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TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Friday, March 29, 2013

Vol. 29, No. 12,510

www.ngrguardiannews.com

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Northern Christians under siege, says CAN From Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna), Chukwuma Muanya and Nkechi Onyedika (Abuja) and Bashir Bello (Kaduna)

• Opposes amnesty for Boko Haram members • Govt deploys space technology to tackle insecurity, others • Arewa faults Jonathan on anti-insurgency fight • Army chief lists ways on success of campaign ITING the existence of a C definite agenda to eliminate its members in the northern part of the country, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday opposed any move to grant amnesty to the terror group Boko Haram. The Christian group’s position came yesterday as the Federal Government through the National Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA) began moves to deploy space technologies to tackle insecurity. Also, to enable NASRDA perform its mandate optimally, the Senate and the House of

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Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (right), Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader, Bola Tinubu, during the third yearly Bola Tinubu Colloquium in Lagos… yesterday. (Story on Page 2). PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU

Imo deputy gov Agbaso impeached amid protest By Ehichioya Ezomon (Group Political Editor, Lagos) and Charles Ogugbuaja (Owerri)

• Okorocha names Madumere as replacement

URPRISE, and more surSStateprises came out of Imo yesterday. The polity

of the Deputy Governor, Jude Agbaso, who had been under investigation by the House of

there had been on edge for weeks. The high point of the suspense was the impeachment

More on page 10

Assembly over a bribery allegation. One Mr. Joseph Dina, the

managing director of JPROS International Nigeria Ltd, had alleged that he paid a bribe of

N458 million to the deputy governor in lieu of future jobs. The deputy governor deaccusation. the nied Notwithstanding, and withCONTINUED ON PAGE 2

24 feared killed in fresh Plateau violence - Page 6

Prayers as Mandela is re-admitted in hospital -Page 8 Cameroun sacks over 1,000 Nigerians in Bakassi From Anietie Akpan, Calabar N an unbridled breach of Iment the 2005 Green Tree Agree(GTA), Cameroun has sacked over 1,000 Nigerians living in Bakassi Peninsula who had accepted Cameroun’s sovereignty. Already, two women among the returnees have put to bed in their refugee camp in Akwa Ikot Eyo, Akpabuyo Local Council of Cross River State. The GTA arrangement, based on the 2002 International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgment, specified that Nigerians could decide to live in the Bakassi Peninsula under Cameroun’s sovereignty without any harassment or

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THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

2 NEWS

CAN opposes amnesty for Boko Haram members CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Assembly Committees on Science and Technology have reiterated their support for the use of space technology to tackle the country’s problems. But they kicked against the bill before the Senate seeking the establishment of a parallel agency. Irked by the increasing insecurity in the North, Arewa leaders yesterday apparently passed a vote of no confidence on President

Goodluck Jonathan’s ability to check the armed insurgency by Boko Haram. The northern elders, after an emergency meeting by the members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) and National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), chaired by Alhaji Aliko Mohammed, deplored the escalating bomb attacks and the loss of innocent lives in the North. They condemned President Jonathan’s

rejection of amnesty. In a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of ACF, Mr. Anthony Sani yesterday, he said: “Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) held an emergency joint meeting of Board of Trustees and National Executive Committee members on March 27, 2013 in its Conference Hall, Kaduna. The meeting was well attended and chaired by Alhaji Aliko Mohammed, Dan Iya Misau.” Sani, who condemned the Federal Government’s inability to put an end to the armed insurgency in the North, pointed out that “the deliberations of the meeting centered mainly on the escalating security challenges across some parts of the North and the increasing toll on human lives and property. “The emergency joint meeting felt very concerned about the seeming inability of the authority to bring the unfortunate situation under control, especially the total rejection of calls for amnesty to the insurgents without offering any viable alternative course of action.” On a different occasion, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike O. Ihejirika, has said that it is only the application of skill that can check terrorism. Ihejirika stated that the security challenges had brought out some grey areas in the doctrine on internal security and counter-insurgency operations. Speaking in Kaduna, yesterday, during the graduation of Quick Response Group Phase 4 Batch 2, the Chief of Army Staff, represented by the Commander of the Infantry Corps, Maj.-Gen. Kenneth Minimahs, urged the graduands to always exhibit high sense of professionalism when deployed in their places of assignments. A group under the aegis of the Yoruba Political Awareness Movement (YOPAM), northern chapter, has urged Jonathan to engage stakehold-

ers in order to address insecurity in the nation. The movement, which is the umbrella body of the Yoruba community in the entire northern states, made the call in a statement by its Leader, Alhaji Mohammed Arigbabuwo, following an emergency meeting it held in Kaduna. CAN, which kicked against the call for amnesty for members of the Boko Haram, commended Jonathan for dismissing the request, adding that Boko Haram and its members must be brought to book for the senseless killing of innocent Nigerians and for giving the country a bad name before the world. The Secretary General of CAN, Dr. Musa Asake who addressed journalists yesterday in Abuja, noted that recent attacks in the North constituted genocide against Christians, stressing that innocent Nigerians who had neither committed any crime nor violated the peace and stability of their immediate environments were being murdered for the fact that they remained faithful to their religion. The scribe, who urged security agencies to step up the

hunt for the men behind the terror group, observed that it was clear that the terrorists were being funded. Asake urged the Federal Government to strengthen the immigration policy as it had been discovered that quite a large number of terror gang members were from neighbouring countries. According to him, while the teachings of Jesus Christ that Christians should eschew violence and forgive without end is true, CAN cannot encourage any member who comes under such callous and irrational brutality not to take measures to defend himself, his family and community. He said: “We owe it a duty to God and humanity to call the attention of the world to the relentless, unprovoked violence on our members by enemies of Christians and Christianity in Nigeria .The height of insecurity in our nation, Nigeria, today has gone beyond paying lip service to the pursuit of peace and good neighbourliness. The impunity with which some Christian communities in northern Nigeria have come under the swords, bullets and bombs of men who claim to be fighting a jihad in the name of Allah has risen in the past three

years. “It would, therefore, amount to a huge sin on our part to play the ostrich while our churches are being reduced to rubble through bombing and outright burning and our members eliminated and treated shabbily with no restraint. No matter what argument is advanced, it would be hypocritical for the leadership of CAN to look the other way.” Meanwhile, NASRDA in collaboration with the United States (U.S.) National Aeronautic Space Administration (NASA) has established the National Satellite Atlas and Global Navigation Satellite System. Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Ita Okon BasseyEwa, in a keynote address yesterday at the National Space Dialogue/Media Conference on space science and technology in Abuja with the theme “Space Technology and Disaster Management: Setting an Agenda on Partnership for National Development” said space technology was key to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa and the Vision 20:2020 would be a mirage if not driven by science and technology.

Cameroun sacks over 1,000 Bakassi residents CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 molestation, but recent development is quite on the contrary. Last year, the Cameroun authorities were reported to be harassing Nigerians in the territory, a development the Nigerian government frowned on. A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Bakassi Local Council Chairman, Mr. Eyo Eyo, said the victims of the latest harassment “were living in Efut Obot Ikot and its adjoining settlements have been forcefully ejected by Camerounian authorities.”

According to one of the returnees, who simply gave his name as Etim, “five people died in the stampede by Camerounian authorities while several others were wounded, as the people now are completely cut away from their sources of livelihood.” A spokesman for the displaced people, Chief Asuquo Etim Asuquo, said the incident occurred on March 7 when Cameroun invaded their settlements, accusing them of militancy. According to them, several persons were arrested and taken away, and it is not clear what their fate

was. Reacting to the incident, Chairman of Bakassi Local Council, Ekpo Ekpo Bassey, said the council was disturbed by the sad development because it shares common boundary with Cameroun in the west. He called for the Nigerian government’s intervention, as “such cases and other security challenges were rampant in the area” and a “violation of the Green Tree Agreement which guarantees sovereignty for Nigerians wishing to remain in the peninsula and the right to their sources of livelihood.”

Imo deputy gov Agbaso impeached amid protest CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 out bating an eyelid minutes after the impeachment, the state governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, submitted the name of the Chief of Staff, Government House, Mr. Eze Madumere, as the deputy governor-nominee. The impeachment came amid protests over the authenticity of the process, as the panel, instituted by the Chief Judge of the state to look into the matter, only sat for a few hours before the House swung into action. Twenty-three of the 27-member Assembly endorsed the impeachment, which took place amid tight security in the evening. The Majority Leader of the Assembly, Adaku Ihuoma (Ahiazu Mbaise), moved the impeachment motion while the Minority Leader, Ngozi Pat-Ekeji (Aboh Mbaise) seconded it. Earlier in the day, an Owerri High Court had declined jurisdiction in the suit filed by the deputy governor to stop the Assembly from going ahead with the removal process. Almost at the same time in Lagos, the elder brother of the deputy governor, Martin Agbaso, presented documentary evidence to reporters, indicating that Mr. Joseph Dina, the man who allegedly

Agbaso

bribed the deputy governor, may, after all, be the actual beneficiary of the bribe mon-

ey. Meanwhile, the Co-ordinator of Save Imo Group (SIG), Nze Ebubeagu Ekenulo and rights activist, Chief Lambert Adibe, have faulted the process. They urged the Assembly members to apply the same speed to give attention to the impeachment letter presented to the Assembly to commence 13 impeachable offences against Governor Okorocha. Ekenulo said: “I expect the members of the Assembly to begin to look into the letter of

impeachment on the governor with the same speed and seriousness they employed against the deputy governor. I submitted 13 impeachable offences against the governor, Okorocha.” In his reaction, Adibe said: “It is laughable and a flagrant abuse of legislative power. They should have allowed the seven-man panel to look into the matter, to find him guilty before slamming impeachment. This, therefore, makes the impeachment appear malicious.”

Nigeria on the brink, says Soyinka By Oluseye Daniel OBEL laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has cautioned that Nigeria is on the brink and President Goodluck Jonathan must take proactive steps that would prevent the nation from going into another round of civil war. Soyinka, who was the chairman of the Third Bola Ahmed Tinubu Colloquium titled Beyond Mergers: “A National Movement for Change, A New Generation Speaks”, blamed the President for failing to take Nigeria into confidence on the present crisis of the Boko Haram insurgents. Soyinka said Nigerians

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should not make the mistake of thinking that the Boko Haram crisis was confined to the northern part of the country alone, thereby, “the leadership of the country needs to impact this fact into Nigerians to prevent us from witnessing another round of war.” After taking a cursory look at the situation in the country, which he concluded was sorry and regrettable, Soyinka said: “This is not the Nigeria we envisaged when we struggled for independence, this is not what we envisaged when we struggled to overthrow military dictatorship and restore the rights and dignity of human beings.

But whether we like it or not, it has come upon us. “My problem with the government right now, especially the President of this nation, is that he does not seem to realise, he has not taken into consideration and into cognisance that by now, he should be addressing the nation and give detailed explanation why this nation is at war.” He said certain things have to be done to ensure that this nation was pulled back from the second round of what is leading towards a civil war. “By now, we should be tightening our belt, we should

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THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

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OLUWOLE AWOLOWO (1942 - 2013) Akinjide, Oni, Arisekola-Alao mourn Tribune’s publisher From Muyiwa Adeyemi (Ado-Ekiti) and Terhemba Daka (Abuja) INISTER of State for FedM eral Capital Territory, Olajumoke Akinjide and for-

Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, signing the condolence register of the late Publisher of Nigerian Tribune, Oluwole Awolowo, who died on Wednesday in London, at the Ikenne residence of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo …yesterday

Jakande, Babatope, others mourn From Tunde Akinola, Ikenne Lagos State GoverFandORMER nor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande his wife, Abimbola, former Minister for Transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, foremost physician, Prof. Oladipo Akinkugbe, former President, Association of Nigerian Authors, Prof. Odia Ofeimu and son of the late educationist, Tai Solarin, Tunde were among prominent citizens who mourned the late Oluwole Awolowo yesterday. Babatope described the deceased as his friend of 37 years and an extremely generous man. He said the late Awolowo was kind enough to part away with whatever he had at a particular point in time to help his neighbour. “Unknown to many, Wole was a shy man, but despite this he remained strong and courageous in whatever he did. Just like his father, he was an extraordinarily amazing person. Till his death we remained very close. I trusted him a lot to the extent of making him one of the executioners of my will. I will greatly miss him because he had been a significant personality in my life,” Babatope stated.  Abimbola Jakande described Oluwole as a man of integrity who had the fear of the Lord. “We used to call him Unbreakable and everybody loves him. He was a good Christian in every way. We will miss him.” Ofeimu in the condolence register wrote: “Now you can rest ... You fought hard to remain unbreakable in your own way. Rest in peace.” According to Solarin, the late Awolowo was like a brother to him. “His father was my father’s friend so I got to know him through that. He was a jovial person that I always came to pass time with and also for advice on issues. “I will miss his company and down-to-earth personality. The family name will live forever from generation to generation and his contribution to the media industry will never be forgotten,” Solarin said.

mer governor of Ekiti State, Chief Segun Oni, commiserated with the Awolowo family. The duo also expressed their heartfelt condolences to the Board, Management and Staff of the African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN) Plc, publishers of the Tribune titles, over the death of Oluwole. Akinjide, who, in a statement, stated that Oluwole’s demise was a great loss to the nation, however, took solace in the fact that he left a good legacy worthy of emulation and attained a spiritual piety as a practising Christian. Oni, in a statement, said: “I just received the painful news of the passing onto glory of our big egbon, Chief Oluwole Awolowo, scion of the family of the sage. “No doubt, his death is painful and a great loss to the entire Awolowo dynasty and, to us, his aburos especially

Jonathan, Amosun, Ooni, Diya, others condole with family From Charles Coffie Gyamfi (Ikenne) and Terhemba Daka (Abuja)

• Sympathisers throng Ikenne

UNDREDS of sympathisH ers yesterday trooped to Ikenne, the Ogun State coun-

improving the Tribune newspapers, which ensured that the Nigerian Tribune and its sister publications have remained an objective voice of reason in Nigeria’s media space and continue to offer invaluable services to the nation. “It is not a mean feat to have sustained the Tribune newspapers over the years,” the President said in praise of the late scion of the Awolowo family.” Also, the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, condoled with the family. He said he received the news of Oluwole’s demise with sadness and noted that a pride and shining star of the great Awolowo family has been dimmed. He particularly shared his admiration for the managerial and entrepreneurial capabilities of the late publisher and called on his successor and management of the Newspaper to keep the flag flying higher.

try home of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, to condole with the family over the death of the only surviving son, Chief Oluwole Bolade Awolowo. Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has commiserated with the Awolowo family over the death of Oluwole, describing his demise as sad and painful. The President, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media, Dr. Rueben Abati, noted that the late Awolowo was not only a distinguished evangelist and humanist, but also a community leader. He described the deceased as a worthy and honoured member of the Awolowo dynasty who diligently served God and humanity to the best of his abilities. Jonathan said, “Oluwole’s steadfast, life-long commitment to upholding, maintaining and continually

Among the earlier callers at Ikenne was the Special Adviser on Policy and Strategy to President Jonathan, Mr. Oronto Douglas who represented his boss, Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun, former governor, Chief Gbenga Daniel, his wife, Olufunke, the Alakene of IkenneRemo, Oba Adeyinka Onakade, representatives of the Ooni of Ife, led by Apetumodu of Ipetumodu, Oba Elijah Adegoke, Sir Olaniwun Ajayi, Justice Owolabi Sonoiki (rtd) and Chief GOK Ajayi (SAN) and wife. Gen. Oladipo Diya (rtd), Prince Bola Ajibola, Prof. Emeritus, Timothy Ogunlesi and the Ogun State Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Alhaji Abimbola Awofeso were also at the Awolowo family house. Two sisters of the deceased, Rev (Mrs.) Omotola Oyediran and Mrs. Tokunbo AwolowoDosunmu, were on ground to receive the visitors. As at 3.00 p.m., about 150

people, including Amosun, had signed the condolence register. Amosun wrote in the condolence register: “Egbon (elder brother), I really don’t know what to say or write. Despite our grief, we thank the good Lord. He gives and takes. We cannot question or query Him. May the Lord grant you eternal rest and may we continue to give Mama and the rest of the Awolowo family good health. Adieu.” Physically disturbed, Douglas described the deceased as a leader, great son of Nigeria who served the country well. He wrote:” A great son of Nigeria is gone. Adieu our leader and brother.” Daniel described late Awolowo as an amiable, down to earth and jovial personality. Daniel, later in a statement, described the deceased as a peace builder and an unassuming leader. He lived his life in the service of the people. He was a quiet philanthropist and an exemplary leader who impacted on the lives of those who came in contact with him positively.

myself who continue to cherish his love and affection, and I pray for the repose of his soul. “Egbon’s love for people, his concern for truth, and justice and his ‘unbreakable’ steadfastness with Christ through prayers, which he never failed to offer whenever we come to visit, will remain evergreen with us. He was a great man, patriot, politician, peacemaker and a man of prayers.” To the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Abdulazeez Arisekola-Alao, “Though painful and devastating, death is inevitable for mortals, it’s more than tragedy to loose Egbon Wole.” According to him, “Oluwole’s public relations is second to none, very nice a man, a rallying point. Myself and Egbon Wole have been together for almost 50 years. I recalled when he joined politics, he won in Apapa Local Government, when he founded the club called Doma Club, very nice and honest man. “It is not in any Book of God that a child will buried his parents nor parents will buried his child, it is Will of God. We take consolation in the fact that our amiable unbreakable left good legacies, May Allah be kind with him.”

‘He was a victim of bad governance’ EMBERS of a “proposed M UPN” mourned the late Oluwole Awolowo whom they described as the “son of our mentor, Papa Obafemi Awolowo.” The group led by Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, in its condolence message contained in a statement, said “Wole thus became a victim of bad governance in Nigeria with its bad roads and inadequate response to emergency situation. That Wole lived up to yesterday before giving up the ghost was an act of God and his peculiar resilience, which earned him the appellation ‘Unbreakable’ from Papa Awo. “Wole was an achiever and goal getter. As a UPN member of Lagos State House of Assembly, he was a leader among equals. He was kind and generous. Wole was a man of God with PhD degree in theology. He was a pastor with passion to take care of the underprivileged. “As a publisher, he was an inspiration to his staff so much that he increased the quality of the Nigerian Tribune to make the paper acceptable and admired by the generality of the Nigerian people. Wole made his mark in Nigerian journalism by promoting the dignity of Nigerian journalist.”

Fayemi, Oshiomhole, Uduaghan, Okorocha extol his virtues From Muyiwa Adeyemi (Ado-Ekiti), Alemma Ozioruwa Aliu (Benin) and Charles Ogugbuaja (Owerri) OVERNORS Kayode Fayemi G (Ekiti), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta) and Rochas Okorocha (Imo) have commiserated with the family of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, over the death of his son, Oluwole. Fayemi, in a statement, expressed regret that death has robbed the Awolowo clan of a shining star who had been

a motivator of the family since the demise of the patriarch, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. The governor stressed that the loss became more painful by the fact that the family was yet to fully recover from the death of Oluwole’s sister, Mrs. Ayodele Soyode, who passed on less than two years ago. He credited Oluwole with the nurturing of the Nigerian Tribune, a big media empire, which has endured for over 60 years. Fayemi said the deceased distinguished himself by his tenacity of purpose, resilience

and the diligence with which he pursued the goals he believed in. In his condolence message, Oshiomhole said: “We share in the grief and pain of the Awolowo family at this very difficult period, knowing how closely knit the family is. “Oluwole upheld the Awolowo name till the end and kept the dream of the sage alive through his prudent management of the Tribune newspapers. He will always be remembered for his forthrightness.” Uduaghan described the late

Oluwole Awolowo as a humble, easy going and focussed personality who spent almost his entire life for the good of humanity. “Not once, throughout my continued encounter with him did he betray emotions of being born with a silver spoon. Unless you are told, you won’t know he was the first son of the late sage. He was simple, humble and very focused. He was not one to be associated with triviality”, he added The governor said the junior

Awolowo helped to cement his relationship with Mama H.I.D such that today he can boast to be among the very few recognised by the matriarch as one of her children. Okorocha described Oluwole’s death as “a big blow and loss to the media industry”. In a statement, he noted that the deceased was outstanding in view of his contributions to Yoruba land and Nigeria at large, praying God to comfort the family to bear the irreparable loss with gratitude.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

4 | NEWS

Jonathan congratulates Delta monarch, Tinubu on birthdays From Abubakar Mohammed, Abuja

Aba set for industrial revolution as first integrated power plant takes off From Emeka Anuforo and Abosede Musari, Abuja

th

HEAD of his the 96 birthBIA State’s commercial A day and 25 coronation A nerve centre, Aba, and enanniversary, which coincide virons are set to bounce back th

tomorrow, President Goodluck Jonathan has sent a felicitation message to the Ohworode of Olomu Kingdom of Delta State, Ovie R. L. Ogbon Ogoni, Olomu 1. In like manner, President Jonathan has felicitated with the former governor of Lagos State and chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on the occasion of his 61st birthday, which comes up today. In a congratulatory letter to the monarch, President Jonathan prayed that “the legacy of peace, harmony, prosperity and steadfast progress, which the Olomu Kingdom has witnessed during your reign, will endure perpetually even as the Almighty God blesses you with robust health and many more years of fulfillment.” He added: “The ideals of uncommon patriotism, unassailable piety and sterling leadership qualities which you epitomise are worthy traits which will continue to inspire us in our national transformation efforts.” Jonathan prayed for God’s continued protection and prosperity for the Ohworode and the people of Olomu Kingdom. Presidential Spokesman, Dr. Rueben Abati, quoted the President’s letter on behalf of himself and the Federal Government as praying that Almighty God would continue to guide, guard and prosper Tinubu with many more years of fulfillment.

as a major industrial hub, as President Goodluck Jonathan prepares to commission Nigeria’s first integrated power plants in May, going by information from the promoters of the project. This gives further verve to the assurance by the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, that the reviewed power sector roadmap currently being fine-tuned would be implemented religiously. Nebo, who spoke when Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State visited him in Abuja, stressed that the roadmap would not be abandoned since the Federal Government was committed to energising the South-East industrial hub, especially Nnewi, Onitsha and Aba axis, to boost their manufacturing potentials. Meanwhile, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Andrew Pocock, has lamented Nigeria’s unstable electricity supply to its people, stressing

• New power sector roadmap to be implemented religiously, says Nebo • British envoy blames unstable electricity, poor infrastructure on corruption that in the past 30 years, the country had struggled to provide just about 5,000 megawatts of power to its citizens. Nevertheless, he believes that the ongoing privatisation of the power sector was in the right direction, and if sustained and corruption dealt with, Nigeria would become a world with political and economic power. Cited in Aba, the project will generate, transmit and distribute power to the over three million residents of Aba metropolis, serving the area on an island mode. The Aba Integrated Power Project (IPP) has three units with a total capacity of 141 megawatts (mw). Work on the fourth unit with an additional 47mw would be intensified once the first three units have been fired. According to officials, three turbines were virtually ready, two of them 95 per cent ready while the third is 90 per cent. The three units are all gas-fired, with about $466 million said

to have been sunk into the project so far. Technical Adviser at Geometric Power Limited, which owns the project, Okwudiri Ehilegbu, who conducted journalists round the facility yesterday, said the project would guarantee at least 95 per cent uninterrupted power supply. He said that Geometric’s electricity load study of Aba, which does not include suppressed load due to limitations associated with existing distribution network, indicated that the area requires between 94-108mw of electricity, while the excess would be fed into the national grid. On the issue of gas, which had plagued the thermal, he stressed: “This project won’t have problem with gas. We have secured a gas deal with Shell. We have got gas from Shell gathering location from Owaza, 27 kilometres to the plant. The dedicated gas pipelines have been laid from Owaza, remaining the end fa-

cilities. “Each unit is rated 47mw. A total of 141mw is expected from the three units very soon. The fourth one expected to generate 47mw is not yet ready. In all, 188mw of electricity will be generated from the units at the completion of the entire project.” Pocock spoke during a courtesy visit to the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde, where he recalled: “I was here in 1980, which was a period the country was just coming out from long years of military rule, when the oil boom peaked and public infrastructure grew with the attainment of over 5,000 megawatts of electricity. “Thirty years after and because of corruption in resource allocation process, it became difficult to deliver infrastructure to the people that today, this country is still generating the same quantum of electricity generated 30 years ago.”

Rival APC begins legal action over non-registration

Nigeria on the brink, says Soyinka CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 not see what is happening in the North as being confined to the North. It is obvious all along that this is not a northern affair. No. We heard recently that some members of the sect have been found in Lagos, that is not new, it started years ago. Everyone should understand that the problem we are facing right now is not regional; it is national and a human problem. It is called Boko Haram. That is the kind of language I believe the leadership of this nation should be imparting to Nigerian citizens.” He continued: “Let us face it, this nation is on the brinks. Those who do understand it, I feel very sorry for them because they will one day wake up and find out that we have fallen as a nation.”

Court halts new practising fees for lawyers

From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja RUE to its threat, the African People’s Congress (APC) has notified the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of its intention to challenge the commission’s refusal to register it as a party. The association, which disclosed this at a press conference at its national secretariat in Abuja, also hinted that it had recruited a team of 20 lawyers for the legal battle. Acting National Chairman of the association, Onyinye Ikeagwuonu, while addressing newsmen, displayed a letter the association wrote to notify INEC of the intended legal action. Dated March 26, 2013 and addressed to INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, it read: “We wish to notify you and the commission (INEC) of our resolve to challenge your decision in court as provided in Section 79 of the Electoral Act.” It body declared that having notified INEC of its intention to resort to legal action, the commission had no right to register any other political party with its name, acronym, symbol or logo. The association insisted that the information it gave INEC was enough as address of its national officers. It added: “We expect the commission to have written us demanding for more detailed addresses of our national officers if the addresses we provided did not meet the commission’s administrative rules.”

Identifying corruption as the bane of Nigeria’s infrastructure development, he commended the power sector privatisation, stating: “If this process is transparently done, there is no doubt that Nigeria will be on the verge of industrial revolution in the next few years. In his remarks, Lamorde said the agency had secured a restraining order on the United Kingdom (UK) accounts of fraudsters of fuel subsidy regime, explaining that the EFCC was formalising ways of getting the funds forfeited and repatriated to Nigeria. While thanking the UK government for its support in the fight against corruption in Nigeria, he urged the High Commissioner to use his office in the repatriation of funds belonging to the importers back to the Nigerian government.

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By Joseph Onyekwere National Co-ordinator, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Gani Adams (left); Spokesperson, Save Nigeria Group (SNG), Yinka Odumakin; Chairman, National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd); Political/Econ Chief, United States (U.S.) Embassy, Rolf Olson; President, Women Arise (WA), Joe Okei-Odumakin; Acting Consul-General U.S. Consulate, Dehab Ghebreab and former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Priscilla Kuye, during a roundtable dinner organized by U.S. Consulate-General in honour of Joe Okei-Odumakin in Lagos… yesterday.

Achebe lives on, says Okara, NGF mourns From Kelvin Ebiri (Port Harcourt) and Lawrence Njoku (Enugu) S the world continues with A glowing tributes to the late renowned novelist, Prof. Chinua Achebe, renowned poet, Gabriel Okara, said the global community should not grieve over his death because he still lives through his enormous literary works. The nonagenarian, who told The Guardian in Port Harcourt on Thursday that Achebe was a great inspiration to generations of African writers, said people should not mourn his exit, but should rejoice because he lived a good life and contributed enormously to the development of mankind. His admonition came just as the Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi, has expressed sadness over Achebe’s passage, describing him as one of Africa’s finest literary giants, whose works speak volumes, just as he was internationally recognised. Meanwhile, indications have emerged that the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation,

• Ohanaeze Ndigbo may convoke Imeobi in his honour Ohanaeze Ndigbo, might soon convoke the highest decision-making organ, Imeobi, to deliberate on Achebe. Though no date has been fixed for the meeting, Ndigbo is said to be fulfilled with the kind of life that he lived. Also, the former Minister of Information, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, on charged the South-East governors to refocus on manpower development as the only way the gap created by Achebe’s death could be filled. Nwodo, who described Achebe as a quintessential example of academic excellence, said the political arrangement of the country, which had been skewed against Ndigbo, could be reversed if the governors of the zone begin to look inwards and re-enact those virtues Achebe lived for by ensuring the future of their youths through educational empowerment. According to Okara, Achebe’s influence on African and global literature will never diminish; “so long as people

continue to study African literature, so will Achebe be remembered,” he stated. “Achebe is not dead. Great writers like him don’t die. So long as his books are being read and appreciated by millions across the world, he lives. Achebe will continue to live in the hearts of the people. William Shakespeare died hundreds of years ago, but his works live. So will Achebe live.” Amaechi recalled his fond memories of Achebe and his plays, including “A man of the people,” which is the governor’s favourite work by the writer, saying: “I love and have read ‘A man of the people’ over and over again, mostly because of its portrayal of leadership as it is in Africa. “I have also commissioned that a movie be made out of it for the benefit of more people, especially our youths who are the leaders of tomorrow. It is such a shock to me that our dearly beloved Achebe, the man who gave us several notable works of literature, is

gone.” He added: “I still have fond memories of the time I spent with Prof. Achebe at his home in Providence, Rhodes Island, and when I was invited as a keynote speaker at his yearly African Colloquium at Brown’s University, his intelligence still motivated me. “I remember his kind words, his fatherly advice and encouragement. Achebe is a man that will be greatly missed, not only by Nigerians and Africans, but the world.” He noted further: “I find solace in the fact that Achebe lived a fulfilled life fighting for change in the political landscape of our great nation and Africa, using his pen and voice, and has left behind an array of literary works that are indeed most remarkable.” Nwodo said that Achebe stood for what he believed until death, and remains in history as the only Nigerian that refused to accept a national honour on two occasions following the decadence in the country, which he believed should be addressed before according him such recognition.

FEDERAL High Court sitA ting in Lagos yesterday put on hold the payment of the

newly-introduced practising fees for lawyers in Nigeria. The trial judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, made the pronouncement following an interlocutory application filed by the plaintiffs’ counsel, Tunji Gomez, praying the court to halt the collection of new fees. In her ruling yesterday, the judge agreed with the submissions of the plaintiffs’ counsel and ordered the NBA to stop collecting the upwardly reviewed fees and revert to status quo pending the determination of the substantial suit. She subsequently adjourned hearing to May 30, 2013. Gomez had earlier moved his motion for interlocutory application in the suit, and arguing his motion, he urged the court to grant the prayer of the plaintiffs and restrain the NBA from collecting or enforcing the new fees regime. He also urged the court to make an order of mandatory injunction compelling the defendants to continuously collect the fees as it were on January 1, 2012. Gomez also told the court to order the defendants to stop sending out text messages to lawyers, persuading them to pay the new practising fee, until the case is finally determined.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

Edo ACN warns erring council chairmen From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City HEAD of the April 20 local council election in Edo State, the state chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday said it would not hesitate to sanction any of its chairmen that would misappropriate council resources once elected. The state chairman of the party, Thomas Okosun, stated this yesterday while commissioning a block of classrooms in Eyaenugie Primary School built as part of constituency projects by the member representing Oredo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Rasaq Belo-Osagie. Okosun said the party had thoroughly selected its candidates and would not hesitate to sanction any one of them that abuses the people’s mandate. “We will not allow anybody to share our resources, anybody who tries to divide the people, we will not hesitate to sanction.”

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Ministers, Ademowo preach sacrifice, hope, love at Easter By Felix Kuye (Lagos) Terhemba Daka (Abuja)

Ihedioha calls for prayers

HE Federal Capital Territory T (FCT) Minister, Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, has

celebration calls for sober reflection, as well as emulating the exemplary life of Jesus Christ. The minister charged residents of the Federal Capital Territory to rededicate themselves to the service of God and humanity to make the world a better place than we met it. In his Good Friday message, the Dean Emeritus and Bishop of Lagos Diocese, Anglican

called on the residents of the territory to spread the gospel of love, sacrifice, tolerance and peaceful co-existence as the world celebrates this year’s Easter. Mohammed congratulated the residents, particularly the Christians, on this auspicious occasion and noted that the

Communion, The Most Rev. Adebola Ademowo, admonished Nigerian leaders and the led to repent, strip themselves of all evil and work together to tackle problems plaguing the nation and threatening its peace and unity. “The recurring kidnapping has taken a new dimension. Expatriates are being kidnapped and killed gruesome-

Group cautions Delta commissioner on guber polls By Tony Nwachukwu POLITICAL group, Delta A Forces United (DFU), has tasked the state Commissioner for Information, Chike Ogeah, to focus on delivering to Deltans the merits of his appointment, not mediocrity. DFU was reacting to a recent report in the Daily Independent allegedly credited to Ogeah to the effect that he, on behalf of the state government, cautioned its national coordinator and governorship aspirant, Mr. Festus Keyamo, to stick to human rights activism instead of dabbling into politics. A statement by the DFU Acting Media Coordinator, Mr. Frank Oshanugor, warned that the group took “serious exception to such sarcastic advice in a democracy where every individual has the right to vote and be voted for.” It added: “Ogeah’s statement promotes bad politics, where a select few arrogate to themselves and those they deem qualified the privilege to play the game.”

Olanipekun decries proliferation of varsities From Niyi Bello (Akure) and Joseph Onyekwere (Lagos) RO-CHANCELLOR and Chairman of Governing Council of the University of Ibadan, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), has decried what he called “proliferation” of universities by states and Federal Governments for political reasons while existing ones are not being adequately funded. The legal luminary spoke at Elizade University, IlaraMokin, Ondo State, while delivering the inaugural convocation lecture of the institution owned by Chairman of Toyota Nigeria Limited (TNL), Chief Michael Ade-Ojo. Speaking on the topic: “Forging a synergy between public and private universities for the attainment of national development”, Olanipekun said the economic situation in Nigeria does not permit establishment of a new set of universities and that the existing ones should seek to grow by merging with one another. He said: “Political office holders now establish universities at random to secure cheap political points, it is illogical and cannot work”.

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Ezeigbo of Ikeja, Uche Dimgba (left) and elder brother to impeached Imo State Deputy Governor, Martins Agbaso, briefing newsmen on the bribery allegation against the impeached deputy governor in Lagos…yesterday

ly. There is wanton destruction of lives and property, innocent Nigerians are being killed in tens and hundreds almost on a daily basis. This nation must repent, our leaders need to change. Everyone must change and attach value to life.” According to him, “a nation where leaders exhibit greed and avarice with pride and impunity is totally condemned. Those who have plundered our national wealth and converted it to personal use are being pardoned and now walk freely the streets of our cities. This indicates the level of the decay. “There is no better time to call on all leaders at all levels of governance to imbibe the spirit of selflessness demonstrated by our Lord and Redeemer when He gave His life for all, paid the supreme price and offered the most acceptable sacrifice for the sin of mankind.” Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Olajumoke Akinjide, urged Nigerians to remain steadfast in praying for the country and the leaders. The minister, in her Easter message, advised Nigerians to rededicate themselves to the service of God, the nation and humanity. “Easter is all about sacrifice, hope, love and peace. Our Lord Jesus Christ gave His life a ransom for us. Let this spirit of selflessness that was in Christ spur us to greater love for one another and renew our faith

in our nation”. Also, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, has called on all Nigerians to remain steadfast in their prayers for the unity, peace and progress of the country. The Deputy Speaker also expressed optimism that challenges facing the country will give way to breakthroughs in several facets of national life when Nigerians do not relent in prayers, hard work, diligence and patriotic contributions to nation-building. Mohammed expressed gratitude to God for “the privilege and mercy He has granted us in FCT to join other Christians around the globe to commemorate this providential day in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.” He used the occasion to appeal to all residents of the Federal Capital Territory to continue to be their brothers’ keepers, irrespective of our religious beliefs. Specifically, the minister enjoined residents to continue to supplicate to God for peace and prosperity to reign in Nigeria, especially with the current security challenges besetting the country. “Christians and all Nigerians should use this Easter period to pray for the sustenance of Nigeria’s unity. We also need to rededicate ourselves to the service of God and mankind in line with the examples set by Jesus Christ,” Akinjide counseled.

ny as chief executive officer (CEO). The property, taken over by the receiver-manager, were

used by Ogboru and his company as collateral and that the defendants have refused to repay the loan despite

Court rules on Ogboru’s application April 19 By Joseph Onyekwere USTICE Okon Abang of the Jyesterday Federal High Court in Lagos said he would rule on whether to set aside his earlier order appointing a receiver-manager over the property of Chief Great Ogboru or not on April 19. The Assets’ Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) had obtained the order from the same court to make their counsel, Kunle Ogunba (SAN), the receiver-manager of Ogboru’s property over alleged unpaid loan. But Ogboru and his company, Fiogret Limited, challenged the jurisdiction of the court and equally filed an application to set aside the order. Lawyers for both parties had argued vigorously about the propriety of the order. The judge also adjourned the application filed by Mr. Fidelis Tilije (Ogboru’s running-mate in Delta State gubernatorial election), seeking to be joined as an interested party to April 26 for hearing. The motion on notice brought by Tilije’s counsel, Luke Aghanenu, also asked for an order to amend the originating processes and all other processes in the suit to reflect the joinder of Tilije as the third defendant. According to his 12-paragraph affidavit, the applicant averred that his premises at 15 Layi Ajayi-Bembe Road, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, was invaded by 10 police officers with an order to take it over so as to enforce a court judgment. He maintained that the property belonged to him and not the defendant (Ogboru). “Upon examination of the court order, I discovered that my property was listed as belonging to the defendant/respondent in this

suit and that the plaintiff had wrongly joined my property therein for no justifiable reason whatsoever. “That the said property is wholly owned by me and the same does not belong to the defendants”, he said, insisting that joining him as a defendant is necessary to properly determine the suit once and for all. On January 13, 2013, Justice Abang appointed Ogunba as the receiver-manager over five property scattered all over Nigeria allegedly belonging to Ogboru. The court also ordered all banks and financial institutions in the country to furnish the receiver-manager with the details of any sum of money outstanding to the credit of the defendant (Ogboru). The court also ordered the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2, Commissioners of Police Lagos, Delta, Edo and Rivers states, to assist the receiver-manager in performance of his duty. The court order was sequel to an affidavit filed before it affirming the indebtedness of the respondent to the bank and his unwillingness to liquidate the debt. According to the order, Ogunba is to serve as a receiver-manager over Ogboru’s property situated at Plot 43, Norman Williams Street, Ikoyi; Plot 230-234, Owotu-Ikorodu; Plot 15, Layi Ajayi-Bembe Street, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos. In response to Ogboru’s application, Ogunba had also filed objection to the two applications filed by Ogboru and his company on behalf of AMCON. The claimant stated that Fiogret Limited was a customer to Equatorial Trust Bank now Sterling Bank Plc, for so many years and that the company was given a loan of N200 million to finance

importation of fish from Europe; and that Mr. Ogboru signed the acceptance column on behalf of the compa-

Airlines raise fares with travellers’ upsurge By Wole Shadare

• Royal Air Maroc in emergency landing over bird strike

WING to the Easter season O and as thousands of travellers are making desperate

blade, the thrust and the boroscope. It could affect the windscreen, which is $10,000. It can affect the airframe and that could take the aircraft out for about two weeks. “Each time there is a bird strike, the airline loses about $260,000 of revenue and on cost of repairs,” a source said. Overall, Nigerian airline operators estimated their losses to between N200 million and N300 million in the past six years as a result of bird strikes. The Guardian learnt that the Boeing aircraft, which was said to have departed the airport at 7:00 am to Casablanca, Morocco, returned to base barely 10 minutes in the air. The aircraft was said to be carrying over 100 passengers when the incident occurred. Sources said immediately the strike occurred, the pilot was said to have contacted the control tower in Lagos and requested for an emergency landing, which was quickly given by the Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) on duty. As at 5 p.m. yesterday, the airplane was still on ground, as the airline would need to take the engines for repairs as some of the blades inside the engine compartment had been damaged. The passengers were, however, lodged in a hotel, pending when another aircraft would be deployed to airlift them to the North African country. Air Morocco operates four flights to Lagos weekly: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and

moves to be with their relations, there are indications that airlines have been forced to raise flight rates to grapple with the upsurge of passengers. Most of the country’s major airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano are witnessing influx of passengers. Meanwhile, Air Maroc yesterday suffered damage to one of its engines and was forced to make emergency return to the Lagos airport, 10 minutes after take-off. One of the engines was hit by birds in what is generally known in aviation as ‘bird strike’. A bird strike - sometimes called avian ingestion (only if in an engine), bird hit, is a collision between an airborne animal (usually a bird or bat and a human-made vehicle, especially aircraft. Bird strikes are a significant threat to flight safety and have caused a number of accidents with human casualties. Most accidents occur when the bird hits the windscreen or flies into the engines. These cause annual damages that have been estimated at $400 million within the United States of America alone and up to $1.2 billion to commercial aircraft worldwide. A typical bird strike could affect the aircraft’s nose; that is the cone where the radar is. This costs about $400,000; it could destroy the engine, where you have the turbine

Saturday. A source close to the airline said that the passengers would eventually depart the country tomorrow to Morocco. At the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, passengers were struggling to get the seats on the few available airlines, just as fares kept rising. However, operators are denying increase in fares, especially as the airlines have earlier announced increased capacity to do more flights during this festive period. Again, touts, in connivance with airlines, are contributing to the fare increase for desperate travellers, who are only interested in getting to their destinations. Aviation watchers, however, warned that doing more flights and over-stretching the limit of an airline, crew, and personnel portend danger for the aviation industry. An hour flight to places like Abuja and Port Harcourt now hit over N40, 000. A visit to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the Lagos airport shows that one of the leading airlines may have capitalised on demand to hike its fares. Passengers were seen milling around at the terminal as they struggled to purchase tickets, as demand far outweighs supply. It was obvious that virtually all the airlines found it very difficult to cope with capacity following the suspension of flights by Aero, one of the biggest players in the industry.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

6 | NEWS

President summons police chiefs over clash with defence corps From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja ORRIED about negative implication of the recent clash between the police and officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), which reportedly resulted in the death of two NSCDC personnel in Lagos, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday summoned the authorities of the Police Force to Presidential Villa. The President was reported to have earlier met with the leadership of the NSCDC on Wednesday to ascertain the reasons behind the clash. Though Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar, was said to be currently out of the country, the Police delegation was led to the meeting with the president by the DIG ‘A’, Dept. Suleiman Fakai. Other members of the delegation were Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko; Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Anti-Vandalism, Friday Ibadin; and the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba. Mba confirmed to State House Correspondents that the clash formed part of the issues discussed at the meeting with the President. He said the police used the opportunity of the meeting to give the President what he called “the police perspective of the report” and presenting the facts as they are.

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Founder of Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo (left); Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko and wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, at the Distinguished Lecture Series 1 and Maiden Matriculation of Elizade University, in Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State…yesterday

24 feared killed in fresh Plateau violence From Isa Abdulsalami, Jos O fewer than 24 people were feared killed on Wednesday night as unknown gunmen invaded Mangor village in Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State. Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has said that everything was being done to make sure the spate of insurgency in the country was brought to its knees. He denied that leaders are unconcerned about the insurgency taking place in Plateau State. According to a resident who pleaded anonymity, “I counted up to 18 dead bodies

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Tambuwal assures of end to insecurity but people say that there are other bodies behind the village. But the one I know is that 18.” He said that he suspected the Fulani herdsmen to be behind the killing. He said that the victims were mostly of Ron Kulere tribe in Bokkos council. The security personnel had cordoned the area so that people inside cannot go out of the village either can people come into the village. However, Special Task Force (STF) spokesman, Navy Lt. Jude Akpa, said that its personnel engaged the gunmen in a battle killing six of the attackers. He, however, admitted that

there were casualties on the part of the attacked residents, adding: “We cannot confirm the figure now. We do not want to give imaginative figure now. We want to be precise. But in the encounter between the men of the STF and the gunmen, our men succeeded in killing six of them. But we are still gathering the bodies of the civilians that the gunmen killed. We shall tell you the figure later.” Akpa also confirmed that two mobile policemen attached to the STF were killed during the gun duel. Later when he was contacted, he reversed himself that the two policemen were

only seriously injured but did not die as earlier held. According to him, the two policemen had been rushed to the hospital for treatment. Up till the time of filing this report, Akpa did not call back to give the figure of the residents who lost their lives during the invasion The attack sent shivers down the spines of the traders coming to the popular Bokkos Central Market as they yesterday shunned the market. Also, roads leading to and fro Mangor were blocked to avoid possible reprisal attack. Security personnel too stopped people from coming into the community while the Bokkos council secretariat, which is about half a kilometre

to the market, was also closed. According to the Speaker, leaders in the country had not been quiet about what was happening either in Plateau or Kano or Maiduguri or Yobe or even the kidnapping in some parts of the country but are all collectively and severally concerned. Tambuwal who was in Jos yesterday to commiserate with one of their colleagues, Mr. Simon Mwadkwon, a member representing Riyom/Barkin Ladi in the House of Representatives over the loss of his only son, said that they were doing everything humanly possible as leaders to make sure that the challenges are addressed.

Kwara govt pledges timely projects’ completion, distributes ambulances From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin OVERNOR Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has promised more qualitative healthcare services for the people. Dr. Ahmed, who said that his government was committed to laying an enduring legacy for the sector believed that health remained a germane yardstick to measure the caring attitude of government to the people. He spoke in Ilorin during an inspection tour of some of his administration’s on-going projects. They include renovation works at the former University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), streetlights along Ajase Ipo Road, Water Dam step-up station at Adewole, Ilorin and a Bridge on Afon Road, in Asa Local Government Area (LGA). He promised timely completion of the projects towards making them accessible to the people. On another occasion, the government distributed 13 new ambulances to 13 Specialist and General Hospitals across the state as well as equipment and Roll-Back-Malaria drugs to 43 primary health centres. Ahmed recalled that the state government in 2011 purchased and distributed anti-malaria

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drugs worth N47 million and Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits worth over N11.3 million. He added that about two million long-lasting insecticidal nets have been distributed to households. He debunked claims that the General Hospital, Ilorin would be converted into the Teaching Hospital arm of Kwara State University, (KWASU), Malete, Moro Local Government Area saying: “When the state university requires to

have a teaching hospital we are going to set up a fresh teaching hospital. Don’t forget that we must have a general hospital. “The health sector is broken down into three: The primary, secondary and tertiary. The primary are the basic health centres and clinics. The secondary are the general hospitals and tertiary are the specialist and teaching hospitals. “If we end up converting the

general hospital again to a teaching hospital we have to build another general hospital. As it were it might be easier to convert Sobi Specialist Hospital into teaching hospital. Most of our people want to firstly access primary and secondary health centres. The tertiary hospitals are for referrals from the primary and secondary. If you don’t have these two we are jumping the guns. “ That is why we want to make sure that for every clus-

ter of primary health centres we will have a general hospital. ” He assured Kwarans that when the five general hospitals in Ilorin, Share, Offa, Kaiama and Omu-Aran, currently undergoing remodeling and three new ones billed for LGAs without secondary health institutions were completed, the capacity of the state’s healthcare delivery system to cope with malaria and other life threatening diseases and ail-

No plan to remove oil subsidy, says Presidency From Adamu Abuh, Abuja HE Presidency yesterday cleared the air on speculations making the rounds that it was planning to remove oil subsidy. In a statement in Abuja, Presidential Spokesman, Dr. Doyin Okupe maintained that President Goodluck Jonathan led administration is not considering the issue of removal of fuel subsidy in the nearest future. Okupe said sufficient allocation for fuel subsidy has already been made in the 2013 budget. Okupe said despite President Goodluck Jonathan’s recent remark concerning subsidy, there is no cause for alarm on removal of fuel subsidy, adding that the President was mindful of the reactions and plight of the Nigerian people. According to him: “The President and this administration are not insensitive to the plights of the Nigerian masses and will continue to pursue and execute policies and programmes that are in the overall interest of majority of Nigerians and that will bring the greatest good to the greatest number of our teeming population.”

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Reps bar Jonathan, govt from funding SEC From Terhemba Daka, Abuja HE end of the controversy between the Executive and the Legislature over the zero allocation given the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by the National Assembly may not be in sight yet as the House of Representatives has said that President Goodluck Jonathan has no right to finance the operations of SEC from public coffers “ or even private sources”. This was the crux of a letter dated March 27, 2013 and sent by the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Legislative Compliance

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Moruf Akinderu-Fatai to the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. It reads in part: “You will recall that the SEC had submitted its budgetary proposals for 2013 to the House. “You will also recall that no approval was passed back to the SEC. “Further to this and most importantly, the National Assembly has vide the 2013 Appropriation Act, Item 9, Part E, Clause 10 stated thus: All revenue however described including all fees received, fines, grants, budgetary provisions and all internally and externally gen-

erated revenue shall not be spent by the SEC for recurrent or capital purposes or for any other matters, nor liabilities thereon incurred except with Prior Appropriation and Approval by the National Assembly. “The net effect of the National Assembly’s resolution item 9 Part E Clause 10 of 2013 Appropriation Act, it is ultra vires any authority or person (Mr. president inclusive) to finance the operations of Securities and Exchange Commission from public coffers or even private sources.” The letter urged SEC “ to refrain from making any expen-

diture until a budget has been approved by the National Assembly for that purpose. You may also not source and spend any monies whatsoever as this will be a clear infringement of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and shall be viewed as such.” The letter urging zero allocation to SEC, it was gathered was also made available to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim as well as the Board of SEC and the Director of Finance and Administration at SEC respectively. The president had in his amendment budget made

available to the parliament, opposed Item 9, Part E, and Clause 10 of the 2013 Appropriation Act. In the covering letter to the amendment budget, the President had said: “Considering the fact that the budget of the SEC does not form part of the core 2013 Federal budget as presented to the National Assembly, I believe that this clause ought not to have been inserted in the 2013 Appropriation Act in the first place. Secondly, the import of the clause is tantamount to shutting down the business of the Commission with a potential negative impact on the capital


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

NOA moves to check vices in schools From John Akubo, Dutse PPARENTLY worried by the insecurity situation in the country occasioned by the gullibility of the youth as willing tools for perpetrating violence, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Jigawa State held a reorientation lecture for students of the state College of Education, Gumel. Director General of the agency, Mr. Mike Omeri, in his welcome address, bemoaned the situation in the country’s tertiary institutions where all forms of social vices had been found a nurturing ground. Omeri, who was represented by Director of Planning and Research of the agency, Mallam Garba Haruna, said the implication had been farreaching because most of the vices, when nurtured on campuses, boomerang on the society as the products are churned out after graduation.

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Jigawa spends N23m on maternal health From Abiodun Fagbemi (Ilorin) and John Akubo (Dutse) O strengthen the free MaterT nal and Newborn Child Health (MNCH) package in

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We were intimidated to lie against Atuche, say bank officials By Bertram Nwannekanma and Yetunde Ayobami-Ojo WO officials of the Keystone T Bank arraigned alongside the former Managing Director of Bank PHB, Mr. Francis Atuche, over allegations of forgery, yesterday told an Ikeja High Court in Lagos that they were forced to lie against Atuche. The officials, Joachim Nnosiri and Uguru Onyike, who were of Central Shared Services Centre of Keystone Bank Ltd, were arraigned with Atuche on a nine-count charge of forgery, conspiracy and use of forged board resolutions belonging to Futureview Securities Ltd., Tradjeck Ltd. and Extra Oil Ltd. But the officials, in their separate affidavits in support of their summons for bail before the court presided over by Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo, said they were forced to make false statements against Atuche in order to secure their jobs.

In their further affidavits in support, the defendants stated that they agreed to change their statements because of the promise by an official of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to use us as prosecution witnesses against Atuche. The defendants’ counsel, Clement Onwuenwunor and Bamidele Adewunmi, had urged the court to admit their clients to bail on liberal terms because the offence, which they were being charged with, was bailable. The counsel also stated that the affidavits deposed to by the defendants showed they had no case to answer because the charges were frivolous. In the 10-paragraph affidavit deposed separately by the defendants dated March 26, 2013, the bank officials stated through their lawyers that they were forced to change their statements to say that the documents were given to

them by Atuche. Specifically, Nnosiri, in one of the affidavits, stated that he was intimidated and threatened by the Chief Inspector of the bank, Mr. Waidi Gbadamosi, the chief security officer and other senior officers of the bank for insisting that the documents were found in their department. He stated: “That on March 4, 2013, I made a statement at about 11:00 pm at the Ikoyi office of the EFCC admitting that the three board resolutions with attached certificates of incorporation belonging to Futureviews Securities Limited, Extra Oil Limited and Tradjek Nigeria Limited, were given to me by Atuche; • “That I had earlier made a statement at about 9.00 am in the head office of my bank, Keystone Bank, on the same March 4, 2013, to Gbadamosi, the chief security officer and other senior officers of my bank, stating clearly how I found those docu-

ments in the bundle of documents being rearranged in the CSS Department of my bank where I am an office assistant; • “That before I agreed to change my statement, one Mr. Madaki Abdullahi of the EFCC promised to use me as a prosecution witness so as to get at Atuche and the Central Bank of Nigeria had interest in the case; and • “That at the Ikoyi office of the EFCC, I recorded the version of what I had been told to say in my statement dated March 4, 2013, even though it was not correct. But the EFCC, in its counteraffidavit deposed to one of its operatives, Kingsley Emehel, against the bail summons, stated that investigations revealed that the defendants conspired among themselves to forge three board resolutions with certificate of incorporation of the affected companies. The anti-graft agency,

through its counsel, M.W. Bawa, also stated that the defendants did not at any point raise the issue that they made other statements, except the ones contained in the proof of evidence before the court. The counsel urged the court not to admit the defendants to bail because their statements in the affidavits in support of their summons were misleading, false and largely untrue as there was no time were they compelled or forced to change their statements. He also argued that the charges preferred against the defendants were grievous and that there was every possibility that they might jump bail if granted. But Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo in his rulings, admitted the defendants to bail with the sum of N200,000 or two sureties each in like sum. One of the sureties must be an officer of not less than Level 12

Jigawa State, about N23 million has been approved for the purchase of drugs and delivery kits for free distribution to women in labour throughout the state. Meanwhile, a Catholic hospital has been converted to a comprehensive health centre at Bacita community in Edu Local Council Area of Kwara State. To compliment the Jigawa State plan, three dispensaries and two comprehensive health centres would be established in each of the 27 local council areas of the state. The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tafida Abubakar, who disclosed this in Dutse, said the state had established over 135 different health facilities, renovated and equipped others with modern facilities to meet with the health needs of the people. The commissioner explained that the state had also increased its human resources for health from 2,000 in 2007 Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State (left); Secretary General, Muslim World League, Abdullahi Bini Abdul and Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar 111, being conducted round the League’s to 7,000 to address the acute office in Sokoto…yesterday shortage of manpower in the sector. Bacita, a sleepy settlement within the Savannah location of the council, was famous for a sprawling sugar company sit- From Chido Okafor, Warri Orubebe further said that of tion of the East-West Road. We He said: “As a ministry, we detailed development action ed there. have worked a document the 42 bridges earmarked for need to work together to INISTER of Niger Delta for the Niger Delta at a sumcalled the Niger Delta Action the construction of the East- move the Niger Delta forward. Affairs, Godsday mit planned to hold from Plan where summit would be West Road, 37 had been com- We cannot do it alone.” April 21 to 26, 2013. Orubebe, yesterday assured In his remark, Governor Uduheld once in a year to discuss pleted while 750 of the 786 Orubebe had intimated the Okorie seeks e-voting on the completion of the Eastaghan said: “We must plan so culverts had also been built. issues of yesterday and today governor on the Niger Delta West dualisation project by He assured that the East-West that we can succeed in whatas they affect the Niger Delta. Action Plan, which was a From Adamu Abuh, Abuja December 2014. I am glad to inform you too Road would be completed by ever we want to do. I want to developmental programme The minister, who held a O check voters’ apathy in that the Federal Government December 2014, saying that sincerely thank President for the Niger Delta region. the polity, the Independent meeting with Governor has approved the constitu- “we need inputs from all the Goodluck Jonathan for his He stated that the aim of the National Electoral Commis- Emmanuel Uduaghan of programme was to organise a tion of a National Council in governors in the Niger Delta commitment to the complesion (INEC) should be empow- Delta State yesterday at the summit within the Niger this regard, for which the region. We now have funds tion of the East-West Road and Government House Annex in ered to commence the applifirst summit will hold in that will complete the road. as a minister, I want to urge Delta region to discuss the Warri, also disclosed that the cation of the electronic voting April this year in Uyo, Akwa President Goodluck Jonathan you to put in more efforts on issues as it affected the system, according to National ministry would unfold a region. is committed to the comple- the road.” Ibom State. Chairman of the newly formed United Progressive Party (UPP), Chekwas Okorie. Addressing reporters on the outcome of the second national executive committee The Gambia, between April 9 the pledge to draw the atten(ACHPR) in The Gambia the African Union. (NEC) meeting of the UPP held By Kabir Alabi Garba and 22, 2013. where basic human rights are tion of the members of the “Nonetheless, let me on on Wednesday at the national BOUT 38 African and interThe groups, 28 of which are commission to salient issues behalf of my colleagues constantly violated with total secretariat of the party in Abunational non-governmen- from nine Africa countries, of human rights violations by implore you to reconsider the impunity”, the groups wrote: ja, he enjoined the National tal organisations with bias for have already petitioned the The Gambian authority. planned boycott of the “We, the undersigned African Assembly to amend the Elec- media and human rights ACHPR Chairperson, CatherEntitled: “Re: Letter of upcoming 53rd Ordinary Ses- and international non-govtoral Act to achieve the goal. issues may not participate in ine Dupe Atoki, intimating Protest, ACHPR-Gambia Boysion of the Commission. I ernmental organisations, rd Okorie said that though bad the forthcoming 53 Ordi- her of their resolve to boycott, cott”, Atoki’s reply reads: “I assure you that your letter would like to update the ACHgovernance, the appalling nary Session of the African henceforth, any activity of the write to acknowledge receipt will be brought to the atten- PR on a decision we have taksecurity challenges and the Commission on Human and commission, starting with of your letter of March 20, tion of members of the Com- en to cease attending sessions encumbrances placed by Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). the 53rd session on April 9. 2013, and have noted the conmission for deliberation at of the ACHPR and NGOs INEC on the day of voting Reason: The government of But in her response to the cern raised therein. In that the said Session. I look for- forum, so long as these activiwere among reasons for vot- the host country of the com- groups’ protest letter, the regard, I would like to indities continue to be hosted in ward to seeing you soon.” ers’ apathy, Nigerians could mission – The Gambia, is fond chairperson appealed to cate that the decision as to In their protest letter, head- The Gambia where blatant still be encouraged to exercise of violating, with impunity, them to “reconsider the where the Headquarters of lined: “Re: Protest against violations of human rights their franchise on election basic human rights. The pro- planned boycott of the the Commission is situated is holding sessions of the continue to be committed by day through the electronic gramme is scheduled to hold upcoming 53rd Ordinary Ses- the prerogative of the Heads African Commission on the authorities. voting system. in Banjul, the capital city of sion of the commission”, with of State and Government of Human and Peoples’ Rights

Orubebe assures of completion of East-West road M

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Groups may boycott rights meeting over violations in The Gambia A


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THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

AfricanNews Kenyatta apologises for gaffe over Kenya’s electoral petition

Prayers as Mandela is re-admitted in hospital

FTER dismissing the A Supreme Court judges handling the presidential

From Oghogho Obayuwana, Foreign Affairs Editor (with agency reports)

election petition suit as “some six people” who will “decide something or other”, Kenya’s president-elect, Uhuru Kenyatta, has apologised for comments. Kenyatta, who also faces trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity over postelection violence five years ago, made the remarks – which went viral on social media – while consulting with allies at a resort. According to a report by Reuters yesterday, the gaffe emerged after Kenya’s chief justice last week told politicians to stop speaking publicly about the petition against the March 4 election result, to try to ease any tensions over a case seen as a major test of the country’s democratic system. “It was not my intention to sound casual in reference to our Supreme Court Judges,” Kenyatta said. “For that reason, I offer my sincere apologies. My informality may be interpreted as disrespect for the court and that is not the case.” Kenyatta’s long-time rival, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, alleges “rampant illegality” in the vote that handed the son of Kenya’s founding president a first-round victory. Kenyatta says the voting was fair. A ruling is expected on Saturday.

LTHOUGH the South A African government said yesterday that Africa’s living legend, Nelson Mandela, is “responding positively” to treatment, it has in the same breath, asked its countrymen and women and indeed entire world to pray for the country’s first post apartheid president. Widely regarded as the father of the nation for his role in the struggle against apartheid, Mandela, 94 was readmitted into a yet to be named hospital yesterday for a lung infection recurrence. Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. Agency reports, including the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) yesterday cited a government statement signed by President Jacob

Zuma and carrying a passionate prayer appeal. Earlier this month, Mandela spent a night in hospital following a check-up. Zuma said: “We appeal to the people of South Africa and the world to pray for our beloved Madiba and his family and to keep them in their thoughts. We have full confidence in the medical team and know that they will do everything possible to ensure recovery,” The country’s ruling partythe African National Congress (ANC) also called for prayers for the former leader referred to by many South Africans as Madiba. The government statement said Mandela had been admitted just before midnight. It would be recalled that Mandela spent 18 days in hospital in December last year undergoing treatment for a lung infection and gallstones. A presidential spokesman

Mac Maharaj told news agencies yesterday that Mandela was conscious and was receiving the best possible medical treatment. “I think we need to be clear that the doctors are attending to Madiba on a continuous basis, the spokesman said. “They prefer to act on the side of caution, and the moment they felt there was a recurrence of the lung infection, they felt that it warranted immediate hospitalisation given his age and given his history.” he added The ANC’s own statement raised further concerns yesterday: “During these trying times we wish President Mandela well and for his family to be strong...We are confident that the treatment will be successful as he is in professional and competent hands,” it added. It is the fourth time Mandela has been admitted to hospital

Mandela in just over two years. He was said to have first contracted tuberculosis in the 1980s while detained on the windswept Robben Island where he served 18 of the 27 years he was imprisoned for

sabotage. His lungs are said to have been damaged when he worked in a prison quarry. The treatment he received in December 2012 was his longest spell in hospital since leaving prison in 1990.

Al Qaeda-linked Salafists threaten Tunisia’s govt UNISIA’S government led by T moderate Islamist party, Ennahda, has been threatened by supporters of fugitive Salafist leader Abu Iyadh, who was wanted over a deadly attack on the United States (U.S.) embassy last September. A post on the Facebook page of jihadist group, Ansar alSharia, referring to Ennahda Prime Minister Ali Larayedh stated: “To the leaders of Ennahda, if he remains restrain your sick one, otherwise he will be the target of our war to bring him down,” said It called on the party “to catch up... or else you will not hear our response, you will see it with your own eyes.” Larayedh, the former interior minister who was appointed premier earlier this month after a political crisis sparked by the assassination of a leftist politician brought down the previous government, has been a thorn in the side of the Salafists. Before forming the new government Larayedh repeatedly denounced Abu Iyadh, and told French paper, Le Monde, that Ansar al-Sharia’s leader was directly involved in violence and arms trafficking that was undermining Tunisia’s security. He previously said that Abu Iyadh’s group was linked to AlQaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), after clashes in December between armed Islamists and security forces near the Algerian border left a policeman dead.

The Central African Republic’s new strongman, Michel Djotodia (middle) waves as he leaves a meeting with Central African Seleka rebels, whose coalition on March 24, 2013 seized control of Bangui in a rapid-fire weekend assault that forced President Francois Bozize into exile in Bangui… yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

Fear of food shortage heightens in C’Africa after coup Deposed president seeks asylum in Benin Republic HE leadership of rebels ever, added that “he is not in agreement. T who seized power in the Cotonou at the moment.” Bozize, who himself came Central African Republic yesto power in a coup in 2003 terday continued to struggle to restore order in the couphit capital with the United Nations (UN) warning that tens of thousands of people faced the dire fate of going hungry after days of looting. The new development came as the nation’s deposed President Francois Bozize, who fled his country after the rebels seized it at the weekend, sought asylum in Republic of Benin. Beninoise Foreign Minister Arifari Bako Agence France Presse (AFP) that “it is true that he (Bozize) has asked Benin to host him.” He, how-

“It is a delicate issue,” said Bako, declining to give further details before the return of President Thomas Boni Yayi today from South Africa. The presidency in Cameroun had indicated on Sunday that Bozize was in that country “waiting to depart to another host country.” Twenty-eight members of Bozize’s family are in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rebels of the Seleka, which means “alliance,” seized the capital Bangui on Sunday, ousting Bozize, 66, on the grounds that his regime had failed to honour a peace

after ousting elected president Ange-Felix Patasse, fled to Cameroun. Meanwhile, drinking water and electrical power were still cut off in parts of Bangui after Michel Djotodia and his Seleka coalition seized the city on Sunday. “The crisis (...) has worsened an already difficult humanitarian situation,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned in a statement. In Bangui, “prevailing insecurity is hampering humanitarian efforts and the

In a sign that rebels were seeking to maintain some stability, Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye – who was named premier under peace accords signed in Gabon’s capital Libreville in January – said on Wednesday he had been reappointed. provision of help and notably medical assistance,” OCHA said. The situation in the northern and central regions was “particularly worrying”, the UN said, where “more than 80,000 people are in danger” of running out of food. OCHA said that since December, an estimated 173,000 people have been displaced within the country of 4.5 million people. In a sign that rebels were seeking to maintain some

stability, Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye – who was named premier under peace accords signed in Gabon’s capital Libreville in January – said on Wednesday he had been reappointed. A new government is now expected to be formed. Seleka spokesman, Christophe Gazam Betty, pledged yesterday after a meeting with Djotodia and senior officers of both the Seleka and the security forces that normal life would resume by early next week.


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THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

WorldReport UN closes in on landmark arms treaty N an unprecedented move, about 193 United Nations (UN) member-states reportedly closed in on the first-ever global treaty to regulate the $80 billion a year conventional arms trade. As diplomats were cautiously optimistic that the landmark accord would be agreed at the final negotiating session starting at 1900 GMT, doubts remained over whether India, Iran or Syria could block the required consensus. Moreso, rights groups have observed that the proposed accord is too weak. But Britain’s UN ambassador, Mark Lyall Grant, said it is “time for all countries to rally round (the) strong president’s text.” Talks have been held on the treaty since 2006 after years of pressure for measures to restrain a trade that rights groups claim is fueling conflict, terrorism and crime around the globe. The UN estimates that

I

Talks have been held on the treaty since 2006 after years of pressure for measures to restrain a trade that rights groups claim is fueling conflict, terrorism and crime around the globe. 500,000 people a year are killed in armed violence. The treaty would cover tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers and small arms and light arms. It would aim to force countries to assess whether the sale of a weapon could be used for genocide, war crimes or by terrorists or organised crime gangs. Negotiating conference president Peter Woolcott of Australia handed out what he called a “take it or leave it” text to UN states on Wednesday and gave them 24 hours to consider their response. Diplomats said they did not expect the major arms pro-

ducers – the United States, Russia, Germany, France, China and Britain – to block the treaty. Some said, however, that Russia could refuse to sign the accord, which could weaken its application. “Moscow believes the text is not strong enough on arms trafficking and that it should explicitly mention ‘non-state actors’”, such as the Syrian and Chechen rebels, said one European negotiator. China and Russia also had concerns about the reporting of arms sales. The latest text says that “reports may exclude commercially sensitive or national security information.” Diplomats said India could still block the accord because

it does not want the controls to cover arms transferred under bilateral military agreements. The United States opposes ammunition coming under the full controls imposed by the treaty. Ammunition has, however, been left in an annex which does not impose compulsory monitoring of trade in bullets, for which the United States is the biggest producer. Changes made since the start of the talks on March 11 have made “significant improvements,” said Britain’s chief negotiator Joanne Adamson. Adamson highlighted “a new article on preventing diversion of arms and (a) strengthened section on exports which are prohibited.” The British negotiator said “human rights are at the heart of this text. With this text, we should be able to meet our objective of a strong treaty with broad support.”

Russia will block Syrian opposition, says envoy USSIA has vowed to R strongly oppose any bid to give Syria’s UN seat to the rebel coalition fighting President Bashar al-Assad. Russia’s UN envoy, Vitaly Churkin, said recognising the Syrian National Council would “undercut the standing of the UN.” Churkin reaffirmed Russia’s condemnation of the Arab League for naming the coalition as the legitimate government and said the League was now playing a “negative” role in the two-year-old Syrian conflict. The Arab League on Tuesday recognised the coalition and

diplomats said Arab nations are now planning a campaign to give Syria’s place at the 193member United Nations to the opposition. No formal move is expected however before the new UN General Assembly year starts in September. Russia, Assad’s main international backer, is a current member of the General Assembly’s credentials committee, which would make a recommendation to the full assembly on Syria’s membership. “We will oppose it very strongly, but you know I don’t think it is going to happen,”

Churkin told reporters. He said most UN states are “responsible” members, noting: “They value this institution, they understand that if something of the sort were to happen, that would really undercut the standing of the United Nations.” “You do not simply seat opposition groups who have gone through no proper process of legitimization and say well now they are the representatives of Syria,” Churkin added. “I think that this kind of a motion would not find very much support in the United Nations. And I think most of

Obama, in passionate tone, demands gun reform EARS aren’t enough, ex“T pressions of sympathy aren’t enough, speeches aren’t enough…Now is the time to turn that heartbreak into something real.” These were the words of United States (U.S.) President Barack Obama yesterday in a passionate speech at the White House surrounded by relatives of gun violence victims about three months after 20 children and six teachers and caregivers were gunned down in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Obama, at the event, said Americans should be ashamed if the pain of the Newtown school shooting three months ago has ebbed to such an extent that gun reform efforts are fading. The president held the event amid indications that the tidal wave of national grief that prompted promises of action on greater gun control after the massacre in December was fading. “I want to make sure every American is listening today,” said Obama, bristling with

anger after saying he had read a report that questioned whether Washington had gone soft on reform efforts as the horror of Newtown fades. “Less than 100 days ago that happened. The entire country was shocked, the entire country pledged we would do something about it and this time it would be different. “Shame on us if we have forgotten. I haven’t forgotten those kids. Shame on us if we have forgotten,” he said. Top Democrats in Congress have said that there is not sufficient support for some measures proposed by Obama, including a reinstatement of an assault weapons ban. The legislative fight is now surrounding White House plans to close loopholes in background checks designed to ensure mentally unstable people and criminals cannot get guns. Obama also hopes to enact new laws clamping down on gun trafficking and providing more help to secure America’s schools. Meanwhile, Obama was ex-

pected yesterday to meet leaders from four sub-Saharan African nations to stress the need to develop democratic institutions on a continent scarred by poverty and unrest. Obama was to host leaders from Sierra Leone, Senegal, Malawi and Cape Verde in the White House to highlight their economic and democratic strides in line with his administration’s new strategy for Africa laid out last year. The leaders include President Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone, President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Joyce Banda of Malawi and Prime Minister Jose Maria Neves of Cape Verde. “This visit is an opportunity to underscore our support for sub-Saharan Africa and for democracy,” said Caitlin Hayden, National Security Council spokeswoman. “The President is inviting these leaders here because they represent a side of Africa that is too often overlooked: nations that are making impressive progress, and can serve as a positive model for democratic development across the region.”

the countries are smart enough to understand that if they were to go down that road they themselves might be the target of such manipulation in the future,” he added.

Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of wrecking peace hopes HE Afghan government T has accused Pakistan of wrecking efforts to end the Taliban’s bloody 11-year insurgency, in the latest sign of worsening cross-border relations. Pakistan, which backed Afghanistan’s 1996-2001 Taliban regime, is seen as having a crucial role in negotiating a political settlement with the Islamist extremist leaders who shelter in Pakistan’s border districts. Relations had improved between the countries over recent months, building up to a three-way summit hosted by Britain in February to find

an end to the war that U.S.-led troops have waged since 2001. But President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman yesterday said that Pakistan had now abandoned the peace process and imposed “impossible” pre-conditions on any further discussions that would encourage the Taliban to lay down their weapons. “Things were going well up to the trilateral (summit) in Britain, so we were hopeful, but soon it became clear that Pakistan had changed its position and the peace process was no longer its priority,” Aimal Faizi told Agence France Presse (AFP).

Career spy is new head of Britain’s MI5 NDREW Parker, a career A intelligence officer who played a lead role in MI5’s response to the 2005 attacks on London, was yesterday named the new director general of the British domestic spy agency. Parker, the current deputy director, was also instrumental in foiling an Al-Qaeda plot to attack US-bound airliners with liquid bombs in drinks bottles in 2006. The 50-year-old will succeed Jonathan Evans, who will retire in April after six years leading the intelligence organisation.

Home Secretary Theresa May said Parker brought “a wealth of experience and knowledge” to the job. Parker has spent 30 years with MI5 working in the fields of Middle Eastern terrorism, counter espionage, Northern Ireland terrorism and organised crime, the agency said in a statement. As director of international terrorism from 2005 to 2007, he oversaw the expansion of MI5 following the suicide bombings on the London transport system on July 7, 2005, which killed 52 people.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

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Politics Imo impeachment: Alleged bribe money traced to Dubai, Lebanon By Ehichioya Ezomon (Group Political Editor, Lagos) and Charles Ogugbuaja (Owerri) OULD the accuser in the bribery allegation against the impeached Deputy Governor of Imo State, Chief Jude Agbaso, be the culprit after all? And is an aide of Governor Rochas Okorocha a shareholder in JPROS International Nigeria Ltd, whose Managing-Director, Mr. Joseph Dina, alleged that he paid N458 million bribe to the deputy governor? These indications emerged yesterday even as an Owerri High Court ruled in the morning that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit brought by the deputy governor, to stop the impeachment process against him at the state House of Assembly. And apparently relying on the court judgement, the judicial panel of inquiry, set up by the Chief Judge of the state, proceeded with its sittings in the state capital, with Agbaso declining to appear before it. Hours later, the panel apparently concluded its assignment and submitted a report to the House of Assembly, which wasted no time in upholding the recommendations. The House, by a vote of 23 of its 27 members, impeached the deputy governor. One Mr. Joseph Dina, the managing-director of JPROS International Nigeria Ltd, had alleged that he paid a bribe of N458 million to the deputy governor in lieu of future jobs. Dina, whose company handled an abandoned road project in the state, said he paid the money in two tranches through accounts he (deputy governor) allegedly nominated, as follows: • N325, 000,000 paid into the GTBank Plc account No. 0045630151 of Three Brothers Concept Ltd; and N133,000,000 paid into the UBA account No. 1015334698 of IHSAN BDC Ltd. Dina said the deputy governor made arrangements for payment of the money into the said accounts through his mobile phone. The matter came to the open upon the House of Assembly’s investigation into abandonment of roads projects in the state. The House committee empanelled to investigate the allegation of bribery against the deputy governor, and the general House found him answerable. Thereafter, the House passed a no confidence vote on the deputy governor, whom it referred to the Chief Judge of the state, to institute a judicial panel of inquiry to consider the impeachment process against the defendant. The outcome of the inquiry eventually led Jude Agbaso’s impeachment by the House of Assembly yesterday. But addressing newsmen in earlier in Lagos yesterday, Mr. Martin Agbaso, elder brother of the impeached deputy governor, said Mr. Dina falsely accused his sibling and testified against him before the Imo House of Assembly. He provided documentary evidence to prove that the bribe money allegedly paid into accounts of the deputy governor was, indeed, lodged in the accounts of the accuser in Lebanon and Dubai. Agbaso also showed MTN call logs, to demonstrate that the impeached deputy governor did not have any conversation relating to the transfer of money to the bank accounts, as alleged by Mr. Dina. In addition, the former governorship candidate displayed Certified True Copies from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), indicating the directors and shareholders of JPROS International Nigeria Limited. Interestingly, the directors and shareholders include Prince MacDonald-Akano, the Special Adviser to Governor Rochas Okorocha and Chairman of the Committee on Monitoring and Implementation of Road Projects in Imo State. The said Akano was made a director on June 20, 2012 and allotted two (2) million shares of the company’s 10 million shares; and he wrote and consented to be a director of the company two days later, on June 22, 2012. Agbaso said his family had to retain a team of professional investigators to unravel the truth, when the House of Assembly failed to properly investigate the allegations by involving the security agencies. He said this was to stop “the spreading of what

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Okorocha

Agbaso

was clearly a malicious, wicked and vicious onslaught on the integrity of the Deputy Governor.” He said strangely, neither Mr. Dina of JPROS nor the House committee set up to investigate Mr. Dina’s allegation against the deputy governor “thought it fit to identify the directors and subscribers of the two limited liability companies into which the monies were alleged to have been lodged nor did they identify the account holders and signatories to those accounts.” “Without these facts, it would continue to be the deputy governor’s word against that of Mr. Dina of JPROS,” he said. He said the findings of the team of investigators he retained were “truly revealing and astonishing to say the least.” He posed the question: Who received the N458,000,000? He said that according to the findings of the investigators, the N458m alleged to have been paid as gratification to the deputy governor, was actually sent by Mr. Dina to his company accounts overseas. The findings revealed that Mr. Dina first paid N325, 000,000 into the Three Brother’s Concept Ltd GTBank account. The money was used to raise the sum of $1,930,000, which was subsequently transferred through Dubai, on February 21, 2012, to Mr. Dina’s account No. LB5001400002302300179018010 with the Kaslik Branch of BLOM Bank SAL in Lebanon. The purpose of the transfer, as stated in the transfer document, was “to import construction equipment.” Mr. Dina similarly paid the second tranche of N133,000,000 into the IHSAN BDC LTD’s account No. 1015334698 with the UBA. “Again, the money was used to raise $800,000 and transferred to Mr. Dina’s Account, No. AE360200000036374395130 with HSBC Middle East Ltd at Dubai Internet City, Sheik Zayed Rd, Dubai.” So, while Mr. Dina was accusing the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Sir Jude Agbaso of demanding and receiving a bribe of N458 million, the said money had been converted by Mr. Dina himself and his associates, and paid into Mr. Dina’s foreign accounts in Lebanon,” Agbaso said. Secondly, Agbaso asked: Who owns the companies? He said having been established that the deputy governor had nothing to do with the said N458,000,000, “what remains is to determine who the Directors and Shareholders of these companies are. The findings of the professional investigators, who researched the matter, are as follows: • The Three Brothers Concept Ltd runs a Bureau de Change and its Directors are Abdullahi Lawal, Ahmadu Yanusa, Karimu Usman, Umar Abubakar and Yakubu Abdullahi. Its current Shareholders are Abdullahi Lawal, Umar Abubakar and Yakubu Abdullahi. Sir Jude Agbaso, the Deputy Governor of Imo State, is not one of them,” he said • The Directors of Ishan Bureau de Change are Alhaji Inuwa Sabo, Abdullahi Tasiu Maikano, Haruna Saidu and Malam Sule, “who are also the

company’s only Shareholders.” Again, Sir Jude Agbaso, the Deputy Governor of Imo State, is not one of them,” Agbaso said. • According to the findings, the Directors, who are also the only shareholders of JPROS Nigeria Ltd, are: Joseph Dina, Aline Dina, Jean Samir Aoun and Prince MacDonald-Akano, the Special Adviser to Governor Rochas Okorocha and the Chairman of the Committee on Monitoring and Implementation of Road Projects in Imo State. Agbaso said: “Isn’t it fascinating to discover that a Director and a major Shareholder; indeed, the second highest shareholder in the company involved in this ugly defamation of character and wicked attempt to destroy the good name and image of the Deputy Governor, is a member of Governor Okorocha’s inner circle?” He recalled that Akano “stood quietly and loyally beside Mr. Dina, as he blackmailed and slandered the Deputy Governor before the members of the State House of Assembly, knowing well that his company, JPROS, was the guilty party in the matter.” He wondered why the governor not only awarded the billion Naira contract but also even released to Dina “more than the entire contract sum while authorising the contract and even before the contractor went to site.” He added: “Could it have been so because, as has been alleged, the company was personally sponsored by Governor Okorocha’s family? “And was it a coincidence that Prince Akano suddenly applied and became a director and a major shareholder in JPROS in June last year? “Was it, perhaps, part of the pre-planning for this plot to compromise the deputy governor and to impeach him with 2015 in mind, using Mr. Dina of JPROS and Prince Akano as the hatchet men?” Meanwhile, early yesterday, an Owerri High Court ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit brought by the now impeached Deputy Governor, Chief Jude Agbaso. The court, presided by Justice Florence DuruohaIgwe, said the matter concerned an impeachment process of the deputy governor going on in the House of Assembly. She held that the impeachment, as it was tied to the deputy governor, was in order of which the court had no competence to hear it. She, however, went ahead to give judgment on it, saying that, “if the matter goes to appeal, they (appellate court) will have the benefit of my input on the matter.” She said despite that the court’s lack of jurisdiction to hear the matter, she would go ahead to give judgment on it. “If the matter goes to appeal, they (appeal Court) will have the benefit of my input on the matter,” she stated. Duruoha-Igwe refused to grant the prayer of the applicant that the bank in which the transactions went through, should be investigated. On the infringement of human rights, she ruled that the court had such jurisdiction.     In the interim, the deputy governor failed to physically appear yesterday before the sevenman judicial investigation panel at the Parliament Building, Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers’ Secretariat, Owerri.

He simply sent in a letter through one Emperor Iwuala, a lawyer, drawing the attention of the pendency of two suits he filed in a high court against his impeachment going on. The letter, titled: ‘Summons to appear before the investigative panel on allegations of misconduct against the deputy governor,’ reads: “My attention has been drawn to the publication at page 6 of Imo Trumpeta newspaper of Tuesday, March 26 2013. “Though I have not been served any summons as stipulated by law, I wish to draw your attention to the pendency of two (2) lawsuits instituted by me at the Imo State High Court, Owerri Judicial Division, touching and concerning the purported impeachment proceedings against me. “Furthermore, since the matters you have been directed to investigate are sub judice, your panel should respect the pendency of these suits, allow the law to take its course and or allow the legal and judicial processes (i.e., the two suits) to run their full courses. “Doing otherwise will be tantamount to preempting the decision of the High Court in the two (2) pending suits... My Lord, I pray you and the members of your panel to let wise counsel to prevail.” The deputy governor’s counsel, Patrick Ikwueto (SAN), had filed suit, number HOW/174/2013, joining Simeon Iwunze and nine others of the Imo State House of Assembly, asking the court to stop the impeachment process of his client. Besides arguing that it was an infringement on the fundamental human rights of the applicant, he noted that the security agencies were the competent persons to investigate the alleged N458 million bribery. But counsel to the Imo Assembly, Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), in his preliminary objection, contended that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case, as the impeachment process was a constitutional matter. Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of the state, Chief Soronnadi Njoku, defending the Chief Judge of the state, submitted that the deputy governor should submit himself to the impeachment process and defend himself against the allegations. Chairman of the panel, Justice Godwin Chukwuemeka Ihekire (Rtd), ruled that the panel would continue with the proceedings of the panel after listening to the arguments and submissions of the counsel to the two witnesses present, Akintola (for Imo Assembly) and Giles Ugwunweze (for the Managing Director of JPROS International Nigeria Limited, Mr. Joseph Dina), that the panel should disregard the letter and continue proceedings. In the proceedings witnessed by heavy presence of armed policemen and members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Clerk of the Assembly, Chris Duru, a lawyer, submitted documents required for the case, including: • Summons served by the House; • Notice of commencement of impeachment process on March 8, 2013; • Details of particulars of gross misconduct and petition signed by 10 members of the House on March 8, 2013; • Report of House’s special ad hoc committee investigating the remote cause to the stoppage/abandonment of work on some roads in Owerri, Orlu and Okigwe municipalities submitted on March 7, 2013; • Written statement by Joseph Dina’s cheques paid into accounts; • Certified true copies of tellers and cheques separately; • Vote and proceedings of the House on March 7, 2013; • Affidavit of notice of service of impeachment notice; • Second affidavit of service of impeachment notice pasted on the door of office and official residence of the deputy governor. In the midst of the hearing, Dina’s counsel, Ugwunweze, informed the panel that his client (Joseph Dina) had been taken away by unknown persons early yesterday. He suspected officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) adding that they were yet to confirm the arrest.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

POLITICS 11

Twists, turns as INEC moves to settle ‘APC’ crisis From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja HE outright refusal by the Independent T National Electoral Commission (INEC) to register the African People’s Congress one of the groups claiming the use of ‘APC’, appears to have resolved the heated argument on which political association would be the final claimant of the acronym. The other group seeking to use the ellipsis, the All Progressive Congress, an association expected to emerge from the merger arrangements among the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), may have reasons to rejoice as the only one left with the acronym. But the merger group still has several hurdles to scale before it could officially and legally be recognised as the sole owner of the ‘APC’ For one, it has to contend with the fact that each of the parties must convene a proper national convention for members to decide on whether or not to okay the merger to form the All Progressives Congress. INEC passed its final verdict last Monday when it quashed the application of the African People’s Congress for registration as a full political party. The notice of refusal was contained in a letter dated March 21, 2013 and addressed to the Acting National Chairman of the association, Chief Onyinye Ikeagwuonu. The four-paragraph letter, signed by INEC’s secretary, Abdullahi Kaugama, stated unequivocally that it would not “register the proposed African People’s Congress as a political party.” Captioned: Re-Application For Registration As A Political Party, the letter reads: “Your application for registration as a political party dated 28th February, 2013 refers. “The Commission has observed that your Association is in breach of Section 222(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), which stipulates as follows: ‘No Association by whatever name called shall

function as a Political Party unless: (a) The names and addresses of its national officers are registered with the Independent National Electoral Commission.’ “A close observation of your submitted Form PA1 established that it does not contain the addresses of your national officers as stipulated in the above provision. “Consequently, the Commission shall not register the proposed African People’s Congress as a political party.” Spokesperson for the INEC chairman, Mr. Robert Kayode Idowu, confirmed the development last night, saying, “it is true that the African Peoples Congress cannot be registered because they did not meet the requirement of the Constitution.” However, at the press conference, the second within five days, the association threatened to sue INEC should it carry out the alleged move. It also vowed to go ahead with arrangements to field a candidate for the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Anambra State. “We wish to also inform Nigerians that our party primaries, prelude to fielding a candidate in the Anambra state governorship election, commences as planned,” Ikeagwuonu said. On the eve of the refusal to register the African People’s Congress, the group fingered the merger group and INEC for its woes and threatened to fight to the end. But could it have got more enemies it never noticed? Around the same time that INEC’s hammer was about to descend on the association, it emerged from unofficial sources that there was an alleged involvement of aggrieved governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the formation of the African People’s Congress. It was equally gathered that the governors might have pitched tent with the African People’s Congress contrary to speculations and reports that they were about defecting to the merger-seeking group of political parties.

Jega A member of the House of Representatives, who had been watching the unfolding development, said the suspicion that aggrieved PDP governors were in close romance with the African People’s Congress might have fuelled increased political animosity against it. “What we know is that INEC, instead of playing the role of an umpire, suddenly began to play some games we do not understand,” the Rep said. “Since the media started generating awareness that aggrieved PDP governors were flirting with the opposition, we noticed this thorough scrutiny by INEC on applications submitted by those political associations. “So, I think that this refusal to deny the African People’s Congress of the opportunity to be registered as political party should be studied closely to find out the hidden reasons.” But the PDP itself had long denied any possibility of any of its members or even governors

being involved in the formation of any party. A statement to that effect, issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, in Abuja, reads: “We wish to state here that the PDP is not responsible for the ill fate already befalling the ill conceived merger of opposition groups. “We strongly suspect that the current drama on ownership of name may have been contrived by the ACN to attract attention to themselves and earn undue sympathy.   “This plot has played out in the sudden emergence and withdrawal of a third group bearing the acronym, APC.” Metuh added: “The question is, could the merger group be creating a scenario where they would compete within themselves and claim ‘victory’  after overheating the polity with phantom parties? “The capacity of our opposition for mischief has never been in doubt. We will not be surprised to find out at the end of the day that the merger parties are behind this needless crisis.” Metuh said, “no member of the PDP is involved  in the formation of any other political organisation, neither are we interested in the activities of any other party. He added that, “the PDP welcomes a strong and virile opposition and does not feel threatened by the emergence of any group. Besides, Governor of  Akwa Ibom State and Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum,  Godswill Akpabio, has dismissed alleged cracks within  the Forum, and that some governors would defect to another political party. At the grand finale of the PDP national reconciliation and consolidation tour in Abuja last weekend, Chief Akpabio said: “I want to dispel the rumour making the rounds that some PDP governors are planning to defect to other political parties. “Instead… we are planning to make other governors to join us in the PDP Governors’ Forum.”

Ekweremadu, Chime and power shift to Nsukka From Lawrence Njoku, Enugu NUGU  residents woke up last E weekend to confront the campaign posters of the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, pasted at strategic locations within the metropolis. The artworks, which were also attached to different locations at Nsukka, bore a bold inscription, ‘Ekweremadu, our dream for 2015’. Although the posters did not specify the position its picture was gunning for, the immediate response from Ekweremadu was to denial its production. In a reaction, his media assistance, Uche Anichukwu, dismissed the campaign posters as the “handiwork of opposition elements trying to cause confusion in the polity of the state.” Anichukwu told The Guardian that Ekweremadu had neither printed, funded nor asked anybody to print campaign posters for him for the purpose of any office in 2015, stressing that his boss would not give in to the antics of “busy bodies scattered here and there.” He recalled several attempts to drag Ekweremadu into a collision course with the state government, when the news was awash with a non-existent rift over cabinet appointments in the state. That was moments after Governor Sullivan Chime was re-elected and reconstituted his cabinet, dumping all those alleged to have been close to the lawmaker, worked for the governor’s success at the poll. Ekweremadu’s denial, notwithstanding, Enugu has remained unsettled since the campaign posters found their way into the streets, with pundits insisting that it would be politically wrong for Ekweremadu to gun for something less after occupying the position of Deputy Senate President. Besides, there is the body language of the lawmaker, who is linked with a radio station, established in the state last year. It is perceived that the radio station, which has acquired popularity within the shortest time it hit the airwaves, was founded to

Chime further his governorship ambition in 2015. Due to his scholarship programme or directly from his payroll, Ekweremadu presently tops the list of politicians with structures in almost every ward of the state. A lawyer by profession, Ekweremadu is said to have spent more time in politics than in the courtrooms; he became a council chairman for his Aninri local government in 1997. At the inception of civilian rule in 1999, he was appointed Chief of Staff, Government House, Enugu, from where he rose to become the Secretary of State Government. In 2003, he was elected into the Senate where he rose to become the Deputy Senate President in 2007. But there is an unwritten rotational understanding by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for governorship position of the state, so that each of the three geopolitical flanks of Enugu North, Enugu East and Enugu West benefits. This unwritten convention began in 1999 when former Governor

Ekweremadu Chimaroke Nnamani, who hails from Enugu East, occupied the Government House and served for eight years. The current occupant, Chime, who comes from Enugu West, took over and by 2015, he would have done eight years in office. The natural sequence is for Enugu North (Nsukka) to take its turn thereafter in the unbroken succession. In line with this ‘arrangement’, Chime, during the campaign for his re-election in 2011, reportedly promised to help the Nsukka zone realise its ambition in 2015. But his opponents from the zone used other political platforms outside the PDP to run against him at the election.  The 2011 episode was not the first time the convention was breached. Such was the situation in 1999, 2003 and 2007. In fact, the petition by Chief Okey Ezea, who comes from the area, nearly removed Chime from office in 2007 but for the Court of Appeal that revalidated his election. Still, like Ekweremadu, Chime has benefitted from the present democracy and has been in government

since 1999, becoming Nnamani’s legal assistant before gaining promotion to become the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, from where he won the governorship election in 2007. It is being rumoured that in 2015, he may opt for the Senate to represent Enugu West, the same position that Ekweremadu is occupying. Should that happen, Ekweremadu would be thrown out of his job. Commentators say the worry of confronting Chime in 2015 may be the driving force behind the intention of the Deputy Senate President to run for the governor of the state. However, it is feared that when the chips are down, and pressure is mounted on him, Chime might renege on his promise to help the Nsukka zone realise the governorship position. The other challenge is the health of the governor. Though it appears he is improving by the day, there is doubt he could be in the best of form to deliver as promised. Against the backdrop of the emergence of Ekweremadu’s campaign

posters, Nsukka Leaders of Thought are insisting that it is the turn of Enugu North senatorial zone to produce the next governor of the state. The leaders, comprising Chief Maximus Ukuta, Chief Nick Ojike, Prof. Damian Opata, Dr. Chuka Ezema, Chief Emmanuel Alachi, Sir. Albert Nnamani and Major-General Godwin Ugwoke (Rtd.) were livid in a statement released to the press. The statement reads in part: “May we, therefore, remind these faceless groups behind this devilry even at the risk of over flogging the issue, what is common knowledge in Enugu State politics, that the state is made up of old Enugu and Nsukka zones. “Governorship seat has been in old Enugu Zone since 1999 and by 2015, it would have been 16 years in that zone. Nsukka Cultural Zone, which is 52 per cent of the voting population in the state, has been held down for the two senatorial zones of old Enugu Zone to have their turn of eight-year tenure each consecutively as governor of Enugu State.” Already, several politicians from the zone are warming up and consulting on the possibility of getting a candidate from among them for the exercise. On the list is the twoterm Speaker of the State Assembly, Eugene Odoh, who has intensified his lobby and reach. Odoh told The Guardian recently that it would be unfair should the PDP breach the unwritten convention and allow Nsukka Zone to produce the governor in 2015. Reminded that the district had breached the arrangement earlier on, he retorted that, “those who ran did not do so on the platform of the PDP.” There are also unconfirmed reports that Senator Ayogu Eze, the state party chairman, Vita Abba and Ikeji Asogwa of the State Housing Corporation are carrying out consultations on the issue. The end result of this scheming will be clearer in a matter of weeks.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

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TheMetroSection Christians celebrate Good Friday • Makinde, Martins, others urge Christians to keep faith By Eno Bassey, Isaac Taiwo and Toyosi Ajayi

ODAY is Good Friday. It is a reliT gious holiday observed primarily by Christians to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday or Black Friday. Lagosians have joined Christian faithful all over the world to mark Good Friday. There are many church services and programmes as well as messages from the pulpit to Christians and non- Christians alike to mark this day. In his Goodwill Message, the Prelate Methodist Church, His Eminence Sunday Ola Makinde described Good Friday as a day that reminds Christians and the world of the trial of our Lord Jesus Christ. He likened the day to a day of suffering, a dark Friday when friends, disciples and the rest deserted our Lord Jesus Jesus on the Cross PHOTO: TOYOSI AJAYI A cross-section of priests and worshippers during the Chrism Mass Christ. Makinde likened the present state fred Adewale Martins has urged principal expression of the fullness It is with such oils that the newly of the nation to that of dark times, Christians to keep their faith in the of the Bishop’s priesthood and signi- baptized are anointed, the sick minadding that: “There is no security, Lord in spite of the numerous chal- fies the close unity of the priests with istered unto while the confirmed no potable water, unemployment, lenges they might be going him.” are consecrated with the Chrism. corruption, impassable roads, no through, insisting that with faith, He noted that it is during a conceleHe also stated that this year’s pension for the aged among oth- such challenges were bound to be brated Mass with priests, which the Chrism Mass was particularly sigers.” overcome. laity from various parts of the Arch- nificant and joyous because the Makinde, however, gave a ray of Delivering a homily during the 2013 diocese attend, that the Archbishop Archdiocese has a new Archbishop hope that since instead of calling Chrism Mass celebrated at The consecrates the Chrism and blesses and the Catholic Church has a new the Friday our Lord passed through Archangels, St. Michael, Raphael and the other oils. Pontiff. untold sufferings and excruciating Gabriel Catholic Church Mission, pains unto death, a dark Friday but Satellite Town, Lagos on Tuesday, Dr. Good Friday, it then means that Martins said faith was the key to vanNigeria’s situation, too, will defi- quishing all trials, noting that the nitely change for the better. Mass was a continuation of a Chris“After the suffering of our Lord on tian tradition where oils mused in Friday, the day of resurrection anointing kings, prophets, priests brought joy and the previous pains and other specially chosen are was replaced with joy and happi- blessed in the Name of God. ness.” He urged Christians to find space in “However, as Jesus endured on Fri- their lives for the Holy Spirit to domday, I am calling on Nigerians to en- inate and be their guardian in every dure because the day of the move they make and steps they take situation turning around for Nige- “because without the Holy Spirit dirians is at the corner.” recting one’s life, it may lead to de“When Jesus said on Friday: “It is fin- struction.” ished”, it translates to the fact that “For Jesus suffered and shed his in Nigeria, corruption will finish, blood for us on the cross so that we robbery will finish, kidnapping will may be forgiven,” he added. end and not be remembered while On his part, the Parish Priest of St. terrorism will also be a thing of the Michael, Raphael and Gabriel past,” he said. Catholic Church, Rev, Father Also, the Archbishop of the Metro- Lawrence Odoemena said the politan See of Lagos, Most Rev, Dr. Al- “Chrism Mass celebration is the Members of African Church Cathedral Salem, Freeman Street, Ebute Metta, Lagos celebrating Palm Sunday

PHOTO: OSENI YUSUF

Group urges government to compensate Foundation holds Women’s Prayer Summit tomorrow A families of Kano bomb victims By Isaac Taiwo

RADERS’ Rights ProtecT tion Initiative (TRPI) has joined the team of Nigerians to condemn the killings of traders by the bomb explosion that rocked Kano motor-park, sending not less than 60 souls, mostly traders to their untimely grave. Addressing the media yesterday, the National Coordinator of the Initiative, Comrade Christopher Okpala, lamented the insecurity in the nation that has not excluded the lives of traders. “It is no longer news that whenever there is bomb attack, the highest casualties are traders, the latest being the Kano motor park holocaust.” “As we condole the af-

fected families, we also implore the Federal and State Governments and other Organisations to come to the aid of families of the victims and help them pick up their shattered lives through financial and material assistance,” he said. The Initiative also called on the government to address the pathetic situation of traders who always express fear of not knowing what could happen to their goods the following day as they close from work everyday, with the harassment from Local Government officials and other law enforcement agents, invasion of armed robbers, unexpected assault of bulldozers, among others. “Traders have consistently

been contributing to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) more than any other sector.” “It should not be perceived that the effort of traders in contributing to the economy of the nation is not appreciated, but they are often subjected to all kinds of abuses, deprivations, bottleneck policies, exploitation, neglect and treated with disdain,” he noted. “We are therefore using this medium to call on all arms of government to review their approach towards traders and make every necessary adjustment by making traders feel appreciated as citizens of Nigeria, have sense of belonging and not feel like aliens in their own country,” he said.

WESOME Treasures Foundation (ATF), a faith- based non-governmental organization set up to create transformational leaders and agents of development, is set to hold a summit geared towards tackling the deficiencies inherent in the country’s development process. The National Women’s Prayer Summit, which will take place tomorrow at the Agip Hall, Muson Center, Onikan is one of the vehicles the foundation uses to reach out to women and youths across the country. Founder of ATF Mrs. Jumoke Adenowo stated that, “Women are the conscience of the nation and are better equipped to deal with solving problems if properly endowed with the proper guidance”. Awesome Treasures Foundation, which has as some of its advisory board members, Mr. Tonye Cole of Sahara Energy Ltd and Mr. Idorenyen Enang (former Managing Director, Samsung Electronics) among others, is committed towards

empowering youths and women towards nation building. These men are noted for their passion for Nigeria and their support of the youth populace in general. Speaking on the notion that NGO’s are perceived to be a woman’s forte, Mr. Enang disagreed with the statement saying: “Men have a responsibility to guard the tent and make sure it is in order and also create the right environment that allows everything grow around the tent like Adam in the bible was the first manager before he became a leader.” Adenowo said one of the aims of the Foundation is to transform the lives of women and youths in the society by direct intervention in their lives by engaging them in practical goals. This is done by training them in various skills and crafts and providing financial assistance to enable them set up a business. The summit holds from 9.00am to 1.00pm. The theme is Shalom- Peace, Progress & Prosperity.

Briefs Book launch BOOK entitled: “You are born A to win,” authored by Revd. Lekan Adeleke, Associate Pastor, The Shepherd’s Flock Int’l Church (SFIC) will be launched hold on Sunday, March 30, at 12.30 pm at the SFIC, 18 Shogunle Street, (behind Etiebet’s Place), Abule Onigbagbo, Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja. It will be chaired by the Managing Director, Vintage Press Limited, Victor Ifijeh, Dayo Adegbite, is special guest of honour while Sola Awoleye is chief launcher.

Church holds programme HE Lord’s Chosen CharisT matic Revival Movement, along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway will tomorrow begin its two-day Easter Special programme tagged, “He Came That We Might Be Blessed” at Chosen Revival Ground, by Ijesha Bus Stop at 8am daily. Host is Pastor Lazarus Muoka.

Aradhe community begins conference today RADHE Town in Isoko A North Local Council of Delta State holds its yearly conference from March 29 - April 1, 2013. A statement by the Publicity Secretary of the Ojo, Lagos branch of the Aradhe Community Development Union (ACDU), Mr. Edu Abade, said the conference would begin with an agenda night today, and an all-night prayer thereafter at the Aradhe Primary School grounds. The prayer is organised Pastor Andrew Osugo. New officials will be elected on Sunday, March 31, to run the affairs of the union

Adeoti for burial April 4 HE final burial rites for TimoT thy Tunji Adeoti, aged 71, begin on Thursday, April 4, 2013, with Christian wake at 61A, Sokoto Road, Sabo-Oke, Ilorin, and Olowa’s Compound, Omido, Irepodun Local Council, Kwara State, simultaneously at 5.00pm. There will be lyingin-state at his Ilorin residence at 7.30pm. A commendation service holds on Friday, April 5, at Saint Paul’s Anglican Church, Baboko, Ilorin, between 8.30 and 9.30am. to be followed by a funeral service at Christ Anglican Church, Omido, at noon. Entertainment of guests holds at the Community LGEA School, Omido. Adeoti, a community leader, died on February 5, 2013. He is survived by wife, children and grand children.

Adeoti


METRO 13

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

Traders of closed Breadfruit Market 0ptimistic of re-opening By Godfrey Okpugie Deputy Lagos City Editor FTER several months of A being idle, traders whose shops were closed at Breadfruit and Davis Streets, Lagos Island, because of the fire incident that gutted some warehouses in the area in October 2012, may soon have cause to smile as their yearnings for the re-opening of their shops will soon be granted by the State government. A Lagos State government senior official told The Guardian, in Lagos, on Monday that government was considering the re-opening of the market soon to enable the affected traders return to business. The planned re-opening was also confirmed to The Guardian when it visited there during the week by a prominent lady leader of the Breadfruit Traders Association, who identified herself simply as Pat. The leader, who emerged from the emergency meeting that was being held by the executive members of the association at the time of The Guardian’s visit, said that they were not ready to talk to the press on the planned re-opening. “The news about the market’s re-opening has also reached us but, for now, we

are not ready to talk to the press about it so as not to offend the government or jeopardize the arrangement,” she said. During the visit, it was discovered that the affected streets were still deserted and Police armoured cars were seen positioned at the junctions leading to the streets. It would be recalled that following the long period of closure of the streets, the affected traders severally protested the closure and on one occasion they marched to the Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa, barricading the entrance to the Governor’s Office and other roads thereby obstructing the free flow of traffic for several hours. They chanted: “All we want is for Governor Babatunde Fashola to order that our stalls be re-opened for us to commence business activities.” They told all who cared to listen that their market was shut because of the fire that gutted Euroasia Plaza, a five-storey building housing the traders and a branch of a commercial bank, on October 27, 2012. The traders argued that the inferno wasn’t as bad as the Jankara firecrackers explosion that led to the market closure but had been re-opened by the state government. The leader of the protesters and chairman, Island Fashion Dealers Association, Mr. Arinze

Ugonabo, said that the continued closure of the streets was not justifiable. He said that many of the shops on the affected streets were situated far from the burnt warehouses. “What we expected was for government to come to our rescue by assisting us rather than stopping us from trading in the area. “The shops are over a thousand and have remained under lock and key as policemen, acting under government directives, have prevented our people from displaying their wares,” he said. He said that the association’s letters to the relevant authorities to reopen the streets had yet to yield positive results. “We sincerely appeal to the state government to consider our plight and urgently reopen the streets for market activities,” he urged. Also speaking, the Chairperson of the Breadfruit Traders Association, Mrs. Mojisola Ibrahim, said that the protest was informed by hunger and inability to meet their financial responsibilities. “Our children are at home because we could not afford to pay their school fees, adding that: “Some of us are not able to pay our rents anymore; we sincerely hope that the government will see our predicament.”

Photonews

For the safety of motorists during the Easter celebrations, officials of Federal Road Satety Corps (FRSC), clear gravels spilled from an upturned tipper at Kubwa Expressway, Abuja                              PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

My wife preferred former -boyfriend to me, says Arowolo By Bertram Nwannekanma and Yetunde Ayobami-Ojo KOLADE Arowolo, who allegedly stabbed his 29-year-old banker wife, Titilayo, to death on June 24 at their home, has told a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja that he had never for one day beaten his wife ever since they got married but she preferred her former boyfriend to him. In his testimony before Justice Lateefa Okunnu yesterday, led by his counsel, Mr. Olanrewaju Ajanaku, Arowolo told court that his late wife preferred her former boyfriend to him and that was why they were having problems in their marriage and not because of violence He stated that he is a graduate of Genetics from the University of Lagos, noting that he met his wife during his post-graduate programme while helping her to sort out some academics challenges. In his evidence, he told the court that they got married on August 8, 2008 and their marriage was blessed with a child. Arowolo stated that he celebrated his birthday every June 21. “My last birthday was June 21, 2011. On that day, my wife woke me up from bed about 6:30a.m. to wish me a Happy Birthday. We prayed and that led us to discussions on how far we had gone in marriage and what we intend to do in order to make the marriage grow stronger” He continued that the first argument he had with his wife after marriage was when she requested for N500, 000 for baby products. ‘I told her I had spent so much money on our wedding. I pleaded with N100,000, she insisted if I didn’t give her the said amount, she would leave the house, which she did.“ He further stated that in June 2009, he noticed some funny attitude and total change from his wife, “so I just opened up to a female colleague and she advised me to give her some time.” “ I went for the Holy Ghost vigil at the Redeemed Christian Church of God on Friday night intending to return home by Sunday, but when I was missing my wife, I decided to go home, only to meet a male guest in my house. When I asked my wife for not calling me all through, she flared up and left home.”

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He earlier told the court that his wife was having irregular menstrual period and then he took her to the hospital before she opened up to him that her step-mother took her for abortion and family planning, which resulted to medical implications, which will take like eight to nine years before she could conceive. “ The deceased insisted that she didn’t know why she obeyed her step-mother in doing certain things she wouldn’t have done. She felt hypnotized,” he said. He told the court he decided to go and sleep in his friend’s place one day but he was surprised that his wife did not bother to call him all through the night, adding that he returned home the next day because he was missing her and the baby. When he got home, according to him, he decided to check her phone if she had made any calls the previous nights. He said: “ I discovered that she had called three people the previous night when I went through the call logs. I saw that she had called her father, her former boyfriend, Ehime and one other person I didn’t know. So, I didn’t know how to confront her, I was thinking of how I was going to present it to her so I decided that I would ask her when we were eating. So I asked her that wasn’t it funny that I did not come home last night and she never called me?“ “She said she didn’t have credit and I said ‘but you had credit to call your Daddy, your former boyfriend and one other person’. My wife got very angry and said I should never touch her phone again that she had the right to call anybody she wished to call and right in my presence, she called her former boyfriend.” According to him, that was the first time ever in their marriage that he slapped her and she ran out of the house and left the baby behind in June 2011. “My style was that whenever she came home with any funny character, I would leave the house.” He also blamed his wife’s family for interfering in their marriage. Justice Okunnu, subsequently, adjourned further hearing till May 22, 2013.

Director, Technical Skills Development Project; Mrs. Helen Jemerigbe (right), Registrar; Computer Professional Registration Council of Nigeria, Sikiru Sheu; Managing Director, Jidaw Systems; Mr. Jide Awe and  First Vice President, nigeria Computer Society, Mr. Sam Juwe during the nigeria Computer society Information Technology Job and Career Fair: Empowerment to Excel,  in Lagos ...on Wednesday PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

Officials of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) during a visit to Little Saints Orphanage, Akowonjo, Lagos...on Tuesday

Task Force raids hoodlums’ haven in Oshodi By Abdulwaheed Usamah OTORISTS and commercial bus drivers plying the Oshodi/Apapa Expressway, including residents, can now heave a sigh of relief with the arrest of hoodlums who have been terrorizing people along that axis, by the Lagos State Task Force over the weekend. The Task Force intervention came on the heels of cries by residents, commuters and motorists, who have been victims of robberies and harassments by the hoodlums. The Chairman, Lagos State

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Task Force, CSP Bayo Suleiman, stated that “Oshodi has been raising concern for different atrocities. It is reported as the most dangerous zone where hoodlums usually rob motorists .” He said, apprehending thugs would continue to ensure Lagosians are safe and could go about their daily businesses freely and those who fled during the raid would stay off the area. In an earlier arrest, Suleiman said 43 miscreants were apprehended in Oshodi, with eight

being under-aged, who had been sent to the state’s remand home at Oregun, Ikeja. “The hoodlums were arrested around 4.30a.m. at their various hideouts and two of the 43 suspected hoodlums arrested who proved their innocence were freed,” he said He also said the arrest was a spontaneous reaction to the complaints of residents who had been robbed by the hoodlums, assuring that the state would not relent in dealing with criminals and the raiding would be constant.

Managing Director, Unilever Nigeria, Thabo Mabe; National President, Nigerian Dental Association Dr. Olurotimi Olojede; Brand Building Director, David Okeme; and Category Manager, Oral Care, Vivian Ihaza; both of Unilever PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU Nigeria, at the launch of Close Up Fire-freeze in Lagos ...


TheGuardian

14 | THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

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 Today is Good Friday S Christians celebrate the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary, on this day that has come to be known paradoxically as Good Friday, on account of the salvation won for humanity by this otherwise tragic event, the message should not be lost on Nigerians: sacrifice makes leadership. The conflicts that led to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday centred on the radical religious and social paradigm that the Saviour introduced and preached to the world. The truth he taught was, of course, too bitter for his accusers to swallow and so they had to silence him. Yet, even as he was being nailed to the cross, the power of his message was already immortal. As the world celebrates that event today, the message of joy and peace remains the hope of the world. Beyond the drama of re-enacting the crucifixion and other acts symbolizing the life of Jesus Christ on this day, Good Friday is significant as a day of meditation, not only for Christians, but for men and women of all ages everywhere. The sacrifice, which Good Friday represents, questions the widespread selfishness and greed that define present day socio-political and economic relations. The instant gratification mentality that pervades the Nigerian society especially contrasts sharply with the selflessness which Good Friday symbolises. The propensity for seeking success and prosperity while rejecting the pains and sacrifices that must be endured beforehand, contradicts the very essence of Good Friday. The disposition towards crass materialism, excessive wealth accumulation and blind pursuit of pleasure is clearly at variance with the spirit of this holy day. On the whole, the teachings of Jesus Christ, anchored on the dignity and inviolability of every human person, humility and service in leadership would seem to be lost, especially in Nigeria, where the forces of greed and corruption continue to thrive. Yet, the example of Jesus Christ is what Nigerians should follow. These are difficult times for Nigeria as the nation’s politicians and leaders burn the midnight oil, plotting not how to serve but how to get in on the looting game. Events in the political arena already portend crises as the presidential election year of 2015 draws near, while the security challenges posed by the Boko Haram and other insurgents now springing up across the country, point to a nation in critical need of rescue. There is need for sober reflection on the moral imperatives of the political and economic choices before the nation. The values for which Christ died on Good Friday – love, truth, justice, humility, service, self-sacrifice, forgiveness, etc., remain elusive as Nigerians struggle for the soul of the nation. Incumbent and aspiring Nigerian leaders must abandon the path of selfishness, greed and inordinate ambition for power if the country would prosper. Christians and non-Christians alike must embrace the higher value of sacrificial leadership that make for lasting peace and prosperity.

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LETTER

Presidential pardon for ex-convicts Contrary to popular The sweet relief of the plea StheIR: reaction, I did not receive bargain arrangement and news of the presidential the fact that former thieves pardon granted Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and others with surprise. I saw it coming before now and I would have been surprised if he was not granted a state pardon. I had told friends a long time ago when Bode George’s release from incarceration was celebrated with pomp and pageantry. Some people even tried to explain his incarceration by saying that people like Mandela, Awolowo and other great icons were once prisoners, but proponents of such school of thought failed to draw a distinction between political imprisonment and conviction based on abuse of office. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha’s pardon is an open endorsement of corruption and an incentive to thieves to continue stealing because the chances of getting caught is getting slimmer day by day.

can get presidential pardon will not only worsen corruption but will take it to the crescendo. In saner climes, Alamieyeseigha would have buried his head in shame for the rest of his life as people would not ordinarily want to associate with him, but unfortunately that is not true about our dear country. Here, the value system makes us celebrate money more than character and material possessions more than a good name. Gone are those days when civil servants and politicians did everything possible to maintain a good reputation. President Jonathan has let Nigerians down by this singular act. You don’t need any spark of brilliance to know that one of the major cogs in the wheel of progress in the country is corruption and Mr. President has openly

endorsed this by this pardon. President Goodluck should remember that history is made when events happen and that history will judge him for what he has done. His penchant for being in the good books of everyone will do him and the nation more harm than good. A good leader should strive to be respected rather than loved. Transformational leadership requires the leader to sometimes step on toes in a bid to transform a nation. The president definitely needs some more lessons on leadership and he needs to be reminded that there is something called posterity. It is too late to start blaming Nigerians for ‘electing’ President Jonathan but we must ensure that going forward, any leader that wants to govern us must engage Nigerians on a number of issues, especially the leader’s stance on corruption. • Ireti Ishola, Lagos.

LETTERS

Any justification for judicial corruption? The cry against corrupt SclearIR: judges came out loud and recently when a judge asked a criminal who misappropriated billions of pension funds to pay less than a million naira to regain his freedom. Many Nigerians reacted with disbelief and anger. The argument of this article is that Nigeria would not have been where it is today if her citizens react the same way to subtle criminal acts that degenerate into brazen ones. Disorder and impropriety pervade life in Nigeria, socio-politically, religion-wise, and otherwise. The president budgets huge sums of money for his house needs, and nobody accounts for any annual budget, because the legislators also apportion to themselves whopping sums of money with which they perpetuate paternalism in their constituencies and live royally with their family members. Hence they can’t query the president where his wife is getting money to run an illegal “Office of the First Lady”, and they sometimes prefer to have their own share of misappropriated budgeted funds. Those who mounted rotational presidency knew Nigeria’s history in-and-out, and they were conscious and conscientious that the nation needed it for order, equity, peace, stability and progress. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and cohorts took an undue advantage of the death of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to discard it, thereby returning Nigeria to the level of opportunism. That is no less criminal than a corrupt judge. Similarly, before the general elections of 2011, concerned

Nigerians asked Dr. Jonathan to implement the Justice Muhammed Uwais Electoral Reform Committee’s recommendation concerning an electoral commission whose principal officers are not chosen by the partisan president, but he refused. He cleverly imposed Prof. Attahiru Jega and the other handpicked persons on the Commission. Hence the Commission radiates no confidence, and it is another time bomb over Nigeria, and a cog in the wheel of her democracy. Collusion between the judiciary and any other arm of government is not unheard-of; it indeed seems to be the rule rather than the exception. Good judges are lucky to have their promotions

approved by the established authorities without being maligned or messed-up. Whether the situation is different in the promotion of academics in Nigerian universities? Your guess is as good as mine. Nigerian rulers are largely what Nigerians make them, but the people are more often than not deceived. Apparently, most Nigerians are also naïve. They cannot see the value of coins; they tend to condone lack of electoral transparency and settle for electoral apathy; they hail thieves who misappropriate national funds as “our leaders”. •Pius Abioje, University of Ilorin.

Kano bombings and danger ahead Nigerians cannot continue warning of impending Nigerian Sness,IR:to excuse all kinds of callous- disintegration. including gruesome murIt is now also clear that events ders of our citizens, on ignorance of those responsible for such dastardly acts. The truth now, as in the past, is that there is no acceptable excuse for these recurring national tragedies. The planning and actual bombing of a motor park located in a specific area of Kano known to be predominantly inhabited by certain ethnic groups and nonindigenes of the city is a deliberate act of brutality and provocation. The federal authorities must be clearly advised to note that the aim of the perpetrators of the Sabon Gari, Kano motor park bombing has serious national implications, including threats of national disintegration. This is no longer just the proverbial prophecy of doom or the so-called American

such as this recent Sabon Gari, Kano bombing as well as other bombings in the North are meant to drive non-indigenes of the region away and draw the country into a possible second civil war, which a prominent Nigerian elder statesman recently said is already the situation in most of the North. All men and women of goodwill across this country should speak out and prevent our great country from going the way of Yugoslavia, which is the road to anarchy and national perdition. We all know that without security there can be no development, not even the 2015 election would be possible. We urge the Federal Government to do more in securing lives and property to prevent anarchy. • George Obiozor, Lagos.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

15

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Govt registers 34 minerals in 500 locations for exploitation HE nation’s moribund T solid mineral sector may soon be revamped as the Federal Government announced that it had registered 34 types of minerals in 500 locations in the country last year. The Minister of Mines and Solid Minerals Development, Musa Sada, made this known when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday. Sada said the registration of the mineral resources was part of the reform agenda of the government to attract investors into the sector. He added that one of the challenges of the sector had been the non-availability of the right information for investors in the mining sector to enable them to take the right investment decisions. ``The acquisition, storage and dissemination of the data is one of the major responsibilities of the ministry. ``During the year 2012, quite a lot of activities have been done and it is within that same year that we were able to conclude the aeromagnetic data acquisition for the country. ``Nigeria turned out to be about the only country in Africa that has 100 per cent coverage. ``This is what led us to register the mineral occurrences in the country, which in the last count was about 34 and the locations we were able to register is about 500. ``We find out that there is

no local government area in the country that has no mineral resource which can be exploited for the benefit of the people in terms of getting revenue, eliminating poverty and generating jobs,’’ Sada said. Sada said the ministry had also succeeded in separating the mineral types into various grouping, which included industrial miner-

als, metals and stones, among others. The minister noted that the ministry was able to track the mineral resources by licensing them and making necessary follow-up to ensure that when they were exploited, appropriate royalties would be collected. He said that the ministry had also made follow up to ensure that beyond the roy-

alties, investors paid taxes to government. According to him, that over N2 billion was realised as royalties, while over N6 billion was realised in taxes in 2012. The economic orientation of the sector, he said, made every state that made contribution to the income to demand for 13 per cent derivation.

He disclosed that measures would be put in place to track the income and attach it to the sources so that calculation for payment of the derivation income to the states would be made easier. Sada reiterated the decision of the government to hands off direct involvement in steel production and other mineral resources.

He noted that the decision had paid off with the production of over 1.5 metric tonnes of steel in 2012 by four private steel producers in the country. The private firms, he added, had also started producing flat steel, which the government-controlled companies had not been able to achieve after many years of existence.

Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Andrew Yakubu (right); and Managing Director, Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, Babs Omotowa, during the signing of the $310m additional programme debt of the Bonny Gas Transport Limited, in London, on Tuesday.

Dangote, NGC seal pact on N15.8bn investment CNG project By Roseline Okere orkir International Gas and B Energy Company, a subsidiary of the Dangote Group, which engages in gas trading, distribution and cylinder business, has signed a joint venture scheme with the Nigeria Gas Company (NGC), a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to promote the conversion of vehicles from the use of fuel and diesel to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). Already, the company has invested N1 billion in the project and unveiled plans to

increase its investment to $100 million (N15.8 billion) in the next few months. Borkir International has already built two CNG stations and plans to build additional eight before the end of the year. Speaking at the signing ceremony yesterday in Lagos, VicePresident of the Dangote Group, Sanni Dangote, disclosed that Borkir International has already signed a contract with Dangote Cement to convert at least 5,000 of its trucks from diesel to CNG. According to him, the company plans to configure 20,000

vehicles to use CNG, as vehicular fuel, which he said, was more economically and commercially viable than the traditional use of fuel and diesel. Dangote stated: “When we looked at the numbers of vehicles and trucks in Nigeria and the volume of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and diesel that are consumed daily, we took a very good commercial decision to see how to convert our vehicles to run on gas and this intervention will bring about a cleaner environment and will be of commercial value to end users. “There is no doubt that this initiative will be more eco-

nomically and commercially viable. Nigeria is one of the largest gas producers in the world and we believe the country will be saving so much from the utilization of CNG in vehicles. “We started this initiative with Dangote Cement trucks and we also came up with the idea to expand the conversion to commercial vehicle owners. We have done some demonstration on 25 vehicles. We have so far invested close to N1 billion with plans to inject additional $20 million before the end of the year. In a couple of months, our investment in this project will be

over $100 billion. “Everybody knows that gas is a cleaner energy than diesel and petrol. We have concluded plans to ensure that the gas is available in our major roads and high ways. We will ensure that the price remain stable because we have entered into price guarantee arrangement to avoid fluctuation and it is expected to last for a long period”. Speaking on the partnership, the Managing Director of NGC, Saidu Muhammed, said that the company was interested in promoting viable projects in the gas sub-sector like the one with Dangote

Group. According to him, the Federal Government has laid a solid framework for gas infrastructure expansion within the domestic market market through the Nigeria gas master plan. He added that NGC was committed to the gas master plan, which is to stimulate the multiplier effect of gas in the domestic economy, position Nigeria competitively in high value export markets and guarantee the long term energy security of Nigeria. He assured of continuous flow of gas to the various CNG plant across the country to


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

16 BUSINESS

Boeing offers to conduct safety audit on Nigerian planes By Wole Shadare

IRCRAFT giant, Boeing Company has submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Aviation to conduct an "airworthiness assessment" of all its Nigerian registered aircraft in the fleet of domestic airlines in the country. The Guardian learnt that discussions between the American aircraft company and the Federal Government started since

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June/July 2012 after the Dana crash and Boeing's proposal in this regard is currently receiving attention from the Ministry of Aviation. Spokesman for the Minister of Aviation, Joe Obi confirmed the development in a statement yesterday. Obi disclosed that correspondences between the Managing Director of Boeing Professional

Services (BPS), Ken Sain, Director for Africa and Middle East (Aviation Safety), Chamson Andjorin, and the Federal Ministry of Aviation bear testimony to this. According to him, “the Minister requested, and which Boeing has acceded to doing whenever their proposal is approved is an "airworthiness assessment" of all the Nigerian registered aircraft manu-

factured by Boeing, and not "re-certification" as erroneously stated in some media (not in The Guardian). He however clarified that with regard to the Dana crash, Boeing, being a subject of investigation excused itself from the airworthiness assessment to avoid any conflict of interest charge, adding that Boeing however recommended a third party, ALM,

to conduct an airworthiness assessment of the MD83s in Dana's fleet. According to him, the assessment by ALM has been conducted and reports submitted to the relevant authorities. He further explained that but following the battery issues with one of Dana's aircraft recently, the Minister still requested Boeing to provide some details on the state of the Dana fleet. “Again, Boeing reiterated that since it is a party to the investigation of the crash, it does not want to appear compromised. But the air-

craft manufacturer did volunteer to provide a "technical opinion" on the report by ALM. “We make haste to state that Boeing still plans to conduct the airworthiness assessment of its Nigerian registered aircraft once it's proposal, which is currently receiving attention is approved and the modalities for the exercise finalised and agreed by both parties”. Obi disclosed that the aircraft manufacturer was desirous of consummating a business relationship with the Nigerian authorities as soon as possible.

Global stocks, euro gain as Cyprus banks reopen AJOR stock markets M recovered and the euro edged off a four-month low

Executive Director, Sterling Bank Plc (left) Lanre Adesaya; Chief Operating Officer, Yemi Odubiyi; and Head, Internal Audit, Cajetan Awuja, at the presentation of certificate of compliance to the bank by Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, in Lagos, yesterday…

Suswam signs 2013 budget for Benue overnor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State, G signed the 2013 Appropriation Bill of N136 billion into law. The State House of Assembly had, on March 20, passed the appropriation bill, which was forwarded to the Governor for assent. The legislature had raised

the budget from the initial estimate of N130.9 billion to N136.4 billion, jerking it up with about N5.3 billion. Speaking after signing the bill in Makurdi, Suswam commended the cordial relationship between the three arms of government in the state. ``The good relationship we enjoyed, as arms of gov-

ernment, is responsible for the milestone we have achieved and we will continue to work within the provisions of the budget as we continue to strive to better the lot of our people. ``We all know that we have barely two years left, and within this period, we are expected to work harder in our quest to leave last-

ing legacies for our people," Suswam said. Speaking earlier, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Emmanuel Ayua, appealed to the executive arm of government to ensure full implementation of the budget to realise its objectives.

on Thursday, as banks in Cyprus reopened to relative calm following the island's controversial bailout. On Wall Street, stocks moved in and out of positive territory in choppy, pre-holiday trade. There was little sign of the mass panic that some had feared as the country's banks reopened after a forced closure of almost two weeks, albeit with tight capital controls to prevent depositors from cleaning out their vaults. "Contagion from Cyprus to other banks in the periphery will be limited", Barclays analysts Rajiv Setia and Laurent Fransolet said in a research note. But the decision to include senior debt holders and large depositors in the Cyprus bailout could have a "lasting effect" on the way investors perceive weaker euro area banks, they added. Despite its rise, the euro was seen to be vulnerable to the Cyprus crisis which could encourage anxious investors to sell euro zone assets and seek the safety of the U.S. dollar. PIMCO, the world's largest bond fund, said last week it had reduced allocations to the euro in response to the planned levy on bank deposits in Cyprus, citing the levy as "a significant departure" in euro zone policy from other reserve currencies. Cyprus's 10 billion euro rescue deal with its European partners at the weekend is the first euro zone bailout to impose losses on bank depositors, and has raised the prospect of savers withdrawing their money from banks. European Central Bank data showed some depositors began to take money out of their accounts in February when the possibility that depositors would take a haircut in a bailout deal, but the calm as bank employees returned to work helped settle early market jitters. The euro, which has dropped around 2.0 percent over the last couple of weeks, climbed back above $1.28 yesterday, up from a four-month low against the U.S. dollar .DXY and onemonth low against the yen Uncertainty has been amplified by an unexpect-

ed rise in German unemployment in March in data reported on Thursday, the lack of a government in Italy following inconclusive elections, and traditional end-of-quarter caution ahead of the Easter holiday. But Germany's unemployment rise was countered by stronger retail sales and a surprise rebound in Italian business confidence. European stock markets shrugged off their early nerves though as news of calm in Cyprus was reported. With benchmark stock indexes in London, Frankfurt and Paris all higher, the FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 climbed 0.6 percent. U.S. Treasuries and German government bonds, assets investors turn to for safety slipped. Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes last traded down 3/32 in price to yield 1.857 percent, up 1.2 basis points from Wednesday's close. Treasuries held those losses after the U.S. government raised its reading on U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2012 while reporting a biggerthan-expected rise in weekly jobless claims in the latest week. Gold slipped below $1,600 an ounce on Thursday, as banks reopened in Cyprus for the first time in two weeks without signs of panic withdrawals, sapping demand for low-risk assets. Gold hit a one-month high of $1,616.36 last week on concerns the $10 billion euro rescue deal for Cyprus, which will leave big depositors and private bondholders with huge losses, could become a template for future bank bailouts in the euro zone. Gold was down 0.5 percent to $1,597 an ounce by 9:24 a.m. EDT. Spot prices were still set for a one percent gain in March, their first monthly rise in six months. U.S. gold futures dropped 0.6 percent to $1,596.20 an ounce. U.S. crude futures hovered above $96 a barrel early on Thursday as banks reopened in Cyprus. NYMEX crude for May delivery was down 5 cents at $96.53 a barrel by 1358 GMT. London Brent crude for May delivery was down 4 cents at $109.29, after finishing 33 cents higher at $109.69 a barrel the previ-


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

17


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

18 BUSINESS

Nestoil, Julius Berger sign N24b building contract estoil has awarded the N contract for the building of its new ultra modern office headquarters to Julius Berger Nigeria at a whopping cost of N24billion and a completion time frame of 25 months from date of signing. The office building is to be located on Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. In October 2010, the Nestoil Group entrusted ACCL Ltd in cooperation with JBN/Bilfinger Berger Nigeria on the basis of a preconstruction agreement with a design conception of a combination use development of offices, parking and living. The approximately 75 meters high building offers our client a gross floor area of 32.300m2. The site is located in the centre of Victoria Island, at the junction of Akin Adesola Street, which connects Bar Beach in the South with Falomo Bridge in the North, and Saka Tinubu Street. The Lagos Nestoil Tower is based on a combined pile raft

foundation bored piles with a maximum depth of 54 meters and a foundation slab with a thickness of 1.8 meters. Due to the high ground water level a secant bore pile wall and a jet-grouting plug are necessary to prevent the building pit from flooding. The 15 floors provide 9 stories of parking, 19 apartments on 5 levels and 14 office floors including one executive office floor all topped by a helipad and a building crown, which turns the highrise- building to a real landmark in the Victoria Island skyline. The Nestoil Group wants to achieve a LEED certification for the Nestoil Tower. This will increase the attractiveness especially for international tenants as the LEED certification brings the sustainability and awareness of responsibility for the present but also for the future generations to Nigeria. The President/ Chief Executive Officer of Nestoil Dr Ernest Azudialu and the

Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria, Wolfgang Goetsch at the Julius Berger headquarters in Abuja formerly signed the contract. In his brief remarks before the signing of the contract papers, Azudialu revealed that the idea of building a befitting headquarters for Nestoil started many years ago but never really took off until a few years ago when the idea began to take form. “The board of Nestoil decided to build something different and befitting, a building that

will show the Oil & Gas industry in Sub-Saharan Africa in a different perspective.” According to him, in the quest to get the best, the company went to great lengths “from what we can see from the model of the building it took a lot for us to get to this level and even to the construction stage where it is today. It took a lot of trips to Wiesbaden Germany for reviews, to choose materials and also to examine what it takes to build a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED certified struc-

ture (LEED is an internationally recognized green building programme).
 “Today is a signing ceremony and is not going to be a speech making day but for us on the Nestoil side this is a very big milestone to have been able to get this project to this stage. We are looking forward to making sure that at the end of the day this building is delivered both on schedule and to world-class standards. “From the construction work progressing on site which has been visited by other directors and shareholders of Nestoil,

we can say that we are very pleased and we commend Julius Berger having done a good job so far to continue in that line for the next 20-25 months when the building should be completed. We expect that the building we be completed by the 1st quarter or before the middle of 2015”. In his own remarks the Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Engr. Wolfgang Goetsch revealed that from the starting point of discussions the Nestoil team, the architects and Julius Berger team were on the same page.

FIIRO wants NASS to pass law on cassava bread IRECTOR-GENERAL, D Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Dr Gloria Elemo, has appealed to the National Assembly to pass a legislation on compulsory use of cassava in bread making. In her paper on prospects and challenges of cassava bread, at a seminar in Ibadan, Elemo observed that the absence of a legal framework to drive the cassava bread policy constituted a big challenge to the implementation of the policy The seminar was organised by the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER). She stressed the need to form strong advocacy and lobbying groups towards realising the objective of the policy. "Despite all the potential benefits of the cassava bread and confectionery policy, the nation is still struggling with the policy to give it appropriate legislation and legal framework." Elemo recalled that in December 2009, FIIRO had sent a memorandum for a bill on the 10 per cent cassava flour inclusion in wheat flour in Nigeria to the House of Representatives. "The Federal Ministry of Agriculture in the same vein, sent a similar bill to the House but these bills suffered serious setbacks," the director-general said. On the challenge of acceptability by consumers, Elemo observed that there were still doubts about the nutritional value of cassava in spite of the fact that all scientific evidences, including sensory evaluation had proved that cassava bread was safe for human consumption. Elemo said that 20 per cent inclusion of high quality cassava flour in bread and confectionery would save Nigeria N127 billion annually, generate three million jobs and reducethe cost of bread by 15 per cent. On the political challenge, the director-general noted that more cassava was grown in the southern part of the country while the north had comparative advantage in rice, sorghum, and millet. "The Federal Government should promote simultaneously the development of a

crop of comparative advantage in the north like sorghum with cassava as a way of addressing the potential challenge that could result from this issue," Elemo advocated. She also recommended the adoption of a standardised national recipe for cassava bread and confectioneries. Elemo called for government incentives for flour millers for possible plant reconfiguration and the acquisition of additional equipment, if necessary.

Executive Director, Finance/Chief Finance Officer,Union Bank Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Oyinkan Adewale; and Group Managing Director, Emeka Emuwa during an interactive session with the media in Lagos... on Tuesday.

Diamond Bank offers N70b facility to SME operators IAMOND Bank Plc, has, Diamond bank has been D in the last four years, made available N70 billion supporting MSMEs. We as revolving loans to operators of the sector. Head of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises of the bank, Chima Nnadozie, who disclosed the amount yesterday in Akure, Ondo State during the Diamond Bank Business Express seminar for owners of small scale enterprises in the state, said currently, N35 billion is in the custody of the loan beneficiaries across the country for the development of their businesses. Nnadozie, who described small scale enterprises as the engine room that can drive Nigeria ’s economy to full prosperity as they did for the Asian economies, said his bank was committed to the development of the small and medium scale enterprises in the country. He told participants who were drawn from many sectors of the economy that the as they would be empowered to contribute immensely to the economy of the nation even as he disclosed that Diamond Bank had designed a programme since 2005 for the development of SMEs in the country. According to him, "this seminar is part of the propositions that Diamond Bank has for MSME. The bank has a business strategy of banking MSME and this includes providing

grant loans to them, we give them up to N3 million unsecured for those of them who don’t have collateral. Since 2009we have granted those types of loan, we have given out about N70 billion to more than 30, 000 SMEs but right now what is left in the book is about N35 billion for 12, 000 SMEs. financial and non financial services. In financial services we have account, loan, payment, transferring money and non financial service includes things we do to improve the business, including holding a monthly seminar, conducting business clinic and providing access to finance. “Diamond Bank has been supporting MSMEs, we grant loans to them, we give them up to N3 million unsecured for those of them who don’t have collateral. Since 2009, we have granted those types of loan, we have given out about N70 billion to more than 30, 000 SMEs but right now what is left in the book is about N35 billion for 12, 000 SMEs". Nnadozie however explained that the bank had further planned to encourage SMEs by ensuring that participants at the seminar had access to loan facilities


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

19

Weekend

Good Friday:

In memory of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice Arts & Culture P. 28

Autowheels P.43

At Dubai Art, West Africa shines in City in Transition

Vehicles that guarantee long mileage, resistance and durability

Business Travels P.46

The undulating runway to a national carrier


20 WEEKEND

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29 , 2013

Christians observe Good Friday,

The Last Supper By Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi and Wole Oyebade

Pilate said unto them; What shall I do then with Jesus, which is called Christ? They all said unto him, let him be crucified! And the governor said: Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather, a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, his blood be on us, and on our children. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him (Jesus) to be crucified. Matt: 27 Vs 22 -26 (King James’ Version). ODAY is Good Friday, observed by millions of Christians all over the world, to solemnly commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ at Calvary, and rededicate themselves to the core ideals of Christianity. And in three days, they will also celebrate Easter, to commemorate Christ’s resurrection, believed by Christians to have established Jesus as the powerful son of God. The two anniversaries are the culmination of the Holy Week, the last seven days of the Lent – a 40-day period of fasting, prayers, abstinence and penitence. On the significance of the week, Pope Francis said: “On Palm Sunday we began Holy Week, the heart of the liturgical year, when we commemorate the great events that express most powerfully God’s loving plan for all men and women. Jesus enters Jerusalem in order to give himself completely. He gives us his body and his blood, and promises to remain with us always. He freely hands himself over to death in obedience to the Father’s will, and in this way shows how much he loves us. We are called to follow in his footsteps.

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“Holy Week challenges us to step outside ourselves so as to attend to the needs of others: those who long for a sympathetic ear, those in need of comfort or help. We should not simply remain in our own secure world, that of the ninety-nine sheep who never strayed from the fold, but we should go out, with Christ, in search of the one lost sheep, however far it may have wandered. “Holy Week is not so much a time of sorrow, but rather a time to enter into Christ’s way of thinking and acting. It is a time of grace given us by the Lord so that we can move beyond a dull or mechanical way of living our faith, and instead open the doors of our hearts, our lives, our parishes, our movements or associations, going out in search of others so as to bring them the

light and the joy of our faith in Christ.” Easter is also coming at a time when many Christians in the country are living in fear and thinking deeply about how to protect their churches and lives from senseless destruction. They are wondering: will some churches be bombed this time as they were during the last Easter celebrations, when a car bomb exploded near a church in Kaduna, killing at least 36 people and badly wounding 13? Hundreds of Christians have been killed; scores of churches have been bombed by the Boko Haram sect in the northern parts of the country over the last three years. Although, northern Christians and their churches have often been targets of extremists for many years, the number of attacks has quadrupled in recent time. On December 24, 2010, at least 80 people were killed in multiple bomb attacks on churches around Jos, Plateau State, for which the sect claimed responsibility. In November 2011, at least 65 people were killed in the northeast city of Damaturu, when Islamist insurgents bombed churches, mosques and police stations. Boko Haram claimed responsibility. And Christmas Day in 2011, Boko Haram also claimed responsibility for a bomb attack at St Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, a satellite town on the outskirts of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which left 37 people dead and 57 others wounded. In Jos, another explosion hit the Mountain of Fire and Miracles church. President Goodluck Jonathan quickly described the attacks as “an unwarranted affront to our collective safety and freedom.” On January 5, 2012, gunmen opened fire on worshippers during church service in both Nasarawa and Gombe states, killing six people and wounding 10. The attack had followed a warning from Boko Haram, published in local newspapers, in which it gave Christians three days to leave the northern parts of the country or be killed. Between January and June last year, gunmen opened fire on Christian mourners at a hall in Mubi, Adamawa state, killing 18. The Christians had gathered to mourn the death of three people shot the previous

Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, in a statement on Thursday, directed all zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs) and Commissioners of Police nationwide to take necessary measures to protect Christian worshippers, travellers, picnickers and citizens across the country during and after the Easter festival.

day. Bomb exploded near a church in the town of Suleja, Niger state, wounding five people. Gunmen opened fire and also threw homemade bombs at a lecture theatre in Bayero University, Kano, killing about 19 people. A suicide bomber drove a car laden with explosives into a church during Sunday service in Yelwa, on the outskirts of Bauchi state, killing at least 12 people. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for all the attacks. According to reports, the sect was responsible for at least 450 killings in 2011 and over 620 deaths over the first six months of 2012. Since its birth in 2001, the sect has been responsible for about 10,000 deaths. These attacks have provoked angry reactions from Christian leaders, with some of them alleging complicity by the country’s security forces. The immediate past president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, on several occasions, warned that Christians would be forced to defend themselves if the attacks continued. He also went to the United State (U.S) congress and asked the U.S government to categorise the sect as a terrorist organization. An obviously exasperated Oritsejafor also advised Christians to defend themselves against attacks from the sect and other criminals. However, many notable Muslims have been condemning the sect’s activities, insisting that Islam does not encourage the destruction of lives and property. For instance, the Niger State governor, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu criticized the group and declared: “Islam is known to be a religion of peace and does not accept violence and crime in any form.” He also insisted that Boko Haram “doesn’t represent Islam.” In the same vein, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’adu Abubakar, the spiritual leader of Nigerian Muslims, has called the sect “anti-Islamic” and, as reported by the website AllAfrica.com, “an embarrassment to Islam.” The Coalition of Muslim Clerics in Nigeria (CMCN) has also called on the sect to disarm and embrace peace. Besides, the Islamic Circle of North America, the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, the Muslim Council of Britain, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Council on American Islamic Relations have all condemned the sect’s activities. However, political scientist Hussaini Abdu said religious extremism — both Christian and Muslim — has been on the rise in recent years. He noted that the Boko


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29 , 2013

WEEKEND 21

prepare to celebrate Easter

Pope Francis

Haram attacks were as a result of the increasing number of young people who are under-educated, unemployed and broke. With bleak prospects, many are attracted to the militant group. He said: “They have become a very terrible nuisance to our society, almost getting to a very nihilistic level, where they are happy killing people on the street.” Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, in a statement on Thursday, directed all zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs) and Commissioners of Police nationwide to take necessary measures to protect Christian worshippers, travellers, picnickers and citizens across the country

Abubakar

While commending Nigerians for their patience, understanding and cooperation with the police in the fight against crime, Abubakar also enjoined them to continue to support the force with useful information that would assist the police in arresting undesirable elements in the society. The Police Chief urged Nigerians to emulate and adopt the selfless lifestyle of Christ during this Easter period. He also enjoined them to imbibe forgiveness, peace and harmonious co-existence in consonance with the teachings of Christ. He restated the resolve and commitment of the police to reposition its men for greater efficiency. during and after the Easter festival. According to spokesman for the Nigeria Police, Frank Mba, “Command Commissioners of Police are to personally

A cross section of Cherubim and Seraphim members, Iponri, Lagos, during a procession on Palm Sunday

ensure that all key and vulnerable points within their jurisdictions, including places of worship, recreation centres, motor parks, highways, financial institutions and

all places of public resort are adequately and effectively protected.” While commending Nigerians for their patience, understanding and cooperation with the police in the fight against crime, Abubakar also enjoined them to continue to support the force with useful information that would assist the police in arresting undesirable elements in the society. The Police Chief urged Nigerians to emulate and adopt the selfless lifestyle of Christ during this Easter period. He also enjoined them to imbibe forgiveness, peace and harmonious co-existence in consonance with the teachings of Christ. He restated the resolve and commitment of the police to reposition its men for greater efficiency.


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ExecutiveBrief In association with TRIPPLEA ASSOCIATES LIMITED

EDITION 260

EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT INFOTECH4DEXECUTIVES CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE EXECUTIVE FINANCE By Tito Philips, Jnr. n a competitive marketplace, up-to-date information can Ibeing make the difference between keeping pace, getting ahead, or left behind. Business is a game and only the team with the best players wins. To win, you need to know your strengths and weaknesses as well as that of your competition. Knowledge of thyself alone is no longer sufficient to remain competitive. According to Sun Tzu, the ancient author of the Art of War; “If you are ignorant of both your enemy and yourself, then you are a fool and certain to be defeated in every battle.” No matter how much you think you know about your business, no matter how much experience you have in your chosen field, without a clear understanding of the competitions in the market, you might as well be driving blind. Big companies spend thousands of dollars to conduct competitive market analysis, but fortunately for those of you on a tight budget, you can do quite a bit of this yourself, without spending much at all. This unusual article is about how you can effectively gather information about your competition and how to use that information to beat the competition. What Is Competitive Intelligence? Competitive Intelligence is the purposeful and coordinated monitoring of your competitor(s), wherever and whoever they may be, within a specific marketplace… Your “competitors” are those firms which you consider rivals in business, and with whom you compete for market share. Competitive Intelligence also has to do with determining what your business rivals WILL DO before they do it. Strategically, to gain foreknowledge of your competitor’s plans and to plan your business strategy to counter their plans. The goal of a competitor analysis is to develop a profile of the nature of strategy changes each competitor might make, each competitor’s possible response to the range of likely strategic moves other firms could make, and each competitor’s likely reaction to industry changes and environmental shifts that might take place. Competitive intelligence should have a singleminded objective –to develop the strategies and tactics necessary to transfer market share profitably and consistently from specific competitors to your company. Competitive intelligence is the core of competitive strategy! Have A Goal In Mind: What Do You Want To Know? The very first step in carrying out an effective competitive analysis or research on your competition is to have an objective in mind; what exactly do you want to know? It’s already been stated above that the key purpose of competitive intelligence is to give you sufficient knowledge about the activities of your competitions in order to make better strategic decisions and actions that will give you a competitive edge in the market. How To Research Your Competitions Online - Traditionally, finding out about competitor activity might have been a lengthy and costly process. But now, with the help of the internet, you can easily access lots of useful information about your competition. Here are some ways to get started in being your own competitive intelligence gatherer on the Web and it won’t cost anything, but time. Google It: Well it’s true what they say; there’s hardly anything online that Google doesn’t know about, including information about your competitions. The very first step to take while conducting a research about your competition online is to Google them. A simple search about your competition or major players in your industry can reveal a lot about their overall corporate

Competitive Intelligence: Sure Fire Ways To Strip Your Competitions Naked! strategy, their next product launch, their recent hiring and even customer complaints and reviews. All these are valuable information that can give you an added advantage while making strategic decisions and planning strategic competitive actions. Use Industry Specific Sites: While Google is a good place to start your research about competitions, it might not provide certain insider information. This is when using industry specific sites comes in handy; these are sites that gather relevant information about companies from trusted sources such as Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria, Companies House in the UK and in the USA, the local, state or federal government agencies. In Nigeria, the Corporate Affairs Commission is a good starting point. For UK, visiting industry specific sites such as Duedil where you can access companies house data and search for information on millions of businesses is something to bear in mind. And for the US, visiting the websites of relevant local, state and federal agencies would help. Use Social Media: Given how companies are increasingly using social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter as marketing outlets these days, you might be able to pick up interesting facts about your competition—and maybe even your own company—just by tuning in. Follow all your competitions on twitter, like their Facebook fan pages, connect with their key people on LinkedIn and subscribe to the YouTube channels! Even if your competition isn’t social media savvy, it’s a good bet that they produce newsletters—either e-mail or print varieties—that you can sign up for to get the latest and greatest news and updates on things like new products or services they are introducing and what events they might be attending.

tial websites that you also need to have your websites or a page of your website on. Since they are sending your competitions traffic, there is also a likelihood that they will also send you traffic if you can get your website listed or mentioned there. Scan Review Sites: A review site is a website on which reviews can be posted about people, businesses, products, or services. A customer review is a review or feedback about a product or service made by a customer who has purchased the product or service. These are done using review sites such as; Google places for business, Yelp, Yahoo! Local listings, CitySearch, MerchantCircle, InsiderPages, Angie’s List and many others. Using these review sites like can help reveal certain information about your competition, especially your local competitions and the complaints or praises from their customers. The good thing about scanning review sites is the first hand customer information they provide about your competitions; their strengths and weaknesses are easily at your disposal and you can then respond accordingly with a superior competitive strategy. Get Professional Help: All these can be very overwhelming especially for businesses that are not very internet savvy. This is where hiring the services of a professional internet marketing company comes in handy. They can help you strip your competitions naked and provide you with detailed report that will help you stay ahead of the competitions. Like I mentioned above, we can help you out through our differentiate online internet marketing services for smart businesses. Give us a call today!

How To Research Your Competitions Offline Here are additional ways to research the competition using other offline sources; Look At Keywords: Over 80% of all online transactions begin Ask Your Customers: When it comes to identifying sources of with a keyword search. To compete, you need to target all the information about your competition, don’t skip over the obvirelevant keywords. Keywords are the specific terms or phrases ous ones—like your customers. Speaking to customers is one of people entered into search engines to get to your website or the best [and cheapest] ways of gathering real information on your competitor’s website. In order to be as visible as your com- competitors. Whenever you win a new customer, find out who petition on major search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. they used before, and why they switched to you [i.e. the reason you need to find out what keywords they are using to rank well they were dissatisfied with their previous supplier]. Do the same on search engines and equally start using them. One way of when you lose a customer; identify what they preferred about doing this is to simply look at the code of their websites. Simply your competitor. If you gather enough of these stories you’ll get go to the site and click on “View” at the top of the browser, then a very clear idea on what competitors are offering that cus“Source” or “Page Source” depending on your browser. A page tomers view as preferable. You can then adjust your own offerof html code will pop up and the keywords will be buried in the ing to beat that of the competitor. code near the top of the page. If you can’t do this, talk to your web designer and if they can’t also help, then talk to us. Our dif- Attending Industry Trade Shows And Conferences: Attending ferentiate online internet marketing services covers all these. industry trade shows and conferences—as well as joining industry associations—can be a great way to learn about who your Monitor Traffic and Back links: Traffic are the number of visicompetitors are and what they’re offering. tors that come to your office online –website. And back links are other websites that have your website or a page of your website Read Industry Journals/Publications: Also subscribing to and on their own website. They are also known as external links. By reading relevant industry journals/publications can also reveal doing this, they help improve the number of visitors that come useful information about your competitions. The closer and to your website from their website. Monitoring the number of more connected you are to industry updates through these pubvisitors and the sources [back links] from which these visitors lications will give you sufficient insights about the movers and come to your competitor’s websites gives you a clue into poten- shakers in your industry. And when you do, you can put them on your competitive research radar! Keep An Eye On Their Staff: Another strategy is to hire employees from competing firms, especially sales people. No one knows more about the inside of your competition’s business than the employees. Find out all that you can about how they operate, and more importantly, what’s the future like for them? Where are they taking their business? What markets are they venturing into? How are they leveraging innovation to cut costs and advance productivity? Where is the highest level of dissatisfaction with their products or services? Become A Mystery Shopper At Your Competitions: Mystery shopping or a mystery consumer is a tool used externally by market research companies, watchdog organizations, or internally by companies themselves to measure quality of service, or compliance with regulation, or to gather specific information about products and services. The mystery consumer’s specific identity and purpose is generally not known by the establishment being evaluated. Mystery shoppers perform specific tasks such as purchasing a product, asking questions, registering complaints or behaving in a certain way, and then provide detailed reports or feedback about their experiences. This can also be used to gather information about your competitions by sending people to buy from your competition or make enquiries about their products/services. Conclusion Keeping an eye on your competitions is a sound business strategy that will not only help you make better strategic decisions and actions, but will also help you stay ahead of the competition.  Start with the steps discussed above and come up with other creative, but legal means of gathering more information about your competitions in business. For Advertisement E-mail:editor.executivebrief@trippleagroup.com


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24 | EXECUTIVEBRIEF

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

Executive Management By Jack Deal rowth is what it is all about. Companies that do not grow do not make money. There is a direct correlation between growth and making money. Historically growth has most often been expensive and somewhat illusory, hence the willingness to accept as much growth as fast as possible. Anyone that has ever tried to grow a stagnating business knows how hard getting any growth can be, so few can resist the lure of fast growth. But there are negatives associated with fast growth. Some businesses would be better off to avoid the temptation of fast growth and instead, look at steady incremental growth: incremental versus exponential. At this point the hope would be the owner would grow incrementally with the company. A quick self assessment of where you are and where you want to go needs to be made. From this assessment you can determine your capability for growth, as well as indications for the best strategy to take. One characteristic of fast growth companies is that they

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Is Fast Growth Always Better than Slow Growth?

have to make decisions at an accelerated pace. Often these decisions need to be made on the spot with little information. Mistakes are not allowed. The key indicators here are what do you have in place right now and what will you need to put in place to complete your business plan. The critical call on decision making is what will be the reliability of the company’s day to day decision making as it grows and expands. During fast growth the status quo or “business as usual” is set aside and everything becomes stressed and strained. It is vital to your company that you have good decision making strategies and staff to carry them out. Sooner hopefully than later, you will have carefully reviewed your markets. If your markets show little opportunity there may be little chance for growth unless you diversify. Look at your markets carefully and see if and where there are potential growth opportunities. Growth industries are best but some declining industries offer growth opportunities as well. If your market

potential is there, then proceed to customer value. Look to what customer value you give and how that works in your competitive environment. Run that out on a timeline and attempt to anticipate your customer’s future needs. Can you create enough value to generate a profit? Again, focus on the market opportunities for growth. As with any business venture there is risk and fast growth comes with risks. The key is to identify these risks and determine if they are acceptable. The biggest risk for fast growers is cash flow...do your growth strategy projections keep you solvent as you grow? On some bank loan financial projections one is required to include available cash on hand column to guarantee liquidity. This is because sales don’t always mean growth and the temptation to grow quickly through financing is a trap that has caught many unsuspecting entrepreneurs off guard. It is important to make these projections to insure the company will remain solvent, and have enough cash on hand to meet

daily and weekly obligations. Part of this juggling act is volume versus capacity. Volume versus capacity is one of the trickiest juggling acts in fast growing businesses. Once you get the increased volume, can you handle it or will the quality of your product or service deteriorate making your business less competitive? Can you meet the anticipated demand? If your sales slow, will your fixed costs be too high? Do you have to make changes in your business infrastructure and if so, what will that cost? Employees and staffing are probably the fast growers biggest headaches. Fast growing businesses require employees that are focused and productive. Fast growing businesses are a good deal more stressful, but also more challenging, rewarding and fun to some employees but

too much work for others. If you decide to grow quickly, assess your employees and see where each fits. You most likely will face the problem that not all employees are suited for fast growth. Getting and keeping good employees is much more important in a fast

grower...make sure your pay and benefits provide good incentives. Growers grab for any advantage they can and technology offers a world

Infotech4dExecutives

Success Strategies

By Ron Shimoff t is extremely hard to imagine the world without some of the technology that we now take for granted. As far back as we can remember, man has always tried to improve, by making things better faster, stronger or making them last longer. If we take a look back, we can easily see that some things had a bigger impact than others, but it is undeniable that technological advances all paid a major role in the lives that we enjoy today. The importance of technology cannot be understated. Technology has brought us from the agricultural revolution, where humans initially learned to grow and harvest food. As the world population grew, it became necessary to know which plants grew in different climates and conditions. With today’s technology, we have access to an exceedingly vast amount of data that we can study and understand how we went from the agricultural age, where the ability to domesticate plants and animals afforded control over the supply of food, while social changes were introduced.

By Drew James Davis o you dream of becoming rich someday, but are not sure how to go about it? There is a myth that rich people are born with an innate talent to strive for excellence and think creatively, but it is all nonsense! Being a millionaire is not about having more than one million in your bank account. It is about the mindset which creates wealth for you. Similarly, it is the mindset (the wrong one) that prevents you from being a wealthy person. Think about it. When you think of the word 'millionaire' what image flashes in your mind? For many, it is a flashy type of a guy who lives an ultra-luxurious lifestyle, travels in a private jet, and so on. Surprisingly, typical millionaires are not the image that Hollywood and the media in general have created. Many modern-age millionaires work full-time, live in middleclass homes and shop in discount stores like common people. They are not driven by the material possessions that money can buy. What drives them is the power to make choices; it is about the 'freedom' to make any decision! For instance, being able to quit a job they dislike or sending their kid to a school of their choice. The number of millionaires has almost doubled in the last decade! There are more and more people getting rich. Millionaires are turning into billionaires! Perhaps, a lot of people are living the good life, so why can't you? Anyone can become a millionaire, but it asks for The Millionaire Mindset: How selfmade millionaires think, can help you get there too! Millionaires have more in common with each other than just their bank accounts, it is their mindset. 1. Whatever You Think About, You Bring About The beauty of being human is that you can reason and you can choose your thoughts. Thoughts become your actions and actions lead you to your reality. So if you're

I

The Importance of Technology on Our Changing Lives

The social changes brought about by technology introduced the Renaissance in the 14th to the 16th Century. It

was the period, when man sought to improve on circumstances, and introduced the Printing press, which is regarded as one of the important technological advancements. The printing press introduced the mass printing of books which turned out to be largely responsible for disseminating knowledge. It is extremely difficult to rank any technology as having more impact than the other, but one that would certainly be at the top of any list would be Medicine. This all comprehensive list would include the ability to treat diseases, transplants, vaccinations, discovery of antibiotics, and the discovery of new diseases. The telephone is another very important milestone in the advancement of technology. Before Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, it would take day for news to get from one place to another. Carrier pigeons were not yet available, so it was usually by stagecoach, or the postal service, or by rail. There was no mass communication method, and it was still on a one to one basis. It was not uncommon for the news not to arrive at the intended destination.

Invention of the telephone ushered the technology of communication. Communication is still changing how we live and work. Communication affects every area of our lives, and the better we can communicate, it means that we can collaborate more efficiently, and the more efficient we collaborate, it means that things can get done at a much faster pace, which implies that the pace of the introduction of more technology can be expected to increase. Better communication means more discoveries, and more new tools that solve more problems. There can be no more important introduction of technology in the last few decades, than the development of the Internet, and although we are still in the early stages of infancy, it is easy to envision a world where everyone is connected. As it stands right now, there is very little that cannot be done over the internet, and although we are a long way from where physical property will be transformed to bits of ones and zeros, scientists are slowly moving in that direction and it will be possible to physically transfer objects over the internet.

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of advantages. The idea is how to leverage technology to make your business more effective and efficient. What are the technology costs and can your people do with technology? The whole business attitude is different in fast-growers. There’s an excitement, thrill and upbeat buzz of activity, but not for all. Do your people see growth as stress or excitement? Even though more fast growth opportunities exist than ever before, only a relatively small percentage of businesses are in a fast growth mode. Run multiple scenarios so you will begin to understand the peculiar dynamics of fast growth so you can see if growth is friend or foe. Fast growth may in fact be for you, but look before you leap!

The Millionaire Mindset: How Self Made Millionaires Think poor, that's YOUR choice. Maybe you think it's not possible to be a millionaire because you don't have the skillsets, capital, education etc. But most self-made millionaires didn't have any of these, either. Self-made millionaires want to have lots of money and earn it while doing what they enjoy doing the most! They think of multiple ways by which they can attract money. 2. The Universe Doesn't Give You Money Don't make the mistake of expecting the universe to bestow riches upon you, if that would have been the case you would have been born rich! If you are not rich, it only means that wealth is something that you need to CREATE with creativity and hard work. The first step is of course, the mindset which breeds wealth. Self-made millionaires know that they MUST work harder than everyone else. They don't wait for luck. They make a strong plan on how they will make things happen and execute it. They take a huge 'calculated' risk (could be anything) and hence, reap rewards. 3. Chase Anything but the Money The idea of being a self-made millionaire sounds great, but most millionaires believe that chasing money will take you nowhere. They all have chased 'something' in their lives and the money came along as a reward. What is it that you would do if you were already a millionaire right now? What are your talents? And are you skilled or educated enough to do your work excellently? Understand that money will always come as a fruit of your hard work. You must be productive and give results. For instance, walking in the hot sun is a LOT of hard work but won't make you a millionaire. 4. Stop Spending, Start Investing If your goal is to make a million

Action is the foundational key to all success. Pablo Picasso

dollars and buy an expensive car, you won't be a millionaire for very long. Millionaires know the importance of investing instead of spending. They earn to save (and that's their habit) and not just to spend. They earn to keep and not blow their hard-earned money away by buying expensive items. They know the fact that money, if saved today, may serve a bigger purpose tomorrow. Moreover, self-made millionaires reinvest the money they make. And they further use it to create new opportunities to be more successful. 5. Strive for Success on a Daily Basis Earning abundantly means you have loads of knowledge about your work, plus, a strong passion to learn new things and improve your skills. These traits are not something you practice once in a blue moon, they are meant to be a part of your daily routine. Self-made millionaires are passionate about learning and reaching new heights. Just like a child gets excited to learn something new in his/her favorite subject, YOU need to have that passion to excel no matter what gets in your way - emotional traumas, financial setbacks, or whatever. 6. Live Well Beneath Your Means This is something that you must have read a hundred times, but this is THE golden rule. But why is it so? When you work hard enough to buy that Ferrari, you DESERVE it right? Well, that's for you to decide, but millionaires don't function that way. The reason behind this golden rule is Gradually, a person starts spending more money than he/she earns. Thus, the real selfmade millionaires don't spend more than they earn. It’s as simple as that. As a matter of fact, as parents, they don't pay for everything.


Literature Achebe and the last controversy

P. 26

Entertainment Celebrating Stella Monye

P. 36

Tourism The sparkle of Zimbabwean Carnival

P. 39

Film i-REP... All for lifting docu-filmmaking

P. 40

Dubai

in love with West African art

Bisi Silva, speaking during one of the events at Art Dubai Fair 2013.

By Tajudeen Sowole (just back from Dubai, UAE)

As art gets stronger, contributing to economic and cultural development across the world, Africa has presented its case of prospective dynamics to a global audience at the just concluded Art Dubai Fair, in United Arabs Emirate (UAE) HE rare opportunity came via two platforms of the fair: a curated secT tion tagged Marker and the yearly seven-day discussion segment, Global Art Forum, held at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. While Marker showed that the fastrising contemporaneity of art has not left the continent of Africa behind, the various segments of the art forum focused art education in the Middle East, art appreciation and documentation in Africa, positioning music as art content, among others. Writer, Tolu Ogunlesi and sound artist, Ogboh joined the curator of Marker, Bisi Silva at Day 6 of the Global Art Forum, which engaged Lagos as a mega city that is re-shaping the con-

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ers lifted art to a full-time profession from the mid 1980s through the early and mid-1990s. More importantly, art appreciation, tents of artists in the city. particularly in Lagos, rose sharply At the non-African audience-domiduring these periods. It could also be nated forum, Silva gave an overview argued that 1980s/1990s laid the of Lagos as a city of paradox, despite its chaotic and fast pace, with the peo- foundation for the current unprecedented rise in the value of Nigerian ple across the country coming to search for fortune. She, however, not- art. ed that the city is being misrepresent- For Ogboh, who came to Lagos “six years ago”, the noisy bus parks and ed in the international media. bus stops are spots that have attractOn the role of art in the on-going ed his artistic curiosity. He has preefforts to transform Lagos to one of sented quite some works on Lagos’ the biggest economic capitals of the world, Ogunlesi described “the 1980s noise at exhibitions both at home and in the Diaspora, sometimes through 1990s as the dark periods,” working with foreign artists. and post-military era, from 1999 till At another segment of the Global Art date as “the renaissance of Nigerian art”. Ogunlesi supported his assertion Forum, the growing art appreciation in Africa was the focus of one of the by recalling how “some Nigerian artists went into self-exile during the guest speakers and popular art collectors in Africa, Prince Yemisi military eras.” However, it isn’t exactly true that the Shyllon. It was at the second day of the Global Art Forum when Shyllon, 1980s and 1990s were the dark periods for Nigerian art. In fact, these peri- while addressing a largely nonAfrican audience, gave a panoramic ods – aside the fact that some view of the dynamics of Nigerian art Nigerian artists went into exile during the June 12 crisis from 1993 – were and Africa in general. In his response to a question about the most significant in the history of the future of African art, the prospect full-time studio practice and art of it becoming the next stop after the appreciation in the country. current boom of Chinese art market, A generation of artists such as Olu Shyllon expressed optimism that Ajayi, Sam Ovraiti, Abiodun Olaku, “African art can achieve what the Bunmi Babatunde, Osazuwa Osagie, Chinese art is enjoying in the West.” Abraham Oyovbisere, Edosa Ogiugo, He argued that with the value of conIni Brown, Lekan Onobanjo and oth-

temporary African art rising, both at home and in the global arena, especially with art auctions in Lagos, it might not take long for the art of the continent to reach the global art market. “With the art auctions of ArtHouse Contemporary and Terra Kulture in Lagos, it is possible for the global art market to notice us,” he asserted. Indeed, the gains of starting at home have started emerging: in London, Bonhams, a London-based auction house has since 2009 - a year after two successful auctions - raised the value of Nigerian art in Lagos. It dedicated an auction tagged Africa Now to African art. Works of masters and young artists from across Africa are featured at the Bonhams’ auctions. And given the fact that the home market has been setting the pace, Shyllon used the Global Art Forum to advise African artists in the Diaspora to ensure that their works were also known at home, adding, “Our artists abroad must be careful; they should be known here (at home) first for foreigners outside the continent to accept them.” He cited the example of El Anatsui, noting that he is based in Nigeria “and mastered his art in the country before he was known abroad.” Shyllon also recalled how he advised the late Lamidi Fakeye (1928-2009) to concentrate more at home. Fakeye

must have taken Shyllon’s advice, as the carver’s only solo art exhibition ever in a gallery, titled Timber’s Titan, was held at Mydrim Gallery, Lagos, a year before his death. And as an extension of his love for Fakeye’s work, Shyllon disclosed at the global gathering, “a book on Fakeye will be formally presented in Lagos before the end of this month.” (The book presentation ceremony was held last Wednesday). What exactly has government done to lift African art? Moderator of the segment of the forum, a U.K.based art advisor, Bomi Odotunde said that artists and promoters should look towards the private sector, noting, “Even in England, it’s the private sector that promotes art.”

CONTINUED ON PAGE 28


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

26 ARTS

Literature CHINUA ACHEBE (1930-2013)

… And the last controversy be, but were not included in the original compilation by Kirk-Greene – are two. The first is the much talked-about, but never seen, Ifeajuna Manuscript. It was written by Major Emmanuel Ifeajuna, the leader of the January 15 1966 Coup that opened the floodgates to other untoward events leading to the civil war. The author poured it all down in the “white hot heat” of the first few weeks after the failed adventure that ushered in the era of military regimes in Nigeria’s history. Not, as many would have wished, the story of how the five majors carried out the coup. It is more of an apologia, a statement of why they carried out the coup, and what they meant to achieve by it. It is still unpublished so many decades after it was written. The manuscript had begun to circulate, very early, in what may now be seen as samizdat editions.

HE defining experience of Chinua Achebe’s T life was the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970). The conflict was infamous for its savage impact on

the Biafran people, Chinua Achebe’s people, Igbo, many of whom were starved to death after the Nigerian government blockaded their borders. By then, Chinua Achebe was already a world-renowned novelist, with a young family to protect. He took the Biafran side in the conflict and served his government as a roving cultural ambassador, from which vantage he absorbed the war’s full horror. Immediately after, Achebe took refuge in an academic post in the United States, and for more than forty years he has maintained a considered silence on the events of those terrible years, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. Now, decades in the making, comes a towering reckoning with one of modern Africa’s most fateful events, from a writer whose words and courage have left an enduring stamp on world literature. Achebe masterfully relates his experience, both as he lived it and how he has come to understand it in There Was A Country. The book, however, has raised a lot of dust. Here are some of the comments made after the book was released on October 12, 2012.

GENERAL GODWIN ALABI-ISAMA (RTD) (Commander, 3rd Marine Commando, between 1967 and 1969 during the Civil War) I wonder why Achebe who was never at the war front also failed to read the account of the principal actors in the war front, especially those written by the Biafran solders. In my opinion, Achebe’s book is tribalised and inconsistent with the truth. The Hausas did not deny killing the Ibos, and as Gen Haruna said at Oputa Panel in 2001, he has no apology for that. Bringing the 3MCDO into it and Awolowo in a derogatory way is evil and ungodly.

GENERAL YAKUBU GOWON (Nigerian Head of State, who prosecuted the war) Let him check himself and of course on our part, we know that, that was not what we were. That was how we were portrayed but, on our part, we know that was not what we were in our actions and all that. But would you please go and ask historians about the beginning of the war rather than for you to ask me to comment about whether Awolowo and I actually had hands in what he is talking about? Go and find out from historians? MR. FEMI FANI KAYODE (former aviation minister and historian) The worst thing that anyone can do is to try to re-write history and indulge in historical revisionism. This is especially so when the person is a revered figure and a literary icon. Sadly, it is in the light of such historical revisionism that I view Professor Chinua Achebe’s assertion, which is reflected in his latest and highly celebrated book entitled, There Was A Country, that Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the late and much-loved leader of the Yoruba, was responsible for the genocide that the Igbo suffered during the Civil War. This claim is not only false but it is also, frankly speaking, utterly absurd. Not only is Professor Achebe indulging in perfidy; not only is he being utterly dishonest and disingenuous, but he is also turning history upside down and indulging in what I would describe as ethnic chauvinism. YINKA ODUMAKIN (spokesperson of Save Nigeria Group) It is unfortunate that a great man of letters of Achebe’s status has descended to the arena of Biafran propagandists who are always ready to sacrifice the truth to achieve emotional blackmail. He has betrayed his intellectual calling by joining in the circulation of low quality rumours against Awo. I had looked forward to reading the book, but now, I doubt if I would pick up a copy even if it were dropped at my gate. MR. AYO OPADOKUN (political activist and convener of the Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reforms - CODER) The new write-up is another rehash of the perverted intellectual laziness, which he had exhibited in the past in matters relating to Awo when Achebe described Awo as a Yoruba irredentist. What he expected was that Awo should fold his arms to allow the Igbo race led by Zik to preside over the affairs of the Yoruba nation. The fact that the Yoruba people in their wisdom, having found out that the NCNC through Zik and Okpara had established a government of their choice and then wanted to follow up with the appropriation of the Yorubaland as their catchment area. It is a demonstration of the contempt of Achebe and his ilk for the Yoruba nation.

• Let him check himself and of course on our part, we know that, that was not what we were • The worst thing that anyone can do is to try to re-write history and indulge in historical revisionism • It is unfortunate that a great man of letters of Achebe’s status has descended to the arena of Biafran propagandists • The new write-up is another rehash of perverted intellectual laziness • Considering the near economic ruin and the starvation of Ibo children and adults faced during the war—why would anyone not admire Achebe’s position and willingness to outline the consequences of the actions of the two men at the helm of the Federal Government during the war? WALE OSHUN (Chairman, Afenifere Renewal Group) Did Awo start the war? He was just the Federal Commissioner for Finance with responsibility for coming up with appropriate fiscal and monetary policies. He was not at the battlefield and could not therefore be fairly charged with genocide. Neither in any of the books written by him nor on him was any such thing said. It is the work of those who hated his guts. It is not factual. It must be remembered that even when he was not in the cabinet, he tried to prevent the war, but as soon as it broke out, it was between Nigeria and Biafran. He had to come up with policies that would end the war quickly. Those who are peddling this line have forgotten that Awo was in prison when the crisis started. PROF. MOSES MAKINDE (Awo’s official biographer) I do not agree with Prof Achebe on the statement. It is not true that Awo’s civil war role smacked of even an iota of selfish political aggrandisement. I was his biographer and I can state authoritatively that, though he did not penetrate the North, he had a firm belief in the unity of Nigeria and that was why he wanted to govern the country as an indivisi-

ble entity. All the governors and other close associates of his would attest to the fact that he was a believer in the oneness of Nigeria, which was why he wanted to govern the entire country for the overall benefit of her entire citizenry. ODIA OFEIMUN (former President, Association of Nigerian Authors) In this second part, you would observe views that are manifestly contradictory and would leave you with the conclusion that they can be described as products of biased minds or the display of crass ignorance – the former should suffice. The posers raised last week regarding the following are dealt with: Which book did Achebe write which captured all but a coup, of all that was happening wrongly in the country during the First Republic? Was Nnamdi Azikiwe sounded out by Igbo officers on the possibility of carrying out a coup in 1964, two years before the January 1966 coup? What was the plan of the coup makers of 1966 for Awolowo? Was Awolowo privy to what the eventual coup makers planned to do with him? What was so important about the Emmanuel Ifeajuna manuscript that Olusegun Obasanjo wanted to get to read it? In my view, the most forgotten documents of the Nigerian civil war, which deserved to

DR. EMMANUEL C. ALOZIE Of all the issues of value that Achebe enumerated about Nigeria before, during and after the war, the single issue that has attracted most attention dealt with his contention that Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the second ranking person in the federal government during the war advocated hunger as a weapon of war. It has been estimated that one to two million Ibos died during the pogrom and a war in which hunger was used as an instrument of war. Some degree of attention has been paid to the financial policies that almost rendered Ibos bankrupt if not for their resilience.  Ibos received a pittance of twenty pounds in exchange of any amount of Biafran currency they had and/or money left in Nigerian banks prior to the war. Considering the near economic ruin and the starvation Ibo children and adults faced during the war—why would anyone not admire Achebe’s position and willingness to outline the consequences of the actions of the two men at the helm of the federal government during the war? As the first African war to garner attention in the world media stemming from the photographs and news coverage of starving Ibo children with distended stomach, the conflict was dubbed a “media propaganda war.” The sufferings of Biafrans witnessed on pages of newspapers and on films evoked strong reaction from the public in many countries. DR. DOZIE IKEDIFE (former President, Ohaneze Ndigbo) The facts are naked but only that truth is bitter. Igbo would not start another war but for Nigeria to move forward, she must acknowledge injustice done to Ndigbo during the war. We all saw what happened in South Africa when Nelson Mandela took over after the apartheid regime in that country. They set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. That is what we need to do here. Ndigbo deserve an honest apology, particularly from the major players in that unfortunate war. CHEKWAS OKORIE (former National Chairman, All Progressive Grand Alliance) It is general knowledge that the civil war has only ended in the battlefield but it has not in reality. Go to the South East and you will pity the Igbo. All the roads are impassable and there is no federal presence. The policies of federal character and educational disadvantage are created to deter the progress of the Igbo people. Complied by Omiko Awa


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

ARTS

27

CHINUA ACHEBE (1930-2013)

… Still celebrating the passing on of iconic writer, humanist By Anote Ajeluorou HE passing into ancestry of Africa and worldT renowned author and political activist has left the writerly race still reeling from so tremendous a loss.

What has emerged is the unrestrained outpouring of emotions from all spectrums of the human divide. From among Nigerian writers, Prof. Achebe is indeed another flight of the eagle on the iroko into celestial abode, nay, into ancestral council where he will still preside over the race of writers, his children whom he left behind to continue in the creative path he charted for them to follow. Among those who continued to pour their heartfelt, celebratory emotions include erudite poet and Distinguished Professor of English at New Orleans University, Niyi Osundare, poet and essayist, Remi Raji-Oyelade, poet and activist, Ogaga Ifowodo, king and novelist, Chukuemeka Ike, essayist, Olúwáfirópò Ewénlá, novelist, publisher and book convention organiser, Dilibe Onyeama and novelist and teacher, J.O.J. Nwachukwu-Agbada. • Prof. Niyi Osundare (poet, essayist and Distinguished Professor of English, University of New Orleans, U.S.) Chinua Achebe: Death, where are thy claws? Chinua Achebe is one of those epically unique individuals whose lives have been so full, so purposive and so impactful that we begin to pray that they will never die. But who doesn’t know that that is mere wishful thinking? To be sure, the Eagle on Iroko didn’t die young, but he left when we still need him urgently and acutely. He has gone, but he left so much of, by, himself behind... Achebe shook up the literary world with Things Fall Apart when he was barely in his late twenties. He told Africa’s story and gave humanity a song. Since that day in 1958 when that epochal novel intruded upon the world to this very day, hardly any week has passed without the author’s name being mentioned somewhere in this world of books and ideas. But if the sheer force and range of Achebe’s fiction gave Africa a voice, the fearless truth of his critical interventions challenged so many myths and deliberate falsehoods about the most misrepresented and recklessly abused continent in the world. Achebe knew, and he tried to get us to know, that Africans will remain mere objects of the stories told by others, until they, Africans,  have started to tell their own story their own way - without shutting out the rest of the world. Achebe challenged the 20th century philosophy of fiction as a pretty object d’art, arriving with works, which foregrounded the human condition and told the wondering world that the clotheless Emperor was, indeed, naked! He entered a plea for the urgent necessity of an entity called ‘applied art’ and emboldened us to look triumphalist Formalism in the face and demand to see its passport. Yes, Achebe told a world sold to the art-for-art’ssake mystique that it is, indeed, possible to be an accomplished novelist who is also a teacher. Controversy hardly ever parts company with a writer and thinker of his brand. He took almost as much criticism as he gave; for he was a man who never ran from a fight. The world celebrates the LIFE of this distinguished story-teller and thinker. (Yes, celebrate, for to mourn is to concede supremacy to Death - and Oblivion, its Mephistophelean factotum). Rest well, Chinualomogu. Rest well, Obierika, the man who thought about things. Posterity will never let you die. We regret your passing. We celebrate your Life. • Prof. Remi Raji-Oyelade (Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan; President, Association of Nigerian Authors and poet) Here in Germany, phone calls and questions about the truth of the passing of the grand patron and first President and Trustee of ANA jolted me into disbelief. Chinua Achebe, foremost African thinker, hugely popular on the strength of his revolutionary novel and the other seminal prose works he produced over five decades, Chinua Achebe, the absolute and consummate prose maestro is no more. His name, alongside others of his generation, was key to accessing the world literary stage. Here was a man who chose the profession of writing early and above the more fashionable or prestigious calling of the medical profession. A pioneer student of the Ibadan school of creative writing, a dogged and unyielding fighter to the very end, and a true mentor to a generation of writers across the world. Even in my country now, the fact of his death is dissolving into reality. Eagle on Iroko, the master-artist, the compelling stylist of the English language has left the world of the flesh, he left in the middle of a revived discourse of the fate of our Nigerian nation. And it was a symbolic day. In the commemoration of the UNESCO World Poetry Day, things fell apart in the firmament of Nigerian and African Literature. A bleak day indeed, the devastating reality, the ending of a huge chapter in the history of African Literature.  Adieu Chinua Achebe, adieu irreplaceable son of Africa! • Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo (Poet and Assistant Professor of English, Texas State University, U.S.) Achebe on his Transfiguration into Ancestordom The news of Achebe’s transfiguration into an ances-

If I have any lament, an inconsolable grief, it is that Achebe died in exile. And, worse, that The Trouble with Nigeria, the conditions that led to “one of the greatest sons of the land” dying so far away from home twenty-two years after he was crippled in a road accident and became bound to a wheelchair have not changed for the better by a jot. Indeed, that they have grown even worse with no promise of a halt to the slide into a state ruled by a buccaneer ruling class defined by two words only: ineptitude and corruption

Achebe shook up the literary world with Things Fall Apart when he was barely in his late twenties. He told Africa’s story and gave humanity a song. Since that day in 1958 when that epochal novel intruded upon the world to this very day, hardly any week has passed without the author’s name being mentioned somewhere in this world of books and ideas

At 7 PM last night, all the participants gathered to pay homage to a Titan of world — note, I said world, not merely African — literature. I first read Achebe as a twelve-year-old at Federal Government College, Warri. It was appropriate, I think, that my introduction to the fabled Achebe-lore, was through Chike and the River, a story for children replete with magic (for good measure, it has a character named Professor Chandus), curiosity and dream, all borne of the self-enlarging wish not to remain in one place; of the desire to avoid the mind-numbing that comes with an inability to imagine other places and their ways of being in the world. Because I read the imperishable Things Fall Apart two years later, as any of the works of the three others of the Fabulous Four of Nigerian literature — Christopher Okigbo, J.P. Clark and Wole Soyinka — it is clear to me that Achebe had the earliest shaping influence on my desire to become a writer. The magic of story-telling, of creating imaginary worlds and making them rival the real world in plausibility, had cast its spell on me and even though I didn’t know it at the time, I would never want to be free of it! Achebe’s exit, like the fall of an iroko, denudes our socio-cultural landscape: the grass is exposed and thinner, the leaves are less green, but I take solace in the fact that further down in the forest are other irokos; that Achebe, now an ancestor is an even more potent force for regeneration. If I have any lament, an inconsolable grief, it is that Achebe died in exile. And, worse, that The Trouble with Nigeria, the conditions that led to “one of the greatest sons of the land” dying so far away from home twenty-two years after he was crippled in a road accident and became bound to a wheelchair have not changed for the better by a jot. Indeed, that they have grown even worse with no promise of a halt to the slide into a state ruled by a buccaneer ruling class defined by two words only: ineptitude and corruption. Still, I rejoice in having a literary father such as Achebe, sitting now on his hallowed stool among the ancestors. I trust Christopher Okigbo is crying tears of the laughter of reunion at this moment! • Eze Prof. Chukuemeka Ike (renowned author and Ikelionwu XI, Eze Ikelionwu, Anambra State) Chinua was phenomenal. We met are Government College, Umuahia and although he and Chike Momah were one year ahead of me, we struckc up a friendship that was a lasting lifetime brotherhood thereafter. Chinua inspired my desire to write and write well. He was always honest and his integrity was reflected in all he did. Chinua is truly brilliant, an international role model and icon. He was a lovely person, a caring friend and mentor to many. To his family, he was the ideal husband, father and grandfather, as well as the good uncle, brother and son. We shall all miss this great citizen of the world whom we are proud to have shared the same nationality with. We will always celebrate Achebe the icon as his inimitable works continue to enrich our world for centuries to come. • Olúwáfirópò Ewénlá (Poet, essayist and Secretary, PEN Nigeria Centre) Achebe lives forever even in death We at PEN Nigeria Centre are shocked to hear the news of the death of Chinua Achebe who even after this transition is very much an icon of the Nigerian literati. Sad as we are at this rude news, we are comforted that he lived a life worthy of emulation in the ideals he and his works stand for. Our body of poets, playwrights, essayists, editors and novelists, all extended children of Chinua Achebe, commiserate with his immediate family and the clan of writers all over the world. Achebe represents one of the brightest sources of inspiration for young and old writers across the world of literature. His ideals, the greatest assets he has bequeathed to us, will be cherished forever. It is our plan to, in the nearest future, join other well meaning Nigerians and international body of writers to immortalize him. It is our prayer that the spirit of life eternal will guide his departed soul. • Dilibe Onyeama (author, publisher and convener, Coal City Book Convention)

tral spirit reached us in Charleston, North Carolina, in the middle of this year’s annual meeting of the African Literature Association (ALA). As is to be expected, we — writers, critics, publishers, readers — were thrown into deep mourning. But we mourned with one hand drying tears and the other waving jubilantly to Achebe’s spirit, looking even more resplendent dressed for his triumphant entry into ancestordom, beaming benevolently at us as he bid us farewell.

Chinua Achebe was outstanding in more ways than one. Despite the agony of a near-fatal accident that confined him to a wheelchair for the rest of his life offshore, he remained in high spirits and kept pushing that prolific pen with great vigour and liveliness of mind, and the world bowed to his every literary output. He was never a mere armchair critic of world events. When he was in Nigeria and able to walk, he sought to demonstrate in practical terms his disenchantment with his motherland by going out into the political campaign trail, albeit not with the desired results. So with his literary tour de force The Trouble with Nigeria, he did with the pen what he could not do on the campaign trail. Diplomacy, though a globally-recognized essential for social interaction, was not Achebe’s watch-word. He believed in the power of truth and hurled it with as much passion as his written words, and some, especially the Yoruba of Nigeria, were not too comfortable about it, as they were often his target. •Prof. J.O.J.Nwachukwu-Agbada (Novelist and teacher at Abia State University, Uturu)


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

28 ARTS

Revue At Dubai Art, West Africa shines in City in Transition

Antonia Carver, director at Art Dubai 2013 (left) and Prime Minister and Vice President, UAE, HH, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rasheed Al Maktoum (middle) during the opening of Art Dubai Fair 2013 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 S promising as African art appears, with the A prospect of it heading towards the global art market and making impact, it was yet to have complementary scholarly input. This much was again raised at the Global Art Forum by a veteran commentator on African art, Rasheed Araeen of U.K.-based art journal, Third Text. Araeen cited the example of late artist, Uzo Egonu. He noted that the late artist’s work has little or no scholarly work done on it. Araeen lamented that as much as Nigeria has quite a pool of scholars, home and abroad, publications on African art was still inadequate. Another prominent Nigerian collector, Sammy Olagbaju urged artists to concentrate more on producing art and advised them to leave documentation worries to the historians and others. Olagbaju argued that if saddled with writing about their works, artists could be distracted from their studio. But curator of Marker, Silva welcomed Areen’s views on inadequate scholarly input, stating, “Apart from Olu Oguibe’s piece on Egonu, no one has written about the artist’s work”. She, however, added, “we are now documenting our artists”. Silva was right about the changing attitude of art historians. Indeed, with recent developments in Lagos, for example, where four or more books on art were published in the last two years, the documentation landscape is appearing greener. In the last three years and in quick succession, a U.S.-based art historian, Prof. Sylvester Ogbechi published Ben Enwonwu: The Making of an African Modernist, published in 2009; he has also edited Making History: The Femi Akinsanya African Art Collection. Also last year, a book Contemporary Nigerian Art in Lagos Private Collections, edited by a Spaniard expatriate based in Lagos, Jess Castellote, and sponsored by Olagbaju, was presented to the public.

Dubai publications; Stephen Bedge, director of student Enterprise and Hospitability at the University of the Art, London; Dana Farouk, independent curator and a trustee of MoMA; and Soheila Sokwhanvari, a London-based artist of Iranian origin. One of the several areas of challenges addressed was the rising cost of art education. Government’s continued funding of art education across the gulf may not be sustained for long, some of the participants feared. One of them warned that if quality art education would be sustained, perhaps, the people would have to pay a little. He cited example of some parts of the U.K., where “fees are now introduced into art schools; it’s not for commercial purpose for the schools, but to sustain the art education system”. Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria; Espace doual’art, Douala, Cameroon; Maison

HE UAE, and perhaps the entire Arab world, T appears to have realised the huge prospects in art, so suggests the first section of the Day 6 of the Global Art Forum tagged New Directions: Art Education in the Middle East. Speakers included Alia Al Senusi, a London-based art patron, who is on the board of Tate Gallery; Mrna Avad, editor of Canvas Daily and Art

Fred Sicre, Managing Director of Art Dubai’s sponsor, The Abraaj Group addressing participants

Omooba Yemisi Shyllon, speaking during a segment of the Global Art Forum Carpe Diem, Ségou, Mali; Nubuke Foundation, Accra, Ghana; and Raw Material Company, Dakar, Senegal were the five spaces that represented what could be described as face of West Africa, perhaps by extension the entire region at Art Dubai 2013. Artists whose works were exhibited included Ablade Glover, Ndidi Dike, Soly Cisse, Taye Idahor, Emeka Ogboh, Ade Adekola, Charles Okereke, Karo Akpokien, Abubakar Fofana Abdoulaye Konate and Boris Nzebo. But the distinct line of identity, which African art is known for, appears to be blurring, so suggest some of the works on display among the five representatives. A tour of the five stands showed that as much as some of the artists attempted to create works that represent the central theme, City in Transition, the African flavour struggled against the dominance of western textures. Sub-consciously, the artists have imbibed Western influence. For examples, from Soly Cisse’s variety of impressionistic depiction of rat characters in metaphoric context, to Boris Nzebo’s drawings, African identity was faintly noticed. And rescuing the near loss of African aesthetic identity were CCA, Lagos, Idahor’s Head Series, Dike’s collage, Lagos Market, Glover’s rooftop of slums courtesy of Nubuke Foundation, Accra as well as Fofana’s textile pieces. And quite innovative was Ogboh’s sound installation of archival origin, which brings into memory the voices of two of Nigeria’s former Head of States, Nnamidi Azikiwe and Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the African identity was strengthened at Marker. From the Raw Material stand, Henri Sagna’s sculptural relief about faith exudes simplicity of aesthetics. Ade Adekola’s photographic assemblage of animated effect captures recycling of waste

engine fuel by youths in Lagos. With Marker, Africa announced its presence on the contemporary global art stage. The gathering of these diverse artists from West Africa, working on a theme as City in Transition, stressed the importance of changes across some of the countries’ big cities. And that some of the artists’ works reflected the changes – not necessarily because the theme confines their visual narratives – showed the cultural or identity-loss as the prize to pay for changes in the city. Silva noted the significance of the theme, drawing similarity between the host city, Dubai “as a city in transition.” She, however, argued that “Africa can learn from Dubai” in the transitory context. While the Marker section of Art Dubai 2013 might have presented the diversity of the artists, it could also be seen as another kind of art from West Africa; a shift from the regular. Over the last decade, artists from West Africa, particularly in Nigeria, Ghana and Republic of Benin have made impressive impacts, even across the continent. For example, in Lagos and the U.K., and to a little extent, in the U.S., art auctions have further projected African art. Also, Beninoise such as Romuald Hazoume, Julien Sinzogan, and Europe-based Ghanaian artist Owusu Ankomah have shown consistently across Europe. The active roles, which some of these artists, particularly in Lagos and the U.K. play in lifting the status and values of the continent’s art cannot be removed from whatever led to the interest of Art Dubai Fair in the West Africa sub-region. Described by the organisers as “over $40 million dollar worth Art Dubai 2013,” an CONTINUED FROM PAGE 29


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Art of West Africa... Loud in Dubai Fair

a press conference attended by over 50 journalists selected across the world. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 28 opportunity for Africa could not have come at a better time. However, did West Africa present artists who are among top-rated in the mainstream art market at home and in the Diaspora? The real vibrancy of African art or art from West Africa, recorded in the past few years was not completely felt at Art Dubai Fair 2013, Prof Awam Akpam of New York University noted. Although Akpam conceded that the outing was a commendable effort having to gather African artists at such a global stage, he said future representation of the continent could be better. “I commend Silva’s effort, but in future the mainstream art galleries in Lagos should be included. This is art fair, not a biennale; it’s commercial art gathering”, Akpam insisted during a chat inside the Arena Gallery Hall section, the expansive venue that housed Marker alongside about 30 other galleries from across the world. A few metres away from Akpam, one of the few art galleries in the U.K., known to have been showing African art consistently, October Gallery also had a stand. Three artists were featured: El Anatsui, Romuald Hazoume and Algerian, Rachid Koraichi. Enthused by the prospect of the gathering and what African artists have achieved in the past few years abroad, one of the delegates of October Gallery, Gerard Houghton noted that “new artists are emerging from Africa.” Dragged into the contemporaneity issue and a possible loss of African identity in the works of the new generation of artists, Houghton, who is of the Special Projects department of October Gallery, also expressed fear about the loss of identity, saying, “Some artists are already losing their African identity. This is my personal opinion, not that of the October Gallery. We need to promote new artists; and there are quite a number of them from Africa”. Spicing the art landscape with new things perhaps led to the texture of Marker. The selection of galleries for the Marker gathering, Silva

Inside Espace Douala’ Art Gallery stand at Marker section of Art Dubai 2013. explained, was deliberate, adding, “Most of the spaces here are non-commercial”. Koyo Kouoh, director at Raw Material Company, said the artists whose works represented the face of Senegal at the event “are the artists that I know and have worked with”. However, sign of a more diverse Nigerian presence at Art Dubai Fair in the future was noticed. Observers from Lagos who showed support for the West African representatives during the fair included gallery owners Biodun Omolayo, Azu Nwagbogu of African Artists Foundation and a new entrant-in-waiting, Caline Chagoury. Some of the participating galleries from other regions across the world included Athr Gallery (Jeddah), Galerie Chantal Crousel (Paris), D Gallerie (Jakarta), Experimenter (Kolkata), Alexander Gray Associates (New York), Grey Noise (Dubai), Galerie Rodolphe Janssen (Brussels), Galerie Krinzinger (Vienna), Platform China (Beijing/Hong Kong), The Third Line (Dubai), The Pace Gallery (London/Beijing/New York) and Sfeir-Semler (Hamburg/Beirut) will all

The Challenger (From Icons of a Metropolis Series) by Ade Adekola at the Marker section of Art Dubai 2013.

be once again engaging with visitors at Art Dubai. New international entrants, including Greenaway (Adelaide/Berlin), Yvon Lambert (Paris), Victoria Miro (London), Almine Rech Gallery (Paris/Brussels), Schleicher/Lange (Berlin/Paris) and Tanja Wagner (Berlin) will be making their debut at Art Dubai. From Istanbul, Turkey alone, there were five galleries. N breeding new artists, the major sponsor O of Art Dubai Fair, The Abraaj Group – a capital investment organisation – showed how to invest in the future when it awarded some new artists who emerged winners in the art competition named after the financier of the fair. The winners of the Abraaj Group Prize included Vartan Avakian and Rayyane Tabet (Lebanon), Iman Issa from Egypt, Huma Mulji (Pakistan) and Hrair Sarkissian, Syria. Guest curator, Murtaza Vali explained at a press conference that the works from the

2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 editions of the Abraaj Group Art Prize “have been exhibited at several venues in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Gulf and the U.S. including: The National Museum of Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia (2012) and the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India”. The Abraaj Group is a leading investor operating in the global growth markets of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Frederic Sicre, Managing Director at The Abraaj Group said: “To nurture and cultivate the cultural climate across the regions, we operate by empowering exceptional artistic talents, which is important to us. The Abraaj Group Art Prize is the flagship of our arts patronage programme and is at the heart of our stakeholder engagement strategies. As the prize turns five, we are delighted to be able to engage with five more innovative art installations in the exhibition this year and bring five more artists into our network of winners, who become ambassadors and act as role models for younger artists.” Elsewhere, a Nigerian artist, Otobong Nkanga had a performance at another of the Emirates’ gathering of artists, the Sharjah Biennale. Titled Tastes of A Stone, Nkanga’s work, which also included installation, “continues her exploration of landscape, disappointment and the notion of home.” It included poetry and performance in what she described as “means of narrative story telling.” Launched at the first edition of Art Dubai in 2007, the Global Art Forum featured over 40 contributors during its 2013 edition, which included new and old participants from across the world. New participants included Dubai-based political scientist, Dr. Abdulkhaleq Abdulla; artist and former REM lead singer Michael Stipe; writers and editors Charles ArseneHenry, Brian Kuan Wood (Editor, eflux journal) and Guy Mannes-Abbott (author, In Ramallah, Running); artists Tarek Atoui,Tristan Bera, Manal Al Dowayan, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster,Shuruq Harb, Hassan Khan. Others were Ogboh, Slavs and Tatars, Ala Younis; author and poet Mourid Barghouti; writers Elif Batuman (contributor, New Yorker), Maryam Monalisa Gharavi (Editor-atLarge, The New Inquiry), Oscar GuardiolaRivera (author of What if Latin America Ruled the World?); Lagos-based writer-editor Ogunlesi; writer/urbanist Keller Easterling (Professor, Yale University); curator-translator, and Dar Al-Ma’mun co-director, Omar Berrada; curators Reem Fadda (Associate Curator, Middle Eastern Art, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project, and curator, National Pavilion for the UAE at the Venice Biennial), Koyo Kouoh (director, Raw Material Company, Dakar), Silva (director, CCA Lagos) and Tirdad Zolghadr (writer, based at Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College NY); New York-based anthropologist Uzma Z. Rizvi (Assistant Professor, Pratt Institute); composer and musician Andre Vida; and Doha-based analyst and commentator Tarik Yousef. Speakers returning from previous years include writer and artist Douglas Coupland; curator Lara Khaldi (Director, Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre, Ramallah); geostrategist and Director of Hybrid Reality Institute, Parag Khanna; Turi Munthe, founder of ‘citizen journalist’ newswire Demotix; CoDirector of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects, Serpentine Gallery, London, Hans-Ulrich Obrist; and art patron and commentator, Sultan Sooud Al


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Events Calabar Jazz International Festival

Date(s): 29/03/2013, 30/03/2013, 31/03/2013 Location: Cultural Centre, Calabar, Cross River State Promoter: CALABAR FESTIVAL The decision to make the Calabar Jazz Festival an annual event is a direct result of the success of the jazz concerts held during the Calabar Festival, and the demand from the more discerning consumer for a jazz event in a more intimate setting. Conoisseurs of smooth jazz, funky R 'n' B and sweet soul music can look forward to three nights of fabulous headline performances by D'Angelo and Eric Benet (US), Jonathan Butler (SA) and local superstars Asa and Darey. GET TICKETS HERE: www.afritickets.com

A Special Night With Spirit of David

Date(s): 31/03/2013 Location: Liberty Hall, Bespoke Centre, Lekki, Lagos. Promoter: Spirit of David The Spirit of David presents its 84th show tagged “A Special Night with Spirit of David - 2013� , an exclusive gala night which will feature highlights of what Spirit of David is set to achieve in the near and far future. GET TICKETS HERE: www.afritickets.com

In partnership with Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

TheGuardian Mexican Night at Eko Hotel

GOOD FRIDAY FEAST

Date(s): 29/03/2013 Location: Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. Promoter: Eko Hotel & Suites Event Description On Friday from 7pm to 11pm, make it a date as we invite you to eat,drink and dance Mexican all the way, amidst our lavish pool side at the Lagoon Breeze Restaurant. For only N7000 per person, you get a full Mexican buffet choice in an array of main courses, cold canapes, salads and yummy deserts, freshly made by our Executive Chef. Raffle draw with exciting prizes! Theres no better way to start the weekend! www.afritickets.com

THE NAMING CEREMONY

Date(s): 29/03/2013 Location: Voodoo Lounge, Elegushi Beach, Lekki, Lagos. Promoter: street media solutions Event Description An event for socially active individuals to interact and network with each other with the sole aim of spoiling them rotten.

Middle Eastern Night at Eko Hotel Date(s): 05/04/2013 Location: Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. Promoter: Eko Hotel & Suites Event Description There are varieties to satisfy everyones tastes. Mezzas are the magic of the menu, with hot and cold options including kebbeh, okra stew, stuffed wine leaves, humus, kochari and couscous with chicken stew among other traditional specialties.

Date(s): 31/03/2013 Location: Terra Kulture, Tiamiyu Savage, Victoria Island, Lagos. Promoter: LAPA Production Event Description: Lufodo Productions held London to a stand still at the 30 Nigeria House, Theatre Royal Stratford East London, with three plays which included Sefi Atta's " THE NAMING CEREMONY'', The play featured the likes of Olu Jacobs, Joke Silva, Bimbo Akintola and others.

With smooth music by the poolside and a cool breeze from the Atlantic Ocean, this is a night definitely not to be missed! For only N7000 per person, you get a full Middle Eastern buffet choice in an array of main courses, cold canapes, salads and yummy deserts, freshly made by our Executive Chef. Order your tickets online and get a free cocktail

www.afritickets.com

www.afritickets.com


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Showblast One-on-one with Stella Monye FTER years of keeping a low profile in the music industry, A friends and colleagues of Stella Monye have concluded plans to throw a big party for the Samba Queen in celebration of her 30 years on stage. Tagged the Stage Player’s Party, the event, which is billed for April 28, at the Bespoke Event Centre, Lekki, Lagos, has athestrong backing of Airtel Nigeria, with other corporate brands throwing their weights behind the initiative that aims at honouring Monye’s artistic resilience. Speaking at a media briefing held recently in Lagos to herald the celebration, Stella Monye informed that she was actually on her way out of the country, when a group of friends and colleagues, who still remember her contributions in the industry, stopped her from leaving. She informed, “To be frank with you, I was on my way out when they came to me and said, ‘you must not check out like Andrew. We are going to celebrate you and put you back to where you belong’. So, I’m grateful for the honour and we are looking forward to the event”. Though the younger generation may find it difficult to connect with Monye and her music, the older generation would surely remember the good old days, when the Samba Queen thrilled Nigerians and Africans in general with hits such as Oko Mi Ye, Arigo Samba and others. However, in recent times, nothing has been heard from the charismatic singer, who has been on long sabbatical from music. “I know that people are worried about me because they don’t see me on TV anymore. However, that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped working; we all have a way of working. Sometimes, we concentrate more on the work than showing on TV; I’ve made a name for myself.” She may not have recorded many albums, but Stella Monye made meaningful contributions to the country’s music industry in particular and the country in general, through her charity initiatives. “When other artistes were making money for themselves, I was busy representing Nigeria; I was involved in different human rights activities with people like Wole Soyinka in those days. At a point, I started mobilizing female artistes, helping them to find their rhythm. It was so demanding that I had little time for music.” Starting in her teenage years, Monye has remained faithful to her craft. Whether singing, acting or dancing, the Samba Project has taken her to far ends of the world, as far as Holland, Switzerland, Germany, the Caribbean, South Africa, Ivory Coast and others, thrilling her audience. However, not many people know Monye as a trained actress, who has a list of distinctive stage credits. One of her landmark expression was when she played Oya in a play, Sango Olukoso, with which the Centre of Cultural Studies, University of Lagos represented Nigeria at the Horizonte World Festival of Arts in Berlin, Germany. The play later toured many European countries. But it was the administrator of the then National Theatre, Col. Tunde Akogun, who gave Stella Monye one of the rarest opportunities of her career, for which she is grateful to the Nigerian authorities. “The event was the 150th Anniversary of the Abolition of Slave Trade. I was in the forefront as the lead vocalist. The band consisted of the likes of the late Remi Kabaka on the drums, Zeal Onyia on trumpet, Bisade Ologunde, better known as Lagbaja on bass and Peter King on saxophone,” she enthused. The non-performing members of the entourage were no less eminent, including team leader Gen. Yakubu Gowon and his wife, Victoria. Others were Chris Anyanwu and Prince Tony Momoh. In a stellar celebration that brought together legendary figures such as the late Miriam Makeba and superstars from all over the world, a certain Caribbean newspaper dubbed Stella ‘the bombshell’ from Nigeria for her performance on

...The buzz in town

stage. She was also at the all Africa Universities Sports Festival in Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire to sing the Nigerian national anthem beside the University of Lagos’ team. In 1999 she was part of the team that produced and presented the theme song for Cocacola World Youth Championship in Nigeria. Also, at the formation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Samba Queen helped to produce jingles, wrote and recorded several songs that promoted the objectives of the commission. Wale Seriki, Monye’s manager said, “This is why we are celebrating Stella; she’s a great ambassador for Nigeria. It is going to be a gathering of who is who in the music industry and we plan to make it an annual event. Also, we are putting together the best of Stella Monye’s songs together; DJ Jimmy Jatt and Cobhams Asuquo are working on the new generation songs. We are doing jazz version, hip-hop and the original version. The CD will be launched that day”. The programme line up, which was made available to the media, veteran artistes such as Fatai Rolling Dollars, Sir Shina Peters, Orits Williki, Ras Kimono and Mike Okri have agreed to mount the stage for the Samba Queen, while the new generation acts such as Tuface Idibia, Omawumi and Keffe will also get slots to entertain the audience. While the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education Choir will be on ground to render the choral version of the songs, a Still band from Trinidad and Tobago will also be on parade. “We are using this platform to gather all showbiz practitioners together; we want to celebrate her and let the people know that she’s still here with us. We have plans to take Stella on tour, details will be made public soon,” Seriki said. Stella started her career in the 80s, when she recorded her hit album, Mr. Wright, with the single, Oko Mi Yee, which stood her out at the time. Though the work brought her wealth and fame, she remained in school. Arigo Samba, her next work, was also a hit; it gave the public opportunity to celebrate her as Samba Queen. She recorded a follow up, Change of Heart, which included another hit, Ife. She went ahead to win the Afro pop category at the Africa Music Festival held at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos. The contest had wave-making artistes such as Felix Liberty, Jide Obi and Chris Okotie, who eventually didn’t climb the stage; Stella was the only female contender at the event witnessed by the legendary World Boxing Champion, Mohammed Ali, who presented the award to Stella. In 2004, she joined a faithbased NGO in

Stories by Chuks Nwanne

Apapa as a social worker. Naturally, this brought her into the mainstream of civil society and human rights activism. She was an active participant at many road shows and street protests alongside Bolaji Rosiji, late Beko Ransome Kuti, late Chief Anthony Enahoro, Charly Boy, Yemisi Ransome Kuti, late Gani Fawehinmi, Wole Soyinka, Adams Oshiomole and others, lending her band as a tool to propagate human rights. Apparently, this would later inspire the establishment of her NGO, Women Help Initiative Nigeria (WHIN). “This is the more reason you don’t get to see me on TV singing. However, I’m working on new songs right now, but you will feel good with my old hits during the celebration; it will bring memories back,” she said.

I was on my way out when they came to me and said, ‘you must not check out like Andrew. We are going to celebrate you and put you back to where you belong.’ So, I’m grateful for the honour and we are looking forward to the event.

‘When others were making money, I was busy representing Nigeria’


tHe GUArDIAN, friday, March 29, 2013

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Victor Ademofe on stage

Naijazz Records

At last, NET newspaper convenes entertainers HAt Nigerian entertainment industry has come of age is not in doubt, with its stars being honoured at home and abroad. to celebrate the success story of the industry, organisations and individuals have instituted numerous award ceremonies in honour of the stars, while creating a platform for intellectual engagement among showbiz practitioners, seems to have received little or no attention. to create a new dimension to the ‘award galore,’ the NET newspapers Ltd, publishers of Nigerian Entertainment Today has announced plans to the inauguration edition of its yearly conference for the Nigerian entertainment industry. the conference, which will debut on friday April 26, according to the founder of Net, Ayeni Adekunle, “is an invaluable initiative needed at this critical time in our industry to steer the different sectors and associated elements in the appropriate direction.” the event will cover all the sectors associated with the entertainment industry, including fashion, music, movies and media. Others are sports, arts, It, com-

unleashes fresh sounds t fter weeks of fine-tuning their works in the studio, Naijazz A records, a subsidiary of Inspiro Productions, has released the much-awaited singles of its artistes, pianist Dapo Dina (Afro Jazz), trumpeter, Victor Ademofe (highlife/Afro-Jazz) and Imole Afrika (Afro fusion Band). each artiste released three singles with their accompanying videos, while the full albums are expected to hit music shelf soon. Dapo Dina’s tracks include Ile labo simi oko, Aiye and Adura; Victor Ademofe’s tracks include No one like you, Jehovah and Ma kanju, while Imole Afrika’s singes include Losajo, Ope and Ewi. Dapo Dina comes from a classical music background, having studied the piano before turning to his life-long love affair with Jazz. A songwriter, arranger, composer and producer, he draws influences from many parts, yet not forgetting the spiritual and artistic wealth derived from his roots. A true Africanist, the piano virtuoso has worked with internationally renowned artists from many genres and performed at various festivals and venues locally and internationally. On his part, Victor Ademofe is a trumpet maestro, composer, percussion virtuoso and singer. A leading exponent of African culture, it reflects in his music, which has the elements of highlife, jazz, soul, pop and gospel, all wrapped up in the garment of African soul. Ademofe is one of the highly sought after trumpet players in Nigeria. He has played with great musicians such as Lagbaja, tee-Mac, Mike Aremu and others. Imole Afrika is an Afro Jazz fusion band of young talented musicians led by Joshua fashina and Segun Atoyebi. the band blends highlife dance classics with a fusion of African Jazz and world music with rich vocal harmonies, intertwining bass guitars, saxophone and exciting percussions to make this group unique. their unusual instrumentation and vocals are different. this band advocates West African musical styles with a deeply traditional tone and aim to convey the true sounds and color of African Jazz music all around the globe. Imole Afrika has performed at several venues in and out of the country. According to the Inspiro boss, Ayoola Sadare, the jazz music enthusiast expressed his satisfaction with the artistic content and quality of the new songs, adding, “this is a step in the right direction for us as an organization and falls in line with our objectives for Naijazz records, which is the identification, development and presentation of distinct, identifiable and indigenous Nigerian music.” Shadare observed that, “the Nigerian music industry is flourishing and we are carving a niche for ourselves by providing to our identified audience the kind of music they desire as an option to what is currently available. Our artistes and platform promotes and re-enacts the classic style of the evergreen music of yester-years reminiscent of Nigerian musical giants like Victor Olaiya, eddie Okonta, Victor Uwaifo, Chris Ajilo, Nico Mbaga, Chief Osita Osadebe, Oliver De Coque, Bongos Ikwe, Orlando Julius and others.” these musical icons and cultural ambassadors, according to Shadare, produced music that has transcended time and have become collector items for future generations. “Naijazz records further aims to produce truly exportable music through these cultural ambassadors who can perform confidently on any global stage with plans currently underway to tour these artistes locally and internationally and also collaborate with several national and international acts pursuing similar agendas through their music,” he said.

edy and events management. “the conversation has been on for years, conversations about the way forward for the art and business of entertainment in Nigeria. And, since Net was established three years ago, we’ve been at the forefront of efforts to get the conversation going. Now, it’s time to bring everyone together so we can begin an active process of re-organisation,” Ayeni said. According to a statement issued by the organizers, Net is working with partners in the media, government, corporate sector, music, movies and others to ensure the conference delivers its promise. Holding at the eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, the initiative will feature sessions on different arms of the showbiz industry, as well as the inaugural Net Honours to reward distinguished practitioners. the theme of the conference is Building the industry of our dreams. “the Nigerian entertainment industry has shown its capacity – if we’ve been able to generate billions of dollars without any visible structures or government support, then imagine what would happen if

we’re able to put our house in order? And I say ‘put our house in order’ because no one will do it for us. If it’s ever going to happen, then practitioners will have to be the ones to spearhead it. And it all starts with this conversation,” Ayeni noted. Confirmed speakers include founder and CeO of Kennis Music Keke Ogungbe, writer and producer Amaka Igwe, GM Consumer Marketing MtN Nigeria Kola Oyeyemi and Charterhouse Ghana founder Iyiola Ayoade. the likes of actress Nse Ikpe-etim, Headies founder Ayo Animashaun, filmmaker Kunle Afolayan, comedian tee A, singer-songwriter Darey, entrepreneur Steve Babaeko, recording artiste Weird MC, the iconic DJ Jimmy JAtt, National Mirror MD Steve Ayorinde, new media expert elo Umeh, writer tolu Ogunlesi, AGN president Ibinabo fiberesima and Chocolate City president Audu Maikori will serve on different panels. the Nigerian entertainment Conference will kick off activities for the third anniversary of Net, which was founded on April 26, 2010.

Jedi returns with One Man Stand today likes of Bovi, Igos, Omo Baba No.1, Princess, Bash and Xplicit Dancers, while DJ Vinnie will be in One Man Stand. the on the wheel of steel; gig is designed with the concert is produced the aims of showing the other side of Jedi’s by Bunmi Davies of Afrotainment Productions, creativity as a comedian and also a way of with DJ tee as director. Jedi, otherwise known thanking his loyal fans for their support over as ‘Well-fed comedian of the republic’ was born the years.   over three decades ago. from the stable of Musicom entertain- He Studied Microbiology at the Lagos State ment, One Man Stand, University but had the in the words of Jedi’s ‘gene’ of entertainment publicist Olujuwon in his blood; it wasn’t Bukunola –Philips, is until 1999/2000 that he loaded with lots of discovered another part side attractions. “It’s a family show for of being a comedian. though an enterthis easter season and tainer, Jedi has surrenit will feature five dered his vision to the hours of undiluted plan and purpose of and vulgar- free jokes God. He is a man that by Jedi, the main act has been blessed with for the night.”   Holding today at the many talents and has Muson Centre, by 3pm, not limited his capabilities. the show will feature Jedi performances by the

LL is set for Jedi’s A yearly comedy show, Jedi Live on Stage


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Tuface, Ali Baba, Wizkid others for Music Festival Lagos N a bid to provide an atmosphere of fun and excitement for Ilaborating customers and fun lovers in general, Golden Tulip Hotel is colwith Five star music for a special music concert

KCee, Golden Tulip Manager Shousha Mohsen and a committee member at the Music Festival Lagos briefing.

At 20, Nollywood is set for the big party EEKS after Nigeria’s President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, hosted memW bers of Nigeria’s film industry to a special

there will also be CSR activities such as coaching clinics, visits, social work, fundraising and donations to the less prividinner at the State House, Marina, Lagos, leged. The celebration will also feature heads of Nollywood guilds have conscreening of Nollywood classic movies in cluded plans to stage a big event to celecollaboration with electronic media ownbrate 20 years of Nollywood in grand ers, with a workshop for both members style. and the general public. There will also be a Already, HQSC, a Nigerian consultancy launch of appeal and trust fund for practicompany, has been mobilised by the tioners, while a novelty match will take guilds to package the celebration, which place between Nollywood and other VIPs. is expected to bring together practitionMeanwhile, plans are ongoing to stage a ers in the country’s motion picture inspecial anniversary film festival and comdustry. However, with the turn out and memorative film, while the celebration will level of representation at a press briefing climax with the Nollywood Gala at 20, feaheld recently in Lagos to unveil the proj- turing award presentation to deserving ect, it seems practitioners have resolved practitioners. to bury their differences and join forces Speaking on the project, president of Acfor the big celebration. tors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Ibinabo Based on the programme of activities re- Fiberesima noted that, “Mr. President leased by the coalition, the celebration recognised Nollywood’s contribution to will commence on April 27, with a media Nigeria’s economy in addition to re-brandflag off, featuring Nollywood stars’ parade, ing of the country’s image, youth empowmini documentary presentation, best of erment and employment. Now, Nollywood Nollywood films, insight into Nollywood at wants to celebrate 20 years of a motion pic20 events, interactive session with the ture revolution. This grand celebration, press and invited guests. A special anwhich promises to showcase our people, niversary Jumat service will take place on pride, possibilities and culture tagged NolMay 3 and a non-denominational church lywood at 20, will begin on April 27, 2013.” service on May 5, which will be held in a In his comment, the president of the Assomajor Mosque and Church respectively ciation of Movie Producers (AMP), Nigeria, to thank God for the journey so far. Zik Zulu Okafor commended practitioners Aside from the anniversary raffle draw, for their efforts in growing the industry

MoviBuzz Film Review Title: Champions of our time Genre: Family drama Cast: Joke Silva (Mrs. Asamota), Segun Arinze (Dr. Donald), Treasure Obasi (Sophia), Ngozi Ezeonu (Ms Ronni Eromosele), Ejike Asiegbu (Man on the wheel), Ayo Adesaya (Evelyn), Charles Inojie (Silas Fawehinmi), Feyisola Ewulomi (Sharon), Ejike Metu (Mr. Momoh), Paul Adams (Moderator) and others. Duration: 1:10:02 Written by Chidi Nwokeabia Produced by Chidi Nwokeabia & Emeka Enyiocha Directed by Mark ‘Kusare & Charles Inojie RGANISERS of St. Flair’s Foundation National Quiz Competition refuses to register Sophia, a physically challenged child O into the competition holding in Lagos. Earlier, the project coordinator Mr. Fawehinmi shows happiness that a contestant come all the way from Port Harcourt but changes his stand when he notice that the girl is crippled. Sophia’s mum Ms Eromosele could not hold her tears when the committee maintained that registering the girl will create a lot of credibility problem for the competition. However, her mentor and doctor, Donald Falana, who financed their trip from Port Harcourt to Lagos, is with them to fight for a girl he so much believe in. Dr. Donald meets with the organisers severally arguing that St. Flair’s organization, which was founded in 1956 in France by Henry St.Flair’s & his wife Cecil, is an independent non-profit and non governmental; it’s purely for religious, scientific, literary and educational purposes. Hence, it’s a free for all quiz competition for female secondary school students between the ages of 10 and 15, stressing that Sophia’s sickness does not in any way affect her brain or her mental capabilities. Despite his plea, the committee insists that there are rules they had to adhere to, maintaining that his position is clear, but his ward is disabled and there is no space for her in the competition. On the contrary, Sharon is another contestant, who is physically fit and has all the support and encouragement from her family; her father is an erudite scholar with scary credentials and several awards. In fact, Sharon has all it takes to win and the family hopes to celebrate her victory especially the mother,

from the scratch to it’s present enviable status. “Though there has been production of films in Nigeria in the past, Kenneth Nnebue made the impact with Living in Bondage; the movie set the tone for what is now known as Nollywood today. After that, a lot of other Nigerians ventured into film production. We respect the veterans, who paved the way for filmmaking in Nigeria, but the revolution started with Living in Bondage. With this project, we are marking the 20 years of change in the tempo of filmmaking in Nigeria.” For the president of the Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN), Andy Amanechi, “This is time for action. President Jonathan started the celebration; it is our time to host the show. Nollywood has come this far; this is the time to celebrate the industry. This celebration involves our supporters such as the media, who have strongly projected the industry to the world.” The initiative is backed by the Nigerian Society of Editors; Screen Writers Guild of Nigeria; Creative Designers’ Guild of Nigeria; Motion Picture Practitioners’ Association of Nigeria, NANTAP; Directors Guild of Nigeria; Actors’ Guild of Nigeria; Association of Movie Producers and the Nigerian Society of Cinematographers.

By Chika Onwukwe who believes her daughter is a winner. Ms Eromosele threatens to call a press conference for the committee to explain why they denied her child her right to academic participation. But they insist, maintaining that the foundation takes interest in the lives and careers of intelligent children, who have profound academic potentiality not disability. They offered the sum of N30,000 to Dr. Donald as transport fair back to where they came from, but he declined. When it was reported on the pages of newspapers, the panel cries foul accusing Dr. Donald of blackmail, thus stepping up their offer to N200,000. Again, he refuses. The appearance of a man on wheel chair on the first day of the competition, accusing the panel of segregation, insensitivity and wickedness against the physically challenged, couldn’t change anything. However, with the intervention of Mrs. Bamidele, who stressed that St. Flair’s Foundation of France is a humanitarian organization that cares for everyone, Sophia was registered. The movie is a beautiful story crafted to promote the ideals and activities of St. Flair’s Foundation. It also brought to the fore, the difficulties plaguing the physically challenged in Nigerian society. Moreover, the heinous activities of some individuals in sensitive positions are highlighted.

tagged Music Festival Lagos. Billed for April 20th 2013, at the Hotel’s premises in Festac Town, Lagos, the show is conceived as gathering of some of legendary Nigerian artistes such as King Sunny Ade, Onyeka Onwenu, Bongos Ikwue, as well as new generation stars such as Tuface Idibia, Flavour, Kcee, Ice Prince, Olamide, Pasuma and others. According to the General Manger of the Hotel, Shousha Mohsen, “we have set a simple goal; to bring the biggest music stars in the country together for the best show in Nigeria, a show that the World can only see in Golden Tulip Festac Lagos. The Music festival Lagos will provide a Platform where old generation musicians will share the stage with new ones, thereby creating an opportunity to celebrate the works of these music legends.” With upwardly mobile and trendy individuals being expected, the glamorous evening of fun will bring to life the nostalgic memories of yesterday by honoring some forerunners in the country’s showbiz industry. Guests will be treated to live performances, award presentation and comedy, with a special red carpet reception. Aside from creating a platform for fun and networking, the show will look back at Festac and it’s roles in developing the music industry. “We are looking forward to great year with great music. This is a brand exposure based event with startling sponsorship benefit; it will provide sponsors of Music Festival Lagos an opportunity for brand visibility and interaction, consumer engagement opportunities, pre and post media mention among others,” the president of Five Star Music, Kingsley Okonkwo aka KCEE, said. With a strong desire to revive the cultural values surrounding the establishment of this iconic landmark, the Management and owners of the Golden Tulip Hotel saw the need to encourage and embrace the artistic history of Festac Town by providing a platform for nurturing fresh talents. The highpoint of the festival is an award presentation to Nigeria music legends, for their roles in growing the industry. Recipients include Sunny Ade, Bongos Ikwue and Onyeka Onwenu. Top comedians Alibaba, AY, Julius Agwu and Bovi, will anchor the show.

To the sound of music, comedy, Close Up fire freeze berths HOuGH the event was the official launch of Close up Fire T Freeze variant from the stable of unilever Nigeria, the atmosphere was festive, as notable entertainers such as comedian Bovi, singer Dammy Krane and others took their turns to thrill the large crowd that witnessed unveiling ceremony in Lagos. While Bovi got guests reeling with laughter, Dammy Crane wowed the obviously excited crowd with his popular hits that got many swinging to the sound of the beat. Tagged The magical chemistry of opposites, the Managing Director, unilever Nigeria, Thabo Mabe disclosed that the widespread patronage the brand has enjoyed over the years, has challenged it to do all that is possible to remain on the cutting edge of innovation in line with the ever changing needs of consumers. “Innovation is absolutely essential if the world must combat the incredible rates of tooth decay that prevails globally and promote oral health. We today live in a world where tooth decay affects around 90% of people worldwide, while up to 20% of the world’s adult population suffer severe gum disease. We are proud that through innovations like Close up Fire Freeze, we can play a part in promoting oral health in Nigeria and globally. It truly embodies the timeless qualities that have made Close up the number one toothpaste brand in Nigeria. This includes ingredients that offer consumers long lasting freshness and protection from germs that cause tooth decay.” The Closeup brand was introduced into the Nigerian market 38 years ago, and since then, the brand has offered consumers the protection they need to maintain strong, healthy teeth and the fresh breath that begets confidence and self esteem.

Easter jam with Seun and the Egypt 80 Band Egypt 80 Band led by Afro Beat international superFcialELA’S star, Seun Anikulapo Kuti, is billed to perform live in a speEaster show tomorrow, at the New Africa Shrine, starting from 10:00pm. Seun Kuti, who is presently working on his third album to be released in the last quarter of this year, has promised to dazzle his teeming fans with high pulsating Afro Beat Vibes from his last album From Africa With Fury, RISE amidst incisive political commentaries on the impending implosion in the polity against the background of the lingering crisis among the political class. A public presentation of a new book on Fela, Kalakuta Diaries, written by Fela’s Aide, Uwa Erhabor, will also be presented to Afrobeat fans at the show.


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Tourism By Andrew Iro Okungbowa S the carnival sight and sound continue to A catch on like a Harmattan wildfire across Africa, zimbabwe has joined the bandwagon with the zimbabwe Tourism Authority (zTA), the country’s tourism development and promotion body, which unveiled its plan for a mega carnival scheduled to hold between May 21 and 26 in Harare, the capital city. While announcing the plans for the debu culture and arts fiesta, Chief Executive of zTA, Mr. Karikoga Kaseke, said the zimbabwe International Carnival, which is geared at promoting the tourism industry and to further expose the beauty and potentials of the country to the world, was a global event with participants expected from across the globe as well as from within zimbabwe, will attract local, regional and international media. Leading African and international destinations and major tourism markets from all over the world are also expected to participate. These include Brazil, Mauritius, La Reunion, South Africa, zambia, Nigeria, India and China, as the event would be a platform for countries to showcase their diverse cultures, trade and culinary arts through music, dance and animated costumes and floats as they parade through the streets of Harare. It would be recalled that the zTA officials were in Lagos during the Easter celebration for the Lagos carnival as part of observers as foreign delegates. zTA hopes to use this platform to further establish the destination and link with other destinations in the world. A wide range of events, ranging from musical concert, arts exhibition, road shows, food fair, beauty pageant,

Mega carnival... loud in Zimbabwe dining and wining would climax with what is expected to be a mega street parade on May 25, which is tagged ‘Africa Day.’ To achieve this laudable objective and make it a memorable event, a series of training sessions are already in place across the country. Speaking at the official opening of the carnival workshop, Kaseke, admitted that the concept of carnival was new to the country even though it had participated in many other international carnivals, such as Seychelles, Cape Town and Lagos, Nigeria, saying, ‘‘It is important for all zimbabweans and potential participants to fully understand and appreciate what a carnival is and what it entails,’’ hence the training workshops with a delegate from Brazil leading the process. He noted, ‘‘Carnival refers to a period of public revelry, partying and festivities for a common purpose at a regular time each year. Its merrymaking and feasting that bring together many people celebrating together’’. He went on to outline its benefits to the country, noting, ‘‘Let me confirm that carnivals the world over where they are held have proven to be very popular and a unifying force among people and provides a big marketing platform comparable to travel shows.   “So, we want to create another essential destination marketing platform where we sell, apart from tourism, zimbabwe in its entirety. In our view this will boost tourism in our

country. Carnivals do have numerous downstream social and economic benefits. Let me give an example of Brazil, the country we have chosen to be our mentor. When they host their carnival in Sao Paulo, ii’s five nights of parades for almost 120,000 people and the city hosts about 30,000 tourists generating approximately US$256 million income. It is said that it creates almost 25,000 direct and indirect jobs in 52 economic sectors.’’ Kaseke is optimistic of the immense advantage of the event to the country once it becomes entrenched in its tourism calendar, stressing that ‘‘this event will also provide a perfect opportunity to unify our people, rekindle the spirit of brotherhood amongst participating countries hence the theme ‘Celebrating our Diversity.’ This implies diversity in many forms be it cultural, political and socio-economic diversity. The event will also be a vehicle to exhibit the creativity of our designers and the resourcefulness of our people across the cultural divide. zTA boss, therefore, called for multi-sectoral approach to the event, adding, “It is a national event being driven by tourism but we expect to be working together with other sectors within and outside government’’. He expressed the hope that the workshop would achieve the desired result. ‘‘I am hopeful that the training will shape our thinking and synchronise our views so that we can all con-

Chief Executive of ZTA, Mr. Karikoga Kaseke tribute significantly to the success of this event. I hope it will be both exciting and educative.’’ Kaseke further emphasised the need for everyone in the country to see the carnival as theirs and embrace it fully by taking part in it, noting, ‘‘Let me take this opportunity to invite everyone, be they individuals, organisations, corporate, churches, non-governmental organisations interested in participating in this carnival to come and register with the zTA. Registration and participation in the zimbabwe International Carnival is absolutely free. There are no restrictions in the number of participants. We also want to invite partners and sponsors to take pride in being associated with this brand in creation’’.

Afenmai season of masquerades beckons HE roles of masquerades and traditional T dancing troupes go beyond ordinary performance as what their presentational for-

Victoria Falls is one of Zimbabwe’s most appealing tourist attractions

AMAA hosts Bookfair in Yenagoa, April 20 is awards ceremony RGANIzERS of the yearly Africa Movie O Academy Awards (AMAA) are perfecting strategies to host an international book and craft fair in Yenagoa, the capital of the oil-rich state as pre-awards ceremony event. The book and craft fair according to the Director, Mr. Onyeka Nwelue will hold between April 17 and 19, 2013 with popular Indian writer and supermodel, Shobhaa De and Portuguese actor, Jose Fildago as fair headliners. The main AMAA event which is the awards night where filmmakers across Africa and in the Diaspora will be honoured with the awards crest will come up on Saturday, April 20 at the Glory Land cultural centre, Yenagoa. Nwelue said established Nigerian authors and their international counterparts will be part of the second edition of the book fair

designed by the Bayelsa Tourism Development Board as part of the Experience Bayelsa project within the AMAA week. “Authors that will participate this year include Shobhaa De from India, a former model and very controversial columnist; Brian Bwesigye from Uganda and Javier Lozano from Mexico. Portuguese actor, Jose Fildago will be in a conversation with former Big Brother Africa housemate and currently Rhythm FM presenter, Melvina Longpet.” Uti Nwachukwu, model, actor and TV presenter will moderate sessions and also talk about the invasion of the privacy of the lives of celebrities. Nollywood director, Charles Novia will launch his memoir, Nollywood Till November and also speak about the joy of documentation. Nigerian writer, Toni Kan will talk about How

We Can Make Money as Writers. Professors Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, Chukwuemeka Ike and Kanchana Ugbabe will speak. Others include, Sinem Bilen-Onabanjo, Nze Ifedigbo Sylva, Binyerem Ukonu, Teresa Oyibo-Ameh, Ayodele Arigbabu, Ayodele Morocco-Clarke, Ayodele Olofintuade, Chris Ihidero, Akin Alabi, Sharon Ezeamaka, Peter Bunor Jr, Williams Uchembah, Emmanuel Iduma, just to mention a few.” GloNaijaSings winner, Casey Ed will perform, as well as French ballad singer, Jann Halexander from Paris while Dudley O’Shaughnessy will be there to give out books to school children in Yenagoa with Denrele Edun. Bayelsa Book & Craft Fair was initiated by Africa Film Academy, curated by Blues & Hills Consultancy and proudly sponsored by Bayelsa Tourism Bureau and Century Energy Services Limited (CESL).

mats, including incantations are the bedrock to sustain the unity in communal pattern of living together on a platform of governance. This has been the ageless acceptability of a unified system of the African society wherein their songs and rhythms combine and unveil the oneness of a people even more effective than the democratic style imported by the colonial masters. This theme is to be unfolded on Sunday, April 7, 2013 at the Ikelebe Sports Arena, Auchi by the Centre for Afenmai Heritage and Cultural Studies with the State Governor, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole as the special Guest of Honour. The essence is also to unfold the artistry of the Afenmai people in sculpturing, costume production technique, weaving and would be topped with a lecture titled “Masquerades never lie: Oshiomhole as a case study” to be delivered by Dr. John Edemode of the Auchi Polytechnic mass communications department. The show being packaged in collaboration with RLG Communication Nigeria Limited will be presided over by H.R.H Alhaji Aliru H. Momoh, Ikelebe III, the Otaru of Auchi. Royal fathers in Edo North are hosts.  The package is also to draw youth attention to untapped wealth in creative enterprise awareness of their creative consciousness through which they can develop their economic options in learning the artistic themes in the productive areas of drum frames and skin decoration amongst others which can sustain them rather than craving for white collar jobs Prince (Alhaji) Usman Abudah is founder and director of Centre for Afenmai Heritage & Cultural Studies


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

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Film

Tunde Kelani (left) and Odugbemi

Pro. Shaka (left), M.D. Mnet West Africa, Biola Alabi and former D.G National Video and Film Censors Board, Emeka Mba.

Josephine and Chike Maduegbena (left), and other guests

Adesanya, (left), M.D Nigeria Film Corporation, Tex Benibo and a guest

i-REP… Restating the power of By Florence Utor HE third edition of i-REP International Docu-Film Festival opened in Lagos last week at the freedom park, Broad Street, Lagos. The programme ran for four days and showcased about 30 specially selected documentary films from filmmakers across the World. The festival training programme for upcoming and intermediate level filmmakers provided intensive practical knowledge of the art of documentary films in areas that fit prevailing temperament of video technology and democratization of filmmaking. Following the tradition of the festival, there were also panel discussions, a session on Project Pitching, and a Producers Roundtable. Filmmakers from within and outside the country, critics and students of film filled various sections of the festival based on their interests. The festival had the broad theme, Africa in self-conversation and a sub-theme The Documentary Film Intervention. Programme Cordinator, Femi Odugbemi noted that while some youth pursue their film career as a passion, others see it purely as a means of livelihood, therefore paying little or no attention to documentary film, which is seen as ‘unattractive financially’, noting, “It is in a bid to reawaken the consciousness of documentary film in Nigeria that film enthusiasts instituted i-Represent International Documentary Film Festival (iREP), a forum where African stories would be told by Africans. Since the intervention project was launched, documentary filmmaking has greatly improved over the last years, with a number of youngsters showing interests in the genre.” He said a typical example was Afrinolly that partnered with i-Rep for its short film com-

T

petition. Odygbemi stated also that there are now several TV stations that were willing to produce more documentary films, which was not the case two to three years ago, an indication that the documentary film genre, with i-REP at the helm, was growing and attracting the right attention from other relevant organisations. In the area of monetising the genre, like its counterpart in feature film, Odugbemi stated, “It is important for young people to also be able to monetise their skills. It is becoming more difficult every day for young artists to do art just for art’s sake and it is rather impractical to expect such. A good example is the Afrinolly Short Film Competition; it was a success. “Filmmakers created shorts films, entered into the competition with the knowledge that there would be a chance to receive some financial reward for their efforts. Attaching some form of monetary reward will build enthusiasm, nurture healthy competition and give this emerging genre the growth that it needs.” Also testifying to this was the winner of the documentary titled, Hustle on a Mile, Demigho Awala, whose love for documentaries started in 2006. He said, “There are a lot of facts out there that we need to document and keep. In 2008 I entered for a short film sponsored by the International Federation for Royal Estate Agents. It was a 10-minute video called The Other Side. I was adjudged the winner with two other people from Brazil and America and I got a cash prize of $1,200. It was at that point that my heart really steadied to go all the way making more documentaries. “With my prize money for Hustle on a Mile, I could go on to make a feature film too; but as a beginner, it is good to start with short

films. As for me, it has always been about the story. If I have material to make feature films, I will and if for short films, I will do just that.” Keynote speaker at this year’s event was Dean of African Studies at New York University and co-founder of the Reallife Documentary Film Festival, Ghana, Prof. Awam Amkpa. Amkpa restated the need for the making of documentary films, saying, “Every time I talk to young filmmakers, the first thing they say is, ‘we don’t have money’. But I say to them, ‘ask how the people who did this before managed to do so’. He urged young people to learn from the people ahead of them, stating categorically, “Nigeria does not deserve to have grants for entertainment from anybody because they cultivate enough revenue to take the cost of production seriously”. He urged practitioners to pay attention to documentary filmmaking so that it did not become an all-comers’ affair. Chief Executive Officer of Afrinolly Short Film Competition, Chike Maduegbuna, noted the need for African film graduates to be engaged, saying, “We have more than 10 major international film schools in Africa and every year we are churning out graduates who are less productive and not able to do much, practically because of finance. “We are also having an influx of African students graduating from New York Film Schools and other film schools in Europe and they are coming back home and also looking for opportunity to showcase their talents. “So, we just thought that if we could do a short film competition, it would help them showcase their skills and we decided to team up with i-Rep since they were already

doing such things”. He explained that the competition was designed to motivate and reward participants who were skilled in the art of shooting short movies and documentaries. It was conducted by FansConnectOnline Ltd., on behalf of itself and in partnership with MTN, Google+, Blackberry, i-Represent International Documentary Film Festival and Goethe Institute, with the core objective of empowering African youth to tell their own stories from their own perspective and eliminate financial barriers to movies’ production. He added, “We look forward to ultimately creating a new generation of content providers in the Africa movie industry and facilitating business model based on sub15 minutes contents. We had to create a forum for Africans to tell their stories, and also have this sort of forum so that we can expose the participants and allow them to have interactions and win something that can actually spark up something in them”. The outgoing Managing Director of the Nigeria Film Corporation, Mr. Afolabi Adesanya, who is also very keen on documentation, presented two books at the forum namely, Reel Views and Behind the Scenes. Adesanya noted that every film practitioner who talked films began from where he became aware of the medium, neglecting pioneers such as Herbert Ogunde, Sadik Balewa and many others, for the simple reason that nothing had been documented about the past heroes and the industry in general. Adesanya, who said he was contributing his quota to the industry by writing the books, encouraged others to do the same so that the history of the industry would be preserved.


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VisualArts By Tajudeen Sowole FTER four editions of Yusuf Grillo A Pavilion Art Fiesta, which celebrates some of Nigeria’s pioneer modernists, the next generation of celebrants starts, with painter, Kolade oshinowo leading the way. In unveiling oshinowo as the 5th Grillo Pavilion artist, the founder of the centre, Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi stated that a lecture and art exhibition in honour of the former will hold tomorrow, March 30, 2013 at oke ota-ona at Ikorodu, a Lagos suburb. Named after one of Nigeria’s masters and former art teacher, Yusuf Grillo, the pavilion has, since inception in 2009, focused on the pioneer students of Nigeria’s foremost art school of Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology (NCAST) now Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria. For the ex-students who are now known in the Nigerian art parlance as ‘Zaria Rebels’ (1958-1961), it has become a yearly tribute as Bruce onobrakpeya, Demas Nwoko and Uche okeke have joined Grillo in that order since 2009. With oshinowo as the artist for the fifth edition, it is clear that The Grillo Pavilon is not done with exstudents of Nigeria’s first art school. And still a ‘Zarian affair’, Prof Jerry Buhari, who is currently a lecturer at ABU, according to the organisers, will deliver the lecture at this year’s event. During the presentation of oshnowo, a member of the curatorial team, Dr. Kunle Adeyemi noted that oshinowo, as the choice of the fifth edition, would strengthen the Grillo Pavilion identity as a centre that celebrates the best of Nigerian masters. Gbadamosi argued that “artistic appreciation and rendition” in oshinowo could be traced to the artist’s “psyche” early in his tutelage at ABU as well as his job experience. As one of the artist’s regular collectors, the patron disclosed that he had in his collection, oshinowo’s paintings “of unforgettable landscapes from village scenes to men and women toiling in the countryside; animals grazing in the fields

to the quietude of hills and mountains all over Nigeria, particularly the depiction of Zuma rock in the Abuja-Suleja axis of the heartland of modern Nigeria.”  Probing into the artist’s creativity, Gbdamosi stated: “I had once queried him about that particular painting before I had purchased it but he had painfully recalled the milieu when he was executing it; that was the aftermath of the sorrowful episode after the death of his wife and he had elected a journey of peace of the soul around Nigeria. Sociological and historical scenes such as political protests, the fleeing of refugees and several other human stories of deprivation and flight to greener pastures have occupied oshinowo’s attention as that of a storyteller of contemporary Nigeria.” oshninowo, who sat next to Gbdamosi during the presentation, said being the 5th Grillo Pavilion Artist is a honour, which “I accept with all humility.” The artist, former teacher and art administrator, noted that the Grillo Pavilion’s contribution to the visual arts circle in Nigeria had an international dimension as artists home and in the Diaspora always looked forward to participating. The event, he added, “will outlive the founder, and therefore deserves the support of everyone”. Traditionally, the Grillo Pavilion continues in the exhibition of a celebrant’s works. For oshinowo, the founder gave an insight into one of the artist’s current period. Gbadamosi noted oshnowo’s “ever so fascinating” creation of mixed-media canvases engendered by oil paintings on rags, and carefully selected and turned into a celebration of beauty, colour and fine strokes of divine creativity.” Recalling what he described as the artistic journey of oshinowo, Gbadamosi noted that it “has lately been metamorphosed into the embroidering of the female forms in attires crafted from rags glued together in motifs of beauty and exquisite tenderness. There is now a new wave of oshinowoism.”

Oshinowo heralds the next Grillo Pavilion masters

One of Kolade Oshinowo’s works in recent time

LAGoS-BASED Italian artist, Gigi Micheletti enters Lagos art with ‘Unique Paintings on Canvas’ A Micheletti, has added his strokes to the ever-busy art exhibition turf of the state. He has just concluded his solo exhibition of what he described as “unique paintings on canvas with lots of innovative ideas”. It held at Penthouse of DTV Building in Victo-

ria Island, Lagos, for two days. It was curated by Mrs. Mia El Khoury Comazzi. Comazzi stated that Micheletti was inspired by “a theatrical fencing”,

Paintings of Gigi Micheletti during his solo exhibition in Lagos

with one of the works, Capitan Fracassa, a representational piece, depicting a swordsman. “When on display, in a renowned Lagos restaurant, a guest reported that Captain

Fracassa’s expression is similar to that of actor, Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver. The actor, it would be recalled, stands in front of a mirror in one of the scenes and mutters: “You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me?” The curator explained that the show was meant to introduce Micheletti “to so many famous Nigerian artists in order to display his artwork and his broad imaginations. We had a great show with people who are into art and who appreciate it. The artist had an opportunity to explain what each painting portrays, the messages behind them through its wide imaginative reasoning”. According to the curator, Micheletti, who grew up in Africa, is a well-travelled artist with extensive imagination and his paintings have a combination of multicultural themes. From his website: “For Micheletti, to create art is to satisfy an inner passion. He asks the palette to aid him in effectively expressing the phantasms of his imagination and his feelings. A pleasing arrangement of parts, whether it be shade, fusions, mixtures, rich drawing and the warm colours, return a living matter. It is a 10-year story of painting.

“Risky Painting: Because it is based on the elan rather than a cautious design. Existential Painting: Urge of witness and need to leave a mark. Riotous Painting: Prevail on silence. “It is stunning in Micheletti’s production his inner focused expression. We are asked to grab his picture and dip ourselves into it. He subtracts to art the antique parietal function, in order to bring it back to an individual dimension.” Micheletti was born in Gattinara (province of Vercelli, Piedmont, northern Italy) on December 29, 1953 into a family with strong ties with Ghana, where he spent the first 10 years of his life. Here Lydia Stenzel, a talented water colourist and family friend, encouraged him to draw, having perceived his artistic potential. Moving back to Italy with his family, between 11 and 14 years, Gigi was under the tutelage of an art teacher, Maestro Edoardo Achino di Masserano (BI). Although he undertook a scientific course of study and later started working, he never stopped dedicating himself to art and music, and bound one to the other, with great enthusiasm and passion. He has been working in Nigeria for over 30 years and he keeps painting.


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ARTS

ArtHouse Nigeria Photography Expo & Conference 2013

Multiple entries, where applicable, are allowed but a work must not have been entered for the same prize prior to the present entry and it IGERIA Photography Expo & Conference 2013 must have been published between March will hold from today till May 2nd. The expo 2012 and May2013. Deadline for the receipt of is for professionals, students, educators and all entries, excepting the Prize for Literary photo enthusiasts who want to learn photogra- Journalism, is May 30, 2013. A shortlist will be phy. Guests will be able to explore hundreds of announced in early October 2013. exhibits, attend a variety of imaging seminars, and network. Time is 8:00 am to 6:00 pm daily If Not For Comedy… at BeSpoke Event Centre, Liberty Hall, Lekki Epe OME people stumbled into comedy busiExpressway by Germaine/Toyota bus stop. ness while some discovered who they are from childhood. Steve Onu widely called Yaw Beyond bounds exhibition on Wazobia radio is among those who knew where they belong from day one. continues In a chat with The Guardian in Lagos, the HINYERE Ofodile-Okanume’s solo exhibition Awka Anambra state born Theatre Arts gradutitled Beyond Bounds that opened on March ate bare his mind on what would have 23, continues till April 5. Venue is National become of him if not comedy. Sincerely, I Museum, Onikan, Lagos. don’t know what I would have been doing aside comedy, because I think my life is all Association of Nigerian Authors about entertainment. And my parents also pays tribute to Achebe saw it from the onset but never liked it. They OLLOWING the sudden exit of doyen of equally tried to stop me but to avail. Infact, I African literature, Prof. Chinua Achebe, did’nt find it easy with them especially my Founding Editor, African Writers Series and one mother who wished I read Law or Medicine for of the founders of the association, current her to answer the mother of a lawyer or doctor National Executive Council of the association is as the case may be. organising a cross-country tribute by all its However, with determination, consistency chapters across the federation in honour of her and God’s grace, it’s a success story today. departed grand trustee. Each chapter has been Although I see myself as a comic actor not a directed to organise a session of tributes to stand-up comedian so to speak, yet everything Achebe from April 1 - 15, 2013. The tribute session boils down on making people laugh. But there will enable writers who have encountered the is a salient discrepancy between the two. novelist in academic, communal, literary or Listen, you might call Mr Ibu now and tell other contexts would render or submit tributes him to crack jokes, he might not be able to to the memory of the departed icon of African crack jokes properly, but tell him to act in a literature in English. comedy film, you see him doing it very well. You may also call Basket Mouth to come and act in a comedy, he will act and you may not ANA calls for entries for its 2013 find him interesting. And yet if he indulge in annual literary prizes stand-up comedy, you will find him extremely IGERIAN writers, home and abroad, desirous funny. of entering their works for the association’s With my explanation, you now understand Annual Literary Prizes, may now do so. Works what I’m talking about. When did your breakentered should have been published between through come in the industry? I quipped. Yes March 2012 and May2013. Requirements are six for every level I gets to, it becomes breakcopies (6) of the book or manuscript to be through to me because I believe it’s a gradual entered, specifying the prize being entered for, process. I started with home video playing alongside a covering letter and the photocopy minor roles, but today a radio presenter of of a receipt evidencing payment of annual dues international repute, compere, comic actor to a state chapter in the year of entry (2013); it and producer. Infact comedy has brought hapshould be sent to: The General Secretary, piness and fulfillment in my life. Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), C/o Suite 63, National Theatre Complex, Iganmu, Lagos. -Compiled by Florence Utor

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Joke Silva and other guests at the iREP film festival... at Freedom Park, Lagos, last week AST week in Lagos, the Nigerian Lsented Film Corporation (NFC) presome of its publications to the public.  They are three:  Reel Views, Behind the Scenes, and 8 years of Reel Transformation.  The books chronicle the agency’s interventions and achievements in the Nigerian film sector, especially within the past eight years. Venue of the public presentation was the Freedom Park, Broad Street in Lagos and the presentation ceremony was part of activities lined up for 2013 edition of iREP International Documentary Film Festival. Speaking at the Presentation, Mr. Afolabi Adesanya, NFC’s immediate past Managing Director/Chief Executive, recommended the three publications to stakeholders and members of the public.  Adesanya was full of

From Left, Executive Director Petrochemical NNPC, Engineer Tony Ogbuigwe. Special Guest Of Honour, Mrs Adesuwa Onyenekwe. And Author Of The Book, Mrs Titi Horsfall. At The Book Presentation of ; From An Orphan To A Queen Esther. Held In Lagos. PHOTO. SUNDAY AKINLOLU

From an Orphan... For readers’ delight By Gbenga Salau T a colourful ceremony with family memA bers, friends and associates in attendance, a new book From an Orphan to a Queen Esther, a novel, was launched in Lagos on Tuesday. The novel, which is written by Mrs. Titi Horsfall, a mother of three, was completed within fifteen years and has its setting in the 6th century BC and based on the biblical Esther and her exploits as a queen in a foreign land, where she reigned. The reviewer, Onochie Uche Izuora, described the book as well researched with the thoughts presented through great analytical and narrative skills. Izuora noted, “From its captivating cover design, beautifully structured internal format to its velvet-like finishing, this novel is a winner”. Special guest, Mrs. Adesuwa Onyenekwe said that reading the book was like watching a movie, disclosing that history, literature and faith are seamlessly integrated in the book to make it an endearing read. She also commended the persistence put up by the author in publishing the book, which took her 15 years to complete. In a chat, the excited author said that it was a dream come true for her, as she expressed her excitement at the level of support she got from family members, friends and colleagues. Horsfall stated, “It is my gift to the world, this is knowledge which initially was obscure, but which, overtime we took research and love for

details and determination to realise. I’m so happy that this book has come to life”. She disclosed that determination and undiluted passion to see something through made her complete the work, noting, “I work full time so I had to cut short my social life and use my weekends to write and stay up late in the night, including moving around with paper and pen as I do not know when the inspiration would come”. On what inspired Esther’s storyline, Horsfall said that most of the time, the story of Esther was always seen from a beauty pageant celebrity point of view, adding, “but this is a woman who went out with great men to achieve something and turn around the destiny of a whole nation”. One of the guests at the event was Nollywood actress, Monalisa Chinda, who noted that the book is a movie-in-waiting, as the story should be adapted into a movie script. She said after reading the book, she felt a touch in her inner part because of the way the From an Orphan to a Queen Esther played up the sterling qualities of Esther, a Jewish orphan, who later rose to the pinnacle of power in a Medo-Persia, foreign land, where the nation of Israel was taken captive. A guest, Miss Titi Oyinlola, said what she got from the book after reading it was that when people get their foundation right, the sky would not only be the limit but the beginning for them. She charged everyone not only to buy a copy but to also read it.

NFC’s scorecard in print praises to industry stakeholders who understood the workings of the corporation in its quest to sustainably engage government, domestic and foreign stakeholders to develop the sector.  He called for continuous support for, and participation in the Corporation’s programmes and projects, saying that indeed much more can, and are being achieved by the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC). Earlier, the corporation’s acting Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr. Tekena Benibo, in his address, said that due to the strategic position of Lagos as a film production centre, and as a

business hub in Nigeria, the public presentation in Lagos was very important to both the NFC and stakeholder within the region and therefore very apt as well. “It will afford all stakeholders unhindered access to the publications, with a view to sharing in the success story of the Nigerian Film Corporation”, Benibo asserted. “Within the past eight years, the Nigerian Film Corporation has instigated appreciable transformation and repositioning which had enabled it play a more proactive and developmental role in the industry”, Benibo added. He justified the public presentation thus ‘’there is the need to document

these landmark projects and programmes executed by the corporation for the consumption of the general public, and “to show that the transformation agenda of the Federal Government of Nigeria is indeed working and achieving remarkable success, particularly in the film sector.” One the books, Reel Views, is a collective of Essays and Reviews on the Nigerian and African Film Industry. Behind the Scenes – is a collection of selected speeches and papers by Mr. Afolabi Adesanya on the Nigerian, African and Global film industry during his tenure as the Managing Director/Chief Executive. The

third, 8 Years of Reel Transformation, catalogues, with pictures, the various transformation at the Nigerian Film Corporation as evidenced in intervention projects, programmes and infrastructural development at the her headquarters in Jos, the Plateau State capital, and at the Lagos, Abuja and Kano offices of the Corporation, within the past eight years. Score of filmmakers, film teachers, actors, producers, directors, film students, researchers were among the guests who witnessed the public presentation of the three books. The three publications, it is envisaged, would be useful to scholars, policy makers, stakeholders, film practitioners, journalists and film enthusiasts.


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THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

AutoWheels Vehicles that guarantee long mileage, resistance and durability

By Taiwo Hassan, with agency reports EHICLE owners are now V looking at the direction of holding onto their cars for

costly to maintain or repair. With those criteria in mind we assembled a list of 10 model-year 2013 vehicles that can reasonably be expected to keep up with traffic for at least 250,000 miles. For starters, all of the cars and trucks on the list received above average scores for both initial quality and mechanical reliability over the first three years of ownership from J.D. Power and Associates. What’s more, each is predicted to deliver better- or muchbetter-than-average longterm dependability based on ownership experiences surveyed by Consumer Reports. The company also consulted

longer than ever, with the age of the average vehicle on the road now fixed at a recordhigh 10.8 years, according to the research company, R.L. Polk in Southfield Michigan. The company said this was in comparison with average life expectancy of a new car in 1930, with scant 6.75 years. “Owners who keep their vehicles beyond the manufacturer’s warranty period are able to have greater peace of mind that vehicles are becoming increasingly more dependable,” said Vice-President of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates, David Sargent. These cars included a 1993 Honda Civic coupe with By Taiwo Hassan 355,720 miles, a 1994 Toyota UNLOP South Africa has Land Cruiser SUV with 332,357 annouced the re-entry of miles, a Nissan 300ZX convertible with 330,000 miles Dunlop tyre into the Nigerian and a Ford F-150 regular cab market. Chief Executive Officer, pickup that’s clocked 290,000 Dunlop South Africa, Riaz miles. “Today’s cars are built to last Haffejee, made this discloas long as 250,000 miles or sure at the official re-launch more with simple routine of Dunlop tyre in Lagos, few care,” said ASE-certified days ago. He said that his company Master Automobile Technician and Chicago decided to bring back the Tribune auto-service colum- brand into the Nigerian market because of the history of nist Bob Weber. At that, some models are eas- the brand in the country. According to him, Dunlop ier to keep running than others. An owner is more likely to tyre will be solely distributed hold onto a vehicle for an in the country by Somotex extended length of time if it Nigeria Limited, adding that doesn’t suffer from chronic the distributorship deal was breakdowns and isn’t overtly given to the company based

maintenance and repair-cost predictions from Intellichoice.com to ensure that any of the cars and trucks among our recommendations would not become unduly costly to keep running. Admittedly, this methodology favours time-tested models that have clocked at least a modest ownership history and tends to exclude both promising newcomers like the Chevrolet Spark and Dodge Dart, as well as cars that recently received extensive mechanical redesigns like the Ford Fusion and Escape. Acura RDX Like all the model-year 2013

cars and trucks we’re predicting to last for 250,000 miles with proper care, the RDX gets high marks from J.D. Power and Associates for both initial quality and mechanical reliability over the initial three-year ownership period, received betterthan-average ratings for durability from Consumer Reports and is expected to be reasonably inexpensive to maintain and repair, according to data compiled by Intellichoice.com. The agile RDX was upgraded for 2013 with the Honda Accord’s powerful and proven V6 engine and assorted improvements that include a smoother ride and

reduced levels of noise, vibration and harshness. Chevrolet Avalanche This versatile cross between a full-size SUV and pickup truck continues for what is its final model year before being discontinued. Powered by a robust V8 engine, the Avalanche remains the only four-door pickup with the ability to carry eight-footlong objects thanks to a “midgate” door that opens up the cargo bed into the rear passenger cabin. Honda Ridgeline Though it’s largely shunned by pickup purists, the carbased V6-powered ridgeline is ideal for light-duty hauling and/or for active families

who prefer to tote their recreational gear in a small pickup bed rather than soil the interiors of their SUVs. The cargo bed comes with what is essentially a lockable trunk and a novel tailgate that can either flip down or swing open like a car door. Lexus RX 350 This popular midsize luxury crossover SUV is refreshed for 2013 with modest styling changes that include Lexus’ new signature “spindle shaped” front grille. It remains roomy, comfortable and capable, offers a full range of high-tech and upscale features and comes powered by one of the best V6 engines in the industry.

Dunlop tyre re-launches into the Nigerian market D

on its “marketability’s strength, extensive network of distribution channels, which are not only spread across the country, but has stood the test of time.” He said that Dunlop South Africa would put all machinery in place in collaboration with her Nigerian counterpart to ensure the growth of the brand in the country. Haffejee noted that Dunlop tyre was a household name known for its quality and durability. “We are fully committed to supporting Somotex in rebuilding the Dunlop brand in this country and you can count on us when it comes to putting our full weight behind it. As you can see, the

new Dunlop tyre coming into the market is backed with warranty. This is a sure sign of our commitment to the brand internationally and we shall keep our word always,” he said. On the company’s plan for the brand, Haffejee said: “Our plan is to continually ensure that Nigeria’s iconic brand Dunlop tyre - is back on the wheels on Nigerian roads ensuring safety, better performance and above all value for money.” Managing Director, Somotex Nigeria Limited, Anil Mohinani, said the company decided to partner with the South African based company with the aim to re-position the brand back at the top of

the Nigerian tyre market where it rightfully belongs. “We are into this re-launching of the Dunlop brand to firstly inform the public of the new distribution channel in the country - Somotex. Secondly, to create awareness about the brand re-launch and importantly to let the tyre users know that the product is back with the best offering tyre users can get, which includes quality, safety and low cost per kilometer-all backed up by warranty cards, which was launched in the course of the event. Also speaking at the event, the Vice-President, Somotex Nigeria Limited, Ajay Singh, said that his company was ready to embark on task,

pledging that Nigerians should expect a Dunlop tyre of quality grades. “We are ready to roll out the Dunlop brand into the market through our company’s distribution network, which has presence in all the regions of the federation, including Federal Capital Territory, Abuja,” he said. He however said his company has unlimited access to different sizes and range in the brand segment from South Africa and Japan, where the tyres are produced with the latest technology in the industry and best of designs that is in line with the new generation of cars, buses and trucks from the automobile industry.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

44 AUTOWHEELS

BMW revamps mini Paceman to counter Fiat’s 500 threat By Taiwo Hassan DOZEN years after inventing the nostalgia-hip segment of the car market, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG otherwise known as BMW has said that its mini Paceman is finding itself increasingly challenge by Fiat’s 500 in the automobile industry. Now, the Germans are pushing back with the Paceman, a two-door crossover coupe designed to keep the brand top of mind among young urban buyers. The Paceman will be the seventh model in what has become a key part of BMW’s lineup, giving the world’s largest maker of luxury cars a growing presence in compacts with a brand that customers are willing to pay a premium for. Mini’s importance for BMW will rise as the manufacturer shares more parts between the two brands to lower costs and stay ahead of. The Paceman will be the seventh model in what has become a key part of BMW’s lineup, giving the world’s largest maker of luxury cars a growing presence in compacts with a brand that customers are willing to pay a premium for. Based on the Countryman, a four-door compact sport-utility vehicle, the Paceman was redesigned with a lower roofline and horizontal back lights to give it a broader and sportier look but retain the lines of an SUV. The car, available in Europe since March 16 and in the United State soon, starts at $23,900 in the American market, being mini’s most expen-

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sive offering. “If we’d simply done a threedoor version of the Countryman, we’d have risked cannibalisation,” head of the mini brand, Kay Segler, said while introducing the car at the Geneva Motor Show. “You don’t perceive the two cars as one from the back view. That costs a lot of money and takes a lot of brain power.” The Paceman is the final model of the current mini lineup, the brand’s second generation since BMW resurrected the quirky British classic in 2001. A revamped version of the basic hatchback, using the same underpinnings as a new BMW small van tentatively called the Active Tourer, will hit showrooms next year. By the end of the decade, Mini said it may offer as many as 10 variants, including a convertible, a wagon and a coupe. “The potential of the brand is theoretically inexhaustible,” said Christoph Stuermer, an analyst with researcher IHS Automotive in Frankfurt. BMW says it sold about 301,500 minis last year, a 5.8 per cent increase over 2011. IHS predicts growth will slow to 2.2 per cent this year as deliveries of the aging base hatchback drop, from a peak of 189,000 in 2010 to 149,000 this year. The Paceman, IHS predicts, will sell 20,000 — not huge, but enough to keep the overall brand from shrinking as customers await the new generation. With the new models coming on line, IHS expects mini sales to top 400,000 in

BMW paceman car 2017. The Paceman is arriving as sales of Fiat’s 500 have picked up. The squat compact, based on the 1960s classic featured in movies such as La Dolce Vita and Roman Holiday, sold 237,000 last year as U.S. deliveries more than doubled. IHS expects Fiat to boost sales of the 500 by 9.2 per cent, to almost 260,000, in 2013 as the company follows mini’s lead and builds the model into a

sub-brand. Next year, the 500 will have three body styles — the standard hatchback, a four-door wagon and an SUV — and other variants such as a convertible and an electric. The strong sales of the 500 have helped Fiat shares rise 18 per cent this year, while BMW has slipped four per cent on concerns the German carmaker’s profit growth is slowing. Still, BMW’s position as the luxury car leader has

given it a market value of 45 billion euros, versus Fiat’s 5.6 billion euros. Mini also faces increased competition both from luxury rivals and mass-market automakers as more buyers trade down into smaller vehicles but still want to feel cool. By 2015, IHS expects this stylish compact segment to reach 1.6 million vehicles globally, more than doubling in five years.

Firm to build one-stop shop auto centre in Lagos By Taiwo Hassan RANSIT Support Services Limited, distributors of China’s Yaxing brands of buses in the country has assured transport companies in the auto industry of its intention to set up a one-stop shop auto spare parts centre in Lagos. Managing Director, Transit Support Services Limited, Stanley Mbanu, who disclosed this at the unveiling ceremony of the Yaxing Coach buses in Lagos, recently said that it

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would established an auto centre that would comprise availability of the buses’ parts, in order to quell the fear raised by transporters or owners about influx of adulterated spare parts in the country’s auto markets. According to Mbanu, the assurance on the availability of the spare parts was critical to the brand’s sale growth in the country, adding that the bus was specifically built for Nigeria roads.

He said that the unveiling of the brands of Yaxing coach buses, namely, VHC 0500 series and S180 mini coach was to create the awareness that such buses were available in Nigeria market. “VHC 0500 is adapted to Nigeria. We took the time to look at what the operators presently use and adapted our bus to meet those specifications at a cost effective price,” Mbanu said. He said that the company also planned to collaborate with

other independent workshops outside Lagos State on availability of spare parts materials, especially to ensure that their prices are reasonable and cost effective. Mbanu added that emergencies spares could be air freighted within four or five days from order, while also assuring of periodic trainings for operators from Yaxing. “Aside from Yaxing making the spare parts cost effective. We would have a large stock of

spare parts at our workshop. Our spare parts will be available to independent spare parts sellers who are already in contact with,” he assured. Speaking on the bus specifications, the managing director said that the VHC 0500 came with the Cummins ISLe 340 EURO3 engine. It has a ZF tech transmission six-speed gearbox, a sachs MFZ430 diagram clutch, an air suspension with imported airbags from Germany and a rear toilets/ seats.

Rolls-Royce’s Wraith, a 624-hp fastback coupe LIGARCHIC automaker O Rolls Royce introduced an all-new car in Geneva recently, a muscular grand tourer. Though this vehicle is christened the Wraith, the appellation is not pronounced in the traditional manner, rayTH, but is rather intended to sound something like, Bentley Continental GT. Tired of watching Crewe drive away with the profitable six-figure gran turismo market, Rolls has crafted its own handsome fastback in a similar mode. And it works quite beautifully. Though Rolls’ designs generally tend toward the assaultively upright, the Wraith’s appearance is much more Streamline Moderne, invoking the triumph of mechanical speed working in concert with nature, like a French locomotive. The typically vertical grille has been recessed and relaxed, giving it the kind of jaunty, under-bite that James Mason might employ in playing a debonair villain. The pillarless profile has the elegant muscularity of a long

distance runner (though the distended trunk cut at the base of the nearly horizontal rear windscreen looks a bit mini-mall laser surgeon.) Even the signature Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament has

been canted eagerly five degrees, as if about to taunt Tantalus with a delicious drop of nectar. The doors pivot from rear hinges, as if the Spirit herself was enveloping her cargo.

Inside, four riders are surrounded by the usually perfect bombardment of polished natural materials— though in this case, the requisite wood arrives veneered into something called

Canadel Paneling. This name has absolutely nothing to do with our neighbours to the north, signifying a treatment that is both breathtaking and peculiarly imposing.

Similarly spectacular is the optional Starlight Headliner — formerly available only on

Rolls Royce car

FRSC warns motorists against mobile phone use while driving By Adeyemi Adepetun AGOS State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nseobong Akpabio has warned motorists in the state against the usage of mobile phone devices while driving. Akpabio, at a forum in Lagos recently, rued the increasing use of mobile phone by motorists in the state, stressing that despite calls, campaigns and laws enacted by the state’s government, Lagosians still flout the rules at ease. Akpabio, who said that road crashes didn’t discriminate the rich from the poor, noted that FRSC would begin serious clamp down on motorists who flout the order. According to him, there was about 82 per cent reduction in road crashes in 2012, adding that the agency was ready by all means to increase the percentage in 2013. “FRSC is seeking about 50 per cent in road crashes between now and 2015. It has been said that if care is not taken, road crashes could be no three killer of people by 2015. We, as Nigerians must work on our attitude. We must be road safety conscious,” he stated. The Lagos State Sector Commander, who warned motorist against receiving, making or pinging while on motion, noted that the effort was to reduce drastically, road crashes. According to him, anybody caught flouting the rule would be made to face penalty of N5000 or six months imprisonment, “but the ultimate penalty is death.” On the new plate number and drivers license issue, Akpabio said that from October 1, 2013, anybody with illegal license and old plate number would be prosecuted. “I will advise motorists not to wait till they are arrested. They must help government so that they can also be helped,” he stated.

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THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

AUTOWHEELS 45

ŠKODA Octavia gets five star award from Euro NCAP

Octovia Combi Stores by Taiwo Hassan HE new ŠKODA Octavia has been awarded five stars for its high level of safety in the Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) crash tests. Euro NCAP is an independent consortium of European transport ministries, automobile associations, insurers and consumer advocates. The organisation conducts crash tests on new types of automobiles and assesses their safety. This top rating recognises the new ŠKODA Octavia’s excellent performance, which is divided into occupant protection for adults and children, pedestrian protection and supporting safety systems. The new Octavia is to be introduced onto the European markets in the coming weeks. The Czech car manufacturer will also be presenting the new ŠKODA Octavia Combi for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show. “For ŠKODA safety is one of the key priorities,”

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says Dr. Frank Welsch, ŠKODA Board Member for technical development. He continued: “That is also true for the new Octavia. Our goal is to make the journey as comfortable and safe as possible for both the driver and passengers. With numerous active assistance systems and a comprehensive package of passive safety features, this new model is the safest ever. “The test results from Euro NCAP are further evidence of our high level of safety. We are pleased with the overall result of a five-star top rating from independent experts,” explains Welsch. Euro NCAP awarded top marks for the circumferential occupant protection of adults seated in the front. The new ŠKODA Octavia achieved 93 per cent of the possible number of points in this category. The passenger compartment remains stable, the front-seated dummies are virtually undamaged after the test.

The circumferential protection of front seated adults of different body sizes, in different seating positions, is always equally good. Likewise, the new ŠKODA Octavia achieved very good results in terms of child safety. The Euro NCAP test engineers gave a high rating in pedestrian protection for the new ŠKODA Octavia. Additionally, the testers were impressed by the Octavia’s innovative safety assistance systems, including the equipment fitted as standard in EU countries such as electronic stability control (ESC) and the driver and passenger seatbelt reminder. The new ŠKODA Octavia also employs active safety systems, which had formerly been reserved for higher class vehicles. These include the front assistant with emergency brake function (from May 2013), the lane assistant, keeping the Octavia in lane, multi collision brake with automatic brake intervention during an accident, a crew pro-

tect assistant to safeguard the vehicle in accidents and the driver activity assistant to recognise driver fatigue. These systems help to avoid accidents or mitigate their consequences for passengers and other road users. The driver and passengers are well catered for with a comprehensive package of passive safety elements. Up to nine airbags in finely tuned interaction with three-point seat belts reactively protect the occupants from injury. It is the first time that side airbags in the rear and knee-airbags (standard in EU countries) have been available in the ŠKODA Octavia. Additionally, the precise chassis, long wheelbase and solid body structure ensure extremely stable handling for the latest ŠKODA model. The new ŠKODA Octavia has grown significantly in its dimensions and, thanks to its lightweight construction, is now up to 102 kg lighter than the previous model.

Ssangyong Motor sells 10,620 vehicles in January SANGYONG Motor has announced sales increased of over Ssince 10,000 vehicles in January, thus, for the fifth straight month last September. This translates to 29 per cent increase when compared to the same period last year. According to the company, domestic sales increased by 43.9 per cent and exports increased by 21.3 per cent from the same month last year thanks to upward trend in sales of Korando series. The company said that it planned to expand its presence in SUV market by launching Korando Turismo Chief Executive Officer, Ssangyong Motor, Lee Yoo-il said at the weekend that part of the $15.9 billion Mahindra Group, announced on February 1, 2013 that the company sold a total of 10,620 vehicles in January 2013- 4,035 vehicles in domestic sales

and 6,585 in exports including CKD. Despite the end of individual consumption tax cut and off-season, Ssangyong’s sales exceeded 10,000 vehicles for five consecutive months with a sharp increase of 29 per cent from the same month last year. Exports increased by 21.3 per cent from a year earlier, exceeding 6,000 vehicles for the fifth straight month thanks to upward trend in sales of the Korando C with 3,000 monthly export sales. Ssangyong’s domestic sales also recorded a sizable increase of 43.9 per cent from the corresponding period in 2012 based on robust sales of the Korando Sports and Korando C. However, compared to the previous month, it showed a decline of 24.8 per cent since a temporary individual consumption tax cut had ended by the end of last year. The company expects to increase its sales in the domestic mar-

ket soon by resolving backorders of some models such as the Korando Sports through increased production of SUVs in March. Ssangyong is going to launch the Korando Turismo, an 11-seater premium MLV (Multi Leisure Vehicle) developed over two years, and creating a friendly atmosphere for the vehicle by unveiling its design and offering pre-bookings. As a result of these efforts, the new car is already sparking customer interest prior to its launch. Yoo-il said: “The company maintains its average monthly sales compared to last year even though a decrease of sales has been expected due to end of individual consumption tax cut.” He added: “We will further increase our global sales by carrying out diverse marketing strategies and sales promotions as well as launching the refreshed models successfully including the Korando Turismo.”

Hyundai Motor opens technical vocational school in Ghana YUNDAI Motor Company H has opened a ‘HyundaiKOICA Dream Centre,’ a technical high school established as part of Hyundai’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts in Koforidua City, Ghana. At the opening ceremony in Accra, about 150 government officials, 200 students and parents attended from Koforidua and 72 Happy Move Global Volunteers from Korea, including the Eastern regional

Minister, Victor Smith, Korean Ambassador to Ghana, Jea-min Kyun, and head of Hyundai Motor’s African regional headquarters, Sang Min Park. The official opening of the first Hyundai-KOICA Dream Centre took place a year after its groundbreaking ceremony last January. The opening of the centre in Ghana marks the start of Hyundai’s programme for establishing schools in African and Asian countries.

“Hyundai Motor Company and KOICA is providing opportunity and developing the technical skills of the youth of Ghana and help in their future growth,” said Victor Smith, the Eastern regional minister. “The Hyundai-KOICA Dream Centre in Ghana will become the country’s best technical school and serve as a model for technical schooling in Africa by providing quality education to students,” said Park. Hyundai-KOICA Dream

Centre is a governmentapproved technical high school, which Hyundai established in collaboration with Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), a Korean government agency and Plan Korea, a branch of one of the oldest and largest children’s development organisations Plan International, in order to expand education opportunities and create jobs for underprivileged African and Asian

students. The centre consists of two main buildings, a three-story school building equipped with classrooms, practice rooms, computer room and library and a dormitory building designed to occupy 40 students with a cafeteria built in. In particular, the dorm was fully funded by Hyundai Motor, and ‘Happy Move Global Youth Volunteers,’ Hyundai’s official university student volunteering group,

participated in its construction. In addition to providing financial support, Hyundai utilises its resources and expertise in the automotive industry to help unprivileged students by developing an education program adapted from a program for Hyundai mechanics, providing vehicles and transmissions as training materials, dispatching professional educators and training qualified teachers.


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BusinessTravel The undulating runway to a national carrier Stories by Wole Shadare IGERIANS have, for several months, been awaiting a national carrier that was promised by the Minister of Aviation, Stella OduahOgiewonyi. The interest that greeted the promise was based on the people’s positive disposition towards having a national airline they would be proud of. They wanted a virile and functional carrier that would again put Nigeria on the global aviation map, a carrier that would be efficiently run, one that would be able to compete with big, European and American airlines. That has been the dream of every Nigerian. But the expectations are fast turning into a mirage. Not that the government does not know what to do; a clear-cut direction of what it exactly wants is glaringly lacking. In one breath, the Ministry said it would look for strategic partner(s) to give it the technical assistance it requires. In another breath, the government talks about entering into a Public Private Partnership (PPP) without giving Nigerians the clear direction of what exactly it wants to do. Anambra State Governor Peter Obi disclosed recently at the end of  24-member Economic Management Team (EMT) that government was seeking long-term funds for the reactivation and floating of a national airline. Specifically, he said Federal Government alone couldn’t solve the problem of the airline, but instead, looking for long-term funds from the country through the Public Private Partnership (PPP). According to him, “if you talk about the airline for example, it’s a long term business; you need a long term funding. These are issues not just by the government. Government can’t fix airlines. That one, I think has to do a lot with issue of getting long term money in the country.” The Ministry of Aviation must be applauded for at least thinking in that direction to give Nigerians an airline that everyone will be proud of. Not a few believe that the Minister is pursuing the agenda because she believes Nigeria is too big a nation to have wobbling carriers. But stakeholders are of the opinion that her agenda lacks clear-cut direction of exactly what she wants to do. The PPP is an alien contraption when it comes to setting up an airline. Is the process going to be transparent? Won’t people who are very close to the corridors of power hijack it? Is it not going to be another big exercise in futility? Will a government after the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration not frustrate the PPP setup the way Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, operators of the ultra modern MMA2 reportedly being hounded and frustrated over its multi billion naira investment at the Lagos airport? Will the Ministry of Aviation after this administration not wake up to say the deal was signed in error, or say they were not carried along before the deal was sealed? Why is it becoming so difficult to go the way of Kenya Airways, which has become one of the

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A British Airways’ B747-400 aircraft undergoing D-check at the airline’s maintenance base in Cardiff, Wales...recently most successful airlines in Africa? Kenya Airways had a far worse problems and challenges than the liquidated Nigeria Airways and has risen from the ashes to become one of the biggest players in the continent. In fact, the carrier was two years ago rated as the second most profitable airline after Ethiopian Airways. The airline is a case study in privatisation. In Africa, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian, Egypt Air and South African Airways are some of the most formidable airlines that have brought pride to their nations. They have helped to reduce huge capital flight, occasioned by the dominance of mega carriers like British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France-KLM, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Delta, United, among others. The privatisation of Kenya Airways was the first-ever privatisation of an African airline. The sale of a major state-owned asset is usually a highly charged political event, and the twoyear process by which 77 per cent of the shares of Kenya Airways were sold to a broad array of private investors was no exception.  From the outset, the press and public of Kenya speculated as to how and when the process would fail, and which interests would profit from that failure. Yet the privatisation was carried out successfully. Nigerian flag carrier airlines have not done too well owing to lack of good business model, crippling debt, lack of war chest to develop routes that are viable, coupled with lack of government’s assistance.

It is a fact that most of the carriers designated on foreign routes died few months after they commenced operations. The one(s) that is/are still in service are struggling to break even, as they are weakened by poor or lack of connections out of Europe, United States or even from some African countries. Some of the interline agreements have collapsed while the ones that are still active are just hanging there. Nigeria airlines are not just there in terms of reciprocating Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between her and other foreign nations. Former Commandant, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, Group Captain John Ojikutu (rtd) said the move was that of senior partner (government) whom he said had never made a success of any business. He stated that a new national airline is a return to the corrupt practices of the past. Ojikutu advocated that government should establish two strong flag carriers through the capital market to enable the public to buy into them. “Is the country thinking with the rest of the aviation world where the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is planning for only 12 world airlines?” he asked. His words: “Moreover, government cannot be trusted to play by the rules. Nigerian government, being what it is, would like to throw its weight around like it’s been doing for some private airlines who are owing public and private aviation service providers and encouraging

PHOTO:WOLE SHADARE

them sometimes to circumvent established regulations, especially commercial and BASA agreements”. “We witnessed how government officials ruined the fortunes of the defunct Nigeria Airways. These officials who are mainly appointed not career officers would hide behind the veil of official duty and would collect concession or free tickets for trips for themselves, friends and members of their families”. Managing Director of Touch Down Travels, Mr. Dayo Adeola, had attributed the problem of Nigerian airlines to lack of clear-cut aviation policy. His words: “It is one policy today, another policy tomorrow; multiple airport operators. In the past, when you arrive Lagos from foreign country, you either board Okada Airlines or other local carriers to other parts of the country. The local airlines are dying today because people are not flying them”. “There are direct flights now from overseas to Port Harcourt, Abuja. We need to develop but we need to have an aviation policy because the foreign airlines are coming in but we don’t have the equipment and wherewithal to go there. But because we don’t have something to go there, are we getting even the right taxes so that we can know whether the government is getting the right taxes. So if you look at it, we don’t have a policy to even defend the market, because we have not created the market policies”.

FAAN, Bi-Courtney again rumble over MMA2 HE lingering crisis between the T Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) has, once again, escalated with the fresh controversy trailing the purported cancellation of the Four-Star Hotel and Conference Centre lease agreement between the duo. The projects are being executed by BASL at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2), Lagos. The controversy was stirred by FAAN recently when it issued a statement, saying that it has terminated the lease agreement on the projects due to alleged breaches by Bi-Courtney. But, in a swift reaction, BASL dismissed FAAN’s claim, describing it as laughable. Work on the twin projects had been stalled for some time now, no thanks to various issues surrounding them. According to FAAN’s statement, signed by its General Manager (Corporate Communications), Mr. Yakubu Dati, and entitled: “FAAN Terminates Leases Granted Bi-Courtney at MMA”, “The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria

(FAAN) has terminated two leases granted Bi-Courtney Limited at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja for the development and management of a four-star hotel and conference centre, respectively. “In two separate letters, dated April 19th 2012, the Authority had informed Bi-Courtney that the leases granted it in respect of the two projects had been terminated as a result of breaches committed by the company in the agreements it signed with FAAN on the two projects. “By the said agreements, the two projects were to be completed in 2008 but FAAN graciously extended the construction period to July, 2009 but Bi-Courtney still failed to complete the two projects at the expiration of the extended period. “By that termination order, the demised premises, in respect of the two projects, have reverted to FAAN automatically, in line with the terms of the agreements.” Although FAAN was silent on what it would do with the imposing struc-

tures standing on the premises, the question aviation stakeholders, who have been curious to know when the crises between the two organisations would end, are asking is whether FAAN has also seized the structures on the land and whether it could do this without a court order. While reacting, BASL, through its spokesman, Mr. Steve Omolale, said FAAN would be guilty of contempt of court, if it actually terminates the lease agreement. His argument is based on the fact that a Federal High Court, Ikeja Division, presided over by Justice S.J. Adah, had given orders restraining the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation, FAAN, its agents and the security agents from doing anything to disturb BASL over the projects. According to Omolale, “Justice S.J. Adah of the Federal High Court, Ikeja Division, had, on April 23, 2012, issued an order restraining the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation, InspectorGeneral of Police, Managing Director of FAAN and FAAN itself (all defendants in

the suit we filed against them) “from commencing, continuing and/or completing any actions or permitting the commencement, continuance and/or completion of any actions in respect of taking over possession of and/or interfering with Applicant’s possession of the Four-Star Hotel and the Conference Centre situate at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two, Ikeja, under construction pursuant to its letters reference: FAAN/1600/0210213 and FAAN/1600/0210214, both dated April 19th, 2012, or any other letter, instrument or instruction whatsoever pending the hearing and determination of the Applicant’s application for interlocutory injunction. The judge also ordered “that the 2nd Defendant, his officers and men and all law enforcement agencies in Nigeria (including the Air Force Commandant of the Airport) are restrained from involving themselves in the ejection of the Applicant and/or taking over of or interference with the Applicant’s possession of the Four-Star

Hotel and Conference Centre situate at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 2, Ikeja, under construction pursuant to its letters reference: FAAN/1600/0210213 and FAAN/1600/0210214, both dated 19th April 2012 or any other letter, instrument or instruction whatsoever pending the hearing and determination of the Application for interlocutory injunction.” Omolale added that “the court order, originating motion, affidavit in support, exhibits and the Notice of Arbitration were all served on FAAN and its Managing Director, and received and signed for, on their behalf, by one Mrs. C. Akinola at 11.55a.m on April 24th, 2012. “So, for FAAN to say it has terminated the projects and taken possession of the land is laughable and a clear disobedience of subsisting court orders. Nigerians should please ignore them, as they are not saying anything new. “Like they themselves admitted in their latest statement, they first issued the statement purportedly terminating the two projects on April 19, 2012.’’


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Delta Airlines invests in products, services for Nigerian, U.S. customers By Wole Shadare and Chika Goodluck-Ogazi  ELTA Air is transforming the customer experience on flights between Nigeria and the United States (U.S.) with more than $3 billion investment through 2013 in airport facilities and global products, services and technology. Speaking at the yearly Business Traveller Africa Expo and Conference Bobby Bryan, Delta’s commercial manager

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East and West Africa highlighted a range of in-flight and on the ground benefits to improve the product offering for customers flying on Delta’s daily nonstop service between Lagos and the U.S. “Delta introduced its new fully flat-bed seat between Lagos and Atlanta in September 2012 and we currently offer 500 weekly business class seats,” said Bryan. “Nigeria was one of the first markets to receive the new BusinessElite product

which reflects the value of the Nigerian market to Delta.” In June, Delta’s BusinessElite passengers will see the introduction of the Westin Heavenly in-flight bedding transforming the sleep experience in the air. The luxury bed quilt is designed and manufactured exclusively for Delta by Westin Hotels & Resorts. In addition Delta has also introduced a new BusinessElite amenity kit featuring celebrated travel accessory brand,

Tumi and Malin+Goetz products. Delta is continuing its investment in new technology to simplify the customer journey and provide greater control over the travel experience including the launch of the Fly Delta App for iPad and improvements to delta.com. Delta currently operates the world’s largest fleet of Wi-Fi ready aircraft and will begin to roll out Wi-Fi for its longhaul services in 2014. 

Enhancements are also being rolled out on the ground.  Delta’s Sky Priority passengers enjoy streamlined services at check-in, security and baggage claim as well as access to Delta’s award-winning lounges.  Last year, Delta opened its new international terminal in Atlanta creating a state-of-the art gateway.  This May Delta will unveil its $1.4 billion new terminal 4 at New York JFK airport where Delta has established itself as the

Virgin Atlantic unveils promo fares to London, begins domestic service By Chika Goodluck-Ogazi  N the spirit of Easter, Virgin Atlantic Airways, one of Britain’s leading international carriers has unveiled what it described as fantastic fares to London from Lagos. The fares are available in both economy and premium economy cabins. According to spokesperson for the airline, Mrs. Kudirat Scott-Igbene, Economy fares starts from $186 and Premium Economy from $786 per person, adding that fares are valid for departures from now until May 31, 2013 and must be booked by April 8, 2013 According to her, “all fares are per person and exclusive of taxes, fees, charges and surcharges (subject to change). Terms and conditions apply. Meanwhile, nearly 30 years after launching Virgin Atlantic to bring a new challenger to long haul flying from the UK, Virgin Atlantic founder and president, Sir Richard Branson, is now bringing the fight to home turf – with the launch of the brand new ‘Little Red’ domestic service. Bringing a splash of red to the sky, Branson’s Little Red service will offer four daily round-trips

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between London Heathrow and Manchester, six daily round-trips to Edinburgh and a further three daily round-trips to Aberdeen. An extra service was added to Manchester last week, offering four flights a day instead of the three originally planned, to give passengers even more flexibility and offer even better connections to Virgin’s worldwide network. Virgin Atlantic Little Red will be offering a taste of the customer service. It is worldrenowned for with free 23kg luggage check-ins, preassigned seats, complimentary snacks and drinks and even hot breakfasts on early morning flights. A series of exclusive brand partnerships have been lined up for passengers including specially created Tyrrells crisps – ‘Plane crisps’ made from miniature potatoes, a variety of exclusive miniature spirits from Bacardi Martini and Scotland’s favourite drink, Irn Bru on the Scottish services. Virgin Atlantic is also exploring further exciting on-board product offerings, from Krispy Kreme doughnuts to The Collective Dairy yoghurts topped with Rude Health granola.

Ethiopian Airline now official airline of Miss Entrepreneur Africa (MENA) 2013 contest THIOPIAN Airline, one of E the leading African airlines has put in place plans to

Managing Director, Tour Brokers International (TBI), Mrs. Uloma Egbuna, General Sales Agent Manager for GTA, Mrs. Odion Chigbufue and Business Development Manager (Africa), GTA, Shaun Beckley at a press conference to unveil GTA in Nigeria. PHOTO: WOLE SHADARE

Our vision for aviation, by Dati Corporate Affairs Manager of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Yakubu Dati, in this interview with ISA ABDULSALAMI in Jos, speaks on the vision of aviation minister to reposition aviation in Nigeria. N airport remodelling projO ect So much is happening and we are happy that a lot is being done by the Minister of Aviation. Right now, she is undertaking an on-the-spot assessment of remodelling projects being done at the airports. We have been in Enugu, we have been to Owerri; we have been to Benin, Port Harcourt in the first leg. The second leg took us to Jos, Kaduna, Kano, Yola and the last leg will also continue subsequently to Makurdi, Akure and Minna. And all that is to assess the work that has been going on. And you will recall that immediately the Minister came on board she undertook the reconstruction and I think remodelling does not capture it well because in some instances, most of the facilities were pulled down completely and new ones erected and 22 airports were scheduled for that. In the first phase, work started in 11 airports. And out of that, Abuja and Lagos, that is Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport and Murtala Muhammed Airport have been commissioned. Benin airport is ready for commissioning, Kano is ready and

quite others. So, we are going to witness a lot of commissioning this year and that is because the vision is not to only make aviation as a form of transportation but also an economic activity so that it will be able to contribute in wealth and also contribute to the GDP of the nation.  Coping with inconveniences over ongoing projects It is quite a difficult thing to achieve but that is being achieved. And in the process, the customers or the travelling public had had to undergo some inconveniences because some have been shifted to either tents or make-shift departure and arrival lounges. So, that we will always have to apologise to passengers. But we are talking about facilities that nothing meaningful has been done to in the past 30 years until now. The Jos airport for instance since it was commissioned about 30 years ago, nothing has been added to it. Security at Nigerian airports Well, the security has been very high. For once, a lot has been done in terms of security and safety. Right now the safety and security areas have been audited. People who come into the airports have to go through searches both physical, there have been machines to also check, we have sniffer dogs in the international airports, we have anti-terrorist squad from the Nigeria Police who have assisted in terms of security. So, much is being done to ensure the areas are secure. And just recently there was a

leading U.S. airline.   Delta has transported almost three million passengers on its Africa services since the airline launched its first flights from the continent in December 2006.  The airline flies to five cities in five African countries: Accra, Ghana, Dakar, Senegal, Johannesburg, South Africa; Lagos, Nigeria; and Monrovia, Liberia.  Delta operates a oneyear Business Internship Programme in five African nations including Nigeria, offering African students valuable work experience gained within a global organisation. Delta was nominated ‘Best Flight Experience to Africa’ by Executive Travel Magazine’s readers in its Leading Edge Awards 2012.

Dati committee set up by the Managing Director to clear abandoned aircraft and that has been effectively done. And that is because even the abandoned aircraft themselves constitute a security and safety risks in the airports because it can now be places where people can hide for nefarious activities or even birds’ strike where birds can hide. By the time birds come out when the planes are on, they create dangers and that have been the reason for cases of some accidents in the past. So, a lot is being done in that direction. And the minister has emphasised that this year the emphasis will be safety, safety and safety.  Plans to make Jos Airport an international airport in no distant future? Yes, a lot has been done. In the first place it has been designated as one of the cargo airports. That is where perishable and non-perishable materials can

be evacuated and that in itself makes it automatically an international airport. Because we are talking of a situation where farm produce will be freighted from Jos directly out of the country to the market whether in Malaysia, America or Europe and that is to create the market. As the Managing Director has said, the market in terms of cargo and perishable products is up to about $300 billion. But out of it the Nigeria’s share of it is zero. Because all we do here is we produce, we consume and the ones that cannot be consumed are just thrown away. If you go to Jos for instance, if you go to Makurdi, you find that during the harvest season, fruits, tomatoes are just consumed and wastes thrown away. In fact, there is a research that farm produce produced in Nigeria only 30 per cent are consumed. The remaining 70 per cent are practically thrown away or left to waste because there is no market to sent them out. So, by the time we create this market it will now empower the farmers, it will check rural-urban migration because it will now become profitable to farm. And these products will not come to a market where there will be a glut. There will be a ready market. For God’s sake, if you remember things like palm oil was introduced by Nigeria to places like Mexico and today they are exporters. We are not. So it is to create that access that will create market for these products, create wealth for the

people and also to create employment and reduce urban migration and so add to our GDP. So, I believe that Jos Airport is very to the cargo development and we are also happy that the state government is partnering and giving necessary support. You will recall that the cargo container, which has been on before, the successive administration in the state has been getting a lot of attention from the state. So, we believe that this will open a big door for the people of Plateau State and is also an opportunity for them to also key in because government’s role will be to create the infrastructure.  On criticisms against some actions of the Minister There has been a lot of attacks on the Aviation Minister. The other day some said she is antiNorth and recently some other people are saying that she is anti-Yoruba; probably tomorrow we will hear that she is antiIbo. So, you begin to see that there is so much she has done, she has stepped on many toes in trying to right the wrongs and that has swelled the number of enemies and that is why people try to stir up sentiments that Nigerians respond to easily. For instance, the sentiment of ethnicity, sentiment of religion and that is most unfortunate. We recall that one of the first things she did among several others when she came in there were lots of concessionary agreements that were being entered into.

support the hosting of the first of its kind, the Miss Entrepreneur AFRICA (MENA) contest, an empowerment initiative in search of young African women between the ages of 18 and 30 with innovative and viable entrepreneurial business plan that would create employment and contribute to the economic development and eradication of poverty in the continent. It is slated for July 11, 2013 in Lagos. According to Entertainment Network consult, organisers of the contest, the goal of the contest is to create a platform to discover, groom and to empower the Nigerian and young African women to become an entrepreneur, employer of labour, a role model by imbibing the culture of self-employment amongst young women in our communities.

KLM launches new business class cabin for customers By Chika Goodluck-Ogazi LM Royal Dutch Airlines has announced its new world business class cabin interior, featuring the new full-flat seat, aimed at accentuating the at-home feeling for Business Class customers. KLM has teamed up with leading Dutch designer Hella Jongerius to introduce a brand-new atmosphere, furnishings and style in World Business Class. “It is crucial to answer passengers’ demand and that they can get the best on board experience on our extensive long haul network,” said Henri Hourcade, general manager Air France KLM UK & Ireland “I am convinced that the comfort of our new lie flat seat and this contemporary design will be greatly appreciated by our most valued customers. “Even in times of financial difficulty, KLM continues to invest in customer comfort. I am proud of this superb and unique result: an entire World Business Class cabin created by leading Dutch designers giving our passengers that warm, at-home feeling.

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NigeriaCapitalMarket NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at 28/03/2013 PRICE LIST OF SYMBOLS


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

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NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at 28/03/2013

LOSERS

PRICE GAINERS

NSE market capitalisation rises by N24b RADING on the Nigerian Stock Exchange closed for the week on bullish note yesterday with the market capitalisation appreciating by N24 billion. This was due to price gains by some highly capitalised equities. The market capitalisation had opened at N10.71 trillion, grew by 0.22 per cent or N24 billion to close at

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N10.73 trillion. Also, the All-Share Index increased by 67.35 points or 0.20 per cent to close at 33,536.24 against the 33,468.89 posted on Wednesday. NewGold recorded the highest price gain, rising by N11 to close at N2,466 per unit. Nestle came second on the gainers’ table with N10 to close at N950, while Total

gained N8.05 to close at N169.05 per share. Okomuoil appreciated by N1.90 to close at N72.30, while Lafarge Wapco gained N1.71 to close at N76 per share. Market analysts attributed the growth to improved 2012 financial result and dividends declared by some companies within the week. On the other hand, Dangote Cement for the sec-

ond consecutive day led the losers’ chart, lost 71k to close at N148.50 per share. It was followed by International Breweries with a loss of 25k to close at N21.20, while NAHCO Aviance lost 21k to close at N7.49 per share. May and Baker dropped 11k to close at N2.19, while Africa Prudential Registrar lost 8k to close at N1.62 per share.

The volume of shares traded grew by 49.58 per cent as 456.72 million shares valued at N3.58 billion exchanged in 7,340 deals. This was in contrast with 305.32 million shares worth N3.39 billion traded in 5,473 deals on Wednesday. Skye Bank emerged the toast of investors, accounting for 74.90

million shares worth N473.38 million. UBA Capital trailed with 34.73 million shares valued at N42.96 million, while Unity Bank traded 34.45 million shares worth N28.29 million. The stock market will reopen on April 2, as Friday and Monday have been declared public holidays to mark the Easter celebration.


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Opinion Perennial bombing of the populace By Tunde Adeparusi T takes a small but appreciable stretch of the historical imagination to put oneself Iback into the time when there were no such things like terrorist attacks, and when the vision of the present day Nigeria would not only have been deemed impossible but also unimaginable. However, the reality of the ‘unimaginable’ is on ground! The most challenging is the perennial nature of the senseless bombing of the poor innocent Nigerians, and also the fact that certain ‘important’ personalities are now beginning to see reasons why Nigerians should adopt the ‘unimaginable’ and recess to cohabiting with the iconoclastic elements of the society. To make a plea on behalf (or for) a terrorist is to justify terrorism. This is absolute absurdity in the face of any modern, progressive and right-thinking society. Whether one decides to coin it ‘amnesty’ or ‘pardon’, whichever direction these words may have been driven, it is all in a bid to cunningly manipulate justice in order to favour the guilty and pardon the unpardonable. Nonetheless, it is not out of place to assume that the primary duty of any democratic government is to protect the people who established it. In order words, the people should be confident in the government and the ability and the capability of the same to protect them against any form of attack of any sort, and of course, at all times. This is a major determinant in the creation of wealth or poverty for any nation. In Nigeria, the first and the obvious perspective is the large increase in terrorist attacks in the Northern parts and the fear of its proliferation toward the South, and the perception on the behalf of the better-off that existing policies and programmes no longer provide the public with effective security against terrorism. The most recent terrorist attack on the two South-bound commercial buses in Kano

(northern Nigeria), in which over 25 persons were reportedly killed is a wake-up call for the government to assiduously get back to serious work, not only to design a means to effectively fight terrorism as this is also very important for the restoration of public confidence. This seem like a better approach rather than seeking to dialogue (not planning to create jobs for the large number of the unemployed youths in the country!) with some elusive fellows whose supreme mandate (is established on better promises of heavenly bliss, full of ‘Virgins’!) is to simply kill and be killed. It is not as easy to unlock a mentality that is ideologypadlocked. Hence, a day or two (or even 365 days) of dialogue with a terrorist is not enough to convince him to change his mind. However, here is a word of advice though; there is no rationale behind being knitted in dialogue with a ‘guy’ that carries explosives in his body! Between dialogue and job creation, let the government make up its mind on which is much more sensible project to invest in. But one thing should be clearly noted and understood; a call to dialogue with a terrorist is a call to further empower his organisation and weaken the state executive power of social control. (It could mean that the terrorist is winning by getting the desired attention). Furthermore, it is to be regretted that our society has not really had a taste of what it means to have a genuine sense of security – a sense of complete freedom, since Nigeria gained her independence in 1960, at least, this has not been visibly evident. Perhaps this may explain why the state has not been able to fully act in its expected capacity to free its people from the hands of the ‘oppressors’. Or perhaps, does this equally explain the reason why the people are easily becoming acclimatized to the inhumane conditions in the highly tensed and uncertain social space? Corruption and abuse of executive power are twin-factors that have played key roles

in the security challenge confronting the Nigerian state. Considering such factors that define security, especially in a democratic culture: peace, freedom, full human right protection, access to basic infrastructure or social amenities, good governance, food, shelter etc, One may rightly conclude that, the hope of any nation depends on her security. And for this reason, it is not out of place for a people living in a democratic setting to demand, as their right, any of the above highlighted basic human needs, especially if found deficient. Therefore, whenever there are security-related issues in a society, often time, the Police bear the burden of the public reactions, because they are seen as agents of social control. Apart from this, the Police are also the most visible arm of the criminal justice system in the society, but the issue with the Police and the problems of social control in Nigeria is simply the missing desideratum – ‘reform’. Since, reform is an initiative that always greets transitional cultures and in this, the fact is, Nigeria is no exception, the need to formulate and implement relevant policies (to challenge terrorism) with full understanding of application of parameters of how to make such work, cannot be over-emphasized. This is very pertinent to economic growth and development, especially when a nation is faced with such difficult and challenging times, like the reality of a new social malady – terrorism with which Nigeria is faced at the moment. Poor remuneration and highly degrading conditions of living, among others, have divided the loyalty of the Nigerian Police Force. For example, it is uncertain how to determine to whom an average Nigerian police officer is loyal, perhaps the general public to which he is mandated to protect, or to the police organization – his overseeing authority, or to the code of conduct and professional ethics, which he swore allegiance to carefully observe, or to the

‘Rich’ who are in control and often times act as though they are above the law, or to the corrupt government officials who always crave the need for police protection, or to the politicians who use the Police as tools for election malpractices, manipulations and harassment, or to his fellow officers (colleagues) who help him cover-up corruption, abuse and all manners of illegalities, or even his immediate family (that is, wife, children, mother, father, brothers, sisters etc) to whom he stands as the sole bread winner. I really hope that this may help us understand how complex the situation has become and how much attention is needed regarding police-related matters regarding effective social control in Nigeria. In conclusion, it is however to be noted that a concerted effort is needed in order to put up an effective fight to stop further senseless killings of innocent Nigerians. The Nigerian government should do more in terms of awareness and sensitization of the people, laying emphasis on the importance of information, which is a major tool used for intelligence-gathering processes or procedure, especially when dealing with terrorism. Let the government establish a very efficient and effective mechanism for the collection and analysis of data in order to provide a picture of this terror group, this will definitely assist the relevant agencies to effectively protect the populace. The public, at this juncture, should equally understand that government alone cannot fight terrorism; it will require the cooperation of the public in terms of useful information and adequate reporting and proper documentation of all suspicious actions, activities or persons. This is because, persistent killing of poor innocent Nigerian citizens, especially from a region in the country is not good representation of the nation’s core values and this may further dent the nation’s reputation from a global perspective. • Adeparusi is a member of British Society of Criminology (BSC).

Why the church still matters By Wole Akinyosoye IMAGINED what was going on in the mind of Pope FranIatcis (I) the other day as he stopped by Saint Peter’s tomb the Vatican, as part of the rituals as new Pope. Was he figuring out the face of Saint Peter, the extrovert fisherman turned evangelical by the simple man from Galilee? Did he spare a thought for how the early Christians swayed Rome in the world’s first non-violent movement by always turning the other cheek to Caesar? We may never know what the Pontiff thought as he stood by the tomb of Peter. We would not know if he even spared a thought for Peter at that instant of his own glory, or if he thought of the early Christians fed to ravenous wolves to nosh the famed appetite of Rome for bloody sports. Pope Francis of course now carries the burden of the history of the Catholic Church spanning the whole length of 2000 years. He is the new face to the sacrificial humility of Apostle Peter and the nameless martyrs who triumphed over the haughtiness of Rome with the unlikely weapons of faith and perseverance. Pope Francis is also the new face to the Roman Church that ruled the European continent in theory and in fact for the greater part of 1000 years. The Victorian novelist, Charles Dickens, in A Tale of Two Cities described the 18th Century era of English ferment as the best of times and the worst of times. Dickens’ summation of that era also could be the perfect fit for the church of Pope Francis at the height of its own glory from 900 to 1500. It was when the foundation of European scholarship was laid. It was when you could credibly talk about a pan European culture in theory and in fact. That epoch better known as the medieval era witnessed exponential boom in church architecture, literature and ecclesiastical philosophy. But it was also a dark era; blighted by inquisition and ecclesiastical greed, witch-hunting and wanton affront on secular knowledge, all happening under papal watch. The Roman Church began to barter souls of men for silver and

gold, especially in the dying centuries of its total hold on Europe. It vended salvation for money and openly sold papal indulgence to highest bidders. The papacy at the height of its power engaged in flimsy execution of dissents. Despite proofs by science to the contrary, it decreed that the earth was flat, that the sun revolved around it and that Jerusalem was at the centre of earth. The penny dropped for the Church in 1517 when 34-year old German monk, Martin Luther, nailed his theses on the church’s door at Wurttemberg, highlighting the errors of Rome and predictably earning the excommunication sentence. Excommunication, by the way, was the spiritual death sentence invented by Church that cast heretics out of the “body of Christ” in life and closed the gates of heaven against them in death. But the rebel-monk surprising refused to serve his sentence even while still on earth. He went on the offensive, broke with Rome and took the novel step of translating the Bible from Latin, so people could by themselves read and judge the meaning of faith and heresy. Luther’s revolution broke the Vatican monopoly on mainstream Christianity. It also soon sired a copycat in the randy English monarch, Henry VIII, who dumped the Catholic brand in 1534 when Pope Clement VII refused to grant him a divorce. Henry’s subjects cruelly joked about “the papal bull that hung the king’s balls” but England’s withdrawal from Rome on a conjugal issue was serious pointer to the waning authority of the Church after a very long reign in Europe. Now some 500 years since Luther’s vexed theses, it is not rational to expect that the occupant of the Chair of Peter should carry the burdens of ecclesiastical slips of the past. But the new pope is expected to tackle the new challenges that would ultimately define the future of the Church and the meaning of faith in the so-called age of dissent. It is also an ambivalent irony that Francis, an Argentine with a New World address is given the job to stem the hemorrhaging of faith in Europe and fill the emptying pews at the Old

Continent. It would be interesting to see how the new pontiff would set at the tasks especially amid the sniping accusations of the clergy by the laity and suspicions that the Church might rather keep its soiled linens behind the Vatican walls. Benedict XVI, Francis’ predecessor, slightly lifted the curtains at the dusk of his own papacy, hinting that even the Catholic Church could be swayed by public opinion, would Francis further hike the stake by wielding the stick and the broom? How would he handle the ethical questions on celibacy, contraception and gay marriage? Would the new pontiff agree that family planning is not an issue for faith? Would he endorse ordination of married priests to stem the dwindling numbers of clergy in his American diocese? Would Francis’ papacy do the unlikely and accede to redefining marriage in order to feed deviant appetites in the so-called age of dissent? It is unlikely the new pope would face any major challenge in his African dioceses. Here faith still sells and wears a coat of many colours. The Catholic Church has remained a brilliant hue in the ecclesiastical rainbow. The Church in Africa comes across as solid as its cathedrals, its hospitals, its schools and orphanages that have added value across faiths and generations in a continent known for the absence of government in the critical areas. The Catholic Church shows itself adept at aiding life while pointing to the direction of heaven, and doing so devoid of Pharisaical veneer of some other denominations. The ascetic nature of its clergy also often presents a decent backdrop to the cluttered field of faith, especially here in Nigeria. Those are partly why the Catholic Church is still credible brand and why the recent resignation of Benedict XVI was topical. They were also why a Baptist like me would instinctively spare a thought for Pope Francis the other day, as I watched the new Pontiff at the tomb of Peter. • Akinyosoye wrote from Ile-Oluji.


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THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

Opinion Agriculture revolution: The Ogun example By Opeyemi Soyombo EDNESDAY, February 13, 2013 was another red-letter day W in the history of Ogun State. It was the beginning of another epoch, when the state turned a new page in its quest to raise the standard of living of its people. If anyone had forecast as at 1960 when agriculture accounted for 92.7 per cent of our foreign earnings that a time would come when food would become a major problem in Nigeria, he would have been advised to go for a psychiatric test. But the reality of our situation now stares everyone in the face. Prices of foodstuffs keep on skyrocketing, thus increasing the cost of living and lowering the standard of living of the majority of Nigerians. At least, it is not contestable that we spend N1 billion daily on importation of rice from the strategic reserves of India and Thailand… I had thought Thailand was even far below us in the 60s while India was our contemporary, just like Brazil and Malaysia. In the same strain, over N50 billion is being spent annually to import frozen fish even though we have the capacity to produce enough to meet our needs. We cannot pretend not to have missed it at a particular point in time. It is generally agreed that the economic managers of the oil era should have expended the petro-dollars on mechanized farming and in opening up the rural areas through provision of roads, railway, electricity, potable water, etc. It is not disputable that investment should have been made in agro-processing industries so that the value chain offered by mechanized agriculture (tillage, harvesting, marketing, storage, sales), especially in the area of employment, should have been fully exploited. Nor is it open to debate that farm products such as pineapples, plantain, banana, tangerines, oranges, pepper, etc, ought not to rot away anymore in Nigeria, especially during their season, just because we have no means of preserving or processing them into finished products that can be used locally and the excess sent abroad for foreign currencies. Indeed, that Nigeria blew the opportunity of an agrarian revolution that would have made the present generation live in abundance is widely acknowledged. But we have passed the era of lamentation. What we need now is action. February 13, 2013 was the day the loud silence of 33 years in the agriculture sector was broken in Ogun State. In one iconic gesture, 86 pieces of multi-million naira land clearing and preparation equipment were launched by the state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun. It was the first time since the creation of the state in 1976 that such quantum purchase would take place at one fell swoop. According to Wikipedia online, the term tractor is mostly used to describe a farm vehicle that provides the power and traction to mechanize agricultural tasks. The plough is a tool (or machine) used in farming for initial cultivation of soil in preparation for sowing seed or planting. The primary purpose of ploughing is to turn over the upper layer of the soil, bringing fresh nutrients to the surface, while burying

weeds, the remains of previous crops, allowing them to break down. It also aerates the soil, allows it to hold moisture better and provides a seed-free medium for planting an alternate crop. In agriculture, a harrow is an implement for breaking up and smoothing out the surface of the soil. Harrowing is often carried out on fields to follow the rough finish left by ploughing operations. The purpose of this harrowing is generally to break up clods (lumps of soil) and to provide a finer finish, a good soil structure that is suitable for seedbed use. A planter is an agricultural farm implement towed behind a tractor, used for sowing crops through a field. Planters lay the seed down in precise manner along rows. Slashers are essentially grass-cutting machines. What therefore took place in Abeokuta on February 13, 2013 was the setting-out on the road to mechanized agriculture in Ogun State. With these machines, about 80 per cent of the burden of farming has been lifted off the shoulders of farmers. Indeed, the third cardinal programme of the Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led administration is Increased Agricultural Production leading to industrialisation. This can only be achieved by supplanting subsistence farming with mechanised agriculture. The era of using cutlasses and hoes should gradually give way to the use of ploughs and harrows. At any rate, the farming population is already aged and farm labourers are difficult to come by these days, hence the rising cost of food in the country. On the inaugurated equipment, Amosun had this to say: “We appreciate the need to make these implements easily accessible to our farmers. Towards this end, I wish to announce that the rate for hiring them has been subsidized so as to create a relief to our farmers. I wish to further announce a 10 per cent subsidy on the hiring rate of the equipment for the benefit of our farmers. Also, as part of our administration’s determination to sustain the operation of these machines, the Ministry of Agriculture, through the Agro Services Corporation (AGROSCOP), is working out suitable training programme with the equipment suppliers for relevant personnel in charge of the operation and maintenance of the equipment.” Some of the steps taken so far by the administration to revive agriculture and renew the interest of our youths in the sector include the following: Resuscitation of farm settlement scheme with the commencement of a Model Farm Estate in Owowo, in Ogun Central. The first set of participants will be admitted this year. The same will be replicated in the other two senatorial districts of the state. Complete rehabilitation of the moribund three government owned fish farms located at Ilaro, Odeda and Ikenne. Production activities have since commenced on these farms. Restoration of the State Government Central Feed Depot at Kotopo in order to stabilize the cost of livestock feeds in the market. Disbursal of agricultural loans to over a thousand farmers under the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme. We are about to commence the next phase of the scheme. And to further prove that Ogun is not toying with the idea of reclaiming its glory in the agriculture sector, any genuine in-

vestor, local or foreign, interested in agriculture will have a discount of 80 per cent in land acquisition. Yes, in Ogun, you will only need to pay 20 per cent of the cost of land. The state has keyed into the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme of the central authority, which “seeks to lift 20 million resource-poor farmers out of subsistence to self-sufficiency from the six geo-political zones of the nation.” Indeed, Ogun State is collaborating with the Federal Government on all fronts to revamp agriculture in the country, including the realisation of Federal Government’s promises to the state, viz: Establishment of three large processing rice mills to process the highly nutritious Ofada rice, upgrading of 33 Small Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to produce high quality cassava flour and establishment of one large scale high quality cassava flour plant of 240 metric tonne per day. I am particularly upbeat about the Model Farm Estate initiative of the Amosun administration. Just like the model schools and roads, the model farms will be of the Ogun Standard, which sets benchmarks for others. All the modern facilities will be provided to make agriculture very attractive to our teeming youths. As someone who not only practised agriculture in the secondary school but literally grew up in the farm, I knew the regrets in those days included lack of electricity, modern farmstead, potable water, access roads, which implied that we had to carry heavy baskets of farm produce on our heads and trekked kilometres to get to the market. Of course, we didn’t find all that funny at all; and we had to till the land with hoes and cutlasses, in addition to the burden of being cut off from civilisation. It’s not surprising that none of my generation returned to farm, including those who secured degrees in agriculture despite the interest of some of us in farming. All that will now change in Ogun with the desire of the current government to revolutionise the sector. With other laudable schemes in the pipeline, including encouraging all year-round farming through the use of irrigation and total exploitation of the value chain provided by commercial agriculture ( the governor keeps harping on this ‘value chain’), there is no doubt that it’s just a matter of time before Ogun takes its pride of place in agriculture in the country. I must thank Mr. Luqman Noibi, Special Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture and Mrs. Funmi Wakama, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, for the useful discussions on the subject matter. Land has always been a major issue in agriculture – subsistence or commercial. I have no iota of doubt that the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs. Ronke Sokefun, who equally oversees land matters in the state – who, indeed, not only ended the racketeering, which saw the state lose over N20 billion before the advent of this government but brought sanity to the entire land administration – will ensure the realisation of the aspiration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun to see the return of agriculture as the mainstay of the economy of Ogun State. • Soyombo is Special Assistant on Media to the Governor of Ogun State.

Chinua Achebe: My awakening By Nnaemeka Oruh T was the publication of There Was A Country Iimminent that served as my sole premonition of the death of my father, Chinua Achebe. When he published it, my first reaction was “oh my God!” That was because for years, he had only commented in snippets on the Nigeria-Biafra war. A war that we know eroded all belief Achebe may have had in the viability of the geographical entity called Nigeria. Yet he refused to write anything about it. So also did he refuse to write anything about the Nigeria that followed after the war. Until after a long wait, he grudgingly wrote Anthills of the Savannah, a novel that also referenced his enduring belief in the segregation of a certain part of the country owing to its inhabitants’ refusal to kowtow to the military administration of His Excellency Sam. But with There Was A Country, Achebe finally lays bare his personal views of the war and I became terrified. I was terrified because from all indications, that book read like a swan song to me: that was how I knew his demise was imminent. I write this a few hours after the news of his death broke. As I write, I am undecided as to how best to react to this news. Tears well up and I fight them. Not because I do not wish to be called “the outsider who wept louder than the owners of the corpse” (for I am Achebe’s

child in so many ways even though I am not his child biologically) but because I am struggling to come to terms with the best way to mourn a man who not only lived to the fullest, but who in his 82 years on earth, fathered more children than even Solomon could have imagined. All these he was able to achieve with his concise and critically objective manner of writing. When the western world was trying to foist the African story on us, Achebe was the young man who refused to be influenced even though he was at an age when he should have. And even despite all his upbringing. Defying all odds, he decided that the story that Africans have to tell has to be told by Africans themselves in order to achieve objectivity. He did not care about his book being rejected by Western publishers, he was only concerned about telling the story of “where the rain began to beat us”. That became a trail blazing moment for African literature. It was this trail blazing action that perhaps led to my exposure to Achebe for before my birth, he was already a renowned figure in African literature and his works had somehow found their ways into school curricula and even television. Despite being exposed to Achebe’s works through television (Things Fall Apart was made into a soap opera on NTA) and school curricula, I did not particularly “meet” him until I picked up No Longer At Ease

just about the time I was to write JAMB. That was when the character of Obi Okonkwo inspired me to choose English as a course of study. Before then, I had written a few poems and a few “stories”. But it was not until I became a first year undergraduate of the English Studies department of the University of Port Harcourt that I “met” Achebe the way I had always wanted to meet him. Critical essays handed over to us by Professors Charles Nnolim, Maduka, and the then Doctor (but now Professor) Nkem Okoh were replete with Achebe’s works. That was when I re-read Things Fall Apart and Arrow of God. That was also when Dr. Tony Onuh introduced us to Anthills of the Savannah. Truthfully, that was when I really did “meet” Chinua Achebe. My first impression after “meeting” Achebe was that of intense agony. I severally asked myself, as a potential literary critic and budding writer; “what exactly is that thing that I know about my village’s myths, rituals, proverbs, etc. “I realized that I knew none and that somehow, my strictly Christian upbringing had not allowed me know anything about my people. So I asked myself; “how then can you write about a people you have detached yourself from?” Holidays saw me travelling home and trying so hard to understand and know about the many Igbo rituals and culture. In the final analysis, I realised that I could

learn all those aspects of my people’s culture and still remain a Christian. That was how Chinua Achebe changed my life, my destiny, and somehow decided what will become my primary goal in life: upholding the tenets of truth and recreating Africa in the eyes of the world. I have since then followed Achebe’s actions and all I learn is how to form my own opinions by painstakingly evaluating facts. Achebe was never swayed by public opinion or fear. He was never swayed by ethnic affiliations (otherwise he would never have looked on to Aminu Kano as a near saint. (See The Trouble with Nigeria) It is this type of man that I fight everyday to become. A man not swayed by general opinions. A man hell-bent on revealing the truth no matter what. A man who despite the strong tribalistic leanings of most Nigerians, stands by the truth no matter the ethnic group that birthed that truth. Chinua Achebe to me was my awakening and the father who truly taught me to search and find the truth. He was the father who showed me how to search for the ways of my people. He was and will remain my literary and cultural father. The pains choke my heart, but the one thing that triumphs over his death is this; he will never really die. When I miss him, I look into myself and regurgitate the lessons I have learnt and am still learning from his works. • Oruh wrote from vide liliemmy@yahoo.com.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

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FridayWorship By Afis A. Oladosu In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful “O! Ye who believe seek help in patience and in prayer, for this is indeed difficult except for the pious”(Quran 2: 153) “When you hear the call to prayer given by the Muezzin, let yourself perceive the terror of the Summons on the Day of Resurrection. Prepare yourself inwardly and outwardly to respond, and to do so promptly. Those who are prompt in answering this call are the ones who will be summoned gently on the Day of the Great Review. So review your hearts now; if you find it full of joy and happiness, eager to respond with alacrity, you can expect the Summons to bring you good news and salvation on the Day of Judgment. That is why the Prophet used to say: “Comfort us, Bilal! For Bilal was the Muezzin and prayer was the joy and comfort of the Messenger.” -al-Ghazali O some, the Muslim’s prayer, othT erwise known as Salat, is an enigma. “What exactly do these genuflections in the Muslim prayer connote?” Some wonder. Ironically, some among my fellow worshippers do not help either the non-Muslim observer or the development of their individual souls. When the Muslim enters the mosque, or sets up the prayer mat on the assumption that he desires to worship Allah, on the intention that he wishes to enter into private communion with his Creator, the Almighty, the assumption becomes inevitable that, like an investor, he desires to reap some dividend from the endeavour. The non-Muslim neighbour who observes the Muslim daily routine,

“Surely, the religion with Allah is ISLAM,complete submission”... Qur’an 3:19

How regular are you in your prayer? the person who hears the constant eulogy of the name of the Almighty Allah, the one who observes the standing and bowing down, the proclamation of the salutation of peace, is equally a stakeholder. He expects a direct and an indirect dividend from the successful ascension of the Muslim worshipper to the celestial grace; an ascension which should fructify on the terrestrial realities of humanity where piety, transparency, honesty and peaceful coexistence have become sine qua non for human survival. Now how do we ensure we observe our prayers in the proper way in order to assure the maximum impacts? Let us mention at least three elements. First is cleanliness. The Muslim prayer is invalid once the worshipper is physiologically unclean, when his cloth is unclean and when the place in which the prayer is to be observed is uncouth. The prophet (upon him be peace) says “Allah is clean; He would not accept anything except that which is clean.” The second element that can be mentioned is knowledge. Unlike other religions, knowledge is key to the Muslim prayer. The worshipper who would derive maximum benefit from his prayer should know the object of worship; namely, Allah and how to worship Him. Knowledge of Allah includes the recognition of our noth-

ingness in relation to His mightiness; it includes our awareness that by worshipping Him through the medium of Salat, we are actually serving ourselves. Knowledge of how to worship Allah also features knowing exactly what to say, how to say it and when to say it. For example, the Muslim worshipper who does not know how to recite the first chapter of the Qur’an correctly wastes his time each time he postures as if he is in Salat. Knowing what we say in Salat means understanding the implication of each move we make in the process. In other words, the Muslim who says Allahu Akbar while in prayers but still fears some earthly principalities inevitably finds himself in the hiatus of belief and un-belief. How could a woman say “Allahu Akbar” in the mosque only for her to say to her husband at night: “without you my life is nugatory and useless.” What about the element of concentration. This, according to Al-Ghazali, refers to “that state in which one’s mind and feelings are in no way distracted from what one is doing and saying. Perception is united with action and speech. Thoughts do not wander. When the mind remains attentive to what one is doing, when one is wholeheartedly involved, and when nothings makes one heedless, that is when one has achieved con-

scious awareness.” The prophet, while underscoring the importance of this element, says: “the worshipper shall have no reward except for that part of his Salat in which he is conscious”. Thus, he wastes his effort that Muslim who performs the Salat while his mind is with Chelsea or Arsenal. I “asked” Muadh b. Jabal, that famous companion of the prophet for his opinion on this. Brethren, I had to pause and take a deep breathe when he says: “A man gets no credit for a prayer in which he deliberately notices those on his right and left!” Now what can we suggest as some of the inner dimensions of the Muslim prayer? One, the Muslim prayer connects the worshipper to his Creator. It nullifies the establishment of intermediaries between the Creator and the created. This explains why there are no monks in Islam. Brethren, how could a monk intervene between me and my Creator, when the former is equally a subject, a “manufactured product?” Through the instrumentality of Salat, the Muslim worshipper is set free of looking for God each time and anytime he desires to communicate with Him. I do not have to traverse long distance in order for me to call alRahman. I do not have to sweat in order to meet with al-Qarib: “If My servants question you about Me, (Allah),

tell them that I am very close to them, I answer the prayer of every supplicant when he calls Me…[Q2; 186]. The Muslim prayer equally reminds the worshipper of his origin; it awakens him to his ultimate end. When we raise our hands up at the beginning of the prayer and say Allahu Akbar, we are indirectly saying we affirm the poverty of our being that we acknowledge that we came to the world with nothing that we shall leave with nothing when death comes except with our piety and good works. When the worshipper bows down in prostration and proceeds to bring his forehead to the ground, he is affirming the earthly nature of his being that from the earth he was created, that he shall be returned to the earth. Let me reiterate again, dear brethren. One critical advantage Muslims enjoy when they observe Salat in the right way is the speed at which their supplications are accepted. Thus the prophet advises us that when we are in the last sajdah posture, when our forehead is still on the ground, we should increase our supplications to Him- of what use is all other efforts once we enjoy divine succour and protection? I wish to close by quoting this statement of our leader Prophet Muhammad: “If a man’s prayer does not deter him from indecency and mischief, he gains nothing from Allah but remoteness.” In other words, our prayers are worthless when it fails to confer worth and value on our earthly life; when we say Allahu Akbar inside the mosque and act Allahu Asgahr outside, then we have lost the essence of our being .I seek Allah’s protection from such a calamity. (guardianfridayworship@gmail.com)


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THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

Sports ‘Freed’ Pistorius to consider World Championships

Nigeria Professional Football League

Pillars thrash 3SC 2-0, Lobi, Gombe also win By Christian Okpara AMBO Mohammed was the hero yesterday at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano, where Kano Pillars continued its impressive beginning top the 2012/2013 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season with a 2-0 defeat of Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) . Mohamed got the two goals, with the first one coming in the 10th minute to end the first half 1-0 for the home team. The striker, who was instrumental to Pillars title run last season, made it two on the 60th minute to push the defending champion to nine points from four games. Another title contender, Lobi Stars, who missed the crown at the dying moments of last season, got its grove right with a 31st minute defeat of youthful ABS with the goal coming from Joshua Abayi. In Port Harcourt, Dolphins were pegged to a 1-1 draw by Sunshine Stars with Ajani Ibrahim giving the visitors a 31st minute lead before Fred Okwara equalised in the 70th. In other games played yesterday, Gombe United defeated Sharks 2-0,

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Kaduna United held Rangers to a 1-1 draw, the same result Nembe City achieved at home against E n y i m b a . Nasarawa United held Warri Wolves to a goalless draw, while El-Kanemi Warriors ended their thrilling tie against Bayelsa United 2-2. On Wednesday, Wikki Tourists beat Akwa United 2-0, with Kwara United beating Heartland 1-0. After yesterday’s games, Kano Pillars lead the log on nine points, followed by Sunshine Stars, Rangers and Kwara United, all on eight points . Bayelsa United and Enyimba are fourth and fifth respectively on seven points, while Shooting Stars, Gombe United, Akwa United and Lobi Stars follow in that order with six points each.

SCAR Pistorius might O consider competing at this year’s World Athletics

Long jumper, Edefiadhe Oreva-Oghene won Nigeria’s first gold medal at the on-going Warri 2013 African Youth Athletics Championship…yesterday.

Ereva-Oghene gives Team Nigeria first gold From Gowon Akpodonor, Warri RUE to its promise, Team Nigeria began its quest for medals at the on-going First Africa Youth Athletics Championship (AYAC) in Warri on a bright note yesterday, grabbing a gold and

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• Egypt, Kenya also celebrate

bronze medal in the boys’ long jump event. Also yesterday, Egypt and Kenya won their first gold medals in the championship in the girls discuss and 3000 meter girls race respectively. . After a colourful opening ceremony, attended by top government functionaries, including Delta State Emmanuel with not even a phone call Governor, from Keshi to his captain to Uduaghan and his deputy, explain the rationale behind Dr. Amos Utuama, Sports this decision.  Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi former Secretary “Yobo is very upset that and Keshi did not bother to even General of the Supreme let him know that he would Council for Sports in Africa, not be involved in the match Awoture Eleyea, the athletes went into action in search of against Kenya. “Like Emenike, who blast- medals. In the boys’ long jump ed the coach for not getting Team Nigeria’s in touch with him after he event, Oreva-Oghene returned to his Russian club Edefiadhe injured from the AFCON, was the cynosure of all eyes, Yobo equally feels insulted as he jumped 6.91m to clinch the gold medal ahead of by Keshi,” a source said.

Players divided over Yobo’s position in Eagles LAYERS of the Super P Eagles are sharply divided after skipper, Joseph Yobo was axed by Coach, Stephen Keshi for the recent Kenya clash, reports MTNFootball.com. The story says some of the players are behind snubbed Yobo and some, particularly the new players in the team, pitching tent with ‘Big Boss’ Keshi. Record-capped Yobo only played a bit role as Nigeria clinched a third Africa Cup of Nations title in South Africa last month. His first-team place was taken by the upcoming Kenneth Omeruo.  Keshi, who himself was Nigeria’s skipper for many years, and Yobo have displayed a united front in public, but in private there is a festering personality clash between the two men.  Yobo, for one, has complained to both players and officials that he is not regarded as team leader by the coach. The height of this cold war between coach and player was when the Fenerbache star defender was axed for the recent World Cup qualifier against Kenya in Calabar

Ethiopian’s Mekonen Ababe, who jumped 6.85m to settle for the silver. Team Nigeria’s Ejumeh David-Oke jumped 6.91m to pick the bronze. . In the girls’ discuss event, Egypt’s duo of Amira Khaled Mahmond and Fatma Abdon grabbed the gold and silver to take their country to the top of the medals table on the first day of competition. While Mahmond threw 42.40m to win the gold, Abdon threw 36.66m to settle for silver medal, just as Konkou Cabina of Benin Republic threw 21.32m to pick the bronze medal. In the girls 3000m race, which drew applause from the spectators, mainly school children from Warri and its environs, Kenyan duo of Chepwogan Mercy and Jopkemei Dansu grabbed the gold and silver, returning at a time of nine minutes, 75.27

NFF writes FIFA, CAF over congested June fixtures ORRIED that the Super Confederations Cup tourna• “That all the matches be W Eagles might not have ment in Brazil. reverted to the original dates enough strength to prosecute its clustered games in June, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) yesterday wrote to world football-governing body, FIFA and the African body, CAF over the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying games and the FIFA Confederations Cup. FIFA had last week adjusted Nigeria’s matches, meaning the Super Eagles would play Kenya in Nairobi on Wednesday, June 5 and take on Namibia in Windhoek on Wednesday, June 12, before flying to the FIFA

Nigeria became Africa’s flagbearer at the tournament following triumph at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa last month. “We have fully appraised our priorities and wish that either of the following options be seriously considered: • That the matches in our African qualifying Group F (Kenya Vs Nigeria; Malawi Vs Namibia and; Namibia Vs Nigeria; Malawi Vs Kenya) be played on the same dates of Wednesday, June 5 and Wednesday, June 12, 2013 respectively. .

of Saturday, June 8 and Saturday, June 15, 2013 respectively,” the letter, signed by NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu, read, inter alia. It means the Super Eagles would either play Kenya’s Harambee Stars and Namibia’s Brave Warriors at the same time and day as Malawi would host Namibia and Kenya respectively, or the matches would take place at the World Cup qualifying weekends as originally scheduled. “We make this request in the

seconds and 9 minutes, 17.69 seconds respectively. Mibret Tefera Adhera of Ethiopia settled for the bronze medal. The Nigerian gold medallist, Edafiadhe, told The Guardian after the victory ceremony that his target was to become a world champion in the nearest future. He praised the effort of Delta State government for putting what he called excellent facilities in place for the competition. . He said, “my major focus is to win gold medal for Nigeria in this year’s Ecowas Games in Burkina Faso. From there, I look forward to the World Championship. I am very happy for this victory.” Unlike the practice in the past when throw and jumps were measured with tapes, the Warri 2013 championship introduced electronic device in measuring the distance. .

interest of fairness, as at the moment, Nigeria and Malawi have same number of points (5) and for Nigeria to play two days before Malawi in each of the two important qualifying games in June will give undue advantage to the Malawians,” the letter concluded. Amadu added, “we see the FIFA Confederations Cup competition as a key tournament, but we also know we have to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals, as priority. It is important to us to go to the FIFA Confederations Cup and then return to Brazil a year later for the FIFA World Cup finals.”

Championships in Moscow, his agent has told the Associated Press. The 26-year-old athlete, who has run at both the Olympics and Paralympics, is charged with murdering his girlfriend but will be allowed to travel abroad after challenging his bail terms. “If he is up for it and qualifies, the World Championships will definitely be on the radar,” Peet van Zyl told AP. The event will be held in August. Pistorius, nicknamed the Blade Runner because of his prosthetic legs, is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot and killed at his home in Pretoria on February 14. He denies murdering the 29year-old, saying he mistook her for an intruder. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which is the body responsible for the World Championships, told BBC Sport he would be “free to run” in Moscow in August on the “basis of the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ principle”. However, Nova, who organises the Manchester City Games, to be held on May 25 and which Pistorius pulled out of, said there were “no plans to invite him over”.

Arsenal’s Diaby out for nine months RSENAL midfielder, Abou A Diaby is facing up to nine months on the sidelines to recover from a knee complaint, the latest in a long line of injuries to have plagued the France international. Diaby tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee at a training session. “Following consultations with specialists, Abou will undergo surgery to repair the injury in the near future,” Arsenal said yesterday. “Abou is expected to be out for around eight to nine months.” Diaby has been blighted by injuries since joining from Auxerre in 2006, fracturing and dislocating an ankle after four months at the Premier League club. The commanding midfielder made only 27 Premier League appearances during the next two seasons. He eventually established himself as a regular in Arsenal’s midfield, scoring seven times in 40 matches in all competitions in 2010-11. But he was restricted to only five appearances last season due to a string of injuries, including ankle and calf problems, and has played only 16 games in the current campaign. The latest problem adds to manager Arsene Wenger’s mounting injury problems. Jack Wilshere is recovering from an ankle problem, which has ruled him out since the loss at Tottenham on March 3.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

SPORTS 55

First African Youth Athletics Championship

Be good ambassadors, minister charges Team Nigeria From Gowon Akpodonor, Warri PORTS Minister/Chairman SCommission of the National Sports (NSC), Bolaji Abdullahi has urged Team Nigeria athletes to be disciplined and hardworking in the course of battling to win laurels for the country at the on-going First African Youth Athletics Championship (AYAC), which began yester-

Leadway Pensure wins UBA Custodians Five-Aside tourney Pensure has won LUBAEADWAY this year’s edition of the Pensions Custodians FiveAside Football tournament by beating Legacy Pensions Managers by 1-0. This year’s match was a clash of big names as four teams under UBA Pensions Custodian Ltd, namely IEI Anchor Pension Managers, Leadway Pensure PFA Limited, Legacy Pensions Managers, and Sigma Pensions Limited participated in the annual tournament. At the end of the very exciting encounter held on Saturday at the Funturf International Stadium, Lekki, Leadway Pensure PFA took the cup, Legacy Pensions Managers came second, while UBA Pensions Custodian Limited came third. In the Egg and Spoon Race newly introduced into the event as part of excitement for the women folk, UBA Pensions Custodians came first, ARM Pensions Managers  was second, while  Legacy Pensions Managers took the third place. The Five- Aside tournament is a yearly football competition organised by UBA Pensions Custodians to encourage employees to cultivate a healthy lifestyle by taking time out to engage in sporting and other recreational activities with their colleagues.

day in Warri. The minister had a breakfast meeting with the athletes shortly before the opening ceremony of the African Youth Athletics Championship, tagged: Warri 2013, yesterday. Abdullahi said during the meeting at Excel Hotel, Warri, he had no doubt that the athletes would top the medals table at the end of the championship, but pleaded with them to be disciplined in whatever they do. He attributed Team Nigeria’s failure at the London 2012 Olympics to ‘indiscipline,’ saying, “you must be disciplined to achieve success in sports. Even excellent facilities won’t take you to the top level, but with discipline you will be there.” Earlier, the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Solomon Ogba told the minister that Team Nigeria had been given the best of the training they need-

ed to excel in the championship. Ogba said, “this is the maiden edition of the competition and we want to win it. It will also be in the profiles of the athletes for years to come.” Meanwhile, the AFN has approved $50 as daily allowance for the athletes for the duration of the competition. Leader of delegation and AFN board member, Jide Josiah told The Guardian yesterday that the amount would serve as motivation for the athletes in the competition. He reveled that the federation dropped one of the country’s medal prospects, Ese Brume, on the ground of ineligibility, saying, “I screened her out last year at the Pastor D.K Olukoya U-18 competition because she has passed the age. This is an under age competition and she can equally win the medals for Nigeria in the U-20 and U-23 competitions.”

has urged the Flying Eagles to win today’s Algeria 2013 African Youth Championship (AYC) thirdplace match against Mali to make up for losing the chance to retain the title. The Flying Eagles on Tuesday lost 0-2 to Egypt in the semifinals of the 2013 AYC in Algeria. This evening in Oran, the Flying Eagles takes on Mali, who lost on penalties to Ghana in its own semi-final. Mali beat Nigeria 1-0 in an opening Group B match. A very critical Maigari said the six-time African champions did not justify the support and confidence of millions of Nigerians as well as the federation and therefore urged them to step up their act beginning with the third-placed match against Mali. “We have given everything you needed so that you could successfully retain your championship, but you could not,” said Maigari, when he addressed

Mba set to break Nigeria league transfer record Eagles’ African SMbaUPER Nations Cup star, Sunday could break the Nigeria league transfer record as Warri Wolves wants Enugu Rangers to pay them N12 million ($75,000) for him. Izu Azuka is believed to have commanded the biggest transfer fee in the domestic league thus far when he joined Sunshine Stars as a free agent two seasons ago for about N9 million. A committee set up by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has ruled that Mba is a player of Warri Wolves and Rangers would have to pay a transfer fee on the player to have him. Both clubs were expected to agree on a transfer fee yesterday for the player, who

has made known his wish to move to Rangers. “Wolves asking price is reasonable because we all know he would go for far more to a club in Europe in the summer and so Rangers could make a huge profit from this transaction,” a top official informed MTNFootball.com. Several European clubs, including Bayer Leverkusen in the German Bundesliga, have indicated interest in the 24-year-old attacking midfielder, who shone at last month’s Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. The former Nigeria schoolboy international scored a tournament-defining winner against favourites Cote d’Ivoire in the quarterfinal of the Nations Cup and followed it up with the champi-

onship winner against Burkina Faso in the final.  The NFF on Wednesday ordered Warri Wolves and Enugu Rangers to agree on a transfer fee for Mba by today or it would fix a fee for the former Enyimba youth team star. This was after a committee set up by the NFF concluded that Mba is still contracted to Warri Wolves. “Failure of the two clubs to reach a reasonable conclusion on the fee will compel the NFF to fix such a transfer fee by Friday, March 29, which must be paid on the agreed terms before the player is cleared to play for his preferred club and continue his career,” said a statement by the NFF Committee on the matter.

Organisers set target for Nigeria Pitch Awards By Christian Okpara Executive Director, Operations, Leadway Pensure, Lanre Idris, presenting the winners’ trophy to the captain of Leadway Pensure, Wole Makonjuola at the end of the UBA Pensions Custodians Five- Aside tourney in Lagos…at the weekend..

Maigari tasks Flying Eagles to win AYC bronze IGERIA Football N Federation (NFF) President, Aminu Maigari,

Record breaker…Sunday Mba is set to become Nigerian League’s costliest player.

the team at the Eden Airport Hotel in Oran. “We all expected a lot more from you, but you did not meet our target. “All the same, you still have a game against Mali to determine who finishes third in the tournament. This will also determine which group you are drawn into in the World Cup in Turkey. “And so I urge you to bounce back with victory on Friday, and after which we will go back and begin preparations for the World Cup.” The NFF has also tasked the coaches, led by John Obuh, to fortify the team with new call-ups ahead of Turkey 2013. Meanwhile, Denmarkbased winger Edafe Egbedi will face a late fitness test ahead of today’s third-place match. Egbedi picked up a thigh injury in a final Group B match against DR Congo and so was ruled out of the semi-final against Egypt. “The pain has subsided and we will now see what he

does in training today (Thursday evening) and then take it from there,” said team doctor, Ozi Salami. The Flying Eagles rested on Wednesday after the 2-0 loss to Egypt.

RGANISERS of the Nigeria O Pitch Awards, Matchmakers Consult, say they are working hard to ensure that the Nigeria Pitch Awards slated for later in the year lives up to its billing as the standard defining sports awards in the country. The Night of Stars Ceremony took place at the Transcorp Hotels, Calabar, on Saturday with some prominent players in Nigerian football bagging awards for their contributions

to the growth of the game. Satisfied with the outcome of the event, which also featured some Nollywood stars and top artistes, Managing Director of Matchmakers Consult, Shina Philips said, “we are looking forward to the grand event, which would feature awards in different football categories, with all the stakeholders in the game present to share their thoughts on Nigerian football. “What we did in Calabar on Saturday was the curtain raiser, with main event billed for later in the year.”

Nollywood stars, Keppy Ekpenyong (left), Bimbo Akintola, Chairman, NFF Media Committee, Emeka Inyama, and Rivers State Sports Commissioner, Fred Igwe, who represented Governor Rotimi Amaechi during the Night of Stars in Calabar…at the weekend.

Reacting to the Night of Stars, Chairman of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee, Emeka Inyama said, “the event was a success, and Matchmakers should be praised for its efforts and the genuineness of its intentions. The young man (Shina Philips) has great ideas, and on the evidence of what we saw in Calabar, NFF is not averse to supporting him and his company to make a statement with the awards proper. “It was a credible show, with sincerity of purpose. The executive governors of Cross River and Rivers states were represented, Super Eagles’ captain and team officials and the NFF Executive Committee members and management were there in full force, alongside prominent stakeholders in the Nigeria game and top Nollywood superstars.” At the Night of Stars, where the theme song for the Nigeria Pitch Awards was rendered and A-list stand-up comedian Julius Agwu entertained, awards were given to Globacom Nigeria Limited, NFF President, Aminu Maigari and the governors of Cross River and Rivers states for their tremendous contributions to the development of the Nigeria game. At the vent, apart from Super Eagles stars, were representatives of governors Liyel Imoke of Cross River State, and Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, NFF Executive Committee members and captains of industry, among others.


THE GUArDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

56

Golf Weekly IBB Club captains’ day celebrations get date By Ezeocha Nze CTIVITIEs marking the end A of tenure of the Captain and Lady Captain of IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja get underway at the club this weekend The Lady Captain’s Cup and the Captain’s Cup, will, however, be preceded by the African Junior Championships, which the club is also hosting. At a press conference, where the package was unfolded, it was revealed that over 400 golfers, comprising of juniors, ladies, amateurs, as well as, professionals are expected to vie for honours at the multipronged events. According to Lady Captain of the club, Ann Ade, hosting the kid championship is a way of encouraging this class of people to take interest in the game. she said junior golfers from spain and the United Kingdom of Nigerian descent, are expected to join their counterparts from more that 15 states of the federation for the tourney, which is expected to commence on April 2. According to Ade, the juniors event will be rounded up with an international tourney, which be played between the internationals and Nigeriabased juniors. she also disclosed that the Lady Captain’s Cup, which will dovetail the junior championship, is slated for next

Friday. About 35 ladies and 85 male golfers are expected to compete for honours. On his part, Captain of the club, Tony Azogu disclosed that invitations have been sent to all the captains of other golf clubs in the country for participation in the Captain’s Cup, noting that this edition of the tourney will, for the first time, feature club-based professionals. About 20 professionals from the club have registered for the championship. Besides the professional, caddies and staff members of the club will also have the opportunity to display their golfing skills. “The Captain’s Cup is an event that holds when the tenure of a particular captain comes to an end. He uses the goodwill that he gathered during his tenure to bring together all golfers and all manner of people that supported him during his tenure. This year, we are beginning on Monday April 10 with the caddies and members of staff of the club, who we encourage to embrace golf, as well as, the tennis section. “We are also trying to encourage the pros to be part of the Captain’s Cup, which is very uncommon. About 20 professionals players will be part of what we are doing. They will play on Tuesday. Also there will be a special Birthday Kitty, which is usually organised by the ladies. More than 400 golfers will be expected to participate or be part of the event.”

18th Moanda Open

Willy finishes level par in round, Odoh in good stead By Eno-Abasi Sunday IGErIA’s two-man team to N the 18th Moanda Open made up of Oche Andrew Odoh of IBB Golf and Country Club, Abuja and Gift Willy of Air Assault Golf Club, Port Harcourt began their search for glory on a good note. Willy was leading the pack with 3 under par up to the last hole, before he went into Out of Bounds (OB) to eventually finish with a score of 72, level par. His slight set back benefitted defending champion, Vincent Torgah, who took a bold step towards defending the championship with an opening round of 69, three under par. Torgah, resident professional at Tema Golf Club, Ghana won the 2012 event with two shots having coasted past Nigeria’s Willy

Oboh

on the final day. Odoh holed out his first round with +3 finishing with 75, while Emos Korblah tailed behind with +5. “I am going to stick to my game plan despite what has happened and I am sure I will have a good round tomorrow (today). We have three more rounds to go and I will try to play my game and beat the course,” Willy told The Guardian from Gabon. He continued, “It is too early to judge things with the first day score and on a course like this Manga Golf course. Patience and consistency are key and will determine how things will turn out.” Late Nigerian ace, Ali Abdullahi won the Moanda Open in 2010 on his first attempt.

Oboh, others begin search for world ranking points Tuesday By Eno-Abasi Sunday VEr 60 youths, three of O whom, are drawn from Europe, will from next Tuesday at the IBB Golf and Country Club, Abuja, begin their quest for world-ranking points at the African Junior Championships. The tourney, which runs from April 2nd to 7th, is organised by Kids Golf International (KGI) in concert with the Ladies section of the host IBB Club. Among the kids expected to jostle for honours is the

defending champion of Ikoyi (Club) Junior Open Championship, who is also the Ikeja Junior Open champion, 11-year-old Georgia Oboh. Oboh, who at age seven, won the British Junior Golf Tour Winter Finals in 2008, has continually reiterated her determination to “become the first Nigerian to make it to the number one spot on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), stressing that the journey to that destination would begin early this year with her participation in

world-ranking events. The Lekki British International school student, who missed the HDA and Murcia Ladies Open (Hacienda Ladies Festival), a r & A world-ranking points event in spain last month, had told The Guardian in an earlier interview that “in the next 10 years, I want to see myself playing in the LPGA with some of the best golfers in the world. But to get to that stage, I have to get into the World Amateur ranking, which involves a lot of traveling and playing in

some of the best tournaments. “From there, I will plan to go to the Qualifying school or take a different route by winning an LPGA tournament, which would give me a complete exemption. After this, I would have balanced my card otherwise I will have to still go back to the Q-school.” Oboh, who is arriving Abuja tomorrow with her team, will embark on her first practice round the following day in preparation for a great outing. Last year, Oboh was named as one of KGI Ambassadors,

whose role, among others, is to be golf ambassadors for the organisation in particular and the country at large. This is the second time KGI, an indigenous outfit dedicated to developing the game of golf in Nigeria and West Africa through tournaments and training programmes for children aged 5-18years old, is staging the African Junior Championship. The first last year, had no world ranking points on offer. The outfit, which is affiliated with organisations such as the

U.s. Kids Golf Foundation, where young talented golfers are exposed to international tournaments in Europe and the United states, also runs coaching programmes for golf coaches and aspiring golf coaches, where they are certified through the KGI Academy. The KGI is now the only Nigerian outfit that has the franchise to stage world ranking events for kids as well as the only licensed firm to sell U.s. Kids golf clubs for kids on the African continent.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday March 29, 2013

GOlFWEEKlY

57

Max Glauert: Pro golfer with a handicap Fantastic Max Glauert, a tour professional with just two fingers on one hand is taking on the elite and desires to make a strong point ATCH Max Glauert swing W a golf club and it’s immediately apparent that he is blessed with that unmistakable easy but powerful whip of the body that marks out seriously talented players. But there is something unusual about this young German. “Not many people recognise in Germany that I have only two fingers on my right hand,” says Max. “I was playing as a good amateur for years when some guys suddenly said, “Oh, he only has two fingers, I didn’t even notice.” Incredible, isn’t it? Max was born with only a thumb and little finger on his right hand, the hand used to exert the most force on the ball in the golf swing, yet still he conjures enough power to crunch his tee shots an average of 290 yards and will this week compete on the European Tour. Yes, the golf swing is powered by the larger muscles of the torso, not by the hands, but this is a remarkable man, with huge ambitions.

“I think I can win tournaments on the European Tour. I’m a realistic guy so I don’t think I go too far by saying this. I know what I can do and if you see guys on the Tour they make some crap shots sometimes- I do too– but I’m not too far away from being a top-50 guy.’ This week, Max will get his chance to see those ‘crap shots’ up close at the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco.  At 27-years-old he has already proved he can compete on the Challenge Tour (the step below the European Tour). But this is a chance to test himself against the best – Ryder Cup players in the Molinari brothers and David Howell, and the likes of Alvaro Quiros and Marcel Siem. As always with every serious talent, sport runs in the blood. Max’s father pushed him into playing tennis, hockey, football and table tennis. He also went horse riding with his mother. The only handicap of any concern was one that would soon reach plus four. “It all built the strength in my

right hand. No one said I couldn’t do it,’ Max explains. ‘I started with hockey and I was pretty good. When I was nine I was selected for the 14-year-olds’ team.  You can really compare it to golf. It wasn’t a big difference changing to golf when I was 12. I just did what I was doing all the time, hitting balls with a club.’ When asked if he was ever offered any artificial aids to help his right hand grip the club, the answer is a firm ‘no.’ He adds, ‘my coach came to me when I was starting to play. He showed me the grip and that was that.’ But did anyone ever try to put him off playing sport due to his hand? You know what kids are like - the playground can be cruel and unforgiving for anyone slightly different. ‘No, because I was always bigger!’ And at 6ft 4in and weighing 14 stone, he still is. From learning the game at his home club of Grevenmühle, Max then

moved on to the Dusseldorfer, and then finally Hubbelrath, which he describes as ‘the Bayern Munich’ of golf clubs. “They always try to get the best players from the surrounding area. If you want to play in this team you have to do something good.” While at Hubbelrath, he met his namesake, Max Kieffer. The pair played for the German national team and are now firm friends. Kieffer now regularly finishes in the top 30 on the European Tour, while Max has yet to make that step up.  “I’m used to playing with Max - I know I can beat him. I’m pretty much in front against him if you count it on Euros! It helps me because I know I can do what he does. I just need the chance to play on the European Tour.” Kieffer is, however, five years younger and has already made it. Is it possible that Max’s talent has taken him so far, but his lack of fingers means he has

reached the limit of his achievements? Max’s golfing idol is Charl Schwartzel – “His swing is incredible, I love to watch him.” – but he admits, “Because of the grip I can’t do that technically.” He adds, “I’m not really happy with my upper position (in the swing). If I fixed it to the way I want to have it I cannot swing it any more, because at some points I’m missing some fingers to get the turn right. But it will always be like that. I can swing it another way but then the balls go crazy.” But Max still firmly believes he has what it takes to make the next step, and why not? When you’ve already proven yourself better than 99.9 per cent of the 10-fingered golfing world, then there’s no reason to think he can’t take one final big step.  “Maybe I would be somewhere else (with my game) if I had more fingers but to be

Incredible, isn’t it? Max was born with only a thumb and little finger on his right hand, the hand used to exert the most force on the ball in the golf swing, yet still he conjures enough power to crunch his tee shots an average of 290 yards and will this week compete on the European Tour.

honest I don’t think so and I don’t know,” he says defiantly. Max is sure he knows what is actually holding him back – and it’s not a lack of fingers. “I’m a little like Sergio Garcia playing really good but the putter is a little bad. “If my putting gets good – it’s normally average – then I can win tournaments. If my putting was a little better from the two- to five-metre range then there’s no limit.” To that end, he has met up with Phil Kenyon, putting coach to the stars, before this week’s date in North Africa.  As well as, Morocco, Max has further opportunities to beat the big boys at St Omer, Madeira, and at his big one, the BMW International in Munich. “I’m hoping for a top 30 but not putting pressure on,” he says. “I’ll just go out and have some fun, make some putts, and see what happens.” If what happens turns out to be what he thinks he’s capable of, this remarkable man can expect a lot more attention. And that can only be a good thing, according to Max. “Hopefully if a few more people take notice then I can be an inspiration to others.” Watch him in action, just once, and he


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SPORTS 59

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

English Premiership

Mancini gives up on title race ANCHESTER City M Manager, Roberto Mancini threw in the towel for his club’s Premier League title challenge yesterday, saying the motivation for the rest of the season was to keep the teams below them at a safe distance. Defeat to Everton in their last Premier League outing left City trailing leaders Manchester United by 15 points with nine games remaining. United have shown no signs of wilting under the pressure of wresting the English title back from their near neighbours and have won their last six league matches. “It’s over but this doesn’t change anything because we should do our best from now to the end,” Mancini told reporters. “Every top team, when they can’t win a title, should still try to play well and win all their games.” Mancini made the same assessment last season when City trailed United by eight points with six games to go before they rallied to snatch the title on the final day on goal difference. “This is different (to last season),” Mancini added. “I don’t know how we will finish this season, because we have Chelsea four points behind us and Tottenham five points

behind. “We have nine games left and for this reason it’s important we keep working hard and well.” A seemingly crucial part of City’s decline in recent weeks has been the absence of captain and defender, Vincent Kompany, who has been out with a calf injury since Jan. 26. In that period, City have dropped 10 points, losing twice and drawing twice, to further cement United’s lead at the top of the table. Kompany made his return to action with Belgium in a World Cup qualifier on

Tuesday, a decision that annoyed Mancini who had carefully nurtured the defender back to fitness over the last two months. “He didn’t play for us for 60 days and then he went to play for the Belgium team,” Mancini said. “I did not agree with this. I think sometimes some managers of national teams should understand the situation. This player plays for the club, and the club, every month, pay his salary. I don’t know if he is okay or not. One week before the international break

Mancini

Wenger backs Arsenal to seal top four spot RSENE Wenger has insisted A he still believes Arsenal will secure Champions League football next season by finishing in the top four this term. The Gunners currently sit in fifth place in the Premier League table, four points behind north London rival Tottenham, which occupies the fourth and final automatic qualification spot. The Frenchman’s side has a game in hand over its neighbor, though, and the 63-yearold insisted if his players carry their recent form into their remaining fixtures then a topfour finish is achievable. “If we are consistent in the last nine games, we’ll do it,” he told reporters. “We want to continue our form. The Bayern and Swansea results are a good inspiration for that.” Reading, which is secondbottom in the league table, visits the Emirates on

Saturday in what is Nigel Adkins’ first game in charge since replacing sacked Brian McDermott. Wenger sent his sympathies to the former Royals boss, but indicated he is pleased to see the former Southampton manager, who was relieved of his duties at St Mary’s in January, given another chance in the top flight.

Work like Barcelona, Redknapp charges QPR ARRY Redknapp has told H QPR they must work like Barcelona in order to win their battle against relegation from the Barclays Premier League. QPR head to Fulham on Monday night bottom of the table, seven points adrift of Aston Villa in 17th place and

Table Team Man Utd Man City Chelsea Tottenham Arsenal Everton Liverpool West Brom Swansea Fulham Stoke Norwich Newcastle West Ham Sunderland Southampton Aston Villa Wigan Reading QPR

P 29 29 29 30 29 29 30 30 30 29 30 30 30 29 30 30 30 29 30 30

“It’s sad to see (McDermott) go,” he added. “It’s good to see (Adkins) back and that he gets a chance again.” While Arsenal hosts the Premier League strugglers, Spurs travel to League Cup champion Swansea and Everton, which is just two points behind the Gunners, welcomes Stoke to Goodison Park in the later kickoff.

GD 38 25 28 14 23 11 18 2 2 -4 -8 -18 -11 -11 -9 -10 -25 -21 -22 -22

Pts 74 59 55 54 50 48 45 44 40 36 34 34 33 33 31 31 30 27 23 23

with only eight matches left to dig themselves out of trouble. Redknapp remains convinced QPR can do it and he believes their attacking stars like Bobby Zamora, Adel Taarabt and Loic Remy will be key to their chances. But the manager insisted the most important factor in the fight for survival would be QPR’s work ethic, a quality he admires in Barcelona. “The best teams work the hardest,” said Redknapp. “People think the best teams just play football. It’s a fallacy. The best team in the world is Barcelona and they are hardest-working team. “They work harder than anyone else without the ball and they work harder than anyone else when they’ve got the ball. We’ve got to work hard too. It’s not a case of picking scrappers. Whoever I pick, whether they think they’re skilful players or not, they’ve all got to work. “We can get out of it. We’re playing well. If we were in bad form I’d be more worried. That gives us a chance. With eight games to go, that’s positive for us. There are four or five wins for us in the games left. “We’ve got to go to Fulham and win the game. It’s a local derby, we’ll take a huge following with us. We want a positive result.”


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SchoolSports Blue coasts to victory at Golden Bunch athletics tournament RAWING inspiration from D Allen Osuji, Blue House confirmed its superiority over others to claim victory at the maiden inter-house sports competition of Golden Bunch School. With parents and guardians on hand to cheer the athletes to victory at the one-day tournament held at the University of Lagos Sports Centre, Blue showed its stuff ahead of other teams. Amassing 11 gold, eight silver and seven bronze medals, Blue House was adjudged the overall champion with Osuji named the best athlete of the competition. To finish second, Red House won nine gold, 10 silver and three bronze medals, while Yellow House has seven gold,

six silver and 15 bronze medals to settle for third place. Green House came fourth with two gold, five silver and four bronze medals. In her remarks, the school director, Mrs. Modupe Ogundimu the tournament affirmed the school’s commitment to grooming a total child. “The inter-house sports of today is set to re-emphasis the interest of the school in grooming well rounded and balanced citizens. The role of sports and physical activities cannot be over emphasised. Integrating sports in the curriculum will not only promote values like team spirit, endurance, focus, discipline, mental alertness and fitness,” Ogundimu said.

Students of Purple Krown College, Enugu, celebrating with their trophy after beating Government Secondary School, Wuse, Abuja, 1-0 to win the 2013 Shell Cup.

Shell/NNPC All Nigeria Secondary Schools Football Championship Fall-Out

Purple Krown’s Emmanuel wants to be a Golden Eaglet By Tony Nwanne OST valuable player (MVP) at the just concluded 2013 Shell/NNPC All Nigeria Secondary Schools Football Championship, also known as, Shell Cup, Uzodimma Emmanuel of Purple Krown College, Enugu, says his ambition is to play for the national under-17 team, the Golden Eaglet. Emmanuel, who was unanimously picked as the best player at the competition, which ended at the Teslim

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Balogun Stadium, Lagos, on Sunday, believes that playing for the national cadet team would prepare him for a successful career in the game. The soft-spoken youngster, who engineered most of the moves made by his school, believes that joining the U-17 team even while still in school would not pose much problem for him, as his teachers have taught him how to combine academics with sports. “I admire Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo, as well as,

Mikel Obi, because of their confidence in the game. “These players went through the junior ranks to stardom and I believe the same education would benefit me,” he said. Emmanuel attributes his team’s success to the unity among the players, and the dedication of his sports officials, adding that his school has already started preparing for the next edition of the competition.

Favour dominates Wellsprings inter-house games By Mary Ogar AVOUR House dominated the 7th annual inter-house sports competition of Wellspring College, with the school principal, Mrs. Oluwayemisi Oloriade, charging the students to make us of the sporting facilities that would them to boost their psychomotor. The event, recorded large

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turnout of participants as Favour House clinched first place with 15 gold, 12 silver and six bronze medals, Goodness House came second with 14 gold, 12 silver and eight bronze medals while the third position went to Praise House with eight gold medals, nine silver medals, 16 bronze medals. Addressing guests and par-

Honours for Honours House at Laureates College athletics fiesta ONOURS House indeed H lived up to their name by claiming all the honours at the yearly inter-house sports competition of Laureates College. The one-day sports fiesta was held at Union Bank Sports Club in Surulere with Uche Nzeruem inspiring Honours to victory. To be ascertained as the eventual winner, Honours garnered 10 gold medals ahead of Elegance House, which has six gold medals. Fidelity finished third with three gold medals. Aside from lifting Honours

to victory, the rare skills displayed by Nzeruem attracted the Chairman, Board of Governors of the school, Engr. Foluseke Somolu, who described the athlete as a “very promising and a material, which can be groomed for national, continental and global honours for the country.” In his goodwill address, a member of the board of governors, Mr. Uwem Ankak charged parents and guardians to help their wards to nurture their talents in sports, while reiterating the school commitment to grooming a total child.

ticipants at the competition held at the University of Lagos Sports Complex, Oloriade warned that over concentration on the cognitive and affective domain would only produce an academically sound child. According to her, a combination of the cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills would ensure a thoroughly bred youth who will not only be knowledgeable and disciplined but also a healthy youth who will in the future be able to steer the course of the country as a great leader.

Emmanuel gave Purple Krown the victory over Government Secondary School, Wuse, Abuja, in the final of the 2013 edition of the competition by scoring the only goal of the game in the 55th minute through a penalty kick. Purple Krown College, Enugu qualified for the final after beating Government College, Ibadan in the semi-final 4-1, while Government Secondary School, Wuse, Abuja defeated Government Arabic College, Gwale, Kano 6-5 via penalties after a 1-1 full time score. Government Arabic College, Gwale, Kano defeated Government College, Ibadan 3-0 in the third place game. Apart from the MVP won by Emmanuel, other players also won awards, with Faisal Ali of Government Arabic College, Gwale, Kano, taking the honour as the Best Goalkeeper, while Arinze Okanpa of Purple Krown College, Enugu, won the Best Defender award. The Best Midfield Player was Malomo Taofeek of Government College, Ibadan, with Osayemeh Joshua of Purple Krown College, Enugu winning the Highest Goalscorer award.

Blue House rules at Fitjoy sports meet LUE House were crowned their readiness to win the B the overall winner of the schools sports competition 8th inter-house sports chamright from the beginning of pionship of Fitjoy Schools, which was held at Agege Stadium. After a keenly contested schools sports tournament, which was witnessed by parents, guardians and invited guests, Blue House topped the medals table with with 10 gold, eight silver and six bronze medals, beating Green House to the second position with nine gold, seven silver and eight bronze medals. Orange House finished third with eight gold, eight silver and nine bronze medals, while Yellow House came fourth with seven gold, 11 silver and 11 bronze medals. Students and pupils of Blue House left no one in doubt of

the one-day tournament with their excellent display in all the events. They put up good display in events like march past, tiny tots, 50m, 75m, 100m in the senior and junior categories, picking the ball, filling the basket, lime and spoon race, skipping race, 200m and 400m. The team received a loud ovation from the parents and invited guests when they were adjudged the champion. Proprietress of Fitjoy Nursery, Primary and Secondary Schools, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Oyeyinka commended the spirit of sportsmanship of the students, saying in a competition like this, there is no winners and no losers.

Orange dethrones Yellow at De Modern Pace sports meet ELLOW House were last Y weekend dethroned by Orange House at the yearly inter-house sports competition of De Modern Pace School, which took place at Pius Ikedia Field, Abesan Estate, Ipaja in Lagos. To unseat Yellow, Orange won 17 gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze medals to confine the defending champion to second place. Former champion – Yellow amassed 15 gold, 14 silver and 10 bronze medals to play second fiddle to the new champion. Purple House, which finished

third has eight gold, eight silver and 10 bronze medals, while Blue won four gold, eight silver and 11 bronze medals to settle for fourth place at the one-day championship. Oyinlola Omogunroye was adjudged the best athlete after claiming gold medals in 100, 200, 400 and 800metres. The event was well attended with the Oba of Ipaja, Stephen Akinniyi gracing the competition. The tournament also received support of Honeywell Flour Mill and banks like Access, Stanbic, as well as, Ultimate

NBS Centre marks 18th inter-house sports championship By Tony Nwanne HE University of Lagos Sports Complex will next week Thursday come alive, as the Nigeria Society of the Blind (NSB), will be holding its 18th inter-house sports competition for the Vocational Training Centre for the School of the Blind, Oshodi. The 18th edition will mark the first inter-house sports

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Athletes compete at Laureates College inter-house sports competition held at Union Bank Sports Club in Lagos on Monday.

competition being organised outside the centre. The Chairman, Cxecutive Council of NSB, Abiola Agbaje told journalists that the need to take the competition outside was meant to make the students feel home away from home, adding that for 17 years, the competition has always been staged at the centre. At the one-day competition, the participants will compete for honours in 15 events.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

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THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

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Tennis The Player’s Mind

keep playing like this you’ll lose.” Scenario 2: The coach says, “Be focused and calm, and you’ll win this match.” In the first scenario the player has to process the possibility of “being nervous” and losing the match. But in the second scenario, the player is processing “being focused and calm” and winning the match. Everything a coach says will change a player’s thoughts, so it’s By Simon Capon important that coaches learn How important do you think it and use their language carefully is for coaches to be able to create and skillfully. The key is to (**ital)guide(**reg) players motivation and belief in their players just by talking to them? toward their goals, not away To know that every time your coach communicates with you, he or she will feed you positive thoughts, and with a focus on success? As a player, right now you’re probably thinking, “That sounds perfect!” The big question, though, is, “How can my coach do this?” As a coach, every time we talk to someone we will change their internal representation. Put differently, every time we talk to a player, we will change the pictures, sounds and feelings they have in their mind at that particular moment. As a result, we will change the way they feel. Whenever we talk to a player, that individual has to process the words we use, so that the sentence actually makes sense. Coaches need to tell players what they (**ital) want (**reg) them to do, never what they (**ital) don’t (**reg) want them to do. Consider these two scenarios: Scenario 1: A coach says to a player: “Stop being so nervous, if you

IN THE GYM

Knee Bracing

from failure. Once a coach starts using this effectively, he or she can become much more creative. If the coach is able to choose his words carefully, it now becomes possible to access different feelings and awareness that can benefit a player. If the coach highlights a positive, the player has to instantly become aware of it, and again their internal representation changes. This also allows the coach to keep everyone in a highly motivated state during training. Here’s another example:

Scenario 1: A coach says, “How did the last training session go?” Scenario 2: The coach says, “I want you to notice all the benefits of the last session, and tell me how they will help you in future matches.” In the first scenario the coach allowed the player’s thinking to go into a positive or a negative state. There was no direction for their thoughts. If the player had a poor previous session, he or she would certainly think about all the negatives and create a poor state for this new session.

In the second scenario the coach used his words to direct the player’s thinking; he has made sure their minds were looking for the benefits of the last session, and how it will help them in the future. As a result, the player’s thoughts will for that instant become positive. When a coach constantly uses these language skills, it will make a huge difference to the thinking patterns and results of the player. Coaches need to use these consciously as often as they can, and after a short amount of time it will become habit. Soon, the coach will become aware that

Patellar tendonitis’ can keep you off the court. Here’s what you can do to keep your knees healthy.

‘By Simon B. Small N TENNIS, court coverage is an important part of winning. But if you can’t cover the court effectively, it could be that you’re fighting an injury or pain. One of the most common is pain in one or both knees. Certainly some injuries to the knee may be somewhat obvious, showing up on X-rays or quickly apparent in examinations. Some injuries, though, are not exactly inside the knee joint, but in front or around it, yet often the discomfort it creates makes play impossible. Some top professionals have had to take considerable time off due to this painful condition. Patellar tendonitis is a condition that describes an injury affecting the tendons that connect the patella or kneecap to the tibia or

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In association with

shin bone. The patellar tendon functions primarily to assist the lower leg muscles, allowing movement. This tendon is generally in use when a person is playing tennis, running or jumping. Patellar tendonitis commonly occurs when the patellar tendon is overused during workouts, causing stress on the tendon. The body may attempt to repair the small tears, but if you cannot keep up, the inflammation in the tendon may worsen. Soon the pain will grow until it becomes constant. Often, patellar tendonitis occurs in athletes who are required to jump in sports, such as tennis. Due to the nature of stress involved, it is also known as “Jumper’s Knee.” Patellar tendonitis can also occur in people who have alignment problems in their legs. This alignment problem can result

players enjoy working with them simply because they are focused and in a more positive psychological state. There are many more language patterns that coaches can learn; the more they discover, the greater their ability to extract excellence from players. Simon Capon is a neuro-linguistic programming trainer in the UK who helps player, coaches and others achieve excellence. In August, he will debut an online training program. His website is www.simoncapon.co.uk; he can be reached at info@simoncapon.co.uk.

may also be used. This supports the tendon and in some from having wide hips, being pressure in different areas of the patients can control the pain. Important is proper foot-to-leg knock-kneed, or having feet that knee can help locate the pain. alignment and proper cusroll inward when you run or One test to reproduce the pain tom-balance orthotics with walk, called “overpronation.” and find its location is for the The patellar tendon may somepatient to do deep knee bends. appropriately wide-soled tennis shoes. times tear during strenuous Additionally, ultrasound may activity. It is not actually clear reveal the location of tendon what the exact cause of patellar tears in the knee. MRI or magnet- Rehab Exercises You can generally start rehab tendonitis is. However, it is ic resonance imaging may disbelieved that there are certain play subtle changes or damages exercises immediately, or factors that can be the cause, in the patellar tendon. Any one when pain in the kneecap among them a muscle imbaltest alone may not be sufficient lessens to the point that movement is possible without ance where the stronger muscles to determine if the person has severe discomfort. Also, hampull harder on the patellar patellar tendonitis, and the region causing the tendonitis, degree or severity of the injury. string stretches can be done immediately. raised kneecaps, leg misalignOnce the diagnosis has been When the pain in the knee has ments, tightness of the legs, and established, treatment should decreased, you can do quadricontinued stress on the patellar consist of ice 15 to 20 minutes ceps stretches and start tendon. three to four times per day for several days. Oral medications in strengthening the quadriceps thigh muscle. The areas to Diagnosing Patellar Tendonitis the form of non-steroidal antiTo diagnose patellar tendonitis, a inflammatories, such as Advil or strengthen are around the patellar tendon and include doctor may first observe the Naprosyn, may be used. symptoms and ask several ques- An infrapatellar strap, which is mobilizing and strengthening tions. After a basic physical exam, worn across the patellar tendon, the surrounding tendons,


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 29, 2013

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Growing a champion By Nick Bollettieri T ANY GIVEN TIME at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, we have students attending from more than 72 different countries, from socioeconomic groups that range from those on full scholarship to those of incredible wealth. As diverse as the group is, there are certain key traits we look for in identifying future champions. After 50 plus years of coaching I can say with confidence that I have seen and worked with just about every makeup of player at one time or another. With few exceptions, I have found the following to be true: 1. Motivation is a by-product of genuine hunger. 2. Parents have the distinct ability to sabotage their children’s chances of achieving their highest level of performance (and, often do). 3. Champions are born, not made. Let me break these down a little bit further… People often bring their 10-, 11-, 12-yearolds to me and request that I “motivate” them. Usually when this happens, I have a child standing in front of me that either (a) doesn’t really want to

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By Brendan Chaplin Deadlift HE DEADLIFT has to be the best exercise for total body structural strength development, a key facet for tennis performance. It targets the key muscles for explosiveness—the glutes—and it builds strength with range of motion, which is very important for tennis. Deadlifts are a better exercise choice than other classic strength movements such as back squats for longer limbed athletes

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IN THE GYM

play tennis, (b) doesn’t have the natural talent it will take, (c) doesn’t have the heart of a champion, or (d) all of the above. So, the question then becomes, “What can I do for this child?” At best, I can build up their level of confidence— which may or may not result in a more motivated child. The worst-case scenario (for the parent anyway) is when I am completely honest with them about their child’s slim chances of becoming a “successful” professional player. When I met first met my wife she knew very little about sports and even less about tennis in particular. One day she asked me if rich kids ever become top professionals. Up until then I hadn’t ever really given it much thought. But in going over past players in my mind, I realized that the answer to her question was in fact, “no”—a fact that I believe is true for most professional sports. To become a top player in the world takes a tremendous amount of time and huge sacrifices, including a “normal” childhood. Champions spend the majority of their youth fine-tuning their bodies and their skills on the court. This is true for the vast majority

Exercises for Explosive Tennis (such as tennis players) as the hip position is slightly higher than in squats. Another advantage about a deadlift is that you can change the foot position to make it more tennis-specific and perform what is known as a sumo deadlift (shown). This variation targets the adductors, a key muscle group for strength in the low positions that all coaches encourage in their players. * Make sure your shoulders are in front of the bar and your shins are touching the bar. * Grasp the bar with your hands shoulderwidth apart. * Push your chest out and your hips back to

Knee Bracing

such as the quadriceps and hamstrings. Exercises include hamstring stretch, quadriceps isometrics and stretch, straight-leg raises, step-up exercises, wall squats, resisted-knee extension, and patella mobilization stretches. In some cases, a new surgical procedure—“percutaneous needle tenotomy” may be effective. This involves a technique where a small-gauge needle and syringe using local anesthesia and guided by an ultrasound are used to poke several small holes in deep fascia (a thin, fibrous membrane that strengthens ligaments around joints). The tenotomy, which is a surgical division of a tendon, induces an acute

of competitive sports. So for kids of affluence who are pretty much guaranteed a college education and in some cases a high-paying job in the family business, the incentive to spend seven to eight hours a day honing their tennis game is far less than for a child who comes from limited resources and whose only real “chance” to rise above the crowd is to push themselves to their physical limits on a daily basis. If you were to “grow” a champion, the following might be helpful “gardening” advice… If motivation is the plant, then a genuine “hunger for more” is the seed. Selfsacrifice, desire, and deprivation are the water, sun and food that are needed to successfully germinate and help motivation grow. It will be their level of self-discipline, self-respect and the strength of their support team that will get them through the storms (on the court and off) that lay before them, and it will be their quest to be the very best they can be that will make them rise above those around them. It’s easy to see why there are so few world-class professional athletes, or world-class anything for that matter. Not only do you have to have some nat-

ural talent, the willingness to sacrifice all for your goal, and a strong support system, but you also must have the heart of a lion. The majority of players have at least one of these traits; several have two, maybe three of them. And then you have a very, very small number of players who have them all. Those are the ones who become champions at whatever they pursue. Nick Bollettieri is the founder and president of Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, now part of the IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla. He has coached nine No. 1 tennis players, has worked with a number of professional players, and has published numerous tennis books, videos and audio CDs.

Maria Sharapova

before the other, and on many occasions the contact point for a groundstroke will be in some kind of lunge position very similar to the split squat. flatten your back. This exercise improves speed of move* If your back is not flat in the start posiment around the court as well as station elevate the bar from the floor. bility at the contact point. * Your weight should be on your heels. You can use dumbbells or barbells for * Take a deep breath and tighten your this exercise. However you should be trunk area. * Look straight ahead and pull your shoul- able to complete 3 sets of 15 repetitions on each leg with your own body ders back. weight before you even consider * Always lift the bar slowly to begin and adding external loads. then speed up. * Grasp the bar as close together as * Drive your hips through as you lift the your hands will comfortably go. bar. * 3 sets of 4-6 repetitions is recommended. * Ensure your feet are in a wide lunge position with your weight through the front heel and the rear toes. Split Squat The split squat is an excellent exercise * Take a deep breath and descend into the squat position shown; your knee for tennis players because it builds should be close but not touching the strength one leg at a time. All movefloor. ment is initiated by one leg pushing

* Push back up through your front heel and repeat for the remainder of the set before changing legs. * 3 sets of 6 repetitions on each leg is recommended. Lateral Lunge with Push This is a great exercise for training that explosive push-off and recovery to enable you to get to the next shot quickly. It is a tough and humbling exercise as most players need only use their own body weight to begin with before adding external weight. It trains the adductors quads and glutes in a more explosive manner than that used in deadlifts and squats. The exercise can be done on court or in the gym and actually makes a good addition to a warm-up over time. * Start by standing tall, lifting one leg and balancing. * Take a step to the side with the bent leg, absorb the force and push back to the start position. * Try to keep your chest out and push your hips back as you step. * Over time try to get lower in the squat position before pushing off. * Your non-bent leg should remain straight at all times. * An intermediate stage is to take a step to work on your strength in this position by performing lateral squats. This is very similar, however you stay in the wide base position. Work on controlling the force more than producing it.

ting with legs crossed, sitting rolling back on the heels, and kneeling directly on knee caps. Also, be careful of excessive stair- or inflammatory response. Then platelet hill-climbing, and bike riding with the plasma from the patient’s own blood is injected into the area where the tenoto- 1. Jogging straight ahead without limping. seat too low. And don’t forget that my was performed. These cells contain 2. Sprinting straight ahead without limp- proper shoes with orthotic balance should be updated regularly. ing. healing and growth factors, which Should problems reoccur, consult 3. 45-degree angle runs. stimulate the growth of good quality with a professional regarding your fascial tissue, which in turn promotes 4. 90-degree angle runs. exercise and conditioning routine. 5. 15-yard figure-8 runs. healing. Once the rehab exercises have started, 6. 5-yard figure-8 runs. Simon B. Small, DPM, FACFS, FAAPSM, is a 7. Jumping without pain. have regular evaluations of your board-certified Sports Medicine Specialist, progress. Return to sports and other Podiatrist and President of Pro-Support Preventing Patellar Tendonitis activities will be determined by how the knee recovers. The longer the symp- Patellar tendonitis can best be prevent- Systems Inc. He provides care and orthotics for individual athletes and industrial worktoms before treatment have started, the ed by having strong thigh muscles ers’ needs. Information is available at (quadriceps). It’s also important to longer the recovery. avoid exercises that threaten the health www.prosupportsystems.com. Signs that recovery have occurred TO BE CONTINUED of the knee joint. You should limit deep include being able to fully straighten knee bends, excessive bending or sitand bend the knee without pain; regaining normal strength in the knee and leg; and no swelling in the knee. At this time, progressive exercises may be increased to include:


TheGuardian

Friday, March 29, 2013

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

By Ikechukwu Okoli EVERAL decades ago, when progress in the process of economic growth was started in many underdeveloped countries after they had won freedom from their colonial subjugation, no one had visualised that there could be any conflict between economic growth and social justice in those countries. The prevailing belief during that period was that rapid growth was beneficial to everyone, and therefore, the need for undertaking special programmes to create employment opportunities, alleviate poverty, reduce corruption and tackle income and wealth inequality was not felt. However, soon after, it was discovered that even substantial rise in GDP in various underdeveloped countries did not make any appreciable difference in the lives of several people as the benefits of growth did not trickle down as expected. The foregoing undoubtedly depicts the state of affairs in Nigeria. Information from the National Bureau of Statistics reveals that inequality, as measured by the Gini Coefficient, has been increasing since 1985. It, however, declined insignificantly in 1992. It declined from 0.43 in 1985 to 0.41 in 1992 and rose to 0.49 in 1996. Specifically, in 2004, the Gini Coefficient was 0.4296 whereas in 2010 it was 0.4470 indicating that inequality increased by 4.1 per cent nationally. Similarly, real GDP growth rate has moved from -2.7 per cent in 1982 (with some marked exceptionally high rates in 1985, 1988, 1989 and 1990) to 7.36 in 2011. While all this statistics were increasing (or improving, if you like), poverty level moved from 28.1 per cent (or 17.1 million people) in 1980 to over 69 per cent (or 112.47 million people) in 2010. The question is who then benefits from economic growth? This question can be partly answered by first understanding where the growth comes from. Growth in Nigeria until the early 1970s was driven by agriculture. Agriculture’s share of GDP was 47.6 per cent in 1970. However, the oil sector emerged the leading source of growth following the oil price shock of 1973/74. This development led to a major decline in the share of agriculture in the GDP as agriculture’s share of GDP declined by 16.8 per cent within a decade from the 47.6 per cent recorded in 1970 to 30.8 per cent in 1980. This decline was followed by a corresponding increase in the contribution of oil to GDP from 7.1 and to 22.0 per cent within the same period. This trend has only slowly and insignificantly changed over the decades. Agriculture’s share of GDP as at 2011 was 40.24 per cent while that of the oil sector was 14.71 per cent. Another important point to note in the history of our gross domestic output is the upsurge in output of sectors which contribution to the economy was hitherto insignificant. For instance, the contribution of the telecoms sector was virtually non-existent, close to zero per cent for most of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Notably, from a 0.06 per cent contribution to the GDP in 1999, the sector now contributes up to 6 per cent of the nation’s GDP. The sector has remained the most vibrant propeller of growth in the past few years, growing at not less than 34 per cent within the past two years. Similarly, until the mid 1970s, the finance and insurance sector contributed almost zero per cent to the countries gross output. The finance and insurance sector now accounts for about 3 per cent of the nation’s GDP. A number of facts merit a second look in the above revealed statistics. First is the fact that the contribution of agriculture to the GDP

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The Nigeria Vision 20: 2020 envisages a poverty reduction strategy, which includes the rehabilitation and expansion of physical and social infrastructure to ensure growth of output, employment and development of human resources. It intends to achieve this feat by paying attention to equity concerns about privatisation, the need to safeguard workers’ interests and to ensure that the process does not aggravate the already precarious unemployment situation in the country. The present situation of unemployment in the country clearly points to the opposite of these aspirations

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Nigeria’s growth inequality dichotomy

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance Minister

has remained almost constant. Though the sector’s contribution significantly declined in the mid 1970s as a result of the upsurge in oil prices, its contribution rarely ever fell below 30 per cent over the decades. It is important to note that the country’s population has almost tripled within this period. This means that the absolute size of people involved would have increased within the same period. For the sector to still maintain an almost constant share of the GDP, it means that the marginal productivity of labour in the sector has significantly declined relative to what it was some decades ago. The import is that a great many people in the sector are largely underemployed and simply subsisting. This has continued to generate poverty especially in the rural areas. Secondly, the key sectors (oil, telecoms and finance and insurance) that have considerably increased their share of GDP over the years are enclave in nature. The oil industry for instance, is largely export oriented and

has very poor backward and forward linkage to the economy. It generates very low level of employment as compared to agriculture though it remains the largest contributor to gross public expenditure. While the other sectors - finance and insurance, and the telecoms sub-sector- have made their mark in the economy, they are yet to become significant contributors due to the structure of the economy and the nature of technology driven service industries. It is also not news that the deposit money banks account for over 80 per cent of the aggregate financial assets of the system, which has neither been any more competitive or less reliant on public sector deposits as hitherto envisaged in spite of the reforms. These sectors are also not yet significantly integrated to the larger economy so much as to produce the desired degree of pull effect. They, among other things, are known to concentrate on employing a small, elite, semi-skilled and highly skilled labour force

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ABC (ISSN NO 0189-5125)

which they offer wages substantially higher than that of most of the unskilled domestic labour force in other sectors. No doubt, a sizeable portion of capital investment in these enclave sectors is either owned by foreign sources or a few privileged local bourgeoisies. Additionally, since the nation’s poverty level has significantly increased within the same period that these sectors have emerged, it simply means that their growth were only driven by small improvements in the income-elasticity of demand for such services. The above issues have fundamentally shaped the economic outcomes of the country. The implication has been that of a near failure of horizontal spread of, and unequal access to the incremental GDP in the main part. The present scenario has also brought to bear the apparent conflict between output and employment objectives. The emergence of the sectors reviewed in the foregoing has led to a displacement of our traditional industries. Examples of this are found in the widespread environmental degradation caused by oil spills in the Niger Delta, which has suffocated farming and fishing activities in those areas. Again, wage in these enclave sectors is so high that it destroys employment and motivation in the traditional sectors by awkwardly raising the ambition of workers in the traditional sectors. The result of this ambition is the growing level of urban poverty (caused by untamed rural-urban migration) and the pauperization of the other sectors as capital, enterprise and talent are attracted away from other sectors of the economy. The above analysis clearly reveals that growth (and even growth as high as we have experienced over the past decade 6 per cent-7 per cent plus) has not produced the desired reduction in level of poverty and income inequality. This is because a majority of Nigerians do not have the opportunity of obtaining the benefits from the incremental GDP either through employment or ownership of capital. Their activities are only able to generate marginally small outputs and income for them. It is the richer groups, which have privileged access and are likely to appropriate the increased GDP. This has produced even sharper inequalities in income distribution at least up to the medium income level. From the foregoing, there is no gainsaying that the most realistic avenue typically available for low income countries like Nigeria to reduce income concentration at the top appears to be direct economic action on the part of government and the promotion of private sector labour intensive growth. Unfortunately, our public expenditure management system and development strategy over the years have failed to attend to this fact. We have lost a lot of our public enterprise to mismanagement and ill-conceived and implemented privatisation programme. Government gross expenditure consists mainly in recurrent obligations. Government’s huge borrowings over the years (domestic debt alone within the past five years stands at almost N6 trillion) have mainly gone into maintaining the ever-growing bureaucracy as against addressing the very obvious infrastructure deficit that confronts the country. Even the opportunities available through intervention programmes (from both local and international sources) have, however, failed to have any appreciable impact on poverty reduction in the country, due to “state capture” and leakages, among other reasons. Beneficiaries of such interventions have largely been the non-poor. The Nigeria Vision 20: 2020 envisages a poverty reduction strategy, which includes the rehabilitation and expansion of physical and social infrastructure to ensure growth of output, employment and development of human resources. It intends to achieve this feat by paying attention to equity concerns about privatisation, the need to safeguard workers’ interests and to ensure that the process does not aggravate the already precarious unemployment situation in the country. The present situation of unemployment in the country clearly points to the opposite of these aspirations. On the other hand, the organised private sector has mainly led growth through the service sector, which is known to have limited employment capacity while agriculture and the manufacturing, which have much greater prospects for employment, have largely been productivity-stricken. • Ikechukwu Okoli, a Public Sector Economist, wrote from the International Centre for Development and Budget Advocacy, Enugu.


Fri 29 Mar 2013 The Guardian Nigeria  

The Guardian Nigeria

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