my Chief of Staff and he called him to say he must appear before the committee, but he also expressed fear that since he (Maina) wanted to expose the committee, the committee would be biased, and will harass and prevent him from talking. “I said fine, the Deputy Senate Leader, who is Abdul Ningi, and the chief whip should join the committee when he appears before it. I gave him ample time to clear himself and carry his accusation to a logical conclusion, but each time he was to appear before the committee, he went to the press to give a press conference and on every occasion, I pointed it out to the two chairmen and of course the committee denied asking Maina for anything.” Mark spoke further: “The point I am trying to make here is that giving him a fair chance, giving him ample time to defend himself is not a wrong thing and it is not a sign of weakness in any way. It is not. I believe it is fair and that we should follow the legal system and not just justice, but let justice be also seen to be done. That is justice in the true sense of it.


THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

8 | NEWS

Rights group accuses Islamic clerics of stalling immunisation programme From John-Abba Ogbodo (Abuja) and Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna)

Mark assures on new Heath Bill

EMBERS of the Northern M Civil Society Coalition have blamed the spread of polio and

immunisation, of mis-education and misinformation by archaic clerics that are out of touch and out of tune with the realities and changes in the modern world”. “The resistance of the clerics to immunisation, and other programmes of vaccination have contributed a lot in crowding our streets in the northern states with the destitute and physically challenged people. Our religious clerics are standing against science; they are also standing against logic and reasons with their misinformed gospel”. However, Mallam Sani remarked that the recent attack on medical workers and staff in some parts of the North, “is a direct product of fanatical preaching and teachings by these clerics”, while calling on the people “to resist this campaign of misinformation and to avail themselves of projects and programmes aimed at improving their health and their children”. In a related development, some members of a non-governmental organisation (NGO), under the umbrella of National Civil Society Coalition on Immunisable Disease Awareness (NCSCIDA), last weekend condemned the recent killings of polio workers in Kano by unknown gunmen, saying that the unfortunate incident should not deter efforts at ridding the North of the killer-disease by the Federal Government. The group said all hands must be on deck to fight the opposition against immunisation against polio. In a statement signed by the Coordinator of NCSCIDA, Dr. Mohammed Mustapha, the group stressed that “the civil society coalition on public awareness on national immunisation totally condemn the attack

other communicable diseases on the opposition of Islamic clerics and other religious leaders in the North to the immunisation programmes of the Federal Government, even as they pledged to join the campaign in fighting the menace. Leader of the Civil Society Coalition in the North, Mallam Shehu Sani, who said this while speaking on the fight against wild polio scourge and other dreaded diseases yesterday in Kaduna, pointed out that “polio immunisation is in the best health interest of northern Nigeria”. He lamented that “the criticisms and attacks against immunisation programmes are unfounded, unwarranted, ill-informed and uncivilised”. Sani, who is also president of Civil Rights Congress (CRC), said “those Islamic clerics that are opposed to the immunisation exercise against polio are not doing so out of scientific reasons or religious reasons”. He added that they engaged against the campaign on eradication of the disease for political motives. The rights activist argued that “the immunisation programme by government is a positive step to contain, checkmate and exterminate harmful diseases that have paralysed and ravaged the lives of young people in the northern Nigeria”, pointing out that “we cannot continue to live in the past at a time when the world is moving ahead”. Said he: “Almost all diseases that have been wiped out in other parts of the world like leprosy, polio and chicken-pox are still prevalent in northern parts of Nigeria as a result of the silent campaign against

against polio vaccination workers in Kano”, noting that “the attack is an attempt to undermine and subvert the current national immunisation efforts against polio in northern Nigeria”. Mustapha explained that “it is a setback against the effort to checkmate the spread of polio that has devastated the lives of millions of vulnerable children in northern Nigeria”, adding that “Polio pandemic is a serious health hazard that has wrecked havoc and destroyed the future of many children”. “The national immunisation process is an effort to address the problem. The people of the North and the whole of the country should embrace the exercise by supporting this programme. The polio immunisation staff that were killed were heroes in the nation’s effort to wipe out the disease”, he noted. Meanwhile, the Senate President, Senator David Mark, has assured Nigerians of the com-

mitment of the Senate to address grey areas in the National Health Bill in a manner that would resolve issues of rivalry in the health sector. A statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Kola Ologbondiyan, that when the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), led by its President, Olumide Akintayo, paid a courtesy call on Mark, he specifically pushed for the passage of the National Health Bill in the last Senate. He added that “now that the bill has returned to the Senate, it is a blessing as it will give adequate room for members to address the grey areas.” According to him, the health sector has been groaning because of too much rivalry from various disciplines in the sector; “Doctors cannot operate independently if pharmacists are not carried along. If a discipline insists that the secretary and the chairman must be doctors or pharmacists, that is obviously an internal rivalry and

it is not healthy for the sector.” “Anybody that is academicallyqualified should be able to hold offices of any health-related institution in the interest of the profession,” Senator Mark urged. He pointed out that the consequence of such rivalry is purely felt by the ordinary Nigerians, adding that the Senate would guard against any interest that would negatively impact on the majority of the people. The Senate President, however, urged health workers to abide by the ethics of the profession in advancing positions that will improve health service delivery to Nigerians. PSN president commended the Senate President and other senators for their commitment to health matters, saying the association supported the amendment of the National Health Bill, but suggested a review in some sections of the Bill to achieve uniformity. Akintayo said health sector is a multi-disciplinary sector, noting that the PSN desires to be a strategic partner in creating

Anambra community lauds Obi OVERNOR Peter Obi has G been commended by Omogho community in Orumba North local council for executing various projects and programmes across Anambra State. The commendation was made by the president-general of Omogho Town Union, Chief Reginald Chigozie Onyeaka (JP), who enjoined Obi to extend his development strides to his (the former’s) community. He also said the governor and other prominent Nigerians are expected at the commissioning of some projects

To commission self-help projects executed by him (Onyeaka) in the community, which include a police station, health centre and model market. Onyeaka (a.k.a Ezekwueche) is the Chief Executive Officer of Regon Global Communications Ltd, Light King Electronics Ltd and R. N. Iwollo Nig. Ltd (importers and exporters) He particularly praised the governor for the construction of a five-star hotel in Onitsha, which has also created numerous jobs, and fa-

cilitating petroleum exploration in Anambra, which has now put it on the map of oil producing states in Nigeria. Onyeaka also lauded HRM Igwe P.N. Anugwu (JP) of Mbaukwu who is a director of Julius Berger for his contributions to the development of the state and nation. Onyeaka added: “The Igwe of Mbaukwu, who is my political godfather, has brought development and investments to Igboland and Nigeria”.

Niger gov set to reshuffle cabinet From John Ogiji, Minna FTER months of speculaA tions over cabinet reshuffle, Niger State Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu has sent nine names of nominees for appointment as commissioners. The list included his Chief of Staff, Dr. Mohammed Yahaya Kuta; Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Daniel Shashere and the Head of Service (HoS), Ahmed Matene. Other nominees included the state Director General of MDGs, Mr. Joshua Bawa; the Perma-

nent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Alhaji Mahmud Kpako Bello; former Commissioner for Works and later Youths and Strategies in the administration, Umaru Nasko; Abbas Bello; Alhaji Abdullahi Mamman and Alhaji Mohammed Bashir Nuhu. The governor, in a letter to the Assembly yesterday, also sought and got the approval of the Assembly to appoint six special advisers all in attempt to reinvigorate the administration for better service delivery.

Court berates EFCC over shoddy prosecution By Joseph Onyekwere USTICE Samuel CandideJohnson of the Lagos High Court yesterday reprimanded the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for splitting charges involving Personal Assistant to Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Oyebode Atoyebi and a former manager with the Intercontinental Bank Plc (now Access Bank), Olayinka Sanni. The two defendants (Atoyebi and Sanni) are being charged for alleged conspiracy and stealing of

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N32.5 million levelled against them by the EFCC. At the resumed hearing of their bail application, Justice Candide-Johnson observed that the 2nd defendant, Atoyebi, had been granted bail in a sistersuit filed before Justice Deborah Oluwayemi of the Lagos High Court while the 2nd defendant, Sanni, was remanded in EFCC custody. The court stated that it would be more convenient and a matter of common sense if the suits were filed before a judge, adding that scattering of cases involving same parties could lead to confusion.

Agbekoya group’s ex-chief wants EFCC, ICPC to probe account From Niyi Bello, Akure ORMER head of the Ondo FFarmers’ State branch of Agbekoya Association, a platform through which rural farmers agitate for improved wellbeing, Bashorun Adeyemi, has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices (and other related offences) Commission (ICPC) to probe the account of the association at all levels. Adeyemi also wants the antigraft agencies to prevail on the national executive of the association to refund the N150 million generated from sales of loan forms and farm inspection fees to the respective members of the association and contributors since the loans and identity cards were not given to the intended beneficiaries. Already, some members of the association in the country, particularly in the SouthWest, are calling for the whereabouts of the money. The former coordinator of the association in the state, in a statement, said the intervention of the anti-graft agencies would assist respective members of the group to unravel the mystery surrounding his controversial suspension and dissolution of the Ondo State executive by the national body. Out of the N150 million, according to Bashorun, Ondo State remitted over N5 million without anything to show for it. He attributed his suspension to his curiosity to know the whereabouts of all the money remitted to the national account from all the states and his refusal to connive with the leadership of the association to embezzle the said money.

Lagos sacks 48 workers By Kamal Tayo Oropo O fewer than 48 workers N in the employ of the Lagos State government may have been sacked for committing various offences ranging from forgery of educational certificates to misappropriation of government funds. Reports revealed that 35 out of the 48 were dismissed for using forged certificates to gain employment into the state’s civil service while 13 others were shown the way out of the service for absence from work without being on leave or permission. Some of the offences that also led to the sack of the workers include misappropriation of government funds, diversion of government money for personal purpose and loss of government vehicles. The profile of the sack showed that those fired were workers between Grade Level 07 and 12. The workers, mostly senior members of staff, were traffic officers, higher statistics officers, senior accountants and senior executive officers. The letters of dismissal issued from the office of Head of Service have been distributed to the affected workers whose fraudulent activities were discovered during a certificate verification carried out by the state government. It was learnt that the affected workers were made to face the Personnel Management Board (PMB), a disciplinary arm of the state government, which recommended their sack from the state civil service.


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THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

WorldReport Pope Benedict condemns religious hypocrisy at final mass N what was termed as Pope Ibefore Benedict XVI’s final mass he resigns as pontiff, the Catholic head yesterday condemned “religious hypocrisy” and called for an end to “individualism and rivalry” in the Church. “The face of the Church is sometimes marred by sins against the unity of the Church and divisions in the clergy,” the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics said in his homily in St Peter’s Basilica. This came as the Vatican struggles to explain Pope Benedict XVI’s scheduled resignation on February 28, explaining yesterday that the outgoing head of the church worldwide would lose his infallibility – his supreme authority in Church matters – as soon he steps down. According to Vatican spokesman, Federico

Pope Benedict XVI blesses faithful at the end of his weekly general audience at the Paul VI hall at the Vatican – his first public appearance since the shock announcement of his resignation…yesterday PHOTO: AFP

EU ministers tackle horse meat scandal at crisis talks INISTERS from M European Union (EU) yesterday met for talks in Belgium on how to restore badly dented consumer confidence as a scandal over the discovery of horse meat in products labelled as beef widens, according reports obtained from the Cable News Network (CNN) and Agence France Presse (AFP). Yesterday’s hastily-convened talks aim to allow the “most affected member states” – Britain, France, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania and Sweden – to exchange information and look at “whatever steps may be necessary”, said Ireland, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency. Further action will be examined tomorrow at an extraordinary meeting of an

Since Britain last week discovered horse meat in frozen lasagne sold under the Findus label, but processed by French firm Comigel, the scandal has engulfed Europe. EU “Food Chain” committee, and at February 25 talks of the bloc’s 27 farm ministers. Since Britain last week discovered horse meat in frozen lasagne sold under the Findus label, but processed by French firm Comigel, the scandal has engulfed Europe. But EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg said he was following the situation “very closely.” According to Borg, the European Commission is working with the French, Romanian, Dutch, Luxembourg and British authorities and has called an

emergency meeting slated tomorrow on the issue of food chains. The talks in Brussels, Belgium, came a day after UK police and health officials raided a slaughterhouse and meat company as part of the ongoing investigation into how horse meat ended up in purported beef products. The slaughterhouse, in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, is believed to have supplied horse carcasses to a Welsh firm called Farmbox Meats Ltd., which then sold the meat as beef for kebabs and burgers. Authorities have suspended

operations at both facilities and seized all remaining meat and company files, which include a client list. Neither company was immediately available for comment. Moreso, Germany has reported a first possible case –lasagne bought from a Luxembourg distributor suspected of selling horse meat marked as beef. However, the European Union’s health commissioner said the talks would enable ministers in affected nations to exchange information and discuss how to tighten labelling rules. One possibility under examination would be to extend a country-of-origin tag currently required for fresh meat to the frozen food sector, said Borg.

Zimbabwe’s govt announces key election dates IMBABWE’S Prime Minister Z Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday announced that the country will vote on a new constitution in March and hold crunch elections in July, a timetable seen as likely to decide the fate of veteran President Robert Mugabe. Tsvangirai, who hailed the new constitution as a major step toward democratic reform, declared yesterday: “There will be a referendum in March.” But rights groups have warned that Zimbabwe is behind on reforms that would allow credible elections, and the government itself has said it does not have enough money to hold the polls. Officials from Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change and Mugabe’s ZANU-

PF told Agence France Presse (AFP) that the referendum will be held on March 16, “The date agreed to by the principals is the 16th,” Mugabe spokesman, George Charamba, told AFP. “It’s a firm date now and we are working towards that,“ he added. Zimbabweans will be asked to vote for a law that would set presidential term limits and abolish the head of state’s immunity for the first time. Mugabe and Tsvangirai have both endorsed the draft text. The law would also set the stage for them to face off in a presidential election, which Tsvangirai revealed would be held in July in tandem with a legislative vote, although he gave no precise date. A victory for the 88-year-old Mugabe would extend his 32

Rights groups have warned that Zimbabwe is behind on reforms that would allow credible elections, and the government itself has said it does not have enough money to hold the polls. years in power, a reign that in the last decade has been marked by economic meltdown and serious rights violations. Previous polls have been marred by deadly violence and allegations of vote-rigging by Mugabe’s camp. The deaths of 200 people in widely disputed 2008 elections brought international condemnation. In the wake of the vote, and after heavy international pressure, Mugabe reluctantly agreed to form a power-sharing government and to sign up to a democratic roadmap. Tsvangirai vowed this year’s

votes will be fair and said he would fight to insure “no-one is disenfranchised by hook or by crook”. “If Mugabe’s position that we need a free and fair election is a ruse, then he would have cheated me,” Tsvangirai said. He said Zimbabwe is planning to push the Southern African Development Community to hold a summit to discuss conditions for free and fair elections. SADC head, Tomaz Salomao, told AFP the bloc was “more than happy,” with the announcement of the date. “We have been supporting this process.”

Lombardi, at a media briefing, “These powers go with the office; so they will pass to the next pope.... Whoever renounces no longer has the assistance of the Holy Spirit to guide the Universal Church.” The issue is complex for many Catholics who believe the election of a pope is divinely inspired and are accustomed to popes remaining in office until death. But Benedict will be the first pope to resign in about 598 years and only the second to do so voluntarily in the Catholic Church’s 2,000-year history. Though papal infallibility was only set in stone in 1870, the idea had long been part of Church history and debate, and the notion of the Bishop of Rome as a preserver of apostolic truth was first mooted in the sixth century.

Syrian forces confront rebels after army base seizure warplanes yesterday SoustYRIAN struck rebels fighting to President Bashar al-Assad on the fringes of Damascus, while artillery batteries pound the insurgents from hills overlooking a city divided between all-out war and a deceptive calm, according a report by Reuters. But a monitoring group said the rebels took control of most of a strategic army base in northern Syria after a fierce firefight with Assad’s forces. The military complex, known as Base 80, is tasked with securing the nearby Aleppo international airport as well as the Nayrab military airport. However, former foreign ministry spokesman, Jihad Makdissi, said yesterday he has a neutral stance on Syria’s

23-month conflict, as he broke his silence for the first time since leaving the country. “I left Syria because the polarisation in the country has reached a deadly and destructive stage... I left a battlefield, not a normal country, and I apologise to those who trusted my credibility and for leaving without prior notice,” he said. Makdissi, once one of the most recognisable faces of the embattled regime who disappeared from public view in December, made the remarks in an emailed statement. He stressed to AFP that he was now neither with the government in Damascus nor the opposition, which has been fighting to overthrow the Assad regime for nearly two years.

African-American History: February 15, 1968

Henry Lewis becomes the first Black American to lead a Symphony Orchestra ENRY Lewis was born in H Los Angeles, California, United States (U.S.) and began studying piano at the age of five. He later learned to play the clarinet as well as several string instruments. At the age of 16, he joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic, becoming the first black instrumentalist in a major orchestra. After six years as a doublebassist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, he played with and conducted the Seventh Army Symphony while serving in the United States Armed Forces. He gained national recognition in 1961 when he was appointed assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, a post he held until 1965. In 1968, Lewis became the music director of the New Jersey symphony and transformed the local group into a nationally recognised orchestra that performed more than a hundred concerts every year, including outreach programmes for local communities. In 1972, he debuted at the

New York Metropolitan Opera, conducting Puccini’s La Boheme. From 1960 to 1979, he was married to famed opera singer, Marilyn Horne, who considered him her “teacher and right hand.” After retiring from the New Jersey Symphony in 1976, Lewis continued to tour as a guest conductor for 20 years until his death from a heart attack at the age of 63. Henry Lewis gained wide respect as a conductor, instrumentalist, and pioneer in the classical music world.

Lewis


THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

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Politics We will one day hold a national dialogue, says Uranta The National Secretary, National Summit Group (NSG), Mr. Tony Uranta told SEYE OLUMIDE that civil right organisations have ‘lost the spark since the military left.’ Excerpts: OW would you rate the influence of civil sociH ety organisations in democracy since 1999? The best Nigeria has today in terms of governance is civil rule and not democracy. Did the military really disengaged from power in 1999? I think that they simply transformed from military uniform into civilian dress and took over the government with a few civilians, their cronies. This is the reason we continue to give credence to whatever the retired generals like the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida, the Senate President, David Mark, and host of others like them said. These men still stick to the culture of force, the culture of ‘obey the last command,’ and do-or-die politics. We have had people who lack the give and take values of democracy and incidentally, they are the ones dictating the tone of our democracy. In a nutshell Nigeria is yet to have a true federal system of government and that is why the demand for true federalism and resource control will continue. The challenge civil society groups had after the struggle for civil rule was that they did not have a definition of what they wanted in place of the military. We were just concerned with the exit of the military and not putting into consideration what would happen after that. As a matter of fact we did not bother about who would run the democracy we were fighting. But the military class was already thinking of how to secure their interests. The military top brass was smart in the sense that when it became obvious that they would go, they produced the 1999 Constitution that centralises power and prepared a soft landing for themselves and fortunately their plan worked. That was the reason several characters now dominate the political space because a few of the major players in the civil society movements did not position themselves to participate fully in the event of the exit of the military. It was so funny that as much as we wanted the military to leave power, we seem not to truly believe that they would go. Civil society groups actually fought the war but at the end different adventurers took over the political space. What are the implications of this for the civil societies? What we have today are those politicians who were in government to satisfy their selfish interest. We now have a democracy that is based on zoning; we have a democracy that allows for a non-federalist system to be perpetrated. If civil society organisations had any idea of what they wanted during the civil struggle in the 1990s, I don’t think we wanted a presidential system of government. Most of us would not have sub-

Uranta

scribed to the present presidential system and that is why different groups are now proposing different types of constitutions, different from the 1999 Constitution. Most of the civil society organisations are now advocating for a parliamentary system but those people that hijacked power since 1999 are not ready to release power easily. That is why the clamour for a national dialogue or conference would continue until government does the right thing. Obviously you know that there are obstacles in convening of a conference... The demand for a national dialogue has been opposed at different levels for so many years and there are several factors. One of the factors is that those who had hijacked power since 1999 will not ordinarily want to abdicate it. The National Summit Group (NSG) came up and we now have our presence in the six geo-political zones trying to make people see the reasons Nigeria needed to hold a conference. The major zone, the North that seems to have misunderstood why we need a national dialogue is now

calling for it. In fact, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) gave us the honour to hold a meeting with them in Abuja. They have been participating in our activities. The former military Head of State, Babangida, the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) and other prominent northerners are now advocating that we should hold a national dialogue. But unfortunately, those in the National Assembly are still opposing to it. The NSG has gone as far as having a retreat with President Goodluck Jonathan, several professional groups, politicians and members of the National Assembly etc. Two issues that came from our discussions are that we should allow the National Assembly to go ahead with the review of the 1999 Constitution but with a clause that it must be included in the review and that Nigerians should reserve the right to sue public officers and institutions. The 1999 Constitution did not make provision for Nigerians to sue public officers or institutions and that is why many public service delivery institutions like the

Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and others remain where they are today. The second issue was that the review must be subjected to a referendum. I suggested that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should conduct the referendum. But most importantly, we all agreed on the need to hold a national dialogue. The only area of discord is who should convene the dialogue and what format should be. Members of the National Assembly wanted us to give them automatic privileges to participate and represent their people in the conference but we objected and said that all public institutions including the National Assembly would have the privilege to send delegates. I am hopeful that with time Nigeria will convene a national dialogue. Is the present crop of civil society organisations still acting as watchdogs to politicians? Since 1999 Nigeria does not have any credible civil society group that has stood its ground and speak for the people of Nigeria. In 2010, the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) emerged; we thought another strong organisation like national Democratic Coalition (NADECO) has come. All eyes were focused on the group but at the end of the day it was discovered that many people do not have the common good of the nation at heart. The truth is that it is money that determines who holds power. Unfortunately, the civil society groups and the media gravitated towards that reality and even the media ownership became dominated by political interest. The military class through the provisions of the 1999 Constitution created a political system where parties were funded from up down and not from down up. Members of parties did not make contributions to fund the parties but a few moneybags funded the parties. This gave the military people the opportunity to transform to politicians and use wealth to hijack democracy and placed others in opposition. After operating three constitutions, would you say that the problem with Nigeria is constitutional? Yes and no. The very name Nigeria is a falsehood because the components of Nigeria never came together to voluntarily decide that they will become a united country but the colonialists forced us together. How are we going to handle the ethnic differences? I believe this can only be discussed through a national dialogue where all these people will be represented and discuss their differences. We have to know what binds us together. We did not practice all those constitution for a long time before they were truncated. The 1963 Constitution was the last federal constitution. The 1999 Constitution has elements of unitary government where most of the powers are centralised. I think the onus is now on the youths to stand up to the challenge and fight for their rights because the older generation has failed.

Umeh blames Obi for APGA woes, insists on party leadership From Adamu Abuh, Abuja HIEF Victor Umeh, who was sacked C by an Enugu High Court as the National Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) has linked his travails to subterranean moves to oust the party executives by “some people without due process and total disregard of the rule of law.” Umeh particularly accusing the Anambra State Governor Peter Obi for championing the moves. Last week, an Enugu High Court headed by Justice Innocent Umezurike ruled that Umeh’s tenure with that of the party’s 28 National Working Committee (NWC) members had elapsed since February 10, 2011. The court further directed the National Executive Committee (NEC) of APGA to organise a fresh convention to elect a national executive of the party. At the party national headquarters in Abuja yesterday, Umeh told journalists that no one has the power to remove him from office until the

determination of a subsisting appeal he filed on February 11 against the court judgment. Urging members of the party to boycott a meeting “purpotedly” called by Obi towards holding a national convention, Umeh noted: “Obi should allow the judicial process to be exhausted before he can talk about doing anything. What he is trying to do now is an attempt to overreach my subsisting appeal at the Court of Appeal Enugu division, which is challenging the nullification of APGA’s convention and the sacking of the entire NWC. “If Obi continues to invite people to a meeting, I will drag him to court over his activities to destroy this party that built him. I hereby call on all APGA members and officials to boycott that meeting because he is not competent to call it.” Accompanied by the national secretary of the party, Alhaji Sani Shinkafi, Umeh argued: “I had exercised my constitutional rights of appealing the ruling of the lower court because I feel that the judgment was against me. In that

Umeh

matter, I have a right to appeal from the court of appeal to the Supreme Court. But since the delivery of that judgment, Obi, who sponsored the suit to sack me as APGA’s national chairman, suddenly saw that he has also sacked the entire leadership of the party and now he has decided to find ways of putting a new leadership in

place for APGA. “He was not aware of the implication of his action. He didn’t know that after removing the pillar of the house that the whole house would fall. The only saving grace is my right to appeal, which I have exercised. “We also discovered that Obi is reaching out to people to see how he can redeem the situation for himself having seen that the judgment has not left anybody in the party at the national level to work with. There are moves to persuade some members of the executive to accept the judgment. About 10 people have done that. Those people, in effect, have accepted that they are no longer members of the NWC of APGA and they also have no right of appeal unless they want to rejoin. “But surprisingly, yesterday, (Wednesday) Obi started circulating text messages to members of the party inviting them to a party meeting in Abuja on February 15 in Abuja. His plan is to set up a convention planning committee. I want to state that Obi has no authority in the party constitution to

convene any meeting for any purpose as he was merely elected governor through APGA. He is not the leader of the party even in his ward or the council or the state. APGA constitution does not recognise a governor as the leader of the party.” In a reaction last night, the governor’s chief press secretary, Mike Udah said, “it is laughable that Umeh should accuse the governor of sponsoring his ouster. By that statement, he is saying that the judiciary is no more an independent arm of government. The governor is not known to influence court decisions at any level, even in Anambra. Umeh has forgotten that it waas the Chief Judge of Enugu State that ruled on the matter. Is he saying that the CJ was compromised? No one is responsible for Umeh’s predicament. “It is unreasonable for him to stop other members not to respond to calls by Obi, the leader of the party. APGA members are not daft, they know between Umeh and Obi who they should listen to.”


THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

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THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

TheMetroSection Money and relationship ...on Valentine’s Day, by Akinkugbe

Build on things that don’t involve a lot of money in your social life... Eat at home, go out for a walk, have a picnic in the park or at the beach, play a board game and enjoying quality time without spending a lot of money.

E are all in one form of a relaW tionship or the other; a relationship with a parent, spouse, partner, child, friend, employer, employee. We all know how important money conversations can be and also how awkward they can be if not handled well. There are various reasons why money conversations can put us under some strain; reasons include loss of income, one person spending too much, different attitudes toward money. Earning inequalities particularly in a patriarchal society can lead to unease, resentment, and arguments. How do you define financial intimacy? Financial intimacy is about having the ability to be open and trusting about money matters in your relationship. Unfortunately, many couples do not have this experience; in fact many feel vulnerable and unsafe and tend to be secretive and hide the true picture of their finances from their partner. So many couples have recurring arguments about money; indeed money issues have been cited as being a leading cause of marital and relationship palaver. What is your attitude to money? Money as a subject that has been swept under the carpet and it has traditionally been considered improper to talk about it. This may be a major reason why people still grapple with money issue as they have been unable to talk about it comfortably Attitudes to money are formed very early on in life and usually develop over many years. You may not even realize the full effect of your childhood experiences, circumstances, and your parent’s attitude towards money. Indeed, many people simply assume the savings and money management habits of their parents. Was money a highly sensitive topic? This could make you very reticent about talking about money. Were they very frugal, disciplined savers, or were they spendthrifts? You may not even

Akinkugbe

realize that you have inherited some behaviour patterns from your parents; once you acknowledge this and realize what it is, you have a new awareness in dealing with these issues. What are the most common financial issues that couples face? Just being unable to communicate about money in an easy, healthy way can be an issue. If you like to manage your own money and be in control of your financial affairs and you are very focused and success oriented and are in a relationship with someone who is financially immature or maybe even irresponsible with money, this could lead to conflict. Here are a few tips to help you navigate your relationship with money: Are you in a serious relationship? Before you commit yourself, try to determine how your partner handles the big issues of real life, including financial matters. Discuss your dreams and goals.

Money will be involved in almost everything you aspire to do during your lives together, so it is important that your goals are in synch or at least, are compatible. Build in things that don’t involve a lot of money into your social life. Eating at home, going out for a walk, having a picnic in the park or at the beach, playing a board game, are just a few ways of enjoying quality time without spending a lot of money. Borrowing can present some challenges, so do consider carefully before you borrow from your loved one. Determine, in advance, how you will deal with debt and whether it needs to be formalised in any way. Often, some discomfort occurs where one party has lent some money and the other never mentions it again. Without communication, such issues may fester and eventually lead to crisis. Are you planning to get married? Don’t go overboard with your wedding costs and certainly don’t go

into debt over the wedding. It is more important to focus on your lives together than on the lavish party. It is usual to receive monetary gifts at weddings and other celebrations. Don’t spend it all. Set aside as much as you can to invest in your future plans to raise a family, own your own home or business. Merging your financial lives Every couple must find a structure that works for them. You must decide who will be responsible for paying certain bills, taking the lead in the family finances and so on. Be guided more by what suits your individual personalities, talents or skills and not by gender. Confide in your partner regarding financial worries and benefit from practical suggestions and support. Rank your financial priorities. Where your individual goals coincide, make a list of the steps it will take to accomplish those goals. Where they collide, figure out which you can live without and how to combine the rest with your partner’s plans. Starting a family. Sometimes one partner must stay at home beyond the traditional maternity leave period while the other works fulltime. What model can you adopt regarding your finances? Will the homemaker be paid a “salary” for her significant services? An arrangement should be put in place that shows respect for this critical role. Don’t forget to consider your mortality. If you haven’t already done so, this is a good time to prepare your Will or put another estate planning arrangement in place. You don’t want guardianship issues to be settled in court if anything happens to you. Ask a friend or relative if he would be willing to be the legal and/or financial guardian for your children after you’re gone. Then, follow through by updating and signing your will. If you stay home, keep up your career skills. Work part-time to maintain your skills and contacts, or go to school parttime to improve your financial prospects. Maintain your skills so you can ease your transition back into the workplace. Have you re-married? Money matters may well have been a major problem in your previous marriage. Talk about those difference so that your new partner can have a better understanding of your concerns. It is important to discuss in advance how responsibilities will be shared for children who live with both of you and how their expenses will be handled. • Mrs Nimi Akinkugbe is Chief Executive Officer / Promoter of the City of

Kwara State government to take beggars off the streets From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin WARA State government might have perfected plans to deport beggars, who in recent times, have turned major streets in Ilorin, the state capital, into

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an eyesore. Some concerned citizens believe that the presence of these street beggars “is a mockery of a clean state.” The worst hit areas are Gambari, Oja Oba, Tipper Garage, Tanke, Sango, Maraba and

Challenge. The state’s Information Commissioner Tunji Morounfoye, said most of the beggars were professionals “who make fortunes out of begging,” noting that the state would soon find a so-

lution to the beggars’ onslaught. A government official, who pleaded anonymity, said some of the beggars were pretenders, adding, “they will act as persons of disabilities in the day but at night,

they are in perfect state of health”. “Kwara government may adopt Lagos style, which recently deported beggars who were not from the state,” he said.

Security man docked for allegedly stealing N95,000 By Yetunde Ayobami-Ojo

OR allegedly stealing N95,000, a middle aged security man, Saturday Ehikioya, was yesterday docked before a Magistrate’s Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos Ehikioya is an Estate Security Officer of Maryland Estate Residents’ Association, Shobanire Estate in Ikeja area of Lagos. The defendant and others, now at large, are fac-

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ing a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy, forgery and stealing before Magistrate Mrs. B. O Ososaru. The Police prosecutor, Inspector Benson Emuerhi, informed the court that the defendant had on January 5, 2013, at about 2.00p.m. at Shonibare Estate, Maryland Ikeja, conspired to steal the said sum belonging to the association. Emuerhi alleged that Ehikioya forged receipts and

emblems purportedly belonging to Shonibare Estate. He said the offence committed is punishable under section 409,361 (1) (a), 285 (7) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2011. Ehikioya pleaded not guilty to the three- count charge preferred against him. However, Magistrate Ososaru granted him bail in the sum of N80,000, with two sureties in like sum and adjourned trial till April 2, 2013.

Briefs Bankole Aluko tounament HIS year’s Bankole OluT mide Aluko tournament, which is held in memory of the late Bankole Olumide Aluko, a partner in the city Law firm of Aluko & Oyebode Solicitors, who died 11 years ago, will begin on Sunday, February 17, at Astroturf 2000, Ikoyi, Lagos. A statement signed by Seni Harrison of Corporate Affairs Department, Astroturf 2000 and Deji Olomojobi , an Associate Partner, Aluko & Oyebode said law firms, including: Banwo & Ighodalo; Olisa Agbakoba & Associates; Babalakin & Co; S.P.A Ajibade & Co; Probitas Partners; B.Ayorinde & Co; Lagos state Ministry of Justice; Aluko & Oyebode; Rickey Tarfa & Co and Falana & Falana, would participate.. Meanwhile, the draws for the ceremony will be held today at Astroturf 2000 Ikoyi, at 4.00p.m.

Group fetes widows today GROUP, Head High InternaA tional Organisation, will today hold a Valentine Love Feast for widows at Tastee Lawrell Eatery, Jakande Estate, Oke-Afa, Isolo, at 1.00p.m. It will showcase jokes, raffle draw, talent show among others. Host is Pastor Tinu Odubgemi.

Deeper Life’s Night of Wonders holds Saturday EEPER Life Bible Church D will on Saturday, February 16 at 6.00p.m. and Sunday, February 17at 8.00a.m. hold its Night of Wonders at its Conference Centre, Km 42,Lagos-Ibadan Expressawy. Pastor Williams Kumuyi will minister.

Foursquare Church, Okota, marks anniversary OURSQUARE Gospel FPrayer), Church (aka House of Okota, Lagos will mark its eighth anniversary from tomorrow to end on Sunday with a thanksgiving service at 9.00a.m. at No. 14, Raymond Okpara Crescent, off Afolabi Sole Street, Okota, Lagos. The theme is: ‘’A new beginning.’’ Host is Pastor Godwin Abimbola Samuel, while Rev Ben Taiwo is the guest speaker.

Dele Giwa’s mother for burial Friday rites for Mrs. EleIcha Ayiyi Giwa, mother of FtheUNERAL former editor-in-chief of NewsWatch Magazine, the late Dele Giwa, begin today with Christian wake at Dele Giwa’s compound at Ugbekpe Ekperri, Etsakor, Auchi in Edo State. She will be buried tomorrow after a funeral service at the Church of God Mission, Ugbekpe – Ekperri at 8.00 a.m. Guests will be entertained at Abbebe Primary School, Ugbekpe-Ekperri, after the interment. Mrs. Giwa, who died recently at the age of 87, is survived by Tunde Giwa; Abiodun Giwa; Awawu Omomole; Fatimat Musa and Ronke Aboaba, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


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THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013


METRO 13

THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Photonews

Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Toyin Ayinde (right), his Works and Infrastructure counterpart, Obafemi Hamzat, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Nike Animashaun, Commissioner for Transport, Kayode Opeifa and Executive Secretary, Judicial Service Commission,Bukola Balogun at the opening ceremony of the State Science and Technology Week” Promoting the Development of Science and Technology through Entrepreneurship Education” in Lagos .

Valentine’s card for sale...yesterday

PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

PHOTO: PAUL OLOKO

Soldiers arrest cultists, kidnapper in Delta From Chido Okafor, Warri

OLDIERS of the Third BattalSyesterday ion, Effurun, Delta State, arrested five suspected cultists who are believed to be behind the spate of unrest in Agbaro. A suspected kidnapper, who allegedly tried to abduct a nine-year-old boy at Ovwian, was equally arrested The cultists are said to be members of the Eiye confraternity (aka Blue Berret) and have recently fought with another cult group during which several persons were wounded.

A member of the cult group, who gave his name as Ochuko Okpako, said he was initiated into the group when he was in primary school. The suspected kidnapper, who gave his name as Panama John was picked up after he tried to abduct a young boy of nine, who was walking alone to his father house. Although Panama denied that he tried to abduct the child saying that he saw the child walking alone and he tried to guide. Luck ran out on him when the father of the boy saw him with the man and raised alarm.

The commanding officer of Third Battalion Effurun, Lt. Col Ifeanyi Out, said the cultists were arrested during routine patrol of the area, saying that the report of cult clashes in Agbaro warranted his men to put the area under surveillance. He was particularly worried at the age of the cultists, whose age was between 12 and 18, saying the future leaders were being polluted at very young age. He equally urged parents to monitor their children and wards to know what they were doing at all time.

Torchbearers honour Olawoyin By Isaac Taiwo T was a day to remember as Professor Gabriel Adesiyan Olawoyin (SAN), Chancellor, the Diocese of Ife (Anglican Communion), was honored by the Torchbearers Society of Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral (AVMCC). Olawoyin, at the event, reminisced his life experience in the laudable programme tagged: “God in my Life”. He asserted that his life had been directed by God from childhood, which to him, was the only explanation for the way he had been able to overcome those hurdles and challenges in life. Olawoyin was born on Monday; July 31, 1939 in Ile-Ife, in what he said could be loosely described as an upper middle class family. His father, Joseph Adekanmi Perry Olawoyin, belonged to the Giesi royal family of Ile-Ife while his mother, Julianah Waleade Olawoyin (nee (Adewuyi) was a princess in the Oshinkola royal family of Ile-Ife, who spent part of her adolescent years at the Palace with her uncle, the late Ooni of Ife, Sir Adesoji Tadeniawo Aderemi. Olawoyin said: “God is a God who does the impossible

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whenever He desires to achieve a purpose.” He said this because he lost his mother at a little over eight years. “The trauma of the loss of our mother at a tender age was largely cushioned by the love and support of our father and our grandmother, Madam Comfort Oni Adewuyi and the significant role played by both of them was divinely inspired in many ways. Olawoyin, who went to Oduduwa College and later Ogbomoso Grammar School where he emerged as the best student at the final examination, described his secondary school days as the period he also felt the fingers of God in various situations that came up while he was there. He was sworn in as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in September 1998. He became the first Nigerian Professor of Business Law in May 1978 was Chairman of the Ife/Ijesha Zonal Health Board and a member of the State Health Council in Oyo State, current Chairman of the Osun State University Council which he described as divinely inspired. “The circumstances of my ap-

pointment as the Chancellor of the Anglican Diocese of Ife remain shrouded in some mystery as I could not readily remember any previous interaction with the then Bishop of Ife, Rt. Rev. Oloniyo,” he said. He recalled his Mount Sinai experience as another potent pointer to divine manifestation of God in his life. Olwoyin, who described his marital life as relatively stressfree, which has positively impacted on their children, said he met his wife when he was only 12 years old and their courtship started while in secondary school. Olawoyin thanked God for the grace given him to trust God with all his heart, who alone has been His fortress and wondered how he could have sailed through the formidable challenges in life. “The realization of this had made my trust in God total and has also propelled me to strive to obey Him in whatever I do” he said. Chief Ilori described Olawoyin as a very meticulous and brilliant scholar. The Lord Bishop of Ife, Rt. Rev. Oluwole Odubogun described Olawoyin as a truthful and straightforward man.

Ogunyomi, father of former clerk, NASS, for burial Saturday UNERAL rites for Pa Reuben Abudu Emeweone Ogunyomi a.k.a Olola , who died Fat the age of 92, has begun at his residence, No. 7, Adetokunbo Street, Cele/Lawyer Bus Stop, Badore, Ajah, off Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos. A Christian wake holds tomorrow at Gbogunron House, Ode-Ugbo, Ilaje Local council of Ondo State at 6.00p.m. He will be buried on Saturday, February 16, at Ode-Ugbo, Ilaje, after a funeral service at 10.00a.m. Reception takes place at Asiwaju Yemi Ogunyomi’s House, Ode-Ugbo from noon-5.00p.m. He is survived by Asiwaji Oluyemi Ogunyomi, Dr. Banji Ajaka and Olusegun Ogunyomi among others.

Ogunyomi

The Global President (BIFOBA) Mr. FEYI DINYO in a group photograph with the Principal Senior School, Mr. C.A.F. Agbonjimi, Principal, Junior School, Mrs. M. A. Ibrahim and Award Recipients students) during Birch Freeman High School’s PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI 53rd Founder’s Day Celebrations in Lagos

Oluwalagbon Street, Oke Odo area of Lagos gradually washed away by gully erosion...on Wednesday PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

Shun pre-marital sex, group tells youths By Victoria Ojugbana O inculcate discipline in Nigerian youths, a nongovernmental organization, Live n Reign, at the weekend, organised a programme aimed at taking them off the streets and make them responsible citizens. According to the Coordinator, Oluwatosin Oladimeji, “ it is to make them realise that life is not all about living it without making impact and having fulfillment. She noted that the essence of living “is to affect one’s immediate environment since that stage of life is what will be outlived as time goes on.” Oladimeji, who said the group began the yearly programme 10 years ago, urged the young ones to realise that while celebrating this year’s

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Valentine’s Day, they should have it in mind that true love does not necessarily mean engaging pre-marital sex, which could lead to unwanted pregnancies, contracting diseases such as HIV/AIDS, among others. The guest speaker, Mrs. Funmito Augusto, who is also an educational consultant, advised them that with determination, they could achieve any goal that they aim at. Also, a medical practitioner, Dr. Victoria Omokode, who answered varying questions on sexuality – masturbation and libido control in young people, spoke on the adverse effects of these practices. Mrs. Augusto, who spoke on “Sex! Cure for loneliness?”, noted that “loneliness is a state of mind that can affect

anyone at any point in time despite the marital status.” She listed 10 reasons why the youth should not engage in pre-marital sex, noted that being without a sex partner is what some youth use as excuse to engage themselves in pre-marital and unlawful sex, which they end up regretting most times. One of the guest speakers, Debo Ojo, a banker, noted that there is a need to know that sex is not a cure for loneliness, adding that a woman’s physical appearance is usually the first thing a man considers before making advances to her. Highlights of the event were comedy by King Smith, an interactive section between the guest speakers and participants, among others.


14 | THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

TheGuardian 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 Ridiculous pension fraud sentence

HE decision of the Abuja High Court in the case of Yakubu T Yusufu, a former head of Police Pension Board (PPB) who was convicted of stealing N23.3 billion is not only shocking, but paints a

sorry picture of the anti-corruption efforts, and the nation’s judiciary. Yusufu actually pleaded guilty to the charges against him, but the court, headed by Justice Abubakar Talba sentenced him to two years imprisonment with an option of N750,000 fine. Needless to say, the convict promptly took the option, paid the fine and became a free man. By the judgement, the court blew an opportunity to join forces in truly tackling corruption. It also reinforced public perception of the judiciary’s complicity with crooks and criminals. This is unfortunate, as the court’s action can hardly serve to deter other thieves. Yet, corruption remains the country’s number one problem because of its wide negative implications on the citizens. To underscore the extent of the damage, Nigeria now ranks as the third most corrupt nation in the world. If nothing else, this requires that every man, institution or agency of good conscience should device ingenuous ways to combat corruption, rather than treat it lightly. Regrettably, the judiciary has failed to rise to its billings in this regard, easily capitulating on flimsy excuses, and paving the way for the escape of criminals from justice. This could be a direct invitation to anarchy, for, as Marshall Hall, a political philosopher once said: “nations fall, when judges are unjust; because the citizen no longer feels anything is worth defending again”. That Yusufu got two years imprisonment is bad enough; to give him an option of fine at all is worse and unpatriotic. Above all, the fine of N750,000 is ridiculous and the height of insensitivity. Surely, the judge has a lot of explanation to make beyond his statement in court. The law is an instrument of social engineering and judges are not expected to say that their hands are tied by the law they are called upon to apply or interpret. They ought to apply it in such a way that it achieves its purpose of deterrence and retribution predicated on the principle of fairness. Asking a man who stole N23.3 billion to walk away by paying a fine of N750,000 cannot serve as deterrent to other criminally minded persons. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should appeal the judgment on account of its inadequate sentence. The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) as chairman of the National Judicial Commission should take more than a cursory interest in the conduct of the judge. To allow this travesty to stand is to say that there is no real penalty for corruption. It is just as well that the National Assembly is taking steps to remove the option of fine in corruption cases from the nation’s laws. This should be done promptly to disallow judicial officers from using the law to provide easy escape route to corrupt public officers.

LETTER

Cyclist Lance Armstrong’s bad example IR: Lance Armstrong is a sad exam- sailors and bikers wore tattoos. Today, footStoday. ple of what sports has become ballers have helped bring these crude images Historically, sports was considered to be a virtue-making machine. The values that correspond with sports were considered to go hand in hand with those that go into being a person of integrity and faith. Today, however, sports is increasingly associated with violence, drugs, sex, racism, cheating and money. Athletes are worshipped today for the money they make, for their on-field violence, for their off-field partying, for their egos and bravado that includes fighting, celebratory dances, strutting and posturing. Technical and athletic aspects of certain sports have given way to steroid physiques, tattoos and various forms of intimidation. At one time, only

of a decadent society into the mainstream. Our media help promote and legitimise this mentality by glorifying athletic fighting and violence in a colourful and entertaining way. Vince Lombardi, former coach of the Super Bowl winning Green Bay Packers football team, spoke for a generation when he said “winning isn’t everything; it is the only thing”. Ultimately, sports should be a vehicle to develop good character, to make people courageous, loyal, generous losers, and gracious victors. We have to recover these original principles of sports so that we can work together to forge greater bonds between people and help overcome the real and terrible social problems of our time. • Paul Kokoski, Ontario, Canada.

LETTER

Who should celebrate Valentine’s Day?

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IR: February 14 every year is observed in most parts of the world as Lovers’ Day, when people express love for one another in a special way, including the sharing of gifts and other activities. Although, a little controversy surrounds the origin of Valentine’s Day celebration, a certain Rev. Fr. Valentine is said to have been killed for secretly wedding lovers against the wishes of the authorities many years ago. Valentine’s Day is celebrated yearly in memory of the Late Fr. Valentine. This piece is more concerned with the relevance of Valentine’s Day celebration in the lives of celebrants than in the event’s origin. Is Valentine’s Day celebration for everybody? Who should, and who should not be part of this celebration? Valentine’s Day is all about love, which has been defined as an intense feeling of deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solitude towards a person. It is the human feeling called love that inspires the gestures and works of charity usually manifested by folks on Valentine’s Day. The meanings of love offered by dictionaries suggest that true love is a lifestyle or habit. It is a character or habitual activity. Considering the true nature of love and the attitudes of people in this part of the world, it may not be wrong to conclude that many celebrants of Valentine’s Day

in this clime are hypocrites. The exhibition of works of charity or show of love for one another ought to be a daily affair. This is the position of both the Holy Bible and Quran and their injunctions on love. The drift here is that only those who consistently have and exhibit the feeling of love for their fellow human beings have the moral right to celebrate Valentine’s Day. If many retirees lost their lives without receiving any benefits because you diverted the pensions fund into personal use, you have no right to talk about Lovers’ Day. If you promised to marry someone and you have broken the promise with neither a cogent reason nor a remorse, you have no business with Valentine’s Day. A medical practitioner who watches a patient die, simply because of salary issues with his employer should not celebrate Valentine’s Day. If you have been sitting on people’s contract files because they failed or refused to offer you bribes, Valentine’s Day celebration does not concern you. If as a lecturer, you have delayed the graduation of students simply because they either refused to offer you bribes or have sex with you, you don’t have love and you have nothing to do with Valentine’s Day events. Valentine’s Day is not for everybody. A politician who has killed or organised the

killing of people to win an election cannot be involved in Valentine’s Day celebration. If as a state governor or local council chairman, you have increased the sufferings and poverty level of your people by embezzling the resources meant for infrastructure and human development without creating jobs, forget about Valentine’s Day. It is not for people like you. If you are an armed robber, ritualist, terrorist bomber, kidnapper, rapist, assassin or gunrunner, you have no business with Lovers’ Day celebration. Valentine’s Day celebration is for only true lovers. It is for those who hate man’s inhumanity to man. It is not for hypocrites or wicked people. • Albinus Chiedu, Lagos.

If many retirees lost their lives without receiving any benefits because you diverted the pensions fund into personal use, you have no right to talk about Lovers’ Day. If you promised to marry someone and you have broken the promise with neither a cogent reason nor a remorse, you have no business with Valentine’s Day.


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Business Appointments P27 ILO, NAPTIP urge vigilance against forced labour

Chamber seeks early resolution of security crisis in the North By Femi Adekoya HE Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA) has called for a more effective intervention by the Federal and affected state governments, to combat the menace of lingering state of insecurity on government to address issues of insecurity in the northern part of the country. The chamber made the call

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with assessed manifest retardation in the real sector’s growth in the region, especially with the unceasing attacks by Boko Haram element, despite an announced cease fire by one of the leaders of the group recently. Already, the KADCIMA noted that certain key sectors of the economy are in a near state of comatose state with efforts to revive them appearing elusive.

Speaking ahead of the chamber’s 34th edition of Kaduna International Trade Fair (KITF), with the theme: “Combating Security Challenges and the Way Forward for Nigerian Economic Transformation”, scheduled to hold from  February 22 to March 3, the First Deputy President of the chamber and Chairman, Trade fair organising committee, Awwalu Makarfi, noted

that the organistion would not relent in its efforts to address the challenges being encountered by the real sector. According to him, “Nigeria as a country has been facing serious security challenges particularly within the last three years. These challenges have obviously impacted negatively in our socio-economic activities and political life. “Consequently, security has

Chief of logistics, Defence Headquarters, Major General G. Audu (left), General Manager, Calabar Free Trade Zone, Mallam Sadiq Kassim and Executive Chairman, Golden Gate Industry Limited, Calabar, Rear Admiral Dele Osunmakinde, at the commissioning of Golden Gate’s plant, in Calabar, at the weekend.

Nigeria can stop rice importation by 2015, says AfDB HE African Development T Bank (AfDB) has expressed optimism that Nigeria can stop the importation of rice by 2015, “if the right things are done.” The AfDB’s Chief Operations Officer, Dr. Patrick Agboma, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on yesterday in Abuja. Agboma said that all the Federal Government needed to do was to triple rice production from the current production figures. ``If you hear about the amount of rice the country imports, you will wonder why it cannot produce its own rice. So the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) is to address this shortfall.’’ The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, had

announced in last year that the country would stop the importation of rice by 2015, as the commitment to ensure rice sufficiency. According to him, AfDB is willing to help the Federal Government attain its food sufficiency target. He recalled that the bank had earlier received a request from the Federal Government for assistance toward the agricultural agenda. According to him, progress been made with the government’s new rice policy, with the private sector providing 13 rice mills with 240,000tonne production capacity. He observed that with only 40 per cent of the over 84 million hectares of arable land currently utilised, the agricultural potential of the country had yet to be tapped. Agboma added that this was

why the sector remained critical in the diversification of the economy. ``There is cause for hope; we can begin by improving budgetary allocation to agriculture. ``In the 2013 budget proposal of over N4 trillion, agriculture and rural development was allocated just N81.41billion. ``This is far less than the 10 per cent that the African Union, in its Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme adopted in 2003, that its member nations should dedicate to agriculture.’’ He advised that the country could emulate some progressive countries, which had made agriculture a priority. He said that Rwanda reportedly achieved 15 per cent rise in food production in 2008

by simply increasing its investment in agriculture by 30 per cent between 2007 and 2009. ``Also, under the late President Bingu wa Mutharika, Malawi’s government encouraged local farmers by providing them with vouchers for subsidised maize seeds and fertilisers and drastically cutting imports. ``The country reportedly announced a harvest of 3.2 million tonnes of maize in 2010/2011 season, against a national consumption of 2.4 million tonnes. He noted that Rwanda also exported maize to countries such as Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Sudan. He stressed that it was possible for Nigeria to achieve this also.

remained the priority issue of all our tiers of government at all levels. Efforts of the government and its agencies, the contributions of religious and traditional institutions as well as those of numerous organisations towards restoring peace and developmental pace in the country are highly appreciated and commended. “The choice of the 34th edition of the KITF theme is not coincidental. The process has reckoned with current realities on ground. In a way, it intends to appreciate and compliment government effort towards combating the embattled security challenges. “With the improved security situation, our chamber is

determined to keep to the dates. We have also concluded plans to foster a partnership with other stakeholders to enhance the success of the fair,” he added. Makarfi, among other issues, however called on the apex bank to put into consideration, the real sector in the course of initiating and developing monetary policies, noting that despite the availability of funds, accessibility serves a key challenge to the real sector. “In a government-run economy, the real sector is subjected to various policies and this affects businesses. We therefore urge government to review capital requirements in order to aid accessibility to loans, as well as make it flexi-


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THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

Total budgets over $22b on upstream operations in By Roseline Okere HE oil giant-Total, yesterT day, unfolded plan to spend more than 80 per cent out of $28 billion of its organic investment budget on upstream activities in 2013. The French major said its 2012 fourth quarter full year result released yesterday, that it expects to achieve production growth targets of three

per cent per year, on average, through to 2015. It also hoped to potentially achieve three million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2017. In 2012, the company produced an average of 2.3 million boepd compared with 2.35 million bpd in 2011. Total said its production growth should be fueled by

2012 start ups as well as anticipated 2013 start ups, including Anguille in Gabon, Angola LNG, Kashagan in Kazakhstan and the extension of OML 58 in Nigeria. Meanwhile, the firm said that it is continuing to work in cooperation with the UK authorities towards “a safe and progressive” restart of the Elgin-Franklin field dur-

ing the first quarter of 2013. Total confirmed that it suffered a three percent decline in its total production due to the Elgin gas leak incident in the North Sea as well as flooding affecting its Nigeria operations. Commenting on the results, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Christophe de Margerie said: “In 2012, Total again delivered solid

Executive Governor, Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi (right); with Regional Managing Partner for West Africa, Ernst & Young, Henry Egbiki, during the company’s management team courtesy visit to the Governor at the State House, in Ado, Ekiti.

IEA, OPEC reel out conflicting oil demand figures By Roseline Okere HE International Energy Agency (IEA) has cut its forecast by 85,000 barrel per day for 2013 oil demand, saying the global economy remained fragile. This projection is however contradicts a more optimistic projection by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The report came a day after OPEC projected higher oil demand in 2013, expecting to see it as high as at 89.6mbd, up by 80,000bd. The IEA said the marginal cut of 85,000 barrels a day (bpd) was in line with the prospect for slower economic growth forecast by the International Monetary Fund, which last month cut its world growth

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estimate for 2013 to 3.5 per cent from 3.6 per cent. The agency now forecasts oil demand of 90.7 million barrels per day (mbd), with the euro zone and Latin America accounting for much of the revisions. “The reduction in the IMF economic outlook for Europe seems particularly ominous,” the agency said in its monthly report on the world oil market, in part because of “the sheer size of the region’s economic footprint”. Oil demand across Europe is now forecast to decline 260,00 bpd, or down 1.9 per cent, instead of 235,000 bpd lower as forecast earlier. The IEA said world oil supply hit 12-month lows in January, down 100,000 bpd on a

monthly basis to 30.34 mbd, despite higher production from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The IEA said Iranian oil output fell to 2.65 mbd in January, down from the 3.7 mbd in late 2011 before the sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic by the US and European Union took effect. “Iranian crude oil production continued to edge lower in January and may fall further in coming months following implementation on February 6 of additional sanctions by the US,” the IEA said in its monthly report on the world oil market. The latest sanctions are part of US legislation adopted last summer and “effectively bar

Iran from repatriating earnings from its oil exports, depriving Tehran of much needed hard currency,” the agency said. Nigeria is presently having challenges as regards oil and gas production and supply. Exxon warned customers of supply disruptions from Nigeria’s biggest oil stream Qua Iboe recently and Shell said gas supplies to one of the world’s largest Liquefied Natural Gas terminals would be delayed, both due to pipeline damage. Nigeria’s oil has been highly sought after for decades by the United States because it is easy to refine into gasoline, but the world’s biggest economy is increasingly serving its fuel needs domestically.

performance with net income of 12.4 billion euros and reinforced its strong financial position. The environment remained favorable in the upstream. “With safety as the priority, the Group continues to progress towards its three main objectives. To successfully start-up projects, on time and in budget, for the Group’s profitable growth over the coming years. To rely on a recently expanded exploration portfolio for more significant discoveries. And,

finally, to continue the restructuring of downstream activities for improved profitability and resilience in an evolving market. “The Group has embarked on an important program of investments and asset sales to deliver value-creating growth, all while preserving a strong balance sheet, providing shareholder returns, and keeping its environmental and social commitments. It is thus with discipline, determination and optimism that the Group prepares for its future.”


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THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

Total budgets over $22b on upstream operations in By Roseline Okere HE oil giant-Total, yesterT day, unfolded plan to spend more than 80 per cent out of $28 billion of its organic investment budget on upstream activities in 2013. The French major said its 2012 fourth quarter full year result released yesterday, that it expects to achieve production growth targets of three

per cent per year, on average, through to 2015. It also hoped to potentially achieve three million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2017. In 2012, the company produced an average of 2.3 million boepd compared with 2.35 million bpd in 2011. Total said its production growth should be fueled by

2012 start ups as well as anticipated 2013 start ups, including Anguille in Gabon, Angola LNG, Kashagan in Kazakhstan and the extension of OML 58 in Nigeria. Meanwhile, the firm said that it is continuing to work in cooperation with the UK authorities towards “a safe and progressive” restart of the Elgin-Franklin field dur-

ing the first quarter of 2013. Total confirmed that it suffered a three percent decline in its total production due to the Elgin gas leak incident in the North Sea as well as flooding affecting its Nigeria operations. Commenting on the results, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Christophe de Margerie said: “In 2012, Total again delivered solid

Executive Governor, Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi (right); with Regional Managing Partner for West Africa, Ernst & Young, Henry Egbiki, during the company’s management team courtesy visit to the Governor at the State House, in Ado, Ekiti.

IEA, OPEC reel out conflicting oil demand figures By Roseline Okere HE International Energy Agency (IEA) has cut its forecast by 85,000 barrel per day for 2013 oil demand, saying the global economy remained fragile. This projection is however contradicts a more optimistic projection by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The report came a day after OPEC projected higher oil demand in 2013, expecting to see it as high as at 89.6mbd, up by 80,000bd. The IEA said the marginal cut of 85,000 barrels a day (bpd) was in line with the prospect for slower economic growth forecast by the International Monetary Fund, which last month cut its world growth

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estimate for 2013 to 3.5 per cent from 3.6 per cent. The agency now forecasts oil demand of 90.7 million barrels per day (mbd), with the euro zone and Latin America accounting for much of the revisions. “The reduction in the IMF economic outlook for Europe seems particularly ominous,” the agency said in its monthly report on the world oil market, in part because of “the sheer size of the region’s economic footprint”. Oil demand across Europe is now forecast to decline 260,00 bpd, or down 1.9 per cent, instead of 235,000 bpd lower as forecast earlier. The IEA said world oil supply hit 12-month lows in January, down 100,000 bpd on a

monthly basis to 30.34 mbd, despite higher production from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The IEA said Iranian oil output fell to 2.65 mbd in January, down from the 3.7 mbd in late 2011 before the sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic by the US and European Union took effect. “Iranian crude oil production continued to edge lower in January and may fall further in coming months following implementation on February 6 of additional sanctions by the US,” the IEA said in its monthly report on the world oil market. The latest sanctions are part of US legislation adopted last summer and “effectively bar

Iran from repatriating earnings from its oil exports, depriving Tehran of much needed hard currency,” the agency said. Nigeria is presently having challenges as regards oil and gas production and supply. Exxon warned customers of supply disruptions from Nigeria’s biggest oil stream Qua Iboe recently and Shell said gas supplies to one of the world’s largest Liquefied Natural Gas terminals would be delayed, both due to pipeline damage. Nigeria’s oil has been highly sought after for decades by the United States because it is easy to refine into gasoline, but the world’s biggest economy is increasingly serving its fuel needs domestically.

performance with net income of 12.4 billion euros and reinforced its strong financial position. The environment remained favorable in the upstream. “With safety as the priority, the Group continues to progress towards its three main objectives. To successfully start-up projects, on time and in budget, for the Group’s profitable growth over the coming years. To rely on a recently expanded exploration portfolio for more significant discoveries. And,

finally, to continue the restructuring of downstream activities for improved profitability and resilience in an evolving market. “The Group has embarked on an important program of investments and asset sales to deliver value-creating growth, all while preserving a strong balance sheet, providing shareholder returns, and keeping its environmental and social commitments. It is thus with discipline, determination and optimism that the Group prepares for its future.”


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NNPC approves Erha North Phase II project By Roseline Okere SSO Exploration and E Production Nigeria Limited (EEPNL), operator of Oil Mining Lease 133, has received approval from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to award three engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for Erha North Phase II project. According to the General Manager, Public & Government Affairs, Paul Arinze, in a statement, yesterday, the EPC awards represent a significant milestone in the development of Erha North Phase II and demonstrate continued cooperation between Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and EEPNL to grow the business and support the Nigerian government in meeting national goals.

Arinze added that the contracts were in line with Erha North Phase II project objectives, which include significant national content contributions, and will bring direct and indirect benefits to the Nigerian economy through project spending and employment. The Group Executive Committee, GEC, of the NNPC recently endorsed the multibillion dollars Mobil promoted Erha North Phase II project. The project, including some others had witnessed review from NNPC in order to take a second look at the high cost estimates of both projects and also shore up the Federal Government’s take from the oil fields. NNPC had said that it would not be stampeded into abandoning its firmly established process of contract award by what it termed calculated

media blackmail ostensibly by the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and other interested parties. In a statement, NNPC was noted that while the industry concern is normally expected in the process leading to the award of major oil and gas projects, “NNPC has an established procedure of contract and project approval which includes conduct of economic analysis to establish project viability and federal government’s take from investments in the upstream.” The corporation explained that this procedure must be followed as IOC’s cannot stampede the corporation into taking decisions that may be inimical to the nation. EEPNL actively supports community development projects across Nigeria, promotion of Nigerian content, transfer of technology

through workshops and technical training of company staff, NNPC and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Staff. In line with its plan to train and develop qualified Nigerians to fill positions within and outside its organization, EEPNL offers annual international and national postgraduate scholarship awards to deserving students. In addition, EEPNL has sponsored the University Partnering Programme, a project that aims to assist in developing and enhancing the quality of Geosciences education in Nigerian universities.

NNPC has an established procedure of contract and project approval which includes conduct of economic analysis to establish project viability and federal government’s take from investments in the upstream

Deziani Allison-Maueke, Minister of Petroleum Resources


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SURe-P shortlists 3,000 for community service scheme By Yetunde Ebosele He Benue State chapter of T Subsidy Reinvestment and empowerment Programme

Kolade led SURe-P committee was raised “to evolve measures aimed at reinvesting the subsidy money for the development of rural communities”. Also speaking at the event at Gbajimba, Guma  Local Government Area, a member of the State Implementation Committee (SIC) and  co-ordinator for Benue Central Senatorial zone, Mrs. Dooshima Jibo explained that SURe-P was a multi-sectoral programme of the Federal Government designed to tackle unemployment and improve infrastructure. She said 30 per cent of the beneficiaries would be women and urged women in the State to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the programme to better their lot. Addressing the beneficiaries

separately at the data capturing exercise at Otukpo, a member of the SIC and Co-ordinator for Benue South Senatorial District, Mr. Fabian Agada and his counterpart in Benue north Senatorial zone, Mr. Stephen Manta who supervised the exercise at Sankera,

Ukum LGA, said they should consider themselves lucky to have been selected to benefit from the first phase of the programme. They warned that those who are not prepared for the kind of odd jobs they would be required to perform under the

community services scheme should gracefully opt out, as the Committee would not pay absentee or indolent workers. The Community Services, women and Youth employment (CSwYe) project of SURe-P is being implemented by the national Directorate of

(SURe-P) has selected 3,000 unemployed persons from the 23 Local Government Area of the State to participate in Community Services Scheme. Those recruited into the programme, according to SURe-P would be paid n10, 000 monthly stipends for rendertowards making nigeria as Honesty, dedication to By Yetunde Ebosele ing various services to their great and Abia State the pride duty, selfless service to InISTeR of Labour and of Igbo land. communities. mankind and loyalty in his Productivity, Chief Addressing the participants Speaking recently at a cere- political deeds and beyond. emeka wogu, has appealed to mony where he was honat a 2-day orientation and bioThe Minister, who thanked Abia State indigenes to sup- oured with the Pride of Abia the organisers of the event for metric data capturing exercise port the Transformation Award by Hallmark Daily finding him worthy to be so held simultaneously in the Agenda of President newspaper, wogu, said  the celebrated, used the medium three senatorial zones of the Goodluck ebele Jonathan and recognition is an honour that to highlight some of the State, the State Chairman of the State Governor, Chief will spur him to do more in developmental projects of SURe-P, Samuel Utoo, an engiTheodore Orji. neer said President Goodluck all fields of endeavour and to the Federal Government According to him, the trans- further imbibe the true spirit through the collaborative Jonathan has mandated the formation agenda is geared of Abian which he identified efforts of the State governor. State to employ 3,000 unemployed persons for the first batch of the scheme which has a target of providing 10,000 jobs for Benue State. According to a press statement, Utoo warned those selected for the programme not to see the n10, 000 monthly stipend as    free money, adding that they would be deployed to render community-oriented services, such as maintenance of community infrastructures including healthcare facilities, drainages, markets and vigilance groups among other services.   Utoo who was the State Coordinator of the Goodluck Jonathan presidential campaign explained that the Federal Government  is concerned about the growing rate of youth unemployment in the country and the economic hardship occasioned by the partial removal of oil subsidy, The newly inaugurated Governing Council Members of the Financial Markets Dealers Association (FMDA) From L-R, Ayo Babatunde, Wale Abe ( Exec. hence the Dr. Christopher Sec/CEO) Sola Adegbesan, (President), Sunmbo Adigun, (Vice President) Zeal Akaraiwe, Member

employment (nDe) whose State Co-ordinator, Mr. Ocheme Adoga is the vice chairman of the SURe-P implementation committee in Benue State with three senatorial co-odinators and Federal appointee and Samuel Utoo as Chairman.

Labour Minister seeks support for Govt’s transformation agenda

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He said “I am linking the collaborative efforts of the State Governor to the developmental projects of the Federal Government in Abia State because the administration of Chief Theodore Orji has created a conducive and secured environment for the developmental presence of the Federal Government in Abia State”. Presenting the award at the Michael Okpara Auditorium in Umuahia, Abia State, during the official presentation of the Daily tabloid, recently, Orji stated that Chief wogu has  contributed immensely to national development, adding that, the peace and harmony being enjoyed in the nation’s labour sector can be traced to the resilient efforts of the Minister. A press statement issued by Assistant Director (press), Samuel Olowookere, quoted the Governor as saying, “the honour that you are been given today is a well deserved one, because you have done Abia State proud in various field of endeavours, this honour therefore is to motivate you to do more”. The Governor described wogu as a rare breed Abia indigene who has done the state proud in both political and public arena with records of landmark achievements. He urged the Minister to continue contributing positively to the development of nigeria in general and Abia State in particular.

ACCA introduces programme for small business reporting new certificate has been A launched to support finance professionals in understanding the new International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) for small and medium-sized entities (SMes). The CertIFR for SMes has been launched by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) to ensure finance professionals understand the details of the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) that has been introduced for SMes. The IFRS for SMes has been adopted in many countries and its use is spreading. It will be essential for many finance professionals - especially those working in, and for, the SMe sector - to understand this standard that will be used by the millions of companies within its scope. This IFRS has significant disclosure reductions to the full IFRS for larger companies, and different accounting treatments for some items such as goodwill.The aim of the certificate is to ensure finance professionals will understand how the IFRS for SMes is used around the world and know how to use it in practice.


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Cote D’Ivoire’s 270m euro bridge construction wins African transport award By Taiwo Hassan HE Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) has announced that its financed flagship ‘Konan Bedie Bridge’ project in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, has been awarded the Euromoney project finance magazine African Transport Deal of the Year 2012.   The project, valued at 270 million euro involves the design, construction, financing, and operation of a third bridge across the Ebrié lagoon, connecting Abidjan’s residential Riviera district directly with the commercial district of Marcory.   The sponsor  of the Henri Konan Bedie project is the Bouygues Group, while the core financiers are AFC, the African Development Bank (AfDB), FMO, BOAD – (Banque Ouest Africaine de Development), EBID(ECOWAS Bank for Investment & Development) and the Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund.   AFC was the mandated lead arranger of the tranche of the financing and provided  an aggregate commitment of 40 million euro comprising commitments to the  senior and junior loan facilities, and an equity investment.  Once completed, the new toll bridge is expected to reduce transportation costs by easing congestion over the existing two (nontolled) bridges crossing the

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lagoon within the city. It is being constructed by the key project sponsor Bouygues Group, under a turnkey fixed price arrangement.  The government of Côte D’Ivoire has provided a 30-year concession.  The Euromoney project finance magazine deals of the year awards established over 14 years ago, are given for innovation, deal replication, best practice, problem solving, risk mitigation and speed of delivery in infrastructure financing.  The project was deemed to have exceeded all the requisite criteria.  During the award gala held in London, the project’s sponsor and core financiers accepted the prestigious award, with special recognition given for the innovative nature of the project, the tenacity of the lead sponsor – Bouygues Group in developing the project, from inception to financial close, over 14 years (during and post civil conflict in Côte d’Ivoire), and the commitment of the core financing team. The Chief Executive Officer, AFC, Andrew Alli, said: “We are delighted to receive this recognition of our innovation, speed and efficacy in delivering core financing to this project, and we are pleased to share this award with Bouygues Group, our financial and legal partners, without whom this critical project could not have been realised.”

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ScienceGuardian Scientists find cure for Type 1 diabetes Diabetes and obesity have been on the prowl. They are associated with the rising cases of kidney failures, erectile dysfunction, strokes, blindness, limb amputation and sudden death. But two new major scientific advances have provided solutions to the chronic diseases. CHUKWUMA MUANYA writes with agency reports. NTIl now, there was no U cure for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes (genetic/inherited) has been managed by injecting the patient with insulin, while Type 2 diabetes (caused largely by sedentary lifestyle and obesity) is being addressed with drugs and lifestyle changes such as increased physical activity and “dieting.” Diabetes is usually a lifelong (chronic) disease in which there are high levels of sugar in the blood. It is associated with too little insulin, resistance to insulin, or both. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to control blood sugar. But researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Spain, led by Fàtima Bosch, have shown for the first time that it is possible to cure diabetes in large animals with a single session of gene therapy. According to the study published this week in Diabetes, the principal journal for research on the disease, after a single gene therapy session, the dogs recover their health and no longer show symptoms of the disease. In some cases, monitoring continued for over four years, with no recurrence of symptoms. The therapy is minimally invasive. It consists of a single session of various injections in the animal’s rear legs using simple needles that are commonly used in cosmetic treatments. These injections introduce gene therapy vectors, with a dual objective: to express the insulin gene, on the one hand, and that of glucokinase, on the other. Glucokinase is an enzyme that regulates the uptake of glucose from the blood. When both genes act simultaneously they function as a “glucose sensor,” which automatically regulates the uptake of glucose from the blood, thus reducing diabetic hyperglycemia (the excess of blood sugar associated with the disease). Also, researchers at the

University of Michigan’s Life Sciences Institute, United States, have found that amlexanox, an off-patent drug currently prescribed for the treatment of asthma and other uses, also reverses obesity, diabetes and fatty liver in mice. The findings from the laboratory of Alan Saltiel, the Mary Sue Coleman director of the Life Sciences Institute, are scheduled to be published online Feb. 10 in the journal Nature Medicine. Saltiel said: “One of the reasons that diets are so ineffective in producing weight loss for some people is that their bodies adjust to the reduced calories by also reducing their metabolism, so that they are “defending” their body weight. Amlexanox seems to tweak the metabolic response to excessive calorie storage in mice.” Different formulations of amlexanox are currently being prescribed to treat asthma in Japan and canker sores in the United States. Saltiel is teaming up with clinical-trial specialists at U-M to test whether amlexanox will be useful for treating obesity and diabetes in humans. He is also working with medicinal chemists at U-M to develop a new compound based on the drug that optimizes its formula. The study appears to confirm and extend the notion that the genes IKKE and TBK1 play a crucial role for maintaining metabolic balance, a discovery published by the Saltiel lab in 2009 in the journal Cell. “Amlexanox appears to work in mice by inhibiting two genes -IKKE and TBK1 that we think together act as a sort of brake on metabolism,” Saltiel said. “By releasing the brake, amlexanox seems to free the metabolic system to burn more, and possibly store less, energy.” Meanwhile, Fàtima Bosch, the head researcher at UAB, points out, “this study is the first to demonstrate a long-

Old drug provides new treatments for Type 2 diabetes, obesity

Amlexanox, an off-patent drug currently prescribed for the treatment of asthma and other uses, also reverses obesity, diabetes and fatty liver in mice… the obese mouse on the right was fed a high-fat diet. The mouse on the left was fed the same diet but is a normal weight after receiving amlexanox. (Credit: Shannon Reilly)

term cure for diabetes in a large animal model using gene therapy.” This same research group had already tested this type of therapy on mice, but the excellent results obtained for the first time with large

animals lays the foundations for the clinical translation of this gene therapy approach to veterinary medicine and eventually to diabetic patients. The study provides ample data showing the

safety of gene therapy mediated by adeno-associated vectors (AAV) in diabetic dogs. The therapy has proved to be safe and efficacious: it is based on the transfer of two genes to the muscle of adult animals

using a new generation of very safe vectors known as adeno-associated vectors. These vectors, derived from non-pathogenic viruses, are widely used in gene therapy and have been successful in treating several diseases.

Dark light consciousness and neurotheology - the melting points (1) By Edward Bruce Bynum Ph.D HE dark magic of the brain is being revealed more and more each year by medicine, neuroscience and the fantastic scientific instruments we have created to explore it. And yet sometimes we forget that long ago our ancestors discovered forces within us that only now have modern science begun to unravel and understand. Within each of us lies the potential to activate a personal connection not merely to the unconscious level of the mind rediscovered and explored by Freud, Jung and the others of the early 20th century, but to the Super-conscious realm of the mind, long the province of mystics, gifted people in moments of artistic and scientific inspiration and

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personal episodes of profound illumination. Called Ureaus by the ancient Egyptians and Kundalini by the Hindu yoga traditions, with other traditions from the world’s diverse cultures having their own name for it, it is our innate bioluminous evolutionary power for spiritual transcendence, often simply called the ‘serpent power’. It is called “serpentine” because of its clinical motion at times and its shape and association with the shape and contour of the human spine, brainstem and brain core. The contemplative traditions as well as the classical disciplines have studied the phenomena for millennia. When awakened by various

disciplines and means this biogenetic force is perceived as unfurling along the spinal column up into the brain, opening and connecting our individual consciousness with the wider consciousness of the universe enfolded within the dark matter and energy of the universe. This has been the observation and testimony of the greatest heroes of our species across the Ages. At the root of creativity and spiritual genius across innumerable cultures and civilizations, this intelligent force appears to create portals that enfold time, space and the luminous matrix of reality itself. *To be continued *Dr. Bynum is author of Dark Light Consciousness:

Melanin, Serpent Power, and the Luminous Matrix of Reality. He is a clinical psychologist and the director of the Behavioral Medicine and Stress Management Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Health Services/CCPH in Amherst Massachusetts. He is a winner of the Abraham H. Maslow Award from the American Psychological association, and the author of 4 other books in psychology, including The African Unconscious. DARK LIGHT CONSCIOUSNESS (Inner Traditions& Bear Company, Rochester, VT) marks the fifth and final book in a projected five-cycle series that began with, The Family Unconscious; Families And The Interpretation of Dreams; The Roots of Transcendence; The African Unconscious.

Egyptian tradition or could even be interpreted as a local interest in this prominent star, as the titles of Wayekiye suggest.” He apparently leans towards “local interest,” noting that, during the epoch of the 25th Dynasty, the heliacal setting and rising of Sirius occurred around May 18 and June 27, respectively. “Considering that in the area of Kush, Nile flooding would have occurred between a fortnight and a month…earlier than in Egypt,” he reasons, “both events, but perhaps even better Sirius’s heliacal setting, could have been used as clear markers

of the arrival of high waters”. Thus the heliacal setting of Sirius-its last appearance on the western horizon at sunset-may well have foreshadowed the annual flooding of the Nile in Nubia, just as its first pre-dawn sighting presaged the river’s annual overflow in Egypt. The coming and going of the brightest star is a conspicuous cosmic cadence-an imposing celestial rhythm. Southeast of Sudan, in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia, the Borana people have made this rhythm part of a complex calendrical system, which is operationally free of the rising or setting Sun. To be continued.

Sirius-the African timekeeper (5) By J.K. Obatala S in Egypt, Nubian A astronomers kept a close watch on Sirius. The Meriotic Database, for example, shows that in the 3rd century A.D the Wayekiye priestly titles-under the Family Tree of Payesi 1 and Generals of the River-included a “Prophet of Sothis.” (Wayekiye was himself a Black astronomer). But the influence of Sirius goes back much further, possibly to the very beginning of the Kushite state. Its apotheosis apparently came during the 25th Dynasty, under the Nubian Pharaohs who ruled

both Kush and Egypt. On a web-page devoted to “Ancient Nubian Pyramids,” Homestead.com reports that in 2003 a team of Swiss archaeologists found seven black granite statues, including figures portraying five Pharaohs from the Nubian Dynasty. One of these was Taharqa, who, in his physical appearance, could be former President Olusegun Obasanjo or almost any other Nigerian. Taharqa carved the Temple of Mut into the base of “Pure Mountain”now Djebel Barkal-and selected a place at Nuri, within sight of the temple, for his tomb. According to Timothy Kendall,

an archaeologist who has excavated at Nuri, the arrangement of these structures was such that, from the top of Pure Mountain, Taharqa’s pyramid was aligned with both the summer solstice at dawn and the heliacal rising of the star Sirius. “Sirius,” adds Gonzalez-Garcia, “was always visible, setting on the Pure Mountain, from the site of the pyramid of Taharqa at Nuri, throughout the interval from the earlier occupation of Napata in the New Kingdom to the end of the Napatan period, including the reign of Taharqa...” The question is, whether this interest in Sirius resulted from

the importation of Egyptian religion, particularly the cult of Osiris-or was a reaction to the fact that the heliacal rising of Sothis (Sopdet) preceded the inundation of the Nile in Nubia, as it did in Egypt. There were obviously Egyptian influences. Gonzalez-Garcia and his team, for example, produced a histogram (a chart showing the distribution of frequencies) in which the alignments of tombs in Egypt and Sudan with the stars Sirius and Canopus had similar peaks-implying common religious values. Nevertheless, Gonzalez-Garcia surmises that “...The orientation to Sirius could be related to the


THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

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SPECIAL FOCUS ON VALENTINE’S DAY ALENTINE’S day is a festival that cherishes love and affection The prevailing atmosphere today is that of love. It is a feeling that will be externalized in several gestures that make the heart excited. Pearls of laughter, and feelings of affection are expected to convey love which Saint Valentine considered the promise of life. Like all other celebrations that have taken the world with a bang, Valentine’s day still rings bell at least to ardent lovers or believers in the celebration. The surprise is that the event of 3rd century A.D which saw the beheading of Saint Valentine, (as speculated by some Italians) a Roman Priest by Emperor Clautius II Godthicus of Rome has become something of a heart warming celebration. Perhaps, the driving force behind the spirit is embedded in his charge to all couples he wedded to notice rather than grieve for him. Since then, Valentine’s day has come to mean many things to different people. For some it is a time to share love. It is this group of people that will continue many fancies and whimsies in their thoughts today. It is a day to rededicate love by taking decisions to strengthen or even mend broken relationships and yet to another group, the day is worth all the hulia-ballo. Observation round town shows that people make haste to purchase Valentine gifts. It cuts across various groups of the population and the sexes. It is expected that such gifts will be flying into many hands and hearts. Some people believe that since Valentine gifts should be

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Today, The World Celebrates Love for the person one loves dearly, the gifts should be unique. Others see the day as a prized one hence no better way of doing is than presenting your lover with beautiful gifts. Apart from this, there are other considerations aimed at spicing the day and making everything around radiate love. Everything around today is special. It includes special cloths to wear, make-up, food and outing. On the other hand, others see no sense in the noise about the day, They believe to appreciate one’s lover always and not make February 14 seem like the day one is giving the best gift. The argument is that fortunes fluctuate and one may not be able to offer material things to the lover on that day to make it memorable. This is especially so in the society where much importance is attached to materialism to the utter neglect of the spirit. Other opposing voices argue on the danger in promoting the celebration because undue emphasis is placed on romance and sex. Realising that youths are easily mis-led, and to arrest the prevalent moral decadence, society should devote more time to

educating youths on the need to have the fear of God in their hearts with a view to shunning pre marital sex and other irresponsible beliaviors. According to Rev. Fr. Gabriel Osu, the Feast Day of Valentine was intended to commemorate two Saints who were name sakes. One of them was a Roman who suffered Martyrdom during persecution by the Roman Emperor Claudius II (268 – 270 AD). The other Valentine was Bishop of Terni, a city about 60 kilometres north-east of Rome. He was also said to have been martyred in Rome. Traditionally, however, the day is associated with the mating of birds and choice of sweethearts. This was based on the popular belief that half way through the second month of the year (February 14) birds mate. Therefore, the day was regarded as specifically dedicated to lovers, and the Saint whose feast was celebrated on the day, was inevitably chosen as their Patron. The actual notion of Valentine Day came from a preChristian Rome when boys drew the names of girls on love vase. This took place on the feast of Lubpercallia, a local

feast celebrated on February 15. In order to adapt it to Christianity, it was transferred to the feast of St. Valentine. It is from the Roman feast that the idea of Valentine Day developed and acclaimed worldwide today. Thus, it was nothing more than a coincidence that make St. Valentine the esteemed patron. But beyond all these emotional outbursts and attitudes lie the reality of the world around us. It is a season of love and love is more than dropping eyed affection. It is about caring and being thoughtful of others. Therefore look around to lend a helping hand to those in need. In this highly unpredictable world, it is time to pause and think what will valentine’s day be like in a war-torn country? How will people in such area value the season? Or whether they know it is Valentine at all. Every year, Valentine’s day is celebrated in different economic and political situation and all these take their tool on relationship. This season, couples with different political opinions will do well to lay politics aside for the day. Valentine’s day should reawaken the true meaning of

love which is more about giving. In fact this season should drum the tenets on love to the ears of everyone. Today, love for Nigeria should be the Valentine time. As lovers go about cruising, attend parties, wine and dine, take special fights to romantic spots, they should remember that days after will not be a public holiday. Historical archives talk of at least three different individuals known by the name of Saint Valentine and associated with Valentine’s Day celebration of February 14. Some scholars even talk of the presence of as many as seven Saint Valentine, all of whom lived in the Third Century and apparently died on February 14. Discussed here are the legends of three Saints who lived in the Third Century and apparently died on February 14. These three Saints who were all martyred for their faith had been recognized by the Catholic Church. Some scholars say that these Saints were not separate individuals and are likely to be one and the same. Since these Saints lived during the reign of the same Roman emperor and are believed to have died on the same day, this assumption

seems to have some validity. One of the most popular Saint Valentine associated with Valentine’s Day festival is said to have lived in Rome when the country was under the reign of Emperor Claudius II. It is said that Emperor Claudius was hard-hearted king who continuously engaged Rome in bloody battles. But in order to keep fighting, he needed to keep recruiting soldiers. However, to his disappointment Claudius found that men were not willing to join army because of their attachment with their wives and families. In order to get rid of the issue, Claudius passed a callous decree that banned engagements and marriages in Rome. He also said that any priest who married a young couple would be put to death. Young men and women found a savior in Valentine or Valentinus a romantic at heart priest. Even at the cost of his life, Valentine stood against the unjustified order and secretly arranged marriages with the help of Saint Marius. When Claudius finally found out about Valentine’s defiance, he was brutally beaten up and put to prison later. Valentine was put to death on February 14, about 270 AD. For his martyrdom and service towards love Valentine was named a saint after his death. By Middle Age, Saint Valentine had become the patron saint of love and lovers in England and France. So, when Pope Gelasius decided to put an end to pagan celebrations of Feast of Lupercalia, he declared in 498 AD that 14th February be celebrated as Saint Valentine’s Day. Since them lovers began to express their love on the martyrdom day of SAINT valentine.


THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

27

Appointments ILO, NAPTIP urge vigilance against forced labour From Collins Olayinka, Abuja

HE International Labour T Organization and National Agency for Prohibition of Against Human Trafficking (NAPTIP) have stressed the need for more vigilance to curb the global rising cases of human trafficking. The Executive Secretary of NAPTIP has warned that destination countries of victims of human trafficking that does not develop mechanism for victim identification and protection even before withdrawal back to countries of sources, hamper investigation, endanger the victim and push the crime underground. Speaking when receiving the Swedish Minister for Justice and Police, Ms. Simonetta Sommaruga, in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of NAPTIP, Mrs. Beatrice Jedy-Agba, said the foundation of destination countries response to human trafficking must be anchored on victim identification and protection which will earn victims trust and confidence to support investigation and prosecution of the criminals both at source and destination. The NAPTIP boss lamented the tendency to treat victim as criminals or illegal migrants’ interested in seeking asylum will only defeat the purpose, which is to curb the scourge. Earlier in her speech, the Swedish Minister said the purpose of her visit is to sign a mutual partnership that will yield cooperation and help in finding solutions to issue that concern both countries especially human trafficking. Sommaruga said the Swedish government has launched a National Action plan, which it is already implementing through the Swedish police, prosecution authorities and civil society organizations. The Minister also said the government has instituted a mechanism for protection of victims who testify against their traffickers. She expressed happiness that the Swedish government has identified NAPTIP as a strong partner in combatting the scourge of trafficking in persons. For its part, a new ILO report highlights the need for tougher measures to combat forced labour, which claims 21 million victims worldwide – men, women

The only female graduate driver, Ms. Mba Mabel Akwugo (left), Nigeria’s first female commercial pilot/Rector Nigeria Aviation College Zaria, Captain Chinyere Kalu and Group Chief Human Resource Officer, Dangote Group, Mr. Paramjit Pabby, at the graduation ceremony of the Dangote Graduate Drivers in Zaria, Kaduna State recently.

and children coerced into jobs they can’t leave, trapped in debt bondage, trafficked for sexual exploitation and even born into slavery. Efforts to prevent, identify and prosecute cases of forced labour often fall short of what is needed, despite good practices in some countries, the International Labour Organization said, in a report prepared ahead of meeting of experts on forced labour representing governments, workers and employers. Many forced labour victims work hidden from public view, on fishing vessels and construction sites, in commercial agriculture and in factories. “Forced labour encompasses brick kiln workers trapped in a vicious cycle of debt, children trafficked for forced begging and domestic workers deceived about their conditions of work,” the report said. Debt bondage, under which labourers and their families are forced to work for an employer to pay off the debts they have incurred or inherited, remains widespread in some countries. According to the report authors, “vestiges of slav-

Forced labour encompasses brick kiln workers trapped in a vicious cycle of debt, children trafficked for forced begging and domestic workers deceived about their conditions of work,” the report said. Debt bondage, under which labourers and their families are forced to work for an employer to pay off the debts they have incurred or inherited, remains widespread in some countries

ery” still survive in some countries, where “conditions of slavery continue to be transmitted by birth to individuals who are compelled to work for their master without payment.” Domestic workers, the majority of whom are women and girls, are often victims of abusive practices by employers, such as nonpayment of wages, deprivation of liberty, and physical and sexual abuse. These practices can amount to forced labour. Migrant workers are at risk too. The report warns that trafficking of people, including children, for sexual and labour exploitation, could increase in the future as a result of growing labour mobility. On the other hand, the systematic imposition of forced labour by the state has declined worldwide, and has practically disappeared in the great majority of countries. State-imposed forced labour accounts for 10 per cent of the nearly 21 million victims of forced labour worldwide, according to 2012 ILO figures contained in the report. The global labour watch body stressed that punishment is not strong enough Over recent years, there has been growing recognition of the importance of measures to deter would-be perpetrators, strengthen law enforcement responses, address demand and reduce the vulnerability of potential victims of forced labour. But, while most countries have adopted legislation criminalizing forced labour, punishment is not always

strong enough to act as a deterrent, in some cases amounting to fines or very short prison sentences. Most countries lack comprehensive measures targeting demand for forced labour goods and services, though some countries have taken legal and other measures to discourage individuals and businesses from exploiting workers in slavery-like conditions. Identifying victims also

remains a major challenge. Some countries fail to sufficiently support labour inspections, which can play a key role in finding the victims, as well as preventing situations of abuse from degenerating into forced labour. In many cases, measures have been taken to reduce the vulnerability of specific groups, such as awarenessraising programmes aimed at workers heading overseas.

At a meeting scheduled for this week, at ILO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, will assess the need for further standard-setting to complement the ILO’s Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) and Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105), by focusing in particular on prevention, victim protection, including compensation and trafficking for labour exploitation.


THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

32 SCIENCE & HEALTH

Debate rages over health bill By Chukwuma Muanya ESPITE the advise by President Goodluck Jonathan for stakeholders in the health sector to go and reach a common position on the National Health Bill (NHB), they are still divided. NHB was first introduced in 2004 and was passed by the sixth National Assembly after over six years of deliberation. But due to dissenting voices by some stakeholders in the sector, who kicked against certain provisions of the Bill, it was later aborted owing to the non-assent by President Goodluck Jonathan who sent it back to the National Assembly for amendment. However, the debate over the passage, amendment or casting away of the National Health Bill (NHB) continued on Monday. Stakeholders in the health sector gathered in the Senate Hearing Room 231 for a public hearing on the NHB 2012 after the Bill scaled through the second reading at the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. While medical doctors under the aegis of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) are calling for the speedy passage of the Bill, since it signifies an important and bold step to positively turn around the fortunes of Nigeria’s health system, pharmacists under the aegis of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) want the amendment of the NHB given the overwhelming public outcry on some provisions of the current Bill which fundamentally distorts constitutional provisions and expectations. Meanwhile Coalition of Civil Society Organisations and the Catholic Church are

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Doctors, pharmacists, coalition of civil societies still divided kicking against some provisions of the Bill, which encourages abortion, cloning and gives the Health Minister absolute powers over human embryos and other matters. The coalition include: Foundation for African Cultural Heritage (FACH), Association of Muslim Scientists, Project for Human Development (PHD), Global Pro-life Alliance (GPA) Doctors Initiatives, Happy Home Foundation, Association of Concerned Mothers, Nigerian Life League, Islamic Education Trust, Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria, Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria, Abuja Muslim Forum, Blissful Life for Youth Empowerment, Nigerian Association for Women Advancement, Catholic Lawyers Association, Sympathy Worldwide Organization, Life Choice International Initiative, Good Parenting and Youth Empowerment Initiative. NMA at the public hearing of the NHB called on all Nigerians to rise up in unison to say no to all those working against the accelerated passage of the Bill on account of self-preservation or nebulous and narrow interests. President NMA, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, said: “The NHB is a dream whose time has surely come; it is a pregnancy that must not be allowed to suffer a second abortion. The NMA therefore calls on both chambers of the National Assembly to give the NHB accelerated hearing.” He said the NHB stands out as a veritable tool for positive-

Minister of Health, Chukwu ly transforming Nigeria’s struggling health system, especially as it provides a framework and strategies for the effective planning, financing, governance, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of healthcare services in Nigeria. Enabulele admitted that the NHB may not be perfect, as there is indeed no perfect law or constitution in the world, and may not solve all the problems and challenges of Nigeria’s health system. The NMA President said the NHB has the potential to guaranty the health rights of Nigerians, improve the health status indicators and quality of life of Nigerians. “With the above expected improvements, and recognizing the place of health in driving job productivity and the econo-

my, the NHB if passed into law will significantly help to improve the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and economy of Nigeria, as well as the prosperity of Nigerians,” he said. Enabulele said any attempt to prevent the passage of the NHB will further worsen access to healthcare services, particularly primary health care, and the overall health of Nigerians; as well as worsen the state of quackery and quality of health care services as well as Nigeria’s health status indicators such as maternal mortality rate, in fact mortality rate, under-five mortality rate. President PSN, Olumide Akintayo, told The Guardian yesterday: “The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria respectfully solicits

that the National Assembly amends the provisions of Section 1(1), Section 6(2)(f), (g) and (h), Section 9(2) (a) and Section 13 to make room for a statute that protects the interest of all stakeholders in healthcare and ultimately serves the public interest. In similar spirit, we respectfully submit that Sections 48 – 59 of the Bill be deleted. “The Federal Ministry of Health must be compelled to exercise its supervisory functions over agencies of the Federal Government under it especially National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and National Health Insurance Scheme to ensure they comply fully with all statutory provisions that regulate and control their endeavours with a view to ensuring maximum output of the various intendments of the Health Bill.” The PSN President said the health bill would become dead on arrival because it suffers from stillbirth if the template of its implementation is entrenched in the bureaucracy of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH). Akintayo said: “Events relating to the draft of health bill have been both surprising and shocking. One would have expected members of the hallowed chambers of the Senate to live up to the expectation of representatives of all Nigerians by promoting coordinate rather than surbodinate relationships in the healthcare.” “If the National Assembly fails to protect our interest as free-born citizens of the

Federal Republic of Nigeria conventional propriety dictates we can exercise our chartered liberty through lawful option. Finally, let me say I want to defer to constituted authority but when people misuse God’s given authority they become answerable to him who is Supreme.” The coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) at the public hearing called for the quashing of sections 17(1), 31(5), 32, 43(c) (d) (e) (f), 46(3), 50, 51(1) (2) (3) (4), 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57 and 58 from the National Health Bill 2012; new National Health Bill that is anchored in tackling the real primary health challenges of the Nigerian people; and an open public debate or discussion on the new National Health Bill 2012. The coalition said rather than chase shadows, the National Assembly, Federal Ministry of Health and Health Minister Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, should, pursuant to section 17 of the Constitution, concentrate their efforts in overhauling the country’s health care system in order to improve the medical facilities in the country’s hospitals; save billions of Naira squandered in medical treatment abroad every year; avoid untimely deaths resulting from diseases and prevent high infant mortality and maternal mortality rates. The coalition said they are shocked to inform the public that the National Health Bill 2012, which has gone through the second reading in the Senate is essentially a replication of the 2008 National Health Bill which was rejected by the Nigerian public culminating in President Jonathan refusing to assent to it.


28 APPOINTMENTS

THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

World Bank president lauds Lagos transport initiatives By Yetunde Ebosele orld Bank President, Dr. W Jim Yong Kim has commended the Lagos State Transport initiative, the Lagos Urban Transport Project (LUTP), which is being implemented by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA).  Kim while speaking during a discussion session on the topic “Shaping the Future of Urban Transportation” at the just concluded 10th Annual Transforming Transportation conference, hosted by the World Bank and EMBARQ in Washington, said the Lagos State LUTP initiative is responding to the needs of the people for a faster, efficient, effective and affordable means of transportation. A  press statement quoted Kim as saying the implementation of the Mile 12 – CMS Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, under the LUTP, has been of “immense benefit to commuters who now enjoy lots of socio-economic benefits in form of reduced transport fare, reduced waiting time of about 40 per cent at bus stations along the BRT corridor, improved lifestyle and job provision, among others”. According to the statement, issued by LAMATA’s external relations specialists, Kolawole Ojalabi, Kim said the BRT initiative, which is first of its kind in the sub-Saharan Africa, has become one of the ‘ready-to-go solutions that can be implemented quickly in cities with serious transport challenges’.

In his words, “In Nigeria we have what is called the Lagos Urban Transport Project. It is a bus-based rapid transport system. And believe it or not, it was the first of its kind in subSaharan Africa. As of 2011, some 200,000 commuters there (Lagos) are using it. The fares have decreased 30 per cent on the average despite 100 per cent increase in fuel cost. Commuters have reduced their transport time by 40 per cent. The amazing thing is that it works very well but the more amazing thing is that it is the first of its kind

in sub-Saharan Africa.” Responding to a question by the moderator of the session, Zanny Minton Beddoes, Economics Editor for “The Economist,” on the bank’s role in building a sustenance transport system in cities, Kim cited the LUTP as implemented in Lagos State, through LAMATA, as one of the solutions to cities which have acute public transport challenges. He stressed the need for those in government to give the needed political will in solving public transport chal-

lenges while ensuring that their choice contribute to better the lives of the citizens. “If people are able to get to their places of work at reduced cost and they know that their waiting time at bus stations is reduced by 40 per cent, the people will continue to support those governments,” he pointed out. The LUTP is a project designed to improve and sustain an efficient public transportation system that supports poverty reduction, provides economic opportunities and promotes viable communities.

Managing Director, MainOne cable (guest speaker) Funke Opeke,(left); Managing Director, Kitskoo Cloud Services, Mr. Tunde Fafunwa and Executive Director Kitskoo Cloud Services, Monu Ogbe, during a business interactive session with I.T managers organized by Kitskoo on Tuesday.

VC seeks assistance for new professional graduates From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin. HE Vice Chancellor of T University of Ilorin, Professor AbdulGaniyu Ambali has canvassed for prompt constitution of a body by the Federal Government to assist new professional graduates in the early stage of their professions as part of measures to drastic reduce the number of unemployed graduates in Nigeria. Ambali, a Professor of Veterinary Medicine said no professional graduates could kick start the practice of his or her profession without a takeoff grant noting that the absence of this has greatly reduced the idea of “private practice” among the nation’s professionals. He spoke with reporters recently in Ilorin just as he identified the prominent among the professionals as doctors, lawyers, engineers, and accountants. According to him, “the Federal Government should set up a machinery where these professionals will be empowered in order to allow them to start their practice on time. Finance is usually an impediment to fresh graduates. “No matter how lucrative your course may be, you will always need the take off grants to start something on your own after your graduation. Don’t forget that many of these professional graduates passed through financial paucity before graduating. They are like investment to their parents who will in turn be expecting something in returns from their children.” Ambali, while praising the Federal Government for its

“No matter how lucrative your course may be, you will always need the take off grants to start something on your own after your graduation. Don’t forget that many of these professional graduates passed through financial paucity before graduating. They are like investment to their parents who will in turn be expecting something in returns from their children.” overhead funds to the Federal Universities, debunked the claims in some quarters that some neighbouring Universities are of higher standards than those of Nigeria. He disclosed how the government, owner of the Universities had made some avenues available for research but believed that the government could do more in the area as research apart from its academic benefits remains the bed rock of invention in any nation. The Vice Chancellor justified the conduct of post UTME by some nation’s Universities before admission could be granted to candidates. According to him, the exams by the institution have reduced the number of students being asked to withdraw from their courses of studies due to poor academic records. On cultism, he said many of those in the group are products of bad up- bringing from homes, just as he disclosed that many of those that had been caught in the act had confessed taken into the crime since their days in post primary school.


THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

APPOINTMENTS

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Amnesty programme to end in 2015 as Delta declares scheme a success From Hendrix Oliomogbe, Asaba and Itunu Ajayi, Abuja. HE special adviser to the T President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta, Kingsley Kuku has cleared the air on the insinuations in some quarters that the amnesty program embarked on by the Federal Government to put an end to the restiveness in the Niger Delta by way of engaging the youth positively has a third phase. Meanwhile, Delta State Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama (SAN) recently observed that the amnesty programme  has helped to restore peace and security to the once volatile waterways. Kuku explained while speaking to the Itsekiri National Youth Council that the incorporation of youths who were not privileged to take part in the ongoing programme is just a continuation of the process for the government at the center to be sure every area in the region is covered. He told the youth group in Abuja, recently, that the laudable programme has a time lag and would terminate by the end of 2015 noting that it

was a five year programme meant to put an end to all restiveness in the area and was designed as a platform to engage the unemployed youths so as to ensure that they are self-reliance.   Kuku said that there is nothing like third phase in the programme, adding that  any youth of the area who refused to key into the program now would be left behind. He said “if what is going on is going to be a phase, the sitting President must make a proclamation on that and no such proclamation was  made in that respect, this is the third and final inclusion and it would end in 2015.  At the level of our office in terms of demobilisation, in terms of re-intergration,  we are looking up to 2015 ending as our exit time and we are beginning to plan our exit strategy.  We have commenced it and this is what we are doing.” Speaking further, Kuku said “If Nigeria as a country comes up in 2014 or 2015 to say that the amnesty has turned out to be an alternative way at stabilizing the Niger Delta, and they so wish as a Country with the sitting President and consultation with the National

Delta has cleared the air on the insinuations in some quarters that the amnesty program embarked on by the Federal Government has a third phase.

Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan Assembly and the judiciary to cially by the media continsay that an extension of the ued to send a wrong signal to program beyond 2015 be the communities and the made, it would be valid at that rest of the world. time, but the document I have “As far as I know they are in my hands put the ending community nominations date of the program at 2015.” into the amnesty program. He said referring to those In our programme, we use to who had benefitted in the refer to them as Niger Delta program as ex-militants espe- delegates from the Itsekiri

National Youth Council on behalf of the Itsekiri communities.” “This program is not all about ex militants, it is also about women, it is also about youths who really were not carrying arms, and when we did our classification, even those who used to refer to themselves as ex-militants are not, because if you imagine to have 20,000 people in arms in the Niger Delta, there is no way this Country would have survive 600,000 barrels per day.       “When we did their classification and they showed their identity to us, a few number of these people are the ones actually carrying arms directly.  There was a second category who were involved at the various camps in cooking, dissemination of    information, driving boats around

the creeks running errands, and all these people were actually nominated by the other groups carrying arms as beneficiaries of the programme and  there were people on the streets who were information carriers to the ones in the creeks,  they were the intellectual wing of the struggle and all of them benefited, unfortunately all of them are put under the umbrella of ex-militants. Nigerians should know that 30,000 ex-militants were not in the creeks of the Niger Delta”. He advised the youths to utilise the slot given them  to train youths of the region in formal education and other vocational training as a way of achieving a long-term solution to the problems in the area.   Kuku said his office would communicate to the communities through the Itsekiri National Youths Council that they should focus properly on educating their wards through the scholarship programme of the government instead of the usual distribution of funds monthly to the community elders, a practice he noted cannot go on forever.


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THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

NaturalHealth Spice up your Valentine with foods of love

Watermelon... has ingredients that deliver Viagra-like effects to the body’s blood vessels and may even increase libido

Banana... rich in potassium and B vitamins, both important for maintaining a healthy sex drive

Bananas have long been regarded as an aphrodisiac and there is science behind their reputation. They are rich in potassium and B vitamins, both important for maintaining a healthy sex drive. Potassium maintains healthy muscle function and blood flow and the B vitamins help maintain hormone levels for a healthy libido. There is also evidence that the enzyme bromelain found in bananas and pineapples helps boost libido. Are there foods of love? Is there a menu for lovers that can boost libido and sex drive? Will an aphrodisiac ensure a romantic Valentine’s Day? CHUKWUMA MUANYA writes. ODAY is Valentine! A day lovers take time to T express their feelings to one another. But with flagging libido in men and women, expressed as erectile dysfunction and dry vagina, most lovers are in for a botched romance. Indeed, recent studies indicate that sex drive and fertility index is waning in the country. This has been blamed on stress, economic down turn, untreated or poorly treated sexually transmitted infections, physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and degenerative diseases such as diabetes. However, there are foods that have been scientifically proven to help things progress in the bedroom. Studies have shown that local herbs can address sexual issues such as waning sex drive and fertility. Researchers have indicated that contrary to conventional aphrodisiac supplements purpose, herbs are intended more for maintenance and improvement in overall sexual wellness rather than instant gratification. Indeed, a blend of herbs has been shown to increase libido (sex drive) and improve fertility, especially in men. Recent reports indicate that a mixture of certain herbs restores and supports the balance of natural hormones that are required for peak sexual performance and vitality. Watermelon According to recent studies, the juicy fruit may be better suited for Valentine’s Day. That is because scientists say watermelon has ingredients that deliver Viagra-like effects to the body’s blood vessels and may even increase libido. Beneficial ingredients in watermelon and other fruits and vegetables are known as phyto-nutrients, naturally occurring compounds that are bioactive, or able to react with the human body to trigger healthy reactions. In watermelons, these include lycopene, beta carotene and the rising star among its phytonutrients – citrulline – whose beneficial functions are now being unraveled. Among them is the ability to relax blood vessels, much like Viagra does. Scientists know that when watermelon is consumed, citrulline is converted to arginine through certain enzymes. Arginine is an amino acid that works wonders on the heart and circula-

tion system and maintains a good immune system. “The citrulline-arginine relationship helps heart health, the immune system and may prove to be very helpful for those who suffer from obesity and type 2 diabetes. Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it.” Citrulline, the precursor to arginine, is found in higher concentrations in the rind of watermelons than the flesh. Going bananas Bananas have long been regarded as an aphrodisiac and there is science behind their reputation. They are rich in potassium and B vitamins, both important for maintaining a healthy sex drive. Potassium maintains healthy muscle function and blood flow and the B vitamins help maintain hormone levels for a healthy libido. There is also evidence that the enzyme bromelain found in bananas and pineapples helps boost libido. Black is beautiful Researchers have validated folklore claims that dry fruit and leaf extracts of West African Black Pepper or Ashanti pepper (Uziza in Igbo and Ata iyere in Yoruba) could be used to boost sexual performance in men, treat skin discolouration, sickle cell anaemia and ensure mosquito free environment. The leaves of Piper guineense are used for respiratory infections and for female infertility while its fruits are used as an aphrodisiac. Previous studies have shown that the aqueous extract of Piper guineense fruits at 122.5 mg/kg stimulates sexual behavior of mature male rats by decreasing mount and intromission latencies and by increasing mounting, anogenital sniffing and penile erection index. Piper guineense has been shown to have an impact on penile erection and copulatory behaviour, which are controlled by androgens. A recent study published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology evaluated the effects of the dry fruits of Piper guineense on some male reproductive parameters such as the secretory activities of the testis and some accessory sexual organs, which are also controlled by androgens. The result of the study indicated that there was a significant increase in the level of testosterone in the serum and testes, cholesterol in the testes, glucosidase in the epididymis and fructose in the seminal vesicles after eight days of treatment, while with 55 days of treatment, the levels of cholesterol in the testes increased by 75 per-

cent, while the levels of glucosidase in the epididymis and the seminal vesicle fructose decreased by 24 and 21 percent respectively. Unripe plantain Unripe plantain cooked or roasted has been proven over the years to induce, sustain and maintain erection. It also helps to make semen thick and increases sperm volume. According to “Medicinal Uses of Fruits and Vegetables” written by Mr. Olalekan Jagun, unripe plantain contains special dietary fibre called pectin, which increases the number of calories ingested thus can shed weight or treat obesity Researches by alternative medical practitioners have shown that people experiencing frigidity, sterility and most especially very cold sexual drive may not necessarily need to take drugs like Viagra, but natural diets like plantain. Researchers have shown that co-treatment of extract of root of plantain to streptozotocintreated diabetic rat resulted in a significant correction in the levels of sex organ relative weights, serum insulin and testosterone levels, sperm count and viability, androgenic enzyme activity, antioxidant enzymes, conjugated diene and thiobarbituric acid reactive substance levels in testis and germ cells counts at stage VII of the seminiferous epithelial cycle. The results of the study published in Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants support the validity of this herbal drug for the management of diabetes as well as diabetes-induced testicular disorder. Alligator pepper seeds Alligator pepper or Grains of paradise (botanically called Aframomum melegueta) has shown promise in resolving erectile dysfunction and delaying ejaculation. A preparation from Alligator pepper has received a United States patent as a potent aphrodisiac. It has been shown that Alligator pepper is more effective when used with Piper guineense (Uziza in Ibo)), kola nut and bitter kola. In a research, this combination was used on male rats. The results showed that this combination has an ability to “turn on” male rats. Indeed, the patented invention relates to pharmaceutical compositions based on the use of Aframomum seeds to solve the problem of male erectile dysfunction as well as premature ejaculation in men. A summary of the U.S. Patent 5879682 reads: “One aim of the present invention is to provide a painless therapy for male erectile dysfunction as well as for premature ejaculation in male with-

out the drawbacks of the prior art techniques. The composition of the present invention provide a painless and safe medication to patients suffering from erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation as well as to men wishing to improve their sexual performance.” Nutmeg and cloves Nutmeg and cloves have been shown to act as an aphrodisiac by stimulating the central nervous system and warming the loins. Herbalists and apothecaries of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance saw in cloves the representation of an erect penis, with the testicles at its base. It was supposed to act on the male genitalia. Indeed, studies indicate that nutmeg and cloves hasten the absorption of other herbs and enhance their effect. Naturopaths claim that while increasing and maintaining sexual vigour, they have a tranquillising effect that helps to avert premature ejaculation and exert the aphrodisiac effects in small doses, while in large quantities it has hallucinogenic properties. Hot and spicy Spicy foods such as chilli peppers are thought to be aphrodisiacs because they increase body heat and heart rate, somewhat similar to what happens in the bedroom. Chillies contain capsaicin, good for lowering high blood pressure, and are high in vitamins A and C, and bioflavinoids (all necessary nutrients for healthy cell growth). Coffee boosts female sex drive Scientists over at Southwestern University are interested in the female libido, among others. With the aim to decipher the chemistry and brain structures surrounding sexual motivation they gave a number of lady-rats a dose of caffeine before mating to see if it had any effect on their behaviour. The result? They found that caffeine shortened the time it took for the females to go back for more after the first session. While one might think this could be the result of the energy boost caffeine provides, they ruled that out and rather attributed the effect to an increased stimulation of areas in the brain responsible for arousal. It has been shown that as far as sexuality is concerned, a single cup of coffee or caffeine-containing beverage may give one more energy and stamina for sexual activity, thereby enhancing performance and overall enjoyment. When athletes drink three or four cups of coffee about an hour before they compete, they can outlast caffeinefree competitors by up to 20 minutes. This affect on athletic performance is real - so real that the International Olympic Committee has classified caffeine as a “restricted drug.”


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Dietary management for diabetes (2) Continued from last week Special foods for diabetes: ITTER Gourd (Karela) – This vegetable contains a high dosage of plant insulin, it lowers the blood sugar levels effectively. Fenugreek (Methi): It is the most common food used to control diabetes. Gulp a teaspoonful of these seed with a glass of water daily. You can also soak the seeds overnight and drink the water. Indian Blackberry (Jamun): This fruit is very effective in preventing and controlling diabetes. Powder the stone of the fruit and eat it, it contains glycoside, which prevents the conversion of starch into sugar. Garlic: This is used to lower blood sugar levels. Garlic is rich in potassium and replaces the potassium, which gets lost in urine. It also contains zinc and sulfur, which are components of insulin. Take about three to four flakes of freshly crushed garlic daily. Onion: Because of its diuretics and digestive properties. Onion works against diabetes. Raw onion is most useful.

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Faxseed: This is the richest source of omega 3 fatty acids. It helps control diabetes because it maintains the sensitivity of the cell membranes, facilitates insulin and thereby the uptake of glucose by the cells. Fibre: Soluble fibre found in apples, kidney beans, oatmeal, soyabean etc, help control diabetes. They soak up excess bile acids found in the intestinal tract. The same acids that are converted to blood cholesterol. They also help empty the stomach and trigger satiety that can help type II diabetes to achieve weight loss goals. Cinnamon solution: Water extracts of Cinnamon have been found to promote glucose metabolism and reduce cholesterol. You can boil cinnamon sticks in water and drink the water. Antioxidants: Diabetes is often associated with conditions like heart disease, diabetic retinopathy, immune deficiency and kidney disease. Many are caused by free radical damage. Therefore, make sure you include antioxidants Vitamin C especially (lemons), E, Selenium, Zinc

Adaeze Omaliko

and Chromium (brewer’s Yeast) in your diet as they have been shown to control sugar levels. Drugs: Type I diabetes: In type I diabetes, the pancrease does not produce insulin, onset is usually in childhood or adolescence. Type I diabetes is considered an autoimmune disorder. Type I diabetes is treated with insulin, exercise and diet. Dietary control in Type I diabetes is very important and focuses on balancing food intake with insulin intake and energy expenditure from physical exertion.

Adherence to a diabetes diet is an important aspect of controlling elevated blood sugar in patients with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has approved guidelines for a diabetic diet. The ADA diet is a balanced, nutritious diet that is low in fat, cholesterol and simple sugars. The total daily calories are evenly divided into three meals. Type II diabetes: Type II diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90 to 95 per cent of cases. In type II diabetes, the body does not respond properly to insulin, a condition known as insulin resistance. Diets, exercise and drugs are used for patients with type II diabetes. Varying combinations of medications are used to correct the elevated levels of blood glucose. In type II diabetes patients should work closely with their physicians to achieve an approach that provides the greatest benefits while minimising risks. * Mrs. Adaeze E. Omaliko is a Fellow the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacy (WAPCP) and Chief Pharmacist at Malix Pharmacy,

Diet fizzy drinks increase diabetes risk by 60% IET fizzy drinks can raise D the risk of diabetes by 60 per cent, startling new research has revealed. A study of more than 66,000 women found those who drank artificially sweetened drinks were more likely to develop the disease than those who indulged in regular, ‘full fat’ versions.

The findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, fly in the face of conventional thinking that regular versions of fizzy drinks are always worse for our health. The effect is compounded by the fact that diet drinkers also consume more - on average 2.8 glasses a week com-

pared to 1.6 for regular drinkers. Regular, full-fat versions of fizzy drinks have previously been linked to an increased risk of diabetes. But less is known about their artificially sweetened counterparts - often promoted as a healthier substitute. In the study, more than 66,000 middle-aged French

women were quizzed about their dietary habits. Their health was then monitored over 14 years from 1993 to 2007. The researchers, from the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in France, examined the rates of diabetes among women who drank either regular or diet fizzy drink and those who drank only unsweetened fruit juice. Women who drank fizzy drinks had a higher risk of diabetes than those who only consumed juice. Those who drank up to 359ml of any type of fizzy a week - just more than a regular-sized can - were a third more likely to develop the disease. The risk was more than double in those who drank 600ml a week - just bigger than a regular bottle.

Fresh warning over paracetamol-related deaths HE number of deaths and T liver transplants due to paracetamol overdoses has

significantly reduced thanks to United Kingdom (UK) legislation to make pack sizes smaller, a new paper published by BBC Health suggests. Paracetamol overdoses are a common method of suicide and frequent cause of liver damage. In September 1998, a new legislation was introduced by the UK Government, which restricted pack sizes to a maximum of 32 tablets through pharmacy-sales and 16 for non-pharmacy sales. A research group from several English universities found benefit during the first few years, but some researchers have questioned the impact of this legislation. In this study, the researchers aimed to investigate the long-term impact that the legislation may have had in England and Wales on poisoning deaths (especially suicides) and on the amount

of patients admitted to hospital for liver failure. Data on poisoning deaths were examined between 1993 and 2009 and liver unit registrations between 1995 and 2009. Data were taken from the Office of National Statistics for individuals aged 10 years and over (paracetamol poisoning in children younger than 10 years is usually accidental). Data for all liver transplants were supplied by UK Transplant (now NHS Blood and Transplant). Researchers found a significant decrease in deaths in England and Wales involving paracetamol. The estimated average decrease in the number of deaths was 17 per quarter compared with the expected number based on what was happening during the pre-intervention period. This resulted in an overall decrease of 43 per cent in the 11 years post-legislation period.

CPM holds third medical outreach in Lagos O fewer than 1000 people are expected to benefit N from this year’s free medical

outreach by the Christian Pentecostal Mission (CPM) International, Ikeja branch, Lagos State. The programme, themed: “Healthy Living for Supernatural Release 2013,” is designed to reach out to the community, giving free medical services that include screening, health talk and self-empowerment seminar. The event holds on February 16 and 17, 2013. Head Pastor, Rev. ABC

Okoro, in a statement noted that the coming programme leverages on last year’s success, where over 700 people children, pregnant women, elderly, students, traders and so on - were attended to. “This year, we expect a much larger population of 1000 to 2000 people due to the high success recorded last year,” he said. The programme is an initiative of the Protocol department of the church, and Cosmo Health Medical Team will be providing medical services for the programme.

Low sperm counts linked to TV watching EN who watch a lot of television have lower M sperm counts than those who don’t watch any, researchers report February 4 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Sperm count is an informal term that refers to the concentration of sperm in a given volume of semen. Researchers gave questionnaires to 189 healthy young men and analyzed their semen. Respondents who watched more than 20 hours of TV per week had 44 percent lower sperm counts than those who didn’t watch any. The team, led by Audrey Gaskins and Jorge Chavarro of the Harvard School of

Public Health, also found that men who spent the most time doing moderate to vigorous physical exercise had 73 percent higher sperm counts than did the men who were least active. While the findings don’t spell out an explanation for these differences, the authors cite the broad physiological benefits of exercise. But certain exercises such as bicycling have been tied to low sperm counts. Cooler scrotal temperatures have been linked to a higher sperm count, and sedentary positions have been linked to higher scrotal temperatures.


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Fidson introduces Cestra to tackle micronutrient deficiency By Chukwuma Muanya ORRIED by the dire consequences of micronutrient deficiency in Nigeria, Fidson Healthcare Plc has introduced Cestra, a range of nutraceutical supplements with unique blend of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that offers natural wellness and healthy living. The micronutrients or trace elements include at least iron, cobalt, chromium, copper, iodine, manganese, selenium, zinc and molybdenum. Micronutrients also include vitamins, which are organic compounds required as nutrients in tiny amounts by an organism. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), micronutrients are so called because they needed only in minuscule amounts. “These substances are the ‘magic wands’ that enable the body to produce enzymes, hormones and other substances essential for proper growth and development. “As tiny as the amounts are, however, the consequences of their absence are severe. Iodine, vitamin A and iron are most important in global public health terms; their lack represents a major threat to the health and development of populations the world over, particularly children and pregnant women in low-income countries.” Micronutrient deficiencies are associated with physiologic effects that can be life threatening or more commonly, damaging to optimal health and functioning Micronutrient deficiency has been linked with many chronic diseases, such as osteoporosis, osteomalacia, thyroid deficiency, colorectal cancer, cardiovascular diseases, birth defects and increase in the severity of infectious diseases, such as measles, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and tuberculosis. But General Manager, Marketing, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Mr Ola Ijimakin, at the media launch of Cestra last week in Lagos said: “Cestra is specifically formulated to pre-

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Ojimakin vent nutrient deficiencies caused by poor diet and lifestyle; it enhances the energy levels of people with elevated stress; it strengthens and supports the immune system; it supports the nervous system and enhances eye health, skin health, bone health, joint health and cardiovascular health. It also protects the body from damaging free radicals, implicated in the development of diseases such as heart diseases, arthritis and liver damage.” The pharmacist said Cestra contains: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc (all minerals are amino acid chelated), chromium, manganese, iodine, molybdenum, selenium, copper (all amino acid chelates), vitamin A, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, lutein, B Vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E. Other nutrients in Cestra, according to Ojimakin, include: choline, inositol, methionine, PABA, bioflavonoids, lysine, lecithin, papain, rutin, betaine, hesperidine, cysteine. Ojimakin said the introduction of Cestra is basically to fill the gap in micronutrient deficiency especially in pregnant women, people who are sick or recuperating, the stressed or people with chronic fatigue, and the elderly. He said the vitamins (macronutrient) in Cestra are to increase the absorption of the micronutrients (iron). “Cestra is not a multivitamin supplement but a mineral supplement,” he said. One safety of Cestra, Ojimakin said: “They are basically food nutrients. They are water soluble and the body easily takes away the excess.” He, however, said it is difficult

to rule out abuse. “It is documented that there are people who need micronutrient supplementation,” he said. Reacting to the possible over loading of nutrients with Cestra, Ojimakin said: “Some products contain more than the recommended daily allowance of iron and other nutrients, which is dangerous to health. But we cannot throw away the baby with the water. In Nigeria, it is established there is a problem with micronutrient deficiency. “This is not a regular vitamin. It is based on minerals largely. We are basically filling the gap of micronutrient deficiency.” Ojimakin said Cestra formulas are developed with the intelligent nutrition system, which is a set of systematic standard and benchmark for nutritional supplements, to provide the needed day -to- day nutrients for general wellbeing and healthy living. He said the Cestra brand comes in five different variants- Pre Natal, 50 Plus, Pro Biotix, Once A Day and Omega 3 & 6- offering a full range of outstanding natural products in order to address a wide range of health challenges and provide next-to-nature solutions for the general wellbeing and health of the Nigerian households. Ojimakin said the introduction of the new Cestra brand into the Nigerian pharmaceutical market is another demonstration of Fidson’s innovative approach to ensuring the quality lifestyle and healthy living for Nigerians, as the company continues to make a bold statement of its corporate value proposition, which is ‘…….we value life’, through its array of quality healthcare products.

Kanu’s N5 billion cardiac hospital for launch March 14 By Joseph Okoghenun ANU Heart Foundation has K called on Nigerians to support the efforts of the foundation to see to fruition the N5 billion Kanu Cardiac Hospital, which is slated for launch in Abuja, March 14. Coordinator of the foundation, Pastor Onyebuchi Abia, who made the call in Lagos recently during media briefing to announce the launch, said the need for the hospital cannot be overemphasized as the incidence of heart disease among Nigerian children was getting higher than expected. According to a statement made available to The Guardian, Abia, who commended the Federal Government for donating a piece of land for the project, said that President GoodLuck Jonathan through his chief of staff has appointed a committee to see to the reality of the project. The hospital is part of the efforts by the legendary Nigerian ex-international footballer, Kanu Nwankwo, to reduce incidence of cardiac

mortality rate among Nigerian children. A study by the Department of paediatrics, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), found out that 81 per cent of children examined over a period of two years had abnormal heartbeats. The study published in the Nigeria journal of medicine, revealed that a total of 108 children, aged between two weeks and 18 years were referred for echocardiographic examination. The finding was that 86 had an abnormal echocardiogram. The study concluded that there is a need for the establishment of a well -equipped cardiothoracic surgical center in the country with free services, or highly subsidised rate. Such glooming statistics prompted Kanu to establish Kanu Heart Foundation 13 years ago to ‘put back smiles on the faces of children and adults with heart defect’. The foundation, according to Abia, has operated 452 patients with 98.5 per cent success rate abroad with attendance cost of about

$4.2million, an average of $10,000 per patient. It is expected that when this cardiac facility is up and running, it will save Nigeria at least $5m annually on capital flight. Kanu had said “We started from UK and it was quite expensive as on one kid we had to spend between £15,000 and £20, 000 and we are only talking about the cost of operation. We are not talking about flight, accommodation and feeding.We were thus forced to seek alternative treatment in Israel where it is less expensive and we are able to touch more kids. All the same it is still expensive.” Abia listed objectives for the cardiac hospital project to include provision of evidence-based high quality cardiac disease care from assessment and diagnosis to treatment; promotion of preventive healthcare service through public education and public advocacies; promotion of research findings in the area of heart related diseases and collaboration with partner institutions.


THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

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Kingsley Kuku @ 43: A Tribute H

ON. Kingsley Kemebradigha Kuku is one of the prominent names in the struggle for justice, economic emancipation and development of the Niger Delta area of Nigeria. An advocate of nonviolence in the struggle, he decided to go into politics to seek ways of using the instrumentality of government to achieve the goals of the struggle. Today, the peaceful atmosphere provided by the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has led to uninterrupted oil production and increased Nigeria's oil income. Clearly, the proclamation of amnesty for the former agitators in the Niger Delta as well as the successful management of the post-amnesty programme saved the Nigerian economy from a looming collapse. With Nigeria producing today 2.7 million barrels of crude oil per day as against the abysmally low 700,000 barrels per day at the peak of the Niger Delta crisis in January 2009, the nation and its Joint Venture Partners are currently making production savings of approximately two million barrels per day. Since Hon. Kingsley Kemebradigha Kuku mounted the saddle as Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme following his appointment by President Goodluck Jonathan as his Special Adviser on Niger Delta in January 2011, he has shown great vision and commitment and has executed this very complex and difficult national assignment with tenacity and dogged determination. The Amnesty Chief is a very good team player and has been able to assemble a crack team of technocrats and professionals that have blended very well with the civil servants deployed to the Amnesty Office. One of the fundamental tenets of management is that once the leader gets the strategy right, every other thing falls into place and the followers can manage themselves. This is what Kuku has done. The Amnesty Office records show that 26,358 former agitators in the Niger Delta were successfully disarmed and demobilized in the first and second phases, with the recent approval of an additional 3642 undergoing same in the third phase, thus making it a total of 30,000. With the completion of the full demobilization of the former combatants, Nigeria entered history books as one of the few countries in the world that achieved a successful closure to the disarmAament and demobilization phases of its DDR programme. The success recorded so far in the programme cannot be over-emphasized. Recently, President Goodluck Jonathan visited the National Energy Skills Centre in Trinidad and Tobago where no fewer than 70 beneficiaries are being trained. Ten of the trainees that have performed excellently were granted scholarship by the T & T government. It is also noteworthy that no fewer than 100 delegates have been offered direct employment in various governmental and private establishments. The Amnesty Office, however, is putting finishing touches to mentoring programmes that would see many of the graduates becoming selfemployed and employing other Nigerian youths. Some factors are responsible for the success recorded by the amnesty programme under the leadership of Hon. Kuku. He had been involved in the Niger Delta struggle and that gave him a deep understanding of the situation in the region. So, in managing the process, he gets the youths emotionally involved to appreciate the essence of the programme and what they stand to gain when they undergo the training and acquire the requisite skills. Essentially, the selection of skills and programmes for the repentant militants is a critical

component of managing the process. Vocational and specialized training in boat building, underwater/pipeline welding, Information and Communication Technology, seafaring, piloting, and marine engineering, among others are suitable for the Niger Delta environment. Hon. Kuku is also visionary because such skills are relevant to the emerging hydrocarbon industry. The Amnesty Chief also frequently visits the various centres to track the progress of trainees. This does not just give a strong lubricant for recipients to take their studies seriously but also provides enormous psychological support for them. In all modesty, Kuku has turned around the fortunes of the programme and is gradually transforming the lives of the hitherto neglected youths such that he has succeeded in winning over strident critics of the amnesty programme. Perhaps this feat explains why the rain of endorsements of his person and leadership style continues to pour in torrents, including the recent vote of confidence by both committees on Niger Delta in the Senate and House of Representatives. As KK, as he is fondly called, turns 43 on February 14, 2013, the question is no longer about what he is capable of doing as a leader, which he has demonstrated. Rather, it will be about what he would not do as a leader. Regarded in some circles as ‘an activist in government’, many believe that his past has prepared him for the present and the future. Born on February 14, 1970, Kuku hails from Arogbo, a town in Ese Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State and the traditional headquarters of the ljaw people in the state. He obtained a Bachelor of Education (English Language) from the then Ondo State University in 1995. As early as his university days, he had shown good promise of leadership. He was a students’ leader, specifically the National Mobilization Officer of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS). As pioneer spokesman of the Ijaw Youth Council, he is said to have demonstrated unusual capacity in the face of many challenges, particularly while working on several peace efforts in the Niger Delta. Elected into the Ondo State House of Assembly in 2003, where he served just one term in the state legislature as chairman of the House Committee on Information till 2007, Kuku was appointed Special Assistant/Head of Conflict Management Unit at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and was also secretary of the Presidential Committee on Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Niger Delta, positions he held till 2009 when he was appointed a member of the Presidential Committee on Amnesty. Kuku holds a Certificate in Conflict Resolution from the University of Cambridge and is also a member of the International Dispute Resolution Institute. Until his appointment as Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme, he was a member of the board of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN). There is every reason to submit that the amnesty programme has practically become a key stabilizing force for the successful implementation of the Transformation Agenda of the current administration. President Goodluck Jonathan, therefore, deserves commendation for identifying and engaging this exemplary character as well as for his deep commitment to the sustainable development of the Niger Delta. With the avalanche of landmark achievements recorded by the PAP in terms of turning around the fortunes of not only the hitherto insurgent Niger Delta region but also our dear country, whose revenue base has received unprecedented boost, no one is in doubt that this bridge builder, uncommon patriot and 2011 winner of the prestigious Maritime Man of the Year award is on the threshold of making history.

HON. Kingsley Kemebradigha Kuku


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NMA tasks Jonathan on security of health workers Doctors, pharmacists, coalition of civil societies still divided *Want Police post at general, teaching hospitals *NPHCDA reaches out to killed polio vaccinators’ families By Chukwuma Muanya and Njadvara Musa, Damaturu EDICAL doctors under the aegis of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) have condemned the recent killing of health workers across the country by dissenting groups. They berated the federal government for paying lips service over the security of health workers especially vaccinators and medical doctors, saying that the situation, if not urgently addressed, may lead to mass industrial action by health workers. President of NMA, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, on Monday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to pro-

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Governor of Benue State; His Excellency, Hon. Gabriel Suswam (right) and the Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Ado Gana Muhammad discussing at the flag-off of the February 2013 National Immunisation Plus Days (NIPDs) at Logo Local Government Area (LGA) in Benue State… recently

vide Police post in each public health facility across the country even as he commiserated with the governments, families of slain polio vaccinators as well as the Chinese and Korean doctors. Enabulele said: “We think this is one murder too many. This is a threat to the survival of Nigeria and especially her health system. Government should urgently make provision for increased security for health workers. I know nobody wants to be slaughtered.” “This is enough for Jonathan to come back and address the issue because it may lead to industrial action. We think earlier promises after the death of health workers in Kano state were mere lip service.’ “They should provide Police post in each public health facility. There is increased restiveness among health workers. We did not train as medical doctors to be murdered at will,” he declared Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr. Ado Gana Muhammad, said: “It is sad and pathetic that health workers who are on humanitarian service fell victims of the unfortunate cycle of violence in Kano. We condole the Governor and Government of Kano and the families of these fallen heroes and heroines.” “As a programme we remain undeterred and resolute in our determination to ensure the interruption of wild polio virus and also the

provision of basic health services for all in Nigeria.” “We salute the reaffirmed commitment of health workers all over the country as they resolve to continue to provide professional service aimed at improving our health outcomes,” he added. Three expatriate doctors working for the government of Yobe State were on Sunday attacked and killed in their residences in Potiskum. They were three North Koreans. Yobe State had been violence-free in the last two months and the heinous act has come barely two days after health workers were killed in Kano. Six gunmen, according to an eyewitness, Isa Yakubu, walked straight to the compound at the Potiskum Tjunction area and broke the main entrance around 1.35 a.m. They then tied the hands of the doctors to their backs and slit their throats. Gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram sect last week attacked Dikwa town and the Bulabulin Ngaranam ward of Maiduguri, where two businessmen and two polio vaccinators were shot dead on Sunday afternoon and Monday at about 3pm. The vaccinators were attacked, in Dikwa, while administering the polio vaccine during the three-day immunization exercise in the state. Dikwa is a border town with Chad Republic and 85 kilometres east of Maiduguri, the state capital. Nine female polio vaccinators were also killed in two shootings at health centres in northern Nigeria.

Daily vitamin C intake doubles painful kidney stones risk EN who take vitamin C would have taken, typically M supplements every day contain about 1,000 mildouble their risk of suffering ligrams (mg) of vitamin C from kidney stones, new research suggests. The excruciating condition is on the rise and Swedish researchers say a bi-product of the vitamin may be to blame. Men who took vitamin C supplements at least once a day had the highest risk of kidney stones. The condition affects 12 per cent of men and four per cent of women in the United Kingdom (UK). The findings appear in the journal JAMA Internal medicine. Lead researcher Laura Thomas, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, said: “It has long been suspected that high doses of vitamin C may increase the risk of kidney stones.” This is because some of the vitamin C absorbed by the body is excreted in urine as oxalate, one of the key components of kidney stones. Stones are made up of tiny crystals, which can be formed by calcium combining with oxalate. The study tracked more than 22,000 middle-aged and elderly for 11 years. The current analysis included 907 men who said they took regular vitamin C tablets and more than 22,000 who didn’t use any nutritional supplements. Swedish supplements, like those the study participants

per tablet. Most vitamin C supplements sold in the U.K contain either 500 or 1,000 mg. A glass of freshly squeezed orange juice contains around 120mg. Of the vitamin C users, 3.4 per cent developed kidney stones for the first time during the study, compared to 1.8 per cent of non-supplement users. The researchers said hat because there are no clear benefits tied to taking highdose vitamin C, people who have had stones in the past might want to think before taking extra supplements. But the findings do not mean people shouldn’t get plenty of vitamin C through fruits and vegetables, since the antioxidant is important for bone and muscle health and severe deficiency can cause scurvy. “Vitamin C is an important part of a healthy diet,” Thomas said. “Any effect of vitamin C on kidney stone risk is likely to depend both on the dose and on the combination of nutrients with which it is ingested.” Kidney stones are stonelike lumps that can develop in one or both of the kidneys. The waste products in the blood can occasionally form crystals that collect inside the kidneys. Over time, the crystals may build up to form a hard stone-like lump.


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PATHS2 trains doctors in ultrasound skills application * To donate 48 state-of-the-art machines to General hospitals By Wole Oyebade o fewer than 80 doctors in the country have been retrained by Partnership for Transforming Health Systems II (PATHS2) to use state-of-the-art ultrasound machine in obstetric care. The beneficiaries, selected from secondary health facilities in PATHS2 five focal states, were trained on how to apply the technology to detect the condition of an unborn baby, possible risks

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and reduce maternal mortality in the country. Ten new ClearVue 550 ultrasound systems used at the four-day capacity building workshop are the first set of 48 machines that will be given to selected General Hospitals by PATHS2. PATHS2 National Programme Manager, Mike Egboh at the closing ceremony of the programme held at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Lagos, said the aim was

Nestle tackles water-borne disease with new product By Oluwakemi Ajani N a bid to meet up with the yearnings of its growing consumer base, Nestle Nigeria Plc has introduced a new five-litre table water into the market. The new five-litre bottle is a family size water pack, which can be used in picnic and other social functions The Nestle’s Country Business Manager, Mr. Adewale Ojo said that the new brand combines the right balance of essential minerals such as calcium and is carried out under strict hygienic conditions that guarantee the quality of the product. He explained that the water is a family size, which can be used in picnic and other social functions. Ojo noted that there are different kinds of table water in the market, urging consumers to look for quality water whenever they are thirsty. In his address, the President of Nutrition Society of Nigeria represented by Mr. Bartholomew Brai advised

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Nigerians to drink water regularly. He said that there are some sicknesses that water cures such as headache and stomachache. “Water is the best option for hydration and food digestion,” he said. He noted that individuals should take as low as one litre to four litres per day while pregnant woman and nursing mothers should consume 3.8 litres of water everyday. He also said that a slice of lime or lemon could be added to the water to get the body hydrated. The Managing Director of Nestle Plc, Mr. Martin Woolnough, said that without adequate water intake our bodies might become insufficiently hydrated. He said the company is committed to providing distinctive products for human benefits. The size of the water is the first of its kinds in the Nigeria market. “We are committed to provide healthy hydration solution to Nigerian consumers by giving huge volume at a great value.”

Paralyzed man uses thoughts alone to control robot arm, touch friend’s hand ESEARCHERS at the University of Pittsburgh R School of Medicine and UPMC describe in PLoS ONE how an electrode array sitting on top of the brain enabled a 30-yearold paralyzed man to control the movement of a character on a computer screen in three dimensions with just his thoughts. It also enabled him to move a robot arm to touch a friend’s hand for the first time in the seven years since he was injured in a motorcycle accident. With brain-computer interface (BCI) technology, the thoughts of Tim Hemmes, who sustained a spinal cord injury that left him unable to move his body below the shoulders, were interpreted

by computer algorithms and translated into intended movement of a computer cursor and, later, a robot arm, explained lead investigator Wei Wang, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pitt School of Medicine. “When Tim reached out to high-five me with the robotic arm, we knew this technology had the potential to help people who cannot move their own arms achieve greater independence,” said Wang, reflecting on a memorable scene from September 2011 that was re-told in stories around the world. “It’s very important that we continue this effort to fulfill the promise we saw that day.”

to raise health workers’ skills and knowledge to effectively manage obstetrics conditions that could be fatal to mothers and their babies. Egboh, who was represented by the State Team Leader, Bisi Tugbobo noted that ultrasound was very useful to properly manage pregnancy and delivery. According to him: “There are many causes of maternal mortality, which includes ectopic pregnancy. With the use of these ultrasound machines provided to the health facilities, the doctors can make better decisions on how to deliver babies, confirm multiple pregnancies, abnormalities in babies, wellbeing of mother and baby among others.” He was optimistic that the skills gained by the doctors would improve quality healthcare service delivery

and would lead to greater patient satisfaction in the services provided by the health facilities. PATHS2 is United Kingdom aid (UKaid) funded programme with presence in Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano and Lagos States. PATHS2 has so far supported the focal states with drugs and medical equipment worth N3 billion under the UKaid commodity support programme. Ultrasound machines are part of the medical equipment donated to improve Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) services in health facilities in these states. Tugbobo acknowledged the efforts of the UK government for the support that they had rendered to the Nigerian communities through the UKaid commodity support programme, adding that PATHS2 was committed to reducing maternal and

infant mortality rate and would continue to support Nigeria to actualise her health related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Clinical Application Specialists, Philips Healthcare in Nairobi, Kenya, Dr. Susan Wanjau said the training enables the doctors and engineers to maximally use the machines to full potential. She said: “These machines are great gifts for our mothers, doctors and the African continent. We also need to educate our mothers on the need to use ultrasound to know the condition of the foetus prior to child delivery.” Wanjau advised pregnant women to do ultrasound scan at least twice during pregnancy and lot more in pregnancies that have issues. Super-user and trainer in the programme, Dr Godwin Akhabue said the advantage

of the machine could not be quantified. The Consultant Gynaecologist and Obstetrician (O&G) at LASUTH said: “I don’t see O&G specialists that can practice without ultrasound machine. And these are topof-the-range machines that make work really simple for the practitioners.” “Even as a lay person, you could see the baby very well in the womb. We are able to tell if the baby is alive and well. Is it one, two, three or four? Is it in the right position; having abnormality or not, is the baby or mother in trouble and so on. All of these you will pick within a short period of the ultrasound. I think it is a step in the right direction.” Akhabue suggested that anywhere where the care of pregnant women is taking place should have ultrasound machine as a matter of


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Frequent dialysis poses risks for kidney disease patients OMPARED with standard C dialysis, frequent dialysis Fruits, vegetables may help protect the kidneys can cause complications related to repeated access to the blood, requiring patients to undergo more repair procedures to the site through which blood is removed and returned, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). The study provides important information for physicians and patients as they weigh different dialysis options. Frequent hemodialysis requires accessing the blood more often than conventional hemodialysis. This is usually done via a long-lasting site through which blood can be removed and returned. While daily or nightly dialysis seems to improve patients’ health and quality of life, it’s not known whether it increases their risk of experiencing complications. For example, more frequent access use could theoretically cause increased trauma, more inflammation, and greater exposure to bacteria. To investigate, Rita Suri, MD (Western University and Lawson Health Research Institute, in London, Canada) and her colleagues conducted two separate 12-month clinical trials in which they randomly assigned 245 patients to receive either in-center daily hemodialysis (six days/week) or conventional hemodialysis (three days/week) and 87 patients to receive either home nocturnal hemodialysis (six nights/week) or conventional hemodialysis. Three access events were recorded: repair, loss, and access-related hospitalizations. Among the major findings: • In the Daily Trial, 77 (31 per cent) of 245 patients experienced one of these events, with the daily group having 33 repairs and 15 losses and the conventional group having 17 repairs, 11 losses, and 1 hospitalization. • Overall, the risk for an access event was 76 per cent higher with daily hemodialysis compared with conventional hemodialysis. • Similar trends were seen in the Nocturnal Trial, although the results were not statistically significant. Suri said: “Our study is the first randomized trial to show that dialyzing more frequently may have potential harmful effects on the hemodialysis vascular access. This has important implications for patients and physicians considering or performing frequent hemodialysis.” Meanwhile, adding fruits and vegetables to the diet may help protect the kidneys of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) with too much acid build-up, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). Western diets that are based in animal and grain products are highly acidic and can lead to metabolic acidosis, when too much acid builds up in the body. This is particularly common in patients with CKD because the kidneys are responsible for removing acid through the urine. Metabolic acidosis can cause rapid breathing, confusion, and lethargy. Severe cases can lead to shock or death. Alkali supplementation therapy such as bicarbonate is used to treat CKD patients with severe metabolic acidosis, but simply adding more fruits and vegetables — which contain

alkali — to the diet might also help. Nimrit Goraya, MD, Donald Wesson, MD (Texas A&M College of Medicine) and their colleagues tested this by randomizing 71 patients with hypertensive stage 4 CKD to receive added fruits and vegetables or an oral alkaline medication for one year. The treatments were dosed to decrease dietary acid by half. Among the major findings: • Kidney function was similar between the two groups after one year. • One-year plasma total carbon dioxide (PTCO2) increased in both groups, which is consistent with a lessening of metabolic acidosis. PTCO2 was higher in patients receiving bicar-

bonate than in those receiving added fruits and vegetables. • Urine measurements of kidney injury were lower after one year in both groups. • Although fruits and vegetables are rich in potassium and might raise blood potassium to dangerous levels, levels did not increase in either group. “We showed that by addition of alkali such as bicarbonate or alkali-inducing fruits and vegetables, patients had a favorable response by reduction of urinary kidney injury markers,” said Wesson. “Our study suggests that these interventions will help maintain kidney health in those with kidney disease,” added Goraya. In an accompanying editorial, Muhammad Yaqoob, MD

(Bartshealth NHS Trust and William Harvey Research Institute, in London) noted that the study is likely to have a limited impact on clinical practice. “A small group of highly motivated patients wishing to reduce their pill burden through dietary modification may benefit from the results of this study. However, many patients find it difficult to follow a diet high in fruits and vegetables and might therefore be more adherent to a supplement,” he wrote. He added that a large multicenter randomized controlled trial examining the impact of supplemental bicarbonate, with and without dietary intervention, in patients with chronic kidney disease is urgently needed.

Avocado

Nigerite supports asthma awareness initiative IGERITE Limited has line with its corporate social best of treatments. N pledged support for the responsibility. “Last year, my only sister died effort to raise awareness on the According to her: “We are of asthma attack. Then, I took it menace of asthma to the well being of Nigerians. The initiative tagged ‘Art for life: An asthma awareness charity art exhibition’ was sponsored by the company and organised in memory of Ms. Ogaga Okparavero who died from an asthma attack in October last year. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the art exhibition put together by Stacey Okparavero Project in conjunction with Watersworth Gallery in Lagos recently, Brand Ambassador, Nigerite Limited, Miss Oluchi Njoku said the company is supporting the awareness initiative in

here today to support this project to let people know that not only malaria can kill. “We give lives to people because Nigerite is about life, and anywhere there is life you will find Nigerite. We are much concerned about people having healthy lives to be able to function well in their dealings in the society,” Njoku said. According to the facilitator, Ms. Stacey Okparavero, the exhibition aims to provide support for the health and wellbeing of individuals who are living with asthma and who cannot really have the financial capabilities to get the

upon myself in conjunction with Watersworth Gallery with support from Nigerite Limited to set up a project like this to save the lives of people living with asthma.   “Certain percentage of proceeds from art sales will be used to fund the respiratory unit of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and other public hospitals in Lagos. Oxygen canisters and other drugs will be bought, as well as settle bills of patients who cannot afford to fully pay their bills,” she said. The exhibition will last for one week from Saturday February 9 to 16 February 2013.

Premier Medicaid gets international recognition REMIER Medicaid P International, a frontline Health Maintenance Organization in Nigeria under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), has again received international recognition for its commitment to quality and excellence in service delivery by being awarded the Century International Quality ERA (CQE) Award 2013 in the platinum category. The award is endorsed by Business Initiative Directions (BID), an international organi-

sation, which monitors and promotes commitment to quality and excellence by companies and organisations all over the world. Over the years, BID has provided endorsement for top rated companies and organizations in 178 countries. The award will be presented during the International BID quality convention in Geneva, Switzerland on March 9, 2013, at the Intercontinental Genève Convention Centre across from the United Nations European Headquarters.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Premier Medicaid International, Sir, Dr. Kayode Obembe will receive the CQE Award on behalf of the company and also participate in the 2013 Quality Convention in Geneva. It would be recalled that Premier Medicaid International received the World Quality Commitment Award in the Gold Category last year, in Paris, France for the organisation’s commitment to global quality standard and

Male infertility and temporary impotence HE family unit is the foundation of any nation and the unity T and wellbeing of the nation is dependent, in part, on the health, unity and wellness of the family. One major reason why GOD the Creator of all things instituted marriage is for procreation. In fact, it is considered that the Creator commanded man to be fruitful and multiply. He put all that would be required to procreate in man and his wife and He blessed (empowered) them. The man and his wife were also expected to be united as one. They were to be in agreement with themselves and their Creator. Over the centuries, since GOD created man, things have changed, barrenness has set in and this is causing a lot of problems in homes, Christian homes inclusive. In a society like ours, a lot of premium is placed on children and so it is almost like a taboo for a couple not to have children. This has led to separation and divorce in many marriages. This should not be so because in quite a few cases the cause of childlessness in marriages can be corrected. How can the correction be made if people do not know? It is for this reason that people should be informed, that I am bringing you this article and more for the next four weeks. It is my belief that this will bring a reduction in the rate of divorce in marriages. Male infertility is the inability of a man to impregnate his wife who is fertile. The man and his wife may have been involved in regular unprotected sexual intercourse for periods ranging from six months to one year. Male infertility accounts for about 50 per cent of all cases of infertility. Causes of male infertility To discuss the causes of male infertility, let us first of all look at the processes involved in conception. For conception to take place, the sperm cells, which are produced in the testicles, must be transported through the urethra into the vagina. The sperm will further pass through the opening of the uterus - the cervical - into the uterus from where they should move through the Fallopian tubes to the environment of the ovaries where they will meet the eggs. The first sperm cell that touches and penetrates the egg (ovum) fertilizes it. To ensure that pregnancy will occur the following must be in order: The testes where the sperm cells are produced must be well positioned, adequately descended into the scrotum. Male hormones, like testosterone and certain minerals, which aid the production of spermatozoa, should also be sufficient. . At least 20 million sperm cells are needed. Out of this number, only one will fertilize the one egg that may be available. The moment that one sperm makes contact with the egg, all others die off. . It is important that the sperm cell has the perfect morphology (shape) and that it is able to swim in the semen (the slimy fluid in which the sperm is transported). In other words the motility of the sperm needs also to be perfect. . The semen should have the correct pH. An alkaline pH is perfect for the sperm. If the pH of the semen is acidic it kills the sperm cells. The alkalinity of the semen ensures that the acid pH of the vagina will be neutralized to make certain that the sperm cells do not die while passing through the vagina. . The sperm cells are carried in certain tiny tubes from the testicles to meet with the semen, which is then connected to the urethra through the vas deferens. Factors that can affect sperm production, morphology, motility, and those that can hinder the release of sperms into the vagina can lead to male infertility. These factors could either be outside the testicles, within the testicles and those that obstruct the flow of the sperms. Factors that can lead to male infertility outside the testicles include drugs like chemotherapy drugs, anabolic steroids, cimetidine and alcohol. Tobacco smoking, obesity and bicycle riding can also affect the production of sperm cells. Factors that cause male infertility within the testicles are such as lead to the production of low quality and quantity of semen in the midst of adequate hormones. These are as follows: age, varicocele (enlargement of the testicular blood vessels), hydrocele (collection of water in the testes), trauma, malaria fever, mumps orchidism, cancer of the testes, idiopathic oligospermia (where cause of low sperm count is unknown). Genetic defect of the Y-chromosomes and radiation therapy are other factors. Factors that cause male infertility by the obstruction of the flow of semen. These are factors that hinder the sperm cells from being deposited in the vagina and they include obstruction or absence of the vas deferens, ejaculatory duct obstruction, retrograde ejaculation (the semen flows into the bladder instead of coming out through the urethra). This is a common complication after operation involving the prostate, bladder or urethra. Certain health conditions such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries also lead to retrograde ejaculation. Other causes of male infertility in this group are infections like prostatitis and impotence – temporary or permanent. Next week we shall be looking at the challenges of temporary impotence and the damage it has caused in marriages.


THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

Participants at a workshop organized for teachers under the Mushin Local Government Education Authority (LGEA), at the Unit Resource Centre, Mushin, Lagos recently.

300 teachers undergo training in Akwa Ibom From Inemesit Akpan-Nnsoh Uyo total of 300 primary A school teachers, in the 12 local councils under the Eket Senatorial District, have been exposed to new teaching, reading and writing methods at a three-day capacity building workshop, sponsored by the NNPC/Mobil Joint Venture and facilitated by the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) Akwa Ibom branch. It focused on English Studies, Mathematics, Basic Science and Technology and Civil Education, with emphasis on topics with high difficulty indices. Declaring the workshop open, the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Eunice Thomas, expressed the hope that the workshop would change the pattern of teacher behaviour, to fast-track the realization of the aims and objectives of the free and compulsory education in the state. Thomas charged teachers to work hard to earn the respect of their pupils, through knowledge of their subject matter, competence and dedication to duty. The commissioner said, “as we are all aware, teachers are among the critical stakeholders in the delivery of quality educational services in the State. Without teachers as change agents, there can be no transformational education. This is because education, the world over, is an imperative for economic, political and social enhancement. The teacher is thus the brain box of the society.” The manager, Public and Government Affairs, NNPC/Mobil Joint Venture, Qua Iboe Terminal, Mr Akaninyene Esiere, said the sponsorship of the workshop was part of the company’s strategy to strengthen teaching methodologies in the education sector, especially at the primary school level, which he maintained “is very crucial in the education curricula.” Esiere, who was represented by the government and public affairs advisor, Mrs Regina Udobong, said the workshop was also aimed at improving the standard of Basic Science and Technology, Mathematics, English Studies and Civic Education, among teachers in primary schools.

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Director, Human Recources, Supreme Education Foundation Schools, Ibukun Francis (left), Representative of Abbey College in Nigeria, Mrs Imah Chris Adegoke, Chief Executive Officer, Supreme Education Foundation Schools, Adenike Adamalekun and co-ordinator, School of Advanced Studies, Mrs Juliet Tutuola Adeniji during the media briefing announcing the partnership between Abbey College, United Kingdom and the Supreme Education Foundation Schools on Tuesday. PHOTO; OSENI YUSUF


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Education UNILAG celebrates 50 years of mixed blessings *Honours Balewa, Babalola, Mbanefo By Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi and Mary Ogar FTER all the swagger, glamour, and effusive display of backslapping that draped the just concluded golden jubilee anniversary and special convocation ceremonies of the well loved University of Lagos (UNILAG), the institution’s stakeholders must now ask some long, overdue pertinent questions. Why, for instance, has UNILAG not produced at least one Nobel Laureate, despite turning out several graduates with First Class degrees over the last 50 years? Why has the university not been able to provide an irresistible solution to the multifaceted electricity problems facing the country, even in abstract terms, despite its impressive array of First Class electrical engineers over the years? Why is the institution not among the first 100 in the world, but a distant 16th even in Africa? And how come, that after producing 149, 383 skilled people (minus the latest), many of whom, according to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Rahamon Bello, “are (now) captains of industry,” UNILAG could still not mobilize enough funds from its alumni to develop part of its basic infrastructure, but still has to go cap in hand to the federal government and corporate organizations for cash handouts? Like other federal universities, UNILAG has been famous for theoretical postulations, inaugural lectures, academic and nonacademic strikes and mass production of graduates; but sluggish in acquiring scientific breakthroughs derived from research, either in various aspects of engineering in which it had produced several First Class graduates, or in the vast field of Medicine, also considered one of its strongest branches. From its humble beginnings in 1962 with three faculties and just 100 students, the university, as at 2010, had expanded to 12 Faculties, a College of Medicine and one School. Its student population is well above 42,076, with over 4000 academic and nonteaching staff members on its payroll. The institution, by the way, appointed 567 casual workers in 2010 alone and sadly, there are now fears that most of its academic staff members, who have been responsible for its enviable academic reputation, are ageing and retiring, without adequate replacement. The federal government’s White Paper on the 2010 Visitation Panel Report on UNILAG found that research equipment in most academic departments in the science-based faculties were either obsolete or short in supply. Many of the challenges facing the institution could be traced to poor funding by its proprietor, the federal government, which had hampered research activities among the most vibrant academics, some of whom, out of frustration, had migrated to other climes. Another setback is the high number of court cases, about 17, instituted by aggrieved staff members against UNILAG for wrongful dismissal from office. Nevertheless, UNILAG has been outstanding in many respects. It has, for instance, produced a good number of recipients of merit-based national academic awards. Prof. Tolu Odugbemi, from the College of Medicine and also a former Vice Chancellor, won the National Order of Merit in 2008. Dr E.A Meshida of the Department of Engineering also won the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) prize for Science the same year. In fact, a 1981 graduate of the institution, Prof. Akaehomen Ebhabode who now teaches at the University of Benin, won the 2010 edition of the LNG Prize for Science. Prominent alumni members are now responding to the University’s needs more than before. For instance, some of them angrily instituted cases against President Goodluck Jonathan in court, when he unilaterally announced that the university’s name would be changed to “Moshood Abiola University.” At the grand finale of the golden jubilee celebration, where Nigeria’s first Prime Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and two former UNILAG Pro Chancellors, Chiefs Arthur Mbanefo and Afe Babalola were conferred with honorary doctorate degrees, Jonathan admitted that universities in the country face several challenges. Represented by Education Minister, Prof. Ruqayattu Rufai, the President said: “Government is aware of the challenges facing our universities. We are however unrelenting in our efforts to address these challenges squarely. That is why we have committed substantial amount of funds to the education sector to support learning, teaching and research.” Jonathan urged universities to make creative research their priority, by continuing to provide answers to societal problems. “The search for knowledge and its application for development  and resolution of challenges should now constitute their (universities’) core of activity,” he said. To the President, now is the time for universities to purse aggressive and creative research activities, to enable Nigeria obtain a competitive edge and rise to the top of global economy. While expressing concern over the unemployment challenge facing young graduates in the country, Jonathan implored all tertiary education regulator agencies to introduce, develop and sustain entrepreneurial culture, to equip students with valuable skills for self-employment. He assured: “Government will continue to empower our youths to enable set up small scale businesses under the federal government’s Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES) and other programmes. By turning the individual into a job creator, entrepreneurship education advances the course of the development of our nation.” The Vice Chancellor stated that some of the giant strides recorded include the establishment of Radio UNILAG 103.1 F.M, which he said was “the first university radio station in any Nigerian University.” On research, he averred that machinery had been put in place to develop and access grants for multidisciplinary research

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Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Julius Okojie (left), Education Minister, Prof. Ruqayattu Rufai, representative of the honorary doctorate degree awardee and first Prime Minister of Nigeria, the late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Pro Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Dr Gamaliel Onosode at the institution’s convocation ceremony, held at the weekend.

Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Julius Okojie (left), Education Minister, Prof. Ruqayattu Rufai, honorary doctorate degree awardee and former pro chancellor, University of Lagos, Chief Arthur Mbanefo, Pro Chancellor, Dr Gamaliel Onosode and Vice Chancellor, Prof. Rahamon Bello at the ceremony. PHOTOS: AYODELE ADENIRAN activities on national and global issues, find end-users for research results and develop parks for implementing research findings. Besides, he revealed, adequate measures to protect the intellectual property rights of inventors, through patenting, are also being worked out. Acknowledging the challenge of funding, Bello said it was a common problem “universities in this part of the world have to contend with.” He continued: “It is a known fact that there is no way the government would be able to provide all the financial resources the institution requires for the performance of its statutory responsibilities. We will nonetheless re-double efforts to pursue other sources of funding, such as endowments, donations and internally generated funds from consultancy services, business ventures and investments.” Babalola, who was conferred with an honorary doctorate degree in Law, grieved over the under-funding of universities and pleaded with prominent Nigerians to support UNILAG “because the government cannot do it alone.” Mbanefo lamented what he described as the “highly politicized” process of awarding honorary degrees by universities which, he insisted, had led to the conferment of awards on undeserving persons. At the pre convocation briefing, Bello had announced several good things in the offing. He said new developments were in the pipeline that would change the institution to an “e-university” in the next few months. The Vice Chancellor, who was appointed on November 12 last year, announced that as part of the upgrading of the university’s facilities, each lecture room would be equipped with an interactive ICT board and Internet connectivity. Besides, he revealed that the Nigerian Administrative and Safety Agency (NIMASA) would be building a Maritime Institute worth N1 billion in the Faculty of Science. Also, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), he said, has commenced work on an ultramodern “Center of Excellence” project, which when completed, would house an academic faculty and a five –star hostel in the university.

Bello predicted that in the next five years, UNILAG would rank among the best and number one in Africa. His words: “apart from deploying the use of ICT, our primary purpose is for learning and research. Our goal is to upgrade our teaching infrastructure to meet global standards, while also taking a drastic approach towards our research efforts to ensure global competiveness and to produce first class output that would lead to industrial path.” The vice chancellor affirmed that with a Tertiary Education Trust Fund’s (TETFund) special grant worth N3 billion, the construction of a new 15-storey library complex would soon commence on the campus, with each of the institution’s 12 Faculties having a floor. He added: “N1 billion has been earmarked for the upgrade of teaching facilities and infrastructure, while N2 billion has been approved by Senate and other stakeholders to build a new library for the university.” And with the approval of a 25-year Strategic Plan, Bello said: “as a policy, the university has adopted to change (its) skyline, to make it urban. Hence, all new buildings will have to be designed for minimally 12 floors, even if we are commencing with just four or five floors. This will ease expansion in the future. “I believe the way you make a difference in the future is by focusing on both the fundamentals and the big drivers in the present. Teaching and research are the heart of what we do at University of Lagos. Nothing else matters if we do not get these right. Our goal, at all times, must be to provide the highest quality education and lead in conducting and disseminating important research.” Bello reaffirmed that it was only through teamwork, open administration and democratic governance that the institution could brace itself to be one of the best. “Our sole aim is to make the University of Lagos number one in Africa in the next few years and one of the best 100 universities globally as soon as possible. We cannot do this alone; all hands must be on deck. This means that there must be a synergy among the University Management, the students, staff and other stakeholders,” he observed.


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THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

Olumide emerges UNILAG’s first female emeritus professor By Mary Ogar ENOWNED for her work on dermatology and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which causes the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Prof. Yetunde Mercy Olumide was the cynosure of all eyes at the recent golden jubilee convocation ceremony of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), as she was conferred with the title of Emeritus Professor. Her robust scholarly publications, research and consistency in advancing the frontiers of knowledge since her appointment as a Professor of Medicine in 1991, were cited as reasons for the recognition. Looking radiant at almost 70 years, Olumide has now made history as the first female to be so honoured in UNILAG’s 50-year history. On the significance of the award for a woman who had made great impact in the field of medicine, Olumide said her dedication not just to academics, but also to her family has paid off. Some of Olumide’s professional and academic qualifications include: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MMBS); Diploma in Dermatology; Fellow of the Nigerian Postgraduate Medical College of Physicians (FWACP); Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology (FAAD); Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Fellow, Nigerian Academy of Science (FAS). On her major contributions, she said: “I wrote all the three major textbooks relevant in my specialty, which

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involves dermatology, sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS for students. By the time I was leaving, I left books for both the undergraduate and postgraduate students.” As an author and coauthor of several scientific textbooks, she said that through her work with industry staff, her research project especially on Occupational Health, focused on the dangerous effects of some chemicals in cosmetics and toiletries, which led to the release of an official gazette in 1995 by the federal government, prohibiting the sale and distribution of products containing mercury and hydroquinone in Nigeria. With over 70 scientific publications to her credit, she said her research findings also culminated in her being invited by the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) television network in London in 1988, for a documentary on the adverse effects of harmful toiletries and cosmetics, which further influenced the discontinuation of the manufacture of the offensive products in Nigeria. Besides, her research findings have also influenced regulatory bodies in several countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean to take action. Also recognized for her research on HIV/AIDS and STDs, Olumide has been involved, through the Federal Ministry of Health, in developing the Management Protocol, Training Curriculum and Manual for the Syndromic Management of STIs.

Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Julius Okojie (left), Education Minister, Prof. Ruqayattu Rufai, honorary doctorate degree awardee, Prof. Yetunde Olumide, Pro Chancellor, Dr Gamaliel Onosode and Vice Chancellor, Prof. Rahamon Bello at institution’s convocation ceremony held at the weekend. PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN Among her many accomplishments, Olumide has supervised the training and dissertations of specialist postgraduate Resident doctors for literally all the university teaching hospitals across the country, including the Police Force and the Prisons Health Services. As part of her success story, she said: “People always say you have a secular life and a spiritual life. If you study the Bible, God has

given instructions to encapsulate every aspect of life, whether secular or spiritual. He did not differentiate, so we must realize that whatever you do, whether at home or at work, you are worshiping God.” By combining academics with family life and making a success out of it, Olumide advised women not to neglect their homes or families to pursue their careers. “They (women) are not honouring God if they do it that way. You must take care of your family, your husband and your children by devoting quality time to them. You must also devote quality time to your academics. So, it all boils down to is effective time management.” On discipline, Olumide said: “I don’t watch video films. I don’t read soft-sell magazines or any of those junks. I go to bed early, latest 8:30 pm I am in bed. I listen to news because I want to know what is going on, then, I wake up early, so that by 2am or 3am, I am at my desk work-

ing. I start my day with my devotion.” She encouraged young girls aspiring to succeed in the medical profession to work hard and not to ask for concessions. “I don’t ask for concession,” she asserted. “As a woman, you shouldn’t ask for concessions. Do the work just like your male counterpart would. When you ask for concessions, that means you want to be lazy. So, whatever aspect, all the ramifications of the profession must be done effectively.” For critics who have expressed lack of confidence in the nation’s health care system and the training of medical personnel, she suggested that rather than criticize, all stakeholders must do their individual bits in improving the sector. She said: “By the time we all do our bits, things would begin to fall into place. I always tell my students that in medicine, there is no syllabus. It’s not one of the courses where you just sit down and be expecting a syl-

labus or somebody to always come and teach you. When you get into the university, you must be able to go the extra mile and study beyond what you have been taught in class. You have to read effectively and widely.” She however warned all medical professionals to be aware of their limitations. “Where you feel a case is beyond you,” she cautioned, “it is advisable you refer (your patient) to a specialist.” She added: “Medicine is not a place to make money. You would be comfortable, but if you want a profession where you would be rich, it’s not medicine. So you must do the work effectively because you are dealing with lives. It is a very noble profession and if you are careless with a life, you are a murderer.” Her last word to upcoming generation of medical students: “By the time I was retiring, I told my students, especially my female students, that I have handed over the baton and they must not reduce the standard but raise

LASU to graduate 11,362 next week By Ujunwa Atueyi S Lagos State University (LASU) concludes arrangement for its 18th convocation ceremony, the Vice Chancellor, Professor John Oladapo Obafunwa has assured that “never again in the history of LASU will unsigned certificates be an issue.” Speaking at a briefing in Lagos on Tuesday, Obafunwa pledged that graduating students would henceforth collect their certificates on the convocation ground, once they had been cleared by their faculties. According to him, collection of certificates on convocation day is a global benchmark which his administration “is working assiduously to uphold.” He said: “With the concerted effort of the university management, the issue of backlog of certificates is gradually becoming a thing of the past, never again in the history of LASU will unsigned cer-

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Obafunwa tificates be an issue. At the last convocation, over 27,000 certificates was signed and released, this year 11362 has been signed. With consistent effort, in two or three years’ time backlog of certificates would have been reduced to barest minimum if not entirely cleared”. Obafunwa announced that the award of first degrees, diplomas and certificates would take place on February 20, while February 21 has

been slated for the award of higher degrees. Of the 11,362 graduating students 3,695 are full-time; 4465- external system; 287 –Diploma and 2915-higher degrees. Twenty one will be graduating with the First Class grade; 1106 had Second Class upper division; 5,341 made Second Class lower division; 1592 made the third class, while 88 had ordinary pass. The convocation lecture, titled: “Quality Assurance and the Challenges of Mandate Delivery in Nigerian University,” will be delivered by the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okojie, on February 19, he revealed. Obafunwa commended Senators Remi Tinubu and Ganiyu Solomon for presenting a Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) grant of 108 million naira to the university, pledging that it would be judiciously expended.


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THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, August 9, 2012

UI appoints Omolewa emeritus professor FORMER Nigeria’s ambasA sador to UNESCO, Professor Michael Omolewa

Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Julius Okojie (left), Education Minister, Prof. Ruqayattu Rufai, Registrar, Rotimi Shodimu, honorary doctorate degree awardee and former pro chancellor, Chief Afe Babalola, Pro Chancellor, Dr Gamaliel Onosode and Vice Chancellor, Prof. Rahamon Bello at the University of Lagos convocation ceremony held at the weekend. PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

Varsities need proactive leadership style to survive, says Afe Babalola By Mary Ogar UT for the sudden dissoluB tion of the governing councils of federal universities in 2008, the University of Lagos (UNILAG) could have, by now, been among the first 100 in the world. According to the university’s former Pro Chancellor, Chief Afe Babalola, the institution had already achieved two goals that he had outlined upon assumption of office, and the third was to take UNILAG to club of first 100 universities in the world, which was thwarted by the dissolution. Babalola, who spoke with The Guardian in an interview after being conferred with an honorary doctorate degree in Law by UNILAG last week, said: “We were on the way to achieving the third objective when Alhaji Baba Gana Kingibe prematurely announced on the radio and television that our councils had been dissolved. Of course, I left immediately, even when I knew that it (dissolution of councils) was unconstitutional. But since I was rendering free service, spending my time, money and influence, I left the university against all entreaties.” Appointed as pro-chancellor by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Babalola served between 2001 and 2008, during which he established transparency, discipline and integrity. He recalled that his mission then was to stabilize the troubled UNILAG, “which was achieved within three years.” Part of his mandate, he explained, was to raise UNILAG’s quality and improve its ranking. “And at the end of four years, the National Universities Commission (NUC) ranked UNILAG number 1,” he said proudly. Identifying funding and leadership as the major challenges facing the university system in Nigeria, Babalola charged university authorities to adopt a pro-active leadership style and take concrete steps to beef up their internal revenues. His words: “When I took over as Pro-Chancellor of this institution (UNILAG), I found two major problems: funding

and leadership. I knew that government alone cannot fund education. I have found that, contrary to UNESCO’s advice that governments should set aside 25 per cent of their budgets for education, no government in the country budgeted more than 8 per cent. It is therefore the duty of the university to beef up the internal revenue of the university.” According to the legal luminary and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), among the steps he took to raise funds for UNILAG was asking for support from his clients and friends, who “put up buildings, constructed roads and donated large sums of money.” He explained: “It is for this reason that I want to seize this opportunity to thank my numerous clients: Julius Berger, Mobil, Shell, numerous banks and friends, among who was the Olugbo of Ugboland, who supported me in raising the endowment fund, tarring roads and building structures for the university. As a result of this, the university was able to wear a new face in terms of infrastructure.” Babalola also advocated a proactive leadership, “preferably with business-like approach of private sector entrepreneurs, who would be able to raise money, stamp out corruption and promote orderliness in the university.” He also challenged the big names on the list of the university’s alumni to seek funding for their alma mater. Commending Obasanjo for his vision, Babalola said: “Knowing my aversion to public office, having rejected offers to serve as Minister of Justice four times, he (Obasanjo) persuaded me to accept to serve as ProChancellor and Chairman of University of Lagos in 2002, because according to him, it is

an educational institution and also because the university was afflicted with many problems.” In his characteristic manner, Babalola reiterated his commitment to UNILAG’s development by making a donation of N10 Million. “I intend to issue a cheque of N10million to include the N3million which is in the account to be paid to Stanbic Bank in the name of Afe Babalola Endowment Fund for the University of Lagos in perpetuity. The capital of N10million will yield interest of more than N1million,” he said. Babalola’s allowances during his first and second terms as pro-chancellor were paid into a dedicated account in favour of the UNILAG Endowment Fund. He also explained how the one million naira accruing as interest from the fund should be utilized: “The sum of N500, 000 would be an award for the best staff, whether academic or non-academic, who has shown great leadership traits in the discharge of his duties. “Also, the sum of N500, 000 would be an award for the best student, whether undergraduate or post-graduate, who has shown great leadership traits in his relations with other students or in his interactions and relationship with the university community as a whole. Whatever is left over and above the N1million shall be added to the capital. Babalola also talked about the White Paper on the 2010 Visitation Report. He said: “The two visitation panel reports on my two terms commended my style of leadership as impressive and unique. However, the reports also said that some members of staff were of the view that I was more of an executive chairman and that Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe was too obedi-

The proposed change of name was done without consulting the council. Under the law which established the University, the President is only a visitor. He is not even a member of the council, which is empowered to move the National Assembly to change the statutory name. The decision to change the name, to my mind, can only be taken by the Council, which of course, must consult the congregation. I know as a fact that the council was not consulted much less of the congregation

ent. What they were used to was a Pro-Chancellor who merely visited the university on council meeting days, gave approval and went back home. On the contrary, we went round projects, buildings and would not merely sign payment vouchers endorsed by engineers, unless we saw the executed jobs personally.” On the change of name of the university, he said: “We are celebrating the Golden Jubilee of this university. The university is a legal entity, governed by law made by the National Assembly. Unfortunately, in an attempt to honour the late Moshood Abiola, the government was ill-advised that it could change the name of the University to Moshood Abiola University, (but) the change can only come through an amendment to the law which established it. “The proposed change of name was done without consulting the council. Under the law which established the University, the President is only a visitor. He is not even a member of the council, which is empowered to move the National Assembly to change the statutory name. The decision to change the name, to my mind, can only be taken by the Council, which of course, must consult the congregation. I know as a fact that the council was not consulted much less of the congregation.” According to the legal icon, cases like this may last for 10 to 20 years before the final determination by the Supreme Court. “It is for this reason that I am suggesting a way-out,” he said. “Certainly, the government has taken a good decision to honour our revered Moshood Abiola. However, Moshood Abiola was a nationalist who fought for the enthronement of due process and rule of law in the selection of the President of the country. If he is to be honoured, a symbol which is all embracing and national in character should be named after him, such as Aso Rock, National Assembly Complex, Supreme Court or the National Stadium.”

has been appointed emeritus Professor of Education by the University of Ibadan, with effect from December 2012, 30 years after his promotion as full professor by the same University. At the moment, the emeritus professors of the university include former ViceChancellors: Professors J. F.Ade Ajayi, Ayo Banjo, and Tekena Tamuno. Others distinguished and world renowned academics in the class include: Professors Ayo Bamgbose, Ladipo Akinkugbe, Oluwole Akande, Muyiwa Awe, David Okali, Mike Filani and S.K.Adeyoju. Omolewa was educated at the Ibadan Grammar School, Ekiti-Parapo College, IdoEkiti; Christ’s School, AdoEkiti; University of Ibadan; University of Dakar, Senegal, and the Institute of Historical Research of the University of London. He was Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellow at King’s College, University of London and IDRC Education award recipient at the University of the British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. He has served as Head of Department, Director of the Conference Centre, Member of Senate, Master of the first hall of residence of the University, Mellanby, at the University of Ibadan, and Chairman of the Committee of Deans of Faculties of Education of Nigeria Universities. A distinguished historian, Omolewa was a member of the executive board of the International Standing Conference of Historians of Education and member, editorial board of the International Journal of Lifelong Education and the International Journal of the

Omolewa History of Education. He is the life patron of the History of Education Society of Nigeria and was one of the three Africans that have been inducted into the adult and continuing education hall of fame with its headquarters at the University of Oklahoma in the United States. Omolewa has served as Member of the Nigerian National Commission for UNESCO and its chair of the Education sector. He was later appointed Ambassador/Permanent Delegate of the country to UNESCO where he served as Chairman of the NonGovernment Organisation’s committee of the organisation’s executive board, President of its Education Commission at the General Conference and finally as the President of the 32nd session of the General Conference of UNESCO, the first West African and fifth African to serve in that capacity. He has also served as Deputy Chairman of the Governing Board of the Commonwealth of Learning, Canada. Omolewa is currently a member of the Commonwealth Advisory Council on Teacher Mobility, Recruitment and Migrations and has been elected to the Governing Council of the International

Stakeholders rate Nigeria’s education system high IGERIAN schools have conclude the computerN been rated by experts as based test within one hour still offering quality educa- and still score very high tion to their students, despite the decline in infrastructure and pressure on the existing ones. They attributed their position to the impressive performance of Nigerian students in foreign universities and examinations conducted by global educational bodies.   The assertions were made by the Director of British Canadian International Education (BCIE), Bedford, United Kingdom (UK), Mrs. Nazmina Dedynski and Senior Manager of Pearson Language Testing, Mr. Vitalis Nwaogu. They spoke during the recent opening of Pearson’s PTE Academic English Test Centre in Abuja, which is jointly managed by the two organisations to enable Nigerian students seeking admission into British colleges and universities to pass the mandatory English language test for foreign students and fast-track their admission. While Dedynski noted that Nigerian candidates had continued to fare well by scaling the three-hour test in English language even at first attempt with high scores, Nwaogu, who represented Pearson’s Vice  President, Emma Stubbs, noted that some Nigerian candidates

grades. Nwaogwu said those who claimed that the country’s educational standard had fallen were not absolutely correct, noting that the content of the country’s educational curricula was at par with what obtains abroad. He added that subjects, which were not taught some decades ago in Nigeria’s schools had been introduced with very rich content. The test centre located in the Djibouti area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT,) is equipped with modern facilities for the do-ityourself examination. Asked on the cost and benefits of the test, Dedynski said that the candidates are trained to be good listeners and are exposed to writing computer-aided examinations with ease at the cost of N28,800 per test. She added that the results are sometimes released within 48 hours and not more than five working days. Dedynski said: “This partnership will enable BCIE to be at the forefront of leading initiatives for student’s services. The BCIE network now has a one-stop-shop for their students who need to study abroad and meet the academic test of English requirements to fast- track their


THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

EDUCATION 49

SUBEB organises retreat on basic education issues

By Mary Ogar S part of plans to ensure sustainability of current reforms in the basic education sector for better performance and improved learning outcome for pupils, the Lagos state Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) on Monday commenced a retreat for major stakeholders to review and chart new strategies on the school improvement programme. Playing host to Board members of SUBEB, representatives of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Education Secretaries, Senior Special Advisers on Education and Projects, Permanent Secretary on Education, Head of Section in the Local Government Authority and representatives of Education Sector Support

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Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN), the Executive Chairman of SUBEB, Mrs. Gbolahan Daodu said the 5day retreat is expected to consider what has been done in the past and plot new ways forward. She recalled that the school improvement programme, which was initiated in 2010, was charged with the responsibility of inspiring professionalism and job satisfaction among teachers within the state. With the free primary and secondary education policy of the state government in public schools including the billions of naira invested by the present administration in the repair and installation of educational infrastructure, she insisted that the quest to attain the delivery of qualita-

tive education will be a wasted effort without the necessary manpower to properly utilize the structures and equipment. Emphasizing on the need for training and retraining, Daodu reiterated that only skilled personnel’s that would impact the right knowledge and improve learning outcomes would complement the hug investment made in the sector. According to her, the approach of retraining, mentoring and coaching the entire teachers in the public primary schools has strengthened school leadership and management, improved teachers quality through inservice training and continuous mentoring, increased community participation in school governance and education quality.

With the success story recorded in the 100 pilot public schools, she said the clamour for the expansion of the programme in other public primary schools has thrown up new challenges that should be effectively addressed before the initiative is further implemented in the remaining schools. She said “ There is need therefore to bring together all the stakeholders involved in the state school improvement programme to discuss grey areas in the implementation of the programme and facilitate teamwork at both the SUBEB and Local Government Education Authorities (LGEAs) level in order to fast track effective collaboration and engender team spirit so as to bring out the best dividends in the programme”.

Adebanwi to deliver Oxford varsity lecture From Laolu Akande, New York United States (U.S.) based Nigerian academic, Professor Wale Adebanwi is being honored by Oxford University as its 2013 African lecturer. He is billed to deliver the institution’s prestigious African Studies Annual lecture in May later this year. Adebanwi, a celebrated author and University of California teacher was chosen to deliver the lecture, for an annual series which is said to be reserved for outstanding academicians in recognition of their distonguished academic pro-

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file. Last year, the lecture was delivered by Professor Emmanuel Akyeampong of Harvard University. The African Studies Centre Annual Lecture of the Oxford University, is a distinguished lecture series which in the last few years have been delivered by eminent scholars from Europe, North America and Africa.  The University of Oxford is one of the world’s leading centres for the study of Africa.  Adebanwi, who holds two doctorate degrees, is currently an associate professor in the Program in African

American and African Studies at the University of California in Davis. (UCDavis) His much-anticipated book on the Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s political movement is expected to be published later this year.  His first Ph.D is in Political Science from the University of Ibadan, while his second Ph.D. in Social Anthropology is from the University of Cambridge, England.  Adebanwi is the author of Authority Stealing: AntiCorruption War and Democratic Politics in PostMilitary Nigeria, which details the intriguing

dimensions of the efforts of the EFCC, under Nuhu Ribadu, to fight corruption in Nigeria especially during the Obasanjo presidency. The US based professor was a Bill and Melinda Gates Scholar at Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, UK, until 2008 when he joined UC-Davis. Before then, he was a lecturer at the University of Ibadan, where he taught in the Department of Political Science. He was also a public-affairs journalist for many years and a columnist for some newspapers and newsmagazines in Nigeria.

Monayajo implores stakeholders to revive education system By Ujunwa Atueyi HE Proprietress of Sound Hope Schools, Ipaja, Alhaja Fatmo Monayojo, has called on parents, government, teachers and Ministry of Education workers to join hands and bring back quality and value in the Nigerian education system. Bringing back excellence in the system, she said is one sure way of restoring the nation’s pride as individuals who passed through qualitative education have been certified to be better individuals both in character and learning. She made the statement during a facility tour of the school, where she emphasized that transfer of knowledge requires adequate learning facilities, and therefore urged education stakeholders to partner in rebuilding the academic and moral standard of Nigerian schools. She said, “Each time I remember my school days and what quality and integrity means to everyone in the society then, I wondered why we cannot restore the dignity in our school system. School Certificate holders in those good old days can stand on their own in terms of academic excellence, but nowadays university graduates who come for interview to teach primary school pupils cannot defend the number of years they spent in the university… it is a shame”. “The rot in the system crept in, in the 90s and now it is at its peak, government have its own share of the blame, parents, teachers and the society at large. Apart from bad governance, the society and families lost its

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value along the line. In those days, the family plays a very important role in maintaining family name, honesty and integrity but that is no longer in place today, parents no longer cares. So it is the same group that damaged the system that will put hands together and restore the value”. “It is in a bid to contribute our own quota in producing a total child in terms of morals and academic excellence that the school was set up. We have a solid structure, which starts, from our Montessori school where the pupils learn what to do with their hands coupled with our well-trained teachers. Education does not end with academic excellence and on our part we have decided to impact morals in their lives so that they can become good ambassador of this country in the future”, she said. Noting that the school has won several academic laurels and recognition by education institutions, including West Africa’s School of the Year Award in Children’s Academic Development, she added that emphasis is on preparing the young mind to understand the essence of university education, so as to escape the ‘trend’. She urged Ministry of Education to go back to basis and embark on sensitization campaign to enlighten parents on the importance of education of their children especially those in public schools. “Teachers should be retrained and encourage to improve their knowledge by reading avidly and embracing the new trend in information technology”.


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Education 53

THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

UNILORIN appoints Registrar

CVEF holds cervical awareness workshop for students

HE Council of the University of Ilorin, at its 136th meeting, has endorsed the appointment of Mr. Emmanuel Dada Obafemi as the Registrar-designate of the institution. A statement by the University’s Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs, Mr. Kunle Akogun, said: “The appointment, which followed the recommendation of the selection board raised to assess applicants for the position of Registrar, was one of the highlights of the decisions taken at the Council’s meeting held on Saturday (February 9, 2013).” Obafemi, who is currently the Deputy Registrar, Academic Support Services, will take over from the incumbent, Mrs. Olufolake O. Oyeyemi, whose tenure expires on April 28, 2013. The Registrar-designate, who joined the services of the university on September 28, 1981 as Assistant Registrar (Information), is a 1977 graduate of the University of Ibadan. He has been, at various times,

By Mary Ogar

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O create awareness and get T possible parental consent for their teenage daughters to

Obafemi Senior Assistant Registrar and Principal Assistant Registrar in various units of the university administration. In 2006, Obafemi was promoted to the position of Deputy Registrar and he served in various units such as Establishments Office, College of Health Sciences, Students Affairs Office, Council Office and Academic Support Services.

ABU sacks registrar over “gross misconduct” From Saxone Akhaine, Kaduna HE Governing Council of T Ahmadu Bello University Bello University, (ABU) Zaria, has sacked the Registrar of the ivory tower, Dr. Mohammed Isah Abbas for alleged gross administrative misconduct. A statement by the Media Adviser to the Vice Chancellor, Malam Waziri Isa Gwantu pointed out that the removal of the Registrar took effect from January 26. Citing the offences allegedly committed by the Registrar that attracted his sack, Gwantu stated that Abbas “was

removed from office following initial allegations of gross misconduct leveled against him which include leaving his office without designating someone to act in his absence. Other allegations leveled against the Registrar include recruitment of different categories of staff without permission and due process.” Following “these allegations therefore, the council, at its 150th regular meeting, set up a five man committee to investigate the allegations and to report back to it. The council therefore, at its 151st regular meeting, considered the report which found the Registrar guilty of various acts

be vaccinated, the Chosen Vessels Empowerment Foundation (CVEF) is championing an enlightenment campaign on the risk of contracting the Human Papilloman Virus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer. Although the teenage girls who gathered for the First HYSSOP Health initiative talk on the prevention of HPV organized by the foundation were quite alarmed, experts who spoke on the theme “Prevention of Cervical Cancer” assured the participants that all hope is not lost if parents give approval for their teenage daughters to receive immunization against the virus. With female participants drawn from Cayley, Dansol, Doregos, Jelly-las, Konsol Colleges and the Mind builders School all in Lagos state, Dr Abiodun Abraham in her lecture warned that parents and other stakeholders must act now to reduce the risk seeking the options of vaccination and screening. On HPV prevalence in Nigeria, she noted that while statistics show that 250 out of

Cross section of female students at the First HYSSOP Health initiative talk on the prevention of cervical cancer, organized by the Chosen Vessels Empowerment Foundation (CVEF) at Cayley College, Lagos recently. the almost 1000 women studied in Ibadan, Oyo state were found to have 32 different types of HPV, cervical cancer is the world’s second most common cancer in women. Apart from from sexual activities, Abraham revealed that the virus could also be contacted from the swimming pool, although, that the harmful viruses are usually contacted after sexual inter-

course. Advising teenage girls to embrace abstinence as a means of protection, she said: “ you can get HPV in your first sexual encounter, just like you can get pregnant from your first sexual encounter. And more sexual partners increases the risks”. Abraham explained that research has proved that people who abstain and still eventually contact HPV stand a

Minister urges African exam bodies to chart standard examination patterns From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja DUCATION Minister, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’ I E yesterday in Abuja tasked examination bodies in African to work together towards

evolving a standard examination practices that would be comparable to other parts of the world. This, she believed would re-ignite the confidence of the international

community in the outcomes of their examinations She threw the challenge while declaring the 2013 International Association for Educational Assessment

NOUN holds regional workshop four–day Regional A Workshop on course material development for Open and Distance Learning (ODL) programmes was at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) recently. The event, which drew participants from the West African Sub-region, dual mode universities in Nigeria and NOUN was declared open by the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Vincent Ado Tenebe. In his opening address, Tenebe reminded the participants that quality selfinstructional learning course materials, whether written manually or electronically, determine to a large extent the quality of teaching and learning that takes place in a distance learning institution. He said: “Quality selfinstructional materials remain the backbone for any

effective and efficient operations of any ODL or dual mode institution, and are germane to the development and sustenance of Open and Distance Learning of education. For quality self-instructional learning materials to evolve, the course material developers must be well trained in the art of developing self-instructional learning materials.” The capacity building workshop, designed for academic staff, was organized by the Regional Training and Research Institute for Open and Distance Learning (RETRIDAL) in collaboration with Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and had around 45 participants from Sierra Leone, Ghana, the Gambia, other dual higher institutions in Nigeria and the NOUN.

Bowen varsity begins law progamme with 50 students owen University, Iwo, B Osun State has commenced its Law programme with 50 pioneering students. The inaugural session and dedication of the faculty was held last week, following full approval of the programme by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and Council of Legal Education. Addressing the students, the Dean Faculty of Law, Prof Jonathan Fabunmi urged them to rededicate their efforts, warning that their admission came with greater challenges.

He said: “as students of Bowen University, you are faced with challenges of striving to be the best. As pioneering students of Law Faculty, you are faced with even greater challenges. Not only must you strive to attain the degree of excellence for which Bowen is known, you must also strive to meet the requirements of the legal profession to which you are aspirants. You belong to a legal profession, a noble profession, a pathfinder, you are therefore expected to give your best at all times and be a light to others”.

higher chance of recovering than people who have had a previous encounter with the virus. On the age at risk, she said cervical cancer could affect all sexually active women of all ages and not just older women. “Young girls from age 10 years of age onwards can benefit from being vaccinated against the causes of cervical cancer and I want to advise parents and guardians to talk to their doc-

Governor of Abia State, Theodore Orji laying the foundation stone of Gregory University’s hostel in Uturu recently. Behind him are Chancellor of the University, Dr Gregory Ibe (right), Vice Chancellor, Prof. Juliet Elu, Chiarman, Board of Trustees, Sam Ohuabunwa and Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Prof. Julius Okojie.

(IAEA) scholarship training on educational measurement and evaluation in Abuja, noted that given the globalized nature of examination processes. African countries could not afford to lag behind in adopting the best practice so as to meet up with the challenges of globalization. The workshop according to the Registrar/Chief Executive of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, one of the co-organizers, was aimed at equipping staff charged with the responsibility inn the field of assessment to acquire specialized training and skills measurement and competency in evaluation. For this year, the training, which is expected to last till February 22, would focus on among others, item response theory, (IRT), the common platform for the introduction of e-testing using the IRT principle as well as the AEAA Suite, a software developed for IRT by the Association for Educational Assessment in Africa (AEAA). According the minister, holding the conference at this in time in Nigeria was to enable the country have a deeper view of the items on assessment, given its importance in terms of ensuring that what Nigerians does not only focus on the child, but also on the items that are being asked.

Cowbell flags off national mathematics competition By Mary Ogar S activities for the 2013 edition of the National Secondary Schools Mathematics Competition (NASSMAC) organized and sponsored annually by Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell milk, kick off in earnest, the first state examination has been scheduled to hold on March 16th 2013  in all the 200 centres across Nigeria. As a condition for entry, only students between the

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ages of 10 – 18 years, in JSS3 and SSS2, attending full time secondary education in government approved schools in Nigeria are eligible to sit for the competition. Addressing journalists and other stakeholders at a briefing in Lagos recently, the Chief Executive Officer, Promasidor Nigeria, Chief Keith Richards disclosed that the competition, whose main objective is to demystify mathematics as a subject, has in the last 13 years produced thousands of winners at vari-

ous stages at both the state and national levels. Aimed at also awakening the consciousness and interest in mathematics among secondary school students in Nigeria, he said he was thrilled that the competition has continued to inspire brilliancy in schools. He said: “We are delighted that NASSMAC has continued to impact lives of students across the nation. Our commitment over the years to NASSMAC has seen this nation-building initiative

grow from a small school competition in Lagos in 1998 to a national competition with great reputation in the education industry.” Keith further explained that the NASSMAC 2013, which also marks the 20th year anniversary of Promasidor Nigeria Limited in Nigeria, promises to be exciting as the number of entries have been increased to three students in both junior and senior categories while teachers who have relentlessly stayed committed to NASSMAC will also


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NigeriaCapitalMarket NSE Daily Summary (Equities) PRICE LIST OF SYMBOLS TRADED FOR 13/2/2013

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NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at 13/2/2013

PRICE GAINERS

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Financial stocks buoy turnover on the Exchange By Helen Oji EAVY transactions on the shares of some insurance companies and banks, especially Unity Bank, yesterday enhance the volume of shares traded as 1.4billion shares worth N5.5 billion changed hands in 9,658deals, higher than 891.4 million units valued at N4.6 billion exchanged in 8,337 deals on Tuesday. Precisely, at close of transactions yesterday, the insurance sub-sector displaced the banking sub-sector, as it recorded 721million shares worth N545 million followed by the banking sub-sector with 324 million units valued at N2.1 billion in 3,156 deals. Transactions in the shares Lasaco Assurance lifted activities in the insurance subsector with 123 million

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shares worth N62 million followed by Sovereign Trust Insurance which recorded 82 million units worth N48 million. The banking sub-sector was boosted by activities in the shares of Unity Bank with 138 million units worth N163 million. On the price movement chart, Guinness topped the losers chart with 546 kobo to close at N291.00 per share while Total followed with 499kobo to close at N138.01 per share. PZ Cussons lost 125 kobo to close at N41.85 per share. Nigerian Breweries shed 101 per cent to close at N163.00 per share. Dangote cement, Presco, FO, shed 100kobo,94kobo and 83kobo to close at N140.00, N26.36 and N15.80 per share. EcobankTransNational

Incorporated dropped 43 kobo to close at N14.33 per share. Ashaka cement and Stanbic IBTC also shed 30kobo and 28 kobo to close at N25.00 and N15.72 per share. On the other hand, Nestle led others on the gainers chart with 1504kobo to close at

N830.00 per share while Okomuoil followed with 279kobo to close at N58.70 per share. Conoil added 110kobo to close at N23.10 per share. Flourmills gained 74kobo to close at N77.74 per share. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria and Berger

Paint garnered 60kobo and 55kobo to close at N12.60 and N12.20 per share. CAP gained 28 kobo to close at N36.00 per share. International Breweries added 24 kobo to close at N23.99 per share. DN Meyer gained 13kobo to close at N1.49per share.

NSE’s All Share Index dips further HE NSE All-Share Index yesT terday dipped a further 132.5 points to 33,355.29 offering a -0.40 percent return over yesterday’s level. Trading started yesterday, with a slow wobble; the index subsequently rallied toward the end of the firsthalf of the trading session and then, starting with the large brewers - Guinness and Nigerian Breweries, individ-

ual stock prices started to fall. Banks and Insurance sectors initially offered some support for the falling levels but later joined in with the oil and gas firms Forte and Total. At the end of trading, Wema Bank led the banks by recording the highest gains on the day while UBA led in point gains, which provided some support to the broad index. Yesterday ended with 40

stocks in gains over Tuesday’s 60 while 34 stocks closed lower – the highest number of losers over the last 30 days. Analysts equally noted that the trading tickers have increased from c.80 to c.120, year-to-date. Yesterday, volumes increased by about five times over the change in traded values to suggest liquidation of small cap stocks that had

May&Baker also added 12 kobo to close at N2.56 per share. Subsequently, the All/Share Index of the NSE dropped by 132.28 points or 0.4 per cent, from 33,487.82 recorded on Tuesday to 33,355.54 while market capitalization depreciates by N43 billion from N10,714 trillion to N10,671 trillion.

been rallying over the last few weeks. Overall, UBA, Skye Bank, Wema Bank and Unity Bank were among the six that closed on a positive note; Zenith Bank and Stanbic IBTC both pulled the NSE All-Share down by 17 points each to lead a fall of 52 points by the banks. Building materials also lost 57points; all attributable to DANGCEM’s N1.00 fall.


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Opinion Struggling for seats in a sinking boat (3) By Edwin Madunagu S if in direct response to Maiyaki Idris (see last A Thursday’s column), Alhaji Usman Farouk who is a retired Commissioner of Police and former governor of pre-1975 Northwestern state, urged his Northern compatriots to engage the pacification of the North, including ending of the Boko Haram insurgency, before turning to the struggle for the country’s presidency.  He was reported by The Guardian of January 8, 2013, to have said this in a press conference in Kaduna. His exact words: “I don’t share the view of these people (Northern politicians) converging to discuss the 2015 election and politics. Where is the country they want to govern? Is it the one bedeviled with insecurity? Where is the country that you are going to lead as president? We have to save the country first before you talk of running for the presidency.” (emphasis mine).  It was this statement, in particular  the rhetorical questions, that inspired my  present piece and the  title it carries. Usman Farouk announced, in the press conference, that his organisation, the Northern Development Focus Initiative (NDFI), planned to call a meeting of elders and statesmen (and women) of Northern extraction – including former heads of state, Generals Yakubu Gowon, Muhammadu Buhari and Ibrahim Babangida – “to draw up recommendations for the Federal Government on how to end the current security menace in the North”.  For, in Farouk’s view, if the Boko Haram insurgency continues there will be no country by 2015.  Farouk alleged that government activities had ceased in some Northern states for fear of Boko Haram; that some northern governors were

The struggle by the Igbo segment of Nigeria’s ruling classes for “Igbo presidency” – which, if not exclusive to, is at least strongest in, the ruling PDP – makes sense to me only in the context of the tripod: Hausa – Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo. But, then, that tripod perished in the civil war (July 1967 - January 1970). 

holding their executive council meetings outside their states; that, “they don’t meet in Maduiguri or Yobe”. What type of government do they think they are running? He asked: “How do you call yourself a governor if the executive council meetings are no longer held within your state, when governors even no longer slept in their states? The governor will show up in the morning and stay at work till 12:00 noon. But in the night he will relocate to 10 different places before the day breaks”. The day after the Maiyaki story appeared, The Nation newspaper carried the story, 2015: Babangida, Buhari, others begin consultations (Sunday, January 6, 2013).  The story had the same thrust although the language of the January 6 story was not as sharp as the one preceding it. That essence was that political and community leaders of the North had started “coming together” to fight for Nigeria’s presidency in the next presidential election. The story mentions Generals Babangida and Buhari and a “respected former Minister of Defence”  as among the  “arrow-heads” of this new effort.  Five reasons were uncovered by the reporter for the renewed “push” for the presidency by Northern politicians: “alleged alienation of the North by the presidency in appointment and policy matters”; “unprecedented polarization (and division) of the region along religious and ethnic lines”; “the worsening security situation in the region”; “alleged under-development of the North and the yawning gap between the North and the South”, and “the manner in which the Southsouth has allegedly divided the nation  and what is seen in the North as its desperate plot to retain the presidency in 2015”. On the same page 2 the newspaper carried  another report, which, when combined with the first, could have raised the political temperature of the Jonathan camp. Titled OBJ’s Kaduna visit stirs Jonathan, Sambo tension, the story speculated: “In what could become a replay of what transpired between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his then deputy, Atiku Abubakar, between 2003 and 2007, culminating in a sharp division within the presidency, there are growing indications that the cordial relationship between President Goodluck Jonathan and VicePresident Namadi Sambo may have turned frosty”.  The speculation arose from the visit of former President, General Olusegun Obasanjo, to Kaduna – a visit officially explained as a condolence visit to “commiserate with the people and government of the state

on the death of former governor Patrick Yakowa.” The newspaper, however, discovered, through the state security services, that “Obasanjo’s sympathy visit was a decoy to achieve another objective”, and that was “to mobilise influential traditional rulers in the state against the alleged second term ambition of the president and canvass support for the return of power to the North”. The paper quoted “sources” as saying that what particularly “peeved” President Jonathan was the role his deputy was alleged to have played in facilitating the meeting between the former president and some (Northern) emirs.  The Vice-President, as expected, immediately issued a statement strongly denying the report (The Nation, Monday, January 7, 2013). His words: “The visit of former President Olusegun Obasanjo was merely to commiserate and console with the Vice-President and the good people of Kaduna State.  The visit with his entourage was witnessed by journalists”.  Since Northern traditional rulers were also meeting at the same venue, the Vice-President further explained, Obasanjo decided to go over and greet them – as a gesture of respect. This explanation sounds plausible and should, in normal circumstances, be the end of the misinterpretation.  But, then, this is Nigeria and we are dealing with a personage whose antecedents we all know: General Olusegun Obasanjo.  I am inclined to believe the Vice-President, but I also believe that Obasanjo went to Kaduna to “drum up” support for his choice for 2015 – whatever belief the Vice-President held. However, my reading of Obasanjo’s body-language at the moment is that he is committed to the agreement on North-South presidential rotation in the original PDP power-sharing formula (or zoning formula) and that simultaneously he believes President Jonathan is currently in his second, and therefore, final term in office; Or that the former president is as vindictive and unforgiving as he is reputed to be – this time against Jonathan; Or that he is more opportunistic than he is widely believed to be; Or that he believes he is the ultimate god-father and king-maker in the party. An explanatory note: It will be recalled that General Obasanjo (from the South, specifically Southwest) was president for two terms (from 1999 to 2007) and handed over power to Umaru Yar’Adua (from the North, specifi-

cally Northwest) who unfortunately died in May 2010, about two-thirds into the first term of his presidency. Dr. Goodluck became president and completed Yar’Adua’s first term in May 2011. He thereafter began a fresh term having won the 2011 presidential election. It is known that General Obasanjo has “fallen out” with President Goodluck whom he assisted to win the presidency. The struggle by the Igbo segment of Nigeria’s ruling classes for  “Igbo presidency” – which, if not exclusive to, is at least strongest in, the ruling PDP – makes sense to me only in the context of the tripod: Hausa – Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo. But, then, that tripod perished in the civil war (July 1967 - January 1970). In its place we now have what I have called (for about 20 years now) Nigeria’s power blocs. There are only two of them, as I have also insisted: Northern power bloc and Western power bloc. Beyond these two power blocs we have the geopolitical zones, the states, the local government areas and the more than 250 ethnic groups (or nationalities) that constitute this country.         My proposition on Igbo presidency is a re-statement of the central position of this column, and that is the adoption of Collective presidency with rotational Chair and Deputy Chair. This is a segment of the five-tier popular-democratic restructuring of the country. The specific political call here is that all those groups and individuals – be they social classes, social groups, ethnic nationalities or de-classed masses – who are, or feel oppressed, marginalised or dispossessed in this nation should adopt this structure in which is embedded a genuine social transformation, and struggle for it. I would now like to bring these series of series of articles to an end. I have deliberately built the discussion around the question of geopolitical restructuring. The core of my proposal is collective presidency and grassroots development with popular participation. In the course of the series I have received a number of private responses, some written and others verbal.  They have been helpful to me in several ways, but I have so far refrained from responding to them because I do not want to be defensive on this matter for one central reason: the entire exercise is exploratory, by which I mean that some of the suggestions would require further clarifications and amendments. This is obvious even to me.  However, in considering my propositions, it is only fair to keep in mind the specific national problems (immediate and mediumterm) that we wish to solve, and the fact that, as far as I know, my propositions are unique. I shall, in future, when reviewing these series, bring out the responses and comments I have received. • Concluded.

Valentine: In the name of love By Uche Nwoke FRIEND of mine visited me weeks back and she got tattling A as usual. Her countenance betrayed her, I could tell that she was troubled by the inflection of her voice. I asked what the problem was, but she declined a couple of times, but after persisting, she opened up and told me that her boyfriend was demanding for sex. I was taken aback. In a bid to know more, I inquired further and she told that her boyfriend wants her to give him her virginity as a Valentine gift, at least for everything he’s done for her. At this point, I wore a flushed face, and with a raised eyebrow I replied, “What?” She said she was confused that she doesn’t want to lose him. In her words, “He has always been there for me through thick and thin, and through hell and back. All my expenses from medical bills, to clothes and money, he gave me all that, if I refuse him I know he will leave. I am so confused.” I asked her if she wanted to do it, immediately she exclaimed with a resounding, “God forbid. I have sworn with my body to keep myself till I get married.” I smiled. She said that she has been avoiding his calls ever since. She just wants Valentine to pass before she can return his calls. I know her very well, and I know she would rather take her life than do it. Though very young and still in her teens, she was aware that sex has a price tag. Someone once said that, in the name of love so many sins are committed; atrocities you couldn’t imagine. People give with stealth intentions of receiving something in return, and they call it love. I have also noticed from past inquiry that, Valentine’s Day is a day most teens lose their virginity. Some believe doing so makes such a day monumental. How ironic.

Little do we know that the more of ourselves we give away, the less we value the gift of our body and our entire self. And people will reciprocate by treating us with less respect as well. If you don’t believe me, ask those ladies who’ve moved from one man to the other. Ask them and hear what they’ll tell you. I met a lady who has been into so many relationships. She wanted intimacy; she wanted to be loved. So she moved from one man to the other in search of love. She later on realised that she was carried away by her feelings of being loved rather than by true love itself. And because of her naivety, men used her like rag. She said she repaid guys for a nice evening with her body because she felt she should; that she didn’t see the big deal in giving her body to a guy who she feels have given her so much. Too many relationships and still she felt so empty. In her words, “I later realised that the more of myself I gave, the less respect I got from men. I later on didn’t trust guys anymore, and they didn’t trust me either. I confused love and intimacy for sex. But now I know better.” Have you ever asked yourself what you are worth and what your body is worth? Why should someone all in the name of love do so much for you and demand your body in return. And when you decline, you’ll hear, “That means you don’t love me.” I read about a young lady who said she got pregnant the very first time she slept with her boyfriend. After she was confirmed pregnant, she told her sweet loving boyfriend about the life growing inside of her. “Please get rid of that thing, I am not ready to become a father now. You know what to do!” And he walked out on her. No calls, no text from him. Days, weeks passed by, still no word from him. She wondered where all the love had gone. In a bid to save her schooling, she aborted the child and swore never to see that guy again. Well, he never showed up himself either.

Valentine’s Day is not a day of promiscuity, because that is what we see around. Neither is it a day of hunting for whom to love or who will love you. From the history of Valentine’s Day, you will see that it had no sensual connotations, unlike what we have today. Eros has taken over. Because so many people are not knowledgeable about love and what true love is, the world now fills the void of their ignorance with a very contrary message. The world equates sex with love. And this hellish ideology is been portrayed in soaps, dramas, movies and magazines. But, if this were true that sex equates love, then it must mean that Valentine’s Day (the celebration of love) equates sex too since it’s about love. I’ll leave you to be the judge of that. Do not be deceived. Please know that Valentine’s Day, also known as Saint Valentine’s Day (which is the liturgical celebration of one of the early Christian saints named Valentinus) is about the celebration of love. Why? Because Saint Valentine was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire; during his imprisonment, he is said to have healed the daughter of his jailer Asterius. Legend states that before his execution he wrote “from your Valentine” as a farewell to her. From this excerpt we can see why Saint Valentine’s Day is about the celebration of love. The love which, he, Saint Valentine fought for by performing weddings for soldiers; not what the world has turned it to be. For those who will be presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards: please beware of promises that appear in the form of gold, and gifts with a thousand meanings untold. Happy Valentine. • Nwoke is a staff of Project for Human Development.


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Opinion Uba Ahmed (1939-2012) By Eric Teniola N December 1983, my chummy with Alhaji I2012), Uba Ahmed (April 28, 1939 to December 17, prompted him to invite me to travel with him on a global tour. He was the National Secretary of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and I was the National Assembly Editor for The Punch at that time. Goodwill and amity between politicians and reporters is an old tradition. Reporters’ duty is to cover events and people while politicians have a duty to take decisions that affect lives. We have been friends for long – a relationship that began in 1975 when he was the manager of Nigerian Tobacco Company in Jos and I briefly reported for the Kwara State owned newspaper, Nigeria Herald at that time in Jos. I was in Jos at that time to relieve a colleague who was on leave and to report on a top civil servant who murdered his wife. Uba Ahmed was staying in a house near Tilley Gyado place in Jos. The relationship blossomed when he was elected to the Constituent Assembly in 1977 to represent Tangale Waja constituency in the old Bauchi State and I covered the proceedings of the Assembly. Uba was always a delight, a good friend indeed. I followed his political career till he was elected a senator in 1978 and in 1979 the then Senate President, Dr. Joseph Wayas appointed him Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation. Through that journey he courted the friendship of notable and reputable reporters who covered the National Assembly in the Second Republic. They include late Tunde Lisboa, Jimi Aderinokun, Labake Adebiyi now Labake Fawehinmi, Raymond Okiti, Yinka Guedon now in London, Alli Zubair, Idiat Abari, Demola Osinubi, Nduka Irabor, Eddy Ekpo, Gboyega Amoboye, Ronke Akinsete, Adebolu Clinton Oni, Ruffi Oladipo, Joke Sanyaolu, Nduka Obaigbena, Richard Amayo, Tony Idigo, Nkem Agetua, Frank Olize, Bayo Adewusi, Chris Anyanwu, Clement Iranola Akintomide alias CIA, James Bello, Gbenga Onayiga, Dupe Ajayi, Clement Eluaka, Anene Ugoani, Wale Oshodi, Moni Adebayo, Yomi Ajetumobi, Bolaji Macaulay, Isaac Oleleye, Chief Olugbayo Ogunleye, Dipo Akinsiku, and even state house correspondents like

Toye Akiode, Wole Odunaike, and the Public Relations Manager of the Nigeria Airways at that time, Femi Ogunleye who is now the Towulade of Akinale in Ogun State. His devotion to his friends is unwearied and indefatigable. When Senator Joseph Sarwuan Tarka (1932-1980) was sick in London, Uba Ahmed travelled to see him six times. When he died eventually on March 30, 1980, Uba Ahmed was at his bedside. I was with him in London at that time and we brought Senator Tarka’s corpse in a Nigerian Airforce hercules jet on April 7, 1980, to Lagos. He was a consummate politician who understood gamesmanship. In the Senate he served competently introducing bills and motions. I remember he submitted a strong memorandum to the Abubakar Tuggar’s committee on creation of state in 1982, demanding for the creation of Gombe State from the former Bauchi State. He wanted Akko, Tangale Waja, Dukku and Gombe to be independent of Shira, Kantagum, Gamowa, Nissau and Jamari districts. Following the appointment of the National Secretary of the NPN, Alhaji Adamu Ciroma (79) as Minister of Agriculture in 1979 and that of his deputy, Dr. Chuba Wilberforce Okadigbo (19412003) as special adviser by President Shehu Aliyu Shagari (88), the post of the secretary became vacant. The lot fell on the spokesman of the party, Alhaji Suleiman Takuma (1934-2001), the Sarkin Malamai Nupe in Bida, the man with the golden voice to run the secretariat of the party in the absence of a national convention. An open convention was summoned by the party in 1982 to elect and re-confirm all the posts, including the chairmanship of the party and the secretary. Alhaji Uba Ahmed came out to challenge Alhaji Takuma – the famous broadcaster. In an open election held at the National Theatre, Alhaji Uba Ahmed defeated Alhaji Takuma to become the National Secretary. He later resigned from the Senate and his seat was won by his friend, Ambassador Ajuju Waziri, the spouse of Farida Waziri, the former EFCC Chairman. As National Secretary of the NPN, Alhaji Uba Ahmed became an automatic member of the Monday caucus presided over by President Shagari, which was the highest decision making

body at that time. Our global tour in December 1983 took us to Las Vegas, New York, Houston in U.S.A, Peking and Shanghai in China, Hong Kong and Bahrain. By the time we landed on December 30, 1983 we were all home sick and very anxious to come back to Nigeria, having been away for 24 days. Moreover, we wanted to escape the freezing London weather. Upon the insistence of his faithful and loyal aide, Chief Fab Uche and much to our delight too, Alhaji Uba arranged for us to travel back to Nigeria. The schedule was for us to land in Lagos on December 31 and then fly to Jos in the afternoon for the New Year celebrations. Jos is the second hometown of Uba Ahmed. But that was not to be. We headed for the Heathrow airport around 7.00 p.m. and tagged our entire luggage “Uba Ahmed” so as to enjoy ‘executive clearance’. The WTO Nigerian Airways flight took off around 10.00 p.m. It was a smooth flight. We were given royal treatment aboard the flight. We dropped the Kano passengers around 4.00 p.m. and headed for the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos. I sat next to Uba Ahmed in the first class compartment. We joked and discussed, we even fantasised on our scheduled trip to Jos later in the day. As we were about to land, I became curious, for I noticed that other airlines were fully packed, for, none took off and none on the runaway. Being first class passengers, we were the first to disembark. I looked through the window and saw soldiers surrounding our plane. I became uncomfortable. I immediately alerted Alhaji Uba Ahmed who was having discussion with the famous Ibadan trained unionist, Alhaji Kola Balogun who was also disembarking too. He then directed me to find out what was happening. I rushed to the ground floor and saw the junior brother of a close friend who works for the security. He shouted my name with respect and wondered what I was doing at the odd place and at odd time. I asked him why he was asking and I informed that I was coming from London. “Are you not aware there is coup”, he asked, I became dumb. He said the voice of Brigadier Sanni Abacha was on air, and advised me to get my luggage and flee the airport. I raced back to third floor to inform Uba Ahmed that there was a military coup and that the voice of Brigadier Sanni Abacha

was on air. He was mute, rattled, confused and abashed. He just sat down and shook his head intermittently. By this time other passengers were murmuring on the coup and pointing at our direction. It was an embarrassing moment for us both. Ten minutes later he regained his composure and looked directly into my eyes and asked, “You mean Brigadier Bako, not Abacha”. I insisted Abacha. He then declared, “I must escape; if this chap seizes me they will kill me. I must go, kajiko, I must go”. His escape was later designed and executed. I got back to the arrival lounge of the airport to collect my three luggage only to meet wild soldiers carting away all luggage, including mine, tagged “Uba Ahmed”. Wisdom dictated to me not to move near those wild soldiers, more so that they have just taken over power less than five hours ago. I left the airport dejected that day, missing a friend and losing my luggage – a bad way to begin a new year, 1984. Six days later the security personnel came to The Punch premises at Onipetesi in Ikeja and asked me to report myself at their office at Alagbon in Ikoyi where I was detained for 27 days. That was where my ulcer became worse. My then boss, Dr. Haruna Adamu, who was the MD of The Punch came to release me on bail, only for Dr. Adamu himself to be detained for 12 months by Major General Buhari’s government. In disguised voices, Alhaji Uba used to phone me from abroad. He came home in 1994 and lived with Egbon Adekunle Agunbiade alias Lako in his Ikoyi residence, Lagos. I did not see Uba Ahmed until he was appointed Minister of Labour by General Sanni Abacha and shortly after I was engaged in the Presidency. We met often at the villa either for official assignments or during Federal Executive meetings. In February 2005, he was a member of the National Political Reform Conference headed by Justice Niki Tobi (72). A noble prince in Bida, Senator Dangana Ndayako, a common friend of ours phoned me of Uba’s demise in Germany on Christmas day, December 25, 2012. Alhaji Uba Ahmed was a very friendly person. Very neighbourly, very steadfast. My condolence is to his family and friends, for he was a good man. • Teniola is a former director in the Presidency. He

How Nigeria gloats on falsehood By Bayo Ogunmupe IKE other emerging economies, Nigeria currently enjoys a Lmuch strong Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. But we believe of this growth is predicated on false data. However, this illusory growth could be detrimental to our economic development in the long term. In its latest Global Economic Report, the World Bank projected that the Nigerian economy would sustain its growth trend this year, with our GDP of 6.6 per cent, from 7.3 per cent last year. The World Bank believes fresh foreign investments are to be pivot of this growth. According to the report, increased investment will be the driving force of the Nigerian economy over the medium term, pointing out that since 2000, investments have increased steadily from 15.9 per cent to 22.9 per cent for the ECOWAS sub region. It is expected that with these economies tapping into the global capital markets, it will help redress the constraints expected to sustain the pattern of growth in this region. This report asserts that foreign direct investment is expected to remain in this New Year. These investments are expected to increase to new levels each year, reaching a peak of $55.59 billion in 2015. Foreign Domestic Investment inflows to the mining sector, particularly oil and gas and solid minerals as well as agriculture would be supported by spiraling commodity prices over the next two years. The report said further that prices of crude oil in the world market will rise from $102.1 per barrel by 2015. In addition to increasing sources of finance, domestic investment is expected to double through financial sector deepening in developing countries. The World Bank said that over the last decade, bank deposits have increased by eight percentage points, supporting a 10 percentage point increase in private sector credit. Also, widespread cuts in policy rates in 2012, is expected to stimulate economic growth up till 2014. However, the report identified the risks that could derail our region’s growth prospects. Such risks border on the downward slide of the global economy, shown by weaker growth of the Chinese economy, the ongoing fiscal consolidation in the wake of the debt crisis in Europe and the weakening U.S. economy.

Other risks border on domestic concerns, such as political instability, industrial disputes and adverse weather conditions. For their advice, we are told to focus on growing our economy while strengthening buffers to deal with risks. Overall, the report said the risks are now less skewed to the downside than it has been in recent years. Global growth will come at a relatively weak percentage, gradually strengthening as the years roll by. It observed that GDP growth in developing economies during 2012 was among the slowest in 10 years. But these positive ratings notwithstanding, economists aver that a growing economy that fails to impact on the standard of living of the people is an economy in recession. In his book, Gross Domestic Problem, Professor Lorenzo Fioramonti of the Department of Political Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa argues that far from being a sign of progress, growth measured by GDP comes at a cost often accompanied by resource depletion and income inequality. Indeed, Fioramonti argued that fixation with GDP growth compels policymakers to design policies that promote import-inducing consumerism that attracts short-term investments. And with the declining economies of the West, economic gains are likely to be slim. Moreover, the don said further, Africans do not have the statistical resources to measure GDP. So our statistically induced growth being based on fake figures will result in false hopes. He said further that GDP led economies attract investors looking for short-term gains rather than those interested in a nation’s long-term stability. In alignment with that position, World Bank Vice President for Africa, Dr. Mukhtar Diop, while in Abuja recently, expressed concern over the high level of poverty in Nigeria. Like Fioramonti, Diop argued that even when Nigeria’s GDP growth rate promised great potential, its current trend is inadequate to tackle the high level of poverty in the country. Diop said the most critical obstacle to growth is power, which affects big companies and manufacturers. Indeed, economists believe that Nigeria’s economy is the greatest paradox of the modern age. Despite statistical growth, poverty has continued to rise geometrically with more than 100 million people living on less than one dollar a day. Unemployment among youth is 37.7 per cent, the highest in sub-Saharan Africa.

The greatest blame is placed on power outage. With improvement in power, cost of doing business will come down. Currently, it is too high as compared with other developing countries. Paradoxically, Nigeria’s ranking has not translated into development. The increase in GDP has not reduced unemployment, while the state of the infrastructure remains parlous, fuelling increased poverty and insecurity. As the economy is hooked to oil revenues, achieving food selfsufficiency will be no mean feat. The latest from the Food and Agriculture Organisation shows Nigeria to be the second largest importer of rice in the world, importing about two million tonnes a year up till 2010 – costing us one billion dollars yearly. Even so, we spend more importing wheat and palm oil. As for exports, the only commodity, which Nigeria has any presence at all, is cocoa, for which is the fourth largest exporter in the world in 2010. This is fair, but well behind our neighbours: Ghana and Ivory Coast. While agriculture accounts for 40 per cent of our GDP, this is not likely to fall soon. But one of the problems preventing rapid growth is lack of credit. Agriculture is negligible in terms of bank lending. It barely features, it does not have any significant representation in the equities market. USAID said that 70 per cent of Nigeria’s small-scale farmers lack access to financing. All of that is hardly helped by decaying infrastructure and unpredictable afflictions such as floods, which destroyed two million hectares of farmland in 2012. Last year, government tried to help farmers by imposing tariffs on cereal imports by stipulating that bread makers must use more cassava, of which Nigeria is the world’s largest producer. However, land tenure remains a barrier for farmers seeking to expand their operations. The government provides some credit as part of its flagship Agricultural Transformation Agenda, which has plans to set up Crop Processing Zones. Government claimed that private investment in agriculture in 2012 was $8 billion. And earlier in 2012, CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi signed a memorandum of understanding with USAID for a scheme to finance it with $3 billion. If that will help, the government will have to start putting its money where its mouth is by spending more on agriculture, which now makes up of only 1.7 per cent of federal spending in our 2013 budget. That portends no change from the outlay of 2012. Thus, if we are to grow and develop, we need new leaders.


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Sports Sports stakeholders accuse governments of undue attention to football

South Africa 2013 CAF Nations Cup Fall-Out

We got less than N1bn to win Nations Cup, says NFF By Gowon Akpodonor, who was in Johannesburg S dollars continue to roll in A for players and officials of the Super Eagles following their success at the just concluded South Africa 2013 CAF African Nations Cup, a board member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said that the body got less than N1 billion from the Federal Government for the country’s preparation and participation in the competition. Since the Eagles arrival from Johannesburg on Tuesday, there have been showers of cash on the players and their officials from government and corporate bodies. The NFF board member had revealed in a chat with The Guardian at the Garden Court Hotel shortly before the final game between the Super Eagles and Stallions of Burkina Faso that the Federal Government did not do well in the area of funding the body to carry out its functions at the games. “Now everyone is taking glory for the team’s success in this competition. In 1994 when

Nigeria won the Nations Cup in Tunisia, the Federal Government gave the then NFA over N2 billion for participation in the competition. It is surprising to see that 19 years after, we are getting just less than N1 billion for the same competition. It is sad. “I am saying this because by the time we win the cup and return to Nigeria, people will be rolling out all sorts of drums and red carpets for the team in appreciation. Nobody will think of how the NFF managed to get the job done with the meagre amount of money given to us. “If the Federal Government could spent over N2 billion to win this same cup in 1994 and we are talking of less than a billion for the purpose 19 years after, then something is wrong somewhere. My happiness is that we have won this cup for the people of Nigeria who have been waiting patiently for this day. I think what the Federal Government is telling us now is that we must learn to make sacrifice. But there is a level we can go,” the NFF board member lamented.

OME stakeholders in Saccused Nigerian sports have the country’s govern-

Super Eagles’ John Obi Mikel, Joseph Yobo and Vincent Enyeama run with the trophy in celebration of the 2013 African Cup of Nations final victory over Burkina Faso in Johannesburg…on Sunday.

Ambrose switches attention to Confederation Cup FTER contributing to the A Super Eagles triumph at the 29th African Nations Cup in South Africa, Efe Ambrose is now ‘looking forward to going to Brazil’ for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in June. “It is a big thing and we are all looking forward to going to Brazil. And we will not only be going there to play for Nigeria, but we will go there to make Africa proud. “The Confederations Cup is bigger than what we were playing for in South Africa,” he told FIFA.com. The Celtic man revealed that Super Eagles’ head coach, Stephen Keshi, had always

wanted to see Nigeria win the African title and qualify to feature in the ‘Festival of Champions,’ as the Confederations Cup is also known. The former Kaduna United centre-back, who played as a right back all through the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations for Nigeria, added that Keshi’s “trust and confidence” was enough to motivate them to winning the continent’s biggest football prize. He also recalled the pain of missing out on qualifying for the 2012 edition of the Nations Cup. “The coach had trust and con-

fidence in the players. That matters the most, for without that, you cannot succeed. But he believed in us and that we could do it. From the start he told us that when we were here, there was nothing that could stop us from winning this cup. “He said, even before we came here, that his aim was not only to win the cup, but to go to the Confederations Cup. With his dream, it helped us a lot to know that we had a bigger thing ahead of us. Nobody gave Nigeria the chance because last year we did not even qualify for the finals, so everybody wrote us off.

Adenuga fulfils promise, hands over N160m cheque to Eagles LOBACOM Chairman, Mike G Adenuga Jr, on Tuesday night in Abuja presented a cheque of N160 million to the Super Eagles in fulfillment of the pledged he made for winning the 29th edition of the African Cup of Nations. The event was held at the Banquet Hall of Dr. Mike Adenuga’s residence in Maitama, Abuja. Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Adenuga said, “we are indeed proud of the achievement of the Nigerian national team at the African Cup of Nations. I congratulate the Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi, the rest of the coaching crew, the players, the Nigerian Football Federation and the Federal Government for this important victory which has rekindled hope among our people.” The Globacom Chairman

“But this made us more determined to work hard, train more and prove people wrong. We wanted to make sure that we are a giant of African football, and we wanted to bring back the glory of the past to the present,” Ambrose said. The 24-year-old also declared that winning the African title has now overtaken the silver medal he won with Nigeria’s Under-23 team at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. “This is my biggest achievement that I have had to date. Before this, it was the Olympics silver medal. But this is the biggest, so this is one of the greatest moments of my life. It was always my dream to play in the Nations Cup, but I would have never thought of win-

ning it. “So now I just have to thank God and all Nigerians, from the President to the last person in Nigeria for their belief. It is no longer about us on the pitch, it is all about team effort and we are one, because football unites us and I know people at Celtic and back home in Nigeria will be celebrating for us and waiting for the cup to be paraded in Nigeria,” said Ambrose. Nigeria won its third African title defeating Burkina Faso by a goal from Sunday Mba in Johannesburg on Sunday. The African champions will face Tahiti, Uruguay and world champions, Spain, in Group B of the Confederations Cup in Brazil.

ments of paying more attention to football to the detriment of other sports. They said that because of the special attention given to football, government was not paying adequate attention to the development of other sports. They, therefore, called on the government at all levels to give equal attention to all sports. In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos, they said that the declining fortunes of other sports would continue if nothing were done. According to the Director of Sports, Kogi State Sports Council, Joel Abu, the attention being paid to football by governments was responsible for the ‘royal attention’ the sport was receiving in the country. He said that football was enjoying the support of the governments and that was why it was taking as much as three quarters of the budget while other sports suffered. “While football is gaining promotion, the other sports are being neglected. We at the grassroots are appealing to governments to redress this imbalance for other sports to be promoted,’’ Abu said. Edo State Director of Sports, Edo Godwin Okute, said that football was a sport with just a gold medal at multi-sports event, while a sport like swimming could give a country many medals. He added that the government should re-focus on other sports, so that the country could win more medals at major games like the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games. To Joe Mensah, a former Lagos State amateur boxing chief coach, it was disheartening that football was given more votes, while ‘other sports are left to fend for themselves.’ He said that as result of this, some athletes were abandoning their sports for football, so as to profit from the largesse being extended to footballers.

Offers Range Rover, Camry, house to Keshi subsequently presented the cheque for N160 million, the equivalent of the sum of $1m he promised the team, to Eagles Captain, Joseph Yobo. Adenuga also announced that a Range Rover SUV and a Toyota Camry car would be presented to the Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi in addition to paying for his official accommodation. He commended Keshi for his commitment, adding that, “he has done the nation proud; that is why it is important to reward him.” Responding to Dr. Adenuga’s gesture, Yobo said: “I want to thank you very much on behalf of the team. You made a pledge to us just on Monday morning and here we are on Tuesday night for the redemp-

tion of the pledge. “We thank you for everything you’ve done for Nigerian football; we thank you for being the No 1 supporter of the Super Eagles. This financial support you have given to us will go a long way to motivate us.” An elated Keshi thanked Adenuga for his support for football across Africa, adding that Super Eagles have henceforth become Adenuga’s children because of all the massive support he has given to Nigerian football. Keshi stated further: “When Abiola was alive, he was the one giving the national team massive support, Dr. Adenuga has stepped into that role and we will not disappoint him.”

They were also rewarded… Burkina Faso’s national team players, Jonathan Pitroipa (left), Alain Traore, Salif Dianda and Moumononi Dagano after receiving awards at the Stade du 4-août in Ouagadougou for winning the second position at the just concluded 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. PHOTOS: AFP.


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South Africa 2013 CAF Nations Cup Fall-Out

Moses, Eagles, good examples for Nigerians, says Adeseun EMBER, Senate M Committee on Sports, Senator Ayoade Adeseun has charged Nigerians to take a cue from the stories of Victor Moses and Super Eagles following their display at the just concluded 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa. The lawmaker from Oyo Central Senatorial District while congratulating Nigerians and the national team on becoming the best footballing nation in the continent, said the Eagles displayed class and finesse throughout the competition. “But most importantly, they reminded us of the natural resilience, commitment, drive, passion and patriotism of the Nigerian. Through a blend of these characteristics, mixed with team spirit and co-operation, they were able to upturn a 19-year old jinx of under achievement in continental tournament. I want to congratulate and thank them for doing our nation proud,” he said. Adeseun called on all Nigerians to emulate the national team everywhere they found themselves, adding, “beyond celebrating this victory, every Nigerian must imbibe a culture of pas-

sion and patriotism in whatever we do. We must be ready to do our nation proud. We must start applying the Eagles’ AFCON 2013 characters in our daily lives . “Yet another striking lesson for all us is the story of the amazing young man named Victor Moses, who was forced to leave the country at a tender age of 11 after losing his parents to the 2002 religious crisis in Kaduna on same day, but his passion for his nation was never killed. “He came back to wear the green-white-green jersey. People like him would not have returned or forgiven this country for rendering him an orphan. He had a choice not to step into Nigeria again but he didn’t take that option. When the call to serve his fatherland came, Moses, who had represented England at Under-16 to 21 levels, dumped England and embraced Nigeria as opposed to being fully capped for England. “He forsook better places and identified with Nigeria unlike other players such as Gabriel Agbonlahor. Today, we see a Victor Moses bringing joy to every Nigerian, including those who may have inspired his parent’s

Super Eagles players thank the crowd after beating Burkina Faso to win the 2013 African Cup of Nations.

NMA congratulates Super Eagles, promises to promote sports medicine By Chukwuma Muanya EDICAL doctors, under the aegis of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), have joined the queue of millions of Nigerians congratulating and celebrating with the Super Eagles on their victory in the recently concluded African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament held in South Africa. President of the NMA, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, on behalf of all medical/dental practitioners in Nigeria, in a press statement yesterday also congratulated President Goodluck Jonathan, the government and good people of Nigeria. The NMA president promised to strive in her own ways to promote effective sports medicine and provide First Aid services during competitions as one of her corporate social responsibilities to Nigeria in the area of sports development, when called upon. “The expertise and professionalism displayed by the

M

team doctor in handling the injured players is also commendable,” he said. Enabulele added, “we heartily congratulate the coaching crew and players of the Super Eagles; we salute the courage, dogged determination and unalloyed patriotism displayed by the players, the coaching crew and all other officials of the team, all through the competition. “Most striking is the liberation and breaking into resounding recognition of the potentials in the local players participating in the Nigerian premier league. This perhaps opens another vista in the strident call on our leaders to always look

inwards and search out the very efficacious remedies needed to pull out dear nation from her myriads of socio-political, economic and security woes. Enabulele commended the undaunting spirit and dogged determination of the chief coach of the Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi, who cast all care aside and remained focused even in the face of unqualified vilification and unbridled insults to his person. The NMA also commended President Jonathan and other well-meaning Nigerians for promptly appreciating the victorious Super Eagles with cash and material rewards.

‘Super Eagles triumph justification for Stanbic IBTC investment’ TANBIC IBTC Holdings Plc, SStandard and its parent company Bank Group, an official sponsor of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations, South Africa 2013, has commended the performance of the

Nigeria football team at the tournament, saying it has justified its investment in the competition. According to the Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC, Sola David-Borha, “we

Super Eagles’ Victor Moses (right) tries to outwit Burkina Faso’s Jonathan Pitroipa during the final match of the 2013 African Cup of Nations at Soccer City stadium, Johannesburg…on Sunday.

Eagles victory testimony to Nigerian virtues, says Ahmed From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin HE Kwara State Governor, T Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed has described the emergence of the Super Eagles as the champions of Africa as a profound testimony of the virtues of determination, perseverance and result oriented disposition imbued in the average Nigerian. Governor Ahmed in his reaction to the Eagles’ victory said the good blending of the home based players with their foreign based counterparts underscored the salient fact that Nigerians, irrespective of our different stations in life, can build a virile nation if we work together as a people.

Ahmed, who described the Eagles as patriots and worthy ambassadors of Nigeria, said Nigerians should see the victory as a veritable platform and unique opportunity to resolve to work assiduously for the success of the Nigerian Project, which he described as the institutionalisation of an egalitarian society that would be a pride to all the black peoples of the world. He felicitated with the President Goodluck Jonathan, the minister of Sports, the players and in deed all Nigerians on the success of the Eagles on the eve of the centenary celebration of the Nigerian state.

“While recognising that no amount of resources would be adequate to compensate the Super Eagles players, NMA urges our soccer heroes to take pride in being the ambassadors who have restored the dignity and global soccer image and ranking of Nigeria, and by so doing, spontaneously inducing joy and laughter once more to our depressed compatriots,” he added. The NMA called on all Nigerians to do away with lamentations and borrow a leaf from the exemplary attributes of the Super Eagles by working towards a collective agenda to reposition all sectors of Nigeria.

Ahmed Musa (left) vies with Burkina Faso’s defender Bakary Kone in one of the midfield battles of the just concluded South Africa 2013 CAF Nations Cup. PHOTOS: AFP.

are particularly delighted that the Orange Africa Cup of Nations, South Africa 2013, has seen Nigeria doing so well, a country that is increasingly strategic to the Standard Bank Group on account of its immense growth potential, among others. “The group’s decision to partner with Confederation of African Football is driven by Standard Bank’s growing presence as a leading African bank. “The continental showpiece of African football is a major opportunity to connect with our customers, football fans and our employees through our shared passion for Africa and African football.” David-Borha added that “our organisation is particularly proud of the unity, which Nigeria’s success at tournament has ignited, and the lessons, which it is helping to impart, namely that with focus, unity of purpose, belief in self and hard work, Nigeria’s potential is simply unimaginable.” “At Stanbic IBTC, we are delighted that this sponsorship investment has manifested in the wholesale support with which Nigerians have availed the senior national football team.”


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UEFA Champions League

Tacchinardi claims only Barcelona are better than Juventus Buffons says Celtics deserve respect HE former Juve defender is T optimistic about the side’s chances of going all the way in Europe and sees the Catalans as their biggest rivals Former Italy international, Alessio Tacchinardi believes only Barcelona are in a better position than Juventus to win the Champions League following the Bianconeri‘s 3-0 win over Celtic on Tuesday. “At the moment, Juventus are only inferior to Barcelona in Europe. I don’t really believe in Real Madrid’s chances as they have shown in La Liga that they’re having problems,” Tacchinardi told TuttoMercatoWeb. “Juventus put in a great performance against Celtic. It’s

true that the draw was in their favour, but Conte’s team did a great job.” The second leg of the Champions League round of 16 tie between Juventus and Celtic takes place on March 6 in Turin. Meanwhile, Gianluigi Buffon feels Celtic deserves respect for their performance in Tuesday’s 3-0 Champions League loss against Juventus. “Celtic are an excellent side and they showed that tonight,” Buffon told reporters. “We’re not through yet. It’s not good for us to be too relaxed. We must remain focused and keep showing Celtic the respect they deserve.”

Valencia were naive, Valverde admits ALENCIA Coach, Ernesto quarter-finals, even without V Valverde is under no illu- their leading scorer. “We have to recognise they sions about the task facing his Juventus’s Italian striker, Alessandro Matri (left), challenges Celtic’s Nigerian defender, Efe Ambrose during their UEFA Champions League last 16 match at Celtic park in Glasgow, Scotland, on Tuesday PHOTO: AFP/IAN MACNICOL

Commons hits out at Ambrose over performance, Lennon at referee ELTIC winger, Kris C Commons has criticised the performance of teammate Efe Ambrose following the Hoops’ 3-0 first-leg defeat to Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions League. Ambrose only arrived back in Scotland on Tuesday morning, following Nigeria’s successful Africa Cup of Nations campaign, and was included in the starting line-up after insisting he was fit enough to play. Ambrose misjudged the flight of the ball to allow Juventus to open the scoring after less than three minutes, before missing Celtic’s best chance of the game with a free header as well as losing possession to Mirko Vucinic, who tucked home the third goal and effectively ended Celtic’s chances of progression. “Look, the manager picked (Ambrose). The manager pulled him to one side and asked him if he was feeling okay. He said he was feeling brilliant,” Commons said after the game. “You know, if he wasn’t feeling okay, then he should have said so. If he felt good, then he should have put in a better performance.” Commons did not just focus his frustration at the centreback though, he rued mistakes made by the entire team to allow Juventus to take a comfortable three-goal lead to the second leg in Turin. The Scottish international added, “it was just very sloppy, individual mistakes. Something you would probably get away with on a playground, not in the last 16 of the Champions League. “There are certain individuals, who let the team down tonight. At this level, you clearly can’t afford to make mistakes. If you do, you end up coming away with a 3-0 defeat.” Celtic captain Scott Brown, meanwhile, focused his atten-

tion on Juventus’ physical tactics, with a number of incidents going unpunished by referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco. He added, “their defenders manhandled every single one of us. Anywhere else on the pitch, it’s a foul. “They knew we were strong at set-pieces and strong at running, the only way they could stop us was to manhandle us.” Similarly, Celtic boss, Neil

Lennon blasted Spanish referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco after his side were left needing a Champions League “miracle” following their defeat. Lennon was raging with the referee and his officials for their reluctance to punish the Juventus players for what at times resembled a wrestling match in the visitors’ box. The Northern Irishman said, “I would like to ask the Italian journalists what they made of

Leonardo, Ancelotti insist Ibra was dismissed based on reputation ARIS St Germain Sporting P Director, Leonardo claims Zlatan Ibrahimovic was only sent off against Valencia last night because of his standing in the game. Manager, Ancelotti agreed with Leonardo’s assessment of Ibrahimovic’s dismissal. The Swedish striker appeared to become riled as he challenged with two Valencia players and went over the ball in a challenge with Andres Guardado, prompting referee Paolo Tagliavento to brandish the red card. The dismissal came swiftly after Valencia pulled a goal back in stoppage time, having trailed 2-0, and the Spanish side will head to Paris in three weeks’ time looking to make up a 2-1 deficit, with Ibrahimovic suspended. Leonardo was asked if he regretted the late twist to the night’s events. “To concede a goal, that can happen due to fatigue for example,” Leonardo said. “But the red card... I think Ibrahimovic pays for his reputation. If it was another player committing this foul, he wouldn’t be sent off. “Suddenly, there is a slight bitter feeling because of it.” Carlo Ancelotti’s Ligue 1 leaders had taken command at

the Mestalla with first-half goals from Argentinian pair Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore, with Valencia’s late reply coming from Adil Rami. “Even when you lead 2-0, it’s not easy,” Leonardo said. The Brazilian former World Cup winner stressed it was worth remembering the progress PSG have made since Qatar Sports Investments took control of the club in 2011. “It’s only been a year and a half since QSI took over the club,” he said, according to psg.fr. “We are still in the construction phase. Our ambitions isn’t only to win a match in the last 16 away from home. It’s more than that. To win the Champions League? This year, I don’t know. But after that...” Speaking on the dismissal, Ancelotti said, “it wasn’t deserved…I don’t under stand it, it isn’t fair.” Italian Ancelotti added, “we played a good match on a difficult pitch. There was quality and a good attitude. We will need to have this same attitude in the return match. “We had a lot of chances to score and we defended very well. It’s a very good performance even if we let in this goal at the end of the match.”

the way Juventus marked our players. It looked to me as if they were fouling at every opportunity.”

side after they slipped to a 2-1 loss in the opening leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Paris St Germain. Carlo Ancelotti’s men took command at the Mestalla with first-half goals from Argentinian pair Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore, although Valencia were handed a late lifeline with Adil Rami’s strike. PSG also saw star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent off in the dying seconds and the Sweden international will now miss the return match in Paris in two weeks. However, Valverde is aware their opponents are still favourites to progress to the

are a great team with great players and they showed their strength,” he said in quotes on Marca. “Eventually we managed to score a goal and that gives us some hope, but we know the return match will be very difficult. “There are no buts. They are very strong and every counterattack is very dangerous. In all honesty, we were probably too naive in the first half. “We must be aware they have outstanding players like Lucas Moura and Lavezzi. Ibrahimovic’s red card will not really help us as they have many resources in their squad.


76 SPORTS

THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

Uduaghan fetes Eagles in Asaba today HE Super Eagles will conT tinue enjoying the fruits of their labour today, this time in Asaba where Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan and members of his cabinet will appreciate the efforts of the ‘Golden boys.’ President Goodluck Jonathan hosted the Eagles on Tuesday in Abuja, where he rewarded them with cash, national honours and plots of land in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Sources close to the Delta State governor reveal that plans have been made to not only honour the players and coaches but also to make Delta people feel the Eagles and be part of the history they made by winning the Nations Cup with a 1-0 victory over Burkina Faso in the final last Sunday. “Asaba will almost close up today for the Super Eagles,” the Executive Chairman of Delta State Sports Commission, Amaju

Pinnick, said on Tuesday. Amaju said the players would ride in a motorcade on the streets of Asaba and will later, at night, be entertained at the Dome. “It will be a night of entertainment,” Amaju said. “Top musicians like Iyanya, Ice Prince, D’Prince,  Dr. Sid, Chudike and Burna Boy will play at the occasion. It will be a Valentine Night for Eagles in Asaba. Notable comedians like I Go Die, Okey Bakassi, Seyi Law, Da Klint De Drunk, Elemu and AY will also entertain on the night. “His Excellency, Dr. Uduaghan will appreciate the team,” Amaju said, adding “he had breakfast with the current and past Warri Wolves players in the team in Abuja.” The players in that category include Nosa Igiebor, Fegor Ogude, Sunday Mba, Chigozie Agbim and Azubuike Ekwuekwe.

FCT minister wants Eagles to win 2014 World Cup From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja EDERAL Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Bala Mohammed says there is no reason the present Super Eagles cannot win the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil if the management of the Nigeria football Federation (NFF) did its job. The FCT minister believes with the players still young, they can be kept together for both the Confederation Cup in June and Brazil 2014 World Cup. An elated Mohammed, who

F

spoke to journalists after welcoming the victorious Super Eagles at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Abuja on Tuesday, described the team as a national treasure that must not be allowed to disintegrate, adding that the government would urge the NFF to ensure that all the players are kept together for the two future championships. He noted that with the type of synergy, which has bonded the players and officials of the Super Eagles, the team could challenge any side in the world.

Nwosu commends Keshi for rescinding quit decision FORMER Captain of the A Super Eagles, Henry Nwosu was excited on

President Goodluck Jonathan (left) decorating Coach Stephen Keshi as Commander Order of the Niger (CON) during the reception for the Super Eagles in Abuja…on Tuesday. PHOTO: AFP.

Adeboye U-20 National table tennis championship qualifiers serve off HE state qualifiers for the T maiden Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye National U 20 Table Tennis Championships begin this week across the country. The tournament, which is the brainchild of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Lagos Province Three, as part of its efforts to revive table tennis in Nigeria, with eight players made up of four male and four female representing each state at the national final scheduled for this month. For the pastor-in-charge of the Province, Austin Ukaiwe, the motivating factor for the

competition was the poor performance recorded at the London 2012 Olympics. “Dissatisfied with the performance of Nigeria at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Lagos Province Three is further encouraged to join forces with the Federal Government, Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), individual and Corporate organisations in scouting for talents that would bring honour to our dear country Nigeria,” he said. The qualifiers officially started on Tuesday across the nation with grand finale tak-

ing place at the Redemption Camp, in Ogun State. According to the organisers, finalists are expected to arrive on Monday February 25th for registration, while the competition will kick off on February 26 to March 2. Over N6 million cash prize will be won at the championship, which is aimed at reviving the fortune of the sport in the country. Also, a championship seminar will hold on Saturday March 2 with the theme: “Maximising the potentials of Nigerian Youth/Teenagers in table tennis, towards the 2016 Olympics Games. The roles of the private sector.”

Tuesday when he heard that Coach Stephen Keshi has rescinded his decision to quit his position as the national team coach. Nwosu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone in Lagos that Keshi had a lot to offer and that it was not the right time to tender resignation. “I am so excited and filled with joy that Keshi had a rethink. He still has a lot to offer and resignation should not come in now. “His purported resignation came in as a shock to me and the country because we were all in joyful mood and were not expecting that at all,’’ Nwosu said. He said that Keshi was a former player that had coached some African countries and has the experience to know what it entailed to coach his country. “I believe strongly in him and his ability to revamp the Super Eagles because he was a former player and had also coached some other countries,’’ he said. Keshi coached Togo from 2004 to 2006 and Mali from 2008 to 2010 before being hired for the Eagles. “I hope by rescinding the decision, this will help to strengthen his relationship with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for the good of football in the country,’’ Nwosu said, adding that Keshi has done his best and deserved to be respected for his achievements.


THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

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THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013


THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, February 14, 2013

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Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

TheGuardian

Thursday, February 14, 2013

By Polycarp Onwubiko N its commendable striving to discharge INewspaper, its social responsibility, Vanguard in conjunction with the Nigeria Police, recently organised a National Summit on Security Challenges in Nigeria at the International Conference Centre, Abuja. In his comments at the forum, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Abubakar Mohammed, explained that the import of the summit was to harness ideas and strategies on how to combat the current security problem ravaging the country. The importance of brainstorming at such a gathering to generate ideas cannot be underestimated. The searing fact, however, is that the panacea for containing the pervasive insecurity of lives and property in Nigeria is for the Presidency and National Assembly to return the country to the path of true federalism as it was in the first republic. A critical and realistic evaluation of the comments and presentations at the National Security Summit revealed that the political leadership is wallowing in deceit because it is being remotely controlled by the ultra-conservative Northern establishment peopled by those bent on perpetuating their devious agenda to control the country directly and indirectly. The political leadership has to hearken to the clarion call for a national conference where accredited representatives of all ethnic groups will set the modality for true federalism. The concept of true federalism came about because of the blatant violation of the principles and components of federal system of government (as practiced the world over) on the eve of the Nigerian Civil War, when regional police was unilaterally abolished without weighing the frightful implications for a federal set-up like Nigeria. Federal and unitary systems of government have abiding principles and components borne out of researches by political scientists in the universities. Since the outcomes of the principles and components are predictable, a nation has to adopt a system that would suite its geographical landscape and societal peculiarities. In line with the principles of federalism, the founding fathers of Nigerian Independence chose a federal system of government and the federating regions were in a healthy competition in all the sectors, such as security, transport infrastructures, education, healthcare delivery, industrialisation, agriculture, urbanisation, integrated rural development, local council administration and parastatals. Pervasive insecurity in contemporary Nigeria would not have attained the crisis proportion if the principles and components of federalism were continued as they were in the first republic. At independence, the Republican Constitution had provisions for decentralised security system, prisons service and justice delivery and administration. The then regional governments had their respective police, which were upbeat in security challenges that guaranteed peaceful co-existence, security of lives and property germane for economic and social activities, while for-

The importance of brainstorming at such a gathering to generate ideas cannot be underestimated. The searing fact, however, is that the panacea for containing the pervasive insecurity of lives and property in Nigeria is for the Presidency and National Assembly to return the country to the path of true federalism as it was in the first republic. A critical and realistic evaluation of the comments and presentations at the National Security Summit revealed that the political leadership is wallowing in deceit because it is being remotely controlled by the ultra-conservative Northern establishment peopled by those bent on perpetuating their devious agenda to control the country directly and indirectly

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National Security Summit: Can Nigeria have a different definition of federalism?

The Inspector-General of Police, MD Abubakar eign direct investments were creating employment opportunities and facilitated poverty alleviation. It is quite instructive that the IGP alluded to the fact that the pervasive insecurity has its source; it springs from the violation of the realistic federal system of government as bequeathed by the founding fathers of the Nigerian at independence. He said: “Having taken this noble and courageous step, we must all endeavour to put our differences aside and focus on the voyage of championing the protection of the legacies bequeathed by our founding fathers.” Ironically, this apt comment contradicted his further postulations. He seemed, despite his well known broad and enlight-

ened horizon, to have aligned with the overt and covert agenda of the Northern establishment, which has been doing everything possible to prevent the country from reverting to the path of true federalism with its principles and components that include a decentralised security system. Due to itself seeking agenda for political hegemony, the Northern political and religious leaders in the first republic abused their regional police by preventing Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s party from holding political rallies in the Northern part of the country. The revenge by the late political sage led to the shortsighted abolition of regional police in the country by Gen. Yakubu Gowon. The abolition of

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In such a summit, public servants such as the Police image-maker, Frank Mba, should have kept sealed lips because by saying that Nigeria was not ripe for a decentralised security system, he was merely currying the favour of his boss. By his education and exposure, he is expected to really know the principles and components of a federal system of government. The fact remains that the principles and components of a federal system of government are sacrosanct, sacred and inviolate. Nigeria cannot have a different definition of federalism distinct from the universal concept, and it is this blind attempt to do so that has placed the country on the path of self-destruct or a failed state. It is high time the political leadership of Nigeria stopped brazen deception encapsulated in supposed reforms in the police and manipulation of public opinions. regional police was a faulty and unimaginative solution to the abuse of the decentralized security arrangement since a realistic solution would have been to enact laws to check the purported abuse. This inconsiderate and unilateral action borne out of fear of the growing political influence of Chief Awolowo, especially in the then Middle Belt of the country, was a blatant violation of the principles and components of federalism as practiced all over the world. The military interregnum and the consequent decrees and faulty constitutions were crafted to favour the Northern part of the country, which led the country to this sorry state of insecurity. It is naïve of some of the participants at the national security summit to posit that Nigeria was not yet ripe for a decentralised security, and prisons service, and that state governments cannot fund police. The Nigeria Police could have collapsed but for the illegal funding of police by state governors, which is a violation of their annual budgetary provisions for the welfare of their states. What they were saying in essence is that our founding fathers committed an egregious blunder by agitating for political sovereignty and the choice of federal system of government. In such a summit, public servants such as the Police image-maker, Frank Mba, should have kept sealed lips because by saying that Nigeria was not ripe for a decentralised security system, he was merely currying the favour of his boss. By his education and exposure, he is expected to really know the principles and components of a federal system of government. The fact remains that the principles and components of a federal system of government are sacrosanct, sacred and inviolate. Nigeria cannot have a different definition of federalism distinct from the universal concept, and it is this blind attempt to do so that has placed the country on the path of self-destruct or a failed state. It is high time the political leadership of Nigeria stopped brazen deception encapsulated in supposed reforms in the police and manipulation of public opinions. Modalities should be set in motion for outright federalism through a national conference. In the alternative, the presidency and the national assembly can restructure the exclusive and concurrent legislative lists with the former having only three ministries, namely: Aviation, defence and internal affairs. New revenue allocation formula should be put in place to reflect the new legislative list. The enduring panacea for security of lives and prosperity in this beleaguered country is full implementation of the principles and components of federalism, which include decentralised security system, prison service and justice delivery system. Anything short of this is to pander to the dictates of the Northern establishment, which used centralised security system to control all Nigerians for their own vicious agenda. • Mr. Onwubiko is an author and public affairs analyst

Thursday 14, Feb 2013 The Guardian Nigeria  

Thursday 14, Feb 2013

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