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TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Friday, March 15, 2013

Vol. 29, No. 12,496


Reps move against plea bargain, frivolous adjournments, others From Terhemba Daka, Abuja BILL for an Act to repeal the A Criminal Code Procedure Act of 2004 yesterday scaled

second reading on the floor of the House of Representatives, as members supported stricter conditions for plea bargaining and frivolous adjournments of cases.

The lawmakers also backed the prohibition of arrest of family members or associates of criminals in lieu of suspects. The sponsor of the bill, Ali Ahmad, who is also the Chairman, Committee on Justice, said the review of the administration of criminal justice system was long overdue.

“The bill is developed to address the major shortcomings of the Nigerian criminal justice system by aiming to achieve speedy dispensation of justice, protection of society from crime as well as protect the rights and interests of victims as well as defendants,” he said. Ahmad stressed that if passed

into law, the bill will become a model for states to adopt through their respective legislatures. The implication, according to him, is that the option of jumping from one state to another as a result of lenient criminal justice systems eradicated. be would “The bill will place stricter

checks and balances on plea bargaining. Henceforth, plea bargaining must conform with police investigation and must be in public interest among other conditions,” he said. To institutionalise speedy trial, the bill also seeks to limit adjournment of cases to five times and not more than 14

between. in days The bill also states that application for stay of proceedings will no longer be heard until judgment, and so cannot operate to stall the continuation trial. of According to the bill, arrest of family members and associates of crime suspects is proCONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Jonathan, others greet Pope Francis • Pontiff assumes roles, celebrates first mass From Mohammed Abubakar and Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja RESIDENT Goodluck P Jonathan yesterday congratulated Pope Francis 1 (former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina) on his historic election as the first pontiff from the Americas and 265th successor to the Chair of St. Peter.

More stories on Page 9 Also, Senate President David Mark described the emergence of the new head of Catholics worldwide as a divine rapid response to the yearning of the church’s faithful. And a day after his dramatic election, Francis whose formal installation and ascension to the Papacy holds Tuesday, March 19, 2013, yesterday in earnest assumed his roles, celebrating his first mass as pontiff with a warnA scene of illegal houses on pipelines demolished by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Awori, Abule-Egba area of Lagos State… yesterday.



Govt releases N400b Q1 capital funds for MDAs, shares N886.402b From Mathias Okwe, Abuja HORTLY after the distribuSfederation tion of N886.402 billion revenue yesterday by the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) to the three tiers of government, the Federal Ministry of Finance announced the release of N400 billion as first capital budget to give fresh impetus to the execution of projects captured in the 2013 budget. This is contained in a statement by Mr. Paul Nwabiukwu, the Senior Special Assistant to the Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr.

• PHCN workers to get N45 billion severance pay Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Of this amount released, according to the statement, N120 billion has been frontloaded to cater for two important initiatives, namely: N75 billion for retiring bonds which have come due, which is in line with the new debt management strategy that focuses on reducing the stock and flow of debt in a proactive manner and sec-

ondly, N45 billion for the payment of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) workers. Meanwhile, the AccountantGeneral of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Jonah Otunla, yesterday said “the gross revenue of N571.67 billion received for the month was lower than the N651.26 billion received in the previous month by N79.58 billion. Pro-

duction was equally hampered by pipeline vandalism at Bonny, Forcados and Brass Terminal.” Giving a summary of the distribution, he said N445.84 billion was shared under statutory allocation; N62.707 billion was allocated under Value Added Tax (VAT) while N173.595 billion was used to augment the shortfall in revenue.

Others are N35.549 billion for Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, N7.617 billion being refund of debt owed the Federation Account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), as well as arrears of N156.76 billion for the month of January owing to the late implementation of the budget. The AGF further explained

Rival APC unveils logo, emblem, merger parties kick — Page 3

that of the N445.26 billion statutory allocation, the Federal Government got N209.86 billion representing 52.68 per cent; the 36 states got N106.44 billion or 26.72 per cent while the 774 local councils were given N82.06 billion or 20.6 per cent. He said N47.48 billion was shared to the nine oil-producing states based on the 13 per cent principle of derivation. Out of the Value Added Tax distribution of N60.19 billion, Otunla noted that the Federal Government got N9.03 billion or 15 per cent, states got N30.1billion or 50 per cent while local councils

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


Reps move against plea bargaining

Pontiff assumes roles, celebrates first mass CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

ing to the church against inaction. According to agency reports, the mass was held in the Sistine Chapel together with the cardinals who elected him on Wednesday. Jonathan, according to his spokesman, Dr. Rueben Abati, noted that with Bergoglio’s glowing antecedents as a great scholar, teacher, Catholic philosopher and very humane leader of the Church, his election as successor to Pope Benedict XVI was a divinely inspired choice by the College of Cardinals and an unequivocal testimony of God’s abiding presence in His Church and the world. The statement said in part: “The President joins Catholics in Nigeria and other countries of the world in praying for God’s blessings and Divine guidance for Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis 1 as he assumes the papacy, trusting that he will put his acclaimed qualities and devoutness to the best possible use in resolutely guiding the Church through the many challenges it currently faces. “President Jonathan and the Federal Government look forward to further enhancing the already cordial and excellent relationship between Nigeria and the Vatican under the leadership of Pope Francis 1, the beloved champion of the under-privileged and renowned crusader for global equity and social justice. “The President also looks forward to collaborating with Pope Francis and the Holy See in working towards the realisa-

tion of a much more secure, peaceful and just world order.” In a congratulatory message to the world, especially the Catholic faithful, Mark at the morning Mass held to celebrate the election of the Pope in Abuja, said: “God has once again shown the world His mercy. In the Bible, he entrusted the keys of the Kingdom of God to Peter, his vicar on earth. His Holiness, Pope Francis, is the 266th in succession, counting from Peter prayers as of old. “The God we serve is full of surprises and is unpredictable. His ways are not our ways, neither are our thoughts His thoughts. He chooses whomever He wills to be His instrument for the actuation of His Divine plans. Senator Mark added that the voice of Pope Francis showed the universality of the Catholic Church. He, therefore, urged the political class to emulate the sincerity and humility exhibited in the process of electing the new Roman Pontiff. Meanwhile, the Neo-Black Movement (NBM) of America, an organisation dedicated to the unity and development of the continent and its people in the Diaspora, has congratulated the new pontiff and implored him to tackle evil forces in the world, especially developing countries. This was stated by the NBM’s Head (Worldwide), Mr. Bemigho Eyeoyibo, in a congratulatory message yesterday in which he said: “ Africa should be the pope’s focus to expose and challenge sit-tight and corrupt so-called leaders who have foisted misery and conflicts on the continent and its hardworking and God-fearing people.”


Minister of State for Health, Ali Pate (left) and Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Olajumoke Akinjide, during an advocacy meeting by the presidential taskforce on polio in Abuja… yesterday. PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY ELUKPO

hibited in addition to the prohibition of inhuman treatment or torture of arrested persons. Another major clause in the bill was the establishment of a central criminal record registry at the Force Headquarters and every state command to keep and transmit all records of arrests and convictions to the central registry. It shall be the duty of each court’s chief registrar to transmit court’s decisions in criminal trials to the central registry within 30 days or face disciplinary measures by the Federal Judicial Service Commission. While Uzo Azubike (PDP, Abia) noted that prescribed punishments in the existing law encourage commitment of crimes because of the leniency, another lawmaker, Simeon Arabo (PDP, Kaduna), noted that criminal record registry would prevent criminals seeking public offices by their available making records at the prompt of the base. data The Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, referred the bill to the House Committee on Justice for further legislative in-

Border communities development agency has failed, says Mark From Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja ENATE President David StheMark yesterday described Border Communities Development Agency as a total failure. He maintained that the alleged failure of the agency to live up to its responsibilities has resulted in many Nigerians fleeing border communities for neighbouring countries. He, therefore, endorsed the amendment of the law regulating the agency as sponsored by Senator Olufemi Lanlehin (Oyo South). “The summary of the bill is that the agency has failed. In a clean language, it has failed and woefully too. If this amendment can make it become active, that is what we deserve. Many Nigerians have abandoned our border communities to other countries. They have every good reason to go to neighbouring countries where they can access facilities”, Mark said. The bill seeks to strengthen the agency by way of addressing its challenges, especially

that of poor funding and defective legal frame-work. “The rationale for the amendment is quite obvious. The Principal Act does not have a clear and concise definition of border communities. The closest to this is the list of states that constitute border states in the first schedule to the Act. “We are proposing that a clear and concise definition of border communities should be inserted in the Principal Act to aid the agency in the discharge of its mandate. We are proposing that settlements, villages and towns that are situated within 15 kilometres (and in the case of Oyo State, 25 kilometres) to the international boundaries with neighbouring countries should qualify as border communities”, Lanlehin said. The new law is also proposing removal of the Minister of Science and Technology, Chief Economic Adviser as well as the Permanent Secretary, States and Local Government Affairs Office from the governing board of the agency. Lanlehin, in the lead debate, attributed the current security challenges confronting the

country partly to influx of mercenaries, terrorists and other armed groups, who enter the country through porous borders. He lamented that since its establishment, the presence of the agency, especially in the provision of social amenities, including potable water, healthcare facilities, provision of roads, schools and markets, has not been felt by the border communities. “Needless to state here that the abject poverty and lack of governmental presence in our border communities has created a veritable ground for these unscrupulous elements,” he said. The lawmaker expressed concern that should Nigerians in border communities have a choice of choosing their citizenship, they might opt for poor neighbouring countries due to total neglect by the Nigerian government. “This has been agitating our mind for quite some time. For us to claim that these communities belong to Nigeria, the Nigerian government has to assert its authority. The only way we can do that is to ensure that basic amenities are pro-

vided for these communities that are around our borders,” Lanlehin said. He listed other effects of continued neglect of the nation’s border communities to include trafficking for prostitution, trafficking for human organs as well as trafficking for slavery and domestic servants. Aside billions of naira, which the country losses yearly to activities of smugglers, the lawmakers stressed that inhuman trade has continued to thrive in border communities due to lack of government’s presence. Other lawmakers unanimously spoke in favour of the Bill. Senators Ganiyu Solomon, Ali Ndume as well as Enyinnaya Abaribe, agreed that the agency has not performed up to its expectations and called for proper funding as an empowerment drive. “Any border community is a gate way to that country and you enter a country through the border community and without proper infrastructure, it speaks volume of what that country portends”, said Ganiyu Solomon (Lagos West.)

EFCC re-arraigns Alao’s son over alleged N2.6b subsidy scam By Bertram Nwannekanma HE Economic and FinanT cial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday re-arraigned an oil marketer, Abdullahi Alao, before an Ikeja High Court, Lagos, over an alleged N2.6 billion fuel subsidy fraud. Abdullahi, son of a prominent businessman, Alhaji Abdullazeez Arisekola-Alao, was re-arraigned alongside his company, Axenergy Ltd., before Justice Olabisi Akinlade. He is facing a six-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pre-

tences, forgery and use of false documents. Alao was earlier arraigned on July 26, 2012 before Justice Habeeb Abiru, who has now been elevated to the Court of Appeal. He had pleaded not guilty to the charge and Abiru granted him bail in the sum of N100 million with two sureties in like sum. During yesterday’s proceedings, EFCC’s counsel, Mr. Francis Usani, informed the court of the development and asked that Alao should be ordered to re-take his plea. The EFCC alleged that Alao

had in December 2010 in Lagos fraudulently obtained N2.6 billion from the Federal Government. The anti-graft agency claimed the money was obtained as subsidy payments for the purported importation of 33.3 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from Europe to Nigeria. He was also alleged to have forged a bill of lading dated September 16, 2011, purportedly issued by Mercurial Trading Company, which he allegedly used in facilitating the fraud. The EFCC said his alleged of-

fences contravene Sections 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act of 2006. It also contravenes Sections 467 and 468 of the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos State 2003. Alao, again, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Following the re-arraignment, his counsel, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), urged the court to allow him enjoy the bail condition earlier granted him by Abiru. The judge acceded to his request and adjourned the matter to July 11 for trial.

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


News How Nigeria can attract more FDIs, by Chalker By Madu Onuorah (Abuja), Marcel Mbamalu and Moses Ebosele (Lagos) IGERIA would have an N impressive record in Foreign Direct Investment, (FDI) especially in the energy and financial services sector, only if it reviewed extant policies and think of modernising its oil infrastructure, among others. This was stated by former British Minister and global investment advocate, Baroness Lynda Chalker, in an interview with The Guardian, against the backdrop of poor infrastructure maintenance, irregular policy review, among others. In the same vein, the United States (U.S.) yesterday advised the Federal Government to

• U.S., Naval chief seek end to oil theft, others tackle alleged increase in armed attack and oil theft along Nigeria’s waterways. Meanwhile, Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba on Wednesday met with the Principal Staff Officers of Naval Headquarters, Flag Officers Commanding and commanders of bases and Forward Operational Bases, charging them to institute immediate measure to stamp out oil theft, pipeline vandalism and other acts of illegalities within Nigeria’s waters. Chalker also spoke on the need to close the yawning

gap between existing oil technology in Nigeria and global expectations. The 70-year-old former British member of Parliament (MP) and transport minister observed that the country, having been producing oil in the last five decades, needed a holistic overhaul of its production technology and make the upstream really efficient for competitiveness. “No industry, she said, “carries on succeeding unless it maintains the equipment and... update their equipment and their systems...In the upstream, there are things that can be done to make it

more efficient,” She also emphasised the need for the country to lay more emphasis on sustenable energy and work to “technically” overcome the twin challenge of oil bunkering and gas flaring, which, according to her, “pull’’ the country “down’’. Chalker stated her position on the oil-theft challenge, just one week after the incument British Minister on Africa, Mark Simmonds, also in an interview, said his government would work to assist Nigeria tackle the malaise. Still, Chalker, insisted that

Nigeria’s energy and banking sectors, for instance, elicit great investor interest in the global arena, warning, however, that the necessary legislation, initiated through coordinating efforts of all relevant ministries and stakeholders, should be quickly put in place to sustain this tempo of interest. Speaking at the 2013 Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX), holding in Lagos, the Consul General, U.S. Embassy, Jeffrey Hawkins, blamed the development to alleged lack of communication and cohesion among security agencies charged with the responsibility of protecting Nigeria’s waterways.

Reps probe release of 197 convicted drug traffickers From Terhemba Daka, Abuja

HE House of RepresentaT tives yesterday mandated its joint Committee on Justice, Interior, Drugs and Narcotic and Financial Crimes to investigate the alleged release of 197 drug convicts. They are also to determine the statistics of all those prosecuted and convicted by the NDLEA from its inception to date and where they served their terms. This came following the adoption of a motion by Hassan Saleh (PDP, Benue), under matters of urgent national importance. Leading the debate on the motion, Saleh said based on a report of the committee set up by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, which was headed by Justice Gilbert Obayan (rtd.) in 2006, about 197 persons convicted for drug trafficking offences are said not to be serving their prison terms. “The committee’s report that out of 143 drug convicts for 2006, 96 of them were never brought to the prison while another set of 101 drug convicts for 2005 were also not taken to the prison bringing the total to 197”. According to him, persons who were all alleged to have been lawfully prosecuted by the NDLEA and convicted by the court of law have been unlawfully released from prison thereby undermining the nation’s criminal system.

Tukur, S’East PDP meet tomorrow From Lawrence Njoku, Enugu

Minister of National Planning, Shamsudeen Usman (left); Governor of Niger State, Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu; Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and former Minister of External Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, during the opening ceremony of the Minna National Discourse on Corruption, held at the Idris Legbo International Conference Centre, Minna …yesterday

Rival APC unveils logo, emblem, merger parties kick From Adamu Abuh, Azimazi Momoh Jimoh and Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja FRESH crisis may be brewA ing in the political turf as the African People’s Congress (APC) yesterday unveiled its logo, acronym and emblem. Meanwhile, leading members of the newly formed APC yesterday rose from an emergency meeting accusing the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of setting aside huge sums of tax payers monies with the sole aim of ensuring that their political association did not see the light of the day. The exercise brought to the fore the reality of semblance in acronym by the party and the All Progressive Congress (APC), a party being put together through a planned merger of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and All Nigeria People’s

Party (ANPP). At a ceremony near the Apo Legislators’ quarters in Abuja yesterday, the African Peoples Congress, which has Chief Onyinye M. Ikeagwuonu, as its protem national chairman, bemoaned what he called poverty of leadership in Nigeria since 1999. Ikeagwuonu said that government at federal, state and local levels had failed to cleanse Nigeria of corruption regardless of the party at the helm of affairs. “The PDP, ACN, CPC, ANPP, etc have remorselessly squandered the goodwill of Nigerians. Infrastructure suffers in the states, where their economy wound round monthly allocations and diverted council funds,” he said. Ikeagwuonu urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to urgently investigate the

sources of funds used to purchase private jets by some governors. The Ikeagwuonu-led APC condemned what he called the desperation of some people for power in the country. The party said its major objective was “to entrench a system that is centered on the people: To reclaim our crumbling institutions and failing nation; to give Nigerians reasons to believe again.” “Today, Nigerians have a party that is committed to rebuilding Nigeria”, it said. Chairman, Merger Committee of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Tom Ikimi, who addressed journalists on behalf of the group in Abuja, claimed a high-ranking official of the PDP led government had been tasked to handle the campaign against the APC.

Speaking after the unveiling of the logo and manifesto of the African Peoples Congress (APC), he noted that that sort of act runs contrary to the tenets of democracy. He further stated that their own version of the APC was the first to be made public and hence was their exclusive intellectual property. According to him: “We have it on good authority that the establishment, gravely troubled by the emergence of a united opposition, has set up a high powered team of a very high ranking officer of government and furnished with unlimited resources from the public funds with a clear mandate to corrupt the democratic institutions and destabilise the opposition.” Ikimi who was flanked by chieftains of the APC, like former Governor Ibrahim Shekarau, Senator Annie

Okonkwo and a host of others maintained that the APC name and acronym became the intellectual property of the merging opposition parties since February 16, 2013 when it was made known to the public. Justifying his assertions, he argued that all legal and constitutional processes required to formalise the decision by the CPC, ACN, the ANPP, to merge and register in the name of APC with INEC had been in progress since it was announced on the February 16, 2013. He added: “Prior to the adoption of the name, we carried out a careful search of the existing names of all political parties and extant registration in Nigeria and found out that none had the name All progressive Congress (APC) nor the acronym APC, we chose the name and unveiled it.

LL is set for tomorrow’s A crucial meeting of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bamanga Tukur and stakeholders in the South East. South East Zonal chairman of the Party, Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd) said yesterday that the meeting scheduled for Nike Lake Hotel in Enugu would be an important opportunity for the zone to consolidate on the successes it has achieved in the past one year in reconciling aggrieved members and setting agenda for reconstruction. He noted that stakeholders in the zone, including the governors of Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi states, the deputy Senate president, the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, the secretary to government of the federation, national and state legislators, ministers, commissioners and political aides, zonal executive committee members, women and youth groups have been adequately mobilised for the meeting.

THE GUaRDIan, Friday, March 15, 2013

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Court rejects bid for separate trial of pensions scam suspects From Lemmy Ughegbe, Abuja HE Federal High Court, abuT ja Division, yesterday refused a request by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for separate trials of 40 suspects jointly charged with embezzlement of n12 billion pension funds belonging to federal civil servants. sani Teidi, a former Director of Pensions administration in the Office of the Head of service of the Federation and 39 others are standing trial for the missing funds. Ruling on EFCC’s application for separate trial, Justice adamu Bello held that such a step is anti-thetical to proper case management. He held that the prosecution is at liberty to formally withdraw the charges against the accused persons and return with separate charge sheets for each of them. But he drew EFCC’s attention to the fact that should it replace the amended charge with another amended charge for separate trial, the case file will be remitted to the Chief Judge for re-assignment. He adjourned the matter to april 23, 2013 for the prosecution to put its house in order and decide on how it intends to proceed. at the resumed hearing in the case, prosecution counsel, Godwin Obla, announced that his client gave him an instruction to further break up the accused persons for separate trial. “My client has instructed me to withdraw an amended charge dated July 26, 2011, comprising 40 accused persons, to give room for separate trial and good case management. “We have filed eight sets of charges pursuant to this instruction and would be humbly applying for permission to substitute the earlier charges with the one filed on March 14. The application is brought pursuant to sections 155 and 168 of the Criminal Procedure act (CPa). “My lord, this is to reflect the extent of the alleged complicity and participation of the related parties,” Obla said. Chief Uche Chris (san) and Mr. sunday ameh (san) led other defendant counsel in the matter to oppose the application. They said the move would erode the progress so far made in the case. according to them, the former charges should be left to stand, as each accused person understands the allegation against him or her.

Prof. Jacob Olupona of the Weatherhead Centre for International Studies, Harvard University (left); Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Guest lecturer at the ‘Nigeria in the World Series’, Mrs. Arese Carrington and her husband, Ambassador Walter Carrington, during a lunch reception in honour of the governor.

Imo lawmakers, Agbaso row deepens From Charles Ogugbuaja, Owerri aRElY two days after emB battled Imo state Deputy Governor Jude agbaso made more startling disclosures over allegations of bribery against him, the House of assembly has purportedly secured 25 all-party signatories for his impeachment. Meanwhile, the state’s Chief Judge has been requested to set up a seven-man judicial panel of inquiry for further investigation to create another opportunity for agbaso to defend himself. also, The Guardian has confirmed that the deputy governor is in the state, contrary to speculations that he has gone into hiding in abuja to evade service of an impeachment notice. In fact, he, his elder brother (Martin) and Charles amadi, national leader of the Owerri Zone of the Political leaders Forum (OZOPOlF), addressed both the press and members of the organisation on Tuesday evening at the home of the senior agbaso in Emekuku, in the state. speaking, Chief Martin agbaso, a business mogul and erstwhile special assistant on Environment to former Presi-

dent Olusegun Obasanjo, accused Governor Rochas Okorocha of being behind the allegation that his younger brother received the sum of n458 million as bribe from the Managing Director of JPROs International, a road contractor, for the execution of a contract, for which the House of assembly has indicted the deputy governor and started an impeachment process. He regretted that his younger brother was being vilified despite the fact that he fought for the governor to ensure he was enthroned in the 2011 general election. He vowed that they were prepared to die for the cause. He said: “We are all prepared to die for this cause. But we will not die. I will pursue this matter to the end. By the time this is finished, we bring scorecard on who deserves to be impeached. “I can tell you on behalf of this family, my younger brother did not take anything. We are hardworking people. all we are asking is justice. all we are asking for is the truth. an innocent person who has not done anything, you want to vilify him”. Martin recalled how he relin-

quished his candidacy in the all Progressives Grand alliance (aPGa) for Okorocha and even ensured that his mandate was not stolen, regretting that he was repaid with a bad coin. He also recalled that there was a gentleman’s agreement, written down that after Okorocha served out one term of four years, that he would hand over to Owerri senatorial zone person in 2015, adding that he was sure that the ongoing palaver was to thwart the accord. He vowed to bounce back to run the office in 2015. The travails of his younger brother, he insisted, was hatched about four months ago, which led him to seek to unravel the sources. Martin said despite his efforts, he has only got $5,000 from Okorocha when they went to Kosovo, stressing that he gave it to the governor’s aides. He also pointed out that he was awarded a contract by Okorocha on revenue generation, alleging that he was asked by the governor to pay n2 billion upfront, of which he borrowed n840 million from Diamond Bank. He also alleged that the contract was thwarted by the governor last year.

also speaking, the deputy governor said he had no need to steal any money as he was blessed with his tailoring and water businesses. His words: “I have no need to steal. I never stole. I never took bribe. I won’t. I stand to make sure I do the right thing.” While insisting that further investigation be carried out properly, he called for forensic application. amadi had said that the organisation would not allow their brother to be rubbished. He said: “We will not take it kindly with any group of people that will come and tarnish the image of our son”. But a government’s spokesperson and aides insist that the issue has nothing to do with 2015 and the impeachment process. They also deny Okorocha’s involvement in anyway. a special ad-hoc Committee set up by the House of assembly led by simon Iwunze, representing Isiala Mbano local Government Constituency, had indicted Jude agbaso in the alleged bribery scandal that led to some of the failed projects in the state. speaking in a radio programme in the morning,

Kwara clarifies tax collection system, warns trouble-makers From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin WaRa state Government K has debunked claims by a group that its tax collection system is harsh on small and medium scale enterprises. It also asserted that second phase of its n500 million support for small businesses would take off this year. On the contrary, said Dr. Muideen akorede, senior special assistant on Media and Communications to the governor, “Kwara state has a liberal tax collection system that allows convenient payment by individuals and organisations.” noting that payment of taxes is obligatory on all, akorede said the Kwara state Board of Internal Revenue’s collection system considers the economic circumstances of indi-

viduals and business owners in enforcement efforts, adding that the ahmed administration was unaware of complaints of harsh treatment or harassment  by the government or its agents. He said as part of efforts to enhance revenue, it organised a series of advocacy workshops for companies and sMEs, the last of which was held last week and that at none of the fora did small business owners complain about the tax  collection  drive. “neither the national association of small and Medium scale Enterprises nor KWaCCIMa whose members comprise small business owners have complained of  harassment  by the state government or its agents. We don’t know where this political

group got its information from but we will be happy to look into proven cases of harsh treatment from the appropriate quarters”, said akorede. The state government advised the political group to seek clarification on economic issues rather than dabble into those about which it had no knowledge. The administration has equally warned individuals and groups circulating leaflets containing false information about government investments and officials to refrain with immediate effect or face the full wrath of the law. In a statement issued in Ilorin following the circulation of leaflets impugning the integrity and qualifications of certain gov-

ernment officials, it warned the authors of the publication that their actions are capable of heating up the polity, harm potential investments and dissuade other individuals from contributing to the development of the state. acknowledging individuals’ right to freedom of expression, the government warned that such rights should only be exercised without prejudice to public order and the rights of others to dignity, stressing that the affected government officials reserve the right to sue the authors to court for defamation of character. While admonishing the individuals to explore legitimate means of expressing their grievances, the state government said it has alert-

ed security agencies to plans by the mischief-makers to distribute more misleading leaflets at mosques and churches in the coming days, stressing that those apprehended will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Religious leaders, the government added, should reject this latest attempt to use revered places of worship as platforms for scoring cheap political scores through character assassinations targeted at government officials whose only offence is carrying out their lawful duties. The state government expressed its willingness to continuously partner genuine organisations and qualified individuals capable of adding value to government’s economic development efforts under shared prosperity.

Iwunze accused the deputy governor and his elder brother of diverting attention from the real issue, which bothers on corruption. He stated: ‘The issue has nothing to do with 2015 as His Excellency, sir Jude agbaso and Chief Martin agbaso would have the public believe. The deputy governor was given fair hearing. Crying that his travail is political is wholly diversionary. This was a man we gave all the respect and accorded him all the humility for his office for him to defend himself. Today, we have gone pass all those stages. We wait for the Chief Judge to constitute a committee for further look into the issue before coming back to us.” also, the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Chinedu Offor, called on the deputy governor and his subjects to stop picking on Okorocha since the matter was a constitutional one. He added that the “Rescue Mission Government abhors corruption and any attempt for the governor to shield any official undergoing an investigation for corruption is an impeachable offence.”

ESUT launches N10b development fund lans to reposition Enugu P state University of science and Technology (EsUT) to be one of the leading institutions in africa will receive a boost as the institution will Friday, March 22,2013 launch a n10 billion Infrastructural Development Trust Fund under the chairmanship of the Deputy senate President. Ike Ekwerenmadu. The event will hold at the school’s auditorium agbani. The chief host is Governor sullivan Chime, while his akwa Ibom state counterpart Godswill akpabio will be the guest of honour. according to the chairman of the EsUT Trust Fund committee, Prof. Ike ndolo, ‘the idea of the trust fund is primarily to reposition and re-engineer EsUT to be one of the best in africa.

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


Court urged to nullify lawmaker’s election for cross-carpeting

Japan boosts Nigeria’s polio fight with N440m $2.5m grant for malaria control From Emeka Anuforo, Abuja HE Japanese government yesterday boosted the drive towards health-related Millennium Development Goals by donating $2.8 million to strengthen routine immunisation in Nigeria. Officials of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said in Abuja yesterday that though Nigeria was making progress in reducing high mortality rate, some challenges remained that needed to be addressed in order to achieve the health MDG. The fund will be operated by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to stop the transmission of wild polio virus. Also yesterday, Japan announced an additional $2.5 million grant for malaria control in Nigeria. The UNICEF Deputy Representative and officer in charge of Nigeria, Mr. Jacques Boyer, noted: “Childhood killer-diseases are still rampant.

From Uzoma Nzeagwu, Awka


Ajimobi takes investment drive to China OVERNOR Abiola Ajimobi G of Oyo State would this weekend lead a joint Oyo StateFirst Bank Nigeria Plc business delegation to the Republic of China on a 10-day visit. This was contained in a release issued by the Governor’s Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, who disclosed that Ajimobi would visit the China National Machinery Industry, Complete Engineering Group of Beijing, and Mountain Agro Group and Xian Panlong Group next Monday, March 18 and Tuesday. To be discussed during the visit are his administration’s Ibadan Mega Market Project, Independent Power Project, cotton plantation, agro-chemicals, possibility of citing a transformer factory in the state, as well as the Ikere Gorge Dam, which is expected to boost electricity, potable water and irrigation.

NLC mobilises for protests over alleged pensions fraud By Yetunde Ebosele ETERMINED to ensure justice for victims of the alleged scam in the pensions scheme, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has directed all affiliate unions and state councils across the country to mobilise workers, as from April 10, for protest march to the Presidency and state Government Houses. In a communiqué issued at the end of its Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting yesterday, the NLC explained that the Congress had exploited all lawful channels of communication with the Federal Government to no avail. Signed by the National President, Abduwahed Omar and Acting General Secretary, Chris Uyot, the NLC noted that the Congress had written at least two letters to the Presidency calling for its intervention in the pensions crisis, as well as correspondences, and “the leadership of Congress had reached out through other channels to the Federal Government.” The communiqué made available to The Guardian explained that the Congress’ leadership had also made public pronouncements on “the avoidable but painful pensions crisis.”


FEDERAL High Court sitA ting in Awka, Anambra State, has been approached to

A member of Kidney Consultant International (right) screening participants for kidney disease at the 2013 World Kidney Day in Abeokuta, Ogun State…yesterday

Pardon won’t affect anti-graft crusade, says Presidency HE Presidency yesterday said T the pardon granted former Bayelsa State governor, Depri-

Falana, Opadokun, others differ on gesture

eye Alamieyeseigha, former Chief of General Staff (CGS), Lt.Gen. Oladipo Diya (rtd) and others would not in any way adversely affect the anti-graft war. Senior Special Assistant to the President, Dr. Doyin Okupe, at a press briefing in Abuja stated that “it is out of place to suggest that the pardon is tantamount to abandoning the fight against corruption.” Defending the pardon, he argued that the punishment that was meted out to those found guilty of criminal activities was not intended to destroy them but to serve as a corrective measure. According to him, the granting of pardon was intended to convey forgiveness and facilitate peace process. “Pardon is granted in many countries when individuals have demonstrated

that they have fulfilled their debt to the society, or are otherwise considered to be deserving it. Also, a Prerogative of Mercy, by definition, is not a justice-able affair. It has to do with discretion and the necessity to redress bitterness and thereby offer healing and forgiveness, especially in the presence of evidence of remorse and potential to add value to the country,” Okupe explained. Meanwhile, mixed reactions have continued to trail the presidential pardon. While former Secretary-General, National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Chief Ayo Opadokun and Executive Secretary of the National Summit Group (NSG), Tony Uranta, justified it, Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana and civil society groups under the aegis of Civil Society Groups on AntiCorruption and Good Gover-

nance kicked against the gesture. Falana described the pardon to Lt.-Gen. Oladipo Diya (rtd), Major-Generals Abdulkareem Adisa and Tajudeen Olanrewaju, Col. Fadipe, Senator Chris Anyanwu and others as misleading as Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) pardoned them in 1999. In a statement yesterday, Falana said the Presidency should stop playing on the collective intelligence of Nigerians “since there is no provision for double pardon under the law. In view of the grave official error, the list of the convicts granted unconditional pardon should be reviewed to avoid any further embarrassment. Opadokun, however, commended the presidential pardon. Opadokun, who spoke with The

Guardian on phone yesterday, said: “While I will not in anyway support any form of corrupt act by public officers, the case of Alamieyeseigha was different because his impeachment was influenced and he was convicted by the power that be then.” Opadokun said anybody is free to read meaning to the fact that Jonathan is a former deputy governor of Bayelsa under Alamieyeseigha and now he is compensating his master by the pardon, “what I believe is that if the man had been allowed to face the law properly then, the outcome might have been different.” Addressing journalists in Lagos yesterday, Uranta stressed that the pardon granted to Alamieyeseigha by the National Council of State was deserved considering his role in pursuing the peace and progress of the Niger Delta region.

nullify the election of the lawmaker representing Anambra-West Constituency in the state House of Assembly, Mr. Victor Okoye, for crossing over to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). A candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Mr. Ojukwu Obakasi, who filed the application, accused Okoye of not observing due process in his movement from one party to another. He, therefore, urged the court to nullify his election, arguing that it amounted to taking the mandate of another party. Counsel to Obakasi, Mr. Emma Udegbuna, said his client was in court to ensure that Okoye did not get away with the evil he perpetrated against the people who gave their mandate to ACN, which he has now taken to APGA without due consultation. According to him, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Anambra State House of Assembly and its Speaker were all joined in the suit, which seeks the enforcement of Section 109, sub-section 2 of the Nigerian Constitution that negates cross-carpeting by a candidate with another party’s mandate. Udegbuna averred that the position should have been declared vacant today, regretting that the House of Assembly had allowed him to sit and deliberate issues. However, the presiding justice, Peter Olayinwola, called for a consolidation of the case as the ANPP had also approached the court, seeking the same relief over the same matter. The suit was adjourned to April 12 for hearing. Meanwhile, counsel to Okoye, Mr. P.I. Chukwudebelu, in an interview dismissed the suit, saying it was frivolous and targeted at distracting his client, who is a public officer.

‘Court-ordered N41.8b compensation not negotiable for Zaki Biam victims’ From Lemmy Ughegbe, Abuja HE 14,000 victims of the T 2001 military invasion of Zaki Biam, Benue State, yesterday vowed not to negotiate the N41.8 billion compensation awarded them by the Federal High Court for the killing of some of their family members and permanent deformity of others by federal soldiers. Six years ago, the court ordered the Federal Government to pay the said sum in compensation “for huge loss of lives and property worth billions of naira.” At a joint press conference to formally break their silence over government’s delay to liquidate the judgment debt, lead counsel to the victims, Sebastine Hon (SAN), prayed President Goodluck Jonathan to direct the appropriate authorities to effect the payment in compliance with the court order. Surrounded by victims of the attack, whose hands and legs were completely chopped off by the weapons of war allegedly used against them, the lawyer pleaded with President Jonathan not to delay the payment any further. Emotions ran high when the amputated

victims from Katsina-Ala, Ukum, Kwande and Logo local councils of Benue State, stormed Abuja to protest the delay of their compensation and to draw public sympathy to their joint course. More so, Hon, on behalf of the victims, warned the Federal

Government against paying the court-ordered compensation to unknown or fraudulent groups that are not relevant to the issue. The Federal Government had earlier approached a Court of Appeal to reverse the High Court order but later with-

drew, opting to settle out-ofcourt. However, the lead counsel accused the Federal Government of insincerity with the out-of-court settlement owing to its failure to come to the round-table with the victims to resolve the judgment debt.

He denounced the alleged move to give the victims a paltry N8 billion out of the N41.8 billion, adding that apart from the fact that the alleged move was done in secret, the amount offered was not acceptable to the victims.

WHO decries poor global road safety laws, proffers ways to reduce accidents By Chukwuma Muanya S part of efforts to reduce the A number of deaths from road accidents, the World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday called on heads of governments to adopt comprehensive road safety laws in all five key risk factors: drinking and driving, speeding, failure to use motorcycle helmets, seat-belts, and child restraints. In its global status report on road safety in 2013, which was released yesterday, WHO said that only 28 countries (seven per cent of the world’s population) have comprehensive road safety laws in all five key risk factors. Key to reducing road traffic mortality, WHO said, would be ensuring a rapid acceleration of legislation in as many member-states as possible on laws

‘Africa has highest death risk’ covering the five key risk factors listed above. According to the report, death risk from road injuries is highest in the WHO African region at 24.1 per 100,000 population and lowest in the WHO European region at 10.3 per 100,000 population. According to the Director General of WHO, Dr. Margaret Chan, “political will is needed at the highest level of government to ensure appropriate road safety legislation and stringent enforcement of laws by which we all need to abide. If this cannot be ensured, families and communities will continue to grieve, and health systems will continue to bear the brunt of injury and disability due to road traffic crashes.”

In 2010, the body noted, there were 1.24 million deaths worldwide from road traffic crashes, roughly the same number in 2007, and while 88 memberstates were able to reduce fatality figures, that number increased in 87 countries. The report highlights that 59 countries (39 per cent of the world’s population) have implemented an urban speed limit of 50 km/h or less and allows local authorities to further reduce these limits while 89 countries (66 per cent) have a comprehensive drink-driving law, defined as a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit of 0.05 g/dl or less. Ninety countries (77 per cent) have motorcycle helmet laws, which cover all riders on all

roads with all engine types and have a motorcycle helmet standard while 111 countries (69 per cent) have comprehensive seatbelt laws covering all occupants, with 96 countries (32 per cent) having a law requiring child restraints. The report also showed that most countries - even some of the best performing in terms of the safety of their roads - inadequately enforce these laws. In addition to the five risk factors noted above, it highlighted the importance of issues such as vehicle safety standards, road infrastructure inspections, policies on walking and cycling, and aspects of pre-hospital care systems. The global status report for 2013 presented information from 182 countries (almost 99 per cent of the world’s population or 6.8 billion people.)

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


EU to help Arewa tackle Boko Haram From Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief HE European Union (EU) yesterday said it was set to deploy its expertise in engaging the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) on how to arrest the current insurgency by Boko Haram, which has led to the kidnapping and killing of foreigners in some part of the North. The EU delegation, which had earlier met the Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Ramalan Yero, also visited the ACF at its secretariat in Kaduna to deliberate on how to combat the insecurity in the North. The Ambassador and Head of EU Delegate to Nigeria, Mr. David Macrae expressed the interest of the European Union to engage efforts in bringing solution to the insurgency ravaging the North. Macrae said: “I have a special interest on how we could engage with the North, and I believe anything we want to do has to be with the executives of ACF, it has to be with you. “Within you are covering a range of the political spectrum, there might be the PDP and other parties but as a group you are non-partisan. I have conferred with top northern politicians and they pointed me in your direction and I was told if you want to engage with the North it has to be with ACF, other groups may come forward but you have a special position”. Ambassador Macrae also contended, “the North is a very large part of this country, but we must not allow a tiny part of the group to carry us towards the area that we don’t want to go, we have to address the issues, that is the important thing. “In the last few months we are particularly interested in what we might bring forward in the EU about these issues. There are also some members of the EU that have tiers with Nigeria in many areas, but there are things we can do collectively as EU. We are in serious discussion with the national authority in a short, medium and long terms”. Earlier, the National Publicity Secretary to ACF, Mr. Anthony Sani traced the history of the insecurity bedeviling


some parts of the North to the coming of democracy, stressing that it came with a lot of freedom. “All these started when democracy came about, you know democracy came with a lot of freedom, before now we were under different military regimes, but immediately democracy came, there

were problems and the North started experiencing ethnic strife and religious strife. “We support any attempt to address the issue of insecurity in particular, because it is a situation that transcends national boundaries as it concerns the European Union, the Americans because it transcends national bound-

not applicable in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Justice Yusuf Halilu, in a judgment he delivered on a land ownership case filed by Chief Ike Chude against some unknown persons and the Abuja Municipal Area Council, held that the Constitution and the FCT Act vest ownership of land on the Federal Government. According to a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report, the judge said the law implies that all land in the FCT must be devoid of any form of cultural or hereditary inclination. The judge said: “Even the original owners who occupied their ancestral lands were merely paid compensation re-

“Under the present problem, we have said our position is dialogue because all over the world the force has not been found to work anywhere, so why don’t we try dialogue, because if force has failed, then we certainly need to look for another alternative,” ACF National Publicity Secretary added.

From Gordi Udeajah, Umuahia BIA State Governor, Theodore Orji in the United States has listed two challenges, which Nigerian governors face, as unequal and inadequate resources to all the states and the over-dependence of states on Federal Government for funds. He said to him, these create further challenges that are either structural or intra-state in nature. Orji, who spoke yesterday on the “The role of governors in Nigeria’s federal democracy: Meeting the challenges”, at the Paul H Nitze School of Advanced Studies, John Hopkins University, Washington D.C, posited that the centralisation of power on the Federal Government, especially the concentration of resources at the centre, which thus heightens political competition at the centre and creates violent conflicts, reduces effective participatory democracy and accountability in public office.


Nigerians in France task govt on security of foreigners From Kelvin Ebiri, Port Harcourt IGERIANS in France have charged the Federal Government to provide adequate security for expatriates working in the northern part of the country following the purported killing of some foreign workers by the Ansaru Islamic group. The Nigerians, under the auspices of the Niger Delta Development Forum (NDDF), an organisation formed by Nigerian Diaspora Living in France, warned that the barbaric killing of foreigners is not good for the image of the country abroad, hence efforts must be made to stem this ugly dimension of terrorism in Nigeria. NDDP President, Henry Ukrakpo, in a statement made available to The Guardian after the group’s emergency meeting on the latest development in Nigeria, which took place in Paris, warned that if the government continues to fail in the task to check terrorism, the country will suffer from negative consequences emerging from flight of foreign direct investments in the country as a whole.


President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM), Abiola Popoola (left); management expert, Dr Michael Omolayole; representative of the Federal Head of Service, Okikiolu Adepeju and former President, CIPM, Oladimeji Alo, during the ground breaking ceremony of the institute at Alausa, Ikeja… yesterday PHOTO: OSENI YUSUF

Church gets leave to regularise suit against Lagos govt By Joseph Onyekwere USTICE Samuel CandideJohnson of the Lagos High Court, Igbosere, yesterday granted leave to the Registered Trustees of Believers Love World (a.k.a Christ Embassy) to regularise its application in a suit against revocation of its right of occupancy of its land. The application filed by the Church is praying for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Lagos State gov-


ernment, its agents, privies and representatives from interfering with its landed property situated at Oyeleke Street, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos. Joined as respondents in the suit are Mrs. Titilola Awosusi, Alhaja Omolara Ademosu, Mr. Abayomi Willoughby (Executrices and executor of the estate of the late Chief R.A Randle for themselves and other beneficiaries of the estate of the late Chief R.A Randle) and Lagos State government.

Land Use Act not applicable in FCT, says court FEDERAL Capital Territory A (FCT) High Court yesterday ruled that the Land Use Act is

aries. “Also in order to maintain the unity of this country, we extend visits around the country, we have gone to the South East, we have gone to the South west and we will soon go to the south east. The need for this is to break barrier so that we can underourselves. stand

Orji laments unequal federal structure

gardless of the fact that generations were buried on such lands. Were the Land Use Act meant to apply to the FCT, the original inhabitants would have been granted deemed grant to remain on their land. “The Act is meant to vest all land in a state on the state government to hold in trust for the people. But Section 49 of the Act specifically excludes the application of its provisions to title land held by the Federal Government,” Halilu said. According to Justice Halilu, without allocation of grant by the FCT minister, there is no way anybody could claim to have acquired land in the territory. “Having held that plaintiff is not entitled to the land, I de-

cline to comment on the issue of trespass and on the N50 million general damages,” he ruled. The judge also ruled that the fact that the defendant did not challenge the evidence did not absolve the plaintiff from proving his case convincingly. The suit was initiated through a writ of summon filed on June 11, 2012 by Chude’s counsel, Mr. Olukayode Ojo. The relief sought by the plaintiff was a declaration that he was entitled to “Right of Occupancy” of Plot 547, Cadastral Zone, Kubwa, in question. He also asked the court to declare his client as the original owner of the plot, as well as payment of N50 million as damages.

The judge gave the order shortly after entertaining arguments from counsel in the suit. Counsel to Christ Embassy, Adebisi Shogunle, had earlier informed the court of an Affidavit of Urgency dated March 7, 2013, which, according to him, is aimed at drawing the attention of the court to an urgent matter against the fourth defendant, which is said to be the Lagos State government. But the claimants’ counsel, Lanre Ogunlesi (SAN), quickly told the court that the state government is not a party in the suit and prayed the court to strike out the application. Consequently, Shogunle prayed the court for an adjourned date to enable him regularise the application. The court acceded to his prayers. Christ Embassy had brought the application, via a Motion on Notice, pursuant to Order 39 of the High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules, on the grounds that there is an urgent need to stop the state government from interfering with the subject matter of the suit. The state government had, through a revocation letter dated February 15, 2013 and signed by Governor Babatunde Fashola, asked the church to vacate the said land within (7) seven days. Part of the revocation order reads: “The Governor of Lagos State of Nigeria requires for overriding public interest (ex-

tension of the Government Secretariat and provision of multi-level car park), all that parcel of land together with any development thereon situate and lying along Oyeleke Street, Oregun Village in Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State measuring approximately 9183.257 square metres, the boundaries of which are described in the schedule hereto and more particularly delineated in the plan at the office of the Director of Land Services, Lagos State Lands Bureau, Governor’s Office, the Secretariat Alausa, Ikeja Lagos State Nigeria. “Now, therefore, in the exercise of the powers conferred on me pursuant to Section 28 of the Land Use Act, I, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), the Governor of Lagos State, hereby give this notice of revocation to the holder to revoke the existing right of occupancy in the said land with effect from seven (7) days of service of this notice for the reasons given above. Christ Embassy, in its affidavit in support of the Motion on Notice dated March 7, 2013, and deposed to by one Mrs. Okwara Elvis, alleged that during the pendency of the suit, precisely on October 19, 2011, the state government and its officials invaded the said land and committed what it termed an act of trespass on the land and also committed a contemptuous act by interfering with the res already before the court.

Group decries Delta Speaker, senator’s rift From Hendrix Oliomogbe, Asaba HEAD of the 2015 governorship election in Delta State, a group, Concerned Delta Professionals for Good Governance (CDPFGG) has kicked against the raging media war between the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Chief Victor Ochei and Senator Ifeanyi Okowa. The Secretary of the Concerned Professionals, Mr. Lee Onwochei cautioned another group, Delta Focus Group, which was recently quoted as saying that Okowa has been asked to continue at the National Assembly as Senator while Ochei will be presented for the governorship race in 2015 against heating up the polity in Delta North senatorial district. Onwochei pointed out that Delta Focus Group has no locus-standi to decide who goes for what in Delta North, as the indigenes know their leaders.


ThE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


Osun raids illegal miners, arrests suspects

Eight die of measles, cough in Yobe

From tunji Omofoye, Osogbo SUN State government O has commenced the raiding of illegal gold miners across the state, as three persons were arrested on Wednesday evening. The operation, which was led by the Coordinator, Office of Mineral and Natural Resources, Office of the Governor, Mr. Tunde Ajilore, saw a combined team of security operatives storming Itagunmodi and Aruwa communities in Atakumosa-West Local Council Area where the illegal gold miners carry out their activities without government’s approval. The illegal gold mining site in Itagunmodi was said to have been operated by a group of Chinese, while the other one at Aruwa Village was being operated illegally by one Alhaji Aruna, who is based in Ile-Ife. While no one was met at the site being operated by the Chinese, scores of labourers engaged by Aruna at the Aruwa site were apprehended while mining illegally.

Edo police warn officers on council election From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City DO State Police Command yesterday said it would sanction any of its men and officers found to have compromised in the forthcoming local council election in the state. The Commissioner of Police, Folusho Adebanjo, who stated this while speaking with The Guardian, said all officers and men of the command, including colleagues from other commands and sistersecurity agencies, would be deployed to man the 2,627 polling units of 192 wards in the 18 local councils of the state. “The police authorities are desirous of having a very free and fair election in Edo State, the level of preparedness for the election is very high.


Oil marketer seeks discontinuance of n430m fraud charge By Bertram nwannekanma N oil marketer, Oluwaseun A Ogunbambo, alleged to have defrauded a bank of the sum of N430 million, yesterday filed an application before a Lagos high Court sitting at Ikeja, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter. Ogunbambo was charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly obtaining a N430 million loan from Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, using forged documents. But in the application filed by his counsel, Mr. Adebayo Adenipekun (SAN), Ogunbambo told the court, presided over by Justice Olabisi Akinlade, that the issue submitted to it as a criminal charge was purely a civil matter. Adenipekun, in the application dated February 13, 2013, said: “The dispute between the defendant (Ogunbambo) and the bank is also pending before the Lagos high Court as a civil matter. “The defendant has paid a part of the loan and has entered into agreement to pay the balance.

From njadvara musa, Damaturu

EPUTy Governor of yobe D State, Alhaji Abubakar D. Aliyu, has explained that

Director, Administration, Julius Berger Plc, Zubairu Ibrahim Bayi (left); Representative of FCt minister, Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Adamu Ismail; Division manager, Julius Berger, Hartmut Warnecke and Special Assistant to FCt minister on Legal matters, Abimbola Hundeyin, at the hand-over ceremony of nigeria at 50 Pavilion by Julius Berger Plc to the FCDA Administration in Abuja…yesterday PHOtO: LADIDI LUCY-ELUPO

Imo council chairmen kick against appointment of sole administrators From Charles Ogugbuaja, Owerri LECTED 27 local council E chairmen (on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party) in Imo State yesterday protested against the appointment of 27 new sole administrators by Governor Rochas Okorocha to direct the affairs of the local councils in the state. They were led by the chairman of Association of the Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Mrs. Rubby Emele and secretary, Enyinna Onuegbu; the body’s Legal Adviser, Cyprian O. C. Akaolisa, among others, at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre, Owerri. They insisted that the governor erred in law by appointing sole administrators about two days ago when their tenure was running as announced by Court of Appeal’s ruling in Owerri last year. Emele regretted that the governor came to office and announced their sack when they had the mandate to serve, stressing that the case was still in court with the ruling of the Appeal Court that

the governor should not appoint another set of people to replace them. The ALGON boss regretted that the judgment of the court was not complied with, leading them to go through all kinds of financial difficulties. She said that if any thing happens to them, the present government should be held responsible. “Whatever happens to us, this administration should be held responsible,” Emele maintained. Onuegbu insisted that they had resolved never to vacate their offices for any body from the governor until the matter was determined finally by the court. According to Onuegbu, since assumption of office, the governor has received a total of N120 billion from the Federal Government as allocation that accrued to the councils, adding that the state government should be asked what the money was used for. Akaolisa said they would prosecute the matter to logical conclusion, urging that the resolution of the ALGON members not to vacate their offices in the councils should

Ezekwesili canvasses transparent regulatory maritime environment By moses Ebosele O ensure sustained growth and development in the maritime sector, former Vice President, Africa, World Bank, Oby Ezekwesili, on Wednesday called for a transparent regulatory environment in the sector. Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX), she said that transparent regulation was key to overcoming the various challenges presently confronting stakeholders and the larger economy. Though the sector is strategically positioned, she noted, “there is no clear communication between stakeholders and members of the public.” She said: “It started with National Maritime Authority (NMA). Today, they call it Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). I am going to crack a


joke here. When National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) was being reformed, it ended up being called Power holding Company of Nigeria (PhCN), which is essentially a special purpose vehicle because it was an unbundled organisation. Guess what some smart Nigerians called it, ‘Problem has Changed Name.’ “In this particular case in your (maritime) sector, it was NMA, now NIMASA. The complaints that we have today are more than when it was NMA.” In her paper, which dwelt on financing option for indigenous ship owners, Ezekwesili said there were fundamental issues of governance in the maritime sector “that you are seeking to solve, that the nation is seeking to solve.” According to her, there is need to find out how countries like China developed its shipping industries to global prominence and relevance.

remain until the case was finally determined. Akaolisa said the last administration of Ikedi Ohakim left N26.27 billion in office for the incumbent. Okorocha had on Tuesday, through Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, sent a list of 27 sole administrators to the house of Assembly for the screening and approval of appointment, to replace the council chairmen.

only eight children died of measles and whooping cough and not 87, while the 498 cases recorded in 14 council areas of the state are being treated at the various health centres and clinics. Speaking on the outbreak of measles and whooping cough yesterday in Damaturu, he said: “I want to clarify the figures on the outbreak of the six childkiller diseases in yobe State that eight children died of measles and whooping cough; and not 87 children as erroneously carried by a media organisation (not The Guardian).” Aliyu, who oversees the Ministry of health as its commissioner, said that the eight children, who died of measles, represented the total number of cases treated at the Potiskum General hospital. On the recent outbreak of whooping cough, he disclosed that the yobe State Epidemiology Unit (yOEU) has recorded 137 cases in

the council areas of Machina, Fune, Bursari, Bade, Nangere, yunusari, Potiskum and Gulani, 160 kilometres south of Damaturu, the state capital. The state epidemiologist, Dr. Bulama Dika, also confirmed that the cases of whooping cough were recorded in the first quarter of this year. he attributed the outbreak to parents’ and guardians’ failure to immunise their children and wards against the six child-killer diseases, including polio and measles. To prevent further outbreak of diseases among children, Aliyu said: “We have put in place various surveillance systems across the state for early detection of epidemic-prone diseases. The surveillance system was designed for easy, accurate and speedy data-processing on a daily basis for quick intervention by our health workers in rural and urban centres of the state. “I have directed the health workers to vaccinate all the children that had missed the immunisation plus days (IPDs).


SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013

We Are Most Marginalised — NDIGBO





hE marginalisation song continues. This time, Ndigbo say they are the most marginalised in Nigeria and that there is actually a sustained design by the rest of the country to keep them perpetually down.


Baroness Lynda Chalker: nvEStmEnt In nigeria’s Oil Industry Impossible Without A Workable PIB.




FALAE: Yoru- OIL CURSE ba not AskEARS of petrol ing For Spedollar earncial treatings do not correment, We Demand Fair spondingly add up to developtreatment.


ment in Nigeria.

PLUS: Jostles In States Ahead 2015 the Guardian On Sunday is new, fresher, bolder; a delight to behold and more importantly, reader-friendly! Book a copy today.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

WorldReport Pope Francis assumes duties, celebrates first mass Warns Catholics on inaction Seeks alliance with Jews Irish abuse victims task pontiff DAY after his dramatic elecA tion as the first Latin American leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis yesterday in earnest assumed his roles, celebrating his first mass as pontiff with a warning to the church against inaction. According to agency report, the mass was held in the Sistine Chapel together with the cardinals who elected him on Wednesday. In a new development, Francis has promised “renewed collaboration” with Jews in a letter to Rome’s chief rabbi yesterday. “I sincerely hope I can contribute to the progress there has been in relations between Jews and Catholics since the Second Vatican Council in a spirit of renewed collaboration,” the pope said, referring to a landmark council from the 1960s. After a recitation of the Lord’s Prayer at the mass, the famous chapel adorned with Michelangelo’s frescoes began resounding with Latin song. The New Testament reading was from the Book of Matthew in which Christ says to Peter: “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church.” All the cardinals, as well as the new pope, wore simple light yellow robes over their cassocks. Meanwhile, Francis I has warned cardinals at his first

mass that the church risked being reduced to a non-governmental organisation unless it undergoes spiritual renewal. Warning of the dangers of inaction, Francis told the cardinals that the Church could “end up a compassionate NGO”, using a word in Italian that can also mean “pitiful”. “If we do not confess, if we do not pray to the Lord, we are praying to the Devil. When you do not confess to Jesus Christ, you are confessing to the worldliness of the Devil,” he said. “Walking, building and confessing are not so easy. Sometimes there are tremors,” he said. “I would like all of us after these days of grace to have the courage to walk in the presence of the Lord,” he said. The pope also visited a Rome basilica in his first outing yesterday as the new leader of the world’s 1.2 billion-strong Catholic Church, entering discreetly through a side door before placing a bouquet of flowers in homage to the Virgin Mary. Dressed in the white papal vestments, Francis was driven to the basilica in a standardissue Vatican car rather than the papal limousine, in keeping with early signs that the ascetic 76-year-old Argentine will shun the perks of high office. The low-key visit to the Salus Populi Romani at the ancient

Santa Maria Maggiore church in the Eternal City lasted just 20 minutes. The church was closed to the public and just a dozen excited nuns, priests and seminarians were there to greet him. It was a world away from the scene the night before when the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio stepped onto the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica to greet tens of thousands of people after cardinals made him Latin America’s first pope. The pope had told the elated crowd on Wednesday that his first act would be to pray to the Virgin Mary. “He stayed for 20 minutes in front of an image of the Virgin Mary and laid a very simple bouquet of flowers,” said Giuseppe, one of the seminarians at the church, still clearly moved after his encounter with the new Bishop of Rome. “He was wearing a white cassock, black – not red –shoes, his cardinal’s ring and a silver cross,” he told AFP. After laying the bouquet, Francis moved on to pray at a reliquary of Christ’s manger and at the altar of St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order to which the new pope belongs. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, himself a Jesuit, explained later: “For us Jesuits, that place is very significant because the founder of our church celebrated his first mass there in 1538.” Father Ludovico Melo, who met the pope during the visit, said: “It was an emotional meeting, full of joy and humility. The Holy Father said to us, ‘be merciful, be merciful’.” As the pope left the basilica

seen by many religion scholars as a centrist on matters of Roman Catholic doctrine. In keeping with his Jesuit tradition, however, he is seen as progressive on many social issues like helping the poor and oppressed. Here is a summary of his views on a variety of issues as reported by Agence France Presse (AFP) yesterday. SAME-SEX MARRIAGE/GENDER IDENTITY: As Cardinal, Bergoglio was a fierce opponent of legislation, which passed in Argentina in July 2010 legalizing gay marriage. “Let’s not be naive. This is not just a political struggle. It is

destructive to God’s plan,” Bergoglio said shortly before the vote. It was one of many sticking points in his rocky relationship with President Cristina Kirchner, with whom he has clashed over the years. Bergoglio also disapproved of a bill passed in May 2012 to grant recognition to transvestites and transsexuals under their elected gender. ABORTION AND BIRTH CONTROL: In keeping with mainstream Catholic thought, he opposes terminating the life of an unborn child. “A pregnant woman does not carry in her womb a toothbrush, or a tumor. Science shows that from the

moment of conception, the new being has the whole genetic code,” he said. The new pope is against all use of condoms, even to prevent AIDS. He is seen as likely to maintain the current line against other forms of birth control as well. EUTHANASIA: Francis is opposed to euthanasia, even in the case of those who are sick or the elderly. BAPTISM: In 2012, he urged priests from all 11 dioceses in Buenos Aires to baptize all newborns, including those conceived or born out-of-wedlock. PEDOPHILIA AND THE CHURCH: Bergolio has not spoken out

NITED States (U.S.) PresiU dent Barack Obama and new Chinese President Xi Jinping held telephone talks yesterday on the expansion of ties between the two countries, according to state news agency, Xinhua. Obama congratulated Xi on his new appointment after he was named president by China’s Parliament and said U.S.-China relations were faced with an historic opportunity for future cooperation. “Xi said China and the United States have enormous common interests, but also differences,” Xinhua reported. “He emphasised that as long as the two sides follow the spirit of mutual respect, openness and tolerance, China and the United States will be able to achieve more in the Asia-Pacific region and to turn the Pacific into an ocean of peace and cooperation.” The two leaders also discussed cyber-security and North Korea, according to the state agency.

Benghazi suspect detained in Libya ESTERN intelligence offiW cials have reportedly arrested suspected of

Pope Francis I leading a mass at the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican…yesterday. PHOTO: AFP/OSSERVATORE ROMANO to climb into the car, he raised his arm to greet children who gathered at the windows of a school opposite who shouted and waved to attract his attention. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio took a keen

interest in the poor and dispossessed, shown by his choice of the name Francis, after St Francis of Assisi, the 13th-century saint who famously eschewed his family’s wealth to devote himself to God and the poor.

New head of Catholic Church’s views on faith, ideology, others ORMER Cardinal Jorge FtheBergoglio, who has chosen name Francis as pope, is

Obama congratulates China’s new president

on the pedophilia crisis. Three Catholic priests have been criminally prosecuted since 2002 for sexual abuse of minors, and are serving prison sentences for their crimes. In addition, two bishops have resigned over child sex abuse scandals. The Catholic Church in Argentine, however, has refrained from issuing a public statement in any of those cases, saying it would defer to whatever judgment is reached by the judicial system. ARGENTINA’S DICTATORSHIP: Bergoglio now 76, was 40 when a military junta overthrew the government and launched what came to be known as Argentina’ “Dirty War,” during which as many

as 30,000 people disappeared. He has been criticized for not being more outspoken in opposition to the regime and for allegedly failing to protect two Jesuit priests who opposed Argentina’s military junta after they were kidnapped in 1976. “I did what I could for a person of my age and with few ties to turn to advocate for kidnapped persons,” he said in the book, “The Jesuit.” CHURCH REFORMS: He is against ending celibacy among priests or changing the role of women in the church, nor is he expected to support changes in the Church’s treatment of divorced Catholics and gays.

involvement in the September attack on the United States (U.S.) diplomatic compound in Benghazi is being held in Libya The Cable News Network (CNN) quoted two sources as confirming the man’s name as Faraj al-Shibli (also spelled Chalabi). The disclosure came after Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan, during his first official trip to Washington six months after the deadly September 11 attack in Benghazi, publicly promised on Wednesday that his government would identify, capture and put on trial those behind it. Zeidan said during a joint media briefing with Secretary of State, John Kerry, that Libya and the United States will work together “in order to reach the truth – who are the perpetrators of the crimes that were committed,”. “They must be put to trial,” he said through an interpreter, citing the demands of “American public opinion” and “our Islamic heritage.” However, one of the CNN sources, who was been briefed on the arrest by Western security operatives, said Al-Shibli was detained within the past two days and had recently returned from a trip to Pakistan.

Muslim world seeks better ties with pontiff FTER years of strained relaA tions with Benedict XVI who was seen as being hostile to Islam, the Muslim world yesterday expressed hopes for better ties with the Vatican under Pope Francis. The 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Al-Azhar – Sunni Islam’s highest seat of learning – expressed this sentiment in

similar statement as they welcomed the Argentine’s election. OIC chief, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, in a letter of congratulations, said he hoped “the relationship between Islam and Christianity will regain its cordiality and sincere friendship” under the new head of the Roman Catholic Church. Ihsanoglu said that “over the last eight years, the OIC has

called for and worked hard to propagate the idea of ‘historic reconciliation between Islam and Christianity’.” “I would like at this historic moment to reiterate this call,” wrote the secretary general of the organisation based in the Saudi city of Jeddah. Al-Azhar also called for “better relations” with the Vatican under the new pope following

the suspension of dialogue after statements by Benedict XVI sparked Muslim anger. “As soon as a new policy emerges, we will resume the dialogue with the Vatican which was suspended in early 2011,” Mahmud Azab, adviser for inter-faith affairs to Al-Azhar imam Ahmed al-Tayyeb, told AFP. Benedict’s papacy was

plagued by a series of public relations blunders that offended many from the start of his reign. In 2006, the German pontiff sparked fury across the Muslim world when he recounted an anecdote in which the Muslim Prophet Mohammed was described as a warmonger who spread evil teachings by the sword.



THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


Politics Whittle down executive powers of president, governors, says Akpata Chief Gabriel Akpata, 84, is a pensioner based in Benin, the capital of Edo State. A 1968 graduate of the University of Lagos, and University of Connecticut, United States of America (1982), he retired as an administrative officer in 1984. The Ezomo of Ehor, headquarters of Uhunmwode Local Council of Edo State, spoke to Deputy Lagos City Editor, GODFREY OKPUGIE, on the Nigerian Constitution and the sections that need to be amended therein and why. OES Nigeria have reasons to celebrate in D 2014 a century of existence since its amalgamation in 1914? Having gone so far and with only one civil war, I think we should celebrate. When you bring people from different orientations, tribes and who daily encounter a lot of disagreements and yet, are able to manage the differences so far, we have to celebrate. The National Assembly is in the process of amending the Constitution; which are the priority areas to be focused on? The area that should be amended is the vesting of the awesome and enormous executive powers of state in one person. This monopoly of executive power of state by one person had been identified as the cause of political problems and upheaval of many countries throughout human history. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The absolute power vested in the Emperors of Europe during the Dark Ages generated a lot of wars and upheaval from the Middle Ages to the modern times. That such exists in our Constitution is not democratic. The executive powers of the Federal Government in Nigeria are vested in the President; those of the state are vested in the Governor. But in the United States of America, the executive powers are vested equally in six executive officers; and the sharing of executive powers constitutes the internal control of public fund and just dispensation of justice without fear or favour. In Nigeria, the President, with the approval of the Senate, appoints the ministers. The President can fire them. They are messengers to the President just as commissioners are to the Governors. When you read the book, Reforming the Unreformable, by Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, you will understand the tremendous executive powers of the Nigerian President. The slight disagreement between former President Obasanjo and his Minister of Finance arose during a retreat to which ministers and high government functionaries were invited. It was reported that during the retreat, the President walked in to announce the immediate transfer of the Director of Budget from the Ministry of Finance to his office. The shocked Minister of Finance left the retreat and went to her office, and wrote a resignation letter. She then went to the office of the President and handed the letter to him. The President was furious and threw away the letter and told her that she couldn’t resign. Later, she, Ngozi, accompanied by her father, His Royal Majesty, the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku, went to see the President, who eventually agreed to retain the Director of Budget in the Ministry of Finance. In the above incident, the President exercised his executive powers vested in him by the Constitution. Because of this provision of executive powers, several governors in the country have been accused and some have actually been convicted for looting public funds. How did these men, who, before they were voted into power, were persons of unassailable integrity, become thieves while in office? It was because of the executive powers they had.

Akpata Therefore, this section of the Constitution must be amended before it is too late. This is also the cause of the do-or-die competition for the one-man executive powers position in both the state and federal government levels in the country. If the Constitution is amended and the executive powers are shared to six executive officers, contenders for the post of the president and that of governor will reduce. This will bring sanity into elections and politics. In parts of the world like Syria, Egypt and other Arab countries where you have commotion, the problems arose from the vesting of executive powers in one person. Eventually, that person will become a king and dictator. The Nigerian Constitution has a hidden dictatorship in our head of state. That one removes democracy from Nigeria in the real sense of the word. We have to divide those executive powers to at least six persons of equal rank, voted for and they should work for the people. Currently, the President is voted for, the Governor is also voted for; and as soon as they are sworn-in, they will continue to nominate people saying, “You will be Minister of Finance,” “You will be the Minister of Justice.” As far as the President is the one nominating the Ministers of Finance and that of Justice, the President, by extension, is really the Minister of Finance, and he is the Attorney General because it is only the case approved by him that will go to the court. Any case not approved by him will not be charged to court. This is why the Police were afraid to arrest Mr. Maina. It was only when the President spoke that the man started to dodge and eventually melted out. If Nigeria were a country where the Attorney General has executive power, he needn’t obtain permission from the President before he picks up Maina. This also explains why, when an Attorney General was murdered in this country some time ago, the person alleged to be behind the crime was arrested but nothing was done to him. The suspect even won an election while in detention. The vesting of executive powers in one person is the origin of corruption in Nigeria and that section of the Constitution must be amended. How? The only way is to amend the Constitution and split the executive powers vested in the President among six people. The six people should have equal powers. If this is done, the quest for the post of President by the different

ethnic groups in the country or the argument for rotational presidency among the six geopolitical zones would reduce or be a thing of the past. Right now, the North is agitating for the presidency. But if the executive powers are divided, the agitation will stop. The reason the North is agitating for power is because those in the area, who had been heads of state, know the secret of what you can get if you are there. They know how much goes into the pocket of the President. Gen. Buhari is aware; so also are Babangida and the rest of them. If you are the president, you can be given allocations of oil. The money obtains from such generous allocations does not go into the treasury. An executive President can summon the NNPC and give directive that, “Every month, I want ten shiploads of oil allocated to me.” The answer is “Yes, sir!” That is also what happens in other countries where you have presidents with executive powers like in the Middle East. If nothing is done about it in the Constitution, the issue of executive powers vested in the President will divide this country. Which do you prefer, parliamentary or presidential system of government? I have examined this issue thoroughly in my paper on the American and the British systems. Parliamentary is good in a place where discipline has grown over the years. The British has no written constitution. Theirs is a convention. Here in Nigeria, if you adopt the parliamentary system of government, we do not have the habit or orientation like the British, to make it work. Therefore, the parliamentary system will not work here. So, you recommend retention of the presidential? Yes! That is what the American adopted. The settlers in the State of Connecticut, in the USA, designed the first written constitution in the world. The fathers of the nation, who would not contest for political office or be appointed into office later, wrote this constitution. They drafted an impersonal constitution. Before they drafted the US constitution, they reviewed the history of the world. They looked at the Greek history, Roman Emperors and seeing how arbitrary they were and what led to the fall of the Roman Empire. They decided that the best thing to ensure that America survived was to write a constitution, and that the constitution should be written by the fathers of the nation such as retired judges, retired principals of schools, retired professors,

who were not aspiring to be elected officers and their children would also not be those to be elected into offices. In Nigeria, the opposite was the case. The politicians wrote the constitution for themselves. After doing so, they in turn are coming to contest elections, to enjoy the provisions of the constitution that they had written for themselves. While writing the constitution, they gave themselves executive and military powers. They put in the constitution the type of powers Abacha and Babangida had. They made provisions that would favour them when they are voted in. Is the INEC right to de-register some political parties? It is a part of the disease of corruption in the country. Why do we have so many political parties? If Nigeria wants to do something as a young country, it should take a look at older countries in the world and adopt the one in the countries that are better of. Instead, we always do the things that pave ways for people to corruptly enrich their pockets. If I had known you (reporter) before now, I could have called you to come and join with me to register a political party known as Salvation of the Nigeria Political Parties (SANPP). INEC would register it and when it is time to campaign, INEC would give us mobilisation fund. We would share it and that is all. We would only print posters in some cities. The political parties are nothing but vampires. The parties should be de-registered and sentenced for collecting money. Do you want a multi-party democracy or just two parties? Two parties are the best, as arranged by Babangida in the NRC and SDP. We could have, by now, settled down if the parties were allowed to continue. We do not even need a third party in this country. If there are only two parties, when one wins, the other party will wait patiently for its turn. This will give room to stability and peace in the country. Some people want local governments scrapped because state governors exploit them. How do you want the councils administered? The local government is a product of the state government. When the governor takes the money, he uses it for the interest of the state. If the state governor fails to use the money, the local councils will share it. Staff of many local councils have several houses. When allocation comes, they just divide it into N1.5 million, N2.4 million, etc., and call the boys in the treasury department, who are known as Imprest Retirers, who retire imprest for the big bosses. Those boys go out to buy receipts from everywhere; some of them even go as far as printing different kinds of receipts with different names of companies that are non-existent and with these receipts, which usually do not bear addresses, retire the allocation that was remitted to the council. That is what is going on in local governments. I am not saying the local government should not be autonomous. But a commission of inquiry should be set up to go round all the local councils in the country, to examine how they have been spending the allocations given to them. Is the imprest the same as allocation? When the allocation is released to the councils, the funds are given to the HODs (Head of Departments) as imprest to be retired. When the funds are given out as imprest, they will give a part of it to the Imprest Retirers to print fake receipts to cover the expenses of projects on which the fund is expended. When that is done, the officials take home the allocation to share. There was a secretary to a local council, who died recently. He had so many buildings and billions of naira of public funds in his bank account. They always die prematurely. They don’t live to ripe age to enjoy their loots. I am 84 years now as a retired public servant. But those who stole public funds die very early.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

TheMetroSection Residents cry as bulldozers roar in Ilorin

Briefs Ibadan Grammar School clocks 100 HE Ibadan Grammar School T Centenary celebration gathers momentum on Sunday,

The demolished shops...

Another view of the demolished shops...

From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin

The people should understand what the government is doing. Demolition exercise anywhere in the world had never been applauded... yet. it is necessary to avoid distortion HEN the Kwara State governW ment decided to tar the about 18-kilometre byepass from Sango end of Ilorin/Jebba Road to Akerebiaata trunk ‘C’ road, the people of the area in question described the government’s gesture as unprecedented. They began to count their chickens even before the eggs were hatched. Shops, filling stations, nursery and primary schools and social halls sprang up on the road in linear structural formation, celebrating

the opening up of the area to business activities after many years of neglect. Landowners leapt for joy savouring the sudden high patronage by vendees with its attendant high cost slammed on land in the area. But the joy today seems momentarily, as the government, through its agency, the Town Planning Development Authority has moved into the area. This agency has not restricted its activities to this area as it has equally combed the studentpopulated area of Tanke Road. The authority, which recently engaged in the enforcement of regulatory set-back of buildings along roads in Ilorin, moved into these areas with a bulldozer pulling down every structure on the restricted areas, irrespective of their aesthetics or size. The development forced uncontrollable tears down the cheeks of the shop owners, attendants and tenants. Thick dust rented the air as bricks and corrugated iron sheets

fell over each other. Sympathisers besieged the areas asking countless questions that the forlorn looking workers of the governmental agency failed to answer. The development, which sparked off heavy traffic on the roads, as vehicles moved at snails’ speed for several hours, looked unprecedented in the 46-year history of the creation of the state and its capital. A shop owner at Royal Valley Estate section of the Akerebiata Road, Mr. Samuel Adekunle, a native of Eruwa in Oyo state, had stood in front of his shop daring the bulldozer driver to clear him with the shop. According to 68-year-old Adekunle: “I retired from the civil service eight years ago. I used my gratuity to build this shop with the aim of using the proceeds to keep my body and soul together. If you pull it down you have pulled down my life, my source of income and my joy.” But the men of the National Civil Defence Corps attached to the agency carried him forcefully, while

the bulldozer pulled down the highly valued shop. Adekunle later threatened a legal action against the state. For Alhaja Muniat Akanbi, the owner of an eatery at Tanke, curses galore would be invoked on “all those responsible for this wicked act against me. Where do they want me to go to now? Almighty God who knows what others don’t know will pull down their own sources of income.” Reacting to the development, Kwara State Commissioner for Information, Tunji Morounfoye said the people should understand what the government is doing, adding that demolition exercise anywhere in the world had never “been applauded, yet it is necessary to avoid distortion.” Morounfoye urged the victims not to resort to any extra judicial act over the demolition, as the government of the day would do everything possible to retain the master-plan of the state capital.

Julius Berger donates pavilion in remembrance of Nigeria’s 50th anniversary From: Terhemba Daka, Abuja ONSTRUCTION giant, Julius Berger Nigeria, yesterday handed over to the authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), a pavilion it designed and constructed in commemoration of Nigeria’s 50th Independence anniversary. The pavilion, which is built on a space of 1037 square metres, at the Peace Park, beside the International Conference Centre (ICC), consists of an auditorium,


six exhibition areas, conveniences and changing rooms as well as administrative and functional areas. The handover of the building is the last in the number of contributions pledged by the company during the Independence celebration, the others being the hoisting of national flags and road markings on various roads in the territory, totaling a distance of over 25 kilometres. The Director of Administra-

tion of the company, Alhaji Zubairu Bayi, who made the presentation, said the pavilion was designed and constructed as a corporate social responsibility of the company. According to him, it was pledged in 2010 to mark the 40th year of the firm in Nigeria. He said the pavilion would serve as a space for education and cultural exchange, a platform for the promotion and preservation of Nigeria’s rich history and

vibrant heritage and also welcome the international community as a place to share their culture and encourage understanding and exchange. The FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, who was represented by the Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Mr. Adamu Ismail, an engineer, commended the company for the gesture. He said the pavilion was part of the concept for the

peace park. “It is part of the concept. This is the peace park and a park contains a lot of facilities, one of which is an exhibition centre. When tourists come to a park, they should have things to look at and this is an integral part of the peace park as designed in the master plan,” he said. He assured that the pavilion would be maintained by the FCT mandate secretariat in charge of cultural and tourism issues.

Commercial motorcyclists protest alleged killing of member By Odita Sunday

The motorcyclists, thereafter, reportedly took over the road, protesting an action that caused a hitch in the freeflow of traffic....It, however, took the efforts of policemen from Area ‘M’ Command, Idimu to disperse the protesters OMMERCIAL motorcyclists on Wednesday C night threw Akowonjo area of Lagos into pandemonium in protest over the alleged

killing of one of their own by a team of policemen who were enforcing the new traffic law. A vehicle reportedly hit the deceased named Akeem Rahman, in his attempt to escape from some policemen, who were allegedly giving him a hot chase at Akonwonjo roundabout. It could, however, not be ascertained whether the policemen actually chased him. But eyewitnesses said the deceased was coming from the Shasha end when he sighted the police patrol van. “Immediately, he sighted the policemen, he attempted to escape because the van was close to him. But as he made to turn at the roundabout, he fell off the motorbike and landed right under the tyre of a moving truck which

crushed him to death”, an eye witness told The Guardian. His colleagues were said to have chased the police van, with some of them hauling stones at their patrol vehicle. The motorcyclists thereafter, reportedly took over the road, protesting, an action that caused a hitch in the free flow of traffic. It, however, took the efforts of policemen from area ‘M’ command, Idimu to disperse the protesters. Lagos State Police spokesperson, Ngozi Braide told The Guardian that she was not aware of the incident, adding that she would call the Area Command headquarters to ascertain the truth of the matter.

March 17, 2013 at 11.00 a.m., as the old students and their spouses in the Lagos branch, will worship at the Christ Church Cathedral, Marina, Lagos. It will be followed by its monthly meeting at 2.00 p.m. at the residence of the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Philips, an old student, 20, Oduduwa Crescent, Ikeja. The Lagos branch chairman, Mr. Dayo Onakoya, further disclosed that the branch dinner would take place at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, on Wednesday, March 27,2013, a day before the formal launch of a book on 100 years of the school, at the school premises in Molete ,Ibadan.. The book launch will be preceded by a lecture to be delivered by the former Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani, an old student.

Christ School’s set of 77/82 meets Sunday HE 77/82 set of Christ’s T School, Ado Ekiti meets on Sunday, March 17, 2013 at Home Touch Restaurant, Palm Grove, Lagos at 5.00p.m. Issues to be discussed, according to the Secretary, Dr. Sola Oyebode, include the ongoing project being carried out at the school by the set.

NAFDAC sets up Small Business Support Desk By Chukwuma Muanya S part of its efforts to promote productive interaction with stakeholders and in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has introduced ‘Small Business Support Desk’ to encourage small scale businessmen/women in various parts of the country. According to a statement made available to The Guardian yesterday and signed by the Ag. Director, Special Duties, Abubakar Jimoh, the DirectorGeneral of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, who made this known at a stakeholders’ forum organized by NAFDAC in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State said that the idea behind the introduction of the Small Business Support Desk is to stimulate industrialization and alleviate poverty in the country. Orhii noted that the Small Business Support Desk would create an opportunity to liaise with the industry. “We have our rules and regulations in NAFDAC but we want to hear from you, to exchange views, to know areas to correct you,” he said. The aim of the Small Business Support Desk is to create a platform to liaise with small businesses to foster greater understanding of NAFDAC procedures and also to serve as an enquiry point for clients on regulatory issues. The desk also aims to improve access to information on product registration, to provide timely feedback to stakeholders and sectoral groups and to clarify NAFDAC’s laws and regulations



THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


Man arraigned over N2m fraud By Joseph Onyekwere allegedly obtaining Fof OR N2 million under pretext supplying his victim recharge cards, the Nigeria Police on Wednesday arraigned s 35-year-old businessman, George Ugochukwu before an Igbosere Magistrate’s Court in Lagos. He was said to have committed the offence on February 1, 2012 at No. 14, Zainab Crescent, Medina Estate, Gbagada in Lagos. The offence, the prosecution said contravened section 312 and 409 of the Criminal

Co-author Brian Browne (left); Advert Manager, The Guardian, Bimbo Atta,; former Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu; the reviewer, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae and his wife, Veronica; Head, Marketing, The Guardian, Abayomi Oguntuase and Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas at the launch of the book on Tinubu entitled Financialism: Water from an empty well in Lagos

Code, Laws of Lagos State, 2011. “The defendant obtained the sum of N2 million by pretext from Mr. Vincent Ike. The defendant fraudulently collected the sum under the pretext of supplying him recharge cards, a representation he knew to be false”, said Police prosecutor, Inspector Marcus Okon. Okon pointed out that the complainant, who could not exercise more patience, however, reported the case to the police, leading to the arrest of the defendant. However, the defendant

Borno police recover 23 vehicles, tricycles, motorcycles from robbery suspects From Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri HE Borno State Police Command has arrested six armed robbers and recovered 23 vehicles, motorcycles and a tricycle in various parts of Maiduguri metropolis. The Command has also urged owners of the vehicles to come forward with proper identifications and proofs of ownership at the Police Headquarters. The vehicles, according to police sources, were either snatched at gun-point at their homes or parking lots. Parading the suspects on Wednesday at the police headquarters, Maiduguri, the Police Commissioner, Alhaji Yuguda Abdullahi said the suspects had been invading the privacy of citizens’ residences to rob them of their vehicles and valuables, including undisclosed sums of money. Abdullahi also, in a statement, said: “The


Acting Comptroller General of Immigration, Rilwan Musa (right), Deputy Comptroller General of Immigration, Anthony Oklobia and Deputy Comptroller General of Immigration in charge of Works and Logistics, Sani Umar during the decoration of Mr. Oklobia as Deputy Comptroller General at the Immigration Headquarters, Abuja

Founder, Next 2 None, Mr. Ndukwe Sam Obu (left), philanthropist/ trustee, Next2None, Mr. Chijioke Isiolu, President of the Actors Guild of Editors, Ibinabo Fiberesima and Personal Assistant to Fiberesima, Ms Gloria Iyen at the Lagos sensitisation campaign of the Nex2None, a non-governmental organisation, which aims at fighting human trafficking....

police command has taken the battle to the doorsteps of these notorious syndicates; several of which have been smashed in the last month. They are also being interrogated, after which the completion of preliminary investigations, they will be arraigned before the court of law.” The statement reads in part: “Owners of these recovered vehicles are advised to proceed with genuine documents, proof of ownership to Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and the state CID to collect their vehicles and motorcycles.” The police chief in the statement also advised residents to be more careful about “where and how” they park their vehicles, adding that glasses should be wound up and car doors locked, while dark and notorious areas should be avoided; and fully cooperate with the police to protect lives and property in the state.

Niger raises panel on female genital mutilation, others From John Ogiji – Minna HE Niger State government has set up a committee to verify the claim that some communities in the state still engage in the harmful practice of female genital mutilation and other practices inimical to the health of women. This follows complains by the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Niger State chapter during a courtesy visit on Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu at the Government House in Minna on Wednesday, alleging that the harmful practice as well as same sex marriage. FIDA told the governor that these practices were going on in some parts of the state and therefore, urged the government to conduct detailed investigations to enable the government take action to stop it. Governor Muazu Babangida


Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko (right), World Bank representative, Dr. Dinesh Nair (left), Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Ado Muhammad during a courtesy call on the Governor recently.

pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him. The Magistrate, Mrs. Olufolake Oshin, on granting the defendant bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties, warned him not to seek for any “professional surety”, noting that if he did, he would be punished. Magistrate Oshin made it known to the open court that bail was for free and no defendant should pay money to registrars or any miscreants for bail. She, thereafter, adjourned the case to April 16 for mention.

Aliyu, who was apparently shocked at the claim and the contributions by some members of the State Executive Council to the effect that the FIDA report could be correct, directed the committee headed by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ibrahim Sule to do a detailed report and submit findings to the government within two weeks. Other members of the committee are the Special Adviser on Health, the Commissioner for Gender Affairs and the Commissioner for Education while FIDA will provide the secretariat and the Secretary of the committee. The governor promised to give the necessary support to the organization to enable it play its role of championing the cause of women in the society. Earlier the Chairperson of FIDA, Hajia Fati Takuma solicited the assistance of the government in the drive to

stop the dangerous practices in the state. Takuma also wants government to come out with legislation on how to stem the trend and punish offenders. Earlier, the governor, while receiving the Vice Chancellor of the Turkish Nile International University, had advocated that parents should give the education of their wards top priority, saying any community that relegates the education of its children to the background will return to the Stone Age. Education of children, Aliyu said should not be left to government alone as such publicspirited individuals and philanthropists should join in the funding of education. The Vice Chancellor of the University Professor Huseyin Sert had earlier invited Governor Aliyu to some of the programmes of the institution taking place in Abuja later this month.

A house suspected to belong to a miltant group in Bado Quarters in Sokoto metropolis being demolished by sePHOTO: NAN curity agents after several hours of exchange of fire in the early hours of Wednesday

14 | THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

TheGuardian Conscience Nurtured by Truth

FOUNDER: ALEX U. IBRU (1945 – 2011)

Conscience is an open wound; only truth can heal it. Uthman dan Fodio 1754-1816

Editorial At last, a roads agency for Nigeria? HAT the Federal Government would conclude the long-standing effort to establish a Federal Roads Authority, first attempted by the Yakubu Gowon administration in 1970, is a good development. This is assuming that the words of Mike Onolohmemen, the minister in charge of works, would stand. Although Nigeria hosted the World Bank Road Reform Initiative Workshop in Abeokuta in 1993, the matter of an appropriate road policy has dragged on while other African countries implemented the reforms. The result has been that the giant of Africa has had neither a good road policy nor good road network. In 1998, Steering Committee for Road Vision 2000 produced a Draft Decree for a National Road Fund and a Federal Roads Authority. It was hoped that the Abdulsalam Abubakar Administration would endorse it; rather, it was left for the in-coming civilian administration. As President-elect, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo vowed to set up the Road Agency “within the first 100 days” of his government. In the event, it was his baptism of fire. He was jolted to the reality of a difference between military dictatorship and democratic governance, sign-posted by slow pace, subtle blackmail, compromises and horse-trading. In 1999, Chief Tony Anenih as Minister for Works felt the idea of a road-user contribution was not politically expedient. So, instead of real reform, the Obasanjo government established just the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) in 2000. Funding has remained a major constraint of the nascent agency. Why has it taken so long to do the right thing? In the colonial times, Nigeria had the Public Works Department (PWD), handling roads, public buildings, and Utilities (electricity, water). As in many countries, institutions took up each of these functions. What remained of PWD became the Ministry of Works, handling mainly, Trunk “A” Roads, Public Housing, Lands and Surveys. From inception, the Railways and the Ports Authority were public corporations. Inland waterways, airports, were under separate departments in the Ministry of Transport. Over the years, the country has established Maritime Authority, Inland Waterways Authority and Airports Authority. The “road”, however, is the essential link for all other transport modes. In 1973, the Wey Commission’s recommendation for Federal Government “to set up the Federal Highways Authority, without delay,” was not ratified by General Gowon’s Federal Executive Council, because it ruled that the Ministry of Works could “adequately cope” with the funding and management of the 11,000 kilometres federal highway network at the time. The situation changed, however, in 1974 when the Federal Government took over 17,000 Kilometres of roads from the 12 states; as part of the 1975-80 National Development Plan. Such roads (like Lagos-Badagry Expressway) were rightly adjudged of strategic importance for social integration, economic development and defence access. With the resultant longest network of roads in any African country, there was need to set up the agency for federal roads. In Nigeria’s post-colonial history, the military did well for roads; switching over to right-hand traffic in 1972 and enacting the Federal Highways Decree (Law) 1971 and the Federal Road Safety Commission Decree (Law), 1988. As ministers responsible for roads, Gen. Abdulkarim Adisa and Gen. Mamman Kontagora supported the proposal to establish the Highways Authority. Nigeria needs a full-fledged Federal Roads Authority, which will have Maintenance as a Department and contribute to the funding of road safety operations. Also, in keeping with the principles of true federalism, it must have a department for liaison with the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, considering that a major part of the federal highway network once belonged to the states. This will facilitate cooperation and alleviate concerns over derivation factor in the matrix of sources for the National Road Fund. These issues were taken into consideration in the Final Stakeholders’ Report submitted to the Federal Government in 2008 by Diezani Allison-Madueke as Minister of Works. The Umaru Yar’adua administration endorsed the recommendations and sent the Draft Executive Bill to the National Assembly. President Jonathan was part of that endorsement and certainly knew of the draft bill that has been gathering dust in the National Assembly since 2009. As with all else, given the heavy volume of government work, what is required is the perseverance of the minister and the executive will in Aso Rock. The President must look forward (with a sense of history) to appending his signature to the law establishing the National Road Fund and the Federal Roads Authority. As many of the President’s ministers had been involved all along in the effort, what is required is an Inter-ministerial Committee of the ministers for Works, Finance, Petroleum Resources, National Planning, and Justice. There is no need to scrap FERMA, which has established a nationwide structure and gathered invaluable experience in routine maintenance. The Cabinet committee, with a representative of the states and co-opted experts, must examine a possible fast-track for the establishment of the Federal Roads Authority. At the commencement of this laudable idea in 1970, the Federal Government Delegation on Federal Highways Authority (Mr. S. O Wey, Engr. M.T. Usman and Mr. John Oyegun) visited Brazil, West Germany, Sweden, Italy and the United States to study their highway funding and management. Today, Nigeria can learn from the Republic of South Africa and even Ghana, which once had many agencies for roads but eventually brought them together as Ghana Highways Authority. Current Works Minister, Mike Onolohmemen’s statements were clear that the new agency for federal roads “will be responsible for the professional management of federal roads in the country, involving planning, design, construction, rehabilitation and maintenance, thereby ending the duplication of functions between FERMA and the Highways Department of the Ministry of Works. Roads evolved from the National Plan for Development. The federal highway network of 34,000 kilometres constitutes part of the nation’s assets. Nowhere in the world is such a long stretch of roads administered within a bureaucratic structure. A clear time-table, with definite benchmarks must, therefore, be set for the take-off of the National Road Fund and the Federal Roads Authority. This is the only permanent solution to the challenges of funding and management of roads in Nigeria.



Suspension of four lawmakers in Ogun IR: What distinguishes She rallied a handful of three state of insecurity to stall the man from animals is the other lawbreakers and violated ongoing development strides in Sobservance of law and order. Rule 38 of the House at the the state, they have now shifted Developed societies of today attained such status because of adherence to the rule of law. Any right-thinking person should therefore support any measure taken to enforce law and order to keep the society going. Given this background, the suspension of four members of the Ogun State House of Assembly by the leadership of the House should be commended. Three weeks ago on a radio programme, one of the suspended legislators threatened to instigate a crisis in the legislative chamber.

penultimate sitting of the leg- to the House to present a picture of chaos in Ogun. That won’t gel. islature. What is more, after they had However, I advise the House been suspended at the plenary leadership, led by the Speaker, on Tuesday, March 5, they Suraj Ishola Adekunbi, to stick decided to break the mace of to the rules of the House. While the House to prevent further we call on the police to investilegislative business. They even gate the criminality of the lawannounced the suspension of makers with the aim of prosecuthe leadership of the House tion, they must be allowed to after destroying the mace. We return to the chamber at the must not condone this brazen end of the maximum number of display of lawlessness any- days prescribed by the House Rule. That way, we will all be where in the country. Of course, any discerning seen to be promoting the rule of mind could see the hand of the law in Nigeria. discredited opposition in the • Steven Oladele, crisis. Having failed to create a Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Centenary: PRONACO’s Faux Pas I read with consterna- amended), such legitimate lib- Further, the brief but insightful a news item on page 3 erty should, nevertheless, not description of the various comSof IR:tion Monday, February 25, 2013 be licence for mischief-mak- ponents of the project leaves no edition of The Guardian titled “Centenary Celebration Lacks Depth”. According to that report, PRONACO through its Olawale spokesman, Okunniyi, had referred to Project Centenary as lacking “depth” and “substance” even as he dismissed the Concept Document for the Nigeria Centenary as a “lousy commemorative plan”. Whilst Okunniyi and his PRONACO family should be allowed to enjoy unfettered freedom of expression as provided for in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as

ing. For, it is either the PRONACO mouthpiece had not seen a copy of the Centenary Concept Document before making his unguarded utterances or he wilfully set out to mislead his readers by making such sweeping and baseless statement. Even the most cynical critic would agree that the Centenary Broad Framework is incontestably loaded. It is rich in philosophy and has a solid ideological grounding. From the Background to the Theme, Vision, Mission and Objectives, one can clearly see what the festivities aspire to achieve – reinvention of Nigeria at 100.

Nigerian – least of all, friend of Nigeria – in doubt as to how complementary and mutually supportive they are, as well as their rhythmic progression to crescendo. Yes, we may not have put together a flaw-free Concept Document, but what we have is an excellent product crafted by some of Nigeria’s brightest minds. What is left at the moment is for the yet-to-be-enthusiastic fraction of the populace, wellmeaning groups and other stakeholders to join the centenary train. • Chuks Akamadu, Abuja.

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, Match 15, 2013


Business AutoWheels P44

BusinessTravel P46

After 50 years of running, Porsche 911 remains the world’s sports car

Turboprops, smaller jest in remarkable comeback

Premium payment receipts rise under new insurance rule

By Joshua Nse HE nation’s insurance companies may have collected over 85 per cent premium income following the enforcement of “no premium no cover” in the underwriting of contracts from January 1, this year. Industry operators who confirmed the new development, said it was a departure from the past when such percentage volume of premium receipt was not recorded in one full year. Industry chieftains commended the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) for the new development, having stoutly enforced the regulation on insurance premium collection and remittance. According to NAICOM guidelines, “no insurer shall grant with effect from January 1, 2013, insurance cover without having received full premium or premium notification from the relevant insurance broker”. The Managing Director, Royal Exchange General Insurance Company, Olutayo Borokini, said that the company strictly followed the NAICOM guidelines on ‘no premium no cover’, as a result, the company recorded over 85 per cent insurance premium receipt for this year. Speaking at an interactive forum with journalists in Lagos, he said that it was one if the best policy directives that the commission has enforced in the market. “We want to commend NAICOM for enforcing this regulation as it is in the best


interest of all stakeholders in the industry”. Similarly, the Managing Director/CEO, STACO Insurance Plc, Sakiru Oyefeso, confirmed also that the premium income generated at the close of business as in December last year alone was higher than what the industry recorded in one full year. He predicted that since the enforcement has just started, the industrwill record 100 per cent premium volume when our clients fully come to reality with the new regulation. He added: “The commission under the present Commissioner for Insurance, is seriously working for the development and growth of the industry, so that the industry will improve on our service delivery particularly in he payment of claims on record time”. The Director-General of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Olorundare Sunday Thomas, said that all our member companies have complied strictly with the NAICOM directive in respect of payment and remittance of insurance premium.

“We want to thank the industry’s esteemed clients for the understanding, as the new development will further enhance the indus-

try service delivery including prompt payment of all genuine insurance claims,” he said.


outstanding premium reported in the financial statements of insurance companies. Underwriting companies

National President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dr. Herbert Ajayi, (right); Vice-President, Iyalode Alaba Lawson; and member, Olaitan Alabi, at the launch of NACCIMA’s emergency relief programme, in Lagos, yesterday.

Global stocks rise on U.S. data LOBAL equity markets and G the U.S. dollar rose yesterday, with the iconic Dow set to extend its winning streak to 10 days, after a report pointed to a stronger labor market and a steady recovery by the U.S. economy.

The dollar rose to a sevenmonth high against a basket of currencies and a threemonth peak versus the euro, helped by data showing the U.S. current account deficit, a broad measure of international trade, narrowed in the

fourth quarter. The dollar later retreated a bit. Wall Street followed gains that pushed European shares to a 4-1/2 year high after the Labor Department said initial claims for state unemploy-

Consortium seals crude handling deal with ExxonMobil By Sulaimon Salau consortium of indigenous firms, comprising Frontier Oil Limited, Universal Energy Resources Limited and Network Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, has signed a Crude Handling Agreement (CHA) with Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU)—a subsidiary of ExxonMobil Corporation. The agreement, according to the Executive Director of Network Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, Chief Femi Olagbende, has ushered in a new era of co-operation between indigenous operators and the International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in the country. Olagbende stressed that the

The enforcement of Section 50 of the Insurance Act 2003, was the result of the growing challenges arising from huge levels of

signing of the agreement symbolised a major milestone for the group in their quest to develop their respective marginal fields, using ExxonMobil’s Qua Iboe Terminal (QIT) facility as export route for their treated crude oil and condensate. The group, known as the FUN group operates oil fields, located in Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 13 and 14 in Akwa Ibom State, onshore South Eastern Nigeria. Frontier Oil is the operator of the Uquo marginal field; Universal Energy Resources operates the Stubb Creek marginal field, while Network Exploration and Production operates the Qua Ibo marginal field. Olagbende, in a statement

made available to The Guardian, said the use of MPNU facilities at QIT provides a significant economic advantage to the FUN group. “The events leading to the signing of this agreement date back to 2003 when the Federal Government through her oil and gas industry regulatory agency, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), awarded several marginal fields to indigenous oil field operators. “Due to the relatively small sizes of these hydrocarbon resources, the need to seek a cost effective storage and sales outlet for the crude became a key factor in determining the viability of developing these marginal fields.

"At the beginning of discussions in 2004, the three companies approached MPNU individually to seek permission to use QIT to export their crude, but MPNU instead suggested that the three companies work together and form a consortium with the understanding that their crude would be sent to QIT through a single oil pipeline instead of through multiple pipelines, which would provide an economy of scale for the group that was previously lacking. The result is what we are witnessing now,” he explained. He stated that the crude oil handling agreement was a very comprehensive document that captured the vari-


ment benefits unexpectedly fell in the latest week. A better measure of labor market trends - the four-week moving average for new claims - fell to the lowest level in five years. "Every week that claims stay down, it confirms it's not an anomaly, and this is pretty important," said Jack De Gan, chief investment officer at Harbor Advisory Corp in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The downward trend in jobless claims is "one of the reasons the market has been strong year to date," he said. A 10-day string of gains by blue chip stocks would be the longest since 1996. U.S. equities have rallied since the start of the year on an improving economy and the Federal Reserve's easy monetary policy. "At this point, it's just pure momentum," said Brian Gendreau, market strategist at Cetera Financial Group, based in Los Angeles. The S&P 500 at midday was less than 5 points away from an all-time closing high of 1,565.15. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 58.86

points, or 0.41 percent, at 14,514.14. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX was up 5.98 points, or 0.38 percent, at 1,560.50. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was up 9.92 points, or 0.31 percent, at 3,255.04. The European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 of leading regional shares was at its highest level since mid-2008, up 1 percent, lifted by the view on the U.S. economy. "The current rally is due to the cyclical expectations for the U.S. economy as it recovers," said Didier Duret, chief investment officer at ABN Amro in Amsterdam. "The better the U.S. performs, the bigger the hope that we will see some spillover into Europe ... We are overweight in equities and we love it," he added. The U.S. dollar .DXY, lifted by the current account and other data, climbed to a seven-month high of 83.166. Economists argue that less red ink in the U.S. trade balance bolsters foreign investors' faith in the U.S. economy and supports the dollar. The euro rebounded to trade


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


Panel begins sitting over oil spill By Moses Ebosele HE Marine Board of T Inquiry raised by the Federal Ministry of Transport to investigate 2009 MT Concept/Redfferm oil spillage at Tin Can Island in Lagos has appealed to stakeholders and members of the public to come up with information to aid its assignment. Inaugurated by the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar on February 28, 2013 at Abuja, the board has Chief Magistrate Nureni Kuranga as its president. The panel is expected to investigate the circumstances that led to the incident, authenticate the veracity of the incident as reported, ascertain the legal status of the MT Concept/Redfferm and its tonnage capacity, find out if MT Concept/Redfferm is covered by the relevant insurance policy as provided for by the International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Funds convention, determine the legal beneficiaries of any compensation arising and make any other recommendation that the committee

may deem appropriate. Kuranga called on all stakeholders in the maritime sector to work with the Federal Government towards establishing a Marine Accident Investigation Bureau “as this would ensure that investigation is carried out when evidence are still fresh and victims compensated without delay”. He assured the victims of the oil spillage incident that the board shall leave no stone unturned towards

Premium payment receipts rise under new insurance rule CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 have continued to report huge amounts of outstanding premium, while at the same time making equally large amount of provisions for bad debts without significant subsequent recovering of the debts thereafter. Besides, these were wide disparities between what insurers claimed were due from brokers and what the brokers claimed were due to insurers.

Global stocks on the upbeat CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 slightly higher at $1.2972. The single currency has shed 6 percent from a peak early last month. Oil rose above $109 a barrel, rebounding after four days of losses, although a subdued outlook for demand growth and easing supply concerns limited the gains. The U.S.

making recommendations and suggestions that will assist the Federal Government in taking a position that will further assist the IOPC. Officials of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency testified during the inaugural sitting. Other members of the board present at the sitting were Captain Ganiyu Alimi, Abuja Kato, Abdullahi Duro, Dikko Bala and Mallam Nura Abdul as Secretary.

jobs data also gave oil a lift. Brent crude for April gained 99 cents to $109.51 a barrel. U.S. oil added 28 cents to $92.80. U.S. Treasuries extended price losses on the jobless claims report. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was down 8/32 in price to yield 2.0506 percent.

Consortium seals crude handling deal with ExxonMobil CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 ous aspects of crude handling, receipt, storage and delivery, quality assurance, health, safety and environment and regulatory compliance. “The agreement further provides a win-win solution that will bring economic gains to all parties and also foster the spirit of good understanding and mutual cooperation,” he added. He disclosed that the FUN group companies have a total production target of 15,000 barrels per day. According to him, production is envisaged to start this month at about 4,000 barrels per day and peak at 15,000 barrels per day by December 2014.

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013



THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013



What the world expects th from the 266 Pope Arts & Culture P. 26

Autowheels P.44

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After 50 years of running, Porsche 911 remains the world’s sports car

Business Travels P.46

Turboprops, smaller jets in remarkable comeback


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15 , 2013

Hope for new order as Pope

Pope Francis

The Catholic Church is respected worldwide for engendering harmony, promoting education and peace among the world’s different religions. Yet, there have also been controversies about the way it is handling complaints from several quarters over the way some of its bishops had conducted themselves, writes ROTIMI LAWRENCE OYEKANMI PART from the American Presidential elecA tion, no other one has held much of the whole world spellbound as the election of the new Pope, which took place in the Vatican City, a walled enclave within Rome, Italy’s capital on Wednesday. As the clock ticked towards the announcement that evening, tension-soaked catholic faithful, tourists and other interested individuals, who gathered at St Peter’s square, plus billions of individuals around the world who stayed glued to their television sets, could only wait for who would become the next Pope. First, the 115 eligible Cardinals went into the enclave, paving the way for the waiting game. Their intense discussions had lasted for more than a week. Among the crowd outside, some women who were asked why they came to the square, said they were anxious to know who would emerge, because they knew some of the top contenders who were not friendly towards women. Others said it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as they would never be able to witness the election of a new pope in their lifetime again. When the white smoke billowed out of the Sistine Chapel’s chimney, the crowd roared with joy. Flags of different nations were waved. And by the time he stepped forward with a

smile, it became clear that Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, “a champion of the poor,” had become the 266th pontiff. He chose the name “Francis.” He is believed to be the first nonEuropean pope in over 1,200 years. His opening words elicited joy: “Brothers and sisters, good evening,” he said: “You know that it was the duty of the Conclave to give Rome a Bishop. It seems that my brother Cardinals have gone to the ends of the earth to get one... but here we are... I thank you for your welcome.  The diocesan community of Rome now has its Bishop.  Thank you. “And first of all, I would like to offer a prayer for our Bishop Emeritus, Benedict XVI.  Let us pray together for him, that the Lord may bless him and that Our Lady may keep him. 

“And now, we take up this journey: Bishop and People.  This journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches.  A journey of fraternity, of love, of trust among us.  Let us always pray for one another.  Let us pray for the whole world, that there may be a great spirit of fraternity.  It is my hope for you that this journey of the Church, which we start today, and in which my Cardinal Vicar, here present, will assist me, will be fruitful for the evangelization of this most beautiful city.”  Then, the humble words: “And now, I would like to give the blessing, but first - I ask a favour of you. Before the Bishop blesses his people, I ask you to pray to the Lord that he will bless me: the prayer of the people, asking the blessing for their Bishop. Let us make, in silence, this

And now, we take up this journey: Bishop and People.  This journey of the Church of Rome which presides in charity over all the Churches.  A journey of fraternity, of love, of trust among us.  Let us always pray for one another.  Let us pray for the whole world, that there may be a great spirit of fraternity.  It is my hope for you that this journey of the Church, which we start today, and in which my Cardinal Vicar, here present, will assist me, will be fruitful for the evangelization of this most beautiful city

prayer: your prayer over me.” For about a minute, there was silence as people prayed for him. At the end of it, the journey had started. Many remember the charismatic Pope John Paul II who was elected Pope on October 16, 1978 and died on April 2, 2005. There were immediate comparisons between the new Pope and John Paul. Will he be as charismatic? Will he change the church’s traditions radically? Will he allow new things? John Paul had been famous for his pastoral solicitude for all churches, openness, tolerance and charity. He loved young people, successfully encouraged dialogue with the Jews and adherents of other religions, and records have it that more than three million pilgrims visited Rome to pay their last respects to his remains, before they were committed to the earth on April 8, 2005. Although, Pope Benedict XVI may not be as charismatic, he was also credited with many positive things. An intellectual, who obtained his doctorate degree in Theology in 1953, the immediate past Pontiff is regarded as a bridge builder, who also loved children. His address, titled: “Why I am Still in the Church” to the Catholic Academy of Bavaris, remains unforgettable, especially his famous line: “One can

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15 , 2013


Francis’ papacy begins

Pope Francis I

Pope John Paul II

Pope Benedict XVI

only be a Christian in the church, not beside the church.” Indeed, when he stepped down in February, due to the complications of old age, Pope Benedict still underscored his love for the church. In a statement, he declared that he took the decision to step down in the interest of the church, since the church comes first and is always greater than anything else. But his tenure was also, sadly, dogged by controversies and allegations of sexual abuse against catholic priests in different parts of the world. There was also the betrayal of his butler, who leaked church secrets to the press, for which the butler was tried and jailed. But Pope Benedict forgave him. However, many critics accused him of inaction on several petitions by those who were sexually abused by priests, in what has been infamously labeled the doctrine of cover-up. How then will Pope Francis deal with all the controversial issues? The world has changed dramatically since St Peter first led the early Christians. Today, some of the things the Catholic Church would never allow are gaining ground in the developed world. The United States and European countries are now apostles of same-sex marriage, which the traditional Catholic Church detests. Will Father Francis endorse Gay marriage? Not likely. His past record points to the contrary. According to the New York Times, the new Pope is a doctrinal conservative, opposed to liberation theology, abortion, gay marriage and the ordination women, which were similar to Pope Benedict’s views. And as the archbishop of Buenos Aires beginning in 1998, and then as a cardinal from 2001, Francis was reported to have frequently been at loggerheads with the government of Argentina over social issues. “For instance, he castigated a government-supported law to legalize marriage and adoption by same-sex couples as ‘a war against God.’” The New York Times also recalled his interview with an Argentine newspaper in 2010, when the new Pope defended his behaviour during the period of dictatorship in Argentina. “He said that he had helped hide people being sought for arrest or disappearance by the military because of their political views, had helped others leave Argentina and had lobbied the country’s military rulers directly for the release and protection of others.” In a detailed report, American Cable News Network (CNN) averred that the new Pope took his name because he wanted to honour St Francis of Assisi, described as an admirer of nature and a servant to the poor and destitute. It stated: “St. Francis of Assisi was born the son of a rich cloth merchant. But he lived in rags among beggars at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Those close to Pope Francis see similarities between the two men.” The CNN also quoted Rev. Thomas Rosica, the Vatican’s deputy spokesman: “Francis of Assisi is ... someone who turned his back on the wealth of his family and the lifestyle he had,

and bonded with lepers and the poor. Here’s this pope, known for his care for AIDS patients and people who are very sick. Who is known for his concern (for) single mothers whose babies were refused to be baptized by priests in his diocese.” Described as the “Pope of the people,” Rev Eduardo Mangiarotti, an Argentine priest described him this way: “The new pope is a very humble man. He takes public transport every day.” A CNN Vatican analyst wrote: “He also chose to live in an apartment instead of the archbishop’s palace, passed on a chauffeured limousine and cooked his own meals.” Several world and religious leaders have been congratulating the new Pontiff. The Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos, Most Rev Alfred Adewale Martins said: “We are excited that we have a new pope. We have been praying that God will give us a man according to His own mind and heart. We believe that God has answered our prayers and whoever is there is God’s own plan for the church.” And few hours after his election, the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon called on him to build on efforts to improve relations between the world’s different religions. United States (U.S.) President, Barack Obama said: “On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I offer our warm wishes to His Holiness, Pope Francis, as he ascends to the Chair of Saint Peter and begins his papacy.” Bergoglio was born on December 17, 1936 in Buenos Aires. He holds a degree as a chemical technician, but then chose the priesthood and entered the seminary of Villa Devoto. On 11 March 1958, he moved to the novitiate of the Company of Jesus, where he finished studies in the humanities in Chile. In 1963, on returning to Buenos Aires, he obtained a degree in philosophy at the St. Joseph major seminary of San Miguel. Between 1964 and 1965 he taught literature and psychology at the Immacolata College in Santa Fe and then in 1966 he taught the same subjects at the University of El Salvador, in Buenos Aires. From 1967 to 1970 he studied theology at the St. Joseph major seminary of San Miguel where he obtained a degree. On 13 December 1969 he was ordained a priest. From 1970 to 1971 he completed the third probation at Alcala de Henares, Spain, and on 22 April 1973, pronounced his perpetual vows.

And now I would like to give the blessing, but first - first I ask a favour of you: before the Bishop blesses his people, I ask you to pray to the Lord that he will bless me: the prayer of the people asking the blessing for their Bishop. Let us make, in silence, this prayer:  your prayer over me. 

Cardinals going into the enclave for the election of the new pope

Father Francis (fourth from left) with Cardinals after his election

A catholic faithful reacts to Pope Francis’ election in Argentina


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

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THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


ExecutiveBrief In association with TRIPPLEA ASSOCIATES LIMITED


EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT INFOTECH4DEXECUTIVES CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE EXECUTIVE FINANCE ducation plays a vital role in the quality of life that a child E would live in the future, not just any education but an allround balanced education. Who is responsible for the education of the Nigerian child? Is it the parents, society or the school? Today, the bulk of this responsibility seems to fall on the school. However, no school can successfully accomplish this task on its own; hence there is a need for collaboration among schools. The Association of International School Educators in Nigeria, (AISEN) is the outcome of such partnership. AISEN is an association of international school principals in Nigeria. It provides a forum through which members access training, advice, and practical assistance where required. It also offers networking opportunities, through which professional educators can share, help and support on both professional and personal matters. Just as its motto says ‘Leading the way, together’, AISEN continues to foster understanding and mutual support between international schools within Nigeria through; Teacher training programmes; Cultural, sporting and intellectual programmes, festival and competitions; Creating a network of school leaders; Annual/bi-annual conferences and Liaison with the British Council and other examination boards. An annual conference is also one of such channels, even though these conferences are not restricted to member schools but usually open to the general public. At such conferences, pertinent issues that affect education and general matters are discussed. Participants are provided the opportunity to interact with and learn from experts in the industry. One of such conferences is the upcoming AISEN Conference 2013 which will take place on Thursday 21st March, 2013 at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos State. This conference is being convened to tackle the issue of death of schools and businesses after the exit of their owners as a result of the lack of succession plan. The theme of the conference is Succession Planning- 30 Years On, and it has

Working Together to Educate the Nigerian Child been packaged such that school owners, key decision makers, business owners and any person interested in running an organisation that transcends them can benefit. Participants will be equipped with the necessary information to ensure that their businesses do not fold up upon their retirement. This event is especially important for young organisations and businesses, as they will learn from professionals the secrets of businesses that have transcended their founders. As is the custom of AISEN, experts have been carefully selected to deal incisively with this issue at the conference. Dr. Jeff Bradley, Partner Educators’ Collaborative, San Francisco, will be the Keynote Speaker. He currently sits on the Commission of American and International Schools Abroad (CAISA) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Dr. Bradley has held a wide range of positions in rural, suburban, urban and international schools. Also speaking at the conference are Olasupo Shasore, SAN, Partner in the Law firm of Ajumogobia and Okeke and Former Honourable Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice of Lagos State; Nimi Akinkugbe, Former Regional Director (West Africa) Wealth & Investment Management at Barclays and Chief Country Officer for Nigeria and Ndidi Nwuneli, Pioneer Executive Director of LEAP Africa and NIA. At the conference, these speakers will handle topics on Inspired Governance, Tools for Staying the Course, Legal and Financial Overview of Governance and Ownership and Identifying Successors. There will also be a review of case

studies with a panel made up of Mr. Oye Odukale of Leadway Assurance, Mr. Segun Agbaje of Guaranty Trust Bank, Mrs. Funto Igun of Corona School and Mrs. Bukky George of Health Plus; moderated by Ms. Yetunde Allen, an expert in small medium scale business with 27 years’ experience. The Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Hon. Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, will be the Special Guest of Honour. “This conference is one in a series that AISEN has planned to become even more involved in the community. It will introduce the concept of succession planning and engender good dialogue between the education and the business community. This is because we realise that there is a lot that we can learn from business persons and we believe that other people can learn from the education sector. The networking that will ensue will be a foundation that will lead to other conferences in the future,” the Chairman of the conference, Dr. George Hickman said. AISEN organises training programmes on a regular basis. In an advancing society like ours where knowledge is not stagnant, the association ensures that staff of member schools stay abreast of the latest teaching methods and are in tune with best teaching practice so as to impart the students. This is done to improve the quality of teaching and learning in all international schools. Cultural, Sporting and Intellectual programmes, Festivals and Competitions are also organised for member schools. Known for excellence, these events such as the AISEN Sports Festival, AISEN Debate competition, Prefects training course, Arts competition and the Scientific congress, to mention a few, are carried out in the highest possible standards. It provides an opportunity for networking among the schools while at the same time allowing for talent discovery and academic development of the students which is key to producing an all-round student. AISEN liaises with the British Council and other examination boards to offer a clear commitment and record towards best practice in examinations and also set the baseline standards for international schools in Nigeria. Through community projects, the association has been able to have an impact on society. Over the years the association has been able to accomplish a great deal both for member schools and in the society at large. The President of AISEN, Mrs. Ekua Abudu attests to this, in her words: “AISEN has progressed to a large extent; our focus is on improving standards and we have been able to improve standards for teaching, learning and best practices in the area of school development. There has been an increase in professional courtesy and networking. We have also made a huge impact on the society because we believe in contributing to and giving back and insist that every member school carries out a community project. We have changed the mind-set from we are in competition to we are all here together to educate the Nigeria child”. How can a school join this association? Mrs. Abudu explains the process, “There are lots of associations within education, but we are schools that are offering an international curriculum. It does not have to be exclusive as a lot of schools run both international and Nigerian curriculum, but to be a member of AISEN, you must offer an international curriculum. All a school needs to do is send in an application. We have an Accreditation document, and we send out a team to inspect the school that has applied. They then make a recommendation. If the school meets the required minimum standards, in terms of professionalism, teaching, facilities and curriculum, then such a school becomes a member. If on the other hand, a school falls short of these standards, we advise the school on what to do and review their application at a later date.” AISEN was set up in 2004 and has proved to be a wonderful landmark in the history of international schools in the country, continuously striving to improve the standards of education in Nigeria. AISEN also decided on a set of academic, cultural and sporting programmes and events per term for the pupils of member schools. Clear guidelines and rules for each activity were introduced, which proved to be a wonderful landmark in the history of International Schools in Nigeria. Since then AISEN has become a highly regarded body in Nigeria offering the best training for IGCSE (through the British Council), an ever-increasing list of pupil activities and leagues and is the one of the most sought after international bodies, in Nigeria, for schools to belong to. AISEN works closely with Association of Private Educators in Nigeria (APEN) which is an association of school owners.

Ekua Abudu For Advertisement

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THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

Executive Management By David L Mount hat is Team Building?


Team building is the practice of team leaders and managers to develop a cohesive, cooperative effort to achieve the prescribed objectives for a group of people assigned to specific results; Say that ten times fast! While researching this topic, I found that there are very academic definitions for the term "Team Building" and there are also very simple descriptions on the subject. I hope to land somewhere in the middle. My goal is to cover the topic in terms that are meaningful and actionable. As a manager your role as team leader is vital to the success of your department and to achieving your company objectives. Teaching your crew to function as a team is an essential operation of your position. Your commitment to your team and their success is just as important as your commitment to your own professional success. You must understand and believe that you will never accomplish on your own what you can with a well trained, committed team. The founda-

Vision is the Faith by Which the Leader Functions

tion of all team building is having shared goals to which all team members are committed. Team building is most productive when it establishes and builds on those goals. Establishing ownership of common goals is the fundamental key to building a winning team.

than ourselves. Your primary function as a manager is to achieve results through the combined efforts of those who report to you. Your primary function as a leader is to show your team that they can accomplish more than they think they are capable of.

vate and inspire them. Often times working alongside a struggling player will help improve performance. As a manager however, you must know when it's time to make Strategic Planning Tips: the necessary changes. After • Continually analyze team per- working to raise the player's formance. ability by training and educa• Adjust strategy based on tion; don't hesitate to do what Leading Your Team - Clear results. is best by cutting poor perCharacteristics of Winning coaching and leadership: • Observe the competition and formers loose. Waiting isn't fair Teams: Invest in your team by provid- examine what they do well. to the rest of the team. Two qualities that most indiing consistent direction and • Ask "how can we do it better cate that a person will rise to encouragement. Make sure Interaction and Commitment than them?" the greatest heights in their job roles are defined by taking and • Resolve to be better than the to Excellence - Supportive interis the ability to deal with a cri- assigning responsibility. action and open communicacompetition. sis when it occurs and the abili- Everyone should know who's tion foster an environment to • Communicate clear plans, ty to excel as part of a team. leading the team. Establish excel. Give consistent feedback goals, and objectives. The most respected managers your command structure as • The better you plan, the better and discussion about performand leaders in all businesses soon as you identify it. Many ance to your entire team. Be your results will be. are also the best team leaders. teams become inefficient when open to arguments and disAssignments: - Assign players to agreements. Challenge encourTo lead a team you don't need direction is week or absent. based on their potenpositions to be the best at all the funcEveryone must know who to ages change; if you don't allow tial contribution to overall team decent you may not see the one tions of the team. But rather, look to whether you are there you must be able to identify or not. Clear team structure is performance. Try to match pas- change that could catapult you those that are the best at what essential to the success of every sion with position. When people to the next level. Don't change thrive they work harder and they do and then motivate team. Establish and maintain for the sake of change. operate in a "pride of ownerthem to achieve the highest high standards of performSometimes managers get ship" mindset. When player are bored and make changes that results possible. Selection of ance. Never settle for average week rotate them into another aren't necessary; this may team members is 95% of man- performance; expect to win position that is better suited to insight dissatisfaction, and agement success. All work is and to excel. Find out what it their abilities. Always strive to done by teams; cooperation will take win every game and begin to erode performance. cross train but not at the cost of Consult the people doing the and personal empowerment communicate the plan to team performance. Work with work before making changes. are the keys to building high everyone. Develop a high conperforming teams. We all want sideration factor that involves your team players as long as you Think strategically about the can think of new ways to motito be part of something bigger every team player. The more your team is aware of the game plan the more they dedicated they will be to the team goals and results.

Customer Experience Service Excellence: Give What


By Bryan K Williams

here is so much to be said Who's In Control - You or Your Technology? Tfor attentiveness, warmth,

By Rebecca Morehead n this electronic age, has the convenience of being able to have greater access to information actually made your life more complicated? Do you find yourself working 24/7 as you answer emails on your Smartphone, iPad or home computer, catch up on industry journals, or watch a webinar or two during the evenings and on weekends, instead of giving yourself much needed down time? Are you scheduling date night with your significant other, meditation time for yourself, workout classes, dates with friends, even time for reading a book? There is no shortage of technological productivity tools to help you become a more effective Manager. But do they really deliver on their promise? How many hours have you spent on the Internet researching a myriad of products to help you become more productive? How many 'apps' have you tried and discarded? How many productivity seminars (or webinars) have you attended with the hope of finding the system that will finally make you or the practice more efficient? A few simple productivity management tips can go a long way toward decreasing technology distractions and increasing your productivity:


1. Clean Out Your Inbox (and Keep It Clean!) - First, let's tackle your email inbox. Are you guilty of keeping hundreds of email newsletters, news feeds, Google Alerts, etc. - in your inbox waiting for that elusive time when you get a minute to catch up on your reading? If you're like most people that time never comes, or when it does come the emails are so old that the information has been updated many times over since you first received it. Only keep what needs to be handled each day in your inbox. And, as you clean out your inbox, you will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and actually feel a sense of accomplishment and control.

reasons for change. Change should be targeted to improve and accomplish more. A team is good to the degree to which people feel confident enough to be completely open about their opinions and to disagree with their boss. Conflict resolution through open communication and respect for each player's role must be a high, understood value with in the team. Expect commitment to excellence and personal and team pride. Expect your team to be committed to doing their job at the highest level in order to achieve more than is expected. Uncommitted people are the major source of problems, unhelpful controversy, and complaining. Coach these individuals up to the expected level or out of the organization. The best managers see themselves as coaches, leader, and facilitators of high performance. As a manager you succeed or fail by the performance of your team. Teach them, empower them. Push them to grow; and you will achieve more than you ever thought possible.

Project Manager is your ability to access a wide array of information and knowledge. Important ways of doing this include networking, attending seminars, gaining new certifications, implementing new productivity tools and techniques in your practice and much more. You should approach this aspect of your personal development methodically. Each year, set aside time for goal planning. Identify the top 10-12 items that you really want to accomplish in the coming year. Take those items and schedule one per month for each of the months of the New Year. 6. The Power of Writing Things Down - Get in the habit of writing things down. Get a journal and use it to jot down lists of things you want to do, ideas you 3. Increase Focus with a Targeted To Do List - I find that have, techniques you want to research, things you don't want a calendar and a well-defined to forget, etc. Once you get ideas To Do List are one of the most out of your head and onto effective ways to stay focused paper, you free up your brain to on what you need to accomplish each day. Avoid the open- work on other goals and tasks. You gain more focus, increase ended question: "What do I your ability to concentrate and, need to do today?" This will ultimately, get more done. only cause your mind to race from one thing to the next. 7. Take Time for Yourself - You Instead of becoming focused need down time to function at and productive, you will your peak. Think about the increase your anxiety possibly things that give you joy. Is it becoming overwhelml. The exercise, a walk in your neighideal number of tasks for me is borhood, volunteer work, 6. I like to make sure that those spending time with your family, six items are differing levels of reading, listening to music, a difficulty and time commithobby, or something else? ment. To maintain your focus, the question to ask each day is: "What are the 6 most important things I must do today?"

from the things you're getting by US Mail - newsletters, journals, sales offers, brochures and pamphlets. Treat these just like you do your inbox. Separate them from the mail that has to be taken care of today, and set them aside in a 'To Read This Week' folder. Schedule time on your calendar every week to go through what's in the folder and discard whatever you don't have time to read. Skim publications looking for topics that are relevant to you right now. Here's where the beauty of the electronic age helps you - if you miss a topic that later becomes relevant to you, all you have to do is enter a few keywords into Google to gain the knowledge you need.

4. Create a Schedule (and Stick to It!) You'll notice that a lot of my suggestions revolve around scheduling. Your calendar is one of the most important tools you have to keep yourself organized, productive and in control. 5. Make Time for 2. Create a System for Managing Annual Goal Snail Mail - The next area of Planning - One of overwhelm and clutter comes your strengths as a

and competency. Those three elements have the potential to turn any experience into a 5star event. A 5-star experience is not necessarily about having luxurious surroundings. I have experienced world-class service in some of the most unlikely places. That, to me, is the most inspiring part of all. Anyone, in any setting, in any industry CAN provide a memorable service experience (if they really want to). The Grand Bazaar - During a trip to Istanbul, Turkey I had an opportunity to visit the famous Grand Bazaar. The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. It contains over 3000 small shops, and some of the shops are so small that it's hard to turn around without bumping into something. One clothing store that I entered was similarly small. The store owner gave me a warm welcome, invited me to have a seat (on a box), and offered a complimentary cup of green tea. We had not even discussed me buying clothes yet! I ended up purchasing a leather jacket and a few other items. Give

You Can With What You Have

what you can... with what you have. Gypsy Taxi - Something major happened to me when I was still living on St. Thomas, and it helped shape my entire outlook on service. I was a junior in high school, and ended up missing the 6:30AM school bus. Fortunately, I had a few dollars with me, so I walked a few miles to a nearby shopping center, where I knew that "gypsy" taxis would be. Years ago in St. Thomas, we referred to gypsy taxis as any cab that didn't belong to an official taxi company; basically, anyone with a car who wanted to make a little extra money could be a gypsy taxi. As I approached the shopping center, there was only one driver available. I walked to his car, and I noticed that it looked broken down, with peeling paint. Plus, a headlight was loosened. Then something remarkable happened. He opened the car door for me (back seat), had a newspaper on the backseat and was very polished (yet warm) in his conversation with me as we drove. He even referred to me as, "Mr. Bryan". Keep in mind that I was 16 years old at the time. I am now in my mid-thirties and have been chauffeured many times in

Action is the foundational key to all success. Pablo Picasso

towncars and other luxury vehicles around the globe. With a few exceptions over the years, I have not come across anyone who is on the caliber of that gypsy taxi driver. Some of the most memorable service is what you deliver from your heart, regardless of the resources you have. Gratitude - Ultimately, providing great service is a conscious decision. It's not something that can or should be begrudgingly done. Genuinely engaging service should be heartfelt. It should make the customer feel like you are interested in his/her well-being. No matter how brief the service experience is, customers should feel like their well-being is important to whoever is serving them. So, how can this all be translated into action steps? We can go through the usual list that contains things like "smile, anticipate needs, follow-up on customer complaints, etc, etc". Truthfully, a quick Google search can reveal a similar list. Even attentiveness, warmth and competency are fairly common action items. One thing that I've noticed that separates some of the best service from the rest is gratitude. Often times, the best service comes from people who exude a strong sense of gratitude. These are appreciative for not only having a job, but also are happy for the opportunity to serve others. It's unmistakable. There seems to be an inner-joy that may or not be reflective of their socioeconomic place in the world. But the joy that they infuse into their service makes them seem abundantly wealthy. You almost look at them in awe. Even more beautiful, is how they manage to make EVERY customer feel like he/she is the only one being served at the moment.

Film: Rewarding african TV, movie stars

P. 26

Visual Arts: Criss-crossing periods in Beyond Bound

P. 36

Heritage: Celebrating the age-grade system

P. 37

Literature: Fela as gift to humanity

P. 38

Again, presidential rain of Naira on


By Shaibu Husseini RACTITIONERS of the Nigerian motion picture industry dubbed Nollywood ought to consider themselves lucky. They have a president that has demonstrated considerable admiration and disposition towards them. President Goodluck Jonathan proved his admiration’s love for the industry when he again announced the provision of funds for its development of the industry. The President, on Saturday, March 2, 2013, at a Presidential dinner to celebrate the home video industry at 20, held at the State House, Marina, Lagos announced the pro-


REVUE vision of a N3 billion grant for the development of Nollywood under a scheme he said would be called ‘Project Nollywood’. The President diclosed that when launched, the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, would manage the scheme. He also gave an assurance that the project would be launched in the first week of April. According to him, the fund will include grants for capacity building, commissioning of best scripts and for infrastructural development. His words: “I assure you that my

administration will continue to give Nollywood every possible support and assistance to take the Nigerian movie industry to even greater heights of success…I have invited the private sector to this dinner because I believe that they can also support efforts to further develop our entire creative industry.” The provision of the N3 billion grant, was perhaps, in response to a position canvassed by foremost scriptwriter and director, Amaka Igwe, who, in presenting the practitioners position to the President at the dinner, decried the state of distribution in Nigeria. “Solve distribution, build capacity and infrastructure and Nollywood will get to the height we all

Solve distribution, build capacity and infrastructure and Nollywood will get to the height we all desire desire,’’ Igwe said at the venue of the dinner attended by practitioners and top government functionaries including the Minister of Culture and Tourism High Chief Edem Duke and three State governors-Chief Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, Chief Theodore Orji of Abia and Peter Obi of Anambra. CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


Film Glitz, glamour of AMVCA 2013 as govt officials outdo each other By Hassan Momoh H boy! Nice show! It was well packaged. I “O mean, the maiden edition of the AfricanMagic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) 2013. Even though there were a lot of hitches on stage, I didn’t expect anything less from AfricanMagic and Multichoice. They have more than enough capacity to pull off such a huge show,’’ a film journalist (Chike) told two other reporters a few minutes after the brilliant host, IK Osakioduwa drew the curtain on the show that was broadcast live on AfricanMagic belt. The award ceremony attracted the biggest names in the motion picture industry across Africa. There were also hordes of top government functionaries and captains of industry. ‘’Yeah! Good show no doubt. Brilliantly handled. Quality crowd. Experienced presenters. A few dull moments, especially when they had to run some adverts as part of the live telecast. But IK’s co-anchor, Vinbai Mutunhiiri was brilliant though but was too overtly dressed for a show host and she made a lot of mistakes. She didn’t know Desmond Elliot was married and she called Halima Abubakar an emerging actress’’, replied the other journalist (Bayo), with a bias for arts and culture reporting. Continuing, Bayo said: ‘’Again too many speeches by Nigerian government officials. Must they all talk? After the Culture Minister, Chief Edem Duke talked, others like Olusegun Aganga and if you ask me President Goodluck Jonathan should have saved their breaths. They didn’t show unity of purpose at all and I still don’t understand why the President will send a Petroleum Minister to represent him at an entertainment event when the Culture Minister is at the same event. “He made that mistake when Rita Dominic premiered her new movie, The Meeting and he repeated it on Saturday, March 2, 2013 when his aides organised a dinner that would have been supervised by the Information Ministry or Culture Ministry. He could have even sent his Information Minister to read the speech and not the Petroleum Minister. “The President’s men made the same mistake when at a dinner he hosted for Nollywood at 20 at the State House in Marina two Saturdays ago, Information Minister, Labaran Maku was not recognised at the event even though he supervises the film industry through the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) and the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB). I don’t think it is healthy to sideline persons and institutions who will help pursue and implement policies like the N3 billion Film Fund Mr. President promised Nollywood.’’ ‘’You are right Bayo,’’ the third journalist (Musa) who writes for a tabloid cuts in. ‘’I hear the President’s Special Adviser on Documentation has hijacked Nollywood and has been using practitioners to canvass support for the President. I wonder how many of those Nollywood people came out to vote on election day. Anyway, I just shook my head in disappointment as those government officials struggled to make speeches at AMVCA. I can’t remember when any of them attended an industry awards organised by Nigerians. “Always, they are invited to awards like Headies, Nigerian Music Video Awards and even the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) held yearly in Nigeria since 2004, but they never show up in that number”. ‘’That is the attitude of our government officials. They jump at anything foreign and won’t support anything local. They all wanted to appear on AfricanMagic like Olu Jacobs and Pete Edochie,’’ Bayo said chuckling. ALKING about Olu Jacobs, I think he “T deserved the honour he got. I mean, the industry award he got from AMVCA. That man deserves to be honoured. He has won all the

Aganga awards there are to win except the Oscars and Bafta’s. He has won the AMAA’s, got the highest acting award in Cameroun and was honoured with a national award of Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) at home. The industry award was just an icing on the cake for the ageless actor. He is a world-class actor and has given his all to the profession,’’ Chike remarked. ‘’It was also fitting that they got the equally timeless Taiwo Ajai Lycet to present the award. He deserves the industry award he got and I liked the fact that he admonished younger practitioners to be committed and dedicated to the practice and not feel bad when they don’t win. So, they can keep trying until they win. I think that was inspiring. It will assuage people who felt that they should have won at the awards but missed out,’’ Chike added. “Yes, it was inspiring,’’ Bayo replied. ‘’Only that I expected AMVCA to honour some contemporaries of Olu Jacobs such as the late Sam Loco Efe, Justus Esiri, Enebeli Elebuwa and even Pete Eneh who passed on recently. Many people I spoke to considered that an unpardonable omission on the part of the organisers, especially when these people continue to entertain fans on their channel. A mention like Obi Emelonye would have gone a long way to show how

Diezani AMVCA truly recognises those talents that have made their channel remarkable,’’ he said. “You have a point there,” Musa noted. “I think the organisers were so concerned about producing a television show that they left out certain key details like even explaining how they arrived at the choice of Ivie Okujaye as the industry most enterprising talent in a year. Fellows like Tonto Dike featured in more movies than any actor. Young filmmakers like Kunle Afolayan, Uche Jombo and Emem Isong or even Shirley Frimpong Manso of Ghana made films without funding from anyone. How did they arrive at that decision? I was going to ask the organisers until it dawned on me that it may be one of those awards influenced by sponsorship. “You know, Amstel Malta was co-sponsors of the award and Ivie is a past winner of the Amstel Box Office reality show. It was a way of rewarding one of their own if you ask me. Na wah.’’ ‘’Oh, was that the consideration?” Chike quipped. “That is how I see it joo,’’ Musa clarified. Chike continued: “Haba! Musa, you are only assuming. But I thought as much and felt the

Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Walter Drenth (right); winner of Industry Merit Award, Olu Jacobs and Managing  Director, M-NET Africa, Mrs. Biola Alabi at the post event press conference of  the Africa  Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) held at Eko Hotel... last Saturday

Duke same way when O.C. Ukeje was called up to receive the best actor in a drama crest. But Ukeje, even though a past AMBO winner, deserved to win. He was good in the film that fetched him the nomination - Two Brides and a Baby, which the very talented Blessing Egbe wrote and produced. I don’t even know why he lavished praises on the AMBO folks. Yes, they provided the platform for him to win the reality show but they didn’t help him beyond that winning. I have always wondered why all the organisers of all these reality shows always want to take the credit when there are no clear career plans for the winners. They just win the car and cash awards and are then left in the cold. Go and check, all the winners of these reality shows got to the point they are through personal effort - from Bhairay Mcwizu of AMBO to Iyanya Mbuk of the MTN Project Fame. “For instance, there is no winner of Nigeria Idol or West Africa Idol that has blown out after the reality show and that is because they are all left after the grand finale to struggle on their own. Some of them even have to CONTINUED ON PAGE 27


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


...Blues from African Magic Viewer’s Choice Award CONTINUED FROM PAGE 26

that pun. He said: ‘’But it was a movie and television award and not a fashion contest. We concentrated on the glamour while the South Africans concentrated on winning. They returned to Johannesburg with the bulk of the coveted awards while we made headlines on twitter, facebook and blogs for our dress sense”.

produce their albums themselves.” “ I agree with you,” Bayo cuts in. “Talking about Iyanaya, I hear people say he was boring during the show. I don’t agree. I think he was a good hire for the show only that the organisers had guests who won’t be caught dancing to his hit track ‘Your waist’ or ‘Kurukere’ on terrestrial channel. Iyanya would have been made to cap the show instead of Femi Kuti. Femi is ageing. He struggled to impress that evening. For me, the son of the Afrobeat legend was a bad choice. But Banky Wellington and his crew rocked. So, too the Congolese comedian and, of course, Tiwa Savage who would have disappointed if she had not done that Nigerian-flavoured song. I hope our comedians listened to that comedian. The Congolese taught our boys how to joke without picking on the audience. He was good.’’ “‘Yes, he was good,” Chike concurred. “I liked the joke he cracked about how Nigerians woo ladies. I generally liked his jokes but I didn’t like the rude joke Olisa Adibua pulled on Omotola Ekeinde. That joke on her rear being the real African Magic was rude. Somehow, I overlooked it because such jokes come with the territory but the organisers need to guide against such demeaning jokes in the future,” he asserted. “I think they did,” Musa cuts in. ‘’I sense that most of those who yarned off key didn’t come for rehearsals. I heard the elegantly dressed Stephanie Linus told Majid Michelle that he didn’t come for rehearsals; so for Jim Iyke who got people twitting about his dress sense. He came on stage in white jacket on shorts. That enigmatic actor caused a stir. But roundly, I would say that the best costumed contingent to the award were the Nigerian practitioners. What they missed in getting the top prizes at AMVCA, they gained in their dress sense. It was a delight to see our men and women in those eye-popping dresses. Even the veteran Liz Benson was well dressed for the occasion. Nigerians got the prize for best dressed practitioners.’’ Bayo shrugged. He was not comfortable with

ALKING about the award proper, I think it should just be named African Magic Awards and not the viewers choice awards. Viewers’ choice will mean that people voted for the films that won and I ask how did they vote for films they did not even see? I’m a viewer, for instance; at least, I watch AfricanMagic always and I have not seen any of those films on the network so how could I have voted for the films? I’m sure it is the same for most viewers. I mean, take the films that won from South Africa. They have never been shown in Nigeria or premiered here or shown on the channel, which means that Nigerians didn’t vote so how did they win? It was all so confusing for me. They would have just called it AfricanMagic Judges’ Award instead of viewer’s choice. If real viewers were asked to choose films and vote for them, a lot of those films would not feature. A winner like Jackie from Ghana with a subscriber base of about one million people will not win over Genevieve Nnaji who comes from a country with more than five million subscribers, conservatively put. It was all so confusing,” Chike lamented. “But the organisers had explained that even though it was viewers’ choice award, there were categories that were decided by judges. So, I think they are still in order. It is just that what people expected was for them to base their judgment on movies the audience have seen on their AfricanMagic platform so that they could vote right. I was only privileged to have seen a few of those films when they premiered in Lagos like Mirror Boy but not the others that won. “Besides, in a bid to impress they picked films of any year including a film like Perfect Picture that gave Jackie Appiah her crest as best actress. The movie was shot in 2010 and it gave Jackie and two other ladies in Ghana the




AMAA award that year. There should be a time frame for entries. I think they were just trying to launch out and so if you had brought even a celluloid film produced during the time of Chief Hubert Ogunde, they would have accepted it. Perfect Picture and Mirror Boy are more than two years old,” Musa recalled. O you mean Jackie has received the AMAA “S award in 2010 for that category and in that film?’’ Bayo asked. “Yes, she did,” Musa stated and clarified: “It was a joint award she got with Lydia Forson and Naa Ashokor Mensa. It was the same thing with Man on Ground and Otelo Burning. They were rewarded for their efforts in the 2012 edition of the AMAA. The films from South Africa are still fresh but not the one from Ghana Perfect Picture and even Mirror Boy”. “Talking about Mirror Boy, that Obi Emelonye not too successful film turned out our saving grace”, Chike said, adding: “It got about three awards for Nigeria —costume design, best writer drama and best movie in drama. I understand the award for costume design but I don’t understand those other two - best writer in a script and best movie in a drama. They sound contradictory to me, the same way I perceived the award to Tunde Kelani for his Maami. “The movie was given the best movie in local language (Yoruba) crest and I stand to be corrected, Maami is not and was never promoted as a Yoruba film. The movie starring Wole Ojo and Funke Akindele is majorly in English with just a few scenes in Yoruba, especially the flashback scenes involving the Maami character and her son. Kelani wasn’t comfortable with how the Yoruba language was described as local language and he seized the opportunity to drive home a contestable view that Yoruba has become an international language because it is spoken by millions of people across the world. “But I expected Kelani to point out the wrong categorization of his film instead of trying to start off the debate on what makes a language local and what makes it international. Someone sitting next to me asked me what Kelani would say about Hausa language that has dedicated channels on BBC and Radio


Calabar to host International Jazz Festival at Easter By Shaibu Husseini HE Cross River state government T has initiated an International Jazz festival, which will hold every Easter period beginning this March. Though it holds an annual jazz event during its hosting of the world famous Calabar festival in December, the state government says it has decided to initiate a stand-alone jazz festival to be called the Calabar International Jazz Festival because of the direct result of the success of the jazz concerts held during the Calabar festival. Chairman of the planning com-

mittee of the festival and Special Assistant to the Governor of Cross Rivers State on Tourism, Mr. Nzan Ogbe stated, at a press conference on Tuesday in Lagos, that the demand from the more discerning consumers for a jazz event in a more intimate setting necessitated the introduction of the jazz festival as a separate event. Although he clarified that the jazz component of the yearly Calabar festival will still be sustained, Ogbe remarked that the jazz festival is conceived as a permanent feature in the nation and the state’s social calendar. According to him, the festival is

also designed to provide the ideal Easter weekend get away for lovers of jazz in the country. Rather than have connoisseurs of jazz music travel to Europe and other parts of Africa to listen to ‘’smooth jazz and sweet soul music,’’ Ogbe said the Calabar International Jazz Festival was designed to give jazz lovers ‘’three nights of fabulous headline performances’’. The Chairman of the organizing committee listed the popular Jazz performers from the United States D’Angelo and Eric Benet; South Africa-based Jonathan Butler and some local stars including Asa, Darey, Bez and Burna Boy as

artistes that have been confirmed to perform at the festival that will run between March 29 and 31, 2013. Speaking on behalf of broadcast partners and sponsors of the festival amongst them Ebonylife TV run by Mo Abudu, the Senior Vice President and Managing Director of MTV Base, Alex Okosi noted that the festival would bring together an awesome line up of stars for its inaugural outing. Okosi said MTV Base looks forward to partnering with the festival to evoke what he described as ‘’an exciting music event’.

France”. “Honestly, I won’t be dragged into that debate,” said Musa. “But I am just worried that 20 years after Nollywood, we have not improved technically. We just keep grabbing the acting prize like the award for best actor in a comedy won by Hafiz Oyetoro and that of best actress in a comedy won by Mercy Johnson and Ukeje winning as best actor. A chap who sat close to me almost walked out of the hall when Mercy Johnson won over Funke Akindele. While Mercy was nominated for her performance in Dumebi, Funke was nominated for her huge performance in the two-part comedy movie Jenifa. The folk said that if it was truly a viewers’ choice award, Funke would have won because viewers in his estimation have seen Jenifa more than they have seen Dumebi and that Akindele has become synonymous with the character along the length and breath of Africa than a Johnson with Dumebi. No one contested Hafiz Oyetoro’s winning. They say the actor and theatre teacher who is popular as Saka deserve to win because of his range as a comic actor”. “I agree with you, Musa that Nollywood has not improved technically. Apart from costumes, which Ngozi Obasi won for costuming Mirror Boy, it was the films by South Africans that got the critical and coveted awards. Sarah Blatcher’s Otelo Burning grabbed the award for make up, art direction, for lighting design and for overall movie, which is also called best picture while Akin Omotosho’s Man on Ground fetched him the cinematography award and the directing award. Maybe now that President Jonathan has announced a special grant for filmmaking in Nigeria and specifically said the funds would be used for sponsoring best film scripts, for infrastructural development and capacity building, Nollywood folks will advisedly start building enough capacity in the technical areas of filmmaking. “We are truly lacking in that area. Only Izu Ojokwu and Tunde Kelani and more recently Kunle Afolayan and Mahmood Ali-Balogun have received technical awards but not when their films are competing against South African films,” Bayo said. “Anyway, we will wait and see what next year will bring for us as an industry at AMVCA. But AMVCA really needs to decide whether it wants to do an audience choice award or an award decided by a panel. “The Big Brother Africa show has been largely successful because the audience choice always tallies with the winners that emerge. At the moment, this is not the case. The audience is not even familiar with the works in contention so how credible will their votes be?” Musa queried. “I wonder o,” Chike said. “A lot of the nominees bombarded me with calls, facebook, twitter messages and text soliciting for votes. What happens to people without access to Internet or other social media? What happens to filmmakers from areas where AfricanMagic has no coverage?” Chike queried, as he made for the parking lot. “Those are very important issues you too have raised. But if I know the folks at AMVCA very well, I think they will meet to strategize and make the next edition better and stronger. They need a second edition for us to be able to judge their abilities. In fact, I hear a lot of people have started comparing the award to AMAA. A chap sitting behind me even suggested that the AMVCA has come to kill or take the shine off AMAA but I don’t think so. I don’t even think there is any basis for comparison. Both are conceived differently even though they set out to reward motion picture practitioners. I don’t see any competition between them. One will only complement the other. But I wish AfricanMagic would just provided broadcast support to AMAA instead of starting off another award scheme that has been roundly perceived as duplication of efforts. “I would have expected AMVCA to target television so we can have an Oscar for television and an Oscar for movies. But like I said, they will have to complement each other. After all that is why we have the Oscars and then the BAFTA’s and the Screen International and other awards running side by side each and pursuing their respective goals and not minding who wins here or there.” Chike said. “AMAA is next, abi?” Musa said to Bayo. Chike has taxied off. “Yes, it is. We are expecting their nomination, which will be announced in Malawi this Friday, and then the award proper is on April 20 in Bayelsa. I hear Governor Seriaki Dickson of Bayelsa State wants the award back in Yenagoa because of its potential to boost and enhance tourism in the state. It was held in Lagos last year because the former governor was removed from office but it appears Governor Dickson has bought into the vision,” Bayo said. “Anyway, let’s see how that one will go too,” Musa surmised.

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


Revue From Presidency, Naira rains on Nollywood

By Shaibu Husseini RACTITIONERS of the Nigerian motion picP ture industry dubbed Nollywood ought to consider themselves lucky. They have a president that has demonstrated considerable admiration and disposition towards them. President Goodluck Jonathan proved his admiration’s love for the industry when he again announced the provision of funds for its development of the industry. The President, on Saturday, March 2, 2013, at a Presidential dinner to celebrate the home video industry at 20, held at the State House, Marina, Lagos announced the provision of a N3 billion grant for the development of Nollywood under a scheme he said would be called ‘Project Nollywood’. The President diclosed that when launched, the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, would manage the scheme. He also gave an assurance that the project would be launched in the first week of April. According to him, the fund will include grants for capacity building, commissioning of best scripts and for infrastructural development. His words: “I assure you that my administration will continue to give Nollywood every possible support and assistance to take the Nigerian movie industry to even greater heights of success…I have invited the private sector to this dinner because I believe that they can also support efforts to further develop our entire creative industry.” The provision of the N3 billion grant, was perhaps, in response to a position canvassed by

foremost scriptwriter and director, Amaka Igwe, who, in presenting the practitioners position to the President at the dinner, decried the state of distribution in Nigeria. “Solve distribution, build capacity and infrastructure and Nollywood will get to the height we all desire,’’ Igwe said at the venue of the dinner attended by practitioners and top government functionaries including the Minister of Culture and Tourism High Chief Edem Duke and three State governors-Chief Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, Chief Theodore Orji of Abia and Peter Obi of Anambra. When launched, the grant would be the first by any government specifically dedicated to the industry since independence. There had been creative industry attempts to set up a film fund in the past, but had not been fruitful because succeeding government had always reneged when in putting down the expected seed money. So, President Jonathan would be the first Nigerian leader to back his promise with action, and that is, if the project is launched in April. Also, when launched the grant would be administered side by side with an earlier $200 million revolving loan the President had directed in 2010 should be provided for the development of the creative industry. However, the problem with the $200 million earlier set for the creative industry have been difficulties associated with accessing the fund. While banks are insistent on collaterals before the loan can be granted, but some of the practitioners want their intellectual properties to be admissible as collateral even when they are well aware that the stale Nigerian Copyright law does

not recognize intellectual property as a basis for accessing bank loans. Little wonder that two years after the loan was released, only about N766 million out of the N32 billion provided and domiciled at the Nigerian Import and Export Bank (NEXIM) have been accessed. It is public knowledge that only Kene Mkparor of Film House Limited and Tony Abulu of Black Ivory Communications have been successful in this regard. Mkparor led his outfit to access a substantial amount for the construction of cinemas across the country while Tony Abulu got funds to produce Dr. Bello, Practitioners say the stringent conditions attached to accessing the funds have made it impossible for them to get anything. ‘’You are asked to go and bring a collateral whose value is more than the funds you seek. If I have such, I wont go to the bank. I will sell a part of it and make my film’’ a filmmaker said at the venue of the dinner. Even President Jonathan acknowledged that he had received several complaints in this regard. He, however, assured that government was in discussion with the issuing bank to redouble effort in assisting practitioners access the funds. He said: “I have asked NEXIM and the Bank of Industry to redouble their efforts in assisting the industry to access loans. I am aware that till date, NEXIM has extended about N766 million in loans to a number of companies involved in film production, cinemas, and distribution, with another scheduled N1.4 billion for projects in the industry. This should be sustained’’. The president, who, in his address, said

Nollywood was one of the three major endeavours—the others being sports and music-that have united Nigerians and promoted the oneness of the country, irrespective of ethnic, social or political affiliations described the movie industry as a national global brand whose movies are now a major item on the entertainment menu of many countries. The President said: “whenever I travel abroad, many of my colleagues, Presidents of other countries, ask me about the movie industry. Nollywood is our shining light. Africans are very proud of it. That is why we are here today to celebrate the success story of this national, continental and global brand’’. Also, the President lauded the contributions of early filmmakers like Francis Oladele, Hubert Ogunde, Ola Balogun and Eddie Ugbomah, who, as he acknowledged, were not helped by the heavy production budgets and little returns that the industry had to offer. President Jonathan also commended the enterprising spirit of the movie producer turned Evangelist Kenneth Nnebue whose Living in Bondage broke the jinx and eventually kick-started what we now know as Nollywood. “ In a matter of 20 years, Nollywood has grown in such proportions that the whole world has come to acknowledge it as an authentic success story. Maybe Nnebue should have titled his movie, “Breaking out of Bondage”. The industry has practically been delivered from bondage in the last two decades. Today, Nollywood is rated as the biggest movie industry in Africa and competes favourably with America’s Hollywood and India’s Bollywood in terms of production and market size. Researchers have estimated that Nollywood sells at least 50,000 copies of home videos every week. That is 2.6 million copies per year. They also estimate that there are about 1,200 productions in a year. That is 23 per week. Depending on whose figures you are quoting, the worth of the industry is getting close to about N79 billion,’’ the President remarked. Also, the President stated that the fact that Nollywood was not started with any seed money from government or established with any intervention or prompting from government exemplifies the fact that Nigerians are a people of great capacity and determination. He said: ‘‘we have creativity, we have perseverance and we also have excellence in our midst as the accomplishments of Nollywood clearly show. They are also a glorious testimony to the ability of very determined Nigerians to overcome the most daunting of challenges and soar to triumphant success in any field of human endeavour.  Nollywood would certainly not have become what it is today if our producers and artistes had thrown up their hands in despair after encountering financial and technical challenges for several decades. Definitely, we have every reason to celebrate the great talents, skills, artistry, courage, dedication, and commitment, which have earned global acclaim for your industry.’’ In surmising, the President assured that his administration would continue to give Nollywood every possible support and assistance to take the Nigerian movie industry to even greater heights of success. “I have invited the private sector to this dinner because I believe that they can also support efforts to further develop our entire creative industry. Encouraged by the feedback we have received from you on our administration’s support for Nollywood, we have further designed a programme known as  “Project Nollywood,” to support the key components of the industry’s value chain through a dedicated grant, totaling N3 billion. It will include grants for the best film scripts; a capacity development fund, and funds for supporting the industry’s infrastructure. The scheme, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 28

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


Playwrights chart way forward for new Nigerian drama By Omiko Awa HE maiden edition of Nigerian playT wrights, which was held at the Conference Centre of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Oyo State, as part of activities to mark the 30th anniversary of the Institute of Cultural Studies of the school ended on March 10 with several issues raised on how to make the enterprise of playwriting better and more responsive to the society. Organised by the Instute of Cultural Studies in conjunction with the Department of Dramatic Arts of the university, the gathering attracted over 100 playwrights from across generational and geographical divides. Initiated by the renowned playwright Professor Femi Osofisan, the Confab dealt on several theme such as playwriting in the post military era; playwrights’ experiences in contemporary society; philosophy, ideology and culture in Nigerian and African playwriting; quality plays in our dramatic literature over the decade; problems of having staged and published plays typically

encountered by playwrights, especially the upcoming and the younger generation. Others are inter and intra-generational relations between Nigerian playwrights with special reference to the complexities of the influence of the masters; and the relation between playwriting for the stage, films, television and for publication as literature. Listening to different people speak on the various topics, the Confab identified some of the challenges confronting the playwriting and playwrights as crises of relevance, visibility, fragmentation of community and crisis of exhaustion; funding; language; censorship and tyranny in both the military and post military eras; survival strategies of writers; mass illiteracy and the absence of a vibrant reading culture in the country; and the alienation of the masses due to their marginalization by the elite. It also discussed the question of who the playwright is writing for, the dearth of theatres to stage plays and the challenges posed to live theatre by various social media such as film, television and more importantly the viewing centres dedicated to

mostly foreign soccer leagues. The gathering also identified the problem of distraction occasioned by survival needs that leads to acceptance of appointments — in public and private — that reduces commitment to the creative enterprises; the phenomenon of too many self-published plays that are of low quality by younger playwrights in terms of both form and content as a result of lack of good editorial input; and the decline in reading culture, which can be traced to the removal of literature-in –English as compulsory requirement for ordinary level education. A major problem also raised was the imitation of the masters by younger playwrights, who borrow creative idioms without understanding their true essence, thereby producing works that do not adequately or authentically reflect their contemporary realities. The Confab, however, raising from its three-day deliberation recommend that playwrights should make their plays relevant to the need of the society; advocate for the building of cottage theatres in all

Dinner for nollywood

Naira rains on Nollywood CONTINUED FROM PAGE 28 which will be launched in the first week of April, will be managed by the Ministry of Finance, in collaboration, with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism,’’ he said, even as he challenged practitioners to become the major export item in the next 20 years. Practitioners left the venue of the dinner satisfied with the decision of the President to provide a grant that will specifically be used to develop the movie industry. They also applauded his decision to encourage the organised private sector to invest in Nollywood and the creative industry. They specifically acknowledged the contributions of the Governor of Akwa Ibom State Chief Godswill Akpabio to the development of Nollywood and commended him for the N50 million he contributed to the grant and which he has reportedly redeemed. But they want the President to direct that a proper structure for the administration of the grant be put in place. Leading filmmaker and pioneer President of the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) Mahmood AliBalogun want the fund to be administered as film funds or grants in other movie climes are administered. He said: ‘’We should study how other funds are administered and structure this that way too. We shouldn’t leave it to a minister or any department in any of the ministries the president mentioned to decide who to give funds to. There should, indeed, be a well-peopled board- people with experi-

ence, integrity who will not see the fund as another meal ticket to manage the funds and ensure that it keeps running. That is very important. They should ensure that the funds keep running so that generations coming behind can see the money to access. It should be modeled after other successful film funds’’. Besides the administration of the funds, practitioners also say they want the President to address the issue of supervision of the motion picture industry if he wants the grant to be properly administered. The President had said that the N3 billion grant will be managed by both the Ministry of Finance and that of Culture and Tourism and practitioners think that there will be conflicts because supervision of the motion picture industry since 2001 has been ‘erroneously ceded,’ as they argued, to the octopus Ministry of information. Practitioners think it will be cumbersome to have them queue at the culture ministry for the grants and then queue at the information ministry when it comes to issues that border on regulation. They want the President to reverse the decision to transfer regulatory agencies like the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) and the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) to the Ministry of Information and Justice respectively. They argued that these agencies ought to be domiciled under the culture ministry as it is done in other climes. In France, Brazil, Kenya, India and in several countries of the world, the supervision of

the culture and entertainment industries rest with the ministry of culture, so, practitioners wonder why that of Nigeria will be any different. Reasoning that apart from causing a major disconnect between the industry and other sectors in the art their having to be supervised by the Ministry of Information has contributed immensely to lack of growth in the sector as most international culture treaties that would have engendered continued growth of the motion picture industry are within the purview of the Ministry of Culture. Also practitioners want the revised National Film Policy (NFP) and the bill on the setting up of the Motion Picture Practitioners Council of Nigeria (MOPPICON) passed into law. The practitioners say they want MOPPICON to be to the movie industry what the Advertising Practitioner Council of Nigeria (APCON) is to advertising practice in Nigeria. “APCON has been able to sanitise and effectively regulate and control advertising practice in Nigeria and it was set up by a decree, which is now an act of parliament that is why the body is taken seriously. I think time has come for us to have such a body that will administer, regulate and control motion picture practice, I repeat practice in the country,” a prolific movie practitioners said recently.

local government areas in the country; and playwright centres should be created where tools for playwriting and play production could be readily available. Others include the call for playwrights to break away from Greaco-Roman models and create authentic African paradigms, drama and theatre should be a major item in the school curriculum throughout the country, reading clubs and debating societies should be reintroduced in the primary and secondary schools throughout the federation, and that the Confab be made a biennial event as a way of consolidating its tremendous achievements, with regards to sustaining vital activities and contacts in the period between. The next edition of the Confab holds on 2015 at the same school, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, with Professor Femi Osofisan as convener.

Duro Ladipo lives on with Back-to-Mbari project By Omiko Awa SUN State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbeola on O Monday at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, at the 35th remembrance ceremony of the late Duro Ladipo, the Nigerian playwright and performer, commended Ladepo Duro-Ladipo, the son and CEO of Backto-Mbari Koncept, for bringing back to stage some of the works of his father. While speaking through the state’s commissioner of Tourism and Home Affairs, Adetona Sikiru Ayedun, the governor said, “Osun State has some money in form of grants for the development of arts and culture, and would be released to those whose works showcase the historical and cultural heritage of Osun.” He informed that Duro Ladipo, while alive, depicted the Yoruba race as people of integrity, discipline, who are technologically advanced, a part of the reason Yoruba people are on the world map with Osun State being one of the world’s heritage centres. “Duro made white people such as Ulli Beier, Susanne Wenger and others to visit and even live in Oshogbo, the Osun State capital.” While calling for the revival of stage performance, Ayedun, said, “we need to encourage stage performance as a way of promoting our cultural heritage, educating the people and telling our own histories to the younger generation.” Back-to-Mbari Koncept boss and son of Duro Ladipo also used the occasion to unveil the Back-to-Mbari project and as well present the CD that contains some of the songs of the late theatre icon. While presenting the CDs to the public, Ladepo, said, “the Back-to-Mbari project, like pregnancy, was conceived over 30 years ago. We are focusing on Mbari Oshogbo, the root of Duro Ladipo’s theatre, as a way of showcasing the great works of the theatre giant for the benefit of the younger generation. We are presenting a CD that contains some of the evergreen songs he composed as a choirmaster and also Ajagun-nla, one of his epic plays, which I have reconstructed into the English language.” He called on well meaning Nigerians, especially Osun State government to support him to make the project a success. Ladipo informed that while his father was alive, he submitted all his works to the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan to give them a touch. Unfortunately, he said, “He died before that could be done. We are now revisiting those works with the aim of taking them beyond the academic world and bringing them back to the stage”. Guests were thrilled seeing the epic play, Ajagun-nla, which was performed in collaboration with Theatre Arts and Music Department of Lagos State University, Ojo. Born in Osogbo on December 18, 1931, Duro Ladipo was the son of a local Anglican Church official. Despite his parents’ intention for a strict Christian upbringing, young Ladipo showed a keen interest in traditional Yoruba festivals and rituals. As a teacher in a church school at Oshogbo in 1960, Ladipo scandalised church members by including bata drums in the Easter cantata he had composed and was thereafter obliged to seek a secular outlet for his musical interests. On March 2, 1962, Ladipo founded the Mbari-Mbayo Cultural Centre in Oshogbo, emulating the example of the Ibadan intellectuals and artists who had opened the Mbari Club. Having launched the centre with his first musical play Oba Moro, Ladipo celebrated Mbari-Mbayo’s first and second anniversaries with the production of Oba Koso and Oba Waja respectively. Of the trilogy of the Oyo empire, Oba Koso is best known, having been performed more than 2,000 times in at least 15 countries across the globe before his death in 1978. The play won first prize at the 1964 Berlin Theatre Festival and was well received in Britain the following year at the Commonwealth Arts Festival. Ladipo was in 1965 honoured with the Member f the Order of the Niger (MON) by the Federal Government in recognition of his contribution to the Nigerian theatre.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013



THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013



THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


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Date(s): 15/03/2013 Location: Sky Lounge and Restaurant, Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. Promoter: Afritickets Somi is in town with her Jazz band, lets have some jazz fun at the Sky Restaurant on Friday. Hennessy Cocktail Reception begins at 7pm. Exclusive 5 Course Meal by Executive Chef Lalu. Live Jazz Concert by Somi and her International Band. More info:

Date(s): 16/03/2013 Location: Precinct Comfort Hotel Promoter: LiveSpeech Ventures Are you a Professional, a Business Leader or a Graduate? Come Learn to Prepare, Organise and Deliver Professional Presentations That Make Impact! LiveSpeech is a practical approach to public speaking training designed to help you learn to speak — and effectively communicate your ideas — in front of an audience. More info:




Date(s): 17/03/2013 Location: The Wheatbaker Hotel Promoter: The Life House The Life House is proud to announce our first showcase of 2013, WOMAN RISING scheduled for the 17th of March and in special celebraton of International Women's Day (IWD). WOMAN RISING is the third in the IWD celebration series which The Life House began in 2011 through its Tocatina Music programme.

Date(s): 17/03/2013, 24/03/2013, 31/03/2013 Location: Terra Kulture, Tiamiyu Savage, Victoria Island, Lagos. Promoter: LAPA Production For those who missed the excitement at the Nigeria House London Olympics 2012. Good news; this same play will be brought to you by the same production company in March 2013. Though the actors are different the play promises to be worth every second and penny.

More info:

More info:

The Mobile Market

Date(s): 16/03/2013 Location: 9b, Isaac John Street, GRA Ikeja, Lagos. Promoter: The Mobile Market The Mobile Market, an affordable retail solution to fashion and lifestyle needs would be hosting its March Sale this month. The monthly fair provides an avenue for small businesses to showcase their products and network with customers and for customers to shop at affordable prices. More info:


Date(s): 19/03/2013 Location: Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria. Promoter: 360di Limited A business networking event to provide a platform for entrepreneurs to meet, exhibit their goods and services, exchange contacts, ideas and collaborate eventually. The event aims at creating a robust SME/IT environment in Nigeria through joint participation of the various stakeholders in the ICT industry, working together to create opportunities for prosperity for each entrepreneur. More info:


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

VisualArts One of Chinyere Ofodile-Okanume’s work, Irony of Life.

Beyond Bound… Ofodile-Okanume’s

convergence across periods By Tajudeen Sowole

Chinyere Ofodile-Okanume may have expanded the scope of her art, but delving into the avantgarde, the artist’s emerging period still derives energy from her proficiency as a painter. FODILE-OKANUME’S new form and technique, which O could culminate into another period of her art, opens as Beyond Bound on March 23 to Aril 5, 2013 at the National Museum Onikan, Lagos. Clearly, the exhibition may also have much of the artist’s painting skill get less attention. Ofodile-Okanume’s Beyond Bound asserts the artist’s incendiary skill, a balance of new forms and styles with an identity, yet it radiates aesthetic aura. With the new body of work, she is stepping into another period of her art, coming as she does from the traditional form of painting on canvas and leaping into broader abstract impressionism. However, the traditional art form of oil or acrylic on canvas in this show combines very well to form contemporaneity of the artist’s focus. Some of the works, such as the Irony Of Life Series, I Better Pass My Neighbour, Journey Of Life, Empowerment, Friendship, Togetherness, I did not do it and Last Scarifies explain the artist’s new resplendence in creating timeless art. In Irony Of Life-1, OfodileOkanume elevates the value of stones, using spot-like impressionism technique to extract a definite art form. The composite engages the viewer as the background of subtleness adds strength to the spotty impression, offering an optical-reflective attraction to the glory of the refined stones. From Irony Of Life-I comes her thought about moods, “celebration, happiness and merriment.” Still in the same technique, she also brings the other side of joy in Irony Of Life-II, noting that it’s not some people’s “wish to be unhappy, but a reality of life”. To stress a conscious and steady gravitation into a new realm of her career, another work, I Better Pass My Neighbour offers diverse application of stone, which exudes patterned-aesthetics, though devoid of brightness, but faintly vibrant in its burnt effect. It’s Ofodile-Okanume’s visual narrative in a deliberate inconsistence and imbalance, depicting Nigeria’s electricity challenges which appears to have no solution in sight. Despite a recent so-called ‘improvement in power’ that only exists in government’s propaganda machinery – during rainy seasons when the rise in water tide energises the hydro-electricity generation system – the mini electricity generator, from which Ofodile-Okanume derives one of her titles, I Better

Pass My Neighbour is on the increase across the country. For the artist, the issue is not really about the ‘increase in mega watts’, but about the reality of a government agency, Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), that is not working, yet milking the people via exorbitant tariffs (known as crazy bills). The artist stated: “Some areas have been in darkness for years, so I depict low current with the grey stones; full current with white stones.” She was however quick to add that full current areas “are not common, which brings about the rise of generators everywhere. Virtually every family has a generator; its now a necessity”. In fact, the situation excludes no class type, as she added, “The big black tones depict generators of the rich people”. From love to caution and danger as well as other sensitive forms of expression, red keeps maintaining its symbolic place. Ofodile-Okanume draws from the sensitivity attached to the red colour using roses metaphor to remind the people of the low and high in man’s sojourn on earth. She titles the piece Journey Of Life, but drags in “black roses” to support the other side of the earthly sojourn, noting that as bad or sorrowful they may be, such occurrences cannot be omitted from one’s life. Quite instructive is Journey Of Life – either from the aesthetic or philosophical perspective – the red roses’ stain, used creatively, with a line of black, speaks volume in terms of spirituality. Black roses do not exist, but in literary or fictitious and creative realm, the artist gets away with her assertion that “the black rose represents the unpleasant journey” of life. As this and other works represent the artist’s new focus, there appears a central point in two or more of the exhibits. It’s a convergence of the entire display, which comes in works such as Empowerment and others that appear to bring the artist’s past forms into current experimentation, and perhaps a projection into the future shape of her art. For example, Empowerment brings representational, figurative of women into a collage of fabrics and native woven-mat. Complementing the communicative strength of collage is the artist’s message about stepping out of bound, which resonates in the activities of women. The artist stressed, “A lot of youth are still waiting to be employed, which is not forthcoming, so they need to be empowered into self-employment; the youths are the leaders of tomorrow”. This is Ofodile-Okanume’s solo show after seven years absence. She has re-energised her art with a new theme, the value in the dignity of labour and womanhood for which she should be commended. In a Nigerian art scene where manag-

Chinyere Ofodile-Okanume. ing family and a career in art successfully is seen as a huge task or miracle, Ofodile-Okanume’s Beyond Bound stresses the argument in favour of woman as a crucial and creative partner in the thumb-nailing, designing and building of the home. Ofodile-Okanume had her last solo art exhibition titled Pattern of Life in 2006; it was her debut in the Biola Akinsola-led All Female Art Exhibition’ titled Women In Visual Arts (WIVA) Perspective in 2008, at National Museum, Onikan, Lagos. She also exhibited with four other women in Rekindling the Nigerian Hope at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos in 2008.

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013



A foretaste of Brazilian Samba this Easter, as part of Lagos Black Heritage Festival treats Nigerians to the convergence of cultures from the Mediterranean Blue

Utu age grade in Unale By Amaje Micah NALE lies south of the ancient Igala Town of Idah. It is in Ibaji Local government area of Kogi State. It is surrounded by Enweli and Odolu towns on the south; Onyedega and Itoduma on the west; Onwajala on the East and Odognu on the north. The earliest inhabitants of Ibaji were believed to have migrated from Igbo speaking areas down South, the Igala speaking area up North as well as some Edo speaking people across the Niger River. However, today, the language spoken is Igala but the culture and traditions of the people represent a rich blend of these diverse ethnic origins. Utu (age grade) HE Utu (age grade) practice, strictly speaking, is not a common feature of Igala tradition. But that it is now practiced among the Igala speaking people of Unale could be attributed to the cultural influences arising from interactions with their Igbo speaking neighbour and some of the Edo speaking people across the Niger river. The Utu ( age grade ) has been an integral part of the traditional administration system in Unale from time immemorial. It is the organ of the traditional administration that administers and executes the policies and decisions of the traditional council, headed by the king. The age grade is one of the most cherished traditional, social institutions in Unale. While family and clan lineages serve as units of identification, a man’s achievements and contributions to the community and fame are articulated within the framework of the age grade. It is the platform upon which the individual and his role in the socio-economic and political development of the community are demonstrated and rendered. The bond of unity and friendship that develops among members of an age grade sometimes transcends beyond biological relations. Thus, the age grades have always served as units of social harmony. Membership of age grade is open to both male and female, but the female wing of an age grade is usually not as active as the male wing because certain customs and traditions do not allow them to be



actively involved. They only come together as social support group to male members, they neither attend gathering nor participate in the activities of their age grade. Age grade leadership N age grade is usually formed for young boys between 12 and 13 years of age. Each age grade has a set of leaders. There is the leader of the age grade called Oji-oneutu, who must be from the upper age bracket 13, and someone, who in the considered opinion of the members, has leadership qualities. The Oji-oneutu is only first among equal. He hosts and chairs meetings of the age grade, coordinates the members and is expected to provide responsible leadership at all times. Another leader is Oga utu (age grade secretary), who is usually chosen from lower age bracket, 12. The oga utu is the custodian of the records of the age grade. It is also replicated at the clan level, so that you have oji-one ofe (clan age grade leader) and oga-ofe (clan age grade secretary). They serve as leaders of members of their respectful age grades in their clans. It is customary for members of each age grade to gather at the home of their leader (oji-one utu) every third Eke market day to discuss vital issues. Traditional drink at this meeting is palm wine. This particular day is regarded as the day for traditional activities and it is very important in the traditional calendar of the people. Formation and initiation HE age grade is in five stages: Ichagana, Udene, Achimere, Attaguba and Igbenu (abo onu). Initiation into the age grade is once in a lifetime, at the first stage after which initiated members go from one stage to another, taking on different responsibilities. Age grade formation starts at age 13, when young boys come together and then reach out to the leadership of Attaguba (age grade in charge of masquerades), and the Okpala (clan heads) by presenting drinks and kolanuts. This they do to seek permission to commence preparations that would eventually lead to the initiation of their age grade. Thereafter, they gather at night at the masquerade groove on every third Eke market



day to learn a new dance performance of their choice. This learning process continues for the next two years until they attain the age of 15 years when they are considered ready to be formally initiated. At this point, they go back with drinks and kolanut to the leadership of Attaguba and the clan heads to formally inform them that they have finished preparations and are ready to come out, and this would be communicated to the king. Three market days to the dance performance, the boys present themselves to the king. Early in the morning on this particular day, the boys come out with a masquerade, which looks forlorn, confused and dejected, and stand at the entrance to the masquerade groove. This masquerade represents the spirit and presence of the ancestors for the age grade initiation into manhood. A man (an Achumere) with whom the boys had previously arranged, would then come to lead them to the king’s palace. When they get to the palace, the man would approach the king and tell him that he just found the masquerade but didn’t know from where it could have come. The king would then ask the masquerade to step forward for identification. At this point, the leader of the age grade (ojione utu) would claim ownership on behalf of his members. He would give the name of masquerade and the age grade. This name is the name by which the age grade would be known throughout life, even after the death of the last member. The king would now accept them and bless them and this would be followed by a thunderous shout of joy accompanied by the sound of metal gong (ogene) and the masquerade would come alive with dancing. The boys then run round the town, and back to the groove. Their next outing three market days after would be for the public performance of the dance they have been learning for the past two years. After the performance they are deemed formally initiated, recognised and accepted. They can now take part in the various activities in the town. Responsibilities and obligations HE young boys (lchagana) have the responsibility of keeping the town clean by cutting


grasses within the town. They also run from one end of the town to the other to mark the beginning and the end of every festival in the town. The next stage, udene, takes care of clearing all roads that lead to the town and construction of foot-bridges where necessary. They are also in charge of security matters. In the past they formed the first fighting force in the event of enemy attack for this stage is for young men in their prime. The role of Achimere is principally supervisory. Whatever happens in the town first starts with them before it gets to the king. They serve as first line of action and are directly responsible to the king. When members of an age grade advance to this stage, not all of them would be assigned responsibilities because they are usually only six functional Achimereone representing each clan. The other members go into quiet retirement, ceasing from all labour duties. The last stage is Igbenu or abo-onu. These are elders who sit in the king’s court. They contribute their wealth of experience, knowledge and wisdom, which help to shape decisions and polices for the good governance of the town. The age grade in Unale plays very important role in social relations. Upon the death of a member, his mates dig the grave and ensure that he is given a good farewell by being present all through the wake keep. They also perform the age grade masquerade for him. Age grades can settle disputes, especially when such disputes are between members of the same age grade. In recent years, age grade formation and initiation take place at a much older age than 15 years. However, the essential elements of the age grade remains intact. The age grade institution continues to thrive in Unale, promoting the spirit of healthy competition and enterprise among the people. It acts as instrument of social harmony, promoting peaceful coexistence while providing a platform for excellence. • Micah discussed this topic with the National Museum Study Group, Port Harcourt recently


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

Literature By Anote Ajeluorou FROBEAT music legend and revolutionary A social crusader, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, took centre-stage on Tuesday when friends, family and fans gathered at Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, Lagos, to reminisce on the man and his extraordinary life. The occasion was at the launch of a book entitled Kalakuta Dairies, written by Uwa Erhabor, one of the boys at Fela’s famous shrine. With an eye for details and keen to document the lifestyle of the master musician for posterity, Erhabor’s book has come as a forerunner to several already in the works on the enigma known as Fela. Not least in the audience that came to honour Fela, now immortalised yet again in the written word were Fela’s earliest musical and revolutionary soul mate, Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi; Fela’s inimitable lawyer in his many years of travails in the hands of Nigeria’s military authority, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN); rights campaigner, Mr. Yinka Odumakin and MD, Cowbell Plc and author of Insider Outsider, Mr. Keith Richards. Others were Mrs. Bose Kuti, and Fela’s sons - Kunle and Seun. Gbadamosi said he counted himself extremely lucky to chair the event, especially going by his long-standing relationship with Fela both as rivals in different secondary schools, academic sojourn in London and later as a trio in a musical and revolutionary group with one Wale Bucknor, now late. He said Fela was such an important individual to him that he would always say ‘yes’ to anything concerning him. The business technocrat and art patron then traced their paths together through their teenage years to studies in London and their revolutionary group back in Nigeria in the 1960s. Gbadamosi said Fela was very shy as a schoolboy and had hid himself after his school, Abeokuta Grammar School, lost out in a tennis contest. He recalled further, “It’s difficult to be part of Lagos in the 1980s and not have been infected by anything Felaism. The life of a schoolboy without Fela wasn’t it. As students in the U.K., Fela used to entertain with his Koola Labito band at Pancreas Hall. He used to play at Maharani Hotel as a jazz trumpeter, where the seed of Afrobeat was sown. “It was at Empire Hotel that Afrobeat took root. His mother had challenged him to invent his own music and stop playing oyinbo music. Three of us formed an association of music and political radicalism and we used to meet at Yaba College of Technology and punching solidarity fists in the air. But I had to pull out when I became part of Lagos State Government, especially when he started pouring invectives on government officials”. Gbadamosi also recalled Fela’s sad end, how he prevailed against MUSON Centre to allow Fela perform at that conservative music spot. Fela typically made everyone nervous with his usual yabis; but by then, he had begun to deteriorate, a situation Gbadamosi said his wife alerted him on. But Fela believed so much in the African way of doings things, so much so that he would not seek orthodox medical help even when his two brothers were medical specialists. It took Fela’s protégé, Dede Mabiaku’s insistence for Gbadamosi to impress it on Fela, after

‘Fela was a big gift to human race’

Mrs. Bose Kuti; MD, Cowbell Plc and chief launcher, Mr. Keith Richards; chairman fo event and Fela’s associate, Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi and the author of Kalakuta Dairies, Mr. Uwa Erhabor during the launch of the book on Tuesday… in Lagos so many long arguments and his having to camp out at Fela’s Shrine, the need to seek medical help; which he eventually did. Fela’s last request, Gbadamosi said, was to be served jollof rice. “Then he passed on,” he recalled. “But even to the end, Fela’s humour and radicalism did not desert him. Then the aftermath, the glorious accolade and public applause, the great glory that Fela got at death, not even heads of state can compare with it; it was very memorable. “Fela was a great mind, a wonderful human being, who made great impact on all who knew him. We must thank Uwa for helping us to remember Fela today.” His lawyer, Falana, on the other hand, brought the iconoclasm of Fela home to bear on Nigeria’s current political reality, and how Fela’s voice still echoes stridently through the grave to impact on current, sordid affairs. Falana praised the author for producing a timely book on Fela, adding that Fela was a big donation from the

Kuti family to the African project. Fela’s classic ‘Authority stealing’ music that was recorded in 1988, Falana recalled, captured the essence of the current state of corruption in the political life of the country. “What Fela was saying then was that you should not talk of armed robbery but of pen robbery, which is very sad. Now, pen robbery is not in millions as in Fela’s days, but in billions. Fela was indeed a prophet. Africa is the richest continent but our riches have been cornered by a few people. “These were the things that Fela tried to tell us but he was branded a madman. Walter Rodney’s How Europe Under-Developed Africa was a catechism for Fela. What the author of Kalakuta Dairies has done is to capture the essence of life at Kalakuta; nobody has done it before now. It’s going to the innermost part of Kalakuta”. Falana also shed light on the many legal battles he waged for Fela who frequently had

Ekpe, emergence of a geo-poet HERE are certain people who step out of T the familiar and at times comfortable terrains of their professional callings to redefine their world. Godwin Ekpe is one of them. The 1998 graduate of Geology from the University of Calabar, who also holds a Masters degree in Geophysics from the University of Port Harcourt, has ventured into the deep world of poetry with the release of his two books of poetry. Ekpe, a native of Akwa-Ibom will on March 30 in Eket release The Mirror of Self and The Soul of a Poet, two poetry collections. As a geologist who has had extensive experience in the oil and mining exploration industry, Ekpe decides not to restrict himself to the wooded world of rocks and earth’s underlays but to be very relevant in society’s going-ons. Thus Some of the poems dwell on patriotism and nationalism; some on love and romance; some on religion and the supernatural, while some are based on the beauty and the economic values of the planet Earth. Yet, in quite a number of the poems, the author assumes a crusader-town-crier disposition and lampoons those in positions of authority and

leadership. According to him, the poems are poised to ‘comfort the distressed; stimulate rational thinking and practice within the polity;


charge, encourage, and promote attitudinal reorientation on ethics and moral values; and above all, foster love for Piety and respect for the dignity of humans and nature’. Certainly, Ekpe is a poet to watch out for. This much, Comrade John Ukam, fiery activist and veteran lecturer, himself a poet, confirms when he says of Ekpe’s book, The Mirror of Self: “The writer’s art is sometimes very mysterious. In other times it becomes so tangled with human activities, so much so that one begins to wonder why it is so…. To consider a geologist and a geophysicist like Godwin Ekpe to consider writing a worthwhile venture is really interesting. He is not into ordinary writing…”. On the book, The Soul of a Poet, Dr. Ndee Ehirim, himself also an accomplished lecturer, scholar and writer, had this to say: “The author as a richly talented and highly focused ambidextrous personality raring to stamp his identity on Nigeria’s literary garden, especially in the poetry genre”. So, come March 30, at the Utimanik Suites, 74 Grace Bill Road, Eket, Akwa Ibom State, a budding, simmering and compelling geologistpoet will be born!

brushes with the military government of the day. He recalled an incident when he insisted that as his client, Fela should see him in his chambers for his briefs rather than being invited to Kalakuta, as he was wont to do. So one day, Fela went to his chamber with about 5,000 of his followers and caused a major scene on Awolowo Road, Ikeja. From then on, Falana never asked Fela to see him in his office. Falana described Fela as the “most intelligent, interesting client I’ve ever had; he would deliberately commit an offence. Fela’s cases were the toughest and easiest of cases to handle. Fela has been the best suspect I’ve ever had. You’ll find in Erhabor’s Kalakuta Dairies what Fela was; he was generous. He didn’t leave riches behind but he left a good legacy”. split image, who has also taken after FtheELA’s his father as a musician, Seun, commended author for writing a book about his father’s musical journey. He described Erhabor as being close to the family, who has been like a big brother to him, and has written from a vintage position. He recalled the author giving him a toy as a birthday gift when he turned eight. He said Erhabor always kept them informed about the book’s progress while it was being written. The young Kuti also said, “the integrity of the book is intact, nothing exaggerated; it will make a great read for anybody who wants to see what happened in Kalakuta”. On his part, Odumakin praised the Kuti family for being the source of “great blessing to this country”. He recalled seeing Seun performing one of his father’s great hits, ‘Sorrow, tears and blood’ so dexterously, when he was just six years old, a musical tradition he has kept alive ever since. The human rights activist said “Generations yet unborn will remember Fela; he has left a good legacy. He didn’t leave riches, but he left a good name”. Richards is the author of Insider Outsider, an outsider’s view of Nigeria. He has lived in Nigeria a long time and have managed Guinness Nigeria and now Cowbell Plc, noted that he regretted not having met Fela even though he used to visit Nigeria while the iconic musician was alive. Richards humourously said how ironic it was that he, Fela’s typical colonialist, was at a Fela’s event spotting a jacket, something Fela always frowned at.

THE GUARDIAn, Friday, March 15, 2013


Showblast One-on-one with Dr. SID

...The buzz in town

Stories by Chuks Nwanne

‘I never saw my father as a


until his death’

Dr SID n nigeria, the name Justus Esiri rings a bell; his face sells movies. Abroad, he’s well known for his roles in nigerian movies, especially Village Headmaster, which many believe brought him to limelight. It is a common scenario at major events to see fans chasing after the late Delta State native for autographs. He was a fine actor, a perfect gentleman and a celebrity extraordinary. The news of his death came as a shock to nigerians, especially the Nollywood family; the industry was thrown into another round of mourning. His Lagos home was awash with top celebrities, family members, friends and colleagues, who came to pay tribute to the late thespian and member of the Order of the niger (OOn) as well as condole with his family, especially his musician son, Sidney, popularly called Dr. SID. Initial efforts to have a chat with the MARVIn Record’s man were unsuccessful, until recently when The Guardian ran into the singer at a top Lagos bars. In company of some of his friends, including comedian Bovi and Flytime Entertainment boss, Cecil Hammond, Dr. SID was busy working his laptop; his eyes fixed on the screen. Though dressed in black outfit, which suggested a sign of mourning, those usual smiles never left his face. At intervals, he made contribution in the ongoing conversation, but generally, it was a sorrowful mood hidden under cheerful smiles. “My dad was the only celebrity I knew, but I never saw him as one. For me, he was just my dad. Unfortunately, it was only people outside the family that saw him as a star,” the Pop Champagne crooner said in low tones. As a man, who had seen the good and bad side of being a celebrity, the late actor made efforts to educate his musician son on how to manage stardom, when it was obvious that the Dentists had found love in music. He said, “When I got into entertainment myself, I began to understand some of the things he used to do. For instance, we could be in the car and my father would be scolding me, but as soon as some of his fans came, his mood would change and he would relate with them in a friendly manner. After that, the scolding would continue. I never understood that he wasn’t living for my mum, brothers and myself; he was living for the nation as a whole. My dad is not just my dad; he’s a father to nigeria”. Even with all his achievements in the movie industry, Justus Esiri remained just ‘a father’ to Dr. SID until the sad news of his death. “It’s now that I’m beginning to understand who my father truly was; the amount of phone calls I’ve received and the sto-


ries I’ve heard about how he had touched different people has made me to sit down and think about my life as Dr. SID. I feel I owe him a lot; he taught me so many things about being a celebrity, some of which I took for granted. You know, sometimes, you feel you have all the time in the world. The last time I saw him, it was fun…Well, it’s all good, nothing spoil”; he was trying so hard to hold back the emotion. While paying tribute to his late father, Dr. SID said, “My Dad lived a very wonderful life; he is a true definition of a celebrity. My father took his career very serious and I’m proud to be his son. We feel sad that he’s gone, but I’ve learnt a lot from his life and death. His life is being studied in universities in the United Kingdom. He was over 70 years old and you know, anything after 70 is a gift; so, there is really nothing to be sad about. He lived a good life.” According to the singer, the late actor would be buried in his country home in Delta State, with a tentative date already fixed in April. “The family is planning his burial; we’ve fixed between the first week of April and the third week. My father died a Catholic; so, we have to observe the lent. For now, we are trying to speak with people in the village to find out if it falls on a market day and other stuffs like that.” Meanwhile, in a statement issued by the Esiri family, they’ve called on friends and well-wishers to emulate the life of their late father, brother and husband, who died following a complication from diabetes. “While we mourn the loss of a great man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to the youth to work hard to achieve their dreams, and play their own part in building a greater nation. For those who may ask what they can do to honour Chief Justus Esiri, we simply request that you honour his example of service, accomplishment and modesty and the next time you turn on your Television and see his face, we ask that you keep his memory alive,” the message read in part. ORn in Lagos, Sidney Esiri was thrust into a life in entertainB ment before he could even speak. His mother was a renowned fashion designer and his dad, Justus Esiri, is a legendary stage and screen actor most famous for his role as the eponymous Village Headmaster series. Originally, he was set out for a career in the medical field at the University of Ibadan. However, in between laboratory sessions at university, the multi-faceted student could be found taking part in plays,

Dr SID and dad dance competitions and musical concerts. The awards came thick and fast even back then and people started to take notice. His first chance came in 1999 when he began working as a choreographer for the very popular rap group – Trybesmen. It was not long before Dr. SID’s performing talents became impossible to ignore. In 2002, Dr. SID became a full-fledged member of Da Trybe, a group, which blazed a trail for nigerian hip-hop. In 2003 he released his first single Don’t Stop, which was in the charts for months and had a number one video on the MBI top 10 for eight weeks. However, he somehow found the time to qualify as a Dentist in 2004 and thus Dr. SID, the music star, was born.

40 ARtS

thE GUARDiAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


hots up for

AY Live

Array of stars for AY Live concert

Winners of MTN Afrinolly Film Competition emerge today hE Oriental hotel, Lekki, Lagos, will come alive today, as winners of the two categories of the inaugural MtN Afrinolly Film competitions will be unveiled. With cash prizes totaling $100,000, the digital-based competition, which began in November involved Africans from age 18 and resident on the continent or in the Diaspora. the aim, according to MtN, is to create a platform for up-coming African filmmakers to express their talents and build their capacity with a view to competing favourably with their counterparts worldwide. Basically, the MtN Afrinolly Film Competition was divided into two categories. these categories are short movie and documentary. Prizes will be awarded to the top 10 in


each of the top two categories, at the presentation ceremony today. the top nominees are the select entrants, adjudged outstanding by the judging panel comprising international film and documentary experts, from various African countries and the United States, before a wide online voting to select the final 20, in both categories. the panel of judges includes Femi Odugbemi, tunde Kelani, Juliet Yaa Ashante, Bongiwe Selane, Franklin Leonard, Mahen Bonetti, amongst others. the first prizewinners will be awarded $25,000. the winners of the second prize will get $10,000; third place prize winners will go home with $5,000, while those who end up in the 4th to the 10th positions get $500

each, in both categories. A youth-focused initiative, the MtN Afrinolly Film Competition is entirely an online challenge that is essentially designed to prepare the next generation of African filmmakers for the challenges of modern day filmmaking. it is as well a platform to position the continent to compete favourably, for a share of global film revenues. As a mobile entertainment application, Afrinolly was branded for MtN and now has over 1.3 million downloads, across different operating systems. the telecommunications company aims to use its widespread and effective network capacity to reposition the African entertainment industry as one of the best in the world.

Excitement, as Joker Comedy Club returns advantage of The Joker Comedy Club, there was a break; the show was suspended. Exactly after a year hiatus, Peekadians to exploit in showcasing their talents, the initiative received boo Global Consulting, organiser of wide commendations from estab- show the Joker Comedy Club, is lished acts, who saw it as an oppor- back with the pre-Easter edition of tunity to school younger talents in the comedy talent hunt drive. According to Darlington Abuda, the comedy business. But just as talManaging Director of the entertainents were beginning to take full

N 2011, when Peekaboo Global icreate Consulting took that bold step to a platform for young come-

ment outfit, the project has been redesigned to entertain all Lagosians on the Mainland during the Easter season. the maiden edition for 2013, which is billed for Sunday, March 24, at the Bamboo Spaces, opposite Omole Phase 1, will feature notable comedians such as Mc Abbey, Ajebo, Seyilaw, Elenu, MOG, Jibade as

Wale Thompson steps in with No Rival music star, Wale thompson, is set to release JhitUJU his fifth album, No Rival. the album, which will music shelf during the Easter celebration pe-


riod, features tracks such as Morning Till Night, Back in the Groove, Everybody Loves Wale Thompson, Mapolongo Jesu and Iba Fun Jehovah. Popularly known as Lalale Friday, thompson hinted that his latest album would surpass the achievements made by his previous efforts. his last albums are My Time, Hip Juju, My Logo and Play On, which featured one of his evergreen cuts, Old Skool. “My last album was released in 2004. So, intentionally, i decided to take my time in order to continue leading the pace. As a musician that a lot of people look up to, you can’t afford to slip; you meet the people’s expectations regularly, and even surpass them as the case may be,” thompson said. For the artiste, No Rival is more than a comeback album. “i have worked very hard on it. i did some research and experimented with various music studios in Nigeria and abroad before recording the album. i know it will help re-launch my career to greater heights. My music will rule the world again.”

well as past winners of the comedy competition, who will thrill the audience with creative entertainment. Abuda posited that the show was designed out of the need to satisfy the yearnings of upwardly mobile Lagosians living on the mainland who have been seeking a family styled event that effectively combines wholesome entertainment with a qualitative networking environment with the drudgery of having to drive all the way to Victoria island. “this is one of the needs that the redesigned Joker Comedy Club fulfils. We want to give all Lagosians an opportunity to enjoy qualitative entertainment without having to move too far from their homes.” the Joker Comedy Club, which is designed as a combination of comedy talent search and music, also offers a potpourri of side attractions to satiate every participant. “We at Peekaboo Global Consulting have continued to develop the show because after a comprehensive look at the industry, we saw that there were plenty of unexplored areas in the Nigerian entertainment circuit.” First staged at the terra Kulture, one of Nigeria’s foremost cultural centres, the show has witnessed the presence of comedy and music acts like AY, Kefee, Seyilaw and a host of others. All the competing acts are set to face grueling challenges with the eventual winner going home with N50, 000, cash prize.

on Easter Sunday ith the level of media hype and pubW licity stunts so far, expectations are high ahead of the yearly comedy show, AY Live. Billed for Easter Sunday, at the Expo hall, Eko hotel, Victoria island, the show will parade notable comedians, musicians, dancers, and DeeJays, who are already gearing up for the D-day. in a chat with the creator of the concert, Ayo Makun a.k.a AY, all is working fine ahead of the show. “i have quietly monitored with satisfaction, the performances of all the artistes on the bill of AY Live and i have noticed that all of them have been hotter with every event. i’m confident that by Easter Sunday, they would have hit an all time form for 2013. i’m so excited that thousands of high-spirited Lagosians, who have consistently and consecutively helped us sell out the 6,000-capacity Expo hall of Eko hotels since 2010, would be glad to come around again.” Notable among comedians on the bill are Alibaba, Julius Agwu, Gordons, and i Go Dye, while the younger acts such as Akpororo, FunnyBone, Elenu and others, will also get slots to prove their worth. Since his return after a brief break in the industry, Egberipapa 1 of bayelsa, timaya has awaken a dull audience at events with his latest hit, Sexy Baby, Whizkid had shaken a whole auditorium with his latest track, The Matter, many girls have be addicted to iyanya’s Kukere dance step, while tiwa Savage and terry G, have separately put up some electrifying performances in many repeated instances. All these would come to play at the show. tontoh Dikeh, who’s new track, Jeje is trending, will reveal a dual-personality. First she will perform as singer, and then feature in the comedy skits, which also has Yemi Balq, Nse ikpe Eitm, ini Edo, and Gollywood’s Juliet ibrahim and Chris Attoh.” “the implication of the current heightened form of all AY Live artiste, is a guarantee that we can produce a higher standard of the quality AY Live concerts are known, worldwide, for.”  Awarded the Concert of the Year 2013, by Naija Fm Comedy Awards, AY Live is a celebrity-attracting comedy and music concerts from the stables of AY’s Corporate World Entertainment. this year’s show will be co-hosted by Freez, while DJ Jimmy Jatt will man the console.

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


Duets dominate the air at Nigerian Idol house ITH the exit of Danny Angus and Kome W Amagada, Nigerian Idol house is left with just six contestants; Safeeyat, JayFeel, Abasiakan, Efezino, Debbie Rise and Moses. Dani Angus, a 300-level Electrical/Electronic Engineering student of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, is known to be one of the audience’s and judges’ favourites because of his simple and unassuming personality, which got him nicknamed by the judges as ‘The Accountant.’ His last performance of the 1964 song My Girl, by The Temptations was widely applauded by members of the audience and judges, especially Afrobeat Legend, Femi Kuti, who said Angus did justice to the song with his unique signature voice. In a chat with Ill Rhymz, Angus was thankful to his fans for their votes and support, which took him to the Top 8 stage of his first ever-musical competition. Giving her final remarks on the show, Kome Amagada was also thankful for making it to the top 8 stage. “I have learnt so much being here and I will definitely use all that I have learnt to develop my music career. Thanks to Etisalat for giving me a stage to showcase my talent,” she said. Also at the eviction was Joseph Anthony Ekpo popularly known as Joe Blue, 1st runner up of Nigerian Idol Season 2, who serenaded the audience once again with his unique voice, and charismatic dance, as he sang his brand new single titled Ema. Speaking after his performance, Joe Blue showed appreciation to the Nigerian Idol crew for giving him the opportunity to achieve his dreams. “I have missed this stage so much, and I am

grateful for the lessons I learnt here. I just released my first single Ema, a song about love and it is available in stores across Nigeria,” he said. On Sunday night, the contestants leapt into the future after last week’s blasts from the past, and some of the biggest Nigerian hit songs. The show turned the heat on the contestants up a notch, when contestants were paired with each other to sing duets. Efezino and Abasiakan were the first pair, singing Comforter’s Song by Asa and Jeremiah Gyang. Then came Debbie Rise and Moses with Bottom Bele by Omawumi and Flavour. Lastly, Sefeeyat and Jayfeel sang Without my Heart by Tiwa Savage and Don Jazzy. Efezino and Abasiakan were a well-matched pair, and delivered a breezy song that made you think of cuddling up to a significant other. It was definitely a good match and hopefully they will get to perform together again. Debbie Rise and Moses were also surprisingly good together. They looked like they were having tons of fun dancing around on stage and killed it with their performance. As for JayFeel and Sefeeyat, it seemed as if the poor girl was alone. She carried the song almost entirely by herself with her powerful vocals, while JayFeel sang his lines out of tune, and mouthed the words in the chorus, trying to hog the stage. Still, the crowd loved it and ate it all up. Top prize for this season is worth $100,000, in which the lucky winner will get N7.5 million in cash, a recording contract also worth N7.5 million, and a brand new SUV. Runner-ups will not be left out, as they will be given prizes to the tune of N10 million.

Comedy takes Basketmouth to South Africa OP Nigerian comedian, Bright Okpocha, T otherwise known as Basketmouth, is to become the first Nigerian to host a prestigious comedy gig and TV show Comedy Central Presents… Live at Parker’s. The comedian-turnedpresenter has been snapped up by Africa’s only 24-hour comedy channel to headline his own edition of the show in Johannesburg, South Africa, on April 24, alongside wellknown South African comedians.   Already a part of the show, Basketmouth is expected to bring his own inimitable brand of comedy to the live gig at legendary comedy venue Parker’s Comedy & Jive, followed by a special telecast of Comedy Central Presents Basketmouth Live at Parker’s, airing exclusively on Comedy Central (DStv Channel 122) on Friday, June 14 at 07:55 WAT/08:55 CAT. “I am really buzzed to be reppin’ for Naija at Comedy Central Presents…Live at Parker’s in April. So, watch out; the Nigerian invasion has begun,” he said. Speaking on the project, Head of Comedy Central, Africa, Evert Van Der Veer, said, “It’s been our long-held ambition to include Nigerian comedians and comedy in our programming lineup - and what better way to start than with Basketmouth - the king of Nigerian comedy himself.” Basketmouth is among the leading light of the Nigerian comedy scene, making waves around the globe with his free-flowing storytelling and enthusiastic comedic performances. His profile has never been higher, with huge demand for his comedy gigs both at home and internationally, including an upcoming tour of Europe this April.  When he’s not touring, you can regularly find the comedian presiding over the comic show at MTV Base’s late night TV show, The Big Friday Show, a joyous mash up of music, comedy, celebrities,

MoviBuzz Film Review

Basketmouth pranks and news. Among the many brilliant funnymen and women to grace the stage at Parker’s Comedy & Jive have been Chris Forrest, Kurt Schoonraad, Tumi Morake, Al Prodgers, Joey Rasdien, Barry Hilton, Loyiso Gola, Tats Nkonzo and Stuart Taylor.

People say they love Afrobeat, but when it comes to opportunity, it is very limited as regards what you can achieve. Here in Nigeria, we don’t have an industry that is promoting artistic forms. Everything that comes in the way of art in this country is from either government or corporate organisations; everybody wants to play in their end-of-the-year party. And the companies themselves, they don’t want to support anything anti-government, which makes it difficult for Afrobeat musicians, because you don’t have that freedom to express yourself.


Efezino and Abasiakan

after betrothal and having a child for him. The situation gets tensed up and the possiTitle: Two Brides and a Baby bility marrying the next day is Genre: Romantic in doubt. Comedy/Drama Ama threatens fire and brimCast: Stella Damasus (Ama), O stone to claim what she beC Ukeje (Bankole), Kalu longs to her; after all Kole is Ikeagwu (Deji), Keira Heithe father of her baby. Keche watch (Keche), Chelsea Eze goes berserk but considers it (Ugo), Okey Uzoeshi (Maye), cowardice to leave her man Blessing Effiom Egbe (Ene), for an intruder. Confusion sets Cassandra Odita (Mrs. Badin as divergent views emanate mus) and others. from both families and close Duration: 1:31:16 allies. Courageously, Kole conWritten & Produced By Blessfronts each of them one-oning Effiom Egbe one and makes explanations Directed By Teco Benson he deems necessary. Indeed, it Bankole fondly called Kole proves a very hard nut to finds himself in dilemma on crack, but at the end of the day the eve of his wedding when the wedding comes into being the unthinkable occurs. He must explain to Keche his wife without blemish. Although not star-studded, to-be why the appearance of a characters in the movie decertain lady ‘Ama’ should change his mood and disrupt liver their roles in a captivattheir wedding rehearsal. How- ing and creative manner. Notwithstanding, there are ocever, Kole has the task of casions where the characters telling Ama why he left her

By Chika Onwukwe use Pidgin English to paint a typical African scenario. It’s also noteworthy to mention that the ability of the scriptwriter to create suspense and electrifying mood in the storyline gives life to the movie, thereby attracting and retaining viewers’ interest; the picture and audio quality speak volumes. Although the movie shows a clearl departure from regular Nollywood productions, which are usually follow the same pattern, Two brides and a baby is not without flaws, especially the camera angle. For instance, in some scenes the camera is not properly adjusted to give headroom, while a few shots appear blurred. To achieve quality movie starts with good storyline and this is evident in Two brides and a baby.


THE guARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


ArtHouse Artmosphere holds conversation March

RTMOSPHERE, a platform for the promotion A of creative expressions in literature, music and the arts in Nigeria hold tomorrow, March 16, at NuStreams Conference and Culture Centre, KM 110 Abeokuta road, off Alalubosa g.R.A., Ibadan. Time is 3pm. Artmosphere is organised by WriteHouse Collective, a creative enterprise, culture and arts firm with the support of Ibridge Hub, a collaborative space for people with great ideas to meet, learn and work.

Cities in Transition at Art Dubai

RT Dubai’s Marker programme that explores A the nature of evolving cities in West Africa through the work of upcoming and estab-

Traditional fire-eater at Lisabi Festival in Ogun State

ANA secures funds for 2nd Yusuf Ali Reading Campaign HE Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) has just secured funding for the second year of its ANA/Yusuf Ali Reading Campaign. Founded in 1981 for the promotion of Nigerian writing by foremost novelist Chinua Achebe, the Association’s present executive committee led by Prof. Remi Raji and Mallam B. M. Dzukogi, have successfully turned the association around from the yearly convention-oriented mindset of previous years. For Raji, the policy of his executive would include seeking of institutional support for activities in the consolidated manifesto of the current executive. In this regard, the association has secured funding to the tune of N3 million from Mr. Yusuf Ali, for a reading campaign programme he sponsors, which was held last year from June 12 to July 3, 2012. The 16 state chapters, which benefited from grants of N 150,000 each last year included Abuja, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Imo, Kano, Kaduna, Kebbi, Kwara, lagos, Niger, ondo, oyo, Plateau and Ali Rivers. Following the success of the 2012 campaign across the country, the donor has released funding for the 2013 campaign and promised to continue funding the reading campaign. Ali is a Nigerian lawyer, who received the highHE ogun State government has est honour available to practising lawyers in commended the second nation1997, when he was made Senior Advocate of al carrier, globacom for preserving Nigeria (SAN). He attended the university of Ife Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage, val[now obafemi Awolowo university, Ile-Ife] and ues and norms through sponsoris the Principal Partner at Yusuf o. Ali & Co law ship of festivals that resonate with firm in Ilorin. He has a deep interest in literathe people. Secretary to ogun State ture, which has seen him support the Kwara government, Bar. Taiwo Adeoluwa State chapter of the Association of Nigerian stated this in a special remark at Authors, as well as serve as Editor-in-Chief of the grand finale of 2013 lisabi Nigerian Bar Journal. He is also an associate lecFestival held at Ake Palace, turer at the Faculty of law of the university of Abeokuta on Saturday. Ilorin. He observed that globacom’s ANA general Secretary, Dzukogi, said he was investment in festivals had elated at the development, especially as “the endeared the brand to the people, 2012 campaign was immensely successful, and adding that the state government students and teachers from across the country accords culture and tourism a have expressed gratitude to the association for pride of place by creating a minstepping in practically to encourage reading.” istry for it. While commenting on the grant for the curHe urged the people of ogun State rent year, Raji said: “ANA’s partnership with to exercise more patience with Bar. Yusuf Ali goes to show that the new ANA efforts to rebuild the state and mindset of the 2011/13 EXCo is yielding desired likened the on-going developmenresults. Ali’s reposing of trust in the Association tal strides to birth pangs which is also a statement of his satisfaction with the would give joy to generality of the execution of the campaign last year. We will people at the end. He noted that draw up a list of chapters that will benefit from they got into office through the the campaign this year and make it public; the grace of god and the support of funds will be disbursed at the next Council of the people, and promised that the Chairmen and Secretaries meeting holding in Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led govApril at Ilorin, the Kwara State Capital.” ernment would not let them Raji also called on more institutions and perdown. sonalities to partner with the association the In his royal address, the Alake of Egbaland, oba Adedotun gbadebo way Yusuf Ali, Mrs. Babangida Aliyu and the thanked globacom for giving the YSgHubs group have done in the last year. Egbas a befitting festival better


lished artists, will its exhibits in the Middle East for the first time, from March 20 to 23. Marker is a curated section, which focuses on a particular theme or geography each year. For 2013, Art Dubai has invited lagos-based curator Bisi Silva to select and work with galleries and art spaces located in West Africa. Silva’s programme is curated around the theme of Cities in Transition, with a particular focus on the work of dynamic, independent organisations and artists dealing with specific identities and localities. Her concept focuses on the rapidly evolving nature of cities in West Africa and the way in which this change impacts society.

Wedding Expo lagos 2013

AgoS’ largest wedding exhibition will llandmark take place from March 21 to 24, at Event Centre, oniru, off ligali Ayorinde, Victoria Island, lagos. Time is 12:30pm.

Raji to grace uNESCo World Poetry Day

RoF. Remi Raji-oyelade, Dean, Faculty of P Arts, university of Ibadan, will join five other poets from Europe, Asia and America on March 20, and fly Nigeria’s flag at this year’s uNESCo World Poetry Day in Berlin, germany in a special poetry reading session. Rajioyelade will read from his many poetry collections to showcase the rich poetic tradition of Africa.

iREP Documentary Film Festival holds

HE second edition of iREPRESENT T Documentary International Film Festival (iREP Docu-fest) opens at 9am on Thursday March 21,

run for four days, from March 21 to 24. The event will attract about 20 international filmmakers from Europe and parts of Africa, and about 50 Nigerian filmmakers and cine enthusiasts. The yearly IREP Docu-fest is conceptualised on the thematic framework: Africa in Self Conversation. This second edition will explore the theme: Democracy and Culture: the Documentary Film Intervention. A sub-theme of the film fest is tagged, Is Nollywood Documentary? It is also designed to open new vistas of production opportunities and possibilities to the Nigerian filmmaker. The formal opening will feature a keynote entitled African Cinema and the Frontiers of Documentary and will be presented by renowned anthropologist and filmmaker, Prof. Jean Paul Collyen, Director of the institute of African Arts, Paris. This will be followed by a panel discussion on the state of African cinema today.

Tosyn Bucknor, Jimmy Jatt set for Nigerian Broadcaster’s Nite

oPulAR radio presenter and on-air-personP ality, Tosyn Bucknor has been voted as the first celebrity broadcaster to be hosted at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Broadcaster’s Nite (NBN), an event expected to further celebrate the achievements of Nigerian broadcast industry as well as its practitioners. The event will hold on March 28 at one of Club Vegas situated along the Sheraton-opebi link Road in Ikeja.

Argungu Fishing Festival

RguNgu Fishing Festival has been schedA uled to hold this month in Kebbi State. This fishing festival is long standing; the first one was held in 1934. The Argungu involves literally thousands of men and boys dashing into the local river intent on scooping up the largest fish in the river, the Nile perch.

Nigeria Photography Expo & Conference 2013

IgERIA Photography Expo & Conference N 2013 has been scheduled to hold from April 29 to May 2nd. The expo is for professionals, students, educators and enthusiasts who want to learn more about photography. guests will be able to explore hundreds of exhibits, attend a variety of imaging seminars, and network. Time is 8:00 am to 6:00 pm daily at Be Spoke Event Centre, liberty Hall, lekki Epe Express way by germaine/Toyota bus stop.

at Freedom Park, 1 Hospital Road, by Broad Street, lagos. The festival will

––Compiled by Florence Utor

Ogun lauds Globacom for supporting Nigerian festivals T

than last year’s edition and urged Egba people yet to make globacom their preferred telecommunication network to do so without delay. Cash prizes were given to winners in traditional Ayo competition,

inter-school quiz and debate competitions, inter-school football competition amongst secondary schools in the six local government areas in Egba land while various community groups paid homage to

Ipi Ntombi dance performed by primary school pupils in Lagos

the Alake. Dignitaries at the event included globacom’s Treasurer, Mr. Adebola Sofela, Senator gbenga obadara, traditional rulers, prominent Egba chiefs and business tycoons.

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15,


AutoWheels After 50 years of running, Porsche 911 remains the world’s sports car

Porsche 911 By Taiwo Hassan, with agency report the fall of 1963, a small IeesNgroup of Porsche employarrived at the International auto show in Frankfurt to present the company’s vision for the future. Due to replace the Volkswagen-derived fourcylinder 356, was a new model called the 901, which featured both a refined version of the 356’s bathtub silhouette as well as two more cylinders. Initially, the biggest controversy was over the model’s name; Peugeot pressed its rights to three-digit appellations where the middle number was zero. So the 901 became the 911, and Porsche became Porsche. “The 911 changed everything for the company, so it’s rightly the icon,” says Pete Stout, editor-in-chief of Panorama, the magazine of the Porsche Club of America. “When you fire up a 911 and hear that overhead cam flatsix with its cooling fan whirring, that’s Porsche’s unique sound. The 911 had stayed true to itself, which is a rear-engined car that delivers more from less.” Porsche is marking the 911’s 50th anniversary in a variety of ways, including sending a 1967 model on a five-continent tour stopping at a range of high-profile automotive events and races. There’s also a “50 Years of the Porsche 911” exhibit at the company’s gleaming museum in Zuffenhausen, near Stuttgart, as well as a forthcoming factory-published book called “911 x 911.” The celebration seems warranted. 50 years is a long time to keep a single automotive

line going, especially in an age when innovation rules and customers, trained by the insta-upgrades of the tech world, shun the old and demand the new. Yet here we are in 2013 and, 820,000 911s later, the car remains not only a staggering benchmark in a field crowded with high-displacement offerings, but it also represents the core DNA of a company now offering five models ranging from midengined roadsters to turbocharged SUVs. To drive a new Panamera sedan is to taste that fabled rear-wheel-drive 911 experience. And to drive a 911 is to enter into a relationship between car and driver that is demanding, engaging and never boring. “So many modern sports cars allow you to drive at 10/10ths right away, but the 911 requires you to know a little more about the car and your own skills so it actually develops you as a driver,” says Jeff Zwart, who has both raced to victory in a 911 at the grueling Pikes Peak hill climb and explored the marque in many commercials produced by his company, Radical Media. Zwart learned to drive in Southern California at the wheel of his father’s very early 911, a 1964 sporting chassis number 35 good for 130 hp. Today he runs around in a monstrous 4-liter, 500hp 911 RS. Yet each time he sits down in his modern rocketship, Zwart still feels the same visceral thrill that gripped him as a teenager. “The 911 is the most developed sports car in history,” he said. “It broke a lot of rules, and it’s still here today.”

Porsche 911 back view The biggest of those shattered taboos was that engines should be placed in front of the rear axle. Yet Porsche put its air-cooled “boxer” (a word that refers to the banks of cylinders boxing at each other) powerplant close to the rear tail lights. The effects were immediate. Careless motorists in slick weather could find their 911 swapping ends with aggressive stabs of the accelerator or brakes. But those who took the time to master their car’s dynamics were rewarded with knifelike precision into, and blistering acceleration out of, turns. This feature wasn’t lost

on amateur and pro drivers alike; the 911, has notched some 30,000 race victories to date,” said Zwart “When I’m flying into a hairpin turn at Pikes Peak at 100 mph with no guard rails, it’s just an amazing feeling to shift down into first and feel the weight set on those drive wheels. The traction is just unbelievable.” Stout calls Porsche’s far-rear engine design “a vice that became a virtue,” while Zwart insists that racers trained on 911s develop an acute sense of car dynamics that make them better drivers. But despite such properties, this venerable car almost didn’t make it to middle age. In the

early ‘80s, Porsche was in financial difficulty and word began circulating that the 911 would soon be replaced by the front-engined V8-powered 928. In the end, it was Porsche’s only American CEO, Peter Schutz, who decided the latter’s birth shouldn’t mean the former’s death. Befitting a model that’s been around a half-century, fans of the 911 have varied allegiances. Some are smitten by the spartan feel of ‘70s cars, while others love the bulletproof build quality of the ‘80s SCs and Carreras. Among air-cooled purists, there is perhaps no more adored modern 911 than the

last of that series, the 993, which in 1999 gave way to Porsche’s new series of watercooled engines. Although the 993 featured a new rear suspension design that helped curb the 911’s tailhappy nature, it was really the car’s looks, a sensuous shape that drew heavily from the company’s 959 supercar that seduced, so much so that its hallmark oval headlights and pinched rear tail-lights now infuse the latest 911 iteration, the 991. “My RS is a beast of a car, but then they make the 991 and wouldn’t you know it, this new car is faster around the Nurburgring than the last generation GT3,” says Zwart.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

Toyota i-ROAD concept revives the three-wheel microcar

Automobile firms set to maximise opportunities in auto industry

By Taiwo Hassan T this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Toyota has taken the idea of a three-wheel, tandemseat microcar to a modern extreme in a concept it calls iROAD, and because the future has a brighter prospect. Most major automakers are working on ideas of vehicles that fill the space between a small car and a motorcycle — something small enough to fit in tight urban environments, but sizable enough to provide weather and crash protection so that passengers wouldn’t have to wear helmets. None has advanced to the point of production, and the slow progress of a few startups has made such vehicles seem an answer to a question not many people have thought to ask yet. But the trend lines say rising fuel prices and crowded metropolises will eventually demand a replacement for the four-wheel compact car. In the i-ROAD, Toyota combines an electric motor and battery that can travel 30 miles on a charge with a stability system to keep the trike

By Taiwo Hassan


head of the forthcoming A the 8th Lagos Motor Fair, automobile companies and

Toyota i-road three-wheeler microcar upright; its front wheels raise and lower in turns to lean the body without toppling it. By seating two people in tandem, Toyota says “the i-ROAD is no wider than a convention-

al motorcycle, and would require no special training to drive.” The chances of Toyota building a 21st-century Messerschmitt hover close to

zero at the moment; the world’s largest automaker has plenty of demand for its real vehicles, and as the Scion iQ shows, four-wheel cars can get far smaller than most people

find comfortable. But it’s impossible to rule that such vehicles will never emerge, and there may yet be a formula for drivers who want to lean into the future.

Minister clamours for Made-in-Nigeria vehicles By Victor Olusola N an attempt to encourage the use of Made-In-Nigeria vehicles, a Presidential delegate led by the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom recently paid a visit to inspect the armouring facility of Proforce Limited, an indigenous defense company situated at Ode-Remo, Ogun State. While speaking to The Guardian, Ortom said that Federal Government would put all efforts in place to ensure that Nigerians patronise MadeIn- Nigeria products, especially in building of local made vehicles


According to the Minister, the initiative of Proforce would create jobs, opportunities and technological transfer to the teeming Nigerian youths. “I am really impressed with what I am seeing as it is coming at the time President Jonathan is closing more friendly ties with the manufacturing sector. The government wants the private sector to come out and exhibit the talents God gave to them,” he revealed. He urged Nigerians to appreciate the FG’s campaign for Nigerians to be patriotic in using Made-in-Nigeria products, admitting, “I have had

the privilege of riding in armour vehicles that were manufactured abroad and I can attest that what I have seen today are of international standard.” He stressed that the government and wealthy Nigerians have no need to import armour vehicles anymore. “We have them right here and we are creating wealth for the people and Nigeria as a country whenever we patronise Madein-Nigeria products.” In addition, Ortom disclosed that his ministry is vested with the responsibility of fishing out the qualities that would encourage Nigerians to patro-

nise Made-in-Nigeria products. “It is not just going to be the individuals or private sectors, there is going to be a comprehensive policy to ensure that everyone patronise this product and other Made-in-Nigeria products. “We are going to pass a law to the National Assembly because we have been missing so much as result of this. Also, the Government will set example by using this product.” However, the Group Managing Director, Perforce Limited, Engineer Ade Ogundehin, said the armour vehicles are designed to withstand AK-47 and other related threats to security.

As a defense company, he added that their products could march any amour vehicle in the world in quality and in the degree of armouring. According to him, the country does not have a workforce of armoring skills, as Proforce is the only armour servicing company in Nigeria at present. “Instead of partnering with the foreign companies abroad, we brought in some of these foreigners with long years experience in armouring. We rely on this at present because when you armour vehicles, you are dealing with lives. It is either you get it right or you mess up peoples’ lives.”

ucts built around compact and high-performance engines. The 2013 Accord was undoubtedly archetypal of Honda’s slogan ‘Power of Dreams’ which though designed as a family sedan but

offers the versatility of a premium car. Only the standard LX and EXL 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine with 173 bhp, mated to a fivespeed automatic transmission (A/T) would be available in the local market, Daryanani affirmed.

The Honda Place unveils ninth generation Accord Sedan By Taiwo Hassan he Honda Place Nigeria has T unveiled the 2013 Honda Accord which originally debuted 37 years ago into the Nigerian market. This model marks the beginning of the production of the ninth generation Accord. Remarkably loaded with distinctive features such as blue tooth, parking sensors, retractable side mirrors, the new Accord replaces the eighth generation model, which bestrode the global automobile marketplace from 2008 to 2012. Honda meticulously improved the 2013 model not only to outperform competitions, but to reintegrate the sporty driving dynamics of much earlier Accords. Head, Sales and Marketing, Deepak Daryanani, at a media briefing in Lagos told journalists that the new Accord was an epitome of fuel economy and named it ‘King of the Jungle.’ He said the 2013 Accord was exceptionally crafted as a masterpiece with dynamic and prestigious agile demeanor in line with Honda’s design philosophy. Daryanani also said the Accord has been detailed with premium accessory such as LED head lamps, earth dream technology and paddle shift gear to give the car a deserving

character. The Honda helmsman was however optimistic that the remodeled Accord would address “critics’ claims that the previous Accord model was “too large and too soft.” Currently one of the most aggressive models in the Honda line-up, the Accord was for the first time, during the seventh generation (20042006), significantly reviewed with freshened exterior styling, more power and stability control, as did minor modifications to trim level organisation. The ninth generation Accord was indeed a significant improvement over its predecessor, especially when viewed against the backdrop of innovations like class leading cabin space, excellent fuel economy and almost a cubic foot more cargo volume. Couple with these is incomparable cockpit-like interior and improved three-eye instrument panel with large dial plate. Other attractive innovations are the car’s new electric power steering with non-contact torque sensor for linear steering feel and world’s first steel and aluminum bonded front surface. Honda’s resourcefulness and desire to always be the first dates back to more than five decades ago, when the automaker successfully trans-

ferred its motorcycle business to automobiles, power and marine equipment. Ever since, Honda has structured a unique development and manufacturing process that enhanced the production of a variety of consumer prod-

2013 Honda Accord Sedan

participants have set their target to ensure that the fair maximise fully the benefits and potentials abound in the Nigerian automotive and road transport sectors. Specifically, the move was aimed at fast tracking the development of the sectors and ensuring that the benefits of the fair brings rapid developments that will unleashed into the economy. Chairman of the Organising Committee for this year’s motor fair, Ifeanyichukwu Agwu, said at a stakeholders’ media briefing in Lagos that all strategies have been deployed to ensure that the fair more than ever before receives the needed attention from participants, institutional, trade, professional and individual buyers as well as visitors. “We have packaged a show that could effectively be used by the participants and visitors to maximise the benefits that they drive from the fair. This edition will bring out all the potentials and investment opportunities that abound in the Nigerian automobile industry, which we know are very attractive so that the existing and potential stakeholders will utilise the opportunities offered by Lagos Motor Fair to get the best. “Strategically as we did last year, we are laying more emphasis on the spare parts sector in this edition. This is as a result of our guided intention to enhance the development of cottage industries in the spare parts sub-sector of the automotive business sector of the economy with the attendant multiplier effects on the economy of the nation. He continued “Our target is to attract many reputable original equipment manufacturers of spare parts from across the globe to participate in this edition as well as in subsequent ones.” He said that the organising committee was working in conjunction with some foreign partners, such as SENEXPO International Fairs Inc of Turkey, to reach out to many of such companies that are expected to grace the fair. “Our intention in bringing them to Lagos which is the hub of automotive business in West Africa was to enable Nigerians and neighbouring West Africans engaged in auto spare business work out rewarding and lasting business relationships with the main companies engaged in the manufacture of auto spare parts. “These relationships, which can come in the form of: sole agencies, distributorship, manufacturers’ representatives amongst others will ultimately boost their businesses. It would save them the troubles of going abroad to seal such business deals and most importantly it will bring these foreign companies into the country, resulting in increased activities in the sector, more productions and increased products lines and qualities; which will in both the short and long runs rub off positively on the sector,” Agwu

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


BusinessTravel Turboprops, smaller jets in remarkable comeback

ATR 72

WOLE SHADARE writes that as fuel prices soar to record highs and airlines struggle to maintain profitability, the unglamorous but fuel-efficient turboprop aircraft are making a remarkable comeback OME few years ago, precisely in Swasthe early 2000s, it looked as if it over for turboprop aircraft, as far as airlines were concerned. The revival of the propeller-driven planes — which typically consume a quarter to a third less fuel than equivalent jets — marks a significant new trend in the industry. Although the latest generation of turboprops has addressed some of the comfort issues by flying above turbulence and providing quieter cabins, analysts said that the airlines’ worries about their bottom line outweighed any passenger preferences. Until recently, many commuter airlines had been determined to consign the planes to history and convert to all-jet fleets, which offer greater passenger comfort. Planes with jet engines were faster,

Bombardier more comfortable and somehow more modern looking than ones with whirly things on the wings. Nigerian travellers would not hear of it and airlines jettisoned them and went for jet airlines. Passengers enjoyed it while those who operated the aircraft type lost customers. All that mattered to them was satisfying their customers. The airlines did this during the boom in air travel. It also happened at a time many could afford to travel and at a time when airfares were low. The operators could afford to do that then, but the reality has dawned on them that for so many years, they developed and still developing routes with B737-800/700/500/400, A320, A319, MD 80/83 and many other regional jets. There is nothing wrong operating these listed aircraft types to places like Abuja, Kano, Port-Harcourt or Owerri only if the airlines have about a hundred or more passengers to be airlifted to such destination. It makes no economic sense if an airline with less than 60 passengers decides to embark on such short trip with highly fuel consuming aircraft. The case favouring turboprops is also bolstered by ongoing high fuel costs outside globally. Bombardier has seen sales success of its Q400s of late as airlines realise the benefit of high-speed turboprops. 

In Nigeria, there is a revival for the turboprops and smaller jets, as ATR, Bombardier and Embraer are in Nigeria for the share of the market, just as the recent decision by the federal government to bail out airlines by way of intervention fund has made them to be more aggressive in their marketing scheme. Recently, top officials of Bombardier visited Arik to seek ways of partnering with the airline in its route expansion programme. Most of the smaller jets are less than 80 seater aircraft. Bolanle Ogunjobi, a United States based aeronautical engineer said, “the reason for the turboprop revival and smaller aircraft acquisition is simple: the oil price.” Vice President, Sales-Africa and Indian Ocean for ATR, Guido Di Paolo admitted that planes powered by jets were faster, but for flights of less than around 500 nautical miles, he noted that the shorter time spent in the air was insignificant compared with the fuel savings to be made by flying a

In Nigeria, there is a revival for the turboprops and smaller jets, as ATR, Bombardier and Embraer are in Nigeria for the share of the market,

slower turboprop. According to him: “As it has become increasingly uneconomic to fly regional jets with fewer than around 70 seats, the turboprop has come to look like a better option. There seems little chance of oil going back down to the levels that had for a while made their fuel efficiency unimportant,” he added. As for the question of noise and discomfort, the turboprop-makers have put a lot of effort into improving the quality of their planes’ cabins, and in particular in reducing noise and vibration. Bombardier uses noise-cancellation technology, whereas ATR uses insulation and fancy electronics to synchronise the propellers. The ATR-72 and Bombardier Q400 have proved to be increasingly popular alternatives to 70-seat jets. ATR has been talking about a 90seat Next Generation Turboprop (NGT) for some time. The idea is to extend the current design and add much more powerful engines and updated systems. ATR has spoken of using a 5,000+ SHP engine from GE (GE38-1B as used on the Sikorsky CH-53K has 7,500 SHP), but Pratt & Whitney will also likely bid on this design. Below is a rendering of what the future ATR might look like. Another operational reason for the

continuation of turboprop flying is runway length and maximum gross takeoff weight. Propeller driven aircraft, which can operate at significantly lower speeds for a given weight than swept wing jets are able to operate off of shorter airstrips, even those of an “unimproved” nature. Here is where we also see the dichotomy of the public’s views on air transport. People want to live 10 minutes from the airport, but they don’t want to hear the noise and will be outraged by any plans to cut down a few trees to make the runway longer. To try to persuade travellers to think again about their turbo aversion, Bombardier is advertising their (relatively) green credentials, since their fuel efficiency means lower carbon-dioxide emissions than jets. Vice President Sales, Africa and Indian Ocean, Mr. Guido Di Paolo and Airline and Product Marketing Manager, Othman Chaoui of ATR said during their visits to Overland Airways that the ATR aircraft reliability was 99.1 per cent, adding: “ATR is the best regional jets in the world.” He noted that the aircraft manufacturing giant trained engineers of any airline that operated ATR brand of aircraft and also provide them with maintenance training.


The rage against lopsided appointments in aviation agencies By Wole Shadare ECENT recruitments into some agencies in R the aviation sector, particularly in the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) have drawn the ire of stakeholders in the industry. Indeed, the crux of the matter is the alleged lopsided appointments, which the stakeholders alleged breached the Federal Character principle as enshrined in the constitution. In fact, what is happening in the aviation industry is what can be described as a case of turn by turn. Yes, turn by turn in the sense that each time there is a new Minister of Aviation, the general practice is for the new appointee to cause a ‘Tsunami’ by hiding under ‘restructuring’ or ‘transformation agenda’ to effect a wholesome retrenchment, transfer. This has been the practice since the time of Mrs. Kema Chikwe and the trend has continued in the last 12 years. This system, over the years has encouraged an inordinate jostle and rivalry for the control of

the juicy agencies where there is milk and honey. Whoever gets there, by crook or by hook, becomes the sole proprietor of the commonwealth. He would become the dispenser of privileges and favour. Instead of merit, partisanship and tribalism have become the formula for appointment of people into key offices. How do you defend the appointment of too many people from a particular section of the country without recourse to federal character principle? How do you defend the massive job racketeering in most of the agencies without interviews to fill up sensitive positions? How do you defend a situation where people who are not grounded in aviation are brought from outside to head sensitive posts in aviation? How do you defend sending over 50 persons to the Accident Investigation Bureau, FAAN, NCAA, and NAMA in the name of assisting your kinsmen or people that are very close to you? One expected that the Minister of Aviation

would put a stop to something that has existed for so long, but this seems to have taken a rather serious dimension. Merit should not in anyway be swept away for mediocrity no matter the window dressing or excuse given for it. This singular problem is the reason aviation in Nigeria is yet to grow. Aviation goes beyond refurbishing of airports; it is about improving security in and around the area, provision of good navigation equipment, improvement on safety regulations without unnecessary interference, ensuring that airlines respect passengers rights, and above all, good operating environment for carriers. In a large federation like Nigeria where there are over 250 major and minor ethnic nationalities, it is only fair that each group is fairly represented in the allocation of resources and in the sharing of appointments. The idea is to foist a sense of belonging among the group and to encourage further contribution of ideas and wealth to the common pool.

A related idea is to ensure that nobody feels alienated or marginalised from the association. Loosely, this is what the federal government refers to as federal character. It is observed that most of the appointments made by Stella Oduah-Ogiewonyi in key positions in the agencies tend to be dominated by individuals very close to the minister. The pattern of substituting every vacated major position in aviation with people from her area or people from her oil and gas firm is cause for concern and has caused serious disaffection and could stunt aviation development. Experts noted that if changes were to be made in order to maintain balance, a basket of appointment should be worked out to accommodate the constitutional requirement of federal character and the needed accommodation of our diversity. “Let no one make any case insinuating that any group or people in Nigeria are lacking in competence. There are qualified and capable individuals.”

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


Boeing gets FAA approval to begin Dreamliner’s return By Chika Goodluck-Ogazi

OEING, plane maker said that it had B received approval from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to test and certify improvements to the 787 Dreamliner battery systems. It could be recalled that FAA suspended B787 operations early this year; meanwhile, all 50 Dreamliner planes presently in commercial operation are grounded following a series of on board incidents in January. However, successful completion of each step within the plan will result in the FAA’s approval to resume commercial 787 flights, it noted. According to the Boeing Chairman, Jim McNerney: “Our top priority is the integrity of our products and the safety of the passengers and crews who fly on

them,” said. “Our team has been working around the clock to understand the issues and develop a solution based on extensive analysis and testing following the events that occurred in January. “Today’s approval from the FAA is a critical and welcome milestone toward getting the fleet flying again and continuing to deliver on the promise of the 787,” he said. Also, the President/Chief Executive Officer, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Ray Conner, said that the company’s focus had been on developing a permanent resolution. “Working with internal and external experts in battery technology, we have proposed a comprehensive set of solutions designed to significantly minimise the potential for battery failure while ensuring that no battery event affects the con-

tinued safe operation of the airplane,” he added. “Our proposal includes three layers of improvements. “First, we’ve improved design features of the battery to prevent faults from occurring and to isolate any that do. “Second, we’ve enhanced production, operating and testing processes to ensure the highest levels of quality and performance of the battery and its components. “Third, in the unlikely event of a battery failure, we’ve introduced a new enclosure system that will keep any level of battery overheating from affecting the airplane or being noticed by passengers,” Conner said. Boeing said that the design feature improvements for the battery include the addition of new thermal and electrical insulation materials and other changes. It noted that the enhanced production and

testing processes included more stringent screening of battery cells prior to battery assembly. The FAA also granted Boeing permission to begin flight test activities on two airplanes: line number 86, which will conduct tests to demonstrate that the comprehensive set of solutions work as intended in flight and on the ground, and ZA005, which is scheduled to conduct engine improvement tests unrelated to the battery issue. Conner added: “We have a great deal of confidence in our solution set and the process for certifying it. “Before 787s return to commercial service, our customers and their passengers want assurance that the improvements being introduced will make this great airplane even better. That’s what this test programme will do.”

OAS, Gulf Helicopters partner on upstream exploration service By Chika Goodluck-Ogazi AJOR indigenous operator, OAS Helicopters, has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Gulf Helicopters of Middle East for the provision of services to the upstream oil and gas sector in Nigeria. Both companies agreed to work together in a technical partnership whereby Gulf Helicopters would provide machines and technical expertise to OAS, which has repositioned and well equipped to provide offshore services to the oil and gas companies operating in the Niger Delta and other parts of the country. The Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Helicopters, Mohamed Al Mohannadi who signed the agreement on behalf of his company, expressed his enthusiasm in the new deal and said that he looked forward to working with OAS in Nigeria, adding that the partnership would bring in new experience to the company. Managing Director of OAS Helicopters, Captain Evarest Nnaji described the partnership as a milestone, which would provide a new platform and accomplishments


to the company that had prepared over the years for airlifting services in the oil and gas sector. Gulf Helicopters, a wellknown oil and gas helicopter flight service provider in the Middle East, has over 100 helicopters and provides services to almost all the Western oil and gas companies, including British Petroleum, Elf, Mobil, Total, Chevron, Shell, Qatar Oil and Standard Oil Company. With such international technical support, OAS is expected to be the company of choice in the oil and gas exploration helicopter flight services and with the experience garnered over the years operating in the country, it would certainly provide Gulf Helicopters the experience of operating in Nigeria. OAS is a fast growing domestic airline in Nigeria, which has its flight outfit, subdivided to cover two areas of operations: rotary and fixed wing. The rotary wing is known as OAS Helicopters while the fixed wing is known as Odengene Air. The helicopter wing of the company commenced commercial flight in February 2006.

Chairman, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc, Alhaji Suleiman Yahyah (second left) receiving INSEAD International Certificate in Corporate Governance (First African to receive the award) in Singapore from Chairman of Singapore Institute of Directors, Mr. John Kim Lim. With them are: Professor Iliian Mihovleft,Dean of INSEAD Singapore (left)and Professor Ludo Van-der-Heyde of France’s INSEAD Fontainebleau recently. Nnaji who is a captain with many years of flight experience, said that with this partnership OAS Helicopters could effectively provide offshore helicopter support even to the deepest sea range

in Nigeria. “And for this reason, we have an established training and standard department that ensures our crew members undergo the required trainings to maintain safe opera-

tions. “In Nigeria, there have been multifarious changes in oil and gas industry over the past ten years, particularly in the offshore sector, but we are positioned to help customers

achieve maximum efficiency and productivity - essential components of success in an environment where exploration, drilling and production take place at greater depths each year,” Nnaji said.

How intrigues, power play caused Demuren’s removal By Wole Shadare HE removal of Dr. Harold Demuren as the T Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) was inevitable. Not because he was not competent. Perhaps, he was seen by aviation industry stakeholders as one of the most competent officers to head the aviation regulatory body in many years. President Goodluck Jonathan, acting on recommendation from the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah-Ogiewonyi, had on Monday, fired him for allegation that the former DG, “unsatisfactorily responded to the numerous concerns of stakeholders in the aviation sector”. High power play and intrigues from an airline (name withheld), some law makers and the Ministry of Aviation contributed immensely to his removal by people described as ‘hawks’ in the sector. The inordinate ambition of the firm to lord its monopolistic tendencies on the industry and unsuspecting Nigerians, which Demuren fought against, prepared the way for his exit. The airline had wanted what many described as ‘unrealistic concessions’ and monopoly of the airline business. Demuren recently told The Guardian that an American trained aviator, he was averse to monopoly, adding that competition gave travellers a wide range of choices to make, which he said, invariably brought down fares and high cost of services in the sector. Unrelenting, some of the unions in the sector were infiltrated and they wasted no time in joining forces with the cabals. The forces were overwhelming. He however exhibited his naivety and many said he could have resigned his appointment when the kitchen was becoming very hot for him.

At this stage, the President was in a fix and was said to have bowed to pressure to approve his sack after initially resisting their overtures. Before his sack, Monday night, the Russian and American trained aeronautical engineer was seriously alienated and there were many alleged sponsored advertorials in the media to discredit him, among which was one sponsored by the National Union of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), alleging that the regulatory body erred in its oversight function, an allegation that was immediately debunked by the agency. The pressure to get the Ijebu born technocrat off the way heightened after the crash of Dana on June 3, 2012. He resisted pressure to allow the carrier to be perpetually grounded after the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) preliminary report found the NCAA and Dana not culpable in the accident that claimed over 153 lives. He stood his grounds that since the report did not find the agency or the airline culpable in their oversight function; he felt it would be a great injustice to continue to ground Dana. He buttressed his claims with relevant sections of the Civil Aviation Act and practices all over the world. One thing he pursued vigorously was to ensure that families of victims of the ill-fated Dana crash got compensated and the airline seems to have concluded the first phase of claims. He justified the lifting of the ban on Dana by the Minister It was not a rumour that Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Hope Uzodimma and Demuren were not the best of friends as they engaged in a long drawn battle over issues that were not too clear to many people. Uzodinma had blamed Dana crash on the NCAA’s poor safety oversight. The AIB did not find the agency guilty of any wrongdoing.   

Demuren Demuren completed his first tenure as head of the NCAA on January 4, 2012. His was thereafter given another two years after impressing the government with so many reforms in the sector. He is credited for repositioning Nigeria’s troubled aviation sector, which earned the country the United States highest Category One aviation safety status. Aviation analyst, Olumide Ohunayo described it as the end of an era. He called on whoever takes over to consolidate on his land mark achievement, stressing that safety must be made upper most in the heart of his successor. Demuren was recruited from the United States of America to join the Federal Ministry of Aviation in 1976 as Senior Airworthiness Surveyor and rose to become Assistant Director, Airworthiness in June 1989.

On the creation of the defunct Federal Civil Aviation Authority in 1990, he was appointed deputy director, Air Transport, Economic Regulations and Licensing. He rose to become the director, Safety Services in 1991. In August 1995, he was “forced” into retirement because of his strict adherent to safety after a government “restructuring” exercise. After retirement, he worked as aviation consultant and later formed Afrijet Airlines in 1998. Afrijet Airlines became one of the biggest cargo airlines in the country by 2005, servicing various cargo destinations on the continent. The airline also had strategic alliances with foreign partners including MK Airlines, UK, including Panalpina World Transport (Nigeria) Limited which expanded cargo aircraft operations and freight services from Europe to Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port-Harcourt in Nigeria and to other major African cities including Nairobi, Kinshasa, Accra, Johannesburg and Malabo. In addition to operating cargo services from Nigeria, the airline also operated passenger flights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equitorial Guinea and Gabon. He was the Managing Director/Chief Executive of Afrijet Airlines until he was appointed, Director General of NCAA in late December 2005 after the Bellview and Sosoliso crashes. After his appointment, Demuren immediately took on the challenge of reforming the Nigerian Aviation sector and restoring the lost confidence to the Industry drawing up a strategic short, medium and long term plan anchored on Safety, Security and Satisfaction (consumer) in that order of priority. He introduced a safety reform agenda, which enthroned professionalism, integrity and transparency in the conduct of aviation business.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013



THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


Opinion Agriculture and the boundaries of poverty By Pat Utomi OW people notice shifting emphasis so H subtle that even you who is the object have not been as deliberate about it, puzzles me. When a friend recently asked how come agriculture was my new thing, I paused to wonder how true that was. Then it dawned on me I was speaking more and more about poverty and agriculture as critical to its alleviation. But my response to the friend was that I had always been passionate about agriculture and was actually on my third missionary journey into farming and agro-allied business. If I was not emotionally connected to the land when I first farmed plots allocated by the Benin Owena River Basin Authority in 1983 along the Ogwashi Uku – Kwale road, I should be now. Middle age suggests the earth will sooner consume my mortal remains in higher probability than when as 27 years old I was just driven by a sense of opportunity in agricultural enterprise, and finding anchor to my country cousins. Today though, the urgency is much higher. Poverty gnores at us and the conscience of the still sane in our land is troubled by the unequal society we have created and the ticking time bomb, so those who still think, ponder where the solution can come from as they cast envious glances at Brazil that dramatically reduced poverty during the Inacio Lula DaSilva years. For some of us, a big part of redemption possibilities come from agriculture not only for enhanced incomes to a broad base of the population but for food security and for feeding value chains where Nigeria has factor endowments and must become globally competitive to and claimed the promise of a leading economy on the planet. I am a cheerleader for the Agriculture Minister, Akinwunmi Adeshina. This is not just because he is smart but because of his understanding of his mission, what status may surface here and there in mastering the context so implementation can be seamless. I felt this way from the time of his appointment but I grew in appreciating him when by happenstance we sat next to each other on a flight from Abuja to Lagos. I told him how agriculture must become business and have sex appeal so a new generation that aspires to a high quality of life can see in it much attraction. As I told him my farming story and initiatives I was working on to help farmers overcome the middlemen that keep them poor and therefore see incentives to grow more, and to bolster the value chain, I could see his eyes pop up like a Christmas tree, I knew for certain then he was

the man for the job. What has challenged my missionary journeys into agriculture. It is an insight into the Nigerian condition and led me to horrifying conclusion that will shake Thomas Hobbes in his grave about the Leviathan and man’s escape from the brutish state of nature. The reason Nigerians are poor is without doubt in my mind the nature of the governments and politics of Nigeria. My farming Odyssey is a good illustration of this. America’s rise as an economic power was profoundly affected by 18th century Act of congress that ceded to anybody who could cultivate certain acreage of land. Hernado De Soto in his discussion of the mystery of capital and institutions that sustain intermediation follows many others who anchor the American ascendancy on law that, this is why as you fly across that vast country all you see is cultivated land. The land grant university system that would follow and hire purchase of farm equipment innovation by John Dare round up to the rise that equally endowed Argentina failed to capture. The lack of imagination here is that those who desire to farm lack access to it and so all you see is bush, vast stretches of uncultivated rich lands in country of people strangely malnourished. As the UNICEF deputy country representative said at a recent forum, when the statistics of malnourishment in Nigeria presented to the Governors Forum, Chibuike Amaechi, its chairman, exclaimed, in this Nigeria? This clear show of the disconnect between policy makers and reality is at the heart of why government is sadly the trouble with Nigeria. My first missionary journey into farming, which I said started in 1983, was abandoned when I discovered one danger of the absentee farmer. On a visit my partner found that the farm lands for whom we had built lodging rooms inside the farm had covered one corner of the 70 hectares into a private venture of their own, growing Marijuana. We quickly shut down the farm. It would take nearly 20 years for a trusted childhood friend who had been manager of several big farms to be free and fully available to be on ground, to try again. With 12 hectares from the 1983 location we started out, seeking government help to acquire more. When Delta State Government wanted to showcase its gains in agriculture it was to that farm they brought a film crew. But the bureaucracy continued to play games with our desire for more land to expand. If with none to zero financial capital and other goodwill we could have the showcase farm why would the needful not be

done? The ways of governance in Nigeria challenge belief. Then suddenly the land we had been assured of just across from us was allocated to Obasanjo Farms. Obasanjo Farms has utilized less than a quarter of the land, yet those who want to farm cannot find land. The intervention of the governor has resulted in new efforts to make things right but this is classic example of how well intentioned efforts get aborted with consequences for spreading poverty and for the common good, that is untoward. Had I no access to the governor’s goodwill it would never even appear on the radar as one more thing that stalled possibilities. It was almost the same thing that mortally frustrated another initiative, 12 years earlier for a valley type ICT cluster near Asaba, on the outskirts of Illah. In that case people using the cloak of government deliberately set out to frustrate a private sector initiative that could have placed the state in technology leadership in this region of the world. What makes it more scary is that the purpose of our venture is more the hope of example to the local farmers as an out-grower hub than the chase of great profit, even though there is nothing wrong with profit. A personal truth, for which gratitude to the giver of the gift of reason is worthwhile, is that I am already as rich as I possibly can be. Simple minded as it may sound, a decent roof over my head, three meals a day if I desire, but usually two seem enough, and the ability to pay fees for children into whatever school in the world they choose, if they qualify, is the ultimate in wealth and seems to have been within my reach for many years already. So I could not figure out the nature of how governments work in Nigeria. When it fails to incentivize those who can be the source of future taxes and reducing unemployment for the citizens. The farm project was part of a vertically integrated initiative to create a market system that would put profits in pockets of farmers rather than middlemen that add little value. In that initiative we would have fruit and vegetable wholesale markets and retail supermarkets. Working with South African franchisors we approached Lagos and Ogun State governments for land. Ogun came through, bank facilities and equity was raised, and construction started. Then a new governor was elected in Ogun State a watch hunt of which we were not the target ensued. Frustrated investors, facilities in excesses of a hundred million tied up later and we are still wondering why the people are poor. And often it is one civil servant with ulterior motives, driven by the now widely acknowledged

disposition to goal displacement who deceives the new governor and lead him to personal embarrassment. But we must not give up because the graveyard and judgment beckon us all. Agriculture has to become attractive business. When one of the big consulting firms invited me to address select officers of the Ministry of Agriculture last year and my staff wondered if they should discount on my speaking fee and how I chuckled. I was going to do something that was duty and joyful play and I would earn more value for it in a way more than some hamlets of subsistence farmers could make in a year. If we all cannot work to raise such income levels of those peasant farmers we have a case to answer. How can progress come when the typical farmer still lives as in Jawney’s metaphor, which opened Scott’s Moral Economy of the Peasant: so deep in water even a ripple could drown him. My commitment to agriculture and its redeeming value even sipped into my academic work at the Lagos Business School. Not long before unhappiness with how political life was crippling Nigeria and my decision to seek engagement in partisan politics, I founded the Centre for Applied Economics at the Lagos Business School. Its core purpose was to focus on value chain analysis with a view to engaging in research to generate evidence showing how building from select factor endowments into global value chains could boost Nigeria’s economic performance. Four of the five factor endowments the centre’s research has to focus on were from agriculture. These were sesame seeds, Gum Arabic, oil palm and my favorite, rubber. My view was Nigeria would create millions of jobs and earn more income from these than crude oil on enclave sector. The fifth was the hydrocarbons value chain for obvious reasons to answer. Well. Guess I will just continue to dig my grave. Six feet may seem shallow but it is a long way to sink when life’s journey is through stone hard poverty territory. Nigeria, unfortunately, and undeservedly, is hard rock territory in quality of life matters. The shame is that government and politics make the rock harder. Surely it should be instructive that the private sector arm of the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will not touch any project that has government interest. Amazing paradox is that what was designed to relieve the pain of the citizen has become a greater source of grief for him. • Prof. Utomi, Political Economist and pioneering professor of Entrepreneurship is founder of the Centre for Values in Leadership.

Hope from the tunnel of fire By Ogwazu Nnamdi BVIOUSLY, people from afar read the Nigeria story with O much hope possibly on the alluring beauty in nature’s endowments. From these stories of great prospects came the voyages or imagined explorations by some Whites, else, do we need anyone claiming to have found a place already inhabited by a people. The same prospects long seen by these explorers and their future generations continue to keep the flame of visits and businesses burning even when several warnings persist on the risks and volatile situation of the Nigerian state. The above picture has continuously reinforced my belief in the prospects of the Nigerian story and the joy we hold together as a people in search of the elephant tusk locked in the sand of excuses. Admittedly, a portion of this story reminds us of the popular route of agriculture typified in the cocoa, groundnut and palm produce economic triangle that once existed and others not exploited, yet the machines of our popular-side theorists continue to put before us hope. Through the same route come the event of the 1966 military coup and the civil war, which, from all account, shook the fabric of our national unity and existence. This pogrom as witnesses of the civil war would let us into has never diminished the desire for intercultural union and marriages among our people, including those still nursing bruises. But our hope never diminished, especially when there are grounds for constructive cooperation destined to move us into the middle of nowhere where hope lies. Indeed, the same popular-side story would let us into the various military incursions and their penchant to hold on to

power, controlling all our natural endowments with the accrued revenues making them and their cronies the business brokers of modern day Nigeria. It is also interesting to read these military men partake in the privatisation of our prized national assets valued so high in monetary terms, while some brazenly declare their ownership of oil and gas businesses, big stakes in thriving corporations, owing multiple institutions and high value estates around the world, yet the same economy has expanded so greatly to raise our hopes as Nigerians. Equally, the men from other spheres of our armed forces/paramilitary forces are never immune from the poaching of our national resources as some have advanced from one business to another even in high risk areas to build temples of power and assets. It was never the conviction of a former police chief by the court that showed the much resources circulating despite the poor condition of the nation’s police colleges/barracks, or the uncharitable display of wealth by some in the Customs and Excise, but from every consideration our hope as a nation has kept aglow. At present, the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) has bought and is still buying trillions of debts owed by the rich resulting from their profligacy and unquenchable taste of displaying affluence in a country where the majority wallow in poverty and unemployment, yet we have an unwavering hope. On another turf came stories of very low industrial capacity utilization and poor energy generation necessitating the closure of businesses and engendering capital flight while those at the education and health sectors, very critical sectors, crumble on the podium of poor facilities despite the quantum of

wealth that has come our way and continues to come. This is outside the yearly governmental appropriations and contributions from the donor agencies, yet our hope has kept on growing. Amid these situations that stick like the leper’s dilemma resisting all forms of medication, are the numerous pension scams under probe, the latest being the police pension where civil servants overtly and covertly unmasked their assumed holy garb for the devil’s spear. Do not ask me where Mr. Maina or Mr. Yusuf absconded to. Who am I to say that the politicians are better in this trade with the revelations from petroleum subsidy probe, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili’s calls for the whereabouts of the nation’s $67 billion excess crude/foreign reserve depletion, rising mansions in Abuja spotted by the anti-corruption coalitions as belonging to some persons in authority or the oozing stench from the component states and local government areas. Yet, our hope as a nation remains. Now the judiciary, which to some retains the flavours of hope for the dying nation has sounded a goodnight rhythm, while waving to say goodbye to our country as controversies continue to trail most of the officials’ pronouncements. Frankly, our hope as a people and a nation would remain much stronger in the midst of numerous provocations by persons who for no fault of ours have found themselves in authority. It is this hope infused in us that continues to keep us as a nation and people, and would continuously serve as a reason for those of us still on the punched line and being refined by the fire from the tunnel to seize to rise. Just soon, soonest it would come. • Nnamdi wrote from Owerri, Imo State.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

Opinion Protection from kidney attack By Bernard Unadike HE World Kidney Day was marked yesterday and the theme T for this year’s celebration is appropriate: “Stop Kidney attack, protect your kidney”. The incidence and prevalence of kidney failure has been on the increase in recent times. Kidney failure is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States. In Nigeria, the data from various centres indicate an increasing incidence of kidney diseases in the population. The increase in kidney failure is partly explained by the rising incidence and prevalence of diabetes and hypertension, the two leading causes of kidney failure. Other causes of kidney failure include glomerular disease, drugs and toxins, urinary tract obstructions, infections, sickle cell disease amongst others. The symptoms of kidney failure include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and hiccough due to uraemia. Weakness, difficulty with breathing and fatigue due to anaemia; chest pain, dry and itchy skin, bleeding episodes, erectile dysfunction, seizures and loss of consciousness amongst others. Most patients are also hypertensive in the course of their illness. More worrisome is the fact that many people with kidney disease may not be aware of the disease until the disease is advanced when these patients then present with symptoms of the disease. Management of kidney failure is very exorbitant, time consuming and affects the individual, his family and society. It costs an average of about N75,000 to undergo three sessions of dialysis every week, excluding other medications and procedures and this has to be done indefinitely in order to keep the individual alive, and dialysis is also not without complications. It will also cost an average of about N3 million to have a renal transplant if the individual is fortunate to have a donor, while it will cost an average of about N150,000 monthly in order to afford medications after the transplant so that the body does not reject the transplanted kidney and these drugs will have to be taken for life, and are also not without adverse effects. The theme of this year’s celebration, which is “Stop kidney attack, protect your kidneys” is apt and commendable. There are various ways in which individuals can attack their kidneys. Thus could be due to intake of toxic substances like herbal concoctions, drugs, and also failure to control diseases like diabetes and hypertension, which insult their kidneys. Therefore, individuals should do everything in order to stop these unnecessary insults on their kidneys. With this worrisome trend, especially the financial implications, the best approach will be to focus on primary prevention of kidney failure. Diabetes Mellitus and Hypertension are the leading causes of kidney failure, with Diabetes Mellitus being responsible for about 20 – 40 per cent of the cases. Indeed one out of every three patient undergoing dialysis in the United

States is a diabetic patient. Diabetes by affecting the kidney causes diabetic nephropathy, which subsequently leads to kidney failure. At present, about 300 million people worldwide have diabetes and this figure is projected to get to about 340 million people by the year 2030. In Nigeria the national prevalence of diabetes is put at about 2.2 per cent and this continues to be on the increase. The national prevalence of hypertension by the National non-Communicable Disease Study Group has been put at over 11 per cent. If we are to reduce the burden of kidney failure, then we must address the increasing incidence of diabetes and hypertension. This can be done by adequate public enlightenment in the mass media to educate the public to adopt healthy lifestyles that will reduce their risk of developing obesity, which is a risk factor for the development of diabetes. People should exercise regularly, cut down on excess calories and fatty foods to reduce obesity and adequate intake of vegetables and fresh fruits should be encouraged. The public must also be educated on the dangers of indiscriminate abuse of analgesics like asprin, paracetamol, feldene amongst others, which may also lead to kidney failure. Adequate screening facilities for the early detection of diabetes and hypertension should also be put in place and patients with the disease adequately treated. Government should also address the situation adequately by increasing budgetary allocation to the health sector and paying more attention to non-communicable diseases like Diabetes Mellitus and hypertension. More kidney centres offering dialysis services should also be established to offer dialysis services, and specialist manpower trained to man these centres, while the cost of dialysis should also be subsidized to make it more affordable. Individuals and corporate organisations should also assist indigent patients who cannot afford the cost of these services, and donate dialysis machines to these centres. As the world marks Kidney Day today, the focus should be on non-communicable diseases of which kidney disease is one and the time to act is now. Relatedly, the burden of hypertension deserves mention. An elevated blood pressure is probably the most important health problem in developed countries. It is common, asymptomatic, readily detectable, usually easily treatable and often leads to lethal complications if left untreated. According to the Joint National Committee (JNC 7) classification, a person is said to be hypertensive if the systolic blood pressure is equal to or more than 140 millimeter of mercury, or a diastolic blood pressure of equal to, or more than 90 millimeter of mercury. Worldwide, about one billion people are estimated to have hypertension. Hypertension is more common in blacks, older individuals and males and tend to be worse in persons who smoke, consume excessive alcohol, have elevated blood lipids, are diabetic and have obesity. Hypertension can either be primary or secondary. In primary hy-

pertension, there is usually no known cause of the disease and racial and familial factors are important and it is not curable, hence the patient must remain on treatment for life to effectively control the raised blood pressure if complications are to be averted. In secondary hypertension a cause of the raised blood pressure can usually be identified. Common causes of secondary hypertension include diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, drugs, endocrine conditions like Phaechromocytoma, Cushing’s syndrome amongst others. Diabetes Mellitus by affecting the kidneys leads to diabetic nephropathy and consequently hypertension. Majority of patients with hypertension have primary hypertension with only about 5-20 per cent of them having secondary hypertension. Hypertension has been described as a silent killer and for good reason so. This is because most times patients have no symptoms till they develop the complications of hypertension. In those who develop symptoms, they may have headaches, palpitations amongst other non-specific symptoms. Hypertensive patients may also present for the first time with complications like heart failure, kidney failure and hypertensive encephalopathy. Other complications of hypertension include hypertensive retinopathy, which causes blindness, myocardial infarction, stroke, amongst others. Management of hypertension involves lifestyle modification, including weight reduction to eliminate obesity, increased physical activity, reduction in salt intake amongst others and pharmacological treatment with appropriate drugs if these measures fail to control the raised blood pressure. Regrettably, many people who have hypertension do not know that they have it, those who know are not receiving treatment, while those who are receiving treatment are not adequately controlling their blood pressure due to non-adherence to medications, high cost of drugs and inappropriate selection of antihypertensive drugs amongst others. If we are to reduce the increasing incidence of hypertension, efforts must be put in place to address it. Adequate public enlightenment in the mass media to educate the populace about the disease should be carried out and people told to adopt healthy lifestyles to reduce obesity, exercise regularly and cut down on excess calories and fatty foods. Adequate intake of fruits and vegetables should also be encouraged. The public must also be educated on the need to have their blood pressure checked periodically. Patients who have the disease should see a doctor who will place them on the appropriate antihypertensive drugs; they should also reduce their salt intake and take their medications regularly and see a doctor periodically for evaluation of their raised blood pressure. The message is clear “Have Your Blood Pressure Checked Today”. • Dr. Unadike is a Consultant Endocrinologist, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Imperatives of fulfilling judicial oath By Mutallubi Adebayo Y first contact with Hon. Justice Okanola AkM intunde Boade, a worthy ambassador of the Ministry of Justice of Oyo State on the bench was in 1990 and it was by accident. I was then a first year student of Law at the University of Ibadan. I was at the High Court to depose to an affidavit. That morning, I saw the legendary Chief Fredrick Rotimi Alade Williams, SAN of blessed memory alighting from his car and already dressed for court appearance. I followed him quietly to a courtroom to observe the matter he had on that day. The case, I later learnt, was a suit to challenge the removal of Hon. Justice T. A. Ayorinde as the Chief Judge of Oyo State. Chief Williams led others to appear for Justice Ayorinde, while Justice Boade appeared for the Oyo State Government. That day, I was wondering whether My Lord was not attempting the impossible by daring to oppose ‘Timi the Law’ in court. I was marveled when, at the end of the day’s proceeding, he was commended by Chief Williams. My Lord was a very versatile and very resourceful Counsel in the Ministry of Justice. One can safely argue that he was the most hardworking and most resourceful of his contemporaries at the Ministry of Justice. And if that assertion is debatable, it is unarguable that he is the most humble of his contemporaries. His humility is unparalleled and second to none. While on the Bench, the integrity of Justice Boade was never questioned. The perception that was established in the minds of all and sundry is undoubtedly that of a sincere, thorough, knowledgeable, incorruptible and a workaholic judge. My Lord does not belong to the category of judges who attempt, at every opportunity, to mouth their incorruptibility, which they themselves know is acutely suspect, rather Boade epitomizes it by his unblemished conduct, ex-

emplary character and dignified carriage on the Bench. My Lord did not only profess and preach strict adherence to the dispensation of justice to all manners of men without fear or favour, he actually practiced it without slightest deviation. It is evident that he is exiting when the ovation is loudest. During the special court session in honour of Eso, J.SC., the Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, beckoned to me while the session was still on and asked me to show him that renowned Justice Boade who both formal and informal reports about him always returned a verdict of incorruptibility and impeccable integrity. And I did! It may interest Justice Boade to know that as ardent believers in his doctrine of rectitude and concept of justice, the Ministry resisted subtle appeals, threats, cheap blackmail and lies orchestrated at influencing us to render Legal Advice contrary to the facts and the laws as contained in some files before us, even from unexpected quarters. And since we are fully satisfied that we have kept faith to our oath of office to do justice, heavens did not fall. With the exit from the bench of Oyo State Judiciary, the state is left with 16 judges. This will further increase and compound the workload of our serving judges by almost 100 per cent because our judiciary, by the provision of our High Court Rules, should have a full component of 30 judges. We plead for understanding of our judges for this undeserved stress and burden, which is not deliberate. The government of Oyo State under the leadership of Senator Ajimobi has, since assumption of office on May 29, 2011, not neglected any Ministry, Department, Agency and any arm of the government in releasing to them the funds they require for capacity and infrastructure developments. I make bold to say that our judiciary is no exception. Allegations of stunted growth and decaying infrastructures at Oyo State judiciary should therefore be directed at the appropriate

quarters. If the Oyo State judiciary had been following and executing her budget strictly and transparently, the story of development here would have been otherwise. I am in full support of full financial autonomy for the judiciary as being canvassed by the Nigerian Bar Association because it will help to promote the independence of the judiciary. However, it needs to be clearly stated that agitation for that autonomy is not to place the resources of the judiciary in the pockets of Chief Judges. The current situation whereby some Chief Judges have turned themselves to Purchasing Officers and Contract Awarding organs is not only an aberration but totally against financial regulations and is criminal in nature. Similarly, it is a breach of financial regulations for any Chief Judge to expend, commit, pledge or donate any part of the fund of the judiciary without the authorization of the Judicial Service Commission. By law, Chief Registrars are the Accounting Officers of the judiciary and any practice that is contrary to that is illegal. Even, save for the day to day running cost, the Chief Registrar too are not empowered by law to expend the funds of the judiciary to execute capital projects without the approval of the Judicial Service Commission first sought and obtained. Those who framed the law as such are fully aware that judges, which include Chief Judges are adjudicating officers before whom crimes of financial infraction and malpractices may be brought if it occurs within the judiciary they are serving and thus devised means of insulating our judicial officers so that the hunter too is not hunted. The present government is truly committed to embarking on infrastructural and capacity developments in the State Judiciary. Our target is to make our judiciary a model and indeed return her to her rightful position of the pacesetter in

the country. Unlike the system we me met on ground, whereby the Judicial Service Commission was just, in quality, a little above a social meeting, we are trying to develop it into a policy formulation organ for the judiciary where serious issues affecting the judiciary as a whole are dispassionately discussed so that we can have in place an enduring institution and structure as opposed to developing same around individual members of the Judicial Service Commission because we realise that our membership of that body is very transient. I congratulate Honourable Justice Boade on his retirement from the Bench. My Lord has played his part very glowingly and with distinction and particularly with strict observance of your oath of office. I know that posterity will judge him as having performed excellently. But before the posterity takes account of the good records, there is the incontrovertible fact that he was an erudite and upright judge. The Bench of Oyo State will surely miss you as your exit has created a big vacuum. The Bar will miss you more, but the greatest loser of your dignified retirement is the people and Government of Oyo State who did not have the privilege of having you as a Chief Judge to benefit from your wealth of experience and leadership qualities. I express my deep gratitude for your advice, counsel and guidance to me since I assumed the present office. Your fatherly role and interventions are also greatly appreciated. I never expected anything less from you because you are a cultured human being and Yoruba Omoluabi personified. I wish Justice Boade a blissful life in retirement and a continuous service to Oyo State in particular and Nigeria in general. • Adebayo, Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice of Oyo State, delivered the speech at the valedictory service for Justice Okanola Akintunde Boade in Ibadan recently.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

FridayWorshi In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

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

When every white man becomes an enemy

In the hands of the Almighty lies the knowledge of the hour… mine; those who lived a life free of verse, questions which arise and to as a preface to his detestation of “Oh! Allah do not make us a source of temptation for those who do not believe and forgive us O! Allah for you are the Mighty and owner of wisdom-” (Q.60:5) By Afis A. Oladosu HE front page of a popular newsT paper was emblazoned last weekend with their pictures. Their faces were covered with hoods; their personalities were shielded from klieg lights. But nobody was in doubt about their mission: they are at war, not only with the innocent foreigners they killed, nor with my fellow compatriots described by the Almighty in the Qur’an as the people of faiths. No! These elements are actually warriors against the very essence of the faith they profess. They are at war with Islam. Thus every evil act they commit becomes good; ignorance for them becomes a virtue. Brethren, the event of last weekend in which foreigners held hostage up north were said to have been killed raised a number of questions for my contemplation. Is it true that the soul of a thousand non-Muslim is equal to the soul of a Muslim in line with these elements who are spreading grief and anarchy in the north? I therefore rushed to my library in search of an answer. I checked the dictionary of the Quran; I perused the Hadith of the Prophet (s.a.w). I asked scholars whose understanding is purer than

pornography; those who lived longer than men and women of today, not in terms of years, but in terms of achievement; those who were connected to the world with knowledge not through the medium of the internet. Eventually, I found no justification for the unwarranted destruction of innocent lives and property as claimed by those who killed those foreigners. Rather what I found is something else which is more solemn. I found something subtle. I found the above Quranic verse, which speaks to the existing situation in more ways than one. I found more questions to ponder. Brethren, in the above verse, Allah calls our attention to the ways of those who came before us. The latter, you must constantly keep this in mind, featured men of inimitable spiritual conviction and vocation; men such as Prophets Ibrahim, Nuh, Musa, Isa and Muhammad (upon them be peace and blessings of Allah). These men, despite the Catholicism of their character and carriage, despite the near perfection in their candour and conduct, were constantly aware of their humanity and by implication their frailty and inadequacies. Thus they used to supplicate as follows: “Oh! Allah, do not make us a source of temptation for those who do not believe and forgive us O! Allah for you are the Mighty and Owner of wisdom”. Brethren, face to face with this

which answers must be sought are these: how could a Muslim be a source of temptation for the unbelievers and, indeed the believers? How could I become like the violent crocodile in the only stream in the “village” which prevents the weak and the strong, the young and the old, from accessing water? How could I become like the crocodile in the only stream in the village, which constantly threatens to pollute the stream with its venom? Or how could a Muslim who, in line with the normative precepts in the Qur’an, should be the salt of the world, become a virus, a poison? Face to face with these daunting questions, face to face with the violent Muslim who, like Nimrud, appropriates the right of Allah to give and take life- Muslims who operate with the notion that their understanding of Islam is the only valid perspective available; face-toface with the Muslim who steals from public treasury and engages in corruption, the perceptive nonMuslim by-stander begins to wonder whether the necessity is actually there for him to consider the possibility of accepting Islam. He begins to evolve a link, though facetious and erroneous, between the grim existential reality of Muslim life and the scriptural foundations upon which the religion of Islam is predicated. Such a nonMuslim compatriot of mine consequently becomes the subject whose destiny is Quranized above. He begins to detest the Muslim’s action

Islam; he begins to abhor the apparently evil actions of the Muslim as a prelude to his unwarranted anathemization and the construction of Islam as a voyage of oddities, a culture of inanities and a theology of hara-kiri. But it is not only the non-Muslim who suffers these temptations; it is not only the non-Muslim who constantly runs the risk of conflating the sun with the sunlight, the smoke with the fire and the Muslim with Islam. Muslims equally do. In other words, face to face with Muslims who forgot that Islam at peace has historically been more productive and attractive than Islam at war; face to face with his brother who kills his fellow brother without compunctions; face to face with a season of anomie where children are orphaned at dawn and one in which women become widows at dusk, the other Muslim begins to wonder whether his own understanding of Islam is right afterall. He begins to ask himself: is this what my religion actually teaches? Is this wanton destruction of lives and properties not a complete negation of Islam and the Prophetic enterprise? Is it not true that it is the Will of the Almighty as enunciated in the Qur’an that humanity shall exist in a contrariety of culture, races and religions? Brethren, when a Muslim begins to raise questions such as the above, when a Muslim begins to seek to deny the actions of his fellow Muslim brother because the latter

apparently have no justification in the Qur’an, then the above verse of the Quran equally finds exemplification. But in order to be certain that my reading of the text and the contemporary context is sound, I sought exemplification of the above verse from those who were closer to the fountain of Islamic heritage. I pleaded my ignorance of the true import of this verse in the presence of my forebears. I asked Ibn Qayyim about the possible meanings of the above verse of the Quran. Lo and behold! He is of the opinion that when the action of a Muslim runs counter to the injunction of the Almighty, he becomes a source of temptation for the unbelievers. Such a Muslim them becomes a source of fitnah for the other. He becomes the honey in chronic lack of sweetness; the salt which has become sour to taste; the crocodile in the stream in the village. He becomes as a source of perdition for himself and his people. In closing, Ibn Qayyim was once asked about the signs of a diseased heart. He said: “A diseased heart does not feel any hurt or pain when he commits evil deeds and sins; he finds both pleasure in committing sins and tranquility after doing them; he dislikes the truth and has difficulty accepting or submitting to it…; such individuals among men are not affected by any kind of admonition.” I pray the Almighty intervenes in the situation before this country becomes a wasteland; before Nigeria becomes another Afghanistan. ( m)


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15 , 2013

NigeriaCapitalMarket NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at 14/3/2013 PRICE LIST OF SYMBOLS


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at 14/3/2013



Financial stocks enhance NSE’s turnover By Helen Oji EAVY transactions in the H shares of some banks and insurance companies, especially United Bank for Africa and Custodian &Allied insurance yesterday lifted the volume of shares traded, as 638 million shares worth N6.2 billion changed hands in5,879 deals, higher than 306 million units valued at N3.3 billion, exchanged in 5,804 deals on Wednesday. Specifically, at the closed of transactions yesterday, the

banking sub-sector remains the most active stock in volume terms with 466 million shares valued at N3.8 billion followed by the insurance sub-sector with 58 million units worth N59 million. The conglomerates ranked third with 20 million units worth N40 million. The banking sub-sector was buoyed by activities in the shares of United Bank for Africa with 140 million shares worth N1.2 billion in 386 deals, followed by Unity Bank

which traded 121 million units worth N101 million in 113 deals. Transactions in the shares of Custodian&Allied insurance buoyed activities in the insurance sub-sector with 1.3 million units worth N2.6million. On the price movement chart, 29 stocks constituted the losers chart, led by Oando with 9.73 per cent to close at N16.70 per share while Fidson followed with 8.93 per cent to close at N1.53 per share. Prestige Assurance lost 8.33

per cent to close at N0.77 per share. TransNational Corporation dropped 5.16 per cent to close at N1.47 per share. C&I Leasing, Custodian&Allied Insurance, Unity Bank shed 4.62,3.86 and 3.45 per cent to close at N0.62,N1.99 and N0.84 per share. Nigerian Aviation Handling Company dropped 2.93 per cent to close at N7.95 per share. May&Baker shed 2.82 per cent to close at N2.41 per share.

NEM insurance also lost 2.11 per cent to close at N0.93 per share. 19 companies appreciated in price, as ABC Transport topped the gainers chart with 9.84 per cent to close at N0.67 per share while RT Briscoe trailed with 8.02 per cent to close at N2.29 per share. WAPIC gained 4.93 per cent to close at N1.49 per share, Champion added 4.82 per cent to close at N4.78 per cent. EvansMedical, Livestock, UTC garnered 4.79,4.50 and 4.00

per cent to close at N1.75,N2.32 and N0.78 per share. Continental Reinsurance gained 3,81 per cent to close at N1.09 per share. Cutix and Eternaoil added 3.35 and 2.90 per cent to close at N1.85 and N3.90 per share. Consequently, the All-Share index of the NSE dropped by 150.14 points or 0.4 per cent from 33,357.16 recorded on Wednesday to 33,207.02 while market capitalization fell by N48 billion from N10,674 trillion to N10,626 trillion.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

Sports Ahead Brazil 2014 World Cup Qualifier

Four players on trial, as Keshi picks Confederation Cup squad By Christian Okpara OUR of the players invited for the March 23 Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifier, including Obafemi Martins, Chibuzor Okonkwo, John Ogu and Nnamdi Oduamadi are on special scrutiny to see if they can fit into the team being assembled by Coach Stephen Keshi for the forthcoming Confederation Cup. An official of the Super Eagles, who pleaded anonymity, told The that despite Guardian Nigeria’s victory at the South Africa 2013 CAF Nations Cup, Keshi was not satisfied with the performance of some of the players hence his decision to give other players the chance to stake their claims to the Eagles jersey. The source disclosed that the coach went ahead to invite Martins to the team’s camp despite opposition to the return of the Newcastle United former star to the team, adding that the coach will use the game against Kenya to test run his squad for the Confederation Cup. “Keshi has been told so many good things about Okonkwo, so he wants to see the boy first hand to decide if he is the answer to the problem at the right back. Okonkwo was in the team prior to the Nations Cup, but he could not convince the coach because he had a short time to prove his worth. “Now is another opportunity for the Rangers boy to show what he can do.


“Martins came into the picture because Ikechukwu Uche did not do himself any good in South Africa. But I must say that a lot of people opposed the invitation of Martins because they pointed out that if Keshi wanted a new team he should not be talking of players like Martins. But the coach knows best.” The source also revealed that Ogu and Oduamadi were called up because Keshi is looking for options in the midfield, adding, “although, the coach has no problem with the midfield, he is looking for players who can give different dimensions in the team.” Meanwhile, Keshi yesterday said he was quoted out of context when he explained why he did not give his team list tom the NFF technical committee before it was made public. Speaking through Super Eagles media officer, Ben Alaiya, Keshi said, “what I said at the media chat was that I followed due process in the submission of my list to the NFF Secretariat and that the committee at that time was not seating. “How can I talk of dissolution of a committee which in the first place I didn’t set it up, those, who want to maintain constant squabble in Nigerian football should be careful because I have had enough distraction of this nature since coming on board,” he said in an emotion laden tone.

Siasia willing to coach national U-23 team again UPER Eagles former Coach, Sdeclared Samson Siasia has his willingness to coach the country’s Olympic team again. Siasia said he has yet to be contacted to take up his former post, but he told he would be willing to do the job again. “I am available for the job to tutor the U23 team if it is offered to me by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). They have not offered me the job yet, but I am available and ready to work,” Siasia said. The former international striker led the team to the final of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where it was beaten in the final by Argentina. He also guided the country’s team to the final of the 2005 FIFA U20 World Cup in the Netherlands, again losing the gold medal to A r g e n t i n a . He was fired as Nigeria coach in October 2011 after he failed to qualify the Super

Eagles to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. He has since not worked as a coach despite reports linking him with numerous coaching openings.

Super Eagles’ stars applauding somersaulting Efe Ambrose (right); after one of Nigeria’s victories at the South Africa 2013 CAF Nations Cup. Ambrose has been ruled out of the March 23 World Cup qualifier against Kenya. PHOTO: AFP.

IAAF investigates 17 suspected doping violations THE International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) says it is looking into 17 suspected doping cases uncovered by the biological passport programme. A total of 36 positive findings have been returned following blood tests that monitor changes in athletes’ blood profiles. Already 19 of those cases have seen athletes sanctioned, with cases against a further 17 athletes, who are yet to be named, currently said to be under proceedings. Speaking at an anti-doping conference on Wednesday, the medical and anti-doping results manager of the IAAF,

Thomas Capdevielle, said that 8000 blood tests had been analysed between 2001 and 2009 with 14 per cent of athletes having indicated abnormalities. The blood-testing programme was then introduced by the IAAF in 2009, with the system already being used by the International Cycling Union. Capdevielle also explained how there are logistical problems with the biological passport scheme, as there is only a 36-hour window in which blood samples taken from an athlete can be analysed by a World Anti-Doping Agency laboratory. This factor has meant it

has not previously been easy to coordinate blood testing in places such as East Africa due to the remote locations of some training bases, so a system which includes a temporary lab for testing is set to be put in place. Last Friday, Athletics Weekly reported how Helsinki 2005 re-tests had revealed ‘adverse findings’, with six athletes including Ivan Tsikhan, Olga Kuzenkova and Nadzeya Ostapchuk exposed. As part of its strategic antidoping policy, last year the IAAF instigated the re-analysis of samples originally taken during Helsinki 2005 using the most up-to-date analytical techniques.

Super Eagles moves to Calabar on Monday HE Nigeria Football T Federation (NFF) yester- • Ambrose out of Kenya clash day revealed that arrangements have been concluded to fly the Super Eagles into Calabar on Monday to begin final preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Kenya’s Harambee Stars. Coach Stephen Keshi has been working with 24 home boys in Abuja since Tuesday, with the overseas-based legion expected to hit town this weekend. A selection of the home boys and the Europe-based contingent will make the trip to Canaan City, where the African champions will

be lodged at Transcorp Hotels, formerly Metropolitan Hotel. The NFF also disclosed yesterday that Scotland-based defender Efe Ambrose will not be part of the contingent as he is on suspension as a result of accumulated yellow cards from previous World Cup qualifying m a t c h e s . Ambrose got a yellow card against Namibia in Calabar in June last year and was also yellow-carded in the game away to Malawi in Blantyre same month.

Coach Stephen Keshi had called up Ambrose, who played as a make-shift right back during last month’s Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. New Enugu Rangers signing, Chibuzor Okonkwo, is thus expected to stake a stronger claim for the problematic right back position in the absence of the suspended Ambrose Meanwhile, World football-governing body, FIFA has appointed Botswanan official Joshua Bondo to take charge of the big match, from which the Super Eagles

need the three points to solidify their leadership of Group F. NFF officials also confirmed yesterday that Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke (CON) will be presented with the Africa Cup of Nations trophy in his office on March 21, with NFF President, Aminu Maigari, as the leader of the Super Eagles delegation to the Government House. The NFF also revealed that after the presentation to Imoke, the trophy will be on display at the U. J. Esuene Stadium for the duration of the World Cup qualifying m a t c h .

Transcorp Hotels hosts Night of Stars RGANISERS of the first O Night of Stars have revealed that the event, which marries sports with the Nollywood, will now hold at the Transcorp Hotel, Calabar. The high-profile Night of Stars is an event that celebrates Nigeria football, music and movie industry, and it will hold on Saturday, March 23. The organisers say the ceremony is principally to celebrate Nigeria’s triumph at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, but will also honour a number of movie and music stars, as Nigeria’s world-famous Nollywood industry marks 20 years with giant strides recorded in several sectors. According to the organisers, Matchmakers Consult International Limited, the event will now take place at the Transcorp Hotels for the convenience of all involved, starting from 9p.m. The Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke will be honoured on the night for his support to the Super Eagles during the qualifying campaign for the Africa Cup of Nations and the on-going 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying race. Honour will also come the way of Minister/Chairman, National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, NFF President, Aminu Maigari, NFF Executive Committee and Management and a dozen Nollywood superstars. The Super Eagles will be special guests on the night, alongside the likes of Desmond Elliot, Ejike Asiegbu, Nse-Ikpe Etim, Chika Ike, Keppy Ekpeyong Bassey, Francis Duru, Bimbo Akintola, Fred Amata, Bimbo Manuel and Lancelot Imasuen.

THE GUARDIAN, Friday March 15, 2013


Delta Governor’s Cup talents thrill Owumi, Omughele By Gowon Akpodonor WO ex-internationals, Davidson Owumi and John Omughele are happy with the quality of football displayed by the various schools in the zonal elimination of the on-going Delta State Governor’s Cup soccer competition. Owumi and Omughele, products of school football in the old Bendel State, are members of the Technical Study Group (TSG) set up by the state government to fish out talents among the players. Speaking to The Guardian at the end of the zonal elimination, Omughele said he was satisfied with the high level of soccer by the players, adding, “now I can say the government is on the right path of reviving our school sports system.” Omughele, whose strike for the Green Eagles gave Nigeria its first ever win over Ghana Black Stars in Kumasi in 1983 during the qualifiers


for Los Angeles ’84 Olympics Games, said Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, deserved praise for the steps he has taken in positioning young footballers for the future. On his part, Owumi, a former chairman of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL), said, “I am so happy to be part of this success story.” Two other members of the TSG, Asaba-based sports analyst, Harrison Ochulor, and Sapele-based ex-national referee, Dave Egho, commended the level of soccer displayed by the players in the various zones. In Agbor zone, the TSG disclosed it discovered three young players from Comprehensive Secondary School. They are Goodness Ogabu, Ike Jerry and Okolie Ugo, while Osita Ifayin and Samwe Igbokwe were discovered from Ugbolu secondary school. At the Kwale zone, Oshike Chukwuka and James

Rivers and Delta during the final of the female volleyball event at the Eko 2012 National Sports Festival.

African Junior Women Volleyball Championship

Algeria beats Nigeria in opening game LGERIA proved too tough a A nut for Nigeria to crack in the opening game of the on-

going 14th African Junior Women Volleyball Championship, beating the hosts 3-1 in Abuja. The first set of the game saw the Nigerian side trailing behind for long periods before rallying to lose narrowly by 23 to 25. The Nigerians recovered to win the second set by 27 to 25, but the Algerians opened a wide lead in the third set to win 25-16, and maintained their lead with a commanding dominance in the fourth set for a 25-21 win. The championship is taking place in the Indoor Sports Hall of Package B of the Abuja National Stadium. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the cham-

pionship, which is an under19 event, is a qualifier for the 17th Women’s Under-20 World Championship. The three-day African championship kicked off on Wednesday with three teams from Nigeria, Algeria and Egypt, instead of the seven teams expected to participate. The other countries whose teams were not present are Tunisia, Kenya, Rwanda and Congo Democratic Republic. Nigeria took on Egypt in the second match yesterday, while Algeria faces Egypt today to round off the competition. The first two teams in the competition will qualify for the World Championship scheduled for between June 21 and June 30 in Brno, The Czech Republic.

Ikechukwu were discovered from St. George’s Grammar School, just as Genesis Ighovanro and Famous Imoniroger were discovered from St. Michael College Oleh. Meanwhile, the Chairman of the LOC, Prof. Patrick Mouboghare (Commissioner for Education Basic and Secondary in the state) has promised that talents discovered in the Governor’s Cup would be invited for holiday camping programmes.

Oloyede inspires Kingswood to victory at MBHS sports meet By Tony Nwanne JIBOLA Oloyede conA tributed three gold medals to the nine gold won by

Kwara Football Academy Secondary School, Ilorin (yellow jersey) battling with National Foundation Academy, Ughelli, during the final of the 2012 Shell Cup competition at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.

Kingswood House to emerge as the overall winner of the 135th inter house sports competition of Methodist Boys high School (MBHS) held at the school campus in Victoria Island, Lagos. Ajibola claimed the highest medal in the 100, 400m and 4x100metres to help Kingswood to the zenith of the medal table with nine gold, five silver and eight bronze medals. For this performance, Ajibola was adjudged the most outstanding athlete of the oneday meet. Duisbury House also put up a strong fight to clinch the second spot with nine gold, three silver and three bronze medals while Hansworth House bagged the third position with four gold, seven silver and nine bronze medals. The inter-house sports championship, which served as a prelude to the school’s 135th Founders Day ceremony was attended by Air Vice Marshal Olufunsho Martins, who was the Chairman of the Occasion with large turnout of former students who competed in the Old Students race. Declaring the games open, Principal of the school, Reverend Capt. Philip Adebayo Okunoren enjoined the students to imbibe the spirit of fair-play in their bid to emerge victorious while Martins said the future of Nigerian sports would be bright if the administrators encourage and support young talented athletes to take their sports career to the next level.

Govt College, Ibadan, GSS, Wuse, others for Shell Cup semi-finals By Tony Nwanne OVERNMENT College, G Ibadan and Government Secondary School, Wuse, Abuja, Purple Krown College, Enugu and Government Arabic College, Gwale, Kano have qualified for this year’s NNPC/Shell Cup semi-finals scheduled for the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, on March 22. The four schools would be slugging it out for the two final tickets with the first match coming up by 2.00 p.m, and the second game holding from 4.00 p.m. To qualify for the semifinals, Government College, Ibadan beat School of

Science, Ipade, 5-1; Winners College, Akure 3-1; Adeola Odutayo College, Ijebu-Ode, 31 and walked over Dairy Farms Senior Secondary School, Lagos. In the quarter-finals, it defeated Henson Demonstration Secondary School, Benin, by 10 to 9 penalties after the regulation time had ended 2-2. Purple Krown College, Enugu, got to the semi-finals after beating Community Secondary School, Amaroba Inyi, 2- 0, in the state final, beat Competent Comprehensive Secondary School, Nkara Obio, Akwa Ibom 3-1, edged out Ahiaba High School, Obingwa, Abia

State, 2-1 and defeated Annunciation Secondary School, Ado-Ekiti, 1-0 in the quarterfinal. To make the semi-finals, Government Secondary School, Wuse, Abuja, beat Government Secondary School, Gwagwalada 4-2 in the state final before going to Keffi in the zonal preliminaries to beat Christ Comprehensive School, Kakuri, Kaduna State, 2-1, Government Pilot Secondary School, Daura, Kaduna State, 31, held Day Secondary School, Kotangora, Niger State, to a 1-1 draw, before going on to defeat Sani Dingyadi Unity Secondary School, Farfaru 1-0 in the quarterfinal final.

Youth handball: Teams battle for semi final places From Adeyinka Adedipe, Isanlu, Kogi HE battle for semi final T places continued yesterday with host Kogi, Kano and Edo recording victories that has taken them to the verge of semi final qualification. Lagos State is also making a model statement in the under 15 boys were they have bounced back to reckoning after starting slowly. In the under 15 girls, Osun

defeated Lagos 13-8, Kano beat Anambra 14-8, Kogi beat Edo 19-5 while Ondo lost to Abia 07-34. In the under 15 boys, Kogi defeated Benue 41-15, Lagos defeated Borno 22-13, Yobe lost to Anambra 19-21 in a tight contest while Niger beat Ondo 37-10. Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) referees’ boss, Moses Balogun commended the standard of the competi-

Lagos and Niger states battling for honours in the male U-18 final of a past National Junior Handball Championship

tion. He said with competition of this nature, it would be easy to unearth talents for the future. “The standard as being considering that this is a junior championship. The kids show they know what it takes to get to the top.” He also commended the HFN and the Yagba East Local Government for staging the competition calling on other states and corporations to support handball. He was also full of praises for his referees and assured they would continue to undergo training so that they can bring out their best at all time. Coach Oluro Oladeji of Ondo said the turn out was impressive and the standard is high. He said that considering that the competition had not been stage for four years, it was nice seeing many teams and players in Isanlu. While he would not complain about the screening, he however, said that he would have been handled better. He said it was a mixed fortunes for team as the under 12 girls and under 15 boys were doing well while the under 15 girls, who were left with five outfield players, have failed to sparkle.

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013



In association with

Hollywood and Tennis support

ELEBRITIES, especially those from Hollywood have been known to throw their weights behind charities or various other courses they believe in. Some are personal to them. In the Pacific Island nation of Fiji, Actress Nia Long lends her support to a unique project, designed as a tool for emancipation from poverty for the young girls in the country. She was once ranked one of the most beautiful women in America. Here, she poses at the celebrity Tennis competition, as part of the development event. Hollywood, does indeed serve!


Actress Nia Long with children from Fiji village

Stay Focused and Ready Between Matches As a trainer and competitive tennis player myself, this is a dilemONGRATULATIONS! You’ve just ma that I’ve unfortunately found won your first-round match at myself in many times. The ultithe local Parks and Recreation mate goal is to rehydrate and refutournament! Now what? el to replace all that may have Well, if you were one of the top been lost during your match. But pros that you watch on television, with only a short time between perhaps a nice whirlpool, shower matches, what can you do? Here and massage, followed by some are four tips that may help you get recovery stretching with your ready for that next match. trainer, a nice meal—prepared by someone else—and at least a day TIP #1: STRETCH “off” from match play before your Some research suggests that static next round. stretching (where you stretch and But wait! The tournament director hold the stretch for a minimum of has just called your name, and 20 to 30 seconds) offers several tells you that you have just a cou- benefits that can help your body ple of hours before your next recover from your match. match (not unusual at weekend Improved circulation to the mustournaments where you may have cles being stretched, improved to play back-to-back matches). Are muscular balance, reduced musyou kidding? So just what should cular tension, and even reduced you do to prepare yourself for the risk of injury are all benefits cited next round? How can you possibly by proponents of stretching for recover in that amount of time? sports.

By LaRue E. Cook


and after the exercise, and to replenish the water weight lost. But this method is probably not very practical at a match site. A more reasonable rule of thumb may be to drink enough to induce urination and to check the color of the urine—clear or light-colored urine is good. A good plan here would be to drink in smaller quantities over a period of TIP #2: REHYDRATE Sports nutritionists suggest that time rather than trying to drink large quantities of fluids in one sitting. your goal here should be to replace whatever fluids you’ve lost Also, experts such as the American College of Sports Medicine recomduring the match. Maintaining adequate hydration during and mend the use of sports drinks (containing a 4 to 8 percent carbohydrate after your match is a “must” for performing at your best and stay- solution) as a good choice to help ing safe on the court. If you were rehydrate and replenish the body wise and drank fluids often dur- after intense exercise lasting 60 minutes or more. Since not everyone can ing your match, you hopefully tolerate or likes the taste of sports will not have to “catch-up” so drinks, it’s probably a good idea to much post-match. experiment with using them during Experts suggest that one of the your practice sessions before trying best ways to determine the amount of fluid lost during your them on match day. CONTINUED ON PAGE 59 match is to weigh yourself before Taking a few moments after your match to perform some welldesigned static stretches will help you calm down, refocus and relax your muscles. So plan ahead— have a list of recommended stretches in your tennis bag for just such an occasion.

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

By Robin Whipple ROFESSIONAL athletes use “kinetic linking” to maximize the full potential of their musP cles and apply it to their sport. You, too, can implement this technique and take your tennis up a notch. Kinetic linking works much like compound interest: As you transfer energy from one part of the body to another, the total resulting force is not just the sum of the muscles working together, but it increases exponentially with each additional muscle. No matter how strong a certain muscle group is, you can increase its power by linking it to other muscle groups, so you can hit better, more powerful shots. Here’s how kinetic linking works in tennis: 1) Power begins in your toes and feet pushing down into the court . . . 2) which pulls the power up though the leg muscles into the body’s core . . . 3) causing your stomach muscles to tighten . . 4) and transferring power to your shoulders and flowing down into your arm and wrist . . . 5) to be unleashed on the ball when your racquet face makes contact. Recreational players tend to be too focused on getting their strings on the ball. They generally accomplish this goal, but often stop too far from the ball or fail to take a couple of extra steps immediately before their swing. This can cause them to be off balance and produce errors or weak shots.  Taking extra adjustment steps right before contact is key! Pros use these extra steps, as many as five, to adjust their distance from the ball and achieve the balance required to push down into the court as they begin their swing and link up their muscles, maximizing power at contact. These extra steps are like running in place but with a purpose, adjusting distance and achieving balance. I cannot stress last-minute adjustment steps and balance enough. It does not matter whether you are hitting open or closed stance or off the front or back foot. What matters is that you are on balance the right distance from the ball before contact. Better position and balance allows you to use kinetic linking and go for bigger shots at a higher percentage. Every player knows that reading their opponent’s shot and getting off quickly to play the ball is of paramount importance. Most recreational players think of this as part of a twostep process: get there, strike the ball. To apply kinetic linking, you need a three-step process: get there, set up (little steps adjusting distance and balance), strike the ball. Another common mistake related to balance is going for too big of a shot while out of position, or on the run. If you have time to use lastminute adjustment steps to regain good position and a balanced body, great. But if not, instead of going for broke with a big shot, just get the ball back deep to the middle of the court. This will minimize your opponent’s angles and most of the time will neutralize the point and give you a chance to go for a higher percentage winner later on in the point. Next time you are watching tennis on TV, watch the pros fight their way back into points with this


Harness the Power of ‘ Kinetic Linking’ strategy. Roger Federer’s backhand slice is a great example. When you’re on the court, be aware of your positioning and balance. The better it is, the higher percentage and more power through kinetic linking your shots will have, so you can go for more. Stay on your toes and take lastminute adjustment steps to ensure your feet are positioned squarely underneath your body for maximum balance the right distance from the ball. Implement this footwork strategy of the pros and it will pay big dividends in your game. Get

INDING the right tennis coach for your child is definitely not an exact science. You may have to try several of them. In my case, I had several coaches over my tennis career—some prominent, some not. But all the same, I learned something from all of them. And remember, just because a pro dresses the part, works at a fancy club, and comes with an expensive price tag doesn’t mean they will know what to do when it comes to your child’s development. In my experience, I found that the better coaches were the ones who really knew the game, took time to know my game and didn’t mind being critical. I really wanted to get better, but just taking my money (well, actually my parent’s money) to appease me and my parents, and telling us that I’ve got the best hand-eye coordination since McEnroe and Borg—well, even I couldn’t buy that. But it’s easy to see how that kind of move may work on some parents, especially since they’re footing the bill and are anxious to see a return on their money. At some point, junior players need to figure out what their goals are. Only about 50 or 75 players in the world can really make a good living as a pro player. Most guys are done at about age


Robin Whipple, currently a teaching pro in the Washington, D.C. area, was a member of the 1998 Flagler College tennis team, which finished second in the nation. As a junior he competed nationally, including play on a National Zonal team and in Junior Davis Cup. He’s trained with a number of top teachers, including Nick Bollettieri, Dennis Van der Meer and Bud Cox.

Commandments of the Mentally Tough Player By Dr. Robert Heller Thou Shall Not Overthink Between Points. Keep your mind clear and your body relaxed. The 25 seconds between points is when “less is more.” Avoid “paralysis by analysis.” Develop a simple post-point routine and stick to it.


about it! Only focus on the things you can control.

who “fear” mistakes are destined for mediocrity. Those with the courage to risk mistakes will likely succeed the most in the long run.

. Thou Shall Respect All Opponents But Fear None Reputation and ranking are . Thou Shall Move Swiftly relative. On any given day there are Always be alert, anticipate and be ready to many factors that can result in an unexpectmove. Your first step is your opportunity to ed outcome. Don’t put your opponent or control a point or save one. Be agile. Stay loose. yourself on a pedestal. Do your best. Play Move quickly toward the ball. . Thou Shall Be Aware of the Score without your hardest. Good things will usually folThou Shall Swing Freely A soft Caring About It. Notice the score without low. hand and relaxed arm permits a free and judging it or judging yourself. Your accelerated swing that combines power . Thou Shall Care Less What Others awareness of the score is useful in determinwith control. Be aware of tension in your musThink ing your strategy. Once you decide, forget cles and release it between points. Compete for and with yourself, not for the Thou Shall Be Tenacious and Persistent. approval, attention or respect of others. In Play your hardest on every point from the the final analysis it’s what you think and not what your parents, coaches or peers think first until the last, regardless of the score or that really matter. how well or poorly you are playing in the moment. Never give up. Never give in. The one . Thou Shall Accentuate the Positive and thing you can control is your effort. Go for it! Eliminate the Negative Thou Shall Play With Honor. Your thoughts create and maintain your There is no true victory in playing unfairmood, emotions and behaviors. Choose posly. True competition requires respecting itive, motivating and encouraging self-talk and playing by the rules. Compete fairly, play and avoid being overly critical, negative or honestly, and always do your best to experience pessimistic. the true meaning of winning.








. Thou Shall Learn From MistakesYou are not perfect and mistakes are inevitable. Errors can point out what you need to work on and improve upon to get better. Those


Picking the Right Pro for Your Junior By Rob Baggot

there, set up for kinetic linking, and strike the ball with effortless power and high percentage, just like the pros!

26, if they’re lucky. This is a global game, and as hard as your junior may train, there are kids out there probably training twice as hard. I had at least four coaches, and as I improved I had different needs and could only learn so much from each of them. While I felt I knew how to play, I really needed help on strategy and an outside perspective on how to play a certain opponent. When your child is starting out, you want a pro to make sure he or she is having fun and learning the fundamentals. Don’t get stuck with a dogmatic, taskmaster at the start as there is more than one way to play. We all have different talents that can be capitalized on. At the beginning, work one on one with teaching pro who has credentials and a solid background, and who has the time to work with your child … patiently. Clinics work better with intermediate players, not beginners looking to play seriously. But importantly, let the chips fall where they may. Your kid may just enjoy getting great exercise and making new friends, possibly playing on the high school tennis team, a college team—and who knows … maybe much farther. The bottom line, though, will be that no matter what, you’ll get a great return on investment. Rob Baggot played on the Arizona State University tennis team from 1981-83 then did a short stint on the Satellite tour. He still competes and is ranked nationally in both singles and doubles.


Dr. Robert Heller is a psychologist, sports psychology consultant and tennis teaching professional based in Boca Raton, Fla. He is the author, of the mental conditioning CD-Rom program, TENNISMIND. Send your comments and questions to him at and visit for free information on tennis psychology.

Stay Focused and Ready rather than to try to play the futile game of TIP #3: EAT! Refueling your body by eating a healthy meal “catch-up” by or snack is vitally important to getting ready eating and for your next match! Too often I’ve witnessed drinking a Boiled spaghetti and chicken served with orange juice huge players coming off the court after a long, amount in tough match, and basically eating (or drinking) nothing, or at best, an unhealthy snack. one sitting. Sports nutrition experts suggest that the goal here is to replenish your body’s energy stores, TIP #4: RELAX AND COOL DOWN most commonly by ingesting carbohydrates It’s amazing how many times I witness a player along with, perhaps, a bit of protein. They also who just finished a long, grueling match, pacing recommend beginning this process as soon around with nervous energy, or otherwise just staying out in the heat or sun while waiting for as 15-30 minutes after exercise. Eating or drinking these types of foods or beverages in their next match. Don’t! Try to relax your mind and body by getting away from the matches, out forms that can be quickly absorbed into the of the sun, and somewhere cool. Go to a cool bloodstream is key when attempting to get ready for a “quick turn-around” next match. place and do whatever it takes to relax your mind for a while (listen to music, play a game or whatThe American Dietetic Association recommends that for those people who don’t have ever). As “game time” gets closer, you can then an appetite after exercise, they choose liquid start to get into game mode. foods (for example smoothies made of yogurt Certified personal trainer LaRue E. Cook trains tennis playand frozen berries) for recovery. Check with a ers and other athletes to improve their on-court conditionregistered dietician or nutritionist for you ing and reduce their risk of injury. Cook provides one-onspecific needs. one, small group, and team training and consultations, as The key, when you’re planning to prepare for well as telephone consultations, and his innovative webthat second or third match of the day, is to based online training. Cook can be reached at or at drink frequently and refuel your body in small amounts throughout the day if you can,



THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

SchoolSports Quarterfinalists emerge in Delta Governor’s Cup By Gowon Akpodonor FTER days of soccer battle, seven schools have qualified for the quarterfinals of the on-going Delta State Governor’s Cup Soccer Championship. Comprehensive Secondary School, Ogwashi-Uku, finished tops at the Agbor Zone after winning all its two matches, including an 11-1 defeat of Ugbolu Secondary School in its first game and a 1-0 victory over Niger Mixed Secondary School of Asaba on Match Day 2. In the game against Niger Mixed Secondary School,


Gbenoba School principal eyes trophy, foreign trip Anene Ugo scored the only goal in the sixth minute, a left foot volley from the centre of the field that proved too much for Niger Mixed School keeper. Ugo and midfielder, Felix Oseme, won the heart of all spectators present at the venue with their accurate passes and stylish play. They may have played themselves into the Delta State Academicals team, which Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has mandated the Prof. Patrick Moubaghare-led

Bilikisu Yakubu (right) coasts to victory in the girls’ 100metre final of the maiden Premier Lotto Lagos Athletics Championship held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos over the weekend. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Local Organising Committee (LOC) to set up after the competition. Gbenoba Grammar School, Agbor, made it from Asaba Zone, where it defeated UteOkpo Secondary School 1-0 to secure six points from two games. Other quarterfinalists are Emo-eni Grammar School Ellu, Community Secondary School Ogume, Alegbo Secondary School, Effurun, Edjekota Secondary School Edjekota and Baptist High School Orerokpe. There was no winner at Okpara zone after Dom-domingos Secondary School of Warri and Mein Grammar School Kiagbodo, tied with same number of points after two games. A replay was expected yesterday. The winner of this maiden Delta Governor’s Cup, will get a school bus and foreign trip, as well as a cash reward of N2 million, while the second position will get a school bus and cash of N1 million. The third position will get cash reward of N500,000. As Gbenoba was battling Ute-Okpu at St. Patrick’s College in Asaba, the Principal of Gbenoba School, Emmanuel Onyeugbo was praying for god of soccer to see his boys through. His prayer was answered at the boys won 1-0 to top the group. He said, “this is my last term as principal of Gbenoba Secondary School because we will be handing over to the Missionaries by August this year. My prayer is for my boys to win this trophy so that I will get the opportunity of traveling abroad with them.”

Blue House wins Hopeful Private School inter-house sports By Bukola Ojeyemi LUE House became the toast B of pupils, staff, and friends of Hopeful Private School, IjeOdodo, on Saturday when it dusted all the other houses to win the school’s fourth InterHouse Sports at the school sports centre, 1-7 Agaye Junction, Ije-Ododo, Lagos. In a grand festival witnessed by the parents of the pupils and some grassroots sports enthusiasts, the Kiddies and Nursery Section opened the day with a match parade, which was followed by a colourful Bata cultural dance and other side attractions. Four houses, Blue, Yellow, Green, Orange competed for honours in the competition that members of the Nigerian Legion showing the kids that they are also good sportsmen. At the end of the competition, which featured such events as 25 metres tiny tots race, 50m tiny tots race, 75m tiny tots race, 100m race, 200m race, 400m

race, 4x100m relays and invitation relays of both gender, as well as, dress to school games, filing the basket, picking the ball, blind race and eating the cake boys game, Blue House garnered 15 gold, six silver and 10 medals to beat its closest rival, yellow House (11 gold, nine silver, 12 bronze medals) to the second position. Orange House, which came third in the over all competition, was rewarded for coming first in the match past parade. Orange House won eight gold, 15 silver, and 10 bronze medals bronze medals. Interestingly, their sister school located in Ejigbo, Hopeful Private School, Ejigbo, also showed its prowess in sports by taking the first position in the invitational relay. The competition also featured the parents and staff race, just as the directors took to the dance floor as their way of exercise. Speaking at the end of the competition, the Educational Development Directors of the

school, Pastor & Mrs. I.A. Babajide revealed that Hopeful Private School operates on a three- facet-learning domain, which includes cognitive, affective and psychomotor domain.

Ugo Anene of Comprehensive Secondary School , Ogwashi-Uku (right) during the Delta Governor’s Cup match against Niger Mixed Secondary School, Asaba at the Gbenoba School play ground in Agbor on Tuesday.

Ogun dominates Redeemer’s sport meet By Joseph Okoghenun T was joyful moment full of excitements to behold when Christ Redeemer’s College, Sagamu, Ogun State and Christ Redeemer’s Nursery and Primary School emerged winners in the secondary and primary schools 400m relay sport organised by Christ The Redeemer’s Schools Management (CRSM) as part of the celebration of the 14th Redeemer’s Day held at Redeemed Camp, Ogun State. Other schools that shone at the occasion were Redeemer High School and Redeemer’s International School, which came first and second runners-up respectively in the secondary category, and Redeemer’s Fortress Academy and Hope Academy, which emerged first and second runners-up in the primary category.


Redeemer’s Day is an annual celebration by the CRSM to bring together all schools own by The Redeemed Christian Church of God and celebrate students in different fields of human endeavours ranging from sports to sciences and arts. This year’s celebration was graced by the General Overseer of RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, his wife, Pastor. Folu Adeboye, wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, who was represented by Mrs. Rhoda Ayinde, wife of Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Olufunke Amosun and Senator Remi Tinubu, who was represented by Mrs. Abiola Ayodeji. Highlights of the event, which was attended by over 5,000 students from different schools in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Sokoto, Adamawa State, Benin City, Akure,

Warri, Minna among others, included match-pass and calisthenics display by various schools. Fashola commended the efforts of the young athletics, who she said, are the future leaders of the nation. The First Lady of Lagos State urged the school authorities to instil moral discipline on the students so that they (students) would not miss their destination in life. Tinubu, who appreciated the church for its effort to raise standard of education and sports among Koma students of Adamawa State, prayed that the efforts of the teachers never fritter away. Mrs. Adeboye solicited for government support to repairs access roads leading to the schools’ locations across the federation and said that the importance of the event could not be overemphasised.

De Modern Pace School marks inter-house competition HE yearly inter-house T sports competition of De Modern Pace School holds on

Hopeful Private School Development Director, Mrs. Babajide, presenting the winner’s trophy to Master Joseph Oyewunmi of the Blue House during the school’s fourth annual inter-house sports at Ije-Ododo, Lagos.

Friday March 22. Yellow House will defend its title against other houses at the one-day meet taking place at Pius Ikedia Field, Abesan Estate, Ipaja in Lagos. Events like 100, 200, 400, 800 and invitational relay will be competed for with companies like Honeywell Flour Mill and banks like Access, Stanbic, as well as, Ultimate Microfinance expected to be part of the colourful event.


THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013

UEFA Champions League

We committed blunders against Barca, says Allegri

English teams will be back next year, says Wenger RSENAL boss, Arsene A Wenger says it is a “massive wake-up call” that no English clubs have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Bayern Munich’s victory over the Gunners on the away goals rule on Wednesday means England will not have a team in the last eight for the first time since the 1995-96 season. “It’s a massive disappointment for English football,” said Wenger. “We accept the rest of European football has caught us.” Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City finished bottom of their group, which featured Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax, after failing to win any of their six matches. Chelsea, who defeated Bayern Munich to win the Champions League last season, also failed to advance past the group stage, while Manchester United went out to Real Madrid in the last 16 stage. Arsenal, trailing 3-1 from the first leg, overcame Bayern Munich 2-0 in Germany on Wednesday but missed out on a place in the quarterfinals on the away goals rule. “We had Manchester City and United, Chelsea and Arsenal all out by the quarterfinal,” added Wenger. “It’s a long time since that happened. We have to take that into consideration in the way we think about the future of the Premier League.” However, Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes has tipped Premier League clubs to be back in the

later stages of the competition again next season. “I think comparisons like this don’t bring much,” said Heynckes. “We have had German teams knocked out early in previous years. I think Manchester United were unlucky to get knocked out and Arsenal showed what a quality team they are. You get cycles like that in football. I think the English teams will be back next year.” Arsenal’s exit means they face an eighth season without silverware. They produced a gutsy performance in Munich but left themselves with too much to do, despite goals by Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny. “I’m very proud of the performance of the team, but very disappointed for everybody, who follows Arsenal that we couldn’t get that third goal,” Wenger continued. “I think there was room to score, and when you look at the game you have many regrets for our first game.” Arsene Wenger has ‘many regrets’ after Arsenal Champions League exit. There were echoes of Arsenal’s last-16 defeat by AC Milan in 2011-12, when they lost the first leg 4-0 before winning the second 3-0. “We have the same regrets as last year,” said Wenger. “The first game we had nerves but second game we showed how good we are. My regret from first game is that we conceded a cheap goal in the last five minutes when we could lose 2-1 at home. You can see how important that goal was tonight.”

EAD Coach, Massimiliano H Allegri claimed he had no regrets after watching AC

Bayern Munich’s midfielder, Thomas Mueller (left) and Arsenal´s defender Kieran Gibbs during Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg in Munich. Bayern lost 0:2 but qualified for the quarter-finals. Photo: AFP

We don’t want to face Barca now, says Malaga coach Borussia Dortmund, ALAGA Coach, Manuel utes from time. M Pellegrini is hoping to Pellegrini, who led unfan- Galatasaray, Juventus and avoid an all-Spanish showcied Villarreal to the semi- Paris St Germain. down in the Champions League quarter-finals. The Andalusian side continued their remarkable debut campaign in Europe’s elite club competition by overturning a 1-0 first-leg deficit against Porto with a 20 home win in Wednesday night’s return meeting. Isco’s 43rd-minute goal levelled up the scores on aggregate and, after Porto had lost Steven Defour to a red card just after half-time, Malaga substitute Roque Santa Cruz struck what would prove to be the decisive goal 13 min-

finals of the Champions League in 2006, believes his side thoroughly deserve their place in the last eight and hopes to avoid being paired with either Barcelona or Real Madrid in today’s draw. The former Madrid coach told reporters, “the ideal thing would be to not play against the Spanish teams. But you face who you face, and whoever we play we will try and have a good tie.” The other five teams to have got through to the quarterfinals are Bayern Munich,

On the win over Porto, Pellegrini added, “we went out there with a cool head and maintained our focus to ensure we didn’t concede a goal. “The first 15 minutes of play was a bit tense, but we were the superior side for the remainder of the match and definitely deserved to win. Porto are one of the best teams in Europe and we knocked them out of the competition. “If we are eliminated in the future, then we’ll make sure we go down fighting.”

Milan’s Champions League dream ended by “the best team in the world,” but his post-match analysis gave him away. The Rossoneri had admitted they would need Lionel Messi to have an off night but it was not to be, as the Argentinian forward single-handedly cancelled out Milan’s two-goal advantage inside 39 minutes at the Nou Camp. And with M’Baye Niang missing a gilt-edged chance to score an invaluable away goal for the Italians in between Messi’s strikes, Milan had no subsequent answer to goals three and four from David Villa and Jordi Alba after the break, with Barca wrapping up a 4-2 aggregate win to reach the quarter-finals. Milan’s exit may be galling for Allegri but the 45-year-old is now free to focus on chasing down Napoli and second place in Serie A. He told, “we did well in the first leg but Barcelona’s potential hasn’t changed. They’re the best team in the world with that trio of Messi, (Andres) Iniesta and Xavi. “Milan played a worse game than we did in the first leg and in the first 30 minutes of the match, they didn’t allow us to play. We made a lot of technical mistakes and then when they slowed down, we had a chance through Niang. “If Niang had scored that chance we’d be here talking about a completely different result. Sometimes, matches are decided by centimetres and this time it was the post that kept the ball out.

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013


Golf Weekly

Mr. Sanni Obafemi (left), Mr. Gbenga Akinyombo, Mr. Joachim Scholtyssek and Mr. Frank Momoh at the 3rd Daniel Ogechi Akujobi Memorial Foundation, (DOAMF) Charity Tournament in Lagos… recently

NTDC partners publication for listing of Nigerian facilities From Andrew Iro Okungbowa, Berlin

HE Nigerian Tourism T D e v e l o p m e n t Corporation (NTDC) is entering into partnership with the Preferred Hotel Group, publishers of Preferred Golf,

an international guide for the leisure sport, with a view to listing golf facilities in the country on the publication. This was one of the fall-outs of Nigeria’s participation at the just concluded ITB Berlin, a yearly international travel

and tourism trade exhibition that brings different countries of the world, exhibitors and other stakeholders in the travel industry under one roof in Messe Berlin, Germany, with a view to exposing their tourism desti-

Jung, Marinho win at 3rd Akujobi memorial tourney OREAN national, G.S. Jung K emerged overall winner of the Daniel Ogechi Akujobi Memorial Foundation (DOAMF) Annual Charity Golf Tournament held at the golf section of Ikoyi Club 1938. For his effort, which was courtesy of the 70 nett score he carded, Jung carted home a plaque, trophy and a television set. Nike Marinho came out tops in the ladies category with her 72 nett score. Oremule Tunde finished the tourney in second place while immediate past Group Managing Director of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Godwin T. Oboh finished third with 72 nett score to beat Managing Director of UBA Plc, Mr. Philip Oduozo on count back. Chairman of the DOAMF, Mr. Sam Ayininuola, in his remarks at a cocktail to wrap up the tourney said the Foundation was a platform to assist trauma victims and avert a good number of deaths on Nigerian roads. Represented by Prof. Obinnaya. Chukwu, Ayininuola called for support

from the public to ensure that the Foundation’s health and educational projects were sustained. The tourney was in remembrance of Master Daniel Ogechi Akujobi, who lost his life in a ghastly motor accident along Mowe in Ogun State while on his way back to school. Funds raised from the event, organisers say would be channeled to the Foundation’s Accident and Emergency (A&E) Centre located close to the accident site in Mowe, among several other health and educational projects. Acting head of the foundation Sorochi Ugochi, the Foundation, a charitable, humanitarian and non-governmental is also dedicated to the enhancement of the education and health of less privileged children and youths in the country. Since its establishment seven years ago, the foundation has offered scholarship to a number of vulnerable, but intelligent children in primary and secondary schools and tertiary institu-

tions. It has also undertaken various life improving programmes including deworming of children, mentorship, educational, nutritional and psycho-social support for more than 8,000 children and youths in the country.

nations, products and services. Director General of NTDC, Olusegun Runsewe, who led the Nigerian delegation entered into partnership with the tourism based publication group to have Nigeria golf facilities named in its publication. Published in conjunction with American Express, the magazine is a collection of the finest golf resorts and courses across the world. Some of the facilities that will enjoy a level of international promotion and exposure by the group are Le Meridien Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo, Ikoyi Golf Club, Lagos, IBB Golf and

Country Club, Abuja and Oturkpo Golf and Country Club, Otukpo. According to Runsewe, this move would further bring Nigerian golf facilities and the country’s tourism industry to the attention of not just golfers and followers of the sport, but also investors and tourists, who seek sports tourism. The NTDC boss added that this step would further enhance the game’s development in the country and compel golf developers to show more commitment to improving the game and their facilities if they are to attract interests from the international community.

Preferred Golf, according to the group is a high profile guide that leverages on top range facilities with access to over 100 of the world’s finest golf destinations, some of which are famous for hosting major championships with spectacular setting and award winning course architecture. Other than putting a seal of quality on the facilities listed in its guide, the group also help to market the facilities, help build up its patronage and membership club by having its insiders plan vacations to these facilities by creating the perfect golf itinerary for more rewarding golf experiences.

Adeyemo wraps up tenure as Ikeja Club captain CTIVITIES marking the A end of tenure of the outgoing captain of Ikeja Golf Club, Lagos, Tunji Adeyemo, begins Monday, March 18 running through to Saturday, 23. Adeyemo, former vice captain of the club was voted into office as captain about a year ago. And on assumption of office, he strengthened the club ties with corporate Nigeria in the process attracting more sponsors to the club. For instance, an indigenous outfit, Prime Metro Properties, pledged to invest N10 million in the club with a view to helping its manage-

ment realise the dream of repositioning it. The pledge was to enable the club to equip the fairway squash court with a swing analyser/golf simulator, so that the facility could be of better use on the club’s fairways. With the club touted as the largest greenbelt zone in Lagos Mainland, the captain also said his team was poised to work hard at preserving the prized property, which is not only useful to the golfers, but very important to the Lagos ecosystem. In the weeklong celebration,  caddie’s competition will set the tone on Monday,

March 18th. On Tuesday, March 19th, club based professionals would take their turn. Within the period under review, Adeyemo led his committee on a courtesy visit to the Logistics Command of the Nigeria Air Force, Ikeja, where he craved for strategic security support from the military formation for the club, adding that the relationship would also ensure better use of the club by the officers. The development, he had stressed, would provide a platform for better integration of its officers with corporate Nigeria. “We hope this visit will

help us strengthen our corporate partnership with the Nigerian Air Force and also help us carry the Command along in our strategic plan for the golfing year,” he stated during that visit. On Wednesday, March 20th, ladies would have their day while the special end of tenure kitty holds the following day, Thursday, March 21. Friday will see men taking to the course in the first of their scheduled two-day event. They would be joined by guests ladies. The grand finale holds Saturday, March 23rd as gentlemen golfers round up their two-day event.

THE GUARDIAN, Friday, March 15, 2013



Friday, March 15, 2013

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

That road to remedy Nigeria’s political problems will not come easily. The key as I see it lies in the manner in which the leadership is selected…from local governments, governors up to the presidency

By Mazi Moses Idika Held my emotions with bated breath as Ialsthe Nigerian elites and public intellectuheld the nation spell bound with arguments and counter arguments on the appropriateness or otherwise of Prof. Chinua Achebe’s new book, There Was a Country. It greatly baffled me that in the characteristic of most Nigerians, the arguments and counter arguments were based on the review of There Was a Country by the Guardian newspaper of London! In fact, most of them had not even read the book! Some people and especially those that said they were protecting Chief Obafemi Awolowo even suggested that Achebe should not have written the book in the first place!  Chief Babatope simply said ‘they were going to write their own book to counter Achebe’s position’ while Mr. Fanikayode whose disrespect for elders is legendary simply said Achebe should not have written the book! As a young Nigerian, I know very well that these people of timber and calibre cannot pull the wool over our face, not that easily, especially when the book will eventually get to Nigerian streets and we shall read it! So I bided my time and it came. My first contact with the book was on November 21, 2012, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. I could not buy it because it was being sold for N10, 000. At that point I could not simply afford to buy it so I went home dejected, a mood not helped by the chaos that was that airport that period due to the Call to Bar of new wigs at the Supreme Court in Abuja. However, I didn’t have to wait for too long to read the book and I am indeed grateful that I have. Going by the hoopla that the British Guardian newspaper review generated in Nigeria especially among the self-appointed intelligentsia of the Southwest and former dictator, Gen Yakubu Gowon (who must be fuming at Mr. Pini Jason for the interview Achebe reproduced on pages 236-239) I had thought that the entire book was devoted to maligning the erudite Chief Awolowo. To my chagrin, however, I was perplexed to note that of the 300 plus pages of the book Achebe mentioned Awolowo only in five pages: 45, 46, 51, 227 and 233! And in those five pages, Achebe actually lionised the late Awolowo as a political champion. I guess the point of contention is page 233, where Achebe quoted, verbatim, Chief Awolowo in famous justification of the use of starvation as a weapon in the Nigeria-Biafra civil war: “All is fair in war, and starvation is one of the weapons of war. I don’t see why we should feed our enemies fat in order for them to fight harder.” Personally, I was not surprised that the Guardian of London deliberately highlighted that portion of the book because throughout There Was a Country, Achebe has harsh words for England, the real prosecutors of the Nigeria-Biafra civil war. So in order to divert attention of the world off their infamous role in the Biafra genocide, they decided to stir up the very sentiment that was at the root cause of the war: ethnic bigotry! And unfortunately, the selfappointed public intellectuals of modern day Nigeria quickly hooked up with the red herring and lo and behold people practically went to war again, though this time on the pages of newspapers. Whereas, the Guardian of London purposely crafted that ‘special review’ more to discredit that great soul searching book, the gullible ethnic jingoist masking as public intellectuals  in Nigeria unknowingly promoted the book and I believe this is the benefit of the London Guardian review, ironically though. Surprisingly, while some Nigerian elites wish Achebe dead for directing our mind to ‘where the rain started to beat us’, Mr. Shimon Peres, former Israeli Prime Minister, a man of the same age

There Was a Country, therefore, is written to help Nigeria since we have all gone into collective amnesia, to know where the rain started beating us as a nation so that we can begin to think, at least, of how to get our body dry.

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Now that I have read There Was a Country

Prof. Achebe

bracket with Achebe, was on the highly influential Al-jazeera TV network recounting the experience of his grandfather and other Jews during the Jewish holocaust! Achebe has proven for the umpteenth time that his love for Nigeria simply is everlasting. This is because no matter where one is coming from, one will not but agree with Achebe that the time for redemption of Nigeria has come. To Achebe ‘the time has come for “Nigerians

to start asking hard questions”. This, essentially, apart from putting the records straight, is the reason why the book was written in the first place. So, as a young Nigerian, and I call on fellow compatriots, I believe, and strongly too, that no amount of red herring should divert our attention from the moral of this great book, that we must conscientiously take our destinies in our own hands by asking hard questions on how

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we can redeem our country. Achebe in the introduction of There Was a Country started with the Igbo proverb that says: “A man who does not know where the rain began to beat him cannot know where he dried his body”, (page 1). He went further to tell us why he has written There Was a Country: “It is for the sake of the future of Nigeria, for our children and grand children that I feel it is important to tell Nigeria’s story, Biafra story, our story, my story” (page 1). There Was a Country, therefore, is written to help Nigeria since we have all gone into collective amnesia, to know where the rain started beating us as a nation so that we can begin to think, at least, of how to get our body dry. In essence, all those things that led Nigeria into war in the late 60s are today more endemic than ever: Ethnic and religious bigotry, corruption, nepotism, quota system against meritocracy, inept politicians; lately collapsed infrastructure, joblessness, rundown schools and hospitals, insecurity, armed robbery, kidnapping, human trafficking, drug peddling etc. Achebe, a master story teller, in this brazen book, has jerked us up from our slumber. Nothing in the last decade, not even the elections, has elicited the kind of uproar that There Was a Country has elicited, and gratefully so. Achebe being a very practical man, in his love for Nigeria, has not just criticised Nigeria and the Nigeria problems, he has also proffered the way forward. He equally agrees that Nigeria needs a holistic turn around maintenance, even though he understands that the road may be quite steep. In his words: “That road to remedy Nigeria’s political problems will not come easily. The key as I see it lies in the manner in which the leadership is selected…from local governments, governors up to the presidency” (page 244). To further assure us that the answer to Nigeria problems lies with Nigerians, Nigerians that are ready to take action, he goes further on page 247 to warn us that: “This is not the time to bemoan all the challenges ahead. It is a time to work at developing, nurturing, sustaining and protecting democracy and democratic institutions.” Achebe continues in his admonition to his countrymen, saying that the quest for strengthening democracy and good governance in Nigeria “should continue for decades in small forums, in schools, offices, on the radio, on TV, in our newspapers, and on the streets until we get things right”. He tells us that even “most advanced countries constantly appraise and re-appraise their countries’ paths and destinies” (page 252). Here lies what the Guardian of London unsuccessfully tried to divert out attention from! A well-governed Nigeria will definitely mean less revenue for imperialist economies like that of the UK where corrupt Nigerians siphon our collective patrimony for safe keeping. As things stand today, it is the dream of any Nigerian politician from the local government to the presidency to buy a house in London. Even, when many Nigerians in “the system” refuse to acknowledge our progress, Achebe does and agrees that fundamental changes must be made. On the recurrent call for Sovereign National Conference, SNC, Achebe perhaps proffers an agreeable solution: ‘It should not be an avenue for politicians to drink or feast on meals in Abuja”! The old man also praises and acknowledges our progress so far: ‘The last general elections in Nigeria were not perfect, but overall it was an improvement over past travesties that were passed off as election in Nigeria”.  It is, therefore, obvious that we must then focus attention on the real issues Achebe raised in There Was a Country so that we may save Nigeria from the precipice. • Mazi Moses Eze Idika, an editor wrote from Abuja.

Fri 15 Mar 2013 The Guardian Nigeria  
Fri 15 Mar 2013 The Guardian Nigeria  

The Guardian Nigeria